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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

An ideological point of view from Japan that may underlie the situation at Fukushima

[snip with permission from Author] 
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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 47328779
 Japan
09/25/2013 05:07 PM

Re: The Fukushima tragedy has revealed that Japan’s political, social, economic, and moral standards are falling apart.

It is very hard to explain to an outsider how corrupt Japan is. In fact, it is hard to imagine that any more corrupt society can even exist.

For a long, long time the corruption was tolerated becuse it served a lot of purposes. It began long before WWII but the US tolerated it because they wanted an anti-communist bulwark in the far east.

But everything in Japan is about scams and ripoffs.

First of all, everything is controlled by a mere handful of banks and big industrialists. This used to be called ""Zaibatsu" but the Americans supposedly ended the Zaibatsu system after the war. Untrue. That happened is big companies got broken into smaller ones with different names, but the same handful of big dogs at the top still controll all these supposedly separate little companies.

It is bascule straight-up cartel-ism. They all he together and fix the prices for everything. If the government had bidding on some huge mega-project, all the big construction companies sit down and they all quietly fix what price they will bid at. Everyone is cool with it because They all take turns and share. If mega-corp A gets the bd this time, nobody complains because they know mega-corp B will get the next one. And everyone gets some bribe/kickback money to tide them over in the mean time.

The politicians and regulators get fat stacks of kickback money for letting this go on, plus they get "amakudari" which means after a few years in the govt they get a nice Job at one of the mega-corps doing fuck-all but playing golf and getting fat salaries.

The middle class gets jobs for life so they don't complain (although this facade is crumbling, the cash is running out so we will see how long people stay orderly and well behaved). Nobody in the press "blows the whistle" because there are only a handful of newspapers and magazines and TV stations and they all politely ignore the corruption because they get their fat envelopes with cash too.

If some crusading moralist or journalist tries to speak out, he finds nobody will publish his books or give him air-time o TV. Then the Yakuza shows up to crack his skull if he still has not gotten the message.

Then overlaying this huge stinking pile of corruption is the media, the educational system, which simply pretend none of this happens. The "Traditonal Japan" industry is also part of the process....the Shinto and Busdhist temples and shrines get their stack of "donations" (great money laundering system for organized crime), and the image of quaint giggling geishas in kimonos and this ultra-clean sharp aesthetic of tradiional crafts adds to the "purity" image.

Ask yourself why there is such an obsession with "cleanliness" and "purity" in Japan: the answer is that the reality is so filthy and impure they need to whitewash it all the more.

[end snip]

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