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2007年5月2日水曜日

Anti-Japan Sentiment Intensifies - Golden Week Travellers Going to the UK, Beware!

Japanese travelers heading to England this Golden Week should take extra precaution.

With English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker's funeral being held at a church in England on April 26th as well as a not-guilty verdict in the Lucie Blackman case reached on the 24th, anti-Japan sentiments have risen sharply.

The Daily Telegram featured a large photograph of Lindsay Hawker's casket accompanied by the headline "Misery continues after not guilty verdict in Obara case"1. Other newspapers harshly criticized the Japanese police. "Ichihashi still loose due to botched police investigation"(Daily Mirror), "Japanese police rife with negligence" (Times)2.

Other publications commented on the Obara ruling. "If it were a British or American courtroom, the verdict would've been different" (The Guardian)3. BBC television commentary stated "The British public's distrust of the Japanese police has certainly increased."4

"Japanese men are gross" and "Japan is filled with stalkers" are among the flood of comments on the internet, some of which are shockingly racist.

There may be many Japanese travellers heading to England now, but it might be better not to walk alone.


1 Original English headline not yet retreived -- this is a translation.
2 ibid
3 ibid
4 ibid


Article Source: Yahoo! News Japan, May 1st 2007, 10:00am (Tokyo). Originally appeared in Nikkan Gendai, May 1st, 10:00am (original article not online).

2 件のコメント:

Kathryn さんのコメント...

I noticed no one else was commenting--and I just wanted to say thank you for what you are doing on this blog. The English-language media really is sensationalising this case, and while I don't want at all to deny the tragedy of the murder, my husband is Japanese, and the way the press is generalising about Japanese men is very disturbing. I've got my mum reading your page because she was starting to think all Japanese men were crazy stalkers of Western women.
I just wanted to let you know that it's not only the family and friends of Ms. Hawker who appreciate your efforts. I just wanted to say thanks.

Jason Gray さんのコメント...

Kathryn,

Thank you for the kind words.

It's sad, but not surprising, when cases like this devolve into racial stereotyping. It's the media's fault for stoking the fires, without any kind of counter-opinions or alternate points of view.

On some of the Japanese lang. message boards, it's clear that people here want Ichihashi to face justice for his crimes just as much as anybody else.

Best,
Jason