This just in from the What in the Holy Hell Were You Effin’ Thinking Department. Fingers are pointing at elements of Japan’s right wing for responsibility in vandalizing The Diary of a Young Girl and other books related to Anne Frank.
Yes, you read that right and yes, this is Sweet Pickles & Corn, not The Onion.
Reports say that more than 300 copies of the books have been found at public libraries around Tokyo with pages torn out or slashed. Library officials said the first case was reported a year ago, but that most of the vandalism appears to have taken place this month.
Nothing has been proven, and no one has claimed responsibility, hell, for all I know it could have been the neighbors trying to stir things up, or maybe it was Pat Buchanan making a move in his twilight years, but suspicions are strong that the page-rippers are conservative or rightist elements that have been pushing revisionist views of Japan’s wartime and colonial history.
Asian Studies professor Jeff Kingston, of Temple University’s Tokyo campus, is one of those leaning towards it being the work of the right wing.
“Twenty-first century Japan is in the throes of a culture war led by right-wing reactionaries who feel emboldened under Prime Minister Abe. The vandalism might be a colossal coincidence, coming so close to the uproar over the kamikaze letters — but I doubt it.”
An Abe administration spokesman has condemned the vandalism (that’s not to say that they might not revise their views later) and Tokyo police are investigating.
Aside of the asinine act of destroying books, or the possibility that it was Apple trying to build iBook readership in their continuing tumble against Amazon, one thing is certain: Whoever did it conceived an incredibly stupid plan from a geopolitical angle —regardless whether the intent was to stir dissent or to build support for rising conservative views in Japan. News of the literature lynching has only strengthened Japanese who are fighting to reign in Abe and his ultra-conservative crew.
“The Japanese public has loudly and widely repudiated the vandalism of Anne Frank’s diary. Overwhelmingly, this is seen as a repugnant act contrary to Japan’s norms and values. It’s a signal that core values remain robust despite the era’s culture wars,” Kingston says.