Saturday, July 28, 2012

”Hitherto is the end of the matter” - State of Israel


State of Israel

Some situations in Israel tell that poverty is universal condition of people beyond distinction of religion.
Christians Help Israel's Poor by Practicing the Biblical Mandate of Gleaning  
Pilgrims get to know the land where Christ walked — and help provide meals.

Janara Walker, 30, wanted her first-ever visit to the Holy Land to be about giving, not receiving. So last October she and 11 other members of the non-denominational Vineyard Columbus Church in Ohio flew to Israel and drove just over an hour to the Palestinian-ruled West Bank.... 
She admitted that, prior to her arrival, "I thought Palestinians were terrorists. Now I know they're human beings … and I have a greater heart for finding peaceful solutions between Palestinians and Israelis..." 
For decades Christians, especially from Germany, have volunteered on kibbutzes — Israeli collective farms — for months at a time, in part to make amends for their countries' role in the Holocaust. More recently, Holy Land Trust began offering social-justice-based experiences that attract Christian groups, among others.
It is also interesting that Christians are increasing in Israel.
In Israel, Jewish Christians Are Sprouting 
They have been baptized into the Catholic Church, but speak and live like the Jews. 
They resemble the primitive community of Jerusalem. They are on the rise, but feel overlooked, as in a ghetto 
by Sandro Magister 
First of all, the number of Christians within the borders of Israel has not been falling, but in absolute terms it has risen year after year: from 34,000 in 1949 to 150,000 in 2008, the last official figure. 
One can speak only of a slight reduction in percentage terms – from 3 to 2 percent – because in the same span of time the number of Jewish citizens has grown from one million to 5.5 million, thanks to immigration from abroad, and the number of Muslims from 111,000 to 1.2 million. 
Most of the Christians in Israel live in Galilee, while there are 15,000 of them in Jerusalem. 
The exodus of Christians that has set off alarms therefore does not regard Israel, but rather the Holy Land, a geographically flexible term that extends to the Palestinian Territories and parts of the neighboring Arab countries, all the way to Turkey and Cyprus. 
The news of greatest interest, within the borders of Israel, concerns the Hebrew-speaking Catholics. 
The Latin patriarchate of Jerusalem has a specific vicariate dedicated to them, and entrusted today to Jesuit Fr. David Neuhaus, an Israeli Jew who converted to Christianity. 
Until a few years ago, there were just a few hundred Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel. But they are growing steadily, and today number at least seven communities: in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva, Haifa, Tiberias, Latrun, and Nazareth.
It is also interesting that poverty in Israel has been expanding.

Number of poor in Israel highest in West 
New report reveals number of poor families in Israel increased dramatically in last three years, since Bibi's first cutback plan 
Published: 06.11.06, 14:09 / Israel Business

The number of poor families in Israel constituted 17.9 percent of the population in 2004, exceeding figures in any other Western country in the world, a report compiled by a Caesarea Forum team revealed Sunday. Dr. Momi Dahan of The Israel Democracy Institute headed the team that conducted the study.

According to the report, the increase in poverty rates in Israel in the last three years was accompanied by a rise in the depth of poverty...
In the three years that have passed since former Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first cutback plan, the number of poor people in Israel rose by an astounding 300,000.,7340,L-3261403,00.html

123,000 fall below poverty line in Israel in 2009  
By RUTH EGLASHLAST UPDATED: 11/08/2010 12:55 
Herzog says poverty one of the main dangers to the State of Israel: "We like to talk about poverty, but not about the poor." 
...The report pointed to a sharp increase in the number of Israeli families joining the poverty cycle, with more than 15,000 families – or 123,500 individuals – joining the growing ranks of poor people in this country in 2009, following the global economic crisis that set in at the tail-end of 2008.... 
While he focused on the country's minorities, Herzog said it was not just haredim and Arabs who had joined the poverty cycle in the past year and a half, but also single parents, new immigrants and many working-class Israelis who had lost their jobs or been forced to significantly reduce their incomes... 
"This report is not surprising and shows the government's impotence in dealing with problems of poverty in Israel," agreed Kadima MK Shlomo Molla. "The current government continues to rely on the pillars of the capitalist system. There is no doubt that in the absence of social and economic policy, social gaps will continue to strengthen and deepen poverty."

The wisest country in the world must be Israel, since the richest country in the world the US respects the religion that was founded in Israel 2000 years ago.  And the oldest authority in Europe the Vatican respects Israel as the holy land so much.  And all the Muslims know the founder of Islam respected Jerusalem so much.  And the present state of Israel is so disappointing.

So, how does the God regards Israel of today?  How will He bless Israel?

Or has the God decided to love the US more than Israel?

If Israel has lost salty taste, it might be cast out as it is useless even for eradication of poverty.

*** *** *** ***

Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Dan 7:28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Her house is the way to hell" - Christianity and Japan

The Tokyo Station of East Japan Railway

Christianity and Japan

Some Japanese think that those who call themselves Christians cannot be trusted.

It is because such Japanese see such Christians love money so much against the teaching of Christ Jesus.

Japanese know it is extremely difficult or impossible to honestly observe the teaching of Christ Jesus while there are so many Christians who do not follow the teaching.  So, Japanese come not to respect Europeans and Americans only because they call themselves Christians.

For example, there are many people who work in Wall Street and the City as they love money so much while Christ Jesus forbids love for money.  But, nobody including the Vatican denies the title of "Christian" to those rich people.  Japanese people think that they do not deserve the title Christians.  They love money as much as non-Christians do.  So, Christianity functions mostly just nominally and superficially among Europeans and Americans (though it can be admitted that there have been some exceptionally pious cases), Japanese think.

But, Christianity gave great ability to Europeans and Americans who have established the world-leading material civilization.  Owing to Christianity, they have become advanced countries.  So, from this point of view, Japanese show some respect for Christianity but not for those who call themselves Christians.

Put simply, Japanese see Europeans and Americans not as Christians but as ordinary people who love money and cannot follow the sacred teaching of Christ Jesus.

That is why Japanese traditionally think that whatever Europeans and Americans have achieved can be achieved by Japanese.  The difference in religion between Japanese and Europeans/Americans does not have any meaning.

This is the underlying condition for the success of Japan and Japanese since the late 19th century when all the world, outside Europe and North America, was put under the so-called Western colonial power.  Japanese were convinced that superiority of Europeans/Americans did not lie in their religion but in their methods to understand the nature which was inherited from the ancient Greek civilization.  So, without adopting Christianity, Japanese started modernization and Westernization of their nation since the late 19th century with confidence.

This Japanese success has served as a precedent for industrialization and improvement of economy of China and India.  They have also found that they can succeed in technology and business like Japan without adopting Christianity.

Nonetheless, when the Empire of Japan lost war against the US (as part of WWII) in 1945, the Imperial family of Japan had to face American Christian influences.

The then Emperor reportedly tried to send his eldest son, namely the crown prince, to the US for study in an Christian environment while Japan was under occupation by the US military and General MacArthur.  But this plan was wisely changed so as to invite a Christian teacher from the US.

Accordingly, the Emperor asked General MacArthur to find an American teacher who can teach English his eldest son (namely the incumbent Emperor of Japan).   So, the supreme commander of the occupation forces in Japan found one female Quaker as a special teacher who would teach the crown prince and some others personally.  She eventually fulfilled her duty in Tokyo while the crown prince of Japan grew up from 12 years old to 16.
Elizabeth Janet Gray Vining (1902 – 1999), was a professional librarian and author who tutored Emperor Akihito of Japan in English while he was the crown prince. She was also a noted author. Her children's book, Adam of the Road, received the Newbery Award in 1943...

During the Allied occupation of Japan after the war, Vining was selected by Emperor Hirohito himself (and not the U.S. government, as is erroneously believed by some) to become a private tutor to Crown Prince Akihito, the heir apparent of the Imperial House of Japan. She did this from 1946-1950.[1]: As part of her teaching program, she arranged for closely supervised occasions when four Western teen-aged boys in Tokyo would get together to help the crown prince practice English conversation.[3]

In addition to teaching English language skills, Vining introduced the children of the Imperial Household, Prince Hitachi and princesses Kazuko, Atsuko, and Takako, to Western values and culture. She also lectured at Gakushuin University and at Tsuda College. For her work, she was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, third class, shortly before her return to the United States in 1950.

After her return to the United States, Vining wrote a book about her experiences in Japan in Windows for the Crown Prince, which appeared in 1952. Vining wrote over 60 fiction and non-fiction books in her lifetime. She also worked on the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr, as vice-president from 1952-1971 and was vice chairwoman of the Board of Directors at the same time. In 1954 Vining received the Women's National Book Association Skinner Award,[1]:1000 for "meritorious work" in her special field".[4]

Therefore, the present Emperor of Japan is considered to well understand American Christianity as he was taught English after WWII by an American woman who was selected by MacArthur as a fine Christian teacher for the then crown prince of Japan, according to the will of his father, the then Emperor of Japan (who had authorized the Pearl Harbor attack by the Imperial Navy in 1941) .

*** *** *** ***

Pro 7:22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
Pro 7:23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
Pro 7:24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
Pro 7:25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
Pro 7:26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Pro 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"why do ye wrong one to another?" - Japanese Culture vs. Fukushima Daiichi

The Slope from the National Diet Bldg., Tokyo

Japanese Culture vs. Fukushima Daiichi

An American in New York or so who recently heard about the report on Fukushima Daiichi written and issued by an investigative committee the Japanese Government appointed came to a Japanese journalist.

He asked, "The report ascribed the nuclear accident to some unique features of the Japanese culture.  Do you think such a big accident can occur in the US, too?"

The Japanese journalist was puzzled but answered, "A nuclear accident is a matter of technical and other objective conditions.  It can happen in the US as it happened in Japan."

Parents of the American live relatively close to a nuclear power generation plant on the East Coast.  He is worried about safety of his parents.

Strictly speaking, one of factors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is related to the Japanese culture just like the geographical condition of the Japanese archipelago concerning earthquakes and tsunamis contributed to the occurrence of the nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture that has continued since March of 2011.

For example, Japan's capital Tokyo is very unique in that Prefecture Tokyo experiences 27 earthquakes per year which are equal to, or stronger than, the level 3 of the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale. At the level 3 of this scale called "shindo," electric wires swing slightly and dishes in a cupboard rattle occasionally.  Even Tokyo has this frequency of earthquakes.  And finally, a Magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred under the sea bed in the North Pacific Ocean 350 km northeast of Tokyo on March 11, 2011, causing great damage to infrastructures on the Pacific coast and triggering the nuclear accident.  There is only few nations in the world that have their capitals so close to quake/tsunami zones as Japan has.

As the Japanese culture and the mind set of the Japanese people are influenced by this natural condition, there is no denying that the Japanese culture has some relation to this nuclear disaster.

As the Japanese people have too often observed eruptions of volcanoes, big tremors by earthquakes, and horrible disasters by tsunamis, people traditionally think that it is essentially impossible to cope with natural disasters.  But if the public or official authority asserts that safety against a volcano, earthquakes, or tsunamis is guaranteed with application of special technology the authority has checked and attested, people would often like to believe that safety is guaranteed perfectly.

If the authority proudly and gravely announces that necessary measures have been taken, the Japanese people feel that it must be a very high level of scientific application, so that they cannot do anything but believe the authority.  Indeed, it will be extremely difficult to verify effectiveness of measures the authority has taken against such terrible, mysterious, and fateful natural disasters.  They just have to believe.  As the nature is too complicated, the measures should be too complicated, too, even well educated Japanese would rather think so.  So, they would simply trust the elites in the authority.  Otherwise, they would be a minority in the society.

In a monotheistic religious state, however, people, namely believers in the one and only god, would not trust the authority so easily.

Monotheists, if living in such a country as Japan full of volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, would think that natural disasters are all triggered by the God.  And any authority in the human world cannot fully understand the causes and mechanism of those natural phenomena unless it is guided and blessed by the God.  Without divine help, no effective measures can be possible in theory.

But, monotheists would believe that if they honestly study knowledge and secrets the God would reveal to them, they can understand those natural phenomena and might be able to take effective measures.  But, the effectiveness of such measures should depend on strength of their faith in the God.  Accordingly, those monotheists would check how faithful the authority is to the God.  Indeed, there are many ungodly scientists, engineers, experts, officials, and politicians even in a monotheistic religious state.  They would really begin with doubting.   

But most of the Japanese people, non-monotheists, have a tendency to regard those natural disasters as mere mysteries in the essentially complicated nature no single god is in charge of.  Even if they learn modern science and technology so well, as today's Japanese citizens do, they think that it is anyway beyond human capability to control those phenomena, since they must be essentially complicated and cannot not be controlled by single great power such as the single god.  

Nonetheless, when they hear that an authority in the nation proclaims that it has taken effective and sufficient measures against possible natural disasters, they would not wonder how faithful the authority is to gods or any holy spirits.  Non-monotheists like Japanese have no religious norms with which to measure sincerity of the authority in charge of prevention of disasters, since these matters are not linked, at the bottom, to the sole god who created everything in this universe.  

So, the Japanese people, the Japanese media and Japanese politicians have not checked, with customary zeal in customary doubt and suspicion, preventive measures the authority has taken against a possible nuclear accident.

Indeed, it is graduates from top universities that take key positions in departments and agencies related to nuclear energy in the Japanese Government.  The owner of the Fukuhsima Daiichi plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), also recruit many graduates from top universities.  So, ordinary Japanese citizens would rather accept what they are assured of by those elite experts in the authority in terms of safety of a nuclear power plant, without doubting how faithful they are to the God, the sole Creator of the nature.  It can be regarded as a matter of culture.

*** *** *** ***

Act 7:26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?
Act 7:27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"whom they seek to kill?" - How the Emperor Survived

Around the Tokyo Station

How the Emperor Survived

When the Empire of Japan surrendered to the US and its allies in August 1945, it insisted on one condition for the total surrender of the Imperial Army and Navy.

The Imperial Government announced that it would accept the Potsdam Declaration under the sole condition of maintaining the imperial system.  Japanese leaders, including the Emperor himself, did not want to see Japan after WWII become a republic without the emperor (like Germany after WWI).  They wanted to secure the imperial authority in Japan, though the victory nation, the US, could force the imperial system to be abolished as US troops now occupied Japan.  Japanese elites had a fear that the US Government might even assign responsibility of making the war and war crimes to the Emperor.  The Emperor (Hirohito) should not be regraded as a kind of Hitler for any counts and in any account. 

But it was soon found that the supreme commander of the US occupation forces (and the allied forces), General MacArthur, wanted the Emperor to cooperate with him for peaceful and effective occupation of Japan.  MacArthur even did not want the Emperor to step down taking any responsibility and have one of his brothers succeed him as new emperor.  So, the Emperor (of the Showa period) continued his role as the head of Japan over adoption and enforcement of the new Japanese Constitution and the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals.

The Emperor who had been the head of the Empire of Japan when the Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 survived the Occupation of Japan by the US and the Allies that continued till 1952 to live and keep the highest public position of Japan till 1989 (when he died).      

In 1945 when battles continued around the Japanese archipelago, General MacArthur had been determined to take the emperor on his side to occupy Japan smoothly and economically without resistance and terror.  He somewhat understood that the key to his success in the coming occupation of Japan was how much he could leverage an overwhelming influence of the Emperor on the Japanese people. 

But, MacArthur was not an expert of Japan.  He only visited the Empire once before WWII.  Though the General had deep experiences in the Philippines and thus Asian ways of politics, he needed somebody that knew Japan very well. 

So, Brigadier General Bonner Fellers came to assist General MacArthur.  Fellers had visited the Empire of Japan four times before WWII.  He had some friends among the Japanese elites.  And Fellers viewed the emperor with favor.  Fellers cooperated with MacArthur to protect the Emperor from the Soviet Union, China, etc. that wanted to bring in an indictment against the Emperor in the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals.

So, the key person who successfully protected the Emperor of Japan after WWII is Bonner Fellers.
Bonner Frank Fellers (1896–1973), was a U.S. Army officer who served during World War II as military attaché and psychological warfare director. He was a considered a protégé of General Douglas MacArthur.    
Pro-Japanese Fellers loved a book written by a Western author, named Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, (1850-1904) who became a naturalized Japanese citizen in the name of Yakumo Koizumi.  The book taught Fellers so much about Japan.  Based on deep understanding of the Japanese culture, history, traditions, politics, and religion he obtained from Hearn's books and his relationship with some Japanese Christians, Fellers made a strong effort to save the Emperor in the difficult period of Japan after WWII.

The book is titled JAPAN, AN ATTEMPT AT INTERPRETATION, The Macmillan Company, New York [1904].

The Rise of the Military Power 
ALMOST the whole of authentic Japanese history is comprised in one vast episode: the rise and fall of the military power. . . .

...and the Tokugawa shôgunate, which lasted until 1867, gave the country fifteen military sovereigns. Under these, Japan enjoyed both peace and prosperity for the time of two hundred and fifty years; and her society was thus enabled to evolve to the full limit of its peculiar type. Industries and arts developed in new and wonderful ways; literature found august patronage. The national cult was carefully maintained; and all precautions were taken to prevent the occurrence of another such contest for the imperial succession as had nearly ruined the country in the fourteenth century.

We have seen that the history of military rule in Japan embraces nearly the whole period of authentic history, down to modern times, and closes with the second period of national integration. The first period had been reached when the clans first accepted the leadership of the chief of the greatest clan,--thereafter revered as the Heavenly Sovereign, Supreme Pontiff, Supreme Arbiter, Supreme Commander, and Supreme Magistrate. How long a time was required for this primal integration, under a patriarchal monarchy, we cannot know; but we have learned that the later integration, under a duarchy, occupied considerably more than a thousand years. . . . Now the extraordinary fact to note is that, during all those centuries, the imperial cult was carefully maintained by even the enemies of the Mikado; the only legitimate ruler being, in national belief, the Tenshi, "Son of Heaven,"--the Tennô, "Heavenly King." Through every period of disorder the Offspring of the Sun was the object of national worship, and his palace the temple of the national faith. Great captains might coerce the imperial will; but they styled themselves, none the less, the worshippers and slaves of the incarnate deity; and they would no more have thought of trying to occupy his throne, than they would have thought of trying to abolish all religion by decree. Once only, by the arbitrary folly of the Ashikaga shôgun, the imperial cult had been seriously interfered with; and the social earthquake consequent upon that division of the imperial house, apprised the usurpers of the enormity of their blunder. . . . Only the integrity of the imperial succession, the uninterrupted maintenance of the imperial worship, made it possible even for Iyéyasu to clamp together the indissoluble units of society.

Herbert Spencer has taught the student of sociology to recognize that religious dynasties have extraordinary powers of longevity, because they possess extraordinary power to resist change; whereas military dynasties, depending for their perpetuity upon the individual character of their sovereigns, are particularly liable to disintegration. The immense duration of the Japanese imperial dynasty, as contrasted with the history of the various shôgunates and regencies representing a merely military domination, illustrates this teaching in a most remarkable way. Back through twenty-five hundred years we can follow the line of the imperial succession, till it vanishes out of sight into the mystery of the past. Here we have evidence of that extreme power of resisting all changes which is inherently characteristic of religious conservatism; on the other hand, the history of shôgunates and regencies proves the tendency to disintegration of institutions having no religious foundation, and therefore no religious power of cohesion. The remarkable duration of the Fujiwara rule, as compared with others, may perhaps be accounted for by the fact that the Fujiwara represented a religious, rather than a military. aristocracy. Even the marvellous military structure devised by Iyéyasu had begun to decay before alien aggression precipitated its inevitable collapse.

The emperor of Japan is not a type of kings as is seen in Europe or Asia.  The imperial family has enjoyed its continuity for about 2000 years or since the beginning of written history of Japan.  The emperor is the greatest priest of the Shinto religion which was formed through combination of ancient Chinese philosophy and Japanese native spiritualism.  Even in the 8th century, the emperor virtually ceased to be the active commander in chief of the imperial military.  But the imperial authority has been always supported by its religious influence on the Japanese or at least Japanese elites and other dignitaries who held actual political or military power.

Finally, most of the Japanese people did not want the Showa Emperor to take responsibility of the past wars against China and the US and the Allies.  Even today, the imperial family of Japan enjoys the highest public status in Japan.  The long history of Japan continues with the emperor just like the Christian world continues with the Pope.
The Emperor of Showa at Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, in 1935

*** *** *** ***

Joh 7:25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
Joh 7:26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
Joh 7:27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
Joh 7:28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"A reed shaken with the wind?" - Significance of the US (II)

Around the National Diet Bldg., Tokyo

Significance of the US (II)

The US is a very violent country.

In comparison with other nations in the American Continents, its characteristics as a violent nations is so stark.

Europeans who came to North America never ceased to be violent against native Americans and the nature of the Continent.

But they never doubted that they believed in God.  It is very interesting why people who thought they were believers of God could be so violent to native Americans and the nature.

Anyway, when WWII ended and American generals and troops landed on Japan to start post-war occupation, they wondered how they could control the Japanese people who had no faith in the sole God unlike Americans and Europeans, since most of the Japanese people were not Christians.

General MacArthur and his aids could not understand the Japanese mind set as the Japanese regarded the Emperor as a god, though nominally.  So, they wondered how they could change the authoritarian regime in Japan to a democratic government.  Or, from the beginning, they did not even have assurance that their military occupation could be successful.  There was a big possibility, MacArthur thought, that a large-scale sabotage or a guerrilla war might be set off in Japan proper under occupation of the US and its allies.

So, General MacArthur decided to win the Emperor on his side.  If the Emperor accepted a shift of the regime to a democratic government, all the Japanese would follow suit.

As the Emperor lost his trust in the leaders of the Imperial Army and Navy due to a fear that they might have forced him to fight till the death with them, he willingly accepted the strategy of MacArthur.  The Emperor decided to cooperate with General MacArthur who assured the Emperor that the supreme commander of the Allies, namely MacArthur, would not indict the Emperor as a war criminal in the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals.

Before the Imperial Army and Navy took power in the Imperial Government in early 1930s, the Empire of Japan had already experienced some development of democratic movement in its politics and society.  Accordingly, MacArthur's initiative to introduce the American style of democracy became big success.

However, though Douglas MacArthur initially intended to introduce Christianity into Japan, he eventually gave up this idea.  Instead, he deepened his personal relationship with the Japanese emperor who was the greatest Shinto priest, too.

So, significance of the US lies in its function to diffuse the American style democracy widely in Asia.

But, the American view in religion is not so matured.  Though Japanese people do not have faith in, or a religion connected to the sole Creator of the universe, their spirituality is deeper than most of Americans.  Japanese people are familiar with Buddhism.  Though the Buddha is not the Creator of the universe, he understands the greatest and final truth of the universe.  So, the idea of the structured and layered spiritual world is very common to Japanese people.  They could easily understand the concept of monotheistic religion and Christianity, but it is not fit for the Japanese culture, nature, and environment.  Rather, the image of the vaguely structured spiritual hierarchy is suitable for the Japanese mind.

Anyway, there are many Christian Americans whose behaviors are more violent than Japanese while those Americans have faith in the sole Creator of the universe.  Having faith in the sole god alone does not improve humanity of an individual.   
Being American does not even mean he or she truly has faith in God and can prove his or her faith through his/her behaviors.
The Emperor and Empress of Japan in a Shinto shrine with a Shinto priest in 1973

*** *** *** ***

Luk 7:24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
Luk 7:25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"whosoever shall not be offended in me" - Significance of the US

The Government Office District, Tokyo

Significance of the US

Many people in Europe, Africa, Asia, and other part of the world immigrated to the US.

The land of the US has rich natural resources in addition to the vast size.  Americans also could apply and enjoy modern technology, science, and other products of the European civilization.  The US was not a country that belonged to other civilization than the European civilization.  Today's Americans are not, say, descendants of native Australians who sailed to North America to establish new material civilization competing the European Civilization.   The core of Americans are not a mass of great people but mere descendants of Europeans after 1492.

So, the victory of the US to be No.1 in the world does not prove that its people have made the greatest efforts in the world and in the history.  It does not prove that Americans are the most talented people in the world.  But they have been the greatest beneficiaries of the great nature and the European civilization.

But many people in Europe, Africa, Asia, and other part of the world have immigrated to the US.  Why? It is because they could not be successful in their original countries.  Various conditions in society of their original countries hindered their success.  So, they immigrated into the US where they could be free from old yokes in their mother countries.  They found, when they reached the US, they were free from old rules, customs and traditions that had put them down.  Now they could feel superior to people who still lived in old countries under old social systems.  

In this context, immigrants to the US naturally feel superior to foreign countries from which they immigrated into the US.

Immigrants from England to the US feel superior to England.  Immigrants from other European countries feel  superior to those countries.  Immigrants from China and India to the US feel superior to India and China.  

Immigrants to the US might all think that they are superior to those who still live in countries they  left long time ago.

So, it is natural that Americans like to teach American democracy and American capitalism to those who still live in countries they left long time ago.  It really satisfies their sense of superiority to peoples in other countries.

In this context, the Vietnam War and the subsequent economic/industrial rise of Japan gave great shocks to Americans, namely immigrants and descendants of immigrants.  The pride of America was damaged to some extent.  They could not militarily overwhelm North Vietnam supported by China and the USSR.  They had to admit that Japan, a non-European and non-Christian country, could overwhelm the US in some fields of economy and industry.  

But, the USSR fell through the Cold War.  The American high-technology military could easily wipe away Saddam's troops.  And, afterward the PC boom and the Internet diffusion contributed to recovery of the American industry and business while Japan got into a long period of recession and deflation.  The globalization of economy helped the US expand its scope of economic activities based on American standards they could propagate to the world.

But the Japan helped Taiwan, South Korea, and China develop their industry and economy during its lost decade and the subsequent period.  Now nobody in the world thinks that modern science and technology are proprietary assets of Europe and North America.  Everybody in Asia has followed Japan.  And, the PC and the Internet helped Asian followers absorb modern products of material civilization Europe, America, and Japan have developed and provided.

Even today, many people, not necessary poor people, want to immigrate into the US from their original countries.  A typical example is Chinese, especially rich Chinese.  So, the US has also political merit.  Further the US intends to invite many talented students from the world.  The big size of its land and abundant natural resources allow the US to invite and take more people who can contribute to making the US richer, stronger, and more advanced.

Though America is still leading the world in terms of humanity development by electing Mr. Obama, an African American, to the US presidency, nobody in the world respects Americans as a role model since so many criminal acts are committed in the US.  Americans are simply blessed with cultural advantages brought from Europe, its great natural resources, affluent life (though there are many poor Americans), and free atmosphere in society and respect for individuals.  So, traditionally Americans are easygoing.  They are not the people who have achieved great success as a nation through their hard work against many and formidable disadvantages.  Everybody in the world thinks if he was born in the US, he could have been so "easily" successful.  Though internal competition among Americans is very hard and tough, they are all on the rich basis and affluent environment given to them for free. So, there are not so many Americans who can be really respected for their efforts in life as they have lived already in rich environment.  So, while Americans feel superiority to other countries, they are not so much respected in return.

Nonetheless, without the world and other countries, Americans cannot feel superior.  Without them, Americans cannot enjoy such affluent life.  Without trade with other countries at all, Americans can still enjoy reasonable life but not so affluent.  Without export and import to/from other countries, Americans cannot keep the high living standards they enjoy now.  America has to rely on G20 to secure the global market.  For example, if Japan and China stopped buying Treasury bonds, the US would have to face a great financial crisis, worse than the 2008 Financial Crisis.  Even GM might be purchased by Japan or China.

Having discussed the US as above, however, the issue is whether the US is good for the world and other countries.  Can the US diffuse democracy and freedom to the world more?  Specifically can the US make Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Myanmar, China, North Korea, etc. democratic nations?  Or will it simply continue its old way of enjoying superiority and doing anything to keep such superiority?  And will merit America provides for other countries be greater than damage it might inflict on mankind in history with its respect for the Mammon more than God?

APPENDIX.  GDP in 1941

No.1 US...1,098,921
No.2 Germany...401,174
No.3 UK...360,737
No.4 USSR...333,656
No.5 India (UK)...270,531
No.6 Japan...212,594
No.7 Italy...153,517
No.8 France...131,052
No.9 Indonesia (Netherlands)...89,316
No. 10 Canada...71,508

* Without including GDP in their colonies.  China's GDP is not clear.

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Luk 7:22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
Luk 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"they believed the scripture" - Unit No.2 of Fukushima Daiichi

Around the National Diet Bldg., Tokyo

Raector Unit No.2 of Fukushima Daiichi
(updated on July 24, 2012)

The largest source of radioactive material discharged from the Fukushima Daiich nuclear plant is its No. 2 Unit.

The highest level of discharged doses occurred with some explosion in No.2 Unit on March 15, 2011 as the following figure shows.  Note that it was four days after the M9.0 earthquake and the great tsunami attacked the Tohoku Region (northeast Japan), including the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Trend of Doses at Locations in Miyagi Pref. North of Fukushima Daiichi (with distance specified) 

Let's check how the time line of the Fukushima Daiichi accident was reported publicly.

March 14
01:20 - Infusion of sea water to Unit No.1 and No.3 was stopped.
11:01 - An explosion occurred at the No.3 Reactor Unit.
13:25 - Unit No.2 lost a cooling function.
16:34 - Sea water was poured into Unit No.2.
19:45 - All the fuel rods in Unit No.2 were exposed to the air. 
21:37 - 3.130 mSv/hour was recorded at the main entrance to the Daiichi plant.
(1 mSv/year is the statutory allowable dose level for citizens in Japan.) 
22:07 - 9.6 uSv/h was recorded at a location 10 km south of the plant.
(This level of doses is 260 times larger than the ordinary level at the location.)  
23:39 - Pressure in the containment vessel of Unit No.2 increased abnormally rapidly.
March 15 
00:00 - Dry vent was performed for several minutes, but no pressure discrease was measured in Unit No.2. 
00:00 - 95.7 uSv/h was recorded in Fukushima "Daini" Nuclear Plant 12 km south of Daiichi. 
01:11 - Pressure inside the pressure vessel of Unit No.2 fell from 1.44 MPa to 0.92 MPa.  
02:30 - Sea water was poured into Unit No.3. 
03:00 - Pressure inside the reactor vessel of Unit No.2 exceeded the design pressure. 
04:20 - 140 uSv/h was recorded in Fukushima "Daini" Nuclear Plant 12 km south of Daiichi. 
06:10 - An extraordiniary sound was emitted from Unit No.2 where pressure decreased rapidly. 
06:14 - White smoke was discharged from Unit No.3. 
08:25 - White smoke was discharged from Unit No.2. 
09:00 - 11.93 mSv/h was recorded at the main entrance to the Daiichi plant.
As nuclear reactors were stopped and circulation of cooling water was also stopped (due to loss of electricity) in pressure vessels which contained nuclear fuel rods, the action (called "vent") to release gas (mostly vapor contaminated with radioactive material leaking from fuel rods) inside each pressure vessel became necessary in order to decrease pressure inside the vessels and prevent breakage of them.  But it was not successful with No. 2 Unit, though it was well performed with No.1 and No.3 Units.

From this stage, there are two theories on how the accident progressed:

Theory I

So, it became urgent to release the gas inside the pressure vessel of No.2 Unit to the pressure suppression chamber situated under the reactor containment vessel which contained the pressure vessel.  To carry out this operation, SR valves should be opened. But these valves did not work well.  The gas whose pressure was dangerously increasing inside the pressure vessel could not flow through the SR valves and pipes connecting the pressure vessel to the pressure suppression chamber.  

So, the pressure of vapor continued to increase due to heated nuclear fuel rods from which fuel started to be melted down to the bottom of the pressure vessel.  Then an explosion occurred in the pressure vessel of No.2 Unit around 6:00 a.m. on March 15.  From fractures of the vessel, a large amount of radioactive material was released to the air through the containment vessel and the housing building.  This is believed to be the process of the core accident that resulted in the largest leakage of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Theory II

So, it became urgent to release the gas inside the pressure vessel of No.2 Unit to the pressure suppression chamber situated under the reactor containment vessel.  To carry out this operation, SR valves should be opened. But these valves did not work well.  They worked several times only intermittently.

When the valves could be opened, the vapor flowed from the pressure vessel to the pressure suppression chamber.  However, the chamber lost a cooling function.  The temperature of contaminated water in the chamber reached soon 100 degrees Centigrade.  

So, radioactively contaminated vapor leaked from the chamber to the reactor containment vessel; it then went out of the housing building to the open air.  It resulted in the largest discharge of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which turned to be the main cause of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

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Though Unit No.1 and No.3 underwent a hydrogen explosion, their pressure vessels and containment vessels were not broken.  No fatal doses were discharged from these Units.

On the other hand, Unit No.2 did not suffer a hydrogen explosion, but its pressure vessel or pressure suppression chamber was damaged to have cracks from which radioactive material included in heated and high-pressure vapor was released to the outer air to cause the vast radioactive contamination around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.   

Anyway Japanese experts think that if the SR valves could have worked well, the No. 2 Unit pressure vessel would not have been damaged.  Or, if the cooling function of the pressure suppression chamber of Unit No.2 had worked sufficiently well, no decisive leakage of radiation doses could have happened from the housing building of Unit No.2. If so, today 160,000 Fukushima people now being evacuated lived in their homes and home towns. 

And we have to be alert to a future similar accident, since the same type of SR valves are used in many other nuclear power plants in Japan.

(The SR valve has reportedly problematic structure that prevents its opening operation when pressure inside a connected vessel has increased so much.)

But why could not the vent action be successful with the No.2 Unit?  And, why, in Unit No.2, could not the SR valves work well or the cooling function of the chamber work satisfactorily?  It is still unknown.

Finally, most of Japanese experts now think that Tokyo Electric Power Corporation (TEPCO) engineers in Fukushima Daiichi could succeed in preventing a hydrogen explosion or fatal damage on the pressure vessel of Unit No.2 on March 15, 2011, but they failed in preventing the decisive leakage of radioactive material from Unit No.2 which must accounts for 90% of doses recorded in Fukushima Prefecture and as far as in other locations on the earth.

Of course, if the nuclear power generation plant had not been hit by the 15-meter-high tsunami on March 11, 2011 (40 minutes after the occurrence of an M9.0 earthquake in the North Pacific Ocean some 150 km far from the plant), those reactor units in Fukushima Daiichi would not have been crippled so badly.

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Joh 2:22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.