Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Today is Tuesday and I've just had two classes in a row, occupying the first and second periods. They went OK, even though I'm still in a perpetual state of fatigue due to not having my glasses. As soon as I lost them, I knew there would be trouble further down the line because of the amount of time I spend in front of computers and books. That's all I need them for really. I knew I wouldn't have the money for a new pair before January's pay packet so there has been little that I could do about it. As I write, I have to lurch across my keyboard keeping my eyes just two inches away from the screen. It's insane!!

There's been bloody rain this week so far. In the city that is; just snow in the mountains of course. I haven't heard anybody mention the possibility of this being an effect of global warming. Just lots of people saying how strange it is for temperatures to be so high this time of year. It would take the Japanese a long time before they admitted that the change in temperature was something that they themselves had been affecting. I've come to the conclusion that Japan's approach to modernisation (or at least the government's approach) is to let other countries make the first radical steps in terms of policy, then they will follow the suit of whoever is the most powerful. On the other hand though, the Japanese do appear to be making more progress on environmental matters than countries like the US.

Most of the news is absorbed, these days, with coverage of the Japanese army's first active deployment in god knows how many years. As a result of Japan's 'peace' constitution it hasn't been able to deploy its troops into combat situations, I think, since the second world war. In order to kiss some American arse, Koizumi has overruled the constitution and sent two thousand out there to help with the occupation/reconstruction. The troops have been told that they are not to engage in combat even if they are targeted by insurgents. If they are targeted, they should disband until further notice. It sounds a bit strange, sticking two thousand soldiers into Iraq right now, under the order: "Do not defend yourselves", but these are Japanese troops. I must say that if I was an Iraqi, I'd prefer to work alongside a Japanese soldier rather than a British or an American one. They are likely to be more tolerant and polite. The language barrier is bound to be a problem though, as it is for Americans and Brits who don't speak Arabic.

Well, it's payday tomorrow, so I'll be too busy banking/wiring/spending/drinking my new pay packet to write up a post. If I get the time I'll update a bit, but looking back at the lack of interesting stuff that I've had to say today, it's probably best if I leave it for a day or two.
Bye, bye....