Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mount Merapi erupts on November 1

At 10:21 AM local time, the Jakarta Post reported that Mount Merapi had erupted again. This eruption sent ash 1.5 kilometers into the air.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Era of unilateralism is over

“The era of unilateralism has ended and the time is over when certain countries made decisions for others,” said Manouchehr Mottaki, the foreign minister of Iran. “The majority of the world now calls for a world based on justice and without discrimination”

In INDB, I wrote the following in response to this quote.
Unilateralism has not worked. It has not worked for the Middle East. It has not worked for Africa. It has not worked for Latin America. It has not worked for America. It has not worked for Japan. It has not worked for Russia. It has not worked for Europe.

We never had real unilateralism to begin with. During the “unilateralism” era, Japan, South Korea, and China spent most of the time yelling at one another while Japan helped both of them, and Southeast Asia, build up their economies. During the “unilateralism” era, nations often resorted to terrorism to gain leverage over other nations.

The word unilateralism does not capture the problem of the current era. The real problem is a lack of accountability and a lack of transparency that has allowed governments to engage in unacceptable behavior, most notably terrorism. This problem, by the way, was present during the Cold War as well.

The unilateralism era is over. I won’t let it get restarted. The moment it starts, I will do everything I can to bring it down. For even if Israel and Palestine reach an agreement, even if Iraq forms a government, even if the Green Revolution overthrows the current regime, even if the Taliban disappear into the mountains, the trash can still come in later and reverse every single one of those things whenever they want. A few Palestinians could kill an Israeli soldier. Israel could use that as an excuse to invade Palestine. Terrorists could cause a new wave of sectarian violence in Iraq leading to a collapse of the government. Iran had an Islamic Revolution before. It could have one again. The Taliban went away after 9/11 and came back. They could do so again easily. Temporary fixes don’t fix anything.

Neither America nor Europe can lead the world. They both lack the moral foundation. Obama has ruined his chance of seizing the moral high ground. I warned you that our biggest problem was not living up to our ideals. I told you that you can’t drug your way to victory. Amazingly, Obama for some reason decided to try to do just that. Obama needs to resign.

Now you’ve got three choices. You can either kill me. You can tell the truth yourselves and stop drugging me and forcing thoughts into my mind. Or if you want me to participate in this process, you need to do three things. You need to stop drugging me and stop forcing thoughts into my mind. You need to tell me the truth, both about the history of America and the world and about my history and what you’ve done to me. And you need to tell me what you have in mind for me in the future.

Obviously, I prefer the latter two options. If you don’t pick one of those two options, I will go public with what you have done to me and I promise you that I will do everything I can to make the process as painful and as difficult and as divisive as I can. I will not spare anyone, either in America or overseas.

You don’t have long to decide. In the meantime, I’m going to burn as many bridges as I possibly can.

By the way, if you don’t want to release the secret documents, I will. You know where to find me.
Guess which option my government chose.

Trash till the end.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mount Merapi erupts on October 30

Mount Merapi erupted at 1:00 AM local time. The eruption sent smoke 3.5 kilometers into the air. Some of the ash made it all the way to Yogyakarta which is located 30 kilometers away. Of all the eruptions that occurred over the past week, this one was the biggest so far.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Heck of a Reference, Mr. President

On October 27, 2010, President Obama made an appearance on the Daily Show.

In a remark similar to the one President Bush made about Michael Brown, President Obama said, “Larry Summers did a heck of a job…”

To which Jon Stewart interjected, “You don’t want to use that phrase, dude.”

To which President Obama responded, “Pun intended.”

I think President Obama said these lines on purpose. I think he blames Larry Summers for some of the things that happened during his administration. And I think he wanted the world to know it. Perhaps, with Larry Summers gone, the rest of the world might be able to hope that things would improve.

Boy would they be disappointed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Digital Disruption

The New York Times published an op-ed written by Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, and Jared Cohen, an official at the Council on Foreign Relations, on October 25, 2010.

In the article, the authors claimed that the Internet would empower individuals at the expense of the state. They cautioned that the Internet would not “always empower citizens in positive ways.” They believed that this era would be full of surprises. According to them, the most important thing is how the Internet “will affect relationships between individuals and states.”

Not surprisingly, the authors claimed that free-market democracies would do well in this era. But interestingly, the authors also claimed that the Internet would empower “autocratic powerhouses such as China.” That’s a pretty remarkable statement. Unfortunately, the authors never explain why the Internet empowers China. Let me take a stab at it. The reason why the Internet empowers China is because the Internet gives China a platform to tell the world about the wrongdoings of the West. The Internet gives them a platform of reaching out to citizens in the West directly, without have to go through the Western media.

Of course, the fact that individual activists have the ability to reach the public without using the media is a very scary concept for the West. Perhaps this is why the authors demand that activists “work behind the scenes when appropriate.” Perhaps this is why the authors demand that activists must ensure that their “efforts to expose wrongdoing do not strengthen governments apt to make nationalistic appeals.”

I take that to mean that the authors do not want people like me to inform the public about the crimes of the West against other nations. Of course, it’s okay to rail against third world countries and their governments. But to expose western malfeasance as the reason why so many of those third world countries are suffering, why, that might empower the governments in those countries. We can’t have that now can we.

“In an era when the power of the individual and the group grows daily, those governments that ride the technological wave will clearly be best positioned to assert their influence and bring others into their orbits,” said the authors. “Those that do not will find themselves at odds with their citizens.”

Here’s a hint for all the governments of the world. Don’t do what the American government has done. Don’t induce headaches, nausea, and hallucinations in your citizens in an attempt to get them to do what you want. People just might find out about what you have done.

Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes Indonesia

Apparently, the West wanted to hit Indonesia with more than a volcano. Tonight, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit Indonesia. The earthquake killed 435 people.

Mount Merapi erupts

During the weekend, over 500 volcanic earthquakes struck Mount Merapi, a volcano in Indonesia. The Indonesian government raised the eruption alert to the highest level and ordered the people living within 10 kilometers of the volcano to evacuate.

The volcano began erupting at 2:04 PM local time. The volcano would continue to erupt off and on until December 3. In total, the ensuing volcanic eruptions would kill 353 people.

Remember, just three days ago, an Indonesian official was telling reporters that Japan would invest $52.9 billion in his country. Apparently, the West was not happy about this. Personally, I think the Netherlands is a likely suspect because they seem to think that Indonesia still belongs to them.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wikileaks is a wake-up call for all politicians

“We already know, as Aeschylus said, that truth is the first casualty of war,” said the Daily Telegraph. “But when the truth finally emerges, the reputations of nations and their leaders are often the second casualty. If this scrutiny has but one purpose, it will be to remind politicians, who have often seemed to take war lightly, of the continuing weight of their accountability.”

Unfortunately, the truth has not emerged…yet. And the people responsible for what has been happening have not been held accountable for their actions…yet. As a result, those people decided to commit the same crimes in 2011.

It was amazing to see just how many people tried to conceal their crimes – the media, the historians, and even WikiLeaks. Because of their actions, they have set up the biggest smack down in the history of mankind.

History ends here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

WikiLeaks to publish 15,000 more Afghan war papers

On October 23, WikiLeaks said they had finished processing the remaining 15,000 documents on Afghanistan and would publish them soon.

I assume that WikiLeaks made this announcement in order to frighten other governments. They certainly didn’t make this announcement because they intended on actually releasing the documents.

Perhaps WikiLeaks wanted something from another government and threatened to release the files in order to get it. If so, I guess WikiLeaks got what they wanted because they never released the remaining 15,000 documents.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Japan readies $52.9b for first corridor

The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs in Indonesia, Hatta Rajasa, told reporters that Japan would invest $52.9 billion in six economic corridors in Indonesia.

Iraq - The War Logs

On October 22, WikiLeaks released nearly 400,000 classified documents on the war in Iraq.

“Like the first release, some 77,000 reports covering six years of the war in Afghanistan, the Iraq documents provide no earthshaking revelations,” said the New York Times.

The second release had another similarity to the first release – much of the incriminating evidence was directed at the government of Iraq, not the U.S. government.

“While the documents disclosed by WikiLeaks offer few glimpses of what was happening inside American detention facilities, they do contain indelible details of abuse carried out by Iraq’s army and police,” said the New York Times.

Once again, it appears as the West used WikiLeaks to disclosure information to damage the reputation of another government, in this case, the Iraqi government.

The day after WikiLeaks released the documents, Nouri al-Maliki accused WikiLeaks of trying to sabotage his efforts to form a government.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Japan Urged to "Show Sincerity" in Mending Ties with China

The economic cooperation between Japan and China continued unabated at the end of October 2010.

On October 20, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Tokyo Electron would build a factory in China which would build LCD production equipment. The newspaper also reported that Renesas, a Japanese semiconductor company, would move part of its product development authority to China and it would increase the number of Chinese design companies it partners with from 40 to 100. As part of this plan, Renesas would develop 300 new products in China.

But apparently, all these joint economic projects seemed like small fries to China because on October 21, the Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister demanded that Japan “show sincerity” and do something substantial to fix the relationship between China and Japan.


On October 23, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Daikin Industries, a Japanese multinational, would increase its production of fluorine resins and rubber at one of its Chinese factories by 150%.

On October 24, Japan agreed to participate in 44 joint projects with China which involved energy conservation and environmental technologies. Toshiba agreed to develop a smart grid system with Tsinghua University. Nissan agreed to install a new traffic information system in Beijing that would conserve energy. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission had selected Hitachi to develop an eco-friendly zone in Dalian. Hitachi would design an area that included offices, research institutes, universities, and residential areas. The plan would include a smart grid, solar power, and a comprehensive water management system. The newspaper also reported that Mizuho Corporate Bank would participate in the project to build a community powered by renewable energy in Tianjin, China. Mizuho agreed to arrange financing for the project and agreed to refer companies to participate in the project.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Bush learned as President

“Here’s what you learn,” said President Bush, speaking of his time in the White House. “You realize you’re not it. You're a part of something bigger than yourself.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

China 'shocked' by Maehara's remark about China's hysteria

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was “shocked” by the outrageous comments made by Seiji Maehara yesterday.

“We hope that Japan could demonstrate sincerity to improve bilateral relations through concrete actions and create necessary atmosphere and conditions for a meeting,” said Ma Zhaoxu.

Hmmm…so you want more business deals.

Very well.

On the same day that China expressed its “shock” at the comments made by Maehara, the Associated Press reported that a Japanese ski resort operator, Kamori Kanko, agreed to provide a Chinese ski resort operator, Wanlong Ski Resort, with a technology to install ski lifts while Wanlong agreed to distribute Kamori Kanko brochures at its ski shops.

Seikei bunri strikes again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

China's reaction 'hysterical'

On October 18, 2010, Seiji Maehara bemoaned the rare earth export ban China imposed on Japan.

“I think the countermeasures China has taken are extremely hysterical,” said Maehara.

Japan leaders 'broke secret islet pact with China'

Aera magazine reported that, unbeknownst to the current DPJ administration, a previous LDP administration had made a secret agreement with China on how to deal with Chinese vessels that approach the Senkaku Islands.

“Under the secret promises, Japan was in principle to prevent landings (of Chinese nationals) on the islets and not to detain them unless it develops into a case of grave concerns," said Aera.

“The Chinese side promised to block (anti-Japanese) protesters’ boats from sailing off to reach the islands.”

Presumably, China used the violation of this agreement as a pretext for getting really, really angry. But I think this whole thing was staged by China, Japan, and America in an attempt to change things back to the way they were before the Hatoyama administration.

This will not stand.

Japan laments China protest damage

On October 18, 2010, Kan bemoaned the anti-Japanese demonstrations in China.

“We told the Chinese authorities (the demonstrations) were regrettable and strongly urge (China) to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals and firms,” said Kan.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How is Obama doing?

On October 17, 2010, David Ignatius interviewed Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Ignatius asked the two of them to talk about how the Obama administration was doing so far. Scowcroft praised the President for changing the image of the United States around the world.

“When the President came into office, disapproval of the United States was at an all time high,” said Scowcroft. “He turned that around with a succession of speeches in which he laid out a vision and I think it uplifted the world.”

On the other hand, Scowcroft criticized the President for failing to implement that vision.

“Delivery on those expectations has been very spotty,” said Scowcroft.

Brzezinski agreed that the administration had failed to implement its policies and offered an explanation as to why the President had failed.

“I think the president has to realize something that perhaps is difficult for someone in that office to fully digest,” said Brzezinski. “Presidential leadership in foreign affairs cannot be measured by the scope of domestic support of this or that group. It has to be measured by the anticipated consequence of success. But that has to involve then a great deal of courage and determination to move forward and there hasn’t been too much of that.”

In his final comment, Scowcroft noted how important the Internet had become.

“We have a new world being born in front of us,” said Scowcroft. “It’s a turbulent world. Information technology is flooding the world with information. What we need to do is guide it in a way that’s useful to all of us.”

I took that to mean Scowcroft wanted us to lie about our history. By the way, none of the three participants in the interview seemed happy. Scowcroft, in particular seemed very glum.

Why so glum, Scowcroft?

I think all three of them know about me, know about what my government has done to me, know the truth about what our government has been doing around the world, and I think they want nothing more than to keep all this from ever becoming public knowledge. We’ll see if they succeed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mary Robinson channels me

“A true friend is someone who tells you what you need to know and not only what you want to hear,” said Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that this line was very similar to what I wrote two day before, in the “note” I wrote to Shinzo Abe, where I wrote, “Sometimes a friend should tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear.”

I’m not sure why Mary Robinson said something very similar to what I wrote. Perhaps America made her say that line. At the time, I was also involved in the effort to try to get Israel to sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Perhaps this was America’s way of signaling that the stuff I wrote was coming from the government. Perhaps this was America’s way of explaining why I wrote the things that I did.

ULVAC Builds the World's First Plant for Large PV and FPD Manufacturing Equipment in Suzhou, China

ULVAC, a Japanese manufacturer, announced it would build a factory in Suzhou, China to manufacture large photovoltaic and flat panel display manufacturing equipment. This factory would be the first of its kind in China.

China Mobile buys equipment from Fujitsu

According to a press release, China Mobile has bought computers and storage equipment worth $50 million from Fujitsu. This deal was the largest purchase of its kind for Fujitsu in China.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Live To Tell

On October 14, I had the song “Live To Tell” stuck in my head.
If I ran away, I'd never have the strength
To go very far
How could they hear the beating of my heart
Will it grow cold
The secret that I hide, will I grow old
How would they hear
When would they learn
How would they know

The truth is never far behind
You kept it hidden well
If I live to tell
The secret I knew then
Will I ever have the chance again

A man can tell a thousand lies
I've learned my lesson well
Hope I live to tell
The secret I have learned, 'till then
It will burn inside of me

Japanese participation in Chinese trade fair

The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade announced that the number of Japanese companies participating in their 3rd annual trade and investment fair would increase from 260 companies in 2009 to 283 companies in 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shinzo Abe will visit America

On October 13, 2010, NHK reported that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would make a week long visit to America from October 14 to October 20.

Upon learning of his impending visit, I wrote the following in INDB, presumably, because my government “made” me do it as part of the New Diplomacy. Now my government is trying to “tell” me that someone in Japan also provided input for the article, in particular, they wrote the last sentence, among other things.
If this visit goes the way I think it will, I’m sure Shinzo Abe will try to reassure America of the importance of the alliance. I’m sure Abe will say the word “cornerstone” at least 35 times. I’m sure Abe will express both fear and alarm about China and North Korea. Abe may bring along with him a couple of “gifts” that he can offer to placate our government. Abe will probably make a boring speech at one of the think tanks and go home hoping that he has patched up the relationship. I’m really hoping he doesn’t do this.

Before Richard Nixon visited China, Ambassador Nobuhiko Ushiba had this to say.

“This question of understanding and communication lies at the very heart of our occasional frictions of the past, and of our prospects for building a solid base in the future,” said Ambassador Ushiba.

The alliance doesn’t need a bunch of bromides now. It needs honesty.

Here’s why Abe should not hype the threat of North Korea and China – it’s not believable. No other country has as close of ties to Korea and China as Japan. No other country has tried as hard as Japan to make China successful. The American public may not know this. But the people in Washington know this, and to say otherwise is just not credible. They will think you’re lying to them. Lying is not the way to improve a relationship.

Japan must change its relationship with America. But before Japan can decide how it should deal with America, it must first know more about the current state of America.

Many Americans are angry with the way things are going in our country. I am angry. Incredibly, from what I can tell, the way our media and our government want to deal with this anger is just to tell people they ought to cool it. I’m no genius but from my experience that’s never been a good way to get someone to calm down.

Their other great idea seems to be to try to convince people to place new restrictions on freedom of speech. To do this, the western media has launched a series of incidents of political theater. Recently, they somehow convinced a bunch of idiots to protest military funerals. Afterward, trash like Bob Schieffer told the public that we needed our government to place more limits on our liberty. Hey, dipshit, why do you think those soldiers signed up for the military in the first place?

Before that, they convinced Terry Jones to burn the Koran – another piece of political theater meant to convince the public of the dangers of freedom of expression. Now you have Newt Gingrich saying a bunch of crazy things and the media linking that to Terry Jones.

“If Gen. David Petraeus is correct that the burning of a Koran by an obscure preacher could make our troops’ mission more dangerous, imagine the impact of a national figure like Gingrich drawing parallels between Islam and Nazism,” said Joe Scarborough.

What the Terry Jones incident, the antics of Newt Gingrich, and the military funerals show isn’t the need to limit freedom of speech nor is it the need for people to shut up and be civil. What it shows is how useless political theater has become and how badly our media and our government want to hide the truth from the public.

It shows that the elite in our country just doesn’t want to be called trash. But it wants to act like trash. It wants to be trash. It just doesn’t want other people to call them names because that makes them feel sad. In no way do I see them accepting responsibility. In no way do I see them making any effort to change. You don’t need to use the language I use, but you do need to be honest.

America has problems. To deal with these problems, the same old idiots are recommending the same old things. We have a large trade deficit. To deal with this problem, you have Congress screaming at China to strengthen its currency - so much for civility. Strengthening the yuan didn’t work last time. Strengthening the yen didn’t work for Japan. Strengthening the mark didn’t work for Germany. Strengthening the yuan won’t work now - at least not to correct the trade balance. It would allow America to default on its debt and it could push China into deflation and create a tremendous amount of bad loans. The Chinese real estate market is already wildly overpriced. Strengthening the yuan would add deflationary pressure to commodities and wages in China. That is just about the dumbest idea imaginable to me. Housing would become less affordable – unless housing prices crashed – which is probably the point from our government’s perspective.

You have western economists telling China to raise interest rates. Yes, I’m sure that’s a great way to boost domestic demand. Raise interest rates. Brilliant.

Meanwhile, China and America continue to shout past each other on climate change.

The neocons still have their reputation more or less intact. Bill Kristol is still calling for large amounts of military spending. The same people are still saying how important it is for America to support Israel. This is one of the reasons why we need to go over history. If we did, it would show that supporting Israel is not such a great idea.

If you want to have a real democracy, the public needs to understand the world as it is. You can’t have a stupid public and have a real democracy. It’s just that simple. You can have a stupid public and have a bureaucratic government. That’s basically what everyone has today. That’s the China model. If we continue to use that model we should have the integrity to say that’s the model we’re using.

We need to change. We should strive to become a real democracy. A well informed public would help prevent the government from breaking the law. A well informed public would limit the excesses of the special interests – whether it be the supporters of Israel, the supporters of large military expenditures, or the teacher’s unions, or whomever.

Perhaps most importantly, it would help prevent the suffering and death of countless people in other less fortunate countries. We need to change – all of us, in America, in Europe, and around the world. We killed millions of people in World War I. We killed millions of people in World War II. We killed millions of people in Korea. We killed millions of people in Vietnam. We killed millions of people in Cambodia. We killed a million people in Rwanda. We killed thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some may notice that the numbers are going down and think that’s an improvement. I don’t believe that. I don’t think we’ve learned anything. A similar incident may not happen for a while – we’re still fighting two wars right now – but there is no basis to believe that America or Europe or anyone else has changed. Perhaps there won’t be another World War, but another Vietnam, or another Cambodia, or another Rwanda – that is not out of the question.

East Asia needs to go over history. That would actually help lower tensions in the region because it would show that many East Asians have tried for a very long time to help each other succeed. Those efforts have made the current progress possible. Of course, that’s just about the last thing that the white trash wants and so you get comments like the following.

“It is imperative that the people and the leaders of the states of Northeast Asia ― in particular China, Japan, and South Korea ― focus on contributing to this new history of the 21st century, rather than dwelling on issues of the 20th century,” said Andrew L. Oros, a professor at Washington College.

Comments like that show that America does not want East Asia to resolve its differences. Comments like that show that America wants East Asians to fight amongst themselves. Comments like that show that America really doesn’t want to be a partner of East Asia. Comments like that need to stop.

With or without an honest dialogue, without or without real democracy, Japan will probably get along just fine. Its elites actually learn things as they progress through history. Unfortunately, our elites don’t. Listen to the neocons now and you won’t hear a lick of change.

The problem with Hatoyama is not that he plunged the alliance into a crisis. The problem is that once he fucked up the alliance he just got up and walked away. The history of the relationship between America and Japan has been a series of crisis. This probably has something to do with East Asian culture. The two kanji for the word “crisis” – 危機 – mean both danger and opportunity.

Japan has a tremendous opportunity now. It has the opportunity to shape and build a more just, more accountable, more democratic, more transparent world. I don’t know what the hell Hatoyama was thinking when he quit. I guess he was thinking that a crisis merely serves as leverage for Japan to act in its own self interest. Japanese honor is at stake.

Sometimes a friend should tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. America does not need Shinzo Abe to come to America and tell America how great it is. We have a lot of problems right now. Lying about those problems will not fix them.

America needs to know the truth – about its history, about Japan’s history, about Europe’s history. Only then can America understand the world today. Only then can America make wise decisions for its future. And only if - after both the American public and the Japanese public know the truth – can they ever decide to create a relationship built on trust and create something that is truly worthy of the word alliance.
Well, guess what? Shinzo Abe came to America and gave a dumbass speech at the Hudson Institute and nothing changed.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Toshiba Enhances Hydro Power Equipment Production Capability in China

Toshiba announced it had finished the construction of a R&D facility in China for hydropower. Toshiba also announced it had completed the expansion of its hydropower factory in China.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Depth of the Japan-China rift

The Japan Times published an op-ed written by Kazuo Ogoura, a former Japanese diplomat, on October 7, 2010. In this article, he explained why the Chinese government keeps telling its people that Japan is a militaristic country. According to him, this viewpoint boosts the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China.

One of the reasons why the Chinese people believe the Communist Party should be in power is because the party liberated the country from Japanese rule. Of course, the truth is somewhat more complex, and certainly more interesting, than is commonly known. The CPC came to power because the West wanted to make sure China and Japan remained at odds with each other. During the Cold War, the world was split in half. On one side you had the communists and on the other side you had the capitalists. As long as Japan stayed on the capitalist side, China had to be on the communist side in order to keep them from joining forces. In fact, the West still wants Japan and China to have an antagonistic relationship. That’s why the West was so desperate to get rid of Hatoyama. And that is another reason why the Communist Party of China keeps telling its people that Japan is a militaristic country – because the West wants them to.

Yet another reason why the Chinese government keeps telling its people that Japan is a militaristic country is because telling them the truth – that Japan has contributed greatly to the development of the Chinese economy – undermines their argument that the Communist Party is responsible for the progress that the country has experienced over the last three decades.

The fact that telling the truth would anger China – and the West – is one of the reasons why Japan stays silent. China doesn’t want the public to know the truth for the reason Ogoura mentioned. The West doesn’t want the public to know the truth because the West is led by criminals who would be thrown in jail were the truth known.

So that leaves it to me to tell everyone the truth. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Media Roundtable at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell answered some questions from the media during a visit to Japan on October 6, 2010. Martin Fackler, a journalist for the New York Times, participated in the event. Before he asked his question, Fackler talked a little bit about the relationship between the DPJ and the Obama administration.

“At times the relationship between the Obama administration and this DPJ administration has not always gone well, to put it mildly,” said Fackler.

According to Fackler, “there was a problem with communication.”

Around this time, I had referred to Martin Fackler as Martin Fuckler in some of my writings. Interestingly, I looked through INDB and I couldn’t find where I wrote that. Maybe I wrote that comment in some other file. Or maybe someone erased that comment.

As for his question, Fackler asked Campbell to talk about the problems America was having with the DPJ.

“I think there probably has also been a learning process on both sides of the Pacific,” said Campbell. “That learning process is not confined just to Tokyo; it is also clearly involving the United States as well. I think when we have faced difficult challenges – which we have in the course of the last year – it is a reminder to the United States how badly we need a good relationship with Japan. It is very hard to operate effectively – diplomatically, politically or strategically – in Asia without a strong relationship with Japan, and it is critical for this generation of American policymakers to in no way take Japan for granted.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Citizen Diplomacy

The New York Times published an op-ed on soft power written by Joseph Nye on October 4, 2010. In this article, Nye argued that global politics was now about which country had the best story to tell. According to him, using private citizens to convey that story was the most effective way to engage in story telling. He noted that, with the emergence of the Internet, those people could easily interact with other citizens across national boundaries. However, as long as private citizens were doing the interacting, governments would have to relinquish much of their control over the message.

This article is significant because I am one of the people involved in this story telling game. My government has never directly told me to engage in this behavior, nor has it directly told me what to say. But somehow, my government been able to put words and ideas into my head which I have written and published online. I'm not sure how they're doing this.

Beltway plumbing: Fixing DC leaks

“One of the things that has amazed me in my many interactions with members of the US press since then is how much they know about the inner workings of supposedly secret US organizations and programs, and which they do not reveal,” said Robert Grenier, the former director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center, in an op-ed published by Al Jazeera on October 4, 2010.

This proves that the American press does know about what the CIA has been doing. And yet they have done nothing to stop them.

On a personal level, I have tried on several occasions to contact the press about what has been happening to me since the end of 2010. Not a single one of them has gotten back to me.

By the way, Grenier wrote his article in reaction to a recent string of leaks emanating from Washington about a group of terrorists who had trained in Waziristan. Grenier reported that a British journalist wondered why Washington would leak this information. After all, those terrorists had to do with Europe, not America (the terrorists all had European passports). The journalist said he worried that the terrorists might read the stories about themselves and go into hiding.

Let me tell you why Washington leaked that information. We leaked that information to embarrass European governments. If my memory is correct, those articles written by American journalists provided people like me with evidence that European governments control terrorist groups. Let me also tell you the real reason why that British journalist bemoaned the leak – he is nothing more than State Controlled Media. He knows that Europe supports terrorist organizations and he does not want that information to reach the public.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Discretion must be at the heart of diplomacy

The Asahi Shimbun published an interview with Mitoji Yabunaka on October 2, 2010. Interestingly, Yabunaka hinted that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, the DPJ and the bureaucrats were working well together.

“Some people point out that the relationship between the political community and the bureaucracy has fallen into dysfunction since the DPJ came into power,” said Yabunaka. “But where diplomacy is concerned, I think the relationship has functioned relatively well.”

This quote implies that the so-called “rift” between the bureaucracy and the DPJ was nothing more than political theater.

Ooh, those treacherous guys. They really take the cake.

As to why the Hatoyama administration decided to take up the Futenma issue, Yabunaka implied that Japan had wanted both sides to take another look at the relationship. He accused both sides of taking their alliance for granted. He noted that the situation in Northeast Asia was changing as China was “developing into a powerful presence.” I guess this was his way of saying that Japan had other options.

Throughout the interview, Yabunaka talked about his vision of “21st century diplomacy.”

“Diplomacy today must be highly transparent,” said Yabunaka. “At the same time, a certain degree of secrecy is obviously inherent in diplomatic negotiations because you must have a relationship of trust with your negotiating partner.”

This quote makes it seem like Yabunaka sides with Evgeny Morozov. He seems to acknowledge that the Internet has forced governments to become transparent but he does not seem happy about it.

Boohoo. Sniffle. Sniffle.

In an apparent effort to prove his point that transparency is important in diplomacy, he talked about how the Bush administration dealt with North Korea.

Specifically, he talked about the differences between Christopher Hill and Jim Kelly. They both served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia – Jim Kelly held that position during the first term of the Bush administration while Christopher Hill held that position during the second term of the Bush administration. Apparently, Yabunaka liked Jim Kelly but did not like Christopher Hill. Yabunaka accused Christopher Hill of not understanding North Korea and not understanding Asia in general. He did not same the same thing about Jim Kelly, which is pretty remarkable considering that Yabunaka practically accused Kelly of scuttling the peace talks between Japan and North Korea.1 This, of course, implies that Japan does not want its peace talks with North Korea to succeed. Apparently, Japan likes using North Korea as its attack dog. Were the Korean Peninsula reunified, Japan would no longer have that option. Hmmm…I can see why Yabunaka values the importance of diplomatic secrecy. But wait, by disclosing all this information aren’t I just blowing the lid on this whole secrecy thing?

Oops. My bad.

As for Christopher Hill, Yabunaka called him “a strongly results-oriented person who wanted to get things moving.” Yabunaka accused Hill of “overreacting” to “even the slightest change” made by North Korea.

“Wouldn’t you say Hill’s case was only one example of the arrogance with which major world powers tend to conduct diplomacy?” asked the Asahi Shimbun.

“Major powers must practice every discretion in diplomacy,” said Yabunaka. “Their diplomats ought to understand the tremendous impact their words and deeds carry and act accordingly, but sometimes they fail to do so. As a result, they come across as overbearing to their negotiating partners. But if you are a negotiating partner, all you have to do is hold your ground and perhaps even offer some words of advice.”

The real question is why Yabunaka decided to talk publicly about this whole episode.

At the end of the interview, Yabunaka acknowledged that Japan was “turning inward” and that this trend needed to be reversed. Hmmm…perhaps I can help with that.

1 At the beginning of October 2002, Jim Kelly learned about a secret uranium enrichment program run by North Korea. On October 15, North Korea returned five Japanese citizens they had abducted decades ago. Right after that, according to Yabunaka, “The U.S. media reported--as if on cue--that Pyongyang was going ahead with its uranium enrichment program.”

According to Yabunaka, that leak disrupted the peace negotiations that took place at the end of the month. Those negotiations would end without making any progress and the relationship between North Korea and Japan would enter “a long, dark tunnel.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mitsui buys 20% of Tianjin EV Energies

To gain a foothold in the Chinese market for electric vehicles, Mitsui & Co., a major Japanese trading company, announced it would buy 21% of Tianjin EV Energies, a Chinese company which produces lithium ion batteries for cars.