30 July 2007

Senator quoted in French National Radio Program

During the Senatorial election that just ended Sunday, Senator Inuzuka was interviewed over the phone by a French RFI (Radio France Internationale) correspondant in Paris for a very brief moment. The interview was aired on radio on the Thursday 26th. The following is the original article and its full English translation.


Tadashi Inuzuka

Sénateur du Minshuto, le Parti démocrate japonais

«Il n'y a que 65 millions d'actifs au Japon et le gouvernement a perdu 50 millions de dossiers. Donc, on en a perdu la trace de plus de 80% ! Le chiffre est immense, et pour certains dossiers il faut remonter 40 ans en arrière !»

Défaite annoncée de Shinzo Abe aux sénatoriales japonaises. Les élections se déroulent dimanche et le parti du Premier ministre, le PLD, est en chute libre dans les sondages. Plusieurs scandales, dont la disparition de 50 millions de dossiers de retraites, ont récemment terni son image. Or, la majorité dirigée par Shinzo Abe ne dispose au Sénat que d'une courte majorité de 10 sièges. L'opposition se frotte donc les mains !

par Nathalie Tourret



Tadashi Inuzuka

Senator of Minshuto, The Japanese Democratic Party

26 July 2007, RFI
Nathalie Tourret

“There are only 65 million pension beneficiaries in Japan and the government lost 50 million of those files। So they lost trace of more than 80%! The figure is immense, and for certain files it takes up to 40 years back to trace them!”

So the sign of “defeat” is everywhere around Shinzo Abe in the upcoming senatorial elections. The voting will take place on Sunday while Prime Minister’s party, the LDP, suffers almost nonstop decline in its popularity polls. Several scandals, including the disappearance of 50 million pension files, have recently tarnished its image.

However, the LDP majority led by Shinzo Abe is short of only 10 seats to achieve absolute majority। The opposition thus waits eagerly!

23 July 2007

Senator Featured in French "Liberation" Article (English)

Liberation features Senator Inuzuka as
"Samurai in Pursuit of the Responsibility to Protect"

Before the closing of the last General Session of the Diet in July, Senator Inuzuka had an interview with Mr. Michel Teman, a freelance reporter from Rapporteurs Sans Frontières (RSF). The following is a full English translation of his article that was posted on the online version of the Libération, a major French newspaper.


A Japanese Samurai in Pursuit of the Responsibility to Protect

Japan’s Senator Inuzuka, a Kouchner's admirer pursues a more humanitarian policy

9 July 2007, Libération

Michel Teman

"At last, " said the Senator. "At last, Japan will become state party to the International Criminal Court!" Democrat Senator Tadashi Inuzuka's voice echoed in his office 318 at the Member of the House of Councillors office in Tokyo.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the newly established international court in the Hague that prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. There are 104 states that are party to the Court.

"This is the culmination of all the efforts put in for the past seven years by me and other dedicated people. This is also a historic moment for Japan."

With the aid of multitude of people, from Foreign Ministry officials and non-governmental organizations, Inuzuka was able to win approval to ratify the ICC treaty. But according to an anonymous junior officer in the Diet, the approval was in fact “not something that was won,” because none of the fellow lawmakers even knew what ICC is when Inuzuka first urged that Japan should ratify the ICC Statute in the Diet. In other words, it wasn’t an issue at all in the first place.

At 52, Senator Inuzuka can only be characterized as being the “break-the-mold” type for a lawmaker. He speaks fluent English, and even French because his wife is French. During election, he tours around universities giving American-style lectures and communicate with his constituents through the Internet blogs. His attire also stands out. In the Diet, he seldom wears a tie. His preference is a Mao collar suite.

Raised in Nagasaki, Inuzuka was not born to a family of politicians. Instead, he represented the common people. His folks made a living out of fisheries. The path diverges for young Inuzuka when he entered a college in the United States for an MBA. He then started his own business. Ten years before he run for Senator, Inuzuka had a restaurant in Tokyo and a hotel in Hawaii.

The turning point was January 17, 1995, the day of the Kobe earthquake. The poor management and response at the site disgruntled him when the region faced a death toll of 6,400 people with more than 40,000 injured. That was when he met the people from Médecins sans Fronti
ères (MSF: Doctors without Borders) and Médecins du Monde (MDM: Doctors of the World)

”They were my heroes. They work to help others, under extreme conditions, risking their own well-being with little finance.”

Along with Gaël Austin, a consultancy owner in Tokyo, Inuzuka helps establish the Japanese chapter of the MDM. While some people in Tokyo aspire to become “a military power that can contribute to world peace", Inuzuka aspires to become the world’s first “moral power”.

True Cooperation
Inuzuka’s mentor is not the old Samurai teachings but the new head of French diplomacy and former doctor, Bernard Kouchner। His name never ceases to come out of Inuzuka’s mouth. Like Kouchner, Inuzuka advocates for the values of Responsibility to Protect versus states that fail to protect its own people. “Japan must realize the value of intervening in affairs that none do,” he said. “Japan should widen its horizon. Although it is perfectly understandable to be concerned of the abduction issue with the North Koreans that occurred in the early 80’s, the Japanese people should not forget that there are over million North Koreans who are dying of starvation or that more than 40,000 children are being abducted yearly in India. The Japanese people should be considered about what goes on within its borders but outside too, that there are people suffering outside our borders.”

His conviction was certified when he visited Sudan’s Darfur in 2006.

”In the Kalma Refugee Camp, I witnessed the sight of pain and agony that I’ve never seen before. That's when I thought that there is something Japan can do about it. That we can work with the UN and NGOs to do a better job. Japan’s simply lousy when it comes to development assistance. But we have our achievements. We’ve become an economic power from the ashes of 1945. We have our experience. But we should not stop here. Japan should take a more proactive step. Creating a new economic, social, and humanitarian norm is one such step. Checkbook diplomacy is thing of a past. It isn’t sufficient anymore.”

So Inuzuka came up with a concrete plan toward this in the Diet. He proposed the establishment of a new “Human Security Centre” to train peace workers to be dispatched to war-torn regions or to tackle starvation. The Upper House Special Committee on Official Development Assistance recently adopted this proposal.

”It is indeed difficult to eradicate all causes of conflicts. But we can always help the victims of those conflicts.”

© Libération

19 July 2007

Senator's UN Intervew Featured in Reuters Article

Japan expects to join new criminal court in Oct
02 May 2007 13:58:40 GMT
Source: Reuters

By Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS, May 2 (Reuters) - Japan intends to become a party to the International Criminal Court in October, with some of its supporters hoping the tribunal will add nuclear warfare to its official list of crimes against humanity.

Sen. Tadashi Inuzuka of Nagasaki, in New York to relate his years of campaigning for the ICC, said in an interview on Tuesday that Japan's approval of the court's statutes was "good timing to show we care about humanitarian issues" following continuing controversy about Tokyo's World War Two history.

On April 27, the Japanese Diet's upper house unanimously approved the country's accession to the court, after the cabinet in February submitted legislation to parliament.

A total of 104 nations have ratified a 1998 Rome Treaty creating the first permanent global criminal court to prosecute individuals for heinous crimes -- evoking memories of the Nuremberg tribunal that tried Nazi leaders and the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal at the end of World War Two.

Final steps to process the bill into law and deposit papers with the United Nations are expected by Oct. 1, said Inuzuka, an officer of the Parliamentarians for Global Action, a network of 1,200 legislators from 117 parliaments that campaigned for the Hague-based ICC.

Of the millions of pages of records of trials in the post-World War Two tribunal, Inuzuka said "there is not one single word" of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States to end the war in the Pacific in 1945.

He said that in "2009 we want to include (nuclear warfare) as a crime against humanity."

But Inuzuka said "we are still having a hard time to gain respect" and the latest controversy over "comfort women" did not help.

Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe caused a furor in Asia and the United States when he said there was no evidence the Japanese military had coerced women into sex slavery in World War Two. On March 16, his position was endorsed by the cabinet as the official government position.

Still, Japan's ratification is significant in Asia. And Tokyo will give the fledgling court a financial boost as its highest payer, at an estimated 16 percent, Inuzuka said.

Few Asian countries have joined the ICC, with China and India showing little interest. And the Bush administration has vigorously opposed the tribunal, although it allowed the U.N. Security Council to refer Sudan to the ICC.

Compared to Germany, one of the prime movers to establish the ICC, Japan ignored the court for years, even though it was active in the 1998 conference that wrote the statutes.

One reason, scholars say, was the 1946-1948 allied-run military court, regarded by many as politically biased, with some serious war criminals escaping prosecution and regaining power. The emperor was also spared.

Inuzuka said he encountered few firm objections to the court but "a shortage of political will" -- and little interest by many lawyers in putting in more hours in a busy day.
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10 July 2007

Senator Featured in French "Liberation" Article

Liberation features Senator Inuzuka as
"Samurai in Pursuit of the Responsibility to Protect"


Le samouraï du droit d’ingérence au Japon

Admirateur de Kouchner, le sénateur Inuzuka promeut
une politique plus humanitaire.

Par Teman Michel

QUOTIDIEN : lundi 9 juillet 2007

«E nfin !» s’exclame, dans son bureau n° 318 de la Chambre des conseillers, Tadashi Inuzuka, sénateur du Minshuto (Parti démocrate) . «Le Japon est enfin membre de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI)», le tribunal de La Haye (aux 104 nationalités) chargé de juger les génocides, crimes de guerre et crimes contre l’humanité. «C’est un succès pour ceux et celles qui ont lutté à mes côtés depuis sept ans. C’est un moment clé pour le Japon.»

A Tokyo, aidé par des députés de tous bords, des diplomates et des ONG, Inuzuka a obtenu du Parlement qu’il ratifie, le 27 avril, le traité de la CPI. «Ce n’était pas gagné, jure une assistante parlementaire. En séance, la première fois, quand le sénateur Inuzuka a expliqué pourquoi le Japon devait rejoindre la Cour pénale internationale, des parlementaires ont demandé ce que c’était ! Ils n’en avaient jamais entendu parler.» A 52 ans, Tadashi Inuzuka s’est bâti une image d’homme de rupture. Il parle l’anglais, et d’autant mieux français que son épouse est française. A chaque élection, il fait campagne à l’américaine. Il multiplie les discours dans les universités et utilise l’Internet et son blog pour communiquer. Au Parlement, son look détonne. Pas de cravate pour le sé­nateur, qui préfère les costumes type Mao.

Originaire de la région de Nagasaki, Inuzuka n’est pas un fils de politicien. C’est un représentant de la société civile. Ses parents vivaient surtout de la pêche. Le jeune Tadashi, lui, a changé de cap. Après avoir décroché des diplômes de gestion aux Etats-Unis, il a réussi dans les affaires. Il a géré un restaurant à Tokyo, un hôtel à Hawaii. avant de s’engager en politique il y a dix ans sous la bannière démocrate. Le 17 janvier 1995, après le séisme de Kobe, Inuzuka fut choqué par la lenteur des secours et le bilan (6 400 morts, 40 000 blessés). A Kobe, il a découvert les French doctors de Médecins sans frontières et Médecins du monde. «Ce sont mes idoles. Ils prennent des risques, agissant dans des conditions extrêmes, avec peu de moyens, pour sauver les autres.» Avec Gaël Austin, un consultant breton établi à Tokyo, Inuzuka aida à fonder l’antenne nipponne de Médecins du monde. Depuis, tandis que certains, à Tokyo, voudraient que le Japon s’érige en «puissance militaire au service de la paix», Inuzuka caresse le rêve de voir son pays devenir la première «puissance morale.»

Son mentor n’est pas un samouraï de jadis, mais le nouveau chef de la diplomatie française, l’ex «french doctor» Bernard Kouchner, qu’Inuzuka cite sans cesse. Comme lui, Inuzuka croit aux vertus du «droit d’ingérence» contre les Etats bafouant les droits de leur population. «Le Japon doit apprendre à se mêler de ce qui ne le regarde pas, dit-il. Il est temps que notre pays élargisse ses vues. Le Japon fait une fixation compréhensible sur les otages japonais kidnappés par la Corée du Nord dans les années 70 et 80. Mais notre pays ne doit pas oublier qu’un million de Nord-Coréens sont morts de la famine dans les années 90. Ou qu’en Inde 40 000 enfants sont kidnappés par an. Le Japon doit être sensible au sort de tous les souffrants, au-delà de ses frontières.»

Inuzuka est encore plus sûr de ce qu’il pense depuis sa mission au Darfour, en août 2006. «Dans les camps de réfugiés comme celui de Karma, j’ai été témoin d’une misère et de souffrances que je n’avais jamais vues. J’ai réalisé que le Japon pouvait faire beaucoup plus, mieux coopérer avec les ONG et les organisations de l’ONU. Le Japon dépense mal son aide au développement. Notre pays est pourtant riche et a beaucoup d’expérience. Ruiné en 1945, le Japon a su rebâtir une grande économie. Mais ce n’est pas assez. Le Japon doit être plus actif. Elaborer de nouveaux standards économiques et humanitaires. En matière de droits de l’homme, la diplomatie du carnet de chèques ne suffit plus.»

Aussi Tadashi Inuzuka vient-il de faire adopter par le Sénat, à Tokyo, les statuts du premier «Centre de sécurité de l’humain», un centre de recrutement et de formation de «volontaires de la paix» qui iront servir à l’étranger dans des zones en guerre ou de grande pauvreté. «Il est difficile d’éliminer les causes des conflits, ajoute le sénateur. Mais il est toujours possible d’aider ceux qui en sont victimes.»

© Libération