An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

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

TokyoFreePress Cannot Afford the Time to Waste on Tatemae Stuff

In 2004, Kyoji
Mitarai, then Sasebo
Bureau chief of the
Mainichi Shimbun
daily, lost his
daughter in the box-
cutter murder
His childish "open
letter" was telling
everything about the
terminally-ill nation.
In August 2004, I launched this website. At that time many people gave me a big hand. They grinned knowingly at me and said they especially liked my slogan that said TokyoFreePress was a taboo-free online journal. They were wrong, though; they took my slogan as yet another Tatemae statement. To put it bluntly, they should have known that I was a crazy person by their standards.

Seven years later, it started dawning on these people that I really meant it when I launched an all-out attack on the city hall of Yokohama, defying the old wisdom that "you can't fight the city hall." I won the first stage of the battle out of court because with my 46-year-long experience in business, it was relatively easy to outmaneuver the zombies at the municipal office. They had to admit, without explicitly saying so, my complaint that the order of attachment would be unconstitutional was irrefutable.

To me that is enough for now. My ultimate goal is somewhere else. I have no reason to broadcast how exactly I could win because it would be useless to tell my story more in detail to those who will never fight the city hall in their lifetime. Besides, that might constitute a breach of the ceasefire agreement very tacitly reached between us.

All along, some, if not many, of my friends extended their wholehearted support to me. I really appreciate their encouraging words because without them, I might have lost my case against the municipal government.

But on the other hand, those who were not perceptive enough to know the taboo-free slogan was the manifestation of my Honne, seemed to be subtly disappointed. Some of them even sounded as though they had become indignant at the news. I think there are two reasons.

Firstly, despite the lip service they gave me at the initial stage, these ostriches thought, in their Honne, that my battle against the local government should never be won. Secondly, deep inside they have harbored jealousy over justice. To them, justice is something authoritative figures such as themselves have the exclusive right to mercifully hand down upon unprivileged others. That's why they found it outrageous to have to see an obscure blogger win it.

Quite unexpectedly, this case served as an acid test. Now I can tell who are willing to discuss issues in their Honne, and who are not.

Among my supporters, there is an exceptionally intelligent American whose handle on this website is Diogenes. I have learned quite a lot from his perceptive and relevant feedbacks to my pieces. Especially, it was a pleasant surprise when he brought up the issue with Japanese children suffering refractory mental illnesses in response to my essay about the MacArthur Constitution. Before him, no one had found a link between the two issues.

In the last 48 hours, we discussed offline the same issues to follow up our online discussions. I'm posting below here three reply mails to show you what I really meant in August 2004 when I said I was launching a taboo-free web journal.

May 20, 3:30 JST
Title: Unbreakable Chain of Oppression

I’m so glad that the exchange of views between us has been immensely productive that I now understand why you said I wasn't straying from my main task.

Among other things, I have especially appreciated your online and offline comments on the constitution(s). As a matter of fact, it always sickens me to read self-pitiful accounts by victims of rape, child-abuse or other types of domestic violence. But when one of my young friends, who had once attempted suicide, almost successfully, recommended to me Torey Hayden's One Child, I learned not every abuse survivor is self-pitiful. Sheila fought back against the chain of oppression when she was a 6-year-old toddler by tying a 3-year-old boy to a tree in a nearby woodlot. She had to do so because there was no other way out for the 6-year-old than burning a 3-year-old boy.

You were absolutely right when you pointed out vengeance does not solve the problem. Instead it surely exacerbates it. However, it takes mental, if not physical, strength, to regain one's self from the chain of oppression.

As you have already noticed the Japanese chain of oppression is quite different from America’s. On its top, there always is the Emperor, and at its bottom there are social outcasts who are abused in many different ways, including kids suffering from autism (360,000-1,200,000 of them), 5 million suicide wannabes, and innumerable prostitutes disguised as something else. In this unique society, the top of the chain has been tightly fastened to the other end so it forms a closed loop. The inventor of this mechanism is Shotoku Prince of the 7th century. MacArthur reinvented it 64 years ago. Given this ingenious arrangement, nobody can tell who are abusing whom, and who are being exploited by whom. That is why I always argue in this country, prostitution, for one, is subtly legitimized and highly institutionalized.

Under the circumstances, very few victims dare to fight back, primarily because they can’t tell who to direct their attack. At times, they do fight back, as the 12-year-old boxcutter murderer did here 7 years ago. But they always attack the wrong people. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, quotes Aristotle as saying: “Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purposes, and in the right way - this is not easy.”

The single most devastating outcome of the Japan-particular Chain of Oppression is the fact that people are really used to being abused. Frank W. Putnam, MD, once observed that many (most in case of Japan) survivors of child abuse start to feel in their adolescence that something remains unsettled deep inside. When you talked about a “repetition compulsion,” I think you were talking about the abused becoming abusers in later years. But in Japan, most of them feel an obsessive-compulsive urge to be abused again and again. That’s what Putnam calls “revictimization.” I think this explains everything about Ijime, Hikikomori and Jisatsu and social response to them.

In the last 13 centuries, or in the last 150 years, or at least in the last 64 years, this country has remained stuck in the same addiction-like desire for being revictimized, while on the other side of the Pacific, America has remained addicted to recidivism. The striking remembrance in symptoms between poor kids and this nation always bring me to what another Putnam (public policy professor Robert D. Putnam) calls the “path-dependent trajectory.” This Putnam says: “Where you can get to depends on where you’re coming from, and some destinations you simply cannot get to from here.”

May 21, 1:40 JST
Title: RE: Unbreakable Chain of Oppression

I think this is one of the most important mails I have received to this day. There’s very little to add to your analysis except for the attached JPEG file. One of my young friends secretly passed it to me. I’m afraid "Nevada" no longer looks like this because most probably she has been REFORMED by now into yet another domesticated zombie.

In the last 6, 7 years, the mainstream media have been untiringly calling for more and more legislative measures to stem the surge of “Internet crime” and “juvenile crime.” As usual they are lying. To begin with, the Internet has nothing to do with juvenile crime, or any other crime for that matter. (This really reminds me of American mythomaniacs who keep saying what’s going on in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the like, or what may or may not happen in China should be called “Twitter revolutions.”) One would kill, whether or not there was the Internet, as long as he or she has the reason to kill.

Neither is it true that crime has anything to do with age, because it’s ridiculous to believe a 19-year-old is more prone to commit a crime than a 20-year-old. (In Japan people under 20 are treated as minors although now they are talking about lowering the threshold.) Intellectually lazy people never understand they should always address these issues both from cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives.

More importantly, the boxcutter murder case of 2004, for one, showed that the real problem with "juvenile crimes" always lies with neotenized parents, teachers and other adults.

Laws, or lack of them, have nothing to do with crime, either. People, the Japanese in particular, are duped into believing laws change people, whereas it’s always the other way around. It’s people that change laws. For instance, lawmakers at all levels of the government have been imposing stricter control on kids' access to Yugai Saito (websites considered hazardous to minors.) This is also a laugh because there cannot be any logical reason to believe Yugai Saito are Mugai (harmless) to adults. To me all these moves are nothing but an alibi exercise.

In this terminally-ill country, minors are strictly prohibited to smoke or drink by Tatemae laws. That means to these law-abiding zombies, it is quite OK for a 19-year-and-364-day-and-23-hour-and-59-minute-old person to buy a pack of cigarettes if he is ready to wait one more minute.

I’m really getting suffocated.

May 21, 5:37 JST
Title: RE: Unbreakable Chain of Oppression

Thanks for the painting and the poem. Maybe you are right; all you can do is to pray to the god. But actually I haven’t launched TokyoFreePress just to post prayers for these poor souls. And I have wanted to write a book to ask my American audience to join forces with me. What I expect from them is very simple: they should press their President and Congressmen to terminate the U.S.-Japanese security treaty right away just by invoking its Article 10 that calls for a 1-year prior notice. They needn't do us any favor. Actually this would be the only thing they could possibly do to save THEIR OWN COUNTRY, if at the cost of its Far Eastern ally. In other words, it’s about time for the Americans to stop acting like busybodies overseas as if they do not have serious problems back home.

Talking of prayers, my favorite one is the serenity prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous, which I stumbled on when I read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse - Five. It may be a superfluous quotation for you, but just in case, it goes like this:
· read more (25 words)
  View Printable Version 

A Fecal Truth behind the Burst of the Bubble

The waitress puts a plate in front of me with a piece of chalky Camembert on it. I glance round the room and a feeling of violent disgust comes over me. What am I doing here? What are these people doing here? Why are they eating?
- Jean-Paul Sartre

I have been living alone for a decade by now. Since I don't like to cook, I always eat out. The places I can barely afford to frequent for my meal are all small eateries in this neighborhood. That means I am always forced to eat junk food, while hearing other diners dishing the dirt at the nearby tables although I have no intention to eavesdrop at all. Information these brain-dead people are shuffling around among themselves purely on an ear-to-mouth basis reminds me of a female monster I got associated with in 1989. I have encountered many women who were gifted with both charms and intellect. So this extraordinary person was the only speck on my 75-year life.

On the eve of the burst of the bubble economy of 1990, I was a senior manager at the Japanese subsidiary of a rotten Swiss trading company named Siber Hegner. And I was living alone just like I am today. Toward the end of the 1980s a Japanese executive named Akihiro Sumitomo had started insinuating me into hiring this woman, named Keiko Inoue, as a manager in my shop. The tricky and pushy executive assured me that she had proved an exceptionally competent IT manager when she was his direct report in an American company he was from. The bastard added that she also had very good skills in communicating in English. I was skeptical because it was quite likely that he was setting a honey trap for me on behalf of the Swiss CEO by the name of Kurt E. Sieber who was dying for a good reason to get rid of me. I was the only manager around who was not a sycophant.

But I said to myself: "Why don't I just take her as my IT manager? If the broad turns out little more than good boobs, still this could be the last harvest I could reap from my hard work during the high-growth era which is coming to a screeching halt now." Actually it didn't take me a month until I realized Sumitomo had been lying about the bitch.

One day, Inoue came to my office and said: "Mr. Yamamoto, I heard you are currently living alone. I really sympathize with you because you must have great difficulty working from early morning till midnight and traveling around all the time, without a mate who personally looks after you." Soon we made love. A week or so later, Inoue came to my office to tell she had filed for divorce to become my mate. She added: "I will bring my older son with me. I hope you get along with him and he likes you as well."

This is how I became her live-in boyfriend and stayed with her and her son until 1997. These were the post-bubble days I was struggling to reform our organization which was already swimming in the pool of red ink.

Actually, she was yet another idiot; she had no computer-literacy, business-literacy or English-literacy. And yet, she didn't have to study hard to improve because now she had a good personal coach in those areas. She didn't even have to pay tuition because it was me that was supposed to pay something for all this arrangement. This way I was exploited financially, sexually, and linguistically in the next seven years. She kept drinking all along.

In a sense, the Inoue broad was an exceptionally honest person in that she was quite sachlich. Especially she was explicit when it came to sex and excrement. In the morning, at least once a week, she would tell me to do shopping on my way home for foodstuff to feed the three of us. To be more specific. she said:

"Why don't you bother to buy us our fecal material at the supermarket this evening?"

Over time, she found herself in an awkward situation because of her relationship with her boss. So she decided to move on to the Japanese subsidiary of Siemens AG. I had to write her application letter and resume in English as well as a prompt for the anticipated questions by the English-speaking German interviewer. Siemens bought her because I exerted every effort to hype the empty-headed applicant. After her personal coach walked away, she had to further move on to the consulting arm of IBM Japan, my alma mater, presumably because IBM has a tradition to allow its subsidiaries to stick to local languages in intracompany communications.

Sumitomo was always willing to prostitute himself for the expat. Initially he must have thought he would be able to ruin the entire career of Sieber's archenemy, or at least neutralize him. But when I left the bitch the way I did, he knew he had failed. Since then he made every effort, from different angles, to make my retirement as disgraceful as he could. Finally the born con man, as his former colleagues at the American company called Sumitomo, fled the drowning Swiss company when Diethelm Keller Holding, Ltd. acquired it at a fire-sale price.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into the bitch in Yokohama Chinatown. The alcoholic, now in her late 50s, said her career as an IBM consultant is on a roll. I am sure she is teaching her Japanese clients how effectively to produce shit.

On the surface, the IBM consultant is not like any other Japanese woman. Aside from her exceptional explicitness and self-assertiveness, however, she is a typical Japanese.

About the time the bubble economy finally burst, it started to dawn on me that the gulf between me and my fellow countrymen was unbridgeable. And by the time the "boobs" burst, I realized that my conversation with any Japanese, especially male, almost always went round in circles like this:

Me: "Why do you work?"
Japanese: "Because I have to eat."
Me: "Why do you eat?"
Japanese: "You can't live without food."
Me: "What do you live for?"
Japanese:" We must feed our children."
Me: "Why do they have to be fed?"
Japanese: "They can't grow without food - and perhaps a good education."
Me: "Why do they have to grow in the first place?"
Japanese: "You are an impossible nutter."
· read more (36 words)
  View Printable Version 

Japan Trivia 13: The Culture of Apologies

I don't think I was clear enough when I first took up this topic seven years ago. So let me try to clarify my point once again.

In November 1997, President
Shohei Nozawa of the now
defunct Yamaichi Securities
Company burst into tears.

In April 2011, TEPCO
executives went down on their
knees before the evacuees
and press corps.

In May 2011, sumo wrestlers
were lined up on the Dohyo
ring to offer their sincere
apologies to the spectators.
For the last 13 years since Yamaichi Securities Co., Ltd. went under, practically not a single day has passed without seeing a weepy person offer sincere apologies before TV cameras. If you are one of those intellectually lazy Westerners, you will say: "Japan still remains an unfathomable nation. Yet, I can't resist the mystic charms of its people." Oh, is that so? To me these Westerners are equally mysterious, but much less charming.

Actually the Japanese have a good reason to keep apologizing.

In the post-bubble Japan, more often than not things go wrong. One of the most important reasons is the fact that the real culprit for a failure always goes unpunished. How can this society be so lenient to wrongdoers and incompetents?

There is a prescribed proceeding called Shazai Kaiken (a press conference for apologies) where someone who was not really at fault is supposed to appear in place of the real culprit to bow from the waste. When the misstep or wrongdoing has resulted in an extraordinarily serious consequence, the proxy should burst into tears and/or get down on his knees.

You never know what exactly the proxy is offering his apologies for and to whom, but that doesn't matter because it's part of the ritual. Every Japanese knows how to proceed with the ceremony and how to avoid unnecessarily humiliating the crying proxy. For one thing, it's not the right thing to do to ask him: "Are you really at fault for what you are apologizing for?" Simply, that would be impermissibly rude.

Only a small number of us know who should actually take the blame. You just have to track back the 13-year history of these televised rituals. Then you will realize that not once have the Emperor, executives of media organizations or yakuza syndicates and high-ranking government officials offered their apologies in the way these scapegoats have. This way you can pin down the bandits.

Leaving the real culprits at large forever is what the culture of apologies is all about. No self-purification mechanism is at work there. Small wonder gallons of tears they have shed haven't done any good to this country. Criminal prosecution may be a different story, but you can never expect justice from corrupt prosecutors, judges and "Justice" Minister overseeing them.

As recently as late last months, the Japanese saw executives of the troubled Tokyo Electric Power Company apologize in the traditional Dogeza (prostration) position before the evacuees and press corps. But now, sumo wrestlers have started apologizing for a spate of scandals involving many in the game. I am not very sure, but most probably these guys, including the Yokozuna Champion from Mongolia, two Ozeki (the second-highest rank) from Bulgaria and Estonia, who were lined up on the Dohyo ring, are not directly involved in the widespread irregularities. But they were told to do the bowing anyhow.

Actually there are two culprits in this case. Needless to say, they are NHK and yakuza.

At the outbreak of the series of scandals, NHK made every effort to localize the problem because the government-owned broadcaster is the biggest sponsor of Kokugi (the national sport.) It was solely focusing on illegal betting on the games of Puro Yakyu (professional baseball) by sumo wrestlers. The broadcaster even suspended its generous sponsorship until some small fish were barred from the sport along with some underground bookmakers in yakuza syndicates. Anyone in his right mind could already tell, it was a gimmick to cover up more deep-rooted problems.

Soon after the suspension was lifted, it was somehow revealed that many sumo wrestlers had also been up to match-fixing among themselves. Once again NHK suspended its sponsorship with a completely innocent face. It is against this backdrop that on Sunday these big guys offered sincere apologies to sumo fans.

I know this is not the end of the story because it's a matter of commonsense that it takes two, if you exclude yakuza mobsters who act as intermediaries between the two, to make the gambling business profitable. Sooner or later, it will be baseball players' turn to apologize.
· read more (94 words)
  View Printable Version 

MacArthur's Constitution Has Turned 64, but the Japanese Still Remain 12

On April 16, 1951, 200,000 Tokyo citizens said, "Thank you. We will never forget you," to General Douglas MacArthur on his way to the airport. Actually, they haven't forgotten the fatherly figure - and will never.
This past Tuesday fell on the 64th anniversary of Japan's postwar constitution which officially superseded the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, also known as the Meiji Constitution. It was enacted five years before Japan's nominal sovereignty was restored by the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

It is known that the Meiji Constitution, which was enacted in 1890, was an imitation of the fundamental laws of Prussia and Britain. If there was a purely Japanese element in it, it was embodied in its first 17 articles which deified the Emperor as "sacred and inviolable."

That meant the demigod always remained an extralegal existence and thus retained the right to withdraw the constitution or override provisions he didn't like.

General Douglas MacArthur, who was sometimes dubbed the Second Emperor, ordered his Japanese subjects to draw up a new one modeled after America's political system with the old imperial institution put on top as if it were a vermiform appendix. As you know, the vestigial organ has no particular functions in human body, but if you get a malignant tumor there, it can develop into appendix cancer unless removed in time.

But those who were told to draft an incoherent constitution did not find it any more difficult to comply with MacArthur's order than their forerunners had when they authored the Meiji Constitution ingeniously blending the three incongruous elements. They thought: "What's wrong with shifting from the Prussian and British models to the American way of defining the foundation of the nation?"

This is how the Japanese swallowed once again something which they couldn't internalize at all just like their parents and grandparents had done when forced by the grandfather of the First Emperor of the MacArthur era. Unlike with any normal country, Japan's fundamental law doesn't define each individual's citizenship in relation to the nationhood because it's something that doesn't have to be defined by anyone, in any way.

It is true that the people are uncomfortable about being unilaterally defined by extralegal rulers. But they are so used to it that they are at a loss over how to ease their angst. That is why in the last 64 years, pointless contentions between pro- and anti-amendment camps have been going on endlessly. They always end up going in circles.

The media's role in preserving the wrong way of defining the relationships between the nation and individual citizens is to constantly bring up nonissues. The most frequently-used red herring is the question of whether to amend the now world-famous Article 9. It says: "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes."

Actually the media should be more concerned about Article 21 which says, "Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. No censorship shall be maintained." But they never discuss the constitutionality of the "self-censorship" mechanism called the Kisha Kurabu System (press club system.)

From the beginning, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, himself, neglected this article by gagging the Japanese press, and through it, the entire population from the GHQ. But now that the mainstream newspaper publishers have taken over MacArthur's job as self-appointed censors, Japan's 4th estate looks like the second extralegal institution only next to the Emperor. That is the only way to hush up their unpunished crime to have driven the Japanese into the unwinnable war.

As to the war-renouncing article, there was nothing new in it for the Japanese who had long been diehard pacifists. During the war, Westerners thought they were an extremely belligerent people. But they were mistaken. Even during the wartime, they were never driven by a bellicose animosity toward their enemy. Instead, they were dominated by a burning desire for self-destruction. Otherwise, the Japanese would never have started the Pacific War which they thought was unwinnable in the first place.

In the 7th century, a prince by the name of Shotoku Taishi verbally promulgated the famous Seventeen-Article Constitution. (It was a verbal one because in those days Chinese characters had yet to be imported.) Today, very few schoolchildren know exactly what Article 9 of MacArthur's Constitution says, let alone other articles. But practically every kid can recite Article 1 of Shotoku Constitution, which says:

"Harmony should be put before anything else and quarrels must be avoided."

If MacArthur had known the killer sentence, he would have thought his Article 9 was redundant.

The same can be said of Chapter 3 (Rights and Duties of the People) of the MacArthur Constitution. The ideal of the American democracy was nothing new to the group-oriented conformists who had been obsessed with this Shotoku ethics in the last 13 centuries. At least from the Japanese point of view, democracy and egalitarianism are one and the same thing.

The only thing which was not superfluous in the MacArthur Constitution is its reciprocity principle. This was something the Japanese had never known in the past and would never understand in the future.

Several months ago, stupid Harvard professor Joseph Nye told the editor of the Yomiuri Shimbun daily that "Japan is an amazing society that reinvented itself in the Meiji Restoration, and became the first Asian power to deal with globalization. After 1945, it did it again and became the second largest economy in the world."

I know most Americans agree to Nye's statement. On the false premise that Japan transformed itself into a modern nation in the mid-19th century and into a democracy after the war, empty-headed and dishonest Japan "experts" and their followers in the U.S. still believe, or make believe, that these people are innovative, hard-working, tenacious, dauntless, flexible, adaptable, resilient, honest, polite, sensitive, clean, and so on.

Don't make me laugh.

They should ask themselves once again after splashing cold water on their faces: "How many times have the Japanese actually reinvented themselves in their modern history?" If the word "reinvent" should mean "change," my answer is "Never."

In the last 75 years, I have studied thousands of Japanese, in person, inside out, longitudinally and cross-sectionally. As a result I have come to the conclusion that most of them are change-disabled.

The fact of the matter is that the General Douglas MacArthur failed to change the Japanese people simply because law cannot change the people. Contrary to the Japanese belief, it's the people that change law.

If MacArthur and his boss Harry S. Truman had targeted the Little Boy and the Fat Man at the heart of Tokyo where the Imperial Palace was, and still remains located, instead of the relatively unimportant local cities, the outcome of the war must have been a little different, although we can't blame the Americans for that.

If you still remain so brainwashed by the likes of Nye as to repudiate my deliberate statement that the Japanese are brain-dead, I want you to look at the picture embedded at the top of this post after washing your drowsy eyes.

On April 16, 1951, MacArthur was repatriated by Truman. On that day, the Asahi Shimbun daily editorialized about the accomplishments of the outgoing general as the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. It went like this:

"It was General MacArthur who taught us the merits of democracy and pacifism and guided us with kindness along this bright path. As if pleased with his own children growing up, he took pleasure in the Japanese people, yesterday's enemy, walking step by step toward democracy."

In response to the editorials of the Asahi and all other newspapers, hundreds of thousands of Japanese sent off the General on his way to the airport, enthusiastically waving small Stars and Stripes made of paper by the roadside.

On May 5, the retired general testified at a joint committee of the Senate about his experience with the Japanese. He said:

"If the Anglo-Saxon was, say 45 years of age in his development, in the sciences, the arts, divinity, culture, the Germans were quite as mature. The Japanese, however, in spite of antiquity measured by time, were in a tuitionary condition. Measured by the standards of modern civilization, they would be like a boy of twelve as compared with our development of 45 years."

Although people on both sides of the Pacific would later label him a racist, I don't agree with them because the editorial of Japan's leading newspaper and the picture are unmistakable signs that the Japanese were helplessly retarded. 60 years after he stepped down as the Second Emperor, they still remain neotenized as you have seen in the aftermath of 3/11. Now we know the disease is really incurable.

Recently I have launched an all-out attack on these zombies in the City Hall of Yokohama. I can't afford to lose the battle with the municipality because if I do, they will seize my pension annuities starting June. My attack is directed to their interpretations of the following articles of the MacArthur Constitution:

Chapter III, Article 14: All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.

Basically I have nothing against the egalitarian principle embodied here. But I know that actually the issue with income equality is multifaceted. Contrary to what the constant rise in Gini Coefficient is supposed to indicate here, one of the most serious symptoms of the Japanese Disease is the pathological obsession with sameness. So I decided it would be a total waste of time to discuss this principle with these morons. Instead I asked them a simple question: "How do you define this 'all of the people'?" Actually I raised this question in plainer words so the idiots could understand my question. I said: "Do you think the Emperor and yakuza should be included in 'all of the people'?". In response the zombies, in effect, said the Emperor should be given a special privilege. No answer about yakuza. The very first article of the Constitution goes like this: "The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power." This is utter nonsense because actually the people are tacitly prohibited from expressing their "will". More importantly, the article does not tell whether the former demigod has been demoted to an ordinary human being or enshrined once again as an extra-constitutional institution.
· read more (328 words)
  View Printable Version 

Acid Tests

Naoto Kan has long been out of his mind. The
headline simply reads: "The Prime Minister
is Nuts." For an obvious reason, the daily failed
to point out those who voted for him are
nuts, too.
As I have written a dozen times since 3/11, there always are people who can turn a disaster into a blessing for themselves by causing others an added suffering. Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan is a good example. According to the independent journal Nikkan Gendai, an unconfirmed report has it that on the day the quake and tsunami hit this country, Kan said to one of his close aides: "Hot dog! I can stay in office for two more years."

On April 20, the same daily wrote that when Kan took a secular pilgrimage several years ago to get purified of his political sin, his brain must have already been badly impaired. I think you will agree if you look at the surreal photo of this person. The obvious lesson to be learned here is that one has got to be a nutter, if he wants to benefit from a national crisis such as 3/11.

The reason the Japanese people haven't shown signs that they will revolt against the government anytime soon is quite simple: they have been so used to having such a leader in the last one and a half century. Just for one thing, in 1945, they had to endure twin disasters when a couple hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incinerated while the bastard who had started the war from his palace was going to be acquitted of his responsibility.

All in all, 3/11 was the final confirmation that Japan is a dead country.

On the other side of the Pacific, the American people still make believe that despite their mounting frustration over Japanese ways of dealing with them, Japan is a nation that has unparalleled ability to "reinvent" itself over and over again as the stupid Harvard professor named Joseph Nye put it a little more than 3 months ago.

Masataka Shimizu, TEPCO's president, went down on his
knees before the evacuees and
press corps in Fukushima
Today the president of TEPCO, the power company whose sales totaled US$60 billion in 2010, visited one of the evacuation centers in Fukushima Prefecture and offered a tearful apology in the traditional dogeza position. Believe it or not, the on-site ritual tacitly staged by the media will certainly pave the way for the government to make up for the consequences of its mishandling of the crisis with taxpayers' money.

If many Americans still remain believers in Japan's viability after viewing this image, their country is also terminally ill, and most probably doomed to failure very soon.

They should know these zombies exactly mirror the way they will be tomorrow, if not today.

As to the massive relief operation by the U.S., code-named Tomodachi (friendship), the vast majority of people on both sides of the Pacific think it's a touching display of genuine altruism. It's nothing new to note Japanese dupes haven't learned that there is no such thing as a free lunch despite the fact in the last 150 years, they have repeatedly fallen victim to America's fatherly imperialism. But now even in the U.S., only a small number of people know that in reality, any country, or any individual for that matter, can't be that selfless.

There are several speculations. Some are saying, Washington will, in return, ask Tokyo to write off part of its holding in U.S. Treasury Bonds (roughly $5.7 trillion) because the Republicans are currently blocking the Obama administration from raising the ceiling on sovereign debt. Perhaps they are right, but I still believe Okinawa is one of the reasons behind Operation Tomodachi.

As any sane person can tell, it was the surest way to ruin for an ailing country such as the U.S. to have grown this dependent on a failing country such as Japan.

In recent years I have lost one American friend after another over my harsh words against them. It can't be helped because today's Americans are too arrogant and self-complacent to accept the fact that there is no such thing as a truth that does not hurt. But I still hope their country is not yet done for, as long as there are some, if not many, Americans who are sober enough to see my points, which are nothing more than a matter of commonsense.

A couple of days ago I came across an American on my website. His user name is Diogenes. By this unusual handle, he means the Greek philosopher known as "Diogenes of Sinope" (412 or 404-323 BCE). He wrote to me, offline, like this:

"Diogenes wandered around with a lantern during the day, looking for one honest man. It looks like I can extinguish my lantern now because I've found one in Japan."

Although I don't think I really deserve his compliment, it was very heartening to know there still are a small number of Americans who value commonsense and honesty more than anything else. He relit my hope for the resilience of America.

But I think the American people have thus far seemed to be flunking the acid test given by the catastrophe of 3/11.

Even in my private life, I have realized through my acid tests that some of my kin and local friends are not really kin or friends. For one thing, my elder son didn't ask his 75-year-old dad if he was OK when the big quake hit the northern half of Japan's coastal area facing the Pacific. We will remain friends because I don't have any grudge toward him. The guy had to care more about his wheelchair-bound wife, his mother (my ex), and his colleagues working for him. If you are a people person like my son, you don't have to be committed to everybody simply because, lip service aside, that is impossible. This is especially true in the face of a crisis. Needless to say, though, it's a different story if you are the leader of a country.
· read more (76 words)
  View Printable Version 

A Kamikaze Roadmap That Leads to Nowhere

These tasteless guys and broad are all smiles. You will
find out why in this article.
The task to draw one had long been overdue because a roadmap is something you need to have at the onset of the journey. But after all these stopgap measures taken by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company in an extremely haphazard way, any roadmap was useless because they had already strayed deep into the forest.

But of course, in this unviable nation, ritual significance always outweighs practical usefulness by far. Prime Minister Naoto Kan thought he would have to show a disaster recovery plan to Hillary Clinton on her brief stopover in Tokyo on her way home from Seoul. That is why on the same day, Chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Tsunehisa Kawamata unveiled what he called a detailed blueprint to end the crisis hastily concocted over night by his men.

The members of the TEPCO press club and their fellow reporters in the mainstream media are making believe TEPCO's roadmap is something that is worth a serious examination. But I haven't studied it, and will never, because it is yet another rubbish which shows the power company and the government have learned nothing from their initial flop.

At a glance I can tell it has nothing in common with what this retired businessman would call an action plan. I would rather term it "Kamikaze Roadmap" because it looks like a war plan for an unwinnable war. To begin with, there is no goal that has a solid foundation. TEPCO says its goal is to bring all the reactors of the Fukushima No. 1 Plant to "cold shutdowns." But it does not say on what grounds the "Chernobyl solution" has been ruled out. (The government of the Soviet Union decommissioned the power station by putting the entire facility in a "sarcophagus.") In other words, the goal stated there is nothing more than the outcome of the constant politicization of the issue.

Moreover, there are too many what-ifs left unanswered in the false roadmap. No risk factors are identified and no alternative or contingency plans are provided.

TEPCO says it wishes to achieve its goal of cold shutdown in 6 to 9 months. But it doesn't say a word about the possible recurrence of a major earthquake and tsunami within this period. The power company just crosses its fingers about that.

In short, the entire plan is based on wishful thinking.

In this connection, it's interesting to know the widespread myth about Japan's supremacy in robotics has fallen apart in the meantime. Toyota, for one, has developed a robot who can play the violin. Instead of buying a fiddling robot from the automaker, TEPCO yesterday rented out a couple of "Wheelbarrows" from the U.S. belatedly to have a look at the inside of the crippled reactors. These robots gathered radioactive and some other relevant data which indicated assumptions for TEPCO's roadmap were way too optimistic. As some independent journal puts it, the roadmap turned out a joke on Day 1 of its life.

It's no coincidence that Clinton's brief visit here coincided with Kawamata's announcement of the unactionable action plan. It's no accident, either, that U.S. Secretary of State brought along U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue. It's quite obvious from the picture embedded above that they are celebrating something in the middle of the nuclear nightmare.

An old Japanese proverb goes, "[You can always] turn a bad luck into a good one." Prime Minister Kan has learned how. His immediate predecessor Yukio Hatoyama, his grandfather Ichiro Hatoyama and Kan's archrival Ichiro Ozawa all had a bad luck simply because they were not really pro-Washington. Now Kan was effectively kissing the filthy asses of Clinton and Donohue when he handed them the unworkable roadmap, hastily translated into English, which ruled out the Chernobyl option for no solid reason. In return, these guys from Washington assured the Japanese Prime Minister that he can stay in power until the relocation plan of the U.S. Marine Corps' airbase to Henoko is implemented.

On the part of these guys from Washington, too, the bad luck has brought a good luck because the relocation plan will be carried out despite the fierce protests by the Okinawans, and GE, Westinghouse, and other major players in U.S. nuclear industry can rest assured of their sustainable prosperity. I am not sure, however, that Clinton and Donohue are maliciously intended. Another Japanese adage goes: "The more the child is poorly-made, the more the parent dotes on him." That can be the case here because the Americans have traditionally had a tendency toward necromania. Let's be reminded that back in the late-'60s, some of them were already saying, "Only a dead Viet Cong is a good Viet Cong."

At any rate this is what this "Operation Tomodachi" is all about.

To these guys, the good thing always offsets against the bad thing. But to other people, that simply means twin disasters.

The April 17 deal struck under the table will certainly bring an undue suffering to the people of Okinawa, Japan's last colony. And what is the implication of the mishandled crisis for taxpayers? It certainly means an added suffering across the nation.
· read more (151 words)
  View Printable Version 

3/11 was the Final Wake-up Call for Stakeholders of Japan

On April 15, TEPCO's president Masataka Shimizu
(center) offered a sincere apology. No one could
tell to whom he offered it, and what about because
it was just part of a ritual.
As of April 16, 13,551 have been identified as dead and 14,563 as missing. Obviously there are another thousands for whom even missing person reports haven't been filed. Are they all who have suffered from the disaster? Not at all. There are some 500,000 evacuees who have been confined in shelters for more than one month, and the 241 faceless/nameless personnel who have been left inside the premises of TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 Plant to perform an inane suicide mission there.

And don't forget that dozens of people who had survived the quake and tsunami have died in shelters.

And of course these TEPCO employees and subcontractors are not alone in being heavily exposed to radioactive materials. There can be thousands or tens of thousands of people who were, or are going to be killed by radiation. For instance, recent reports from foreign media have it that there are an unknown number of corpses of tsunami victims lying on the ground near the power plant. But who knows the real cause of their death?

Actually the list of those who suffered from 3/11 goes on and on.

As recently as April 15, the Prime Minister told the TEPCO to work on a blueprint to end the crisis. This was yet another telling evidence that from the beginning Kan had not used a systematic approach toward the crisis. TEPCO's response was equally stupid. President Masataka Shimizu, who had holed up in a "hospital" for weeks, appeared before press corps to offer "sincere apologies." As to the blueprint, he said to the effect that his company would develop a specific action plan "as soon as possible." In short, they didn't know what for they ordered these 241 employees to risk their lives inside the facility of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant. This is why I have likened these guys kamikaze pilots.

Now that things are getting real ugly across the nation, let me recapitulate what exactly happened before, on, and after March 11.

Before 3/11: Naoto Kan was already faltering because of his total incompetence. But still he could withstand calls for his resignation because of the strong backing from the major opposition Liberal Democratic Party and the U.S. government which thought the inept Prime Minister was the ideal person to carry through the plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' air station from Futenma to Henoko against the will of the Okinawans. Under the special circumstances, the big quake and tsunami were a real manna. The Japanese traditionally call such a blessing kamikaze, or divine wind.

3/11: As Mr. Takashi Hirose has already pointed out, what happened on that day was not a once-in-a-millennium calamity. The magnitude of the tremor was artificially inflated to 9.0 but it was actually 8.3 or 8.4. Tsunami was not unprecedented, either. Initial reports had it the maximum height reached 33 ft. Later it was unofficially revised to 75 ft. But Hirose has reminded us that in 1896, for instance, a 125 ft tsunami was observed.

After 3/11: It's quite natural that Kan's administration, which had not been able to manage even the pre-quake "normal" situation, was now at a loss over how to handle the post-quake emergency. Defying every rule of crisis management, he acted in a haphazard way and at a snail's pace. Also he failed to prepare his people for the worst case scenario, by constantly disseminating his wishful thinking. On the other hand, members of Kisha Kurabu (the press club) physically attached to the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company, along with other reporters, editors, and their favorite "experts," kept covering up or fabricating critical information. No wonder that the natural disaster quickly turned into a full-fledged man-made catastrophe.

Obviously, Kan, looters and charity-swindlers are not alone in benefiting a lot from the disaster. As we saw in the vacuum of laws of the postwar era, there are a lot of "legitimate" business opportunities for corrupt construction companies and many others. But on the other hand, hundreds of thousands of survivors are still going through the horrible plight in evacuation centers because of the inaction on the part of the government. Kan and his men have talked a lot about relief measures but they have delivered practically nothing on their promises.

It is true that there are a small number of individuals and organizations in Japan and foreign countries such as Taiwan, Israel and China that have offered genuinely spontaneous and selfless support. It's really heartwarming to see them. Especially I was touched by Mr. Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank. When the ethnic Korean announced that he would donate 10 billion yen ($120 million) plus all salaries and bonuses he will receive until his retirement, many cynics said that 10 billion is practically nothing for the richest Japanese. But they were absolutely wrong; it's these second-rate musicians who are giving charity concerts, those who attend them, or those who are complacent about their lip service and token donations that are doing nothing.

Unfortunately, though, real altruists are rare exceptions.

The climate where a false sense of unity and solidarity prevails has made me feel like playing devil's advocate. That is why I wrote on this website: "30,000 estimated dead? That's too bad, but it's not a big deal." This really brings me to the issue with suicide, although I know you think it's totally irrelevant here.

Actually most of you think those who have a tendency toward killing self are mentally ill, and in that sense, they deserve to be dead this way. But how can you be so sure that you are mentally sound? That's nothing more than an opportunistic self-diagnosis. If you are one of those people who have never pondered about the life-and-death issue in your lifetime, you better shut your mouth not only over those who committed suicide, but also those who got killed by quakes and tsunami in order to save your crocodile tears. And if you think those thousands of kamikaze pilots, who sacrificed their lives for the bastard in the Imperial Palace, were just mentally ill, you should stop talking about history, too.

In 2010 alone, 31,690 Japanese committed suicide. Japan's suicide rate was more than twice as high as in the U.S. and almost double that of China. Moreover, as John Nathan quoted Yoshi Yamamoto, Director of the Mental Health Center of Yokohama Hospital, as saying in his 2004 book titled Japan Unbound, "some 5 million Japanese are contemplating suicide at any given moment."

I hope you can do simple arithmetic here. Aside from these potential suicides, which number is larger, more than 30,000 who kill themselves every year, or another 30,000 who were victimized by the "once-in-a-millennium" disaster? According to my calculation, the former is 1,000-times larger.

Let's face it; this is exactly where lies the real problem with Japan. In this failed nation, the poorer the leader performs, the longer he can stay in power. Had it not been for his incompetence amplified by the disaster, Kan's administration would have fallen apart months ago. The administrations of Abe, Fukuda, Aso and Hatoyama were so short-lived simply because no major earthquake hit this nation during their aborted tenures.

The same applies to the entire nation.
· read more (34 words)
  View Printable Version 

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.
· read more (200 words)
  View Printable Version 

An Abridged Translation of Presentations by Messrs. Hirokawa and Hirose - PART 2


Yet another Harvard-educated idiot Hidehiko Nishiyama is
the spokesman of the Nuclear and industrial Safety Agency.
The bastard is a household name now.
In my March 15 post, I wrote the Japanese government, media and general public should strictly avoid wishful thinking and always be prepared for the worst case scenario. It seemed to me that they didn't have the slightest idea of what crisis management is all about. Now, four weeks into the crisis, they remain unchanged.
These learning-disabled, brain-dead people still believe the most important thing in fighting the disaster is just coming together to form a monolithic social milieu and political climate where no criticism is allowed. To them, the last thing they should do in an emergency like this one is pointing a finger at Prime Minister Naoto Kan, his right-hand man Yukio Edano, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the mainstream media.

Because of, rather than despite their misplaced optimism and the false sense of unity, the NISA had to raise its severity rating yesterday to Level 7, the highest on IAEA's International Nuclear Event Scale (INES.) The agency virtually admitted that the government and media have turned the not-too-colossal natural calamity into a largest-ever man-made catastrophe. Things are beyond control now.

Mr. Ryuichi Hirokawa's Geiger counter was pegged when he stepped into a village close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Now that the INES instrument was pinned at 7, you never know how hopeless the situation actually is; maybe it has already reached Level 10.

It's really stunning that Edano still keeps repeating his signature line that people should keep calm because there are no "immediate" threats, while Kan is reiterating that now is the time for the 128 million hearts to beat as one and look to the "bright future."

The media also stress that Fukushima is no Chernobyl, quoting Nishiyama (photo) as saying: "The total amount of radioactive materials emitted thus far roughly equals 10% of that released in the Chernobyl accident." Why, then, did the NISA belatedly raise the alarm level?

From the beginning, the Kan administration has been constantly politicizing the disaster as if it were a blow of kamikaze. That is why the media don't give a damn about the inconsistency.

This past weekend the ruling Democratic Party of Japan suffered another stunning setback in local polls. Now it looks obvious that Kan won't last many more months. But it is also obvious that Kan's resignation won't bring about change simply because the Japanese will most probably remain unchanged forever.

My take on these things is that the Japanese are going through their final test now. I don't know; perhaps it's already a makeup exam. But I am reasonably sure they are flunking out.

Under the circumstances, it's really astounding that the Westerners, especially Americans, have been giving prodigal praise to the Japanese for their perseverance in the face of the crisis. In the postwar era, the Japanese people were fantasizing about America where they thought freedom, prosperity and justice prevailed. In 1970, Herman Kahn wrote: "It would not be surprising if the 21st century turned out to be the Japanese century."

If Kahn was just a stupid "futurologist", today's Americans are all idiots because 20 years after the burst of the bubble economy, they still cling to the ridiculous myth that the Japanese are innovative, well-disciplined, hard-working, persevere, polite, hospitable and clean people. For a very obvious reason, they don't want to look at reality. Although the mainstream media here have hushed it all up, the matter of the fact remains that looting, rape, charity-swindling, and all other types of crime are rampant not only in the afflicted area, but also other areas across the country.

Maybe it's a total waste of time to introduce the thoughts of Messrs. Ryuichi Hirokawa and Takashi Hirose to American morons, but I thought there can be a handful of people out there who still remain awake even in these twilight years of the American century. That is why I have pulled myself together to resume the abridged translation of their presentations.

Slide 17: As shown here, reactors No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 of the Fukushima No. 1 Plant and reactors No. 1 to No. 4 of the adjacent No. 2 Plant, which had been in operation, were all "scrammed" the moment the quake hit. But ....

Slides 18/19: Take a look at this logarithmic chart for a reactor whose electrical output is 1,000,000kW and thermal output is 3,300,000kW. This shows how its thermal output declines exponentially after the reactor gets scrammed. As you can see here, thermal output, called "decay heat" in this case, comes down to the vicinity of 10,000kW in a matter of 24 hours from the scram, which is almost equivalent to the total output from a thermal power station. The problem lies with the fact that it levels off there forever unless some extraordinary steps are taken.

Slides 20/21: I think you are familiar with this illustration because you have already seen it dozens of times on TV. But beware; these self-styled experts always oversimplify the mechanism to release the decay heat into the ocean. It's much more complex.

Slide 22: Inside the reactor, there are innumerable valves, pipes, cables and many other things. Even TEPCO operators know practically nothing about these things. Now I'm operating this PC. I'm sure you guys also operate your PC at home. Most of you drive your cars, too. But what if your computer or car gets broken? Can you fix it all by yourself? Of course not. By the same token, the reactor is a real black box to TEPCO operators. They made a serious mistake when they thought they didn't need an onsite help from Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. This is the very reason the situation has been quickly exacerbated.

Slide 23: Look at this picture of the guts of the reactor. You can't tell what is what.

Slide 24: The same thing can be said of this diagram. This is where these guys are pouring seawater in a haphazard way.

Slide 25: It used to be said a core meltdown occurs when the temperature of the fuel rod reaches 2,800 degrees Celsius. But two years ago I learned that was not true when I was watching a French documentary broadcast by NHK. In that film, a French nuclear engineer was saying that the reactor core starts at 600 degrees Celsius.

Slide 26: This slide illustrates how what we call the suppression chamber works to cool water vapor, liquefy it and reduce pressure. The chamber is also equipped with the Emergency Core Cooling System.

Slide 27: Let's take a look at the abbreviated chronology of the damages inflicted on the reactors in the No. 1 Plant. It says that at 15:42, all the AC sources went dead, 3 minutes later, all the oil tanks were swept away, 1 hour later, the ECCSs for reactors No. 1 and No. 2 became disabled, and so on. From the series of event, you can tell exactly when, where and how it all started. As to "why," I've already told you tsunami caused all this. The "unprecedented" jolt had nothing to do with these damages.

Slide 28: I have drawn this graph based on fragmentary information given by the Asahi Shimbun daily. It says the maximum height of tsunami assumed for the Fukushima reactors at the design phase was only 5m. Now we know the tidal waves that washed the Fukushima power plant were as tall as 15m. To put it bluntly, the designers are at fault for the disaster. Moreover, Fukushima is not alone; the same is true with practically all nuclear power plants located in coastal areas of this country.

Slide 29: On the night of March 13, Masataka Shimizu, president of TEPCO, said at a press conference: "The tsunami of March 11 was way beyond our prediction. And yet I believe our assumptions were as valid as they could have been because they were based on our careful examination of historical data." Give me a break! Did he just overlook the 38.2m tsunami that hit this country as recently as 115 years ago? It's incredible that such a bastard is the head of the leading power company of Japan.
· read more (22 words)
  View Printable Version 

An Abridged Translation of Presentations by Messrs. Hirokawa and Hirose - PART 1

Reactor No. 1 of
TEPCO's Fukushima
No. 1 Plant was
washed by tsunami
on March 11
Up until 2 weeks ago, I was translating a paper my close friend Lara Chen Tien-shi had written in Japanese for a British publisher. To finish the gig by the deadline, I had to try hard to overcome all these difficulties caused by Parkinson's disease and many other ailments. Yet it was rewarding in part because Lara arranged that the quasi-governmental organization she is working for will pay me a reasonable remuneration. More importantly, I always find the subject of her research quite relevant and intriguing.
Most of the time, I do English translation of Japanese text practically for nothing.

Actually I'm currently in the middle of a legal battle against this rotten country represented by the municipality of Yokohama over its decision to seize my annuities on the grounds that I have refused to pay Residential Tax of 971,400 yen since my retirement. I am insisting that I have already paid them much more than enough. Income Taxes are automatically withheld from the peanuts which they call pension annuities. On top of that I have paid value added taxes, tobacco taxes, and some other dues. And what did I get in return? Practically nothing.

Also, I am arguing that I have already sunk below "the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living" which Article 25 of the Japanese Constitution guarantees.

So it's all the more frustrating to have to work on yet another English translation entirely for free. But it can't be helped because for this blogger, introducing a little more established Japanese figures than I is the only way to make you Westerners understand I am not alone here. As long as I remain a heretic who tells the truth that other Japanese seldom do, you never take me seriously. That is why I have decided to roughly translate this video.

I, myself, hadn't known these names, Takashi Hirose and Ryuichi Hirokawa, until I came across them on YouTube. I have asked 6 local friends if they know these gentlemen whose way of thinking is very un-Japanese. Only one woman, who is a reporter at a local newspaper publisher, answered in the affirmative. It's small wonder that you Westerners have no knowledge of them. The Japanese media, let alone their Western counterparts, never mention these invisible names and inaudible voices.

I think there are two reasons why the Westerners, especially Americans, have totally disregarded these respectable Japanese.

Reason 1: They don't want to listen to whoever they don't want to. Neither do they want to see whatever they don't want to.
Reason 2: These gentlemen are neither ideologues, nor busybodies. They dedicate themselves solely, or at least primarily, to the cause of the well-being of their fellow countrymen. They have no reason to talk to Americans or Europeans.

So I'll try here to provide you with an abridged translation of the presentations given on March 23 by Messrs. Hirokawa and Hirose.

Ryuichi Hirokawa, the organizer and emcee of the session:

Ryuichi Hirokawa,
63, is an independent
One day after the quake, Mr. Hirokawa went to Fukushima Prefecture where the troubled nuclear power plant is located. Although either Naoto Kan's central government or the prefectural/municipal governments hadn't officially declared an emergency in the area surrounding the power plant for an obvious reason, Hirokawa learned that the area within a 20-30km radius from the plant had been virtually evacuated. At least he saw no reporters dispatched from the mainstream media.

Braving the invisible radioactive materials wafting in the air, Hirokawa got into the area carrying a radiation detector which he had bought when he was covering the apocalypse of Chernobyl in the late-1980s through early-1990s. It can only detect radioactive particles up to 100 μSv. In Chernobyl, he never saw the needle pegged to the extreme right. But in Fukushima, the moment he stepped into the area, he saw the needle pinned at 100 μSv. He asked a passerby, who happened to have a detector on which radiation levels can be measured up to 1,000 μSv, what the reading was on his instrument. The answer was that he couldn't tell either because the needle had already hit 1,000 μSv.

Hirokawa concludes his introductory remarks by saying what is happening there is even worse than the situation the Ukrainians experienced 25 years ago, and the way the Japanese government is handling the situation is no different from that of the communist government. He warns that the Japanese people should wake up to the severity of the disaster their government and media are trying very hard to cover up.

Takashi Hirose, the main speaker:

Takashi Hirose is
a 68-year-old
nonfiction writer
Slide 1/Slide 2: Shown here are three monkeys who refused to hear the truth, speak the truth and see the truth. I just wanted to say the Japanese, especially media people, are acting like these monkeys while the natural disaster of March 11 is quickly turning into a man-made catastrophe.

Slide 3: In this country tsunami and earthquakes are something people should always be prepared for. I was sure a huge tsunami was coming very soon, and now I am sure that I will get killed sooner or later by a real devastating quake. But the series of deadly accidents at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is a different story. As Mr. Hirokawa said minutes ago, it's 100% man-made. Frankly, I don't believe the situation there can be put under control anymore. But just for argument's sake, let's assume we will somehow get over this difficulty.

Slide 4: The nuclear catastrophe should be attributed mainly to these shameless scholars who have never learned their lessons from the truth and the mainstream media who have been unenlightening their audiences with their "wide shows" everyday. Let me give you an example: Several days ago, I got a call from a reporter of the Tokyo Shimbun daily. I told him that the 54 nuclear reactors we have here should all be shut down immediately because otherwise Japan would be finished. The next morning I knew the newspaper didn't like my comment. The article was headlined something like stricter check on these reactors is needed. This is a total distortion of what I said.

Slide 5: Let's take a fresh look at what really happened at 14:46, March 11. At the beginning the Meteorological Agency put its Magnitude at 8.3. In a matter of hours the agency revised the intensity to 8.4, then to 8.8, and finally to 9.0. This is exactly what the Chinese government did in the wake of the Sichuan Great Earthquake of 2008. I suspected that the Japanese government had to make it the largest-ever earthquake in the face of the outbreak of the nuclear nightmare in Fukushima.

Slide 6: My suspicion proved right when a geologist by the name of Hidenori Shimamura confided to me that in order to inflate the magnitude reading, the Meteorological Agency abruptly changed the scale from just the Magnitude Japan has been using traditionally to the Moment Magnitude which is generally accepted among seismologists in other countries. As a result, the March 11 tremor now looks to eclipse the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake of 1995 that claimed 6,434 lives. One of the reasons the government wanted the agency to falsify the Magnitude reading is because it wanted to prevent Tokyo Electric Power Company in which it has a lot of vested interests from going under because of a huge compensation. This is where the manipulation of information has all started to instill in people a false idea that the quake was way beyond any prediction whereas its Magnitude was at most 8.3 or 8.4.

Slide 7: From Day 1 of the crisis, NHK and other media organizations kept saying it was a "once-in-a-millennium" quake. Give me a break! The earthquake of Magnitude 8.3 or 8.4 was not unprecedented at all. Moreover, the destruction by the quake was dwarfed by damages caused by tsunami that followed it. And was the tsunami really unpredictable? Once again, it wasn't. Just for instance, Iwate Prefecture was washed by a 38.2-meter-high tsunami as recently as 1896.

Slide 8: As of now, we know from observations conducted by many experts that the maximum height of the tidal waves was somewhere between 15m to 20m. All in all, you should bear in mind that TV commentators are telling a lie when they say the natural calamity of March 11 was beyond any prediction.

Slide 9: When measured in terms of Gal, the same thing can be said of the "once-in-a-millennium" tremor which recorded 2,933 Gal, or 3 times the Gravitational Acceleration. For instance, the earthquake which hit the same area as recently as 3 years ago marked 3,866 Gal. Let me reiterate this here: The notion about the once-in-a-millennium thing is a transparent trick to cover up unpreparedness for and mishandling of the ongoing crisis on the part of the government.

Slide 10: Last year I published this book titled The Time Bombs of Nuclear Reactors. In this book I warned the Japanese to get prepared for a real devastating quake and tsunami which I think are imminent. The tsunami part of my prediction may have materialized this time. But I am sure the massive quake has yet to come. When I finished writing the book, I swore myself that if and when my prediction comes true, I should stop talking about this issue and devote myself to protecting my grandchildren because unlike Mr. Hirokawa, I am a chicken-hearted person who would never risk his life in the face of a disaster. But now I have changed my mind. Getting infuriated at all the gimmicks by the government and the media, I started to think I have to make every possible effort to reveal the truth. To concentrate on this task, I have already sent all my grandchildren overseas. When doing so, I felt extremely sad because chances are I will never see them again. I want to stress this: You should never play down the implication of what has already happened and what is going to happen in the near future.

Slide 11: Among other things, I find it really outrageous to hear the president of Tokyo Electric Power Company repeatedly saying the disaster was really unavoidable. Every time TEPCO people explain why this had to happen, they say they had never assumed such a big quake and tsunami. They should feel ashamed of the innumerable missteps caused by the complete lack of professionalism. Even a layman such as I could predict what was coming in his book. Let us not forget that TEPCO should be held responsible for its negligence of duty to prevent such a nuclear disaster.

Slide 12: I really hate to say this, but I had predicted exactly how the tragedy has unfolded. Now let me touch on the history of the now-crippled reactors. Reactor No. 1, the oldest one, became operational on March 26, 1971. So it will mark the 40th anniversary in three days from now.

Slide 13: This slide is a little too busy, but the most important thing to note is that all the reactors in Fukushima No. 1 Plant were designed by General Electric. One of my close friends Mr. Mitsuhiko Tanaka of Hitachi took part in the construction of the No. 4 reactor. But according to him, Japan's nuclear industry was at its fledgling stage in those days and all the blueprints were provided to Hitachi by GE. So please keep in mind that these reactors now on the verge of a total meltdown were all designed by GE.

Slide 14: On March 25 last year, TEPCO filed an application with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency for its permission to extend the use of the then-39-year-old reactor No. 1 for many more years. At that time TEPCO and the agency agreed that its service life was estimated at 60 years.

Slide 15: Another thing I want you to remember is that on October 26, 2010, the electricity company put its reactor No. 3, one of the obsolete reactors in Fukushima, into commercial service for power generation using plutonium fuel, when it was already 34-years-old. As we have already seen, people in Fukushima Prefecture are now exposed to most hazardous radioactive particles from the No. 3 reactor. I'll come back to this later in my presentation.

Slide 16: In terms of quake resistance, all these reactors in Fukushima No. 1 Plant were originally designed to endure a tremor of 270 Gal. TEPCO has said they were later reinforced to withstand a quake of 600 Gal. Although I am inclined to doubt the power company told us the truth, it does not seem the March 11 quake was strong enough to destroy these reactors because the horizontal power to reactor No. 3, for instance, was no more than 507 Gal. But that does not make any difference to the fact that these reactors are too aged to withstand what is coming in the near future. I'm 68-years-old. Like any old man, I wear glasses, which, incidentally, got broken by the quake. I may also start wearing false teeth or hearing aid anytime soon. In short, I'm almost a cyborg. The same applies to these reactors. You can never rejuvenate them no matter how hard you fix this problem here, that problem there.
· read more (57 words)