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Afghanistan: a nation where converts to Buddhism and Christianity face death

Afghanistan: a nation where converts to Buddhism and Christianity face death

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and a host of other nations, keep on sending economic support to Afghanistan and how do the leaders of this nation respond?  Yes, they still support an ongoing Islamic inquisition whereby every Muslim convert to Buddhism, Hindusim or Christianity faces the death penalty.

In truth, the policies of Karzai and the Taliban are not so different because both sides support killing apostates from Islam, the prevention of non-Muslim places of worship, continuing discrimination against women and rigid stratification of Afghanistan. Therefore, any positive images of Kabul being shown in the media, is just “a hidden disguise of reality” and corruption is endemic alongside the heroin trade.

Afghan converts to Christianity and other faiths also face persecution outside of Afghanistan and if de-Islamization of culture isn’t installed into the younger generation via the education system, then what is the point?

Therefore, the mosque and Islamic Sharia law needs to be kept out of all major institutions and reformist Muslim organizations should be supported. After all, how can commerce, pluralism, religious freedom, female emancipation, the rights of homosexuals, and so forth, happen under the prevailing conditions of modern day Afghanistan?

Secularism, credit unions to help business initiatives, a growing liberal media network, a judiciary which is free from religious dogma and an educational system based on liberal values is needed. Of course, other important areas need changing and this applies to restrictions on dress and challenging the power base of traditional rulers who care little about modernity.

This Sunni Islamic version of Islam in Afghanistan is mainly ultra-conservative and based on preserving inequality and the subjugation of non-Muslims, women, and maintaining stratification. The Islamic enlightenment in this country is a million miles away. Therefore, the current Western policy appears to be based on the status quo and allowing another generation of girls to be chained by an oppressive society.

If the option is the Taliban who recently stoned a woman to death for so-called immorality, yes, Mohammed married a child of 6 years of age and consummated the marriage with Aisha when she was 9 years old, and by this time Mohammed was over 50 (Obviously morality is conditional on individuals and not their own prophet); or the Karzai government which is corrupt and supports killing apostates via the state; then what option is this?

Trillions of dollars have been spent on Afghanistan and the return on all this money is you have schools which teach basic education to girls. However, this educational system is uneven and in more conservative areas it is still disliked.

Therefore, what are NATO forces and American troops dying for? Why are the sons and daughters of democrats being thrown to “the jaws of radical Sunni Islam” and the complete corruption and hypocrisy of the Karzai regime?

Once Buddhism and Hinduism nurtured the land of Afghanistan but the Islamic inquisition after countless invasions changed everything and one day all Buddhists would disappear because of many factors. These factors apply to dhimmitude, massacres, pogroms, and once the power shift became dominated by Islamic forces then Buddhism was doomed to just being a shell.

However, the Taliban didn’t even like a shell, therefore, the forces of conservative Sunni Islam turned against all Buddhist images. At the same time, the forces of radical Sunni Islam then turned against the Shia and slaughtered them in the thousands but of course Osama Bin Laden believed that this policy was both Islamic and a jihad.

This madness, and it is madness, which desires to kill apostates to Buddhism, apostates to Christianity, kill homosexuals, stone women to death for adultery, and so forth; isn’t being challenged by “the light of democracy;” on the contrary it is being challenged by appeasement and the corruption of the Karzai regime which also supports killing all apostates and not allowing any other religion in Afghanistan.

If Western political leaders just desire the status quo then surely they should stop wasting the lives of military people who are dying for nothing. Also, tax-payers money shouldn’t be thrown at a county which is undemocratic and corrupt.

America likes to rebuke North Korea but women at least have a million times more freedom in this nation than Afghan women. The same also applies to Saudi Arabia where women can’t drive cars and shop freely with men and so forth.

Indeed, you have more Christian churches in North Korea than in both Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. What does this tell us about Western policy and the nature of conservative Sunni Islam? Also, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are deemed to be allies but from the point of view of democracy, religious freedom, equality of the sexes, and so forth, it certainly doesn’t look like it.

It is time to stop coddling up to despotism and for greater accountability.

http://www.aina.org/news/20111116185325.htm  (Recent article about apostates in Afghanistan)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2060380/Afghan-mother-daughter-stoned-shot-dead-Taliban-accused-moral-deviation-adultery.html  (Woman and daughter stoned to death)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

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Paul Gauguin and stunning art

Paul Gauguin and stunning art

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Paul Gauguin left sublime art behind but it appears that his greatness and individualism isn’t being fully recognized. Somehow, the chaos and poverty of his own lifetime appears to be a shadow which still hangs over this man of art. Therefore, a more genuine assessment of Gauguin is needed because he was truly gifted.

Not only was Gauguin blessed with a rare gift in the field of art but he also had high intellect and maybe this was his weak spot. Therefore, while his life appeared normal he also felt crushed by society and the mundane reality of his world. However, his searching spirit inside was made all the more intense because of family pressure and the need to express the real Gauguin.

If Gauguin had been lucky enough to have had a break then his lasting legacy would have been so different and today he would be fondly remembered for his art by all and sundry. However, just like the lifetime of Gauguin he still remains controversial for some art lovers and the deconstruction of one aspect is infringing on the real genius of this man of art and words.

Prior to entering the art world Gauguin had showed little in the line of individualism and creativity and his world seemed normal. This applies to working and providing for his family. However, a spark remained in Gauguin and all the shackles of his life could no longer contain his dream.

Gauguin stated “without art there is no salvation” but sadly while salvation came internally by the art he created, the same does not apply to the salvation of art. After all, every time it appeared that he would finally make a big breakthrough then the further away he was.

In a past article I commented that “…the more fellow artists appreciated his talents and the closer he got to the “promise land,” the greater the rejection when poverty was all that remained. Also, Gauguin’s favorite daughter Aline died of pneumonia and Clovis, his son, died from a blood infection.  Therefore, his world was full of darkness and where was the justice that failed to reward such a talented individual?”

  

“Instead of “without art there is no salvation” it now felt that with or without art there is no salvation.  The death of Aline, a daughter he cherished and who provided a ray of sunshine, must have hit home at all the futility of this life.”

Gauguin’s poverty was also all too real and the art world did not reward this exquisite artist who blessed the world with amazing art. Instead, it crushed his soul and the death of Aline, poverty, and other areas of his life meant that economic freedom could not be found.

However, what is galling is the vindictiveness of many art critics in the modern world and how Gauguin is marginalized. Adrian Searle (The Guardian) in his article called Paul Gauguin: guilty as charged comments that “As Belinda Thomson makes clear in her excellent Tate catalogue essay, in looking at his work, what we have to overcome, first of all, is the embarrassment of Gauguin’s life and personality. Self-promotion and self-invention are inextricable from the art itself. Thomson shows us an artist, both outsider and careerist, who is a little bit dodgy in a way that anyone acquainted with today’s art world would recognize.”

I find this comment and others too strong because many talented individuals and individuals in general, will have closets but Gauguin never forgot about his children and he had many fine qualities. Added to his psyche is the loss of two children, endless poverty and the sheer predictability that nothing is going to pan out like planned.

Gauguin commented “I am inclined to a primitive state” and that Tahiti was a place “where material life can be lived without money.” In other words he was abandoning the desire of wealth and religious images in his art may have been based on Tahiti being heaven on this earth

In the past I commented that “If Gauguin succumbed to “the apple” then he did so because of the reality of an unforgiving world which was based on injustice and trapping so many into the wretchedness of poverty and debt during his lifetime.”

“However, if he succumbed to “the apple” based on love after fleeing so much hardship and escaping convention, then who are we to judge given the reality of the world that Gauguin belonged – if Gauguin had impure intentions then he would have left his family well behind before this and he would have desired the flesh much earlier.”

Tahiti was but one piece of the jigsaw and by this time the ravages of life and the endless cycle of poverty had dismantled all hope of heaven on earth in Europe. Therefore, the forbidden fruit in the garden now became a self-made image and maybe now Gauguin was even turning against redemption.

Whatever the private life of Gauguin it can never take away from the genius of this amazing artist. The profile of Gauguin should be much higher because Gauguin had a very rare talent.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/sep/27/paul-gauguin-tate-modern-exhibition   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/08/14/gauguin-in-print-japanese-influence/

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in EUROPE

 

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Tokyo Tourism: Rikugien Garden and Kyu-Furukawa Garden in Komagome

Tokyo Tourism: Rikugien Garden and Kyu-Furukawa Garden in Komagome

Olivier LeCourt and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyo is ultra-modern and because of the sheer size of the population and rich diversity of this superb capital city, you have endless places to visit. However, if you want to feel a more sedate side of Tokyo and enjoy beautiful gardens, then Komagome is a real treat because Rikugien Garden is very beautiful and Kyu-Furukawa Garden is within walking distance.

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that Komagome is so close to the buzzing districts of Ikebukuro and Ueno. This applies to the slow pace of life which is in stark contrast to the intensity of life in the other two mentioned districts. However, despite the sedate nature of life in Komagome you have splendid places to visit and the area is higly desirable.

Not only this, you have many quaint shops selling pottery, antiques, clothing, and other types of goods. Also, you have beautiful Buddhist temples and a genuine feel of a refined Tokyo where the old culture survives and not only in images. This in itself is a lovely contrast to the mega fashion districts of Tokyo and the commercial heartland.

The gardens in Komagome are very beautiful all year round and both gardens have their own style and unique feel. Rikugien is a stunning garden which is extremely well cared for and away from the main walkway you have areas which are relatively quiet even during a busy day.   

Another added bonus of Rikugien is that you can drink traditional Japanese tea and eat a small Japanese sweet while being surrounded by stunning nature. This is most rewarding because the lovely taste of traditional Japanese tea matches the serenity and stunning views which are provided by this exquisite garden.

During your visit to Rikugien you will notice many gardeners who care deeply about their work and because of their professionalism and focus on detail, the visitor is blessed by the ethical aspects of the garden. This applies to space, time, minimalism and fusing the world of nature within the concepts of Japanese culture and ethics.

The walk around the pond is very therapeutic and uplifting and if you desire to escape and venture into a more wild area of the garden, then the choice is open to you. The contrast of both areas fuses well together and the feeling of serenity is very refreshing.

On leaving Rikugien Garden it is well worth browsing around the small shopping area because Komagome is also a treasure by itself. The shopping district is only small but you will find folk art stores, antiques, traditional Japanese sweets, Japanese dyed garments, ceramics, independent shops and so much more. 

Another stunning garden to visit in the same district is Kyu-Furukawa Garden and despite the rose garden section, this garden is more natural. This applies to the more wild nature of the garden whereby nature often dictates over human interference.

Of course gardeners maintain the garden and have reshaped many aspects but you still have the feeling that nature is more natural in contrast to the ethical aspects of Rikugien. The pond and the garden appear smaller in size compared with Rikugien but the contrasting feel compliments both gardens and you have a nice ambient feel in Kyu-Furukawa.

Josiah Condor (1852-1920) designed the Western-style residence in the garden and this feature creates a distinctive environment. This fine building blends together a nice English and Japanese theme and Kyu-Furukawa gains from the creativity of Josiah Condor.

Irrespective if you are a Tokyoite or a tourist, it is clear that Komagome should be high on your list if you adore gardens and culture.

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/rikugien/index.html

http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-furukawa/

Please visit the above links for more information about both gardens

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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion: Lumine to open a new store in trendy Yurakucho

Tokyo fashion: Lumine to open a new store in trendy Yurakucho

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Lumine in Tokyo – MODERN TOKYO TIMES

The retail fashion expert at Tokyo Fashion Daily, Timothy Schepis, who can be viewed at the following websitehttp://tokyofashiondaily.blogspot.com/, is highlighting the opening of Lumine in Yurakucho which will be open for business on October 28. Lumine is a very trendy fashion store whereby you have many exquisite boutiques which target young ladies in their 20s and 30s.

In Ikebukuro the Lumine store certainly helped to rejuvenate the west side because the boutiques inside are elegant, stylish, lovely quality, and trendy. Also, Lumine is building on from Marui, H&M and other fashionable stores which have opened up in the same Yurakucho and Ginza neighborhood.

Therefore, the demographic make-up of shoppers in Ginza and Yurakucho is reflected by these recent changes and if anything, it really compliments the entire fashion set up of Ginza and Yurakucho. This applies to extremely up market fashion boutiques which are focused mainly on a slightly older client base and this blend of diverse shoppers is creating a fresh buzz.

Timothy Schepis comments that “…the newly redeveloped Yurakucho location will be the 14th for Lumine in Japan and will be the first not to be part of a railway station. At 22,000sqm Yurakucho Lumine will house up to 100 tenants targeting women in their 20s and 30s which make up Lumine`s core customer. Most of the tenants will be fashion brands including United Arrows with the rest of the tenants; cosmetics brands, household goods and restaurants.”

Timothy Schepis is also highlighting the fact that the new store will “be the first not to be part of a railway station” and this is intriguing because it shows either new thinking or realism? Realism applies to retail space available and the fact that the train station isn’t designed for a trendy store of such high quality.

However, surrounding Yurakucho train station you have many exquisite buildings and fashionable areas. Also, with the fame of Ginza and the fact that Ginza and Yurakucho are connected means that a sizeable hub of fashion keeps on growing and this makes good commercial sense for Lumine.

After all, Marui, H&M, and other stores, have already began to alter the nature of fashion in the area. Therefore, Lumine, which is a fantastic company because it moves with the times, clearly saw an opening and the omens look good despite the negativity of the economy of Japan.

It is also noticeable that United Arrows will be a tenant at Lumine’s new fashion store because this company is doing sound business. Timothy Schepis comments that “United Arrows success stems from their strong product merchandising and ability to understand fashion trends and translate them to strong merchandise and sales.”

It is clear that changes are happening in Yurakucho and the surrounding area and this adds to the beauty of fashion in Tokyo because it never remains static. These fresh ideas and new stores opening is what makes Tokyo fashion so special because companies can’t rest, and if they do, then others will simply take their market away from them or reduce their market share.

Lumine and Hankyu will also be connected and this is a continuation of past policies by Lumine. After all, the trendy Lumine store in Ikebukuro on the west side is also connected with Tobu Department Store.  This fact will be a clear winner for both companies and clearly this is a strong safety mechanism.

The new buzz created by Lumine and other companies will certainly add spice to the entire area because other stores like Printemps Ginza focus on a similar market. This competition will create a fresh dimension and Matsuya Ginza and Mitsukoshi Ginza began their “Ginza Fashion Week” on October 19.

The word is out thanks to Timothy Schepis and other fashion experts who provide essential information about Tokyo and Japanese fashion.

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

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

http://tokyofashiondaily.blogspot.com/ – TIMOTHY SCHEPIS  (can be followed on Twitter)

http://tokyofashiondaily.blogspot.com/2011/10/coming-soon-yurakucho-lumine.html

http://www.fashion-j.com/E/trend/201010.html (3rd article from the top shows some images of Lumine in Ikebukuro.)

MODERN TOKYO TIMES IMAGES TAKEN IN LUMINE IN IKEBUKURO

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Japan

 

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Kosovo and U.S. sponsored terrorists unraveling: war crimes and Hague for Clinton?

 

Kosovo and U.S. sponsored terrorists unraveling: war crimes and Hague for Clinton?

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In the heart of the cradle of Serbian Orthodox Christianity in Kosovo the U.S. and U.K. support of sponsored terrorism during the Kosovo conflict is unraveling.  Orthodox Christian churches have been destroyed in many areas since Kosovo Albanian rule and minorities fled in fear. However, despite this the U.S. and U.K. was feeling content with the de-Christianization of Kosovo and ethnic persecution of minorities which include the Serbs and Gypsies.

Therefore, this article will focus on the reality of what really happened and highlight a different side of the Clinton administration. Also, because of bias against the Serbian position all quotes will come from Western sources and this applies to major Western news agencies and the heart of government in America. 

Powerful PR campaigns had done a great job of victimizing the Serbs despite this minority being the victim of Kosovo Albanian nationalism for many decades under the old Yugoslavia. Therefore, the former terrorists of the KLA according to the U.S. in early 1998 miraculously became “freedom fighters” and soon they were allies of NATO in its illegal intervention.

Bill Clinton, the leader of America who gave tacit support to thousands of Islamists who slit the throats and beheaded Orthodox Christians in Bosnia, was up to “dirty tricks” once more. This applies to Bill Clinton’s special envoy to the region who in February 1998 had stated that the KLA “without any questions, (was) a terrorist group.” However, within a few months everything would change and a mass media campaign would state “freedom fighters.”

This didn’t go unrecognized and in the United States Senate, Republican Policy Committee (http://rpc.senate.gov/releases/1999/fr033199.htm), in the report titled The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties – many hard facts were mentioned.

In this report it was stated by the United States Senate, Republican Party Committee, on March 31, 1999, that One week into the bombing campaign, there is widespread discussion of options for further actions. One option includes forging a closer relationship between the United States and a controversial group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a group which has been cited in unofficial reports for alleged ties to drug cartels and Islamic terrorist organizations. This paper will examine those allegations in the context of the currently unfolding air campaign.”

Further down in the report it states “The Kosovo Liberation Army “began on the radical fringe of Kosovar Albanian politics, originally made up of diehard Marxist-Leninists (who were bankrolled in the old days by the Stalinist dictatorship next door in Albania) as well as by descendants of the fascist militias raised by the Italians in World War II” ["Fog of War -- Coping With the Truth About Friend and Foe: Victims Not Quite Innocent," New York Times, 3/28/99]. The KLA made its military debut in February 1996 with the bombing of several camps housing Serbian refugees from wars in Croatia and Bosnia [Jane's Intelligence Review, 10/1/96]. The KLA (again according to the highly regarded Jane’s,) “does not take into consideration the political or economic importance of its victims, nor does it seem at all capable of seriously hurting its enemy, the Serbian police and army. Instead, the group has attacked Serbian police and civilians arbitrarily at their weakest points. It has not come close to challenging the region’s balance of military power” [Jane's, 10/1/96].

Therefore, in the heart of America and with information from only Western sources the KLA were supported by the “descendants of the fascist militias raised by the Italians in World War Two” and had been bankrolled by the Stalinist dictatorship in Albania because they had originally been “diehard Marxist-Leninists.” Of course the sweeping sands of time meant that the old ways of Marxist-Leninism was coming to an end and now a powerful Islamic terrorist reality was gathering in strength in many parts of the world.

The report continues by stating “The group expanded its operations with numerous attacks through 1996 but was given a major boost with the collapse into chaos of neighboring Albania in 1997, which afforded unlimited opportunities for the introduction of arms into Kosovo from adjoining areas of northern Albania, which are effectively out of the control of the Albanian government in Tirana. From its inception, the KLA has targeted not only Serbian security forces, who may be seen as legitimate targets for a guerrilla insurgency, but Serbian and Albanian civilians as well.”

Further down the report it states that “In order to get the Albanians’… acceptance [of the peace plan], Ms. Albright offered incentives intended to show that Washington is a friend of Kosovo…Officers in the Kosovo Liberation Army would . . . be sent to the United States for training in transforming themselves from a guerrilla group into a police force or a political entity, much like the African National Congress did in South Africa.” [New York Times, 2/24/99]

“The Times’ comparison of treatment of the KLA with that of the African National Congress (ANC) — a group with its own history of terror attacks on political opponents, including members of the ethnic group it claims to represent — is a telling one. In fact, it points to the seemingly consistent Clinton policy of cultivating relationships with groups known for terrorist violence — not only the ANC, but the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) — in what may be a strategy of attempting to wean away a group from its penchant for violence by adopting its cause as an element of U.S. policy.”

Therefore, whoever said that terrorism didn’t work had never met Bill Clinton because he was open to all and sundry in the pursuit of goals that were not a concern of America. The tragic reality from a British point of view is that not only had the Serbs in history been allies of the British but now the U.K. under Tony Blair was selling its soul.

Turning back to the report it states that “Among the most troubling aspects of the Clinton Administration’s effective alliance with the KLA are numerous reports from reputable unofficial sources — including the highly respected Jane’s publications — that the KLA is closely involved with:

The extensive Albanian crime network that extends throughout Europe and into North America, including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and

Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin — who has vowed a global terrorist war against Americans and American interests.”

“The second and more troubling observation is that the Clinton Administration has demonstrated, to an unprecedented degree, an unfortunate tendency — in some cases possibly involving an improper politicization of traditionally non-political government agencies — to manage or conceal inconvenient information that might call into question some of its policies. Examples of this tendency include:

“Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia: The Clinton Administration concealed its active cooperation with the Iranians for arms shipments to the Muslim fundamentalist regime of Alija Izetbegovic in Bosnia in violation of the United Nations arms embargo on the former Yugoslavia. [For details on the Clinton Administration's active connivance with the Iranians, see RPC's "Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base," 1/16/97.] This track record undermines the Clinton Administration’s insistence that Russia, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, is obligated to observe the same embargo with respect to Serbia [as stated by State Department spokesman James Rubin, daily briefing, March 24, 1999].

Eradication of the Serbs in Krajina: The Clinton Administration has stalled efforts to investigate what has been called the “biggest ethnic cleansing” of the Balkan wars, one which the Clinton Administration may itself have helped to facilitate: “

“Investigators at the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague have concluded that the Croatian Army carried out summary executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations and ‘ethnic cleansing’ during a 1995 assault that was a turning point in the Balkan wars, according to tribunal documents. The investigators have recommended that three Croatian generals be indicted, and an American official said this week that the indictments could come within a few weeks. . . . Any indictment of Croatian Army generals could prove politically troublesome for the Clinton Administration, which has a delicate relationship with Croatia, an American ally in preserving the peace in Bosnia with a poor human rights record. The August 1995 Croatian offensive, which drove some 100,000 Serbs from a large swath of Croatia over four days, was carried out with the tacit blessing of the United States by a Croatian Army that had been schooled in part by a group of retired American military officers. Questions still remain about the full extent of United States involvement. In the course of the three-year investigation into the assault, the United States has failed to provide critical evidence requested by the tribunal, according to tribunal documents and officials, adding to suspicion among some there that Washington is uneasy about the investigation. Two senior Canadian military officers, for example, who were in Croatia during the offensive, testified that the assault, in which some 3,000 shells rained down on the city of Knin over 48 hours, was indiscriminate and targeted civilians….A section of the tribunal’s 150-page report is headed: ‘The Indictment. Operation Storm, A Prima Facie Case.’: ‘During the course of the military offensive, the Croatian armed forces and special police committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law, including but not limited to, shelling of Knin and other cities,’ the report says. ‘During, and in the 100 days following the military offensive, at least 150 Serb civilians were summarily executed, and many hundreds disappeared.’ The crimes also included looting and burning, the report says.” ["War Crimes Panel Finds Croat Troops 'Cleansed' the Serbs," New York Times, 3/21/99]

“The Krajina episode — the largest in the recent Yugoslav wars, at least until this week in Kosovo — exposes the hypocrisy of the Clinton claims as to why intervention in Kosovo is a humanitarian imperative:”

“Within four days, the Croatians drove out 150,000 Serbs, the largest [until this week] ethnic cleansing of the entire Balkan wars. Investigators in the Hague have concluded that this campaign was carried out with brutality, wanton murder, and indiscriminate shelling of civilians. . . . Krajina is Kosovo writ large. And yet, at the same time, the U.S. did not stop or even protest the Croatian action. The Clinton Administration tacitly encouraged it.” [Charles Krauthammer, "The Clinton Doctrine," Time magazine, 4/5/99]

“In short, the absence of official confirmation of the reports cited below can hardly be considered the last word in the matter. And given this Administration’s record, one might treat with some degree of skepticism even a flat denial of KLA drug and terror ties — which thus far has not been offered. As the Clinton Administration searches for new options in its Kosovo policy, these reports about KLA should not be lightly dismissed.”

The report is clearly damning and you had a political leader in Washington who was an ally of Islamic terrorists in Bosnia who had slaughtered Orthodox Christians and video-taped beheading them.  Not only this, it didn’t matter to individuals like Bill Clinton that the American administration was not only working with international Islamic terrorists in the heart of Europe but also the administration was in cahoots with an organization which clearly benefited from narcotics in many European cities.

Indeed, it makes you wonder why Bill Clinton isn’t sent to the Hague for war crimes and this applies to tacit support of massacres and ethnic cleansing in Krajina, allowing international terrorists to have a free-hand in Bosnia and allying the American administration to a tainted narcotics organization.

The report also states that “Elements informally known as the “Albanian mafia,” composed largely of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, have for several years been a feature of the criminal underworld in a number of cities in Europe and North America; they have been particularly prominent in the trade in illegal narcotics. [See, for example,"The Albanian Cartel: Filling the Crime Void," Jane's Intelligence Review, November 1995.] The cities where the Albanian cartels are located are also fertile ground for fundraising for support of the Albanian cause in Kosovo.” [See, for example, "Albanians in Exile Send Millions of Dollars to Support the KLA," BBC, 3/12/99.]

“The reported link between drug activities and arms purchases for anti-Serb Albanian forces in Kosovo predates the formation of the KLA, and indeed, may be seen as a key resource that allowed the KLA to establish itself as a force in the first place:”

“Narcotics smuggling has become a prime source of financing for civil wars already under way — or rapidly brewing — in southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, according to a report issued here this week. The report, by the Paris-based Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues, or Geopolitical Observatory of Drugs, identifies belligerents in the former Yugoslav republics and Turkey as key players in the region’s accelerating drugs-for-arms traffic. Albanian nationalists in ethnically tense Macedonia and the Serbian province of Kosovo have built a vast heroin network, leading from the opium fields of Pakistan to black-market arms dealers in Switzerland, which transports up to $2 billion worth of the drug annually into the heart of Europe, the report says. More than 500 Kosovo or Macedonian Albanians are in prison in Switzerland for drug- or arms-trafficking offenses, and more than 1,000 others are under indictment. The arms are reportedly stockpiled in Kosovo for eventual use against the Serbian government in Belgrade, which imposed a violent crackdown on Albanian autonomy advocates in the province five years ago.” ["Separatists Supporting Themselves with Traffic in Narcotics," San Francisco Chronicle, 6/10/94]

Over a decade later and what do we have? Yes, a Kosovo where Serbian Orthodox Christianity is being dismantled and a Kosovo leadership implicated in organ scandals and killing witnesses. 

Not surprisingly everything is unraveling but despite this implicated individuals are still allowed to enter America. Therefore, for neutrals it is galling and a crime against humanity and for individuals who were against supporting radical Islam and narcotic tainted organizations, it is justification for not allowing this issue to disappear because the legacy of the Clinton agenda continues.

If the current Serbian government is sincere about war crimes and sending Serbian individuals to the international court in the Hague, then why no pressure on individuals who supported war crimes against Serbs?

Indeed, the Serbian government should ask for former leaders like Bill Clinton to be sent to the international criminal court in the Hague, and then he should defend his actions of supporting Islamic terrorism and narcotic tainted organizations.  The rat-lines don’t only apply to the United States because former leaders in the United Kingdom should also be made to account because all sides committed crimes in the Balkans but only one side was mainly blamed.

Of course, the reality of democracy is that “might” wins. Therefore, the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents doesn’t even enter the radar and major powers can manipulate law when it suits or to ignore international law when they desire.

The consequences of past policies in Kosovo, is that today you have a tainted leadership implicated in organ scandals and key witnesses dying in mysterious circumstances. At the same time more nations are supporting Kosovo independence despite all this. Therefore, it certainly seems that Serbian Orthodox Christian blood is not only cheap, but in truth it doesn’t seem to matter amongst the elites which waged a war against a people who had been allies in both world wars.

Today in Europe you have Orthodox Christian ghettos in Kosovo and no justice for past wrongs and the ongoing reality of modern day Kosovo.

Therefore, while events are still unraveling against leaders within Kosovo, it still seems that none of this will count to nations that recognized Kosovo independence. Also, if Ratko Mladic and others are being held accountable then why aren’t others like Bill Clinton?

Democracy and justice never flourishes when the system is corrupt to start with and this can be seen by the current reality in Kosovo. However, if no Serbs remain in Kosovo because of institutional discrimination, fear of entering Kosovo Albanian areas, no economic future, and so forth – then the fate accompli of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and the organ-narcotic-terrorist tainted KLA will have won the day.

http://rpc.senate.gov/releases/1999/fr033199.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lSRFC-jVPw (Islamists in Bosnia because of USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Islamist Alija Izetbegovic)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03DQJ7skClg&feature=related (Islamists in Bosnia because of USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Islamist Alija Izetbegovic)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyl5wxJPIQs (Muslim massacres of Christians)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/rival-muslims-battle-on-in-bihac-1422695.html  (Inter Muslim fighting – Serbs supported moderate Muslims)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onbxpq3qI0c  (Henry Kissinger)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1w4p1J9fyg&NR=1 (Henry Kissinger)

KOSOVO AND ORGAN SCANDAL – All sources are American and from the United Kingdom

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

PAST ARTICLES BY MODERN TOKYO TIMES

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/01/orthodox-christian-ghettoization-and-anti-serb-clampdown-in-kosovo/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/30/nasdaq-brings-shame-on-itself-by-inviting-hashim-thaci-killing-for-organ-scandal/

 

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Japanese art and Ogata Korin: tranquility and the Gods of Thunder and Wind

Japanese art and Ogata Korin: tranquility and the Gods of Thunder and Wind

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ogata Korin was a painter of art and he was born in 1658 and died in 1716. Korin had a lucky upbringing because his father was a successful merchant and wealthy.  Also, his father had a strong soft spot for the arts and he nurtured Korin and gave him basic training.

Korin was greatly influenced by Hon’ami Koetsu and Tawaraya Sotatsu but despite this he developed his own distinctive style. This applies to bold designs, utilizing contrasting colors, usage of space and at times he disregarded realism and the conventions of the day. Therefore, despite the nurturing and the powerful influence on his art, he still managed to overcome this because Korin created a new spark.

However, in the history of art the “shadow of time” nearly bypassed him after his death because Korin was becoming a forgotten artist or at least on the periphery. Sakai Hoitsu would change this because he brought Korin back “from the cold” and “into the light” once more.

Therefore, with Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828) reviving the interest of Korin he once more became remembered and interest grew because of this factor.  Hoitsu also reproduced some of the best work of Korin and this was a timely reminder to all lovers of art in Japan that Korin played his role when it came to creativity and expressing serenity.

The White and Red Plum Blossoms painting by Korin is very fascinating from a neutral point of view. This applies to the two folding screens of this piece of art because unlike conventional thinking in Western art in this period you have a different thought pattern.

Korin visualizes this image from a different vantage point because he shows the two plum trees from a different angle. This applies to a position on the ground when viewing the two plum trees and this style is appealing in its own right.

The website http://www.all-art.org/ comments that Ogata Korin used none of these Western perspective conventions. He showed the two plum trees as seen from a position on the ground, while viewers look down on the stream between them from above. Less concerned with locating the trees and stream in space than with composing shapes on a surface, the painter played the water’s gently swelling curves against the jagged contours of the branches and trunks. Neither the French nor the Japanese painting can be said to project “correctly” what viewers “in fact” see. One painting is not a “better” picture of the world than the other. The European and Asian artists simply approached the problem of picture-making differently.”

Korin may not be the most famous Japanese artist but he left his mark and thanks to Hoitsu many people came to view his artwork and appreciate this talented individual. Also, Watanabe Shiko (1683-1755) deeply admired Korin and you can see the linkage of compositions in the earlier period of Korin.

Shiko, just like Korin before him, may have admired individuals but he also was individualistic. Shiko was also an important bridge because Hoitsu benefitted from this continuity.

Overall, Korin is a very interesting artist and he leaves a rich legacy and today he is rightly remembered in Japan for innovation and creating a new dimension.  Korin’s art can’t be overlooked because he was unique and his art enhances the richness of Japanese art.

http://www.japanese-arts.net/painting/schools_rinpa_ogatakorin.htm

http://www.asianartnewspaper.com/article/rinpa%3A-the-art-of-japan%E2%80%99s-renaissance

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Japan

 

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Western policy doing the bidding of Islam in Kosovo: destroying Orthodox Christianity

Western policy doing the bidding of Islam in Kosovo: destroying Orthodox Christianity

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Islamic forces entered Europe from Asia and North Africa in order to enslave, convert, persecute and either completely destroy Christianity or to enforce dhimmitude. Before this process began you had the complete annihilation of Christianity in many parts of North Africa and in various parts of the Middle East it was one long sojourn into dhimmitude, pogroms and massacres.

Christianity survived in some areas, for example in Egypt, however, numbers succumbed after Arab colonial and Islamic discrimination took route. Therefore, a complete Islamic inquisition took root in Arabia (modern day Saudi Arabia) and just like the Sunni Islamic inquisition against Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan, you now have complete Islamization.

Of course the complete annihilation of Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism, in both areas didn’t lead to a greater civilization.  On the contrary, it led to the dark forces of Islamic Sharia law and the Shia also suffered countless massacres and pogroms.  After all, you had a complete Sunni Islamic inquisition in Egypt against the Shia. Also, in modern day Malaysia the Shia Muslim faith is forbidden and converts face systematic persecution.

Turning back to the Balkans the Orthodox Christian Serbs survived because Serbian Orthodox Church leaders remained strong and tenacious.  Under the Ottomans each rule was different but overall it was a period of Christian Orthodox boys being taken from their parents and converted to Islam because of the hated devshirme system.

John R. Schindler stated in his book called Unholy Terror that in the Bosnia “The most hated aspect of Ottoman rule in Bosnia, and the one whose memory lingers most sharply even today, was the practice of devshirme, the blood tax imposed on Christians.  For three centuries beginning with the conquest of Bosnia, the Ottomans annually levied male children as tribute; every year, up to one-fifth of Christian boys in Bosnia – usually aged fourteen to twenty, but some were younger – were forcibly taken from their families in contingents of a thousand and shipped to the imperial court at Istanbul to become warrior-slaves in the janissaries, the Sultan’s elite guard. They were converted to Islam….”    Page 23 – Unholy Terror

Of course the modern version in many universities in the West and in the mass media is to play down the slavery of Orthodox Christians in the Balkans, systematic pogroms and ignore the dark days of the Ottoman Empire – and this also applies to mass abuses of sexual slavery which was sanctioned by Islamic Sharia law. 

Not surprisingly the Islamic religion grew in Albania, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and other regions of the Balkans. In the modern period you have the remnants of dhimmitude, systematic pogroms, the devshirme system, and other more recent factors in the twentieth century which led to either the weakening of Orthodox Christianity or turning a once majority region into a small minority.

Therefore, the Ottoman Empire, slavery, dhimmitude, devshirme, pogroms, countless religious wars before the twentieth century and traitors who were the children of slaves all fought against the indigenous Orthodox Christian faith.  In the twentieth century Communist forces and Nazism further persecuted and altered the demographics of both Bosnia and Kosovo.

In my article called Bosnia: the myths of peaceful Islam and the hidden Islamic jihad I comment that “World War Two also witnessed the mutual support of the Muslim elites with Nazi Germany and Orthodox Christians faced the brutality of many forces.  This notably applies to the Croatian Catholic Ustasha regime which was genocidal towards the Serbian Orthodox Christians and it must be stated that Muslims participated fully within the military wing and police force of this brutal and barbaric regime.  At the same time Muslims served under the Nazi regime of Germany and the 13th Volunteer Mountain Division of the Waffen-SS (Handschar) was famous for killing Orthodox Christians.”

John R. Schindler states that “Despite strong local support, Himmler’s Bosnian division ultimately did little to help the Nazi cause or defend the Bosnian Muslims…….the 13th Division’s actual combat record was slight, while its depredations against unarmed Serbs were impressive; the Muslim troops spent more time killing and looting than actually fighting…….the 13th Division ended the war ingloriously, plagued by war crimes and desertion.”  Page 36 – Unholy Terror

In recent times you still have no respite because Serbian Orthodox Christians still suffer systematic persecution and abuse. The simple question is do Serbian Orthodox Christians in Kosovo have the right to openly spread their faith throughout Kosovo and to build new Serbian Orthodox Churches throughout Kosovo?  The answer is no.

Next, do Serbian Orthodox Christians including small children have the freedom to travel throughout Kosovo without any hindrance and ill-will towards them?  The answer is no because in many areas they have to be protected by international forces.

The Kosovo conflict matters not a jot to this reality in modern Europe because the Serbian Orthodox Christians of Kosovo are innocent and their ancestors laid all the foundations of this land.  This applies to ancient Christian churches and monasteries.

If Kosovo Albanians claim differently, then are their Muslim places of worship much older than Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries?  Also, it was Islam which spread to Kosovo by systematic religious persecution and conquest and not the other way around.

Even if the international community wants to state that Serbia was the aggressor during the last Kosovo conflict this should not be an issue.  Or is the new world order based on communities having their land taken away from them because of one brief period of history?

After all, it was the Serbian Orthodox Christians for century after century which suffered massacres, systematic pogroms and the dreaded enslavement of their children under the devshirme system.  Not only this, the world also forgets about Muslim SS Units fighting loyally for Nazism in the Balkans and further changing the demographic reality of the Balkans by slaughtering Serbian Orthodox Christians.

However, in 2011 the Serbian Orthodox Christian community is still under siege in Kosovo and we all know that the Islamization of Kosovo is sanctioned by America which even supported Islamic terrorists during the wars in the Balkans.

Indeed, even the organ-tainted leadership of the Kosovo Albanians doesn’t shame the West and instead a more civilized Serbia is still trying to find a solution despite all the hatred towards the people of Serbia.

In modern Europe we are witnessing Islamization by Western powers who clearly hope that the Christian Orthodox Serbs will just leave Kosovo and then their “rubber stamp” will be complete.

Therefore, while history tells us that the Sunni Islamic inquisition eradicated Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan. In our own lifetime, the de-Orthodox Christianization is being done in-front of the entire world without a murmur by churches in the West which have succumbed to liberalism, secularism and political correctness.

Western nations involved in this tragedy have certainly done a great media propaganda campaign because the organ scandal involving the Kosovo Liberation Army, destruction of Orthodox Christian churches, little Christian Orthodox children having no freedom to play openly throughout Kosovo, and so forth, appears to matter not one iota.

Of course, the same Western nations and mass media said little when two million mainly African Animists and African Christians were being slaughtered in Sudan by the Arab Islamic elites in Khartoum during the 1980s and early 1990s. 

However, unlike the Serbian Orthodox Christians of Kosovo, black African nations which are mainly Christian in Uganda and Kenya, and others, didn’t stand by and allow Africans to be crushed.

The new Europe and America is tainted by the ongoing reality of Kosovo and not even a simple solution of allowing the remaining Serbs a free choice is on the table. Therefore, modern day Kosovo is about humiliating Serbia and for the remaining Serbs they either will be forced to accept Albanian Kosovo rule or they will just be marginalized to the point where economic necessity means that they will leave.

Serbian Orthodox Christianity in Kosovo is becoming a museum whereby famous monuments and monasteries are protected by Western forces; however, the faithful have no freedom to roam around Kosovo freely.

The Turkish Ottomans would be pleased with the bidding of America, the United Kingdom, and other Western nations. Not in their wildest dreams would they have envisaged a mainly Christian and non-Muslim West of offering Kosovo “on a Muslim plate” and with all aspects of Serbian Orthodox Christianity “being the final dinner.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lSRFC-jVPw (Islamists in Bosnia because of USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Islamist Alija Izetbegovic)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03DQJ7skClg&feature=related (Islamists in Bosnia because of USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Islamist Alija Izetbegovic)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyl5wxJPIQs (Muslim massacres of Christians)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/rival-muslims-battle-on-in-bihac-1422695.html  (Inter Muslim fighting – Serbs supported moderate Muslims)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onbxpq3qI0c  (Henry Kissinger)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1w4p1J9fyg&NR=1 (Henry Kissinger)

http://moderntokyotimes.com please visit

 
 
 

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi: stunning images of tranquility or myth?

Utagawa Kuniyoshi: stunning images of tranquility or myth?

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Utagawa Kuniyoshi like many ukiyo-e artists tackled the usual themes of the “floating world” but more than most, he really came alive with powerful images when it applied to mystical tales and Japanese folklore.  However, this article is based on glimpses of tranquility and the other Kuniyoshi which is often an afterthought when compared with his rich art depicting monsters and other highly suggestive images.

Ando Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai spring to mind internationally in the world of ukiyo-e but Utagawa Kunisada outshone all ukiyo-e artists in Japan during his lifetime and he was commercially the most successful. However, ukiyo-e artists are very varied and individuals will have their own particular favorite and certainly many people revere the rich imagination of Kuniyoshi. 

Also, while great focus is put on pre-Meiji artists this hides the real beauty of ukiyo-e because Meiji artists brought a new dimension because of the changing world which influenced them.  They also had to compete in this changing world and styles changed because of this.

The window of a new Japan was emerging despite Kuniyoshi dying before the revolutionary period of Meiji. However, amidst the changing world and Kuniyoshi’s focus on strong images based on Japanese folklore, mystical tales and samurai warriors; you also have a tranquil world based on landscape.

Therefore, if individuals don’t know much about Kuniyoshi his tranquil art is a nice introduction and images of landscape are very soothing on the eye.  Indeed, in many ways it could be argued that while Kuniyoshi’s rich imagination focused on a world of mystical tales, Japanese folklore and powerful images of monsters – this may appear to be based on myth – however, it could be argued that the tranquil nature of his landscape was more of a myth because life was very hard in Japan for many people.

This is the beauty of art because one reflection to one individual may show a world that they want to see and envisage. However, to another individual it will be partly mythical or deemed beyond the realm of reality.  However, this is the mystery of art in all its manifestations.

Also, human nature is complex and the outside persona and internal reality is often very different.  Therefore, by providing a glimpse into the natural aspect of Kuniyoshi’s art I hope to highlight a rich aspect of this unique artist who had such a rich imagination.

Kuniyoshi was a truly amazing artist and he also responded to the political changes surrounding him in the 1840s.  However, in a world of chaos and rapid change then his tranquil art appeals to individuals who seek nostalgia and a world based on blissful tranquility.

The Islamic revolution in Iran was originally based on a mythical past and in time many revolutionaries would regret. Similarly, the Russian Revolution was based on a new society and communist art depicted many images of unity and modernity based on equality.

It could well be that Kuniyoshi’s landscape images were more mythical than his images of monsters. However, that depends on the history that the individual wants to believe. 

Irrespective of the real reality of Japan during the lifetime of Kuniyoshi it is clear that his tranquil art is very soothing and this angle shows the richness of his art.

http://www.kuniyoshiproject.com/   – Fantastic website and just click onto the section you are interested in.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com please visit

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Japan

 

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PM Noda would visit North Korea over abduction issue: linkage with the Hague

PM Noda would visit North Korea over abduction issue: linkage with the Hague

Olivier LeCourt and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made it clear that he would visit North Korea if deep-rooted issues could be resolved between both nations. This statement is very intriguing because while it was aimed at showing sincerity towards the abduction issue, it is clear that you have a bigger picture and this applies to the nuclear problem and other major concerns. Also, was the statement aimed at the ongoing political changes within North Korea?

North Korea isn’t isolated in the region because China and the Russian Federation have cordial relations with North Korea. This is based on geopolitics, energy related issues, sphere of influence, containing any possible crisis with South Korea, keeping America in check and other important areas. 

Japan, on the other hand, is deeply concerned about the nuclear issue because despite all expert information about the “real reality” of North Korea’s nuclear program, it is often based on sketchy information and this worries Japan.  Also, Japan is deeply concerned about the abduction issue related to Japanese nationals who were taken to North Korea.

Noda commented that “I would go there anytime if various pending matters including the abduction issue could be resolved by my visit.” This statement is very important because it is in the interest of Japan and North Korea to resolve, or at least mend, many fences which have prevented both nations from forging a relationship based on trust.

It is also important that Japan understands the genuine concerns of North Korea and this applies to American bases and real objectives, South Korea and American military war games, comments related to past history whereby North Korea believes that they are the true guardians of Korean nationalism and patriotism. 

It simply isn’t good enough to just become embroiled in a propaganda war or to do the bidding of external nations. The fact is that North Korea’s nuclear capability can only endanger two nations during “the worse-case-scenario” and this applies to Japan and South Korea respectively. Therefore, it is unimportant about which nation in northeast Asia is the aggressor because the only important issue is that Japan could become embroiled and threatened by unforeseen events related to a regional military conflict.

It matters not if this is most unlikely because for people who reside in Japan the real issue is that it could happen, even if it is very remote.  Therefore, PM Noda would be wise to kick-start a new approach to North Korea because just like China, then one day military elites within North Korea may focus on self-interests and economic revival based on the support of external forces.

Once you had the Cultural Revolution in China and Maoism was very potent but within several decades “a new spring” emerged which focused on economics and market forces. 

The abduction issue is clearly important to the people of Japan and this topic is in the news often and it is a subject which binds forces on all sides of the political spectrum. Noda is clearly concerned about this problem and he will continue to meet members of relatives of Japanese nationals who have a family member who was abducted to North Korea.

Noda also commented to the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, that “It’s a race against time. We aim to give thought to every specific measure with a sense of urgency and take action.”

Despite only taking office recently this is the second time that Noda spoke about this issue with Shigeo Iizuka. Therefore, with Shigeo Iizuka being a very important figure within the association which desires to see all abductees returned and to obtain full knowledge about possible individuals who may have died. It is apparent that Noda understands the real urgency of this crisis because the years keep on ticking.

American left-behind parents and international children in Japan

Also, for foreign nationals who also want access to their children in Japan it is clear that Noda seeks the support of America to raise this issue to a higher level or to at least maintain real pressure on North Korea. Therefore, with Noda paving the way for President Obama to talk delicately about American children abducted to Japan – and, more importantly, with Noda and the Democratic Party of Japan being supportive of signing the Hague Convention with regards to children. Then mutual support by both America and Japan on both issues should help to resolve this complex problem between both nations.

Japan also must open into genuine dialogue with North Korea and the same applies to North Korea. It is not in the interest of both nations to maintain such negative relations and “maintaining a wall” will not help either side.

Also, Noda is correct because “It’s a race against time” for Japanese nationals who were kidnapped. This applies to complete details about possible individuals who may be alive or for complete information about individuals who have died. It is also “a race against time” for American and international left behind parents who have genuine rights to see their children in Japan, irrespective if the issue is Hague related or based on denied access within Japan.

Therefore, in the last few weeks Noda spoke sincerely with America about abducted American children and other areas related to non-access of left behind parents in Japan. He then followed this by focusing on the abduction of Japanese nationals to North Korea by stating that he would visit North Korea if it would help the cause of Japanese families.

During Noda’s visit to America it was reported that “Obama also praised Japan’s efforts to join the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.”

Prime Minister Noda commented that “We are preparing the domestic laws that will be needed to enter into the convention at the earliest possible date.”

It is abundantly clear that Japan and America spoke about this issue behind closed doors before it was made public and Japan was not negative towards this being stated openly. This applies to the reality that higher echelons, on the whole, within the Democratic Party of Japan, are favorable to legal reforms in order to solve this serious issue which is being raised by left-behind parents in Japan and outside of Japan.

This is a clear sign that you have a leader who is fully up-to-date about both serious issues and of course Noda is deeply concerned about the nuclear issue and other areas with North Korea.

Signs are promising even if the road is still bumpy and all interested parties need to work together in order to resolve many complex issues.

This can only be obtained providing that political leaders are open to change but at least Noda is making it clear that he is open to “real change.” It is essential that this momentum is built upon and that “anti-negative forces in all camps” are silenced so that serious discussions can take place.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/n_korea/index.html MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF JAPAN

http://www.kcna.co.jp/index-e.htm NORTH KOREAN NEWS

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
 

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Japan will send Ground Self-Defense Force to assist South Sudan

Japan will send Ground Self-Defense Force to assist South Sudan

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Japan announced that an engineering unit of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) will assist the new nation of South Sudan.  Therefore, the GSDF unit will assist the United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping operations and help to build the infrastructure.

This will please all politicians in South Sudan because this new nation needs the support of the international community and Japan is amongst the elite when it comes to economic power.  Also, Japanese engineering units are highly respected after participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations in Cambodia, East Timor and Haiti respectively.

It is also hoped that this infrastructural support will lead to business ties developing between both nations. After all, it is vital that the international community invests in South Sudan and supports U.N. peacekeeping operations because the Khartoum government needs to understand that South Sudan is a viable nation state. Therefore, the government in Juba will welcome the announcement by the Japanese government to send 350 GSDF to South Sudan.

Also, the government of Japan is a clear friend of the U.N. and this is based on economic support and just like past projects it is vital that Japan shows its international obligation. 

In another article about this issue by Modern Tokyo Times called Japan may send Ground Self-Defense Force engineers to assist South Sudan it was stated that “In the past the Khartoum Arab-Islamic dominated regime was responsible for millions of Africans being killed in southern Sudan. At the same time the brutal Khartoum regime turned against African Muslims in Darfur.  The leadership in South Sudan is greatly influenced by the binding force of Christianity but all southern Sudanese are pulling together in political circles irrespective of religion. Animism also remains strong in South Sudan and this new nation state is multi-religious and multi-ethnic.”

“PM Noda will likely announce that GSDF will help the United Nations in South Sudan during his visit to New York this week.  If, like expected, PM Noda does announce this noble act then it will show the international community that Japan is serious about helping nations which badly need support.”

“Japan clearly needs to step up its effort internationally because the “quietist policy” of the past did not serve this nation. Historical constraints must be brushed aside because Japan is democratic and a responsible nation state which gives economic assistance to nations throughout the world.”

Therefore, the Japanese government under Prime Minister Noda is going in the right direction because the decision to send the GSDF will be received favorably throughout the international community.  Also, it is an important step because it is showing Africa that Japan cares and is willing to participate for the good of humanity.

Japan will also send a government and private company delegation to South Sudan and this move will be welcomed by political leaders in Juba. This will take place later this week and economic ties are needed because the new nation state faces many obstacles.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/english/index.html  

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