RSS

Monthly Archives: September 2011

NASDAQ brings shame on itself by inviting Hashim Thaci (killing for organ scandal)

NASDAQ brings shame on itself by inviting Hashim Thaci (killing for organ scandal)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

It is inconceivable that a leader who is implicated in a major organ scandal would be invited by NASDAQ if the implications had been involved in killing homosexuals, killing Americans, killing Buddhists, killing women and so forth. However, when it comes to killing Serbian Orthodox Christians and sanctioning American foreign policy objectives, then this would appear to be fine by NASDAQ?

Not only is this deeply troubling and makes a complete mockery of America’s involvement in war crimes – after all, at least alleged Serbian war criminals had to hide before being sent to the Hague.  However, in America they are allowed to walk freely and pose for the media.  The hypocrisy is stomach turning and really leaves a sour taste and for Serbian families and others who lost family members in the “brutal and barbaric organ scandal” they must be in shock.

How do they feel when they see images of Hashim Thaci being applauded by NASDAQ? More to the point, what is NASDAQ doing in getting involved with this leader while further information is still being collected alongside past information. This applies to innocent people being killed for organs by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and these accusations are being made by people in the higher echelons of power.

If people are unsure about the seriousness of this then let us not report on media in Serbia because of course pro-KLA individuals, anti-Serbians and individuals who supported Hashim Thaci, would claim that the information is tainted and biased.

Therefore, quotes will be given by Western news agencies in order that people may just sit-up for once and just feel the pain of Serbian Orthodox Christians who have been vilified to kingdom come. After all, whatever the rights and wrongs of the wars in the Balkans (all sides committed massacres) it is abundantly clear that a neutral picture was never painted. This meant that the beheading of Orthodox Christians, allowing thousands of international Islamists in the Balkans, crucifying Orthodox Christians, cutting Orthodox Christian women open, and other barbaric crimes, all mainly went unreported and was just brushed under the carpet.

Turning back to the Western media and comments published about the organ scandal and photos showing Hashim Thaci and NASDAQ applauding each other. The agency Voice of America comments that (links provided at the bottom of this article) “In a political bombshell for the Balkans, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has been named in a European report as the head of a ‘mafia-like’ crime organization – accused of drug dealing, assassinations and organ smuggling. The allegations threaten to derail Kosovo’s efforts to gain fully-recognized independence and could have a major impact on the country’s relations with the West.”  

“The report claims that at remote bases like this so-called ‘Yellow House’ in Albania, members of the Kosovo Liberation Army killed up to 500 prisoners and removed their organs, so they could be sold to international buyers on the black market.”

It could just be that leaders at NASDAQ don’t view Voice of America, therefore, lets highlight others to be sure. CNN highlights in their article that Authorities in Kosovo must conduct a “tough, independent investigation” into allegations of organ harvesting from prisoners of war, a leading European human rights activist demanded Thursday.

“These things were known by intelligence agencies in various countries, by police, by many people,” said Dick Marty, whose report into the allegations was approved by a Council of Europe committee Thursday.”

“But people in Kosovo are afraid to come forward and give evidence, he said.”

“In private they said, ‘Yes, we know,’ but because of political opportunism they decided to keep quiet,” he said.”

It is clear that the Council of Europe is taking the matter seriously and Dick Marty is a brave individual.  Therefore, just in case the leading figures at NASDAQ don’t like the American press because they may be cosmopolitan it is important to give them a chance, which is something that the KLA didn’t do when killing people for organs.

The Guardian newspaper is a mild left-leaning newspaper which is rather liberal in the United Kingdom. In their article called The doctor at the heart of Kosovo’s organ scandal the following is stated:

A Council of Europe report into organ trafficking in Kosovo linked the Medicus case to a wider criminal network in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which began trading in organs in 1999. A faction within the rebel guerilla army loyal to Thaci has been accused of overseeing a racket involving Serb captives. A “handful” were said, in the report, to have been shot in the head, then had their kidneys extracted. It is believed the kidneys were flown to Istanbul in ischemia bags. Thaci has strongly denied the claims.”

“A Washington-based intelligence source said the kidneys were sold to Sonmez. It was then that the Turkish doctor was said to have struck up a relationship with Kosovan Albanians, who, investigators believe, are implicated in the Medicus clinic case which unfolded in the confirmation hearing case this week. A judge in Pristina district court will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.”

“In many respects the two are similar operations. In both cases, you’ve got illegal outfits linking senior players among the Kosovar Albanians trading in the organs of innocent victims, playing into an international racket to profit from the surgeries of Sonmez,” a source said.”

The New York Times in an article called Report Names Kosovo Leader as Crime Boss the article highlights the ongoing seriousness of the organ scandal. For example the article comments that A two-year international inquiry has concluded that the prime minister of Kosovo led a clan of criminal entrepreneurs whose activities included trafficking in organs extracted from Serbian prisoners executed during the Kosovo conflict in 1999.”

“The inquiry, prepared for the Council of Europe, names the prime minister, Hashim Thaci, as the boss of the Drenica Group, an organized crime network that flourished in Kosovo and Albania after the war and exerted control over numerous rackets, including the heroin trade, and six secret detention centers in Albania, some used in a black market in human organs.”

Therefore, is NASDAQ telling Serbian Orthodox Christians and all Serbians that they simple don’t count? Is NASDAQ going to claim that serious allegations about heroin trafficking and organ trafficking isn’t important?

The photo is galling and how victim families must feel is beyond imagination. Also, given the seriousness of the allegations then why is America allowing such an individual to enter in the first place?

To be fair to NASDAQ it could be that economists and business leaders don’t read much at this institution. After all, the economy is a nightmare despite tax payers bailing out many banks and the government borrowing heavily.  Also, NASDAQ, like nations which have recognized Kosovo, may not care about human rights and issues related to killing people for organs and heroin trafficking?

Leaders at NASDAQ have shamed themselves by being either manipulated like this or because they simply don’t care. Either way, the images are galling.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/world/europe/16kosovo.html

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-16/world/kosovo.organs_1_report-links-kosovo-liberation-army-report-charges?_s=PM:WORLD

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/17/kosovo-medicus-organ-clinic

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Kosovo-PM-Named-in-Human-Organ-Scandal-112107074.html  

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kan Mi Youn: another buzzing track from the angel of K-pop

 

Kan Mi Youn: another buzzing track from the angel of K-pop

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyoites and people who reside in Japan have another powerful K-pop track to listen to because the latest tune by Kan Mi Youn is a fabulous track. Therefore, the growing trend of high quality sounds from “Korean cool” is being maintained by this exquisite lady from South Korea.

Kan Mi Youn once more hit the heights because “the angel of K-pop” certainly pleased her fans and with this lovely track more will be following. “Won’t Meet You” was energetic, fantastic beat, exquisite dancing movements from this stunning lady and of course a voice which graces the ear. 

Simply put, “Won’t Meet You” was A-one and even for house/trance vultures like me, I can feel my heart melt to yet another amazing track from “the angel of K-pop.” Kan Mi Youn is having an amazing 2011 and I thought “Paparazzi” would have been hard to beat but “Won’t Meet You” hits every chord and so much more.

The preview of “Won’t Meet You” looked promising but the real McCoy was even better than imagined. Not only is the track the real McCoy but Kan Mi Youn is the “triple McCoy” and clearly this special lady graces international music.

In Tokyo and throughout Japan the K-pop scene is growing and while you have many fantastic groups and soloists within K-pop, I firmly believe that Kan Mi Youn stands out because of her verve.  Her voice appeals to the ear and Kan Mi Youn plays to her strengths and this applies to style, panache, and stunning looks irrespective of hair color – but the brief blonde look in the video certainly increased an already high temperature.

Therefore, with the music market in Japan being huge it will be interesting to see how this track does in major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe and throughout Japan.

Fashion wise, perfect because “if you have it then you don’t need to flaunt it” and clearly the sex appeal of Kan Mi Youn is an added bonus. Throughout the video of “Won’t Meet You” she looked snazzy and so adorable and the movement to the track worked perfectly.

In the track Kan Mi Youn sings:

My mind is in and out in and out
My mind is in and out in and out
Mind is in in Mind is out out
My mind is in and out in and out

You love me, you love me
You whisper in my ear every day
But today you’re with this girl, tomorrow, with that girl
You met them behind my back and got caught

If you keep saying that it’s not (do you think I’ll forgive you)
If you say you only love me (do you think it’ll be okay)
What about the other girls?
If they are just friends, do you kiss your friends?

I won’t meet you, won’t meet you, won’t meet you
Why would I meet you, I won’t meet you
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know
But I meet you again, why am I meeting you again
I won’t meet you, I will never meet you, for real
I don’t know, I can’t help it, I meet you again

* repeat

Don’t meet other girls (promise with me)
Please just love me alone (pinky swear)
I know I can’t trust you but
Like a fool, I fall for you again

repeat (x2)

The track is certainly a hit when it comes to a catchy beat, sweet voice, lovely dancing moves, exquisite singer, style, amazing fashion sense which matched the tune, and a high octane track which hits the heights immediately.

If you are new to K-pop then Kan Mi Youn is the lady to follow because the “angel of K-pop” doesn’t disappoint one iota.  On the contrary, this stunning music artist makes you want to search and check other K-pop soloists and other groups.

However, no matter how much you search you only have one soloist who is the real McCoy, and this applies to Kan Mi Youn, who is adorable and elegant beyond words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz1zjpWOB2c Kan Mi Youn and “Won’t Meet You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzlQ1KtWsFA&feature=related  Kan Mi Youn and “Paparazzi”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1KfUDB1zU   Kan Mi Youn and “Going Crazy”

http://girlspic.blogbus.com/logs/14277489.html Beautiful photos of Kan Mi Youn

http://www.thecnstar.com/    Magazine for latest K-pop/culture/entertainment

http://www.kanzume.jp/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 30, 2011 in ASIA

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Murasaki Shikibu and ukiyo-e: the rich legacy of a female writer in history

Murasaki Shikibu and ukiyo-e: the rich legacy of a female writer in history

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The most famous lady in Japanese history is Murasaki Shikibu (Lady Murasaki) and many ukiyo-e artists depicted this lady of knowledge and wisdom.  It is difficult to get the real truth about Murasaki Shikibu because of documentation.  Therefore, while it is stated that she was born in 973 the year of her death is disputed, some stating possibly 1014 and others 1025.

Also, how she obtained her knowledge of Chinese is debated because some claimed that she listened tentatively by the door and was not allowed to study with her brother. However, others claim that her father allowed her to study with her brother and learn some Chinese classics.

The same applies to her death and her real name because it is speculated that she was called Fujiwara Takako because this name is mentioned in a diary in 1007 but this is not conclusive.  Also, sometimes her death is reported to be in 1014 based on the silence of her pen but this again is too sketchy.  Therefore, others state 1025 and base this on her retiring from court and seeking seclusion in the later period of her life.

Yet clearly much is pure guess work because little is known about the real “Fujiwara Takako” and to be on more solid ground it is best to stick to Murasaki Shikibu.  However, what is clear is that this lady was extremely intelligent and she wrote the classic called The Tale of Genji during the Heian period.

Murasaki Shikibu was no normal lady because she desired to express many things and given her stature in society then clearly she had the opportunity to do so.  This lady of letters was a poet, novelist and being in the Imperial court she had certain obligations, therefore, she was a lady-in-waiting. 

Her novel called The Tale of Genji left a lasting legacy based on the quality of her writing and the passion that it oozes. Platitudes abound in Japan and throughout the international community and it is a major source of pride for women in Japan and for Japanese culture which is enriched by The Tale of Genji.

Ukiyo-e artists have depicted Murasaki Shikibu during the height of this art form in Japan and the art highlights a noble and refined lady.  The art work is based on wisdom, serenity, sophistication, and a lady who had a special aura. Therefore, ukiyo-e artists have transcended Murasaki Shikibu and entered her into a new dimensional world where certainty and an aura of inner-beauty and knowledge are rolled into this remarkable individual.

It is reported that Murasaki Shikibu was extremely bright when a child and her father lamented that “If only you were a boy, how happy I should be!” However, this comment did not prevent her father from understanding and nurturing her talent because he went against the grain and allowed his daughter to study Chinese classics. 

The death of her husband brought Murasaki Shikibu into the imperial court and while she was a lady-in-waiting she observed many things. The Tale of Genji became popular in a relatively short time and while the earliest manuscript was lost the manuscript scrolls were found in the 12th century.

Near the end of her life even less is known and it could be that she died in 1014 because her work does cease.  However, this is pure speculation and it could be that she just retired and spent her remaining years by reading, praying and escaping from this world and for this reason some state that she died in 1025.

Therefore, the jigsaw about the life of Murasaki Shikibu is very difficult to put together but the one legacy which is certain is The Tale of Genji.

Murasaki Shikibu also wrote a volume of poetry called The Diary of Lady Murasaki and Japanese artists illuminated this lady of letters to wider society. The art work of ukiyo-e artists in the Edo period and throughout the Meiji period maintained the rich aura of Murasaki Shikibu and her novel The Tale of Genji is a classic within Japanese literature and international literature.

 

 

IMAGE ONE: Yoshitoshi (ukiyo-e)

IMAGE TWO: Tosa Mitsuoki

IMAGE THREE: Hiroshige (ukiyo-e)

IMAGE FOUR: Kunisada (ukiyo-e)

IMAGE FIVE: Edo period illustration

IMAGE SIX: Harunobu (ukiyo-e)

http://www.taleofgenji.org/  The Tale of Genji

http://webworld.unesco.org/genji/en/index.shtml The Tale of Genji

http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/heroine9.html

http://harvardmagazine.com/2002/05/murasaki-shikibu.html

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Japan

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Japanese nuclear consortium hoping to expand in Vietnam

Japanese nuclear consortium hoping to expand in Vietnam

Olivier LeCourt and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In the last few weeks it appears that the nuclear reality is gaining momentum in Japan. This applies to Prime Minister Noda insisting that the nuclear reality will exist in Japan for the next few decades at the very least.  This was followed by a pro-Nuclear mayor winning a local election at the expense of an anti-nuclear campaigner. Then to top it off a nuclear consortium from Japan just signed a feasibility study with Vietnam with regards to two new reactors.

The Tokyo-based utility consortium played on the strengths of the nuclear sector in Japan which is amongst the best in the world. Also, Japan and Vietnam have very strong relations and both nations share similar geopolitical concerns in relation to China.  Therefore, with a powerful political and trade angle between Japan and Vietnam, it is not surprising that Vietnam listened carefully because nuclear power gave a fresh momentum to Japan’s economic rise and stabilized the energy supply.

Japan’s recently maligned nuclear industry appears to be gaining momentum and with China, India and South Korea expanding their nuclear industry, it would be travesty if Japan gave up on a sector which is powerful.

The Fukushima Daiichi crisis was clearly based on human failing but the reaction in some media outlets and in Germany was over-the-top because powerful lobby groups have vested interests.  Also, where will Germany get its new power supply from and will it rely on “dirty energy” in order to eradicate nuclear power?

In an in-depth article related to Germany by the New York Times which was written by Elisabeth Rosenthal (Germany Dims Nuclear Plants, but Hopes to Keep Lights On), the author raises important questions.

Elisabeth Rosenthal comments As a result, electricity producers are scrambling to ensure an adequate supply. Customers and companies are nervous about whether their lights and assembly lines will stay up and running this winter. Economists and politicians argue over how much prices will rise.”

“It’s easy to say, ‘Let’s just go for renewables,’ and I’m quite sure we can someday do without nuclear, but this is too abrupt,” said . He characterized the government’s shutdown decision as “emotional” and pointed out that on most days, Germany has survived this experiment only by importing electricity from neighboring France and the Czech Republic, which generate much of their power with nuclear reactors.”

“Then there are real concerns that the plan will jettison efforts to rein in manmade global warming, since whatever nuclear energy’s shortcomings, it is low in emissions. If Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, falls back on dirty coal-burning plants or uncertain supplies of natural gas from Russia, isn’t it trading a potential risk for a real one?”

Ironically, it would appear that Japan is enacting a more realistic approach and this applies to maintaining nuclear power plants until a genuine alternative is found. Japan also may be biding its time until the Fukushima Daiichi crisis loses its potency and the nuclear issue gradually loses its power within Japan.

Alternatively, Japan may be sincere and actually reduce its dependence on nuclear power at home but maintain a powerful lobby for exporting its nuclear industry abroad. In other words, nuclear energy is ok but “not in our backyard” and given the fact that Germany will import electricity from nuclear energy France, and from other nations, then it is difficult to see a moral principle emerging.

Vietnam, noticing how the nuclear sector helped Japan in the past is following the same route in order to maintain rapid economic growth.  Therefore, Vietnam is planning to build eight new nuclear plants which will hold thirteen nuclear reactors by 2030.

Japan, the Russian Federation, and other nations, see a chance to expand the nuclear sector in Vietnam and in other nations.  Yasuo Hamada, the President of Japan Atomic Power Co., comments that “We pledge to work hard to ensure the nuclear power development of Vietnam.”

In an article written by Chester Dawson and Vu Trong Khanh (Vietnam, Japan Sign Deal for Nuclear-Plant Study) in The Wall Street Journal. They comment that On Thursday, a larger consortium of 13 Japanese companies, including the nine electric utilities, along with Hitachi and Toshiba, plan to sign another memorandum with Vietnam Electricity to start talks on reactor bids. Called the International Nuclear Energy Development of Japan Co., it was set up last year under the trade ministry to promote reactor exports.”

“The Japanese government is expected to foot most of the bill for the plant through development aid and export-promotion programs run by state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance. The government will cover the entire ¥2 billion ($26 million) cost of the 18-month feasibility study.”

“The planned Japanese reactors will each have a 1,000-megawatt capacity and are slated to begin operation in 2021 and 2022, immediately after two Russian reactors planned for nearby. The sites of the two twin-reactor plants are about 20 kilometers apart along the coast of southern Vietnam, about 400 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.”

Irrespective of the final outcome, the most likely being that it will be favorable towards Japan and the Russian Federation, it is clear that other nations like Turkey are interested in Japanese nuclear technology.  Also, the government of Japan will continue to support the export side of the nuclear industry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/science/earth/30germany.html?pagewanted=all – NEW YORK TIMES

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204138204576598164235317774.html?mod=googlenews_wsj  -THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/27/pro-nuclear-mayor-wins-despite-anti-nuclear-lobby-in-japan/ Pro-nuclear Mayor wins despite anti-Nuclear lobby in Japan – MODERN TOKYO TIMES

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Korean pop (K-pop) is whirling its way throughout Asia and beyond because of great singers, fantastic imagery, passion, an abundance of talent, and sheer quality.  Of course you will have great artists in all nations but currently it is the K-pop scene which is dynamic, forward thinking, and expressing “Korean cool.”

This article was written just before the beautiful and exquisite Kan Mi Youn releases her latest record called “Won’t Meet You” on September 29. Therefore, comments will be made once her latest tune is released but the teaser points to yet another powerful song like “Paparazzi” but with a completely different format.

Recent tunes that have made a big splash in South Korea in the last few months or have just been released include “Syndrome” by Chocolat, “So Cool” by Sistar, “Top Girl” by G.na, “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk and “Step” by Kara.  Other tunes have also hit the streets of South Korea, Japan and much further afield.  However, these tracks stand out from an international point of view because of energy, connection and vibrancy.

“I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk was an instant success and the style, lyrics and video all came together.  The ending of the video is a little over dramatic but the scene of the body on the ground while holding a lady was a good touch.  If other tracks by Bang Yong Guk have the same energy and creativity then surely his career will bloom.

The track “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk would certainly appeal internationally because despite the dramatic scenes of the video the singer gives you “a raw street image.”

“Syndrome” by Chocolat impacted on the charts and was full of energy and will appeal to the market it is aimed at. Not the raw energy of Bang Yong Guk but clearly a different style of music and shouldn’t really compare. 

Clearly Chocolat have a bright future and “Syndrome” is a track which would do well in Japan. It will be interesting to see how these beautiful and talented ladies progress over the next twelve months because they have so much to offer and I can’t wait for their next track.

“Top Girl” by G.na was turned into a lovely track by this very elegant lady who sings with a lovely melodic voice.  Energy is one thing that all these tracks have and clearly K-pop is doing this to a T.

The track “Top Girl” itself was average with regards to the lyrics but G.na made it special because of her individualistic style and vibrant nature.  G.na is certainly adding to the K-pop buzz and long may she continue to bless the world with her talents.

“So Cool” by Sistar was a catchy tune but the video was a mismatch of energy, uncertainty of where it should go and then back to girl power.  Music wise, a track which will appeal because of the raw energy of the group and the sex appeal adds to the dimension because they are all stunning ladies.

I get the feeling that Sistar are about to reach new heights because they certainly have something special about them.  The track “So Cool” seemed to contain them in the video after reaching a high. Therefore, listening is where the power of the track belongs and these ladies provide such a positive image and work together elegantly.

“Step” by Kara had a great beat, lively lyrics despite simplicity, movement, vibrancy, and a strong connection with the listener who likes this style of music.  All ladies ooze power, energy, freedom and you can feel their passion when you watch the video or you can hear their love of music when you listen to the track.

Kara is a group which is widely respected in Japan and they project such a positive image of K-pop.

Overall, in the last few months you have had many fantastic tunes coming out of the K-pop scene and clearly not all the great tracks have been mentioned.  However, K-pop is rising and with so many groups and solo artists around then the future looks fantastic for “Korean cool.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5wO8ejwVRI “Top Girl” by G.na

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoYoBtLqOY&ob=av2n “Step” by Kara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ucP3UhrhF8  Chocolat – Syndrome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHrx5dWxcJ4  Bang Yong Guk – I Remember

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj3q0ZChgFE  Sistar – So Cool

http://www.thecnstar.com/    Magazine for latest K-pop/culture/entertainment

http://www.kanzume.jp/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/04/korean-pop-music-continues-to-hit-the-heights-in-japan/   – Article highlighting K-pop by Modern Tokyo Times

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/22/kanstyle-magazine-to-open-up-south-korean-fashion-k-pop-culture-in-japan/ – Highlighting Kanstyle Magazine

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/27/kan-mi-youn-and-k-pop-new-powerful-song-to-be-released-on-sep-29/ – Kan Mi Youn

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 28, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The beautiful and elegant Kan Mi Youn who is blessed with a lovely voice will release her new song on September 29.  A short preview of “Won’t Meet You” looks full of energy and vibrancy and the lady from South Korea will hopefully visit Japan in the near future. 

Kan Mi Youn is extremely talented and her song “Paparazzi” was a classic.  Full of energy from start to finish and with a catchy tune which hits you straight away.  If “Won’t Meet You” is anything like “Paparazzi” then it will be another fantastic tune.

However, knowing Kan Mi Youn it may even surpass “Paparazzi” because this music artist is very special. Also, with the growing appeal of K-pop in Japan then it will be interesting to see how “Won’t Meet You” fairs in the land of the rising sun.

The 30-second release certainly teases because the exquisite Kan Mi Youn plays three roles in the video.  Her characters apply to a stunningly sexy star and no acting was needed for this part and the other two images are a flash doctor and a quaint and estranged patient who still looks adorable. 

Her fans are counting the days before “Won’t Meet You” is released.  Appropriately her single “Going Crazy” is apt because many people are going crazy while waiting for her latest tune. 

“Going Crazy” was another lovely hit from Kan Mi Youn and for international lovers of music then this is one lady who appeals globally.  Kan Mi Youn is graceful, stunning, and bubbly.

Also, tracks like “Paparazzi,” and “Going Crazy” are buzzing with energy and backed-up by her lovely voice and stylish moves.  The videos express a lady who is in control and highlight a real gem.  Therefore, I know that “Won’t Meet You” will be another success because like the most delicious wine this young lady matures musically with each new song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzlQ1KtWsFA&feature=related  Kan Mi Youn and “Paparazzi”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1KfUDB1zU   Kan Mi Youn and “Going Crazy”

http://girlspic.blogbus.com/logs/14277489.html Beautiful photos of Kan Mi Youn

http://www.allkpop.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 27, 2011 in ASIA

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pro-nuclear Mayor wins despite anti-Nuclear lobby in Japan

Pro-nuclear Mayor wins despite anti-Nuclear lobby in Japan

Olivier LeCourt and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The crisis in Fukushima at the Daiichi plant made no difference in the mayor election in Kaminoseki. Therefore, the pro-nuclear mayor was re-elected once more and he will continue to push ahead with plans for a new nuclear plant to be built.

Fukushima is a “nuclear football” where scaremongers over-hype the crisis and desire to make Japan non-nuclear.  Issues certainly need to be raised and mismanagement at this nuclear plant was a clear factor in the ongoing crisis.  However, the earthquake of March 11 which unleashed the tsunami is being used for political purposes and it is difficult to find the truth amidst the propaganda.

It is abundantly clear that safety measures were woefully inadequate and this fact is disputed by few people. Therefore, many individuals still support the nuclear energy sector but their voices are being neglected on the whole because you have a slick anti-nuclear lobby campaign.

Dr. Vojin Joksimovich, who is a PhD holder in nuclear engineering and is a retired nuclear safety specialist, is very skeptical about short-term policies which seek to dismantle the nuclear sector in Japan.  He comments in his article titled EU, US, & Japan: Dysfunctional Leaderships are Gambling with leading Capitalist Economies, that “The Japanese nuclear establishment has overlooked the need to provide a need for adequate tsunami protection. San Onofre nuclear power plant in my neighborhood is protected by a 30 foot high tsunami wall. The Tohoku earthquake originated in a subduction zone and the tsunamis generated in a subduction zone are much larger than those resulting from earthquakes in a strike slip geologic fault systems such as faults near San Onofre.”

Dr. Vojin Joksimovich also comments thatNuclear power plays an important role in the world’s energy mix. It is clean, as the world seeks to reduce carbon emissions. It is steadier than renewables, such as solar and wind, which require a more expensive and sophisticated power grid. In addition, the solar and wind energy storage facilities still need to be developed. The nuclear power, like coal, provides inexpensive source of base power, while solar and wind are useful as supplementary energy sources. The third largest world economy cannot afford to abandon nuclear power. Japan in future could focus on building inherently safe high-temperature gas cooled reactors.”

Therefore, when the pro-nuclear Mayor Shigemi Kashiwabara was re-elected in Kaminoseki against his opponent who is anti-nuclear, then people should take note.  After all, images of Fukushima are still in the memory and even now the crisis continues in Fukushima but despite this the majority of people in Kaminoseki remained loyal to the local mayor who supports the building of a new nuclear plant.

Even the reporting of this event is being manipulated by language and excuses are being made.  Example, comments stating that “much of the electorate is elderly” and some “small pockets who support nuclear plants remain” – implying that only negative factors won the election.  However, it is not some small pockets because the electorate is divided despite all the scaremongering. 

Even in Kaminoseki it isn’t so simple because many locals also oppose a nuclear power plant being built and demonstrations took place way before the nuclear crisis in Fukushima.  However, the majority did support Kashiwabara but clearly this is a hot topic and very delicate.

The planned Chugoku Electric Power Co hopes to build a new nuclear plant and the major is focused on the needs of the people he represents and obtaining much needed revenue.  It is obvious that many towns and cities in the countryside need to attract investments and nuclear power enabled rapid economic growth in Japan along with other sources of energy in the past.

China, India, and South Korea are all focused on expanding nuclear facilities and many Japanese companies are heavily involved in this sector.  The current economic crisis throughout the world also needs pragmatism and if Japanese politicians desire to scrap the nuclear sector then it should only be based on feasible alternatives.

Mayor Kashiwabara comments “What is wrong in hoping for a decent living?”  

It is a fair question and many parts of the countryside need economic stimulus and while this should not rely on any one particular source of revenue, it is clear that the nuclear option is a source of possible economic support. 

In another article published by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that  “Alternative energy can enhance the energy demands of Japan alongside a well maintained nuclear sector but the phasing out of nuclear energy appears to be over dramatic and ill-considered in such a short space of time.” 

It would appear that Prime Minister Noda shares the same thinking because he clearly believes that the nuclear sector will remain to be an important source of energy for the next few decades.

However, if a genuine policy of alternative energy is put on the table whereby it makes economic sense and which is obtainable, then the water will no longer be muddy.  At the moment, this isn’t happening and nuclear energy isn’t the big evil which it is perceived to be by the anti-nuclear lobby.

Fukushima was about human failure and a freak potent tsunami which destroyed many coastal regions where the earthquake hit.  The safety mechanism failed and the defensive structure was inadequate amongst other major failings.

The re-election of Mayor Kashiwabara is a reminder that the nuclear issue is very complex and that many people still believe that this sector is viable and needed.

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Japan

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vladimir Putin to stand for president: continuity followed by continuity

Vladimir Putin to stand for president: continuity followed by continuity

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

The Russian Federation is no longer the weak nation which emerged under Boris Yeltsin and while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin may have distracters, this is outweighed by what he did and continues to do for this nation. Therefore, when it was announced that Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev would swap roles, providing both are elected, then the announcement surprised nobody.

It should be stated that differences do exist between Putin and Medvedev but these differences are not so dramatic when viewed collectively. Both politicians have the interest of the Russian Federation at heart and many nationals in this nation support their long-term objectives.

Obviously, just like in all societies, some opposition figures will be dismayed by this announcement because it seems like one long continuous control mechanism. Also, with parts of the Middle East and North Africa on fire it could be viewed to be a gamble given the economic uncertainty of many nations.

However, when all is said and done the electorate of the Russian Federation will determine the outcome of 2012.  Therefore, with Putin acting within the legal and political structures of the Russian Federation he is fully entitled to stand and seek re-election.

United Russia is a powerful political party within the body politics of the Russian Federation and Putin did so much to stabilize this nation in the field of economics, national security issues and restoring pride. If he is re-elected, and surely he will, then the next focus will be aimed at diversification of the economy; military reforms and modernization; social issues like the low birth rate and pension system; utilizing energy resources; and restoring the scientific base in order to further enhance a bright future for the citizens of this nation.

Putin commented that “I want to thank you for the positive reaction to the proposal for me to stand for Russian president……For me this is a great honor.”

Putin continued by stating that “I am certain that United Russia will win, and based on popular support, Dmitry Anatolyevich will be able to create a new, effective, young, energetic management team and head the government of the Russian Federation.”

Medvedev and Putin had clearly worked things out and both politicians understand the need for continuity and to further strengthen the nation.  Medvedev commented that “I think it would be correct for the congress to support the candidacy of the Party Chairman, Vladimir Putin, to the post of president of the country.”

Irrespective of what foreign opinion believes about this continuity at the heart of the Russian Federation, it appears to work because you no longer have a weakened nation which is threatened by hostile forces. The modern period under Putin and Medvedev is one of continuing strength and a nation which is independent and with firm long-term objectives.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110726/165401395.html

http://moderntokyotimes.com

Image from www.kremlin.ru

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ando Hiroshige and L.S. Lowry: images of majesty and realism

Ando Hiroshige and L.S. Lowry: images of majesty and realism

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) and L.S. Lowry (1887- 1976) come from different worlds and their styles and creativity are a million miles away. Hiroshige is internationally famous and Lowry sits rightly within his northern English roots which influenced him so much. However, Lowry is acclaimed in his own right and both artists were blessed with fine qualities and have left a rich legacy.

Lowry commented that “If people call me a Sunday painter I’m a Sunday painter who paints every day of the week!” This comment says much about his roots because pride, confidence and rebuttal, is part of a common language which seeks neither confirmation nor seeks weakness.

Lowry studied at the Manchester Academy of Fine Art and at Salford Royal Technical College. His knowledge of French Impressionism and the influence of Ford Madox Brown and Rossetti on his thinking played an important role.  However, Lowry was not interested in following or painting within constraints, therefore, he created a style which was unique and the subject matter of his famous art is a reminder of the real England.

Hiroshige was born in Japan and despite his paintings contrasting greatly with Lowry both artists did share common themes because neither was born into real privilege. Also, both artists painted striking images despite the subject theme being very different.

In an earlier article I comment that Ando Hiroshige is deemed to be one of the finest artists to bless the country of Japan and his art influenced famous artists like Van Gogh.  Hiroshige leaves a lasting impression on the imagination and Katsushika Hokusai clearly influenced Hiroshige and was an inspirational figure even if from afar.”

“Within the visions of serenity, sublime nature and stunning landscapes you have multi-dimensional realities which may clash in other cultures, irrespective if “Eastern” or “Western” thought patterns; however, open sexuality and conservatism within the same “inner-self” is based on thought patterns that are difficult to grasp from a non-Japanese point of view.”

Therefore, just like Hiroshige and other ukiyo-e artists who depicted stunning nature and tranquility alongside shunga and explicit sexual images, which renders confusion within the thought patterns of famous Western artists. Images by Lowry can lead to confusion for people outside of a working class environment and who don’t understand the real power and energy of industrial landscapes.

Also, just like Hiroshige had many dimensions to his art the same applies to Lowry but from afar both artists are known for a particular style.  However, this is misleading because Hiroshige and Lowry had many styles and while art lovers will know about this the general public may be surprised by the diversity of both artists.

Lowry and the power of the industrial theme really hit home because he states that “One day I missed a train from Pendlebury – (a place) I had ignored for seven years – and as I left the station I saw the Acme Spinning Company’s mill … The huge black framework of rows of yellow-lit windows standing up against the sad, damp charged afternoon sky. The mill was turning out… I watched this scene – which I’d looked at many times without seeing – with rapture…”

If we compare this statement by Lowry with the importance of time, space, nature, color schemes and symbolism for Hiroshige, then it is abundantly clear that their passion and influence was extremely different. In part, Lowry stands out because of what made him tick but Hiroshige followed a traditional route and his themes were not unique when compared with the style of Lowry who was truly independent.

This does not negate anything about Hiroshige because cultural factors, environment and other aspects of both cultures are bound to clash and in truth Lowry had a distinctive style which would render other artists less unique.  However, being unique by itself means little if the art form can’t reach the soul and express something deep or attract based on countless factors. 

Hiroshige is one of the finest artists to grace Japan but the overwhelming majority of British people would not put Lowry on the same pedestal which regards to being amongst the crème de la crème of British art.

The Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido Road, the Eight Views of Lake Biwa, and the Hundred Views of Edo are not only reminders of the genius of Hiroshige but many images are known throughout the world. On the other hand, Lowry used basic colors and he commented that “I am a simple man, and I use simple materials: ivory, black, vermilion (red), Prussian blue, yellow ochre, flake white and no medium (e.g. linseed oil). That’s all I’ve ever used in my paintings. I like oils… I like a medium you can work into over a period of time.”

Lowry also felt a deep connection with solitary figures and people who struggled to cope with life. He stated that “I feel more strongly about these people than I ever did about the industrial scene. They are real people, sad people. I’m attracted to sadness and there are some very sad things. I feel like them.”

Hiroshige and Lowry have both left deep impressions on countless numbers of people and it matters not whose legacy is the richest or who impacted the most.  After all, art is not constrained by thought patterns, style, meaning or anything. Therefore, Hiroshige and Lowry will mean many things to different people who love art.

However, both individuals blessed the art world and their power remains potent in the modern period and long may it continue to do so because Hiroshige and Lowry shared their gifts and their artistic talents.

http://www.hiroshige.org.uk/hiroshige/main/main.htm

http://library.thinkquest.org/trio/TTQ05064/Templates/hiroshige.htm

http://www.thelowry.com/ls-lowry/the-ls-lowry-collection/

http://www.clark-art.co.uk/

http://www.lowry.co.uk/

http://www.worldgallery.co.uk/gallery/LS-Lowry-1.html 

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 
 
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2011 in Japan

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.