Saturday, June 12, 2010

Japan ranked number 3 on the Global Peace Index

But the Empire of Mutants lacks Great Communicators!

"We are in an epoch different to any other epoch in human history. The problems we are facing are global in nature. They include climate change, ever decreasing biodiversity, full use of the fresh water on the planet and underpinning all these – overpopulation. Without peace we will be unable to achieve the levels of cooperation, inclusiveness and social equity required to begin solving these challenges, let alone empower the international institutions needed to regulate them.

It is impossible to accurately portray the devastating effects that global challenges will have on us all unless unified global action is taken. Our shared challenges call for global solutions, and these solutions will require cooperation on a global scale unparalleled in human history."

Japan is the number 3 in this Global Index.

Details: Japan has no nuclear weapons, is not in conflict with any other country and has not even officially army. Nothing more natural than to place among the most peaceful countries in the world.

The Institute for Economics and Peace (FPI) has given the third position this week in its Global Peace Index (GPI). The overall index of Peace, published for the fourth time is calculated from 23 indicators for 149 countries surveyed, including the military budget, the number of internal and external conflicts, terrorism risk and in relations with countries neighbors.

In its report, the IEP believes that as New Zealand, ranking first, Japan has "a low level of militarization." In reality, though no longer officially an army since the end of the Second World War, an amendment to its 1953 Constitution allows Japan to have a force known as self-defense. It is also protected by the USA nuclear umbrella with military forces stationed on both Japan and New Zealand.

Is it a biased vision and a wrong analysis?

According to the International Institute on Peace Research, based in Stockholm, the military budget of Japan is also the sixth world. With $ 51 billion in 2009, the budget is far from those of the United States or China, but is equivalent to those of France, the United Kingdom and Russia. On the other hand relations with its neighbors, particularly China and North Korea, are not idyllic. The U.S. forces stationed on Japanese soil are also there to see to it.

Japan is in any case by far the highest ranked Asian in the North East. South Korea is 43rd, China 80th and North Korea is among the last countries in the 139th position. The countries of northern Europe's perceived as most pacifists, including Iceland second. France is ranked 32nd, the U.S. 85th and Iraq brought up the rear for the fourth consecutive year. Costa Rica the first country in the world have abolished its army, is ranked 26th.

A Japan that is innovative and creative

"Recent trends in animation, gaming, and youth fashion show a Japan that is innovative and creative, with more and more Japanese original content of interest internationally. An analysis of these trends provide interesting insight into the latest business and cultural landscape in Japan, with the Internet as a key enabler. Japan has historically been derided as a poor innovator, albeit a strong improver and refiner of external technology and ideas. Recent trends in content creation and export provide a counter-example to this perception, according to the GLG group who was one of the rare who spotted the trend a couple of years ago.

Today: 2010: Japan more than ever opened to Creation, Youth and Women. The "Wakai" are rich, educated, stylish, and self-awareness and individuality on the rise. Never more happy than now. How? Rule number 1: Not to copy and paste Japan elders sacrificed generation of hard working Oto-san and Oka-san* image in their life.

As the President of Chanel, and talented novel's author Richard Collasse told me at our fist encounter, years ago, at the Chateau Restaurant of Joel Robuchon in Tokyo Ebisu, "Japan is the Republic of Women!" I thought this observation would be over after the numerous financial shocks Japan shared with the international community. Financial, social, lack of confidence. But not at all. Japan remains the Republic of Women and they with the youth are leading the archipelago towards new shores of innovation, wealth and values.

Youth of Japan leave in the most populated and modern city in the world and created their own life style. Not only they flourished for years on top of the highest rate of graduated engineers but they add to this a new brand: their own life value: Pop culture, social networks, art and export it to Paris, London, New York, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Shanghai...

Combination of the duality that works: Innovation and security is implanted in their social pattern, anti-crime measures are efficient, and Japan offers her cultural specificity and maximal amount of initiative to the population in the education sector. Does not mean all is rosy in this archipelago and Asian gazette often quotes media reports on local ineptness.

Japan the Empire of Mutants

In spite of severe social troubles caused by the international financial crisis crushing waves of households, Japan holds tight! For how long time? Some critics of the new Hatoyama and Kan DPJ administration such as Morita Minoru commented on the illusion of the DPJ manifesto. For Morita-san, Japan did not change for the best he said, but maybe for the worst. Is it why the youngsters in politics such as the "ordinary man" son of a salary man, Naoto Kan tries to kill Ozawa, the political Don?

True, it often looks like current surveys and polls companies under steroids show a bunch of new comers all born under the LDP rule ready to copy and paste LDP's recipes. But that does not make the daily life of Japanese. Just Japan's TV's idiotizing machines try to scalp Japanese senses. In the reality, the Japanese society developed an inner level of immunization that bewilders lots of Japan watchers. Precisely: Let's focus on the Japanese youth, certainly one of the most fascinating social group to watch because of their "detachment" and hi-level creativity. One place crystalizes all of this trends of a never ending moving megalopolis: Tokyo, Shibuya, a mecca with the most creative and successful trends and ventures.

Quotes: "Shibuya is a convergence of people and activities. Below ground several train lines come together delivering untold numbers of passengers to the heart of Tokyo. When they emerge at Hachiko Crossing, they encounter a vast intersection where thousands pour across the street at each turn of the light. They are businessmen, students, internationals, shoppers, and gawkers of all ages and types. Above the crowd, dominating the sides of buildings, the faces of celebrities and "pop idols" appear on giant video screens in music videos and commercials, though it's hard to draw a line between the two. Hundreds and thousands of young people on the streets below are trying to emulate their latest haircuts and clothing...

... On an individual level, Shibuya is a full of people wanting to connect with others. There is a statue of a dog at the station entrance that is a favorite meeting point for friends. "The Dog" is constantly surrounded by tens or hundreds of people waiting, talking, smoking and clutching cell phones.

Others are trying to connect with an audience. They come to Shibuya to be noticed and heard. You have the usual assortment of slick guys in sunglasses and women with Luis Vuitton bags, but that's barely the start.

Street performers cluster near the station entrance. On recent visits, there was an odd young man. He had a boom box at his feet playing a series of beats, and he was "singing" in a monotone, lifeless sort of way. Every once in awhile, he lifted his hand in a loose fist (as if that took all of his remaining energy) and weakly shook his fist (his voice even changed pitch a bit). The small crowd that paused around him were thoroughly confused. At one point, he even struck an Elvis pose, in slow motion. I imagine he will be quite famous if he keeps it up. That's the nature of things here. Another group that were better musically and more lively will probably be forgotten..."

One thing Japan seems to get more involved with: Love! More on the Twitts and social networks. The place where the news are.


It looks like other Japan watchers have the same perception: "G20 Girls: Japan’s girls break out of the mould "

"They’ve mesmerized every tourist who has done Tokyo: young girls in big pink hair, huge frilly dresses and theatrical makeup. On the pedestrian malls at Harajuku and Shibuya subway stations, they move among the crowds like animated cartoon characters — which is precisely the point. The girls have modelled themselves on them, after all."

NB: Oto-san: Dad, Oka-san: Mom

Sources: GPI,, agencies, Reporter's Notes

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