Friday, August 27, 2010


Really. I've given up.* The One-with-Whom-I-Share-a-Mansion, a woman with a US university degree who has spent the last 15 years dealing with derivatives in a large US firm that was bailed out by US taxpayers, has basically agreed with Ozawa on one thing---Americans are simple-minded. She is specifically referring to the understanding of Japanese politics. And most specifically, to me.

Not that her opinion is above suspicion as she has supported the commies in spite of the fact that she is in no way a commie. She often votes commie because they are the "opposite" of the LDP. "How about Ozawa?," I asked over a decade ago after being impressed with his English language book (A Normal Country? I forget. See Google search). "Baka! He's the same! Sneaky and cares only about himself." Koizumi? The same. Maybe worse. However, the fact that she has a US university education may have simple-minded her to the extent that she doesn't understand.

A few weeks ago, Gerald Curtis stated that we are in a "period of creative destruction and the destructive phase is not yet over." Boy was he correct. Whereas this destructive phase may be interesting and fun to study for academic purposes, when one is living here and will probably continue to do so for quite a number of years (good lord, why?) it ain't academic. These clowns and their stunts will have a significant impact on people's lives, and that impact does not look positive.

Just over a year ago, when the DPJ's chance for victory began to become realistic and enthusiasm was palpable---especially among the younger (say 45 and below)---I was working at an architectural office in Akasaka-mitsuke. This office was filled with sharp, relatively young people, most with overseas experience and education. It was run by a U.S. educated woman who was the opposite of the stereotypical Japanese woman. Not a fool there, except for me.

In the spring of that year, I was chatting with one especially bright young fellow and smugly giving my brilliant opinions on Japanese (and US) politics. Then he asked me a simple question for which I had no sensible answer. Talking about the LDP, he asked, "How do we get them out?"*** The easy reply would have been to say, "Vote them out," but I could not say that. It seemed childishly simple-minded---like me---and actually meaningless.

Ultimately, the LDP was voted out. But what the hell have we got in its place?

Apologies for the gratuitous use of Japanese in the header, something I have tended to do more of recently. I plead, and can prove, insanity.

*For the duration of this post.

**Which she refers to as "gambling" and sneers at the idea of supposed sophisticated investors who really understand them.

***The LDP still had a myth of near invincibility.

1455 edited for the normal spelling/grammar errors,


  1. The Japanese calling Americans "simple-minded" is a very big "pot calling the kettle black" situation. There are stupid people in every culture, and to single out Americans, and to do so in regards to their financial understanding in particular is laughable coming from Japan. If your per capita debt exceeds America's (and Japan's does) and your economy has been on a decline for decades, it seriously doesn't look like your people are "in the know" about how to handle politics and economics.

    My take on Ozawa is that he insulted Americans just before announcing he was going to challenge Kan so that he could get some press for saying something he knew would get him some copy, and it also gets the insecure Japanese populace on his side for calling Americans stupid. That's always a crowd pleaser when people are feeling down about their future, particularly on the heels of being bumped down by China as the world's second largest economy.

  2. I've not seen the original transcript, but I have heard claims that he was mistranslated, or taken out of context. Possible I suppose, but Japanese articles that I have seen have reported that he called Americans simple-minded.

    Nonetheless, I'd also wager he said it to please a certain element. If you can find yesterday's Japanese language report in Real Time Japan and look at the comments following the post, you'll see he did please some with that statement, in or out of context.