Friday, November 11, 2005

A Little Local News Far from Paris

A Little Local News Far from Paris

Boys were playing baseball in playground of an elementary school.
Somebody hit a ball high and far, which hit a car.
The owner of the car happened to be a member of gangsters.

So, some staff member of the city office and its education board got in charge of settling disputes over the car damage.

Negotiations were held in a room of the education board as well as in a house of the car owner, a member of gangsters.

In each occasion of this difficult negotiation, a member of a right-wing but minor political body was present to support the car owner, a member of gangsters.

Anyhow, an agreement was reached by both the party. The deal was done.

But, later, it was found that a staff member of the city office paid 100,000 yen to the member of a right-wing political body when a meeting was held in a house of the car owner, a member of gangsters.

Citizens were surprised at and got angry with such antisocial act of the municipal worker, namely, paying unjustifiable money to the member of a right-wing political body. It is because it is well known that being a member of a right-wing political body means usually living on violence, threat, and intimidation to ordinary people and businesses.

The municipal worker said that the money, 100,000 yen or roughly US$1000, was not from a city budget but at his own expense.

Even in Japan, this kind of deplorable things could happen. Then what atrocity would happen in Paris?


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Little Known Fact between Iraq and Japan

Little Known Fact between Iraq and Japan

This is another fact Americans will never know, perhaps, forever.

In a negotiation recently conducted between Iraq and Japan, Japan agreed to discharge Iraq from most of debts it owes to Japan.

Specifically Japan is to abandon 80 percent of its receivable, including delay damages, which totally amounts to $7.3 billion.

In December 2004, the U.S. agreed to provide full debt forgiveness for Iraq, the total amount of which was $4.1 billion.

We know that the U.S. military suffers 2000 dead in Iraq. No wealth can compensate it.

What we are worried about is that Americans might eventually wonder, not in serenity, what Iraq and Japan are doing nowadays while Japan is an allied partner by treaty.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Pearl Harbor Attacks and The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks on a Sheet

The Pearl Harbor Attacks and The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks on a Sheet

In an appendix portion of a Sunday version of the Mainichi Suimbun newspaper, I found interesting comments by two Japanese; each traveled to America recently and a few years ago, respectively.

One to the Pearl Harbor for sight seeing or coverage for his series of essay. Another to New York for supervising his show in Broadway in 2001.

At the Pearl harbor memorial site, the author met a Japanese professional cameraman who told that Americans had changed since September 11, 2001. Many Americans have come to visit the memorial site. The author dropped in a bookshop where a video featuring WWII veterans was played. He saw an old man telling that the memorial site was the place to communicate not in a formal manner but as a human being to a human being.

Later, when the author tried to enter a certain hall, he was surprised at finding the very person in the video now being in charge of guiding him into the inside. The old veteran has been practicing his philosophy, while undoubtedly he can discern a Japanese from other races.

In another comment, a famous, Japanese stage director wrote that he got a call, in a hotel room, from an American manager in the morning of the first day of his show in New York. It was a week after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. The American manager wanted to get consent from the stage director on marginally changing a sequence of the show. It is for players to sing the God Bless America on the stage.

The Japanese stage director didn’t like such an idea that the concept of God is bound by any interests of a certain country, in this case the United States of America. God is universal, but the U.S. is not. However, the manager’s idea was adopted and players sang the God Bless America.  

On a sheet of a Japanese newspaper, two topics were offered this way, side by side. The Pearl Harbor attacks and the 9/11 terrorist attacks seem to be yet remembered all through the 21st century in some way of comparison. No Japanese find any similarity, between the two attack incidents, that is against Japan's honor. And, I hope that it prevails among Americans, too.