Copyright on firesale
Tuesday, July 31 2012 @ 04:11 PM JST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
|A Japanese proverb goes: "A fowl taking flight does not foul the surface of water." (立つ鳥水を濁さず.) I still think it would be nice if I could vanish leaving no clue to my existence behind. But with a foot already on the other side, I've recently realized it's not my duty to do away with the corpse soon to start decomposing and clean up all the mess surrounding it. I may fail to disappear like the bird, but that is that.|
Some among the bereaved may complain, but after all, I'm not at fault for their trouble any more than they are.
This is my Bodhi.
Recently I often wander about the seaside area of the city late at night. I'm looking around for the right place to sink myself when time comes. Just between you and me, there's Plan B. But I think its scenario is a little too bloody to talk about openly.
With the other foot still on "this" side of the Styx, however, I haven't fully extricated myself from Kleshas yet. Among other things, I still find it a little too hard to leave behind those people and things that have made my life worth living.
As I always say, I'm too honest a person to cherry-pick things that make me look good or right. For that reason I may look to have had a hard time throughout my lifetime. So you think I am going to have my day for the first time at the last moment of my life. But as usual you are wrong. I've never been an ascetic person. I'm an avowed hedonist. Therefore, my life was full of gorgeous prizes such as unforgettable relationships with unassimilated young women who were all intelligent, compassionate and graceful. It's just that I'm neither braggart nor exhibitionist. I don't want to share my experience with anyone else because it needn't be shared in the first place.
Apart from the bright side of my life, the following are some of the faces that still keep disturbing my Moksha state of mind.
|The most annoying of all is this scum named Chang. When I sent him the link to my most recent post, he didn't respond. His MO in the face of a criticism that he has never dreamed of hearing from a colonial of the American Empire is to stick his empty head in the sand like an ostrich.|
Most recently the stupid bird chirped on the World Affairs website about China's [undue] claim on Japan's Okinawa. With his bloated sense of self-importance, the former ambulance chaser now seems to have appointed himself as the presiding judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Obviously Chang had to seek an alternative source of income in the wake of the near-bankrupt situation on the part of his employers in Washington. Now in the new capacity of the chief arbitrator of territorial disputes, Chang declares the Islands of Okinawa to be part of the dead country named Japan. Nothing is farther from the truth: Okinawa is for the Okinawans - PERIOD.
He has never talked, and will never talk, about "China's Tibet." By the same token, he would never admit America's interventionism is much worse than "China's expansionism." This is yet another confirmation that Chang has no problem using faceless people wherever they are useful to promote his fake ideology.
The dedication to his The Coming Collapse of China goes: "For the boy who left China in search of a better life -- my father." This already reveals that the author has inherited the worst aspects of the Chinese traits from his selfish and cowardly father. In the early 1940's, Chang's father quickly fled his home country to "the land of the free" in search of stingy material wealth, instead of staying with his fellow countrymen to fight against the Japanese or the communists.
In the uncharacteristically well-done book, the author recollects how his father enjoyed himself when his son took him on a homecoming trip to the continent. At the sight of the affluent urban life, the old man looked to have renewed a great sense of pride for being an ethnic Chinese. Obviously it didn't cross his mind for a split second that although people always attribute China's economic rise to Deng Xiaoping's policy of reform and opening-up, the prosperity was achieved only at the cost of tens of millions of lives of ordinary Chinese.
In short, Chang's father doesn't understand, any more than his educated son does, that each individual citizen should firmly commit himself throughout his lifetime to building, destroying, or reinventing his country, either native or adoptive. The old Chang who came to America just to reap the harvest from the seeds sown by early settlers didn't care a bit about exactly what he was pledging himself to when parroting the Oath of Allegiance at the immigration office.
What a disgusting family.
Fortunately for me, though, their shitty family history is none of my business. I only think it's my duty to prevent poor American people from getting their empty brains further damaged by the con artist.
|Chang asked Shintaro Ishihara to write the foreword to the Japanese version of his first book. Ishihara is the Tokyo Governor who has stayed in the cushy position for the straight 13 years by now. The bastard was once dubbed a "social Neanderthal" by Australian journalist Ben Hills, but he doesn't care too much because millions of cultist-like Tokyo citizens as well as quite a few brain-dead Japan experts in the U.S., such as Chang, are always behind him.|
In May 2004, Chang visited Ishihara to interview him in preparation for his second book, which would later be ridiculed by the Daily Yomiuri as "a sensationalized, contradictory, jumbled and half-baked mess of a book." When Chang sent me the tape to ask me to translate his friendly conversation with the Governor, I was taken aback to know it was more like a chat between kindergarten kids than a serious discussion between the Governor of Japan's capital and the prominent political "analyst" from the U.S.
In October 2009, Ishihara's first bid to host the 2016 Olympics failed. But a couple of months after 3/11, the unrelenting Governor made a comeback with his second bid for the 2020 Summer Games. In May, the International Olympic Committee shortlisted Tokyo with two other candidate cities. This meant that in 2013 the corrupt IOC might give him a green light to treating thousands of athletes from all over the world with cesium-contaminated food.
In early July, 16 months after 3/11, an "independent" Diet panel released a final report on how Naoto Kan's government failed to prevent the Fukushima nuclear accident from developing into a full-scale disaster, and from posing a growing threat to nation's food chain. The Yomiuri Shimbun daily summarized the survey results like this: "[The report] vividly describes it was a 'man-made' disaster." It was as though the mainstream media weren't the main culprit of the information blackout themselves. Worse, not a single person has filed a class action lawsuit against the government.
It's also astounding that nobody has dared to point out Ishihara's move to further spread the radioactive contamination beyond national boundaries is insane.
|In his 2003 book "Inventing Japan - 1853-1964" Ian Buruma devotes its "Prologue" solely to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics because the Japanese thought they could use the games as a springboard to reinventing their country. Early on, Japan's spectacular rise looked unstoppable like it did a century before. But in 1990, the high-growth era came to a screeching halt. Buruma seems to see a precursor to the ultimate failure in the way the two athletes, a marathon runner and a woman hurdler, handled the humiliation of having lost their games. In later years both killed themselves.|
It's true that we haven't seen a suicide case associated with a defeat in an Olympic game lately. But the Japanese still remain pathologically obsessed with the Olympics with their traditional Harakiri mindset. This is an unmistakable sign that the Japanese are a terminally ill people.
Since July 27, every media organization has been acting as if it were Sports Illustrated or ESPN. Around the clock, newspapers and TV channels keep dramatizing the same old stories about mediocre athletes' roads to a graceful defeat. And while giving planted answers to predictable questions from news reporters, judoists and other contestants who failed to live up to nation's expectation keep blubbering to express sincere apologies to their home country. So far I have noticed just a few self-motivated individuals in the disproportionately large Japanese delegation. These exceptional athletes don't look to be interested in taking a dose of the media-administered performance-enhancing drug, i.e. the flag of the Rising Sun. Even Uday Hussein, who tortured to death some athletes who had lost their games, would blush at the sight of these weepy Olympians.
|By contrast, Queen Elizabeth was a breath of fresh air amid the show of insanity at the Opening Ceremony. She was spotted intently picking her nails when the Great Britain marched into the Olympic Stadium. It's quite natural that peoples from Egypt, Syria, Iran, Libya, North Korea and the like think the leap-year event is where to demonstrate their nationalism. Since these countries are constantly terrorized by the worst rogue nation in history named the U.S.A., they are in the process of redefining their statehood in the face of the imminent collapse of Pax Americana.|
The same can be said of some European countries afflicted with financial woes. On the contrary, it's really sickening to see the misplaced manifestation of patriotism by other peoples because their nation-states have already been outgrown by the reality of the 21st century.
I still have some other topics to take up in this blog on a little unrealistic assumption that I have enough time and energy to finish writing. One of them is the recent talk on the web which has it that the personal computer is dying, or even dead, because of the proliferation of smartphones and the new network environment called "cloud computing." In fact, though, it's not the PC, but your brain that is dying.
Once again this reminds me of my aborted book. I was going to title it The Unviable Japan. Some native speakers of English have warned me that the generally-accepted antonym of "viable" is "inviable." Because of, rather than despite their advice, I went for the nonstandard word "unviable." Reason: In this world, there can be no such thing that is not viable and still exists. What I wanted to mean by the title is that my country of birth is not only change-disabled but also unable to cease to exist when it should. It will keep showing weak vital signs until someone removes the 67-year-old life-support. I don't know, but it can be a gigantic earthquake.
When I was rewriting the outline of the book in July last year with the help of my friend in Arkansas, I realized there's no sequel to The Unviable Japan.
On the surface, many things have cropped up here since 3/11. For one thing, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan literally went into pieces in early July. As a result, an uncountable number of "new" parties have emerged like we saw in 1993. They are just repeating what Ian Buruma called "another fake dawn."
Back in May, the government released intriguing results of a survey, which revealed that 23.4% of respondents had answered in the affirmative to this question: "Have you seriously considered suicide lately?" When it came to pollees in their 20s, an astounding 28.4% answered they had thought about killing themselves. However, there's nothing new in the revelations. This is just yet another confirmation of the estimate by Yoshi Yamamoto, Director of the Mental Health Center of Yokohama. In his 2004 book titled Japan Unbound, John Nathan quoted him as saying, "Some 5 million Japanese are contemplating suicide at any given moment."
There's another earthly concern of mine: money. One of my local friends helped me out when the tax collecting department of Yokohama City Hall robbed me of 30% of my pension (700K yen from October to June.) Now that the second round of the constitutional but extra-legal battle has started, I'm at a loss.
As I said, I've already packed up for the long journey. And yet I'm still very fussy about when to depart, where and how. This has made it necessary for me to put my aborted book on sale. It remains an outline, but I believe it can pass as a stand-alone book because the total wordcount for 13 chapters already stands at more than 12,000, and as I said, there's very little to add or update on. And of course, the copyright is reserved here at this moment. The price I have in mind is US$ 9K, or 700K yen. It's negotiable to a certain extent.
Take a look at the "Preface" inserted in my previous post and Chapter 1 below here. If you are interested in publishing The Unviable Japan as a mini-book or making use of my manuscript in any other way, please contact me at email@example.com.
Chapter 1: 3/11 - the Final Test on Japan’s Viability:
At 2.46 p.m., JST, March 11, 2011, a big earthquake hit the northern half of Japan’s coastal area facing the Pacific. Devastating tsunami followed it in a matter of minutes.
At that time, Prime Minister Naoto Kan was being grilled by the opposition lawmakers over the illegal donations he had received from a man with Korean nationality running a barbecue restaurant in Japan. As usual, the interpellation seemed to have been rigged in advance between the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the No. 1 opposition Liberal Democratic Party. The LDP could have finished off the already faltering administration, but it stopped short of delivering a final blow. That is why LDP lawmakers had chosen to tease the Prime Minister for such a misdemeanor of receiving small donations totaling a little more than 1 million yen.
They had a good reason to do so. Washington had been stepping up its demand that Tokyo expedite the implementation of the plan to ready a new air station in Nago City, Okinawa, so the U.S. Marine Corps could be relocated from Futenma, Ginowan City of the same island in line with the accord reached in 2006 between the two nations when the LDP was still in power. One of the covert purposes of the relocation was to replace the conventional gunships deployed in Futenma with Bell-Boeing V-22 Ospreys, the tilt-rotor aircraft dubbed the widow makers.
In 2009, however, Yukio Hatoyama, the first Prime Minister of the DPJ government, carelessly opened Pandora’s Box with his campaign pledge that if given power, he would ask his U.S. counterpart to relocate the Futenma Air Station out of the Okinawan islands. While this refueled the anti-base sentiments among the Okinawans, Hatoyama had no guts to actually revoke the U.S.-Japanese security arrangement since 1960. All he could do was to procrastinate. Looking at his irresoluteness, Washington Post columnist Al Kamen dubbed him “the loopy Japanese Prime Minster.” Finally he had to step down in June 2010.
Now that Washington’s patience was wearing thin, the LDP leadership thought it was not the right time to recapture power from the DPJ. It was too obvious that with his days being numbered, Kan was the right person who had to carry through with the unpopular accord of 2006 against the will of the Okinawans.
Equally loopy as he is, Kan had been cornered when the quake rocked the Diet building. Small wonder he took the disaster as a blessing which could not have been timed any better. An unconfirmed report had it that later in the day, the Prime Minister confided to one of his close aides: “Hot dog! I can stay in office for two more years.” There’s no smoke without fire.
As their parents and grandparents did time and again in the last one and a half centuries, the Japanese people once again developed an illusion that the leader, who had not even been able to manage the pre-quake “normal” situation, would still be able to handle the post-quake emergency.
In a matter of days, Kan’s crisis management team could bring the 128 million people together. The social milieu filled with false sense of unity was reminiscent of Taisei Yokusan-kai, the grand coalition formed in 1940 to pursue the cause of Kokutai Iji, or preserving the polity centered around the Divine Emperor. The rhetoric by the wartime regime was: “One hundred million hearts beat as one.” Once again people were saying in a chorus that it was no time for finger-pointing. To them their leader’s incompetence did not matter at all.
Unlike in the 1940s, however, Westerners also rallied behind Japan’s national salvation government. People from America and many other countries kept expressing their admiration for the resilience, perseverance, discipline, altruism and innovativeness of the Japanese. The media did a good job as the mouthpiece of the inept government so these foreigners would not feel let down. It seemed as though criminals, too, had all been swept away by tsunami, but the fact of the matter remained that looting, charity swindling, and rape were rampant especially in the afflicted areas.
Another thing the Japanese and their foreign friends lost sight of was a simple arithmetic. As of this writing, the death toll, including those identified as missing, is a little more than 23,000. On the other hand, the number of people that kill themselves every year has topped 30,000 since the turn of the century. In 2010, alone, 31,690 people committed suicide. The suicide rate was twice as high as in the U.S. or China. During the period from 2001 through 2010, more than 30,000 people successfully committed suicide every year. This at least translates into 82 suicides per day. On the other hand, the death toll from the “once-in-a-millennium” disaster roughly translates into 0.063 deaths per day, which accounts for 1/1,300 of the average daily suicides.
Moreover, you only see the tip of the iceberg in the official statistics. John Nathan quoted Yoshi Yamamoto, Director of Mental Health Center of Yokohama Hospital in his 2004 book titled Japan Unbound as saying, “5 million Japanese are contemplating suicide at any given moment.”
In order to exaggerate the enormity of the disaster, the Japan Meteorological Agency artificially inflated the energy created at the epicenter of the earthquake from the initially announced reading of 8.3 to 9.0 by opportunistically changing the yardstick from “Mj” (the Richter Scale modified particularly for Japan) to “Mw” (the Moment Magnitude widely used by seismologists in other countries) without even mentioning it. The maximum height of tsunami was said to have reached somewhere between 33-50 ft but later on it was unofficially revised to 75 ft so the JMA could claim it was really unprecedented. As nonfiction writer Takashi Hirose pointed out 2 weeks later, however, even the 75 ft tsunami was dwarfed by a 125-ft one which was observed in 1896.
The coverup and fabrication of critical data were only part of the manipulation of information by the government and the mainstream media. Since Day 1 of the crisis, they mobilized dozens of self-proclaimed experts in nuclear engineering, who had huge vested interests in the nuclear energy industry, to disseminate the idea that “despite the leak of a certain amount of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, we don’t have to worry too much about its effects on our health.” They were spreading around wishful thinking as if to defy the basic rule of crisis management that always calls for preparedness for the worst case scenario. But mainstream media organizations failed to mention the fact that they had already ordered their reporters to keep away from towns adjacent to the leak site.
This was yet another reminder of Daihon-ei Happyo, the wartime press releases from the Imperial Army Headquarters, which always singled out Japan’s military achievements while hushing up those by the Allied Powers. When the Fat Man and the Little Boy were detonated over the skies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Daihon-ei kept saying, “Don’t be swayed by groundless rumors about the new weapons our enemy might have used.” As a result, the Japanese had believed, or at least made believe, their country was winning the war until August 15, 1945 when Emperor Hirohito announced on the radio, “We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.”
Another rule of crisis management which was totally ignored has it that once you failed to pro-act, you must react at the speed of light. But at best the Kan administration acted at a snail’s pace. And more often than not, they became paralyzed in the face of the enormity of the crisis.
In early June, almost three months after 3/11, a fact-finding team from the International Atomic Energy Agency was invited to take a firsthand look at the power plant, when the government had realized that the IAEA would not allow it to stall for time anymore. On that occasion Kan handed a voluminous report to chief inspector Mike Weightman.
One of the critical pieces of information Kan coughed up to Weightman, even before he let his own people know, had it that as early as on the morning of March 12, radioactive tellurium 132 had been detected in a town located 3.7 miles away from the power plant. Before the arrival of the investigators, the government had been saying, “meltdown of the reactor cores may have occurred soon after the earthquake.” But the new revelation showed an even worse thing, that they call “melt-through,” had actually happened while the Prime Minister was wasting time before his hot dog on the night of March 11.
After the fact-finding delegation left Japan, the media started to criticize the Prime Minister as if they weren’t the accomplices themselves. In response, Kan said the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry had not told him anything about the leak of Te-132. Then, the head of the METI insisted that his direct reports at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency hadn’t reported the detection to him. Finally, NISA passed the buck to Tokyo Electric Power Company. As usual, the executives at TEPCO offered tearful apologies to everyone before the TV cameras.
Without a doubt, this is a crime. But once again, the Japanese showed an unparalleled leniency toward what their government and media had done –and hadn’t done –because they are so used to it. This way, their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have always tolerated their inept and/or crooked leaders in the past, especially in the last 150 years.
Because of, rather than despite his incompetence, Naoto Kan could outlast his four predecessors who had come and gone through the revolving door of the Prime Minister’s office since 2006.
In the following chapters, I will discuss more in depth the terminally-ill culture underlying the never-ending political imbroglio and protracted economic doldrums, first from cross-sectional angles (Chapters 2-7), then longitudinally (Chapters 8-12).