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Blinky's at it again....


15 Nov 2002
The Chinese are ignorant, so they are overjoyed. That spacecraft was an outdated one. If Japan wanted to do it, we could do it in one year.
Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara, dismissing China's manned spacecraft launch last month. (Yomiuri Shimbun)


He is also the co-author of the infamous book, "A Japan that can say No." all those years ago...

1: A Japan that Can Say No

Part 1 of 11

The New U.S.-Japan Relations Card
Akio Morita
Shintaro Ishihara

Published in Japan by Kobunsha Publishing Ltd.
[the cover sheet then says:]

Translator's Note: The material written by Mr. Morita is very straightforward; however, Mr. Ishihara tends to ramble, change from one subject to another without much transition, and uses a great deal of sayings and proverbs which when directly translated to English make no sense. What has been translated is the closest equivalent in English we could get.


Japanese People Have Become Top Heavy

Each month, there is the Cabinet meeting for the economic report. I am one of those kinds of guys who gets up early and goes before the cabinet meeting, which winds up by 9 a.m., or 8 at the earliest. While rubbing my sleepy eyes, I go over the reports by the Bureau Chief of the Economic Planning Agency and by the Director of the Bank of Japan. Each month, the reports are almost identical. Generally, the Cabinet ministers sleep through it. When I suggested to the Chief Cabinet Secretary that in this age of governmental administrative reform, why not give up these meetings, the reponse, not entirely unexpected on my part, was that these were absolutely necessary, even if there were some Party executives who did not attend.
Thus, each month, there is a repetition of a nearly identical report.

The Bureau Chief of the Economic Planning Agency said this month, just as he did last month, that the magnitude of Japan's surplus in international revenues was tending to shrink. In other words, this means he is saying that it is perfectly alright for business not to be so good. The Cabinet members all nod and underline this in red.

Myself, I thought this was a really strange phenomenon, so I turned to the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Kajiyama, who was sitting beside me, and asked what was going on here. Everybody is thinking it's just great that business isn't prospering that much and eagerly red-lining that information. Couldn't you say, however, that a country like that won't last long? Words, words -- if the meaning of words keeps changing, you can never be really sure what is being said. In other words, aren't our values changing?

If we take Japan's vast trade surpluses as one type of crisis situation, then this points to the necessity of changing Japan's economic and industrial structure. While leaving undetermined for the moment whether or not the conclusions of the Maekawa Report were valid, it is true that the "comprehensive and vast" industries are tending to recede and the lean and mean knowledge-intensive types are coming into their own. When the term "comprehensive and vast" (jukochodai) is applied to human beings, it is a form of praise, while the opposite, "light and small" would be to berate the same. However, when these terms are applied to the industrial structure, their meaning has come to change.

What matters, however, is whether or not this is good. Should we all be at ease, not that we are not dirtying our hands and sweating in order to make things with our own hands? Certainly know-how comes about from one type of mental activity, and coming up with it is a work worthy of respect. Looking at history, however, in cases where the whole society of the country was using their brains instead of their hands, not one has lasted to prosper today. In some sense, it may be true that the Japanese people are being forced into a new historical experience, but can we go on now, as we are, thinking we are the chosen people?

When looking at the actions of the Japanese people these days, I recall that these seem similar to ET, the extra-terrestrial, in the Spielberg films. I feel that it may well be the Japanese people will evolve into something like ET with pronounced eyes and noses and a big head making them top-heavy, over an abnormally thin body and slender arms and legs.

Therefore, it was impossible for Japan to get more than a few gold medals at the Seoul Olympics, which many Japanese read as being abnormal. While it may be that this is a sign that a new people has arisen to make contributions in other areas, it seems more natural to me that our descendants would be able to continue to sweat and work to keep the country strong.

Japan's Advanced Technology Is at the Heart of Military Strength

This is something advocated by Mr. Morita, who is a company leader that has driven Japan's advanced technology and who is known for manufacturing excellent products. He pointed out that the INF limitations (the restrictions on intermediate range nuclear forces) was something that the Soviet and American leaders cam to each other on. While this was an epoch-making event, it was certainly not done because Americans and Russians had a new sense of the danger of nuclear weapons, they were not acting from the standpoint of human morality.
There may be some people who took the INF negotiations as a sign that both countries were beginning to act from their sense of humanity, but I think the reason why they got together on this is different.

Whether it be mid-range nuclear weapons or inter-continental ballistic missiles, what ensures the accuracy of weapons is none other than compact, high-precision computers. As everyone knows, current ICBMs use the MIRV concept where there are multiple warheads. When an attacking missile gets near enough to be detected, the warhead splits into 8 or 9 separate heads. Not all of them contain hydrogen bombs, however, some are dummies designed just to dupe the enemy.

The remaining warheads lose speed, reenter from space, fall, run sideways and follow complicated paths, but in the end, they hit the targets picked for them by spy satellites and destroy them to within 1 second of latitudinal and longitudinal accuracy. For a Soviet ICBM, this would mean hitting the silo containing the retaliatory ICBM in Vandenburg AFB California.

These silos go 50 or 60 meters underground and are strong fortresses having thick walls of reinforced concrete. If a direct hit is not scored upon them, one cannot destroy the hydrogen bombs inside. The equipment will not even be affected as much as it is in an earthquake if a direct hit is not made. Thus, it is absolutely vital that a direct hit is made.

At the present time, Soviet technology allows these missiles to hit within a 60 meter accuracy, while for the U.S., it is 15 meters, and there is concern that this 15 meters has to be brought down to zero. This type of precision calls for a more complex orbit the further the attack proceeds, and only artificial intelligence can ensure accuracy. It may well be that America was the 4th generation leader and that the 1 megabit and several megabit devices which will support the next, the 5th generation, can be developed by American know-how. However, to use this know-how across diverse applications, including weapons, requires a country with dramatically advanced production management; it is only Japan that can deliver on it.

In sum, if Japanese semiconductors are not used, this accuracy cannot be assured. It has come to the point that no matter how much they continue military expansion, if Japan stopped selling them the chips, there would be nothing more they could do.

If, for example, Japan sold chips to the Soviet Union and stopped selling them to the U.S., this would upset the entire military balance. Some Americans say that if Japan were thinking of doing that, it would be occupied. Certainly, this is an age where things could come to that. The more technology advances, the more the U.S. and the Soviet Union will become dependent upon the initiative of the Japanese people -- this is getting crazy now, but the point is clear.

The U.S. Defense Department's Science Commission recently prepared a huge classified report on electronic engineering. Looking at this, one can well understand the sense of crisis that the U.S. has with respect to Japan.

The report states that if Japan is left to go as it is, it will be impossible to get the lead back. This report is very accurate in assessing the areas of weakness in the U.S. and the strengths in Japan, but only the President and a few select people have seen the report. If it were seen by the general public, it would certainly raise quite a commotion. It is in this area where the U.S. specialists have their greatest sense of danger, primarily centering on Japan's semiconductor technology.

--We have grown very dependent upon America's technological superiority in military strength. In that technology, electronic equipment is the most effective technology. Semiconductors are the "key" to preserving this superiority in electronic equipment, they are the "heart of the equipment." If competitive, mass production of semiconductors is the key, then this is in turn dependent upon having the market to support mass production. --

This dependence on the market for supporting mass production can be seen in that America did not have the vast and diverse needs for semiconductors, as Japan did in rice cookers and other household appliances. In Japan, these sizable and diverse needs created the market for semiconductor production. The report continues:

--American's Semiconductor Industry for its commercial mass production is losing its superiority minute by minute. There is a strong relationship between superiority in production technology and superiority in semiconductor technology, this is being transferred to foreign countries minute by minute. Very soon now, the defense of America will become dependent upon supply sources abroad. It is the opinion of the task team that this is something which is absolutely unacceptable for the United States. --

What is meant in the report by "foreign supply sources" is none other than Japan. Further, they seem to worry about the following:

--What is more problematic is that the electronic equipment systems are being transferred abroad, where they could more easily get transferred into the hands of the Soviet Union.--

In other words, their sense of crisis stems from the fact that the semiconductor technology is absolutely vital in maintaining military superiority, and that this might flow from Japan to the Soviet Union. I feel that what is behind this abnormal hysteria on the part of this country is that this pivotal military technology is in the hands of another country, not even Europe, but in the hands of an Asian country, Japan.

Toshiba, etc. which was speared by COCOM is the fault of this hysteria by the U.S. If that had been criticism from the pure perspective of the law, it would not for a moment have any basis at all.

The 1 megabit semiconductors which are used in the hearts of computers, which carry hundreds of millions of circuits in an area which is one-third the size of your little fingernail, are only made in Japan. Japan has nearly a 100 percent share of these 1 megabit semiconductors.

The United States has the know-how to make them, but when it comes down to actual production, they don't have the technicians; they don't have the employees. Further, they don't have the production management. Because they don't have development and production linked into one unit, they guard know-how like a jewel.

America went after cheap labor and set up factories in Southeast Asia, where they could make 256k chips (1/4 the capacity of 1 megabit chips), but they could not catch Japan. Now, Japan is at least 5 years ahead of the U.S. in this area and the gap is widening. There is even some kinds of basic research which cannot be accomplished without using one of these advanced computers. It take excellent computers in order to develop other advanced computers -- it is a cycle of technology. In other words, the bigger the gap in advanced computer technology, the more difficult it is to catch up.

The current situation in the world is that those kinds of computers are central to military strength and therefore central to national power. This is why the U.S. is being driven so hard. For example, in performing simulations of what elements would be needed by aircraft flying at mach 2, a regular computer might take 40 years to perform the necessary computations. If the same query is put to a new, advanced, computer, however, the answer will come out in a year. Japan has almost the total share of the 1 megabit chips which are at the heart of these computers. In that sense, Japan has become a very important country.

There Is A Need for Japanese to Change Their Consciousness in Light of High Technology

As the world goes smaller, and issues in the world further settle down, whether it be China or Siberia, development will proceed. In order to get the needed access (participation in the market), the most important possibility lies in linear technology. Japan and West Germany are the most advanced countries in this research and development, and the theoretical base of Japanese technology is far superior. West Germany has given up in research on super conducting, but Japan has cleared three technological obstacles which were envisioned by West Germany.
To make a long story short, the West German magnetic floating train development realized a levitation of only 8mm, but Japan's "Maglevel" super conducting linear motorcar realized a levitation of 10 centimeters, and speeds of 500 kilometers per hour. This type of technology does not exist anywhere in the Soviet Union or the United States, it only exists in Japan and West Germany. If the giants in the economic field and the politicians can join together around this type of technology, it would open up new possibilities for our advancement. Whether or not this can be achieved depends upon our large and small choices in the future; in sum, it is a question involving the sensibilities of our politicians.

There is a Jiyu Shakai Kenkyu-kai (Free Society Research Association) which is presided over by Mr. Morita. This was formed more than 10 years ago as an association of politicians and businessmen. I am the youngest, but I also participate. We get together for discussions one or twice per year.

Recently, Mr. Kissinger predicted that Japan might become a military superpower. This, however, was not the foolish step of Japan getting ICBMs and refurbishing the old Yamato battleship, it pointed to the danger that no matter how much the U.S. or Soviet Union developed space, equipped themselves with space platform weapons, the military initiative to control these would be dependent upon Japanese technology. The question now is whether Japan has politicians who accurately understand the history behind what we have now become.

We Japanese now face choices on whether we can boldly proceed or stand back quietly. It may be possible that Japan can secure a new culture for itself based upon the skeleton of the development of high technology. We must not restrain ourselves to what we have done up to this point. The dregs of the postwar period are too prominent in the consciousness of Japanese. I feel that however hesitatingly, the revolution in our consciousness has already begun.

The Soviet Union implemented a revolution in consciousness with its criticism of Stalinism, and China achieved the Great Cultural Revolution. The United States also realized a type of consciousness reform through its bitter experiences in the Vietnam War. Japan is the only one which has not felt the need for some kind of reform since the end of the war. We do not need a drastic reform of consciousness, but rather, a smooth reform based upon the technology that we have developed for ourselves. I think that only by doing this will we realize a society which is mature in the true sense of the word.

He is so funny with his outrageous commentaries, meant to inflame nationalism in Japan...he would be an adequate role model for one of the posters (or more than one) at the www.despair.com site....

Next to the former Foreign Affairs Minister, Makiko Tanaka, and a host of other political nitwits, I must wonder how much time they take to think up these lame-brained comments... :D

Like Daffy Duck used to say: "It's to laugh..."
I'm going to have to agree with Ishihara on this one (GASP!!!) the Shenzou Capsule is one big propaganda rocket, and marks no real advance of technology. The market for space launches is in shooting up satellites, and since China can already do that there was no real point of launching a rocket. The thing is like most chinese military projects, a copy of a russian system (this time the Soyuz capsule). Japan was going to make a mini shuttle in the late 80s, early 90s but decided against it because the price was prohibitive, and would have little commercial gain. It was much more economical and profitable to send up a section of the International space station and get real valuable research out of that. Great China can be proud of shooting up one rocket into space, but if they continue to plow money into the program, then they have no sense of worth and are going to spend themselves into oblivion.
Well, one good thing about this is....

the Chinese got almost 1/4 of the Earth's population excited about space again. I find that exciting.

Ishihara is a biggot and a racist. I can't believe he has a 70% approval rating.
the following is gotten from
He is also the co-author of the infamous book, "A Japan that can say No." all those years ago...

We believe that the urgency of our country's situation justifies our disregard for the wishes of the book's authors. Their interest in analyzing the United States' problems seems to be motivated at best by a penchant for self-congratulation and at worst by one for jingoistic sentiment and self-promotion. The fact that they are attempting to ensure that their audience remains exclusively Japanese reinforces our sense that they do not see our country's interests as theirs. Still, much of what they say is accurate, and we believe that reading it may help our country to act in its own interests

Now. I loved the book because I did not know alot about this stuff, being Canadian. But that last quote from the "Side note" Is probably the reason the book was written.

I know in Canada we adopt alot of Americanism, but for myself I would love to work for the type of company that has some of the Japanese work ethics, from both workers and the company. There are alot of things of Japanese thinking that we North Americans can use with great results.
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