Brand Japan, Brand Abe: A Clash of Narratives

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Written by Nancy Snow Two decades ago I was working at the United States Information Agency (USIA), an independent foreign affairs agency of the U.S. Government. We were separate from the Department of State—the counterpart to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, and our primary task was Public Diplomacy. Some called what we did […]

“The Only Woman in the Room”/ How The Amazing Beate Wrote Equal Rights For Women Into Japan’s Constitution

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Is Japan’s peacetime constitution going to be trashed by the ruling party and returned back to the Imperial Constitution, which did not give suffrage or equal rights to women?
This question will be on the mind and haunt your waking hours after reading “The Only Woman in the Room” by Beate Sirota Gordon. In this memoir, she takes us through the various events in her life made remarkable by the fact that in late 1945, she became a member on the US Occupation team that drew up Japan’s National Constitution. Not only was she the only woman in the room, she was just 22 years old.

I’m not the Jake Adelstein you’re looking for.

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Jake shows me his phone, sharing a photo he claims is worth a billion dollars. It’s a yet to be released shot of a crime family boss with the president of Japan University, who’s also the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The implications for corruption are obvious. “I’m publishing a story on this. The reporter who originally had this was beaten severely.” It was my idea that we meet and get dinner in the first place so I naturally offered to treat when we first corresponded. When the waitress brings a to go bag with dishes never intended to be eaten during dinner I can only laugh to myself… journalism never has, and maybe never will pay, but I’m more than happy to subsidize the honest work of a damn good investigative journalist.

Jake clearly feeds off the danger. Sure enough the piece was published days later. I get a strange feeling, not that I’m a clairvoyant, but just sometime tells me that Jake is pushing his luck. He insists that he knows what he’s doing. But that’s what I’m afraid of.

Japan’s Establishment Is A-Okay With Apartheid! 日本へようこそ!

The Japanese government is looking for a mascot for its oppressive State Secrets Act. This monsters with eyes to monitor the media and hands to arrest them may be ideal--no ears to listen to reason and no mouth to speak secrets--it can only attack.

The Newspaper Columnist & Close Associate of Prime Minister Abe Who Wants to Bring Apartheid to Japan http://t.co/QugHdjlsK6 — Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) February 14, 2015

Rest in Peace, Kenji Goto. A journalist who fought for peace & was killed in war.

Journalist and humanitarian, Kenji Goto worked to educate and better the lives of people wherever he worked. Humanitarian journalism.

Kenji Goto, a freelance journalist, known for his dedicated reporting on the atrocities of war and humanitarian activities, was killed by the Islamic State circa February 1st, 2014 (Japan Standard Time). He wasn’t a war reporter; he was an anti-war reporter.

Mrs. Rinko Goto releases a statement on behalf of husband and missing pilot.

Kenji Goto, freelance journalist captured by ISIS.


I fear that this is the last chance for my husband and we now have only a few hours left to secure his release and the life of Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh. I beg the Jordanian and Japanese Government to understand that the fates of both men are in their hands.


I thank the Governments of Jordan and Japan for all their efforts

Japan’s MOFA threatens ISIS with “strong indignation” if (hypothetical) hostages executed

The Ministry of Foreign Affair officially explains the hypothetical seeming hostage situation which is if true and threat carried out, will result in strong indignation!

What makes Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement particulary surreal and disingenuous is that MOFA and the Japanese government have known that Kenji Goto was being held for a ransom of 10 million dollars since November of last year.

What’s really obscene in Japan? It’s shouldn’t be the vagina.

Is the vagina boat so obscene that that creator should go to jail for two years? Is a plaster cast of a vagina art or obscenity?

A vagina shaped boat. A blueprint for printing a vagina on 3D printer you have to download to see. Is it more obscene than these replicas of porn star vaginas known as 女ホール (women holes) sold on Amazon, and made of silicone? They are openly displayed on the internet and in stores.

Journalists & Citizens Ask Asahi To Retract Retraction of Critical Nuclear Disaster Reporting

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“If the article had come out after the Secrecy Law went into effect, the truth would never have come out,” journalist Satoshi Kamata said yesterday at a press conference. The speakers believe the Asahi’s article destroyed two of the major myth surrounding the nuclear disaster. Firstly, the article pulled down the fact that a situation can be “under control” inside a nuclear power facility in the case of a disaster. Secondly, it demolished the myth of a meltdown situation being under control as long as the workers are on site and doing their best.

Reposted: The high price of writing about anti-social forces–and those who pay. 猪狩先生を弔う日々

Is writing a book exposing the corruption in your society worth risking your life? For Toshiro Igari, it was.

Igari-san wasn’t an investigative journalist and he wasn’t a saint. But he fought for justice and for truth, and as an investigative journalist, I’ve always believed that’s what our job entailed. Forgive me if that sounds naive. I believe that, if no one stands up to the anti-social forces in the world, then we all lose.