Category Archives: Japan

Japan Confronts Aftermath Of Disaster

There is little one can add to the story of what has happened to the people of Japan. The media depicts the horror of a tsunami and its effects in dramatic visual images while reporters tell tales of fear, disaster and a world suddenly gone mad as people scramble to survive. Each day, figures rise as to the number of dead from the initial one thousand estimate to figures reaching over ten thousand or even twenty thousand. Meanwhile, two nuclear plants are leaking radiation and fears grow of an atomic explosion. It would be ironic if an atomic blast rocked Japan, the only nation in the world to have the experience of a nuclear devastation –aside from one incident in Russia twenty years ago. Meanwhile life goes on and stories emerge of those hoarding supplies of food and water and other necessities. It has been too long since the people of Japan, as a society, confronted disaster and now emotions of life in a capitalist society emerge. Fear, greed, me, are emotions now all too common.

Eventually, the people of Japan will have worked their way through these troubled times. Eventually, they will decide whether or not to continue an atomic energy power policy. In the meantime, bodies emerge from the wreckage. In the meantime, each person must confront his or her obligation to society.

Tsunami Reflections

A horrible event taking place thousands of miles away from the shores of the United States leads many who ordinarily lack concern for those in pain, to suddenly become voices of assistance to the afflicted of the world. It appears that thousands are dead in Japan and the damage is probably beyond our understanding at this point in the tragedy. Even as this event unfolded there were Republican members of Congress insistent on the need to cut expenditures for the homeless, the sick, early childhood programs and for those disabled and unable to even purchase food. I am certain those same men and women will utter concern for the people of Japan, and even vote funds to aid those who are caught in the disaster, but those in the disaster here in America are not on their radar of relief. We humans have the capacity to reach out thousands of miles while those in our backyard never enter into our thoughts. How does a Republican Congressman who voted to gut funds to provide assistance to a human who lacks the physical means to secure food turn around and agree to aid victims of disaster in Japan?

We humans are strange creatures. We, all too often, lack care and concern for those in our midst while we utter pieties of concern for those so far, far away.

Is There A Flying Car In Your Future?

Trapped in a massive traffic jam and muttering curses under your breath as you read this story? Sick and tired of driving ten miles per hour while inhaling gas fumes? Ready to take a flying leap into the future? Indian car manufacturer. A.K. Vishwanath, has taken the Japanese Maruti 800 car which was the first small car to impact the people of India back in the 19080s and applied some tricky changes which will allow a driver to shift gears and fly upward rather than continue going ahead into the traffic jam. He placed rotating blades on the four corners of the roof, and a vacuum section around the tires which will allow drivers to go upward into the air. “I built the technique which will give my car vertical lift capabilities.” Of course, as of this date, the theory has not been put into practice and we do not have any pictures of a flying car, but, what the heck, it is an interesting concept.

Those who are old enough fondly remember the “Flying Jetsons” who flew around the sky. My question is whether once cars fly will there be “flying cops” and will they hand out tickets? On the other hand, I wonder why we Americans once again are not the innovators when it comes to cars.

Michele Bachman, Historian Of Falsehood!

What can one say about a political party which allows an ignorant person such as Michele Bachman to become a spokesperson for their ideas? Ms. Bachman, decided to offer a Tea Party explanation as to why Barack Obama is a flaming Socialist who does not agree with the American people. According to Ms. Bachman, the “bureaucracy now tells us which light bulb to buy and may put 16.500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s healthcare bill.” She concluded her litany of errors by standing before a picture of the famous raising of the American flag at the battle of Iwo Jima toward the end of WWII while saying it was a battle “against all odds.” David Frum, a Republican speechwriter for George Bush, commented: “Did Bachman really say that Iwo Jima was a battle against all odds? For the Japanese, I guess.” Michele, at a cost of thousands of American lives on Iwo Jima, EVERY JAPANESE SOLDIER WAS KILLED AND A FEW SURRENDERED AT IWO JIMA. ABOUT 80,000 JAPANESE CIVILIANS DIED.

Michele Bachman is like so many Tea Party folk who have no knowledge of American history.

For example, they claim the Income Tax was a “Socialist idea.” Actually, Socialist Abraham Lincoln instituted the first income tax. It was also an idea of the Populist Party in the 1890s which was composed of American farmers.

For example, they claim Social Security was a “Socialist idea.” The initial Social Security law was proposed by the arch conservative Otto Von Bismarck in Germany–IN ORDER TO FIGHT SOCIALISTS!

Oh, as for the Tea Party, the British government REDUCED THE TEA TAX.

Anti Japanese Riots In China

Thousands of people in China were in the streets of their cities marching and yelling about their hatred toward Japan. The spark for these demonstrations was seizure by Japanese patrol boats of a Chinese fishing ship that was in waters claimed by Japan. A war of the seas is now raging between China and Japan over which nation will control waters around tiny islands found off the coast of both nations. Ah, why are they arguing? As always, the reason has to do with money-or should we say, OIL! Who will control the oil is all too often the rationale for war and violence.

However, there are other reasons for Chinese anger toward Japan. Their country was invaded by Japan in the 1930s and held for nearly ten years. During that time period, the Japanese killed millions of Chinese people and thousands of women were raped or forced to work as prostitutes serving the needs of Japanese soldiers. Unlike Germany, which has acknowledged its brutal behavior during WWII, Japan refuses to assume any responsibility for what its troops did during the war. In fact, its school textbooks present a portrait of Japan as the “victim” during the war. Japan might send its educators to Germany in order to learn how to confront evil.

Great Fishing War In Asia

A Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese patrol boats which led to its captain being detained for several days before being released. In a normal situation, this would resolve the situation without creating a turmoil and anger. But, the issue is not a fishing boat so much as fishing to see which nation will gain control over areas that might contain oil deposits. The Chinese government complaimed about Japan’s refusal to create, “appropriate conditions and atmosphere” to resolve the dispute. Japan’s foreign minister reponded with comments concerning China’s “hysterical” behavior which only resulted in China claiming Japan was being provocative.

OK, children, enough of the games about language and fishing boats. Let everyone get back to the real issue– which nation will control possible oil deposits in the region between Japan and China. Has anyone considered a joint oil development project? Now, that would be one hysterical and provocative action!

How Did World War II Really End?

Most discussions concerning the end of WWII focus on the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945. Few modern people realize that on August 9, 1945, as agreed upon at the Yalta Conference in February, 1945, the Russian army launched operation August Storm which blasted into Japanese troops holding Manchuria and Korea. A new book by historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, argues “the Soviet entry into the war played a much greater role than the atomic bombs in inducing Japan to surrender because it dashed any hope that Japan could terminate the war through Moscow’s mediation.” The Emperor and the peace party within Japan realized if their country did not surrender to the US, Russia might land in their country and take possession of northern areas. It was a decision based on the concept of which was the lesser of two evils-the US or Russian forces pouring through Manchuria and Korea?

It is time to lay to rest how the atomic bomb was not necessary. In the words of Secretary of War Henry Stimson who hated the idea of using atomic bombs, they were the “least abhorrent choice of a dreadful array of options facing American leaders.” In the end, dreadful as it may sound, the bombs saved the lives of over a million Japanese people. These are not easy words to write, but they represent reality.

Surprise! Japan Finally Apologizes To South Koreans!

Surprise! The Japanese nation has finally got around to apologizing to other Asian nations for the pain, brutality and death it caused for half a century. Japan seized the country of Korea in 1910 and on the 100th anniversary of this land grab, a Japanese prime minister expressed remorse. PM Naoto Kan told the people of Korea: “for the enormous damage and suffering caused by this colonization, I would like to express once again our deep remorse and apologize.” Now, it would be nice if Japan apologized to the people of China for killing five million and to the women of China for the “rape of Nanking”during which time an estimated 75,000 Chinese women were raped. How about an apology to the people of the Philippines for murdering about 10,000 Filipino soldiers during the infamous Bataan Death March? Of course, five thousand American soldiers were also murdered during this march. We could add how apologies are due to Indonesians, people in Burma and those in Thailand.

Japan will not cleanse its soul until the Education minister finally insists its history books should present a more objective and truthful account of World War II. At present, Japan is portrayed as a “victim,” rather than as an aggressor. It might help Japanese youth to understand why the atomic bomb was used against its homeland.

US Apology For Atomic Bomb On Hiroshima?

Every August about this time there are demands for an apology from the American government for dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. An objective analysis of the situation in August, 1945 makes clear the only way Japan would have surrendered was through use of an atomic bomb or some analogous form of destruction. The Japanese army was determined not to surrender and meet American and British soldiers on the beaches of their nation. President Truman sent messages through several diplomatic sources urging Japan to surrender, but his efforts were rejected. Why the bomb is certainly a valid question?

1. The battle of Okinawa had resulted in American casualties of over 25,000 men in taking the island. In addition to over 75,000 dead Japanese soldiers, thousands of civilians were forced into death by their own army. The Japanese launched their Kamikaze suicide bombers at the American fleet and over 5,000 men were killed or wounded.
2. General Anami, head of the Japanese army, had gathered 5,000 Kamikaze pilots who were ready to kill themselves in order to protect their homeland. Their attack would have cost the lives of thousands of American and British soldiers.
3. General Anami had armed over two million Japanese civilians who were ready to make suicide attacks on Allied forces and the result would have been a massacre.
4. Russia had yet to enter the war which meant hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers would have been sent from the army in Manchuria to the mainland to assist in meeting an invasion.
5. After the first atomic bomb was dropped, transcripts of the Japanese Cabinet reveal that General Anami argued the war must go on. After the second was dropped, he argued the war must go on. Naval leaders wanted to surrender, but the Japanese army was determined to have millions die.
6. The Emperor made his famous tape recording announcing the surrender of Japan and Army officers attempted to kill the messenger who carried the tape to a radio station.

In other words, it was the atomic bomb which finally got Emperor Hirohito to take action.

The bottom line is Japan initiated a war, killed over 5,000,000 people in China, murdered thousands of American soldiers who surrendered, raped thousands in China and elsewhere, and refused to accept an offer to surrender until forced by the atomic bombs. No apology is due from any American leader. The apologies should come from the Japanese army and the family of dead Emperor Hirohito. The atomic bomb killed thousands of innocent people and saved the lives of millions of innocent people.

Should Furriners Vote In Japan Local Elections?

Japan has the reputation of being a nation in which those born in other areas of the world experience difficulty in securing citizenship. Of the over 120,000,000 Japanese less than 1 percent are not considered to be citizens of Japan. The government introduced legislation which would enable non-citizens some voting rights in local elections. Of the 912,000 who are not Japanese citizens, over 420,000 are those of Korean heritage who were brought to Japan and worked in the country. Thousands from this group decided to remain in Japan and, although their children are born in Japan, they have never been regarded as true Japanese. The desire to give them voting power in local elections was deemed an honest effort to give those who have lived in Japan for decades to have some minor voice in local elections.

Naturally, it has led to a storm of protest from “true believers” who regard only pure blooded Japanese as fit to decide what happens in their nation. Of course, forcing people to live in your country and then denying them fundamental rights might be considered as denying basic rights to those who deserve them.