Thursday, March 22, 2007

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Has Taro Aso ever met Condoleezza Rice?

According to Reuters, the Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso has offered up an interesting theory of how to build peace in the Middle East:

Blond, blue-eyed Westerners probably can't be as successful at Middle East diplomacy as Japanese with their "yellow faces", Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso was quoted by media as saying on Wednesday.

"Japan is doing what Americans can't do," the Nikkei business daily quoted the gaffe-prone Aso as saying in a speech.

"Japanese are trusted. If (you have) blue eyes and blond hair, it's probably no good," he said.

"Luckily, we Japanese have yellow faces."

Foreign Ministry officials were unable to comment on the report, which said Aso elaborated by saying Japan had never exploited the Middle East, started a war there or fired a shot.

Aso, seen in some circles as a contender to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe if the Japanese leader runs into trouble in a July election for parliament's upper house, is known for verbal gaffes.

He offended South Korea with remarks in 2003 that were interpreted in Seoul as trying to justify some of Japan's actions during its 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean peninsula.

He also drew criticism in 2001 when, as economics minister, he said he hoped to make Japan the kind of country where "rich Jews" would want to live.

Aso said then he had not intended to be discriminatory.

By Aso's criteria, of course, Japan's colonial legacy means it should not be included in the Six-Party Talks on North Korea because it involves several countries that were part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. I sense, however, that this would be applying too much logic to the comment.

posted by Dan on 03.22.07 at 11:07 AM


Though this thread is not best place to do this, I just want to point out that the American invasion of Somilia now seems to have been a complete failure, with exactly what many of us (including me) expected to happen now happening. Running gun battles, the Islamists regrouping, the country continuing to fall into a death trap... rather then the completely stupid predictions of people like Dan, that it would be rice and flowers...

Oh, and all colonial countries (like Japan, England, USA...) continue their sickening view of th epoor world as being their domain. These countries, simply need to realize that what they are doing is the problems, not whether they are blond of yellow or blah blah... No one likes colonialism! these idiot rulers of the world are too stupid to even know they are colonial. it is simply too bad that the Beider Meinhof Gang and the Red Brigades have given up their past efforts.

posted by: Joe M. on 03.22.07 at 11:07 AM [permalink]

I wonder--do (some) Japanese stereotype Americans as blond Nordic types? Now that computer-generated faces are easy to do, there's the opportunity to do surveys. Show a sample population from one country photographs of citizens of another country and ask them to pick the most representative one. Use the selections to weight the merging of the photographs into one. Then compare that with a more realistic picture.

(Of course, I'm at the age where I'm permanently convinced that Arabs look like either Omar Sharif or Alec Guinness.)

posted by: Bill Harshaw on 03.22.07 at 11:07 AM [permalink]

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