TOKYO (Reuters) - The confessed killer of 76 people in Friday’s bomb and gun attacks in Norway described Japan as a model country in a document he distributed on the Internet, praising it for shying away from multiculturalism, Kyodo news agency reported.
In a rambling 1,500-page manifesto posted online shortly before the massacre, Anders Behring Breivik said he was on a self-appointed mission to save Europe from what he saw as the threats of Islam, immigration and multi-culturalism.
Kyodo said in the document, Breivik also commended Japan for not allowing many Muslims to immigrate, although the country has no ban on specific ethnic or religious groups.
Immigration is a sensitive topic in Japan, where many people worry that letting in more foreigners would mean more crime and less social cohesion while experts say that the country’s shrinking, ageing population make opening up vital.
Legislators in major political parties have called measures to open the door wider, but have taken little action for fear of alienating voters.
Foreign residents account for only about 1.7 percent of Japan’s population, with Chinese the largest group followed by ethnic Koreans, many of whom are descendants of people forced to come to Japan before its colonial rule over the Korean peninsula ended in 1945.
Breivik also wrote that he would like to meet former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, a right-leaning conservative who has been quoted by Kyodo and other media as praising Japan for having “one nation, one civilisation, one language, one culture and one race” when he was a cabinet minister in 2005.
The 32-year-old Breivik also praised South Korea for its similar low percentage of foreign residents, Kyodo said.
Breivik has admitted planting a bomb on Friday outside Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s Oslo office that killed eight people, and then driving to the island of Utoeya and shooting dead 68 people at a youth camp of Norway’s ruling Labour Party.
Reporting by Linda Sieg, Yuko Take; Editing by Robert Birsel