Monday, January 18, 2016

Cool Japan-- Fucked Japan

Dr. Cool or Dr. Hot?
The esteemed Dr. Nancy Snow, one of the world’s authorities on Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding gave a talk recently called "Branding Japan: 2020 and Beyond".
Me (of course)...thinking
 Now, I don’t know the contents of the talk – I didn’t  attend because I was too busy staring into space thinking about the title.  Yup...the Future, which (like most people) I want to be cool.
The Future?
 “Nation Branding” is:
a.)    Almost always aimed at promoting tourism
b.)    Almost always retrogressive
c.)    Almost created by people detached from reality

d.)    Almost always created by people what to be cool but are wankers.

Much is made of Tony Blair’s “Cool Britannia” program – which is the model for “Cool Japan”.  But “Cool Britannia” – as I have indicated in other blog posts was a creation   70’s Youth Culture in the UK, and effectively over by the time New Labour took over the government.  

The Rolling Stones -- then

And “Cool Japan” of course looks backwards to Tony’s time – lame, as if it had been invented by NHK, that lamest of  broadcasting companies where “news” is"dasai" (lame, uncool)
NHK has no shame

As I have also said, everything we do  is based on what we learned in high school – which is of course when we actually became adults and learned what fun mental masturbation is.

Tony the Teenager

 So in the UK Tony thought back to when he was a 16 year old wanker, failing to notice that times had changed.   But -- hey – keep on wankin’.

And the Cool Japan guys look back to Tony looking back, failing to not only notice that things are different now – and also that Japan is not the UK, nor is ever likely to be.   Wank, wank.   Who needs sex?  No wonder the birthrate is declining.  But I digress. 

Returning to Dr. Snow, whose writings I encourage you to read. And whose talks you should attend.  

Dr. Snow’s talk was about looking ahead --which is a fairly revolutionary idea in this business, which, as mentioned, tends to look backwards. 

When you look forward in nation branding you have to consider the not only the direction you want your society to take – but the direction it will take -- no matter what you do!  Which is why most of the movers and shakers – ie wankers – in the Cool Japan program don’t think about the future. 

The distinction between what you want and what can achieve is huge.

It is the basis of all great wanking.

For example, Abe and his Gang have ideas about the kind of Japan they want to see in the future – sort of an upgraded version of the prewar Hakko Ichiu – the Eight Corners of the World Under One Roof.  Except that this would be Futatsu, Hitotsu.  Two poles, one earth. The two poles being Japan and the US. 
The Candies Contained Anthrax

For the time being, however, public diplomacy focuses on getting people to the Olympics – hence, “Cool Japan”.

Now nation branding is most effectively when it honestly represents:

•    Ideals and values
•    Goals, which must be consistent with those ideals
•    Situational Trends

Abe’s ideals and values – right wing, neoliberal, and nationalistic – uphold  Japan’s ‘ right’ to dominate the Asian community. 
His goals include changing the constitution, re-militarization, nuclearization, corporatism and strengthening the alliance with US to confront China.

But --  no matter what Abe does he will lose.

With Japan’s population on schedule to decrease by about half over the next half century – and increasing inequality which will undermine the social contract which has delivered amazing social harmony since 1945, Japan will simply lack the resources to confront China – much less the two Koreas or Russia.   It will be hard put to keep Okinawa Japanese.   

Ryukyu Independence Movement

Think ahead – an archipelago with just 50 million or so, its industry and infrastructure in ruins, its peoples divided.  There is a very good possibility of this.
Cool Japan (later)

The chances of a major seismic disaster in the Kanto or Kansai areas – home to half the Japanese population is large.  Add to that the possibility of volcanic catastrophe, flooding, and the like.  Expect a tsunami and rising seas to wipe out the multi-billion dollar Tokyo Bay Development project by 2060.  Oh, and let’s not downplay pandemics and the rise of antibiotic bacterial diseases.
Re-nuclearizing energy almost certainly means another nuclear disaster.  

Such disasters could be overcome – but only with high levels of altruism and egalitarianism – not things high on Abe’s agenda – or the agenda of any “neoliberal” government

2030?  Not “Cool Japan”.  Fucked Japan. 

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