Monthly Archives: February 2013

And now, a sweet little advert…

I’m sure someone can find a reason to be offended, however! There’s more in the series:

Japologism savaged by a dead sheep

TL;DR summary:

  • Mr Johnson, I think I’ve put you in check. You have in my opinion recklessly disregarded a lot of things that have happened in the pursuit of your vendetta. I’ll just refute you here, but as for Eido, I don’t think he got to where he is today without knowing the right time to be a hard-nosed bastard. I reckon you’ll soon be informed of a couple of facts that, well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. :evil:

Japan’s greatest investigative journalist publishes yet another screed of ill-sourced nonsense, including this not-really-an-accusation-honest:

Nicolson, meanwhile, claimed on Japologism on Feb. 19 at 9:25 am (regular Panasonic business hours)

Oh noes, that’s the same day as I skived off in the afternoon to go to the pictures:

Les Miserables

Furthermore, Mr Johnson reports:

Debito, who has withstood a barrage of Japan Probe attacks, noted on his website in December how anonymous amateur bloggers are increasingly taking the place of traditional journalists trained in ethics, balance, and the “role of media as a watchdog and an influencer of public opinion.” He wrote that many bloggers are indulging “in an unethical means to amplify their voice by masquerading as others by writing under multiple monikers or within multiple venues — sometimes having conversations with themselves (“sock-puppeting”) as a means to create the veneer of majority-view legitimacy. This has led to bullying of minority voices by a very small but dedicated cadre of people, who use their anonymity to make sure that their activities will very rarely be uncovered because of the lack of direct evidence.”

He then follows it with an archive of a URL featuring a story that was written by someone writing under what I believe to be one of multiple monikers, and a story that furthermore Mr Arudou wholeheartedly apologised to Eido for.

Nicolson, perhaps anticipating an investigative article about himself and Havill, has deleted a series of comments on Japologism, which might show evidence of Havill’s behavior.

No, that is a flat-out lie. I have only deleted off-topic chit-chat from iLD and friends and repeated posts by someone engaged in "unethical means to amplify their voice by masquerading as others by writing under multiple monikers". (And, if you want to be pedantic, the very occasional double-post or "Please fix my typo above"-type comments. And not forgetting swearword-filled abuse.)

Havill spent a lot of time on Japologism that afternoon writing lengthy diatribes and joining sock-puppets urging Havill and Google superiors to contact police and lawyers to take actions against Havill’s perceived enemies.

Oops, you shouldn’t have said that!

Anyway, you say at the head of the article:

Nicolson […] wrote thousands of comments and articles harassing foreigners in Japan and staining their names online

You have failed completely to demonstrate that. Withdraw that accusation.

Half wins award for her funny accent

Unfortunately I cannot find a link to this, but apparently the 18th of February is "local accent day", and on last night’s News Caster they showed highlights from a competition organised by Tokyo universities to find the best local dialect-speaking female student, and the winner was from Niigata (IIRC) and did her bit wearing a sari or similar dress, and had a definite Asian (in the British sense) look to her.

It reminds me of the first time a Pakistani entrant won a gold medal at the Whisky Olympics.

More information on this story would be most welcome!

Racism in Japan

Here’s a very interesting video that’s been getting quite a bit of coverage first on reddit, then 2ch :roll: , and now the Washington Post:


Anything that gets the netto uyoku’s knickers in a twist must have something positive about it, and now having watched the video I do agree with just about all of what he says.

Don your lead-lined tinfoil hats – Fukushima children’s thyroid cancer

Japan Times is one of the many newspapers to carry this Kyodo report on "three young people have thyroid cancer". The fact of the matter is:

A Fukushima Prefectural Government panel said Wednesday that two people who were 18 or younger when the triple-meltdown crisis started at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic complex in March 2011 have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, bringing the total cases to three.

Kyodo also reports that a professor on the panel said:

Reporting at a meeting on the health impact from the catastrophe, professor Shinichi Suzuki of Fukushima Medical University said it is too early to link the cases to the nuclear disaster, because it took at least four to five years for thyroid cancer to be detected after the Chernobyl meltdown calamity that started in 1986.

However, if we look what might be the Japanese version of the Kyodo story on Yahoo! via the Mainichi, we see:


That’s quite a different emphasis. However the same professor also said this:


Surely the prof would have an exact figure, rather than passing on "one in a million"?  A comment on Japan Times provides a link to UK child data, so taking the 15 to 19 year old band, it is about sixteen in a million. However, scaling up the tests in Fukushima, 3 in 38,000, we get about eighty in a million. This is about five times higher than the expected UK rate, but if we stick with three people instead of perhaps zero or one people in an "average" year, the change may be either an expected statistical fluctuation (I don’t know the maths to do to demonstrate that!) or caused just by the increase in thyroid tests.

It’s also interesting to note that there has already been 43 retweets of this article, many of them the usual anti-nuclear crowd.

This month’s Just Be Cause

I think I’ll sit this one out here, and instead watch the fireworks that no doubt will appear in the Japan Times’ comments. I will make one comment there (if no-one beats me to it!) to correct facts, then watch and decide how or if to follow on.

I’m also feeling a bit aggrieved that I can no longer predict the URL to get a sneak preview. :razz:

UPDATE: It is here.

A reading from the Gospel according to Saint Kan

The Japan Times printed a two-part review of a book by Naoto Kan explaining his role in the Fukushima disaster. See part 1 and part 2.

What I disliked most about the articles was this assumption:

Yet the record is unequivocal: Tepco found itself unable to control events as they took one turn after another for the worse; and had the prime minister not intervened to consolidate decision-making and expedite emergency measures, a pall of radiation may very well have descended over the entire Kanto region, where the capital is located.

How is the record unequivocal? Assuming there is a true record, "may very well have" is hardly unequivocal, and we know that within TEPCO the central management and the plant manager were at odds, so there is not a singular TEPCO. The various inquiries into the disaster have not found a single narrative, not least because TEPCO "lost" a soundtrack and Kan’s cabinet ordered minutes not to kept of their meetings.

Even now, nearly two years after the fatal calamity

One person at the power station died from the earthquake, but no-one from the various meltdowns and explosions.

Though opinion polls conducted since the accident have shown a distinct majority of Japanese in favor of the methodical abandonment of nuclear power, a similarly distinct majority opted to vote in a government last December that is openly dedicated to the resurrection of nuclear power generation.

Such conflicted majorities attest to a lack of resolve in the populace, a condition that is easily exploited by powerful interests and a media who meekly follow their lead.

I thought the preferred story was that if you also count those who did not vote the LDP only got a tiny percentage, and of course a majority did not vote for the LDP anyway; New Komeito had a platform of phasing out nuclear power, so we cannot add their votes in. Furthermore, it was a lack of resolve in the political parties and activists, not the populace – Mirai no To got the kicking they deserved – and I would argue that a lot of media is anti-nuclear.

the contaminated soils of the northeastern Tohoku region of Honshu

:roll: (And I know it’s for the benefit of an international audience (who know where Honshu is…), but I’ve always thought the north-east really is the most appropriate area to locate Tohoku)