International or other matters

Hope for Taiwan

Neighbourly concern

for an island country

under China’s thumb


Just a brief post about the 6.7 force earthquake which has shaken Japan’s neighbour to the south, Taiwan.  Over 150 people missing at the time of writing.  I hope they are found safe and sound.   Up to 21 dead already and many more injured. It seems to have mainly hit Tainan, a city in the south west of Taiwan.  I hope their search and rescue efforts are successful.   I’m sure neighbouring countries including Japan will get involved in the rescue operations, if called upon to do so.

Taiwan has been in the news lately with the election, mid-January, of the country’s first female president, Tsai Ing-Wen.   She is leader of the DPP, the Democratic Progressive Party, a political party in Taiwan in favour of splitting from China, a matter which is the subject of much debate in Taiwan and China.  Would Taiwan be able to hold its own if it did split from China? I don’t know enough about their economy but personally, I think they should.  She is willing to maintain the status-quo for a while in any case.  China of course will not let Taiwan go so easily, given that they have a hard enough time letting go of uninhabited islands, and tends to be a bit of a bully in that part of the world but we’ll see what happens.


Haiku reflections on Japan

Selective Memory?

I’ve no memory 

of receiving that money

he says, hah nice try!


A lot of controversy over the resignation of Akira Amari, the Minister for Economic Revitalization (seriously that’s what his title is), in Japan this week, over allegations of receiving cash and gifts from construction companies.  Abenomics is said to be successful thanks to him.

He says he has no memory of receiving that money and says his secretary was responsible for any incoming finances.  Oh yeah blame the secretary.   How could you have no memory of receiving a large amount of money?  Hmmm.   As ridiculous an excuse as ‘that money was just resting in my account’ (a nod to the brilliant, if hapless, priest in the comedy Father Ted).  No amount of head bowing or crying (a bit over the top in my opinion but anyway it represents a sense of accountability to the people I suppose) was able to prevent his resignation.

With or without the Bank of Japan’s introduction of a negative equity rate this week, I’m sure the economy will survive.



Haiku reflections on Japan

East-West rugby swap

Back to rugby once

again as we see a swap

eastwards-westwards – yosh!


I might have mentioned at the end of the rugby world cup that Eddie Jones who coached Japan to such success at that world cup was South Africa bound.  Well, he got out of that contract and has been appointed England coach now (well a good few weeks ago actually but rugby is on my mind at the moment with certain teams I know not doing so well at the moment in European competitions).    The England coach who did such a bad job on the other hand at the same World Cup is Japan-bound to coach Japan.   Masaka!

I’m using one of my favourite Japanese expressions in the haiku above – yosh!! (exclamation marks are mine as it is not necessarily shouted).  People say this when they have decided to get on with doing something they might not have expected having to do or are sometimes not relishing doing something.  I’m sure though that Mr Jones is relishing this challenge.    I’m sure Jones will do a good job but hopefully not too good a job eh? ; -)

‘Masaka’ is another word I like which usually means – ‘no way!’ ‘It can’t be!’ ‘Get lost I don’t believe ye!!’ ‘Get outta here!’

The other guy? Well, I hope he doesn’t destroy Japan hehe.  I think both coaches will be using the ‘yosh’ expression equally.  I don’t know the facts about him and the challenges he faced with the team during the RWC (most of the rugby or team ‘analysis’ after the matches was not that interesting to be honest) but I think I heard a few people say he did not make the best choices in picking his squad or team.  Well, whether that’s right or not it’s up to the players a coach does pick to get on with it and play as they’re supposed to play – as the elite athletes they are.

For the moment, I really can’t think of any more words to add to my Great expressions page.  If you have any readers/followers you’re welcome to suggest one.