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Is it Senkaku or Diaoyu? ...... Who knows and who cares?

The uninhabited islets bear two names.
I've been notoriously known for my verbosity especially among American readers. They see lack of discipline in my wordiness because they are so used to brevity they see on other websites. I suspect these bloggers are just too stingy to go beyond 140 characters for free. Their attitude is always like, "Tweet, tweet, you're a moron if you need more words from me, tweet."

The primary reason I don't want to economize on word is because I believe "God is in the details," as Gustave Flaubert observed. (Or is it Mies van der Rohe?) Without a close examination of every detail, you always end up in an ideological delusion. or a delusive ideology.

Lingerie theft is commonplace
in this perverted nation.
This is not to say, however, I don't agree to the old saying that goes: "You can't see the wood for the trees." Of course you also end up in a delusion if you are too preoccupied with particular trees to look at the total picture of the forest. But is it so difficult to look at both at the same time?

Actually I tried hard to make my previous post about the unbreakable curse of words as succinct as possible. To that end I had to leave out many related issues.

It was a pleasant surprise to receive an offline feedback to the post from my American friend in which he alerted me to an interesting article about the uninhabited islands named Diaoyu (
釣魚) in Chinese and Senkaku (尖閣) in Japanese. The issue the Chinese editor and the Russian veteran discuss in the article is one of the topics I would have touched on had it not been for my consideration for impatient readers.

As my American friend seems to agree, words and letters do us three things. Firstly they help us form and crystallize ideas. Then they convey them. Last but not least, words and letters always deceive us with the cleansing power inherent to them. It is this deceptive nature of words and letters I had in mind when I talked about them as fetishes.

Traditionally people using ideograms are more prone to word-fetishism than those who use a phonogramic system. I hypothesize it's no accident that lingerie theft is so common among these terminally ill people. When it comes to heinous crimes such as homicide and rape, Japanese are still lagging far behind Americans. But there is an incredibly large population of fetishists and voyeurs, called "
フェチ" (Fechi) in Jangrish. They habitually steal women's underwear, or like to watch a woman in bra or panties rather than without them. Believe it or not, such a pervert who gets caught red-handed is more often than not a well-educated man such as university professor, company executive or politician.

It is true that in recent years people outside the ideogrammatic cultural sphere are also developing the same trait very quickly presumably because of the flood of videos on the likes of YouTube or other high-resolution images they can see everywhere else. They wouldn't fall into a trance just looking at letters such as "C-h-a-n-g-e," "F-o-r-w-a-r-d," "E-n-d t-h-e F-E-D," but with all these visual aids available to them, now they have started mixing up the real things with virtual reality.

It is true there still is something that Westerners cannot understand about the magical power of ideograms. For one thing an Italian diplomat will never lodge a protest if his English-speaking counterpart refers to his hometown as Florence. Likewise an Austrian will never complain if his American friend calls the capital city of his country Vienna.

But one of the most serious problems resulting from the general trend is that when people talk about the territorial disputes over Senkaku or Diaoyu, Takeshima (
竹島) or Dokdo (독도), and even what the Japanese call the Northern Territories or Hoppo Ryodo (北方領土), the last thing that would cross their minds is these are nothing but imaginary issues. More intricate, nastier, more sticking and more slippery issues are always hidden under the thick veil of words and letters. It's about time for them to have realized words alone, let alone 140-characters of them, can't uncover the underlying real issues.

Vasili Ivanov, the Russian veteran interviewed by the Chinese editor, is also having a hallucination when he talks about "militarism on the rise" in Japan and "a resurrection of the samurai" in the wake of the renewed tension in the East China Sea.

Obviously the one Ivanov specifically has in mind is Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara who is widely known for his empty chauvinism. Early on this bastard passed the hat around for the money with which the metropolitan government would buy up the uninhabited islets from some individuals who claim to be the "owners" of
尖閣. Thanks to millions of suckers in his constituency, the donations he collected totaled more than 1.5 billion yen.

Then another idiot named Yoshihiko Noda stepped in presumably in deference to the Chinese government. After talking tete-a-tete with Ishihara, the Prime Minister decided to "nationalize" these islands with taxpayers' money. One of Noda's aides later whispered to reporters that the Prime Minister cited Governor's recklessness as the reason for nationalization. Noda fretted about an unrealistic scenario that Ishihara would tread on the tiger's tail if he went ahead with his plan. According to the aide, the Prime Minister feared the Tokyo Government, on its own, might go to war with China while the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force or the Coast Guard is not under the command of the Tokyo Governor.

Noda is yet another Japanese leader. Like all his predecessors, he lets things drift until it is too late or the problem solves itself. At times he acts, but only symbolically. All along he plays on words, making the most of their magical power. And in the face of a crisis, he instantly freezes into a total inaction like a spider in thanatosis.

Since August 15 when seven activists from Hong Kong landed one of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, the Prime Minister has kept saying, "We are a mature nation. We refrain from overreacting. We want China to calm down, too." When he knew his alibi exercise didn't work, he made a big decision to take a leap in the dark. He ordered the Coast Guard to fire water cannons at the Chinese vessels. This was exactly what the Chinese government had expected. Who in his right mind could do more against his most important trade partner?

My former friend Chang claims to be an expert in geopolitical issues for Northeast Asia. He has his fake Chinese name "
章家敦" printed on the reverse side of his business card. I don't know how the cheap trick has helped him put on an air of authority. But I know he has more or less succeeded to use faceless peoples in this region for his own interests, without risking his life for the cause of freedom and prosperity of the Northeast Asians.

Chang keeps saying the Xizang Autonomous Region should belong to the Tibetans, while on the other hand, he declares Okinawa is a Japanese territory. The fact of the matter remains, however, Tibet is primarily Tibetans' and their right of self-determination is inviolable. At any rate it's none of Chang's business. Likewise, Okinawa is primarily Okinawans'. It's all up to the 1.4 million islanders whether to become fully assimilated into America's 51st state, or secede from it. The same can be said of the likes of Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Those with an educational background in law, such as Chang or the Kenyan monkey in the White House, always make believe the International Court of Justice in the Hague is still functioning. Most of the time, ICJ's ruling is based on the principle of "First-come, first-served." If you apply the absurd principle to Senkaku/Diaoyu, it's obvious these islands should belong to the Okinawans because they are the descendants of the people of the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879). The only problem is that they are increasingly losing their identity.

Unless you still remain under the spell of the curse of words, you will agree that the only realistic principle is "Last-come, first-served." The same principle should also be applied to uninhabited islands and the surrounding waters. If the brainless and spineless Japanese leader continues to shy away from provoking China, as he actually does, that's it, these islands will finally be named Diaoyu.

The most important thing to be noted here is that this will not make a bit of difference to the reality of life for the islanders, perhaps except fishermen, as long as American troops stay in the main island of Okinawa.


Yesterday two U.S. servicemen were arrested in Okinawa on charges of sexually assaulting a Japanese woman. The Japanese media wasted no time in fanning nationwide outcry against the crime with ostensibly neutral but highly inflammable words such as
沖縄米兵 , 日本人女性, and 性的暴行 as if a rape case is a rarity among Japanese people.

On the other hand, commentators and editors automatically resumed their favorite argument that the review of SOFA (U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement, or
日米地位協定 ) is needed urgently. Once again they are spreading these words to prevent their audience from looking at the truth that nothing justifies the U.S. military presence in Okinawa. ·

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Is it Senkaku or Diaoyu? ...... Who knows and who cares? | 5 comments | Create New Account
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Is it Senkaku or Diaoyu? Who knows? And who cares?
Authored by: samwidge on Wednesday, October 17 2012 @ 08:41 AM JST

Mr. Yamamoto,

When we note that your comments are long, we are saying that you cover many topics. Most books are also long but they tend to address issues more fully and in a connected way.

As in this case, your thoughts range far and wide. Those of us who avidly read you from elsewhere in the world see thousands of new things in each essay. You cause many questions to arise and this gives us the conundrum of needing to decide to decode all the mysteries or none.

Those islands are a good example; We would like to be reminded of their history. We would like to understand the Chinese Art of Negotiation. We are eager to see Japan militarize itself as a means to reduce our expenditures and increase security (and that alone brings up thousands of other questions).

Understanding the Chinese Art of Negotiation is no small issue. They do it differently and they do it in their own special way.

Consider Israel's own special Art of Negotiation. During the Six-Days-War Israel attacked an American ship, the USS Liberty, and killed more than 20 of our sailors. Israel claimed that it looked like the ship of another nation and bore no flag. History shows that the flag was there. Israel radio records prove that its pilots knew the unarmed ship's identity and purpose. Israel attacked to prevent revealing military secrets to the White House.

After the attack, Israel denied the motivation and spent huge sums of money in media to adjust the story although records remained.

That planned event and planned recovery from event is a different kind of negotiation, different from what people of other nations expect.

Americans make quick assumptions on what we see in media and forget the rest. That is one way to manipulate us.

The Chinese choose another way. That other way seems to be threat of violence. You and I must admit that that kind of negotiation works in many circumstances.

None of this is either "right" or "wrong." It is just the difficult way that nations negotiate.

My point here again is that, as a writer, you have long legs and discuss many things in each essay. We leave thinking that we would like to learn either far more or far less. This is why you are so very valuable to the world; You challenge us mercilessly.

You presume that we are as intelligent as you. We may not be so blessed.

Though your information and opinions may be correct, your presumption of our intelligence is extremely large.
Is it Senkaku or Diaoyu? Who knows? And who cares?
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Wednesday, October 17 2012 @ 03:08 PM JST

I'm glad that we exchange views, if it's nothing more than that. As I always say, I don't want to preach to you Americans.

Once again you wrote: "We are eager to see Japan militarize itself as a means to reduce our expenditures and increase security." Nothing is farther from truth. Believe me Japan has long been militarized.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, as of 2007, Japan's Self-Defense Forces had:
- 44 mostly Aegis-equipped destroyers
- 9 frigates
- 16 submarines
- 4 amphibious ships
- 31 vessels meant for mine warfare
- 100 P3C Orion antisubmarine aircraft
- 80 combat aircraft
- 155 heliocopters
- 240,000 combat personnel.

Guess what - the only thing that is missing from the long list is enemy. Actually Japan doesn't have the foggiest idea about what country to fight against using all these equipment. To a sane person, waging a war against his most important trade partner (China) is out of the question. Please tell me who do you want us to fight, and what for.

Another misperception at your end is about these facts: We taxpayers shoulder ALL the financial burden to maintain our arsenal; Japan has NOT received a single buck in subsidy from Uncle Sam. Moreover, Japan is forced to pay TO your country what you call HNS - Host Nation Support. We super-generous people call it "Sympathy Budget Allocation."

Just for your info, Japan's military spending stands at an annual $58.2 billion plus $8.9 billion for HNS. Just imagine what would happen in your country if Japan stopped buying pricey weaponry from America's military-industrial complex (Lockheed Martin, etc.) According to my educated guess, your country will instantly lose almost 100,000 jobs.

Again, I don't particularly want you to stop blindly believing in Obama and/or Romney. But please double-check the facts about the 50-year-old U.S.-Japan security arrangement.

Is it Senkaku or Diaoyu? Who knows? And who cares?
Authored by: samwidge on Wednesday, October 17 2012 @ 03:57 PM JST


All of these things that you point out are undoubtedly valid (with the obvious exception of any confidence I might have in our current President).

Nonetheless, it is the public perceptions that you undoubtedly wish to alter. Perceptions! Is the Japanese military like any other or is it the toothless dragon we are led to imagine? If there is no need for an increased Japanese military, then what might be done to reduce its size? What might the advantages be?

I understand that Japan, like India, buys its military equipment from all over the world. Some of the best military electronics in the US comes from Japan. This is subtle as it is the components and concepts that matter, not the completed assemblies.

If Japan has no enemy, what could be wrong with giving China the islands in question? Why does China have such a large and growing fleet when peace has reigned in the Pacific for so long? Is that fleet merely a Boy Scout training ground for China's late adolescents?

We Americans live in the past with some of our most talented people still trying to find Amelia Earhart.

You keep informing us. That is good but the best thing you do for us is to give us questions. You have raised many questions today.

Is it Senkaku or Diaoyu? Who knows? And who cares?
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Wednesday, October 17 2012 @ 09:59 PM JST

Thanks for agreeing that Japan is a militarized country and Japanese taxpayers, alone, have shouldered all the cost entailed in the militarization.

But, once again, I am a blogger who takes utmost precaution to avoid being deceived by words because the only thing he believes in is the real action, not these blah, blah, blah. Otherwise I could say anything that pleases my audience. Simply that would be intolerably boring. The real world is so intricate that I cannot answer your questions with a small number words. But let me try.

Q1: Is Japanese military like any other or is it the toothless dragon we are led to imagine?
A1: Yes, it's a toothless dragon. To be more precise it's a dragonless tooth.

Q2; If there is no need for an increased Japanese military, then what might be done to reduce its size?
A2: If you really want to know the answer, I think you should ask Prime Minister Noda, because I have no duty, no responsibility, and no authority to change Japan's defense policy. But first and foremost your president should send Japan's Prime Minister a 1-year prior notice to terminate the bilateral security treaty. As I've kept saying in the last 5 years, that is the simplest and most practicable way to put an end to the unnecessary distress being suffered by both peoples. A junkie will never think about breaking up with the drug dealer on his own.

Q3; What might the advantages be?
A3: I can't tell but it is very unlikely that the junkie stops his dependency on one addictive substance or another. There are many other worthless and harmful things around for him to buy. Basically, I don't expect any benefit from the cutback.

Q4: If Japan has no enemy, what could be wrong with giving China the islands in question?
A4: As I wrote in the piece, I don't know, and I don't care.

Q5; Why does China have such a large and growing fleet when peace has reigned in the Pacific for so long? Is that fleet merely a Boy Scout training ground for China's late adolescents?
A5: I don't know either. I think you should ask the same question of Hu Jintao, or better yet, Xi Jinping. Do you think our big brother China is stupid enough to occupy Japan, the nation lacking natural and human resources? Besides the Sino-Japanese relationship has a history of more than 1.4 millenniums while the history of interchange between China and the U.S. is a little more than 1-century-long. Remember the Chinese and the Japanese are akin. True there were times we were in feud with each other, but I wonder why Americans keep telling us how to deal with our big brother.

Thanks, anyhow, for taking time on the issue.

Is it Senkaku or Diaoyu? - Who knows?
Authored by: Diogenes on Thursday, October 18 2012 @ 09:44 AM JST
The Japanese military and its domestic political supporters appear on the outside to be an army looking for a war. But if you look deeper, one can find the Pentagon ordering the Japanese government to create this non-issue. China and Russia are being rapidly surrounded in a silent, for now, siege. China isn’t about to allow that to happen. Japan is simply a proxy to pinch the tail of this sleeping giant. Clearly, the Japanese government is nothing but a cowardly lion. “Oh,” you say, “if they don’t tote the water for Uncle Sam, he will not allow Japanese goods (meaning better built automobiles and farm equipment) to enter the U.S.!” That will never happen. American consumers buy Japanese cars because they last longer and are cheaper to repair. Any move to restrict those imports by any American government would be met with a swift outcry by the cowardly, sleeping American masses.

As far as Israel hiding their secrets during the Six Day War, the attack on the USS Liberty was not meant to cover-up their alleged massacre of Egyptian POWs, it was meant to get the very response that Lyndon Johnson wanted: to drop a nuclear bomb on Cairo. Two American bombers were dispatched for this very mission and were minutes from dropping two nukes on Cairo, which would have likely obliterated all the pyramids as well the entire population of Cairo. When Johnson was told of the attack on the Liberty, he’s quoted as saying, “I want that ship on the bottom.” It was only the good luck by the crew of the Liberty that they got the ship moving away from the Israeli coast and the radio communications resumed with the Mediterranean fleet that we all avoided a possible WWIII. This act was not a form of “negotiation.” This was a false flag attack like the WTC false flag attack. In the potential Cairo attack, massive treason was abundant by the American government officials in collusion with the Israeli government. The media and government kept a lid on this for decades, both being complicit in treason.

“The Chinese choose another way. That other way seems to be threat of violence. You and I must admit that that kind of negotiation works in many circumstances.

“None of this is either "right" or "wrong." It is just the difficult way that nations negotiate.”

Threats of violence are morally neutral? A robber approaches you with a gun and says, “Give me your wallet, or I’m going to shoot you.” That is morally neutral, not either right or wrong? May the Norns save us all from these kinds of people.