Monday, 18 October 2004

What's going on?

It's all a bit odd at the moment, but Japan seems to have sort of, well, gone to sleep. I mean, in the last few weeks we have had -

No politicians with foot-in-mouth disease.

Koizumi not doing anything to annoy anyone.

No political scandals.

No big business scandals.

No anti-foreigner crusades by media/famous people.

Krazy Kim keeping quiet.

Mr Jenkins deserter fellow keeping quiet.

And a general lethargy about everything else...

I'm sure it's not only me. I know the last few posts have been a little on the negative side, mainly to do with too much rain and a super-abundance of snot, but still, all is not well I fear. Perhaps someone is slipping prozac into the water supply...? Even Fuji TV's big autumn drama is an entirely soporific frippery based losely on old Wham! songs (set, excitingly, to climax at christmas with the song 'Last Christmas'. Be still my beating heart)

I don't know, perhaps everyone is gearing up for a really wild November or something, but I really can't remember it so quiet. Or perhaps the whole country is agog at the US presidential election. I would comment on all of this, but this isn't a blog about US politics, there are quite enough of those as it is without me cluttering up the ether with my opinions... ok, just a little one then.

Doesn't matter who gets in, we're all f**ked anyway. Think either of them give a shit about you and me? No, nor me. Splendid isolation was a splendid policy for the US pre-WWII, perhaps they should try it again.

But why should the Japanese be so intrested in the US election? Hmm, well, I suppose as one of the main trading partners their relationship is important. OK. And, well Koizumi has been making a bit of noise about moving US army and airforce bases in Japan, mainly as the bases are making a bit too much noise themselves. I think this is something that the Japanese PM does around this time every four years, when there is an election in the US, trying unsuccessfully to get the encumbent or incoming pres to listen to him. Don't think it has worked so far, and probably won't happen again, but you never know. Of course Japan could just kick the Americans off their country completely, if they really wanted, but I have a feeling that Krazy Kim might just like that prospect a little too much.

But it's weird, the whole US base thing. Of course I realise why they are here and the history behind it all, fairky straight forward stuff. But then consider this. A month or two ago there was a helicopter crash in Okinawa, a US military helicopter flew into a university building, doing a fair amount of damage, as you would suspect. First to arrive on the scene were military personnel who closed down the whole area and refused to let any Japanese police or crach investigators within 100 yards of the crash site for a couple of days. Point blank refused, just like that. No matter that it was on public land over which the military had no jurisdiction. If I had been the mayor I'd have ordered the local police to arrest all the Americans for obstructing police officers in their duty, or something like that. Anyway, from what I can remember there has been little in the way of apology from the US base, or indeed explanation as to why they refused to let Japanese civilians anywhere near the crash. Guess they don't have to if they don't want to, but this has hardly endeared the US to the local people in Okinawa.

And just how is it that the US has a base on Cuba? Never have understood that one.

Of course it could all be to do with baseball. For those not in Japan, just to fill you in, Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners managed to hit a baseball more times than anyone for 81 years. Well done him (and pity that the rest of his team were so shite). And Hideki Matsui is currently belting the hell out a baseball in the semi finals of the league thing. So well done him as well. On this side of the pacific the Seibu Lions are playing the Chunichi Dragons in the Japan series to see who wins the whole shebang.

Hmm, that must be it, Japan Inc. has shut down for the end of the baseball season. Roll on November.

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