It certainly would not hurt if the American military were to drill into their personal that they are guests and have the responsibility to act like decent guests.
You think they don't? Do you seriously think that's not drilled into our heads every single time we're sent out on liberty after work?
"You're ambassadors for the United States. Your conduct on liberty is a direct reflection of our standing here with Japan."
There are over one hundred thousand active duty service members here in Japan. Add in their families, and the number of US citizens here approaches half a million. Add in US civilian goverment employees and contractors and their families, and you at least double that. And the vast majority of them serve here as ambassadors, living politely alongside their Japanese neighbors, contributing to the community through clean up projects at local institutions for the underprivileged and handicapped. My command sponsors such clean up and holiday party events for two such institutions: a home for mentally challenged people and a shelter for battered women.
Yet, you never hear in the Japanese news how a group of US miliitary personnel went out and spent thousands of dollars throwing a Christmas party for people who have largely been abandoned by their own families as too much work, and who otherwise would not get to have such a party. You never hear in the Japanese news how a group of US miiltary personnel went out in the heat of summer to clean up an overgrown lawn for this same group.
And the absurd argument that you can solve this simply by restricting them to base below a certain rank? Bull. Like these policies, that only causes further resentment that ends up boiling over. For years, the US Navy had a "liberty card" program for its most junior enlisted members (which, by the way, was not applicable to its junior officers who fall into the exact same age/irresponsibility group), and it was completely ineffective. It put people into categories that made no sense, simply because no one wanted to bother assessing their actual risk potential. People like myself, who joined the military at an advanced age, were put into the same category as teenagers fresh out of high school who weren't even of a legal age to drink.
How does that solve anything?
Like it or not, the US military is here to stay for conceivably a very long time, and (here's the important part) that's a good thing! Given that the Japanese government still refuses to approve history text books that put Japan's military behaviour in WWII in proper perspective, i.e., in line with the facts of what was done, and thus the majority of the Japanese public still believes that such things as the Rape of Nanking and Korean "comfort women" (sex slaves for the Japanese military) never happened, because that's what they were taught and school wouldn't lie to them, yet the rest of Asia remembers Japanese military atrocities all too well, standing up a full and proper military with offensive capabilities is certainly the worst thing that could happen to Japan and its relations with its immediate neighbors.
Unless you want to be another Chinese province. Then it's okay.
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When will there be a Japanese Yokozuna?
Perhaps when the Japanese Ozeki stop riding the kadoban elevator.
Also, really? They're complaining about harite as being inappropriate for a Yokozuna? Hmmm, strange, don't seem to recall Hakuho getting reprimanded for using henka this basho...
Perhaps it's time for the Sumo Council to accept that the Japanese national sport is no longer as Japanese as they'd like. Either that, or they can take one of two measures. Step down, and let younger members who would like to see the sport succeed in spite of the lack of Japanese interest in participating, or succumb to their not-so-secret discriminatory desires and declare the sport off limits to those nasty gaijin who cause all those horribly embarassing problems like bout fixing and betting scandals.
Harumafuji, despite his inconsistent win record, is clearly one of the most talented rikishi to emerge in a long time, and his promotion to Yokozuna was well earned. Force him to retire, and watch viewership drop yet again.
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