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Hatsune Miku is the perfect girlfriend! Reality or unreality?

Hatsune Miku is the perfect girlfriend!  Reality or unreality?

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

In Japan it is sometimes difficult to understand the concept of life and death in a nation where more than 30,000 people kill themselves a year.  Yes, despite the brutality of the March 11 earthquake which unleashed the tsunami and which swept away so many people; the sad reality is that more people will kill themselves this year in Japan than the devastating tsunami. 

Alongside this brutal reality is hikikomori which is a real social problem because many people want to hide away from the outside world.  Hikikomori and suicide may be small when we think about the population of Japan and both problems can be overly dramatized but something is going wrong?

After all, 300,000 plus people killing themselves every ten years is serious and the same applies to people who desire to withdraw from society.  Therefore, if you understand aspects of Japanese culture and this also applies to sexless couples, otaku, huge social pressure because of long working hours then Hatsune Miku does make sense.

Of course many females also commit suicide and get hikikomori but males outnumber females and around 70% of all suicides are done by men.  It is even suggested that the number of suicides is higher because definitions vary but the government acknowledges that over 30,000 people kill themselves every year.

One interesting fact is that while people with hikikomori withdraw themselves from society they still interact but through the internet.  Indeed, for many people with hikikomori it is clear that they enjoy anime, comics, video games and the internet.

Often in Tokyo you will see young men and ladies with small teddies attached and sometimes people who are much older.  Therefore, immaturity, the power of anime, high technology, hikikomori, high percentage of sexless couples, the stresses of conformity, strong social pressures, otaku, cosplay, maid cafes, Hello Kitty, hentai anime, and other areas of society, is clearly catering for Hatsune Miku to become the perfect girlfriend.

This does not imply that anime is negative because it certainly isn’t and I really like Japanese anime and this applies to Ghost In The Shell and many other high quality anime which is made in Japan.

However, for a minority of people the world of reality and unreality is difficult to define and this is why Hatsune Miku is so popular.  Therefore, when you think about all the inner-social problems in Japan and how society and younger men appear to becoming more feminine then a perfect girlfriend which isn’t human is appealing and understandable.

It must be stated that in Japan it is factual that young ladies are desired and the pop culture caters for teenage girls dressing sexily and so forth. Therefore, aspects of anime and manga do have sexual overtures and hentai manga is big business in Japan.

Hatsune Miku unlike any other figure in the history of anime crosses the world of reality and unreality.  Also, Hatsune Miku is extremely cute and her persona changes for the individual who adores her. 

Therefore, the digital avatar is creating a sensation and the popularity of Hatsune Miku is growing.  The lovely eyes and pony tails appeal and unlike a real girlfriend you have no arguments or wasted time and given the social pressures in Japan then this in itself is a winner.

The fan base of Hatsune Miku runs into the millions and major companies like Toyota want to join the bandwagon because of the marketability of “adorable Miku.”

Given my reality I might join the club!

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Japan

 

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Nuclear crisis in Japan but Uranium price to rebound on news from China and Indi

Nuclear crisis in Japan but Uranium price to rebound on news from China and India

Modern Tokyo Times

Lee Jay Walker

 

The nuclear crisis in Fukushima at the Daiichi nuclear power plant caused major ripples in the nuclear sector.  Many nations outwardly began to question the role of nuclear energy and reliance but with each passing day the cold reality of the importance of nuclear energy is dawning.  Therefore, China and India are to continue with their ambitious plans in this sector.

Immediately after March 11 when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan and it became known that the tsunami had not only killed tens of thousands of people, but had also impacted negatively on the Daiichi nuclear power plant; then the price of uranium slumped by 27 per cent.

Daily images of the stricken Daiichi nuclear plant alongside massive scaremongering meant that national governments which had future plans in the pipeline were coming under the microscope. 

However, despite this, and uranium being just below 9 per cent down this year, it appears that the worse may be over for the price of uranium.  This applies to China and India who will continue to forge ahead with their respective nuclear power projects.

Indeed, according to Bloomberg and other sources, it is reported that nuclear energy will grow by roughly 46 per cent by 2020 amongst the leading five nations which use nuclear energy. 

This increase is mainly down to China and India because these two nations, whose economies are growing rapidly and which have huge populations, believe that nuclear energy is the best option.

China’s Nuclear Energy Association in May announced plans to increase nuclear energy by around eight times by 2020.  India’s Atomic Energy Commission, within one day of China’s announcement, stated that India had plans to increase nuclear production by 13 fold and this ambitious plan applies to this target being achieved by 2030.

Therefore, the statements made by China and India means that the price of uranium should not only stabilize but also rebound because the future looks positive for this sector despite many alarm bells.

It is clear that leaders in China believe that future economic growth depends greatly on a diverse energy policy.  Therefore, the only current option is for nuclear energy to be part of this diverse energy policy in order to satisfy the growth of electricity demand.

If future projections are met then nuclear usage in China, India and South Korea will surpass that of America, France, Germany and Japan, when you combine both groups.

It must be remembered that fossil fuels was the main concern for nations like America, France and the United Kingdom before the Fukushima crisis.  Therefore, the nuclear option was seen to be positive. After all, greenhouse gas emission worries are focused on fossil fuels and not the atomic sector.

These nations may rue their over sensitivity and it must be remembered that the tsunami killed tens of thousands of people and not nuclear energy.  Indeed, the over-hype of the nuclear crisis often relegated the crisis caused by the tsunami and it makes you wonder where the priority belongs?

China and India will clearly look at what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in order to safeguard and implement policies which will lead to greater security and safety mechanisms.

The vice secretary general of the Nuclear Energy Association in China, Xu Yuming, stated that “Of course, the overall plan won’t be changed. China faces power shortages and we need to change our energy mix. To resolve these issues, we must develop nuclear.”


http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in ASIA, 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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Japan needs stability and a new vision but are some things a mirage?

Japan needs stability and a new vision but  are some things a mirage?

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Strong yen despite 20 years of economic negativity

The 1990s and continuing until today have not been kind to Japan in the economic arena and the political situation appears to be going from bad to worse.  The Nikkei stock market continues to be in the doldrums and this applies to the last twenty years.  At the same time, the national debt continues to spiral and the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis is adding to the woes of Japan.

Politicians in Japan are not helping because it is all about factionalism and petty infighting, therefore, the political merry-go-round continues.  This applies to prime ministers resigning or being forced out of office and political shenanigans within each major party.

Even now, despite around 28,000 people dying because of the March 11 earthquake the political system remains “overtly childish” and based on “self-interests” to the extreme.  The tsunami which was unleashed by the earthquake killed the vast majority of people and the nuclear crisis in Fukushima is ongoing.

Despite this, and with more than 10,000 bodies still not being recovered, you have no mutual political system whereby the politicians come together during a time of national crisis. 

More alarming, Prime Minister Naoto Kan does not only face a political challenge from the opposition but even faces an internal power struggle based on the chaotic nature of Ichiro Ozawa.  The internal factionalism is destroying the political system and all political parties appear to just want to mock the respective opposition and to force the prime minister to resign.

Therefore, you have a nation which is “leaderless” and while the bureaucracy remains intact and major companies keep Japan afloat. It is strange to have such a political system in a nation which is mainly based on consensus but the “political rat race” shows no sign of ending and the national debt continues to gather in pace.

Other major areas of concern applies to the strange economic system which allows virtual zero interest rates and seems to be happy about the yen being based on carry trade.  Added to this, is the demographic time bomb and the huge costs which are needed in order to bring up a child in Japan.

In truth, you have so many areas and this applies to the pension system, stagnant wage structure, too much centralization, a collapsing health service and many other important areas.

Added to this are important social issues and this applies to the huge suicide problem, hikikomori, mental issues, lack of adequate care for an increasing elderly population and other important factors.

The nation of China is looming on the horizon and this applies to continuing economic growth and a strong sense of ambition.  Yet for Japan, it often appears that the political system is based on being “a mere shadow of America.”

This does not bode well because it is difficult to find what makes “Japan tick.” After all, you have no major political ideology, religion is weak, the bullish nature of business in the 1980s appears to be a distant memory, the armed forces play second fiddle to America, and you have no clear sense of the future direction of this nation because of the ongoing political meltdown.

However, Japan is an enigma and some economists claim that nothing is what it seems.  Therefore, a minority of economists and political scientists are claiming that Japan is undercutting its true economic power. 

By doing this, Japan can play the exporters dream and maintain positive trade balances in this field with major economic partners.  This in turn means that Japan’s reserves continue to be vibrant and Japan clearly owns a huge amount of America’ s debt and recently this also applies to European Union debt.

It must be remembered that the yen is very strong at the moment but how can the yen be gaining in strength against the dollar and other major currencies?  After all, twenty years of small growth and times of economic stagnation should have meant that the opposite would happen.

Also, if you look at Japan’s main exporting sectors then clearly high technology and state of the art products is evidence that Japan remains vibrant in many important fields.  This applies to consumer electronics, optical fibers, optical media, semiconductors, automobiles, facsimile, copy machines, and other important areas.

Therefore, the dollar rate and the increasing nature of foreign nations owning America’s debt may be telling a different story?  After all, since President Obama came to office the national debt continues to mushroom and now the figure is $14 trillion dollars and growing.

I have resided in Japan for a long time but in Tokyo it is difficult to believe that you have had twenty years of economic misery.  This applies to the employment rate being very low, low crime rate, feeling of vibrancy, continuing building projects, and an ever increasing population in and around Tokyo.

Also, you have major hubs of information technology in Kyoto and the Kansai region is still an economic powerhouse despite recent problems.  More important, it does appear that local government leaders in Osaka are starting to think about the bigger picture and this applies to embarking on a greater metropolitan area, focusing on the international community and restructuring weaknesses within the system.

It is apparent that Japan faces many serious problems, however, not all is lost and many Japanese companies still play a powerful role in the global economy.  More important, does anyone understand the enigma of Japan?

This applies to a huge national debt followed by major economic reserves; a powerful currency despite twenty years of little economic growth; and while Japan’s internal debt grows the same nation continues to hold vast sums of America’s debt and is now helping the European Union by buying Europe’s debt.

Yes, Japan is a real enigma!

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 
 
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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Japan

 

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