Ishihara Shintaro, the racist, xenophobic politician who wrote books glorifying the rape of teenaged girls and got Bill 156 passed, has quit as Governor of Tokyo. Clearly he’s decided this town isn’t big enough for the both of us, so you’re welcome.
Sadly, the other side of the story is that Ishihara is quitting so that he can try and influence the national government to be more nationalist and hate-driven too – he laced his announcement speech with racist terms for Koreans and Chinese. He’s joining forces with the nationalist governor of Osaka to try and be a power-broker on the national stage, with the next round of elections likely to produce a splintered parliament. With the current government unpopular (as usual) and the Liberal Democrats now under the leadership of one of their more xenophobic titans, Abe Shinzo, there’s a good chance the next government of Japan is going to be led by the nationalist wing of the LibDem’s propped up by even more nationalist smaller parties.
On a happier note, here’s a few pics of Inokashira Park near Kichijoji, a 10-minute walk from my house. I posted some shots of Inokashira during Sakura season during my last trip. Also, one pic of a building I stumbled on in Shibuya which I swear is one of the Gates of Mordor. Also – we had a 5.5 quake yesterday in Ibaraki, but I didn’t even feel it so I guess that means I’m getting used to the place.