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27 November 2013

Dear US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Bouvier Kennedy

The following is what I wrote to newly appointed US ambassador to Japan.

 

Okinawa, military,

 

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My name is Masagata, Japanese man living in Tokyo.

I used to study at San Francisco State University. My major was International Relations. I am now working as a translator using English knowledge I gained there.

 

I am writing this letter to tell you a very important matter for the both nations. I am very sure that you know many issues between the two nations. I would like to mention the most important one that might severely deteriorate current healthy relationship between the two for a very long period of time.

 

That is relocation of US Marine Base, Futenma in Ginowan city, Okinawa prefecture, the Southernmost tropical islands like Hawaii. In 1996 both US and Japanese governments agreed to relocate Futenma base to Camp Schwab to get away from populated area. Camp Schwab is on coastal line of the island. The area is called Henoko.

 

Okinawa, military, dugong

 

 

There has been local resistance movement since the relocation plan was announced. Localies near the Camp Schwab are concerned about deteriorating of their living environment. A lot of environmental activists oppose the plan as well because of abundance of wild life, which are very unique, only found in that place. One symbolic creature is dugongs, endangered marine mammals that eat sea grasses in that area. It is just strange that the nation that protests Japan’s whaling is helping another marine mammals endangered. Some activists are planning to take legal action against US government regarding this issue. Please read the enclosed newspaper article titled, Dugong plaintiffs consider new action in U.S. to block Henoko landfill.

 

If the project is implemented as planned, the sea will be reclaimed and dugongs and other creatures’ lives would be threatened. What will happen is your nation will be accused of helping diminishing of such wonderful and rare creatures for the interests of the few. The few, you might know, some business and government people who want some gains.

 

You might say it is what Japanese government handles, not what the US military is actively involved. No one in Japan thinks so. The US government can cancel that project and find another relocation site outside Okinawa. In fact US military presence in Okinawa and even nationwide is becoming nothing but troublesome.

 

More of us know US military presence no longer functions as defense or deterrence like in the Cold War era. China is said to be new threat but we know US-China relation has become more vital for your nation since China owns more US treasury bonds and buys more US goods than Japan does. President Obama spends more time having dialogues with Chinese leaders than with Japanese prime minister. We can easily predict the US would not help Japan even if China and Japan get into dispute for some reason. US cannot send troops to assist Japan because such action might cause great loss for your national interest. 

 

Deploying your military so much in this country is just causing distrust against your country. I believe Okinawa issue arising is a great timing for your nation to rethink military deployment in Japan to better relationship between the two nations.

 

Sincerely,

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I am planning to write more detailed version of the above later on adding some progress regarding Okinawa issues.

30 October 2013

TV show "Covert Affairs", US version of Ninja

I recently rent DVD series of TV show “Covert Affairs.” The story is about a female CIA agent who is multi-lingual and her associates.

 

The show reminded me of 1970’s most popular TV show, Charlie’s Angels. But the main character, Annie Walker is not as sexy as the angels. It is more of how spies do covert activities. It is like female 007.

 

Her mission is not just steal classified information or investigate what is happening but recruit someone on target side to be information providers. Like in some episodes, Annie approached embassy worker of Syria to get access key of the embassy. She also convinced secretary of prime minister of Yemen to be that. It is like making someone another spy for CIA.

 

I am not sure how realistic the stories are. But recently news that cell-phone of German Chancellor, Merkel was tapped came out. US spends huge budget on covert activities. They do actually things like that to get what they want. That is most important matter in diplomacy.

 

Speaking of spies, there were people called Ninja in feudal Japan. Like Annie Walker and James Bond, they had extra-ordinary physical strength and spying ability. They were trained to be Ninja from their childhood. They were hired by regional lords to spy and assassin opponents.

 

Covert capability is like secret military for nations. Such spy matters should go on as long as human being exists. That is why such shows are interesting.  

16:18 Posted in Film, Politics, un-USA | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: 007

23 September 2013

Destroying "Finding Nemo"s World

Last weekend I visited Okinawa, Southernmost prefecture island. Over there I saw such cute view like Disney's animated film "Finding Nemo."

okinawa, military,

Clown fish over sea anemone with a blue fish. Looks like Marlin and his son, Nemo and their friend, Dolly. I was amazed but felt so sad at the same time. Because their lives are now in threat by planned construction of US Marine Base runway expanding from Camp Schwab.

The fish were in Ohura bay, which has been designated as most vulnerable place for environmental destruction because of rich bi-diversity such as clown fish, blue coral reef (the world biggest and Northernmost of its kind), dugongs and so on. If the runway is constructed by reclaiming the sea, the sea current will change and environmentally harmful substances would be released from the base. That must give adverse effect on wildife there.  

okinawa, military,

  I scuba-dove into the sea from the opposite side of the bay to the U.S. Marine Base. Far away behind me in the above picture is where US Marine Camp is and where runway is planned to be constructed.

Growning opposition has emerged recently from localies. But the US and Japanese government are pushing hard to implement the project.

That coincides with hypocrisy in the film. That was, of course animated fiction. Fish don't talk and read. The film portrays them as good living creatures like human beings. In reality we eat fish and hunt them and put them in small aquarium unit just for viewing. In fact after the release of the film, clownfish were hunt overwhelmingly.

U.S. pretends like tropical fish loving and environmetally friendly nation but the reality is opposite and their act is very hyporitical. Not just Disney's fantazy but US policy against Japan's whaling. US is accusing Japan of whaling but at the same time it is harming most endangered marine mammals, dugongs in the bay with Defense Ministry of Japan. Some environmetal activists like Sea Shepherds even oppose dolphin hunting in Taich town of Wakayama Prefecture.

"Finding Nemo" is after all, Finding Nonesense and Hypocrisy.

30 July 2013

Film"EMPEROR" Honne (true feeling) and Tatemae (appearance)

I just saw the film. It was not excellent but not bad, actually it was good considering it was made by Americans. It was indeed made from American perspective but thoroughly desriptive about Japanese personality and culture.

The story was based on memoirs of a former military officer who did research on the emperor's responsibility for the second world war. He interviewed with former politicians, military officers, and servants for the emperor to learn about what Emperor actually did before the war and end of the war. He also tried to find where his loved Japanese woman was.  

One of impressive things about the film was one former prime minister said "Japan just followed what US and European nations did in terms of invading China and Phillipine. But why were westerners never convicted?"

The film described difference between Honne (true feeling) and Tatemae (appearance). Japanese seem to be calm in apperance but in their mind they have strong feeling and devotion which can make them brutal.

Emperor's role was very ceremonial so he was not actual starter of the war. It was the nation and militants that led the war.

However, I want to rate this film "B" not "A." It contains love romance essence but the conclusion of the romance was not what I expected. It was reverse and not so good.

Emperor has no responsibility for the war act. Not totally true. Recent research suggests the emperor actively coped with military people.

I just could not be totally satisfied with the film. I wanted more twists and surprises. Kind of clechay for Japanese who has studied this part of history.

Personally it was really helpful to me. I recently started to write a novel on the same period of the history. Mine is gender reverse. American woman and Japanese man. The woman character is inspired by a true character who helped rebuild and democratise Japan in post-war era. She visited Japan before the war.

Hope mine will come out as a film like this film.