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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Japan helps reduce the cost of Information Connectivity

Props to Japan for being the first country in asia to adopt the OpenDocumentFormat. Part of globalization is work on building global public goods, that everyone can benefit from. The OpenDocument format is an example of such a good, because more people will be able to access government information and services without paying rents to Microsoft.

Good show!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Good Nuclear Day

Two recent events, within twenty-four hours of each other, give hope to us all. First, India and the United States signed a nuclear accord which will allow that Republic to develop technology to deter deter an unseemly neighbor (Pakistan) and a neighbor that should be deterred from war as much as possible (China). Meanwhile, North Korea continues to show obstinance in her nuclear talks, which encourage Japan's nuclearization. This encourages Tokyo to develop technology to deter an unseemly neighbor (North Korea) and a neighbor that should be deterd from war as much as possible (China).

Sometimes, proliferation is grand.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Map of Japan and the Chinese Empire

While browsing today in the wake up my odd honor, I came across this map from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection's Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912


This map struck me because it reverses the standard view of China and Japan. Instead of a whole China and an expansionary Japanese Empire, it shows the Rising Sun's lands as just "Japan," while being careful to separate China from Chinese dependencies. Observe the rump China:


And the majestic Japan


A good reminder of what a Gap was a century ago, and that Japan had built a Core with Creating.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Commonwealth of Korea and Japan (Shintaro Ishihara Right on Cooperative Colonization of Corea)

"Shame on Tokyo Gov. Ishihara," by Park Moo-jong, The Korea Times, 4 November 2003, http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/opinion/200311/kt2003110417310311330.htm.

"The Economic History of Korea," by Myung Cha, EH.Net Encyclopedia, 21 June 2004, http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/cha.korea.

"The Korean Economy Under Japanese Rule," by Abiola Lapite, Foreign Dispatches, 23 November 2005,
http://foreigndispatches.typepad.com/dispatches/2005/11/the_korean_econ.html (from SimonWorld).

"Mitsuhiko Kimura, 'The Economics of Japanese Imperialism in Korea, 1910-1939'," by mike, Histor¥, 10 May 2005, http://akira.arts.kuleuven.ac.be/meijifin/?q=node/view/146.

One Japanese Korea?

I'm a big fan of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. From standing up to North Korean state-terrorism, supporting Taiwan and stopping crushing, or even just bad-mouthing French, to advocate of a strong "Leviathan" anti-Dictatorship Navy, "the Ish" rarely strikes a bad note. But a Korea Times editorial attacks Ishihara for a questionable claim on Korea?

As reported, an unrepentant Ishihara triggered international criticism as well as anger by spitting out thoughtless gaffes last week that Japan’s invasion and brutal [sic] 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula was a union the Koreans chose.

Well, it's not like Korea objected to foreign "SysAdmin" troops on her soil:

In 1894 peasants protested against a local administrator's attempts to generate private income by collecting fees for using waterways, which had been built by peasants. The uprising quickly developed into a nationwide peasant rebellion, which the crumbling government could suppress only by calling in military forces from China and Japan. An unforeseen consequence of the rebellion was the Sino-Japanese war fought on the Korean soil, where Japan defeated China, tipping the balance of power in Korea critically in her favor.

But surely the farmers themselves objected to development by a regional stake-holder?

Though sharply opposing unrestricted imports of colonial rice, however, farmers never expressed opposition to the actual occupation of Korea. On the contrary, this 'rural crisis' rapidly bred nationalist-fascist attitudes among farmers after the First World War; the militarists and the rightists led farmers to believe that a key solution to their economic problems was further imperial expansion abroad, not abandonment of the colony. As a result, farmers wholeheartedly supported Japanese imperialist policy.

A Core Worth Remembering?

Japan's attack on the United States on December 7, 1941 justly destroyed her empire. Imperial Japan, like Imperial Germany before her, rightfully was brought under the Allies for crimes against them. However, this straightforward understanding of history should not take away from Japan's significant contributions to Korea and Taiwan, or used to support neo-Juche isolationism by demagogues in South Korea and elsewhere.

14:20 Posted in Japan, Korea | Permalink | Comments (4) | Tags: japanese empire

Thursday, October 20, 2005

They Did This To An American.... And A Japanese

"U.S. Army Deserter Describes 40 Years in North Korea Hell," Drudge Report, 20 October 2005.

The North Korean monsters.

In his first U.S. television interview, the former U.S. Army sergeant who deserted to North Korea speaks for the first time about the abuse and control inflicted on him by the communist dictatorship over his nearly 40 years there. Charles Robert Jenkins tells Scott Pelley he had a "U.S. Army" tattoo sliced off without anesthetic and was even told how often to have sex by his communist "leaders" in a 60 MINUTES interview to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

In 1965, Jenkins was posted along the hostile border between North and South Korea. He says he was being asked to lead increasingly aggressive patrols and was wary that he might be sent to Vietnam. And so, on a sub-zero night, he says he drank 10 beers, abandoned his squad, and walked through a mine-field to surrender to the North. He says he thought he would be sent to Russia and exchanged in some Cold War swap. But he was wrong. "It was the worst mistake anyone ever made," he tells Pelley. "In words I cannot express the feelings I have towards North Korea, the harassment I got. The hard life."

That life included forced studying of the writings of the communist dictator Kim Il Sung. He says he and three other American deserters were forced to study eight hours a day for seven years. The studying was imposed by communist government handlers called "leaders." They also assigned him a Korean woman, with whom he was supposed to have sex twice a month. "The leaders almost tell her when to do it, and I got in a big fight one time over it," recalls Jenkins. "I told [the leader], 'It's none of his business if I want sleep with her. She wants to sleep -- we sleep.' 'No -- two times a month'" He says he was severely punished for talking back. "That's the worst beating I ever got -- over that," he tells Pelley, showing a scar where he says his teeth came through his lower lip.

Worse still, says Jenkins, was the pain he endured when someone saw his U.S. Army tattoo. He says the North Koreans held him down and cut the words, "U.S. Army," off with a scalpel and scissors -- without giving him any painkiller. "They told me the anesthetic was for the battlefield," says Jenkins, "It was hell."

Charles Jenkins

During his first 15 years in North Korea, Jenkins says he led a lonely and desperate life. Then his North Korean "leaders" brought a young Japanese woman to his door. She had been kidnapped from her homeland by North Korean agents. The only thing they had in common at first was that they hated North Korea, Jenkins says, but the relationship blossomed. They raised two children. Kim Jong Il's decision in 2002 to allow Jenkins' wife and other surviving abductees to return to Japan paved the way for Jenkins' release last year.

Each night before going to bed in North Korea, Jenkins said good night to his wife in Japanese, rather than Korean. He did it, he tells Pelley, to "remind her that she's still Japanese, that she's not Korean. She's not obligated to Korea. She is Japanese... and she spoke to me in English -- every night. Regardless of how hard things got, we always stuck as one."

Charles Jenkins and Hitomi Soga

When Jenkins finally stepped outside the North Korean culture after 40 years, he was most surprised to see women in the Army, limits on where you could smoke and black policemen. He had never heard of 60 MINUTES and thought Life magazine would be the place where he would tell his story. He knew something about the 1969 moon landing, however. "I was told that by the Koreans, one of the officers. They wouldn't say what country, but they said, 'Una handa la'... some country landed on the moon."

For more about North Korea, please read One Free Korea and NKZone.

Monday, October 17, 2005

American Warship Enters Chinese Waters

"US Warship Arrives In China For Visit," SpaceWar, 13 September 2005, http://www.spacewar.com/news/superpowers-05j.html (from Life from the FNDF).

A nice complement to an older story about an American warship docking at Saigon:

A top grade US guided missile destroyer arrived at one of China's main ports Tuesday as part of efforts by the two countries to increase military-to-military exchanges.

The Guest of the People's Republic

The USS Curtis Wilbur, an Arleigh Burke class Aegis guided missile destroyer will spend several days at Qingdao, a key port of China's North Fleet, officials said.

The Host Port

"This is an opportunity for the US personnel to meet their counterparts in the People's Liberation Army navy," US navy officials said.

"The port call will provide the crew of more than 300 sailors aboard USS Curtis Wilbur a chance for sightseeing and cultural exchanges [and comparisons of rations -- tdaxp]."

American Sailors, Capitalist Flags

The USS Curtis Wilbur is deployed to the Western Pacific and operates out of Yokosuka, Japan.

It is part of the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier group.

The destroyer is equipped with the Aegis Combat System which integrates the ship's sensors and weapons systems to engage anti-ship missile threats.

This is one reason why America is a better partner for China than Europe. We can sail to China. Hundreds of years after Columbus, the European navies can't.

16:45 Posted in China, Japan | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: navy, navies, china, qingdao

Thursday, August 04, 2005


"Counter Culture," by Gaijinbiker, Riding Sun, 14 July 2005, http://ridingsun.blogspot.com/2005/07/counter-culture.html (from apostropher).

Tokyo Mayor Shintaro Ishihara is the greatest man alive.

He's not just the man who responds to North Korean aggression by daring them to attack. Now he insults the French.

A group of teachers and translators in Japan on Wednesday sued Tokyo's outspoken nationalist governor for allegedly calling French a "failed international language," a news report said.

Twenty-one people filed the lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court, demanding that Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara pay a total of 10.5 million yen (US$94,600) compensation for insulting the French language in remarks last October, national broadcaster NHK said. In their suit, the plaintiffs accused Ishihara of saying: "French is a failed international language because it cannot be used to count numbers."

Shintaro Ishihara rocks. I've long criticized froglandish myself.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Core Japan in a Picture (Magical Connectivity)

"Gap and Seam China in Pictures," by Dan, tdaxp, 26 June 2005, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/06/26/gap_and_seam_china_in_pictures.html.

"Unseen Japan," Mainichi Daily News, 28 June 2005, http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/contest/2005/05/unseenjapan/winners.html (from Riding Sun).

China may be Gap...


or Seam...


but Japan is Core


Connect. Become rich. Make life magical.

21:00 Posted in China, Connectivity, Japan | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: core, gap, seam

Thursday, May 26, 2005

No Ko in Koku

"High court rejects registering babies by surrogate mother," Japan Times, 24 May 2005, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050524a5.htm (from Japundit).

"Case Could Freeze Sperm Donation," by Wendy McElroy, Foxnews.com, 26 May 2005, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,157553,00.html.

A typically Japanese story from increasingly childless Nihonkoku.

Every major nation struggles with the birthrate. Too few children are being born in Japan, Europe, America -- anywhere where people are rich, they are not having enough children. So how does Nihonkoku Japan respond to new technologies that allow more citizens to have children?


The Osaka High Court has turned down a couple's request that the twin babies they had via an American surrogate mother be registered in Japan as their children, court officials said Monday.

A surrogate mother gave birth to the twins in October 2002 in California after doctors conducted in vitro fertilization using eggs from an American woman of Japanese ancestry and the Japanese husband's sperm.

In rejecting the couple's appeal against a decision last August by the Kobe Family Court, presiding Judge Sota Tanaka of the Osaka High Court said, "Surrogate birth poses a serious humanitarian concern as it treats a person as a reproductive tool and causes danger to a third person through pregnancy and giving birth.

"The contract for such surrogate births violates public order and morals and is invalid, as it could cause a serious feud over the child," Tanaka said.

A typically American story from increasingly childless Beikoku

Every major nation struggles with the birthrate. Too few children are being born in Japan, Europe, America -- anywhere where people are rich, they are not having enough children. So how does America Beikoku respond to new technologies that allow more citizens to have children?


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court (search) is currently considering a legal appeal that could set a wide-reaching precedent for both child support policy and fertility clinics in the United States.

As one report states, "sperm donors who thought they were getting $50 for their genetic material" — a standard clinic fee — and nothing more may be in for a real shock.

The case involves sperm donor Joel L. McKiernan (search) and his former lover Ivonne V. Ferguson (search). Ten years ago, they entered a verbal contract that a three-judge panel of the Superior Court said was valid "on its face." In exchange for McKiernan donating sperm that led to the birth of twins through in vitro fertilization, Ferguson released him from any obligation toward the offspring.


Both the trial court and the Superior Court called Ferguson's actions "despicable" and expressed sympathy toward McKiernan. Yet both found him liable to pay over $1,500 a month in child support plus arrearages to the now-divorced Ferguson. (McKiernan has married, moved, and now has two other children he is raising.)

Why was McKiernan considered liable? The original contract was deemed unenforceable due to "legal, equitable and moral principles." The main abrogating principle: Biological parents cannot waive the interests of a child — a third party — who has an independent "right" to support from each one of them.

21:30 Posted in Japan, Women | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: osaka, birthrate, adoption

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Anti-Virtue Puritans

"Hector," Wikipedia, 12 May 2005, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector.

"Communists, feminists oppose naked sushi," by Gaijinbiker, Riding Sun, 22 May 2005, http://ridingsun.blogspot.com/2005/05/communists-feminists-oppose-naked.html.

The words we translate as "virtue" -- the Latin virtu and the Greek arete -- are better translated as "Rightness" or even "Rightful Manliness." It is a state of inner superiority. A virtuous man follows a morally right internal rule set against a wrong external rule set. His implicit controls are stronger than his explicit controls.

Eagles are seen as virtuous animals. They soar into the clouds. An eagle's desire for loftiness overpowers his mass's attraction to the Earth. The earliest written example of virtue -- Manly Rightness -- is the character of Hector, the Trojan Prince who fought against an overwhelming foe

Hector provides a stark contrast for Achilles, who was from first to last a man of war. Hector represents Troy and what it stood for. Some modern scholars have even suggested that he, not Achilles, is the true hero of the Iliad. Hector was fighting, not for personal glory, but in defense of his homeland. His rebuke to Poludamas, "Fight for your country - that is the first and only omen" became a proverb to patriotic Greeks. Through him we can see glimpses of what life in Troy and elsewhere in the Bronze Age Mediterranean civilization depicted by Homer might have been like in more peaceful times. The scene where he bids farewell to his wife Andromache and his infant son is one of the more moving scenes in the Iliad.


In the Middle Ages Hector's legend was held so highly that Jean de Longuyon included him as one of the Nine Worthies. In the Divine Comedy Dante sees the shade of Hector with the other noble Roman and Trojan personages in the portion of Limbo reserved for the most virtuous pagans.

The point is that virtue is an internal quality. Virtue cannot be imposed. If hector was an unwilling conscript and performed the same actions he would not have been virtuous, because the acts would not be an expression of his Rightness. Likewise, eagles are symbols of virtue, and balloons are not, because the eagle chooses the fly while the balloon is lifted up.

The point of all this? To condemn the latest plan of enforced pseudo-virtue from Chinese Communists and American Feminists

China's State Administration of Industry and Commerce issued a notice this weekend banning meals served on naked bodies, officially canceling the service offered by a Japanese restaurant in southwestern China that served sushi on unclothed female university students, a Beijing newspaper reported Sunday.

The Saturday pronouncement forbids the service because it "insults people's moral quality," according to the Beijing Times. Serving food on women's bodies also "spreads commercial activity with poor culture," the paper said, citing the administration's notice.

...Chinese media reported that the Hefeng Village Huaishi Cuisine Restaurant in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, was serving sushi and other Japanese food on two naked university students as they lay on their backs.


Promoters insist it's performance art. Detractors say women are getting a raw deal.

Whatever the case, the controversy over the Bonzai nightclub serving sushi on nearly naked women isn't about to fade anytime soon.

"It's dehumanizing, the manner in which people are buying and selling sushi to be eaten off a woman's body. It's dehumanizing to be treated as a plate," said Cherry Cayabyab, president of the local chapter of National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.

If the club persists, she and other activists plan to launch a media campaign — apparently the first organized opposition to naked sushi in the United States.

..."It provides a forum to see a human being as an object — and when women are viewed as objects, they are more likely to be violated," said Norma Timbang, executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center.

Post-Script: At least with the Communist/Feminist fellow travelers, it is ironic that the same people who would use police powers against a woman and her body here are the same people who do not lift a finger to stop pre-birth infanticide.

The puritan monsters.

11:40 Posted in China, Japan, Women | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: puritans, feminism

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