Big in Japan: Notable quotables from Japan’s next prime minister

Think that the politicians in your country make ridiculous statements?

The tabloids here in Japan are buzzing this week following the latest verbal gaffe by Taro Aso, the Secretary-General of the ruling party. Believed by many to be Japan’s next Prime Minster, Mr. Aso recently offended pretty much everybody by likening the main opposition party to a bunch of Nazis.

During talks with the opposition, an MP stated that the Japanese electorate was shifting its support away from the governing party. Apparently, this impending reality was a bit much for Mr. Aso to handle, who replied by saying that when people move away from the party of the government, regimes like the Nazis come to power.


Needless to say, people aren’t very impressed at the moment with Mr. Aso, though it’s likely that this little scandal will blow over in good time. After all, this isn’t exactly the first ridiculous public statement made by the future Japanese Prime Minister.

What else has the colorful Mr. Aso said over the years?

Today’s somewhat politically leaning blog presents a concise little list of notable quotables.

Taro Aso (麻生太郎), the Secretary General of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, is quite the character. An academic by training who holds degrees from both Stanford and the London School of Economics, Mr. Aso has held a number of controversial jobs over the years. He once ran a diamond mining operation in Sierra Leone before the civil war forced him to flee, as well as a Japanese cement company that allegedly indulged in forced labor during WWII.

With that said, perhaps the following comments aren’t that shocking given his illustrious background.

– While serving as economics minister, Mr. Aso was quoted as saying he wanted to make Japan a country where “rich Jews” would like to live.

– Mr. Aso once praised Japan for having “one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture and one race.”

– When asked once about compulsory Japanese language education during the colonization of Taiwan, Mr. Aso declared “our predecessors did a good thing.”

– When describing China, Mr. Aso was quick to declare that the country was “a neighbor with one billion people equipped with nuclear bombs that has expanded its military outlays by double digits for 17 years in a row. It is beginning to be a considerable threat.”

– When referring to a Japanese peace initiative on the Middle East, Mr. Aso proudly stated the following: “The Japanese are trusted because they have yellow faces and slanted eyes, and have never been involved in exploitation there, or been involved in fights or fired machine guns. Japan is doing what the Americans can’t do. It would probably be no good to have blue eyes and blond hair.”


Well, I guess there is good reason why most Japanese people are happy to remain apathetic about their country’s politics. With election fever sweeping across the States, perhaps both sides of the American divide have reason enough to be confident in their candidates.

** All images courtesy of the WikiCommons Media Project **