Saturday, August 04, 2012

"preaching the word" - Taiwan and the 3/11 Disaster


Taiwan and the 3/11 Disaster

When the 3/11 Disaster occurred in Japan last year, some interesting phenomena were observed in Taiwan.

Most of Taiwanese started to shout, "Help Japan," as they saw big tsunamis hitting Pacific coastal areas north of Tokyo and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant getting crippled.

But some anti-Japanese Taiwanese exploded in joy to see Japanese victims in the tsunami affected areas and Fukushima Prefecture. They were against offering aid to Japan.  They wrote on the Internet, "We celebrate Japan's disaster!"

And this anti-Japanese Taiwanese movement was linked to anti-Japanese movement in China.  Some Chinese wrote on the Internet, "All the Japanese that are anti-Chinese should die!"

But a certain Taiwanese newspaper claimed that the meanest thing for man is to derive entertainment from others' misery and loot at a fire, so that it was deplorable to see some Taiwanese and Chinese expressing their hate for Japan when Japan suffered one of the greatest natural disasters in East Asia.

So, ordinary Taiwanese do not accept an anti-Japanese view anti-Taiwanese are trying to diffuse.  They feel something abnormal when hearing anti-Taiwanese asserting that many Taiwanese were brainwashed by Japanese who colonized Taiwan to forget inherent connection with mainland China.
So ordinary Taiwanese think that anti-Japanese view among some Taiwanese was brought in Taiwan by Chiang Kaishek when he lost the civil war against the Chinese Communist Party and fled to Taiwan after WWII.  While Chiang Kaishek and the Kuomintang government led by Chiang occupied Taiwan (as the Empire of Japan abandoned its sovereignty over Taiwan), they tried to brainwash Taiwanese so as to make them hate Japan.  Chiang and his officials thought that it was necessary for them to govern Taiwanese to have Taiwanese forget great contribution to development of the Taiwanese society the Empire of Japan had made during its occupation of Taiwan.

But along with expansion of democracy and culturally independent movement in Taiwan, most of Taiwanese people have been able to counteract the poison of the anti-Japanese doctrine.

Nonetheless, anti-Japanese Taiwanese form an alliance with anti-Chinese in mainland China.  So, they danced for joy when they saw the great tsunamis hitting northeast Japan and the nuclear power plant getting crippled in Fukushima in March 2011.

It is true that China sent to Japan 15 rescue workers, 10,000 tons of gasoline, and many tents and blankets.  But, these rescue workers acted as if spies taking pictures of Japanese Self-Defense Force troops and policemen engaged in rescue work and collecting related information.

On the other hand, Taiwan sent 28 rescue workers and more than a $200 million fund to Japan as emergency aid in the wake of the 3/11 Tsunami/Earthquake Disaster of 2011.  Other aid from Taiwan included 688 power generators, 900 stoves, 53 heating appliances, 16.5 tons of foods, 2,587 boxes with sleeping bags inside, 4,488 boxes of warm clothing and other clothes, 870 boxes full of drinkable water bottles, etc.

Taiwan showed the biggest compassion on Japanese disaster victims, while Chinese aid was very moderate in contrast to its economy size.

However, it could be understand.  Taiwan did not become a battleground during WWII, though it was part of the Empire of Japan from 1895 to 1945.  The US did not try to land on Taiwan (but it launched massive attacks on Okinawa).

But, the Imperial Military of Japan was drawn to battles deep in mainland China by Chiang Kaishek in 1930s and early 1940s.  As they were offended so acutely by Chinese troops, without full preparation, Imperial troops dispatched hundreds of thousands of soldiers in China where they were ordered to collect foods from Chinese farmers living in villages.  So, it is very understandable that some Chinese still hold a grudge against Japanese.  But even Taiwanese argue that it was the thing that happened 70 years ago, so that today's Japanese are not responsible for the past wars; we have to face the future but not the era in and before WWII.

Anyway, South Korea and China are the two major countries where anti-Japanese sentiments are abused by some political politicians to collect or boost support for themselves from their citizens and voters.

But Taiwan is one of the most pro-Japanese country as proved by their response and aid for Japanese victims of the 3/11 Disaster, though it was part of the Empire of Japan from 1895 to 1945.
A Japanese female high-school student sent her message of gratitude to the Taiwan diplomatic office in Tokyo.

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Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Act 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
Act 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

Friday, August 03, 2012

"which ministered unto him of their substance" - Aleppo and Japanese


Aleppo and Japanese

A Japanese youth traveling the world as a lone backpacker decided to enter Syria 17 years ago.

He had little information about Syria.  He was not sure whether he could be allowed to travel in Syria.  But he could be admitted into Syria on his way from Asia to Europe.

The Japanese youth did not expect much in Syria as he didn't know almost anything about Syria. But his expectation was betrayed.  He found Syria so friendly and comfortable, especially in Aleppo.  He has never experienced such a surprisingly nice nation in the world to date.

In suk in Aleppo, store staff friendly spoke to him.  As they found him to be Japanese, they invited him into shops just for exchanging good will.  At the Aleppo Castle, Arab women taking lunch also invited him just for exchanging good will.  It was a big surprise for him that he, a Japanese man, could talk frankly with Muslim women, though he could not understand Arabic.

The Japanese youth felt he was welcomed by everybody in Aleppo.  They all smiled at him so naturally from the heart. So, he did not even feel isolated in the middle of the Islamic culture.  He left Syria with a sense of peace.

Now the Japanese man has heard the news about battles in Syria, and especially clashes in Aleppo.  He feels so sad as he can recall the happy moment when he was travelling Aleppo 17 years ago among friendly Muslims.


So, there seem to be some Japanese who love Aleppo where they once found rare friendliness and hospitality.

In addition, some Japanese also love to use soap made in Aleppo.
A Soap Shop in Aleppo
The Aleppo Castle

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Luk 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
Luk 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
Luk 8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

"thou canst make me clean" - The Minamata Disease

Ozawa's New Party Office Bldg., Tokyo

The Minamata Disease

One of the gravest social issue in Japan in these decades is the Minamata disease.
Minamata disease, sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease, is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. Symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma, and death follow within weeks of the onset of symptoms. A congenital form of the disease can also affect foetuses in the womb.

Minamata disease was first discovered in Minamata city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, in 1956. It was caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea, which when eaten by the local populace resulted in mercury poisoning. While cat, dog, pig, and human deaths continued over more than 30 years, the government and company did little to prevent the pollution.

Though this pollution disease first surfaced in 1952 as the fetal Minamata disease was reported, it was in 1973 that the company causing the pollution of the sea, called Chisso Corporation, concluded a compensation agreement with the victims.  In this agreement, only 3,000 patients were officially recognized as the victims of the Minamata disease.  Each of the recognized patients received 16 to 18 million yen (more than $200,000) and other benefits.

Many Japanese people thought that the Minamata disease issue was going to be fully fixed, which was however betrayed.

In 1995, many of unrecognized patients who had been working on Chisso, politicians,  and the public administration/judiciary for decades agreed to accept an arbitration proposal arranged by some political parties.  Each victim received about 2.6 million yen ($30,000)  as lump-sum payment and other medical payment support.  The number of the victims who accepted this compensation was about 12,700.

In 2004, the Supreme Court admitted responsibility of the Japanese Government and Kumamoto Prefecture, where Minamata City belongs, for not effectively preventing expansion of the Minamata syndrome.  Then, other residents in and around Minamata City started to reveal their illness caused by the Minamata sea pollution to receive some medical insurance support.  The number of the applicants to this support was about 6,500.  In addition, other 4,600 citizens who have also suffered the Minamata disease but not been recognized as victims before started to apply to a compensation scheme based on public health laws.

In 2009, the Japanese Government established a new special law to rescue patients of the Minamata disease and solve the Minamata disease problem as a kind of final measure to fix the matter sufficiently.  In 2010, a concrete policy to apply this special law was adopted at a Cabinet meeting.  Accordingly, the Government started to provide  2.1 million yen ($26,000)  as lump-sum payment and other medical payment support for unrecognized citizens suffering disorder of sensation who have lived around the Minamata City.

The struggle still continues even today for MInamata disease patients and citizens who are enduring physical agony without being recognized as Minamata victims.

One interesting episode about the Minamata disease issue is that one of former presidents of Chisso Corporation is a deceased grandfather of the incumbent Crown Princess of Japan who is to become Empress of Japan someday.

And one tragic aspect of Minamata is that many people who were apparently victims of the Minamata pollution did not reveal their illness as they were afraid of social discrimination and prejudice.  They were afraid that their sons and daughters might not be able to marry due to the Minamata disease.

Incidentally, when the Crown Prince made clear his hope to marry a granddaughter of a former president of Chisso, it is said that the Imperial Household Agency studied how the Minamata connection of the future Crown Princess would affect the public opinion about the Imperial Court.  And, today, though it has probably nothing to do with the Minamata connection, the Crown Princess cannot perfectly function and fulfill her duty as a key member of the Imperial House.  When visiting a foreign country, the Crown Prince is seldom accompanied by the Crown Princess.  
Location of Minamata City

Minamata Bay

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Mat 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Mat 8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

"Jesus called his disciples unto him" - Tojo and Robert Kennedy

Around the National Diet Bldg., Tokyo

Tojo and Robert Kennedy

After WWII, Ichiro Kiyose (1884 - 1967) joined the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals as defense attorney for General Hideki Tojo, a former prime minister of the Empire of Japan who ordered the Pearl Harbor Attack in 1941.

Despite Kiyose's efforts, General Tojo was sentenced to death in 1948 to be executed by the US forces occupying Japan in the same year.

But Kiyose, a notabler lawyer and lawmaker, did not fail always in handling Japanese war criminals after WWII.

There was a Japanese boy in Los Angeles born from Japanese parents before WWII.  But as he was born in the US, he had US citizenship.  As he grew up, he came to the Empire of Japan to learn in a Japanese university.  And during his stay in the university, the Empire launched war against the US.  So, the young man was drafted into the Imperial military.

He eventually became an interior guard of a prion camp where captive US soldiers were kept.  Generally speaking, as the Empire of Japan had no rich agricultural and other resources such as the US has, US prisoners of war could not enjoy comfortable life in prison camps.

Anyway, when the war ended and the Empire of Japan fell, the young Japanese returned to Los Angeles, his home town.  And one day when he was walking on the street, he met one man who identified the young Japanese American as one of interior guards of a prison camp where he had been detained until the end of WWII.  So, the veteran started to hit at the Japanese American, an ex-Imperial soldier.  The street became full of bystanders.  Finally the police took the young man to a jail.  He was brought to a trial.  And a judge sentenced the Japanese American to death penalty for treason as he had become an Imperial soldier while he had American citizenship.  So, his relatives desperately begged for his life.  So, he came to serve life imprisonment.
But this case got a lot of attention from some Japanese.  And, eventually, Kiyose came to know the case.

So, when Robert Kennedy visited Japan in 1962 and met Ichiro Kiyose who was then Chairman of the Lower House of the Japanese national parliament, Kiyose explained the case to Robert Kennedy.

It was a case that a man had dual citizenship and two countries where he was a legitimate citizen    engaged in warfare with one another.  So, how should he act?  According to a theory, such a man with dual nationality should fight for a country where he actually lived.  So, Kiyose explained to the then US Attorney General the situation and asked Kennedy to save the poor Japanese American.

Kiyose wrote on a sheet of paper the name of the ex-Imperial soldier and the name of the prison he was put in.  And he slid the sheet into a pocket of Robert Kennedy's suit jacket.

Then time passed.  And immediately before John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Kiyose was informed that the young Japanese American would be released on condition that he should immediately leave for Japan.  And, in several days, the ex-Imperial soldier left the US.

So, though lawyer Kiyose could not save General Tojo, he could save one ex-Imperial soldier who had US citizenship with help from the brother of a US president.

In addition, the reason why Ichiro Kiyose became a defense attorney for General Hideki Tojo in the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals was that there were no other Japanese lawyers who would like to leave their names as a defense attorneys for General Tojo, the prime minister of the Empire of Japan who started war against the US.  But as Kiyose was closely associated with the legal department of the Imperial Army at the end of WWII, he naturally took the position tentatively, though the position became permanent.  

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Mar 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
Mar 8:2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:
Mar 8:3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.
Mar 8:4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
Mar 8:5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"he came unto the sea of Galilee" - Imposed Democracy

Tokyo Bay...

Imposed Democracy

If democracy is an asset of mankind that should be distributed among all the nations on the globe, in no matter what circumstances it would find a chance to prevail in any countries.

In this context we may think that the history used WWII as a chance to diffuse democracy to Japan and West Germany.

But can we think that the history has used the War on Terror as a chance to diffuse democracy into Iraq and Afghanistan while other Islamic states, such as Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, are struggling to establish their version of democracy through a kind of revolution?

Against All Odds?  
The History of Imposed Democracy & the Future of Iraq & Afghanistan 
Andrew J. Enterline  
Univ. of North Texas  
Dept. of Political Science  
Box 305340  
Denton, TX 76203-5340  
J. Michael Greig  
Univ. of North Texas  
Dept. of Political Science  
Box 305340  
Denton, TX 76203-5340
Weighing heavily upon the success of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan is not only the way in which democracy is cultivated, but also the environment in which democracy is being fostered.  West Germany and Japan represent near ideal cases for the successful imposition of democracy, due to their high levels of prosperity and low levels of ethnic and religious differences.  Yet, this is not the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, two states that are sharply divided across ethnic and religious lines.  The challenge of building lasting democracy is all the more pronounced in Iraq and Afghanistan due to their lower levels of economic development relative to West Germany and Japan, leaving fewer resources to divide amongst contending groups within both societies. This challenge is particularly acute in Afghanistan, a state that is among the poorest in the world.  Without significant improvement in the economic performance of Afghanistan, it is difficult to envision the long-term survival of democracy. 
While the post-invasion insurgency in Afghanistan and sectarian violence in Iraq portend a perilous future for democratic institutions in each state, one counter argument is that while democracy might fall prey to anti-democratic forces in the short-term, the process of imposition will spark inexorable momentum toward democratic institutions in the long-term. As such, history might judge the attempts to impose democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq more kindly once long-term democratic success counterbalances initial failure. However, our analysis of the longterm implications of imposed democratic regimes suggests that historically these expectations are not borne out.  Rather, the likelihood of democracy returning to these two states is significantly lower than had the United States and its allies not imposed democratic institutions. Quite simply, despite the considerable challenges faced by the current efforts to cultivate democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is the key moment for the establishment of democracy in both states.  If the current efforts at democracy fail, it is unlikely that there will be a second chance at democracy in either state in the foreseeable future....

Or we might have to think why the US could develop such democracy as can be a legitimate reason for its wars against other countries.

Anyway it was neither the UK nor France, both of which tried to keep colonies even after WWII in Asia but the US that had democracy and other cultural and political conditions to help Japan and West Germany develop the so-called imposed democracy.

Indeed, the US is a superpower of democracy rather than of military capability.

So, the key to understanding issues concerning imported democracy can be found in the US itself rather than in countries, such as Japan, West Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan, which were destined to receive democracy from the US.

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Mar 7:31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.
Mar 7:32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.
Mar 7:33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;
Mar 7:34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"she found the devil gone out" - Non-Monotheists in East Asia

The Tokyo Tower in 2012

Non-Monotheists in East Asia

Mencius, one of the greatest ancient Chinese philosophers, said: "Ancient sacred kings had a mind not to neglect unhappiness of others, so that they took the helm of the state in sympathy for those unhappy people."

Mencius, in this way, taught that if politicians administered a nation with such sympathy for unhappy citizens, the nation would be easily governed.

And he pointed out that anybody would try to help and pull out a boy if he saw the boy falling into a well.  "It is not from a desire to be respected by others, thanked by the boy's parents, or show his strength for a man to help and pull out the boy falling into a well, but it is from inevitable sympathy to others.  A man without this kind of sympathy is not a member of humanity at all."  

Remember that in the east of the Indus River, monotheistic religion has not been established.  In other word, the sole commander of the Universe, the God Almighty, has not appeared to those who live in the east of the Indus River except to those who live in Indonesia.

So, we may learn how ethic evolved in East Asia by observing teachings by ancient Chinese or Indian philosophers, since China and India were the two of main sources of civilization.

The understanding that a man has inherently such sympathy in his mind is a key to managing materially developed society if in the ancient world.  Human civilization can develop well if it is good for humanity.  If everybody admits that civilization is good for all, it can be developed and sustained.  Otherwise, some people who are unhappy but not sympathized by others in a social framework of civilized society would turn to be serious insurgents and try to destroy the society or the civilization itself.

But this concept or idea, including the understanding of inherent ability to sympathize the others, was neither from the Holy Books nor from Angles the God Almighty sent to human beings.  Even without traditions of  monotheistic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, East Asians could establish wide and deep ethical theories owing to such ancient philosophers as the Buddha, Confucius, and Mencius.

In other world, Europeans and Muslims could only learn the deep theories of good and bad through help from the God Almighty, but East Asians achieved the higher level of moral standards with their own efforts as human beings, since the God Almighty had given such ability to all the members of mankind beforehand.

Therefore, though some shallow Europeans and Muslims laugh at Indians, Chinese, and Japanese as they don't believe in the sole God in the universe, East Asians look greater than those Europeans and Muslims, since they established ethical value and moral views equal to those the God gave to Judaists, Christians, and Muslims.

So, the God Almighty created the two worlds in the human sphere: One where He appeared to people to directly teach the distinction between good and bad and another where He hid himself in a diversity of the nature and culture to have people find such distinction all by themselves.  And only foolish Judaists, Christians, and Muslims are laughing at monotheists in East Asia who are greater than those fools in theory.

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Mar 7:30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.