A Timely Rape Gaffe by Former Okinawa Defense Bureau Chief Helped Everyone but His Boss in One Way or the Other

Sunday, December 04 2011 @ 03:05 PM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto

Satoshi Tanaka was sacked as
Director-General of the Okinawa
Defense Bureau because of his
I know it's useless to repeat the same explanation about Honne and Tatemae to the Americans who have been so used to the superficial and stereotypical views about the Japanese. Nevertheless, I can't talk about what's going on here in the last several days without touching on the dilemma inherent to these dishonest people.

This is especially true with Japanese government officials. They are extremely prone to a slip of the tongue because success in their career all hinges on their skills in balancing on a tightrope stretched between Honne and Tatemae.

Empty-headed Westerners tend to think when one speaks out Honne, literally translated as his true feelings, he is telling the truth and when he does Tatemae argument, he is lying. But nothing is farther from the truth. How can a born liar tell the truth at times? It's just that there are politically correct lies and politically incorrect ones. Therefore, when his tongue slips, everyone gets hurt in one way or the other by the inappropriate lie.

At times, however, a truthful thought slips out of the mouth of a relatively honest person such as Satoshi Tanaka, Director-General of the Okinawa Defense Bureau. On the night of November 28, Tanaka was fielding questions about the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' air station in an unofficial meeting with reporters. When asked why the Noda government is waffling on the submission date of Asesumento report, he reportedly answered this way: "Would you say, 'I will rape you,' before you rape someone?" He was reportedly under the influence of alcohol.

Noda had promised to deliver an environmental assessment report ASAP to the mayor of Nago, the city where Noda and Leon Panetta are planning to build a new airbase for V-22 Ospreys. It has a Japanese name (
環境影響評価書, or Kankyou Eikyo Hyoka-sho) but they always substitute this Jangrish name when referring to the report because these colonials think anything named in English sounds truthful and/or authentic.

The dozen or so news reporters present at the meeting were expecting to hear Honne from the Okinawa Defense Bureau chief whose tongue was getting more slippery because of alcoholic beverage. Yet, it's only a reporter from the local newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo that decided the slip was report-worthy. All others thought it would run counter to the media's mission as the mouthpiece of the governments of Japan and the United States. But when they learned the story was published by the local media outlet next morning, they had to follow suit.

In doing so, however, editors of mainstream media had difficulty finding a good reason for criticizing Tanaka for his careless remark because the last thing they would allow themselves to say was that the gaffe indicated the malicious Honne the Ministry of Defense had harbored against the Okinawans. Finally they came up with the same old trick of citing Tanaka's insensitivity to remind the islanders of the 1995 incident where three U.S. servicemen raped a 12-year-old local schoolgirl. As usual, the Japanese media wanted to trivialize the issue with America's illegitimate occupation of Okinawa by exaggerating the significance of the rape incident. Actually, there have been only 15 sexual offenses committed by GIs stationed in Okinawa in the last 14 years.

Their story about the Okinawa Defense Bureau chief rubbing the people of Okinawa in the wrong way gathered momentum as another Honne slipped out of the mouth of Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa. When asked by an opposition lawmaker whether he realized the significance of the "epochal" rape incident of 1995, Ichikawa admitted he didn't have a detailed knowledge of the particular case. The minister must be an extremely modest person. When he was appointed by Noda to take charge of nation's defense in September, he famously said, "I am the right person to ensure the rules of civilian control because I know nothing about defense."

Now that the censure motion against the Defense Minister is going to pass the Diet by December 9, the relocation plan for the U.S. Marine Corps to Henoko, Nago City, will suffer another serious setback, whatever the reason. It's a matter of time that U.S. government officials and mainstream media start to find in Noda another loopy Japanese prime minister. They will never learn that without this loopiness inherent to Japan's leadership, this country would have left America's political and cultural orbit long time ago. Their inability to learn lessons from past mistakes is most evident in their failure to understand that Honne and Tatemae are two different aspects of the same lie.

Needless to say the Okinawans have benefited from the rape gaffe which all newspapers insist has seriously hurt them. Ironically, though, they are not alone in appreciating Tanaka's "insensitive" remark; Prime Minister Noda also seems to feel grateful to Tanaka because now he can tell Obama that the setback in the progress of the relocation plan is not his fault. All in all, the slip of the tongue helps everyone but Ichikawa and his dotted-line boss in Pentagon.

Incidentally, the same rape analogy is also very true with the nation-dividing discussions over the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership. On the sideline of the APEC 2011 summit meeting, Noda promised Obama that Japan will participate in TPP, while on the other hand telling his people that he just expressed his willingness to take part in the "preparatory" talks on TPP. Semantics aside, however, what he has done thus far all amounts to this: he has taken off all his underwear and slipped into Obama's bed, and yet still keeps saying, "Don't worry, I'll get out of bed if Obama says he wants to fxxk me."

Unfortunately for the Japanese Prime Minister, though, the rapist will never say, "I will rape you," before he actually does it. Noda is badly in need of a one-on-one lecture by the former Director-General of the Okinawa Defense Bureau.

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