Time to look to Japan’s youth not the ageing conservatives who dwell on Japan’s Imperial past – John Gelmini

English: Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthu...

English: Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthur, at their first meeting, at the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, 27 September, 1945 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chinese wall

Chinese wall (Photo credit: rvw)

I thank Dr Alf for reblogging the article entitled “Why we must never forget this day“, published by China’s People’s Daily Online. Let me share my view.

The young have no interest in Japanese Imperial history or in dominating anyone militarily.

The problem lies with the older generation, who for years rewrote and sanitized history, and believe in economic warfare, based on the teachings of the Samurai warrior Miyamoto Mushashi, as encapsulated in the Book of Five Rings.

The theme of warfare by other means is also propagated by the teachings of a Japanese warrior monk Nichiren who believed in the destruction of whites and Muslims and has modern adherents.

After VJ day, Emperor Hirohito was not tried as a war criminal, like some of the Nazis were at Nuremburg, and a number of the worst war criminals like General Ito, who engaged in germ warfare experiments on POWs were spared by the Americans who wanted the knowledge so that they could add it to their war-fighting capabilities.

The British Empire, Holland and America at our (UK)  behest applied sanctions and an oil embargo on Japan, which has no oil to force them to go to war in the first place, so our hands are not clean even though as schoolchildren we were, as I remember well, taught otherwise.

The Chinese have already said of Japan, “There cannot be two suns in the sky” which is their way of saying they are the masters of Asia, rather than the Japanese who once took this role for themselves. The Chinese have long memories but also look to the future.

Matters will I think have to resolve themselves over time because until we have a new generation in charge in both countries the old hatreds and rivalries will always simmer under the surface with the Japanese feeling that they have paid enough in reparations and some older Chinese thinking as we once wrongly did in the railway carriage at Versailles, that “The German orange must be squeezed until the pips squeak”

John Gelmini

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern Moritz Erhardt died after overworking – Case for EU regulation?

My earlier blog and John Gelmini’s response have triggered a massive amount of interest. I have analyzed our articles carefully and looked at the statistical data. It seems that a particularly large number of people ran a Google Search on Moritz Erhardt, especially from Germany.

I agree with John Gelmini that there is an urgent need for greater legal safeguards  to protect young people from being exploited in internships. Let’s look at the likelihood of this happening in the UK.

Sadly, despite the damage done from the 2008 sub-prime crisis, David Cameron’s UK Government has been slow to bring greater regulation to the banks and call those executives responsible for the collapse to account. The financial services sector in the UK is by far the UK’s most important industrial sector; unfortunately it also has a powerful lobby. The UK Government, with high debt levels, is apparently fearful of challenging the banks because of their tax revenue and importance to the UK’s exports. Also since 2008, the banking sector in the UK has not been functioning effectively, so rather than sanctioning the banks, the Government has offered guarantees; for example, on the back of Government guarantees for home loans to new buyers, the Government has triggered a rebound of the UK economy – although leading economists have questioned the wisdom of this action, the Government has created a feel-good factor with both existing and aspiring property owners which they hope will propel them to re-election in two years.

Secondly, the according to independent evidence, cited by the Labour Party, the UK Government has triggered the highest fall in earnings per hour in Europe.

As a consequence, by and large in the UK, investment banks are free to operate in a neoliberal environment [open this link for a history of neoliberalism]. Since WWII, Germany’s economic miracle has been built on the back of a German form of neoliberalism called  ordoliberalism; the German model places strong focus on effective regulation – indeed the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany protects the interests of the German citizen. Against this highly regulated environment in Germany, many highly talented German youngsters are desperate to pick up internships in the UK and the most highly prized internships are with the major investment banks in London. Unfortunately, as the tragic death of the German 21 year old,  Moritz Erhardt,  has so vividly demonstrated, there are extreme risks from these  seemingly unregulated internships in the UK.

No doubt there are many German parents with talented children who are deeply worried about children that have talked about getting valuable work experience in the UK on internship programs.

David Cameron’s Government because of its political sponsors has not given priority to the rights of workers, including ambitious youngsters arriving from other European countries to take up internships in the UK.

Accordingly, I believe that there is a strong case for young people to receive EU protection when entering interships programs. For me, this is a case for  the European Commission’s intervention, especially given the record levels of youth unemployment in Europe.

Any thoughts?

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