Category Archives: Japan Times

And so to bed…

Well, today I turned off the auto-renew on this domain, although it’s still got over a year to run.

As can be witnessed by my lack of updates, my heart is no longer in it, and quite frankly I feel sorry for Dr Arudou these days. Furthermore, it would appear that Japan Times has decided to lose the racism and complete all transactions with the said Doctor, as witnessed by (a) the lack of Just Be Cause this month and (b) said Doctor committing, in my opinion, copyright infringement with Japan Times twice this month, whereas previously he always just published extracts from JT columns.

For other topics, the Fookooshimar idiots are sadly still in force, but repeating the same debunking of their nonsense is a pretty futile endeavour.

Japan Times subeditor having a sly dig?

I’ll probably write more this evening, but for now, I noticed the subheading on this month’s JBC reads:

Intellectual snobbery and an inability to work together are perennial problems

Indeed.

And now this evening’s input:

And we are seeing outdoor protest after protest, with ranks swelling to numbers not seen in decades.

Make that three years: 75,000 marching against nuclear power; organisers said 170,000, police reported 75,000, versus the recent protest managing 120,000 (organisers) versus 30,000 (police). (Incidentally, the Japan Times chose to cast doubt on these numbers with this badly- and weasely-worded paragraph: “Meanwhile, NHK, quoting unnamed police sources, reported the Metropolitan Police Department estimated that only 30,000 protesters gathered around the Diet. A police spokesman declined to comment when contacted by The Japan Times.”

Japan is a land that craves precedent

What? Where did that come from?

few dare display communist sympathies

Oh really? So why were the JCP the only party that made significant progress in the last election?

“Hey, the system worked for our ancestors in the past, right?”

Collective self-defence is a whole new ball-game with no precedent in Japan.

Whenever Japan harks to the past, an element of ancestor worship seeps in.

:roll:

You see that even with WWII war criminals enshrined as heroes at public worship sites

You spelt “war-linked shrine” wrongly! :facepalm:

Then there’s the leftist ideological distaste for measuring everything in terms of money.

Where does that statement come from? Or is this a reference to Hatoyama’s (incidentally, the richest Diet Member when he was in the House) fantasy budget about how he was going to find zillions of yen in savings?

But the biggest disadvantage I see in Japan’s left is an intellectual snobbery.

Now, this is an area that I must admit Doctor Arudou PhD is an expert in.

Rightists intuitively understand that if something is to be a talking point, you have to put it in manga or anime form. Then you’ll reach even the most disaffected shut-in (who will then go online to terrorize a newfound foe). In comparison, leftists look more like doctrinaire fossils, sniffing at all this anti-intellectualism: “Who needs to tell lowbrow stories when we have abstract principles to adhere to?”

:roll: Furthermore, I recall the Western press going gaga over the JCP’s cute mascots at the last election.

But the right knows it needs as many people as possible parroting its talking points — for a fundamental maxim of propaganda is that if enough people say something, it becomes true.

So, how does leftist Diet Members repeating “War Bill” all the time fit into this analysis?

As a bonus, Toolonggone comments on the article:

It’s just so sad and mind-boggling to see these activists made a horrible choice to engage in killing sprees within their factions in course of challenging the state regime.

Maybe it’s just badly-phrased, but that seems to suggest that the horrible choice was to kill fellow activists instead of members of the state regime.

No doubt they gave Marxism a really bad name.

:headdesk:

Jake Adelstein latest to succumb to narcotics

Jake’s contribution to the debate starts with a Betteridge headline, and follows with his usual load of conspiracy theories and unnamed sources, and the occasional contradiction, such as:

She hasn’t been able to speak with the company directly because she has been in detention since her arrest.

And:

Suspects are allowed one 20-minute visit per day, excluding their lawyer. 

These two statements are contradictory; Toyota may have decided not to send someone round to visit her, of course, but she is able to speak to the company while in detention.

Does anyone really believe that a high-paid executive of Toyota was smuggling oxycodone into Japan in an attempt to get high

Well, I could believe that, from what I know of oxy and that it seems to get handed out like sweeties in the USA.

The comments are quite, quite full of crazy, and I note that Mr Adelstein has taken to voting up some of the even more ridiculous conspiracy theories there.

Jeff Kingston befuddled by narcotics

Japan Times keeps running with Ms Hemp, now quoting our second-favourite academic, Jeff Kingston, on his views on elite bread-heads employed by the old-boy network:

Hamp’s treatment by the police and local media “sends a chilling message to other foreign managers who might be considering a posting to Japan.”

As I said in the comments there, surely “who might be considering posting narcotics to Japan.”

Also, a bonus in the comments, Steve Jackson suggests Ms Hemp was driven to drugs by the Toyota board. :facepalm: 

 

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.

Abe literally worse than Hitler and other awful articles

There’s been two pretty bad articles recently, one by Jake Adelstein, and another by someone who could easily be his disciple. Let’s skim through and find the :facepalm: First, Jake:

The domestic press hasn’t been controlled by the state to this extent since, arguably, 1937.

Jake Adelstein hasn’t written a worse article since, arguably, 1973.

why the government didn’t seem particularly interested in saving the Japanese hostages in Syria.

That’s an interesting spin – one could claim that the reluctance to hand over $200 million indicated a lack of interest; is that what he wants to say, or is this just criticism for the sake of criticism?

A freelance journalist who attempted to go to Syria last month was even directly threatened with arrest.

That person was a photo-journalist, I believe, and there is an interesting argument about the right of free movement over the duty of the government to protect its citizens, but again, subtlety is abandoned for the sake of criticism.

The Asahi then also retracted important testimony on the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, perhaps out of fear.

Nope, that is nonsense; it was retracted because it was false. Admittedly, the Asahi could have feared being made a laughing stock again, but that’s not what Jake is trying to falsely convince the reader of.

Kenji Goto, the journalist who was beheaded by jihadis after Abe’s Cairo speech.

:headdesk:

Now, the Huffington Post:

Japan, it seemed, was increasingly uncomfortable with the nationalist alternative that Abe and others were offering. But Hatoyama himself lasted less than a year — in large part because of U.S. pushback against his unorthodox foreign policy positions 

That’s not why the DPJ got elected, and unless you could Okinawa as foreign, Hatoyama’s only unorthodox (is that a polite way of saying “insane”?) foreign policy was his East Asian EU, and he lasted less than a year due to cocking up Okinawa all by himself.

The visit sends […] a message to Japanese that this prime minister will push his constitutional agenda forward regardless of the domestic obstacles.

Really? It’s not like he came back and said that the ghost of Tojo told him to invade China.

Less publicized was his participation in an important Shinto ritual that happens every 20 years — the rebuilding of the Ise Shrine — that effectively blurred the distinction between religion and state.

That’s an, err, interesting way of describing it.

Last July, Abe issued a cabinet decision — the Japanese equivalent of a presidential order — that committed Japan to collective self-defense, which means that Tokyo can fight on behalf of allies even if Japan itself is not under attack.

That’s not the way I understand it, or at least there are sufficient checks and balances that say they can support allies attacked within Japanese territorial waters. (Of course, please correct me if I am wrong here.)

the Abe document would not just remove Article 9

No, the draft doesn’t remove it.

The rest about Okinawa is interesting, but it fails to mention that by delaying the Henoko project, Futenma is left sitting in the middle of the town it is in; that is a significant point, I feel. (Oh, as for the current test boring stuff, the crushing of coral by the concrete anchors needs to be addressed, and Abe’s speech for the opening of the Diet in January (I think it was) where he said something to the effect of Okinawa’s residents will be treated with respect has been shown to be empty words, but I’ve not seen anyone pick him up on it recently, either in English or Japanese.)

Jeff Kingston beats Martin Fackler with a vengeance

Following up on Martin Fackler’s dodgy translation, the Japan Times allows Jeff Kingston to publish his usual Abe hate, winding up the hate from “pay the price” to “vengeance”, not just once but three times. Here is the evidence he is quoting Fackler:

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe […] vow[ed] retribution and justice by “making the terrorists pay the price.”

Yup, straight from the horse’s arse, and as I mentioned in the comments there, at least Mr Kingston managed to get one word correct, “justice”.

Foreign expert tries to line up cushy government commission

From Christmas Day in the Japan Times, someone perhaps trying to set himself up as the next Alex Kerr fixes Japan’s tourist industry. Reading the article I got a similar feeling as to when I read Kerr’s Lost Japan, of a man a bit too full of himself and his achievements of knowing Japan better than the Japanese. 

“If love for Japan is indeed a worldwide trend, as Japanese people themselves say, why is it that only 13 million people visited the country this year, while in France they had some 83 million visitors?”

Umm, does anyone not know the answer to that one?

Most have little real engagement with Japan during their visit. Only 3 to 4 million of the total, he said, truly explore the nature and culture and form a real connection.

Sounds a bit like a “No true Scotsmantish Tourist” argument, and 25% sounds like a healthy percentage to me, indeed if anything is greater than I would guess if “true exploration” meant venturing further than Ginza department stores and a few photos at the Meiji Shrine.

Its priorities should include […] installing signs in English that have been proofread by a native speaker

In particular by this guy’s company, perhaps? Korean and Chinese would be more important, of course.

producing souvenirs that match foreigners’ lifestyles

I agree than most often souvenirs appear to be targeted to Japan day-trippers, but just last night on the news I saw that in New Chitose Airport, mainland Asians were buying snack boxes by the carton and delaying flights as the baggage handlers couldn’t keep up.

Many souvenir dishes, for example, are simply too small to be used in foreign cuisine.

“Western”, not “foreign”? Expecting a chawan to be super-sized doesn’t quite feel right to me.

Tourists place no great value in some of the qualities Japanese often brag about, including safety, clean streets and the punctuality of public transportation, Atkinson said.

Really? Getting to where you are going on time without being robbed is of no great value?

These things “may be interesting to see once or twice. But visitors don’t come back” to see them again.

That’s different from “no great value”, and visitors don’t tend to come back if they feel unsafe.

It is “embarrassing” for Japan to be proud of such small things while its government is not spending enough to maintain and restore cultural properties, he added.

In other words, “I want my government contract!”

Fortunately, Japan is blessed with four assets any nation aspiring to be a successful tourism destination must have: a culture, a history, a mild climate and glorious nature, Atkinson said.

“A mild climate”? I’m freezing my nuts off here! The list sounds a bit four season-ish to me.

“If they can collaborate more with foreigners and listen to a bit of what they say, I think Japan can be more attractive,” he said.

Preferably foreigners (a) from target countries and (b) without vested interests. I’m available!

Defying one’s doctoral training

Last year, the then Mr Arudou said this:

[…] he defied his doctorate training by calling Koreans an “emotional people,” and dismissed several counter-opinions as “stupid”

This year, the doctorately-trained Arudou said:

The majority of you stayed on because you were anesthetized by sex, booze, easy money and the freedom to live outside both the boxes you were brought up in and the boxes Japanese people slot themselves in.

And:

But as your twilight years approach, you’ll look back in anger and wish you’d created a different bubble.

That looks like similar behaviour to me, and behaviour that has been committed to print for all eternity.

And in slightly related news, Robert McKinney of Otaru, a regular letter-writer to the Japan Times often voicing support for Dr Arudou’s columns, outs himself as one of Arudou’s losers – see the third letter down here.