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Welcome to TokyoFreePress Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 01:45 AM JST
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Sequel to my ordeal with unprincipled people


This may catch you off guard, but let me ask you something:

"WHO ARE YOU?"

You wonder what the hell this has to do with the issue at hand.

When starting a new thread, I always redefine myself because without knowing who is talking to whom and over exactly what issue, there's no point in blogging. In this context I think it will be nice if you ask yourself the same question: "Who am I?"

Before starting this inner process, I always empty myself because at any given time the inside of my brain looks very much like the cache memory after a lot of Googling. Actually this is the hardest part of the exercise. But never expect an exotic routine such as zazen or yoga to work its magic. Most of the time it's an Oriental rubbish invented by the Americans. I suspect you might as well empty your wallet as I always do.

I don't want to look at your personal profile you disclosed when you signed up to Facebook. I don't have access to Facebook pages in the first place simply because I'm not a kindergarten kid. Neither do I want to know your political ideology and religious faith because I know these are, at best, a jumbled manifestation of poorly-defined ideas you cherry-picked from your cache memory. Most of the time, they are delusions. Needless to say I'm not interested, either, in knowing who you are NOT (e.g. "I'm not a bigot like you," or, "I'm not a naysayer like you.")

All I need to know is your own principle on which you base what you say and do.

Now I am getting back to my principles on which I deal with the Constitution and laws subordinated to it.

The Japanese always think laws govern them, making believe they don't notice it's actually the other way around. Take their postwar Constitution for example. As a result of their inverted attitude toward laws in general, they have ambivalent feelings about their Constitution, which is based on three principles: pacifism, equality, and most importantly reciprocity between the state and its people.

Its Article 9 famously 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." The Japanese traditionally think the right to independence and freedom is a gift from heaven just like the Constitution which was given by MacArthur. The last thing they would do to gain the sovereign right is to risk their lives in a bloody war. That's basically why they have never seriously thought about amending it. And that's why the pro-amendment movements which have lasted almost a half century by now are still getting nowhere.

Every time Chinese vessels take an excursion in the disputed waters surrounding Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, they feel chagrined because all they are allowed to do under the pacifist Constitution is to verbally warn they should stay away from the "Japanese territory" and sometimes to resort to the use of their ultimate weapons, i.e. water cannons.

It's on these occasions when the pro-amendment camps raise their voices. Their rationale always comes down to the "fact" that the Constitution is illegitimate because it was imposed on the Japanese by Douglas MacArthur. They opportunistically look away from the real fact that it was the Japanese people who swallowed everything the U.S. wanted them to swallow. I couldn't care less, though; it's now Ishihara's baby. (See FOOTNOTE.)

At this moment the equality principle is much more relevant to me. Time and again I've seen the same hypocrisy in their contradictory attitudes toward the principle. On the surface, equality is the element which is the most congruous with the egalitarian obsession prevalent in this classless society for more than a millennium. But these vassals and serfs in the feudal society of the 21st century have failed to understand what it should mean in a modern civil society. The reason for the failure is because the brand new rule of reciprocity to be applied between the rights and duties of the people is too foreign to the Japanese society which is governed by some extralegal entity.

To the Japanese, compassion, benevolence and mercy for the disabled or the aged are something to be bestowed upon them, normally with a silky voice that sets your teeth on edge, by
お上, Okami or "someone from above." The real implication here is that if you insist on your natural rights as I always do, it constitutes an unpardonable crime.

One case in point is my wheelchair-bound daughter-in-law who suffers a rare disease named Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. As I observe, her psychosomatic disorder is more or less fake. Actually doctors haven't found a single organic failure behind all these pains she complains about day in, day out and around the clock, and her repeated attempts of parasuicide. In short she's a wreck, body and soul. But thanks to the efforts made by her husband, CRPS is now designated by the municipality as a refractory illness which makes its sufferers eligible for a special pension for the disabled.

Now my estranged daughter-in-law, who is still in her early-40s, is receiving a handsome amount of annuity which by far exceeds mine as if I haven't paid the premiums for the pension and healthcare insurance throughout my 50-year career, which are 20- to 30-times larger than hers at their present values. Besides, it's totally tax-exempt.

The privileged status is given to her simply because she is an ideal citizen in this sick nanny state. But I never want to become a well-off zombie like this woman at the cost of my dignity.

I wrote my story about a local news reporter "AK" in my previous entry. She is about the age of the woman in a wheelchair but not handicapped physically. But now I've learned she is yet another "presstitute." That means she is mentally impaired, seriously so.

Thanks to the thoughtful feedback I received from my friends, both online and offline, my hypertension subsided for a while. But the day before yesterday, someone else sent my blood pressure soaring high once again. I had to visit another mentally-impaired woman at the tax-collecting department of the ward office to follow up a memo I'd sent her a week or so earlier. Now it was increasingly obvious that the bitch won't be convinced I can't pay taxes until she actually finds my corpse somewhere at the seaside with her own eyes. So I wrote in the letter: "I'm literally getting killed by the city hall, but make no mistake, you've got to risk your own lives if you want to go further ahead to claim mine." Strangling me slowly as if with a silk cord, if not quickly with a rope, is exactly what they've been doing in the last 18 months. But she still didn't take me seriously because as anybody who knows me in person can tell, I don't look like a killer.

It's when I stepped out of the ward office building that I realized my pill case was already empty despite my effort to take a dose of the anti-hypertension drug only when it looks absolutely necessary. I directed my steps to Dr. Shiono's clinic which sits a couple of blocks away from the ward office.

When I dropped by his office, he had just wound up his lunch recess during which he was listening to music. He got a lot of suntan because every weekend during the long summer, he'd had fun doing cruising, swimming and bodyboarding with his son and wife. As usual we talked about music much more than about blood pressure.

I said to him, "I sometimes think a good musical piece such as Brahms's No. 4 Symphony has a more therapeutic power for hypertension than ex-Forge pills you prescribe for me." Nodding approvingly, he made me wear a pair of headphones and played a couple of newly-purchased CDs for me. After I listened to some passages from Bach's partita and violin sonata played by Glenn Gould and Hilary Hahn, I felt like my blood pressure had come down by 30-40mm Hg.

With his disarming grin, he went on to talk about his parents. Both of them were among the Class of 1959 at Toho Gakuen Shool of Music, the same class Seiji Ozawa also belonged. And in turn the maestro was among the same Class of 1954 at the junior and senior high schools I was in. So we have a lot in common to talk about although Dr. Shiono is younger than my elder son. His father was a professional piano tuner but died of cerebral hemorrhage when he was in his early-50s. The 77-year-old widow is still teaching the piano. He said, "You said you love Brahms. This reminds me of something. When I was a high school student, my mom kept telling me to listen to Brahms, Brahms, and Brahms. That was too much for a kid of the rock generation. That's why I chose a medical career over music. Now I do appreciate Brahms, if you are curious about that."

Thanks to the music and the doctor who apparently knows who he is, I could pull myself together once again and renew my vigor to fight on for my right to "maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living," as Article 25 stipulates, and more importantly, for the principle embodied in my own constitution.

Earlier this year in the U.S., an astounding 40,000 mostly unconstitutional laws were enacted just in a matter of weeks. At that time the late Ron Paul was saying he would have them all repealed as the president.

In comparison, the number of laws, bylaws and ordinances enacted by the Japanese lawmakers is 100-times smaller. It should also be noted that they are more careful than their American counterparts about the constitutionality of a new legislation presumably because the three branches of the government are not independent from one another as they are supposed to be.

At any rate, however, the lower "productivity" of the Japanese legislators does not indicate that Japan is a little healthier country than America. The widespread notion that Japan is under the rule of law is totally baseless because traditionally what governs this country is something other than written laws. That's why the legislative branch here does not have to massproduce laws, constitutional or not.

The sheepish people here are too used to being governed by an extralegal entity to govern themselves. As a result, even well-educated people such as my former friend "AK" don't need any principle on which to conduct themselves.

Small wonder anyone can't tell WHO HE REALLY IS. He is just yet another Japanese conformist who mindlessly goes with the flow. · read more (88 words)
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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.
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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.
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A tip from a Japanese: "Take your time, Iraqi legislators"

As a dog returneth to his vomit.....

On Monday, August 22, Iraqi legislators decided to put off a vote on a draft constitution, for the second time.

For months now these people representing Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish populations at the parliament have been discussing the draft constitution for a new Iraq. The major sticking points there are such polity issues as whether to go for a loose federalism or whether to go for a secular statehood.

Geographical maldistribution of oil resources is exacerbating the discord among the three major tribes.

As a result they have missed the deadline twice by now. But I don't believe they should be worried too much about lagging behind schedule because these deadlines for parliamentary deliberation and a subsequent referendum have been set a little arbitrarily.
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Everybody has climbed onto bandwagon of constitutional debate now, but expectations for changes remain low

One of my new year's resolutions for this weblog was, "Stay away from constitutional debates as far as I can." I am neither pro- nor anti-amendment, in particular. But certainly I don't want to be part of it in the interest of either camp because the debates now being fanned by the government and the media are somewhat reminiscent of the Mao Zedong's Hundred Flowers movement. Flowers are now in full blossom with different people from every corner of the nation chirping nonstop for or against the amendment. But aren't they just trying to smoke out those minority people who harbor ideas heretical to this homogeneous culture?

My Hundred Flowers campaign analogy here may not be very precise because I don't foresee a fierce anti-leftist campaign will follow the ongoing constitutional debates, just like a savage anti-rightist campaign ensued after Mao, in 1957, ordered to wind up the movement he himself had launched the year before, let alone a merciless blood purge on those hundred flowers, i.e., millions of framed/smoked-out intellectuals. And for better or for worse, there is no prominent leader like Mao in today's Japan. And yet I cannot but see a certain similarity between China in the mid-1950s and today's Japan which cannot emancipate itself from the system masterminded half a century ago by Nobusuke Kishi, one of the Class-A war criminals. It is fairly likely that when the constitutional debates are declared over, we will find ourselves in an even more monolithic, closed, conformist and groupist society.

For quite some time now, the Liberal Democratic Party has made it clear that this year will be the right timing for constitutional amendment because 2005 falls on the 50th anniversary of the 1955 System, while the Democratic Party of Japan, the main opposition, has eyed the next year for revising the post-WWII "pacifist" Constitution because 2006 falls on its 60th anniversary. In this context the media solemnly declared at the turn of the year that 2005 and 2006 are going to be the years of nation-wide great debates over the amendment issue. Obviously I should have bought myself a pair of earplugs as a precaution, but it's too late now. Only a little more than one-twelfth into the first year of the national deliberation, we've already had more than enough. That's why I said to myself: "Why not dump all I have to say, just for once, and then clam up?"
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"Constitution lacks legitimacy" - So what?

The government, lawmakers and the media have been busy building a nation-wide consensus on the necessity, if not urgency, of a constitutional amendment toward 2005, the time limit the LDP has in mind to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1955 System, or by 2006, the deadline the DPJ has set so it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the current Constitution. · read more (591 words)
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Koizumi: Pacifist Constitution no hindrance to his bid for UNSC permanent seat

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Japan would seek to join the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, hand-in-hand with Germany, India and Brazil "to create a new United Nations for the new era". To elaborate on his bid for the permanent seat at the UNSC, he stressed the following points at the General Assembly and the subsequent press conference: · read more (586 words)