Monday, February 01, 2010

Can Microfinance make it in America?

Below is my comment on the article of“Can Microfinance Make It in America?”, page 24-25, TIME Asia issued on January 18, 2010

Your article on the Grameen bank in the U.S. gave me a fresh surprise of the unique relationship between a lender born in Bangladesh, the world’ poorest country and borrowers in the U.S., the world’s richest country. If Grameen’s way of microfinance prevails in the U.S., I feel a foreboding that the new era would come soon when more and more developing countries help the developed ones by their cooperative spirits and minds. Yes, money isn’t everything.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Lessons of Flight 253

Below is my comment on the article of “The Lessons of Flight 253”, page 16-20, TIME issued on January 11,2010.

100111TIMECoverThe start of A Happy New Year became an ominous and uneasy one not only for American passengers but also for others of different nationalities because of only one young bomber on Flight 253. This kind of terrorist attempt reminds me of proliferating cancer cells in a human body. How strong our immune cells become, we can’t prevent those cancer cells from proliferating further permanently because they are also parts of our body, even if they are considered to be evil.

As for eliminating terrorists from international flights, more advanced airport technology could help a lot. However, as long as any ordinary person could become a terrorist someday like a cancer cell, there is and will be no panacea for perfect safety.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mr.World ; Kevin Rudd

Below is my comment on the article of "Mr.World" by Hanna
Beach/Cockburn, TIME dated on July 13, 2009.

For me like many other Japanese, before I read your article, Kevin Rudd was imaged as just a stiff and locally biased politician simply because he has been criticizing Japan for its continued whale killing even for the research purposes which have been approved in a world community.
But my image of this Australia’s top leader is totally changed now. He has a say not only about Japan’s whale killing but China’s human right abuses in Tibet and other politically controversial matters between
Australia and such big trading partners as the U.S., India and other
Asian nations.

In a sense, he resembles U.S. President Barrack Obama because of his minority character as Aborigines, his seriousness to tackle controversial issues as statesman and his passion to change the status quo of his country and the world. From now, I want to support him as a new leader for Asia and the world.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Below is my comment on the article of "The Man Who Wants To Save Japan", TIME dated on March 12, 2009.

Many Japanese people including myself do not expect Ichiro Ozawa to become the leader who could get us excited with smart speeches and hopeful but firm policies like President Obama, nor to become another Ichiro as a national hero in the baseball world for his Samurai-like disciplined style and superb skill. However, we recognize him as the temporary but only powerful political figure to change the beleaguered Japanese systems that have been piled up since the end of World War II by the powerful bureaucracy. In this sense, it seems clear to me that he is the alternative next Prime Minister to whomever from the old LDP. Escaping from a deepening recession is another matter.

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Comment on "A Great Divide" published on TIME

Below is my comment on the article of "A Great Divide", Page 22 to 27, TIME magazine dated on February 16, 2009 and was published in "Inbox" of TIME Asia dated on March 9,2009.

Walls Will Tear Us Apart
It is sad to know that India's building of a fence along its many miles of border with Bangladesh is the only solution to prevent migrants and terrorists from Bangladesh infiltrating India [Feb. 16]. I can understand that there may be economic disparities and security threats. However, before enclosing Bangladesh with a fence, India's government should place the top priority on helping its neighbor stand on its own feet by boosting Dhaka's economy and shining the way for its poorer, smaller neighbor. After all, India is one of the new superpowers of Asia. It should start acting the part.
Tadashi Kawabe,
Fukuoka, Japan

The above comment can be read on Web version of TIME dated on February 26, 2009. Please click the below URL for your reference.,9171,1881882,00.html

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Great Divide between India and Bangladesh

Below is my comment on the article of "A Great Divide", Page 22 to 27, TIME magazine dated on February 16, 2009.

It is sad to know that building a fence along the vast miles of borders with Bangladesh on the part of the Indian government is the only solution to stop flooding immigrants and terrorists from Bangladesh to India

I can understand that there may be differences of religion, economic disparities and perception gap of terrorist threats between the two countries as you pointed out in your article. However, before completing a long fence surrounding Bangladesh as the mere solution, Indian government should place the top priority on helping her neighbor stand its own feet economically by boosting her own economy and accepting more immigrants as one of the newly emerged economic superpowers in Asia.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Improbable Paradise --- Seashores in Cambodia

Below is my comment on the article "Improbable Paradise" of TIME dated on June 9, 2008, posted to TIME magazine on June 10, 2008.

カンボジアYour report on the rapid developments of many remote and once unknown beaches in Cambodia reminds me of the happy and curious moment when I found out some fascinating sightseeing spots on the Google Earth. As the globalization accelerates all across the planet, many foreign investors are now rushing to such intriguing but untouched areas as the seashores in Cambodia to earn a huge sum of money by making them the world-class resorts. First they start only curiosity like myself on the web, and then money and greed dominate their minds.

カンボジアのケプビーチIn the early stages, Cambodia people could benefit a lot from those economic developments led by the foreign capital, but later they would be sorry for the massive destruction of the natural environments around those areas caused by the greedy logic of capitalism, unless strong monitoring on those development projects are enacted by the government or the world class organizations to support the local people who live their lives there. Local people should have a stake in local developments, not foreigners. The trade off between economic development and natural environment are becoming the big issue everywhere on earth. Cambodia is not the exception.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Japanese Way - "Mottainai" spirit

Below is my comment on the article of “The Japanese Way”, TIME dated on April 28, 2008.

もったいないの思想Is it true that Japan still have a mentality of “Mottainai” as your article praised us? Yes, actually many world-class Japanese manufacturing companies keep it as their corporate ethic for survival to satisfy egoistic Japanese consumers who want the most advanced and energy-efficient gadgets in the world by providing them with incessant innovative approaches and less resource. However, with American consumerism deep in people’s minds and behaviors, I must admit that many Japanese consumers have been spoiled by such excellent companies for a long time and as a result of it, they forget about “Mottainai” spirit.

In order to seriously win the fight against climate change, Japanese consumers must regain their own sense of humility and try hard to prevail “Mottainai” spirit not only to wasteful Americans but also to the people all over the world.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

U.S.pilots and Aviation Safety

Below is my comment on the article of “International Departures”, TIME dated on April 21, 2008.

Mobilization of U.S.airline pilots from domestic carriers to overseas is one of the unexpected results from globalization. It is also similar to the Japanese star baseball players leaving Japan for the Major leagues in the U.S. seeking for much higher pay. In a global economy, money speaks everywhere and with good reason.

The trouble is that if the outflow of experienced pilots from the U.S. should be a major trend, many American passengers may have some uneasiness about the safety of domestic flights. To get rid of their anxieties, U.S. airlines as well as the aviation authorities should try hard to recover the social and mental status of domestic pilots by raising their salaries and reducing their stress and fatigue caused by overwork. Otherwise, U.S.carriers would become the least safe vehicles in the world.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Furious Hunger

Below is my comment on the article of "A Furious Hunger", TIME dated on March 31, 2008.

怒りの空腹After reading your article of “A Furious Hunger”, I felt that something extraordinary bad is happening and there seems little way out to solve it. Because the major causes of rocketing food prices are awfully interrelated with each other such as the climate change, population explosion, the sharp rise of oil prices, the boom of biofuels straining food supplies and so on. In addition, there seems to be a desperately growing gap between the fury by the hungry poor in some countries and the total indifference to them by the rich filled with abundant food at home. Unless the rich have the common feeling of “clear and present danger” on food with the poor and take some bold actions to fill the gap, they should know that the food shortage would soon retaliate against them. I am not the exception, living in the country of repletion, Japan.

Friday, March 07, 2008

China's Short March

Below is my comment on the article of 「China's Short March」 , TIME dated on February 25, 2008.

After looking at the photos of your article, I was appalled to know that the impact of China’s Short March seems to be enormously bigger than any suburbanizations that had happened in many advanced economies, especially Japan and the United States for the last several decades.

If this kind of rapid suburbanization spreads all across China, more and more people in the middle and upper class will commute by their own cars between homes and offices, use air conditioning at home and water for gardening with emitting vast amount of carbon dioxide and to shortening the water supply, resulting to accelerate global warming in the near future.

However, we, as the citizens of the advanced economies, can’t blame them simply for high carbon emissions since we have done the same kind of behaviors in the past. Instead, we should give them some advice, technical and financial support to prevent them from going to catastrophe together with us.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Take the Money and Run from London

Below is my comment on the article of "Take the Money and Run", TIME dated on February 18, 2008.

ロンドンから逃避するマネーと金持ちThe decision of the British Treasury to get tough on tax breaks is not crazy, but smart and balanced. Because they are sure that money and foreigners are not the only resources to bring prosperity and development to London as well as England where a mix of dignified tradition and forward-looking openness to the rest of the world with advanced democracy has been fascinating big cash and celebrity from the parvenu Russia, the Gulf states and Asia recently. So they balanced the people of England with those from abroad, reacting to the criticism on tax breaks for foreigners from inside the country.

In fact, the other major tax havens as Switzerland, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Singapore and Hong Kong have been attracting more overseas big money than London with the direct tax break incentives such as the secrecy of privacy in Switzerland rather than with the various charms of the country by itself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Tale of Three Cities

Below is my comment on the article of A Tale of Three CitiesTIME dated on January 28, 2008.

080128TIMECoverAs your article pointed out clearly, the lifespan of cities and towns seems to vary with a certain degree of cycles as that of human beings does. New York, London and Hong Kong came back to life as a unique combined city of Nylongkong after the long debacles of social disorder, bubble burst or bankrupts. The resurgence of those three cities symbolizes the recent tidal wave of globalization in every corner of the earth and the power of greed by the people living and working there to mobilize the big money.

Where money speaks, people gather and prosper with greed. However, no one knows if we are in the right direction. I do hope they may not lose morale when money goes out and global warming comes close.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Good Urban Greenery Example at Fukuoka City!!

Below is my comment on the article of “Need to Weed Your Roof?”,TIME
dated on Jan. 14, 2008.
アクロス福岡アクロス福岡アクロス福岡アクロス福岡How encouraging to see the green covered urban roofs of the four
photographs in your article! Especially when I found out that one of
them was the famous green stepped office building completed in 1995 in
the center of our home town Fukuoka, I almost jumped for joy.

It now seems that the tidal wave of global warming almost swallowed the
urban-heat-island effect caused by the increasing number of
heat-absorbing asphalts and buildings in such big cities as Chicago, New
York City and Tokyo. The efforts to change the concrete jungle into the
urban greenery from every roof of the buildings seem to be a small step
only to reduce the urban-heat-island effect. However, with the increase
of green roofs here and there, I am sure that it will lead to change our
uneasy minds positively into the courage to overcome global warming.