Japan: Dogs and Demons. Foreword to the book.

The name «Dogs and Demons» is taken from an ancient Chinese legend. Chinese emperor asked the artist — who just draw, but someone is difficult, and the artist replied that just draw a demon and difficult — a dog. The reason, of course, is that the demon exists only in the mind of the artist and that he would not draw whatever bright colors and intricate lines are not used — it will all be good, right demon. And the dogs we see every day, so we draw a similar dog is not easy. The only answer to the question why the Tokyo government can invest trillions of dollars in the construction of ugly and senseless futuristic district for garbage island in Tokyo Bay, and can not bury telephone wires and remove the poles (extremely hazardous in case of earthquakes) — just like that.

Dogs and Demons — the book is very violent and very sad. But it is full of interesting facts and evidence. If you want to know the modern history of Japan, to understand the need for some restructuring says Prime Minister Koizumi and why it did not manage to do, how is it that in a country with so much wealth and one of the most developed industries in the world, including construction, 90% of homes do not have a sound and heat insulation, one-third of homes — even the sewers. Why there is not any urban zoning and residential areas and houses do not look nicer than the territory Moskvich plant in Moscow. What is bad debt paralyzed the Japanese financial system and how it was the duty of the national railway company of $ 250 billion. What happened when the bubble economy burst, and how is it that with the exception of some managers of financial corporations that have become homeless, that the actual default of the Japanese economy was so soft. How is it that in 1990, Japan was the first in the ranking of creditors, and in 2001 — the first in the ranking of countries debtors. What is the exact size of the national debt? How does Japanese banks when they actually have long been completely bankrupt and have less than 2% of the money invested in them. Why is the financial capital and deposits in banks will bear no interest, and credits are issued to individuals under 40%, while huge corporations like Nissan and Sony (also de facto bankrupt in 90 years) loans are at 0%, and no one is going to close them . Why Koizumi proposes to privatize the Postal Savings Bank and why it did not work.

Why Japan is no international tourism (every year in Japan comes less tourists than in Croatia!), And all attempts to create tourism, such as were made during the World Cup in football when on a foreign passport, tickets sold at half the price of transport and allowed Free all museums nevertheless failed. Why do so few (in comparison with other parts of South Asia) of foreign businessmen being able to open a business in Japan. As the Japanese government is struggling with all the support services for the industry, and specifically provides such a construction permit to build a compelling low houses (even the average number of floors in Tokyo just two floors!) Thus creating an artificial scarcity of land and the situation of tiny apartments (actually the density of population Japan is less than in the Netherlands and is only slightly larger than in Germany), in order to raise the price of land and through that receive power for the industrial economy. Why do schools teach in the army (a form that can not be removed even in the heat, the ban on buying drinks from vending machines on the way to and from school, and even, in some schools, corporal punishment) and in the same school educated xenophobia. In the 90 years of the Osaka Municipal Government issued a decree prohibiting the students take a crap in school. The idea was that they should go to the bathroom in the morning at home and train the force of will to the end of the school day. Very similar to cleaning toilets with a toothbrush in the Soviet army. Nationalism in Japan, not even only to white, but also to sangokudzhinam (Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese), and even the Japanese Brazilian origin — a separate and very sad chapter of the book.

Why rising taxes (prior to 1997, for example, the sales tax was 3%, after — up 5%), and the size of government scholarships have been steadily falling, why move over time pension (until 1997 the retirement age has been 55 years since — has become 65), why the quality of care deteriorates, and their price increases (up to '97 the insured paying 10% to 20% in 1999, 30% now), and where did all the money in the budget to such an extent that virtually no money to pay for pensions and medicine.

How is it that the post-industrial Japan still puts himself industrial targets. Why there is no actual democracy, and the country is run by bureaucrats in the system is less robust than a system of nomenclature administration of the USSR under Brezhnev. As these bureaucrats have made Japan one of the ugliest countries in the world, continues to deliberately destroy the environment, not only in Japan but throughout Southeast Asia. Especially significant corruption. In 1994, while still alive, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank invited Miyakawa Koichi, chief clerk to verify the financial condition of banks, on the evening in the restaurant Shabu-shabu. Shabu-shabu — a traditional Japanese meal, when the pieces of raw meat served on a table to the visitor, there is established the gas burner and the client can afford these pieces of toast. Very interesting. But in this case, it is even more interesting — the waitresses were dressed in short skirts and not wearing pants, and the floor was a mirror, so the fun is happening on the floor. Amazed by what he saw, the bank official warned the scheduled test.

But the officials, in fact, rarely take direct bribes. Is usually done — the official gives some favorable conditions for the execution of some company of any budgetary tasks, such as construction. Payment comes as much later — in the 65 years the official quits in the ministry, but not retiring — instead he is hired to work in the very same construction company. And, surprisingly, he is hired and paid him a huge salary, despite the complete lack of any work. These former officials called amakudari — «descended from heaven." Former police descend into the casino employees-pachinko, former employees of the Ministry of Health received a job at the company that build the hospital. 20 million yen a year salary and 30 million yen a year office costs (paper clips) are only average income amakudari mediocre.

Especially sad that the budget is not just stolen into private pockets. Unfortunately, in the process, a blind, suffers from nature — built meaningless dams, roads in the northern regions, leading to nowhere, concreted estuaries (all the major rivers in Japan have a concrete dam and the mouth) and the sea (to 1993 for 55 % the coast of Japan is filled with concrete), is replaced by the forest cover.

At the same time, Japan has the lowest rates of control of harmful emissions into the atmosphere, land and water among all industrialized countries. Minamata — the saddest case of such an infection caught in all school textbooks. In the 50's in Minamata, on the beach, built a factory for the production of batteries — Chisso Corporation. Most of the residents worked at the factory, and the mercury was poured into the sea. The trouble is that from the same sea by local fishermen fish fetched. Having eaten the fish people were getting sick terrible disease, a disease now called Minamata. This disease is caused terrible pain, blindness, paralysis, and bending of the joints. However, since most of the residents worked in the factory and the factory had a huge impact on the budget is proud, the government refused to recognize the link and take action against the factory. Doctors at the University of Kumamoto started an independent study to examine the association of mercury and disease, to which the government immediately responded by striking out the Medical Faculty of the University of the State budget. American journalist and photographer Eugene Smith arrived in Minamata patients taking pictures of people and conduct its own investigation, in response, the Director of the Chisso Corporation hired yakuza, who was blinded by a photographer (see a picture of him at the beginning of the post). Only in 67 victims of the disease were able to file a lawsuit against the state. And in state court and won a decisive victory.

The fact is that in Japan there is no independent judiciary. 95% of the cases against the State Statistics wrapped case against prosecutors. 99.98% of the accused in a Japanese court convicted. At 23 days, the police can detain people without charge. The state can detain indefinitely court. In fact, it is what made. Filed in '67 case resulted only in '94, when most of accusing the government were already dead. The Court found no fault state, but Chisso Corporation pleaded guilty and ordered to pay a ridiculous amount of 3 million yen in compensation only to survivors of the victims. The history of the whole process got in Japanese school textbooks of modern history. However, since 1993, the Ministry of Education of Japan changed the text of the books, leaving the history itself, but calling it unavoidable catastrophe and concluding that there is no guilt, and state and Chisso Corporation in the incident occurred.

The trouble also is that it is not the only case of the disease Minamato. This contamination of the water and the disease had time to be in two regions of Japan. And in 1960 in Toyama Prefecture was cadmium contamination of rice fields. The bones in people who ate the rice, has become so fragile that they crumbled into gravel directly inside the body.

Such stories are, unfortunately, not uncommon in all the countries in the post-50's sharp industrialization, including in other Asian countries, and, of course, in the Soviet Union. Only the gradual development of the industry, and thus the gradual awareness of the dangers associated with this, allowed western Europe and the U.S. to avoid such errors. However, what was in the 50's is not excusable in a developed Japan now. However, so far in Japan do not even control the emissions of the terrible poison that causes cancer, such as dioxin. In 1980, the Ministry of Health has deliberately concealed a side effect of the local vaccine poliemilita as death, even after it became aware of the deaths of dozens of children, as long as were not finished vaccine sales from the warehouse. In 1997 and in 1999 at the Tokai nuclear power plant in the suburbs of Tokyo's radioactive emissions. In 1997, 70 kilograms of plutonium had been "lost" during the fire. Until now, no one knows where they have accumulated and in what quantity. In 1999, an explosion occurred, resulting in about 700 people were critical dose (many of them have already died), and about 1,000 homes had to be evacuated from the station. It turned out that the work was carried out at the station in violation of the rules of operation (workers was given secret instructions operating nuclear reactor, which had no safety standards). At the station, there were no means of protection, not their guests and firefighters, as well as a plan for such a situation. Scene of the accident began paste over with duct tape! In 2001, a crack in the Fukushima nuclear power plant construction were covered with colored paper with the printed textured concrete to deceive inspectors. In 2000 7216 people were poisoned by bacteriological contamination of milk from Hokkaido.

Well, it's better I'm not going to retell the book. But really advise you to read, especially if you are bored with snotty books about the Japanese economic miracle and a great ancient culture — it's an important lesson to be aware of the consequences of the power of the bureaucracy, and even at all levels. And every miracle has its price, and sometimes it's huge. If the economic miracle requires the destruction of all nature — why such a miracle? A Japanese cultural disease — a terrible sore spot, such a tragedy, perhaps, it was not in the culture of any other country.

Kitya Karlson

Read also about the extermination of the Japanese dolphin Japanese tradition. Taiji

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