An interactive and taboo-free journalism based in Japan

Welcome to TokyoFreePress Friday, April 18 2014 @ 04:43 PM CDT
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Work Hard on the Whodunit with a Fresh Eye; It's the Only Effective Way to Prevent Senile/Juvenile Dementia

Left: This picture illustrates what happened in the Yellow Sea in March 2010
Right: Reichstag fire in February 1933

I have never been a conspiracy theorist myself.

Yet, I share with these "truth-seekers" the same skepticism about official announcements and reports. This is why I feel much more kinship with them than I do with mainstream "social scientists" and "analysts." I have practically nothing in common with these guys who take everything for granted wherever the pieces of information at hand came from an authoritative source and can serve their ideological purposes.

They always shrug off my heresies presumably because I am a nobody. That's quite OK with me, but don't take me wrong; I am not deprecating myself. On the contrary I'm so proud of my nobodyness. That I remain uninstitutionalized means I have absolutely nothing to lose, let alone gain, whether or not my theories prove wrong at the end of the day. Nothing prohibits me from telling what I believe is true.

Actually these mainstreamers have good reason to brush aside my thoughts. They say the premises on which I base my seemingly far-fetched arguments are unsubstantiated.

But I think anyone, heretic or not, has the right to talk about his take on an issue without full knowledge of the facts concerning it. It's unrealistic to expect him to fully substantiate his hypotheses before expressing his opinion - unless he is a CIA agent, that is.

I know that most of the time I can substitute my commonsense or business sense for proven facts.

Another thing mainstream analysts should keep in mind is that their orthodox arguments, too, remain unsubstantiated all the time.

By comparison, the predominantly Japanese members of a local discussion group I participate in take me a little more seriously. And yet, I'm often inclined to play devil's advocate in our weekly session because otherwise no one would wake up. To that end I often emulate conspiracy theorists who shed light on the unfamiliar side of things - because who said it's the reverse side?

For that reason, most group members frown at this argumentative old man all the time.

They are too brainwashed to question widely accepted premises that war should be avoided at any cost, job security should always be ensured, the higher the population growth rate, the better off the nation, American marines are deployed here to defend the Japanese at the cost of their own lives, and so on.

Every time I ask them what's wrong with war, what's wrong with unemployment, or what's wrong with the shrinking and aging population, they are at a loss over what I am getting at. They quizzically look at me as if I'm saying, "The sun rises in the west."

These are basically why I always side with heretics and throw provocative words at "ordinary" people.

But this is not to say there isn't an unbridgeable chasm between conspiracy theorists and me.

Actually I have always distanced myself from truth-seekers despite the sense of affinity I feel toward them. I have never wanted to join in the lucrative conspiracy-mongering business.

In fact, their business is really prospering these days with millions of cultist-like dupes flocking around them. Today, if you make a Yahoo! search using [9-11 conspiracy] as keywords, you will see more than 95 million URLs coming up. Ironically enough, this is something that discredits self-proclaimed truth-seekers.

It's a shame, for my part, that according to the statistics page of my Geeklog, the 10 most viewed posts include 3 stories dealing with Benjamin Fulford, prominent C-theorist based in Tokyo. Even among my 63 YouTube videos, the top 3 videos have his name in their titles.

They may still refuse to accept a proposition just because "everyone says so," but now they side with a huge crowd of gullible people who instantly bite at anything from a conspiracy theorist just because "he says so."

Actually I haven't been in touch with Fulford since November 2007.

In the meantime I think his list of malicious schemes plotted by the likes of the Jewish cabal headed by David Rockefeller has grown longer very quickly.

He started off his conspiracy revealing business with 9-11, which he theorizes was a hoax, and computer viruses which he believes are created and spread all over the world by anti-virus software vendors such as McAfee. But now he is talking about many other things including the earthquakes in Niigata (July 2007) and Sichuan (May 2008.) According to Fulford, these calamities were artificially caused by the cutting edge technology called HAARP. (HAARP stands for High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program.)

Mine has also been growing longer. It started with the "selective genocide" abetted by Ruth Benedict, the 1955 System artfully designed by Dwight Eisenhower and CIA, and the revision of the U.S.-Japanese security treaty signed between Eisenhower and his henchman Nobusuke Kishi.

Recent additions include the Moscow subway bombings (March 2010) which I think may have been instigated by former KGB spy Vladimir Putin, and the sharp plunge in stock markets (May 2010) which I suspect was possibly caused by something else than an erroneous transaction by a "fat-fingered" trader from the Citigroup. And there is the "global warming swindle".

But among other things, I find the March 26 sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan most intriguing. It seems to me that other possibilities than what the May 20 investigative report has indicated cannot be totally ruled out.

On Sunday Japan's prime minister Yukio Hatoyama made his second trip to Okinawa. Japan's last colony.
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The Road to Ruin

Luca Pacioli (photo) was an Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar.

In 1494. just two years after Columbus discovered the continent that has now reduced to a land for second-class nations such as the U.S., he wrote a book titled Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita (Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportion.)

The book consists of five sections. One of them was intended to systematically describe the book-keeping method which had been practiced by merchants in Venice during the Renaissance period.

Actually I haven't read Summa in my life. Neither have I read any accounting primer based on Pacioli's theory. Instead I taught myself on the job about these boring and tricky debits and credits just because I wanted to understand what was really going on underneath the surface of business and my personal life. It has never crossed my mind to become a CPA.

Nevertheless, I have learned from Pacioli's double-entry accounting method one important thing I could never have learned anywhere else. It can be summarized like this:

Everything that happens to me, or I make happen, involves, without exception, two or more distinctively different aspects in it, which are, at the same time, totally inseparable from each other.

People of all occupations, even including professional accountants, always single out one facet at a time as it serves their purposes. If they want to make a thing at hand look good, they opportunistically shed light on the good aspect and try to pass it off as the fact, so they can label me a negativist. When they want to make the matter look bad, they selectively focus on the bad aspect and call me a daydreamer.

I've had enough from this false factualism in my lifetime. By now I've grown sick and tired of ideological notions disguised as facts.

Six days ago I browsed through the web looking for demographic and economic data for the top three economies to write Forget about Other Olympics. At that time I also took a look at such figures as the population, GDP, per-capita GDP, Gini Coefficient and sovereign debt for Hellenic Republic, better known as Greece, in part because the modern Olympics have its origin in that country.

Below here I summarize the results:

GDP in Billion $ Public Debt in Billion $ Public Debt in % of GDP Rank Remarks
Greece 338.3 365.7 108.1 9
U.S. 14,430.0 7,633.5 52.9 54 See Note 1
China 4,814.0 876.1 18.2 103
Japan 5,108.0 9,812.5 192.1 2 See Note 2
Source CIA Report for 2009 Inverse Calculation CIA Report for 2009 ditto

Note 1: According to the most recent estimate, it's a matter of time that U.S. public debt tops $10 trillion.
Note 2: Japan ranks No. 2 only next to Zimbabwe.

For the U.S., China and Japan, I concluded that a comparative look at these figures doesn't tell anything, unambiguously, about the problems facing them, let alone their fates.

Even if I had been able to find reliable data for the accumulated shortfalls in these countries, that wouldn't have made the total picture any clearer except that when taking into account astronomical deficits which still keep ballooning in the U.S. and Japan, the situation would have looked even closer to catastrophe than the above figures indicate.

As to the Greece Crisis, analysts, pundits and many others are saying it has been more or less contained with the rescue funds offered by the EU and the IMF although they admit additional measures are needed to prepare themselves for another wave of crises possibly triggered when other member countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy become insolvent.

But the fact of the matter remains that these bailout funds and newly-planned Euro-defending mechanisms are actually aggravating, rather than easing, the situation.
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Forget about Other Olympics

Ordinary - not too smart, not too dumb - people don't give a damn. The only Olympics they are interested in are the athletic events the IOC stages every leap year.

On the contrary, social scientists and analysts can't wait until the next time they can wave the national flags and sing the national anthems in euphoria. That is why they are so anxious to be updated on the standings of their respective countries on a yearly basis.
Now it looks as though they think analyzing quantifiable aspects of life is what social sciences are all about. Their obsession with what I call the Demographic Olympics and the Economic Olympics can only be explained by their inability to drill down on the root problems facing each contestant.

Yesterday I unenthusiastically spent the whole afternoon to compile the following tables of standings for some popular games.

Exhibit 1: Population

Contestant Total Population in Mil. Rank
Gold: China See Below
Silver: India 1,181 2
Bronze: U.S. See Below
U.S. 309 3
China 1,339 1
Japan 127 10

Exhibit 2: Population Density

Contestant Total Population in K Area in Sq Mi Population per Sq Mi Rank
Gold: Macau 542 11 48,110 1
Silver: Monaco 33 1 43,375 2
Bronze: Singapore 4,988 274 18,190 3
U.S. 309,212 3,794.101 81 ca 172
China 1,338,613 3,704,427 361 ca 74
Japan 127,380 145,925 873 ca 32

Exhibit 3: GDP (Nominal)

Contestant GDP in Billion $ Rank
Gold: U.S. See Below
Silver: Japan See Below
Bronze: China See Below
U.S. 14,256 1
China 4,909 3
Japan 5,068 2

Exhibit 4: GDP per capita

Contestant GDP in Billion $ Total Population in Mil. GDP per capita in $ Rank
Gold: Luxembourg 52 1 103,018 1
Silver: Norway 383 5 78,832 2
Bronze: Qatar 84 1 64,102 3
U.S. 14,256 309 46,104 11
China 4,909 1,339 3,667 ca 98
Japan 5,068 127 39,786 ca 17

The Japanese, and Japan experts in foreign countries as well, have been saying that the nation is losing its vigor as a result of the shrinking and aging of population. But as I have repeatedly said, losing vigor is not the result, but the cause. They constantly turn the causal relationship upside down simply because they are totally at a loss over where to find the cause. · read more (667 words)
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The Man of Preface

When I was with that Swiss company named Siber Hegner, I was known as the Man of Preface because every time I addressed the predominantly Japanese and Swiss audience, the introductory section of my speech was by far longer than the main part. For the same reason, my e-mails tended to be something they likened to ふんどし (Fundoshi or Japanese loincloth.)

For that reason, I was extremely unpopular, hated, or even feared among my bosses, subordinates and peers.

In Japan, or any other country to a lesser degree, there are so many red herrings being dragged around to distract attention from the real issues. They include:

■ how to realize a nuke-free world,
■ how to counter the global warming,
■ how to stem the shrinking and aging of population,
■ how to attain a vice-free world,
■ how to create jobs to bring down unemployment rates,
■ how to redress income disparities at home, and between developed countries and underdeveloped countries,
■ whether to part ways with the "modern 2-party system" to go for a postmodern tripolar system,
■ whether to amend the Constitution,
■ where to identify wasteful spending and which 独立行政法人 (Dokuritsu Gyosei Hojin - Independent Administrative Entities) to eliminate to that end,
■ where to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' V-22 Osprey unit.

The list of decoy issues, or nonissues, goes on and on until the end of time.

The only question they would never think about asking is:

"How practicably can we make justice prevail?"

I think there are two reasons why red herrings keep proliferating all the time:

■ without the lure of the scent from these fish, even the rhinitis-suffering bloodhounds could easily track down the foxes, e.g. the Emperor,
■ no politicians, pundits, analysts, journalists, or scholars could live a single day without them; they would be out of work altogether.
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Japan Trivia 7: Vice-ful Japanese are Further Ratcheting up Their Quest for a Vice-free Nation

Left: Sourced from the stats compiled by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry
Right: Sourced from the recent Population Survey Report

While in business I often asked an unusual question of applicants for key positions in my shop or prospective business partners for important projects. In a by-the-way tone I asked them, "What's your vice?"

Totally unprepared, some invented impromptu mischievous things they might have actually done when they were naughty kids; some others just shrugged off my question with a grimace or wry grin. But any runaround served my purposes because I didn't expect them to confess to a felony at a job interview.

I just wanted to weed out two types of candidates: perfectionists on one hand, and those who would easily settle for mediocrity on the other. To me the single most important thing in business was to clearly identify pros and cons involved in the courses of action we had in mind and find out which one would give us the best tradeoff.

I still think my tactic would have worked out had it not been for the fact that very few candidates met my screening criteria.

If they had been honest about their vices, I would have felt obliged to tell them mine - that I was (and still remain) a nicotine addict, an excessively amorous person by Japanese standard, and so on. One of my close friends recently diagnosed me as suffering "polyamory." To set the record straight, however, that is not exactly the case with me.

Even today I often ask the same question of new acquaintances in order to avoid wasting my limited time mixing with morons who don't know there is no such thing as a free lunch, or an endeavor free of risks and costs.

Last July Hiroshi Nakada hastily resigned as Yokohama mayor seven months before the expiration of his term to climb the bandwagon of "realignment" going on at the level of national politics. The reason he couldn't wait until April is obvious; he feared the innumerable crimes he had committed while in office would otherwise come to the surface to thwart his undeserved aspiration.
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Chinese philosopher Mencius (372-289 BCE)

Very few Japanese adults are self-reliant. Most of them have developed the typically Japanese behavioral pattern of constantly wetnursing each other since their childhood. As a result they have also lost their innate spontaneity. They act only in response to external stimuli.

In that sense, the person I'm talking about here is a real exception. I will call him by a pseudonym "Shohei."
In 2007 I launched a family website, perhaps the first of its kind here, which initially consisted of three parts: Family Reunion pages, Memorial Service section and Cyber Museum to commemorate my late father who was a prominent scientist. The first two have already been closed because my siblings, sons and in-laws did not understand what I intended to have these sites for. But the Museum is still there.

Since the onset, I've had great difficulty gathering documents, reports, photos and 35mm film footages concerning my father's accomplishments. It's this youngish guy that volunteered to help me out.

At libraries and museums, the dedicated person has been trying very hard to dig out these valuable materials to help beef up the exhibits on my site. Sometimes these materials were buried deep underneath other items piled up in the basements of these museums, and totally unattended as if they were trash.

I encountered Shohei on the Cyber Museum. He is in his mid-30s. Since graduating from university where he majored in photographic art, he has been working at a small shop dealing in traditional cameras.

So aeronautics is very foreign to his educational and occupational background. He says he is still not really interested in aircraft as such. According to him, the only thing that has made him deeply engaged in what he is doing, after work, is personal relations he has developed with his customers.

His clientele are predominantly elderly people except for a handful of professional photographers. And among these old people there are not a few retired aeronautical engineers. I don't know why, but traditionally those who specialize in aeronautics tend to become hooked on cameras. (My father, too, treasured his Leica in his lifetime.)

This is how Shohei has become personally involved in the preservation of Japan's history of aviation. Some of these retired engineers have already passed away, but those who are still living the last days of their lives keep telling him the stories about their unfulfilled dreams every time they drop in the camera shop. They also provided him with materials he had been looking for, to no avail, at libraries and museums.

Shohei summarizes his part of the story this way: "It is a series of coincidences that has made me do what I'm doing right now. I take it as my destiny."

Actually he doesn't look like one who believes in fatalism. So I was still wondering how come this guy keeps looking for these materials so enthusiastically, expecting no rewards.

A couple of weeks ago, he sent me a CD that contained an e-book he wrote by MS Word. Properties Dialog Box says these files are as voluminous as 25 MB altogether, including spaces and JPG files inserted here and there. (A Japanese character takes up 2 bytes.)

Again, he says he has no intention to make it a "real" book bearing an ISBN in expectation of royalty income. At any rate, he knows that given this climate where there is no tradition to hand down intellectual legacies to posterity, it wouldn't sell.
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Realignment or Yet Another Retouch of Embalming?

Japan's political landscape as of 2004

With new political parties mushrooming in recent weeks, the media are untiringly saying that we are going to see a new Japan emerging through 政界再編成 (Seikai Saihensei, or total realignment of the political landscape) and that will be the end of the 1955 System.

Up until weeks ago, the same media kept telling their audience that with a "modern two party-system" taking root at long last here, the 55-year-old sociopolitical system was finally coming to an end.

As usual they were lying.

As I have said many times before, it's not a two-party system in the first place; actually it's a twin-party system composed of the Democratic Party of Japan which won the last election and the Liberal Democratic Party which lost it.

Now almost in the same breath, they have started talking about realignment aimed at a tripolar system with these new-born parties forming 第三極 (Daisan Kyoku, literally translated into English as a third pole.)

If we should take their hogwash seriously, now we are going to see triplets. As you can easily imagine, it's by far more difficult to separate conjoined triplets than with Siamese twins.

It is true that the above-embedded diagram would have to be brought up to date to reflect the new picture. But I don't think anyone will bother to work on that. Reason: it's something like drawing a picture of soap bubbles that form here now, evaporate there then.

Moreover, on the updated chart that would grow even busier to look at, all you could see would be just an increased number of boxes.

In reality, however, the same old political racketeers are hopping, back and forth, from one box to another.

They claim they are rejuvenating themselves. True, there are an increasing number of younger lawmakers. Yet, the fact of the matter remains that most of them are brainless punks as exemplified by those 小沢チルドレン (Ozawa Chirudoren, or Ozawa Children.) You can see these cultist-like morons in the YouTube video embedded here.

If there are a few exceptions, Yoshimi Watanabe is one. He looks to be a real reformist. Ironically enough, his father was one of those porkbarrel operators of the LDP until he died in 1995. He recently left the LDP to form みんなの党 (Minna-no To, or Your Party.) But needless to say, Watanabe, alone, can't bring about real change.

In the past the Japanese have traditionally substituted realignment for revolution. Every time they hit the wall, they realigned their political landscape to make it look different. But this unviable polity has always remained essentially unchanged.
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What's Wrong with Plagiarism?

A couple of weeks ago, it was revealed that Shanghai Expo theme song titled A City with Unlimited Potential "composed" by Eric Suen with Cantonese lyrics by Chan Siu-Kei was an exact copy of a 1997 song written by a Japanese singer-songwriter named Mayo Okamoto.

Did Okamoto appeal for copyright arbitration by the World Trade Organization?

That's what she didn't. Instead she sent a letter to someone in Shanghai saying she felt greatly honored to know the tune she wrote 13 years ago was "selected" to promote Expo 2010.

I think she did the right thing.

She certainly knew her compatriots are as good, if a little more sophisticated, at copying someone else's works.
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When having lunch a couple of weeks ago, I realized my left hand had started trembling, though intermittently. I thought it will be a matter of time that the right hand starts quivering in sync with the left.

I inherited the disease from my father who died in 1979. In the last days of his life he was a wreck because of Parkinson's coupled with Alzheimer's.

I had long been suffering rigidity of muscles, sleeping disorder (sleep fragmentation in particular,) disabling exhaustion and depression, but not tremor.

Fortunately or unfortunately I'm right-handed. So I will still be able to keep glued to the computer for the time being.
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Now it's All up to the Indian Fortune-teller

Left: Hatoyama keeps apologizing to everyone for everything he has done, or has not
Center: One of the brethren of this old man is governing Japan behind the scenes
Right: Pro golfer Ai Miyazato has already won two LPGA tournaments this spring

My friend Jack asked me about my take on the rally staged yesterday in Yomitanson, Okinawa Prefecture, in which 90,000 people participated to protest against the recent move by the government to keep the U.S. Marine Corps' "helicopter" unit in their islands. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama looks to have backed down on his pledge to relocate it to 県外 (kengai, or outside of Okinawa) or 国外 (kokugai, or outside of Japan) in the wake of the April 18 rally in Tokunoshima island, Kagoshima Prefecture.

I don't see a lot of differences between the two rallies. Protesters in both prefectures had equally ambivalent sentiments; on the one hand, they were opposed to any plan to have U.S. military bases in their respective prefectures, but on the other, they were receptive of them deep inside. Their behaviors were also similar in that they were discouraged from expressing their honne openly.

The Okinawa Governor is a good example. Hirokazu Nakaima was elected the governor basically on his campaign pledge to keep U.S. military bases in the prefecture while gradually trying to reduce the burden on the citizens. Yet, he somehow felt obliged to attend the April 25 rally to deliver a half-hearted and vaguely-worded address in support of the kengai relocation of the Futenma Air Station.

The reason behind their mixed feelings toward the U.S. presence in their lands is because Okinawa's base-related income accounts for 20% of the prefecture's GDP, whereas these bases cover only a little more than 10% of the total area of 2,276 or 879 sq.mi. Kagoshima Prefecture, too, could have expected a handsome amount of windfall from the $26 billion already funded by the previous administration had it not been for the April 18 rally.

However, there is one crucial difference between the peoples in Okinawa and other areas that include Tokunoshima.

Okinawa is Japan's last colony.

You may have been so brainwashed as to find it totally unimaginable that someday the Okinawans may seek independence from Japan. Yet, that is a little more likely than the Native Hawaiians seeking secession from the United States. To say the least, if and when Japan's first-ever civil war breaks out, Okinawa will be the major battleground.

From 1429 through 1879, these islands were an independent kingdom under the reign of the Ryukyu Dynasty. Even after Satsuma Domain, the fiefdom that is called Kagoshima Prefecture today, virtually annexed it in 1609, the rich and diverse culture has still been flourishing there among the bright, straightforward and self-respecting people.

Given their ethnological and cultural background, the Okinawans, except those who have chosen to abandon their ethnic identity to become assimilated into this nation where the process of disintegration is already irreversible, are a quite different people than the Japanese main-islanders. If you are skeptical about my argument, you just have to carefully observe any individual of Ryukyu ancestry. Just take Ai Miyazato for example; it's easy to tell the up-and-coming LPGA pro golfer has nothing in common with Hatoyama except how many eyes, nostrils and mouth they have.

In the last days of the Pacific War, Hirohito's Imperial Army killed or forced to commit suicide thousands of Okinawan women and children to shield the Honshu island against the all-out offensive being launched by the U.S. soldiers. In 1972, twenty years after Japan's nominal independence, these islands were finally "returned" to this country. Yet, these bases have remained there as the "cornerstone" of the U.S. strategy in this region.

In 1996, then-Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto promised that he would rid Okinawa of the Futenma Air Base at latest in seven years. But well before 2003, he was forced to retire from politics because of a bribery scandal. In 2006, the LDP government reached an accord with the Bush administration that the air station should be downsized by relocating 8,000 marines to Guam and the rest of them should be moved to Camp Schwab in a less-populated city of the same Okinawa Prefecture.

It is the Democratic Party of Japan that promised to tear up the 2006 accord and seek a kengai or kokugai alternative. When opening Pandora's box, Hatoyama should have been prepared to ultimately invoke Article 10 of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan. In fact, though, the termination of the 50-year-old treaty was the last thing Hatoyama would think about doing.

That is why the equally loopy President of the U.S. called him a loopy prime minister. These guys will never learn what really underlies all this ado about nothing. As I have repeatedly argued, the gut issue with the bilateral alliance lies with the fact that at least for the Japanese, there are no real enemies to fight against and there are no values to defend against them.

On the part of the Okinawans, their honne is certainly that they have had enough with the colonial rule by the Japanese. And now that the Americans, too, think of Okinawa as if it were their colony, they think serving two colonial masters at a time is way too much to tolerate.
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