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NHK board member lauds ritual suicide of high-profile right-winger

Published on Feb 5, 2014 2:59 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - A woman picked last year by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for NHK's management board has praised the ritual suicide of a high-profile right-winger, saying his self-sacrifice made Japan's emperor a living God.

In an essay distributed in October, a month before her appointment at NHK, Dr Michiko Hasegawa praised Mr Shusuke Nomura, an extreme nationalist who committed ritual suicide in the offices of the liberal Asahi newspaper in 1993 in protest at its mockery of his right-wing group.

Since at least feudal times, suicide has been seen as a way of preserving honour in Japan. Famously, right-wing author Yukio Mishima disembowelled himself after a failed coup attempt.

"It is only to God human beings can offer their own lives," she wrote in the document, which has been posted online and was reported in Wednesday's edition of the Mainichi Shimbun.

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