What’s the Japanese word for cajones?

Whatever the word is, it’s nice to see the Japanese showing some in the current North Korean crisis:

Over Chinese and Russian objections, Japan introduced a draft Security Council resolution Friday that would impose sanctions on North Korea for its series of rocket test-launches and also order a halt to its development of ballistic missiles.

Backed by the United States, Britain and France, the resolution condemns the series of missile launches that the North conducted Wednesday after both its enemies and allies around the world warned it not to.

By putting forth the resolution, Japan risked a showdown with China and Russia, which have said they oppose sanctions or even passing a legally binding resolution on the issue. They want a more mild council statement that would chastize the North for the launches, and go no further.

“If this resolution is put to a vote, definitely there will be no unity in the Security Council,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said. He refused to say, however, if China would use its veto to sink the resolution or abstain.

Japan’s Ambassador Kenzo Oshima said he wanted a vote on the draft Saturday if possible, yet he and other diplomats said negotiations continued on the resolution.

The sudden growth of Japanese backbone isn’t entirely surprising.  The Russians and the Chinese needn’t worry about the N. Koreans going after them.  Indeed, the Chinese have always had the ability to rein in N. Korea, which is their more extreme satellite, and have chosen not to do so.  The Japanese, however, are a sitting duck for N. Korean military “exercises.”  Fortunately, they haven’t lapsed into the incoherent fear that characterizes S. Korea, which is even higher up on the duck scale.

I’m a play it safe kind of person myself.  And certainly, when dealing with reasonable people, it is equally reasonable not to escalate matters when a dispute arises.  However, when dealing with bullies, one has to be very careful to strike the right tone.  On the one hand, one doesn’t want to meet insanity with insanity.  On the other hand, Hitler and Stalin (and let’s add in Pol Pot and the Sudanese for good measure) repeatedly demonstrated that, when it comes to murderous dictatorships, if you show even the smallest lack of resolve, they will eat you, brutally.

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Comments

  1. says

    Japan deserves better than the subservient position that they are required to show at the United Nations. They gave 4 billion in reconstruction aid to Afghanistan, while China gave 25 million. Around 100 million was the average aid given to Afghanistan, Japan showed its willpower, and what did they receive? Who is the better global citizen? Who has the more status however in the UN?

    I’ve always seen it like this. America has 3 child-colonies. Britain has about dozens of bastards. Australia, America, Canada, iraq, India, etc.

    America’s colonies are the ones we occupied and then left the locals their self-autonomy, showing more wisdom than Britain did. That would be Japan, Germany, South Korea. There might be more, but I can’t think of any.

    SK’s a wash, for the moment, too stupid and violent. Like the dumb child. Germany’s powerful and disciplined, but they are plagued by doubts, guilt, and national propaganda (anti american propaganda). Not reliable, the child on drugs more or less. Then there is Japan, which looks like the child on drugs, but is acting more mature. History will decide. (or maybe blood will decide, not sure on that works)

    Japan has a saying for an elder classmate that mentors and shelters younger students. It is “senpai”. It is a term of endearment and respect. You can imagine what the Japanese fake liberals have attempted to do with Japanese culture.

    Senpai is not just some “cultural” anomaly. Japan also has the belief that older brothers should protect younger siblings, none of this American standard of “older child gets to beat up on all the youngins”. It is quite Italian and Spanish in form, the belief that age confers responsibility and duties. Duty is heavier than a mountain, death lighter than a feather. While japan has steered a lot from the Bushido code, their culture still breaths and lives.

    The entire Japanese and American relationship can be summed up using Japanese terms, which would help Japanese people relate to it rather than the usual “we’re under occupation and we should feel ashamed” thing.

    Most people don’t know this, but Asian cultures are centered around the martial arts. I don’t mean it in the sense that every Chinese kid knows karate, I mean it in the sense that all the discipline and rigid conventions of the martial arts is actually derived from asian and pacific islander cultures. This means what? This means that the conventions of martial arts are also the conventions of Japanese culture. Therefore it is not dishonorable or shameful for a white belt in Aikido to yield to a 5th degree black belt in Judo and Tai-Kwan-Do. There is no shame to refusing to fight to the death, when there is no need, and when much may benefit from the learning of the other. When Americans and Iraqis create their own inter-cultural relationships and translations, as exists between Japan and America, then true prosperity begins. I see America’s relationship as the 9th degree black belt in all martial arts, and Japan as being a foe who fought with everything they had, but still lost. Because of the “power gap”, Japan reached their limits, their genkai, America had not yet at the end of WWII. There is no dishonor in defeat, if you surrender in order to save your family or because you still had things to learn from the sensei. The Japanese executed people for surrendering because a soldier who swore feudal oaths to his feudal lord, should be willing to die before he breaks those oaths. The Bushido code dictated that anyone surrendering to the enemy, and allowing that enemy to harm his feudal lord, was an “Oath Breaker”. The punishment, then was death, because only suicide would wash away their dishonor. The Japanese high command ordered that american soldiers be captured instead of executed. Execution by the Japanese was the honorable route, therefore by keeping our soldiers alived, they believed they could shame us with our weakness. They did not understand, but the soldiers understood quite well. This is why the Japanese mistreated American soldiers that surrendered, their culture had no ability to recognize the honor of America, and therefore could not reciprocate. Most people don’t understand Japanese culture the way I do, or even if they do, they still can’t translate it into American terms so that an American could understand it without having to understand Japan’s culture. You have to understand the framework of the Japanese mind, only then would you really comprehend the difficulty in getting them to surrender. When Emperor Hirohito surrendered, he believed he was to be executed, and in his death he would save his people. It was a transmogrification of Japanese honor codes, which said that surrender was always dishonorable. Sincei t was the duty of a yeoman to die defending his lord and his lord’s family. But remember, it is different to yield in martial arts than it is to yield in the field of battle fighting for your feudal lord and oaths. Japan was no longer a feudal system, but we all know how long cultural conventions can last.

    I doubt Bush has the multicultural understanding to get this across to the Japanese in a way that would allow the Japanese to more fully support the American-Japanese relationship. But I do know PM Koizumi does understand it quite well.

    The problem is, China and NK might misunderstand it, and we all know how wars start. Wars start because one side misunderstood the willpower and reactions of the other. The Left likes to say they understand that wars are derived from misunderstandings, but they are talking out of their arse, to be honest. They don’t know.

  2. Kevin says

    A nuclear Japan scares the heck out of China. We want Kim Jong Il reeled in. China is North Korea’s benefactor and they enjoy seeing North Korea tweak the U.S.’s nose so they don’t put any pressure on Pyongyang. Therefore, we offer a deal to China—-either put the leash on their vassal state’s dear leader or we will give Japan nuclear deterrent capabilities–including ICBM’s that actually work.

    In the meantime, I will continue having my wonderful fantasy of President Bush stating the following at a news conference:

    “Kim Jong Il wants two-party talks—how’s about my two fists talkin’ to his face” followed by, “he’s short, stupid lookin’ and his mama dresses him funny.”

    It always puts a smile on my face.

  3. says

    Actually, Bush would have a higher chance to succede if he was already clandestinely arming Japan with nukes, and then told China we would STOP if they STOPED. It is easier to negotiate, because of how the human mind works. It is easier to ask for forgiveness, than permission. If Bush asked China for permission to supply nukes to Japan, in return for China stopping aid to North Aid, it is asymmetrical. Bush is not good with asymmetrical stuff, if you notice.

    However, if the deal is that Bush stops and is forgived by China, and China stops and is forgived by Bush, it makes it symmetrical. Higher chance of succeding.

    The tricky part comes in how to let China know without letting them know that we know. Yes, tradecraft again. Specifically, disinformation and propaganda.

  4. Kevin says

    I actually thought of that but the problem is that there is still a large contingent of Japanese against nuclear weapons (for obvious reasons.) While it’s probably in their best interest to actually have a nuclear deterrent as long as North Korea has a nuclear capability, it would be tough to get a significant faction of the Japanese population on board to allow nukes on their soil–the U.S. Navy couldn’t bring nuclear powered ships into port let alone actual weapons.

    BTW, I wasn’t suggesting he get’s China’s permission to supply nukes–I was suggesting a credible threat that they act (or else.) Unfortunately, I figure there’s as much chance of our arming (or threatening to arm) Japan as there is of my fantasy press conference…

  5. says

    If you can convince Koizumi, then he can carry it through. The good thing about good democracies is that in war time, they behave like monarchies, with a central command and control.

    Besides, if you keep it secret and clandestine, nobody has to know. It’s like black ops, it doesn’t leak because no bureacrats know about them. That’s why you need a disinformation project to inform the Chinese without letting the Chinese know that we know that they know. If we then withdraw the nukes ,this makes Koizumi look good because it looks like Koizumi faced down China AND the US, giving Koizumi more power. Which he will use for our side.

    I don’t mean that Bush was getting permission literally from the Chinese, but that’s how it is actually going to be perceived by the Chinese. In negotiations, asking people for permission is a sign of weakness. Since anything you have not done, and want to do, is “asking permission” in diplomacy. It’s how the deal works. People want stuff from the others, and they are asking what the price is. Negotiations should be the art of psyching the other guy out so we make off with a good deal. And that requires that we use actually use our stuff to intimidate them, if we can. China gets some scare if they hear Bush talking about Japan and Nukes, but China probably won’t believe it because China doesn’t believe Bush wants to escalate things and act unilaterally. If China has as good a psychologist as I think they do, they should already have profiled Bush’s personality as “multinational diplomat”.

  6. says

    Could not find a word for word equivelant for cajones, but the Japanese word for testicles is kougan.

    It is interesting to hear the way the Japanese talk now vs when I first arrived. They are bragging openly about chasing Chinese submarines etc. Five years ago they would not have done that.

    What I have never understood is why China does not cut Kim Jong Il loose. Thinkof how the way they could turn the tables on both Japan and China if there was no North Korea. Sure Korea would gain a bigger territory but they would be self absorbed for many years fixing the North. China could argue against the continued presence of US troops, which in turn would strengthen their postion vis a vis Taiwan, and the US would be happy to have only one Asian set of commies to deal with.

    Abe who is Koizumi’s probable successor is not as strong politically as Koizumi and the opposition would make it tought to overtly get nukes. A “Samson option” like Israel is a good possiblty though.

  7. says

    Skippy, don’t get all medical on me (kougan? sheesh!). What’s wrong with good old kintama? As for translating cojones, I’d have to go with the less flamboyant ga-tsu (a Japanified version of the word “guts”).

    Ymarsakar, I’d have to add the Philippines to your list of U.S. progeny.

    If I had to bet, I’d say DPRK is intentionally goading Japan on the premise that the collective Asian memory of Imperial Japan’s brutal occupation will bring it defacto allies against a rearmed and strengthened Japan. Many ROKs will tell you openly that the DPRK are wayward cousins while the Japanese are still the real enemy.

  8. says

    America is still the wild card, if the DPRK thinks it can manipulate Bush, then they are going in for a big surprise in 2 years when Bush is out of office. America as a nation is very very, unpredictable during transitions of power in war. Our enemies better realize that their strategy for one Prez (Stalin for Roosevelt) ain’t going to necessarily work on the next dude in charge.

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