Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interviewed in 日刊 ゲンダイ

Today is the opening of the Sky Tree Tower (STT) in Asakusa, Tokyo, and it rains like cats and dogs! Later in the day, visitors cannot see a thing because of the clouds and the rain and then are prisoners of the elevators, the lifts don't work because of the wind. Bad luck. Sorry friends but I do not enjoy this new tower that destroys Tokyo's perspective with the Fuji san in the horizon line, and I wrote about it in the Japanese press recently. To me it just looks like a TV antenna pole, as too many seen on Tokyo streets. And it is interpreted as a sign of loosing power for those who rule Japan nowadays with an added Freudian act of compensation: offsetting a psychological difficulty by developing in another direction... 

I was interviewed by Japanese daily newspaper Nikkan Gendai about Japan and this Sky Tree, I could have add that neighbors, as watched on midday news TV program yesterday, are greatly troubled by the tower and by early and late visitors who drop all their garbage in the streets (yes in Japan) or who climb the houses and condominium staircases to take pictures. I saw how the TV reporter himself came to clean up the streets nearby. In term of aesthetic, I prefer Dubai's 828-meter-high Burj Khalifa tower. This STT thing symbolizes destruction of the environment and deploys the overdone arrogance of public work at a time when energy should be saved and construction spared for people and society in a sustainable led policy. 

It's also just an other childish form of arrogance to surpass the 600-meter-high of Canton city Tower in China. (634 versus 610). I do not think it is a security prone tower in case of accident contrary to what the builders say. Besides city planners are worried about terrorism therefore the Tobu Railway Co. which operates the tower planted over 77 cameras to monitor the visitors and locations. True enough... the area is controlled by the anti-social groups (the Akasuka  Yakuza). The only thing here is that it is a record thing, the world tallest built tower. I personally prefer Tokyo Tower and her elegant style especially in the night when lights illuminate the Tokyo sky. Talking about Kizuna (bonds) that often but not always spread in Japan since 3/11, I also would rather like to see % of the money earned by the Sky Tree offered to the reconstruction of victimized Tohoku people... Anyway, just my views in popular Nikkan Gendai newspaper published earlier in May (gendai.net 1,5 million copies sold) 

This interview was published for a Golden Week special edition of a Japanese daily newspaper Nikkan Gendai. 1500000 copies a day, popular evening daily. Gendai disclosed a lot in 1976 about the Lockheed scandal. The interview is about Japan declining power and its symbols. I genuinely am unimpressed by the branding of the Sky Tree so called tallest building (Freudian act of the builders?) I raise the issues of a poor social and managerial environment in Japan, I focus on Olympus, Sony, NEC, too rigid; and altered by a stubborn hierarchy. I warn against a non-combative seniority system that I describe as a sickness paralyzing progress, creativity and talents, especially dispiriting the young generations of Japanese men and women. My interview page 7 by 堀田 佳男 in  日刊 ゲンダイ.

Also page 5 of the same edition there is an interview of my honorable colleague Karel Van Wolferen who analyzes that politician "Ozawa Ichiro will revive..."