Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The superiority of the Japanese shows again

I occasionally find myself reading the posts at debito.org, but try not to do much of it. Not because I don't like it---there is a lot of interesting information there---but because reading too much of it can get depressing. Depressing because some of the things I see or read about in Japan on a daily basis are just the tips of the iceberg.

He found a report from the AP about Japan's Foreign Minister, Taro Aso, claiming that Japanese are better negotiators in the Middle East than are Westerners, particularly American because of hair and eye color. His comments in this instance don't really seem discriminatory to me in the context in which he said them, but based on his history, one can see why people are suspicious of him. (He once stated he wanted to make Japan a country where rich Jews would want to live. He is not the only Japanese to believe Jews are rich though, it is very common in Japan. Many believe Jews control the US financial system. It would be anti-semitic anywhere else, but not in Japan, of course. Anyway, this attitude would help Japan with Israel too.) You can find the full story at his site here. (If you scroll down the page, you can also read an article about his family's direct connection with slave labor in WW2 and some of the more extreme comments he has made.)

He's right. Japan has no baggage in the area. Perhaps there is another reason for Japan's success (?) in the Middle East. It's called money and not really taking a controversial stand on anything. Japan hasn't done much for the peace process that I am aware of, but maybe I missed something. Most of what Japan has been involved in is economic issues. I do recall that in the 1970s Oil Crisis, Japan (on principle I am sure) got off the oil embargo list by recognizing the right of self-determination of the Palestinians. Japan has consistently insisted that UN resolutions in the region be adhered to, but has done little more than that if anything. In other words, they have followed a safe path that required no real effort and did not put their oil at risk. One also has to remember that Japan did not send forces when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. It sent money. Let others in the UN spill blood. (Oh, yea, Article 9. That's the reason.)

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