Monday, November 19, 2012

zionism IS antisemitism

Read this post by LENIN'S TOMB.
Zionism IS antisemitism. Why can't you be allowed to live as diaspora and confined in a place instead? I don't believe that every ethnic group should have its own state because every ethnic group has marginal people. People always move around and intermarry. Israel is a colonial project. As a colonial project, it will never be satisfied because such a project feeds on hunger. Stop the massacre.

Monday, July 30, 2012

on the massive anti-nuclear protest that surrounded the diet building-Al Jazeera English, Our Planet TV

The protesters and independent media decided to hire a chopper to report the ongoing anti-nuclear protests, protesting against the media black out.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

nuclear nation-Stream, Al Jazeera English

It mentions the unprecedented anti-nuclear protests.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Imad Kahdduri, don't defend the Japanese government

The Japanese parliamentary panel says the Fukushima disaster is "man-made," Al Jazeera reports.Of course it is. I've found the pundit called Imad Kahdduri is problematic. He says:

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Imad Khadduri, nuclear scientist and author, said: "These are officials not scientists. They should have assembled a group of scientists and relied on them, but they didn’t. They stayed in their political jacket suits. Yes, there is a shortcoming in that."

"But on the whole, if this kind of calamity has happened in any part of the world, I really doubt that the governments and the scientists in the other part of the world would be able to cope as the Japanese did."

The problem is that he is defending the Japanese government. It may be true that the parliamentary panel's is a political decision (because majority of the people in Japan are against nuclear power) and also that no one can deal with a disaster like this. But, indeed because of this the world should abandon nuclear power altogether.


Monday, July 2, 2012

nuclear regulators never work

Al Jazeera English: Danger Zone: Ageing Nuclear Reactors


Friday, June 29, 2012

the videos that describe the last evening's anti-nuclear protest well

I think no one can tell how many people actually turned out, but this footage well describes how the last evening's protest went and its euphoria. It's historic.

Nice photos by Jim Grisanzio.

Hiroko Tabuchi's contribution to The New York Times.

An independent journalist Ryan, aka The Ghost Letter Reports, reports the protest with his English commentary. He says, "I bring you another special report from Tokyo. The Ghost Letter Reports was on the scene for a Anti-Nuclear protest in central Tokyo which quickly grew from 60,000 to well over 150,000 people in a matter of several minutes. This is the first of several videos which GLR will upload on this event. Please spread far and wide. Break the media blackout." He mentions that the street is totally blocked by the protesters. If you know the usual protests in Japan, you can see the significance of this.


200,000!

I've never seen a huge protest like this in Japan. Of course I was there. The people chant "Saikado hantai (No to the resuming operations)" infinitely.


Friday, June 22, 2012

45,000 people surrounded the japanese prime minister's office

Japanese prime minister's declaration to resume operations of two of the 50 nuclear reactors angers many people, even the moderates, because the nuclear industry just tries to do as if nothing happened. There is no new regulatory scheme or safety standards whatsoever. No fruitful discussions over the future energy policy. The people in Fukushima are abandoned. Every Friday evening the protesters gather in front of the prime minister's office. The crowd is swelling. Yesterday 45,000 turned out, and finally the Japanese mainstream media, such as the TV Asahi covered it. (For those who are not familiar with the Japanese media...the TV Asahi and Asahi Shimbun newspaper in a way similar to MSNBC and the New York Times.)

The video above is from the TV Asahi's major news show. The female reporter asks some protesters about their demands and the reasons they come over. The protesters interviewed are quite ordinary people, an office worker, a social worker, a teacher, a tax adviser, a housewife, the retired, a student, a business owner, and so on (a famous writer is also there). The male reporter enters the office and hears the voices from the outside. He asks the ministers what they think about the protest, but none of them leaves a comment. The anchor is anti-nuclear power plants and the commentator is pro-nuclear power plants. The commentator says that the international politics, especially Japan's relationship with the US won't allow Japan to abandon nuclear power. His desperate attempt to spin the thing is ugly.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Slavoj Žižek and Alexis Tsipras

Greeks may have a choice. And here is Žižek's writing entitled "Save Us from the Saviours" appearing in London Review of Books.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rebecca Solnit on London Review of Books (highly recommended)

Rebecca Solnit recently visited Japan, gave her lecture, and saw the disaster areas. Her writing appearing in London Review of Books is highly recommended to read. Here is just a paragraph of it:

Disasters in the West are often compounded by the belief that human beings instantly revert to savagery in a calamity, with the result that the focus shifts from rescue to law enforcement and the protection of property, as it did recently in Haiti and New Orleans, and in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. In Japan the greater problem seems to be conformity. In Fukushima, children who refused to drink the milk in their school lunches were called to the front of their classes and humiliated by their teachers. ‘They were treated like traitors during the war,’ a woman said in a video clip I saw on television (she was telling the story to the chief cabinet minister and the trade and industry minister, who chuckled in response). A mother I met in Sendai was told by the in-laws she lived with that she could leave if she wanted to, but her husband and child were not going anywhere. Leaving meant leaving the group.

Read Diary by Rebecca Solnit

She writes not only about Fukushima, but also a lot about the Tsunami victims. She also visits Hiroshima and talks with the atomic bomb survivors. Nearly the end of the writing, she connects the ongoing global uprisings and what is happening in Japan:

Disasters are often like revolutions, moments when people and government move far apart, and if government doesn’t seem criminal at such times it may seem superfluous, out of touch or incompetent. In Mexico City in 1985, an earthquake with casualties comparable to those of the tsunami in Japan changed the face of grassroots and national electoral politics. The authorities have reason to fear the aftermath of disaster. Mikhail Gorbachev regards the mishandling of the Chernobyl meltdown as the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. Perhaps Japan’s disaster will come to seem like an integral part of an extraordinary year of upheaval – from Tunisia, Egypt and the Arab Spring to Chile, Spain and Greece, as well as everywhere that Occupy has reached. As in these other places, the relationship between people and government in Japan has been ruptured, but in Japan there is no insurrection as yet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a growing, global movement

Nuclear Energy and Democracy by MV Ramana and Suvrat Raju. MV Ramana is Associate Research Scholar at Princeton for the Program on Science and Global Security.

Nuclear power cannot really be justified on the grounds of environmental sustainability, largely due to its production of radioactive wastes that stay hazardous for millenia, and the risk of catastrophic nuclear accidents that can never be ruled out. Finally, from the point of view of social equity, nuclear power is an inefficient way to deliver energy to the hundreds of millions of people living in villages spread out over a vast countryside - the very people that policy makers disingenuously use to justify their nuclear policy.

For these reasons, many of which are common across countries, and especially after Fukushima, there has been a marked decrease in public support for nuclear power. While some government like those in the United States and China have stayed the course, others in Venezuela, Switzerland and Germany have heeded democratic opinion and moved away from atomic energy.

In this evolving dynamic, the protest in Koodankulam demonstrates the power of an organised non-violent mass movement. For six months, the people of the region physically stopped the construction of a nuclear plant, while resisting a barrage of governmental propaganda. Whether or not the government is finally able to force the construction of this particular reactor, this enduring movement is likely to serve as an inspiration for environmental groups throughout the world.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Günter Grass is right

This Robert Sharp's writing appearing in New Statesman may show the British left at its worst. The problem is neither the freedom of speech nor if Grass's poem is good or bad in terms of the discourse of comparative literature. Sharp avoids to discuss the real issue. Indeed, Grass is "tired of" this kind "of the hypocrisy of the West." Hamid Dadashi is right because he discusses Grass's message itself.
With a leading German public intellectual openly criticising Israel, pointing to European hypocrisy, and blaming his own country for aiding and abetting in the aggressive militarisation of the Jewish state - a gushing wound is opened that implicates both Europe and the colonial settlement that in more than one sense is its own creation. In two specific terms, both as a haven for the victims of the Jewish Holocaust and as the legacy of European colonialism, Israel reflects back on its European pedigree. It is here that Grass' poem reveals more than meets the eye.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I've joined Tokyo Spring

My contribution to Tokyo Spring blog (written in English and Japanese).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Siberian village exposed to radiation

by AlJazeera English

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

public space, visibility, and momentum

AlJazeera English Fault Lines - Occupy Wall Street: Surviving the Winter

Monday, March 26, 2012

Obama is a murderer, after all

Obama is a murderer, after all. He is worse than "Bush with a human face." He clearly says that he doesn't want to see a nuclear-free world in his lifetime. He orders numerous drone attacks that kill civilians. He silences good journalists. I once admired him, but his speech in South Korea totally changed my view. I hope Americans will have stupider person as their president in order for them to wake up.

thanks again

Disquiet introduced my Diderot's Clock Man.

Kony 2012 and Children of the Tsunami

It is fair to say that Children of the Tsunami by the BBC2 is a good documentary, much better than Invisible Children's Kony 2012 video. You may ask me why I compare those.

Kony 2012 is just ugly. It explains its own agenda too much and thus appears to be too manipulative. (I wonder if some supporters of this campaign will vote for Kony at the 2012 presidential election.)Children of the Tsunami is subtle. It successfully portrays the children speaking up their minds, but it also successfully depoliticizes the issue.

Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown by the PBS/BBC is also good. But, note that the British and American media are trying to downplay the nuclear issue. If you watch PBS's Nuclear Aftershocks or the other BBC's shows, for example, the Horizon, you may have an idea. Even they are slightly racist, claiming that Japanese and Germans irrationally fear nuclear power because of their exotic culture. They say, "Germans and Japanese are control freaks, so they fear UNCONTROLLABLE things such as nuclear power."

That's why I compare Children of the Tsunami to Kony 2012.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fukushima residents report various illnesses (AlJazeera English)

It was not only the tsunami that damaged the nuclear facility. The earthquake already did, as workers reported that the door of the reactors , which made of thick steel was already deformed when the earthquake hit. The pipes the wall, and the other things were already broken.

AlJazeera's 101 East also will report about the nuclear issue. I do not expect much because 101 East often shows the authorities' spin on many topics. But so far when it comes to the nuclear issue, this news outlet is better than the BBC.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Japanese anarchist Sabu Kohso on radiation and revolution

2011 year zero announces a kind of limit that has been reached, the limit that has appeared as an over-exhaustion of the positive commons by the imposition of the negative commons. In the broad picture the crisis of capitalism is due to the exhaustion of the positive commons or the resources for capitalist expropriation, exploitation and commodification. However, since capitalism cannot and will not stop its operations, it is taking hostage the positive commons including ourselves and all life forms into its suicidal journey. This is what is happening as the war of the 1% waged against the 99%, the information warfare whose main weapons are money and radiation.
-Sabu Kohso

The NY-based Japanese anarchist Sabu Kohso contributed his essay entitled "Turbulence of Radiation and Revolution" to through europe. In this writing he puts the nuclear disaster and the global insurrections into perspective. I like him coining a term "necro-politics of radiation," to describe the way those in power in Japan control the people. Of course, he uses this term as an extreme form of "bio-politics." No wonder every year 30,000 people kill themselves in this country. The fact since the disaster 5 farmers in Fukushima have committed suicide is not treated as news in Japan. This country feeds on radiation and corpses.

Read his essay on through europe.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

anthropology of anthology/anthology of anthropology-Classwar Karaoke

Classwar Karaoke is a UK-based netlabel run by those musicians Anthony Donovan (aka murmurists), Adrian Beetjes, and Jaan Peterson. They issue quarterly--what they call--surveys. For each survey they collect tens of tracks licensed under a Creative Commons License. This time their 0017 Survey includes my least ambitious piece "Winter Sketch." Some names appearing in this compilation album are already familiar to me--I became to know murmurists via myspace (which I don't check these days) and am following Anthony Donovan, Chris Lynn, MaCu, Noise Research (who runs another netlabel Electronic Musik), and Wilhelm Matthies on SoundCloud. And Bob Ostertag is quite famous. I cannot help thinking about how times have changed. I'm old enough to know those times I had to rely on critics in order to know musicians across the world. I became to listen to those musicians such as Ostertag, Oval, Yoshihide Otomo, and so on because I read about them. Now we bypass the critics. I don't say critics are dead (I still read some of them), but they are certainly no longer gatekeepers.

Making an anthology is one thing, making an anthology listened is another. I think it's a good strategy that those operators of Classwar Karaoke do it collectively since you may not listen an anthology collected by one obscure person.

Read the short-bios of the musicians involved in Classwar Karaoke on http://classwarkaraoke.blogspot.com/2012/02/0017-survey-29th-february-2012.html

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

play Randy, play

I've enjoyed watching Amy Goodman interviewing Randy Weston.

For those who want to listen to his music:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

is mine an apolitical musician's political blog? (2)

There are many courageous people I admire. Demanding that those in power shut down all the nuclear power plants, some people have been camping at a corner of METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade, Industry of Japan) site since they started sitting in (including hanger strike) in September. Many of them appear to have no history of militancy whatsoever.

Last week I joined an anti-nukes rally that took place in Shibuya. The organizer announced that 12,000 showed up. Many protesters were from unions. I heard that some participants didn't like that the unions carried their flags. Such participants might have disliked the unions' 'conformity'--such as their way of chanting. I think unions are still important. Many historians may say that why May 1968 Paris uprising was different from the other uprisings in America and Japan was that in Paris the unions and students went hand in hand. Conformism is one thing, collectivism is another.

Tomorrow (February 19) in Suginami City, a western suburb of Tokyo including Koenji district where a game changing festive anti-nukes demo on April 10, 2011, a demo entitled 'De-nuke Suginami' will take place. Its website says, "we are inclusive, welcoming all the parties and groups. We are the multitude." I'll be there, and then visit the camping site at METI.

In his Why Kicking Off Everywhere, Mason analyses historical uprisings according to a dichotomy between individualism and collectivism. Simply put, there was an era of individualism until 1914, and then an era of collectivism (including fascism and totalitarianism) until the 1960s. He continues to argue that since then until today we have had an era of individualism--he calls it a second 'la belle epoque,' and that we are on the verge of entering another era of collectivism--but we don't know because we now have this network society... I somehow feel that his dichotomy is a typical Anglo-Saxon way of seeing (I'm biased, of course). I will continue to think about this.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Paul Mason at the LSE

I've just got a copy of his WHY IT'S KICKING OFF EVERYWHERE: THE NEW GLOBAL REVOLUTIONS. Though he emphasizes the role of social media, he doesn't call the Egyptian Revolution "Facebook Revolution." In his book he describes how Cairo's slum was before the event and examines the conditions of the revolution. This is a good read.

let it speak

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

is mine an apolitical musician's political blog?

I guess that those who have got to here via disquiet.com are disappointed that I rarely talk about music or surprised that my blog appears to be a bit political especially these days. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, I explain--disquiet.com is a blog run by San Francisco-based (I think so) art, music critic Marc Weidenbaum and a couple of weeks ago he introduced my track on SoundCloud called Be It So, which I made by processing the materials Chris Lynn, an American sound artist/filmmaker gave me. I thank Weidenbaum for his accurate description (when describing a piece of music or sound art, he is always accurate).

Weidenbaum curates and commissions. He recently uploaded a set of beautiful "sonic postcards"--eight musicians were commissioned by him to deal with Lisbon's environmental sounds.

Read the description by Marc Weidenbaum on his SoundCloud page and on disquiet.com.

He also curates a SoundCloud group called Disquiet junto. In this project, every week he decides source materials for musicians to assign a track, like, "make a piece out of rattling ice cubes in a glass," "make a piece out of these old cylinder recordings." At this moment I'm too busy to participate, but enjoy listening to the assignments. The thing is, now the contributors are swelling and in order to listen to all the tracks assigned I have to be a full-time listener.

Friday, February 3, 2012

me in okinawa

Monday, January 30, 2012

through europe (and the other writers) responds to Paul Mason, "Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere"

The authors of through europe (not me included) and the others published "Occupy Everything: Reflections on Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere." Yet I haven't read this Paul Mason's Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions, but his blog post, which is instructive. I embed "Reflections..." here.

Occupy Everything! Reflections on why it’s kicking off everywhere

I also want to formulate my idea on this topic. Is it kicking off in Japan, too?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

METI as a Vogsphere

The Vogons are a fictional alien race from the planet Vogsphere in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. In the planet Vogsphere, if you think, or imagine, or have an idea, you are immediately slapped by strange creatures popping from the ground. So, Vogons evolved not to think, but just to get things done, ending up being very very bureaucratic and having the flattened nose. They aren't necessarily evil, but unpleasant. Yes, this one.

I cannot help doubting if the METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade, Industry of Japan) is a Vogsphere. It is now organizing the Fundamental Issues Subcommittee, the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, aiming at, it says, redrawing Japan's energy policy. Videos of the meetings are streamed. The METI has invited economists, CEOs, lobbyists, activists, and academics. Out of the 25 members, 15 are for nuclear power, and the others are against. It appears that the METI invited those opposing nuclear power just to say that "we'll nevertheless continue to promote nuclear power. Those who are against it, don't resent. We listened to your views anyway." In the committee, I've never seen those who still want to promote nuclear power arguing something reasonable. While they always miserably fail to convince us (what they say is like the Vogons' horrible poetry), the METI anyway says that nuclear power is still an option. What matters worse, the METI and corporate Japan are still enthusiastic to export nuclear power plants (to the countries that are not so democratic--many democratic countries may oppose nuclear power). The Vogons apparently destroy the Planet earth just to get a construction plan done. The METI is like the Vogons, or worse--it is evil. Having no imagination is evil.

Among the committee members is Shoei Utsuda, chairman of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., who argues, "don't quail! We must continue to invest in nuclear power," praising the Japan's nuclear technology. He clearly stated that the disaster should change nothing. Fuck Mitsui. Are those who still want to promote and export nuclear power plants cynical? Or, do they really believe what they are saying? One of the shocking things I felt when the Fukushima disaster occurred was that the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company acted as if they believed in their own lie that nuclear power plants are absolutely safe so they weren't prepared for such an accident. A famous Groucho Marx quote is relevant here: "he may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."

On January 14 and 15, thousands showed up at the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World in Yokohama. It was under-reported by the media. I couldn't go there so I was watching the video streaming. The people from all walks of life discussed about many topics revolving around nuclear power, such as contamination, eviction from the contaminated area, personal experiences of the disaster, how to stop nuclear power, renewable energy, workers' radiation exposure, the media, those affected local communities, and a sustainable lifestyle. Those who are against nuclear power, who used to be called fringe (especially after 1989), are now called "populist." The conference was held in Pacifico Yokohama (imagine an anti-nuclear conference at Messe Franfurt exhibition grounds). The main facilitator environmental NGO Peace Boat said that it took 10 million yen. I wish a place like Pacifico could rather be occupied. Having said that, one of the reasons that the conference went successfully appeared that the people felt safe to be there. This was especially the case for the participants from the affected area, including the local mayors. Even the mayor of Futaba-machi where all the residents evicted, admitting that he used to be for nuclear power, expressed that he was amazed by how easy to speak up his mind at the conference, which was somehow not allowed in Fukushima. The conference was thus very inclusive. The Japanese name of the conference was "datsu-genpatsu sekai kaigi," or "global conference of de-nuclear power plants." In a way, getting rid of nuclear power is considered a sort of detoxification, but not fighting. At the closing session, Chizuko Ueno, a sociologist and also prominent Japanese feminist, said that she was uncomfortable with this name, saying, "we used to have this word 'anti-nukes' in the past." To make the conference inclusive, it had to name itself as if there were no social antagonisms, but I'm still hopeful, because many people applauded when Ueno said that. The people knew that there are many antagonisms.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

an interview

Julia Leser and Clarissa Seidel, who created a documentary film Radioactivists, have been conducting interviews with the people involved in their film.

At the end of 2011, we contacted all of our protagonists of RADIOACTIVISTS again, and asked them about their thoughts about the 3.11 incident in 2011, as well as their thoughts on possible developments in 2012. We want to publish their replies on our blog, and today we will start with the interview of YASUO AKAI, a Japanese translator and musician, who became active in the anti-nuclear movement as well as an author of the blog The First Person Pronoun to Wear. Read Akai-sans answers here:

This is what I said.