Life in Japan, food, music, whatever…

He never meant it. 6 May, 2011

Filed under: politics — johnraff @ 1:04 pm
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The Democratic Party (Minshuto) came in to power on a wave of disgust with the LDP, who had been in power almost uninterruptedly since the war and had become associated with all that was wrong with Japanese politics. Even more than with Obama in the US, their support has pretty much unravelled and disillusionment is rife. Now, thanks to Wikileaks, we know that all that talk of moving American bases off Okinawa and giving the long-suffering inhabitants a break was so much hot air. They had secretly let the Americans know that if they said no, the Japanese were prepared to accept it. Read more here, courtesy of the Asahi:朝日新聞社):THE TRUTH BEHIND JAPAN-U.S. TIES 1: DPJ government never committed to Futenma alternatives – English.

EDIT: that Asahi article has now been taken down for some reason. Here’s one from the American military site Stars and Stripes:

Report: Japan never fully committed to moving Futenma off Okinawa


And the loser is… 27 September, 2010

Filed under: news,politics — johnraff @ 9:47 pm
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…China I’d say. I thought the first rule of diplomacy was not to cause your opposite number to lose face, and the Chinese are supposed to have mastered this stuff 4,000 years ago, but it either hasn’t occurred to them, or they’re so fired up about the Senkaku/Daioyu islands thing that they don’t care, but their behaviour is being nervously watched all over SE Asia. Vietnam, the Phillipines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have territorial disputes with China, and the Big Cuddly Panda image China has been trying to sell in the region is being seriously undermined by their bullying tactics towards Japan – cutting exports of rare earths, discouraging tourism, clamping down on trade in general, arresting four Japanese on spying charges and now sending more ships to the region. If as big a country as Japan can be treated like this, they might ask, how would we little ones get on?

Of course Japan lost a lot of face, but no-one cares that much about Japan these days anyway…

The winner? America of course. All that fuss about bases in Okinawa might just fade away as everyone in the region rediscovers how much they love Uncle Sam. Personally, I’d say “a pox on both your houses”. Just hope it doesn’t lead to a war or anything…


A Blast from the Past 16 January, 2009

Filed under: news,places — johnraff @ 2:19 am
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Yesterday in Okinawa, there was an explosion at a construction site. The driver of a mechanical digger was seriously injured, and windows were broken at an old peoples’ home 50 metres away. It wasn’t a terrorist attack but a (hitherto) unexploded bomb, left over from the second world war. A lot of them fell on Okinawa, and even 60-odd years later they can still go off, apparently.

They said on the TV news last night that there was still an estimated 3000 tons of bombs left in the ground …


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