History

History helps to build the World of Tomorrow

三つの国の国境にて

突然、義弟が再婚するという知らせがあった。彼は、やんちゃでプレイボーイなので、来夏の結婚まで持つかは分からない。いや、彼は本気か? <神妙にお縄を受けて共暮らし> (時実新子)。「とにかく婚約はメデタイ。楽しもう」と、彼らの住むベルギーにむかった。

彼らの新居は、オランダ・ドイツ・ベルギーの三つの国境が集まった、三国点の近くにある。普段、欧州の国境を、県境のように行き来しているにもかかわらず。かつてヨーロッパや世界を制覇しようとした三つの大国が合体する一点を見ながら、それぞれの国境をひと足でとび越えながら、なぜか言いようのない興奮と感動をおぼえた。

おそらくヨーロッパ人にとって、三国点は私が子どもの頃に三国岳に登った体験と似通っているのかもしれない。

だが、島国で生まれた私には、三国点はものすごく新鮮だった。「日本もこんな地続きの国境があったら、もっと外交に長けていただろうに」と、ふと義妹となる人につぶやいたら、「ウイ(そうね)」と即答が返ってきた。

。。。下につづく

Peaceful solution to the disputed Diaoyu-Senkaku islands

Yesterday I (Japanese woman) went to two Chinese grocery stores in Luxembourg to buy a bag of Japanese rice from California, Korean seasoned seaweed, imperial-dragon gyoza wrappers, and Taiwan highland (gao shan) oolong tea.

In Mexico and Spain, people mistook me as a local resident and asked me directions in Spanish. Similarly, Chinese and Korean people often talk to me in their languages. Happily, I try to make conversation with them, using some words which I have learned from Chinese, Taiwan, and Korean friends over the years (i.e., hello, 1, 2, 3,..., delicious, so-so, it doesn't matter, thank you, see you, I love you, etc).

Maybe, it was just a figment of my imagination, but yesterday one of the Chinese owners was slightly distant, not as cheerful as usual. Though, later I realized that she put two extra oranges in my plastic bag for free. Then, I thought of the ongoing dispute over the islands among countries.

Today I was reading two articles by Gavan McCormack who presents background information about the territorial disputes (The first article is translated into 中文, 한국어, and 日本語): "Small Islands – Big Problem: Senkaku/Diaoyu and the Weight of History and Geography in China-Japan Relations".

Nuclear Disarmament and the Capability Approach

I have been writing a paper entitled "Amartya Sen's Capability Approach, Democratic Governance and Japan's Fukushima Disaster." So, I think of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima everyday: three man-made disasters. Here are notes from (about) three people on Hiroshima/Fukushima.

John Rawls (whose work has heavily influenced the philosophy of the capability approach):

50 Years After Hiroshima.
"The fiftieth year since the bombing of Hiroshima is a time to reflect about what one should think of it. Is it really a great wrong, as many now think, and many also thought then, or is it perhaps justified after all? I believe that both the fire-bombing of Japanese cities beginning in the spring of 1945 and the later atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6 were very great wrongs, and rightly seen as such. In order to support this opinion, I set out what I think to be the principles governing the conduct of war—jus in bello—of democratic peoples. These peoples' have different ends of war than nondemocratic, especially totalitarian, states, such as Germany and Japan, which sought the domination and exploitation of subjected peoples, and in Germany's case, their enslavement if not extermination" (Dissent Magazine, Summer 1995).

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