A Japan That Can Say No?

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mark edwards

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Oct 17, 1989, 10:58:26 PM10/17/89
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I was waiting for someone else to bring this up, but no one did. So I will.
A hot new book, actually a short book of essays, written by Shintaro
Ishihara (Japanese Politician) and Akio Morita (Sony) has been bootlegged
and translated into english. Upon reading it congress may renew its efforts in
Japan bashing, or better yet more restricted Japanese imports. The following
are excerpts from Business Week, U.S. News and World Report and The Wall
Street Journal, though I am sure Time and Newsweek also commented on it.

While America has made a name for the ugly American, I think with all the
faux pas' made by Japanese in high places the japanese have made a name
for theirselves in what I call the "slip of the tongue" remarks. Remarks
that they really believed but later wished they had not verbalized. Maybe
I can coin a new word "faux pas jaw" for the japanese with the faux pas.

Some of the comments made by Ishihara and Morita are quite interesting.
I wonder if we'll ever be able to read the book. Anyone know how I can get
a hold of a translation, or the real thing?

enjoy,
mark
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Business Week, October 23, 1989

The Book That's Creating a Firestorm, Amy Borrus, Paul Magnusson

Tough Talk From Shintaro Ishihara

Key points from "The Japan That Can Say 'No'"

- "If, for example, Japan sold chips to the Soviet Union and
stopped selling them to the U.S., this would upset the entire
military balance. Some Americans say that if Japan were thinking
of doing that, it would be occupied."

- "America wants to steal Japanese knowhow. They cannot manufacture the
most technologically advanced fighters with out advanced ceramic
and carbon fiber technology from Japan."

- "The time has come for Japan to tell the U.S. that we do not need
American protection."

"Some Japanese think even Morita goes too far and are amazed that he teamed
up with an ultranationalist such as Ishihara just as Sony was acquisition-
hunting in the U.S. 'For a coporate chairman, it was irresponsible,' says
Takashi Inoguchi, a University of Tokyo political scientist."

U.S. News and World Report, Oct 16, 1989

American-bashing, Japanese style, Jim Impocco

Can the United States accept "A Japan That Can Say 'No'?

Wider airing. For Morita, though, the association with Ishihara is
proving to be an embarrassment. Compared with Ishihara's vitriol,
Morita's essays are little more than his usual lectures on
American manufacturing and managerial shortcomings. (One essay,
for example, is entitled, 'The Decline of an America Which Can
Only See 10 Minutes Ahead.') The Sony chairman says the bootlegged
translation is a bad one, possibly done intentionally to maximize
the book's negative impact. [...] says Morse of the Library of
Congress. 'Here is a guy who is buying up America saying all these
things.'"

Wall Street Journal, Friday, Oct. 13, 1989

We Just Wonder if Those Readers Are Using American-Made Copiers, Jolie Solomon

Washington- Sony Corp. has spent years building its exports to the U.S., but now
it has a hot product it doesn't want anyone here to buy.

A Best Seller

"The Japan That Can Say No," a collection of essays by Sony Chairman
Akio Morita and Shintaro Ishihara, a top politician in the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party, has been a best seller in Japan all year. In it, Mr. Ishihara
cites as a mentor a general who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor, and
Morita urges Japan to eschew its Confucian heritage and say no to the U.S. more
often on economic issues.
Such a good read would seem a natural for the U.S. market. But a Sony spokesman
says Mr. Morita has "no plans" for a translation. Even copies in Japanese are
hard to get in the U.S.
Nonetheless, hundreds of 74-page, typewritten, bootleg editions are
circulating through Washington, REaders credit a variety of translators, but so
far only the CIA admits it's working on a translation- "for restricted use."
Distributors aren't as shy. Rep. Mel Levine, a California Democrat, has
given away at least 50 copies, and American Electronics Association is
running its copiers overtime. Some lawmakers may even put it in the
Congressional Record.
Richard Elkus Jr., the head of Prometrix Inc., an electronic firm, was
particularly interested in a scenario on page 3 about selling computer chips
to the Soviets and not the U.S. to demonstrate Japan's economic power.
"This would upset the entire military balance," Mr. Ishihara writes. America,
he adds, might invade.

Lost in Translation?

Mr. Elkus hoped something had been lost in tranlation, and he asked a
Japanese friend to "put this in terms that make me feel better." His
friend responded, Mr. Elkus says, that he couldn't.

Readers say points in Mr. Morita's essays are often legitmate, while
Mr. Ishihara's are incendiary. Mr. Morita, meanwhile, complains that
Americans are confusing his opinions with Mr. Ishihara's and says he
wishes he'd never got involved.
But Mr. Morita isn't backtracking on his criticism of the U.S. In
fact, he cites the bootleg translations as another example of unfair
U.S. trade practices. "I believe that to be a violation of my intellectual
property rights," he says through a spokesman.
--
edw...@vms.macc.wisc.edu
UW-Madison, 1210 West Dayton St., Madison WI 53706

Mike Craig

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Oct 19, 1989, 12:33:35 PM10/19/89
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I have heard alot about Mr. Morita's book. If anyone knows of a source to
obtain the book please e-mail the information including the title of the book.
An untranslated version is acceptable.

Thanks,

Mike

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Suwandi Harnyo

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Oct 22, 1989, 5:53:35 PM10/22/89
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In article <27...@hp-sdd.hp.com> mi...@hp-sdd.UUCP (Mike Craig) writes:
>
> I have heard alot about Mr. Morita's book. If anyone knows of a source to
>obtain the book please e-mail the information including the title of the book.
>An untranslated version is acceptable.
>
>Thanks,
>

Me too ! Thanks.


Andy
har...@netcom.uucp

Yoshito Ohta

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Oct 22, 1989, 9:40:00 PM10/22/89
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In article <25...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu>, edw...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu

(mark edwards) writes:
>
> I was waiting for someone else to bring this up, but no one did.
> So I will. A hot new book, actually a short book of essays,
> written by Shintaro Ishihara (Japanese Politician) and Akio
> Morita (Sony) has been bootlegged and translated into english.

The authors were preparing English rendition of the book. Both
Mr.Ishihara and Mr.Morita are protesting against the trespasses to
their copyright. Copies circulating in the Congress are all piracies.

> While America has made a name for the ugly American, I think
> with all the faux pas' made by Japanese in high places the
> japanese have made a name for theirselves in what I call the
> "slip of the tongue" remarks. Remarks that they really believed
> but later wished they had not verbalized. Maybe I can coin a
> new word "faux pas jaw" for the japanese with the faux pas.

Not for this time. Mr.Ishihara is an outsider of the Japanese
political balance in the LDP. He needs not make the "slip of the
tongue" remark. He also says what he believes. It is not likely that
he will retract his statements. By the way, this custom of what you
call "faux pas jaw" is widely seen in Japanese political scene. The
"slip of the tongue" remark is the most effective way to evade their
responsibilities and thus enables them to stay in power. However, I
have seen small number of people who refused to say this and expelled
from their positions.

> Some of the comments made by Ishihara and Morita are quite
> interesting. I wonder if we'll ever be able to read the book.
> Anyone know how I can get a hold of a translation, or the real
> thing?

I haven't read the book myself either, but I'm thinking of buying one.
Mr.Ishihara and Mr.Morita contributed articles to the latest issue of
Bungeishunju. The following are summaries of the articles.
Bungeishunju is available at large Japanese book stores in U.S. such
as Kinokuniya in New York.

Disclaimer: The summaries may contain mistranslations. If you want to
know what the authors really said, please see Bungeishunju.

-----
Mr. Ishihara's article "No is no," Bungeishunju, November 1989.

Illegal copies circulating in Congress is a violation against the
copyright. If American side overlook the unlawful conduct because it
is for their own interest, this is inconsistent with American belief
which values faith and fairness. If America thinks that rules which
are applied to American and to Japanese are different, this is
arrogant. In the Toshiba COCOM case, Toshiba was found guilty by a
retroactive law, which is against the constitution of U.S but the
constitution was not applied because Toshiba is not an American
company.

The FSX issue is an exorbitant demand. The American demand was (1)
Japan gives away her technologies free of charge, (2) Japan pays
licence fees for American technologies, (3) America can use Japanese
technologies thus obtained for whatever purposes, (4) Japan cannot use
American technologies thus obtained for any purposes except for FSX.

Although I admit that mordernization owes much to Europeans, the world
history is having a new dimension. The view that U.S.A., Soviet and
maybe Europe are the major power players and Japan is a secondary
player is obsolete. Americans belief that Japanese don't have global
political ideals ignores new Japanese generation. Japanese
technologies will give a decisive impact on the world economy.
Persons who don't understand this have too much influence by European
centeredness.

I believe Japan should have her own political view of the world. This
is not attained by following America. Japan should say "NO" when she
finds it necessary.

-----
Mr.Morita's article, "What I really meant," Bungeishunju, November
1989.

Japanese journalism is making a big fuss while American journalism
such as TIME, New York Times, and Fortune is writing quite reasonably.
It is a complete misunderstanding if one thinks I am intending
America bashing hand in hand with Mr.Ishihara.

The "NO" has two meaning. I say "NO" to Japan as well as to America.
I say to America what I need to say to make Japan understood and I
say to Japan what I need to say to make situations better. I believe
that it is my responsibility to say "NO" to both of them.

If you look at the issue of trade imbalance, you have to take a closer
look at the changes of goods imported from japan. Electric appliances
such as TV, radio and VTR decreased dramatically over the recent five
years, while capital goods such as semiconductors and machineries
increased. This is because quality rather than price is important for
capital goods. (Note that there was drastic appreciation of yen during
the period.) It is unfair that the American government does not say
to American companies to buy American semiconductors because the
American market is a free market while the American government demands
Japanese companies to buy American semiconductors.

"Techno-nationalism" is anachronism. I call techno-nationalism the
tendency of withdrawing into one country in the technological
developments .Technologies have no borders. It is a world trend to
have more exchanges of technologies beyond borders.

-----
Yoshito Ohta
ohta%ouele.osa...@relay.cs.net

mark edwards

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Oct 23, 1989, 9:41:04 AM10/23/89
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In article <891023014...@oueln0.ouele.osaka-u.ac.jp> oh...@oueln0.ouele.osaka-u.ac.jp (Yoshito Ohta) writes:
>
>In article <25...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu>, edw...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu
>(mark edwards) writes:
>> has been bootlegged and translated into english.
>
>The authors were preparing English rendition of the book. Both
>Mr.Ishihara and Mr.Morita are protesting against the trespasses to
>their copyright. Copies circulating in the Congress are all piracies.

What I read was that there was no intention by Morita to have the book
translated and distributed elsewhere. From what I've read and been
told Japan has never been one that should complain about trepasses to
copyright. In this case it seems convient from them to do so. Until a
translated copy is made available by the authors as a matter of
"National Security", I see no reason why Congress should not be allowed
to do so. If the reverse was true I'm sure a bootleg copy in japanese
would probably be selling on the open market before the original was
available in Amerika! :-)

>> Maybe I can coin a
>> new word "faux pas jaw" for the japanese with the faux pas.
>
>Not for this time. Mr.Ishihara is an outsider of the Japanese
>political balance in the LDP. He needs not make the "slip of the
>tongue" remark. He also says what he believes. It is not likely that
>he will retract his statements. By the way, this custom of what you
>call "faux pas jaw" is widely seen in Japanese political scene. The
>"slip of the tongue" remark is the most effective way to evade their
>responsibilities and thus enables them to stay in power. However, I
>have seen small number of people who refused to say this and expelled
>from their positions.

I'm confused at your last statement. Are they refusing to make a "slip
of the tongue" remark or refusing to retract it?

A question I thought other people would bring up is the real intent behind
Morita essays. Is Mr. Morita practicing "haragei"? Mr. Morita has extensive
experience with both sides of the Pacific (and Atlantic). Was it political
intrigue that he wrote the book with Ishihara? Did he have to criticize the U.S.
to criticize Japan? Can we really take the book at face value? What are we
to make of Mr. Morita? According to a Business Week article (October 23 issue)
Mr. Morita is chairman of political, public relations, and propaganda
for Japan in the United States.


mark

Izumi Ohzawa

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Oct 23, 1989, 9:49:09 PM10/23/89
to
In article <26...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu> edw...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu (mark edwards) writes:
>
> A question I thought other people would bring up is the real intent behind
>Morita essays. Is Mr. Morita practicing "haragei"? Mr. Morita has extensive
>experience with both sides of the Pacific (and Atlantic). Was it political
>intrigue that he wrote the book with Ishihara? Did he have to criticize the U.S.
>to criticize Japan? Can we really take the book at face value?
>

Sure you can. What they are saying, I believe, isn't really new
that much. If you scan through Bungei-Shunju of the past several
years, you can find a stream of articles complaining how one-sided
and unfair the American demands are at most times on such issues
as on Semiconductor trade agreement, Toshiba Machinery's COCOM
infringement, FSX etc. These complaints, however, never
made it across the Pacific. They just told each other how they
are unfairly bashed on, but nobody said anything to the very
people who are doing it. In this respect, the BOOK is no
different because it is sold in the Japanese market.

The only thing that's different is that one of the authors was
a well-known person in the US. That's why the American media took
notice. The purchase of Columbia Pictures also helped this.

In general, I think it is great that the American media jump up
and down on books published in Japan. I hope they do more of that
regularly.

Izumi Ohzawa
iz...@violet.berkeley.edu

Eugene Miya

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Oct 24, 1989, 1:00:27 PM10/24/89
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Sorry, we had a little localized disturbance and we lost a few articles
which might have been on this topic. I have seen a limited translation
(since sent up "the line."). My impressions are 1) tough talk,
2) a somewhat poor translation. There is a degree of truth to any
document of this type, but I think Morita has come out in interviews
to clarify his remarks. The problem with the latter is the lack of
general broadcast.

Another gross generalization from

--eugene miya, NASA Ames Research Center, eug...@aurora.arc.nasa.gov
resident cynic at the Rock of Ages Home for Retired Hackers:
"You trust the `reply' command with all those different mailers out there?"
"If my mail does not reach you, please accept my apology."
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Yoshito Ohta

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Oct 25, 1989, 8:33:33 PM10/25/89
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In article <26...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu>, edw...@dogie.macc.wisc.edu

(mark edwards) writes:

> What I read was that there was no intention by Morita to have
> the book translated and distributed elsewhere.

Mr.Ishihara wrote in his article, "No is no," Bungeishunju, that he
told the editor of Kobunsha, the publisher of "Japan that can say No",
that he would like to have the book translated in English. He
suggested that Kodansha International, a subsidiary of Kobunsha,
should prepare a summary in English. He guesses that while the
summary was circulating among American publishers, someone got
interested in the book and translated the whole book without consent
by the authors.

> From what I've read and been told Japan has never been
> one that should complain about trepasses to copyright.

Even in a country which should not complain about trespasses to
copyright, an act of illegal copy is piracy. Japan has its copyright
law. Books sold at bookstores in Japan are authorized copies. I
think that every Japanese citizen has legitimate right to protect
his/her copyright.

> Until a translated copy is made available by the authors
> as a matter of "National Security", I see no reason why
> Congress should not be allowed to do so.

I am not a native speaker of English, so this may be wrong, but the
above remark explains why "bootleg" rather than "piracy" is used.
Since the majority of people think that the prohibition is wrong,
bootlegging is legitimate in the meta-legal sense. "Bootleg" is used
to impress people that the illegal copy is legitimate.

> If the reverse was true I'm sure a bootleg copy in japanese
> would probably be selling on the open market before the
> original was available in Amerika! :-)

Is this a kind of sarcasm? Please explain to non-native speakers of
English.

> I'm confused at your last statement. Are they refusing to
> make a "slip of the tongue" remark or refusing to retract it?

The pronoun "they" doesn't imply Mr.Ishihara and Mr.Morita. The
statement is a general one. The reason why there are so many "slip of
the tongue" remarks is that it works. Usually people say that they
made "slip of the tongue" , and keep low profile after that, thinking
that "hito no uwasa mo 75 nichi" (lit. people won't talk about this
after 75 days). Then voila, they find the proverb is right.



> A question I thought other people would bring up is the real intent
> behind Morita essays.

This is an interesting point. I haven't read the book, so I'd better
pick up a copy at a bookstore.

Yoshito Ohta
ohta%ouele.osa...@relay.cs.net

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