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Ok, I need to explain this title. And in order to understand this title you have to understand a bit of Japanese television. You see 24 is VERY popular here (and I know how that may make folks here who think it is torture porn, which I might also agree with) and so is Keifer Sutherland. Very very very popoular. He even does Japanese commercials:

Now below the fold I want to tell you about a hero here in Japan they are calling "Times Four Jack Bauer"..and he is a government worker.

When this crisis first began information was difficult to come by. Massive earthquake, followed by massive tsunami, followed by nuclear accident. Through all of this was a Japanese government official who brought calm, solid information and (its difficult to explain if you dont speak any Japanese) but a certain demeanor which helped people to cope with this crisis.

He was a voice of calm in a stormy sea, and they say he didnt sleep for the first 100 hours of this crisis. Now, I dont know how much of this is building into legend and how much is true...but he certainly looks worn out here:

Now contrast this with the CEO of BP who couldnt be bothered to cancel his boat race in the middle of their crisis. This is the difference between government response and a cold corporation. Mr. Yukio joined governement to help people and do what he loved. Corporate executive do what they do for their 100 million dollar golden parachutes.

But I digress...

So they are calling this man, this hero Edano Yukio "4倍ジャックバウアー” or 4 times Jack Bauer (24 x 4 days). A title well deserved.

They are also saying he should be the Prime Minister on some of the political leaning sites over here, so dont be surprised if this isn`t the last you hear of this hero.

Originally posted to ProgressiveTokyo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Chin up (9+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't miss your postings, Progressive Tokyo, for anything either.  You too are a voice of calm.  Times Four Jack Bauer's face tells the story so well  - weary, hopeful, calm, and unflagging in his duty.

  •  Heh. I was thinking last week (13+ / 0-)

    that Japan could really use Jack Bauer -- he'd jump into a damage reactor with total disregard to his own exposure, cool the rods with the piss he's been saving up all days (truly, Jack Bauer must have a bladder the size of Texas), then patch the containment vessels with the shirt off his back.

    I loved 24 -- it was good story telling, improbable at times but, all the same, with lots of very surprising twists.

  •  Can anyone imagine an American (4+ / 0-)

    government official doing anything like this? Sacrificing one moment of his precious fundraising or golf time to actually do his job? I can't. At least not anyone above the level of a local official. Certainly no senator of either party would risk ruining their expensive manicure to actually do anything but accept a check from a corporate donor.

    When something like this happens in America, we are seriously doomed. But Obama will make a pretty speech before going back into hiding from any possible hint of courage. So at least we'll have that.

    •  Was this effusion really necessary? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plubius

      It tells us nothing about any 'official' (including speculative Obama). It does tell us all too much about you. Sad.

      Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

      by ohiolibrarian on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:04:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you look at this (2+ / 0-)

        can't you see how many are frustrated with their Government - and what has our Government done (not what they say - but what they do) to prove otherwise?

        You don't have to like the Captains statement but I don't think the statement is sad - it may be sad because it is true.

        Ignoring reality is what is sad.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:15:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then get out there and do something! (0+ / 0-)

          You don't have to like President Obama, but we should not hide behind him for our failure to lead a movement that will lead us to the changes we want to see.

          Complaining about the "government" is a statement of our ineffectiveness as politicians are elected by us, the people. Whoever gets the most people to vote their way wins.

          Progressives need to get more people to vote our way and stop blaming President Obama, or Fox News, or the Kochs, or whoever. Let's stop with the blame game and own up for a change and get to work.

          We can do this if we really care about being the change we seek.

          America does have heroes most of them just go unheralded.

          "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

          by sebastianguy99 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 12:07:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Can't *you* see that the above rant (0+ / 0-)

          is just silly. In a diary speaking admiringly about the actions of a Japanese government official, Frogbert has to express reflexive hostility against American officials. Based on actions that occur only in his head.

          It is sad that you think it is 'true'. I can point to lots of things that this administration has done from the Lily Ledbedder Act to the end of DADT.

          But don't let reality get in the way. Either of you.

          Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

          by ohiolibrarian on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:36:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, in fact that is a lot of what they do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ProgressiveTokyo

      As an aside, Edano Yukio is from Tohoku.

  •  since jack bauer is a ficticious character and (6+ / 0-)

    he's being multiplied by four, that would make this tired official at least a man and a half!

    bring your own petard.

    •  Yes, didn't you love the way Repubs (9+ / 0-)

      held up 24 as an example of how to run things during the 2008 election?

      I kept wanting to scream at my TV screen "There is no Jack Bauer, you idiots! It's an actor, mouthing lines written by Hollywood screenwriters!"

      It's like all the people who worship John Wayne as a "real American hero." I like John Wayne. I think he was a pretty good actor. But...he never fought at Iwo Jima. He never flew with the Flying Tigers, or led a cavalry charge, or commanded a Navy battle group or punched out a bad guy. He was an actor. Because of a bad back, he never went to war at all.

      Actually, the guy was quite different from the public image. He loved to play golf, collected Native American art, enjoyed playing chess.....much more cerebral and cultured than most people would ever believe.

      And a darn good actor. But not some mythic "real American hero."

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:21:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm not a real american hero, BUT I PLAY ONE ON TV (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ProgressiveTokyo, neroden

        the people i tortured were not really tortured, but the depiction put real fear into a populace already too frightened or lazy to turn on their bullshit detectors.

        real heroism usually has a much less dramatic countenance.

        i wish i could agree about john wayne being a good actor- i think he was more a strong presence that sold a set of iconic images really well, a sort of spokesmodel for pre anti-hero hollywood, joe sixpack with a keg.

        bring your own petard.

      •  There's something about authoritarian (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog

        followers and their daddy issues, the need to acquiesce self-responsibility to a strong leader in the name of "self-responsibility." I can whine, pout, and play the victim, but I like John Wayne! I'm a man!

    •  Another man and you would have (0+ / 0-)

      CHARLIE SHEEN!!

      Badum dum dummmmmmmmm

      "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

      by skyounkin on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:44:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Been reading lately about Japanese (6+ / 0-)

    culture and taking note of the less obvious features of it. Such a small nation, but it has it's identity and strength in national pride. Japanese exceptionalism, I call it. ;-)

    I'm not surprised this guy is awesome. Japan is awesome. The cream rises to the top and he's probably the best of the best. They don't need to invoke Jack Bauer, I think, when there is so much about Japan that is real and awesome. I get the feeling that Japan isn't threatened by other cultural influences because they have such pride in their own old traditions that they're able to absorb others and compartmentalize outside cultural influences without panicking about xenophobia or assimilation. How can they invoke images of ladies wrapped in kimonos, bonsai gardens and everything about old world Japan, yet I'm reminded of the futuristic infrastructure in Tokyo that isn't terrified of progress. Too awesome for words.

    "Warm smell of Moulitsas rising up in the air..." -seanwright

    by GenXangster on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:16:25 AM PDT

    •  I know very little about Japan (6+ / 0-)

      but I have a handful of Japanese friends from my last job. They are very much like that amazing description you wrote; really, really interesting, worldly, fun people. I really enjoy being around them.

    •  Uhm, you might want to read about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamar, OHdog, journeyman

      a man named Ishiara Shintoro before putting Japanese on such a pedestal.  Or the former Prime Minister Yoshirō Mori.

      Japanese civilization has its share of right wing asshats as competent professionals, just as many foibles as much as things worthy of praise. Overall, they are pretty much the same as us.

      •  I heard some bad things about Tokyo Mayor being (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plubius, journeyman

        right wing, racist.  Are they true?

        If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

        by Tamar on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:51:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OHdog, journeyman

          Ishihara is the govenor of Tokyo Prefecture;  he is is bad as they come.   Americans I know who have met him say he is capable of being personable, even charming with foreigners.  But he is most certainly an equal opportunity and unabashed race baiter: against whites, blacks, Koreans, Chinese, and everyone one else.  I've read a bit of his stuff, and I think he believes it.

          He is more than a right winger; nearly all the politicians in Japan are conservative, and the whole LDP right wing.  He is 'utra-right': unapolagetic  for WWII, denies Nanking as 'a myth' got his start in politics by taking a blood oath with fellow nationalists; Y'know, a real right-wing thug.  Or at least, a wannabe right wing thug.  He actually got his start as a writer, and his brother was a famous movie idol.  So, he's IMO mostly about show.  Which is not to say he wasn;t dangerous at one point.  After all, St. Ronnie started as an actor...

          Anyway,  the people of Tokyo Prefecture have been electing him since 1999.

          No, the Japanese  are no better than we; and in fact arguably worse when it comes to racism.

          •  Having visited Nanjing and talked people there, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OHdog, Plubius

            I find it horrifying that someone who denies what the Japanese did is in elective office in Japan.
            But, of course, we have equally evil and disgusting people elected to office here.  I do wonder, however, if we would ever elect someone so openly racist and deluded to be mayor of a large city.  (OTOH, Alaska elected Palin to be governor.  Then again, I think they did it because she was an unknown quantity at the time.)

            If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

            by Tamar on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:37:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bingo (0+ / 0-)

              And FYI, he is the Governor of Tokyo Prefecture, not the Major of the City of Tokyo.

              •  shows my ignorance. What is Prefecture vs (0+ / 0-)

                city -- is it like county and city?

                If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

                by Tamar on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 12:14:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In the case of Tokyo, it's special (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  journeyman

                  Tokyo Prefecture's population is so large they use a different word for it than the the standard administrative unit.  

                  From wiki:

                  Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō, "Eastern Capital"), officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都 Tōkyō-to?), is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan.... Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (東京府 Tōkyō-fu) and the city of Tokyo (東京市 Tōkyō-shi).

                  And no, it doesn't show your ignorance.  While all Japanese people learn this in school, most those who I know, even those from Tokyo, can't really explain it.  Just like I, a CA native, can't really explain what a burough of New York is.  Brooklynn is its own city,  I think.... And Major Bloomberg is is the Major of NY, right?  I'm confused....

      •  Can I just praise the things I like (0+ / 0-)

        about Japan without being polarized to some side of politics? I don't believe I said anything about politics, I was talking about culture and aesthetics and infrastructural progress.

        Uhm, you might wanna read about...

        How dare you condescend to me like that. I'm sick of this self righteousness around here. It sucks.

        "Warm smell of Moulitsas rising up in the air..." -seanwright

        by GenXangster on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:38:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But you were the one who said without reservation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plubius, journeyman
          Japan is awesome. The cream rises to the top
          Others were simply pointing out some of the cream is curdled.

          I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

          by OHdog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:55:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You wrote about Japan's culture (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          journeyman

          specifically, that "they're able to absorb others and compartmentalize outside cultural influences without panicking about xenophobia or assimilation."

          I wished to point out that, in fact, Japan does have a real problem with xenophobia.  With racism in fact. And to proclaim they do not is indeed putting them on a pedestal. One that not only they do not deserve, but also further misunderstanding.

          If my doing so seems condescension and self-righteous, I ask you how could I have pointed out your error so in any a less a manner?

          Not only am I in favor of praising the Japanese where credit is due, I've done so most recently here.  But I hope you will understand the need to resist presenting inaccurate cultural stereotypes that in the end only serve to strengthen the notion that they are fundamentally different than we are.

          They are not.  They are just like us.

          •  Context. (0+ / 0-)

            You think I believe that there is zero racism in Japan? There isn't even zero racism on this progressive site. This is pretty damn condescending, too, telling me I said there was no racism in Japan. WTF?

            And don't talk to me starting with "Uhm...". That is smart assness and I don't appreciate it. That's not something you say to someone to get a good response. That's something you say to piss me off.

            "Warm smell of Moulitsas rising up in the air..." -seanwright

            by GenXangster on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:00:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I wasnt the one putting him on a pedastal (0+ / 0-)

        My wife was reading about what many many many people online are calling him on ni-chaneru (2chan) and I simply brought it here in English.

        Not every story has a happy ending but Im doing my best to make mine so. Come and take a look at my discussion forum: TheNewCurevents We are looking for new active members!

        by ProgressiveTokyo on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:27:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm curious about something: (3+ / 0-)

    is it in the culture to downplay threats, as in the nuclear crisis? I'm wondering if the government is both trying to save face about their nuclear program (apparently full of near-misses and cover-up's), and cushioning the blow.  

    I'm in awe of the industriousness of the people in light of what they've been through.  The other night on the news there was an old man at what was left of his house after the tsunami, and he was wheeling debris onto a pile with his wheelbarrow.  For some reason his resiliance choked me up. It seems like the Japanese as a culture is very much like that, and it's admirable.

    Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

    by CanyonWren on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:39:47 AM PDT

    •  I would say... (5+ / 0-)

      No more so than the US in a similiar situation. Maintaining public calm in a major metropolitan area where any evacuation would be slow at best is important. As is maintaining order among close to 14 million people.

      Not every story has a happy ending but Im doing my best to make mine so. Come and take a look at my discussion forum: TheNewCurevents We are looking for new active members!

      by ProgressiveTokyo on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:35:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At Least Everyone Doesn't Have A Gun (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cville townie

        The "Twilight Zone" episodes where mayhem breaks out when the power goes out or there is a false alarm about a nuclear attack sums up the US pretty well.

        We have all these  paranoid heavily armed gun nuts that are ready to go all "Mad Max" because they think it is the Apocalypse if a light bulb burns out.

    •  Don't know about Japanese culture, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CanyonWren, cville townie

      but in at least some areas of China, people do not like to deliver bad news or disagree.   As an example (there are many), when we were in the process of adopting our daughter, we ran into an unexpected delay.  We hadn't been told that there would be one and we had trouble tracking down what happened.  Turns out the coordinator, an American citizen who grew up in mainland China (she is a truly wonderful person) didn't tell us because it would be delivering bad news.  OTOH, when she got our referral info, she immediately called because she didn't want us to have to wait even a minute for the good news.

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:00:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We adopted our daughter from China, too:) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tamar, cville townie

        Interesting story, thanks.  I remember from my college Japanese culture class that a mindset of politeness and saving face is key in social relationships, and this just confirms my observations.

        The US, as the diarist mentioned, withholds information as well, but for an entirely different, and less honorable, reason:  idiolgy fueled by greed.

        Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

        by CanyonWren on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:22:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We now view ourselves as part Chinese. Luckily, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CanyonWren

          we were already chopstick-proficient when we adopted, and our daughter (almost 11) often takes chopsticks in her lunch box and gives lessons to the uninitiated.
          Her elementary school is very diverse, but there are few, if any, Chinese children from Chinese families (there are several girls adopted from China).  The kids come mainly from Africa, West Indies, Central & South America (and a few from Southeast Asia).  There are also not that many Jewish kids.
          Next year, middle school, the program she's in is heavily Asian (with Asian parents) and Jewish, but they tend to be one or the other.  She's both! I'm wondering how it will feel to her....

          If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

          by Tamar on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:43:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, wow, the school sounds wonderful (0+ / 0-)

            and, I'm sure she'll take it in stride.  Do you guys belong to a synagogue? There may be some other Asian adoptees that she could comisserate with:)

            Our daughter is three and we're just now starting to think about schools, etc.  We plan on moving back out west when my job is over, biting fingernails...

            Sarah Palin: All pistol and no squint.

            by CanyonWren on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:10:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes -- and there are a few girls (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CanyonWren

              adopted from China, but none her age.  
              She tends to identify with kids who are not from white America -- her best friends in school are all African-American, and outside of school they're almost all Asian adopted.  

              If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

              by Tamar on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:32:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  p.s. the diversity in her school has been terrific (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CanyonWren

              even though there aren't that many Asians.  
              From age 2 1/2 thru 5, she went to a Jewish nursery school where there was one kid who was half African American and one other girl adopted from China and everyone else was white.  She told me in her last year there that she sometimes felt out of place because "I wasn't born in America."  I told her that at the elementary school she was going to, there would be lots of kids not born in America and lots of kids whose parents weren't born in America (and also pointed out to her that 2 of her grandparents weren't born in America).  She almost immediately felt right at home in the public school because kids were from so many places that no one is in the majority.  She's had a great time there.  So if you can find a school with some diversity of race and ethnicity, your daughter will probably be very comfortable.
              (and even in the nursery school she had a good time and her teachers loved her).

              If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

              by Tamar on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:37:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Japanese Attitudes Regards Torture (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cville townie

    I was curious if there was Japanese torture fetishism, and I got the impression there are videos that go past S&M into (simulated) maiming. Of course, the Spanish have always had that also, and in the last decade we see a lot more of that in the US with movies like Saw.  

    It also seemed like the Japanese legal system hung onto the routine use of torture to get confessions from pretty much anyone a lot longer than we did, although I did not see any dates in my cursory search.

  •  God or Buddha or whomever, be at your side. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cville townie

    Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

    by jdmorg on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:05:57 AM PDT

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