A crisis of more-of-the-same Japanese leadership
A crisis of more-of-the-same Japanese leadership
By David Lee
The 2020 Olympic Games are finally scheduled to begin July 23, 2021. Last year, a so-called novel coronavirus pandemic swept the planet and lead to the postponement of the Olympics. One can be sure that the athletes suffered a devastating psychic blow with the realization that they will have to wait 12 more months to compete. To some athletes, one year may as well be 10 and for most young Olympians, one shot at a medal is all they get. Nonetheless, the Olympics are here and families, coaches and fans are eager to get started.
Polls state that many or most absolutely hate the idea of holding the Olympics at all in Japan. The attitude of the Japanese people is not as bad as the attitude adopted by the Japanese government. In 2008, before the Beijing Olympics, the People’s Republic of China aggressively planned to place its athletes among the top three medal winners. Yamashita Yasuhiro, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, recently backed off from his pre-pandemic “30 gold medals” boast and lamely stated that “Medals are not on my mind at all.” So, to Yamashita and the Japanese Olympic Committee, it really does not matter whether Japan’s top athletes demonstrate peak performance or not to the rest of the world. What do you suppose young Japanese athletes think when they hear this from their elders—that their efforts really don’t matter?
In March 2020, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London predicted that in the US, without a mitigation strategy, the novel coronavirus would kill about 2 million people over a four-month period. From this scary and extremely flawed forecast, we heard tirelessly from so-called medical experts to lockdown the population, to close schools, businesses and so on in order to “flatten the curve,” and US and Europe dutifully complied. Two weeks turned into 12 months. Up until March 2021, or one year after the WHO characterized the spread of the novel coronavirus as a “global pandemic”, about 2.6 million people worldwide died “due to the coronavirus”. Ignore for now that most of who died were elderly or had serious co-morbidities such as obesity and heart and respiratory diseases. Put “2.6 million” deaths into perspective. According to the WHO, in one year, 400,000 people died of malaria, 690,000 died of AIDS, 10,000,000 died of cancer, and 17.9 million died of cardiovascular disease. Until there are cures, people will continue to die of these maladies. There are good treatments for malaria and even a vaccine, yet hundreds of thousands of people every year will get infected and die. By contrast, there are a number of coronavirus vaccines, and many more in the works, and numerous treatment options that decrease symptom severity and enhance recovery. What were hear from the Japanese media is wailing about the coronavirus death rate, which has always been much lower than that of the US, and shrillness over the government’s foot dragging on vaccination.
Perhaps one could claim that had we known what we know today, our mitigation strategies could have been less harsh. Perceptive people, however, reject this notion. For example, handing unlimited power on a silver platter to unelected public officials is the surest path to totalitarianism. Looking back at the behavior of ostensibly rational Japanese in elite academic institutions and closely connected to the government as “informal advisors”, one cannot escape the conclusion that these people are at heart “fascists,” in that they view the general public as too stupid to decide what is best for themselves, and that it is up to them to save the general public. (The genro come to mind.) By the way, this is precisely how the political and academic elites think in Western “liberal democracy”—the common people are cattle to be herded. On closer examination, one can see that “informal,” unofficial, unelected Japanese public officials do not even consider the interests of the Japanese people as worthwhile. What matters to these Japanese elites is that they conform to Western thinking and receive praise by the West for their “progressive” thinking.
One unelected public official is Dr. Omi Shigeru, called by the Japan Times and Western media as “Japan’s Dr. Fauci”. Any perceptive Japanese hearing this should be concerned by this dubious distinction. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for more than 30 years, has had a horrible habit of saying one thing one day and then something else the next. For example, early in the so-called pandemic, he said that masks were not effective. Later, he stated that everyone should wear masks. After that, he doubled down and stated that everyone should wear two masks. Well before the so-called novel coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Fauci predicted that AIDS will spread from homosexual men to heterosexual men through casual contact. However, AIDS has been mostly confined to homosexual men because AIDS is primarily spread through sex between homosexual men. During the outbreak of the Swine Flu in the US in 2009, Dr. Fauci stated that side effects from a vaccine, Pandemrix, were “very, very, very rare”. After children and juveniles got the vaccine, they developed narcolepsy and other neurological disorders. This year, Dr. Fauci had trouble remembering whether or not his institute approved funding for coronavirus experiments in the past—which he has on numerous occasions. He has also dismissed the notion that the novel coronavirus behind the current so-called pandemic could have escaped from a laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which, indirectly, received funding from grants approved by Dr. Fauci.
While Dr. Omi is an “informal” public servant, like Dr. Fauci, unlike Dr. Fauci, Dr. Omi does not appear to be in a position to sign off on millions of dollars in public money for biomedical research that could easily be weaponized. One should not be surprised if Dr. Omi has made statements in the past that echo Dr. Fauci, as experts tend to shamelessly extol and echo one another. Indeed, Dr. Omi loudly proclaimed, much to Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s chagrin, that “it is not normal” to host the Olympics under the “current situation.” If Dr. Omi is in fact the “Dr. Fauci of Japan”, then Japanese people should be extremely concerned.
One other unelected leader of modern Japan is General Yoshida Yoshihide of the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF), who loudly proclaimed to all who would listen that Japan will never “unsheathe the sword”. The Asahi Shimbun (June 27, 2021) gushed all over General Yoshida, calling him a “maverick,” a man with “affable and gentle looks”. Really, Japanese should be highly concerned that the commander of the last line of defense of the homeland publicly disavowed the use of its own weapons. I have never heard of a general who emerged victorious, surrendering before the battle even started. No doubt the Japanese Communist Party and others who loath Japan are entirely pleased that Japan will never be an “aggressor” with General Yoshida in charge. Obviously, China, North Korea and possibly Russia are smiling as well. Will General Yoshida’s public declaration, that “Taking swords out means the operation has already half-failed,” make the Koreans give up Takeshima Islands, keep the Chinese away from the Senkaku Islands and force the Russians to return the Northern Territories?
The really unfortunate, bigger problem is that many Japanese will not be bothered by the fact that one of their own generals has surrendered before a shot being fired. In any event, most have dismissed the so-called SDF as a make-believe military—having a real military and the right to use it, like Korea, China and Russia, is prohibited by the Constitution. At the same time, though, those few in Japan’s “make-believe military” are obligated to kill and be killed for the sake of the rest of Japan. It is indeed getting harder to find brave Japanese men and women to join the military—a 2015 WIN Gallup International survey found that a mere 11% of Japanese were willing to fight for their country. (By contrast, 71% of Chinese were willing to fight for theirs.) Japanese who refuses to fight for Japan should show gratitude to those few who will.
This lack of self-sacrifice raises a another issue, of why so few Japanese, compared to Communist Chinese, are willing to fight for the land of their ancestors and for the survival and future of Japanese children. Japanese people themselves must answer this question and the answer involves Japanese leadership. There are things that individual Japanese cannot address on their own and it will take the power of government, of elected leaders who promised to hold the interests of people first and foremost.
Single parents, even couples, who desire to have children have difficulty in finding child care. The fact that two parents must work to support their children is a poor reflection of Japan’s economic status—Japan is not alone in this regard—why do costs of living need to be so high? The government’s responses to the so-called pandemic certainly did not help businesses and employees who were laid off due to government decrees.
At the same time, fewer and fewer Japanese people are getting married and having children at all. While some of the blame should be planted on the shoulders of the young, who is telling them that it is OK to have a life free of obligation to one’s past and to the future and to live a vacuous, meaningless life? One could suggest that some of the blame rests on the shoulders of the older generation—of elected as well as unelected leaders. History text books filled with a masochistic view of their own history and taking self-defeating stances in controversies such as the military comfort women and the so-called Nanking Incident, it is no wonder Japanese youth have given up on their traditions and their elders. Is there anything that will motivate the current generation to shoulder the memory of their ancestors into the future?