Study of English

February 29, 2008

Has China given up on probe for truth? / Poison chaozu 

Filed under: China,Japan — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 10:43 pm
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Has China given up on probe for truth?
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Newspaper, Tokyo, Japan)

It would be highly undesirable if the shelving of fact-finding efforts into the recent food poisoning caused by Chinese-made frozen gyoza results in an emotional confrontation between Japan and China.

The Chinese Public Security Ministry said at a press conference Thursday that there was an extremely low likelihood the gyoza became contaminated in China with the organic phosphorus pesticide methamidophos.

A senior official of the ministry also said the Japanese side had not provided results requested by China of tests carried out in Japan on the tainted gyoza.

China’s assertion is completely at odds with an explanation given by the National Police Agency based on investigations by the Japanese police so far that “the possibility the pesticide was mixed into gyoza in Japan is extremely low.”


Denial can’t go unchallenged
Furthermore, according to the NPA, it did provide the test results to the Chinese side. The NPA also says its repeated requests for the Chinese side to reveal information concerning investigations into past poisoning incidents caused by methamidophos in China have not been met. In light of these details, NPA Commissioner General Hiroto Yoshimura had good reason to issue a strong rebuttal, saying that China’s assertion “cannot go unchallenged.”

The Chinese side previously proposed investigating the case with a joint investigation team comprising Japanese and Chinese authorities.

The latest Chinese announcement came immediately after a senior official of the NPA visited China and agreed with the Chinese side to accelerate the investigation by encouraging closer coordination and the exchange of evidence for an early settlement. This development threatens to endanger future bilateral cooperation on the investigation.

Some observers believe a political decision at a level far above the investigation authorities may have been made in China.

But, in contrast with the NPA’s backlash against the Chinese denial, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said: “China said it wanted to thoroughly investigate the case in cooperation with Japan. They seem very willing to do so.”

The prime minister apparently wants to avoid the issue developing into a political one. This may be the right approach to take.


Safety before politics
It must be noted that the issue is related to food safety, though. The reality of the current situation is that more and more consumers are hesitating to buy Chinese-made food products.

An attempt to settle the issue politically by keeping the facts ambiguous will only serve to leave emotional ill will on both sides. It may also lead to growing distrust among consumers.

The Chinese side also said there was no possible culprit among the workers at the gyoza factory in question and that no problems were found in any part of the factory’s production process, from the handling of raw materials such as vegetables to the production and shipping processes.

However, even if a suspect were found among the workers, that person might not quickly admit to contaminating the products. It is also unclear if the Chinese side checked up on former workers such as those who recently retired or were fired.

China also said that “under certain conditions methamidophos can penetrate product packaging.” Logically, this means the products could have been tainted with the pesticide in Japan. But most members of the public will remain unconvinced by such an elaborate hypothesis of how the tainting took place.

China should do its best to find out what really happened by closely cooperating with the Japanese investigative authorities and taking preventive measures. Only in this way can China regain the trust of Japanese consumers in Chinese-made food products.
(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 1, 2008)

(Mar. 1, 2008)


February 18, 2008

Softbank Japan discriminating against non-Zainichi Korean customers?

Filed under: Corea,Japan — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 12:47 pm
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 Softbank Japan discriminating against non-Zainichi Korean customers?

The owner of Softbank is a naturalized ethnic Korean, Mr. Son. Although one of the experts interviewed applauds his spirit on behalf of the Zainichi Korean community of Japan, he points out that his special pricing plan could be illegal under Japanese telecommunications law, which forbids pricing discrimination.

*Although it seems to be a case of discrimination against non Zainichi Korean customers, it will be difficult to know for sure unless the contract with the agency can be seen. The telecommunications regulator should follow up on this.

February 13, 2008

A Corean’s delusion map of East Asia.

Filed under: China,Corea,Japan — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 12:15 pm
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This is a Corean’s delusion map of East Asia.
It is not a joke. He is serious.
And, a lot of Coreans agree enthusiastically to this map. This is not a joke, too.


February 7, 2008

“The Korean master race brought civilization to the world “

Filed under: Corea — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 2:34 pm
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↓”The Korean master race brought civilization to the world
This program is not a joke of April Fool. They are serious.

February 4, 2008

Did the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bring World War Two to an end?

Filed under: Japan,U.S.A.,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 6:43 am
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Did the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bring World War Two to an end?

Freeman Dyson wrote:

I changed my mind about an important historical question: did the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bring World War Two to an end? Until this year I used to say, perhaps. Now, because of new facts, I say no. The facts are as follows:

February 2, 2008

Ministry does about-face on textbooks regarding Okinawa

Filed under: Japan,U.S.A.,WW2 — Sei-no-Syounagon @ 4:26 pm
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Ministry does about-face on textbooks regarding Okinawa

To sum up, it’s historian’s consensus that there is no Army’s order for suicide. The demonstration organized by Okinawa’s left party was in vain.

Blog at