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Hugh Ashton comments

Posted in: Furious man attacks SoftBank's robot Pepper See in context

Don't necessarily blame the telcos. Blame the relevant Ministry, which seems to believe that foreigners will rent phones and start running "ore-ore" phone scams. The scripted taurine excrement that everyone must go through is a way of attempting to control who is allowed to talk over the cellular network. Data SIMs are another matter (the Ministry hasn't caught up with Skype and VoIP apps, obviously). Of course, if the telcos had any cojones, they would lobby the Ministry to relax the rules, and thereby increase their revenue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese girl's WWII job: waving goodbye to kamikaze pilots See in context

I am sure that others will also make this correction, but Chiran is not applying for UNESCO World Heritage status. It is applying for "Memory of the World" status - a status accorded to places such as Auschwitz. It is in no way intended as a glorification of the war, or the tokko pilots.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: WWII kamikaze base to seek UNESCO recognition for pilots' documents See in context

Btw, I strongly recommend Professor Sheftall's book (Blossoms in the Wind) on the subject - it does not glorify or exonerate the practice, but based on many years of interviews with survivors, it does an excellent job of explaining exactly how these young men (and the women who acted as support for them) felt at the time, and how they feel now.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: WWII kamikaze base to seek UNESCO recognition for pilots' documents See in context

Can I make the point that this is not UNESCO world heritage recognition. This is a different program, "Memories of the World", which seeks to preserve documentation of historic passages in the world's history, such as the Battle of the Somme, or the Auschwitz camp. Both of the latter are included in the program.

Also, this is not Japan making the application - it is the local community (Minamikyushu). Professor Sheftall yesterday made the very strong point that the application would be withdrawn if the central government attempted to put any spin on it which led to glorification or fetishizing of the tokkō strategy or its practitioners.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Author Barry Lancet finds Japan fertile ground for thriller novels See in context

Thanks for the mention, Barry.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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