Saturday, February 7, 2015

The villains named themselves with English words intentionally

Al-Qaeda, Aum-Shinrikyo, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Islamic State.

I jot down some of armed extremist groups, just in alphabetical order. How do they feel respectively? How do they sound respectively? Every word has its own nuance, whatever language it is. Familiar words tend to leave a familiar impression on us. Does the last group mentioned above sound more familiar than the first 4 groups to English-speaking people?

I am 47 years old. More than 34 years have passed since I began to learn English as a second language in a junior high school. I'm old enough to realize that the masterminds of self-styled "Islamic State" have named their own group with familiar English words intentionally. They have done so with confidence in order to make it easier to recruit young people brought up and educated in advanced countries.

Generally speaking, young people are reckless idealists. And the information technologies are flourishing, especially in advanced countries. The masterminds of self-styled "Islamic State" recruit young people via the Internet, threaten governments via the Internet, and make videos of killing public to horrify people via the Internet. Technologies are always like a double-edged sword.

On the globe, there must not be a place villains can call their own.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What a poor memory I have!

I wonder how we store a tremendous amount of information in our own brain. Our memory is sometimes as vague as a mirage.

In the afternoon, a couple of days ago, I jogged down the hill to the Misaki fishing port at the southern end of the Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Pref. It's a gentle hill leading to the coast. This terrain is very exceptional in the Japanese Archipelago, which is long and narrow, and relatively full of mountains.

When I started jogging at Misakiguchi Station, I surely thought that I had never been on this road. On the way to the port, one restaurant of a major chain came into view. In front of me was the restaurant on the downhill with the Pacific Ocean in the background. This view made me remember that I drove my subcompact car on this road over 20 years ago. I took my girlfriend there for a drive in my younger days. What a poor memory I have!

The Miura Peninsula, which is at the mouth of Tokyo Bay, is the place where the U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry disembarked in 1853 to demand by force opening of the Japanese ports to the U.S., and also the place where the U.S. Navy Base, formally called Fleet Activities Yokosuka, is located today under Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

I upload my messages at this blog mainly here in the Miura Peninsula in Japan.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is Abe Administration on the right track financially?

It took more time than expected to complete installing Windows into my MacBook Air with "Boot Camp". I need to use Microsoft's relational database application, Access, which has no (Mac) OS X version. Last Monday, after finishing installation of Windows, I opened  a package of an iPod touch I bought the other day and set it up. I plan to replace my iPad mini (with Wi-Fi only) with it. It's a little hard to carry an iPad mini when I jog along the coast as a pastime.

Nearly 4 weeks have already passed since a new year began. The 189th session of the Diet of Japan has started, as the Diet was belatedly convened last Monday. Compilation of the government budget for the coming fiscal year starting on April 1 is significantly behind schedule. Why is it significantly behind schedule? It is because the general election for Representatives was held last month as Japan's prime minister, Abe Shinzo, surprisingly dissolved the House of Representatives in the previous month.

Since the economic bubble burst in Japan in the early 1990s, Japan's government debt has piled up. Since Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11, Title 11 of the U.S. Code in September of 2008, its increase has accelerated. The outstanding government debt as of June 30, 2014, is already over 1,000 trillion (=1 quadrillion) JPY, more than 20 times as large as last fiscal year's tax revenue.

Abe Administration is on the wrong track financially. It is not that financial institutions accepting Japan government bonds are always there.

Friday, January 23, 2015

How did Japan realize release of hostages 45 years ago?

Although Japan has long been thought to be a safer country than any other advanced countries and to have nothing to do with terrorism, there has been terrorism in Japan domestically, not internationally.

In March of 1995, an armed cult group, called Aum-Shinrikyo, diffused sarin in Tokyo Metro cars while the trains stopped at stations in or near the Kasumigaseki government office district to attack Japan's government. This insane cult group appealed to and recruited some of well-educated young people, especially people who had majored in science and engineering. They built a chemical plant near Mt. Fuji to produce sarin, falsely insisting that it was a chemical fertilizer plant.

Japan and the U.S. revised their security treaty in 1960. Public opinion on it was divided, and a few of young people turned so much radical and violent. In 1970, they hijacked a Japan Airline aircraft and took passengers and crew hostage in pursuit of their political purpose. At that time, one young Representative, YAMAMURA Shinjiro, volunteered to be held hostage for the passengers to be released. This reminds me of Bushido, sort of Japanese chivalry.

At this moment, two Japanese men are being held hostage by so-called "IS" demanding a ransom. The international community does not consist of only good-natured people. As a Japanese, I feel sorry that Japanese still fail to revise the Constitution established under the Allies' strong influence.