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Remember The Japan That Can Say No (1989; public domain translation into English, 1990) by the late Akio Morita (co-founder of Sony) and Shintaro Ishihara? This controversial book, written by a tough businessman and a highly conservative politician during the height of the U.S.-Japan trade wars of the late 1980s, espoused a guarded and protectionist stance for Japanese who questioned the post-WWII sociopolitical and economic relationship between America and Japan.

The book is still revealing after nearly 14 years and many more controversial statements from Ishihara have passed. For those who aren't familiar with Ishihara, then a member of the Diet (legislative body) of Japan, he has since made several public comments as governor of Tokyo that have been considered by many to be xenophobic and racist. Certainly a lot of derogatory terms he has used in reference to foreigners in Japan have been questionable; here's a commentary from the Japan Times. He is apparently also a Nanjing Holocaust revisionist.

In any case, though I certainly don't espouse Ishihara's fiscal thinking nor the general sentiment of his book, and additionally deplore holocaust revisionism, the title itself was memorable for me. I think many faculty could do well to acquire the ability to say "no", not least of all myself.

To wit: I wrote seven homeworks todaz (wlokay, four, adapting three from previous yeats): three for CIS736 and four in CIS830. Still have to vet some proposed papers in CIS990. Why did I let robbyjo talk me into creating a third curse? Acos I can't say no? Welp, read my lips: no. #-)


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