Reference List 003
Karzai welcomes Japan investment in minerals
asharq alawsat 18/06/2010
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Friday he welcomes investments from Japan to tap his nation's plentiful mineral wealth, using an official visit to woo financial and political support from a major donor.
"The prospects for Afghanistan are massively great and good. It's a country that will not only be rich but will be very rich," Karzai said at a Tokyo hotel. "It will be the industrial hub of mineral resources."
Afghanistan, a violent, landlocked country with virtually no exports, is preparing to award contracts to mine one of the world's largest iron ore deposits in a peaceful province.
Geologists have known for decades about Afghanistan's vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt and gold. The U.S. Department of Defense this week put a nearly $1 trillion price tag on the reserves. But Afghanistan's Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani called that a conservative estimate. He said he's seen geological assessments and industry reports estimating the nation's mineral wealth at $3 trillion or more.
Karzai said he planned to visit Mitsubishi Corp., a Japanese trading company that invests in mining projects around the world, later in the day.
"Afghanistan should give access as a priority to those countries that have helped Afghanistan massively in the past, through years," Karzai told reporters.
In talks with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Thursday, Karzai promised to use Japanese aid to restore peace and stability, seeking to allay Tokyo's concerns that aid may be wasted on a corrupt and faltering government.
Over the past nine years, billions in aid and the presence of international forces have failed to turn the tide of the war. Corruption in Karzai's administration is suspected of fueling Afghanistan's insurgency.
Tokyo announced in November a five-year pledge of $5 billion to help Afghanistan strengthen its policing as well as support agriculture and infrastructure. Japan is Afghanistan's second-largest donor after the U.S. During his visit, Karzai met with Emperor Akihito. He is set to go to Hiroshima's peace park and the ancient capital of Nara before leaving Sunday.
Assassination Attempt againt Iwakura Tomomi
Okubo Toshimichi: the Bismarck of Japan
The opposition forces did not permit the newly constituted government to proceed without resistance. On January 17, the dissidents presented to the government a formal demand calling for the establishment of a popularly elected legislative assembly. The petition was signed by eight men, among whom were Goto Shojiro, Soejima Taneomi, Itagaki Taisuke, and Eto Shimpei, all members of the military faction that had quit the government during the previous year. Through manipulation of the legislative assembly the dissidents hoped to check the power of those in control and prevent a monopolization of authority by a limited number of former retainers of a few influential han.
Prior to the presentation of this petition, violence had erupted on January 14, 1874, when an attempt was made to assassinate Iwakura. The assassination, nine samurai from Kochi prefecture, attacked Iwakura "in the hope that by his murder the counsels of the government might be shaken in regard to the expedition against Korea..." Shortly afterward rebellion broke out in Saga, led by Eto Shimpei, one of the signers of the aforementioned petition.
Reclusive Kim to go to Russia by train
The Tribune Chandigarh, India
Moscow, July 25 2001
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is expected to hold talks in Moscow next week after journeying across Russia by train, Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency said today. But the agency suggested that discussions on North Korea’s missile capabilities, one of the sources of instability cited by the USA in developing an anti-missile shield, would not play a major role in the talks.
News Corporation announces that the 10 July 2011 edition of the News of the World would be the last.
It is highly probable that News Corporation has had something to do with Japan in terms of date puns.
About TICAD IV
The World Bank
As African development issues are gaining new attention from the international community and the halfway point has passed for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), encouraging news about African economic growth in many countries on the continent continues, and the fourth TICAD comes at an opportune moment for Japan, the host country, and for the greater African community.
As part of efforts to reduce poverty and to bring growth to Africa, Japan proposed the establishment of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) as a forum for high-level policy dialogue. The first TICAD was held in 1993. The conferences have stressed the importance of an evolution of African “ownership” and a broadening partnership with the international community. Japan hosts the summit-level conferences every five years, and the fourth conference, TICAD IV, will be held in Yokohama May 28-30, 2008. It is co-organized by the United Nations (UNDP, OSAA), the World Bank, and other agencies.
Flood hits Asian countries
Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review July 25, 1998
Heavy floods affected Bangladesh, Beijing, and Jakarta for the last few days. Two-thirds of Bangladesh is flood-hit and the army is on full alert as devastating floods hit two-thirds of the country, officials said. They said more than 90 people had died and some 10 million were suffering the effects of the flooding, including one million marooned in remote districts who were facing shortages of food and drinking water. As part of contingency plans, the army was standing by to evacuate marooned villagers. "The Army is on standby for emergency rescue operations," a Relief Ministry official said. Officials in the flood-hit districts said 93 people were killed, most of them by collapsing houses and drowning. But unofficial sources quoted by newspapers put the death toll at nearly 140. Officials in the northern district of Mymensingh said some 20 people were missing after a boat capsized on the flooded Kangsha river on Thursday. District administrator Rafiqul Islam confirmed the incident but said the number of casualties was still unknown. "We are trying to find out exactly what is the death figure," he told Reuters by telephone. Newspapers said thousands of people had moved into shelters and many others were camped out on the roofs of their half-submerged houses, on roads and on other high ground. A 1,000-foot (330-metre) long section of a flood-control embankment near Bhendabari in northern Bangladesh was washed away on Thursday by the Teesta river, sweeping away some 500 shanties, said officials at the Water Development Board. Officials at the flood information centre said all major rivers were flowing above their danger levels and were expected to rise further over the next three to four days. "A threat of starvation looms over the people trapped in remote villages unless aid can reach them soon," one official told reporters. Diarrhoea took the lives of three people in Comilla, south of Dhaka, local sources said. The government says it has been trying to contain diseases. Ganoshasthaya Kendra, a non-government health organization, said it had deployed 13 medical teams in two flood-stricken districts, Sirajganj and Sherpur. "Emergency services they provide include treatment of diarrhoeal diseases, dysentery, minor injuries and distribution of water purifying tablets," a Kendra statement said. Hundreds of Bangladeshis die in floods every year. The country's last major flood disaster in 1988 claimed more than 5,000 lives.
Floods kill 13 in Indonesia
Floods from heavy rain have killed at least 13 people in recent days, police said Friday. At least eight sand miners were killed Thursday when a flood washed tons of hardened lava down the slopes of the Mount Kelud volcano. Police said the men were swept into the Supit Urang River, about 630 kilometers (390 miles) east of Jakarta. On Wednesday five people drowned in a flood in the eastern most province of Irian Jaya. Weeklong rain also triggered a landslide near Serui, about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) northeast of Jakarta. Flooding in the town damaged at least 23 houses.
Floods hit central China again, death toll mounts
Devastating rains pounded three central China provinces last weekend, adding 145 deaths to the toll of more than 1,100 dead from summer flooding, a government report said on Friday. Flooding caused by heavy rains from July 17-20 affected 21 million people in 71 counties in the provinces of Jiangxi, Hubei and Hunan, the latest flood update issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs said. The floods also destroyed 780,000 houses and hit 1.26 million hectares of farmland (3.15 million acres) and about 180,000 hectares reported total crop failure, the report said. Economic losses in the three provinces caused by the floods reached 9.2 billion yuan ($1.11 billion), it said. "The floods have affected our harvest of early rice and growth of late rice and cotton," said a Hubei provincial official. "The output of rice and cotton is also expected to decline," the official said but declined to give further details. An official in Hunan said the province's rice, cotton and peanut output was expected to fall due to the floods. "Floods hit our major grain-growing regions," she said without elaborating. Floods also seriously hit rice and cotton in Jiangxi province, a local official said. "Most crops in our province were hit by floods," she said, adding total area under cotton was about 133,333 hectares and cultivated land under rice was 1.33 million hectares in the province. "We cannot plant late rice because the floods affected the harvest of early rice," she said. Flooding caused by heavy rains from July 4-20 has swept across the normally arid northwestern province of Shannxi, killing 113 people and leaving 90,000 homeless, a Shannxi provincial official said on Thursday. The latest flooding brings the death toll to at least 1,270 people. The surging waters had destroyed 2.9 million houses and ruined more than 9.0 million hectares of crops as of early July, state media have said.
Microsoft Releases Japanese Version of "Microsoft® Plus! 98" on July 25 (Sat)
Microsoft News Center June 17, 1998
Microsoft Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo -President Makoto Naruke) will release the Japanese version of "Microsoft® Plus! 98" (hereinafter referred to as "Plus! 98" ), an upgrade product that enhances the features of the Japanese version of "Microsoft® Windows® 98" (hereinafter referred to as "Windows 98" ) on Saturday, July 25 th .
Ill-Timed A-Bomb Essay, Research Paper Regret is
My Best Essays
After Germany had unconditionally surrendered to the Allies, the war with Japan continued. American sentiment of the Japanese, who seemed would never surrender, was even more detestable than toward the Germans. Japan had disgraced the U.S. and U.K. militarily in nearly unheard of ways during the war, indicated by Pearl Harbor and Singapore. They were more brutal to their Anglo-American POWs than the Germans, and just before they surrendered, the Japanese turned violently against the Allies generating large amounts of casualties. During the war, the Japanese had wreaked carnage that included massacres of noncombatants, the mistreatment and killing of prisoners, habitual torture, and murder in the form of medical experiments. In addition, the Japanese soldiers were determined to fight for their nation and emperor, and would rather die than surrender. Thousands of Japanese warriors performed suicide missions, including kamikaze flights and the suicidal banzi charges. The Allies believed the enemy would have to be completely annihilated to achieve peace. As early as 1943, already half of the U.S. Army had agreed that it would be necessary to kill all of the Japanese in order to end the war. The soldiers were advised that they “faced an enemy unlike any other, and had no choice to kill or be killed.” Furthermore, women in Japan were mobilizing for the war effort. In September 1937, all women’s’ organizations were required to support the military or face suppression. During the last two years of the war women’s’ services were extremely extensive. By late 1943, women who were not working were accused as “women of leisure” (yukan josei) or “unpatriotic” (hikokumin). The determination of the Japanese threatened the U.S., and surrender seemed far off, if not impossible, without the use of an extreme measure.
Then, on June 8, 1945, a Japanese imperial conference adopted the “Fundamental Policy to be henceforth in the Conduct of War,” which pledged to “prosecute the war to the bitter end in order to uphold national policy, protect the imperial land, and accomplish the objectives for which we went to war.” This policy was accepted at a time when Japanese military forces were already severely suffering, yet Japan continued to strengthen its defense and was ready to fight to the “bitter end.” The Fundamental Policy was adopted exactly one month after Germany declared its “unconditional surrender,” therefore the Allies, at that time, were completely focused on fighting the war with Japan.
Subsequently, on July 27, the Potsdam Declaration was received by the Japanese government and called for the “unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces” furnished with “proper and adequate assurance of their good faith in such action.” At that point Japan would be able to retain its peace industries and resume participation in world trade and the Allied forces will be removed. The Potsdam Declaration does not directly mention the postwar status of the emperor, who was believed to be a god by the Japanese. Japan responded to the ultimatum with the term “mokusatsu,” whose literary meaning is somewhat ambiguous, however, it clearly meant the conditions were not acceptable. Also, the Japanese did not make a direct effort to gain peace with the U.S. by inquiring about the postwar status of the emperor. Japan was actually making an indirect effort to reconcile using Russia as a mediator. However, back on July 8, the Combined Intelligence Committee predicted that Japan would try to use peace negotiators in the USSR to divide the Allies by weakening the determination of the United Nations to continue fighting. The cable messages of Japan’s Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo in Tokyo and Ambassador Naotake Sato in Moscow, which U.S. Intelligence had intercepted, did not come as a surprise to officials.
A Missing Link in Decentralization Reform inJapan: “Trinity Reform Package”
Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance
In June 2003, the Koizumi administration created the "Trinity Reform Package." In this context, "trinity" means the decentralization reform process that involves three factors: local tax, local allocation tax grant and national government disbursement. There is, however, a missing link in the reform. This is local bond, which is one of major revenue source for local governments. In particular, system of local bond has a very close relationship with local allocation tax system. Local allocation tax grant also covers debt service expenditure at the local level. Hence, the system itself undermines the sound issuance of local bonds. Moreover current local bond system does not result in awareness as debtors. In this paper, we build a simple theoretical model describing the Japanese local system, and propose a comprehensive decentralization reform including local bond.
And They Named it "Trinity"
J. Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the American team of physicists that in 1945 developed the atomic bomb, was a close student of the Hindu scriptures (he even learned Sanskrit to study them in the original language).
And when the first atomic bomb ever was tested, on July 16, 1945, in a portion of the southern New Mexican desert known as the Jornada del Muerto — the "Journey of the Dead Man" — the pre-dawn sky was lit with the light of a thousand suns, like no light anyone had ever seen before, observers said.
The scientists that day were not sure at all of what would happen. There was a type of "office lottery" prior to the blast in which they guessed what the result of the test might be. A few said the bomb would be a dud, and not explode at all. Others guessed, correctly, that it would explode more or less as it did, with more or less the temperature and shock wave that was produced. But others said they thought it might set off an unstoppable chain reaction which might even consume the earth itself.
In other words, the scientists were, in a sense, "playing games" with the fate of our entire world.
And yet, they set it off.
The code-name for the test was "Trinity" — yes, "Trinity," the name of the Christian God, the "three in one" — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And so, in a sense, this test bore the name, at least in part, of Jesus Christ, the "Son" in the Holy Trinity.
Was the name "Trinity" chosen in mockery?
Or did perhaps the choosers of the name imagined they were greater than the Trinity itself, since they were the planners, organizers and the executors of this unprecedented "Trinity"?
The exact origin of the name "Trinity" for this test is unknown, but it is most often attributed to Oppenheimer himself.
It is thought to have been drawn from the poetry of John Donne (1572-1631), an English preacher and the leader of a group of so-called "metaphysical poets" in his time, whose poetry is by turns witty, profound, mystical and beautiful.
Oppenheimer knew the poetry of Donne well; he was steeped in it.
Almost 20 years after the "Trinity" test, in 1962, General Leslie Groves (the military head of the Manhattan Project to build the bomb), wrote to Oppenheimer (the scientific director), asking about the origin of the name "Trinity," and elicited this reply:
"I did suggest it... Why I chose the name is not clear, but I know what thoughts were in my mind. There is a poem of John Donne, written just before his death, which I know and love. From it a quotation:
'As West and East, In all flatt Maps (and I am one) are one, So death doth touch the Resurrection.'
"That still does not make a Trinity, but in another, better known devotional poem, Donne opens, 'Batter my heart, three person'd God;—.'"
The phrase "three-personed God" is, of course, a reference to the Trinity, the God in three persons.
So, in this correspondence, Oppenheimer acknowledges that he chose the name "Trinity" under the influence of Donne's poetry, as a reference to the Christian God, then detonated the first atomic bomb.
And, at the moment the bomb went off, Oppenheimer thought of some lines he had studied in the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna, an incarnation of the Hindu divinity, tells Arjuna, "Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds."
Man had harnessed the power at the heart of matter by dividing what the Greeks, by definition, taught was indivisble, the atom itself.
And with that power, they could bring instantaneous and certain death...
Kim Jong Il
North Korae Today
Kim Jong Il entered the most prestigious university in the DPRK, that named after his father; The Kim Il Sung University, in 1960. His degree was in Marxist Political Economy and he minored in subjects such as military science and philosophy. On July 22 1961 he joined the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) and started joining his father on his famous “on the spot guidance tours” where visits to farms, production lines, etc were made and where employees were encouraged to increase production and given advice on how to work more efficiently.
Constitutionalism in Japan
Civil Society and Democracy in Japan, Iran, Iraq and Beyond
The overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the restoration of the emperor Meiji in 1867–1868 by a few mid-level insurgent samurai heralded the dawn of the modern era in Japan, commonly referred to as the Meiji Restoration. A spirit of reform infused the new regime, and it sought to industrialize Japan, centralize its political and economic structure, and strengthen its military base. Most importantly, these men, who looked to the West for their political and economic models, were interested in instituting a form of constitutional government, perhaps not to honor the natural rights of their citizenry but because they viewed constitutionalism as one of the core backbones of Western strength.
The topics of how the new rulers should govern and what should constitute the boundaries of popular participation were widely debated throughout Japanese society at the dawn of the Meiji period. The debate quickly grew into a “formidable democratic movement,” commonly referred to as the Freedom and Popular Rights Movement (FPRM). Between 1879 and 1881, activists in the FPRM, ranging from farmers to samurai (including many women), formed over two hundred political organizations, as well as national parties, and submitted to the Meiji leadership over a quarter of a million signatures for the establishment of a constitutional parliamentary government. Unlike the prevailing Western perception of Japan during this period as a country under the sway of a powerful elite and the emperor, much of the evidence from that time, which consists of drafts of proposed constitutions by FPRM groups, clearly demonstrates that Japanese citizens intensely debated the role of the emperor and were seriously interested in curtailing his power under a parliament-centric model, while dramatically increasing the powers and rights of the ordinary Japanese citizen.
Deeply suspicious of the risks of social anarchy inherent in democracy, this unprecedented grassroots popular mobilization alarmed the Meiji oligarchs, driving them to attempt to suppress the movement. On April 5, 1880, the oligarchs outlawed public meetings in order to disrupt the movement’s annual convention. In addition, throughout the early decades of the Meiji Restoration, the oligarchs instituted successive repressive press laws to deprive the movement of an important tool and attempted to cripple the formation of political parties by prohibiting societies from combining or communicating with each other. In 1881, Inoue Kowashi, one of the creators of the Meiji constitution, wrote in a letter to Prince Ito Hirobumi, an oligarch:
If we lose this opportunity and vacillate, within two or three years the people will become confident that they can succeed and no matter how much oratory we may use, it will be difficult to win them back. Most of the political parties will be on the other side, not ours; public opinion will cast aside the draft of a constitution presented by the government, and the private drafts of the constitution will win out . . . .In the end, the oligarchs were pressured by the FPRM to adopt a constitution (the Constitution or the Meiji Constitution) on an accelerated schedule. The Meiji Constitution, modeled after the more conservative Prussian constitution, emphasized the power of the state and the emperor and limited civil rights and popular participation. It was handed down to the people by the emperor on February 11, 1889, and came into effect on November 29, 1890. The Meiji Constitution established Japan’s parliament, the Diet, made up of a popularly elected Lower House of Representatives and an unelected Upper House of Peers appointed by the emperor. Moreover, it apportioned serious powers to the emperor, which, in reality, the Meiji oligarchs exercised on his behalf.
Oratory and Political Activism
Rhetoric in modern Japan
Ozaki Yukio's definition of oratory as a potential instigating force of the masses on the one hand and the progressive involvement of prominent political and cultural figures in the debate concerning freedom of speech on the other became a direct warning to the authorities of a possible political destabilization of the country. The government, attempting to contain the euphoria that had been spreading since the booming of public speaking, opted for a hard-line policy against the advocates of freedom of expression and in 1878 passed the Regulation of Public Speaking Ordinance (Enzetsu Torishimari Rei) by which any person seeking to speak in public with the purpose of creating public disorder or instigating the masses would be prosecuted. The regulation was subsequently followed by the Public Assembly Ordinance (Shukai Jorei), which was passed on April 5, 1880. This ordinance was composed of sixteen articles establishing the procedures to be followed for registration and prior approval of any type of public meeting. It also prohibited outdoor meetings and contacts between different political organizations and empowered local authorities to dispatch police forces to meetings. The leaders of the Freedom and Popular Rights Movement strongly criticized the oppressive policies of the government; nevertheless, in 1882 the authorities passed an addition to the Public Assembly Ordinance that further restricted the freedom of speaking in public. This ordinance represented a final blow to all those who were advocating the importance of freedom of speech. Thus in the mid-1880s censorship intensified, and governmental suppression also began to affect speech making. According to Matsumoto and Yamamuro, the number of public speeches authorized in the country reached a peak of 13,212 in 1882 and subsequently gradually decreased each year thereafter, reaching 2,845 in 1885.
Cultural Affairs Bureau of Pingtung County
In November 1871, an Okinawan vessel was shipwrecked at Baoyao Duanlang. three crewmembers drowned. the rest of the 66 shipmates were killed. the remaining 12 members escaped and were saved by Yang Youwang and Liu Tianbao from Puli. Okinawa was subjected to both Qing China and Japan, but was closer to Japan because geography. The rest of the 12 survivors thus sought help from the Japanese government. Yet, when Japan sought compensation from Qing China, it ignored investigation and refused to give compensation because "the wild aboriginals were outside its jurisdiction." This incident provided an excuse for japan to start military action. On may 6, 1874, a Japanese expedition arrived at Sheliao, Chechen.
Hotels Near Tsutenkaku Tower - Umeda Japan
Hotels Near Tsutenkaku Tower are listed below in the order of their distance. Search for cheap and discount hotel rates near Tsutenkaku Tower in Umeda Japan for your upcoming individual or group travel. We list the best motels and hotels close to Tsutenkaku Tower so you can review the Umeda Japan hotels below and find the perfect lodging. Need 5+ Rooms? Umeda Japan Group Hotel Rates
Tsutenkaku, lit. "Tower Reaching Heaven", owned by Tsutenkaku Kanko Co., Ltd. is a well-known landmark of Osaka, Japan and advertises Hitachi, Ltd. It is located in the Shinsekai district of Naniwa Ward, Ebisu Higashi 1-18-6. Its total height is 103 m: the main observation deck is at a height of 91 m. The current tower is actually the second to occupy the site. The original tower, patterned after the Eiffel Tower, was built in 1912, and was connected to the adjacent amusement park, Luna Park, by an aerial cable car. It quickly became one of the most popular locations in the city, drawing visitors from all over the area. The Japanese government dismantled the tower in 1943, believing that it would serve as a reference point for American bombing raids on Osaka: the iron in the tower was melted down and used for war material. After the war citizens lobbied to rebuild the beloved tower. A private company, the Tsutenkaku Kanko Co. Ltd. was established and on October 28, 1956, the second-generation tower was opened. On the fifth floor observation deck is enshrined Billiken, the God of Happiness or "things as they ought to be." Billiken, a popular American charm doll that came to Japan in about 1910, was enshrined within Luna Park when it opened. When the park was closed in 1923, the wooden statue of Billiken went missing. As a part of an effort to revive the tower, a copy of Billiken was made from an old photograph and placed inside the tower in 1979. The statue of Billiken became closely associated with the tower and is a popular symbol of good luck. Each year thousands of visitors place a coin in his donation box and rub the soles of his feet to make their wishes come true. The tower is also famous for its neon lights, which change every few years (they were shut off during the oil crisis of 1974-76). Hitachi has sponsored the tower since 1957, and the light designs usually spell out Hitachi advertisements, although one side of the tower is usually occupied by a public service announcement.
Early Modern Japan
The Cambridge History of Japan VOLUME 4 Editor: John Whitney Hall
POLITICS IN TNE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
By the middle of the seventeenth century, the government of Japan in many important respects had assumed the shape it was thereafter to maintain for the next two hundred years. The emperor, nominal head of state, was kept in Kyoto, isolated and virtually powerless. In Edo, the administrative center of the country, was bakufu, a government staffed by a large group of samurai officials. Already they were at work producing a voluminous and dense body of statutes, precedents, and procedural instructions to cope with the increasingly complex society over which they presided. The sixty-eight provinces were divided among 250 feudal lords, or daimyo, all to some extent autonomous but all having sworn - with a greater or lesser degree of sincerity - undying loyalty to the Tokugawa shogun. None of them had found the first fifty years of the new regime particularly easy. Some had been plucked abruptly from the Tokugawa vassal band to assume independent responsibilities for the first time; others, once Tokugawa equals and even rivals, had suffered in various ways, their domains now surrounded by Tokugawa watchdogs or shifted from favorable locations to areas more distant or less prosperous. Even so, they were the lucky ones - luckier by far than those 175 of their peers who lost all or par of their domains during the first half of the seventeenth century.
Once the first fifty years had passed, however, there were undeniable signs that having attained a certain measure of security, the Tokugawa revolution in government was coming to a halt. after 1650, it used its powers against the daimyo much less, the rate of both attainders and fief transfers falling decisively. To no small extent this was due to the recognition of the principle of deathbed adoption; failure to produce an heir had once been one of the major cause of daimyo attainder, but after 1651 it no longer applied. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the social structure of the samurai class, after decades of constant flux, began to settle down, starting, approximately enough, at the top. Daimyo families, unless they committed the grossest indiscretions, were now safe; as institutions, they could continue even if the bloodline itself failed. The same held true for families all the way down the samurai hierarchy. What you were born to, you could rely on keeping, regardless of talent or suitability.
The imposition of the shogun's authority over the other power centers, however, did not bring a halt to political transformations during the Tokugawa period. the politics of the eighteenth century were lively and significant in their own right. In large part, this was due to the appearance of new social and economic problems that forced creative responses from the government structure. One of the most pressing problems was fiscal, for by the turn of the eighteenth century the growing shogunate had begun to discover that its need for revenue outstripped its capacity to tax the peasantry on its own lands. With quickening tempo, the control that government exercised over the farming communities that sustained them began to weaken, and tax revenues began to decline. New policies were called for, and successive regimes struggled with the problem of how to extract more taxes from a population that, in turn, was increasingly reluctant to part with its surpluses.
Political life in the eighteenth century was also affected by the increase in agricultural productivity. New crops and new farming methods generated continuously larger rural surpluses, and theses provided the fuel for unprecedented commercial development during the second half of the seventeenth century. Quickly trade and commerce grew beyond the government's ability to control it. In towns and villages alike, new opportunities and new risks brought about by commercial development began to reshape patterns of social organization. From the shogunate's perspective, this threatened to pull the farmer from his land and to erode the loyalty of the samurai class, whose incomes lagged behind those of their merchant neighbors. This commercial assault on the basis of the social status system would draw the attention of almost every eighteenth-century reformer.
None of the new fiscal or commercial challenges, however, were amenable to easy solution. As problems mounted during the eightenth century - or sometimes as proposed solutions created newer and equally vexing predicaments - various reform factions fought for control over the shogunate and sought to promote their own reform programs. At times, this pitted the shogun against entreched bureacratic interests; at other times reform groups within the bureaucracy ruthlessly moved against their opponents. These struggles so clolred the politics of the eighteenth century that the story of reformers and reformism provides a convenient framework for understanding the direction of political change during the middle years of the Tokugawa shogunate.
The first great reformer was Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (1646-1709). the fifth of the Tokugawa rulers, Tsunayoshi nearly never became shogun at all. true, he was the son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun, but he was the fourth son, with therefore only the slightest prospect of obtaining the succession. When in 1651, at the age of six, he became a daimyo with a fief of 150,000 koku, he seemed destined to follow the classic career of a younger son - comfortable and not particularly demanding. His removal, ten years later, to a larger fief rated at 250,000 koku at Tatebayashi, in the province of Kozuke, was much in the same tradition. But then in 1680, his elder brother, the fourth shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna, died without issue, and Tsunayoshi was returned to the main Tokugawa line as his successor. From 1680 until his death in 1709, Tsunayoshi did all he could to bring the central government into line with commercial and social development.
His years as shogun began with an extraordinary demonstration of autocratic power. Sakai Tadakiyo, who as grand councilor since 1666 had been undeniably the most powerful and prominent member of Ietsuna's government, was abruptly dismissed, much to the surprise of everyone. This was a flagrant break with convention. In the past, officials of such eminence were expected to remain in their posts until they died. Typically, they were not permitted to resign, even if desperately ill, as convention decreed that both status and office were granted for life. What made all this even more remarkable was Sakai Tadakiyo's own family background, for he came from a line known for its firm support for the Tokugawa house. Naturally enough, because no official explanation was ever offered, Edo was filled with rumors, one of the most widely accepted (although never substantiated) claiming that the grand councilor had disapproved of the new shogun and had unsuccessfully tried to have him replaced with an imperial prince.
It is more likely, however, that Tsunayoshi, by eliminating the experienced and influential elder statesman, had sought to transfer Sakai's powers to himself. With the grand councilor gone, the entire bureaucratic apparatus would become more responsive to the shogun's demands. A subsidiary aim might have been to inject some urgency into an administration grown stagnant; by removing the bureaucracy's highest official with such dispatch, Tsunayoshi had placed all other officials on notice. Certainly, if such were his motives, Tsunayoshi was to see them accomplished to a very large extent.
Tokugawa Iemitsu, Tsunayoshi's father, had always been conscious of his lack of formal education and took some pains to see that his own sons did not suffer in the same way. Tsunayoshi therefore had been exposed from childhood to formal educational training, together with the Confucianism with which it was virtually synonymous. As a youth he had taken to this learning with great enthusiasm, and now as shogun, he at last had the opportunity to put his Confucian principles into practice. He particularly urged them to attend lectures on the Confucian classics, some of which he delivered personally. To some extent this may be seen simply as the whim of an autocrat basking in the adulation of those around him, but there is no question about his intention. Tsunayoshi desperately wanted to create a loyal, learned, and effective bureaucracy, one in which the spirit of Confucianism might be given tangible form.
The same impulse lay behind Tsunayoshi's attitude toward the common people. For their benefit he had a series of public notice boards erected throughout the country in 1682 to publicize the key Confucian virtues of loyalty, filial piety, thrift, and diligence. His famous laws aimed at the protection of the animal kingdom, with dogs a special favorite - the so-called Shorui awaremi no rei, or Instructions concerning compassion for all living creatures - are yet another example. Ultimately, by enjoining people not o abandon sick cows or horses, by prohibiting the sale of creatures such as birds and tortoises for food, by jailing those who injured animals, and by threatening with death or exile anyone who killed a dog, Tsunayoshi may have oppressed the people, but this was never his intention. Rather, he was trying to foster a true benevolence among them, one that would embrace the whole of creation, even its meanest members. He was in fact trying to create the perfect Confucian society, peopled by none but benevolent and docile.
It was Tsunayoshi's Confucianism, too, that led him to institute a rigorous policy of rewarding or punishing bakufu officials for their efficiency, or lack of it. This resulted, on the one hand, in a number of promotions, as many administrators were raised far beyond their normal expectations, in tribute to their honesty or diligence. On the other hand, an enormous number of officials in both the shogunate and the daimyo domains were punished for their alleged mistakes.
Much of this unprecedented behavior has been attributed to Tsunayoshi's own personal idiosyncracies. The poet Toda Mosui, a contemporary, wrote in his Gotodaiki:
When so many were penalized for the most trifling errors, people's uncertainty grew; no one knew who would be punished next, nor what his punishment would be. During the rule of the fourth shogun, men had tried to win official appointment for the honor of their ancestors and their descendants; now, should they be given an official post, they pray to gods and buddhas that they might safely be allowed to resign.
Indeed, some did see their estates confiscated when they dared to step down.
Certainly there was an element of caprice in Tsunayoshi's policy reflecting both the authority of the shogun and his instability. Nevertheless, it cannot be explained away simply in terms of the shogun's own individual peculiarities. there was an important political issue underlying this new severity as an examination of Tsunayoshi's treatment of the daimyo so clearly demonstrates.
In the sixth month of 1681, Tsunayoshi sat in judgment on a difficult and long-unsettled dispute that had taken place in Echigo, in the Takada domain. Characteristically, his judgement was severe. Not only did he punish the leaders of both sides of the dispute, but he also confiscated the entire domain, on the grounds that Matsudaira Mitsnaga, the daimyo, had been at fault.
A pet's life in Japan - unloved, abandoned, destroyed.
Revised law designed to give pets better lives
Asahi Evening News Dec 09, 1999
(Asian Animal Protection Network)
The 4-year-old golden retriever gazes sadly from the glass-walled pen like a death row inmate. And then, as if finally realizing that this is no reprieve, that the visitor is not there to claim him, he barks angrily and begins pacing-frantically bumping into the other five dogs in the cell.
``Either the owner has been looking in all the wrong places. Or maybe the owner just isn't looking at all,'' said Miwako Fujisawa, an official at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Animal Protection and Consultation Center in Setagaya Ward, a pound for stray and disowned dogs and cats.
The retriever was taken into custody by center officials in a Setagaya neighborhood a week earlier after residents complained that a stray was roaming their streets.
The six dogs-the retriever, a black cocker spaniel, a beagle and three mixed-breed dogs, all inmates in cell #6-are at the end of a seven day grace period during which they can be claimed.
Fujisawa said the retriever and spaniel-both popular dogs and in good health-may get stays of execution, but not more than a few weeks. If they cannot find new owners for the pair, they will likely be destroyed by gassing, just like the other four dogs in the pen.
Unfortunately, the scene is a familiar one at animal protection centers across the nation.
In 1997, about 400,000 dogs and 300,000 cats were destroyed at centers operated by prefectural governments, according to government statistics. Most were caught by public health officials, but many were turned in by their owners-knowing full well they were condemning their pets. In 1998, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government took in 18,706 dogs and cats and destroyed more than 15,000 animals.
Mistreatment of animals in this country is one result of a consumer mentality that worships brand names, many believe.
Shigeki Mori, director of Tokyo-based Japan Pet Kyosaikai, a pet welfare organization, said, ``Many people buy pets as casually as they might buy a name-brand coat. Animals are only objects to these people and they feel they have no responsibility for their welfare.''
Hoping to save animals from deaths caused by the negligence of irresponsible owners, a group of lawmakers, backed by many animal rights groups, are trying to pass a bill revising the Law on Protection and Keeping of Animals. The bill was to be presented to the Lower House today. The bill is expected to pass.
This move comes as Japan is experiencing a ``pet boom.'' According to the Japan Pet Food Manufacturers Association, 10.4 million dogs and 8.4 million cats were kept as pets in 1997, compared to 9.06 million dogs and 7.17 million cats in 1994.
And while foreign words such as animal partners and companions have entered the Japanese language offering pets a higher standing in the family, these words are, in many cases, simply rhetoric-examples of appalling animal abuse are still rampant in this country.
In July this year, police in Chiyoda, Saga Prefecture, questioned a man in his 20s who was suspected of dragging a puppy down a road with his truck.
Later the same month, a pet shop in Osaka's Kita Ward was investigated by police on suspicion of smuggling 12 orangutans, half of which were believed to have died in captivity at the store.
And recently, not only dogs and cats, but imported ``exotic'' animals including monkeys, prairie dogs, ferrets, iguanas and large snakes, are among the creatures irresponsible pet owners are purchasing on a whim and then discarding when unwanted.
More and more, police stations and zoos across the nation are having to take in unconventional pet animals like these after they have been found on the loose.
According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, there were 86 cases in 1998 in which police rounded up 18 kinds of animals.
``As long as there are people who want these exotic animals, it can't be helped,'' shrugged Hidemitsu Morii, owner of an Ota Ward, Tokyo, pet shop that deals with exotics such as squirrel monkeys from Latin America, North American ferrets, and iguanas.
Morii has sold about 100 ferrets last year, with prices ranging from 37,000 yen to 60,000 yen depending on the color and species.
But ferrets have recently lost some of their luster. Today, the hot item is the squirrel monkey. Priced between 180,000 yen and 250,000 yen, Morii said he sells at least two a month.
``People want different animals from cats and dogs, which are everywhere,'' he explained.
While acquisitive pet consumers may be on the cutting edge, the concept of animal protection has lagged.
``Japan is still far behind in terms of laws on protecting animals,'' said Mitsuaki Shiotsubo, secretary general of a network of animal rights groups seeking passage of the revision to the animal protection law.
The current law lacks teeth to combat the arbitrary handling of animals, he said.
``While the law does state that animals should not be subjected to unnecessary killing, injury or pain, there are no specifics on what acts constitute such outlawed behavior,'' Shiotsubo said.
The law also fails to spell out responsibilities of owners and animal dealers and has weak penalties for abuses, he said.
The law has only a maximum 30,000 yen penalty for violators who abandon or abuse animals. The revision calls for stricter penalties, including possible imprisonment for up to one year, or fines of up to 1 million yen in the case of abuse resulting in death.
The revised law also makes it mandatory for pet shops to register with local governments. But some animal rights groups say the revision is not enough. In many European countries, similar animal protection laws have existed for decades. In Germany, the law states explicitly that human beings are responsible for the protection of the lives and livelihood of animals. Violation of the law, which includes specifics on abuse and abandonment, can result in prison sentences of up to two years.
In Japan, the pet boom, and its concurrent disrespect for animal life, seems to correspond with a consumer ``brand name'' mentality. Yoshihiro Hayashi, Dean of the Graduate School of Agricultural Life Science, at the University of Tokyo sees a disturbing trend. ``Many people are just followers, they just want what other people have or want to have,'' he said. ``Pets have become a brand name consumer product, existing only to satisfy the vanity of their owners.''
In the late 1980s, Japanese consumers, enjoying a new affluence with a stronger yen, were drawn to famous foreign designer products. This phenomenon is known as the brand-oriented mentality.
``To buy something that is considered fashionable and rare fulfills the desire to be perceived as different, and of the chosen few,'' said Yutsuko Chusonji, a trendwatcher and illustrator.
She believes pets have fallen into the same category as a Chanel handbag. ``When a particular product or an animal becomes common, its usefulness is at an end. In the case of the handbag, it can be tossed in the closet. But you can't do that with a dog or any other animal.'' ``I'd like to see people take long-term responsibility for their pets, Chusonji said. The illustrator practices what she preaches. The owner of a golden retriever, she bought the dog eight years ago before the breed became a much sought fashion item. While golden retrievers may be a bit pass� now, she continues to love and care for it all the same.
Morii, the pet shop owner, prefers to think the best of his customers. ``While there are a few irresponsible people, most of our customers have experience, and actually do take care of their animals.'' Morii said a large number of people actually consider their exotic animals ``part of the family.''
Many pet owners are good, some are bad, but all ``Japanese need to recall their symbiotic relationship with animals,'' said Hayashi of University of Tokyo. That sense existed before the nation plunged into a mass consumer society to catch up with Western countries, he said.
Another expert, Yasuhiko Aida, chief manager of Japan Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, looks to the past for answers to present problems. ``In old times, people were living in the flat lands while animals inhabited forests and mountainous areas. Compared with Westerners, the Japanese had less experience in dealing with wild animals.'' ``We have only about a 30-year history in keeping animals as pets,'' he said.
For centuries, Japanese adhered to the idea of compassion and the prohibition against destroying natural lives, a philosophy derived from Buddhism. In 1685 Tokugawa Tsunayoshi promulgated edicts - the Shorui Awaremi no Rei - requiring compassion for all living things. These prohibited the killing or abandonment of animals - particularly dogs. These rules for the living were rescinded after the shogun's death in 1709 as being too strict and unreasonable. ``Getting along with animals has long been common sense for many Japanese,'' Hayashi deplored, adding, ``that's why we did not need strict rules over the treatment of animals.''
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
China Tries To Placate North Koreans
Sydney Morning Herald September 1, 2004
The Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, visited Pyongyang last month to try to persuade the North Koreans that US policy would not soften if the Democratic candidate, John Kerry, replaced President George Bush, but could even harden.
The atmosphere has since got worse, with Mr Bush calling Mr Kim a "tyrant" and the North Korean official media calling Mr Bush an "imbecile".
China's role as host has been made more difficult by the article in the journal Strategy and Management, whose advisers include former Chinese ministers as well as the former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke
Written by Wang Wenzhong, a member of China's Research Institute for the International Economy, it attacked North Korea for its hereditary leadership and political persecution, and proposed a review of China's uncritical support.
Chinese authorities are reported to have banned the issue and confiscated copies. An abrupt decision by Pyongyang to halt the flow of Chinese tourists on August 20 may be related to this tiff, rather than the reported death from breast cancer of Mr Kim's partner, Ko Young Hee, on August 13.
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
Ex-police chief Kunimatsu welcomes job as Swiss envoy
Free Online Library August 31, 1999 Kyodo
Former National Police Agency (NPA) chief Takaji Kunimatsu welcomes what he calls his "unexpected" appointment as ambassador to Switzerland, announced Tuesday.
"I expect my experience of 36 years in police work will be of use in administering an organization and making staff show their real abilities," he told Kyodo News in a recent interview.
Kunimatsu, 62, said leading the 30-member embassy as ambassador will be a challenge, but one he is happy to accept. "I'm a curious person," he said.
He said that when he was sounded out about the post this spring, he was hesitant at first to accept, but then decided that it is the "natural inclination" of a public servant to accept such offers and "to do one's best."
He said public servants should not refuse positions they are offered but at the same time should make their own decisions about when to resign.
Kunimatsu stood down as NPA chief two and a half years ago and currently heads a governmental center on safe driving. He will take up the post of ambassador to Switzerland this fall.
While still NPA chief, Kunimatsu was shot and seriously injured in front of his Tokyo home in March 1995 amid ongoing police raids on the AUM Shinrikyo cult.
He spent three and a half months in hospital after the shooting, which occurred 10 days after the sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.
Kunimatsu, who was supervising police investigations into the cult, lost 14 kilograms in weight at one point but is now back to full health. A holder of the third rank in kendo, he still practices the traditional Japanese martial art.
For three years from 1974, Kunimatsu served as first secretary at the Japanese Embassy in France. He said he was mostly involved in hosting Japanese visitors and visited Versailles Palace more than 60 times, making the acquaintance of a guard there.
Kunimatsu said he has visited Switzerland before but is not familiar with the country. "I want to do everything I can to widen Japan-Swiss friendship and amity by my own way," he said.
"Japan can learn a lot from Switzerland"
swissinfo.ch Apr 18, 2005
A former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland believes his compatriots have much to learn from the alpine nation.
In an interview with swissinfo, Takaji Kunimatsu also said the 2005 World Expo would help to challenge traditional perceptions of Switzerland in Japan.
Kunimatsu served as Japan’s ambassador to Switzerland from 1999 to 2002.
He has written a book on his experience of living in the country and was invited to attend Swiss Day at the Expo.
The global exhibition, attended by 121 countries, is currently underway just outside the Japanese city of Nagoya.
Kunimatsu is a former head of Japan’s National Police Agency. He is best known for leading investigations into the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.
He is currently chairman of a non-profit organisation promoting the use of helicopters in emergency medical treatment.
swissinfo: You were Japan's ambassador to Switzerland for three years. What was your experience of the country?
Takaji Kunimatsu: I very much enjoyed my time in Switzerland. During my term of office I had the opportunity to meet many Swiss people and visited 20 cantons. Wherever I went I never had the feeling that Switzerland was an isolated country.
swissinfo: Why do you think Switzerland is so popular as a tourist destination with the Japanese?
T.K.: Lots of Japanese say they plan to visit Switzerland and many who go there return to see more of the country. But the focus of people’s interest is a little bit limited to the [tourist clichés]. Many Japanese visit Switzerland to see beautiful mountains, eat chocolate and buy high-quality watches.
They are not interested in the political system, the country’s social structure or Swiss culture. So when I was posted to Switzerland I tried to make the Japanese understand Switzerland in all its aspects.
Of course the most attractive things are the beautiful scenery and natural resources. But I'd like the Japanese people to see [another side to the country]. In my book I tried to show what Switzerland is all about. Of course it is a good thing to love Switzerland for its natural beauty. But there really is much more to the country than that.
swissinfo: Could the Swiss pavilion at the 2005 World Expo help to change the opinion the Japanese have of Switzerland?
T.K.: I think the Expo is a very good opportunity for Japanese people to have a much more comprehensive understanding of what Switzerland is like. Here [in the pavilion] visitors can see not only beautiful mountain scenery but also achievements in technology and the cream of Swiss innovation. All this will provide the Japanese with an [added] incentive to visit Switzerland.
swissinfo: The theme of Expo 2005 is "nature's wisdom". Japan doesn’t seem to have made as much progress as Switzerland when it comes to things like protecting nature and recycling. Is there room for improvement?
T.K.: The Japanese can learn a lot from the Swiss, who have already done so many innovative things in terms of protecting the environment and initiating recycling programmes. There should be more of this in Japan. But many people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of [safeguarding natural resources] and we are catching up.
swissinfo: In what other fields can Switzerland and Japan learn from each other?
T.K.: Well, one thing that comes to mind is how the two countries are dealing with globalisation. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but is confronted with EU enlargement. I think the Swiss are trying to balance preserving their own identity with [the force of] globalisation. Switzerland also has a long history, has never suffered defeat [in war] and sometimes finds it difficult to catch up [with the pace of change].
We Japanese are in a similar situation. We have a long history and have problems catching up [with the rest of the world]. So Japan and Switzerland could have an exchange of views, get to know each other better and learn how to cope with the challenge of adapting to a new era.
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
Japanese - Sino War and Japanese - Russo War
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) NEWSLETTER
1863 Establishment of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded
1864 Signing on the First Geneva Convention
1867 The first Red Cross International Conference Paris World Expo
1871 Iwakura Mission
1873 Vienna World Expo Meeting of Iwakura Mission and Moynier, the Chairman of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded.
1876 Renamed the International Committee of Red Cross
1877 the battles of the Southwestern Rebellion Establishment of Philanthropic Society
1886 Signing of the Secomd Geneva Convention
1887 Renamed JRCS Joined in ICRC
1894 Japanese-Sino War
1904 Japanese-Russo War
1914 World War 1
1919 Establishment of IFRC
1920 Three JRCS nurses receive prized Nightingale Medal
1931 Manchurian Incident
1937 Sino-Japanese War
1939 World War 2
1941 the Pacific War
1942 Establishment of representative office of ICRC in Japan
1945 Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki War’s end
1949 Establishment of Four Geneva Conventions
1953 Accedence of Japan to four Geneva Conventions
1977 Establishment of two Protocols
2004 Accedence of Japan to two Protocols
2009 Establishment of Japan Office of ICRC
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
The “non-religious” red cross emblem and Japan
International Committee of the Red Cross
Early interpretation : 1860s to 1910s
The “non-religious” Japanese Red Cross
The political leaders of Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912) were quite sensitive to any suspicion that the concept of “international law” might be seen as having a semantic bias toward “legal provisions among countries of the Christian religion” or that “countries of another religion were beyond its pale”. For Japan, which so fervently wanted to improve its perceived status from that of an “uncivilized country” to that of a “civilized nation”, membership of the Red Cross Convention of 1864 was an important step toward entering a specially privileged and often exclusively inclined circle of countries of Christian and European origin. So even though there was initially a tendency among some Japanese to regard the red cross with disfavour as a possible symbol of Christianity, once Japan formally committed itself to the Red Cross Convention on 15 November 1886, the red cross emblem generally came to be accepted with enthusiasm.
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Human immunodeficiency virus present in the world (HIV) infection is said to reach 50 million. Most of its expansion in Asia, developing countries found in Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa 60 percent of the world's AIDS patients are said to close, is increasing. In some developing countries that also have a current average life expectancy had decreased to rise. In recent years China, India and become a social problem that caused the rapid spread of infection in Indonesia. In 2006, new cases in the UK 8925 from HIV in Western Europe except England 16 316 cases, 65,000 cases in the United States is no estimate of the reporting system in some areas
In 1985, the first AIDS patient was found. February 17, 1989, "AIDS prevention Law" into effect. It was originally infected by clotting factor most cases.
New Year of 2006 HIV cases and 952 people infected, particularly in low levels in the world. The number of Japanese patients with confirmed infection in 2006, same-sex sexual contact (homosexual men) who are infected with 727, 242 heterosexual men infected through sexual contact, 54 women. Mother to child transmission by intravenous drug abuse, and less than 0.5%. Infection in Japan 87%, infection 6.6% outside the United States. Foreign nationals reported cases and 12.2%, the population ratio (1.68%) also features a lot higher than.
Number of cases, but say on the increase from the flat given the level of country, near Osaka and Tokyo metropolitan area has tended to increase in the future, in Japan just in Tokyo HIV account for more than Sixty percent of the number of cases
Japanese Wikipedia - AIDS
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Will we be able to overcome the negative legacy of "discrimination, dissimulation and neglect"?
AIDS IN JAPAN March 31, 2006
A history of the fight against HIV/AIDS in Japan :
An overview of 25 years
The fight against HIV/AIDS has its history particular to each part of the world. Japan too, has its own history of HIV/AIDS, defined by the country's sociological and historical context. It may not be internationally acknowledged, but it is a dynamic one nevertheless, influenced by intense public involvement, several incidents, and many contradictions.
The complete account cannot be stated here, however, the most significant/ important issues are be described below.
1. 1980s: Discrimination, dissimulation and nonfeasance
The history of HIV/AIDS epidemic in Japan in the 80s can be encapsulated in three words; "discrimination", "dissimulation" and "nonfeasance".
The official announcement of "the first AIDS patient in Japan" was made by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) in 1985. In reality, by 1984, the Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as the medical scientist/researchers involved in the administration of blood and blood products were already aware of the fact that many hemophiliacs had been infected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through the use of HIV-contaminated unheated blood products. In the U.S., for example, the potential dangers of HIV infection through unheated blood products had been identified as early as 1983. Despite their knowledge of this fact, Green Cross Corporation, then largest supplier of blood products in the country, and the MHW left many hemophiliacs to be exposed to the risk of HIV infection due to their nonfeasance. The Japanese gay resident of San Francisco who occasionally visited in Japan at that time was announced as "the first AIDS patient" with the aim to dissimulate their fault.
In the late 1980s, discrimination takes its turn to overshadow the history of HIV/AIDS in Japan. Outbursts of public panic and discriminatory incidents against "HIV-positives" erupted consecutively in Matsumoto (a city of central Japan), Kobe (a city near Osaka) and Kochi (a city in South-Western Japan). Furthermore, the debate on the formulation of the "Law Concerning the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS Prevention Law)" heightened in the Diet, on the pretext "that it is more important to prevent the spread of AIDS than to protect the privacy of high-risk groups". Eventually, the law was enacted in 1989.
Meanwhile in Osaka and Tokyo, hemophiliacs infected through the use of HIV-contaminated blood products filed lawsuit against Green Cross Corporation and the MHW, initiating the "HIV tainted blood litigation". However, both the Ministry and the pharmaceutical companies refused to admit their responsibility for the spread of HIV infection and the resulting damage. Moreover, since the mid 80s, gradual development of small-scale preventive education and awareness-raising activities were seen within the gay community, which had long been socially ostracized and stigmatized in Japan.
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
Abe, central figure in HIV-tainted blood products scandal, dies
Japan Times April 29, 2005
Hemophilia expert Takeshi Abe, who was facing an appeals trial over his acquittal in a professional negligence case, died of heart failure Monday evening at a Tokyo hospital, his family said. He was 88.
The Tokyo High Court suspended the appeals trial in February 2004 after it determined the former Teikyo University vice president was mentally incompetent.
The high court is expected to formally dismiss the case now that Abe is dead.
Abe was acquitted in March 2001 by the Tokyo District Court of professional negligence resulting in the death of one of his patients from AIDS in 1991.
The court ruled that Abe, who had plead not guilty, was not criminally responsible for the death of a male hemophiliac by allowing the use of unheated blood-clotting agents tainted with HIV in 1985. It was difficult for him to have known that the patient could contract HIV through tainted blood products, according to the court.
Prosecutors had argued that he gave the instructions to administer the blood products despite knowing of the dangers they posed the patient. They had demanded a three-year prison term for Abe.
The prosecutors had appealed to the high court, claiming it was obvious Abe was negligent because he could have predicted the use of imported, unheated blood products could result in patients being infected with HIV. However, the appeals trial was suspended in February 2004 due to Abe's senile dementia.
Abe served as head of the Japanese Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis as well as president of the Japanese Society of Hematology. He was considered the top authority on the treatment of hemophilia. He was also chief of the AIDS study group at the health ministry when it was set up in 1983.
The infection of hemophiliacs with HIV has been blamed on negligence by the state, doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
More than 1,400 hemophiliacs contracted HIV from unheated blood products given to them in the late 1970s and early 1980s. About 500 of them have since died.
Infected hemophiliacs and relatives filed damages lawsuits against the state and the pharmaceutical companies in 1989. Most of the cases were settled in 1996 after the state and five drug companies apologized and agreed to pay compensation.
Akihito Matsumura, 63, a former high-ranking health ministry official, was also accused of professional negligence in the deaths of two people, including the man named in Abe's trial, by failing to implement administrative measures to halt the use of HIV-contaminated blood products in the 1980s.
In 2001, the Tokyo District Court gave Matsumura a suspended one-year prison term for one of the deaths, but acquitted him in the case of Abe's patient.
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
AIDS in Japan Timeline
Trail of HIV in Japan
Japan Times March 29, 2001
Nov. 1984: A hemophiliac treated at Teikyo University Hospital dies of AIDS. The nation's second AIDS death is not recognized as such. Dec. 1984: The ministry confirms that 47 out of 163 tested hemophiliacs have been infected with the AIDS-causing virus. This is not made public. March 1985: The ministry announces a male homosexual who lived in the U.S. and is temporarily back in Japan as "the first AIDS case in Japan." May 1985: The ministry admits publicly for the first time that the two hemophiliacs treated at Teikyo University Hospital died of AIDS. July 1985: The ministry approves heated blood products. It does not order drugmakers to recall unheated blood products. May 1986: An international organization of medical experts decides to call the AIDS-causing virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus. May 1989: HIV-infected hemophiliacs in Osaka file a lawsuit against the government and five drugmakers. Oct. 1989: A Tokyo group of hemophiliacs files a similar suit. April 1994: The hemophiliacs and their attorneys file an accusation of attempted murder at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office against Abe. Jan. 1996: Green Cross is found to have continued distributing unheated blood products after heated products had been approved in July 1985. Feb. 1996: The mother of a deceased hemophiliac files an accusation of murder against Abe. March 1996: The plaintiffs and defendants sign the court-mediated compromise in civil suits. Sept. 1996: The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office charges Abe with professional negligence resulting in death. Oct. 1996: The prosecutor's office charges Akihito Matsumura, a Health Ministry official, with professional negligence resulting in death. The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office charges three former presidents of Green Cross Corp. with professional negligence resulting in death. Feb. 2000: The three presidents are sentenced to 16 months to two years for selling HIV-tainted drugs. ■■■
Conspiracy Calendar ＞
Protocol to the International Convention on the Establishment of anInternational Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage.London 1967
As on November 30, 1981 the following were the Contraction Parties to the Convetnion.
Date of deposit of Date of entry Instrument into force
Afghanistan April 2, 1975 August 30, 1975
Argentina September 12, 1979 October 12, 1979
Byelorussian SSR January 29, 1976 February 28, 1976
Canada November 13, 1975 December 14, 1975
Cape Verde May 26, 1977 June 25, 1977
Chile August 4, 1977 September 3, 1977
Cuba Dccember 1, 1975 January 1, 1976
Denmark October 23, 1974 August 30, 1975
Dominican Republic Dccember 7, 1973 August 30, 1975
Finland May 3, 1979 Junc 2, 1979
France February 14, 1977 March 16, 1977
German Democratic Republic August 20, 1976 September 19, 1976
Germany, Federal Republic November 8, 1977 December 8, 1977
of**1 Greece August 10, 1981 September 9, 1981
Guatemala July 14, 1975 August 30, 1975
Haiti August 28, 1975 September 27, 1975
Hungary February 5, 1976 March 6, 1976
Iceland May 24, 1973 August 30, 1975
Japan October 15, 1980 November 14, 1980
Jordan November 11, 1973 Aogust 30, 1975
Kenya December 17, 1975 January 16, 1976
Conspiracy Calendar ＞