It’s been a year of unparallelled achievements for those in Japan’s public eye and here at Tokyo Desu we wanted to recognise some of the stars of 2013. The first award is…
The Binders Full of Women Award for Gender Equality
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, for saying that sex slaves are necessary during times of war and urging US soldiers stationed in Okinawa to make use of the local brothels. The forced, unapologetic “apology” that followed wasn’t enough to stop other politic powers distancing themselves from him.
The Us and Them Award for Racial Tolerance and Understanding
Ex-Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose, who strengthened his city’s Olympic bid with the following statement about Islamic nations: “The only thing they share in common is Allah, and they are fighting with each other. And they have classes.” Japan, on the other hand, has excellent relations with its three largest neighbours, China, North Korea and South Korea.
The Christmas Decorations in October Award for Premature Announcements
Shinzo Abe, who claimed in his Olympics speech in September that the situation at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was “under control,” exhibiting all the trustworthiness of a Kabukicho strip club tout.
The most recent scandal to emerge from the murky clean-up operation is that homeless people are being taken off the streets to work dangerous jobs within the contaminated zone.
The Traditional Octopus Balls Award for Worst Name
Fukuppy, the winged egg who was temporarily mascot of Fukushima Industries before international attention wrought a blushful withdrawal. The happy little guy likes to fly around inspecting supermarkets and fridges, and his superpower is being able to communicate with food products. We can only hope those rather specific talents serve him well in this difficult job market.
Honourable mention also goes to Dickinin, the throat medication currently being advertised all over Tokyo’s train system.
The World Famous Celebrity Clairvoyant Ron Bard Award for Accurate Foresight
Finance Minister and ex-Prime Minister Taro Aso, for his uncanny observation back in July that Japan needed to study the Nazis in order to change the constitution before people have time to protest. Five months later that’s exactly what Shinzo Abe did, pushing the ambiguously written State Secrets Act through the Diet with all the measured debate of the Third Reich, ignoring opposition from every major media organisation, the UN Human Rights Council and the majority of Japanese people.
The Russian Space Pencil Award for Thinking Outside the Box
The Ping Pong Diplomacy Award for Innovative Ways of Improving International Relations
Yasahiro Muratatsu, a Japanese diplomat in Sudan, for building ties with his designated country by competing with local athletes at their form of wrestling. He may have lost all four of his bouts, but he’s won our admiration.
The More Than Anime and Sex Robots Award for Improving Japan’s Image Overseas
Japan’s Olympic campaigners and tourism agencies, for bringing the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo and garnering prestigious recognition from UNESCO for Mt. Fuji and washoku (traditional Japanese food).
Also, despite territorial disputes and lingering concerns over the March 11th disaster of 2011, over 10 million tourists visited Japan in 2013, surpassing 2010’s record of 8.6 million. It must be said that Shinzo Abe and Naoki Inose, winners of two of our less desirable awards, also deserve credit for this.
The Special Award for The Best, Most Intelligent and Good-Looking Readers Ever
You. Thanks for taking the time to read Tokyo Desu over the past year, and for helping us grow with your Facebook shares and tweets. We’re a cynical, sarcastic bunch but we genuinely appreciate it. Have a great 2014, we’ll see you there.