Re: What I think about through recent news (53) July 22, 2022

 I comment what I think about, when I hear and see recent news.

■“the General Headquarters’ announcement ”
 (the most senior body in the former Japanese armed forces) :
Almost five months have passed since the start of Russian military invasion to Ukraine. As far as the war situation is concerned, either of them reports it to its own advantage for the people called “we gave a blow to the other side”. This is propaganda for enhancing national prestige and suppressing a mood of war-weariness. Particularly, a government-controlled broadcasting in Russia is a strong resemblance to “the General Headquarters’ announcement” in Japan during the Pacific War. The Pacific War started since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941, and from June 5 to 7 in 1942 just six months later, a large-scale Naval battle broke out near Midway Atoll, a territory of the United States, on the Central Pacific Ocean. In this Naval battle, the Japanese navy suffered heavy losses called “four main aircraft carriers and one heavy cruiser sank, and all 290 aircrafts thrown in and a lot of skilled pilots were lost”. On the other hand, the damage of the American navy did no more than “one aircraft carrier sank and 150 aircrafts were lost”, and clearly this was an utterly defeat by the Japanese navy. However, the General Headquarters’ announcement at that time was “two American aircraft carriers sank, but one Japanese aircraft carrier sank and one aircraft carrier was wrecked”. And Japanese people had no way of knowing the truth. This is a horror of a regulation of speech by an absolutistic nation. Present political system in China is in common with this, in terms of the fact called “an information that is harmful to the administration does not get any press coverage”.
By the way, after the defeat in the battle of Midway the American side took control of the war completely, and Japan had to retreat from the front. But the war had continued for about the next three years, and ended dire consequences like atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And Japanese war dead reached 3.1 million including 2.3 million soldiers and civilian workers for the military.
Even today, “the General Headquarters’ announcement” is used as an idiomatic sentence making fun of the unbelievable information by persons with power and persons with rights and interests, and is exactly loss of authority of the highest organ of the state. As this background, “an organizational problem”, “a neglect of information” and “an internal conflict” are pointed out. Even if you say it is for the sake of the nation, there are many cases that it is just “a protection of an organization” and “self-protection” after all. Even today, scandals such as “hiding” and “fabrication” never end in large companies. On the occasion of the management of an organization, this kind of “a weakness”, which human beings inherently have, must be noted.

■A fanatic thinking of President Putin :
There was a report of interview with former ambassador to Russia in the United States who knows President Putin well. In this interview, he mentions “an idea that Putin changes his behavior if someone speaks to him gently is incredibly over-optimistic. He will continue to fight until he thinks he can’t get national interest by military action”. And he also mentions “Putin has a completely different civilization and values from the West having degenerate liberal values. He strongly believes that Ukraine has to share this point historically, and Russia and Ukraine have to be one flesh. You might say he has a fanatic thinking, and a very deep-seated thinking seems to be underlain”. If the West stands face to face with this kind of a despotic ruler, the West does not make half-hearted compromises, and it is necessary to approach with a strong determination, as you already know that military tensions will go with.

■Weakening of democracy :
According to a survey published in March this year by V-Dem, which is an independent body in Sweden, it is said that about 5.4 billion people, 70% of the world population, are under an undemocratic regime as of 2021. Countries categorized as “liberal democracy” were 42 in 2012, but decreased to 34 in 2021. On a population basis, such countries are only 13 %. And China had contributed funds equal to about 70% of the amount of assistance by G7 to emerging countries (600 billion dollars) for 5 years since 2013 when China started to put forward the Belt and Road Initiative. Under such circumstance, it is not a good idea for emerging countries to take one or the other. Therefore, even if G7 composed of developed countries excludes Russia, G20 composed of mainly emerging countries keeps a close watch on both sides. As a result, it is not too much to say that an order built by developed countries upholding democracy is on the brink. In order to attract intermediate forces such as emerging countries, economical assistance is essential, and to accomplish this, building a strong economic infrastructure is necessary.

(P.S.) Hot and humid days with high discomfort index are continuing these days. Moreover, due to the attack of the seventh wave of persistent coronavirus (variant BA.5), infected persons exceeded record-high 180 thousand on July 21, and an outlook of continuing to increase from now on is out. A hospital bed occupancy rate also reaches more than 40 % in 20 prefectures.
And coronavirus infection also tends to expand all over the world. As of July 21, cumulative number of infected persons is about 567 million (+about 1.56 million compared to the day before), and cumulative death toll is 6.38 million (+ 6.4 thousand compared to the day before).
Expansion of infection is worried about both in Japan and overseas. But in spite of that, I do not feel too much a nervousness or a sense of danger due to “getting used to the coronavirus” or a penetration of “With Corona”. I don’t know whether this is good or not. For the time being, we can’t take off our masks as a measure against coronavirus in spite of fierce heat, and on the other hand, we need to prepare for prevention of heatstroke.

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