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Donald Seekins comments

Posted in: Biden blames China, Japan and India's economic woes on 'xenophobia' See in context

As any non-Japanese resident in Japan knows, this country has a problem with xenophobia. About China, India and Russia, I don't know. Biden routinely makes dumb comments about China because he's stoking up a second Cold War with the Middle Kingdom, and we know that he and his cronies dislike Russia (and would dislike Russia even if Moscow didn't invade Ukraine). If you asked Biden why he thinks China and Russia are so bad, he couldn't give you a coherent answer.

But why does he have to publicly criticize India and Japan for xenophobia when they, especially Japan, are much-needed allies of the US? As the leader of a sovereign state, he has NO business criticizing the internal affairs of other sovereign states. If Japan is afflicted with xenophobia, this is a matter Japan's leaders and public should address, not the old guy in the White House.

The answer: he's too old. His mind is fuzzy and he should NOT be running for a second term as President in November of this year.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Posted in: Japan's ruling party loses all 3 seats in by-elections See in context

The Buddha says: "nothing is permanent. Everything changes."

Then, he added: "there is one exception - the Liberal Democratic Party's control of Japanese politics."

So, don't look for basic change despite all the noise about "political ethics." The apathetic voters will just forget about the scandals and vote the LDP back into power in the next general election.

Kishida will be out: will he be replaced by Sanae Takaichi, who could become Japan's first female prime minister? (Ugh!).

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Kishida questioned over scantily clad dancers at LDP party See in context

Ah, Japan. The Land of Culture and Refinement!

But stuffing yen banknotes (¥10,000?) into the "scantily clad females'" mouths sounds like something that - oh, my! - would happen in one of those "underdeveloped" countries.

The least the aspiring young political geniuses of the LDP could do is stuff those banknotes down their brassieres.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: Hiroshima grapples with 'Oppenheimer' Oscars success See in context

"There is no evidence that Japanese would ever have used an atomic bomb on her fellow Asians in WW2. The Nazis and Russians if they'd had the chance, definitely. 

Modern Japan leads the way in pushing strongly to get these evil weapons banned from the world. All of humanity hopes they succeed."

Hogwash! Look at my latest post, above. If the IJA had nuclear bombs, they would have been happy to drop them on China, Russia or even the US. There might have been a nuclear version of Pearl Harbor, with the population of Oahu wiped out.

Fight-o! Your comment sounds like a puff-piece from the Japanese government!

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

Posted in: Hiroshima grapples with 'Oppenheimer' Oscars success See in context

For those people - almost entirely Japanese - who think that World War II began on August 6, 1945 and ended on August 15, 1945, I suggest they read Japan's Secret War by Robert K. Wilcox (Permuted Press, 3rd ed. 2019). It is a densely researched and highly detailed examination of the extreme lengths the Japanese Imperial Army, the Japanese Imperial Navy and physics researchers went to develop a nuclear bomb. Given the lack of resources and the fact that Japan was losing the war, their persistence was perversely admirable. It seems they got closer than the Germans to actually making a bomb.

If they had an atomic bomb in their arsenal, would the Japanese military have used it? Undoubtedly yes. They had already through Unit 731 developed a deadly arsenal of biological weapons which were tested on populations in northern China.

My conclusion: people in Hiroshima and elsewhere who believe they alone were war victims should look at the historical context. And it should be taught in Japanese schools.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Posted in: Hiroshima grapples with 'Oppenheimer' Oscars success See in context

"Is this really a movie that people in Hiroshima can bear to watch?" said Kyoko Heya, president of the Japanese city's international film festival, on Monday after the blockbuster won seven Academy Awards including best picture.'

Well, then people in Hiroshima don't have to watch it. Nobody is forcing them to. Lots of non-Hiroshima people must be looking forward to seeing "Oppenheimer."

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Posted in: Hiroshima grapples with 'Oppenheimer' Oscars success See in context

"The US government thought Japanese were subhuman and were worthy of eradicating, that the thought of most White people in America government."

This was true. Wartime US propaganda depicted Japanese people as monkeys, insects or rats. But it wasn't only racism against Japanese. Tens of millions of Asians died at Japanese hands during the war. While the Holocaust stirred horror and indignation in western countries - and still does - the horrible deaths of Chinese, Koreans, Southeast Asians and others were, to leaders in Washington, just more evidence that "life is cheap in Asia." They didn't care about the Asian victims, and Hirohito was allowed to sit on the throne in post-war Japan.

Even today, we talk endlessly about the Holocaust perpetrated by Hitler. But there was another Holocaust in East and Southeast Asia for which the Japanese were responsible. This second Holocaust is largely forgotten.

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Posted in: Ceremony held to mark 79th anniversary of U.S. firebombings of Tokyo See in context

Saturation bombing - especially in places where ordinary people live - is a war crime. It's clear and simple, no matter which country is doing it.

It was the Axis powers which began saturation bombing before and during World War II. First, the fascists bombed the Spanish town of Guernica during that country's civil war. When the Second Sino-Japanese War began in 1937, Chongqing and other Chinese cities had the distinction of being the "most bombed places on earth" by Japanese air raids. Most of the victims were civilians. The Luftwaffe mercilessly bombed London and other cities in Britain and other parts of Europe.

Then, the Allied powers stepped in. RAF "Bomber" Harris' raids on German cities, and Curtis LeMays intensive bombing of both German and Japanese cities before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More people died in total from conventional bombing than from the nuclear blasts - horrible as they were.

But remember. It was the Japanese who invaded and massacred their way through China and then Southeast Asia. And there is very credible evidence that the Japanese Army and Navy were working on developing a-bombs. Would the militarists have refrained from using them - or biological weapons - out of feelings of humanity? I doubt it.

If the Japanese hadn't invaded China, there would never have been an American March 10 bombing of Tokyo.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Kimit is the cat-shaped ragdoll of the future See in context

Priced at ¥33,000, you can buy it directly from the official Kimit website. 

For that amount of ¥¥¥¥, you could buy a pretty nice real cat. Sure, it would need a litter box and might scratch your furniture, but it would be a living thing, not a robot.

In both human and animal companions, Japanese seem to prefer robots.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant leaked radioactive water, TEPCO says See in context

Really competent, those TEPCO guys!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: 'Star Wars' actor sues Disney with funding from Elon Musk's X See in context

"Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews because the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews," the post said.

"How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?" it concluded, with a graphic photo of a Jewish woman being beaten in Nazi Germany.

In what way is Gina Carano's comment, above, antisemitic? She's not denying that Nazi soldiers rounded up Jews, or that Hitler's regime made people hate Jews. Maybe her statement that the discomfort of US conservatives in liberal media is much the same as Nazi persecution of Jews is an exaggeration, but that doesn't mean she's antisemitic.

People ought to learn to use words more precisely, and responsibly. One of the words we ought to use more responsibly is "antisemitic."

I for one hope Gina gets all the money she's suing Disney for.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan has a big plastic waste problem See in context

Recycling garbage (gomi) is something like a religion in Japan: people (mostly housewives) have to separate it into separate categories, wash plastic and other garbage, and tie up paper garbage (subdivided into various categories) into neat, tidy packages.

But this article tells us that 58% of plastic garbage is burned, and 14% is exported to foreign countries. I happen to know that Burma (Myanmar) is one of the largest recipients of such "gifts" from Japan, and much of it is just dumped in places where poor people live, like the slums of Yangon. So, it's recycled neither in Japan nor Burma.

So, all this recycling doesn't seem to be accomplishing anything. But I would disagree: the central and local governments use it as a form of social discipline. Woe to the unfortunate housewife who mis-categorizes gomi. She is likely to get a tongue-lashing or worse from this country's armies of nosey parkers, including the petty apparatchiks who serve as apartment/condo managers.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Disney's 100th-anniversary work 'Wish' challenges status quo See in context

Oh, my! Another magic kingdom. How about if Disney made a movie about a brave, 17 year-old girl who resists the rigid conventions of her (Japanese) high school? Complete with a stuffy, bureaucratic principal and lots of nasty bullies?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't rejects Nagasaki casino resort plan due to funding doubts See in context

The last thing Japan needs is integrated resorts, or casinos. Sure, they'll make money, but the costs will be high: gambling addiction, prostitution and drugs. Prefectures may get extra cash, but at the price of much misery in the form of vice and bankruptcies of ordinary people.

Better for Nagasaki to remain a little bit poorer and retain its character rather than become an East Asian Las Vegas.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan to nominate shodo calligraphy for UNESCO heritage list in 2026 See in context

My understanding is that shodo originated and was developed to a high degree in that large country which lies across the sea, which we often describe as the Middle Kingdom. Whatever is Japanese about Japanese shodo really doesn't deserve UNESCO's attention.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Posted in: Suspect set to be indicted for killing American man, family on Christmas Day 2022 See in context

Maybe Saito will write a book explaining how his tortured psyche "drove him" to kill 3 innocent people. And Japanese readers will feel lots of sympathy for him. Weird set of ethics in this country.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

Posted in: Japanese foreign minister to assure Palestinian counterpart on aid See in context

Well, at least Foreign Minister Kawakami is trying to do something constructive. That's more than can be said about President Biden and his secretary of state, Anthony Blinken.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: SoftBank CEO Son says AI will surpass human intelligence in a decade See in context

Progress. prOGREss. Doom for humanity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan tells citizens in China to lie low after Fukushima water release See in context

Japanese people should stop taking everything so personally. China is an independent country. It has the right to ban any food import that potentially could harm the health of its people.

There is nothing in the UN Charter that says that Japanese fishermen have the inalienable right to sell seafood to people in neighboring countries regardless of the health risks. A couple of days ago, I saw on television Japanese customs officials confiscating food items from Chinese and Vietnamese tourists. Japan practices "food protectionism" the same as China.

The ultimate cause of all this badness since 2011 is not China, but the criminal ineptness of TEPCO and Japanese officials.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Posted in: Ex-Japan PM Aso to visit Taiwan next week as ruling LDP vice head See in context

I happen to be an admirer of Taiwan and its democratic society. It is my "favorite" country in East Asia. But can we risk nuclear confrontation with China over the island territory? If Japan and the US keep giving moral and material support to President Tsai's government, aren't we risking just that?

Are Japanese and American young people willing to fight and die for Taiwan?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: U.N. group says people abused by late Japanese boy band producer deserve apologies and compensation See in context

"The numbers of victims may total several hundred."

I can't help thinking: in Japanese culture, is sexual abuse of subordinates a bug or a feature?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan eyes new system to fine cyclists for traffic violations See in context

"Leave the cyclists alone. Japan is one of the most cycle friendly country in the world. Discouraging cycling by fining people for an Idaho stop is wrongheaded."

I wonder what "proxy," the author of this comment, would feel if a careless bicyclist smashed into him/her while he/she was strolling down the sidewalk?

Given that many of the bikes are heavy (especially the infamous mama-chars) and usually going at top speed, this might be the last comment proxy composes to Japan Today.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Posted in: Lawmaker on crusade against South Korea's 'no-kid zones' See in context

Actually, I think that South Korea's "no kid zones" are a good idea. Japan doesn't have this, so wherever one goes in this country, one hears the screaming of infants or, much worse, toddlers having temper tantrums. It's most annoying. The problem is that a lot of Japanese parents don't know how to discipline their small children, and just spoil them by trying to placate them.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: China dismisses criticism of Wang's comments appearing to push for race-based alliance See in context

If Wang Yi had said that China, Japan and Korea share the same Confucian values, his comment would have been OK. Because these countries share essentially the same civilization (with important regional differences), East Asian cultural identity could be used to promote better relations, a sense of deep relatedness among Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. Wang's use of racial imagery was crude.

Actually, I have always been dismayed by Japanese efforts to put cultural and civilizational distance between Japan and its neighbors on the Asian mainland. Japanese ethno-centrism usually takes one of two forms: (1) Nihonjinron, theories of Japanese uniqueness, which claims that Japanese "civilization" is essentially different from any other on earth (and superior); and (2) the view, first advocated by Fukuzawa Yukichi in the 19th century, that Japan should turn its back on its Asian neighbors and become a "European" country.

Hopefully, Nihonjinron is largely a thing of the past (though it was echoed in Abe's bullsh*t about "beautiful Japan"), but PM Kishida's undying enthusiasm for emphasing that his country is part of the G-7, the elite club of "developed" nations, and his enthusiastic backing of Ukraine after Feb. 2022 shows that the fever dream of Fukuzawa, who advocated Japanese colonization of Asia, is far from dead.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Posted in: Kishida says he will attend NATO leaders' summit; stresses need for dialogue with China See in context

Since when is Japan in the North Atlantic? This is ridiculous!

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan falls to record-low 125th in global gender gap ranking See in context

A few days ago, a frequent contributor to Japan Today comments said in connection with the Emperor's visit to Indonesia that the Southeast Asian country has great respect for Japan and may be as "advanced" as Japan in 50 to 100 years!

So, on the Gender Gaps Report for 2023, Japan has fallen to 125th place. Indonesia is 87th place. Other interesting rankings: Namibia is at 8th place, Zimbabwe at 45th place, Laos is at 54th place, Mongolia, 80th place and Myanmar at two notches above Japan, 123rd place. Perhaps if Myanmar was not (mis-)ruled by a military junta, its ranking would be much higher since the status of women in Myanmar has traditionally been comparatively high.

Japan = high tech (though falling behind) + Neo-Confucian ethics.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Posted in: Japan falls to record-low 125th in global gender gap ranking See in context

Question: What happened to "womanomics"? Shouldn't Japan be improving on the gender equality scale?

Answer: It was just B.S.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Posted in: Emperor, empress offer flowers at Indonesian military cemetery See in context

Fighto! says:

"What these Japanese did in leading Indonesia to independence is rightly celebrated today by Indonesians and Japanese. It is one of the reasons Indonesians idolize Japan - and aspire to be as advanced and developed as Japan in hopefully 50-100 years."

Oh, yeah. If the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy hadn't invaded Southeast Asia in 1941 and killed millions of people, jolly Dutchmen would still be drinking gin and enjoying rijstaffel in Batavia today.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Posted in: Emperor, empress offer flowers at Indonesian military cemetery See in context

Unsurprisingly, this article and the coverage given to the Emperor's visit to Indonesia by NHK glides over the inconvenient fact that during the Japanese occupation in 1942-1945, an estimated 4 to 10 million Indonesians died because they were treated harshly as forced laborers (romusha, who are well-remembered in Indonesian history) and because of drastic shortages of food, caused largely by the presence of Japanese troops.

Some of the romusha were even shipped off to Burma to build the infamous Thai-Burma railway. They worked and died shoulder-to-shoulder with Allied POWs. Despite Tokyo's proclamation of "Asian solidarity," Indonesian laborers were treated worse than animals.

The Emperor and Empress could have shown real respect for the Indonesians if they had apologized for causing them so much misery during the Pacific War. But instead, they indulged in a warm and fuzzy moment.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Posted in: Ex-Japanese soldier held in Soviet labor camp gives talks to children See in context

On Taiwan is Not China's response to my comment - "Then you have a serious problem dismissing war crimes and thinking a Latin phrase will make it acceptable."

Vae victis (woe to the conquered) was 100% the operating principle of the Japanese armed forces between 1931 and 1945. Their victims included not only Allied POWs and internees but millions of Asian victims, including those who were subjected to sadistic medical experimentation by Unit 731. Some POWs and Allied captives were even cannibalized by Japanese military officers and doctors.

Even the Romans wouldn't have done that to their enemies. I my opinion, the Soviets were justified in using harsh methods against Japanese army detainees.

And incidentally, before the USSR attacked in August 1945, it notified Tokyo that the non-aggression pact would not be renewed.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

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