Monthly Archives: January 2014

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.

I got myself a new business card

From the site here – the last line is indeed true.

Ken Y-N Chife of Stuff, Japologism

Most Beloved Oscar Ceremony Seatwarmer

Famed Watcher of Breaking Bad

Japologism’s Internet Award-Winning Charlatan

Royal Leader of Osaka

Osaka Most Charismatic Incline Conductor

Astrologically Destined Big Tipper

No. 1 Master Head Honcho of Osaka

Outstanding 100-Year-Flood Predictor

Top Enlightened Personal Zoo Keeper

Most Attractive Drinker

Damn, I have to wait another week for my 初笑い


UPDATE: It turned out to be 初 :roll: .

BTW, is that a dwarfist cartoon? Let’s run down the list:

11. A link to his character assassination of Marutei Tsurunen.

10. and 9. Two deaths of people connected to Japan, but hardly current human rights issues-related. Note, if you replace these two with Donald Keene not being dead, you get a nice round ten – I wonder if his editor had a word with him?

8. and 7. Another two links to past JBCs.

6. I’d call it conceit rather than xenophobia, but who is this Hidehiko Nishiyama? The New York Times article he references (why no hyperlink to a sister paper?) does indeed call him deputy director at the environment ministry, but Google tells me he (or someone with the same name) is an ex-“successful career bureaucrat at the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry” who was ex-ed in 2011 for allegedly shagging a underling. Looking at Japanese Wikipedia, he was at that point “環境省水・大気環境局福島除染推進チーム次長”, which seems to me to be deputy team leader, not as implied second-in-command of the whole of the environment ministry.

5. More references to his own articles, but no links though. However, I take exception to this:

fiddling with definitions of “domestic violence” to include acts that don’t involve physical contact

I think most people agree that domestic violence need not be physical – Wikipedia says:

Domestic violence and abuse is not limited to obvious physical violence. Domestic violence can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment, and stalking.

4. Yet more links and references.

3. He gets the Miki Dezaki story all wrong. Mr Dezaki published his video after his tenure with JET finished, and in an interview he does not associate going to a Buddhist retreat with the abuse he suffered.

2. More self-references! Furthermore, I think he gets the “ethnic nationalist” label wrong – that is the bad kind of nationalist; it is civic nationalism that is soft and cuddly. Interestingly, in a recent article Eido Inoue states that it is actually the left in Japan who are ethnicaly nationalist, so perhaps Mr Arudou got confused?

1. No links to his own articles, so it must be an important point! I am of the suspicion that the new Secrets law is not particularly better or worse than the UK’s Official Secrets Act, for instance, and I await someone to do a reasoned comparative review of the Japanese statute. Mr Arudou also says:

Moreover, this law expands “conspiracy” beyond act and into thought.

Whatever next, people calling for a law to expand “racism” beyond act and into thought? Oh, and isn’t a conspiracy by definition a thought? I will note, however, that US federal and some state laws require an act as well for prosecution.

Someone should have bought the Japan Times a calculator for Christmas

In this story on solar power, we see the following facts in a single paragraph:

Oita-ken will have a new 81.5 megawatt solar plant, which is 30,000 homes-worth.

Oita-ken already has a 70 megawatt solar plant, which is 70,000 homes-worth.

Osaka will soon have a 19.6 megawatt solar plant, which is 5,700 homes-worth.

One doesn’t even need a calculator to notice that 10 megawatts less can supply over twice as many homes, or that the Osaka one is a quarter of the size of the first, but can only supply a fifth of the houses. There really ought to be a standard way of expressing solar power (peak or averaged or potential) and a standard house power consumption.

 Oh, and Happy New Year to all (bar one) of my readers!