Yukihisa Fujita (藤田 幸久 Fujita Yukihisa?, born April 19, 1950) is a Japanese politician of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), a member of the House of Councillors, the upper house of Japan's parliament, from the Ibaraki constituency. He is now the DPJ Next Vice Minister of Defense, the DPJ Next Vice Minister for the Abduction Issue, and the Director of Special Committee on North Korea Abduction Issue and Related Matter. He also is a member of Committee on Foreign Affairs and defense. He is a Former Senior Vice Minister of Finance. In the House of Councillors he is a former Chair of the Committee on Financial Affairs. He also is a former Director-General of the DPJ's International Department and a former Chair of the House of Councillors’ Special Committee on North Korean Abductions and Other Issues. Fujita is a native of Hitachi, Ibaraki and graduate of Keio University, Faculty of Letters.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Political positions and policies
- 3 Issues and questions raised in the Japanese Parliament
- 4 References
- 5 Books
- 6 Other publications
- 7 Articles
- 8 External links
Early life and career
Fujita was born April 19, 1950 in Hitachi, Ibaraki. He graduated from Ibaraki University Junior High School in 1966, and Mito Dai-ichi High School in 1969. He attended the Department of Philosophy, the Faculty of Letters of Keio University and graduated with a B.A. in 1975.
From 1975 to 1977, Fujita participated in the Moral Re-Armament (MRA, now Initiatives of Change) Goodwill Ambassador “Song of Asia” program, and visited 14 countries with 50 youths from 15 countries in Asia and Oceania staying at about 100 homes in those countries he visited. He has visited 48 countries and has participated in volunteer work in many of those countries. He has had homestays at over 200 homes. He is a founding member of Association for Aid and Relief, an NGO founded in 1979, and later became a member of the Board of Directors. In 1984, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the NGO International MRA Association of Japan (Now International IC Association of Japan).
In 1996, Fujita, as a member of the original DPJ, was first elected to the House of Representatives, the lower house of Japan’s parliament. He represented the Tokyo proportional representation constituency and was elected with the support of Yukio Hatoyama who later became Prime Minister of Japan. Fujita became known as the country’s first national politician with an international NGO background. After losing the 2000 re-election against Eita Yashiro, Fujita served as a policy advisor for Hatoyama, and was elected to the House of Representatives for the second time in 2003. Fujita lost in the 2005 election against Akihiro Ohta. In 2007, when the incumbent Moto Kobayashi retired, Fujita ran for election in the House of Councillors. He won Kobayashi’s seat, representing Ibaraki, a constituency which tends to be a stronghold of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Fujita received 540,174 votes, which is a record for a DPJ member in Ibaraki.
In September, 2007, one of Fujita’s aides was arrested for violation of the stimulants control law. Fujita apologized at a press conference and resigned as Deputy Director General of the DPJ’s International Department, Next Vice Minister of Defense, and Vice President of Ibaraki Prefectural Chapter of the DPJ. He was reinstated to those positions in March 2008. In 2009, he became the Director-General of the International Department, the Director of the Committee on Financial Affairs, and the Member of the Committee on Audit. In 2010 he was sent as a leader of inquiry commission by the Democratic Party to facilitate aid efforts following the earthquake in Haiti. In the same year, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Committee on Financial Affairs in the House of Councillors. In 2011, he was appointed as the Senior Vice Minister of Finance. In 2012, he became a Director, Committee on Fundamental National Policies and Member, Judge Impeachment Court. In 2013, he became the Chairman of the Committee on Financial Affairs, and latter served as Chairman, Committee on Fundamental National Policies. His current positions are DPJ Next Vice Minister of Defense, DPJ Next Vice Minister for the Abduction Issue, Director, Special Committee on North Korea Abduction Issue and Related Matter, and Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Political positions and policies
Diet Members’ League Activities
President, Diet Members’ League to promote voting by overseas Japanese
President, Diet Members’ League for international peace building
President, Diet Members’ League to promote International Initiatives of Change(IC)
Vice President, Diet Members’ League to support ex-Japanese POWs in Siberia
Member, Diet Members’ League to vitalize shopping streets
Member, Diet Members’ League to promote policies to get out of deflation
- Fujita’s political slogan is: “Let’s change from politics of crying faces to politics of smiling faces.”
- In his first term as a member of the House of Representatives, Fujita, as the Secretary General of the Diet Members’ League for a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Landmines, helped Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi to sign the Ottawa Treaty.
Humanitarian assistance in emergency and disaster situations
- In April 2004, the DPJ sent Fujita to Jordan as the Director-General of the DPJ's International Department to rescue the Japanese NGO workers and journalists who were kidnapped in neighboring Iraq.
- The DPJ sent Fujita to provide operational assistance to Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami in 2005.
- The DPJ sent Fujita to participate in the field assessment mission to Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake.
- In January, 2010, the DPJ sent Fujita to Haiti on an aid needs assessment mission after the earthquake.
- In January, 2008, Fujita joined the Diet Members’ League to Promote Raising the Legal Status of Korean and Other Settled Foreign Residents, which aims to enfranchise Korean and other permanent foreign residents.
Issues and questions raised in the Japanese Parliament
A strong theme of trying to uncover the truth has characterized Fujita’s comments and questions in Japanese parliament. Principally, he has secured the first-ever admission from Aso Mining regarding their use of war prisoners; he has focused government attention on establishing clear guidelines on Japan’s use of its Self-Defense Force to combat piracy; and has questioned how the Japanese government was helping the families of the Japanese victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In November, 2008, Fujita questioned Prime Minister Taro Aso at the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense on whether Aso Mining had abused Allied prisoners of war (POWs) during the Second World War. Prime Minister Aso responded: "I was four, maybe five years old at the time. I was too young to recognize anything at that age." On December 18 The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare released the documents that confirmed that Aso Mining had used about 300 British, Australian and Dutch prisoners of war to dig coal in its mine, in response to a request by Fujita. In January 2009, Prime Minister Aso acknowledged in the Diet for the first time that Aso Mining used 300 Allied POWs during World War Two. It is very significant that Prime Minister Aso acknowledged the fact that he had refused to acknowledge for 64 years. In February, 2009, Fujita organized "The Debrief Meeting on Aso Mining’s Use of Prisoners of War (POW) Labor" at the Diet Members’ Building. At the meeting, Fujita noted Prime Minister Aso’s comment before the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense but added that “the survivors and [POW's] families want an apology and compensation from Prime Minister Aso.”
Use of the Japanese Self-Defense Force to combat piracy
At the DPJ’s committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense in February, 2009, on the topic of sending the Self-Defense Force to the coast of Somalia as an anti-piracy measure, Fujita focused government attention on establishing clear guidelines on Japan’s use of Self-Defense Force to combat piracy. Fujita called for the government to formulate a definition of “pirate” and to obtain detailed information about piracy elsewhere in the world. On this same issue, the Sankei Shimbun reported that the LDP was concerned about the DPJ’s security measures since even after several years the DPJ continues to discuss what a "pirate" is.
Views on the September 11 attacks and support for the Japanese victims
In January 2008, Fujita questioned how the Japanese government was helping the families of the Japanese victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and how the Japanese government understood this event. He demanded an independent investigation into the possibility that the events did not unfold exactly as described by the investigations conducted by the 9/11 Commission.
Fujita’s “pursuit of the truth” led to domestic and foreign criticism. Shukan Bunshun published an article entitled “’Is he OK?’ DPJ Yukihisa Fujita talking big about ‘9/11’ conspiracy theory.” A March 2010 Washington Post editorial criticized Fujita for what it called a "bizarre, half-baked and intellectually bogus" conspiracy theory about the September 11 attacks. It stated that his views reflected a "strain of anti-Americanism that runs through the DPJ and the government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama" and said that the U.S.-Japan relationship would be "severely tested" if Hatoyama tolerated such anti-Americanism.
On October 22, 2008, Fujita noted to Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura in the upper House main Diet session that even in the United States government there was contention about whether all the details of the 9/11 attack had been accurately revealed. Fujita noted that US Congressman Dennis Kucinich was sufficiently concerned about the lack of information to bring forward an impeachment motion against George W. Bush, the US President at the time. Fujita further observed that Congressman Kucinich’s motion was passed by the United States Congress to be submitted to the House Judicial Committee with the support by 251 members including Congressman Ron Paul and 23 Republican members.
In response to the Washington Post editorial, Fujita stated the editorial contained factual errors, including his title and area of responsibility and that he "never drew the conclusion that 9/11 was a conspiracy" and did not call the events "a hoax." Hatoyama stated that Fujita's views were not those of the DPJ or the Japanese government. In a featured Letter to the Editor published by the Washington Post, Fujita wrote, “I strongly protest your statement that my views exhibit a 'profound distrust' of the United States and 'reflect a strain of anti-American thought' in my party and the Japanese government. I have many American friends and have spent many decades endeavoring to serve as a bridge between the two countries. I believe I am owed an apology for this attempt to damage my credibility by painting me with 'poisonous thinking', 'conspiratorial views', 'intellectually bogus', lunatic fringe' and 'reckless and fact-averse', despite the fact that I had never stated 'conspiracy'." Fujita’s letter was published in the Washington Post with a comment by an American ex-POW, a survivor of the Bataan death march, who praised Fujita’s efforts in relation to the issue of Japan and treatment of American POWs during the Second World War.
- . ^ "Yukihisa Fujita". Democratic Party of Japan. http://www.dpj.or.jp/english/member/?detail_302=1. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- . ^ a b "Denies calling 9/11 a hoax". Agence France Press. March 9, 2010. http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_499856.html. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- . ^ "Washington Post criticizes DPJ lawmaker for views on 9/11 attacks". Kyodo News. March 10, 2010. http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/washington-post-criticizes-dpj-lawmaker-for-views-on-911-attacks.[permanent dead link] Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- . ^ "DPJ bigwig slammed in Washington Post editorial after saying 9/11 was hoax". The Mainichi Daily News. March 11, 2010. http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100310p2a00m0na007000c.html.[permanent dead link] Retrieved 11 March 2010.[dead link]
- . ^ "A leading Japanese politician espouses a 9/11 fantasy". Washington Post. March 8, 2010. http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/07/AR2010030702354.html.[permanent dead link] Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- . ^ Torchia, Christopher (October 2, 2010). Associated Press. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101002/ap_on_re_eu/eu_attacks_the_theories.[permanent dead link] Retrieved 3 October 2010.
- . ^ Fujita, Yukihisa (March 14, 2010). "An interview that ran off the track". Japan Times. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/rc20100314a2.html.[permanent dead link] Retrieved 14 March 2010. 2. ^ Fujita, Yukihisa (March 13, 2010). "An 'inflammatory' and partial view of a Japanese statesman (Letter to the Editor)". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/12/AR2010031204085.html. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
Yukihisa Fujita (藤田幸久?), David Ray Griffin, Yumi Kikuchi (きくちゆみ?), Akira Dōjimaru (童子丸開?), Chihaya (千早?); Politics (March 23, 2009). Seeking 9/11 Truth at Japan's Parliament—Can Obama Really Change the United States? 9.11テロ疑惑国会追及―オバマ米国は変われるか (in Japanese). Tokyo: Clubhouse (クラブハウス?). ISBN 978-4-906496-43-3. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
1. United Nations and Global Civil Society — A New Horizon (Co-Authored, 2006)
2. A Politician Who Did Not Want to Become Politician – Roles of NGO in Politics (2003 )
3. World Peace from the Perspective of Religion (1991)
4. Japan’s Decisive Decade (Translation, 1990)
5. Flame in the darkness on USSR Dissents (Translation, 1981)
1. Aso Mining’s Indelible Past : Prime Minister Aso should seek reconciliation with former POWs (Japan Focus, Msy2009)
2. Russia Moving Towards Autocracy and Hegemonism (Oct 2006)
3. Prime Minister Kishi’s Diplomacy of Reconciliation （Japan echo, Aug 2006）
4. Lessons to be Learned in the Emergency Relief Operations (Oct 2006)
5. Indian Ocean Tsunami and Pakistan Earthquake （Aug 2006）
6. The Role of NGO Diplomacy in the Conflict Resolution （June 2002）
7. Replacing the Cycle of Retaliation by Reconciliation (Sep 2001)
8. Political Solutions for the Pacific War Compensation Lawsuit by the US Prisoners of War (Sep 2001)
- Official website (in Japanese)
- "政治家情報 〜藤田 幸久〜". ザ･選挙 (in Japanese). JANJAN. Retrieved 17 November 2007.