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Author Topic: Japan  (Read 8824 times)
G M
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« on: December 30, 2010, 07:27:32 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/world/asia/16iht-16outcasts.19414604.html

Japan's outcasts still wait for society's embrace
By Norimitsu Onishi
Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2009


KYOTO, Japan — For Japan, the crowning of Hiromu Nonaka as its top leader would have been as significant as America's election of its first black president.

Despite being the descendant of a feudal class of outcasts, who are known as buraku and still face social discrimination, Nonaka had dexterously occupied top posts in Japan's governing party and served as the government's No. 2 official. The next logical step, by 2001, was to become prime minister. Allies urged him on.

But not everyone inside the party was ready for a leader of buraku origin. At least one, Taro Aso, Japan's current prime minister, made his views clear to his closest associates in a closed-door meeting in 2001.

"Are we really going to let those people take over the leadership of Japan?" Aso said, according to Hisaoki Kamei, a politician who attended the meeting.

Mr. Kamei said he remembered thinking at the time that "it was inappropriate to say such a thing." But he and the others in the room let the matter drop, he said, adding, "We never imagined that the remark would leak outside."

But it did — spreading rapidly among the nation's political and buraku circles. And more recently, as Aso became prime minister just weeks before President-elect Barack Obama's victory, the comment has become a touchstone for many buraku.

How far have they come since Japan began carrying out affirmative action policies for the buraku four decades ago, mirroring the American civil rights movement? If the United States, the yardstick for Japan, could elect a black president, could there be a buraku prime minister here?

The questions were not raised in the society at large, however. The topic of the buraku remains Japan's biggest taboo, rarely entering private conversations and virtually ignored by the media.

The buraku — ethnically indistinguishable from other Japanese — are descendants of Japanese who, according to Buddhist beliefs, performed tasks considered unclean. Slaughterers, undertakers, executioners and town guards, they were called eta, which means defiled mass, or hinin, nonhuman. Forced to wear telltale clothing, they were segregated into their own neighborhoods.

The oldest buraku neighborhoods are believed to be here in Kyoto, the ancient capital, and date back a millennium. That those neighborhoods survive to this day and that the outcasts' descendants are still subject to prejudice speak to Japan's obsession with its past and its inability to overcome it.

Yet nearly identical groups of outcasts remain in a few other places in Asia, like Tibet and Nepal, with the same Buddhist background; they have disappeared only in South Korea, not because prejudice vanished, but because decades of colonialism, war and division made it impossible to identify the outcasts there.

In Japan, every person has a family register that is kept in local town halls and that, with some extrapolation, reveals ancestral birthplaces. Families and companies widely checked birthplaces to ferret out buraku among potential hires or marriage partners until a generation ago, though the practice has greatly declined, especially among the young.

The buraku were officially liberated in 1871, just a few years after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. But as the buraku's living standards and education levels remained far below national averages, the Japanese government, under pressure from buraku liberation groups, passed a special measures law to improve conditions for the buraku in 1969. By the time the law expired in 2002, Japan had reportedly spent about $175 billion on affirmative action programs for the buraku.

**Read it all.
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G M
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 09:45:45 AM »

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20071110f1.html

Foreigners still dogged by housing barriers

By AKEMI NAKAMURA
Staff writer

Having arrived in Tokyo from Seoul about a year ago, Im Yeong Eun, like many foreigners who come to Japan, soon encountered a major difficulty — housing discrimination.

News photo
South Korean student Im Yeong Eun speaks of housing discrimination against foreigners in her apartment in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. AKEMI NAKAMURA PHOTO

Im, 25, together with two South Korean friends who also came to Japan around that time, visited three real estate agencies to rent an apartment in Shinjuku Ward. But the agencies turned them away because they were foreigners.

"I never expected to be refused," said Im, who goes to a Japanese language school in the ward. "I felt like I was treated like a criminal."

Fortunately, she found a one-bedroom flat through a real estate agency that one of her friends introduced her to. The firm's South Korean employee takes care of foreign customers by teaching them Japanese customs related to living in rental apartments.

Japan's foreign population is steadily increasing. Government data show the number of registered foreign residents stood at 2.08 million in 2006, up from 1.48 million a decade ago. Nonetheless, housing discrimination against foreigners is surprisingly strong even in Tokyo.

According to a 2006 survey conducted by Tokyo-based nonprofit organization Information Center for Foreigners in Japan, 94 percent, or 220 respondents, out of 234 foreigners in Tokyo who visited real estate agents said they were refused by at least one agent.
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G M
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 09:55:17 AM »

http://www.debito.org/roguesgallery.html

Signs
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G M
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 11:21:55 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/01/news/01iht-nurse.html

Japan-born Koreans live in limbo
By Norimitsu Onishi
Published: Saturday, April 2, 2005

 

TOKYO — Chung Hyang Gyun's news conference was a sight seldom seen in Japan, the raw anger written across her face, the fury in her voice and words, the palpable feeling that these last words would somehow redeem the futility of her actions.

"I want to tell people all over the world that they shouldn't come to Japan to work," Chung said in perfect Japanese, befitting someone who has lived only in Japan. "Being a worker in Japan is no different from being a robot."

After a decade-long battle, the Supreme Court ruled recently that Chung, the daughter of a Japanese woman and a South Korean man, who was born in Japan and has lived all her life here, could not take the test to become a supervisor at a public health center because she was a foreigner.

"I have no tears to shed," said Chung, a 55-year-old nurse. "I can only laugh."

Chung is what the Japanese call a "Zainichi," a term that literally means "to stay in Japan," but that is usually shorthand for Koreans who came here during Japan's colonial rule, and their descendants. Considered outsiders both in Japan and on the Korean peninsula, they have, over the years, adopted different ways of living in Japan.
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G M
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 01:51:49 PM »

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/11/19/MNGMTFR6H51.DTL


Comics betray growing xenophobia in Japan
Increased strength of South Korea, China fuels backlash
Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times

new york times November 19, 2005 04:00 AM

(11-19) 04:00 PST Tokyo -- A young Japanese woman in the comic book "Hating the Korean Wave" exclaims, "It's not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!" In another passage, the text states that "there is nothing at all in Korean culture to be proud of."

In "Introduction to China," which portrays the Chinese as a depraved people obsessed with cannibalism, a woman of Japanese origin says, "Take the China of today, its principles, thought, literature, art, science, institutions. There's nothing attractive."

The two comic books have become runaway best-sellers in Japan in the last four months. In their graphic and unflattering drawings of Japan's neighbors and in the unapologetic, often offensive contents of their speech bubbles, the books reveal some of the sentiments underlying Japan's worsening relations with the rest of Asia.

They also point to Japan's long-standing unease with the rest of Asia and its own sense of identity. Much of Japan's history since the mid-19th century has been guided by the goal of becoming more like the West and less like Asia. China's and South Korea's challenges to Japan's position as the region's economic, diplomatic and cultural leader are inspiring renewed xenophobia against them.

Kanji Nishio, a scholar of German literature, is honorary chairman of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, the nationalist organization that has pushed to have references to the country's wartime atrocities eliminated from junior high school textbooks. Nishio is blunt about how Japan should deal with its neighbors.

"I wonder why they haven't grown up at all," Nishio said. "They don't change. I wonder why China and Korea haven't learned anything."



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/11/19/MNGMTFR6H51.DTL
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G M
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 03:05:18 PM »

http://www.amazon.com/Japans-Hidden-Apartheid-Minority-Japanese/dp/1840141689

Japan's Hidden Apartheid: The Korean Minority and the Japanese

The impression of Japan as a successfully homogeneous society conceals some profound tensions, and one such case is presented by the ethnic Korean community. Despite many shared cultural features, there are marked contrasts between Japanese and Korean value systems and interaction is embittered by Japan's colonial record in Korea up to 1945. This work examines major aspects of the Korean experience in Japan including their evolving legal status, political divisions and cultural life as well as the effects of Japan's relations with Korean regimes.
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G M
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2010, 05:12:28 PM »

Why does Japan STILL refuse to face up to the atrocity its army revelled in? Two new films have reopened old wounds about the Nanking Massacre

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1269611/Why-does-Japan-STILL-refuse-face-atrocity-army-revelled-Two-new-films-reopened-old-wounds-Nanking-Massacre.html
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G M
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 05:24:37 PM »

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/12/japan-and-the-limits-of-keynesianism/68619/

Japan's budget is in a truly terrifying state.  Reading about the government's behavior reminds me of the worst accounts of compulsive spenders on the verge of personal bankruptcy--a sort of "What the hell, we're screwed anyway, so let's not think about it and maybe go to Cabo for the weekend."  The budget's structural position is what is known technically to economists as "completely hosed"; borrowing now exceeds tax revenue, and debt service costs now eat up almost half of the tax revenue the government collects.  "Unsustainable" is too weak to describe the situation; I don't know how they're doing it now.
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G M
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 09:23:11 PM »

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2011/01/promoting-social-equality-and-reducing-income-inequality-in-japan.html

Promoting Social Equality And Reducing Income Inequality In Japan

Yetserday Nick Kristof delivered a daft column invoking income inequality as a proxy for social inequality and arguing that inequality is stressful and bad.  Since he went on to compare the United States unfavorably to Germany and Japan (and noted that Minnesota and New Hampshire showed less inequality than Mississippi and Louisiana), I took the obvious cheap shot and suggested that social cohesion is promoted by cultural homogeneity, that cultural diversity may well be stressful, and that racial diversity might be a useful proxy for cultural homogeneity.

The obvious conclusion, based on the examples presented by Kristof, is that racial diversity creates undesirable social stress.  An obvious public policy implication is that immigration should be discouraged.  Believe it or not, Kristof did not reach those conclusions, since they don't fit his narrative.  Instead, he rode the data to his preconceived destination, which is that we need to tax the rich and spread the wealth.  Yeah, yeah - if you aren't going to let the data tell its story, why send it on stage?  Or, if the data leads to unacceptable conclusions, maybe the premises are wrong (e.g., maybe social stress is bad but it is a necessary consequence of achieving other goods.)

Well.  As if on cue, the Times has a front-pager telling us how they reduce income inequality and maintain social cohesion in laudable Japan - they kick out foreigners, thereby propping up wages:

Japan Keeps a High Wall for Foreign Labor
By HIROKO TABUCHI

KASHIWA, Japan — Maria Fransiska, a young, hard-working nurse from Indonesia, is just the kind of worker Japan would seem to need to replenish its aging work force.

But Ms. Fransiska, 26, is having to fight to stay. To extend her three-year stint at a hospital outside Tokyo, she must pass a standardized nursing exam administered in Japanese, a test so difficult that only 3 of the 600 nurses brought here from Indonesia and the Philippines since 2007 have passed.

So Ms. Fransiska spends eight hours in Japanese language drills, on top of her day job at the hospital. Her dictionary is dog-eared from countless queries, but she is determined: her starting salary of $2,400 a month was 10 times what she could earn back home. If she fails, she will never be allowed to return to Japan on the same program again.

“I think I have something to contribute here,” Ms. Fransiska said during a recent visit, spooning mouthfuls of rice and vegetables into the mouth of Heiichi Matsumaru, an 80-year-old patient recovering from a stroke. “If I could, I would stay here long-term, but it is not so easy.”

Despite facing an imminent labor shortage as its population ages, Japan has done little to open itself up to immigration. In fact, as Ms. Fransiska and many others have discovered, the government is doing the opposite, actively encouraging both foreign workers and foreign graduates of its universities and professional schools to return home while protecting tiny interest groups — in the case of Ms. Fransiska, a local nursing association afraid that an influx of foreign nurses would lower industry salaries.

In 2009, the number of registered foreigners here fell for the first time since the government started to track annual records almost a half-century ago, shrinking 1.4 percent from a year earlier to 2.19 million people — or just 1.71 percent of Japan’s overall population of 127.5 million.

OK, it looks like national suicide to me and it could never work in America (nor should it be attempted at this level, although we need stricter border control and workplace enforcement), but this is a country Nick Kristof is holding up as our goal.
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G M
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 07:54:54 PM »

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4c1ddc9a-23d3-11e0-8bb1-00144feab49a.html

Japan hits ‘critical point’ on state debt

By Mure Dickie in Tokyo

Published: January 19 2011 14:54 | Last updated: January 19 2011 19:24

Japan has hit a “critical point” where it risks losing investor confidence if politicians fail to reach agreement on how to rein in the ballooning national debt, a cabinet minister has warned.

“We face a dreadful dream that one day the long-term interest rate might rise,” Kaoru Yosano, the new minister for economic and fiscal policy, told the Financial Times.
EDITOR’S CHOICE
Kan reshuffles cabinet to aid budget plans - Jan-14
Short View: Japan’s value trap - Jan-07
David Pilling: Japan finds more to life than growth - Jan-05
Global Insight: Japan still not bounding - Jan-04
Editorial Comment: Tax man Kan - Jan-05

“So we have to be very careful [to] ensure the credibility of our economy and the credibility of our government.”

His stark comments highlight government determination to introduce a sweeping reform of the tax system that would include a hike in the 5 per cent consumption tax.

Naoto Kan, prime minister, drafted Mr Yosano, a veteran opposition politician, into the cabinet last week to help build cross-party agreement on fiscal reform. Worries about Japan’s fiscal future have been fuelled over the past year by the sovereign debt crises suffered by eurozone countries, with Mr Kan warning last June that Japan could end up like Greece unless it tackled its rising debt.

Japan has no difficulties financing its deficit and there is no sign that it could face a sovereign debt crisis in the near future. The benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond trades at a yield of less than 1.25 per cent. But Mr Yosano warned it be would wrong to assume such a benign environment would continue indefinitely.

“Our fiscal status is at a critical point . . . the circumstances surrounding Japan may change overnight,” he said.

The deep recession into which Japan plunged in 2008 has dramatically worsened its already chronic government deficits, with new bond issuance set to outstrip tax revenues for the third year in a row in fiscal 2012.
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JDN
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 08:31:21 PM »

I must admit; I am confused (it happens often)   grin

Japan IS having fiscal issues.  Plus the population is aging.  No question, the article posted by GM is correct.

So WHY is the YEN so strong???  It has appreciated nearly 50% in the past couple of years.
I'm just curious if anyone has an opinion.  Frankly, I don't get it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 12:26:20 PM »

Commenting without specific knowledge, I note the possibility that a movement out of dollars could be part of the explanantion.  There are not many places for such money to go.  The Euro? Not hardly!  The Yuan?  Maybe, but doesn't China have a lot of capital controls?  Where else?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 01:04:22 PM »

"Japan IS having fiscal issues.  Plus the population is aging.  No question, the article posted by GM is correct.  So WHY is the YEN so strong???  It has appreciated nearly 50% in the past couple of years.  I'm just curious if anyone has an opinion.  Frankly, I don't get it."

Interesting question JDN, I have not followed currency values lately.  I would warn though that names like strong and weak currency have meanings beyond the connotation.  Japan built its economic might as a manufacturer and exporter.  "Strong' currency may be good as a store of value or for import transactions, but lousy for exporting, so Japan has its own currency problem.  'Right-sized' might be the currency term countries shoot for, not strong or weak.  The strength mentioned is measured against currencies in serious trouble.  Charting against oil or gold might be more telling.The time frame, last couple of years, is a bizarre financial time - still sorting itself out. Maybe there is a timing difference between our crisis, Europe's and theirs. Taking this statement from the article: "Japan has no difficulties financing its deficit and there is no sign that it could face a sovereign debt crisis in the near future." - That is not the crisis level the Euro and dollar face today.  

If China moves purchases to yen that were in dollars, that has a double effect on the currencies as they compare to each other. (I see Crafty hit that same point.)
----------
I found this article helpful: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Stefan-Karlsson-s-Blog/2010/0917/Why-is-the-yen-so-strong (written last Sept)

"There are two causes for the strong yen. The first is the persistent deflation in the Japanese economy. While British consumer prices rose by roughly 3% and while they rose by 1-2% in the United States and the Euro area, they fell by roughly 1% in Japan.

Deflation first of all causes the relative purchasing power of the yen to gradually rise, and secondly given the fact that most central banks have near zero short term nominal interest rates, real interest rates are in fact higher in Japan than in most other countries.

The second reason is the increased safe haven demand caused by the European debt panic and the slowdown in the U.S. economy.

As long as these factors persist, it will be difficult for the Japanese government to really reverse the trend."
-------
Note the ending, the Japanese government is wishing to reverse the trend.  Stable currency is better than a 'strong' currency, deflation is no picnic, inability to export has an inevitable job and income killing effect, and even if they had no problems, sickness in the world financial system is bound to spillover.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 01:07:25 PM by DougMacG » Logged
JDN
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 09:14:15 PM »

Interesting points; thank you Doug.

It just seemed odd to me; everyone seems to be dumping on Japan, and they do have problems,  but maybe as
Crafty points out, among the large industrialized stable world, they are the best of the worst...

Still, I'm sure Japanese exporters would wish for a weaker Yen.  And as a tourist, it's now almost unaffordable to go there....
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G M
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2011, 08:57:16 AM »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Standard-Poors-downgrades-cnnm-776565296.html?x=0

Standard & Poor's downgraded Japan Thursday as it expects the country's "fiscal deficits to remain high in the next few years," as it continues to deal with problems like debt, deflation and an aging population.

The rating agency lowered Japan's long-term credit ratings to AA-minus from AA, and said the outlook is "stable." S&P noted that the county's fiscal pressures are offset somewhat by its "strong external position, and the flexibility afforded by the yen's international role."

The report mentioned one other positive -- Japan's gold and foreign exchange reserves of more than $1 trillion "are second only to China's."

However, Japan is still grappling with "persistent deflation" and a "fast-aging population," according to the report. More importantly, S&P stated that Japan's debt load will continue to grow into the next decade.
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JDN
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 08:54:53 AM »

Two slightly different takes on becoming a Japanese citizen.  Are you still a foreigner or are you "Japanese". 
Actually,  this question could go under "immigration" since the question is probably applicable to many places.
Divided loyalties, cultural differences, and skin color all play a role...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20101228zg.html

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20110201ad.html

I think Debito Arudou, author of the second article, is a bit overly sensitive in general, however he has written
many interesting articles on the subject of discrimination in Japan. 

Still, here in America my Japanese, Korean, or Chinese friends, although they are have become naturalized citizens, often still refer to themselves
as Korean, etc.  or I might call them "Korean".  I don't think an offense is taken either way.  I think the first generation always has one leg in the country of their birth and one
in America, their adopted country.  It's understandable. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2011, 10:09:12 AM »

"I think the first generation always has one leg in the country of their birth and one in...their adopted country."

Makes sense to me - and to the founders.  What are you trying saying about our President? (just kidding)
-----
JDN,  Nihongo wakarimasu ka?

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JDN
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2011, 10:21:16 AM »

As for our President, I don't get all the confusion, nor do I think it a particularly big deal.  McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone; if his Mom (American) had been rushed to a hospital in the City of Panama, I guess he couldn't be President?  Hmmm.  Seems rather convoluted.  But that said, I also don't understand why any and all papers aren't being released by Obama.  That seems like the simple solution and then I wouldn't have to read about it anymore.

Hai, nihongo ga wakarimasu.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2011, 07:06:28 AM »

By Yuri Tomikawa
Japan thought it had enough problems with its separate territorial issues with China and Russia. Now, the two countries it was dealing with are blurring lines—and other neighbors may be joining the ruckus too.

According to Japanese media, Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishery announced Tuesday that Chinese and Russian fishery companies had reached a basic agreement to farm sea cucumbers in the islands north of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido—islands still claimed by Japan but controlled by Moscow since Soviet troops occupied them in the last days of World War II.

Coming just days after the unfruitful weekend meeting between Japan’s Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, the announcement wasn’t welcome at all in Japan. Prime Minister Naoto Kan decried the development as “incompatible with our country’s position.” Mr. Maehara said, “If the news is true, we cannot accept it at all,” reiterating Japan’s unchanging position: The islands are Japanese territory.

The tension over the islands had already reached new heights, with Mr. Kan last week condemning as “an unforgivable outrage” the November visit to one of the islands by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a remark Mr. Lavrov declared “undiplomatic.”

And what of China? It did shift to a pro-Russian stand from a neutral position on the islands after last September’s collision between a Japanese and a Chinese boat near another set of disputed islands, claimed by both China (which calls them Diaoyu) and Japan (which calls them Senkaku). But Beijing claims it is not involved in the fisheries agreement and has no knowledge of the venture—a break for Japan, now that metaphorical waters churned up by the September collision are finally calming. It certainly doesn’t want any fresh causes for tension with its neighbor, the No. 2 global economy.

But Beijing’s assurances are not enough to allow Japan to relax. Russia is outlining plans to expand and upgrade military bases and equipment on those northern islands—and inviting not just China, but all regional countries to join in the islands’ development.

“We will be glad to see there both Chinese and Korean investors,” Mr. Lavrov said Friday, according to the Russian information service Interfax. And Alexander Savelyev, a spokesman for Russia’s Federal Fisheries Agency, told Japanese news agency Nikkei that “Korean companies are especially showing interest” already.

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prentice crawford
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2011, 06:18:45 AM »

Woof,
 None of this is good and now an explosion at a nuclear plant.

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Huge-Japan-quake-causes-tsunami-fires-landslide/ss/events/wl/031111japanquake         
 
                         P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2011, 08:13:19 AM »

Japanese Official Confirms Explosion at Nuclear Plant

Japanese officials said on Saturday there had been an
explosion at a nuclear power plant following Friday's huge
earthquake, blowing off the roof of the structure and causing
a radiation leak of unspecified proportions.

The chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano confirmed earlier
reports of an explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com?emc=na
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G M
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« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2011, 06:40:01 PM »

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100079703/why-is-there-no-looting-in-japan/

Admirable.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2011, 01:02:00 AM »



Japanese Stocks Plunge More Than 13% on Radiation Fears

Stock markets plunged in Japan and across the rest of the
Asia-Pacific region on Tuesday amid fears of the impact of
the nuclear disaster and resulting concerns about radiation
exposure.

The Nikkei 225 index, already badly mauled on Monday,
plummeted as much as 13.5 percent on Tuesday to its lowest in
two years, exacerbating the 6.2 percent slump the previous
day, as warnings about a potential nuclear disaster in the
country aggravated the pain already felt by the quake and
tsunami. The broader Topix, or Tokyo Stock Price index, sank
12.5 percent.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/business/global/16iht-markets.html?emc=na
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The Tao
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« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2011, 11:44:02 AM »

I think that it is incredible, that in Japan currently, there is not one bit of evidence of anyone looting or treating their countrymen in a like manner.

In fact; to the contrary, they have found people encountering a case of water and taking only a couple of bottles, insuring that there would be water for others that need it.

There is a reason that I study the Samurai. Nothing but class....in all things.

My hat is off to them.
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G M
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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2011, 01:25:04 PM »

I think that it is incredible, that in Japan currently, there is not one bit of evidence of anyone looting or treating their countrymen in a like manner.

In fact; to the contrary, they have found people encountering a case of water and taking only a couple of bottles, insuring that there would be water for others that need it.

There is a reason that I study the Samurai. Nothing but class....in all things.

My hat is off to them.

Agreed.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2011, 01:37:38 PM »

When the chips are down, you see what people are made of.  Respect for the Japanese.
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JDN
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2011, 02:11:47 PM »

Handful of 'heroes' battles to keep nuclear plant under control

Now this is what I call a "HERO".  50 people remained...

After three explosions and a fire in four days, the situation at Japan's earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant grew more serious Tuesday, chasing all but a handful of workers from the site and raising fears of a far more dangerous radiation threat.

Those who remained behind continued a seesaw, last-ditch effort to flood reactors with seawater to keep them cool and prevent a wider environmental and public health catastrophe.
The beleaguered crew had to abandon the plant control room Tuesday night because of high radiation levels, Kyodo News reported, citing plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company.
"Their situation is not great," said David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. "It's pretty clear that they will be getting very high doses of radiation. There's certainly the potential for lethal doses of radiation. They know it, and I think you have to call these people heroes."
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G M
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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2011, 02:15:32 PM »

"It's pretty clear that they will be getting very high doses of radiation. There's certainly the potential for lethal doses of radiation. They know it, and I think you have to call these people heroes."

Yes.
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The Tao
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« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2011, 02:18:51 PM »

I'm curious if anyone knows of what the best charity to give to in order to help the Japanese, if one were so inclined?

I know that the Red Cross has one, but I'm curious if anyone has one that they know and trust, for the benefit of all here.

Thank you.
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G M
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« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2011, 02:23:17 PM »

http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?funnel=&item=1753160&go=item&section=10339&xxwvCampaign=2070293

I like WorldVision. They have a very small administrative footprint, so most of your donation actually reaches those in need rather than middlemen. IMHO, the Red Cross is way too top heavy.
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The Tao
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« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2011, 02:25:05 PM »

http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?funnel=&item=1753160&go=item&section=10339&xxwvCampaign=2070293

I like WorldVision. They have a very small administrative footprint, so most of your donation actually reaches those in need rather than middlemen. IMHO, the Red Cross is way too top heavy.

Thanks GM. I'd like to give a small amount, but want to be sure that it is reaching the intended recipients.

Ditto on RC.
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JDN
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« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2011, 02:33:07 PM »

I think World Vision is great; but then IMHO the key is to simply give.  They had a RC pickup of cash and checks at Dodger Stadium today
so I drove by.

Here are a few ideas regarding charities and giving.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=1221
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The Tao
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« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2011, 02:56:07 PM »

I think World Vision is great; but then IMHO the key is to simply give.  They had a RC pickup of cash and checks at Dodger Stadium today
so I drove by.

Here are a few ideas regarding charities and giving.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=1221

JDN.... WOOF on giving!!!! They deserve it. I've done far worse with my money in the past.
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G M
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« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2011, 10:57:53 AM »

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/15/eveningnews/main20043554.shtml

The Fukushima 50: Not afraid to die
If the Fukushima nuclear plant's crisis is not calmed soon, Japan will need more brave volunteers to battle it


By Jim Axelrod


Since the disaster struck in Japan, about 800 workers have been evacuated from the damaged nuclear complex in Fukushima. The radiation danger is that great.

However, CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that a handful have stayed on the job, risking their lives, to try to save the lives of countless people they don't even know.

Although communication with the workers inside the nuclear plant is nearly impossible, a CBS News consultant spoke to a Japanese official who made contact with one of the 50 inside the control center.

The official said that his friend, one of the Fukushima 50, told him that he was not afraid to die, that that was his job.
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ccp
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« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2011, 02:16:17 PM »

Reminds me of the suicidal fighting of the Japanese during WW2.  Kamikazees.  Clint Eastwood's movie about the diary from Iwo Jima was moving in this regard.  Of course I am not trying to white wash history.  The Japanese were particularly holocaust-like cruel to Chinese, Koreans, American prisoners of war, Phillipinos and everywhere else.   

http://frank.mtsu.edu/~dfrisby/kinryu.pdf
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JDN
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« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2011, 05:03:56 PM »

Tokyo (CNN) -- Spent fuel rods in Unit 4 of Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been exposed, resulting in the emission of "extremely high" levels of radiation, the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday.
"What we believe at this time is that there has been a hydrogen explosion in this unit due to an uncovering of the fuel in the fuel pool," Gregory Jaczko told a House energy and commerce subcommittee hearing. "We believe that secondary containment has been destroyed and there is no water in the spent fuel pool, and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures."
The water served to both cool the uranium fuel and shield it. But once the uranium fuel was no longer covered by water, its zirconium cladding that encases the fuel rods heated, generating hydrogen, said Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former official with the Department of Energy.
That caught fire, resulting in a situation that is "very, very serious," he told CNN. He said the next solution may involve nuclear plant workers having to take heroic acts. Asked to be more specific, he said, "This is a situation where people may be called in to sacrifice their lives. ... It's very difficult for me to contemplate that but it's, it may have reached that point."

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/16/japan.nuclear.reactors/index.html?hpt=T1
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 05:15:41 PM by JDN » Logged
prentice crawford
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« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2011, 10:05:55 AM »

Woof,
 This is going to end up like Chernobyl or worse.
         www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42124500/ns/world_news-asiapacific/?GT1=43001
                P.C.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 10:07:36 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

DougMacG
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2011, 11:00:01 AM »

Journalism of the worst kind IMHO to mix up these stats.  In a story about nuclear troubles,
"At least 19 workers hurt, 20 exposed to radiation ... More than 5,300 officially listed as dead, but toll expected to top 10,000"

I wish to minimize nothing in any tragedy, but the first stat, 19 hurt, 20 exposed, is what we know so far about the nuclear disaster.  The second stat (5300 dead, expected to top 10,000) has nothing to do with the nuclear plant damage.

We don't know the end of this developing tragedy but a news story should leave the reader more, not less, informed.

Chernobyl was a Soviet disaster built without protective enclosure and set off without an earthquake.  Fukushima was shut down and damaged in perhaps the worst earthquake of Japan in 1100 years.  

It is the Tsunami damage that is far, far, far worse than Chernobyl.  The nuclear toll right now is completely unknown.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 11:26:00 AM by DougMacG » Logged
prentice crawford
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2011, 11:47:53 AM »

Woof,
 I think we know the situation at the plants is deteriorating, not improving and that the earthquake and tsunami's damage caused the initial damage to the plants and continues to hamper efforts to restore power and get water on them to keep them contained because the cores are melting, and at least one reactor suffered a breach of its containment shell due to a hydrogen blast. Workers on the scene are being exposed to high levels of radiation over a period of time and the situation must be critical enough for them to risk their lives as they are. At this point I certainly don't see things getting any better and if things continue in this mode they will get worse, so saying that this could become like Chernobyl or worse is in my mind a very possible out come and we should be preparing for that possibilty and getting U.S. citizens out of there and doing all we can to help prevent such an out come before it does happen. The people killed by the tsunami are already dead, they are now putting the number at 14,000 and there's nothing that can be done for them; the radiation from these plants could effect Japan for years to come.
                                              P.C.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 11:55:08 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

DougMacG
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2011, 12:04:33 PM »

PC,  Good points, I agree, and my gripe was with MSNBC mixing an unthinkable tsunami death toll with the extremely difficult ongoing effort to cool these shutdown reactors in a highly populated area.  - Doug
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2011, 12:19:57 PM »

Woof Doug,
 I understand that and my little comment got wrapped up in that and I agree too that the article was poorly done. My thinking on the numbers however is that there are 36 million people living in Tokyo, the largest most densly populated city on earth, and they are in relatively close proximity to these plants. Should the plants go the way of Chernobyl and a stiff breeze blows it over Tokyo, well that there would be one big honking disaster all on its own level.
                                                 P.C.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2011, 01:00:07 PM »

Woof,
 I just caught a glimpse of this but there's a report out of Chicago, that passengers that just arrived from a Tokyo flight set off radiation detectors at O'Hare.
                  P.C.                    
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G M
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« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2011, 02:01:43 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/17/open-thread-noted-sports-analyst-to-discuss-japan-crises/

OK, that headline might be a little harsh.  How about “Anti-bullying activist to discuss non-intervention in Libya while dictator massacres entire city“? Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear at the moment that Barack Obama will be taking questions but rather will just be issuing a statement:
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2011, 02:11:50 PM »

Woof,
 He damn well better not preempt any of the NCAA games I want to watch tonight; what the hell is this guy thinking anyway, I thought he had finally gotten it right, if you're ignorant of what to do then just keep your mouth shut. tongue
                                        P.C.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 05:52:26 AM by prentice crawford » Logged

prentice crawford
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« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2011, 09:01:42 AM »

Woof,
 Still not much good news coming out of Japan.

            www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42144350/ns/world_news-asiapacific

         P.C.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2011, 01:15:04 PM »



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366395/Japan-tsunami-earthquake-Rescuers-pick-way-apocalypse-wasteland.html
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G M
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« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2011, 07:48:06 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/23/the-toughest-man-in-japan/

Cool.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2011, 12:49:11 PM »

Woof,
 This is going to be where future discussions of Japan's history is demarcated, before the nuclear disaster and after. This is very very bad news and although it's not as spectacular as the 9.0 quake and giant tsunami this event is going to have the most dire of consequences.

         http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake

              P.C.
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G M
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« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2011, 08:43:54 PM »

http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/31/6380113-dear-mommy-i-hope-youre-alive-are-you-okay-4-year-old-quake-survivor-writes

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #49 on: August 19, 2011, 12:20:50 AM »


Japan Earthquake: Ethical Residents Return $78 Million From Rubble

 

First Posted: 8/18/11 04:45 PM ET

 

While looting often becomes an issue post-disaster, it's been the exact opposite in Japan.

 

Since the March earthquake and tsunami that leveled much of Japan, thousands of wallets containing a total of $48 million in cash have washed ashore -- and been turned in, ABC reports. In addition, 5,700 safes containing $30 million in cash also have turned up.

 

Ryuji Ito, professor emeritus at Japan's Yokohama City University, tells the Daily Mail that these acts of integrity are simply reflective of the culture:

 

"...The fact that a hefty 2.3 billion yen in cash has been returned to its owners shows the high level of ethical awareness in the Japanese people."

 

And doing the right thing doesn't just end with the people who found the money. Japanese officials have also worked tirelessly to track down owners and return safes and other valuables.

 

Police in Miyagi prefecture searched for residents at evacuation centers and made their way through missing person reports and address forms at the post office, according to ABC. Police also met with mayors and called any cell phone numbers they could find.

 

Officials tell the news outlet that the difficulty lay in determining whether homes were gone and if the owners were actually still alive.

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