liarsnfools comments

Posted in: Abe hails Japanese Holocaust hero Sugihara See in context

Sugihara was forced to resign after the war. Although the circumstances were murky, this is what his wife said, because of what he did in Lithuania. Sugihara was also a prisoner of the Soviets. He is a genuine hero.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe tells Harvard he's trying to improve status of women in Japan See in context

I wrote this comment on Abe Shinzo piece in Bloomberg:

Fact number one: Japan ranks near the bottom of OECD countries in various aspects of empowering women (they beat Korea, which is at the very bottom).

Fact number two: the imperial Japan that Abe Shinzo remembers so fondly was one of the major perpetrators of systematic measures that harmed the "honor and dignity" of women. So there need to be some specific obligation on the part of Japan to make amends and not a hint that "every body else was raping women" and Japan only bears the brunt because it lost the war.

Fact number three: Japan remains a huge bastion of human trafficking, teenaged prostitution, and child pornography, and violence against women is a shockingly prevalent phenomenon for what is outwardly a law-abiding society.

It is indeed commendable that Japan is willing to devote resources to help women in developing countries. There is not a little element of dancing to the American tune. Women's empowerment is a big deal for Caroline Kennedy and for the Obamas, too. So it is nice for Abe Shinzo to display the much nicer Akie-san to soften his image, but in the end Abe Shinzo heads an administration that denies responsibility for war time sexual slavery and which has right wing extremist women ministers like Takaichi, Yamatani, and Arimura as the true face of the Abe Shinzo version of empowerment.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe arrives in Boston to kick off weeklong U.S. visit See in context

We should look at Abe Shinzo's trip to America in terms of whether he can achieve a "blue line" of accomplishments in partnership with America without falling below a "red line" of historical revisionism that will upset not only the Koreans, America's allies, and Chinese but also many Americans, too.

First the blue line. Many powerful American interest groups want the TPP with Japan in it because it theoretically can pry open a market that is among the most advanced but which also has an incredible amount of protected sectors -- agriculture and rice especially -- and non-tariff barriers. Many defense and security interests want to end the Japanese "free ride" in which the Japanese are prepared to throw money at conflict areas but not military personnel and other assets despite having one of the strongest navies in the world and a highly capable Air Force (forget this Self-Defense Force terminology). This "free ride" would be replaced by an arrangement by which Japan continues to throw money but also puts boots on the ground and on decks and butts in cockpits. Most immediately this is justified as being aimed at North a Korea but increasingly explicitly this is aimed at China.

And America and Japan do want to acknowledge together that since the end of a World War II 70 years ago, Japan has had the most remarkable record in the world of developing a liberal democracy that has conscientiously pursued peace and prosperity and which has shared a considerable amount of its success with developing nations, including China and Korea incidentally.

Now for the red line. Abe Shinzo is too shrewd to offend America. The notion that he will perform as he did in Indonesia as well as in an earlier trip to Canberra is highly likely. He will invoke a memory that touches on Japanese actions in World War II, carefully evading words like aggression and invasion, and he will speak of his personal heart felt anguish and remorse and a vow that Japan will do all in its power to prevent such wide spread suffering ever again. Because the Congress has passed a resolution calling on Japan to refrain from historical revisionism on war time sexual slavery, Abe will likely use the words "human trafficking" to denounce violence against women that occurred during the 20th century -- without specifically mentioning Japan's major rounder the notion that "everybody was raping women" -- and to call on international efforts to prevent such atrocities in these times. The Chinese and Koreans -- and many American experts -- will recognize such language as the weasel words that they are and denounce Abe's tricky legerdemain. But most Americans who care about the subject will likely give Abe a passing mark, with some even praising Abe for his heart-felt remorse and expressing wonderment as to why Chinese and Koreans despise this visage of banality.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Past and future hang heavy as Abe heads to U.S. See in context

We should look at Abe Shinzo's trip to America in terms of whether he can achieve a "blue line" of accomplishments in partnership with America without falling below a "red line" of historical revisionism that will upset not only the Koreans, America's allies, and Chinese but also many Americans, too.

First the blue line. Many powerful American interest groups want the TPP with Japan in it because it theoretically can pry open a market that is among the most advanced but which also has an incredible amount of protected sectors -- agriculture and rice especially -- and non-tariff barriers. Many defense and security interests want to end the Japanese "free ride" in which the Japanese are prepared to throw money at conflict areas but not military personnel and other assets despite having one of the strongest navies in the world and a highly capable Air Force (forget this Self-Defense Force terminology). This "free ride" would be replaced by an arrangement by which Japan continues to throw money but also puts boots on the ground and on decks and butts in cockpits. Most immediately this is justified as being aimed at North a Korea but increasingly explicitly this is aimed at China.

And America and Japan do want to acknowledge together that since the end of a World War II 70 years ago, Japan has had the most remarkable record in the world of developing a liberal democracy that has conscientiously pursued peace and prosperity and which has shared a considerable amount of its success with developing nations, including China and Korea incidentally.

Now for the red line. Abe Shinzo is too shrewd to offend America. The notion that he will perform as he did in Indonesia as well as in an earlier trip to Canberra is highly likely. He will invoke a memory that touches on Japanese actions in World War II, carefully evading words like aggression and invasion, and he will speak of his personal heart felt anguish and remorse and a vow that Japan will do all in its power to prevent such wide spread suffering ever again. Because the Congress has passed a resolution calling on Japan to refrain from historical revisionism on war time sexual slavery, Abe will likely use the words "human trafficking" to denounce violence against women that occurred during the 20th century -- without specifically mentioning Japan's major rounder the notion that "everybody was raping women" -- and to call on international efforts to prevent such atrocities in these times. The Chinese and Koreans -- and many American experts -- will recognize such language as the weasel words that they are and denounce Abe's tricky legerdemain. But most Americans who care about the subject will likely give Abe a passing mark, with some even praising Abe for his heart-felt remorse and expressing wonderment as to why Chinese and Koreans despise this visage of banality.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: In U.S., 'comfort woman' demands apology from Japan See in context

The story of wartime sexual slavery must be remembered not for bashing Japan but for preventing the phenomenon. By denying the facts, Abe sets back Japan's prestige and undercuts its credibility for contemporary moral leadership when Japan has a high reputation.

Abe is really the person bashing Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe to visit U.S. World War II memorial in Washington See in context

This is the scenario of Abe Shinzo "pulling a Canberra" in which he mentions enough of the war time atrocities related to the country being visited and vowing that there never will be such a waste of young lives again. The apology word is not used, and the heart is heavy verbiage is in play. In Washington there might be some reference to inheriting the Murayama and Kono statements because many people in Congress are aware of the war time sexual slavery issue.

The "Canberra approach" got mixed reviews from the Aussies but the pro-Japan State Department types seem to cackle enough support to give the approach a boost.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S., Japan fail to close gap on rice, auto parts trade See in context

There is too much of a rush. Do the negotiations right and not quickly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe says he may drop direct apology in WWII statement See in context

This is a classic Abe Shinzo political tactic. Threaten to take away the bread so that we might be grateful later for the crumbs. Problem is that too many people have seen this movie clip before.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Disney Pixar’s new movie attracts criticism again in Japan See in context

Then boycott and sue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan must apologise for WWII until it is forgiven: Novelist Murakami See in context

Japanese should be proud to have novelists like Murakami and Oe continuing to use their stature to maintain the conscience of the nation, just as the Imperial family has.

Maybe the LDP will call them all in to maintain a "fair stance."

24 ( +37 / -13 )

Posted in: Diplomatic pressure on foreign reporters raises media hackles See in context

Has everybody forgotten that Ambassador Sasae threatened the state of Virginia with the loss of Japanese business if that state went through with allowing textbooks to call the Sea of Japan the East Sea? Well, the state in fact allowed the textbooks to do precisely that. So did the Japanese Embassy pull out every one of its diplomats who lived in Virginia? Did Sasae order the Japanese companies to stop doing business in Virginia?

Problem with making a threat and then not carrying through is that it exposes the Japanese diplomats as pusilaminous and incompetent. I am surprised that Sasae was not summoned home and made to account for his failure to carry out the Abe Shinzo government orders.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's population falls for 4th straight year See in context

It is now four straight years. It can become forty straight years unless the Japanese do something drastically different. It seems that one of the things that is barrier-free is this population decline.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Summons of Japanese media raises complaints of interference See in context

I for one believe that the LDP has not gone about doing the job well enough. There is this guy, Murakami or some such, who is reportedly some author or something like that. Well it turns out this Murakami character is going around spewing out masochistic history propaganda. I think the LDP needs to call this guy in and tell him a thing or two.

And for all you folks criticizing the LDP here. You had better watch out. I am on the LDP side, and I will not be summoned. But you LDP-phobes might be.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Top U.S. lawmakers strike deal to fast-track trade deals See in context

I am not a supporter of TPP but TPA would put Obama into the driver's seat in the negotiations with Japan and the others. Would Abe use this as an "arrow" or will he chicken hawk this opportunity too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan nuclear watchdog hits out at reactor injunction See in context

@heda,

The Japanese government may certify produce from Fukushima as safe for consumption, but that has not stopped lots of Japanese consumers from refusing to buy. This is similar to what is going on with respect to the NRC. Just because the "watchdog" says it is OK to restart some nukes does not inspire confidence. This is a credibility problem, exacerbated by the corrupt cronyism of the nuclear zoku 族 that propagandizes that all is well when in fact it is not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Breaking the ice See in context

This is political posturing. Abe needs to demonstrate that he is a reasonable guy, although Suga has already made Onaga an offer he can't refuse per The Godfather. Onaga will resist but ultimately he will lose because the whole weight of Japanese law and the American neo-colonialists (aka USMC) are behind the decision to use Henoko.

As I have said many times, there are 52 airports for 47 prefectures, so somewhere on main island Japan is a place to dump these Marines with their dangerous war machines and mind sets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Russia-Japan relations over disputed islands unchanged after Crimea: Putin See in context

Well, Japan, what about it? Are things changed after Crimea? If not then Abe should go to Moscow. If yes, then Abe should adhere to the G-7 solidarity and reduce the contact with Putin. Hint: he is not going to give Japan back anything without extracting a huge price.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: S Korea, Japan put brave face on differences in U.S. meeting See in context

It is arrogant of the Americans to think that they can make things all right between Korea and Japan. Actually lots of things are going fine between Japanese and Koreans in a lot of areas. At the top political level things are not great but they are not slapping each other right now either.

The big thing now is Abe Shinzo. He has an opportunity to be a great statesman and a chance to be the worst revisionist. Chances are he will be in between.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: U.S. says Japan-S Korea tensions distract from N Korea threat See in context

Blinken seems to think that the Japanese and Koreans are so simpleton that they cannot do things or contemplate actions simultaneously. That is pretty arrogant. The Japanese and Koreans should be free to pursue whatever policies they want with one another on issues such as history. That does not mean that they cannot cooperate on issues like the North Korean threat, which they have been doing and are doing.

One reason America wants Japan and Korea and China for that matter to get off the history issues is that America has its own responsibilities for the current state of play in Asia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP panel summons media bosses over news programs See in context

Sadly the Abe Shinzo administration is intent on creating a "beautiful country" 美しい国 in which only the people who pass government expected beauty contests in terms of the way they think are allowed to make appearances. I have said before that the Abe mindset is proto-fascist, and he and his ilk are demonstrating that again and again.

When will America speak to the oppression of freedom of expression in Japan? It was after all the MacArthur constitution that enshrined that right. Of course, Abe wishes to change the constitution to re inject beauty to Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Flowers and tears as families mourn South Korea ferry dead See in context

This tragedy should have been a teachable moment for Korea's political corporate, political, and social sectors. So far it has not been, and much of that rests at the feet of the Park administration.

RIP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: IMF: India, Japan to drive Asia as China slows See in context

India is and always will be mired in corruption, latitude, class and caste discrimination, and violence towards women. Sure it is democratic, but its literacy rate is shockingly low, its urban environment a disaster, and its infrastructure in shambles.

China is not great, but far better. The supply chain networks flowing it and through plus located in China are the engines of growth for the world for the next few decades, even if slowed down. Japan plays some important role in that system but India not so much. There is enough organic growth potential in India that will generate modest growth but not to the extent that it will be a locomotive,

The IMF is hardly the most reliable organization. Ask Joe Stiglitz.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. aim for TPP progress before summit See in context

If Americans wanted a glorified free trade agreement with Japan why don't they do it directly with Japan? Throw in the Aussies and Kiwis and a token Asian country like Singapore, with which the Americans already have a free trade agreement -- for what purpose who knows? And Canada, too.

What is the value of Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico -- with whom America already has an agreement?

TPP is bad news. The rich and powerful get richer and more powerful. For some bits of cheaper food, American pharmaceuticals with high prices and extended patents will make health care as uselessly expensive as in America. Corporations will take sovereign countries to arbitration to overturn legal norms. Race to the top for big corporations, trickle to the bottom for the rest of us.

Abe Shinzo sells out Japan for defense for Senkaku.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese journalist arrives home after S Korea lifts travel ban See in context

I do not like criminal libel laws, and Korea -- and Japan -- should be criticized for using them too freely. That is one of the reasons both countries have plunged in Reporters Without Borders rankings.

In this case, the Chosun Ilbo ran an opinion piece that Park Geun-hye's seeming passivity after the Sewol ferry tragedy allowed rumors to rise that she was having a secret meeting with someone. The Chosun Ilbo was warned but there was an understanding that the motivation was to encourage Park to her job right.

Kato spread the same rumor. But what was his motivation? Sankei has been well known for criticizing, belittling, and excoriating Park from even before she assumed office. So Kato's motivation was not to encourage Park to do better but to belittle and ridicule.

Again I do not criminal libel laws, but if anybody deserved to be prosecuted it is the bureau chief of a Japanese newspaper dedicated to anti-Korean sentiments.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S.-Japan guidelines said to specify Senkakus' defense See in context

Japan should not be too provocative in pushing too hard in the Senkaku. Whether the Americans really want to have their blood shed for some nothing islands that have only symbolic value would be surprising.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Posted in: Hiroshima survivors: Haunted 70 years on, determined to remember See in context

If we forget Hiroshima the world would be a more dangerous place. If we forget war time atrocities, massacres, sexual enslavement by militarized, the world would be a more dangerous place. We are given memory in order not to forget and we are given history and witnesses to history to enhance our collective memory even the direct witnesses pass on.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. aim for TPP progress before summit See in context

So who needs TPP? Obama does because he needs to prove the pivot to Asia is something more than military enhancements and taps wealth to enrich America. Abe does to get American adherence to his anti-China stance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Nuclear regulator says it is very close to ending review of 2 reactors See in context

Monju reached criticality, that is became operational in test mode, in 1994. In 1995 it had a sodium fire, and came off line. In 2010, it achieved criticality again but only for a few months before a piece of dropped machinery closed it until today. One hour of generated electricity. That cost about 10 billion dollars. This is Japan high nuclear technology.

In short, when nukes go off line reactor workers lose their edge in operating them. Do Japanese really want the equivalent of Homer Simpson to restart and operate their nukes?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Aso to repeat demand for AIIB transparency at G20 meeting See in context

As Earl Butz, Nixon's Interior Secretary famously said, "He no playa the game, he no maka the rules" -- said of the Pope in fake Italian accent.

Same is true for Aso here. No play, no rule making.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Toyota to build plant in China in investment splurge See in context

Unlike Japanese and American economic prognosticators whose analyses are driven by policy and political considerations as well as economic ones, Toyota has to put its money where it believes it can get the best return. For it China and Mexico make a lot of sense. China is a huge market as well as a good production base, and Mexican-made products can enter the lucrative North American market through NAFTA.

What good is TPP to Toyota? TPP creates an anti-China bloc, and most Asian multinationals have figured out the warts of NAFTA.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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