Yokota Airbase Worker Injures Japanese Civilian After Drunk Driving Accident

I bet the leadership in USFJ when they heard about this accident probably thought to themselves, at least this accident did not happen on Okinawa:

A Yokota civilian was under the influence of alcohol before the car he was driving crashed into another vehicle, injuring its occupant, Japanese officials said Monday.

A man in his 20s was taken to the hospital after the accident, which happened around 6 p.m. on May 7, a North Kanto Defense Bureau spokesman said. The man sustained minor injuries to his neck, he said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Will President Moon Cancel Comfort Women Agreement with Japan?

If President Moon scraps the comfort women agreement with Japan it will be very interesting to see what the Japanese reaction will be.  It seems to me the Japanese government would be furious if it was to happen considering the political capital Shinzo Abe used to get the deal completed:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday hinted at possibly scrapping an agreement with Tokyo over Japan’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II, insisting that most South Koreans could not accept the deal reached by the former Seoul government.

“President Moon noted the reality was that most of his people could not accept the agreement over the sexual slavery issue,” Moon’s chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan said of the president’s telephone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The conversation came as Abe sought to congratulate the new South Korean leader on his election this week. Moon came into office Wednesday, only one day after winning the presidential by-election caused by the March 10 ouster of his predecessor Park Geun-hye over a massive corruption scandal.

The thorny issue of sexual slavery apparently took center stage of the conversation after the Japanese premier urged the new liberal Seoul government to honor the agreement signed by its conservative predecessor.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Passenger Claims Crazy Guy on Japanese Airline Had PTSD Because He Had Military Tattoos

Just imagine if a stereotype of a minority was said by a passenger to explain some strange episode like the one in the story below.  The Internet outrage would be instantaneous with everyone claiming racism.  When it comes to negatively stereotyping US military servicemembers few seem to care:

Image via NY Daily News.

A fight aboard an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight from Narita, Japan to Los Angeles went viral this week after an agitated passenger began throwing punches at another man shortly before takeoff. At the time, it was believed the man was intoxicated. Now, the passenger on the receiving end of the altercation is speaking out. According to Ryan Humphreys, the aggressor may have been suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Humphreys, an ex-Marine, told TMZ by video Wednesday that man, shown in video clips wearing a red patterned shirt, was talking loudly to other passengers before standing up and becoming agitated. Humphreys said he was watching the man before the altercation occurred, but maintained that he hadn’t done anything to initiate the incident.

“I didn’t say anything to the guy and he was like, ‘What are you looking at? I will kill you,’” Humphreys told TMZ. Humphreys said he asked the man if he was okay, to which the man responded by asking him if Humphreys was in Vegas. “It had something to do with Vegas, I don’t know,” Humphreys said.

Humphreys said the man then began assaulting a couple on the plane, allegedly attempting to choke a man and smothering his partner, a woman, in the process.

“He’s either active military or a veteran. When his shirt got ripped up I could [see] all his ink,” he said. “I would guess [he either had] PTSD or maybe off his meds. He didn’t strike me as being drunk.”  [Yahoo News]

You can read more at the link, but there could be multiple reasons to explain what happened but to just claim the guy is a veteran and must have PTSD just further promotes a poor stereotype about veterans that is not true.  Even more troubling is that the PTSD claim is being thrown around in the media now despite the airline saying this guy was drunk.

You can see video of the fight at this link.

French Carrier Arrives In Japan In Show of Force Against North Korea

It is pretty clear that over the next month enormous pressure is going to be put on North Korea to give up their nuclear and ICBM programs as even the European powers are now deploying military assets into the region:

A French navy ship arrives at the Sasebo naval base in Sasebo, southwestern Japan, on April 29, 2017

France’s Mistral amphibious assault carrier docked in Nagasaki, Japan on April 29 in advance of military exercises to be conducted with the U.K., U.S., and Japan. Nagasaki is the closest major Japanese port to South Korea, and coming at a time of tension on the peninsula, the French and U.K. naval presence sends a strong message to both China and North Korea. Japan’s increased naval activity is also welcome support for South Korea, and will decrease diplomatic tension between the two natural allies. The U.K. and French presence shows that NATO, including the U.S., is strongly behind South Korea.  [Forbes]

You can read more at the link.

IHO Forms Unofficial Consultation Group to Discuss Changing Name of “Sea of Japan”

Here is an update from the frontlines of the East Sea versus Sea of Japan conflict:

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), agreed Friday to form an unofficial consultation group to discuss South Korea’s proposal to use “East Sea” alongside “Sea of Japan” when referring to the waters between the two countries, Seoul officials said.

The decision was made on the last day of the global hydrography standard-setter’s five-day assembly in Monaco. It calls for the formation of the consultation group of concerned countries, namely South Korea, Japan and others, to carry out a three-year discussion on the revision of the IHO’s “Limits of Oceans and Seas”, also known as S-23, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The group is required to report the results to an IHO assembly in 2020.

The sea chart, used as the standard for world map production, currently uses the Japanese name for the sea between the two countries.

South Korea began diplomatic efforts to revise it in the early 2000s. The IHO had dropped the initial revision discussion in 2012 amid broiling tension between Seoul and Tokyo.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but I continue to maintain it should just be called the “Nameless Sea”.

Japanese Actresses Comment On “Whitewashing” After Watching Ghost in the Shell Movie

The Ghost in the Shell movie that has come under criticism for “whitewashing” sounds like a pretty crappy movie, but this is what some Japanese actresses had to say after watching it:

Yoshihara: People in Japan worship white people.

Kato-Kiriyama: Even in the story, there are Japanese people involved in creating these beings and they also may very well see the ideal human being as a white woman. So you’re sort of messed up all the way around.

Agena: Yes! I felt more messed up watching this movie. It reinforced my own personal messed-up standards of physical beauty.

Okatsuka: This is an important conversation to have.

Yoshihara: Even my ex-boyfriend, who is Asian-American, said, “What Asian lady has a body like Scarlett Johansson?”

Agena: There are certain priorities there.

Okatsuka: It’s this weird thing where Asian-Americans or Asian nationals living here like me, working in film, are fighting both our motherland and white producers here. We’re walking this in-between where I scream at Hollywood but I’m also like, “Why’d you do that, Japan?!” Et tu, Brute, on both sides.

Yoshihara: Japanese people are self-loathing.

Okatsuka: Is it crazy that suicide rates are so high in Japan?

Yoshihara: Even my sister committed suicide. That’s how many people commit suicide in Japan. That’s how messed up it is.  [Hollywood Reporter]

You can read much more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Activists Attempt to Install Forced Laborer Statue at Yongsan Station

Calling for approval of forced laborer statue

Labor activists unveil the model of a statue symbolizing Korean laborers forcibly taken abroad by the imperialist Japan during World War II at the Yongsan Station Square in western Seoul on April 6, 2017. They called for the government to allow them to set up the statue at the square on the Aug. 15 Independence Day. Early this year, the nation’s two largest umbrella labor unions unsuccessfully tried to establish the statue there on the March 1 Independence Movement Day. The government disapproved the demand, saying the square is state land. Up to 1.4 million Koreans are estimated to have been forced to work at coal mines, factories and construction sites abroad from 1939-45, when Korea was a Japanese colony. (Yonhap)