China 中国情勢

謎めいた開票作業を経て、ジョー・バイデン氏が勝利宣言を行いました。といってもトランプ大統領が複数の州で結果をめぐって提訴しているので、真の勝者は連邦最高裁が決めることになるのですが。ともあれ、どちらが次の大統領になったとしても、日米合同委員会のトップである第5空軍司令官に政治を押さえられている日本としては、大きな影響が出てきます。

日本人にとって一番の関心事は国防でしょう。周辺の国がここ数年脅威をもたらしている中、強固な日米同盟によって致命的な状態に陥らずに済んでいるわけで、これを適切に維持することが日本の生き残りの鍵となるわけです。アメリカの助けなく自力で生きることは不可能な国ですから。

バイデン氏は中国と強い結びつきがあると言われています。マイク・ペンス副大統領は副大統領討論会で「ジョー・バイデンはこれまで何十年もの間、中国共産党の応援者だ」といっていました。またバイデン氏の息子のハンター・バイデン氏は中国やウクライナから金銭を受け取ったとも言われています。これらの事実から、彼らが向こう4年間の東アジアの平和を危険にさらすのではないかと心配する日本人が多くいます。

「バイデンは中国と取引をして尖閣諸島を中国に渡すのでは?」と心配する日本人もいます。「中国や北朝鮮が攻めてきても、アメリカは知らん顔をするかもしれない」

ともあれ、ひとたびジョー・バイデン氏が次の米国大統領になったときは、日本のただ一つの取る道は、すぐにワシントンに飛び、日米同盟を堅持してインド太平洋地域の平和を守るように働きかけることでしょう。それをするのが菅総理の重要なミッションと思います。

Joe Biden made a victory speech as the President-elect today after mysterious ballot-counting processes. However, the Supreme Court of the United States will decide who the real winner is because President Donald Trump is filing cases to courts of several States on the results. No matter which will be the next President of the United States, his policies will affect Japan a great deal because the Fifth Air Force Commander, the head of the US-Japan Joint Committee, actually controls Japan’s politics.

One of the significant concerns for the Japanese is the homeland security of our nation. Countries around Japan have repeatedly been threatening it for years, and the firm alliance between the United States and Japan has prevented it from falling into a deadly situation. Proper maintaining of the coalition between the two countries is the key for Japan to survive because it can’t stand alone without America’s help.

Some say that the new President-elect has strong ties with China, as Mike Pence said in the vice-presidential debate, “Joe Biden has been a cheerleader for communist China over the last several decades.” Others say that his son, Hunter Biden, received money from China and Ukraine. These facts make many Japanese people anxious that they may jeopardize East Asia’s peace in the next four years.

“Is Joe Biden going to make a deal with China to give the Senkaku Islands to it?” some Japanese are anxious. “Even if China or North Korea attacks Japan, America may pay no attention to it.”

Once Joe Biden becomes the next POTUS, Japan’s only option is to fly to Washington immediately to ask him to maintain the strong relationship between the United States and Japan to secure the US Forces Japan for keeping the peace in the Indo-Pacific region. To do it is Prime Minister Suga’s critical mission.

香港に初めて行ったのは2004年のことで、それ以来、すっかり気に入って、ここのブログでも何度もエントリを書いたことがありますが、リピーターになってしまっていました。

香港の魅力というと、西洋菜南街の活気、旺角の先達廣場でのノキアのスマホ物色、ローストダックや亀ゼリー、HSBCの銀行口座、いろいろありますが、やはり、ちょっとゆるくて自由な雰囲気が一番だったと思います。気分が沈んだ時に元気をもらえるというか。

ということでかれこれもう8回訪港しています。

Continue Reading

Visiting Hong Kong was one of my favorites since I made the first trip there in 2004. I did it eight times until now. I loved to stroll on Sai Yeung Choi Street South where people were very cheerful and energetic, to enjoy wonton noodles, steamed duck, and gwilinggao at restaurants, to get Nokia’s brand new and second-hand smartphones and accessories at mobile phone shops of the Sincere Podium building in Mong Kok, and to open and use a bank account of HSBC Hong Kong. I saw the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping, visited a prison museum at Stanley, stayed at a hotel of Chungking Mansions, worshipped at Che Kung Temple, had a fortune-telling session at Wong Tai Sin Temple, and extended my journey as far as Macau and Shenzhen. All the memories of those places were impeccable.

Continue Reading

令和二年は悪夢で始まったようです。正確に言うと年のはじめには、2ヶ月後にこうなってるなどと誰も予測し得なかったのです。言うまでもなく、いま世界全体が戦っているもの、つまりコロナウイルスの話です。

Continue Reading

The second year of the Reiwa period began with a nightmare. More precisely, at the beginning of the year, nobody could predict what would be going on just two months later. I am talking about what the entire world is fighting against—COVID-19.

The coronavirus outbreak has been an urgent global issue. It was just the case of people in a limited area of a particular country, or poor, rich travelers within a trapped gorgeous cruise ship in February. Only a few weeks later, however, it became the case relevant in most parts of the world. Now the situation is changing day by day. For days, thousands of people around the world have been newly hospitalized due to this disease. More than 10,000 patients have died from it in China, Japan, Iran, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the United States, and more.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Lockdown is underway in many cities and even nationwide in some countries. Going out for non-essential reasons is banned or discouraged. People are forced to stay home and keep six feet away from others so as not to be six feet under.

The lockdown has had a massive impact on the world economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by around 1,000 points this month with circuit breakers taking effect many times. The share price of Boeing has become less than a third for weeks. This financial crisis is even worse than those in the great depression in 1929.

That is true with Japan. Here in Tokyo, the governor stated that lockdown in Tokyo is likely because patients tested positive are increasing every day by more than the number of cases a day before. She requested Tokyoites for being home this weekend except for essential business.

People in Japan look afraid of a state of emergency being declared and lockdown being issued. I hate to say that, but I’m sure that these will be near. I think lockdown orders will be released in weeks or even in days because we see other civilized countries being already like this.

Lockdown being inevitable, how should we do? Most people will be forced to stay away from their workplaces, such as offices, farms, fishing grounds, milk plants, and factories. Then it is likely to run short of various things needed for daily life. As a result, the production of foods and groceries will be severely restricted.

Once supply cease, panic buying is likely to take place. This action must be blamed as antisocial behavior since not all households have enough money or means to get what they need. It will be difficult to supply daily necessities if panic buying occurs, because the distribution system will be burdened more than usual, and the distribution of domestic inventory will be unfair. Participating in such panic buying is nothing but not only exposing your low awareness of social solidarity, that is, lack of knowledge that society will not be established if we do our own things, but also proving that you have neglected to be prepared and save in case of an emergency.

We have no choice but to secure the needed supplies for the time being before lockdown takes effect. It would help us a lot to find out what people in countries where lockdown is already in place are doing.

This experience gives us the following important suggestions and lessons: the fact that even the most rights-sensitive liberal nations can easily and quickly control individual’s rights and freedom before the impending crisis. It means that, once an emergency happens, the rights of individuals are insignificant and vulnerable.

What is happening in front of us now seems like a dry run exercise for the third world war. I think it is likely to occur in the coming decades because it is a very similar situation where a big earthquake occurred in 1923, the world financial crisis in 1929, and WWII 12 years later. Likewise, the big earthquake and tsunami happened in 2011, and the economic crisis derived from the coronavirus epidemic eight years later. Now the world is divided. Each country is isolated and closing its borders. How many years is left for us to see those countries to collide?

The time is right to be prepared for in the future. Divide your assets into some pieces and save them in different countries. If possible, have multiple places to live and jobs in two or more countries. Having as many life options as possible will save you in this volatile future with many uncertainties.

先日、香港へ行ってきました。郵便貯金の定額貯金が満期を迎えたので、一部をハンドキャリーして13年前に開設したHSBCの口座に入金するのと、現地で金製品を買うためです(日本で買うより安いのです)。この先日本がどうなるかわからない中、国際的に資産を分散しておくのが理にかなっているかと。

今回の香港訪問で特筆すべきこと2つ。1つは、鹿児島というところは実は日本の重要なゲートウェイだということ。東京視点では鹿児島なんて日本の南のはるか果てのように見えますが、外国人からみると実はそうではなく、金のネックレスを買うために訪れた周生生の中環店の女性店員が話していたんですが、彼女は日本に旅行したことがあり、そのとき鹿児島から入国して大阪→京都→東京とまわり東京から出国したとのこと。これは中国や香港からの旅行者のゴールデン・ルートなんだとか。これらの事実が示唆するのは、鹿児島や長崎、福岡といった都市は、東京を見てるのではなくアジアを見るのがこの先生きのこる道なのではないかと。

もう1つは、私の英会話力が格段に落ちたということ。さきの周生生の店員さんとの会話でも、それ以外の香港人との会話でも、私の受け答えは”Yeah,” “No,” “Thank you,” “Oh really?”とかばかり。数年前に比べて英語のレスポンススピードが明らかに遅くなっているのがありありとわかりました。職場では全く英語とは無縁の仕事になってしまったので、せめて家の中は環境を英語化しておかないとどんどんさびついていきそうです。

A few weeks ago I visited Hong Kong to deposit part of my fixed amount savings, deposited in Japan’s post office and matured last month, in HSBC Hong Kong where I’ve had my bank account for 13 years, and to buy some gold which was a bit inexpensive than what you buy in Japan. Since nobody can predict what will happen to Japan and its economy in the future, I think it is reasonable to diversify assets both nationally and internationally to reduce risks of the loss due to possible economic confusion.

I found out two notable things through this trip. One is that Kagoshima is in fact one of the important gateways of Japan for some foreign travelers. From a Tokyoite’s point of view, Kagoshima looks like the southernmost far end of Japan, but for some people, it is not. I heard that a sales clerk of Chow Sang Sang’s Central store selling a gold necklace to me saying that she had ever been to Japan for leisure, entering Japan at Kagoshima Airport, and then moved east to Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, where she departed. She also said that it was a golden route for travelers from China and Hong Kong. Those facts suggest that cities like Kagoshima, Nagasaki, and Fukuoka should look at Asian countries rather than Tokyo to survive in the future.

The other thing is my lacking ability of English conversation. When I talked to the sales clerk or any other people in Hong Kong, all I could say to those people were one-to-two-word sentences like “Yeah,” “No,” “Thank you,” “Oh really?” or something like that. Response speed to English was apparently slower than that of a few years ago. Clearly, it was because I hadn’t used English so much for years as it is now irrelevant to me in the workplace. All I can do (and need to do) would be to have at least my home Englishized to get accustomed to the English environment and help live in an English way.

今年も香港に行ったのを書くのを忘れてました。11月23日〜26日です。向こうでやったことは

  • HSBCの投資口座を開いてきました。これで投資信託や株が買えます。
  • マカオまで足を延ばしてきました。たいしたことできませんでしたが。
  • iPhone5を買えればと思ったんですが買えませんでした。

Flickrにsetをアップロードしました。

I forgot to say that I had a trip to Hong Kong this year as well. I departed Japan on 23 November and returned on 26. What I did there is:

  • I had an investment account opened at HSBC to buy a unit trust.
  • I extended my journey as far as Macau, where I couldn’t do so many things, though.
  • I wanted to get iPhone5 if I had much money, but I didn’t.

I uploaded a set of photos on Flickr.