Continuing on the KI (Potassium Iodide) theme, I see that there is a new website up called “Flyjin”. Today’s post discusses how the little tablets you take to prevent radiation from doing big damage to you were being handed out via the Embassy to well-placed Americans, well before the offer was put out on the e-mail that I wrote about a few days ago.
As you know, I am blogging to you from Ephrata, Pennsylvania, as a did-not-get-my-visa-renewed gaijin, or a bisa-ga-nai jin. Another way to look at it: the Japanese government got me out of the way of the earthquake late last year . . .
The talk had been that John Roos’ embassy was cleaning up their act, after some real disappoints under former President Bush. The guy in there before Roos (Schieffer) was one of those who basically let the ACCJ (American Chamber of Commerce in Japan) set the policy and the tone for what the Embassy was going to do for the average (i.e. non-elite) expat in Japan. But I guess old habits die hard.
I mean, I know I sound like a broken record to regular readers, but that is why there is that lingering social insurance problem. When it was Schieffer, the Bush Administration’s attitude was that social security and universal health care were GODDAM SOCIALISM!! and so they did nothing about Japan’s failure to live up to the totalization treaty.
They did nothing about these abducted kids, either. Never mind labor and contract issues.
But they hopped, and apparently still do hop, for the ACCJ.
I’m telling you, the couple times I went down to Toranomon, I got made to feel like “hey, who are you buddy?” And that’s after I got past the Japanese cop, who wanted to know where I was going. (“See this blue passport? That’s because I’m an American. And that embassy is my country’s embassy, and I’m visiting it.”)
I used to live around the corner from the New Zealand embassy, which is just basically right on the street, without the fences and binational security. Canada’s right on the Aoyama highway (246). They don’t do this crap that the American embassy does. I think they are a lot more in touch with the everyday people of their countries who happen to be residing (or long-term “visiting” as the Japanese government seems to make it be) in Japan.
Roos never cleaned house. That’s what it is. It’s like I was telling you in 2009. There would be a welcoming committee welcoming him to Tokyo, and willng to “help” the new ambassador “make his time in Tokyo a successful one”, which means: do what we want. Plus then, the Defense department, the university recruiting departments, and whatever the State department can squeeze in if they even get a chance.
If the focus of Flyjin is going to be on the sharp elbows that appear when you are trying to make it in Japan, it will be an interesting site. There is very little of this kind of stuff within our circle, (whose circumference is currently winding around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, of course).