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Japanese minister’s photos with neo-Nazi leader stir controversy

Japanese minister’s photos with neo-Nazi leader stir controversy

Posted September. 11, 2014 05:58,   


The photographs of three Japanese lawmakers smiling with the country’s leading neo-Nazi in front of the Japanese national flag are stirring an international controversy, according to Kyodo News agency. The lawmakers include Sanae Takaichi, Japan’s internal affairs minister who was selected by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Cabinet reshuffle on Sept. 3, and Tomomi Inada, a politician of the Liberal Democratic Party or LDP.

The Guardian ran an article titled “Neo-Nazi photos pose headache for Shinzo Abe” on its Internet edition on Tuesday. It said, “Kazunari Yamada, the 52-year-old leader of the National Socialist Japanese Workers Party, has voiced praise for Adolf Hitler and the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. While there is no evidence that either politician shares Yamada’s neo-Nazi ideology, their appointment has fueled accusations that Abe is taking is administration even further to the right.” It added that Takaichi and Inada have both visited Yasukuni shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead, and they would visit Yasukuni going forward.

The National Socialist Japanese Workers Party, which is modeled after the National Socialist German Workers Party or the Nazi Party, posts an iron cross, the symbol of the Nazis. It has posted phrases such as “building a new order in East Asia,” “We stress the excellence of our race,” and “We must purify folks by excluding foreigners.”

Takaichi said that she met the party’s leader three years ago and did not know that he was leading the neo-Nazi Party. Inada said, “It seems that I accepted a photo op when he came with a magazine’s interviewer. I have had no relationship with him ever since.”

Another lawmaker in the photos was Shoji Nishida, an LDP Upper House member.