Here’s this week’s Media Mix about the hold that nationally famous plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu has over the media. The doctor’s comments about Nazis were what brought me to discuss his career, which I’ve followed since the 90s, at least, and though I am not qualified to say for sure, my feeling is that his own attitude toward Nazism is mainly colored by his respect for a certain mentor who admires the medical technology the Germans developed before and during the war. That attitude was then fortified through defensiveness when he received condemnation, a situation that he should have expected. Though his reasoning is flawed and his moral principles compromised, I will accept his explanation to Tokyo Shimbun that he does not support Nazi ideology, and one reason why I say this is because he seems to admire Jewish people, though that admiration has more to do with self-promotion than anything else.
During research for this column my partner stumbled on an article from Weekly Playboy in 2006 that stated Takasu almost single-handedly promoted the practice of circumcision in Japan. In the article, Takasu said that when he studied medicine in Europe he had lots of Jewish friends who were circumcised, and he became fascinated with the procedure, mainly because phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) seems to be a common problem in Japan. Takasu decided this could be financially lucrative, and so he offered circumcision at his clinic for a fee of ¥150,000, advertising that women were turned off by foreskin and that foreskin also caused premature ejaculation. However, he hinted in the article that he essentially made these two claims up, since circumcision in Japan was virtually unknown when he started offering it, and so he had to advertise something. So while I’m fairly sure Takasu has no special enmity toward Jewish people, most of his decisions really come down to how well they will benefit his business.