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Home » Archives » November 2007

Fukuda in a corner

Kjeld Duits, Friday, November 30, 2007 Posted: 10:13 AM JST

Prime Minister Fukuda was pushed deeper into his corner this week by four events. Combined, and followed by others, they may eventually bring his government down.

[FULL STORY]


Fear, fear and more fear...

Kjeld Duits, Friday, November 30, 2007 Posted: 09:33 AM JST

This article by Carolyn Baker oozes fear. The scary part is that some of her concerns resemble some of my own views. I have told some of my best friends many times that the current state of the US reminds me of the end of the Roman Empire, while the current world situation resembles the onset of the Great Depression and the subsequent wars much more than I would like. Add to that the environmental problems that we are now facing.

[FULL STORY]


Publishers and Printers of Vintage Japanese Postcards

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 27, 2007 Posted: 12:03 PM JST

An evolving list of known printers and distributors that printed Japan related cards:

[FULL STORY]


Inter-Religious Conference on War-Renouncing Article 9

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 26, 2007 Posted: 10:08 AM JST

An inter-religious conference on Article 9 will be held at Korean YMCA Hotel in Tokyo on November 29 and 30. Portions of this conference will be open to the public. There will be a keynote presentation by Ms.Takako Doi (former chief of the Social Democratic Party in Japan), panel discussions on the praxis of non-violence and peace, Article 9 and the militarized world, as well as a concert with singers Rattlesnake Annie and Noriko Shintani.

[FULL STORY]


How Can You Protest Japan's Bad Fingerprinting Policy?

Kjeld Duits, Friday, November 23, 2007 Posted: 09:16 AM JST

Aridou Debito has listed a number of active and passive ways to protest Japan's new law to fingerprint and photograph non-Japanese nationals each time they enter Japan. They contain excellent suggestions:

[FULL STORY]


Why Protest Fingerprinting?

Kjeld Duits, Friday, November 23, 2007 Posted: 08:05 AM JST

A responsible law-obeying person may not feel comfortable to protest a law. Especially not if you are told that it will protect you. But the new Japanese fingerprinting law absolutely requires protest from every responsible law-obeying person living in and visiting Japan.

Why?

1. Requiring people to identify themselves with fingerprints and photographs each time they visit a country is an assault on their human rights.

2. Singling out foreigners for identification is morally wrong. Foreigners and native-born are equally capable of being good or bad.

3. Singling out foreigners for identification is stupid. A potential terrorist intent on creating mayhem in Japan could easily enter Japan on a faked Japanese passport.

4. It can, and most probably will, lead to increasing erosion of your individual rights.

5. Additionally, it is a big pain. Read the following experience of Martin Issott, a Kansai-based non-Japanese:

[FULL STORY]


Protesting Fingerprinting on the Web

Kjeld Duits, Friday, November 23, 2007 Posted: 07:17 AM JST

A storm of protest against fingerprinting is building on the web. Naturally, Arudou Debito's site has been on the vanguard. But it is being joined by an increasing number of others. Especially worthy of mention is Re-Entry Japan, which also runs an online petition against fingerprinting.

Keywords: national_news


Bizarre Politics in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 01:22 PM JST

First Prime Minister Fukuda approaches the largest opposition party in Japan, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), to discuss a coalition. Then DPJ's leader Ichiro Ozawa offers to step down after other DPJ topmen did not agree with him on going into sea with the governing LDP. They beg him to stay on and a few days later he reconsiders and decides not to resign. The past week of Japanese politics has been like an out-of-body experience, totally insane and incomprehensible.

[FULL STORY]


Fundraiser Planned for Documentary about Child Abduction in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 12:37 PM JST

(by David Hearn and Matt Antell) - We first learned of this situation in January 2006 in a Metropolis article titled "Think of the Children" by Kevin Buckland, and after some discussions we felt strongly that a documentary film would be an influential way to raise awareness about the issue. Both of us are married to Japanese and have started wonderful families, but hearing how easily and frequently a parent can be cut off from seeing their own kids was very disturbing.

[FULL STORY]


Campaign Aims to Reduce Individual CO2 Emissions by 1 kg per Day

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 12:17 PM JST

"Team Minus 6 %," a government-led campaign by Japan's Ministry of the Environment, launched a website called "Go for it! Let's reduce individual CO2 emissions by 1 kg per day "on June 26, 2007. The aim of the site is to support a national citizens' initiative in connection with "Cool Earth 50," a new strategy against global warming, announced in May 2007 by the then-Prime Minister Abe, who headed the "team."

[FULL STORY]


Japan Develops the World's First Hybrid Railcar

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 12:16 PM JST

East Japan Railway Company has developed a railcar equipped with a diesel hybrid system with the aim of "Reducing Environmental Burden." The hybrid system uses a diesel generator and rechargeable batteries to power its motor. In a world first on July 31, 2007, the company began commercial operations with this hybrid railcar on the JR Koumi Line (from Kobuchizawa in Yamanashi Prefecture to Komoro in Nagano Prefecture).

[FULL STORY]


Kitakyushu Starts Pilot Production of Ethanol from Food Waste

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 12:14 PM JST

In Kitakyushu City in southern Japan, a pilot plant to produce ethanol from food waste was established as a part of the city's Eco-Town project. The city started the collection of food waste from some hospitals, elementary schools, retailers and households in the city on June 11, 2007.

[FULL STORY]


What Tibbets and his Friends Have Sown

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 10:39 AM JST

Pierre Tristam's article about Tibbets, the pilot who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima certainly touched a string. Tibbets could somehow be excused — although he is not in my book — for needing a strategy to remain sane after his horrific exploit, but many others are not. I recently ran into an instance of ignorance about the horrors of the nuclear bomb that was small but illustrative:

[FULL STORY]


Tibbets Did Duty in Dropping Bomb, But Then Reveled in It

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 10:08 AM JST

(by Pierre Tristam) - How convenient, this forgetting — this respected ignorance — that the only nation to have ever used the deadliest of all weapons of mass destruction, the only nation to have terrorized a country by means of those weapons, the only nation to have nuked civilians, twice, with questionable necessity, obliterating 340,000 lives (by the time all the deaths related to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were tallied five years out), is us, the United States.

[FULL STORY]


Japanese Giants Not So Tall...

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 6, 2007 Posted: 10:09 AM JST

While they stand tall in Japan's history books, 19th century hero Sakamoto Ryoma was only 156-169 cm tall, while 16th-century military genius Takeda Shingen was about 162 cm, Kyodo News reports today.

[FULL STORY]


Twelve Companies Show Interest to Sponsor NOVA

Kjeld Duits, Sunday, November 4, 2007 Posted: 08:50 PM JST

Twelve companies have applied to sponsor the rehabilitation of the failed foreign-language school NOVA Corp., Japanese media reports today. NOVA was granted protection from creditors on October 26.

According to court-appointed administrators some of the companies made specific proposals. The value of Nova's assets, however, has not been assessed, creating great uncertainty about Nova's rehabilitation.

Keywords: national_news


Japan Opposition Party's Ichiro Ozawa Unexpectedly Resigns

Kjeld Duits, Sunday, November 4, 2007 Posted: 08:35 PM JST

Ichiro Ozawa, leader of Japan's opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) since April 2006, unexpectedly announced his resignation today. "I caused political confusion over Prime Minister Fukuda's coalition proposal," Mr. Ozawa told a news conference. "I have therefore decided to resign from my post as president."

[FULL STORY]

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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