The Epic Life of Shintaro Ishihara, Who Planned an Attack on a Prison and Threatened a Traitor | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Epic Life of Shintaro Ishihara, Who Planned an Attack on a Prison and Threatened a Traitor

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While there is some praise for Shintaro Ishihara, who passed away on February 1, there are also many negative comments about his words and actions as a politician. From writer to politician. He served a total of 27 years as a member of the Diet and more than 13 years as Governor of Tokyo, during which time he also served in the Cabinet as Director General of the Environment Agency and Minister of Transportation.

A journalist who has been following this rare politician has uncovered his “true face” through his writing activities.

Shintaro Ishihara in his early days. Photo taken in 2003. He also entrusted his “dream of becoming prime minister” to his beloved eldest son, Nobuteru Ishihara. Photo: Reuters/Afro

When Shintaro was an “independent commentator

Shintaro originally became a celebrity when he won the Akutagawa Prize for his novel “Season of the Sun” while still a university student. He took advantage of this fame to become a politician in 1968 at the age of 35. Since then, he has maintained a strong presence as a “hawkish debater. He was a member of the Diet for two years after quitting as governor of Tokyo, and retired from politics in 2014.

In the middle of his long political career, Ishihara quit politics in 1995 after 25 years in the Diet. He returned to politics in the 1999 Tokyo gubernatorial election, but during this time he was active as an independent commentator.

During this period of wandering, he published a monthly magazine, “Morokun! From the January 1996 issue to the August 1998 issue of the monthly magazine “Morokun! Since it was a personal memoir, some of the stories may have been fictionalized, but even so, the memoirs contain various stories behind the scenes of his life as a politician over the past quarter century, and at times, there are descriptions that will make you gasp.

For example, the story of money. There are not only general stories about Kakuei Tanaka distributing money to other factions and the LDP distributing money to the opposition parties, but also stories such as “I visited Prime Minister Eisaku Sato during the LDP presidential election and was given a paper bag filled with cash” or ” I became vice president of a religious and political research association by lending my name, and was given 10 million yen by its president, Kazuro Tamaki. When I became the vice president of a religious and political research association, I received 10 million yen from the chairman, Kazuo Tamaki.

In addition, he wrote about his experiences in the LDP: “One time, I chased a member of the LDP who was standing in the washroom, tied him up by the collar and leg in the bathroom, and threatened him for his treachery. I even threatened him by saying that if he did not swear not to betray me, I would gouge out his eyeballs with the nib.

In the area of security, I was interested in the chapter titled ” Nuclear Weapons in Okinawa. It says that Mr. Ishihara visited the Kadena U.S. military base in Okinawa and saw a nuclear warhead. Ishihara says only that the “object” he saw was a “huge metal box with a light blue t inge,” but there is no way the US military would show a Japanese politician a nuclear weapon deployed in Okinawa (even if it possessed one). This is probably a misunderstanding on Ishihara’s part.

Among his many sagas, one of the most amazing is

It is also interesting to read about Ishihara’s various political and business connections from before and after he entered politics. He mentions his relationship with the anti-communist right in the U.S., including the CIA. The names of coy right-wing activists also appear frequently.

There are also a lot of stories in the book, such as the Lockheed case was a conspiracy by the US, the Korean Air plane shot down by the Soviet Union off Sakhalin in 1983 was a spy plane, the Gulf War was a conspiracy by the US, and so on.

Among the episodes recorded in his memoir, “The Phantom of the State,” which tells of his many heroic deeds, the most outrageous story is probably the one about his plan to attack a prison in the Philippines.

It was during the dictatorship of President Marcos in the Philippines. The book states that it was around the time of the LDP presidential election in 1982, but the circumstances suggest that it was probably a few years before that. Benigno Aquino (later assassinated by the Marcos regime), a major dissident politician who is also a close ally of Ishihara The story goes that Ishihara, who received information that Benigno Aquino (later assassinated by the Marcos regime) was going to be murdered while in prison, planned his own rescue operation.

The following is a quote from the story.

<One day, I decided to go to a certain person, whom I had known for a long time because of my acquaintance with his son, to ask for his advice.

The other party was Mr. Yukinosuke Shimizu, one of the ringleaders of the March Incident, which was once called a phantom coup d’etat, and the only one alive at the time, who was said to be the last real right-winger in Japan.


 I went to his office and said

“Sir, could you please shut up and make 20 million yen for me?


So, how do we get him out?

“I’ve got the schematics of the prison where he’s being held. I’ve got a map of the prison where he’s being held, and I’m going to contact the other side, pick a day, and sail over there and take him. The prison is located in a cove somewhere, easy to access from the sea, and the security is thin.

You can’t do this by yourself.

I’ll bring in an expert.

What kind?

Specially trained men from the Self-Defense Forces.

I see. How many men?

Three. Three, plus a specialist in ship operation, and me.

…… It’s like a movie. And it’s not a story of the chaos of the immediate post-war period, but of a time nearly a decade after the end of high economic growth.

The operation itself ended up being an attempt. However, it is unlikely that he would have written a completely false story with the real names of the big right-wingers, so it is probably true that he had thought of such a plan and actually communicated with Mr. Shimizu. Mr. Ishihara was in his late 40s at the time. He was in his late forties at the time, and was already a member of the House of Representatives, having served in the Cabinet as Director General of the Environment Agency. At best, he can be described as a wild man.

Ishihara also has many other sagas, including one in which he built a lighthouse in the Senkaku Islands in cooperation with his right-wing connections.

Furthermore, in 1997, while writing the memoirs, Ishihara took a British-flagged ship to the waters near the Senkaku Islands, and there was an incident in which a large amount of weapons, including automatic weapons, were found on board. The story goes that he accompanied another politician who landed in the Senkakus on a Japanese fishing boat, but the British boat he was on was owned by a producer who was an old acquaintance of Ishihara’s, and the producer had procured the weapons in the Philippines when he brought them around from the Philippines at Ishihara’s request. It was illegal, of course, because it was brought into Japanese territorial waters without customs clearance and anchored at Ishigaki Port.

Ishihara’s side claimed that they did not know about the weapons, but the producer in question testified that Ishihara knew that the weapons were on board.

The truth of the matter is unclear since the allegation has not been proven, but in any case, it is an episode with quite an impact.

Ishihara was a politician of strong habits, and his merits and demerits as a politician vary greatly depending on each person’s position, but it is safe to say that he was one of the most outspoken people in Japanese politics.

I pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased.

  • Interview and writing Fumitaro Kuroi Photo Reuters/Afro

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