Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This is Powerful! Alternative Views: Hiroshima & Nagasaki. What People Experienced

This is some pretty heavy stuff from the Alternative Information Network. I'll let the program's own description explain. 

Three short works are shown which reveal in powerful and touching reality what it was like to endure the atomic bombings in Japan.

First is a 22 minute documentary, Hiroshima-Nagasaki," which contains movie footage in the cities after the bombs exploded. The documentary is so explicit and powerful that it was suppressed by the U.S. government for many years. 

Next is a short work containing the drawings of children and adults depicting what they saw and experienced. Finally, an animated film is presented which is shown in Hiroshima each year to school children. Also provided is a review of a book which recounts the attempts by the American government to suppress the full details of the realities of what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Definitely pay attention from 29:45. Here, they describe the first symptoms of  radiation sickness and vegetation becoming mutated in the cities that experienced the bomb blasts.

"Hospitals filled with patients who did not seem sick before. They were vomiting, bleeding from the gums, and purple spots appeared on their skin. Some could not be touched because their skin slipped off in huge globe-like pieces. At first, they were quarantined. Victims of some mysterious infectious disease. Gradually, it was understood that the disease was radiation sickness and these people were special victims of the atomic bomb.... By the 20th day after the bomb, vegetation began to grow wildly in the wreckage of the cities."

Double click on image to see full screen
(Advance to 19:24 to see the films)

This cannot ever happen again. Let's work to make sure that it doesn't. Also, I'd like to add that it is too bad that the Alternative Information Network is no longer around. They were way ahead of their time. Had they been around when the Internet started, they might have been very successful.

Thanks to Frank Morrow.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Strange Country 11 Minutes of Interesting Information on Japan

I stumbled upon this very interesting 11 minute video packed with information on Japan. I think you'll enjoy this.
Kenichi Tanaka writes about the video: "This is my final thesis project. I created info-graphic, motion piece. My objective is to make Japanese people to think about that everything happening here in Japan, isn't that normal. So I created this video from foreigner's point of view, rather than Japanese people's point of view. By the way, please don't call me racist, because I am one of short, small eyes Japanese ;P"

From Zany Pickle: http://zanypickle.comThis video is by  Kenichi Tanaka. Made in Japan for Japanese audiences. English narration by Emily Millar. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Japan Gold Rush - Customers Lined Up for Three Hours to Buy Gold in Tokyo

My good friend Michio went to buy gold last week right when the prices crashed. He told me that there were over 20 people lined up outside the store to buy gold. 

It seems this story is happening all over Japan and Asia.

Reuters is reporting that customers are waiting for up to three hours to buy gold in Japan... Please refer to: "As global price slumps, "Abenomics" risks drive Japan gold bugs":

A week ago, as the yen-denominated price neared a new peak, jewelry stores and gold merchants across Japan saw long lines of mostly older Japanese looking to cash in on unwanted jewelry and other items that they had held for years. But on Tuesday, buyers outnumbered sellers by a wide margin. At Ginza Tanaka, the headquarters shop of Tanaka Holdings, gold buyers waited for as long as three hours for a chance to complete a transaction.


Nearby at Ginza SGC, a gold merchant, buyers had taken about 6 kg (13 lbs) of gold home by early afternoon on Tuesday. In one case, a 60-year-old man, who asked not to be identified, walked out of the store with 500 grams of gold for about 2.2 million yen ($22,500). 

At a special gold exhibit organized earlier this month at the Matsuzakaya department store, staff said that an 18-carat gold Buddhist bell used in a household altar to honor deceased relatives was selling well. It was priced at 4 million yen. (about $40,000 USD) "You could buy it as a family treasure as many of our customers do," one salesman said. "But if your house burned down and you lost everything, gold is fire resistant and you would still have it." ($1 = 97.9600 Japanese yen)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Atomic Bombings of Japan Did NOT Save Millions of Lives...

Pure post-war propaganda.... As time goes by, the excuse for incinerating a 100,000 civilians (men, women and children) keeps getting exaggeratedFrom "Harry Truman and the Atomic Bomb":

"....the worst-case scenario for a full-scale invasion of the Japanese home islands was forty-six thousand American lives lost." (See Barton J. Bernstein, "A Post-War Myth: 500,000 US Lives Saved," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 42, no. 6 (June/July 1986): pp. 38–40; and idem, "Wrong Numbers," The Independent Monthly (July 1995): pp. 41–44.) 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mt. Gox Provides Bitcoin Humor

Here's what Mt. Gox's new catch copy should be: "Reliability! Spelled 'We Lie Ability!'" (Just say this as if it is a Japanese who has trouble with "Rs" and "Ls.")

Mt. Gox is the world's largest Bitcoin dealer. To read their webpage is good for laughs. These people reek just like some slimy used-car salesmen. I laugh at how the spin the news. Total propagandists.

People need to be rationale and realistic. Read this stuff on their own webpage and tell me that this doesn't sound extremely "fishy."

Humor from the Mt. Gox webpage:

At the very top of their page they say that Bitcoin is a good currency because....

"RELIABLE We're always on. Buy and sell Bitcoin anonymously 24/7/365 with the world's most sophisticated trading platform."

Really? "We're always on"??? Not true. They arbitrarily shut down service for three days starting last Friday (April 12th, 2013). Please refer to: Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox suspends service following huge swing in trading price:

Mt. Gox, the largest exchange for buying and selling bitcoins, is temporarily shutting down following an uptick in activity on the site sparked by a massive drop in the digital currency's price.

The Tokyo-based exchange is suspending trading until 10 p.m. Eastern Time as it allows the market to "cool down," Mt. Gox announced Thursday morning. People may still cancel their pending and open orders, the site said.

Facts don't need to have any relation to the sales pitch, right guys? Then, back to the current webpage, in their news page it has an article that says

"Since yesterday, we are continuing to experience a DDoS attack like we have never seen. While we are being protected by companies like Prolexic, the sheer volume of this DDoS left us scrambling to fine-tune the system every few hours to make sure that things don’t go beyond a few 502 error pages and trading lag."

Wow! This is the language we are expecting from the new currency? "...we are continuing to experience a DDoS attack like we have never seen." Really, I mean, like dude? That's like, totally rad like!

They were attacked? Really? Well, no. That's not true either. Their most recent news post says

"First of all we would like to reassure you but no we were not last night victim of a DDoS but instead victim of our own success!" (sic)

"we would like to reassure you but no we were not last night victim of a DDoS" Thank god these people aren't teaching English to the Japanese. This grammar and punctuation is worse than mine! Why don't they add: "Yeah and we're so screwed up that we can't keep our story straight.... Wanna buy a used car?"

Then, to top it all off, after they make an admission that they lied (and try to somehow spin that into a positive) they add: 

"...please note that we may have to close the exchange for two hours in the next 12 to 24hrs to add several new servers to our system." (sic) 

Rank amateurs. You know they are freaking out and are screwed up. 

Oh, no! I get it! "We're always on. Except when we're not." 

People want to call this a currency? I know even my shitty fiat currency is acceptable anywhere anytime even if the power is off.

Mt. Gox is not reliable and if this sort of "exchange" is what Bitcoin is depending on, then Bitcoin is in trouble. Mt. Gox is run like a shady fly-by-night used car dealer. I don't expect them to be in business for very long. 

How could they be?

Uncle Mike grading a Bitcon... Er, I mean "Bitcoin"

If people want a reliable and trustworthy Bitcoin dealer, contact Uncle Mike's... Tell them I sent you!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I Am a Propagandist for the State!

"In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

In a very surprising turn of events, I have found myself in the position of being a propagandist for the state and Big Pharma. It's true. I am now reading and broadcasting the "news" (read: "propaganda") to millions of people living in Japan.

It disturbs me to have to read some of this stuff that comes on the newswire. I didn't expect, nor did I ask for, this news job. It fell into my lap. What am I going to do about it?

If I tell the truth, I will most likely get in a lot of trouble if not fired. If I follow the "party line" and report the propaganda as written, I will wind up hating myself and quitting... This has happened already twice. Unfortunately, it is pre-determined; these are my only two choices. It's just the way it is. I don't want to get fired, but it will happen if I tell the truth. If I do like everyone else and be a parrot of the lies, then I will keep my job.

I just cannot parrot the lies. I think the news has lost all credibility, and station ratings go down, because people know they are being fed propaganda. I think people are smart enough and mature enough that, if they are given the facts, they can make intelligent decisions for themselves.

Anyhow, let me briefly explain how I got into this curious position.

I was hired to be the producer/director of a prime time show on a major broadcasting station in Tokyo. Of course I have a staff of 5 people, including me. I was also told that I would have a professional news reader to come onto the show and read the news.

The day before the first show, at rehearsal, I was told that we didn't have a news person and that I was expected to read the news. This shocked me. Regular readers of my blog know that I am the kind of guy who likes to have fun and joke around, but I take my news and financial information dead serious. I think that if a station is going to do "The News" then they'd better damn well do a professional job, or there's no point in doing it. No one likes a half-assed job.

I was a professional news person and even hosted my own news and topics program for a few years on CNN Japan called, "News Wave" up until about 1993 or so. I have also been the news person on many programs over the years. The last time I was the news anchor was October of 2009. I thought that was going to be my last time.

I thought wrong. 

I was dumbfounded when I was told that I was expected to do the news. As a producer/director (engineer, script-writer, co-host and coffee boy) I pretty much had my hands full each and every show as it is a live broadcast and in live broadcasts, mistakes are verboten!

So I became the news anchor. Not by choice, but by, well... like I said, it just fell into my lap. 

Don't get me wrong; the news needs to be done. So since there was no one else qualified to do it, I was stuck.

Now, here's where the problem begins. I am a voracious reader. I know the news is written for people around the education level of an eighth-grader, so lots of facts are omitted, but sometimes the propaganda is just too blatant that I can't stand it. Also, from years of experience, I have come to have a very healthy skepticism of what passes for "news" these days.

Let me give you two examples of news stories that I had to read that just made me roll my eyes. But, before I do that, let me quote George Orwell once again. 

"Omission is the greatest form of lie" - George Orwell

Keep that in mind. The news stories are not written so that I must directly speak a falsehood. But they are filled with important omissions which turn some of them into blatant propaganda. 

Read this next bit of news - the kind of news ALL news reporters read verbatim - and tell me what's wrong with this picture?

LONDON, April 11, Kyodo

Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight countries on Thursday wrapped up their two-day meeting in London, condemning North Korea over its nuclear and missile development programs and warning the group will take additional steps if Pyongyang fires missiles.

In a chair's statement released after the gathering, the G-8 foreign ministers "condemned in the strongest possible terms" North Korea's active nuclear weapons development and ballistic missile program.

The statement also criticized North Korea's "current aggressive rhetoric," saying "this will only serve to further isolate the DPRK." 

Folks, like I said, this is blatant propaganda. I just couldn't bring myself to read this as is. If I did, I would be a tool of the propagandist. This sort of news is a lie of omission and can only serve to stoke public opinion into supporting a war against North Korea that will get a bunch of innocent people KILLED! That's right. This is a lie and this news is written to further a political agenda. I read the news the way it was written but added a critical fact to the very last paragraph that I think people need to know. I said;

"The statement also criticized North Korea's "current aggressive rhetoric," saying "this will only serve to further isolate the DPRK."  While conveniently ignoring the fact that US B2 Stealth Bombers, capable of dropping nuclear weapons, have been making threatening flights over South Korea just seconds away from North Korea."

Gee, isn't this little fact a bit relevant to the story? Not if you are a propagandist for the state. 

Saying this, though, is called telling the truth. How in the world can we expect the North Koreans to NOT be bellicose when US bombers are buzzing their territory? Hell, the USA carpet-bombed North Korea during the Korean War killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians! Of course they scream to high heaven when US bombers are flying around, within seconds of their country. Please refer to: Ubuntu Peace Education Project website:

In the Korean War, the U.S. demonstrated its willingness to attack Korean civilians in order to injure unidentified military partisans.  In doing so, it violated international humanitarian law and provisions of the Geneva Conventions.  Among illegal actions engaged in by U.S. soldiers and the U.S. command during the Korean War 1950-53 war were the destruction of clearly marked hospitals and destruction of irrigation dams at Kusongand Toksan that provided water for 75% of North Korea’s food production.  

The Air Force at the time reported that the “subsequent flash flood scooped clean 27 miles of valley below”, noted the flood waters wiped out supply routes as well as villages, and acknowledged that the loss of the rice crop will mean “starvation and slow death.”      

Napalm attacks more widespread than those ultimately banned in Viet Nam 16 and carpet bombing destroyed 75% of North Korea’s cities and villages....   

The American planes had bombed the entire city (Pyongyang) multiple times in the Korean War and obliterated virtually everything in it. Indeed U.S. reports cite a general ordering a stop to the bombing of Pyongyang since “nothing worthy of a name” was left standing. 

Why we are stoking the flames of war with the North Koreans - a country that can't even feed its own people - is just beyond comprehension to me. The people need to wake up and see that they are being manipulated.

The next story that I had to read also made me want to pull my hair out. It was about a 74-year-old man dying from Bird Flu in China. Horrors! I can't find the exact text, but it went like this:

China - In the last two weeks, eleven of the 43 people infected with bird flu in China have died, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The latest to succumb was a 74-year-old male patient from Shanghai.

Bird flu, again? You are kidding me right? And how in the hell does the death of a 74-year-old man in China make the news when average life-expectancy in China is 72! WTF?!

We go through this Bird Flu nonsense every 4 or 5 years. In fact, the last time this sort of sensationalism was going on, I wrote about it and predicted this story coming up. Big deal? Let me also make a wild prediction that I think there will be a war in the Middle East within the next year or so.

Eleven people die in China and that makes the news!? What a joke. How about a little reference here? 

First off there are over 1.34 billion people in China. Over 65,000 people die in traffic accidents in China per year (that's over 185 a day!) Chinese factories are very dangerous and every year there are hundreds of thousands of fatalities and injuries! I have read where about 300 people die everyday in China in factory or industrial accidents!

And these clowns want us to worry about eleven people dying of the flu? 

They call this "News"? I call it propaganda! 

I simply refuse to be a propagandist for the state. I wish more "news" reporters would wake up and realize that they are not helping the situation - and are actually harming people - by scaring them like this...


In Japan Nuclear Disaster Update & Strong Criticism of Western Media Sensationalism I wrote:

Remember my Golden Rule about TV: "90% of everything you see on TV is bullshit; the other 10% are commercials."

Actually, it astounds me that people do accept what what the media says as gospel truth. Don't forget that this is the very same media that told us 3 years ago that Swine Flu was going to kill more than 50 million people worldwide. This was the same media that told us that the USA had to invade Iraq because of Saddam's nooklar weapons. This was the same media that told us that SARS also was a killer virus that was going to wipe out entire populations. This was the same media that told us that Bird Flu was going to do the same.

As of today, worldwide deaths from Swine Flu: 82. No nuclear weapons for Saddam (if he had any, do you really think we would have invaded Iraq?). Worldwide deaths from SARS: 100. Worldwide deaths from Bird Flu: 80. Don't even get me started on Man Made Global Warming!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why Bitcoin? Hooray for Stamp Collecting!

(I'm re-running this article because I just wrote another article for Lew Rockwell that should run tomorrow. Please read: The Bashful Bitcoin Numismatic  I'm sure that, after reading that article, Bitcoin fans will want to kill me!)

When I was a young boy, I loved to collect things. I collected them all; coins, stamps, comic books, baseball cards, football cards, fish, frogs and snakes.

I collected this stuff cause I knew that if I held onto it for just long enough, someday I would get filthy rich off of selling it. Later, I realized that my "just long enough" would have had to be about 250 years.

Let's face it, folks. You can't get rich off of collecting stuff. I don't care what Gary North says, either. Gold!? Pffft! Well you can't eat gold now can you?

So if you have been collecting any of the above mentioned items — in some rose-colored glasses effort to get rich, all I can say to you is start today in trying to find someone dumb enough to pay you even 10% of your money back! Because you have lost all your money.
(That is, unless of course, you have a Marvel Silver Surfer comic #1 in Mint condition! Keep that baby. It's worth dollars!)

One of my fondest memories as a university student was when I was sitting in my room one day and watching the TV news. On the news they spoke about a Mickey Mantle baseball card that had sold for $500 some dollars at a baseball card auction. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears! I had that card back at home.

I dropped whatever it was that I was doing (it certainly wasn't studying) and raced back to my parents home. There I found the card. I took it to a card dealer the next day and proudly tossed it on the counter.

"I'll give you $5 dollars for it." The guy said.

"What!? I saw on TV last night that it sold for $5000 dollars!"

"Yeah, well, that was in mint condition. This one looks like it has been through the washer."

I was insulted. I grabbed the card and headed out the shop.

"Washer, indeed!" I thought, "It wasn't the washer. I had hooked this card up to my bicycle spokes with a clothes pin so that my bike made a 'rat-a-tat-tat' sound when I rode it — Just like a P-52 fighter plane! The 'Cadillac of the Skies.'"

I then went home and looked at my entire collection of stuff. Yes, I had basically beat everything up pretty much (like any normal American kid would do.) I cut out all the cool pictures from my Spider-man comics; carried most of my sports cards in my back pocket when I was running around with my friends....

The only things that were in good condition were my postage stamps. I hadn't cleaned them with some super-cleano silver cleaner that you see on TV, like I did my Mint Collection of Franklin Half-Dollars.

"Darn! For a moment there, I thought I was gonna be rich..." So, depressed, I went back to college and figured that I had better start studying because I didn't want six (or was it seven?) years of college to be a total waste.

Years later, when I moved to Japan, I took my coins and stamps with me.
The Japanese post office is just a wee bit smarter than the U.S. postal service. Stamps of the U.S. postal service sometimes are way off center and the designs are poor. Many U.S. stamps are really cheesy and cheap looking. Japanese stamps usually have a very high quality design and excellent printing.

This is clever, you see, because the postal service wants you to collect stamps. They want you to give them money and then not use the stamps. In Japan, they have special issues coming out all the time — sometimes three times a week! And they also promote the selling of entire sheets of stamps to collectors.

Buying sheets of stamps is a sure-fire way of losing money. My mother-in-law had a friend that worked at the post office way back when. Her friend convinced her to buy sheets of stamps as an investment. She did. And years later, she gave them to me. I took them to a dealer and, even though some of the sheets were 20 years old, they told me that I could only receive 80% of face value.

Then I took them back to the post office and said I wanted my money back. They said that they couldn't give me back my money, but that they'd only trade me new stamps for face value.

Al Hitler received a royalty for each of these sold!
"What a rip-off!"

So now my wife and I are using 20 to 25 year old stamps on all our letters we mail, even today. I guess some stamp-collecting kid might get a kick out of that if they see one.

So I'm back at the post office the other day and I see the new issue of a "commemorative stamp" and it hits me like a ton of bricks! Okay, maybe I'm not the smartest guy in the world, and call me paranoid, but I realized that the government — All governments, use postage stamps as a method of propaganda.

What a scam!

There are stamps commemorating this and that. Showing you just how great is the country you live in.

Stamps showing the great deeds the government has done for us all. Famous statesmen, great leaders, wonderful monuments, holidays, and human achievement.

So this new stamp issue here in Japan, was just a shocker and eye-opener for me! It's the fifty-year anniversary of the "Police Law."

Hooray for the police! Hooray for the post office! Hooray for stamp-collecting!

That did it for me. I'm going to start collecting stamps again! I just can't wait!

There should be some really great ones coming out of Japan and the good ol' U.S.A. in the next few years.

How about these ideas?:

"5th Anniversary of the Fall of Saddam's Statue," or;

"10th Anniversary of the Homeland Security Act," or;

"15th Anniversary of the Patriot Acts 1 through 11" (probably a sheet commemorative.) Or;

"20th Anniversary of George W. Bush's Accession to the Throne."

Wow! A collector's dream come true. And I think you folks in the States had better start collecting stamps too. It's a way to show your patriotism, a way to show your pride.

And who knows, maybe someday your collection will be invaluable as proof of character in an American court of law!

Hooray for the police-state! Hooray for the central-government! Hooray for stamp-collecting.

This article originally ran on Lew Rockwell.com... For more, please read: The Bashful Bitcoin Numismatic 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Adjusted For GDP, Japan's Stimulus Will Be Twice the Size of America's!

I just read some more alarm bell ringing over at Zerohedge. Please refer to "Protecting Yourself From Japanese Insanity":

Sayonara to Japan 

First to Japan. You've got to love mainstream media, investors and stockbrokers. The Japanese central bank's plans to end deflation have been widely greeted as having surpassed expectations. They're described as "bold", "inventive" and just what Japan needs after sitting on its hands for 20 years. Nowhere have I seen words such as "stupid", "insane" or "half-witted". Because anyone with a brain can tell you that Japan's plans will have terrible consequences, whether they succeed or not.  
First, let's look at what Japan intends to do:
  • It will double current stimulus to 7.5 trillion yen (US$81 billion) per month. This means buying the equivalent of 70% of the total long-term government bonds in markets.
  • It will buy Japanese government bonds with maturities of up to 40 years, seeking to push the average duration of Bank of Japan (BoJ) bondholdings to seven years, from the current three years. 
  • It will increase purchases of financial instruments linked to the stock and property markets to lift the prices in those sectors and encourage other investors to buy them. More specifically, the BoJ will increase purchases of exchange traded funds (ETFs) by 1 trillion yen per year and real-estate trust funds (REITs) by 30 billion yen per year.
  • The BoJ put a timeline of two years on its prior promise to achieve 2% inflation. 
To put this into some context, Japan's stimulus of US$81 billion a month compares to the U.S.' own US$85 billion program. But Japan's economy is much smaller than the U.S.. Adjusted for GDP, Japan's stimulus will be twice as large as America's. (Emphasis mine).

I am very pleased to see enough people really starting to get the message; we are heading for a disaster, folks. In the article above, though, the writer does not mention what happened right here in Japan the last time this sort of money printing and Keynesian nonsense was tried in the 1930s.

Look folks, it's common sense that we cannot create wealth out of thin air just by printing money; if we could, then why doesn't the government just print a million dollars and give it away to every citizen of the country? That should make us rich, right?

Well... It won't. Forget what the economists say; this is common sense. Anyway, as I said, the writer above forgets to mention what happened in Japan the last time this was tried. So, for that, I thought I'd reprint this past post in full for you to read again. Here you go!

Cyprus is the Opening Act for Japan's Coming Calamity: Government Debt to GDP in Japan is Now 245%!

I sit and read about the disaster befalling the people of Cyprus. I've been wondering when this is going to hit Japan. It will.

I was discussing this banking crisis and the tax on savers with my wife. It seems the Japanese are still firm believers in the sanctity of their savings in banks. 

I like taking my girlfriend to drink and see the flowers

I really wonder why they think this. It wasn't that long ago that the banks of Japan closed one day, and when they reopened, their money had been massively devalued. My wife even said to me that she remembers her grandfather telling her,

"One day the banks all closed and when they reopened, 100 yen was no longer worth 100 yen. It was worth 10 yen."

I gawk when my wife tells me this. I've heard this story from other older Japanese too. But still, the younger people today seem oblivious to what is coming. Savings in the bank seem sacred... (Even though the interest on those savings is some absurd rate of something around one-percent...)

The last time Japan had a "bank holiday" like Cyprus is having now - and many other countries are now considering - very bad things happened as a result of it.... One thing was a little incident folks do remember well until this day... You might have heard of it? It was called "The Second World War." 

Wikipedia says:

The Japanese economy shrank by 8% during 1929–31. Japan's Finance Minister Takahashi Korekiyo was the first to implement what have come to be identified as Keynesian economic policies: first, by large fiscal stimulus involving deficit spending; and second, by devaluing the currency. Takahashi used the Bank of Japan to sterilize the deficit spending and minimize resulting inflationary pressures. Econometric studies have identified the fiscal stimulus as especially effective.[67] 
(Effective? Ha! Keynesians editing Wikipedia! - Mike)

The devaluation of the currency had an immediate effect. Japanese textiles began to displace British textiles in export markets. The deficit spending proved to be most profound. The deficit spending went into the purchase of munitions for the armed forces. By 1933, Japan was already out of the depression. By 1934, Takahashi realized that the economy was in danger of overheating, and to avoid inflation, moved to reduce the deficit spending that went towards armaments and munitions.

This resulted in a strong and swift negative reaction from nationalists, especially those in the army, culminating in his assassination in the course of the February 26 Incident. This had a chilling effect on all civilian bureaucrats in the Japanese government. From 1934, the military's dominance of the government continued to grow. Instead of reducing deficit spending, the government introduced price controls and rationing schemes that reduced, but did not eliminate inflation, which would remain a problem until the end of World War II.
A few paragraphs above you can see where some nutcase wrote that the Keynesian economic policies were "effective." Yep. Real effective. You can read the results of these policies in the next paragraphs: deficit spending on munitions resulting in a 'boom bust cycle' that lead to a coup de etat and, eventually, World War Two. Yeah. Real effective. 

I am of the impression that things are really falling apart and going to hell in a handbasket here in Japan. 
I wrote about that in Japan: The End of an Era and last year in Here's Why A Weak Yen Will Destroy Japan:  
The clowns in the LDP think a weak yen will rescue Japan's faltering economy by making exports cheaper... Sounds good... That is, if there anyone to buy Japanese goods.  I fear that the weaker yen will be the last straw in breaking the Japanese Economy. Here's my reasoning why... 

China and Japan are in a row over islands. Boom! Down goes exports to Japan's biggest trading partner. Please refer to the NY Times article, "Japan Trade Suffers as China Ties Deteriorate":

"Shipments to China, which is Japan's biggest trading partner, tumbled 14.1 per cent as demand dropped for Japan-branded products..."

Also refer to Japanese Car Sales Plunge Amid China Rage.

Europe is in no condition to be big spenders on anything as Euro states are already in deep recession.

The USA isn't in good shape either as it is in recession too and Japanese cars aren't selling well due to Fukushima and other issues.

Gee? So what will a weak yen certainly buy for Japan? Answer: How about a 10% increase across the board on energy imports?

Recent figures show Japan's trade deficit hitting new records. 
Japan's trade deficit in February jumped to ¥777.5 billion. Exports dropped "unexpectedly" by 2.9% from prior year, despite Abenomics. Imports surged 11.9%. Eighth monthly deficit in a row, worst since 1979... This year in January, the trade deficit hit a new record of ¥1.63 trillion, and now ¥777 billion.  
When things start to deteriorate, they begin to unravel quickly. Just this morning on ZeroHedge, I found a writer who makes my skepticism seem like I am the eternal optimist! 
Please refer to quotes from: Forget Cyprus, Japan is the Real Crisis:
Forget Cyprus. A much bigger story in the coming weeks and months will be in Japan, where one of the greatest economic experiments in the modern era is about to begin. A country where government debt even dwarfs those of Europe's crisis-ridden nations, Japan will attempt to inflate its way out of a 23-year deflationary spiral.

It's widely expected that the BoJ will expand its 101 trillion yen (US$1.06 trillion) asset buying program by more than 10 million yen. Also, it will start buying Japanese government bonds with remaining maturities of up to five years by scrapping the upper limit of three years by the end of April.

Why Japan will fail
The subtitle indicates where I stand on the matter. Given its over-indebtedness, Japan has few good options left. But the policies being pursued by Shinzo Abe will fast-forward a major debt and currency crisis. It's a matter of when, not if.

Government debt to GDP in Japan is now 245%, far higher than any other country. Total debt to GDP is 500%. Government expenditure to government revenue is a staggering 2000%. Meanwhile interest costs on government debt equal 25% of government revenue.

There's no way that Japan will ever repay this debt. It has two main options: either go through extraordinary pain by cutting back on government expenditure or print substantial money to inflate some of the debt away.
Japan is choosing the second option, as are most governments around the world. It would rather print money than cut spending and doom the economy to a substantial contraction. The choice to print money though will result in an even more painful and drawn-out outcome.

It's inevitable that the yen will fall further from here, potentially much further. I've previously said that the yen at 200 or 300 on the dollar would not surprise. This could prove optimistic.

It also seems inevitable that Japanese interest rates will rise and bonds will sell off. Yields have to rise to just 2% for interest costs on government debt to take up 80% of government revenue. The jig will be up well before that though.

Currency wars to begin in earnest
Talk of currency wars has been on the backburner for a few months. Expect that talk to heat up and become a reality as Japan ramps up stimulus in the next two weeks.

The likes of South Korea and Taiwan are already suffering from the sharp fall of the yen. They, and many others such as Germany and emerging countries, aren't going to sit by and watch their exporters get priced out of the market by the Japanese. They'll retaliate with currency depreciations of their own and the currency wars will be on in earnest. But the question is whether these countries will be able to keep up with a hyper-inflating Japan. I highly doubt it.

The yen at 200 ~ 300 per one US dollar? And "that could prove to be optimistic?" Wow! 
I've got two things to say about that. One is the February 26th Incident that was already mentioned in the Wikipedia reference earlier in this article. 
Specifically about the February 26 Incident, Wikipedia says:
The February 26 Incident (also known as the 2-26 Incident) was an attempted coup d'état in Japan on 26 February 1936. It was organized by a group of young Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) officers with the goal of purging the government and military leadership of their factional rivals and ideological opponents.
Although the rebels succeeded in assassinating several leading officials and in occupying the government center of Tokyo, they failed to assassinate Prime Minister Keisuke Okada or secure control of the Imperial Palace
Wikipedia also says about one of the factions involved in this coup:
The Kōdō-ha emphasized the importance of Japanese culture, spiritual purity over material quality, and the need to attack the Soviet Union 
There's that nasty talk about war again. 
And the second comment I want to make about this entire mess isn't really a comment, it is an observation and a fact. Here is a small 5 gram gold bar... In 2008, this 5 gram bar of gold sold for ¥8,900 yen (at today's rate, that is about $94 USD)... As of yesterday, March 23, 2013, it sold for ¥27,924 (about $295.68 USD). That's a 313% increase.

Today the Japanese yen and US dollar rate is at 94.5 yen to one dollar.
This isn't rocket science, folks. The Japanese government has publicly announced inflationary policies and actions to devalue the currency.
In 5 years, gold - priced in yen terms - has tripled*... Now, reading the above is there any reason to not expect that this sort of climb is unreasonable to expect over the next 5 years? If the amount of money doubles in the next year or so, isn't it reasonable to assume that the price of gold will do the same?

We are heading for some very serious troubles folks. Prepare yourself as best you can. 


Got Gold or Silver? Where to Buy Physical Gold or Silver in Tokyo or try what my friend Mark recommended: http://www.olympic-gold.co.jp/

Rob also chimes in and recommends these two shops: http://gold-ichiba.com/ & http://www.coins.co.jp/

*Thanks to my friend, Jeremy Irwin

Steamship Advertising in Japan - Beautiful Posters from 1900's

Japanese Steamship Posters.

Here is a collection of early 20th century travel posters for Japanese steamship companies (from the book Miwaku no Funatabi, published by the Museum of Maritime Science, 1993). From Pink Tentacle.

Wonderful, aren't they? They make me long to have some time to take a vacation to anywhere so I can forget all my troubles if only for a few days!

WHOOPS! How did that last one get in there?!

See the entire collection of 14 posters here at Pink Tentacle.

Top 3 New Video Countdown for May 6, 2023! Floppy Pinkies, Jett Sett, Tetsuko!

   Top 3 New Video Countdown for May 6, 2023!!  Please Follow me at:  https://www.facebook.com/MikeRogersShow Check out my Youtube Channel: ...