Underreported News of the Week

China

In the leadup to the 60th anniversary of the PRC, news that would roil or perturb the prevailing amity in Sino-Japanese relations was played down in the Chinese press.  However, in spite of the fact that the BBS boards were mainly wiped clean about the topics, a few potentially significant stories broke through.

The Qingnian Cankao reported on secret aspects now coming to light about the foundational documents of U.S.-Japan military cooperation, that is, the 1960 U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.

Huanqiu Shibao reminds everyone that, in 2006, Japanese P.M. Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine and hacked everyone off.  Just a few comments made their way onto these articles (6 on the above article, an abnormally low number!) but they included gems like:

管他参拜还是没有,一个字,杀  “Whether he goes or doesn’t go to the shrine, one word: kill”

再给日本一颗原子弹。世界上唯一享受原子弹的国家每年这个日子都在庆祝原子弹胜利落在他们的国土上,他们每年这一天都举行庆祝活动祈祷原子弹再一次光临日本岛. “Time to drop another atomic bomb on Japan.  On the whole planet, the countries which are fortunate possess nuclear weapons every year should celebrate the victory in having dropped the nuclear bomb on that country’s territory.  They every year, as part of these celebration activities,they should brighten the Japanese islands again with another atomic bomb.”

中日友好万岁!”Long live Sino-Japanese friendship!”  [OK, just kidding with the last one.  Professing love for Japan in such a context invites the attention of a “human search engine.”  Good friends of mine have actually been flamed out and banned from Chinese chat forms about nature photographs for suggesting that there were redeemable, even attractive aspects of Meiji culture.]

Qingnian Cankao reprints a sanitized version of an NY Times article by Liz Gooch to make itself feel proud: More and more Asian students are coming to China to “study abroad”.

And one last article will receive a bit more detailed attention later: 日本右翼借华人纰漏闹事 攻击民主党移民政策, “Japanese Right-Wingers Concoct False Incident to Trouble Overseas Chinese [in Tokyo]: Their Goal is to Harm the [Japanese] Democratic Party’s Immigration Policy.”

North Korea

American CIA director Leon Panetta says the U.S. is “in a honeymoon period” with North Korea.  Come again?

Kim Chin-young’s dream of opening a new science university in Pyongyang is becoming a reality.  And there is a deep connection here to Yanbian University of Science and Technology in Northeast China.  Does this mean there will ultimately be more North Korean exchange students at Seton Hall University in the U.S.?

North Koreans studying English in Pyongyang (note that the lights are on)
North Koreans studying English in Pyongyang (note that the lights are on)

Japan/Seattle

Is Seattle part of Japan?  In some ways, it is!  The thought became clear this morning in discussing a very secret CIA document from 1951 in which Soviet General Malinovsky allegedly called Kim Il Song and Chinese General/Revolutionary Peng Dehuai to Vladivostok to plot about ways to use Soviet-brainwashed Japanese POWs in the Korean War.    Because those Japanese in 1951 should have been pro-US, not pro-USSR!  Senator Warren Magnuson went to Japan to drink and be entertained by Japanese bankers after suggesting in 1950 that Japanese soldiers be sent to Korea to fight for American interests.   Hell, even “anti-American” Nosaka Sanzo used to ply the harbors of the Puget Sound, dank and green, and so much like Kobe! In other words, in the postwar era, Japan and the U.S. are tightly wound together, and Seattle is tightly wound to the Pacific.

That, and the Japanese-Americans came back in 1946 to Seattle from the dust of the Sierra Nevadas and bought back their grocery stores, though in smaller volume than before, and revived the Japanese-style at the Panama Hotel.

Thus, the news this week arrived of an ejection from a baseball game of the scion of Japan/Seattle, Ichiro Suzuki.  He was ejected from the game, according to my own internal (e.g., imaginary) sources, for arguing over treaty rights in Okinawa, drawing a line in the sand with his bat as if to say: “Your bombing runs and your Hum-vees, sir, are not welcome beyond this point, but your investment in Nintendo which owns the Seattle Mariners is welcome on either side of the plate, dear judge.”  At which point the umpire straightened up and boomed: “Dear Ichiro: You must have mistaken me for someone else!  I am no John Foster Dulles, no Kennan-style lush from Stark County, Ohio, and you know as well as I that the U.S. treaty rights in Okinawa have already been clearly deliniated in the San Francisco Treaty, subsequently in the 1960 U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and then once more in 1972!  And these are the precedents for my call of ‘strike,’ which, unlike MacArthur in Feburary 1947, you have no power to prevent.”  And then Ichiro got all up in his face, towering with rage, and shouted: “But you have not even read the latest conference paper on Okinawan rights by the brilliant Gustavus thinker David Obermuller , and your training cannot possibly surpass that of his University of Iowa Ph.D., and what is more your ball/strike ratio is more out of whack than the deflationary trends of the Japanese yen, or the shrinking balance of Sino-U.S. trade, or the birthrate among Koreans in Kobe!  So take back your call, and I will continue to stun the crowd with my sinuous grace!”

Faced with Ichiro’s sinew, the umpire had no rebuttal but to toss him from the game, unceremoniously.  How can Ichiro do anything without ceremony?  It isn’t right.  Seattle weeps internally for its well-paid giant.

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