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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Paying Homage to the Spirit of Japan seen in the Fukushima 50

Paying Homage to the Spirit of Japan seen in the “Fukushima 50”

James Jomo and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The March 11 earthquake which triggered the brutal and devastating tsunami which in turn created the nuclear crisis in Fukushima remains vivid in the memory. This tragic day will never be forgotten in Japan and the same applies to the international community which witnessed the tragic events which followed.

Sadly, despite enormous reconstruction and redevelopment taking place in the worse effected areas you still have many ongoing problems. This applies to the nuclear facility in Fukushima and radiation issues which remain, to more natural daily issues of people living in temporary accommodation and trying to find employment.

Any government in the world hit by this tragic event would be challenged to the full and in fairness to Japan, a lot of support mechanisms have been put into place but of course for people hit by this tragic event then so much more is needed.

In the midst of the nuclear crisis you had the “Fukushima 50” who did everything in their power to prevent a nuclear meltdown. These brave souls should never be forgotten because during the height of the crisis they worked day and night and at any time they could have been killed. Also, the reality of radiation means that we still don’t know if many of these brave souls will die from cancer in the future caused by radiation.

Irrespective if you are anti-nuclear, pro-nuclear or you believe that nuclear energy is a practical choice, it is clear that the “Fukushima 50” deserve the support of everybody. While alarming comments were being made and very natural dangers could have killed all members of the “Fukushima 50,” they merely got on with everything and worked around the clock in order to protect local citizens and to prevent a complete nuclear meltdown.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times which was published on March 18 it was commented that “Images of Fukushima have spread all over the world but the people who are trying to prevent a nuclear meltdown remain faceless and out of sight.  Therefore, they have been named the “Fukushima 50” in honor of their valor and loyalty to the cause.”

“All members of the “Fukushima 50” understand that death awaits them if the internal conditions become uncontrollable.  However, for the “Fukushima 50” they are thinking about the people of Japan and they understand that they are in the frontline and that if they perish, then countless others will follow from the worst case scenario.”

“Of course you will have tens of thousands of other “faceless individuals” who are giving everything in order to help people and many are working in dangerous and terrible conditions.  In this sense, but not from the personal danger that the “Fukushima 50” face; the “Fukushima 50” represent all individuals who are working against the clock in order to help the people of Japan.”

The article was written within 7 days of the March 11 tragedy and being based in Tokyo then Modern Tokyo Times tried its best to support Japan. After all, many embassies were closed and many people left Tokyo in panic. However, at all times the core of Modern Tokyo Times remained in the heart of Tokyo and visits were also made to Fukushima and other areas hit.

However, unlike the “Fukushima 50,” we had the luxury of being based far away and the admiration of these brave souls can’t be overstated. After all, how many people would risk their-own-skin in the face of so much carnage? This collectively applies to the knowledge that the high radiation may give you cancer in the future or that at any time the plant could have just blown up completely.

In the “valley of death” the “Fukushima 50” walked tall and showed the beauty of humanity. 

It matters not if you are pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear; the real issue is their bravery, dedication and giving everything in order to protect the people who reside in Japan.

They must never be forgotten because unlike the “heroes on television” who are actors and actresses, the “Fukushima 50” are real heroes and in the “valley of death” they never flinched. 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/03/18/spirit-of-japan-seen-in-the-%e2%80%9cfukushima-50%e2%80%9d/

 
 

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Tokyo fashion: Esola in Ikebukuro is a trendy fashion store

Tokyo fashion: Esola in Ikebukuro is a trendy fashion store

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Fashion in Ikebukuro continues to bloom and the store Esola is a very trendy place to visit.  Ikebukuro isn’t internationally famous like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya, and Shinjuku but this district in Tokyo is awash with fashion. Also, in the last few years the west side of Ikebukuro is becoming a fashion hub in its own right. Therefore, Ikebukuro is not only on “the fashion map of Tokyo” but it is increasingly becoming more assertive and fashion lovers are spoilt for choice in this vibrant district.

Of course Seibu Department Store and Tobu Department Store have been the backbone of Ikebukuro and part of the modernization process of this district. Marui and Parco also have fashion outlets in Ikebukuro and Lumine on the west side is a lovely place to visit for elegant fashion.  

At the same time you have a modern underground hub of fashion stores which were built when the Fukutoshin train line opened. Therefore, when you exit the Ikebukuro Fukutoshin train station you are directly entering into a delightful world of underground boutiques.

Immediately you will see many elegant stores catering for fashion, accessories, places to eat and you can feel the vibe of the area which is awash with shoppers. Esola is easily connected with this area and this shopping mall is within a short walk from five different train lines which have train stations in Ikebukuro.

Also, Esola is very close to Lumine and Tobu Department Store and this in itself is creating a lovely hub for fashion.  Marui is also near because it only takes a few minutes to walk between both trendy fashion stores.

In Esola you have many exquisite boutiques based in this lovely and stylish shopping mall.  This applies to Actuel, Amphi, Barbie Store, Beardsley Gallardagalante, Blue Bell Market, DouDou, Elleva, FRAMeWORK, Free’s Mart, Jolly Boutique, Muriel & Mercuria, Nuit et Jour Spick and Span, Opaque Clip, Royal Flash, and Turno Jeana.

All these fashion boutiques have created a quaint and sophisticated fashion store because the companies located in Esola have their own style and the mix is delightful. Therefore, Tokyo ladies are spoilt for choice and can enjoy the nice surroundings and layout. Also, with Esola being so close to Lumine, Tobu Department Store, and Marui, then this shopping mall mixes well because you can feel an independent spirit about Esola.

Not only this, in Esola you have quality stores catering for cosmetics, beauty care, food, furniture, and dog wear. On top of this, you can relax in café de Esola or if you want to wine and dine then you have many scrumptious restaurants to pick from. The restaurants cater for Japanese and international cuisine and the surroundings make it a very pleasurable place to eat.

Ikebukuro is fantastic for fashion and keeps on growing and with exquisite companies like Lumine, Marui, Parco, Seibu Department Store, Tobu Department Store, and many others, then Esola is maintaining and enhancing the quality of fashion in Ikebukuro.

Therefore, Tokyo ladies who adore fashion will certainly enjoy the elegant boutiques in Esola and this exquisite shopping mall is part of the “fashion buzz” which can be fealt in Ikebukuro. The atmosphere also suits the lovely layout because you can browse around lovely boutiques and take in the ambience of the shopping mall.

Boutiques in Esola are charming, elegant and sophisticated.

http://www.esola-ikebukuro.com/

http://orizzonti.co.jp/category/actuel/

http://www.barbie-stores.com/

http://www.bluebellmarket.net/index.html

http://www.palgroup.co.jp/brands/doudou/

http://www.turnojeana.jp/

http://www.frees-mart.com/index.html

http://m-muriel.jp/index.html

http://www.elleva.jp/

http://www.frame-works.co.jp/index_n.html

http://blog-s.frame-works.co.jp/ Spick and Span official blog

http://www.jolly-boutique.com/

http://www.world.co.jp/opaqueclip/

http://royalflash-jp.com/pc/home.html

Other Shops

http://www.loccitane.co.jp/shop/

http://www.unico-fan.co.jp/

http://www.aveda.co.jp/default.asp

http://www.laureloil.jp/

http://www.nonbrush.com/

http://gloccy.jp/

http://www.lunch8.com/

http://www.toffy.jp/

http://ameblo.jp/4ft-ikebukuro/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

All images of fashion clothes in Esola by Modern Tokyo Times

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Japan

 

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

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

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com 

http://moderntokyotimes.com 

 
 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Japan

 

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K-pop in Japan: BoA and her new song Milestone set to hit the heights

K-pop in Japan: BoA and her new song Milestone set to hit the heights

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

BoA will release a lovely track called “Milestone” and her fans will be so happy to hear her lovely voice and this powerful track should do really well. K-pop artists are now in vogue but for artists like BoA and Kan Mi Youn they hit the heights at a very young age and continue to impress by their changing styles and sheer quality.

“Milestone” will be released in Japan on December 7 and BoA will certainly hog the headlines because of her rich following.  The track itself is very emotional and the melody is pleasing on the ear. Also, like always her voice blesses the richness of the lyrics and the lovely melody.

Boa Kwon (Kwon Boa) adopted the name BoA and despite her young years this lady is multi-talented and truly international. The Beat of Angel (BoA) is just that with her angelic voice and classy style.

BoA was discovered by SM Entertainment and like always they nurtured the extremely beautiful young lady with an adorable voice. After her debut album ID; Peace B was released in South Korea she ventured into the Japanese market in 2002 with her debut album Listen To My Heart.

The international nature of BoA led her to debut in America in 2008 with the single “Eat You Up” and this hip track suited the American market. The video style was clearly designed for the market in hand and this was followed in 2009 by her first English language album titled BoA. However, in Japan the growing power of K-pop in mega-cites like Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and throughout Japan, means that the new track “Milestone” should reach the heights because it is one of her best tracks and BoA’s history in Japan is deep.

The Japanese music market was clearly a great boost to her early career because the album Valenti in 2003 sold more than 1.2 million copies in the second largest music market in the world. Her next album in Japan called Love & Honesty in 2004 did well but not like the album Valenti. However, BoA’s compilation album in 2005 called Best of Soul did very well and more than one million copies were sold.

The changing nature of BoA and the complexity of different music markets meant that between 2004 and 2005 the number of albums sold from new material had gone down in South Korea. Also, her venture into China was mixed but BoA was still very young and with no settled style then a tad of uncertainty was confusing some of her original fans.

It must be remembered that Boa Kwon was born on November 5 in 1986 and in many other music markets, for example in the United Kingdom, it is rare to have someone so young who enters so many challenging markets.  Any misfortune of sales, despite still being good, should go down to the people who guided her because not only was BoA entering challenging and diverse markets but the changing nature of her style was creating teething problems.

In many ways her sixth album in Japan called The Face in 2008 saw a new confident BoA because now she was taking control over the music she performed. Therefore, with her rich and diverse background before this period the final pieces of the “real” BoA began to emerge.

However, the one weak spot was that by not focusing on one main market, then her sales and fan base was confused. Again, this would not have happened with a major British and Japanese singer/group because they would have a firm base. Therefore, in 2010 her album called Identity suffered in Japan because sales were weak compared with the startling success of Valenti in 2003.

Clearly, her move to America had mixed results and BoA was overstretched when it came to maintaining a firm base in America, Japan and South Korea respectively. Therefore, you had a highly talented K-pop artist who had matured into a stunning young lady and who was blessed with a lovely voice, however, something was amiss.

After all, BoA couldn’t match her early success in Japan despite the BoA of 2010 being vastly superior to her early period. Yet 2010 did show that her fans in South Korea remained loyal because her album Hurricane Venus did well.

BoA is a fantastic singer and continues to grow and her new single which will be released on December 7 in Japan is one of her best. Therefore, the new single “Milestone” should hit the heights because the lovely melody is backed by her exquisite voice.

“Milestone” is a million miles away from “Eat You Up” but her new single shows the exquisite talent of BoA.  Therefore, many Tokyoites and music lovers throughout Japan should certainly add this new track to their chart once it is released. 

In truth, “Milestone” shows the real class of BoA and only her challenging schedule is preventing this stunning lady from reaching her true potential.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J6zsvcvhaU BoA and new track “Milestone”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd2Cvxrxpfc BoA and “Eat You Up”

http://leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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Indonesia: Spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) gets reduced sentence

Indonesia: Spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) gets reduced sentence

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

The radical Sunni Islamic cleric, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who is the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, will feel relieved after his sentence was reduced from 15 years to 9 years. Ba’asyir will be hoping that a further appeal will also work in his favor and this crafty spiritual leader is not one to underestimate because in the past he overcame many obstacles.

In March this year he received a 15 year sentence for allegedly supporting radical Sunni Islamists in Aceh. According to the court decision Islamists in Aceh were intent on spreading a violent campaign in order to see the implementation of Sharia Islamic law. However, just like in the past, Ba’asyir denies all charges of inciting hatred and encouraging Sunni Islamic terrorism.

Indonesia is the largest mainly Muslim nation in the world in terms of population but not everything is what it appears.  This applies to the rapid growth of Christianity which is between 10% and 13% of the population according to various statistics. The official line was that Christianity was just below 10% over a decade ago but more “closet Christians” are coming out because of the growing strength of Christianity in many parts of Indonesia.

Ba’asyir and many conservative and radical Muslims are concerned about this. Therefore, one way to stem the tide and to clampdown on the Christian faith is to introduce Islamic Sharia law and then Muslim apostates would face the death penalty.

However, mainstream Islam in Indonesia is more moderate and many Muslims support a secular notion and that all Indonesians are equal. Yet, in recent times money from nations like Saudi Arabia began to spread the message of conservative Islam and you have had many attacks against Christians and Ahmaddiya Muslims.

Ba’asyir was born in 1938 and during his lifetime you have had many political changes and the gradual growth of conservative Islam meant that more people were open to his thinking. Also, Sunni Islamic funding from conservative nations in the Gulf meant that new opportunities and funding became available for religious leaders, individuals, and radical organizations.

Ba’asyir and Abdullah Sungkar opened a boarding school in 1972 in order to preach to the next generation about the need to implement Islamic Sharia law in Indonesia. In time both individuals would flee to Malaysia because the Suharto regime was in no mood to bow down to Islamists.

In 1999 Ba’asyir returned to Indonesia and clearly he and Sungkar had gained from their exile in Malaysia. This applies to meeting leading Islamists and learning a more composed way of spreading radical Sunni Islam.

Ba’asyir and Sungkar both became involved (some say founded but Ba’asyir plays with words) with Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) which was a lose patchwork of various radical Islamic organizations. The main goal was to create a super-Islamic state which would incorporate Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Brunei, and Singapore (some Islamists would also include southern Thailand and Cambodia).

The vastness of this region and the mass complexity is a wonder to behold, however, in the wrong hands it could become a nightmare.  After all, you have a very diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups and you already have religious bouts of violence between Christians and Muslims in parts of Indonesia and the southern Philippines. More recently, tensions have erupted between Muslims and Buddhists in southern Thailand. Also, passions often run high in Malaysia which is the most diverse nation in the region when it comes to religion and the Shia faith is illegal in so-called moderate Malaysia.

Ba’asyir can’t be ignored or brushed aside so easily because JI have been involved in many terrorist attacks and have embroiled themselves in communal violence against Christians. Also, when tensions were at their highest many years ago between Christians and Muslims, you had many Sunni Islamic organizations like JI and Laskar Jihad who supported jihad. More alarming, he often plays around with words and distances himself when needed. Therefore, Ba’asyir and terrorist organizations like Laskar Jihad (Laskar Jihad disbanded but was used by elements of the military in West Papua and can be formed easily via many fronts) can melt away from the scene and then come back either through a new organization or during times of severe tensions.

Walid Phares, author of “The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy” and other books, stated “We all know that the process to become a Jihadist, is long and tenuous. It needs a Salafi-Wahabi environment to be produced. The question in Indonesia is this: Who is producing the “ideological culture” out of which Jama’ah Islamiah came from? What are the structural webs that produced Laskar Mujahidin (or Laskar e Jihad), or Laskar Jundullah or even the Sulawesi-based Mujahedeen KOMPAK?”

Walid Phares sums up this complexity by stating that “…the Jihadi “Laskars” around the archipelago are projecting themselves as the “protectors” of the territorial unity of “Muslim Indonesia.” Hence their action against non-Muslims, including in Poso, the Celebes, etc is projected as “in the interest of the nation.” They are trying to emulate Hassan Turabi’s strategy in Sudan: the defense of Islam’s lands.”

These comments by Walid Phares were stated several years ago and many radical Sunni Islamic organizations change their operational styles or disband and then come back under a different name.  This game is also part and parcel of Ba’asyir

Given this, JI moved easily between supporting Muslims during communal violence against Christians in Maluku and Poso in Indonesia; and then to targeting economic and Western interests throughout the region. At the same time you had inter-links between JI, Al-Qaeda, MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic organizations.

However, it must be stated that JI isn’t on the same wavelength when it applies to Abu Sayyaf and what is termed Al-Qaeda. Also, MILF in the Philippines is much more moderate, despite being deadly, than Al-Qaeda/Abu Sayyaf and clearly their focus is on their homeland and powerbase.  International Sunni Islamic jihad is not on the agenda of all Islamists and JI works within “a means to an end” but not on the inter-Muslim bloodletting of Al-Qaeda.

This is not meant to downplay JI because they have been responsible for many deadly deeds and this applies to killing 15 people in 2000 after an attack against the Jakarta Stock Exchange. Also, in the same year many Christians were killed during Christmas Eve bombing in Indonesia. They have also spread their terror to the Philippines with several attacks and an attack was thwarted in Singapore by intelligence agents. Other notable attacks apply to the 2002 Bali bombings and two hotels were attacked in Jakarta in 2009.

Returning back to Ba’asyir he stated in 2002 that “If non-believers have weapons capacity, the funding, then they will go to war against Islam. In the Koran Allah has said they will always wage war against you, they will always attack you as long as they have the capacity.” He further stated that “The government of Indonesia right now is being directed by America to service its needs and the primary need of America is to bury Islam particularly in Indonesia.”

Ba’asyir also stated “…Hence our religion Islam, our nation and our country is currently being threatened by foreign races with all manner of libels, with the bombings in Bali, with explosions everywhere, all of those are the plots of non-believers whose aims are to weaken and profane the believers of Islam.”

Therefore, Ba’asyir is somehow trying to claim that the Bali bombings were done by non-Muslims and this is similar to the September 11th conspiracy theory. However, this is clearly ridiculous and Osama Bin Laden and other brutal killers don’t play the “conspiracy game” when it comes to denial.  In many ways JI is much more dangerous than Al-Qaeda when it comes to a lasting legacy, ideology, and patience.

Irrespective if the organization JI exists in name isn’t important because the ideology will remain within another organization. Also, Indonesia is a very powerful nation when it comes to geopolitics and the future of this nation will influence the religious pluralism of the entire region.  

On page 166 and 167 of Zachary Abuza’s book called Militant Islam in Southeast Asia, Crucible of Terror. Zachary Abuza comments that “Although Abu Bakar Ba’asyir was named by both Malaysia and Singapore as a prime suspect and a leader of Jemaah Islamiya network, he continued to live and preach openly until October 2002.” He also told Zachary Abuza personally that “I am not a member of Al-Qaida, but I really respect the struggle of Osama Bin Laden, who has bravely represented the world’s Muslims in their fight against the arrogant United States of America and their allies.”

Yet what logic can be found in these words by Ba’asyir? After all, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were involved in the massacres of thousands of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. This was followed by countless numbers of terrorist attacks against Shia Muslims and other non-Sunni’s in Iraq; and of course innocent Sunni Muslims have been killed by radical Sunni Islamists in many nations.

Islamic radicalism is a serious threat in Indonesia and in many other nations. However, Ba’asyir is not your usual radical Sunni Islamist leader because he is cunning and manipulates language when it suits. Therefore, it is very difficult for the authorities in Indonesia to pin Ba’asyir and not only this, he does have connections even if the trail leads to dust.

The saga will go on and Ba’asyir will continue to be loved by his supporters and hated by individuals who support religious pluralism. Whatever happens, it is doubtful that Ba’asyir will settle for his reduced sentence and it is also doubtful that he will reject Islamic jihad and terrorism within his heart.

However, the Aceh affair does remain open to interpretation because Ba’asyir isn’t foolish nor naïve and if he believed that he would be held accountable – then the Ba’asyir that most people know, is an individual who likes to cover his angles.

http://www.meforum.org/2044/jemaah-islamiyah-adopts-the-hezbollah-model

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
 

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Tokyo fashion: exquisite fashion districts and diversity of boutiques

Tokyo fashion: exquisite fashion districts and diversity of boutiques

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Fashion in Tokyo is simply dynamic and the creative buzz you can feel in this ultra-modern city is unbelievable. All major capital cities and famous cities will have famous fashion districts and London, Milan, New York, Paris, and Rome run of the tongue when thinking about fashion. However, the diversity of fashion in Tokyo and the numerous fashion districts is what makes this city tick when it comes to exquisite boutiques.

Famous international fashion streets with huge reputations based on sublime fashion applies to Fifth Avenue (New York), Avenue Montaigne (Paris), Bond Street (London), Via Montenapoleone (Milan), Bahnhofstrasse (Zurich), P.C. Hooftstraat (Amsterdam), Stroget (Copenhagen), Rodeo Drive (Los. Angeles) and Calle Serrano (Madrid). 

At the same time you have fantastic fashion in other major cities in Japan and Osaka is extremely trendy. This notably applies to the exquisite boutiques in Umeda and in Namba you have a lovely mix of high fashion and independent fashion. Meanwhile Kobe is extremely trendy and you have a lovely buzz in this city.

However, what makes Tokyo so special is the sheer size of fashion and the amount of districts you have in this fabulous city which caters for different trends and styles. Therefore, you are spoilt for choice because you have extremely sophisticated districts like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Roppongi Hills, and Yurakucho. Alternatively, you have a mixture of sophisticated fashion, independent boutiques and the buzzing nature of Ikebukuro, Shibuya, and Shinjuku and elegant areas like Ebisu.

 

International wise you will have a wide mix of famous fashion districts which appeal to individuals. However, without a shadow of a doubt Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya and Shinjuku will be the most famous internationally but it is the collective which really makes fashion so special and unique in Tokyo.

Therefore, you have smaller suburbs which are brimming with elegant boutiques and their own styles. This applies to Daikanyama, Kichijoji, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Shimo Kitazawa, Naka Meguro and other trendy places which provide a different ambience and vibe. These smaller districts provide a special feel because the sheer number of fashion areas in Tokyo is amazing. Also, you have other famous areas in Tokyo like Ueno and Odaiba which are fantastic for fashion and tourism is also a major theme in both places for very different reasons.

Jiyugaoka and Daikanyama are extremely popular and the feel in both places is special because you have so many back streets and the energy can be felt when browsing around. In Jiyugaoka the elegant boutiques, café bars, beauticians, quaint shops, famous cake shops (Dalloyau, Roll Ya Cake and Sweets Forest), restaurants, and other factors, all adds up to a lovely suburb which is blessed with stunning fashion.

In Aoyama and Omotesando you have sophisticated fashion in abundance and both places are chic and stylish. Therefore, you have famous international and Japanese boutiques in both districts which share the same space in trendsetting Tokyo.

In Aoyama you will find sublime boutiques in abundance and this applies to Comme des Garcons, Gucci, Prada, Donna Karan, Loveless, Michael Kors, 10 Corso Como, L’eclaireur, Vivienne Westwood, A Bathing Ape, Jil Sander, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Artisan, Stella McCartney, Cynthia Rowley, Paul Smith, Helmut Lang, Mark Jacobs, Tsumori Chisato, Costume National, Carbane de Zucca, Hanae Mori, Diane Von Furstenberg, Undercover, Design Works, Frapbois, and many others like Deuxieme Classe.

Meanwhile in Omotesando you have famous international and Japanese brands and both Aoyama and Omotesando, just like Ginza and Yurakucho, are exclusive areas for fashion. In Omotesando Hills which is a sublime fashion store you have exquisite companies like Adore, Anterpima, Apartment Department, Betsey Johnson, Black Fleece, Escada Sport, iliann loeb, Kiwa Sylphy, Martinique Le Conte, Milly, Oriental News, Patrizia Pepe Firenze (Incontro), Tour H. creer (Merveille H.), Tiara, Tracy Reese, Yves Saint Laurent, Zara, and other exquisite boutiques.

In another article about Tokyo fashion by Modern Tokyo Times it was commented that “The energy of exquisite fashion and individualistic fashion designers can be felt through the entire area which links Aoyama, Omotesando, Harajuku and Shibuya.  In many ways Omotesando represents all the beauty of this area because it links high quality fashion companies with independent and stylish boutiques and in the backstreets you can find street fashion.”

For the younger generation internationally the buzzing areas of Harajuku and Shibuya are extremely famous, while in Tokyo it is clear that Ikebukuro is buzzing with students, teenagers and people of all age groups. However, Harajuku and Shibuya are internationally famous and these districts throng with the latest trends.

Sebastian Masuda the designer and owner of 6%DOKIDOKI is iconic because of kawaii culture and “chaotic punk.” The younger generation who adore fashion in Barcelona, London, Madrid, Paris, and other famous cities, are fascinated by kawaii culture, Dolly-kei, Visual-kei, Lolita fashion, and other trends which keep on changing the scene in Tokyo.

Therefore, companies like 6%DOKIDOKI, Grimoire, Candy, Macaronic, Metamorphose temps de fille, and many others, are followed avidly by fashion conscious youth and young adults all over the world. At the same time you have iconic stores like Laforet Harajuku and Shibuya 109

In a past article it was stated that “Internationally famous designers like Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto provided a strong image for Japanese fashion and their energy was noticeable in the 1980s and onwards.  Yet younger designers and famous individuals are changing the evolving fashion scene and Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Sebastian Masuda, Rei Kawakubo, Nobu Kitamura, Junya Watanabe, Takashi Aoki, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Kuniko Kato, Chiharu Kikuchi, and others, are all maintaining the freshness of fashion in Japan alongside companies like Grimoire and Candy.”

The sheer diversity of fashion districts, boutiques, designers, thinking, and the ongoing trends which come and go, alongside internationally famous and Japanese boutiques is what makes Tokyo fashion so special.

Issey Miyake Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kawakubo, did so much to put Japan on the map internationally when it came to fashion. Then other generations have followed with their own thinking and styles and designers like Sebastian Masuda have reached out and maintained the rich vitality of fashion in Japan.

Fashion means many things to different people but at its heart it isn’t about famous individuals despite the limelight being hogged by a selective crowd. The heart of fashion belongs to new vibes, new trends, fresh thinking, relating to the times, and alongside this you will have continuity but freshness within exquisite brands. This collectively, and a host of other factors, is what makes fashion so powerful and full of energy.

Therefore, in Tokyo you will find this energy throughout the city and for fashion writers at Modern Tokyo Times it is the smaller fashion districts like Jiyugaoka, Shimo-Kitazawa, Daikanyama, Kichijoji, Naka-Meguro and other places like Nakano, which creates the uniqueness of Tokyo.

Of course the spark of fashion and Tokyo’s international appeal is based rightly on fantastic fashion districts, which include Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. However, when all the smaller fashion districts are included with more famous districts within Tokyo like Ikebukuro, Ebisu and Yurakucho; then collectively this is “the icing on top of the cake” and this is why Tokyo is unique when it comes to international fashion.

The contrasting styles between Japanese, North American, and European fashion, comes alive in Tokyo. Alongside this are established companies and new trends and brands which maintain such freshness and vitality. In Tokyo you are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to fashion districts, new styles, exquisite boutiques, independent boutiques and the sheer diversity of this mega-fashion city.

Simply put, Tokyo is “a real pearl” when it comes to fashion. Therefore, international fashion lovers have so many places to visit and multitudes of boutiques and styles to pick from in exquisite and trendy Tokyo. 

Famous stores

http://www.laforet.ne.jp/floor_guide/floor_1f_e.html  Harajuku Laforet

http://www.isetan.co.jp/icm2/jsp/store/shinjuku/info/iclub/index.jsp Isetan

http://info.keionet.com/foreign/index.html Keio Department Store

http://www.lumine.ne.jp/shinjuku/  Lumine

http://109guide.com/top_f.html Shibuya 109

http://www.maruione.jp/en  Marui

http://www.shinjuku-mylord.com/ Mylord

http://www.omotesandohills.com/english/  Omotesando Hills Shopping Mall

http://www.parco.co.jp/customer/  PARCO

http://www.takashimaya.co.jp/shinjuku/store_information/ Takashimaya

http://www.japan-hotels.ws/tokyo/aoyama/shopping.htm Where to shop in Aoyama

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3011.html   Information about Shinjuku

Boutiques in Tokyo

http://www.adore2005.com/

http://anteprima.com/

http://www.ap-dp.com/

www.bape.com/   

http://www.betseyjohnson.jp/

http://www.brooksbrothers.co.jp/fleece/index.html

http://candy-nippon.com/  

http://www.commedesgarcons.org/

http://www.10corsocomo.com/  

http://www.cynthiarowley.com/

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (6%DOKIDOKI website)

http://www.donnakaran.com/

http://www.erikonail.com/

http://www.escada.com/

http://www.frapbois.jp/

http://www.gucci.com/us/home

http://www.iliannloeb.com/

http://www.incontro.co.jp/

http://www.isseymiyake.com/en/

http://www.kiwasylphy.jp/

http://www.lebois.jp/

http://www.leclaireur.com/en/

http://www.lov-lab.com/  

http://www.maccosmetics.co.jp/

http://www.macaronic.jp/    

http://www.melrose.co.jp/martinique/index.html

http://www.melrose.co.jp/tiara/

http://www.merveilleh.co.jp/

http://www.metamorphose.gr.jp/english/

http://ameblo.jp/oriental-news-omotesando/

http://www.pasdedeux.co.jp/

http://www.paulsmith.co.jp/

http://www.prada.com/

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/   (Sebastian Masuda)

http://www.smackyglam.com/   

http://www.stellamccartney.com/default/stores/Tokyo

http://store.costumenational.com/

http://www.tracyreese.com   

http://www.tsumorichisato.com/index.html

http://www.viviennewestwood.co.uk/

http://yaplog.jp/grimoire-blog/  

http://www.yohjiyamamoto.co.jp/

http://www.zucca.cc/index.html

http://6girls.jugem.jp/   

Images of fashion in Tokyo

http://www.fashion-j.com/E/trend/201010.html

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://www.metrocity.nl/tokyo/streetfashion/harajuku-fashion/     

http://tokyofashion.com/candy-sister-fashion-shibuya/   

Past articles

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/10/14/tokyo-fashion-omotesando-hills-and-adorable-fashion-in-tokyo/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/10/20/tokyo-fashion-lumine-to-open-a-new-store-in-trendy-yurakcho/

http://moderntokyotimes.com   PLEASE VIST

 
 
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tsunami of March 11: elderly deaths extremely high and history ignored

Tsunami of March 11: elderly deaths extremely high and history ignored

James Jomo and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Japanese police released vital information about the devastating tsunami which hit Japan. This applies to how deaths occurred and the age group which suffered the most. Therefore, this information needs to be studied carefully and adequate measures are needed in order to protect the vulnerable.

Of course, no nation knows when and where a natural disaster will strike but fault-lines and vulnerable areas which are prone to natural disasters are known.  Therefore, certain precautions can be taken in order to reduce the death toll when a major earthquake and tsunami strikes.

It is apparent from the findings by the Japanese police that elderly citizens who reside in danger zones need to be helped to a much higher degree. If no action is taken then history will merely repeat itself in the future and issues related to costs must not enter the equation.  Local governments and the central government must work together alongside appropriate agencies in order to protect and help the most vulnerable who reside in danger zones.

The Japanese police confirmed that over 90 per cent of people died from drowning after the violent earthquake unleashed a destructive and deadly tsunami.  This figure was expected because images of the tsunami show the speed and destructiveness of nature. 

One statistic which is of great significance is that the greatest loss of life occurred to people who were aged over 60 years old. People in this bracket group accounted for 65% off all deaths related to the tsunami. Therefore, when the brutal 9.0-magnitude earthquake unleashed the deadly tsunami, it is clear that many elderly were unable to escape for a variety of reasons.

Obviously, most people presumed that drowning would be the main cause of death and that elderly citizens would suffer the most.  However, the report by the Japanese police that the elderly accounted for 65% of all deaths is shocking and extremely high.

In a previous article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “In the future, certain measures could be taken from these findings and this applies to greater attention being given to the most vulnerable.  This could apply to early back-up systems being enhanced; emergency transport located in special areas of high density areas where the elderly reside; zones of housing to be further away from the coastline for elderly residents and people who are disabled.”

“It is important not to become alarmist because the chance of another major tsunami like the March 11 tsunami is remote in Japan in the near future (but not in the distant future).  After all, you do not get many earthquakes with the magnitude of 9 and even when you do get major earthquakes which are high on the scale; then other factors have to come into play and so many other variables, in order for the same destructive accident to happen in the future.”

History proved to be the saving grace for the hamlet called Aneyoshi because they heeded the advice of old stone tablets which warned about past tsunamis. Therefore, the people of Aneyoshi planned the infrastructure of this small hamlet based on past history and because of this they escaped the ravages of the tsunami.

One stone tablet comments that “High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants” and another says “Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis.”

Ancestors knew full well the power of tsunamis and how you need to understand the destructiveness of nature. Therefore, another stone tablet states that “If an earthquake comes, beware of tsunamis.” However, this ancient advice by caring ancestors was ignored by many and the old stone tablets, some which date back to 600 years ago, should have been heeded.

However, it is reported that many Japanese people went back to their homes after the violent earthquake struck.  This decision had tragic repercussions because the tsunami swept many people away who had gone back home to collect their belongings or because they believed that the danger was over.

Yotaru Hatamura is a scholar with great knowledge about the old stone tablets and he also believes that history was ignored.  Yotaru Hatamura comments that “People had this crucial knowledge, but they were busy with their lives and jobs, and many forgot.”

In the past article by Modern Tokyo Times it was also stated that “Turning back to the high rate of elderly people dying because of the tsunami then it is clear that other factors are involved.  This applies to the younger generation being at work and many will have been out of town because of this reason.  Also, a higher number of younger people will have had their own transport and obviously the mobility factor is a clear advantage and some elderly people will have been alone.”

Also, in many villages and towns in northeastern Japan the elderly population is sizeable (the same applies to other areas in the countryside) because many of the younger generation have migrated to big cities in Japan like Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. 

“In the video below this article you can witness the power of the tsunami and during the last minute it becomes apparent that elderly people were caught because of lack of mobility.  Also, you also see a man trying to help a disabled person and the video is harrowing near the end.”

“The last few minutes on this earth for tens of thousands of people was based on fear, shock, and complete disbelief. They could feel and witness the mayhem around them before being engulfed by the tsunami.”

Therefore, it is vital that the data is fully scrutinized in order to introduce genuine safety mechanisms which will enable more people to survive when another potent tsunami strikes Japan.

Video evidence and police statistics show just what went wrong and specialists must study and formulate counter-measures.  The residents of Aneyoshi learnt from history and now it is vital that local governments and the central government learns from the deadly tsunami which hit Japan on March 11.

http://mashable.com/2011/04/17/japan-tsunami-video/

(This video is harrowing in the last few minutes – but it does show how the elderly and disabled were victims of the tsunami)

http://moderntokyotimes.com PLEASE VISIT 

 

 

 

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