It's Not Act 5 of Political Kabuki, but Your Firstrate Ignorance, that Drives Me Crazy
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The tomb of my
The idiot by the name of Naoto Kan barely defeated the bandit named Ichiro Ozawa in the September 14 presidential election of the Democratic
Party of Japan. On the surface, the tumultuous days are over with the revolving door of the prime minister's office coming to a halt.|
Wasting no time, American political analysts have already resumed disseminating the same old hogwash about Japan as a reliable partner that shares more or less the same values and the same problems with the United States. Still they don't know what they are talking about.
For my part, the never-ending farce is constantly distracting me from concentrating on something I ought to finish before I go. It bothers me not precisely because it's a farce. To me the most irritating thing is to hear so many educated Americans talk about Japan like they are morons.
I know I can't afford to waste a single minute to try correcting Americans' take on the series of events unfolding here. But I also know there are times when I must defend my principle regardless of whether the issue at hand is my baby.
Two and a half years ago, I was working on a book which would have been titled The Unviable Japan.
At the beginning, the American literary agent was saying it would instantly hit the list of bestsellers. Completely in the dark about the reality of the rotten publishing industry in America, I took her words at face value. I didn't notice that actually the broad was just looking for catchy titles such as mine. So I did a lot of preparatory research to fully substantiate my heretical theory.
I had a brother-in-law who was an executive at Nissan North America for many years. He was an extraordinarily versatile person. But his last years were mostly devoted to writing a book about the foundation of the nation currently called Japan.
He tracked it back to the third century when a shaman queen named Himiko was governing the main part of the archipelago because all the prehistoric truth was sealed off by two history books compiled by court-retained historians in the early-8th century.
To that end the ailing retiree strenuously went through antique books and ancient documents, 1,500 of them.
The former Nissan executive sent me his book weeks before he passed away. In the enclosed memo, he wrote: "I'm really looking forward to reading your The Unviable Japan."
In early March 2008 I sent an outline of my book to the agent. A week or so later I called her up to see what her take on my document was like. At the end of a lengthy conversation, the agent handed down her verdict in a roundabout way. In effect, she said: "It's you, not your country, that is not viable."
I shouldn't have expected an American literary agent to understand that at times there are wannabe writers who seek truth much more than money and fame.
Two and a half years have passed, but many educated Americans still remain ignorant, arrogant and complacent.
For one thing, they never understand, or want to understand that you can't reset history, let alone change it, no matter how fervently the swindler in the White House insists you can.
In general, Americans process thoughts that fit comfortably into their ideologies, or business lines, purely on an ear-to-mouth basis, whereas they let heresies like mine pass through from the right ear to the left. They don't seem to need a brain at all. But let me quote Harvard public policy professor Robert D. Putnam one last time.
He explains his theory about "path-dependent trajectory" like this:
Where you can get to depends on where you're coming from, and some destinations you simply cannot get to from here.
Recently I'm learning more from Nikkan Gendai, the most popular tabloid here, than from other dailies published by the Big 5 media groups about what is exactly going on in and around the DPJ administration. Despite its vulgar sensationalism and unprincipled gossipiness, truth sometimes smells between the lines there.
I have analyzed the ongoing scene of Act Five of the political Kabuki using this relatively reliable source together with Putnam's theory.
For now my conclusion can be summarized like this:
Certainly Naoto Kan won, but only to lose in a matter of months. This is not just a prophecy; I'm not in the prediction business.
The prime minister lacks vision as was evident from his puerile inaugural address in June. In that speech, he said his policy goal is to build a "least unhappy society." I thought this was just a slip of the tongue, but that was not the case. On Wednesday he repeated the same odd phrase when addressing the U.N. summit meeting on eradicating poverty.
Then, amid the campaign for DPJ's presidency, he kept parroting the slogan of Obamanomics: "My priority No. 1 is employment, No. 2 is employment and No. 3 is employment." Like his American counterpart, the idiot thinks chanting this incantation three times a day will bring about jobs from out of nowhere.
Sometimes his Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry knowingly warns his boss that where there is no growth, there is no employment. But he is also economy-illiterate. So all he can do is to ask Finance Minister to intervene, off and on, in the currency market, unilaterally and timidly.
These brainless guys have learned no lessons from the failure of the centrally-planned economy in the Soviet Union two decades ago.
Actually it's this "no one should be left behind," or "swim together, sink together" sort of mindset that has undermined Japan's economic vigor.
Seiji Maehara, new Foreign Minister, is also a disaster. Just take a look at the way he handled the incident in which a Chinese trawler collided against a patrol ship of Japan Coast Guard in the disputed waters off Senkaku Shoto islands, or Diaoyutai in Chinese.
At the onset, Maehara, who is known to be a hawk, was saying, "Since there is no territorial dispute in that area, the incident falls under Japan's jurisdiction. We will handle it accordingly." Perhaps the small-time hawk had forgotten that he is not only brainless but also beakless and spineless.
For China it only took a harsh word or two, along with the threat about export ban on rare earth metals, to bring Maehara to his knees. Early yesterday morning, the captain of the fishing boat could go home triumphantly.
Note: Hours before the release of the skipper, Japan's Foreign Minister had a talk with his U.S. counterpart in New York. His face flushed, like when a junkie in withdrawal pain can reach his pusher, when Clinton assured him that America would be ready to invoke Article 5 of the security treaty if Japan asked for its help with the isles of Senkaku. It's not only Maehara, but the entire nation, that felt so grateful for her lip service. Actually, though, the bitchy monster should have mentioned Article 10, instead, that stipulates the procedure for the termination of the incongruous agreement. It's hard to believe that in 1971, Henry Kissinger promised Zhou Enlai to contain Japan this long on China's behalf.
If you still think that someday Japan can grow into a viable organism, either inside or outside of Washington's putrefied uterus, you are an idiot, too, for sure.
I think there were two other winners in the September 14 election: the prosecutors office and the mainstream media.
It is obvious that prosecutors did a good job to save Kan from having to leave office in a matter of three months after he succeeded Hatoyama. For one thing, only after the election, they confessed that they had framed a bureaucrat up for a postal fraud case which was actually masterminded by someone close to Kan.
Another example is Muneo Suzuki, one of Ichiro Ozawa's fellow thieves. He was sentenced to 2 years in prison six years ago and his appeal was dismissed more than two years ago. But Suzuki was actually sent to jail amid the presidential election of the DPJ as if to remind Ozawa's camp who's next.
There's more to it; on Friday, when Kan and Maehara were still setting up a paper-thin alibi in New York, the Naha Prosecutors Office in Okinawa suddenly announced the release of the Chinese skipper "in consideration of the Sino-Japanese relations."
Article 76 of the Constitution explicitly ensures the independence of the judiciary from the other two branches of the government. But now it seems necessary to amend the Constitution to stress the independence of the executive branch from the judiciary.
The media also did a good job, especially by releasing almost every other day unaudited, and presumably fabricated results of opinion polls that invariably indicated a vast majority of people were behind the incumbent prime minister.
In his prime as a criminal, these members of Kisha Kurabu, or the Press Club, were extremely lenient toward Ozawa just out of fear of getting ostracized from the cozy community. But now that Kan is dominating the news cartel, they felt free to inflict vengeance on Ozawa. Needless to say they refrained from touching on Kan's wrongdoings and missteps in the past, such as sending a letter to Roh Tae-woo to beg for his mercy to release a North Korean agent who had abducted Japanese citizen(s) in the 1980s.
As a result, Kan's approval rating shot up once again to high-60s soon after his reelection despite the fact that to date he has delivered absolutely nothing on his empty, ill-defined promises.
I'm not sure who was the loser, though. Some say Ozawa's career as a political racketeer has ended. But a greater number of political pundits disagree; after all the bandit is still supported by 200 lawmakers within his party.
I have never been a thief myself. So I cannot tell for sure what a retired thief's frame of mind would be like. Yet, I think Nikkan Gendai has a point. The tabloid keeps saying, "Ozawa isn't finished yet. The Kan administration will fall apart in a matter of months when the Liberal Democratic Party moves for a nonconfidence vote because he and his men will certainly side with the opposition."
Also it still remains a likelihood that Ozawa's group spins off from the DPJ.
That won't make any difference, though, to Japan's fate. No matter what, the country will remain unviable until its demise.
"Viability" is a tricky word.
If you are a CPA, you won't have difficulty understanding my way of assessing this country. As you know, valuation methods largely vary depending on assumptions. My assumption is that Japan is not a going concern.
On the contrary, if accounting, or science and engineering, is not your area of expertise, I'm afraid it's quite unlikely that you can see my point because you haven't been trained for methodical thinking. You tend to use the going-concern assumption when talking about something you think will collapse in the foreseeable future, and the other assumption when discussing the fate of a country which you believe is viable.
So do me a favor, you intellectually lazy guys; please do not disturb me anymore, and let me die in peace, burying the aborted book in oblivion. ·