… Japanese ones, that is. Although, so not to appear too crass, it was done the day before the 65th Anniversary of VJ Day.
Some 20 delegates from various European far-right organizations will currently be returning from a three day conference in Japan, where they were guests of Uyoku Dantai (“New Right”) organization, Issuikai: formed in 1972 following a failed coup attempt against the Showa Emperor for his support of stifling American occupation. Its President, Mitushiro Kimura (who possibly visited Baathist Iraq more times than George Galloway) could have conversed in his native language with the BNP delegate, Adam Walker.
Schoolteacher Walker is a calm face of Nick Griffin’s Third Position’d BNP, having lived in Japan for lived for six years and taught Japanese martial arts. He was eager that this event dispel misconceptions about the BNP being a bunch of semi-articulate racists who cannot organized a piss-up in a Bavarian-themed brewery:
“Lots of people think that because we are nationalists we don’t talk with people from other cultures and religions,” laments Mr Walker. “It’s pure ignorance.”
What, like describing immigrants as “savage animals” whilst on school Internet connexions?
Having been keen to emphasis the BNP’s admiration for the British war-effort – to the extent that his Party praised Polish Spitfire pilots (although he is keen to point out that Johnson Beharry received his VC only because he returned twice under withering fire) – it is slightly puzzling how Griffin can justify the visit by all delegates, including Walker, to the Yasukuni shrine. Following a secret ceremony 1978, the shrine has, according to Shinto tradition, offered equal homage to the kami (ethereal presences) of 14 Catagory-A war-criminals remembered with those of other war dead.
The former includes the executed wartime Prime Minister, Hideki Tojo who, with the 13 other relevant kami, has been elevated to the status of gunshin (“god of war”).
It cannot be out of respect to their host country, as might have been said by a Front National delegate, Bruno Gollisch who is a Japan-expert at the University of Lyon and married to a Japanese. The Showa Emperor – portrayed in Aleksandr Sokurov’s mesmerizing 2005 film, The Sun as a man-child cosseted from war-aims by his Generals – reportedly ceased visiting the shrine following the events of 1978 for this reason; and his son, Akihito, has not yet visited despite 20 years on the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Former Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi generated increasing controversy for visiting the shrine six years running. He, however, was relatively uncommon amongst Japanese PMs to be in office at the times of the mid-August visits: and unheard of to have been in office for such a long period. This year, however, the entire Japanese Cabinet shunned a visit; the first expression of disapproval in 25 years.
What was the reason for the BNP approved visit? It cannot be that the Party is a bunch of fascists who stand against everything Western democracies have fought for, surely?