I was checking out my WordPress dashboard a day or two ago, and I saw a number of hits from the Gaijin Pot message boards. So I tracked back.
No surprise, but it had nothing to do with my recent postings on regular employment and IBM–the issue I’ve been on this week, since the judge ruled on the preliminaries. Instead, it’s this Johnson and Jake Adelstein thing. Oh no!
For my regular readers, you know [what I am saying here]. But to casual readers, you should know that I avoid internet bulletin boards for the most part. Especially, where they are unregulated or unmonitored. I wrote something about this many months back, and I can’t remember when, but it had to do with seven dysfunctional habits on the internet.
Even with these other people going at it, there, I have to clarify a few things:
1) My recent postings on the Johnson-Adelstein spat were not necessarily to take sides. I think I said that. It was simply to say that certain claims of Jake just don’t mesh with what I feel would be the situation of Japanese yakuza making threats against the life of an American (that is, Jake Adelstein). It seems that some of this talk is really to pitch a book. Just sayin’. It was low-level news in America this week that one of President Obama’s books had a “composite” character who was more than one girlfriend in his New York college days. Obama noted that in the first issue of the book. But somehow, it was this big news anyway. I am saying, that some of Tokyo Vice might be along those lines. Obviously, writers do that.
2) I never met Chris Johnson, didn’t know him, or of him, in Japan when I was there. I was a skeptic about “Gulag for Gaijin”, which doesn’t seem to measure up to the standards of his other work. But there are obvious, human, reasons for that. When I look at the story of CJ this year, I am more interested in who this David Schaufele (NHK house Canadian) is, and why he is carrying on a five-year feud with CJ. The folks slamming CJ on the internet are doing the kinds of things that make the outside observer wonder why they have the aggression that they do—not that the target is someone “bad”. In one of Johnson’s recent pieces about the Japan-side expat blogosphere, he highlights a number of names that have gotten this treatment. If you are a regular reader of mine, you might notice that I tend to side with each name on that list, in part for the reason that they have somehow been viewed by the periscope of some nasty others with a presence on the net.
The bashers bash, and it makes me see the target victim in an even more favorable light.
3) The other matter that showed up on Gaijin Pot had to do with Japanese social insurance, which I still feel I am the Number One English writer about, on the net. Especially, when the talk goes to totalization benefits. Coincidentally, the Japanese government just announced that they are cracking down on Japanese firms that dodge the employers’ pension program obligation. You can read about it on Mainichi. It’s high time that the Japanese government do this, especially if they are seeking to raise other taxes to support the general pension system. I hope that their crackdown includes Japanese firms that hire a lot of Americans. I am appalled that we could have a social security agreement with Japan, FOR SIX YEARS’ RUNNING now, (that is, since October 1, 2005), where Americans are not offered the correct social insurance. Six-and-a-half “effen” years. Meanwhile, America has kept up its end of the bargain.
And I wouldn’t want to hear about how some of the firms screwing us in Japan are American owned or have an American connection, like Interac, as if that somehow excuses. I like sell-outs to be pointed out, and am disappointed that our government doesn’t crack down on them. But I guess Obama has enough problems as it is . . .
4) All of this just makes me think more, that the Japanese do ZIP about internet trolls who cross the line. Japan has much tougher laws about free speech that goes over the line than Americans do. But you never read about a Japan-side foreigner being kicked out of Japan for something they said or did via the internet. Not once. How? Why is that?