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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Hakone in Kanagawa: A fantastic tourist destination and on the doorstep of Tokyo

Hakone in Kanagawa: A fantastic tourist destination and on the doorstep of Tokyo

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

View of Mount Fuji in Hakone – Modern Tokyo Times image

Hakone in Kanagawa is a special tourist destination because you have so much to see and visit and many people return time and again.  The natural beauty of Hakone is a wonder to behold and this town rests within the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park.

Japanese tourists and international tourists flock to Hakone because of the stunning richness of natural beauty and the many attractions which are on offer.  Hakone provides a plethora of places to visit and you can visit many cultural museums during your stay.

Alternatively, if you just want to connect with nature and enjoy the beautiful landscape then the choice belongs to you.  Of course, people will have their own particular needs and for busy individuals it may even apply to a very short stay and making the most of a luxury onsen after visiting the mountains.

If you reside in Tokyo or you are a tourist to Tokyo; then Hakone is on the doorstep of Tokyo and if you travel by the Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” then it takes less than 90 minutes. 

The “Romancecar” is a great way to travel because you can relax in comfort and you have a drinks and food service which caters for your needs.  Also, the Hakone Freepass is a must because it provides great value and you can use it for 7 types of different transport. 

This applies to the Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Tozan Line, and other forms of transport.  Therefore, you can hop on and off different forms of transport and the scenic views from the Hakone Ropeway and Hakone Tozan Line is stunning; the different forms of transport also adds to your holiday because the quaint train journey is pleasurable by itself.

Hakone is home to famous spas and is located in a large historical zone and when you include this to the stunning nature of the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park and cultural attractions on offer; then it is clear to see why Hakone is so popular.

 
Stunning park in Hakone – Modern Tokyo Times image

Mount Fuji can be seen in various parts of the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park range and further afield during your journey to the area. 

Lake Ashi (Lake Ashi-no-ko) is very beautiful and if you visit by cable car then you will clearly see Mount Fuji on the way and an abundance of stunning nature in every direction.  Once you have arrived at Lake Ashi then you can enjoy a pleasurable boat trip and go for nice walks and if you buy a Hakone Freepass from the Odakyu train company then you can use the transport systems on offer.

Hakone also provides a plethora of places to visit and if you like museums then you will enjoy your stay to the full.  The main museums apply to the Narukawa Art Museum for modern Japanese paintings; the Hakone Open Air Museum; the Pola Museum of Art; Venetian Glass Museum; Suzuhiro Corp. Kamaboko Museum; Local History Museum; Museum of Saint Exupery and the Little Pince in Hakone; Hakone Old Takaido Road Museum; Hakone Mononofu-no-Sato Art Museum; Hakone Art Museum; Honma Yosegi Museum; and Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History.

Hakone – Modern Tokyo Times image

History also flows throughout the veins of Hakone and in the Tokugawa period all travelers entering or leaving Edo along the Tokaido were stopped and searched by officials belonging to the Tokugawa shogunate. 

If you go back even further in history and to the Heian period then Hakone is famous for the Hakone Gongen.  The Hakone Gongen is a famous Shinto shrine and it is located along the shores of Lake Ashi.

Therefore, Hakone is certainly a great place to visit irrespective if you reside in Japan or you are a tourist to Japan.  Also, given the fact that Tokyo is the most popular tourist destination in Japan then Hakone is less than 90 minutes away if you travel from Shinjuku by the Odakyu “Romancecar.”

I have not mentioned all the places to visit but I will add that the volcanically active Owakudani geysers; Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands; Hakone-jinja shrine and Treasure Museum; Odawara Castle Donjon; and many stunning parks and gardens; are all worth visiting.

All in all, the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park and surrounding area is a tourist destination of the highest quality and given the comfort on offer by the Odakyu train company which provides a fantastic service and special Hakone pass; then you can enjoy everything which Hakone provides and at the same time you can travel easily from place to place.

 

http://www.odakyu.jp/english/qtours/hakone_course2.html

http://www.odakyu.jp/english/freepass/hakone_01.html

http://www.hakone.or.jp/english/index.html

http://www.odakyu.jp/english/rc/index.html

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Japan

 

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Japan continues to play the nationalist card against the Russian Federation

Japan continues to play the nationalist card against the Russian Federation

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

It is sometimes difficult to understand Japan’s stance towards the Russian Federation given the reality that American forces are based in various parts of Japan.  Therefore, why is the nationalist card being turned on and off when it suits?

The Japanese Foreign Minister, Takeaki Matsumoto, was dismayed after the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Sergei Ivanov, visited the Southern Kurils (Northern Territories according to Japan).

Takaeki Matsumoto stated that it “runs counter to Japan’s basic position and hurts the feelings of Japanese people.”

Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet Secretary, also weighed in by stating that recent visits have “seriously damaged the feelings of our people. I believe Russia will not gain anything from them.”

However, prior to the Meiji Restoration of 1868 neither Okinawa (Ryukyu) or Hokkaido belonged to Japan.  The people of Okinawa have mainly lost their indigenous language and Japanization was rapid.  However, the Ainu people, unlike the Okinawans, completely succumbed to Japanization and you have very little left of Ainu culture and ethnicity.

Therefore, if neither Okinawa, Hokkaido, and the Southern Kurils (Northern Territories), belonged to Japan before the Meiji Restoration of 1868; then how ingrained is Japanese culture to the disputed region and how can Japan claim that they have a natural right to somewhere which was always independent of Japan until recent history?

The same applies to the Russian Federation because neither nation in history has controlled the Southern Kurils (Northern Territories) for long periods of time.

In northern Japan, the Ainu just succumbed to greater numbers of Japanese settlers and in time the number of new settlers completely subdued Ainu culture.

Neither Japan nor the Russian Federation have a legal right to the disputed isles when applied to history because this region was independent and the indigenous people were neither Japanese or Russian.

The Russian Federation came into being after the demise of the Soviet Union but this nation state maintains the same legacy and this applies to events during World War Two.

Therefore, while the Russian Federation may offer parts of the disputed region in the future; it is most unlikely that this will ever apply to Sakhalin because of geopolitical factors and natural resources.

Recently the Russian Federation increased its military power in the Southern Kurils/Northern Territories.  However, this fact is not aimed at Japan because Russia’s main concern is the United States and protecting this strategic region from outside powers.

Pavel Felgenhauer, a journalist, commented in The James Foundation that “Japan is not a first-class priority in Russian politics or strategic planning. The strategic build up in the Kuriles and of the Pacific Fleet capabilities may not be aimed at Japan or China per se, but the US – Russia’s true present number one strategic concern.”

The Russian Federation is blessed with vast resources of gas, oil, and other natural resources and it is abundantly clear that Japan is over reliant on Middle East energy.

During the recent earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis which began on March 11 after the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake; the Russian Federation made it clear to Japan that they could help to solve the energy crisis that Japan faces.

A face saving deal over less important islets is in Japan’s interest and this is the only offer that the Russian Federation may provide.  However, Sakhalin is too important and the Russian Federation will not hand this region to any nation state because the Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev is not the weak and enfeebled nation which existed under Boris Yeltsin.

Japan should stop playing the nationalist card because the Russian Federation could enhance Japan’s national security in the field of energy.  After all, the Russian Federation also pulls many strings in Central Asia.

Historical wise; the disputed area does not belong to either nation.

However, events unfolded during World War Two and the Soviet Union was the innocent party when applied to German Nazism and the Allies asked the Soviet Union to go to war with Japan in 1945.

After all, the Soviet Union did not start World War Two.

The Yalta agreement (February 1945), the Potsdam Declaration (July 1945) and the Treaty of San Francisco (September 1951), do, on the whole, support the Soviet Union.

However, the vagueness of which area comes under which geographic region is disputed and the United States had changed its thinking by 1951.  After all, the Soviet Union was a needed ally during World War Two against German Nazism but by 1951 the Cold War had entered the fray.

Yalta had been favorable to the Soviet Union and clearly America and Great Britain had supported the Soviet Union against Japan in this period.

Yalta stipulates that the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain – have agreed that in two or three months after Germany has surrendered and the war in Europe is terminated, the Soviet Union shall enter into war against Japan on the side of the Allies on condition that: [....] 2. The former rights of Russia violated by the treacherous attack of Japan in 1904 shall be restored, viz.: (a) The southern part of Sakhalin as well as the islands adjacent to it shall be returned to the Soviet Union; [....] 3. The Kurile Islands shall be handed over to the Soviet Union.”

The Russian Federation in 2006 under Vladimir Putin did state that Shikotan and the Habomais could be given to Japan on condition that Japan renounces all other disputed areas.

However, Japan refused but with each passing year the Russian Federation is gaining in power and the “economic carrot” that Boris Yeltsin was thinking about no longer applies.

If Japan wants a diverse energy policy and friendly relations in a region of few friends; then leaders in Tokyo would be wise to resolve this dispute and focus on developing relations with the Russian Federation.

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 
 

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Ueno in Tokyo: fashion, culture, and a different environment

Ueno in Tokyo: fashion, culture, and a different environment

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Ueno is in northern Tokyo and it differs from the exquisite and wealthy nature of Ebisu and Ginza.  Also, the fashion scene is very different when compared to Harajuku and Shibuya.  In truth, Ueno does not feel like modern Tokyo despite many major companies being based in the area.

Ikebukuro, which is the gateway to enter Tokyo from Saitama prefecture is distinctively Tokyo in feeling and atmosphere; but Ueno is a blend of old Tokyo and an energy which can be found in parts of Hong Kong. 

Ueno is also very vibrant and at the same time “on the edge” because you have an abundance of cultural places to visit but this is tinged with many homeless people in and around the main park in Ueno.

It certainly feels like the poorer neighbor of fashionable and trendy Omotesando in Tokyo.  However, this working feel and “on the edge” nature of Ueno adds to the creativity of many small sized retail companies and the street fashion of Ueno is energetic.

The very nature of Ueno means that people often have a strong comment to say about this part of Tokyo, irrespective if positive or negative.  However, Ueno is certainly a must visit for all tourists who will visit Tokyo because it provides its own energy and you have so many cultural places to visit.

My first ever visit to Ueno was an eye opener because I entered a shady area where you had many hostess clubs and women were tottering up and down in very sexy clothing.  This was followed by a visit to one of the many museums and then enjoying a walk in the park which had many beautiful views alongside images of many homeless people.

This fusion can be seen in the fashion of Ueno because despite having high quality fashion stores within the environment of Ueno station.  The real feel is street fashion and women are free from the high octane nature and pressure of Ebisu where wealth is visibly on show; irrespective if the individual is wealthy or not.

The Ameyokocho bazaar is very large and it caters for so many different products and this part of Ueno is certainly distinctive from the usual images of high fashion or powerful department stores which dominate throughout Tokyo.

Marui and other major department stores are now based in Ueno and major redevelopment is in full swing.  Therefore, parts of Ueno may succumb to the usual features of all major areas in Tokyo. However, the Ameyokocho bazaar, small retail companies, and shady parts of Ueno; means that this will add to the diverse nature of Ueno but in the near future it will not be able to destroy the unique atmosphere of this part of Tokyo.

If you love culture then Ueno can provide this in abundance and you have many museums and galleries to visit which are based mainly in the Ueno park area.

Tokyo National Museum boasts the most potent collection of Japanese art in the world and the exhibits on show will please all people who are interested in Japanese art, culture, and history. 

If you are interested in Buddhism then a visit to the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures is a must. In contrast to the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures you have the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art which focuses on contemporary art.

Other popular places to visit include the National Science Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Shitamachi History Museum, Tosho-gu-Shrine, Iwasaki Family House, Yushima Tenjin, Ueno zoo, and seeing the statue of Saigo Takamori who was a samurai in old Japan who practiced ritual suicide.

Ueno is certainly worth a visit if either you are a tourist to Japan or a Japanese national from outside of Tokyo.  Of course many Tokyoites or people from Chiba or Saitama areas close to Ueno may also revere this part of Tokyo because of its rich diversity.

The street fashion of Ueno is strong despite recent developments which have brought trendy Marui and Arte to Ueno.  Therefore, Ueno now offers a broad array of fashion with more elegant and exquisite brands opening up for business but the street scene of Ueno remains vibrant.

At night the shady areas light up to the throngs of the sexual side of Tokyo and the “on edge” nature of Ueno adds to the vibrancy and energy of this most distinctive part of Tokyo.

http://www.tokyoessentials.com/ueno.html (about Ueno)

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/tokyo/ueno.html  (info about Ueno)

http://moderntokyotimes.com   (please visit)

 
 
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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Japan

 

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Assyrian Christian in Iraq: Sunni Islamists gouge his eyes out and torture him to death

Assyrian Christian in Iraq: Sunni Islamists gouge his eyes out and torture him to death

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Image taken from http://www.ankawa.com

Ashur Issa Jacob was butchered and mutilated by Sunni Islamic fanatics in Iraq and the Assyrian International News Agency (http://www.aina.org) and Ankawa (http://www.ankawa.com/english/) are working tirelessly in order to notify the outside world about the plight of religious minorities in Iraq.

It appears that Sunni Islamic operatives had demanded a huge ransom and in the mindset of these Sunni Islamic fanatics they will justify the slaughter of an innocent on the basis of jihad, jizya, and the House of War theory which can be found in the Koran and the Hadiths.

Arthur Issa Jacob was an Assyrian Christian construction worker and it is clear that he was tortured slowly before his death.  Of course America had to give Osama bin Laden a Muslim burial and show respect to a global jihadist who gloated when thousands of innocents were killed on September 11.

However, for the followers of radical Sunni Islam all non-Muslim infidels are not worthy of any kindness and in their mindset they can kill humans in such bestial ways and somehow they still deem themselves to be holy warriors of Islam.

Sunni Islamic fanatics in Iraq have massacred Shia Muslims, Christians, Shabaks, Yazidis, Mandaeans, moderate Sunni Muslims, and others; and in their world view they will meet many virgins in heaven after killing innocents in the name of Allah.

Sunni Islamic fanaticism is destroying the fabric of Iraqi society and many Shia Muslims have been killed during funerals, visiting religious holy places, while shopping and in their homes.

The Kurds in the north have military power in order to protect themselves because Sunni Islamic fanaticism is also tinged with Arab chauvinism.

However, the Christians, and other smaller minorities, have no militias to protect themselves from the evil of radical Sunni Islam.

Multinational forces have been told by political elites to do nothing, therefore, the invasion of Iraq left minorities to the evil forces of Sunni Islamic jihadists. Political elites in the West have “turned a blind eye” and just like in Kosovo the Christian community has been abandoned.

Assyrian International News Agency stated that Ashur Issa Jacob, an Assyrian construction worker, was found dead today in Kirkuk, North Iraq. He was kidnapped on Saturday by Al-Qaeda operatives, it is believed, who made a $100,000 ransom demand. His body was mutilated. His head was nearly severed off. He was tortured before he was executed, according to the Kirkuk police. His eyes were gouged out, his ears were cut off and his faced was skinned. There also were signs of dog bites on the body. Mr. Jacob is survived by his wife and three children.”

Note the difference: America gives an Islamic funeral to a mass killer called Osama bin Laden but radical Sunni Islamists torture an innocent Christian to death and then they leave his body to be humiliated and left out in the open for all to see.

Iraq’s future is being destroyed by religious fanatics whose only goal is to enforce a medieval system alongside Arabization and a Sunni Islamic state based on Islamic Sharia law.

America and other Western nations who invaded Iraq have a moral obligation to protect the citizens of Iraq; irrespective of religious faith, ethnicity or no faith.

After all, the fleeing of so many Christians and other minorities began because of the forces which were unleashed after Iraq was invaded.

If nothing is done to stem the tide of Arab Sunni Islamic fanaticism then Iraq will become a nation where non-Muslim minorities will no longer exist.

The brutal murder of Ashur Issa Jacob clearly shows you the mindset of radical Sunni Islam in Iraq.

Therefore, why isn’t something being done to protect the religious minorities of Iraq?

 

Please visit www.aina.org (ASSYRIAN INTERNATIONAL NEWS AGENCY)

Please visit www.ankawa.com (ANKAWA)

http://www.ankawa.com/english/?p=5050#more-5050  – ORIGINAL LINK AND MORE PHOTO IMAGES

http://www.aina.org/news/20110516141347.htm   – ORIGINAL LINK and more information.

Please visit the above name websites and other websites related to the plight of Assyrian Christians and other minorities in Iraq.

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 

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6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sebastian Masuda and 6%DOKIDOKI

The “Harajuku Kawaii Experience” recently visited North America after 6%DOKIDOKI showed the passion and creativity of Harajuku.  This followed on from last year when 6%DOKIDOKI visited America and Europe. 

6%DOKIDOKI is a very vibrant fashion company and if you want to understand the underbelly of Harajuku which makes this place tick; then this company is a must. 

The “kawaii culture” in Tokyo goes back several decades but of course you have many modifications and changes.  6%DOKIDOKI is part of the ongoing vibrancy of the “kawaii culture” and this company clearly thinks on its feet.

The creative nature of its fashion is truly unique and this applies to the amazing color schemes of their products and how they keep on moving forward and challenging new barriers.

However, 6%DOKIDOKI is not only a fashion company because their founder, Sebastian Masuda, and all people who are involved in this company; have a genuine interest in their client base and they care deeply about Harajuku.

The recent tour by 6%DOKIDOKI took them to America and Canada but after recent events in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami; then this was more than just a fashion statement.

After all, many media outlets painted a distinctively gloomy picture of Tokyo and while shock and bewilderment did take hold on March 11 and the following weeks in Tokyo; it was also true that many people were pulling together in order to help northeast Japan where the real tragedy unfolded.

True to the vibrancy and genuine care of 6%DOKIDOKI the founder, Sebastian Masuda, came up with the MIGHTY HARAJUKU PROJECT.

In my article called Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake, I stated that “…the fashion conscious in Harajuku have organized the “Mighty Harajuku Project” which is aimed at generating capital in order to help the people of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and other areas hit by the recent tragedy which engulfed the north-eastern Tohoku region.” 

“The “Mighty Harajuku Project” is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%Dokidoki.  Sebastian Masuda cares deeply about Harajuku and 6%Dokidoki provides an abundance of brightly colored accessories and like Harajuku itself the company is vibrant and individualistic.”

Therefore, while 6%DOKIDOKI is primarily a fashion company with zest, individuality, creativity and a genuine buzz about the products created.  This company is also concerned about the bigger picture during times of crisis and it is rare for a company to connect with its client base like they do in Harajuku.

6%DOKIDOKI, just like Tokyo, is vibrant and energetic and the latest tour clearly showed the pulling power of Harajuku and Tokyo itself.

This applies to the amazing fashion scene in Tokyo where the choice is fantastic and the quality on offer is of the highest.

Once more 6%DOKIDOKI is showing its international spirit and this company is revered by many individuals all over the world.

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508    (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Japan

 

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Psychological war of March 11 earthquake and tsunami: 9,500 people still missing

Psychological war of March 11 earthquake and tsunami: 9,500 people still missing

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake which unleashed the potent tsunami on March 11 in Japan is still hovering over the Tohoku region.  After more than two months you still have over 9,500 people who are still missing.

Added to this the nuclear cloud in Fukushima remains unresolved and while progress is being made it is not being made quick enough and radiation issues still persist.

Tokyo is virtually back to normal apart from electrical usage being down in order to preserve power.  However, trendy parts of Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, and other popular destinations in Tokyo, are awash with shoppers and the Tohoku region seems like a million miles away.

The Japanese police force and the military Self-Defense Forces have been searching for months and they have done a sterling job because their task is very difficult.  The long-term psychological impact is still unknown but for many police officers and military personnel it must be severe.

After all, many dead bodies have been found and the impact of this on the mind is great.  Added to this, is the sad reality that many bodies have been unidentified and this will add to the psychological demands being put on both the police force and military.

For parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, lovers, and friends; their nightmare is ongoing because of the uncertainty about the missing 9,500 people. 

Yes, it is clear that they are all presumed dead but in the back of the mind some people will still being clinging to hope.  The majority of people may accept that they will never see the missing person again and that their body may never be found.  However, humans are complex and some people will clutch at straws.

Sadly, it does appear that many people will never be identified and found. This will increase the psychological impact and without closure, then the future will continue to torment many people.

Therefore, for many people in the Tohoku region they are stuck in a time warp and without closure the impact will be increased dramatically. 

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 
 
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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Japan

 

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Sunni Islamists strike in Pakistan: 73 reported dead at paramilitary base

Sunni Islamists strike in Pakistan: 73 reported dead at paramilitary base

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Radical Sunni Islam is a death cult

Sunni Islamists have struck twice at a Pakistan paramilitary force academy and initial reports state that 73 people have been killed and many have been injured.  The death total could rise further and once more radical Sunni Islamic fanatics have killed innocents in Pakistan.

In the twisted world of radical Sunni Islam where they care about the burial of Osama bin Laden, despite this mass killer gloating over thousands of people being killed on September 11 in America; you will have a deadly silence from the same Sunni Islamic zealots over this latest terrorist attack.

Sunni Islamic fanatics have murdered thousands of innocent Shia Muslims and Christians in Iraq. Yet what do these Islamic fanatics desire from all this bloodshed?

Apparently, the social agenda is not important and clearly sexual freedom and religious liberty is not an issue.  On the contrary, Sunni Islamic zealots desire to enforce Islamic Sharia law on the entire nation. 

This means that the ultimate goal is to enforce dhimmitude on non-Muslims, kill apostates from Islam, stone women to death for adultery, kill homosexuals, and introduce amputations for minor crimes. 

In the dream world of Sunni Islamists in Pakistan they somehow believe that returning to the 7th century will mean progress.  However, it was Muslims who beheaded a relative of Mohammed and it was Muslims who killed the majority of the early caliphs.

What is scary to think is that once the land of Pakistan was an area which belonged to “mother India.”  Therefore, you had a thriving Buddhist community, Hindu community, Sikh community, and other faiths like Zoroastrianism and Jainism will have been part of the fabric of this multi-religious society.

However, Islamic invasions of this part of India and the calamity of partition meant that this land became Islamized.  Therefore, this mainly Islamic nation state remains beholden to Islamists and this stranglehold is destroying Pakistan.

Sunni Islamic radicalism is based on the hatred of the other.  Therefore, they care not if they kill Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Shia Muslims, Ahmadiyya Muslims, moderate Muslims, and so forth

This Sunni Islamic schizophrenic outlook is clearly dangerous because it desires the blood of the innocents and the only sacred duty is to reject all past non-Muslim culture and to reject all concepts of modernity

The joint terrorist attack will have witnessed Sunni Islamic ecstasy prior to murdering so many innocents and the vast majority of people killed in this Islamic terrorist attack will have been Muslim. 

Despite this, the indoctrinated individuals who have joined numerous different Sunni Islamic terrorist groups will still believe that they will be rewarded in heaven.

Pakistan continues to play “the terrorist card” in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Also, the hallmarks of the terrorist attack in Mumbai led all the way back to Pakistan. 

The same Sunni Islamic forces which have been unleashed in Afghanistan and Kashmir now need to know that Pakistan is serious about breaking up many Sunni Islamic terrorist organizations.

If Pakistan does not act, then the schizophrenic followers of radical Sunni Islam will eat away at the body politic of Pakistan and this will lead to “year Mohammed.”

Schools must come under state control because Islamic religious schools are using their influence and network in order to threaten the central government.  Islamic charities need to be checked for terrorist links and draconian laws need to be eradicated.

Turning back to the twin bomb attack in north-west Pakistan, then it is clear that the death of Osama bin Laden will not stop terrorism.

Despite information still being sketchy it appears that one attack was a suicide attack and the other was a planted bomb which was designed to kill many.

Ahmad Ali, a paramilitary policeman, stated that he could hear the Islamist shouting “allahu Akbar” before killing so many innocient.

Ahmad Ali commented that “I was sitting in a van waiting for my colleagues. We were in plain clothes and we were happy we were going to see our families.”

Ahmad Ali also stated that “I heard someone shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is great] and then I heard a huge blast. I was hit by something in my back shoulder.

Yes, the terrorist prior to the attack was praising Allah before shedding the blood of innocents.

The blind hatred of Sunni Islamic terrorism does not have any boundaries because “the Sunni Islamic death cult” is based on murder, dhimmitude, and rule by fear.

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 

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Tokyo ladies: fashion in Ikebukuro and Shibuya

Tokyo ladies: fashion in Ikebukuro and Shibuya

Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

Smacky Glam – Modern Tokyo Times Image

In a survey by Kanebo Cosmetics it was reported that Tokyo ladies use more make-up than any other major city in Asia.  Fashion is also high on the agenda and for the modern Tokyo lady image, style, and dressing fashionable is a way of life.

Tokyo is awash with fashion and Daikanyama, Ebisu, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Ginza, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and other areas in Tokyo, caters for fashion on a grand scale. 

This sector is extremely competitive and this applies to domestic companies and international companies.  Therefore, for Tokyo ladies they are spoilt for choice and “in places” and famous stores are competing for a slice of the enormous apple pie. 

In Ikebukuro the Lumine company is re-igniting fashion in this part of Tokyo and the west side of Ikebukuro is “breathing to a new fashion beat” because major restructuring is ongoing.  This applies to many fashion boutiques opening up in and around the train station.

Lumine is vibrant and full of energy and the décor is a wonder to behold and this is matched by an abundance of high quality stores which provide stylish clothes and other products.

The list of high quality companies in Lumine is too many to name but Smacky Glam (SmackyGlam) caters for ladies who love exquisite fabrics and designs.  This fashion outlet is full of panache and is ultra modern and this suits the modern Tokyo lady to the full.

Also, it is clear that space, design of the layout and the show of the products on offer is part and parcel of this exquisite company.  Smacky Glam therefore utilizes the natural environment of the Lumine layout and creates an image of modernity, style, and elegance.

This is matched by extremely high quality clothing and delightful color schemes which suit the modern Tokyo lady.  Smacky Glam, and other high quality companies in Lumine in Ikebukuro, have created an atmosphere of luxury, modernity, and creativity.

Ikebukuro is connected to Shibuya by several train lines and Shibuya is famous for its energy and it is a Mecca for young adults.

Shibuya is always buzzing and latest fads pass through Shibuya and Harajuku. Also, just like all major fashion areas in Tokyo, you have a distinctive feeling in Shibuya and the raw energy is noticeable.

Shibuya fashion is not just about extremes it is about a mixture of fashion styles and just like life, it is never static but always looking for a new creative feel.  Shibuya 109 is a hub for fashion and keeps on drawing in the crowds. If you want the more daring side of Shibuya then boutiques like Candy is for you or you can feel the vibes of the Center Gai area or Koen Dori.

Smacky Glam is also located in Shibuya given the fresh outlook of this company and the appeal of fashion in Shibuya is its rich diversity.  Boutiques like Candy, Smacky Glam, and a host of other fabulous fashion companies, can be found and the richness of styles is amazing.

Lumine in Ikebukuro – Modern Tokyo Times Image

Even if you are not a fashion guru you can feel the rich and youthful energy of Shibuya, therefore, if you desire to feel “the teenage or young adult within you” then it will be revitalized in Shibuya.

It is also noticeable that “Shibuya girls” care deeply about hair style and the “in colors” are blonde, reddish brown, light brown and a mixture of other colors.

Ikebukuro and Shibuya are very near and by the Saikyo Line it takes between 8 and 10 minutes or you can travel by the Yamanote Line. 

Therefore, you can easily visit both Ikebukuro and Shibuya on the same day and appreciate both places for their unique differences. 

Shibuya and its energy

Local Tokyoites will clearly have their own special parts of Tokyo which appeals to them and the same applies to people who reside in Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama. 

If you are a tourist or if you are thinking about visiting Tokyo in the near future; then for fashion lovers you will find so many fantastic boutiques in Ikebukuro and Shibuya. 

A visit to Candy in Shibuya and Smacky Glam in both Ikebukuro and Shibuya is well worth it.  This applies to the contrasting styles and different thought patterns which have produced such stylish clothing.

The ying and yang of different fashion boutiques is refreshing the fashion industry in Tokyo.  In truth, you have so many exquisite boutiques in Ikebukuro and Shibuya, therefore, you will be spoilt for choice.

www.smackyglam.com –  Smacky Glam

http://sanyo-i.jp   -  Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)

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

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

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 
 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Japan

 

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Smacky Glam in Ikebukuro: elegant fashion, creative and stunning colors

Smacky Glam in Ikebukuro: elegant fashion, creative and stunning colors

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

http://www.smackyglam.com – image from Smacky Glam

Ikebukuro a few years ago appeared to be sleeping on the west side but in the last six months it is clear that fashion is springing up in abundance.  This applies to Lumine where you have so many high quality boutiques which compliment the stunning décor.

Also, in Ikebukuro on the west side you have an abundance of new shops near the Fukutoshin train station and with so many universities based in or around Ikebukuro then you have a strong youthful outlook.

At the same time traditional companies like Tobu Store and Seibu Department Store adds to the ambience and quality of Ikebukuro.

Turning back to Lumine it is abundantly clear that you will find an abundance of high quality fashion stores and alongside this you will have other types of companies which cater for the finer things in life.

One exceptional store which takes the eye immediately is Smacky Glam because the fashion is graceful, creative, ultra-modern, and the fabrics are high class. 

Smacky Glam – Modern Tokyo Times image

Added to this is the stunning and vibrant colors on offer and female fashion not only comes alive, it even appeals to lay people because Smacky Glam is based on a fabulous back drop.

The high quality fabric, adorable color collections, quality fashion, and exquisite décor all adds to an amazing shopping experience where space and fashion is fused to create an atmosphere of ambience amidst exquisite fashion.

Ikebukuro is a gateway for people who reside in Saitama and Lumine is a gateway for fashion. Also, within Lumine you have companies with panache, style, grace, and quality; and these words of high esteem certainly applies to Smacky Glam.

Tokyoites, tourists, business ladies passing through Tokyo and people from Saitama and further afield who pass through Ikebukuro; must visit Lumine and grasp the fashion on offer and the same applies to visiting companies like Smacky Glam.

Ikebukuro is waking up once more and companies like Smacky Glam are putting this city on the map for fashion in Tokyo.

If you have the opportunity to visit Ikebukuro then take time out and visit the bountiful boutiques on offer on the west side of Ikebukuro which are based within the train station.

For a special treat, then a visit to Smacky Glam is a must!

www.smackyglam.com –  Smacky Glam

http://sanyo-i.jp   -  Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please   visit)

 
 
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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Japan

 

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Child abduction in Japan: divorced Japanese wife fined heavily by US court

Child abduction in Japan: divorced Japanese wife fined heavily by US court

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

Christopher Savoie and his family members in America have been going through hell because of the blatant violation of international law in Japan.  This applies to allowing Japanese parents to violate the laws of all other nations during child custody cases. 

In other words, Japan is allowing child abduction by the policy of inaction and reducing international legal orders to nothing.  Therefore, Christopher Savoie, and countless other left behind parents, continually hit both “a wall of silence” in Japan and “a wall of ignorance and deceit.”

According to legal documents Christopher Savoie had legal rights to see his children on a regular basis and because of this a court in Tennessee fined his former wife heavily.  His ex-partner was fined $6.1 million dollars and this applies to damages.

At the moment this is just “a moral victory” but until Japan takes child abduction seriously then it is “a hollow victory.”

After all, with each passing day his children face cultural alienation and parental alienation.  Also, it is possible that his children are being manipulated by his divorced wife but this is speculation; however, given the fact that he is being denied access to his children then it a possible scenario to say the least.

The monetary factor is not a concern for Christopher Savoie because it is all about his children whom he loves and cherishes dearly.

All he wants, like all responsible parents, is to see his children, care for them, watch them grow up, help to educate them, and enjoy many special moments. 

However, the legal system does not concern itself with the rights or wrongs of child abduction in Japan.  Therefore, Japanese parents know full well that Japan will protect them because international child abduction is a fact of life in Japan and little changes apart from greater international pressure.

Takeaki Matsumoto, Foreign Minister, stated that “The ruling (of the U.S. court) was made from a different legal background from Japan’s,” Matsumoto said at a press conference Tuesday. “Ultimately, I think Japan should abide by international rules on jurisdiction (over child custody disputes) when so many people cross borders, get married and then their marriages fail.”

In my article called Japan and the Hague Convention: but will foreign parents really see their kids? I state that newspapers in Japan keep on commenting that Critics have raised concerns over joining the pact, saying it could endanger Japanese parents and kids who have fled abusive relationships.”

Randy Collins, father of Keisuke Christian Collins, stated in his article called The Façade of Honor and Respect that “Another façade by the Japanese is that when confronted with these staggering numbers, the same mantra is said over and over again: ‘We are protecting our women and children from abuse of the Americans’.”

Randy Collins is spot on because in the same article I comment that “….when did Japan take child abuse seriously?  In 2008 you had 42,664 cases of child abuse and in 2009 you had 44,210 cases of child abuse.  New laws passed were meant to give welfare workers more power to apply for warrants in child abuse cases.”

“However, in 2008 only two warrants were asked for and astonishingly in 2009 only one warrant was asked for.  This fact paints a different picture to the one being painted by Akiko Oshima and her statement should have been backed up by facts.”

“Therefore, basically, out of over 86,000 reports of child abuse only three child warrants were asked for.  Given this, then clearly the rights of the child in Japan is not being taken seriously and Akiko Oshima should focus on reforming the Japanese legal system and systematic thinking; rather than making “sweeping comments” and implying that Japan is a haven for child rights who are being protected by abusive foreign fathers.”

My reference to Akiko Oshima who is a marriage counselor applies to her stating that “These women, who come back, do not do it because they want to.” 

“They feel this is the only way out. They want their child to be brought up in Japan, and not in the host country where the father is abusive and she has no control over her children’s education, and so forth. Not even, say, getting a job to support herself. This is the problem.”

If only Akiko Oshima would open her eyes to child abuse in Japan and the fact that many women also abuse children.  Also, is Akiko Oshima implying that all foreign fathers are abusive?

Given the fact that no mixed Japanese children have been sent back to the international parent then it would appear that Akiko Oshima is involved in racial stereotyping. In other words she appears to be playing the racial card alongside blatant sexism and can her statement be backed by open evidence in every case?

Every court case must be judged on merit and sometimes the father may be the best parent and sometimes the mother; but in an ideal situation both parents would continue to play a role in the upbringing of the child or children.

No parent, irrespective if Japanese or non-Japanese, or if male or female; should face parental alienation because it is against all norms of humanity.

Also, spare a thought for grandparents, other family members and friends because child abduction effects many people and while the emphasis is obviously put on the parent; it is clear that grandparents suffer greatly because time is not on their side and they have to watch their children suffer so much.

Why should parents who love their children be treated like criminals and disregarded?

Japan should be ashamed for allowing this reality to exist and doing nothing is not an excuse. 

Christopher Savoie stated that “Anything about this just reopens a lot of wounds. It’s bittersweet…….At the end of the day, I’d much rather have one afternoon in the park with my kids than one penny of this judgment.”

http://bachome.org/wordpress/  Bring abducted children home (Children abducted in Japan)

(please visit for information about the rights of children in Japan)

http://www.crcjapan.com/ Please visit Children’s Rights Council of Japan

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 
 
 

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