Ishiwara's past comments

  • 4

    Ishiwara

    To be fair, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam have also been building on disputed islands. So this development is not completely new. But the scale of China's building is unprecedented, and China claims ALL of the SCS. The source of tensions in the SCS is of course mainly China.

    I hope a concerted alliance of South-East Asian nations, Japan, and the U.S. will come together to stop Chinese expansionism. Chinese control over the SCS would be a geopolitical disaster.

    Posted in: Pentagon chief says U.S. flights over South China Sea will go on

  • 1

    Ishiwara

    Foreigners say “thank you” to shop staff, Japanese people don’t

    Ha?? I might be wrong, but this might be a Tokyo thing. In Kansai people definitely thank shop staff. OK, not everybody, but not a minority.

    Posted in: Blogger lists three things foreigners do that impress the Japanese

  • 7

    Ishiwara

    But it was Japan’s actions in Asia during that war that threatened to overshadow his historic address.

    Nonsense. Abe squarely and strongly talked about Japan and the war, and talked about what mattered.

    He offered condolences to Americans killed in the war, and this is the most important, since this was a speech in Washington, not Beijing. He said that Japan will uphold the past apologies to Asia. Abe emphasized that Japan and the U.S. were bitter enemies, but are now strong allies and bonded in spirit, since BOTH sides have since reconciled. I think the message is pretty clear.

    Posted in: Abe offers 'eternal condolences' for Americans killed in WWII

  • 6

    Ishiwara

    Uh, so what? All this proves is that Japan has done a great job of operating a protected economy, plus the fact that there are certain businesses in Japan that cater to a particular regional taste or service that a company can survive for centuries. But, my question is, of these 3,146, how many are really thriving, versus just still in existence?

    What's wrong with just existing?

    Posted in: Old companies thrive in brand-loyal Japan

  • -5

    Ishiwara

    I don't think U.S. Congress is the time and place for Abe to issue another apology.

    Similarly, imagine the British PM apologizing for the colonization of India and the Amritsar massacre (which has not happened yet) in a speech delivered in Paris.

    A new apology should be delivered in Seoul, followed by a handshake with Park.

    Posted in: Abe says he is 'deeply pained' over 'comfort women'

  • -10

    Ishiwara

    Good for her! This girl has a bright future. AKB will continue to be popular in Japan and Asia for the forseeable future.

    Posted in: One finalist for AKB48 draft this year is just 11 years old

  • -1

    Ishiwara

    Apart from the fact that Japan has already apologized many times, you cannot just have any kind of pressure group demanding the PM will say so-and-so in an upcoming speech. Maybe victims of Fukushima will demand Abe will talk about the crisis, maybe the Philippine government wants Abe to talk more about military cooperation, etc etc. Abe, like the man or not, is the PM of Japan, and his speech in Congress is about Japan and the U.S. Other parties cannot intervene beforehand and trying to change the speech.

    Posted in: In U.S., 'comfort woman' demands apology from Japan

  • 29

    Ishiwara

    Here it is:

    From the official website of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA):

    Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women

    The Year of 2001

    Dear Madam,

    On the occasion that the Asian Women's Fund, in cooperation with the Government and the people of Japan, offers atonement from the Japanese people to the former wartime comfort women, I wish to express my feelings as well.

    The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women.

    **As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. ** We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future.

    I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations.

    Furthermore, Japan also should take an active part in dealing with violence and other forms of injustice to the honor and dignity of women.

    Finally, I pray from the bottom of my heart that each of you will find peace for the rest of your lives.

    Respectfully yours,

    Junichiro Koizumi Prime Minister of Japan Back to Index

    Posted in: In U.S., 'comfort woman' demands apology from Japan

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    Murakami is a great novelist, but I don't think that makes him an expert on international relations.

    Posted in: Japan must apologise for WWII until it is forgiven: Novelist Murakami

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    How dare those Europeans try to tell Americans how to do business.

    Posted in: EU raises stakes in Google battle with antitrust charges

  • -3

    Ishiwara

    Good to see some reconciliation, and recognition from China for Japan's past apologies.

    Li greeted a trade delegation led by Yohei Kono, who as the countrys top government spokesman in 1993 issued an eponymous statement acknowledging the militarys involvement in a coercive comfort women brothel system during World War II. He did not admit government complicity in it.

    Interesting distinction. But since the government during WW2, when the worst of the comfort women system was happening, was dominated by the military (General Tojo was PM), I am not sure if this very meaningful.

    Posted in: Chinese premier praises Kono for 'comfort women' apology

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    ***said it aroused him to be in close contact with women on a crowded train.

    I can understand that. What I dont undertand is what that has to do with throwing bodily fluids, or whyanyone would get aroused by doing that.

    Posted in: Man arrested for throwing bodily fluid on girl's skirt

  • -1

    Ishiwara

    Korea has plenty of issues with their own textbooks:

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/04/south-koreas-history-textbook-controversy/

    Posted in: South Korean PM warns Japan over history textbooks

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    Murakami is an entertaining writer. But that does not mean we should listen to, or ask, his advice on all kinds of important policy matters.

    Posted in: Haruki Murakami’s solution to nuclear power debate: Just call it 'nuclear power'

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    @toshiko I agree with you. It is better for a gaijin to speak hyojungo of course. But I am just saying is that in Ellie's case, if she learned Japanese from her family in Hiroshima, then there is no way that she would have spoken standard Japanese (hyojungo). Why would she be able to speak hyojungo if there was nobody to teach her?

    I've met gaijin who live in Osaka and never took a Japanese class, but just learned it from the people around them; they speak Osaka-ben. Similarly, gaijin who live in Tokyo actually don't really speak the clean NHK hyojungo that Ellie speaks, but how ordinary people talk in Tokyo.

    Same for Japanese people who live a long time in the Britain, they speak Brit-English, not American English.

    Posted in: From 'Massan' to 'Chicago'

  • -1

    Ishiwara

    Her Japanese was fine. What was unrealistic was that she spoke standard Japanese (hyojungo) while everybody around her spoke dialect (hogen). If she learned Japanese only from living there, and not through formal training, she would have spoken hogen.

    I think this reflects the attitude of Japanese today. It used to be that Japanese were extremely uncomfortable with gaijin speaking Japanese. That still sometimes happens. But what is more common now, is that Japanese are happy with gaijin speaking Japanese, but expect this sterilized class-room NHK Japanese, but get really nonplussed if a gaijin speaks Japanese like actual Japanese people do.

    Posted in: From 'Massan' to 'Chicago'

  • 3

    Ishiwara

    Of course we see Obama as a bigger threat to the U.S. than Assad or Putin, who are on the other side of the world. Obama is right at the heart of Washington, and came to power through a conspiracy of left-wingers and immigrants, and is bent on destroying America. He himself is a Muslim and a communist. He hates everything that made America great: capitalism, the military, and the family.

    (....how am i doing? Did I miss anything?)

    Posted in: Republicans see Obama as more imminent threat than Putin

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    Probably most world leaders are well aware that China is trying to score political points with this event, and that the whole thing is ironic, since China is a dictatorship that is becoming more and more expansionist.

    Posted in: China pushing WW2 anniversary events, but Western turnout could be low-key

  • 11

    Ishiwara

    On the positive side, I have been scanning yahoo japan, twitter, and other social media sites, and there are plenty of Japanese people who support Miyamoto and who think the criticism of her is silly, since she was born & raised in Japan.

    Posted in: Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity

  • 1

    Ishiwara

    Debating about the word "aggression" is pointless. Of course it was aggression by Japan. The question is how to characterize and frame that aggression.

    I think there are several aspects that complicate how to characterize Japan's war:

    First is that this was a war of BOTH Japanese imperialism and expansionism AND what many Japanese saw as the liberation of Asia from Western imperialism (and communism). And you can't just write the second part off. Most people in China and South-East Asia did not wanted Japan as a leader of Asia, but these countries also forget that many people did join as Japanese allies in this war: 500,000 Koreans, as many Taiwanese, 1,000,000 Chinese, the Burmese National Army, Indonesian nationalists, and so on.

    Second is the alliance with Germany. In Western eyes, this makes Japan similar to a Nazi country. It was not. There was no Nazi party, there was no racial genocide. (But there were numerous warcrimes)

    Third, Japan, like Germany, did also suffer from war crimes. Yes, Japan started it, but that does not exonerate it. 75,000 Japanes pow's died at the hands of the Soviets (and no, Japan did not attack the Soviet Union). Around 10,000 Japanese pow's died after the war in South-East Asia at the hands of the British. And then there are 250,000 civilians killed in Manchuria in the wake of the Soviet invasion. And then there are the 1000,000 civilians killed in the Tokyo firebombing, even before Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    This all complicates things.

    Here is an idea: Japanese politicians should stick to its past apologies, and leave the complexities for the historians to debate.

    Posted in: Abe's advisers split over how to describe Japan's WWII actions

View all