Iconoclastic monthly magazine Kami no Bakudan was launched in Kansai by Rokusaisha in April 2005. Its content and format is similar to the now-defunct investigative magazine Uwasa no Shinso (truth behind the rumors), which folded in April 2004.
In its December issue, Kami no Bakudan (its name means "the paper bomb") examines the circumstances behind the appointment of Caroline Kennedy as the new U.S. Ambassador.
It is interesting, writer Masahiko Sato notes, that both Caroline and her late brother John F Kennedy Jr pursued careers as editors. For one thing, it put them in positions where they could oversee how history got reported.
Kennedy's support for Barack Obama during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign put her in the national spotlight, and after Hillary Clinton vacated her seat as junior senator from New York, it was believed Kennedy might campaign for the seat, but she declined to run, "for personal reasons."
Since Kennedy is lacking in political experience, consideration had to be given to the best course before she can enter the path to national politics in a way that will befit the shining Kennedy legacy.
Traditionally, celebrities who go into U.S. politics will seek election as a state governor or to the U.S. Senate. Another way is through appointment to the position of high-ranking government official, such as a diplomat.
A diplomatic appointment, however, would be highly demanding if posted to a third-world country, particularly a country ensnarled in domestic or international conflicts, and would be counterproductive to building up a sterling reputation.
Sato raises the example of April Glaspie, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, whose miscommunication with Iraq's Saddam Hussein is believed a factor in the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
To avoid postings to potential trouble spots, therefore, a posting would necessarily be limited to one of the "advanced nations" in North America, Europe and Japan. Under the current circumstances, Japan is the only place that meets the criteria as a noncontroversial posting that an amateur at diplomacy can handle.
True, Japan faces a number of serious domestic issues, such as one of the world's worst nuclear accidents and annual suicides numbering 30,000. On the international front are territorial disputes over the northern territories (with Russia), Takeshima (with South Korea) and the Senkaku Islands (with China). But none of these are likely to result in social instability or the outbreak of military conflict, so in that context Japan would seem to be the ideal posting for an amateur with no previous experience as an ambassador.
So the significance of Kennedy's posting in Japan is that upon her departure she will receive a "diploma," from a "botchan daigaku" (a slightly derogatory term for a university attended by rich kids), which is not largely different from attending a rich girl's "finishing school."
Up to now, to gain the confidence of the U.S., Japan changed from its prewar stance of "Chukun aikoku" (loyalty to the emperor and patriotism) to "Chuken beikoku" (being the loyal dog of the United States). After the "corrections" imposed by the postwar military occupation Japan was reborn as a "democracy." But Sato believes that under the Abe government Japan is now progressively lurching toward becoming a "dark country" characterized by a postmodern feudalistic economy interwoven with political fascism.
Kennedy also happens to be an attorney who extols freedom and democracy, such as in her 2003 anthology "A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories, and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love," and can be expected to take on a role analogous to the "Momotaro" character of fairy tale fame, contending against the "ogres" who would chip away at the citizens' rights.
As ambassador to Japan, Kennedy can also be expected to be instrumental in smoothing Japan's relations with neighboring countries such as China and North Korea. So if things work out, suggests Sato, her role may develop into helping Japan change from a "dysfunctionally communicating nation" to a "nation that accepts its responsibilities to provide explanations."© Japan Today