2015年09月30日

国分寺建立の詔

 話しはかんぴょう巻きに戻って…ん?信憑性がないので、天平時代の国分寺、国分尼寺に戻って…
 この国分寺は、聖武天皇のみことのり巻きによってできたもの。

国分寺建立の詔(現代語訳、『続日本紀』天平13年3月乙巳(24日)の条)

 私は徳(とく)の薄い身であるのに、おそれ多くも天皇という重い任務を受けている。しかし、民を導く良い政治を広めることができず、寝ても目覚めても恥ずかしい気持ちでいっぱいだ。昔の賢い君主は、みな祖先の仕事をよく受け継ぎ、国家はおだやかで無事であり、人びとは楽しみ、災害はなく幸福に満ちていた。どうすれば、このような政治ができるのであろうか。
 この数年は、凶作(きょうさく)がつづき伝染病が流行している。私は恥かしさとおそろしさで自分を責めている。
 そこで、万民のために大きな幸福を求めたい。以前(天平9年11月)、各地の神社を修造させたり、諸国に丈六(じょうろく、一丈六尺=約4.8m)の釈迦牟尼仏(しゃかむにぶつ)一体を造らせるとともに、大
般若経(だいはんにゃきょう)を写させたのもそのためである。
 おかげで、今年は春から秋の収穫の時期まで風雨が順調で五穀も豊かに稔(みの)った。これは、誠の心が伝わったためで、神霊(しんれい)のたまわりものである。その霊験はまったくおそろしいほどである。金光明最勝王経(こんこうみょうさいしょうおうきょう)には
『もし広く世間でこの経を読み、敬い供養し、広めれば、われら四天王(してんのう)は常に来てその国を守り、一切の災いもみな取り除き、心中にいだくもの悲しい思いや疫病もまた消し去る。そしてすべての願いをかなえ、喜びに満ちた生活を約束しよう』とある。
 そこで、諸国にそれぞれ七重塔一基を敬って造り、併せて金光明最勝王経と妙法蓮華経(みょうほうれんげきょう)を各十部ずつ写経させることとする。私もまた、金文字で金光明最勝王経を写し、塔ごとに一部ずつ納めたいと思う。これにより、仏教の教えが大空・大地とともにいつも盛んに続き、仏のご加護が現世でも来世でも常に満ちることを願う。
 七重塔を持つ寺(国分寺、こくぶんじ)は「国の華(はな)」であり、必ず良い場所を選んでまことに長く久しく保つようにしなければならない。人家に近いときは悪臭が漂うような所ではよろしくないし、遠いときは集まる人を疲れさせてしまうようでは望ましくない。国司(こくし)は国分寺を荘厳に飾り、いつも清潔に保つように努めなさい。間近で仏教を擁護する神々を感嘆させて、神仏が進んでこの国を守護してくださるようになってほしいのだ。全国にあまねく布告を出して、私の思っていることを知らせなさい。


国分寺市、武蔵国分寺跡資料館 解説シートNo.2「国分寺建立の詔」
http://www.city.kokubunji.tokyo.jp/_res/projects/default_project/_page_/001/004/239/explanatory_sheetno.2.pdf

 このみことのり巻きを発した聖武天皇ってどんな方?
 その前に山折哲雄さんのお話しに耳を傾けてみませんか。
 ヤッホー君の日記はメッキがはがれるほどのお話しです、さあ、たいへん:

 日本人にとって「戦艦大和」とはどのような存在なのか。“不沈戦艦”を生み出した天皇主権下の日本を「いびつな時代」という宗教学者の山折哲雄さん(83)に聞いた。

 「戦艦大和」とは日本そのものでした。
 大和という国土を象徴し、大和という民族を象徴していたからです。
 世界で最大、最強の不沈戦艦だった。
 だからこそ、最初の朝廷が置かれた奈良の古代名が、戦艦に与えられたというわけです。

 大和という言葉は、日本人そのものの源流につながっている。
 「敷島の大和心を 人 問はば 朝日に匂ふ 山桜花」と、本居宣長は詠みました。
 大和という言葉を耳にして、日本人は何がしか自己の根拠にふれた感情を抱かざるをえない。
 1隻の戦艦としての存在をそれは超えていた。
 海戦の主役が航空機となっても、日本海軍の象徴であり続けたというわけです。
 どうも、富士山との共通性を感じますね。
 古来、日本人は山を神とあがめてきました。
 その中心が富士山でした。
 巡洋艦や駆逐艦を従えて海上を突き進む戦艦大和の雄姿はまるで、富士山のように輝きそびえていたことでしょう。

 「巨大なるもの」への根強い信仰が、日本人にはもともとあります。
 大和朝廷創成の記紀神話で、天照大神に「国譲り」をした大国主命(おおくにぬしのみこと)は非常に大きな神様でした。
 皇孫である聖武天皇は「国家鎮護」を祈り、大和の中心に当時最大の毘盧舎那大仏(東大寺)を祀(まつ)りました。。。


2015年4月7日付け毎日新聞◇宗教学者、山折哲雄さんインタビュー
大和撃沈70年:「小さきもの」を守れなかった巨大戦艦
【聞き手・高橋昌紀/デジタル報道センター】
http://mainichi.jp/feature/news/20150407mog00m040002000c.html

 はい、でてまいりました、聖武天皇(701-756、在位:724-749)。
 父は文武(もんむ)天皇。母は宮子夫人(藤原不比等の娘)。
 山折哲雄さんは、1931年米サンフランシスコ生まれ。84歳。東北大文学部印度哲学科卒。国立歴史民俗博物館教授、国際日本文化研究センター所長などを歴任する。
 お話しはまだ続きますが、ぜひ全文を、のり巻きを食べながらでけっこうですので、詔とあわせ、ぜひお読みくださいますように:

 ところが、そうした「巨大なるもの」の傍らに、「小さきもの」が存在していたことに注意しなければなりません。
 大国主命には少彦名命(すくなひこなのみこと)、そして盧舎那大仏には釈迦誕生仏です。
 「巨大なるもの」をあがめる一方で、こうした「小さきもの」をいとおしみ、大事にするという心性です。
 たとえば一寸法師、桃太郎、瓜子姫などを例に挙げ、そうした日本人の特質を解き明かしたのが民俗学者の柳田国男でした。
 戦艦大和の場合はどうでしょうか。
 3000人を数えた乗組員たちは、一人一人がまさにいとおしき「小さきもの」たちでした。
 しかし、「巨大なるもの」はついに彼らを守ることができなかった。
 時の軍事権力が国威発揚を担わせた不沈戦艦があっけなく、沈没してしまったからです。
 「大きなもの」と「小さきもの」との美しい均衡は戦争になっては、崩壊せざるをえなかったということです。。。

 今、われわれは戦後70年の「パクス・ヤポニカ」の状態を否定するかのような難しい時代を迎えています。。。

 日本人としてのアイデンティティーだけを追求すれば、偏狭なナショナリズムに陥ってしまう。
 かつての大日本帝国は大和民族の優秀性を掲げてうぬぼれ、唯我独尊の「八紘一宇(はっこういちう)」を唱えました。
 それは先にいった平安期、江戸期の「パクス・ヤポニカ」の時代とは異なり、本来の日本のあり方を示すものではありませんでした。
 そのようないびつな時代にあって、それを象徴するようないびつな幻想の「不沈戦艦」が戦艦大和だったのではないでしょうか。


 この時代をもう少し整理しておきましょう:

 東大寺ができるきっかけは、聖武天皇の時代に社会的な不安が多かったことです。
 聖武天皇が即位してから、地震・日食が続き、728(神亀5)年皇太子の死、729(天平元)年長屋王の変・皇太子の死、737(天平9)年天然痘大流行、740(天平12)年藤原広嗣の乱など災難が度重なりました。

 聖武天皇は、まず741(天平13)年に「国分寺・国分尼寺の建立の詔」を出しました。
 数々の災難を仏教の力で消滅させて国家を守る<鎮護国家>という考えから、国分寺は金光明最勝王経にもとづいて四天王を護持する寺、国分尼寺は法華経(ほけきょう)を絶えず読経する寺としました。

 その後、天皇や貴族に華厳経(けごんきょう)を説いていた良弁が諸国の国分寺の総本山として東大寺を建立し大仏を造立すること進言しました。
 743(天平15)年、これを受け入れた聖武天皇は、時の都であった紫香楽宮(現在の滋賀県)で「大仏造立の詔」を出しました。
 大仏は最初紫香楽宮で造られ始めましたが、都が平城京にもどったことに伴い、新たに東大寺が造営され、その本尊として大仏が作られることとなりました。

 大仏の正式な名称は毘盧舎那仏(びるしゃなぶつ)、良弁の説く華厳経の教理では釈迦如来と同一であり、一切万物を救済する仏とされます。
 この世に生きるものすべての永遠の幸福と繁栄を与える仏であると考えられていました。

 その大きな仏を造るという一大事業は、聖武天皇や国家の力だけでは完成できないため、行基が全国をまわって大仏造立の意味を説き、物資や人手を集めました。
 こうして、大仏および大仏殿の建立にたずさわった人数と物資は以下の通り(本文を参照)で、莫大な量にのぼりました。

 こうして、国の力を一点に集中させて752(天平勝宝4)年に完成し、大仏開眼供養が盛大に行われました。
 翌年に来日した鑑真は、東大寺に戒壇院を設け、僧侶の国家的な育成にあたりました。
 聖武天皇の遺品も東大寺に寄進され、正倉院に収められて現在に伝わっています。


2011年3月、奈良女子大学大学院人間文化研究科(博士前期課程)成果報告
東大寺の歴史
http://www.nara-wu.ac.jp/grad-GP-life/bunkashi_hp/hist_todaiji/hist_todaiji.html



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2015年09月29日

糸川英夫

 話しは宇宙開発発祥の地、コクブンジに戻って…
 ヤッホー君はじいちゃんっ子でしたので、大好きなじいちゃんの膝の上に座るのがいつもの習わし。
 そのときだったような、もうろうとした記憶をたどると、そのときじいちゃんがヤッホー君に教えてくれたな、イトカワが秋田県の海岸でロケット打ち上げに成功!って。
 今日の日記はじいちゃんのこと、想いだしながら、コクブンジから秋田県、そして内之浦までの旅物語。
 まずは、武田鉄矢が教えてくれる総論から: 

『ゼロ戦の堀越二郎』と『隼の糸川英夫』【武田鉄矢の三枚おろし】
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utk7TdWHruo

 国分寺におけるペンシル水平発射の日に初めて「ロケット」を感じた中学の1年坊主が、37年後の1992年に「ペンシル・ロケットの模型をワシントンのスミソニアン航空宇宙博物館に展示することになった」と報せを同博物館の友人から受けた。
 私は、すぐにペンシルのレプリカを送ったのだが、順番待ちでなかなか展示開始のニュースが届かなかった。

 しかし今ではペンシルは、「ロケット開発の歴史」のコーナーに、豊富な展示物の中ですぐ目につく所に、瀟洒なケースに入れて置かれている。
 世界でも唯一の平和目的に徹した宇宙開発を進める日本の可愛い象徴として、大勢の子どもたちの記念写真の人気者になっている。


日本惑星協会TPS/Jメール
的川泰宣(まとがわ・やすのり、注1)YMコラム(NO.277)
http://www.ku-ma.or.jp/tpsj/magazine/050331.txt

 国分寺での水平発射の後は、重力に逆らって垂直に打ち上げねばなりません。
 その場所を探しに歩くのです:

── 1955年ごろには、海岸はすべて米国が占有していてね。空いているところは佐渡島と男鹿半島の2ヵ所しかなかったんですよ。
 当時、糸川くんは私とペアを組んでチームを動かしていてね。
 私たち2人は海上保安庁の船を出してもらって、まず佐渡島を見に行きました。
 ところが当日は海が荒れて、糸川くんは船にすっかり酔ってしまった。
 これでは、佐渡島に機材を運搬することはとても考えられない。
 実験場としては落第だってんで、次に男鹿半島に行ってみたんだが、とても狭くて実験場として不向きでした。
 そこで近くを歩いていたら道川の海岸に行き当たったわけです。
 私たちは相談して、道川なら男鹿半島に近いし、海岸が広く使えること、それから町が近いので寝泊まりに宿屋が使えることなどの理由で、道川を選んで実験をやったのです。──


高木昇(昭和6年東大電気卒業)「糸川君の思い出」
宇宙科学研究所ISASニュース 1999.4 No.217
http://www.isas.ac.jp/ISASnews/No.217/tokushuu-03.html 

 しかしその道川海岸(注2)も手狭になってきたことや、事故もあったりして移転を考えなければならなくなりました。
 さ、どこへ、…イトカワ三度笠道中の物語です。
 北は襟裳岬、南は種子島まで歩いたって:

 1960(昭和35年)10月24日、糸川と生研(東大・生産技術研究所)の下村潤二朗事務官が現地調査に内之浦を訪れ、久木元峻町長に面会を求めた。
「東大の偉い先生が来る」というので、町長や婦人会長の田中キミらが内之浦の入り口で出迎えたが、いつまでたってもそれらしいタクシーが来ない。
 そのうちさっきやり過ごしたタクシーが町の奥から引き返してきた。
 あろうことか、タクシーの運転席に乗ってハンドルを握っているのが糸川であり、プロの運転手は助手席に座っていたのである。

 次に岸良の海岸へ行ったがこれも気にくわない。
 糸川の心中は忸怩(じくじ)たるものがあったろう。
 1年近くかけて全国を踏破し、発射場の適地を求めたが、ついにこんな九州の最南端に来てしまった。
 しかも今きている内之浦近辺の海岸は山また山である。

 仕方なく帰路についた糸川は、尿意をもよおして車を止めた。
 長坪の峠であった。
 広大な太平洋に向かって土手の上から高々と虹を描きながら、糸川の頭に天啓のように閃くものがあった。
 瞬間「ここだ!」と決意したという。
「ここをちょっと調査してみましょう」という糸川の言葉に、下村は「また糸川先生の気まぐれが始まった」と思ったらしい。
 平地が全くなく、お椀をいくつも伏せて並べたような地形である。
 しかも背後にある峠には岩石が切り立ち、到底問題になる土地には見えなかった。

 しかししばらく草原を歩き回って、糸川の意志は九分通り決定したかのようであった。
 しかし下村は、
「あの山を削って発射場にしましょう。あっちの山は少し高い所にあるから削ってレーダーの台地にしたらいい。こっちの丘はコントロール・センターかな。そうだ、山を削ってできた土を道路の造成に使えばいいじゃないですか」と、たてつづけに構想をまとめてしゃべる糸川の声を夢のような気持ちで聞いていた。

──糸川先生は気がちがったんじゃないか ……。


(日本の宇宙開発の歴史「内の浦に現れた糸川」)
http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/j/japan_s_history/chapter02/01/03.shtml

 以上、日本の宇宙開発については以下の資料で、当時の苦労がしのばれますので補填:

 父、齋藤成文は今年で96歳を迎えています。ここ1、22年で脚や記憶力と思考力が衰えた事を悲観するようになっています。

 しかし、自分が生きた太平洋戦争や戦後の日本の成長期のこと、そして深く係わった日本の宇宙開発について、後世の人達へメッセージとして残したい思いは強いようです。
 誰に請われるともないのですが、「遺言」のような形で、原稿用紙に書き綴ったものを、何回か分けて私に託するようになりました。

 96歳の父の脳裏に強く残っている人生の思い出を、私なりに汲み取り、文章に編集しました。
 20代の戦時中の鮮明な思い出を綴った1章は、父の最近の震える手で書いた原稿によります。
 戦後の東大第二工学部やMIT留学時代、帰国後に参加した東大のロケット事業に関する2、3章は、父の最近語る話しから、東大第二工学部の歩みをまとめた資料[1]を再構成しました。
 父は、40代、50代以降には、国としての宇宙開発の確立に努力していきました。
 この点については、最近の父が語る話の内容を、過去に父が執筆した文献[2、3]を参考にして、4章に構成しました。

齋藤宏文<(独)宇宙航空研究開発機構教授、クラス1976>
http://todaidenki.jp/?p=7584

(注1)
宇宙博 2014 監修 JAXA 的川泰宣先生「はやぶさ」や「おおすみ」にも携わる。
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xr5msSO44Y

(注2)
秋田県・由利本庄市公式サイト「日本初のロケット発射実験」
http://www.city.yurihonjo.akita.jp/edu/michikawa-es/rocket.html

日本ロケット発祥記念之碑
 昭和30年8月6日 国産初のペンシルロケットが 東京大学生産技術研究所によって この海岸で打ち上げられた。昭和32年7月から昭和33年まで実施される 国際地球観測年に参加するための 予備実験であった。
 以来 昭和37年5月のカッパ8型10号ロケットまで 7年間に79機余のロケット 実験が行われた。最初のロケットは全長23センチメートル,高度600メートル であったが,昭和36年打ち上げの 三段式ロケットカッパ9L型機は 全長 12.5メートル,高度350キロメートルと 長足の進歩を遂げた。
 世は正に宇宙時代,宇宙への夢はさらに大きく膨らむであろう。日本の宇宙時代の 夜明けとなった ロケット発祥の地 道川海岸を永く後生に伝えるため 岩城町 誕生30周年を記念しこの碑を建立する。
昭和60年7月吉日 岩城町長(*) 前川盛太郎

(*)
2005年、秋田県由利郡の周辺市町村と合併し、由利本荘市の一部となった。



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2015年09月28日

月の光

 今日9月28日月曜日夜は「スーパームーン」!
 まあ〜るい、おお〜きなお月さまのなかで、うさぎがもちつきしてるよ、見えた?
 ヤッホー君、タウンウォークじゃなくって、ムーンウォーク!

A 14-year-old prodigy concert pianist played Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" from atop Griffith Park on Sunday night to celebrate a rare "supermoon" lunar eclipse.

Hundreds of people enjoyed the view from the Griffith Observatory, where the partially eclipsed moon appeared on the horizon line just after 7 p.m., and the music, performed by Ray Ushikubo of the Colburn School.

"It's a very sweet night," said Dr. Ed Krupp, director of the observatory. "The park is packed. There are blankets and picnics. It's very romantic."

Not ever one was so lucky. Many motorists found themselves craning for a lunar view while stuck in traffic on the roads leading to the observatory.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth's shadow falls on the moon as it moves between the moon and the sun. The coppery reddish color of the lunar face has given rise to its description as a "blood moon."

Because the moon will also be at its closet point to Earth, it will appear about 13% larger than other full moons. The last time the two events coincided was in 1982, and the next time will be in 2033.


Los Angeles Times, Updated: September 27, 2015 10:15 PM
At supermoon party, a "Moonlight Sonata"
By Kate Linthicum
http://www.latimes.com/la-me-ln-super-moon-20150927-story.html

 ではさっそく、歌をお聴きください:

Moon River in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) by Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnoPke8tlAs

Moon River (1962) by Andy Williams (1927-2012):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toPEq5n-5qs
 
Words by Johnny Mercer (1909–1976) / Music by Henry Mancini(1924-1994):

Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Old dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're going
I'm going your way

Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end
Waiting round the bend
My huckleberry friend
Moon river and me


 あっ、違うでしょ、違う曲をリクエストしていない?

ジュークボックス:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHor3NL1Y3k

 えっ、そう? 押し間違えないかな、ごめん、ごめん、月がとっても大っきいから遠回りしてるの。

菅原都々子(1927年生まれ)/月がとつても青いから(1955(昭和30)年に大ヒット):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMBft8P6U9w

Ray Ushikubo でしたね、ショパンを弾いています:  

Japanese-American pianist Ray Ushikubo Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 by Frédéric Chopin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9ivCqILfRI

 公式サイトもすでにお持ちです:
http://www.rayushikubo.com/

 「月光」はバレンボエム(1942年生まれ)で:
Daniel Barenboim Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata" (complete) :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXjhc8EbY4I

 やっと帰国して:

文部省唱歌「月(つき)」
(「出た出た月が」の歌い出しで知られる『月(つき)』は、1910(明治43)年に『尋常小学読本唱歌』に発表された文部省唱歌です):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2Q6Qe7DrxE

三橋美智也(1930-1996)/炭坑節(福岡県に伝わる民謡で、現在の田川市が発祥といわれています):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDzognQjjmw

童謡/十五夜お月さん』:
(『金の船』1920(大正9)年9月号に発表。原題は『十五夜お月』)
(作詞:野口雨情(1882−1945)/作曲:本居長世(1885−1945)/童謡歌手:浮島康子さん)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYZl86wD6Q4

十五夜お月さん
御機嫌さん
婆やは お暇(いとま)とりました

十五夜お月さん
妹は
田舎へ 貰(も)られて ゆきました

十五夜お月さん 母(かか)さんに
も一度
わたしは逢ひたいな。


三波春夫(1923-2001)/東京五輪音頭&東京五輪おどり(1963年発表)」 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBDiSBccZnY

「月光仮面は誰でしょう」:
(1958(昭和33)年2月から1959(昭和34)年7月まで放送されたテレビ番組の主題歌)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p49tnHu24ko

 月の明かりに誘われて夜更かしなんてことにならないよう、ドビュッシーの『月の光』を聴きながら、
 おやすみなさい:

CLAUDE DEBUSSY: CLAIR DE LUNE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvFH_6DNRCY

 ベランダに差し込む月明かりの下で、今宵はベルレーヌの詩を口ずさみながら、
 心を過(よ)ぎるあんなことこんなこと、過ぎし日の思い出を引き寄せながら、
 おやすみなさい:

Clair de lune

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

Paul Verlaine, Fêtes galantes



posted by fom_club at 22:04| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

宇宙開発発祥の地

 武蔵国分寺、国分尼寺、国分寺、コクブンジ…

 でも、さ、マチんなかにのぼり旗が何本もたっていて、どうして?
 きっと、あれだよ…ね…新しいすい星をみつけて名前をつけたじゃない…なんて名だっけぇ?…ゴンベエだっけ、ゴンジロウだっけ…そう、そう、映画にもなったよね…
 「はやぶさ」と西尾さん、さ・す・が・!
 …で、さ、その宇宙開発はイトカワでしょ、イトカワがまた打ち上げられたんだよね、そのイトカワの後継機の名前って、もう決まっちゃったの?

 ん?皆んなを惑乱、混乱、錯乱の渕に落としいれたヤッホー君、あたまん中、いっつもごっちゃごちゃ。
 仲間の若松さんがていねいに、あたまを整理してくれました:
 
 小惑星探査機が「はやぶさ」です、探査したのは、地球の軌道と似た軌道をまわる「ITOKAWA」(イトカワ)です。
 「イトカワ」の名前は、日本のロケット開発の父、故糸川英夫博士(1912−1999)にちなんでと名付けられたのです。
 でも、なんで国分寺なんでしょ…とも。

 写真は昨日付け日記でご紹介した<武蔵国分寺跡資料館>入口の門(国の登録有形文化財、旧国分寺村の名主、本多家の長屋門)にあったのぼり旗です!

宇宙開発.jpg

 国分寺市は今年2015年2月5日、太陽系小惑星の一つが「コクブンジ」と命名されたと発表した。
 市は日本の宇宙開発発祥の地として知られており、命名によって知名度がさらに上がると喜ぶ。

 この小惑星は2000年8月、NPO法人「日本スペースガード協会」の小惑星観測プロジェクトでやぎ座方向に発見された。直径約4キロと推定される。昨年10月、協会が「コクブンジ(Kokubunji)」と命名することを国際天文学連合に申請。今月3日に認められた。

 JAXA(宇宙航空研究開発機構)など宇宙開発関係者の間では「国分寺」は特別な街だという。
 「日本のロケット開発の父」といわれる故糸川英夫博士ら東大チームが1955年4月12日、市内にあった銃器工場の試射場跡地(本町1丁目)で、長さ23センチの小型ロケット「ペンシルロケット」発射実験に初成功。これが日本の宇宙開発の始まりとされるからだ。

 市は「宇宙開発発祥の地」というブランドでまちおこしをする方針だ。ペンシルロケット発射実験から60年を迎える4月12日には、跡地にある早稲田実業校で記念講演会を開くほか、ペンシルロケットの実物展示会などの催しを予定している。(鬼頭恒成)


2015年2月6日付け朝日新聞東京版、鬼頭恒成「小惑星の名は<コクブンジ>国際天文学連合認定」
http://digital.asahi.com/articles/ASH25539JH25UTIL01H.html

 国際宇宙ステーションに滞在中の宇宙飛行士・油井亀美也さん(1970年生まれ)と地上を結び、小中学生の質問に油井さんがリアルタイムで答えるイベントが先月の8月7日、東京都国分寺市の東京経済大で開かれた。
 「宇宙にいる間に風邪をひいたらどうする?」などといった子どもたちの質問に、油井さんは、
 「とても良い質問ですね」と感心しながら答えていた。

 国分寺市は1955年、日本初のペンシルロケット発射実験が行われ、「日本の宇宙開発発祥の地」といわれる
 その実験から60年の今年、市が子どもたちに宇宙を身近に感じられるイベントとして、宇宙航空研究開発機構(JAXA)の企画募集に手を挙げた。

 「宇宙には重力がないので、宇宙に行けば僕でも木星が持ち上げられるのでは?」というユニークな質問には、思わず笑顔がこぼれた油井さん。
 「私自身もそこまで考えたことがなかったですけど、非常に重力が大きいですから、持ち上げるというよりも木星に吸い込まれていってしまうのではないか」と答えた。


2015年8月8日付け朝日新聞、「風邪ひいたら? 宇宙の油井さんに子どもたちが質問」
http://digital.asahi.com/articles/ASH880374H87ULZU01L.html

 小惑星探査機はやぶさ2の打ち上げから、9月29日火曜日で300日になる。
 昨年2014年12月の打ち上げ以降、主エンジン「イオンエンジン」もトラブルなく運転し、「順調」な旅を続けている。打ち上げ1年後の今年12月には、地球の引力を使って探査機の軌道を目標の小惑星(*)に向けて大きく変え、加速させる「地球スイングバイ」が待つ。今年4月から、探査機運用の中心となる「プロジェクトエンジニア」を務める佐伯孝尚・宇宙航空研究開発機構(JAXA)宇宙科学研究所助教(39)に、はやぶさ2の現状と今後の旅の展望を聞いた。

−− 今の楽しみは何ですか。

佐伯さん はやぶさ2は小惑星(地球と火星の間にある1999JU3)に到着してからが本番ですから、小惑星到着後を考えながら現在の運用をしています。。。
 まだだいぶ先ですが、到着が最初の目標ですから、小惑星に少しずつ近づいていることがモチベーションにつながっています。とにかく小惑星に着いて、どんな姿かを見たいですね。到着すると、今度は「楽しみ」よりも胃が痛くなりそうです。やらねばならないことがいっぱいありますから……。今は、姿をひと目見るために頑張っています。まだ見ぬ小惑星1999JU3がどんな姿か、どんな表面をしているのか、そこは熱いのか……など、いろいろ考えてワクワクしています。

−− はやぶさがイトカワに到着した際、あの姿は驚きました。

佐伯さん イトカワは、地上観測でも「長細い」ということは分かっていましたが、あのラッコのような形やゴツゴツした岩は想像できませんでした。今回も 「丸っこい」ことは観測で分かっていますが、想像とまったく異なる形をしているかもしれません。実は、イトカワのゴツゴツした岩は、着陸のときに良い目印 となりました。岩の存在や位置から「探査機はここにいる」ということを判断できるからです。もし岩がまったくない平べったい小惑星だった場合は、探査機の 位置を判断しにくくなるため、「それでも着陸できるか」という議論をしています。

−− 1999JU3は、どんな小惑星でしょうね。

 佐伯さん 私たちにとっては、ギョッとするような形状かもしれません。欧州の彗星探査機ロゼッタが到着したチュリュモフ・ゲラシメンコ彗星の形も面白かったですよね。1999JU3がどんな姿なのか、到着するまではワクワクして楽しみにしたいと思っています。直接行ってみなければ絶対に分からない、それこそが惑星探査の醍醐味(だいごみ)ですから。

■ さいき・たかなお 広島市佐伯区(旧佐伯郡五日市町)出身。2000年東京大工学部航空宇宙工学科卒、05年東京大大学院工学系研究科博士課程修了(航空宇宙工学専攻)。JAXA宇宙航空プロジェクト研究員、三菱重工業勤務など経て、09年から現職。専門は宇宙機システム、軌道など。


2015年9月27日付け毎日新聞、はやぶさ2:佐伯孝尚プロジェクトエンジニア「まだ見ぬ小惑星にワクワク」「滞在1年半でも時間が足りない」
http://mainichi.jp/feature/news/20150925mog00m040008000c.html

(*)
7月22日付けプレスリリースで、JAXA、国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構は、2014年12月3日に種子島宇宙センターから打ち上げた「はやぶさ2」が目指す小惑星「1999 JU3」の名称(名前)案を本日より8月31日までとして募集しておりました。
http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2015/07/20150722_hayabusa2_j.html



posted by fom_club at 11:35| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月27日

武蔵国分寺跡

 今日9月27日日曜日は中秋の名月、十五夜!

十五夜お月さん
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LpPxfrKTkg

 まあ〜るい、おお〜きなお月さまのなかで、うさぎがもちつきしてるよ、見えた?

 ところで、山歩クラブ。
 今朝は、8時にお茶の水駅集合、タウンウオーキングでした。
 場所は国分寺界隈です!

国分寺.jpg

一度来なされ国分寺
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbpI8fnPNEU

 ヤッホー君、リーダーの歴史講釈、案内板読み上げを久しぶりにお聞きしました。
 日本に無事に戻って良かったな、山歩クラブの面々ともこうして久しぶりに日本語で会話ができるってうれしいな、と感激
 皆さんのおかげで、井上ひさし、じゃない、井上靖の天平のいるか、じゃない、『天平のいらか』の時代に想いを馳せることができました。
 『天平のいらか』って言ったら、物知りの西尾さん、すかさず熊井啓が映画化しているって!(*)

天平の甍
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=11&v=fRs2oq1zjZc

光の天平行列 平城京天平祭 2015年夏 Tempyo Festival summer 2015
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WnHnmhA-1Q

 われわれ、「武蔵国分寺跡資料館」(**)で学芸員からていねいなご説明を受け、さらに最後の「都立・殿が谷戸公園」でもボランティアガイドと園内の草木のお勉強をすることができました。
 リーダー、お手配に下見とご準備おつかれさまでした&ありがとうございました。
 秋、ですね、さ、次回はどこ歩こうか、企画会議は昼の部、夜の部となんと二部制!ご出席をお待ちしております!

(*)天平の甍(1980年度作品)製作:芸苑社、配給:東宝、監督:熊井啓(1930-2007)
(**)

◇ 祈りの場 もう一つの役割
 国分寺市の名前の由来となった武蔵国分寺は、聖武(しょう・む)天皇が741(天平13)年に発した詔(みことのり)で全国に造らせた官立寺院の一つ。その遺跡はJR西国分寺駅のすぐ南側に広がる。
「ここが国分寺の場所に選ばれた理由は三つあります」と、市ふるさと文化財課の福田信夫さん(63)。
 一つ目は交通の便が良かったこと。当時の幹線道路である東山道(とう・さん・どう)武蔵路(みち)が南北に走り、南約3キロにあった武蔵国府(府中市)と直結していた。
 二つ目は南側が開けていたこと。本尊の仏像が南を向く寺の立地が好まれ、多摩川北岸の河岸段丘上の土地はぴったりだった。
 三つ目は清い場所であること。「わき水が豊富で、周囲に集落がなかった。ここしかないという場所でした」と、福田さんは話す。
 当時、冷害による凶作が続き、全国で餓死する人が相次いだ。都・平城京(奈良市)では天然痘が大流行し、病死する皇族や貴族が多く出た。740(天平12)年には九州で藤原広嗣(ひろ・つぐ)の反乱も起きた。
 社会の危機を仏教の力で鎮めようとしたのが国分寺建立だった。全国60を超える国分寺の中でも、武蔵国分寺は最大級。大和(奈良県)や河内(大阪府)などと並ぶ国力が大きな「大国(たい・こく)」にふさわしい規模だった。

◇ 最先端の科学技術センター
 発掘された建物の礎石は約500個。その石材をはじめ、太い柱や屋根にふいた瓦などの調達は、まさに国を挙げた大事業だった。
 発掘で出た瓦には、入間郡の「入」や豊島郡の「豊」など武蔵国の郡名や郷名を表す文字や人名を記したものが多く見つかっている。「国府の長官である国司が、郡や郷、さらに戸主層の人々に瓦生産の責任や費用負担を割り当てていた様子がよくわかる」と福田さんは説明する。
 ほとんどの人が竪穴式住居に住んでいたこの時代。国分寺には、高さ約60メートルの七重塔がそびえ、金堂や講堂など瓦ぶきの先進的で巨大な建物が立ち並んでいた。
「今で言うなら、宇宙ロケットやニューヨークの摩天楼を見上げるようなものだったのではないか。そこに住む僧侶たちは当時トップクラスの知識階級。国分寺は大学や建設会社、病院、農業試験場などを兼ねた最先端の科学技術センターでもあった」。
 福田さんは国分寺のもう一つの役割を強調する。
<武蔵国分寺跡資料館>
 武蔵国分寺跡の発掘調査で出土した瓦や土器などの資料を収蔵・展示する。「おたかの道湧水(ゆう・すい)園」の敷地内にあり、入館には入園料が必要。一般100円、中学生以下無料。午前9時〜午後5時。月曜休館(祝日の場合は翌日)。問い合わせは042・323・4103。


(2015年4月14日付け朝日新聞、東京風土記(31)鬼頭恒成、武蔵国分寺跡=国分寺市)
http://www.asahi.com/area/tokyo/articles/MTW20150414131110001.html



posted by fom_club at 21:46| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

秋刀魚の味

 秋日和にはぜひ、小津作品、しかも60歳で亡くなる小津監督の最後の作品となった映画をお楽しみあれ。

秋刀魚の味(1962年11月18日公開)-小津安二郎/ An Autumn Afternoon -Yasujiro Ozu
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf6MZ1sjNJY

 日本の敗戦をシンガポールで迎え、帰国して17年しか生きられなかった小津監督。
 この映画で、トリスバーのマダム、岸田今日子に三度「軍艦マーチ」を鳴らさせ、軍国主義下の日本への「葬送曲」とします。

 一度は主人公の酔っぱらいおやじ(笠智衆)が恩師の漢文教師(あだなはひょうたん、東野英治郎)のラーメン屋で偶然に出会った海軍時代の部下(加東大介)と行ったトリスバーで二人、敬礼ごっこをして、ふざける場面。
 元部下は、笠智衆に「負けてよかったじゃないか」と諭されると、「そうかもしれねえな。バカな野郎が威張らなくなっただけでもね」と言って機嫌を良くする場面。
 このマダムが亡き妻の風情に似ているとして、まだ子が生まれていない、これからの息子(佐田啓二)をそのバーに案内する場面。
 ここでマダムはあれ(軍艦マーチ)をやりましょうか、と笠智衆に尋ねると、今日はいい、と断るのです。
 そして最後、24歳の娘(岩下志麻、当時21歳)を嫁に出した結婚式のあとに寄ったとき、マダムが問い、笠智衆がああ〜とうなずいて、店内に曲が流れます。
 すると、先にバーのカウンターに座って飲んでいたふたりの客がこんなことをふざけながら:

 「大本営発表」と「NHK」のアナウンサーを気取って言うと、その隣の客が
 「帝国海軍は今暁五時三十分、南鳥島東方海上において」と続ける。すると最初の客が
 「負けました」と言う。すると隣の客も
 「そうです、負けました」と答えるのです。

 マダムは笠智衆に「今日はなんのお帰り?お葬式?」と訪ねます。
 笠智衆は娘の晴れの結婚式なのに酔っぱらったまんま、「ま、そんなものだな」とうなだれて答えるです。
 この1962(昭和37)年の映画は、小津ワールドを自分で解説した集大成版であるともいえます。

 近年、昭和30年代をテーマにした小説や映画が話題になっています。また多くの展覧会が開催されたり書籍が刊行されたり、昭和30年代がメディアで注目を集めています。今なぜ昭和30年代が注目されるのでしょうか?
 1956(昭和31)年、『経済白書』は「もはや戦後ではない」と敗戦からの復興を高らかに宣言し、高度経済成長の時代が幕を開けようとしていました。その後好景気が続き、新幹線や高速道路が整備され、1964(昭和39)年の東京オリンピックを経て、日本の経済・社会は大きく変貌していきました。
 身近なところでは、冷蔵庫、洗濯機などの家電が普及し、テレビや雑誌によって新しい大衆文化が形成されていきました。
 私たちは、日々暮らしを重ねて、それぞれの歴史を築き、くらしの記憶を持っています。起きて、眠り、食べて、遊び、働き、学び、苦しみ、悲しみ、そして楽しんできました。それらは、どんな教科書よりも膨大でかけがえのない記憶です。しかし、くらしの歴史はあまりにも日常的であるため、記録として残りにくいのも事実です。


(茅ヶ崎市教育委員会主催特別展「茅ヶ崎ノスタルジア、昭和30年代のまちかど」パンフ)
http://www.city.chigasaki.kanagawa.jp/_res/projects/default_project/_page_/001/005/670/s30.pdf

 ノスタルジアには赤がよく似合う…、小津監督は「赤」を多用します。

 赤ちょうちん、サッポロビール(赤い色の☆)、サントリー、ジョニ赤…、
 赤いスリッパ、赤いセーター、赤いスカート、赤いタオル、赤いエプロン、 赤いおび…
 会社の廊下には赤いバケツ、赤い消火器、赤い腰かけ…
 赤いドラム缶、赤い横じまの入った工場の煙突、
 書棚には赤い表紙の本、
 赤い森永チョコレート、キノエネ醤油(*)の看板まで赤、

 小津安二郎の北鎌倉の自宅の庭には、小津の好きな赤い花を咲かせる彼岸花などが植えられていた。
 小津の弟信三(しんぞう)は、その彼岸花を千葉県野田市の自宅の庭に植え替え、妻ハマとともに大切に育て増やした。
 9月の花の時期には、赤い彼岸花に、笠智衆から譲られた白い彼岸花を添えて、小津にゆかりのある映画関係者に送った。。。


(2014年9月7日付け朝日新聞「小津安二郎がいた時代」)

 ここで写真、北鎌倉の円覚寺は妙香池の向っ端に咲き誇る3輪の赤い彼岸花:

彼岸花(妙香池).jpg

 え〜い、見えなければじゃ、こいつはどうだ!
 帰順院の門内に、ひっそりと咲いていたなあ〜

彼岸花(帰順院).jpg

 そう、そう、ヤッホー君!
 2015年の秋分の日、ヤッホー君は小津安二郎のお墓参りに北鎌倉の円覚寺を訪れたのでした:

無.jpg

 合掌…

(*)
 小津のめい、山下和子さん(74)はキノエネ醤油相談役。
 小津は1943(昭和18)年、高輪南町からシンガポールに出発。敗戦によりジュロン抑留所で過ごし、1946(昭和21)年2月に広島港へ上陸して帰国。母あさゑは、娘(小津の妹)登久の嫁ぎ先、山下家(キノエネ醤油)に疎開、帰国した小津監督もその近くに家を借りて母と住む。
 小津は1952(昭和27)年、鎌倉山之内、浄智寺の脇に入ったところに引っ越して、そこが終の棲家となった。



posted by fom_club at 06:33| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月26日

漱石の墓碑を揮毫

 「漱石の禅の体験は手紙、証言で1894(明治27)年、漱石27歳の年末から年始にかけて、鎌倉「円覚寺」塔頭帰源院で、というのが分かっています」と昨日、日記につけました。
 でもなんだか気になる漱石の参禅。
 27歳、既に心に傷を負っていたと言います。
 いったい誰が漱石に円覚寺を勧めたんでしょうか?
 この人、漱石の墓碑銘まで揮毫しています。
 禅を組みたくなるほどの心の乱れ、どうして門をくぐったのでしょうか…、この人に打ち明けたはず…
 なのに闇の中なんです。
 この人、しかし差し障りのないま、40通だけ、東慶寺にお墓のある岩波書店・岩波茂雄に差し出し、後はもう私信はどこにもないのです。
 どうして?
 ヒントは久留米市にあって、その久留米市にお住まいの弁護士先生のブログにありました!
 いやぁすごいですね…

 100年の長きにわたり日本人を魅了している文豪・夏目漱石。雑司ヶ谷霊園にある墓には今も多くの漱石ファンが訪れています。しかし、この墓碑を揮毫したのが菅虎雄という久留米出身の人物であることは(漱石ファンにすら)あまり知られていません。
 菅虎雄(1864−1943)は漱石が生涯にわたり交友を重ねた無二の親友です。虎雄は漱石の人生における重要な局面にしばしば立ち会っています。虎雄は五高・一高・三高・一高の教授を勤め、虎雄と漱石は五高と一高で同僚になりました(赴任した順番で記載)。虎雄がいなければ、漱石は松山に行くこともなく熊本に来ることもありませんでした。3歳年上の虎雄を漱石は兄のように慕い、虎雄は就職の世話・借家探し・金銭的援助・一時的同居など物心両面で漱石を援助しました。漱石は虎雄の親族に好意を寄せ、久留米出身の書生の世話をし、5回も久留米を訪れています。。。
 虎雄は明治21年、鎌倉の円覚寺に参禅します。宗教的覚醒が早かったのか、翌年、虎雄は管長の洪川宗温から若くして「無為」の居士号を授けられました。早くから俗世を達観した禅的境地が認められたのでありましょう。他方、漱石は明治26年7月大学院に進学し10月には東京高等師範学校の英語授業の嘱託を受けました。しかし漱石は教師と大学の寄宿舎生活の窮屈さから精神に異常を来します。27年に松島の瑞巌寺で参禅を試みましたが得られるものは無かったようです。
 漱石は虎雄の紹介により大学寄宿舎を出て小石川の寺(法蔵院)に引越します。法蔵院の和尚(豊田立本)は内職で身の上相談をしており漱石も1度見て貰ったそうです。和尚は「貴方は親の死に目にはあえませんね」と言います。「そうですか」と漱石が答えると、更に「貴方には西へ西へ行く相がある」と予言しました。この予言は後に現実化することになるのですが当時漱石がこの言葉をそれほど真剣に受け止めたとは思われません。
 その年の暮れ、虎雄は漱石に円覚寺塔頭・帰源院を紹介し、漱石は釈宗演のもとに2週間ほど参禅することになりました(この参禅の体験は後に小説「門」において描かれています)。。。
 漱石は大正5年12月9日に亡くなります。享年50歳(数え年)。虎雄は中村是公らと葬儀の仕方を協議します。狩野亨吉に友人代表の弔辞を依頼し、自らは墓標を揮毫しました。
 今日、夏目漱石が友人に出した書簡は公刊されています(岩波書店「漱石全集」に編纂)。多くの学者がこれら書簡から漱石文学の秘密を探ろうと地道な研究を重ねています。。。
 しかしながら、漱石の一番の友人である虎雄に対する書簡の多くは残されていないのです。
 実は虎雄は漱石から受け取った大量の書簡類の多くを鎌倉の自宅ではなく久留米にいる親族に預けていたのでした。虎雄は漱石から受け取った(おそらくは数百通に登る)大量の書簡のうち差し障りのない40通程を岩波書店に提出し、それ以外を非公開としたのです。漱石は生前から大変な人気作家であり、その書簡を保有する虎雄に出版社や研究者から提供の催促が来ることは必至でした。虎雄は漱石との親密な関係をひけらかすような人間ではありませんでしたし、有るものを無いと言う嘘をつけない性格でした。書簡類を自宅に置いておくと提供を拒む言い訳をするのが面倒と思われたのでしょう。ところが久留米に保管されていた貴重な漱石直筆の大量の書簡はある事情によって永久に失われてしまったのです。。。

(久留米の弁護士、樋口法律事務所、2012年11月16日(Fri)歴史散歩)
http://www.ahiguchi.com/stroll/log/hidiary

 ここにでてきた、中村是公 1867-1927!
 中村是公は夏目漱石や正岡子規と同じ1867(慶応3)年生まれ!

 南満鉄道会社(なんまんてつどうかいしゃ)っていったい何をするんだいと真面目まじめに聞いたら、満鉄(まんてつ)の総裁も少し呆(あき)れた顔をして、御前(おまえ)もよっぽど馬鹿だなあと云った。
 是公(ぜこう)から馬鹿と云われたって怖(こわ)くも何ともないから黙っていた。
 すると是公が笑いながら、どうだ今度(こんだ)いっしょに連れてってやろうかと云い出した。
 是公の連れて行ってやろうかは久しいもので、二十四五年前(ぜん)、神田の小川亭(おがわてい)の前にあった怪しげな天麩羅屋(てんぷらや)へ連れて行ってくれた以来時々連れてってやろうかを余に向って繰返す癖がある。
 そのくせいまだ大した所へ連れて行ってくれた試(ため)しがない。
「今度こんだいっしょに連れてってやろうか」もおおかたその格(かく)だろうと思ってただうんと答えておいた。
 この気のない返事を聞いた総裁は、まあ海外における日本人がどんな事をしているか、ちっと見て来るがいい。御前みたように何にも知らないで高慢な顔をしていられては傍(はた)が迷惑するからとすこぶる適切めいた事を云う。
 何でも是公に聞いて見ると馬関(ばかん)や何かで我々の不必要と認めるほどの御茶代などを宿屋へ置くんだそうだから、是公といっしょに歩いて、この尨大(ぼうだい)な御茶代が宿屋の主人下女下男にどんな影響を生ずるかちょっと見たくなった。
 そこで、じゃ君の供をしてへいへい云って歩いて見たいなと注文をつけたら、そりゃどうでも構わない、いっしょが厭(いや)なら別でも差支(さしつかえ)ないと云う返事であった。

(夏目漱石、満韓ところどころ)
底本:「夏目漱石全集7」ちくま文庫、筑摩書房
http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000148/files/781_14965.html

 昨日のヤッホー君注に、1909年「9月、漱石は中国東北部、朝鮮半島を旅行しています」と注釈を入れましたが、本当だったんです:

 漱石の満韓旅行は、1909年11月28日ベルリンの寺田寅彦 1878-1935 宛書簡に記載されています(角川版漱石全集第7巻):

 僕は9月1日から10月半過ぎまで満州と朝鮮を巡遊して、10月17日にようやく帰つて来た。
 急性の胃カタルでね。
 立つ間際にひどくまいったのを我慢して立ったものだから途中非常に難儀をした。
 その代わり至る所に知人があったので道中ははなはだ好都合にアリストラチックに威張つて通つてきた。
 帰るとすぐに伊藤公が死ぬ。
 伊藤は僕と同じ船で大連へ行って、僕と同じ所をあるいて蛤爾賓(ハルビン)で殺された。
 僕が降りて踏んだプラトホームだから意外の偶然である。
 僕も狙撃でもせられれば、胃病でうんうんいふよりも花が咲いたかも知れない。


 夏目漱石と寺田虎彦は師弟の間柄:

 熊本(くまもと)第五高等学校在学中第二学年の学年試験の終わったころの事である。
 同県学生のうちで試験を「しくじったらしい」二三人のためにそれぞれの受け持ちの先生がたの私宅を歴訪していわゆる「点をもらう」ための運動委員が選ばれた時に、自分も幸か不幸かその一員にされてしまった。
 その時に夏目先生の英語をしくじったというのが自分の親類つづきの男で、それが家が貧しくて人から学資の支給を受けていたので、もしや落第するとそれきりその支給を断たれる恐れがあったのである。

 初めて尋ねた先生の家は白川(しらかわ)の河畔で、藤崎神社(ふじさきじんじゃ)の近くの閑静な町であった。
 「点をもらいに」来る生徒には断然玄関払いを食わせる先生もあったが、夏目先生は平気で快く会ってくれた。
 そうして委細の泣き言の陳述を黙って聞いてくれたが、もちろん点をくれるともくれないとも言われるはずはなかった。
 とにかくこの重大な委員の使命を果たしたあとでの雑談の末に、自分は「俳句とはいったいどんなものですか」という世にも愚劣なる質問を持ち出した。
 それは、かねてから先生が俳人として有名なことを承知していたのと、そのころ自分で俳句に対する興味がだいぶ発酵しかけていたからである。
 その時に先生の答えたことの要領が今でもはっきりと印象に残っている。

「俳句はレトリックの煎(せんじ)詰めたものである」
「扇のかなめのような集注点を指摘し描写して、それから放散する連想の世界を暗示するものである」
「花が散って雪のようだといったような常套(じょうとう)な描写を月並みという」
「秋風や白木の弓につる張らんといったような句は佳(よ)い句である」
「いくらやっても俳句のできない性質の人があるし、始めからうまい人もある」

 こんな話を聞かされて、急に自分も俳句がやってみたくなった。
 そうして、その夏休みに国へ帰ってから手当たり次第の材料をつかまえて二三十句ばかりを作った。
 夏休みが終わって九月に熊本(くまもと)へ着くなり何より先にそれを持って先生を訪問して見てもらった。
 その次に行った時に返してもらった句稿には、短評や類句を書き入れたり、添削したりして、その中の二三の句の頭に○や○○が付いていた。
 それからが病みつきでずいぶん熱心に句作をし、一週に二三度も先生の家へ通かよったものである。
 そのころはもう白川畔の家は引き払って内坪井(うちつぼい)に移っていた。
 立田山麓(たつたさんろく)の自分の下宿からはずいぶん遠かったのを、まるで恋人にでも会いに行くような心持ちで通ったものである。
 東向きの、屋根のない門をはいって突き当たりの玄関の靴脱(くつぬぎ)石は、横降りの雨にぬれるような状態であったような気がする。
 雨の日など泥(どろ)まみれの足を手ぬぐいでごしごしふいて上がるのはいいが絹の座ぶとんにすわらされるのに気が引けた記憶がある。
 玄関の左に六畳ぐらいの座敷があり、その西隣が八畳ぐらいで、この二室(へや)が共通の縁側を越えて南側の庭に面していた。
 庭はほとんど何も植わっていない平庭で、前面の建仁寺垣(けんにんじがき)の向こう側には畑地があった。
 垣にからんだ朝顔のつるが冬になってもやっぱりがらがらになって残っていたようである。
 この六畳が普通の応接間で、八畳が居間兼書斎であったらしい。
「朝顔や手ぬぐい掛けにはい上る」という先生の句があったと思う。
 その手ぬぐい掛けが六畳の縁側にかかっていた。

 先生はいつも黒い羽織を着て端然として正座していたように思う。
 結婚してまもなかった若い奥さんは黒ちりめんの紋付きを着て玄関に出て来られたこともあった。
 田舎者(いなかもの)の自分の目には先生の家庭がずいぶん端正で典雅なもののように思われた。
 いつでも上等の生菓子を出された。
 美しく水々とした紅白の葛餅(くずもち)のようなものを、先生が好きだと見えてよく呼ばれたものである。
 自分の持って行く句稿を、後には先生自身の句稿といっしょにして正岡子規(まさおかしき)の所へ送り、子規がそれに朱を加えて返してくれた。
 そうして、そのうちからの若干句が「日本」新聞第一ページ最下段左すみの俳句欄に載せられた。
 自分も先生のまねをしてその新聞を切り抜いては紙袋の中にたくわえるのを楽しみにしていた。
 自分の書いたものがはじめて活字になって現われたのがうれしかったのである。。。

(寺田虎彦「夏目漱石先生の追憶」)
底本:「寺田寅彦随筆集第三巻」岩波文庫、岩波書店
http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000042/files/2472_9315.html


posted by fom_club at 11:44| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月25日

参禅

 門、「門」、『門』…参禅…
 漱石 1867-1916 の実人生と小説『門』との大違い…
 
 漱石の禅の体験は手紙、証言で1894(明治27)年、漱石27歳の年末から年始にかけて、鎌倉「円覚寺」塔頭帰源院で、というのが分かっています。
 年が明けて1895(明治28)年、禅を組んだ効果があらわれ、4月愛媛県尋常中学校(松山中学)に赴任し、6月、転居先を愚陀仏庵と名付け、自らを「愚陀仏」と称しています。

(なお、塩原姓から夏目姓に復籍した翌年のことですが、夏目金之助が「漱石」と初めて称します。
 それは1889(明治22)年、漱石22歳のとき。
 その1889(明治22)年1月、第一高等中学校本科一部(文科)の同級、正岡子規 1867-1902 と知り合いになり、5月、子規の詩文集に対して読後感を漢文で添えて書き付け、漢詩を添え「漱石」と署名したことから分かっています)
 
 この年1895(明治28)年、禅を組んだ効果があらわれ12月、中根鏡子と見合いし、婚約をします。

 ところで『門』…
 主人公は野中宗助、細君は御米(およね)で宗助は精神を病んでいる、というように設定されております:

 「なぜって、いくら容易(やさし)い字でも、こりゃ変だと思って疑ぐり出すと分らなくなる。この間も今日(こんにち)の今(こん)の字で大変迷った。紙の上へちゃんと書いて見て、じっと眺めていると、何だか違ったような気がする。しまいには見れば見るほど今(こん)らしくなくなって来る。――御前(おまい)そんな事を経験した事はないかい」
「まさか」
「おれだけかな」と宗助は頭へ手を当てた。
「あなたどうかしていらっしゃるのよ」
「やっぱり神経衰弱のせいかも知れない」
「そうよ」と細君は夫の顔を見た。夫はようやく立ち上った。


 この小説の舞台は、伊藤博文暗殺の頃。

 「時に伊藤さんもとんだ事になりましたね」と云い出した。
 宗助は五六日前伊藤公暗殺(吉田精一注)の号外を見たとき、御米の働いている台所へ出て来て、
 「おい大変だ、伊藤さんが殺された」と云って、手に持った号外を御米のエプロンの上に乗せたなり書斎へ這入(はい)ったが、その語気からいうと、むしろ落ちついたものであった。
 「あなた大変だって云う癖に、ちっとも大変らしい声じゃなくってよ」と御米が後(あと)から冗談(じょうだん)半分にわざわざ注意したくらいである。
 その後日ごとの新聞に伊藤公の事が五六段ずつ出ない事はないが、宗助はそれに目を通しているんだか、いないんだか分らないほど、暗殺事件については平気に見えた。
 夜帰って来て、御米が飯の御給仕をするときなどに、「今日も伊藤さんの事が何か出ていて」と聞く事があるが、その時には「うんだいぶ出ている」と答えるぐらいだから、夫の隠袋(かくし)の中に畳んである今朝の読殻(よみがら)を、後(あと)から出して読んで見ないと、その日の記事は分らなかった。
 御米もつまりは夫が帰宅後の会話の材料として、伊藤公を引合に出すぐらいのところだから、宗助が進まない方向へは、たって話を引張りたくはなかった。
 それでこの二人の間には、号外発行の当日以後、今夜小六がそれを云い出したまでは、公(おおやけ)には天下を動かしつつある問題も、格別の興味をもって迎えられていなかったのである。

 
(吉田精一 1908-1984〈注)1909(明治42)年10月26日、枢密院議長伊藤博文 1841-1909 は満州巡遊中に一韓人に暗殺された。
(ヤッホー君注)1909年10月は漱石42歳。前年に『三四郎』、同年『それから』、そして翌年『門』連載を開始しています。同年9月、漱石は中国東北部、朝鮮半島を旅行しています。

 ということは、27歳で初めて体験した参禅のことを、場所も同じ円覚寺にして小説に書くかなって、つまり『門』の参禅の場所は、偉い学者先生の指摘のまんま、昨日、円覚寺、としましたが、小説の空間は本人記載がないのだから、読者に特定を委ねていてもおかしくない、そんなふうに思ったのでヤッホー君、さ、大変。
 夜も寝ないで調べてみました:

 まずタイトルの「門」ですが、命名者は門弟でした。
 それは吉田精一の角川版漱石全集への解説で分かります:

 「門」という題は、漱石自身の命名ではない。
 新聞社が予告をいそいだために、門下の森田草平に名前を考えてくれとたのみ、草平は小宮豊隆とともにやみくもにニイチェの「ツァラツストラ」を開いて、偶然そこに出て来た「門」という名を選んだのだという(小宮豊隆「漱石の芸術」)。


 ヤッホー君、さきほど「読者に特定を委ねていてもおかしくない」と言いましたが、漱石の小説の面白さ(つまらなさ、結局何を言いたいの?っていうもどかしさ)って、小説内時空間が閉じている閉鎖系でなくって、「いま・ここ」でない小説の外の時間(未来だったり過去だったり)・空間(未知だったり既知だったり)に読者を飛んでいかせる開放系にあるんじゃないか、と。
 漱石は、『彼岸過迄』、1912(明治45)年1月連載を開始し、1912(大正元)年9月に刊行した『彼岸過迄』という作品のタイトルについては、自らこんなことを:

 『彼岸過迄(ひがんすぎまで)』というのは元日から始めて、彼岸過まで書く予定だから単にそう名づけたまでに過ぎない実は空むなしい標題(みだし)である。
 かねてから自分は個々の短篇を重ねた末に、その個々の短篇が相合して一長篇を構成するように仕組んだら、新聞小説として存外面白く読まれはしないだろうかという意見を持じしていた。
 が、ついそれを試みる機会もなくて今日(こんにち)まで過ぎたのであるから、もし自分の手際(てぎわ)が許すならばこの「彼岸過迄」をかねての思わく通りに作り上げたいと考えている。
 けれども小説は建築家の図面と違って、いくら下手でも活動と発展を含まない訳に行かないので、たとい自分が作るとは云いながら、自分の計画通りに進行しかねる場合がよく起って来るのは、普通の実世間において吾々の企(くわだ)てが意外の障害を受けて予期のごとくに纏(まと)まらないのと一般である。
 したがってこれはずっと書進んで見ないとちょっと分らない全く未来に属する問題かも知れない。
 けれどもよし旨(うま)く行かなくっても、離れるともつくとも片(かた)のつかない短篇が続くだけの事だろうとは予想できる。
 自分はそれでも差支(さしつか)えなかろうと思っている。

明治45年1月此作を朝日新聞に公けにしたる時の緒言

 次に、いよいよ『門』のなかで参禅したお寺さまのことですが、こんなことを指摘された先生もあらわれました:

 安井について清算できていないことが宗助の心残りであり、そのことに苦しみ、彼は鎌倉に行く。
 そのときその禅寺は、従来言われているように「円覚寺」だろうか。
 むしろ、「建長寺」ではないのか。
 宗助が座禅を組んだ「一窓庵」(一八の二)の所在を建長寺とするならば、鎌倉行は宗助にとって単なる逃避行以上の意味を持っているだろう。。。


(東京大学大学院総合文化研究科助教、野網摩利子 1971年生まれ、「漱石『門』における能動的知性の回復」)
http://202.231.40.34/jpub/pdf/js/IN4503.pdf



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2015年09月24日

 小津監督の『晩春』。
 この映画は、懐古趣味的な、日本への回帰とかいうネトウヨ文脈はもちあわせていないことにお気づきになりましたか。
 冒頭いきなり北鎌倉は円覚寺の茶会のシーンからはじまるとはいえ、です。
 ちなみに円覚寺は、鎌倉五山第二位の寺で、1282年、鎌倉幕府の執権、北条時宗が元寇(げんこう)の戦死者を敵味方の分けへだてなく弔うために創建した臨済宗のお寺です。
 そして、もうひとり、円覚寺を訪れた人物をあげないわけにはいきません。
 夏目漱石です。
 山門を入ったところで、「漱石」の名の印された手水鉢にご自分が気づいたことがあったのでしょうか?

石.jpg

 帝国大学を卒業した27,28歳のころ、参禅に訪れています。
 何かあったのでしょうか、だれか友人といっしょだったのかな?

禅.jpg

 宗助(そうすけ)は一封の紹介状を懐(ふところ)にして山門(さんもん)を入った(注1)。
 彼はこれを同僚の知人の某(なにがし)から得た。
 その同僚は役所の往復に、電車の中で洋服の隠袋(かくし)から菜根譚(さいこんたん、注2)を出して読む男であった。
 こう云う方面に趣味のない宗助は、固(もと)より菜根譚の何物なるかを知らなかった。ある日一つ車の腰掛に膝を並べて乗った時、それは何だと聞いて見た。
 同僚は小形の黄色い表紙を宗助の前に出して、こんな妙な本だと答えた。
 宗助は重ねてどんな事が書いてあるかと尋ねた。
 その時同僚は、一口に説明のできる格好(かっこう)な言葉を有(も)っていなかったと見えて、まあ禅学の書物だろうというような妙な挨拶(あいさつ)をした。
 宗助は同僚から聞いたこの返事をよく覚えていた。

(注1)
 1895(明治28)年1月10日の斎藤阿具(ヤッホー君注1)あて書簡によると、漱石は、1894(明治27)年の冬から鎌倉円覚寺の帰源院に止宿して参禅し、1895(明治28)年1月8日に下山している。(ヤッホー君注2)
 以下に描かれる主人公の参禅の模様は、その時の体験が生かされたものである。
 また1910(明治43)年4月に、ある編集者から禅の体験について問われて発表した談話「色気を去れ」の中でも、それが語られている。

(注2)
 明末の儒者、洪自誠が、儒教思想を中心に老荘思想や禅の思想をも合わせ説いた書。
 2巻からなり、前集には仕官・保身の道を説き、後集には官を辞したのちにおける山林閑居の楽しみを説いている。

(1977年、角川書店版『夏目漱石全集8』「門」(ヤッホー君注3)、上記注は吉田精一)

(ヤッホー君注1)斎藤阿具(1868-1942、1893年に漱石は英文学科を、阿具は史学科を卒業)は、漱石の友人。

 夏目漱石が『吾輩は猫である』(1905(明治38)年発表)を執筆した千駄木の住居(1903年1月にロンドンから東京に戻り3月、千駄木に転居します)は、現在愛知県犬山市の明治村に移築され、「森鴎外.夏目漱石住宅」として公開されている。
 わたしが初めてこの住居を見学したのは小学校へ入学する前で、以来単に地の利から幾度も来村の機会に恵まれた。。。
 住居の持ち主であった斎藤阿具は、
「実際『猫』に書いてある事柄を良く了解するには、僕の家の間取り、庭園、四囲の垣根、隣家などの関係を知る事が甚だ必要である。此点に於て、僕は普通の読者よりも此書(『吾輩は猫である』を指す、引用者注)に遥に深く興味を感ずるのである」と述べているが、わたしの『吾輩は猫である』の家に関する体験もこれに
通じるものがある。
 それは『吾輩は猫である』が読まれた文章会(山会)の人々にとっても同じだろう。
 猫が「もぐり込んだ」「竹垣の崩れた穴」や主人が終日「這入つたぎり」の書斎が、既知の場所であればこそ、面白さが一層加味されたはずだ。
 もちろん『吾輩は猫である』を読む限り、千駄木の住居を特定することばはない。
 「鼻の下の黒い毛を撚」る「神経胃弱性」の「教師」が夏目金之助であるとも書いていない。
 しかし山会の出席者はその教師が漱石であり、その場所は千駄木の住居だと想像しないはずがない。
 いや、むしろ、山会の面々が知悉の場所を想定して読むことを『吾輩は猫である』は意識していたと言い直すべきであろう。
 架空の場所ではなく、あの実在の住居を意識しつつ読むことを予想しているのだ。
 それを一回読みきりの心積もりゆえに大胆に山会での評価にねらいを定めた結果であるとか、漱石の
常套的な〈楽屋落ち〉であるとして片付けないで、『吾輩は猫である』の〈対話性〉としてここでは考えてゆきたい。

愛知淑徳大学非常勤講師佐々木亜紀子「『吾輩は猫である』の土壌、響き合うことば」
http://aska-r.aasa.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/10638/1846/1/0005-029-200603-055-069.pdf

(ヤッホー君注2)東慶寺で「夏目漱石参禅」をもう一度復習することができます。

「鈴木大拙と夏目漱石のこと」
井上禅定

 漱石の『門』は、明治二十七年の年末から翌年正月七日まで漱石が円覚寺の帰源院に投宿して釈宗演老師に参禅した体験をもとにしている。小説は明治四十三年三月一日から六月十二日まで「朝日新聞」に連載されたのであるが、ここに、羅漢のような居士が出る。岩波の注で羅漢とは、居士とはと説明してあるが、この居士は鈴木大拙である位の注をつけたらよかった。
 昭和十六年春、私が東慶寺住職になった時、当時円覚寺正伝庵在住の大拙居士と相談して東慶寺の裏山に宗演老師の報恩のため『松ヶ岡文庫』を建設した。そして居士がここに住まれた。
 昭和三十七年の秋、鎌倉漱石の会の有志と横浜ニューグランドの野村洋三翁とで文庫へ上って大拙居士と対談をした。その時私は、明治二十六年秋、宗演老師がシカゴの万国宗教大会に持参した『仏教小史』というノートを持って行き、居士にお見せした。
「おお、よくこんなものが残っていたな!これはわしが苦労して英訳したものだ。この鉛筆で直してあるのは、夏目さんのだ」と言われて、私はすっかりうれしくなってその後の漱石展に出展した。その為ばかに有名になってしまった。
 しかし後で考えると、時節が合わない。
 宗演蔵書の中に『万国宗教大会一覧』の巻末にこの原本が付いていて「これは鈴木貞太郎に英訳せしめ、ドクトル・エル・ハミルトン氏の検閲を得たもの」と注してあるとあった。
 つまりこれは夏目さんの手ではない。老師の手記によれば渡米の船中でハミルトン氏と親しくなって手を加えて貰ったのである。野村様は同行したのだから知っていただろうが、遠い昔のことで忘れたか、大拙に遠慮したものか、これが誤りのもととなり、居士は其の後に私が北米中の居士からの手紙でも誤って夏目さんだと言って居られるが、これはまちがいであった。
 漱石は翌明治二十七年の冬、参禅したのであり、大拙とは帰源院で同宿しただけで二人は其の後にもその前にも二度と会って居ないのである。
 昨二千二年九月九日付けで平凡社から水川隆夫なる京都の大学の先生が『漱石と仏教』なる本に、漱石は明治二十六年夏の円覚寺の夏期講座に来てそこで大拙と会って英訳の加筆をしたと書いてあるが、漱石は来ては居ない。だから二人は会ってはいない。翌年の帰源院での同宿の時は会っているが英訳のことはない。
 水川氏はこの後も漱石の『談話筆記』の「色気を去れよ」等を引用して、この夏期講習会に来たとしているがこれは全然誤りである。この時の公案が「無字」であったとあり、その公案についてもながながと説明しているが全然おかしな話である。
 漱石の『夢十夜』の中の武士の参禅を引用して漱石自身の参禅体験のように水川先生は解説しているが、これも妙な文章だ。実体験と文学作品と混同したものである。
 前記の大拙居士の私宛の書簡に、
『歴史の「事実」なるものは、、、大率あてにならぬと見ておくべきでせう』とあるのが実際である。
(完)


* 井上禅定師(1911-2006)について
 「鎌倉文化人」と呼ばれる知識人や文人墨客が多く眠る北鎌倉の東慶寺。
 落髪・出家した北条時宗夫人が開創した尼寺として歴史を重ね、 いつの頃からか女人救済の“駆け込み寺”として知られるようになった。
 現在は閑栖として隠居の身にある前住職の井上禅定師は、明治四十四年生まれ。この寺で十歳の時に小僧になって以来、鎌倉で育ち、生きてきた。鈴木大拙、西田幾多郎、岩波茂雄、安倍能成、和辻哲郎、高見順、小林秀雄、野上弥生子など数々の哲学者、作家らと交流し、その縁でその人たちの墓が次々に東慶寺に出来た。 東京大学で辻直四郎教授のもとでインド哲学を学び、京都・天龍寺で修行時代を過ごした人。

* 「一月二十日で九十二歳になりました」と書かれた一筆箋とともに、井上禅定様は一週間前に書き下ろし原稿を郵送してくださった。朴訥とした慈愛とともに厳しい禅風の片鱗をおもい、感動のなかに編集・アップした。

2003年2月1日 椿伊津子 合掌
最終更新2005/12/6
http://wabisuke.la.coocan.jp/inouezenjyou.html

(ヤッホー君注3)「門」は1910(明治43)年3月1日から6月12日まで、104回にわたって朝日新聞にのった。そしてイマ、ふたたび朝日新聞に2015年9月21日(月)から連載されている。


posted by fom_club at 14:29| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月23日

秋分の日

 2015年9月「シルバーウイーク」いかがお過ごしでしたでしょうか?

 今月下旬の大型連休。
 「シルバーウイーク」とも呼ばれていますが、調べてみると意外なことが見えてきました…
 シルバーウイークについて、東京本社校閲グループの平山泉デスクが解説します。

2015年09月12日付け毎日新聞
毎日ことば90秒、もうすぐ「シルバーウイーク」?
http://mainichi.jp/movie/movie.html?id=897249248002

 今日が最終日「秋分の日」。
 ヤッホー君にこんなメールが届きました。
 ヤッホー君の大好きな北岳 3192m 登頂の写真付きメッセージです:

 2泊3日で北岳に行って来ました。天気は快晴で素晴らしかったです。

北岳.jpg

 ヤッホー君はと言えば、「秋分の日」は北鎌倉・円覚寺へお墓参り。

北鎌倉.jpg 

 はい、どうしても小津安二郎のお墓の前に佇んでおきたかったのだそうです。
 ヤッホー君のこのブログ、2015年9月18日付け日記「無」をご参照ください。
 またヤスミン監督(Yasmin Ahmad 1958年7月1日-2009年7月25日)です。 

◆ あなたの静かな映像はとても“日本的”だという人がいます。あなたは明らかに日本映画から影響を受けていて、あなた自身、映画館で初めて観た映画はチャンバラ映画だと言っています。小津安二郎は別にして、ほかにあなたが尊敬する日本の監督はいますか?

YA: はい、確かに私が映画館で観た最初の映画は勝新太郎の『座頭市物語』でした。私は、その時、6歳で、映画の中に出てくる“Go!”(「やっちまえ!」の意?)という言葉に衝撃を受けました。私の母は日本人のハーフなので、私に台詞の一部を翻訳して教えてくれたりもしました。
 それ以来、当然のように、私は、たくさんの日本の監督を知ることになります。その中で特に尊敬している監督は、まず小津安二郎、今村昌平、伊丹十三、大島渚、山田洋次、最近の監督では、北野武、竹中直人、周防正行、三谷幸喜、小栗康平、東陽一、原田眞人、岩井俊二、それから素晴らしい民話を提供しているスタジオ・ジブリ作品、などがいます。
 そうは言っても、私の静かな映像が日本やイランやヨーロッパの伝統的な映画の影響を受けているかどうかは自分では言うことはできません。私がこれらの映画が好きなのは、これらがリアルな感情をとらえることに成功しているからなのであって、人間性の深い部分で私の心をとらえることができたなら、それがどこの国で作られたものであっても全くかまわないのです。
 実際、私が最も尊敬するヒーローであり、最も影響を受けたのは誰かと聞かれたなら、それはチャールズ・チャップリンにほかなりません。


作成日時: 2007/08/07 07:00
インタビュー with ヤスミン・アハマド
海から始まる!?
http://umikarahajimaru.at.webry.info/200708/article_4.html

 はたしてヤッホー君は「無」の前で手を合わせることができたのでしょうか。

 小津安二郎、今年6月23日〜7月5日まで三重県松阪市で企画展があったそうです:

 松阪市ゆかりの映画監督、小津安二郎(1903〜63)の偉業をしのぶ企画展「映画監督 小津安二郎の源流 小津家の文化・家族との絆」が、同市外五曲町の市文化財センターで始まった。初日の23日にギャラリートークを行った吉田悦之・本居宣長記念館長は「すばらしい松阪の町の雰囲気が多くの映画作品に生きたはずだ」と語った。
 小津監督は東京深川に店を持つ海産肥料・干鰯(ほしか)の問屋の次男として生まれた。父寅之助の「子供教育は古里の田舎で」に従い、9歳から19歳の少年期を松阪で過ごした。
 宇治山田中学校(現・宇治山田高校)時代は柔道部に所属したほか、松阪公園や大口港などで野球を楽しむスポーツ青年だったという。カメラいじりを始めたのもこの頃とされる。
 16歳の時、下級生にラブレターを送ったことに関わったとされ、停学・寄宿舎追放処分を受けた。結果として自宅近くにあった映画館・神楽座に入り浸りとなり、多くの作品に触れた。後年、小津監督はシナリオライターの野田高悟氏に「神楽座がなかったら僕は監督になっていない」と語ったという。
 企画展では、小津監督が父親に学費の仕送りを求めたはがき11枚や、生後3カ月の時、佐藤病院(現・順天堂病院)に入院し治療を受けた際、母あさえが祖父あてに病状を伝えた手紙のほか、白木屋呉服店で買った着物などの領収書が展示されている。
 小津監督は生涯にサイレント34本、トーキー20本の作品を制作、世界的に評価されている。吉田館長は「監督が松阪で過ごした10年は、竹久夢二の作品に代表されるように、大正イマジュリィ(大衆的複製図像)の最盛期にあった。松阪商人文化が美意識を伴う価値観の中で花開いた時代だった」と解説した。。。


2015年06月26日付け毎日新聞、地方版、橋本明
松阪市ゆかりの映画監督 偉業しのぶ企画展 「家族との絆」振り返る/三重
http://mainichi.jp/area/mie/news/20150626ddlk24200201000c.html

 ひとまず今日はここで筆を擱くことにします。
 1949(昭和24)年9月19日に封切られ、その年の日本映画の第一位となった松竹映画『晩春』。
 これをまずは全編、鑑賞してみませんか。

Tarda primavera(晩春、Banshun-1949) di Yasujirō Ozu-sottotitoli ITA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQHaLvxevg0



posted by fom_club at 23:08| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

斎藤茂吉

 ヤッホー君の9月21日「敬老の日」のeチャリ。
 上野公園に行くまでの道筋、実は台東区三筋を通っていったら、いきなり遭遇し、ビックリ、またしても腰を抜かしてしまったのがこれ:

歌碑.jpg

 斎藤茂吉の歌碑exclamation×2

 所在地は、台東区三筋2-16-4(三筋老人福祉館)

浅草の
三筋町なる
おもひでも
うたかたの如や
過ぎゆく光の如や
  
斎藤茂吉


 斉藤茂吉は、明治・大正・昭和にわたり、日本近代文学史上に偉大なる足跡を残したアララギ派の歌人で、医学者でもあった。

 山形県に生れ、明治29(1896)年、15歳のときに上京、浅草区東三筋町54番地、養父斉藤紀一方に寄寓し、開成中学・一高・東京大学医学部を経て、長崎医学専門学校教授となり、更に文部省在外研究員として欧州に研鑚し、その後、青山脳病院長となり、作歌の傍ら、研究・評論・随筆など独自の業績をあげ、その著『柿本人麿』にて学士院賞を、次いで昭和26(1951)年、文化勲章を授与され、昭和28(1953)年2月25日、70年9か月の生涯を終えた。

 因みにこの三筋町は、茂吉が、第二の故郷として、夢多き少年時代を過し、生涯懐しんだところで、短歌は、長崎在住のときに当時を回想し、詠んだものである。

昭和50(1975)年11月
東京都台東区教育委員会


 ヤッホー君、家に戻ってびっくりしたのが、田中真澄(1946年北海道生まれ)『小津安二郎』(文藝春秋、2003年7月)を読んでいるとき。

 この追憶随筆は明治二十九年を起点とする四、五年に当るから、日清戦役が済んで遼東還附(りょうとうかんぷ)に関する問題がかまびすしく、また、東北三陸の大海嘯(だいかいしょう)があり、足尾銅山鉱毒事件があり、文壇では、森鴎外の『めさまし草』、与謝野鉄幹の『東西南北』が出たころ、露伴の「雲の袖」、紅葉の「多情多恨」、柳浪(りゅうろう)の「今戸心中」あたりが書かれた頃に当るはずである。
 東京に鉄道馬車がはじめて出来て、浅草観音の境内には砂がき婆さんのいたころである。。。

 私は数えどし十五のとき、郷里上の山(かみのやま)の小学校を卒え、陰暦の七月十七日、つまり盆の十七日の午前一時ごろ父に連れられて家を出た。
 父は大正十二年に七十三歳で歿したから、逆算してみるに明治二十九年にはまだ四十六歳のさかりである。
 しかし父は若い時分ひどく働いたためもう腰が屈(まが)っていた。
 二人は徒歩で山形あたりはまだ暁の暗いうちに過ぎ、それから関山越えをした。
 その朝山形を出はずれてから持っていた提灯(ちょうちん)を消したように憶(おぼ)えている。

 関山峠はもうそのころは立派な街道でちっとも難渋しないけれど、峠の分水嶺を越えるころから私の足は疲れて来て歩行が捗らない。
 広瀬川の上流に沿うて下るのだが、幾たびも幾たびも休んだ、父はそういう時には私に怪談をする。
 それは多く狐(きつね)を材料にしたもので父の実験したものか、または村の誰彼が実験したもののようにして話すので、ただの昔話でないように受取ることも出来る。
 しかしその怪談の中にはもう話してもらったのもあるし足の疲労の方が勝つものだから、だんだん利目(ききめ)がなくなって来るというような具合であった。
 ところがあたかもそのとき騎兵隊の演習戦があった。
 卒は黄の肋骨(ろっこつ)のついた軍服でズボンには黄の筋が入ってあり、士官は胸に黒い肋骨のある軍服でズボンには赤い筋が入っている。
 それを見たとき疲労も何も忘れてしまった。
 私は日清戦争の錦絵(にしきえ)は見ていても本物を見るのはその時が初めてであった。

 一隊は広瀬川の此岸(しがん)におり、敵らしい一隊は広瀬川の対岸の山かげあたりにいる。
 戦闘が近づくと当方隊の一部は馬から下りて広瀬川の岸に散開して鉄砲を打ちかけた。
 そうすると向うからも鉄砲の音が聞こえてくる。
 その音は私には何ともいえぬ緊張した音である。
 暫(しば)らく鉄砲を打っていたかとおもうと、当方の一隊は尽(ことごと)く抜剣し橋を渡って突撃した。
 父も私もこういう光景を見るのは生れてからはじめてであった。
 私の元気はこれを見たので回復して日の暮れに作並(さくなみ)温泉に著(つ)いた。
その日の行程十五里ほどである。


(斉藤茂吉『三筋町界隈』(青空文庫、初出「文藝春秋」1937(昭和12)年1月号)
http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/001059/files/43793_21421.html

 斎藤茂吉上京の折りの回想物語が、田中真澄の本に出ていて二度びっくり。
 びっくり、びっくり。
 小津安二郎と斎藤茂吉とはいったいどんなご縁があったのかな、
 ヤッホー君と同じく故郷のふるさとを後にして上京し、医学の道を志したのは知ってしておりましたが、台東区三筋町が第二のふるさとになっていたとは、
 さらに上京のおり、関山街道、関山峠を通って仙台から汽車に乗ったとは(*)、
 実の父といっしょに山形県上山市から奥羽山脈を越え、宮城県作並温泉なんと15里も歩いたとは、
 そのときの名前は「斎藤」でなく、守谷姓だったとは、
 斎藤家に養子に入ったとは、
 。。。

 斎藤茂吉は、1882(明15)年6月14日(戸籍では7月27日)、山形県南村山郡金瓶(かなかめ)村=現上山(かみのやま)市金瓶=の農家守谷伝右衛門の三男として生まれました。
 金瓶は蔵王連峰を東に仰ぐ仏教信仰の厚い養蚕の村で、その自然に親しみながら素朴な農家の子として育った茂吉は、菩提寺であった宝泉寺の住職や周囲の人々の影響で、宗教心や書画などへの関心を芽生えさせました。
 1896年(明29)14歳の時、茂吉の資質を目にとめていた住職の仲介で、東京浅草で淺草医院を開業していた同郷出身の斎藤紀一のもとに寄寓し、開成尋常中学校(現在の開成中学校・高等学校)に編入学します。
 医学を学び、斎藤家の養子となって後を継ぐためでした。
 上京した茂吉は開成中学から旧制第一高校(東京大学の前身)へと進学します。
 第三学部(医学部)の学生となった茂吉でしたが、一方では幸田露伴の文学に親しみ、1904年(明37)12月には、発行されたばかりの正岡子規の遺稿集「竹の里歌」を読んで強い感銘を受け、作歌を志すようになります。
 1906年(明39)、子規の流れを汲む伊藤左千夫に入門し、本格的に短歌の道を歩み初めます。
 歌誌「馬酔木」が「アララギ」へと変わってからはその中心的な歌人となりました。
 1913年(大2)、第一歌集『赤光』(しゃっこう)を発表し、大きな反響をよびました。
 この間、1905年(明38)には斎藤家の婿養子として入籍(23歳)、1910年(明43)卒業、1914年(大3)に斎藤紀一の二女輝子と結婚します。
 茂吉31歳のときでした。


(斉藤茂吉記念館、山形県上山市北町字弁天1421 Tel 023-672-7227)
http://www.mokichi.or.jp/index.html

(*)
 東北の鉄道網は、上野から明治20(1887)年の白河、同22年の仙台、24年の青森と一気に全線開通し、続いて明治25年の鉄道敷設法により奥羽線の敷設が決められた。
 工事は26年に福島、青森の南北から着工する。
 明治32年に福島、米沢が開通、34年に山形、36年に新庄に達し、38年に全線開通を見る。
 
 「山形新幹線」
 1992(平成4)年、全国新幹線鉄道整備法に基づかない新在直通方式のミニ新幹線として開業した。
 名称の通り、福島駅-新庄駅間のほとんどが山形県内である。
 「新幹線」と案内されているものの、この区間は正式には在来線である奥羽本線の一部であり、この区間で運転される特別急行列車「つばさ」も、在来線列車の扱いである。



posted by fom_club at 06:57| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月22日

Bronx Zoo

On a gray day in mid-June, at the edge of a leafy enclosure in the Bronx Zoo’s Wild Asia habitat, an elephant named Happy stood very still, gazing over the fence. There were a few logs scattered around, some grass and shrubs, and a concrete-lined pool. A green ball was marooned at the water’s edge.

Visitors snapped photos from the monorail that circles the exhibit, while a guide cheerfully reported Happy’s age (44) and her weight (8,500 pounds). A recorded voice noted the plight of elephants in the wild. Then the monorail swept past, and the visitors turned their attention to the rhinos in the next yard, unaware of an increasingly heated dispute over Happy’s fate.

For close to a decade Happy has lived alone, separated from the zoo’s two other elephants. Her solitary existence is quite unlike the life of a wild elephant. In nature, elephants live in closely bonded matriarchal families, which cooperate to raise their young. Females never leave the herd, forming lifelong attachments with siblings, cousins and aunts as well as with their mothers.

Happy’s predicament has caught the attention of wildlife rescue organizations and animal advocacy groups, including In Defense of Animals, which has named the Bronx Zoo one of the “10 worst zoos for elephants” (*) for three years in a row, largely based on Happy’s isolation. There is a petition making the rounds on the Internet calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to order a study on her health and well-being, and another (which has collected nearly 87,000 signatures) asking the zoo to release Happy from “solitary confinement.”
...

The New York Times, Published: JUNE 26, 2015
The Bronx Zoo’s Loneliest Elephant
By TRACY TULLIS
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/nyregion/the-bronx-zoos-loneliest-elephant.html#addendums

 上野公園でもゾウが一頭、砂遊びをしていました。

P1020552.jpg

 ヤッホー君、ここまで来たところでなんだか涙がぽろぽろ、故郷を追われ、仲間から引き離され、育った環境とはおよそかけ離れたところで、エサを与えられて死ぬまで息していくだけ、なんて人間ではなく動物とはいえ、なんという運命なのでしょう、と。
 マレーシアではよく動物が新聞記事の話題になって人びとの関心を集めます。
 動物園に集めて来てお金をとって人間に見せる、というより、動物が生きている環境や自然を守ることのほうに考えを変えていくほうがいいって。
 人間だって、色、姿、宗教、言語、習慣が違うだけで、途上国(最貧国)や旧植民地の人を Human Zoo って呼ぶそうですが、集めて来ては人に見せて笑いあう、ことだってどう考えても変だ、前世紀の名残だ、とヤッホー君、思うのです。
 昨年の英国紙の記事です:

It’s the first Edinburgh rehearsal of Exhibit B and there’s mutiny in the air. The work, a highly controversial installation by the South African theatre-maker Brett Bailey, is based on the grotesque phenomenon of the human zoo, in which African tribespeople were displayed for the titillation of European and American audiences under the guise of “ethnological enlightenment”.

The zoos, which blossomed in the 19th century and continued right up to the first world war, sometimes took place in entirely transplanted tribal villages, but also in the freak show context of local fairs, where the infamous Hottentot Venus, as Sara Baartman was called, was poked and gawked at because of her large buttocks and “exotic” physical form. Perhaps the most extreme case was that of the Congolese pygmy Ota Benga who, in 1906, was put on display at the Bronx zoo in New York alongside the apes and giraffes. Bailey’s installation aims to subvert the premise of the zoos by replacing its exhibits with powerful living snapshots depicting racism and colonialism: a black woman chained to the bed of a French colonial officer; a Namibian Herero woman scraping brain tissue out of human skulls; the slowly revolving silhouette of Baartman.


The Guardian, Last modified on Wednesday 24 September 2014 10.33 BST
Edinburgh’s most controversial show: Exhibit B, a human zoo ;
South Africa’s fearless theatre-maker Brett Bailey has made a career out of tackling the most difficult aspects of race. His new show features black people in cages, in reference to real 19th-century human zoos – and even some of the performers are uneasy about it
By John O'Mahony
http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/aug/11/-sp-exhibit-b-human-zoo-edinburgh-festivals-most-controversial

 絶滅が危惧される動物を集めて来ては見世物にする動物園はもうこりごりだ、とする意見がマレーシアにありますので、ご紹介:

SAHABAT ALAM MALAYSIA (SAM) is alarmed and concerned about a report that the Malacca Zoo plans to breed endangered species.

The move needs serious rethinking. On the surface, it may appear that breeding animals may circumvent the need to import them, but this may not turn out to be the case if it is pursued.

It may be the zoo’s assumption that breeding efforts will be successful and that enough animals will be produced to keep available exhibits filled. For some animals, that may be the case, but for others, it may be challenging.

From the comments, it would seem that there is an attempt to sanitise this initiative by implying that breeding will benefit endangered species.

Ideally zoos should primarily house species that are native to the region, so the animals are comfortable with the climate and environmental conditions and, thereby, linkages to local and regional field conservation initiatives can be developed.

They should also be well placed to act as rescue, rehabilitation and conservation centres. The focus on exotic and foreign animals is often geared towards attracting visitors more than anything else.

SAM is opposed to the endangered-breeding programme as most animals housed in zoos are not endangered, and those that are will likely never be released into natural habitats.

Those that are endangered may have their plight made worse by the zoos’ focus on crowd appeal. Again, in captive populations, inbreeding is also a problem.

Ultimately, endangered species can be saved only by saving their habitats and combat the reasons why people kill them.

Even under the best of circumstances and in the best zoos, captivity cannot replicate wild animals’ habitats. Habitat protection is the best way to protect endangered species.

SAM calls on the natural resources and the environment minister and the Wildlife Department to ban the import of rare and endangered species by zoos.

We also call on the ministry and the department to stop granting permits for new zoos. There are too many in Malaysia.


New Straits Times, Published: 24 July 2015 at 12:00 PM
Zoo’s plan to breed endangered species a bad idea
By S.M. Mohd Idris, president, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Penang
http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/zoo%E2%80%99s-plan-breed-endangered-species-bad-idea

(*)
Every year, IDA (IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS) releases a list of zoos that have earned a spot on its Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants list.

This list serves to raise awareness about the plight of elephants in zoos where lack of space, unsuitably cold climates, and unnatural conditions condemn Earth’s largest land mammals to lifetimes of deprivation, disease, and early death.

http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/wild-free2/elephant-protection/zoos-2/ten-worst-zoos-for-elephants/



posted by fom_club at 19:32| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

panda

 アメリカではパンダの赤ちゃんが生まれたばっかり。
 オスの双子が生まれたんですが、片方は死にました。
 生き残った方に名前がつきました、何て名前かな?

Drum roll . . . The giant panda cub is a boy − and its father is Tian Tian.

The National Zoo said Friday that the cub born there last Saturday was doing well.

The other panda cub, also a boy and with the same father, died Wednesday. Officials said an initial necropsy showed that the cub had inhaled some food product, which led to pneumonia...


The Washington Post, Published: August 28
‘It’s a boy!’ the National Zoo says of surviving giant panda cub
By Michael E. Ruane and Dana Hedgpeth
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/its-a-boy-the-national-zoo-says-of-giant-panda-cub/2015/08/28/3f90d9e8-4d75-11e5-bfb9-9736d04fc8e4_story.html

On Dec. 21, 1970, Elvis Presley visited Richard Nixon in the Oval Office. On Feb. 21, 1972, President Nixon visited China. On April 16, 1972, two giant pandas − Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing − arrived at the National Zoo in Washington.

That, my friends, is what we call cause and effect: a straight line from Elvis to Nixon, from Nixon to the pandas.

We must continue that line, completing the circle: from the pandas back to Elvis. We must name the National Zoo’s new panda cub after the King of Rock and Roll...

In their day, Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley were polarizing figures. Their legacies are controversial. But we must not forget that one brought us unforgettable music. The other opened the door to China. Together, they brought us giant pandas. Let us honor that legacy. Let us name the new panda “Elvis.”


The Washington post, Published: September 13
We should name the giant panda cub after Elvis Presley. Here’s why.
By John Kelly, Columnist
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/we-should-name-the-giant-panda-cub-after-elvis-presley-heres-why/2015/09/13/8d1c2ffa-58a1-11e5-b8c9-944725fcd3b9_story.html

 う〜ん、パンダ…
 記事には動画が貼ってありますので、ご覧になってみてくださいね。
 お忘れなきように。
 マレーシアはクアラルンプールでも、赤ちゃんが生まれたばっかり。

KUALA LUMPUR: It might have been Xing Xing and Liang Liang’s birthday, but it was their yet unnamed cub that everyone was eager to set eyes on.

Liang Liang and its baby did not make a public appearance at the birthday bash yesterday, and this piqued the interest of the media who could not stop asking about both mother and female cub.

Malaysian Zoological Society Giant Panda Conservation Centre and veterinary services director Dr Mat Naim Ramli revealed that zoo keepers had managed to coax Liang Liang and the cub into the conservatory’s “nest” and gave an assurance that both are in good health.

He said the baby had grown to almost twice its weight at birth to 380g now, and is now 26cm long.

“As for Liang Liang, she has regained the use of her front limbs. She will alternate between the left and right to carry the cub, while using the other to feed herself,” he told the media, adding that the panda had to be fed bamboo shoots during the first week after giving birth.

Dr Mat Naim showed the media video footage of the cub being weighed.

It emitted several loud and high-pitched cries while being held by one of the keepers, which Dr Mat Naim explained was an indication of a healthy panda cub.

“It is a mechanism used by baby pandas to attract the mother’s attention in the wild,” he said.

According to Dr Mat Naim, the baby panda is scheduled to make its public appearance in two months’ time and admitted that Liang Liang was very “clingy” with its offspring.

He revealed that Liang Liang would tail the keepers every time they removed the baby for check-ups.

As of now, he said, the zoo dared not separate the mother from its cub for more than two minutes at a time.

“It will depend on Liang Liang’s friendliness. If all goes well, we will allow the public to view the baby panda during the day and allow both mother and daughter to reunite at night,” he said.

Standing in the midst of zoo keepers was Chen Chit Mooi, 56, who is Liang Liang’s “adopted mother”.

Chen adopted Liang Liang via a Colorado-based non-profit organisation known as Pandas Inter-national.

In an interview with The Star last year, she expressed her wish to see her “daughter”, then known as Feng Yi, bear an offspring.

Chen said her wish had come true. She sees the cub as her “granddaughter”, but has yet to physically see it.


The Star, Published: Friday September 4, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Liang Liang skips birthday do to look after cub
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/04/Liang-Liang-skips-birthday-do-to-look-after-cub/

 もちろん、昨日ヤッホー君が入園した上野動物園にも:

パンダ.jpg

 こちらシンシンは、寝る子は育つ、とばかりにごろごろ、寝てばかり。
 見ている子どもたちから「起きろ、起きて、こっち見て」の大歓声が。
 ときおり目をあけて、からだをごそごそ… 寝返りうって、起きたふり。
 動くたんびにわ〜いわい、と子どもたちは大喜び、きゃっきゃっきゃ。
 9月21日は「敬老の日」だっけ「子どもの日」だっけ… むにゃむにゃ
 たしかにいま、暑くも寒くもなく、さわやかで、寝るのに一番いい時季(ころ)かな…?!…
 そりゃあ、ヤッホー君でしょ…?!…

http://www.ueno-panda.jp/history/

http://www.ueno-panda.jp/topics/detail.html?id=228

 今日もお休みなの? むにゃ、むにゃ、アタマんなか、ぐちゃぐちゃ。
 分からなくなりました…
 おやすみなさい…



posted by fom_club at 07:55| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月21日

Malayan Sun Bear

MALAYSIA: Malayan Sun Bear Borneo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUK_6fg1gUk

■ 2015年7月24日
 札幌市円山動物園において、メスのマレーグマ「ウッチー」(推定30歳以上)が、同居中のオスのマレーグマ「ウメキチ」(5歳) から少なくとも20分にわたる激しい暴行を受け、翌日死亡。
 この同居は、繁殖を目的として6月16日から実施されたもので、ウッチーは、オス「ウメキチ」(5歳)とメス「ハッピイ」(3歳)の繁殖の補 助的役割として同居させられていました。
 個人の方が撮影された当日の動画には、暴行後、ウッチーが大きくあえぎながら血だらけで足を引きずり歩いている様子が撮影されています。
 動画には、暴行によりすでにヘルニアが発生したためか、室内へ戻ろうにもその階段をなかなか登ることができず、その間にもオスに狙われ暴行を 受け、その後ようやく自力で室内に戻る様子も収められています。
 円山動物園によると、ウッチーの同居時には常時飼育員がついており、この様子は飼育員も見ており、その上で「引き離しを行う必要がない」との 判断を下したそうです。
 私どもの元へは「これは公開レイプだ」という強い怒りの声が市民から多数寄せられています。
 私たちはこの件について、下記の質問状を円山動物園に提出しました。

円山動物園 御中
貴園における動物の飼養管理体制に関する公開質問状…


2015/09/08更新
円山動物園へ厳しい改善勧告-マレーグマ暴行死
アニマルライツセンター
http://www.arcj.org/animals/zoo/00/id=635

 上野動物園にもおりました:

sunbear.jpg

 そうなんです、ヤッホー君。
 今日の9月21日敬老の日、マレーグマを探しに上野までeチャリ!
 このクマ、可愛すぎるし、クスリになるし、人間によって捕獲、殺されすぎ絶滅が危惧されています。

Like a proud dad, Siew Te Wong's office walls and desk are covered in baby pictures, but unlike ordinary infants these possess four-inch claws and a taste for insects and honey. Wong, a leading sun bear researcher, has a heartfelt passion for the world's smallest bear that is as big as the problems facing the species.

The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) lives in south-east Asia, Sumatra and Borneo and was first listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN's "red list" of threatened species in 2007. Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, said in 2011 that the sun bear population was suspected to have declined by more than 30% in the past 30 years. Deforestation, uncontrolled exploitation for trade and illegal poaching were named as major causes.

Named sun-bear man by the local Malayan press, Wong is working hard to raise awareness of what he calls the "forgotten bears species". The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, nestled next door to the Sepilok Orangutang sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysia, is set to be the first of its like in the world. Due to open to the public on 16 January, it will focus on animal welfare, education, research and rehabilitation.

"We need the public, from all levels, to understand the importance of the rainforest," says Wong. "I think education is fundamental because sun bears are still lacking in terms of the conservation work and research. And a lot of that boils down to the fact that people do not know about the species, people do not care about the species."

WWF says that the global demand for palm oil has been a major driver in the level of deforestation seen in Indonesia, while Greenpeace warns that Indonesia is planning for another 4m hectares of pam oil plantations by 2015, in addition to the existing 6m.

When asked about palm oil, which is used in a variety of food products from margarine to biscuits, Wong sighs and says: "Yes, but again, who causes it? You and me. You know, we are responsible." He points to human population growth and the demand it creates for more resources and the destruction of habitat that, in turn, threatens wildlife.


The Guardin, Last modified on Thursday 22 May 2014 12.21 BST
Sun bear sanctuary to save 'forgotten species';
South-east Asia's endangered bears losing habitat to palm oil plantations as poachers target them for their bile and meat
By Ami Sedghi
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/06/sun-bear-sanctuary-endangered-species

 ヤッホー君がマレーシア滞在の間の新聞記事に、Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)の Siew Te Wong さんが登場しました。

SANDAKAN: A three-month old sunbear cub which was up for sale in the interior Paitan, has now been placed under the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre's (BSBCC) protection near here as of Wednesday.

The female bear which was named Tan-Tan is the 44th rescued sunbear since the centre was set up six years ago, according to a statement from BSBCC and Sabah Wildlife Department.

BSBCC founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said a concerned citizen came across a villager trying to sell the cub.

"The person bought the cub and informed the Sabah Wildlife Department, leading to the department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit sending her to our Centre. With her addition, we now have 35 bears presently at the Centre.

"The cub is under quarantine and is being given round the clock care by our staff,” said Wong.

Sunbear is one of the 11 listed under Totally Protected Species (Schedule 1) which included the Sumatran Rhinoceros, orang utan, Borneo pygmy elephants and clouded leopard.


New Straits Times, Updated: 7 August 2015 @ 1:01 PM
Rescued sunbear finds new home
By Kristy Inus
http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/rescued-sunbear-finds-new-home

 ここまではボルネオ島のお話しですが、熱帯雨林のなくなった半島のセランゴール州の田んぼにまで出没してきました。
 このクマは運よく助けられ東海岸トレンガヌ州の国立公園に放されたとのことです。
 その後、新天地に慣れて元気に動き回っていればよいのですが…

PETALING JAYA: For one week, the villagers of Kampung Simpang 3 Logi, Sg Besar in Selangor played host to a very unusual guest - an adult Malayan Sun Bear.

The 70kg female had lost her bearings from her home in a nearby jungle and ended up wandering around the village for about a week.

The bear was spotted by villages in various locations and in a particularly melancholy snapshot, was pictured standing alone contemplating life in an open paddy field.

"We received a report on April 16 from a member of the public who informed us about the bear," said Selangor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Abd Rahim Othman.

He explained that the bear was not aggressive and had mostly shied away from people.

"Wild animals would not act aggressively unless provoked. If it saw someone, it would run away," he told The Star Online.

On Tuesday, officers from the state Perhilitan successfully managed to subdue the bear at the aforementioned paddy field and released it back into the wild.

"At first, we tried to set a trap but after a few fruitless days, we used a tranquilliser instead," he said, and added that the bear was in good health and was sent to the Terengganu National Park on Wednesday.


The Star, Published: Wednesday April 22, 2015 MYT 6:29:00 PM
Sun Bear loses its bearings in Sungai Besar
by Dina Murad
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/04/22/Bear-loses-bearings-Sg-Besar/


posted by fom_club at 19:17| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Boria

GEORGE TOWN: Traders who do not adjust their prices in line with the drop in fuel price will face legal action.

Deputy Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanifah said traders who continued to sell goods at unreasonable prices would first be given a notice to explain.

“We will give them a week to explain the reason for their pricing, and will consider whether or not their explanation is acceptable.

“If they fail to give us an answer, then we will issue a compound or take legal action,” Ahmad Bashah told reporters at the Penang Consumers Carnival 2015 yesterday.


The Star, Published: Monday September 7, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Legal action on traders who don’t adjust prices
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/07/Legal-action-on-traders-who-dont-adjust-prices/

 そうでしたね、9月6日日曜日の朝でしたね。
 ヤッホー君、「Penang Consumers Carnival 2015」に参加、ユネスコ世界遺産登録の町、ジョージタウン(*)を10,000歩も歩いたのでした。
 中央政府の全国行事のペナン版でしたのでクアラルンポールからも担当閣僚が出席、記者会見も開かれていた、とこういうわけでして。

 お祭り Carnival ですので舞台では、ボリア Boria が披露されました。
 Boria ってペナンに伝わるコミカルなラインダンスのこと。
 次の画像で雰囲気を堪能なさってください:

Boria Penang oleh SK Permatang Tok Jaya, Pulau Pinang:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2qwcp2X-TI

 マレーシアデイ(マレーシアのイギリスからの独立記念日は1957年8月31日です。一方、1963年9月16日にボルネオ島のサバ、サラワクが加わり、マレーシア連邦ができます。どちらも国民の祝日です)は、ヤッホー君の帰国の翌日です。
 そのマレーシアデイの朝刊にもこんなふうに紹介されます:

RESIDENTS of several neighbourhoods in Bayan Baru, Penang, enjoyed an early Malaysia Day celebration at a Rukun Tetangga centre.

Alice Ooi, 62, said the celebration enabled everyone from the neighbourhoods to come together for a harmonious gathering.

The retired engineer said she always enjoyed the variety of cultural performances held during the event.

The celebration titled ‘Jalinan Perpaduan Komuniti 1 Malaysia 2015’ by Komuniti 1 Malaysia Mahsuri, held for the third time, saw a Chinese traditional dance by pupils of SJK(C) Kwang Hwa, a traditional Indian kolatam dance and a boria performance.


The Star, Published: Wednesday September 16, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Neighbourly spirit in the air
http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/09/16/Neighbourly-spirit-in-the-air-Residents-gather-for-activities-at-early-Malaysia-Day-event/

 あほ系ばか派のヤッホー君、今日の日記でなにを書き記さねばならないのかというと…
 忘れないうちにくぎを刺さしておかないと、あっちゃこっちゃ、話しが支離滅裂に飛んで行きます。
 あの、その、そう、そう、Penang Consumers Carnival 2015 でたまたまいっしょに歩けた広島大学に留学していたというマレーシア人と知り合いになり、メルアド交換。
 ヤッホー君から土、日、こんなふうに過ごす予定ですよってヤッホー、お知らせしたら、かえってきたんです、こだまが…

Assalamualaikum.
Thank you very much. I am so glad to hear from you. Oh my god, you are really the good brother, always busy to help other people and the community. Congratulations. Huhhh Tokyo, ... actually that metropolitan always in my mind... I like live there and Hiroshima too, very peacefull place... Shibuya also I used to be there, I visited my friend, working in Malaysia Embassy at Nam Pei Dai...
Lastly I hope we always keep in touch.
Mata kondo onegaishimasu.


 今日も皆さん、おだやかな良き一日を過ごしましょう手(パー)

(*)以下の投書がザ・スター紙に寄せられておりましたのでご紹介:
I WOULD like to bring to the attention of your readers, including the columnists for The Star Media Group, that the capital of the state of Penang should always be spelt in two words, “George Town”, and not in a single word “Georgetown”.

“George Town” is the right and official spelling for this first city of Malaysia while “Georgetown” refers to places in the United States, with one being in Washington, D.C. where the Georgetown University is located.

Therefore, all MyKads issued by our National Registration Department need to have the city’s name spelt correctly in two separate words, rather than in a single word currently.

Pos Malaysia, on the other hand, seriously needs to wise up to the fact that the capital of Penang is NOT and NEVER, “Pulau Pinang or Penang”!

I hope the Chief Minister of Penang is aware of this matter as well because there could be no more ignorance than to have George Town as the capital of Penang and yet it is not reflected correctly on her street signs.

The scenario is completely detailed in “Get the postcode right for this heritage city” (The Star, May 31, 2013).

It is important to get the basic facts right as George Town has been bestowed the coveted World Heritage Site status by Unesco.

The Star, Published: Thursday July 16, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
The right spelling is George Town
Letter written by SANJAY CS, UnityPenang
http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Letters/2015/07/16/The-right-spelling-is-George-Town/



posted by fom_club at 08:27| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月20日

都心の初秋

 東京の秋を楽しもうとヤッホー君、昨日、今日とお出かけ。
 ペナンとうってかわって湿気が少なく、さわやか、しかも秋晴れ晴れ
 昨日9月19日土曜日は映画を観た後、「代々木健康友の会」活動で、「楽しく学び、ためになる介護学習」!
 講師の看護師、金澤明子先生からおまけに、とこんなお話し。
 「ぼけ」防止には自分が理論派か芸術肌か、脳の働き方を知って、弱い方を生き生きとさせると良いかも、と。
 ではどっちの派閥に属しているか、見分ける方法を、と教えてくださったのですが、ヤッホー君のメモはいつものように読解不能!
 もともと「アホ」系なので「ばか」防止法をお聞きすればよかったかな…シッパイ!

 エノケンの森の石松 金語楼とのかけあい場面:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IWZNhMJ3es

 きよしの森の石松/氷川きよし:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYptis4CEwI

 島津亜矢 森の石松:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1HpXNsvU3Q

 あのぉ〜、脳のお話しは?
 ぜひお試しあれ:
http://braintest.sommer-sommer.com/en/
 
 今日、9月20日日曜日も同じく「代々木健康友の会」活動で、「ジョギング(マラニック)」!
 全コース終了にちょうど2時間。
 しかし、ウオ―キングより時間がかかってるって言われ、ん?!

Have you ever heard the word "Mara-nic"?
It is made of these two words: "marathon" and "picnic".


 コースは、北参道から明治神宮へ入りました。
 そうしたらいきなり「走らないでね」、と。
 明治神宮本殿でお参り(純白な白無垢姿の花嫁さんも)し西参道を通ってポニー公園へ。
 次に参宮橋門から代々木公園へ入ります(花婿修業中というタスキをかけたお兄さんが)。
 原宿門からいま国立代々木競技場第一体育館で開かれている「FIVBワールドカップバレーボール2015」の垂れ幕が見えます。

 今、日本男子バレーにちょっとした波が来ている。
 9月8日に開幕したバレーボールのワールドカップ男子大会。
 高い打点から鋭いスパイクを打ち込みチーム最多の24得点を挙げて、エジプトとの初戦勝利の立役者となったのは、19歳の新エース、石川祐希(中央大2年)だった。
 観客の度肝を抜く活躍にも、試合後、本人は淡々としていた。
 「緊張はありませんでした。ブロックがよく見えていた。でも、別に、いつも通り決まったなっていう感じですね。自分のイメージとしては普通。相手のブロックがあまりよくなかったのかな、と。今後も今日みたいにブロックを見ていけば問題ないと思います」
 「開幕前は、『緊張するかも』と話していましたが?」と問われると、「いや……、もうちょっと人(観客)がいるかなと思ってたので…」と苦笑した。


posted 2015/09/16 11:20 text by 米虫紀子
「男子バレー代表、まさかの会場満員!? 若いエースと爽快な試合が面白い」
http://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/824163

 そして原宿から東郷神社へ。
 日本の秋は都心でも、もう始まっています。
 ヒガンバナ、キンモクセイが咲いています。
 ドングリ、ギンナン、クリが落ちています。
 食べられるのか分かりませんが、キノコが。
 ハナミズキに赤い小さな実がついています。

 ヤッホー君、夕方はいたたまれなくなって、閉園まで都立清澄庭園へ。
 お友達の鳥ちゃん、鯉ちゃんに会いに、そして、ヒガンバナを探しに。

庭園5 (2).jpg

庭園7.jpg



posted by fom_club at 21:13| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

Raja Pura Cendana

 ヤッホー君のこのブログ、2015年09月17日付け日記「enlighten the Malay music」でP.ラムリー記念館を訪れ、高床式のマレースタイルの生家を見学したことを書き記しました。
 と言いますのは、P.ラムリー記念館に併設されている劇場でマレースタイルのお芝居を観てきたのです。
 9月5日夜8時半からはじまったので、劇場以外、真っ暗で、何がどうなっているのか、もう一度訪れてみたいなと思っていたわけです。
 ところで、お芝居、「Raja Pura Cendana」物語で、P.ラムリーの映画「Musang Berjanggut」でも知られ、マレーシア人にはおなじみのものでした:

The Story is in the style of Malay Traditional Theater (Combinated of JIKEY & MEK MULUNG) and also adapted by Film “Musang Berjanggut”. The plot follow the Adventures of a Prince named Tun Nila Utama who sets out to find a women who will marry him and what happen when he finds her at last.

Transitional Malay Theater RAJA PURA CENDANA
http://visitpenang.com.my/transitional-malay-theater-raja-pura-cendana/

Musang Berjanggut (The Bearded Fox) is 1959 Malaysian period romantic drama-comedy film directed by and starring P. Ramlee. The story is in the style of a traditional Malay folktale, featuring supernatural elements and a story with an underlying moral. The plot follows the adventures of a prince named Tun Nila who sets out to find a woman who will marry him, and what happens when he finds her at last.

un Nila Utama, the adopted prince in the kingdom Pura Cendana, is told by the King that it is time for him to choose a bride. However, Tun Nila refuses to marry any of the women in the kingdom, claiming that they not true "females" because they have no honour. The King is angered by his claim and orders him to find a true woman, if such a person exists. Tun Nila accepts the command and swears that he will not return to Pura Chendana or shave any hair on his face until he finds her.

Tun Nila sets up the test he will use to find a true woman. The test consists of a bag which contains a mix of rice, salt, chilli, onions, garlic and spices. A real woman would be able to cook the items in the bag, and he will marry the woman who does.

Tun Nila travels the across country, seeking shelter in any house that will welcome him. If there is a woman of marrying age in the house, he would ask her cook the items in the book. All the young women, upon seeing the mixed contents of the bag, decide that the task is impossible or that Tun Nila is insane, and all return the bag and its contents to him untouched. Tun Nila eventually grows a thick beard as woman after woman is unable to cook the items in his bag.

Tun Nila eventually meets Puspawangi, a friendly young woman who calls him "Tok Janggut" ("Old Bearded Man"). Tun Nila asks to meet her parents and she agrees to lead him back to her village. As Tun Nila follows her, he discovers Puspawangis unusual intelligence. When they reach the house, Puspawangis father welcome Tun Nila to their home. As with all the previous homes he has visited, Tun Nila gives them the bag and requests that they cook the items in it.

In the kitchen Puspawangi and her mother look into the bag, and though Puspawangis mother quickly says that Tun Nilas request is impossible, Puspawangi stops her and says that this isnt the request of a mad man, but of an intelligent man. She pours the items into a large tray and carefully sifts through the mix. Eventually she separates all the items into individual piles and is able to cook it.

That night Puspawangi presents the food to the whole family to eat. Puspawangis father is surprised by the unusual dishes and asks where all the spices came from, and Puspawangi says that it all came from Tun Nilas bag. Tun Nila is happily impressed. The next morning Puspawangi is amazed to see that Tun Nila has shaved his beard, revealing a handsome face. Tun Nila explains to Puspawangis father the truth behind his search and asks for Puspawangis hand in marriage.

When Tun Nila returns to the royal palace with Puspawangi, his parents are overjoyed that he has found his bride. However, the King and all of his senior-ranking ministers are enchanted by Puspawangis beauty and individually plot to get rid of Tun Nila so to have Puspawangi for themselves. The King pretends to fall ill and consults his ministers for advice. His ministers claim to have dreamt that only the mystical Musang Berjanggut ("Bearded Fox") can cure his illness. They also claim that the Bearded Fox is afraid of women, so Tun Nila is to search for it alone, leaving Puspawangi at home...


http://alchetron.com/Musang-Berjanggut-111718-W

 この劇場は国が運営しています。地元の人は「ペナン国立劇場」と呼んでいましたが、組織再編で観光省の一部になる「JKKN」と言います:

Penang National Culture and Arts Department (JKKN)
Starting from May 16, 2013, JKKN is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

 民俗芸能の保存と披露に勤めているJKKN、サラワク州(Sarawak, 州都はクチン)の JKKN での踊りをご紹介しますので雰囲気だけでも味わっていただければと思います。

Inspitari 2012 - JKKN Sarawak: Tarian Sirat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irJcKTDHaH8



posted by fom_club at 07:09| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月19日

NORINTEN〜稲塚権次郎物語

 帰国して間もないヤッホー君をおそったおそろしい、身の毛もよだつ怖い「戦争法案」成立のニュース!

 今朝の10時に家を出まして、有楽町へ向かいました。
 ほんまもんの日本と日本人に出会いに、そしてヤッホー君が愛してやまない美しいこの国にすむ人びとはほんまにイマ、どうなっちゃったんだろうと観察したかったのです。

 とりあえず映画を観ようと思ったのでした。
 せっかくだから今日、封切りの映画がいいな、と思いましたら、ありました!

 名優・仲代達矢出演!映画『NORINTEN〜稲塚権次郎物語』予告編;  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_l3jdHcFMs

http://www.norinten.net/

 最初のインドのシーンから、ヤッホー君、涙がぽろぽろこぼれて、涙がこぼれて、ハンカチを忘れて家を出たものですから、そのまんま頬をつたわり、終いには片方、左の目をつむったまんま。

 初回を選んだのは、名優・仲代達矢(1932年生まれですので83歳)、相手役、妻イト役の野村真美(1964年生まれ)ほかキャストが、監督の稲塚秀孝(1950年生まれ)とともに登壇し、舞台挨拶をするというのです。
 名優・仲代達矢は、今朝の未明に参院で成立した法案をはっきり「戦争法案」と呼び、この映画を政治家に観てほしい、と明言なされ、満員の映画館の席からは、大きな拍手が起こりました。

 日本を代表する名優・仲代達矢が、「小麦農林10号」を育成した育種家・稲塚権次郎を演じた伝記映画『NORINTEN〜稲塚権次郎物語』の初日舞台あいさつが19日、有楽町スバル座で行われ、仲代と共演者の松崎謙二、野村真美、長村航希、メガホンを取った稲塚秀孝監督が登壇した。

 仲代は、安全保障関連法案が成立したのを受け、「戦争法案が通過してしまいました」と触れると、「きな臭い時代になってきた」とコメント。「与党、野党含め、政治家の皆さんにこそ、この映画を観てほしい」と農業や戦争にもスポットを当てた本作をアピールした。

 大正から昭和にかけて、農業の発展に人生を懸けた男の半生を映し出した本伝記ドラマで、実在の人物を演じた仲代。

「今ならノーベル賞を取ったであろう方を演じられて光栄です」と笑顔を見せると、「わたしは80年生きていまして、役者も60年やっていますが、実際の人物を演じるというのは大変難しいんです。監督と相談して、偉い人を偉く演じないように頑張りました」としみじみ。

「とてもきれいな映画になったと思います」と本作の仕上がりにも満足そうな表情を見せた。

 農業というテーマについても「役者にとって農業というのはちょっと遠いんですけれど、わたしは第2次大戦を実際に体験しまして、終戦直後は飢餓状態。農業のありがたみを(当時)感じました。今はなんだかきな臭い時代になってきましたが、この映画を観て皆さんにもきれいな気持ちになってほしい」とコメント。

 またロケ地になった富山県南砺市の自然に「都会育ちのわたしには風景の美しさがうらやましかった」と賛辞を送った。

 本作では弟子分に当たる松崎とも共演。松崎が「賞をもらったような気分」と共演を喜ぶと、「内心、『俺よりうまくやるなよ』と思っていましたが、うまくやっていたと思います。多少、俺は負けたかな」と松崎の演技をたたえていた。


(2015年9月19日14時09分更新シネマトゥデイ、取材・文:名鹿祥史「仲代達矢、安保法案の成立に『きな臭い時代になってきた』」)
http://www.cinematoday.jp/page/N0076591

 最初は農民の暮しを良くしたいという願いから冷害に強く、同時に食べておいしい稲の品種改良につとめイマのコシヒカリのご先祖さま「水稲農林1号」をつくり、その後、国策だったかもしれませんが小麦の品種改良につとめ「小麦農林10号」をつくりだすことなど、農に一生をささげた、ある男の生涯を描いた物語の映画です。

 「小麦農林10号」
 昭和10年、日本国内の小麦生産量を増やそうという目的で開発された小麦の品種です。開発者は稲塚権次郎。
「背が低くて、頑丈で、骨太。とにかくいくら穂をつけても倒れないんだ。」稲塚さんは自身の農林10号をこう評しています。
 稲塚さんの品種改良で当時の小麦はほぼ国内産で自給できるようになりました。
 戦後すぐに「農林10号」はアメリカに渡り、アメリカの品種と交配した新品種が各地で大きな成果をあげました。
 成果を聞いたアメリカの農学者ノーマン・E・ボーログ博士は、すぐさま実践に入り、小麦の病害に悩むメキシコで品種改良に成功したのを皮切りに、積極的に発展途上国の農業技術者を呼び寄せ、技術指導とともに「農林10号」から改良した種子を贈りました。
 ボーログ博士は1960年代に予測された食糧危機から「緑の革命」で世界の人々を救った功労者として1970年にノーベル平和賞を受賞しました。
 現在アメリカとオーストラリアで生産されている小麦の3割から4割は「農林10号」の子孫です。
 小麦の多くをこの両国から輸入している私たちは稲塚権次郎さんの育てた小麦を毎日のように食べているのです。


(日本製粉「ちょっと嬉しい コムギ豆知識」)
http://www.nippn.co.jp/hiroba/WheatWorld/wheat_world/index10.html

 北海道苫小牧市出身の映画監督・稲塚秀孝さんの最新作「NORIN TEN〜稲塚権次郎(ごんじろう)物語」が完成し、9月の全国上映が決まった。苫小牧では、10月31日からシネマトーラスで公開される。稲塚監督は27日、苫小牧市内で記者会見し、小麦の育成に人生を懸けた主人公への思いを語った。

 最新作は、第2次世界大戦後の食糧難を救ったとされる「小麦農林10号」を育成した農学者・稲塚権次郎(1897〜1988年)の物語。俳優の松崎謙二さんと仲代達矢さんがそれぞれ若かりし頃と晩年の権次郎を演じる。

 稲塚権次郎は、稲塚さんの祖父のいとこ。稲塚さんは、93年に北日本新聞(富山)連載の権次郎の記事を読み功績を知った。5年前に権次郎の故郷である富山県南砺市を訪れ、権次郎の名を冠したまつりがあるなど、親しまれていることを知り映画化を決意した。

 昨年6月から今年2月まで撮影が行われ、苫小牧東部地域(苫東)では権次郎が妻と共に移住した中国・北京の場面、安平町では小麦畑の場面が撮られた。

 稲塚さんは、最新作を「稲塚権次郎という人間を通して、人としての生き方を追求した作品。見た人が自分の人生と照らし合わせて見てくれれば」と紹介。故郷での撮影について「脚本執筆中から苫東での撮影をイメージしていた」と振り返った。

 稲塚さんは、1950年苫小牧生まれ。苫小牧東高、中央大を卒業後、テレビ番組の制作会社を経て85年に独立。これまで記録映画「仲代達矢『役者』を生きる」などを制作している。


(08月28日16:00更新北海道新聞、若松樹「小麦にかけた人生 苫小牧出身・稲塚監督が最新作 苫東や安平町で撮影」)
http://news.goo.ne.jp/article/hokkaido/region/hokkaido-201508280106.html

 では、ここで映画の主題歌を聴きながらお別れです:

 森恵/「ユメオイビト」:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpmdZveOrEk

 森恵オフィシャルWEBサイト:http://www.multiformatstudio.jp/morim...   
 森恵avexオフィシャルWEBサイト http://avex.jp/morimegumi/



posted by fom_club at 18:41| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

戦争法案廃案!安倍政権退陣!

 「国会議員の雇い主は私たち。それなのになぜ意見を聞こうとしないのか」
 「ママの会 宮城」代表の佐々木理香さん(39)=仙台市太白区=は17、18日と混乱が続く良識の府に異議を唱えた。
 政治に無関心でデモや集会とも無縁だった。街頭で見掛けても「時給をもらって雇われているのかな」と冷めていた。
 変わったのは長女(6)が誕生してからだ。「幸福でいてほしい人の範囲が広がった」。「ママトモ」ができると消費税や医療費の話題が増える。社会への意識が強くなった。ことし、反対運動が拡大した安保法案に関心が向いた。
 集会に足を運ぶようになって間もないころの7月15日、衆院特別委は反対意見を退けて法案を強行採決した。「多くの人が納得していないのに、こんな決め方はおかしい」。憤りに突き動かされ、採決から5日後、ママの会を結成した。
 8月、東北の国会議員に安保法案の廃案を求めようと上京した。アポイントを入れたのに門前払いされることもあった。「あれもする、これもすると言うのは選挙のときだけ」。ほのかな期待は怒りに変わった。
 市中心部で6日にあった集会で佐々木さんは仲間とともに壇上に立ち、訴えた。「私たちは日々節約して税金を納めている。戦争のためでなく子どもやお年寄りのために使ってほしい」
 集会や勉強会と並行して街頭でチラシ配りをしている。1時間で2枚しか受け取ってもらえなかったこともあるが、意に介さない。「選挙やデモに関心がなかった昔の私が今の政治をつくってしまった」。反省が行動へと駆り立てる。
 「何が何でも子どもたちを守りたい」。
 安保法案が通っても会の活動は続ける覚悟だ。

(9月19日付け河北新報「<安保法案>ママの会、強行採決に異議」)
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201509/20150919_13013.html

 「可決されたようには見えなかった」。
 松本市の松本駅お城口で4日目の座り込みをした人たちは、現場にスクリーンを用意。通り掛かりの人も一緒になって、怒号が飛び交う特別委採決をインターネット中継で見守った。「(特別委は)あいまいなことをした」とつぶやく人もいた。
 同市の信州大松本キャンパスでは同日夜、「安全保障関連法案の撤回を求める信州大学人の会」がシンポジウムを開き、約120人が参加。同大の又坂常人・大学院法曹法務研究科特任教授は、法案が成立した場合、同会が中心となって違憲確認を求める訴訟を起こす考えを表明した。
 4月に松本市に移住した元京都大原子炉実験所助教の小出裕章さん(66)は、講演で「抵抗の力を奪われる前に、一人一人が抵抗するための行動を起こすべきだ」。信大経済学部OBの荒井達夫・千葉経済大特任教授は、昨年12月まで参院憲法審査会事務局首席調査員を務めた経験を踏まえ、安保関連法案は「読んでも全く分からない」と批判した。
 長野市の長野駅前では「憲法かえるのやだネット長野」などの呼び掛けで約220人がデモ行進。同市の介護士檀原弘幸さん(38)は採決の強行に憤りながら、議員がもみ合う姿に「議論を交わす姿勢が与党にないだけに仕方ない部分もある」と口にした。
 下伊那郡阿智村では「戦争やめまい(やめよう)☆阿智の会」の呼び掛けで住民13人が国道沿いで訴え。同村の森下ともみさん(38)は「自分たちの力で社会を変えていく気持ちを持ち続けたい」。
 伊那市中心市街地には支持政党を超えて30人余が集まり、「戦いは終わっていない。駄目なものは駄目」と訴えた。木曽郡木曽町では「戦争はいやだ木曽の会」が緊急集会を開き、20人が廃案に向けて行動を続けると確認した。
 大町市や佐久市、上田市、安曇野市などでも特別委採決の後に緊急の集会など開かれ、上田市の上田駅前では、
「テレビ中継では、何も聞こえない中で採決された。これが民主主義と言えるのか」と訴える人もいた。


(09月18日(金)付け信濃毎日新聞「国会前で、県内で 安保法案採決強行に怒りの声」)
http://www.shinmai.co.jp/news/20150918/KT150917FTI090050000.php

 安倍政権が安全保障関連法案の成立を急ぐのは、拡大する世論の反対を抑え切れない焦りからだ。
 五月下旬の安保法案の審議入りから約三カ月半。審議では法案の違憲性が指摘され、必要性が疑問視された。野党の質問にきちんと答えようとしない安倍晋三首相らの答弁には批判が集中した。国民に丁寧に説明すると強調していた安倍首相だが、世論の反対拡大を食い止めるには、審議を打ち切るしかないと判断した。
 目立ったのは、答弁の乱暴さだ。
 法案の核心部分ともいえる集団的自衛権の行使が可能になる「存立危機事態」の認定について、安倍首相は「政府が総合的に判断する」と繰り返すばかりで、具体的にどういう状況なら海外での自衛隊の武力行使を認めるのか明らかにしなかった。米国からの要請を受けた政府が歯止めなく戦争に参加するのでは、との疑念が広がった。
 潮目が変わったのは、六月四日の衆院憲法審査会だ。自民党が推薦した長谷部恭男早稲田大教授も含む三人の憲法学者が、安保法案を「違憲」だと明言した。
 国会終盤になると、集団的自衛権行使が必要としていた政府の論理が次々と崩れていった。特定国による中東・ホルムズ海峡での機雷敷設も、日本による機雷掃海も「想定していない」(首相)、朝鮮半島有事での米艦防護でも自衛隊の護衛が必ずしも必要ないことを認めた。
 政府側の答弁に納得できない国民は増えていき、八月三十日、法案に反対する人が全国から国会周辺に集まり、最大規模のデモに発展した。主催者はその数、十二万人と発表した。
 国会審議で二転三転した答弁。
 そして不誠実ともいえる答弁。
 参院特別委員会での採決を強行した鴻池祥肇委員長でさえ、十七日の委員会後「どうしても不備な答弁が目立った気がする」と記者団に認めざるを得なかった。


(2015年9月18日付け東京新聞夕刊、篠ケ瀬祐司「民意恐れ安保法案の採決急ぐ 乱暴な政府答弁 反対の渦」)
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/politics/news/CK2015091802000256.html 

放射能をばら撒き安全とうそぶき、TPPで国の財産を切り売りし、不都合は秘密保護法で葬り去り、雇用破壊を進め健康で文化的な最低限度の生活すら保障もしない政府から「国民の生命、財産を守る為、集団的自衛権は必要」と言われても☆説得力ねーっす☆
(山本太郎、http://twitcasting.tv/yamamototaro0/

主役は憲法9条であって、特定の政党や政治家たちが主役であるかぎり駄目だということに皆が気づけばいいのである。果たしてその時がくるだろうか。来なければ自民党政権は永遠に続くということである。来年の参院選は日本の政治史の転換期となるだろう
(天木直人、http://new-party-9.net/archives/2696



posted by fom_club at 08:04| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月18日

 P.ラムリーを紹介した昨日付けのヤッホー君のブログ、「enlighten the Malay music」にこんな文章がありました:

During the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, all film exhibition came under control of one of the "kaishas," or official Japanese occupation government monopolies, the Eiga Haikyu Sha (Film Distribution Co.). Japanese films were used in the campaign of "Nipponisation" carried out by the Occupation forces,...

 へえ〜、「映画配給社」…
 ところで戦時中、もうひとつ、国策会社「日本映画社」があります。

 1943年4月1日、ジャワ映画公社は解体され、製作面は日本映画社(日映)がジャカルタ製作所(以降「日映ジャカルタ」と略す)を設立して引き継がせ、配給は映画配給社ジャワ支社が担当することとなる。かくしてジャワの映画事業は正式に内地のシステムにリンクされることとなった。日本映画社は、日本の国策に沿う形で1940年にニュース映画の大手4社が統合された日本ニュース映画社を母体に、1941年に設立された一大プロダクションである。そのため新聞社系、通信社系といった戦前期ノンフィクションの複数の潮流が同居する“寄り合い所帯”の色彩が強く、日本が敗戦を迎える1945年8月まで、日本の記録映画史の中でも国家的なバックアップを得た独特の盛り上がりを見せている。

 前述のようなプロパガンダ政策の中で成立した日映ジャカルタは、日本映画社海外局が管轄する外地の拠点の中でも、飛び抜けて盛んな製作活動を行っていたことで特筆される。南方ではマニラにも製作拠点はあり、『新比島ニュース』などを製作していたが、現像から編集まで一貫した作業ができたのはジャカルタだけであり、南方各地のフィルム現像なども引き受けていたという証言もある。。。

(岡田秀則「記録映画史の空白を探る、日本映画社ジャカルタ製作所の興亡」)
http://www.yidff.jp/docbox/20/box20-3-1.html

 実は、この日本映画社南方総支社企画部にあった関正の持ち帰った資料や証言があるのです。
 それをもとに、田中真澄(1946年生まれ)は著書『小津安二郎と戦争』』(みすず書房、2005年)で述べています。
 こんなことも:

 小津によると「いざ敗戦となると、切腹を叫んでいた軍人たちの負けっぷりが、実に鮮やかなのである。アッサリ、手をかえすように負けてしまった」という。日本本国の場合と同じように、小津は特異な場所で、特異な形で、日本人の敗戦を体験し、なおかつそれを観察していたのだった。
 たしかに松竹大船撮影所の監督小津安二郎を、そのときシンガポールにいた。日本占領下でそこは昭南と称された。日本の南方進出の拠点であるそこへ、彼は軍の宣伝映画制作のために滞在していたのである。

(田中真澄、前掲書、101-102頁)

 下町江東区は深川に生まれた小津安二郎(1903-1963)。
 映画『早春』(1956年)で、撮影されなかったシナリオがあって、それを佐藤忠男がその著『小津安二郎の芸術』(朝日新聞出版、2000年9月14日文庫判)でこんなシナリオだったことを紹介しているそうです。
 それを引いて、指田文夫(1948年生まれ)はその著『小津安二郎の悔恨、帝都のモダニズムと戦争の傷跡』(えにし書房、2015年)は、こんなふううに:

平山(三井弘治)このごろよ、変に偉ぶりやがってよ、おれぁ戦争にゃ反対だったなんて云ってる奴いるけどよ、ありゃお前、食わせ者だな

坂本(加東大介)そうよ、大嘘だよ。そんな奴いるもんかィ。いたって一人か二人だィ。よっぽど偉い人だ。あの時分そんなこと云ってみろ。おっ殺されちゃったぞ

杉山(池部良)おれたちだって、いやだいやだと思いながら、一生懸命やったからなァ

坂本 そうだよ、負けちゃかなわねえと思ったもんァ

平山 でもよ、めけてよ、よかったんじゃねえか。これで勝ってみろ、バカでもチョンでも軍人の野郎、威張りやがってよ、手も付けられねえぞ

杉山 ウム……

ちょっと間があって

杉山 −−もう戦争はごめんだよ

坂本 あゝ、もう真っ平だィ

 確かにこのシーンは、余計でもあり、不必要でもあっただろう。だが、逆にこの辺が小津の戦争への本音だったと思える。戦争へは普通の国民の一人として、嫌々ながらも従軍し戦った。だが、それはもう二度としてはならないもので、本当に愚行だったと。

(指田文夫、前掲書、196-197頁)

 いまの首相とその自称右翼のサポーターたち、それを支える自公の議員たち、公務員たちは、ほんとうにこの国の歴史を学び、国を愛し、日本文化で育っているのでしょうか?
 憲法を壊そうとし、国民のためでなく、多国籍の少数のリッチな方々のための政策を考えているのではないか、帰国したばかりのヤッホー君、おいおいまた「愚行」をくり返そうとしているぞ、あいつらのためにいのちは捧げないぞ、そのために「平和憲法」があるんじゃないか、と歯をくいしばっています。
 特権階級ムラから一歩も外に出たことのない、少数の住民たちによって、戦後レジームを脱却されたあとには、ミンシュシュギも自由も平和も消え失せ、嫌っているはず、仮想敵国なはずのどっかの国みたいな専制シュギが敷かれてしまったら、先輩たちが業火に焼き殺され、死んでった家族たちは犬死だったってことかい、と…

 小津安二郎!
 北鎌倉円覚寺に墓があり、その墓石には当時の住職によって刻まれた「無」の一文字だけだったこと、それをマレーシアで知りました。
 ヤッホー君のこのブログ、2015年08月28日付け日記「Film and Feeling」をご参照ください。
 映画監督ヤスミン・アハマド(Yasmin Ahmad、1958-2009)の著書のなかです。

 映画監督ヤスミンの映画上映会については後日、2015年9月1日付け現地日刊紙 The Star にこんな記事がありました。
 知り合いのスーザン・シュウさんが登場していました:

GEORGE TOWN: As Malaysians from all walks of life celebrated National Day in various ways, some chose to remind themselves of the multiculturalism that makes the country special.

Among them was Dr Loo Choo Hong, who attended the day-long ‘Celebrating Merdeka with Yasmin Ahmad Movie Marathon’ at The Star Pitt St. in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling here.

He said he liked Yasmin’s films as they were emotionally engaging and highly relatable depictions of trans-racial themes.

“They centre on everyday folk and are character-driven, and do not involve huge budgets.

“I have a whole collection of Yasmin’s DVDs except for ‘Talentime’ so I decided to catch this movie here and a few others.

“Some films are better off seen on a larger screen,” he said during a break in between movies at the screening yesterday..

Dr Loo, in his 40s, lamented that while celebrated Malaysian films like Yasmin’s were widely available on Blu-Ray in Europe, there was not enough effort in promoting them locally.

He also said that Malaysians should always be proud of who they are, rather than just feeling patriotic when National Day comes around.

The movie marathon from 9am to 9pm was run by Penang-based community organiser Kelip-Kelip with the support of ThinkCity, LUMA, Teach for Malaysia and Star Media Group.

It was the culmination of a month-long programme that included screenings of individual films every Thursday throughout August.

Also at the screening was retiree Susan Siew, 61, who described Yasmin as a very progressive filmmaker.

“She focused on little things that touched people’s hearts.

“Her movies capture the very essence of what it means to be a Malaysian citizen, and transcend all ethnic boundaries.

“I hope we don’t just reminisce about it because we can still have this essence today,” she said.


The Star、Published: Tuesday September 1, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Yasmin fans: Her movies capture essence of Malaysia
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/01/Yasmin-fans-Her-movies-capture-essence-of-Malaysia/



posted by fom_club at 09:25| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月17日

Who’s Responsible?

 難民問題をめぐっての欧米の非難合戦 Blame War!
 難民問題にも巻き込まれざるをえなくなるであろう戦争法案 military bills も成立目前なのかな…
 国民 Peoples in Japan や国益 National interests、平和 Peace でなく、同盟国という位置づけの戦勝国アメリカ一辺倒のご機嫌取り敗戦国内閣(右翼とか愛国主義者ではないんじゃないかな…、靖国神社に葬られている兵隊さんや、この国内も含めて靖国神社に祀られていないアジアの各地に散っていったこの国の民間人がかわいそう…涙…)、そして朝鮮戦争やベトナム戦争のときのように戦争で一発あててやろう、戦争で儲けようとする産軍複合体 Military-industrial complex, MIC(*)べったり自公政権!
 心配なヤッホー君、気になっていた記事をここに転載しておきます:

Policy paralysis over the refugee crisis is convulsing Europe: Of course we want to help, but if we’re too generous, more will come.
As a former adviser to the British prime minister, David Cameron, I understand the pressure politicians face from citizens demanding controlled immigration and tightly policed borders.

As the son of immigrants welcomed into Britain from Communist Hungary, I feel a strong moral instinct to extend a similar welcome to others fleeing their homelands in even worse circumstances. But still.

Before condemning European politicians, aid agencies or anyone else, let’s try to cut through the complexity with some simple human truths.
First, stop blaming Hungary. For months before this crisis hit the headlines in America, my hometown, Szeged, was the front line. Just days before I was there on a family vacation in July, 700 refugees were discovered in the woods where we used to play as children.

My cousins told me, outraged, about the seemingly unending flow of new arrivals stealing fruit from their friends’ trees and vegetables from their gardens; urinating and defecating in public places throughout the town; clogging up public services.

You could say: How xenophobic. Or instead: How would you feel if your daily life was being made intolerable while the authorities, thanks to European Union rules about registering refugees, seemed unable to restore order?

Hungary is small and relatively poor. It’s a little unfair, to put it mildly, to condemn Hungary for callous − even racist − treatment of migrants when those doing the condemning bear far more responsibility for the crisis. Yes, America, I’m talking about you.

And here’s the second simple truth. While we can argue forever about the causes of conflict in the Middle East, it is impossible to ignore the impact of American foreign policy on what’s happening in Europe.

It was shocking to see an “expert” from the Council on Foreign Relations quoted on Saturday saying that the situation is “largely Europe’s responsibility.”

How, exactly? The Iraq invasion (which could reasonably be described as “largely America’s responsibility”) unleashed a period of instability and competition in the region that is collapsing states and fueling sectarian conflict.

European leaders wanted, years ago, to intervene directly in Syria in order to check President Bashar al-Assad’s cruelty; the United States didn’t.

You can understand why − I wouldn’t for one second question the judgment of American political leaders that their country was reluctant to participate in another military conflict. But at least acknowledge the consequences of nonintervention: the protracted Syrian civil war, the emergence of a lawless territory ripe for exploitation by the sick zealots of the Islamic State, and the resulting flood of millions of displaced people.

So it’s a bit rich for American commentators to lecture Europeans when part of the reason the refugees are arriving on Europe’s doorstep is American foreign policy.

It’s great that the United States is by far the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to Syrians, but America is bigger than Europe, and wealthier. Why should Europe be expected to take around a million refugees practically overnight and the United States, hardly any?

There’s one more simple truth to acknowledge. The ideal number of refugees is zero. Today’s crisis will worsen in the years ahead unless we deal with the causes, not just the symptoms. That means serious and sustained action to create free societies people actually want to stay in. Places with a market economy, property rights, the rule of law, a free press, an independent judiciary and accountable democratic processes.

This is America’s chance to say, “We have a moral responsibility to help. So the United States will welcome as many refugees as Europe: Not just thousands; hundreds of thousands. But there has to be a bargain. We cannot keep doing this. So we will now embark on a new effort to bring the basics of a decent life to the world’s hot spots.”

There are practical steps we could take to entice leaders in the Middle East to open up their economies and provide greater rights and freedoms.

The Oxford economist Paul Collier has proposed a plan for “job havens” bordering Syria, using an existing, but empty industrial zone minutes from the largest refugee camp in Jordan, where a future Syrian economy could be incubated, providing both an income and an incentive to stay for millions of displaced people.

The economist Hernando de Soto, backed in part by the United States Agency for International Development, has cataloged the vast untapped value of the informal economy in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

If these assets were formalized, people across the region could own property, grow businesses and develop the desire to stay and build stable societies. We should put pressure on their rulers to implement the necessary legal reforms by cutting aid payments until they do it.

The Obama administration led the establishment of the Open Government Partnership, a well-designed effort to promote public sector accountability worldwide.

Now let’s give it real teeth: make trade deals and market access contingent on progress toward its goals. We have plenty of leverage if only we’d use it to pursue long-term structural reform.

Yes, it’s a complicated world. But that’s no excuse to do nothing. For America to lead in this way is not about imposing “Western values” on the rest of the planet. It’s much more basic than that. It’s about treating every human being with humanity.

Opinion to hhe New York Times, Published: SEPT. 10, 2015
Who’s Responsible for the Refugees?
By STEVE HILTON, co-founder and chief executive of Crowdpac and former senior adviser to the British prime minister, David Cameron.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/11/opinion/whos-responsible-for-the-refugees.html

(*)
 安保法案の公聴会が、今日、明日と行われるらしい。そして、与党は明後日にも参議院で議決し、安保法制を決める腹積もりらしい。公聴会は、国会議員が重要な案件について本来国民の声を直接聞き、それを国会の議論に生かすことにその目的があるはずだ。だが、国民の声を聴くのは、形だけということを、この日程が物語っている。国民の声には耳を傾けないというのは最初から分かっていたことだが、その事実を隠しもしないで、形式的な公聴会を開催する政権与党の国民に対する厚顔無礼な振る舞いを、我々は忘れるべきではない。
 この愚かな政権与党の行動が何を意味するのか。彼らが向いているのが国民ではないということだ。では、どこを向いているのだろうか。政権与党が向いている先の一つは、産軍複合体であることはまず間違いがない。今年6月、オーストリアで開かれたG7サミットの直後、近傍で「影のサミット」が開かれたという。欧米各国の、政、財、官、軍、諜報機関のトップが集まる会議だ。この会議では、冷戦終了後、米国の覇権維持とともに、軍産複合体の利権確保が大きな命題とされてきた。
 この会議では、冷戦終了後、米国の覇権維持とともに、軍産複合体の利権確保が大きな命題とされてきた。アーミテージ・ナイリポートのアーミテージ等が主要なメンバーである。おそらく、この会議、さらにはNATOのなかで討議された軍事再編の流れに沿って、現政権が付け焼刃で制定しようとしているのが、安保法制なのだろう。。。
(いまは退職なさっている片田舎在住の小児科医の先生、2015/09/15付けブログ「国民の方向を向いていない現政権」より)

 憲法を大事にし、音楽を愛し、原発を無くしたいと願う多くの人と繋がれるブログを目指す、弁護士・金原徹雄先生の2015年9月16日付けブログ、「日本経団連『防衛産業政策の実行に向けた提言』(9/15)は第3次アーミテージ・ナイレポートとセットで読むべき」も参考になります:
http://blog.livedoor.jp/wakaben6888/archives/45431874.html




posted by fom_club at 10:43| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

enlighten the Malay music

 そう、そう、アジアの歌姫の次に掲げなければならない人は「マレーシの音楽の父」、Pラムリー (22 March 1929–29 May 1973) です。
 ヤッホー君、帰国前の土曜日9月12日、記念館を訪れています。
 近くには「日本人学校」「日本人会、日本人墓地」の敷地もあり、25年以上も前のことでしょうか、ペナンで勤めていた時、学校、墓地には見学に来たことがありますが、記念館については知らなかったなあ、って。

The P Ramlee Gallery is located at his birthplace in Penang. It is now part of the Pustaka Warisan Seni Complex adjacent to the house. P Ramlee was born on morning of Idil Fitri on 22 March 1929.

The wooden house raised on stilts with attap roofing belonged to P Ramlee's maternal grandmother was rebuilt at the same site. There is also an old tree nearby where he used to play as a boy.

Officially opened on 13 December 1991, it has collections of P Ramlee's clothes, musical instruments, films, documents, personal artefacts and photos. His old bicycle is parked under the house.

Various P Ramlee merchandise are also available for sale.

The gallery is maintained by Arkib Negara Malaysia (Archive of Malaysia).


Source:The P Ramlee Gallery
http://www.p-ramlee.com/p-ramlee/memorial3.htm

P. Ramle's house is located at Lot 2180, Jalan P Ramlee, Penang. P. Ramlee was born in this house, which built in 1926 by his father and uncle Rejab bin Hussein. This house was twice renovation by the latter, once during the Japenese Occupation and again in 1948. The National Archives accquired the house and carried out restoration works in 1991. The original form of the house is still intact. the Japanese Occupation and again in 1948.

Source: National Archives of Malaysia
http://www2.arkib.gov.my/english/rumahramlee.html

 記念館でビックリ!
 思春期の多感な時代を過ごすのは、なんと日本軍の統治下の時代!
 この時代は、こんな状況だったようです:

During the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, all film exhibition cameunder control of one of the "kaishas," or official Japanese occupation governmentmonopolies, the Eiga Haikyu Sha (Film Distribution Co.). Japanese films were used inthe campaign of "Nipponisation" carried out by the Occupation forces, although,given a choice, the Malays preferred British and American movies to those of theJapanese. Fearing the influence of these Western films on their new subjects, theJapanese banned movies from the West, and in fact banned all but Japanese films inoccupied Malaya. Therefore Japanese films were the only movies available to theMalaysians, who patronized them and, apparently, appreciated and enjoyed them,even while realizing that these films were being used for propaganda; few Malaysiansrefused to see Japanese films.

The Japanese films available to Malays included newsreels andeducational films, screened by the Bunka Eiga Gekijio (a governmental propagandabody), and for which admission was only 10c-20c (later increased to 30c-50c) foralmost an hour's "entertainment". However, more standard "popular" cinemasshowed feature-length fiction films, chosen by the Japanese to familiarize theMalaysians with Japanese culture. One observer, however, noted that thesepropaganda films, ironically, seemed to reveal that "many features in [the Japanese]factory systems, their cinema-industry, their film-acting and film-directingtechnique, their college life, their sports, their magazines, and their advertising methods were highly influenced by" the United States.

Despite all the negative aspects of the Japanese Occupation, and thecontrol of film exhibition in Malaysia, it did serve to expose the work of such greatJapanese filmmakers as Ozu Yasujiro and Mizoguchi Kenji to young Malaysians whowould go on to make films themselves after the war; one such young Malaysian whowas especially impressed by these films was P. Ramlee.


PONTIANAKS, P. RAMLEE, AND ISLAM: THE CINEMA OF MALAYSIA
By Timothy R. White, Dept. Of English Language & Literature, National University of Singapore
http://www.academia.edu/4570309/_Pontianaks_P_Ramlee_and_Islam_The_Cinema_of_Malaysia_

 いま、あらためて見直され、マレーシア各地でミュージカルショーも:

P. Ramlee, From Penang to Johor
By Bloomberg TV Malaysia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNvRhTKjqDw
  
BLACK-and-white footage of P. Ramlee smiling to Saloma will surely bring about an outpouring of nostalgia.

Yet few know of the tale behind the enigmatic icon himself.

Fortunately, P. Ramlee The Musical will return to the stage once again.

Having performed three successful and critically acclaimed shows in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Singapore, the show will go on its first tour starting in Penang, followed by Johor Baru and Malacca.

Enfiniti Vision Media group chief executive officer and P. Ramlee The Musical producer Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina said this was the first time the show of more than 100 cast and crew was being produced to go on tour.

“We are really doing this for the audience outside KL who never got the opportunity to watch the show in Istana Budaya.

“Of course, we are also very nervous as we are not sure what audiences outside Kuala Lumpur are expecting.

The show is a special tribute to P. Ramlee, who embodies the very essence of unity and harmony in Malaysia.

Tiara added that the show has been repackaged for the tour.

“It is a story set in the 1970s but presented in a very high-tech way

“It changes the way we tell the story but still keeps the essence of his life story intact

“I believe this musical will remind us of the days when things were a lot simpler, when we were just happy to live together as one nation. We need to go back to those days,” she said.

The show had previously bagged eight awards at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards for Musical Theatre, including Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Music & Sound Design, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Script.

Starring in her award-winning role as Saloma once again, actress Nadia Aqila said she did a lot of homework to craft the character and also spoke to Saloma’s family members to get a crystal clear idea.

“Its Saloma! The whole of Malaysia loves her. I can’t just pandai-pandai create Saloma’s character.

“We often take Saloma for granted. We always think we know her from P. Ramlee’s work and as his wife, but she is much more.

“She was a true prima donna, a real fabulous woman.

Aqila added that she hoped the audience would give the show a chance and relive P. Ramlee’s story.

“You don’t just come for one actor, you are coming for the whole show, to see the whole story,” she said.

Reprising the role of P. Ramlee for the third time, actor Tony Eusoff who plays P. Ramlee said he hopes the new audience will not miss out on the opportunity to see the show

“People might think that the tickets are pricey and that it’s more expensive than a movie ticket.

“But you are paying for the experience

“Trust me it is an interesting experience especially for those who have not watched theatre.

“The magic happens when you see it live and I promise, you will be entertained,” he said.

P. Ramlee The Musical Tour “Dari Penang ke Singapura” visits Penang on Aug 28, Johor Baru on Sept 4 and Malacca on Sept 11.


The Star, Published: Thursday August 27, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
P. Ramlee musical goes on tour This is the first time show
By Melizarani T Selva
http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/08/27/P-Ramlee-musical-goes-on-tour-This-is-the-first-time-shows-cast-and-crew-will-visit-Penang-Malacca-a/

 次の New Staraits Times (Updated: 7 July 2015 at 12:36 PM) の記事も参考になります。

Tiara brings P. Ramlee “home”
By BIBI NURSHUHADA RAMLI
http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/tiara-brings-p-ramlee-

 では、ここで歌を2曲ばかり:

P.Ramlee's Malay-Tamil song a hit with netizens as Deepavali nears
By The Rakyat Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lt7FUkcT2U

Jangan Tinggal Daku (P. Ramlee)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2YkeAy7Yz4



posted by fom_club at 08:44| Comment(0) | TrackBack(0) | 日記 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年09月16日

My Way

 もう10年以上も前のことでしたね。
 今回のペナン滞在中、テレビの歌番組を見ていて「うまいねえ、アジアで一番うまいんじゃないのかな、アジアの歌姫だよね」って言ったら、「清澄のうちにCDがあるよ、あんたが買ったんじゃない?」って家内。
 家に戻って聴いています:
 シティ・ヌールハリザ(1979年1月11日生まれ)、ライス・レコード(2004年4月解説・田中昌)。
 問い合わせ先:オフィス・サンビーニャ
https://www.sambinha.com/e-commex/cgi-bin/ex_disp_item_detail/id/SRR-316/

 シティは、台湾に行ってます。そしてヤッホー君も墓参りまでしてきたあの美声のアジアの歌姫、テレサテン(1953‐1995)のカバーをしています:

Siti Nurhaliza & Wang Lee Hom- Zheng Fu (征服) LIVE in TAIWAN (2004):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddOFupDdsYI

Siti Nurhaliza - The Moon Represents My Heart (月亮代表我的心2012)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI7mD9DiydQ

 テレサ・テンの1977年のヒット曲「月亮代表我的心(月が私の心を表わしている)」の歌に牡丹の画像を貼りつけました:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z-bcMyfn-0

 ところでごくサイキン、話題になったのがジョン・ボン・ジョヴィ(1962年生まれ)のカバーです。
 英国紙ガーディアンの記事のなかに動画が入ってぜひおりますので、ぜひお聴きください:

Bon Jovi fans in China have been given a taste of bad medicine after authorities pulled the plug on plans for the group’s first concerts in the country.

The band were scheduled to perform in Shanghai next Monday and in Beijing the following Thursday. Tickets were priced from 480 to 3,880 yuan (£49-£395). The ticketing website Damai.cn posted on its official Weibo account that it had stopped selling tickets for the gigs.

It is believed the concerts were scrapped because the band used an image of the Dalai Lama as a backdrop at a gig in Taiwan in 2010, the Financial Times reported.
The concerts were to have been Bon Jovi’s first in China and had been eagerly promoted by band members. In August Jon Bon Jovi sang in Mandarin on a recording of the Moon Represents My Heart, a popular love song, as a “special gift to Chinese fans” before the dates.


Guardian, Updated: Tuesday 8 September 2015 13.20 BST
I'm with the banned: China blocks Bon Jovi gigs;
New Jersey group were due to perform their first Chinese shows next week, but previous use of Dalai Lama image may have prompted officials to intervene
By Jennifer Duggan in Shanghai
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/08/china-blocks-bon-jovi-gigs

 どうしてブロックされたのかって… 同紙によりますと;

Bon Jovi are not the first to have shows cancelled in China after showing support for the Dalai Lama. In July Maroon 5 had their Shanghai concerts cancelled, reportedly because of a happy birthday message on Twitter from one of the band members to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

In 2009 Oasis were forced to cancel shows because Noel Gallagher had performed at a Free Tibet concert in New York.

Chinese officials have expressed their disapproval of the Dalai Lama’s appearance at Glastonbury this year, saying it was tantamount to giving him a platform to engage in anti-China activities. In 2012 Beijing froze all top-level diplomatic contact with the UK after David Cameron’s decision to meet the spiritual leader.

On Tuesday Beijing marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Tibet as an administrative region under Chinese control with a ceremony in the regions’ capital, Lhasa. Thousands gathered in front of the Potala Palace waving Chinese flags, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as a top official made a speech saying that China would crackdown on all kinds of “separatist activities”.


 ヤッホー君の帰国、一週間ほど前のことでしたね。
 そうとも知らずにヤッホー君、そうなんだと流し読みしておりましたのが、次の記事:

The Satr, Published: Saturday August 22, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Bon Jovi shows softer side with Teresa Teng’s ballad
BY KENNETH CHAW
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/08/22/Bon-Jovi-shows-softer-side-with-Teresa-Tengs-ballad/

 ところで、シティ。話題豊富です。
 元首相のマハティール氏(1925年生まれ)とも。
 2015年9月14日付けのメディア情報です:

KUALA LUMPUR - He led the country for more than 20 years, is known as an outspoken leader and of late is making headlines as he is constantly seen as going against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

However, in a video shared by netizen Rizal Mohd Paudzi, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is seen taking the microphone for an altogether different endeavour as compared with giving speeches.

Standing next to Malaysia’s songbird Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, Dr Mahathir can be seen belting out the classic hit My Way at an event held at the Dewan Perdana Felda on Sept 11.

The event, according to Rizal, who uploaded the video on his YouTube account, was called ”Malam Sahoca 2015”.


http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=594261:move-aside-siti-nurhaliza-watch-out-najib-dr-m-takes-the-mike-belts-out-i-did-it-my-way&Itemid=2#axzz3ltNLAHEZ

 では、ここで名曲「My Way」(1969)を:

Frank Sinatra(1915-1998), My Way, With Lyrics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E2hYDIFDIU

 シティはまた、社会貢献も:

At Datuk Siti Nurhaliza’s 36th birthday celebration last Sunday, comedian Zizan Razak, who hosted the event, said to the audience in jest: “Get ready with your gifts for Datuk Siti, whether it’s houses or cars.”

Siti later announced she had received “the most meaningful gift, the most special gift and a gift that touches my heart the most.”

“Tonight, I received RM310,000 worth of donations to the flood victims.
“There is no gift that makes me more happy than to be able put a smile on the faces of our disaster victims,” said the singer clad in an understated black and grey ensemble.

The donations, made by entrepreneurs and charitable foundations including Siti and her husband’s Yayasan Nurjiwa, were then presented to the Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Held at the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, the close-knit affair was also a symbol of appreciation for those who had a hand in making Siti’s AIM-winning album, Fragmen, including songwriters, composers, Universal Music executives and industry partners.

Local celebrity friends such as Fara Fauzana, Ummi Nazeera, Izara Aishah and Indonesian singer Tegar also joined in the celebration.

Siti, who will be celebrating her 20th year in the industry in April, shared her New Year’s resolution: “I hope to become a better wife, a better daughter, a better person.”


The Star,Published: Wednesday January 14, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Datuk Siti Nurhaliza turns 36; receives her most meaningful gift yet
by Kenneth Chaw
http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Entertainment/Music/News/2015/01/14/Datuk-Siti-Nurhaliza-turns-36-receives-her-most-meaningful-gift-yet/

 では最後にシティの最新アルバムを聴きながらお別れです:

Lagu Dato Siti Nurhaliza - Lebih Indah - Fragmen (Album 2014)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKoENVggz2Y




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No Shinzo Abe

ヤッホー君、昨日9月15日火曜日、キャセイパシフィック航空で香港から成田へ向かう際、いただいた新聞にこんな記事が:

Tens of thousands of protesters surrounded the Diet building in Tokyo late Monday amid growing public opposition to controversial national security bills that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to have passed this week.

The mass rally in the centre of Japan’s capital came after a similar one at the end of last month that its organisers said attracted about 120,000 people at the same site.

The government-sponsored bills would greatly expand the scope of the Self-Defence Forces’ overseas activities, including allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defence, or coming to the aid of its allies under armed attack even if Japan itself is not attacked.

Led by young people including members of Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s, or Sealds, leaders of opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan and the Japanese Communist Party, and Noble laureate for literature Kenzaburo Oe are expected to take part in the rally.

The bills are currently under deliberation in the upper house of parliament, after the ruling coalition, led by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, pushed them through the lower house in July.

If enacted, the new legislation would mark a major shift in Japan’s exclusively defence-oriented security policy.

“I’m not sure if my participation would change something. But I came here, for the first time, as I feel [Abe’s] way to decide without listening to people’s voices is much too contemptuous,” said 75-year-old Tateo Iida, who lives in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.

“I remember the days when I used to come here almost every day for demonstrations,” Iida said, referring to mass rallies in the 1960s when many university students protested against the security treaty with the United States.

“I’m worried that innocent children, including mine, might be involved in war. I came here to get my strong opposition [to the bills] heard,” said a 33-year-old woman who took part in the day’s rally.

More than half of voters in Japan are opposed to their government’s plans to enact legislation that would allow Japanese troops to fight abroad for the first time since the second world war, a newspaper poll showed.

A poll carried out over the weekend and published by Asahi Shimbun showed 54 per cent of respondents opposed the legislation against 29 per cent who backed it, and 68 percent saw no need to enact the bills during the current session. Three-quarters of the respondents said the debate has been insufficient, in line with other surveys.

Abe’s ruling bloc has a majority in the upper house, but opposition parties have vowed to use all possible means to prevent a vote, including delaying procedures by submitting time-consuming non-confidence and censure motions.

Support for Abe’s government fell to 36 per cent, the survey showed, the lowest rate since he took the office in December 2012 and down from 38 per cent in last month’s poll. Abe’s disapproval rating inched up to 42 per cent from 41 per cent.

Abe last week won a rare second consecutive term as a ruling party chief, and hence premier, pledging to retain focus on reviving the world’s third-largest economy and deepen debate on revising its pacifist constitution.

Source: Kyodo, Reuters


South China Morning Post, UPDATED: Monday, 14 September, 2015, 10:38pm
No war laws: Tens of thousands of protesters rally in Tokyo against Shinzo Abe's controversial security bills

ご参考に:
http://lib21.blog96.fc2.com/
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/raymiyatake/e/1a5ee174c4d5756c4fd4da5756aebccc



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2015年09月15日

Malaysia labouring for workers' right

MALAYSIA has been a member of the International Labour Organisation for 58 years now since Sept 11, 1957. What does this mean to our workers? The core principles of ILO are highlighted by the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, adopted in 1998.

Since these principles are the core standards pursued by ILO, member countries like Malaysia are obliged to adopt and implement these principles for their workforce, whether the government of Malaysia has decided to ratify these principles or not.

The document covers four principles and rights of workers: a) freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; b) elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; c) effective abolition of child labour; and d) elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Under each principle, there are two provisions that member countries have to adopt.

On the bright side, out of these eight provisions, we have signed and ratified five of them. We have ratified provisions on effective abolition of child labour. The minimum age a Malaysian can enter the workforce is 14. Additionally, the government supports the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. We have also ratified one provision under each of the other principles.

On the downside, we have yet to ratify three important provisions that are as equally important. Those provisions are Convention 87, which covers freedom of association and protection of the right to organise; Convention 105, which covers the abolition of forced labour; and Convention 111, which covers discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. In 1990, the government officially rejected complying with Convention 105.

I believe that the adoption and implementation of these core principles will be the main ingredient for Malaysia to become a high-income nation as highlighted by the New Economic Model.

Let me explain why. As evident in trade talks and negotiations, future regional free trade agreements will include non-traditional trade chapters, such as labour rights and standards. It will not be a surprise then that the standards and principles adopted will be similar to that of the ILO Declaration.

If Malaysia and its producers are serious in becoming more integrated in global value chains, like South Korea is with around 50 FTAs, we will need to take part in many more regional and possibly inter-regional trade pacts.

This is why there is a need for us to internally restructure our labour market along with our labour laws so that we have time to strengthen and educate our workforce.

There is no doubt that labour unions in Malaysia are weak. With the ratification of Convention 87, workers will be given the right to form associations, which will translate into greater bargaining power, be it for increased wages or better working environment. This provision will help unskilled workers more than skilled workers.

With a more liberalised trade regime, machines that embody technology will be more cheaply available in a developing country like Malaysia.

Since skilled workers are more suitable in complementing these technologies, the demand for these workers will increase. This will translate into higher wages for skilled workers compared with that of unskilled workers.

An empirical study for Malaysia has highlighted that unskilled workers will not benefit as much in terms of increased wages.

This is where this provision will be an enabler. As workers are able to organise and bargain efficiently, unskilled workers are able to negotiate for better wages.

This will decrease the wage inequality between the skilled and unskilled workers in Malaysia in the long run.

But before this happens, our workforce needs to be educated and informed of their rights and boundaries so that upheavals in the workplace can be prevented from happening, like the ones in Indonesia and Vietnam.

The writer, Juita Mohamad is a senior analyst in Economics at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia

Source: New Straits Times,
Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2015



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2015年09月14日

Bernie Sanders

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hailed the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party as a promising development in the global fight against inequality.

"At a time of mass income and wealth inequality throughout the world, I am delighted to see that the British Labour Party has elected Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader," Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post Saturday. "We need leadership in every country in the world which tells the billionaire class that they cannot have it all. We need economies that work for working families, not just the people on top."

Sanders’ appreciation of Corbyn is mutual. A week before his victory, Corbyn said he was following Sanders’ campaign with "great interest."

Corbyn’s upset election as head of Labour, which makes him the de facto opposition leader in the U.K. parliament, has drawn comparisons to Sanders’ rise in the American political landscape. Like Corbyn, Sanders has achieved unexpected popularity by proposing dramatic solutions to end income inequality and reform the political process. The two left-leaning legislators also share an unglamorous demeanor.

Corbyn is nonetheless to the left of Sanders, advocating for policies like the nationalization of Britain’s main power providers. Historically, the UK’s economic policies have been more socialistic than those of the U.S.


HuffPost Politics, Edited: 09/13/2015 09:31 AM EDT
Bernie Sanders: ‘I Am Delighted’ By Jeremy Corbyn’s Victory
“We need leadership in every country in the world which tells the billionaire class that they cannot have it all."
By Daniel Marans, Reporter, The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-jeremy-corbyn-delighted_55f4b19ce4b042295e369855

COLUMBIA, S.C. − Sen. Bernie Sanders decried “institutional racism” and called for major criminal justice system reforms − including an end to privately run prisons − while speaking at a historically black college here on Saturday.

The Vermont Independent, running for the Democratic presidential nomination, highlighted his proposals to eliminate federal, state and local contracts for privately run prisons within two years. He wants to shift money toward investments in jobs and education.

“We need to end the absurdity of private corporations making profits by running and building prisons,” he said during an hour-long speech at Benedict College. “Companies should not be profiting from the incarceration of fellow Americans.”
...
As polls show his support rising in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders plans to spend more time introducing himself to voters in South Carolina and other states. Following stops here, he has scheduled events on Sunday in North Carolina and on Monday in Virginia, including a speech at evangelical Christian Liberty University in Lynchburg.

“We are going to have a statewide effort, going door-to-door in South Carolina,” said Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver. “We take nothing for granted. We’re going to fight for every single vote there.”

Sanders edged past Clinton in one Iowa poll this week and is leading her in New Hampshire, neighbor of his home state of Vermont. But a Public Policy Polling survey of South Carolina Democratic voters this month showed only 9 percent supported Sanders while 54 percent supported Clinton and 24 percent supported Vice President Joe Biden, who has not entered the race.

Only 3 percent of Sanders’ supporters identified as African-American. Sanders, who drew crowds in the thousands during his August trip to the state, is working to change that. During that trip, he met with African-American leaders and elected officials, and campaign staff says he’ll continue to hold such meetings. His South Carolina presence includes two offices with 15 full-time workers, and he plans to open more by the end of the month...


USA TODAY 4:41 p.m. EDT September 12, 2015
Bernie Sanders woos voters in key Southern state
By Nicole Gaudiano
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2015/09/12/bernie-sanders-looks-boost-presidential-prospects-key-southern-state/72003080/

Bernie Sanders has a problem, on the southern horizon.

Black voters in the south – a key demographic for any Democratic candidate – don’t know him. It’s not that they don’t know his policies and positions, the details of his past and his platform. They don’t know his name...

In Alabama, at Bishop State College, two black students, 21-year old Octavia Moore and 28-year-old Anita Dean, emerged from a biology class, talking politics. Moore said she had not yet decided whom she would vote for. Dean said she would vote for whichever candidate seemed strongest on matters of equality and the environment.

“So probably Hillary,” she said. “She is equipped and has the experience to do the job.”

Neither had heard of Bernie Sanders.

Sanders is pushing now to make himself known. On Saturday he appeared at Benedict College in South Carolina, a traditionally black school and a well-trodden campaign stop in a state where most voters are black. Cornel West – Sanders’ most prominent black advocate – introduced him as “a brother of integrity and honesty”.

At least half the audience, though, was white...

Sanders has a strong background on exactly the issues he seemed to avoid. As a student at the University of Chicago, he was active in the now-legendary Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1962 he was arrested for protesting public school segregation. He posted flyers around the city about police brutality.

In 1985, as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he traveled to Nicaragua to protest US involvement there in repressing leftwing movements. More recently he has consistently voted against the Patriot Act, declaring that it violates the civil rights of all Americans, but most specifically Muslims...

In Moss Point, Mississippi, for instance, Ebony Hayes, 29, works as a counselor at the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence. She stays politically aware, she said, because her work requires a close understanding of social justice laws.

Of course she knew Hillary Clinton, she said. But what about the other leading Democratic contender, Bernie Sanders?

She grimaced. “I don’t know him,” she said...


Guardian, Updated: Sunday 13 September 2015 13.47 BST
Bernie Sanders, who? Winning over southern black voters the next hurdle;
Hillary Clinton’s popularity and criticism the Vermont senator has not addressed racial and social justice issues leave many black voters skeptical
By Matthew Teague in Moss Point, Mississippi
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/13/bernie-sanders-southern-black-voters-next-hurdle


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Love for Penang-6

Penang is a great place for shopping. First of all, Komtar, Penang's tallest building (*)...

LOOKING at the heavy flow of traffic along Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong and Carnarvon Street today, not many would recall it was once a huge swamp area with a canal where boats and junks could sail in.

Carnarvon Street − the street of undertakers, coffin-makers, joss stick shops and school textbook shops − has long been known to older Penangites as lam chan ngah, which means swampy rice fields, in the early days of Penang.

It was a marshland with a Malay settlement and the adjoining Carnarvon Lane was known as kam kong lai or Malay village.

The street was named after the 4th Earl of Carnarvon, Henry Herbert. He was the secretary of the State of Colonies, or simply the British official in charge of the colonies from 1866 to 1867.

The town and county of Carnarvon Street were located in the principality of Wales. He was also a prominent member of the Conservative Party.

Prangin Road − now renamed Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong − used to have a huge canal and until the 1940s, boats used to carry goods from the seafront all the way inland along the Prangin Canal.

The old market area, Prangin Market, was called Sia Boey or end of the town, by the Hokkiens. There were also vegetable farms in that area, where produce were uploaded on these boats.

When the Komtar building was being built, excavation works carried out in that area found evidence of coins, chinaware and other utensils, believed to have been thrown into the canal by Chinese sailors. Many of these historical items are now being stored at the state museum.

By the time I was a schoolboy, the Prangin Canal had turned into a big smelly drain. It used to be a bus stop for the privately-run Lim Seng Seng buses.

The bus operator was efficient but the conductors, including the women, were rude, tough and even nasty. They had no qualms about kicking out, literally, any student who attempted to shove his way into an overly crowded bus...

Wong Chun Wai, "Marshland buried with the times"
(Article in the Star, Published: February 16, 2013 and in "Penang' History, My Story", Star, 2014)
Read more: http://wongchunwai.com/2013/02/

Komtar, Komtar... Mydins, Mydins...

All Mydins staff have to be willing to be “Mydinised”.

That is to say, they must be ready to embrace change, inculcate good work habits and attend weekly sessions with him as he shares company anecdotes, values and philosophy.

The success of Mydin is summarised in a book, Mydin – the Untold Story, written by none other than Ameer’s wife, Datin Wira Dr Siti Hawa Mohd. Formerly a lecturer, she is now the director of human resources at Mydin. Apparently, she wrote the book after doing extensive research that took up to 13 years.

Mydin’s rags-to-riches success story began with Mydin’s father, Ghulam Hussein Jamal, from Gujarat, India. It was he who started the family’s first retail shop in 1918. However, their shop in Penang was burnt down to the ground during World War II, and they lost everything. But Mydin, a pasar malam trader then, was determined to continue the family business...

In 1987, Ameer finally left his banking job and joined the family business. But he decided to do things differently and brought Mydin to the next level.

He started the third Mydin outlet, a double-storey department store in Jalan Masjid India, KL, in 1989. This outlet sold a range of merchandise like clothing, toys, stationery and household items at wholesale prices, making it the first retail store in KL to do this...

Ameer believes in order to be an entrepreneur, you must have the passion for it. The trick with retail business is to know and sell what your customers want and not what you want, he says.

“It’s important to know what you are doing and do the things you know. Since we have always been in the wholesale and retail business, we should keep to our expertise. I don’t believe we should venture into other businesses that are not (in the area of) our skills. You must always stay focused.

“If you don’t, you will lose track, especially when you grow bigger. But then again, whatever your strength, you must never underestimate your competitors,” says Ameer who takes Mydin’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) seriously.

One of his principles in life is to use money to help people because he feels money is only a means to an end.

“God takes care of people who take care of others. When you do something with sincerity, you will be rewarded. We must always stay grounded and have humility as we grow. I also believe that in life, you must never chase two things, fame and money. It will come to you when you are ready,” says the successful businessman.

And the most important aspect of business for him is honesty.

“Because whatever you do dishonestly, it will come back to you,” he stresses.


The Star, Published: Monday July 13, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Never chase fame or money;
Mydin MD Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin, who helped grow the family business into the behemoth that it is today, believes in staying grounded and focused. Do things with sincerity, and you will be rewarded, he tells ZIEMAN.
http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/SMEBiz/Focus/2015/07/13/Never-chase-fame-or-money/

Mydins, Mydins...Giant and Cold Storage...

IN its continuous effort to support the local economy and provide quality fresh produce to customers, GCH Retail Malaysia Sdn Bhd (GCH Retail) is expanding its initiative of sourcing locally.

“Over the past years, we have seen a drift towards local produce being sourced from China and the Philippines. With the fresh food initiative and (the emphasis of) working with local farmers, we aim to change that trend,” says GCH Retail chief executive officer Datuk Tim Ashdown.

The company wants to offer the best products at the best price by cutting out the cost of middlemen by going straight to local vendors or farmers.

Ashdown says local vendors are key to developing the country’s economy, and he is convinced that focusing on fresh local produce would lead to substantially lower logistical costs, allowing products to be sold at a cheaper price.

“Locally-produced products are not subjected to currency fluctuations or delays at sea as the products are logistically closer and delivery is much more environment-friendly,” he points out.

“Moreover, local sourcing supports the country’s economy by creating more jobs for the local community,” Ashdown says. adding that products produced locally are more suited to the taste of the local people as well.

He reveals that the demand for fresh produce is high, with fresh fruits and vegetables currently constituting 33% of total monthly sales in GCH Retail stores.

In its recent supply partnership with Agroto Sdn Bhd, retail stores under the company – Giant, Cold Storage, Mercato and Jasons Food Hall – will now be offering farm-fresh vegetables from Kinta, Perak.

“Our customers demand not only vegetables that are fresh, but also safe for consumption and high in nutrition. And, of course, at a good price.

“These demands will be addressed by the exclusive collaboration with Agroto and our joint O’Fresh brand,” says Ashdown, adding that the vegetables are cut and shipped overnight and put on sale the very next morning.

The O’Fresh brand is currently available at select Giant stores and is expected to be available in all retail stores within six months.

The five-year supply contract covers stable supplies of O’Fresh cabbage, Beijing cabbage, tomato, cherry tomato, capsicum, kyuri (Japanese cucumber), chili, lettuce, little gem and white radish, with plans to also bring in pomelo, melon and loloroso lettuce next.

Besides fresh vegetables, up to 60 stores under the company are currently getting fresh fish every day direct from the local ports. The company is also looking at doing the same for chicken and frozen food, as well as Sabah and Sarawak products for the Peninsula.

“We are looking at all opportunities to build and improve our stores, and one of the ways is to take more control in the supply chain,” he says...


The Star, Published: Monday September 14, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Local’s the way to go
By Ruby Lim
http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/SMEBiz/Focus/2015/09/14/Locals-the-way-to-go/

(*)
GEORGE TOWN: The possibility of the state administrative hub vacating Komtar to make way for new use will be among the issues discussed in the state assembly session from May 11.

Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said he had submitted a written question for discussion during the oral debates.

“If the government administrative offices moved out, then the tower could become a hotel or university. It could consist of serviced apartments or corporate offices. This can potentially give Komtar a fresh breath of life,” he said.

Leaving Komtar, he said, was discussed as early as 2001 by the previous state government but the idea was shot down because the proposal involved using at least RM30mil from the state coffers to build a new complex, and George Town was suffering from a reduction in residents.

The Star, Published: Wednesday April 29, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Komtar tower could become hotel or varsity
By Arnold Loh
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/04/29/Rep-Komtar-tower-could-become-hotel-or-varsity/


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2015年09月13日

For the benefit of the people

London (AFP) - Veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of Britain's Labour opposition on Saturday in a landslide victory that puts an anti-austerity figure at the helm of a major UK party.

The 66-year-old, whose policies have been compared to those of radical leftist Greece's Syriza and Spain's Podemos, won after clinching 59.5 percent of the vote, giving Britain its most left-wing leader in decades among the main parties.

The new Labour chief could divide Britain's biggest opposition party, and he immediately faced shadow cabinet resignations amid warnings from party grandees that Labour could be consigned to electoral oblivion.

In his victory speech, Corbyn slammed Prime Minister David Cameron's centre-right Conservatives for presiding over "grotesque levels of inequality" and for creating "an unfair welfare system".

As the win was announced at a conference centre in London, supporters chanted "Jez We Can!" while centrist figures looked shell-shocked.

Corbyn later thanked his supporters in a nearby pub, where he joined in a rendition of the traditional socialist anthem "The Red Flag".

"It's a fantastic moment for change in Britain," he told reporters as he arrived at the bar.

The veteran member of parliament has said he will oppose Britain joining in air strikes against the Islamic State jihadist group over Syria and has been ambiguous about his stance on an upcoming referendum on Britain's EU membership.

Addressing tens of thousands of people at a pro-refugee rally in London later on Saturday, Corbyn alluded to Cameron's reference to air strikes as part of the solution to the migration crisis.

"Surely our objective ought to be to find peaceful solutions to the problems of this world," said Corbyn, to huge cheers.

As support for anti-austerity parties swells across Europe, Greece's hard-left Syriza welcomed Corbyn's election, saying it represented a "message of hope" and would bolster a "pan-European front" against crippling government spending cuts.

Spain's leftist Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias tweeted that Corbyn's triumph was "a step forward towards a change in Europe for the benefit of the people".
...


Yahoo News, Updated: 7 hours ago
Socialist Corbyn wins UK Labour leadership in landslide
By Roland Jackson, AFP
http://news.yahoo.com/uks-labour-expected-anoint-leftist-corbyn-leader-075108190.html

Also please read the following articles:
Marx admirer Corbyn elected UK opposition Labour leader
By William James and Michael Holden, Reuters
http://news.yahoo.com/socialist-jeremy-corbyn-elected-opposition-labour-leader-uk-104927026--business.html

Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn elected with huge mandate;
Election of backbench MP and anti-war campaigner means party now has one of the most leftwing, anti-establishment leaders in its history
By Rowena Mason
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/12/jeremy-corbyn-wins-labour-party-leadership-election

Meanwhile in the general election 2015, Singaporean Oppostion leader could not annouce his or their clear "Voice of Hope" and the party could not mark a clear step forward towards a change in Asia for not the benefit of developpers but of people first.

Singapore’s ruling party has won the city-state’s most fiercely contested election since independence, thumping parties that had hoped to create a stronger opposing voice in a country dominated by one political faction.

The People’s Action party (PAP) secured 83 of the 89 seats against the opposition in most districts by wide margins. The only opposition group to gain seats, the Workers’ party (WP), now has six members of parliament, down from seven.

Voting is compulsory for the roughly 2.5 million Singaporeans aged over 21. Candidates were only given nine days to flood social media with campaign messages after Lee called the election late last month...

Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, 63, faced the electorate for the first time without his popular father, who ruled for three decades as premier and is credited with transforming the swampy island into a regional financial hub. Lee Kuan Yew died in March aged 91.

Both father and son have been accused of authoritarianism for strictly controlling the press and hampering political dissent but these are not key issues for most voters...

The Workers’ party leader, Low Thia Khiang, 59, won his own seat by a margin of less than one percentage point. He had said that he hoped to gain 20 seats this year to create a substantive opposition and keep the PAP in check.

The smaller Singapore Democratic party (SDP) is led by a prominent dissident, Chee Soon Juan, and has also led large rallies, although it holds no seats.


The Guardian, Friday 11 September 2015 20.54 BST
Singapore's ruling party batters opposition in huge election win
Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s party, in office since 1959, has returned to power for five more years after easily winning the general election
By Oliver Holmes, South-east Asia correspondent
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/11/singapore-election-early-count-shows-ruling-party-in-strong-position


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Love for Penang-5

Malaysians seem to be constantly eating. Miss the street food in Penang, the island off Malaysia’s west coast known as the cultural and culinary melting pot of Southeast Asia, and you miss a nightly movable feast that takes place on street corners and outdoor food courts like this one called hawkers centers.

However...

Malaysians have a passionate love affair with their lip-smacking cuisine – rich curries, succulent fried chicken, buttery breads and creamy drinks – but it is increasingly an unhealthy relationship.

Malaysia is Southeast Asia's fattest country, where a nationwide foodie culture is feeding mounting concern over what its health minister calls "an obesity epidemic."

"We are the most obese nation in Southeast Asia, and Malaysians are becoming more obese," Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam told AFP, warning of a "crisis in unhealthy behaviour."
...
In Malaysia, childhood obesity rates also are climbing, from less than 10% a decade ago to nearly 14% in 2008, according to the most recent figures, saddling health systems with a new generation of diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related illnesses

Already, some 2.6 million adults have diabetes, a figure authorities expect to spike to 4.5 million in 2020. Malaysia has a population of around 29 million.

Lim, 40, who weighs 173 kg, has diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and joint pains from lugging his bulk around.

"All I knew was that eating made me happy. I was a couch potato, watching DVDs, and my weight rose," Lim said as he huffs through his now-regular workouts in a Kuala Lumpur fitness centre.

Malaysia is a victim of its own success, with decades of economic advancement bringing the flip-side health issues that developing countries often encounter when hunger is defeated, incomes rise, and lifestyles become more sedentary.

A key factor is the national love for Malaysia's delicious but rich fare: spicy curries made with fattening coconut milk, carb-heavy rice dishes, and sugary drinks like teh tarik, a frothy tea with sweetened condensed milk.

The breaking of bread is of vital social and cultural importance in each of multi-racial Malaysia's main ethnic groups and is enthusiastically embraced.

Open-air food stalls are a fixture in every neighbourhood, often open 24 hours and full of late-diners, a major health no-no, according to doctors.

Fast food giants McDonald's and KFC also do a roaring business, and Malaysians are among the world's top per-capita sugar consumers.

Compounding the issue, languid, tropical Malaysia has historically lacked a strong tradition of active outdoor leisure pursuits, due in part to the sweltering weather, Islamic modesty, and shortage of public spaces for exercise.

Subramaniam, the health minister, said the problem eventually "will affect productivity and impact our economic development."

Over the past year, the government has ramped up public-awareness campaigns and mass street-exercise activities. Subsidies that kept prices of sugar and cooking oil low have been reduced in recent years, for joint budgetary and health reasons.

Fitness chains, a relatively undeveloped industry in Malaysia, now report growing numbers of health-conscious members.

"At least three out of 10 people who sign up at our gym do it because of illnesses, including obesity and heart-related illness," said Elaine Yap, marketing manager with fitness chain Jatomi, which has four outlets.

Experts say more official action is needed.

Mohamad Ismail Noor, president of the Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity, backs emerging calls to ban 24-hour food outlets, cut sugar content in beverages, further reduce sugar and cooking oil subsidies, and build more parks.

"We need to take stern action. The government has to put its foot down and say 24-hour outlets are not healthy. Obesity is the mother of all diseases," he said.

Old habits die hard. A study of nearly 1,700 seriously ill diabetics released last week found that more than three out of four shrugged off doctor's advice on changing their lifestyles, Malaysian media reported.

The study also reportedly found that diabetes-related eye complications in such patients increased from 35% in 2008 to 49% in 2013, while kidney complications rose six percentage points to 42%.

Wong Siew Hong, a 170-kg diabetic automotive mechanic, is trying.

Barely able to bend down to pick up his tools, he is trying a range of weight-loss products, but can't kick his love of oily Malaysian noodle dishes and is ready to throw in the towel.

"When I walk, I feel like I am a tank. I am too heavy," said the father of two."At home I just eat and sit on the sofa."


The Malyasian Insider, Published: 27 November 2014 11:46 AM
Malaysia is Southeast Asia’s fattest country
By AFP
See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-is-southeast-asias-fattest-country

Scientists have finally figured out how the key gene tied to obesity makes people fat, a major discovery that could open the door to an entirely new approach to the problem beyond diet and exercise.

The work solves a big mystery: Since 2007, researchers have known that a gene called FTO was related to obesity, but they didn't know how, and could not tie it to appetite or other known factors.

Now experiments reveal that a faulty version of the gene causes energy from food to be stored as fat rather than burned. Genetic tinkering in mice and on human cells in the lab suggests this can be reversed, giving hope that a drug or other treatment might be developed to do the same in people.

The work was led by scientists at MIT and Harvard University and published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The discovery challenges the notion that "when people get obese it was basically their own choice because they choose to eat too much or not exercise," said study leader Melina Claussnitzer, a genetics specialist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "For the first time, genetics has revealed a mechanism in obesity that was not really suspected before" and gives a third explanation or factor that's involved.

Independent experts praised the discovery.

"It's a big deal," said Dr. Clifford Rosen, a scientist at Maine Medical Center Research Institute and an associate editor at the medical journal.

"A lot of people think the obesity epidemic is all about eating too much," but our fat cells play a role in how food gets used, he said. With this discovery, "you now have a pathway for drugs that can make those fat cells work differently."

Several obesity drugs are already on the market, but they are generally used for short-term weight loss and are aimed at the brain and appetite; they don't directly target metabolism.

Researchers can't guess how long it might take before a drug based on the new findings becomes available. But it's unlikely it would be a magic pill that would enable people to eat anything they want without packing on the pounds. And targeting this fat pathway could affect other things, so a treatment would need rigorous testing to prove safe and effective.

The gene glitch doesn't explain all obesity. It was found in 44 percent of Europeans but only 5 percent of blacks, so other genes clearly are at work, and food and exercise still matter.

Having the glitch doesn't destine you to become obese but may predispose you to it. People with two faulty copies of the gene (one from Mom and one from Dad) weighed an average of 7 pounds more than those without them. But some were obviously a lot heavier than that, and even 7 pounds can be the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy weight, said Manolis Kellis, a professor at MIT.

He and Claussnitzer are seeking a patent related to the work. It was done on people in Europe, Sweden and Norway, and funded by the German Research Center for Environmental Health and others, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Obesity affects more than 500 million people worldwide and contributes to a host of diseases. In the U.S., about one-third of adults are obese and another one-third are more modestly overweight.

The FTO gene turns out to influence obesity indirectly, as a master switch that affects two other genes that control thermogenesis, or burning off energy. It's long been known that brown or beige fatty tissue - the so-called "good fat" - burns calories, while the more common white fat stores them. The body constantly makes fat cells, and the two genes determine whether they become brown or white ones.

In one experiment described in the medical journal, researchers blocked the faulty gene's effect in mice and found they became 50 percent leaner than other mice despite eating a high-fat diet, and burned more energy even when asleep.

In other tests on human cells, blocking the gene's effect increased energy burning in fat cells. Editing out the problem gene in human cells in the lab also restored normal metabolic function.

Researchers don't know the impact of having just one faulty copy of the gene but think it has less of an effect than having two copies.

Several companies are trying to develop treatments to stimulate brown fat, and the new research suggests a novel approach.

"It's a potential target" for drug development, said Dr. Sam Klein, an obesity researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. He called the work "an amazing study" and "a scientific tour de force."

Dr. Rudolph Leibel, an obesity expert at Columbia University in New York, used the same term - "tour de force." Still, some earlier research suggests the FTO gene may influence other aspects of obesity such as behavior and appetite.

"It's possible there are several mechanisms being affected," and that fat-burning is not the whole story, he said.


Huffpost Healthy Living, Posted: 08/19/2015 06:00 PM EDT
Obesity Gene Discovery Could Forever Change Weight Loss;
But don't expect a magic pill.
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obesity-gene-discovery-could-forever-change-weight-loss_55d4f994e4b0ab468d9fc0f4



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2015年09月12日

finding the remains

BERUAS (Perak) - The Army Museum in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan believes more than 500 aircraft deployed during the Second World War (WWII) era crashed in the country.

Army Museum research head, Capt Muhd Zuraiman Abdul Ghani said the various types of ill-fated aircraft belonged to Britain, United States (US), New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

Muhd Zuraiman, who is also 'Ops Gangga' investigating officer said the museum had registered 10 Dakota cargo airplanes which crashed in the country.

Of the 10 Dakota planes, he said two belonged to the United States Air Force (USAF), one to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) while another was a civilian aircraft.

"Of the 10 Dakota airplanes, only one case was resolved by the museum, to date," he told reporters during a visit to the crash site of a US-owned Dakota Bravo C47B in Gunung Bubu, Beruas.

He said the first successful excavation was the retrieval of a Douglas DC-3 Dakota (KN630) belonging to the British Royal Air Force in Gua Musang, Kelantan in 2008, adding it was later handed over to the British Government in a ceremony with military honours in 2012.

He said in the second mission, the Army Museum was tasked with recovering the fuselage of a Dakota Bravo C- 47B owned by the US by November.

A total of 110 personnel of the Malaysian Armed Forces, Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and related agencies are involved in the 'Ops Gangga' mission to retrieve the plane which crashed in Gunung Bubu, Beruas on Nov 27, 1945.

Commenting on 'Ops Gangga', Muhd Zuraiman said the museum would recover as many wreckage as possible for research and investigation.

"After completing the investigations, the wreckage will be put on display at the Army Museum, while the Perak Museum has also shown interest for some of the wreckage to be placed there," he said.


More Than 500 Aircraft Crashed In Peninsula During WWII Era
Source: Bernama, Sept 9
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1169755

BERUAS: Experts are confident that they can excavate and return the remains of the three crew members of the downed World War II Douglas Dakota C-47B aircraft that crashed at the Bubu Forest Reserve here in 1945.

Numerous materials from the crash site have been found and would be analysed, said the US Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA)’s archaeologist Dr Owen O’Leary.

“We will have to wait for confirmation from forensic analysis. It was a successful dig.

“It’ll take time before we can confirm anything. We are very hopeful and we have a good chance of finding the remains,” he said, adding that they were mostly looking for three things – military-issued life support items; biological materials like teeth and bones and personal belongings like watches or gear.

“The materials that were screened will be handed over to the Malaysian Defence Ministry, Health Ministry and Heritage Department to be analysed first before being brought back to the United States,” said Dr O’Leary.

The aircraft, with three crew members, crashed in the Bubu Forest Reserve on Nov 17, 1945, while en route from Singapore to Penang to deliver food.

The three crew members were identified as Flight Officer Judson Baskett, Flight Assistant William Myers and Communications Officer Donald Jones.

Dr O’Leary, who specialises in WWII plane crashes, said the aircraft broke apart as it fell through trees in the jungle.

“The cockpit of the aircraft was destroyed during the crash.

“Several of its parts, including the engines, fuselage, wings and the tail part of the aircraft were scattered all within a 190sq m-size area,” he told journalists during a media visit to the Op Gangga excavation site in the forest reserve on Monday.

“Buckets of soil were taken up to a screening station to filter for bones, aircraft parts or personal belongings,” he added.

Capt Gregory Lynch, who leads the US team of about 11 personnel at the site, said the DPAA was determined to bring home the remains and personal belongings, if any, to the respective families.

“These are what matter the most. We are not interested in recovering the wreckage,” he said.

Royal Malaysian Armed Forces odontology forensic experts Brig-Jen Datuk Dr Mohd Ilham Haron said Op Gangga, which began in July was expected to be wrapped up by the end of this month.

“We hope that by November (*), we will have some positive results so that a handover ceremony between the US President and our Prime Minister could be held,” he said.

“The remains of the aircraft are expected to be excavated later and moved to the Armed Forces Museum in Port Dickson.”

About 110 personnel, including the DPAA, Royal Malaysian Army, Universiti Sains Malaysia archaeology department and the Forestry Department, are involved in Op Gangga.


The Star, Published: Thursday September 10, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Hopeful of finding remains
By Ivan Loh
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/10/Hopeful-of-finding-remains-Experts-upbeat-about-excavating-materials-at-site-of-crashed-US-WWII-plan/

Butterworth: Workers of a steel mill in Prai here were spotted loading objects resembling bomb shells into two trucks, believed to be trnsported to another spot.
Yellow police tapes were used tp cordon off the area at the mill compound, with several policemen seen standing guard nearby and observing the loading process.
A worker of the company said the objects loaded into trucks were indeed bombs.
It was reported on Sept 6 that hundreds of bombs were found among scrap metal delivered to a stell mill in Prai near here.
During a check by The Star at the mill yesterday, a trailler driver, who only wished to be known as Mat, said: "Some said the bombs were similar to those dropped off Japanese airplanes during the World War era."...


Mill owner conforms to police order;
Workers move bombs to another location
Source: The Star (published: Saturday 12 September 2015)

(*)
Op Gangga chief Brigadier General Datuk Dr Mohd Ilham Haron said the operation showed the warm relations betwenn Malaysia and the US.

"The remains (if found) will be handed by our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to US President Barack Obama during the Asean Summit in November.

"This is a symbolic gesture of reciprocal assistance by the Malaysian armed forces to the US government, as both countries have maintained close cooperation, not only in economic terms, but also in defence and security."

Malaysian-US operation to recover WW2 plane
Source: New Straits Times


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Love for Penang-4

Geioge Town : It was a shortlived joy for Penangites as the clear skies in the morning turned hazy in the afternoon.
Retiree Jack Ko, 58, who walks and jogs at the Penang Botanic Gardens said he was happy to see the clear sky from 8am until about noon.
"Thanks to the rain over the past few days, the weather had been great," said Ko when interviewed here yesterday.
Anoher retiree Ang Chang Teik, 58, said the weather on Thursday was much better and hoped that the weather would improve in the next few days.
"The haze never really affects me and I continue with my daily exercises," he said.
He added that he prefers walking dn jogging.


The Star, Published Saturday 12 September 2015
Haze back on Penang after brief respite

JAKARTA: Five Asean countries, including Brunei, agreed to remain vigilant and step up their efforts to minimise any possible occurrence of transboundary smoke haze from land and forest fires in anticipation of the extended drier weather in the coming months.

This is a move to deal with the high risks of occasional extended periods of drier and warmer conditions due to the possibility of the prevailing moderate El Nino strengthening in the coming months.

This was among other outcomes in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday during the 17th Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution, which was attended by ministers responsible for the environment from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The statement said the ministers noted the continued efforts by Indonesia on finalising its respective Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Malaysia and Singapore to address transboundary haze isues, building upon the previous successful experiences in bilateral cooperation in Riau and Jambi provinces.

In this regard, it added, Malaysia and Singapore look forward to finalising their respective MoUs with Indonesia soon.

The meeting also noted the substantive progress of the development of the successor Asean Programme on Sustainable Manag-ement of Peatland Ecosystems (APSMPE 2014-2020), and the encouraging response and support from Asean dialogue and development partners.

“The ministers renewed their commitment to implement this regional Programme through Asean mechanisms, enhanced national level efforts and multi-stakeholder partnership,” the statement said.

The ministers also stressed the need to develop a Roadmap on Asean cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation.

They welcomed Thailand’s offer to host a workshop to draft the roadmap next year with a view to promote sharing of experiences and lessons learned, enhance institutional capacities, human resources development and technology transfer to achieve a vision of haze-free Asean by 2020.


The Star, Published: Thursday July 30, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Nations to step up haze fight
Source: The Brunei Times
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Regional/2015/07/30/Nations-to-step-up-haze-fight-Five-Asean-countries-agree-to-minimise-transboundary-smoke/

PADAMARAN, Indonesia, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Indonesia said on Friday it will send more than 10,000 troops to fight fires in southern Sumatra, as smoke makes thousands sick, delays flights and pushes air quality to unhealthy levels in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.

Indonesia has vowed before to end the seasonal fires but has failed each time to stop the so-called "haze", caused by slash-and-burn clearances on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, where large areas of forest concessions are held by pulp and paper and palm oil companies.

Indonesian troops will be sent to the provinces of South Sumatra and Jambi, two of the main hotspots, Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.

If necessary, the agency would also send in additional helicopters to help water-bomb fires.

"We have mobilized national resources to put out the fires," newly appointed BNPB chief Willem Rampangilei said in a press release.

South Sumatra, one of the main centres of the fires, has alone reported 22,585 cases of acute respiratory tract infections since Friday.

Early on Friday, Singapore's Pollutants Standard Index rose to 248, which categorises the air as "very unhealthy", or one level below the index's highest air pollution category of "hazardous".

Singapore, which was voting in a general election on Friday, advised citizens against strenuous outdoor exercise.


New Straits Times, Published: 12 September 2015
Indonesia ro send more troops to battle open fires
By Reuters
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3230445/Indonesia-sending-thousands-troops-fight-smog-causing-fires.html

THANKFULLY, Indonesia is now on board to work with Asean nations to end the annual haze hazard that, especially this year, has over the recent weeks gotten from bad to worse. After more than a decade of dragging its feet, Indonesia has ratified the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. With that, all 10 Asean member nations are on the same page ready to fight the problem and censure those responsible as harshly as the law of the country will permit. Already 10 firms are being probed over forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan that, in Sarawak, is causing haze with Air Pollutant Index (API) at unhealthy levels. Samarahan was the worst affected yesterday with an API reading of 174, followed by Sri Aman at 155 and Kuching at 150.

Air travel, too, has been disrupted in the region given the thickening level of pollution blanketing Southeast Asia. And, of course, it goes without saying that the worsening condition is affecting the health of the population.

Although a measure of good faith has been demonstrated by Indonesia through ratifying the agreement, it is not enough to sound off warnings against culprits who have left forests and peat soil burning. With as many as 38 hotspots in Sumatra and 102 in Kalimantan, the problem is put down to slash-and-burn activities, which the large paper, pulp and oil palm corporations are blaming on smallholders. But according to green groups, these companies, which have been given massive land concessions for their commercial activities, are not doing enough to stop the resulting rampant deforestation and the destruction of peat lands. It is then not enough for the authorities in Jakarta to threaten sanctions if these companies are found to be violating their permits. And, is it at all possible that companies that are law-abiding corporate citizens can, nevertheless, be the cause of this perennial regional problem? Unlikely.

Open to the authorities are sanctions ranging from a written warning through to revocations of the company’s permit to operate. Surely there should be many more than fines as intermediate measures. Companies found guilty should pay for the cost of putting out the fires, which are substantial. This could involve cloud seeding to produce rain and airborne dousing. They should also compensate countries where the haze has caused a spike in related areas of healthcare, thus, allowing the provision of free services under emergency situations. For as long as commercial enterprises feel able to get away with irresponsibility, they will. To signpost the limits of tolerance and then to act without fear or favour to stop the transgressions is the only way that corporate social responsibility (CSR) − and minding the greater wellbeing is most definitely a part of this − can be etched into the commercial culture.

Asean as a whole, and not merely Indonesia, must act in a concerted effort to realise the goals of an agreement that has been long in the making. For, in ending the haze hazard, an environmental coup de grace is achieved: an ecology embracing CSR to green the corporate sector.


New Straits Times, Published: 11 September 2015 at 11:09 AM
Asean ending haze hazard together;
Properly punishing irresponsible corporations is the only way forward environmentally
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/asean-ending-haze-hazard-together


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2015年09月11日

whistleblower

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will soon play host to the 16th international anti-corruption conference – the world's largest meeting.

This will be the first time the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will be hosting such an event along with partners the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) council, Transparency International (TI) and Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M).

The conference, themed "Ending Impunity: People, Integrity, Action" will see the participation of leading experts from a wide array of disciplines coming under one roof to exchange views on progress and challenges in fighting corruption worldwide.

The conference will run from Sept 2-4 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak...

The IACC is the world's premier forum that brings together heads of state, civil society, the private sector and more to tackle the increasingly sophisticated challenges pose by corruption.

It takes place every two years and attracts up to 1,500 participants from over 135 countries. The last conference was held in Brazil from Nov 7-10, 2012.

More than 30 global leaders from all sectors have been confirmed to speak and discuss on the matter including Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) secretary-general Jose Angel Gurria and Natural Resource Governance Institute president and senior fellow in the global economy and development program at the Brookings Institution, Daniel Kaufmann.


The Star, Published: Sunday May 31, 2015 MYT 8:06:00 PM
Malaysia to host world's largest anti-graft conference
By Dina Murad
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/05/31/MACC-hosting-worlds-largest-anti-graft-meet/

When ex-policeman turned bank anti-money laundering officer Martin Woods found out his workplace, one of the biggest banks in the United States, was helping Mexican druglords to launder billions of US dollars, his employers expected him to “shut up”.

But Woods, born in “strong-minded” Liverpool, England and driven to law enforcement after seeing the horrible effects of drugs, could not take that sitting down.

“What was the alternative? Do I turn my face away like everyone else did? Just live off the proceeds of drug trafficking, go to the ATM and take out money covered in blood?
...
Woods claims he is still feeling the isolation from his experience at the Wachovia bank. He has approached nearly 100 banks and government regulators for a job, and none would hire him.

“Basically, they did not want me to do what I did at Wachovia in their bank. What does that say about banks that they do not want to employ a guy that will call out your wrongdoings?

“It’s a sad indictment of an industry that at its core relies on trust. It’s bizarre really. Illogical and irrational,” he lamented.

Woods contends world leaders are not doing enough to protect whistleblowers like himself.

He says whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, who is now in exile in Russia, make incredible personal sacrifices and face vilification by governments for doing what they do.

The only thing people can do for whistleblowers, he said, is to pile public pressure on leaders and politicians to pardon them.


IACC, Posted on 4 Sep, 2015
Whistleblower Martin Woods tells his story
By Nicholas Cheng, IACC Young Journalist
http://16iacc.org/blog/2015/09/04/whistleblower-martin-woods-tells-his-story/

On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.

During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.

The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller's cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war...

Martin Woods, a Liverpudlian in his mid-40s, joined the London office of Wachovia Bank in February 2005 as a senior anti-money laundering officer. He had previously served with the Metropolitan police drug squad. As a detective he joined the money-laundering investigation team of the National Crime Squad, where he worked on the British end of the Bank of New York money-laundering scandal in the late 1990s.

Woods talks like a police officer – in the best sense of the word: punctilious, exact, with a roguish humour, but moral at the core. He was an ideal appointment for any bank eager to operate a diligent and effective risk management policy against the lucrative scourge of high finance: laundering, knowing or otherwise, the vast proceeds of criminality, tax-evasion, and dealing in arms and drugs.

Woods had a police officer's eye and a police officer's instincts – not those of a banker. And this influenced not only his methods, but his mentality. "I think that a lot of things matter more than money – and that marks you out in a culture which appears to prevail in many of the banks in the world," he says.

Woods was set apart by his modus operandi. His speciality, he explains, was his application of a "know your client", or KYC, policing strategy to identifying dirty money. "KYC is a fundamental approach to anti-money laundering, going after tax evasion or counter-terrorist financing. Who are your clients? Is the documentation right? Good, responsible banking involved always knowing your customer and it still does."
...


The Observer, Last modified on Wednesday 1 October 2014 12.18 BST
How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs;
As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system. But a special investigation by the Observer reveals how the increasingly frantic warnings of one London whistleblower were ignored
By Ed Vulliamy
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs


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Love for Penang-3

THIS question often goes through my mind: What sort of memories will our young people have of Penang when they leave to study or work overseas?

Penangites born in the 80s and 90s grew up in an environment of mega shopping malls and high-rise buildings − unlike 40 to 50 years ago.

Today’s Penang is left with few unique places that made it special for those of us growing up in the 60s and 70s.

We, especially those approaching retirement age, held these landmarks close to our hearts because they were all we had back then.

Among the special places that have disappeared are the Shaw Brothers’ New World Amusement Park (Sin Seh Kai) and the Great World Park (Tua Seh Kai), which were the entertainment centres of Penang in the 50s and 60s.

Sin Seh Kai was the site of the Globe and Lido cinemas where we could enjoy a movie for only 65sen to RM1.

In the same compound were −- an opera hall for those who appreciated Chinese opera, a stage for striptease dancer Rose Chan to perform her snake wrestling act, and a ring for wrestling matches featuring wrestlers with nicknames like King Kong.

I remember going to the cinema to watch the classic swordplay movie, Dragon Inn, in the late 60s.

At the Great World Park, the two-seater electric bumper car rides was a main attraction. It also housed the Eastern Cinema (Tong Hong Hee Tai) which screened many of the Shaw Brothers’ classics and Hollywood movies.

I watched Cecil B. DeMille’s epic movie, The Ten Commandments, there.

These entertainment parks were unique because they could only be found in some towns in Malaysia such as Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Taiping, Ipoh and Alor Setar.

Opposite the Great World Park stood Royal Cinema, which screened mainly Hindi and Tamil movies. Further down the road was Paramount, a unique cinema because of its three seating levels unlike the others which mostly had ground floor and balcony seating.

One of the more unique places to eat in inner George Town during the 60s and 70s was a place called Jamban Kha (The Toilet’s Edge) located behind Wembley Cinema on Magazine Road. It was famous for its chicken feet delicacy, steamed chicken, oh jian (fried oyster in eggs) and fried noodles.

My parents would take me there for supper after the movies.

Most of these unique places have since made way for progress. For example, the New World Amusement Park is now the New World Park Food Court which houses the famous hawker stalls of Swatow Lane. The Great World Park is now the site of Komtar and Prangin Mall.

But in making progress, Penang has somewhat lost some of its old-world charm.

A friend who is in the tourism industry recently told me that tourists are attracted to places that are rich in history and culture − not to concrete jungles.

To the younger generation, it will definitely be a different Penang to the one I know.


The Star, Published: Tuesday September 8, 2015 MYT 12:00:00
Longing for lost gems of the past
By David Tan
http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Views/2015/09/08/Longing-for-lost-gems-of-the-past-Entertainment-centres-of-old-bring-back-fond-memories-of-George-To/

THE old Prangin market or popularly known as Sia Boey (Town’s End) in Penang will be transformed into a premier art district in the country with a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line cutting through the 2.2ha site for easy access for the public.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the area would be the focal point for the community.

“Under the Penang Transport Master Plan, there will be an LRT line cutting across this heritage and art district,” he said.

He said this in his speech yesterday before witnessing the signing ceremony between the Penang Development Corpora-tion (PDC) and Yayasan Haji Zainuddin to set up a new iconic art museum, Ilham Penang.

It was earlier reported that Sia Boey had been designated as the site for the central LRT station.

The RM100mil Penang Heritage Arts District, upon completion, will feature restored heritage shophouses occupied by art galleries, studios, eateries, schools and workspaces.

It includes the RM30mil Ilham Penang, which Lim described as a catalyst for culture-led urban regeneration in the historical George Town.

He said the PDC had granted Yayasan Haji Zainuddin a 30+30 year lease on a 0.6ha land.

In return, Yayasan will invest RM30mil to build and cover the cost of its operations and maintenance over the period of time.

The art museum will have at least 45,000sq ft of gallery space which will be the largest of its kind in Malaysia.

Lim said in addition to gallery space, the museum will offer a café or restaurant, a library, a 200-seat auditorium and art storage facilities.

The museum will be free for school-going children while adults will only have to pay a nominal fee.

“Upon completion, Ilham Penang will certainly go a long way towards making Penang an international destination of choice.

“More importantly, in the times of economic slowdown and uncertainty, Ilham Penang will be a catalyst for urban regeneration,” he said.

Lim said he had personally taken a trip to South Bank in London to check out the Tate Modern gallery.

“It used to be an abandoned area where you will get mugged or robbed.

“Even taxi drivers dare not take you to that place. But today, it is the hippiest and coolest place in London.

“It brings in urban regeneration and that shows art can also be an economic catalyst and driver.

“Hopefully, this project will launch Penang into another dimension,” he said.

Lim said the state government could have easily converted the site into another RM500mil commercial and residential development project.

“But do we want another concrete jungle? We want to do something that is good for the community and create a centre for heritage and arts for our children,” he said.

In conjunction with the launch, there is a public exhibition at the Prangin Market till Sept 13.

It is aimed at celebrating the past, present and future of Sia Boey. The exhibition features the rich history of Sia Boey and future plans for the historical site.


The Star, Published: Monday September 7, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
The LRT connection
http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/09/07/The-LRT-connection-Rail-line-to-pass-through-old-Prangin-market-site/

PENANG has indeed lost its old charm, its soul, wa kar lu kong. And I found out when I came by again from Kuala Lumpur the other day, just a few days after it officially became a city, that a piece of medium-sized prawn at a familiar nasi kandar stall cost RM20 and ice kacang is no more 60 sen. Wah piang.

Wa kar lu kong, by the way, is the easy-going Penang street lingo for “I’m telling you” and wah piang is “I’m flabbergasted.”

The kiam siap (tight-fisted) culture where customers used to bring along their own eggs to the char koay teow seller so as to save 20 sen per order is all forgotten, just as the juai morah (jual murah bazaar) which has been displaced by mega shopping malls.

And all kinds of cosmopolitan languages have taken over from the thick Penang dialect.

Penang was declared a city last month and celebrated its inaugural City Day on Saturday last week. The 12th city in the country and that’s a long time coming. Among the basic criteria for granting city status to a local government is a minimum population of 500,000 and an annual income of not less than RM100 million. But that’s the technical aspect. Many people regarded Penang a city long before this. It was actually a city a long time ago, then not a city and now back as a city.

I remember at one time having friends working in the “City Council”. And the public transportation system those days was efficiently served by “City Council” buses.

There was also the “City Stadium” where football matches were played. That's because George Town became a city on Jan 1, 1957 by a royal charter granted by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the first town in the Federation of Malaya to become a city.

However, local government elections were abolished by the federal government in 1965, and the functions of the City Council were transferred to the Chief Minister of Penang in 1966. A Municipal Council for the whole of Penang island was set up in 1974-6.

But despite the city status drift and the hot debate about over-development and traffic atrocity, we have to admit Penang is now headed towards sleek progress and evolution even though this is going to make us miss many things from the past that are no more.

I stood by at a corner of a huge shopping mall the other day and observed that Penang is now not much different from Kuala Lumpur. Most shops were selling designer clothes and there were fancy cafes all over. The people looked urbane and swanky. The bazaar-like shopping atmosphere of the old Penang Road and Campbell Street along with the “t-shirt and shorts” attire of the people are all reduced to memory.

I was also blown away when I passed through the old loop roads leading to the pier − Magazine Road, Acheh Street, Carnarvon Street, Armenian Street, Ah Quee Street and Beach Street. They have transformed greatly. And beautifully, becoming a heritage zone dotted with boutique hotels, elegant cafes and kiosks selling souvenirs and crafts.

What a departure from 25 or 30 years ago when the old rundown shophouses all around inner George Town merely served as godowns, charcoal stores, antique furniture shops, iron smith workshops or simply dwellings. They were protected by the Rent Control Act where rentals for each property rarely fetched more than RM40 per month. And it was common to see four or five families sharing one unit of property. This Act was rescinded several years ago causing rentals to spiral into orbit and pushing most old residents out of Inner George Town into the suburbs.

One of the residents at Armenian Street I spoke to said he used to pay RM15 rent in the good old days when he was operating a charcoal business. Now “It’s in the thousands” and he was selling t-shirts and souvenir stuff.

I suppose it is all part of the trade-off in life where you get one advantage but miss out on the other.

The shophouses along Weld Quay and even the pre-war houses on the outskirts of the city have undergone transformation and are looking swell. Along Bangkok Lane, for instance, the row of residential properties look elegant though the mamak mee shop at the end of the road is still there in its original state.

At a nasi kandar stall not far away, the person serving customers greeted me in the usual Penang street slang. Hai mamu lama tak nampak? Nak makan apa? Sat saya bubuh udang baguih punya. He was offering me prawns and that was when I found out it was RM20 apiece − as shocking as the RM3.50 for ice kacang on Armenian Street a while ago.


New Straits Times, Published: 14 April 2015 @ 12:00 PM
Missing the Penang of old
By Syed Nadzri, an award-winning columnist, is a freelance writer
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/missing-penang-old


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new target of extreme Republican rhetoric

China, please refer to the following comment about "New Target of Extreme Republican Rhetoric":

As 17 Republican candidates try to get noticed, and 16 of them struggle to compete with The Donald, perhaps we should not be surprised to hear crazy rhetoric and outlandish ideas. In recent days, Chris Christie has proposed that all legal visitors to the United States be tracked every minute, like FedEx packages. Mike Huckabee has compared Planned Parenthood to the Islamic State because they both “take people’s heads off.” And I haven’t even gotten to Donald Trump...

None of this is true about China, the new target of irresponsible Republican rhetoric. China is the world’s second-largest economy, almost 2½ times the size of the next largest, Japan. Even if growth slows substantially, China will continue to have seismic effects on the global system.

Scott Walker has declared that the upcoming state visit of China’s president, Xi Jinping, should be canceled. Marco Rubio would allow Xi to come but downgrade his trip and use it as an opportunity to “speak bluntly to this authoritarian ruler.” In a speech billed as outlining his foreign policy, Rubio argued that China is “a rising threat to our economic interests” and “a growing danger to our national security.” Christie explained that Washington needs a “military approach” to China. Trump goes further and is coarser.

I asked the senior-most foreign policy statesman in the Republican Party, Henry Kissinger, what he makes of this rhetoric. “It is foolishness,” he said, “but dangerous foolishness. It could have extremely grave repercussions.” I also asked Hank Paulson, the most recent Republican treasury secretary, who has visited China more than 100 times over the past 25 years and negotiated with the Chinese as a businessman, government official and conservationist. “This summit means a lot to both countries and provides an opportunity to get important things done,” Paulson said. “But particularly, because China is experiencing some economic problems at home, if we slight them or overplay our hand, they may leave questioning their ability to work with us. That would be terrible for both nations.”

Part of the problem is that China’s government remains a black box and few people understand what is happening there − which makes it easy to ascribe malign intentions to Beijing’s every move. Take, for example, the Chinese central bank’s recent decision to allow its currency to fall − instantly denounced by politicians in Washington as an effort to flood the U.S. market with cheap goods. Over the past few years, the renminbi had appreciated substantially against the dollar and the yen. The Chinese government appeared to be responding to Western pressure to allow market forces to reign, which in this case made the currency fall. That is why the International Monetary Fund praised Beijing’s decision to devalue. And when the renminbi fell too far, Beijing spent an estimated $200 billion trying to prop it up − hardly the actions of a government trying to devalue. As with the stock market, Beijing’s policies have been inconsistent and ineffective, but that does not mean that they are evil.

“From the rhetoric I hear,” Kissinger told me, “one would imagine that China has decided to embark on a series of policies, economic and military, that threaten the United States. What is really going on is that China is in the midst of an enormous transformation, economic and political. . . The internal turmoil in the country today is comparable only to the Cultural Revolution.” And, he noted, it would be far better for the United States if China makes this transition to a more stable economy successfully.

The Republican rhetoric on China, Mexico and immigration reveals a breakdown of the party’s ideological vision and internal discipline. For decades, Republicans have favored internationalism, engagement and free markets. In 2016, it is quite possible that the party’s nominee will be populist, nativist and protectionist.

The consequences of this new climate of China-bashing could be serious. “It might turn out that over time we determine that it is not possible to cooperate with China,” Kissinger said. “But we should exhaust every effort to have a serious, constructive relationship. If not, the tensions will build, misunderstandings will grow, and I worry that we would find ourselves in an atmosphere similar to that of Europe before World War I − a war no one wanted but no one knew how to stop.”


Opinion, The Washington Post, Published: September 3
Republican candidates bash China at our own peril
By Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post Columnist
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republican-candidates-bash-china-at-our-own-peril/2015/09/03/dc7c3f20-5263-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html

Taking into consideration the above, today Mr Yahho invites you the following 2 articles:

PRESIDENT Xi Jinping’s impending state visit to the United States will focus attention on the widening differences between the two countries rather than their common interests despite a slowing economy and other domestic Chinese problems.

No issue is knottier than human rights, or as pressing. We received a preview last month when, for the first time in two years, a human rights dialogue was held. Tom Malinowski, US assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labour, who led the American delegation, briefed the media afterwards. Those present included representatives of China’s state media.

In opening remarks, Malinowski said there was a “growing sense of alarm” about human rights developments in China and that the issue “will be very prominently addressed” during Xi’s state visit. He called for “specific improvements”.

The American official focused on China’s ongoing crackdown on lawyers, with “over 250 attorneys, activists and their family members being detained, questioned, interrogated or held incommunicado”. “It is hard to have rule of law when lawyers are arrested for defending their clients or when the government equates arguing a case in court with, quote, ‘creating a disturbance’ or ‘picking a quarrel’ − two of the vague offences under which lawyers and others have been prosecuted,” Malinowski said.

Of special concern was a draft non-governmental organisation (NGO) law which, he said, appeared to place all foreign NGOs under China’s Public Security Ministry and “applying criminal sanctions to ordinary acts that are fundamentally not criminal in character”. When the questioning began, the China Daily asked about Michael Brown, the 18-year-old African-American who was shot dead by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri. As it turned out, this case was raised by the Chinese side during the closed-door session.

Malinowski recalled that the Chinese said: “We all saw that on TV”, and his response was: “Exactly, you saw it on TV because the Chinese state media was able to be in Ferguson and to cover those events non-stop from start to finish.” Malinowski contrasted the situation with that in China, where the international media “does not have that kind of access when there is violence, for example, in Tibet or Xinjiang. Nor, I would add, did the United States government arrest the lawyers of Michael Brown or people who took video footage of the police violence”.

He recalled that, in China, the large-scale arrest of lawyers began with a case of alleged police violence, in which a man was killed by the police. Then, Malinowski said, “a person videotaping that incident was arrested. That person’s lawyer was then arrested. And then 159 other lawyers and activists signed a petition on behalf of the lawyer, and they were all arrested”.

A People’s Daily reporter asked what the US was doing “to tackle this kind of racial discrimination”. Malinowski urged the reporter to talk to the different agencies that were working together to address those problems, including the Justice Department and the White House.

He stressed the importance of “the ability of the press to report on the problem without interference, without intimidation, without the risk of arrest; the ability of victims of abuse to seek redress through the courts and to have their cases judged independently, and not to have to worry about their lawyers also being punished for representing them; the ability of citizens who have grievances to go out and demonstrate publicly without worrying about being arrested or subjected to violence”.

Without those things, he said, it is impossible to take actions to address the problem. “But if you don’t have those basic institutions,” he said, “then you can’t even begin to address the problem.” Turning to China, he said: “And so many of our concerns about the situation in Xinjiang, for example, and Tibet are really about the absence of an opportunity for people with grievances to be able to seek redress through all of those institutions”.

So, the US conceded that it, like China, has human rights problems but, unlike China, the US allows the public, including the foreign media, to report and comment on the issues.

Significantly, Malinowski argued for greater access within China by diplomats and journalists “on the basis of reciprocity”. This is a shift from the previous American stance of not imposing restrictions on Chinese journalists or limiting the issuance of journalist visas.

If Washington now shifts to reciprocity as an instrument as part of a tougher stance toward China, it will substantially strengthen its hand, not only in human rights, but in other areas as well.


New Straits Times, Published: 3 September 2015 @ 11:00 AM
Knotty issue in Xi’s visit to US
By By Frank Ching, a Hong Kong-based journalist
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/knotty-issue-xi%E2%80%99s-visit-us

WHILE advanced telecommunication technologies manifest in the form of a palm-sized device now, people had to rely on handwritten letters to communicate just a few decades ago.

It now takes just a few seconds for messages to get across electronically, but in the bygone era, letters took days, even months, to reach the recipients.

The longing for a reply and anxiety of not receiving a response when the postal system was disrupted by the invasion of Japanese troops in China during World War II are captured in a book titled Family Letters on Resistance against Aggression.

Zhang Ding, the brains behind the book, started the campaign to collect letters from the common people back in 2004.

A former journalist for state-owned China Central Television, Zhang was inspired by a similar effort in the United States calling for contributions of personal letters that hold valuable insights into the past.

“We are experiencing a change of times – when handwritten letters are replaced by electronically transmitted messages,” said Zhang, 48.

“Letters are seen as useless things but the contents have great historical value.”

He collected tens of thousands of letters over the years from all over the country. Each is treasured as no two letters are the same, and they are so precious money can’t buy them, he said.

In conjunction with China’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, 40 letters written during the war were compiled into a book.

Most of the letters were written by men who left home to join the war. Addressed to parents, siblings or wives, the letters are tearjerkers packed with heart-wrenching ex--pres---sions of love, angst and sorrow that were amplified by separation.

“I write you a letter every place I go, as long as there are facilities to post letters. I believe you’ve re-ceived each one of them but I haven’t received a reply from you in months.

“I am hundreds and thousands of miles away with the military, but I miss everyone at home dearly,” a letter from Wang Renyu to his wife read.

In a letter to his mother, Liu Zhongxin wrote: “When I was about to fall asleep two nights ago, I suddenly saw you but you have aged so much. I screamed. A comrade overheard me and woke me up. I didn’t know what was happening then but now I know I was only dreaming.

“Everyone else here has received letters from home except for me. How are you and brother?

“How is the summer harvest? Please reply soonest.”

Some of the letters evoke sadness when readers find out from the accompanying notes that the writers had penned them just before they were killed in the battlefield.

Zhang said the letters compiled in the book conveyed a burning desire among the people to fight the intruders and reclaim their homeland. Through them, one could visualise the intensity of nationalist sentiments during the war.

Cheng Xiong wrote to his parents: “I am leaving Dabie Mountains right now and marching towards the frontline to wipe out the enemies to safeguard the nation. Do not feel sad, do not miss me. I was born for greatness, and dying for glory is my last wish.”

While the Chinese government focused on grand events such as the mega military parade last week to mark Victory Day, reminding the world of its contribution to peace, these letters tell honest, unpolished tales of the sufferings of the common people during the war.

Except for a few written by well-known war heroes, the rest were penned by ordinary citizens.

He said people were often unsure when they called up to enquire about the “criteria” a letter has to fulfil in order to be accepted by his repository.

“They would ask, ‘We are nobody. Do you want our letters?’

“Of course we do! Each of us is part of the country. Cumulatively, we write the country’s history,” he said.

Zhang sees the letters as more than just communication between loved ones. Through the papers used and the writing, mostly Chinese calligraphy, they can also be appreciated as pieces of art, he said.

Unlike typed characters that lack the personal touch, a person’s handwriting can be affected by the emotions he is feeling at a particular moment. Some of the letters bear the marks of tears that must have been shed when they were written.

Twenty thousand copies of the book have been printed so far, an achievement that has exceeded Zhang’s expectations as he knows a book like this would not generate overwhelming response from the public, especially the younger gene-ration.


The Star, Published: Friday September 11, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Invaluable letters for my country;
A campaign to collect letters from the common people is offering a glimpse into China’s history during World War II
By Tho Xin Yi
http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Columnists/Check-In-China/Profile/Articles/2015/09/11/Invaluable-letters-for-my-country-A-campaign-to-collect-letters-from-the-common-people-is-offering-a/


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2015年09月10日

Love for Penang-2

Not Cecil the lion (*), but human Cecil, the poet !:

GEORGE TOWN: Poet Cecil Rajendra, the latest recipient of the 2015 Penang Living Heri-tage Treasure award, is hoping that more can be done to safeguard the Penang heritage zone.

He said tourism players should offer local experiences instead of “glitzy knick-knacks” to tourists.

He said he was disheartened that many intangible heritage sites had become stylish cafes and boutique hotels owned by foreigners.

“Many old-styled kopitiam (coffee shops) with good hawker fare within the heritage area are dying.

“Tourists should be brought there to sample the best hokkien mee, char kuey teow, mee rebus and other hawker fare in town.

“They can also visit the shops owned by local artisans.

“The authentic stuff has been sidelined. Besides, these hawkers are themselves living heritage who have not been given due recognition,” he said after receiving his award from National Laureate Pak Samad at Upper Penang Road yesterday.

Cecil, 74, also lamented the over-developed landscape in the state, especially in Tanjung Bungah and Balik Pulau.

“Bukit Relau, or infamously known as Botak Hill, has a bald patch on top. The landscape in Tanjung Bungah and Balik Pulau has also been ravaged.

I don’t see as much green as before,” he said.

The award, organised by Penang Heritage Trust, are limited to three a year and a maximum of eight at any one time. Each recipient will be given RM2,000 a year for life.

Cecil is a well-known human rights activist who champions legal aid for the marginalised. His skill in writing, especially in poetry, has gained him global recognition and his poems are used in schools and colleges around the world.

A student of St Xavier’s Institution, he published his first book of poetry 50 years ago in England where he was studying law. He has always said he was a lawyer by profession and poet by compulsion.

When asked what made him tick to be eligible for the awards, Cecil replied: “Being old.”

He added that among his most popular poems was ‘The Animal and Insect Act’ which parodies repressive policies.

“This is a satirical piece that takes on the Internal Security Act, Publications Act, freedom of assembly and others in the 1980s.

“It was a global phenomenon that saw the poem being published in other countries with repressive regimes,” he said.

The other seven living heritage recipients are chef extraordinaire Datuk Lim Bian Yam, 82, handmade signboard carver Kok Ah Wah, 75, Hokkien puppet troupe owner Ooi Siew Kim, 75, Thai Menora performer Noo Wan, 90, Teochew puppet troupe owner Toh Ai Wah, 65, jeweller N.B. Samarasena, 91, and rattan weaver Sim Buck Teik, 86.


The Star, Published: Monday August 31, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Keeping it real for tourists
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/08/31/Keeping-it-real-for-tourists-Do-more-to-promote-Penangs-authentic-heritage-says-Cecil/

With rapid economic growth within just a few decades, Asian megacities and their 4.3 billion people have experienced intensive environmental disruption. Land use change has caused biodiversity loss and compromised environmental life-support systems with a knock-on effect on human livelihoods and wellbeing.

Such argument is probably true at the macro level. To find some wisdom about sustainable development practices in Asia, we have to look closer by observing how contemporary Asian communities respond to environmental changes.

In Jogjakarta, Indonesia, a local community group called Pemerti Kali Code − meaning the preservers of the Code river − has championed initiatives to promote sustainable development. In this urban setting of about 14,000 riverbank people, Pemerti Kali Code has led alternative livelihood programmes, river-walk tourism, environmental rehabilitation and disaster mitigation to revitalise the living conditions of the urban poor.

As in other places in Asia, Kali Code especially benefited from the presence of a visionary leader in the person of Totok Pratopo. This former teacher has managed to unite the diverse groups behind a common vision of sustainability. His leadership has mobilised local activism by navigating within and between the social spaces in order to build trust and forge links between multiple actors and institutions.

Khiriwong has made a name for itself among tourists and scholars beyond the Nakhon Si Thammarat province in Thailand, where it is located. The village is known for the community’s ability to strike a harmonious relationship with nature. Since the first settlement was established there two centuries ago, the community has learned to adapt to environmental risks on the mountain terrain.

One strategy employed is a fruit cultivation system that they call the Suan Som Rom. This fruit farming method mimics nature by ensuring the rooting and canopy arrangements of the fruit trees resemble the natural forest. The end-result is an “integrated garden” in which the cultivated fruit trees are grown alongside indigenous forest trees. By mixing the trees, the community had adopted an ecologically sound method of stabilising loose granitic soil on the steep slopes, which is less likely to cave in after heavy rainfall.

Also, in many parts of Asia, a reverence for the spirits of the natural world still governs the behaviour of its peoples in daily interactions with the environment. Biwa-ko, the largest lake in Japan, has a distinctive Shinto temple gate in its waters as a reminder that this is a sacred place that should be protected by all.

In the scenic isles of Batanes in the northernmost tip of the Philippines, a shaman performs the vanua ritual to appease the spirits so that fishermen are safe at sea and enjoy a good catch for the season.

In Peninsular Malaysia’s Tasik Chini, the indigenous Jakun community uses oral traditions to remember their ancestors and pay respects to powerful spirits to sustain the human-nature balance.

The examples above are extracted from a book entitled Living Landscapes, Connected Communities: Culture, Environment and Change Across Asia. Its findings point to our common Asian heritage of spirituality, community solidarity and moral leadership. Despite belonging to different national contexts, there is unity in the rich variety of Asian cultures. The more than 300-page book is a culmination of a five-year study by hundreds of fellows of the Asian Public Intellectuals Programme. Together, these “cultural commuters” have taken the initial step to liberate ourselves from cultural myopia, by understanding the interconnectedness of Asian legacies and values. More needs to be done surely to piece together the jigsaw of alternative development and ecological change in Asia.

We arguably have a case to promote Asian perspectives on sustainable development and SDGs based on ways of life that are closely linked to nature. By extension, we are also presented with an opportunity to re-examine the global dominant model of development and quantitative growth, and perhaps, break away from it for good.


New Straits Times, Published: 8 September 2015 at 11:00 AM
Promoting Asian perspectives on sustainable development
By Dr Hezri Adnan, director of technology, environment and sustainability at ISIS Malaysia
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/promoting-asian-perspectives-sustainable-development

(*)
The American dentist at the center of an international uproar over the killing of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe returned to his clinic in suburban Minneapolis on Tuesday after weeks out of the public eye.

Walter Palmer entered the clinic in Bloomington at about 7am without a word to media gathered outside. As he walked from his vehicle, a staff member met him on the sidewalk, grabbed his arm and parted a throng of reporters to rush the dentist to the front door.

Employees also escorted patients inside. Police blocked off an area around the clinic and were working to minimize potential traffic congestion in case of a big protest turnout.

Only a handful of protesters were on hand around sunrise...

The Guardian, Published: Tuesday 8 September 2015 15.10 BST
Cecil the lion killer returns to work at Minnesota dental clinic;
A handful of protesters and a throng of reporters were on hand around sunrise awaiting Walter Palmer, who returned to work after weeks out of the public eye
By Associated Press in Minneapolis
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/08/cecil-the-lion-hunter-dentist-returns-to-work



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Shame Wall

A camerawoman for a Hungarian TV channel was fired after she was filmed tripping a man carrying a child while running away from police near Hungary's border with Serbia, the station said Wednesday.

Petra László, a camera operator for Hungary's N1TV, was recording migrants fleeing police near the town of Rőszke on Tuesday when another journalist nearby saw her stick her leg in front of the man, causing him to fall on top of the child.

László's motivation was not immediately clear. Attempts to reach her through N1TV were not successful. The station posted a message Wednesday on its website saying László had been dismissed for "unacceptable behavior."...

A Facebook "Shame Wall" condemning László's actions was later set up, and it received hundreds of messages and comments on Wednesday. One comment posted by Marco Ernte described the incident as the "dark side of Europe."

Media outlets in Hungary and elsewhere reported that N1TV has close links to the country's far-right, anti-immigration Jobbik political party.

The United Nations warned this week that Hungary needs international help to deal with thousands of migrants crossing its borders to reach Germany and other European Union countries. While Hungary is a member of the EU, it has been criticized for its inconsistent approach to Europe's migration crisis and for not doing enough to provide shelter and other necessities for people on the move.

Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, is trying to construct a wall along the Hungarian-Serbian border to stem the flow of migrants...


USA Today, Updated: 1:47 p.m. EDT September 9, 2015
Hungarian journalist filmed tripping man carrying migrant child
By Kim Hjelmgaard
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/09/09/hungarian-journalist-filmed-tripping-man-carrying-migrant-child/71921448/

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has unveiled "bold" plans to force the 28-member bloc to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from overstretched border states.

In his first EU State of the Union speech to the European Parliament, Mr Juncker urged Europe to look to its history and not be afraid of his proposals for compulsory quotas for refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and elsewhere.

His comments came after Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced plans to "move quickly" to accept an extra 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq, and confirmed Australia would bomb Islamic State terrorist group targets in Syria.

"Now is not the time to take fright, it is time for bold, determined action for the European Union," Mr Juncker said in a marathon 80-minute speech in Strasbourg.

"It is 160,000 that Europe has to take into their arms, this has to be done in a compulsory way. I call on the council to agree to take 160,000 at the interior ministers' meeting on September 14."

Mr Juncker was referring to a new scheme for binding quotas for the emergency relocation of 120,000 people from Italy, Greece and Hungary, combined with a similar scheme for 40,000 refugees in Italy and Greece that he unveiled in May.

He warned EU member states against making religious distinctions when deciding to admit asylum seekers, and recalled Europe's past of religious persecution.

"There is no religion, there is no belief, there is no philosophy when it comes to refugees," the former Luxembourg prime minister said. "We don't distinguish."...


ABC News, Updated about 5 hours ago
Europe migrant crisis: EU states to be forced to take in 160,000 refugees
By AFP/ABC
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-09/eu-chief-unveils-bold-new-plan-for-frontline-refugees-in-state-/6763176

Oh, Europe, the Mediterranean, cradle of civilization, is a watery grave. At the side of an Austrian highway, 71 nameless refugees perish, asphyxiated in a modern-day boxcar.

Czech authorities, armed with indelible markers but bereft of a sense of history, inscribe identification numbers on the skin of 200 migrants. Others are duped by Hungarian police with promises of “freedom” and find themselves in a “reception” camp (where presumably they are offered a shower).

Oh, Europe, Slovakia wants only Christian refugees, not the Muslims of Syria or Afghanistan. Viktor Orban, the puffed-up little Putin serving as Hungary’s prime minister, says he is protecting “European civilization” − read Christian Europe − as a 175-kilometer razor wire fence is installed along the Serbian border. David Cameron speaks of a “swarm” of migrants trying to reach Britain; it is locusts that move in swarms.

A 3-year-old Syrian boy, his little left hand folded back as if he were asleep in a crib, lies dead on a Turkish beach, his face in the sand, his silent reproach indelible. He was called Aylan Kurdi. His family wanted to bring him to Europe.

The shadows return, freighted with ironies. Orban’s Hungary turns its back on the magnificent Hungary of 1989, the first country to open the Iron Curtain a crack as it allowed tens of thousands of East Germans to cross into Austria and make their way to West Germany.

Orban’s pusillanimous Hungary forgets how, in 1956, at the time of the Soviet invasion, about 200,000 Hungarians fled into Austria and found refuge and freedom in Western Europe.

This petty Hungary also chooses to ignore that, of all the blessings acquired by the former nations of the Soviet bloc when the division of Europe ended, freedom of movement was the most prized. It was secured, this gift, with the fall of a wall. Now Hungary erects one.

Hungary is not alone in its prejudice. The preference for Christian migrants (in small numbers), and equating of Muslims with inevitable menace, is marked across almost all the countries of Central and East Europe that were once part of the Soviet imperium.

These states have not known the influx of post-colonial migrants that has changed several West European societies. Their Jews were almost all killed by the Nazis (with help from local accomplices).

Their ethnic makeup was further homogenized through border shifts or mass expulsions (ethnic Germans out of postwar Poland). Their recent history has been of mass emigration in search of job opportunities in the West, not of immigration.

As Jacques Rupnik, a prominent French political scientist, wrote recently in Le Monde, “There is a widespread perception in the East of the Continent that the Western ‘multicultural’ model has failed.” The conviction in these countries is that “migration from the south today equals ‘Islamic suburbs’ tomorrow.”

Oh, Europe, cursed with too much history, thy name is forgetfulness. Thy truth is miscegenation. Thy imagined tribes are just that, an illusion belied by endless migration over centuries. Thy hope is new blood, for racial purity was the altar of thy repetitive self-mutilation. Thy duty is memory, thy covenant with thy children openness and unity, for they must live.

Yes, memory: If Europe cared to remember, it might recall that this is the largest migratory wave since the end of World War II, when millions moved West from Stalin’s totalitarianism. It might also recollect that this mass movement was the culmination of a war that emanated from one of the Continent’s great “civilizations,” Germany − a frenzied attempt to impose on the Continent an Aryan super-race and rid it of Jews, Gypsies and others designated by Hitler as subspecies.

Today, refugees clamor to get into Germany. It has said it expects 800,000 this year. Angela Merkel, the chancellor, raised in Germany’s East, has towered over other European leaders because her personal history clarifies the stakes. “If Europe fails on this question of refugees, its close association with the universal rights of citizens will be destroyed,” she said. And then, almost heretically: “German thoroughness is super, but right now what we need is German flexibility.”

Even German flexibility, an unlikely commodity, is not enough. This is a European crisis. At a time of fracture in the European Union − Greece and the euro, Britain and possible exit, rising rightist parties, Vladimir Putin’s threats − Europe has been reminded of its core purpose and singular achievement: the ruin and misery it rose from, the abandoned masses it housed, the unity it forged after division had cost so many lives.

The need today is for more unity, a coherent immigration policy among the 28 members, and renewal of the maligned European idea. As Laura Boldrini, speaker of the lower house of the Italian Parliament, put it to me: “When the Mediterranean is a cemetery, we need a Europe 2.0. Nobody can love this Europe today. It is time for a renewed push for a United States of Europe.”


Opinion, New York Times, Published: SEPT. 7, 2015
Aylan Kurdi’s Europe
BY Roger Cohen, an NYT columnist



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2015年09月09日

love for Penang-1

Mr Yahho wants now to introduce his love for Penang before leaving the place on next Tuesday:

GEORGE TOWN: Seventy years ago today, former sergeant John Henry Gates – then a British Royal Signals superintendent – arrived in Penang following the surrender of the Japanese.

He was assigned to keep the communication lines open.

Gates, 91, said his unit, the 58 Medium Wireless Section, had followed the Royal Marines ashore at Weld Quay on that historic day.

“With the help of the Eurasian community, we managed to carry out our duties.

“At that time, my unit consisted of 30 wireless operators, drivers and linesmen who had never worked together before.”

Gates recollected the good times he had in Penang, which made him continue returning to the Pearl of Orient.

“This would be my 39th time to Penang with my Australian wife Lynnette Joan Gates.

“I will fondly remember the good times I had with my team when we were here,” he said in a hotel in Tanjung Bungah here.

Gates recalled being approached by a 17-year-old Penang boy named Sonny Foley in 1945.

“Foley had gathered some volunteers from the Eurasian community and we employed them as dispatch riders, clerks and telephone operators.

“We were put up at the Runnymede Hotel for a few days before moving to a Peel Avenue bungalow where we set up a transmitter station,” he said.

Gates said 15 years ago, he and his wife, now 84, visited the bungalow and it still looked the same. Lynette said Penang won them over with the good food, fine weather and friendly folks.

“We visit Penang very often especially during the winter season in Australia,” she said, adding that they are living in Melbourne.

Gates was a recipient of the 1939-1945 Star; the Burma Star, the Defence Medal, and the Victory Medal from the British Government for serving in the defence and army from August 1942 to August 1947.

He volunteered as a signalman in the signals training unit in Yorkshire, northern England, in 1942, before joining the 25th Infantry Brigade signals in south England.

He also joined the jungle training school in Bombay, India, in 1943 and headed to Burma and to Rangoon joining the 58 Medium Wireless Section of the 33 Corps Signals Imphal.

From Rangoon, the team headed to Penang on Sept 3, 1945. Gates was demobilised in August 1947 and he joined the Eastern Bank Limited as an assistant accountant in 1948.

The Star, Published: Thursday September 3, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Former soldier’s love for Penang
By Christopher Tan
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/03/Former-soldiers-love-for-Penang-British-army-man-shares-fond-memories/

Christopher Tan's recent articles in the Star:

# ‘Focus on shipwreck site
Published: Friday September 4, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/09/04/Focus-on-shipwreck-site-Author-Govt-should-help-finance-excavation-work-at-Bujang-Valley/

# Govt urged to finance excavation of shipwrecks
Published: Saturday September 5, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/05/Govt-urged-to-finance-excavation-of-shipwrecks/

Meanwhile why is he writing about the importance of the excavation of ancient shipwrecks discovered buried at the Sungai Batu Archaeological Site in Kedah?

ALOR SETAR: Archaeologists have unearthed wrecks of ancient ships embedded in the mud of an ancient river which once flowed through the historical site of 'Kedah Tua', thousands of years ago.

The discovery was made at the Sungai Batu archaeological site, which appears to be the oldest civilisation in Southeast Asia.

Religious, Siamese Community Affairs, Tourism and Heritage, Public Works Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid revealed the discovery in a recent interview.

"The archaeologists stumbled on between five and seven ancient ships or barges. The masts (of the ships) were still visible. The ancient ships or barges measure 40 to 50 feet in length.

"All this while, the archaeologists were conducting mangrove research in coastal areas, but with the use of satellite technology, were able to identify the exact location of the ancient river," he said.

Mohd Rawi said the ancient ships were discovered about a year ago but the researchers did not announce it.

The Sungai Batu archaeological site is located in an oil palm plantation near Sungai Petani, where researchers since 2009 had discovered various relics over 1,900 years old.

The site has been verified to be an older civilisation than Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Borobodur Temple in Indonesia, which were built in the ninth and 12th century, respectively.

According to Mohd Rawi, the wrecks of the ancient ships were found embedded in a swampy and muddy area at the archaeological site, which thousands of years ago was a deep and wide river.

On efforts to retrieve the ships, he said discussions should be held between the state and federal Governments, as well as agencies involved due to its expected high cost.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Global Archaeological Research Centre director Profesor Datuk Dr Mokhtar Saidin when contacted, confirmed the discovery of the ancient ships.

"We discovered the remnants of the ancient ships when conducting the geophysics analysis (in the Sungai Batu archaeological site). However, we need to do more research and analyses before a final decision can be reached," he said.

He did not rule out the ships to likely be the same age as the Sungai Batu civilisation itself.

Several archaeologists at the site described the discovery as among the most important historical finding so far.

Previously, the USM archaeological team had made some important discoveries such as iron smelting activities, port jetties and administrative buildings.

Nevertheless, the most important discovery was the circle-shaped monument which probably used for worship dating back to 110 AD or 1,900 years ago, by using the optically stimulated luminescence technique.

The Star, Published: Monday August 31, 2015 MYT 10:55:00 PM
Ancient shipwrecks discovered in Kedah
Source: Bernama


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their long journey

MALMO, Sweden, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Around 700 refugee children are arriving every week without their parents in Sweden, many injured in accidents and some bearing the physical and psychological scars of beatings or rape by their smugglers.

Usually the minors, mainly teenage boys, complete their long journey from the Middle East, Africa and Asia by crossing the Oresund bridge from Denmark, and seek help in the first Swedish city they reach, Malmo.

Staff at a Malmo transit centre, who care for unaccompanied children during their first few days in the country, describe how some arrive with head injuries or broken bones.

Often these are suffered when they fall from trucks on which they are trying to stow away. But the injuries can also be inflicted by the very smugglers that their parents have paid to take them to safety in northern Europe.

Some children, for example, suffer from hearing loss after they have been slapped over the ears during a journey which includes a lethally dangerous sea crossing to Europe on rafts or in boats, many of which are not seaworthy.

"We have also received many who came via Libya, including people who have been on the capsized boats," said the centre's manager Kristina Rosen. One unaccompanied child saw his brother drown in the Mediterranean; staff at the centre estimate more than half the children need psychological care at some point.

In proportion to its population, Sweden receives more asylum seekers than any other European nation and numbers are rising sharply, with many fleeing the civil war in Syria.

The country, which has welcomed refugees since the 1970s, also takes in around a third of all unaccompanied minors arriving in the European Union and their numbers are expected nearly to double this year to 12,000.

Officials say parents can often afford the cost of smuggling only one family member. So they send one child to Sweden, often to avoid recruitment as fighters by militant groups such as Islamic State, which has overrun large areas of Syria and Iraq, or Somalia's al-Shabaab.

Less than a third of the unaccompanied children are ever reunited with their parents.

STRAIN ON THE CITY
Malmo, just 35 minutes from Copenhagen by train, is the main port of entry into Sweden for minors.

Some are found wandering on the city's streets by strangers who take them to the authorities. Others seek out police or social workers, or are dropped off by smugglers near the Migration Agency with directions to its offices.

By August, 9,383 unaccompanied children had applied for asylum in Sweden this year, up from 7,049 in all of 2014, with numbers accelerating sharply this summer. They were mainly from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia and Syria, data from Sweden's Migration Agency showed, and most were boys.

Last year, 29 percent of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the EU came to Sweden, the agency says, putting the cost of care at 9.1 billion crowns ($1.1 billion) this year.

Children stay at the Malmo transit centre for just a few days before they go to other centres around Sweden, or move in with foster families if they are very young.

Staff try to give the Malmo centre the atmosphere of a home rather than an institution. Teenagers sit in what looks like a living room, playing computer games or browsing Facebook.

When one Syrian boy, who said he was 12, arrived at the centre, he spoke very softly in basic English. He was wearing clean sweat pants and carrying a simple bag. Staff said the younger children often arrive by train.

But older children can come in a much worse shape, and are sometimes very dirty after hanging under a truck on the way to Sweden.

"What is most striking on their arrival is that they are extremely tired and extremely hungry. They eat endless amounts of food," Rosen said. Around 92 percent of the unaccompanied minors seeking asylum are between 13 and 17 years old.

With 40 to 50 children arriving each day, the town's resources are strained, Malmo Mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh said, listing overcrowding and difficulties in recruiting staff.

Once settled, many do fairly well as they grow up. A Stockholm University study of minors who had arrived between 2003 and 2013 found that their employment rate was lower than the Swedish average. However, proportionately more had found work than refugee children who arrived with their parents.

Aref Karami, from Afghanistan and now 21, came alone to Sweden when he was 16. He travelled through Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Germany and Denmark. Between Greece and Italy he was with 34 people in a rubber dinghy for seven hours.

"I had heard of Sweden, that it is the best country to study in, and it was my dream to study," Karami, who is now at high school and dreams of becoming an architect. ($1 = 8.4534 Swedish crowns).

Dailymail.co.uk, Published: 17:05 GMT, 7 September 2015
Child refugees suffer accidents, beatings, rape on way to Sweden
By Daniel Dickson, Reuters
(Additional reporting by Mikael Nilsson in Malmo, Johan Ahlander in Stockholm; Editing by Sabina Zawadzki, Alistair Scrutton and David Stamp)
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3225485/Child-refugees-suffer-accidents-beatings-rape-way-Sweden.html

As WWII began, the English were asked to sponsor thousands of refugees fleeing Europe. And they stepped up, opening their doors to 70,000 people. Today, for a politician to talk of admitting 10,000 sounds like recklessly generous humanitarianism. It’s quite a contrast.

I FIRST met a refugee just before World War II broke out. Not that I knew it. As far as I could tell, “Miss Cohen” was just one of the aunties who flitted in and out of my grandfather’s house in Brondesbury, north-west London...

The Jewish press, and some national British titles too, was replete with appeals for homes for German refugees. About 70,000 of them were to come to Britain, but they had to be sponsored, so that they wouldn’t be a drain on the state. If they could show they had gainful employment, it would be a lot easier. Grandpa Freedland answered an advert from someone who, I suppose, was a fairly young German woman offering her services as a “domestic”.

He was what was called a diamond merchant, which made him sound very rich. He was nothing of the kind, although he might at one time have had a little money, enough to buy the semi in Dartmouth Road. One day, “Miss Cohen” knocked on his door, metaphorically carrying her mop and pail. She was, I understand, invited into the house, given a cup of tea and shown to her room at the top of the house. When she came down, Grandpa settled her in the big armchair and said he had something to tell her. Actually, he said, he didn’t need a domestic and perhaps couldn’t afford one. But, he told her, “this is now your home”. That simple act saved her from the Holocaust and made her one (the scary one, it’s true) of the family.

If more people had answered the call in that way, the 70,000 might have become hundreds of thousands saved from the gas chambers over a period of, say, the six years between Hitler’s rise to power and the outbreak of war. But even that 70,000 figure dwarfs the tiny numbers of refugees admitted today. Today, for a politician to talk of admitting 10,000 sounds like recklessly generous humanitarianism. It’s quite a contrast.

I suppose there was a reason for my grandfather’s generosity, besides his innate kindness. He had, himself, been a refugee 60 or so years before, from the village of Baisogala in Lithuania. It was a brave thing to do, to look for a new life in England, but before the Aliens Act of 1905, there were no restrictions on prospective immigrants. It wasn’t just a better economic situation he was seeking. There were too many stories of rampaging Cossacks raping and killing Jews in a succession of pogroms nearby.

The Star, Published: Sunday September 6, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
When Refugees Were Welcomed
By Michael Freedland, a British author and broadcaster; his books include biographies of Gregory Peck, Elvis Presley, Doris Day and Sean Connery
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/World/2015/09/06/When-refugees-were-welcomed-As-WWII-began-the-English-were-asked-to-sponsor-thousands-of-refugees-fl/

The voice from Malaysia too:

A BOAT packed with illegal immigrants from Indonesia capsized off the coast of Hutan Melintang/Sabak Bernam on Thursday. At least 24 lives were lost and many more are missing. According to the survivors, there were 70 to 80 people on the vessel, with each having paid RM700 for a passage to Tanjung Balai, Indonesia. The vessel, a fishing boat registered in Indonesia, was believed to be ferrying the human cargo home for the upcoming Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations. Tragedy struck and for many, a watery grave ended all hope for a joyous reunion with their families. And, unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident having happened before enough times to, one would have thought, deter these sad souls. But poverty drives one to extremes of hope.

These boats, often barely seaworthy, are operated by unscrupulous boatmen, whose only intent is to profiteer from the desperation of those void of proper travel documents to return home. Safety is the last thing on the mind of the boatmen or tekong. That their activities must be monitored cannot be stressed enough.

For the illegal migrants, this treacherous passage home is worth the risk of being caught, and possibly jailed, by the authorities. But every life lost in such tragic circumstances is one life too many.

And, when this happens along our coastline, the authorities must surely bear responsibility for not policing the coastline tightly enough. Are the long shores on coasts of the peninsula impossible to patrol effectively? Or, does the country not have enough patrol boats to prevent the sea borders from being regularly punctured by criminals operating on the high seas? Or, in the worst-case scenario, are our marine police and maritime enforcement officials looking the other way, as this newspaper reported earlier this week on how crews of foreign fishing vessels caught fishing in Malaysian waters bribed these officials to avoid arrest? For, the problem is not just about boats capsizing. This one accident is likely the tip of the human-trafficking iceberg.

Enforcement on both sides of the border is the obvious solution to end this dastardly activity, but given the porous nature of long borders there probably is not the kind of maritime and air assets needed to combat the crime. It is therefore heartening to note that the Home Ministry has once again offered amnesty, similar to the 6P amnesty exercise last year (*), to these illegal migrants for a safe passage home. Those who want to take advantage of the amnesty should approach their respective embassies or consular offices for the one-way passage home.

The question then is how often should the country repeat the 6P drill given the unstoppable inward flow of willing trafficking victims? Furthermore, the complaints have been about Malaysia’s manufacturers’ unwillingness to upgrade their technology to end labour-intensive production. However, when labour is cheap, the incentive does not exist. Cheap labour, though, is exploitative thus infringing on the dignity of those exploited and so must end. The law against employing illegal migrant labour is already in place. Tight enforcement and harsh punishment should be deterrent enough.


New Straits Times, Published: 5 September 2015 @ 11:00 AM
Fodder for traffickers ;
Stop employing illegal immigrants to help end their misery
By NST
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/fodder-traffickers

(*)
The “6P” exercise is to help the government identify the number of illegal immigrants in Malaysia.

The steps involved include registration, legalisation, amnesty, monitoring, enforcement, and deportation.

Once identified, the government will determine the number of workers needed to help Malaysia’s economy, and grant them temporary work permits. The rest will be repatriated.

The programme has seen the registration of around one million immigrants, while another 1.3 million have been granted amnesty.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/6p-programme-shifting-to-legalisation-phase#sthash.KWkwFSFq.dpuf


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2015年09月08日

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

Mr Yahoo wants to compare 2 voices concerning the Peace, especially the Article 9 of Japan's Constitution.

First article is written on the desk in Tokyo, Japan and the another one in Malaysia:

TOKYO − On July 1, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (*) gutted Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, the so-called “peace clause” that has historically prohibited belligerence. Using a cabinet decision to reinterpret the article, and so bypassing Parliament and the requirement for a referendum on a change to the Constitution, Mr. Abe thus empowered Japan’s military, known as the Self-Defense Forces, to take action against other countries.

Media outlets opposed the move, hundreds of thousands of citizens protested outside the prime minister’s official residence and a man set himself on fire in front of Shinjuku Station − all to no effect. Mr. Abe decided he could afford to go ahead. And it appears he was right: Postwar Japan’s pacifist spirit is finally dying.

Polls have shown that a majority of Japan’s citizens oppose the doctrine of “collective self-defense,” as the right to exercise force is known. Yet those who support Mr. Abe’s cabinet continue to outnumber those who don’t. An Asahi Shimbun poll conducted in late June found 56 percent against collective self-defense and only 28 percent in favor, with 43 percent supporting the Abe cabinet and 33 percent opposed.

This odd concurrence of overall approval for the Abe administration with disapproval for specific policies has been the rule in past months, during which Mr. Abe has let his nationalism run unbridled. Late last year, he rammed through a “Special Secret Protection Bill” that guards state interests while violating freedoms of the press and expression. He also became the first sitting prime minister since 2006 to visit the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, said to house the spirits of Japan’s war dead, including Class-A war criminals.

In each case, the media focused on popular opposition to these actions, emphasizing dips in Mr. Abe’s popularity. But the crucial point is that even with these dips, the prime minister has consistently drawn more support than opposition. If this had not been the case, he would almost certainly have decided not to rush ahead with his overbearing plan to alter the interpretation of Article 9...

Popular distrust of the state ran so deep and an abhorrence of memories of wartime militarism was so strong that Article 9 became a third rail in Japanese politics. All these years, a widespread pacifism kept the L.D.P. in check.

Seven decades after the 1945 defeat, anti-militarist sentiment in Japan is running out of steam. It is estimated that as many as three million Japanese, soldiers and civilians, died in World War II, or 4 percent of the population. Compare this with the national trauma of the 620,000 who died in the American Civil War − close to 2 percent of the population − and you get a sense of how deeply Japan’s survivors must have been affected.

But now, those survivors are themselves dying, and with them, their memories of the war dead. Uninhibited by any direct experience of the war, younger people find it all too easy to glorify Japan’s martial tradition. Since it opened late last year, more than seven million people have been to see the movie adaptation of “The Eternal Zero,” a best-selling sentimental novel about a group of kamikaze pilots, making it one of the top 10 most successful Japanese films of all time.

This troublesome development becomes downright frightening when one considers relations among East Asian nations today. In 1980, the South Korean and Chinese economies were just starting to grow, while Japan had climbed to an entirely different level: Japan’s gross domestic product was $1.1 trillion; South Korea’s was $64.4 billion; and China’s was $303.4 billion. Now, Japan’s G.D.P. stands at $4.7 trillion; South Korea’s is at $1.7 trillion; and China’s has reached $13.4 trillion.

Decades of rapid growth in Korea and China have transformed the three countries into more or less equal players in one of the most important regions in the world. While this is undoubtedly a good thing in many ways, it has also heightened tensions among them...

The United States responded quickly to Mr. Abe’s reinterpretation of Article 9 with a statement that welcomed the development as one that will “make the U.S.-Japan alliance even more effective” and calling it an “important step for Japan as it seeks to make a greater contribution to regional and global peace and security.” I can’t help wishing the American government had, at the very least, taken a more guarded approach.

After all, the new interpretation of the peace clause became possible only because so few Japanese people remember what the last war was like. It is hard to see how such forgetfulness will contribute to peace and security.


The Opinion Page in New York Times, Published: JULY 16, 2014
Japan’s Break With Peace
By Norihiro Kato, a literary critic and an emeritus professor at Waseda University. This article was translated by Michael Emmerich from the Japanese.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/opinion/norihiro-kato-japans-break-with-peace.html

ON Sunday, Aug 30, more than 100,000 Japanese protested in the vicinity of the Japanese parliament against new security bills tabled in the upper legislative chamber by the Shinto (sic) Abe government. About 300 similar rallies were held in different cities all over the country.

One television station estimated that perhaps a million people had participated in the mass protests.

There is overwhelming opposition to the bills allowing the Japanese armed forces to engage in overseas combat if that was required to protect Japanese interests.

Protecting Japanese interests is given a wide interpretation as to include cooperating militarily with allies in foreign operations.

Prime Minister Abe sees this as a form of “collective self-defence”. The bills were passed by the powerful lower legislative chamber in July, in spite of popular opposition. They are almost certain to be adopted by the upper chamber at the end of September where Abe’s ruling bloc has a majority.

Most Japanese constitutional scholars argue that the bills violate the Japanese Constitution, specifically Article 9.

Under Article 9, “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes”. This is why they, and a whole spectrum of academics from various other disciplines, have denounced Abe’s security bills and are campaigning for the preservation of the sanctity of Article 9.

A lot of Japanese are afraid that if the bills are passed, Japan would be drawn into regional and global armed conflicts that serve the narrow interests of elites at home and in the United States, who want Japan to play a more direct and decisive role in containing China.

It follows from this that Japan’s relations with China could deteriorate further. North Korea could become even more hostile towards Japan. Ties with South Korea could take a turn for the worse.

Japan could find itself adopting military postures on behalf of one party or the other in unresolved territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

In a nutshell, Japan’s interaction with the rest of Asia would be fraught with new challenges expressed through friction and tension. This is why Asean citizens and other Asians should be deeply concerned about what is happening now in Japan. If Japan seeks a more militaristically oriented role, it would have an adverse impact upon present and future generations in the continent.

We should make it abundantly clear that we do not want to see Japan embroiled in wars and conflicts in other lands.

We should be explicit in our support for Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. In 2007 and in 2014, in inter-religious conferences in Tokyo, I had underlined the significance of Article 9 to peace in Asia and the world. Article 9, I opined, should be incorporated into the constitution of every nation on earth.

At a time like this, when Article 9 is being subverted by powerful forces within and without Japan, we should stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers in Japan as they demonstrate their total commitment to peace.


New Straits Times, Updated: 7 September 2015 at 11:11 AM
Protesting for peace;
Japan's new security bills may pave the way for regional and global armed conflicts
By Dr Chandra Muzaffar, president of the International Movement for a Just World
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/protesting-peace
http://www.just-international.org/mediastatement/japan-protesting-for-peace/

(*)
TOKYO (Reuters) : Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a rare second consecutive term on Tuesday as ruling party chief, and hence premier, pledging to retain focus on reviving the world's third-biggest economy and deepen debate on revising its pacifist constitution...

The next general election is not scheduled until 2018.

The yen has eased more than 30 percent against the dollar and Tokyo share prices and corporate profits have more than doubled since Abe took over as head of the then-opposition LDP in September 2012 and led the party to victory, buoyed by hopes for his "Abenomics" recipe for economic revival.

However, corporate investment is sluggish and wage rises have failed to keep pace with higher prices, dampening consumption. GDP shrank an annualized 1.2 percent in the April-June quarter due to an export slump and weak consumer spending.

Economists say Abe should tackle tough structural reforms, such as freeing up the rigid labor market to boost productivity. They expect he is likely to rely on more politically palatable measures, such as an extra budget for the current fiscal year and easy monetary policy.

A challenge by Noda could have snarled debate over the security bills, which the government aims to enact as early as next week despite popular protests and surveys showing most voters oppose them.

Reuters: Mon Sep 7, 2015 8:38pm EDT
Japan PM retains party post for three more years, pledges focus on economy
Writing by Linda Sieg; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Paul Tait
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/08/us-japan-abe-election-idUSKCN0R72DZ20150908


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striking a blow

Two kangaroos are caught on camera in an intense boxing match on a suburban Australian street. The marsupials can be seen punching and kicking each other close to houses in Central Coast, New South Wales. It is not clear where in the Central Coast the footage was filmed

The Guardian, Updated: Tuesday 7 October 2014 19.31 BS
Kangaroos get into boxing match on quiet Australian street - video
Source: Rodney Langham
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/video/2014/oct/07/kangaroos-boxing-match-australia-street-video

BANGKOK (AFP) - Boxing gloves raised, two orangutans enter a ring at a Thai zoo, a spectacle that fascinates locals and foreigners alike but sits increasingly at odds in a nation slowly embracing animal welfare.

Every morning hundreds of tourists visit Safari World, a large zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok, to see apes perform a show parodying human behaviour -- in particular our predilection for violence, sex and alcohol.

Female orangutans, decked in bikini tops and miniskirts, pretend to seduce monkey musicians as rowdy ape fans drink beer and throw cans at the two orangutans play-fighting.

"It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen," Aisha, a 23-year-old tourist from Sri Lanka, tells AFP. "It’s incredible what they’re capable of."

But others are less enthusiastic.

"I don’t like it at all," says Erwin Newton, 30, from the United States. "I don’t understand, what is interesting in making animals behave in this violent, dirty way."

To outsiders, Thailand’s treatment of animals can appear confusingly contradictory.

In this deeply Buddhist country it is not unusual to see pampered pooches pushed around in prams or entire temples providing sanctuary to stray cats and dogs.

Yet dogs might also be on a dinner table in the northeast of Thailand while the kingdom -- a renowned animal-trafficking hub -- retains its long tradition of blood sports such as cock and bull fighting.

But there are signs that public attitudes are changing.

The first-ever animal welfare law was adopted in late 2014 -- under the ruling junta -- after years of campaigning by a growing bevy of increasingly vocal animal rights groups.

The law now specifically bans "torture and cruelty towards animals" with exemptions for activities that are part of the country’s traditions...


Nation, Updated: September 1, 2015 12:42 pm
Boxing orangutans a throwback as Thailand warms to animal rights
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Boxing-orangutans-a-throwback-as-Thailand-warms-to-30267889.html

YANGON (AFP) : Moe Pwint Oo shoots the grimy punchbag a steely glare before slamming her fist into it, striking a blow for equality as she practises Myanmar’s homespun martial art Lethwei – a sport that encourages head-butting and grants victory by knock-out only.

The petite medical sciences student is one of a growing number of women taking up Lethwei kickboxing, building up a sweat in the yard of a gritty Yangon gym where some of the country’s best fighters train alongside local enthusiasts, expats and even the odd actress.

“I think Lethwei is becoming really popular because I see a lot of my friends here as well. But I am here to box not to socialise,” said Moe. Lethwei fighters say their sport is the toughest member of South-East Asia’s kickboxing family, leaving Thailand’s more famous Muay Thai in the blood-flecked dust thanks to its disdain for gloves and use of skull-cracking head-butts.

To win a Lethwei fight you must batter your opponent unconscious, or to the point where they surrender. If no one gets knocked out in five three-minute rounds, the match ends in a draw.

It is perhaps little wonder that few women traditionally enter the ring in Myanmar, where gender norms favour demure damsels over fearsome fighters.

But that has begun to change in recent years as gender roles shift, spurred by the country opening up to the world after decades of isolating military rule.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is the most famous of a growing number of female politicians, while an impressive roster of successful businesswomen is taking advantage of the most buoyant economic outlook in decades.

The flash of a naked female knee does not have quite the scandalising power it once did.

Around half of the regulars at the Thut Ti (Courage) gym are women.

Win Zin Oo, founder of the Thut Ti gym, who is also a former vice-president of the Myanmar Lethwei Federation, said there was some “sensitivity” about how women should be treated, but insisted the gym did not discriminate.

“Some (women) students they are really good, even in terms of decisiveness I think. So it’s a little unfair to say, ‘women are weak, men are strong’,” he said.

When she returns to Aberdeen University in Scotland after spending her summer break in her homeland Myanmar, Moe will have to make do with Muay Thai, in which headbutts are banned and protective clothing is worn, to keep training. But she said she was hooked on Lethwei.

“It makes you fit, it’s traditional and then you know it’s very empowering, especially for women,” she said.


The Star, Published: Tuesday August 18, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Gloves off as women take to Myanmar’s ferocious kickboxing style
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Regional/2015/08/18/Striking-a-blow-for-equality/


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2015年09月07日

Godzilla El Nino

MANILA, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- The Philippine government and some environmental groups have instituted measures to mitigate the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon which is expected to hit the Philippines and other countries in the Asia Pacific region later this year, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a local environmental watchdog, has called on the public to reduce water and electricity consumption as these two commodities would be the first to be affected by the prolonged drought caused by El Nino.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently predicted the occurrence of "one of the strongest El Nino in recorded history" in the coming months, with expert Bill Patzert saying that it "has the potential of being the Godzilla El Nino."

El Nino means The Little Boy, or Christ Child in Spanish.

It was originally recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America in the 1600s, with the appearance of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean.

The name was chosen based on the time of year (around December) during which these warm waters tended to occur. The warmer waters are normally confined to the western Pacific by winds that blow from east to west, pushing the warmer water toward Indonesia and Australia.

El Nino occurs every two to seven years in varying intensity, and the waters of the eastern Pacific can be up to 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than usual.

The Philippine weather agency said the El Nino phenomenon in the country may intensify from moderate to strong in the last quarter of 2015 up to the first quarter of 2016.

Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition coordinator, said the rising temperature brought by El Nino would mean more demand for water and electricity by people because of the scorching heat.

"In anticipation of potential supply deficiency, all sectors of the society need to take extra steps to conserve water and electricity use during the El Nino episode and beyond," Lucero said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has already implemented measures to lessen the impact of El Nino, particularly on the country's main agricultural products.

"We've been prepared since last year. Cloud-seeding operations in different parts of the country are still ongoing. We are partnering with local government units for their implementation," said Agriculture Undersecretary Emerson Palad...


Philippines Braces For Worst El Nino
http://bernama.com/bernama/v8/wn/newsworld.php?id=1168329

We’ve heard that a “Godzilla” El Niño could be coming this winter and could help bring some relief from California’s punishing four-year drought.

But what do Godzilla El Niño winters really mean, based on past experience? Let’s take a look.

Unbelievable rainfall in a short amount of time
In the two biggest El Niños on record, the heaviest above-average rains in Los Angeles came during only four months – January, February, March and May, says Bill Patzert, climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.

Why is the strength of this El Niño important?
Only Godzilla El Niños have been strong forecasters of heavy rainfall for California. Mediocre El Niños have a mixed track record.

“If it’s a Godzilla El Niño,” Patzert said, “it’s the best forecasting tool ever.”

“But if it’s not a Godzilla, it’s a pretty shaky forecasting tool. Because we know pretty modest El Niños can give us pretty dry winters,” Patzert said.

One of those was the moderate El Niño of 1986-87, Halpert said. The jet stream, he said, “ended up south into Mexico and they had to deal with the flooding and landslides. And California, in that particular event, was not particularly wet at all.”

While the consensus among many forecasters is that El Niño is strong and headed toward getting stronger, it's still possible something unexpected could occur. And if those trade winds don’t collapse like they did 18 years ago, Patzert said, “Godzilla could become El Gecko.”


Losangeles Times, Updated: August 21, 7:53AM
Q&A: 'Godzilla' El Niño: Unbelievable rain for California, dry winter for Midwest
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-godzilla-el-nino-winter-california-20150821-htmlstory.html

Major “shocks” to global food production will be three times more likely within 25 years because of an increase in extreme weather brought about by global warming, warns a new report.

The likelihood of such a shock, where production of the world’s four major commodity crops – maize, soybean, wheat and rice – falls by 5-7%, is currently once-in-a-century. But such an event will occur every 30 years or more by 2040, according to the study by the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience.

Such a shortfall in production could leave people in developing countries in “an almost untenable position”, with the US and the UK “very much exposed” to the resulting instability and conflict, said co-author Rob Bailey, research director for energy, environment and resources at Chatham House...

Extreme weather events in North and South America and north-east Asia – where production of the four major crops is concentrated – are likely to have the biggest impact on global food production. In 1988/89, droughts in the US and South America lead to drops in the production of maize and soybean by 12% and 8.5% respectively.

The UN issued a warning last year that global food production must rise by 60% by 2050 in order to avoid social unrest and civil wars caused by serious food shortages. Rising demand is caused by increased wealth and a growing world population that is expected to reach 9.7 billion by mid-century.

The report recommends that governments need to work together on the international level, with significant investments from the public and private sectors required to make the global food system more resilient to climate change. It follows a warning last month by a UK foreign minister that climate change poses a risk equivalent to nuclear weapons, in part because of its impact on food security.


The Guardian, Published: Friday 14 August 2015 00.01 BST
Food production shocks 'will happen more often because of extreme weather';
Poorer countries will be hit most by falls in production for major crops but UK and and US will also be exposed to resulting instability, says taskforce
By Emma Howard
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/14/food-production-shocks-will-happen-more-often-extreme-weather


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Age of Innocence

GUA MUSANG: Two weeks after the mysterious disappearance of seven orang asli children and with few clues on their whereabouts, anguish and allegations are mounting that the search effort started too late.

Midah Angah, the mother of two of the seven missing pupils of SK Tohoi (national school or government school, *), said she felt as if nothing could be done to save her children despite a massive search operation now under way.

“I think the efforts came too late. I believe my children are dead because they do not have the skills to stay this long in the jungle,” she said in an interview.

She described her two missing children – 10-year-old Norieen and eight year-old Haikal – as manja (spoiled) and that she loved to dote on them.

Midah’s husband died of tuberculosis eight years ago. They have seven children – the missing duo are the youngest.

“I am grateful to the authorities who are looking for my children but they should have started the big search the day they went missing.

“It’s only now that I see them going all out and I fear it is too late.”

Midah, 38, said there were many holes in the fence at the hostel grounds which made it easy for the children to run off into the forest.

SK Tohoi is 50km from here and is only accessible from the main road by four-wheel drive vehicles or motorcycles.

The school opened in 1982 and is managed by the Department of Orang Asli Development.

It now has 225 pupils and 15 teachers.

On Aug 23, Norieen and Haikal, together with Mirsudiar Aluj, 11, Ika Ayel, nine, Sasa Sobrie, eight, Linda Rosli, eight, and Juvina David, seven, fled into a forest reserve to escape from punishment for swimming in the nearby river without permission.

A scant search and rescue operation was mounted three days after a missing persons report was lodged.

More than 100 policemen, personnel from Rela, Fire and Rescue and Civil Defence departments and 180 orang asli residents began to look for the pupils.

They were joined on Friday by 200 soldiers.

A Fire and Rescue Department helicopter flew over the search area yesterday.

It is learnt that getting more manpower was a problem as many of the personnel and resources in the area had been ordered to be on standby for the Bersih 4 rally and could not join the search.

Calls by the Kelantan Orang Asli Youth Network to rope in the Senoi Praaq unit from the police General Operations Force were not entertained although the unit comprises orang asli familiar with the search area.

The only clue found so far has been a stocking discovered near the Sungai Mas bridge, Simpang Gemala, here on Tuesday.

OCPD Supt Saiful Bahri Abdullah said the torn stocking was likely discarded by one of the seven pupils before they continued with their journey.

He said that following the discovery, the search and rescue parties were now concentrating their efforts near Sungai Mas, about 2km from SK Tohoi.


The Star, Published: Monday September 7, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Anguish mounts after orang asli children not found after two weeks
by Syed Azhar
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/07/Mum-Search-came-too-late-Anguish-mounts-after-orang-asli-children-not-found-after-two-weeks/

THEY started appearing across Nepal’s poorest districts several years ago -- partially-built schools meant for local children and funded with public money.

The schools never opened. But many continued to receive funding from the government – and possibly overseas donors – in a long-running scandal uncovered by Nepal’s anti-corruption watchdog.

“In some cases, we found a building, but no people. In other places there was nothing to see, the school only existed on paper,” said Keshav Ghimire, a spokesman for the Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority.

“Headmasters, government officials, everyone was involved. We found so many people who took money intended for supposed schools and pocketed it instead,” he added.

Authorities in the Himalayan nation have discovered more than 300 “ghost” schools, all funded by the education ministry since 2009.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the World Bank, the European Union and Britain’s Department for International Development have so far donated about US$500mil (RM2bil) to the education department.

The estimated losses could be be about Rs120 mil (RM4.7mil) said education secretary Bishwa Prakash Pandit.

Most of the ghost schools were located along Nepal’s southern plains, where poor infrastructure and high unemployment have long fuelled discontent.

There were cases of absentee teachers – those who were paid by existing schools without showing up to work – and of unlicensed teachers who did turn up, but were not qualified.

Corruption is rife throughout Nepal ranked 126th out of 175 countries.

In 2010, pressure from international donors led to the sacking of Nepal’s education minister, accused of collecting bribes in exchange for teaching jobs.

Enrolment in government schools has increased in recent years, but experts say the quality of education is poor.

Corruption and its impact on the already poor quality of education has major implications for the future of the impoverished country.

It already took a major blow when a devastating earthquake struck earlier this year.

The disaster damaged nearly 8,000 schools, leaving almost a million children without classrooms.

Since the report was made public, the government has taken little action apart from cutting off funds to the ghost schools and filing dozens of cases.

Ghimire said the organisation was pressing authorities to imp-rove transparency.

“The vast majority of students in this country attend public schools,” said Mana Prasad Wagley, dean of education at Kathmandu University.

“If we don’t act now to save the schools, those families will just take their kids out and put them to work as porters and domestic help.

“As long as foreign donors keep handing over funds, there will be no incentive to change anything.

“In the meantime, we are raising a lost generation,” added Wagley.


The Star, Published: Sunday August 23, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Haunting tale of Nepal’s ghost schools
By AFP
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Education/2015/08/23/Haunting-tale-of-Nepals-ghost-schools/

THREE-YEAR-OLD Aylan Kurdi (**) was just another faceless refugee until the heartbreaking image of his lifeless body washed up on a beach went viral, underlining the shocking reality of Europe’s migrant crisis.

The photo of the Syrian toddler, drowned off the coast of Turkey in a desperate bid to flee his war-torn home, has put more pressure on Europe in addressing the region’s worst refugee crisis since World War 2.

Aylan died along with his mother, Rihanna, and his 5-year-old brother, Galip, when the boat they were on started taking on water on its way to Greece.

His devastated father, Abdullah, (whose surname is given by Turkish media as Kurdi, but sources in Syria say is actually Shenu) has told of his anguish at being unable to save his family.

“I was holding my wife’s hand. But my children slipped through my hands. It was dark and everyone was screaming,” he told Turkey’s Dogan news agency of the moment the dinghy began to sink.

“We tried to cling to the small boat, but it was deflating.”

The boy lay face down, his head to one side with his bottom slightly up − the way toddlers like to sleep. But water lapped around his face and his body was lifeless.

The boy, in a red T-shirt, blue pants and tiny shoes with Velcro straps, was one of 12 people who drowned off Turkey and washed up on a beach last Wednesday.

The onus is now on European leaders to ensure little Aylan did not die in vain. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have urge European Union members to accept “binding” quotas to help resettle at least 100,000 refugees to ease the burden on frontline EU nations Greece, Italy and Hungary. Britain, under fire for having only accepted 216 Syrian refugees over the past year, said on Friday it would take in “thousands more” Syrian refugees.

Europe is facing a huge influx on all sides, with more than 350,000 people − refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa − crossing the Mediterranean in rickety boats this year alone.

The boys’ aunt, Tima Kurdi, who lives in Vancouver, had filed refugee paperwork to get her relatives permission to live in Canada, but the application was rejected in June. Tima went on Facebook and posted the horrific image of her nephew dead on the beach and juxtaposed it next to a family photo of the boy smiling shyly, wearing a yellow jacket, his hair neatly combed.

He stands shoulder to shoulder with his brother. Tima wrote: “My deepest condolences to my brother’s family who suffered a tragic death in search of a better life. Where is the humanity in the world? They did not deserve this. My heart is broken. Rest in peace Angels.”

Closer to home, we in Southeast Asia are also dealing with the plight of thousands of deprived Muslim Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants seeking a better life in Malaysia, Indonesia or elsewhere...


New Straits Times, Published: 6 September 2015 at 10:00 AM
Let Aylan not die in vain By A. Jalil Hamid
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/let-aylan-not-die-vain

(*)
"One of the reason Orang Asli parents do not send their children to school is because of the distance the children have to travel daily. To overcome this, the state government has built hostels to provide accommodation for the children so that they do not have to walk or travel far to get to school"
Read more: New Straits Times, Published September 6, 2015
"Orang Asli parents pine for their missing kids"

(**)
Read more: Los Angeles Times, Published: September 3, 2015 12:27 PM
Why we ran the photo of the Syrian toddler (Editor's Note)
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-syria-toddler-editors-note-20150903-story.html

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2015年09月06日

Nestle accused

New York (AFP) - Swiss food giant Nestle is being sued in the United States for allegedly knowingly allowing its Fancy Feast cat food to contain fish from a Thai supplier that uses slave labor.

Pet food buyers who filed the class action lawsuit on Thursday in US federal court in Los Angeles seek to represent all California consumers of Fancy Feast who would not have purchased the product had they known it had ties to slave labor.

According to the lawsuit, Nestle works with Thai Union Frozen Products PCL to import more than 28 million pounds (13 million kilograms) of seafood-based pet food for top brands sold in the United States, and that some of the ingredients in those products came from slave labor.

Men and boys, often trafficked from Thailand's poorer neighbors Myanmar and Cambodia, are sold to fishing boat captains who need crews aboard their ship, the complaint said.

It spoke of shifts of up to 20 hours a day with little or no pay, and beatings or even death if the work is deemed unsatisfactory.

"By hiding this from public view, Nestle has effectively tricked millions of consumers into supporting and encouraging slave labor on floating prisons," said Steve Berman, managing partner of the Hagens Berman law firm.

"It's a fact that the thousands of purchasers of its top-selling pet food products would not have bought this brand had they known the truth -- that hundreds of individuals are enslaved, beaten or even murdered in the production of its pet food."

Nestle lists protection of human rights as one of its Corporate Business Principles.

But "Nestle has failed to uphold its responsibility to ensure the absence of slave labor in its supply chains -- and even worse, Nestle not only supported these human rights violations, but forced consumers to unknowingly do the same."


Yahoo News, Updated: August 28, 2015 3:11 AM
Nestle accused of using slave-caught fish in cat food
http://news.yahoo.com/nestle-accused-using-slave-caught-fish-cat-food-071124137.html

The lawsuit comes after similar allegations hit retailers including Walmart (WMT) and Costco (COST). In that case, a six-month investigation into the shrimping industry off the coast of Thailand by The Guardian found that slave labor was providing a basic yet necessary part of the shrimp industry. Slaves were reportedly chained, beaten, and sometimes killed while being forced to haul "trash fish" harvests. That fish was then ground into meal, which was fed to farmed shrimp that ended up in the coolers at Walmart and other big retailers.

In the case of Fancy Feast, Thai Union is allegedly relying on slaves or forced labor to catch the fish used in cat food. Last year alone, according to the complaint, Thai Union shipped more than 28 million pounds of seafood-based pet food for brands including Fancy Feast.

The men and boys who are forced into labor are allegedly trafficked from Myanmar and Cambodia, who believe they are finding employment, but then instead are sold as slaves to fishing captains in Thailand, the complaint alleges.

"Once sold, these men and boys (hereafter "Sea Slaves") enter a modern form of indentured servitude where they are required to work to pay off the price the captains paid to purchase them. The Sea Slaves cannot leave the boats until their debt is paid. After leaving port, these boats become floating prisons isolated by thousands of miles of open water," the lawsuit notes.

The slaves are sometimes forced to work as long as 20 hours a day with no or little pay, while refusing to work can lead to beatings or even death, according to the the complaint.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of consumers who say they wouldn't have purchased Fancy Feast if they had known the alleged links to slave labor.

"By hiding this from public view, Nestlé has effectively tricked millions of consumers into supporting and encouraging slave labor on floating prisons," Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, said in a statement. "It's a fact that the thousands of purchasers of its top-selling pet food products would not have bought this brand had they known the truth -- that hundreds of individuals are enslaved, beaten or even murdered in the production of its pet food."


CBS News, August 31, 2015, 12:12 PM
Is your cat feasting on food caught by slave laborers?
By Aimee Picchi, Moneywatch
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-your-cat-feasting-on-food-caught-by-slave-laborers/

Forced labour takes different forms, including:
* debt bondage,
* trafficking,
* and other forms of modern slavery.
The victims are the most vulnerable –:
* women and girls forced into prostitution,
* migrants trapped in debt bondage,
* and sweatshop or farm workers kept there by clearly illegal tactics and paid little or nothing.

Facts and figures
* Almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour – 11.4 million women and girls and 9.5 million men and boys.
* Almost 19 million victims are exploited by private individuals or enterprises and over 2 million by the state or rebel groups.
* Of those exploited by individuals or enterprises, 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation.
* Forced labour in the private economy generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits per year.
* Domestic work, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and entertainment are among the sectors most concerned.
* Migrant workers and indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to forced labour.


=ILO, Topics, Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery=
http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm

Every time the clarions of war are heard about fighting human trafficking, policy efforts tend to focus on addressing the alleged naivety of those who are trafficked and prosecuting the pimps or middlemen who recruit people for work. As the prevailing logic goes, migrants should know better and recruiters should be put on a tight leash. Rarely much is done about addressing issues at the demand end – where people work.

First of all, the prevailing logic of most policy efforts tends to be flawed – people often decide to migrate as a coping strategy to escape poverty, violence or other forms of distress. Migration represents an opportunity to break out of such situations. Middlemen, however questionable their tactics, are the very ones who lend a hand to those in distress to leave difficult situations sometimes for the worse, but most often for the better.

Faulting migrants and their recruiters for human trafficking not only misses on the social and economic dynamics of labour markets, but also leads to the wrong policies such as costly supply-driven information campaigns that are oblivious to migrants’ motivations or stringent recruitment regulations that drive recruitment of migrant workers underground...


The blind spot of efforts to tackle human trafficking
Posted on 30 July 2015
By Igor Bosc, Chief Technical Advisor, Work in Freedom Programme, ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia and Country Office for India.
http://iloblog.org/2015/07/30/the-blind-spot-of-efforts-to-tackle-human-trafficking/


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embarrassment for Japan

Japan is inviting residents to return to a town evacuated in 2011 after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

Naraha is the first town to allow people to return permanently, following several years of decontamination work.

But many say they are not ready to come back, and only a fraction have returned for brief stays since a trial period began in April.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a series of meltdowns following a massive earthquake and tsunami.

After the disaster, all of Naraha's 7,400 residents moved out.

The town, about 20km (12 miles) south of the nuclear plant, is seen as a test case for the return of evacuated residents.

Some 100,000 people in the area are still unable to return to their homes.

Authorities in Naraha are issuing people with devices to check radiation levels and have been rebuilding local services, including shops and clinics.

Naraha Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto said the lifting of the evacuation order was "just a start".

"The clock that was stopped has now begun to tick," he said.

Former residents held a vigil to mark the rebirth of the town.

But according to one survey, just 46% of residents say they hope to return.

One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded struck off the coast of Japan in March 2011, triggering a huge tsunami. Almost 16,000 people died and more than 2,500 are still listed as missing.

None of the deaths however have been linked to the nuclear disaster, although there were a number of deaths in the subsequent evacuation.


BBC News, 5 September 2015
Fukushima disaster: Japan reopens radiation-hit Naraha
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34163297

Ben Kuroki, a decorated Japanese-American gunner in the Army Air Forces of World War II, who was hailed on the American homeland at a time when tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans were confined to internment camps as supposed security risks, died on Tuesday in Camarillo, Calif. He was 98.

Many Americans of Japanese descent served with distinction in the Army’s ground forces. But the Air Forces had not wanted Mr. Kuroki, or, for that matter, any Japanese-Americans.

He nonetheless became an airman and received three Distinguished Service Crosses, taking part in raids over Europe, North Africa, and then, after receiving special permission from the War Department, in missions over Japan.

In the decades following the war, Mr. Kuroki faded from the public eye. But in his later years, he was recognized anew.

The New York Times recalled in an editorial on Dec. 7, 1991, the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, how “Gen. George Marshall asked to meet him; so did Generals Bradley, Spaatz, Wainwright and Jimmy Doolittle.”

The Public Broadcasting Service saluted Mr. Kuroki in a 2007 documentary, its title reprising the nickname bestowed on him by a fellow bomber crewman: “Most Honorable Son.”

A campaign on Mr. Kuroki’s behalf by veterans he served with brought him the Distinguished Service Medal in 2005.

“I had to fight like hell for the right to fight for my own country,” Mr. Kuroki said at the award ceremony in Lincoln, Neb. “And I now feel vindication.”

Mr. Kuroki, who was born and raised in Nebraska, a son of Japanese immigrants, flew 58 bombing missions.

He was saluted by Time magazine in 1944 under the headline “HEROES: Ben Kuroki, American” and he was fully accepted by his fellow crewmen.

While on home leave, he visited internment camps to speak of service to the nation, embodying patriotism in the face of wartime passions that demonized those of Japanese descent, many of them American citizens...


The New York Times, Published: SEPT. 5, 2015
Ben Kuroki Dies at 98; Overcame Bias Against Japanese-Americans to Fight for U.S.By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/us/ben-kuroki-dies-at-98-fought-bias-to-fight-for-us.html

TOKYO − Tokyo Olympic organizers on Tuesday decided to scrap the logo for the 2020 Games following another allegation its Japanese designer might have used copied materials.

Reversing their earlier support for designer Kenjiro Sano against allegations of plagiarizing the design, the organizers said the decision came after new accusations over the weekend.

"We have reached a conclusion that it would be only appropriate for us to drop the logo and develop a new emblem," said Toshio Muto, director general of the Tokyo organizing committee. "At this point, we have decided that the logo cannot gain public support."

The logo has faced scrutiny since a Belgian designer took legal action saying it resembled one of his works that was created for a theater in Belgium...

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters before the announcement that the organizing committee was making "an appropriate decision" and that the Olympic must be an event that is celebrated by everyone.

The logo scandal is another embarrassment for Japan, which scrapped the initial design of the main stadium for the Games following public uproar over its skyrocketing cost estimate. The delay caused by that revision meant the new stadium won't be ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as had been initially promised, and that organizers and builders will be struggling to meet the revised deadline of January, 2020 set by the International Olympic Committee...


The New York Times, Updated: SEPT. 1, 2015, 6:24 A.M. E.D.T.
Japan Scraps Olympic Logo Over Plagiarism Allegation
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/09/01/sports/olympics/ap-oly-tokyo-2020-logo.html



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2015年09月05日

from the shelves in the supermarkets

A California dog owner whose English bulldog died in January has filed a lawsuit against Nestle Purina PetCare Co, alleging his dog and thousands of others have been sickened by pet food that contains harmful toxins.

The suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, claims that all three of Frank Lucido's dogs became ill in January after eating from a bag of Purina Beneful dog food. One of the dogs died and a post-mortem veterinary examination revealed signs of internal bleeding in the dog's stomach and lesions on his liver, the lawsuit claims.

Lucido claims his two other dogs, a German shepherd and a Labrador, remain ill. The dogs were healthy until Lucido bought Beneful dog food for the first time, the suit claims.

Other consumers have made more than 3,000 online complaints about their dogs becoming ill and/or dying after eating Beneful products, according to the lawsuit. The dogs showed "consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloat, and kidney failure," the suit said.

There was no immediate comment from St. Louis-based Purina PetCare but the company says on its website that it maintains "a strict code of standards for buying, storing and processing ingredients used in our pet foods."

Keith Schopp, a Purina PetCare spokesman, was quoted by the St. Louis Business Journal as saying the lawsuit was without merit.

"There are no product quality problems with Beneful," Schopp told the Business Journal.

The suit seeks class-action status for anyone who has purchased Beneful dog food in the past four years and incurred costs due to illness or death of their dogs tied to consumption of Beneful.

The suit claims Beneful contains substances that are toxic to animals. There are concerns about many of the branded dry kibble dog foods, including Purina Beneful Healthy Weight and Purina Beneful Original, according to the lawsuit.

Among the allegations, the suit claims Purina was negligent in selling Beneful without adequate quality control and testing, without using proper manufacturing and production practices and without properly investigating reports of pet deaths and illnesses following consumption of Beneful.


Reuters, Updated: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:48am EST
California dog owner alleges Purina Beneful pet food can kill
By Carey Gillam
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/25/usa-purina-lawsuit-idUSL1N0VZ1LL20150225

MUMBAI (Reuters) - An Indian court ruled on Thursday in favor of Nestle in its challenge to a ban by the food safety watchdog of the Swiss group’s Maggi instant noodles over concerns the popular snack contained excess levels of lead.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday said the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India would need to justify its ban, and ordered fresh tests at certain court-chosen laboratories.

If those tests are clear, Nestle could return its noodles to India’s shelves, lawyers involved in the case said.

Nestle withdrew the noodles from Indian stores in June after the worst packaged food scare in a decade, but the company has consistently disputed regulators’ findings, saying its own tests proved the noodles are safe.

Lawyers acting for the food safety regulator said they would now appeal to the Supreme Court within six weeks.

Separately, the government earlier this week filed a lawsuit against Nestle’s Indian unit, seeing $99 million in damages on behalf of consumers, citing unfair trade practices and the sale of defective goods.


Globe and the Mail, Last updated Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 2:55AM EDT
Indian court rules in favor of Nestle in noodle ban case: report
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/indian-court-rules-in-favor-of-nestle-in-noodle-ban-case-report/article25949267/

Children younger than 15 continue to work at cocoa farms connected to Nestlé, more than a decade after the food company promised to end the use of child labour in its supply chain.

A new report by the Fair Labor Association (FLA), commissioned by Nestlé, saw researchers visit 260 farms used by the company in Ivory Coast from September to December 2014. The researchers found 56 workers under the age of 18, of which 27 were under 15.

Nestlé has repeatedly stated its commitment to tackling child labour in its supply chain, and has already taken action to address the issues raised in the FLA report. These actions include increasing access to education, stepping up systems of age verification at farms and increasing awareness of the company’s own code of conduct.

At one farm in the Divo district of the country, the FLA found evidence of forced labour, with a young worker not receiving any salary for a year’s work at a farm.

Ivory Coast is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, the raw ingredient that makes chocolate. The industry is estimated to be worth close to £60 billion a year.

Researchers from the FLA, which was commissioned by Nestlé to investigate workers rights on its west African farms in 2013 amid international pressure, found child workers at 7% of the farms visited. Nestlé’s code of conduct prohibits the use of child labour in its supply chain...

A Nestlé spokesperson told the Guardian: “To date we have identified 3,933 children working on their family farms (around 10% of the children surveyed) who were involved in hazardous tasks classified as child labour. We have included half of them in our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System, which includes providing school kits, obtaining birth certificates and developing income generating activities for the families of 312 identified children. Unfortunately, the scale and complexity of the issue is such that no company sourcing cocoa from Ivory Coast can guarantee that it has completely removed the risk of child labour from its supply chain.”

She added: “Where we have evidence that we’re making a difference, we will seek to scale up efforts in these areas. We are already planning to scale up the Monitoring and Remediation system to other producing countries, with a near-term priority being Ghana. We’ll continue to work with the government and our partners to improve standards across the industry.”


The Guardian, Updated: Wednesday 2 September 2015 14.34 BST
Child labour on Nestlé farms: chocolate giant's problems continue;
Auditors completing their annual report continue to find evidence of child labour on Ivory Coast farms supplying Nestlé (*)
By Joe Sandler Clarke
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/sep/02/child-labour-on-nestle-farms-chocolate-giants-problems-continue

(*) From a comment:
nestles(sic) have to be up there with one of the most terrible companies on the planet. Much has been done to document their repeated acts of inhumanity particularly in regards to the pushing of their baby formula in the 'developing' world with estimated deaths of babies in the hundreds of thousands. It comes as no surprise that they are involved in child labour, yet will this revelation be enough for people to stop buying their chocolate? I would hope so but sadly it is wishful thinking... I personally stopped buying their products years ago when as a teenager I became informed about their ruthless business practices...


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We stand with US for peace

A huge black-and-white photograph in the central hall of the Chinese Embassy in Washington draws visitors’ attention. In the photo, taken during World War II, a young American soldier and a Chinese boy are crouching in the trenches while holding two pigeons in their hands. Above the photo are these words: For Justice and Peace.

The photo touches our hearts because it is a testament to the history created by Chinese and American people together. In history’s deadliest war, people of different nations united to defeat the fascist forces with immeasurable cost of life and property. While hatred faded away, we should not forget that peace and justice are never free.

On Thursday, Beijing will host an event to commemorate the victory over fascism. It aims not only to remember those who sacrificed everything, but also to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, honoring China, the U.S. and all peace-loving countries. We will never forget that China and the U.S. were allies fighting side by side, and will be forever grateful for the contributions made by the U.S. in supporting China’s resistance against Japanese aggression. American friends, including veterans of the famous Flying Tigers, have been invited to join the event.

The victory of 1945 laid the foundation for today’s international order. The charter of the United Nations, born in the ruins of World War II, raised a series of important principles governing current international relations, such as sovereign equality, collective security, international cooperation and common development. These shared values will never be outdated. They still play a central role in maintaining international order. Since World War II, despite the Cold War and some regional conflicts, the trend toward peace and development has remained strong, with the U.N. and many other international mechanisms playing greater roles in world affairs.

Now the world is undergoing profound change. Globalization has deepened ties between countries. A number of developing countries, including China, are offering more public goods to the international community with growing capabilities. Meanwhile, the international community is faced with many challenges − such as terrorism, climate change, financial risks, extreme poverty and natural disaster − that require better coordination. While the frameworks of current international order should remain stable, it is important to adapt to the changing situation. Gradual reforms and adjustments should be introduced through inclusive consultations.

However, change often brings anxiety. Some people are suspicious that China is trying to challenge current international order and U.S. global leadership. They believe that such attempts will inevitably lead to conflict, or even war. Yet the simple fact is that China has achieved remarkable growth by committing to the peaceful development path, carrying out reform and opening up. China benefits from the current international order and has been the guardian of such order. Being an irrational challenger does not serve its interests. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is one of the efforts made by China to complement the World Bank and other regional development banks, not to challenge them. We welcome U.S. participation.

Differences between China and the U.S. have neither undermined our shared international responsibilities nor hindered our cooperation in various areas. We should look beyond our differences, stay committed to the core values and the major framework of the post-war international order, and steadfastly reject behaviors that challenge them. China and the U.S. should also leverage our respective advantages to explore new measures to enhance cooperation in global governance. So far, we have tremendous achievements, such as tackling climate change and the Ebola epidemic. Later this month, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the United States, during which President Obama and President Xi will have the opportunity to share their visions on the international order.

The young American soldier in the photo may never know that his friendship with a little boy in a remote Chinese village can transcend time and distance. Just like we did 70 years ago, China and the U.S., together with other members of the international community, should and will continue to maintain and improve the international order.


USA Today, Updated: 2:29 p.m. EDT September 2, 2015
China's ambassador: We stand with U.S. for peace;
Anniversary of 1945 victory over fascism should recall U.S. and China's united battle to preserve international order.
By Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the United States
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/09/02/china-us-relations-wwii-anniversary-column/71529204/

"We will never forget that China and the U.S. were allies fighting side by side, and will be forever grateful for the contributions made by the U.S. in supporting China's resistance against Japanese aggression. American friends, including veterans of the famous Flying Tigers, have been invited to join the event," Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the United States wrote.

Some veteran American soldiers, including former pilots of the famous U.S. Flying Tigers that helped China's fight against the Japanese invasion near the Myanmar's border in the 1940s, and their offspring were invited as honor guests to attend the Beijing military parade on Thursday.

Cui noted that the 1945 victory laid the foundation for today's international order. The charter of the United Nations, born in the ruins of World War II, raised a series of important principles governing current international relations, such as sovereign equality, collective security, international cooperation and common development.

"These shared values will never be outdated. They still play a central role in maintaining international order," he said.

But he added that, while the frameworks of current international order should remain stable, it is important to adapt to profound changes. "Gradual reforms and adjustments should be introduced through inclusive consultations," he said.

Referring to differences between China and the U.S., Cui urged the two sides to look beyond the rifts and "stay committed to the core values and the major framework of the post-war international order, and steadfastly reject behaviors that challenge them."

"China and the U.S. should also leverage our respective advantages to explore new measures to enhance cooperation in global governance. So far, we have tremendous achievements, such as tackling climate change and the Ebola epidemic," Cui said.

He mentioned that Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the United States later this month, during which Xi and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama "will have the opportunity to share their visions on the international order."

"Just like we did 70 years ago, China and the U.S., together with other members of the international community, should and will continue to maintain and improve the international order," Cui wrote.


Xinhua English.news.cn, Updated: 2015-09-04 04:19:49
Chinese ambassador calls for China-U.S. cooperation on preserving post-war international order;
With Reuters Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Anna Chan Chennault, the wife of U.S. military aviator Claire Lee Chennault from "Flying Tigers" in World War II, at a medal ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Victory of Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, for World War Two veterans, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China September 2, 2015.
Editor: huaxia
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/04/c_134588551.htm

UNITED NATIONS (UNITED STATES) (AFP) - UN member-states are pushing to have more of a say in choosing the successor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of next year.

A draft resolution is due to be put to a vote at the UN General Assembly next week that would for the first time allow the 193-nation to see the resumes of potential candidates and hear their views.

For decades, the choice of the UN chief has been the purview of the five permanent Security Council members, in a selection process kept mostly behind closed doors.

Ban was chosen by the Security Council which forwarded his name to the General Assembly for endorsement.

The draft resolution requests that the Security Council and the General Assembly start looking for candidates now by sending a letter to all 193 nations inviting applications and explaining the selection process.

Interested candidates must have "proven leadership and managerial abilities, extensive experience in international relations, and strong diplomatic, communication and multilingual skills," the text said.

The names of candidates for the post would be circulated to the assembly along with full resumes, according to the draft that was finalized late Wednesday.

In a first, the General Assembly would conduct hearings or meetings with potential candidates to ask about their vision for leading the world body.

The draft resolution will be put to a vote on September 11.

- A woman from Eastern Europe ? -

The lack of transparency surrounding the choice of the secretary-general has long been a thorn in the side of countries that do not sit on the Security Council and non-governmental organizations.

"The selection of the secretary-general in 2016 will be significantly different from the appointment of any secretary-general since 1945," said William Pace, a leader of the "one for seven billion" campaign of NGOs seeking to open up the selection process.

"The ability of the United States, Russia and China, and to some degree the UK and France to control a secret process in which they pick someone who they can control will be significantly challenged by the decision of the General Assembly," said Pace.

There have been calls to name a woman to the post, which would be a first after eight men in the job. Those appeals have been welcomed by Britain.

The draft resolution specifies that governments are invited to present women as candidates to succeed Ban as of January 1, 2017.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said this week that the next secretary-general should come from Eastern Europe and that the regional criteria should take precedence over gender.

Campaigning for the top post is already in high gear.

Among the names being floated for the top job are two Bulgarians - UNESCO chief Irina Bokova and EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva - along with Croatia's Foreign Minister Vesna Pesic.

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite has been mentioned but it is doubtful that a candidate from the Baltics would win Russian support.

Among non-Eastern Europeans, attention has focused on former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, who now heads the UN Development Program, and Chile's President Michelle Bachelet.

France 24, Updated: 04 September 2015 - 02H05
UN states want a voice in choosing Ban's successor
by Carole Landry
http://www.france24.com/en/20150904-un-states-want-voice-choosing-bans-successor


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2015年09月04日

Against Japanese Aggression

Tokyo (AFP) - Japan on Thursday urged China to not focus on "unfortunate history" but to look forward as Beijing marked the 70th anniversary of Tokyo's World War II defeat with a huge military parade.

Japan's nationalist premier Shinzo Abe and other officials are staying away from the commemorations celebrating an end to a conflict that China says cost millions of its citizens their lives during Tokyo's imperial march across Asia.

Top Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters that he had no comment on the parade itself.

But "now 70 years have passed since the end of the war, and we hope that (China) will tackle common issues shared by the global community in a forward-looking manner, instead of focusing on China's unfortunate history," he said, without elaborating.

The conflict is officially known in China as the "Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War".

Leaders of major Western countries have stayed away from the parade, though Russia's President Vladimir Putin was prominently in attendance.

Hours before the ceremony kicked off, US President Barack Obama heralded his country's repaired ties with former foe Japan "as a model of the power of reconciliation".

Suga said Obama's remarks "express the importance of the role the Japan-US alliance is playing for the world's peace and prosperity".

Tokyo had complained to the United Nations over Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's plan to attend the parade, saying it should remain "neutral" in the matter.

Tokyo's war record remains a sore spot that still colours relations with China and the two Koreas, which suffered badly from Tokyo's 20th century expansionism.

Also Thursday, Suga said Tokyo has asked China to "treat reporters equally" after Beijing-based reporters for Japan's conservative Sankei newspaper were barred from covering the anniversary events.


Yahoo News, Updated: September 3, 2015, 2:57 pm
Japan says avoid 'unfortunate history' as China marks WWII victory
By AFP
https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/29425487/japan-says-avoid-unfortunate-history-as-china-marks-wwii-victory/

BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) - Kobayashi Kancho, 95, finds it difficult to walk. But the Japanese veteran still came to Beijing to attend the ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

Kobayashi Kancho was among them 30 Chinese and foreign veterans and civilians who fought for China in the World War II and were granted medals by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, ahead of the country's grand V-Day celebration.

Together with 16 Japanese veterans of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and Liberation War, Kobayashi held talks with Chen Zhijian, director of the research institute of the Eighth Route Army, an armed force led by the CPC during the war.

"I feel great honor and happiness being here," Kobayashi said in Chinese, his voice shaking.

Chen acknowledged their great contribution to the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

"My father used to fight in the war," Chen said. "Thus it's just like facing him when I sit in front of you."

Kobayashi was born in Gunma, Japan in 1919. He inherited a temple from his ancestors and had been a monk since his teenage years.

In June 1939, Kobayashi received a military order to join the army. After several months training, he landed in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, with the Japanese army in January 1940.

He was captured by the Eighth Route Army on June 7, 1941. After capture, Kobayashi tried to commit suicide. However, the muzzle of his machine gun shifted after he pulled the trigger and he survived.

Kobayashi was kept by the Eighth Route Army and sent to its command of east Shandong detachment.

When he was first taken, he thought they would kill him. But they did not.

The Eighth Route Army gave Kobayashi medical help, food and shelter as he recovered. While recuperating, he was given Japanese-language books on Communism and Socialism.

At first, he rejected the books. But after growing restless in his small room, he finally cracked them open.

He found the books' content well thought out.

One day, he met Jiang Kun, a chief agent in the east Shandong detachment of the Eighth Route Army.

Jiang, who used to study at the University of Tokyo before Japan's full-scale invasion began during the July 7 Incident of 1937, returned to China and took part in the Chinese People's War of the Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

He spoke fluent Japanese and sometimes talked with Kobayashi about his life in Japan, Kobayashi said.

Jiang asked for Kobayashi's help for his work. "He did not force me," he said.

Kobayashi witnessed Chinese villages burnt by the Imperial Japanese Army and innocent people killed by the Japanese soldiers.

He gradually realized the war initiated by Japan against China was a war of aggression and brought tremendous pain and suffering to the Chinese people.

He felt guilty of the Japanese atrocities to the Chinese people.

On Sept. 19, 1941, Kobayashi and his fellow Japanese soldiers joined the Eighth Route Army. They distributed anti-war leaflets, wrote slogans and made telephone calls, trying to persuade the Japanese army to surrender...


Xinhua English.news.cn, 2015-09-03 02:20:35
Japanese Eighth Route Army veteran to witness WWII victory ceremony in Beijing
By Xinhua writer Liu Xin
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/03/c_134581907.htm

On 15 August 1945 China's long nightmare came to an end. Two weeks later, in Tokyo Bay, Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender. On the same day in Chongqing, Gen Hayes received orders to get to the Chinese capital, Nanjing, as soon as possible. He hitched a ride aboard an American C46 transport, already filled with war correspondents.

"The plane was also filled to capacity with petrol, and as a result, we waddled off the ground with some difficulty at the last moment and with further difficulty cleared the surrounding hills," he wrote.

Arriving in Nanjing on 3 September, he found what he described as a "fantastic situation".

"We found that we were only the sixth Allied plane to land at Nanking airfield, which was still entirely under Japanese protection, if not control. At that time in Nanking there were only some fifty Americans and 200-300 Chinese Commando troops, against 70,000 Japanese quartered in the city."

The Japanese empire in China had collapsed over night. It was clear to my great-uncle that the Japanese army in Nanjing was not happy with its orders.

"The Japanese army gave me the impression of being extremely tough and dangerous as indeed it had proved itself in battle," he wrote. "There is clearly no realisation of the extent of the disaster Japan has suffered. It regards itself, with some reason, as an undefeated army which, to its regret, has been ordered by the emperor to lay down its arms."

The surrender ceremony, scheduled for 5 September, was delayed for four days, and so Gen Hayes decided to travel on to Shanghai. His orders were to find out what had happened to the city's large British community.

There were no planes, and the train service was still completely under Japanese control. At Nanjing railway station the trains were crammed with Japanese troops. The first-class compartment was occupied by a Japanese general and his mistress, who were not about to make way for a British general...


BBC News, 2 September 2015
Witnessing Japan's surrender in China
By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34126445


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caste-based divisions

NEW DELH - India's Hindus have dropped below 80 percent of the population for the first time since independence and media had speculated the previous government deliberately delayed the release of the data because it showed a rise in the Muslim population.

Members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist party, which swept to power last year, have expressed growing concern about the rising numbers of Muslims.

The census data shows that Hindus declined to 79.8 percent of the country's 1.2 billion people in 2011, from 80.5 percent a decade earlier.

The share of Muslims rose to 14.2 percent from 13.4 percent in 2001 - the only major religious group to record a rise. Christians stayed at 2.3 percent and Sikhs fell to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent.

Sakshi Maharaj, a Hindu priest-turned-politician, caused an uproar earlier this year when he said Hindu women should give birth to four children to ensure that their religion survives.

In the first census, conducted after Britain carved India and Pakistan out of colonial India in 1947, Hindus accounted for 84.1 percent of the Indian population.

Although population growth is slowing in all religious groups, India is still set to overtake China to become the world's most populous country by 2022, according to a United Nations forecast.

India's population grew by almost a fifth during the period between the last two censuses, straining supplies of land, food and water and bloating its underemployed, poorly skilled workforce.

Reuters, Updated: Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:12am EDT
Hindu population drops below 80 pct as Muslim ratio rises
Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Nick Macfie
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/26/india-census-religion-idUSKCN0QV0G920150826

NEW DELH - India deployed paramilitary forces and imposed a curfew in the western state of Gujarat on Wednesday after violence broke out at a protest led by a powerful clan to demand more government jobs and college places.

The protests pose a challenge to the authority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who ran Gujarat for more than a decade before winning last year's general election.

At least half a million members of the Patidar, or Patel, community rallied on Tuesday in the city of Ahmedabad to demand changes to policies that, they argue, unfairly favor groups at the lower end of India's social order.

Clashes broke out after the arrest of the movement's leader, 21-year-old activist Hardik Patel, forcing police to fire teargas and to baton-charge protesters.

"The agitators clashed with the police and members of the lower castes. They have burnt down nine police stations and over three dozen buses," P.C. Thakur, Gujarat's top police officer, told Reuters.

"We had to impose a curfew to control the clashes. Offices, trading houses and educational institutions will not open today."

The Patels, a wealthy business community in India and overseas, have been a driving force in the country's economic growth. The community dominates the thriving diamond trade, oil processing and the textile industry.

But they say that caste-based reservations deprive them of opportunities. They insist the government should put an end to affirmative action policies that favor Muslims, low-caste Hindus and Other Backward Classes - a collective term covering socially and educationally deprived groups.

Caste-based reservations has always been a sensitive issue in India, used often as a tool for what is called vote-bank politics.

In a recent speech, Modi said that India must overcome its caste-based divisions, and work towards a more merit-based society. Modi comes from a lowly caste included in the Other Backward Classes, and has made much of his rise to power from humble origins as the son of a tea seller.

Caste politics are likely to play a role in a forthcoming state election in the state of Bihar, whose chief minister Nitish Kumar belongs to the Patel community and has sympathized with the Gujarat protesters.


Reuters, Updated: Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:49am EDT
India's Gujarat state hit by violent caste-related protests
By Rupam Jain Nair
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/26/us-india-protests-idUSKCN0QV0J220150826

NEW DELH - Millions of workers across India went on strike Wednesday in protest at planned labour law reforms, the biggest show of strength by trade unions since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office.

They say labour reforms planned by Modi's government will put jobs at risk, and are demanding it scrap changes that would make it easier to lay off workers and shut down unproductive factories.

All India Trade Union Congress secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said the response had been "magnificent" and estimated over 150 million workers participated in the strike, although this could not be independently confirmed.

The strike -- the biggest in India for more than two years -- included staff at state-run banks and mines as well as some factory, construction and transport workers.

"This strike is a reminder to the government that it must consult the millions of employees (affected) before changing the labour laws," striking bank worker Amit Khanna told AFP in New Delhi.

Most cities remained peaceful, but clashes between police and activists broke out in the eastern state of West Bengal, which has a long history of left-wing union activism.

Television footage showed police baton-charge protesters in the state capital Kolkata and drag away women strikers who had staged a sit-in, while protesters threw stones and smashed vehicles.

Nearly 200 people were arrested across the state, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Banks, shops and other businesses remained closed in the city, stranding commuters and travellers at the main station, while dozens of flag-waving protesters halted suburban trains...

Modi has promised a string of business-friendly reforms to attract foreign investment and revive Asia's third-largest economy.

His government wants to simplify India's myriad and sometimes archaic labour laws, which date back to the British Raj.

Businesses argue that conforming to India's 44 national and more than 150 state labour laws is not only costly and time-consuming, but has also deterred foreign investors.

The government's proposals would make it easier for firms with as many as 300 workers to fire employees without needing government permission, up from the existing cap of 100, and make it more difficult to create new unions.

Although trade unions agree reforms are overdue, they oppose the proposals, saying they would leave workers with less job security while the level of legal protection on pay and other conditions would be reduced.

Some of the government's reform bills have come up against opposition in the upper house of parliament where the government does not have a majority.

The unions went ahead with the 24-hour strike after talks with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley broke down.

They are also demanding the government improve social security measures and set a national minimum wage of 15,000 rupees ($250), up from current state set standards that range from 5,000 to 9,000 rupees.

Those demands are being supported by hawkers, domestic workers and daily wage labourers, who also joined Wednesday's strike.

India's economy grew by a slower-than-expected 7.0 percent in the first quarter of the financial year and experts say reforms are needed to create jobs for millions of young people.


Yahoo News, Updated: September 2, 2015 12:48 PM
Millions strike in India over 'anti-labour' reforms
By Abhaya Srivastava, AFP
http://news.yahoo.com/millions-strike-india-over-anti-labour-reforms-062438419--finance.html



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2015年09月03日

The Cove

TOKYO (AFP) - About 1.6 million people across Japan took part in an annual emergency drill, with schoolchildren taking cover under desks and top officials meeting in response to a mock natural disaster.

Rescue operations and emergency medical exercises were carried out yesterday to simulate an emergency response to a strong 7.3-magnitude quake rocking Tokyo in the early morning.

Cabinet ministers dressed in blue uniforms held a meeting at the prime minister’s office while schoolchildren hid under their desks or donned padded fireproof hoods.

The nationwide drill is held annually on Sept 1, known in Japan as Disaster Prevention Day, which comes on the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake that killed more than 100,000 people and levelled Tokyo.

The government has stepped up its disaster response since the devastating 2011 earthquake that triggered a deadly tsunami that sent reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant into meltdown.

Experts have warned Japan to stay vigilant after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast in May.


The Star, Published: Wednesday September 2, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Japan holds annual disaster response drill
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Regional/2015/09/02/Japan-holds-annual-disaster-response-drill/

Tokyo (AFP) - Japanese police said Wednesday that they have released US animal rights activist Ric O'Barry, who trained dolphins for the TV show "Flipper", after he was arrested near the infamous whaling town of Taiji.

O'Barry, 75, was taken into custody Monday, on the eve of Taiji kicking off its controversial six-month dolphin hunt, for allegedly failing to carry his passport after being stopped by police.

"He was released at 8:40 pm (1140 GMT) on Tuesday," a local police spokesman told AFP.

"He admitted to not carrying his passport -- there was no need to keep him in custody."

He will likely face a fine of up to 100,000 yen ($830), but the arrest of a foreigner in Japan for not carrying a passport is rare. Police said they had initially questioned O'Barry on suspicion of drunk driving.

O'Barry, who appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" which drew worldwide attention to the small town of Taiji, has frequently visited the community to protest against its dolphin hunt.

Police have dispatched more officers to the town for the hunt in anticipation of possible clashes between locals and activists.

Immigration authorities have denied entry to anti-whaling demonstrators at airports, according to conservation group Sea Shepherd.

In the annual catch, people from the southwestern town corral hundreds of dolphins into a secluded bay and butcher them, a scene thrust into the global spotlight in "The Cove".

Environmental campaigners visit the town every year now to watch the hunt.

The latest dolphin-killing hunt, which opens on September 1 every year, has been pushed back due to bad weather, a local fisheries association official said.

O'Barry, who found fame first in the 1960s for catching and training five dolphins for the well-known TV series "Flipper", has recently fought against keeping the mammals in captivity.


Yahoo News, September 2, 2015, 4:17 pm
Japan releases 'Flipper' dolphin trainer after arrest
https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/29415108/japan-releases-flipper-dolphin-trainer-after-arrest/

SHANGHAI (AFP) - An ice cream chain in China’s commercial hub Shanghai is offering a lickable likeness of the head of executed Japanese war criminal Hideki Tojo to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Iceason parlours are selling ice cream bars on a stick with the image of Tojo, former Japanese army general and prime minister, in a campaign with the slogan “10,000 people together eat the Japanese war criminal.”

An advertising poster displayed at one store in central Shanghai showed a chocolate Tojo, complete with glasses and a moustache, with the words: “Never forget national humiliation.”

Another store in Shanghai’s financial district on Wednesday offered five Tojo flavours: vanilla, blueberry, mocha, mango and tiramisu. But it had few takers for the ice cream, priced at 30 yuan (around $4.70), even during the lunch hour.

Customers who buy 50 yuan-worth of ice cream can get a free Tojo bar if they use the online payment service of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, store employees said.

Beijing will commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II with a huge military parade through Tiananmen Square on Thursday, amid tense ties with Tokyo over territorial claims and wartime history.

“It’s just ice cream,” one online commentator said of the Tojo bars.

“There’s no reason why you can’t eat it.”

But another declined to partake. “It’s hilarious, but I have always thought that phase of history isn’t fit for consumption.”


The Star, Updated: Wednesday September 2, 2015 MYT 6:05:38 PM
China screams for Tojo ice cream on war anniversary;
AFP PHOTO - A woman sells an ice cream in the shape of executed Japanese war criminal Hideki Tojo at an ice cream store in Shanghai on September 2, 2015. An ice cream chain in China's commercial hub Shanghai is offering a lickable likeness of the head of executed Japanese war criminal Hideki Tojo to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (**)
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Regional/2015/09/02/China-screams-for-Tojo-ice-cream-on-war-anniversary/

(**)
Please refer to the following website too!
China military parade commemorates WW2 victory
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-34125418

Especially please take note the following 2 charts:
< China & US military comparaison >
< Top 15 defence budgets 2014 >



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From Mt McKinley to Denali

For a state used to the briefest of presidential stopovers, President Obama's extended visit to Alaska this week has been an opportunity to savor.

Yes, it's a red state governed just years ago by conservative sensation Sarah Palin -- but seemingly everywhere Obama has gone, he's been greeted by at least some of the populace swooning at the presidential attention.

"Honk once if Obama" read one sign along the presidential motorcade route Tuesday. "President Obama drinks free," read another outside Espresso Simpatico coffee shop near Seward.

In the past, presidents have come to Alaska to fly-fish or meet with visiting heads of state, welcome a pope or rally American troops. More often, though, it's been simply to refuel Air Force One on the way to or from a far-flung destination.

But on Wednesday, the final day of a climate-change-focused three-day visit, Obama will make history by becoming the first commander in chief to head north of the Arctic Circle in the U.S.

“We’re excited to have a president come up and it’s actually a destination, it’s not just a low-on-fuel stop," Gov. Bill Walker told reporters as he traveled back to his state with the president aboard Air Force One on Monday, adding that it was great Obama could "get out and touch Alaska, be part of it.”

Walker said that during their time together on Air Force One, he talked with the president about previous presidential visits. There was Jimmy Carter's fishing trip and the time Ronald Reagan stayed over at then-Sen. Frank Murkowski's Fairbanks home, only to have the hot water run out.

William McKinley's presence in Alaska was in name only, as the inspiration for the designation of the state's tallest peak, until Obama announced over the weekend that it would be renamed Denali (*). Warren Harding was the first president to visit Alaska during its days as a territory, stopping at the governor's home just weeks before he died.

"I didn’t bring that one up,” Walker said.

In some ways it's fitting that a president born in Hawaii is making some history in Alaska. The country's two youngest and non-contiguous states have often partnered in Congress, even with delegations from alternate sides of the aisle, to fight for their mutual interests.

Obama's interest also is personal. As he's struggled to break out of the presidential bubble in recent years, it's inspired a joke -- "the bear is loose" -- among his staff and the press corps.

So there Obama was Tuesday, boating past the Bear Glacier after hiking with survivalist reality TV star Bear Grylls. "When I'm not president, you'll find me over there in that cabin," he told reporters while riding through Resurrection Bay.


Los Angeles Times, Uodated: September 2, 2015, 11:42 p.m.
'Honk once if Obama': Alaska relishes extended visit by a president
http://touch.latimes.com/#section/1780/article/p2p-84340657/

Later this August, Obama is expected to visit the Arctic state of Alaska to highlight the impact of climate change.

In September, when he will host Pope Francis at the White House, they are expected to make an impassioned collective call for action.

And in December, representatives from around the world will gather in Paris to hash out rules designed to limit global temperature increases to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Anticipating stern opposition from the Republican-controlled Congress, Obama warned that climate change is a threat to the economy, health and security of America.

Power plants account for some 40 percent of US emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

"Existing power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of harmful carbon pollution into the air weekly," he said.

"For the sake of our kids, for the health and safety of all Americans, that's about to change."


Yahoo News, August 3, 2015 10:38 AM
Obama poised to unveil major climate change plan
By Andrew Beatty, AFP
http://news.yahoo.com/obama-unveil-biggest-step-ever-climate-fight-063947102.html

VATICAN CITY (AFP) : Pope Francis on Tuesday called on the rich and powerful to take care of Earth as he launched a day of global prayer ahead of key meetings on climate change.

The pontiff, speaking at St. Peter's Basilica, asked God to enlighten "those who hold power and money so that they avoid the sin of indifference... and take care of the world we inhabit."

His comments came in the first celebration of "World Day for Prayer for the Care of Creation," which the pontiff created to boost support for the environment.

Francis has become a leading defender of green causes, particularly in the fight against climate change, and is due to address the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development this month in New York.

UN members will gather in Paris from Nov 30 to Dec 11 in a bid for a deal to cap heat-trapping carbon emissions, the driver of man-made climate change.


The SUN Daily, Last updated on 2 September 2015 - 11:31am
Pope Francis calls on wealthy and powerful to protect Earth
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1540217

(*)
The tallest peak in North America not only just lost the name it carried for a century, it also lost 10 feet in stature due to modern-day measurements, scientists said Wednesday.

"A new, official height for Denali has been measured at 20,310 feet (6,190 meters), just 10 feet less than the previous elevation of 20,320 feet (6,193.5 meters) which was established using 1950's era technology," the US Geological Survey said in a statement.

The mountain has not shrunk over time, experts said.

Rather, the more accurate summit height came about through a "precise Global Positioning System (GPS) measurement of a specific point at the mountain's peak."

Earlier this week, the White House announced that the peak's name was being officially changed from Mount McKinley to Denali, ahead of President Barack Obama's historic visit to Alaska.

The mountain had been named in 1896 for a future US president, William McKinley, but local authorities had worked on the change for years, restoring an Alaska Native name with deep cultural significance.

AFP News, 2 September 2015
Denali, tallest peak in N.America, loses 10 feet
http://www.afp.com/en/news/denali-tallest-peak-namerica-loses-10-feet


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