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I’m back in Gifu now. I love Hokkaido, but it’s always nice to come home. I drove 1,200 km yesterday, which was a bit more than I planned, but I enjoyed travelling through some beautiful parts of the country.

A few weeks ago, we discussed the argument between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands. At the time, I remember a few of you saying that you had not really thought about the topic. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse, and some reports in the Western media are now talking about the possibility of military conflict between the two countries. (This is big news all over the world, not just in Japan and China.)

As I’m sure you have seen, there have been several attacks on Japanese companies and businesses in China recently, and there have even been some attacks on Japanese people. I read in a British newspaper today that some big companies like Toyota and Hitachi have even gone so far as to close their shops and factories in order to protect their workers. There is also a story that 100 fishing boats have left China heading for the islands. If this is true, everyone is waiting to see how the Japanese coastguard will respond. If even one of the Chinese boat captains decides to do something stupid to provoke them, this could easily escalate very quickly.

I know we discussed the problem of the islands before, but I would be very interested to know what you are all thinking now. Do you blame Governor Ishihara for causing this trouble, or do you think the Chinese government is more at fault? What do you think is the best way to solve this crisis? Do you think it will ever be possible for China and Japan to have a good relationship given their history?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

35 Comments

  1. YU on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 03:20 PM

    Hi David,

    Sorry, this is not related with the topic…

    May I ask you a question?

    We can order your books from “englishbooks.jp” on this web site.
    Does the shop have anything to do with you!?
    I guess they just sell your books instead of your company, right?

    Last time I bought your “A-Z book” at a onlineshop called “The English Store”.
    Both shops were running by 有限会社トラベルマン, but the difference is that you don’t need to pay the postage when you order from “The English Store”.

    Anyway, today I’m going to order two English songs CDs for my son’s English club from “The English Store” again, because I’m stingy!

    I’ll write a comment on this week’s topic later.

    See you!



  2. David Barker on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 03:44 PM

    Hi YU,

    Englishbooks.jp are the exclusive distributors for my books. (BTB Press is just a publisher, not a bookseller.) “The English Store” is run by the same company as englisbooks.jp, but they have a special offer of free shipping on that site. Actually, there are lots of other places where you can buy my books, but englishbooks.jp sell the books to those other places.

    Anyway, I just had a chat with the boss at englishbooks.jp, and he said that if you buy any of my books from their site, they will give you free shipping. Just write a comment saying “I came to this site from the BTB Press website; please give me free shipping.”

    Hope that helps.



  3. Biwa on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 03:54 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I’m very worried about this topic and also about the Takeshima problems!!
    This morning, I read an article in the newspaper that said, according to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty(Article 5), the U.S. has a duty to help Japan if other countries attack us to get the Senkaku Islands. But for Takeshima and the Northern Territories, they don’t have any duty because they don’t admit that they are the lands of Japan because they are not under administration of the Japanese government.

    Did everyone know these things?
    Well, I didin’t until I read this article and I feel very scared that some kind of conflict might begin between the Chinese fishers and the Japanese Coast Guards. And what will happen next?
    Will the U.S. government and Prime minister Noda announce something?

    I understand that other countries are watching carefully what actions we will take.
    I don’t know what is the best way to avoid conflicts and would like to know what everyone thinks.



  4. YU on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 04:23 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your reply.

    > Anyway, I just had a chat with the boss at englishbooks.jp, and he said that if you buy any of my books from their site, they will give you free shipping. Just write a comment saying “I came to this site from the BTB Press website; please give me free shipping.”

    Oh, really? That’s very kind of them!!
    I’ve just ordered CDs for my son from The English Store. I guess englishbooks.jp will not give us free shipping because they aren’t your CDs. What I ordered this time were English song CDs for small children(called super simple songs)!!
    Anyway, thank you for your advice! I’ll write the comment when I buy your books from them next time!!



  5. Tomo on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 05:02 PM

    Hi David,

    Glad you are back safely 🙂

    >There is no such thing as an iPad mini yet,

    Really?! I didn’t know that! My niece’s palmtop computer looks like an iPad, and we sometimes have a chat on Skye, so I thought it was an iPad mini. Maybe it’s a small tablet computer from Docomo or Softbank.

    I’ll write about the topic later.

    Tomo

    PS Have a good rest!



  6. YU on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 06:10 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    >the U.S. has a duty to help Japan if other countries attack us to get the Senkaku Islands.
    >Did everyone know these things?

    No, I didn’t.
    But, I don’t know what “HELP” means.
    As far as I know, lots of countries the U.S. “helped” are still in chaos.

    Hi David and everyone,

    > As I’m sure you have seen, there have been several attacks on Japanese companies and businesses in China recently, and there have even been some attacks on Japanese people.

    I heard lots of news stories about that over the weekend. What I really felt was that the Chinese government approved those selfish attacks of Chinese people on “innocent” Japanese companies and people.
    I heard that one of the purposes of the “tolerance” is to turn away chinese people’s eyes from national problems in China because they will change the leader next month and they don’t want to have any problems before the ceremony.
    So, it’s a kind of “ガス抜き”(= to discharge people’s accumulated complaints) plotted by the Chinese government. If it were really true, that’s a hair-raising story!

    However, I really don’t like the ways of Chinese people. I think “demonstrations” and “riots” are completely different. What Chinese people do this time is nothing but violence(暴挙). Seeing Chinese people’s attacks, I feel that some of them are just getting rid of their stress through attacking Japanese companies, shops and people.
    I’m very anxious about a friend of mine who lives in Shanghai with her husband and 4-year-old daughter.

    > Do you blame Governor Ishihara for causing this trouble, or do you think the Chinese government is more at fault?

    I think Ishihara has surely roused us. In this sense, I admit that he has done something useful.
    However, the problem was that the Japanese government had no plan how to deal with those territory issues when he announced that Tokyo would buy the islands. It was really a sudden action.
    And Ishihara also has no plan how to solve this issue. He can go off somewhere without putting away the things he had done, but how about younger generations like us? How about our children?
    I have a feeling a bit that everything has ended up where he expected. And his next aim might be
    Japan’s rearmament. I hope I am wrong…

    > What do you think is the best way to solve this crisis?

    I don’t know, China is a country where people hate listening to other people’s stories. So, I don’t think they will accept to discuss about the issue between nations.
    The only hope is that they realize if they go on like this, both China and Japan will get a big economic damage and go under together.



  7. YU on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 06:37 PM

    Hi David,

    > I drove 1,200 km yesterday

    !!!
    Why not try “The Paris–Dakar” !?



  8. David Barker on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 06:46 PM

    Do they have a category for 12-year-old vans?



  9. YU on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 07:46 PM

    Hi David,

    I don’t know…
    Anyway, you’re really tough.
    My husband drove only(!?) 60km from our house to Tokyo Dome and “slept like a log” last Sunday night at my brother’s house in Tokyo…
    Is my husband too weak or normal!?



  10. Kyon on Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Hello David and everyone,

    I am worried about the situation between Japan and China very much.
    This is not just demonstrations, but terrorism already.

    It is also strange that young rioters are hoisting placards of Mao Zedong(毛沢東).That means they are angry against not only Japan but also the Chinese Communist Party in terms of the inequality of wealth. Many people from Inland China are rushing to big cities like Shanghai, Beijing or Shenzhen, looking for jobs. However, I hear it is hard for them to find jobs without connections. Even if they get jobs luckily, they are poorly paid. It is said that people in the middle class have an annual income of 800,000yen while top executives get annually more than 10-20 million yen. The situation would be very dangerous to China, too.

    -Toyota and Hitachi have even gone so far as to close their shops and factories in order to protect their workers.

    Beside a few Japanese top executives, most people working for those companies are Chinese. Many Japanese companies will probably start to think about withdrawing from China. So China is digging its own grave.

    I was very sad and angry when I watched news on TV that Panasonic factory was attacked by rioters. Because, the founder of Panasonic, Mr. Konosuke Matsushita(松下幸之助) was strongly begged by Den Xiaoping(鄧小平), to help China develop. He signed the agreement in 1979 which was the first technological cooperation with the Chinese government. He started to support China by huge investment into China. Toyota, Nissan, other numerous Japanese companies have done the same. They have not only gained a profit but also have contributed greatly to China’s economic growth and success together with huge ODA money from the Japanese government.

    > Do you blame Governor Ishihara for causing this trouble, or do you think the Chinese government is more at fault? What do you think is the best way to solve this crisis? Do you think it will ever be possible for China and Japan to have a good relationship given their history?

    I don’t blame Governor Ishihara. China has had an eagle eye on the Senkaku islands since the DPJ seized the political power a few years ago. Sooner or later, this crisis would have happened. China knows the DPJ is easy. And I don’t think it will possible for both countries to have a good relationship in the future because we have totally different mentalities. I’d rather not explain this because too much controversial.

    Hi Biwa,

    >the U.S. has a duty to help Japan if other countries attack us to get the Senkaku Islands.
    > Did everyone know these things?

    Yes. Under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, our country is protected by the U.S. in case of war-like situation. Article NO.9 of the present Japanese Constitution prohibits Japan to wage war against any countries. It is said to be a peaceful constitution. However I think the time has come to amend it partially so that the Self Defense army has more authority to preserve the territory and rescue Japanese people. That doesn’t necessarily mean Japan will come back to a militaristic country.

    Hi Yu,
    >So, it’s a kind of “ガス抜き”(= to discharge people’s accumulated complaints) plotted by the Chinese government.
    >However, I really don’t like the ways of Chinese people. I think “demonstrations” and “riots” are completely different. What Chinese people do this time is nothing but violence(暴挙).

    I read your comments and I totally agree with you.

    Bye for now,
    Kyon



  11. Biwa on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Hi Yu and Kyon,

    I’ve learned a lot from your comments!
    Thank you so much and I totally agree with you.

    As Kyon wrote, I think the Self Defence Army has to have more authority, too.
    I’ve read somewhere that when the Chinese landed on the Senkaku Islands, the Coast Guards had to wait until the Okinawa prefectural police to arrive and arrest them just because they didin’t have the authority to do so.
    This is ridiculous!
    What if the Chinese start attacking them? Do they just wait and get hurt until someone comes?
    Including the Self Defence Army, the “front line staff” needs to have more authority unless they won’t be able to protect us.

    I understand that it is very difficult to distinguish between “self defence” and “attacking” and lots of people are arguing this issue.
    But I think we must stop just arguing and make some kind of decision right now.

    At the same time, the Chinese have to know that attacking Japanese countries means attacking their own properties.
    I saw some Chinese students studying in Tokyo being interviewed in a news program. Most of them said the same thing.
    But I can’t forget some of them saying very sadly that it is no surprise to them that these things happen because in China, they are made to build very strong anti-Japanese sentiment during school days and many other occasions.
    This situation must be totally the same in Korea.
    It’s a real pity because I think Chinese and Korean are very nice people individually.



  12. Biwa on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Sorry, I made a mistake!

    >At the same time, the Chinese have to know that attacking Japanese countries means…

    At the same time, the Chinese have to know that attacking Japanese companies means…

    Biwa



  13. YU on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Hi Kyon,

    > That means they are angry against not only Japan but also the Chinese Communist Party in terms of the inequality of wealth.

    I agree.
    And another important point should be noted is that most rioters are not older generations, but are young people.

    A few years ago I saw a documentary program that explained that in China, there are lots of “working-poor” young people, called アリ族 or ネズミ族. Most of them were born after 1980, they are university graduates, intelligent and hardworking, but they can’t find a good job and have a very small income. So, they have to live in a very small “basement” apartment or have to share a small room with other young people in the same situation. That’s why they are called “ants” and “mice”. Income difference in China goes on increasing. No wonder Chinese people aren’t satisfied with that at all.

    > He started to support China by huge investment into China. Toyota, Nissan, other numerous Japanese companies have done the same. They have not only gained a profit but also have contributed greatly to China’s economic growth and success together with huge ODA money from the Japanese government.

    Actually, my older brother told me exactly the same as you mentioned above. I don’t want to say something patronizing, but I feel they are a bit ungrateful too much.
    They should also think well that a numerous number of Chinese people are working for Japanese companies in China, such as Panasonic, Toyota, and so on. Attacking those Japanese companies will produce a huge number of unemployed Chinese people. So, as you said, those thoughtless actions will end up bringing ruin on themselves.

    Hi Biwa,

    >What if the Chinese start attacking them? Do they just wait and get hurt until someone comes?

    I don’t think so.
    As far as I know, Japanese Coast Guard ships are also equipped with some weapons and they are trained well for the case of emergency(有事の際に備えて). Of course, they have to wait until their bosses give a command to them, though…

    > As Kyon wrote, I think the Self Defence Army has to have more authority, too.

    To be honest, I’m not really sure about this.
    I’m rather the type of person you don’t like – 慎重派.

    See you !



  14. Anne on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    It’s really sad to watch burnt cars, broken windows or damaged supermarkets on TV. It’s not demonstrations anymore but riots now. It’s scary and horrible. I’m worried about people and the companies there. I really hope this horrible situation will calm down soon.
    This year, Japan and China are going to celebrate the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relation. Japan somehow have had ties with China in economic and cultural fields, but in the meanwhile, there have been some disputes now and then like Yasukuni problem in 2005.
    As members mentioned, these riots are not focused on this recent issue but also are caused by angers and discontent toward their government by young people. I heard that some of the rioters didn’t know even where the Senkaku Island are.

    As the days go, the Chinese Government started to restrict their protest because the Government know their images to the world had no good effect on China itself; allowing their people to burn down everything can lead China’s image as “uncivilized.”

    The Japanese Government should do now is show the stance “a wait-and see approach” calmly and appeal Japan’s stance and the situation firmly toward not only to China but also to the world.

    >Do you blame Governor Ishihara for causing this trouble, or do you think the Chinese government is more at fault?
    —No, I don’t blame Ishihara, but I think he did the right thing even though recent situation is horrible as I mentioned a few weeks ago. This dispute could happen in a few years if not now.

    Hi Biwa and members,
    Biwa, it’s nice to have you with us.

    >according to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty(Article 5), the U.S. has a duty to help Japan if other countries attack us to get the Senkaku Islands
    >Did everyone know these things?

    —yes, I know. I read the article what you had mentioned in yesterday’s newspaper,too.(Asahi Shinbun)
    It’s obvious that the Senkaku Islands are an inherent territory of Japan and the US admitted that. For that reason, as Biwa mentioned, the US said they were prepared to help Japan under the name of “the Japan-US Security Treaty.” Having said that, the US is not necessarily taking Japan’s side on this issue because they don’t want to upset China and are nervous about the power of China. You’ll see the stance of the US from the following words below by the US Secretary Panetta, who visited China after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister and the Minister fro Defense.

    “The US is urging calm and restraint by all side. And is advocating ‘open channels of communication’ in order to resolve disputes diplomatically and peacefully.”

    >Hi YU,
    it’s a kind of “ガス抜き”(= to discharge people’s accumulated complaints) plotted by the Chinese government.— I agree with you,too.

    Anne



  15. YU on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 01:38 PM

    Hi Tomo and Fumie,

    This has nothing to do with the topic…

    Do you think kindergarten life(?) has a great influence on children’s later life?

    Yesterday I went to the kindergarten which my son will go from next spring. They offered us “オープン幼稚園” and I attended it with my son. I met a friend of mine there by chance.
    She told me that she and her son participated same kind of events in other kindergartens, too. And now she is thinking every day which kindergarten is best for her son. I was a bit surprised because I only saw one kindergarten(“A” kindergarten) for my son.
    She also told me, “I don’t want “B” kindergarten because there are lots of 外人 kids in “B” kindergarten, and they are 柄が悪い.” So, I replied her, “My son is a kid of 外人, too.” She looked very upset. (like “あっ、そうだった!” face)

    Anyway, I wonder if kids age of 3-6 already could be 不良…
    Moreover, I never heard “My life changed because of my kindergarten” in my life yet. So, I wonder why many of other mothers are so serious for choosing a kindergarten… Were both of you as serious as them too !?
    Am I strange?



  16. rinko on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 04:02 PM

    Hi David and everyone.

    I’m worried about the riots in China very much,too.
    As other members said,this demonstration has lots of causes to be bigger and worse than before,that is not only the issue of Senkaku but also the history of Japan and China,and complaints about the Communist Party.Besides,Chinese government keeps to tolerate these riots just in order to let Japanese see the state of confusion and withdraw the nationalization of Islands.And some commentaters on TV said it’s also against the backdrop of power game among the top government officials in China.
    Of course,Japan’s nationalization of Senkaku caused the riots from the start,but as a result it exposed many other problems of China that had been under the veil for long time.Unless the system of fair election and democracy are established in China,people can’t insist on their opinions to the government and can do nothing but accept the information only from them(government).That’s why people get frustrated and are easily influenced by opinions and call for the participation of riots on the internet, although there are still lots of Chinese people who don’t think it’s a right action.

    I can’t think of the way to solve this crisis at all.It’s always difficult to narrow it’s differences for the issue of territory between the two countries.As Anne mentioned,Japanese government should keep to show the stance firmly and calmly to China and other countries.

    See you everyone!

    rinko



  17. David Barker on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 05:36 PM

    Hi everyone,

    It does seem as though this problem might get worse before it gets better. I think the Chinese government are starting to get very nervous, though. It is quite easy for them to stir up anger and get people out on the streets protesting, but it is not so easy for them to stop that process once it has started.

    I’m surprised that you don’t blame Ishihara for this problem, though. It is true that China stirs up hatred against Japan to stop Chinese people focussing on their own problems, but right-wingers like Ishihara make it much easier for them to do that. Japan has many politicians who visit Yasukuni Shrine, who claim that Japan never forced Korean women into prostitution, and who play down the atrocities committed by the Japanese army. As long as those people are still accepted by the Japanese public, it will be easy for the governments of China, Korea, and Taiwan to turn public opinion against Japan any time they want to.



  18. YU on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 06:42 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Some commentators said on TV that the Japanese government has made an error in foreseeing the reactions of China to the purchase of the Senkaku islands by the Japanese government. Our government was overly optimistic.

    By the way, why Japan has misjudged!?
    I think one of the reasons was that Japan lacked time to fully deliberate all possible means to this issue. (Some of you might say that Japan should have been aware of this issue and ready for China’s attacks much earlier, though.)
    And why PM Noda had to decide to purchase the islands so urgently?? Because Ishihara(Tokyo) suddenly announced to buy them, and the idea provoked China far too much as in China, he is notorious for a staunch nationalist and anti-China politician. He must have known who he was for China. So, finally the government ended up buying the islands. I think we could have found a better and more peaceful means than purchasing them if Ishihara had not announced his “outrageous”/wild idea of purchasing the Senkaku islands.

    So, unlike other members, I don’t think he has done only right things.



  19. YU on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 06:47 PM

    Hi David,

    I’ve just found your comment after posting my comment.
    As I wrote, I also wondered why all other members don’t blame him at all.



  20. David on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 07:21 PM

    Hi YU

    As they say, great minds think alike. 🙂



  21. Tomo on Wednesday September 19th, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I’ve been thinking about the topic, but I can’t think of a good way to solve this problem. It’s too difficult and complicated. I talked about this with my husband, and he said the same thing as you all. The Chinese people have lots of complains against the Chinese government, but they cannot complain about them, so their frustration exploded. It seems like everyone knows that the Chinese government is taking advantage of the Senkaku Islands issue to divert Chinese people’s frustration, but do the rioters know about it too? Do they know that their government is maneuvering them??

    >Do you blame Governor Ishihara for causing this trouble, or do you think the Chinese government is more at fault?

    Hmmm, I’m not sure about this, but at least, Governor Ishihara doesn’t brainwash Japanese people.

    >What do you think is the best way to solve this crisis?

    As I said above, I can’t think of a good way to solve it. I just hope this problem will be solved peacefully. Why don’t the Japanese and the Chinese government leave it to the international court? I don’t think they can solve it themselves.

    >Do you think it will ever be possible for China and Japan to have a good relationship given their history?

    I hope it will be possible, but it’s not easy to have a good relationship with people who hate us.

    Hi YU,
    >Do you think kindergarten life(?) has a great influence on children’s later life?

    No. You don’t remember what your kindergarten life was like, do you? Neither do I. Kindergarten life might have some influence on children, but I didn’t worry about that when I chose a kindergarten for my children. I Just chose the nearest one 😉

    >I wonder if kids age of 3-6 already could be 不良…

    No way!(LOL)

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  22. Fumie on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    As I followed the news, conflict between two countries are escalating. I didn’t think the situation would became this bad. I’m very much worried and frightened the possibility of military conflict.
    I’m afraid I don’t have much knowledge to give my opinion about this matter but after I read Kyon and other members’ comments, I got to know some background causes and history between two countries.
    Anyway, riots by Chinese people should not be tolerated for any reason. And Japanese government should act very carefully not to provoke Chinese people. I can’t think of good way to solve this crisis but it may difficult to solve the crisis by themselves so a third party(country) should intervene China and Japan.

    I’m tired and don’t have much time so I didn’t read all of your comments yet.

    Fumie



  23. Fumie on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Hi YU,

    Regarding choosing kindergarten, let me share my experience when I choose one for my son. I didn’t care for how the kids were but I care for the quality of education very much. I sent my son to a nursery school so my son spent long hours there. So I wanted him to have good care. Good teachers, nutricious food, good activities. I don’t care fancy facility, or early study but I expect school to guide children to be able to do something by themselves. もう頭が働かないので日本語で。息子の保育所選びは、園児の、がらではなく、保育の質で選びました。長い時間過ごすし、成長のとても大切な時期なので。施設が立派とか、勉強の先取りとかではなく、良い先生がいて、自分でいろんなことができるように生活力をつけてくれる所で選びました。

    Fumie



  24. Fumie on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 06:40 AM

    Hi David,

    >As long as those people are still accepted by the Japanese public, it will be easy for the governments of China, Korea, and Taiwan to turn public opinion against Japan any time they want to.

    I agree with you.

    Fumie



  25. YU on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I heard that two Japanese men swam and landed the Senkaku, some stupid Japanese threw stones to three Chinese restaurants in Japan.(The three are all run by Japanese owners, by the way.) I simply can’t follow their train of thought.

    Hi Tomo,

    > Why don’t the Japanese and the Chinese government leave it to the international court?

    I heard that suits at the international court between two nations don’t start unless both countries agree to leave the case to them.
    So, I don’t think it makes sense even if only Japan side tried it in the Senkaku case.

    Do you remember when South Korean president landed Takeshima last month, the Japanese government filed a suit to the international court and requested South Korea to leave the issue to the international court? However, South Korea refused it and just insisted, “There is no territory issue of Takeshima in the first place, so we don’t need to leave it to the international court.”.

    The Japanese government already assumed such reactions of South Korea because we knew that it was a hopless battle for South Korea. However, our government judged that it does make sense to send the rightfulness of Japan’s claims around Takeshima to the world, so they(Japan) just went ahead.



  26. Tomo on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Hi YU,

    >I heard that suits at the international court between two nations don’t start unless both countries agree to leave the case to them.

    >Do you remember when South Korean president landed Takeshima last month, the Japanese government filed a suit to the international court and requested South Korea to leave the issue to the international court?

    I heard it too, and I saw South Korea’s reaction on TV as well. And that’s my whole question. Could this “we don’t need to leave it to the international court because the island is mine” be an excuse?? Two countries are claiming, “It’s mine”, and they are not going to give in. It seems to me that leaving the issue to the international court is the only way to solve the problem peacefully as we are civilized people. This is not a child fight, right?

    Have a nice day, everyone!

    Tomo



  27. YU on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Hi Tomo and Fumie,

    Thank you for your reply! 🙂

    > No. You don’t remember what your kindergarten life was like, do you?

    No, I don’t.
    My parents were both working, so my older brother and I went to the nursery school first. Later, my family moved to the apartment close to my mother’s family house. My brother started school, and I went to another kindergarten from there.

    Actually, I heard from my mother that she cared a bit where to live when my brother started school because the place you live has direct influence on which elementary, junior high and high school your children go, but I don’t really think my mother cared for choosing our nursery school or kindergarten.

    > I Just chose the nearest one

    So did I.
    Great minds think alike = Fools seldom differ !!
    I just chose the nearest one for some practical reasons. In my opinion, children will anyway enjoy playing with classmates whichever we choose.

    However, I cared a bit if the buildings are resistant to earthquakes. And as I don’t drive a car, I chose the nearest one.
    I heard from many of mom friends that all kindergartens had prepared a PTA communication network for the emergency cases, but it didn’t work at all when the big quake occured last year because all the networks depended on mobile phones(mail) too much. Finally, they were not sure if their children could escaped unhurt until they picked them up at the kindergarten.

    > I didn’t care for how the kids were but I care for the quality of education very much.

    I see. You are a good mother!
    As long as I experienced from the オープン幼稚園, everything looked fine with the kindergarten, so I decided for the kindergarten! How easy I am!

    > 成長のとても大切な時期なので。施設が立派とか、勉強の先取りとかではなく、良い先生がいて、自分でいろんなことができるように生活力をつけてくれる所で選びました。

    I didn’t see any nursery schools this time, but as you say, children spend much longer time at the nursery school than ones go to the kindergarten, that’s true.

    The kindergarten I chose for my son is owned by a shrine. The director is the priest of the shrine. It’s one of the biggest kindergartens(マンモス園) in my area. It seems that the director teach children お作法 once a month. When I visited there this Wednesday, he was teaching “How to sit on 座布団”. I want to learn from him too!! 🙂

    See you !



  28. YU on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Hi Tomo,

    > Could this “we don’t need to leave it to the international court because the island is mine” be an excuse?? Two countries are claiming, “It’s mine”, and they are not going to give in.
    It seems to me that leaving the issue to the international court is the only way to solve the problem peacefully as we are civilized people. This is not a child fight, right?

    What you say is totally right!
    You(and I) can think that way because you grew up in the civilized, democratic country.

    However, I don’t think any military conflicts will occur if all countries in this world were that nice and reasonable(聞き分けが良い). For example, do you think North Korea will listen to the international court says? Anyway, I think some countries will not listen to the things what the international court decides. As you know, some countries are totally isolated because they don’t listen to the requests from the UN or other international organizations, aren’t they!?

    I don’t want to believe that China and South Korea are that bad, but both of them have a strong anti-Japanese feeling. Some victims of the atrocities committed by the Japanese army during the war period are still alive. And their descendants receive anti-Japan education at school even today. So, as David says, unless Japan admit our faults and stop supporting nationalist politicians like Ishihara, I don’t think they will enter into a peaceful conversation with Japan over the various kinds of matters between us.



  29. YU on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 01:04 PM

    【correction】Sorry!

    > It seems that the director teach children お作法 once a month
    – the director teaches children お作法

    > As you know, some countries are totally isolated
    – are totally isolated in the international society

    > do you think North Korea will listen to the international court says?
    – will listen to what the international court says?



  30. Biwa on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 09:58 PM

    Hi everyone,

    September is almost over and it’s still so hot, isn’t it? I’m learning a lot from your hot and lively comments!

    I don’t like Ishihara at all because what he says or does is too wild and extreme. But among those dull politicians who always say, ” We’re considering that.(検討してます)” or ” We’re carefully discussing that.(熟考してます),” he seems to be at least ” doing something.”
    When the 3.11 earthquake happened, he took very quick actions to help the sufferers. I’m sure he didin’t waste time just mumbling, ” We’re discussing how to help!”
    I’m still not supporting him, though.

    By the way, today I found on the internet that Japan War-Bereaved Assosiation is a big supporter of the Liberal Democratic Party. They donate a lot of money and also expect the leader of the LDP to visit and pray at Yasukuni Shrine.
    I was surprised to know this because I’ve been always thinking that the bereaved people felt uncomfortable for or even rejected their families being placed in the same shrine as the class-A war criminals.
    Is this a wrong information?
    I’ve got to look for more information about this!

    Hi YU,

    Congratulatons on deciding your son’s kindergarten! I have two sons and they both used to go to a nursery school run by a temple. They had a 20-minute ” zazen” time every month and they really enjoyed it. I’m sure your son is going to have a great time at his kindergarten!



  31. amo on Thursday September 20th, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Hi David,

    Glad to hear that you came back safely 🙂

    Sorry I am a bit of busy this week and haven’t had time to write a comment sooner.

    >Do you blame Governor Ishihara for causing this trouble, or do you think the Chinese government is more at fault?

    I can’t say that he did a good thing though, I think the Chinese government is more at fault. I just can’t believe the things happened in China. I am so sorry for Japanese who live in China now. They must to be very scared to go out.

    >What do you think is the best way to solve this crisis?

    I can’t think of any good solutions, to tell the truth, I don’t think that there is a way to solve this crisis.

    >Do you think it will ever be possible for China and Japan to have a good relationship given their history?

    No, I don’t think so.
    I can kind of understand that Chinese people become anti-Japan due to what Japan did to them in past. But Japan did help China a lot, don’t they? Like Kyon mentioned. I wonder what Chinese people think about this. I mean, do they know about the good things what Japanese did for China???

    Hi Biwa,

    Nice to have you with us.

    amo



  32. YU on Friday September 21st, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > By the way, today I found on the internet that Japan War-Bereaved Assosiation is a big supporter of the Liberal Democratic Party. They donate a lot of money and also expect the leader of the LDP to visit and pray at Yasukuni Shrine.

    Thank you for your interesting information.
    That was new to me, too.

    I found a site lelated to your information.
    Here it is..

    http://blog.livedoor.jp/yorogadi/archives/50930350.html

    War bereaved families needed money after losing the breadwinner of the family. LDP made new laws and supported them financially(e.g. susvivor’s pension=遺族年金). Before long they became 自民党員 who could be the big power base(大票田) for the election of the LDP leader = Japan’s prime minister.(until 2009)

    Koizumi and Hashimoto became the prime minister getting strong support from those 自民党員(= war bereaved families) because both of them(Koizumi and Hashimoto) were the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare(厚生省). As you know, 厚生省 handles “pension”.

    However, I still can’t understand why they come to consider “The war was right. Our fathers/brothers fought well and died for Japan”.
    I can kind of understand that they want to glorify war, and so their beloved family’s death becomes meaningful, though…

    Anyway, Yasukuni Shrine became the place where they could rely on(心の拠り所) because Yasukuni justifies the Pacific War. So, they donate lots of money to the Yasukuni. And, in turn for supporting politicians, the association keeps asking them to visit Yasukuni Shrine.

    > Congratulatons on deciding your son’s kindergarten!

    Thank you!

    Good night, everyone!



  33. Fumie on Friday September 21st, 2012 at 06:21 AM

    Hi YU,

    I’m glad to hear that you seem chose a good kindergarten.

    Fumie



  34. YU on Friday September 21st, 2012 at 08:58 AM

    Hi amo,

    > I can kind of understand that Chinese people become anti-Japan due to what Japan did to them in past. But Japan did help China a lot, don’t they? Like Kyon mentioned. I wonder what Chinese people think about this. I mean, do they know about the good things what Japanese did for China???

    I guess some know, but some don’t know that.
    If I were Chinese, I could not forgive what Japan did in the past how Japan tried to help China in expiation of a wrong unless Japan pleads guilty. Admitting your guilt and helping undeveloped countries are a different matter. Japan helps many other undeveloped countries too, right?

    Hi everyone,

    I always thought that Ishihara remarked “Nanjing Massacre was made up by Chinese”, but what he actually said was that the Chinese government “diluted” the number of victims. It seems that he also said, “The U.S. killed more than a hundred thousand Japanese by the atomic bombs. So, what’s the differences?”.
    However, is this a matter of numbers!?



  35. YU on Friday September 21st, 2012 at 02:03 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Like Tomo, many Japanese people think, “Why don’t the Japanese and the Chinese government leave the case to the international court?”.
    However, I think the relationship between China and Japan would still remain the same or get worse even if the international court gave decision on the case.
    The territory issue of the Senkaku islands is certainly a big problem, but it is only the tip of the iceberg of many other problems between China and Japan.

    By the way, I heard some Chinese people got paid(100yuan=1200yen) and participated the demonstrations. Is this really true!?