Japanese man self immolates himself in apparent protest to Abe’s collective self-defense law changes

Yesterday afternoon a Japanese man, apparently in his 60’s, wearing standard salaryman attire, sat on some girders near the busy Shinjuku Station.  With a blow horn he  announced that he would immolate himself in protest to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial collective self-defense law changes.

man shinjuku south exist self immolate burn death protest abe shinzo collective self defense law suicide death

(Image from Japan Trends)

According to the blog Japan Trends, he cited government actions to “involve Japan more in war,” droned on for 30 or so minutes protesting Abe and his government and then proceeded to poured several bottle of brown liquid onto himself and eventually making good on his claims by igniting himself.  There is a YouTube video of the actual suicide moment.  The footage is graphic, so viewer discretion is advised.

Here’s more at Japan Times and Al Jazeera.

  • Kevin Kim

    Thank goodness he didn’t self-immolate someone else.

  • ChuckRamone

    Hey, where’s redwhitedude to bitch about Japan’s insular media? Supposedly this didn’t even get mentioned in mainstream Japanese news. Just sweep it under the rug. I think at least in Korea they would have mentioned something like this.

  • RElgin

    The poor guy was wrong on both accounts. I wish him peace.

  • redwhitedude

    Huh? What?

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    It’s on the front page of Japan Today.

  • redwhitedude

    It could just as easily have been about Abenomics which seems to be putting a squeeze on the middle class in Japan.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    OP posted a link to the article in the Japan Times English edition, which is published by the Japan Times. I went to the link to read the original article and found that I can post a comment there without a Japanese ID.

  • redwhitedude

    Or that it was a cultist thing.

  • dlbarch

    Abe Shinzo is arguably the least popular Japanese prime minister in a generation, and certainly there is no love for him in Korea or, frankly, on MH, but notwithstanding this dramatic and, yes, sad protest, Abe’s scheduled reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is necessary and long, long, LONG overdue.

    One can argue with the way in which Abe is (mis-)handling this delicate transition (see today’s Mainichi Shimbun, for one), but Japan has been a free-rider on international peace-keeping missions and collective self-defense for so long that it’s a wonder there hasn’t been even more domestic push and gaiatsu on this issue, not less.

    No one looking at the geopolitical trends in East Asia should have any doubt that the real threat to regional peace and stability is China, not a “re-militarized” Japan…a phrase that resonates only as a cheap platitude but has no real meaning whatsoever.

    Here’s hoping Korea gets with the program and works with Japan (and the U.S.) rather than against it to curb the rise of an increasingly bold and far more destabilizing China.


    P.S. That Mainichi editorial can be found here:


  • bumfromkorea

    Until Japan settles its historical (arguably moral more so than historical) disputes, reinterpreting Article 9 will only work to further destabilize the region. At the least, this would need to happen within the framework of establishing a China-containment defense treaty between Southeast Asian and Far East Asian countries. Otherwise, it’ll only push South Korea more into a neutral place where she is wary of both China and Japan. Then, all it takes is one of Abe’s cronies (or Abe himself) intellectually jacking off while watching the Rising Sun flag for South Korea to start having more sympathetic view to Chinese interests.

    In other words, equalizing American interests with Japanese interest at this time is not a great idea. If it’s American interests vs Chinese interests, then South Korea would easily go with the former. But if it’s Japanese interests vs. Chinese interests… the math becomes significantly fuzzier.

  • dlbarch

    Well, I think Korea needs to better compartmentalize its relations with, and reaction to, Japanese initiatives..particularly under someone like Abe, whose leadership is problematic but not at all unreasonable.

    A sophisticated foreign policy in Seoul can prioritize closer national security cooperation with Japan even at it (rightly) keeps up the pressure on issues like compensation for Korean comfort women and countering Japanese historical amnesia and revisionism.

    There is a benefit to “keeping separate things separate.” Abe is a clumsy but important leader for Japan at a very difficult time. Both Seoul and Washington need to recognize this.


  • redwhitedude

    The problem is Korea is that it is so obsessed and emotional over Japan it forgets to look around the neighborhood. This plays into the hand of China. It drives a wedge between Korea and Japan so they won’t have to deal with a potential united front against its designs. China keeps causing ripples and it says that it is being peaceful.

  • redwhitedude

    The problem with Korea is that it has historical issues with japan and wants US to publicly chastise Japan over this historical issue however the US won’t because it needs Japan for China containment. This in turn causes Korea to not want to align with Japan.

  • bumfromkorea

    That is a tall, tall order. That would require the Koreans to ignore the strong link between the glorification of the Empire of Japan (a militaristic empire) and Japan’s desire to reinterpret the pacifism in its constitution. Especially considering what Japan just did with the comfort women issue (“Cavuto mark”-ing the issue, and then saying “Oh never mind. We won’t revise the Kono statement”.. I’m sure that last part will be cited by the apologists as proof that Japan has been sincere about resolving the disputes…), the request to separate the Article 9 issue with Japan’s problem with its past is bordering on unreasonable.

    It’s not hard for the Koreans to make the mental connection between “Gee whiz, wasn’t the Empire of Japan just grand?” and “Hey, I got an idea. Why don’t we revise the pacifism in our constitution?”. For crying out loud, Koreans are all but ready to just love Japan to death. All I’m saying is that Japan should probably meet them half-way and not, you know, call Comfort Women prostitutes and say that Korea should be grateful to Empire of Japan for modernizing it.

    The Korea-Japan relationship is a communal well. You can’t ask the Koreans to drink out of it when Abe (and his predecessors) is continually shitting in it.

  • redwhitedude

    Maybe this would have prevented him from immolating himself. 😀

  • wangkon936

    Does anyone know if the guy survived? I hear it was conscious while on the way to the hospital.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I read he was in critical condition at the hospital.

  • JM

    It’s called a “bullhorn,” not a “blowhorn.” That “brownish liquid” BTW is actually red-dyed kerosene. I think they dye it because it’s not supposed to be burned in diesel engines (even though you can). Don’t quote me on that last part, though.

    Anyway, the immolation stuff is just too Buddhist and gruesome for me.

  • Tapp

    That and the US essentially forgave Japan for Pearl Harbor over 50 years ago and we can’t figure out why Korea can’t let anything stay in the past. Japan would not be making any statements at all about the Kono statement if Korea and China wouldn’t continue to bring it up like a person rubbing their dog’s face daily on the spot he pissed on 70 freaking years ago. Every statement Japan makes about the subject is a direct rebuttal.

  • WMunny

    Haha I hadn’t caught that :)

  • A Korean

    I don’t believe Japan has forgiven the US for nuking them, regardless of justification.

  • Tapp

    they don’t bring it up every time we sit down to a meeting, though, either

  • A Korean

    Yeah, your auntie was a whore who sold out her country. Never mind that, though. What are we talking about today? What? Let’s not talk about your auntie, OK? For god sake, not again.

  • Tapp

    A “rebuttal” is a direct reply to a direct statement. Japan reacts to the continuous re-dredging by Korea and China.

  • A Korean

    “He started it!” That what you’re saying?

    Besides, unresolved issues are … well, unresolved.

  • bumfromkorea

    “Every statement Japan makes about the subject is a direct rebuttal.”

    Well, this is just empirically false, considering that inflammatory public statements regarding the Empire’s occupation of Korea has been uttered by Japanese ministers/officials since at least 1948.

    Edit: 1949, not 1948. Oops. I guess it is Korea’s fault.

  • A Korean

    Right or wrong, it may be a major reason why Japan is unwilling (or unable) to square up with her WWII history.

    A proud war-like nation, who defied the European superiority by outplaying them in their game, got nuked into abject submission. Worse, they are made to become America’s “best friend” in the Pacific to stem the commies, and worst still, they obidiently complied.

    Their ire is now directed against the abstract notion of “war”, as opposed to something concrete like the US or their own past history.

  • bumfromkorea

    Also, if the game is Chicken or Egg, the Japanese will lose. There are records of MOFA complaining in 1949 about the properties and wealth lost by the Japanese civilians that they gained “rightfully” in Korea during the Empire’s “non-exploitative” “non-colonization” stay.

    The first official meeting between Korea and Japan in 1953? The Japanese representatives were arguing that the Koreans should be grateful that the Empire took the country under its wing and blessed them with benevolence.

    But you know, according to Tapp, it’s all Korea, man. These goddamn Koreans just won’t let go!

  • bumfromkorea

    Yes, the cold hard truth is that China is far, far, far, far, far more dangerous to Korea (and Asian stability in general) than Japan. But that doesn’t change the fact that Abe and the disturbing majority of the Japanese government seem perfectly content shitting bloody diarrhea into the fountain that is the Korea-Japan relations.

    Yes, if the Koreans don’t drink out of the fountain, they’ll die of thirst. But people here should really stop dogging them for being a bit averse to drinking the bloody shit-water, just as Abe is crouching down for some more, er, “contribution”.

  • redwhitedude

    Not quite sure about the apology bit. But the Japanese came out with the Kono statement when it became apparent that the Army was implicated in it. So in a way you have to push Japan to come clean. That’s not really being sincere when somebody has to push you until your hand is forced like that instead of voluntarily owning up to it. The Japanese thinking falls along your line don’t apologize and hope everybody forgets when you let it slide long enough.

  • redwhitedude

    How do you explain the fact that there were instances where Japanese tourist visiting pearl harbor think that they were attacked by the US?

  • redwhitedude

    And what doesn’t help is Japan is sweeping under the rug and hoping that as time goes on everybody forgets. Contrast that with Germans with their issue of the holocaust.

  • Pingback: Japanese Cabinet Reinterprets Constitution To Allow for Collective Self Defense | ROK Drop()

  • redwhitedude

    What I find amusing is that China keeps redefining “human rights” and “rule of law”. Also note how much empathy they get from their uighur problem. Sure certain Uighur may have resorted to terrorist means but nobody is coming out and siding with the Chinese while admonishing the Uighurs because of the reputation china has earned handling dissent.

    If Korea persist with the current attitude what will happen when china pushes things too far the SE asian countries along with Japan will band together with US to check China. So when SK tries to talk to them concerning China it will get roundly ignored because it is not helping matters. Sad that Koreans don’t realize this.

  • platethief

    ‘But you know, according to Tapp, it’s all Korea, man. These goddamn Koreans just won’t let go!’

    Together with:

    ‘There are records of MOFA complaining in 1949′

    ‘The first official meeting between Korea and Japan in 1953?’

    Your two examples are from 65 and and 61 years ago, respectively. So yeah, you might be intending to mock the poster, but you’ve certainly proven their point.

  • bumfromkorea

    Considering that the argument was addressing whether it was Korea who inflames the situation, I’d say you’re either suffering from reading comprehension problem or just being willfully obtuse. Considering your track record, I’m going to have go with the latter.

  • pfeiwae9awf5kaf9wwaeaw


  • Tapp

    It doesn’t effect our diplomacy or our business relations. That’s kind of my entire point. Korea forces a 70 year old war into every single conversation involving Japan. (American tourists aren’t exactly a bright spot when it comes to knowledge of foreign countries either. Also, look at our textbooks on the War of 1812. The US isn’t entirely opposed to revisionist history.)

  • Tapp

    My parents were not alive in 1953. I am talking about the present. It’s 2014. Today, Japan reacts every time that Korea brings it up. Political issues from the 40’s and 50’s shouldn’t continue to retard today’s conversations.

  • Tapp

    My argument is that Korea inflames the situation today. I frankly don’t care about political conversations from the 40’s and 50’s.

  • platethief

    ‘Also, if the game is Chicken or Egg, the Japanese will lose.’

    The Chicken and Egg problem is an example of an unresolveable conundrum – it cannot be proven that either came before the other, given their causal relationship. Hence, it is used to demonstrate situations where precedence cannot be proven. Yet, with your ‘the Japanese will lose,’ you are implying that it can in fact be proven which one did come first. You’ve mis-applied the conundrum to an assertion of precedence. That’s some very sloppy thinking.

    ‘I’d say you’re either suffering from reading comprehension problem or just being willfully obtuse’

    Unfortunately in your case I don’t think it’s willful.

  • redwhitedude

    Well that is a deep wound that is inflicted by Japan given that they held Korea for 35 years as a colony, and this comfort women thing. What about the jews with their holocaust memorials after so many years? They certainly make sure everybody remembers it.

  • bumfromkorea

    The present, which is chronologically linked to 1953? Did you seriously think that my argument was that the inflammation occurred in 1953, then….. silence until the 2000s? The argument is that the Japanese government have been saying inflammatory statements continuously SINCE 1953. It’s a proud 70 years old tradition of the Japanese government to CONTINUALLY inflame the tensions. The political issues from the 40s and 50s should continue to retard today’s conversations if that issue has been continually inflamed without a pause FROM the 40s and 50s.

    If we had a major fight, and I call you a whiny little bitch who got stomped on by me every 2 weeks and harass you about it every 3 weeks for 3 years, would you just shrug and don’t react? Would you say “Oh, well, that was 3 years ago.” the next 10 times I call you a whiny little bitch and harass you about it?

  • bumfromkorea

    Zero content about the actual argument, just more snark. Typical of you.

  • bumfromkorea

    Japan: Well, Koreans. You should be grateful that the Empire took care of you.
    Korea: Fuck you, Japan.

    Japan: I think the Koreans benefited from our benevolent caretaking
    Korea: Fuck you, Japan.

    Japan: It would’ve been so much better for Korea if it stayed as our colony ever after the war.
    Korea: Fuck you, Japan.

    Japan: Why are these Koreans so ungrateful? After all we did for them.
    Korea: Fuck you, Japan

    Japan: That wasn’t imperialism! We were trying to help the Koreans!
    Korea: Fuck you, Japan

    Japan: Korea is doing so well these days. All thanks to the Empire
    Korea: Fuck you, Japan

    Japan: [insert any quote from Ishihara]
    Korea: Fuck you, Japan

    Japan: [insert quotes from Abe et al]
    Korea: Fuck you Japan
    Tapp: Hey! It was 70 years ago. Jesus! Get over it!

  • platethief

    Your ‘argument’ is a protracted version of ‘They started it…’

    There’s little point engaging such immaturity, so the best course of action is to show the problem with that logic. Y’know, like reasonable the adults do.

  • bumfromkorea

    Again, the argument was addressing Tapp’s assertion that it’s the Koreans who are inciting trouble over a 70 years old issue. Your unwillingness to even understand the basics of how a discourse works (Argument – rebuttal – rebuttal to that rebuttal) is actually quite impressive. But again, not at all surprised given your track record.

    Write some irrelevant shit and crawl back to 2ch. I think you got an attempted self-immolation that you’re scheduled to ridicule back there.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    It takes two to tango. I just hope the US stay out of this coming war between China(new schmuck) and Japan(old schmuck) to show whose d*** is bigger. Korea? No chance to stay out. Jolla Commies hiding behind the Progressive disguise have been educating generations to be anti-Japan(=pro-China). The front troops for the Chinese, anyone?

  • Small twon

    So…Korea should bend over and take what world give us ? No thank you , I rather see world burn around me and yeah it’s possible we’ll bow to other nation in the end.. again ..but this time we will make them pay for every inch of their interest.

  • Tapp

    We’re never going to agree on this subject, so I will just bow out. Thanks for the conversation.

  • platethief

    ‘Again, the argument was addressing Tapp’s assertion that it’s the Koreans who are inciting trouble over a 70 years old issue.’

    Addressed – highlighted how your references to 60+ year old diplomatic grievances evidences Tapp’s points.

    I hear 2ch is a haven for angry, reactionary uber-patriots who like to do nothing more than hurl insults at those who disagree with their dogmatic nationalist-propaganda informed opinions. In that respect, I can’t help but think you might feel more at home there.

  • Sumo294

    All of this would get quiet really quickly if SK went nuclear–followed by a nuclear Japan. Kiddie time out time would be over.

  • bumfromkorea

    Just keep the context in mind. That’s all I’m asking.

  • redwhitedude

    No Koreans should be more aware of what might be going around them. They are so fixated with Japan that they don’t look around. That plays into China’s hand because Koreans don’t want to align with Japan and SE asian nations when China were to recklessly push their agenda. If it becomes that urgent all those issues with comfort women, and militarism of the past that Japan had will get pushed to the backburner even if these countries were victimized by Japan. Koreans get so worked up about it that they will refuse to align with Japan which allows China to push things without worrying about having to face a united front in NE asia.

  • rowan

    He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

    I actually agree with you, but nationalism is a very powerful political tool, and when you can manipulate an entire nation with a simple regional disagreements that never actually amounts to anything, it is not hard to see why they do it.

    Sure you don’t condone what politicians/’leaders’ do most of the time, but when the populous are too stupid to realize they are being manipulated is it ever going to be any different?

    For the record i would also say that this doesn’t just apply to N.E Asia (all sides) there are plenty of other regions/countries in the same boat.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Having ridden my motorbike through the puddle of blood and gasoline left behind after an oddly-similar self-immolation on the girders above the Hangang-daegyo in protest at some political hijinks on Yeouido, I can tell you this: I am never going out like that.