Thursday, March 22, 2018

Peaceful Heisei

The present "Heisei Era" in Japan (平成時代) will not last past April next year. This era of "peace everywhere" is due to end 30 April 2019, at Heisei 31. The next era will begin 1st May 2019 (or before) -- we can only hope it will be peaceful & offer new opportunities.

Since the end of WWII in 1945, Japan has enjoyed many benefits from relatively low defense spending and de-emphasized militarism. Change is coming.

The present government of Shinzō Abe is eager to alter Japan's international profile, and promises to develop the military. Until now, much of the public's been largely apathetic, and high-profile activism is rare. Some 75 years after the end of WWII, Japanese militarism may soon make a combative comeback.

Will Japan be better if tougher and more belligerent?

The view from Sweden is not encouraging. We see Japan as unlikely to militarily outperform major potential opponents: China, Russia, the USA.

Japan's other political and commercial alliances, such as with ASEAN or the EU, are unlikely to markedly improve if Japan becomes heavily armed. Considering also assorted reactions by Korea (North & South), we wonder who in fact would surely benefit from remilitarized Japan? The list is short: arms dealers; perhaps strategists in distant Washington DC; corrupt Japanese politicos bribed in advance; etc.?

Emphasizing neutrality, or science & technology, Japan might better emulate Switzerland or Sweden. Will we look back in longing to the relative well-being of these past decades, as Japan slips into martial reorganization and aggressive ultra-nationalism? I hope not... but the Japanese people are deciding, with the luxurious choice of apathy a dwindling option.

(1939) What future five years hence: Year of Rabbit, 2023

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Akie Abe, BANZAI !

Patriotism Japonais = Loss of Peace?
No worries! 

Akie Abe works for Japan

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Abe's Pride

Prime Minister Abe's Pride Hurts Japan

Important business continues, but without top representation by Japan: the G-20, North Korea Peace Talks, negotiations with Russia, the new TPP, challenging protectionism by Trump in the USA, etc.

Abe & Aso should resign immediately, as responsible for government corruption.

安倍晋三 さようなら ...
麻生太郎 さようなら ...

Monday, March 19, 2018


Banzai Remilitarized Japan?

PM Abe's right-wing government (and shadowy Nippon Kaigi) aim to quash Japan's "Peace" Constitution Article 9 and revive the military.

安倍総理... 万歳?

Considering the ghosts of past patriots with the millions of casualties throughout Asia, Japan & the Pacific, enforced PEACE is the better choice over belligerent rearmament and ultranationalism.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Japan's Joy - Abolish Abe

Japan's Prime Minister Abe has done great damage to Japan, destroying trust in government. Abe & advisors such as Finance Minister Tarō Asō (麻生 太郎) claim they didn't personally direct the favoritism or attempted cover-up. But we now know gross bureaucratic criminality occurred during their tenure, surely reflecting bad, unsuitable leadership.

The PM's wife, Akie Abe was clearly involved with expanding & promoting ultrarightist outreach.

But seeking to instill militarism in young kids makes Japan's PM Abe - Tsukamoto - Moritomo dangerous to the nation, to Japan's neighbors, to All the World.

Abe in prison
Delays re-arming Japan
Fresh weapon is Peace

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Do some US Democratic Senate dance for Big Money?

US bank liberalization is a contentious topic since 2008, when the government bailed-out private interests with massive public funding.

Some Democratic Senators recently joined their Republican colleagues in voting to move forward with relaxed controls over financial corporations.

These 16 Senators, joined by Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and 50 Republicans are being accused of betraying their voter base (link).

Mark Bennet (D-CO), Dave Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA)

I believe in fact there are many more corrupt Democrat Senators allowing the rich 1% to virtually enslave the typical American.

But these 16 Democrat weasels take a great deal of money from big finance and associated law firms. It is disgusting.

Sen. Tim Kaine, corporatist Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate & Democratic Party VP candidate, reportedly took $1,644,469 from financial institutions and $3,753,613 from lawyers and law firms (link). Typical working people electing corporatist weasels of course are poorly served!

Money controls America

Reported Contributions amassed by the "Sleazy Sixteen"


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Price of Peace, DPRK

North Korea Makeover:
     Pyongyang's Ryugyong Hotel  류경려관  柳京飯店

Friday, March 09, 2018

Don't Die for Oil

We should keep fossil fuels in the ground. We can develop cleaner energy sources - and it's good business. Too often energy source full costs are ignored (Iraq war costs). 

Resist dirty extractive industries!

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Japan's Ultra-Right Shame

The special case ("特殊性") of far right-wing Moritomo Gakuen 森友学園 in Japan is an outrage, paying virtually nothing to secure valuable public land.

Until any politician(s) involved is incriminated, the bureaucrats who approved the transfer should be held responsible: jailed for corruption & gross misconduct.

[ Update - 13 March ]
Now the head of the National Tax Agency has resigned; a Ministry of Finance official involved in the case committed suicide (7 March); Mainichi reports the Board of Audit is implicated (12 March); and Japan's Finance Ministry admits illegally manipulating documents (12 March). 

Surely the corruption goes further than Japan's bureaucracy - how long will the bureaucrats burn while top politicos simply watch?

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Danger in Korea

Reapproachment between North & South segments of Korea do not fit smoothly with USA geopolitical strategy.

By permanently basing some 25,000 military personnel within South Korea & the Demilitarized Zone, US militarism's intimately linked to South Korea's formidable security forces. But close American ties to disgraced President Park Geun-hye's right-wing government soured relations with her successor. How much did the USA tolerate or tacitly support Park's illegal authoritarian repression & corruption?

All nearby nations have a strong wish to avoid inter-Korean warfare, but the risks of war are less painful to militarists in far-off Washington. Commander-in-Chief Trump may frankly welcome opportunity to prove his personal toughness...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Off Wit'er 'ed!

Brexit could again allow public hangings. 

Government May be wary...

Monday, February 19, 2018

Double Down Doggedness

Britain has curried a strong reputation for good sportsmanship. Strongly influenced by His Lordship Sebastian Coe, they're outspoken against doping, but fixated on Russian devils.

Not enough care is directed to avoid tarring innocent athletes with doping accusations.

Coe himself is insecure, his personal achievements tarnished from boycott-depleted competition in the Moscow & Los Angeles Summer Olympics. 

Britain should look objectively at mighty ally America, which for many years has shielded admitted drug-cheat Lance Armstrong from justice.

Will we ever see the video evidence of International Olympic Committee member Adam Pengilly's altercation with  Pyeongchang Winter Olympics security? Pengilly admits multiple lapses. He claims there was no physical contact. Yet he was ordered home and quickly bundled away, his actions reported in the UK as disgraceful.

Pengilly is one of just twelve elected IOC Athletes' Commission members, and thus also one of only 100 IOC members. He was elected to an eight-year term from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. It seems the British hope his case is quietly forgotten and he's allowed to finish his term. We want Olympic Games success. But is coverup proper accountability?

The simple label of "incident" is being spun by the UK & international press. But The Korea Times headline (link) is more severe:
"British IOC member assaults security guard in PyeongChang"

The Korea Herald is also markedly more condemnatory.

At least one ally has tried to portray Adam Pengilly as a victim of the IOC -- rather than an arrogant bully above security checking or censure.

What Happened?  Should Adam Pengilly face criminal charges?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Across decades, Aloha

Boston in July 2016: greeting the Hawaiian diplomatic voyaging canoe Hōkūle'a on its global multi-year mission of mālama honua (caring for our island Earth). I begin talking to an older Hawaiian lady. She's lived in Massachusetts for decades, but grew up around Punalu'u, O'ahu. "Perhaps you knew my Uncle George Hiilani Mills" (my grandmother's younger brother).
She gently reaches out to touch my arm -
"Of course I knew Dr. Mills - he was our family doctor for many, many years. Such beautiful eyes! ..."
...Aloha shared, far away....

Monday, February 12, 2018

Know Too Much?

I often feel angry at the craziness I see in the world. That emotion can often be transformed into a motivator to work for positive change.

But sometimes I feel dismay on another level. This can come when seeing repeated errors, and patterns of hugely costly ignorance around me. Or it can be more simple, such as when understanding "back office" procedures takes away beauty and magic.

I've worked teaching Service Excellence, and enjoy studying commercial kitchens and hospitality in restaurants, hotels, inns, etc. But as a visitor it can sometimes all look flat when the environment is contrived & artificial, or executed poorly.

I also work in Place Marketing. I've much experience with Japan & Korea, but also have lived and worked around Europe, with continuing interactions in Australia, the USA, Hawaii, India & elsewhere. Placemaking is a fascinating process. I know of thousands of local success stories and have visited many hundreds of iconic projects in over 80 countries around the world.

In teaching MBA programmes, we urge our students to Redesign Your Life. Ultimately, this knowledge translates also to my personal life: choosing where and how to live. Why Live Where? I live in central Stockholm, Sweden, in a neighborhood with excellent walkability. We've not owned a car since 1995. Our home is comfortable and made with good materials. The community is prosperous, anti-militarist, with excellent social services.

We live next to Odenplan. Ten years ago it was a reasonably beautiful city square with big trees, a water feature, and small shops. Then the regional government tore it up for underground construction lasting some five years. Now it is rebuilt as cold, slippery and windswept, not a friendly place at all. That's sad, because many friends and acquaintances live nearby (including another very top placemaking expert). Of course we can deliberately meet together in commercial shops, but so much better to organically cross paths in the local piazza and have an informal chat. Perhaps one day Odenplan will get better... it's still under adjustment.

In sum, both fun & frustration. Continuing challenges demand renewed energies. Pressure Makes Diamonds.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sneaky Citizen

Oddities and inconsistencies often arise from reading wide & various news reports. Here's one from late Friday afternoon:

Citizen Watch Co. (シチズン時計) accepted the resignation of the President of their subsidiary, Citizen Electronics Co. (シチズン電子社長を解任した), for falsifying product data. It seems both the origin and longevity of key LEDs, switches & sensors were misrepresented for many years so as not to "lose contracts mainly with North American clients."

The report was vague, and no other English-language news (as of now, Saturday morning) is reporting yet about the scandal.

Looking at Japanese-language reports, it becomes clearer: Citizen lied about place-or-origin, claiming domestic Japanese origin for parts made in China.

Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reports this was at least a seven-year fraud, involving 166 types of products, and 1.3 billion mislabeled parts (約13億3300万個).

This may mean additional import duties & penalties are due to "North American" authorities, and surely they should pay compensation to defrauded consumers.  Further, we wonder how many other manufacturers deceive us everyday?

BAD Corporate Citizen

Friday, February 09, 2018

Ekecheiria - Olympic Truce

Hooray. No politics for me 9-25 February! 
I'm very happy to honor ἐκεχειρία, the Spirit of truce, armistice & cessation of hostilities - a 3000-year tradition.

Olympic Truce Please

The Olympics entourage of US politico Mike Pence includes the father of Otto Warmbier, the 21-yr old American who received harsh imprisonment for attempting to steal a North Korean political banner.

Pence is being savaged by his South Korean hosts for divisiveness:

Does Pence understand the 3000-year old tradition of the Olympic Truce?

The South Korean hosts worked many years to stage a clean & uplifting Olympic Games. The arrogant USA doesn't care.

The USA team at the last Summer Olympics in Rio made several false accusations and caused bad feeling in the host community (four swimmers including Ryan Lochte). Such behavior is horrible & ugly.

The USA is quick to condemn other nations while America offers protection to the global worst scum cheat Lance Armstrong. Five years ago he admitted to long-term doping, and thus theft & fraud. But he's kept hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten wealth, and has yet to serve even one day in jail.

Anyhow, for now, let's celebrate the Olympics!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

American Snowflake

Part of the USA has now been taught to taunt many others with the label "Snowflake"

Anyone using that term is an Asshole & coward.
  • Who are you afraid to confront?
  • Why pretend
  • Why be passive-aggressive ?
As a Liberal person, I'll also not mince words:
The American Health Care System is horribly bad.
If you are not very wealthy, they will cruelly extract your money.
Expect to die knowing you're being cheated.

Escape Now - You share responsibility for Your future misery.
Go to a foreign land which has national health insurance.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag

When Republican Speaker of the House Ryan deleted a highly-criticized tweet, he was able to also kill many well-crafted criticisms.

Ryan's proud to be butt-boy to America's owners.

Ryan's proud we're satisfied to get $1.50 a week.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


Late dusk, our landlord showed up at our farmhouse, 32-years ago today in Japan, with a big basket of roast beans. He asked if we'd completed 豆まき (we'd simply tossed a couple of beans at each other). He opened all the doors and windows, and threw big handfuls of beans in every corner as we all bellowed 「鬼は外!福は内!」Very memorable - we were still finding dried beans throughout the year.

Friday, February 02, 2018

National Service

Politicos willing to sacrifice key institutions are dangerous.

Bush/Cheney deliberately tarnished military honors for valor (to diminish rival Kerry). They also oversaw deliberate intelligence leaks (as retribution) that compromised clandestine operations abroad.

Trump/Pence now attack the FBI.

Politicization is our enemy.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Cheating Scum?

Lance Armstrong is at the heart of the most profitable cheating scandal in modern sports. After years of crushing rivals in competition, via media, and in court, he admitted to long-term doping. It seems a fraud of hundreds of millions of dollars. But he's "white" American - five years after his confession, he remains rich, and not been to jail. 

The world marvels at American justice...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Jump up, clap for a long time
(purposeful design)   Führerprinzip

So many national figures support Our Leader.
Trust.  Believe.
They Care For All of Us


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Servile No More!

The US Federal Government & State of Hawai'i have Constitutional obligations to Native Hawaiians to administer our inheritance.

The Public Land Trust includes much of the 1.8 million acres of land taken from Hawaiians, generating major revenues supposed to be for Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. This inheritance has been deliberately neglected & subverted, but business-as-usual is now unsustainable!

Being polite and offering Aloha have proved unsuccessful.

Here's discussion of this issue, and what we're doing to make it right:

Reasserting sovereignty will not be easy

Hawaiian pule (prayers): Nā 'Aumākua & E Hō Mai

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Wee Bit of Scotland

Enjoyed a fine Burns Supper at our friend's Östermalm home
w/ poetry, music & all the trimmings.
Lord Be Thanket !