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Editorial: Anti-NHK party leader crossed red line with genocide remarks

In a video posted to YouTube, Takashi Tachibana, leader of NHK Kara Kokumin o Mamoru To (the party to protect the people from NHK) referred to "massacring races that have babies like idiots,' or something like that," among other inflammatory comments. The Diet should swiftly and strictly deal with this problem, otherwise international society will see Japan as a nation that permits such reckless remarks.

When discussing developing countries, Tachibana further stated, "The world's population is rising because they're having children without planning. It is wars that do something to reduce these people." Referring to genocide, he went on to state that he was "greatly opposed to people who try to carry out things like that." Even so, his comments are outlandish and abnormal.

The International Criminal Court has concluded that "inciting directly and publicly others to commit genocide" constitutes a crime. The legislator's remarks also run counter to the United Nations' International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Tachibana has repeatedly engaged in aberrant behavior and pronouncements since first winning a seat in the previous House of Councillors election. This includes taking Hodaka Maruyama, who was effectively pushed to resign as a legislator over his actions and statements including about fighting a war with Russia over the Northern Territories, into his anti-NHK party. We cannot see an ounce of awareness in Tachibana as the leader of a political party that has filled the requirements to become established in the Diet, and under normal circumstances, he should resign to take responsibility.

Tachibana, however, appears to think that criticism equals publicity. He has amassed a considerable following on YouTube, and has patted himself on the back over the advertising revenue this has brought it. Then last month, a member of his political party was elected to the Higashiosaka Municipal Assembly in Osaka Prefecture, boosting his confidence.

There are media outlets that bear responsibility for playing up his words and actions, and consequently, some take the view that it would be better not to report on the anti-NHK party at all. But the situation has gotten to a stage that can no longer be ignored.

At this point we would like to raise a question. Has Japan's political world, and in particular the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) become numb to such statements?

The year before last, we recall, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso made a statement suggesting that German dictator Adolf Hitler, who brought about the Holocaust, acted with right motives. Though he hastily retracted this remark, he was never called to face responsibility for it.

The LDP cannot lend support to Tachibana simply because he may support revision of Japan's war-renouncing Constitution. Moves should be taken to consider his punishment at the beginning of the Diet session that will start on Oct. 4.

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