Comment: An international fascist organization–primarily European in character–has visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Commemorating Japanese war dead and counting war criminals among those commemorated there, the shrine is controversial, and Japanese leaders visits to it have stirred hostility in countries victimized by the Japanese in World War II.
Visited by Jean-Marie Le Pen and the BNP (British fascists), the impact of Yasukuni remains intact–the BNP/Le Pen visit was intended to be provocative and to “send a signal.”
Do not fail to note that the AECN’s host, Mitsuhiro Kimura, was a devotee of the famous, late writer and ultranationalist leader Yukio Mishima, who sought to restore Japan’s Imperial power and glory. His Issuikai group is led by Kimura, who was also close to Uday Hussein, son of the former Iraqi dictator.
The ICPO–the International Congress of Patriotic Organizations–is almost coterminous with the AECN. More about the ICPO soon.
About the AECN and its Tokyo visit:
“A Meeting of Minds: BNP Joins Far-Right Funket to Japan by David Williams; Searchlight; August/2010.
Excerpt: A British National Party representative will join other assorted European fascists, aligned with the Association of European Nationalist Movements (AENM), on a trip to Tokyo to meet members of the Nippon Issuikai, an extreme right group that denies the various atrocities and war crimes perpetrated by the Japanese military during the Second World War.
The meeting between 11 and 18 August will focus on “The Future of Nationalist Movements”. The French National Front (FN) says the conference will also examine the lessons that Japan can learn from the experience and achievements of European nationalist movements, some of which have made inroads in recent polls, and ways to maintain ties worldwide.
The 20 AENM delegates are drawn from the FN, Jobbik (Hungary), Tricolour Flame (Italy), Flemish Interest (Belgium), National Renewal Party (Portugal), Freedom (Ukraine) and the BNP.
The BNP’s delegate will be Adam Walker, the party’s recently appointed staff manager and president of its fake trade union Solidarity. Walker resigned from his job as a school teacher after it emerged that he had described immigrants as “savage animals” and “filth”. He has worked as a teacher in Japan and runs a martial arts academy.
Two other delegates also speak fluent Japanese and have ties with the country. Bruno Gollnisch, leader of the FN delegation, has been a professor of Japanese language and civilisation at the University of Lyon since 1981. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the FN leader, has long admired Japan’s restrictive immigration practices and received a visit from Mitsuhiro Kimura, the Nippon Issuikai leader in March 2003.
Bela Kovacs of Jobbik learned the language in his youth when his family served as diplomats in Japan for Hungary’s former Communist government.
While in Japan the AENM delegation intends to visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine – the name means “peaceful country” – founded in 1869 by the Emperor Meiji and dedicated to over 2,466,000 Japanese men, women and children who have given their lives for their country since 1853.
To many, however, the shrine represents Japan’s continued failure to atone for its appalling record of war crimes committed during the Second World War, because among those honoured by the shrine are 1,068 convicted war criminals. This list of “venerable divinities” includes 14 convicted “class A” war criminals, including the wartime Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo, who collectively were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Allied servicemen and millions of Southeast Asians, the majority civilians. . . . The Nippon Issuikai, also known as the Wednesday Society, is one of the principal Japanese nationalist or “new right” groups. Its leader since 2000 is Mitsuhiro Kimura, a graduate of Japan’s prestigious Keio University. The group regards the Japanese government as an American puppet regime, wants the return of the emperor to Kyoto, the old Imperial capital, and steadfastly denies the countless atrocities committed by the Empire of Japan during the Second World War.
The organisation was founded in 1972 by followers of the famed novelist Yukio Mishima, an extreme right-winger who committed ritual suicide (seppuku) in 1970 following his failed attempt to persuade members of the Japan Self-Defence Forces to follow him in staging a military coup against the Japanese government. Issuikai is a very small group; one report stated that it had as few as 30 members. It remains influential in the Japanese media, however, with Kimura appearing frequently on television and writing opinion pieces in newspapers such as the respected daily Asahi Shimbun.
Kimura was once on friendly terms with Uday Hussein, the psychopathic son of Iraq’s murderous dictator Saddam Hussein, who was killed in Iraq 2003 by a US Special Forces Task Force. Kimura visited Iraq six times before the American-led invasion and received a wristwatch as a personal present from the Iraqi dictator. Kimura supported the Iraqi regime on the grounds that Saddam Hussein was cultivating a pan-Arab nationalism that would protect Arab culture from Western influence, while “correctly” demanding that “Israel leave Palestine”.
Kimura also calls for the re-examination of the Security Treaty between Japan and the USA and demands the “total withdrawal” of US troops from Japan. It is partially Kimura’s hostility to US “hegemony” that has led him, since 2003, to reach out to other “nationalist” movements across the globe.