Japan Today

Wallaroo comments

Posted in: On Nov 9, tens of millions of Americans will awaken to the realization that someone they loathe will be the 45th president of the United States due to the bitter political divide in the country. How c See in context

The “division” must be pretty convenient for those who exploit the situation behind the curtain since they can let the pathetic go for each others’ throats while they can keep their profits, averting the real issues from their eyes.

If the candidates were serious about the real issues and had will to actually tackle with them, they must have been talking of concrete policies they are going to do rather than just empty rhetoric in trying to take advantage of each other.

I had already seen enough share of people raving about various types of idiotic nationalism (be it anti-Muslim, Black Lives Matter movement or anti-Korean/Chinese feeling, etc) either in English or Japanese. However, the underlining theme seems to remain quite similar among different countries.

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Posted in: Do you think that ceremonies for victims of the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should include references to the victims of Japan’s acts of aggression before and during World War II? See in context

I don’t deny the possibility of trick or bait. At very least, it is pretty unnatural that all of the targeted battleships were relocated just before the attack and, for American military standard, Japanese codes were pretty primitive. Japan had lost information war much earlier than the VJ day. Also, the USA made a hostile move of cutting oil supply to Imperial Japan. That said, bait or not, it is a fact that Japan attacked, at least, some of Americans off-guard, and that Japan had already decided to join the colonialist war long time ago at the time of Pearl Harbor. So-called Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is a propaganda of Japan as another colonialist. In any case, Japan had already been far from innocent. However, this is pretty much off topic.

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Posted in: Do you think that ceremonies for victims of the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should include references to the victims of Japan’s acts of aggression before and during World War II? See in context

I’m always inclined to an opinion something similar to Brainiac. It is only nationalism which allows a totalitarian logic like “We did that but you did this.” It’s absurd to regard every single Japanese individual, including babies and children, responsible for the atrocities the nation committed.

On the other hand, I do understand the opinion like Sensato feeling that Japan as a nation needs to pass the knowledge about these atrocities committed under the name of the emperor and the nation. Actually, indeed it had. There have been quite many school teachers used to openly teach these atrocities and the neglect of human rights done in the past totalitarian government. Some of them rejected to sing the national anthem till recently. Now the cabinet is even shamelessly letting students inform against teachers who teach negative history of the nation.

As for colonialism, in my understanding, it is still going on under different appearances. While some people call it no-colonialism some others call it financial colonialism. Whatsoever it is called, otherwise, how words such as proxy war could even exist and these weapons are mainly made by permanent members of the UNSC. However, as you see, the topic can go forever if we don’t limit the topic.

So, I’d rather stick to the standpoint similar to Brainiac: let us humbly mourn the victims and just remember what human beings are capable of.

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Posted in: Emperor worries age may make it tough to perform his duties See in context

If you don’t understand Japanese and/or if you haven’t read LDP’s draft for revising the constitution, it must be really hard to tell the nuances but, actually, Mr. Akihito is repeating the word “the emperor as the symbol of the State” as opposed to “the emperor as the sovereign of the State” number of times in this relatively short statement. It is very obvious that he is trying to do his best in checking the movement of trying to politically exploit the emperor system again. He may be a weakened elder but he has been fighting for modernizing imperial system compatible with democracy, even if, which may sound odd.

“Even under such circumstances, it is my hope that by thoroughly reflecting on our country’s long history of emperors, the Imperial Family can continue to be with the people at all times and can work together with the people to build the future of our country, and that the duties of the Emperor as the symbol of the State can continue steadily without a break. With this earnest wish, I have decided to make my thoughts known.” He is not worrying about his health but about the discontinuation of what he has been doing: He has been working hard in passing the tradition while adapting it to democracy. Mr. Akihito may sound odd to your ears but I find difficulty in showing respect to him as “an individual.” It’s really ironic that he is much more democratic than the PM is.

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Posted in: Japan's porn industry apologises over coercion claims See in context

It gets darker when you add children into the picture. The required exposure may be less till these “young idles” reach their legal ages but, once they do, there seems to be a system which “persuades” them into porn industry. I think it’s deep-rooted in Japanese history and, whatsoever some politicians may imagine, from where I stand, it’s not a beautiful part of it (http://oldphotosjapan.com/ja/photos/?c=prostitution).

As usual, poverty plays a significant role in this picture, which makes the reality is not limited in Japan, though (http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/university-fees-in-britain-doubles-prostitution/). We hear stories in our daily lives but, if they are not investigated with some financial supports, they will remain as “myths” in this modern society where solid data is everything. Then again, who support such researches?

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Posted in: Do you think the mass media brainwash or try to brainwash the masses in your country? See in context

It's been more than a century since John Swinton stated how “journalists” are payed/make their living.: “There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.” Even in this age of information era, if the fundamental structure stays same, then, why should we expect the story to be any different? Personally, as a slight resistance, I occasionally make my part of donation for independent media but I cannot change the habit of majority who tend to watch louder media no matter how I point out how inconsistent they are.

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Posted in: Radiation from Fukushima nuclear disaster spreads off U.S. shores See in context

Be careful if you are living in contaminated areas or what you eat since the radiations don't mind boarders. Internal exposure is more of a silent killer, which makes it easier for governments to down-play the effects. They have been gathering data, which, however, doesn't mean they give you what they learned from it (cf http://www.democracynow.org/2004/5/5/plutonium_files_how_the_u_s) for obvious reasons.

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Posted in: Kan's defamation suit against Abe over Fukushima crisis thrown out See in context

I still regard Kan as one of the betrayers in DPJ to their voters and he was pro-nuclear power plant before 311 but I think he did quite well during the critical stage of the accident (cf http://japanfocus.org/events/view/141). Not surprisingly, these documentaries are not broadcasted on any of Japanese TV although especially ZDF one clearly shows how Japanese crime syndicates or yakuza, cooperation, (namely TEPCO and media syndicate), politicians and faceless bureaucrats. It goes without saying that these sets work together with US geopolitics with and without nuclear. The tendency had been already there but Abe administration accelerated it in expense of the lives and the proprieties of the majority of the Japanese even further.

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Posted in: Support for Abe bounces back after war statement See in context

Aso was, at very least, honest. Their priority lies in passing the bill, which will increase their power while the war statement is just words plenty of sings of signaling to their supporting layer as FT pointed out.

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Posted in: 7 decades after WWII, many praise Germany, scorn Japan See in context

When? When did the West ever try to make a land grab for Japan? The truth is, the western countries were never interested in Japan. No natural resources, you see.

You don't seem to know even why Tokugawa shogunate reign ended with its sakoku policy, which only monopolized international trade with Holland at the time Perry came to Japan and threat it with Armstrong guns, which have much better range than Japanese ones. After that, quite much of Japanese natural resources went into other nations. In fact, among them, copper had high demands in USA during the initial years of electricity distribution infrastructure.

I've gotten an impression that I'm seeing a concrete example of the limitation of nation-favored "historical" view...

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Posted in: 7 decades after WWII, many praise Germany, scorn Japan See in context

This much is true. (Italy was very brutal in Ethiopia though) Italy had also fought on the allied side in the first world war, rendering their antagonistic actions in ww2 short-lived in most peoples' minds. Germany, as we have seen - has thoroughly atoned. And Japan.........not yet

Atoned is religious words for those who think themselves as the right side but, after killing each other, who would be such a saint? At least, at our adulthood, we know we are not perfect. Then, what these imperfect beings should do would be the next question.

This development you mention in Korea and Taiwan was military in nature, mainly infrastructure for the transport of military supplies and soldiers in preparation for more conquest. I was shown many of these projects when I was in the Army, one of my friends was a Colonel in the Engineers, and he described how the Japanese had built these structures, and for what reasons.

And which county has the most troops deployed all over the world now? Somethings have never changed. If we talk about moral, we should stick to it, rather than letting it intervened by nationalism.

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Posted in: 7 decades after WWII, many praise Germany, scorn Japan See in context

I don't wonder if ordinary Japanese feel that it's unfair that, while the war was, fundamentally, among colonialist countries fighting each other for their own merits, all the sins seem to be pushed onto the loser side. However, look at the current situation of Japan. There must be some middle-grounds than these nation-divided "historical" viewpoints, which are more or less totalitarian, or nation-based political utilitarian.

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Posted in: 7 decades after WWII, many praise Germany, scorn Japan See in context

I think there is a good reason why there is a dedicated item in English wiki as uyoku dantai. Japanese right wing often falls in the category of extreme right wing, equivalent to neo-nazi in the majority of English-speaking world. Just in case some people are interested in, along with that, just read Nippon Kaigi in wiki, too. This sounds crazy but Abe is a "special adviser" in this uyoku propaganda/brainwashing machine. The situation in Japan is that bad.

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Posted in: Nuclear reactor switched on in Kyushu despite protests See in context

I suspect something like ownership of nuclear weapon or something equivalent to it is promised to Abe administration with Japan handlers since it appears to be obediently following Armitage report (http://csis.org/files/publication/120810_Armitage_USJapanAlliance_Web.pdf). This reminds me of Shoriki Japanese media king, who is referred as Podam by CIA. This also can be a possible reason why English media are featuring the atrocity done by atomic bomb-definitely the rest of the world won't be confident with someone like Abe having his hands on the weapon or political system which allows someone like him as a "leader." Yeah, I know it's just speculation but it's that worrying.

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Posted in: Mel Gibson to direct new movie on Battle of Okinawa See in context

Movies aren't banned in Japan--as per Article (III) 21 of the Constitution--they just fail to find a distributor. And the title of the movie was "Unbroken."

I hope internet distributors such as Netflix, which is to start their service to Japan, will play some roles here now that Hulu Japan is under Nihon TV. Also, BBC is starting their services in Japanese. TV have been somehow playing a role in cultural isolation of Japan, which can be regarded as modern sakoku, and I'd like the net to play more active role in letting the Japanese see more various viewpoints. Considering how infectious totalitarianism is, I think variety in media will be a good start even if, admittedly, some media have louder voice.

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Posted in: Their claims are based on their self-centered and extremely egoistic thinking that they don't want to go to war. We can blame postwar education for such widespread selfish individualism. See in context

In fact, the revision bill includes omitting the word "individual" from the constitution. Abe administration doesn't even conceal the hostility against the constitution and basic human rights. Not surprisingly for Aso's character (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm5FqSG_FDY), He told that you must consider the standpoints of the other members of the LDP. Tell what you actually think AFTER we passed the bill, which will suffice. It's high time for Japanese voters to make an educated guess that they are probably thinking in this way during their elections. They don't regard the people as individuals or even human-beings.

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Posted in: Suga asks U.S. for explanation on Wikileaks spying claims See in context


I thought it's clear-but I meant both sides-not depending on either side you think yourself belong to.

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Posted in: Suga asks U.S. for explanation on Wikileaks spying claims See in context

Some people may be upset by that organizations which they believe belong to doing the same thing as what they think as "oppositions" do. However, it's a part of human history where many of the political decisions that may change the lives of many people have been being done behind curtains-at least, the US openly shows what they did in decades ago through NARA, which, however, is probably not whole the story...

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Posted in: Suga asks U.S. for explanation on Wikileaks spying claims See in context

Everybody spies; it's human nature.

Yeah, and the US is probably, the best in it. Western press tend to depict Putin as a cunning spymaster (and I don't dare to disagree with the view), which means the US have been doing better than him. In fact, after the end of the Cold War, quite many satellite countries popped up around China and Russia. Japan being between these powers, how could the US have no interest in it in terms of geopolitics? In fact, some of the US politicians and researchers are openly talking of off-shore balancing as I showed just one of them.

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Posted in: Suga asks U.S. for explanation on Wikileaks spying claims See in context

"You are America's mistress."

More like slaves-you are allowed to domineer over other slaves as long as you are following our directions (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/11/us-should-use-japanese-political-change-to-advance-the-alliance). Actually, the US has first-class intelligence outwit other world-class intelligence organizations and her own people (How many Snowdens does she have?). How could it fail to spy on one of her satellite countries? I believe it's just a pathetic and desperate attempt to keep their faces to Japanese people rather than really expecting any answer. I wonder Abe actually could keep himself believe the US would trust him and his minions after shameless and transparent apple-polishings, including his English speech simply because I find myself hard to track his thoughts.

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Posted in: Do you think the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justifiable? See in context


Coincidence since I believe it's crazy to military attacks on unarmed civilian is justifiable. It's quite easy to answer if you forget about mind-set through your nationalities (rather totalitarian view, if I must add). So, no to atom bombs, Gelnica and Chongqing. Even worse, it's not about the past since it's been still continuing ranging from bombing to drone attacks. We can go forever trying to answer it philosophically, but, if these things were morally justifiable, why even bother about asking moral-related questions in the first place?

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Posted in: Japanese girl's WWII job: waving goodbye to kamikaze pilots See in context


It appears to be the era of a black mailing and mutual monitoring system, supported by sub-systems ranging from tonari gumi(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonarigumi) system to MP. The recent LDP's revision on the constitution is not only about the article nine but also articles about basic human rights, which reminded me of Kiyoshi Miki and Takiji Kobayashi. Whoever behind the decision, they are determined to bring Japan back to the age of luring the young into wars. Japan is probably becoming one of the black sites of USA while the old habit roaming in the nation for the long time now is coming back, seeing it as an opportunity. Why should younger generations be brainwashed into killing each other for the profit of a handful of people?

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Posted in: Sexual images of minors in manga and anime: Art or obscenity? See in context

I'm more concerned about the minors sweet-talked into porn industry and, as far as I know, I don't see much enthusiasm from the police, who seem to be rather busy with capturing a female manga artist than dealing with human-trafficking.

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Posted in: Japan approves increase in Fukushima compensation to $57 bln See in context


No, I suspect that more cynical view is not so far from the reality: Probably these people are kept in this way to squeeze more money, which is good for faceless bureaucrats, TEPCO and atomic mafia. This is ridiculous but, probably, we are yet to see more ridiculous things since the same story will most likely to continue due to its structural origin. There are tons of problems in Japan and nuclear industry, which is tied to military industry. So, basically, these people are victims of both natural and political disaster-and politics is not only limited within Japan as in the case of the security bill issue. cf. The U.S.-Japan Alliance anchoring stability in asia or so-called Armitage report (http://csis.org/files/publication/120810_Armitage_USJapanAlliance_Web.pdf).

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Posted in: Do you agree with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to start the Olympic stadium design process from scratch? See in context

The "decision" itself is non-brainer-more precisely speaking, it's been non-brainer even from the beginning-since those who gave a go to the project didn't even calculate the cost. However, the way it is presented feels very odd since, while the "decision" is merely back-pedaling, Abe is trying to appear as a capable leader. Adding yet another stupidity to this farce.

Abe already exploited Olympic "bubble" through the usual "baramaki" politics, which enabled him to do whatever he likes to do. He even increased the tax. I wonder how far a politician can go thick-skinned.

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Posted in: Hashimoto says he'll resign at end of term after referendum setback See in context

Any sensible individual should notice how sophistic Hashimoto is. His arguments don't appeal to reason but are composed of acting, gestures and frequent ignoratio elenchi. No wonder so many people feel/think that there are too many things unexplained.

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Posted in: Abe offers 'eternal condolences' for Americans killed in WWII See in context

A sad thing is, behind these political words, what Abe is actually doing is that he is asking military-industrial complex to let Japanese military industries join to their business. In exchange, he is offering the lives of low-income population in his country as inexpensive soldiers. He even increased the tax on the poor, which leaves even fewer options in their job market. Of course, the current market is already crowded and they need to expand it a bit by some propaganda tasks by controlling mass media and fooling less educated people into his image of "beautiful country" or the dream of his grandpa. Basically, he is trading the lives of the poor in his country with the market share in the military industries, which would be better than letting them against the rich in the eye of his and his allies. Not an unusual thing in history at all. When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.

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Posted in: Hiroshima survivors: Haunted 70 years on, determined to remember See in context

Two wrongs don't make a right. It's beyond me why some people even try to stand for a certain nations while they don't actually know what the real motivations behind the decisions. Even if we are taught so-called "histories" in our schools, at least by our adulthood, we should learn enough that our nations won't teach things unfavorable to the current political systems. In many cases, people killed in wars are not informed of the reasoning. With or without context, these one-sided attacks on civilians by armed forces are genocides and people involved in these attacks have the blood on their hands, no matter what organization they belong to.

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Posted in: Abe's advisers split over how to describe Japan's WWII actions See in context

Seymour Hersh wrote a great article about atrocities done by American army during Vietnam War, called The Scene of the Crime at the New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/30/the-scene-of-the-crime). While I admire the honesty of him and some American soldiers and officers, I cannot but think what it would do to the innocent killed in the war. Also, sadly, such efforts by these courageous individuals won't change the fundamental systems which have been preventing the majority from knowing these deeds done by their own governments, whatsoever your nationalities are.

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Posted in: Attention U.S. taxpayers: Are you ready for FATCA? See in context

In principle, how different is contemporary political system from that of the Medieval Ages when religious organizations were gathering tax from the poor under the name of God? When you read the US Constitution, it's full of idealism but the actual applications of it have been being undermined by earthly powers. Modernism tried to mitigate the integration of these powers in various ways such as letting political authorities watch each other and sharing information with plain daily languages. However, when the massive monetary system and information network are more influenced by few in the power, the old habit seem to have come back even in so called "developed" countries.

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