Archive for April, 2011

Japanese Government Complains After French TV Show Jokes About March 11 Disaster

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    N-H-K reports that the Japanese embassy in France has officially complained to the Canal+ channel after a television show made some insensitive jokes about Japan after the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident:


    The offending jokes were on Les Guignols de l’info, a famous satirical latex puppet show. According to the embassy, the following types of jokes could offend and hurt the feelings of disaster victims:

    • Putting a radiation mark on the Japanese flag.
    • Depicting rescue work like it was a video game.
    • Commenting on how the wreckage of Sendai city looked like Hiroshima after the atomic bombing.

    Canal+ has responded to the complaint by stating that the show’s creators were exercising their right to freedom of expression. The network has refused to apologize.

    N-H-K notes that the video it used came from YouTube, so I searched around and dug up a few examples. Here are some screen captures, with links to the actual clips. (As I am not fluent in French, I do not know what kind of jokes are introduced in each clip.)

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan introduces Mr. Burns to deliver some remarks about the nuclear accident in Fukushima:

    The Mario Brothers discuss rescue work:

    Surfers excited by footage of the tsunami:

    N-H-K said this clip apparently shows photos of post-March 11th Japan with post-bombing Hiroshima with the comment that not much has changed in the last 60 years:

    29 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - April 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Categories: Anti-Japan

    Increased Russian & Chinese Military Flights Near Japanese Airspace

    The Yomiuri reports that 2010 saw a very big increase in the number of times Japan’s Self-Defense Forces needed to scramble fighters to intercept foreign military aircraft near Japanese airspace. As the graph shows, it has reached a high not seen since 1991:

    ASDF jets were scrambled to ward off planes from China 96 times, an increase of about 2.5 times from the previous fiscal year, and Russian aircraft on 264 occasions, an increase of 30 percent.

    According to the ministry’s Joint Staff Office, Russian aircraft accounted for 68 percent of the total number and Chinese planes 25 percent. Taiwan jets comprised 2 percent, or seven instances, while planes of other nationalities together made up 5 percent, or 19 incidents.

    Last fiscal year, there were no instances of North Korean aircraft approaching Japanese airspace, although the ASDF scrambled on eight occasions against that country’s jets in fiscal 2009.

    The ministry said no foreign aircraft actually violated Japanese airspace in fiscal 2010.

    The article implies that the increase is because of the DPJ and a perceived decline in U.S.-Japan relations:

    The increase in sorties to ward off foreign aircraft approaching the nation’s airspace appears to correlate with the Democratic Party of Japan’s 2009 ascent to power and subsequent tensions in the Japan-U.S. defense relationship.

    A Defense Ministry senior official said, “[Foreign countries] might have been testing Japan’s defense capability as they regarded Japan-U.S. relations as weakened.”

    The increased flights were also probably linked to the Chinese anger after the Senkaku boat incident and Russia’s increasing emphasis on its ownership of the Southern Kuril islands.

    6 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - at 6:13 pm

    Categories: Anti-Japan, Politics

    Wasao Visits Tsunami Survivors

    Celebrity dog Wasao has taken a break from his stationmaster job in Aomori so he can visit children at a evacuation shelter in tsunami-hit Kesennuma:

    Children at the shelter were given school supplies and a chance to have their picture taken with Wasao.

    The visit was made after Wasao’s master discovered that a 14-year-old girl who had written fan letters to Wasao had lost her home in the tsunami and was now living at the shelter.

    (If Wasao looks tired in the video, it’s because it was a rather warm day. Apparently he prefers the cool weather up in Aomori prefecture.)

    2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - at 5:52 pm

    Categories: Animal Videos

    A Thank You Gift to the American Military: Free Pizzas

    On April 25th, the Strawberry Cones pizza delivery chain sent a truckload of pizzas to an area of Miyagi prefecture where American and Japanese troops were participating in disaster relief operations. Here’s a YouTube video of the “Arigato Pizzas” being served to troops:

    6 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - at 12:31 pm

    Categories: Foreigners in Japan

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