A 51-year-old bureaucrat was suspended for two months by the Japanese government after it was found out he anonymously posted to a blog saying that the rehabilitation of tsunami-wrecked towns were “pointless” because they were already “almost in ruins” even before the 2011 disaster that hit most of East Japan and claimed more than 18,000 lives.
Hisanori Goto, who has been a career civil servant and currently works at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said that it was a waste of public money to rebuild the towns that are occupied by mostly economically unproductive elderly people, calling them “old coots and hags” who are just living off “vested interests in fisheries”. “Politicians who won’t come out with the fair argument that reconstruction is unnecessary might as well die,” were just some of the strongly worded sentences he used in the post. He even posted a picture of an old Japanese woman and put the caption “Drop dead”.
Fellow bloggers who took offense to the post tracked down the anonymous comment, written in September 2011, and eventually unmasked Goto as the author through another photo of his that he posted on the web as well. Cabinet Chief Yoshihide Suga said Goto had already been confronted by his bosses at the ministry and said what he did was “an unforgivable act” and “extremely regrettable,” especially for a public servant. Negative comments about the disaster are normally met with anger and derision in Japan and it is a common opinion among the majority that the damaged towns need to be rehabilitated, even amidst their “economic malaise” and their emerging depopulation.
[ via SBS ]