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30 April 2011

Dear Tomodachi, Thanks but No Thanks!

Tomodachi means "friend(s)" in Japanese. The U.S. military in Japan is undergoing "Operation Tomodach" after the earthquake of magnitude 9.0, tsunami and nuclear power plant explosion occurred in our country.

Yes, the U.S. has been our greatest and closest friend, especially in a turmoil caused by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster.

The U.S. government and military helped us a lot by sending air craft carrier, Ronald Reagan to the disastor area coast to transport commodities and equipments in order to rescue refugees in the disaster areas. The U.S. goverment provided expertise and machines to crippled nuclear power plants.

We do appreciate that. But the U.S. is not only country that provides assistance to us. China, Russia, France, Israel and a lot of other nations do so. We do appreciate those nations as well.

I do know for the U.S. Japan is not just a friend, rather very important ally in terms of politics and economics. Japan is 2nd largest owner of U.S. treasury bonds next to China. Japan is one of the biggest trading partner for the U.S.

As for crippled nuclear plants, the U.S. should be very much concerned about this issue because the U.S. is heavily dependent on nuclear power generation having more than 100 plants in the nation. In fact crippled nuclear plants in Fukushima-Daiichi contains U.S. made reactors, designed by General Electronics. The same type of reactors are used in 23 plants in the U.S.

Like the U.S. France is very concerned as CEO of France's biggest nuclear power plant corporation came to Japan to fix the problem. France is much more heavily dependent on nuclear power generation, 80% of its electriciy comes from nuclear power, while 20% in the U.S. and 35% in Japan.

Just recently the U.S. and Japanese government agreed to relocate U.S. Marine in Okinawa. The plan is relocate around 8000 marines to Guam and newly building base inside Okinawa island. That plan has been disapproved by local Okinawans. Even the Okinawa governor demanded the change of plan.

But the both governments seem to go ahead despite the protest movement there because the "Operation Tomodachi" can ease the tension there. But it seems not.

We feel the U.S. is taking advantage of this turmoil to get what they want. In our country such act is called "stealing things from burning house." Later you will be demised.

Don't do that, please if you want to continue to be good friend to us.

Under this plan, Japanese government not only provides the area for the new base but the budget to build the new base. This is huge money.

You know we are now in a big crisis. We need so much money to rebuild the disaster areas and fix and safely abandon nuclear plants. How come you can receive such benefits from troubled nation?

In Yokosuka, USS George Washington evacuated from Yokosuka, home port for the ship right after the earthquake and nuclear power plant explosion happened. Now he returned.

Funny, that ship was deployed for the purpose of defending Japan. This time he did not. Ironically, the nuclear powered ship which contains so much of radioactive materials got away from radioactive.

After he returned, they say the ship is safe. But localies in Yokosuka cannot agree. People have been so concerned about radioactive since its home porting in 2008. Now we've got one from our own.

My advice as your Tomodachi is to rethink the whole package of US-Japan defense treaty and its operation.

We do appreciate great friendship so in order to stregthen such friendship why not just rethink about this issue?  

Especially after the earthquake disastor, our nation's financial and mental situation has greatly changed. We do not want to suffer any more.

So be nice TOMODACHI!  

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.