Book Authored (ISBN-10: 0824821599)

Book Authored (ISBN-10: 0824821599)
Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations: Irredentism and the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands (ISBN-10: 0824824938)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

TPP Won’t Work/Third-Class Politicians Only Provide the Third-Rate Policy-XVIII

The name of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) has not received the public spotlight recently.  Created in 2005 by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore, TTP is gaining more popularity.  In 2009, the United States expressed interest in joining TPP; then Japanese also started to follow the American’s lead. Since China began to have FTA with ASEAN about one year ago, the White House rushed into the Asian region to get its pie by engaging TPP against China’s action. Luckily, the US and Russia were invited into the East Asian Summit (EAS) in 2009. By now, there are so many duplicate groups in the Asian region, such as ASEAN, ASEAN+3, ASEAN + 6, APEC, ASEM, EAS, and TPP, no group will work because the agriculture is major obstacle. As long as the United States, one of the biggest agricultural exporters, involves the Asian region, no group will work out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Third United Front CCP-KMT-XIV

On 27 November 2010, local elections: including five mayoral races, was carried out in Taiwan. Kuomintang (KMT), the ruling party on the islands, won three of the five races: Taipei, Xinbei, and Taichung. The vision of President Ma Ying-jeou has put the Taiwan Islands in the long-run perspective – opening to China, boosting Taiwan economy. After losing the election, Tsai Ingwen of DPP, the opposition leader, even proposed to interact with China in the future. Unlike Obama in the US, Ma put people’s life first – enhancing economic growth, when he took the presidency about two years ago. Ma’s government has concluded a series of agreements with Beijing including the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECEFA), or so-called FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between two countries. Since the mainland China insists on sovereignty of Taiwan, it cannot call FTA, but ECEFA. Since ECFA was signed in June, according to the Taiwan media, the stock market has risen 12 percent and economy grew 9.8 percent in the third quarter (compared to the previous year). If the economy growth in Taiwan is continuing, according to Japan Times, it may reach 10 percent this year, setting the highest record since 1988.
Both Ma and Obama were educated in Harvard University, but the political leaderships took two different directions. On the one hand, one might try to make his personal fame in the historical book. On the other hand, one is trying to improve people’s life better in the economy book. Which one would you like?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Easing of Visa Rules by Japan

Starting in 1 July 2010, the Japanese government began to ease its visa requirements for Chinese tourists. Now, any Chinese who has a gold visa card or annual income of 60,000 yuan (about 800,000 Japanese yen), is able to get a tourist visa to visit Japan. This will make an estimated 16 million more households eligible to get a visa to Japan (Japan Times). This is a big change to treatment of tourists over the past decade.
In September 2000, Japan started to accept Chinese visitors, but only 5-40 people in a group from the Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong Province. In September 2004, the Japanese government also started to permit Chinese tourist from Tianjin city, Suzhou, Zhejiang, Shangdong, and Liaoning Provinces. In 2005, Japan allowed rich people from all of China to travel to Japan. In 2005, Japan also allowed 2-3 people to obtain “family tourist visas” if they had an annual income of 270,000 yuan (about 3,500,000 Japanese yen). In addition, both Chinese and Japanese sides need to accommodate tour guides in the Chinese tourists. Yet, there is almost no Chinese want to visit Japan. In July 2007, the Japanese began to issue an individual visa, not group visa with citizens in Beijing, Shanghai, Guanzhou cities only with annual income 250,000 yuan (about 3,200,000 Japanese yen). In July 2009, Japan began granting travel visas to individual wealthy Chinese (Kyodo News).
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has landed its biggest tourist group ever – 10,000 Chinese employees and their relatives of Pro-Health, a Beijing-based health product manufacturing and sales company (but the group cancelled their trip to Japan in the middle of September due to the territorial disputes in the East China Sea). Similarly, the South Korean government also announced that it would grant multi-visa for the Chinese tourists on 1 July 2010. Every country is trying to get the rich Chinese to spend their money on tourism. By 27 September, Japan Tourism Agency reported that the number of foreign visitors came to 830,000, breaking the previous record of 757,000 set in 2007.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The 99.9% Guilty under the Japanese Judicial System

In 2009, welfare official Muraki Atsuko was arrested for allegedly attempting to abuse the postage discount system for the disabled. Muraki was in custody for 163 days, which should be regarded as an infringement on human rights. On 10 September 2010, the Osaka District Court acquitted her after rejecting crucial evidence submitted by the Osaka Special Investigation Squad. As soon as Muraki was acquitted in the case, the subordinate prosecutor Maeda Tsunehiko was arrested because he changed the data on a floppy disk that prosecutors confiscated in the case against Muraki. Later, Maeda’s boss, two prosecutors: chief of the special investigation squad Otsubo Hiromichi and his deputy, Saga Motoaki, were arrested. This incident is just the tip of the iceberg in the Japanese judicial system.
In the Japanese judicial system, only three cities: Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, have special investigation squads, which have excessively power to prosecute anyone in Japan including current powerful politicians as was the case in the Ozawa Ichiro case. As Japan Times describes, “This partly explains why 99.9 percent of defendants in criminal cases are found guilty and why the process has become a hothouse for generating false charges (26 November 2010).” In Japan, as long as the special investigation squad manages to get a suspect to sign a deposition, courts will find him/her guilty. This unethical and illegal technique used by prosecutors in Japan is prevalent and explains why 99.9 percent of defendants will be found guilty. Japanese judges must stop relying on depositions by the prosecutors so heavily and should follow the law. According to the Japanese Constitution Article 76, “All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this Constitution and the laws.” Ironically, it seems to everyone that judges in Japan do not know the law. How can all defendants get 99.9 % guilty rate unless prosecutors do not cook the book.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Should NATO Exist?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created after WWII in order to counterattack the Soviet bloc; it was the legacy of the Cold War. In 1989, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact broke down. However, NATO is still surviving without purpose. On November 19-20, North America and Western Europe held their “summit” in Lisbon to discuss the “new strategic concept” for next ten-years. At the end of the summit, NATO agreed with building a missile defense system, covering all NATO nations and American continents with cooperation with Russia. Not all support the summit’s outcome. As the Japan Times (23 November 2010) states, “Can Europe afford NATO’s missile shield?” By now, with most NATO countries in bad financial crisis people are wondering why they need the missile defense system? Which countries will launch the missiles against Western European countries? Iran? China? North Korea? As the Financial Times describes its title “uncertain destination of Atlantic journey (16 November 2010),” the life of NATO might be uncertain. The good news coming out the summit is that NATO will pull out from Afghanistan by 2014.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Germany Finished Its Reparation of War Payments/Learning History-XIV

On the 20th anniversary of German reunification, Germany finally paid off the last of its payment relating to WWI (1914-1918). The final 70 million euro ($94 million) installment closed a 92-year chapter of the First World War. Under the Treaty of Versailles, a peace settlement signed by Germany and the Allies in 1919, Germany took sole responsibility for WWI and was required to pay reparation for the damage done to the Allied countries and people between 1919 and 1918. The sum of the payment was fixed at some 6.6 billion pounds in 1921, and Germany was granted loans to meet its reparation payments under the Dawes Plan in 1924 and the Young Plan in 1929. This heavy burden unleashed massive resentment in Germany and helped to fuel the rise in power of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party, which led into the World War Two. Germany stopped paying the reparations under the Nazis, and the Western Allies including US and France, reached a new agreement regarding Germany’s foreign debts in 1953 (Windsor Star 29 September 2010).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Currency Wars-III/Internationalization of Renminbi-XIII

Once the Federal Reserve decided to keep printing green dollars, the central banks of other nations including the Bank of Japan (BOJ) reluctantly are following suit. On 5 October 2010, BOJ decided to effectively return to a zero-interest rate policy by lowering its key rate from around 0.1 percent to a range between zero percent and 0.1 percent (Japan Times 7 October 2010). In September, the Japanese government spent more than 2 trillion yen to weaken the yen in the foreign-exchange market. Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega warns that the world is in an “international currency war.” Both India and Thailand complain that their countries face difficulties of a strong currency. The main reason for the currency wars is the result of the G2’s (United States and China) continued fight over the undervalued Renminbi. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao rejected pressure from the U.S. House of Representative’s bill which will allow U.S. companies to petition for duties on imports from China to compensate for China’s undervalued currency. In Brussels, Wen stated, “Do not pressure us on the Renminbi rate (Financial Times 6 October 2010).” Eventually, both EU and China broke down their talk regarding the foreign exchange rate. The G2’s currency wars will continue for a while because China is not an American puppet as Japan was in the 1980s allowing appreciation of the Japanese yen.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

U.S. Apologizes/Learning History-XIII

"We are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health," indicated Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen on 24 September 2010. President Obama also called Guatemala’s president Alvaro Colom to apologize. About 60 years ago, American scientists deliberately infected prisoners and patients in a mental hospital in Guatemala with syphilis (Japan Times 3 October 2010). The N1H-funded experiment, which ran from 1946 to 1948, was uncovered by a Wellesley College medical historian. When will the Japanese government apology to the Chinese for Unit 731 which deliberately infected Chinese people in northeast China?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Soros’s Chance/Third-Class Politicians Only Provide the Third-Rate Policy-XVII

It was a legendary story on Wall Street when George Soros made $1 billion, breaking the Bank of England’s defense of the pound in 1992. On 15 September 2010, Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku Yoshito stated, “The Finance Ministry considers 82 yen per dollar the level at which it will fight markets (Yomiuri Shimbun 16 September 2010)” after the Japanese government intervened into the market to stop the appreciation of yen. The head of Your Party, Watanabe Yoshimi, called Sengoku stupid. Now, George Soros has chance to bankrupt Bank of Japan because he knows that the defense line of the Japanese yen is 82 yen.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Russian New War Anniversary

On 2 September 1945, Japan signed a surrender document aboard the U.S. battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. In 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law a bill designating September 2 as “the anniversary of the end of World War II”. The State Duma (lower house) on July 8 and the Federation Council (upper house) on July 14, had approved the bill. It is obvious that the bill commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Japan on September 2, 1945. The Japanese right-wing did not like the bill.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Laodicean Politics in Japan-XI

On 29 August 2010, it was a century that Japan annexed Korea. Under the annexation treaty, the Korean emperor handed sovereign power of his country to the Japanese emperor “completely and forever.” As a result, Korea became a colony of Japan until 1945 when Japan was defeated in WWII. During the Japanese colonization, Korean hangul was prohibited, and Japanized names were given to the Koreans. In a August 10 Statement by Kan, the Japanese prime minister apologized for Japan’s colonial rule of the peninsula from 1910 to 1945, but he did not go as far as Korean people expected. His statement made no reference that the 1901 Korean Annexation Treaty was voided because it was concluded by force. (Japan Times 23 August 2010).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Futenma Airbase-IV/Laodicean Politics in Japan-X

On 12 September 2010, the Nago assembly changed the balance between pro-and con- Futenma Airbase. Before the election, 12 assembly members were pro-Futenma; 12 were anti-Futenma Airbase; and three were neutral. After the local election, 16 anti-Futenma Airbase candidates were elected against 11 pro-Futenma Airbase candidates. As a result, it is almost impossible for the Japanese government to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan to Henoko in the Nago area. If there is no agreement from the Nago assembly; there will be no future for Futenma’s relocation

Monday, January 3, 2011

Japan Extends ADIZ

On 25 June 2010, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) informed Taiwan that Japan would extend its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) from Yonaguni Island westward. An ADIZ is an area of airspace defined by a country within which identification and location of an aircraft (both civilian and military) is required. Aircraft entering an ADIZ are required to radio their intended course and destination to the country’s air traffic controller. “The Republic of China government finds Japan’s decision unacceptable because the rezoning involves Taiwan’s airspace and the integrity of its national sovereignty,” complained by Taiwan. The announcement by Tokyo is coming four days before Taiwan and the mainland China signed an ECFA, or FTA treaty. Why?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

UNU/Third-Class Politicians Only Provide the Third-Rate Policy-XVI

Probably many do not know that the United Nations has a University in Tokyo, the United Nations University (UNU) in Aoyama area. UNU was created in 1973 by the Japanese government because Japanese bureaucrats believe that UNU would promote leadership of Japan on the global stage. Nearly forty years later, UNU has become one of the biggest wastes for Japanese taxpayers. UNU has been far from a success. One does not see any citations from the UNU press and it has not created any important scholars for the academic community. In September 2010, UNU will recruit students from developing countries to study at the graduate school (Asahi Shimbun 31 August 2010). For the Japanese taxpayer now is not the time to expand the UNA, but rather time to shut it down to prevent further waste of taxpayer money.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

DPJ Compensation/Learning History-XII

The LDP government refused to give any compensation to those who suffered from Japan’s war for years. On 15 June 2010, however, on the last day of the Diet session, the DPJ voted to enact a bill to give a one-shot allowance to Japanese who were interned in Siberia, Mongolia, and Central Asia and used as forced labor after World War II. Among some 600,000 interned POWs, nearly 80,000 are still alive, eligible to receive compensation ranging from 250,000 to 1.5 million yen depending on the length of their internment. The families of those who died earlier will also be entitled to the allowance. Japanese bureaucrats, in particular from the Finance Ministry and the Internal Affairs Ministry, strongly opposed the latest bill because the Japanese bureaucrats fear that it might trigger other war-related compensation demands (Japan Times).

Incubator Bank/Third-Class Politicians Only Provide the Third-Rate Policy-XV

Few people know the name of the Incubator Bank in Japan. In 2004, the bank was established by Kimura Takeshi, a former Bank of Japan official and key adviser to financial services minister Takenaka Heizo during the Koizumi Junichiro Administration. Takenaka approved the establishment of the Incubator Bank. The purpose of the bank was to offer loans to small and midsize firms at interest rates slightly higher than what large banks charged without requiring security (Japan Times 18 September 2010). After large banks began to provide loans to small and midsize firms, the Incubator Bank experienced difficulties. Eventually, the Incubator Bank started buying loans claims held by SFCG Co., which entered bankruptcy. By August, the Incubator Bank had 180.4 billion in liabilities in excess of its assets. In July, both the former chairman of the bank, Kimura Takeshi and the President of the bank, Nishino Tatsuya, were arrested on suspicion of obstructing an audit of the bank by the Financial Services Agency. On 10 September 2010, the Incubator Bank announced that it was filing for bankruptcy protection. It is first time in Japanese history that the government invoked the limited deposit protection plan which was introduced in 1971. Under the plan, deposits of up to 10 million, plus interest will be refunded. As of September 10, about 3,423 people (2.7%), having a total of approximately 1.1 billion at the bank, will not get full refunds since they deposited more than 10 million yen (Japan Times). Who will pay refund this money? Kimura? Takenaka? or/and Koizumi?