William Pesek: Julia Hamp conspiracy theorist

Much like the speeding driver who whines that police should be spending their time chasing bigger fish, William Pesek in Bloomberg posts a quite awful defense of Toyota’s newest (and soon to be ex-?) board member.

Japanese authorities could have chosen to confiscate the 57 pills sent to Hamp and schooled her on local regulations.

I’m sure if that had happened, we’d instead have complaints about “one law for the rich and well-connected”.

Instead, they decided to make an example of her in ways that could damage corporate Japan’s efforts to attract foreign talent and diversify its boardrooms.

Perhaps “efforts to attract foreign scofflaws” would be more appropriate here.

The coordinated raids smacked of retribution by the police for Toyoda’s standing by a foreigner over local authorities.

:roll:

But it’s safe to say the police wouldn’t even have told the media if a male Japanese Toyota executive were allegedly involved in similar lawbreaking. 

:roll:

Japanese law enforcement has never even attempted to arrest officials at Tokyo Electric Power Company for negligent oversight of nuclear reactors at Fukushima, or managers at Takata for selling the company’s faulty airbags.

:roll: There are ongoing investigations with Takata (I believe) and various cases against TEPCO have not gone anywhere. Does Mr Pesek believe in due process? Or only for people he does like?

filled with insinuating questions: What medical condition does Hamp have that requires pain medication? 

That seems like a perfectly fair question to me; is he reading “Is she a closet junkie?” into it?

Granted, whoever sent the oxycodone did Hamp no favors by appearing to hide it in a jewelry box.

At the time of publishing it had already been revealed that it was her father, and before that the news was saying she had posted it to herself.

Why would other prominent female executives come to Japan if they think a poor personal choice would make them a national scapegoat?

“Scapegoat” seems rather strong, but wouldn’t many countries cover a similar story prominently?

Having said all that, she has achieved sufficient notoriety to be the lead story on this week’s Shukanbunshun.

Well, that went downhill rapidly…

I was going to do two posts today, but I’ve decided to combine them. First up is the Japan Times’ Philip Brasor talking about immigration.

Takenobu, whose specialty is labor issues, explained that almost all the foreigners arrested in Japan are overstayers

Not much of a specialist, then.

The government is afraid of foreign workers settling down permanently because they think Japanese society doesn’t accept them

He links to another quality journalist, Richard Lloyd Parry in The Times (of London) who wrongly describes Ayako Sono as a (current) member of Abe’s education reform panel. I very strongly suspect Mr Brasor is aware of that fact, but chose to misrepresent it as it doesn’t fit in with his narrative.

I was going to go on more, but the Disqus thread has already gone down the drain, bringing me on to my second topic:

I was quite disappointed with the response to my review of the latest Just Be Cause, but I agree with the general feeling of “not the same old dross again!” Debito.org continues to be awful, and commenters get away with any old nonsense – there is the claim of not being racist, which I feel they justify by saying the Government is awful (fair enough), but as the Japanese population has not taken up proverbial arms thus silently assenting to government policies, they are to be pitied, not hated. The complaints about Japan Today being taken over by Japologists is hilarious, and of course some Japanese complain about JT being full of haters.

/r/bitcoin has /r/buttcoin and /r/conspiracy has /r/conspiratard, but sadly there is no /r/debito, and I have long since given up covering Debito.org in detail. There’s definitely a need somewhere for some positive spin (although given record tourist numbers every month recently, perhaps there isn’t really that much of need), but my government brown envelopes are not fat enough to do the necessary, so I suspect Japologism will be taking an extended holiday.

Perhaps I might be back in November for “Visible Minorities and Embedded Racism in Japan”?

Rewriting history

Today’s Just Be Cause is all over the place. I’ll skip the history bit and leave that to experts, so let’s try to stick to stuff I know something about:

The U.S., Japan’s strongest ally and chaperone for most of its foreign policy, is, given Japan’s powerless leftist opposition, basically the only one who can stop this.

So, the USA should interfere in Japanese politics. However, a few paragraphs down I see:

But the U.S., now assuming the post-Cold War mantle of world’s policeman, is undermining that goal by continuing to meddle in Japan’s politics.

So, the USA should not interfere in Japanese politics. I suspect that what he means is that they should only interfere with policies Dr Arudou doesn’t like.

So, in the name of “containing communism” at the dawn of the Cold War, the U.S. released the Japanese war criminals they hadn’t executed, who then went on to become prominent politicians, businessmen, organized-crime figures — even a prime minister.

That “organised crime” one looks straight out of Jake Adelstien’s playbook. Furthermore, the prime minister, Kishi, was not tried as a war criminal.

blood-nationalists

This seems to be a new term he has invented, but as many nationalist politicians have said, obtaining Japanese citizenship is good enough for them. Furthermore, Japanese naturalisation requirements are rather low and cheap, and I have not heard anyone from the LDP say that they should become more strict.

China’s rapid economic growth and heavy integration into the world market, both as its factory and lender of last resort, indicates that it shall not (and should not) be so easily contained. 

Really? Is he not bothered by them reclaiming land in the Paracels, etc, to build islands to try to extend their EEZ?

[Shinzo Abe] even recently sent his “liberal” wife to visit war-celebrating Yasukuni Shrine

:roll:

This will be confirmed beyond doubt once we see the revival of prewar politics by assassination, the natural progression from the current trends of intimidation and death threats.

:facepalm: So when does he predict Diet members will start dying of lead poisoning?

Look out, non-Japanese residents, you’re going to attract even more attention now — as lab rats for Japan’s nascent foreign policy. 

What on earth is that supposed to mean?

 

 

 

 

 

Is this Betteridge’s Law of Headlines?

In the Japan Times (sigh), in an article by Jeff Kingston (sigh), we have the headline “Are forces of darkness gathering in Japan?” (sigh).

It’s full of anonymous sources, conspiracies, and other unproveable assertions, so I’ll give analysing it a miss, but I will note that Mr Kingston seems to be the only contributor to the JT spared from the Freedom of the Peanut Gallery.

Hopeless Fookooshimar news articles still exist!

The Independent recently published utter dross about Fukushima, displaying a lack of journalistic integrity along with scientific ignorance.

First there is a set of slides which are full of insinuations, but free from facts such as all food must pass Japanese radiation standards (they make no claim that these checks are being bypassed) that are lower than anywhere else in the world. They mention tea specifically, which as far as I am aware is not produced in any significant quantities anywhere north of Shizuoka.

The alarm is being sounded after Taiwanese investigators uncovered more than 100 radioactive food products which had been produced in Fukushima but falsely packaged to give their origin as Tokyo.

Well, all food products are radioactive, and do they mean 100 items or 100 different brands? Here is a relevant Asahi article, but the implication from that seems to be the false labeling is the issue, not any radioactivity.

They then follow-up with a picture that is from an oil refinery in probably Chiba, but the casual reader will assume it is the radiations burning.

There is no firm evidence that any radioactive food has entered the UK, but experts say there is a risk, and products could already have arrived.

There is also a risk that there might be chemicals in the food!

They also have another strange graphic, giving a fifty mile (80 km) fallout radius, which seems rather high too me. Fortunately the comments for the article mostly restore some sanity.

 

 

Bloody royal sprog!

Why oh why is there wall-to-wall coverage of the British royal sprog on Japanese TV?

Also, on Hiru Obi today, one of the commentators said that the reason mothers leave hospital within a day of the birth is due to their bigger hips.

So that’s a vote for Hokkaido’s Tomari nuclear power plant restart then

I see in today’s Hokkaido Prefectural election, the anti-nuclear candidate Noriyuki Sato lost. A couple of weeks ago I saw him on the television where he said:

「この知事選は、原発か脱原発かの住民投票だ」

So, since he lost, he will accept the voice of the people. Bonus points to anyone who finds him contradicting that stance in post-election interviews.

 

Profound or gibberish – you decide

This month’s Just Be Cause left me scratching my head; I’ll probably have to read it two or three more times to see if I can make sense of it. I did note though that this time the target is (or appears to be) Japanese, not foreigners. The one :facepalm: moment I have found so far is:

This is one reason why even the most scientifically trained among us is ready, for example, to take seriously the comment of a single native-born Japanese (rather than trust qualified Japan experts who unfortunately lack the mystical bloodline) as some kind of evidence in any discussion on Japan.

Who on earth could these non-native-born “qualified Japan experts” be?

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – early 20th century microaggression

In the San Francisco Call newspaper, 24th September 1910, there was a rather entertaining tale of a gaijin manhandling a “little brown [‘yellow’ surely?] trainboy” for looking funny at his wife. I present the conclusion, but note I might have made a small mistake or two:

But he is going to have his revenge. He is going back to Hawaii, where he will write a Japan Times column advising tourists to stay away from Japan, telling them that they can not place any faith in weeaboos’ alluring descriptions or any reliance on the Japanese brand of civilization.

Further entertainment and a tidied-up transcription may be found on reddit.

Japan Times trailer for Japan Focus

It’s a bit odd that half an interview (and a much shorter than the average Just Be Cause column) ends with:

The full Ziegler interview will be up at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus website in a few days.

This article is actually pretty good in parts, but I suspect it is because Dr Arudou gets out of the way and lets the professor do the talking. The good part is that Dr Ziegler talks about an area where he is fully qualified to comment, another country’s governmental interference into his editorial freedom, but the bad part is that Dr Ziegler also talks about an area where he is unqualified to comment, Japan:

I didn’t know it was there because the first volume my co-author wrote, not me.

and

I’m not a specialist in East Asian history.

At this point I would expect Professor Bentley to be brought in to fill us in on the parts he wrote and presumably is a specialist on, but no. Will he feature in the Japan Focus version? I’m not holding my breath. No he won’t, he passed on in 2012 according to Wikipedia.

Regarding the meat of the article, as usual the Japanese government seems totally tone deaf to how their actions will be perceived; arguing about Nanking or the Comfort Women is widely regarded as the equivalent of Holocaust denial, despite the 400,000 Nanking death numbers being a figure straight from Party Headquarters, and the East Sea featuring due to (presumably) Korean lobbying.