Paul Arenson comments

Posted in: Discord erupts at FCCJ over news agency accreditation See in context

Thanks, Roger Scheffler.

What I am concerned about is a bit different. I find it worrying that Shuukan Shincho would take what is essentially an internal issue and blow it up into an article which would have the effect of damaging the image of the FCCJ. In other words, Mr. Penn is at once the scapegoat and the vehicle by which a club which is a thorn in the side of the government, especially the rightist administration of PM Abe, is made to look bad. NHK and the mainstream media have, due to kisha club loyalties and an atmosphere of intimidation in the wake of the secrets law, made it harder and harder to look at a whole host of issues related to the power of Keidanren and electric power companies, the plight of Okinawa, the sex slave issue, and the lack of autonomy of the media its itself, as exemplified by the Koga-Asahi case.

All things at which the FCCJ excels. And it strikes me as odd that the the readership here and, even moreso, Shuukan Shincho, would be that interested in the internal workings of the election and conflict between committees. But maybe anything is game if the intent is to weaken the forces that challenge the status quo, to make the FCCJ look like a bunch of amateurs. If you watch the press conferences, you will see that is not the case. But in a climate where netto uyo are more and more emboldened to assert their nationalism, where they troll both English and Japanese sites seeking to intimidate, I can only wonder if there are not hidden intentions at work at the weekly and among some of the commenters.

Meanwhile, I am grateful that a claim that Penn was fired from his university job, something which can easily be verified of true, was deleted by the administrator. Such attacks are never acceptable. Thank you, Japan Today.

In any case, I do not believe that the intention of Shuukan Shincho was to inform but rather, to sow disinformation and thus try to take down the FCCJ a notch. I also question why this is so newsworthy so as to warrant coverage in English, but perhaps the interested commenters could give us their perspective on how the FCCJ covers issues the mainstream stays away from and why that should be overshadowed by a wide-show like exploration of strife within the governing bodies of the organization.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Discord erupts at FCCJ over news agency accreditation See in context

I have no opinion on the case in question. I am friends with several reporters who belong to FCCJ and know of its worth. I worry that any attempt to focus on this issue, which seems to be internal, can be used to discredit the organization as a whole

Ask yourself why an article on a relatively obscure issue is getting so much attention here. FCCJ brings to the public people who are not content to repeat official news a la NHK and the mainstream media. In short, were it not for the FCCJ and its journalists like Jimbo san, David McNeil, etc. we would be much less informed as to the mechanations of the government and the subservient media.

We have to be vigilant when Japan is in the midst of an attempt to shoot down the few sources of truth in journalism, and one has to question whether this whole article is not just such a case. This would not be the first time that journalists have been employed to actually destroy reputations and distort the news in favour of the regime in power. One need not look at any "far left" accusers to verify this. The well known Carl Bernstein says as much here and there is no reason to believe that the same game is being played out in Japan: carlbernstein. com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers building its own fighter jets See in context

Fighter jets. We don't need them. Not from U.S. Not made in Japan. The arms race just wastes more money, convincing people they are safe while making everyone targets. Spend the money on peace.. On compensating those who gave up their land and livelihoods when Fukushima Dai-ichi, another pet project of Keidanren that made big money for the military indistrial complexm exploded. Again the hawks, the vultures, the money hungry are after a windfall, while the country's social welfare goes to the dogs.

No jets, no war, no way.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor concerned over growing attacks on homeless See in context

There is Seikatsu hougo, but you need an address, which is a problem, since many municipalities reject people when they give the address of a homeless advocacy group such as Moyai, Shinjuku Renraku kai, etc. And even when people have an address, too much is left to the discretion of the people behind the window. When I was working with the homeless,, Sumida ku was relatively decent, but Taito ku was ruthless.

And then we have infamous cases in Adachi ku and Kitakyushu where not-yet-homeless starved to death because of rejection.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP lawmaker criticizes Nagasaki mayor's remarks on Abe's defense policy See in context

CrazyJoe: All of us are prisoners of the military industrial complex. One's work does not mean one has the same ideology of the corporation. Of course getting rid of a military contractor, one that already has blood on its hands due to its new partnership with Raytheon, would mean unemployment. But then the company could be retooled to make non military weapons.

in any case, finally we can see that those who oppose nuclear weapons and those who oppose Japanese militarism are one and the same.

Seeing as how a previous mayor of Nagasaki was shot for his progressive views, there is much to fear from the Japanese right wing. But Abe being put in place by the mayor is refreshing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP lawmaker criticizes Nagasaki mayor's remarks on Abe's defense policy See in context

Abe, who supports the nuclear umbrella, should not even be invited to Hiroshima or Nagasaki. He, as well as most LDP politicians, is in violation of the 3 non nuclear peinciples. Years ago, Dr. Joseph Gerson, a member of the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker Peace Group), verbally and vocally protested the presence of Koizumi at the peace ceremony. Japanese peace groups tend to be less confrontational on these official days of remembrance, and were taken by surpise. But Gerson was right. And so is the mayor of Nagasaki. Abe's policies are guaranteed to being about the involvement of Japanese in US wars, and these will mean death for Japanese. Nagasaki and Hiroshima are now symbols of Japan's Article 9, which Abe intends to destroy but has initially circumvent. The mayor understand this and rightly warns Abe on this important day that he is descrating the hibakusha with his policies.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: Silent protest held in Tokyo against Gaza bloodshed See in context

NBC reporter was witness to the deaths of kids at the beach behind a hotel. What did NBC do? They recalled him. I order to keep the images of the waton disregard for life by Israel off the airwaves. 77 percent is the officla UN figure I beleive for casualties by civilians. Read A Jewish Voice for Peace. Israel is now seeing unprecented protests by Isralies against their own government. The foreign minister has practically called cor teh expulsion of all Arabs. They hVe long blocDed Gaza and made it impossible to obtain food and medicine,. There is no way that civilians could jnkt be maimed and killed. It is a lie that Israel has been sparing of civillians. This is Israeli gov. propaganda. Hamaqs has been irresponsible, but Israel has been more so, with so alled precison strikes that hit hospitals for teh disabled. Read a bit more widely before you make claims that Israel has shown restraint. 500 Plus people MOST of them civilians, and no end in sight. s a Jew I am ashamed of both Israel, and my nation, the US, which has pumped money into the Israeli money and has voted 100 to 0 in the senate to support the state.This is aa muxh about IsrEli apartheid as it is about US permanent war.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Silent protest held in Tokyo against Gaza bloodshed See in context

kyushubill said: "A Google search plainly shows that Sonoko Kawakami is a professional protester with Amnesty and the CPJ. This simply shows who is behind this protest and yes 70% of the time in Japan the CPJ is behind them."

This logic escapes me. If 1, 2 or more members are from Amnesty or the Japanese Communist Party ( correct English name, not CPJ), does that invalidate their protest? One would expect people involved in anti-war, pro-human rights activities to be in the forefront of those protesting the slaughter of innocents. It would be much more incongruous if a pro militarist group member were to join such a protest.

Or are you suggesting that to associate with either of the groups you mention is an evil thing? zyhis cleRly has nothing to do with the topic, except to apply labels and stigmas to such people.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Silent protest held in Tokyo against Gaza bloodshed See in context

Hamas rightly refused the latest offer, which was not even made to them, but only between the US, Tony Blair (the Butcher of Bagdhad) and Israel. It did not even respond to any of Hamas' conditions, so it was a non offer. It was thrown in to make Israel look reasonable.

And as regards Hamas, I do not like them either, but you are inflicting collective punishment on the Palestinians, targeting babies and the handicapped, and generally acting as a Nazi would.

There are millions of Jews around the world who hate what Israel stands for and who also hate that the government is endangering Jewish civilians by targeting Palestinian civilians. Again, take time to read A Jewish Voice for Peace and see that Jewish and Israel are NOT synonymous. earn something from the very detailed summaries there and 977mag.org which giv the lie to the claim that Israel is acting in self defense. Yes, CNN and BBC and the rest of the pro Israeli media are not giving the full story. Read, learn, and maybe you will be a little less willing to bash the peace protestors, whether in Japan or is Israel or around the world. Be thankful too that French protestors have defied bans on protests and propaganda that has been manipulated to make it look like anti war protestors are attacking Jews.

One again, a nominally left-wing government has shown its trues colors, just as they did when they blew up a Greenpeace ship.

Be wary of newspapers that make the fighting look symmetrical, that fail to give the history of the conflict.

Be wary of politicians who turn a blind eye to what Israel does because they think it will buy them votes.

And note that the military industrial complex is making big bucks selling weaponry to Israel. Soon to be joined by Japan's weapons makers no doubt. War and weapons is, as always, good business. And only women and kids do the dying as Dylan once sang.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Posted in: Silent protest held in Tokyo against Gaza bloodshed See in context

" GO Israel kill them all....."

Read "A Jewish Voice for Peace" and other informed sites. Israel enabled Hamas in order to divide the Palestinians. You do not have to love Hamas in order to understand that Israel has become an Apartheid state. Its deadly, brutal occupation has destroyed thousands of lives over the years. It claims to be the Middle East's only democracy, but that democracy is reserved for a certain group of people. Just the other day in the Knesset, the speaker ordered the ejection of 3 Palestinian lawmakers (yes, there are some Arabs who are citizens, though racists like the current Israeli foreign Minister has advocated against even this). And in the streets of Tel Aviv, there are progressive Jews calling for an end to the occupation (and being attacked by rabidly right Jewish Defense League counter protestors, not very different from the gangs who attacked Jews in central Europe under Hitler, but you don't see that coverage on the mainstream media, particularly if you live in the US or the UK. So here is a link...maybe two, if these don't get edited out:

http://countercurrentnews.com/2014/07/pro-peace-protests-are-sweeping-israel-right-now-and-israeli-jdl-fascists-are-freaking-out/

and

http://972mag.com/the-terror-tunnels-another-israeli-self-fulfilling-prophecy/94053/

I want to emphasize that these are Israeli sites that are critical of Israel' policies.

Note editor, before you delete this as being off topic, consider how many comments similar to the above "GO Israel kill them all" you leave alone while those of us who try to put a story in perspective get told we are off topic.

People who say this like "Was there also a protest against the thousands of rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilian populations?" do not know the history of the conflict at all. Thus my links above to two Israeli publications that offer that perspective.

People who imply we should not be protesting should understand how ludicrous this sounds when you consider how even in the US dissent was met with hostility, implying we had not right to do so, being in a "democratic" country.

When we anti Vietnam war protestors were told we had no right to criticize a supposedly democratic country like the US because we "we wouldn't be allowed to do it in Russia," the only thing I hear defenders of Israel say is that we should not be allowed to criticize this apartheid regime because we wouldn't be allowed to do so in Egypt.

Who are the victims. Until now, primarily Palestinian civilians, some 77 percent of the casualties. But one heart rending thing is the fact that when 3 Israeli kids were kidnapped 2 weeks ago, their fate not revealed by the Israeli govt even though they reportedly knew it long before they released it, and when this provoked Israeli extremists to murder a Palestinian kid in retaliation, a member of the Palestinian family went to a memorial for one of the dead israeli kids. Therein lies our hope. Not in murder. Which is what I hear advocated by so many Americans. Brits and Israelis. And 100 percent of the US Congress. For shame.

And yes, I am a Jew.

17 ( +24 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo assemblyman quits after tweeting 'Drop dead' See in context

Thanks to people like Kaneko for telling the LDP fascists what they need to hear. Recall that the US SCAP put the unrepenitent fascists back in power after a short period, who then proceeded to enlist the Yakuza to beat anti AMPO protestors. The reinterpretation of the constitution will have severe repercussions with Japanese kids perhaps drafted to fight and die again, this time of the side of the US.

The hypocrisy of the Japanese right is they always attacked the peace constitution because it was presumably imposed by the US. But now that the US is behind the revision, they suck up to the US. The US, which devastated Hiroshima and Nagazaki, now enabling Abe, who's wet dream was always to dismantle the postwar "peace" order. And now they have found the perfect scapegoat in NK and China. But this will only encourage NK and China to react more harshly and justify huge military expenditures.

Kaneko is right. This is what is behind his remarks. He may have lost his cool. But hundreds of thousands of Japanese progressives were persecuted and even executed for opposing Japanese militarism by Abe's grandfather and his cohorts.

And now, when John Mitchell in the Japan Tmes has uncovered Vietnam era Dioxin stored at Okinawa bases, dioxin which pkay a part in the 2-3 million deaths of Vietnames that Japan was complicit in by hosting the bases, well, we can only look forward to more such horrors if we allow democracy to be subverted by the likes of Abe.

Kaneko should be supported.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: Eggs pelted at Suzuki's office after he apologizes for sexist jeers See in context

Thanks, Fadamor.....even hearing it was toilet paper, it don't not immediately register. I guess I am not only abbreviation challenged but also prank challenged. By the way, having lived in Denmark, your name sounds like the Danish word for grandmother on the father's side. Scandinavian by any chance?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Eggs pelted at Suzuki's office after he apologizes for sexist jeers See in context

Smith in Japan, or anyone fluent in abbreviations. For the abbreviation challenged, what is TP in your comment?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: SoftBank to cut smartphone charges in Japan See in context

Zichi and Nike...how do you use an LTE pocket wifi with wifi only Ipad? I know you can use wimax, but I understand that to get LTE (such as offered by Asahinet for 900 yen a month), you need to be able to use a sim card...which a few Ipad models have. In otherwords, smart phones use 3g and 4g, and so do ipads with the sim card.

so a bit confused as to how the LTE device gets its signals into a wifi only ipad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 6 former 'comfort women' demand apology from Japan See in context

If the govt apologizes, but then cockroaches like Abe undo the good will by pressuring NHK to censor a program on war responsibility, worship at Yasukuni and pretend it is nothing more than paying respect when zyushukan exists to gloify imperialism, well then the apology counts for very little. Nationalists with nostalgia for the old days undo the good deeds of Murayama and Kono. And progressive Japanese are with the victims. That is why the same Japanese who condemn the murder of the US carpet bombings of Tokyo and Desden and the nuclear holocaust in Hiroshima and Nagasaki also condemn the fascists and their desendants in the form of the LDP. As is welll known, US anti communists put the war criminals and their ilk back in power after a short period, and the LDP used Yakuza to battle students and progressives who opposed the security treaty. Being consistent is what it is all about. Peace and justice.

-3 ( +4 / -8 )

Posted in: Kansai Electric appeals court injunction on reactor restarts See in context

no, there is much reason to believe that the earthquake caused damage to the plant before the tsunami...such testimony has been heard from some insude the plant who documented pipes etc coming loose before the tsunami. not picked up by mainstream corporate media (kisha club, complIant). Watch videonews.com and other reliAble (not scaremongering by the way) alternative media to learn things not on NHK or Kyodo/jiji.

re the appeals court, i fear they could reverse the first court's decison...such things happen frequently here where the status quo often prevails. Let's hope for an impartial group of judges.

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Posted in: Yankees pitcher Pineda ejected for using pine tar See in context

So what is the stuff that Japanese baseball players put on their faces...something for sunburn. Looks like mud under the eyes.

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Posted in: Judge sets new line for adultery in landmark case See in context

Why does the writer mention "notary public"? Typical JT writing.

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Posted in: 17 deaths reported after schizophrenia drug injections See in context

Bilderberg-There is trith to what you say about Japanese mental health care, but it should be tempered by a few things;

-Treatment in bith "western" countries and Japan varies a great deal. Here insurance does not cover ounseling, but many modern psychiatrists here do attempt to do what they can. There is a trend to more humaniztic care here, and because of family members who are involved in mental health care both for severe cases such as schizophrenia as well as dementia and depression, I personally know good psychiayrists who know the limitations of meds as well as engage in counseling. There was also a long tradition of involuntary commitment, which is ending, and many go out of their way to insure the human rights of their patients.

In the west too there has been a similar tradition of shame and even prison like commitment was common earlier, although humanistic counseling has a longer history. In the US, despite Obama's insurance scheme, many peop e continue to go uninsured since the profit motive has not been taken out of insurNce, and so if you are relatiely well off, you can get decent medical care, but not by any means all people.

Last, in many "western" countries, drugs are overprescribed by GPs and this is another issue...you need someone who can properly diagnose.

We also have the increasing use of diagnosis in all countries to treat people for diseases which mY not need treatment, not limited to Japan.

But we need to be careful of myths which outlast the expiration dates. Japanese paychiatric care has maxe strides since mNy of our perceptions were informed. Like Hansen's disease, where people were imprisoned not only in Japan, things change, Japan too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 17 deaths reported after schizophrenia drug injections See in context

Schizophrenia is not in the same category as depression, anxiety, etc., conditions which even psychiatrists differ on how much they are actual diseases and how much the tail (drug companies) wag the dog (diagnostic guidance); in other words the availability of drug treatments means they get prescribed more and more, and people who perhaps would not in a previous era have been diagnosed with a "disorder" may now be. Even still, with the profit motive perhaps driving prescriptions up, many people do well on some meds, often combined with various counseling therapies.

Not so with schizophrea, which develops before the age of 30 in most, where the patient can suffer with delusions and paranoia. The person is almost literally in another world. Drugs keep the condition under control to a greatervor lesser extent in different patients. Not clear what the reason for the Japanese deaths is...a new drug, so there is always a lot to be learned. But you cannot tell a schizophrenic to go drug free, though RD Laing tried to romanticize the condition in the 60s.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: 5 dead, 2 missing after floating pier overturns at remote atoll See in context

All for resources. So who can sympathise with claims by ANY gov over useless piles of rocks that even end up claiming the lives of workers when it is all to enrich the few. Most Japanese do not benefit from such disputed lands going to their side. Still we have Japanese, Koreans and Chinese getting all upset about who the rocks belong to.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Man freed from death row after 48 years will require 6 months in hospital, says sister See in context

What was the newspaper and what page and date?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for mailing bullet to lawmaker who gave letter to emperor See in context

Yamamoto is a hero. He may or may not have exercised proper judgment, with some fellow lefties saying that in giving the emperor the letter he was legitimizing/recognizing the political power is barred by the constitution fro exercising. Maybe. There is room for honest debate among people considering the best way to deal with the criminals who allowed this to happen and want to continue to enrich themselves by selling their technology to states in the Middle East, Indonesia and Vietnam. But he also made people think, and showed concern for the people of Fukushima, who have been first abused and then abandoned by the state and the nuclear mafia. The Emperor actually has shown more compassion than most of those in power, and Yamamoto's action was not a slap in the face of the Emperor.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Aso in no position to criticize judo champ's English See in context

As to Mr Aso being from Izuka, let me assure you there are many people here (Yes, I live very close by) who detest him for his gaffes and embarrassments to the nation. The are many fine people in Iizuka, particularly those who suffered from descrimination as members of a low social caste who were, in theory only, liberated in the last century but continued to live in povery working in the mines and then thrown out of work in the early 60s. Japan's equivalent of Appalcia. Aso's family employed slave laborers, as is well known to many of us here in the Kitakyushu area.

Just like Mori, he should crawl back into the woodwork and speak whatever language he chooses to his fellow cockroaches.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

Many Okinawans oppose both the SDF AND the US. And it is bot just a small percentage. 80,000 strong surround-the-base demos have been going on for more than a decade.And the vast majority of opponents are also opposed to Jaanese militarism a la Abe and company. It is not a question of whose bases are better. They know war. They know forced patriotism by unrepentant pre-war fascism's cheerleaders i the dorm of the LDP, whos were put in power by US SCAP post war to dight communism. The anti war, anti base, anti rightist movement are one and the same.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

A few paid protesters? Who is paying? Okinawa is paying through the nose, and the bribes are coming from the Japanese government. Japanese taxpayers also have to pay a sympathy budget (omoyiyari) on top of the hosting. And does it make Japan safe, or make it a target as US militarism worlwide, sustained by bases such as those in Okinawa and elsewhere, which enable drone strikes and visit death upon countless civilians? Since the days of Vietname and before, where my government rained napalm upon the peasants of Vietnam, we have tried to explain it all away by claiming we we making things safe for democracy. My friend Allen Nelson was a Vietnam vet, traumatized by the military training which taught him to devalue the life of the enemy. We can point to threats by China, N. Korea, etc, but these threats are largely created by us, as we do all we can to make them defensive. Reseach how many times the US nearly dropped atomic bombs on N Korea to see that our military has a hand in upping the sense of danger so that people will claim that we are needed to defend the peace. We are only defending the right of the military industrial complex to profit from an always war footing. The Okinawans are singing the same song we sang in the 60s, remembering how they were town off their own land by US forces and how the Japanese government is an accomplice in this: "We shall not be moved".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Folk singer, activist Pete Seeger dies in U.S. See in context

In the Obama concert he sang the "banned" lyrics to Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land, which no doubt even Obama and his neo liberal friends would be aghast at hearing:"Was a great high wall there that tried to stop me. Was a great big sign there said private Property but on the back side it didn't say nothing. That side was made for you and me."

Pete and Woody stood for a democracy of and by the people..one hardly recognizable today. Some of us sing their songs today, such as This Land is your Land or Guantanamera, hardly aware that they were rooted in a deep respect for people and a deep disdain for greed and discrimination. One of Pete's songs, adapted from the Civil Rights struggle went: "If you miss me at the back of the bus, you can't find me no where, come on over to the front of the bus, I'll be riding up there." Pete's songs were a celebration of life and civil disobedience in the face of unjust authority.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Novartis employees may have violated trial protocol in Japan See in context

What does the above comment have to do with the possibility of data manipuation by drug companies? Wasn't Novartis who is charged with data fabrication for a blood pressure mediine? I have seen drug company employees at clinics and hospitals big and small. I have had a doctor push a drug likely recommended by one of those cockroach-like salesmen instead of the one in my lng used presecription, when a call to my specialist in the city I originally lived revealed that the drug being pushed was no better, and posxibly worse, than the originally prescribed drug. Drug companies,, doctors and researchers can save lives, but sometimes it is profit over honesty, and buyer beware. Get a second opinion on a drug, especially when it has been offered as an alternative to the one you currently take.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Cigarettes more dangerous than ever: U.S. health report See in context

Even third hand smoke, particles on clothes indoors, kills.It is not just about whether one likes or dislikes smelly clothes.But JT can get away with trying to sideline complaints by putting up posters on subways telling smokers to mind their manners. As if that absolves them of guilt in the crime of murder.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Missing 12-year-old girl turns up in restaurant car park See in context

Actually reading the article, I don't see any indications, but the article is poorly written. It also does not look at why the police refused to give info or if--in fact-- they even had info. It is probably just a verbatim report of what the police said the girl said as well. Little effort is madee to pursue a story in order to clarify.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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