Fukushima: The Land Time Forgot, And Other Anomalies

Inawashiro-Ko located in Bandai-Asahi National Park in Fukushima.

This summer’s Golden Week holiday has passed. My family took a trip to Yonezawa, the hometown of my wife. Yonezawa is a mere 41km northwest of Fukushima City. Namie, where the Daiichi Nuclear Facility, and three nuclear reactors melted down, and which are currently continuing to contaminate the Pacific Ocean is only 55km (34 miles) east of Fukushima City. Namie is 88.9km from Yonezawa. It’s only one stop by way of the Tsubasa Shinkansen from Fukushima to Yonezawa; that’s about a fifteen-minute train ride from station to station. Our home in Yokohama is 312km south of that particular location.

Click here to view the entire photo gallery with detailed descriptions.

There were several events that coincided on this particular holiday. The first being the seventh year since my wife’s grandmother passed away. This is an important date, as the first, third, and seventh years are marked with specific traditional matters that family members partake in when a relative passes away, such as the family going to the Hoji (cemetery), to pay their respect by offering food, incense, and prayers. This would be the first of this kind of event that I had participated in. On that day, my wife’s family arrived from all over Japan. In the evening we ate a fantastic dinner that my wife’s parents had chefs prepare at a local traditional restaurant, and delivered to their home.

I got to meet nearly all of my wife’s extended family for the first time, including her grandmother who is 86 years old. She lives in Iwaki, which was nearly wiped out by the tsunami of 3.11.11. Iwaki is also located near the Daini nuclear facility, which was shutdown after it was struck by tsunami waves. Daini was the nuclear plant that was originally thought to be the one that would wreak the most havoc for the nation, and an industry that has such a deplorable track record for operational safety, and which has clearly been proven that shouldn’t exist. I was reminded of this again last week as the Red Forest that surrounds the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area caught fire, and put back into the atmosphere high levels of radiation that sat dormant in the trees of that forest for the past twenty-nine years. Ah, but I digress… I’m discussing something that everyone has seemingly forgotten about, and of course, what one can’t see, hear, or taste, can’t hurt them. Right? At least not immediately, some would say.

The family event described above occurred on May 4th, which was sixteen months to the day that my son was born. The next day was May 5th, another important notable holiday in Japan. May 5th is celebrated as Kokomo No Hi, or Boy’s Day. My wife’s parents had carp kites waving in the breeze at the entrance of their home, and had purchased an expensive samurai armor set for our son, which is now on display in their prayer room. Both are required things to do when a boy has been born into a family. On Boy’s Day, we took our son to Uesugi Jinja Shrine, which is walking distance from my wife’s family home. The last time we walked there was in the heat of winter, and the snow was stacked over our heads. (How’d you like that, the “heat” of winter?)

There are numerous things to do at Uesugi Jinja Shrine, as it’s very large, beautiful, and quite famous. One of the main events held there annually is the Uesugi Yuki Toro Matsuri (Yonezawa Snow Festival), which happens on the second weekend in February of each year. I’ve attended the festival a few times. It’s quite surreal, and very cold. The snow is piled high, hundreds of lamps made of snow occupy the entire temple, and the temperature is always below zero. I’ve had the best amazaki (warm sweet rice sake) at this festival. I don’t like sake, but I could drink a gallon of that concoction. Unfortunately, it’s only available during the festival. It’s really is that good! Makes me wonder what all the fuss is over eggnog?

Yonezawa: Uesugi Jinja Shrine

At Uesugi Jinja Shrine there was a festival underway. Ironically, the weather was much warmer than in Yokohama, although the surrounding mountains were still blanketed in a bit of snow. We saw paper lanterns that little boys from the local community had made. Our son got to play in a water fountain located at the main entrance with my wife’s sister, who adores him. He really enjoyed splashing around in the water, as the photos attest to. He then crashed a Gomo Kusukue booth, but the operator didn’t seem to mind. I got some great shots of him entirely mesmerized by the artificial water current that move hundreds of little toys in a circular pattern. Gomo Kusukue are quite popular with little children who use small nets to try, and scoop one of the gleaming treasures up with. If they catch one, they get to keep it. Out son also got to feed carp (koi) with the aid of a bag of rice that my wife’s father had prepared for this purpose. My wife’s family has been in the rice business for decades, and after eating the rice that he sends us. I quickly discovered that there is a great gulf fixed between rice that is hand selected by an expert, and that, which is sold at the markets. It’s probably akin to trying to explain night, and day to someone who has never seen either. This was the first time our son got to feed fish. However, he was more interested in the pigeons that were snatching up the rice that fell to the ground.

Yamagata: Omoshiro Yama Kogen

On the next day we drove to Yamadera, which is where the famous national treasure, Yamadera Temple is located. This mountaintop temple sits on top of the mountains that separate Yamagata from Sendai. The views from the top are fantastic, and the air quite refreshing.

At Yamadera, we parked, and ate lunch at one of the town’s fine restaurants. We then boarded a train to get to the next stop, which is further into the mountains. We accidentally took a rapid train, which passed our destination. All I could do was look out the window at the waterfall that most people had never noticed on their commutes between Yamagata, and Sendai.

We ended up at a tiny town called Sakunami, which is where the famous Nikka Whisky Company originated. We had an hour to kill before the next train arrived, so we got to learn about the company’s founders. A Japanese man named Masataka Taketsuru had gone to Scotland to study at a university. There he met, and eventually married a young woman named Jessie Roberta, a native of Scotland. The couple returned to Japan where the woman supported her husband’s desire to start an alcoholic beverage company. This was in 1920, at a time when prohibition was in full swing in the U.S. It must have been a sight for sore eyes for the local people to see Taketsuru return with a blond woman from Europe as his bride. Especially, considering Sakunami was in the middle of the undeveloped mountains, and in an entirely remote area cut off from any western influence. The community remains that way, even today. The mountain water in that area is so pure that it can be drunk straight from the river. The beautifully maintained Nikka facility still exists as well, and offers tours, and free samplings of their most sought after products. As I stood waiting on the train platform to head to our original destination, I thought how fleeting life is. That “odd” couple made a business that eventually thrived. They prospered from their vision, and their products continue to win prestigious international awards. It’s ironic that the Taketsuru’s are no longer here to witness the fruits of their labor. To learn more about the Taketsuru’s go to the following link: http://nikka.com/eng/founder/index.html.

We exited the train at Omoshiro Yama Kogen. While my wife changed the boy’s diaper, her sister practiced Hawaiian hula dancing she recently became enamored with. A man in the restaurant apparently took notice, came out, and joined in. So it is in Japan, at least when one manages to escape the entrapments of urban life. People outside of the large cities are generally very kind, and curious. Almost childlike! We learned that this man, who’s name I have already forgotten, had recently undergone back surgery, and was proud to show us how rapidly he had been recuperating. We talked a bit, and then it was time to head to the waterfall, walk along the pristine river, and hike around a bit before heading back to Yamadera to watch the sun set at the top of the mountain temple. Our new friend continued to hula dance back toward the restaurant that his life long friend owned.

During winter, Omoshiro Yama Kogen becomes a snow skiing nirvana for locals. It’s off the beaten path, and only a hop, skip, and a jump from Yamagata, or Sendai. One can literally step off of the local train in their snow boots, exit the tiny station, and step right onto a lift that goes to the top of the mountain. All for a mere 410 ¥. I first discovered Omoshiro Yama Kogen purely by accident several years ago when I was on my way to Sendai. I happened to look out the window, at the right moment, spotting a waterfall in the valley far below. It was only a split second that I got a glimpse of the water cascading down the side of the mountain. The following weekend I went back to investigate. It turned out to be one of my favorite places in Japan. I’ve traveled to Omoshiro Yama Kogen several times when I lived in Yamagata; winter, spring, summer, and fall. It’s incredibly beautiful, and unspoiled, as few people even realize that it’s even there. The trail along the river leads through the mountains, and back to Yamadera. It’s something that everyone who visits Japan should experience. It certainly will leave a better impression as to what had once been the true Japanese way, other than the westernized offerings of Harajuku, Shinjuku, or Yokohama. I took some great shots of my son with a couple different waterfalls in the background at Omoshiro Yama. Soon enough though, the sun began to dip below the mountains, so it was time to head back to Yamadera.

Omoshiro Yama Kogen in Yamagata Prefecture.

Yamagata: Yamadera Temple’s Thousand Steps

When we arrived at the steps to the entrance of the temple, it was already closed. My wife, and sister tried to prevent me from entering. (There’s nothing but a small sign, written in Japanese that says the steps are closed. There are no gates, locks, or security to prevent one from entering.) I can’t read Japanese, and told them that, which they already knew. But they could! I told them, “I only wanted to look around the first turn.” So, I took their photo at the entrance, and off I went, knowing full well, I wasn’t about to drive all the way from Yonezawa, and return without trekking to the top. My wife said, “What if you told our son not to do something, and he did it anyway?”

There are a thousand steps or so to reach the top of the mountain. This gave me plenty of time to reflect on what my wife had asked regarding our son. I concluded that if he ignored something that I told him not to do, and had a legitimate reason to do so, then he was discovering the power of autonomy, and therefore, it would not be improper for him to use his own cognitive skills in determining how to proceed. I also thought that if his reasoning was skewed, ignoring me would be unjustified. In that, I felt justified in ignoring a sign that I couldn’t read anyway, and as far as I was concerned, shutting off access to such a location during the best light of the day was most unjust. This is one thing that really perturbs me about Japan, the often illogic of how things are done. A cursory inspection of the Yamadera photos I took on that evening made me quite pleased that I didn’t go home empty handed. Actually, in defense of the indefensible, I’ve walked past that sign at least three other times in the past, at sunset, never realizing that the temple was closed.

There are numerous sights to discover at the top of Yamadera. Some of the shrines were built into the cliffs hundreds of years ago, and had not been destroyed during the Warring State Period, most likely because of its rural location, and strategic location at the top of the mountain. What most people don’t know when they are visiting most of Japan’s castles is that they were rebuilt for tourism purposes. The facts that nearly all of Japan’s castles were burnt down after the particular daimyo that ruled over it was defeated by a rival clan. The Maruoka Castle is the oldest castle in Japan to survive that era. It’s located in Fukui, where I lived during my first year in Japan. Maruoka Castle was built in 1576. The Inuyama main tenshu began construction in 1601, and was finally completed in 1620. One of the most infamous, yet “true” samurai tales took place in Fukui, and it tells of the destruction of one of those Japanese castles, destroyed by a technology that had never before been seen in the east. Samurai, not with swords, but with rifles attacked the Asakura clan in Ichijodani. Needless to say, the Asakura clan were slaughtered. Today, all that remains is the gate of the once towering structure. Everyone inside was brutally executed, as swords were no match to the new form of weaponry, as those that had vowed to protect those they had united with would discover. After the siege, as usual, the castle was razed. This was the death null to an era where swords were used to determine the outcome of disputes. The Locales photo gallery at my website, http://stackjones.com has a photo of the Asakura gate covered in snow. Ironically, I discovered it, and Ichijodani as I had much of Japan, which was purely by accident.

I was new in Fukui, and had a few days off from work, so I decided to drive to Tojinbo, cliffs that had become infamous for suicide jumping. Tojinbo is located in one of the most beautiful place in Japan, and is situated directly on Japan Sea. Somewhere along the route I had planned on my trip, I took a wrong turn, and ended up heading in entirely the opposite direction. I thought I was driving east, but was actually heading west. After driving for two hours I came upon the mountains of Ichijodani, the Asakura gate, and a beautiful waterfall. I also discovered Imadate, which is a small mountain community that’s famous for making the best paper in Japan. Anyone that has even cursory knowledge of Japan knows that the nation considers paper making a high art.

I visited the museum in Imadate, and talked with an elderly man, a lifelong employee who was responsible for choosing the wood to be used in their paper processing, and for operating the wood mill, which resulted in the manufacturing of fine paper. The paper that was on display in the museum were clearly works of art. An 18” square of Imadate paper hung on a wall in a home would be one of the most beautiful pieces of art on display. It really is that beautiful! Later that day, after complete strangers who could not communicate in English, (I could not communicate in Japanese) made a hand drawn map for me to get to my original destination. That evening as the sun was setting, I would discover the Japan Sea, and finally stand on the cliffs of Tojinbo. I also discovered Oshima Island, and stayed there late in the evening sitting on a grassy cliff, that looked toward Korea. I would later hear these words shrieked at me as I told a young Japanese woman of my adventure. “Manifest ghosts!” Meaning, so many people have committed suicide at Tojinbo, with many of the bodies floating on the currents to the shores of Oshima, that locals will not go there.

Most of my discoveries in Japan were made through error, and getting lost while navigating along roads that often had signs that I could not understand. This would lead to venturing into the unknown, and discovering many locations unknown to foreigners. I’d often leave home with no plans, and intentionally get lost, taking odd turns off of main roads, and heading into unchartered territory, where country folk lived, and where I’m sure I was the first foreigner to go. I would end up doing this on the following day after returning to Yonezawa from Yamadera.

Yamadera Mountaintop Temple.

Tall pines, and cedar cover the path up to the top of Yamadera. A children’s shrine that is located there, and the fact that the temple is located at the top of the mountains that overlook the town below inspired me to write a short story titled, The Crazy Woman, And The Fiery Snow. This is a story about a woman whose young son passed away, and thereafter she went to the top of Yamadera, prostrated herself in prayer, and refused to leave until her son was returned to her. It was the little red, and white amulets that were most inspiring, as each one of the hundreds that were placed around a shrine, along with pinwheels, were placed there by grieving parents who lost a child in some kind of accident, mishap, or disease. These iconic trinkets are said to help protect the children from any dangers they might face in the hereafter. To see all those little statuettes in the hundreds together is quite an emotional experience.

As I headed down from the top of the mountains it was already dark. I walked through the town, took a few pictures as the lights inside homes that sat atop shops that existed on the ground floor began to flicker on. I found my son, wife, and her sister in the car, and waiting for me. Japanese women are nothing like western woman. An American woman would have either left me there, or began shouting hysterically upon my return. The, “nothing was amiss” routine is often worse than a shouting match. I gave my wife the answer to her question she had posed at the foot of the temple steps.

It was time to head back to Yonezawa, where another fine meal was already waiting to be served to yours truly, and the rest of the family. The meal, in part consisted of home cooked udon noodles. Often, home cooked food is far superior to restaurant food. Of all the noodles out there, ramen, soba, pasta, whatever… udon is my least favorite. But, on that evening, they were the best damn noodles I’ve ever eaten.

On the next afternoon, we, that is, my wife, son, and I, drove into the mountains that surround Yonezawa. I would learn the Yonezawa Mountains are called Tengendai Highlands. I had been looking up at those mountains for several years, whenever I was in that region of the country, and had yet to trek into them. I wanted to get a feel of the place that my wife grew up in, but I was surprised to learn that she hadn’t spent much time in that region of her hometown, even though she rode her bicycle to high school in that very same direction five days a week for three years. She vaguely recalled visiting the Mizukubo Dam, when she was in elementary school, and hadn’t even thought about it, until we stumbled upon it that evening, and or course, by accident. This amazing place was a mere fifteen-minute drive from the home where my wife grew up in. It was so incredibly beautiful in the low lying hills that I had already decided to take another drive into the Tengendai Highlands on the following day. On the other side of those mountains lies the infamous Fukushima Prefecture.

The Tengendai Highlands Of Yonezawa

On the next day we drove back into the Tengendai Highlands, and took a cable car to the top of the mountains located on the Yonezawa side. It turned out this was a ski resort. When we reached the top, there was a stroller waiting for our son. When I tried to remove him from it after we reached our first destination, he put up a fit. Apparently, he really enjoyed being in “his” new contraption. Once out, and distracted with whatever I could think of at the moment, he became interested in playing with the rocks that were laid out on the trail to where we had decided to eat lunch. That location gave us a near 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. The boy cared little for the view. It was rocks, rocks and more rocks for all that he cared.

At the top of Tengendai Highlands I could see the huge mountains that bordered Yamagata, and Fukushima Prefecture. I’ve done a lot of writing about Fukushima, and an industry that stigmatized that region of Japan. I had attended antinuclear rallies, reported on them, and even went inside the exclusion zone shortly after the 3.11.11. triple disaster, and photographed it extensively. I entered evacuated communities, and saw wild animals that had once been domesticated, now wandering the streets, with some living in abandoned homes. I stumbled upon a horse that the owners had abandoned in a corral, and was starving to death. I tried to release it, but I was not able to break the locks, or tear down the metal posts that trapped the animal. All I could do was gather as much grass as I could, and put it inside the corral. I photographed that horse, and felt terrible as I departed, knowing that I had probably just fed that animal its last meal.

I had first discovered the beauty of the Fukushima coastline when I entered the exclusion zone along the cost in the evacuated town of Minami Soma. The ocean was as clear as any that I’ve seen in the Bahamas, Mexico, Hawaii, or Greece. One of the most beautiful women that I’ve ever met was from Fukushima. Today, the city, and its people are treated like lepers were treated a couple thousand years ago, or as HIV carriers were treated in the early 80s. The inhabitants of the city are marginalized, and have become the brunt of jokes that aren’t funny at all. Even today, Tepco’s website continues to blame the tsunami as the reason the reactors they were responsible for maintaining failed, but the truth is the original engineers quit the project during the initial stage of construction because they were entirely aware the facilities design was flawed, that there was no way the facility could withstand a tsunami, and that their concerns were entirely ignored by those that stood to reap huge profits, and the politicians they controlled refused to stand up, and do anything about it. A larger than life disaster was inevitable. It was only a matter of time. That time came on 3.11.11. when the warnings that went unheeded finally became a reality.

Until that day at the top of Tengendai Highlands, I had no idea that the Fukushima Mountains rivaled Japan’s other national treasures such as Nikko National Park, which I wrote about in an article for Tokyo Weekender magazine. In fact, a great portion of Fukushima is a national park, and treasure.

The Fukushima Unknown To The West

The temperature gauge read between 12 and 13 degrees Celsius. But, the sun, and the dry air made it feel quite a bit warmer. Only a few people were skiing at the nearby resort, and most likely enjoying the fact that they had the slopes all to themselves. It was while eating ice cream, which my son was force feeding me, that I decided to drive to Aizu, and to try and get a glimpse of Lake Inawashiro Ko, which sat in the valley on the Fukushima side of the great divide. At the time I had no idea that we’d discover some of the most breathtaking scenery in Japan, including waterfalls, such as the one called, Fudo-Taki. We would also see a lot of snow monkeys, which I managed to get near for a few good shots. One of the larger ones became a bit aggressive, as I got too close for comfort. I had made the mistake of looking it directly in the eyes, and had forgotten that they consider that an invitation to a confrontation. I was a lot closer to the monkey at that moment than the car, and I knew that if it attacked me that it would tear me apart, and surely bite me numerous times. I thought that my wife, and son, who were in the car, would witness this as well. I quickly decided to return to the vehicle with the shots I had gotten, and with my body still in one piece.

The weather was fantastic! It was dry, and cool, but the mountains were still covered in snow. Regardless, fresh, bright green summer leaves were already sprouting. Oddly, they were turning, like it was autumn. It felt more like winter was coming, instead of the dreaded parched, and steamy summers that I long ago left Miami to get away from, and unfortunately rediscovered in Japan.

Inawashiro-Ko is located in Bandai-Asahi National Park in Fukushima. It’s the fourth largest lake in Japan. It also goes by the name Tenkyo-Ko, or heaven’s mirror. The world-renowned doctor, Hideyo Noguchi was born in Inawashiro. He became famous for his research in yellow fever, earning him a portrait depiction on Japan’s 1,000 ¥ note. His parent’s home has been preserved as the Noguchi Hideyo Memorial. In the same general area are the Aizu Folklore Museum, Sekai-No-Garasu-Kan (World’s Glass Hall), and the Inawashiro Jibiru-Kan (locally brewed beer hall), where one can drink beer brewed from the underground spring waters of Mt. Bandai-san. Fortunately, I would discover that this area remained relatively unscathed by the nuclear debacle that took place more than four years ago.

Bandai-Asahi National Park is a short trek from the Tengendai Highlands.

At the foot of Mt. Bandai-san, along the Inawashiro lakeside is a group of hot springs, including Tenkyo-Dai, Omote-Bandai, Ottate, and Bandai Inawashiro-Hayama. During winter downhill skiing takes place from Mt. Bandai to Lake Inawashiro. I saw cyclists speeding along on the lengthy downhill ride from Aizu to the foothills of Yonezawa. When I saw them fly by, I was taken back to memories of riding my bike down Estes Park Mountains in Colorado, where my sister had once been a park ranger. An aside here, she lost that job because she refused to wear a gun strapped to her waist, which was not required at the time she had original obtained that position.

The photos that I took of the Fukushima side of the mountains cannot adequately express the natural beauty of the area, as the lighting, and colors changed nearly by the second. It was cloudy one moment, and then suddenly the sun would shine, way too bright. The visual imagery would go from flat, and one-dimensional, to sudden multiple layers of contrast, and shadows. It was quite pleasing to watch the sunlight hit the landscape, and move rapidly along in that manner. The camera however could not accurately record the greens, and oranges of the leaves that I was witnessing. The colors were so bright in most of the photos, that they appeared to be oversaturated, or even distorted. I had to go into Photoshop, and remove saturation in the pictures that were salvaged, and that I am sharing in the link provided above.

We didn’t have enough time left in the day to venture to Lake Inawashiro-Ko. The gate at the entrance of the park closed at 5:00 p.m. I thought this was as stupid as closing Yamadera at the most beautiful time of day. Any amateur photographer knows that the magical hour of photography is early morning, and just as the sun is setting. Who are these men that draw lines in the sand, and say other men, generally those with more skills, or knowledge may not cross? My wife was keeping close watch on the clock, and reminded me that it was 3:50 p.m. I exited the car for the last time for some final shots of Inawashiro, the valley walls, and the surrounding mountains. I must have looked like the boy in the story, The Five Chinese Brothers, who refused to return to the shore, as he kept scooping up the hidden treasures that he found. I kept moving from position to position trying to find the best shot of the lake that sat far below. Even worse was that fact that yet another bend laid ahead in the road. It would become one of those obstacles in life that I had to begrudgingly deny. If I was alone, I would have gone on, and remained in the park for the night, sleeping on the shores of the beach, and arising to get photos of another phenomenon that Tenjin Beach is known for. I would have also gone to the brewery, and drank a few beers, and been asleep by 8:00 p.m., and up by 4:00 a.m.

On August 18th, 1925, Tenjin Beach was the site of the first Boy Scouts of Japan camping trip. Members of the Imperial Family, attended including Prince Hirohito. He’s the demon responsible for the deaths of 30 million, mostly civilians during the world’s worst war, which the “victors” celebrated this past week. Hirohito’s cousin Prince Chichibu also attended that event. He would be responsible for numerous raids that pilfered, the arts, treasures, precious metals, and riches of the nations that surrounded Japan, including China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. None of that wealth was ever returned.

In winter, strong winds, and waves form natural ice sculptures on the shoreline vegetation at Tenjin Beach, attracting photographers from around the globe. Kobirakata Shrine, located at Tenjin is dedicated to Sugawara No Michizane for philosophic thought. In mid-winter, Shibuki-Gori, (frozen mist), the phenomenon I spoke of earlier, hovers low along the shores of Inawashiro. The lake water is blown to the shore by strong winds that end up sticking to twigs, and foliage, where thereafter it becomes frozen, forming natural works of art. It enhances the scenic beauty of the lake, and in the not so distant past, mystified the region. The Shibuki-Gori appearance, and size changes by the day, just as the clouds, and sun duke it out for prominence overhead. If one ventures to this location at the right time of year, they may also experience the Omiwatari, which is ice that cracks as it rises on the beaches, and frozen lake surface. For me, that would have to be another jaunt into this previously unchartered territory, as it’s no longer winter, although it seems its quickly approaching. Or is the weather playing tricks on me again?

Is this magical location the dreaded Fukushima that nobody talks about any longer? Is this the place where cancer rates in children have risen 6000% since March of 2011? Is this the large swath of land, called a national treasure that’s become a wasteland? Or is this the paradise that it appears to be; a place where monkeys, and bears roam freely, where waterfalls endlessly run downstream providing water to numerous towns? Is there where stunning terrain, and beautiful, but strange sounding birds abound? Or is it more aptly, a paradise lost? I think the aesthetics of this place speaks volumes. I think that the real losers here are the human kind that care little for what has been given to them, as overseers, or self appointed protectors, who continue to remain negligent in their duties. I think the Fukushima Mountains, Aizu, and Inawashiro are places that are a testament to human folly, and a damning indictment of our inability to accept our role as administrators of this planet. Locations such as the forests that surround Chernobyl, the abandoned communities that once thrived there, Fukushima, and the residents who remain, having to endure constant testing for radiation exposure, and an uncertain future for their children, are mere drops in the bucket of the calamity that awaits us if we don’t pause, reflect, and rewrite the rules for this thing we call civilization.

One of many Omoshiro Yama Kogen waterfalls that cascades into the Yamadera River.

Click here to view the entire photo gallery with detailed descriptions.

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Japan, Child Abduction, The Hague And Sanctions

The above image was provided by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Note: The first image shows a xenophobic Japanese child surrounded by foreign children all with big noses. The image below it shows a foreign man being arrested for committing a crime against a child. The middle image shows a Japanese woman in financial ruin because she married a foreigner, and is unable to provide for her daughter. The top right image shows a foreign male abducting his daughter, with the Japanese mother pleading for her return. The image below that shows a foreign male beating a defenseless child, taken from her mother who remains in Japan. This despicably racist propaganda was designed to aid the Japanese in understanding the implications of Japan ratifying The Hague Convention on Child Abduction. This twisted message exposes the depths of depravity Japanese officials are known for, and the irrational message they desire to portray to their own citizens. In reality, it’s the Japanese that abuse, and abduct children, more than just about any other nation.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi married Kayoko Miyamoto in 1978. The following year the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on International Child Abduction had its first hearing. Japan was one of the nations of main concern during that hearing. Koizumi’s marriage would end four years later in divorce. However, prior to the termination of the failed marriage, the couple had two sons, Kotaro, and Shinjiro.

It’s often said that in Japan custody of the children always go to the mother. The father almost always voluntarily cut ties with his children, and forever. While those in the west would find this arrangement appalling, Japan continues to pretend that this is perfectly acceptable conduct. In the case of Koizumi, his families political connections, along with Japan’s notoriously corrupt judiciary awarded sole custody of both sons to him, allowing his ex-wife sole custody of the six month, unborn fetus that she was carrying at the time of the marriage dissolution. Yoshinaga Miyamoto was born three months later. He became the third son of man who would be prime minister, and to this day has yet to meet his father, who has never acknowledged him. The divorce terms forbade contact between the mother, and her one, and four-year-old children who in reality were abducted from her by Koizumi. Neither of her abducted sons have ever met with their mother again, even though they live less than an hour away from one another. In an article for the L.A. Times Miyamato said, “I’ve been hoping to be reunited with my sons for nineteen years. All I can do is wait.” It’s been thirteen years since that story was published in 2002. The following is a link to that article: http://articles.latimes.com/2001/oct/02/news/mn-52341.

When Yoshinaga was newly born, Koizumi failed in a planned abduction attempt of his third son. When he was pressed on the issue Koizumi responded with speech characteristic of political jargon, stating, “It’s a matter of privacy, I’d like to refrain from commenting. However, I thank the Japanese public for entrusting the important duty of prime minister to a divorced politician. I feel a change flowing in Japanese society.” Change occurred indeed. Across Japan the rate of divorce skyrocketed. So did the rate of child abductions.

Kotaro, and Shinjiro are now both adults. One is an aspiring politician; the other is a talentless pop star. Although Yoshinaga has never met his famous father, he somehow admires the man, and continues to hope that one day he would be able to meet him. For Kayoko, seeing her abducted son plastered on billboards, advertisements, and performing on TV shows is too much for her to endure. Yoshinaga became a fixture on morning talk shows with his repeated pleas to meet with his father entirely ignored. Silence! That’s how Japan deals with the myriad of social injustices, and morally reprehensible conduct that continues to plague the nation.

The former prime minister is a man who intentionally, and irresponsibly shirked his duty to raise a son, who loved him unconditionally. Regardless, during Koizumi’s televised campaign for the prime minister’s seat, Yoshinaga, who was a young boy at the time, would be heard by his mother shouting, “Come on, Pop, win this one!” Sadly, those shouts would be absorbed by the wind!


One thing Koizumi, and Jong-il have in common is that they’re both child abductors.

After Koizumi won the office of prime minister, on September 17th, 2002, he visited North Korea to meet with Kim Jong-il to address the issue of Japan’s claim that North Korean agents had abducted hundreds of Japanese citizens, to train spies so they could communicate in Japanese, and to understand the culture. Unlike Koizumi, and every prime minister that would follow in his footsteps, North Korea would admit culpability to a handful of abductions, apologize, and return five victims. Japan, on the other hand has never acknowledged any of the thousands of kidnappings its responsible for, and has yet to return any of the known victims that have been abducted from nearly every nation on the face of the planet. In the U.S. alone, and ever since congress began holding hearings on child abductions, those kidnappings amount to more than four thousand.

A celebrated history of child abduction

Japan’s first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu whose descendants ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration, was a victim of numerous abductions. Ieyasu was the son of Matsudaira Hirotada, the daimyo of Mikawa of the Matsudaira clan, and Odai-no-kata, the daughter of a neighboring samurai lord, Mizuno Tadamasa. The majority of Ieyasu’s family had ties with the Imagawa clan. Family feuding over regional pacts resulted in the murder of Ieyasu’s paternal grandfather. Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, and grandson of Ieyasu ruled from 1623 until 1651. Iemitsu was responsible for shutting off relations between Japan, and the rest of the world for two centuries. In the process, Iemitsu destroyed thousands of families, separating fathers, and mothers from their children by not allowing Japanese citizens who were overseas to return home, under the threat of execution. This decree commonly called the Sakoku Policy did not only affect Japanese families, foreigners caught up in the irrational decree were also forbidden to leave Japan, thereby affectively cutting them off from reunification with their wives, and children as well.

The abductions of Ieyasu

In 1548, when the Oda clan invaded Mikawa, Hirotada, Ieyasu’s father turned to Imagawa Yoshimoto, the head of the Imagawa clan for help to repel the invading forces. Yoshimoto agreed to help under the condition that Hirotada sent Ieyasu to Senpu, where he would be held as a hostage to assure Ieyasu’s father remained loyal to Imagawa. Hirotada agreed to this unconscionable term. Oda Nobuhide, the leader of the Oda clan learned of this arrangement, and had Ieyasu abducted while he was en route to Sunpu. Ieyasu was merely six years old at the time. Nobuhide threatened to execute the child unless his father severed all ties with the Imagawa clan. Hirotada replied that sacrificing his son’s life showed his determination to remain loyal to the Imagawa clan. Despite Hirotada’s refusal, Nobuhide chose not to murder Ieyasu, but instead held him hostage for the next three years at the Manshoji Temple in Nagoya. Ieyasu would never be reunited with his father, or mother ever again.

By 1549, when Ieyasu was seven years old, his father died of natural causes. At about that same time, Oda Nobuhide died during an epidemic outbreak. The death of Nobuhide weakened the Oda clan. Imagawa Sessai sent an army to lay siege on the castle where Nobuhide’s first son now ruled. With the castle about to fall, Sessai offered a deal to Nobuhide’s second son, Nobunaga. He promised to end the siege if Ieyasu was handed over to the Imagawa clan. Nobunaga agreed. Ieyasu was once again abducted, and taken to Sunpu, his original abduction destination. There the boy was held hostage until the age of fifteen when his abductor passed away.

I had a chance to visit Ieyasu’s remains, which are housed in a lavish shrine in Tochigi Prefecture. I had gone to Tochigi to write an article for Tokyo Weekender on Nikko’s National Park in autumn. The following is a link to that article: http://tokyoweekender.com/2012/11/nikko-in-autumn. I shrugged off taking the time out of my schedule to visit Ieyasu’s final resting place. I was not interested in visiting the grave of man who through fraud had faked his own royal lineage to persuade Kyoto’s religious leaders to sanction his appointment to shogunate.

Today, Ieyasu is celebrated as the man who ended Japan’s Warring State Era. In reality, Ieyasu, and his offspring were mass murderers; sociopaths responsible for the destruction, and pillage of an entire nation, as well as the continued policy of abducting children to ensure the Tokugawa’s remained in power. Ieyasu was also responsible for the mass beheadings of those who sought refuge in Osaka Castle when he took siege against a child he had sworn an oath to protect. The Tokugawa’s were also responsible for the genocide of Christians who joined forces with peasant farmers known as the Shimabara Uprising. Both Christians, and peasants were executed en masse because they refused to bow to the Tokugawa’s as deities, and refused to pay excessive taxes, that in reality were causing the peasants, and their children to starve to death.

No doubt Ieyasu’s childhood trauma played a significant role in his inability to understand the importance of family relations, and his vow to protect an innocent child that was incapable of protecting itself. Ieyasu would write the Buddha’s name ten thousand times in an attempt to absolve himself of the lack of integrity that was a clear part of his character. He could have written the Buddha’s name a million times, it wouldn’t change the fact that he was a liar, and a murderer of children who were incapable of defending themselves. Ieyasu’s lack of integrity remains an inherent aspect of the Japanese mindset, as Japan continues to dishonor international treaties the nation has ratified, including The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Regarding the folklore, and myth known as the Japanese honor code, made famous in books, poetry, and movies, it holds no real position in factual history. There simply is nothing honorable when it comes to the nation’s refusal to address the myriad of child abductions that continue to stain the nation’s xenophobic reputation. Unfortunately, that lack of integrity, and the lack of honor is the true “way” of the Japanese, where the samurai, or “warrior” code has long been exposed as for what it really is, a fallacy.


A painting of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japan’s first shogunate, and victim of multiple abductions as a child.

Japan’s irrational ideology on child abduction

U.S. congressional committees on international child abduction have been going on since 1979. With Japan being one of the most egregious violators in bilateral relations regarding this subject matter. H.R. 3212 was passed into law in the U.S. to ensure nations complied with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction by countries with which the U.S. enjoys reciprocal obligations to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries, and to impose stiff sanctions on nations that do not comply with this law. Japan signed this agreement in April of 2014, and is subject to sanctions as a result of being in violation of these terms.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ) spent five years fighting for the passage of a law known as The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2014. Smith stated, “Many children, and parents have tragically lost years separated from each other in violation of U.S., and international law,” He added, “They have missed birthdays, holidays, and family time that they can never get back. H.R. 3212 ensures that they will now receive significant help from the U.S. government in their fights to recover their children. Every day a child is separated from his or her rightful parent, and home in the United States brings immense suffering to both parent, and child. The Goldman Act is designed to right the terrible wrong of international child abduction, and heal enormous pain, and suffering, and bring abducted children home.”

More than one thousand international child abductions are reported to the State Department’s Office on Children’s Issues each year. Between 2008, and 2013, at least 8,000 American children were abducted, according to the State Department. Earlier this year, the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children reported that there have been at least 168 international child abductions from New Jersey alone since 1995.

In a March 2015 hearing on Capitol Hill, Congressman Smith stated that, “Japan is breathtakingly unresponsive on U.S. child abductions.” He called for immediate sanctions. Smith stated that unless sanctions are imposed, which are the consequences of The Goldman Act, for non-compliance, the law would be toothless. Smith called on Tokyo to comply with its international obligations.

Despite Japan ratifying the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, it has yet to comply with any aspects of the treaty regarding the return of the more than four hundred known U.S. cases of child abduction. The accord requires the Japanese government to set up processes for legal appeals from foreign parents seeking either visitation or the return of their children to the country where those children were abducted. Ironically, Japan has used the treaty to have five children returned to Japan, yet continues to fail to acknowledge parental rights abroad, even where abductors have been placed on Interpol, and the FBI’s Most Wanted List. This double standard is repugnant, and harmful to international relations, and national security. Further, Japan has received sixty-seven requests for the return of abducted children since ratifying The Hague terms, from the U.S. alone, and has yet to take any action. As of this writing, the FBI Most Wanted List include Japanese child abductors, Ryoko Uchiyama, and Reiko Nakata Greenberg-Collins both have international warrants out for their arrests.

There are currently more than four hundred known cases of children kidnapped to Japan since 1994 from the U.S., a number Smith called “unconscionable.” What is equally unconscionable is during that same hearing on Capitol Hill, Representative Smith requested the actual number of children returned from Japan to the U.S. Susan Jacobs, the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues at the State Department responded by saying, that she didn’t know representative Smith was going to “ask for numbers.” Smith ridiculed Jacobs for not having that information readily available. The truth is that Jacobs knew exactly what those numbers were. None! No child has been returned to the U.S., which proves that Jacobs is entirely inept in handling the responsibilities of the position that she holds, and should be removed from office for gross incompetence, and for failing to take adequate steps to address this with Japanese officials. Ridiculously, Jacobs would also state, “I talked to Ambassador Kennedy yesterday, and she is energized and she is ready to launch.” Kennedy has been the Ambassador to Japan since November 2013. Did it really take this long to get energized on one of the major topics of friction between U.S., and Japanese relations? Jacob’s empty rhetoric has been going on for several years now. Smith was obviously frustrated at Jacob’s inability to understand the gravity of the situation. Jacobs would then tell Smith that she “shared his frustration”, and was planning to visit Japan in June, where she, and Ambassador Kennedy would discuss the annual report with Japanese officials.

In 2013, Representative Cardin (Maryland), of the Foreign Relations Committee spoke to Kennedy on the topic of child kidnapping, and Japan, and the four hundred pending cases of American abductions. Mr. Cardin asked Kennedy if she would use her office to help resolve those open cases. Kennedy stated, “As a parent I certainly understand the emotional aspect of this issue,” and “That everyone at the State Department is really committed to making that happen, and to bring these issues forward, and resolve these cases.” This comment was made nearly two years ago, yet Kennedy has not taken any steps in dealing with this matter. Kennedy did Tweet regarding other inhumane conduct the Japanese engage in, and which is internationally condemned, the Taiji dolphin slaughter.

Cases of child abductions prior to April 2014 fall outside of the scope of The Hague Agreement on child abductions, which Smith blasted as outrageous. Parents in those situations may still apply to Japan for visitation rights, but almost no parent has ever received such rights, and when they do, they are treated as if they are an imprisoned felon, with police, lawyers, Japanese officials, and the other bawling, and objecting parent in a separate adjacent room doing their best to interrupt the reunion, while all view the short visitation through one-way glass. Children who haven’t seen their non-abducting parent in several months, to several years, and probably have been brainwashed with horror stories, and may no longer be unable to communicate in their native tongue, no doubt would cry due to the high level of stress associated with the circumstance. If they appear detached, Japanese officials take that as a sign that the child wants nothing to do with the non-abducting parent. Anyone that has obtained even basic child psychology knowledge would immediately recognize that a child who had been separated from their parent for such a long time, needed an adequate adjustment period, and most likely psychological counseling as well. Thirty minutes or so just doesn’t equate as an adequate parent-child reunion.

Is the State Department assisting parents in the return of their abducted child?

Unfortunately, history has taught us that if anyone wants to get something accomplished, they have to take matters into their own hands. The recent action of the State Department proves that if the U.S. government is not willing to assist citizens whose lives are in peril in Yemen, they certainly aren’t going to aid someone to get their abducted child back, despite laws that are written regarding the scope, and degree of the State Department’s duties in such matters. U.S. citizens stranded in Yemen had to resort to filing a lawsuit against the Department of State for abandoning them. Meanwhile, other countries including, China, Russia, and India, have conducted large-scale evacuations, including aiding in evacuating numerous U.S. citizens.

On August 24th, 2011, 14 year-old Mary Lake, a U.S. citizen, who was kidnapped by her mother, and taken to Japan in 2005, in one of the most high-profile international kidnapping cases in U.S. history, walked into the U.S. consulate in Osaka, and asked to be rescued, after being held captive in Japan for six years. Indifferent, and incompetent consular staff refused to aid in the child’s rescue, and instead sent her back to her kidnapper. Mary’s father, William Lake, would later be informed of his daughter’s attempted rescue by caseworker Virginia Vause from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues. Lake would learn that the consular office attempted to make only one call to him at his residence. They didn’t leave a voice message, nor did they contact him on his cell phone, or send an email. When Lake brought up the issue of why his daughter was turned away, he was told that the consulate would not assist in his daughter’s escape because they needed to have his written authorization to take her into custody. Furthermore, if his daughter were taken into custody the consulate would have to assign a staff member to stay with her until she was returned to the U.S., an inconvenience that the State Department refused to accept. They also required an agreement in advance for Lake to repay any airfare costs. This was the third episode of gross negligence on the part of the Department of State toward Lake, and his daughter. Twice previously they illegally issued passports for his daughter without obtaining his required signature, even after it had been established that her father was the lawful parent, and the mother was wanted for kidnapping. Generally, all cases involve at least one parent who is Japanese. In Lake’s case, neither the victims, nor the abducting mother are Japanese. It’s should be harshly apparent when it comes to the crime of child abduction that the Department of State clearly values the relations with foreign nations over the safety, well-being, and lives of U.S. citizens being held captive in Japan.

Jeffrey Morehouse has spoken on Capitol Hill numerous times regarding child abduction. He was granted sole custody of his son in 2007 due to his former wife’s alcohol abuse, psychological issues, violence, and because she was a flight risk. Restraining orders against the mother traveling with their son were in place when she fraudulently obtained a passport from the Japanese consulate in Portland, after being turned away in Seattle. U.S. consular officials have refused numerous requests to pursue prosecution, and adamantly refuse to aid in the return of Morehouse’s son based on his former spouse’s violation of both Japanese, and U.S. laws regarding child abduction. Since Morehouse’s son was abducted, all communication ceased between them. The boy’s whereabouts, mental, and physical condition remain unknown. In March 2014 Morehouse was granted sole custody by a Japanese court. Yet, he still has no contact with his son, and has no knowledge as to where he is being held. Morehouse operates an organization called BACHome: Bring Abducted Children Home. In the following link, Morehouse testifies before a congressional hearing that took place in March of 2015, regarding child abduction, Japan’s ratification of The Hague Convention on Child Abduction, The Goldman Act, the facts regarding the disappearance of his son, as well as the imposition of sanctions on Japan: https://youtube.com/watch?v=4eHITnrRMFA.

On March 11th, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 125 by a vote of 418-0, condemning Japan for its actions on International Child Abduction. This congressional resolution described Japan as “a United States ally which does not recognize intra-familial child abduction as a crime, and though its family laws do not discriminate by nationality, Japanese courts give no recognition to the parental rights of the non-Japanese parent, fail to enforce U.S. court orders relating to child custody or visitation, and place no effective obligation on the Japanese parent to allow parental visits for their child.”

On May 21st, 2009, the U.S., the UK, France, and Canada released a joint press statement condemning Japan for it’s inaction regarding international child abduction, and called on Japan to sign the Hague Convention. These four nations acting with one voice stated, “left-behind parents of children abducted to or from Japan have little realistic hope of having their children returned, and encounter great difficulties in obtaining access to their children, and exercising their parental rights, and responsibilities.” These countries urged Japan “to identify, and implement measures to enable parents who are separated from their children to maintain contact with them, and to visit them,” and described the “failure to develop tangible solutions to most cases of parental child abduction in Japan particularly troubling.”

On July 13th 2003, Erika Toland was abducted from her home at Negishi Navy Family Housing in Yokohama, Japan. Her mother, the abductor, Etsuko Toland, subsequently died of suicide on October 31st, 2007. Since the death of the child’s mother, her maternal grandmother, Akiko Futagi, has refused Erika any contact with her father. The child’s father is, Commander Paul Toland, a highly decorated U.S. Naval officer. Since his daughter’s abduction he has been trying to see Erika, to no avail. On June 25th, 2009, Congressman Chris Smith discussed Erika’s case on the floor of the House of Representatives. He stated, “The international movement of our service members make them especially vulnerable to the risks of international child abduction. Attorneys familiar with this phenomenon estimate that there are approximately 25 to 30 new cases of international child abductions affecting U.S. service members every year.”

More than a decade later, Erika remains held as a hostage from her father, as government officials tasked with the duty to address these issues remain staggeringly indifferent. Toland has spent his life savings trying to have his daughter returned to him. His Japanese attorney told him via email, “Please understand that your case is not a piece of cake due to the racism, and irrationality of the Japanese legal system. It might be like defending the Taliban in the U.S.” Toland said while speaking at a congressional hearing, “I flew to Japan, and waited on a street corner to greet Erika on her way home from school, because this is the only contact with dignity that is possible. I knew that if I had tried to take Erika to the embassy, and attempted to get a passport, I would likely meet the same fate as Christopher Savoie, when he attempted to retrieve his children from Japan. I would likely be blocked at the gates of the embassy by a state department that was more interested in preserving a relationship with Japan, over the welfare of U.S. citizens. I’d likely end up in a Japanese jail, as Christopher Savoie did.

In the following link, Navy Commander Toland testifies before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C. on December 2nd, 2009: https://youtube.com/watch?t=23&v=f9lfTWFX0f8.

The Department of State and Japan’s nuclear debacle

After the third nuclear explosion at the Daiichi Nuclear Facility in Namie, Fukushima, the U.S. consulate finally made the determination that American citizens were in peril. If U.S. citizens wanted to leave the country, they could board planes that were available at Narita airport. At the time I was appearing on MSNBC with Brian Williams, and my photography, and videography was appearing in several media outlets. I contacted the U.S. Embassy, and inquired into the conditions for U.S. citizens to board one of those planes. I stated that April was the beginning of the work year in Japan, and there were thousands of new teachers stranded, and probably unable to pay for flights back home, as they had just arrived, and most likely were recent university graduates. The embassy staff told me that if citizens were unable to pay for the flight back to the U.S., their passports would be confiscated, and unless they paid the State Department back the airfare, plus interest, they would never be allowed to leave the U.S. again. I was shocked, and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The entire nation was shut down including all forms of transportation, store shelves were empty, and Tokyo’s water spiked with high level of radiation contamination. It was finally disclosed that Daiichi was using MOX Fuel, and high levels of plutonium were released into the atmosphere, as Japanese officials played the silence game, telling everyone to remain calm, and that there was “no immediate threat to life.” Professor Koide from Kyoto University, a nuclear physicist, and long time adversary of the reckless, and grossly negligent energy company, TEPCO stated that the plutonium alone released from those three explosions were the equivalent to 200,000 Hiroshima bombs. I had a friend who had direct contact with Nancy Pelosi. I informed them what was happening, and they immediately notified her as to what the embassy was scheming in Tokyo. The next morning it was one of the top news story that Pelosi had gotten planes on Narita’s tarmac, and they were available for free to any U.S. citizen who wanted to leave the country. The threat of passport confiscation ended, as well as turning U.S. citizens into homeland prisoners due to no fault of their own.

The Department of State’s complicity in kidnapping children

Julian Assange’s trouble began when WikiLeaks released thousands of classified documents that exposed not only U.S. war crimes that were occurring in Iraq, but also diplomatic communications that were taking place at the State Department. I took an interest in the topic as most Americans did. The government’s position was that the release of those documents “placed American overseas in imminent danger.” Some of those documents I read exposed communications between U.S., and foreign diplomats, exposing U.S. involvement in the abduction of third world children, and turning them over to foreign diplomats, who were pedophiles, so those children could be used as sex slaves. In exchange for those “favors”, the foreign diplomats engaged in “international cooperation”, and assisted those U.S. officials who worked for the State Department in business transactions they would benefit from. None of those diplomats have ever been brought to trial, as they enjoy immunity from prosecution. Yet, Assange who exposed these outrageous crimes remains on self-imposed lockdown in the Ecuadorian Embassy of London, which is monitored around the clock by U.S., and UK government agents. Private Manning who turned over those documents to WikiLeaks was convicted for violating the Espionage Act, and sentenced to thirty five years imprisonment, forfeiture of all pay, and dishonorably discharged. Ironically, Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen, and who was guilty of nothing more than what the mass media often does, did exactly what the corporate media would have done with that information if it had been turned over to them, which was to publicly expose that very same information, except they would have profited nicely from it, and continued to enjoy their freedoms. American officials, and media hacks continue to call for Assange to be extradited for “aiding the enemy”, and for “treason”, a crime that is exclusively reserved for citizens of that country, which Assange isn’t.

Prejudicial double standards

Parental child abduction is not a crime when Japanese nationals do it, yet when foreigners attempt to have contact with their children it’s handled as a felony

Chris Savoie, who had custody of his two minor children left them with his former spouse Noriko for visitation purposes. That was the last time he would see them in the U.S. Noriko defied a Tennessee state court order, which barred her from leaving the state, and ordered her to turn over her passport to officials. This order occurred after Savoie received an email from her, which read, “It’s very hard to remain here watching my children lose their Japanese identity.” Savoie filed a restraining order. He subsequently contacted his former father in law, who told him the children were in Japan. Savoie’s only hope to ever see his children again was to go to Japan, and try to get them back in the same manner his former spouse had taken them. As his children were walking to school he placed them in his car, and drove off to the U.S. Embassy. The media would say that the Japanese police arrested Savoie as he was about to enter the American consulate. But, the true facts are the U.S. Embassy officials turned Savoie over to the Japanese police, who treated the case as a kidnapping. Savoie struggled with Japanese police, who literally ripped the terrified, and screaming children from his arms. Savoie was handcuffed in front of his children, and taken into custody at one of Japan’s notorious Daiyo Kangoku detention centers where the use of torture, and coerced confessions are daily matters with corrupt police, prosecutors, and a judiciary that sanctions all of it. Savoie was charged with abduction of a minor, and faced five years in prison for merely attempting to enforce a U.S. custody order. Savoie’s story was the last one that made international headlines regarding Japan, and child abduction. International, legal, and media pressure forced the prosecutors to release Savoie who returned home, and filed a false imprisonment action against his former wife. Savoie was awarded a 6.1M verdict. He said the money was a hollow victory. “Anything about this just reopens a lot of wounds. It’s bittersweet.” Savoie said he hasn’t been allowed to speak to his children in more than a year. That was back in 2011. “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.”

The return of an abducted child to the U.S.

No thanks to any intervention on the part of the State Department, Caroline Kennedy, or Susan Jacobs, one Japanese abductor got a taste of American style justice.

Emiko Inoue being led into court where she faced 25 years for child abduction.

Emiko Inoue thought she was clever when she abducted Moises Garcia’s daughter Katrina to Japan. After three years, and only one visit with his daughter in Japan, Garcia caught a break. His ex-wife flew from Japan to Hawaii to renew her U.S. green card. Inoue was unaware that her U.S. immigration file had been flagged because of a Wisconsin arrest warrant issued a few months earlier. Inoue was arrested, and extradited to Milwaukee, a city she once called home, where Karina was born, and where she, and Garcia were married. Milwaukee prosecutors ordered Inoue to return Garcia’s daughter to the U.S. within 30 days, or risk spending the next twenty-five years in prison. After eight months in prison she plead no-contest to felony child custody interference by a parent for fleeing America with Garcia’s daughter. Karina, was six at the time, and Inoue’s decision to circumvent U.S. family court set in motion an unprecedented criminal case, making her the first Japanese citizen to be arrested in the U.S. for child custody interference. It’s a felony in most states, but not considered a crime in Japan, unless the parent happens to be non-Japanese. Garcia gained full custody of Karina shortly after Inoue left the country in 2008. Eventually, he would also be granted full custody by a Japanese court, although it would reverse that decision, saying it was in the best interest of the child to remain in Japan.

Garcia successfully convinced the Milwaukee prosecutor’s office that although he had legal custody in both countries, there was no way for him to get his daughter back or even get visitation rights. The Milwaukee police department then issued a warrant for Inoue’s arrest in February of 2011, even though it was unlikely that Japan would agree to extradite her to face felony parental child abduction charges in the U.S. Unlike Japan’s Ministry of Justice, known for its corrupt, and prejudicial determinations against foreign nationals, the prosecutors in Inoue’s case allowed her to remain in the U.S., instead of deporting her for having a felony conviction. Inoue could also travel freely outside of the country with permission from the court, but not with her daughter. Inoue’s attorney in Japan, Haruki Maeda, said that Inoue only “very reluctantly” agreed to the deal. Under the plea bargain Katrina was sent back to her father, who had remarried. Maeda questioned whether, “Separating Katrina from her mother, and forcing her to live with her father, and stepmother, will lead to the well-being of the child?” Unlike in Japan, where a child has no right to make any self determination, in the U.S., when Karina turns twelve, she has the right to tell a U.S. judge what parent she desires to live with.

Garcia arranged for a Japanese tutor for his daughter, and for psychological counseling to help her cope with the transition. On the other hand, foreign parents that haven’t had any contact with their abducted children have noted that, when they do manage to obtain contact, the child can no longer communicate with them, and that no measures were taken to ensure the child smoothly integrated into Japanese society, which in reality calls children with two nationality parents, “hafus”, racist jargon meaning the child is somehow defective because they are not fully Japanese. Another well-known fact about Japan is that Japanese children will almost never associate with hafus, who suffer varying degrees of bullying, and are ostracized by Japanese children who can only learn such level of xenophobia, ignorance, and hatred from the parents who raised them that way.

Are parents of abducted children doing enough to gain custody, or visitation rights with their children?

From The Shadows is a documentary film highlighting several parents who have had their children abducted to Japan, including Paul Toland, and Regan Haight. I’ve contacted the producer, and directors Matt Antell, and David Hearn numerous times attempting to receive a viewer copy of the film for this article. I’ve never received a response from either of them, and the website http://fromtheshadowsfilm.com doesn’t seem to be a valid link. I can’t find this documentary anywhere, and it seems those that took the effort to produce it don’t consider it important enough to promote it. Another film titled, Sayanara Baby, which is an Australian News Special can be found online. The following is a link to the film: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDA2MzE2Nzcy.html.

Regan Haight, a mother of two who’s featured in both documentaries mentioned above was married to Shuta, Japanese national. Haight returned home one day to find her children, and her husband gone. He abducted the children to Japan, and they weren’t ever going to return. Haight soon discovered that Japan, which claims to always award custody to the mother, wasn’t about to here her legal argument. The perverted Japanese family courts are always stacked heavily against those who are not Japanese, and those who are not the abductor. The Japanese officials sided with her former spouse, the abductor of her two children. Haight turned to a former British military special forces operative, Steve Johnson who is known in the business as a child recovery specialist. Johnson told Haight that Japan has the reputation of being impossible to recover children from. Johnson joined Haight in Japan, and Shuta claimed the children had been abducted a second time by their Japanese grandmother who was holding them for ransom. Haight said “At one point she told me that I had to sign over the house, and that I could see the kids. So, I did that. Then she wouldn’t let me see them. Next, we had to pay her fifty thousand dollars to see the kids. I didn’t have that money.”

The legal definition of kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away of a person against their will, usually to hold them for ransom, or in furtherance of another crime. Shuta, and his mother engaged in a conspiracy to extort as much as they could from the grieving mother. Captured on videotape, the children’s father was handed an ultimatum from Johnson, release the children to Haight or the matter would be turned over to the media, the police, and Interpol. Shuta, and his mother, realizing that they could be imprisoned for criminal extortion, and kidnapping, turned the children over to Haight. Today, the children enjoy a safe, and loving relationship with their mother. Haight is the only woman who has ever succeeded in having her children returned from Japan, a nation that would rather protect kidnappers, and extortion conspirators, than to protect abducted children who are in imminent danger, while being held for ransom. Japanese officials never brought charges against the criminal monsters the children had previously called, Otousan (father), and Obaachan (grandmother).

Australian Chayne Inaba, a trauma medical specialist had been battling the system in Japan to gain access to his daughter Ai. He tried to negotiate with his wife, and her family for visitataionrights, but they threatened him with violence if he didn’t stay away from her. One evening upon returning home from work, Chayne was attacked from behind in his own home, and beaten nearly to death with a brick. “I walked inside, closed the door, walking down towards the living room and I was attacked by a brick from the bathroom. I had two black eyes, skull fractures, a lot of damage”. Chayne has strong suspicions about who was responsible, and the message they were trying to send. “There’d be major problems if I went to the house where my daughter is being held. The police would be involved, a lot of nasty things would happen.” “The brick had skin, hair, and blood on it, and (the police) told the Australian consulate that the brick wasn’t the weapon”.

Craig Morrey, a man who defines the word hero perhaps more than any other person in the history of humankind became a single parent, sacrificing everything to care for his profoundly disabled son, after his pregnant wife ran off. She abandoned her disabled son, and abducted the healthy child, with no intention to ever allow Morrey into the child’s life. Morrey first saw his infant daughter in a courtroom when she had already reached six months of age. Morrey was attempting to gain visitation rights to his daughter. Although Morrey’s wife had abandoned her fist child, the Japanese court awarded her sole custody of Morrey’s daughter. The following link provides more information about Dr. Morrey: http://childrenfirst.jp/content/dr-craig-e-morrey. Dr. Morrey also operates a website in honor of his children, and other children that have been abused by Japan’s morally bankrupt judiciary: Forever Your Father. The following link is a CNN article about the life of Dr. Morrey, and the son he cherishes, Spencer: U.S. Father’s Japanese Custody Heartache.

After nineteen years in Japan, Alex Kahney packed his bags to return to the UK, leaving behind everything he cared for, which were his two beautiful daughters who were abducted by their Japanese mother. “I thought she can’t kidnap my kids, I’ll just go to the police. The first two or three months I was shattered, the first six months I was numb. I’ve been disowned. I might as well be a ghost.” In the documentary, Sayonara Baby, it’s painful to watch Kahney attempt to speak to his two daughters who were clearly being brainwashed to fear their father, and who are seen running away from him as they walk home from school. Two children that once adored their father were being taught by their Japanese mother to hate, and fear the man that spent years trying to regain them into his life, and to be the father that he always wanted to be for them. The following link is a BBC article on the ongoing plight of Mr. Kahney: http://bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-12358440.

Support groups for parents of abducted children

Bruce Gherbetti is the father of three children who were abducted to Japan in 2009. Since that time, he has moved to Japan to maintain contact with his children. He has also helped to form two organizations to fight for children’s rights in Japan, and has lobbied Diet members including former Justice Minister Satsuki Eda. Apparently, his efforts have been fruitless. Regardless, he presses on. The following link is a website Mr. Gherbetti operates in honor of his son: Bring Sean Home Foundation.

John Gomez, chairman of Kizuna Child-Parent Reunion, a group of Japanese, and non-Japanese parents, friends, and supporters advocate for the right of children to have access to both parents. Mr. Gomez understands that Japan simply ratifying the Hague Convention will not solve anything if the nation continues to take a one-sided approach to domestic custodial rights. The Kizuna Child-Parent Reunion website is located at: http://kizuna-cpr.org.

Eric Kalmus helps to operate Children’s Rights Network. The website is a major source of exposing the depths of Japanese injustice, and is located at the following link: http://crnjapan.net. Kalmus’ ceaseless work related to child abduction resulted in his own daughter, who had been abducted to Japan several years ago, discovered his work online, and reunited with him shortly thereafter.

Applicable U.S. laws

A 1993 U.S. federal law makes it a crime to prevent a person from exercising their parental rights by removing a child from the U.S. or keeping a child outside the country. A federal grand jury in Virginia charged Walter Benda’s former wife with kidnapping, a felony offense that carried with it a penalty of up to three years in prison, or a $250,000 fine. Japan refused to extradite the abductor stating that it does not treat parental child kidnapping as a criminal offense, and is not covered under the U.S.-Japan extradition treaty.

Article 766 of the Civil Law, revised in 2011 specifies that visitation rights, child-support payments, and other matters must take into consideration the welfare of the child first.

Section 19 of The Goldman Act addresses pattern of noncompliance, and defines the term pattern of noncompliance as the persistent failure to inter alia, abide by provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention, and where thirty percent or more of the total abduction cases in such country are unresolved, and where the judicial or administrative branch of the national government of a Convention country or a bilateral procedures country fails to regularly implement, and comply with the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention or bilateral procedures, and where law enforcement authorities regularly fail to enforce return orders or determinations of the right of access rendered by the judicial or administrative authorities of the government of the country in abduction cases.

Under Title II of The Goldman Act, Subsection, Actions by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State has an obligation to promote the best interest of the abducted children, and to ensure enforcement for their prompt return. It’s been over a year since Japan joined the rest of the G8 nations regarding The Hague. Japan’s dawdling can no longer be tolerated. Sec. 202 of The Goldman Act addresses nations such as Japan that are in noncompliance with the terms of international child abduction. Actions that must be taken by the State Department include public condemnation, delay or cancellation in bilateral working, official, or state visits, withdrawal, limitation, or suspension of United States development assistance in accordance with section 116 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, withdrawal, limitation, or suspension of United States security assistance in accordance with section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, a formal request to the foreign country concerned to extradite an individual who is engaged in abduction and who has been formally accused of, charged with, or convicted of an extraditable offense. Currently, Susan Jacobs, and John Kerry are in the position to handle the abduction issues, and both are well aware of them, yet neither has taken any action to aid U.S. citizens to have their children who were kidnapped returned to them. These useless career politicians need to resign, and get out of the way. There is however, one champion in Washington that has the best interest of the abducted children at heart, and that is Representative Chris Smith from New Jersey, who, for years has been a thorn in the side of nations like Japan.

Japan’s racist immigration policies and the deportation of responsible parents

”Dear Walter, please forgive me for leaving you this way,” read the note from Walter Benda’s Japanese wife. Benda’s unsuccessful efforts to get information from his wife’s family, the Japanese police, and his children’s schools, left him feeling as if he was trapped in a Kafka novel. After months of unsuccessfully searching for the whereabouts of his children, his visa expired, and he was forced to return to the U.S. Mr. Benda, and Brian Thomas, a Welshman involved in a similar abduction case, began fighting back. They identified a dozen cases of child abduction by Japanese parents. In most cases, they were Japanese women married to foreigners, but there were also several involving Japanese men, and foreign wives.

Deportation laws are often what former Japanese spouses rely on to get the other parent out of the way, and Japanese authorities are more than willing to accommodate. Deportation proceedings mean the children’s foreign parents may never be allowed to return to Japan. These “legal” measures are criminal, and violate human rights, and the right of parents, and children to be able to continue in their relationship undisturbed by a vindictive former spouse, or racist, segregationist, immigration policies. Just as in the days of the Tokugawa’s, Japan continues to act as a vile, and repugnant isolationist state that seems to enjoy participating in the destruction of families, instead of preserving them, which is another farce the west has become accustomed to believe about the primitive, and world illiterate island nation.

Repugnant terminology

Often the term “spirited away” is used to describe a child that has been kidnapped. Writers, and advocates should stop using this aesthetic jargon, and use the terms kidnapping, or abduction instead, because these are legal terms that don’t trivialize the severity of the unconscionable criminal conduct. “Left behind parent” should also fall by the wayside, because hundreds of responsible, and caring parents were not forgotten, as if this was another release in a serious of “Home Alone” flicks. These grieving parents had their child kidnapped, and their life entirely destroyed as a result, often with the entire contents of the home, accompanied by the pilfering of the family bank account. The criminal perpetrators don’t just “leave behind” an unwilling participant, they ruthlessly destroy that person, and trash the fundamental rights they share with their child. This is a sure sign that the abductor is also engaging in systematic psychological abuse of the kidnapped child, and perhaps even physical violence. Terminology such as those stated above trivializes the harsh realities of child abduction, and they should no longer be associated with this form of criminal conduct.

The Civil Rights movement as the paradigm to address Japan’s unwillingness to end abductions

I’ve viewed numerous documentaries made on this topic. I’ve read countless articles, and interviewed scores of damaged parents who have lost their child due to abduction. I have watched hours of congressional hearings on international child abduction, and met with those at the forefront of the movement to end Japanese officials condoning conduct that violates international law. I have taken juvenile law, and family law courses in law school, and worked in both adult, and juvenile public defenders offices in southern California. I also worked at a family law clinic inside the Pomona Court while attending my final year of law school. Government officials, on either side of the issue are not doing enough, that, or they are not doing anything at all to help grieving parents to be reunited with children who each day grow further apart, due to the loss of communication, and physical closeness. The only recourse a non-abducting parent has is going the route Regan Haight did, hiring professionals to aid in the return of her children. Or is it? My suggestion to those whose children have been abducted is to follow the paradigm set by Martin Luther King. Fill Japan’s prisons with parents who are no longer willing to wait around for a disinterested third party to intervene.

If my child were abducted, I’d join ranks with approximately thirty other parents, and engage in collective civil disobedience. I’d prepare safe houses set up in various communities scattered about Japan where the children are being held. In groups of ten, I’d head for Japan, and I’d go after my child. I’d use whatever force was necessary to take back possession of my abducted child. If anyone failed, and the police got involved, I’d make sure to know enough Japanese language to inform them that this was a family matter, not a criminal matter, and remind the police what they have always claimed, which is that they have no jurisdiction over the matter. If the police arrested any of these individuals anyway, they’d be in good company, as certainly others in the group would be detained as well. I’d have a full statement prepared for the consulate officials, and the media. I’d have lawyers in the home country demanding the release of the children who are being held as hostages, and have those legal advocates demand the release of the parent who are being illegally detained. As soon as that first group’s story hit the media, I’d send a second wave of determined parents in another group of ten, and continue in the same manner. Surely, some would make it to a safe house, while those that were detained, and threatened with criminal prosecution, trained in civil disobedience, refused to participate in any police, or prosecutorial proceedings against them. They should also refuse to wear any prison garb. This would place extreme external pressure on the humiliated Japanese officials, forcing them to finally kowtow, and address the international consternation, and political ramifications for failing to address the matter after signing the child abduction aspects of The Hague. I’d have the arrested parents go on a hunger strike, and refuse to submit to legal proceedings, staunchly claiming the nation had no subject matter jurisdiction. Collectively, these parents would demand Japanese officials release the whereabouts of every child that had been intentionally hidden from their non-abudcting parent. Finally, I’d send the third wave of parents, and initiate the same procedures, crushing Japan’s illegitimate claims of sovereignty over the fundamental rights of non-abducting parents, and their children who remained in hostile conditions of psychological, emotional, and possibly physical abuse by their abducting tormenters.

Japan is no Goliath. Japan is an occupied nation that is nearly always on the wrong side of international disputes. Japan has proven over the past seventy years that it cannot be trusted as an autonomous, and rational behaving nation, and should remain occupied perpetually, as a result.

There is nothing more powerful than the bond between a parent, and a child that relies on both parents for security, love, and assurance. I believe there is nothing more honorable than a parent who is willing to sacrifice their freedom, and go to prison for the right to hold their child in their arms again, and to let them know what they were willing to resort to in order to hear their voice again, to listen to their laughter, and to smell the scent of their hair, and the very breath that they breathed. I believe this is a parent’s ultimate duty. Those who sit overseas, licking their wounds, and endlessly copying, and pasting articles that we’ve all already read, to the few “friends” on Facebook that may, or may not even bother to look at them, will continue to wait as the years pass without any contact with their children who may no longer even have the ability to communicate with them in their native tongue.

Preemptive protection of parental rights

Before marrying, and having children with a Japanese spouse, enter into a prenuptial agreement that include terms where neither parent could seek, or obtain sole custody of the children if the marriage were to be dissolved. Include a clause that states that neither party could abduct the children, nor prevent the other from having access to their children. Include another clause that states, if the children were abducted by one parent, in violation of that agreement, the non-abducting parent would determine, which country had both subject matter, and procedural jurisdiction over the matter. These kinds of agreements are binding in Japan, as well as most western style, civilized nations. Be sure to have two witnesses sign that agreement, and supply both parents with their own copy. Always obtain birth certificates for your children, and ensure they have citizenship in the non-Japanese parent’s country. Also, always have a valid, non-expired passport for your child at all times.

I conclude this article with a conversation that I had with former public prosecutor Hiroshi Ichikawa. Ichikawa became infamous when he was working for the city of Yokohama as a public prosecutor. Ichikawa had threatened a foreigner with death if he did not sign a false confession that Ichikawa had prepared for him to sign. When this matter was exposed, Ichikawa faced criminal charges, and was forced to resign. After that, he found a conscience, and began to publicly speak against the depths of government corruption that exists in Japan’s Ministry of Justice, and the fact that foreigners are not considered human beings by Japan’s prosecutors, and judiciary. When we spoke he admitted that foreigners have no human rights in Japan, and prosecutors are taught this as part of their training. In fact, foreigners are not even considered human beings. Foreigners that have had their children abducted should drink deep from this filthy well of knowledge, and never permit themselves to be subjected to any court proceedings in Japan, due to the prejudicial outcome of the proceedings that is sure to follow. Finally, retired judge Hiroshi Segi who recently released a book exposing the depths of depravity, and corruption in Japan’s judiciary, said the entire Japanese legal system should be scrapped because of its inherent, and systematic flaws. Segi also stated that every prosecutor, and judge in the nation should be removed from office, and that Japan should follow the model of justice as proscribed in the U.S., and the UK. Perhaps then, grieving parents, and their abducted children would finally have their fundamental human rights properly addressed in a court of real law, and their pleas for reunion granted with a binding judicial decree, and the banging of a gavel.

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Boycott Japan’s 2020 Olympics

The idea that international games would take place in a country that hates foreigners is offensive to anyone that desires universal harmony. The following is a comprehensive look at why Japan tourism, products, and Olympics games should be boycotted.

In August of 2014, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination strongly condemned Japan, and urged the Japanese government to regulate hate speech by law, following a surge in racial hate crimes aimed at foreigners. The U.N. Human Rights Committee gave a similar recommendation to Japan in July. It demanded that Japan firmly address hate speech, outlaw demonstrations, investigate and prosecute individuals, and organizations responsible for such acts, and punish public officials, and politicians who disseminate, and condone such hateful, and racially charged conduct. According to the determination, which was the result of an extensive study that found more than 360 cases of hate speech in 2013, Japan should address the root causes of racist hate speech, and strengthen measures of teaching, education, culture and information, with a view to combating prejudices which lead to racial discrimination, and promoting understanding, tolerance, and friendship among nations, and among racial or ethnic groups. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination recognizes discriminatory expressions as a crime. Signatory countries are obliged to reject all forms of propaganda aimed at justifying or promoting racial hatred, and discrimination, and take legal actions against them. Regardless, the Japanese government has taken no measures to curb hate speech, hate conduct, and violence towards foreigners, always justifying it as a form of freedom of speech guaranteed by Japan’s Constitution. The Japanese always cite the constitution as a body of laws that protect them with it applies to their conduct, yet the same rule of law is void when it comes to the rights of others, such as the right to equal protection. The U.N. committee urged Japan to change this position and take “appropriate steps to revise its legislation,” in particular its penal code, to regulate hate speech. The committee issued the recommendations after holding a session in August of 2014, where eighteen experts reviewed Japan’s non-compliance with the international convention against racial discrimination.

Housing and the Japanese workplace environment

First, check out the link to this article: Japan Utterly Prepared To Fight Discrimination. The Justice Ministry of Kyoto refused to allow a foreigner’s case to be heard regarding a complaint against a landlord who refused him housing based solely on the student being a foreigner. The universities housing department also refused to show him the apartment based on racial discrimination, yet continues to work with the landlord, placing Japanese only students with that landlord. Apparently, the racist, and violently corrupt, and incompetent Kyoto “Justice Ministry” clearly doesn’t understand the Equal Protection Clause of Japan’s Constitution. Article 13 states that, All people shall be respected as individuals. Article 14 states that, All people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.

Japan has a major housing crisis. Nearly 15% of residential housing sits vacant. Yet, the real estate industry adamantly refuses to rent to anyone that is not Japanese. This irrationality is based on race hatred, and stereotyping that exists within the nation’s overall collective mindset. The empty building scenario extends beyond residential units, as an estimated 70% of industrial, and commercial buildings now sit vacant, and dilapidating where industry had once flourished. Other serious housing issues are sure to arise where the nation’s “Japanese” population is set to decline between 30-40% within the next three decades. As a result of the massive population decline, Japan’s rural communities are preparing for a future of extinction. The Japanese would clearly rather lose revenue, and let their properties dilapidate than to rent to someone they have an unjustified fear about.

Where does all of this xenophobia aimed at foreigners come from anyway? The Japanese study a foreign language for a minimum of six years. They study English grammar, and spend countless hours in private cram schools, and English schools to learn the language, so what is it that makes the Japanese so fearful of foreigners? First, the Japanese inability to learn English, despite all of that studying results in great shame. That shame turns to humiliation, and insecurity, which then turns to fear whenever an encounter with a foreigner arises. That fear, usually of the unknown, then easily turns to a variety of forms of hatred.

Japan and slave labor

Japanese corporations don’t just steal billions of dollars from hardworking Americans as in the automobile price fixing scheme that sent several executives to prison. They steal the lifeblood from every Japanese who lives a life of perpetual slavery for a company that considers them nothing more than human cog in the wheel of opportunity. Opportunity for a handful of corporate executives, and no one else. Japan’s kaisha slave mentality offers no incentives for women who desire to get married, have children, and raise a family.

A sentencing even Japan’s corrupt judiciary couldn’t prevent: Executives sentenced in HIV scandal.

Why is Japan facing such a disastrous decline in its overall population? Because Japanese women are forced to endure long hours at work, with employers who threaten them with termination if they get pregnant. Japanese women who have miscarried hide this from their employer by keeping the matter a secret, and by not using insurance money to pay for the necessary surgical procedures to remove the dead fetus from their wombs. Instead, the Japanese female workers pay cash so their employers won’t discover their pregnancy, so as to avoid the threat of termination or demotion in the workplace. The emotional, and psychological impact is apparent. If a Japanese woman does give birth to a child, she is told to return to work in one year, or lose her job. What mother wants to turn their child over to a stranger in a daycare facility before that child is emotionally able to adapt to such a drastic environmental change? Can there be any wonder why the Japanese are emotionally unattached, and incapable of empathy toward the hardships of others?

Japan and shame

There can be little doubt that the nation is facing major obstacles as a result of its arcane segregated mentality. With the extremist, far right politicians hijacking Japan’s policies, and Constitution, stoking the fire of animosity, and hatred towards other nations, the situation is as critical as the three meltdowns at the Daiichi nuclear facility the nation has proved entirely inept in handling.

Billions of dollars of reconstruction funds are being diverted from central Japan to build an Olympic village with nearly no attention being paid to the clean up of the nation’s nuclear disaster. Thousands still remain homeless, and evacuated from their communities, while Tepco continues to dump trillions of becquerels of dangerous radiation contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.

Robert Alvarez, senior U.S. Energy Department official on nuclear issues from 1993-99 stated, “On the outer edges of the site they’re trying to block the flow of groundwater coming into the site to prevent this constant flow of contamination. What this means is that this contamination is going on a continuous basis into the Pacific Ocean and it adds more and more to a plume that is predicted to reach the west coast of the United States in the near future. There are no credible disposition paths for this enormous and growing volume of stored contaminated water. This is an unprecedented situation. What are we going to do with all of this water? No technologies currently exist to remove the severely radioactive melted cores.”

Fukushima court rules against Tepco where woman committed suicide by setting herself on fire.

Tepco executives merit indictment over nuclear crisis.

Two trillion becquerels of radioactive material escapes Tokyo Electric Power Companies crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Consequences of Tepco’s inability to prevent Pacific Ocean contamination.

Racist Japanese riot in Tokyo shouting on bullhorns for Koreans they call cockroaches, to be dragged into the street, and murdered, the smashing of shop windows, and the burning of their businesses. March 2013.

Japan and hate crimes

Moving beyond the treatment of the female employer, and the nuclear debacle, the following matters regarding hate crimes are of great concern to the U.S. Department of State, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Amnesty International, other notable human rights groups, which spends countless millions of dollars, and thousands of research hours on collecting, disseminating data, and writing reports regarding Japan’s hate speech, racism, intolerance, and overall general ignorance towards foreigners, world issues, religion, and cultural diversity.

Hate speech, and vicious attacks aimed at foreigners is spiraling out of control, with the nation’s politicians, and corrupt judiciary not only publicly condoning it, but also refusing to address it through legislation, as international pressure continues to mount.

Hatred towards all foreigners. A disturbing video revealing Japan’s hatred aimed at foreigners.

A black sun rising in a declining Japan.

U.S. Department of State: Japan 2012 Human Rights Report.

U.S. Department of State: Japan 2013 Human Rights Report.

NGO Report: The Issue of Hate Speech.

U.N. panel urges Japan to enact laws to prohibit hate speech.

Report to the Human Rights Committee on the issue of hate speech against minorities in Japan.

Japan Times article: Think you’ve got rights as a foreigner in Japan?

Japan Only sign hung at a professional baseball game sparks outrage.

Japanese only

Japan is by far one of the most racist, intolerant, and hateful nations that exists today. That hatred permeates through every aspect of the culture. There are Japanese only restaurants and bars. There are numerous U.S. and European owned franchised restaurants, and gas stations that are owned, and or managed by Japanese who refuse to serve foreigners. Many tourist attractions that are popular with foreign tourist, and which raises millions in revenue from tourism, adamantly refuse to post signs in international languages regarding bus, and train schedules.

In regards to disability access, Japan is a fourth world nation. Numerous stations have no access for mothers with baby strollers, or accommodations for those who are disabled. Even some newly built stations have no elevators, or wheelchair access for the disabled. The lack of access for pregnant women, mothers with babies, and those that require wheelchairs to be mobile are all part of the nation’s intentional act of keeping those with disabilities institutionalized, and women in the workplace.

You probably don’t want to take your child to this stadium in Saitama to see an Urawa Red Diamonds baseball game.

Japan’s refusal to accept its war crimes past

Japan is responsible for the worst war in the history of the world. A war that resulted in the murder of more than 30,000,000 innocent civilians from China, Mongolia, the Soviet Union, French Indochina, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the U.S., Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Timor, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, India, British New Guinea, the Philippines, Andaman Islands, Nocobar Islands, the Straits Settlements, Brunei, Nauru, Guam, Imphal, Wake Island, Gilbert, and Ellice Islands, Christmas Island, Manchuria, Taiwan, and Korea. Many of these countries were ransacked of their wealth, which was never returned. Japan never paid reparations for the destruction of these countries, as Germany continues to do to this very day. Prior to World War II, Japan was the ninth largest economy of the world. After the war, Japan became the second largest economy, and the royal family wealth increased immensely. So, did the Japan really lose the war? The countries general population did. They lost their homes to Allied forces firing bombings, and atomic bombs that leveled two cities. They lost their sons to war, and they lost their businesses to a handful of the “royal” gangsters that profited nicely from their criminality, war crimes, theft of national treasures, and utter greed. Somehow the Japanese learned nothing from all of this, and still hold the reprehensible sociopaths in high regard.

The great majority of those that were victimized by Japan during the invasion of regional nations were tortured, raped, and even used as guinea pigs in horrific experiments that were intended to bring about an even greater calamity, and suffering to the world. Yet, today the Japanese continue to refuse to acknowledge their war crimes past, and instead honor the nation’s war criminals as heroes at the nefarious Yasakuni Shrine.

At the end of the war, Japan, and the U.S. entered into a deal where the vast majority of war criminals, including the emperor’s family who were directly involved in torture, murder, and looting of other nation’s wealth, and resources, would not stand trial, so long as Japan turned over much of what they looted from the nations they had left in ruin. As part of that exchange Japan was able to rebuild its nation, and quickly grew to become the second largest economy, as many of the nations it had looted became destitute, third world in stature, poverty stricken and destabilized, which brought the world a divided Vietnam, Korea, and communist China.

Through the theft of those nations stolen treasures Japan was able to rebuild its country, which had been leveled, and its arrogant population left humiliated through disastrous allied firebombing campaigns, and two atomic bombs. Only until the warmongers, who were hiding away in Tokyo bunkers believed that a third atomic bomb was going to be dropped on them, did they finally surrender, a claim the deity emperor, and the military leaders claimed would never be an option. One of those bombs, code name Little Boy, has gone down in history as the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima, a city that was responsible for the manufacturing of bombs, and torpedoes, and for the training of kamikaze pilots by Mitsubishi, and other corporations that reaped huge profits for their warmongering efforts, and war crimes. The National Mobilization Law of April 1938 led to forced labor in military factories, including Koreans, Chinese and other ethnic minorities who had been continuously kidnapped, brought to Japan, and treated brutally as slaves since the Sino-Japan wars. Thousands of people throughout Hiroshima worked exclusively for the military industry that existed within that city. An annual memorial is held in Hiroshima each year using propaganda to twist the facts, and claim the city had been unjustly victimized by the U.S. atomic bombing campaign. Those memorials never make mention of the thousands of lives taken through the acts of kamikaze pilots that were injected with methamphetamine, and drunk on sake before slamming planes into military, and hospital ships out at sea. Today, Israel can thank Japan for bringing the concept of the suicide bomber into the world that we live in.

Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution.

The supposed “reinterpretation” of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution has been an issue of major concern regarding the stability of the region. The international communities condemn it, and it has become a major topic of debate within Japan itself.

Article 9 reads as follows: Renunciation of War. Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

Article 98 of Japan’s Constitution makes any actions in contrast to the terms of Article 9 void, having no legitimacy whatsoever.

Supreme Clause. Article 98. This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the nation and no law, ordinance, imperial rescript or other act of government, or part thereof, contrary to the provisions hereof, shall have legal force or validity.

What part of renunciation of war, forever to settle international disputes needs to be reinterpreted?

Japan’s racist, and ignorant politicians

Japan’s racist, and poorly educated politicians continue to malign, and insult regional sovereign states, and cause instability in the region by claiming that well documented facts related to Japan’s war crimes had never actually occurred. This includes the rape of more than 200,000 women known to have been forced into sexual slavery. Japan’s refusal to accept historical facts would never be tolerated by Germany, which outlawed hate speech after the second world war. A recent display of provocation is when Japan’s current, and much maligned prime minister Shinzo Abe posed for a photo on an airplane that had the number 731 clearly visible on the side of the plane. While Abe smiled as he sat on the pilot’s seat of the plane, the rest of the world did not. Abe’s abject, ill advised, and racist attitude faced great international condemnation because of the implications attached to that unconscionable act. Unit 731 was one of Japan’s biological chemical warfare facilities that used human beings to create biological chemical weapons through various experiments, and testing. Those misfortunates that suffered such a terrible fate included Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, Soviet, U.S., and allied captured soldiers.

For forty years the biological warfare research that occurred inside Japan’s Unit 731 Harbin, China laboratory, and other facilities, remained the best-kept secrets of World War II. Shiro Ishii, the head of Unit 731 biological war crimes facility was sanctioned, and financed by emperor Hirohito, himself a biologist. Neither Hirohito, nor Ishii were ever tried for their war crimes activities. Instead, Hirohito went on to visit Disneyland in Los Angeles, and Ishii went on to become Japan’s Surgeon General. Ishii was arrested by U.S. occupation authorities at the end of World War II, along with other Unit 731 leaders who were to be thoroughly interrogated by Soviet authorities. Ishii and his team negotiated immunity from war crimes prosecution in exchange for their full disclosure of germ warfare data, based on human experimentation of the more than 30,000 human subjects that were exposed to unspeakable atrocities including live vivisection without any anesthesia, bomb fragment testing, and handing out chocolate that contained anthrax to children. Japan’s Unit 731 dropped bubonic plague, and other plagues, and diseases throughout China, and some communities still suffer from its affects to this day. Although the Soviet authorities adamantly insisted on the prosecution of Ishii, and his team, the U.S. objected after a report performed by the investigating U.S. microbiologists. Dr. Edwin Hill, Chief of Fort Detrick at the time, stated that the information Ishii was in possession of was “absolutely invaluable”, “could never have been obtained in the U.S. because of scruples attached to experiments on humans”, and “the information was obtained fairly cheap.” Ishii is one of the thousands of war criminals enshrined at the Yasakuni Shrine. He, and other war criminals from Unit 731 went on to form Japan’s Ministry of Health, and pharmaceutical corporations that produce vaccines for babies. Many of those vaccines are contaminated with numerous toxins, and are have been banned due to causing numerous deaths, and other life altering neurological, and brain disorders.

Anyone having any experience living in Japan’s know that the Japanese are world illiterate, and have no knowledge whatsoever regarding Japan’s horrible imperialistic atrocities, as the entire matter is banned from Japan’s Minister of Education, which was also formed after World War II by other Japanese war criminals. Of course, they don’t want their educational material to include their own past crimes, so Japan’s true history has been entirely censored. Japanese school children continue to be taught that Japan was a nation that was attacked, and victimized by the imperialist western powers.

Abe, and other politicians continue to visit the Yasakuni Shrine, and donates large sums of money. This is obvious support for Japan’s racist, and hateful past militarism, which Abe is adamant to restore. Even Japan’s newly appointed internal affairs minister stated that she would be visiting the hotly detested shrine, as if it was some sort of penny arcade attraction, or a fun in the sun day at the beach. Why is it these racist, and ignorant immoral reprobates have to go on record that they spit in the face of every nation in the region, including the U.S. It’s closest ally? “I’ve been visiting Yasukuni to offer my sincere appreciation to the spirits of war dead.” Why would anyone want to publicize they are going to visit, bow, and pray to fourteen war criminals leaders, and thousands of others that were convicted by the Allied tribunal? This is not a showing of appreciation for anything. It’s provocation, and a disgrace to Japanese that are offended by such atrocious conduct.

The new defense minister, Akinori Eto, also advocates visiting the shrine, but told a news conference on Wednesday when asked about the shrine he did not want to cause trouble for the government, indicating a more cautious stance. Prime Minister Abe, not so cautious paid a visit to the shrine in December of 2013, sharply chilling ties with China, and South Korea, where relations are already strained over territorial disputes.

Japan’s new minister says she will visit Yasakuni shrine.

An introduction to a few of Japan’s racist leaders

Shinzo Abe first took office as prime minister in 2006. He suddenly quit after a year plagued by corruption, and embezzlement scandals within his cabinet, public outrage over the insider theft of Japan’s entire pension savings, and his Liberal Democratic Party’s massive defeat in an election for parliament’s upper house. Abe claims he quit over chronic intestinal ailment, which translated into English means the man is totally full of shit.

Nobusuke Kishi, was Abe’s grandfather, and helped to brainwash him regarding hate speech, hatred of foreigners, and falsehoods of Japan’s criminal war past, as Kishi himself was a world war two wartime cabinet minister, imprisoned after the war, and who negotiated a deal to avoid a war crimes trial. Kishi would serve as prime minister from 1957 to 1960, and had to resign due to a public outcry over a renegotiated U.S.-Japan security pact. Kishi tried without success to revise Japan’s 1947 Constitution, desiring Japan to become an equal partner with the U.S., which has become central to Abe’s agenda in 2006 and today. It is Abe that pushes for the “reinterpretation” of Article 9, trying to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps.

Abe clowning around on an aircraft at a Sendai airshow. Anybody who saw this photo when it first ran wasn’t smiling along with him. They still aren’t.

Tokyo, the city hosting the 2020 Olympic games was until recently represented by mayor Shintaro Ishihara, (1999-2012). Jisedai no To, or the Party For New Generations, is Ishihara’s new political endeavor. This party was formed after Ishihara suffered a humiliating defeat to Abe, hoping his alignment with one of Japan’s most hated racists, Toru Hashimoto would result in victory for the right-wing lunatics.

Ishihara is a vile, and reprehensible poor excuse of a human being who had openly called for the execution of foreigners by police if Tokyo was ever hit by a national disaster. His rationale was that foreigners would loot the city, and rape Japanese women in the streets. The disaster Ishihara spoke of became a reality on 3.11.11. The only thing foreigners were guilty of was donating hundreds of millions of dollars in relief aid. Much of it never making it to the victims it was intended for. Instead, that aid was diverted to support programs that the donors vehemently opposed, like rebuilding Japan’s “scientific” whaling fleet. It’s ironic when foreigners have been so charitable to Japan, yet the nation itself doesn’t have a shred of charity in its entire collective soul.

Ishihara is on record for saying, “After World War II, the Chinese and Koreans persecuted, robbed, and beat up Japanese. We were afraid of them.” Ishihara also said, “Roppongi is now a foreign neighborhood. Africans, I don’t mean African-Americans, who don’t speak English are there doing who knows what. We should be letting in people who are intelligent.” In an interview for Playboy magazine, Ishihara also said that the rape of Nanking was a fiction. ”People say that the Japanese made a holocaust but that is not true. It is a story made up by the Chinese. It has tarnished the image of Japan, but it is a lie.” What part of 30,000,000 dead is not a holocaust? In an interview with Shukan Josei, Ishihara said that he believed “women who live after they have lost their reproductive function are useless and are committing a sin.” He was criticized in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly for these comments, but responded that “tyrant old women” drove the criticism. Ishihara also stated that French is unqualified as an international language. This statement led to a lawsuit from numerous language schools.

At a Tokyo IOC press briefing in 2009, Ishihara dismissed a letter sent by environmentalist Paul Coleman regarding the contradiction of his promoting the Tokyo Olympic 2016 bid as “the greenest ever” while destroying the forested mountain of Minamiyama. Shintaro angrily stated that Coleman was “Just a foreigner. His statements don’t matter.” On continued questioning by journalist Hajime Yokata, he stated, “Minamiyama is a devil’s mountain that eats children.” Ishihara then implied that Yokota, a Japanese national, was betraying his nation by saying, “What nationality are you anyway?”

On April 15th, 2012, Ishihara made a speech in Washington, publicly stating his desire for Tokyo to purchase the Senkaku Islands, called the Diaoyu Islands by mainland China, in an attempt to end the territorial dispute between China and Japan. This caused massive demonstrations in Chinese, and destroyed any continuity within the region that existed at that time. Increased tension between the governments of China and Japan exist as a result of these kind of idiotic leadership. Somehow the Japanese kept voting this maniac back into office. This is a testament in and of itself as to the level of depravity that exists in Japan today.

Toru Hashimoto, hailed from another group targeted with hate, and racism, the outcast Baraku. His father was a yakuza gangster. The on again, off again mayor of Osaka, is so vile a hate speech spewing racist that New York City, and San Francisco mayors cancelled meetings with him on grounds that his hate speech is entirely repugnant, and neither city could guarantee his safety as a result of the scores of death threats he received if he ever set foot in the U.S. Some people forfeit their right to life. Toru Hashimoto is one of them.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said the Osaka mayor did not deserve the honor of an official visit to the United States.

Japan’s corrupt judiciary

After being appointed merely one day as the head of the Ministry of Justice, former judge Midori Matsuhima made a horrific statement regarding foreigners who don’t eat pork. She stated that foreigners have no rights in Japan, and special food accommodations would not be a consideration. For one thing, this racist, and corrupt government official clearly has never been educated properly on Japan’s World War II alliance with Germany, which was a nation that murdered millions of Jews. Both Jews, and Muslims alike do not eat pork, as this is part of a religious practice that dates back thousands of years. How is it that this criminally insane woman, and incredibly ugly skeletal figure, can make such a public statement? It is this kind of mentality that place foreigners in a perpetual state of peril if they are unfortunate to somehow be dragged into a criminal proceeding in Japan. Judges like Matsuhima convict a foreigner 100% of the time, who always ended up receiving harsher penalties than Japanese. Former judge Hiroshi Segi disclosed in his book, released in February of 2014, that the entire judiciary are hateful racist who openly call foreigners bastards. Segi said the entire judicial body of Japan should be ousted from office, as they are incapable of making rational determinations based on sound reasoning, and the rule of law.

Former judge Midori Matsushima, another reprehensible, and illiterate racist posing as a Japanese official. Her new role is as the head of Japan’s corrupt Ministry of Justice. UPDATE: Matsushima was force to resign after a mere few weeks as the head of Japan’s corrupt MOJ. Ousted for criminal conduct related to campaigning.

Japan and capital punishment

According to the Ministry of Justice, death row inmates are not classified as prisoners by the Japanese justice system, and the facilities in which they are incarcerated are not referred to as prisons. The Ministry of Justice claims that inmates lack many of the rights afforded to other Japanese prisoners. The routine they live under is significantly harsher than normal Japanese prisoners. Death row inmates are held in solitary confinement, and are forbidden from communicating with other prisoners, as part of Japan’s prison silence rules. Inmates are not allowed televisions, and may only possess up to three books. Prisoners are not allowed to exercise within their own cells. Prison visits, both by family members and legal representatives, are infrequent, and closely monitored. Regardless of what the Ministry of Justice claims, these exact same cruel forms of treatment exist for all prisoners that are held in Japan’s antiquated prison system.

Human Rights Watch Prison Conditions In Japan:

Prison conditions in Japan “safe” but harsh

Center for Prisoner’s Rights Japan Alternative Report of the Japanese Government Under Article 40 of the International covenant on civil and political rights.

Executions are carried out by hanging, and are held in secretive death chambers. When a death order has been issued, the condemned prisoner is informed on the morning of their execution. The prisoner’s family, and legal representatives are not informed until after death. The method of hanging is a substantial drop, causing a quick death by neck fracture. It was not always carried out in this manner. When Kanno Sugako was hanged in 1911 she was ordered to sit on the floor. Two thin cords were placed around her neck, and then the floorboards were removed. It took twelve minutes for her to be pronounced dead. As of August 2014, the number of inmates on death row were 126. Of them, 89 are applying for their cases to be reopened and 25 are requesting amnesty.

Japan’s capital punishment system.

Inside Tokyo’s house of death.

Japan and human rights

In 2013, Japan’s human rights ambassador Hideaki Ueda told delegates several times during a U.N. torture committee held in Geneva to “shut up” after being criticized for Japan’s massive human rights violations, and for refusing to appoint legal counsel to those who are detained for criminal prosecution. Article 37 of Japan’s Constitution states that in all criminal cases the accused shall have a right to a speedy, and public trial by an impartial tribunal. At all times the accused shall have the assistance of competent counsel assigned by the state. Article 34 states that no person shall be detained without the immediate privilege of counsel. Regardless, if the above constitutional standards were part of a multiple-choice quiz regarding the rights of a defendant, the correct answer would be, “none of the above.”

Japan police, and prosecutors use a technique called “the hostage technique”, which is used to isolate detainees, place them in a state of perpetual fear, and is used to interrogate a suspect, and force them to sign false confessions, instead of actually going out and gathering evidence to obtain a lawful conviction. The U.S. Department of State 2012 report on Japan shows that of the 99.9% of detainees who were convicted, 91.2% of them were convicted on nothing more than their own coerced extracted confession. This violates Japan’s Constitution. Article 38 states that no person shall be compelled to testify against himself, and that any confession made under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged arrest or detention shall not be admitted as evidence.

Japan’s Daiyo Kangoku “substitute” prisons shocks the world.

Recent cases have shined the spotlight on Japan’s egregious violations of human rights. In the Iwao Hakamada case, the former boxer spent 45 years on death row. Keep in mind that in Japan, a death row inmate can face death at any moment. Imagine the level of fear, and the physical, and psychological torture that existed for the innocent man every time a guard walked down the corridor, an inmate brought his meal, or someone approached his cell to bring him a book, or medication? This clearly exceeds cruel, and unusual as a form of punishment. It’s inhumane, and should be immediately outlawed. Even terrorist organizations such as ISIS impose their shocking brand of execution in a swift, and decisive manner. As horrific as terrorist organizations like ISIS are, nothing can be as cruel as leaving a human being on death row, facing the possibility of death at any moment, and for several years.

At Hakamada’s trial he retracted his coerced confession, saying police had kicked, and clubbed him to obtain it. “I could do nothing but crouch down on the floor trying to keep from defecating.” “One of the interrogators put my thumb onto an ink pad, drew it to a written confession record, and ordered me to ‘Write your name here!’ as they shouted at me, kicking me and wrenching my arm.”

Norimichi Kumamoto, one of the three judges who had originally convicted Hakamada, came out in support of his innocence, after cowardly hiding behind his death penalty conviction. How does a judge order someone’s death, when they believed they were entirely innocent? Kumamoto feared repercussions from other judges, and failed to persuade his two senior colleagues, resulting in a judgment for conviction. Kumamoto statement would shock the Japanese public, and cast doubt on the illegally secretive justice system. Japan’s Constitution calls for public hearings, but nearly all aspects of detention, interrogation, the gathering of evidence, trial, and conviction are secret matters. Everything is done in secret to prevent the discovery of fraud, the filing of false charges, the planting of evidence, and gross abuses of power. Defendants don’t even have the right to obtain evidence that is used against them in further proceedings, such as retrials, even where Criminal Code 281 (4)(5) calls for such release.

Hakamada’s case has caused the Japanese to finally question the validity of the death penalty in Japan, and brought attention to what critics describe as inhumane elements of the Japanese justice system. In Japan, judges give more weight to confessions than actual evidence, including forensics, which puts pressure on police to coerce forced extracted confessions regardless of merit. The police interrogate suspects for up to 23 days, and the suspect is not permitted to have a lawyer present during those interrogations, which are never audio, or videotape recorded. Defense lawyers are also not given access to police, and prosecutorial records. Prosecutors can be in possession of knowledge the defendant is entirely innocent, and that information is always intentionally withheld from the defense counsel. Can there be any wonder by Japan has a 99.9% conviction rate? Additionally, the system can leave inmates on death row for extended periods, and execute them with no advance notice. The Japan Federation Bar Association said the case is but one example of “a nest of unlawful interrogations” and called for reform, including videotaping of all interrogations.

Returning to the U.N. torture committee held in Geneva, where the discussion had turned to Japan, and its immense failure in the area of human rights Ueda stated, “‘We (Japan) are one of the most advanced countries in the field of human rights. That is our proud.” How is Japan so “proud” of a corrupt judiciary that colludes, and conspires with illegal police, and prosecutors conduct, having full possession of this knowledge, and convict 99.9% of defendants anyway, and who are detained without legal representation until it is too late to raise a valid defense, and who are often tortured to force extract a false confession to crimes they often had not committed? After being railroaded through the indictment process, those same defendants face months of trials while being held in inhumane conditions of isolation, in dilapidating, and overcrowded prisons. They suffer emotional, psychological, and physical abuse as they remain in a cell that is about 6’x7’, 24 hours a day. Even for the most minor of charges, those single monthly hearings last for a mere 40 minutes, with the trial held over for another month. It can take months, or even years for a trial to reach its conclusion. By then, the defendant has been financially ruined, and even if they were found to be innocent the crawl back up is nearly impossible. It’s clearly evident to no one, except Hideaki Ueda’s imagination, that Japan is the one of the most advanced countries when it comes to the rights of those held in detention, and who are denied basic human rights, the right to legal counsel, the right to raise an adequate defense, and the right to a fair trial before an impartial tribunal. Although all of these matters are addressed in Japan’s Constitution, none of these rights are afforded to anyone that is accused of a crime, ever! Is this the kind of nation that the world wants to stand by, and watch as it forms a new military? One that will no doubt threaten its neighbors in the region, and global instability in the process?

Torture, and murder of foreigners in Japan’s gulags

Japan has tortured, and murdered numerous foreigners in their prisons, immigration centers, and through contact with police, and public prosecutors that use coercive, and illegal conduct to force extract false confessions to obtain invalid convictions. Often the conditions in detention are so stressful that those who are detained die from the massive level of stress they are subjected to. Those that don’t understand the system, or have had enough of the great indignity they suffer from are often subjected to an endless barrage of various forms of isolation, and torture.

Two men die on the same day at the Ushiku immigration detention center.

Ghana man murdered by detention guards at Narita airport.

Govinda Mainali cleared of murder after 15 years in prison in Japan.

Immigration authorities immediately deported Govinda Mainali after being released for a murder he had  not committed because they now claimed that he had overstayed his visa as a result of his time in prison. The truth is the Japanese government illegally detained him, and are now required to pay large sums of money for redress of damages. By forcing the man to leave Japan, the corrupt officials that bungled the matter, and tried to hide evidence that showed the man was innocent, thought they could silence the man. Human rights group Amnesty International said that his case was “a sharp reminder why Japan must reform its police detention system”.

As of this writing, Abe’s administration permitted the former Ministry of Justice, Sadakazu Tanigaki to execute by method of hanging, twelve inmates who were convicted of committing capital crimes. How many of them were innocent? Now many were forced to confess to crimes they had not committed? His reward for his role in capital murder was to become the number two man under Abe’s cabinet reshuffling. This reshuffling was necessary as dismal news related to Japan’s economy showed that by August of 2014, Japan’s productivity plummeted to the disastrous levels of post 3.11.11. During that time, the entire countries railway system was shutdown, all other forms of transportation were shutdown, including the public bus system, highways, and local roads, as fuel was no where to be found. Ships were barred from entering Japan’s eastern ports under the fear that aftershocks would cause more tsunami coastal damage. The city of Tokyo’s food supplies dried up, as there was none to be found, because the nation had no disaster plan in place. Most shops boarded up, and prepared for the worst. Even so, Abe is planning to raise sales tax another 2%, after the failed 3% increase that took place only a few short months ago. If there is anything to take away from this it is that the Japanese learn nothing from anything. They are entirely a race of people that are unteachable.

Pressed by police, even the innocent confess.

Committee Against Torture Examines Japan.

Illegal and dead in a Japanese cell.

California Innocence Project: Concerned About False Confessions.

The Economist. Confess and be done with it.

UN body attacks Japan’s justice system.

Japan crime: Why do innocent people confess?

Amnesty International Japan: Briefing to the UN Committee Against Torture.

Foreigners are not considered human beings

Japan Probe. Prosecutors taught foreigners have no human rights.

Ex-judge lifts lid on Japan’s corrupt judicial system.

Former public prosecutor Hiroshi Ichikawa spoke at a symposium in Tokyo on May 23rd, 2011. He gave a candid account of the reality of training for new employees within the prosecutorial system in Japan. Ishikawa disclosed that in his past experience, “We were taught that yakuza and foreigners have no rights.” and “Prosecutors are instructed to make up confessions, and then force the suspect to sign it.” Ichikawa then gave a chilling account of how under this warped training system, “I came to sort of agree that these kinds of things were only natural.” Ishikawa was involved as the chief prosecutor in the Saga City Agriculture Co-op case that arose in 2000. During police questioning of the former union leader, a forced confession was obtained as police screamed, “We’ll fucking beat you to death, you bastard.” The union leader had been indicted on suspicion of breach of trust, but was found not guilty based on the court’s refusal to accept the confession was made voluntary. As a result, Ishikawa received a harsh reprimand and resigned his post as public prosecutor. Ishikawa spoke on that day as a panelist at a symposium on the theme “Prosecution, Public Opinion, and False Charges” held at the Graduate School of Communications at Meiji University. At first, he gave shocking testimony that, “I admit that public prosecutors, having committed errors unsuited to their position, must take the position of offering profuse apologies.” while also noting that, “I want to tell the whole truth, so we can know how many threat-spewing public prosecutors were created.”

Ishikawa was first appointed to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutor’s Office in 1993. In his first year there, he claims his superiors taught him that, ‘Yakuza and foreigners have no rights’ “That superior said on that point, ‘Foreigners don’t understand Japanese, so if you speak Japanese, you can heap as much verbal abuse as you want on them.’” Further, that superior said, “Once when we were interrogating a foreign suspect, we thrust an awl right in front of his eye and shouted abuses at him in Japanese. That’s how you get confessions!” as Ishikawa recounted his personal experiences.

In his third year, a superior instructed him on methods to take confessions. That being, the prosecutor rattling off a made-up confession and then thrusting the confession form at the suspect and making them sign it. If the suspect refused to sign, what should be done? “If the suspect resists, tell him, ‘This is not your confession form, it’s just [you acknowledging] what I’m saying.’” Ishikawa recalled of that period. “When being trained in such a manner, you come to sort of believe that these things are only natural. In my eighth year, even I verbally abused suspects, totally unsuitable for to my position. The case had a not guilty verdict, and it ended up with my resignation.” “To atone for my terrible mistakes, I thought, ‘Isn’t it my duty to tell what I have seen, and what I have heard?’”

If you have rich parents are Japanese, and wealthy, one can escape prosecution, and literally get away with murder, including the premeditated cold blooded execution of a woman by blowing off the back of her head as she helps you with your homework, then have sex with her corpse, and then dismember her body, and eat parts of it. This is the story of Issei Sagawa, who has written best-selling books on his crime, and who has produced, and starred in numerous pornographic films based on dismembering female victims, necrophilia, and consumption of their sexual organs. The Japanese male will say, What’s the big deal? She was only a foreigner anyway?

The rich don’t get prosecuted no matter how unconscionable their crimes are

Issei Sagawa: The murderous cannibal that walks free.

The Japanese myth. The streets are safe for foreign women

The Lindsay Hawker tragedy.

Japan and child pornography

The exploitation of children through the production, distribution, and consumption of pornography is the highest in the world, with politicians, and those that manufacturer it calling it a form of free speech. Japanese adult pornography is arguably some of the sickest, and most disturbing produced in the world. Now add the element of an innocent child being forced into deviant sexual acts. Much of it is extremely violent, and utilizes minor children in ways that would bring the death penalty in some nations, and certainly a well-deserved life sentence in any civilized nation. Japanese child pornography often includes physical beatings, extreme force, and other forms of violent assaults against minor children who are subjected to unthinkable acts of brutality.

Japan lags behind in child pornography laws.

Japan outlaws possession but comic book depictions survive.

Japan finally bans child pornography.

Japan a haven for child abduction

Japan is a haven for child abduction. It’s been that way for decades. Ironically, former prime minister Koizumi, who abducted two of his own children, and abandoned another, began pressuring North Korea regarding some 300 missing Japanese he alleges were abducted by North Korea to train spies to learn about the culture, and communicate in the Japanese language. Although North Korea has admitted abducting a handful of Japanese citizens; abductions that took place decades ago during the cold war era, the numbers of missing Japanese have never been substantiated through a showing of any real evidence. The Japanese media cover this story on a near daily basis. Yet, the Japanese media has never covered the issue regarding thousands of international child abductions the nation is directly responsible for. Regardless, the numbers claimed by Japan pales in comparison to the more than 10,000 known cases of child abduction that exists within Japan in recent years. The number rises sharply to around 30,000 since pre-war reconstruction. Many children who are abducted into Japan are done so through state sponsored action. The perpetrators of the crimes are never brought to justice. Even where courts in other nations made rulings, and order the return of the abducted children, and place the abductor on Interpol for international arrest warrants. Regardless, Japan ignores those rulings, and has never returned a single child.

If your child has been abducted, and they are a U.S. citizen, contact the U.S. Dept. of State at 888-407-4747. If the country the child has been abducted too is a member of The Hague Treaty, you can use the following Dept. of State form to apply for assistance.

From The Shadows. A documentary film on child abduction in Japan.

Japan’s child abduction laws in limbo.

International Association for Parent Child Reunion.

Child abduction agreement too late for many parents.

Bring Abducted Children Home.

Children’s Rights Council of Japan.

Desperate father receives 6.1 million settlement.

Children are institutionalized, and treated as if their disability, or parental abandonment is a criminal offense

The United Nations Alternative Care Guidelines calls for children under three years of age in care to be placed in family-based settings. Instead, Japan places them in overcrowded facilities that are brutally managed, and operated with standards equivalent to felony child abuse. Japan rates as the highest among industrialized nations, the report warned, with as few as one in 10 children eventually moving to a family environment through fostering or adoption. The 119-page report called for a major reform of the Japanese care system, including the closure of all infant-care institutions, and the priority of adoption or fostering over institutionalization. This is a difficult task. It would mean training the Japanese to become responsible, and caring human beings, as the Japanese simply do not adopt children under the poor excuse that there is no blood tie. On the flip side of this matter, when parents divorce, one of them will almost always abandon their children forever. Former prime minister Koizumi is guilty of such an immoral act. When he divorced his pregnant wife, he abducted his two older children, and abandoned the unborn child who grew to love, and admire the man who had abandoned him, and desired nothing ore than to have a chance to one day meet him. Koizumi’s other two sons have faired well, one becoming an untalented pop singer, and the other groomed for a life as a politician.

Japan’s institutionalized children.

The UN Human Rights Watch Report, Without Dreams.

The Olympics and bribery

The topic of the Olympic games, and bribery is covered in the following article:

Investigation into Nagano Olympic games bid

Leaders of Salt Lake Olympic bid indicted

After viewing the above information does Japan seem like the kind of place that you’d like to spend a vacation with your family? Is it worth attending the 2020 Olympic games knowing what you know now? How could someone honestly enjoy the spirit of international games in a country that views foreigners as something less than human, abducts, and sexually abuses children, treats those that seek political asylum as criminals, treating them often worse than the country that was persecuting them, and where hate speech, violent calls for the destruction of businesses, and the outright murder of foreigners is deemed legally acceptable, so long as it is the Japanese that are conveying the message of hate, and intolerance, and not a foreign national.

Next time you’re in the market to purchase a car, consider a Ford, a BMW, a Chevy, anything but a Japanese manufactured model.

Please, help educate the Japanese, improve their international literacy and standing. Educate them in the areas of human rights, and equality, especially where children, and parental rights are concerned.

By refusing to purchase Japan products, boycotting tourism to the nation, and refusing to attend, or participate in the 2020 Olympics, much needed change can finally be achieved. Remember the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott that took place in 1955-56. It took a group of determined, and strong-willed individuals to grind the cities transportation system to a halt. At first the bus company, and the downtown shops shrugged it off, but when the coffers ran dry, the town folk realized financial ruin was imminent, and finally caved in to the pressure. Segregation eventually eroded. Economic turmoil is probably the only method of reaching the racist Japanese. A racism that was brought about through generations of brainwashing, and mind manipulation of the few who hold power. When politicians, and other interested entities keep a people believing they are superior to others, it keeps them from asking the real questions, such as why the economy, and environment are in total disrepair? And why nothing is being done about it.

Contact your representatives, and make your voice is heard regarding Japan, its appalling historical distortions, and its xenophobia that is entirely unjustified.

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Senkaku Islets And The IWC

The dispute over the Senkaku Islands is a long and contentious one that has recently strained relations between three nations that claim a territorial right. The disagreement over sovereignty existed long before the 1969 United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East discovery of the possibility of natural gas deposits around the small group of islets.

China’s claim to the islets goes all the way back to the 14th century. Chinese offers proof by showing maps that date back to the Ming Dynasty. Beijing officials are quick to argue that Chinese fishermen have used the islets for hundreds of years. Long before Japan ever attempted their first voyage out onto the sea, or had even known that the islets even existed.

Japan claims it discovered the islands in 1884 and annexed them in 1895 after attacking, and defeating China in the First Sino-Japanese War. China rejects Japan’s claim, arguing that the nation was forced to sign the post-war treaty after Japan invaded the mainland. The San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) officially renounced any of Japan’s claims that had arisen from the Boxer Protocol of 1901.

The problem that exists today began when Japan signed the SFPT, which gave Washington a temporary trusteeship over the islands. The U.S. had invited forty-eight nations to attend but failed to invite China, which arguably suffered the most from Japan’s imperial aggressions during the war. The U.S. contends that since China was in the throws of a civil war it did not know which government should attend. As a result China has never recognized the SFPT.

Clause 14 of the treaty allowed allied forces to confiscate all assets owned by the Japanese government, Japanese corporations and Japanese organizations, as well as any property owned by Japanese private citizens. Clause 14 land seizures included all colonized, or occupied countries that had been in Japan’s control, including China. Clause 21 of the article gave China exclusive authority over all Japanese assets located in Mongolia and China’s mainland. The treaty officially renounced any of Japan’s claims to Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), Hong Kong, the Pescadores, the Kuril Islands, the Spratly Islands, Antarctica and Sakhalin Island in the North Pacific.

In 1969, the U.S. authorized the transfer of the Ryukyus to Japan, an order, which was to take effect in 1972. That order included ceding of control of the nearby Senkaku Islands. Both the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of China argue that the agreement between the U.S., and Japan had not considered the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku prior to turning control over to Japan. The question that many are asking is what can be done to resolve this territorial dispute, and return relationships between the two nations to normal? The clear answer is to turn the matter over to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

International Court Of Justice Rules

According to Article 38 of the Statute of the ICJ, if Japan and China agree to ICJ jurisdiction over the matter, the Court shall apply the following four legal standards (see below). If the parties choose not to use these rules the ICJ can decide the case ex aequo et bono (according to what is right and good, rather than according to the law). Another term that is more frequently used regarding land disputes is the term equity, which means fairness.

Article 38 of the Statute of the ICJ (in part)

  1. International conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;
  2. International custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
  3. The general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
  4. Subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.

The former Senkaku “owners” brother, Hiroyuki Kurihara, who represents the family which appears to have pitted Tokyo’s nationalist governor Ishihara, and Japan’s central government against each other in a frenzied bid to “purchase” the islets at a premium made a public statement that the Kurihara family believes Japan should take China to the ICJ. Well, if Japan truly believes that China has no legitimate claim to the islets then what is Japan waiting for? According to Chinese officials, China has already submitted their evidentiary material.

The ICJ And Its Function

The World Court is officially known as the International Court of Justice. It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, and was formed in 1946 when it replaced the Permanent Court of International Justice. According to the ICJ website, its functions include settling in accordance with international law the legal disputes submitted to it by States, and giving advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized international organs and agencies.

The Court is composed of fifteen judges, which may not include more than one judge from any nationality. The United Nations General Assembly and Security Council elect the judges to nine-year terms. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an island is a naturally formed area of land, which is above water at high tide. This means that the ICJ could have jurisdiction over the matter.

Resolution Under The Concept Of Equity

The islet dispute would best be resolved under the well-established laws of possession over territorial claims. Clearly, both Taiwan, and China claim Japan has taken possession of the islands adversely. Despite an unclear historical record, Japan claims it doesn’t have mere possession, but has sovereignty over the land.

At common law, adverse possession existed where title to another’s real property is acquired without compensation, by possessing it in a manner which conflicts with the true owner’s rights. Averse possession must have taken place over a specific statutory period for the adverse possessor to have a legitimate claim to the land’s title. The law of adverse possession is entirely statutory, arising from a concept referred to as statute of limitations. A statue of limitations is an amount of time that is determined by statute that bars a party from bringing a legal proceeding against another.

The requirements of adverse possession are actual possession as if the adverse possessor owned the property. Adverse possession must also be open, notorious and exclusive. This means the adverse possessor held the property in a manner that was capable of being observed by others and had not shared in that possession with the actual owner. The land must also be held in a hostile manner. Hostility exists where possession of the land of another is held regardless of the true boundary line. The adverse possessor must hold the land continuously and uninterrupted for a stated statutory period. The statutory period is the amount of time the claimant must hold the land in order to successfully claim legal title.

Japan has a strong claim under adverse possession because it has been in possession of the islets without China ever taking any action against Japan to prevent that possession. Japan also openly operates a lighthouse one of the islands, and pays for its repair, and upkeep, such was when it’s damaged by a typhoon. Japan had once operated a factory on the islands, however that operation was abandoned long ago, so Japan could not claim continuous possession for that duration. What really matters is, if the ICJ would make a determination based on possession, what statutory determination would be applicable? Statutory limitations differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and this would be a contentious matter for any nation involved in territorial disputes.

All common law jurisdictions require that the action of trespass be brought within a specified time, after which the true owner is assumed to have acquiesced. The effect of a failure by the landowner to evict the adverse possessor depends on the jurisdiction.

In some jurisdictions such as England, the title of a landowner will automatically extinguish once the relevant limitation period has passed. In other jurisdictions, the adverse possessor acquires merely an equitable title where the landowner remains a trustee on behalf of the property.

Adverse possession however does not automatically work against property owned by a government agency. The legal concept has applied to territorial disputes in the past. For example, in the U.S., Georgia lost an island in the Savannah River to South Carolina, when that state used fill from dredging to attach the island to its own shore. Since Georgia knew of this but did not take action to prevent it, the U.S. Supreme Court held in favor of South Carolina, even though the Treaty of Beaufort (1787) explicitly specified that the river’s islands belonged to Georgia.

Common Defenses To Adverse Possession

The following is a list of defenses that are often brought in adverse possession cases:

  1. Permissive Use. If the actual owner has granted permission to use the property, the claim of adverse possession cannot be considered hostile and would fail. (Here, China may argue that operating the lighthouse on the islands was permissible since its own nation benefited from it during storms.)
  2. Public Lands. Government-owned land may be exempt from adverse possession. (China could refuse to allow the doctrine to be used in an ICJ determination.)
  3. Insufficient Acts. Although it is conceded that the claimant engaged in some use of the property, it is alleged that these acts were not sufficient to amount to acts claiming ownership. (China may argue that operating a lighthouse is an insignificant use.)
  4. Non-Exclusive Use. Although it is conceded that the claimant engaged in some use of the property, it is alleged that others (usually the property owner) also used the property in a manner consistent with that of the landowner. (Here, Japan could make a clear showing that Japanese controls the islands military. China could argue that it has fished in that region for centuries.)
  5. Insufficient Time. Even if various elements of adverse possession were met, it is alleged that the adverse possession did not last for the full statutory period, or that the adverse possession was interrupted by a period of non-use. (All nations making a territorial claim over the Senkaku dispute would have to agree to the ICJ rules of equity.)


Japan is almost entirely responsible for the current chaos over the insignificant set of islands. As a result of Japan’s untimely action, its own corporations are suffering the blowback of plummeting sales, and rebuilding factories that had been destroyed in numerous protests that has happened in China. The Chinese perceive Japan’s actions as an imperialistic aggression against China and its sovereignty claim over the disputed territory. However, what is really at stake is 365 Billion USD in trade between the two nations if the matter is not resolved quickly and amicably.

Whether of not this matter is ever resolved, one thing remains, Japan’s failed nationalistic ploy has done nothing but cause economic turmoil for both nations. The furious Chinese are now relentless in refusing to purchase Japan goods, as auto sales have plummeted, as well as the purchase of nearly every other Japan made goods.

Japan’s nationalistic determination was unwise, and has caused relations between the two nations to be at its lowest level since before signing the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty on September 29th, 1972, that normalized relations.

What has really occurred is that Japan’s central government has been entirely inept in the handling of the 3.11.11 triple disaster, and Japan’s failing economy. The false spirit of nationalism has no other purpose than to sway voters to keep the incompetent politicians propped up in their official capacity. A position they have not earned, and do not deserve to hold on to.

Clearly, the dispute can only be resolved through a proceeding held at the ICJ, and every nation that has a claim must be involved including Taiwan. These nations must agree to Court’s final determination no matter what the outcome.

This Senkaku matter has also caused a stir in Korea over the uninhabitable set of islets known as Liancourt Rocks, which are located 216.8 kilometers from Korea’s mainland, and 250 kilometers from the Honshu island of Japan.

It must be mentioned that the overtures Russia had been sending to Japan regarding territorial disputes in the northern region are now mute.

Japan can also probably kiss the 2020 Olympics goodbye, as it would probably need votes from China, Korea, Taiwan, and Russia to win its bid. The last two Olympics between Sydney and Beijing, and Paris and London were determined by a mere one or two votes.

Once again China, Korea, and Taiwan are openly calling for Japan to acknowledge it’s abhorrent imperialistic past, and to start teaching its true history to its people. A history that it seems the entire world is aware of, but its own people are not.

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Unique Gifts For Children Of All Ages

It’s the time of the year when parents dig deep into their pockets to assure their children have a memorable holiday season. In the west we call it Christmas. In Japan, it’s New Years day.

The harsh reality is that many of the items marketed at children are mass produced, and assembled by kids, children who are exploited as cheap, and disposable labor for corporate shareholders who demand immediate profits on their investments, while at the same time turning a blind eye as to the manner in how those revenues arise. Ironically, the exploitation of child labor is worse today than at any time during the industrial revolution; a time when Upton Sinclair penned, The Jungle, a novel that exposed the cruel, and dismal realities that the average factory worker endured on the assembly line.

If you’ve patronized any of the well-known chain stores in your quest for the perfect gift, you probably noted that quality items have become difficult to obtain. The fact is, if you want something original, and unique, you won’t find it at those places. Most toys are quite generic, and generally offered by only a handful of companies that license the same old images that we’ve seen for the past century. The shelves are lined with products that are made with nothing more than cheaply produced plastic, which is then bubble wrapped in a hard coating, thereby making it unattainable to any of the senses. What I’ve discovered is that I don’t want my child spending any of his time with any of that. Children seem to be turned off to it as well, choosing natural material over that which is manmade.

Recently, my attention was drawn to a video that was filmed of second grade students at St. Edmund’s Academy, a private school located in Pittsburgh. Children were asked to make comparisons to a well known mass marketed doll, and one that had more realistic features. The children overwhelmingly chose the realistic doll.

The average child today watches approximately fifty TV commercials each day. The toy manufacturers know this, and mass market their products to them, relying on the same tactics they’ve used for decades, inundating children with aural, and visual teasers through the medium of television. I don’t want my child to be an average kid. Why should you?

When I began researching quality items for children, my goal was to discover toys that were unique, aesthetically pleasing, and would stand the test of time. I sought responsible manufacturers that understood a dilemma existed between balancing sustainability, fair labor practices, and reaping reasonable profits.

The companies that fit the criteria were mostly from European nations. Very few originated from the U.S., or Canada. I address some of these products below, and hope that you, as parents, will support their efforts, and give their products a chance to become part of your child’s imaginary world of play. I highly suggest going online, and looking over the line of products these companies are producing. I’ve provided a link to their online stores so you have an opportunity to see their entire product line yourself.

 Atelier Fisher GMB http://atelierfischer.ch

Atelier Fisher GMB is a Swiss family-owned enterprise established in 1975. The company’s head office is in Schwarzenburg, which is a beautiful region located near the foot of the Swiss Alps. The company offers superior-quality games, and handcrafted products that are manufactured with attention to detail. Each product is unique with a distinctive design, produced through top quality workmanship, and perfectly printed on choice woods. All products are Swiss Made, and produced at Atelier’s own workshops. Atelier games have a timeless quality, and are both educational, and entertaining. They promote children’s creativity, but are also enjoyed by adults as well.

Wild Animals is a cube puzzle consisting of six different animals.

Memo Natura is memory game that trains and challenges the memory.

I grew up addicted to toy cars. I spent much of my youth gluing together Revell hotrod, and show car models, or racing Hot Wheels down the hallway with my neighborhood friends David, and Mike. I still have an original first run set in mint condition; along with the first run Hot Wheels carrying case. Back then my favorite toy car was the chromed Boss Hoss Silver Special, which was a Mustang Mach 1 that could only be obtained by cutting out cereal box tops, and mailing them to Mattel along with a quarter. I got the quarter, and stamp money by collecting soda bottles that littered the roadside of Biscayne Boulevard, which was located near our home. Today, there‘s a new toy car manufacturer that I wish was available when I was a kid. Automoblox!


While Patrick Callelo was studying Industrial Design at Carnegie Mellon University, he began to develop a novel toy car concept created out of wood. That initial idea became the catalyst that led to creation of the Automoblox line of toy cars. The idea was to inspire creativity in children by allowing them to visualize, and assemble cars of their own design. Automoblox are the perfect toy car for children as they aid in the development of planning, and motor skills, and promote a child’s ability to coordinate precise hand, and visual movement, aiding in the development of dexterity. Children care little of the actual physiological benefits they obtain when it comes to playing with Automoblox. They’re too engrossed in the ecstatic sensations they receive when putting together their very own creations. Automoblox come in two sizes, the full-sized concept cars, and the mini line, which is a scaled down version of the full-sized concept cars.


The image above features an Automoblox A9S, and an assembly sample.


Bloco Toys is a family owned business that designs, and manufactures high quality construction toys. Bloco pieces link together, and rotate at any angle making it easy for children to create fantastic 2D or 3D toy models. Each Bloco kit provides illustrated assembly guidance that allows a child imagination run wild in the creation of individual, and unique creatures. Bloco Sets can be combined to accommodate the building of even larger, and more complex creatures. Anything is left to the imagination when it comes to Bloco Toys. A child can easily create monsters, robots, dinosaurs, dragons, ogres, super heroes, cute animals, and much more. Children can build several different characters at one time, as each set contains ample pieces. One of the coolest things the company offers is an online gallery for children to send in photos of themselves showing off their latest, and greatest creations. Check out the gallery at the following link. http://blocotoys.com/Bloco2012/pages/YourMasterpieces.html


An endless array of creations are possible when using Bloco Sets.


Janod was founded in 1970, focusing on the design, and sales of traditional toys such as spinning tops, and yo-yos. In 2004, the company expanded, setting up a full-scale design department utilizing a team of designers, and computer graphics artists, creating one hundred and fifty wooden games, and toys. Janod hope is that their products provide an emotional bond between children, and their toys. Crafting timeless toys, while inventing new features are the challenges Janod takes on when creating its new collections. Janod’s playful, elegant, and sturdy creations forge unique connections between children, and their toys. The not so easily defined soulful component drives Janod designers, and the French Touch has enabled Janod to hold a special place in toy chests around the world!

Janod’s famously beautiful wooden alphabet puzzle.


Janod’s magnetic plane. One in a series of wooden painted vehicle creations.


Georges Le Van Toy is a Frenchman who moved to London, and thereafter, set up his toy company. His young son came up with the name of the company. Le Toy Van was set up in with the intention of producing high quality painted wooden toys, initially for the UK market. Positive reception by retailers, and the public led to the company expanding globally. Le Toy Van is now one of the premier painted wooden toy producers in the world, and on a year on year basis, continues to diversify, and innovate in the field.

Le Toy Van products are manufactured at an ICTI approved factory based in Indonesia. The UK based Le Toy Van design, and management teams regularly visit to ensure the quality of the product, and ethical conditions of the workforce.

All Le Toy Van toys are designed at the head office in Surrey. The highly experienced design team strives to create the innovative, and colorful style that Le Toy Van toys are acclaimed for. Many of their designs have gone on to receive awards from nationally recognized bodies such as the Right Start Magazine Best Toy Awards. Le Toy Van painted wooden toys are safety tested for ages 36 months, and up by accredited organizations around the world. In Europe, Le Toy Van toys adhere to the stringent EN71 guidelines and are regularly tested to adhere to the EC declaration of conformity.

Le Van Toy Pull Back Racers really do sound like a racecar when operated.

The Le Van Toy Red Sky Flyer.


Lilliputiens is based in Belgium, with its toys handmade in Asia. The design team consists of all mothers, who are keen to the importance of safety, which is instilled in every designed toy. Materials are carefully selected with each toy tested by independent labs, ensuring they are both durable, and meet stringent safety requirements. Each toy is certified to prove it has satisfied all European, and international quality standards. The designs, and fabrics chosen by the company necessitate hand sewn, hand made results. Awards include, Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year, and Creative Child Magazine Top Toy of the Year Award.

Rolobot TransformerLilliputiens Rolobot Transformer.

Cloth BooksOne in a series of Lilliputiens beautiful cloth books.


P’kolino (pee-ko-lee-no) was founded by two fathers that wanted to improve play at home. P’kolino design studio, and headquarters are located in Sunrise, Florida. With the help of friends, family, and a global network of designers, P’kolino has created toy products that are loved worldwide for their playful style, and smart functionality. P’kolino’s innovative line offers children playfully smart solutions. P’kolino founders, J.B. Schneider, and Antonio Turco-Rivas, started with a clear goal: to make better products so as to improve play at home. This mutual goal was realized during their MBA studies at Babson College. At Babson they began an intensive research, and development project with 20+ international design students from the Rhode Island School of Design. From this collaboration came the P’kolino Play Table, and with the help of family and friends, they created an award winning, globally recognized, Play Table.

With the continued collaboration of an international network of designers, and homegrown talent, P’kolino has expanded to offer playfully smart products that are enjoyed by children and families worldwide. Through the insight, and passion of the founders, and designers P’kolino has developed a playfully smart design philosophy. “Playful” means designing products that have a fun, and engaging style that children are drawn to but that parents can also appreciate for their aesthetic value. “Smart” means designing products that have superior functionality to safely support children’s developmental needs, and extend the life of the product through multiple uses.

P’kolino’s Balancing Plane.

P’kolino’s wonderfully crafted multi-solution puzzle.

Petr Horacek’s Animal Opposites http://www.walker.co.uk

Turn the pages, lift the flaps, and see animals of all shapes, and sizes spring to life in the world of opposites. From slow snail to fast cheetah, heavy hippo to light butterfly, Horacek’s pop-up animals encourage early literacy, language, and communication. With its beautiful illustrations, and interactivity, learning has never been so much fun.

Horacek was born in Prague in Czechoslovakia. He studied at the High School of Art in Prague. At 19 he worked at a state advertising, and design agency. “In communist Czechoslovakia there was nothing much to advertise or design. But the experience was fun and inspiring.” After that Horacek studied at the Academy of Fine Art. In 1989 there was a revolution, which resulted in new studios, new professors, and new inspirations at the Academy. An English girl, Claire arrived at the Academy, and they have been together ever since. In 1994 Horacek received his Master of Fine Arts, and moved to England. Soon he had two daughters, which was the inspiration to his books. Horacek received the Books For Children Newcomer Award in 2001.

Petr Horacek’s, Animal Opposites is the one must-have pop up book for your child.


Quercetti is an Italian company that has been proudly manufacturing toys in Italy for over sixty years. The company started in the 1950s from the sheer determination of founder, Alessandro Quercetti. Quercetti remains one of the few toy manufacturers left in Italy, so the company makes safety a top priority. Today, Quercetti enthusiastically carries on the family tradition under its original principles of producing toys that speak kid’s language, and address their natural developmental needs.

The company has full control over the technology, and materials used in their production. At all stages Quercetti aims to achieve the highest quality standandards. “We have been manufacturing toys for children around the world for quite a long time. We try to do it as best as we possibly can, because we believe that the first years of a child’s life are critical for laying the foundation of all future learning—the skills and know-how that he or she will keep on building in life.”

Quercetti considers the use of commercials directed to children under twelve unwise, and unethical. The company strongly believes children should not be exposed to marketing operations that may induce irresponsible consumerism. Sweden adopted strict restrictions in its legislation regarding this matter, and it is in this respect that Quercetti likes to consider themselves more Swedish than Italian.

Quercetti carefully checks all phases of production according to their high quality standards to ensure the products comply with strict International safety regulations. 
 Quercetti products are tested by recognized external labs meeting the international toy safety regulations EN 71 part 1, 2, 3; ASTM; and CPSIA. Quercetti employees work in a safe, and healthy work environment that meets workplace ergonomics policies as well as our strict national safety legislation.

Quercetti Georello Kaleido Gears. The author’s personal favorite.

Quercetti Georello Tech. An endless array of possibilities.

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John Lennon: A Legacy That Lives On

John Lennon said The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. No doubt they were, and probably still are. However, Lennon’s name doesn’t instill memories of lunatic robed, and hooded figures who rigged heresy trials, and used torture to gain their objective of world control, thereby costing the lives of hundreds, and hundreds of millions. Perhaps the reason Lennon became more important was because he never said these words, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” The name Lennon, even today, invokes a different kind of zeal, some 34 years after his tragic murder. The kind that all the lonely people understand, no matter where they all come from.

I’d certainly rather listen to Imagine, Instant Karma, or Woman Is The Nigger Of The World, than to be subjected to a sermon on a mount, surrounded by the devout, who learned nothing from their blind faith, and whose offspring continue to beat war drums, wipe their filthy mouths on their sleeves, having no tolerance for other’s equally blind faiths, and instead collude, and conspire, in hopes of their genocide, justifying it all as a Revelation, as a gift laid upon them from the healing hands of the dyslexic dog they claim to follow in word, and in deeds.

Lennon battled Nixon and the feds, and beat them soundly in their sham attempts to have him deported from a nation that he loved more than any of them. Some people have too much power, and as far as I’m concerned, those that abuse it forfeit their right to life. Lennon forfeited nothing except the millions in tax dollars that he still continues to give to the adopted country that he loved so much. At the end of those mock proceedings instigated by Nixon, a reporter asked Lennon if there were “any hard feelings.” Lennon replied, “Time wounds all heels,” and flashed his green card for all to see.

Who are such men, having such power to arbitrarily draw lines in the sand, and say other men cannot cross? Why have they been placed in position of power? Why are they tolerated at all?

Not long after Lennon’s victory over the U.S. government, Nixon would be castigated, humiliated before the entire world, after claiming that he wasn’t a crook, to the multitudes that knew he was, and finally tossed out of the White House. Nixon instigated wars, and murdered millions. The only battle that ever raged because of The Beatles was an internal one. Were you a Teddy Boy, or a Mod? Turns out it’s OK to be either.

Nixon was a mass murderer along with his sociopath sidekick Kissinger, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in murdering millions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, etc. Ford would take the American throne, and, exonerate Nixon, and go on to play a significant role in the genocide of the Timorians, and the massacre of “Communists” in Indonesia, and continue fueling the cold war propaganda machine that brought the world’s nations to the edge of annihilation on numerous occasions. Nuclear testing alone has caused the world to be nearly unfit to live with fall out affecting every living organism that exists on the face of the planet.

Ironically, the Americans today, who, because of the acts of the criminal sociopaths they “vote” into office to represent “their” interests, continue to exist in less secure environs than at any time in its short history because of all of the reprehensible conduct that nation heaps upon the small people of “insignificant” cultures, in their names. It’s going to get a lot worse as the new Senate Intelligence Committee CIA Torture Report makes its way around the Muslim communities of the world.  Remember that the next time you see a beheading. Don’t blame it on “terrorists”; blame it on failed U.S. foreign policy. The same foreign policy that tried to deport one of the greatest artists that ever existed.

Lennon’s legacy speaks for itself. So do those who are responsible for gross malfeasance in their perpetual, and unjust campaign against the nations of the world that can’t defend themselves against America’s brand of tyranny, and terror.

Remember that Lennon, a citizen of a foreign country paid more taxes to the U.S. coffers than Nixon, both Bushes, Obama, the Clinton’s, Ford, Reagan, Carter, all of the Kennedy’s, and Kissinger combined, and continues to do so today, long after his death.

All Lennon was saying was, Give Peace A Chance. Ironically, another delusional American who apparently hadn’t heard those words would gun down Lennon in front of his residence, after returning home from recording new music he had intended to share with the world.

There will never be any semblance of peace in this thing called humanity so long as the shallow minded people of the very big nations continue to permit a handful of immoral, dyslexic dogless reprobates steamroll over the world in their efforts to suck a tenth of a penny out of anything, and everything. It’s this mindset that brought about the void, and the abject apathy, that today, we as “civilized” beings consider not.

What is a true artist?

Today, George W. an American mass murderer, and child killer has turned to painting, much like the pedophile, child murderer John Wayne Gacy had. Bush now calls himself an artist. I’ve seen his work. It’s not very good, and hardly worth mentioning beyond the barb above. Reminds me of another artist who fiddled about as the country he was responsible for burned to the ground. We know the outcome of that empire.

Lennon’s legend will continue in perpetuam. His music and ideals will live on forever, and those who sought, and continue to seek to castigate true expression, and stifle speech will hopefully one day be erased from the history books, leaving nothing to remind us of the opportunities that they had, and squandered. Imagine when that day comes!

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Off The Beaten Path: Kyoto’s Turn

Red Autumn Maple

Autumn is upon us, and the milder climate is slowly transforming the lush green summer landscape into a patchwork of yellow, gold, orange and red. If you missed the changes in remote places such as Kankunodate, or Yamadera in the northern regions of Japan, don’t worry because the best is yet to come.

Kyoto is the place to be when autumn kicks in. The mountains have already begun to transform, and the changes are trickling downward like a slow moving shadow. This ancient city is the place to be if you want to encounter some of the most striking architectural edifices, and gardens Japan has to offer.

My personal favorite places in Kyoto are Fushimi Inari in the summer, and Otagi Nebutsuji, which is located in the high mountains of Arashiyama. But for fall, there is nothing quite like experiencing the dramatic changes that take place in Tofukuji.

Tofukuji In Red

Tofukuji was originally built in 1236 during the Kamakura era. The structures were subsequently burned down, but were again rebuilt in the 15th century. The temple’s gate is the oldest to survive in Japan, and has become a national treasure.

Kinkakuji is another tremendous Kyoto landmark. Known as the Golden Pavilion, and Rokuon-ji, the Muromachi gardens are considered some of the most picturesque in Japan. The site dates as far back as 1397. Unfortunately, during the Onin war all of the structures were set ablaze. Personally, I like this temple covered in a deep snow, in mid-winter, but it’s just as magnificent in autumn.

Kinkakuji Garden

Another favorite of mine is Koutouin. This place gets very crowded on the weekends, and is also very difficult to take photos of. But, if you’re patient, the wait can be well worth it. Fortunately, I was able to get a shot from the interior looking outward when one of the staff members noticed me. He stopped the sea of patrons in both directions, which allowed me enough time to get the photo that appears in this article. The garden is very beautiful, and extremely peaceful. Oh, how lovely it would be to call this place home.

Koutouin Gardens

The weekend crowds in Kyoto can be daunting. I once visited Tofukuji, Kinkakuji, and Koutouin in autumn, and on a Sunday. I didn’t get a good feel for how tranquil these places could be with the masses moving about. I returned the following Tuesday, and it turned out to be a different experience all together. All of the sites mentioned in this article were nearly deserted. So, for what it’s worth, try to plan your visit on a weekday, if you do, you’ll be rewarded with open spaces, and surreal environments!

Gion District

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Abe: The Antiquated Christ Of Japan’s Apocalypse

Not long ago I read an article in The Japan Times, where the writer called Abe a “historical revisionist.” How absurd! Historical revisionists are those that do a great amount of research in preparation of their work, and remove any biases that might infect the particular subject matter they are working on. A revisionists strives for honesty as they work to correct distortions, and other forms of intentional inaccuracies that passed down through generations, benefitting those with a specific political, religious, or racist agenda, as well as the publishers that corroborated, and supported that particular parasitic brand of mass deception.

Abe is no revisionist. He’s a manufactured puppet that does the bidding of the U.S., as were all of Japan’s post World War II prime ministers. Abe is not a revisionist. Abe has no vision. He’s a charlatan. He’s an arrogant, and ignorant racist, who is hell bent on creating as much instability, and turmoil in the Pacific region as possible, in order to fulfill his goal of “reinterpreting” Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, and returning the nation to what he conceives as its past glory. Anybody that has even a cursory knowledge of Japan in a historical perspective knows there isn’t anything glorious about the nation’s past. Period! This week, Abe called for a return of Japan’s honor. If Abe considers the bayonetting of infants, and feeding starving children with anthrax ladened chocolate a form of honor, he, and the LDP party pigs that surround him would be the only ones. To put it mildly, there is nothing honorable about Japan’s past, and there will be nothing honorable about the liar nation’s future.

It was recently reported that Japan’s economy (as of the time of this writing) is worse than when Japan’s east coast was wiped out by giant tsunami waves, and a third of the nation was blanketed in radiation contamination circa 3.11.11. To put that in perspective, all ships were barred from entering ports, causing the shipping industry to grind to a halt. Import, and export ceased to exist. Store shelves sat bare for several days as the Abe’s own LDP party proved itself entirely inept at disaster preparations it had conned the world into believing it was the leader in. All transportation ground to a halt as trains, planes, and buses sat idle, unable to locate fuel to operate, or a rail, runway, or highway to operate on. In that, when a leader of a country can’t figure out ways to repair the nation’s failing economy, they turn to nationalism, and hate, and fear campaigns. Japan’s LDP hasn’t even mastered that, as the party is entirely transparent.

This week Aeon reported more than 97% loss in sales, and profits, as Abe prepares, once again, to raise taxes from 8% to 10%. Citigroup is also pulling out of Japan’s failing finance industry as well. The fact is, the world doesn’t need Japan to manufacture its cheap plastic crap any longer. Thanks to the U.S., Japan had nearly seventy years to learn from its pathetic past, and has failed in every aspect. There is nothing that remains that Abe, or his racist LDP cohorts can do to change the crash course in futility the nations now faces.

Instead of Abe addressing Japan’s deteriorating economy, and runaway inflation, he often speaks of fond memories as a child, sitting on his grandfather’s lap, and being enlightened about the wonders of Japan’s failed imperialistic empire. These ridiculous tales are as absurd as the origin of Japan’s emperors hailing from a sun goddess, who’s relations were sent to Japan to rule over the barbarians hordes of the world. If this was North Korea, we’d be laughing at such ridiculous lunacy. The grandfather that Abe is referring to is Nobusuke Kishi, who served as prime minister in the 1950s after the U.S. showed Japan what a real imperialist power will do to an imposter that stands in its way. It must be noted that Kishi was a Class A war criminal that managed to buy his way out of a war crimes trial, and a hangman’s noose, and the party most responsible for the U.S. permanently occupying the island nation. Kishi was one of Japan’s first puppet prime ministers that cowed to every whim of the U.S. occupiers, and victors of World War II.

In Japan, Kishi’s name is synonymous with corruption. Despite this, he remained a strong behind-the-scenes influence in Japan’s long-ruling LDP. Kishi was an ardent racist, and nationalist who opposed the war-renouncing aspect of Japan’s Constitution. He was the brother of Prime Minister, Eisaku Sato, and the father-in-law of Shintaro Abe, Shinzo Abe’s father, another sociopath who failed in his desire to become one of Japan’s puppet prime ministers. Kishi was ousted from office during huge street demonstrations from citizens who opposed a new security treaty between the U.S. and Japan.

Abe’s first stint as prime minister resulted in his resignation due to corruption within his party, after it was discovered that more than 50 million Japanese pension funds literally vanished off of the nation’s ledger. Those funds have never been found, and nobody in the LDP searching for them either. Now, Abe wants the pension funds that remain to take “riskier bets.”

Abe embraces the “glories” of the antiquated Imperial Regime, which led Japan into World War II, and the nation’s utter demise. That regime, which was quashed by allied forces, and which had committed unspeakable, and egregious war crimes, and had caused the most racist, as well as the worst war in the history of the world was somehow left to remain in power. Those war criminals are responsible for the deaths of more than 30,000,000 civilians, and somehow the nation manages to consider itself the victim of the second great war. This is the mindset of Abe, and other belligerent offspring of Japan’s war crimes past.

By the time the war criminal cowards, (those same cowards that today are buried at Yasakuni Shrine, and honored by Abe as “heroes”), surrendered to the allied forces to save their own necks, the entire nation was left a wasteland, fire bombed to the point that barely a tree remained standing. Ironically, Hirohito, and his criminal empirical family would avoid war crimes trials, after making a deal with General MacArthur, and the U.S., by turning over the approximately two billion in loot they pilfered from the nations they ransacked. Not only did Hirohito and his clan avoid being hung as the criminals they were, they would stand to prosper, and watch as Japan rose from the ninth world economy to the second, not long after the war. Japan has the U.S. to thank for this “economic miracle” the nation exploited to the hilt.

Shiro Iishi is one of those that evaded a war crimes. Iishi had operated the notorious Unit 731 biological warfare unit that committed unspeakable medical experiments on living human subjects. (More on that later.)

Abe needs to grasp that the great humiliation that he, and his cronies suffer from are the results of Japan’s antiquated failures, and backwards mentality, and the great shame, and delusion that he suffers from will never be wiped from the history books of the world no matter how much they remain censored in Japan. Hiroshima, and Nagasaki stand to bear witness to the lunacy of Japan’s past military aggression against its neighbors. Those facts speak for themselves.

Today, Abe called for Japan’s media to help restore the nation’s honor. What he means is the media should become even more of a political tool than they already are, and play a more significant role in the LDP’s propaganda, and public relations scheme, by helping to cover up Japan’s war crimes history, deep seeded, and unjustified hatred, and fear of foreigners, segregation mentality, and play a more crucial role in returning Japan to the days of absolute totalitarianism, tyranny, and fervent flag waving nationalism.

Abe wants to war dance. He wants to tango with regional powers that are far superior in military capabilities, resources, and financial ability today than Japan ever had at its primordial past when the nation sent balloons across the Pacific filled with germ warfare, and had created the world’s first terrorist suicide bombers. This last dance Abe so greatly desires will surely result in an ill conceived apocalypso that will cover Japan in death, long before the next ice age will.

Abe’s racist antics are more than mere stunts that draw belligerent response from neighboring countries such as China, Russia, and Korea. Abe needs to “get it” that Japan remains an occupied nation, and its been that way for nearly seventy years because the nation’s collective conscience is unable to adjust to a modern, and civilized form of existence. Abe is not a revisionist. He’s a instigator who’s stirs the pot of turmoil, and rattles the sabers to cover up his inept economic policies for the nation he rules. Despite what the LDP’s laudable clowns have stated, the U.S. will not go to war on behalf of Japan. The U.S. can’t get out of the middle east mess it dug itself into.

Abe’s Childlike Antics

Without regard to the tensions that already exist in the region, Abe mindlessly posed for a photo in the cockpit of an air force T-4 training jet emblazoned with the number 731 on its side of the plane. The photo was taken at the Air Self-Defense Force base in Miyagi Prefecture. The number 731 evokes outrage and horror, bringing back nightmarish memories of the covert biological and chemical warfare research facility that carried out lethal human experiments during the 1937-45 Sino-Japanese War, and World War II, crimes that were sanctioned, and financed by Emperor Hirohito.

Newspapers throughout the world ran photos of Abe sitting in the cockpit of a fighter plane with the numbers 731 clearly visible in the photo. In fact, there’s an arrow that draws ones attention straight to the number. “Abe’s pose resurrects horrors of Unit 731,” read the headline on the English-language Korea Joongang Daily. The Chosun Ilbo’s caption referred to “Abe’s never-ending provocations.”

Shinzo Abe poses for a photo in a T-4 military jet with the numbers 731 on the plane. The number references Japan’s biological facility that tortured, and executed 30,000 Chinese, Korean and Russian civilians under the guise of scientific experiments.

The Japanese biological and chemical warfare research facility was responsible for torturing, and executing more than 30,000 Chinese, Korean, and Russian civilians. There were also U.S. soldiers experimented on, tortured, and executed at the secret facility, which was operated by Shiro Iishi, a war criminal who is enshrined at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, along with numerous other war criminals. There were no survivors. Unit 731 is located in Harbin, China, and still stands as a testament of Japan’s barbarism to its regional neighbors.

Harbin 2

Unit 731. Harbin, China.

Abe understood that the photo could only be interpreted as a provocation to China, Korea, and Russia. Leaders that are this insensitive, and conducting themselves in such an apprehensible manner clearly are not fit for office. The photos of the smiling faced prime minister can only be construed as an approval of Japan’s colonial-era war crime atrocities. The regional, and international press agree that the Abe photos were intended as an affront to countries like China and South Korea, which suffered under Japanese occupation and colonization.

The Japanese Defense Ministry suggested the number on the trainer was simply coincidental. “There was no particular meaning in the number of the training airplane the prime minister was in on Sunday. Other than that there is nothing we can say,” a ministry spokesman told AFP in Tokyo. Even if these comments were true, the base officials said there were numerous other planes that Abe could have had his photo taken in.

War criminal Shiro Ishii: Unit 731’s notorious mass murderer.

South Korean ambassador to Japan Shin Kak-Soo said Japan needed to pay attention to perceptions. “There is a gap between the perception of a victimizer, and that of a victim.”

The photo has fueled public anger in South Korea, and China, which had already been aroused by the recent visits of Japanese cabinet ministers, and lawmakers to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine. The Yasukuni shrine honors thousands of war criminals as national heroes. The shrine is rightfully regarded as an insult to countries in the region. South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se shelved a proposed trip to Tokyo in protest at the visits, while former President Park Geun-Hye warned Japan against shifting to the right, and aggravating the “scars of the past.

A blind deity, Hirohito sanctioned the torture, and execution of thousands of innocent civilians.

Hirohito visiting the happiest place on earth.

Korean newspapers appear to have been alerted to the photos by online commentary from the U.S. and China, as well as a statement from South Korean ruling party politician Chung Mong-joon that said Abe’s photo-op was equivalent to German Chancellor Angela Merkel riding an aircraft with a Nazi swastika.

The Dong-A Ilbo, another large national paper in Korea, ran a photo that showed Abe wearing a baseball jersey with the number 96 on it. According to the Dong-A, 96 is another “numerical provocation” since Article 96 is the section of the Japanese constitution that Abe wants to revise as part of his goal to allow Japan to formally possess a military.

South Koreans are wary of constitutional changes in Japan because of a prevailing narrative that it would mark a return to Japan’s militaristic past. Recent provocative comments by Abe about Japan’s occupation of parts of Asia during World War II, visits to a war shrine by Japanese cabinet members, and Hashimoto’s mindless rhetoric are increasing concerns in South Korea, China and even Russia of Japan’s political trajectory. In 2013, the UN reported more than 360 hate crimes in Japan aimed at foreigners within Japan’s borders, and called for Japan’s legislatures to outlaw hate speech.

Coverage of Abe’s remarks on historical issues, and Japan’s military seems to be about the only subject that unites the Korean press. Despite huge editorial differences on issues such as domestic politics and North Korea, the South Korean media largely speak with one critical voice about Abe, and warn against any changes to Japan’s pacifist constitution.

Oddly, while Japan’s government has been involved recently in a massive amount of hate speech, rhetoric, and clear aggressive symbolism, Abe has expressed concerns over the increase in hate speech. In an Upper House Budget Committee session that took place on May 7th 2013, Abe criticized the hate mongering that has become rampant around the nation, adding that the hate these people show is dishonoring Japan. “It is truly regrettable that there are words and actions that target certain countries and races,” Abe was quoted as saying. Abe is incredibly hypocritical. Or is he merely sociopathic?

Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Kan Suzuki, pointed out that demonstrations in the Korea towns of Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo district and Osaka’s Tsuruhashi district have been marred by vitriol, and race-specific hate. Protesters have been shouting, “Kill the Koreans”, or that “Koreans are cockroaches”, and “Koreans go home, you do not belong here!”

Abe’s own words have caused angry reactions from South Korea, and China in recent months. This is with regards to his views about Japan’s role in World War II, saying that the term “aggressor” can be defined in different ways from different points of view. South Korea has specifically made strong diplomatic reactions, asking Japan to apologize, and the international community to exert pressure for Abe to retract his comments. “It’s completely wrong to put others down, and feel as if we are superior,” Abe said. “Such acts dishonor ourselves.” After living in Japan for nearly eight years, I’ve yet to understand what it is about the Japanese that could possibly allow them believe they’re superior to anyone, except the fact that those who think such nonsense, are in fact making believe.

Jap Flags

The following are documentaries that expose Japan’s Unit 731 biological warfare crimes.

Men Behind The Sun
Japan’s Dirty Secret (In Japanese)
Nightmare In Manchuria
Unit 731: Japan’s Biological Force

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Japan’s Dirty Secret


Unfortunately, beauty is truly only skin deep when it comes to taking photos of various locations around the world. This orb we call planet earth is at the point that it’s become overrun with toxic debris, and is now an aesthetically unpleasant place to be. All of this is a direct result of the impact of human growth, greed, and disdain for all things wholesome, and pure. Human’s have become as shallow as a full moon ebb when it comes to the environment, taking responsibility, and making real efforts to repair the damage done, for the benefit of those that will follow in this generations footsteps.

When the sun rises, and darkness is washed in bright light, what’s remains is a revelation of a disturbing proportions, notably that Japan’s beaches are some of the most polluted in the world.

After. This is the same location as in the featured photo above.

(I’ve seen fishermen carry full bags of garbage, and toss them into the ocean at this location, as if it was their personal dumping ground.)

While much of the nation revels in unfounded racist assumptions that all Koreans, and Chinese are filthy four-legged beasts, I thought it proper to show the side of Japan that tourists rarely have the opportunity to see.

The sign reads, no dumping.

This sign reads, no dumping as well.

I’ve had numerous conversations along the shores of Japan, often asking why the rivers, and streams that run into the oceans, and the shorelines themselves are covered in massive piles of debris, refuse, and plastic. I always ask, who is responsible for this? The answers are stark, and reveal layers, upon layers of denial. Literally, everyone I have spoken to had the same pat conclusion. It’s the Koreans, and the Chinese that are fowling up Japan’s shoreline! Ironically, the myriad of containers made of plastic, metal, glass, styrofoam, and other man-made materials, and “convenient” packaging, are all noted as Japanese produced goods. Surely, Japan can’t blame Korea, and China for the sea of debris that flows out of the nation’s own rivers when it rains. Can they? Japan surely can’t blame the massive amount of garbage that’s piling up on the Pacific Ocean side of the nation on their much hated, and maligned neighbors, can they? Yet, they do. This is all part of Japan’s liar culture. Uso mo hōben meanslying is also a means to an end.

The following photos were taken while traveling along Japan’s coast in Chiba Prefecture. They represent a mere two hours of random stops along various beaches.

Up close and not so personal.

So, while Japan’s beaches are covered in toxic discarded containers of oil, and other caustic chemicals, and obsolete electronic goods, the surfers, and fishermen that spend their days on the ocean, walking over, and around the debris that’s piling higher, and higher. The idea of cleaning up this mess never seems to occur to any of them. Instead, they suck on their cigarettes, and toss spent butts into the heaps, never considering that their ignorance contributes to the annual count of trillions of cigarette butts that bleed nicotinic acids, and are instrumental in killing off coral reefs, and cause changes in the ocean’s PH levels, at an astounding rate. But, no worries, the Japanese can continue to blame their hated neighbors for the destruction of their shorelines.

Every “ocean man” in the land has a cigarette dangling from their jaw, and they always end up in the drainage ditch.

The following are examples of discarded debris along Japan’s, not so mystical sea shores.

Beach paths.

Below is a location where divers trespass, and use as their personal dumping ground.

Overflowing garbage leeching into the grounds below.

Wretched shore obstructions built during the fraudulent 80’s miracle era.


The above location was so toxic that the onshore air blowing in off of the ocean was putrid, and burned my throat so badly, that I had to cover my face with a towel, and run back to my car to get out of there.

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Japan Fruit Shams

A hundred and eight dollar mango. Mango!

What is it about Japan that the nation thinks someone will buy a puny mango for more than a hundred dollars? I used to say, in Japan you pay twice as much for half as little. But, this is taking it to the nth degree. One thing is certain, greed knows no boundaries in the little island nation.

At my mom’s home in Miami there are two large mango trees in her front yard. Those mangos are three times as big as this one, and they’re the best damn mangos I’ve ever eaten. Perhaps I should get her to send me several bags. I’d love to set a stand up next to this one, and display her mangos next to this emaciated little shrivel. Heck, I’d take a hundred bucks for fifty of ’em. And… My mom’s mangos aren’t contaminated with high levels of radiation toxicity.

These stores try to justify their prices by claiming these are “special” fruits to give as gifts for people who are in the hospital. Well, if I gave that mango to a recuperating family member, and told them it cost a hundred bucks, I’d have to call in a pulmonary specialist to deal with the heart attack that was sure to ensue.

If that mango greed factor isn’t off the charts enough for you, perhaps the following will settle the score…

Here ya go!

A hundred and thirty dollar cantaloupe the size of an orange. Yeah, greed knows no bounds in Japan. These prices, while the nation is in a recession, uber deflation, and total denial. And… what of the honey dew!

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