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View Poll Results: If a major quake hits Tokyo, will some Japanese murder foreigners in the confusion ?

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  • Probably, and aiming at other East Asians

    4 3.48%
  • Probably, and aiming at Westerners

    0 0%
  • Probably, and aiming at Muslims

    2 1.74%
  • Probably, and aiming at any foreigners

    3 2.61%
  • Who knows ?

    24 20.87%
  • Probably not

    27 23.48%
  • Surely not

    55 47.83%
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Thread: Will Japanese massacre foreigners if a major earthquake hits Tokyo again ?

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Will Japanese massacre foreigners if a major earthquake hits Tokyo again ?

    The 1 September 1923, the Great Kanto Eartquake hit Tokyo leaving about 100,000 people dead. In the weeks following the eartquake, many Japanese falsely accused the Koreans of poisoning wells or even to be responsible for the earthquake itself, which led to the massacre of 6,000 Koreans by the Japanese police and citizens throughout the Kanto region.

    My question is, do you think that such a thing could happen again in the events of a similar or worse disaster in Tokyo, given the racist attitude of some Japanese (it doesn't need to be more than a few % of the population) ?

    If it happens, will it be directed towards Koreans, Chinese and/or other Asians, towards Westerners, towards Muslims (given the new global anti-muslim trend) or all of them indistinctively ?

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  2. #2
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    I voted "who knows"? It is definitely possible that people with hatred inside take advantage of a situation. That is true human nature. I would like to think that it wouldn't happen though! I will tell you one thing...if someone came after me with bad intentions they would be in for a world of hurt! Considering I would already be in a bad mood after the quake!

  3. #3
    Chukchi Salmon lexico's Avatar
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    I vote for probably not.
    I say this for several reasons.

    Back in the 1920's the Japanese elite had one major concern.
    It was the establishment of the so-called PEACS, or Pan East Asian Commonwealth Sphere.
    It's aim was to promote self-reliance on a regional level and to have an equal say in the international arena not only as a nation, but also as a tightly knit group of countries in military and economic alliance with Japan in the center. When its ideal was challenged in March 1, 1919 in Korea and May 4, the same year, in China, those Japanese leaders were frustrated and fearful of the opposition that may lead to the eventual collapse of PEACS. This uncertainty and insecurity of Japan's leadership must be kept in mind when we discuss the massacre of 1923.

    The two Japans we are comparing, that of 1923 and that of 2005, are 72 yrs apart. The old, xenophobic, and totalitarian mindset of the average Japanese citizen has now been replaced by the new, individualistics, and cosmopolitan perspective. The old generation has been flushed out at least three times since then. Therefore there is little chance that such savage calls for genocidd can again drive the mass to the streets for lynching and torture of any one group of innocent alien residents.

    The "ugly Japanese" also seems to be a stock image portrayed in the media by attention seeking reporters, alarmists (since the late 1800's by the way ) and the broadcast networks, whether Japanese, Europian, American, Asian, or other. It is about time to declare that there is no more place in the media for presenting biased and prejudiced images of the Japanese people. In the worst case, such bad-mouthing of Japan may even help the minority ultra-right wing members to pursue their crazy ideals, whatever that may be. I firmly believe that they, the extreme nationalists and those media people who feed on them, are both dinosaurs that posterity will read about and study with amazement in the libraries and the museums.

    These are some of the reasons I vote for "probably not."
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  4. #4
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    The two Japans we are comparing, that of 1923 and that of 2005, are 72 yrs apart. The old, xenophobic, and totalitarian mindset of the average Japanese citizen has now been replaced by the new, individualistics, and cosmopolitan perspective.
    Agreed, but let us not forget that Tokyoites have elected and re-elected self-proclaimed racist Shintaro Ishihara as governor. One particularity of the Japanese culture (compared to Western ones) is that people avoid telling what they really think ("honne") in public and will even go to incredible extend to fake opposite feelings and smile when they dislike something or someone.

    Then there are the minority of extreme-rightist riding black buses hollering nationalist music in the streets. This kind of organised neo-nazi could seize the opportunity to unleash their negative energy on foreigners when the time comes.

  5. #5
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    I voted for "who knows?", but I would like to think that it will never happen.

    It doesn't seem possible to me from the circumstances they have in Japan; having the US military bases on the land is one of the good reasons to make it difficult for Japan to do such an inhumane thing; another thing is that the foreigners are spread out all over Japan, not like they used to live in certain parts of the country, which makes it hard to even think the massacre is physically possible.

    Ordinary Japanese people are not armed including the Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro, hopefully. They neither know how to use weapons, nor how to fight back when they are pointed with weapons.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Sally_Hawn's Avatar
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    I voted gSurely noth because nowadays most of the Japanese people are well educated (maybe not at your level but stillc). Educated people are not that easy to be manipulated. There might be some cases of Japanese individuals or groups attacking other foreigners, but I donft think there will be a massacre.

  7. #7
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally_Hawn
    I voted gSurely noth because nowadays most of the Japanese people are well educated (maybe not at your level but stillc). Educated people are not that easy to be manipulated. There might be some cases of Japanese individuals or groups attacking other foreigners, but I donft think there will be a massacre.
    The Japanese education system does not emphasize critical thinking at all. In fact, it is made to reinforce group concensus and confucianist ideas of hierarchy and respect of authority. It does help a lot manipulating people. That is why Japanese people are so obedient, hard-working and complain so little (to their boss, in public, etc.). For all these reasons, I think today's Japan is not so different from Japan 80 years ago. Lots of things have changed, but they are mostly economic, material (clothes, electronics...) or superficial (hobbies), not so much in the way people think and interact with each others.

    The fact that influential people like Governor Ishihara have racist ideals makes it uncertain what could happen in case of a major confusion where people stop listenning to reason because of fear or chaos.

  8. #8
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    Ordinary Japanese people are not armed including the Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro, hopefully. They neither know how to use weapons, nor how to fight back when they are pointed with weapons.
    A mob doesn't need to be armed to kill isolated individuals. Throwing loose objects (easy to find after an earthquake), stones or using big Japanese kitchen knives, beating them or throwing them over a bridge or high building, or whatever.

  9. #9
    Chukchi Salmon lexico's Avatar
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    I respect your other points, but this, can't be serious....
    Quote Originally Posted by Sally_Hawn
    nowadays most of the Japanese people are well educated (maybe not at your level but stillc).
    You meant that as a joke, right? 'Cause the "you" also refers to some Japanese members, too. No? Maciamo only? So, I think I know what you're trying to say, but not absolutely sure....so....

  10. #10
    Chukchi Salmon lexico's Avatar
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    Going back to the original question, and reading your responses Maciamo, I have to say I really don't know much about the Japanese people.
    And also I don't know if your arguments are only to prove a point, or whether it reflects a long-term observation of the people on the whole. That is, your personal experience with many Japanese people you've met.
    I mean I sense some kind of frustration, I don't know if this has anything to do, but are the ones you've seen or met, that much hopeless?
    You must have certain fascinations about the country, affection for at least something that is Japanese. So I would not assume you to be negatively biased against the Japanese. Then what would make you so strongly critical of Japan as a "genocidal threat?" Is it really that bad in Japan? I am a little surprised, actually.

  11. #11
    Chukchi Salmon lexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    It doesn't seem possible to me from the circumstances they have in Japan; having the US military bases on the land is one of the good reasons to make it difficult for Japan to do such an inhumane thing; another thing is that the foreigners are spread out all over Japan, not like they used to live in certain parts of the country, which makes it hard to even think the massacre is physically possible.
    Although your third argument has been effectively and even (gruesomely) discredited by Maciamo, I think your first two points, circumstatial yet very real, are good reasons to doubt the repeated massacre. But what would happen if the US pulled out? Also, being dispersed may also encourage certain readical Japanese to attack foreigners, expecting negligible resistence. Just for argument's sake. I still think the two points are valid.

  12. #12
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    'Cause the "you" also refers to some Japanese members, too. No? Maciamo only? So, I think I know what you're trying to say, but not absolutely sure....so....
    Hmm. in fact I am European, not Japanese, although I live in Japan and am married to a Japanese.

  13. #13
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    And also I don't know if your arguments are only to prove a point, or whether it reflects a long-term observation of the people on the whole. That is, your personal experience with many Japanese people you've met.
    I mean I sense some kind of frustration, I don't know if this has anything to do, but are the ones you've seen or met, that much hopeless?
    You must have certain fascinations about the country, affection for at least something that is Japanese. So I would not assume you to be negatively biased against the Japanese. Then what would make you so strongly critical of Japan as a "genocidal threat?" Is it really that bad in Japan? I am a little surprised, actually.
    Wow, what insight ! Very good deduction. Yes, my argument is more of a long-term observation on the whole rather than trying to prove a point. I am only thinking about the possibilities, but I voted "Who knows" as I don't think it will happen just that in some circumstances it could happen.
    I may have some frustrations regarding Japanese society, because like any other society in the world, it isn't perfect, and as I haven't grown up there, it is easier for me to see what is wrong. I am not more biased or critcial about Japan than any other country though, I am just critical (not only in the negative sense of course) of anything in general. That's my personality.

  14. #14
    Pink Lady's Number #1 Fan Flashjeff's Avatar
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    I voted "Surely not". I'd like to think that in the aftermath of a catastrophe, people would be more concerned with survival and helping others survive rather than looking for someone to blame. That's idiotic. Case in point: after the Northridge earthquake in California back in 1994, there were no reports of whites attacking blacks, Latinos or Asians. Maciamo, were there any such attacks after Kobe in '95? Foreigners have no control over natural disasters, to strike back at someone for thinking that way is primative to the nth degree, not to mention damned foolish.
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  15. #15
    Tadaima! okaeri_man's Avatar
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    yeah it didn't happen in kobe, it's not going to happen in any future tokyo earthquake. plus only a psycho in this day and age would go arround killing people after an earthquake.
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  16. #16
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashjeff
    I voted "Surely not". I'd like to think that in the aftermath of a catastrophe, people would be more concerned with survival and helping others survive rather than looking for someone to blame. That's idiotic.
    Yes, but there are lots of idiotic people. Best proof, it happened in 1923.

    Case in point: after the Northridge earthquake in California back in 1994, there were no reports of whites attacking blacks, Latinos or Asians. Maciamo, were there any such attacks after Kobe in '95?
    But these eartquakes were relatively "minor". 6000 deaths in Kobe. I am talking about an absolutely catastrophic earthquake leaving hundreds of thousands of dead people (more like the recent tsunami catastrophe, but in limited to the Tokyo region). Of course, I can't imagine most Japanese acting violently (surely not a cute teenage girl who is too shy to look at someone in the eyes). I am talking about a minority of (male) nationalists, racists, yakuzas, boryokudan, etc. In fact in 1923, it was the police themselves (and the Japanese police is not known for being big fans of foreigners even nowadays).

    Foreigners have no control over natural disasters, to strike back at someone for thinking that way is primative to the nth degree, not to mention damned foolish.
    Still, it happened in 1923. People don't always react in a rational way in normal situations, let alone in extreme situations.

  17. #17
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okaeri_man
    yeah it didn't happen in kobe, it's not going to happen in any future tokyo earthquake. plus only a psycho in this day and age would go arround killing people after an earthquake.
    There are many psychos in Japan. If you had followed recent news, you'd see a guy who raped and killed a schoolgirl in Nara (sending picture of his deeds to the child's mother), school children killing each others with knives or pushing toddlers from the top of a building, teenagers killing their whole family when they are sleeping at night, a housewife who murdered her husband and keep the body in the fridge for months, someone killing the whole neighbouring family with a gun because they were too noisy, etc. ad nauseam. And that's just a sample of the weekly stories that are translated in English on sites like the Mainichi online. How can we be sure that some ultraracist guys wouldn't take advantage of the confusion to start killing foreigners after a tremendous earthquake ?

  18. #18
    Regular Member Shooter452's Avatar
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    Until I read the original post, my reaction was that this was the most ridiculous topic of the day. But I understand the purpose of this thread a little more completely now. I still think that this is sort of trivial, but that is a few treads up the ladder from "ridiculous" and that is more me making sense of it than it is criticism of the originator.

    I also clicked on "probably not" because I think that it is foolish to speak of certainty when we discuss future human behavior. However, given the ugly past of Japanese national behavior (and this is only one, minor example), it is possible.

    However, the people of today are not the people of seventy-five years ago. The Japanese people may still be overly self-aware, or even arrogant of their place in today's world (not necessarily my opinion, but one that can be heard from "talking heads" out there), but they are not the kind of people who would do something like this, IMHO. At least not those who I knew.

    The past conduct of a people, unlike the past conduct of single individuals, is not a reliable indicator of future conduct (unless you are a Democrat discussing the future behavior of Republicans...and vice versa!).

    Still, under the intense pressure of such a cataclysmic event, who can possibly know for certain?

    Not I, said the cat.

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    Last edited by Shooter452; Jan 22, 2005 at 02:13. Reason: to add a pithy Latin saying

  19. #19
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    There are many psychos in Japan. If you had followed recent news, you'd see a guy who raped and killed a schoolgirl in Nara (sending picture of his deeds to the child's mother), school children killing each others with knives or pushing toddlers from the top of a building, teenagers killing their whole family when they are sleeping at night, a housewife who murdered her husband and keep the body in the fridge for months, someone killing the whole neighbouring family with a gun because they were too noisy, etc. ad nauseam. And that's just a sample of the weekly stories that are translated in English on sites like the Mainichi online. How can we be sure that some ultraracist guys wouldn't take advantage of the confusion to start killing foreigners after a tremendous earthquake ?
    I voted probably not as that was 1923 when people were not as educated or internationalized as today. Back then there was hardly any interaction with foreigners. In 2005 or later I doubt it. Granted you may have one psycho who might try something like that, but I doubt it.

    Getting to your quote, it is not that unusual what you mentioned as the same type of murders and such were going on back in the early 1970's and the years that followed and probably even years before then. I remember stories of kids killing their whole families, mothers killing children and themselves, kids throwing other kids off of buildings, etc. It has, and will always be going on in Japan. There are always a few psychos. Anyone remember the guy who cut off the heads of school children and kept them? Or the woman who cut off the penis of her military American lover with a piano wire because he confessed to her that he was indeed married and that his wife was coming to live with him in a few weeks?
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  20. #20
    Chiisai Sakana BlackenedEyes's Avatar
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    I voted probly not. Genocide by the government can just about be completely ruled out, because of the existance of the UN, Amnisty International and other organizations... that and they'd have the US breathing down their throats, especialy if there were alot of american casualties. Economic trade would take a huge hit as well after the media got a hold of the news.

    any sort of massacure by any country is almost an impossibility now days; however if it were a movement carried out by individuals, then it might be possible.

  21. #21
    Government Man Doc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    There are many psychos in Japan. If you had followed recent news, you'd see a guy who raped and killed a schoolgirl in Nara (sending picture of his deeds to the child's mother), school children killing each others with knives or pushing toddlers from the top of a building, teenagers killing their whole family when they are sleeping at night, a housewife who murdered her husband and keep the body in the fridge for months, someone killing the whole neighbouring family with a gun because they were too noisy, etc. ad nauseam. And that's just a sample of the weekly stories that are translated in English on sites like the Mainichi online. How can we be sure that some ultraracist guys wouldn't take advantage of the confusion to start killing foreigners after a tremendous earthquake ?
    Serial rapists.
    Angry housewives.
    Angry husbands.
    Children hacking up their parents bodies, and putting them in the basement.
    Arsonists.
    Hit and run drivers.
    Serial killers.
    Domestic disputes.
    Suicides.
    Children murdering other children.
    Mad bombers.
    Car thiefs.
    Armed robberies.
    White power members.
    Fanatical Christians fighting people.

    What do all these things have in common? That people are crazy no matter where you go. Come to St. Louis and spend a week there. You'll find out that there are just as many crazy people, than there are in Japan if not more. In the past week there have been more murders, rapes, car thefts, and God knows what in just one city that I'm beginning to wonder if the world is comming to an end.

    Doc
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  22. #22
    HomicidalMouse
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    I think people are getting too stressed. 13 year old kids commit suicide because they get stressed out at school. If i got really really stressed i'd go crazy. Losing your house in an earthquake would be pretty stressful. And depression, theres another reason for people going crazy. Then again, crazy people arn't always the people who commit crimes.
    Back to the original question, if there is another massacre i dont think it'll be directed at one specific race. Lets just hope it doesn't even happen.

  23. #23
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    I see what you're saying. I voted "Probably not", because, as many have said, Japan of 1923 and Japan of 2005 are different entitites. True, maybe there are right-wing nationalists, and the Metropolitan Gov is racist, however, will they go around and kill foreigners like before? I doubt it. True, the right-wingers MAY kill Chinese or Koreans, and possibly Westerners, but wouldn't they do that anyways?

  24. #24
    Heimin
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    If you really believe that, you need to get yourself out of Japan, NOW. You don't belong there. Before you accuse the Japanese of racism, look at your own country.

    The U.S. has had the Ku Klux Klan, public lynchings, slave auctions, etc. but most Americans are confident that those days are over for good.

  25. #25
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy_Brown
    If you really believe that, you need to get yourself out of Japan, NOW. You don't belong there. Before you accuse the Japanese of racism, look at your own country.

    The U.S. has had the Ku Klux Klan, public lynchings, slave auctions, etc. but most Americans are confident that those days are over for good.
    Not everybody on this forum comes from intolerant, racist, white supremist USA. Look at the UK for example, where else can you find more refined, sophisticated and educated people as say, Oxford :



    For those who didn't understand, I was just kidding
    Last edited by Maciamo; Feb 23, 2005 at 17:51.

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