Thursday, April 27, 2017

# Tohoku de yokatta

Imamura Masahiro, the Reconstruction Minister, was forced to resign due to his politically incorrect comments.

Recently, Imamura declined to answer the questions from a journalist. The journalist expressed criticism of the policy terminating financial aids to people who had spontaneously evacuated from the region of the 3.11 disaster. Imamura seemed annoyed to hear the question of the journalist.

But his hostile attitude ignited public criticism.

Then, he was given an opportunity to have a comment in a conference. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister, also attended the conference.

According to the media, Imamura said, "“It was good that the disaster occurred in Tohoku." His comment resulted in the fatal blow to his post.

The Japan Times: Disaster victims express outrage over reconstruction minister’s tactless remarks

To be honest, I have not seen the scene of the conference in the media. Therefore, I am not sure in which context his mention was made. If the earthquake and tsunami disaster had occurred in Tokyo, it would have inflicted far more serious damage to Japan. In this sense, Tohoku region has less impact on the governmental function of Japan. Nonetheless, it is obvious that his comment was far from acceptable not only to people in Tohoku but also to any Japanese. Although Imamura had not committed any faults in his policy, his resignation was unavoidable.

By the way, a trend word appeared on Twitter in Japan after this incident. It was "#Tohoku de yokatta" [It was good that it was in Tohoku]. Originally in the politically incorrect words by Imamura, this word was followed by many appraisals to Tohoku regions, such as delicious foods, beautiful scene, and historical buildings. Thus, Twitter users made use of "Tohoku de yokatta" as an original meaning, to encourage citizens in Tohoku. It is a heartwarming episode.

The Japan Times: Twitter users spin turn minister’s Tohoku gaffe into praise for region

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