Japan’s Civil Society Challenges


I have been learning a lot of behind the scenes stuff on this Japan trip. I realize that many TWN readers are not into the soap opera that is Japanese politics, but I used to be a real addict and find myself easily sucked in to the complex intrigue here.
A couple of quick things.
First, I am speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. Non-members of the Club can attend my talk for 2,500 yen — but I need name and phone number emailed to me in advance (and don’t flake), and you must give the “cash” to the member sponsoring your entry tomorrow morning. Let me know at steve@thewashingtonnote.com.
I will be talking about Japan’s Historical Amnesia Problem and a bit about think tanks and why Japan really, really needs them.
Next, I will be blogging George Soros’ today at the FCCJ — so check in later for that.
And another thing, lots of people over here know about the exchange I have had with the Sankei Shimbun‘s Yoshihisa Komori. I have gotten word on his next alleged target for editorial attack.
More on that later today.
Lastly, some folks want a coffee session like I have done in other cities. Can anyone suggest something for tomorrow mid-morning, or at lunch time in either the Yurakucho area or around the Hotel Okura — or even Tokyo Station. If someone can set up a time after 10 am tomorrow and before 2, we can set this up.
— Steve Clemons


9 comments on “Japan’s Civil Society Challenges

  1. parrot says:

    For those really, really bored, here is the babelfish translation of Durf’s blog reference above. Enjoy!


  2. tzs says:

    Steve, your comment that Japan really, really needs think tanks makes absolutely no sense, if you are meaning they need to create any.
    THERE ARE THINK TANKS ALL OVER THE PLACE IN JAPAN. And I bloody well know it because a) I worked as a civil servant for the Japanese government and b) was working with quite a few of those think tanks.
    If this is your level of knowledge of what actually goes on in Japan, I don’t see why we should place any credence in anything else you say concerning the country.


  3. MP says:

    So Marilyn…which “student” post are you referring to?


  4. ucfjoustudent says:

    I actually like the Japanese palace intrigue posts as they provide a different angle to view Japanese politics and domestic issues than is usually afforded in the regular press. They are also far less opaque than your Bush/Kremlinologist post, which I concede might have been accurate, but you also may have been projecting just a tad. It’s no secret that much of 41’s staff thinks 43’s staff are incompetent — just read Woodward — but a slightly perceived dig in a poorly publicized speech does not rise to the level of true intrigue, though your enthusiasm in the comments section made up for it.


  5. Greg Diamond says:

    Wish I could make that talk tomorrow morning (or coffee afterwards), but I’ll be taking my class of first and second graders to a park in our town just outside of Narita.
    Will there be a transcript of your remarks available afterwards?


  6. Durf says:

    I’m guessing this entry in Mr. Komori’s blog is the one dealing with the “next alleged target.” Unless he’s got more than one!


  7. Marilyn says:

    Marilyn Shepherd
    Student fascinates me and I hope he/she is a young pup without a clue otherwise he/she is about as ignorant as any poster to this forum.
    Questions that he/she needs to answer are
    1. Precisely how many muslims have threatened you or your way of life as compared to the 55 million lives in Afghanistan and Iraq that have been blown to bits by the coalition of murdering morons?
    2. Do you seriously believe that Israel dumping over 1.2 million unexploded cluster mines on south Lebanon is less a crime than a suicide bombing? A recent report by the UN suggests that the concentration of cluster mines in south Lebanon is denser than all the cluster mines ever rained down on Baghdad, each mine can penetrate at least three people and this has been classified as ethnic cleansing by many senior Israelis including the IDF commander who blew the whistle calling it “insane and monstrous”, the mines were dropped after the truce had been agreed which makes it a mammoth war crime.
    3. Talking to Iraqis with family trapped in Iraq still they state clearly that the death toll by John Hopkins uni is understated if anything, not over stated. The same methodology was used to calculate the genocide in the Sudan and was immediately accepted by the world.
    Chuck, – in 1906 there were 700,000 Palestinians in Palestine and 55,000 Jews. In 1947 the UN general assembly decided to take half the land and give it to the Jews regardless of this inequity so that the Jews could invite the survivors of the holocaust.
    Every arab nation voted against the theft of their land and were over ruled in resolution 181.
    As it has been illegal since 1928 to keep land taken in war the occupied territories had to be given back to Palestine under the law.
    Instead Israel keeps stealing the land, torturing and oppressing the Palestinians and then blaming them.
    You guys need to ask yourselves if you would like to live with such crimes being inflicted on you ever day.
    It’s really funny though to hear the Israeli’s whining about a few little Katushya rockets when some revealing things have been discovered already about the “war” on Lebanon.
    1. It was planned as early as 2004 with the help of the US.
    2. the rocket launchers that Israel said were hidden in the Lebanese population were fixed into the hillsides away from the villages. The IDF claimed they didn’t know until the last three days but we know from the 4 Corners program in Aitaroun that is simply a lie.
    3. The IDF knew the soldiers were to be taken that day and didn’t stop it.
    4. The IDF claims Hezbollah were monitoring their mobile phones and everytime a commander or politician went to an IDF launching post they fired on them, not the civilians as claimed by Israel.
    What is interesting is reading the human rights reports from within Israel that show that Israel was the nation that made hostage taking legal in 1997, which is why they haven’t kicked up too much of a stink about their soldiers.
    Funny about that. Yes these facts are easy to verify – just go to haaretz


  8. bumpkis says:

    Yeah…just what the Japanese need…think tanks, so their political scene can be as screwed up as our own. Exporting western values, how has that worked for us so far?


  9. happy Australien says:

    To Mr Rudi Michelson “Privatise ABC” /THE AUSTRALIAN /I could not agree more about the ABC irrevelance.Just to add to your observation the remaining two lefties at the abc only one is in working condition.The other the red-haired wrinkled puppet at the 7.30 Report only for show off.He become an anouncer of Mr Brissender’s IDIOTIC political reporting.What is consist of laud music,funny camera angels and O reporting about what’s going on in our parliament.98%howard cock-suckers occuping ABC,it’s time for sell!But before that ,please carpet-bomb the land in peak time when all the suckers, war supporters ,David Hicks haters are INSIDE the abc !/I can vomit when hear Fran Kelly with Gerald Henderson on the Morning or Paul Barklay insidious voice on ATB orBarry Cassidy on Insiders,Outsiders,Fucksiders and 702 Rightsiders or Gerald Toth Media Zero Report or the christian Whore GerdinDoooguuuu or Tony Jones fascination with the right-wingers or the fascist Monica Attard attack on our Media Watch….When the WEST is rottin deep we have to turn to EAST…May I warmly recommend you,/Mr Rudi Michelson/ Russia Today satelite TV excellent unbiased World News program and Mr AL Gurnov’s “Spotlight”


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