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11 February 2011

Touched by Okinawans' Libertarianism

I went to Okinawa last month to help the localies protest against construction of new U.S. military bases on their island. I visited two sites. One is Henoko, where US marine's runways is planned to be constructed by reclaiming the coral reef ocean where endangered mammals, dugongs inhabit.

 

The other one is Takae, where the U.S. marine's helicopter pads are under construction in the mountain. The helicopters or ospreys will be deployed. They are very much concerned about big noises and accident caused by those.

military, Okinawa,

In both sites, localies set up tents to monitor what construction workers do and do protest activities in order to stop or delay the construction. They say they do not care what the government decides because they can decide what to do within their communities. I saw a local man stopping cars passing by including those belonging to the US marine. They had guts to protect their community. Some of them are even accused of blocking the road by the authority. But they still keep on doing what they do.

military, Okinawa, 

Ironically, this reminds me of what I learnt during my college days in the U.S. I think this is American way of doing democracy. If a citizen thinks his or her own government is doing wrong, right the wrong even by breaking the law. Like Rosa Parks' refusing to give front seat in the bus to white passenger which led to boycott on the commute buses by Afro-Americans and end up growing civil rights act movement.

The Japanese government and the U.S. marine is doing the wrong thing because they do the projects without approval from the localies.

It is also called "Libertarianism" which respects individuals' freedom not being intervened by the authority. That is why they protest gun control and public medical insurance offering. They want to minimize the government's restriction on individuals' lives. Their first priority is individualism and their most important community is their local town, not central governemnt. That is how the United States of America is constructed.

That means Okinawans' localies have the right to protest and overthrow the plans which the two big governments decide. Furthermore, Libertarians think such government should be overthrown by militias.

08 November 2010

Dear Japanese American People

I just recently watched TV mini-series drama about Japanese Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in early 20th century. The title of the series is "99nen no ai (99 years of Love), Japanese Americans."

I watched last 2 episodes of 5. It was a story of young Japanese Americans who joined 442nd regimental Combat Team that rescued Texas Batallion in Germany. When they went for the battle with Germans, they shouted like "Go by Yamato-Damashii (Japanese Spirit)." Seemed "Go for Broke" is rooted from Kamikaze spirit. Is it really true?

I think not, because they were Japanese Americans who got the U.S. citizenship after they were born and raised in the U.S.

This in fact, typical portrayal of Japanese Americans by Japanese nationals, which in fact upset a lot of Japanese Americans, isn't it?

Japanese Americans are Americans, especially from the 2nd generation. But Japanese nationals tend to treat them like extention of Japanse nationals living in Japan.

I am concerned that the mini-series strengthened wrong portrayal of Japanese Americans.

The scenes of 442nd unit battle with German and their parade on Washington street was impressive. Cannot believe such people really existed in history.

But sorry, the drama was produced from Japanese national's point of view. I know they fought for their families in the internment camp, and for their homelnad, the U.S. not for Japan, which was one of the enemy states at that time.

Recently new documentary film on 442 was released, maybe this is what you can really learn about them. I would like to see it if I can get a chance.

Movie 442

There has been rumor that Japanese actor Ken Watanabe is directing a Hollywood film of this 442.

I can't wait to see it if the rumor is real.

Although I know Japanese Americans are not Japanese nationals, let me say that as Japanese national. 

"I am proud of sharing the same ancestry with such brave people."  

To Mr./Ms. Sansei or J/A,

I apologize to you if my comments on this blog offended you. I have no intention of harming American people by that. I respect your opinion although we have difference. Anyway, I am truly glad descend of 442nd unit soldiers left some comment on this post. I know my ideas are very emotional and simple-minded. It is because I am being honest when it comes to writing on this blog.  I agree with your opinion that Japanese are too softies and don't know the value of freedom and justice. That is something we still have to learn from you, maybe. Please remember Japanese generally appreciate the U.S. help to reconstruct post-war Japan. I agree with that Japan made a big mistake in early 20th century and the U.S. fought against fascism, and won over it. Current U.S. military presence in Japan is another issue. No relationship with your father.  

10 October 2010

Japanese film:"My darling is a foreigner" How to overcome difference

The story is the experience of one young Japanese woman dating with American man who speaks very good Japanese.

They got along very well but somehow they found difficulty understanding each other.

One thing the American man could not understand was Japanese people's manner of humility, like saying bad things of yourself and your family to other people. Like giving a present saying "Sorry, this is such a poor thing." That actually means "I am humble so that I do not boast my present although it is a great thing. I do expect you to like it."

If you are foreigner living in Japan or planning to stay in Japan, I would highly recommend you to watch this. The DVD is released so you can rent it and the film comes with English subtitle program.

In my opinion, making friends with or marrying a foreigner is kind of hard thing to do, especially with Americans.

I recently participate in anti-US political activity such as protesting US military presence in Japan.  

 

However, personal relationship and diplomacy between states should be treated separately.

No matter what happens between the countries they belong to, a loving couple should have the right to be happy.

24 September 2010

Release of Chinese fishing ship captain proves US deterrence never worked

Chinese captain of fishing boat was released by Okinawa District Attorney office two weeks after being arrested by Japan's coast guard and then taken into custody.

This seemed to be done in order to ease tension between Japan and China caused by the arrest.

I do not want to make any comment on that because I do not know the detail of what really happened.

But I have to admit China threatened Japan and Japan gave in. China is very important country for Japan, especially economically.

DSCN2410.JPG

The tension grew when Chinese prime minister visited UN in New York along with Japanese prime minister and foreign minister.

The dialogue between two leaders was cancelled. China halted export of rare earth to Japan. That indeed pressured Japan to release the captain.

 

China is mean but U.S. is more mean. Although U.S. claim the Senkaku islands whose coastal sea was trespassed by the ship is what US-Japan security treaty's applicable area, the U.S. claims to take neutral stance for this dispute.

This dispute proved the U.S. military presence in Japan never worked as deterrence.

In fact, China provoked more retaliative action towards Japan even after the U.S. and Japanese leaders discussed and confirmed strengthening of the alliance.

Why the U.S. cannot deter China, it is obviously because the U.S. is heavily dependent on China economically as well.

China owns largest share of the U.S. treasury bonds and buys and even manufactures U.S. goods. IPADs are made in China.

The U.S. recently demands appreciation of Chinese currency value to balance the trade between the two nations but that is very hard negotiation.

The U.S. surely want to avoid trouble to mess such hard negotiation. Why they want to carry another burden for other country such as Japan, which they think declining in this century.

We cannot rely on the U.S. for the security matter any more. The Cold War is over. The U.S. and Japan no longer have common enemy.