An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

Welcome to TokyoFreePress Thursday, March 23 2017 @ 07:27 PM JST

The Constitution and the Internet

Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.
- Article 21, Section 1
All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.
- Article 25, Section 1

Hear no evil, say no evil, see no evil
These crooks at the City Hall said they
couldn't care less if I kill myself
To me, Chapter I (The Emperor) and Chapter II (Renunciation of War) of the Japanese Constitution are nothing but a joke. But I think Chapter III which includes the provisions quoted above still has some relevance.

On this website I have said hundreds of times that there is no freedom of speech in Japan if "speech" should mean an act of sending one's message in a way it is audible to its intended receivers. The mainstream media have always blocked freedom of speech since 1890 when the first precursor of today's Kisha Kurabu (the press club system) was founded.
As Laurie Anne Freeman pointed out in her Closing the Shop (Princeton University Press, 2000) Kisha Kurabu is everywhere; not only in public offices but also some big businesses which need to cover up or falsify information all the time.

It is the real culprit of the unwinnable war (1941-45), and believe it or not, the nuclear catastrophe of 2011.

We are surrounded by glass firewalls. The worst thing about them is that unlike China's Great Firewall, they are invisible; they only can be felt when you actually hit them. That they are invisible also means they are invincible. Despite my persistent effort in the last 6 years, very few Westerners have believed in the existence of the walls, let alone the far-reaching influence they have on our everyday life. Most of the time, it looks as though they want to say I'm just seeing pink spiders. But I have never abused cocaine or any other addictive substance, except tobacco, throughout my 75-year life. The best response I can expect from them is: "We have a similar system in the States."

Now I know that they are also on the other side of the walls.

It can't really be helped. Even Freeman, who is an exceptionally insightful researcher, had to come over to Japan and stay there for years to learn exactly how information is "cartelized," "sanitized," "homogenized" and "standardized" in this country.

In her book, she wrote: "In general, private companies do not have their own press clubs. Exceptions include the clubs attached to Japan Railways and NTT, 'semiprivate' organizations--private companies providing public services--such as the Japan Atomic Energy Headquarters and the Tokyo Electric [Power] Company--also have clubs attached to them." Can you imagine a private transportation or power company in the U.S. providing a rent-free and well-furnished office space to newspaper reporters?

It is important to note that in the wake of the ongoing crisis, the press club physically and collusively attached to TEPCO has played a pivotal role in helping its patron stall for time, while, in fact, time is the single most important factor in fighting a nuclear accident.

Up until yesterday, the media had remained tight-lipped over what was going on within the facility of the crippled Fukushima power plant. So those who don't understand English hadn't even known a certain number of human beings still remained inside the premises.

Now that the alarm level has been raised to 7 on IAEA's International Nuclear Event Scale, the TEPCO Press Club decided that the time is ripe to gradually unseal the truth about those people. Only this morning, audiences of the Japanese media learned for the first time that there are 241 TEPCO personnel left in a building and most of them have developed physical and mental disorders.

Anyone who is familiar with the wartime and postwar behavior of the media can tell that in a matter of weeks, the 241 will be enshrined exactly in the same way kamikaze pilots were more than 65 years ago for sacrificing their lives for the cause of the unwinnable war.

Earlier this year, I still thought there might be a way to circumvent the glass firewalls, or I might find a loophole in them. That is why I called the managing editor of the Yomiuri Shimbun daily an ape in my Jan. 15 post. The name of the ape is Kan Tsutagawa. I had no intention to humiliate him because I knew he had no reason to feel insulted by my monkey analogy. It wasn't this social outcast, but the mythomaniac of Japan's leading newspaper, who was in a position to humiliate the other. I thought he would make believe, as he actually did, he didn't hear my curse words.

The reason I deliberately provoked him in a very personal way, nonetheless, was because I thought that was the only way to make my message get through the walls. In my mail, in which my post was embedded in its printable format, I wrote: "Why don't you take me to court?" Once again, my tactic didn't work. The ape, or one of his men, chose not to file a libel suit. Maybe he thought it would be the best way to show me I'm just a nobody. But it's more likely that he thought deep inside he might lose the case despite the help from the Kisha Kurabu attached to the courthouse.

This way I have learned first-hand that it's practically impossible to provoke a brainless, spineless and prideless creature like Tsutagawa. Now I'm afraid a real monkey may file a defamation suit against me for likening the worm to him.

Another lesson I've learned here was that despite the empty promise of Article 21, nothing is mightier than the ignorance and arrogance of the Japanese press even in the era of the Internet.

As to Article 25, I'm currently in the middle of a legal battle against the City Hall of Yokohama over its decision to seize my pension annuities starting June. They decided to do so because I have refused to pay part of Residential Taxes since I retired 6 years ago. I must win the battle at any cost because otherwise I cannot but kill myself as 31,690 Japanese did in 2010, alone. I'm serious.

The Japanese media are untiringly talking about the "once-in-a-millennium" disaster. But why, then, do I have sympathize with its victims and their bereaved families? Official statistics tell you the same thing has been happening every year in the last 10 years. And now I am on the brink of becoming a victim of this annual disaster.

There are two reasons I have defaulted 987,100 yen, including interest, in the last 6 years.

■ Reason 1: I have no reason to pay. I have already had Income Taxes and part of Residential Taxes withheld from my annuities. On top of that I've had to pay a handsome amount of Consumption Taxes (Japan's VAT) and Tobacco Taxes. In return, I have received practically nothing simply because my hard-earned money was all used to sustain the worthless life of these highly-paid chimps in the central and local government.
■ Reason 2: Equally important, I have no money to pay.

For the same reason, I can't afford to retain a shyster, but I believe I can deal with these bastards at the City Hall all by myself.

In connection with Reason 2, I showed a thick, dog-eared book to one of these bastards. The book titled Ashes of Legacy (by Tim Weiner) cost me 1.5K yen (about 20 bucks) when I bought it from Amazon 2 years ago. Because of the pricey book, I had to live with even "junkier" food for a couple of days. Now I asked the guy, "Do you think this falls within the 'minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living' guaranteed by Article 25 of our Constitution?" Obviously, he hadn't expected such a tricky question from this hobo. The punk looked at a loss for a moment. Then, he asked his boss to help him out.

The boss came over to us, but he also knew nothing about the Constitution. He said, "Here, we don't care whatever the Constitution says. And I'm not interested in reading an English book myself?" He needn't have introduced himself that way because from the beginning, I could tell for sure he is one of those middle-aged zombies you come across on every corner of this country. Of course, he loves to read manga comic books more than anything else. Without even looking at the front cover of my book, he declared:

"Of course not."

In the past, the words, "wholesome and cultured living" just meant a life where you slept under the roof, respired, ate junk food, sometimes had a cheap booze for a nightcap and died at 50. But in the era of the Internet, the interpretation of the tricky phrase must be quite different.

Unlike with my case against the Yomiuri, I see a lot of loopholes here. I hope my battle against Yokohama is winnable. Cracks are everywhere in this society, no matter how hard Tsutagawa and his fellow apes try to conceal them.

For these problems facing me, and some other reasons, I decided it would be a waste of time and energy, which are quickly running out of me now, to continue with my attempt to translate the 2-hour-long presentations by Messrs. Ryuichi Hirokawa and Takashi Hirose.

I am aware, though, that there still are dozens of people who have shown interest in my translation pieces. Especially, I think of this particular person who has read the posts 8 times in the last couple of days. I know nothing about this person, except that he or she lives in Jasper, Arkansas, and is seeking the truth about the man-made catastrophe which the media have never told before, and will never in the future. According to Wikipedia, Jasper is a small city whose population is only 498. I think I must apologize to this person if my decision has let him, or her, down.

According to my web traffic analysis software, not a few people are still accessing my website from 143 countries around the world. I will keep on blogging as long as these people keep coming to me.

POSTSCRIPT: If you have a question about the presentations, please feel free to ask me, indicating the elapsed time (e.g., 50:15-53:30). You can reach me at Although I am not in a position to represent Messrs. Hirokawa and Hirose to any party, I am willing to explain to you what the slide says or what the presenter is talking about it. ·

Story Options


Trackback URL for this entry:

No trackback comments for this entry.
The Constitution and the Internet | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
The Constitution and the Internet
Authored by: samwidge on Thursday, April 14 2011 @ 08:30 AM JST

You pose so very many important concepts here that deserve response that I feel like a kid with a B-B gun competing with a skilled shooter who has a shotgun.

Obviously, nobody wants you to commit suicide though we are helpless to nag you out of the idea.

Likewise, if you have no money, the city cannot take it from you (not that you should rest easy about this).

I do think that you have said one extraordinarily valuable thing here, "...nothing is mightier than the ignorance and arrogance.. " That fits anywhere. In the states, our journalism is unlike your own. In fact, each nation addresses journalism in a different manner. Our journalism certainly is corrupt though that is only because the more conservative among us are too quiet and shy to correct misinformation.

I like the expression, "The law is a haughty mistress and she knows justice only as a nosy, noisy neighbor."

It is each nation's method for doing things that crafts each nation's troubled journalism. I believe that there are no nations without bigoted journalists. I certainly made a few mistakes of my own before I learned. I can never know that I have learned everything that I needed.

Injustice is going to happen. The comic phrase that, "a good sailor never spits to the windward," is devastatingly true but it is likewise true that every ship must be faced into the wind at some time or other.