Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Shifting Right

Just in case anybody was concerned, no, I wasn’t killed at any of the recent Islamic murders in Europe in the last few weeks. And I really didn’t have much to say about it. My last post stood as an almost miraculous oracle of why Islamic murders happen, and why they will continue to do so. And voila, they continued to do so. And of course, as I said, European governments did nothing of importance to address the problem. Because they can’t.

But now some days have gone on without further incidents, so it’s time to change topics. I could write about Japan, which has gone through two very important elections, elections for the Senate in July 10th, and elections for the governorship of Tokyo in July 31st. The Senate elections gave a large 2/3 majority to the right, which in Japan it’s defined as nationalists who want to change the constitution, apparently to, among other changes, delete the clause that “The Emperor has the responsibility to uphold the constitution”. So they want nominally absolute monarchy. Nominally, of course, Japan’s emperors haven’t counted for shit for thousands of years, and the next emperor in line is known to be a wimpy liberal whose wife spends more time shopping in Paris than attending Shinto rituals.

Some say that Japan will go bankrupt before any constitutional change can be decided on; but financial crises do not stop political change: they accelerate it. Usually in a bad way. As things stand, Japan is on course to enter a rightist singularity of ever accelerating nationalist madness. And lack of money will only fuel the fire. Interesting times.

The Tokyo election was somewhat different: the incumbent, recently elected (2 years on the job) governor of Tokyo, Masuzoe, was busted because of misuse of government funds. The dude was spending big money travelling first class, spending weeks on a time on pointless foreign trips. But that’s a long standing Tokyo tradition, his predecessor was even worse than him. The guy was completely busted by the media, and he didn’t get it. What have I done wrong? The Tokyo bureaucracy obviously loved the guy, who was never around, so they had free hands to do what they pleased; another long standing Japanese political tradition.

The guy did get it coming in many ways. He was a textbook sociopath, narcissistic fuck who has published dozens of inane books about how awesome he is; multiply divorced, is known to have multiple mistresses, all of them with his children, whom he refuses to support. A nasty piece of work he was. But that isn’t immediately disqualifying for office; and in any case everybody knew that before the election, and he got the job anyway. So there’s no good theory about why suddenly the establishment went against him. As I am a great believer that the face is the mirror of the soul, please take a look at the guy.

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The only plausible reason I can think of is that he was in cahoots with the Koreans. Tokyo has a famous issue with a lack of daycare centers; and the guy canceled a daycare center building in order to sell the land for cheap for the construction of a Korean school. Koreans don’t have children; nobody has in Tokyo, there’s no good rationale for a second Korean school. Obviously this was about money and patronage; first thing the guy did in office was go on a trip to Seoul and bend his back to the Korean president. And that looks bad. Baaad. Bad! in Japan. So powerful forces started to conspire against him; his arrogance made him look bad in the media, who realized that shitting on the guy got them better ratings; one thing led to another, and the guy got busted. Oh well.

So they held new elections a week ago. And it got interesting because the ever-ruling party, the LDP, i.e. the right, the party of Abe, couldn’t agree on a candidate, and thus split. The LDP is the ever ruling party of Japan, running the place almost uninterruptedly since 1945. But like I always say about monarchy, the nominal power structure doesn’t mean anything. If there’s many parties competing for power, people will organize themselves around that. If there’s a single party running the place, people will form factions and bicker inside the single party. The amusing thing about the Japanese LDP is that the faction system is formalized: there are nominal factions, which call themselves “factions”, which openly meet in congress centers and conspire for their benefit in front of everyone. It’s pretty funny.

The divide lines among the LDP are pretty obvious; especially so in regional centers such as the Tokyo council. Basically it seems that the Tokyo legislature is run by this big old corrupt ogre, which runs a huge pork machine which basically controls the whole of Tokyo. Again tell me if he just doesn’t look like a big old corrupt ogre.

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Well this guy has been running Tokyo for a decade or so, and for this new election he of course wanted to run his own candidate, somebody who was willing to allow him to run his pork machine for a small commission. And so he got some boring old ex-minister, Masuda. What’s funny is that this Masuda guy had been Minister of the Interior years ago; and one of the things he did was send huge amounts of money out of Tokyo out into the provinces, in order to help the struggling countryside. “How can you put this guy to run Tokyo? He’s the enemy!”

But that was missing the point. The guy as Minister of the Interior did what the Minister of the Interior bureaucrats wanted him to do: get them bigger budgets. And as Governor of Tokyo he presumably would do what the big old corrupt ogre wanted him to do: get him bigger budgets, and help him come up with new bullshit projects with the excuse of the 2020 Olympics, which have already become an obscene money drain.

But surprise, surprise, some other faction of the LDP decided that his couldn’t go on. While this big old corrupt ogres go on wasting money on pork, at this rate even Tokyo is going to go bankrupt. No, we need Reform™. We need to cut on bureaucratic waste and entrenched interests. And so this lady, also from the LDP, declared her candidacy. Ms. Koike.

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Big old corrupt ogre went batshit crazy. He threatened with firing her from the party, announced that she would get no electoral support. And he sent a memo to all Tokyo party members, saying that if any party member, including their families, supported Ms. Koike, they would be immediately fired. Including family members! Yes, Japan is going back to the middle ages.

The first news reports were that Ms. Koike had effectively committed suicide; she had no party machine, no voter pool, no support from the party. She would lose badly, get expelled from the party, and die the lonely death of a traitor spinster. And those news got the left excited. Because yes, I haven’t mentioned it, but Japan does have a left. And as the right is getting righter, the left is getting lefter.

Japan used to have a Soviet-aligned Socialist Party during the Cold War; whose party leaders went to North Korea to celebrate the birthdays of Kim Il Sung and stuff like that. That’s besides the official Communist Party, which is still around. The Socialist Party never managed to win an election, and after the Cold War it slowly disintegrated. For a while the remnants formed the Democratic Party, which was supposed to be a modern, Blair-Clinton kind of thing. They never managed to amount to much, but they did win the 2009 election, just in time to preside over the big 2011 Tsunami. Besides the Tsunami they botched everything they did; basically they were dumb, and the bureaucracy sabotaged everything they wanted. So since 2012 the Democratic Party has been dead, completely suppressed by the amazing Abe charisma.

The solution the Democratic Party chose since 2015 was to… ally with the Communist Party. Yep. I’ve no idea who convinced whom but this madness actually happened, with predictable results. The Democratic Party went full retard on leftist insanity, arguing for increased immigration, voting rights for foreigners, new feminist laws, gaymarriage, abolishing nuclear power, that sort of stuff. Stuff which is not exactly popular right now because Japan is undergoing a rightist singularity as we speak. But the Left is the Left is the Left, and their solution is always to move lefter. So they made an alliance with the Communist Party, and given that the right had split before the Tokyo elections, they thought they stood a chance. So they selected as a candidate this guy, Mr. Torigoe.

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Now you can see from his hairstyle, that this guy is a complete douche. He’s also a leftist douche. 75 years old, he’s a remnant of the old Soviet aligned left, those who were students in the 1960s. He made his living as a leftist journalist, so he had plenty of brand recognition. But the guy also happens to have multiple cancers, and show clear signs of dementia. He’s 76 after old. Also, being a leftist douche, he was found to have harassed dozens of young women. Kinda like Sartre and all other famous leftists have always done. I mean, what’s the point of being a leftist celebrity if you can’t get young pussy through it? That’s the actual motivation, ideology is the means to an end.

Anyway, the Democratic and Communist parties thought they could pull a Tokyo governorship with this guy, but the election was so completely inept that they botched it spectacularly. And I mean spectacularly. Mr. Leftist Douche came in third place. The puppet of the Tokyo pork machine came second. And… oh yeah, Ms. Koike the outsider won the election. Reform won the day.

It’s unlikely she will be allowed to get away with much; the governor doesn’t have that much power. But I don’t know; perhaps there are sectors of the Tokyo bureaucracy that she can use for her ends. Bureaucrats play divide and conquer with politicians; a skilled politician has to play divide and conquer with his bureaucrats. Structurally speaking bureaucrats are usually better able to run tight loyal ships to avoid that kind of attacks, while politicians are more vulnerable to it. But Ms. Koike has a reputation for being tough as nails. And yes, she is also hard-right. “Let’s change the constitution and have an army”-right.

That shouldn’t matter much, but as thing stand today, being a “let’s have an army” politician is a fairly good way of gaining support from a wide set of people. There’s lots of conspiracies about “secret sects” like Nihon Kaigi that are conspiring to get Japan back into the Middle Ages, which is driving the US foreign policy circles crazy right now; and while it can’t get that simple; the fact is that being on the right in Japan pays. So people move to the right. It doesn’t pay to go crazy Nazi; there’s plenty of those, and they are very unpopular. But a smart degree of rightist signaling gets you a long way. And that’s not thanks to media support. The mainstream media is, generally, batshit leftist, and they overwhelmingly supported the rapist leftist douche. What is rightist though, is the internet, and some more fringe sectors of the media, such as news weeklies and the like.

The funny thing is that Schelling points right now, while still functioning as Schelling points, are all slowly shifting in different directions. And that is a worldwide trend. Interesting times.

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58 responses to “Shifting Right

  1. Pingback: Shifting Right | Aus-Alt-Right

  2. lalit August 4, 2016 at 06:53

    Japan shifting to the right is more about hierarchy, law and order, harmony than about let’s conquer other countries, kill their men, rape their women and take their shit.

    • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 07:30

      It started like that last time…

      • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 08:16

        Last time it sort of worked Japan was the lone modern nation in NEA, surrounded by countries that were crumbling retarded peasant monarchies, colonies, ongoing civil wars or any combination thereof. What’s around to conquer now? Africa? Brazil?

        • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 08:21

          Remember that a big chunk of the Japanese elite wanted to invade Korea in the 1870s.

          Of course Japan doesn’t have the capability to invade shit right now; but the same instinct can manifest itself as picking pointless fights with China and the US, destroying the economy on the process.

          • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 08:28

            Remember that a big chunk of the Japanese elite wanted to invade Korea in the 1870s.

            Japan wasn’t quite a modern nation yet in the 1870s, but it was on the way, and what did Korea have then? A slave army with bamboo spears?

            the same instinct can manifest itself as picking pointless fights with China and the US, destroying the economy on the process.

            So Toyota wouldn’t be able to export gobs of cars. I wouldn’t trouble too much about that. In fact, it might reset expectations and permit an eventual demographic recovery.

          • lalit August 4, 2016 at 09:26

            Say what you want about Japanese Actions in Korea or China. But they were very Benign in Taiwan as compared to the Brits in India or the Americans in the Philippines or the French in SE Asia.

            Regarding picking fights, Pearl Harbor was not unprovoked aggression by a long shot. The US had imposed a naval Blockade on Japan before that attack. Japan being an Island nation, a naval Blockade is an act of war. Why else would a weaker nation attack a stronger nation knowing so? It just does not compute. The Americans have been following this strategy since Union Forces left the Confederates no choice but to fire the first shot at Ft. Sumter. Therefore Japan did not pick a fight with the U.S. in world War 2. And they are not about to pick one with China anytime in the near or medium future. Both powers are naturally stronger than Japan and will remain so.

            • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 09:49

              You’re preaching to the choir here :)

            • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 10:34

              Dude, I know the history. Japan had it coming. The naval blockade was in response to the escalation of war against China, which didn’t need to happen.

              • lalit August 4, 2016 at 11:11

                Why was there no Naval Blockade by the Americans against the British while they were starving the Indians in multiple famines? And it is really hypocritical of the Americans to pretend to be concerned for the Chinese while they were carrying out a Brutal occupation of the Philippines.

                The China thing was a mere excuse for something America always wanted to do. Finish off a Right Wing Government and bring Leftism to all corners in the world. The same urge caused the Americans to side with Britain in WW1 against Right Wing Wilhelmite Germany and the Hapsburg Empire. It was the same urge that caused Wilson to prevent Britain from supporting the White Russians against the Reds in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution.

              • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 11:15

                Maybe it didn’t, but why was it America’s business to defend China? If Linbergh’s America Firsters had their way, say if Tyler Kent hadn’t been caught in London pilfering the dope on FDR (can’t imagine the BBC running such a program now — what a difference a couple of decades make!) there would have been no blockade or Pearl Harbor or Hiroshima or Great Leap Forward, and there might still be a Japanese Empire.

              • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 11:45

                Edit to above
                Maybe it didn’t, and Japanese militarism certainly was nothing to write home about — I mentioned about rightist singularities above — but why was it…

              • Duke of Qin August 6, 2016 at 23:03

                There was no naval blockade of Japan by the US. There was an oil embargo initiated by the US and joined by the British and the Dutch. A blockade requires military force to enforce against all neutral parties. An embargo is a voluntary act which only involves one party. The Japanese were free to purchase as much oil as they liked from the rest of the World. It simply sucked for them that the US accounted for the vast majority of global oil production at the time. It may seemed to them that this was a distinction without a difference but it is there nonetheless.

                Also the economic sanctions against Japan which were instituted piecemeal was really a result of the Japanese invasion of French Indochina which contrary to your assertion occurred before Pearl Harbor. Aviation grade fuel was the first to be cut, then scrap iron and steel, then freezing of Japanese assets and finally a total oil embargo. The Japanese seizure of Vietnam was also a piecemeal affair with the North seized in September of 1940 coinciding with the first two rounds of American economic sanctions and the South occupied in July of 1941 coinciding with the final asset freeze and complete oil embargo. China lurked in the background, but then as now, the US was more interested in calling its rival bad names than in actually doing anything concrete. The real impetus was not the war in China, during which the US was perfectly willing to sell Japan oil and steel for four years in spite of the name calling but rather that Japan had the daring to seize a European colony.

            • random observer August 4, 2016 at 16:13

              Relatively new reader; first time commenter, for the record. To be found in greater quantity on places like Sailer.

              When was there a naval blockade of Japan by the US before the war? The US instituted a series of embargoes against Japan, including scrap metal sales from the US, closure of the Panama Canal to Japanese transits, oil and gas sales from the US, and eventually freezing of Japanese assets in the US.

              None of those are a naval blockade. Although all are unfriendly acts, unlike a naval blockade none have traditionally been considered acts of war, and none are so considered now. The US, and other countries, have frozen assets of various other countries for years and continue to do so. It’s part of the price of having assets in a foreign country that you are subject to their laws and your assets hostage to diplomacy. The US was not obligated to permit the sale of any particular products from the US to Japanese customers. Such bans are currently in force by the US for various strategic goods and most major countries have export control policies that can be stretched to be used for sanctions. Sanctions are nowhere considered an act of war. No country is obliged to engage in commerce with another. I’m not sure if the US was violating any multilateral agreements about Panama Canal transit in closing it to Japan, but even then that doesn’t constitute a naval blockade of Japan nor a casus belli.

              So as far as acts of war go, the Japanese committed the first against the United States. It was not “provoked” by any prior act of war or casus belli in any sense the international law of the time could have recognized.

              Now, was the US poking Japan by every means possible and playing with fire? You bet. Call it provocation with a small p. But that’s what both sides were doing. Japan’s actions in China, and worse Indochina, were a threat to US interests just as American reactions were a threat to Japanese interests.

              Both countries were pursuing their interests and taking a gambler’s attitude about it.

              That, to me at least, should mean that the US complaint about Pearl Harbor should be limited to the fact that Japan made that particular escalation to war, and without the [in the brief period from Victorian to post-1945 times] customary declaration of war being first registered.

              The rest of American complaints about it are and always were silly. It has been known since the time that even the declaration of war got tangled in comms and bureaucracy. The Japanese were intending to observe the forms. And Pearl Harbor was indisputably a valid military target.

              • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 16:17

                You are most welcome. I could use more Sailer commenters. Not too many, though.

                Indochina happened after Pearl Harbor. The Japanese knew they couldn’t deal with Western powers before the US, so Pearl Harbor triggered the great southern drive. Before Pearl Harbor Japanese aggression was strictly restricted to China.

                That said Japan could have got the US to recognize Manchuria; but not anything further. Invading Beijing was completely retarded. They deserved everything that happened afterwards.

              • random observer August 4, 2016 at 16:17

                I should add that today unilateral sanctions might in some cases warrant a suit under WTO rules, which do create some obligations on states to engage in commerce with others whether they want to or not. But I’m not sure how valid that assumption is, and in any case I can’t think of any treaties limiting that aspect of sovereignty in 1941.

            • Salger August 4, 2016 at 18:10

              Japan dindu nuffin! They were bombed by Evul White Men!

              • lalit August 5, 2016 at 06:52

                The Japs need the civilizing influence of White Men. The White Man’s Burden. The Burden of of spreading Civilization, Christianity, Democracy, women’s Lib to these unwashed coloreds. Oh, the list is endless. Such are the responsibilities of the superior race.

            • DonaldTrump August 8, 2016 at 20:24

              wasn’t the naval blockade only about US exports to Japan ?

              • lalit August 11, 2016 at 16:51

                @DonaldTrump What you’re talking about is called a trade Embargo. Not a Naval Blockade. A trade embargo is like, “Don’t talk to me.” A naval blockade is like, “I won’t let you talk to anyone.”

          • M_k_chi August 11, 2016 at 02:24

            When you talk of Japan picking a fight with the USA you mean kissing its soles not enough gently. Don’t you?

            Let’s all hope Japan be wise, and its way of kissing retain the passion and kindness the USA have appreciated long, shall we not?

  3. Candide III August 4, 2016 at 08:23

    Good writeup. You could also add that Abe now appointed 稲田 朋美 (who I believe came up in youtube videos) Minister of Defense. Still, I wonder how much of a rightist singularity (not that it is altogether a good thing to have or be around…) can get going if crazy Nazis are universally vilified and mass media are so left-leaning. I believe the Cabinet had appointed some right-leaning people to NHK steering committee, there was a brouhaha about that, but apparently it came to nothing. What are rightists going to do about demographics with a hostile media? Build day care centers?

    • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 08:47

      Yes, the 道義大国 woman. Crazy shit. But yeah, not much actually going on.

      I think the key is that Japan doesn’t have the 1930s demographics. Not enough hotheads; it’s just old people reimagining themselves as patriotic warriors, while they keep on with their leisurely lifestyles going to the スナック singing some American song in karaoke.

      Personally I deplore the dumbing down of public discourse. It all just seems like a lame set of excuses to distract people from economic collapse. But of course it may be the best way of doing it.

      • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 09:53

        “Collapse” is probably a bit too strong. The trouble is that nobody seems to understand what’s really going on, the way (say) a biologist understands how ribosomes construct proteins, or a physicist understands how solids conduct electricity. At best there’s some good observation, but mostly it’s just a lot of handwaving and rattle-shaking.

        • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 11:01

          Let’s say inexorable pauperization. It’s pretty sad to see out there.

          Is it that hard to understand though? Demographics are collapsing the tax base and entrenched 利権 won’t die. The country is just printing money and building white elephants to keep everyone happy until inflation comes.

          • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 11:31

            Let’s say inexorable pauperization. It’s pretty sad to see out there.

            I believe I know what you mean. I’ve been to Innoshima to visit Shusaku’s grave, and brother.

            Is it that hard to understand though? Demographics are collapsing the tax base and entrenched 利権 won’t die.

            That’s good observation, or maybe “understanding” isn’t quite what I meant. Let’s see. If the government (broadly speaking) shares this observation, they either think it a good thing or a bad thing. If the latter, they might not know what to do about it, or know and be impotent, or know and be doing it. Which of these is closer to truth?

            The country is just printing money and building white elephants to keep everyone happy until inflation comes.

            Keeping infrastructure up-to-date isn’t a bad idea. There might not be enough money for a while when inflation hits. Also I don’t feel comfortable with statements such as “print money”. Money is just accounting. What’s actually going on? I don’t have a better set of tools though, just wishing there was one.

          • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 11:33

            Let’s say inexorable pauperization. It’s pretty sad to see out there.

            I believe I know what you mean. I’ve been to Innoshima to visit Shusaku’s grave, and brother.

            Is it that hard to understand though? Demographics are collapsing the tax base and entrenched 利権 won’t die.

            That’s good observation, or maybe “understanding” isn’t quite what I meant. Let’s see. If the government (broadly speaking) shares this observation, they either think it a good thing or a bad thing. If the latter, they might not know what to do about it, or know and be impotent, or know and be doing it. Which of these is closer to truth?

            The country is just printing money and building white elephants to keep everyone happy until inflation comes.

            Keeping infrastructure up-to-date isn’t a bad idea. There might not be enough money for a while when inflation hits. Also I don’t feel comfortable with statements such as “print money”. Money is just accounting. What’s actually going on? I don’t have a better set of tools, though, just wishing there was one.

          • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 17:20

            (WordPress ate my reply, please save it…)

  4. Pingback: Shifting Right | Reaction Times

  5. Nikolai Vladivostok August 4, 2016 at 12:09

    Something big is definitely going to happen in Japan. It might start with a default or banking crisis, perhaps followed by hyperinflation. After that, no idea.
    This crisis seems different to those in the past, i.e. the Black Ships. The underlying problem is that birth rates are catastrophically low. There’s no easy solution. In this respect, Japan might be a canary in the mine for many Western and North Asian countries. Whatever happens to Japan, soon, will probably happen to us later.

    • Candide III August 4, 2016 at 13:04

      FWIW, Japanese TFR has been rising about 1% a year on average for the last 10 years.

      • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 16:06

        Big deal. Let’s see if it falls below 1 million babies this year.

      • Haru September 15, 2016 at 21:05

        I was surprised when I found out, because there is so much talk about Japan’s falling birth rates. But it’s lower in some parts of Europe, especially in poorer countries, but not only.

        TFR of:
        Japan 1.44

        Poland 1.30
        Germany 1.38
        Spain 1.32
        Portugal 1.28
        Italy 1.40

        (source: google total fertility rate)

  6. Karl August 4, 2016 at 14:00

    You wrote:
    “The funny thing is that Schelling points right now, while still functioning as Schelling points, are all slowly shifting in different directions. And that is a worldwide trend.”

    I see people moving to Schelling points, mostly to Schelling points on the right, but some progessives move to Schelling points on the left. But the Schelling points themselves, I don’t see them moving. Or does a Schelling point like “nationalism” today stand for something different than 30 years ago?

    I don’t understand what you meant with your Statement. Please Elaborate.

    • spandrell August 4, 2016 at 16:05

      Of course it does. It used to be being friendly to America. Now less so. First it was an army. Next it will be a kickass army, Soon it will mean nukes.

      Look at the US. Who ever dreamt about a Wall before Trump? Now it seems obvious.

      • Karl August 4, 2016 at 17:10

        Thank you. Now I understand, but disagree. This is not a universal trend. For example, 30 years ago in Germany, an anti anti-Immigration party (Republikaner) campaigned to abolish the right to asylum. Now an anti-immigration party (AfD) campaigs to limit the right to asylum to “real” refugees”. So this is an example how the Schelling point “anti-immigration” moved to the left.

  7. Pingback: Word From the Dark Side, 8/4/16 | SovietMen

  8. Alf August 4, 2016 at 15:51

    Enjoyed the accompanying pictures. Torigoe looks like a rat and it’s not just his hair. His entire look is calculated: the knowing eyes, the understanding smile.

  9. a boy and his dog August 4, 2016 at 22:50

    The brouhaha surrounding Koike’s win has been satisfying to watch as an outsider. A big chunk of the government has refused to work with her and now they’re all reshuffling the deck chairs while digging in for a (totally pointless) fight. That’s what happens here when you defy the bureaucracy… This kind of pointless and wasteful signaling cycle is recognizable to anyone who’s worked at a Japanese company for long, it’s just part of the culture. Not that the West doesn’t have their own versions but this particular form feels uniquely Japanese.

  10. Dirk Diggler August 5, 2016 at 04:43

    Chances seem high they’re seeking to build a unified military hierarchy to reduce the problems that arise from the incentives created by american driven anarcho-tyranny. The propaganda will only ramp up as the state dept. begins to build the case to go to war.

    They probably just want the undisputed power to institute stronger censorship programs the way singapore and china have license to do.

    The Abe cabinet was pushing forward a peace deal with Xi’s cabinet before it was rejected by Xi’s hawks for reasons that will probably remain invisible to most of us.

  11. Rhetocrates August 5, 2016 at 09:34

    “Tokyo has a famous issue with a lack of daycare centers; and the guy canceled a daycare center building in order to sell the land for cheap for the construction of a Korean school. Koreans don’t have children; nobody has in Tokyo, there’s no good rationale for a second Korean school.”

    If nobody has children, and therefore schools are unnecessary, why do they need daycares? In my understanding they’re traditionally populated with children.

    That’s a real question, not a snide one.

    • spandrell August 5, 2016 at 09:45

      Female workforce participation is increasing, so there’s more demand for daycare centers even for the meager amount of children being born. Nobody needed daycare centers when women with babies didn’t work.

      That doesn’t apply to Korean primary schools; schooling was always mandatory.

      • Rhetocrates August 5, 2016 at 17:59

        Gotcha. Makes sense. It’d be interesting to see statistics on Japanese female workforce participation over time. Maybe I’ll dig them up and post a link.

  12. Alexandros HoMegas August 5, 2016 at 19:44

    Is the former Tokyo Governor a “crypto-Korean”?

    The Japanese economy is sort of a mistery for the rest of the world, Japan should be bankrupt and a failed country If you listen to professional economists but the truth is that Japan is rich country with low employment and crime.

  13. Yakimi August 6, 2016 at 12:30

    Spandrell,

    Good work as always, but I find it hard to get excited about the rise of Japanese “rightism”. I don’t think it will do much to change the country, unfortunately. It suffers from the same problem as its Western counterparts. For example, Yoshiko Sakurai, a member of Nippon Kaigi, is considered a representative “far-right” figure, but have you seen what she writes?

    http://en.yoshiko-sakurai.jp/2016/06/09/7272

    http://en.yoshiko-sakurai.jp/2016/07/07/7329

    How is it that even Japanese “revisionists” manage to be so cretinously liberal? I think the problem is that Cold War politics forced them into an overly admiring and imitative relationship with the West and, of course, the United States. Their rightist credentials largely derive from the energy they waste on pursuing symbolic causes. When they speak of wanting to make Japan a “normal country”, I’m afraid that they mean just that: a normal, upstanding member of the international community.

    The Japanese who manage to comprehend the real threat are regrettably few, I find. I’m more optimistic about the stirrings of unrest in the West.

    • spandrell August 6, 2016 at 13:26

      I just think they believe Hillary will be better for Japanese interests; and they have a point. If Trump starts a trade war Japan could starve in weeks.

      But in general I’m even more cynical than that. The “rightists” just want to keep on printing money and throw it to their cronies, while brainwashing people on patriotic education so they don’t complain on their falling living standards.

      • ohho August 11, 2016 at 02:46

        Oh lol,
        patriotism is Japan’s “equality” then?

        Nice. Kinda means whatever side gets the power they have alike ways to maintain and increase it.

    • indravaruna August 6, 2016 at 20:39

      “The Japanese who manage to comprehend the real threat are regrettably few”

      What is the real threat?

    • Duke of Qin August 6, 2016 at 23:35

      This is because the modern Japanese right are losers. The Japanese right that weren’t losers are now dead. This bears repeating because most Americans are too polite to say it publicly and the Japanese too proud, but Japan is not really a sovereign country, it is a defacto US Satrapy that was and continues to be subject to the dictates of Washington and all Japanese “rightist” politicians are cognizant of this underlying truth.

      The goal the old Japanese right wanted to achieve was to drive the Europeans and Americans from Asia and create a new global order outside of the West with Japan as a preeminent nation. The new Japanese right clings to American overlordship and pretends it is still the 80’s and really has no ambition beyond remaining America’s number one bitch in the Western Pacific.

      Why the difference? Because the Japanese right are the descendants of losers who didn’t have the stomach to disembowel themselves.

      • spandrell August 7, 2016 at 07:52

        I stand corrected on the Japanese invasion of Vietnam. Still the League of Nations had refused to acknowledge Japanese domain over Manchuria, and sooner or later they knew the US or Soviet Russia would come to expel Japan from the continent altogether.

        The Japanese right today is of course a farce; but as far as vassals go Japan really got a very good deal of being a US satrapy. Part of what they’re trying is to get an even better deal as the US premier ally in the coming anti-Chinese front.

        • Duke of Qin August 7, 2016 at 15:48

          Neither the League of Nations, the United States, or the Soviet Union was going to do shit about Japanese control of Manchuria and the Japanese knew it. The League because it was impotent, Roosevelt because the Americans are perpetual sanctimonious moralizers, and Stalin because he had other more pressing priorities.

          A lot of Westerners today have the mistaken impression that Manchuria 1931 was a one off event and there is a void when it comes to the time between then and 1937. Forgetting almost entirely Japanese encroachment in Suiyuan, Chahar, Hebei in the time between. American “moral” posturing simply resulted in an arms embargo directed at China which due to her agrarian economy could not manufacture the arms needed to defend herself. The outside party most responsible for the preservation of a sovereign Chinese state wasn’t the United States but rather Nazi Germany. It was German military assistance in the 1930’s that allowed the Nationalist government to survive the initial years of the war.

          Regarding the US-Japan relationship, the better deal that Abe and the Japanese so-called right are pursuing is purely symbolic. Because despite their rhetoric, no one who wants an army is actually willing to pay for one. Japanese defense spending as a percentage of GDP when they actually had independence was somewhere around 7-8%, even during the middle of the Great Depression. Abe promises a stronger defense posture, all of which amounts to a 5% increase off a base of around 1%. What they really want is to be able to call the China names while hiding behind America rather than sitting quietly at the table while America calls China names.

          This is more geopolitical stupidity of America’s security establishment (see America’s entire Middle East policy) that they believe that they can somehow “Unleash Japan” to contain China. Japan can no more be unleashed than Chiang could have been because Japan is less interested in confronting China than having America confront China while egging them on. The Japanese Right maybe farcical, but they can count and as long as America is spending 4% of an economy 3-4x larger than their own then they won’t lift a finger to do shit.

          This is what makes the Asian anti-China coalition that the US is building so laughable. Nato is already a shit show full of free riders and quixotic imperial has-beens like France and the UK who are busy tilting at windmills in the Sahara and who are basically completely dependent on the US militarily. This is working with the cream of Western European Christendom.

          America’s delusional security establishment thinks it can actually make something functional out of a collection of mystery meat races, assorted Muslim riff raff, and various Southeast Asian states whose principal claim to fame are their whores. I would be laughing harder were the Chinese Communist Party not full of almost as large idiots who are busy courting various Latin American mestizos, African chieftains, and Barbarian Turk hetmans with Chinese tax money.

          • spandrell August 7, 2016 at 17:14

            Can’t say I disagree. As you say Chinese policy isn’t that smarter, but they are winning in the East and South China Sea standoffs. Even if they’re fairly pointless in themselves. But China does have the momentum on its side and I guess domestically thats what matters for the time being. In an attrition game China can only win.

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