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November 16, 1992 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-16

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 16, 1992- Page 7

Japanese right wing seeks power
through thugs and intimidation



TOKYO (AP) - It is eerily
reminiscent of another era, and an-
other Japan. Politicians bow abjectly
to right-wing extremists who burst
into their offices shouting insults.
Little more than a half-century
ago, militarist terror and political
assassinations helped destroy
Japanese democracy, leading to the
Pacific War.
Today, the right wing's anger has
been incited by a trial exposing its
links with Japan's underworld gangs,
or yakuza.
No one suggests the current
threat from the right is equal to that
of the 1930s. On February 26, 1936
- a day of infamy in Japan -
rightists stormed the prime minis-
quick change
in gay policy
Congressional leaders urged
President-elect Clinton Sunday to go
slow on overturning the military's
ban on homosexuals, arguing that
sudden action would create a furor in
Congress and could endanger lives
in the armed forces.
"I can't give him any advice
;except to go slow," Senate
;Republican leader Bob Dole said.
"There are other things you can do
by executive order that wouldn't
blow the lid off the Capitol. I think
this one might come close."
Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga.,
Chair of the Senate Armed
' Services Committee, appearing on
<CBS-TV's "Face the Nation," said,
;"I think we ought to proceed very
a cautiously.
"If you did it overnight, I'd fear
for the lives of people in the military
themselves," Nunn said. "I think
there could be some very emotional
' Nunn, Dole and Senate
Democratic leader George Mitchell
Sof Maine, who appeared with Dole
:on the NBC panel show "Meet the
Press," said congressional action
would be required to amend the
Uniform Code of Military Justice
even if Clinton did issue an execu-
tive order changing the policy.
"I'd be surprised if he won that
'vote," said Dole. Mitchell said,
however, "I think the governor will
be supported in that because I think
he will do it in a sensible and pru-
;dent way."
Clinton said Wednesday that he
~intends to consult with military
leaders about "the mechanics" of a
change in policy. He did not say
when this would occur.
"I don't think (homosexual)
status alone, in the absence of some
'Homosexual activity is
S absolutely
incompatible with life
aboard ship and life in
the military.'
- John Lehman
former secretary of Navy

destructive behavior, should disqual-
ify people" from serving in the mil-
tary, the president-elect said.
Former Army National Guard
Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer,
who acknowledged being a lesbian
when questioned during a security
check to attend tih War College,.
said, "I don't think it's like suddenly
the military is going to disintegrate."
Adm. Thomas Moorer, former
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
dissented, saying, "Sooner or later
you're going to have men kissing
each other and hugging and
whatever ... and the other sailors or
soldiers or Marines or airmen would
see it, and they would begin to give
them names. Then, the first thing
you know, there would be a fight."
Former Secretary of the Navy
John Lehman said that "homosexual
activity is absolutely incompatible
with life aboard ship and life in the

ter's residence and assassinated three
government officials.
The right does seem to retain the
power of terror and the threat of
violence. At a rally last March a
rightist fired three shots at then-party
kingpin Shin Kancmaru, but missed.
"Wv !avI ;.<utied Irom the
incident anid. decided to tighten our
,zuard wi lth utmiflost Caution," Sai(1
Iliitoshi iKawahara. a police oflicial
Oversecifli! Na2ataCh), Japan's sealt
of goVCrntmlflet.
Rightists seek a revival of what
they see as the glory days of pre-
World War II Japan. They believe
Akihito's trip to China implied an
apology for Japan's wartime

Like their predecessors, the
rightists profess to want to cleanse
politics of corruption. Yet,
Kanemaru, Japan's most powerful
politician before he resigned from
parliament durirn the recent scandal,
admitted tu ac< 'nting illegal dona-
tions frot'in a tcutive linked to
The rightists often seek to extort
money from politicians, said Kenji
Ino, author of books on the right
wing and the yakuza.
"Because politicians often rely on
dirty money ... the gangs catch whiff
of that and blackmail them," Ino said
in a recent interview with the Asahi
national newspaper.


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