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March 16, 2009

[SSJ: 5465] Anti-semitism in media

From: Ellis Krauss
Date: 2009/3/14

Dear Colleagues:

A Japanese journalist friend of mine sent me this link and message:

http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&
b=4441467&ct=6823949

March 9, 2009
WIESENTHAL CENTER DENOUNCES JAPANESE TV NEWS PERSONALITY FOR BLAMING POLITICAL SCANDALS ON AMERICA AND THE JEWS

The Simon Wiesenthal Center strongly criticized Soichiro Tahara, host of TV Asahi's Sunday Project program for anti-Semitic and anti-American accusations made during a March 8th exchange with former Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka. In the live broadcast, Tahara told Tanaka that her father, former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka was "done in by America, by the Jews and Ozawa, [leader of the Democratic Party of Japan] too, was done in [by America and/or the Jews]."

"It is outrageous and unacceptable that in 2009, a time of international uncertainties and increased anti-Semitism, that a host of a news program meant to inform the Japanese people about political developments would instead conjure up non-existent conspiracies to blame domestic scandals on Jews or America," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center in a statement from Jerusalem.

Rabbi Cooper found it all the more disturbing since Tahara made this statement during a direct exchange with a former Foreign Minister, Makiko Tanaka and that it was unfortunate she did not challenge his falsehood immediately during the live broadcast. "Instead, all the viewers heard was a remark by the show host that the Foreign Minister's late father and the current president of the Democratic Party of Japan were both victims of outside plots against them," he said.

"TV Asahi should immediately dissociate itself from this ludicrous statement and TV Asahi and Mr. Tahara owe all concerned a public apology," he concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.

My journalist friend says although Tahara denies it, he
taped the program and Tahara definitely said "Yudaya."

Although Japan has free speech and press, I believe
these anti-Semitic, false, and archaic myths need to
be put to rest in Japan where they seem to have landed
these days in addition to landing in neo-Nazi groups
in the West, and for those who perpetuate them to know
there are consequences for spreading such pernicious
falsehoods. This is not a fringe matter--Tahara is
extremely influential in Japan. I used to respect
him but no more. I plan to write to Asahi and the
Japanese Embassy and refuse any Asahi-related media
requests for interviews on any subject until and
unless Tahara admits his falsehood and apologies.
I urge you to do the same.

Best,
Ellis
Ellis S. Krauss
Professor,
Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies
University of California, San Diego

Approved by ssjmod at March 16, 2009 02:31 PM