2009年12月30日 星期三

The China White Paper 1949(VIII)

In the China White Paper, the American claimed that beginning early 1941, it had begun informal dialogue with Japan for the purpose of settling problems in Asia peacefully. One of the proposal put forward by the US was that all Japanese forces in China be withdrawn. Japan, on the other hand wanted recognition from the US of Japanese hegemony in the Far East.1 According to the White Paper, "the US refusal to stop its support of China and the unwillingness of the US to compromise . . . were among the immediate motivations of the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941".2 After Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, the US and China were on the same side against Japan, American assistance to China increased dramatically. One kind of American aid to China was given under the Lend-Lease Program (1941-43). One of its objective was to improve transportation over the Burma Road, one way of helping was to provide trucks, spare parts, and motor fuel etc. However, with the fall of Burma and the occupation of southern part of the Burma Road by Japan in early 1942, air transport became the alternative way to deliver war supplies to China. Another transportation project by the US was the construction of the Ledo Road from Assam in India across upper Burma to China (later called the Stilwell Road and was completed by early 1945).3

On October 9, 1942, for the purpose of showing the intention to treat China as an equal among the Major Powers fighting against Japan, and to strengthen the image of the Chinese Government under Chiang Kai-shek, the US started talks with China to relinquish American extraterritorial rights in China.4 (to be continued)

Notes:

1.United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 25.
2. Ibid., page 26.
3. Ibid., page 28.
4. Ibid., page 34.

2009年12月28日 星期一

The China White Paper 1949(VII)

Following the clash between Japanese and Chinese troops on July 7, 1937, the US issued a statement to express its concern. On August 10 it informally approached Japan to offer to settle the Sino-Japanese dispute. But Japan showed no interest to this offer.1 On October 5, 1937, US President Roosevelt indirectly condemned Japan for waging a war against China in his "Quarantine" speech. His likened Japan's military invasion in China to spreading "epidemic of world lawlessness". The US Department of State also issued a statement to reiterate its opinion that "the action of Japan in China is inconsistent with the principles which should govern the relationships between nations and is contrary to the provisions of the Nine-Power Treaty of February 8, 1922, regarding principles and policies to be followed in matters concerning China, and to those of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of August 27, 1928."2 Since the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937, the US continued to challenge Japan's action in China, for example, Japan's interference with China Maritime Customs Administration, and also with the Chinese Salt Administration, both were revenue source for China to repay foreign loans, including the American loans.3 In March 1940 when Japan set up a Chinese central regime at Nanking under Wang Ching-wei, the US announced that it would only recognize the National Government of the Republic of China under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek in Chungking. Indeed, for the purpose of supporting China against Japan, the US began building up its economic pressure over Japan. On July 26, 1939, the US notified Japan the intention of terminating the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation signed in January 1911 between US and Japan. 4 The effect of this decision was to restrict the shipment of oil, scarp iron, machinery, machine tools, and other war related material to Japan. In July 1941, the US even froze Japanese assets in America. The US also began to allow Americans to participate in Chinese armed forces, a military mission was to China, and China was eligible for lend-lease assistance from the American as from May, 1941.5 (to be continued)

Notes:
1.United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 19.
2. Ibid., page 19.
3. Ibid., page 23.
4. Ibid., page 24.
5. Ibid., page 25.

2009年12月26日 星期六

聖誕節晚飯2009






每年我都在家攪個聖誕節自助餐飯局, 和親戚等一起分享. 今年在二十五日舉行, 有二十人到來. 共分開二檯坐, 壹檯年長的, 壹檯後生仔, 各有各天地, 各有各話題. 和往年一樣, 我和老婆幾日前已開始籌備, 要買食物, 又要搬動客廳檯凳, 以方便飯後的遊戲活動, 十分忙碌. 今年的食物有火雞, 燒牛肉, 煙三文魚, 廈門炒米粉, 青豆牛利意粉等總計二十多種食物, 小女兒亦做了一些鬆餅作甜品. 雖然做到一頭煙, 但見到各人都享受到假日氣氛, 亦感滿足.

2009年12月24日 星期四

劉曉波

On December 15, 2009, the US States Department spokesman Ian Kelly made the following announcement:
"The United States was deeply concerned by the formal indictment on charges of “inciting subversion” of the well-known Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) on December 10, International Human Rights Day. According to all publicly available evidence, the basis for his prosecution is that he has signed and supported Charter ’08, which calls for respect for universal human rights and democratic reform. Mr. Liu has already spent a year in detention while authorities carried out the investigation of his case. We call on the Government of China to release him immediately and to respect the rights of all Chinese citizens to peacefully express their political views and desires for universally recognized fundamental freedoms."
A few days ago I noted in newspaper and in TV that Gregory May, a political officer with the US embassy in Beijing read out a statement outside the court where Liu was being tried. He called on China to respect the rights of all its citizens and release Liu.
Recently, I read about some Chinese history that happened about 80 years ago. In Asia in early 1930s it was obvious that Japan was implementing an expansion policy in Manchuria. The United States, with the purpose of checking Japanese advancement and helping China, began to adopt a policy of non-recognition of territorial changes achieved by military invasion. In those days, China was a feeble republic while Japan was fully modernized. This policy of non-recognition was made known to Japan on January 7, 1932, four months after Japan occupied Manchuria by force.1 The American reaffirmed its sympathy with Chinese nationalism, and used the Nine-Power Treaty signed in February 1922 as the basis in making their diplomatic decisions. US Secretary of State Stimson stated that "this Treaty represents . . . international policy intended, on the one hand, to assure to all of the contracting parties their rights and interest in and with regard to China, and on the other hand, to assure to the people of China fullest opportunity to develop without molestation their sovereignty and independence according to the modern and enlightened standards believed to maintain among the peoples of this earth. At the time this Treaty was signed, it was known that China was engaged in an attempt to develop the free institutions of a self-governing republic after her recent revolution from an autocratic form of government, that would require many years of both economic and political effort to that end; and that her progress would necessarily be slow."2
In view of the above, I begin to wonder that while the present day China, through economic reforms, had already secured its "sovereignty and independence according to the modern and enlightened standards believed to maintain among the peoples of this earth", yet an autocratic form of government still exist in China. Some of the predictions made by the US 80 years ago still hold: it would require many years of political effort for China to develop free institutions, and the progress would necessarily be slow. I hope that more Chinese people could have the wisdom and courage to contribute to that political effort.
Notes:
1.United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 13.
2. Ibid., page 14

2009年12月23日 星期三

中日聯手研究南京大屠殺

Recently Asahi News reported the following:

日中両政府が進めてきた有識者による初の日中歴史共同研究の報告書の内容が明らかになった。1937年の南京大虐殺は「大規模な虐殺行為」との認識では一致したが、犠牲者数は今後の研究課題とした。一方、日本の途上国援助(ODA)が中国の発展に貢献したと評価。共同研究の日中両座長は「相互理解を促進する第一歩」と位置づけている。 報告書は「古代・中近世史」「近現代史」の2部構成で、同じテーマに関する日中双方の論文を収録している。 近現代史の「総論」によると、日中全面戦争の発端となった37年の盧溝橋事件について、日本側は事件の「偶然性」を、中国側は事件発生の「必然性と計画性」を重視。毒ガス兵器の使用や市民への無差別爆撃など、日本軍の中国での侵略の傷跡が今も残っているとの考えで一致した。 南京大虐殺については「大規模な虐殺行為であることを認めこれを討論した」と明記。ただ、規模、原因、背景などについては「深く追究する必要がある」とした。 虐殺の規模をめぐっては、中国の大虐殺記念館が「30万人」と表示。日本の研究者の間では「数万~20万人」などの諸説があり、虐殺そのものを否定する研究者もいる。日本政府は「多くの非戦闘員の殺害や略奪行為などがあったことは否定できない」としつつも、犠牲者数について「諸説あり、政府として正しい数を認定することは困難」との見解を示している。 戦後の歴史については、日中双方が、日本が新憲法のもとで平和国家として歩んだことを肯定的に評価。靖国神社参拝問題や日本の歴史教科書問題などについては、今後研究する必要があるとした。

Details of the joint history research report done by specialists with the support of both the Chinese and Japanese governments was made known. Although the Rape of Nanking in 1937 was admitted as a "Large-scale slaughter act", the research on casualty toll would be a subject for further research in future. Separately, Official Development Aid (ODA) of Japan was judged to have a positive contribution towards the development of China. The co-chairmen of this China-Japan research party regarded their position as "The first step that promotes mutual understanding". The report would compose of two components: "Ancient times and early modern age history" and "Present age history", and would collect related theses written in China and Japan with the same theme. According to the 'introduction' of the Present age history, while Japan stressed the "Contingency" of the Marco Polo Bridge event happened in 1937 which led to the outbreak of the full-scale war between China and Japan, China stressed the "Necessity and plan" with regard to the occurrence of the event. Both side agreed that the scar of the invasion done in China by Japanese army such as the use of the poison gas munition and the carpet bombing to the citizens still remained. Regarding the Rape of Nanking, it was noted clearly that "discussion is needed in order to judge whether it was a large-scale slaughter act". It was also noted that the scale, the cause, and the background of the event was accepted as "a point that needs further inquiry". Regarding the scale of the massacre, in the memorial in China it was showed as "300,000 people". In Japan, among researchers the opinion on the number varied from 20 to 30 thousand up to 200,000 people, there were researchers who even denied any slaughtering. Japanese Government held the view that "As there are different opinions, therefore as a government, it is difficult to recognize a correct number" on the casualty toll, although the government already admitted that "It is indisputable that there were lots of murders and ravages targeted at noncombatants". Both China and Japan affirmatively evaluated the history of postwar Japan as a peaceful nation progressing under a new constitution. It was understood that the Yasukuni Shrine visit problem and the history textbook issue etc. in Japan would be necessarily a research focus in the future.

From the above, it seems that scholars from both China and Japan will achieve some common ground as far as the Nanking Massacre is concerned.

2009年12月21日 星期一

The China White Paper 1949 (VI)

In the early 1930s, it was obvious that Japan was implementing an expansion policy in Manchuria. In response, the US began to adopt a policy of non-recognition of territorial changes achieved by the use of military force by a nation. Such a decision was made known to Japan on January 7, 1932, four months after Japan occupied Manchuria by force.1 The American reaffirmed its sympathy with Chinese nationalism, and used the Nine-Power Treaty to support their diplomatic decisions. US Secretary of State Stimson stated that "this Treaty represents . . . international policy intended, on the one hand, to assure to all of the contracting parties their rights and interest in and with regard to China, and on the other hand, to assure to the people of China fullest opportunity to develop without molestation their sovereignty and independence according to the modern and enlightened standards believed to maintain among the peoples of this earth."2 According to the White Paper, this non-recognition principle remained the policy of the US on many occasions up the the moment when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.3 In the 1930s, conflict in viewpoints between Japan and the US were often seen. For example, on April 17, 1934 when Japanese Foreign Office announced its special status in China and made a statement to proclaim its special responsibilities in East Asia, and also its political guardianship over China, the American rebuked it right away, although in carefully worded notes.4 In late 1935 when Japan tried to convert China's five northern provinces of Hopei, Chahar, Suiyuan, Shansi and Shangtung into an autonomous area, the American issued a statement on December 5, 1935 to express concern over the matter.5 (to be continued)

Notes:
1.United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 13.
2. Ibid., page 14
3. Ibid., page 15
4. Ibid., page 15
5. Ibid., page 17

2009年12月19日 星期六

The China White Paper 1949(V)

After the US joined WWI in 1917, America and Japan were on the same side fighting against Germany, and they signed the Lansing-Ishii Agreement to protect their mutual interest. When WWI was over, China at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 demanded Japan to cease its control over Shantung peninsula. That request was somehow achieved on 4th February 1922 with the help of the American and other powers. Also with the co-ordination of the US, countries participated in the Washington Conference signed the Nine-Power Treaty for the purpose of respecting "the sovereignty, the independence, and the territorial and administrative integrity of China, and to uphold the principle of the Open Door".1 Furthermore they would avoid "taking advantage of conditions in China in order to seek special rights or privileges which would abridge the rights of subject of citizens of friendly states."2 One implication of this treaty on Japan and the American was that this treaty became a point of reference after Japan seized Manchuria in 1931-1933. And it also became the subject of the Brussels Conference called in 1937 after the outbreak of the war between Japan and China in 1937.

Another diplomatic maneuver made by the US towards China in the 1920s took place in 1928 when China had achieved a degree of unity under Kuomintang. On July 25, 1928, the US recognized the Nationalist Government and became the first country to sign a treaty to restore tariff autonomy to China.3 In mid-1929, the Sino-Soviet relationship drew the attention of the American when a dispute developed between China and the Soviet Union over the Chinese Eastern Railway in Manchuria. Although the US Secretary of State Stimson tried to intervene, there was not much success. Eventually the USSR and China settled their disputes by signing a Protocol on December 22, 1929.4 (to be continued)

Notes:
1. United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 10.
2. Ibid., page 10
3. Ibid., page 12
4. Ibid., page 13

2009年12月17日 星期四

勵志文集(下)

“勵志文集”一書原作者是美國學者馬爾騰, 後被林語堂翻譯成中文. 這文集書共有八十四篇短文, 內容十分容讀, 意義清晰亦實用. 在其中包含了不少在職場有用的技能和一些可以提升你人生觀的方法. 值得一看. 現節錄其中四篇文章裏面的一些金句:

1. 失敗了以後 (十四頁)
“測驗某一個人的品格, 最好是在他失敗的時候 . . . 傾跌了以後, 立刻站立起來 . . . 是自古以來偉大人物的成功秘訣”.
“什麼是失敗? . . . 它是走上較高地位的第一階段”
2. ‘不小心的’悲劇 (十八頁)
“大地之上, 到處可以看到工作不小心所造成的悲慘的結果 . . . 做事絕對精密 , 絕對正確的名譽對於一個從事事業的青年, 其益處等於大量的金錢資本. 人人都能信用他, 都給他以便利"
3. 工作系統化 (二十二頁)
"工作沒有系統的商人, 每因辦事方法之失當, 而蒙大量之損失. . . 有一位商人, 曾將 ‘缺乏系統’ 一事列為許多公司失敗的大原因"
4. 等不得一等 (二十六頁)
"一個人能夠懂得光陰之可貴, 而不肯輕易放過一分一秒的時間, 則最後他的生命, 總會印上 ‘能力' 之標誌".
" 有些青年人, 就因為不能敏捷, 不能準時, 遂至失掉了上陞及得到高等位置的機會 "


如果讀者有興趣知道更多文章的內容, 可以找這本書看看.

2009年12月16日 星期三

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is known for his contributions in the fields of mathematics and physics. However, I also admire Newton for his viewpoint on knowledge. Newton had once said that "I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

His another viewpoint on knowledge is reflected in the quotation by him as follows: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants". Here Newton was borrowing the idea from Bernard of Charters (died in about 1130AD) who used to say that we were like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we could see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we were carried high and raised up by their giant size.

On the basis of their idea, I create my own analogy. I compare books and knowledge to the giant. Also I always compare those people who love reading books to equip themselves with those who seldom or never read books. To my mind, books and knowledge is the giant in the form of tools. In general it is always the case that, with the help of tools, people can do things better and faster than those who do it with bare hands. In the ancient time, with the help of tools, human could excel animals in survival, and eventually stood at the top of the food chain. By the same token, in modern time in the concrete jungle, similar law of survival may exit, I think.

Reference:
1. Bill Swainson ed. Encarta Book of Quotations. NY: St. Martin' Press, 2000.
2. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations- Third Edition. Oxford University Press,1980.

2009年12月15日 星期二

初雪(2009)







昨日終於下了冬天第一場雪, 不算很大. 在過往幾天, 氣溫徘徊於零下二度到六度之間, 由於乾燥, 所以一直沒有落雪. 在這世紀第一個十年將盡之際, 回望一下, 發覺時間過得飛快. 正如某電視劇所說, 人生有幾個十年. 明白四季更替, 乃大自然正常現象, 故應該好好欣賞它. 從書中順手拈來一首詩, 以應景一下.
詩云:
雪霜自茲始
草木當更新
嚴冬不蕭殺
何以見陽春
(唐詩紀事卷四十三 : 呂溫詩)




2009年12月14日 星期一

香港中文大學


“新亞書院概況” 這本書是我最近在卑詩大學亞洲圖書館買來的舊書. 不知為什麼, 近年我對中文大學或新亞書院等學府有一種無名的享往, 可能是它代表中國文化, 代表追求知識的地方. 相同理由, 自幼就對九龍塘一些滿佈名校的街道亦有一種無名的好感, 例如, 牛津道, 籣開夏道等. 本人出身草根, 更因一向讀書成績平平, 故很早就明白能進入這些學府的機會很渺茫. 在學生年代, 只是路經這些街道, 或是走過這些學校的大門時, 就已有一些滿足感. 多年後, 在不同途徑中漸漸對中大的成立背景有更深的認識, 例如看到錢穆寫於一九八九年的 “新亞遺鐸”一書的內容簡介中提到 “作者四十年前避共產黨赤禍赴香港, 創辦香港第一所流亡人士之大專院校 – 新亞書院.” 即時感覺第一代中大創校者的心血與期望, 和當時文化人面對的艱難歲月. 相片中 “新亞書院概況”一書是在六十年代末出版, 它的第七十頁列出了當時的學規, 揀錄如下:

“凡屬新亞書院.學生, 必先深切了解新亞書院.之精神. 下面列舉綱宗, 以備本院諸生隨時誦覽, 就事研究.
一. 求學與做人, 貴能齊頭並進, 更貴能溶通合一
二. 做人的最崇高基礎在求學, 求學之最高旨趣在做人
三. ……”

估不到的是, 排第二的學規是清楚地說明求學之最高旨趣在做人, 並非求什麼高薪厚職或者榮華富貴. 真感動.

參考:
1. 錢穆. “新亞遺鐸”. 臺北:東土圖公司印行. 一九八九
2. 香港中文大學. “新亞書院概況”. 鄧鏡波學校承印. 一九六八?
(Note: Should any reader like to have the book in the photo for more meaningful use, e.g. for school library collection or for research purpose, I am willing to give it away. Please contact me at winghojoki@yahoo.ca)

2009年12月13日 星期日

勵志文集(上)


"勵志文集" 這本書原著是美國學者馬爾騰, 它被林語堂翻譯成中文. 內容即使是有些老生常談, 但對年青人來說, 仍然不失其教育意義. 現節錄寫於一九九九年的代序如下:

美國學者馬爾騰博士所著的 “勵志文集”, 針對年青一代成長過程中所遭遇的各種問題, 分析入微, 說理透徹. 對頹唐者能振奮鬥志, 對消極者能激勵人心, 對迷途者予以引導, 對荒唐者予以警醒, 大有助於年青人培養品格, 建立自信, 健康正確地邁向社會. 當年林語堂先生曾受其鼓舞, 自謂 "讀馬氏的原書後, 精神為之大振, 人生觀念為之一變, 煩悶, 消極, 悲觀, 頹唐的妖霧陰霾, 已經驅除盡淨, 現在所面對的, 是光天化日下的世界和人世了.” 因此林先生遂將馬書譯成中文, 希望有助於激勵同時代的中國青年.

這書總共有八十四篇短文, 十分容易閱讀, 其意義清晰亦實用, 在其中包含了不少職場有用的技能, 值得一看. 其中部分短文的題目是:
1. 失敗了以後
2. 工作系統化
3. 生命的儲能
4. 交友的影響
5. 成功的機器
6. 不要恐懼
7. 怎樣補救缺陷的性格
8. 自求進步
9. 讀書的習慣
10. 學校以外之教育
11. 擇業不可不慎
12. 悲觀無益
13. 凡事須作積極肯定
14. 理想如何實踐
15. 怎樣鍛練思想 . . .

當我看完這本書之後, 有被 ‘塞錢入你袋’ 的感覺. (待續)

2009年12月12日 星期六

The China White Paper 1949(IV)

In the few yeas leading to the end of the first decade of the 20th century, Russia and Japan continued to advance their interests in Manchuria in the form of building railways. In an effort to ensure the trade interest in China was not adversely affected, the US suggested that these railways should be open to international investment funds. Great Britain and Germany supported the proposals, but was objected strongly by both Russia and Japan. This American suggestion even had a negative effect of drawing Russia and Japan together to defend their interests in Manchuria.1 When WWI broke out in 1914, China on August 3, 1914 tried to seek US assistance to prevent the world war from spreading to China and turned it into a battle zone because Germany and Japan had entered the War, while China at that time was a neutral country. During this troubling time, Japan in early 1915 secretly presented to China the Twenty-One Demands to seek exclusive rights in the Yangtze valley, and also to control China's social and political institutions. Upon hearing that, the US on March 13, 1915, among other things, told Japan that the US "could not regard with indifference the assumption of political, military or economic domination over China by a foreign Power" on grounds that it could exclude Americans from equal participation in the development of China.2 However, this pressure from the US on Japan had not much effect. Japan continued to pressurize China to enter in an agreement by sending out an an ultimatum to China with the implication of using military force. Japan was successful in getting what it wanted, although some extreme demands had been dropped.3 (to be continued)


Notes:
1. United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 6.
2. page 7.
3. page 8.

2009年12月10日 星期四

The China White Paper 1949(III)

After the US announced its Open Door policy towards China, there were several occasions that the powers did not care to heed. For example in 1902 Russia tried to press China for a privileged position in Manchuria.1 In 1903 Russia asked China for a bilateral convention which would have the effect of excluding all foreigners from Manchuria in setting up treaty ports and consuls except for the Russian.2 During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, the Amercian restated that its policy to the two warring parties, and in an open statement, reiterated that "For its part, the US had repeatedly made its position well known, and has been gratified at the cordial welcome accorded to its efforts to strength and perpetuate the broad policy of maintaining the integrity of China and the 'open door' in the Orient, whereby equality of commercial opportunity and access shall be enjoyed by all nations. Holding these views the US disclaims any thought of reserved territorial rights or control in the Chinese Empire."3 After the Russo-Japanese War was ended, the Amercian helped the two warring parties to negotiate a treaty, and the Treaty of Portsmouth was singed in September 1905 in the US. According the China White Paper, one effect of this treaty was "the two signatories [pledged] to restore Manchuria to China and to observe measures 'which apply equally to all nations' in commerce and industry of Manchuria."4 (to be continued)

Notes:
1.United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 3.
2. Ibid., page 4
3. Ibid., page 5
4. Ibid., page 5

2009年12月8日 星期二

我的工具書(VII)

"現代日本語副詞用法辭典"是中國大陸出版的日文字典. 對我來說, 學習日本語副詞是很重要, 而恰好這書幫我學習日語副詞的意義和使用方法. 它用五十音順序排列出所收集的副詞. 解釋寫得很詳盡. 每個副詞都有分析和比較, 並列出它的近義副詞. 在解釋副詞時, 引用了不少例句說明. 這辭典是於是2001年版, 有488頁, 共收集了1041 個副詞.




2009年12月7日 星期一

我的工具書(VI)



"日本漢字讀音詞典"是中國大陸出版的日文字典. 對我來說, 這書的唯一用處是幫我找出日文漢字的讀音, 並由它找到變化出來的複合詞語的讀音. 它主要用國語拼音列出收集到的日本漢字. 如果你懂得國語拼音, 這是很方便. 另外一個檢字法是去數要尋找的字的筆畫. 它有一個檢字表, 收集了由一筆畫到二十五筆畫以上的字. 我常用個表去檢字. 這字典於1992年出第一版. 相片見到的是2006年版, 有575頁, 共收集了超過5000 個日語漢字.

2009年12月6日 星期日

用手術改變指紋入境

Recently Yoriumi News reported the following:

国人の女が指紋を手術で変えて入国審査のバイオ(生体)認証を通過して不正入国していた事件で、入管難民法違反容疑で今月5日に再逮捕された中国籍の住所不定、無職林蓉被告(27)が警視庁の調べに「中国で、10万元(約130万円)を払って指紋を変える手術を受けた」と供述していることがわかった。 同庁は、中国国内に指紋変造を専門に行うブローカーが存在するとみている。 同庁幹部によると、林被告が手術を受けたのは、両手の親指と人さし指の計4本。いずれも別の皮膚の一部を移植したり、直接、傷を付けたりしたような不自然な跡が残っていた。2007年3月に日本から強制送還された後に手術を受け、手術場所については「自宅のある福建省から車で1時間ほどの民家」と供述しているが、どんな手術なのかは「麻酔を受けてよく覚えていない」と話しているという。

A homeless woman with Chinese nationality who had changed the fingerprints by operation, trying to pass the attestation of biotechnology of the passport control (living body) and illegally enter the country was arrested again on the 5th of this month on the suspicion of violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Law. It was understood that this unemployed defendant (27) had testified to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department that "In China (I) paid 100,000 yuan (about 1.3 million yen) for the operation to change the fingerprints". This Department expected the broker who was specialized in fingerprint alteration still staying in China. According to the agency officials, in total four fingers, including the thumb and index finger of both hands had undergone operation, some skin from somewhere was transplanted to both parts, and with unnatural direct wound marks remaining. As to the kind of operation that had been received, she said, "because anesthetizing was received, therefore it could not be remembered well". The operation was undergone after she was deported from Japan in March, 2007, and it was testified that the operation location was "in Fujian in a private house about one hour's drive by car from home".

It seems that if you have the connection, you could have all kinds of private medical services, be it legal or illegal, in China.

2009年12月4日 星期五

日內陸機手提行李新規定

Recently Asahi News reported the following:

縦、横、高さの合計が115センチ以内――。国内線の旅客機の客室に持ち込める荷物のサイズが12月から各社で統一される。バイオリンなど楽器が持ち込めなくなる音楽関係者は、楽器ケースを作り直したり、航空会社側に「例外扱い」を水面下で求めたり。一方の航空会社は「特別扱いできない」と厳格な運用をする構えだ。 これまでは持ち込み荷物の規制は各社バラバラで、規定があっても厳格に守られず、空席状況などに応じて柔軟に対応するケースもあった。 ところが最近、車輪のついた小型スーツケースを持ち込む客が急増。インターネットや携帯電話で搭乗手続きを終え、空港カウンターに寄らなくて済むようになったこともあり、規定外のタイプが持ち込まれることが多くなった。荷物が機内の棚に収まらず、出発が遅れるトラブルも多発。ある社では08年度、荷物のトラブルをめぐる運航の遅れが1年間で約5千件、計約316時間もあった。航空各社は「定時運航を保つためには、規制の徹底しかない」とルール変更に踏み切った。

Starting from December, flight companies in Japan would be united to restrict the size of luggage that could be brought to the guest room of passenger planes in domestic flights: a total of within 115 centimeters in length, width, and height. Music related parties who could not bring musical instruments such as violins, while trying to make the musical instrument case, requested "exception treatment" from the airline behind the scene. On the other hand, airlines maintained a posture of carrying out the decision seriously, saying that "it is not possible to give special treatment". Up to now, although there were regulations, they were not enforced strictly, there were cases that luggage were handled flexibly in response to the vacant seat situation at the time. However, recently, guests who brought small suitcases with wheels attached had increased rapidly. There were those who completed boarding procedures by Internet and by the cellular phone, did not report to the airport counter before boarding the plane, and often they brought along a type of luggage that was not allowed by regulations. These luggage could not be stored properly onto the shelf of the plane, often causing trouble that delayed plane's departure. In certain company in the year 2008, there were as many as 316 hours of service delay in about 5,000 cases of luggage trouble. Airlines that carried out the rule changes said that "(we) can do nothing but to insist on carrying out the restriction so as to keep (our) service to the time schedule".

It seems that domestics flights in Japan are under tighter control as far as boarding regulations are concerned.

2009年12月2日 星期三

我的工具書(V)


"易懂日語辭典"是由台灣大新書局出版. 對我來說, 它收集的單字數目比較少. 不過它的好處是能把一些常用, 但係十分混淆的日本字詳細地解釋. 例如"氣"這個字,日本人常用它來造出很相似的複合詞. 這詞典收集了由 "氣" 延伸出來的複合詞, 加以對照和比較. 它的另一特色是對單字提供了日語, 英語和中文解釋. 它的例句亦很多, 例句中的 漢字亦附上有日語法音. 這本詞典用日文五十音順排列單字. 這詞典於1996年出版, 有1103頁.

2009年12月1日 星期二

The China White Paper 1949(II)

According to this book, the US policy towards China was for the purpose of getting equality of trading rights in China. The United States saw their first treaty with China, the Treaty of Wanghia (望廈條約) signed on July 3, 1844 had embraced the principle of equality of commercial opportunity, as expressed in the most-favoured-nation clause inside the treaty. Wanghia was named after a small village located slightly north of Macao. The American thought that such a clause had served their interest well up to the late 1890s when they felt the Great Powers was beginning to divide China into spheres of interest that could break China apart.1 In response to the situation, US tried to adopt a new policy towards China: The Open Door Policy. In 1899 the American suggested to the Powers that, within their respective sphere of interest, they would treat the national of all countries equally in matters such as general tariffs, railroad tariff and harbour dues. In 1900, after the Boxer Uprising, the United States formalized its Open Door Policy, with the aim of preserving "Chinese territorial and administrative entity". Starting from the early 20th century, US policy towards China was guided by two principles: to seek equal commercial opportunity in China, and to maintain Chinese territorial and administrative integrity.2 (to be continued)

Notes:
1.United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967, page 2.

2. Ibid., page 3.

2009年11月29日 星期日

The China White Paper 1949(I)



The content of this book The China White Paper : August 1949 was first published in 1949 under the title of United States Relations with China: With Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949. It appeared during the final stage of Communist victory in China's civil war fought some 60 years ago. At that historical moment, the US Department of State chose to let the record speak for itself. For me, the most interesting part of the book was a 400-page summary of American China policy from 1844 to 1949. Through these pages, readers could see the development of Sino-US relation through the American eyes. (to be continued)

Reference:
United States, Department of State. The China White Paper-August 1949. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1967.
(注:相片見到那書是我歷史老師Mr. Raoul Grossman多年前送給我, 物重情意亦重, 特別再次多謝)

2009年11月28日 星期六

M.C. Perry and Japan (XXI)

One thing in connection with the Japanese culture was observed by the American. When the feast was over, the Japanese from the left bosom of their loose robes took out some paper to warp up what was left after the dinner.1 The next day, Perry landed to take part in a meeting to work out a draft treaty. By then he knew that Shimoda was suitable for the the American ships and thus accepted it as one of the ports for opening. Perry continued to press for the opening of two more ports. Meanwhile a new point was raised: the extent of privileges to be allowed to the American who might visit Shimoda. The final agreement was that Americans could enjoy free excursion up to seven li into the country side around the port. The next question was about the stationing of an American consular in Japan. It was finally agreed that an agent was allowed to live at Shimoda, and he could come to Japan 18 months after the treaty was signed.2 Within the next few days a draft treaty was worked out and written in Chinese, Dutch and Japanese languages respectively. One March 31, 1854, Perry visited the treaty house and the draft treaty was exchanged, in total it had 12 Articles.3 Article II stipulated that the port of Shimoda and Hokodate would be open to American ships for wood, water and provisions. Article V stipulated that citizens of the US who would temporarily reside in Shimoda and Hokodate could have freedom of movement within the limits of seven Japanese miles (or li) from the harbor. Article IX stipulated that in future, if the government of Japan should grant to any other nations privileges that had not been granted to the US, that same privilege should likewise be granted to the US automatically. Article XI stipulated that the US consuls or agents would, at the earliest, be allowed to live in Shimoda 18 months after the signing of this treaty.4 This treaty laid the foundation of diplomatic relationship between the two nations.

Notes:
1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 200.
2. Ibid., page 202.
3. Ibid., page 205.
4. Ibid., page 206.

2009年11月26日 星期四

假冒日本竹筍

Recently Mainichi News reported the following:

愛知県一宮市の農産物加工卸「たけ乃子屋」(破産手続き中)が中国産タケノコの水煮を国産と表示して販売していた事件で、愛知県警は27日、同社元社長、森嘉仁容疑者(52)ら幹部3人を不正競争防止法違反容疑で逮捕した。県警は森容疑者が偽装表示を主導したとみて、経緯などを詳しく調べる。 ほかに逮捕されたのは同社工場長と横浜営業所長の2人。捜査幹部によると、森容疑者らは共謀して取引先会社に依頼し、中国から輸入したタケノコ水煮を国産と表示した袋に詰め替えさせ、首都圏や東海地方のスーパーで販売した疑いが持たれている。

On the 27th, Aichi Prefecture police arrested three executives, including the former president of a farm product processing wholesale company (currently under bankruptcy procedure) in Aichi Prefecture Ichinomiya City, for violating the unfair competition prevention law by displaying bamboo shoots imported from China as domestic produce and sold them as such. Prefecture police examined the details thoroughly and thought that the suspects had initiated false labeling. Besides, two people (the plant manager of this company and the head of the Yokohama office) were arrested. It was thought that the suspects conspired and requested the company to import bamboo shoots from China, then filled them into bags that displayed the items as domestic produce, and sold them in supermarkets in the metropolitan area and in the Tokai region, according to investigating officials.

From the above report, it is shocking to note that even goods labeled as made in Japan could be in fact made in China.

2009年11月25日 星期三

我的工具書(IV)




"日本語基本動詞詞典"是中國大陸出版的日文詞典, 我差不多每天都用到它. 這書的用處是幫我找到日文動詞的意義, 和它的漢字寫法 (如果有的話), 同時也看到它變化出來的句型, 並有例句方便讀者學習. 每個基本動詞都交代了詞形變化, 例如否定式, 連用式, 過去式, 中頓式, 假定式等等, 十分清楚. 這本詞典用日文五十音順排列出超過七百個基本動詞. 再者,每個動詞都列出由它發展出來的複合動詞, 又有動詞的近義詞, 所以資料十分詳盡. 這詞典是於1996年出版, 有840頁, 共收集了728 個基本動詞.



2009年11月21日 星期六

我的工具書(III)


"日本語句型詞典"是中國大陸出版的日語語句字典, 它是我常用到的工具書. 這書的用處是幫我找到與句子一起使用的各種類日文句語. 它的編排是用日文五十音順把句型排列. 這詞典在書尾加入"末尾音逆序索引" 和 "意義,功能項目索引" 方便使用者迅速地找到所需的詞句. 這本書的好處是它有很多例句 (漢字兼附加日語發音), 十分詳盡. 這字典是於2002年出版, 於2006年再版, 共891頁, 收集了3,000 個各類句型.

2009年11月20日 星期五

日高檔吞拿魚價格下調

Recently Jiji News reported the following:

 来年の漁獲枠が4割近く削減されることになった大西洋と地中海産クロマグロの日本向け現地価格が値下がりしている。先行き供給の先細り懸念がある一方、世界最大のマグロ消費国、日本の消費不振が輸入価格の下げ要因となっている。この年末年始も、昨年より安く高級マグロが店頭に並びそうだ。 スペインやマルタ、トルコなど地中海産の養殖マグロを扱う国内の輸入業者らは今月上旬から、年末以降に冷凍や生で販売する魚の仕入れ価格交渉を開始。いけすから取り上げた直後の価格は、200キロ以上の大型魚で「昨年比4割安の1キロ当たり1500円前後でほぼ決まる見通し」とマルタ産などを扱う輸入商社は言う。 国内で多く流通する頭や骨などを取り除いた冷凍のブロック(4つ割り)の卸値も、「キロ当たり3000円前後と昨年より1500円近く安くなりそう」(築地魚市場)と卸会社はみる。 安値要因は、消費の落ち込みに伴う過剰在庫。冷凍クロマグロの在庫は「年間の消費量に相当する2万トン以上あるだろう」(大手水産会社)とされ、その大半が「現地価格が高かった昨秋のリーマンショック以前に取引されたもの」(同)という。安く処分できない昨年からの在庫が重荷となって、大手商社などが今年の買い付けに慎重になっていることも、現地価格の下げ要因だ。

Blue-fin tuna from the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea which already had a reduced harvest quota of about 40 percent next year now faced a drop in price in Japan that indicated sluggish consumption and surplus stock. As the world's largest tuna consumption country, Japan's sluggish tuna consumption became a factor that had lowered import prices and tapered off anxious in its future supply. Towards the end of this year, high-end tuna were found lining-up cheaply in shops when compared with the high price of last year. Domestic importers who handled the farmed tuna from the Mediterranean Sea such as Spain, Malta, and Turkey and sold them frozen and alive, starting from the beginning of this month, set in motion the price negotiation on the supply of tuna for the period beyond the year end. For fish weighted 200 kilo or more, the import firm that handled the fish from Malta etc. said "it is expected that compared with last year, a 40% discount is equal to about 1500 yen cheaper per kilo". Wholesale companies (in Tsukiji Uoichiba) having noted that the wholesale price of the frozen block circulated domestically with lots of heads and the bones etc removed (divide of four), said that "it seems that it has become about 1500 yen cheaper compared to about 3000 yen per kilo last year". Surplus stock caused by decrease in consumption was a factor that lowered the price. The stock of the frozen blue-fin tuna, according to an estimate (by major fishery company) was that "There might be 20,000 tons or more, that is equivalent to a year's consumption", and the same company said the majority of them were "the one that had been traded at a high local price before the Lehman shock of last autumn". The stock of last year was a burden because it could not be disposed of cheaply, and the careful attitude of big traders was also a major factor that had lowered this year's the local purchase price.

From the above, it seems that tuna trade in Japan is being affected by the "Lehman" incident happened last year.

2009年11月19日 星期四

我的工具書(II)

"Kodansha's Furigana English-Japanese Dictionary"是為懂得英語的人士而設計的日文字典. 它是我每天都用到的工具書之一. 最主要是由英語單字找到同義的日文. 它同時也列出這個字的漢字寫法和讀音. 如果你懂得英文, 就可以很方便地用它. 它只有一種檢字方法, 就是用英文A - Z排列. 這字典是於1996年出版, 在2001出新版, 有717頁, 共收集了14,000 個資料, 囊括了多數日本人常用的字.




2009年11月18日 星期三

我的工具書(I)



"現代日中常用漢字對比詞典"是中國大陸出版的日文字典, 它是我每天都用到的工具書之一. 這書的用處是幫我找到日文漢字的讀音, 同時也由它找到變化出來的詞語. 它的好處是能夠由中文找出日文. 那就是說, 如果你懂得中文, 你就可以利用它. 它有三種檢字方法. 第一是從國語拼音表找到你需要的字. 如果你懂得國語拼音, 這是很方便. 第二個方法是去數你需要尋找的日本漢字的筆畫, 然後由一筆畫到二十二筆畫的字表中揀出你需要的字. 我是我常常用的方法. 第三是由音訓檢字表, 由日文五十音順表中去檢字, 當然你需要知到那個漢字的日本讀音, 才能用呢個方法. 這字典是於1996年出版, 有1522頁, 總共收集了1945 個在日文常常見到的漢字.

2009年11月16日 星期一

日地方組織用非法軟件

Recently Mainichi News reported the following:

 北海道職員がパソコンのソフト約4700本分を不正にコピーして使用していたことが14日分かった。北海道は米マイクロソフト社に約1億4000万円を支払うことで合意した。別のソフト会社とも協議しており、数億円の支払いを求められる可能性がある。 道によると、07年2月にマイクロソフト社から「ソフト管理が適正か確認したい」との指摘があり、庁内のパソコン約2万4000台を調査。その結果、マイクロソフト社製の「オフィス」など表計算やワープロなどのソフト4084本が不正コピーだった。道は約3200本分のライセンス料を支払い、残り約800本は消去する。 別のソフト会社のソフトは655本。工事の設計などの専門性の高い製品で、1本20万~60万円という。道情報政策課は「パソコン本体は備品として管理していたが、ソフトは管理していなかった。著作権に対する職員の認識が薄かった」と話し、改めて職員への啓発を行うとともに、ソフトを監視するシステムを作る。 自治体によるソフト不正コピーは全国で相次いでおり、石川県は6月、正式な購入額の1.5倍に相当する損害賠償金を支払うことでソフト会社と合意している.

It was understood on the 14th that government staff in Hokkaido had about 4700 sets of illegally copied software and used them in personal computers. Hokkaido agency had agreed on the payment of about 140 million yen to the Microsoft company of the U.S. It also had conferred with another software company, and there was a possibility that a payment up to several hundred million yen could be requested. According to the prefecture, the Microsoft Corporation in February 07 said "I want to confirm whether soft management is proper", and about 24,000 personal computers in the agency were investigated. As a result, 4084 sets of software such as spread sheets, and word processors such as "Office" made by Microsoft Corporation were found to be unauthorized copies. The prefecture paid the license fee of about 3200 sets of software, and the remainder of 800 were deleted. Separately, the software made by another software company was 655 sets. It was said that a copy of software made specially for construction designing could cost 200,000 yen to 600,000 yen. The prefecture's Information and Planning Division said that 「Software was not managed, although personal computers were managed as standard items. The staff's knowledge on copyright was weak」. Repeatedly it had enlightened its staff to change, and a system that could observe software usage was now in place. In the whole country, unauthorized software copying by the municipality came to light one after another, and Ishikawa prefecture in June had agreed on a damage payment to a software company that amounted to 1.5 times the formal purchasing cost.

From the above, it seems that Microsoft Corporation was taking serious action against the use of illegally copied software.

2009年11月14日 星期六

M.C. Perry and Japan (XX)

At this moment Perry was successful in obtaining the concessions he needed from the Japanese and he had overcome the most difficult part of his mission. Trust and friendship began to develop. Later, the Japanese invited Perry to the treaty house to receive some gifts which included specimens rich brocades and silks, some porcelain cups, some Japanese coins, three matchlocks, two swords and 200 sacks of rice.1 Perry was also invited to see the wrestling game. On March 25, Yenosuke and his assistant interpreter Kenzeiro visited the Powhatan to informally talk about the future treaty. Yenosuke said that Hakodate might be ready for the American ships by March 1855. As for Shimoda, Perry said he considered that the port was opened as soon as he received a favourable report of it from his men who were making a survey on it. Near the end of the meeting, the establishment of an American consular agent in Japan was discussed. It was finally decided that he should reside at Shimoda.2 On March 27, Perry entertained the Japanese commissioners on board. It was a big feast. The five Japanese commissioners were entertained at the cabin of Perry with a very handsome banquet while their subordinate officials, amounting to about 60 men were entertained at the quarter-deck with all kinds of good food. Also accompanying Perry in the cabin included the four captains of Perry's, Mr. Williams, and Japanese interpreter Yenosuke. During the banquet, it was the Japanese who took the lead in proposing healths and toasts. "They kept shouting at the top of their voices, and were heard far above the music of the bands that enlivened the entertainment by a succession of brisk and cheerful tunes."3 (to be continued)

Notes:
1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 187.
2. Ibid., page 196.
3. Ibid., page 199.

2009年11月12日 星期四

酒井法子上學

Recently the Excite News reported the following:

覚せい剤取締法違反の罪で懲役1年6月、執行猶予3年の判決を受けた元女優、酒井法子(38)が新しいパソコンを購入し、来週月曜日の16日から授業を受けることが12日、分かった。酒 井は介護など福祉全般を学ぶため、創造学園大学(群馬・高崎市)の一般人入試(小論文、面接)を受け、ソーシャルワーク学部に合格、9日の判決公判前に入学手続きを済ませており、勉強の環境が整い次第、随時授業をスタートさせることができる。高崎市の本部キャンパスには通わず、パソコンや携帯を使った遠隔地教育システム「E-LEARNING」で学び、単位取得を目指す酒井にとって、パソコンは“ノートや鉛筆”と同じ。酒井と親しい関係者はこの日サンケイスポーツの取材に「今日の午後、電話で話しました。『昨日(11日)新しいパソコンが届いて、一生懸命使い方に慣れているところです』と言っていました」と明かした。この関係者は「落ち着いているし、前向きに頑張っているようだから、安心しました」とも語り、酒井の門出を祈っていた。

It was learned on the 12th that former actress Noriko Sakai (38) who had received the 18-month penal servitude sentence, suspended for three years in connecting with the crime that violated the Stimulants Control Law, had bought a new personal computer and would start attending classes starting Monday 16th next week. Sakai, for the purpose of studying general welfare matters like nursing etc, took the entrance exam for ordinary people (short essay and interview) conducted by the Creation Educational Institution University (Gunma and Takasaki City), had passed the social work faculty requirements and completed registration before the trial on the 9th, and could start classes at any time as soon as the environment for study was in order. There was no need to frequent the headquarters campus in Takasaki City because it was a learning system in the form of distant education called "E-LEARNING" which used the personal computer, and for Sakai who aimed at acquiring studying credits, the personal computer was equivalent to "Notebook and pencil". It was understood that, according to this day's Sankei Sports, Sakai had discussion with people closely related to her that 「This afternoon there was telephone conversation. It was said, 'A new personal computer had arrived yesterday (the 11th), and (she) was trying hard to accustom to its usage'. 」 These people also said, "The matter is settling down, and it is a relief because it seems that (she) is working hard at a positive direction", and they prayed for Sakai's departure for classes.

It is comforting to see that people who had made a mistake was given a chance to start afresh. All the best, Noriko Sakai.

2009年11月11日 星期三

日微調注射疫苗政策

Recently the Jiji News reported the following:

新型インフルエンザ用ワクチンをめぐり、長妻昭厚生労働相は11日、高校生以下の年齢層を除き、1回接種を正式決定したと発表した。これまでは2回を原則としていたが、1回と2回とで得られる免疫がほとんど変わらないとの臨床試験結果から、専門家らが1回で十分とする見解をまとめたため。 今回の決定により、接種スケジュールが前倒しされる。また、従来は接種対象外だった健康な成人がワクチンを打てる可能性も高まったが、実際の接種時期は遅く、新型インフルエンザ流行のピークには間に合わないとみられている。厚生労働省によると、持病のある人、妊婦、高齢者、1歳未満の乳児の保護者はすべて1回接種。13歳未満の子どもは基礎的な免疫を持っていない可能性があるため2回とし、持病のある人のうち免疫状態が悪化している人は医師の判断で2回も可能とした。また、中学、高校生は当面2回を前提とし、12月中に臨床試験結果がまとまるのを待って1回で済むかどうか判断する。 

The Health Minister announced on the 11th that they had been formally decided on one-dose vaccination regarding the vaccination for the new influenza, except for the age group below the high school student. Up to this moment, the principle was to go for two-dose vaccination. Based on the result obtained from the clinical trial on immunity, one-dose or two-dose had hardly showed any difference, as such specialists came to the conclusion that one-dose vaccination would be enough. The vaccination schedule could be moved up by this decision. But, as there was the possibility of vaccinating the healthy adults who all along were outside the vaccination schedule, on top of the delay in actual vaccination, they might be lacking behind in coping with the arrival of the peak of the new influenza. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, people who had chronic disease, pregnant women, senior citizens, and guardians of baby below one-year-old would be vaccinated once. Children of less than 13-year-old would receive twice because there was a possibility that they were without the basic immunity, also, people who had chronic disease and their immune status had deteriorated might receive twice depending on the doctor's judgment. Moreover, the junior high school and the high school student would now go ahead with two-doze vaccination, but by the end of December upon the release of the clinical trial result, a decision would be made on whether one-dose vaccination would suffice.

From the above we can see that Japan is fine-tuning its vaccination strategy in response to the new type influenza.

2009年11月10日 星期二

M.C. Perry and Japan (XIX)

In some written documents, Perry was told by the Japanese that the American could begin trade in Nagasaki next year. And it would take Japan five years to open other port. The next day, March 17th Perry met with the Japanese officials in the treaty house. During the discussion, Perry insisted that one or more ports must be substituted for Nagasaki because it was inconvenient for the American to go there. Perry also objected to Japan's suggestion that even in the opened port, the American could not be allowed to walk about freely. Perry informed the Japanese commissioners that he wanted to have five ports opened to the American, at the present moment, he would be glad to have three: one on the island of Honshu, either Uraga or Kagoshima, one in Hokkaido, probably Matsumai, the third one was Napha in Lew Chew. After some negotiation Shimoda was proposed as a possibility, replacing Nagasaki and Uraga. At this stage, the commissioners said that they needed one year to decide on the opening of a port because they had to consult the prince from that location. In response Perry suggested that he would go there to negotiate direct. Finally, before ending the discussion, the commissioners agreed to give Perry an answer on March 23th. It was also agreed that Perry could send his men to check whether Shimoda was acceptable to the American. Accordingly, Perry on 20th March, sent two vessels to inspect the harbor in Shimoda. On 23th March the Japanese in writing informed the American that the port of Hakodate, which was near Matsumai was to be opened to the American. This decision was welcome by Perry.1 (to be continued)

Note:
1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 185.

2009年11月5日 星期四

日航面對財務困難

Recently FNN reported the following:

日本航空の経営再建で11月中にも必要とされるつなぎ融資をめぐり、6日朝、政府の対策本部が、銀行団に対して、政府保証がつかない形での通常融資およそ1,000億円を要請したことが、FNNの取材でわかった。6日朝、辻元国土交通副大臣、峰崎財務副大臣ら政府の日本航空再建対策本部のメンバーが、日本政策投資銀行など銀行団と会談し、日本航空へのつなぎ融資について、政府保証がつかない通常融資の形で、1,000億円前後を要請したことがわかった。銀行側は、あくまで「政府保証なしの融資は難しい」として、態度を保留したという。対策本部は、国民負担になりかねない政府保証については、現段階では難しいと判断し、年金削減の特別立法の骨子を政府が発表することで理解を求める方針。一方、日本航空は、およそ230人いる部長以上の管理職の冬のボーナスを返上する方針を固め、社員1万7,000人についてもボーナスを見送る方向で検討している。

According to the information obtained by FNN about Japan Airlines' management rebuilding which was connected to some bridge financing that must be dealt with in November, it was understood that in the morning of the 6th that a government task force had requested an ordinary financing of about 100 billion yen from the syndicate of banks in a shape that the no state guarantee would be attached. It was understood that in the morning of 6th, Senior Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport together with Senior Vice Minister of Finance of the government, as members of the Japan Airlines rebuilding task force conferred with Development Bank of Japan etc bank syndicates about Japan Airline's request for a bridge finance of around 100 billion yen which normally without state guarantee attached. The banks insisted that they reserved their attitude because "Financing without the state guarantee is difficult". The task force at this stage considered it difficult to make judgement on the state guarantee and the possibility that it might become a public financial burden, and had requested to understand the announcement of the government on the substance of the special legislation of the pension reduction. On the other hand, Japan Airlines decided on a policy to seek the return of the winter bonus given to about 230 managers who were beyond the directorate level, and was also considering putting on hold the bonus to the 17,000 employees.

From the above, it is obvious that the airline industry in Japan is still having a hard time.

2009年11月2日 星期一

日汽車銷售回升

Recently Mainichi News reported the following:

日本自動車販売協会連合会などが2日発表した10月の国内総新車販売台数は前年同月比4.4%増の39万6048台と、2カ月連続で前年実績を上回った。減税と買い替え補助による国のエコカー支援策が、ハイブリッド車(HV)などの販売増につながった。登録車の販売を社名・ブランド別で見ると、HV「インサイト」などが堅調なホンダは29.9%増の4万3427台と7カ月連続のプラス。HV「プリウス」などが人気のトヨタ自動車は13.8%増の13万3877台と3カ月連続増となった。減税対象の低燃費車が好調な日産自動車も15.3%増の3万6572台と、大手3社がそろって2ケタ増を記録した。 だが、昨年10月は米リーマン・ブラザーズ破綻(はたん)後の世界的な金融危機の影響で新車販売が大きく落ち込んだ経緯がある。そのため、業界関係者は「販売台数の水準は依然低く、本格回復とは言えない」(大手メーカー幹部)と慎重だ。

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association etc. had announced on the second of this month that the total number of new cars sold domestically in October was 396,048, an increase of 4.4% compared to same month last year, and was a two-month continuous increase compared to the record a year ago. The country's eco-friendly car support plan which used tax reduction and purchase substitution assistance as the means was attributed to sales increase in cars including gas-and-electric-powered cars (HV). When the car sales registration was analysed according to the name of the company and the brand, Honda HV "Incite" etc. had car sales of 43,427, an increase of 29.9% which was a steady plus for seven continuous months. HV "Prius" etc. popular Toyota Motor had a continuous increase amounting to 133,877, an increase of 13.8% and was a three- month continuous increase. Nissan Motor Co. which was good at producing fuel efficient cars thus attracted tax reduction also had sales increase of 15.3% standing at 36,572 cars, and the 3 major companies recorded a two digit increase. However, there was a fact to consider: the U.S. Lehman Brothers Holdings failure last October that caused the following worldwide finance crisis had affected new cars sales and caused it to drop greatly. Therefore, the person who was related to the industry was prudent, (the executive of major manufacturer) saying that "The level on numbers of sales is still low, and cannot be called a real recovery".

Is the recovery of domestic car sales really an indication of economic recovery for Japan?

2009年10月31日 星期六

日家庭開支增加

Recently Excite News reported the following:

総務省が30日発表した9月の家計調査によると、2人以上の世帯の消費支出は27万7110円だった。物価変動の影響を除いた実質で前年同月比1.0%増加し、2カ月連続のプラスになった。9月の大型連休により、手土産代や孫への小遣いなどで交際費が9.7%増えたほか、外国パック旅行費も27.4%増えた。新型インフルエンザの流行でマスクなどの消費や診療代も増えた。 

The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications had announced on the 30th that according to the September Family Budget Survey, the consumer spending of a home with two or more people was 277,110 yen. Ignoring the influence of price changes, it increased substantially by 1.0% compared with the same month a year ago, and it became a continuous plus for two months. Because of the Golden Week holiday in September, entertainment expenses which included money spent on buying gifts and the pocket money given to grandchild etc. had increased by 9.7%, also foreign package travel expenses had increased by 27.4%. Because of the new flu epidemic, expenses on diagnosis and treatment, and on purchasing masks etc. had also increased.

From the above it seems that inflation may have returned to Japan.

2009年10月29日 星期四

日本過百萬人患流感

Recently the Yomiuri News reported the following:

国立感染症研究所は30日、全国約5000医療機関を対象にした定点調査の結果、最新の1週間(19~25日)に新たに医療機関を受診したインフルエンザ患者が1医療機関当たり24・62人に上ったと発表した。前週(12~18日)の17・65人の1・39倍で、全国の推計患者数は前週の約83万人から約114万人となり、初めて100万人を上回った。 ほとんどが新型インフルエンザ患者と見られ、7月上旬以降の患者数の累計は約431万人となった。 都道府県別では、福岡が37・35人、兵庫が33・51人、秋田が32・15人と、警報レベルの30人を初めて超えた。既に警報レベルに入っている北海道が61・43人、愛知が39・42人。「全国規模で本格的な流行となってきている」と分析している。

The National Institute of Infections Diseases announced on the 30th that, based on the data from the 5000 nationwide medical institutions chosen as a fixed point research target, the flu victim who had newly consulted a physician in the medical institution last week (19th to 25th) went up by 24.62 people per institution. Compared to 17.65 people last week (12th to 18th) it was an increase of 1.39 times, the estimated patient number for whole countries would be an increase from about 830,000 to about 1.14 million, exceeding the one million mark for the first time. It was thought that most patients were suffering from the new influenza, and the accumulating total number of patients since the beginning of July would be about 4.31 million people. The trigger/alarm levels figure of 30 was exceeded for the first time in some locations, for example there were 37.35 people in Fukuoka, 33.51 people in Hyogo, and 32.15 people in each administrative divisions in Akita. Hokkaido earlier on had already exceeded the trigger/alarm level now had 61.43 people, and Aichi had 39.42 people. According to the statistical analysis, flu in Japan had "spread out in full swing on a nationwide scale".

As the new type influenza has spread fast in many big cities around the world now, probably it would be only a matter of time before Hong Kong witnesses the next round of flu out break.

2009年10月26日 星期一

日本設立漫畫圖書館

Recently Excite News reported the following:

明治大は22日、漫画やアニメ、ゲームを収集、展示する「東京国際マンガ図書館」(仮称)を14年度に東京都千代田区の駿河台キャンパスに開設すると発表した。収蔵作品数は世界最大級の2百万点とする予定。海外の評価が高い日本の現代文化の研究基盤づくりを目指し、一般利用も可能にする。施設は大学付属の中学、高校の旧校舎を改修する予定で、閲覧室やシアターも設置する。
Meiji University on the 22nd announced the establishment of the "Tokyo international cartoon library" (tentative name) that collected and exhibited items such as cartoons, animated cartoons, and the games in the Surugadai campus in Chiyodaku, Tokyo in the 2014 fiscal year. The number of stored items was scheduled to reach the world's largest class of two million points. It aimed at becoming the contemporary Japan culture research base which had high regard from foreign countries, meanwhile it could be used for general purpose also. Regarding the facilities, the plan was to modify old schoolhouse in the junior high school and the high school attached to the university, reading rooms and theaters were planned to be set up.

The above decision will probably further strengthen Japan's leading role in cartoon and game production in the world.

2009年10月24日 星期六

M.C. Perry and Japan (XVIII)

Perry also raised the question of buying a piece of ground from Japan for the burial of dead American sailors because two days ago a marine had died. After some discussion, the Japanese required to retire to discuss the question. Soon the full board was in session again. The Japanese suggested the American to use Nagasaki for the burial and this was rejected by the American. Finally Japan allowed the burial to take place in Yokohama.1 At this point Perry decided to end the discussion of the day and returned to his vessel in military formation as before. Before leaving Perry expressed his wish to see the Japanese dignitaries on board his vessel. The next day Kurokawa Kahei, a prefect, together with interpreter Yenosuke visited the American on board. A day was set for the American to send ashore their gifts to Japan. US captain Adams asked what ports the commissioners had selected to be open to the American and remarked the 5 years was too long for the American to wait. It was decided a short conference be held in the treaty house the next day with Adams. During this meeting Adams disclosed that Perry was about to write a letter to the US government to report the progress of the negotiation and to decide whether more ships should be sent to Japan. Upon hearing that the Japanese seemed to show signs of worrying. The meeting also agreed that gifts from the US would sent ashore on Monday, March 13th. Along with the gifts sent on shore were a little locomotive with curricular track, and one set of telegraph system with wires and wiring posts. The operation of these two items were later shown to the Japanese. Kurokawa Kahei, the prefect and Yenosuke, the interpreter visited the American on board almost daily. The next meeting with Perry on shore was scheduled for 16th March, but postponed to 17th due to poor weather. Before that Perry received written reply to some of his requests. 2 (to be continued)

Notes:
1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 164.
2. Ibid., page 178.

2009年10月23日 星期五

M.C. Perry and Japan (XVII)

During the working level discussion that took place in the ensuing few days Yezaimjon added a new interpreter Moriyama Yenosuke. He learned English from an American sailor who had been a captive in Japan.1 Upon Perry's request, Yezaimon provided names of the five Japanese officials who would take part in the treaty negotiation on shore. Soon it was decided that Perry would land on March 8th. On the day at 11.30 am 500 Americans in batches landed in military formation. Salute guns were fired by the vessels. Inside the treaty house built by the Japanese, the room temperature was kept comfortable by using copper braziers of burning charcoal standing on lacquered wooden stands distributed around freely. Perry and his team were seated at the left side of the hall. The Japanese had five commissioners, Hayashi-Daigaku-no-kami, prince councilor, was the chief member of the team.2 Moriyama Yenosuke was the principle interpreter of the Japanese. The Japanese commissioners started the meeting by asking Yenosuke to communicate their regards to the health of Perry, then refreshment consisting of tea in porcelain cups, cakes and confectionery were handed around. Afterwards the Japanese commissioners suggested to start the negotiation in another smaller room. In this smaller room, the chief commissioner gave Perry a roll of paper which provided answers the letter from the US president. In essence the reply said that it was quite impossible for the Japanese to give a satisfactory answers to the requests at once. While agreeing to the need of the American for coal, wood, water, provision from a Japanese harbor, it would need five years for Japan to make it ready a harbour which might be proposed by the American.3 However, if the American could consider using Nagasaki, they could start using it by February next year (1855). In reply Perry remarked that the US wanted a treaty with Japan similar to the one signed between the US and China a few years earlier. If he failed, more US ships would probably come to Japan to seek one.(to be continued)


Notes:
1. 1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 148.
2. Ibid., page 156
3. Ibid., page 159

2009年10月20日 星期二

秋天 (2009)








當看到樹葉由綠色變成啡色, 地下滿佈落葉, 就知秋天已到. 對農夫來說, 秋天是收成時間. 對人生 的秋天來說, 亦應當如是. 相片是卑詩大學裏拍攝, 充滿秋天景象. 使我想起年輕時常常聽到的一首唐詩:
金鏤衣
勸君莫惜金鏤衣
勸君惜取少年時
花開堪折直須折
莫待無花空折枝

杜秋娘

2009年10月17日 星期六

面部溫度探測器

Recently Asahi News reported the following:

日産自動車と計測制御機器メーカーのチノー(東京都)が、新型インフルエンザ対策用に、オフィスビルや公共施設などの入場者の体温を約3秒で測る小型機器を共同開発した。日産が車用に開発した熱画像センサー技術を応用。9月の発売から1カ月で、大手企業を中心に約300台が売れ、今年度末までに5千台の販売を目指す。 顔を15センチまで近づけると、体表面の温度を測定。体温が38度以上あれば赤いランプが点滅し、警告音が鳴る。チノーによると、価格は、空港などで使われている体温測定用サーモグラフィー(約100万~500万円)より格安の約30万~40万円だという。

Nissan Motor Co., together with the measurement control equipment making company Chino (Tokyo) had jointly developed a small equipment as a means to deal with the new influenza. It could in three seconds measure the temperature of people visiting office buildings and communal facilities etc. The heat image sensor technology developed by Nissan for the car was applied. When the sales was started in September, about 300 were sold to major companies in one month, and the sales target by the end of the current year was 5,000. When the face was brought close up to 15 centimeters, the temperature of the body surface would be measured. If the temperature was 38-degree or more, a red lamp would blink, and the warning sound would be activated. According to Chino, the price would be about 300,000 to 400,000 yen cheaper than the equipment for measuring body temperature used in airports etc (costing about 1 million to 5 million yen).

After reading the above I think major commercial buildings in Hong Kong could consider installing similar machines to help fighting the next round of influenza.

2009年10月15日 星期四

English Grammar

On Wednesday 15th October Hong Kong's chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen delivered his policy address. During that policy address, he took a few seconds to comment on the sentence " Bow Tie Keep Your Election Promise", suggesting that one 's' should be added to the end of the word 'Keep'. According to my understanding, in this is sentence, the verb form is called 'imperative' in grammar. There are two types of 'imperatives'. Affirmative imperatives have the same form as the infinitive without to, while negative imperatives use do not plus infinitive. One example of imperative sentence is 'Enjoy your holiday', or 'Have some more tea'. The imperative sentence does not necessarily have a subject, but we can add one to it for the sake of clarity. For example 'Mary come here.', or 'Bow Tie come here.', or 'Bow Tie shut up.', or 'Bow Tie Keep Your Election Promise.' All these sentences are perfectly correct grammatically.

Reference
Michael Swan. Practical English Usage. Oxford University Press, 2002.

2009年10月14日 星期三

日本企業物價指數

Recently the NHK News reported the following:

企業の間で取り引きされる「モノ」の価格の動きを示す先月の企業物価指数は、国内需要の低迷が続いていることなどから、去年の同じ月と比べて7.9%下落し、9か月連続のマイナスとなりました。日銀が発表した先月の企業物価指数は、平成17年を100とした指数で103.0と、去年の同じ月と比べて7.9%下落し、9か月連続のマイナスとなりました。これは、原油価格が高騰していた去年と比べて、石油製品や、自動車などに使われるプラスチック製品、鉄鋼などの価格が下がっていることなどによるものです。企業物価は、ことし6月から8月まで過去最大の下落率の更新が続き、今回はマイナス幅はやや縮小しましたが、依然として大幅な下落が続いています。企業物価を左右する原油などの市況価格は一時期よりは高くなっていますが、このところの円高で輸入品の価格が下がる可能性に加え、国内の需要も低迷が続いていることから、企業物価は、当面、マイナス傾向が続くものとみられています。

Last month's corporate goods price index, which showed the price movement of commodities between enterprises, because of the continuous sluggish demand at home, had dropped by 7.9% when compared with same month last year, and it was a continuous minus for nine months. Last month's corporate goods price index announced by Bank of Japan was a fall by 7.9% to 103.0, using the index 100 set up in 2005, compared with the same month last year, and that was a continuous minus in nine months. Compared with last year when the crude oil price had soared, prices of petroleum products, plastic products for cars, and the price of steel had fallen. In corporate prices, the trend of big falling continued, even after the update maximum fall recorded between June to August this year, and despite the extent of falling was reduced. Although the market price of crude oil that could affect corporate prices might rise over a certain period of time, the possibility of the price fall in imports due to recent appreciation of the yen, together with the continuous sluggish domestic demand, corporate prices were expected to continue its minus tendency.

From the above, it seems that the journey of economic recovery for Japan is still far from over.

2009年10月11日 星期日

廣島長崎申辦奧運

Recently the Mainichi News reported the following:

広島市と長崎市がオリンピック招致検討委員会を共同設置する方針を固めたことが10日、明らかになった。メーン開催地は広島にして、2020年の夏季五輪招致を目指す。秋葉忠利・広島市長と田上富久・長崎市長が11日、広島市で記者会見して発表する。 両市が中心となり、全世界の約3100都市で作る「平和市長会議」(会長、秋葉広島市長)が2020年までの核兵器廃絶を訴える「ヒロシマ・ナガサキ議定書」を発表しており、この議定書に合わせ、20年に平和の祭典である五輪を被爆地両市で共同開催することを狙う。 秋葉広島市長は昨年9月15日付の市広報紙のコラムで「広島と長崎で共同開催したいという『夢』をお届けしたい」と記し、「古代ギリシャでのオリンピックの精神である『平和の祭典』に、より忠実な形でのオリンピックを復活させることは出来ないものでしょうか。今年9月の記者会見で「2020年の核兵器廃絶実現後、広島と長崎での五輪開催が夢だ」とも発言している。 広島市は周辺市町とともに94年、第12回アジア競技大会を開催、42カ国・地域が参加している。 

On the 10th it was known that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had decided to jointly set up the Olympics bidding advisory committee. The main venue would be Hiroshima, and they aimed at the Olympic Summer Games invitation in 2020. [Chuuri] Akiba, the Hiroshima mayor, and Tagami [tomihisashi] the Nagasaki mayor announced in a press conference on 11th in the Hiroshima city. With both cities as the center, "Hiroshima Nagasaki protocol" was announced by the "Peaceful mayor conference" (chairman: mayor of Hiroshima Akiba) that consisted of about 3100 cities from all parts of the world for the purpose of appealing for the complete abolition of nuclear weapon by 2020. Together with that protocol, they aimed at co-hosting the festival of peace with the Olympics in 20 in both cities that had suffered from the atomic explosion. The mayor of Hiroshima Akiba noted in the newspaper column in the city PR brochure of September 15 last year that "I want to deliver a 'Dream' in that he wanted to co-host the Olympics in Hiroshima and Nagasaki". "Cannot the Olympics be revived to its more faithful shape of 'Festival of peace' which was the spirit of the Olympics in ancient Greece?" At the press conference held in September this year it was said: "After the achievement of the abolition of nuclear weapon in 2020, to have the Olympics held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a dream". Hiroshima City held the 12th Asian Games in 94 with the towns surrounding the city, and 42 countries and regions had participated.

Politically or economically, I think Japan has good reasons to try to hold the Olympics in 2020.

2009年10月10日 星期六

日本再提毒餃子事件

Recently the Mainichi News reported the following:

鳩山由紀夫首相は10日夕、中国の温家宝首相と北京の人民大会堂で会談した。中国製冷凍ギョーザ事件を受け、鳩山首相は食品安全のための日中ハイレベル協議「食品安全推進イニシアチブ」の設置を提案、合意した。 鳩山首相は会談後、記者団に「欧米と中国との間では、食品安全のためのハイレベル協議が始まっている。日中間にはない」と語った。 国連の気候変動枠組み条約第15回締約国会議(COP15)について、鳩山首相が「中国も国際的なコミットをしてほしい」と要請。温首相は「成功に全力を尽くしたい」と述べた。 また、鳩山首相は温首相に訪日を招請、温首相は「来年の適当な時期にぜひ訪問したい」と同意した。

On the evening of the 10th, Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had a discussion with China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at the People's Great Hall in Beijing. The incident on frozen dumpling made in China was raised, and Prime Minister Hatoyama's proposal of setting up some high-level consultation on "Food safety initiative promotion" was agreed upon. After the meeting, Prime Minister Hatoyama told reporters that "China's high-level consultation on the food safety with Europe and America had been started. There was no such a thing between China and Japan". In connection with United Nation's 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) on climate change, Prime Minister Hatoyama had requested "China to have an international commitment". Prime Minister Wen was quoted as saying that "I would do my best to make it a success". Moreover Prime Minister Hatoyama had invited Prime Minister Wen to visit Japan, Prime Minister Wen agreed, saying that "in an appropriate moment next year I would try my best to visit".

All along I have been wondering whether Japan will revive the poisonous dumpling incident that happened some months ago. Now it is on the agenda between Japan and China's high level talk. Good for Japan.

2009年10月9日 星期五

M.C. Perry and Japan (XVI)

Ignoring Japan's request to stop surveying the Yedo bay, the American sent out boats to do so knowing that their activities were closely monitored by the Japanese. On 18th, the Japanese came aboard to announce the arrival of a high official at Uraga and requested Perry to meet him there. Still Perry objected to that location, claiming that the size of the squadron was to big to anchor at Uraga, and it would be better to go up the bay towards Yedo. On 22nd, Captain Adams landed at Uraga with his men to meet the Japanese officials and were met by a Japanese prince, Hayashi, Prince of Daigaku together with two high dignitaries. It seemed that they were very eager to prevent the squadron to go near Yedo. The discussion ended without a decision. The next day Yezaimon, the governor of Uraga whom the American had met a few months ago suddenly visited the squadron. He had not shown his presence since the American came for the second time. His visit was for the purpose of soliciting Captain Adam to influence Perry to accept Uraga as the place to receive the Emperor's reply. Perry meanwhile having little hope of any favourable reply from the Japanese, moved the squadron even further up the bay. It was so close to Yedo that the American could see Yedo from the masthead and could hear the striking of the city bell at night. The next morning Yezaimon visited again, he found that Perry was still keen to go near Yedo. Suddenly he suggested a spot in the immediate neighbourhood of the village of Yokohama which was directly opposite to where the ships were anchoring. Perry accepted this suggestion. The Japanese immediately began constructing a wooden building for the ceremony.1 (to be continued)

Note:
1. Perry, Matthew Calbraith ed. by Sidney Wallach. Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. NY: Coward-McCann, 1952, page 147.