Tag: Japan

Thoughts on Arab Revolts and Japanese Tsunami/Meltdown

There isn’t too much going on in the world except for the Arab Revolts. So far Egypt and Tunisia have changed their rulers while it is still in process in Libya and Yemen. Things are just getting started in Syria while the revolt in Bahrain is crushed with the help of some Saudi and Emirati forces. The other countries like Jordan and Morocco are proactively avoiding a revolt by appeasing the disgruntled citizens. It would be nice to see changes in Yemen and Libya with as little violence as possible but it looks like those uprisings are simply beyond the point of nonviolence.

And how does this affect any of us? For one, the price of petrol has already gone up as a result of the instability and it will make it less appealing for foreign investment to go into places where the revolts are ongoing or brutally crushed. On the other hand, it is a boon to oil speculators and the cause of short-term shocks in the financial markets. I can only hope that the people’s revolutions in Yemen and Libya sort themselves out before it starts attracting more unwanted elements.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami was just devastating. This earthquake was the “big one” pundits, geologists, and survivalists always feared in Japan. It is fortunate that only northeast Japan was affected and I’m glad that 2 of my former classmates and a former instructor are out of danger. Even my penpal who I have not spoken to in over a year is no longer in danger. The major complaints from them are the trains running late or being cancelled (just like with NJTransit trains) and making a strange effort to adjust despite all the loss of life and potential nuclear meltdown.

The people of Japan, like America, are generally pleasant and poorly informed and their government, like America, is run by a group of semi-corrupt idiots. These parallels help explain how Japan, despite all its might and sophistication, could have allowed itself to suffer a devastating tsunami that wiped out its historic communities and leave themselves open to a potential nuclear meltdown. Like Japan, for all its might and ability to wage a War of Terror on the Muslim World, America also allowed itself to suffer a devastating hurricane that ravaged historic regions and left themselves without the means to properly rebuild. There are some similarities to America and Japan and it would be no surprise if America lurches into a Lost Decade like its Japanese friend, but I digress.

In the past, I found it easy to simply repost an article and give a running commentary on the various points written in the article. Now, I find I lost the drive that allowed me to write paragraphs of coherent and focused commentary that made parts of this blog popular in the first place. It will take me some time to get back into that state of mind after being ravaged by a thankless relationship, a thankless jobs, and a thankless circle of friends.

This cartoon made my day:

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Barack Obama nukes the Japanese “Obama”

So there you have it. Yukio Hatoyama, once dubbed the “Japanese Obama” by supporters and the press, has resigned due to the collapse of  his coalition over his failure to remove American bases off of Okinawa.  The irony  is Obama was the one who sealed his Japanese counterpart’s fate by playing hardball at Hatoyama’s repeated attempts to move American forces to bases in mainland Japan.

I often joked that it was Hatoyama’s tacky choice of fashion, and his nutty wife as the cause for his downfall, but I was just joking.  Despite being in power for barely 8 months, Hatoyama proved that the opposition can again break the hard conservative, nationalist Liberal Democratic Party’s stranglehold on government and give people a sense of empowerment in their country’s fate.  Moreover, he was able to cultivate ties with his regional neighbours that brought about improved trade and badly needed diplomatic influence.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-clemons/obama-takes-down-the-wron_b_597038.html?view=print

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hatoyama.jpg
(photo credit: Office of the Prime Minister, Government of Japan)

Japan Prime Minister and Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama, whose amazing electoral victory last year unseating the long dominant Liberal Democratic Party, has announced that he is stepping down from his position for failing to deliver on a key campaign promise to the Japanese people about moving the US Marine Futenma Air Station off of Okinawa.

I will be arriving in Tokyo tomorrow (on Thursday) and will be in Naha, Okinawa this next Monday.

Hatoyama could not withstand the pressure from Obama — who gave Hatoyama the kind of icy treatment that the White House has also been trying to give Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The problem is Hatoyama wilted, and Netanyahu seems to be thriving.

I recently wrote a piece on the odd dynamic between President Obama and two different Prime Ministers — Netanyahu and Hatoyama — for the Kyodo News Service. It has already run in Japanese, but I post the entire English language version here:

While Israel is given free rein by Obama to shoot up unarmed activists who were bringing in-kind aid to a ravaged part of Palestine in Gaza, the Japanese Prime Minister is told to pick up Obama’s poop when he needed to move bases to protect his coalition government and regain support from his electorate.  I really don’t know what Obama is doing by burning bridges with his Japanese Obama while allowing a right-wing Zionist to do as he pleases with pro-Palestine activists.

Of Presidents & Prime Ministers in the Age of Obama
by Steve Clemons

Jan ken pon. Scissors cut paper. Paper covers Rock. Rock smashes scissors. There is an interesting drama playing out between several world leaders today that reminds of this game.

President Barack Obama seems to be smashing the political fortunes of Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. On the other hand, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been rebuffing and constraining Obama. Obama and China’s Hu Jintao seem to be stalemated, playing jan ken pon over and over and over again.

Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation is right.  Obama is pissing on his Japanese lackey when he won’t play ball while giving Israel a free pass for all the wrong reasons (some people say it’s due to Liberal Christian American guilt for allowing the Holocaust to happen and for turning away countless Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-ravaged Europe).

He is also right about Obama and Hu struggle in a locked battle over global influence; America relies on Chinese funds to support its debt-fueled recovery while China depends on American assets to develop its world influence.  To be frank, America’s obscene debt and notable human rights violations has made it very difficult for Obama to even criticise China for their gross corruption, economic inequality and human rights violations.  This is especially the case given America’s War of Terror in Iraq,  the existence of Guantanamo Bay detention centres, and inability to stop an oil spill from killing the Gulf of Mexico.

“Defining challenges” for leaders and nations are those that represent the highest stakes wins and potential losses. The United States, for example, invested enormous blood and treasure in triggering change in Iraq and the broader Middle East and thus the Middle East today is a self-chosen defining challenge for the country. For Barack Obama, there were other defining challenges that he promised to stand by – including closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, “stopping” climate change, ending the war in Iraq, achieving Israel-Palestine peace and delivering the opportunity of universal health care coverage to American citizens.

So far, Obama has done nothing to stop the problems noted above and the best he has done is maintain the status quo and making too many concessions for nominal party unity.

Basically:

1. Guantanamo Bay detention centres are here to stay.  Sure, prisoners might be allowed a fair trial but not really.  America bitches about China having prison camps that arbitrarily arrest people without due process, yet it is not too different in Guantanamo Bay and possibly worse since many of those prisoners are there as a result of racial or religious profiling. FAIL

2. Climate change is not going to be stopped.  Obama basically caved in at the Copenhagen Summit per China’s concerns and nothing is done.  His administration has done nothing to fight off fringe claims that Climate Change is a conspiracy or fabricated because of some faulty data and emails from academics in a third-rate university.  FAIL

3. Ending the War in Iraq.  The War of Terror is still a go despite Obama’s claims of gradual troop reductions.  For all intents and purposes, Iraq is a failed state and American troops are the only thing keeping the country from 1) breaking up, 2) becoming a pro-Iran client state, and 3) becoming an haven for terrorists.  The current Iraqi government is simply going to play along with Obama’s agenda until all American troops leave their country. After that they will do as they see fit even if it goes completely against the American-imposed reforms or undoes all progress that was somehow achieved in the American War of Terror. NOT FAIL

4. Israel inspires with its handling of the Gaza peace activists. Obama unconditionally supports Israel and their version of the crisis despite criticism from the rest of the world. Way to go Obama for rewarding bad behaviour and acting as an objective, honest broker in the Israel-Palestine peace process.  No wonder Brazil is making inroads with Israel and the rest of the Middle East while America is viewed as a biased bully.  FAIL

5. Health Care reforms have changed nothing.  The only major change is that the IRS can now fine American taxpayers who refuse to buy any form of health insurance.  I know for a fact nothing has changed for me. My insurance companies still make lame excuses to not cover certain treatments and they will go about making it difficult for insurers and doctors to get their claims processed.  What about the Public Option? Well guys, the Public Option is pretty much dead like Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper and the Gulf of Mexico. FAIL

Obama’s equation for moving Middle East peace forward was just too quaint and simple. Even though Israel is completely dependent on American security guarantees and aid and is genuinely a client state of the United States, the pugnacious prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, flamboyantly rebuffed Obama’s call to stop settlements. Obama, with some twisting and modification of his position, has essentially forfeited the match to Netanyahu.

During the early part of the John F. Kennedy administration, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev beat Kennedy in similar challenges and began to doubt Kennedy’s resolve and strategic temperament – leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, Netanyahu has become the Khrushchev of the Obama administration – and one wonders if a crisis lies ahead in which Obama will have to reassert his primacy lest the world think that Israel runs the United States and the Obama presidency.

Yep, basically the writer suggests Obama is weak leader, which I agree. It’s hard to believe that the world’s sole superpower is being pushed around by a non-oil producing Middle Eastern client state.  Obama is a weak leader as seen by his inability to keep Congress from dicking around with healthcare and finance reforms, by his reluctance to get involved with the oil spill crisis that BP created, and by his unwavering support of Israel’s handling of the unfolding Gaza crisis.

But while the Israeli Prime Minister is beating Obama, Obama is clearly smashing the legacy and political position of Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

Hatoyama is conceding on a key campaign promise to move Futenma Marine Air Station off of the heavily US-base covered island of Okinawa. Now, some minor functions of Futenma will be transferred off island, but the bulk of the facility will simply be moved to another section of Okinawa.

Barack Obama put huge pressure on Hatoyama, asking him “Can I trust you?” He has maintained an icy posture towards Hatoyama, hardly communicating with him or agreeing to meetings – making the Prime Minister “lose face.” Contrasting this with the invitation to former Prime Minister Taro Aso to be the first official head of government to visit the White House and Secetary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to make Tokyo her first foreign destination, one can see that while America seems unable to muster pressure to achieve a “win” with Israel, it is more than able to do so with the leader of a rich nation of 128 million people.

Hatoyama may survive this rebuke of the United States and this policy reversal that has made him appear weak and indecisive before Japan’s citizens, but Obama has been unfair in this standoff with Japan’s prime minister.

Basically a weak leader will simply bully an even weaker leader to appear strong. In this case, Barry H. Obama decided to pick on the Japanese Obama in a sad attempt to prove American strength in East Asia.  While he managed to strong-arm Hatoyama into allowing America to maintain its base in Okinawa, he also managed to lose long-term support from a like-minded world leader and progressive.  Looking at the bigger picture, Obama may have undone potential reform that the DPJ was trying to carry out after working tirelessly to break the LDP’ and the bureaucracy’s dominance in government. Well it looks like Obama’s treatment of Hatoyama is a boon for the old boys network, business leaders, and corrupt officials in Japan.

Obama himself promised to close Guantanamo Bay within one year of his presidency. This was a major commitment, and the administration failed to achieve it. But the US is not a parliamentary democracy where executive leadership can rise and fall over a single issue at any time. Presidents get a time period to stack up their wins and their losses so that when re-election comes around, they are measured on a combination of issues. But Hatoyama’s government could fall over just this issue – and Obama did little to help the new Prime Minister stack up some wins with the US and the international system before crushing him on Futenma.

Japan, despite all of its considerable strengths and what could have been exciting, visionary new leadership from Hatoyama and his Democratic Party colleagues, is still a vassal of the United States – whereas the United States appears more and more a vassal of Israel’s interest – and on China, we’ll just have to wait and see how history tilts.

Obama is really a weak leader and operates under a broken government with too many loopholes that have undermined the “checks and balances” in the American government.  Not only is he a weak leader of a broken government, he has also managed to destroy a progressive government for the sake of stacking up minor victories for his own administration.  In any event, I agree that Japan will only move towards a new era of progress if it is able to end its client state relationship with America.

The Cove: Disturbing and Embarassing look at Japanese Dolphin Slaughter

I just finished watching the documentary “The Cove” about the Oceanic Preservation Society’s attempt to secretly document dolphin slaughter in Taji, Japan while evading local authorities and their fisherman’s union. I had known about the documentary since this summer but I never got around to watching it until I saw the South Park episode “Whale Whores” which poked fun at Japan’s obsession with whaling and the environmentalists’ feeble attempts at curbing whaling. Although, references to “The Cove” were vague in that episode, much of the issues explored in both “South Park” and “The Cove” do raise concerns about Japanese whaling policies and how they handle the issues surrounding it.

The team assembled by the filmmakers is impressive given they and the film were funded by a billionaire environmentalist. Nonetheless, the footage caught by the filmmakers is a gruesome look at how dolphins are savagely slaughtered by local fisherman in the name of local tradition and to sell whale meat to a niche market. In addition to criticising the brutal slaughter of dolphins, the film makes a point that much of the dolphin and whale meat available in the Japanese market is heavily tainted with mercury, which makes it unsafe for consumption and increases the risk of neurological damage. What was more surprising was that the Japanese interviewed in the film seem to be either apathetic or disgusted at the idea of even eating dolphin meat, which seems to weaken the cultural justification for dolphin slaughter.

As a result of “The Cove”, the Japanese town of Taiji has received much unwanted attention from environmentalists and foreigners to the point where they have made changes to their traditional dolphin slaughters. The fishermen now are reported to cut the bottlenose dolphin culling, while continue their process of killing less appealing dolphins and whales. Many japanophiles and Japanese right-wing male virgins have condemned “The Cove” as a racist movie for only focusing on Japanese whaling while dolphins and whales are regularly hunted by Iceland and Norway. Although this is a valid point, Japanese whaling has come under greater scrutiny because while Norway and Iceland regularly slaughter dolphins and whales, they are not accused of exceeding international whaling limits, making baseless justifications that whaling is a form of oceanic pest control, hiding their slaughtering techniques from the public and buying support from current or new member-states in the International Whaling Commission.

Some pro-Japan supporters even complain that the movie was unjust because Korea regularly slaughters dog for food and no one complained when China was having issues with their baiji dolphins. This is really a weak point because there are regular complains that Koreans slaughter dogs for food along with countless documentaries on the process, while the issue with baiji dolphins was more of an environmental concern dealing with the destruction of towns, historical sites, ecosystems and the fact that Chinese don’t slaughter their dolphins for food. In any event, I strongly recommend viewing “The Cove” if it is available in stores or online.

Examples of the Superior Knowledge of Japanophiles

Japanophiles may claim to be learned in all things Japan, but the sad truth is many Japanophiles hardly know anything beyond the superficial aspects of their beloved country and culture, much less about any other country.

Japanophile — They believe that everything in Japan is good and everything anywhere else is bad. They don’t see the truths before their eyes and refuse to see them.

Those who cosplay, dress in Japanese fashion, watch anime, etc. aren’t considered Japanophiles until the unhealthy obsession is present.” –UrbanDictionary.com

My favorites are the occasional ones who refuse to admit they don’t know everything about anything Japanese-related, even when directly refuted by, I dunno, a Japanese major who lived there. It’s kind of amusing.

I find it funny how Japanophiles would only hang around in sticker booth shops, and get blown away at sushi instead of immersing themselves on every aspect of Japan from the good, the bad and the ugly.

Learning about feudal history but avoiding 20th century Japanese history or just focusing on manga, outdated Japanese pop music or sushi is really not the way to go. There are even Japanese majors who act in this manner.

Below are several examples of how Japanophiles apply their superior knowledge of Japan when dealing with regular people:

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Example 1: “Abe Shinzo is an asshole for making those remarks about comfort women.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist! JUST MOVE ON!”

Example 2: “Japanese girls are people. They are overrated.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist! You’re just delusional and saying groundless things!”

Example 3: “Japan’s not all anime and jpop. It’s also perverts and pachinko.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist!”

Example 4: “Japan’s police is worse than the LAPD. Look at what happened to Lucie Blackman and Lindsay Hawker.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist!”

Example 5: “Ya know American animation in general has much more variety and originality between series than Anime. I just prefer it.”
Japanophile: “You’re a racist!”

Example 6: Japan doesn’t need to abolish Article 9 when their neighbours are still uneasy and Japan’s military is a lot stronger than you think because they get much of their weapons and technology from the USA since the Cold War.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! Japan is a weak country that needs protection from those evil North Koreans!

Example 7: Harajuku girls? More like whore-ajuku girls.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! They’re not whores! They’re cool!

Example 8: you know, japan produces and approves more pornographic films than the united states, and i certainly must question their moral integrity for doing that.
Japanophile: you’re a racist!

Example 9: The Japanese are still a very gender biased society. Look at their divorce laws which prevent women from remarrying 6 months after the divorce yet men have no similar ruling.
Japanophile: You’re a baka racist!!

Example 10: it was fair that the Americans obeyed the Geneva accords and placed incendiary bombs on major cities in order to deplete resources and make japan surrender.
Japanophile: you’re a freaking racist!

Example 11: Japan actually has its share of human rights violations over their treatment of Ainu, Zainichi Koreans/Chinese, and illegal immigrants. Not to mention their reluctance to grant citizenship to multi-generational Zainichis who are fully Japanised in all but the right to naturalisation.
Japanophile: SHUT UP! You’re a racist! Japan is the freest country in all of Asia!

Example 12: We like to make fun of weeaboos because they are so annoying to Asians, Japanese, and real scholars of Asian culture.
Japanophile: You’re all racists! Stop the hateful fascism against us people with feelings!!!!!

Example 13: Here are some pictures showing vending machines that serve fresh vegetables and another serving fresh porn without parental controls. Isn’t this interesting?
Japanophile: You’re a racist!

Example 14: It is awful how the Japanese government is now denying their Army ever forced their Okinawan citizens to kill themselves to prevent capture by the Americans
Japanophile: You don’t know anything about Japan! You’re wrong!!! See some Okinawans say it never happened!!! You RACIST!!!

Example 15: Isn’t the cost of living high in Kyoto?
Japanophile: All places have high costs of living! You’re anti-Japanese!

Example 16: I think L’Arc en Ciel is overrated. X Japan was much better in their heyday even in their glam rock phase.
Japanophile: You’re a racist!!! L’Arc en Ciel is the greatest! Did you hear their latest song from Gundam 00?

Example 17: This is awful. Some Japanese guy killed his family and then himself and got only 1 minute coverage on the Japanese news while an American raping a girl got a whole day’s news.
Japanophile: YOU’RE A RACIST!

Example 18: The Pillows haven’t been popular in Japan since the 90s ended.
Japanophile: YOU’RE A RACIST! GO LISTEN TO YOUR STUPID AMERICAN MUSIC BAKA!

Example 19: you know, it’s rather commonplace that Japanese politicians use brute force via the yakuza to handle any existing impediment. yakuza are also used to handle financial situations or sweeping things under the rug. how do you like them Japanese apples?
Japanophile: screw you! you’re just another one of those Japanese culture haters! i hate them! they tried to ruin our anime club meeting today! i hate them! i hate you!

Example 20: It’s clear that those who are simply not familiar with the issues will simple side with Japan or anything remotely related to Japan due to their abnormal affinities towards Japan. We call these people Japanophiles or Wapanese if we wanted to insult them.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! Anata wa baka desu! You are anti-Japanese! Japan is much better than China with their pollution, rapes, and diseases

Example 21: Did you hear that an English teacher was killed not that long ago, and buried in a bathtub full of sand?
Japanophile: she probably deserved it.

Example 22: Did you hear how the Japanese police are a complete joke? They still haven’t caught Lindsay Hawker’s killer a month after he killed her and left them with an orgy of evidence. Even all the UK expats are doing their own detective work now.
Japanophile: You’re a racist and she should have been more careful. Just MOVE ON! Everyone else did.

Example 23: Do you realize they drive around with big black vans preaching how foreigners should leave the country?
Japanophile: They don’t hate white people. Just Venezuelans and they don’t hate Koreans (just the dirty Zainichis) and they don’t hate Chinese people… They just don’t like any Chinese that is not from Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Example 24: People that spend thousands on imported manga/anime/electronics for the sake of owning them with no practical uses are clearly Japanophiles on crack. These kids don’t buy any Japanese materials other than this pop culture crap.
Japanophile: I take offence to those remarks! Surely purchasing large quantities of anime and manga without studying the language, local culture, the entire history, and businesses are not Wapanese! You’re a racist!

Example 25: I think Japanese cartoons are pretty cool.
Japanophile: “Ok A. It’s anime. and B. Cool doesn’t even begin to describe how sugoi it is!”

Example 26: J-rock reminds me of rock music from the 80s.
Japanophile: You’re a racist! Are you implying something about J-Rock? I don’t know the issues, but whatever music was made, the Japanese perfected just like they did with Chinese culture and Taiwanese people.

Example 27: It’s funny how Japanese subway has a drink machine not behind the counter, yet you have to pay to get refills. It’s cause Japanese want to Americanize their society.
Japanophile: You’re a baka idiot! Japanese has a rich culture that they’re very proud of. I know cause I watch Inuyasha.

Example 28: An anime on kamikaze isn’t cool.
Japanophile: You’re so racist and bigoted you don’t understand what the kamikaze went through.

Example 29: I am learning Japanese to improve my opportunities in life.
Japanophile: Your obsession with Japan is out of hand and invalid. You do not truly understand Japan and you are being narrow-minded by not pursuing the standard interests. You are, to say plainly, a poseur.

Example 30: Have you been to Japan?
Japanophile: No! But it’s so sugoi desune!

Example 31: Ever been to Japan or lived in Japan?
Japanophile: Why should I live in it, when I watch anime…they are accurate…

Example 32: I hate it when Japanophiles always think it’s the other side’s fault when there is some dispute with Japanese or Japan in general
Japanophile: You’re a racist!

Example 33: You know, cost of living in Japan is really high.
Japanophile: But manga costs $5 dollars there, and it’s $10 here!

Example 34: Many aspects of Japanese culture are derived from the Chinese during the Tang dynasty.
Japanophile: No they’re not.

Example 35: Even though I can’t totally agree with Korea’s claim on Dokdo, Japan’s claim on Dokdo is even worse, as it is first claimed by Japan in an era in which Korea was controlled by Japan and had no means of protest.
Japanophile: Fuck you, you Korean nationalist! You’re racist against Japanese!

Example 36: The history between Korea and Japan is so strong, that it is entirely possible that the Jomon people are the ancestors of the Ainu, and the Yayoi people had origins mostly from the Korean peninsula and were the ancestors of modern Koreans and Japanese.
Japanophile: Fuck you, you Korean nationalist! Everyone knows that Koreans came from Japan, not the other way around!

Example 37:
Japanophile: I like Japanese/Asian girls
Me:Why?
Japanophile: Because they are more submissive, exotic, and they like it when a gaijin like me speaks their language. Besides, guys like you and me would never be able to get hot women like this back in the states!
Me: Speak for yourself man…

Example 38:
[Situation… at a teacher meeting for all JETs in Saitama prefecture, the Saitama board of education opened the floor up for concerns that JETs might be having]
Japanophile: I don’t know how you people expect me or anyone else to teach all these classes, especially when most of us haven’t even had any kind of formal teacher training.
Me: You fucking applied to be a fucking teacher, asshole, stop complaining!

Example 39: Why is it that you guys took the trouble to come to Japan for a year or more, yet all of your friends are white expats?
Japanophile: Shut up you racist! Why are you so elitist?

Example 40: Kabuki is boring
Japanophile: You are racist!

Example 41: Dude, why are you taking so many pictures of that Japanese mailbox?
Japanophile: It’s so zen, the way that this mailbox is set up. The distance from the curb, the opening facing the east where the sun rises, the feng shui of this mailbox is perfect! The Japanese are brilliant in everything they do!
Me: I think they just wanted the opening to face away from the street
Japanophile: Exactly! They planned it that way from the very beginning!
Me: Well what about the other mailbox on the other side of the street then?
Japanophile: Well, that one’s just a mailbox, but the 7-11 in front of which it stands is also a fine specimen of Japanese aesthetics!

Example 42:
Japanophile: Damn Americans! Why can’t they spell Japanese things they way they should be spelled! It’s Supaa Mario Burazaasu! It’s Seiraa Muun! It’s Poketto Monsutaazu!
Me: You’re a fucking idiot

Example 43:
Japanophile: Damn Koreans, why do they constantly re-edit the wikipedia page about the Tekken character Hwoarang? The character is Japanese in origin so his name should only be pronounced Faran, since that’s how it’s rendered in katakana. Why do they keep adding hangul to the page?
Me: Hwoarang is Korean.
Japanophile: Shut up with your Korean fantasy lies! You’re anti-Japanese!

Example 44:
Japanophile in Korea: Why doesn’t anyone understand me when I speak Japanese here?
Me: Because you’re in Korea.
Japanophile: They were once part of Japan. Why do they hate being Japanese?

Example 45:
Japanophile: How come if I am born in Japan or marry a Japanese woman I don’t automatically become Japanese? It’s an unfair double-standard!
Me: Because that’s how the Japanese nationality law works.
Japanophile: You lie!

Example 46: Wow, Hamasaki Ayumi certainly had a lot of plastic surgery
Japanophile: Not anymore than the average Korean woman, you racist!

Example 47: Utada Hikaru’s English album sucked, especially the single from it, “Easy Breezy” I especially detest the lyric “You’re easy breezy and I’m Japanesey” In the video as well she appears to have this unhealthy envy of the white girls who are currently with her white ex boyfriend.
Japanophile: You don’t understand the brilliance of the lyric! Japanese people live in such a rigid society that they can’t wait to be rescued by marrying a white guy!

Example 48:
[situation: A white British expat that I have met for the first time has revealed that his Japanese wife is pregnant, and I’m 1/2 Korean.]
Japanophile: I’m conducting a biological experiment.
Me: I’m not an experiment you asshole. I certainly hope you never let your child know that you refered to him like that before he was born.
Japanophile: No, what I meant was that it’d be interesting to see what Japanese features he’ll have and what normal one’s he’ll get from me.
Me:Sigh…

Example 49: Many prominent Japanese in showbiz are infact Zainichi.
Japanophile: You racist Korean nationalist, stop trying to steal Japanese brilliance.

Example 50: Pac-Man was quite a fun game in its day
Japanophile: It’s Puck-Man you idiot! You’ll believe anything Midway tells you!

Example 51: I like Spider-Man but that Japanese series from the 70s where he had a Spider-Mech was terrible.
Japanophile: It was brilliant and much better than any American Spider-Man story you racist!

Example 52: Gee (Astro Boy, Voltron, Speed Racer, Robotech) looked like a pretty good cartoon back in the day.
Japanophile: You idiot it’s (ATOMU, Go-Lion/DairuggaXV, Maha GO GO, Macross/Southern Cross/Invid)! And it’s no mere cartoon! It’s ANIME! Don’t you know anything?

Example 53: Isn’t it strange that in the Dragon Ball movie that all the main characters are White?
Japanophile: No they aren’t. Piccolo is Green!

Example 54: Ichiro is a great hitter as a leadoff guy given his speed. It’s a shame that much of his career the Mariners had no viable cleanup hitter to drive him in once he got on base.
Japanophile: Yes, the Mariners should have signed the entire roster of the Orix Blue Wave. (Except the Korean ones).

Example 55:
[Situation: Cibo Matto was formed by 2 Japanese women when they lived in NY and their music was mostly in English for an American audience and they have no real following in Japan. In essence they are an American act. At a Cibo Matto concert in 1999 in DC, after every song they finish….. ]
Japanophile in hello kitty shirt: Miho Kawaiiiiiiiiiii!
Me: You idiot, she speaks English!
Miho Hattori in a later interview (not quoted exactly): It bothered me that these people only liked us because we were Japanese, not because they liked our music. They group us in the same vein as Pizzicato 5 and Shonen Knife, even though our musical styles are nothing alike.

Example 56: My you Japanophiles seem to have a very stereotypical view of Japan and of Japanese people, yet you are all so quick to accuse other people of racism.
Japanophile: It’s not stereotypical and I can’t be racist, because I have Japanese friends!

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I know this can be hilarious yet this is how they respond to people in real life. They love to use the word “racist” as if there was no tomorrow with the assumption it makes their responses undeniably credible.

One would expect that studying Japanese as a major or interest would entail some cultural learnings for make benefit glorious nation of wherever, but maybe that’s just me being optimistic. And people wonder why I view Japanophiles with such disdain…

Its interesting to see some Japanese majors not take jobs in Japanese companies such as Dentsu, Nomura Group or Mitsubishi, but rather spend a few years in JET or a reject program (should they not qualify for JET) before returning to grad school for similar studies.