Sunday, January 31, 2016


The reaction by a certain segment of the public in Japan to what this cartoonist drew is galling:
A Tokyo publisher and bookstore have responded to public protests by cancelling a just-announced signing event involving a cartoonist whose works have been criticized of stoking hatred of Syrian refugees and other minorities.

Seirindo Co published in December a collection of illustrations by Toshiko Hasumi, titled “Soda nammin shiyo! - Hasumi Toshiko no sekai” (That’s right, I should become a refugee! - the world of Toshiko Hasumi). The title came from a highly provocative post Hasumi made on Facebook in September.

Hasumi posted on the social networking site an illustration of a rebellious-looking young Syrian refugee girl with a comment listing the things she would like to do, like “I want to live safely. I want a clean life. I want to eat something delicious” and “I want to dress up. I want luxury.”

The comment was concluded with words, “With other people’s money. That’s right, I should become a refugee!” The post angered many people, but the book cover uses the same illustration of the girl, which was based on a photograph of a Syrian refugee.

According to Shosen Grande, a bookstore in Tokyo’s bookselling enclave of Jimbocho, the signing event and a question and answer session with Hasumi was scheduled to take place at the bookstore on Feb 11.

After making the announcement of the event on its website on Tuesday, the bookstore received dozens of phone calls from people criticizing it for “becoming an accomplice of discrimination” among other things.

The protests prompted the bookstore to consult Seirindo the following day, before deciding that the event should be called off.

A spokesperson representing the publisher said the cancellation is “out of consideration that the event might cause trouble” to customers of the bookstore, which “was inundated with” protests.
Well this is sad. So there's a certain amount of people in Japan who buy into the notion all "migrants" now stuffing Europe are all well-meaning, even after the horrific incident in Cologne's train station in Germany? Or worse, do they see socialism as legitimate? That's pretty bad. Yet this is a country that, unlike most of Europe, isn't hell-bent on flinging their doors wide open to just anybody. They shouldn't have demanded that the store call off a book signing; just boycotted it, yet all they can think of is demanding a potential curtail on free speech. That's not a good sign.

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