Ishiwara's past comments

  • 2

    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

  • 10

    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

  • 10

    Ishiwara

    Pressed on whether this included Japan, she said: “I’ve just said that China has already issued invites to all relevant countries’ leaders and international organisations. Do you think that Japan has a connection to World War Two and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, or not?”

    Why not just say, "Yes, of course we have invited Japan. We hope this will be an opportunity for reconciliation, remembering the past, and move forward together."?

    Posted in: China confirms, in roundabout way, Japan invite for war memorial

  • -1

    Ishiwara

    Imagine a North Korean watching this movie. It will just confirm that America is an evil country because the CIA is out to assassinate the leader of their country. The comedy surrounding Kim will just look like American propaganda. The half-naked and sex-scenes confirm that America is a country of decadent immorality.

    Imagine a North Korean movie about a Korean commando sent to the U.S. to kill president Obama. (I'll let you fill in the details yourself.)

    You have to be very stupid to believe dropping this DVD will actually achieve anything.

    Posted in: North Korea warns against airdropping DVDs of 'The Interview'

  • 0

    Ishiwara

    I am starting to suspect the whole debate about English in Japan is missing its point.

    When it comes to English, there are three types of Japanese: 1. People who actually need it and use it for work; professionals, doctors, scientists etc; usually speak it pretty well. Small group. 2. Large group of people who can speak more than they admit, have maybe stayed abroad for some time, but have so few opportunities their English gets very rusty, to put it mildly. 3. Vast majority of Japanese people who learn it in school as if they were studying Latin. Never use it because they only meet Japanese people, only do business with Japanese people.

    I don't think this is that different from other countries with a language very different from English. (Thai people in the cities speak better English because they actually use it.)

    I don't see any reason why anyone should expect that all Japanese people, including group 3, will become good at English. It is simply not necessary. And it is also not possible.

    Posted in: 'Englishisation' - Is it working?

  • 4

    Ishiwara

    For all of you who are shocked at the fact that a Buddhist monk, who is supposed to stick to monastic rules, is doing this:

    The vast majority of Buddhist monks (or better: priests) in Japan inherit the job from their father. Most temples are essentially family businesses. The priests do have to undergo some training, but don't imagine long periods of meditation in caves and practicing martial arts under waterfalls. They do have to learn how to read sutras for funerals and so on. It can be pretty lucrative, because all Japanese families are registered with a particular temple, which means they will ask the funerals to be done at that temple.

    And monastic rules have been thrown out since centuries by most Buddhist sects in Japan. Most Buddhist priests are thus pretty much salarymen in a family business.

    None of the above explains why this monk should film up a girl's skirt of course.

    Posted in: Buddhist monk arrested for filming up girl's skirt on escalator

  • 2

    Ishiwara

    FYI

    I've read through a bunch of online comments by Japanese people about this. This seems to be the most common:

    • She might be Japanese, but she is certainly not "representative" of Japanese

    • She is Japanese and has all the right of trying, but there is a problem with the board electing her as "representative" of Japanese: it signals that "normal Japanese" beauty is not good enough

    • She is not pretty

    Posted in: 'Haafu' to represent Japan at Miss Universe 2015

  • -2

    Ishiwara

    1. More flexibility

    And NOT more junk- and fastfood.

    Posted in: Five things expats wish Japan had

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