• 2019.03.31 Sunday
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  • by スポンサードリンク


It’s None of Your Diet

 A renowned vegan blogger came under fire after a video was taken of her eating fish at a restaurant. She had been promoting vegan diet for years, but had to give up veganism due to health problems. I don’t want to tell vegans what to eat. Likewise, they should not impose their lifestyle on others.                                                                                  The popular blogger, Rawvana, who lives in San Diego, has hosted a Spanish and English blog for the past 6 years, touting veganism as a cure to all to life’s aliments, such as alcoholism and poor sleep. She said that the plant-based diet “completely changed” her life.                                                                                  The lifestyle guru, whose name is Yovana Mendoza Ayres, revealed that she was borderline malnourished and her hormone level were extremely low even though she was still 29 years old. She was diagnosed with SIBO (small instinal bacterial overgrowth), and was advised by a doctor to start incorporating eggs and fish into her diet.                                                                                  The once-vegan explained how her digestion problems have been ameliorated since leaving the pure vegan diet, and now espouses that all bodies are different.                                                                                  She was just advocating veganism, but there are radical vegans. In France, members of the 269 Life France vandalize meat shops and processing plants. It’s obviously a crime. They are not moral.                                                                                 Hard-core vegans insist on speciesism, objecting to sacrificing other animals. What do they think of lions and other carnivores? Cats are omnivorous. Should cats be banned from preying on mice? Look into the sea. Larger fish eat smaller fish. In only human being is prohibited from eating other animals, it’s a bias.                                                                                  The Creator established the food chain. Unless overhunting or overfishing, species can be maintained. We are human. Omnivores have evolved to eat not only vegetables but also animal protein. At the same time, we should not overeat for our health and not sacrifice life unnecessarily.        

Legend Ichiro Suzuki Retires

 On March 21st, Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariner’s baseball player, announced his retirement at a press conference after a night game at Tokyo Dome. The Japanese major leaguer’s retirement was news not only in Japan and the U.S. but also in Europe.                                                                                 The British media hardly ever deals with baseball. Nevertheless, the BBC reported on the top page of its official site that Japanese baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki retired and that he was “proud” after almost three decades in the sports. German and Italian media also reported his retirement.                                                                                  He is actually a living legend. In 2004, he broke George Sisler’s record of 257 hits in a season after 84 years. In 2009, he got 200 hits or more for 9 consecutive years, breaking Willer Keeler’s record got 108 years previously. He helped bring championship titles in the first and second World Baseball Classics.                                                                                  What I appreciate most about him is his character. His work ethic and sense of fair play impressed Americans. Owing to his popularity, Japanese foods such as edamame became very popular in the U.S.  I’m happy to see that several Japanese players are now doing well in the major leagues.

Punishment against Terrorism

 On March 15th, 49 people were killed in a terrorist attack at 2 mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. As of December 31st 2017, 106 countries have completely abolished the death penalty. New Zealand is one of them. In the countries, murderers are prohibited from being killed no matter how many innocent people they slaughter.                                                                                  In 2011, 77 people were killed and over 100 were injured in 2 terror attacks in Norway: 8 were killed in a bombing and 69 were shot to death. The perpetrator was arrested, but claimed that the attacks were justified, saying it was needed to ignite an “anti-multicultural revolution” in order to defend Western Europe from an Islamic takeover.                                                                                  Some Norwegians advocated reinstating the death penalty or others proposed bringing in life imprisonment. However, the Oslo Court sentenced the defendant to imprisonment of 10 to 21 years in accordance with the law. At maximum, one life is compensated by some 3 months (21 years ÷ 77 lives = 3.3 months).                                                                                  The accused of the New Zealand terrorism was a white Australian man. Reportedly, he was greatly influenced by the philosophy of the Norwegian white supremacist terrorist.                                                                                  Most Western countries have abolished the death penalty. However, ultra-nationalist parties have caught on in Europe. I anticipate that anti-immigrant attacks will increase. Without a death penalty, nationalistic terrorism can grow unfettered.                                                                                  Japan’s public safety is the best among major developed countries in the world. And, over 80% (80.3%) of the citizens support the death penalty according to a survey in 2015. Even though European countries criticize the death penalty, the Abe Cabinet had better not abolish capital punishment so that Japanese citizens can live in peace.                                                                            


■1.「アイヌは巨大利権と化している」                                                                                                                            2月15日、政府はアイヌ民族を先住民族と初めて明記した「アイヌ新法」の案を閣議決定した。これには様々な批判の声が上がっている。たとえば、藤井厳喜氏は次のように言う。[1]                                                         __________                                                              アイヌの団体は戦後、アイヌの組織は完全に役割を終えた、つまり完全に日本人化したとして、アイヌ系日本人はいてもアイヌ民族は存在しないとして解散したところもある。                                                                                                                                     ところがアイヌには膨大な予算がついていて、今でも福祉詐欺のようなインチキをやってお金をもらっている。それは“アイヌ協会”というところがあって、ここがアイヌを認定するんです。ではアイヌの定義は?というと“無い”んです。こういうところが大きな力を持って、今の補正予算案を含めると120億円のお金が出ている。アイヌは巨大利権と化している。                                               ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄                                                                                                                                     どうも在日問題、同和問題などと同じく「差別」を声高に叫んで、それを無くすためという建前で税金を投入させ、それを利権にしていく、という構造のようだ。                                                                                                                                          「差別を無くすために」というスローガンは現代政治においては一種の殺し文句となっている。それを疑問視すると、直ちに「差別だ」「ヘイトだ」と攻撃される。言わば「差別」が利権と言論弾圧の温床になっているのである。健全な国家社会を実現するためには、こういう問題を根本から考え直さなければならない。                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ■2.「平等に生きる権利」                                                                                                                                  東京書籍版中学公民教科書(東書)では、アイヌの問題に関して大きなスペースを割いている。「2 平等権」の本文では1頁ほどを使い、さらに「人権」を論じた、この章全体の末尾に「深めよう アイヌ民族と先住民族の権利」と題して、小さな活字でびっしりと2頁のコラムを書いている。                                                                                このコラムでは「オーストラリアの先住民族の権利保障」と題した欄があり、「ラッド首相(当時)は先住民族に対する政府の過去の政策について、初めて公式に謝罪しました」「多民族・多文化の共生を積極的に評価する立場を採っています」「先住民族を代表する組織が、先住民族社会のための政策実施に参画できる体制が採られています」などと肯定的な記述で結んでいる。                                                                                                                一方のアイヌの方の記述は、国連で採択された「先住民族の権利に関する国連宣言」を挙げ、「日本も、このような国際的な先住民族の権利保障の動きに学び、アイヌ民族の先住民族としての権利を尊重し実現していくことが求められます」と指摘する。                                                                                                  そして最後に「アイヌ民族をめぐる動きとオーストラリアの先住民族をめぐる動きを比べて、共通点や異なる点をまとめましょう」と呼びかけているが、その求めている答えは明らかである。「日本もアイヌに謝罪し、アイヌの権利を尊重していかなければならない」という答えを期待しているのだろう。                                                                                                                                                 ■3.「強制移住」や「同化政策」?                                                                                                                              しかし、ちょっと待って欲しい。そもそもオーストラリアは、「先住民族の権利に関する国連宣言」自体にアメリカ、カナダ、ニュージーランドとともに反対している。これらイギリスの植民地から成立した国々では、先住民を虐殺したり、土地を奪ってきたことで、もし損害賠償の訴訟でも起こされたら、大変なことになるからだろう。                                                                                                                                  実際にオーストラリアは先住民をどう扱ってきたのか。東書の説明はこうである。                                                                                                        __________                                                              オーストラリアには、アボリジニと呼ばれる先住民族がいます。しかし、18世紀になり、移住してきたヨーロッパ系の人々が統治するようになると、先住民族の人たちは強制移住させられたり、同化政策が行われたりしました。オーストラリアでは、ヨーロッパ系の人々が支配すべきだという思想(白豪主義)が採られていたのです。[1, p67]                                                          ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄                                                                                                                                     この表現と、以下の『世界大百科事典』での「アボリジニ」の項の文章を比べて貰いたい。                                                                                                    __________                                                             人口はかつて30万〜75万人あったとされ(1788)、諸説がある。その後、植民政策の深化・拡大につれて激減を続けて約5万人に落ち込み(1930年代)・・・                                                                  ・・・先住民人口の激減は、官民による殺傷、圧政、虐待と差別、キリスト教への強制的改宗、伝染病とアルコールの持ち込みなどに起因する。なかでも、土地の恣意的な取り上げ、先住民の伝統的生活の破壊によって生きる手段、意欲を失わせたことが決定的であった。植民者は表向きは保護政策を謳うようになった後も、実質的には先住民の消滅を願っていたのである。[2]                                           ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄                                                                                                                                     Wikipedianの記述には、さらに凄まじい一節がある。                                                                                                                     __________                                                              1788年からのイギリスによる植民地化によって、初期イギリス移民の多くを占めた流刑囚はスポーツハンティングとして多くのアボリジニを虐殺した。「今日はアボリジニ狩りにいって17匹をやった」と記された日記がサウスウエールズ州の図書館に実際に残されている。[3]                ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄                                                                                                                                     こういう史実を、「強制移住」や「同化政策」だけで表現したら、偏向記述を通り越して虚偽記述ではないか。                                                                                                                                                                  ■4.和人とアイヌ人は「血の繋がったいとこ同士」                                                                                                                       一方、アイヌの方はどうか? 東書の本文では「アイヌ民族への差別の撤廃」という項目タイトルで「アイヌ差別」の歴史を次のように述べている。                                                                          __________                                                              アイヌ民族は古くから北海道、樺太(サハリン)、千島列島を中心に、独自の言葉と文化を持って生活してきました。明治時代に、政府は、北海道開拓の過程でアイヌの人たちの土地をうばい、伝統的な風習などを禁止して同化政策を進めたため、アイヌの人たちは民族固有の生活や文化を維持することができなくなりました。そして、それ以前からあったアイヌの人たちへの差別が強まりました。[2, p47]                            ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄                                                                                                                                     これまた極めて一面的な記述である。まず「独自の言葉と文化を持って」とまるで完全な別民族のように表現しているが、現在では遺伝子分析などによって、アイヌ人も沖縄人と同様、和人と同じ起源であることが明らかになっている。アイヌ語も日本語も同じく縄文語を起源としつつ、その後、分化したものと考えられている。                                                                                                                                      アイヌ人と和人はもとは同じ縄文人を起源としているが、その歴史の過程でやや異なる発展をしてきた。それは「血の繋がったいとこ同士」とでも言うべき関係で、決してイギリス人とアボリジニのような「赤の他人」の関係ではない。[a]                                                                                                         しかも、『日本書紀』の斉明天皇3(657)年の記載から、7世紀中ごろには現在の北海道後志(しりべし、小樽などを含む南西部)に行政府がおかれ、和人とアイヌ人が盛んに交易していたことが記されている。アボリジニが占有していたオーストラリア大陸にイギリス人が侵入してきたのとは違って、和人とアイヌ人はすでに千年以上も共生を続けてきたのである。                                                                                                                                                                                           ■5.イギリス人が評価した明治政府の人道的政策                                                                                                                        江戸時代に入ると、松前藩の統治下で和人の悪徳商人たちの跋扈はあったが、幕府はそれを改めるために蝦夷地全体を直轄地とし、アイヌへの適正な賃金支払い、若い男女への結婚奨励による人口維持、日本語の使用を許すなどの緩やかな保護・同化政策をとった。                                                                                             明治11(1878)年に北海道のアイヌ部落を訪れたイギリスの女流探検家イザベラ・バードは、開拓使長の人道的政策はアメリカ政府のインディアン対策よりもはるかに優っている、と指摘している。                                                                                                                           明治32(1899)年にはアイヌの国会陳情も受けて「北海道旧土人保護法」が成立し、農業を志望するアイヌには一戸につき土地1万5千坪を無償で与え、集落のある場所には小学校を設置するなどの政策をとった。こういう努力には全く触れないまま、「アイヌの人たちの土地をうばい」などと本文で断言するのは一面的に過ぎる。                                                                                                                                     時代の制約はあれども、その中で我々の先人たちが努力していた様を無視すべきではない。その努力を、我々は我々なりの現代の制約の中で受け継いでいかなければならないからだ。                                                                                                                                  東書の、過去の日本の為政者の行いを悪し様に書き、かつ外国を持ち上げては我が国を不当に貶める、という記述スタイルは、同社の歴史教科書とそっくりである。[b]                                                                                                                                                                                                               ■6.アイヌ文化継承の努力                                                                                                                                  一方、東書の本文には、コラムで「アイヌ語弁論大会(イタカンロ−)の様子と弁論の内容」「アイヌ語ラジオ講座のテキスト」「旭川市のアイヌ語地名表示板」「アイヌ音楽は楽しい」を紹介している。このようなアイヌ文化を継承しようとする努力、特に志ある人々による自主的な努力は多とすべきだ。                                                                          育鵬社版は、アイヌ問題について本文ではほとんど触れていないが、「アイヌ文化の継承に命をささげた知里幸恵(ちりゆきえ)」というコラムで、この人物の志と業績を紹介している。                                                                                                                                それによると、幸恵は明治36(1903)に北海道登別で生まれたアイヌで、15歳の時、アイヌ語研究の第一人者・金田一京助と出会い、アイヌの叙事詩ユーカラ研究にかける彼の情熱に心打たれ、アイヌ語の継承を自らの使命と感じた。                                                                                                         彼女は金田一の東京の自宅に住み込み、ユーカラ中の「神謡」の原詩をローマ字で記し、それに日本語の訳をつけていった。重度の心臓病により、わずか19歳で没したが、その『アイヌ神謡集』の「幸恵が書いた序文には、アイヌとしての誇りが綴られています」[4, p71]と、育鵬は記している。                                                                              こういう志ある人々の真摯な努力を知ることで、生徒たちもアイヌへの共感を持ち、その思いがさらなる平等実現への原動力となるだろう。                                                                                                                                                     ■7.「一視同仁」と「処を得る」                                                                                                                              「北海道旧土人保護法」の提案説明には、次のような一節があった。                                                                                                               __________                                                              北海道の旧土人即ちアイヌは、同じく帝国の臣民でありながら、北海道の開くるに従つて、内地の営業者が北海道の土地に向かつて事業を進むるに従ひ、旧土人は優勝劣敗の結果段々と圧迫せられて、・・・                                               同じく帝国臣民たるものが、斯(かく)の如き困難に陥らしむるのは、即ち一視同仁の聖旨(同: 天皇の思召し)に副わない次第と云う所よりして、此の法律を制定して旧土人アイヌも其(その)所を得る様に致し度(た)いと云うに、外ならぬことでございます。[a]                      ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄                                                                                                                                    「一視同仁」とは「すべての人を平等に見て仁愛を施すこと」で、その「聖旨」とは天皇が国民の一人ひとりを我が子のように大切にされる大御心を指した。                                                                                                                                            「其(その)所を得る」とは五箇条の御誓文と共に明治天皇が発せられた御宸翰(天皇の国民へのお手紙)にある言葉だ。そこでは「天下億兆、一人もその処を得ざる時は、みな朕が罪なれば(国民が一人でもその処を得られなければ、それは私の罪であるから)」と書かれている。                                                                                      この「一視同仁」が我が国における国民平等の原理であり、国民一人ひとりが「その所を得る」事が国民福祉の目標であった。それは「民安かれ」の皇室の祈りから生まれ、その大御心を受けて、多くの先人たちはこれらを現実の国家生活に具現化しようと努力してきたのである。アイヌに対する「北海道旧土人保護法」はその一つであった。                                                                                                                                                                                                      ■8.「一視同仁」「処を得る」から学ぶべき事                                                                                                                         東書は次のように「平等権」を説く。                                                                                                                            __________                                                              全ての人は平等な存在であって、平等なあつかいを受ける権利(平等権)を持っています。しかし、偏見に基づく差別が、現在でもなお残っています。特に「生まれ」による差別は、平等権に強く反し、個人の尊重の原理をおかすものであるので、一日も早くなくさなければなりません。[2, p46]        ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄                                                                                                                                     ここでは「全ての人は平等な存在」であると、あたかも数学の公理のように証明も説明もなく説かれている。これでは、生徒は知情意のうちの知としては理解できても、彼らの情と意で受け止めることはできない。アメリカ人なら平等を求めて戦った建国の英雄たちの足跡を辿ることで、この言葉に込められた先祖の思いを感じとれるだろうが、日本人はそういう訳にはいかない。                                                                                                               日本人なら、この「北海道旧土人保護法」のような努力、そしてそれを導いた「一視同仁」「処を得る」という伝統的な理想に触れることによって、先人たちの思いに共感し、それをさらに発展させていこうという志を持ちうる。言葉が力を持ちうるのは、その言葉に込められた先人の思いを、我々が情と意の深みで感じとった時だからだ。                                                                                                                                 もう一つ考えるべき事は、この「平等権」という言葉は、権利を求めて戦ってきた西洋の歴史に染まっている事である。それゆえに平等を要求する「自己の要求」が多分に含まれている。これが肥大化すると、利己心を生んで、ついには「アイヌ教会」が批判されているような「利権」と化してしまう。                                                                            それに対し「一視同仁」「処を得る」は、皇室が国民の幸福を祈る、純粋な利他心の産物である[c]。日本という国家共同体を支える「公民」として学ぶべきは、この利他心である。外国製の、心に届かない概念を知的レベルで学ぶよりも、我が国の多くの先人が追求してきた理想に共感する所から、生徒たちは学ぶべきと考える。                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ■リンク■                                                                                                                                          a. JOG(635) アイヌとの同化・融和・共生の歴史                                                 「もののわかった人は、私たちアイヌを本当の日本人として尊敬してくれました」                                  http://blog.jog-net.jp/201006/article_17.html                                                                                                                       b. 伊勢雅臣『比較 中学歴史教科書−国際派日本人を育てる』、勉誠出版、H30                                   アマゾン「中学生の社会」1位、「教科教育 > 社会」1位、「日本史」11位、総合252位(H30/11/10調べ)                     http://www.amazon.co.jp/o/ASIN/4585222251/japanonthegl0-22/                                                                                                             c. 伊勢雅臣『日本人として知っておきたい 皇室の祈り』、育鵬社、H30                                      http://www.amazon.co.jp/o/ASIN/4594079032/japanonthegl0-22/ アマゾン「メディアと社会」「ジャーナリズム」カテゴリー 1位(H30/2/1調べ)                                  万民の幸せを願う皇室の祈りこそ、日本人の利他心の源泉。                                                                                                                                                                                          ■参考■                                                                                                                                           1.「今国会成立を目指す『アイヌ新法』は非常に危険!」『さくらの花びらの「日本人よ、誇りを持とう」』                      https://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/bonbori098/35392063.html                                                                                                                   2.「アボリジニ」『改訂新版 世界大百科事典』、平凡社、H26                                                                                                                 3.Wikipedia contributors. "アボリジニ." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 23 Dec. 2018. Web. 23 Dec. 2018.                                                                                              4. 『新編新しいみんなの公民 [平成28年度採用] 』、育鵬社、H27                                        http://www.amazon.co.jp/o/ASIN/4905382483/japanontheg01-22/                                                                                                                                                                                   ■■ Japan On the Globe(1103)■■ 国際派日本人養成講座 ■■                                                                                                                       公民教科書読み比べ(13) 「平等権」か、「一視同仁」か                                                                                                                   「平等権」という西欧的概念よりも、我が国の歴史に根ざした「一視同仁」を教えるべきでは?                                                                                                   ■転送歓迎■ H31.03.03 ■ 50,217 Copies ■ 4,569,529Views■                                                                                                購読申込(無料): http://blog.jog-net.jp/

Aid to North Korea

 On February 22nd, the United Nation’s Secretary-General spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced that North Korea requested food assistance. I sincerely hope that North Korea will collapse and abducted foreign nationals will be released as soon as possible.                                                                                 Previous to this announcement, NBC news reported that North Korea sent a formal letter through its ambassador Kim Song, stating that the main cause of the poor harvest was a nationwide, record-setting heat and resultant drought through July and August, and flooding as well. In addition, due to the economic sanctions, North Korea had difficulties in importing farming machines such as tractors, fertilizer, pesticide, and petrochemicals. According to the “statistics” which North Korea submitted to the U.N., food shortage is prospected to equal the caloric intake of 1.4 million people.                                                                                South Korean president Moon Jae-in is so pro-North-Korean that South Korea smuggled petroleum products to North Korea. However, I don’t believe that he can continue to support North Korea because South Korea is itself economically cornered. As the government raised its minimum wage by 29% in 2 years, part-time job slots for which lower income people work have decreased by 195,000. Also, more than 1 million small businesses have gone out of business last year. Over 22 million out of 52 million citizens are borrowing money from predatory loan institutions whose rates are higher than 20%.                                                                                 It is reported that, in North Korea, many people have been dying from starvation, and, in the winter, some are frozen to death. We should somehow find a way to offer aid to such abused people, never the ruling class or the Army.                                                                                 In believe that the world community should offer millet to North Korea. The ruling class won’t eat such a humble food. If the millet were served to the Army, the soldiers’ morale would decrease.                                                                                 If the world supports the abused in North Korea, I hope, they could get enough energy to riot against the atrocious regime. I earnestly hope that North Korea will collapse as soon as possible.        

The Okinawan Prefectural Referendum

 On February 14th, Okinawan Governor Denny Tamaki announce that Okinawa would hold a prefectural referendum on the 24th concerning the relocation of the U.S. air base to the Henoko area of Nago City. The result of the referendum is not legally binding. However, I believe that the Abe Cabinet should pay much attention to the citizens’ voices.                                                                                    In Japan, a national referendum has never been held, but local referendums are conducted on rare occasions. In 1996, Okinawa held a prefectural referendum demanding to shrink the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, and in the following year, Nago City carried out a municipal referendum opposing moving in the U.S. air base there. Despite the results, the Japanese national government decided in 1999 that the U.S. air base would relocate within Okinawa, from the Futenma area to the Henoko area.                                                                                     Initially, Okinawa Pref. and Nago City accepted the decision on the condition that the air base would be constructed off the coast of Henoko and with its use limited to 15 years. Due to negotiations with the U.S., the Japanese government had to relocate the construction site to the coast.                                                                                    In 2014, Takeshi Onaga, who was opposed to the air-base relocation, was elected as Okinawan governor, and revoked the construction permit in the following year. The Japanese government sued the Okinawan prefectural government in court, and won in 2016. Onaga passed away in 2018, and Denny Tamaki, diehard opponent of the base relocation, was elected with a historically high number of votes at over 390,000.                                                                                      Okinawan citizens of 18 years old or older can vote in the prefectural referendum. The number of potential voting is 1,156,295. They must choose from 3 options on the air-base relocation: approve, disapprove, and no opinion. According to the Prefectural Voting Regulation, when one choice amounts to a quarter of all the electorate, the governor will report the result to both the Japanese and U.S. governments. Opponents of base relocation are aiming at this target, which equals some 289,000 votes. In my opinion, the voting rate must surpass 50%. If not, it means that the majority are not interested in the issue.                                                                                    The result will be known on the 24th of February or the following day. I hope that the Abe Cabinet won’t blatantly ignore the Okinawans’ voice. Also, if the voting rate doesn't surpass 50% or the votes opposing reach the 25% mark, the activist should accept the reality of air-base relocation.

Japanese Citizens’ Voice

 The Nikkei Shimbun conducted a survey by snail-mail for the first time. I believe that these results are more reliable than usual because, in the case of robo-calls, busy people would immediately hang up the phone while many seniors, housewives and the jobless would take time to answer the survey. 1,673 out of 3,000 questionnaires were returned by the end of November.                                                                                     First of all, politicians, journalists and bureaucrats should be aware of the fact that they are not trusted by citizens even though most of them are proud of their professional status. 56% of the respondents said that Diet members were untrustworthy, 42% said that the media was untrustworthy, and 32% said that national bureaucrats were untrustworthy. Notably, 60% of 28 to 29 years olds said that they don’t trust the mass media.                                                                                     The most reputable institutions are the Self-Defense Forces (60%), followed by the courts (47%), the police (43%), prosecutors (39%), and teachers (32%). No matter how the left-leaning media have dispraised the Self-Defense Forces, they have reliably contributed during disasters such as the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.                                                                                     When asked about foreign countries, the most hated was North Korea (82%), followed by China (76%), South Korea (61%), and Russia (57%). The result is not surprising.                                                                                     On the other hand, I don't understand why the U.K. and Australia are most preferred by Japanese (72% each), followed by the U.S. (67%).                                                                                     Currently, a constitutional reform of any kind is difficult: 46% prefer to revise the constitution whereas 50% are opposed to it. However, opinions vary depending on age and income. The majority of those 60 years old and older are opposed to revising the constitution whereas the majority of those less than 60 years old support revision. And, the majority of households earning less than 5 million yen (about 50,000 US dollars) per year preferred not revising the constitution whereas the majority of households earning more than 8 million yen supported revision. Households between 5 million and 8 million yen were equally divided. The Abe Cabinet had better not rush a national referendum on constitutional reform.                                                                                      I hope that the Japanese government implement formal survey contingent with nationwide elections to record citizens’ opinions accurately.       

Doomed South Korea

 On February 1st,the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the European Union came into effect. It comprises 635 million people and accounts for nearly one-third of global GDP. In South Korea, this EPA is concerning for South Korea because it might negatively affect the South Korean economy.                                                                                 South Korea has maintained its total trade surplus for 84 consecutive months. During January, however, its exports were 46 billion US dollars, a decrease of 5.8% from the previous month, whereas its imports were 45 billion USD, a decrease of 1.7%. The surplus is shrinking.                                                                                  Semiconductors account for about 20% of South Korea’s exports. Its semiconductor exports during January were 7.4 billion USD, a decrease of 23.3%, due to the drop in their prices. For instance, the price of DRAM (8Gb) was a decrease of 36.5%.                                                                                    26.8% of South Korea’s exports are accounted for by China. The trade conflict between the U.S. and China is taking a heavy toll on the South Korean economy. During January, its exports to China decreased to 10.8 billion USD, a decrease of 19.1%.                                                                                   South Korea concluded an EPA with the EU in 2007. However, its advantages over Japan have now disappeared.                                                                                   When South Korea’s foreign currency decreased, investor capital fled concerned that South Korea might become unable to pay back dollar-based debts. Previously, South Korea could weather currency crises by borrowing dollars from the U.S. and Japan.                                                                                   In 1997, however, its relationship with the U.S. was so bad that it couldn’t borrow dollars from the U.S. In addition, the U.S. put pressure on Japan not to lend dollars to South Korea. As a result, South Korea fell under the control of the International Monetary Fund.                                                                                   South Korean President Moon Jae-in is so pro-North-Korean that South Korea has trafficked petroleum products to North Korea, breaching the UN resolution. The South Korean relationship with the U.S. is tremendously bad. And, its relationship with Japan is the worst it has ever been.                                                                                   I believe that, under incumbent President Moon, South Korea is doomed to default or fall under the control of the IMF again.       

Justice for Lai Dai Han

http://amp.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jan/19/women-raped-by-korean-soldiers-during-vietnam-war-still-awaiting-apology                                                                          <Women raped by Korean soldiers during Vietnam war still awaiting apology>                                                                               Campaign group urges recognition for women affected by sexual violence of Korean troops and the children born as a result Sat 19 Jan 2019 09.00 GMT Last modified on Sat 19 Jan 2019 09.02 GMT                                                                             Tran Thi Ngai was 24 and alone at home in her village in Vietnam’s Phu Yen province when a South Korean soldier forced his way into the house and raped her.    “He pulled me inside the room, closed the door and raped me repeatedly. He had a gun on his body and I was terrified,” said Tran, now almost 80, and still waiting for South Korea to acknowledge sexual violence by its soldiers during the Vietnam war.    A campaign group, Justice for Lai Dai Han (JLDH), is urging the country to recognise both the tens of thousands of children born as a result of rape by Korean troops, and their mothers, of whom around 800 are still alive today. Tran’s three children were conceived through rape during the war.    Roughly 320,000 South Korean soldiers were deployed to Vietnam to fight alongside the US between 1964 and 1973, but the story of the country’s involvement in the conflict is largely untold. South Korea has never acknowledged claims of sexual violence allegedly perpetrated by its troops against thousands of women and girls, some as young as 12 – or the children born as a result.                                                                                 However, South Korea has continued to demand apologies from Japan for its use of “comfort women” from Korea, who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels before and during the second world war.    This week, at an event to highlight work to prevent sexual violence in conflict, former British foreign secretary Jack Straw called on the UN human rights council to conduct a full investigation into sexual violence during the Vietnam war, and urged South Korea to confront a murky period in its past.    “Facing up to unacceptable behaviour by troops is difficult for any country. However, as we have learned in the UK through painful experiences like Bloody Sunday, uncovering the truth not only gives victims and their families closure but can strengthen a nation and its values,” said Straw, who is an international ambassador for JLDH.    Korean troops guard three Vietnamese captives found near a village south of Tuy Hoa in November 1966. Photograph: Hong/AP “The victims of sexual violence and the Lai Dai Han deserve recognition and an opportunity to heal. We must demonstrate to the world the importance of following through on commitments to end sexual violence in conflict.”                                                                                “Lai Dai Han” is a pejorative term meaning “mixed blood” in Vietnamese. The Vietnamese-Korean children say their lives have been blighted by stigma in a society that has acknowledged neither them nor the sexual violence suffered by their mothers. Many are illiterate because they were refused an education, and they have poor access to healthcare and social services.     Tran Dai Nhat, the son of Tran Thi Ngai, recalled being beaten by teachers and thrown out of school when he was a child. It was not until he was 18 that his mother finally explained the discrimination was because he was mixed race.    “At school they said I was the son of a ‘dog’. I couldn’t do anything and I never understood why,” he said. “Teachers hit me – saying I should go back to Korea with my father. My entire life, I have been made to feel as though I shouldn’t be [in Vietnam],” said Tran Dai Nhat, who founded JLDH and leads efforts to press for recognition and an apology from South Korea.    Nadia Murad, who won last year’s Nobel peace prize with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for their work to stop the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, backed JLDH’s calls for recognition, saying: “The Lai Dai Han have been living in the shadows of Vietnamese society for far too long. The victims and their families deserve to be recognised as we work together to achieve justice.”                                                                               Murad, who was forced into sexual slavery by Isis militants with other Yazidi women in Iraq, said more needed to be done to bring perpetrators of sexual violence to justice. “As these criminals enjoy more rights, freedom and life than the victims themselves, how can we restore dignity to the victims if everyone turns a blind eye to the prosecution of perpetrators and allows them to enjoy impunity?”    Former British foreign secretaries Jack Straw and William Hague with 2018 Nobel laureate Nadia Murad and Tran Thi Ngai, whose son is seen on the far right. Photograph: Courtesy JDHL    William Hague, co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, said the case of the Vietnamese families showed the importance of confronting the past in order to move forward on preventing sexual violence in war. “There is now an overwhelming case for a permanent investigating body, under the auspices of the UN, to help ensure these atrocities can be prevented and justice made available,” he said. Straw told the Guardian: “This is not about compensation. Above anything, what these families want is recognition.”                                                                               Straw added that he is pressing South Korea to apologise to families affected by sexual violence during the Vietnam war. But Tran Thi Ngai accepts that such an apology may be far off. “I lost everything after I was raped. I was imprisoned, I lost my home and my children lost their future. Any apology will probably come when I am dead. But I will accept it, even in the afterlife.”   

Japanese Clout

     On January 18th, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) released an opening letter to members which appeals to its members not to withdraw from the IWC. When the Abe Cabinet decided on December 25th that Japan would withdraw from the IWC, I was opposed to the decision. However, Japan’s withdrawal is greatly shaking the IWC. Currently, Japan cannot utilize its clout effectively, despite being an economic power. This may be an omen that Japan may be able to exercise its clout more effectively in the future.                                                                                Japan has and still is the largest contributor to the IWC, burdening 105,000 pounds (8.6%. about 138,000 US dollars), followed by the U.S. (

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