"Through international networks of influence, Americans are helping hateful allies make concrete gains across the globe."
In 2007, a far-right organization emerged called Zaitokukai, which translates to “Civic Group Against Privileges of Koreans in Japan.” The group was dedicated to demonizing the ethnic Koreans who have resided in Japan for generations (an ethnic group called “Zainichi” Koreans). In the late 2000s, hundreds of representatives of Zaitokukai marched through the streets in cities across Japan, chanting “Kill both good and bad Koreans!”
On the Zaitokukai phenomenon, Japanese scholar Naoto Higuchi writes, “Unlike its predecessors, the group Zaitokukai … seems quite similar to European radical-right groups in the sense that it targets ethnic minorities with violent attacks.”
The leader and founder of Zaitokukai is a right-wing agitator named Makoto Sakurai. One of his chief advisers, Hiroyuki Seto, is well-known in Japan as a neo-Nazi. In 1993, Seto published a book called Recommendation of Hitler’s Idea — Remedy to Nature and Human Kind, 120% affirmation of Nazi and Hitler.
Zaitokukai capitalized on ethnic prejudice that had long lurked in Japan’s history. In 1923, following a devastating earthquake in the Kanto region, police, soldiers and vigilante civilians massacred 6,000 Zainichi Koreans after rumors circulated that Koreans were poisoning wells and sabotaging Japanese citizens in the disaster’s aftermath.
After his success mobilizing people on the streets, Sakurai turned to the new frontier of the worldwide radical right: the internet. Japan’s equivalent of the Western phenomenon of the primarily online-incubated racist “alt-right” is called netto uyoku (sometimes shortened to netouyo), or “internet right.” Like the noxious stew of conspiracy and race hate that characterize online alt-right forums, netto uyo likewise trafficks in fake news and ethnic bigotry. The Anti-Racism Information Center (ARIC) tracks the activities of the radical right and netto uyoku in Japan and advocates for laws protecting minorities from discrimination. ARIC’s founder, Ryang Yong-Song, said in an interview with the Intelligence Report that he and his team have observed denizens of netto uyoku indulging the same dangerous lies that led to the slaughter of thousands of Koreans nearly 100 years ago. “You will see many hate speeches that say ‘Korean minority throw toxin in the well,’” Yong-Song said.
Sakurai has positioned himself as an influencer in netto uyoku, and in 2016, he launched a new far-right political enterprise. Emulating the populist nationalism that had gripped the U.S., embodied by the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, Sakurai called his new project the Japan First Party (JFP).
White Supremacists Gather for Nationalist Solutions Conference
Other speakers included James Edwards, who runs white supremacist radio show “The Political Cesspool;” Tom Sunic, a white supremacist former professor and author who is originally from Croatia; Virginia Abernathy, professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University and a virulent opponent of non-white immigration; and Rachel Pendergraft, one of the leaders of the Knights Party, a longstanding Ku Klux Klan group. CCC leader Earl Holt and William Johnson, the head of the American Freedom Party, spoke along with Makoto Sakurai, the pen name of the founder of the nationalist Japan First Party.
ARICとして地道に情報提供してきたことが実りました。— 梁英聖＠『日本型ヘイトスピーチとは何か』（影書房） (@rysyrys) February 25, 2019