voiceofokinawa comments

Posted in: Picasso artworks auctioned for combined $109 mil in Las Vegas See in context

Picasso was a genius, no doubt, but one must know that everything he tried was not necessarily a masterpiece.

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Posted in: Picasso artworks auctioned for combined $109 mil in Las Vegas See in context

Picasso had painted facial profiles of human beings many a time with two eyes on one side. If his ultimate goal was to draw a picture like an innocent child, he should have known that no child draws a human face with two eyes on one side. Unexceptionally, a child will draw a human face by a circle with two eyes, a nose and a mouth.

Picasso was a genius, no doubt, but one must know that everything he tried was a masterpiece.

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Posted in: Picasso artworks auctioned for combined $109 mil in Las Vegas See in context

The market value and artistic value of an art work are two different things. 

The market value is decided on by the economic principle of demand and supply formed by art dealers and gallery owners. It's said Picasso held receptions when new paintings were finished and explained the background of finished works to the guests of receptions. He seems to have possessed a business knack.

Compare him with Van Gogh, who could sell only two pieces of works while he was alive.

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Posted in: U.S. urges N Korea to stop missile tests and return to talks See in context

I think it's next to impossible for the U.S. to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile testing programs, for they think nuclear and missile development is vital for their survival as a nation. They may come to talks but will never discard its nuclear and missile programs as the U.S. wishes.

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Posted in: Kishida interrupts campaign after N Korea test-fires missile See in context

LDP lawmakers are hoping for Japan capable of attacking hostile missile sites pre-emptively in spite of the war-renouncing constitution. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary under the Koizumi administration, Shinzo Abe accompanied then P.M. Junichiro Koizumi to Pyongyang for a negotiation to retrieve Japanese citizens who had been kidnapped by North Korean agents in the 1970's and 80's. 

Since then, Abe has been saying North Korea poses great danger to Japan, thus helping the Japanese government increment its defense budget, at first somewhat indirectly as Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary but later directly as Prime Minister. 

China proved its reliability as North Korea's ally during the Korean War, for they sent hordes of troops (2.4 million of them) to the Korean Peninsula to assist the Kim Il-sung forces in carrying out the war against the U.S. in a troop formation known as the "human wave tactics".

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Posted in: Mount Aso volcano erupts See in context

Seems mother nature is suddenly awake from hibernation, trembling and spewing smokes from volcanoes everywhere. A propitious sign of a world-scale disaster?

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Posted in: Kishida interrupts campaign after N Korea test-fires missile See in context

Why is North Korea repeating missile testing? To launch a war against Japan and the U.S.A.? Do they think they could sustain and win the war if they started it? If they do, they are no different from the mindless war-time leaders of pre-1945 Japan. 

They must know more than enough that they are no match for the Japan-U.S. military alliance.  And yet Japan's conservative politicians take this as a god-send opportunity to revise the pacifist constitution and also to strengthen its military capability, doubling the defense budget.

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Posted in: Colin Powell dies of COVID-19 complications at 84 See in context

Desert Tortoise (Oct. 19 09:51 am JST),

In the UK, the Philippines and Oman where you served, things may be as you stated. But have you been deployed to Japan, Okinawa in particular, where U.S. base commanders never report to commanders in JSDF? The SOFA warrants U.S. military personnel are beyond and above Japanese laws and the Japanese constitution.

When toxic-tainted water was released outside of bases, intentionally or accidentally, as happened recently in Okinawa, all the local people could do was lodge a protest against Okinawa Defense Bureau, a branch office of Tokyo's Ministry of Defense, which only said it would convey the protest to the U.S. side without any hitch. 

That means that U.S. bases and the land on which they are planted are all  U.S. properties, nothing short of it.

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Posted in: Colin Powell dies of COVID-19 complications at 84 See in context

To recap the first paragraph of this article:

Colin Powell's sterling reputation of service to Republican and Democratic presidents was stained by his faulty claims to justify the 2003 U.S. war in Iraq.

I also remember him publicly boasting that the U.S. owns no square-inch of land overseas. That may be true at first glance -- superficially, that is.

It's said, though, that the U.S. has 517 bases and facilities on foreign land all over the world. In Okinawa alone there are 32 such bases and facilities. No local can enter the compounds freely without being charged with criminality. The land may be owned by locals but right to the exclusive use of these bases and facilities rests entirely with the U.S.  

Can one boast then that the U.S. is not like a 19th/20th century colonial power that possessed foreign territories for free, exclusive use and exploitation?

Gen. Colin Powell, R.I.P.

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Posted in: Islamic State claims responsibility for mosque bombing in south Afghanistan See in context

A religion is something people seek for the solace and tranquility of soul.

So, how can one explain this horrendous bloodshed caused by suicide attacks by one religious group on another? Both IS and Taliban are Sunni Muslims by denomination that hate Shiite Muslims like hell. 

I wonder what the relationship is between IS and Taliban, politically as well as religiously.

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Posted in: Komeito chief casts doubt on LDP's plan to increase defense spending See in context

Japan's current defense budget is $4.6618 trillion or 0.94% of its GDP, ranking the 9th among nations in terms of military spending. If the percentage doubled to 2.0%, then Japan's defense budget will become more than $9.4 trillion, making it the third largest after the U.S. and China, budget-wise. What does it mean? It means nothing but nonsense. The money should be spent for social welfare and education.

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Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

Desert Tortoise,

If you say the U.S. military presence in Japan is necessary to put a lid on it so that its militarism might not revive and Japan ransack its neighboring countries once again, then you should say so clearly. You should say, along with me, that the bilateral security treaty is a gimmick to camouflage this shameful reality. 

No nice words such as "The U.S. forces are here to defend Japan" or "The US. service members are all prepared to give their life to defend Japan", as a departing USFJ commander wrote in his farewell message in The Japan Times.

 

Peter14,

The Allied Forces were comprised of the militaries of the U.S., Australia, Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, China (Kuomintang) and France. Occupation forces until 1951, they all left Japan promptly except the U.S. forces when the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed and Japan recovered its sovereignty. Apparently, the U.S. forces couldn't be stationed in Japan as occupation forces and so the U.S. government cajoled Japan into signing a new treaty to make its forces, hitherto occupation forces, continue to be stationed the same as before. 

That treaty, officially known as the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan, is indeed a gimmick to camouflage the hard reality that Japan is still being occupied singularly by the U.S. forces. Come to Okinawa for the first-hand confirmation of this reality.

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Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

Peter14(Oct. 13  04:30 pm JST),

Well that just says Japan is as safe as it can get since there have been no occupation forces in Japan for over 65 years. But China does like to increase its territory and make others follow its will so Japan being so close is in danger again. Thanks goodness the American forces are guest's of Japan and can discourage constant unrelenting Chinese aggression in the region.

There are three taken-for-granted premises in your argument in the post above. One: The U.S. forces are not occupation forces. Two: They are here as guests, that is, they came here at Japan's request. Three: The U.S. forces are here to defend Japan, and so they work as deterrent to fend off China's possible aggression.

As for One:  How do you consider the fact that the U.S. military presence in Japan has been continual and seamless since Japan's defeat of World War II in 1945. You may say the occupation ended when Japan recovered its sovereignty in 1951. But that recovery of sovereignty was a makeshift measure, for hitherto occupation forces remained just the same as before with bases and personnel perquisites kept intact. Only the name changed. They now call themselves USFJ.

As for Two:

The Japanese delegation to San Francisco to sign the Peace Treaty was whisked away to a U.S. Army barrack in the city to sign another agreement with the U.S. that would guarantee the continued U.S. military presence in post-occupation Japan. The Japanese delegation was shown an English version of the treaty only hours before they had to sign it.

As for Three:

The bilateral security treaty signed on the sideline of the San Francisco Peace Treaty was revised in 1960 with a provision added to the effect that the U.S. forces must defend Japan. But for the U.S. the main reason for maintaining troops and bases in Japan is to secure itself. Defending Japan is only secondary and incidental. It's comic then that Japan provides so much land and space to USFJ for free use, believing the U.S. forces are stationed here to defend Japan mainly, and at the cost of their life at that.

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Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

How would LDP lawmakers establish consistency for an increase of the defense budget or even the budget itself under the constitution? Article 9 of the constitution says:

(1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

Gen. Douglas McArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers but rather a demi-god ruler of defeated Japan, made efforts to pull the buds of militarism or anything reminiscent of militarism off occupied Japan. Martial arts, such as judo, kendo and karate, were expunged from the school curriculum. Even shodo or traditional calligraphy was prohibited from teaching at school.

Look how he flipflopped that policy of making Japan demiliterized to the nail when the Cold War intensified, urging the tail-wagging Japanese government to rearm by establishing the so-called Self Defense Forces. Since then, the U.S. government has been urging Tokyo to increase its defense budget and help the U.S. fight global wars.

So, LDP lawmakers' sanctioning of Japan's defense budget to go beyond 2% of the GDP cap is undoubtedly a response to Washington's urging and pressure.

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Posted in: North Korea's Kim says U.S. is 'root cause' of tensions See in context

Area-wise, the U.S. is 76 times larger than North Korea. The U.S. currently has 3,750 nuclear weapons, reduced from 31,255. How many nuclear weapons North Korea has, nobody knows exactly, but compared with the U.S. the number may be minuscule.

The U.S. wants North Korea to possess none of nuclear weapons and pressures it to do so. Even so, North Korea keeps developing nuclear weapons and missiles to carry them. Naturally, tensions result from this. 

Pandora's box was pry opened by the U.S. in 1945 when two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing a harsh nuclear arms race thereafter. This is really a sad situation. But can one nuclear power blame the other, by saying "You are the root cause of tensions and all"?

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Posted in: Pulitzer-winning scholar Sherwin, who challenged support for U.S. bombing of Japan, dead at 84 See in context

Most Americans justify themselves by thinking the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary to end the war quickly. There's some truth in it.

The Japanese people at the time were all prepared to fight the war to the last person albeit confronted with the hard reality that total destruction of cities by B-29s continued every day.

Toward the end of the war incendiary bombs were used to burn and ruin everything -- people, the infrastructure and all. Even so, people's high spirit to keep fighting was not crushed. The general public, not alone soldiers, had been brainwashed to believe dedication of one's life to the state was sublime mores and acts. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were propagated  by word of mouth that "special bombs" were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After the war, people used to say Japan lost the war only physically, resource-wise, but not mentally

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Posted in: China's Xi says reunification with Taiwan must happen See in context

Abraham Lincoln once said the cession of the South must be prevented by all means, even at the cost of slavery liberation. Can the China-Taiwan relation be construed in exactly the same context?

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Posted in: M5.9 quake halts trains in Tokyo area; 32 injured See in context

In the early hours of yesterday a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan, killing 20 people and injuring dozen others. And now this quake, shaking the Tokyo metropolitan area with a 5.9 magnitude in the late hours also of yesterday.

Is something unusual happening deep underground? Earthquakes here and there, volcanic eruptions here and there. Is tectonic movement activated frantically across the globe all at once?

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Posted in: Kishida says coronavirus, economy, security top his agenda See in context

In conjunction with my comment of Oct. 5  12:40 pm JST:

It seems vote buying has been a very common practice in the election of LDP's Secretary General. This irregularity is not subject to an investigation under Political Funds Control Act because it’s the LDP's internal affairs per se.  It’s unknown which faction in the party used dirty money most for vote buying. 

Remember, though, that LDP Secretary General is eventually to become Prime Minister of Japan. It's no exaggeration, then, that successive Japanese Prime Ministers have been voted in by a small group of LDP members through vote buying and bribery.

Apparently, Japan is not a democracy but a plutocracy. The election system must be renovated. Prime Minister should be elected by general voting.

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Posted in: U.S. reveals nuclear bomb numbers after Trump blackout See in context

The U.S. has reduced nuclear bomb numbers from 31,255 to 3,750, a laudable endeavor on the part of the US. Even so, the number is too big, and so I think the U.S. cannot persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs completely. The U.S.'s attitude is like someone selfish trying to draw water only to his own paddy field at the cost of others.

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Posted in: Nobel physics prize goes to 3 for climate discoveries See in context

An amateurish question to anti-globalism of the earth's temperature.

If the present tend continues, by 2091, the temperature will rise 1.0 degree Centigrade. The percentage is the mean average of the years but in actuality we may experience the rise and fall of extreme temperatures. So, isn't the rise of 0.3 degrees Centigrade in the past 30 years very significant?

The earth is undergoing global warming without any doubt.

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Posted in: Nobel physics prize goes to 3 for climate discoveries See in context

The physicist himself was surprised at the news. 

Climatology seems not an established field of studies as yet. In fact, there are a bunch of scholars who claim there's no such thing as global warming. For example, Tsdashi Watanabe, a University of Tokyo-affiliated specialist in CO2,  says the earth's temperature rose only 0.3 degrees Centigrade in the past 30 years., an indiscernible rise for human senses.

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Posted in: Kishida says coronavirus, economy, security top his agenda See in context

Looking at the picture of newly installed male ministers in anachronistic attire, I cannot help but suspect how many of them are wearing their own tailcoats. Haven't most of them had rented the coats at a rental shop in the Ginza or Kasumigazeki?

Hope their execution of policy won't be likewise anachronistic.

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Posted in: Kishida says coronavirus, economy, security top his agenda See in context

A piece of big news that cannot be let to go unchallenged.

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has criticized severely the way the LDP leader vote was conducted. Big money flowed underneath behind the door to elect Secretary General, according to Chunichi Sports: 10/05/2021).

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Posted in: Kishida to create new ministerial post for economic security See in context

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reported to be steaming mad with the new lineup of LDP personnel that Kishida has announced, even saying that's not "an Abe puppet government". He wants Sanae Takaichi, his faithful protegee and an ultra-conservative, to be installed as Secretary General and eventually Prime Minister (Daily Gendai Digital: 10/2/2021) .

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Posted in: Suzuki to be Japan finance chief; Motegi to stay as foreign minister See in context

If Suga is really deceiving the nation, I have no sympathy for him to go out of the door. But if his successor was a man of the same mindset, what else should I say except that Japan was literally a hopeless country?

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Posted in: Suzuki to be Japan finance chief; Motegi to stay as foreign minister See in context

Soon to be outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in an interview with a Ryukyu Shimpo reporter that he wanted the Kishida government to go ahead with the Henoko relocation plan without any hitch, adding that the relocation was the only solution to eliminate the danger USMC Air Station Futenma posed to area residents.

He sounds as if the reason for the return of Futenma Air Station was to eliminate the danger the air station posed to area residents. Has he forgotten the return was announced ceremoniously to palliate the island-wide protest and uproar against the rape incident by three U.S. service members on a 12-year-old local girl?

If the elimination of the danger is the main reason why Futenma must be closed and returned, then for sure Kadena Air Base must be the next in line for a return. For, you know, Kadena has posed a far more danger and hazards than Futenma, owing to its countless aircraft accidents and sound/environment pollution.

After Kadena, it may be be Yokota Air Base in Tokyo. If so, I will take Suga’s words at face value; but, it not, he is tricking and cheating the whole nation.

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Posted in: Kishida fills ruling party key posts with Abe allies See in context

Kishida fills ruling party key posts with Abe allies

That means the new government will be no different from a shadow Abe government and nothing will change from the incumbent Suga government -- no re-investigation of the suspicious Moritomo/Kake Gakuen scandals and no reconsideration of the Henoko new base issue in Okinawa.

Abnormality is the norm of Japanese politics.

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Posted in: U.S. to seek close ties with Kishida in dealing with China challenge See in context

Desert Tortoise (Oct. 1 10:01 am JST),

What kind of strategic role will the Marines' new base in Henoko play? That's the point at issue. As I said repeatedly on other threads before, the most active elements of the Okinawa-based Marines will relocate to Guam, leaving only support (logistics) and command units behind in Okinawa. 

All Marine facilities in Okinawa are for the training of troops, who come to Okinawa on a regular basis just for training -- landing, parachuting, jungle warfare and flight training.

Desert Tortoise (Oct. 1 10:06 am JST),

So you want to say the Marines stationed in Okinawa are like firefighters always prepared for contingencies? But I keep saying the Marines' strategy is an absolute shambles to convince us reasonably enough.

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Posted in: U.S. to seek close ties with Kishida in dealing with China challenge See in context

I am asking about your strategic reason.

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