Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why is Foreign Minister Maehara Repeatedly Roiling Japan-China Relations?

What does Prime Minister Kan think? And why won't the DPJ say anything about this foreign minister's provocations? What will we do when the Japan that has lived by its peace Constitution loses the peace? Isn't it the foreign minister's job to worry about the environment of Japanese working in China?

Why is Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara continuously using violent language in regards to the Chinese people and government? Why did Prime Minister Kan entrust the foreign ministry to this violent man? And why aren't Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku warning Maehara?

The Oct. 22 morning edition of the Tokyo Shimbun ran the headline "China Criticizes Foreign Minister Maehara" with the subhead of "A summit meeting is up to Japan." I've excerpted a rather long section here:

Beijing (By Minoru Ikeda) -- Chinese Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hu Zhengyue said on Oct. 21 that "the verbal attacks on China continue day after day" in reference to a comment by Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara that a Japan-China summit "didn't need to be rushed."

Hu also said that the possibility of a Japan-China summit alongside the ASEAN meeting in Hanoi at the end of the month "depended on having the appropriate conditions and atmosphere." The next move was up to Japan, he said. Referring to Maehara's most recent comment, he said, "The China-Japan relationship needs both sides to work toward improvement. So why is there no rush? Why is he stirring things up around the China-Japan relationship and trying to harm it? Did the Chinese leadership say something to set him off? We only said that we wanted to aim for close communication."

Prime Minister Kan, why are you so forgiving of Foreign Minister Maehara as he continues his verbal violence? What do you think about the fact that the words of your foreign minister are putting the expat Japanese working in China in more danger? The more he continues his extremely provocative comments, the more anti-Japanese sentiment will rise in China and the more a boycott of Japanese goods will spread. The troubles of Japanese working in China will deepen. Even considering all this, will you let this man of profound personal anti-Chinese sentiments continue his provocations? If he wants to live by his anti-Chinese ideology, then ask for his resignation first.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Peace is Our Priority

Peaceful coexistence among nations is maintained through agreements to not interfere in others' internal affairs

"Peace is the ideal. It goes without saying that peace is difficult, unstable and under threat." -- Hermann Hesse

Japan must not participate in the collective "the nail that sticks out gets hammered down" trend. It can't get caught up in China bashing. It shouldn't join the ranks of those who look for a Nobel Prize by lambasting China.

To defend peace these days, we need to approve of peaceful coexistence among countries with different political systems. We must agree to refrain from meddling in each others' internal affairs.

Within Japan's media and political world, the diplomacy of Koizumi and Abe is making a comeback.I can't think of a more idiotic approach.

Remarkably, there are those within Japan today who advocate a Chinese containment policy. Japan should not attempt such a dangerous thing.

To look into the mistakes China has made, we need time and calm. We should remember the words of Pythagoras: "Anger begins with folly and ends in repentance." We can't be moved by our emotions alone.

Five Powerful Items to Change People's Consciousness

China and the Senkaku Islands, the rare earth embargo, the Osaka prosecutor special investigation scandal, compulsory indictment of Ozawa and the Nobel Prize in chemistry going to Suzuki and Negishi; Now more than ever we truly need a government for the people!

"The people's well-being is the highest law." -- A Roman edict

Lately, a lot of shocking things have occurred. Looking at the main events since September, we have the Senkaku Islands controversy, with China playing offense; the connected embargo of rare earth shipments to Japan; the scandal involving falsification of information in the special investigation division of the Osaka District Prosecutor's Office; a committee's decision to proceed with the indictment of Ichiro Ozawa; and the awarding of the Nobel Prize in chemistry to two Japanese scientists.

The big event here is the China shock. It has brought out the anti-Chinese fervor of some Japanese people. If this anti-Chinese sentiment continues unabated, it will be hard to continue the friendly ties Japan has developed with China. That's how big this shock has been.

Second is the scandal in the Osaka District Prosecutor's Office. This has blown away the trust the people once had for the police. It is also spreading distrust of the nation throughout society. This change in consciousness will not be easy to undo.

Third is the awarding of the Nobel Prize in chemistry to two Japanese scientists. This has created breathing space for those of us who don't want to dwell on the dark realities and would prefer to look forward to a hopeful future.

These three items will weigh heavily on the people's consciousness. Politicians won't be able to just fight for the sake of fighting. They must work to find something for the people to believe in. Politicians will feel the wave of distrust from the populace. The political world will need to figure out how to work in the interest of the citizenry. It's time to think of making bipartisan efforts.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Watch out for Mass Media's Fanning of "Anti-China" Flames

The Heisei Era version of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association brings the DPJ and LDP together in a big union of China-baiting, saber-rattling and threats to national autonomy; the media is riding the anti-China, anti-coexistence wave for all it's worth. This movement must be stopped. The political and media worlds are hurtling Japan down a dangerous path toward conflict with China

"There never was a good war or a bad peace." — Benjamin Franklin

Lately I've been making an effort to watch as closely as possible Tokyo's major newspapers and key television outlets. That's because in today's Japan our media holds a decisive power that can sway the populace. I'm worried about the media's recklessness.

Pay attention to the appearances and the remarks shown on Tokyo's major TV outlets. It's all the leading anti-Chinese elements of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party. Some politicians must advocate peaceful measures, but those people don't get called into the TV studios. The TV networks have all their focus on the most bellicose elements. The major TV commentators are in the anti-China, anti-coexistence camp.

The failure of Japan's leaders before World War II was their inability to stand up to the pressure exerted by the great military power, the United States. Japan became belligerent and rashly entered a war with the US. The leaders of that day didn't have enough conviction that war was the one thing the country should avoid. They couldn't endure. Their commitment to peace was weak.

The younger generation of politicians in Japan are quick to raise a ruckus over random legal matters or principles of justice, complaining loudly that their opponents are bad for this or that reason, but I think they lack the strong will to protect the national interest while walking the path of peace. Diplomacy needs to put actions ahead of words. There's no way we can jump on the media's bandwagon, embrace its narrow-minded patriotism and also conduct diplomacy. Foreign Minister Maehara is wrong. A politician in a position like the foreign minister's can't say idiotic things that frighten leaders of other countries. We need to escape from this infantile "diplomacy."