Posts tagged ‘Hiroshi Saito and Lee Jay Walker’

November 6, 2012

US and Japan holding military exercises: People of Okinawa are being marginalized

US and Japan holding military exercises: People of Okinawa are being marginalized

Joachim de Villiers, Hiroshi Saito and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The United States and Japan are currently holding military exercises which will last until November 16. Yet the biennial military exercise called Keen Sword appears to show a lack of sensitivity towards the people of Okinawa. This applies to the existing tensions between Okinawa and mainland Japan which continues to brush aside the demands of local people.

Currently the United States military is being forced to keep its head down in Okinawa after recent rape allegations and because of a brutal attack against a teenager. Of course, the issue of American bases throughout Okinawa runs much deeper. This doesn’t only apply to the actions of the United States but also towards the government of Japan. Yet with such recent heightened tensions over the deployment of MV-22 Osprey and the behavior of American troops, then once more it appears that the people of Okinawa are not viewed highly to political leaders based in Tokyo.

In Okinawa, many local people believe that the central government in Japan treats this area like a second-class region. This is based on the reality that a sizeable amount of the armed forces of America are stationed in Okinawa compared to mainland Japan. Historical realities also mean that the indigenous people of Okinawa seem to be a pawn which is openly manipulated by Tokyo and Washington. Therefore, if Okinawa is truly part of Japan, then why are the wishes of local people ignored so much?

The people of Okinawa on the whole are not demanding the expulsion of all American bases but they do want mainland Japan to share the burden. America is not insensitive to the demands of Okinawa but clearly the central government of Japan seems distant. After all, over 70% of all American forces are based in Okinawa despite repeated demands for sharing the responsibility with mainland Japan.

In the New York Times editorial (November 2, 2012) it is stated that “Many Okinawans believe, with justification, that their views are irrelevant to the Japanese government and the United States, whose geopolitical priorities trump local concerns about jet crashes, noise, environmental destruction and crime. That has not stopped protesters from tirelessly raising objections, most strongly in 1995, when three servicemen gang-raped a schoolgirl, and in September, when tens of thousands demonstrated against the deployment of the Osprey.”

Further down in the same editorial it states about America that political leaders“…should move swiftly to lighten its presence on Okinawa, by shifting troops to Guam, Hawaii and elsewhere in Japan. Okinawans will feel safer and less aggrieved only when they believe that Japan and the United States are taking their objections seriously.

The sad truth is that political leaders in Tokyo appear to view the area to be second-class because historically Okinawa (Ryukyu Kingdom) never belonged to Japan. Therefore, the government of Japan is still viewing Okinawa in a subservient manner. This policy is not only backfiring against political leaders in Tokyo but it is also impacting on America and the military forces based throughout Japan. Given this reality, then Washington should make the first move because little seems to change the hearts of political leaders in Tokyo.

Currently, relations between China and Japan have hit rock bottom because of the territorial dispute. Yet for people in Okinawa it is the lack of transparency within successive governments based in Tokyo which is the real issue.

Therefore, the current joint military exercises by America and Japan in the waters of Okinawa is also a symbol of major powers ignoring the wishes of local people. China may hog the headlines because of the current tense situation with Japan over territory. Yet in Okinawa it appears that their voices count for nothing because countless demonstrations and protests have not altered the major imbalance of American forces being based in Okinawa.

In the Asahi Shimbun (article written by Satoshi Okumura, Norio Yatsu and Tsukasa Kimura) it was stated that“Huge protests erupted in Okinawa Prefecture and other parts of Japan over the deployment of the Osprey to Okinawa Prefecture. Residents and local leaders cited the spotty safety record of the aircraft, and they repeated that the island prefecture continues to shoulder the overwhelming burden of hosting U.S. military bases under the Japan-U.S. security alliance.”

The government of Japan just like China uses nationalist rhetoric over the ongoing territorial dispute between both nations. Ironically, however, many people in Okinawa are also disillusioned with political leaders in mainland Japan because of the second-class nature of the treatment of people from Okinawa. It is time for political elites in distant Tokyo to wake-up to the demands of local people in Okinawa. Also, Washington must do more to defuse the situation.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201210310074

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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August 9, 2012

Tokyo fashion continues to bloom in the adorable Omotesando Hills shopping mall

Tokyo fashion continues to bloom in the adorable Omotesando Hills shopping mall

Michel Lebon, Hiroshi Saito and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo fashion is extremely diverse because you have so many places to visit throughout this ultramodern city. Irrespective if you are a Tokyoite or visitor to Tokyo you can’t but help to notice the sophistication of fashion in this amazing city.  Therefore, you are literally spoilt for choice but if you like refined areas, a lovely mixture of Japanese and international fashion and a real vibe, then Omotesando and the entire area is one big fashion paradise.

This applies to the continuity of Aoyama, Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya. It is simply amazing and you have so many other areas of quality fashion. Therefore, for the fashion conscious Tokyo is a must and international tourists who love fashion will simply adore the many areas of this trendy and vibrant mega-city.

Omotesando Hills is a fantastic place to visit and see the rich variety of Japanese and international fashion. Also, while the initial issue of the opening of this building cast doubts, related to the old area which was loved by locals in Aoyama. It must be stated that many years later then all this seems like a distant memory because Omotesando Hills is certainly on the map.

Modern Tokyo Times took images of aspects of the fashion on show inside the building of Omotesando Hills. This applies to images showing fashion from Adore, Anterpima, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Yves Saint Laurent, and Zara.

However, you have other lovely fashion companies like Tracy Reese, Kiwa Sylphy, iliann loeb, Milly, Tiara, Apartment Department, Martinique Le Conte, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro), Oriental News and so many others. In truth, it is unfair to not name all the fashion stores because all are blessed with exquisite fashion, style and are full of panache. Therefore, please check the Omotesando Hills website for the full list of companies because you have so many sophisticated boutiques and other stores in this lovely fashion complex.

This luxurious shopping mall was designed by the highly acclaimed Tadao Ando and the architect he implanted was pure genius. This applies to the lovely layout, the nice imagery and the casual nature of browsing around because everything works like clockwork.

The building itself graces the entire area and inside it looks sophisticated without needing any glitz.  Instead, you have a building with natural light and which suits the landscape of this fashion conscious area.  Tadao Ando clearly won over many individuals and for newcomers to the area then all they will know is that Omotesando Hills is a landmark building.

Therefore, this is the highest compliment that could be given and today it is a must place to visit for fashion lovers who enjoy style, elegance, lovely fabrics, exquisite clothes and bags with quality and style. To cap all this, the ambience inside Omotesando Hills is extremely relaxing and you have a lovely environment whereby you can relax and drink coffee or eat delicious food.

Also, you don’t have the rush factor or searching around for the odd quality fashion store. Instead, you have quality stores after quality stores and while the emphasis at Omotesando Hills is fashion, you also have other types of stores which compliment the elegance of this shopping mall.

Therefore, you have many beauty services and this works well with the entire theme of Omotesando Hills.  If this is you area of interest, or if beauty services will compliment your shopping, then you have quality companies inside this ultra-trendy shopping mall.

This applies to Createur Reveal (nail salon), hair make Pas de deux (hair salon), le bois (spa and beauty treatment), M.A.C. (cosmetics), and shu uemura beauty boutique (cosmetics).

Omotesando caters for exquisite ladies fashion, mens fashion, baby and kids apparel, jewelry, accessories, bags, beauty services, shoes, eyewear, watches, fashion goods, lifestyle and to add a real touch you have lovely galleries.  Also, you have many places to eat and drink and you have ample quality restaurants, cafés and bar food to cater for shoppers during your visit to Omotesando Hills.

Overall, the fashion is exquisite, the choice is varied and the layout of Omotesando Hills is a treasure. If you love fashion and you want to enjoy a crème de la crème shopping mall then this is the right place to see the latest fashion trends.

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

http://www.ap-dp.com/

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

http://www.brooksbrothers.co.jp/fleece/index.html

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://eu.jimmychoo.com/en/restofworld/page/home?notify=yes

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/

http://www.maccosmetics.co.jp/

http://www.merveilleh.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/martinique/index.html

http://ameblo.jp/oriental-news-omotesando/

http://www.incontro.co.jp/

http://www.melrose.co.jp/tiara/

http://www.pasdedeux.co.jp/

http://www.ysl.com/d/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

ALL IMAGES BY MODERN TOKYO TIMES

July 13, 2012

Kagoshima Governor supporting the nuclear restart wins the election: Nuclear hype in the media

Kagoshima Governor supporting the nuclear restart wins the election: Nuclear hype in the media

Walter Sebastian, Hiroshi Saito and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

The mass media keeps on telling the world that the majority of Japanese individuals are against nuclear power. However, the recent victory for Governor Yuichiro Ito points to the reality that the nuclear issue isn’t the main concern for the majority of Japanese people. Therefore, despite the hype it is clear that the “nuclear option” is viable just like it was for the past few decades. Also, with the increased imports of energy hitting the Japanese economy hard it is clear that more and more individuals will put the economic well being of Japan first.

After the tragic events of March 11, 2011, related to the brutal earthquake and tsunami which unleashed the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the media spin is often anti nuclear. In fact, major agencies all over the world appear to “pick statistics out of thin air” when stating that the vast majority of Japanese citizens reject nuclear power. Yet clearly the election in Kagoshima, just like other elections, doesn’t back up this “alleged theory.”

In various elections held in Japan it is clear that individual politicians who support the resumption of nuclear power have won. Also, even when politicians won who may be against nuclear power, they were elected not on this reason but related to other factors. Therefore, despite the media hype and other negative postures towards nuclear power it is abundantly obvious that this issue isn’t the main focus for the vast majority of the Japanese electorate.

It also must be stated that over 19,000 people died because of the tsunami which destroyed so many places in the Tohoku region and surrounding area along the coast. On the other hand, the death total with regards to nuclear power remains to be zero. This isn’t to underestimate the seriousness of radiation in areas close to the stricken nuclear facility. The same applies to the local fisheries community and towns within the 30km zone which have been hit hard. However, it isn’t the Armageddon which was pictured by many articles during the early period of the crisis.

Not only this, if you visit Fukushima prefecture you will notice that the commercial capital in Koriyama is thriving. Similarly, while “some media agencies appear to have an agenda” this isn’t helping the local economy in Fukushima prefecture. After all, tourist numbers have been down despite gradually increasing in recent months.

Therefore, for individuals who are concerned about the livelihoods of people in Fukushima many have visited the tourist attractions to over compensate for people who have been manipulated by “false reporting” and over-hyped statements. Indeed, if individuals visit beautiful places like the Urabandai region in Fukushima, then clearly the stunning aspect of nature is a clear reminder that the vast majority of Fukushima prefecture is open to the business and tourist community.

Turning back to the Kagoshima gubernatorial election then Governor Yuichiro Ito was elected for the third time to continue to run this part of Japan at the local level. Yuichiro Ito supports the restarting of two nuclear power stations providing the new safety mechanisms have been firmly put in place. His challenger, Yoshitaka Mukohara, desired to block the return to nuclear energy in this prefecture and then scrapping the nuclear reactors in the future.

However, the vast majority of people selected Yuichiro Ito in Kagoshima despite all the media hype about nuclear power. Individuals elected him based on many factors which were unrelated to nuclear power and this is the point. Even if an individual wins who is anti-nuclear, it doesn’t imply that this was the reason why they were elected. Likewise, if individuals are selected because they support the resumption of nuclear power, it also doesn’t imply that the vast majority of people voted for this individual based on supporting nuclear energy.

The real issue for the majority of Japanese people is economics and not the nuclear issue. Therefore, Yuichiro Ito was elected on the grounds that he is restoring financial health to Kagoshima.

Some politicians, celebrities, the mass media, and so forth, are hyping the anti-nuclear issue because of their own agenda. Yet just like in Tokyo when anti-nuclear demonstrations are highlighted in the media – it is clear that on the very same day more people will be shopping for fashion items in stores throughout major fashion areas. After all, while the “nuclear issue” is important for anti-nuclear individuals despite the tsunami killing more than 19,000 people and nobody dying from the nuclear crisis, it is clear the majority of people are voting with their feat.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com