News about Myanmar has just about disappeared from the media. While everyone is focusing their attention on Ukraine, it seems that Japan is quietly pushing economic engagement in the country once called Burma.
7 ( +7 / -0 )
Beneath the lovely facade of "Beautiful Japan" lurks some pretty awful nihilism.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Another year of Covid. Sigh!
If we are going to live like human beings, we have to live with the virus. Even if there is a higher risk of getting it.
Life isn't simply about remaining (physically) alive. The lifestyle of a toadstool isn't human.
3 ( +6 / -3 )
Japan doesn't need anti-depressants. To cure the illness, all people have to do is recite GAMBATTE KUDASAI! ten million times.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
"When the Allied powers tried Japanese leaders for war crimes at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, they considered filing charges over the use of poison gas by the Japanese army.
"But they eventually did not do so, and some believe this is because the United States sought to keep the option of using such gas after World War II."
America's deals with the devil in Japan after World War II (including full pardons for the members of the infamous Unit 731) make me ashamed to be an American citizen.
5 ( +7 / -2 )
Shocking. But then again, just another example of a Japanese "heavenly bureaucrat" misbehavin'.
-9 ( +11 / -20 )
The really weird thing is that the Moonies make special efforts in Japan to target people whose ancestors had in some way done bad things to Koreans. This supposedly would include things like: Hideyoshi's 16th century invasion of Korea, Japan's brutal colonization of the country during 1910-45, Korean forced laborers in Japan and the "comfort women." With (perhaps) the exception of the first, Abe and his rightwing political clique have strenuously opposed redress of these historical issues.
Yet he cultivated close ties with the Unification Church. It is a little like Hitler (secretly) supporting some Jewish organizations before World War II.
It's bizarre. Sick.
-7 ( +5 / -12 )
The big problem with the annual observations of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan is that they leave out the historical context. We see innocent Japanese school children getting up in the morning, getting their bentos from their mothers and going off to school. Then, they are annihilated. No mention is made of the Chinese schoolchildren who died in Chongqing, Wuhan or Shanghai. Or Nanjing.
If the Japanese military had possessed the atomic bomb, I doubt that humanitarian considerations would have stopped them from using it. All of northern China would have been radioactive.
-6 ( +10 / -16 )
Impunity for Mandarins, harsh penalties for everyone else. In other words, KANSON MINPI, or "worship officials, despise the people."
Some things never change.
1 ( +8 / -7 )
One of the micro-aggressions that constantly bothers me is the use both in print and conversation of the word "foreigner" by Japanese to refer to non-Japanese, rather than "expatriate" or "foreign resident." Foreigner in English has a very strong nuance of disdain, exclusion and dislike (e.g., "there are too many foreigners in this town"; "you can't trust foreigners"). Whenever I see the word or hear it, I have a twinge of dislike. I know this might seem too sensitive, but when you are living here (a "foreign resident"), the resentment builds up.
We could at least start talking about this.
0 ( +9 / -9 )
President Biden's meeting with the abductee families is simply a dog-and-pony show meant to please his Japanese hosts. The Japanese right has been using the issue of the abductees to cover over their colossal blunder in 2002, blowing up over the issue after Kim Chong-il made the significant concession of allowing five of them to visit Japan and apologizing. If Pyongyang-Tokyo relations had stayed on track, Northeast Asia might be much more stable and peaceful than it is today.
I feel sympathy for the abductee families, but they are being used as chess pieces by the government to get support for their hawkish policies against North Korea and China. Which of course pleases Washington.
5 ( +8 / -3 )
Can't we just forget about the Tokyo Olympics? The apparatchiks in Tokyo put the people of Japan at risk last summer by holding these meaningless games. Covid cases reached a record high while Japan Inc. celebrated the "Olympic spirit"!
The 2021 Olympics are a classic case of KANSON, MINPI," or "revere officials, despise the people."
1 ( +4 / -3 )
Japan, like many if not most "developed" countries (including my country, the United States), values (economic) pragmatism over human dignity. In the end, what counts is the bottom line, although in "Plan 75" this grim reality is sugar coated. Perhaps old people being pressured to be put to death in Japan would be told "living at your age is selfish; just think of other people!" If the State took this line, I'm sure many people would choose to go along with it, i.e., "I shouldn't cause trouble for other people."
Everyone in this society is supposed to be "happy," with a smile on their face. But the "happiness" they embrace is empty.
6 ( +7 / -1 )
Who cares what Elon Musk says? He's just a rich guy with a motor-mouth.
I doubt that any Japanese couples are going to say: "let's have three-four-five kids. Because Elon Musk said so!"
-4 ( +4 / -8 )
Perhaps Washington DC should have been a bit more concerned with understanding the Russian point of view before the first invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Neither Putin nor any other Russian leader would tolerate a former republic of the USSR becoming a NATO ally. But instead, Biden, like his predecessors save for Trump, has approached the geopolitics of Eurasia with the same Hollywood good-versus-evil worldview that "informs" much other American foreign policy. By insisting on being the world's Good Guy, America finds Russia AND China lined up against it. And its so-called "allies" in the Middle East (including the murderous Saudi Arabian royal family) unwilling to donate oil to the west to make up for a Russian shortfall.
A wiser policy would have recruited Russia as an ally against China. Russia and China are natural enemies. Back in the 1960s-1970s, Chinese and Russian troops fought each other on the Amur River, and China went to war with its pro-Soviet neighbor, Vietnam, in the late 1970s. They have long borders which virtually guarantee antagonistic relations - that is, if Washington wasn't pushing them together.
Of course, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is horrible. A crime. But so was the American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and our dear Saudi ally's mass murder in Yemen.
1 ( +4 / -3 )
Re: Thomas R Mountcastle: "The PRC will do exactly as it pleases. Everyone else will have to react. Do you imagine when the PLA invades Taiwan, they will ignore Okinawa, Sasebo, & Iwakuni?"
Here we go, the old rationale for war, war and more war. The PRC is identical to Hitler. Compromise on anything with Beijing, and they'll be the wolf at your door.
C'mon people, grow up. Try diplomacy for a change!
-12 ( +3 / -15 )
Having lived in Okinawa for many years, I have great sympathy with Gov. Tamaki's request to lighten the prefecture's unfair military burden. But unfortunately, that will never happen for two reasons:
(1) given the tense atmosphere in the East China Sea, even if all the US military bases are shut down, they will be replaced by SDF bases. The military occupation of the island will have a mainland Japanese rather than an American face; and,
(2) given the determination of the rightwing hawks in Tokyo to use China (and North Korea) as a pretext for re-armament, tensions will continue, and become worse. At best, the future will be a new Cold War in Asia.
Tamaki is right to advocate for better Tokyo-Beijing ties, but given the attitudes in Tokyo and Washington, I am afraid his goal of regional peace will not be attained..
-9 ( +4 / -13 )
"I have an idea. Instead of wasting billions of yen on campaigns and meetings, why not strike a deal with South Korea to share them?"
Excellent idea! But then xenophobic politicians won't have a loudspeaker to crow through.
-3 ( +8 / -11 )
"It's nice that they included a Japanese translation in small print out of consideration for the Japanese-speaking minority of this nation."
A foreign resident in Japan, I've always tried to give Tokyo a miss. This only confirms my image of Japan's claustrophobic capital.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
"It won't be long before China claims Kimono as their own, being derived from Tang dynasty era attire. Maybe before that, China will go after Okinanwan dress first.
China already claims Korean and Vietnamese dress as their own."
Frankly, who cares? Lots of people around the world wear trousers, or "pants." They seemed to have been invented by the nomadic Scythians back around the 5th-4th century B.C. If there are any Scythians alive today (they may have descendants in Russia, or Ukraine) they can "claim" trousers as their own thing. And I'll be grateful for their having invented a way of keeping my legs nice and warm in winter.
9 ( +11 / -2 )
"Learn to appreciate the country where you reside. Foreigners living in Japan should learn to appreciate Japan and stop bashing Japanese system. The same goes with foreigners living in China. As foreign residents show some gratitude to your host country! If you hate the country you reside in then go back to your own home country!"
This comment by "Jim" could have been made by Xi Jinping, or perhaps Japan's homegrown Nazi, Sanae Takaichi.
Foreign residents in Japan work, pay taxes and obey the law (if they don't, they're punished for it just like anyone else). They are not allowed to vote, being non-citizens (fair enough). But what goes on inside their heads is their own business and if they're critical of the Japanese system, it's their right as human beings. The Japanese constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Sure, bad-mouthing Japan will make you lots of enemies, but that's your own freedom.
Informed criticism of Japan's system might be good for Japanese to hear, and think about. Back in the 1970s, people here seemed rather open to foreign criticism, even though much of it was ill-informed, but they're much more closed-minded now.
2 ( +15 / -13 )
"The wide issues that also need to be considered within the context of the pandemic, it tells non-Japanese people that they are second rate people in Japanese society, whenever there is an issue they will be cast aside, They will be blamed and they will be excluded."
I have lived in Japan for a long time. This has largely been due to practical reasons (work, pension). The widespread attitude of Japanese people (not only officialdom) that foreign people are "second rate" has deterred me from becoming a Japan specialist. Covid has been miserable for me because I can't get to that region where I find really interesting things going on, and receptive people: Southeast Asia.
So, I'm stuck in a world where most people seem happy as long as they have 100+ varieties of Mr. Donut or 400 types of KitKat chocolate bars. When is Covid going to go away?
1 ( +9 / -8 )
My wife comes from Nagasaki, which probably because of its hills is relatively bicycle-free. When we go down there and walk around, it's such a pleasure not having to worry about a dimwit coming up soundlessly from behind and running us over. Especially dimwit mothers with their offspring in that infamous vehicle named a "mama-char."
Actually, I think the lack of bicycles is more a sign of the greater consideration of people in Nagasaki than the topography. There are so many rude, inconsiderate cyclists in Kansai!
1 ( +7 / -6 )
Not only are cyclists zipping along recklessly on the pavement dangerous, but they invade the space of pedestrians as they pass inches away from them. Very rude. "Baka" cyclists are one reason why I believe Japanese are NOT really a polite people.
3 ( +9 / -6 )
In imperial China, a candidate taking the civil service examinations was put to death for cheating.
Just a fun historical fact!
5 ( +6 / -1 )
Seems like Kasai was trying to turn WHO into a Japanese high school.
"Power corrupts, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely." But the situation is much worse when you have a leader with the typical Japanese hierarchical mindset.
6 ( +13 / -7 )
"Ito has said she believes Yamaguchi's close ties with then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, about whom he has written a best-seller, might have discouraged prosecutors from pursuing the case."
In Japan's political rice paddy, there are some nasty vipers lurking. One of the worst is Shinzo Abe.
7 ( +9 / -2 )
I'm sorry for the woman who lost her hand and the other two injured people. But let's face it, TIGERS AREN'T CUTE! Especially when they're hungry or irritated.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Heavens! It seems that some Japanese people have a lot of time on their hands. Can't they spend their minutes and hours doing something constructive, like sleeping?
-1 ( +8 / -9 )
"The suspect, identified as Shogo Arimoto from neighboring Nara Prefecture . . ."
Doesn't surprise me. Nara is the prefecture which is represented by Sanae Takaichi, who gained international recognition as an admirer of Adolf Hitler.
-6 ( +13 / -19 )