Thursday, April 14, 2016

What if a U.S. president decided to pray at Hiroshima?

I worked with one of my RTL France Paris based colleagues on how to describe this hypothetical visit of USA president Barack Obama to Hiroshima in May 2016 along the Ise-Shima G7 Summit. Needless to see that Japan would not mind at all such visit, political gain naturally. It would also help reaffirming to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Japan’s 3 non-nuclear principles. They were adopted in a parliamentary resolution in 1971 but were never adopted into real law. 3 non-nuclear principles that Mr Abe had forgotten in his successive Hiroshima speeches starting August 6, 2013.

The dance of life & the dance of death - Peacenews info

This happening of Obama going to Hiroshima, linked or not with apologies for the first atomic bombing, is very complicated option and quite tricky. If Obama goes, bows and prays, it would be seen as an act of humanity and faith in peace. If he was to choose to apologise for the killing of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, it would risk to transform into a massive disapproval of past US policies during war time. Spin doctors already are on the run and selected Hiroshima victims have been quoted as saying that they do not wish Obama apologies. There is also a risk and the risk is that it would downplay or whitewash Japan's military aggression in Asia, in Indochina, and during the war in the Pacific. Japan has a heavy responsibility but Japanese were transformed into tools of other people hegemony. Majority paid a hard price too.

That's why I recommended Paris to interview a French scholar, Franck Michelin, a rare French expert of Asian wars and world war II at Meiji University, Tokyo. Problem is if the US & Allies & Foes have to go to bow to battle fields and war zones since 19th century, historians might be embarrassed to analyse the reasons and motives why these wars were then launched. And doesn't it open the right for humanitarian and financial compensations? After all, once you apologise, creating a precedent, couldn't the victims "re-request" a "pretium doloris" the price of pain? Beyond Hiroshima and treaties. Let's imagine also Tokyo civilian population whose families were killed, burnt during March 9-10, 1945 Tokyo Bombing, boiled alive in the water of the Sumida river by incendiary napalm bombs. What if a U.S. president decided to pray at Hiroshima? What if a U.S. president say sorry for Hiroshima?

Liberation, invasion, occupation, colonisation? Are we here facing again a US G-7 politics great  scheme of communication on the theme of "Yes we can" go to Hiroshima with the risk that it will be the only agenda and minimise the rest of the G-7 summit, are we to hear true USA sense of guilt or apologies for the bombing of innocent civilians? Is it then to become, simply and naturally, the act of a simple man, watching the daily abomination of war and terrorism and saying at the end of his mandate and visiting Japan: Enough!

But it could be also much more tricky. Aren't we aiming at an offensive plan towards some Asia regional trouble makers such as paranoid North Korea dictatorship? Against a dangerous rival, China?

A bow and a pray by Nobel prize Barack Obama, the U.S. president, 71 years after, in front of Hiroshima Memorial would be most amazing political act of this early 21st century. It would shake favourably and deeply the course of our world and of our history, give courage to the Americans and allies of World War 2. No, it wouldn't be a simple visit and bow, it would generate a formidable course for peace, a powerful political impact on public sentiment and national policies.

Hiroshima was the first city ever attacked using a nuclear weapon. The explosion and then the radiation generated by the A-bomb killed 140 000 people by the end of 1945.

By the way, I read today that Nagasaki requests similar visit by Barack Obama, asking ambassador Caroline Kennedy to make it possible under the "let's make Nagasaki the last place where an atomic bomb was dropped..."

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Les jeunes diplômés japonais sont les plus heureux au monde par Joel Legendre-Koizumi (Noel Clercq)

Ici Radio Canada "Les jeunes diplômés japonais sont les plus heureux au monde" par Joel Legendre-Koizumi (Noel Clercq) "The young Japanese graduates are the happiest in the world"

En costume cravate, tailleur ou en bleu de travail, l’archipel japonais garantit aux jeunes diplômés du travail enfin ceux et celles qui le veulent vraiment. A l'occasion de l'entrée au bureau et usine de ces dizaines de milliers de nouvelles recrues sur le marché du travail en ce début avril, je fais le point sur ce système vraiment particulier au Japon, avec Joane Prince, présentatrice de Infomatin Ici Radio Canada mardi 5 avril 2016, matinale. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The second Ozawa's dream is now: Minshinto 民進党 - The Democratic Party

L: Democratic Party leader Katsuya Okada. 
C: Acting party leader Kenji Eda
R: Secretary General Yukio Edano 

The second Ozawa's dream is now: Minshinto, for a Japan's renewed opposition? Really? Minshinto (民進党 The Democratic Party), formed from the merger between the Democratic Party of Japan and the Japan Innovation Party, officially inaugurated at party convention on March 27, 2016. Not exactly a new party, remember the early 90's... Morihiro Hosokawa 細川 護煕 and Masayoshi Takemura 武村 正義 New Harbinger Party also called New Party Sakigake 新党さきがけ - Shinto Sakigake) centrist party, reformist and moderate Green led by Takemura and among them a person called Naoto Kan who became a diva after revealing the HIV tainted blood scandal in his ministry of Health while in the Hashimoto cabinet.

Masayoshi Takemura 

Hosokawa and Masayoshi Takemura win the July 18, 1993 general election. (1993 RFI Radio France assigned me to Japan, my 1st Foreign Correspondent assignment here after Seoul and Beijing) I saw how Sakigake joined the 8 party coalition led by Morihiro Hosokawa then elected prime minister. It was the first government without the LDP since 1955 ! Japanese rubbed their eyes!! Then Japan witnessed the big inner fight. The coalition government collapsed after 10 months when Socialist Party and New Party Sakigake left the government. I saw Takamura really mad at Hosokawa. Takemura was finance minister in the coalition cabinet led by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in July 1994. Some say that Hosokawa government fell apart over the introduction of consumption tax, with Ministry of Finance officials conspiring with Hosokawa to keep coalitions partners in the dark over their plans. Read Brown, J. Robert (1999) in "The Ministry of Finance: Bureaucratic Practices and the Transformation of the Japanese Economy." Greenwood Press.

The Socialists  decided to form a Grand coalition government with LDP and Sakigake in 1994, returning the LDP to power. That was the mariage of rain and fire. New Party Sakigake working with government of socialists Murayama Tomiichi, for a never imagined sulphurous government coalition of LDP and Japan Socialist Party! In 1998 Sakigake comes back to a conservative stance and in 2001 drops the "New" before it lost all seats at the Diet and changes name to... Green Assembly (みどりの会議 Midori no kaigi)

Interesting that the most resilient conservatives turned to centrist then green before to realign elsewhere... Great book to read by my honorable Facebook friend Gerry Curtis (2013). "The Logic of Japanese Politics: Leaders, Institutions, and the Limits of Change" Columbia University Press

Kenji Eda has a future if he can become a more smiling and more poisonous politician... Okayama prefecture, Todai, Harvard, ex LDP, then independent, enemy of ex Yoshimi Watanabe (good point) and ended also Japan Innovation Party, the party started by Toru Hashimoto (good point bis repetita) and if he ends his goal to "change Japan by abolishing bureaucracy-led politics, fighting vested interests and breaking the centralisation of power..."

Kenji Eda could also help Japanese and the world elsewhere to exactly see a clear stand of political principles by ending changing parties, groups, alliances, formation, policies (#Hollandisation of politics) etc. A clear stand, exactly what Koizumi and Abe did when deciding once for ever their policy making.

Jiang Zemin and Masayoshi Takemura 10 July 1996

Friday, March 18, 2016

Journalism? "Nothing matches the experience" Mediapart Philippe Ries said in Tokyo

Journalism: Emmott, Horsley, Mezzetti & Ries - Fccj 17th March 2016 - Tokyo

In the middle of the Fukushima crisis, in 2011, foreign media were criticised by Japanese authorities during Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano while Tepco was not telling the truth to Japanese and foreign audiences. Today 5 years after, similar pressure still continues with attacks by members of current administration of PM Shinzo Abe. Attacks against Japanese famous commentators and attacks against foreign media corporations. 

In Japan, these days under the nationalist administration of PM Abe, critics say that letters are being sent by those in power to the Japanese media before elections to tell them to be "fair in their reporting", it's an "indirect pressure favorable to those in power" William Horsley, ex BBC Tokyo, commented in Tokyo March 17, 2016 at a journalists' event held at the press club. 

"Having the ability to resist" "self-censorship" "complacency in our information age" "it's wrong to ask scholars to talk instead of foreign correspondents" are a few comments at a fascinating and refreshing conference at the Fccj Tokyo March 17, 2016. "Nothing matches the experience" ex AFP and current Mediapart Philippe Ries commented in sumarizing the event. 

Here is the VDO of the event :

Saturday, March 12, 2016

" Earthquake Tsunami Fukushima 5 years after" - "Tsunami la fin d'un monde"

"Earthquake Tsunami Fukushima 5 years after" - "Tsunami la fin d'un monde"
Reportage URL:

Extensive coverage and reportage of people's life in Japan on March 11th 2016, reports aired Friday on BFMTV JT05:00 09:30, TV5Monde JT08:00, RTL morning and midday, MEDI 1 Int'l and a radio news magazine on MEDI1 Internationale about tsunami and Fukushima for reporting atmosphere 13 minutes): "Tsunami la fin d'un monde -Tsunami the end of the world" Large couverture de l'information et reportages sur la catastrophe du Tohoku et de Fukushima 5 ans après, au Japon le 11 Mars 2016. Mes reportages et commentaires ont été diffusés vendredi 11/03/2016 sur BFMTV JT05: 00 09:30, sur TV5Monde JT08:00, sur RTL en matinale et mi-journée, sur MEDI 1 Int'l en matinale dans un news-magazine témoignage en radio (durée 13 minutes sur le tsunami et Fukushima) intitulé: "Tsunami la fin du monde." J'avais présenté un autre reportage sur Radio Canada en matinale le 17 Février 2016 dans la centrale nucléaire dévastée de Fukushima Dai-Ichi. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Fukushima Daiichi, 5 ans après la catastrophe!" Reportage

"Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant" - 2011

Mon reportage en langue française à "Fukushima Daiichi - 福島第一原子力発電所" sur ‪#‎Radio_Canada‬ 17 Février 2016 05h15 dans "Info matin ICI Radio-Canada Première", journal de Joane Prince, à la 8è minute. My report to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, 5 years after "3/11 in French langage on Radio Canada. (Mon nom de plume sur Radio TV Canada: Noël Clercq)


I am watching Fukushima reactor 4 through the Tepco bus window - Pool report

Radio Canada programme "Info matin ICI Radio-Canada Première" de Joane Prince

"ASTRO H" lancement réussi depuis Tanegashima

Mon reportage sur ‪‎TV5Monde‬ dans le JT de 13:30 (21:30 Tokyo) du lancement réussi, le 17 février depuis Tanegashima, préfecture de Kagoshima au Japon, de la fusée japonaise de la JAXA "H-2A" et du satellite "ASTRO-H" aux 200 miroirs et rayons X qui vont observer notre univers...(my report on Japan launch of Japanese H-IIA rocket ASTRO-H mission)

Voici l'URL pour l'application TV5Monde pour smartphone

TV5Monde en direct (live)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"We will never go back and sit again in a direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations"

 L: Palestinian Foreign minister Riad Al Malki 
R: Fccj moderator Dr. Imad Ajami - Fccj Tokyo

L: Joel Legendre-Koizumi (Groupe RTL France) 
R: Foreign minister Riad Al Malki - Fccj Tokyo

Palestinian foreign minister Riad Al Malki on Monday February 15, 2016 at the press club in Tokyo said Palestinians born under the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which began in 1967, have seen nothing “but humiliation, soldiers’ check-points, deaths and killing”. "We will never go back and sit again in a direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations." Malki emphasised that a multilateral framework to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is needed and he praised an initiative discussed late last month by France to revive plans for an international conference to end the conflict.

But when I asked to Riad Al Malki about the risk of violence should no agreement be reached at the UNSC, Malki warned that without international involvement a vacuum will be left that may end up being filled by the Islamic State jihadist group. "If Daesh take advantage of lack of any brokers... then of course, they might come and try to fill it," he said, referring to Islamic State.

"If the Americans are giving up and the Europeans don't have the courage to do anything and Arabs are really worried about their own problems, what do you expect? Extremists around might take over." 

Five Palestinians, including three teenagers, were killed while carrying out attacks Sunday, the latest in a wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car assaults on Israelis

An Israeli official responded to Maliki's comments saying, "Israel knows peace will be achieved by direct negotiations. It seems the Palestinians know that as well, and that is why they do not want direct negotiations."

During a meeting between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe, Abe pledged $78 million in fresh economic assistance, according to Jiji Press and Kyodo News. Abe also "expressed Japan's intention to continue its political and economic support so that Palestine will be an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous state," Kyodo said.

Comment from one foreign journalist from the Arabic world: "It's all a matter of power competition“ Hamas, Israel and the U.S.

Pictures ©2016 Joel Legendre-Koizumi (Groupe RTL France) and ©2016 Khaldon Azhari, PanOrient News at FCCJ 15 Feb 2016.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tokyo "e il suo tempo"

Tokyo metropolitan art museum

After Leonardo da Vinci at Ryogoku Edo Tokyo museum, we visited Ueno Tokyo metropolitan art museum for Botticelli exhibition. Certainly admirable but there are actually very few works of art from both da Vinci and Botticelli.

Exhibitions introduce far too many minor work, details of apprentices or sketches. Already noticed at recent Gauguin exhibition in Shiodome. In the end, an impression to be caught in the nets of promoters instead of spending immeasurable pleasures for a few hours. Paris, London, New York etc museums remain the very top in quality, critics said...

Let's hope Tokyo, capital of Japan, will invest less in ridiculous public work and costly buildings to grease the wheels of Abe and Masuzoe political machines, and think about a policy to transform Tokyo into a hub of beauty, creativity and authenticity for creators and artists, past and contemporary.
"Japan economic animals" are very disappointing beyond their business obsessions seen post World War II. With the too few international recognition results noticed by severe overseas watchers. Inspired though by overseas creators and geniuses, Tokyo remains very disappointing in the field of art with the old Japan running according to one sole principle : profitability. Urk...

PS: Many free lands remain abandoned for various reasons in Tokyo and as soon as the land owner or relatives have got the land grabbed by the real estate quasi gangsters, buildings without any style and originality appear (nor earthquakes resistance apparently). Why not a "law" to force each ward or chome to build modern and environment friendly seniors care-centers and nursery schools on currently abandoned land of Tokyo? Mr Masuzoe said he is the richest mayor of the world. What is he waiting for making his city better and agreeable for elders and young couples desperate to have a family and social services in accordance with basic expectation from politicians and to challenge, say, the so called demographic bomb of Japan and plenty of other city afflictions...? Now don't tell me that I forgot that mafia runs large part of the metropolis!

* Tokyo "e il suo tempo": Tokyo et son temps"

Translated from French.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Kobe Earthquake 21 years ago!

The Great Hanshin earthquake (阪神・淡路大震災 Hanshin Awaji daishinsai). The name of the Kobe earthquake on Tuesday January 17, 1995 at 05:46:53 JST. I covered all week the events for France Inter France Info RFI etc at that time as the first French reporter on zone while authorities were shy of showing real pictures of the damage until around 0900 am for Japan TV state channel. Local country was in chaos, prime minister Murayama (Japanese Socialist Party) has been criticised as he refused the sending of armed forces to rescue the victims. I was in Kobe region on January 17 in the evening catching the first Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kobe but we had to stop at Kyoto for risk of new quakes. Then after securing a room in a hotel in Kyoto I decided to reach Kobe. Not much transportation of course. Chaos. I then walked from Osaka to Kobe and reported there during a week. I could sleep there (as a refugee with Japanese homeless near by city hall) By following Friday in my evening news report I voiced that 5.000 people had died. Some further reports mentioned 6000 to 10 000 died a year after, with lots of homeless remaining. Today there are still homeless from the Kobe earthquake... One thing had been criticised then was the refusal of Japanese customs officers to let French Firemen of Paris come to help and rescue Kobe victims with their Pompiers de Paris's dogs which I heard Chirac had specially sent to Japan. Later on, the European leader Mrs. Cresson (European Commissioner for Research, Science and Technology) was one of the first leader to visit Kobe as a testimony of support.

Update today Jan 17, 2016
"33 seniors die ‘lonely deaths’ in 2015 at public housing for Kobe 1995 quake victims"

KOBE--Thirty-three elderly people died alone and unnoticed in 2015 in public housing units for victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, the lowest figure since 2000, Hyogo prefectural police said.

The number of “kodokushi” (lonely deaths) was down by seven from 2014. Their bodies were eventually discovered among a total of 265 buildings in Hyogo Prefecture used mainly by people whose homes were destroyed in the 1995 earthquake.

The average age of the 33 was 75.1. Twenty-five were 65 years old or older, accounting for 75.8 percent of the kodokushi. Three were in their 90s, 11 in their 80s and nine in their 70s.

Illnesses caused 22 of the deaths. Two died in accidents, such as choking on food. One death was a suicide.

The bodies of 17 of the seniors were discovered within a day of their deaths. But in one case, the body was found five months after death.

Jan. 17 will mark the 21st anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, which killed more than 6,400 people, destroyed buildings and homes, and forced thousands to live in temporary housing.

The highest number of kodokushi in Hyogo Prefecture was 77 in 2002.