Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Two Japan-Related Items

1) The US House of Representatives may pass a piece of legislation (with no teeth) that urges Japan to apologize for its use of comfort women during WWII. What's next, the inclusion of the Rape of Nanjing into Japanese history textbooks? Or a ban on major figures visits to Yasukuni?

2) In the post-war era Japan has become so demilitarized that it is currently a pacifist society. In fact, when Japan had, for the first time since WWII Japanese soldiers in Japanese uniforms (sent on a peacekeeping mission, I believe) there was a huge outcry. To combat this, the Japanese have created a kawaii (cute) cartoon version of a Japanese soldier called "Pickles." According to this piece from Reason Magazine:

"Japanese citizens have tended to be suspicious of the SDF, a fact that helps explain Pickles’ back story. A native of the peaceful Paprika Kingdom, he at first didn’t understand the need for his small country’s defense forces. It wasn’t until the neighboring Sesame Kingdom invaded that the prince learned the value of a military. Pickles went from wary skeptic to willing soldier."

Wow. First IDF in Maxim, now SDF in cartoon format. What's next, US Marine Corps in tutus?

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