I am sorry but I don't understand what is so wrong about this. Of course I have heard all the arguments concerning corporations and government officials in bed together and how Amagudari just maintains that status quo.
But, there is another side to the story. Two points:
The Japanese government attracts the best and brightest from its top ranked schools to enter into government service at ridiculously low wages. I have personally known many of these outstanding people. They do their jobs exceedingly well for Japan to include both the people and industry unlike many other places where the government employees are chosen for social policy rather than qualification reasons. Do you not feel that we incur some obligation to help them after they retire to provide for their families?The way the government is structured, unlike industry, many are forced to retire early. The reasons are many but do not normally include poor performance or illegal activity. Perhaps the primary cause is the pyramid structure of the ministries where only one member of their year class can advance to the top. This is Japanese culture and nothing is wrong with it. The people who must retire early need jobs. They are highly qualified and eager. By Amagudari they benefit both the government and the people.
Is there room for misconduct? Of course, but I would argue that is a very small room.
-13 ( +1 / -14 )
Might I remind the anti-smoking fanfics here of a couple of quotes: Temperate temperance is best. Intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance, while temperate temperance helps it in its fight against intemperate intemperance. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky.Mark Twain's Notebook, 1896
It is the prohibition that makes anything precious.Mark Twain's Notebook
I don't know why others want me to give up my habits for them. I truly believe that Smoking in not as harmful as the liberals say it is. faux science!
-1 ( +4 / -5 )
All this disagreement with the Japanese way of life. Many of us believe we live in an "Enlightened Age" where all the value systems of past generations are misguided. I personally applaud the Japanese for still having a set of values and trying to live by them. For all those criticizing everything please look at your own countries: Rampant crime, large numbers of single parent families, attacks on anything/everything that appears traditional or moral. The Japanese are fighting an uphill battle with the internationalists who seem to think this is some sort of banana republic with behind the times rules and traditions. This is their country, you are guests, please remember that. I personally have chosen to live here for 30+ years simply because I enjoy a safe, respectful environment where people still believe in their nation, their families, and their values. It is not perfect, nor is anywhere else, but it is civilized. I unfortunately can't say that about many of the places we come from.
-4 ( +1 / -5 )
There is a reason that most of the Bases are in Okinawa. It has nothing to do with mainland Japan not desiring to host the Americans, it is simply geography. The Ryukyu Island Chain sits in a very strategic possession, that same location that made them such a great trading nation in the past. That is why the Americans desire to be there.
What I am not sure of is why that is still relevant in today's age of supersonic aircraft and forward deployed Carrier Battle Groups. I understand the Marines logic as a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) needs to be co located as the air wing is a critical transport resource for deployments.
What I also don't understand is why the Futema couldn't be simply relocated to Kadena. The inter-service rivalry that I believe is preventing that is asinine. An even better choice IMHO would be Guam as it is American territory and not such a great distance from Okinawa. But wait, Guam is America so they would have to pay for their own bases.
5 ( +9 / -4 )
Simple question, how could the dogs mothers owner possibly know the dogs motives? Weren't they from Akita? The story goes that the butcher, like many other caring individuals, chose to feed Hachiko because he was still coming everyday although starving
0 ( +0 / -0 )
To all of you who commented on my post I thank you. You made some very astute points. I especially like the comment concerning Japan and Democracy. I agree, Japan doesn't totally comprehend democracy, nor am I sure they want to. Please remember it was basically forced onto them. They, like Germans, prefer an orderly life where every knows their place in society and abides by it. There is no shame in the saying that the nail that stands up is hammered down. It seems to me that America is fast moving that way with political correctness, aren't they?
As to the Constitution, Abe won't be writing it. The very capable folks in Kasumigaseki will be. Many of them are my friends and they want. To do what's right. Honestly Japan is concerned with Chnias rising military power, which by the way I see no one here commenting on and their need to be self reliant. Yes the past was bad, but those days are gone and won't return, just as they wont return in Germany.
Is Japan contrite enough, perhaps not but different cultures approach problems in different ways. As we all know Japanese prefer to keep shame and problems within. While they might outwardly deny Japanese feel. Uct more contrite then you give them credit for, it just appears that her Asian neighbors continue to stir the stinkpot to make up for their own shame that Japan has passed them in both human rights and technology.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
My fellow readers. As a German I grew up with the guilt and victor led tales of my countries and Japan's during the war. Of course any and all misconduct by allied forces was conveniently overlooked. As Germany has learned to accept its past and move forward so just Japan, but on her terms, not those dictated by others. Step One is a "Japanese" Constitution, not the American model thrust upon her after the war. That means defining the wishes of the Japanese people through a Japanese lens, not those of others. The LDP was solidly re-elected so therefore they represent the people. It is time for the Japanese to stand up. Why is the US dictating policy on troop presences in Okinawa and making Japan pay for them to leave. We might note of interest the reduction of US troop levels in Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall from over 300,000 to 70,000 or so. Why has no such occurrence taken place here? We might say apples and oranges but was it not the same Cold War? Let us be less judgmental and let the Japanese decide their own path. We might be surprised at well they succeed.
-6 ( +9 / -14 )
There is no question that bias exist in the context of Racism, Homophopia, Equality of all types, and I can go on and on. The solution, at least in the US does not lie in more government programs and political correctness but rather in all the varied segments of the population trying to work together. The reason that blacks are always in the news is that they commit crime at such a highly disapportioned rate as compared to their ratio in the general population which I believe is only about 13%. Black community leaders should do more to teach their children that going to school, getting a profession and a job is a much better alternative to selling drugs and committing crimes. Call me racist if you wish but I am from Europe and I look at Great Britain which at one point also had slavery yet race relations in that country are so much better, not perfect, better. It seems in the US the loudest get the most attention, free handouts, and the silent majority, mostly whites just get taught that they are guilty of the crimes of their ancestors. Meanwhile they are just giving away their country and culture which those ancestors work so hard to build.
1 ( +5 / -4 )
I read these comments quite frequently and generally do not comment, but in this case feel it neccesaary.
I have been in Japan 20 years. I am from Germany and I must admit it, I go to Hostess Clubs sometimes (most commonly referred to as Snacks).
Not the ones such as in the Photo above with flashy signs and time limits but the more exclusive places in Ginza, Shinbashi, and Azabu. Admitedly they are not cheap, but the "Keep Bottle" system defrays a lot of the costs.
I have never been refused entrance, perhaps because I always go the first time with a Japanese friend. While there I speak Japanese, and make them feel comfortable that I understand the system.
Here is where most foreigners have it wrong. The Japanese are not neccesarily exclusionary, they are however very fearful of misunderstandings and feel foreigners don't know the system, based in many cases on bad experiences.
Many of the girls are students trying to make a few extra yen and won't rip you off if you are polite, there are of course exceptions.
Such establishments are good places to bring business contacts or just have a beer or two and relax without your university students by chance running into you.
0 ( +0 / -0 )