The Japanese rightist

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The end of Koizumi's era

Liberal Democratic Party, led by Koizumi, lost the election in Chiba prefecture April 23rd, 2006. It should be just a by-election for a seat out of 512 seats, but it seemed enough to predict the near future, the end of Koizumi's power.

Not having big news these days, the small election attracted the press and politicians to make a decision on what voters now think about Liberal Democratic Party and its biggest opponent, Democratic Party.

Democratic Party has replaced the leader, followed by an accused scandal occured to the former leader. And the replacement at least appealed to the voters their desperate attitude toward their new regime. I have to say something about the new leader Ozawa since I posted his pic below in this article, but let me skip him this time and I'll write about Koizumi's party.

Liberal Democratic Party, on the contrary, must have lost their sharpness; they won in the last big election in August 2005, focusing on the reformation of Japan's postal service. People knew what Koizumi wanted to proceed at that time. However, his vision became an old fashon since the bills were passed this month. The people's interest is not about reformation any more, but something new to make them refreshed such as the shock they felt when Koizumi proposed his grand-scale reformation last year.

In addition, I must make a comment on his lack of accountability for his results and plans. For example, abduction brought about by North Korea was one of the biggest issues, and voters know that Japanese and American government work together to tie up North Korea's assets earned from counterfeiting foreign currency. What the voters really want from Koizumi is his report about those issues, but he seems not interested in it in spite of his accomplishment on the abduction. One of his unique pledges is to start discussion on introduction of the system of prime ministerial election to Japan. Even though he has a good view as a reformer, the lack of accountability gradually makes the voters bored. For god's sake let us see his strong speech again.

Almost all of his important members entered Chiba prefecture to support the election, making many speeches, but they ended up making the voters bored furthermore. I think it's just a matter of the lack of topics. LDP's secretary-general even came up with a rhymed phrase and shouted many times to let voters remember the name of the candidate. Getting rather carried away, Koizumi doesn't seem to notice the meaningless performance only lead to make voters disappointed.

The Democratic Party, on the other hand, made rather better impression than LDP by campaigning on bicycles although their vision is not clear either. It's very sad that the politics in Japan is still not mature looking at those scenes. Japanese politicians should appeal what they can do, not what voters perceive.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What happend to Liancourt islands in 1952

You heard about the news?
Japan has an everlasting territory issue with South Korea; the island, "Takeshima"("Dokdo" in Korea), in which no one can live because of the size, is a big concern since both countries mainly feed themselves on marine foods.

Koizumi and his cabinet members seem to have silently plotted to make Japanese opinion patriotic who are much less so than Korean. This is a very clever idea Koizumi came up with because if you trace back the history of the island, you are going to find many violations of international laws conducted by South Korea, and you'll find that it should have belonged to Japan. It's a matter of time before Japanese people start to think of Korea as a frequent law breaker.

Too much patriotism
Hearing the news of Japan's maritime survey near the ilsand, which is legal, Korea's backlash against Japan's government can't be avoided. But this backlash may be seen without Koizumi if you are a careful Korean watcher.

The pic above was taken in a class room in Korea where a teacher is using a board and try to have the pupils learn an English sentence, "Where is Dokdo?" The pupils look only 10 years old! That way, the whole Korea instills young children who are going to be strong patriots. Have you ever seen any Korean? They are VERY VERY patriotic, being proud of Korean. Is Japan getting rightish? NO! KOREA is the baddest rightist.

Sometimes they don't forget to appeal for their claim. Look at the pic below. He's apparently a soccer player and he writes "Dokdo is ours" in his T-shirt. Looks like he scored and took off his uniform.

Next pic below is from an international baseball game. It's now apparent since it's written in English. Eww, let's just calm down and forget about territories in a sport match!

What I just don't understand is the fact that Korean have been occupying the island and they are such a yeller. You don't have to shout about your purse being yours because you are the legitimate owner and you know it.

If you run a search in Wikipedia for Liancourt Rocks which is another name for Takeshima(Dokdo). It writes that "Syngman Rhee's (Peace Line) declaration of January 18, 1952, included the Liancourt Rocks as Korean territory," which is correct. But there's an unknown fact most of Japanese and Korean people probably don't know: this declaration was taken place, followed by invasion of Korean military into the surrounding area with a seizure of 3929 Japanese casualties, 2 killed, and 300 captured fishing ships.  The custody of Japanese people in Korea was for advantageous negotiation for a peace treaty between South Korea and Japan. The detention lasted for 13 years until 1965. As a result of the peace treaty, South Korea succeeded in acquiring more than twice of its national budget.
 The reason of ignorances of this incident up until now varies from South Korea and Japan. South Korea just don't have to acknowledge the dark side of the regime, simple and natural. And for Japanese side, the general atmosphere after WWII that Japan troubled South Korea in the war time made them hesitate to designate the crime of them. Japan also feared that accusation against South Korea may raise deplomatic military tensions between the two countries. 

Friday, April 14, 2006

Retirement is coming soon - Koizumi

Keeping unprecedentedly high approval rate of 48%, Prime Minister Koizumi implied his retirement on the coming September 2006 with his full term of 5 years.

He took part in a Hanami party, which is a gathering with food under cherry blossoms, with a bunch of celebrities and handicapped people.

This is not interesting news, but his speech was. He took up a famous poem from 16th century:

"Chirinubeki tokishiritekoso yononakano hanamohananare hitomohitonare"
Only knowing the fugacious time, can flowers in the world be flowers as well as human can be human.)

For those who know Japanese culture, this is not Haiku. Haiku is shorter than this kind, Tanka. The tanka consists of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables(When counting Japanese syllables, stick to making a consonant and a vowel one syllable.) while Haiku 5-7-5.

Wmmm. It's not easy to translate poems into other languages. But I hope you know what he means. Anyhow, he says that human being should know when to leave.

His will is very valuable in Japan and you know the reason when looking around the past Prime Ministers in Japan. Almost all of them have clinged to power so that they can lead their easy life, keeping away the investigation on them.

In other words, he insists that he has been clean about money etc. so he doesn't have to be worried about after retirement.

It was very surprising to find out this article from ASAHI newspaper because it is well known to be an alternative press. It sucks up only when the majority is for the government. I don't like ASAHI newspaper.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Those who are way too rightish

I couldn't upload recent articles because I was staying in Japan for a while.
From a view of a Japanese who haven't seen Japan for two and a half years, Japan looked a little changed in terms of politics. Just look at the picture above that is a most rightish magazine, "SAPIO". The reason of "most rightish" is that it covers criticisms about not only China or North Korea, but Prime Minister Koizumi. The cartoon below critically depicts Koizumi, clncluding that "his obsession with America and sofness on North Korea are the cancer of Japan."

It was surprising because I thought that Koizumi was the one who has been hardest on China, North Korea, or America. Just think about the conflict of the BSE (mad cow disease) with America. He is still reluctant to ease the tight leash on the American beef.

I found myself not a righist any more.