The terrifying Japanese neo-nationalists: Netouyo
The Japanese term “Netouyo” (ネトウヨ in Japanese) refers to right-wing Japanese neo-nationalists, who “ interact almost entirely within their own cyber community,” (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Oct. 2019). The majority of Netouyos are found on social media platforms such as Twitter, and it is almost astonishing to find the close-minded, nonuniversal comments made by Netouyos. These comments, most commonly about South Korea sabotage social media platforms with negativity when such platforms were originally made with the intention to bring the world together to create a globalized community filled with diversity and acceptance.
The feud between South Korea and Japan accelerated around a century ago, as an aftermath of the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula— this tension is still evident. Using this feud as their main motivation, Netouyos have been using social media platforms to express their beliefs over the course of the last few decades. Luckily, they had seemed to have quieted down after the announcement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which encouraged global-mindedness among the Japanese population. However, with the hanryu-trend (the trend of South Korean pop culture) hitting its peak at the end of last year and continuing into this year in Japan which led to South Korean products and cultures advancing into Japanese markets, the Netouyo community’s unacceptance towards its neighboring nation, South Korea, was sparked up once again.
An excerpt from a tweet posted by a well-known Japanese neo-nationalist, Takasu Katsuya under a web article entitled, ‘Global Sensation; K-Pop takes over Japan’ reads: “日本はそろそろ韓国を切り捨てる決断を (Waiting for Japan’s decision to cut Korea off)”. Though some might argue that this is just a ‘hate comment’, the impact this single sentence hold is terrifyingly strong, as it is more than just hate. The fact that a comment so brutal of his was posted on a platform filled with interactions between people from all different parts of the world is almost eye-opening and with a neo-nationalist making these comments, they come from a place of deeply rooted hatred. It makes us realize that even in 2019 when the world seems to be working towards a society filled with acceptance and open-mindedness, there still is a small but definite portion of people who remain oblivious to these changes that the world has gone through in the last few decades. And it occurs to me that though toxic groups like Netouyos surprisingly play a significant role in our society as their words and actions function as a way to allow us to see through the filter of advertized ‘globalization’ and ‘diversity in the world. We come to realize that the world we live in is still far from becoming a place that it promotes to already be, a welcoming world of unity. This can work as a way to encourage us further to make those statements really come true.