Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 08:50 AM CST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
Nationwide and around-the-clock, people are cautioned over and over not to remit their money to the designated bank account until they positively identify the payee as someone they know in person
These days most of you must have grown increasingly puzzled over where Japan is heading. Where the heck will the wave of never-ending political fuss and social unrest wash these people ashore?
According to media-retained pollsters, Prime Minister Aso's approval rating
still keeps dipping after sinking below 20% soon after he took office. The popularity
that former Prime Minister Koizumi was enjoying seems to dwarf Aso's. It's nothing new that the media give exorbitantly high marks to a new PM, or PM-to-be, and then downgrade him to the bottom in a matter of months. But, can these figures still indicate something? Absolutely nothing.
1) These figures are utterly unreliable because they are unaudited. Even
if they were, still you couldn't be sure that they are not falsified. Japanese
auditors have time and again proved venal.
2) Pollsters never give their pollees a valid alternative. Respondents
must tick a leader they favor from among the same old figures such as Aso, Ozawa and Koizumi. There
is no such choice given in the questionnaire as "Whoever leads this
nation, Japan won't change for the better."
3) As a result, those who refuse to answer always outnumber other groups of pollees.
You should, therefore, look somewhere else for the true indication of where this country is
For one thing, Aso's most recent "gaffe" about the
postal privatization is somewhat intriguing in that respect. On February 5, the manga-loving Stanford-dropout
whose IQ is said to be 80, said out of the blue that he started to think
the Postal Privatization Law of 2005 might have to be thoroughly reviewed. Although the
law stipulates that the way to privatize and split the now-defunct Japan
Post into six independent entities in phases may be subject to adjustments
every three years, what Aso hinted at was possibly to reverse the privatization
process itself. Moreover, it was too late for the first triennial review
and too early for the second.
In order to justify his sleep-talk he is now saying that at the beginning
he was opposed to the privatization bill but finally convinced by Koizumi
to support it. Actually that means he made an aboutface for the second
time and is now making a third by quickly taking back the Feb. 5 slip of the tongue.
It's been an open secret that since there was more than $3 trillion at
stake in the privatization, U.S. policymakers who had vested interests
in American financial institutions salivated a lot in anticipation of a huge cut from the privatization
deal across the Pacific. That is why Washington put it high on the agenda
of the "U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy
Initiative" which had actually served as the one-way representations
of the U.S. demands from its far eastern ally since the
early-1990s. (As of today, there are signs that someone "suggested"
the Japanese Wikipedia entry about the policy initiative be deleted.)
It has to be a unilateral initiative simply because Japan is in a position
to one-sidedly reciprocate America's favor to shelter it with its nuclear umbrella although you can't tell for sure the U.S. will never take it back when
it actually starts pouring. This is basically why Japan's domestic and foreign
policies have kept wavering all the time without any internal necessity. Aso is no exception.
An independent Canadian journalist based in Tokyo theorizes that the Koizumi
administration railroaded the postal privatization bill to comply
with the undue demand by Washington. He says that Koizumi's finance minister
Heizo Takenaka is a disciple of Henry Kissinger, who, in turn, is a loyal
henchman of David Rockefeller. This may be yet another delusion we hear from those "truth-seekers." But where there
is no fire, there's no smoke.
The single most important flaw inherent to allegations made by conspiracy theorists is the fact that they always make believe those who repeatedly fall victim to malicious plots are innocent. Actually a victim is a politically correct way of naming an accomplice. In a sense, it's these morbidly suggestible and docile people that make otherwise decent people feel inclined to act like swindlers.
Let's turn our eyes to their domestic behavior. For one thing, take a look at the following numbers which
I recapitulated based on the statistics compiled by the National Police Agency:
Tuesday, February 10 2009 @ 02:43 AM CST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
On Monday, U.S. military chief Gen. Walter Sharp called on North Korea
to refrain from further brinkmanship in reference to the recent moves which
are suspected to be the preparation for launching the Taepodong-2 ballistic
missile. He reportedly said, "Many, many countries around the world
are watching North Korea right now to see if it will act responsibly."
Give me a break, General. Haven't you learned that the right thing to do
in the face of a provocative move by Pyongyang is not to talk, and not
When I was a canid-phobic kid, my mother used to tell me to avoid eye contact
with dogs while refraining from running away from them. For the 7-year-old
kid, it was quite difficult to observe this rule, but I don't think it's
too hard for a general to practice it, because any adult knows that a dog
that barks a lot will never bite. In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland giving
little signs of it beforehand. Two years later, Japan did the same in Pearl
Harbor, having been emboldened by the initial success of what its European
ally had named "blitzkrieg" or lightening war.
It's now obvious that Obama, Clinton, Gates and their generals should prepare their country for a possible lightening without talking too much about transient successes and failures in their Munich Conferences. · read more (307 words)
Sunday, February 08 2009 @ 11:42 AM CST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The maverick congressman looks to have grown haggard in his most recent video, but he still remains optimistic about America's future.
Currently I am working on a provisional closing of my earthly books. Soon
after I got started with the task, I realized that I should totally write
off sizable pieces of asset, both tangible and intangible, in which I have invested my time, energy,
money and emotions in the last 46 years. The junk that has hollowed out
my balance sheet is my Americanism.
I have studied, worked, made a family, fathered kids and destroyed
the family ties, all in a way an average American might have conducted himself in this country where civil liberty is an empty promise. I was Americanized from tip to toe, until that person of African ancestry
became the President of the United States.
Since WWII, every nation in the world has been more or less Americanized.
But no other sovereign nation has imported the American way of life as
thoroughly and quickly as my country of birth has. When two different
cultures meet, an allout conflict is unavoidable, most of the time. But that has never been the case with this country. Because Japan had
long lost its cultural identity since it got into China's cultural orbit
in the 5th century, it could absorb any foreign influence like a sponge in subsequent centuries. It was what I call a cultural salad that had paved the way for Japan's postwar Americanization.
I acquired my American way of thinking quite differently. Otherwise, I
wouldn't have thought about writing it off at this late stage of my life.
What I found intolerable with today's America was the fact that there are
unmistakable signs the vast majority of its people have been Japanized.
For one thing, the Obama administration decided to set aside $33 billion
for the State Children Health Insurance Program. Also the administration
is going to fatten unemployment benefits while at the same time artificially creating 3
million nonvalue-creating jobs out of thin air. All in all, the stimulus package would eventually cost every American citizen $6,700, if the burden were to be evenly distributed. Now Obama and his followers
are out of their minds. They wouldn't listen to the voices of reason, such
as the one from Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, who asked, "Must
we repeat Japan's stimulus mistakes?" · read more (1,353 words)
Now that America's Japanization has reached its final stage with the arrival of Obama, let us take
a relook at how the Japanese, and some other Asian peoples, escalate things. Admittedly, though, I know very little about the Indonesians.
Even apes utter a war cry before starting their scratching warfare. Small
wonder that the first thing the Japanese do when challenged is also to make a verbal response.
The problem is that everyone knows the Japanese will never scratch, or bite. What they call "diplomacy"
is nothing but an endless exchange of words for its own sake, if they sometimes turn to something else such as their thick checkbook.
They are silly enough to think that just hardening or softening rhetoric
will produce an intended outcome despite their past experience which has more often than not proved otherwise. The last thing that would occur to them
is that even in diplomacy, you lose unless you win in this world chronically
facing short supply of resources. As a result of oversupply of words, their
tactic seldom works.
Usually it takes quite some time, sometimes decades, for the Japanese to realize
that words produce nothing. By that time, they always miss the right timing
to take the right action. In ferocious international relations, the right timing, once missed, never visits you once again.
When they finally understand dialogue will not work, they "resort"
to symbolic gestures which they call "pressure." The most typical
way of putting pressure on the opponent is to refuse to draw a check. In dealing with the shrewd North Koreans, they have stepped up economic sanctions,
little by little. Each time they did so, the North Koreans could shrug
that off. They thought they could get by without Japanese aid primarily because they could always count on the deep-pocketed China to
make up for the resultant shortfall. · read more (320 words)
Monday, February 02 2009 @ 12:21 AM CST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
I have nothing whatsoever against polyamory. Not only that, I have spent a little too polyamorous adulthood myself. But it's a different story when it comes to polygamy. And it's a natural thing to analogize a bilateral treaty to a marriage. If you don't think your marriage requires an exclusive commitment, why don't you discuss the matter with your spouse?
Being a country with a forked tongue, the Unite States has seemed to have two or more cornerstone alliances in Asia for quite a while. The political polygamy has been especially evident since the early 1970s.
Soon after the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty went into effect in 1970,
President Richard Nixon visited China to lay the groundwork for the normalization
of diplomatic ties with the communist country. The main reason Nixon abruptly changed his China policy was because he thought China, alone, could help America out of the Vietnam quagmire.
Unlike the docile Japan, China is a nation that doesn't do anyone a favor for nothing. Needless to say, Mao Zedong and Chu Enlai urged
their American counterparts to reciprocate. China's archrival Japan had
already become Asia's economic powerhouse and was still on a strong uptrend. Some historians
say that in Beijing, Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger
said, "Let us take care of Japan to your interests." We don't know if that is exactly
what they said, but everybody knows that they promised to make Japan's Prime
Minister Eisaku Sato expedite the ratification of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and to tell
him to further promote the hogwash about Three Nonnuclear Principles he had been
advocating since 1967 to eternalize the "nuclear allergy"
of the Japanese people.
When Nixon said he was sure that he could neutralize Japan forever, Mao must have thought, "Who could ask for anything more?"
The downright breach of trust upset the Japanese people at the beginning, but over
time they became inclined to forgive, or forget, the fateful act of betrayal on the part of the Americans. · read more (502 words)
Like Abraham Lincoln or Karl Marx, I am a firm believer in physiognomy.
As anyone with an unclouded eye can tell, a person's integrity, or absence of it, never fails to surface over time. Not only that, most of the time you notice it at first glance. At least it doesn't take as long as 48 months to unmask a person you are dealing with. Virtue, or vice for that matter, is not something
that is solidly encased in the crust. And underneath the skin, there are only flesh and bones - nothing else. In short, what a human being looks
is what he or she really is - no more, no less.
Early last year, Samantha Power, then-top aide in Obama's campaign office, likened Hillary Clinton to a monster. Admittedly this Power woman had a keen eye. But I don't want to be sued by the Monster Anti-Defamation League which then issued a statement complaining that "being lumped together with Hillary Clinton is really a low blow." So, I will try to use politically correct words here to describe the new U.S. Secretary of State. Otherwise, an anti-defamation league of monsters or lxars might take me to court.
From the viewpoint of this Japanese blogger, she looks like Madame Pinkerton
as much as she deserves to be called those un-PC names.
In Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly," a U.S. naval officer by the name of Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton comes over to Nagasaki aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Soon after he marries a geisha and fathers a boy named "Sorrow,"
Pinkerton gets repatriated. When departing, he promises to return
"when the robins nest in the spring." He does not abide by his
promise. When he finally comes back, the spring is long gone, and he brings along his real wife Kate. The geisha disembowels herself with
her father's sword. · read more (516 words)
I now know for sure that my days are numbered although I don't know exactly
when and how death visits my doorstep.
Dying is not changing jobs. I have no intention to hand over what I have finished and left unfinished to anybody in an organized way. For one thing, I don't
care too much about the fate of TokyoFreePress.
Yet at present, I'm preprogramming
my death, just like I preprogrammed my life in the past, so the
right person(s) can decode my programs when I'm gone.
To that end I am going to elaborate anew on the Mission Statement of this
political blog below here.
Unfortunately not too many people have understood what exactly I meant
by "taboo" when I used the word some 53 months ago. Although some knowingly grinned at me, they didn't look to have understood what I was talking about, because there's nothing to grin about in my combat against taboo.
For dissident bloggers facing the Great Firewalls in China, talking about
Tibet, freedom of speech and representative democracy is taboo. Likewise, their Japanese counterparts have a smaller number of taboos, such as discussing
the truth about the Imperial family and the Kisha Kurabu (Press Club) system. Americans have practically none. So, can we conclude
that China is the most taboo-ridden society, Japan comes next, and America
is the least taboo-ridden? Not really.
There is something I have named the Glass Firewalls in Japan, and in the
U.S. to a lesser degree. They are much more invincible and formidable than
the Great Firewalls because the Glass Firewalls are invisible from distance. Although
I cried out time and again in the face of these walls, very few people took me seriously
simply because it's not them, but me, that hit them. Over time, some in my audience may have started viewing me as a Chicken Little or the boy who habitually cries wolf. So it's a piece
of cake for the Japanese media to contain dissidence; they just ignore it.
A third and the worst barrier for a taboo-free journalist is the inner firewall which even the Paris-based RSF (Reporters without Borders) hasn't noticed.
Sigmund Freud based his theory primarily on his perception of this censorship
mechanism. The inner firewall is the thickest and most "transparent"
In short, censorship TokyoFreePress has been challenging is always threefold. · read more (1,199 words)
Saturday, January 03 2009 @ 02:38 AM CST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
The November Mumbai incident has enlivened crisis-thirsty political pundits in America
and the rest of the world because the terrorist attacks on the luxury hotels in India's largest city reignited the six-decade-old hostility between India and Pakistan. Some panic-mongering analysts warn that we might see an unexpectedly serious fallout should the fourth war (some say it's the fifth) break out between the two Asian nuclear powers.
In late December American journalist Nathan Gardels interviewed Zbigniew Brzezinski
over how Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser had briefed Barack Obama on crucial geopolitical issues in Southwestern and Southern Asia during the presidential campaign.
In this interview, Gardels asked: India has said they have the right in
self-defense to strike militant sanctuaries in Pakistan if Pakistan can't,
or is unwilling to, do the job. This is what Bush has done; it is what
Obama has promised to do. Why should India not do the same?
Here's Brzezinski's answer: Theoretically, from a debater's point of view,
the argument you have laid out is correct. However, any sane person has
to ask "what has the U.S. gained by attacking these sanctuaries other
than inflaming Pakistani public opinion?" Have we destroyed the Islamist
networks? Why would India be able to do any better?
When the interviewer approvingly summarized his answer by saying, "In
other words, it wouldn't be wrong, but stupid," Brzezinski said, "Precisely." To be more precise, however, I would have paraphrased these arrogant remarks this way:
America is the only country that is allowed to make mistakes.
I have no idea about who has granted the U.S. the privilege to constantly err, but I'm sure he now feels like giving a second thought to his decision.
Aside from the question of why the two Americans think India should
be able to outdo their home country in dealing with Pakistan, both gentlemen should have asked
themselves these questions:
- Why did President Johnson sign the absurd (or hypocritical at best) treaty
meant for nuclear nonproliferation?
- Why did President Nixon ratify it?
- Why did President Nixon not do his best to stop India from pursuing its nuclear aspiration?
- Why did President Clinton not do his best to prevent Pakistan from acquiring WMD? · read more (531 words)
In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy eloquently said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." In 1961, I was too young to be moved by JFK's flowery language. Now that I've turned 73, I know I am too old to be impressed on this January 20 by the silver-tongued Obama any more than I was by Kennedy 48 years ago. Obama will be a president far less demanding, than Kennedy, of his people at home and allies and foes abroad. But that makes no difference to my apathy.
Like most of you, I have been living my life primarily for myself and my
loved ones - not for my country, or any other country for that matter. Equally important, the less I have to count on my country for our well-being, the more I feel comfortable. And as you would agree, in our everyday life, words do not matter as
much as deeds do. Democracy as against autocracy, civil liberty as against slavery and human rights as against indignity are all words.
As the economic, political and cultural crisis deepens, words that keep coming from professional
Monday morning quarterbacks, and prophets alike, increasingly ring hollow. But
my sympathy always goes to these pundits because it cannot really be helped
for them to keep churning out supposedly impressive, actually empty words.
They have to make their living as wordsmiths. · read more (384 words)