New Japanese Prime Minister? All of Japan is Abuzz….zzzzzz……zzzz….zzzzz…..

Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan who was prime minister for just over one short year is resigning. The race for a new clusterf*ck prime minister of Japan is on.

If you were to judge by the media, you’d think that the Japanese, as well as people all over the world are gripping their arses in anticipation of who the next prime minister of the world’s #3 (and dropping quickly) economy is going to be.

Will it be dumbf*ck number one or dillweed #2? The entire nation anxiously awaits the results of an election that they have absolutely no say in whatsoever…..So, I am….ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz…..

ZZZsnork! Where was I? Oh, yeah….

Kan, as you remember, was Japan’s prime minister for just about 15 months. In that time, his infamy is often compared with that of many tyrants of the past. The destruction and devastation that occurred under Kan’s rule will always be on the level of a Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao, Attila the Hun, Caligula Joseph Stalin and that Khan dude on Star Trek.

The world will never forget the destruction they caused:

Top (L to R): Hitler, Stalin, Mao

Bottom (L to R): Kan, Khan and Fine

See? Told you he’s right up there with old usual suspects.

Our own Naoto Kan, who, you’ll remember singlehandedly was responsible for causing the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster will also always be remembered for his positive achievements such as… his, er…. ummmm… And then there’s… the… uh…


Things will be OK if you just remember to keep repeating the mantra: “March 11, disaster, earthquake, tsunami, Fukushima Dai ichi and Naoto Kan.”

Kan! Kan! Kan! Damn you, Kan! We’ll get you for this!

AFP reports:

TOKYO (AFP) Japan’s ruling party is to kick off a two-day campaign Saturday to choose a new leader for the disaster-hit nation, with trade and industry minister Banri Kaieda emerging as a strong contender.

Who the hell is Banri Kaieda?

Five candidates of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have so far run for the party’s leadership election on Monday to succeed Prime Minister Naoto Kan as the nation’s sixth premier in five years.

Awriiiiight! I think we should go for a new world record! You know that Italy has had more than 50 government’s since World War II? yes. It’s true. Come on, Japan! We can do better! Japan! Japan! Japan! Ganbare Nippon!

The party has set a deadline of Saturday morning for candidates to come forward for what is expected to be a close race.

Hoo hum….What? I missed the dealine for filing again?

Kan announced his resignation on Friday after nearly 15 turbulent months in power, during which his response to the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear plant accident drew fierce criticism.

Remember to keep repeating: Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Attila & Kan (sounds like some 70′s Prog Rock group doesn’t it?)

Through debates and speeches this weekend, the candidates will seek support of 398 DPJ lawmakers who can vote for a new party president to replace Kan. Parliament will then vote the leader in as PM on Tuesday.

Debates and speeches this weekend? Oh goody. That sounds like how I want to spend my weekends with the family! Listening to old political pharts droning on and on about this or that….

Former foreign minister Seiji Maehara, who has topped the list of hopeful successors to Kan in opinion polls, and Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda were largely seen as pre-election favourites.

Is it just me or does the name Seiji Maehara sound like a horse racing jockey?

But Kaieda, who has led efforts to contain the nuclear crisis, leapt into the front row alongside them late on Friday after party kingmaker Ichiro Ozawa, who controls the DPJ’s biggest faction, voiced support for him.

And he lifted a pinky finger is his direction. Don’t forget the power of the Ozawa pinky in your direction!

Ozawa, a divisive figure who faces a criminal trial over a donations scandal, leads up to 130 lawmakers, although he has lost his party membership following his indictment over the scandal.

This is great: divisive figure, criminal trial, donations scandal, leads 130 lawmakers…  think that pretty much sums up the political situation here in a nutshell.

“We need support of Ozawa at a time of crisis,” Kaieda told reporters late Friday.

Ha! Ha! Ha! ”We need support of Ozawa at a time of crisis”!? Tell me, Einstein, when is Japan not in a crisis?

Kaieda, 62, a well-known economist before he turned to politics, also won support of former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama, a close ally with Ozawa.

Hatoyama? Oh, yeah. I seem to remember that name. He was the guy who promised to kick out the US military if elected and that he would….. ZZZZZZzzzzzzz…….

Kaieda came to be at odds with Kan, who made a policy shift away from nuclear power generation while Kaieda was trying to convince local governments to restart reactors that went offline after the disaster.

Maehara, 49, who stepped down as foreign minister in March over a donations row, could become the nation’s youngest post-war prime minister. He is against raising taxes to ease Japan’s fiscal woes.

Get it? Kaieda who has the support of a divisive figure who is involved with a criminal trail over a donations scandal and is supported by another loser who couldn’t keep his election promises is up against another guy who has his own doantions scandal…. Ever see that British TV show, “Yes, Minister”?

Noda, 54, who recently courted controversy with statements supporting war criminals, has softened his earlier stance on hiking taxes.

Doh! How many times have I told these idiots that you don’t talk about raising taxes before an election? See? This Noda guy is not completely and totally stupid. He’s toned it down. Now, if he becomes PM that will only prove the rest of the nation is completely and totally stupid.

The winner faces the unenviable task of overseeing Japan’s biggest post-war reconstruction, resolving the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago, and shielding the economy from a soaring yen.

…And the task of trying to stay in office for more than two weeks… With the even more daunting task of trying not to say something stupid once a day.

The new premier must also unite a divided parliament, decide on a new post-Fukushima energy policy and win market confidence that Japan can overcome a legislative quagmire to address the world’s biggest debt mountain.

Read that last sentence again: “The new premier must also unite a divided parliament, decide on a new post-Fukushima energy policy and win market confidence that Japan can overcome a legislative quagmire to address the world’s biggest debt mountain.”

Bwa! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Just remember, no matter who becomes the next Japanese prime minister, he will look good is you just always repeat the mantra: March 11, disaster, earthquake, tsunami, Fukushima Dai ichi and Naoto Kan.

Japanese Traditional Magic Cookies

In Japan, when someone makes a mistake at your company, and you are the boss, you can never berate that employee in public nor can you, as boss, tell the offended client or customer that your employees is to blame. You can never blame the mistakes on your staff. You have to take the blame.

No matter what happens, as captain of the ship, you must be the responsible person for whatever goes on. It can be a thankless job too. If things go well, you must give credit to your staff. If things go bad, you must take all the blame.

Sometimes, even the Japanese laugh at these traditions….

(well, older folks don’t… No sense of humor!)

That is the honorable and smart was way to do business in Japan.

Last week, my company royally screwed up a campaign for a client. That client had over 300 complaints from customers in less than a few hours! The error was 100% the fault of my company and it was an embarrassingly foolish mistake; we had incorrectly written bank information for money transfers on an online document. This made a situation whereby hundreds of people couldn’t transfer the money to the appropriate account in order to received the goods they wanted.

As I said, over 300 people had complained to our client and the client was, understandably, furious at us. I was furious at my staff for making such an amateurish mistake but I couldn’t say that to the client. Nor did I berate my staff openly.

First we calmly rectified the account information. That night I called the people in charge at the client company and apologized. They were noticeably upset. This client is my companies #1 most important customer. Their account is worth tens of millions of yen to us. But because of this mistake, we were in danger of losing that account forever.

And all because of a careless Jr. high school level mistake.

I knew what I had to do…. I had to buy a box of cookies…. Not just any cookies. “Magic” cookies. The good stuff.

Yes. That’s right. A box of quality cookies, a sincere apology, accepting complete responsibility along with bowing profusely to the in-charge at the client company…. Just might make things all right.

It certainly couldn’t hurt and is worth the risk in order to save the contract.

In Japan, no matter what happens, the Japanese like it if you take complete responsibility and humbly apologize for your errors. Being able to say “I’m sorry” and saying it like a man and not someone who wishes to blame someone else, will make the Japanese respect you as a person and a businessman much more.

I went to a ritzy department store and bought the best box of cookies they had. The box cost ¥5,600 (about $73!) pretty expensive for  a dozen cookies! I went to the client company with the cookies. I knew that the in-charge showed up for work around 1 ~ 3 pm everyday.

But he doesn’t know that I know that.

I showed up at his office at 11:00 and let the receptionist know I was there.

She said, “Do you have an appointment?”

“No.” I replied, “But my company made a serious mistake last night and I must apologize so I came here. I will wait until he arrives. Please tell him that I am waiting.” Of course, I asked the receptionist what time it was so that she would make a mental note of it.

Then, I sat in the lobby and waited. Well, actually, I did work on my laptop. Work I would have done had I been at my office. But here, I could do the work and show diligence in making sure that I met with the in-charge.

I waited and the girl asked me a couple of times if I still wanted to wait. “Of course,” I replied.

Finally, at 2:30 pm, the in-charge showed up. He was so surprised to see me.

He said, “You’ve been sitting here for a few hours!?”

“Yes. I needed to see you and apologize.” I replied.

We sat and talked and I explained everything all the while taking full responsibility. I bowed over and over and handed over the box of “Magic” cookies and asked that he share it with his staff who we had bothered with our stupid mistake.

After thirty or so minutes of talking he became much calmer and actually smiled. I told him that they were the #1 most important client to us and that we would do anything to make it all right – even forfeit all of our commissions for this one event. He thanked me and asked that we be more careful next time and he promised me that, on his side too, they’d try to be more organized so that things weren’t done so rush-rush and last minute.

I thanked him and we shook hands. The contract was saved and we won’t be penalized for the error. We just must be more careful next time.

With this 3.5 hour effort of waiting and a $73 dollar box of cookies I saved a multi-million yen contract.  I also saved us from losing all commissions from this particular event. This one event was worth about $60,000 to us. I saved it with a short wait, a bunch of humility, a lot of bowing and taking responsibility…

…And a $70 box of cookies.

Now, if those cookies aren’t magic, I don’t know what is.

Japanese Government Interferes and Our Taxes Go Up!

This article is about Japanese government interference in business but it has a lesson for everyone in every country the world over.

Once again, with a huge amount of problems, the Japanese government cannot just get out of the way and allow the free market to take care of things and fix our problems. The Japanese government insists upon getting involved and making decisions that involve you or me and businesses. Trust that whenever the government puts their hands, the results are an increase in our taxes.

Please allow me to pick this article apart and expose its inconsistencies and illogic.

Of course, regular readers of this blog know that I am against government interference in any way shape or form and see this example as another attempt to “fix” things but they will only make things worse.

Japan’s parliament is set to approve a landmark bill on renewable energy championed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan as a way to reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear power following the worst nuclear plant accident in the country’s history, and which would break the monopoly of the 10 major utilities.

Ummm, excuse me. This is a pretty Orwellian use of the English language isn’t it? It says, reduce the nation’s dependence on nuclear power… and which would break the monopoly of the 10 major utilities.” How do they come to this propaganda and new use of this wording? Ten utilities does not a monopoly make. Monopoly means one. The Investor Words online dictionary of financial terms describes “monopoly” as, “monopoly - definition of monopoly - A situation in which a single company owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service.”

The final passage of the bill, which aims to bolster investment in renewable energy, is expected by the end of the month.

“Aims to bolster investment”? Well, yes and no. If history is any record, I think they mean that the government gets involved and distorts the market and therefore allows their corporate political backers insider information so they might cash in on new laws before they become public.

Ironically, it paves the way for the highly unpopular Kan to step down.

The only good news in this article so far. Kan steps down. The bad news is that the next guy will be even worse. This reminds me of the old story of the king who walked through the kingdom and came upon a very old woman who bowed down to him and kissed his feet. The king was so surprised as the rest of his subjects hated him and often threw stones in protest against his lavish life style and massive taxation. The king said, “Woman! Why do you hail me so when the rest of my subjects hate me so?” The woman replied, “I am a very old woman and have seen many kings in my life. And each king was much worst than the last. So I wish for you a long and healthy life, my lord.”

Its main feature is a requirement that utilities purchase power from outside providers such as private companies or cooperatives under certain circumstances.

Idiots. The government “requiring” purchases? Where have we heard that before? Don’t these clowns understand simple basic economics? That when you do something like this, it distorts the market and is a de facto tax burden increase on the public as they will wind up paying any increase in costs?

This is seen as opening the door for much greater use of renewable energy, an area where Japan lags, accounting for just 9% of total supply.

You know, what really cracks me up about these people (and some of the public at large) is that they claim that the free market and private business only have money at heart and do not concern themselves with the public good. I won’t discuss the public good part for the moment and will wait until someone challenges me on that point, but let’s look at the notion that the private companies only care about making money.

If this were true that their only concern were profits and that they strive for maximized profits at every turn (I’m not saying they don’t) then, if so-called renewable energy sources were profitable, then we wouldn’t need government interference or new laws to goad these private industries into pursuing them.

That the government must force private businesses into this market, then, if we use this logic, only goes to show that these businesses are not profitable. Nevertheless, the private businesses are forced into these markets.

What happens? Costs inevitably go up. What happens to these costs? They are either financially supported by the government or through charging customers higher rates for good and services.

Now, keep in mind that the government has no money. The government gets all its money from taxation. That means that these private industries are forced into these new businesses and then, when not so profitable (or losers), pass on those higher costs to you and me as customer. Or, the government takes our tax monies and supports these businesses.

Either way, ultimately, these monies come from you or me either directly through our pockets or through taxation or stealth (debasement of our currency and the ensuing inflation). This means that you and I support these businesses when they lose money.

If we have to pay for a businesses with taxes or by stealth or directly, then, it also goes to reason that when this private business makes money, then we should enjoy the profits, right? But we don’t. See? The next line supports my argument completely:

But big manufacturers, already hurt by power shortages and the effects of the high yen on exports, will face higher electricity bills as a result.

Once again, the government comes up with an idea and what happens? It costs you and me money. Anyone who thinks big corporations are going to eat those higher costs and not pass them onto the consumer is fast asleep and just hasn’t been paying attention.

Great, our expenses go up. Thank you sir, may I have another?

It’ll be good to be rid of Kan, though. The best situation would be to get rid of them all.

After Kan? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

J-Pop Group SCAM to Make Charity Album

The Japanese schlock group SCAM have joined in with the effort of “helping” (themselves) and looking like they are actually doing something besides holding a mirror and combing their hair by releasing an album of their old and tired songs in a new song order on a new record.

There will be nothing new recorded for this album at all and the boys really will do nothing to actually help anyone in need after the March 11 disaster. They won’t lift a finger to help anyone but their record label, agency and bank.

Like I said, what they will do is allow old music to be recompiled into a different order and then repackaged and sold as if it is a new product.

The real kicker is, even though this schlock is being advertising as a charity effort and proceeds will be donated, the fact of the matter is only about 5% of sales will go towards any charity.

You’d think that with a project that his a supposed charity that is reusing old material, that they could give a bit more than that…

Asian Fanatics reports:

J-pop group SMAP have announced the songs on their new album “SMAP AID,” which goes on sale Aug 17 to help raise funds for recovery efforts in the Tohoku region. The album features the group’s 15 most popular songs chosen by their fans. It will be the group’s first “best” album in 10 years.

The top three tracks are “Original Smile” (from June 1994), “Hazimari no uta” (from September 2008), and “Not Alone” (from May 2005).

The album, which will sell for 3,570 yen, comes with a yellow or red handkerchief — red representing health, and yellow representing happiness. Two hundred yen from the sale of each album will go toward the “Marching J” charity project.

According to SMAP’s management, Johnny’s Entertainment, many Japanese fans wrote to the agency following the March earthquake and tsunami disaster to say that SMAP songs cheered them up in the wake of the tragedy. The messages led to the album’s concept.

They say that there’s one born every minute!… Many fans wrote to the agency and said the songs cheered them up? This lead to the album’s concept? Yes! That and the temptation to steal from suckers was too great to resist.

Two hundred yen out of a ¥3,570 sale goes to charity!? Here’s what little a*swipe SCAM singer says as he’s admiring himself in the mirror:

“Gee, I’d like to really help those poor people in Tohoku… As long as I don’t have to do anything, make any effort, and it doesn’t hurt my pocketbook.”

Korean artists are doing great in Japan. Japan keeps trying to push sh*tty artists like SCAM on the Korean public. Any wonder why Japanese artists are not as popular over there as Korean artists are over here?

Let me finish this article with an intelligent comment: “Those twits in SCAM might be nice guys – no one could blame them for having any brains or morals – but their agency are douchebags.” This is an even worse charity than Red Cross. At least Red Cross has been able to get a lame 51% of the money to the survivors.

5%!? Any media in Japan – especially the English media – who report on this nonsense without a commentary are just as big a bunch of jerks as SCAM and all their members.

No wonder English rags like Metropolis and Japan Today are going bankrupt. On the one hand they criticize Japan and Japan’s “entertainment”… On the other hand, they bootlick because they need sponsors for their trashy rags.

Losers. All of them.

Thanks to Alistair Rogers

Reactions to Why Did the USA Use the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima?

Yesterday, I posted an article filled with quotes from high ranking US and Allied military leaders about their misgivings of the atomic bombing of Japan both before and after he event. I even posted quotes from Douglas MacArthur the top US Commander in Asia and Dwight D. Eisenhower the Supreme Allied Commander and former two time US president in that article.

Eisenhower was firmly against the bombings, MacArthur wasn’t even consulted and many others were firmly against. Read that article, “Why did the USA drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima?” here.

Even so, I got several comments and emails that completely missed the point and accused me of revisionism and called me not nice names (I’ve deleted those – if I want be be called names, I’ll talk to my kids)…. Besides the usual, “But they attacked us first!” nonsense that is the level of 5-year-old school yard argument that has fallen by the wayside from serious defenders of the bombings, some still think this and wrote that. I’ve deleted those too.

Remind me again of who this woman

and child attacked in China or the USA?

As far as the “But they attacked us first” argument, here is a snippet from an article that I researched and wrote that appeared on Lew Rockwell in 2005 called “Dying for the emperor? No Way”:

Japan attacked the United States first.

If you mean that the Japanese bombed the military base of Pearl Harbor, before the US bombed the Japanese, then this is a difficult question to answer (see #1 below). If you mean that Japan committed acts of war against the United States first, then the answer is a definitive, “No!” The United States committed at least two acts of war under international law against Japan before December 7, 1941.

They were:

  1. US military pilots — 40 from the Army Air Corps and 60 from the US Navy and Marine Corps — in a clandestine operation organized by and funded by the Whitehouse — flying bombing missions against Japanese forces in the famed Flying Tigers as early as 1937. These people did “volunteer” to fly for the Flying Tigers but they were paid employees of the US government. US pilots flying bombing missions for the Chinese was an act of war under international law by America against Japan. Even with the weak argument that these professional military men were “volunteers” (when they were actually sent by the US government), under international law, a nation is responsible for the actions of its nationals. To claim otherwise is hypocritical and completely irresponsible.

  2. US initiated oil embargo against Japan. This is unquestionably an act of war under international law. The US was also totally hypocritical on this point as they forced the British and the Dutch to uphold the embargo, yet secretly allowed Japan oil from the United States as a way to spy on Japanese shipping. See: Day of Deceit by Robert Stinnett.

Counting the above two, then President Roosevelt had a total of eight plans to incite hostilities with the Japanese. The rest, as they say “is history.” There are a great many excellent books and articles on what really happened in World War II. The serious student (and professor) would do themselves and their country good to seek out the truth. Things are not as black and white as US public schooling and US history books would lead us to believe. The true causes of the Pacific War were the clash of the US empire in Asia and the Japanese empire.

Of course, the next important point to consider here is that Pearl Harbor was a military base. Hiroshima was a civilian city. Under international law, attacks on military bases are not crimes. Attacks on civilian targets were and still are war crimes.

Some other readers sent messages that, today, are actually the reason I am posting. Their arguments about my post yesterday are painfully inadequate and ill conceived. Here are two. First from a US citizen:

“Seriously Mike? Keep in mind that revisionist views of history usually cause bad things to be repeated. What do you suppose the Chinese view of this perspective would be?”

Seriously? What sort of convoluted logic is it that takes the discussion of bombing a civilian city with a nuclear weapon into the “well they deserved it!” argument. How is this logical? Are you saying that the women and children of Hiroshima committed war crimes in China? Extraordinary!

The insinuation here is that the atomic bombings of Japan are, in some sort, of revenge for China. Let me quote what the great historian Ralph Raico has to say about that in a quote from his book, “Hiroshima and Nagasaki”:

Great controversy has always surrounded the bombings. One thing Truman insisted on from the start: The decision to use the bombs, and the responsibility it entailed, was his. Over the years, he gave different, and contradictory, grounds for his decision. Sometimes he implied that he had acted simply out of revenge. To a clergyman who criticized him, Truman responded, testily:

Nobody is more disturbed over the use of Atomic bombs than I am but I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war. The only language they seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them.

Such reasoning will not impress anyone who fails to see how the brutality of the Japanese military could justify deadly retaliation against innocent men, women, and children. Truman doubtless was aware of this, so from time to time he advanced other pretexts. On August 9, 1945, he stated: “The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.”

Seriously. This argument is so bad and illogical, that it would be nice to end it forever. If, say, in my commenter’s post, I were to use the very same logic it would run like this:

Japan had been at war with China since 1931 (well, actually, in recent times, on and off since 1894). If the USA were so concerned with Japanese actions in China, then why didn’t they intervene earlier?

Secondly, taking it to an even more ridiculous extreme:

Japan had been at war with China on and off since 1894; continuously since 1931. The USA didn’t intervene. But in early 1941, when the USA committed an oil embargo against Japan (an act of war under international law)… Japan had no choice but to attack the USA at Pearl Harbor. After all, what did the Japanese think about millions of native American Indians getting wiped out by US federal forces over the past 100 years – the most recent was a massacre at Wounded Knee in 1895 – where US forces exterminated nearly 300 native men, women and children?

See? This argument doesn’t hold water at all. What happened in China doesn’t justify incinerating women and children. People, especially American people, deserve the title of Boobus Americanus if, after all this time of being lied to by our government, cannot see that they’ve been snookered.

The next comment is just plain sad. She wrote:

“It’s strange that it’s not mentioned how many lives were massacred outside of Japan and my country suffered under the Japanese occupation. As for the dropping of the bombs, it remains controversial.”

No. It’s not strange that the article doesn’t mention Japanese atrocities. This was not an article about Japanese invasion and occupation. This was an article about use of a weapon of mass destruction on a civilian population.

If you want to read articles filled with vitriol that justify your racism and feelings for revenge, then, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you want to deal with those feelings, I’d suggest a counselor.

As a people, we’re supposed to be getting smarter than the people of the past. When will people learn that it’s not that country versus us. It is us versus our government. We as a people are supposed to be getting more forgiving and understanding to each other.

The children are not guilty of the crimes of the parents. Racism, sexism and homophobia should not have anyplace in society today.

Frankly speaking, to the lady who wrote the comment above, I want to say, “Your racism is showing. It’s 2011, get out of the 1940′s.”

One more guy claimed that the bombings saved millions of lives:

“I knew people that were part of our first occupying force in Japan. Even after the war ended, the japanese police were still hacking apart their own citizens that were happy the war was over…. Every single person I knew that was there, in actual combat, said they believed millions more people would have died if we had invaded.”

The idea that there was some sort of revolution against US occupation is not steeped in reality. In another Lew Rockwell article concerning this sort of propaganda, this time concerning Iraq, as some US commentators claimed such in early 2005 when the Iraq revolt was just getting off the ground. From Darkest before the Dawn:

I have heard before Rush Limbaugh claiming that Japan and Germany had a post-war insurrection. I do not want to make any claims about Germany — a subject that I am not well versed in — but I do consider myself much more of an expert on Japan than Rush Limbaugh or just about any person on American TV or radio and I can tell you for a fact: No postwar insurrection in Japan.

Which is it for Rush Limbaugh? Is he shamelessly lying or is he just ignorant on Japan’s history and knows that no one will call him on it? Well, Mr. Limbaugh, I’m calling you on it now.

I have even heard Fox TV’s Bill O’Reilly make the statement that “Postwar Iraqi is going better than Postwar Japan.” With the insinuation that Japan’s insurrection was worse than Iraq’s.

Which is it for Bill O’Reilly? Is he lying again or is he just ignorant on Japan’s history and knows that no one will call him on it? Well, Mr. O’Reilly, I’m calling you on it now.

Today, for the third time in the last few months, I heard this blatant lie — sans challenge to its validity — being made on CNN as Larry King interviewed a guest during his coverage of the Presidential Inauguration. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch the name of the young man who made this absurd assertion, but he was wrong. There was no insurgency in Japan after the war. To claim that there was is out-and-out fabrication.

Which is it for CNN? Are they blatantly lying or are they just ignorant on Japan’s history and knows that no one will call them? Well, CNN, I’m calling you on it now.

I have searched for months through Japanese language documentation and haven’t found one single piece of evidence that there ever was any political violence against the U.S. occupation in Japan after World War II. There absolutely was no postwar insurrection in Japan.

Here are the facts from USA Today:

Iraq: 14-month occupation scheduled to end June 30 [2004]. Iraqis are to hold elections no later than Jan. 31, 2005, and write a constitution by the end of 2005. Occupation troops are attacked daily. There was no formal surrender by the former regime.

Japan: Adopted a constitution 15 months after the war ended, and put it into effect in May 1947. There was no postwar insurgency. Japan formally surrendered and was much more badly damaged than Iraq after the war.

Germany: Took three years to write a constitution and four years to hold elections. There was almost no postwar insurgency. Also badly damaged after the war and formally surrendered.

Certainly, from reading the above, it seems to me that I am not the one who is guilty of revisionism, but the one who is guilty of disseminating facts… Perhaps someone could show me where I am wrong.

Addendum! Excellent article today from the Boston Globe:

Why did Japan surrender?

Sixty-six years ago, we dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Now, some historians say that’s not what ended the war.

“…. a highly respected historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara – has marshaled compelling evidence that it was the Soviet entry into the Pacific conflict, not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that forced Japan’s surrender. His interpretation could force a new accounting of the moral meaning of the atomic attack. It also raises provocative questions about nuclear deterrence, a foundation stone of military strategy in the postwar period. And it suggests that we could be headed towards an utterly different understanding of how, and why, the Second World War came to its conclusion.

“Hasegawa has changed my mind,” says Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” “The Japanese decision to surrender was not driven by the two bombings.”

More: Why did Japan surrender?

Thanks to Michael Di Stacio of Rock Challenge Japan

Donate to Charity and Get to Grab Girl’s Boobs? Only in Japan!

No kidding. My good friend Michael Di Stacio of the charity Rock Challenge Japan that he’s “been trying to raise money the wrong way all this time.” He’s introduced me to a new charity that allows people to grab the boob of teenage girls in order to raise money for charity.

Timeout Japan has the story:

‘Only in Japan’: a hackneyed phrase, certainly, though we can’t think of many other countries where the groping of an all-female pop group for charity would be considered ‘OK’. We’re not talking about one porn star groping another here, either. This is something the general public is welcome to get involved in, organised as part of a 24-hour telethon by Japanese adult channel Paradise TV. For a suggested donation of ¥1,000 ($12.94 at the time of writing), the average Jo is allowed five squeezes of a pair of breasts, with all proceeds going to the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention.

The pop group in question is Marshmallow 3D, an ‘idol unit’ that, according to The Real Live Web, have hopes of becoming a popular pop sensation – although the fact that this particular ‘jun ai’ (‘pure love’) trio were put together by Paradise TV suggests that they might not be quite so innocent. Not that porn queens haven’t dabbled in pop music before – Ebisu Muscats are perhaps the best recognised singing porn collective, having scored some genuine chart success in the past year.

The ‘Erotics Save the Earth’ event is now in its ninth year, and is something of a highlight on the annual adult calendar. Appearing alongside Marshmallow 3D will be a host of other J-porn notables, including Maki Azusa, who recently featured in our first ever Sex Issue. She tells us that hers will be a largely hands-off role: she’s being employed this year as a 24-hour topless presenter.

Grabbing girls boobs to raise money for charity? Good idea. I’m sure it will raise a lot more than just money too…. Er, I’m sure it will raise morale!

But what a bunch of stupid girls… At least, in this case, they sell their moral values for charity (and bizarre promotion)… If I were their dad, I reckon I wouldn’t think too well of this…. (Since I’m such a prude!)

Read more at: Timeout Japan

Thanks to Michael Di Stacio