Monday, December 31, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Quest for common value: Japan and China utopia

What value do Japan and China share in common except images of two nations infatuated by contempt and short sighted stubbornness of past leaders? Prior to Japanese prime minister Fukuda's visit to the country of Confucius, there is not much constructive talks that is murmured about what could be sketched on the way to achieve major progress in their bilateral relations and Asia house building. I mean in the non - sino - american condominium way. But is this timidity a pre-requisite as a first step into the right direction? They finally decided to talk to each other and call at each other's.

Raising the banner of progress and happiness is not enough. The question for China and Japan remains: how to re discover the limit, the sense of proportion and avoid theatrical stances and at what realistic price? "This form of paranoia and unprecedented social dementia reactions will occur again, unpredictable. One has never played the impunity road-map of the "de-civilisation." (Historian Pierre Legendre in "Dominium Mundi". "La theatralisation est inherente a l'espece douee de parole." (Click the title to access to the article)

Light output so far. Yielding on environmental empty pledges, doing nothing on hot talks such as China Sea territorial struggle, achieving nothing on massive reduction of defense spending, not reviewing historical, political, technological and cultural program drive to the expected fate: Utopia! As if Japan and China had never succeeded in getting out of the post colonialism values system dictated by bigger powers, far away nations. Japan remains unable to wake up and move on reform on the spiritual scale of what was achieved in the Meiji revolution (yes a revolution, not a mere "renovation", which means that there were people who lost their lives). Tokyo neither assumes its sovereignty on foreign affairs nor boost its defense on his own feet while China is too eager to show off building its condominium world-stage. Tokyo sneezes when Beijing shouts and the world is bored, so is my editor when he watches Japan news wires.

Not an easy task. How could decades of suspicion, confrontations, trade - only would shift into a paradigm of harmoniously built relation, a perception of common destiny? First, there is no shortcut to playing a greater role internationally than in deleting misconceptions. Second, building common shared values, integrate, assimilate. The "metissage we say in French." And to achieve this pyramidal-size political objective, as Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: "There is one necessity that is to dissipate history in a society that claims herself as equalitarian". Probably up to the next - next generation.

In the twenty-first century especially, wouldn't it be in the interest of national power to follow Tocqueville advises as power depends more on the accuracy of the validated domestic institutions and on country’s openness to flow goods, people, money, and ideas? Therefore favoring integration is not the utopia. Without fundamental reform in the Asian village, how Japan and China will educate their children, train their youth, provide ease for its elderly, interact with the global village, culturally, economically, and contribute to the world peace and safe-environment... How will neighbors use workforce and conduct politics in the fair way. Behind the myth of enrichment, a huge populations remains in need and is not in total anesthesia, unsatisfied with their leaders lack of imagination and policies ' diversity.

Hu and Fukuda have not yet reached the variable that might boost confidence outside. Tokyo and Beijing governments need to be more concerned about these aspects of life than about the outward robot-alike manifestations of strength.

"Architects of the modern Japanese state have to understand that national power depends on the quality of domestic institutions. It will determine where Japan will go from 2007." The question is not to reinvigorate Japan and China's muscles but to create a new code of behavior in international relations, a model's role of harmonious values, not an easy task as Professor Amako of Waseda told foreign correspondents and diplomats at a Foreign Press Center (FPCJ) briefing: "These values still have to be created." "Maybe harmony" is a sound road-map.

"Opera mundi" and show-off only politics, is it ?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Commercial whaling: Has it ever stopped ?

Isn't it a gorgeous image of what nature is if kept free ?

It would have been too nice gift for a Xmas day... and Japan once again might have fallen after taking its feet in the carpet? Really? Well, technically not. Commercial whaling never stopped so it can't re-start! Oh, boys!

Facts: Japan's plan to hunt whales in the Antarctic for the purpose of "scientific study" was temporarily suspended on December 21, 2007. Although they still plan on hunting whales in other areas, Japan's Antarctic mission was especially controversial because they had planned on killing not only 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales, but also up to 50 humpbacks. A global moratorium on hunting humpbacks was put in place in the mid-1960s, when it was discovered that humpbacks were on the verge of extinction.

Japan, which says whaling is part of its culture, is carrying out the hunt in the Antarctic Ocean using a loophole in a 1986 global moratorium on commercial whaling that allows "lethal research" on the giant mammals.

The Japan Fisheries Agency argues for ages that whales are just another type of marine resource and should be treated like fish. Many countries, including USA, Scandinavia, Japan and Britain, engaged in over-whaling in the history, especially in the early decades of the 20th century, leading to a sharp decrease in stocks. But "now some species have increased to the point that limited catches will not put them at risk of extinction," according to Tokyo.

Japan in fiscal 2006, produced some 4,154 tons of whale meat as a byproduct of the research, down from 5,560 tons in fiscal 2005. Recently as Australia and other countries and conservation groups heated up their outcry against Japan's whaling program, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura announced that Japan would not go after humpbacks while talks on reforming the IWC are under way.

So it stopped? No! Puzzled...? Why should Japan stop a whaling campaign as it looks to some observers that Japan never stopped the commercial whaling and did it with a catch of about 182 pieces a year! How come? Some of this explanation were aired last night on the BBC by an astute commentator (waiting for the "Père Noël" gifts). I am told by a precious source, quote:" that Japan coastal whaling industry has a quota of 62 Baird's Beaked Whales (tsuchi), 100 Short Finned Pilot Whales (gondō) and 20 Risso's Dolphins (hanagondō)". So to speak. (Click the title to access the MP3 of BBC to listen to the BBC program.)

Final point: Why is it that Japan carry on with killing whales? "One big reason is that it evokes a sense of nationalism and that Japan does not want to stop whaling simply because it is told to do so by Western countries, including those that encouraged Japanese to eat whale meat after the war, when other food sources were scarce," according to some critics expressed in the local press.

Question: The "Japan's barbaric whale slaughter" as some organizations said is indeed bad sight, but isn't it the same regarding all hunting forms, including barbaric slaughter of turtle, elephant, gorilla, tiger, shark, fox and deer, not really basic food, er?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

NATO wants more in Asia

Difficult course for NATO in Afghanistan, when his chief came to visit FCCJ for a breakfast, I asked Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the Press club of Tokyo whether NATO should become involved in the fight against narcotics in Afghanistan and Scheffer told me that the organization needed to concentrate on improving security. "What NATO should avoid in Afghanistan is being responsible or being held responsible for everything."

Violence in the southern sector has climbed sharply since ISAF took over more than a year ago, but NATO allies have been reluctant to provide all the troops and equipment that were promised more than a year ago. Among the forces that have so far failed to materialize are three infantry battalions, some 3,000 trainers primarily for the police, and about 20 helicopters. Scheffer admitted NATO was also "lagging behind" in its efforts to train the Afghan national army. "That is an ambition we have not fulfilled and I think we should fulfill. I'm very critical about my allies there as well,".

The NATO chief also voiced frustration at a shortfall of coalition troops needed in Afghanistan, saying he would keep pushing for reinforcements. "I'm not entirely happy with what we have on the ground and in the air in Afghanistan," visiting NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said. Scheffer said NATO had about 90 percent of the ground troops that it needed to battle a resurgent Taliban. NATO is ". During the meeting with our press members, there was a straight request for France to do more. France president Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed he would keep effort high on Paris Elysée agenda. Sarkozy just came to Kabul December 22nd under a very high military protection, escorted by 2 French Mirage 2000, and met with Afghan president Karzai and France troops.

What about training Afghan police and dealing seriously with the drug lords?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Korean startling election

Koreans grappling with high youth unemployment, an ever-widening income gap and soaring property prices gave the candidate whose slogan was "Economy First!" the unprecedented mandate despite a looming fraud investigation. Lee Myung-Bak won South Korea's presidential election by a landslide Wednesday, as voters backed the former Hyundai chief executive to revive the economy and disregarded fraud allegations against him.

(So he played in Winter Sonata too?)

GNP headquarters erupted with joy when exit polls flashed on a screen. Officials and supporters hugged each other, wept and yelled "Hurrah!" Thousands of others celebrated in the streets in near-zero temperatures, chanting "Lee Myung-Bak!" setting off firecrackers and cheering and dancing.

Lee, who turned 66 on polling day, will be the nation's first leader from a business background and the first president-elect to face a criminal inquiry. He will be inaugurated on February 25 to replace incumbent Roh Moo-Hyun, who congratulated his successor on his victory.

State prosecutors cleared Lee early this month of involvement in a 2001 share-rigging fraud involving his former business partner, an issue which had dogged his campaign. But apparent new video evidence surfaced Sunday of Lee's past connection to a firm linked to the scandal, prompting rivals in parliament to vote for an inquiry by an independent prosecutor. Media reports said the prosecutor may report just before the inauguration but most voters were clearly willing to accept the awkward situation.

My question is: what does Yong sama (Bae Yong Jun) and what does Yu Jin (Choi Ji Woo) both think about this electrifying election? Well, after Yong sama and Yu Jin give an answer, then and only then, as millions (tens of millions) of Japanese fans, I certainly will cast my ballot.

(Actor Yong sama & Actress Choi Ji Woo)

Might be that the Sunshine policy melts to all-time low too?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Of course the cold war is over...

According to Japan news agency, Japan successfully intercepted a ballistic missile in its first test launch of the SM-3 missile interceptor system from a warship in waters off Hawaii, reports said Tuesday. The Japanese destroyer Kongo launched a missile from waters off Kauai Island and successfully intercepted the mock target, another missile, fired from onshore on Monday. Now question: how to intercept a ballistic missile with a SM-3 when the ballistic missile flies several hundreds or thousands of kilometers above our heads...?

"Their introduction of missile defence systems, as far as I can tell, doesn't really have anything to do with defending Japan against missiles," said after North Korean missiles tests Robert Karniol, Asia-Pacific editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, adding he was skeptical of the systems' effectiveness. Involvement in missile defence is a political move enabling Tokyo to maintain its close security relationship with the United States and militarily useful in that it helps the two countries integrate their command and control systems, Karniol said. But Masatsugu Naya, a security expert at Hitotsubashi University, said missile defence could have a psychological effect even if it could not be relied upon to intercept all incoming missiles. "The question is whether they can shoot down a large enough percentage to make a launching country reconsider its plans," he said. "From that point of view it is effective." (Quotes from Reuters, June 23rd 2006 & The China Daily)

The cartoon is explicit enough: How to face the threats? Interesting debate a while ago, in Foreign Affairs: Quotes: "The Bush administration claims national missile defense can protect the United States from long-range missiles fired by rogue states. But that threat is trivial, and Washington's unilateralist approach to missile defense will only anger China and Russia while alienating U.S. allies." Click the title to access the Foreign Affairs article by John Newhouse. July August 2001 release.

Maybe a better solution is improving treaties and involve all parties on the checkers?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Japan got his gun! A new stealth fighter

Japan next-generation stealth fighters' project underway is nicknamed "Shinshin". It has been under development as ATDX at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Defense officials hope to have a test flight of the prototype, "Shinshin" or spirit, by the end of March 2014. Maybe before.

"Japan is tired with scandals linked to defense." Really? The word in Tokyo is that under Prime Minister Fukuda's administration, there are a lot of talking between politicians, bureaucrats and defense equipment manufacturers. Energetic opinions, sound explanations, yes a lot! One knows the passion of Japanese for harmonizing pro and cons, assessing local needs. Japan is to show his muscles?

"The balance seems to be set on mid to long term projects to favor boosting indigenous defense industry", according to our defense sources. It will require further discussions and clear cut choices. A shift, some say, from the Moriya Akiyama Miyazaki recent scandals where transpacific corporations fed a big pot of bribes and arrangements through cultural (not cultural at all) and institutions ghosts, including academics and well remunerated and inebriated go between, made to grease the complex mechanics of procurement decisions.

Hum, quite a lot of shameless people here, but most probably this is how it worked in Japan too. But things changed a few years ago. I remember attending some events of VIPs talking in secret resorts, some academics telling me clearly in Japanese : "We ll build defense materials as we built cameras and fax machines". But not all had ears to listen.

Today, the prediction seems so real. Japanese, because of alleged regional fears and of the mud thrown to the Bush administration in Iraq and Iran, decided to talk to other defense contractors in addition to their natural ally, this is also called a natural policy of diversification clearly set. Something new in town? Not really since Dejima sailors men.

In other words, Japan's care on progress of developing ATD-X follows successions of projects. Japanese being aware of the "well known" rumor about Chinese J-XX (or J-14) project. Added to the South Korean KFX, it's going to be interesting competition to watch.

[FNN TV on ATDX stealth jet]

Japan next-generation stealth fighters' entire project is expected to cost 46.6 billion yen (€285.2 million). Japan’s defense ministry wants a first test flight within five years. Mitsubishi Heavy Industry has been developing the jet with French help, who have been testing the Radar Cross-Section (defines the size and shape of the plane when viewed on a radar display.)

Japan's Technical Research & Development Institute (TRDI) disclosed images of the Mitsubishi ATD-X stealth fighter in the form of a full-scale radar cross-section (RCS) model. The Mitsubishi, creator of the feared Zero of WW2, ATD-X looks a bit like the French Rafale with its wings.

[Picture of the ATD-X]

It is in France at Bruz, near Rennes, in Bretagne's France's DGA defense agency's CELAR (center for military electronics) laboratory constructed the Solange indoor RCS range. A photo found here shows that Solange may be the biggest indoor RCS range in the world, capable of measuring a real fighter rather than a sub-scale mock-up.

[Picture of SOLANGE Anechoic Chamber - ECmwp realization (ANTEM design) Picture Antem/ DGA/CELAR (Chambre Anéchoïque de la base de mesures CHEOPS du CELAR (DGA)]

For a number of years, Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) has taken up a lion’s share of the budget, and continues to do so. Modernizing its fighter-interceptor fleet is very important, particularly in light of its neighbors’ efforts. China has already unveiled its new fighter, which is believed to be one of the most advanced used by any air force in the world today. Beijing is believed to be developing upgraded models with stealth capabilities, a J-XX...

[Pictures Chinese jet engineers]

Dual cooperation. The acquisitions by Japanese of new technologies and systems is built as a spider net, I remember attending Japan Italian defense seminar recently in Shiodome, all was well set during seminars to explain to each observer what Tokyo exactly was ready to give and take. I take here and there what I need to build my plane, my car, my software. "Why should we pay endlessly for what we can build on our own." A politician told me recently in Nagatacho (The Parliament hill of Tokyo).

Well, military aerospace cooperation is one of the projects Japan has with Europeans aerospace and defense manufacturers, an other big one being the new "Super-Concorde" to cut time for his speedy biz men.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Megumi Yokota, 13 ans, otage de Pyongyang!

Les parents Shigeru et Sakie Yokota, dont la fille Megumi a été enlevée en 1977 par la Corée du Nord à l'âge de 13 ans, ont lancé mercredi à Tokyo un appel à la coopération internationale pour tenter de résoudre la question des enlèvements de Japonais et d'autres ressortissants étrangers par le régime de Pyongyang.

Lors d'une rencontre avec les "Foreign Correspondents" (journalistes correspondants étrangers) à Tokyo, les parents Yokota ont souligné l'importance pour le Japon de maintenir la pression sur la Corée du Nord par le biais de sanctions qui sont actuellement en place pour tenter d'obtenir la libération des otages. Leur crainte: Que les USA abandonnent ces otages en levant les sanctions imposées sur le régime stalinien et que les otages disparaissent à jamais.

Les Yokota appuyés par des ONG, soutenus par le gouvernement japonais et par la communauté internationale demandent aux nations de travailler à une résolution des enlèvements. Une cinquantaine d'otages seraient concernés.

[©JLK. Photo de Shigeru (d.) et madame Sakie YOKOTA (g.) au Foreign Press Center, Tokyo 05 Déc 2007.]

D'autres développements, ici prochainement, sur l'espionnage de Pyongyang, et, sur les ténébreuses relations entre la Corée du nord et Japon, Corée du sud et les Etats Unis ainsi que des informations sur l'affaire des 3 français enlevés par des agents de Pyongyang, formellement identifiés comme otages en Corée du nord par Kim Hyun-hi, l'une des terroristes de l'attentat de l'avion de la KAL en 1987.

Friday, November 30, 2007


The shallows –
a crane’s thighs splashed
in cool waves

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Moriya's bribery, Japan's Lockheed syndrome!

I played golf more than 200 times with defense contractors, what's wrong with that?

[Moriya grilled at Japanese Diet]

During World War I, in 1915, at the Parliament in Paris, French president Raymond Poincaré said in a message to elected representatives: "Soldiers Devotion Reflects People's Spirit". Today, adjusting our focus on current events, it appears that Moriya scandal is neither an extraordinary demonstration of patriotism nor a strong indication of the unanimity of all defense personal and high ranking officials; the risk is to diminish every faith and shade of political belief of the Japanese military personal and citizens.

Former top Defense Ministry bureaucrat Takemasa Moriya and his wife were arrested Wednesday for accepting bribes from a former executive of a defense contractor, prosecutors said. Moriya's fall, is he the only involved? Not from judging from his surroundings. Moriya held various posts in the defense ministry and was vice defense minister from August 2003 to August this year. He took bribes from defense contractors, also linked are American defense companies. What exists behind this new scandal that some people compare to the Lockheed scandal of 1976? I'd like to hear short time Defense minister Koike Yuriko who in summer had a hard time to try to fire Moriya, How unthankful she was kicked out by Fukuda administration.

Interview Koike Yuriko about the Moriya scandal, published Oct 31 in Shukan. Quotes:

Q. Shukan "The guy whom you fought is now accused of having improper ties with a defense trading company.

A. Koike I think I was right to change the personnel system in the Defence Ministry. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and defense officials recently told me that if Moriya were still in power, the Defense Ministry would have even more trouble. They thanked me for kicking him out, but it was not soon enough, I guess.

Q. Shukan Did you kick him out because you knew of his scandals?

A. Koike I had heard rumors about Moriya's collusion with corporations before. A Shukan Post article about him published on August reminded me of the Okamitsu case (*). However, I didn't have any evidence to accuse him at that time. Now it's all becoming public. Duringmy tenure, I was mainly concerned with plugging leaks of high-level military information from inside the ministry. I thought th ebest way to do that would be to reform the ministerial structure. That's why I moved Moriya out. I think my decision was right."

For the time being facts from local news are that Japanese prosecutors arrested former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya on suspicion he accepted bribes from Motonobu Miyazaki, former executive of defense contractor Yamada Corp. who was charged with embezzlement. Moriya has admitted going on golf trips, paid for by Yamada Corp., which violated defense ministry ethical rules. He had denied doing any favors for defense equipment traders over procurement of U.S. engines for the next-generation CX aircraft despite admitting to having kept "inappropriately" cozy ties with Japanese businessmen.

"It's extremely regrettable that the arrest may cause the public to lose trust in Japan's defenses,'' Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said. "We must promote reform of the defense ministry so this will never happen again.'' As always, but never realized. Moriya said in testimony to parliament on Oct. 29 he played golf more than 200 times in 11 years until April this year with Miyazaki.

Under ethics rules introduced in 2000, defense ministry officials are banned from playing golf with contractors. Moriya told legislators he often took his wife, used false names and paid golf fees that were lower than normal to Miyazaki. Moriya and his wife Sachiko Moriya accepted golf trips worth 3.89 million yen ($36,000) at courses in Hokkaido from Miyazaki as rewards for "carrying out favors" on Yamada's behalf for the procurement and delivery of defense equipment, the prosecution statement said.

[Ex Vice Minister of Japanese Defense Agency Takemasa Moriya (R) and Chinese PLA Assistant to the Chief of General Staff Zhang Qinsheng, Tokyo, Nov. 2006]

Japanese endemic corruption? Not more than anywhere else, so, is it linked to the post war history? Here is what Hokkaido university Professor Yamaguchi Jiro has to say:

(Photo from FCCJ Kobayashi Michiyo)

"The postwar policy system combined evils such as endemic corruption, inefficiency and waste, with a concern for equality and for the weak and the regions. Koizumi's structural reforms smashed the 'vested rights' of politicians and bureaucrats and promoted policy efficiency; but they also had a serious impact on people and regions that had enjoyed protection under the policies in place until then. Resistance to this continues to threaten the LDP. The opposition is gathering popular support by persistently questioning the harmful effects of the structural reforms. Faced with the contradictory vectors of inheriting the Koizumi government's success or correcting its evils, the LDP is irresolute. There is no clear-cut course for post-Koizumi politics."
(Statement in November issue of the journal Ronza. Yamaguchi Jiro is Professor of Public Administration at the Graduate School of Law, Hokkaido University).

Next? Based on the parliament political blockade ingeniously set by opposition leader Ozawa Ichiro, the question is to know if a general election ought to clear the situation. This is the question I asked to LDP Chief and Prime Minister Fukuda and to ex-LDP chief candidate Aso Taro, as seen on NHK TV and commercial TV channels, here is my quote published in the Japanese daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun:


One last word quoted from Shisaku blog:

"In his heart and mind, Moriya Takemasa did not only believe he was not guilty of any wrongdoing, he believed himself not even guilty of demonstrating poor judgment in creating the appearance of wrongdoing.It almost certainly never crossed his mind."

NB: What was Japan Lockheed bribery scandals? (Click the title to access archives)

Quotes: "The Lockheed Scandal of 1976 involved political donations paid by the American aircraft manufacturer Lockheed to Japanese and other politicians in return for aid in selling planes to various purchasers, including the Japanese All Nippon Airways. The scandal forced the Japanese prime minister Tanaka Kakuei, who received a donation of US $3 million, to resign. In the Netherlands, the "Lockheed scandal" related to the purchase of F-104G Starfighters for the airforce in which Prince Bernhard was implicated in charges of receiving bribes from Lockheed in order to ensure the aircraft would win out over the Mirage V for the purchase contract". (In Encyclopedia of Modern Asia)

"The Lockheed bribery scandals encompassed a series of illegal bribes and contributions made by Lockheed officials from the late 1950s to the 1970s. In late 1975 and early 1976, a sub-committee of the U.S. Senate led by Senator Frank Church concluded that members of the Lockheed board had paid members of friendly governments to guarantee contracts for military aircraft[3]. In 1976, it was publicly revealed that Lockheed had paid $22 million in bribes to foreign officials[4] in the process of negotiating the sale of aircraft including the F-104 Starfighter, the so-called "Deal of the Century".

The scandal caused considerable political controversy in West Germany, the Netherlands and Japan. In the U.S. the scandal nearly led to the ailing corporation's downfall, as it was already struggling due to the commercial failure of the L-1011 airliner. Trading firm Marubeni, sizing up the situation, informed Lockheed that a front door approach had a very low probability of success and advised that surreptitious strategies ought to be considered. Lockheed turned to its in-house covert specialist, Yoshio Kodama, for ideas.

Kodama had been a secret agent for Lockheed since 1969 and had helped the firm with a number of military sales to Japan. He was the long-standing Kuromaku of the Hatoyama-Kishi side of domestic politics".
(Click the title to access the full story of Steven Hunziker and Ikuro Kamimura.)

Geo Visitors Map

Well, er, I'd say: It is a systematic risk...

Monday, November 26, 2007

La longue marche de Nicolas Sarkozy...

...Yuan Renminbi, gros contrats, environnement, Iran,
droits de l'Homme, armement. Moins de flagorneries
culturelles chez Sarkozy vis a vis de la Chine, et
davantage de logique pour des dossiers pris a bras le
corps. Question: Les Chinois (les japonais aussi)
savent-ils respecter un accord et se soucient-ils
vraiment de ce que pensent les autres, de la libre
entreprise, de la démocratie?

Les chinois de l'ethnie majoritaire Han sont-ils
incapables d'offrir une vision bien "harmonisée" avec
les vues occidentales au-delà de la logorrhée
habituelle sur les droits de l'homme, des minorités, si
difficilement conciliable avec la politique du parti
unique et d'assimilation forcée et pratiquée depuis un
demi siècle par la Chine communiste, par exemple, au
Tibet? Guère différente des massacres pratiqués dans
les années de guerre civile par les armées sanguinaires
de Chiang Kai-shek qui brûlaient vifs les réformateurs
et les communistes de Shanghai dans des locomotives.

Ainsi des heurts ont de nouveau secoué, ces derniers
jours, la turbulente et proclamée région autonome.
Quatre Tibétains ont été condamnés mardi à des peines
de prison allant jusqu'à dix ans ferme, pour des
activités indépendantistes. Paris contrainte de
rappeler devant tous que Taiwan fait parti du
territoire chinois, c'est un nouveau grand écart
inconfortable, encore. Pourtant Sarko a mis les points
sur les "i":

[Nicolas Sarkozy, Xian]

"La croissance chinoise ne doit pas et ne peut pas se
faire au prix d'une dégradation de l'environnement
mondial, de l'épuisement des ressources naturelles,
d'un réchauffement accéléré de la planète"
, a déclaré
le président français. "Je souhaite convaincre la
Chine d'accorder à la question de l'environnement et
du changement climatique une priorité comparable à la
. Il a estimé qu'il fallait inventer pour la
Chine, "dès le départ", un "modèle de croissance
. Le président français a appelé la Chine à
"prendre toute sa part" dans la résolution des grandes
questions internationales. "Je pense à la Birmanie où
j'ai demandé à la Chine de s'engager vigoureusement.
Nous avons besoin de la Chine au sujet de l'Iran, du
Darfour, de la Corée du Nord. Nous avons besoin de la
Chine pour trouver des solutions aux problèmes
Une visite avec à la clé € 15 a 20 milliards
en contrats dont des Airbus et du nucléaire.

[Délégation devant le musée de soldats Terracotta, Xian]

On parle donc beaucoup d'environnement à l'occasion de
la visite chinoise de N. Sarkozy, j'ai bien aimé le livre
de Christian Gerondeau : "Ecologie, la grande arnaque"
chez Albin Michel. Parfois les chiffres cités donnent le
vertige. 2800 milliards de tonnes de gaz carbonique
dans l'atmosphère terrestre avec 30 milliards de tonnes
émises chaque année. 4000 milliards de tonnes en 2050,
3900 milliards seulement si réduction de 10% des émissions.

Enormément de détails, chiffres, rappels, 11.500 tonnes
de CO2 par minute émis par la Chine (20 % du total
mondial, 7% à l'Inde). Les illusions des
biocarburants. L'abominable pollution du charbon qui
risque de défigurer l'Asie...

Vu la "frénésie" de la demande et "l 'appel d'air" du
capitalisme à la chinoise, les nouveaux consommateurs
chinois sont loin de se casser la tête sur ces
questions dit-on, mais pourtant c'est bien le manque de
discipline politique des autorités centrales et
provinciales à l'égard de leurs industriels et de leurs
potentats locaux qui pose problème. Moins de 300
millions de chinois nouvellement enrichis sur 1,3
milliards vont ils mettre en péril le fragile
équilibre? La chine continue d'être un immense

[Couverture de Blood Brothers, de Bertill Linner]

Toujours en suivant cette visite Sarkozienne chinoise,
je suis retombé sur un livre (en anglais cette fois)
"Blood Brothers, the criminal underworld of Asia" de
notre excellent collègue Bertill Lintner paru chez
Palgrave Mac Millan. Le titre balaie des décennies de
l'histoire Asiatique, gros plan sur les mafias et leurs
chefs, leurs organisations. J'avais parlé de Bertill
sur l'un de mes blogs d'Asian Gazette il y a plusieurs
années. Son bouquin est passionnant et effrayant. De
quoi dissuader pas mal d'investissements.

Enfin, pour savoir ce que les chinois de la presse
officielle pensent de la visite Sarkozy en Chine,
cliquer le titre pour accéder au papier du China Daily.
Une citation, en anglais: "Sarkozy visit marks new
phase in relations": "Like their counterparts
throughout the world, French conglomerates investing in
China are not free of risks and challenges. The great
majority of French businesses find their China
operations contributing less than 5 percent of their
total business volume nowadays. It is mainly caused by
structural problems in industries and trade rather than
intellectual property rights protection and
restrictions on technology transfer..."

NB: Selon les chiffres officiels, la part de marché de la France en Chine plafonne à 1,43%, avec un déficit bilatéral de 13,8 milliards d'euros. La France est le 8e client de la Chine et son 16e fournisseur.

Last but not least: Un peu d'humour chinois, une
réplique de visage de femme de la dynastie Han (206 av
JC - 220 ap JC) est offerte au président français
Sarkozy. Visage ou visages, masque ou ombres?

Tout cela en attendant les JO de Pékin en 2008 dont
voici les mascottes:

UPDATE: Reçu du service de presse d'Areva l'annonce des contrats Areva - CGNPC.

"Un "montant inégalé de grands contrats", aux dires mêmes de Nicolas Sarkozy: le président a fait lundi une moisson record de contrats avec la Chine à hauteur de plus de 20 milliards d'euros, soit le double de ce qu'anticipait la presse économique ces derniers jours. Areva vendra notamment à Pékin deux réacteurs EPR et Airbus 160 avions A320 et A330.

"Nous sommes à environ 20 milliards d'euros de contrats", soit "un montant inégalé de grands contrats", s'est félicité Nicolas Sarkozy lors d'une déclaration avec son homologue chinois Hu Jintao au Grand palais du peuple de Pékin, au deuxième jour de sa visite en Chine. Un peu avant, les deux dirigeants avaient présidé à une cérémonie de signature de contrats. La presse n'a pas été autorisée à poser de questions lors de cette réunion, faute de temps officiellement. Le groupe nucléaire Areva fournira au premier électricien nucléaire chinois, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corps (CGNPC), deux réacteurs EPR de troisième génération. Ils seront livrés fin 2013 début 2014 sur le site de Taishan, dans le sud-est de la Chine, près de Macao. Montant de la facture pour Pékin: 8 milliards d'euros. Cet accord prévoit également la fourniture du combustible uranium pour faire fonctionner les deux réacteurs jusqu'en 2026.

Fait rare, la majeure partie de ce contrat historique pour le groupe d'Anne Lauvergeon sera "payée en euros", sauf le volet uranium qui sera libellé en dollars. "Nous n'avons pas de risques de change, c'est une première", s'est félicitée la patronne d'Areva, qui fait partie de la délégation d'une quarantaine de grands patrons qui accompagnent Nicolas Sarkozy. Areva pourrait travailler à la construction d'ici deux ou trois ans en Chine d'une usine de retraitement d'uranium pour près de 15 milliards d'euros. "Mais on ne signe pas de contrat aujourd'hui", a précisé Anne Lauvergeon. Au total, c'est le "plus gros contrat que l'industrie nucléaire civile ait jamais conclu", a-t-elle salué sur RTL. Une revanche pour Areva, qui s'était fait souffler quatre réacteurs de troisième génération par l'Américain Westinghouse en 2006. La Chine envisage de construire 32 centrales nucléaires d'ici 2020. Le groupe EDF sera étroitement associé au contrat d'Areva, puisqu'il va prendre près de 30% de la filiale franco-chinoise qui sera créée pour exploiter les deux EPR. "Nous allons avec CGNPC, notre partenaire depuis vingt ans, créer une filiale pour construire et exploiter" ces deux réacteurs, a expliqué à la presse le PDG d'EDF Pierre Gadonneix, aussi présent en Chine.

Deuxième grand gagnant, Airbus a vendu 160 nouveaux avions à la Chine, dont 110 A320 et 50 A330. Montant: dix milliards d'euros selon l'Elysée, 17 milliards de dollars selon Airbus qui précise qu'il s'agit d'un prix catalogue. En 2005 et 2006, Airbus avait déjà vendu 300 A320 à Pékin. "C'est une réussite", s'est réjoui Louis Gallois, PDG d'EADS, maison-mère d'Airbus. Il a précisé qu'un accord industriel permettra à la Chine d'être partenaire à hauteur de 5% du futur A350. Enfin, "quelques éléments" sur des hélicoptères pourraient être annoncés mardi à Shanghaï, où le président français achèvera sa visite officielle de trois jours en Chine. Le marché chinois est actuellement dominé par le concurrent américain d'Airbus, Boeing.

Outre Areva et Airbus, la France obtenait plusieurs autres contrats: Alcatel a noué un accord de 750 millions d'euros avec China Mobile, Alstom de 43 millions d'euros pour la signalisation du métro de Shanghaï, Eurocopter de 80 millions d'euros pour dix hélicoptères EC-155, et Natixis de 60 millions d'euros. Soit au total, selon les calculs de l'Elysée, 19 milliards d'euros de contrats, auxquels s'ajoute 1,2 milliard d'euros d'investissements en Chine de plusieurs groupes dont EDF ou Sanofi-Aventis." (Agences)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Michelin Japon: Bibendum fait des jaloux.

Quelle excitation chez les japonais, Bibendum est ici, et je couvre le sujet pour RTL. Jean Luc Naret, directeur des guides Michelin (cartes et guides) et la sympathique Fabienne de Brebisson, Vice présidente Media relation, me font une présentation au micro alors que plus de 300 journalistes et 18 chaînes de télévisions japonaises font le pied de grue pour s'offrir le patron des Michelin.

C'est vrai que l'édition japonaise du célèbre Guide Michelin est fascinante, première édition pour 2008 qui octroie plus d'étoiles à la capitale nippone qu'à celle de la France et décerne 191 étoiles à 150 restaurants de Tokyo. Jusqu'ici, Paris était la ville la plus récompensée, avec 65 étoiles. Ce sont 8 restaurants de la capitale japonaise, dont deux spécialisés dans le sushis, qui ont reçu la récompense la plus élevée, les trois étoiles. (Paris peut toutefois toujours s'enorgueillir d'être la ville la plus cotée, avec dix restaurants à trois étoiles.) "Tokyo est une étoile brillante dans le monde de la cuisine", m'a déclaré le directeur des Guides Michelin, Jean-Luc Naret, lors d'une conférence de presse à Tokyo lundi, jour de la parution de l'édition nippone du guide. La mégapole japonaise est devenue "le leader mondial dans le dîner gourmet".

Trois inspecteurs européens et deux japonais ont passé un an et demi à visiter incognito 1.500 des 160.000 restaurants recensés à Tokyo pour attribuer les récompenses, selon Michelin. Le guide du groupe classe les établissements sur l'excellence de leurs plats, service, décor et tenue. "Ces inspecteurs ont découvert tellement de bons restaurants que tous les établissements qui figurent dans le guide de Tokyo compte au moins une étoile, une première dans le monde", selon Jean-Luc Naret.

Hamadaya à Nihombashi, Kanda à Azabu et Joël Robuchon à Ebisu, trois perles et donc 3 étoiles au Michelin. Le seul japonais que j'ai trouvé grognon lors de cette distribution des prix Bibendum est le critique gastronomique Hattori Yukio. Bizarre dans un pays qui adore la compétition au point de l'avoir érigée en méthode de perfectionnement (maternelle, université, profession) et il a vite quitté la splendide réception donnée au Tokyo International Forum de Yutakucho à deux pas de mon press club..

"C'est un prix de l'arrogance et de la "self-estime" me dit-il. Bon, c'est vrai que ce guide lui prend une part de marché... D'autres chefs m'ont dit ce soir que cette poignée d'étoiles Michelin n'était qu'un geste fait pour faire plaisir aux chefs japonais de la gastronomie française. Le "food business" comme me le rappelait l'un d'entre eux génère chaque année des milliards de yen de revenus.

Prix de l'arrogance? Ou plutôt la rage du jaloux, jaloux tout rouge comme ces cuistots australiens ou américains avec leurs "viande hachée frites" et certains de mes confrères américains oeuvrant pour leur nationalisme alimentaire made in US-OGM. Hattori bouillonne, lui qui lance un jour des éloges à la gastronomie française et le lendemain la conspue et prime la cuisine italienne...

Le guide dresse également une liste des meilleurs hôtels, et des célèbres Tofu-ya (fabricant de fromage de soja). On peut tirer la toque à tous ces inspecteurs qui ont lancé le premier boulet dans le paysage gastronomique et hôtelier nippon vu et interprété tout de même selon l'art de vivre à la française...

NB: I suspected that our Japanese friends would not appreciate the selection of the restaurants made by the Guide Rouge Michelin, and it is clearly what sweats in the Yomiuri shimbun, the world biggest sold newspaper. The critical article of the Japanese conservative newspaper runs in the Editorial National page of the English version of the Daily Yomiuri while it is in the Culture page on the web page. Click the article title or copy and paste this URL: