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.


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.

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  1. >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.

    I am reminded of the Doctor’s rant at the American consul when his dual citizenship was challenged. Do those answers not appear a little too well prepared?

    Do I sense an interview done through email?

    And this caused some amusement;
    >And maybe in Japan, and I do not know this either, the government has control over textbooks in schools. Not in America.

    Ahem. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/education/creationists-on-texas-panel-for-biology-textbooks.html?_r=0

    :headdesk: :headdesk:

  2. So, the official Party death toll for Nanking is up to 400,000 now?

    At this rate, it will be about 800,000 by the Tokyo Olympics, which becomes “nearly a million” when put in the hands of the Japan-bashing “journalists”.

  3. @Sixth Sense: perhaps he meant national government. In the US local government absolutely has control over the curriculum in the schools. It’s part of why in most states federal dollars can be spent on buildings/maintenance/etc. but not on teachers/textbooks/etc. so you wind up with a lot of great buildings with no administration or teachers in them (because it’s a spend it or lose it proposition).

  4. @Sixth Sense:
    >Do I sense an interview done through email?

    I was curious so I checked, since Ziegler is a professor at UHawaii I’m betting it was face to face.

  5. No need to bet. It says in the article they are talking face to face.

  6. Hmmm…someone thinks they’re being misrepresented, so they try hamfistedly to intervene and end up looking like an arrogant arse in denial of their past.


  7. @al-ANON:

    Move On, Christopher Johnson, Move On.

  8. andrew in ezo

    American cops would have just shot him in the face and thus save the bother of hauling him to the hospital.

  9. I’m picturing the interview coming to a close and Dr Ziegler signalling he’ll pay the check. A relieved Dr Deb thanks him profusely and begins stuffing bread rolls into his jacket pockets to smuggle back to the dorm.

  10. Ziegler’s official statement to the WSJ on the matter, in his own words:

    “I am indeed responsible for writing the two short paragraphs on comfort women. In fact, I wrote the entire second volume of the text. And, yes, the publisher and I have been contacted separately by representatives of the Japanese government, essentially requesting some sort of revision of the offending narrative. Neither the publisher nor I entertain any such notion.”

    Arudou’s opening to the JBC article is inaccurate: the J-reps never asked them to delete the two paragraphs, as he writes.

  11. @EL-ANON:

    February 11, 2015, 5:30pm in Akasaka is not “probably” nor is it “broad daylight” you moron. No wonder no news agency will deal with you.

    A quick check of the meteorological data for Tokyo confirms that sunset on that day was at 5:18pm.

    You claimed to be a veteran reporter. Don’t you know how to check weather records? Journalism 101. Slept through that class? There are more qualified people than you to handle this.

    Move On, Christopher Johnson, Move On.

  12. Havill wrote
    February 11, 2015, 5:30pm in Akasaka is not “probably” nor is it “broad daylight” you moron. No wonder no news agency will deal with you.
    A quick check of the meteorological data for Tokyo confirms that sunset on that day was at 5:18pm.

    Oh well that makes the killing OK!

    Who’s the moron?

  13. @Varus:

    You are, sweetheart. You always are. How’s the alcohol problem?

  14. A western journalist who has spent over a decade in Japan is surely fluent in Japanese and has loads of contacts in all areas of Tokyo society so this case will be a golden opportunity for him or her to get to the bottom of this troubling case.

    CJ ganbaru I’m sure you are the man for the job.

  15. @Varus:

    Nobody knows if it’s a “killing”.

    To get to the truth, you need accurate facts to work with. Not getting the simplest and easiest facts correct to begin with is a very bad start.

    If you think otherwise, then sorry, you’re the moron.

  16. @havill:

    Kind of hard to follow this sometimes when the original link is gone. Should we assume that all deleted comments are potential CJs?

  17. I do have a policy of removing all his comments as soon as I can.

  18. KT88 (drowsy)

    Ken, though deleted, surely not gone?

    I for one would love to see a “greatest hits collection” spin off. Surely there would be enough content?

    Perhaps we can start a subreddit /cjgoeswild? Just remove all filters and let the furious phlegm fly?

    Strictly non-canonical and all in “good natured” (thanks wikipedia), of course.

  19. I think CJ has just as much compassion and genuine feeling for the unfortunate teacher as Dr Dumb has for the comfort women. Zero, they are just jumping on the tragedies of people they know nothing and care less about to further their worthless “careers” and whip up hate for the Japanese who they blame for all their self inflicted failures in life.

  20. Ewwww.

  21. @KT88 (drowsy):

    I for one would love to see a “greatest hits collection” spin off. Surely there would be enough content?

    That’s already been tried. By CJ (“goyamagazine”). Nobody read it though, including CJ himself, which is why he didn’t notice that his domain had expired and somebody else had acquired it until months after the fact.

  22. ilikedolphins

    Is Baye McNeil growing up with his recent anti-nigger-face-make-up campaign?

    Can we see someone who although a monstrous dick of a man gets to grow up in little stages like a handheld Donkey Kong?

    Something we all know a little Debito Arudou who grew up wanking cross eyed to old Battle comics screaming the Japs are evil can never do?

    Or is he just a cunt?

    I don’t know.

  23. @ilikedolphins:

    You’re all class.

  24. I’m all working class.

    Which gives me a unique perspective on all the “Assistant Language Teachers” and “Hobbyist PhDs” who believe they own the narrative on “Racism in Japan”.

    They’re all lame fucking cunts.

    I don’t mind when these sub-literate wide-faced Neanderthals become one issue bunnies and focus on something achievable rather than just making wild shit up although I guess we all think it’s funny when a lonely and sad pony-tailed pretend Doctor writes that 5:30pm is not really nighttime and therefore a man was murdered by the police. In the library with a candlestick Colonel Mustard.

  25. Jim Di Griz Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 5:52 pm
    Clearly (unless you are an apologist), there is a problem with police procedure, and or training.
    Being naked, noisy, or disruptive is not a death sentence offense in other first world nations.


    ”This is at least the third African-American man to be shot dead by police since last Friday, who either was or seemed unarmed.”

  26. Luckily Carrie Russell was not naked or black, for had she been either, she would have been murdered by the police or worse.

  27. @iLikeDolphins: Loverilakkuma goes off-message by suggesting that (like I thought when I first heard the story) that the American man may have been on Kikken Drugs (is the Doctor unaware of that term?) but luckily JDG keeps it real by suggesting that the American woman either has Stockholm Syndrome or is being paid to say things. :facepalm:

  28. Back to the story at hand: I completely agree with the professor and the outrage at a foreign government attempting to get another country to revise its text books. (the irony of course is that China and South Korea have been bashing Japan for years about the text book issue, only the other way around).

    Two questions – the article doesn’t specifically say what Japan wanted corrected, but according to a WSJ article, the text book says: “The Japanese army forcibly recruited, conscripted and dragooned as many as 200,000 women ages 14 to 20 to serve in military brothels, called ‘comfort houses.” and “The Japanese military massacred large numbers of comfort women to cover up the operation”.

    Not that it paints the Japanese government in any better light, but is it possible the ‘correction’ requested was that the military had committed mass murder of the comfort women?

    Secondly – I really hate it when people blindly parrot popular narratives, especially people that just told us previously they’re not experts in East Asia subjects:

    “I’m not a specialist in East Asian history. I teach world history, meaning I know very little about many things. I’m largely a scholar of German history. Germans had to deal with their past, especially during World War II. It wasn’t easy, it took time, but by and large the Germans have acknowledged and come to terms with the ugly parts of their past. The Japanese never have.

    I suspect that young people in Japan grow up without knowing half the time what went on in the Second World War. That’s just a guess; I do not know”.

    Why, gee – thanks for your brilliant, wild-ass guess disguised as insight. This is a popular meme – ‘young Japanese don’t learn anything about WWII and how it started, etc etc’, and it’s absolute poppycock.

  29. KT88 (mind, magatta!)

    Ken, please, please, pretty please don’t delete this latest round of insights from our favourite dysfunctional conspiracy theorist. These are truly excellent.

    While not exactly JDG level “clever” the amount of work put into weaving such a coherent narrative is at the very least… something?

  30. Ken on another phone

    @KT88 (mind, magatta!): I’d rather not pollute the site with his posting. He has his own site, or a ready audience at debito.org for his comments.

  31. KT88 (astounded!)

    @Ken on another phone: Well, Debitonian Wiki-style pissy-fit from me then! Grr! Kyaa!

    For those who missed it… Our favorite Journo through some incredible, truly paranoid leaps of logic linked a naked dead American in Tokyo with the Aderall-addled Oregonian because… umm, transportation? No, cos, Japanese cops are Japanese and therefore bad.

    Or something. :facepalm:


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