Wouldn’t want to scare Grandma, after all

Well, you’ve got to give Hidehiko Nishiyama, a deputy director at Japan’s environment ministry, credit for being blunt:

Opinions on the trip’s effectiveness vary among participants, but in the six months since, not a single foreign company has been employed in Japan’s cleanup, according to the trip’s participants and Japan’s Environment Ministry.
“Even if a method works overseas, the soil in Japan is different, for example,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director at the environment ministry, who is in charge of the Fukushima cleanup. “And if we have foreigners roaming around Fukushima, they might scare the old grandmas and granddads there.”

Needless to say, Debito is not amused.

  • Robert Neff

    Stupid isn’t strong enough to describe this idiot.

  • RElgin

    It is also interesting when I recall some of the comments about my concerns regarding radioactive contamination showing up in Tokyo, considering how contaminated soil has been dumped in Tokyo suburbs.  Who knows what else has been done by these people.

  • Swift_tiger123

    Fukushima will scare foreigners first before foreigners scare Japanese grandmas. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/dcmusicfreak DC Musicfreak

    Anybody who remembers the tremendous fights against Japanese non-tariff barriers in the 1970s and 1980s will remember rhetorical gems like Nishiyama’s. “Japanese stomachs are longer and unable to digest foreign beef.” “We can’t import foreign skis because Japanese snow is different.”

  • YangachiBastardo

    Don’t you miss those times ? When Asian nationalistic mercantilism had a polite, albeit hypocritical face, and most of all it was not practiced on a 10 times bigger scale  

  • YangachiBastardo

    I have an idea for a Troma-like (sorry showing my age here) scary flick: radioactivity-contaminated, pot-smoking ubersexual gaijin zombies haunting the streets of small town Japan 

  • hoju_saram

    Sounds like Hongdae on a Saturday night.

  • dlbarch

    Continuum DCMF, below, during high-level bilateral trade talks between France and Japan in the 1980s, the French trade rep. was told by her Japanese counterpart that Japan couldn’t import French skis because Japanese snow was unique.

    The French representative countered by stating that, in that case, France couldn’t import Japanese car and truck tires because French roads were unique.

    The French got their market access for skis.


  • Ryu

    The reason Yeosu gives for not placing black foreign English teachers in elementary schools is that they’ll scare the kids.  

  • wangkon936

    That is pretty blunt, by Japanese standards.

  • keyinjpop

    Made me laugh with that one DLB

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    That’s the same thing that they said to the US. Unfortunately the US rep did not share the wit that the French had. 

  • One for all

    This no different to what their cousins across the East Sea/Sea of Japan/Sea of Korea would say

  • Ryu

    Wouldn’t “grandma/granddad” aged Japanese be more accustomed to seeing foreigners (Americans) than many youngsters with their experience during post WWII reconstruction? Kids growing up during the occupation and reconstruction period would be in their 70s now and would remember how successful it was. Maybe they’d be happy to see foreigners back to help rebuild like the old days.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The Japs are fucked up

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    I seriously doubt Abe will be able to fix this. I wonder if he will be out of the job by year’s end. 

  • babotaengi

    That’s seriously messed up. The concern is much more likely that they’ll scare the parents/teachers. Django should be unleashed on these hicks.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    These hicks are the majority of the Japanese.

  • Wedge1

    I remember those very well. That extra 20 feet of intestines does wonders for the Japanese people.

  • Madar

    He should have just summed things up, and avoided really sticking his foot in his mouth, by sticking with the old Korean maxim and said, “You have to understand our decontamination culture.”

  • Cm

    Any chance they’re trying to hide a bigger problem then they’re letting on, that they don’t want to the world to know?

  • Cm

    Similar insular Japan happened in 1985, when the Japan Airline jet when out of control and crashed in the mountainous region.  The Japanese government refused help from the US airforce who could have got to the survivors much faster than the Japanese rescue team.  Instead, many survivors of the initial crash died as they waited for the Japanese rescue crew.  A lot more lives could have been saved, if Japan had swallowed their pride and let the US help.   There was a documentary made about it a number of years back, and I was just shocked watching it, feeling how senseless it was to let all those people die because of national pride.  

  • flyingsword

    That’s funny!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    I remember seeing a documentary on that crash. I think it is still up on youtube. The sad thing was the cause of the accident was a faulty repair job done by Boeing when that Jumbo jet was being serviced back in the USA.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    This posting puts me on the mood to check the fukushima diaries. Always ready to expose the stupidity of the Japanese government on this matter. And they are still leaking radiation. Goddam. I guess the level of stupidity in this is greater than the ones displayed by the Soviets in the Chernobyl disaster.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dcmusicfreak DC Musicfreak

    The 1995 Kobe earthquake was another example of costly dithering and refusal to call in the US forces that were ready to deliver assistance, search and rescue, large-scale water to put out fires, you name it. And then there was the quarantine hold-up of Swiss rescue dogs until past the time they could do any good. 

    The exclusion of foreign expertise in the Fukushima reconstruction effort is mostly corruption and collusion between bureaucracy, politicians and the all-important construction industry that is allowing the same firm(s) that built faulty facilities to rebuild some of them.  I’d imagine Korea would end up behaving similarly because it has most of the same attributes.

  • silver surfer

    This is crony capitalism again, hiding behind a thin screen of laughable racist ideology. They’ve chosen to award the clean-up job to some large corporation so all the money flows into the right pockets, rather than to a company, be it foreign or be it Japanese, that could actually do a good job. Like Halliburton writ small.

    It’s striking how much of this xenophobic claptrap is found verbatim in Korea. Now if only someone could convince Koreans that their own brand of nationalism is tainted by association with Japan, and therefore needs to be purged of all fascistic nonsense.

  • PeterDownUnder

    HAHAHA this is the same reasoning my mother gave me for following a high protein paleolithic diet…

  • Mr Yu

     Bingo, SS wins the prize.  This is really about preferred corporations getting the cleanup $$$ from their paid agents in the bureaucracies and political parties.  That is what Japan Inc. has always been about and always will be.  Putting the same jerks who facilitated the disaster back in power will do nothing to alter the way the system works.  This is just more political musical chairs in Japan’s government, Abe will do nothing significant and he will be replaced within in a couple of years by another retread hack who will do nothing significant, as well.  This is why Japan is seriously fucked as a nation and as a regional power.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    I don’t know. Korea does show a lot of similarities but maybe the slight differences in the politics may make a difference further down the road.