“Free media” my entire ass. I walked into work here in Tokyo and neither the Danish fella I work with nor his Japanese wife had heard anything about a man self-immolating in downtown Tokyo, despite it happening in the middle of the day at Shinjuku Station, possibly the busiest train station in the world. This is likely because not a single major Japanese news service covered it at all.
Prime Minister Abe’s plan to revise Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, which limits their military actions to a non-aggressive, purely defensive philosophy, is not really a new thing. In the past, both the UN and the US have requested that Japan get themselves a “real” army (apparently the highest military budget in Asia doesn’t give you a “real” army), but massive protests from the populace have killed any efforts to do so.
There also hasn’t been any mention of the massive protests currently happening in the city yet. With this concentrated effort to keep the populace ignorant of unrest and opposition to the government’s unpopular plans for war, I’m starting to get homesick for the US.