Japan publisher reprints Charlie Hebdo cartoon

2015-02-10 15:22
The Japanese edition of the Charlie Hebdo cartoon. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

The Japanese edition of the Charlie Hebdo cartoon. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - A small Japanese publisher on Tuesday issued 3 000 copies of a book of cartoons by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, including controversial drawings of Mohammed.

"Are You Charlie? Isuramu heito ka fushi ka [Is it satire or hate against Islam]" is an attempt to spark debate in Japan on the nature of free speech, said Akira Kitagawa, the head of Tokyo-based Dai-san Shokan.

About 40 cartoons are reproduced with Japanese language translations, including those mocking the Pope, French President Francois Hollande and Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

However, drawings featuring the Prophet Mohammed show his face pixellated. No other characters are depicted in this way.

"There were suggestions that blurring the images would make a bit of a difference for Muslims," Kitagawa told AFP.

"There are other opinions that it does not make much difference, though," he added.

Japan's small Muslim population has protested the publication, saying printing the cartoons is an "insult".

But Kitagawa says his project comes down firmly on the side of saying that the cartoons are unnecessarily provocative.

"This is a book, clearly, saying Charlie Hebdo is not good," he told AFP. "It does not make sense that Muslims get angry over this."

There was a small police presence outside the Tokyo office of the publisher.

Japan does not have much of a tradition of satirical cartoons, something some commentators have put down to the value placed on harmony and a societal emphasis on not upsetting people.

Japanese people were aghast at the attacks on Charlie Hebdo's office and a Jewish deli which killed 17 people, with many expressing bewilderment at how believers could turn to violence in the name of religion.

Most people in Japan practise a pick-and-mix of imported Buddhism and native Shintoism, depending on the occasion, although few would describe themselves as devout.

Dai-san Shokan has a history of courting controversy, having previously reprinted leaked data on an anti-terrorism probe by police, with much of the information concentrating on Muslims in Japan.

The publishing house also issued the Japanese translation of a biography of Crown Princess Masako in 2007.

"Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne," originally written by Australian journalist Ben Hills, drew protests from the Japanese government.

Read more on:    japan  |  religion  |  charlie hebdo

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
32 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.