Seiharinokaze comments

Posted in: Germany urges Japan to deal honestly with WWII past See in context

It was actually impossible to pursue the responsibility of the war in exact terms. If you try to do it, many middle class military officers and mass media of the time as well as the emperor would have to be brought to the court. The class A convicts in a way took all the responsibility to acquit the emperor and the nation. In an unspoken inhibited sense they were also loyal to the emperor. Hence the excuse though it may sound lame that Yasukuni is an "internal" matter or that there is no absolute good or evil and so on. Unlike Japanese, Ludendorff or anybody else didn't seem to want to save German emperor Wilhelm II.

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Posted in: Japan eyes revision of U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement See in context

The proposal is seen as a way of securing Okinawan Gov Hirokazu Nakaima’s approval for the preliminary landfill work for the proposed new site of the Futenma air base.

Or rather it can be seen as a way of nudging the US into revising SOFA, which presently waives the US responsibility to restore the soil condition of the base even if polluted with dioxin and others to what it used to be. Abe is fairly deft to make it a bargaining point for Futenma air base relocation.

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Posted in: Japan's next defense budget to post biggest rise in 18 years See in context

Not sure if the recent news of Chinese stealth fighters is part of some information warfare to let us have a sense of urgency. Abe is a kind of premier who in his heart would like to make ATD-X (a stealth fighter developed and produced in Japan) a real demonstrator and use it for FX instead of F-35. But of course he would keep mum lest he should get scrapped.

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Posted in: U.S. urges China to set up hotline with Japan, S Korea See in context

China claims the Senkaku islands are appendix islands of Taiwan. The ADIZ set up by China includes Japan's territorial sky over the Senkaku islands. But it does not include airspace over Taiwan which CCP claims as part of China. China's action is apparently provocative and increases tensions in the region. And Biden didn't ask China to withdraw the ADIZ or at least exclude the airspace over Senkaku. He instead suggested that Japan and China should set up a hotline to talk. But China is not stupid to go to war with Japan at this time and let the US be involved and lose everything. Precarious detante is what they want to see in this region (it might be more productive than perfect peace in various ways) while China's ADIZ will become a fait accompli as well as a good deflector for the people.

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Posted in: U.S. advises airlines to comply with China air zone demands See in context

Lulling of tensions or respite often comes by way of meeting halfway instead of standing firm along with Mr. Biden who seems to have to ingratiate himself with Beijing.

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Posted in: Japan, Russia agree to expand defense cooperation See in context

Abe seems to get on well with Putin rather than Obama. He has met Putin four times this year. Abe as a rare move for the vassal state premier supported Putin when Obama tried to start a military intervention in Syria. Russia's defense ties with Japan may be not only for reducing tensions with Japan but also for checking its longtime ally China's coming into the Sea of Okhotsk and up into the Arctic Ocean. Russians are very practical people. Also as a supplier of LNG with its geographical vicinity to Japan, Russia makes its presence increasingly felt when Japan's import volume of fossil fuel increases expanding its trade deficit.

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Posted in: Japan protests against South Korean drill on disputed islands See in context

There was a secret agreement between Japan and South Korea just before the normalization treaty was concluded in 1965. It was scooped by a South Korean magazine in its April issue of 2007, which Sankei newspaper reported immediately on March 20. The deal was as follows:

1. Both countries would recognize that the other claimed the islets as their own territory, and neither side would object when the other made a counter argument. They agreed to regard it as a problem that would have to be resolved in the future.

2. If any fishing territories were demarcated in the future, both countries could use Takeshima/Dokdo as their own territory to mark the boundaries. Those places where the two lines overlapped would be considered joint territory.

3. The status quo in which South Korea occupied the islets would be maintained, but the Koreans would not increase their police presence or build new facilities.

4. Both countries would uphold this agreement.

South Korea recognized that Japan claimed the islets as its own territory. And vice versa. Both agreed that it was a problem to be solved in time. But South Korea seems to have forgotten it and began to argue that there is no dispute over the islands while condemning Japan's claim to the islets as amnesia of history and resurgence of militarism. And No.3 is a total dead letter already.

As the islets were a seafarers' landmark for ages who sailed between Oki and Ullelungdo, it's high time to settle it peacefully or in a down-to-earth way and make the area more productive for the peoples of the region.

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Posted in: Japan protests against South Korean drill on disputed islands See in context

They better not practice a drill on the islands. It makes the situation worse. When the normalization treaty of 1965 was concluded, Park Chunghee admitted that the islands were disputed and the problem was shelved for future settlement. So South Korea should not have changed the status quo of the islets by building a fortress on it. And continuing to rule the islets assuming it is theirs for ever doesn't solve anything either. Go to arbitration by a third party as stipulated in the treaty of 1965 is the best and wise solution.

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Posted in: China summons Japanese ambassador over Yasukuni visit See in context

Strangely enough, Kuomintang which fought with the Japanese army and nominated some of the class A convicts for the military tribunal and sent a judge to the court doesn't care a bit about the shrine visit. So it's rather PRC's internal affairs. The upper crust of CCP who have amassed disproportionately huge wealth and invested it through Sachs and the like have to be always righteous enough to discipline sordid Japan.

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Posted in: Abe open to talks with China but no concessions on Senkakus See in context

"We sincerely hope to properly resolve them through negotiation and consultation with countries directly resolved," Wang said.

In September last year former US Defense Secretary Panetta said in Beijing that the US hopes the issue would be solved peacefully through bilateral talks between China and Japan. Was he in rapport with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi? China in her heart of hearts may be claiming not a sovereignty but a share of resources. That's why they shun going to the ICJ. If the case turns against them out there as it probably would, they will not be able to have a share. Make the best of a fake bargain. Chinese use all the wiles they have including the status of a creditor. By a curious coincidence in today's Yomiuri newspaper Richard Armitage wrote that it is difficult to share the sovereignty over the Senkaku islands but not so difficult to share the resources around the islands, suggesting that Japan come to the negotiating table with China. As it is Abe might come short of superpowers' expectations.

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Posted in: China says it is ready to talk if Japan admits isles are disputed See in context

China strangely rules out the option of going to the ICJ, by which they can automatically have Japan accept that the islands are disputed. And the US stands neutral on the sovereignty of the islands and seems to suggest that Japan get around the table as China urges instead of having the matter settled at the ICJ. Japan should always remember the two-sidedness of diplomacy; Biden can be affable to Xí Jinping a good financial customer while chiding Abe for any action that may raise tensions in the East China Sea, setting aside the sales of state of the art weaponry.

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Posted in: Deer dance See in context

Miyazawa Kenji wrote about the true spirit of Shishiodori in one of his fairy tales. It's about an immense feeling of love which was not divided yet. Men of old forgot the distinction between themselves humans and deers and even tried to dance with them. That spirit is a legacy of Tohoku people.

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Posted in: Obama, Abe discuss Syria crisis See in context

Abe looks unctuously concerned with the situation but somehow remains noncommittal without saying that he would support America's military action. It's not necessarily because he is disliked by Obama, but perhaps because he wants to draw a line with American skulduggery.

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Posted in: Gov't begins week of hearings on planned sales tax hike See in context

The Finance Ministry had the sales tax hike enacted by manipulating former prime ministers Kan and Noda and LDP's then top Tanigaki after ousting Ozawa. Not to raise the sales tax will incur bureaucrats' displeasures and uncooperative behaviors to stalemate the government. Abe knows it but he seems to be hesitating to go ahead with the sales tax hike as scheduled. If they raise the sales tax, economy will slacken and tax revenues will not increase and deflation will continue. But the Finance Ministry doesn't like the idea. They think that if economy picks up and revenues increase, they cannot raise taxes. Continuation of deflation serves for their main aim of raising taxes.

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Posted in: Aso says he won't resign over Nazi comments See in context

Aso's remark is sure misleading. He meant to say with black humor that the Weimar constitution was changed into the Nazi constitution in silence without anyone realizing it. The Nazis did it mater-of-factly. Mass media didn't make a noise either. Even if the Nazis changed the constitution in silence, it does not mean that democracy should make a noise in revising the constitution. Doing it quietly, why don’t we learn from that sort of tactic?

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Posted in: Aso retracts Nazi remarks amid criticism See in context

Aso suggested that the constitution has to be revised in a cool-headed environment instead of a hectic clamorous atmosphere such as when the Weimar Constitution was revised under Nazis without anyone being aware of it. It's in this context that Aso made his comment. Why don't we learn the technique of Nazis? is his black humor to make it sound ironic and amusing rather than anything to justify Nazis' way of revising the constitution. It was quite clear to the audience who were there listening to his speech. But it was picked up ad hoc and spread and as usual lost on the high-minded mass media and neighboring countries.

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Posted in: Chinese ask: Why doesn’t Japan hate America for dropping the A-bombs? See in context

Chinese bloggers wanted to know why it is that Japan does not hate America,

Haplogroup D (YAP positive) and the vowel language as well as the notion of shunyata (everything is inter-dependent not arising of itself) made up the Japanese mentality which is basically credulous and forgiving. The first two factors are absent from the Chinese people and the last one is forgotten by them.

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Posted in: Poor English saved Japanese bankers during 2008 crisis: Aso See in context

ViennaSausage2 san,

Sorry, but the problem is the stupidity does not seem to end. QE money they provided for putting things in order after 2008 has been still used for reckless loans by Americans as well as for speculative money. Anyway we might brace ourselves for another result of something the clever people out there are scheming.

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Posted in: Poor English saved Japanese bankers during 2008 crisis: Aso See in context

Mitsubishi-Tokyo-UFJ bought 3.3 trillion yens worth of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bonds and Norinchukin bought 5.5 trillion of them. The latter has an asset management division with more than 300 MBA holders from top-tier schools of US. Aside from their English skills, they were actually, unlike the French, unaware that stupid Americans were doing something cunning and dishonest.

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Posted in: Americans know that democracy is something that must constantly be fought for. Japan never had a revolutionary war. Democracy was given to us by MacArthur. See in context

Gosh, sorry, getting weak-sighted recently. It's "advocated abolition of all forms of racial discrimination". I don't talk about immigration law. I talk about how people as citizens of the country were treated. And there was no discrimination law in Japan.

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Posted in: Americans know that democracy is something that must constantly be fought for. Japan never had a revolutionary war. Democracy was given to us by MacArthur. See in context

It was in November 2000 that the last racial discrimination law (that forbade marriage between white and nonwhite people) was abolished in Alabama, U.S. That's 7 years later after South Africa abolished its discrimination law. It was in 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference that Japan advocated all forms of racial discrimination, which U.S. and Britain obstructed with all their might.

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Posted in: U.S. seeks Japan, S Korea meeting to improve ties See in context

Japanese and Taiwanese seem to understand each other even without speaking. In the case of Koreans, it is often said, the filial piety of Confucianism as a kind of fundamentalism precedes or perhaps eliminated the notion of letting go which Taoism and Buddhism may have taught them in the previous ages, and makes it difficult for them to get along with Japanese. Grudge of the father stays and should stay forever. Even the passage of time does not allow the name and fame of the dead to be defamed by the freedom of pursuing historical truths or freedom of expression. A writer is sued for defamation of a dead person a hundred years later even if he writes the truth. It is unthinkable in Japan. Such Koreans' temperament was perhaps culturally molded during Chosun dynasty which ousted Buddhism. Without considering the gap between the traits of the two nations, it is fruitless for U.S. or anyone else to urge them to improve ties.

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Posted in: Korean campaigns for removal of Japanese flag from French stores See in context

Sorry, the URL is not shown correctly. Pls put an underscore between current and ex. Also between yokoo and exhibition.

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Posted in: Korean campaigns for removal of Japanese flag from French stores See in context

Sorry to cut in. Sumburst image actually reminds us of the prewar and wartime era. But the image motif adopted by artists nowadays does not glorify the war but in most cases caricatures the pathos of those times which can be projected onto the present day by analogy. So the image together with other kitsch like Mishima Yukio in fundoshi holding a Japanese sword, a figure of beckoning cat in white porcelain, teeth braces seen between grinning lips or a steam locomotive puffing under magenta-colored cherry blossoms, though of bad taste, was appreciated as component of J-pop culture, not glamorization of the past. Even Koreans appreciate it and recognize that the Rising Sun symbolizes Japan and the rays emanating from it don't seem to bother them particularly. http://www.zeroonecenter.com/site/exhibition/current_ex/yokoo_exhibition/introduction.htm

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Posted in: Korean campaigns for removal of Japanese flag from French stores See in context

Sunburst image when used in subcultural context in 1960's to '70's when Japan was reemerging as an economic animal seemed to express a dislocation of values in those days. Economic resurgence somehow reminded us of the fervor of the previous age when we fought with all our might. All the fervor looks kitsch, uncouth and grotesque. Sunburst image was fit to express it. But sometimes I wonder which is more kitsch sunburst image or Koreans.

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Posted in: Japanese cabinet ministers say G-8 stance is sign of approval for 'Abenomics' See in context

You're kidding yourself if you actually believe the deregulation part.

The Glass-Steagall Act (the securities business should be separated from the banking business) was abolished in 1999 as part of financial regulatory reforms. Was it not sort of deregulation thereby contributing to the super bubble of derivatives with the help of financial engineering and globalization? Abe and Kuroda will be humble enough not to emulate such big names as Larry Summers, Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan.

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Posted in: Japanese cabinet ministers say G-8 stance is sign of approval for 'Abenomics' See in context

Japan has been awash with liquidity these years but the US and EC are more awash. FRB's QE was for putting things in order after the financial crisis of 2008 (which interestingly occurred in a country where deregulation was pursued almost to the max). Needless to say about EU. Whereas Japan's easy money policy is for ending deflation by increasing money supply so that they can spend it on capital investment and let nominal GDP grow. Under the near zero interest rates, there is no other means except increasing money supply. G8 ought to have nothing to complain of about it. Let Japan print more money. Though financiers and vulture funds have already preyed on the high stock prices in Tokyo before the prices begin fluctuate, Japanese will perhaps find where to invest having US and EU in mind as an example of how not to behave.

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Posted in: Abe leaves for Europe to explain 'Abenomics' at G8 summit See in context

If Obama doesn't want to meet Abe on the sidelines of the summit meeting, Abe can meet Putin. LNG from Qatar which US does not buy anymore will be sold to EU letting Russian LNG be oversupplied in the market. Make friends to Russia and measure how serious US wants to sell its shale gas to Japan. Also be friends to France which has a vast EEZ in the Pacific Ocean having in mind China. And will he go to North Korea too? Even his wife Akie san attended a party hosted by the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo and had a good time during her husband's lone visit to America in last March. Abenomics seems to be an omnidirectional diplomacy.

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Posted in: Japan's sex slave legacy remains open wound See in context

In the end, what does it matter if she a victim of human traffickers, sold by her parents, or ordered to report to the brothel by the authorities (Korean, Japanese or otherwise)? Even if she came of her own accord (and putting aside the horrifying detail that she was only 14), this: She had to take an average of 15 soldiers per day during the week, and dozens over the weekend. At the end of the day she would be bleeding and could not even stand because of the pain. She and other girls were closely watched by guards and could not escape. Is a a crime any way you look at it.

Triumvere

I think it matters. Human traffickers, her parents who sold her, brothel owners who run the comfort station and the military soldiers who were the clientele should be held accountable. And the Asian Women's Fund was possibly one way to solve it.

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Posted in: Japan's sex slave legacy remains open wound See in context

She said that a Japanese police officer and someone from the village office came to her house when she was 14 years old in 1941 and told her that she had to go to a munition factory. And she was taken to a comfort station in Canton, China. But no one except her testifies it. If the government-general of Korea ordered or approved such an action by the authorities, Korean people would have been in tumult. Wasn't she a victim of human trafficking by dealers who deceived her as one of many such similar cases which were often reported and became an object of public concern in Korea of the days? Private dealers ran comfort stations in a military post and many of those dealers were Koreans too. She worked for such comfort stations and her age was perhaps concealed. The Japanese military should have checked the background/identity of comfort woman, particularly if they looked too young. But since the recruitment of women and management of the comfort stations were basically done by dealers, the Japanese government judged it difficult to compensate for those women out of tax money. Besides the Japanese comfort women who accounted for about 60% of comfort women and worked in the same environment were not entitled to any compensation. So the Japanese government set up a relief fund for former Asian comfort women and raised as well as provided funds to be handed to those women with a letter of apology in the name of the prime minister of Japan of the time.

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