Sunday, October 27, 2013

Japan's Emperor to Minamata Disease Victims: "I Would Like to Build a Society with You Where We Can Live in Truth"

His Majesty's remark was unscheduled, and frighteningly candid particularly when a new national security legislation is slated to become the law of the land despite 80% of unprecedented 90,000 public comments received by the national government in 15 days in September this year are against hasty adoption of the law.

Asahi Shinbun (10/28/2013) reports that the Emperor and the Empress visited Minamata City in Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu for the first time and spoke with the victims of Minamata disease - neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968.

His word about a society where people can live in truth came after talking with the victims, many of whom hid the disease and didn't apply for recognition as the disease victim in fear of discrimination.

From Asahi Shinbun, the emperor's words, after he heard one of the victims who hid his disease:


I can't even begin to imagine how you must have felt. I would like to build a society with everyone where we can live in truth.


I am deeply feeling [your pain] that you have lived with so many thoughts and feelings.


I hope that the future Japan will become a society where one can be his/her true self. I pray that we can all move toward that direction.

The maternal grandfather of the Crown Princess was the president of Chisso Corporation from 1964 to 1971. Some hold him responsible for the delay in saving and compensating the victims.

Just like TEPCO today, Chisso was kept as a corporation, instead of bankruptcy, under the pretext that Chisso needed to make money so that it could pay the victims.


Anonymous said...

So... have Chisso victims been compensated?
Is past government performance an indication of its future performance?

Anonymous said...

Sound of silence......

Vyse Legendaire said...

Breaking News: Emperor speaks but government doesn't listen.

Anonymous said...

Are they simply drawing closer to having to admit more than they wish because it is getting harder and harder to deny reality on a daily basis? What's going on? Now Kan wishes he hadn't supported nuclear power:

Are they bracing for public outcry and positioning themselves as well as they can with the "right" attitudes?

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to build a society of truth for a long time too, but it's obviously never going to happen.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know how Fukushima will turn out look no further than how Minamata was dealt with...lying, heartless fuckers who tried to sweep it all under the carpet and still to this day those victims are kept at arms length and not fully compensated... only in japan can this shit be allowed.

Anonymous said...

Nice words from the emperor, but no substance, since essentially he is fed by the Japanese government, so he is not courageous enough to speak the real truth against them. He just express wishes that he and everyone live in a truthful, caring society, but that is all he does, nothing more, even though he is capable of.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:42AM, perhaps you aren't aware of the subtleties. What he said is extraordinary. It is tantamount to open criticism. And under the Constitution, he is NOT capable of "doing anything".

Fed by the government? Sure. 70 million dollars per year for the entire, extended imperial households. Pittance.

Anonymous said...

"lying, heartless fuckers who tried to sweep it all under the carpet and still to this day those victims are kept at arms length and not fully compensated... only in japan can this shit be allowed."

Uhh... you're aware of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, Gulf oil spills, 9/11, etc, etc? And that's only recent disasters. Nobody compensates victims properly. It's not just Japan.

It boggles my mind how many people seriously believe only Japan does shit like this.

But hey, it's not my problem if they keep turning a blind eye to their own country's problems. When the time comes, I won't be the one getting screwed. It just makes me sad that humans are so stupid.

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