This video from Japan is about giant isopods feeding fast on a dead fish.
This video says about itself:
Fukushima News 5/8/14: Irradiated Fukushima Worker Sues Tepco; Demands For More Decontamination.
From the New York Times in the USA:
Japan Leader Faces Crisis Over Minister for Trade
By MARTIN FACKLER
OCT. 24, 2014
TOKYO — The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced a new political crisis on Friday amid revelations that his recently appointed trade minister owns stock in the company whose cleanup of the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant he would oversee.
The cleanup by Tokyo Electric Power Company, which ran the plant when it suffered a triple meltdown, has already been plagued by problems, including the leaking into the sea of tons of radioactive water.
The news about the minister’s stock ownership, first reported in local news media, came soon after revelations that the minister’s aide had visited a club featuring sadomasochistic performances, then reported the visit as a political expense.
Taken together, the revelations have prompted growing calls for the resignation of the trade minister, Yoichi Miyazawa, just days after his predecessor and another cabinet minister stepped down because of financing scandals. Another resignation could be a crippling blow to the government of Mr. Abe, whose first term as prime minister ended seven years ago after a series of scandals in his cabinet. …
As trade minister, Mr. Miyazawa leads the committee that oversees the complicated cleanup of the site, which was covered in radioactive material after the meltdowns. The disaster, which happened before Mr. Abe’s second term, has been blamed in part on a cozy relationship between the government and the nuclear industry that led to lax regulation and oversight.
Members of the Abe government have so far dismissed the possibility of Mr. Miyazawa’s resignation, in an attempt to weather yet another scandal at a time when the economic recovery that Mr. Abe has led is showing some signs of faltering. Mr. Abe’s government is still reeling from the back-to-back resignations on Monday of the two cabinet ministers, a double blow that presented the prime minister with the first big political crisis of his current term.
On Friday, opposition lawmakers vowed to press for more details about Mr. Miyazawa’s ownership of shares in Tokyo Electric, also known as Tepco, calling it a conflict of interest. …
“Why couldn’t the governing party do a better job of vetting the cabinet members?” said Tatsuo Kawabata of the opposition Democratic Party, adding that Mr. Miyazawa should at least have sold the stock before becoming minister.
The problems with the new trade minister began on Thursday, when news reports claimed that the aide’s visit to an S-and-M club had been included in a list of political expenses filed to Mr. Miyazawa’s office. Later on Thursday, Mr. Miyazawa acknowledged that the aide had been reimbursed 18,230 yen, or about $170, for the visit four years ago to Mazan, a bar in Hiroshima.
This is a list of videos about the Fukushima disaster.
From daily The Guardian in Britain, also of 24 October 2014:
Miyazawa said he had spoken to the staff who had claimed ¥18,230 in expenses for a 2010 visit to a Hiroshima sex bar, where male customers pay to whip tied female employees. …
Abe had hoped that by acting quickly over the alleged spending irregularities involving Obuchi and Matsushima he could quickly regain the political momentum that saw his first cabinet last almost two years without a reshuffle or resignation.
Atsuo Ito, a political analyst, said even if the share controversy did not force Miyazawa out, it was a distraction. “It takes energy away from the administration’s difficult policies, such as raising the sales tax and restarting nuclear reactors,” he told Reuters. “The ruling party wants to avoid further resignations. But this could be a repeat of the first Abe administration that was heavily criticised by the public when he defended his ministers for a long time, even after scandals.”
TOKYO, Japan—What do neo-Nazis, racists, necromancers, historical revisionists, bad accountants, and S&M fans all have in common? They all seem to have been represented in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet: here.
Japan nuclear plant gets approval to restart, over three years after Fukushima — Reuters: here.
Week-long negotiations in Canberra, followed by three days of ministerial talks in Sydney last weekend, failed to break a deadlock between the American and Japanese governments over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): here.
This video says about itself:
Through painting, a Korean woman breaks her 50 years of silence on being forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Army during World War II.
By Ben McGrath:
Japanese ministers visit Yasukuni war shrine
24 October 2014
Three Japanese ministers visited the notorious Yasukuni Shrine on Saturday, continuing the push by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s right-wing government to revive militarism and whitewash the war crimes committed by the Japanese army during World War II. Saturday’s visit came a day after 110 lawmakers went to the shrine.
The ministers were Sanae Takaichi, the internal affairs and communication minister, Eriko Yamatani, the head of the National Public Safety Commission, and Haruko Arimura, the minister tasked with promoting female empowerment. All three women were added to Abe’s cabinet during the shakeup that took place in September.
Abe, who visited the shrine in December 2013, the first sitting prime minister to do so since Junichiro Koizumi in 2006, did not attend Yasukuni last weekend. However, he sent an offering, the third this year—along with one sent in spring and another on August 15, the anniversary of the end of World War II.
The Yasukuni Shrine is a symbol of Japanese militarism, where those who died in Japan’s wars, primarily World War II, are symbolically interred, including 14 class A war criminals. An associated museum has military displays and literature that downplay such crimes as the Nanjing massacre, during which the Japanese army murdered an estimated 300,000 captured Chinese soldiers and civilians in 1937.
The Chinese government released a statement, saying: “China would like to reiterate that Sino-Japan relations can only realize healthy and stable development when Japan seriously faces up to and repents of its aggressive past and disassociates itself with militarism.” While there are legitimate fears among working people about the re-emergence of Japanese militarism, the Beijing regime exploits those concerns to whip up Chinese nationalism.
Abe has held off going to the shrine this year in part so as not to exacerbate tensions with China. He is reportedly seeking a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month when Beijing will host a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group. Since coming to office in December 2012, Abe has not met the Chinese leader.
Paying homage at the Yasukuni Shrine is just one aspect of Abe’s agenda of remilitarisation. His government has increased the military budget, established a National Security Council along the lines of its US counterpart, and “reinterpreted” the constitution to allow for “collective self-defence”—in reality, for Japan to join US wars of aggression.
The three ministers who visited the shrine all have ties to Japan Conference, an ultra-nationalist grouping founded by former elements of the imperial military, Shinto fundamentalists and other conservatives. The group calls for “patriotic values” to be taught in schools, while seeking to cover up the crimes of Japanese imperialism.
In line with this agenda, the government is trying to rewrite the history of the Japanese military’s systematic coercion of about 200,000 women from throughout Asia into military-run brothels in the 1930s and 1940s. Many of the women remained silent out of shame before beginning to come forward in the 1980s as light was shone on the extent of this war crime.
Last week, Japanese diplomat Kuni Sato asked Radhika Coomaraswamy, a former special UN rapporteur, to revise her 1996 report detailing the Japanese army’s abuse of so-called comfort women. Coomaraswamy rejected the request. Her report detailed the systematic sexual abuse committed by the military and called on Japan to formally apologize and pay compensation to the victims.
In calling for the revision, the Abe government seized on the decision last August by Asahi Shimbun, the leading liberal paper, to retract a series of articles dating back to 1982 on comfort women. The articles were based on the account of Seiji Yoshida, a former Japanese soldier, who wrote about his assignment to round up hundreds of women on Korea’s Jeju Island as sex slaves for the army. Before he died in 2000, Yoshida admitted to changing aspects of what happened, but did not withdraw his overall story.
Since the Asahi Shimbun’s retraction, Coomaraswamy’s report has come under attack from the extreme right in Japan. However, she stated that while her report cited Yoshida’s story, it was “only one piece of evidence,” with much of the report relying on the testimonies of “a large number of comfort women,” whom she interviewed.
South Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman No Gwang-il criticized the attempt to change the UN report, saying: “Historical truth cannot be concealed even if Japan tries to gloss over the sex slave issue. Only grave criticism from the international community will follow. Seoul will not tolerate Japan’s attempt to blur the truth of history.”
Japan’s right wing has long denied the military’s use of “comfort women” or claimed that the women were not coerced. The Abe government is seeking to revise a limited government apology over the Japanese military’s abuse of women issued in 1993, known as the Kono Statement. It released a report in June calling into question the testimonies of former Korean comfort women, collected before the statement’s release.
Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine last December was the signal for an ideological offensive on a broad front. He appointed a number of known right-wingers to the board of governors of NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster. In February, one appointee Naoki Hyakuta bluntly declared that the Nanjing massacre “never happened.”
Last Friday, the London-based Times reported that NHK banned the use of particular words and references related to the massacre, “comfort women” and the territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. An October 3 document sets out guidelines for writers and translators preparing English-language material. The term “Nanjing Incident” must be used instead of Nanking Massacre. When referring to the comfort women, the words “sex slaves,” “brothels,” and “forced to” have been banned.
The Abe government’s use of the public broadcaster to pursue its militarist agenda was summed up earlier this year by NHK head Katsuto Momii, another Abe appointee. “It would not do for us to say ‘left’ when the government is saying ‘right,’” he said.
This video says about itself:
Japan: Two ministers quit government within hours amid political scandals
20 October 2014
Justice Minister Midori Matsushima stood down over claims she had violated election laws.
Hours earlier, Trade Minister Yuko Obuchi, 40, the daughter of a prime minister and tipped as a future contender to become Japan’s first female premier, said she was standing down after allegations that her support groups misused political funds.
In ‘promoting traditional family values’, the Abe administration seems to be similar to the Thatcher and Major Conservative administrations in Britain. These cracked down on LGBTQ people in the name of ‘family values'; while, meanwhile, hobnobbing with serial child abuser and necrophiliac Sir Jimmy Savile; and having one minister in a sex scandal after another.
Shinzo Abe‘s party also seems to have a similarity to Silvio Berlusconi‘s party in Italy. A party which banned women from wearing miniskirts; while Prime Minister Berlusconi had sex with child prostitutes.
Translated from RTL TV in the Netherlands today:
Japanese minister discredited by visit to SM club
The new Japanese Trade Minister Yoichi Miyazawa has become discredited by the declaration behavior of employees of an organization affiliated to him. They were found to have visited an SM club.
Miyazawa acknowledged that employees have visited the bar in Hiroshima, where scantily clad women are tied up and beaten with whips. “It is true that the money was spent,” said the minister. “But I did not go there myself. That is also true.”
The employees spent about 130 euros in the bar. The minister said that declaration had been reimbursed incorrectly. The incident is painful for the scandal-plagued government of Prime Minister Abe. Thus, the predecessor of Miyazawa earlier this week had to step down after she was accused of abuse of campaign money.
This video is about the extreme right in Japan.
BBC correspondent in Japan Mariko Oi writes:
Japanese people often fail to understand why neighbouring countries harbour a grudge over events that happened in the 1930s and 40s. The reason, in many cases, is that they barely learned any 20th Century history. I myself only got a full picture when I left Japan and went to school in Australia.
By Ben McGrath:
Two newly-appointed Japanese cabinet members resign
22 October 2014
Two ministers in the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned Monday after accusations of separate improprieties were leveled at the pair. Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi and Justice Minister Midori Matsushima resigned only hours apart from each other, after serving in their positions for less than two months. Abe appointed them as part of his September 3 cabinet shakeup.
The resignation of the two women so soon after their promotion to Abe’s cabinet is a sign of a further shift to the right in the government. While the alleged misconduct was the pretext for their departure, a lack of sufficiently right-wing credentials was far more likely to be the real reason.
Matsushima was accused on October 7 by opposition Democrat Party of Japan (DPJ) member Renho Murata of violating campaign laws by handing out paper fans over a three-year period. The fans carried Matsushima’s image as well as brief descriptions of her policies and reportedly cost about 75 cents. However, the DPJ accused her of handing out gifts to voters.
Matsushima stated after she resigned, “I feel sorry that my recent words and actions caused political and administrative stagnation.” She maintained, however, that she had broken no laws.
Sensing blood, the right-wing tabloid Shukan Shincho last Thursday leveled charges at Obuchi of misusing funds. She is accused of using 26 million yen ($245,600) in political funds to provide theater tickets for her supporters as well as having a support group purchase 3.6 million yen ($35,000) worth of goods from businesses run by her sister and brother-in-law.
Corruption charges and scandals, however, are routinely used in bourgeois politics in every country as a means of removing rivals and carrying out policy shifts. In the case of Obuchi, she appears to be have been targeted by the extreme right for being a “moderate.”
Obuchi, 40, was a rising star in the ruling Liberal Democrat Party (LDP), coming from a long line of LDP politicians. Her grandfather held a parliamentary seat and her father Keizo Obuchi is a former prime minister. Obuchi “inherited” her father’s seat, entering parliament in 2000. She became a cabinet minister in 2008 at the age of 34 and held the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) in the recent reshuffle. The Nukaga faction of the LDP to which she belonged was touting her as a possibility to become Japan’s first female prime minister.
Obuchi told the press on Monday that she was unaware of any wrongdoing. “As minister of METI, it’s unforgivable for my personal issues to cause economic policies and energy policies to stagnate. I resign here and would like to put all my effort into regaining everyone’s trust by investigating these doubts.”
Obuchi and Matsushima were among five women added to Abe’s cabinet last month. That figure was hailed by the bourgeois media as proof of Abe’s supposed commitment to gender equality. Rather, the purpose of the cabinet reshuffle was to solidify support for Abe as he prepared to ratchet up his agenda of remilitarizing Japan and attacking the working class.
Fifteen of the 19 cabinet ministers belonged to the far-right Japan Conference or Nippon Kaigi. Nippon Kaigi, founded in 1997, promotes the lie that Japanese imperialism “liberated” East Asia from the West in the run-up to World War II and denies the horrendous war crimes that occurred, such as the Rape of Nanking, in which estimated 300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians were massacred. They also promote “patriotic values” in education and are opposed to gender equality.
Neither Obuchi nor Matsushima are members of Nippon Kaigi, unlike the other three women Abe selected in September: Sanae Takaichi, Eriko Yamatani, and Haruko Arimura. The three ministers visited the notorious Yasukuni war shrine on Saturday, a symbol of Japanese militarism.
Moreover, Shukan Shincho, which reported the allegations against Obuchi, is known for its militarist stance towards China and North Korea. Obuchi’s Nukaga faction is known to favour a more conciliatory approach and closer ties to Beijing.
Obuchi can only be considered “a moderate” within the context of an extremely right-wing cabinet. While not a member of Nippon Kaigi, she does belong another right wing grouping that advocates visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. Rather than visiting personally she usually sends one of her staff, an aide told Reuters.
Who exactly was involved in leaking details about Obuchi and Matsushima is not known. The result, however, is a cabinet that is more solidly committed to a right wing agenda of militarism, confrontation with China and austerity.
Significantly, two of the remaining female ministers—Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi and Eriko Yamatani, the head of the National Public Safety Commission—remain in their posts despite damning evidence of connections to ultra-right groups in Japan.
A photo of Takaichi posing with Kazunari Yamada, the leader of a neo-Nazi party in Japan, surfaced shortly after her appointment. Tomomi Inada, Abe ally and LDP policy chief also appeared in a photo with Yamada. Yamatani was seen in a photograph with Shigeo Masuki, a leading member of Zaitokukai, a group which has called for the killings of ethnic Koreans living in Japan.
Abe is increasingly unpopular as a result of declining living standards, his push to restart the country’s nuclear reactors and the government’s reinterpretation of the constitution to allow “collective self-defense,” that is, Japanese involvement in US wars of aggression.
Since coming to office, public support for Abe has fallen from 70 percent, which was largely due to anger with the DPJ, to 48.1 percent, including a decrease of 6.8 percent from September, according to Kyodo News.
Yet Abe is under pressure to implement more draconian economic measures. The economy shrank by 6.8 percent in the second quarter, leading to demands from big business to implement the second increase in the sales tax to 10 percent next October, and to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent over the next few years.
Obuchi’s replacement at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Yoichi Miyazawa, is a former finance ministry official. This ministry has been demanding increased taxes to make up for the loss of corporate tax revenue, something which Miyazawa has strongly supported, while the METI opposed it.
The finance ministry supports increasing the sales tax which is opposed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, one of Abe’s closest allies. The addition of Miyazawa to Abe’s cabinet is a clear indication that the government intends to impose new economic burdens onto the working class.
The overall agenda of the Abe government is an extremely right-wing one. As opposition grows, Abe and his ministers will no doubt further stir up nationalism and militarism, especially against China and North Korea, in a bid to project social tensions outward.
Japan’s new METI minister says will restart reactors deemed safe — Reuters: here.
This video says about itself:
11 September 2013
Aug 15, 1945 – Japan officially surrendered and thereby ended World War II. Every year nationalistic rightwing groups gather to protest the Peace Anti-War demonstrators at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. Yasukuni Shrine dates back to the mid-19th Century and it is a shrine for the souls of all those who died serving the Emperor. In 1978 the spirits of Class A war criminals were enshrined there and subsequent official government visits there have often sparked outrage with Asian countries who suffered from Japan’s actions in WWII.
On the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, a peace protest is organized which marches near the shrine.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
China protests at Japanese PM’s latest WW2 shrine tribute
Shinzo Abe sends ornaments to Yasukuni shrine, regarded by victims of wartime atrocities as symbol of militarism
Friday 17 October 2014 09.25 BST
China’s foreign ministry has expressed serious concern after the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, sent a ritual offering to Tokyo’s Yasukuni shrine, where war criminals are honoured among 2.5 million casualties from the second world war.
Dozens of legislators prayed at the site in the latest staging of a ceremony that has repeatedly drawn rebukes from Japan’s neighbours.
Yasukuni honours war criminals, including Hideki Tojo, among the millions it commemorates. Many Asian victims of Japan’s wartime atrocities, especially China and the Koreas, see the shrine as a symbol of militarism.
“China is seriously concerned about and resolutely opposed to the negative tendencies which have appeared in Japan regarding the Yasukuni shrine,” the Chinese foreign ministry said.
Abe last visited Yasukuni in December, triggering anger from China and South Korea. On Friday, he sent a set of Shinto-style masakaki ornaments to mark the shrine’s autumn festival, one of three major events when Japan’s conservatives come to pray there.
The chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said Abe made the gesture as a private citizen based on his personal belief.
A group of 110 legislators and 80 aides prayed at the shrine for the war dead. Cabinet members were mostly expected to stay away. The internal affairs and communications minister, Sanae Takaichi, told reporters she would attend, while Yauhisa Shiozaki, the minister of health, labour and welfare, offered religious ornaments similar to Abe’s.
Not really surprising for Ms Takaichi, as she has connections to open neo-nazis.
Abe is in Italy for the Asia-Europe meeting and is scheduled to return to Japan on Saturday.
This video is called The Killer Whale Biology Documentary.
By Peter Frost in Britain:
Japan’s slaughter of whales must end
Friday 3rd October 2014
Despite a United Nations Court of Justice ruling earlier this year Japan just won’t stop murdering whales, says PETER FROST
Many of us believed our worldwide campaign to stop the bloody slaughter of some of our largest and most intelligent ocean creatures had secured a major victory earlier this year.
I was delighted to report the victory in this very column when the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the Japanese government should immediately stop the slaughter of whales in Antarctic waters.
The UN court declared that, despite long-term claims from Toyko that the hunt was for scientific purposes, the true purpose was the commercial harvesting of whale meat for food and thus illegal under the 1986 International Moratorium on Whaling of which Japan is a signatory.
We believed the Japanese when they told the world they would, albeit reluctantly, abide by the court’s decision.
Quite simply they lied. They had no intention to stop whaling, rather they planned to slink away and come up with a duplicitous plan to continue the bloody slaughter in some underhand way.
Now Japan has revealed its new plans to bypass the UN ban and to try to confuse world opinion with a new, scaled-down scientific programme that limits its catch only to minke whales.
Japan argues that minke whales and a number of other species are plentiful and that its whale-hunting activities are sustainable. Very few real marine mammal experts agree with that view.
Having said they would abide by the UN court’s ruling in March, Japanese officials are poised to submit a revised programme to the IWC’s scientific committee next month.
Since 2005 Japan has slaughtered some 3,600 minke whales. Only tiny tissue samples go to laboratories. Most of the meat ended up in expensive Japanese restaurants and sushi bars.
Even more appallingly some whale meat is made into expensive chewing toys for Japan’s many pampered lap dogs.
The Japanese whalers didn’t give in easily either in court or in the oceans.
It took direct action by organisations like Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd who harassed the Japanese fleet in international waters with heroic actions that saw volunteers putting themselves between the Japanese harpooners and the whales.
These actions played a massive part in winning world opinion to opposing the Japanese whaling deceit and its so-called scientific research claims.
The Australian government took Japan to the world court and its legal argument was simple. Japan’s slaughter had nothing to do with environmental research and was commercial whaling in disguise.
UN Judge Peter Tomka agreed and ordered that Japan should withdraw all permits and licences for its whaling ships in the Antarctic and not issue any new ones.
In fact Japan had signed up to the international moratorium on whaling in 1986 but continued whaling in the north and south Pacific hiding under the dubious excuse of provisions that allowed for limited scientific research.
In 2012 South Korea announced it would follow Japan’s lead and start scientific whaling again. A huge worldwide campaign forced South Korea to change its mind.
In Japan the meat from the slaughtered whales is sold commercially despite more and more Japanese finding the slaughter and the consumption of whale meat unacceptable.
Any attempt by Japan to relaunch its Antarctic hunt will meet with strong opposition from Australia and New Zealand and many other countries.
Japan’s fleet could be sailing in Antarctic waters by the end of next year. If it does Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace must harass them and stop their murderous efforts.
The weight of world opinion is against Japan but that has never stopped it in the past. Let us make 2014 the year that ends Japanese whaling forever.