Saturday, June 01, 2013

"and his disciples follow him" - Africa and Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Africa and Japan

Japan invites leaders of 50 or more African countries to discuss development of Africa.

This conference has been held once in five years since 1993.

But it is true that nowadays China invests in Africa twice more than Japan and even South Korea does as much as Japan does in Africa.

However, African leaders might find other merits in Japan's aid to them than simply monetary and economic aid.

Anyway technologies and business systems China and South Korea now exercise are almost all imported from Japan.  African leaders might discover underlying cultural conditions of those modern economic tools and engines in Japan.

Japan can truly present to Africa how to adopt modern science and technology which were originated and developed in Europe and North America.

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Mar 6:1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
Mar 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Mar 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Mar 6:4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Friday, May 31, 2013

"If I bear witness of myself" - Sincerity and Humor

Mt. Aizu-Bandai, East Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in Early May

Sincerity and Humor

Words Japanese like are efforts (doryoku), sincerity (seijitsu), gratitude (kansya/arigato), and so on.

But it is said that Russians include humor in words they like.

And it is beyond Japanese imagination that some foreigners like the word humor.  Of course, the concept humor can be found in the original Japanese culture, but usually we use the English word humor, though in Japanese pronunciation, as it is to mean humor.

Under influence of Buddhism and Confucianism, humor has not been respected in Japan.

And in the Bible, I cannot find many occasions where Christ Jesus showed or expressed His sense of humor.

So, humor might be a kind of luxury for those who need help from Christ Jesus and the God.  Some rich and happy people might enjoy humor in a different manner from some poor and unhappy people.  Humor might work to make a rich man forget his sin.

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Joh 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
Joh 5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"the will of the Father" - Tokyo Stock Exchange Targeted

Tokyo Stock Exchange Targeted

The Nikkei 225 Index of the Tokyo Stick Market has been in an upward trend since the regime change which occurred in last December.

New Prime Minister Abe changed the governor of the Bank of Japan from Shirakawa to Kuroda who has cooperated with PM Abe to realize a reasonable exit from the 15-year long deflation of the Japanese economy.

Governor Kuroda decided to purchase Gov. bonds from the market and financial institutions almost twice more than in the era of Shirakawa.  After selling bonds they have to the Bank of Japan, Japanese banks must naturally buy stocks in the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

In addition, this huge supply of the yen to the market has led the exchange market to the weaker yen against the US dollar.  Accordingly, prices of stocks of Japanese exporters have been increased, further pushing up the benchmark index of the stock market.

But, recently, it fell 1,000 yen last Thursday and 700 yen today while the index is still around 14,000 yen, almost 500 yen higher than when Shinzo Abe assumed PM office last December.  Anyway, there is a kind of shock and awe among Japanese investors, since foreign investors who buy and sell stocks in the Tokyo market account for 60% of all.

Maybe it is time fore the God to interfere for some serious reasons.

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Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"if thy right eye offend thee" - Japan and Korea before 1910

North of Tokyo Prefecture

Japan and Korea before 1910

It is important for Americans with Korean and Chinese acquaintances to learn more about the history of East Asia in these centuries:
The process of proto-industrialization grew inline with advances in the agricultural sector. In both Korea and Japan, resources for investment - both human and physical - from the agricultural sector were mobilized for the development of the manufacturing sector (Francks 1999:10). However, in Korea, this occurred mostly in the 20th century. Further, Japan underwent a "Green Revolution" in the last quarter of the 19th century, introducing new agricultural techniques, fertilizers, and high-yielding seed varieties (p.30). Some of these innovations were ported from Japan to Korea, but here too only in the 20th century.  
Advances in agriculture not only lead to accumulation of capital but also contributed to the general development and integration of markets (Tipton 1998:ch.3). This, in turn, affects the way in which individuals interact with each other. As Clark points out (2007: 262), "by 1800 Japan was the closest of the Asian economies to England in terms of social characteristics". A significant increase in village schools occurred during the 19th century, with thousand of them popping up across the country (Nakamura in Clark 2007: 263). As a result, "Literacy rate for men estimated at 40-50 percent by the time of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and a rate for women of 13-17% percent" (Passin in Clark 2007: 263). In Korea, male literacy in seventeenth century Korea was "probably high by premodern standards, and most likely increased in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries" (Seth 2006: 134). Still, while not much data is available about Korean literacy rates at the end of the 19th century, later records from the early period of the Japanese occupation (1910 and onwards) imply a significantly lower number of schools and overall literacy levels in Korea (Chung 2006: 114).  
Confucianism influenced many aspects of Japanese society, including moral code of the Samurai class (Tai 1989: 75). However, due to the diversity of its influence and the subsequent development outcomes (in places such as China, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan) it cannot be considered a substantive factor. In addition, as Fogel points out (1996: 430-434), while "Confucianism enjoyed a significant rejuvenation" during the Tokugawa era, "Korea, China, and Vietnam were far more profoundly ʻConfucianʼ social orders than Japan". Indeed, Chung points out that "Koreans were perhaps even more steeped" in Confucian traditions than the Chinese themselves. He asserts that this adversely affected Koreaʼs economic growth by discouraging economic aspiration, de- emphasising the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship, undervaluing work (as opposed to learning for the sake of learning), and served as a disincentive for capital formation (1989:160-161).

Without help from Japan, Korea looked doomed.  The king and noblemen in Korea had no ability and no intention to modernize or westernize its society and industry to cope with the Russian Empire, European powers, and the US.  But Japan was determined to cope with those invading powers.

In this context, the relationship between the two countries should be reviewed.
At the end of the 16th century, the Bunroku-Keicho War broke off the relationship between Korea and Japan. However, the Tokugawa shogunate started trading again with Korea by concluding the Giyu treaty with the So clan of Tsushima Island in 1609 and established a relationship of almost equality through mutual visits of Korean messengers. Tsushinshi were sent from the Korean side to pay homage to a new shogun or to celebrate the birth of an heir to a shogun. Korean envoys were provided with the same role as an envoy to bring tributes to a Chinese emperor or was used for showing the prestige of Tokugawa shogunate. 
Korea in the 19th century: A severe conflict between at court between Heungseon Daewongun, the biological father of Gojong (king of the Joseon Dynasty), and Gojong's wife Queen Min continued. In 1882, Daewongun was seized by the Qing Dynasty China troops, and confined in Tianjin City (Jingo Incident). The Min family including Queen Min assumed authority, but relations between Japan and Korea did not turn better. Queen Min were changing their policies from pro-Japanese to Qing Dynasty China. In the Sino-Japanese War, When Japan beat China in 1895, the Treaty of Shimonoseki was concluded, and removed China's sovereignty Korea.[51] The Korea moved closer to Russia. Japan became alarmed when Russia enhanced its grip and influence over the Korean peninsula by acquiring vital state assets such as the mining rights in Chongsong and Gyeongwon sold off by Queen Min, timber rights in the north, and tariff rights, and purchased back and restored many of these. (The assassination of Queen Min occurred during this period).   
From a Japanese point of view, Koreans who had been subject to Chinese empires for centuries would have been easily conquered by Russians if they had been left alone.

So, the Empire of Japan had to work on Korean leaders to persuade them to tie up with Japan and defend East Asia from the Russian Empire.  But Korea was not in a state where it could act like a civilized nation.  The Korean society was split between poor and illiterate farmers and the irresponsible Confucius-addicted noble class.  They were virtually waiting for colonization by Russians if not by the UK or France.

Korea had once enjoyed great culture but they had been spoiled by influence of rotten Chinese dynasties over centuries.  They had no resources, unlike Japan, needed for modernization and Westernization.  They needed Japanese interference which however they could not make the best use of.

That is mostly why the Korean Empire had to be annexed to the Empire of Japan in 1910.

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Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"I shall be whole" - Except the God

Shinjuku Area, Tokyo

Except the God

You have to think of your success and happiness.

You have to earn and keep money in banks.

And you have to behave wisely among people,

These are teaching commonly observed in this world.

But Christ Jesus told to think of success and happiness of your neighbors, accumulate your wealth in Heaven or make the best use of it for good cause, and behave like a dove and a snake.

So, even Christ Jesus gave instruction to behave wisely in society.

It is probably because every natural law equally applies to everybody, including followers of Christ and enemies of Christ.  And the God applies His moral criteria equally to everybody, including followers of Christ and enemies of Christ. 

Accordingly, in any moment, you are not entitled to enjoy your life, which is only once, while your neighbors don't.

Then, who can enjoy his life except the God?

Now you know how terrible it is for you to enjoy your life while the God hasn't yet.

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Mar 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

Monday, May 27, 2013

"shalt not commit adultery" - Controversial Three in Japan

Downtown Tokyo

Controversial Three in Japan

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto is a lawyer who had clients in catering establishment situated in a prostitution district and a gangster-like money lending business in Osaka Prefecture.

But as he happened to make TV appearance so much, some politicians including Shinzo Abe picked up him as a young and rising star in the Japanese politics.

Osaka voters were not fully informed of Hashimoto's dark linkage with gangsters or a kind of gangsters.  But they thought Hashimoto was a lawyer making business with some decent clients, such as Sony and Panasonic.  Besides, Hashimoto graduated from a famous Osaka high-school and then from Waseda University, a first-rate private university in Japan.  So, voters of Osaka Prefecture elected Hashimoto as Governor of Osaka Prefecture, and then after his strategic resignation from the governor's office voters of Osaka City elected him as Mayor of Osaka City.

Hashimoto's relatives include some gangsters or ex-gangsters.  One of his close friends is an ex-popular comedian who was purged from TV business due to his association with the Yamaguchi-Gumi Mafia group, the largest gangster syndicate in Japan.  

But as Hashimoto enjoyed a very high supporting rate till the last year, some national lawmakers tied up with him.  One of them is incumbent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, though their relationship was mostly developed when the LDP, a party where Abe belongs, was an opposition party before December 2013.  Now it looks like that as Abe has become prime minister again (he was PM in 2006 and 2007, too), Abe does not need Hashimoto so much.

And another politician who is using Hashimoto is ex-Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara who is 80-years old.  Ishihara's eldest son Nobuteru was defeated by Abe last year in the election to choose the head of the LDP.  So, father Ishihara came back to the national assembly to form a new party called, Ishin-no Kai, and set up Hashimoto as the co-president of the Ishin-no Kai Party.

So, three controversial very conservative politicians, Hashimito, Abe, and Ishihara, are trying to lead Japan to a controversial direction.  One of byproducts of their movement is a stupid remark by Hashimoto on women who provided services for soldiers in WWII.  

But this kind of matter should not be handled by a gangster-related guy, such as Hashimoto.

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Mat 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Mat 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: