Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tokyo the sin-city for politicians' tricks...

Ichiro Ozawa recently slammed the door to Noda's ruling party leader and prime minister and left the DPJ with a noisy campaign. Exploding ruling parties is an art the Shadow Shogun excels at... and faithful to his reputation the notorious Ichiro Ozawa inaugurated tonight at the Nagatacho Kensei Kinenkan his new party, the "Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi", the party of "People's Livelihoods First". They form a 50 upper and lower-house members party, all of whom left the ruling party last week in protest against the tax hike bill. 

 Ichiro Ozawa founder of the "Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi" party

Ozawa who now leads the third-largest national political party wants to open to new high ranking politicians from everywhere or celebrities such as DPJ Yukio Hatoyama, ex-prime minister and like Ozawa an opponent to the tax increase. Ozawa said that the government increase of the sales tax to 10% in 2015 is a breach of the DPJ's 2009 election promise not to raise the tax for at least four years. Ozawa said the DPJ's shelving of pension and elderly health-care reforms to gain the support of the opposition conservatives parties to pass the tax bill is also a betrayal. This is the fourth party Mr. Ozawa creates since breaking with the Liberal Democratic Party in 1993, causing him to be nicknamed "Destroyer"! He is on his course... Ozawa also will work on reducing Japan's reliance on nuclear power.

I met Yuko Mori san (picture up), a female top strategist from the House of Councillors and Yawara chan --the Judoka Olympic gold medal from Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Athens Olympics in 2004-- her real name at the Diet is Ryoko Tani (picture under), her wish is to help to create a nation everyone would desire. 

One who desires to come back to politics is ex LDP Taizō Sugimura 杉村 太蔵 , "Sugi kun" is a "Koizumi children", a young politician born in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō bred mid 2000's by former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. He became the youngest member of the House of Representatives after the September 11, 2005 general election although he was ranked quite far. He is "genki" in good shape and eccentric enough to catch attention in the Japanese area of "talento" politicians. Sugimura kun came then to media attention "for his excitement at the prospect of the range of perks available for elected politicians", including high class restaurants, first class travel on the Shinkansen and being able to afford a BMW. 

Sugimura san (R) Joel (L) tonight at TIF Pronto

Sugimura was at that time harshly reprimanded by LDP executives for his comments, and publicly apologised at a news conference on September 27, 2005 saying they had been "immature and irresponsible. He ran in House of Councillors election in 2010 as a proportional candidate of The Sunrise Party of Japan. 

Nowadays we are happy to say that his mood for expensive French restaurant has come to a pause. He was the guest of honor of the president of the Pronto chain (Suntory group is behind) of nice stylish cafés and restaurants... Sugimura san is now learning the life of ordinary salarymen. Who says politicians don't... change? Two major changes illustrate that very truth of world politics tonight in the real heart of Tokyo the cradle, Tokyo the sin-city for politicians' tricks... Enlightening! 

But let's be serious the big news in the Tokyo evening newspapers and on TVs on Wednesday night is the tragic death of a baby panda at Tokyo Ueno zoo. This is real life.

Sugimura kun knows the price of a simple beer now, like a simple salaryman!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Letters of Fukushima...

Fukushima parliament investigation commission president, Dr. Kurokawa was grilled recently about the different version of the 2 reports provided in Japanese and in English at the Parliament and at press events in Tokyo. The major problem is that the English version of the president message is not the translation of the original document in Japanese. It is the translation and interpretation of notes of the commission chair Kurokawa who criticized the Japanese culture and the traditional system applied by the country saying it is responsible for the Fukushima nuclear accident. 

The "Message from the Chairman" in Japanese is the original version, to be read by Japanese people whoever they are, while the English version is rather for policy makers. It is my opinion that the original Japanese version of the President message should be entirely translated into English, as it is to appear end of July or mid August 2012, so that the world readers can accurately understand the report on the Fukushima nuclear accident, as it is presented in its original form to the Japanese society and to foreigners with its causes, its origins, the why and when, and with the recommendation contained after the 6 months investigation of the Kurokawa commission. 

This will answer to the need of: "highest standard of transparency" as Dr. Kurokawa wrote. Since Donald Keene, we know that perfect translation exists. Shouldn't the tragedy of Fukushima deserve a battery of expert world-known translators and specialized companies whose commitment is accuracy and sense of the century rather than a mere contractual obligation...?

So what's next? " They " [Diet members] are going to make it very political." Kurokawa-san told me. " I bet they are going to " I answered and then we both shook hands prior to part.

Japan, China, Taiwan, never ending war on China seas territorial disputes

"Japan's prime minister said the national government is considering purchasing a set of islets, the Senkaku islands in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese, islands at the center of a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, a move that could further strain ties between Asia's two largest economies. The move by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government to weigh nationalizing the privately owned property is the latest salvo in a long-standing diplomatic stand-off with China, which also claims sovereignty over the Japanese-administered islands... "An official at the prime minister's office confirmed the central government is in talks with Tokyo and hasn't ruled out an outright purchase of the islands [Senkaku, Diaoyu]. "There is engagement between the prime minister's office and Gov. Ishihara," said the Japanese official, who declined to be named." (End of quotes)

Has Japan the capacity to handle what it is stirring right now? The answer is no. Behind Japanese government move, helped by the conservative Governor Ishihara, is there the perception that this move could endanger peace and security in the China seas? Years after years, we witness the appearance of a more " resilient " and forceful militarized Japan. 

As seen with its interaction overseas with PKO missions since late 20th century and now (Cambodia, Golan Heights, Mozambique, East Timor) and assistance (Djibouti) by the Coast Guards, by the JSDF, Ground, Maritime, and the JP Air Force for transportation. Last year, the JSDF were very instrumental helping the 3/11 victims of the quake and the tsunami. The JSDF of Tohoku military units came to rescue Fukushima after the nuclear accident. 

Does the public perceive it? Yes and if the elder do not like it, those who did not the WW2 are reminded by moves of neo-conservatives and right wing groups. And for the younger generation, scotched to their mobile screens, we can see lots of Manga, movies, novels aiming at remobilizing the nationalist conscience. Again I noticed recently this trend with films which depicts the heroism of the Japanese forces or Coast Guards against evil forces or stane creatures coming from the seas... 

How will China answer? Hard to predict, the Dragon is busy with its own inland policies but I know that Beijing won't ever give up any claim on sovereignty. Shock therapy again. One known device of the psychological governance...

What do the hard-liners say in Japan? After World War II Japan renounced claims to a number of territories and islands including Taiwan in the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco. But under the treaty the Nansei Shoto islands came under US trusteeship and were then returned to Japan in 1971, under the Okinawa reversion deal. Japan says that China raised no objections to the San Francisco deal. And it says that it is only since the 1970s, when the issue of oil resources in the area emerged, that Chinese and Taiwanese authorities began pressing their claims.

Several incidents happened between Japanese and Chinese fishing boats. China says being the owner of the islands (apparently it is inaccurate since a Japanese owner has been identified) and therefore started fishing, at one serious incident the Japanese Coast Guard took a Chinese fishing boat into custody for trespassing and also for violent navigation. After a few days to a week, the Japanese government released the crew.

Now Tokyo wants to buy the islands and integrate those as Japanese public domain.

(Images: agencies, otaku-streamers)