Entertaining tweets from Eido

Eido tweeted here and here:

I’m tired of unethical journalism practice of allowing former/current writers to use pseudonyms if personal.

Won’t out them, but yes, “Richard Cory”, “Goldie Schwartz”, etc all have articles in under their real names.

Thanks for the tip! BTW folks, in keeping with Eido’s wishes, no outing, please!

My comment got binned again!

Just Be Cause is out again, but my comment on this:

non-Japanese residents are required to carry ID 24/7 in the form of wallet-size “gaijin cards,” nowadays known as zairyū kādo (resident cards).

where I complained that Mr Arudou is abusing the ‘g’-word again and making me feel micro-aggressed, but without being as pedantic as I was last time I complained, was not accepted by the moderator. Oh well.

However, if I wanted to be pedantic (and you all know I want to!), I could mention that if the gaijin cards are nowadays known as zairyu kado, why does he not use the new term? Why does he choose to mention “gaijin card” but neither ARC nor gaikokujin toroku shomei blahblahwaitwhileigoogleit?

On the other hand, as the article is competent and to the point – that is, it doesn’t read like an Arudou article – there’s little to complain about, and even his Japanese translations seem correct, if a little stilted. If someone has his Handbook, I wonder if they could check how much of a cut’n’paste there is?

Dolphipologist gets his blowhole assaulted

There was a story published in Newsweek that I thought took an interesting look at Taiji from another angle, that of an older resident. I quite enjoyed the article, but the comments section is… oh dear. Many of the dolphin-huggers posting there are really quite, quite nasty to anyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view, although admittedly there is a Japanese (or pretending to be Japanese) troll there to wind them up.

I liked this comment:

Those poor dolphins are foreigners. They are citizens of the world. They are not subject to that kind of arrogant self centered thinking that decimates the wonderful beings that inhabit OUR planet just so that some SELF RIGHTEOUS Japanese butchers can save face.

And this:

Dolphin are sacred, and whales keep a secret… There are 8000 whales keeping a secret sign and those signs together can do a drawing… this drawing has powerful magic and then whale can save the earth with this drawing

And of course, many commenters conclude that the reporter must have been on the take from the Japanese government.

David McNeill defends his JT Fookooshimar article, writes a new one on the NY Times

David McNeill wrote up a credulous look at the US sailor-related ambulance-chasing law suit on Fukushima, then despite all evidence that authors defending articles in comments never works, he gave it a try. There’s a lot of good comments, and you can also try to match our regulars with the handles. (I don’t know myself, but I can hazard a guess at two!)

However, today I found another awful article full of innuendo for the New York Times, entitled Squelching Efforts to Measure Fukushima Meltdown, which contains no evidence of squelching and no-one willing to go on record with a claim. Let’s have a look:

[Michio Aoyama] said levels of radioactive cesium 137 in the surface water of the Pacific Ocean could be 10,000 times as high as contamination after Chernobyl

Given that Chernobyl is slightly further from the Pacific, and the prevailing winds blew all its crap over Europe, that’s a pretty useless number, quite frankly. Looking at related stuff it appears to be a local maximum. He currently poo-poos the idea that Fukushima is polluting the whole Pacific.

Joji Otaki, a biologist at Japan’s Ryukyu University who has written papers suggesting that radioactivity at Fukushima has triggered inherited deformities in a species of butterfly.

Dodgy science. No wonder he finds it difficult to get funding.

Timothy A. Mousseau

Oh dear.

In one case, a Japanese professor and two postdoctoral students dropped out of a joint research paper, telling him they could not risk association with [Timothy A. Mousseau's] findings.

Perhaps they Googled him?

Mr. Mousseau is careful to avoid comparisons with the Soviet Union, which arrested and even imprisoned scientists who studied Chernobyl. Nevertheless [...]

…he does.

Much of the government funding for academic research in Japan is funneled through either the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science or the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Proposals are screened by government officials and reviewed by an academic committee.

Umm, isn’t that the way most countries distribute research grants?

Brownface (brownbelly?), Asians who can’t befriend Westerners, US SoS Kerry and JDG forgets his story

White belly dancers are destroying my culture, especially the slim ones!

A look from the other side of the “I can’t make any Japanese friends!” theme.

Recently, the US Secretary of State said this:

Our position on the Senkakus has not changed. The United States recognises de facto Japan administration of the islands but takes no position on the question of parties’ sovereignty claims thereto.

Oops, my mistake, that was about the Falklands! However, it is almost identical to his recent Senkaku statement:

The United States, as everybody knows, does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of the islands. But we do recognize that they are under the administration of Japan

I found that out when I was flaming the ex-British ambassador again, this time wondering why Japan refuses to acknowledge a dispute, just like the UK goverment refuses to do regarding the Falklands.

Jim Di Griz claimed to have returned back to Blighty, although my logs say something different, but here he describes how to watch Top Gear in Japan.

Critical Race Theory paper criticism

Eido tweeted about this paper, Racist Racism: Complicating Whiteness Through the Privilege & Discrimination of Westerners in Japan. I’ve had a read, although I had to give up about halfway through, and some of the social science content is way over my head.

The first thing that struck me was that she footnotes a certain Hawaiiian almost as much as he does himself. The next thing I noticed in the footnotes was that there are a lot of blogs quoted, many of dubious quality, like the charming Tokyo Scum Report.

Now, getting to the meat of the document, we get stuff like this (Page 5):

Even those who naturalize and forsake their original nationalities and names fare no better: Public establishments refuse access to those who look foreign, including naturalized citizens, local governments have been known to oppose giving them suffrage.

That text reads very much as if the them (my italics) refers to naturalised citizens, but the footnotes points towards Debito.org, where the title is “Resolution against NJ Suffrage”. The paragraph carries on:

For example, the highest court has ruled that public employers are permitted to refuse awarding senior posts to minorities (even those native-born), because they do not have the right to hold positions of authority over “real” natives.

Utterly wrong. The paragraph has established she is talking about naturalised citizens, but that court case was regarding Zainichi.

Later on Page 24, she talks about the Tottori ordinance on foreigner human rights, and says:

Notably, the measure has been removed from Tottori Prefecture’s legislative record.

Utterly wrong again. She takes Mr Arudou at face value when he failed to search Google.

I nearly threw my PC out the window when I got to Page 16, where there is a three-page “quote” that read like the first chapter of In Appropriate. Looking at the footnote for it, I read:

This narrative is based on personal experiences, internet postings, information disseminated by human rights activists in Japan, and the author’s interviews with numerous gaijin conducted in the summer of 2012. Experience-based narrative (personal, others’, and even fictional) often contributes significantly to CRT analysis.

So, any old bollocks cobbled up from random internet quotes and anecdotes is material for proving whatever it is she is trying to prove?

I present the Anti-Japologist

Japan Times posts more “news” where the writer does a reverse Japologism – both in content and quality (ie low), it must be said – on a magazine that asked a bunch of foreigners to write something nice about Japan.

“Japanese women are free to be full-time housewives.” “Free” to be, or pressured to be? It depends on how you look at it.

You could say the same thing about Western women being “free” to have a career, when quite often, it seems to me, much of their salary ends up paying for daycare.

Anyway, this got me thinking. I remember a few years ago there was a rumour going around about how the paper was in Soka Gakkai hands, but now it is quite firmly in the strident left-wing camp, or at least its hard left writers get free rein to vent. However, who does that viewpoint serve? I remember the statistic that half their readers are Japanese learning English, who I suspect aren’t too impressed by the editorial team, and a good percentage of the remainder must be tourists getting a free newspaper from their hotel, leaving just a small fraction who are of the same opinion that Japan Is A Nazi Gulag. However, much of that camp has already decamped to foreign climes, so perhaps it is losing significant circulation? Can anyone get hold of the ABC sales figures?

And on a tangent, why isn’t there a JT For Men?

This weekend’s blood pressure-testing articles

First, Eric Johnson in the Japan Times on Osaka versus the Tokyo election, filed under “news”. It’s quite interesting that he manages to get through the whole article without mentioning Inose, nor what’s-his-name JCP lawyer person:

In one corner of the campaign, we have former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe, considered a moderate but, in reality, a conservative who, prior to March 11, 2011, argued for nuclear power. Since then (surprise, surprise) he has kept rather quiet.

That “(surprise, surprise)” seems out of place in a news article. However, Koizumi was also pro-nuclear before 3/11, was he not? Furthermore, Wikipedia says Masuzoe has been talking about nuclear power, but perhaps no-one was listening in November 2012 when he said:


Moving on to a Twitter account that appears to most people to be an official Japan Times spokesperson, I see this comment that I rate as more offensive than the ANA bignose commercial:

What a shit place to waste what’s left of your life> Koreans Fights NYC McDonald’s for the Right to Sit. – NYTimes


Finally, we have our old favourite, Japan Focus and the appropriately-entitled “Spinning the Tokyo Metro Election“. This article also fails to mention Kenji Utsunomiya (I Googled him rather than repeating what’s-his-name), but features the “Nuclear Village” as shorthand for “I hate the LDP”. I had a chuckle at this spin:

The favourite talking point for opponents of the Hosokawa-Koizumi tag team – as it were – has been to emphasize that Hosokawa received a loan (apparently fully paid back) from the firm Sagawa Kyubin during his term as prime minister and must explain this.

Unfortunately, space prevented him for mentioning that the reason there is an election in the first place is that Inose received an apparently fully paid back loan without explaining it.

And to bring us right back to the first story again, there is a footnote pointing to the article on this statement:

The party is officially committed to the very right-wing candidate and historical revisionist Tamogami Toshio, but it seems that much of the membership is turning toward Hosokawa.

He’s not the official candidate, and Mr Johnson said nothing about the relative numbers favouring Hosokawa versus Masuzoe.

Fukushima and Garin Dart

Two stories for the price of one today. First, SafeCast has obviously been bought off by the Japanese Government and reports that Fukushima radiation reaching the US Pacific coast is of an insignificant amount. No surprise to us here, of course, but I tried to find out what people like EneNews were saying about it, but the stupidity got too much for me and I had to quit my searching.

Second, you might remember Garin Dart, a guy in Tokyo who suddenly disappeared last May, and who we mentioned once or twice here. He resurfaced in the UK recently, after the Yakuza ate his homework. His story was published by the Daily Fail, but an interesting snippet of news is that he recently friended Richard Lloyd Parry, a The Times (of London) journalist who wrote about his initial disappearance.

Garin and Richard are now friends

And here’s a Facebook thread about his reappearance.

A quite amazing apologist!

I picked up this story from reddit about a foreigner working night-shifts at Watami chopping up veggies, and it surely must be another case of Poe’s Law? For instance:

There were 16 people in our Cut department. The manager came down with 15 disposable ball pens attached to a nice neck string. The even had a label on them with the name of the worker.  Well guess who did not get one?  Kevin. [...] It was after that I opened my eyes and saw that actual efforts were made to keep me in a remedial station for my entire term with the company. This is where I remain after 2 years. I do not blame the management. I am sure my peers have expressed the idea that most of the tasks would be too difficult.

Oh dear… There’s apologism and there’s being a doormat.