Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Moment in 1978

When Deng Xiaoping, late Chinese leader, visited Japan in 1978 and met Emperor Showa of Japan, he received apology from the Emperor.

At the very moment, it is said that then powerful leader of China got shocked as if he had been struck by a thunder.

Most probably, Mr. Deng did not expect at all Emperor Showa who had been in the throne even during WWII to rather offer apologies for allowing the war between Japan and China in 1930’s and 40’s.

Emperor Showa reportedly wished to visit China someday but passed away in 1989 without fulfilling his dream.

The event is very impressive even to Japanese well informed on this kind of issues. It is also said that Emperor Showa had never expressed such regret to leaders of other Asian countries including Korea in terms of tragedy of World War II. In this context, China was then treated in a very different manner by Emperor himself in 1978.

The point is that Chinese citizens seem to have neither been informed of this kind of events nor been told that Japan has provided 70 billion dollar worth economic support for China since 1972 when the two countries resumed diplomatic relations.

But, it is not China alone that has not supplied its citizens with adequate information about Japan’s contributions to peace and prosperity of the world.

Conversely, if Japan stopped such contribution, horrible things might more easily happen all over the world.

This is not a warning, for Japan has been determined to continue such contribution since the end of WWII, no matter how the world acts and reacts.


(Source of Information: The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Judo Hero (or Kurosawa, Toyota, and an Auschwitz Guide)

It is well known that some successful American movie directors and producers, including Steven Spielberg, have been highly influenced by now-dead Kurosawa, a Japanese counterpart.

One of the earliest works of Mr. Kurosawa is “Sugata, Sanshiro.” Sanshiro is a judo hero who is faced with various challenges physically and spiritually, and gets into a decisive wrestling match in wilderness.

What is characteristic about Sanshiro Sugata is his humbleness. He tries hard to grow up and acquire personal integrity through sternness of judo practices and bouts. He is the remotest person from modern sports heroes who openly show off and display their joys of victory.

In a previous EE-report, I mentioned that Mr. Okuda, the powerful leader of Toyota Motor, is a long-time Judo practitioner, and his philosophy is based on a view on life and death, which has been fostered by his Judo practice.

Mr. Okuda especially mentioned a novel, titled “Sugata, Sanshiro,” the late Mr. Kurosawa had adopted to his first movie produced when this Japanese movie director was 33 years old in 1943 during WWII.

And Mr. Okuda refered to this hero when explaining his philosophy. San-shi-ro (which means a third-and-fourth-guy like Ichi-ro means a first-guy) conquered his fear, worry, and pain by resigning himself to higher enlightenment that what matters is death only and there is nothing to fear other than death.

There is a person in Poland who is working as a guide, an interpreter, or a translator for Japanese visiting Auschwitz. This Polish person, when he was young, was highly impressed with the film “Sugata, Sanshiro.”

Having completed his Japanese study in the Warsaw University, he came to Japan for further study and research. After graduation of a graduate school of a prominent Japanese university, he served various VIPs as an interpreter.

The Polish guide said to a Japanese newspaper reporter, “When Japanese students visiting Auschwitz said that they understood that they had not understood anything about the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, I felt I was paid off.”

What is a theme here? It is catholicity or universality.

Knowing a fact that even in a highly Catholic country still the Japanese virtue could be admired and comprehended, Japan might defend itself from false accusation that Japan helped Hitler and the Nazis denying the existence of Jews.

Japan had nothing to do with that atrocity. They had done it very secretly. Japan is at least as innocent as the Vatican City in this regard.

Another issue is the United Nations. If the U.N. is to embody universal value, it had better review its process of improving its Security Council. The fact that an Asian Security Council permanent member is attacking another Asian country well qualified to be a new Security Council permanent member tells why the U.N. doesn’t work.

If you neglect 60-year efforts for peace by Japan while blaming it for a war 60 years ago, you can do anything bad now relying on any remote reasons as justification.

A political party that reportedly killed or had people starving to death more than the Nazis had done, though through different means, should not lead the U.N. and occupy a seat of the Security Council.

Otherwise, citizens in the world had better come to Tokyo but New York for united peace activities.

(Information Source: The Mainichi Shimbun newsapaer)


Sunday, June 05, 2005

A Few but Not Little Things

I’ve got a report that a Japanese non-governmental organization working in Sudan was awarded an oil concession by the Sudanese government. It was also reported that it was the very NGO that the ex-diplomat of Japan having quit his job in order to help people in Sudan (who was focused on in a former EEreport ) was related to.

The NGO got funds from US and European investors. It is very rare that an NGO that is not a private corporation in the industry can have an oil-extraction contract with a government with crude oil resources.

It is of course good for Japan which has been forced to buy oil from the Middle East at prices which are deliberately set higher so as to allow the U.S. and European countries to purchase oil at lower prices. The Middle East oil producing countries have balanced their books by selling oil at a higher rate to Japan and a lower rate to the U.S. and Europe.

China must know this system very well. So, they are very aggressive to secure contracts with petroleum-producing countries, giving little thought of the conventional power balance over this energy source.

But there are profound reasons that Japan has been resigned to accepting this oil price scheme.

It may not be smart to simply present those reasons. Instead, I would present a case that tells what a country that would ignore those reasons would do.

Recently a Chinese diplomat stationed in Australia asked for asylum there. According to his information, China has abducted many Chinese people living in Australia who take an anti-government stance.

And there are thousands of Chinese secret agents in Australia, engaging in espionage and spying on fellow countrymen. Of course, there might be more in Japan, the U.S., and the Middle East.

As for abduction by a government, it is a big issue in Japan that North Korea abducted many Japanese citizens in 1970’s and 1980’s for espionage activities, and they still keep those victims while informing the Japanese government that they were dead.

If not for crude oil but for humanitarian reasons, we have to protest against the Chinese government and the North Korean government: “Do not abduct Chinese as well as Japanese for whatsoever reasons!”