Posts tagged ‘Joachim de Villiers 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

December 3, 2011

Okinawa and the delicate relationship with mainland Japan and America

Okinawa and the delicate relationship with mainland Japan and America

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In history the Okinawan people were independent and traded openly throughout the region and they preserved their own distinctive culture, language, religion, and other aspects of culture. However, like many smaller ethnic groups the history of Okinawa is one of being “swallowed up” and aspects of Japanization taking place. The end product is that native speakers of Okinawan continue to decrease and powerful political elites in Tokyo and Washington desire to maintain powerful military bases in Okinawa.

Of course, this is an over simplification because major investment from Japan also took place and the standard of living increased for all nationals irrespective of ethnicity since the reversion of Okinawa to Japan. However, negative policies of the past, which applies to dictates over language and so forth, remains in the “psyche” of Okinawan people.

Therefore, despite Japan being democratic it is like the United Kingdom whereby the Welsh people believe that their language was dismissed and the same applies to their culture by the dominant English in history. Events may have moved on but if the United Kingdom suddenly put the vast majority of military forces from a different nation into mainly Wales, then the people of Wales would feel the same. Therefore, policies need to be handled with care and sensitivity when national issues and cultural issues are at stake and leaders in Tokyo need to bare this in mind.

Okinawa and Japan is united in modern history and this will never change and clearly the vast majority of Okinawans understand the need to have military bases on Okinawa. However, it is clear that the vast majority of American military bases are concentrated on Okinawa and not throughout mainland Japan. This policy seems unfair to many individuals and this policy by the government of Japan isn’t helping because the burden should be more equal.

Also, the Cold War era and recent power politics between major nations like America and China is increasing the burden on the people of Okinawa. Indeed, the government of Japan is also caught up by the real geopolitical game being played by America and China when it comes to maritime power. Therefore, any weakness in Tokyo is condemned by Washington because political leaders in America believe that they have been patient enough. This applies to the stalled relocation of a United States military base.

The views of America will obviously be very different because this nation could rightly claim that it is their sons and daughters who are on the frontline of defending Japan from any military aggression. If you look back in history with regards to militant Maoism during the Cultural Revolution, hostilities between Japan and North Korea, and an expansionist Soviet Union, then clearly America does have a point.

This perhaps is the real tragedy because in modern times the people of Okinawa and the central government in Tokyo, alongside the military of America, have got more in common and share similar values. Times have moved on apart from the military angle and even this is vague because many Okinawans understand the importance of American forces. Therefore, relations on the whole are positive but the percentage of American troops based on Okinawa compared with the rest of Japan is a major stumbling block.

It is worth mentioning that after the March 11 tsunami hit Japan the military of America did a magnificent job. This applies to search and rescue and “being a friend” during a very difficult time for Japan and this also applies to helping with reconstruction, when it was most needed. Also, Americans fully participate in the local economy of Okinawa and bring many jobs and clearly local relations have developed in many fields.

Therefore, when a senior defense official from Japan comments about “rape” this turned the clock back once more because it appears that political leaders in Tokyo are not taking the opinions of the Okinawans into consideration. The vast majority of Japanese nationals and Okinawans understand that America doesn’t have any ill will towards the government of Japan or Okinawa. However, the central government in Tokyo isn’t helping when so much emphasis is being put on Okinawa without any real dialogue being based on equality.

The recent comment by Satoshi Tanaka, director-general of the Okinawa Defense Bureau, was a disgrace and the Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima responded by stating that “My mouth would become tainted (if I made a comment).”

It is reported that Tanaka asked, “Would you say, ‘I will rape you,’ before you rape someone?” This comment was given about the contentious relocation of American military forces in Okinawa. Therefore, once more Tokyo, and not America, have increased passions on Okinawa which accounts for roughly 70% of all American forces based in Japan.

Ironically, it may be in the interest of President Obama to reach out to the Okinawan people directly because the central government in Tokyo isn’t doing a good job. However, this is most unlikely because this would infringe on the sovereignty of Japan. Therefore, the battle will continue and the armed forces of America and the people of Okinawa deserve proper policies being enacted by the government of Japan.

If the residents of Okinawa witnessed an equal burden with mainland Japan then this would help greatly. Or if major concessions were given to Okinawa with regards to economic free zones, greater cultural awareness, and so forth, then a solution may be found which benefits everyone.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

November 28, 2011

President Obama: New Asia Policy is like the Old Policy – Japan beware

President Obama: New Asia Policy is like the Old Policy – Japan beware

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Japan should take a step back and think wisely before following the “containment” policies of President Obama of America towards China. After all, China and Japan rank first and second respectively when it comes to owning US Treasury bonds and China is Japan’s biggest trading partner. Therefore, political leaders in Tokyo must adopt a foreign policy based on the interests of Japan instead of supporting Washington which appears to be returning to a Cold War mentality.

Northeast Asia is delicate at the best of times but economic trade continues to grow and massive cultural exchanges are happening. Therefore, the region is crying out for progressive forces and not out-dated thinking based on political posturing.

Also, if Obama and America is so concerned about containing nations which are spreading a deadly ideology then why isn’t the president focused on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan?  The same applies to past leaders irrespective if Democrat or Republican because September 11 was mainly done by Saudi nationals. Also, Sunni Islamic jihadists in Saudi Arabia did more to endanger the armed forces of America in Iraq than Iran ever did but the usual silence came out of Washington.

Therefore, the stationing of American Marines on Australian soil appears rather shallow and out of tune with recent events in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not only this, the spiraling debt of America and military cutbacks announced by Obama should mean a more pragmatic approach. However, to the bemusement of political leaders in China it appears that Obama wants to open up a new front against political leaders in Beijing.

Japan should stay out of the loop regarding this issue because given America’s past history and conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Vietnam, it would be unwise to follow America’s logic under Obama. Yes, Japan and America have shared interests in protecting Japan because of constitutional constraints which hinder the independence of political leaders in Tokyo. However, Japan doesn’t need to become embroiled in any containment of China because this could lead to future military complications if tensions erupted between political leaders in Washington and Beijing.

Also, it is in the interest of Japan to foster closer ties with China but based on equality because economic investment and past cultural interactions in history were always favorable until the late nineteenth century. Therefore, instead of becoming embroiled in “Obama’s Cold War logic” political leaders in Tokyo should become “a bridge” between both America and China. After all, it is in the interest of Japan to have favorable relations with America and Japan because all nations are major economic powers irrespective of current debt related issues.

Japan also needs to focus on strengthening economic and military ties with the Russian Federation instead of political posturing over the Northern Territories. This applies to increased economic trade, joint military exercises linking Hokkaido and Vladivostok and developing energy policies which will help Japan to break free from relying on oil and gas from the Middle East.

In return, the Russian Federation could arrange to give some disputed islets to Japan while remaining in firm control of Sakhalin. However, Tokyo must abide by certain military pre-conditions if this happened with regards to the stationing of either American or Japanese troops.

In some areas America and Japan must work together and this applies to currency related issues, patent law, abiding by maritime law, supporting democracy, boosting the defensive shield of Japan, and supporting democratic nations throughout the region. Yet Japan should not become involved in political posturing from either Beijing or America.

In other words, Japan should maintain its special relationship with America but outside of the geopolitical concerns of Tokyo, it is incumbent that the non-aligned approach is taken. After all, either regional economic and political blocs will be strengthened or the continent will become divided between Washington and Beijing.

Regional nations don’t need to become embroiled in the “ego” of either America or China and instead international law needs to be maintained. If any nation threatens another, then sides or condemnation is only natural but currently no major power in Asia wants to become embroiled in a major war.

China does need to understand that certain policies have upset nations and that diplomacy is essential at all times. However, to be fair to political leaders in Beijing it is factual that some of the so-called threats have been over-hyped and China also needs to protect sensitive geopolitical areas.

Japan should heed the wise concerns of Singapore because the Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam commented that ASEAN countries do not desire to get “caught between the competing interests” of any major power. Indonesia and Malaysia also expressed dismay over the stationing of US Marines in Australia.

Therefore, Japan needs to adopt a pragmatic approach to America and China and listen to the words of the Foreign Minister of Singapore. It is time for political leaders in Beijing and Washington, irrespective of which nation is more confrontational, to realize that the world is moving on.

The world doesn’t need a new “Cold War” and sadly Obama’s political posturing during the worst economic crisis in recent history in both America and the European Union is rather baffling. Therefore, Obama’s “New Asia Policy” sounds like the “Old Policy” of the Cold War.

Japan must say no to Obama’s “New Asia Policy” and focus on developing closer ties with China and maintaining a strong relationship with America. It is pointless to create an applecart against any single nation when it isn’t warranted because once an applecart is created then “a ticking bomb” may erupt based on a divided region. This will serve no nation and given the American sales pitch of “globalization,” then what happened to Obama?

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

November 16, 2011

Economic growth in Japan but external factors remain troublesome

Economic growth in Japan but external factors remain troublesome

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

The economy of Japan despite all the scaremongering continues to show great resilience and this is despite many massive internal and external factors. Of course, the events that unfolded on March 11 led to major economic convulsions and the loss of life was enormous but on top of this is also the global economic situation. Therefore, for Japan to rebound when America and the European Union are suffering so much is also remarkable.

Tens of thousands of people died because of the potent and deadly tsunami which was unleashed by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake. This was followed by a huge nuclear cloud which hung over Japan and the mass media didn’t help. Therefore, many embassy staff fled alongside foreign nationals and this uncertainty put enormous strains on the economy.

Also, for major manufacturing companies who were based in the areas hit by the earthquake and tsunami, it was essential to restructure and solve the huge cog in the machinery which was hindering the supply chain. However, corporate Japan and the government pumped vast sums into the economy and the banking system. Therefore, a huge capital base was built in order for Japanese companies to obtain funds internally (applies to companies hit by March 11) and also to expand internationally because of the strong yen.

Not only this, the weakness of the American dollar and the Euro meant that exporters would have been hit badly during natural economic events. Yet despite everything, including typhoon Talas which killed many in Wakayama and other prefectures, Japan’s economy is showing signs of economic growth and a rebound was announced.

This applies to gross domestic product growing by 1.5% and while the government of Japan can’t rest on these laurels, it is still a remarkable achievement given the reality of 2011 in Japan. Of course, the ill-winds of America and the European Union will continue to hinder further economic progress but a base is being built and stability is the first step after such internal disasters this year related to nature.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that If you want to study about the uniqueness of Japanese capitalism and how companies respond to enormous adverse conditions, then the Tankan survey by the Bank of Japan will make you fully aware. After all, the devastation caused by March 11 and the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant would have caused most nations to bow down to mass uncertainty.  However, welcome to corporate Japan where the response may seem slow but once the juggernaut starts, then it eats into the crisis and returns to normal.”

“Let us also remember that unemployment in America remains within the 9% range to just below 10% despite enormous debt borrowing and having no internal devastating consequences to face.  Also, remember, that the dollar is very weak and should be helping exporters but in Japan the opposite is happening because the yen is too strong and causing many problems.”

“However, unemployment in Japan is falling despite all these negatives to below 4.5% and it is Japan and not America which is trying to help the European Union and crisis hit Greece.  This applies to buying more Eurobonds and making it fully aware that Japan will step in and help Greece providing a sound economic policy is put on the table.”

Therefore, the announcement that Japan’s economy is picking up is remarkable given the adverse conditions but sadly the economic situation isn’t out of the woods. This applies to external factors like the high yen; the sluggish global economy; recent floods in Thailand hindering Japanese companies with regards to the supply chain; the ensuing crisis in Europe and the “Euro cloud;” and other factors.

If the global economy was in a healthier condition and the international exchange rates of major currencies were based on realism; then Japan would have more hope for optimism. However, it is hard to imagine other nations rebounding so quickly from such a traumatic event and for this fact alone it is clear that Japan can recover quickly from major internal convulsions.

The next quarter may show that all is not well because of external factors and consumer spending internally remains problematic. Yet the scaremongering of the demise of Japan can be seen for what it was.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.clom

November 5, 2011

Tokyo Tourism and Tokyo City Keiba: 4 lovely days of horse racing in early November

Tokyo Tourism and Tokyo City Keiba: 4 lovely days of horse racing in early November

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

November starts today and if you have free time available between November 1and November 4, you have four fantastic days of horse racing at Tokyo City Keiba. Also, with hot and mild weather forecast for the next few days then Tokyo City Keiba is an ideal place to enjoy fantastic racing from the early afternoon to late evening.

Of course the emphasis is on horse racing and the views of every race can be seen by all because of the lovely layout of this horse race track. Not only this, you can decide on a little luxury if you desire because the amenities available makes everything so much more pleasurable.

The real beauty of Tokyo City Keiba is that the stunning lighting system and watching horse racing when the last rays of sunshine have dimmed, means that the atmosphere is electric. The owners of Tokyo City Keiba have managed to fuse together quality horse racing, a stunning atmosphere, places to eat and drink, abundance choice of viewing areas, and the modern feel of sport in the heart of Tokyo is “a real winner.”

Tokyo City Keiba really cares about image and being user friendly. Therefore, this lovely horse racing track caters for all and sundry. This applies to your real horse racing enthusiast; business and hospitality; a romantic evening where you can watch horse racing and eat delicious food; a nice relaxing evening for friends and individuals; and creating a high quality race meeting which caters for the younger generation and ladies.

Also, if you have an early morning flight from Haneda Airport and you are staying in a hotel the day before you travel, then for the next few days you can enjoy your evening before your flight at Tokyo City Keiba.  After all, this horse race meeting is so convenient and you have many nice restaurants to visit while you soak up the atmosphere of the best afternoon to evening sporting venue in Tokyo.

In the last article about Tokyo City Keiba by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “In 2003 the L-wing was opened and part of the aim of this was to attract more ladies to horse racing and the indoor gardens, color projections, restaurants, and other factors, all created modernity and a relaxing atmosphere. The L-wing was obviously designed to enhance Tokyo City Keiba for all clients but it was partly aimed at making the race meeting user-friendly for everyone.”

“The L-wing and the contrasting light schemes enhance the atmosphere because the lighting change from dusk to “Twinkle” (night racing) is a nice touch. Therefore, it is clear that the owners of this race track are innovative and willing to make modern changes in order to reach new clients. However, all modern changes have flowed nicely because the management desire to keep regulars and attract new people to horse racing.”

Not only this, the Diamond Turn area is a great place to enjoy scrumptious food, the spacious amenities provided and to relax in style while watching horse racing at its very best.  Management at Tokyo City Keiba are innovative, always thinking one step ahead and because of this you have a lovely environment which caters for racing enthusiasts and new people to horse racing.

Both writers of this article have been to top notch horse race meetings in England and France (Aintree, Ascot, Chantilly, Chester, Epsom, Longchamp, and Newmarket) and without a shadow of a doubt Tokyo City Keiba provides its own unique ambience. This applies to the stunningly illuminated track; modernity of the horse racing stands; welcoming environment; and staff members who are available to help.

On top of all this, you have a wide choice of other areas which adds spice to the sporting nature and entertainment aspect of Tokyo City Keiba. This applies to restaurants, gardens, color projections, the natural buzz of watching horse racing at night and the warm hospitality on show.

Tokyo City Keiba is in the heart of Tokyo and only takes 25 minutes from Ginza and irrespective of where you stay in Tokyo, this lovely horse racing track is a real treasure. Therefore, Tokyo City Keiba adds spice to both the sporting nature of this ultra-modern city and the horse racing on show and the lovely environment is really enticing.

Finally, if your Japanese isn’t up to scratch then don’t worry because if you visit the website of Tokyo City Keiba, then you can learn how easy it is to bet because of quality guides to help tourists on this website. 

Therefore, if you are lucky to have free time in Tokyo during the first four days of November or you have a flight from Haneda Airport, then why not visit Tokyo City Keiba? After all, you can enjoy a lovely day of quality horse racing and enjoy the fantastic entertainment provided by this stunning horse race track. 

Tokyo City Keiba stands for “quality,” “innovation” and “sporting excellence” and all this is provided in the heart of Tokyo. Why wait?

http://www.tokyocitykeiba.com/index.php 

http://www.tokyocitykeiba.com/04/english_top.php 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com 

http://moderntokyotimes.com 

November 1, 2011

Tokyo Tourism and Tokyo City Keiba: 4 lovely days of horse racing Nov 1 to Nov 4

Tokyo Tourism and Tokyo City Keiba: 4 lovely days of horse racing Nov 1 to Nov 4

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

November starts today and if you have free time available between November 1and November 4, you have four fantastic days of horse racing at Tokyo City Keiba. Also, with hot and mild weather forecast for the next few days then Tokyo City Keiba is an ideal place to enjoy fantastic racing from the early afternoon to late evening.

Of course the emphasis is on horse racing and the views of every race can be seen by all because of the lovely layout of this horse race track. Not only this, you can decide on a little luxury if you desire because the amenities available makes everything so much more pleasurable.

The real beauty of Tokyo City Keiba is that the stunning lighting system and watching horse racing when the last rays of sunshine have dimmed, means that the atmosphere is electric. The owners of Tokyo City Keiba have managed to fuse together quality horse racing, a stunning atmosphere, places to eat and drink, abundance choice of viewing areas, and the modern feel of sport in the heart of Tokyo is “a real winner.”

Tokyo City Keiba really cares about image and being user friendly. Therefore, this lovely horse racing track caters for all and sundry. This applies to your real horse racing enthusiast; business and hospitality; a romantic evening where you can watch horse racing and eat delicious food; a nice relaxing evening for friends and individuals; and creating a high quality race meeting which caters for the younger generation and ladies.

Also, if you have an early morning flight from Haneda Airport and you are staying in a hotel the day before you travel, then for the next few days you can enjoy your evening before your flight at Tokyo City Keiba.  After all, this horse race meeting is so convenient and you have many nice restaurants to visit while you soak up the atmosphere of the best afternoon to evening sporting venue in Tokyo.

In the last article about Tokyo City Keiba by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “In 2003 the L-wing was opened and part of the aim of this was to attract more ladies to horse racing and the indoor gardens, color projections, restaurants, and other factors, all created modernity and a relaxing atmosphere. The L-wing was obviously designed to enhance Tokyo City Keiba for all clients but it was partly aimed at making the race meeting user-friendly for everyone.”

“The L-wing and the contrasting light schemes enhance the atmosphere because the lighting change from dusk to “Twinkle” (night racing) is a nice touch. Therefore, it is clear that the owners of this race track are innovative and willing to make modern changes in order to reach new clients. However, all modern changes have flowed nicely because the management desire to keep regulars and attract new people to horse racing.”

Not only this, the Diamond Turn area is a great place to enjoy scrumptious food, the spacious amenities provided and to relax in style while watching horse racing at its very best.  Management at Tokyo City Keiba are innovative, always thinking one step ahead and because of this you have a lovely environment which caters for racing enthusiasts and new people to horse racing.

Both writers of this article have been to top notch horse race meetings in England and France (Aintree, Ascot, Chantilly, Chester, Epsom, Longchamp, and Newmarket) and without a shadow of a doubt Tokyo City Keiba provides its own unique ambience. This applies to the stunningly illuminated track; modernity of the horse racing stands; welcoming environment; and staff members who are available to help.

On top of all this, you have a wide choice of other areas which adds spice to the sporting nature and entertainment aspect of Tokyo City Keiba. This applies to restaurants, gardens, color projections, the natural buzz of watching horse racing at night and the warm hospitality on show.

Tokyo City Keiba is in the heart of Tokyo and only takes 25 minutes from Ginza and irrespective of where you stay in Tokyo, this lovely horse racing track is a real treasure. Therefore, Tokyo City Keiba adds spice to both the sporting nature of this ultra-modern city and the horse racing on show and the lovely environment is really enticing.

Finally, if your Japanese isn’t up to scratch then don’t worry because if you visit the website of Tokyo City Keiba, then you can learn how easy it is to bet because of quality guides to help tourists on this website. 

Therefore, if you are lucky to have free time in Tokyo during the first four days of November or you have a flight from Haneda Airport, then why not visit Tokyo City Keiba? After all, you can enjoy a lovely day of quality horse racing and enjoy the fantastic entertainment provided by this stunning horse race track. 

Tokyo City Keiba stands for “quality,” “innovation” and “sporting excellence” and all this is provided in the heart of Tokyo. Why wait?

http://www.tokyocitykeiba.com/index.php 

http://www.tokyocitykeiba.com/04/english_top.php 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com 

http://moderntokyotimes.com 

October 25, 2011

Tokyo Tourism: Tokyo City Keiba is a lovely horse racing course

Tokyo Tourism: Tokyo City Keiba is a lovely horse racing course

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Images of tourism in Tokyo applies to exquisite gardens, lovely Buddhist temples, spiritual Shinto shrines, ultra-modernity, electronic town in Akihabara, sublime fashion (Aoyama, Daiganyama, Ebisu, Ginza, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Jiyugaoka, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Yurakucho), ukiyo-e, kabuki, museums in Ueno, ultra-modern Odaiba, Tokyo Imperial Palace, and so much more. However, sometimes it is nice to unwind in the early evening and sit back and watch the entertainment on offer.  Therefore, Tokyo City Keiba is such a place to enjoy and watch horse racing from afternoon to night racing.

Also, because the meeting is conveniently located and finishes not too late, then the night is still young enough to chill out in many trendy parts of Tokyo. Not only this, you can enjoy a nice meal at restaurants inside Tokyo City Keiba and enjoy the different cultural aspects of racing in Japan.

Horse racing is truly international and this applies to America, Australia, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and other parts of the world like Dubai. This in itself means that Tokyoites, individuals working in Tokyo but residing in other prefectures, and tourists to Tokyo can enjoy a sport which is liked and respected throughout the globe.

It takes approximately 25 minutes from Ginza to reach this lovely course and the floodlights have been done elegantly.  Therefore, the view is very pleasing and this adds to the occasion. Not only this, the cost of entering Tokyo City Keiba is so cheap that it is pointless to mention how much. 

Of course, if you want to sit in more up-market areas then you will have to pay but if you prefer the stands which are open to everybody, it is still fantastic because the view of the entire race is clearly visible to the eye at all times.

In 2003 the L-wing was opened and part of the aim of this was to attract more ladies to horse racing and the indoor gardens, color projections, restaurants, and other factors, all created modernity and a relaxing atmosphere. The L-wing was obviously designed to enhance Tokyo City Keiba for all clients but it was partly aimed at making the race meeting user-friendly for everyone. 

The L-wing and the contrasting light schemes enhance the atmosphere because the lighting change from dusk to “Twinkle” (night racing) is a nice touch. Therefore, it is clear that the owners of this race track are innovative and willing to make modern changes in order to reach new clients. However, all modern changes have flowed nicely because the management desire to keep regulars and attract new people to horse racing.

This approach is based on thinking about the bigger picture and maintaining the power of horse racing in the heart of Tokyo. After all, sport is a very competitive market and Tokyoites and tourists who may visit desire a quality meeting, whereby you can enjoy many aspects of horse racing and other forms of entertainment which is provided.

The Diamond Turn is also a great place to watch horse racing, enjoy tasty food and sit back and enjoy the racing in comfort. Therefore if you want to enjoy the spacious amenities provided by the Diamond Turn you won’t regret.

The stunningly illuminated track and modernity of Tokyo City Keiba makes this a great place to unwind. It is well worth a visit irrespective if you are a Tokyoite, new to Tokyo, work in Tokyo but reside in other prefectures or a tourist to Tokyo.

Horse race meetings (http://www.tokyocitykeiba.com/index.php) are held regularly and just check the website provided above which also can be viewed in English.

Twinkle racing is great to watch and a nice way to enjoy the evening. Therefore, if you want to visit a special sporting arena which is spicy and entertaining, Tokyo City Keiba is just the place to unwind and enjoy all the entertainment which is provided.

http://www.tokyocitykeiba.com/index.php

http://www.tokyocitykeiba.com/04/english_top.php

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

October 6, 2011

Japan government: $43 billion credit to main banks for M & A abroad

Japan government: $43 billion credit to main banks for M & A abroad

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

The government of Japan decided on providing a $100 billion dollars lifeline to help Japanese companies during this difficult time. This was agreed in August and the main area is to fund exporters and help with foreign purchases in order to counteract the strong yen. 

Therefore, the three main banks have been allocated a $43 billion dollar credit line in order to help Japanese companies to expand overseas.  The high yen is putting a huge burden on exporters and this economic incentive is designed to sure up the business community, which is feeling the consequences of an unbalanced currency market.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is being offered a $15 billion dollars credit line and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. are both being offered $14 billion dollars. The money is being channeled via the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the move is seen to be positive.

The weakness of the dollar is creating major problems and in the last 6 months alone the yen rose 11%. At the same time you have mass instability in the Eurozone and tensions are rising between America and China because of China’s manipulation of its currency. Therefore, the yen is seen to be a safe haven given the current economic instability which is infringing on all major economies.

Yoshihiko Noda, the Prime Minister of Japan, and senior figures in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), are alarmed by the currency market because the high yen is not based on Japan’s economic reality. Therefore, a huge burden is being put on Japan at a time when funding is needed domestically because of the devastation caused by the March 11 tsunami and the ongoing consequences of Fukushima.

The logic behind the initiative is to help banks obtain dollars and then to utilize this credit line by offering loans to companies which are focused on obtaining acquisitions abroad.  This initiative will provide much needed capital and provide a cushion to the three megabanks and companies which seek to expand internationally.

Yoshinobu Yamada, an analyst for Deutsche Bank AG and who is based in Tokyo, commented that “This is a preparatory measure for any future event that may make it difficult for Japanese banks to procure the dollars in the market.” He continued by stating that “…Japan’s government needs to swiftly reconstruct the earthquake damaged nation and push domestic economic growth.”

Recent overseas acquisitions have totaled $56.7 billion dollars and this is the highest for three years and it is clear that despite all the mayhem that Japan seeks to counteract all these negatives.  Also, you have genuine fears that the yen will force some Japanese companies to relocate production abroad and the same applies to research and development.  Therefore, it is imperative that the government steps in and supports companies in Japan to weather the storm and to help in foreign acquisitions.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

September 28, 2011

Japan may lend support to Greece bailout plan

Japan may lend support to Greece bailout plan

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The European debt crisis and the inability of the American government to solve the unemployment crisis and to support the dollar, means that Japan may once more buy more Eurobonds and step-in and give support to Greece.  This may seem ironic, after all, Japan’s debt is enormous and is also problematic but the reserves of this nation remain strong.

Also, the strengthening yen and growing debt and unemployment crisis in America and Europe is setting off alarm bells in Japan. After all, Japan relies heavily on exports and the yen rate is creating enormous problems.

Japan also knows that the European market and American market are very important for Japanese companies and it appears that the government is thinking about the long-term.  Therefore, providing a feasible plan is put on the table the government of Japan will help Greece which is in dire straits at the moment.

Greece is being forced to adopt austerity measures but many workers are increasingly disillusioned and many mass demonstrations have broken out.  Also, it isn’t only about Greece because several other European nations have major problems and some banks in France have come under close scrutiny.

Jun Azumi, Finance Minister, is clearly alarmed by the rise of the yen, the weakness of the Nikkei, export related issues and other global problems which are collectively leading to mass economic instability.   

Jun Azumi commented that “If there is a scheme that is based on a firm process, involves a reasonable amount of money and could provide the world and markets with a sense of security regarding a Greek bailout, I would not rule out the possibility of Japan sharing some of the burden.”

It appears that European leaders and America are at a loss about what to do and the wait and see approach and tentative moves haven’t solved anything.  The more America and the European Union do little then confidence in both currencies goes further down and this means that more investors will flock to the yen. 

This is a nightmare for Japan because exporters are feeling the crunch already and the longevity of the crisis because of the ineptness of both America and the European Union is clear for all to see.

The British government is trying to decrease spending and focus on restoring economic order. Therefore, while economic measures in the United Kingdom may not be popular, at least the methodology is better than President Obama’s logic. This applies to more borrowing and racking up a huge debt burden for future generations.

Japan’s economic system is far from perfect but it somehow keeps on ticking and the reserves of the nation are a blessing.  However, while America sits on its feet and does little to ease global pressure, the government of Japan is willing to help the European Union providing plans have a firm foundation.

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