I know what you’re thinking. Who the hell is this guy, and why do asians supposedly like him so much?
Here are the facts: Alberto Fujimori, born on the 28th of July 1938 in Lima, Peru, is the former president of Peru, who served as Peru’s head of government for more than a decade from July 1990 to November 2000. Regulation statistics, until you realize that this guy is Japanese. Yes, you heard me right: a Japanese guy was President of Peru. (Yes, Peru, in South America, Peru.) He was effectively the first person of East Asian descent to be elected as the head of a Latin American (Spanish speaking) nation. I don’t know about you, but it seems the chances of Peru electing a Japanese guy as President would be equal to the odds of an Eskimo becoming the next president of China, or even a black guy becoming president of the USA. Hmmm, wait a second there”¦
Anyway, Alberto Fujimori was born to ethnically Japanese parents who emigrated from Japan to Peru in 1934. As many Asians know firsthand, that is the American dream”¦ I mean the Peruvian dream (well whatever it’s known anywhere else in the world). Regardless of any Asian’s personal opinions on the guy (if they even had any), his position was something all Asians envy. Isn’t it any Asian’s dream to succeed in a non-Asian land? This man did just that, coming from an ethnic minority (Asians only comprise of 5% of Peru) to run the entire country.
Could one see this as an endorsement for Asians to undertake mass-immigration to Peru, though? Quite possibly. Peru has the second highest amount of Japanese people (after Brazil) in Latin America, and the most people of Cantonese descent as well. Don’t pack your bags though, Asians are still massively in the minority in South/Latin America, as they are in most of the world, bar, well, Asia.
Fujimori gained the nickname El Chino or The Chinese Guy during his initial presidential campaign. Now before you chastise Peruvians for being so dense (regarding Asian nationalities), apparently Fujimori took it as an affectionate term, so it’s all good. However, who knows what else they were calling him behind his back.
Fujimori was not just a pretty face while in office as Peru’s head. (Here comes the obligatory, abbreviated history to the man in question). Among many other successes, he implemented what became known as “˜Fujishock’ which sought to tackle to El Nia!±o phenomenon, arrest Peru’s hyperinflation and restore the country’s global economy. He also performed a successful self-coup d’etat in 1992 to combat the threat by guerilla opposition blocking his attempted economic reforms, among many other sweeping transformations to his country.
However, Fujimori’s presidency has not been without controversy. His “˜Fujishock’ era was at massive social cost, crippling many lower-middle class Peruvians. His controversial self-coup may have been somewhat popular domestically, but was globally condemned by various nations. His supporters in Peruvian Congress passed a law allowing him to serve a third term in 2000 ( two is usually the maximum).
However, he was cited for various corruption charges and removed from office forcibly. He fled to Japan, but was eventually extradited from Chile to face charges in Peru and on the 11th December 2007 was sentenced to six years in prison among many other criminal sanctions. Eh, just like the life of any ordinary Asian, one would suppose”¦
Even though 4 out of every 5 Peruvians believe Fujimori to be guilty of the charges laid against him, he still enjoys immense popularity. I mean, if this man can remain popular with a public who believe him to be a criminal, then surely Asians can get behind one of our own, even though we don’t really know who the guy is”¦
Last 5 posts by Shaun
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