Xenophobia Is Very Destructive

Japan always interests me because it is at the center of the ZIRP system which is, in the Cave of Wealth and Death, the place where economies go to die.  Despite a 50 year record of successfully preventing any US penetration of Japan’s domestic market while selling higher and higher quality goods to the US, the country finds itself mired in a perpetual depression.  The gap between the rich and poor are widening while the country struggles with xenophobia which prevents foreign influences from seeping in.


Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem – NYTimes.com

After years of economic stagnation and widening income disparities, this once proudly egalitarian nation is belatedly waking up to the fact that it has a large and growing number of poor people. The Labor Ministry’s disclosure in October that almost one in six Japanese, or 20 million people, lived in poverty in 2007 stunned the nation and ignited a debate over possible remedies that has raged ever since.


For several years, I have examined the Bank of Japan’s statistical charts and graphs and one of the more alarming graphs are the ones tracking the pay of workers and the status of full time jobs.  Namely, part time work went from being less than 20% of the workforce to nearly half of the workforce!  All in less than two decades.


The US is on the exact same track.  The promise of lifetime full employment with benefits jobs has steadily drained away.  It is near vanishing, in fact.  The steady loss of security has dire downsides.  In Japan, the poor hide themselves in dark corners and the populace pretends they are still working or middle class.  The violence has begun to show up with Japanese parents killing their children and of course, a high rate of suicide.


Many Japanese, who cling to the popular myth that their nation is uniformly middle class, were further shocked to see that Japan’s poverty rate, at 15.7 percent, was close to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s figure of 17.1 percent in the United States, whose glaring social inequalities have long been viewed with scorn and pity here.


But perhaps just as surprising was the government’s admission that it had been keeping poverty statistics secretly since 1998 while denying there was a problem, despite occasional anecdotal evidence to the contrary. That ended when a left-leaning government led by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama replaced the long-governing Liberal Democratic Party last summer with a pledge to force Japan’s legendarily secretive bureaucrats to be more open, particularly about social problems, government officials and poverty experts said.


ΩΩThe LDP presided over the development of a vast false wealth credit bubble which was based on a sudden rise in value of the yen thanks to the Plaza Accord.  During the entire 1980’s, despite there being virtually no ‘free trade’, thanks to its currency value vis a vis the dollar, Japan was able to flood the US with exports from Japan.

ΩΩAs we see from the graphs above, the Japanese real estate/stock market bubbles shot upwards exactly when the Plaza Accords forced the yen to very suddenly collapse from over 250 yen to the dollar to almost 100 to the dollar, much more than a 100% drop in less than three years!  The German currency barely changed and Germany ended up using its much smaller drop in value to reunify the country.  France, on the other hand, saw a return to the 1981 value so it didn’t have the same effect Japan had. That is, Japan’s yen was always well above 200 to the dollar, indeed, at the Bretton Woods II meeting, it was over 350 yen to the dollar.


ΩΩThis sudden ‘wealth’ whereby everything in Japan suddenly became incredibly valuable vis a vis dollar-denominated things sent waves of Japanese tourists across the planet on a major buying spree.  This included buying real estate as well as goods in other countries.  But the economic mess at home set into motion: the stronger yen meant smaller profits on exports to the US.  The high-end goods still sailed onwards based on superior design and quality but the lower levels of Japanese exports of cheap goods collapsed.


ΩΩSimultaneously, China entered world export markets after 1986.  Japan tried an interesting tactic to fix the bubble’s wreckage: ZIRP financing coupled with dropping wages to suppress inflation.  That is, Japan is as inflation-phobic as Germany for the exact same reasons: the collapse of the currency after defeat in world wars.  At the same time, unlike Germany, the Japanese didn’t fear bubbles.  Note that this bubble cycle, Germany didn’t participate anywhere to the degree indulged in the English-speaking countries.


ΩΩThe recent property bubble created mainly in English-speaking countries was directly due to the Japanese carry trade which is a side effect of the  ZIRP solution to the popping Japanese bubble.  Note that the bubble was 4 years in development which happens to be the same time frame for the US bubble which ran from 2003-2007.  The US NASDAQ bubble began in January 1996 and popped in the late fall of 1999.


ΩΩA key rule to remember: the more a bubble is based on easy credit, the greater the damage when it pops.  And two bubble types, the buy-out bubbles and real estate bubbles tend to be nearly 100% debt-driven.  So their crashes tend to be far more destructive than mere stock crashes if these are based on excess capital being exploited.  Indeed, housing bubble crashes are by far the most dangerous since many more people own property than own stocks.  And it literally hits home, big time.  That is, you lose not just your shirt but your home as well.


ΩΩAs Japan struggles to keep from drowning, economic advisors tell the Japanese, all they need is inflation.  Well, Japan has inflation!  Rental costs, energy costs and food all have gone up and up and up.  The rental costs have been hidden by the drop in rents on high end properties since 1990 but at the bottom of society, renting has become a very difficult thing on falling incomes with the lowest classes living in tiny cubicles hardly bigger than a bed or living on the streets while the middle class downsizes relentlessly into smaller and smaller units.  This is due to incomes dropping faster than rents.


ΩΩAll of this leads me to another Japanese news story of some small interest.  The collapse of Japanese ‘language schools’ continues.  Last year, NOVA fell apart and this year, nother giant, English language school operator Geos goes bust with Y7.5 bil debts › Japan Today filed suddenly for bankruptcy. Japan has various fads just like the US or anyone, and a recent fad was the mania of the Eikaiwa school.


Eikaiwa school – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although there are many eikaiwa conversation schools in Japan, the most widely recognized ones are AEON, and ECC.[3] Berlitz was once considered one of the Big Four, but its market share has declined in recent years and was replaced by ECC. NOVA, the biggest, filed for bankruptcy in October 2007. These major chains of commercial language schools have branches in cities and towns throughout Japan as well as large numbers of smaller independent outfits. Foreign language instruction in Japan was a 670 billion yen industry, of which the five largest chains (Nova, GEOS, ECC, AEON, and Berlitz) accounted for 25% in 2002.[4] A 2008 assessment of the language study market for fiscal year 2007 showed it had shrunk by over 61%, an effect of Nova’s collapse, although demand for some services like software and lessons for children had increased.


ΩΩThese are not real ‘language schools’ that immerse someone in a culture and language and you learn how to speak properly.  There are some serious students, mostly business people, who need to improve their communication skills.  But these people usually get their training via contracts put out by their corporations, not going to a neighborhood school.  The market for business English is rather small, unlike the Eikaiwa school business which was huge for a while.


ΩΩThat is, curious, bored or socially frustrated women signed up to spend a few hours a week with a gaijin who is assumed to be ignorant of social restrictions and codes and thus, open house for interesting conversations that won’t end up in the Japanese female gossip circuit, it being all in English.  The demand for these services was very high during a time when the Japanese economy stagnated.  That is, this didn’t produce anything that needed to be imported and since much of what Japan produces is based on importing commodities, restricting severely commodity consumption was a prime LDP goal.


ΩΩHiring gaijin to socialize with the housewives was considered OK by the LDP due to the simple fact, all the money earned by these entertaining mostly English-speaking males stayed in Japan!  Wages for this work were pretty minimal.  Below are some pictures from a manga about these Eikaiwa schools and do note the ‘pretty boy’ angle is extremely important:  Eikaiwa School Wars chapter 1 – Page 2 of 39

English Teaching Jobs in Japan

The late-1980’s saw an explosion in the number and size of eikaiwa schools throughout Japan. Internationally established names like Berlitz battled with local companies like NOVA, GEOS, ECC, Aeon and Bilingual in a fiercely competitive industry. Thousands of smaller chains and one-man operations survived on the crumbs left behind. Some of the big names, like Bilingual, and many of the small fry didn’t last more than a few years, especially once the economic bubble burst in the early 90’s. Nova grew to be the Big Daddy of them all, with 900 schools across the country and employing as many as 6,000 foreign teachers. So it came as a big blow to the entire eikawa industry when Nova went bust in 2007, months after the government had slapped a penalty on the company for irregular (to say the least) business practises.


. But the desire to master English or at least have a chance to hang out with foreigners has outlived the usual short lifespan of trends in Japan and the eikawa giants have grown bigger than ever. None of them

present a very academic recruitment message to

prospective students, relying instead on the use of famous personalities, large-scale advertising or hard-core sales pitches by school ‘counsellors’. One story tells of a young woman who walked into a certain eikawa school thinking it was a travel agency and leaving two hours later, having signed up for English lessons to the tune of 6 month’s salary and no longer able to afford the trip she had been planning. The still generally poor level of English ability in Japan is proof that these companies are largely ineffective. They survive by placing pressure on their underpaid school staff to meet quotas by bringing in large numbers of ever-gullible new students.


ΩΩIt is very sad that social inhibitions prevent the swift acquisition of new language skills.  This inability to expand one’s horizons inhibits Japan tremendously in world affairs unlike say, the Chinese who are much more aggressive about striking outwards and learning as fast as possible.  When the Chinese lived with me in New Jersey in the mid-1980’s, I was astounded at how fast they assimilated information and sucked down new ways of doing things.


ΩΩThey were a breeze to teach and easy to convince if shown hard data.  They were all quite practical, too.  My constant harping on ‘listen to History’ and accept the concept of history being a powerful guide to human behavior and systems.  No ‘pie in the sky’ fantasies of an ideal world based on some etherial concept, the Chinese wanted practical, working systems.


ΩΩThe Japanese used to think this way after the explosion of changes and intellectual growth following the stultifying Tokugawa regime.  Many of the systems now running in Japan were developed back then.  The Japanese elites travelled about the planet, visiting all of the powerful countries and copied what they deemed best in each.  For example, they copied the German school, medical, social services and military systems and considered Bismark Germany to be the best system and this Bismarkian system still rules in Japan.


ΩΩGermany’s xenophobia episode (the Nazi nightmare years) taught the Germans a sharp lesson.  Japan also indulged in xenophobia after WWI but unlike Germany which denounced their own xenophobia after losing WWII, Japan never had to do this. The US occupied Japan but barely changed any of the Bismark-style systems including education and allowed the Japanese to continue their xenophobic cultural bias unimpeded until today when it is now impossible for the US to influence Japan in this matter.


ΩΩIn the wake of the collapse of yet another foreign language school chain (a line of schools which were closer to being ‘geisha girl’ destinations for entertainment) has prompted Japanese-English papers to ask readers, many of whom are ‘teachers’ in these schools, about the mess:


Do English teachers at schools have to be native speakers? Can non-native English speakers do just as well or better? › Japan Today:

In theory the only question should be level of fluency as determined by some neutral measuring instrument. Unfortunately I couldn’t pass the TOEIC test in Japan even though I’m a native English speaker simply because most of the questions are…. drumroll in Japanese! Yes, an English test that’s not in English!


This, in a nutshell, is classic xenophobia.  The Japanese are OK with foreigners coming in to entertain but don’t want qualified teachers to come and take permanent jobs which have wages where one can save money and send it out of the country.  Also, this preserves the illusion that the Japanese are superior to foreigners even when totally inferior.


Xenophobia is very dangerous because it creates this sort of bully-boy illusion of mastery.  England suffers from this even as the entire population slides down the intellectual/creative scales and the underclass swells in size, the US is also prey to this.  In England and the US, racist xenophobia grows even as the illusion of being superior collapses.  This is why so many anti-Obama demonstrations show a stark contrast of the fit and trim mulatto President compared to the often obese, slack, ill shaped demonstrators who are all very convinced they are superior due to their skin color and ethnic qualities.


These demonstrators are uncomfortable with people making fun of them but seriously, it is hilarious to see these poor specimens complaining about blacks.  This was encapsulated in the rapture for Bush Jr by these same people: they loved him the more he stumbled about, mangled the English language and showed little curiosity about the world at large.  Dumb is good.  Ignorance is better.


In Japan, this illusion of mastery is maintained by language barriers.  The mania for learning English slams right into this arrogance about how superior the Japanese are thanks to their language skills.  A key to learning anything is the ability to listen to a teacher.  And if a teacher is viewed as an inferior gaijin, learning from him is nearly impossible no matter how often one goes to the teacher for training.


This pretty much sums up the entire problem with the Japanese system of teaching English. Without native-level teachers to drive change there won’t be any, and the current system of relegating native teachers to either cram schools or “assistant language teacher” positions means that there are no native voices in any position to influence how their language is being taught in Japan.


In response to lawsuits about the AL teachers, the Board of Education dropped ALL of them suddenly this month and they have to wait three months without pay to see if they will be rehired as real teachers. Knowing how xenophobic the government is, this will probably lead to the foreigners being dropped entirely.


Instead the way that English is being taught is being decided by Japanese English teachers who were taught English in a classroom where English was hardly ever spoken, who wrote their English examinations in Japanese, and who have been teaching their students English for decades by barely ever actually speaking English.


Once upon a time, I was a language major.  All my tests in German were entirely and totally in German including the instructions for the test.  Obviously, if you couldn’t read test instructions in the language, you don’t know the language!  I got my German scholarships this way and even won a year in Germany by taking these tests.


I was one of few foreign students, while a teenager, to go to a strict German upper-level school and it was hell.  I had to struggle every day to keep up with my classmates.  After one month, I forbade anyone to speak English with me and thus, being totally at sea and immersed in the German language, I mastered it far above what I would have if I hadn’t dropped English during the learning process.


I even dreamed in German.  This immersion method is the only way to really learn a language so you speak like a native.  Indeed, when the Staatspolizei arrested me, I had a hell of a hard time, convincing them I was an American.  They asked me to speak English and I did…with a thick German accent!  I was astounded by this and began to laugh.  It took me totally by surprise.


I feel sorry for the Japanese English teachers, they’re caught in a vicious circle where they aren’t exposed to sufficient English to maintain their own skill level, and so they either don’t feel confident enough to speak English in the classroom or just aren’t able to speak English in the classroom, and so the cycle repeats endlessly. Fluent English speakers need to be injected into the system at a level where they can actually push gently for positive change. The current “assistant language teacher” system just isn’t working, but everywhere you look there are barriers to native speakers getting licensed as teachers, from the TOEIC test in Japanese to the university courses on teaching English being held in Japanese. Someone somewhere in government needs to wake up and smell the coffee. This isn’t going to fix itself on its own.


This is all about xenophobia.  There is little interest in real language skills. The US is trending towards xenophobia despite or even because of the flood of illegal aliens and imports.  This is why I am not a German language professor: when I was still at the university, preparing for this business, the requirements to learn a foreign language such as German was eliminated from most colleges and entire German departments were terminated.


No jobs!  Nothing.  So I suddenly shifted into the construction trades and other schemes connected to running real estate including making money, training Chinese government officials.  The government of Japan won’t wake up and smell the coffee simply because this is heavily driven by the government.


From another reader:  80% of English class is done in Japanese. The rest is chanting words, singing songs, playing games, and occasionally using full phrases in a form of conversation. No child, I repeat, NO CHILD, ends up with perfect pronunciation because I am there. They do, however, get a chance to hear what normal, fluent English sounds like and that is invaluable.


The best option for many people would be to return to their home countries if the industry continues to decline. On NHK last night, it had a graphic that showed some 830,000 students in Eikaiwa in 2006 which had declined to some 330,000 currently, 2010. That is a staggering reduction.


ΩΩEnglish is still one of the most important languages for doing any international conferences, business, etc.  Just as French was the top language for several centuries or the long domination of Latin which went from 300 AD to 1600 AD in Europe (during the height of the Roman Empire, intellectual and business deals were done in Greek, politics were done in Latin!).  No one is going to do international business in Japanese due to the stubborn xenophobia in the home country.


ΩΩThis is a major problem in the future for Jews who are right now, still quite international and very engaged in many different countries.  As xenophobia grows in Israel, this tendency moves silently within the Jewish community overseas and infects it like a poison.  The arrogance of being better than anyone else also rises and this, too, causes a moral collapse.  In the US, people who are xenophobic complain about ‘multiculturalism’ as if this were some terrible evil.


ΩΩI revel in multiculturalism!  I think this is what makes empires great!  An empire that embraces this becomes suddenly much, much more powerful and stronger.  As Rome did this, it gained greatness.  Even as the ruling elites were corrupted and died off or rather, killed each other off, they were replaced by increasingly foreign ethnic groups who kept the empire vital and dynamic so it lasted much longer than it would have if it was more xenophobic.


ΩΩHere is a startling example of rampant xenophobia in Tokyo’s elites that should scare everyone.  Naturally, it doesn’t make the news here in the US where we are told, the Japanese actually love us and want to interact with us:



Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s latest rant has him accusing the ruling parties of having naturalized citizens for ancestors, therefore they want NJ PR suffrage. This latest smear campaign has finally turned Ishihara from a committed politician into a politician who should be committed.


It hardly bears fully iterating, but: Here we have this dangerous tendency of Ishihara solidifying into a fully-formed ideology, based upon the fundamental tenets that 1) foreigners cannot be trusted, 2) foreigners are always foreigners, even if they are Japanese citizens for generations, 3) foreigners think along blood lines and will work against Japanese interests if their blood is not Japanese. In other words, personal belief is a matter of genetics. But these blood-based arguments went out of fashion a few generations ago when we saw that they led to things such as pogroms and genocides. Yet some of the most powerful people in Japan (in this case the governor of one of the world’s major cities) not only fervently believe it, but also create political parties to rally others around it.


ΩΩIsrael had a similar battle when the government decided they wanted to further restrict ‘who is a Jew’ so that children such as my own were not real ‘Jews’ because I was a goyim mom.  Applying the same sort of Nazi protocols in reverse, the Nazis killed you if any grandparents were Jews, in the Zionist xenophobic world, anyone whose mother was NOT ‘Jewish’ was excluded from the happy elites of Israel!  ‘Blood-based arguments’ rage all over the place.


ΩΩWhen the world’s #3 (formerly #2 last year) economy is run by lunatics who firmly believe in this sort of bloody xenophobia, and when an influential minority religious/ethnic group also embraces ‘true blue blood’ dogma, we get a very ugly situation which is totally intolerable.  Unlike the Muslim/Christian ideological battles, these racist/ethnic battles have only one way of being resolved: mass murder of the losers.


ΩΩYou can’t be converted into a ‘Japanese’ or a ‘Jew’ if this is only possible by having all of your ancestors for hundreds of years being of the chosen ethnic group!  There is no way one can be part of this.  It is pure do or die.  The Nazis tried to do this: their ethnic cleansing wasn’t directed at people who spoke German and who looked and acted like the Nazi ideal of a ‘German’: the identity was based on blood classifications.  Thus, a dark-haired German who was ‘pure Aryan’ was OK but a part-Jewish person who was blonde and blue eyed was an ‘Untermenschen’ and slated to be killed.  Worse, Russians in the Ukraine who were blonde and blue eyed were considered inferior even though they were ‘Aryans’ due to the Orthodox religion!


ΩΩThis was total insanity on every possible level.  To have the Jewish and Japanese cultures sink into the mire of xenophobia is a very dangerous thing since both cultures are very influential.  Also, both lead to reductionism, not the growth of empire.  Here is a fine example from Tokyo: the xenophobic mayor wants to attract foreign visitors:


asahi.com(朝日新聞社):ANIME NEWS: Tokyo government presents “Honey Tokyo” to promote the metropolis to the world – English

The Tokyo metropolitan government has produced an anime for promoting tourist spots in the city.


The short film, “Honey Tokyo,” revolves around a girl named Honey who is sent from the future in search of “pieces of happiness.” She steals away people’s happiness and wipes away Tokyo’s charms.


A youth named Takeru takes her out on a tour of Tokyo that is intended for her to experience joy and wonder. She eventually has a change of heart. The story features various Tokyo spots, including the Akihabara, Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku and Roppongi districts….

. …The short can now be viewed on the “Welcome to Tokyo” website. It is offered in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, German, Italian, Spanish or French.


ΩΩI went to the website to see what was going on.  It was a very badly designed site and the proper web page was hard to find since the opening page was all in Japanese!  But here is the foreign language page:  Welcome to TOKYO | Honey TOKYO


ΩΩIf you click on the blue sidebar, a small screen pops up.  I recommend watching this, it is hard to watch but try doing it.  The storyline is supposed to be about luring FOREIGNERS to come to Tokyo.  So the anime features a….Japanese high school student???  How insane is that?  The boy is also very inarticulate and easily confused.  The aliens…note, the ALIENS are BAD GUYS who have to be CONVERTED by this aimless and inarticulate Japanese geeky kid to being friendly about the Japanese thanks to the superior Japanese culture!


ΩΩThis is an insane anime.  It shows very bad sociological and business acumen.  The anime is also in Japanese, not dubbed in a foreign language because…the animation studio doesn’t hire any foreigners to do voice overs!  And the Japanese voice actors struggle to speak a foreign language!  So this government anime misses its target totally.  I believe in the existence of this thing Dr. Freud calls ‘the Id’.  This is the crazy part of our brains where we don’t think about actions or consequences, this is where we react based on deep levels of training and beliefs.  The ‘Id’ element in this supposed video that is designed to attract visitors is giving a totally contrary message between the lines: it is about the Japanese changing aliens into tourists!  HAHAHA.  Hostile aliens, of course!


ΩΩNot a good storyline if one is anxious to show how friendly the Japanese really are.  And the ordinary Japanese can be quite friendly if this is encouraged!  But we see from the news about the mayor of Tokyo,  he is appealing to rank xenophobia to win an election…while putting money into schemes to attract visitors to the city…while hating these same visitors and wishing they would just go away at the same time!


ΩΩAs the depression crushes our own country, I see this same sort of thinking. When I went to a village meeting about how to save our poor town which is being relentlessly destroyed by international free trade, I didn’t see any sanity at all.  At one point, everyone was all hyper-happy about bringing in strangers but at the same time, made fun of, complained about and showed great annoyance at the possibility someone might actually come here to LIVE!  Sheesh. It was astonishing and amusing at the same time.


ΩΩNYC is one of the world’s best tourist attractions precisely due to its multicultural mixture.  It is a babble of voices and a kaleidoscope of cultures.  This is its strength, not weakness.  It is truly an imperial hub just like LA or London, for example.  Vienna 100 years ago was also a multicultural hub, one that Hitler nearly totally destroyed in his xenophobic mania.

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Filed under Free Trade, Politics, war and peace

25 responses to “Xenophobia Is Very Destructive

  1. flipspiceland

    What most strikes me about this piece is that the government ‘secretly’ kept hidden the real numbers.

    Anymore it appears that the only reason govenment exists is to horde secrets.

    I wonder just how many and how deep are the secrets that only a few know, not just in Japan but everywhere. And what they then do with that information to feather their own nests.

    “Profit = other people’s ignorance”

  2. Pingback: Xenophobia Is Very Destructive « Culture of Life News | TEFL Japan

  3. payAttention

    ‘Note that this bubble cycle, Germany didn’t participate anywhere to the degree indulged in the English-speaking countries.’

    Yes, I noted it in my comment on the previous post.

    And why would the Japanese want gaijin in their society. To remind them of desolate defeat, of having been the only country to experience a nuclear attack? Are you making any sense at all here? The Stockholm complex is in its last embers there as well. I have tried to explain this to you before. Junichiro Koizumi is the most liked politician in Japan, exactly because he visited the shrine of the war dead.

    ‘Germany’s xenophobia episode (the Nazi nightmare years) taught the Germans a sharp lesson. ‘

    That’s rather glib of you. The American air force and Marshall Zhukov taught Germany a lesson. You are seeing the waning aftereffects of the Stockholm syndrome. Mark the reunification as the first step to recovery. Take a bit of time to read of the attitude changes after full recovery.

    ‘obese, slack, ill shaped demonstrators.’ Yes we do look disgusting from your Olympian Heights. But we understand how you feel about us, at least give us that much credit. You abused us to the fullest extent of your capability – if you were a star student, we were denied access to a respectable education to lift your orbit ever higher. We understand this also.

  4. the fool on the hill

    They asked me to speak English and I did…with a thick German accent!

    You’re a natural born spy, Elaine. 😉

    But we really do need to spy up some info on Operation Paperclip (speaking of speaking Deutsche), like you have mentioned on numerous occasions.

  5. payAttention

    What, kidnapping the German jet fuel program so we can get to the moon? Complicated, huh.

  6. the fool on the hill

    Well, if everything is so obvious and staightforward why is so much info classifed and off limits to the public, eh?

    And who exactly is “we”, anyway. Have you been to the moon?

  7. kobo abe

    Gd report!see inflation, exchange rates c1936 10Yen=US$1, ’60 360Y=$1 interest 7% in
    Tokyo. You have good insights into Z.i.-
    r.p. ’90, c. 88Y $1, now varies c90:$1.
    Yet DOWJ, Nikkei both were at 1,000 ’60.
    ’40-46 no trades. scholars ask what
    happened to shares on Tokyo exchange?
    Some say big firms held them til they
    broke even years later. Japan is first
    country to have more people over 65
    than under 16, mulled sending aged
    to their kin who now live in Brazil, etc.

  8. Gd! exchange rates c1936 10Yen=US$1, ’60 360Y=$1 interest 7% in
    Tokyo. You have good insights into Z.i.-
    r.p. ’90, c. 88Y $1, now varies c90:$1.
    Yet DOWJi, Nikkei both were at 1,000 ’60.
    ’40-46 no trades. scholars ask what
    happened to shares on Tokyo exchange?
    Some say big firms held shares til they
    broke even years later. J: first
    country to have more people 65+
    than under 16, mulled sending aged
    to their kin who now live in Brazil, etc.

  9. kobo abe

    Sorry! duplicate? Nikkei hi 39,000
    ’90, ’10 10,000, wages, prices falling,
    bridges to no-where. Book said
    DJI can go to 36,000, it didnt! Gt. story tho.

  10. payAttention

    Yes, we went to the moon. The super secret mission was called Apollo 11. The German Eagle has landed.

  11. JT

    I went to an english kindergarten here for a couple of years when I was 5-6 years old.
    I have to say I didn´t learn too much 😀 .
    I don´t even remember going there.

    Thinking in a foreign language takes about 3 months of living in another country (at least with english) and it happens to everyone.

    No citizen of any empire likes to speak in a foreign language (French, US, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Japan, China).

    I met a lot of European nationalities when I used to work for a large multinational here.
    The one nation that always impressed me was the Dutch.
    Pretty much everybody I met was fluent (and I mean fluent) in english, french and german.
    They are the only truly international past empire inhabitants that I´ve encountered.
    And worlds greatest traders still…

  12. larry, dfh

    Hagar and Sarah. It all goes back to that twisted allegory. But then again, Esther wasn’t a Jew, either.
    The head of the Italian soccer team, after ‘beating’ the French team in the World Cup: What did you expect? We are a team of Romans, and Umbrians, and Lombardians, and they were a team of Arabs, half-breeds, and negroes.

    …I see this same sort of thinking. When I went to a village meeting about how to save our poor town which is being relentlessly destroyed by international free trade, I didn’t see any sanity at all. “You’re not from around these parts, are you?”

  13. melponeme_k

    The Native American tribes are being torn and divided over blood measuring quorums. Unless affiliated with a tribe with blood relations to many generations of tribal members, one can not be considered a full blooded Native. I would not be considered a Native American because of this. I would not seek to establish my rights as Native because I think the idea of blood proof is imbalanced.

    Yes, xenophobia is growing here in the US. And it will explode if things don’t get better. I don’t know how to reach the disaffected among the Tea Party members. But I do know mocking them is not working.

    Learning any language is hard, I admire people who manage it. I only know bits and pieces of many not real fluency. But the small time I spent in France had me on my toes. It was only a week and a half, but sheer terror had me speaking French. Many times it was the only way to get proper directions. The human brain is a deft instrument when it thinks it’s survival is at stake.


    ELAINE; The minute the Tribes turned themselves into ‘pirate coves’ via gambling, they went from embracing everyone (I lived for years on tribal lands in Arizona, at Kitt Peak) to cutting out even family members as they seek racial ‘purity’ so they can HOG THE WEALTH! Other pirate coves do this: Lichtenstein has a ‘share the wealth’ thing with its people…only you can’t even marry into this from the outside. Many, many places that get sudden wealth this way do the exact same thing: Saudi Arabia, for example, has strict limits on who is a ‘Saudi’ and gets Saudi welfare.

  14. JT

    There is a tradition of learning foreign languages in the Netherlands: about 70% of the total population have good knowledge of conversational English, 55– 59% of German and 19% of French. Most Dutch secondary schools also teach classical languages and/or modern languages. Modern languages with official state exams are English, French, German, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Russian and Frisian.

    Many economic historians regard the Netherlands as the first thoroughly capitalist country in the world. In early modern Europe it featured the wealthiest trading city (Amsterdam) and the first full-time stock exchange.

    That´s the good empire of the past 😉 .


    ELAINE: Correct. Yes, Holland and the Netherlands are the hidden colonial powers and my own family hooked into this back in 1640 when forced to flee England. The true internationalism of the Lowlands was hard won! The long religious wars that ravaged all of Europe, much of these were fought in the Lowlands. And the stubborn people there who are also very curious, led to challenging greater powers and doing surprisingly well. And the Italians persecuted by the reactionary Church fled to Holland, etc, back then, thus, bringing many arts and sciences there. To the immense loss of Italy, of course. And the Spanish inquisition killed intellectual pursuits there, too.

  15. EconCurious

    So let me see here. We have an economy that just went through two major bubbles in the stock and real estate markets. The government’s response was to lower interest rates to zero and begin a massive spending program with a focus on infrasture. In the meantime, real wages are stagnant or declining while “zombie” banks continue to keep large amounts of bad debts on their books. The country is dependent on imports for much of its energy needs, while an aging population puts additional strains on the system. A large part of the population is xenophobic. Important statistics are kept in secrecy, and the government, which is run by a single pro-business party, is largely unable to admit to the nation’s true underlying problems. This all sounds vaguely familiar. . .

    Elaine, you often mention that there was a disruption in Japan’s ZIRP policies (or perhaps the carry trade?) in mid 2007 that precipitated much of the financial crisis. What were the events surrounding this? Was it currency related? Credit related?


    ELAINE: China and Iran coordinated efforts to suddenly start buying and holding yen. To do this, they forced Japan to do business in yen, not dollars.

  16. larry, dfh

    When I was in 4th grade, the family spent a year in The Netherlands. My father enrolled the kids in a normal public school. They put me in 3rd grade for half the year; all the kids were completely fluent in Dutch within 3 months. When I got back to the U.S., 5th grade was a coast: we already had all the math in 4th grade. For me, The Netherlands was the ideal children’s playground. We saw t.v. a couple of times a month, and never really missed it. It was all day long on bikes, and if you were fucking up in some way, there was always some old woman who would lean out the window and yell “you kids cut that out!” Years later I spent a summer working there, but I couldn’t re-learn Dutch because English was so universal.


    ELAINE: I was so strict about no one speaking English to me in Germany, when I had to buy underwear, my girlfriends and I went into the store and back then, you had to ask for underwear, it was not on display. So I asked for ‘Untertragen’ which is MEN’S underwear. Everyone laughed at me and I had to struggle to explain what I really needed and the staff knew I was not allowed to use English, it was very embarrassing and funny as hell. Everyone was twice as nice afterwards!

    You can’t learn a language unless you are willing to be embarrassed. A problem with the Japanese who are very scared of being embarrassed in public.

  17. Borealis

    melponeme_k: Yes, xenophobia is growing here in the US. And it will explode if things don’t get better.

    “Xenophobia” is a useful slur to be used against people poorer than I am, when I am profiting from disrupting their lives, lowering their wages, and axing their jobs, ha. “Xenophobia” is growing and will become dangerous because “multiculturalism”, as a mindless, anti-human program enforced from the top-down (of, by, and for the elites), rather than the slower, fruitful development of cultures meeting and morphing naturally, is as stupid and pernicious an ideology as “pure blood”. (See Putnam, Robert.) That there is no such thing as a permanent and eternally stable human culture doesn’t mean that human beings don’t have a deep need for relatively stable cultural communities with shared norms. Want to deprive them of that for fun and profit and those warm fuzzy feelings of moral superiority? Fine. Just don’t act shocked when the SHtF. (Not picking on you here, melponeme_k – just pointing out the predictable disastrous consequences of policies made by the venal dingbats who put the “cult” in multiculturalism.)

    I don’t know how to reach the disaffected among the Tea Party members. But I do know mocking them is not working.

    Frankly, I find the paranoia about “Tea Partiers” hilarious, and most of the hand-wringing analysis about them strictly brain-dead. Oh yeah, terribly dangerous “disaffected” folks who are going to march to the polls in November and….vote in the status quo as long as the republicrats package their candidates with the proper Pavlovian buzz-words – and no, I don’t mean race-referencing “codes” or “dog-whistles”. (Not that their cluelessness isn’t dangerous in itself, but it’s not as if the tea partiers are any dumber than their hysterical detractors, that way.)

  18. emsnews

    There was a real Tea Party a year ago. I witnessed its birth and was happy it was launched. When FOX TV got its fangs on it, they flooded the airwaves with appeals for all sorts of people to come out and protest TAXES of all things!

    Taxes! We are not taxed enough! We have had NO WAR TAXES since WWII. All war taxes are shoved into the future. This is a total catastrophe which is why so many present Tea Baggers are content to continue wars. Which is totally insane.

    The first Tea Baggers were 100% antiwar. This is quite significant and I wanted leftist antiwar people to support the Tea Bag movement which was also anti-Federal Reserve.

  19. Colin

    @kobo abe
    “Tokyo exchange? Some say big firms held them til they broke even years later.”

    That’s the best insight right there; follow that logic to it’s conclusion and you’ll discover the real reasons for ‘depressions’.

    Not because of economic cycling i.e. people can’t buy back the procution in society. The economic cycle is an important problem, but it can correct itself.

    The real danger is the speculative hording of unprofitable capital, stock, pattents, natural resources and real estate by people who have enough (or believe that they have enough) money to outlast the crisis and they can jump back into the market when prices start going up again.

    The uber-rich of the thirties had enough money to bankroll their holdings for decades if necessary untill they could turn a profit. And they held on to them rather than selling up and getting their broken buisness models out of the market – sound like Citibank to anyone?

  20. Xenophobia Is Very Destructive « Culture of Life News. Google Blog Search: Xenophobia. emsnews.. The reason for Ethiopian xenophobia

  21. Ohh that is pretty sweeet. Thanks for sharing. Nice to see a cool site again in this industry.


  22. melponeme_k

    Borealis I’m well aware that muliculturalism is not enforced from top down. I have dark skin, and I always had and will have fellow countrymen and women asking me if I’m really American and if I speak proper English. Imagine experiencing this when one’s ancestors have covered this land for 20,000 years.

    On the flip side, I find it amusing that almost every nationality has spoken to me in their own language and considered me one of their fellow countrywoman here in the US and overseas. I’ve had people speak to me in Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Farsi, French, Italian and even German.

    Multiculturalism is only won after bloody turf wars. New York has been an epicenter of ethnic turf battles since it was founded. Since most of us are aware how easily riots start, most of us try to work on the notion that everyone is trying their best. We’ve won our internationalism through bloodshed…literally.

    Which is why xenophobia is occurring in parts of the US that has not experienced this trial by fire. So they begin from beginning with war. Far from enforcing this onerous concept on them because of “classism”, many of us would like for them to skip the war and go straight to understanding. Perhaps that idealistic hope is hopeless. But I still cling to it.


    ELAINE: Well said.

  23. Why does Japan always get singled out for punishment here? If economics is a war by other methods, and Yankee imperialists and their raping soldiers have been sitting in Okinawa with a nuclear gun to Tokyo’s head for sixty years. Incidentally they also have tamed Britain and Germany that way.


    Maybe because the ideology of multiculturalism comes from the poisoned well of Empire that Japan, Korea, and other countries outside the idiot radius find these ideas incredibly stupid and overrated.

    Multiculturalism serves one purpose and one only: to destroy nationalism. And ationalism, along with religious fundamentalism (read Islam) is one of the few forces arrayed against the suffocating corporate culture of the criminal banking elites which seeks to engulf the world.

    You don’t have to like Japanese culture, or Iranian culture, or Russian culture, but it’s better than the alternative – global fascism.


    ELAINE: I want the bases in Japan closed for many reasons. Zenophobia is not one of them. Japan is gradually shutting itself down. This is very sad to see. There is this cultural collapse which won’t be fixed via hating ‘aliens’. Instead, a renewal has to come and usually, this comes from outside a culture or system. This is one of the latent strengths of the US: multiculturalism. We have choices and can shift direction. Our problem right now is, we are uncertain about what shifts to make.

  24. Kanomi,

    I agree with you. Thanks for your post. If “multiculturalism” is good for anything it is the sharing of ideas, but that’s it. In fact, I saw some new truth from your post. I always knew I did not trust multiculturalism, and now I know why. It DOES (in its’ popular form) destroy nationalism. I sympathize with your people on the occupation. WWII was over 60 years ago. No need for us to be there.

    One more thing. Does everyone but the Sheeple in America realize that the banking Elites are criminal gangsters attempting to rule the world?

  25. melponeme_k

    “Maybe because the ideology of multiculturalism comes from the poisoned well of Empire that Japan, Korea, and other countries outside the idiot radius find these ideas incredibly stupid and overrated.”

    Then Kanomi you deny that America is possible that it’s ambition to build a state upon different cultures, to set people free from monarchy, to give it’s citizens autonomy is stupid and overrated. I don’t feel that way, and despite the rot in the system at the moment, I would fight to keep those ideals…that experiment.

    I love Japan and it’s culture. But they can keep their monarchy and their royalists. I feel the same way with Great Britain.

    Its a shame groups here are crazy to break our ties to France. They are practically the only other country on the same journey that we are on…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I’ve seen their statues of Washington and other important American founders. They haven’t forgotten.

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