Can nation of zombies transform itself into savior to thwart "American conspiracy" to conquer this planet?
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Benjamin Fulford, former Asia Pacific Bureau
chief at Forbes
This piece isn't meant to be a book review in the normal sense of the words. Neither is this going to be an interview piece. I'm just going to juxtapose his way of viewing things to mine.
I first got to know of Benjamin Fulford when I somehow came across his book titled Say Good-bye to Zombies (Kobunsha, March 2006). I found the main part of this work so truthful and revealing that I asked the author for a sit-together. He complied with my request on the condition that I read his most recent book 9.11 Tero Netsuzo, or 9-11 Hoax Terror in my tentative translation of the title (Tokuma Shoten, July 2006), in advance of our meeting. That's how we met on August 21 to talk over the issues Fulford took up in these controversial books.
Benjamin Fulford was born in Canada in 1961. He majored in comparative literature in Tokyo's Sophia University, and then went on to attend the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He came back to Japan in the late-1970s to settle down here and joined Forbes magazine. When he was Asia Pacific Bureau chief of the publisher, a deadly virus epidemic broke out and quickly spread all over the world. The Asia Pacific Bureau chief somehow got wise to the fact that the one who had created the particular computer virus was working for an anti-virus software company. But that software company happened to be one of the major advertising clients for Forbes. His big scoop was aborted when the headquarters in New York City turned it down. He made up his mind to submit his resignation. This is how he became a freelance journalist several years ago.
Two important books on Japan published to date this year
In Say Good-bye to Zombies, he calls Japan a kleptocracy hijacked by a host of zombies. Although he isn't very clear about who are zombies and who are not, his merciless revelation of the truth about the "Iron Square" formed among politicians, bureaucracy, business, and yakuza is compellingly convincing. That's what made me think he is a person to watch, despite the fact that the solution part of the book is not quite impressive.
Incidentally, credit must be given to another writer for exquisitely naming these people zombies. Back in October 2005, a Japanese pundit by the name of Dr. Hajime Fujiwara authored Koizumi Junichro to Nihon-no Byouri. The title would have been literally translated as "Junichiro Koizumi and Japan's Pathology", but Scott Wilbur substituted its original subtitle, Koizumi's Zombie Politics, for the title when he translated Fujiwara's work into English for publication by Creation Culture Co., Ltd. Currently, though, the English version is not available on Amazon.com for an obvious reason, while you can place an order for the "original" Japanese version with Amazon.co.jp if you are prepared to settle for a sanitized version with the nastiest and truest parts all edited out.
9-11 Hoax Terror is a 409-page book written based on a substantial amount of research. Fulford theorizes here that 9-11 was a hoax plotted by the military-industrial complex and Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. According to the author, the American conspiracy can be traced back as far as to 1898 when America launched an attack on the Spanish colonies in Latin America on the pretext of the sinking of the battleship USS Maine, which later proved a fake as late as in 1975. In the concluding chapters of the book, he expresses his hope that the Japanese will be among the first to wake up to the reality of the conspiracy. Furthermore he speculates that they will then act like the Japanese cartoon superhero Ultraman to thwart the evil ambitions of the American imperialism. So, the questions I wanted to ask the author in person all came down to this: "What exactly makes you think the zombies will be among the first to wake up to the crisis of mankind, and act accordingly, i.e., emerge as a savior of the world?".
Despite the big question mark his readers are left with, though, I cannot but celebrate his bold challenge to the post-bubble myth and post-9-11 taboo.
Specific issues facing Japan
In our one-hour talk, we specifically discussed such issues as demographic "crisis", government finances, national pension plans, and Sino-Japanese relations.
As for the dwindling population, Fulford pointed out that as a result of the constant downturn in birthrate, coupled with the fact the babyboomers are reaching their retirement age, Japan's labor force has started declining by 600,000 every year. And his solution was, as I had already known from Say Good-bye to Zombies, to drastically loosen up the immigration control. Citing the case with his home country, he told me that in Canada, every fifth citizen is an immigrant. I counter-argued that since it's not the number of people, but their overall quality, that really matters here, I didn't think an increased influx of foreigners would solve the problem. While he agreed to my assertion that the quality is important, he insisted that it would answer my question if we went selective when importing people from Asian countries. This left me wondering if Hu Jintao, for instance, would be willing to let go of quality people, because they are a rarity even in the world's most populous country.
From the TFP point of view, the dwindling as well as aging population isn't at issue at all in the first place because both public and private sectors still retain an enormous amount of redundant manpower. As of June this year, the jobless rate stood at 4.2%. As a retired businessman who weathered through the pre-bubble, bubble, and post-bubble era mostly as a financial manager, I am 100% sure that we would see a sound and viable Japan only when the unemployment rate topped 20% or even more. Incidentally, an increase of 16 percentage point in jobless rate would translate into a modest ten-million-plus people newly getting out of work, which should not be a big deal when compared to the disaster already brought about by the legacy of the lifetime employment system.
This brought us to the issue with the huge budget deficits because to me the root problem with the failing government finances lies primarily with the manpower redundancies both in the private sector, including those construction companies which keep building unnecessary bridges, highways, airports, etc., and the public sector which just keeps being bloated. The moment they dumped millions of useless people, ranging from porkbarrel operators to civil engineering and construction workers, who really deserve to be called zombies, the government finances would start to turn around dramatically with the reduction in personnel cost by far outweighing the decrease in tax revenues.
Fulford didn't find it advisable to have the zombies undergo such a laparotomy because we couldn't realistically expect them to withstand it. I agreed to the point that they wouldn't survive such a measure. And yet I disagreed with him when he drew a conclusion from this that it's unadvisable to take such a drastic step, because zombies are doomed to perish anyhow. All I can say about their inviability in a limpid stream would be: "That's too bad." But he believed moderate and more "realistic" measures would serve the purposes. Because of the time constraint we had, he didn't elaborate on these measures. But just the same, I wasn't convinced that an incremental approach would still work. As the author of Say Good-bye to Zombies had argued, this nation is running out of time now. So anything less than revolutionizing the whole workplace of Japan Inc. would fall short of making a difference.
Fulford observed his countermeasures would also help turn around the disastrous situation with the national pension programs. I insisted that since the situation wasn't caused by a natural calamity and it's just a consequence of constant politicization of every aspect of the pension plans, from actuarial assumptions, to investment policies, to investment performance measurement, to administration of the plans, there is no political solution to the problem. Fulford didn't particularly refute my argument.
Along the way, Fulford also stressed that it's crucially important for Japan to cooperate with China. Here he cited a September 2000 PNAC document (PNAC stands for Plan for a New American Century) which listed Iran as the next country for the U.S. to crush, and designated China as the ultimate target of the American conspiracy. Under the circumstances, it's all the more important for Japan to promote the Sino-Japanese relations to effectively counter the PNAC's vicious aspiration, he said. Time was running out before I could ask him what if China should collapse on its own before the Americans launch their crusade against it.
Throughout 9-11 Hoax Terror, he repeatedly refers to the serial movie Matrix. According to him, this near-future film series depicts people who are forced to choose between the red pill and the blue pill, in the face of the devastation caused by a nuclear warfare (or an environmental destruction?). If one takes a dose of the blue pill, he remains unaware of the devastation, and thus sits on his ass just awaiting the doomsday, whereas one who picks the red pill wakes up to what has actually happened while he was in a hypnotic state caused by the political sandmen, and gets on his feet to prevent the ruin of mankind, if ever he is strong enough to face up to the reality.
Apparently, I failed to become inclined to take a dose of the red pill, as far as 9-11 is concerned. But when it came to the situation the nation of zombies has been going through, I had already taken the red pill, or two, while the author of Say Good-bye to Zombies now looked a little reluctant to reach out for the red one. This left me wondering if he had backed down from his sense of crisis in the course of working on his probe into 9-11. I opine, though, that it makes little difference to the disastrous situation we have here whether or not his conspiracy theory about 9-11 is authentic.
However, I still believe we share the same concern about these people who keep being duped into swallowing everything the media try to instill into them. Fulford wrote in 9-11 Hoax Terror to the effect that they always insist, "This (the theory about the American conspiracy or Japan's kleptocracy) can't be true, because not once have we heard the media mention it. And it's just counterintuitive, to begin with."
Mixup between cause and love
When winding up our meeting, I shot a little nasty question at the author of the two intriguing books: "By any chance, do you sometimes find yourself mixing up your cause with your love for these people, or this culture?". I asked this question because his optimistic conclusion about Japan's future doesn't always follow his unclouded analysis of the helpless situation. Unexpectedly, his answer was straightforward. He said, "Yes, I do. Who wouldn't?" He has spent more than half his lifetime in this country and he's had a lot of fond memories about the "tightly-knit" society and "warm-hearted" folks. He added that without love, he wouldn't be doing all this. Actually he is now going through due formalities to become naturalized here.
Now it seems to me that Benjamin Fulford and I are crossing each other in a funny way; he is divorcing his native country, which he doesn't particularly dislike, to get married to Japan, and I have divorced this nation I don't love anymore while staying "under the same roof" with her. Needless to say I have good reasons to stay. I love to eat sushi and some other Japanese seafood, I love to take a dip into a hot spring, and I love to mix with young, smart Japanese women in their 20s. (Older women really turn me off and getting associated with male zombies of any age bracket is out of the question.) And that's where I feel I may be able to share the same reason with the former chief of Forbes' Asia Pacific Bureau to carry on the campaign against this polity which has long been rotten to the marrow.
We still remained largely divided over various issues when we were through with the meeting at a Starbucks. And yet, as long as we have something in common in terms of genuine sense of commitment, I cannot rule out the possibility of our collaboration in the future, no matter whether the nation that can't even take care of itself finally goes belly up, or can emerge as an Ultraman to take care of all others. ·