Saturday, March 31, 2012

絆 KIZUNA! A year has passed since 3/11

What is written on this picture is "Nihon Kizuna", it means "bond". In Japanese, it is written 日本絆 and it means: a bond of friendship with Japan. Picture designed by Tokyo based Japanese and foreign artists sent as symbol of 3/11. It is also an electronic-music compilation album which raised more than US $ 33.000 for victims of the triple catastrophe. Collected from Japan and Europe, the fund raised was then given to the Japanese Red Cross.

My honorable friend Konoe Tadateru is the president of the Japanese Red Cross Society, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The RC helped a lot. They spent a lot. Konoe himself criticized a lot the Japanese authorities since 3/11. His wife is of Imperial lineage. Watch out!

"Kizuna" is the word used by the Emperor of Japan Akihito in his courageous speech of March 11th 2012, during the morning ceremonies of commemoration where he briefly alluded to criticism of the nuclear people of Tepco and the governments, local regional and national. In the evening news of March 11 2012, the Emperor's words were discreetly censored by Japanese televisions. Japan is led by Shogun Tepco nowadays.

Facing or confronting at highest level this institutionalized collusion, "Kizuna" reigns with link, bond, tie, relation, and friendship. It seems to unite Japanese together, also foreigners with local islanders. Warm hearted, but one year after, question is to know if this beautiful expression of human generosity achieved more than a short time generosity? The story of 3/11 it is the story of Japan since World war II. I'll explain why it is changing the life of these islanders set on one of the wealthiest nation on earth.

Asian Gazette is back

I have not been blogging very much this past year since March 2011. I have personally gone through many changes, most of these changes have been good personally or professionally and a lot of new things happened, I also opened my eyes on many new situations. As you know Japan entered into many changes too in the last year due to the 2011 triple catastrophe, the quake, the tsunami and the nuclear accident.

The triple disaster has changed everyone's lives forever. Including the attention of journalists and observers such as myself. I have also immersed myself into the very heart of the Japanese (Asian) society. Because of the immediate need to communicate and receive informations I also opened pages on facebook or twitter or other networks and not necessary under my name as I do here.

I guess the future watching work is intrinsically linked to new media and to speed of information and communication. We all know that. But the working writing analyzing exercise remains the one blog page type. I learned with social networks how we loose concentration and sense of relativity, and also sense of effort to research. This is why the book paper or digital is and remains the instrument of power and knowledge. For a journalist as myself this is the weapon of mass attraction. I am aware of it.

So many reports for France especially for my favorite news-station of Paris ( RTL ) added to other world media and comments here and there took a lot of my time! I am thankful to the faithful readers.

Ok now what about future? Well, to make it simple, a lot has now to be analyzed in a rather large perspective about what happened in Japan and around and what has not been said. A lot remains to be clarified about how things work or do not work in Japan and around (sic). Yes, Japan changed since one year but the Japanese do not yet know about this fundamental change of paradigm. And the foreign world remains as anchored far away from these islands than ever, same was the world during the Dejima - Nagasaki containment of foreign eyes kept away from the maelstrom of agitated crowds and powers. Time to simply explain the fuzziness of the daily life of my favorite heirs of Mongols, Tungus, Bai Yue clans, etc.

In the months ahead, following a year of madness and deconstruction, "Asian Gazette" will talk about the Japanese psyche, helped by my extended years of residence. I'll talk about what life is and means for the non-Japanese world since and now. Economy won't be forgotten here. In non PR form. Needed to remind that today's Japan GDP is 5th rank with $4.389 trillion, before Germany (6th) UK (6th) or France (10th) South Korea (13th).

Of course I'll talk about Fukushima, about Tohoku, and also about Tokyo and the inner archipelago and what is being kept confidentially for a coming decade. Enough to boost my appetite and desire to point out at absurdities, errors, current or past, mine including. But I'll also talk to point out at what is to be a quite stunning adventure and future for those living here. Those who are working, in transit or deeply in love with this land surrounded by tumultuous seas and oceans, residing above powerful earth forces. Sometimes we, the media, show the Japanese as hard workers and diligent warm hearts, sometimes like dangerous opponents, in war or in trade.

Probably, the truth is not, repeat, not in the middle of it, the truth is even more extreme! Same as these natural and extreme forces which destroyed 600 km of Japan northern coast on March 11th 2011 and promise continuous hardship to these lands. "The Japanese are the happiest people of the world but who died fooled by life" as one of Albert Camus' s book character said. They, the Japanese, certainly will talk a lot about being the men and women of a land "led by exploiters" as one Tohoku resident told me while I was on a press assignment. Exploiters? Who, why? How come so many Japanese feel betrayed and start to open their eyes?

Time to focus closer. Stay tuned!