Hockstader, Lee

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Below is a statement made by Yukihisa Fujita today about the interview with Lee Hockstader, Editorial Writer for the Washington Post.

The Statement

March 10, 2010

Comment on Circumstances of Washington Post Editorial Dated Mar 8, 2010

Yukihisa Fujita
Member of the House of Councillors
Office Tel: 3508-8205

At 10:30 am on March 3, 2010, Lee Hockstader, Editorial Writer for the Washington Post, visited myself (Yukihisa Fujita, member of the House of Councillors, and Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) International Department Director General) having made an interview request on the subject of “Japan’s stance on and shifting attitudes toward immigration” via the Foreign Press Center, Japan. (original interview request and questions in Japanese available on request)

1. The requested interview time of one hour was spent discussing the current situation relating to Japan’s response to immigration and my opinions on this issue. During the interview Hockstader typed my comments into his laptop computer, as he had requested. However, once the one hour interview had ended and Hockstader had closed his laptop, he mentioned as an aside that he had noticed from my resume that I had raised the issue of the 9/11 terror attacks in a Diet committee, and asked whether I had some doubts about this issue. In response, I explained the circumstances that led me to become involved in the 9/11 issue and pointed out a number of points that still remained unexplained about the events of that day.

2. In other words, after answering questions on the agreed upon theme for around one hour, I naturally responded to this question as being separate from the interview itself.

3. Ms. Fukasawa of the Foreign Press Center, Japan also attended the interview (DPJ International Department Manager Ms. Uchida and Deputy Manager Ms. Burnicle were also in attendance), and she confirmed that during his visit to Japan, Hockstader did not conduct interviews on any other subject than immigration. (following the interview, I received a letter of thanks from Foreign Press Center, Japan President Terusuke Terada). The entire interview was recorded and I intend to disclose the content of the entire interview in due course.

4. As stated in 1. above, this was an informal chat regarding 9/11 following the actual interview itself. At no point did I draw the conclusion that 9/11 was a conspiracy, and I clearly stated that the collapse of the Twin Towers could not be judged to be a result of a controlled demolition. Rather, I stated I had made my speech in the Diet from the stance that it was necessary to investigate the origins of the “War on Terror” from the perspective of assisting the relatives of the victims of 9/11, and in relation to the war in Afghanistan and the provision of humanitarian assistance.

5. Furthermore, I have many American friends from various walks of life, and have worked for many years to serve as a bridge between Japan and the United States, including by providing assistance to former US POWs held captive by Japan.

6. I currently serve as Director of the Research Committee on International Affairs and Global Warming Issues in the House of Councillors, but I was introduced in the article as “the head of the Research Committee on Foreign Affairs”. Moreover, the article describes me as “a Brahmin in the foreign policy establishment” of Japan, while in fact, as Director General of the Democratic Party of Japan’s International Department, I am not involved in policy matters. I find it totally regrettable that this kind of biased article should be published in the Washington Post.