Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paris Tokyo : Signature d'un accord de coopération militaire

Avec quelques collègues français j'ai rencontré le ministre français de la défense Jean-Yves Le Drian (photo) mardi 29 / 7 à l'ambassade de France à Tokyo. Il a annoncé ce soir la signature d'un accord de coopération en matière de défense avec le Japon. Paris et Tokyo vont en outre conduire des exercices militaires communs.


Ministre français de la défenseJean-Yves Le Drian

Le Japon s’interdisait du fait de sa Constitution pacifiste d’après guerre d’exporter du matériel militaire. Interdiction levée en avril par le gouvernement de Shinzo Abe. Chacun s’engouffre dans le créneau et le Japon n’est pas en reste car sa redoutable machine industrielle veut rapidement découvrir des débouchés sur de nouveaux marchés. Une politique qui longtemps a été mise sous la dernière pile des dossiers des premiers ministres précédents jusqu’à Noda puis Abe. Celui-ci a transformé le paysage politique japonais, moins colombe que faucon. Aujourd’hui les Etats-Unis poussent le Japon à oeuvrer davantage dans le domaine de la défense collective. Conséquence: booster les projets, les coopérations, la R and D et donc à  terme les budgets militaires japonais. Tokyo s'engage dans des partenariats de défense avec la GB, l'Australie et maintenant avec la France. La France envisage d'ores et déjà de multiplier son partenariat d’exception avec le Japon y compris dans le domaine militaire.  

Paris et Tokyo envisagent ainsi de coopérer dans le domaine des drones, des hélicoptères et de la robotique, nous a dit Jean-Yves Le Drian, n'excluant pas pour l'avenir des coopérations plus importantes, dans les domaines naval ou aéronautique par exemple. 

Durant cette visite éminemment politique, le ministre japonais de la Défense Itsunori Onodera a exprimé sa préoccupation avec la vente du "Mistral" à la Russie compte tenu de son impact potentiel "sur la sécurité en Asie de l'Est." En fait ce sont les américains qui ne sont pas satisfaits... 

L'accord gouvernemental franco japonais sera signé en fin d'année 2014 voire en 2015 lors de la réunion 2+2 qui sera tenue cette fois au Japon après celle de Janvier 2014 de Paris. 

Petite anecdote que je citais hier à un membre du cabinet du ministre: des universitaires qui enseignent à l'académie militaire de Yokosuka rêvent depuis 10 ans d'exporter des matériels de défense, et me disaient-ils, avec la même vigueur industrielle que celle qui a permis au Japon jadis de s'imposer dans l'exportation de fax ou de caméras...


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Les peuples qui aiment bien manger ensemble ne se font pas la guerre"


 Jean-Robert Pitte et Naomichi Ishige

Isao Kumakura et modérateur

Ravissement et pincement au coeur de l'assistance lorsque la phrase a été prononcée avec force: "Les peuples qui aiment bien manger ensemble ne se font pas la guerre". L'auteur de ces mots n'est autre que Jean-Robert Pitte, membre de l’Institut et président de la Mission française du patrimoine et des cultures alimentaires, connu pour ses sorties véhémentes, lors du séminaire tenu à la Maison Franco Japonaise d'Ebisu, Tokyo.

Les récents classements par l'UNESCO au patrimoine culturel immatériel de l'humanité du repas gastronomique des Français et du Washoku (la cuisine traditionnelle du Japon) ont mis en valeur la gastronomie comme élément essentiel de la culture des peuples, face à l’uniformisation des pratiques alimentaires. Intéressante discussion et regards croisés ont été portés sur les gastronomies françaises et japonaises.

Château d'Ebisu, à l'atelier de Joël Robuchon

Le Washoku aime "goûter la saison" a expliqué Naomichi Ishige, ex directeur du Musée National d'Ethnologie, et c'est une cuisine qui garde les ingrédients en leur état naturel, une philosophie paradoxale, sans assaisonnement trop fort qui gâche les saveurs naturelles de la cuisine japonaise dont l'Umami うま味, l’une des cinq saveurs de base avec le sucré, l’acide, l’amer et le salé, ce célèbre goût plaisant de "bouillon" que l'on connaissait déjà dans la Rome antique.

Pour lui, l'alimentation a été déséquilibrée au Japon dans les années 60 en raison de la vogue de la cuisine occidentale riche en graisse, sucre et manque de fibre, donnant naissance au processus de l'individualisation de la cuisine familiale et à une mauvaise hygiène de vie. Aujourd'hui conclut Ishige さん, il faut rééquilibrer la nourriture dite de "société" et la nourriture familiale. Deux maux qui frappent la gastronomie française et le Washoku. Idée partagée par Isao Kumakura(president of Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, president of the Washoku Japan Project)"Même au Japon, dit-il, les grands Chefs de Shoku Bunka (gastronomie japonaise) ne sont pas reconnus comme Trésor national vivant du Japon (人間国宝 Ningen Kokuho) par l'agence ministérielle japonaise de la Culture.

Atelier de Joël Robuchon, arrangements de foie gras

"Il faut faire vivre le Patrimoine" concluait Jean-Robert Pitte, soulignant le rôle joué par Auguste Escoffier et César Ritz dans la transmission de l'héritage des grands gastronomes. Intéressante confrontation entre le français et les 2 japonais, l'avenir de la gastronomie française servie au Palais Impérial lors des banquets officiels depuis l'Ere Meiji. Pitte veut les maintenir, mais Ishige et Kumakura estiment qu'une présentation du Washoku doit désormais faire son apparition au Palais... A-t-on frisé l'incident diplomatique? 2 secondes seulement, car de bon goût, les conférenciers ont été joliment ovationnés par l'assistance, un mix de public japonais et français, dégustant les bons mots de nos experts invités par la Sopexa, l'Ambassade de France, la Maison Franco Japonaise avant une réception sublime et arrosée à l'atelier de Joël Robuchon au château d'Ebisu...
 

(Summary in English: "Rapture and twinge of sorrow in the audience when the sentence was pronounced forcefully: "The people who love to eat together do not fight." The author of these words is none other than Jean-Robert Pitte, a member of the Institute and president of the French Mission heritage and food culture, also known for his spirited outputs, at the seminar held at the Maison Franco Japonaise d'Ebisu, Tokyo...)

JLK Au château d'Ebisu, à l'atelier de Joël Robuchon

Friday, July 18, 2014

Carlos Ghosn July 17, 2014 Renault Nissan Global Alliance strategy



Carlos Ghosn on my youtube channel: http://youtu.be/SgxKBZbOrYg


Stuck in traffic? Why not watch a movie or improvise a videoconference? It will soon be possible thanks to the autonomous car, the future of the automotive industry, said this week in Tokyo Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan alliance. This news has been commented everywhere, because the PR service of Nissan works well. So, I propose you the other 4 main questions asked to Carlos Ghosn, philosophy and strategy of the world market by Renault Nissan alliance, women as executives, Nissan as a pioneer company, and what becomes now a ritual, each year, Japanese media repeat that he is the best paid CEO in Japan, Toyota CEO man gets 4 times less, and the press goes on with it… So I also asked him about his compensation, at the press club Tokyo, July 17th 2014 09:00am 10:00am.

Q1 (Jlk): What is Renault Nissan Global Alliance strategy today in regards to market share, profit margin, world market and platform strategy?

Q2: What is the benefit of having women as leaders in Japanese corporations?

Q3: EV, Nissan Pioneer strategy?

Q4 (Jlk): What is a Nissan Chief Executive salary?

Carlos Ghosn answers to these 4 questions 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Defending the Politics of the Abe Administration. How? Repeat, Reiterate, Restate !

Chief Cabinet Secretary (CCS) Yoshihide Suga invited at the press club, Suga only information was that he hopes Abe will meet Xi at Apec summit later this year: "At Apec, Suga said, world leaders will convene, having talks, I think, is a natural practice of our leaders in the international community.” The CCS job is basically to lead Japan administration and be a solid bridge between the US and Japan.

Chief Cabinet Secretary (CCS) Yoshihide Suga

Too few questions asked here on Friday July 11th, too long speech of Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga. The Japanese way to express and convince, not explain or not engage in risk of criticism? Rule number 1:  Repeat, reiterate, restate...

Looks unfortunately like a bureaucratic "langue de bois" chat as in the Soviet Union time. It would be advisable that Japanese leaders engage into these events not with a lecture, seen as long and sometimes boring type, but in a short presentation, say 10 to 12 minutes and then enter into the Q&A providing THEN their policy lines for each question and add their numerous witted comments. 

That was a 38 minutes long speech and then Q&A on Defending the Politics of the Abe Administration: (with interpreter) No breakthrough on Constitutional and collective self defence, usual: "Possibility of a “minimum use of SDF activities is a fundamental thing, it exists within framework by previous government and it does not go beyond the Constitution, therefore no need to go to Constitution revision.” 

Suga did not exactly answer one press conference question asked by the moderator of the day. The moderator asked about new law on collective self defence and Japan public opinion on Constitution. We know people were not consulted by referendum, Abe says OK to reinterpretation not referendum. The moderator did not re-asked his question after Suga's answer but CCS Suga reacted and answered by reiterated his former words: “Abe administration has 3 pillars, since in office, 1 of them is to be able to ensure crisis management in thorough way, regardless the Constitution interpretation, Abe cabinet wants to guarantee life and peaceful life of its people and whatever surveys say, up or down" Suga said and this is via the interpreter. Did Suga convince? Not really after hearing chats in the corridors of the press club.

Thing is many media complained of not enough time to ask questions. "Schedule thing" you know. Also there was a lot of repetitions. But CCS Suga scored in his last answer to an hypothetical question about Asia future and prosperity. Saying Japan works under the rule of international laws. Goal! Face expressions show how CCS Suga was quite unhappy being here, just delivering a message to the "Gaijin media". I saw in the assistance the usual lot of extreme right wingers attending our event... Bizarre です ね ?


On youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KASu17o4914

Monday, June 30, 2014

Japan's crusade for renewable energies




Since Fukushima, Japan's huge need of energy and lack of fossil fuels oblige the archipelago to develop new technologies, Japan enters into a crusade for renewable energies.

My news-report on RTL Monde (French) broadcasted Sunday June 29th 2014.

RTL report here, in French: 3’47”
http://soundcloud.com/jo-l-legendre-koizumi/joel-legendre-rtl-monde-29-juin-2014-apres-fukushima-le-japon-se-lance-dans-les-energies-vertes

In “RTL Monde” anchored by Philippe Robuchon Sunday 13:00 Paris, France.
http://www.rtl.fr/actu/international/les-associations-humanitaires-luttent-contre-l-excision-au-mali-7772927303 

Tokyo, Japan Weather Forecast

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23rd 鉄 の 雨 Battle of Okinawa "82 days of hell"






鉄 の 雨 Okinawa ferocious battle, "82 days of hell nicknamed tetsu no ame, literally a rain of steel." Ceremonies start today at 11:50 at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman for the Okinawa Memorial Day 慰霊の日 Irei no Hi, "the day to console the dead." It is a public holiday observed in Okinawa Prefecture annually on June 23 to remember the lives lost during the war but it is not celebrated nationally in Japan. During the speeches, the Peace Declaration will stress the urgent issue of U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station.

戦後69年 きょう慰霊の日
http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article.php?id=73954

戦没者足跡、地図が語る GIS沖縄研作成http://www.okinawatimes.co.jp/article.php?id=73962

Historic Battle of Okinawa anniversary today
http://www.japanupdate.com/archive/index.php?id=11251
by Bill Charles: "The bloodiest battle of World War II, the Battle of Okinawa ended with more than 12,000 Americans and 107,500 Japanese troops killed, along with at least 42,000 Okinawa citizens dead. It began as Operation Iceberg, a massive military invasion American planners expected to be the stepping stone to attacks on mainland Japan, the first step in bringing and end to the war. Instead, the Battle of Okinawa combined six weeks later with atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to abruptly end the conflict. Ceremonies remembering the tetsu no bow, the storm of steel that fell during 82 days of combat, usually take place at Memorial Peace Prayer Park in Itoman. Tens of thousands flock to the park each year to honor victims of the battle." (edited)


 

Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy' s staff cancelled her planned visit due to scheduling conflict to the Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum in Naha today Monday, dedicated to the sinking of the 6,754-ton Tsushima Maru. The ship was torpedoed by a U.S. submarine on Aug. 22, 1944, the submarine USS Bowfin, close to the island of Akusekijima, while evacuating schoolchildren and other people from Okinawa Prefecture to mainland Japan. Half of the over 1,400 people who died were children. Caroline Kennedy visited the National War Dead Peace Mausoleum at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman, February 12, 2014.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

天安門 Tiananmen Young Tigers



 Tiananmen 1976


Tiananmen 1989

天安門 Tiananmen 25 years since June 1989…

An other chapter of China turbulent history. I saw the anger coming from my Peking balcony. Prior to 1989 I worked and lived in Peking, a (very) young journalist assigned in China by France national broadcasters and the High Authority of Audiovisual Communication. Mission was to gain international professional experience, to teach journalism, modernise Chinese national broadcaster, teach how to anchor news programmes and start cooperation of programs exchanges between the ministry of the Radio Television and the Cultural services of  France and other institutions. I explained them how to report without the heavy hands of the propaganda, how to see and report within a certain context. I was the first Paris man inside the system in this new China thanks to a simple idea I had that attracted Paris and Peking. A professional of broadcasting, a "coach" and also correspondent for my French media (Radio France and RFI). Incredible freedom I had at that time under Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang.

I started learning Chinese language with teachers of a prestigious nearby university and travelled a lot in China, even alone, thanks to some magical words and pass opening all doors. And this was one of the most interesting experience. Later on I even visited Tibet, Lhasa, alone again or this is what I felt, and free to go everywhere I wanted. I spent time alone in the Potala, stayed at the Dalai Lama private apartments on top of the Palace. I always remember my talks with monks on the top of the Potala. People used to talk then. A large and wide path was opened in front of China. I always kept myself far from the propagandistic announcements explaining this was counter-productive. When I lectured some young Party or League members, some of them are top officials today, there was nothing we could not talk about. Nothing. Imagine these promising young cadres driven in their huge Hongqi limousines, or some time modestly in the unit old bus, after 2 or 3 hours of free discussion for months with a young passionate French journalist. A simple wave of the hands from the entrance of the residence, we always ended with the same universal values, life, love, education, development, dignity, sovereignty. East met West.

But prior to 1989, I saw the first demonstrations starting from Beida (University of Beijing). Foreign students from Asia, Africa or Middle East or Europe mixed with Chinese students. The youth had great sympathy and expectations of a new China under the modernisation and Deng's open door policy, at China's speed. Everyone was enthusiastic and China economy started to take off. People of everywhere in the country had a fantastic energy. But I asked myself, until when and where would this freedom continue?

For my China watcher eyes, the Tiananmen Incident that took place on April 5, 1976 after Zhou En-lai death in January, prior to Mao’s death in September 76, then the fall of the “Gang of Four”, these two events are of equal importance. It reveals that the spirit of the “Young Tigers” could not fade away. These young Chinese with ideals and hopes of a new China. China Spring 1989 as China Spring 1976 were crucial episodes of contemporary China. To a difference, 1976 was not televised, China was to end the Cultural revolution, China in June 1989 was on every TV, live, with the global implications we see 25 years after.

To better understand the two events so different and so similar in the same pattern, I quote the book “The Coldest Winter in Peking” by Hsia Chih-yen, a fan of Lu Hsun and a former government official of the Academy of Sciences of China.

Hsia describes in the form of a novel what happened in 1976 in China explaining the “laboratory” that China is. First installment of Hsia’s book was published by Bungei Shunju in November 1976. His book describes the life of the people. As I saw it, as “ the eyes of the people see everything and see it truly” not as many foreign (non reading Chinese ideograms) governments and media describe it sometimes nowadays, looking for the never ending new Chinese entrepreneur billionaire bla-bla without really travelling 200 km of Peking where roads are still chaotic and where villages host some people who never heard of what is happening in Peking and Shanghai.

It is said in all history textbooks that, quotes: “The April 1976 incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou En-lai earlier that year. Some people strongly disapproved of the removal of the displays of mourning, [Was it provoked NDJLK?] and began gathering in the Square to protest against the central authorities, [ Who organised them?] then largely under the auspices of the Gang of Four, who ordered the Square to be cleared. China's leaders, namely Jiang Qing (Mao Zedong's wife) and Mao Yuan-xin, saw the popular gathering as a threat to the forward movement of the Cultural Revolution.

They consulted with Party Chairman Mao Zedong, claiming these people to be "capitalist roaders" who were hitting back at the Proletarian Revolution. Action was taken on the night of April 5, when the number of mourners were a few thousand. Controlled by Jiang Qing and the mayor of Beijing, the militia encircled the area, then went in with clubs and batons to drive the people away from the monument. Four thousand were arrested. According to Jan Wong in Red China Blues, around 60 were dragged into the Great Hall of the People, beheaded and secretly cremated. [Who can say if there were not hundreds of them NDJLK]?

The media subsequently linked the event to Deng Xiaoping, then carrying out the daily duties of the Premier. It was rumoured that the Gang of Four had become apprehensive of Deng's influence and thus attempted his removal. Deng was an ally of Zhou En-lai, and was placed under house arrest in Guangzhou. After Mao's death and the fall of the Gang of Four in October 1976, Party leaders rehabilitated Deng and brought him back to Beijing, where he emerged as China's Paramount Leader in 1978." EoQ.

We know what happened after. Many of the people I met in Peking told me about Deng Xiaoping indecisiveness that might explain a lot of things that happened after 1976 and 1989, typical of the leaders theory ruling giant empires. Deng described by my old Peking friends as a capitalist who was influenced by his stay in the west (in France and as a coincidence in my own region of Normandie and also in other parts of France industrial regions). Deng remained indecisive, his close friends say, as we saw during the demonstration of June 1989. Hesitations, again, but Deng recovered and the foreign world came again to kowtow to Zhongnanhai China new collective ruling class, lead today by Xi Jinping. Many are expecting that East Asia will not fall under the sirens of alarmists and fanatics for it may be a war [I don’t think it will] that Peking’s enemy won’t win easily at all. Do not wake up the dragon.

More than ever East Asia should apprehend a community destiny. Japan should make its own research and draw its own strategy. History teaches why only 2 nations in Asia never lost again western guns after WW2: China and Vietnam. China where the “Coup d’Etat” is indefinite. China where ideals have not altered especially in the mind of these “Young Tigers” generation after generation on the roads of Peking, Guanzhou, Shanghai in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90’s and who still exist.

Reminding that China exists for… China, at any cost.

Chang'an Avenue June 1989


“The Coldest Winter in Peking” by Hsia Chih-yen. page 227:
http://www.amazon.com/The-coldest-winter-Peking-inside/dp/0385134029



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

東京物語 A new Abenomics target could be : the "Love Society Arrow" ?



  Katsuhiko Fujimori

東京物語 Tokyo stories You know how I like Japan and the people here, but how unfortunate it is to see that Japanese seem to seal their eyes only on their smartphones and forget to watch people near by them in subway, office, cafes, sea side, mountain slopes… Impact is a withdrawal from the society? Almost true. But not necessary. There are also social and psychological reasons to this isolation on the rise. An other consequence is late marriage, no kids. Other impact: the aged society and lonely household with age parents abandoned from their kids. 

Why don't we get happy here to marry and live in family and get older with our beloved ones? The decrease of married couples living with aged parents and extended longevity, the number of single-person households in Japan is expected to reach 18.72 million in 2030, 36.5% of all the households!!  Now for the hard talk in particular, 1 out of 5 men in their 50s and 60s are expected to live alone in 2030. As the super single society approaches, solutions to such issues as social isolation and poverty are being sought out. 

 Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story

Fascinating briefing at the FPCJ Foreign Press center Japan yesterday with Mr. Katsuhiko Fujimori, Mizuho Information Research Institute, Inc., Chief Research Associate. My question to Fujimori san was related to the iconic movie Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story and what has Japan done in the last 50 years, since Tokyo Monogatari, to challenge the trend of  what can simply be sadness and loneliness of Japanese society. Can Abe and dynamic Tokyo Governor Masuzoe deliver or... is it just communication bla bla? 

Maybe a new policy for the Abenomics could be : the "Love Society Arrow!" 


Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tomioka Silk Mill 富岡製糸工場 recommended as "Unesco World Heritage"

Tomioka Silk Mill 富岡製糸工場 
Gunma prefecture 群馬県 Japan




Discovery travel of the Tomioka Silk Mill 富岡製糸工場, old city of Tomioka 富岡市, in Gunma prefecture 群馬県, Japan. It is located about 120 km northwest of Tokyo. it's Japan's oldest modern model silk reeling factory. Was established in 1872 by the government to introduce modern machine silk reeling from France and spread its technology in Japan.

In 1870, Paul Brunat, who worked in a French trading company in Yokohama, researched suitable locations for a silk mill in the Kanto region and selected the site in Tomioka City from among the candidates.

The construction began in 1871 and was completed in July the next year. Three months later the factory started operation. In the beginning, there were 150 silk reeling machines (300 basins), and about 400 female workers, many French teachers and workers came into Japan to teach the work to local Japanese women and operated the machines in the mill.

The lifestyle of the workers has been recorded in the diary of one, Wada Ei. In the silk reeling factory, 'you will be amazed by the huge area without supporting pillars for the silk reeling mill that was operated by 300 workers.'

I liked the detail about manpower: At first it was difficult to find workers, local people were afraid of what they called French "vampires" drinking blood... They enjoyed drinking a red liquid called... red wine

Late April 2014, Paris based Unesco advisory panel recommended giving "Unesco World Heritage" status to the Tomioka Silk Mill historic factory building as they are symbolizing Japan’s industrialization from the 19th century. Endorsement could be formalized at a meeting of the World Heritage Committee June 15-25, set in Qatar. Likely to be offered.

Already today tourists are visiting this attractive old city of Gunma prefecture. So, to go there, catch a Shinkansen to Takasaki, then ride the cute 2 cars train Joshin Dentetsu line to Joshu-Tomioka. It's a beautiful report / journey in the history of Japan industrialisation on the way to Karuizawa and near by Isobe Onsen.





Friday, May 09, 2014

"Journalist backtracks on best-seller after Nanjing switcheroo Former Times bureau chief shocked by his Japanese writer revisionist conclusion of own book"


 Henry S. Stokes at FCCJ


Hiroyuki Fujita at FCCJ

"Stokes, a longtime resident of Tokyo, did not know what was written in his own book." It says all. It shows the right wing attempts to vilipend the foreign media correspondents in their work on World War II issues was once more defeated. It was all of a trick that we discovered. It also says a lot on current administration whose nationalism sees to be a bit out of control to the point that the US administration of president Obama asked Japan to cool down: "U.S. President Barack Obama urged Japan on Friday to settle disputes over the issue of women, mostly Koreans, who were forced to provide sex to Imperial troops in Japan’s wartime military brothels, calling it a “terrible” human rights violation.” (JT April 25 2014)"

Part I

It is maybe time now to review treaties of impunity and to finally agree to settle history cases in a spirit of fairness, equity and justice and to make of World War II abominations at last a case of Victim's Justice.


I and other journalists have exposed for years of work here and overseas the numerous attempts of the Japanese right wing conservatives and their clones to whitewash massacres, slaughters, looting and misery by Japan Imperial Army during China and Korea invasion and during the South Strike to Malaya and Singapore, Indochina and the Philippines. Time to clarify in textbooks the JIA responsibility massacres during WW2 and settle the Nanking slaughter with the aim to produce fine documented archives in universities and schools and request from Allied nations, China, Russia, Japan and all concerned administration to open their archives. 2015, 70 years after the end of hostilities, could be a year to start such history mission and show more concerns with the obligation of remembrance ( Aka "Le devoir de Mémoire" in French )

Recently a few statements by Japanese press attacked the Fccj on history issues accusing the foreign journalists to be Peking and Seoul spies! And they quoted manipulated documents to justify their claims. Today, back-pedalling, one writer who can't hold a pen but who published a book with the aid of a Japanese right winger who "used" him admits that he was cheated: "Stokes, a longtime resident of Tokyo, did not know what was written in his own book."

This attack by Fujita against foreign correspondents was published in the column for the Sankei Shimbun column of March 29, Takao Harakawa accused foreign correspondents based in Tokyo of harbouring “blind belief” in the anti-Japanese propaganda being generated by China and South Korea. He bases this on his observations from a recent press conference that in his view descended into a “blame-Japan” fest.

“Interpreter at the event was Hiroyuki Fujita, an international journalist and translator of Henry Scott-Stokes’ recent book (in Japanese) titled, “Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious View of History, as Seen by a British Journalist.” “Foreigners, especially citizens of the Allied nations (during WW2), tend to view the historical truth in terms of judgments handed down by the Tokyo war crimes tribunal,” said Fujita. “According to that view, Japan must be the villain, and anyone who attempts to assert something at odds with that is stereotypically tarred as a revisionist who is attempting to gloss over history. One of the very few correspondents who’s an exception to this would be Mr Henry Scott-Stokes, who has really done his homework on the issues.”

For the anecdote, I can add that for months I often watched Fujita entertaining Stokes at lunched at the bar of Fccj where Fujita claims that he received all instruction and data from Stokes. But I never saw Stokes or Fujita writing documents or engaged into working sessions there. Fujita is the same right wing clique who claims that foreign journalists are Chinese and Korean spies...
Poppycock!


Part II 

Now today's story in Japan Times: "Journalist backtracks on best-seller after Nanjing switcher"

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/08/national/history/journalist-backtracks-best-seller-revisionist-switcheroo/#.U2wRFV59v1o

Former Times bureau chief 'shocked' by revisionist conclusion of own book
By Ben Dooley and Kyodo news agency.

MAY 8, 2014 


Former New York Times Tokyo bureau chief Henry S. Stokes should have reason to celebrate. His latest book “Eikokujin Kisha Ga Mita Rengokoku Sensho Shikan no Kyomou” (“Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious View of History, as Seen by a British Journalist”) has moved 100,000 copies in the five months since its December release, according to its publisher Shodensha.
The mashup of journalistic anecdotes from the front lines of Japan’s modern history and hard-nosed arguments against its responsibility for World War II atrocities has made the 75-year-old Stokes a darling of the country’s resurgent right wing. With the slim volume popping up on best-seller lists across the nation, its author has found himself in the brightest spotlight of his career.
There is just one problem — until a recent interview with Kyodo News, Stokes, a longtime resident of Tokyo, did not know what was written in his own book.
Now, the former reporter, who reads and writes only a little Japanese, says he is “shocked and horrified” by the book’s conclusion that the Chinese government fabricated the Nanjing Massacre, describing the claim as “straightforward right-wing propaganda.”
The book’s translator, Hiroyuki Fujita, “smuggled” the rogue passages into the work, Stokes says, adding that the conclusion was “just spooned into the text.” Fujita admits that he added his own language to the book but argues that he closely based his additions on Stokes’ own views.
Stokes, who suffers from advanced Parkinson’s disease and cannot easily type or use a pen or pencil, entrusted the book’s production to Fujita and Hideaki Kase, two men with close ties to the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, a nonprofit educational group that advocates “revisionist” positions on Japanese history.
At Kase’s urging, Stokes sat with Fujita for over 170 hours of interviews about his journalistic career and his self-described “right of center” political views. He says the men told him that they would translate the interviews into Japanese and then shape them into a book.
Stokes agreed to participate in the project, despite warnings from family and friends to be wary of the men, whom he describes as “personal, close friends.”
According to Stokes, Fujita had assured him that “90 to 95 percent” of the book was based on their interview sessions. While Fujita reiterated these claims, he would not comment on what other additions he had made to the text and declined multiple requests to share the recordings.
“As I’m being interviewed by these people, I would trust them to stick by the record,” Stokes said. “And if they haven’t done that, they have let me down and let themselves down.”
The “record” of Stokes’ comments on Nanjing is decidedly mixed. On one hand, the claims made in Stokes’ book appear, almost word for word, in an article attributed to him in the March 2014 issue of WiLL, a hard right-wing Japanese magazine, edited by Kazuyoshi Hanada. Similar comments appear under Stokes’ name in a series of interviews in Yukan Fuji, a popular evening tabloid.
But, in the March issue of Voice Magazine, another Japanese-language publication, Stokes expresses a very different opinion on both subjects. In a translated response to a question about Nanjing by reporter Taka Daimaru, Stokes says that he “can’t support” right-wing arguments that the massacre never happened, because they “aren’t realistic.” Similar comments appear in an interview with journalist David McNeil that ran in the April issue of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine Number 1 Shimbun.
Despite the contradictions, Fujita, Daimaru and McNeill all say that they have faithfully reproduced their conversations with Stokes. Hanada was not available for comment.
“In the process of compiling the Japanese version of course I summarized or interpreted basically what he said,” Fujita said, adding that the quotation marks around the words Nanjing Massacre make it clear that he intended to convey Stokes’ position that the Chinese government has exaggerated the scale of the massacre, not that it is an outright lie.
Japanese readers, however, have interpreted the text differently. In a tweet sent two days before the interview, for example, one wrote that Stokes claims “there is not even one piece of evidence that the Nanjing Massacre occurred.”
That conclusion could not be further from the truth, Stokes says.
Over the course of multiple interviews with Kyodo News beginning on April 5, Stokes repeatedly expressed a view on Nanjing that directly contradicts the remarks attributed to him in both his own book and the articles in WiLL and Yukan Fuji.
“I don’t come within ten-thousand miles of this stuff as a position,” he said, dismissing the view that Nanjing is a fabrication as “ludicrous,” “fatuous” and “utterly, utterly asinine.”
“The stance I take is that ghastly events occurred in Nanjing,” Stokes said, adding that he does, however, disagree with Chinese assessments that 300,000 people died during the six days when the Imperial Japanese Army overran China’s then capital. He also objects to the use of the term massacre, preferring the more anodyne “Nanjing Incident.”
Stokes’ claims are supported by one of the project’s transcriptionists, who resigned for “ethical concerns” stemming from what she described as major differences between Fujita’s interviews with Stokes and the book’s contents. The text, she said, takes out of context or deliberately ignores several of Stokes’ statements, especially on the subject of Nanjing and the comfort women.
Stokes’ career as Tokyo bureau chief for the left of center New York Times, where he worked from 1978 to 1983, makes him the perfect vehicle for providing credibility to historical revisionists’ arguments against Japan’s responsibility for wartime atrocities, according to Takesato Watanabe, a professor of media ethics at Doshisha University in Kyoto.
Fujita admits this was a consideration in producing the book. “If I wrote this,” Fujita said, “people would say that I’m right-wing or a revisionist, and the things I say can’t be trusted, because I’m defending Japan.”
“If a foreign correspondent says it for me,” he added, “no matter what the content . . . people will say it’s interesting.”
Although Fujita played a major role in the book’s production, “without Kase-sensei (Mr. Kase), this publication was not possible,” he said, adding that he had consulted with Kase on the book’s topics and what questions to ask Stokes.
While admitting that he introduced Stokes to the book’s publisher, Kase denied that he had any direct role in writing it or that he knew about Fujita’s additions. Kase wrote the book’s afterword.
Stokes met Kase, who describes himself as a “diplomatic critic,” in the late 1960s. In the years following, Kase became an adviser to former Prime Ministers Takeo Fukuda and Yasuhiro Nakasone.
Kase, 77, has stayed active in conservative political circles in Japan. In addition to his position as the chairman of the revisionist group, he has been involved with several other right-wing organizations, most notably as a “representative” and “auditor” to the board of directors of the Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference), a hard-right political group with links to the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In November 2012, Kase’s name appeared alongside Abe’s in a full-page newspaper advertisement in the New Jersey newspaper The Star-Ledger that described comfort women as high-paid prostitutes and made a number of additional claims that closely resemble those found in Stokes’ book. The ad instructs readers “eager to look further into the truth” to visit the website of the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact.
This is not the first time that Kase’s name has appeared in connection with a literary sleight of hand. In the 1990s, a Korean journalist accused the prolific author of ghostwriting “Minikkui Kankokujin” (“Ugly Koreans”), a Japanese best-seller that argues Japan’s occupation of Korea had been good for the country. The book’s original author later came forward and accused Kase of making substantial revisions to the text, which was published under a Korean pen name. Kase says he “corrected” the book, but denies writing it.
Stokes has requested that Fujita issue a correction to his book. Fujita says that he will correct the record in a forthcoming English edition, but there are currently no plans to amend the existing text.
Contacted by Kyodo News, the publisher said that he was “surprised” by the allegations and that if true a correction would be issued.
Despite his objections, Stokes refuses to assign blame for the book’s contents to the men he calls friends.
No matter how much he may disagree with the end result, “If I’ve been taken advantage of, it’s with my complicity,” Stokes said. “And, it’s my responsibility and my fault.”

[We felt as important to publish here the whole story of JT as document to future researchers]


Part III

The FCCJ magazine Number 1 Shimbun journalist comments about the right wing attacks (in the Sankei group for instance) against foreign media in current edition of the press club magazine. Editor is Gregory Starr. 

Siegfried Knittel
Freelance journalist (Germany)

Martin Fackler
New York Times (USA)

Henry Scott Stokes
Yukan Fuji columnist 

Joël Legendre-Koizumi
RTL France Broadcasting (France)

Justin McCurry
The Guardian (UK)

Fuyuko Nishisato
Producer, ZDF TV (Germany)

David McNeill
The Independent (UK)





En langue française:

"Au Japon, fausse audace économique, vrai nationalisme"par Katsumata Makoto.

Le Japon à l’heure du virage nationaliste, par Martine Bulard.

Last but not least, the video of the conservative Fujita asking to retrial Tokyo Trials

video


“The Henry S. Stokes nationalist book controversy” on Youtube.


Rq: The Tokyo War Crimes Trials (1946-1948) :
“On October 6 MacArthur received a directive, soon approved by the other Allied powers, granting him the authority to proceed with the major trials and giving him basic guidelines for their conduct. As they had done in Germany, the Allies set up three broad categories. "Class A" charges alleging "crimes against peace" were to be brought against Japan's top leaders who had planned and directed the war. Class B and C charges, which could be levelled at Japanese of any rank, covered "conventional war crimes" and "crimes against humanity," respectively. On December 23, 1948, General Tojo and six others were hung at Sugamo prison.” (PBS.org)


Conclusion

There is something sinister in this poor episode of what appears as a manipulation. An old man suffering form Parkinson disease is played-friend in this later sense of hypocrisies by a conservative right-winger and many others today in Japan are approaching the foreign observers and media to exonerate Japan from war crimes and history massacres during WW2 and early stage during the colonisation of Korea, China and South East Asia. 

Errors may have been happening in the search for justice from all parties. But it's maybe time now to review treaties of impunity and to finally agree to settle history cases in a spirit of fairness, equity and justice and to finally deliver, without equivocal statements, "Victim's Justice." A duty to honour for the peace, security and prosperity of East Asia and Pacific. 

In no way such a group of manipulators, without any desire to apologise and repair, may belong to the collective of FCCJ Bona Fide members unless an "Amende honorable" is properly addressed and a review by the Board of Directors of what happened within the walls of our news gathering devoted institution.



Update May 13, 2014 

The Parkinsonian suffering author changed his mind. But the Kyodo press agency keeps its first recorded interpretation: "...Kyodo News in turn released a statement dated Friday, saying it was “confident in the accuracy of the article,” which it said “drew on its interview with the former Tokyo bureau chief.” The agency also said the interview was taped."

in Time, Kirk Spitzer news-story: “Lucy Birmingham, president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, said the foreign press corps in Japan has come under increasing attack from conservative news media for alleged anti-Japanese bias in recent years, and pressure to toe the line is likely to continue. “It’s difficult to know exactly what Henry Scott Stokes’ views are. He has been quoted as saying diametrically different things in different publications,” says Birmingham, a freelance writer who has written for TIME and other publications."