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Neil Mick
04-25-2004, 04:30 AM
I wonder what the general opinion of this incident is, amongst Aikidoists in Japan? Also, what were their opinions to Japan's forming an army, in violation of their consitution?

Ah well.

Japanese greet freed hostages not as heroes but as reckless fools (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/8510163.htm?1c)

Chris Li
04-25-2004, 10:19 PM
I wonder what the general opinion of this incident is, amongst Aikidoists in Japan? Also, what were their opinions to Japan's forming an army, in violation of their consitution?[/url]

Whether or not the Self Defence Forces are actually a violation of the constitution or not isn't entirely clear, and can be a topic of some controversy even in Japan. I think, however, that most Japanese feel that they have a need for and a right to a national defense.

As for Aikidoists in Japan, my experience was that their opinions were no different as a group than any other random group of Japanese.

Best,

Chris

Randal Gore
04-25-2004, 11:53 PM
I'm guessing that the Japanese Aikido community probably feels much the same that some of the Aikidoka I know feel. Such as: why should they have been considered heroes? They did nothing to rate such an over used term. If you think about it, "reckless fools" isn't too far off the mark. I can't think of any good reason why a non-combatant would put themselves into the middle of such a volatile situation. I commend them for their convictions, but they can't accomplish any good deads dead. I should think that in Japan there are ways to bring about change in Iraq without leaving the country. When the situation becomes more stable and safe, that would be the time for missionary work.

But then, that's just my 2 cents worth.
:ai: :ki:

robbsims
04-26-2004, 02:51 AM
Were they heroes? No.
Were they reckless fools? No.

They were people trying to help other people in a time of need. A famous quote you all might recognize, "All it takes for Evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing."

I think, as an Aikidoka in Japan, they are good people trying to a good time because they thought it was worth the risk.

Just my Opinion
Robert Sims

Randal Gore
04-26-2004, 09:29 AM
A famous quote you all might recognize, "All it takes for Evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing."

Words to live by. Thank you for the reminder.

Chris Li
04-26-2004, 11:42 AM
Were they heroes? No.
Were they reckless fools? No.

They were people trying to help other people in a time of need. A famous quote you all might recognize, "All it takes for Evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing."

I think, as an Aikidoka in Japan, they are good people trying to a good time because they thought it was worth the risk.

Just my Opinion
Robert Sims

The journalist who was held hostage was part of that human shield thing before the war started. Whether or not that makes him a "reckless fool"
or not depends, I suppose, on your point of view. FWIW, I think that a large part of Japanese public opinion was based on films of the hostages taken after they were released in which they appeared not only foolish, but spoiled and selfish - those films angered a lot of Japanese, but didn't receive much exposure in the West.

Best,

Chris

Neil Mick
04-26-2004, 04:19 PM
The journalist who was held hostage was part of that human shield thing before the war started. Whether or not that makes him a "reckless fool"
or not depends, I suppose, on your point of view. FWIW, I think that a large part of Japanese public opinion was based on films of the hostages taken after they were released in which they appeared not only foolish, but spoiled and selfish - those films angered a lot of Japanese, but didn't receive much exposure in the West.

Best,

Chris

Interesting. So, you think that a large part of the anger that greeted the returning hostages was fueled by the media.

Personally, of course: I think the hostages were heroes. But, since this is a relative term (one person's hero is another's villain): I am not casting any judgements upon the Japanese.

Still, I think that their ire is regrettable.

(p.s. to Jun: love the new look to the website...especially the smilie's.... :hypno: :drool: :ai: :ki: :do: Thumbs up!)

Chris Li
04-26-2004, 04:45 PM
Interesting. So, you think that a large part of the anger that greeted the returning hostages was fueled by the media.

Personally, of course: I think the hostages were heroes. But, since this is a relative term (one person's hero is another's villain): I am not casting any judgements upon the Japanese.

Still, I think that their ire is regrettable.

(p.s. to Jun: love the new look to the website...especially the smilie's.... :hypno: :drool: :ai: :ki: :do: Thumbs up!)

No, I didn't say that. It was reported by the media, but fueled by the hostages themselves and their actions on camera. Even the parent of one of the hostages was openly critical.

Best,

Chris

Neil Mick
04-27-2004, 12:22 AM
No, I didn't say that. It was reported by the media, but fueled by the hostages themselves and their actions on camera. Even the parent of one of the hostages was openly critical.

Best,

Chris

Oh. Apologies.

Hogan
04-27-2004, 11:44 AM
Freed Japanese hostages billed for their trip home

April 27, 2004

TOKYO -- Three Japanese who were held hostage for a week in Iraq were billed about $7,000 each to cover their plane tickets home and other miscellaneous expenses, an official said Monday.

The three returned last week amid a storm of criticism that they behaved recklessly in going to a country that Japan had repeatedly warned civilians to avoid.

The government said aid workers Noriaki Imai, 18, and Nahoko Takato, 34, and free-lance photojournalist Soichiro Koriyama, 32, were being billed in the same manner as other Japanese civilians who have been transported home after getting into trouble overseas.

A travel agency has sent the former hostages and their families invoices, a Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity. The ministry believes the three should pay the agency directly, she added.

They were kidnapped by militants who threatened to burn them alive if Tokyo did not withdraw its troops from Iraq within three days. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi refused to comply, and the gunmen released the three unharmed a week later after an appeal by Islamic clerics.

They received a chilly welcome in Japan, however, amid accusations they imperiled Tokyo's humanitarian mission. Satoru Saito, a psychiatrist who examined them, said the pressures of coming home to Japan added to their stress of being in captivity.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Monday they had to be ready for the worst when they entered Iraq.

Harumi Arima, a political analyst, said the public backlash against the victims stemmed from how their relatives tearfully-- and at times angrily -- demanded the government withdraw its troops from Iraq to save the lives of their loved ones.

''It's the families and the way they demanded a pullout,'' Arima said. ''People thought, 'It was you who went to Iraq. Why are you asking the government to rescue you when you've been kidnapped? You were told not to go.'''

AP

Steven
04-27-2004, 12:03 PM
So Neil,

Do you consider the US civilians who were there to help with the reconstruction, as the Japanese and so many others, that were burned alive, their bodies dragged through the streets and beaten and hung from a bridge, as heroes as well? What about all the other civilians that were kidnapped and those who were subsequently killed?

Just curious ...

Neil Mick
04-27-2004, 09:47 PM
So Neil,

Do you consider the US civilians who were there to help with the reconstruction, as the Japanese and so many others, that were burned alive, their bodies dragged through the streets and beaten and hung from a bridge, as heroes as well? What about all the other civilians that were kidnapped and those who were subsequently killed?

Just curious ...

Just so we're clear:

hero ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hr)
n. pl. heroes
In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. See Synonyms at celebrity.
The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.

I'd also point out that personal heroes are sometimes different than popular heroes. Not to start a flame-war, but Pat Tillman is not my hero.

But, let's see: a man who goes into a MZ with the intention to study the effects of DU, in the middle of an ugly, unjust war....? And then is kidnapped, shipped back home and foisted a bill on top of his trauma?

Is this a trick question?

So you're telling me, that this man compares to the likes of mercenaries, hired to protect the soldiers of this unjust occupation?

I just wanna get this question STRAIGHT, before I answer, understand. Because from my end of the monitor, the answer begs the surreal.

But the short, polite answer is: in my book, no. If you're in Iraq to make a buck, you're about equivalent to an antibellum capetbagger. Worse, because at least carpetbaggers understood the language, and the culture, of the South.

WE, OTOH: haven't the slightest clue....

Randal Gore
04-28-2004, 12:12 AM
I'm curious as to why the Japanese civilians that were taken hostage should be considered heroes. I'm not trying to take one side or the other of the discussion, I'm just looking for enlightenment (aren't we all? :rolleyes: )
Are they heroes because they were hostages? Or are they heroes because of the job they were doing? I can't see where doing the job you volunteered for is heroic. I believe that going above and beyond what you volunteered for is the beginning marks of heroism.

But I know why I believe what I do, I'd like to know what your thought process is.

Taliesin
04-28-2004, 04:28 AM
Dojng the job you volunteered to do can very well be heroic if you know before you start that there are very real, very serious risks, and then believing that the job (such as humanitarian care) is so important that they should take the risk.

However motive and forewarning (or not) are key elements.

Randal Gore
04-28-2004, 09:31 AM
Dojng the job you volunteered to do can very well be heroic if you know before you start that there are very real, very serious risks, and then believing that the job (such as humanitarian care) is so important that they should take the risk.

I couldn't agree with you more. This discreption can be applied to EMS, Firefighters, Police and many others. Speaking with those people though, you will find that they find nothing heroic about their actions as they feel they are just doing their job. It's when one of their own does something outside of the job discreption that sets them aside as a hero.

However motive and forewarning (or not) are key elements.

This also is very true. Yet we need to be careful of those who perform a job such as humanitarian care so that they can be noticed for what they are doing (glory hog). Not that there are that many compared to the whole of the group, but they do exist. Unfortunately it is the "glory hog" that can define the actions of a well intentioned group.

Steven
04-28-2004, 12:33 PM
Just so we're clear:

In reference to the Japanese you said:
Personally, of course: I think the hostages were heroes.

Then you say this:
But the short, polite answer is: in my book, no. If you're in Iraq to make a buck, you're about equivalent to an antibellum capetbagger.

Clear ?!? Looks like a bunch of double talk to me. Why exaclty were the Japanese their? What about the non-US journalist that was killed.

???

Neil Mick
04-28-2004, 01:07 PM
But the short, polite answer is: in my book, no. If you're in Iraq to make a buck, you're about equivalent to an antibellum capetbagger. Worse, because at least carpetbaggers understood the language, and the culture, of the South.

WE, OTOH: haven't the slightest clue....

I need to clarify this statement. It was broadly overstated, as I am sure that there are many ppl over in Iraq, helping out for humanitarian motives, while making money at the same time. Actually, I was more specifically focusing on employee's of Dynecorp and Blackwater, rather than all the ppl working in Iraq.

I'm also sure that there a few of the hostages who were there for profit motives. But, when you have former soldiers hired from brutal regimes (Blackwater), where the private corporations cobble together their own private, army, making $5k/month, while Iraqi's are owed MONTHS of back-pay (with a wage of barely $20/day, if they're lucky) with no worker-rights, then SOMETHING is seriously wrong.

Robert Rumpf
05-10-2004, 11:28 AM
Not to flog a dead horse, but here is some interesting information with respect to these hostages.

Japan Times article (http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fd20040509tc.htm)

Rob

Neil Mick
05-10-2004, 04:24 PM
Fascinating. Thanks for the link, Rob!