Re: A news item and subject which I just want to check out (114) November 24, 2023

We have been blessed with good weather all this week, and the mild days of late autumn continued on the Pacific side.
By the way, early in the morning on Saturday, November 23, 1963 in Japan time 60 years ago from now, John F. Kennedy, the 35 th president of the United States who was very popular at that time was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. He was at the young age of 46. At that time, I was a second-year university student, and in order to go to the training camp of the badminton club I belonged to, I happened to see the incident on TV at my boarding house in Kunitachi city, Tokyo around 5 a.m. and I remember that I was so surprised. By a curious coincidence, that day was a day when the first-ever satellite broadcast took place in Japan, and that was where the big news jumped in.
The shots were fired from the sixth-floor window of the former Texas School Book Depository along a road in Dallas where the President’s motorcade passed by. This building is preserved as a museum just as it was. I had an opportunity to visit Dallas while stationed in New York (1978~1983), and I went to the scene of the incident on spare moments from my work. The rifle with a sighting device used for sniping was displayed.
Lee Harvey Oswald, whose role it was to carry out the assassination, was shot by Jack Ruby who was a nightclub owner and had a relationship with the mafia two days after the incident. Therefore, there was a lot of speculation about the incident like he did not act alone and perhaps he was silenced. Things around here were described in a way of documentary in the movie called “Executive Action”.
On the other hand, when I look at the current situation of politics in the United States, it is none of my concern, but I am worried that they can do something a little more as a democratic nation having the strongest economic and military power in the world.
Incidentally, regarding another assassination, when I visited Nara to give a lecture asked by an economic organization in Nara last Monday, I passed the scene of the shooting incident of former Prime Minister Abe occurred in front of Saidaiji station of Kintetsu on July 8 last year.
There was no trace of the incident at the scene, because the maintenance plan that had been planned from the beginning was enforced after that. The first trial of accused Yamagami is scheduled to take place next year or later, and how will it unfold? I think I want to watch it with interest.

■■What I have thought recently:
■The difference between a politician and a statesman:
Two years have passed last month since the Kishida administration started. Even after the Second Kishida Cabinet started in September this year, government officials resigning has happened one after another. One resigned over a woman’s issue, and the next, Vice-Minister of Justice, resigned due to violation of the Election Law. And the other one, Vice-Minister of Finance, resigned due to tax appears and assets seizure. Why have these things happened? A woman’s issue is a personnel moral issue, but the other two are the persons who are the center of the competent authorities responsible for managing and supervising the issues in question. I wonder if they know the gravity of what they have done, and I can’t help but question their nature and sense of responsibility. It is no surprise that the Vice-Minister who failed to pay his tax while having a tax accountant qualification was dismissed, but I wonder if he has thought “this degree of behavior would be permissible”. That is too much of a mockery of the people.
“24 hours a day and 365 days a year” are equality for all. It is too good to have everything in your hands on “status, honor, freedom, money and lust” within the constraint of this time axis, even if our lifespan is now almost as long as 100 years. In order to accomplish any of these, you have to be prepared to throw away or give up or sacrifice something else. Everyone has their own life, but I have heard that “god is equal” in the end.
I have heard the words “young politicians will be great in no time” from the late secretary of a big-name politician before. In other words, he made a cynical remark that a fresh politician who was elected for the first time would “act as if he has become great through his own efforts” in the blink of an eye, while he was called “Sir, Sir”. You might say it is “arrogance or conceit”. And he becomes vulnerable to attack. I wish young politicians aim to become statesmen by all means. To do that, they need single-minded “determination” and “resolution” called “throwing away or sacrificing some of desires or worldly passions. If they can’t do that, they should not aspire to be statesmen.

■The holding rate of Japanses government bond by foreign investors is over the holding by Japanese banks:
According to the Ministry of Finance, the holding rate of Japanese government bond by foreign investors was 14.5 % over the holding rate by Japanese banks (13.1 %) as of the end of March this year. Incidentally, government bonds outstanding including Treasury Discount Bills in Japan was 1229.7563 trillion yen, more than twice the GDP, as of the end of March, and the worst level in advanced countries. Among these, the holding rate by Bank of Japan accounts for 47.1 %. On the other hand, moving away from government bonds by Japanese banks is progressing and the holding rate is decreasing from less than 50 % 15 years ago. This background is that Bank of Japan bought up large amounts of government bonds and paid the price and supplied money to the market. On the contrary, the holding rate by foreign investors has doubled in the last 15 years. Foreign investors are very agile in market fluctuations, the same as stocks, due to various changes in circumstances. In other words, Japanese government bonds seemed to be stable because they have been almost absorbed by domestic investors until now, but as the holding rate of foreign investors increases, the risk of fluctuation of interest rates and government bonds prices due to speculation increases.
A familiar example is the case of the United Kingdom. Foreign investors hold about 30 % of government bonds in the United Kingdom. In September last year, under the previous Truss administration, amidst the opacity surrounding fiscal management, the interest rates went up and the price of government bonds rapidly declined, and the currency also declined to the record low. The Prime Minster Truss was forced to resign because such economic turmoil arose. In Japan, the outstanding government bonds continue to increase like “a mallet of luck”, but we have to remember that the risk is increasing.

■The merits and demerits of drinking:
It is said that the per capita adult consumption volume of alcoholic beverages has decreased by about 20 % in the last 20 years, but the dead by alcoholic liver disease has increased by double. It seems that drinking is increasingly “polarized”. It means that there are persons who cut back on alcohol for health reasons and persons who drink heavily due to stress under new corona virus and so on.
It is said that “good wine makes good blood”, but drinking too much can be poisonous because of “everything in moderation”. The purpose of drinking alcohol is not merely to “consume” it, but we might think of it as a medium of “communication”. When I, who say in this way, was young, I have emptied a bottle of whisky a few times. I was fortunate that I did not have liver damage and there was no incident. I am trying to drink socially now, but sometimes drink heavily. After all, I wonder if I like drinking.

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