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[wpaudio url=”https://www.btbpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Introducing-Polls.mp3″ text=”Click to listen”]

Last week I added a new feature to the blog that allows all of you to answer a question or “vote” by clicking on a button in the entry. I thought it might be fun to use when we discuss “hot topics” that people have different opinions about.

As you all know, Mr Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, has stepped down in order to set up a new political party. There is a lot of talk of him forming a coalition with some other right-wing parties including the one started by the Governor of Osaka. As I have said before, I worry a lot about the fact that these right-wing politicians are becoming so popular in Japan. This has nothing to do with the fact that I live in Japan. I don’t really like right-wing politicians in America, in Europe, or in my own country, either!

I know we have discussed this a bit before, but I thought it would be a good topic to test the new poll feature. Please choose the answer that best reflects your opinion and click on that button. After that, you have to click on the main “Vote” button for your vote to be counted. You can only choose one answer, and you can only vote once (I think!) When you vote, I think you will be able to see what percentage of people have voted for each answer. Because I have never used this feature before, I’m not entirely sure how it works myself, but let’s give it a try and see how we get on. Of course, you can still post comments on the topic as normal.

Look forward to seeing your votes!

[polldaddy poll=6654406]

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

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70 Comments

  1. Biwa on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 02:01 PM

    Hi David,

    You’re a very techy-man! I’d like to vote after I post the translation. Do you mind if I post it?



  2. David Barker on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 02:17 PM

    Hi Biwa

    Please go ahead.

    I’m not very techy, though. I pay someone to do all the tech stuff on this site. I don’t really understand most of it.



  3. Biwa on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 02:23 PM

    新・投票(調査)機能の導入!

    Last week I added a new feature to the blog that allows all of you to answer a question or “vote” by clicking on a button in the entry. I thought it might be fun to use when we discuss “hot topics” that people have different opinions about.

    このブログに新しい機能を加えました。皆さんが、エントリーにあるボタンをクリックすることで質問に答えられる(または投票出来る)というものです。それぞれの意見が違ってくるような「ホットな話題」を話し合う時に面白いと思いましたので。

    As you all know, Mr Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, has stepped down in order to set up a new political party. There is a lot of talk of him forming a coalition with some other right-wing parties including the one started by the Governor of Osaka.

    ご存じのように前の都知事の石原氏は新政党を設立するために辞任をしました。大阪府知事による新政党などをはじめ他の右翼系の政党との連立を図る彼については話題を欠きません。

    As I have said before, I worry a lot about the fact that these right-wing politicians are becoming so popular in Japan. This has nothing to do with the fact that I live in Japan. I don’t really like right-wing politicians in America, in Europe, or in my own country, either!

    以前にも言った通り、日本の中で彼ら右翼系の政治家たちの人気が高まって行くことが大変心配です。これは私が日本に住んでいることとは関係がありません。アメリカ、ヨーロッパ、自分の出身国であろうと、右翼系の政治家は好きではありません!

    I know we have discussed this a bit before, but I thought it would be a good topic to test the new poll feature.

    この話題については少し前にも話し合ったのは承知の上ですが、新しい機能を試すのにもってこいの話題だと思います。

    Please choose the answer that best reflects your opinion and click on that button. After that, you have to click on the main “Vote” button for your vote to be counted. You can only choose one answer, and you can only vote once (I think!)

    自分の意見に最も近い答えのボタンをクリックしてください。その後、あなたの投票を有効にするためにメインのVoteボタンをクリックしてください。答えは一つだけ、投票も一回だけ(の筈!)です。

    When you vote, I think you will be able to see what percentage of people have voted for each answer. Because I have never used this feature before, I’m not entirely sure how it works myself, but let’s give it a try and see how we get on. Of course, you can still post comments on the topic as normal.

    投票するときに、それぞれの意見にどれくらいの人が投票したかが分かる筈です。何せ新しい試みですので私自身どんな風に機能するか分かりませんが、とりあえずやってみましょう。もちろん、いつも通りコメントすることも出来ます。
    Look forward to seeing your votes!
    皆さんの投票、楽しみにしてます!



  4. Biwa on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 02:36 PM

    Hi David,

    I thought you were doing the tech stuff all by yourself! Anyway, you love motor bikes, have an Android tablet and an iPhone. That’s techy enough for me!

    Hi everyone,

    It’s really scary that those noisy right-wingers might get more and more powerful, and become our leader some day. If they do, it will definitely be the wrong way for us to go!



  5. Anne on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 03:58 PM

    Hi kattie,

    Thank you for your kind words. I think I can get it, but when it is difficult, I’ll send you an e-mail for help.

    Hi David and everyone,

    Ah, again controversial topic! Mr.Ishihara is in the center of political concern together with Mr.Hashimoto at the moment.
    Voting system sounds great and interesting, but sorry to say, I can’t find an option I want to click.
    I can’t see what he is going to do, but one thing for sure is recent situation in Japan’s policy is just “chaos.”

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  6. YU on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 05:24 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I’m back from my son’s kindergarten interview.
    My son was so nervous that he couldn’t say even his name properly, but he was permitted to enter the kindergarten fortunately. I’m relieved! 🙂
    After the interview, he had measure him for his kindergarten uniforms and gym clothes. Do you know how much they cost all together? About 40,000yen! Apart from that, I payed 80,000yen for the entrance fee today. I wonder how much more I will need to pay before he starts kindergarten! LOL!!

    息子の入園面接が終了しました。
    息子は緊張し過ぎて名前さえまともに言えない有様でしたが何とか入園許可をもらい、ホッとしています。
    面接の後、制服と体操服の採寸をしてもらいました。全部でいくらだと思います?なんと4万円です!そのほかにも入園金8万円を今日払いました。あ~、入園するまでにいったいあといくらかかるのかしら~。。。。恐ろしい。。。

    Regarding this week’s topic, as I mentioned many times before, I don’t like Mr.Ishihara. Like David and Biwa, I worry a lot about the fact that right-wing ploticians like him are getting popular in Japan, too.
    However, I guess the fact is that almost all Japanese people who vote for him(or other right-wing politicians) have no sense of voting for right-wing politicians. Or there are any number of Japanese people who even don’t know what right/left-wingers mean. I don’t think they are to blame, but the wrong history education in Japan is one of the reasons that causes the dim awareness of that among the Japanese.

    何度も述べてきたように石原氏は好きではありません。右に傾いた政治家たちの人気が高まってきているのはとても心配です。
    でも実のところ石原氏やその他の右寄りの政治家たちに投票している日本人のほとんどは右寄りの政治家に投票しているなんて意識はないんじゃないかな?ていうか右翼、左翼が何か分からない日本人はごまんといるのでは?私は責められるべきは彼らではなく、むしろ日本の間違った歴史教育がそういう日本人の意識の低さを生んでいる原因のひとつなのではないでしょうか。

    Hi Kimi and Anne,

    Yes, I bought a Japanese version and think I made the right decision. Althogh I don’t have the English version, I guess Japanese version is easier to understand for native speakers of Japanese as David recommended.



  7. YU on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 05:32 PM

    すみません、日本語がヘンでした。

    >私は責められるべきは彼らではなく、むしろ日本の間違った歴史教育がそういう日本人の意識の低さを生んでいる原因のひとつなのではないでしょうか。

    責められるべきは彼らではなく、そういう日本人の意識の低さを生んでいる原因のひとつは日本の間違った歴史教育なのではないか、と思います。



  8. Kimi on Monday November 5th, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I don’t think love of country is wrong, but I am worried that badly-balanced politicians play a leading role in Japan. I am concerned that a relationship with other countries is worsened. I hope each individual will pounder over our country’s future and vote.
    私は愛国心が悪いとは思いませんが、バランス能力に欠けた政治家が国を主導することに不安を隠せません。海外諸国との関係悪化を招くのではないかと危惧しています。一人一人が将来のことをよく考え、投票することを望んでいます。

    Hi Anne and YU,

    Thank you for your advice. I am thinking of buying Japanese version book.
    Anne, thank you for the link about 吹き抜け!

    Kimi



  9. Fumie on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 06:08 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I just finished voting. I’ve never do this on web so it’s interesting, especially as we can see what percntage of people have voted for each answer. I think we need strong politicians but I’m not support Mr.Ishihara. His tactics are too controversial and he is too old to do an important job.

    Hi YU,

    Congratulations! Your son succeeded in the kindergarten’s interview although you have to pay lots of money from now on. We will have to pay a huge tuition for my son’s college too. I would vote any politicians who decide to make education fees (kindergartens, private highschools, private colleges) free.

    Fumie



  10. Biwa on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 07:44 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I think some of those right-wingers are quite fluent speakers (or shall I say too noisy?), and hence they just grab people’s hearts dissatisfied with the current government. What is worse, they appear too much on the media.



  11. Anne on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 08:11 AM

    Hi YU,

    Congratulations!
    No wonder your son got nervous at the interview.
    This is the first step for your son to experience new world. By the way, 80,000 yen for the entrance fee? It cost much.

    Anne



  12. Biwa on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 08:37 AM

    Hi everyone,

    By the way, did you notice that the audio file was a bit different from what David wrote in the entry? It’s not really different, but he added a phrase. (big hint: it’s in the second paragraph)



  13. YU on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 08:57 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    He added “To be honest,” before “I don’t really like…”, right?
    I have a feeling that he says something between “like” and “right-wing politicians”, too, but it must be my 空耳!



  14. Biwa on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 09:02 AM

    Hi YU,

    Bingo! I think he added “the” between “like” and “right-wing polititians”.



  15. Biwa on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 09:17 AM

    Hi YU,

    Ooops! I’ve misspelled “politicians”.
    By the way, can I ask you the difference between “unsatisfied” and “dissatisfied”?



  16. Biwa on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Hi YU,

    I couldn’t get the difference in the dictionaries, so I googled. I’m not sure if the commenters are right, but many say like this: “dissatisfied” means you’ve got it or tried it, but didn’t like it, “unsatisfied” means you haven’t got it yet.
    “dissatisfied”はすでに手に入れたり体験したけれど満足できなかったことを指すのに対し、”unsatisfied”は未だ手に入っていないことに対する不満を指す、と理解しましたがどうなのでしょう・・・。



  17. YU on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Hi Fumie and Anne,

    Thank you!
    Actually, the amount of the entrance fee is the same at any kindergarten in my city(FYI, our neigbouring city’s fee is even 100,000yen!!), but as Anne mentioned, it’s indeed too much for families like us who can’t get any financial support from their grandparents….
    School fee in Japan is too expensive. That is one of the reasons why I didn’t want to have more children. I wonder why our government still continues to ignore the fact.

    By the way, Ms. Tanaka, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology didn’t approve the plan for building three new universities (in three different prefectures). Apparently, that is an unprecedented news. Now she meets with a strong opposition from the three governers who plan to build them. The number of children is declining, but why do we need to build more universities!? I really wonder… According to Ms.Tanaka, the fact that there’re too many universities for too few number of children brings the deterioration in the quality of university students in Japan. Sorry to say this, but what she says is right, I think.

    Hi Biwa,

    > I think he added “the” between “like” and “right-wing polititians”.

    You have good ears!
    I listened to the part again and again after I read your comment, but it still doesn’t “the” to me!

    >“dissatisfied”はすでに手に入れたり体験したけれど満足できなかったことを指すのに対し、”unsatisfied”は未だ手に入っていないことに対する不満を指す、と理解しましたがどうなのでしょう・・・。

    My dictionary (Oxford E-E dictionary) says almost the same ;

    – “unsatisfied” : not having got what you hoped; not having had enough of sth

    – “dissatisfied” : not happy or satisfied with sb/sth

    e.g.)
    * dissatisfied customers ~ with sb/sth
    * If you are dissatisfied with our service, please write to the manager.



  18. rinko on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Hi David and everyone.
    I’ve just voted now.This system is a very nice and interesting idea!
    About this week’s topic,actually I was surprised when it’s announced that Mr.Ishihara resigned his job and was going to start a new party.I had thought he kept putting pressure on Japanese government as Governor of Tokyo because he had enough power to do that.
    石原氏が知事を辞職したのは意外でした。あのままの地位で、国に圧力をかける力も十分あったので。。。

    Although I was for his action about the issue of Senkaku Islands,I don’t think I will support his new party.It’s not understandable that he is thinking of a coalition with Mr Hashimoto despite that some of their policies are completely different.
    尖閣問題の際に石原氏が取った行動は支持しますが、彼が立ち上げる新党は支持しないと思います。いくつもの政策方針が違うにも関わらず、橋下氏と連携を図ろうとしているのはあまり理解できません。

    As for “right wing parties”, I totally agree with YU on the opinion that most people have no sense of voting for right wing politicians in Japan.There are much more people thinking “No one can change Japan” than before.So someone who is outstanding and known well,like Mr Ishihara and Mr hashimoto, can get their votes quite easily,I think.
    右翼に関しては、YUと全く見解が同じで、石原氏を右翼と見なして彼に投票する人はあまりいないのでは・・・?彼らのように名が知れていて、行動が際立っている人たちは、”誰が政治をやっても同じ”と考える無党派の票を単に得やすいのだと思います。

    Hi YU
    Conguratulations! I hope your son will have great days next year!

    Have a nice day everyone!

    rinko



  19. YU on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Hi rinko,

    > Although I was for his action about the issue of Senkaku Islands

    This ways of thinking among Japanese people are all Greek to me, I’m afraid. I’m not blaming you, rinko, but I simply can’t understand why lots of Japanese people still believe that Mr.Ishihara has done something great for the Senkaku issue. What on earth did he do actually? He has done nothing but destroying the relationship with our neighbouring countries and Japanese companies in China, I think….

    こういう日本人の考え方って私にとってまったくちんぷんかんぷんです。rinkoのことを責めているわけでは全然なく、ただ単純になぜ多くの日本人が「石原氏が尖閣問題に関して何かいいことをした」、という風にいまだに信じ込んでいるのか分からないだけです。一体彼が何をしたというのですか?近隣諸国との関係を悪化させ、中国にある日本企業を破壊しただけにすぎない、と私は思いますけど。。。



  20. Biwa on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 01:05 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for looking into your dictionary. Mine is published from Longman but it didn’t have enough explanation. I think I’d better get another one!
    For the “listening”, I think David’s stuttering a bit, so maybe my imagination makes me think there’s a “the” between.

    I’m also curious about what will happen to Ms. Tanaka and those three universities. I understand what she says, but rejecting the establishment of those universities was beyond her authority, I guess. She should have suggested changes for the system, but she shouldn’t have rejected those applications individually. I think a big fuss over this issue is inevitable.



  21. Biwa on Tuesday November 6th, 2012 at 01:35 PM

    Sorry, it’s me again. I think I should have said “looking up your dictionary”. So many mistakes:(



  22. Biwa on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 07:49 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Can I ask you a question?
    My sons were talking about the US presidential election this morning and asked me how to call “白人” and “黒人” in English. I know people avoid to label people that way, and I told them about it. Still, I’d like to ask you what words would you use.



  23. maki on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 01:14 PM

    Hi, Nice to meet to you.
    My name is Maki. This is my first post on this website.
    I think the economic recession causes the rise of
    right-wing parties. People don’t afford to take care of other country. However, if right-wing parties win some elections, there will be much worse relationship among Japan’s neighboring countries and it will become an obstacle to recover the economic recession.
    初めて投稿しますmakiです。英語での説明が不十分かもしれないので、日本語でも書きます。
    右翼が台頭してきているのは不景気のせいだと思っています。不景気のため、みんなが他の国に気配りができなくなってきているのではないでしょうか。ただし、もし右翼が選挙に勝ったとしても、隣国との関係はずっと悪くなり、景気回復の障害になるのではと思います。



  24. David Barker on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 02:07 PM

    Hi Maki,

    Thanks for joining us. I think you are right about the connection between economic conditions and the rise of right-wing parties. The same thing is happening in Greece, Spain, and Italy.



  25. David Barker on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 02:13 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    That is a complicated question. Some people still say “whites” and “blacks,” but that doesn’t cover people of mixed race or people of South American origin. Those terms also have negative connotations for some people.

    In America, the term “African-American” is often used to mean “black,” but that only covers black people who have African heritage.

    Actually, I have a friend from Uganda who lives in Japan, so I will ask him for his opinion about the best way to translate 黒人. (I think “white” is fine for 白人.)



  26. Biwa on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 03:21 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks, I’d be very pleased if you could do so.
    As you said, I heard the adults using “African Americans” or “Latin Americans”, but how would you call those people who live in Europe? Do you call them like “African English” or “African French”?
    I remeber a classmate who had African heritage, I think, and she said she didn’t like to be called “black”. One day, she told us to call her “chocolate brown” which we loved to call. I still love that but I’m sure it will be a lot weird if I say it now, so I just wanted to know which terms I should use.

    Hi Maki,

    Nice to have you with us!
    I agree! I also feel very upset by the ways those right-wingers prompt peoples fear of being looked down by neighboring countries. Again, they’re really good at grabbing people’s hearts.
    初めまして!本当にMakiの言う通りだと思います。右翼系の人たちが、人々の「黙っていては隣国にバカにされる」という不安を煽るやり方に腹が立ちます。繰り返しになりますが、本当に人の心を掴むのが(腹立たしいことに)上手いのだと思います。



  27. rinko on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 03:31 PM

    Hi YU
    Thank you for your comment.
    >I’m afraid. I’m not blaming you, rinko,

    Of course I know what you mean!And this is my another honest opnion.

    >simply can’t understand why lots of Japanese people still believe that Mr.Ishihara has done something great for the Senkaku issue.

    It’s starange for me that people who had surpported Mr Ishihara’s action about the Islands turned to blame him after the riots occured in China.I wonder if they would have been still for hime if there had not been any difficulty between two countries.
    私からすると、最初石原氏の行為を支持していた人が、中国で暴動が起こったとたんに、批判し出したのはとても不思議です。もし事態が深刻にならなかったら、きっとそのまま彼の行為を支持していたのだろうし。(もちろん最初から批判していたのなら別ですが・・・)

    Also if no one had done anything to this,I think there would’ve been more serious confliction on the sea and the situation could have been worse in a way. And I’m sure people would have attacked the prime minister for doing nothing as always.I think this repetition is the main reason of that Japanese prime minister changes so often in a short period and I don’t like that.I think some politicians who blamed this nationalization should have thought about an another wise way and shown us that.
    もしこの件について誰も何もしていなかったら、両国の海上でのせめぎあいは続いて、別な意味で深刻化していたと思います。そうなると、また首相が批判をあびるといういつもどおりの展開。こういうことの繰り返しで、短期間に首相がコロコロ変わり続けるのは、本当に疑問です。島の国有化を批判するのなら、他の政治家たちは他の得策を考え、それを示すべきだったと思います。

    Of course it’s very dangerous that Japan is provoked to do something about this issue,but as I mentioned, “nothing to do but seeing” causes another serious problem.

    Hi Maki
    Nice to have you with us!
    >I think the economic recession causes the rise of
    right-wing parties

    I agree with you.
    Also I think rapid economic recession of Japan causing the lose of balance in international relations.

    Have a nice day everyone!

    rinko



  28. rinko on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 03:36 PM

    correction:

    recession of Japan causing

    →recession of Japan is causing

    Sorry!

    rinko



  29. David Barker on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 03:38 PM

    I just saw that Obama has won the US election, so that’s one less right-wing group we have to worry about!



  30. David Barker on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 03:59 PM

    I also noticed that he is referred to in most newspapers as “the first black president,” so I guess the word “black” is still okay.



  31. Biwa on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 04:08 PM

    I also heard him say “no matter black or white, Hispanic or ~~” in his victory speech!



  32. YU on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 05:27 PM

    Hi Maki,

    Nice to have you with us! 🙂

    Hi rinko,

    Thank you for your comment.

    > It’s starange for me that people who had surpported Mr Ishihara’s action about the Islands turned to blame him after the riots occured in China.

    It’s not surprising to me.
    Those people haven’t had opinion their own and still don’t have it. Thier minds are just controlled by media like TV or newspapers.
    By the way, I’m not one of those, I didn’t like his ways of thinking from the beginning, as I’ve been writing here over and over.

    全然不思議じゃないです。
    そういう人たちは元々自分の意見がない人だっただけ、そして今も持っていないんだと思います。彼らはテレビや新聞などのメディアからの情報に流されているだけだと思います。
    ところで私はそういう人の一人じゃないですよ。今まで何度も繰り返してこのブログに書いてきたとおりもともと彼の考え方が嫌いでしたから。

    > Also if no one had done anything to this,I think there would’ve been more serious confliction on the sea and the situation could have been worse in a way.

    I have a completely different opinion about it.
    If Mr.Ishihara hadn’t announced buying the islands, Japan might have found a better and more peaceful solution. As you know, he is a very smart man. Mr.Ishihara knew who he was for China, but went ahead anyway, so it’s hard to believe for me that he just wanted to protect our land and water.

    これに関しては私は全然違う意見です。(何度も言っているけど)
    もし石原氏が尖閣諸島を購入するなんて宣言してなかったら日本はもっと平和的な解決法を見つけられたのでは、と思います。彼はとても頭のいい人です。彼は自分が中国にとってどういう存在か熟知していてあえてそういう行動に出たのです。だから私には彼が「純粋に日本の国土と領海を守りたかっただけ」とは思いがたいです。

    Hi Biwa and David,

    > I also noticed that he is referred to in most newspapers as “the first black president,” so I guess the word “black” is still okay.
    > I also heard him say “no matter black or white, Hispanic or ~~” in his victory speech!

    Please let me share my opinion.
    I have a feeling that the point is who is talking about who.
    Obama is Afircan-American and his skin is quite dark, so no one feels bad even if he uses the word “black”. However, if he were white and repeated “black, black, black” in his speech, I don’t think black people would feel nice. I think black people often use the word “black” among them, and they call themselves “black” when they talk about themselves to other skin colored people.
    In newspapers case, it isn’t a human being and it is neutral, so it might be okay to use those words.
    This is just my personal opinion, though.



  33. Kimi on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 05:28 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Have you ever heard of 海島保護法? It went into effect in 2010. Actually, I haven’t. This is enforced to nationalize a lot of uninhabited islands in China territorial waters including disputed islands. It means China declared that it would place Senkaku islands under state control. As rinko mentioned, if Japan didn’t take measures against it, we cannot eliminate the possibility to worsen the matter in the future.
    2010年に中国で「海島保護法」という法律が施行されたことをご存知でしょうか?私は知らなかったのですが(汗)。これは、帰属をめぐり日本などと争われている領海内の無人島すべてを国家管理のもとに置くための法律だそうです。(こんな法律勝手に作っちゃって国際的に問題ないの?と疑問です。)つまり、尖閣諸島を国有地にすると宣言しているわけです。もしrinkoのいうように、日本が尖閣諸島に対して無策であったならば、いずれ問題はさらに深刻化する可能性は排除できないのでは?

    Hi Maki,

    Nice to have you with us! Let’s enjoy discuss together.

    Kimi



  34. Kimi on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 05:34 PM

    correction

    Have you ever heard of 海島保護法?

    ⇒ Have you ever heard of 海島保護法 in China?



  35. Kimi on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 05:37 PM

    It’s me again.

    correction

    Let’s enjoy discuss together.

    ⇒ Let’s enjoy discussion together.

    Sorry.



  36. YU on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 06:45 PM

    Hi Kimi and everyone,

    Please remember why the riots in China occured once again.
    – Because Japan nationalized the Senkaku islands.

    なぜ中国で暴動が起こったのかもう一度思い出してください。
    – 日本が尖閣諸島を国有化したからです。

    Then, why Japan needed to nationalize the Senkaku?
    – Because Tokyo(Mr.Ishihara) tried to purchase them. Our government thought that it was better to own them by themselves, as Ishihara was “a dangerous person” for China. If Isihara hadn’t done anything, the islands still would have been owned by a Japanese family named Mr.Kurihara, and that was much better than current situation for both countries, I think.

    では、なぜ日本は尖閣諸島を国有化しなければならなかったのか?
    – 東京都(石原氏)が尖閣諸島を購入する、と言い出したからです。日本政府は石原氏は中国にとってとても危険な人物で彼が購入するより日本が購入した方が中国を刺激しない、と判断したのです。もし石原氏が何もしていなければ今でも尖閣諸島は「栗原氏」という方の所有であったはずで、その方が両国にとってずっと良かったのでは、私は思います。

    This means, “if Ishihara had not announced to purchase the Senkaku islands, those riots in China would not have ocured at least”.

    ということは、もし石原氏が尖閣諸島を購入するなんて言わなければ少なくとも中国の暴動は起こらなかったはずです。

    I understand what rinko and Kimi mean(深刻化は避けられなかったはず), but the Senkaku issue had been put aside since long(since 鄧小平’s 棚上げ論 in 70’s), and both countries had been seeing calmly how it would go, because they both knew well that they needed to cooperate with each other for their economic developments.

    rinkoやKimiの言っていることはよく分かります。でも尖閣問題は鄧小平の棚上げ論以来ずっと「棚上げ」されてきていたのです。それは両国ともが経済発展のために相互協力が不可欠、と分かっていたからです。

    So, although there were some conflicts over the islands between two countries in the past few years, I believe that Japan should have observed developments calmly and kept insisting China’s injustice to the world as ever, because soon or later China will surely get damaged if they lose their main business partner – Japan.

    だから尖閣をめぐってここ数年いくつかの小競り合いはあったけど、日本は今までどおり静観視して事の成り行きを見守りながら国際社会に中国の不法性を訴え続けるべきだったと思います。なぜなら中国はいずれ自分たちの大事なビジネスパートナー(日本)を失ってダメージを受けるでしょうから。

    石原氏の行為は一見積極的に日本の領土、領海を守ろうとしているようで「日本の救世主」っぽく見えるけれど、結果的にケンカをふっかけただけで日本にとって何もいいことはもたらしていない。それどころか悪いことしかもたらしていない、と思います。何かいいことありました?
    個人的な意見です、あくまでも。
    興味があったら彼の公式サイト読んでみて下さい。
    私は何ヶ月か前に読んで「こんな人が万が一国家元首にでもなったら日本がどっちへ向いていくか分からない」、と怖くなりました。受け取り方は人それぞれだと思いますが。



  37. Kimi on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 08:33 PM

    Hi YU,

    I know what you mean, and if I don’t know the law I mentioned, I might think the same thing. However, as I got to know that China takes a hard-line attitude about it, I wonder if it would be okay for Japan to keep on doing what it has been doing. China will enhance military power and put pressure on Japan. The disputed island was captured by China after the US bases were removed from Philippines. Everybody hope peaceful settlement, but it has not been realized, which has bring about such a situation. Much has been said about this nationalization, but I don’t think it itself is wrong. FYI, I don’t support Mr.Ishihara.
    YUの言っていることはわかります。先ほど書いた法律のことを知らなければ、同じことを考えていたかもしれません。しかし、中国のごり押しともいえる強硬な姿勢を知ってしまった以上、果たしてこれまでと同じ立場をとり続けることが得策なのかわからなくなりました。今後中国は軍事力を強化し、さらに日本に圧力をかけてくることでしょう。フィリピンもアメリカ軍が撤退した後、係争となっていた島を中国に奪われました。誰しも平和的解決を望んでいますが、それができないからこうなってしまったんですよね。今回の国有化は(時期や手続きについては)色々と言われていますが、国有化そのものは間違いとは言えないと思います。それから、私は石原氏支持ではないです。

    Kimi



  38. YU on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 08:51 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    > Much has been said about this nationalization, but I don’t think it itself is wrong. FYI, I don’t support Mr.Ishihara.

    What are the advantages of nationalization of the Senkaku? I don’t think nationalization of the islands means that they belong to Japan. In fact, it just put China off more. And nothing has been solved with that. Am I wrong?
    BTW, I knew the weired law, but I still think the way I mentioned. So, you mean we should even go to the war to protect the islands?



  39. YU on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 09:04 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    Sorry, one more thing.
    I didn’t say you’re for Ishihara at all.
    (I don’t mind at all whether you’re for or against Ishihara, though….)
    As I wrote at the top of the comment, I wrote the comment to “you(Kimi) and everyone”.



  40. Vick on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Hi David, Biwa and others, congratulations to Mr. Obama, the first ”Black American President”.
    I think as a black African from Uganda I wouldn’t mind being called ”a black man”. I also think it is right and neutral in its meaning.
    In different political situations, in reference to naturalised immigrants and/or minorities, for example, I think some people refer to black people as ” an American, a Japanese (like Bobby Olegon (sp.)), a Canadian etc…..OF AFRICAN DESCENT, as obviously all black people originally came from Africa South of the Sahara.
    I would say therefore it is OK to tell your son
    ”kokujin” is a black man/ woman and ”hakujin” is a white man/woman.



  41. Biwa on Wednesday November 7th, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Hi Vick,
    Thank you so much for replying my question. I see. I’m going to tell your story to my sons tomorrow morning! By the way, it’s interesting that you said “from Africa South of the Sahara” because when I visited France, I saw lots of people of African descent and I thought they came from “North of the Sahara” countries, though I’m not really sure.



  42. Kimi on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Hi YU,

    Sorry, I got you wrong. You didn’t mention I was for Mr.Ishihara. Forgive me.

    I don’t think you were wrong. However, I wonder if what will happen in the future would be more serious than this situation. The more I think about it, the more I am confused.

    間違っていないと思います。ただ(国有化しなかった場合)将来、もっと深刻なことになるのではないか、と不安になるのです。でも、考えれば考えるほどわからなくなってきました。

    >So, you mean we should even go to the war to protect the islands?

    I didn’t mean it.
    I can’t explain this issue well. I think I should study more about it.



  43. kattie on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Speaking of the Presidential Election, I think most people in the UK were very relieved that Barack Obama was voted back in. American politics is much more right wing than British politics and they seem to value ‘freedom’ above everything, including things like universal healthcare. This idea of ‘freedom’ is a farce for those who don’t have the money to exercise choice – and there are a lot of people in America who don’t.

    Hi Biwa

    >My sons were talking about the US presidential election this morning and asked me how to call “白人” and “黒人” in English. I know people avoid to label people that way, and I told them about it. Still, I’d like to ask you what words would you use.

    I think the simple answer is that it’s fine to call someone black or white but I wouldn’t generally mention someone’s colour unless there was a particular reason – e.g. I was describing what someone looked like or I was flagging up their colour for a particular reason (i.e. it’s culturally significant – like the fact that Barack Obama is the US’s first black president)- this is simply because it wouldn’t be relevant and so would be racist. I also don’t like it when people talk about ‘Blacks’ or ‘Whites’, as opposed to saying black people or white people – it sounds like you are objectifying people. I know people in America sometimes talk about people ‘of color’ to describe black, Asian and Hispanic people but I have never really heard this used in the UK. I would feel uncomfortable saying this because you are lumping everyone together who isn’t white and it also sounds to me like you are identifying these people as somehow out of the norm – it’s also too similar to calling people ‘colored’ which is definitely not politically correct. Here is a link to something from Michigan Uni which might be handy – it’s very American but I think most people want to learn American English anyway

    http://www.med.umich.edu/diversity/pdffiles/Referr.%20Diff.pdf

    I have also heard that some people really don’t like to be referred to as African American – after all, they could have been born in the US and never even been to Africa. I have never heard people being referred to as African British.

    On the subject of political correctness this wiki how article is quite interesting
    http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Politically-Correct. I think talking in a politically correct way is very important in American and Britain these days.



  44. kattie on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 08:11 AM

    I’ve been talking to Tom and Rosie about this and I think I should slightly revise what I said earlier. Whilst I wouldn’t generally refer to a person’s colour unless it’s relevant because it could be construed as racist I don’t think this is always the case – for example, you might say ‘a black guy came into my shop and we got chatting ….’ and this would be fine as long as you weren’t inferring anything negative by stating his colour -in much the same way as you could say ‘a young guy came into my shop and we got chatting…’ I suppose it’s more to do with your state of mind than anything.



  45. amo on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 08:30 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I have a situation at work at the moment. I am not that busy these day but even I am not working, I think how I should solve the issue. So I am sorry that I don’t have time to post a comment on this week topic. Anyway I just joined the voting, though:) it’s interesting, but one thing, I’d like to know not only the percentages of the choices but also the number of people who voted.

    Have a good day, everyone:)

    amo



  46. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 08:35 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you always for your explanations in details.

    >I think the simple answer is that it’s fine to call someone black or white but I wouldn’t generally mention someone’s colour unless there was a particular reason

    I agree 100% and I think my sons wanted to know which terms to use in these cases. I think it’s unnecessary to mention someone’s color in an ordinary conversation, too. I used to live in San Francisco for 4 years in the early ’70s, and as you might imagine, there were really lots of peolple from various backgrounds. I guess there were many exclusive words in those days, and I actually remember some, but in most cases, I didn’t really care what I would be called as long as they didn’t mean to offend me. So, I really agree with the sentence below which comes from your second link.

    >Just because someone uses “exclusionary” language, doesn’t mean that they harbor ill feelings for the excluded group,and in many ways, running around accusing others of harboring prejudices will reflect negatively upon you

    I just received your second comment right before I was going to post mine! I really agree! and please say thanks to Tom and Rosie, too.



  47. YU on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 08:56 AM

    Hi Kimi,

    Please don’t apologize.
    I guess everyone feels the same way as you including me, but I just thought that if you were provoked by China or Mr.Ishinara’s clever trap now, Japan would fall to be as same outrageous as China.

    日本人はみんなKimiと同じように不安に思っていると思います、私も含めて。でも今中国の挑発や石原氏の巧妙な罠に乗ってしまったら日本は中国と同じレベルのやりたい放題の国に成り下がってしまうんじゃないか、と思っただけです。

    However, you can have any opinion of your own. It’s a very nice thing that you can discuss these kind of political matters freely in this country, I think.

    でもこういった政治の問題に自分の意見を持って自由に議論できるのはいいことだと思います。そういう意味で日本はいい国だと思います、私は。



  48. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 09:20 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    I’m adding this just to make sure that I also think that “trying” to talk in a politically correct way is a very important thing because most people (including me!) don’t want to sound offensive. Your links make me feel that many people think the same way, and also have some difficulties in choosing words to express their honest/nice feelings. Thanks for the useful links!



  49. YU on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for your explanations.
    The links you posted were both very interesting.

    > I suppose it’s more to do with your state of mind than anything.

    I totally agree with you.

    > When making reference to people as a group, you should avoid terms that may be considered
    offensive by members of that group.

    I think this is the most important point.
    Like other physical traits, we should avoid using terms that might sound offensive to the person. This is what we had been taught by our parents or teachers since our childhood over and over.
    Some might not mind being called “black”, but some might do like Biwa’s classmate, so it would be safer not to use the term at all, except some cases you mentioned.
    My son has a bit exotic face as his father isn’t Japanese, his skin color is almost same as others, though. I would feel uncomfortable if he were called by his skin color or other physical traits in the future.

    In the second link, I found interesting to know that there are differences between “colored people” and “people of color”.
    And the description about stewardess, chairman,etc.. was interesting, too. In Japan we used to call female nurses “kangofu” and male nurses “kangoshi”. I don’t know since how long ago or why, but we stopped using the word “kangofu” and started call them “kangoshi” all together. I wonder if it was because “politically correct”…

    See you !



  50. David Barker on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Hi Amo,

    I changed the poll so that you can also see the number of votes. Click on “view results.”



  51. Vick on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
    Biwa, Hi.
    Back to that topic a bit. It just happens that most African countries and tribes covered by the Sahara are more Arabic than black, though you find some say in Chad and Mali who are black. On the other hand, all SUB SAHARAN COUNTRIES (South of the SAHARA) are black.It is so confusing I have met many people who think purely Arabic countries like Libya, Egypt and others are NOT part of AFRICA!!



  52. rinko on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 02:12 PM

    Hi YU
    >By the way, I’m not one of those, I didn’t like his ways of thinking from the beginning

    Of course I know you are not the one.I’ve been always reading other members’ comments and know what you think about Mr Ishihara.

    >It’s a very nice thing that you can discuss these kind of political matters freely in this country, I think.

    I agree with you. I think everyone has a different opinion and hope there will be more places and people to discuss the issues like that.

    Hi Kimi
    >I wonder if what will happen in the future would be more serious than this situation. The more I think about it, the more I am confused.

    I really know what you mean!
    The important thing to remember is that Japanese economy is going down rapidly,whilst Chinese economy is going up in some years so Chinese govornment doesn’t think it’s necessary to depend on Japan as much as they did.That’s why balanced situation of issue of Islands was broken.I’m very worried there will be another serious matter although the issue of Islands has still not solved.

    Have a nice day everyone!

    rinko



  53. YU on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 02:43 PM

    Hi rinko,

    > whilst Chinese economy is going up in some years so Chinese govornment doesn’t think it’s necessary to depend on Japan as much as they did

    That was true until some years ago.
    This is another topic, but lots of analysts and investors are talking that China’s economy is shrinking these days, and apparently their period of rapid economic growth is ending or has already ended.



  54. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 04:33 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for improving the system. The results are quite interesting and also scary (for me!) and it’s like foretelling the real election results!



  55. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 04:47 PM

    Hi Vick,

    You’re right! Africa is surely a huge continent and also very difficult (almost impossible!) for me to define each country. Also, I’ve almost forgot I learned at school that most of the northern African countries have Arabic culture and heritage. It’s nice to hear these things from you and I guess I’m going to be more careful when I see someone from Africa. Thanks!
    By the way, do you ride motor bikes, too? I was just wondering what kind of a friend you are to David.



  56. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 05:38 PM

    Hi everyone,

    For the problems with China, I kind of think like this. Those riots have more to do with Chinese people’s frustration towards their internal affairs like “income gap”, “unequal society” and “shrinking economy”. As Maki said, I also think there is a connection between those bad conditions and the rise of the right-wing parties ( or shall I say left-wing for this case?). Thus, the Chinese government tries various ways to shift the people’s frustration outwards, and I guess the 海島保護法was one of them, too.
    I know that Japan should not provoke China, but I think that, at least once, Japan needed to claim that those islands are ours. I understand that we have to stay calm and see how other countries will say about China, but who would really worry about other people’s territorial problems? Japan IS the party in charge, and who else would do that?
    I hope you don’t get me wrong. I will never vote for Ishihara.



  57. amo on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 06:09 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    If you check the entries of Jan 15 and 17, 2007 on David’s blog of ALC’s website, you can see his face. FYI

    bye for now

    amo



  58. amo on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 06:44 PM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your prompt action taken on my request 🙂
    I am happy with that.

    amo



  59. Kimi on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 06:44 PM

    Hi YU, rinko and everyone,

    It is true that as YU mentioned China’s economy is shrinking, but it doesn’t mean that China could not be a threat to Japan. Many countries keep depending on China’s economy and would feel threatened by strengthening of military power. No wonder we are worried if it is okay for Japan to keep on taking wait-and-see strategy.

    確かに、YUがいうように中国の一時の勢いは影をひそめています。だからといってそれが日本にとって脅威にならないということではありません。また、世界は今後も中国の経済力に期待し続け、軍事力の強化を脅威に感じることでしょう。日本は今まで通り静観する姿勢を続けるだけでいいのだろうか、と不安になるのは当然のことだと思うのです。

    Kimi



  60. YU on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 07:34 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > but I think that, at least once, Japan needed to claim that those islands are ours

    Actually, I think Japan has claimed it many times.
    PM Noda stated clearly why the Senkaku belong to Japan by explaninig historical backgrounds in his speech towards us right after Japan nationalized the Senkakus. Japan had a heated argument with China over the Senkaku issue at the UN General Assembly in September, too, and PM Noda has just claimed it again at the ASEAN Assembly the day before yesterday.
    So, I don’t think Japan just does wait and see, at least.

    > but who would really worry about other people’s territorial problems? Japan IS the party in charge, and who else would do that?

    I agree with you.
    So, may I ask you what Japan should do next? Except military conflicts?
    I have no idea.



  61. YU on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 07:37 PM

    【correction】Sorry.

    > in his speech towards us
    …..towards us and the world…



  62. Kimi on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 07:54 PM

    Hi YU,

    >So, I don’t think Japan just does wait and see, at least.
    That’s right. Apart from whether nationalization is correct or not, it might lead Japan to change its attitude. We need to turn our attention to the moves.

    その通りです。国有化の是非は別として、これを機に日本は静観から立場を変えつつあるのではないでしょうか。今後の動きをしっかり注目していきたいと思います。

    Kimi



  63. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 08:42 PM

    Hi YU,

    Maybe I should have said “show” than “claim”.
    I meant to say the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands was something that Japan needed to do because no other country would do that for us. That means I don’t blame Japan for nationalizing those islands. I hope this makes it clearer.



  64. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 08:52 PM

    Hi amo,

    Thanks! I found Vick with a big smile!
    By the way, I tried to listen to those interviews, but the audio file doesn’t seem to work. Does it have a time limit, David?



  65. Anne on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Discussion about politically correct words is interesting.

    Hi Vick, Thank you for sharing your thought.

    Hi kattie, Thank you for letting us the site referring to the politically correct words.
    >I suppose it’s more to do with your state of mind than anything.—Yes! I agree with you.

    Can I share my thought about this issue?
    People have become conscious of the use of the words and have chosen more political correct words, but it is also true that the way of using has been changing.

    When you refer to “老人”, “old people” is thought to be a bit rude, and I think “older people”,”elderly people” or “senior citizen” are more commonly used.

    I asked two people about how you should say “白人&黒人” in a non offensive way. One person from France said, “I would say,’African American and a Caucasian’.” The other person from the U.S said, “White and black.” He also said, “Saying ‘black’ isn’t discriminatory, but you should avoid the words ‘yellow’,’red’ and ‘brown’ when you refer to the race. It’s quite offensive. As for the Caucasian, it is used only to a formal case like filling in a National Census.”

    I think it is important to know the information and care about these issues, but whether a person take offensive or not depends on the person and the situation. When your words that have racial implications, that is the problem, and you need to read the air.
    The important thing is the thoughts in each person’s mind that exclude people or things which are different. This is not only about race.
    By the way, I might be off the track, but have you ever heard of a book called “Black like me”? It’s a real story and was published long time ago; the story about a man in America who made his skin darker to see how he would be treated.

    Hi Kimi,
    I’ve already talked about my thought about Mr.Ishihara on the blog(Problems with China Sep.18/21st), so I’m not going to say, but as far as the thought(or idea) about Mr. Ishihara , I think we are on the same page.

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  66. Kimi on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for sharing your thought about Mr.Ishihara. I also think we are on the same page. ‘on the same page” is new to me. Thank you! And, the book you introduced sounds very interesting. I will try to read it after I finish reading ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’. I just started to read it, though. Is ‘Black like me’ easy to read or difficult?

    Kimi



  67. Biwa on Thursday November 8th, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Hi YU,

    >So, may I ask you what Japan should do next? Except military conflicts?

    I cannot think of better ideas than these:
    1. Get those noisy right-wingers to shut up.
    2. Never let them become our leaders.
    3. Revise our history textbooks and the ways of teaching.
    4. Show China that we are NOT teaching false history to our younger generation.
    5. Realize these things sooner as possible and present it so they can actually see.



  68. YU on Friday November 9th, 2012 at 08:59 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas, I didn’t expect that you would answer it.

    I don’t think China’s reckless actions toward Japan would stop unless they revise the extreme anti-Japanese education for children. I heard that the anti-Japanese feeling is higher among younger generations(under 30) than the one in older generations in China, and it is because China has strengthened it last 20 years or so.

    As for the Senkaku issues, Japan has already increased the security(最新の巡視船投入などで) around the Senkakus, but some politicians urge the necessity of arms expansion.
    By the way, Mr. Ishihara is the one who has been advocating Japan’s nuclear armament for a long time. I don’t think he would show it before the election, though….

    I’ve gotta go.

    Have a nice day!



  69. Biwa on Friday November 9th, 2012 at 01:50 PM

    Hi YU,

    Yes, I understand. However, I guess everything between us goes back and forth like playing catch. If we throw a nasty ball, they just throw a nasty ball back. It’s not easy to always throw good balls for both, but I think we should try. If it doesn’t go well, we’ll just try other ideas. Perhaps I’m quite an easygoing preson. lol!



  70. Anne on Friday November 9th, 2012 at 02:33 PM

    Hi Kimi,
    Actually, I didn’t read it in English but read it in Japanese, so I’m not sure it’s difficult or not.
    I had a look at the content at the “なかみ検索”, and I guess writing style sounds simple.



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