Ishihara “Won’t Stand” for 4th Term as Tokyo Governor


Tokyo’s 78-year-old governor Shintaro Ishihara has said he will not stand for election to a fourth term as Tokyo governor.

Previously he had apparently indicated he would stand, but his son, who in the best traditions of Japan’s cronyistic hereditary democracy is also the secretary general of the LDP, recently told party supporters his father did not intend to stand for re-election.

Whether he could actually win another election is not clear, but optimism about the prospects for repealing his manga ban may yet be misplaced – the LDP, with which he is most closely associated, fiercely supported the ban and is packed with pro-censorship authoritarian conservatives, whilst the main opposition party, the supposedly liberal DPJ, went along with the ban after it was reworded to be even more draconian.

The other parties and candidates are none too reassuring either – the Koumeito is run by a Buddhist cult of fervently moralistic character, and wealthy restaurant entrepreneur Miki Watanabe’s independent candidacy has already been marred by his response to questions about what he would do about the ban.

Watanabe’s statement with respect to the ban that “a restoration of confidence and consideration of revision is required,” along with his pro-business outlook, is on the face of things promising, but the manner in which he arrived at this statement is far from reassuring – his first tweet on the subject:

“I don’t normally look at adult manga so I asked my secretary to buy me 4 representative examples, and I read them, and frankly I was sickened by the content.”

[The “adult manga” language he uses actually suggests he was brought 18+ ero-manga which are unaffected by the ban in any case, rather indicating an abysmal level of familiarity and research on the topic]

He goes on to condemn freedom of expression:

“I can’t understand how people can defend complete freedom as ‘freedom of expression.’ So I definitely think the manga ban was the right choice.”

However, he soon changes his tune when he realises this might actually cost him some votes – his response to people calling him out as a neo-Ishihara:

“I apologise for my comments about the manga ban, which were based on a lack of understanding. I think restoration of industry confidence in the government and due consideration of a revision of the law is necessary.

Many people became worried about me and were kind enough to explain the situation in emails. Thank you very much. I was talking about a situation in which I wanted to do something about the excess of harmful material, but it seems that is not the matter at issue here. I didn’t know enough about what I was talking about.”

A disturbing reflection on his candidacy in several aspects, from his willingness to make statements about topics he knows nothing about to his complete lack of familiarity with the entire issue and clear preference for political expediency over support for freedom of expression or the publishing industry.

Only the Japanese Communist Party’s candidate Akira Koike has said unequivocally that he would repeal the legislation entirely if elected – however, even the most ardent opponents of the ban could be forgiven for being sceptical of the merits of electing a full-blown communist to office just to get rid of the ban, given the rest of his political agenda.

The election, due in April, has been described as “a free-for-all,” so just who will be elected is not clear – though what is clear is no candidate even approaches Ishihara in terms of their demented hostility towards manga, freedom of expression and foreigners, so even the worst case scenario is likely to be an improvement.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    06:42 23/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Ishihara quits? Finally, some good news...

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:16 23/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    to be replaced by his 60 yr.old son

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    10:35 23/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    If voters fail to vote

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:36 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    thats if it does even exist in Japan...

    Avatar of Lurkerman
    Comment by Lurkerman
    12:27 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    and even if they do, it doesn't look good for the freedom of expression in their country.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:17 26/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    He has no son it's just going to be him with a fake mustache and a hat!

    Avatar of Michael
    Comment by Michael
    03:28 23/02/2011 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    Japan's leadership sucks whoever it is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:48 23/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    current japanese leaders have neither brains (manga industry bashing) nor balls (china's and even sea sheperd's bitch)

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    04:49 23/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    That independent candidate didn't even have the balls to buy ero-manga, he made his secretary do it for him...

    Avatar of NakkiNyan
    Comment by NakkiNyan
    05:35 23/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    A secretary that would have had some bias or another. He should have asked for a list of what would have been banned and picked 4 at random and told her to buy them if he was still unwilling to do it himself.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    10:34 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Why soil your hands and risk getting photographed when you have peons to carry it out for you?

    No balls indeed.

    Comment by John Hayabusa
    01:34 24/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    We are getting some Ishihara news lately; this old man is starting to bore me.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    05:16 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    To be honest, the government should have never condoned illegal fishing to the point where Sea Shepard would make a total mockery out of them. Japanese government also being one of the most openly corrupt modern governments with Yakuza ties isn't helping either. Most of my older relatives TOTALLY gave up on politics back home.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    10:28 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Politics is like wrestling with a pig. The more you fight it, the dirtier the both of you end up. And the pig likes it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:19 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Shoot the pig instead, game over.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:11 24/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Stop lying.....Japanese whaling was not illegal.

    Avatar of Sylar
    Comment by Sylar
    08:14 23/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    That goes for most countries. People just don't have a good choice. It always seems to be just a matter of choosing the less of two evils instead of a choice for progress.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:39 24/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    In politics basicly you just want to vote for who ever isn't going to screw you over the most

    you will get screwed over by someone just one more then another

    Avatar of cerberus
    Comment by cerberus
    09:55 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I very much agree to this Sylar.

    Politicians more than often talk of stuff they either haven't the faintest idea about or only did half the research they should have, before passing judgement.

    To Ishihara I say good riddance, can't say i'll be missing him.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    20:56 23/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    It sucks so much having a communist in power might just shake the rest of the foundation enough to common sense.

    Avatar of Cupofjoe
    Comment by Cupofjoe
    06:56 23/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    there's only one answer I must take over the world

    Avatar of Lurkerman
    Comment by Lurkerman
    12:26 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ... I think you meant "revolutionize"

    Avatar of Bayonette
    Comment by Bayonette
    20:41 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    And the world would hate you, then the cycle continues...

    Anyways, should the royal family do something about the government? Then again, they can't do it!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:16 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    heyyy dont forget the legend Junichiro Koizumi!

    Avatar of Mike
    Comment by Mike
    03:34 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's like knowing you're going to get the shit beat out of you come April, but on the plus side this time around they won't focus so much on kicking you in the balls.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:54 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just like Alien Vs. Predator.

    Whoever wins, we lose.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    06:22 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably he knows that he will lose if he try to run again for UNPOPULAR Decisions.

    Avatar of Hatsune Miku
    Comment by Hatsune Miku
    06:19 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Finally, he's getting OFF the stage for once...

    Avatar of Jigsy
    Comment by Jigsy
    03:25 23/02/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    All he needs now is a fitting exit...

    Snipers, where are you? :>

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:26 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "Snipers, where are you? :>"

    It's a classic way to go, but we need something much more..."Special" for Mr. Ishihara...

    Maybe someone dressed as a certain, silver-haired Final Fantasy villain should impale him behind the back with a ridiculously long sword after he makes his speech...

    -Azure Xuchilbara
    (account suspended)

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:57 24/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really hope you guys calling for his death aren't serious, the last thing we need is for him to become a martyr.

    Avatar of Jigsy
    Comment by Jigsy
    05:47 25/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    A martyr to whom exactly?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:50 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    bah, though camper never around when you nee-

    Comment by velto
    03:57 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    i bet a candlejack sniper can do the j-

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:23 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    you wouldn't happen to have 3 million dollars would you ?

    5 internetz to whoever gets the refference :D

    Avatar of sexynewbie
    Comment by sexynewbie
    10:46 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    11:27 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Duke Togo aka Golgo 13 is my guess.


    Comment by velto

    waiting for the right moment to kill him and his whole family with just one bullet ಠ_ಠ

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:00 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    With Ishihara's thick head, you'd be lucky to get a Trifecta.

    Comment by Anonymous

    O.o you got a magic bullet ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:49 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I dont think so , but all velto need is for the governor and his famil to stay in a line and a good old 50cal.

    Avatar of Jack
    Comment by Jack
    03:25 23/02/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    This guy is more like a troll.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Plain stupid and ignorant ≠ troll.

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    09:47 23/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    id vote for the communist. we only hear the bad things that communism brings, because of people. at its heart, communism is the closest form of a utopia yet developed, however to fully realize communism you have one of the latter steps is to fully relinquish your power. something no government is willing to do.

    i honestly believe that a communist in power, will have enough checks and balances, as in other party members, that he cant fully fuck up the country, but has enough power to adaquitly change it for the better, especially in japans case.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:30 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Communism can't work due to human nature (greed) unfortunately.

    Heck, probably the closest thing we've got to a positive portrayal of what is essentially a communist regime, would be the Federation, from Star Trek.

    And even that is highly idealized.

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    14:43 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    living in america, the majority of people are su fucking stupid to only listen to what people say where are in some possession of power as the gospel, or reject everything as a conspryacy.

    i mean the people who are in power now (teachers, parents, and many, if not all, in government) lived when communism was seen as the devils, and you would get beaten if open about your beliefs.

    its coming out the worst here with health care.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:28 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    To be perfectly honest, this is quite possibly the only being on earth whom i'd wish death upon. Sure, there are other vile humans running around the globe, i'm perfectly aware of that but this guy really, really makes my blood boil. No other person ever managed that before.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:10 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    yup.. same here..

    i feel really mad at him, especially after he being bit@h again, announce internet censorship plan after succeed in manga ban..

    damn old man

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:30 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wait... You'd wish death on some crazy senile moron for hating on manga, but not guys like Kim Jong Il, Pinochet, or those Muslim dictators who stone young girls to death for the crime of being raped?

    Priorities, man... priorities.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:01 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @Anon 14:30

    Read the post carefully. Anon 06:28 was talking about about people who are directly having an effect on his interests.

    To clarify: It's easy to to hate terrorists and wish death on them but for most of us, those are mostly people who are not relevant for their daily lives. It's true and you have to take that into consideration. Anon 06:28 also said that he is aware of that.

    Ishihara, on the other hand, is a very real threat for his interests.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:08 23/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You're talking about sad, pathetic otakus here. They're a different species of (sub)humans.

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