Sunday, 11 January 2009

Aso Vs. Religion... FIGHT!

Aso's done it again. He's added to the now novel-length list of things he shouldn't have done but did anyway. The newest addenda include:

  • Thinking that 'the world religions can learn from Japanese work ethic'.
  • Then not dismissing that thought out of hand.
  • Then deciding to voice that thought.
  • Then not changing his mind about voicing it.
  • Then actually voicing it.
  • Then not immediately retracting it.

This happened at a press conference on Thursday, just two days after he'd basically laughed off calls for his resignation. Granted the calls for his resignation were due to a perceived inability to handle the economic crisis that he was voted into a mere three months ago, but my point is this is no time for him to feed his addiction to stunned silence.

Aso's "telling-it-like-it-is face"

The AFP reports that,

"Our values in Japan regard hard work as important," Aso said during a discussion on the global economic crisis.

"To work is good. It's completely different thinking from the Old Testament," Aso said.

Which does sound a bit iffy, right? But it sounds less iffy if you compare it to what the Nikkei Shimbun reported of a speech of his in December:

"In the Old Testament, God gave Adam punishment: labour. The Old Testament, Christianity, Islam - if you add them up, what percentage of the world is that? About 70% of religions hold a philosophy that work is a punishment."

He then referred to Japan's oldest known book, the Kojiki, which features Japan's creation myths. In the text, an important sun goddess saw many other deities working.

Still slightly iffy though. And probably not something that he should just say. And you'll also notice that he didn't mention about the Kojiki stories in which Ame-no-Uzume dances naked in front of all the other gods to lure out Amaterasu, or how the Emperor Jimmu conquered Japan with the help of a three-legged bird called Yatagarasu. Surely the world religions could learn just as much from those stories.