International Research Institute for Controversial Histories
It was in early 1970s that I visited South Korea for the first time. Then I had just begun teaching at a university. At that time, the compulsory education in South Korea was up to the elementary school. As evening neared, I saw children of junior high school ages vending newspapers in the street. I found the scene very strange because I had never seen children working in the street in Japan. I enjoyed walking down the street lined with art dealer stores selling excellent ink paintings, for I like ink paintings and felt familiar there. On the way from Seoul to Busan by train, I saw houses with sharp roof tops and felt a kind of nostalgy as the train neared Busan passing the Japanese-like scenery.
I visited Bulguksa, a large temple in Gyeongju to the north of Busan and saw many stone Buddha statues in the neighborhood and realized that Buddhism in Japan would have never prospered without its passage through Korea. At the time of my first visit to South Korea, Koreans over the age of fifty spoke Japanese. Even those Koreans who pretended not to speak Japanese began talking to me in Japanese when we were alone.
I specialize in education and once I studied the moral education in South Korea. For the first time during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, Japan included moral education in the school curriculum and made moral education textbooks. Throughout the post-war years, moral education was entirely excluded from the curriculum and there were no moral education textbooks in Japan. On the other hand, in South Korea, moral education was a required subject and there were moral education textbooks. Studying the latter, I found that the Korean moral education textbooks had inherited the tradition of “shushin” (moral training) introduced during the Imperial Japanese rule and that they were very good textbooks. In Japan during the occupation period after the Pacific War, “shushin” was abolished by the Allied Occupation Forces (in fact by those Japanese who have benefited from the war defeat) and there was no longer a subject of moral education taught at school, nor were moral education textbooks. However, the heritage of the pre-war Japanese “moral training” has been passed on to South Korea in the form of “moral education.”
As a scholar on education, I published the book Nihon no dotoku kyoiku wa kankoku ni manabe—dotoku kyoiku he no shishin [Learn from South Korea in Japanese Moral Education—Guideline for making moral education a school subject] (published by Bunka Shobo Hakubunkan-sha, 2007).
Now, South Korea, which I dearly remember, and Japan, my home country, are conflicting with each other over various issues. Above all, the most serious is the issue of mobilized workers. On October 30, 2018, the South Korean Supreme Court by its ruling ordered Japanese companies to compensate former workers and seized the companies’ properties. It is feared that the seized properties will be cashed shortly.
In terms of international law, the issue was completely settled between the two countries by the Agreement made in 1965 regarding the claims. Nevertheless, the South Korean Supreme Court overturned the agreement and made it an issue of conflict between Japan and South Korea. We cannot help but question the legal sense of the South Korean Supreme Court. Under the rule of law, South Korea, as a civilized nation, should duly understand that the issue caused by the South Korean Supreme Court’s decision is a purely domestic issue within South Korea, and the Korean Government as the executive organ should be fully responsible for the resolution of the issue. Should the Japanese companies’ properties be cashed following this court decision, Japan and South Korea would surely enter a serious conflict.
As for the Japanese Government, this time, it does not show any sign of concession, after having been bitterly betrayed and let down over and over again in the past by South Korea. The conflict between Japan and South Korea may further lead to the worst consequences, such as severing the diplomatic relations. However, as always, the Japanese Government may come up with the last minute’s compromise and bring up an extraordinary solution.
What I really want to say here is that I’m going to propose that it’s better for both Japan and South Korea to confront each other as strongly as possible, up to the point of severing their diplomatic relations.
After the end of World War II, Korea became independent as the Republic of Korea, and South Korea seems to have been too emotionally dependent on Japan. In order to unite the people as a new nation, since the time of President Syngman Rhee, South Korea intentionally implemented fanatic anti-Japanese education as a policy. This was nothing but emotional dependence on Japan. On the presumption that Japan never fights back, any action that South Korea attempts to take against Japan, has been undertaken for the sake of its own national unification. Clearly, this is emotional dependence on Japan.
On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of the Japanese people have been indifferent to South Korea. The Japanese people have hardly any knowledge regarding South Korea and remain uninterested in South Korea. Together with this indifference, the self-deprecating view of history which has been deeply imprinted on the Japanese mind throughout the postwar years, the Japanese tend to think that Japan has done the Koreans totally wrong things and in consequence, Japan has tried to settle everything peacefully by immediately apologizing for whatever happened between the two countries and succumbing to whatever unreasonable demand may come from South Korea and thus resolving the situation. This can be said to be somewhat insulting to South Korea.
After all, such flattering or catering responses on the part of the Japanese Government have been the biggest cause of the complicated relationship between Japan and South Korea. If Japan had known South Korea well enough and been interested in South Korea, Japan should have dealt reasonably with what South Korea demanded, clearly stating what is right and what is wrong and have gotten angry when the anger was the right answer. In fact, however, Japan has been ignorant of South Korea and indifferent to it and influenced by the self-deprecating historical view, which the post-war Japanese have been imbued with. Thus, Japan always tried to solve whatever issues it may be confronted with, by immediately apologizing and responding.
I think that South Korean anti-Japanese actions have become massive, group-like, social, national, and common characteristic of the South Korean people and when it comes to national characteristics, the Korean people will surely participate in anti-Japanese movements, through anti-Japanese education implemented since the establishment of the Republic of Korea. However, when it comes to simple, emotional daily life, they are rather sympathetic and friendly toward the Japanese people and not at all anti-Japanese. Otherwise, South Koreans would not enjoy Japanese songs and animations so much, or so many South Korean tourists would not visit Japan for sightseeing. Anti-Japanese education has forced South Koreans to participate in anti-Japanese activities under certain circumstances.
Recently, anti-Korean sentiments began to arise among Japanese people due to one problem after another South Korea inflicts upon Japan. This situation is exactly what we fear should have never happened.
Therefore, here is my proposition in addressing the issue of the mobilized workers. Japan and South Korea had better confront each other to an extreme until there is nowhere to go. When both sides come to such desperate point, South Korea will realize that it should stop anti-Japanese education and Japan will realize that it should stop being indifferent to South Korea and looking at South Korea based on the self-deprecating view of history
When it comes to national security, South Korea and Japan share a common destiny. No South Korean hopes to fall under the military control of the Communist Party ruled China. On the verge of the national crisis of collapsing diplomatic relations, South Korea should learn what is wrong with its inadequate response against Japan so far and find a new, effective way to deal with Japan. Japan should learn how to seriously deal with South Korea, determined to genuinely get angry at the right thing at the right time and sincerely admit that it has apologized to South Korea unreasonably. Then, both sides will develop in a better way and be able to establish a sound relationship with each other.
Bear it in mind that the current conflict over the mobilized workers should be thoroughly addressed by both countries. Especially, on the part of the Japanese Government, I propose that Japan should be fully determined and prepared to implement a firm policy toward South Korea in resolving this issue.
International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH)
July , 2022
● Inevitability of Japan’s nuclear armament
Japan is located near three nuclear powers, namely China, Russia and North Korea, and has been made a target of possible nuclear attacks. The character of all these countries is authoritarian, autocratic and dictatorial. Russia is slightly different from the other two because its top leadership is chosen by election, but its political culture obviously differs from that of the so-called West.
Unless Japan, in this position, arms itself with its own nuclear weapons, it may eventually be deprived of its national independence and robbed of the lives and property of its people by nuclear attacks or nuclear threats from these three countries. The biggest lesson learned from the Ukraine war is that the US has been confirmed to be reluctant to fight squarely against countries with nuclear weapons. Therefore, nuclear armament is meaningless unless it is acquired and owned by the country that is under threat. This has been pointed out by Emmanuel Todd, a French demographer.
Based on these circumstances, it is self-evident that, for Japan to remain an independent country, the possession of its own nuclear armament is necessary. It is indisputably clear in the same way as one and one makes two. In short, the national defense problem is the issue of Japan’s nuclear armament.
Faced with the harsh realities of the Ukraine war, the Japanese, peace addicts as they are, are apparently waking up to the national defense issue. For example, in an opinion poll taken in a Fuji TV show in June asking the viewers about the pros and cons of the “proposal to raise Japan’s defense budget to 2% of its GNP,” as many as 90% of the respondents agreed to the proposal and 7% said the current level of 1% of the GNP should be maintained, overwhelming the 3% who said it should be reduced.
This gave me the hope that some candidates would possibly appear in the House of Councillors election in July who would raise openly the issue of defense, including nuclear armament. It is because politicians truly willing to take the responsibility for the security of the nation and the people should be bound to reach the conclusion mentioned above. Seeing that the Japanese people have “experienced” the Ukraine war, it was a golden opportunity to awaken the people to the problem. It is politicians’ job to give substance and direction to indefinite “public opinion.” Otherwise, public opinion that has finally risen would eventually lose all its momentum.
Certainly, there were candidates in the election who touched on “the defense budget at 2% of the GNP” but I could not find any candidates who came to grips with the nuclear issue and made all-out appeals. My expectations were betrayed. It is still a taboo for politicians to openly avow Japan’s nuclear armament. The election made me aware anew that the defense issue would not attract votes after all.
● Japanese mentality posing the biggest difficulty in national defense
Nuclear armament of Japan involves numerous difficulties. The biggest point is whether the US would permit Japan’s nuclear armament. While it depends on the nature and policies of the administration in power at the moment it is not easy judging from the historical context up to now.
In the first place, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces are forced to use US-built weapons as basic equipment, which hinders the development of domestically-produced weapons. Accordingly, these armament policies have been designed by the US armed forces with the intention to make the Japanese Self-Defend Forces dysfunctional. The national leader is required to have the political skills for realizing the country’s goals while adeptly getting around any problems. We need the advent of a politician with strong leadership skills capable of handling all these adversities.
These obstacles alone are no easy matter but let’s say that the problems mentioned above have been solved. Even so, I cannot help but think that the final force to obstruct the nuclear armament of Japan will be the Japanese people themselves. Judging from the disposition, nature and thought process of the Japanese people as a group, securing national consensus as to nuclear armament is a very difficult task.
Studying the developments of the Tongzhou Massacre, in which Japanese were cruelly and horrifically killed by Chinese, and the behavior of the Japanese regarding this incident, inevitably makes me aware of the difficulties described above. Let me point out two problems. First, the Japanese are unable by nature to look squarely at cruelty. Secondly, the Japanese tend to leniently drop their grudges and refrain from retaliating, no matter how severely they are made to suffer, rather than burning with the desire for revenge.
● Japanese culture tabooing the disclosure of cruelties
Let me start by discussing the first problem. I would like to make it clear in advance that my discussion is about a group attribute of the Japanese people, it is in their nature to avoid contact with cruelties and place them under a taboo. The Japanese cannot withstand those things. This is probably closely linked to the Japanese culture that shuns impurity. It is in the basis of Shinto. The difference between cruel and non-cruel peoples has sometimes been explained by the difference between meat-eating culture based on cattle-raising and plant-eating culture based on agriculture but whether this opinion is well-founded is unknown. Instead, more directly, there seems to be a stronger relation with the fact that the society taboos involve the perception of cruelties.
To the morning edition of the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun dated November 1, 1937 when the Tongzhou massacre occurred, musician Konoe Hidemaro contributed an article entitled “Taigai Senden Shikan (Personal Comments on External Propaganda).” Konoe Hidemaro was a paternal younger brother of Konoe Fumimaro, the then Prime Minister. Konoe Hidemaro, who lived abroad for a long time and was familiar with the Western European affairs, made an issue of “ineptness of propaganda and news coverage on the Japanese side” and commented as follows:
“The Tongzhou mass murder incident must exactly be the biggest material for making known worldwide how reasonable the fury of all Japanese is. The photographs of the real disastrous scenes need not be imported to mainland Japan. None of our fellow countrymen would probably be able to look straight at them and everybody would look away. However, hiding from foreign countries this violence, which is worth being described as fiendish beyond inhuman, would instead make the sacrifice of the many fellow Japanese victims wasteful.”
“In fact, news films on the Chinese side show piles of corpses of coolies allegedly killed by Japanese troops, a close-up of a dead body with its head cracked open using a Chinese falchion and brain fluid oozing out and so on, and make every effort to make themselves look weak despite the fact that they made defensive preparations that extremely troubled the Imperial Army in North China and Shanghai. In contrast, Japanese propaganda only shows marches and banzai cheers with the Rising Sun flag fluttering animatedly on the top of a castle and it is only natural that China automatically attracts sympathy.”
Accordingly, Konoe Hidemaro states, “we should think that, photographing how each and every person subjected to anguish in Tongzhou was killed from a forensic perspective, for example, is not disrespectful to the deceased as long as it can serve as a salvation from a crisis for the nation at any rate” and called for “countering Chinese propaganda” by “dismissing old ideas.”
I perfectly understand how he felt. When I worked to publish Sasaki Ten’s testimonies as an independent reprinted booklet (“Tsushu Jiken - Mokugekisha no Shogen” published by Jiyusha), I greatly hesitated. I made the firm decision on its publication thinking that, after all, the Japanese would forever be kept away from the knowledge of how dreadful the Chinese society is unless the truth is known, which would cause a serious problem from the viewpoint of national defense. It is not that I have a grotesque taste.
At present, a look around publications in Japan shows that fake photos of the Nanking Incident are being spread unchallenged with impunity, exactly as pointed out by Konoe Hidemaro. Iris Chang’s “The Rape of Nanking” was sold at airport kiosks around the world. In contrast, no collection of testimonies, not to mention atrocious photos, of the Tongzhou Massacre has ever been published. “Shimbun ga Tsutaeta Tsushu Jiken [The Tongzhou Massacre Covered by Newspapers] 1937 - 1945” (Shukousha), which has recently been published, is the very first collection of materials about the incident. In these circumstances, there is no way that the true dreadfulness of the incident can be widely known among the Japanese people. This is a major dilemma.
● Leniency to forgive even if made to suffer
The second problem is the leniency of the Japanese, who will forgive no matter how badly they are made to suffer. What is conspicuous about the aftermath of the Tongzhou Masscare is that Japanese attempted no harm on Chinese, whose fellow countrymen committed such outrageous acts. F. Williams, an American journalist, wrote:
“While this was taking place, and later, some 60,000 Chinese were living
peacefully in the Japanese Empire… (omitted) I have walked through the
Chinatowns of Yokohoma (sic) and other Japanese cities and watched the
Chinese children at play without thought of fear or danger and while in China
their countrymen were mobbing and hunting down Japanese children like themselves. (omitted) The very Chinese soldiers who perpetrated the massacre
of the Japanese innocents at Tungchow were fed by the Japanese troops when captured and under the Sumarai (sic) code which condemns the offense but
forgives the offender they were told to go and kill no more.” (Behind the
News in China)
The fact that not one of the 60,000 Chinese became a target of retaliation by Japanese is miraculous from the perspective of the international standard. Even more surprisingly, in Chinatown in Yokohama, a Japanese vigilante group was organized for protecting Chinese. Cooks in Tokyo who were advised to go home by the Chinese Embassy in Japan found it unwelcome because it was safer in Japan.
Should we be proud of a thing like this as a virtue representing the noble spirituality of the Japanese? My answer is “No.” The reason is that it is extremely risky from the viewpoint of national defense. It makes the other party assume that the Japanese will never strike back no matter what cruel treatment they are given. The Chinese are the type of people who, once they have decided that the other party is weaker, attack to any extent. Therefore, an excessive virtue like this is nothing other than a vice, in the sense that it leads to more Japanese victims. In order to suppress the other party’s aggression, you should be armed with fangs. This is the international standard, which the Japanese must meet by making conscious effort to transform themselves. Otherwise, Japanese nuclear armament will not be achieved.
In May, 2022 a play on the theme of the Tongzhou Massacre with Sasaki Ten as the main character was performed in Tokyo for the first time in history. One woman, who gathered her courage to watch it after hesitating to do so because of her psychological unwillingness to see cruelties, commented as follows: “It is unimaginable that the superb humanity of the Japanese would bring them agony. Where should we turn to find the means to protect the Japanese, a people with a kind heart rarely found in the world? Probably, the only means is nuclear armament as a deterrent.” To know the truth of the Tongzhou Massacre is significant in terms of national defense.
 English translation edition: Tongzhou Massacre: Testimony of an Eyewitness, Fujioka Nobukatsu,Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, January 2020.
International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH)
General situation of Japanese language education
There are currently about 4 million Japanese language learners outside Japan (Japan Foundation 2020). It is an increase of over 30 times in 30 years since 1988. There are 160,000 Japanese language learners in Japan as well, an increase of about three times in 30 years (Agency for Cultural Affairs 2021).
The trend of Japanese language education in Japan has made changes with the change of the times. Until the 1970s, Japanese language learners were limited to only a fraction of foreigners such as researchers on Japan, businessmen and foreign students studying in Japan. However, Japanese language learners have continued to increase and also become diversified, while being influenced by the politics, economy and diplomacy at given times such as Japan’s high economic growth, the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China (1972), the signing of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1981), the 100,000 Foreign Students Plan (1983), the revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (hereinafter “Immigration Control Act”) (1990), the Technical Intern Training Program for Foreigners (1993), the 300,000 Foreign Students Plan (2008), the EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) (2008) and the Specified Skilled Worker system (2019). Nevertheless, Japanese language education, lacking in clear philosophy of itself, has been a history of struggle in the sense of haphazardness, being buffeted by extrinsic factors and completely taken up dealing with problems at hand, and there was no long-term strategy.
Lack of a perspective of a national strategy
Growth in the number of Japanese language learners and in popularity of Japanese language education provide a perfect opportunity to make the Japanese language and culture widespread around the world and increase Japanophiles and Japanologists. However, despite the fact that the number of Japanese language learners has increased, it does not seem that Japan has become better understood or the number of Japanophiles and Japanologists has increased. While the number of Japanese language learners has increased, anti-Japan activities of neighboring countries still persist and misunderstandings of and prejudices against Japan are spreading to cause Japan to be exposed to unreasonable criticisms and malicious slanders. One major cause of the failure to win a correct and deeper understanding of Japan is that Japanese language education has been left to chance without any national strategy.
The Japan Foundation is Japan's only institution dedicated to promoting international cultural exchange. Ever since its establishment in 1972, it has carried out programs to support Japanese language education outside Japan. While the programs were initially intended mainly for developing researchers on Japan, the institution has recently been carrying out support programs to meet local demands of occasions or various reasons behind Japanese language learning (such as acquisition of advanced technologies, technical training and interest in pop culture). What it suggests, however, is a passive, halfhearted attitude of giving assistance to the other countries, which are interested in the Japanese language, according to their current conditions and demands and there is no further strategic perspective.
As the objective and philosophy of Japanese language education of the Association for Japanese Language Education and certain universities and Japanese language schools, phrases such as “for multicultural coexistence,” “for learning together and from each other,” “for mutual understanding and respect” and “for international exchange” leap to the eye. This way of Japanese language education, which may eventually contribute to Japan’s national interest, is too devious and as good as no strategy.
The same applies to the Act on the Promotion of Japanese Language Education promulgated and enforced in 2020. The Basic Philosophy (Article 3) says: “The promotion of Japanese language education must be carried out in a way that ensures to the maximum extent possible the opportunities for foreigners, etc. desiring to receive Japanese language education according to their wish, situation and ability” and “The promotion of Japanese language education must be carried out in a way that deepens foreign countries’ understanding of and interest in Japan through Japanese language education outside Japan to encourage exchanges with foreign countries and that contributes to maintaining and developing friendly relations with foreign countries.” The provisions are acceptable more or less but there is hardly any strategic perspective of positively training Japanophiles and Japanologists who serve Japan’s national interest.
Adverse effects caused by lack of philosophy
As measures against the falling birthrate and aging population and against labor shortage, Japan has brought out one new measure after another from the 1990s to the present, including the revision of the Immigration Control Act, the Technical Intern Training Program for Foreigners, the 300,000 Foreign Students Plan, the EPA and the Specified Skilled Worker system. In reality, however, they function to supply cheap labor that Japanese workers do not perform, which may apparently seem to support Japanese economy but contributes to lowering Japanese wages and should be assessed as making Japanese economy unsound. This is assumed to be due to irresponsible response to economic problems with an absence of philosophy of Japanese language education.
Regarding the issue of education of foreign students and young people, on August 29, 2022, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a conversation with Nagaoka Keiko, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and instructed to review the “300,000 foreign students in Japan” program and formulate a new plan to further increase foreign students. Of the many problems relating to education of foreign students and young people, here are two briefly mentioned as adverse effects caused by lack of philosophy.
1) Issue of education of young people
Second-generation and third-generation Japanese born outside Japan have rapidly increased in number since the 1990s and are often accompanied by their families when coming to Japan. In recent years, taking families along is permitted even for foreign students and in the Specified Skilled Worker system. Children who have reached school age enter Japanese public schools but they are not only unable to understand classes because of lack of Japanese language proficiency but also fail to acquire sufficient ability in the Japanese language as well as their mother tongue. In the end, they often fail to enroll in compulsory schooling or even take to delinquency.
Meanwhile, the excessive burdens placed on teachers at schools that accept them should not be overlooked. They include special lessons for the pupils concerned (such as supplementary Japanese language lessons), teaching material development (addition of kana readings, English translations, summaries in the pupils’ mother tongues, etc.) and special treatment for examinations (addition of kana readings, permission of use of dictionaries, extension of the time, decreasing the number of questions, padding the scores, etc.). In addition, teachers are required to deal with irregular entrance and changing of schools due to the parents’ work. Yet another problem is to what extent special measures for addressing cultural differences should be permitted in view of fairness with Japanese pupils (pierced earrings, school meals, cleaning after school and participation in extracurricular lessons, etc.). In reality, problems are concealed under the find-sounding phrase “diversity provides richness.”
2) Issue of quality of foreign students
In the 100,000 and 300,000 Foreign Students Plans, the numerical targets generate their own momentum to drive universities to secure certain numbers of foreign students even if excessive efforts are required.
This results first in the problem of imbalance of countries of the students’ origin. China accounts for 40% of the countries of foreign students’ origin. As a result, even a risk of secret information leaks has been generated. Despite this, Japanese universities have a sense of crisis low enough to think of human nature as fundamentally good and tend to even avoid viewing foreign students with suspicion. This is another result of lack of strategic perspective in Japanese language education in Japan as a whole.
Secondly, there is a problem of unavoidable acceptance of foreign students with low academic and Japanese language ability. Of foreign students whose original purpose is not studying, some devote themselves to part-time jobs without attending classes and even disappear unnoticed. Among universities, under the pretext of “internationalization of universities,” some increase the number of courses that can be taken in English for foreign students with low Japanese language ability or state that students can get a diploma by using English only even though they provide education for foreign students in Japan.
Perspective of national strategy required for Japanese language education
China’s Confucius Institutes are organizations for Chinese language and culture education. They are said to engage in propaganda campaigns and espionage based on opinions of the Communist Party of China under the guise of education. Recently in Europe, vigilance against Confucius Institutes has increased and the organizations have been closed at one university after another. Having said that, the positive attitude of the Confucius Institutes toward spreading their own language and culture has points to learn from in terms of Japan’s national strategy. In order to train Japanologists with a deep understanding of the history, culture and sense of value of a country called Japan and Japanophiles with love of and respect for Japanese tradition and culture, rather than providing Japanese language education that simply meets the demands of the other countries or Japanese language education only for personal benefits such as obtaining employment, there is a lot to learn from Confucius Institutes.
As an idea, a system should be established of financing various universities in the world from the Japanese budget to open courses such as a Japanese culture course for learning the Japanese language and culture and dispatching teaching staff from universities and professional schools in Japan as required.
For that purpose, it should be necessary in training Japanese language teachers in Japan to have trainees fully understand what it means to become Japanese language teachers, or to give them a sense of mission to provide Japanese language education and become Japanese language teachers for serving Japan’s national interest. In addition, as a minimal level of grounding, knowledge about Japan should be cultivated after breaking away from a masochistic view of history. There is an endless list of what we can boast to the world, such as the world’s longest history ruled over by an unbroken line of Emperors, the achievement of a peaceful and recycle-based society spanning over 10,000 years called the Jomon period, tolerance toward religion, the spirit of harmony and democracy manifested in the Seventeen-Article Constitution, equality as seen in the Manyoshu and the high status of women symbolized by The Tale of Genji, just to name a few. Things like these are what should be acquired as a grounding first by Japanese language teachers themselves and this content should be adopted as the essentials in the curriculum of Japanese language teacher training and education offered by universities and professional schools.
This is only the author’s impression but those trying to be Japanese language teachers are often superior and full of the volunteer spirit and have lofty ideals such as multicultural coexistence and mutual respect. Therefore, if the content of Japanese language education is improved with national strategy, it is not too difficult to disseminate the Japanese language and culture with a sense of mission and increase the number of Japanologists and Japanophiles.
Nonoda Takahiro, Researcher International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH)
This paper presents the battle for the market share in Japan between operating systems (OSs) for personal computers (PCs), which broke out due to technologies of OSs for PCs and the budgeting for educational PCs, the trade friction between Japan and the US that occurred concurrently and the accompanying trends in the Japanese computer industry. Through the course of these events, I’ll discuss the protection and advancement of Japanese technologies.
TRON and MS-DOS
The TRON (The Real-time Operating system Nucleus) Project started in 1984 as a project for developing Japan’s home-grown OSs . The TRON Project produced various results and led to the development of OSs for home appliances control and PCs. Of these, ITRON, a product of the TRON Project, is still in use as an OS architecture for controlling home appliances . The specification of ITRON and its emphasis on stability and instancy are a factor of its adoption. In 1989, the TRON Project released BTRON as an OS architecture for PCs. BTRON provides OSs that use a graphical user interface, which allows operation with a mouse on a graphical screen, as with the current Windows and Mac OS.
Meanwhile, in the US, Microsoft released the first version of MS-DOS in 1981. MS-DOS is an OS that uses a command-line interface, which uses command (character)-based control for PCs. The first version of MS-DOS was developed by purchasing 86-DOS, which was developed and marketed by Seattle Computer Products . In the initial period after the establishment, Microsoft employed a method of purchasing existing products and modifying them to release as their own products.
In 1985, the Ad Hoc Council on Education of Japan formulated the Educational Method Development Special Equipment Grant five-year plan  and, for the first time, earmarked budget for introduction of computers into schools. In 1986, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Education established the Center for Educational Computing (CEC) (currently JAPET & CEC after merger with the Japan Association for Promotion of Educational Technology)  and started discussing BTRON as the standard OS architecture in Japan’s school education in order to standardize OSs for educational PCs of Japan . It was difficult for US companies to enter because the capability of using the Japanese language was required for using PCs in Japan. Against this backdrop, manufacturers with the capability of the Japanese language other than NEC had very small market shares of PCs. PC manufacturers that joined the CEC attempted to acquire the market for educational PCs, which was secured by government expenditure, by manufacturing PCs conforming to the specification formulated for encroaching on NEC’s market share. By September 1987, of the major home appliance manufacturers with a membership of the CEC, 11 companies except NEC supported the adoption of BTRON . For NEC, which had a considerable market share of PCs including educational ones, it was a period of transition from the PC8801 Series to PC 9801. PC-9801 employed Japanese language MS-DOS. For this reason, NEC was reluctant to adopt BTRON but, after negotiations for over a half year, decided to adopt a dual configuration of BTRON and MS-DOS .
Japan-US trade friction
What occurred between Japan and the US coincidentally with the period when the OS specification was beginning to be finalized in Japan was the Japan-US trade friction. Child as I was, I remember a scene aired on the TV where Japanese cars were being smashed.
In the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers released by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in 1989 , TRON was listed in the Other Barriers section  and named as a candidate for sanctions under the amended section 1302 of the Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act (Super 301) . The TRON Association sent a letter of protest to the USTR, claiming that it was a “misunderstanding,” and the USTR cleared up the misunderstanding to exclude TRON from the items subject to Super 301 at that time .
However, NEC took this opportunity to put off the adoption of BTRON. As a result, CEC gave up the idea of standardization by the BTRON specification . Many manufacturers other than NEC had adopted OSs conforming to the BTRON specification but they were no match for NEC, which already had a wealth of data and programs, and ended up withdrawing one after the other. Through the course of these events, for OSs for PCs including educational PCs, the market share of MS-DOS, rather than BTRON, expanded.
Japanese government’s trade and diplomacy succumbed to pressure from overseas
The TRON Project submitted a letter of rebuttal to the USTR . In response, the USTR withdrew the application of Super 301 to TRON. However, to the letter of rebuttal, it gave a response along the lines that “concerning educational PCs in the education market of Japan, it is unfair for the CEC, a Japanese government agency, and not the market itself, to choose the OS to use (thereby virtually keeping out OSs other than BTRON such as MS-DOS)” . The fact that it is specified as an item subject to Super 301, regardless of the comment that the market itself should choose the OS, clearly indicates that a behind-the-scenes framework of protective trade of the US was in place in reality. The TRON Project again expressed its view to the response from the USTR , where neither the Japanese government nor the CEC rebutted again. Re-rebuttal by the government, in particular, seems to have been necessary. As a result, BTRON was brought back onto the list in the 1990 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers . In the background of this is assumed to be the threat that the US felt of the degree of completion of the executed specification of BTRON, not to mention the OSs released. BTRON had technological superiority as compared with MS-DOS but virtually standardized OS, rather than the OS with superiority, would secure the market share. The project explored the technical ideal of computers and did not lend itself to use of the data assets of NEC PCs, which had been accumulated in abundance. BTRON never saw the light of day because, while the OS architecture boasted technological quality high enough to give threat to the US, MS-DOS became widespread as the de facto standard.
From the political aspect, on the other hand, I think that the cause was lack of the governments’ attitude of protecting and developing engineering technology of the industry and academia.
Poor treatment of engineers in Japan is another problem. One typical example is Nakamura Shuji, who is the first in the world to succeed in the development of the blue light-emitting diode, which has digitally enabled white color for the first time . However, Nakamura, who was dissatisfied with his treatment by the company he belonged to at the time of the development  and seeking sufficient research funds, obtained US citizenship and moved out to get US research funding . In addition, emerging nations keeping an eye on the high technological capabilities of Japan are also headhunting Japanese engineers , which has led to deterioration of the technological capabilities of Japan and overtaking by emerging nations.
How support is given to researchers must also be pointed out as a problem. Considering Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, which are part of support for researchers, the amounts of Grants awarded for engineering research are small. While some humanities studies are awarded Grants of a few hundred million yen, Grants on that scale are rarely awarded for engineering studies. The screening system of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science is also assumed to have a problem.
This paper has mentioned the history of OSs in terms of technology and the Japan-US trade friction in terms of politics and discussed how one superior Japanese-made technology deteriorated as a result. It has shown that Japan’s intrinsic technological capabilities are very high but they are not leveraged due to inadequate treatment and support.
After the Great East Asia War, the relationship between Japan and the US seems to be one where Japan particularly tries to avoid displeasing the US and suit the convenience of the US in various ways. Examples include inequality arising from the Japan-US Status-of-Forces Agreement and cases in which Japan implement policies according to what the Annual Reform Recommendations say. In the background is Japan’s dependence on the US for security. In the 1980s, the US made an enemy of Japan in terms of economy in response to Japan’s economic and technological rise and attacked Japan. TRON discussed in this paper is the most conspicuous of the examples. For Japan to be a nation with sovereign independence, change of the mindset of the Japanese people and tenacious negotiations for demanding revision of the Status-of-Forces Agreement are required. For the Annual Reform Recommendations, it is important to show Japan’s decisive intentions in view of Japan’s national interest.
Sometimes specific industries got the raw end of the deal in exchange for political issues, as in the Japan-US Textile Negotiations . The Japanese government is apparently continuing diplomacy that does not use the lesson learned from this experience. We should never let situations occur where the high technological capabilities of Japan flow out to hinder development in Japan. It is necessary to build an environment where technologies are evaluated from a long-term perspective and investments are made in technological development to allow playing in a free market.
One trade issue regarding new computer technologies is the Japan-US Semiconductor Agreement . The second Semiconductor Agreement requires Japan to open up more than 20% of the domestic market share to overseas manufacturers. This caused an increase in the market share in Japan of semiconductors manufactured overseas, leading to the deteriorated production capabilities of Japan. This condition further accelerated and semiconductor production bases moved from Japan to overseas, which does not only pose an issue of outflow of manufacturing technologies but also has led to the present condition where semiconductors can no longer be manufactured in Japan. This impact is now decisive to whether Japan can maintain the design technology for semiconductors used exclusively for the supercomputer field, where Japan currently has an advantage. If technology like this flows out overseas, it is not exaggeration to say that Japanese computer technology has completely deteriorated. To prevent dropping out of the advancement of computer technologies, the Japanese government should give support anew to the development of technologies that provide competitiveness in a free market and improve the ability of diplomatic negotiations.
1. Kurata Keiichi. "Analysis of Success Factors in Standardization of the TRON Project," Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture : Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 2005.
2. TRON Forum. ITRON (online). (Citation date: October 12, 2022)
3. Awano Kunio. What is MS-DOS?, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo: BNN, 1987.
4. Toida Daijiro and Goto Hiroyoshi. The Present Condition of Introduction of Computers into Schools: How Computers Will Change Schools, Teachers and Children. Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute (online). Benesse, 1992. (Citation date: October 31, 2022.) https://berd.benesse.jp/ict/research/detail1.php?id=3315
5. Kurata Keiichi. Study on the De Facto Standard of the TRON Project (online). (Citation date: October 31, 2022.) https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/randi/16/0/16_193/_pdf.
6. TRON Forum. TRON Project 30th Anniversary. Thirty-year history of TRON Project (online). (Citation date: October 28, 2022.) https://30th.tron.org/tp30-06.html.
7. USTR. 1989 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers. 1989.
8. Gen Tadao. Year 1989: Trade Problem Caused by Japanese-Made OS "BTRON." Nikkei XTECH (online) June 15, 2019. (Citation date: October 28, 2022.) https://xtech.nikkei.com/atcl/nxt/column/18/00215/060300034/
9. Trade Act of 1974 (online). (Citation date: October 12, 2022.) http://customs.starfree.jp/Trade%20Act%20of%201974j.pdf
10. TRON Association. Background to Trade Issues (online). (Citation date: October 12, 2022.) https://web.archive.org/web/20100714120633/http://www.assoc.tron.org/jpn/intro/s_301.html
11. Nikkei Computer. 1989.
12. Here's why the blue LED deserves a Nobel Prize. WIRED (online). October 9, 2014. (Citation date: October 31, 2022.) https://wired.jp/2014/10/09/nobel-prize-blue-leds/.
13. Nakamura Shuji. I Won't Lose!: What the Developer of the Blue Light-Emitting Diode Has to Say. Chuo-ku, Tokyo : Asahi Shimbun Publications, 2004.
14. Nobel Prize Laureate Nakamura Shuji Talks about Why He Obtained the US Citizenship.withnews (online). October 18, 2014 (Citation date: October 31, 2022.) https://withnews.jp/article/f0141018000qq000000000000000G0010401qq000010997A
15. Takahashi Fumitada and Saeki Shinya. Asking Three Japanese Engineers Why They Switched to Korean Companies. Nikkei Electronics (online) November 16, 2012. (Citation date: Octiber 31, 2022.) https://xtech.nikkei.com/dm/article/FEATURE/20121105/249381/
16. Ojimi Yoshihisa, Shiraishi Takashi and Mitsuhashi Tadahiro. Japan-US Textile Negotiations and Vision of the 1970s. Place of publication unknown: MITI Journal, December 1993. 17. Higashi Soichiro. Empirical Research on Capital Investment of Semiconductor Companies: Impact of the Japan-US Semiconductor Agreement. Nishinoiya City, Hyogo Prefecture: Kwansei Gakuin University Shogaku Kenkyu, 2015.
委員会から日本政府に事前に出された質問事項（CCPR/C/JPN/QPR/7）では慰安婦問題を「第二次世界大戦中の日本軍による性奴隷（「慰安婦」）の問題」（原文：the issue of sexual slavery (“comfort women”) perpetrated by the Japanese military during the Second World War）と記していました。対日審査会では、イゲズ委員はこの問題は議論のあるセンシティブな問題なので適切な用語として、と前置きして「第二次世界大戦中に日本軍によって人権侵害された被害者と申したてられている慰安婦」（発言原文：comfort women who are allegedly have been victims of human rights violations perpetrated by the military during WW2）と表現し、発言中は「性奴隷」（sexual slavery）という言葉は使いませんでした。アフリカの男性委員が慰安婦問題について詳しいとは思えませんが、論争になっている複雑な問題であることは認識していたようです。
A1; According to the principle of the democracy, the opinions and the will of the majority should be respected and reflected in the policy. Of course, the rights of the minorities should be respected, even the minorities should obey the rules and the order of the democratic society. We should not allow the illegal violence for the reason that the riots are belonging to the minorities.
In Seattle, the United States, the violence caused by the BLM members in 2020. The riots of the BLM members assaulted the shops owned by the inhabitants belonging to the majority. Even the African American people’s shops were assaulted.
We should respect the human rights of the people in the world including the minorities in the PRC and Myanmar. In those countries, the clear violations of the human rights are conducted under the dictatorship or the authoritarian government. However, we should not allow the illegal violence of the minorities in the democratic society. We should respect the human rights of all people in all countries.
In some cases, the dominant power belongs to the minorities who would not hesitate use the illegal violence under the name of the protection of the minorities. We should not allow such illegal violence conducted by any groups. The protection of the minority’s right should be realized in the legal and peaceful ways.
A2: I’d like to make some additional comments on the hate crimes.
The hate crimes against minorities are too severely restricted in Japan, the majority of the ordinary Japanese people in some cases cannot declare their legal requirements and the historical facts for the protection of their rights and honor.
For examples, concerning the so-called comfort women issue, there are not any historical facts verifying the coercion of the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. Currently some Japanese students living in foreign countries, are sometimes blamed by such a fault history. The legitimate opposing opinions should be allowed in every country and every society including the issues concerning the so-called comfort women issue.
We appreciated tireless works of committee members and thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak today.
Japan has a unique culture and customs in its over 2600-year history that are difficult to be understood outside of Japan. One is "to resolve disputes through discussion before conflicts occur," and even if one is not at fault, apologies are often made in order to keep the situation calm. In Japan, there is a saying that encourages this: "The boughs that bear most hang lowest." This means, "the more noble, the more humble.” The Japanese government has failed many times in the past by applying this Japanese approach in diplomacy.
One of the historical issues still smoldering between Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK) is the comfort women issue. The Japanese government conducted a full-scale investigation, but didn’t find any evidence to show forcible mobilization either by the Japanese government or military. Furthermore, in 1944, at the end of World War II, U.S. military interrogation reports of comfort women from the Korean Peninsula, stated that those women were "well-paid prostitutes," and "They enjoyed shopping and activities freely."
After Korea ended using Chinese characters in 1970, many of them no longer can read historical publications. Further, the Korean Government has been conducting anti-Japanese education, and in 1995, they even blew up a magnificent building built during the Japanese annexation period. To this day, the government blows up its own negative history to erase it, and if it cannot blow it up, they revise history in their text books.
In 1993, in order to end this fabrication based on ROK’s historical revisionism, a Japanese cabinet secretary issued a statement called the "Kono Statement" as the ROK government demanded. In exchange, the ROK government promised that they would not demand any further compensation. However, their demands still continue. This has caused the relationship to remain cold.
Similarly, ROK’s revisionism has also led Korean people to demand compensation from Japanese companies for wartime workers whom they claim were "forced to work as slaves." The ROK government and private organizations have misused the United Nations to keep pressure on the Japanese government.
As a result, the reputation of the Japanese people has been severely damaged and humiliated in various countries. We hope that the Japanese government will quickly withdraw this Kono Statement, disclose the facts to the world, and work to restore the dignity of the Japanese people.
In 1965, Japan and ROK signed the "Basic Treaty between Japan and Korea," to restore diplomatic relations. In this treaty, Japan provided Korea an aid package to "completely and finally settled" the dispute, with neither side making any claim for what happened before that time.
We would like CCPR to recommend the following three points to the Japanese government:
1. Withdraw the Kono Statement.
2. The Japanese government should strongly urge the Korean government to implement the Basic Treaty between Japan and Korea.
The first one, in relation to article 12, is “Missing Japanese Probably Related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea”
As you might know, the Japanese government has been officially identified 17 Japanese citizens as “abductees by DPRK.”
But these cases are just only “the tip of the huge iceberg”.
This is an NGO report submitted by “the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea”
There is a list of Japanese Abductees and Missing Persons.
You find 540 (five hundred and forty) names.
Moreover, the National Police Agency has its own list of approximately 900 (nine hundred) missing persons possibly abducted by DPRK.
We assume there could be more cases because of absence of family members.
Why have such terrible human rights violations been left unsolved for decades?
Families have been waiting for them to come home.
However, as families get older, their time is very limited.
The Japanese government must rescue all the victims immediately.
And we sincerely request CCPR to discuss this gravest human rights violation during the dialogue with the Japanese government.
Secondly, I would like to speak “comfort women issue.”
The Articles 7 and 8 are not pertinent to the Comfort Women.
We request that the committee must dismiss the issue in accordance with Article 15.
Claims regarding the Comfort Women have critical flaws in the logic.
The reasons are;
(1) There has been no documentary evidence to corroborate abduction of the women;
(2) The statements made by the Comfort Women that they put some earnings in postal savings, mailed home some money, enjoyed watching movies in town, decorated themselves with jewels etc. do not make sense if they were sexual slaves;
(3) No third parties have yet presented sufficient and competent evidential matters as to the assertions of the self-proclaimed comfort women;
(4) Because the licensed prostitution was in place in Japan before and during the war, and until early 1950s, the licensed prostitution has nothing to do with war crimes.
Speaking of the history, during Japan's Annexation, the Korean peninsula saw remnants of governance flaw of the former empire.
Impoverished members of society were exploited by human trafficking.
Human trafficking was punishable during the Annexation years.
And victims of human trafficking were irrelevant to the Comfort Women who signed the employment agreements with registered business operators.
A firm perception of history must factor in the background of the times.
There is no objective rationality to extend the act of misconduct, if at all, of those times to the present.
International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH)
November , 2022
1. Ukraine war: a war between globalism and nationalism?
As Fujiwara Masahiko says in his book Nihonjin no Shinka (True Value of the Japanese) (Bunshun Shinsho 2020) that “it is hard to believe that aggression as blatant as the Russian invasion of Ukraine takes place in the 21st century Europe,” many are surprised at how history has gone backwards by one century, so to speak.
However, some seem to support the view that this is a war of nationalism against globalism. Apparently, they see it as a confrontation of the Russian nationalism against American globalism led by the DS (deep state) but this raises a question of where Ukraine, the leading player, comes in. Do they mean that Ukraine is a voice of globalism supported by the US?
It is an outrageous idea to make light of the Ukrainians. Are they saying that Ukraine, fighting bravely and squarely against an all-out attack from Russia, which boasts overwhelming military power, are fighting for the US? I feel inclined to wonder if they are thinking of the Ukrainians as fools committing their lives to the US. Certainly, it is thanks to the enormous arms support from the US and other countries of the Western bloc that they have been able to repulse the main forces of the 200,000 Russian troops, protect the capital Kyiv, strike a blow at the Russian troops in the eastern and southern regions and recover lost territory. Who expected a wretched debacle of the Russian tank force of over 1,000 vehicles? No matter how much military aid is offered, fighting such fierce battles would be absolutely impossible without the determination to fight of the people who love and commit their lives to their country. Look at Afghanistan. They got themselves into such a mess despite the US troops that had joined them in addition to the arms support.
If the present war is a heroic war of nationalist Ukraine, what about Russia? Russia expressed as pretexts for invasion of Ukraine what can never suffice as reasons for all-out invasion, such as the “threat of neo-Nazism” and the issue of accession to the NATO but the true reason is Great Russianism: It is an all-out invasion aimed at the realization of Great Russia.
On February 26, in the initial period after the start of the war, RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency, said in an article under the title of “The advent of Russian new world”:
“Russia is restoring its historical fullness, bringing together the Russian world and the Russian people, namely the Great Russians (Russia), White Russians (Belarus) and Little Russians (Ukraine). If we had abandoned this and allowed the temporary division to take hold, we would not only betray the memory of our ancestors, but would also be cursed by our descendants for allowing the disintegration of the Russian land.”
It means that the Russian nationalist sense of mission was at the root of the invasion of Ukraine. However, this nationalism totally ignores the sovereignty of Little Russia, which is a sovereign country, and the will of the Ukrainians and one-sidedly forces Russia’s own nationalism. They do not hesitate to use armed force for that purpose. It is an extremely malicious and dangerous idea.
The “globalism” called the Great Russianism has now begun to claim that Russia has a right of possession even of Japan’s Hokkaido on the grounds of the Ainu issue (Deputy of the State Duma has stated openly that “Russia has all rights to Hokkaido.” The Sankei Shimbun June 11, 2020)
As Yoram Hazony discusses in his book The Virtue of Nationalism (Japanese version translated by Nakano Takeshi and Se Teruhisa, Toyo Keizai 2021), Nazism was not confined to nationalism but “transformed into globalism that takes on the nature of imperialism and forces own principles and culture on other countries.”
Just like this, the Great Russianism should be regarded as globalism clothed in nationalism. That is, the present war is more accurately a war of the Great Russianist globalism, rather than Russian nationalism, versus Ukrainian nationalism.
2. Threat of neo-Nazism: a complete lie
As a reason for starting a war, Russia put the main emphasis on the threat of neo-Nazism such as the Azov Regiment confronting the pro-Russian faction in Ukraine.
From 1932 to 1933 in the Soviet Union era, Ukraine was hit by a great famine. It was a tragic incident that caused starvation of 3.3 or even more millions of people but it was due more to the Communist Party’s self-justified authoritarianism than to the weather, as it was depicted in the famous movie Mr. Jones. This inevitably raised strong anti-Soviet emotions among Ukrainian nationalists and Ukrainian people. Therefore, when the German troops made inroads into Ukraine, many Ukrainians cooperated with the German troops. Against this backdrop, it should be natural that people like the Azov Regiment came into existence. In the present Ukraine, however, neither are the Azov Regiment’s illegal attacks against Russian residents officially approved nor are anti-Russian revanchist policies taken by the Ukrainian government. On the contrary, Russia has sent the Wagner Group’s unit of 8,000 mercenaries to the eastern part of Ukraine since 2014. Russia has long been engaged in acts of aggression. They are absolutely unqualified to mention neo-Nazism. Needless to add, it can never be a pretext for all-out invasion of Ukraine.
As another reason for starting the war, Russia mentions the threat of NATO. They claim that Ukraine’s refusal to give up joining NATO is a threat to Russia.
NATO has expanded and is still expanding. However, NATO has never waged war of aggression against any sovereign nation. The expansion of NATO is an increase of member states for avoiding the threat of an aggressive big power called Russia and not one country intends to join NATO to invade Russia. In response to Russia’s current act of violence reminiscent of the 20th century, Sweden and Finland, which traditionally took a neutrality policy, officially applied for the accession to NATO. This means that the reason for starting the war mentioned by Russia has produced a reverse effect.
That is, the reason for starting the war associated with neo-Nazism or with NATO can never be sufficient for providing justification for Russia’s one-sided all-out invasion.
3. Incorrect allegation over historical perception that the Pearl Harbor attack has something in common with Russia’s all-out invasion
President Zelenskyy of Ukraine spoke along the following lines in his online speech made to the US Congress on March 16:
Remember Pearl Harbor, the terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you.
This is an absurd, incorrect perception. Very regrettably, however, a view that the Pearl Harbor attack is Japan’s one-sided act of aggression is mostly shared around the world in reality. Having said that, the “aggressor Japan” view is a total “fallacy,” as discussed by Henry Stokes, former Tokyo bureau chief for The New York Times, in his book Fallacies in the Allied Nations' Historical Perception as Observed by a British Journalist (Hamilton Books, New York, 2017).
What should be confirmed first is the fact that Russia, whose existence was not in a critical situation, waged total aggression against Ukraine, a minor power, resulting in the present Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, they are outrageous enough to declare a nuclear threat.
It is true that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a preemptive strike, but the situation was totally different from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Japan was faced with a genuine life-or-death crisis for the nation.
In July 1939, the US one-sidedly announced its abrogation of the US-Japan Treaty of Commerce and Navigation. It was “all the more serious because the denouncing of a commercial treaty for political reasons is almost unheard of in American diplomatic history,” as an article in the July 28, 1939, edition of The Manchester Guardian stated, and virtually a quasi-declaration of war. It gave the US the power to begin restricting exports to Japan six months later and the US started to restrict the export of scrap iron, alloys, refined steel, steel products, machines, etc., which at last led to the total embargo of oil in August 1941. Japan, whose oil supplies depended 90% on import, lost its sources of oil and was driven to the critical point of survival as a modern state because the Netherlands followed in the footsteps of the US to restrict exports. The situation was just the opposite of how Russia is conversely making use of oil as a strategic material to the West and using its export as a threat.
An economic blockade is warfare, as US Secretary of State Kellogg said on December 8, 1928, in the hearing for the ratification of the Pact of Paris proposed by himself, when he stated that an economic blockade is “An act of war, absolutely!” responding to a question from a senator. That is, the one that first committed an act of war called an economic blockade against Japan was none other than the US.
In addition, the US formulated an operation plan (JB355) to bomb the mainland Japan using long-range bombers, which was signed for approval by President Roosevelt on July 23, 1941. (The signed document has been published in the US National Archives.) It was four and a half months before the Pearl Harbor attack.
The Japanese government had been continuously negotiating to avoid conflict with the US but the Hull note, which was virtually an ultimatum to it, was submitted on November 26. Its content brought the results of negotiations up to then to almost nothing. Hamilton Fish, the Republican leader who approved of the declaration of war, made severe criticism after the war that none of the congress members was informed of the Hull note and said that it was wrong of himself to ask for the declaration without the knowledge of it.
While the US was already engaged in a virtual act of war by the economic blockade, Japan was seeking an avenue to reconciliation. For Japan, the loss of the possibility of reconciliation meant that there was no other way left but to take measures for self-defense. Japan had the right to use self-defense measures. Then, it decided to use self-defense measures, which was the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not a response to a threat to their existence or use of the right of self-defense. President Zelenskyy and other people around the world should know that there is nothing similar about it to the Pearl Harbor attack. Very regrettably, the reality is that the view on the Pearl Harbor attack as Japan’s one-sided act of aggression is still mostly shared around the world. It is a perception that must be corrected.
TRON（The Real-time Operating system Nucleus）プロジェクトは国産OSの開発プロジェクトとして1984年にスタートした 。TRONプロジェクトは様々な成果を挙げ、家電の制御やPC向けのOSを開発した。このうち家電を制御する基本ソフトウェアとして現在もTRONプロジェクトの成果物であるITRONが使われている 。ITRONの仕様や安定性、即時性を追求したOSであることが採用される要因にある。1989年TRONプロジェクトはPC向けのOSとしてBTRONをリリースした。BTRONは現在のWindowsやMacOSのようにグラフィック画面からマウスを用いて操作するグラフィックユーザーインターフェース（Graphic User Interface）のOSである。
一方米国ではマイクロソフトが1981年に初版のMS-DOSを発売した。MS-DOSはコマンド（文字）ベースでPCを制御するキャラクターユーザーインターフェース（Character User Interface）のOSである。MS-DOSはシアトル・コンピュータ・プロダクツが開発し、販売した86-DOSを買収して最初のバージョンが開発された 。マイクロソフトは設立当初は既存の製品を買収し、手を加えて、自社製品として発売する手法を採っていた。