Monday, November 6, 2017

Ignorance Abroad: Trump Visits Japan

In a week that earlier saw Donald Trump make a historically ignorant complaint of how a nation of "Samurai Warriors" could allow missiles not to be shot down, our American Embarrassment arrived in Japan. We presume that no one has bothered to tell him that there has been no Samurai since the end of the Boshin War of 1869 or that PM Shinzo Abe is not the Shogun. None of this of course would make any difference to this man as he would just move on with his lack of finesse or patience for Japanese traditions of subtleties. In his typically reckless tough talk, he had earlier warned the People's Republic of China about the potential big problem they would have with "Warrior Japan" if they didn't reign in North Korea. Granted Japan has a small capable Self Defense Force, it is nowhere the size of the military of Imperial Japan or that of present day China. Such tough talk drenched in ignorance could only be topped off with his own crassness by his disrespect before the Heisei Emperor who he would not bow to but rather shake his hand like he was at some board meeting to dumping an entire box of fish food in a koi pond. How Shinzo Abe puts up with this man is beyond me. It's our hope Japan does not judge America by this crude vulgar man whose regime is under criminal investigation by Special Prosecuter Robert Mueller. It's been suggested that Abe may be taking advantage of Trump's ignorance to quietly "unshackle" Japan's post war military restrictions. It's difficult to say given how they photograph playing golf and later reported foregoing traditional Japanese fare for cheesey American hamburgers. What he will do to embarass us in next in his 12 day Asia tour remains to be seen. We at home will continue to cringe with every headline.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A New Arrival for American Mishima

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our 2nd child and first son of American Mishima author Louis Edward Rosas and wife Tina Rosas. Named in honor of his grandfather Luis who had served in Vietnam, he came into this world earlier this month weighing 7lbs 9 oz. We hope that he will grow big and strong and live up to the memory of his namesake to carry on the family name with honor. Sure, its a lot to ask of a little boy, but if we do our job right, he will have a great destiny ahead of him. Our little family could not be happier!
Welcome Luis-Makoto!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Japan Shops Heavy Lift C-2 Cargo Plane Overseas

Japanese Media reported that the JASDF is sending it's own C-2 Heavy Lift Cargo Plane to other countries to entice buyers for the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Tactical Air Lift contender. Japan had a ban on such sales that was lifted by the Abe government in 2014. They are sending this plane to an air show in Dubai and later to New Zealand. Such a sale would be Japan's first overseas arms contract in recent memory. The C-2 Airlifter has a crew of three including two pilots and one loadmaster. She boats a range of 9,800 km (5,300 nm) and a ceiling of 40,000 feet. While smaller than the C-17 Globemaster, she can still carry a Patriot (SAM) Missile Battery or a Mitsubishi H-60 Helicopter at a longer range than the older C-1. The plane is currently operated by the Japanese Air Defense Force.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Nagato's Flag Returned to Japan

After 72 years since the end of World War Two, the flag that once flew on the flagship of the Combined Fleet the IJN Nagato has been retruned home to Japan. This was once the flag of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto that was taken from the ship after Japan's unconditional surrender in 1945. The Nagato itself was later used as part of the fleet of ships at Bikini Atol after the war. The once proud ship was built so tough, it withstood two atomic bomb blasts before having to be sunk by torpeedo as seen in the photo below. 

Going back to Nagato's ensign, the flag had been in storage and was presented by the president and chief executive officer of the USS Missouri Memorial Association in Hawaii Machael Carr to the musuem dedicated to Admiral Yamamoto in his home city of Nagaoka Japan. NHK reported that the musuem cheif Satoshi Maruyama was moved by touching the flag. We at American Mishima appreciate this gesture of good will on the part of the USS Missouri Memorial Association. It is in our opinion, this is another long overdue another jesture of peace and closure to the Showa Era. May her spirit and the memory of the Nagato that carried her live on!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Hard Look at Ken Burns Vietnam

Those who had fought in Vietnam recalled the Thousand Yard Stare of the traumatised soldier as he returned from the field of battle carrying the emotional scars of those lost deep within him. While this author will never know this experience first hand, I can suffice to say that in the three episodes I have viewed thus far have left me emotionally spent. This has been a hard thing to watch every hurtful morsel of truth that has come out. I'm sickened, saddened, even mortified, and just plain shocked that this happened. Worse, knowing fully that those at the highest levels of the American government including LBJ knew this was a disaster before he made his famous speech of July 1965 that sent my late father to Vietnam to fight a war that was already lost. Had the US Marines and Air Mobile Division not arrived in 1965, Saigon would have fell to the North by early 1966. All good intentions aside, the American Government knew as early as 1963 particularly after the coup & assassinations of Diem and Nhu that further American involvement would only delay the inevitable. But those above them kept this from the public. To Burns credit, he shared candid interviews with former NVA & Viet Cong fighters who fought our troops. It is safe to say they controlled over 50% of the countryside. It was with every wrongful death we contributed to, ten volunteers to fight for the VC would emerge. Our vast superior firepower could not account for the terrain nor the climate. Not knowing the culture or the history of Vietnam did not help either. France had left a mess in thier wake. Cold War tensions, threats of Soviet World Domination, and pressure from the French led the Americans to drop our early support for Ho Chi Minh (who we helped his fight against the Japanese) and back the French setting the stage for the greater tragedy to come. After a series of operations where American Advisors were left with ARVN troops ccommanded by Diem Cronies who refused to fight or on occassion cough on patrol to deliberately reveal their locations to the enemy, it was clear to those Americans on the ground that this was a lost cause yet stubborn Texas pride of LBJ went in anyways knowing fully he was betting on a bad horse. And there the American President went on to lie to the nation and justified a commitment to fight Communist aggression in South East Asia on a scale that would kill millions of Vietnamese on both sides and some 58,300+ Americans. By taking charge with American Combat Troops, we essentially took the fight away from ARVN and took full ownership of this debacle thus leading to what the NVA so rightfully called "The American War."

I can not imagine what many of you who were there are going through watching this. Even more so for our Vietnamese friends who must feel betrayed by Saigon's ineffective corrupt leaders who contributed to this human catastrophe and ultimate capitulation. They had an opportunity to build a nation. Instead, those who could make the most difference made out for themselves. Sooner or later the truth had to come out. I am certain there are some truths Ken Burns could not cover but from my perspective I feel he deserves an Emmy for this if not a Kennedy Honors for this arduous task of compiling the heroic struggles, the lies, and the human cost of the war. It is clear that America has not learned from the painful lessons of Vietnam. It is my hope that this documentary is shown to young people so that they will learn the mistakes of this tragic era and work to ensure that such endevors no matter how well intentioned are not repeated again. Every heartbreaking moment should be watched, discussed, and studied. It is only though confronting this past that ghosts of Vietnam can begin to find peace. In the end we will look back to Vietnam and take a hard look at where we are now. If you do not have access to PBS toview this, please check listing on the internet. The Truth is yours.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

North Korean Missiles Over Hokkaido

Welcome to a scary new world where Kim Jong-Un has acquired the capability to fire a ballistic missiles over Japan. In light of the absence of American Leadership though the abdication of commitment on the part of the Trump Regime, Japan has come face to face with the realities of an aggressive neighbor bent on waging war. While Japan's populace abhors the idea of abandoning the pacifist constitution imposed by the Americans at the end of WWII, this weeks events that saw three North Korean missiles fly over Hakodate should serve as a wake up call that Japan must scrap Article 9 and mobilize its forces to meet this crisis. While the United States Navy has pledged to honor its long term commitments to the defense of Japan, neither the Self Defense Forces or the United States do anything to stop these missiles from violating Japanese airspace. Had those missile been armed and malfunction or worse deliberately targeting Sapporo, Japan would have no choice but to defend herself which would almost certainly guarantee retaliation that would plunge the region into war.
We have stated many times we do not want war. At the same time we feel that to prevent a war one must have a strong defense. Article 9 limits Japan's capability to do that. This must change regardless of what protests Beijing sends Tokyo's way. The Belligerents of North Korea don't care about how Japan feels about the past. They want to prove they can hurt their one time colonial masters and thanks to their recent acquisition of technology allegedly from the Ukraine, Japan must act. This is about protecting Japan and right now Japan is threatened. I hope that PM Abe will push for stronger measures to protect Japan. But scraps of paper are not enough. It's up to the Japanese people. We hope they have heard this wake up call and will move towards a stronger defense to protect those they love.

Japan's First V-22 Osprey

Seen here is the first of 17 JSDF V-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor craft performing engine tests at the Bell assembly plant in Amarillo Texas. This will be the same variant used by the US Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa. First flight tests are expected to take place in the coming weeks.