During deliberations on nuclear energy issues at the legislature yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) risked a diplomatic flap when he said Japan had mishandled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster because the Japanese are “stupid.”
Speaking at a legislative committee session, Lin said: “Taiwanese have an appalling affection, they worship everything about Japan.”
“They believe if Japanese cannot do it, then Taiwanese also cannot do it. Their emotions remain in the colonial era,” he added.
“I see that Japanese people are very stupid,” he said.
“It is because they are so stubborn and rigid in their thinking that the Fukushima plant became such a big disaster,” he added.
“The Fukushima disaster could have been prevented in other countries around the world. All you needed to do was pour water on it and that would have solved the problem,” Lin said.
His remarks came during a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, which had officials tabling reports made by other countries and international organizations, discussing Taiwan’s operation of nuclear plants and disaster response measures in the event of an accident.
Following the controversial comments, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) denounced Lin.
“Japan is one of Taiwan’s allies, yet a ruling party legislator uses such deliberate insults to disparage the people of another nation. I feel bad about this,” Chiu said.
“Lin Yu-fang is a veteran lawmaker with long experience in foreign affairs. How can he malign the people of a neighboring country?” Chiu added.
Chiu asked Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂): “If the same thing were to happen in Japan, like a Japanese Diet member saying Taiwanese are very stupid and are despicable people, how would you react to it? Would it not affect the Taiwan-Japan relationship?”
Lin said that Taiwan and Japan have a close relationship, and that the government would continue to enhance bilateral cooperation in many fields.