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30 December 2008

Speech on U.S. welfare reform and its failure

On 21 of December, the speech by a professor from UC Riverside, Dr. Ellen Reese was held in Hosei University, Tokyo. The speaker was critical of US welfare reform done since 1996. The purpose of the speech was to acknowledge Japanese people the welfare reform such as 5 year time-out period was worst thing for Japan to follow.

The main points were as follows,

  1. The U.S. is the most affluent nation in the world but 1 in 10 people are living below poverty line. 1 in 5 children were living in the household of below poverty line.
  2. Poverty is concentrated among ethnic minorities and single mother households. 
  3. Federal poverty guideline was set in 1960s. It is already outdated.
  4. Welfare reform started in 1996 did not actually reduce the poverty but glossed over serious facts to reduce welfare recipients.
  5. A common myth is that the welfare recipients live extravagant lives, wasting tax payers's expense. In reality, federal public assistance does not provide enough money to lift a family out of poverty or even pay for all of a family's basic necessities.
  6. Private welfare contractors are cheating on welfare recipients by encouraging them to to ask friends, families and churches for help to keep most of the money they have to use for the recipients.
  7. The states with more Black people implement more strict policies on welfare.  
  8. Those who time-out of welfare are in harder situation than those who left welfare for other reasons.
  9. Time-out people, especially women have to rely on their former abusers, often their fathers and damage their mental and physical conditions.
  10. The states with more strict welfare policy have higher rate of child abuse, fostering and out-of-home care cases.

It is very sad to know such facts.

The U.S. has been a role model of Japan since the end of World War 2. Japan was occupied by the U.S. force and democratized by them.

Thanks to the U.S. distribution of the wealth in our country has become much more even than prewar time. The constitution given by the U.S. insures citizens' rights to have healthy and cultural lives, which the government has to support.

Now the situation has changed. The U.S. has become "Do not follow" model.

Since Iraq war, the U.S. has spent too much money on military. Why not they want to spend that amount of money for the poor people in their own territory. The economy is going bankrupt by financial crisis. It is time to change.


I hope that in next year Mr. Obama can change the things better, pulling their troops from outside their territory and concentrating poverty issue in his country. The U.S. is not superpower any more.

The below is You Tube clips that post part of the speech (2 parts, 13 minutes).



Part 2


20 December 2008

Film:"Nanking" Massacre committed by Japs

Last Sunday, I went to the public conference building in Tokyo. One room was rent by Japanese peace group named "No more Nanjing."

The purpose of the room renting was to show a very shocking Hollywood produced documentary film "Nanking" and hold the public hearing of the masscre survivor from Nanjing. Plus public speech by journalist of Japan's mainstream newspaper, The Asahi Shimbun.

The below is the preview of the film. The film was shown in the U.S. and China.



It was the first showing in Tokyo, Japan. Very first one in Japan was done in Fukuoka, Japan on 7 of December.

The film started with the speech of memoires of westerners who stayed in Nanjing during the occupation by the Japanese army.

The speeches are made by the actors who disguised as actual characters in that event.

In August 1937, Japanese army grounded on Shanghai and started invasion of China. They bombed Nanjing (Nanking) which was the capital of China at that time. In November the troops arrived in Nanjing and occupied the city. They looted, raped and killed Chinese citizens there.


The westerners set up the safety zone to protect Chinese. American college teacher, Minie Vautrin acted by Mariel Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's grand daughter defended young women from rape by Japanese.

The actual footages, real talking of survivors and soldiers are also shown. The survivors talked about their rape experience or what happened in front of them such as their parents or brothers or sisters being murdered in front of them. The soldiers talked how and why they mass-murdered thousands of POW or innocent citizens and raped women.

There is not much new to me because I've got involved in this peace activity and learned the history of Sino-Japan war in 1930's. 

It was cruel, our people in fact did terribles things to neighboring nations before WW2 ended.

The survivor who talked to the audience (approximately 200) in the conference room was the old Chinese woman who experience rape by Japanese soldier. She was raped and survived in the hell. But even after the war was over, she had to go through very hard time because her husband treated her so badly because she was found not virgin. She never could tell him why she was not. After the age of 80, she decided to speak up.


After her testimony, Japanese journalist, Mr. Yoichi Jomaru made a speech on the role of his company in the war. During the war time, especially embedded journalists were not allowed to report anything unfavourable to their troops, they had to act as PR section of the military. But the media themselves actively became backers of their troops. That exactly happens even in present time when freedom press is insured.


Some right wingers criticize me and other peace activists for revealing such unfavourable stories of Japan's history. I do not get along with them. I love my country. I am proud of being Japanese. That is why I am involved in this activity. By doing so, we can appeal to the world including Chinese people, we are no longer brutal like that in the film, we know the facts, so we do not do that again.


And we all wish for the world peace and happiness of all the people on the earth.


Response to Christopher's question:

Rape is crime in modern Japan and even before the war ended it was a crime in our terriorty or outside. What the troops did in China was against Geneve Convention and even the marshal law of the imperial army.

The comic you suggest is not popular in Japan but maybe among porno comic maniacs, not among ordinary comic fans.

22:35 Posted in China, Film | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: history, war

13 December 2008

Visited Unwelcome, Dangerous and useless U.S. ship

On December 6, Saturday, I went to Yokosuka Navy Base to see Japan's most unwelcome, dangerous and useless American ship.



It was public showing and festival day. I got on the CVN 73, USS George Washington. It was huge aircraft carrier. It contains huge nuclear reactor. It is like Chernobyl or Third Atomic Bomb in Tokyo Capital Region. The U.S. Navy is threatening Japanese citizens lives.

Actually it was fun to visit there, all the things there were dynamic and very new to me. Luckiely I could see Mt. Fuji from the runway on the roof.


The below is what I videotaped.

But this is not Disneyland. I don't want the U.S. navy stationed in Japan. They are not safe things as you know what happened in San Diego.

The presence of U.S. navy is not working as deterrance like the Cold War era. Soviet Union fell apart.

China seemed to be new threat but China is a biggest financial supporter for the U.S. They are the biggest buyer of U.S. Treasury bonds. They buy Boeing, Intel chips from the U.S. China and the U.S. are close friends.

In fact just 2 days after the public showing Chinese ship entered Japanese sea illegally. Meaning they are not afraid of U.S. military at all.

The other notable threat is North Korea but the U.S. ended designation of "North Korea as terror supporting Nation" recently.

It is appearant the U.S. is not enthusiastic about North Korea issues such as abduction of Japanese citizens and nuclear weapon development.

They should leave Japan ASAP. Actually once Japanese government stops providing aid to them, they would immediately leave here.

The only reason they stay is Japan's financial aid.

See this videoclip to know how unwelcome the ship is.