Sensato's past comments

  • 6

    Sensato

    Stalin ordered Soviet troops to fight IJA in Manchuria and North Korea. He did not order to bomb Japanese civilians or seize a large piece of Japan.

    @yamaishi

    Perhaps you conveniently forgot about Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Habomai islets and Shikotan (南樺太・千島列島・歯舞群島・色丹島), which Russia expediently grabbed soon AFTER Japan's surrender. The atomic bombings and Japan's sudden surrender took them by surprise, and ruined their plans to grab much more territory.

    Hokkaido was next on that laundry list, followed by northern Honshu. If Japan's surrender had come even a few months later most definitely we would now have an east-west Japan communism-democracy divide similar to that of north-south Korea — and Japanese civilians would have fared very badly under Soviet rule.

    Posted in: Japan's view of WWII history rankles some U.S. veterans

  • 15

    Sensato

    “You can’t have a high-ranking country today if you’re not willing to face your past. They have to admit their failures. If they admit their failures, then by golly they deserve to have the best.” (Lester Tenney)

    Well said.

    It is human nature to shut out unpleasant and painful truths in favor of what feels good to believe, but I find that tendency to be particularly prevalent in Japan. This is the case whether it be the topic of WWII or garden variety social ills in today's society — a hear, see, speak no evil mentality/social narrative.

    This is one reason why nationalistic leaders capture the public's vote in Japan. They offer a narrative that is the one people sorely want to believe — the nation was a benevolent occupier of its neighbors, bringing modernization, building infrastructure and liberating them from Western colonization, with the good-natured people of Japan repaid for their kindness with civilian casualties and ungrateful neighbors. Oddly, I find that the more highly educated a person, the more likely it is that they buy into this narrative.

    Decades ago when teaching in Japan, I found that educators devoted extensive time particularly outside history class — such as in English class, extracurricular programs — to the peace, human rights curriculum in the form of education on the nuclear attacks (including expensive field trips to Hiroshima), Nazi atrocities (Ann Frank ad infinitum), American slavery, and the list goes on. However, few know anything of past slavery in Japan (conscripted laborers, sex slaves), the Kempeitai (Japan's version of the Gestapo), Unit 731 or other elements of the past that don't conveniently fit the peace/Japan as an underdog/barbarians at the gate narrative.

    Posted in: Japan's view of WWII history rankles some U.S. veterans

  • 1

    Sensato

    You certainly don't have to be a fan of K-pop (or J-pop) to appreciate this sliver of upbeat news about Japan-South Korea relations. This is in very short supply these days.

    Posted in: Korean pop music concert draws thousands of Japanese fans

  • 7

    Sensato

    So you think the children and grandchildren of war criminals are just as guilty? Why should the current innocent Japan have to apologize to them?

    @YuriOtani

    I'm pretty sure @smithjapan said nothing of the sort.

    Instead of putting words into his mouth, why don't you find something he specifically said and give clear reasons why you refute his view. That would show much more sincerity.

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

  • 1

    Sensato

    To most of the world, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were what ended WWII... [and the bombings] convinced Japan that they should never go to war again.

    That was a pretty definitive statement. It caught me off guard.

    Based on that, I would guess the author of this piece is in the camp that feels the atomic bombings were necessary and justified.

    Full disclosure, I have mixed feelings on the matter, and I have long appreciated Amy Chavez's work and contributions to Japan's English-speaking community.

    Posted in: 8 places you need to visit to really understand Japan

  • 7

    Sensato

    Abe should know that to backtrack on previous apologies is worse than Japan never having apologized at all.

    @Mlodinow

    Well said.

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

  • 1

    Sensato

    What law did he break precisely? I'd be interested to know. There are no laws governing drones, nor was the "radiation drone" carrying sufficient radiation to require a license (or we'd all need a license to carry bananas).

    @Frungy

    I have read various accounts in the past decades of Japan's various extremist groups launching projectiles at certain targets such as the Imperial Palace grounds and U.S. military bases (I read about one such incident in a government document released through WikiLeaks recently).

    I would guess this incident might be prosecuted under similar laws banning potential airborne threats, carrying fairly stiff penalties. Still, I hope this is treated as civil disobedience, which it obviously was, with a light or no penalty.

    Posted in: Fukui man arrested for landing drone on roof of Abe's office

  • 4

    Sensato

    I believe that our country... should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations.

    @Ishiwara

    I am glad you posted the apology issued by former PM Koizumi in 2001. In my opinion, it is very well worded. I just wish the current GOJ would stick to it rather than betray it, both in terms of their words and actions. They have reneged on this important mandate, and brought shame to Japan.

    Sadly, Japan as a nation, and particularly PM Abe and his cabinet, have failed miserably with respect to efforts by educators and politicians in "fac[ing] up squarely to [Japan's] past history and accurately convey[ing] it to future generations."

    Still, I for one do not want to see an apology from PM Abe because it would be a forced apology, not sincere. Also, the PM denies Japan's past misdeeds, so any acknowledgement by him of those atrocities would not reflect his true beliefs. I do not believe in demanding apologies from others.

    I must say, I find it very disappointing that many opinions I hear in Japan reflect this same denialism, and the notion that the IJA was a benevolent liberator/occupier throughout Asia, and that Japan is a misunderstood hapless victim, not aggressor, of the war. This prevailing mindset is very evident from the Japanese public's lack of outrage, and strong support for PM Abe and other nationalist leaders.

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

  • 11

    Sensato

    I utterly despise it — particularly in residential neighborhoods where this noise pollution often wakes infants/toddlers from nap time.

    If I were to make even close to the amount of noise they do, people in my neighborhood would call the police.

    Posted in: What do you think about the way many politicians campaign in Japan, driving along streets, with their name being repeated over and over again by loudpseaker?

  • 3

    Sensato

    Apparently this was at a high school in Chiba Prefecture that specializes in Agricultural studies, and this teacher's subject area was horticulture/gardening.

    He grew up in a rural farming community where this has long been their method of euthanizing owner-less kittens, as opposed to the more 'modern' methods used by animal shelters. As such, in explaining himself after he was caught he said something along the lines of "this is how we did it in my rural community back home" (「(自分の)田舎ではやっていた」).

    I agree this was a poor judgment call on the part of the teacher, but in his mind I am sure his intention was to show these future farmers 'how things are done on the farm.' People who have grown up in farming communities, and particularly on farms, would probably be somewhat less shocked by this teacher's mentality.

    Posted in: Teacher who buried kittens alive charged with violating animal cruelty law

  • 5

    Sensato

    Wish the Jgov had the same guts and authentic desire to put a stop to these disgusting groups.

    @Speed

    Obviously it is an uphill, never-ending battle, but Japan's local governments and particularly police departments have made great strides against the yakuza compared with the situation two or so decades ago. In the spirit of "credit where credit is due," they certainly deserve credit for their efforts.

    One example, it used to be that paying protection money to organized crime syndicates was a regular part of business for most retailers, these days thanks to local government and law enforcement support that is rarely the case. Some shopkeepers even have anti-organized crime stickers in their windows now (暴力団排除宣言の店 boryokudan haijo sengen no mise).

    That is something you would not have seen several decades ago, and people in Japan — ordinary citizens, small business owners, company presidents, politicians, law enforcement — are by and large much less intimidated by the yakuza than they used to be (though it is still extremely rare to here a Japanese person utter the word 'yakuza,' strangely enough, instead they will use the word 'boryokudan').

    Posted in: U.S. Treasury freezes assets of Kodo-kai yakuza group

  • 1

    Sensato

    The last time this was tried was in 1987 when Kent Gilbert, a former Mormon missionary turned big-time Japanese TV celebrity, paired up with Nissan Motors to open a chain to Taco Time (not Taco Bell) restaurants in Japan. Unfortunately for him, it flopped.

    I actually think Taco Bell might succeed this time around — but I've been wrong before.

    Anyway, here is a link to an article about the 1987 opening of Taco Time in Japan: http://goo.gl/QW8uXV

    Posted in: Run for the border

  • 2

    Sensato

    If this isn't the epitome of the passive-aggressive side of the Japanese culture, I don't know what is.

    @Tahoochi.

    Well said. And I just love that this "pervert deterrence tool" (チカン抑止ツール) comes with a very lengthy set of detailed instructions using every word processor formatting technique in the book.

    Somebody put a lot of time and energy into drawing that up. Every base covered, no stone left unturned. How could it possibly flop?

    Posted in: New anti-chikan cell phone stickers let you mark train gropers with sign of shame

  • 9

    Sensato

    "I can never forget their cruelty and inhumanity, not only to us the enemy, but also among themselves." (Norman Baker)

    Poignant remark that really sums up the mindset at the time. Not only did Japan's enemies suffer at the hands of the IJA, and even those who were ostensibly allies in countries occupied by Japan and the Japanese themselves.

    The irony here is that the "virulent propaganda" Baker "had been fed" about the fanatical mentality was spot on. Meanwhile. the propaganda fed to Shimabukuro about inevitable rape/torture if taken prisoner, and the IJA's telling people to "bite of their own tongues" as a means of ending their life to avoid capture, was largely untrue, and a reflection of that fanatical mentality.

    While families sending U.S. soldiers off to the war were pleading with them to come back alive, in Japan they were told to sacrifice their lives for the country and that coming back home alive would bring shame on them and their families.

    Posted in: Iwo Jima vet, Okinawa survivor wrestle with WWII legacy

  • 0

    Sensato

    Se non è vero è ben trovato

    @Fighting

    It's true, and fairly well documented.

    You can do a Google search of "Ranald Macdonald" (in quotes, be careful of the spelling) and "Otokichi" for more information from Wikipedia and other sources.

    Posted in: Fish in tsunami debris boat quarantined in U.S.

  • 2

    Sensato

    the rest of those fish were euthanized to minimize the risk of introducing invasive species to Washington

    I have some doubts about this supposed threat of invasive species that gets mentioned nearly every time debris from Japan's tsunami washes up on the North American west coast.

    Stuff from Japan, and even people, have been washing up on those shores for thousands of years thanks to the direction of the ocean current.

    One example, in 1834 three fishermen from Japan (Iwakichi, Kyukichi and Otokichi) washed up on a beach at the northwest corner of Washington state. They were taken to Fort Vancouver where they met Ranald MacDonald (no relation to the Golden Arches), the son of a Scottish father based in Fort Astoria and a Chinook Indian mother. Ranald then became obsessed with the idea of visiting Japan, and long story short, he ended up in Japan in 1848 (before Perry) and ended up teaching English to around 14 samurai. He is credited as being the first American English teacher in Japan.

    Posted in: Fish in tsunami debris boat quarantined in U.S.

  • 3

    Sensato

    I wonder does this mean that companies with ties to the LDP will start buying media companies that focus on the foreign community in Japan to control the information that reaches the foreign population.

    @Silvafan

    What you say is very worrisome, and I am pretty sure you are referring to this: On April 7, Fuji Media Holdings (Fuji TV) purchased the operator of this website and other sites aimed at Japan's international community.

    A Google search on Fuji TV shows that in the past the broadcaster has been described as often espousing views of a certain conservative newspaper and providing "the most favorable news coverage" toward the LDP.

    Also, Fuji TV had a talk show in 2001 that allowed LDP conservatives such as Shintaro Ishihara to "present their views unchallenged."

    Posted in: Summons of Japanese media raises complaints of interference

  • 9

    Sensato

    This is right out of the pages of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

    Their euphemisms astound me: “correct understanding by the international society,” and “fair coverage [of the Abe government by the Japanese and foreign media]."

    This is all part of Abe's "beautiful country, Japan (「美しい国、日本」)" crusade. He is using the LDP thugs to intimidate and quell dissent at home, and the MOFA censorship gestapo to harass journalists, educators and politicians abroad.

    I would be curious to hear how this Brave New World under Abe has impacted Japan Today.

    Posted in: Summons of Japanese media raises complaints of interference

  • 7

    Sensato

    These items belong with the families, or in museums so future generations can learn from them.” (Democratic Rep. Mike Honda)

    The U.S. west coast has some outstanding museums and exhibits dedicated to the Nikkei WWII experience. I hope these items end up in that sort of setting.

    One such museum that immediately comes to mind is the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland, Oregon: http://www.oregonnikkei.org/

    Posted in: Backlash cancels auction of Japanese internment camp items

  • 5

    Sensato

    “If the ongoing media self-censorship continues and there is only news that serves the government’s interest, people will be brainwashed,”

    Too late. They already are.

    Posted in: Summons of Japanese media raises complaints of interference

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