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Sukyo Mahikari

This is the translation of part of the Japanese Wikipedia about Sukyo Mahikari

■Political connections

The cult leader, Keishu Okada, has close relations with politicians.

1984 The cult leader, Keishu Okada, met with the then-Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and Chief Cabinet Secretary Takao Fujinami at the prime minister's office.

1985 Keishu Okada met with the then-Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and member of the House of Councilors Masahiko Murakami at the prime minister's office.

1997 Keishu Okada invited Takao Fujinami and Masahiko Murakami to her party.

2000 Takao Fujinami's letter was introduced in the journal published by the cult.

2001 In the Upper House election, the cult officially recommended candidates from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, including Kunihiko Kamamoto, Seiko Hashimoto, Kiyoko Ono and Tuneo Morimoto.

2001 Since he became prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi had sent congratulatory telegrams to the cult every year.

2002 The then-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Shoichi Nakagawa attended the cult's party on behalf of the then-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.

2003 The cult invited a Yasukuni Shrine Shinto priest to its party.

2004 The cult was commended for its cooperation at the regular convention of the LDP.

2006 The then-prime minister Shinzo Abe sent an official congratulatory telegram to the cult.

2007 Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda sent an official congratulatory telegram to the cult.

■ A cult as the group of the right coalition

The cult leader has been a memmber of the representative committee of Japan Conference, a group of the right coalition.

■ Special relations with Ishihara Families

2001 At the cult's party, Nobuteru Ishihara said that he had met with leaders of the cult at his home when he was a child. He is a House of Representatives member and his father is Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara.

2004 At the cult's party, Nobuteru Ishihara said that he was a member of the cult.

2005 At the cult's party, Nobuteru Ishihara said that he had been promoted in the cult.

In the book affiliated with the cult said that Shintaro Ishihara has been a good friend with the cult leader.

■ List of politicians who attended the cult meeting.

2001 Nobuteru Ishihara (LDP), Kazuyoshi Kaneko (LDP), Shozaburo Jimi (LDP), Kenji Manabe (LDP), Hajime Ishii (DPJ)

2002 Takao Fujii (LDP), Kazuyoshi Kaneko (LDP), Shoichi Nakagawa (LDP), Nobutaka Machimura (LDP), Mamoru Tsuchino (Takayama Mayor)

2003 Kazuyoshi Kaneko (LDP), Mamoru Tsuchino (Takayama Mayor)

2004 Mayor of Assisi, an Italian city, Bartolini Giorgio, Naoto Kitamura (LDP), Kazuyoshi Kaneko (LDP), Kouichi Hagiuda (LDP), Nobuteru Ishihara (LDP)

2005 Yoshio Yatsu (LDP), Mamoru Tsuchino (Takayama Mayor), Kazuyoshi Kaneko (LDP), Nobuteru Ishihara (LDP), Tsutomu Hata (LDP), Hajime Ishii (DPJ)

2006 Kazuaki Miyaji (LDP), Yuji Yamamoto (LDP), Kazuyoshi Kaneko (LDP), Yukio Hatoyama (DPJ), Nobuteru Ishihara (LDP), Mamoru Tsuchino (Takayama Mayor), Seiichi Eto (LDP), Taro Nakayama (LDP), Chuma Koki (LDP)

2007 Makoto KOga (LDP), Kazuyoshi Kaneko (LDP), Mamoru Tsuchino (Takayama Mayor), Katsuya Okada (DPJ), Takao Fujii (LDP), Yasuhisa Shiozaki (LDP), Nobuteru Ishihara (LDP), Hajime Ishii (DPJ)

■ The cult member politicians

Nobuteru Ishihara (LDP), Kanji Inoki (former legislator), Seiichi Eto (LDP), KOichi Hagiuda (LDP), Yukio Hatoyama (DPJ),


Clinton backs Obama and bows out
BBC 8 June 2008


Hillary Clinton has told her supporters to unite behind Barack Obama as she suspended her campaign to become the Democratic nominee for US president.

She was grateful to "all who poured [their] hearts into this campaign" and urged them to "take our energy, our passion" and help elect Barack Obama.

Mr Obama praised Mrs Clinton's "valiant campaign" and was "thrilled and honoured" to secure her support.

He will face the Republican presumptive nominee, John McCain, in November.

'Glass ceiling'

Mrs Clinton was given a huge ovation for her speech at the National Building Museum in Washington.

She opened by saying: "This isn't exactly the party I planned but I sure like the company."

Mrs Clinton thanked the "18 million of you from all walks of life" who voted for her.

She urged supporters to now ensure all their energy and passion was directed towards getting Mr Obama elected.

"Today as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary campaign he has won," Mrs Clinton said.

"I endorse him and throw my full support behind him and I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me."

In response, Mr Obama said Mrs Clinton had "shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere, who now know that there are no limits to their dreams".

Much of Mrs Clinton's speech focused on her fight to be the first woman president of the US.

Although she had not succeeded, she said there were now "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" preventing a woman from winning the White House.

She said: "Let us resolve and work toward achieving a very simple proposition: there are no acceptable limits, and there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st Century in our country."

She added: "Children today will grow up taking for granted that an African-American or a woman can, yes, become the president of the United States."

Mrs Clinton told her supporters to: "Aim high, work hard and care deeply about what you believe in."

The BBC's Kevin Connolly at the venue says there was an angry feeling among many of her supporters that Mr Obama only won because the complex rules of the Democratic Party process suited his campaign.

Mr Obama won enough delegates to effectively secure the nomination after the final primaries on Tuesday.

Intense speculation remains about who Mr Obama will choose as his running mate.

Mr Obama has announced a team to help him make his selection but has said he will not be rushed.

The BBC's Kim Ghattas in Washington says that although the decision on the running mate is Mr Obama's, Mrs Clinton would also face a tough choice if offered it.

If she does not take it, our correspondent says, it may look as though she is not doing enough for Mr Obama, but if she accepts and Mr Obama loses she may be blamed for the defeat.

Meanwhile the Republicans have launched a "Clinton vs Obama" page on their party website drawing attention to her criticism of Mr Obama during the campaign.


Killer posted warnings on Internet
'I will kill . . . in Akihabara,' one message said
Japantimes June 10, 2008


The nation was still reeling Monday from the deadly mayhem waged the day before by a 25-year-old man who ran down several people with a truck and then proceeded to fatally stab others in Tokyo's densely crowded Akihabara electronics district, killing seven.

It was learned that several posts on a mobile phone Web site foretold the deadly stabbing spree.

The descriptions and the time-stamps of the messages, which were apparently posted starting early Sunday and continued until minutes before the stabbing spree, closely followed the developments.

The suspect, Tomohiro Kato, 25, a temp staff worker from Shizuoka Prefecture, has admitted to investigators that he posted the messages on the Web site, and the Metropolitan Police Department was trying to confirm the link between the crime and the posts, police sources said.

Seven people died after being hit by Kato's rented truck or stabbed with the dagger he allegedly wielded, and 10 others were wounded in the rampage.

Police and hospital officials identified the seven fatalities as Mai Muto, 21; Mitsuru Matsui, 33; Takahiro Kawaguchi, 19; Naoki Miyamoto, 31; Kazunori Fujino, 19; Katsuhiko Nakamura, 74; and Kazuhiro Koiwa, 47.

Of the seven, at least six had been stabbed and two had been hit by the truck, which was rented in Shizuoka Prefecture. The 10 injured people included a 53-year-old traffic police officer who was stabbed in the back while helping people hit by the truck.

Kato was quoted as telling police he went to Akihabara to kill people, saying he was tired of life and tired of living.

He told investigators that he decided to carry out the random attack "two to three days earlier," and that he chose Akihabara because he had been there before and knew that many people would be on the street, according to the police.

The first of the Web posts was time-stamped 5:21 a.m. Sunday and read, "I will kill people in Akihabara, have a vehicle crash and, if the vehicle becomes useless, I will use a knife." It was followed by one, among others, that read, "Getting caught along the way would perhaps be the worst scenario."

A 6:31 a.m. post said: "It's time. I'll go."

Kato said he rented the truck from a rental car shop in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, at around 8 a.m. and drove to Tokyo via the Tomei Expressway from the interchange in Susono, where he lives, according to police.

He reserved the truck Saturday evening by phone, saying he needed it for moving.

A 7:47 a.m. post said, "No postponement because of rainy weather." It was drizzling Sunday morning in Susono and areas around the city.

A 9:48 a.m. post said, "Rest after entering Kanagawa" en route from Shizuoka to Tokyo.

Subsequent posts include "Just arrived in Akihabara" at 11:45 a.m., and, "Today, it's a 'pedestrians' paradise,' isn't it?" in reference to Sunday being a vehicle-free day on Akihabara's main thoroughfare.

A post made 10 minutes after noon said, "It's time." Kato reportedly drove the truck into pedestrians and jumped out stabbing people on the street at around 12:30 p.m.

Police said they were investigating the motive and details of the attack.

It was also learned Monday that about 3,000 messages — also believed to be from Kato — had been posted on the same mobile phone Web site from several days earlier.

One message posted the morning of June 3 said, "Should I run down people with a car because everybody makes a fool of me?" A subsequent post said the author had spent "eight years of life as a loser every since I graduated from high school."

A post Thursday said, "My work clothes were gone when I went to work. Do they want me to quit? I understand."

On Friday, a post said the writer traveled to Fukui Prefecture and "bought five knives." A post made Saturday said the writer visited Akihabara — the scene of the carnage the following day — to sell some "software" to "make money" before renting the truck.

According to witnesses of Sunday's stabbing rampage, an officer at a nearby police box who saw the attack hurried to the scene and found Kato wielding the knife.

The officer initially failed to get ahold of the suspect after hitting him with a baton a few times. Kato put the knife down and surrendered after the officer drew his pistol, the witnesses said.

The suspect possessed a folding pocket knife in addition to the 13-cm-blade dagger he used in the stabbing spree, police sources said.

The Akihabara district was crowded with shoppers. The scene was near the intersection of Chuo-dori and Kanda Myojin-dori, only a stone's throw from JR Akihabara Station.


Text of Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech
The Bakersfield Californian
The Associated Press | Saturday, Jun 7 2008 11:45 AM


Text of Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech Saturday at the National Building Museum, where she suspended her presidential campaign, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions.

Thank you very, very much. Well, this isn't exactly the party I'd planned, but I sure like the company.

And I want to start today by saying how grateful I am to all of you, to everyone who poured your hearts and your hopes into this campaign, who drove for miles and lined the streets waving homemade signs, who scrimped and saved to raise money, who knocked on doors and made calls, who talked, sometimes argued with your friends and neighbors ... who e-mailed and contributed online, who invested so much in our common enterprise, to the moms and dads who came to our events, who lifted their little girls and little boys on their shoulders and whispered in their ears, "See, you can be anything you want to be."

To the young people ... like 13-year-old Anne Riddell (ph) from Mayfield, Ohio, who had been saving for two years to go to Disney World and decided to use her savings instead to travel to Pennsylvania with her mom and volunteer there, as well.

To the veterans, to the childhood friends, to New Yorkers and Arkansans ... who traveled across the country, telling anyone who would listen why you supported me. And to all of those women in their 80s and their 90s ... born before women could vote, who cast their votes for our campaign. I've told you before about Florence Steen of South Dakota who was 88 years old and insisted that her daughter bring an absentee ballot to her hospice bedside. Her daughter and a friend put an American flag behind her bed and helped her fill out the ballot.

She passed away soon after and, under state law, her ballot didn't count, but her daughter later told a reporter, "My dad's an ornery, old cowboy, and he didn't like it when he heard mom's vote wouldn't be counted. I don't think he had voted in 20 years, but he voted in place of my mom."

So to all those who voted for me and to whom I pledged my utmost, my commitment to you and to the progress we seek is unyielding.

You have inspired and touched me with the stories of the joys and sorrows that make up the fabric of our lives. And you have humbled me with your commitment to our country.

Eighteen million of you, from all walks of life ... women and men, young and old, Latino and Asian, African-American and Caucasian ... rich, poor, and middle-class, gay and straight, you have stood with me.

And I will continue to stand strong with you every time, every place, in every way that I can. The dreams we share are worth fighting for.

Remember, we fought for the single mom with the young daughter, juggling work and school, who told me, "I'm doing it all to better myself for her."

We fought for the woman who grabbed my hand and asked me, "What are you going to do to make sure I have health care?" and began to cry, because even though she works three jobs, she can't afford insurance.

We fought for the young man in the Marine Corps T-shirt who waited months for medical care and said, "Take care of my buddies over there, and then will you please take care of me?"

We fought for all those who've lost jobs and health care, who can't afford gas or groceries or college, who have felt invisible to their president these last seven years.

I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I've had every opportunity and blessing in my own life, and I want the same for all Americans.

And until that day comes, you'll always find me on the front lines of democracy, fighting for the future.

The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States.

Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him.

And I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me.

I have served in the Senate with him for four years. I have been in this campaign with him for 16 months. I have stood on the stage and gone toe-to-toe with him in 22 debates. I've had a front-row seat to his candidacy, and I have seen his strength and determination, his grace and his grit.

In his own life, Barack Obama has lived the American dream, as a community organizer, in the state senate, as a United States senator. He has dedicated himself to ensuring the dream is realized. And in this campaign, he has inspired so many to become involved in the democratic process and invested in our common future.

Now, when I started this race, I intended to win back the White House and make sure we have a president who puts our country back on the path to peace, prosperity and progress. And that's exactly what we're going to do, by ensuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of the Oval Office on January 20, 2009.

Now, I understand - I understand that we all know this has been a tough fight, but the Democratic Party is a family. And now it's time to restore the ties that bind us together and to come together around the ideals we share, the values we cherish, and the country we love.

We may have started on separate journeys, but today our paths have merged. And we're all heading toward the same destination, united and more ready than ever to win in November and to turn our country around, because so much is at stake.

We all want an economy that sustains the American dream, the opportunity to work hard and have that work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford that gas and those groceries, and still have a little left over at the end of the month, an economy that lifts all of our people and ensures that our prosperity is broadly distributed and shared.

We all want a health care system that is universal, high-quality and affordable ... so that parents don't have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead-end jobs simply to keep their insurance.

This isn't just an issue for me. It is a passion and a cause, and it is a fight I will continue until every single American is insured, no exceptions and no excuses.

We all want an America defined by deep and meaningful equality, from civil rights to labor rights, from women's rights to gay rights ... from ending discrimination to promoting unionization, to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families.

And we all want to restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, and once again lead by the power of our values ... and to join with our allies to confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.

You know, I've been involved in politics and public life in one way or another for four decades. And during those ... During those 40 years, our country has voted 10 times for president. Democrats won only three of those times, and the man who won two of those elections is with us today.

We made tremendous progress during the '90s under a Democratic president, with a flourishing economy and our leadership for peace and security respected around the world.

Just think how much more progress we could have made over the past 40 years if we'd had a Democratic president. Think about the lost opportunities of these past seven years on the environment and the economy, on health care and civil rights, on education, foreign policy and the Supreme Court.

Imagine how far ... we could have come, how much we could have achieved if we had just had a Democrat in the White House.

We cannot let this moment slip away. We have come too far and accomplished too much.

Now, the journey ahead will not be easy. Some will say we can't do it, that it's too hard, we're just not up to the task. But for as long as America has existed, it has been the American way to reject can't-do claims and to choose instead to stretch the boundaries of the possible through hard work, determination, and a pioneering spirit.

It is this belief, this optimism that Senator Obama and I share and that has inspired so many millions of our supporters to make their voices heard. So today I am standing with Senator Obama to say: Yes, we can!

And that together we will work - we'll have to work hard to achieve universal health care. But on the day we live in an America where no child, no man and no woman is without health insurance, we will live in a stronger America. That's why we need to help elect Barack Obama our president.

We'll have to work hard to get back to fiscal responsibility and a strong middle class. But on the day we live in an America whose middle class is thriving and growing again, where all Americans, no matter where they live or where their ancestors came from, can earn a decent living, we will live in a stronger America. And that is why we must help elect Barack Obama our president.

We'll have to work hard to foster the innovation that will make us energy independent and lift the threat of global warming from our children's future. But on the day we live in an America fueled by renewable energy, we will live in a stronger America. And that is why we have to help elect Barack Obama our president.

We'll have to work hard to bring our troops home from Iraq and get them the support they've earned by their service. But on the day we live in an America that's as loyal to our troops as they have been to us, we will live in a stronger America. And that is why we must help elect Barack Obama our president.

This election is a turning-point election. And it is critical that we all understand what our choice really is. Will we go forward together, or will we stall and slip backward?

Now, think how much progress we've already made. When we first started, people everywhere asked the same questions. Could a woman really serve as commander in chief? Well, I think we answered that one.

Could an African-American really be our president? And Senator Obama has answered that one.

Together, Senator Obama and I achieved milestones essential to our progress as a nation, part of our perpetual duty to form a more perfect union.

Now, on a personal note, when I was asked what it means to be a woman running for president, I always gave the same answer, that I was proud to be running as a woman, but I was running because I thought I'd be the best president. But...

But I am a woman and, like millions of women, I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious, and I want to build an America that respects and embraces the potential of every last one of us.

I ran as a daughter who benefited from opportunities my mother never dreamed of. I ran as a mother who worries about my daughter's future and a mother who wants to leave all children brighter tomorrows.

To build that future I see, we must make sure that women and men alike understand the struggles of their grandmothers and their mothers, and that women enjoy equal opportunities, equal pay, and equal respect.

Let us ... Let us resolve and work toward achieving very simple propositions: There are no acceptable limits, and there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st century in our country.

You can be so proud that, from now on, it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary state victories ... unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the president of the United States. And that is truly remarkable, my friends.

To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all of the way, especially the young people who put so much into this campaign, it would break my heart if, in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours.

Always aim high, work hard and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on.

As we gather here today in this historic, magnificent building, the 50th woman to leave this Earth is orbiting overhead. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House.

Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it ... and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.

That has always been the history of progress in America. Think of the suffragists who gathered at Seneca Falls in 1848 and those who kept fighting until women could cast their votes.

Think of the abolitionists who struggled and died to see the end of slavery. Think of the civil rights heroes and foot soldiers who marched, protested and risked their lives to bring about the end of segregation and Jim Crow.

Because of them, I grew up taking for granted that women could vote and, because of them, my daughter grew up taking for granted that children of all colors could go to school together.

Because of them, Barack Obama and I could wage a hard-fought campaign for the Democratic nomination. Because of them and because of you, children today will grow up taking for granted that an African-American or a woman can, yes, become the president of the United States. And so ... when that day arrives, and a woman takes the oath of office as our president, we will all stand taller, proud of the values of our nation, proud that every little girl can dream big and that her dreams can come true in America.

And all of you will know that, because of your passion and hard work, you helped pave the way for that day.

So I want to say to my supporters: When you hear people saying or think to yourself, If only, or, What if, I say, please, don't go there. Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.

Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next president.

And I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort.

To my supporters and colleagues in Congress, to the governors and mayors, elected officials who stood with me in good times and bad, thank you for your strength and leadership.

To my friends in our labor unions who stood strong every step of the way, I thank you and pledge my support to you.

To my friends from every stage of my life, your love and ongoing commitment sustained me every single day.

To my family, especially Bill and Chelsea and my mother, you mean the world to me, and I thank you for all you have done.

And to my extraordinary staff, volunteers and supporters ... thank you for working those long, hard hours. Thank you for dropping everything, leaving work or school, traveling to places that you've never been, sometimes for months on end. And thanks to your families, as well, because your sacrifice was theirs, too. All of you were there for me every step of the way.

Now, being human, we are imperfect. That's why we need each other, to catch each other when we falter, to encourage each other when we lose heart. Some may lead, some may follow, but none of us can go it alone.

The changes we're working for are changes that we can only accomplish together. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights that belong to us as individuals. But our lives, our freedom, our happiness are best enjoyed, best protected, and best advanced when we do work together.

That is what we will do now, as we join forces with Senator Obama and his campaign. We will make history together, as we write the next chapter in America's story. We will stand united for the values we hold dear, for the vision of progress we share, and for the country we love.

There is nothing more American than that.

And looking out at you today, I have never felt so blessed. The challenges that I have faced in this campaign ... are nothing compared to those that millions of Americans face every day in their own lives.

So today I'm going to count my blessings and keep on going. I'm going to keep doing what I was doing long before the cameras ever showed up and what I'll be doing long after they're gone: working to give every American the same opportunities I had and working to ensure that every child has the chance to grow up and achieve his or her God- given potential.

I will do it with a heart filled with gratitude, with a deep and dividing love for our country, and with nothing but optimism and confidence for the days ahead.

This is now our time to do all that we can to make sure that, in this election, we add another Democratic president to that very small list of the last 40 years and that we take back our country and once again move with progress and commitment to the future.

Thank you all. And God bless you, and God bless America.


7 killed, 10 injured in Akihabara stabbing spree
Japantimes June 9, 2008


Seven people died and 10 others were injured after a man hit pedestrians with a truck and then stabbed passersby Sunday in broad daylight on a street in Tokyo's busy Akihabara district.

Police arrested the man, Tomohiro Kato from Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, on the street and seized a survival knife he was carrying. The 25-year-old temp staffer at an auto component factory in the prefecture admitted to stabbing people with the knife, which had a 13-cm blade, from around 12:30 p.m., the police said.

"I came to Akihabara to kill people," investigative sources quoted Kato as telling the police. "I am tired of the world. Anyone was OK. I came alone."

According to the police and hospital officials, six of the seven who died were males and aged from 19 to 74. The other was a 21-year-old female.

In addition to the seven, 11 people were taken to hospital after the stabbing rampage. Of these, eight were male, including a 53-year-old traffic police officer who was stabbed in the back while helping people hit by the truck, and two women. The remaining male had sustained no injuries but had blood on his clothing.

Of the seven, at least six had been stabbed and two had been hit by the truck, which was rented in Shizuoka Prefecture.

According to eyewitnesses, a police officer at a nearby police box who noticed the incident hurried to the scene and found Kato wielding the knife.

The officer initially failed to get hold of the suspect after hitting him with a baton a few times. But Kato put the knife down after the officer drew a handgun and issued a warning, leading to his arrest, the eyewitnesses said.

The Akihabara area was crowded with shoppers as Chuo-dori was vehicle-free for pedestrians. The scene was near the intersection of Chuo-dori and Kanda Myojin-dori streets, only a stone's throw from JR Akihabara Station.

A 19-year-old man from Tokyo's Ota Ward said, "The man (Kato) jumped on top of a man he had hit with his vehicle and stabbed him with a knife many times. Walking toward Akihabara Station, he slashed nearby people at random."

Shunichi Jingu, a 26-year-old self-employed man from Gunma Prefecture, who witnessed the incident, said, "It seemed that a traffic accident had happened. Then a man got out of a vehicle and began to brandish a knife."

Akihabara is a district of Tokyo known for its electronics shops and as a center of modern culture, including manga and animations, and attracts many visitors from both Japan and abroad.

There were similar street stabbing rampages earlier this year.

In January, a 16-year-old boy attacked five people and injured two of them with kitchen knives on a shopping street in Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward. A man wanted by police on suspicion of murder stabbed passersby with a knife at an entrance to a shopping mall in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, in March, leaving eight people injured, one of whom died later in hospital.

The Akihabara rampage also occurred on the seventh anniversary of a stabbing spree by a man at Ikeda Elementary School in Osaka Prefecture on June 8, 2001.

The attacker, Mamoru Takuma, was executed for killing eight children and injuring 15 others in that case.


The Jews and the Japanese: Cultural Traits and Common Values
JAPAN POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE


Despite the differences of history and culture, there are interesting similarities between the Japanese Americans and the American Jews, a fact which makes this conference all the more exciting. One similarity is that both communities have been victims of racism and discrimination for a long time. In the first half of this century, religious and racial antisemitism was rampant in various parts of the United States, and Jews were discriminated against in universities, public offices, housing, and jobs. Although antisemitism is less explicit today than it was in the past, it is not dead, and antisemitic outbursts occur from time to time.

The fate of the Japanese Americans was even worse. At the beginning of the century, Japanese immigrants in California were harassed, they could not be naturalized or own land, and their children were excluded from public schools. Then the Immigration Law of 1924 banned all Oriental immigration into the United States. The discriminatory nature of this law was manifested in the fact that with regard to Occidentals immigration policy was based on the country of origin, whereas with regard to Orientals it was based on race. Therefore a Japanese citizen of Canada, say, could not immigrate to the United States because of the color of his skin. Following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the entire Japanese population of the West Coast, numbering about 112,000 persons, most of them American citizens born in the United States, was incarcerated for more than three years in relocation camps in desolate parts of the country. This was done to them despite the fact that none of them had engaged in any illegal activity, and no similar measures were taken against Americans of German origin. Nevertheless, the Japanese Americans manifested their loyalty to the U.S. during World War II by volunteering for the armed forces. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed solely of Nissei, which saw action in Europe, became the most highly decorated American unit in World War II. Japanese American soldiers of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion liberated the Dachau concentration camp in Germany, where many Jews had been imprisoned.

Despite all the discrimination they encountered, the Jews and the Japanese demonstrated great optimism and dynamism. Putting their faith in American democracy and freedom, they harnessed their energies, organized themselves to help each other, and became model ethnic minorities with the highest levels of education and the lowest rates of criminal behavior. They were able to achieve all that because they had brought with them similar core values that had long been embedded in their respective cultures.

Perhaps the most important of these core values was the high regard for education. Throughout their history, the Jews have venerated learning. To an orthodox Jew, the most meritorious activity is neither prayer nor performing rituals, but the intensive study of scriptures, like the Torah, the Talmud, and their many commentaries. Pious Jews spend most of their time in religious schools, called yeshiva, in front of books, reading, chanting, reciting, analyzing, discussing, disputing, and memorizing their texts. The Jewish rabbi is not a priest, but a teacher, selected for that post because he has excelled in learning. When in the nineteenth century the Jews entered the secular, modern society of Europe, they directed their thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for learning toward all the fields of modern science, and within one generation became leading scholars in them.

The Japanese, too, had been a people of the book, although in a more secular sense. For many centuries they have been writing, compiling, reading, and studying books in both Chinese and Japanese. Despite their difficult writing system, they have had, since the seventeenth century, the highest rate of literacy in Asia, and one of the highest rates in the world. Despite its rigid class system, premodern Japan possessed a wide and sophisticated network of schools, in which children of aristocrats, samurai, and commoners received their education. By the beginning of this century, almost all Japanese children attended elementary school. The learned person, or sensei, has always been highly esteemed in Japan. When the Japanese decided to adopt Western techniques in the nineteenth century, they displayed the same enthusiasm for learning as did the Jews. This was not a new phenomenon in Japan, for they learned Western culture as thoroughly as they had learned Chinese culture in the past. Like the Jews, the Japanese quickly mastered the fields of science and excelled in them. In 1889, a Japanese biologist, Kitazato Shibasaburo, discovered the bacteria that cause tetanus; in 1901, a Japanese chemist Takamine Jokichi, was the first to isolate adrenalin; and in 1910, another Japanese chemist, Suzuki Umetaro, was the first to extract Vitamin B.

The Jewish and Japanese immigrants to the U.S. were poor, but almost all of them were literate, and their great ambition was that their children should attend college. They achieved that goal by working hard and saving. This shows two other core values common to these communities: esteem of family and diligence. The family was always a central institution among the Jews and the Japanese. In the Ten Commandments, "honor thy father and thy mother" appears before "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steal." In Confucianism, the social philosophy of East Asia, filial piety was the highest moral precept. When they moved to the United States, the Jews and the Japanese continued to maintain strong family connections. It was the family that prodded the young to learn and advance, and it was the family that kept them from straying into crime and violence. Making a career and acquiring fame was the best way to repay the family for what it had done for the individual. The Jewish mother and the Japanese mother also knew how to implant a sense of moral indebtedness in their children, so that they should work hard to requite it. In some ways, the Japanese showed a stronger family cohesion, for unlike many Jews, who changed their family names into English-sounding ones, the Japanese kept their surnames and none of them became a Mr. Smith or a Ms. Taylor.

It took the Japanese and the Jews a long time to discover each other. The first significant encounter occurred during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, when tens of thousands of Jewish soldiers, in Russian uniforms, fought against Japan. Although many of them distinguished themselves in battle, their sympathies were with Japan, which they regarded as a messenger of God, punishing Czarist Russia for its mistreatment of the Jews. An American Jewish banker, Jacob Schiff, helped Japan raise the loans that were needed to win the war. An American Jewish poet, Naphtali Herz Imber, the author of the Israeli anthem Hatikva, wrote poems, in Hebrew and English, praising the Japanese and their emperor.


Are the Japanese actually Jewish?
oniazuma


Looking at the mysterious connections between Japan and Judaism

A very interesting and contested theory is that the Japanese are actually a part of the Lost Tribes of Israel. During the constant warfare and strife that engulfed Israel, 10 of the 12 Tribes of Israel dispersed into Asia and have since disappeared.

Israeli officials publicly acknowledge the mysterious similarities between Judaism and Japan. Recently, in March of 2007, Rabbi Avichail of the Israeli Investigative Body Amishav, which searches for descendants of the Lost Tribes, arrived in Japan. Although they only stayed for a short amount of time, the investigative body concluded that "There is no doubt that there is some kind of strong connection between Judaism and Japan. More research is needed to determine the details."

The connections are very interesting.

For example, the Japanese Shintoist Holy day is the Yamaboko Junko, or "Going atop the Mountain to lay to rest the Shrine". The day Noah's Ark rested atop Mount Ararat lies on the same day. The word "Essa", which is a carrying chant chanted by the holders of the Omikoshi, or portable shrine, is a word which really has no meaning in Japanese but means "Carry" in Hebrew.

One of Japan's largest festivals, the Gion Festival, is believed by many, including the Gion Festival officials, to be the same as Ancient Israel's Zion Festival. The month long festival is almost identical in each event, date, etc. The artwork depicted on the portable shrines in the festival are from ancient Japan, but are renderings of landscapes in the middle east - camels walking the desert, pyramids, Baghdad Palaces, and most surprising is a grand picture of Rebecca offering water to Isaac which is confirmed to be a rendition of Genesis 24 in the Old Testament.


Jewish Attitudes Towards Sexuality
Judaism 101


In Jewish law, sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Sex is not thought of as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. Although sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra (the evil impulse), it is no more evil than hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. But when sexual desire is satisfied between a husband and wife at the proper time, out of mutual love and desire, sex is a mitzvah.

Sex is permissible only within the context of a marriage. In Judaism, sex is not merely a way of experiencing physical pleasure. It is an act of immense significance, which requires commitment and responsibility. The requirement of marriage before sex ensures that sense of commitment and responsibility. Jewish law also forbids sexual contact short of intercourse outside of the context of marriage, recognizing that such contact will inevitably lead to intercourse.

The primary purpose of sex is to reinforce the loving marital bond between husband and wife. The first and foremost purpose of marriage is companionship, and sexual relations play an important role. Procreation is also a reason for sex, but it is not the only reason. Sex between husband and wife is permitted (even recommended) at times when conception is impossible, such as when the woman is pregnant, after menopause, or when the woman is using a permissible form of contraception.

In the Torah, the word used for sex between husband and wife comes from the root Yod-Dalet-Ayin, meaning "to know," which vividly illustrates that proper Jewish sexuality involves both the heart and mind, not merely the body.

Nevertheless, Judaism does not ignore the physical component of sexuality. The need for physical compatibility between husband and wife is recognized in Jewish law. A Jewish couple must meet at least once before the marriage, and if either prospective spouse finds the other physically repulsive, the marriage is forbidden.

Sex should only be experienced in a time of joy. Sex for selfish personal satisfaction, without regard for the partner's pleasure, is wrong and evil. A man may never force his wife to have sex. A couple may not have sexual relations while drunk or quarreling. Sex may never be used as a weapon against a spouse, either by depriving the spouse of sex or by compelling it. It is a serious offense to use sex (or lack thereof) to punish or manipulate a spouse.

Sex is the woman's right, not the man's. A man has a duty to give his wife sex regularly and to ensure that sex is pleasurable for her. He is also obligated to watch for signs that his wife wants sex, and to offer it to her without her asking for it. The woman's right to sexual intercourse is referred to as onah, and it is one of a wife's three basic rights (the others are food and clothing), which a husband may not reduce. The Talmud specifies both the quantity and quality of sex that a man must give his wife. It specifies the frequency of sexual obligation based on the husband's occupation, although this obligation can be modified in the ketubah (marriage contract). A man may not take a vow to abstain from sex for an extended period of time, and may not take a journey for an extended period of time, because that would deprive his wife of sexual relations. In addition, a husband's consistent refusal to engage in sexual relations is grounds for compelling a man to divorce his wife, even if the couple has already fulfilled the halakhic obligation to procreate.

Although sex is the woman's right, she does not have absolute discretion to withhold it from her husband. A woman may not withhold sex from her husband as a form of punishment, and if she does, the husband may divorce her without paying the substantial divorce settlement provided for in the ketubah.

Although some sources take a more narrow view, the general view of halakhah is that any sexual act that does not involve sh'chatat zerah (destruction of seed, that is, ejaculation outside the vagina) is permissible. As one passage in the Talmud states, "a man may do whatever he pleases with his wife." (Nedarim 20b) In fact, there are passages in the Talmud that encourage foreplay to arouse the woman. (Nedarim 20a). Any stories you may have heard about Jewish sex occurring through a hole in a sheet are purely an urban legend.

Niddah: The Laws of Separation

One of the most mysterious areas of Jewish sexual practices is the law of niddah, separation of husband and wife during the woman's menstrual period. These laws are also known as taharat ha-mishpachah, family purity. Few people outside of the Orthodox community are even aware that these laws exist, which is unfortunate, because these laws provide many undeniable benefits. The laws of niddah are not deliberately kept secret; they are simply unknown because most non-Orthodox Jews do not continue their religious education beyond bar mitzvah, and these laws address subjects that are not really suitable for discussion with children under the age of 13.

According to the Torah, a man is forbidden from having sexual intercourse with a niddah, that is, a menstruating woman. This is part of the extensive laws of ritual purity described in the Torah. At one time, a large portion of Jewish law revolved around questions of ritual purity and impurity. The law of niddah is the only law of ritual purity that continues to be observed today; all of the other laws applied only when the Temple was in existence, but are not applicable today.

The time of separation begins at the first sign of blood and ends in the evening of the woman's seventh "clean day." This separation lasts a minimum of 12 days. The Torah prohibits only sexual intercourse, but the rabbis broadened this prohibition, maintaining that a man may not even touch his wife or sleep in the same bed as her during this time. Weddings must be scheduled carefully, so that the woman is not in a state of niddah on her wedding night.

At the end of the period of niddah, as soon as possible after nightfall after the seventh clean day, the woman must immerse herself in a kosher mikvah, a ritual pool. The mikvah was traditionally used to cleanse a person of various forms of ritual impurity. Today, it is used primarily for this purpose and as part of the ritual of conversion, though in some communities observant men periodically immerse themselves for reasons of ritual purity.

It is important to note that the mikvah provides only ritual purification, not physical cleanliness; in fact, immersion in the mikvah is not valid unless the woman is thoroughly bathed before immersion. The mikvah is such an important part of traditional Jewish ritual life that traditionally a new community would build a mikvah before they would build a synagogue.

The Torah does not specify the reason for the laws of niddah, but this period of abstention has both physical and psychological benefits.

The fertility benefits of this practice are obvious and undeniable. In fact, it is remarkable how closely these laws parallel the advice given by medical professionals today. When couples are having trouble conceiving, modern medical professionals routinely advise them to abstain from sex during the two weeks around a woman's period (to increase the man's sperm count at a time when conception is not possible), and to have sex on alternate nights during the remaining two weeks. When you combine this basic physical benefit with the psychological benefit of believing that you are fulfilling G-d's will, it is absolutely shocking that more couples with fertility problems do not attempt this practice. The rejection of this practice by the liberal movements of Judaism is not a matter of "informed choice," but simply a matter of ignorance or blind prejudice.

In addition, women who have sexual intercourse during their menstrual period are more vulnerable to a variety of vaginal infections, as well as increased risk of cervical cancer.

But the benefits that the rabbis have always emphasized are the psychological ones, not the physical ones. The rabbis noted that a two-week period of abstention every month forces a couple to build a non-sexual bond as well as a sexual one. It helps to build the couple's desire for one another, making intercourse in the remaining two weeks more special. It also gives both partners a chance to rest, without feeling sexually inadequate. They also emphasized the value of self-discipline in a drive as fundamental as the sexual drive.

Birth Control

In principle, birth control is permitted, so long as the couple is committed to eventually fulfilling the mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply (which, at a minimum, consists of having two children, one of each gender). The issue in birth control is not whether it is permitted, but what method is permitted, and under what circumstances.

Birth control is rather clearly permitted in circumstances where pregnancy would pose a medical risk to the mother or her other children. For example, the Talmud recognizes the use of birth control by very young women, pregnant women or nursing women. However, there is some variance of opinion as to what other circumstances might permit birth control. If this is an issue for you, you should consult a competent rabbinic authority.

It is well-established that methods that destroy the seed or block the passage of the seed are not permitted, thus condoms are not permitted for birth control. However, the pill is well-recognized as an acceptable form of birth control under Jewish law. I have also heard some say that a condom would be permitted under Jewish law to prevent the transmission of AIDS or similar diseases, because preserving the life of the uninfected spouse takes priority; however, I am not certain how authoritative this view is. If this is an issue for you, you should consult a competent rabbinic authority.

Abortion

Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances requires abortion. Where the mother's life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.

An unborn child has the status of "potential human life" until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother's, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.

Homosexuality

Sexual relations between men are clearly forbidden by the Torah. (Lev. 18:22). Such acts are condemned in the strongest possible terms, as abhorrent. The only other sexual sin that is described in such strong terms is the sin of remarrying a woman you had divorced after she had been married to another man. (See Deut. 24:4). The sin of sexual relations between men is punishable by death (Lev. 20:13), as are the sins of adultery and incest.

It is important to note, however, that it is homosexual acts that are forbidden, not homosexual orientation. Judaism focuses on a person's actions rather than a person's desires. A man's desire to have sex with another man is not a sin, so long as he does not act upon that desire. In fact, it could be said that a man who feels such desires but does not act upon them is worthy of more merit in that regard than a man who does not feel such desires at all, just as one who refrains from pork because it is forbidden deserves more merit than one who refrains from pork because he doesn't like the taste.

I have seen some modern Orthodox sources suggest that if homosexuality is truly something hardwired in the brain, as most gay activists suggest, then a man who acts upon that desire is not morally responsible for his actions, but I am not sure how wide-spread that opinion is. In any case, it is not quite as liberal a position as some would have you believe: essentially, it is equivalent to saying that a kleptomaniac would not be held morally responsible for stealing.

Interestingly, female homosexual relations are not forbidden by the Torah. There is very little discussion of female homosexuality in the Talmud. The few sources that mention lesbian relations say that they do not disqualify a woman from certain privileges of the priesthood, because it is "merely licentiousness." There is a surprising lack of discussion of such issues as whether lesbianism would be grounds for divorcing a woman without her consent or without ketubah. Rambam asserted that lesbian practices are forbidden because it was a "practice of Egypt" and because it constituted rebelliousness.

Masturbation

Jewish law clearly prohibits male masturbation. This law is derived from the story of Onan (Gen. 38:8-10), who practiced coitus interruptus as a means of birth control to avoid fathering a child for his deceased brother. G-d killed Onan for this sin. Although Onan's act was not truly masturbation, Jewish law takes a very broad view of the acts prohibited by this passage, and forbids any act of ha-sh'cha'tat zerah (destruction of the seed), that is, ejaculation outside of the vagina. In fact, the prohibition is so strict that one passage in the Talmud states, "in the case of a man, the hand that reaches below the navel should be chopped off." (Niddah 13a)

The issue is somewhat less clear for women. Obviously, spilling the seed is not going to happen in female masturbation, and there is no explicit Torah prohibition against female masturbation. Nevertheless, Judaism generally frowns upon female masturbation as "impure thoughts."


Blessing, Stealing, and Labor Day
Labor on the Bimah


Jewish tradition affirms, in more explicit ways, that humanlabor is sacred and essential, and Jewish law affords workersmany protections. But there was no need for a “Labor Day” inthe time of the Torah and Talmud, for in those days the workthat it took to sustain a community was far more visible to allwho shared its fruits. The farmer, the shoemaker, the butcher,the teacher, the seamstress-all were community members andwere known to one another. In our modern, global economy,work and workers are hidden from us as consumers. As workers,we are isolated from one another. The act of blessing, in thiscontext, is a way of making the invisible visible, and a way ofreconnecting ourselves both to God and to a human communi-ty that makes our existence possible. Labor Day is, like the tra-ditional food blessings, also a way to remind ourselves not to“steal” from others in the human community. As consumers oras stockholders we are often pitted against workers—if wages goup, then so do prices; if workers are laid off, it’s good for WallStreet. But ultimately we are just “stealing” from ourselves,whether we consider ourselves workers or not. To understandthe meaning of blessing is to understand that my well-being isdependent, ultimately, on the well-being of all workers—that is,on all residents of this planet. And acknowledging my depend-ence on the labor of others also means acknowledging thoselaborers’ rights: to a decent wage, to safe and sanitary workingconditions, to dignity and the right to organize. And so perhaps Labor Day can be the occasion, as we pickup something to eat or as we shop at a Labor Day sale, to stopfor a moment and think about how this particular item arrivedin our hands. Who worked the soil or the machinery that pro-duced this? Was it a small farmer, a factory worker or a migrantlaborer, a child in a sweatshop? In what conditions did that per-son work, and how much were they paid? How did this fooditem get from the farm to the store, and who were the peoplewho handled it along the way—the packers, the truckers, thestock person at the supermarket? How did this shirt arrive onmy shelf, and who were the people who helped it get there?What are their lives and their work like? And, finally, what is the blessing I can say, and what arethe actions that I can take, to honor each of these people, andin so doing to give proper due both to the Creator and thecommunity of which we all are a part? Toba Spitzer is rabbi of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, a Reconstruc-tionist synagogue in West Newton, Massachusetts.7


Japanese comic storytelling in English
Japantimes Oct. 26, 2007


Rakugo story-teller Katsura Kaishi will give an English-language performance on Nov. 7 in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. Originating in the Edo Period (1603-1868), this traditional form of Japanese entertainment sees a lone rakugo-ka (story-teller) sitting on a stage in kimono relating a long and complicated comical story. Equipped only with a paper fan and a hand towel, used to express all items in the story, and by changing the pitch and tone of the voice, the performer acts out all the characters of the story and narrates.

Rakugo became more accessible as the Edo Period merchant class flourished, and there are about 300 stories, which are still performed as classic rakugo today.

Katsura Kaishi, born in 1969 in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, became a professional rakugo performer in 1994.

Besides classical and modern rakugo, Kaishi started performing rakugo in English in 1997, following a lifetime ambition to work in that foreign tongue. Since his first performance in the U.S. in 1998, he has taken this style of Japanese comedy to 31 cities in 12 countries. Most recently, his show "New York Hanjotei" at the Sage Theater, Broadway, attracted many New Yorkers last month.

The reason he started performing in English was to try to change foreigners' image of Japanese as " economic animals " or "workaholics" who do not understand jokes, by making people all around the world burst into laughter with this unique, 400-year-old style of storytelling art.

This coming performance features classical stories "Irachi Guruma (A Man in a Hurry)" and "Dobutsuen (The Zoo)." The stories are told in simple English, at the level of the first grade of Japanese junior high school.

The performance is on Nov. 7 at Kitazawa Town Hall, 2-8-18 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku in Tokyo, from 6:30 p.m. The venue is a 4-minute walk from the South Exit of Shimokitazawa Station, Inokashira and Odakyu lines. Tickets are ¥2,500 in advance on (03) 5210-6688.


A Tale of Early Japan-Australia Contact
Australian government : Masako Endo's Works Relating to Australia


Maboroshi no Sekihi - A Tale of Early Japan-Australia Contact (Pursuing an Elusive Epitaph - A Tale of Early Japan-Australia Contact)

Published: March 1993

Synopsis: Endo has long wondered who the first Japanese was to leave their mark on Australia. She discovered that Gohei Zeniya, a wealthy 19th century merchant from Kanazawa supposedly owned land in Tasmania. However, because of the distance between the two countries, she could find no proof until fact-finding journeys to Tasmania and Kanazawa elicited historical evidence of Zeniya's Australian connection.


The Rise and Fall of the Contract-Fishery System
eScholarship EDITIONS


As the revisionist scholarship of Ronald Toby, Arano Yasunori, and others has demonstrated, the notion of national "seclusion" seriously misrepresents the Tokugawa bakufu's foreign policy.[28] Arano instead writes of the bakufu's prohibition on foreign travel (kaikin ) in the context of a bifurcated international order of "civilized" and "barbarian" countries modeled after the traditional Sinocentric world view (ka-i chitsujo ). Seen in this way, the bakufu's ordering of foreign contacts conformed to practice elsewhere in East Asia.[29] The prohibition of foreign travel did not isolate Japan but rather ensured that foreign relations would be conducted according to terms set by the bakufu. Inasmuch as the bakufu delegated responsibility for maintaining contacts with Korea, Ryukyu, and the Ainu to the Tsushima, Satsuma, and Matsumae domains as part of their respective feudal obligations, the fact that Matsumae was not "secluded" merely reflects its role as the bakufu's proxy.

A major purpose of the kokudaka system was to make explicit the relative status of the daimyo and hence to order their feudal obligations to the shogun.[31] Agricultural productivity was, at least in the early seventeenth century, a reasonable indicator of a domain's wealth and hence its ability to support the military potential that formed the core of its obligations to the bakufu. But there was never a necessary correlation between a domain's actual productivity—its "real" kokudaka —and its relative standing in the institutional hierarchy of the bakuhan state, as reflected by its official kokudaka . In that respect, Matsumae's lack of agricultural production was not important so long as its obligations to the bakufu were clean Although it did in fact take more than a century for the bakufu finally to determine the value of Matsumae's contribution to the functioning of the Tokugawa state, its core obligation—maintenance of trade relations with the Ainu—remained unchanged throughout the early modern period.


Tokyo Earthquake in Meiji Era (1894)
Journal of the Seismological Society of Japan. Second Series


Old seismograms of the Tokyo earthquake in the Meiji era (June 20, 1894) were analyzed to retrieve source parameters. This earthquake gave considerable damage on the Tokyo metropolitan area. The focal depth was estimated to be about 50km or about 80km from S-P times of several seismograms observed at Tokyo. The magnitude, which was calculated from data of maximum amplitudes, was 6.6. The focal mechanism and the seismic moment were inferred from waveform fitting with seismograms observed by a Ewing-type strong motion seismograph and a Gray-Milne-Ewing-type seismograph. The estimated moment is 1-3*1018Nm (Mw=6.0-6.3). The earthquake is considered to have a nearly vertical nodal plane with N-S strike, and to have occurred in the Pacific plate or the Philippine Sea plate. Stress drop of the event was larger than the average value in the region.


Japan and France have maintained a collusive relationship. France attacked Vietnam to decoy Chinese troops in 1884. France helped Japan indirectly. But China ignored the provocation and sent its troops to Korean Peninsula. Japan's scheme in Gapsin Coup failed.

This scenario is very similar to the Japanese and French collusive relations in the First Indochina War and the Korean War. Both countries cooperate with each other on anti-US and anti-British campaigns. Their malice is too much. Particularly, France deliberately lost the Vietnam war and let the US cover its losses. But, on the other hand, the then president Charles de Gaulle bothered the US, criticizing and opposing minor things.

During WWII, France surrendered early to Nazi Germany. But, although it cooperated with the Axis, it obtained a permanent seat in the UN as a victor country. France forgot that it had been saved by the US. And it often annoyed the US.

It cannot be denied that France and Japan are responsible for today's corruption in the UN and the stalemate in the world economy. They still keep the outdated idea of economic colonialism that was popular about 100 years ago.

The French army has many mercenaries and it has not won the major war since Napoleon. When France lost the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, there were many ex-Nazi German soldiers in the battlefield. France might have deliberately abandoned German mercenaries because they became the nuisance for France. The situation was too strange.

The loss of morale among French soldiers is said to be caused by the Dreyfus affair in which French army was under increasing pressure.


Irish EU vote lost, officials say
15:57 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 16:57 UK


Substantial vote tallies across Ireland show the European Union Lisbon reform treaty has been rejected, Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has said.

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said all indications were that Ireland had indeed rejected the treaty.

He called for other states to continue their ratification processes and said a solution should be sought.

The treaty must be ratified by all 27 members. Only Ireland has held a public vote on it.

With results in from 39 of 43 constituencies, the No campaign was ahead by 53.6% to 46.4%, state broadcaster RTE reported.

Mr Ahern was the first senior figure from the Irish government to admit that it looked like the treaty had failed.

"It looks like this will be a No vote," Mr Ahern said on live television. "At the end of the day, for a myriad of reasons, the people have spoken."

He said it looked like other EU countries would ratify the treaty, so an Irish No vote would leave the EU in "uncharted waters".

Mr Barroso said he had spoken to Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and agreed with him that this was not a vote against the EU.

"Ireland remains committed to a strong Europe," he said.

"Ratifications should continue to take their course."

Mr Barroso said EU leaders would have to decide at a summit next week how to proceed.


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