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26 June 2009

Micheal & Farrah died; The End of Era

Today was a big news day for showbiz.

The king of Pop Star, Micheal Jackson died of heart attack and one of the hottest angel of "Charlie's Angels", Farrah Fewcett died of cancer.

Two big icons of American entertainment died. Both of them were very familiar to me.

I remember when Micheal Jackson visited Japan in 1980's. He stayed in Japan for more than 40 days.

He really liked Japan and gave big compliments to our country. He said something like "In Japan shy people like me can be welcomed unlike the U.S."

Did it mean he was not welcome in the U.S.?

The other big star, Farrah Fewcett was one of the casts of my favourite show "Charlie's Angels."

Actually I liked Cheryl Ladd who acted as her sister better.

The three beautiful women acted as detective. The story was made into film.

I like the episode that Cheryl Ladd and Farrah Fewcett were together as sisters.

 

But Micheal and Farrah are gone.

Not only that, my image of America of those days were gone, too. America is not dream country any more.

Actually I hate that country although I had lived there for more than 5 years.

Maybe since I learned the U.S. Navy decided to deploy nuclear aircraft carrier in Yokosuka.

But America has drastically changed recently since 911, war in Iraq and financial crisis.

The End of Era.

Even Obama, the first Black man to be the president of the U.S. work too well, the things would not be much better.

This article describes why.

 

Good bye, Micheal, Angel and the era of America!

 

03 May 2009

Film "The Scarlet Letter" A Country of Hypocrisy

A woman named Hester lived in a small Puritan Village in 17th century had been accused of adultfully. She had to wear scarlet letter "A" all the time because of the sin she committed. She and her daughter, Pearl were always harrassed by the villagers.

 

Local villagers and its headman wanted to know who was the father of Pearl. At last the villagers found who he was and got shocked.

 

It seemed that the film revealed the true nature of America. The origin of America was Puritans. Puritans were exiles from England.

They lived under the faith of God because of fear they experienced in England. They created a very closed society with very strict rules. As a result they became hypocrits.

In last scene of the film, Hester and Pearl ran away from the land of hypocrisy, not freedom.

 

That represents feeling I have right now. I am losing interest in America and growing contempt for it.

American is not a dream country to me any more since 911, war in Iraq, deployment of USS George Washington in Yokosuka, and financial crisis.  

Good-bye, America! A country of Hypocrisy!

 

Now I wonder where I am heading. The film gave me a hint.

The film was produced by Germans. It was all German version although the story took place in America.

It is just like holocaust films in English version made by Hollywood.

 

I am now studying German and getting more interested in Germany than ever.

12:46 Posted in Deutschland, Film, un-USA | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: religion

18 April 2009

Japan's New Hero!?

Months have passed since Tamogami was dismissed due to his public essay which justified Japan's aggression in Asia and Pacific during WW 2 and then thrown into the spotlight in November last year. During this time, we have heard much criticism, mostly negative, about Tamogami and his essay in the media. But his popularity is high and he has published several books and appeared media outlet so many times.

Tamogami.jpg

 The fundamental errors in Tamogami’s take on history have been pointed out, and there have been murmurs of doubt between intellectuals about his ability to lead the Self-Defense Forces. This man is being regarded as a demagogue who was not even competent enough to launch a coup.

 However, similar criticism was placed on military politician Adolf Hilter who appeared in Germany after World War I. People said that a worthless guy like him will never be able to take over the country. But he did. Intellectuals completely underestimated his power.

 I cannot agree with Tamogami’s historical views whatsoever. They are obviously mistaken. For some reason, however, I feel very emotional when I hear him speak. This can likely be said for a lot of people, not just myself. One senses that he has the ability to relieve our discontent with the current situation. It is the feeling of worry for our country, no matter what our position. It is not so much the actual meaning of his words that is important, but rather the desire to share his passion.

 In fact, the current state of Japan is similar to that of the Weimar Republic of Germany. The recession is deepening, and frustration with a government that is weak in foreign diplomacy is swelling. I myself feel very frustrated with the Japanese and American governments that are essentially renouncing our sovereignty by deploying a home port for a nuclear-powered air craft carrier in Yokosuka. As a result, I feel a grain of hope hearing Tamogami’s words that advocate revising the constitution to allow for a defense system that is independent from the United States.

 However, we must be careful not to fall for his words too easily. He is harming our national interests with his clearly mistaken actions. It is unfortunate that this may have been the only way for him to catch the interest of the Japanese people in Japan’s current situation. Its is pathetic. Politicians and intellectuals are always promoting themselves under the pretense of helping others and eluding arguments that get to the heart of the matter.

 In this case, those who see Tamogami as a threat must consider circumstances equally as seriously as he does and intend to actually implement that reform. Ideologies where one simply prays for peace because of a distaste for war will lose in the battle with reality.

Regarding my frustration with deployment of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, the below describes the issue.

06 March 2009

Interview with CVN 73 Nuclear Reactor Crew

The below article is translation of this original Japanese article posted on Japan's Citizens Internet Site, JANJAN.

 

CVN73_small.JPG

 

The American navy nuclear powered aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN 73) entered Tokyo Bay and moored at Yokosuka base, and it has passed already 9 months. I have always opposed the station of that aircraft carrier. Recently, I had a chance to contact a crew member handling the nuclear reactor of that aircraft carrier, and since I had opportunities to communicate with him by e mail and also meeting him directly, I asked the man who contacts nuclear reactors directly about the safety.  

 

 For that crew, to communicate with me may be a little bit risky action. To contact with the opposition group like me is an action that his superior does not want to allow, and if military classified information are mentioned during the contact by mistake, he will face a court-martial. The consent was given on condition that strictly answer questions within the limit that does not touch classified information. Since the real name and detailed characteristics can not be revealed in the article, it is decided that he would be called Mister.

 

 As referred to crews of warship, catching a glimpse, everybody tends to think that they are soldiers trained for combat, however, actually, most crew members are just people who have no training other than self-defense. Mister told me that he is a crew member belonging to the second largest department which is in charge of the nuclear reactor of the ship, and had received special practice and training for that.  

 

 The duty is almost 10 hours per day, and also, once a week is 24 hours duty. When it was asked whether such harsh working is safe, he answered that in the military, it is common knowledge to work for 3-4 days with 3-4 hours sleeping, so he does not suffer. When he was asked concerning his salary, that was an astonishing amount. In addition to that, since living cost is almost nothing, it could be saved as much as desired. Well, it is the level that one does not have to worry whether tiredness lowers morale.     

 

 The following is the questions and the answers of the Mister.

 

 Me: I heard that nuclear reactors are being turned off during mooring. Nevertheless, I heard that the reactors must be cooled continuously, and for that, the cooling system is working continuously by electricity drawn from the ground, however, if the ground electricity supply system is destroyed by earthquakes, etc., and thus it could not be cooled, wouldn't it be melt down? 


 Mister: First of all, such things can not happen. Warships are designed in anticipation of all situations in the world. Of course, it is designed to withstand also earthquakes. When the electric power can not be supplied, by the power source of the ship using diesel fuel, the cooling system could work continuously. Even if that does not function, in the present condition, it is possible to cool it sufficiently only by air. 

 

 As a precaution, nuclear reactors are watched by human eyes for 24 hours, without leaving even one second. All staffs in charge of nuclear reactors are professionals with more than two or three years working experience, at least at 2 or 3 nuclear facilities.

 Me: It appears that in the past, accidents such as the leakage of cooling water and the radiation exposure of workers happened, but the U.S. navy has insisted that
no accident. I can not understand, why?

 

 Mister: The definition of an accident by the navy is the situation that nuclear fission products are leaked from the reactor. The pointed out examples do not fit in with accidents.


 Me: If a plane crashes to the ship from the top or the side, are nuclear reactors safe?


 Mister: Nuclear reactors are located in the bottom lower than the sea level. Even if it is attacked by a torpedo, since shielded heavily (protective partition), the reactors can not be damaged. 


 Me: It appears to use considerably highly concentrated nuclear fuel, right?


 Mister: That is because nuclear reactors are smaller than general ones. Even if it is destroyed, the amount of nuclear materials leaked may not be greatly different.


 Me: As a crew, (routinely) do you feel the fear of radiation exposure?


 Mister: Not at all. In the ship, a counter is installed, and the amount of radiation exposure in the ship is only about 1/3 of the amount received from the sun light.


 Me: Now, I heard that the aircraft carrier has entered the maintenance period until May. Are you repairing nuclear reactors, change nuclear fuel, etc.?

 
 Mister: According to the regulation, such things can not be done in foreign countries. However, if a part is changed for maintenance, since it is a contaminated material, they are stored stringently, and
to stay nothing of them outside of base, it can not be taken to the outside of vessel, and it will be carried back to our country. 


 Me: Last year, there was an incident that a non-American Nigerian soldier killed a driver. Is the morale OK?

 

 Mister: All the crew members in charge of nuclear reactors are only Americans. That incidence made us angry. Because, due to the incidence, our reputation became bad.
 

 Me: Do you feel welcome from Yokosukas people?


 Mister: It is surprising that the station
of the warship became controversial so much. Welcome and unwelcome, I feel both. An interesting thing is when we called at Korea last November, it was completely different hearty welcome. Perhaps, because Korea has the urgent problem of national security.


 Me: How could the reason of the air
craft carrier stationed in Yokosuka be explained?


 Mister: It was understood that first of all, the first is a deterrent power, the second is the relief of natural disasters, and the third is, although actually this is thought to be the most important, to show off American influence.

 
 Me: What do you think about President Obama taking office?


 Mister: Most military are republicans. That is because the Republican party is in the position to support military expansion. However, personally, I am excited about the first Black man taking office. It is not the time of racism anymore. 

 

 Me: From the view of a nuclear energy engineer, can you consider to promote nuclear energy as an energy source?


 Mister: I think it should be done. Although accidents are much worried, Chernobyl, etc. happened because their maintenance was completely neglected. Wind power and solar heat could be applied to small communities, but it is not suitable to supply electricity to big cities. Among Bushs policies, one that could be supported is the decision to build 20 new nuclear power generators in the country.


 

 The engineer who responded to the interview was a typical nice guy. Personally, I also have known many good guys among Americans. Because, may be I had lived in America more than 5 years. 


 

One can not tell whether George Washington will actually cause accidents. When it happens, it happens. Nonetheless, I am also aware of the argument that the risk of nuclear reactors is not the main issue. The problem is that using our tax, a home port is provided to a huge aircraft carrier of other country. American military also testify in the congress that the military is stationed in Japan because it is cheap due to so called "Simpathy budget" which is Japanese government provides for the aid.    

 

 I hear the opinion that speaking from the aspect of national security, we should accept U.S. military presence, however, in reality, the right answer is that American soldiers are not required. Already, Japan has an army called the Self-Defense Force with more than enough power to protect the territory. Although "threatening from China”can be frequently heard, according to the estimation of the defense ministry, even if Chinese army attacks, the Self-Defense force could defeat them within several hours.   

 

 Of course, that is merely an assumption. Nonetheless, even if Japanese and Chinese become the conflict state, if considering the fact that China is the country who owns U.S. treasury bonds most in the world, the possibility that America will become Japanese side is very low. Since the level is the"removal of North Korea from terrorist countries", it is evident that they will be hardly enthusiastic.     

 In spite of such situation, American military is allowed to use the base. According to the common sense of international communities, it cannot help but considering as
"became an occupied country willingly".


 If American force remains continuously more than this, it is not beneficial to both Japan and America. Because of the base problem, the impression of American on Japanese including me worsens daily. If America also considers the Japanese American relationship to be important particularly after the financial crisis, they should feel it is the time of withdrawal.


 It is better to stop providing Simpathy budget" in order to reduce American force stationed in Japan greatly, operate Yokosuka naval base as the base for the Japanese Self-Defense Force, and the nuclear powered aircraft carrier uses the base not as a home port but only as a port of visit. Of course, it will be better to turn off nuclear reactors, and to revise the status of forces agreement to reinforce the right of the safety inspection.

 

 Indeed, to do such things will become great advantages not only for Japanese people but also for Americans including "Mister". I believe that indeed, it is the role of Japanese government to persuade the U.S. government to do such things.