Masayoshi Son to have Softbank buy majority stake in Sprint/Nextel

Japan’s most famous zainichi Korean, Masayoshi Son (a.k.a. 손정의 – Son Jeong-ui), is leading Softbank’s attempt to buy around 70% of U.S. based Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE : S) for $20.1 billion.  The deal has a complicated (expected with a company like Sprint, that has over $20 billion in debt) structure, but will essentially be $12.1 billion in cash to shareholders and $8 billion in stock buy back, or new equity to pay down debt and fund operations (details to be worked out).

This deal will move Japan’s Softbank from the #3 mobile carrier in Japan to the #3 mobile carrier in the world.  However, what Softbank gains in scale it will also gain in debt.  Both companies are already debt ladened, which essentially means that Masayoshi’s margin of error is small here.  He doesn’t have a lot of time, or chances, to turn Sprint around.  However, Son is a bit of an unconventional Japanese executive.  He is outspoken, takes huge risks, often changes business models, shifts paradigms, uses M&A and aggressive financing methods to engineer growth and turnarounds.  All things that are not typical for the usual Japanese management system.

This will be the largest overseas acquisition for a Japanese company, ever.

  • Q

    He has been somehow derided at Japan Probe. I guess it’s because he is a Korean descent.

  • Wedge

    #1: Yes, everybody looks at everything through a nationalist prism, just like you.

  • Bendrix

    2

    Well, the people at Japan Probe do. They are obviously huge Japan lovers over there.

  • TheKorean2

    South Korea does more M&A than Japan does.

  • Koreansentry

    Japan Probe is aka Engrish version of 2ch board.

  • tapadamornin

    He was interviewed on Asahi TV’s Houdou Station for over 20min. in their top news slot:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQGjt9HCjuw
    (This isn’t the complete interview, but you can get a good idea of his motivations for this purchase and his goals as an individual.)

    Son is an insanely impressive business person.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Son Jeong-ui. Show those Japs that Koreans have balls. The Japanese could use a few more Son Jeong-uis. I wonder how many of them are slaving away at their father’s pachinko parlor, wasting their talent because of Japan’s ethnic glass ceiling and discriminatory lending practices.

    http://business.goldsea.com/Son/son2.html

  • tapadamornin

    @7

    Most Japanese business people are keenly aware of the risks posed by South Korean companies like Samsung and LG. The major manufacturers here have spent countless hours trying to duplicate the same style of top-down style of management that has allowed SK companies to succeed around the world, but to little success.

    However, I find it a tad ironic that you would hold up Son (the second richest man in Japan) at the same time you mention zainichi slaving away at dead-end jobs in pachinko parlors. There is clearly still a lot of discrimination against zainichi in terms of running a business, but the opportunities are there for people who are hungry for success.

  • Q

    The opportunities grows larger as the zainichi conceal their Korean identity to avoid discrimination.

  • tapadamornin

    @9

    This is an interesting point, especially since the number of zainichi in Japan is declining as more people take Japanese citizenship and as the older generation passes away.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:Population_of_Koreans_in_Japan_ja.gif

    It also seems to be fairly grounded in data that I found from a survey in Osaka. This data shows a breakdown of naming among zainichi Koreans, and the age and reasons at which the name changes took place.

    http://www.key-j.org/keyword/article/name.html
    (Second chart from the top)

    It seems the majority of the respondents below 60 indicate that they have a Japanese name because that’s what they were born with. The respondents in their 60s and 70s indicated that discrimination (the orange and yellow lines) were one of the main reasons for the name change. Also, based on the next two charts that most of the respondents changed their name in high school for job hunting purposes, getting into college, and also at the recommendation of their parents.

    The lack of dual citizenship is what really hurts. Most zainichi have the 特別永住者 (Special Permanent Resident) status, which while slightly better than my 永住者 (Permanent Resident) status, it’s still basically a foreigner visa status, and that closes a lot of doors. For example, it’s generally not until you get a permanent resident status that you can take out a loan or sign up for a credit card — now think about that in terms of someone who has lived here their whole life, as did their parents and grandparents.

    Son is an interesting and inspiring case because his last name wasn’t in the system so he had his wife change her name to Son. That allowed him to keep his original last name and maintain his Korean heritage while still acquiring citizenship.

  • bimbalimba

    @10

    am not sure about the loan and credit card … and you can take any family name as long as it is in katakana or hiragana …

    btw one of things zainichi fight for and show as “discrimination” is hangul in offical japanese documents

  • yuna

    His “Koreanness” is not really talked about/known in Japan. A successful young zainichi friend I met was very dismissive, and said “he’s Chinese, no?” I think this is because he once mentioned 손자병법 as something he was influenced by, and claimed he was a descendant (I think he was half-joking).

    His Korean root is only important in Korea, like the rest of the successful Korean descent people in the world.

  • yuna

    As for the Japanese/Korean names, it’s the same story for most.
    A generation or two ago they changed it to a very Japanese common surnames, to avoid being seen as zainichis, but the trend is that everybody is changing it back to the original Korean-Chinese character, but taking the Japanese reading. For example, Son is read the same in the On- reading as it would be read in Korean. However, a name such as Setsu, which is read as Seol 설 in Korean, it still sounds Japanese but a lot of them would be able to trace its root to Korean.
    It’s not so much the problem of the name, but in both Korea and Japan there exists a family-based register system called 戸籍 호적 (hojuk) or こせき(koseki) system. The real problem is with this register system. You have to somehow be related to somebody who already is on the hojuk. I don’t think there is anything specially discrinatory about the Japanese system, which simply doesn’t let somebody have dual citizenship (same goes for Korea). It’s just that in the Western countries where immigration was a policy one is used to so many measures of obtaining the citizenship.

  • tapadamornin

    Yuna, that’s a weird comment. Everyone knows he is a zainichi Korean. They might not really care, but his family name is 孫. This indicates some kind of connection to Korea. Most people probably consider him just as Japanese as someone like Wada Akiko, so the topic of his “Koreanness” doesn’t really come up very often. And again, for all intents and purposes, he’s not Korean. If he was in the US, he would be called Korean American, but in this example, he would still be an American.

    At the same time, he was born into a zainichi family, raised in Japan, and educated in the US, so it’s pretty clear that he operates on a different level from typical Japanese business people. That’s not an insult by any means, but you can check the Houdou Station I linked above and see exactly what I’m talking about.

    I agree, however, that his Korean roots are not important. Just like Steve Jobs is Steve Jobs and Carlos Ghosn is Carlos Ghosn these kinds of extremely high level business people just aren’t locked in by borders or nationality. More importantly, it certainly doesn’t define how the operate as business people.

  • tapadamornin

    And just as a side note, Korea introduced a dual nationality law in 2010 to basically address zainichi Koreans, but it does have its limitations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korean_nationality_law#Dual_citizenship

    It was my understanding that Korea hoped Japan would enact something similar for zainichi of all nationalities, but it never materialized.

  • yuna

    #14
    I think we basically mean the same thing, although why it’s not talked about is a bit different. Maybe when somebody is successful he’s an accepted person in any group.
    I do want to emphasize that it’s only relatively recent phenomenon in Japan that the root deduced from a name is becoming just that “root”.
    For example, in the case when it’s not easy to tell from the outward appearance, in Germany a lot of names such as Kowalski, or Kolanowski exist, they have some Polish origin, but truly nobody thinks twice about them not being German. I don’t know the same can be said of Japan and Japanese Koreans yet, but maybe it’s becoming that way.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #14,

    Yup, nobody cared that Steve Jobs was ethnically Syrian. He was just Steve Jobs.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    PS. Enough about American racial politics. Quit projecting that BS.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    tapadamornin,

    Masayoshi went through some extraordinary lengths to keep his Korean last name and make it legally Japanese, so I’m inclined to believe that his Korean heritage is important to him. Also, I hear that while at Berkeley, he actively said he was Korean, one of the first times he was able to admit as much without worrying about discrimination (explicit and implicit).

    http://tinyurl.com/cohgbhk

    I also think that the fact he was an outsider, who had to fight and struggle to get everything he had. The immigrant experience is fundamentally different in the U.S. vs. the Japanese experience, especially if you are from an immigrant caste seen as being socially below most other castes, like the zainichi. I don’t think it’s too presumptuous to think that this “underdog” and difficult environment helped shape Son, particularly considering Son is so atypical for a Japanese executive in terms of his strategy, entrepreneurial, tech-orientation and ability to work with foreigners and foreign companies.

  • yuna

    Going back to this zainichi (3rd gen) friend of a friend I mentioned, maybe it’s just hard to generalized based on a sample of 1 (or 2 if you add sohn) but her life/personality is also very outgoing and bright and she seems to stand out from the rest of her Japanese friends. She studied abroad, speaks English well and is getting all the fancy jobs in large non-Japanese companies and organization, to her credit and to her friends’ envy. She doesn’t seem at all hung-up or worried (she is a good deal younger than Son, young enough to be his daughter) about having a Korean origin, but at the same time it seems to matter/bother her very little. She feels Japanese, or couldn’t be bothered with worrying about her forefather’s roots and feels it’s of little relevance to her life today. Maybe this is a trend which is emerging now, and not all glass-ceiling and all pachinko parlour as it used to be and as the Koreans and non-Japanese like to make out now.

  • yuna

    and bright I mean bright in personality, not necessarily brainy.

  • Bendrix

    18

    American racial politics are very applicable. Korea’s dealing with these issues now too. You’re probably gonna say well, America was founded by immigrants etc., the two are not comparable. But obviously Korea will look to America as a model as it deals with these issues. Do you also think people should not “project” their politics onto countries that severely oppress their women? And particularly, in this case, I think it’s important because Masayoshi Son idolizes Steve Jobs, probably not just for reasons of his success in business. He probably relates a bit to his biography.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    yuna,

    I met a zainichi in America who was a little younger than me (so early to mid-30’s). Third generation. He went to visit Korea and told me he felt like he was in a “foreign” country. Totally different mindset and very much Japanese. We were talking and his other Japanese friends, within earshot, were like “Hiroshi, I never knew you were Korean.”

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #22,

    Take a flying leap. If a Canadian would bring up multiculturalism, you’d be jumping down his or her throat.

  • tapadamornin

    @19

    WangKon936

    I totally agree with you here. I think Son has overcome a lot of hardships in his past, and the lengths to which he went to keep his name show how much pride he takes in his heritage.

    When I say his Korean roots are not important, I’m mentioning that from the Japanese perspective. However, that statement comes with a huge caveat. His roots are not important now that he is such a hugely successful businessman. Whether that applies equally to lowly salary workers is a completely different story entirely, and would warrant an entirely different kind of approach to the subject.

  • guitard

    yuna wrote:

    She doesn’t seem at all hung-up or worried about having a Korean origin, but at the same time it seems to matter/bother her very little. She feels Japanese, or couldn’t be bothered with worrying about her forefather’s roots and feels it’s of little relevance to her life today. Maybe this is a trend which is emerging now, and not all glass-ceiling and all pachinko parlour as it used to be and as the Koreans and non-Japanese like to make out now.

    It’s not uncommon for Japanese parents (especially upper-middle class) to hire the services of agencies that can find out if a prospective son-in-law or daughter-in-law has any Korean blood in his/her ancestry.

    So maybe your friend will think differently if she tries to marry a nice Japanese man whose family does a background check on her.

  • yuna

    So maybe your friend will think differently if she tries to marry a nice Japanese man whose family does a background check on her.

    wahahaha. No, I don’t think so, as I mentioned, she doesn’t hide it, and is one of these people who had her name changed back to the Japanese reading of the original Korean name, so that it doesn’t take hired agency to figure out is she is Korean origin.

  • yuna

    #25
    It’s similar to how Hines Ward, and Yun Mirae, and all the overseas adopted Koreans are very Korean suddenly when they win some position or award, whereas they would still think twice about letting their sons and daughter marry a mix blood.

  • guitard

    yuna wrote:

    wahahaha. No, I don’t think so, as I mentioned, she doesn’t hide it, and is one of these people who had her name changed back to the Japanese reading of the original Korean name, so that it doesn’t take hired agency to figure out is she is Korean origin.

    Alright – I’ll change that to:

    Maybe your friend will think differently if she tries to marry a nice Japanese man – and his family blocks the marriage because of her Korean heritage.

    I lived in Japan for several years and got to know many zainichi Koreans. I knew several zainichi men who had gone to Korea to find wives. The women could easily find a Japanese man willing to marry them – but not a man from an upper-middle class and above family.

  • yuna

    #29
    A lot of the Korean-American men also go to Korea to find wives. It’s a choice made both ways. Also, I’m sure that my friend won’t be marrying Prince Harry or Lee Jaeyong any time either.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    guitard,

    To what lengths are some upper class Japanese families willing to go? Is it just the 30’s and 40’s where a lot of Korean laborers when to Japan or way back to the 16th century when Korean potters and other artisans were brought to Japan?

    tapadamornin,

    Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification and general agreement.

    yuna,

    A lot of Korean women come to America to look for Korean American men.

  • yuna
  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    tapadamornin,

    Regarding your comment in #8. There may be less discrimination now then there were in the past, but back when Son was a young man, (early 80’s) there was still a lot.

    Son kept going to Japanese banks to start the predecessor company to Softbank (a distributor of software) and he kept being rejected. Although the riskiness of the plan (software distribution being a relatively new industry at the time in Japan) was certainly a factor, Son himself knew that the main reason was because he was zainichi.

    As outlined here: http://business.goldsea.com/Son/son2.html

    “Son put up $80,000 in savings and went to apply for a bank loan. The bankers were leery about lending to a young entrepreneur, especially one of Corean ancestry. Some even made oblique references to his ancestry by remarking on the oddness of his surname. ‘Okay, I’m a Corean, so what,’ shot back Son in exasperation. He did eventually obtain a $1 million loan from Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank.”

    The GoldSea article is quoting an older BusinessWeek article (written in the late 90’s) that is not longer available on the web.

    Also, Son was leaning on staying in the U.S. due to discrimination, but he returned to Japan as a promise to his mother. If it wasn’t for this, then we would be reading about how Son would have been a great (naturalized) American technology entrepreneur/tycoon.

  • dogbertt

    South Korea does more M&A than Japan does.

    But Japan does more T&A

  • Arghaeri

    simply doesn’t let somebody have dual citizenship (same goes for Korea).

    Wrong, Korea does now!!

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Yuna,

    What is your question or point in #32?

  • guitard

    WangKon936 wrote:

    To what lengths are some upper class Japanese families willing to go? Is it just the 30′s and 40′s where a lot of Korean laborers when to Japan or way back to the 16th century when Korean potters and other artisans were brought to Japan?

    They don’t care where the Korean heritage entered the bloodline – it’s a simple yes or no proposition – you’re either 100% Japanese or you’re not.

    My information is dated by a few years – so it’s possible things have changed. But changes like this usually take several generations – so I would imagine that things haven’t changed.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Then I guess the Emperor’s family isn’t good enough for them.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/dec/28/japan.worlddispatch

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    “Masayoshi Son idolizes Steve Jobs”

    guitard,

    Masayoshi knew Steve Jobs and they were personal friends.

  • provIdence

    TV commercials of Softbank are funny and enjoyable even for Koreans. We can find many of them by searching Google, YouTube and others. For example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g2JTJGk0dw

    This is one of the Family series CMs, where the father of Japanese son, who happens to be black, and daughter is a dog.

    In another SMAP series of their CMs, the funniest slip has unfortunately been blocked for Japanese audience. Fortunately enough, I could find it at niconico, where you may have to register to see it:

    http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm7858009

    where, SMAP members and black and Japanese dancers come out of a dog as poop. You can see its summary below:

    http://blog-imgs-45-origin.fc2.com/t/o/u/toua2chdqn/20090803_1417198.jpg
    http://blog-imgs-45-origin.fc2.com/t/o/u/toua2chdqn/softbanksmap.jpg

  • yuna

    The breed Shiba inu (though all white, not usual) acting as the father- it’s my baby at home (in black and tan).
    I know and love those commericals.
    Would never work in a dog-eating nation.

  • Q

    What provIdence is trying to say seems that the commercial series have been produced to insult Nippon:

    http://youtu.be/pilKvkAGjMg

    It is interesting how Japanese interpret the commercial as a great insult. They say that ‘dog’s child’ is cursing word (개새끼) in Korean language and SMAP, singers that represent Japan, came out of ass hole of the dog in the commercial.

    It is amazing how they interpret the commercial that way and blame Masayoshi Son as an anti-Nippon. Seems like some kind of right-wing paranoia…

  • provIdence

    It’s nice of yuna to say so. For me, though, eating is not so much a matter as treating them in bad manners and using their attributes for despising and deriding others.

  • Q

    Hmm… that reminds me of paranoid anti-Jolly Pong(죠리퐁) activists who raised voice that Jolly Pong resembles v*gina that it should be banned at market.

  • yuna

    I don’t abuse or abandon my v*gina or I don’t live in a society where abusing and packing them into small cages or abandoning them in the street before they are picked up and butchered for restaurant meat so I am perfectly fine with Jolly Pong, but of course, *if* enough people find the shape or the name offensive, or they feel like a fried grain is part of their family for 15 years I am perfectly willing to give up my right to eat Jolly Pong for the rest of my life.
    Same goes for Peperamis.

  • Q

    I’ve never found the commercial insulting to Japanese until they interpreted that way, nor did I realize Jolly Pong resembles v*gina until the indignant activists sees genitalia from the product. What would be the ultimate development of this paranoia? Netouyo yelling “kill dirty zainichi who poisoned water after earthquake.”

  • provIdence

    I am not imaginative enough to come up with a protest by seeing something like peas. But, I must be lucky to have visited here and found some qlever person who would explain how relating SMAP and others to poop buy them subscribers.

  • Q

    That explanation came from the Japanese netouyo, which I believe you already knew about and introduced here possibly to paint Masayoshi Son as anti-Nippon.

  • Q

    Thanks for giving a chance to find another reason to sympathize with Zainichi Koreans who everyday live in suffocating paranoia and prejudice.

  • provIdence

    It is hard to believe that qo-called netouyos explaine how relating SMAP and others to poop would be effective for increasing Softbank subscribers.

  • Q

    I mean zainichi Koreans everyday live in a suffocating society of collective paranoia and prejudice.

  • Q

    #50,

    Maybe, the subscribers are Japanese of normal mentality who would not buy the netouyo’s paranoid interpretation of the commercial.

  • provIdence

    When you say zainich, to whom are you referring?. Mr. Son is Japanese like Dr. Keene.

  • Q

    Yes, he is a Japanese citizen, whilst Japanese netouyos also pick on his Korean descent as seen in the interpretation of the Soft Bank commercials.

  • provIdence

    I think Mr. Son is a little bit busier than you are. So, he may not be involved much in designing TV commercials. What he has to do may be to pick up one from some suggested works and give permission to air. If the poop scene appeared only once in that series, he must have given some words to his design teams.

  • Q

    Here is a food for thought from Buddhist monk Muhak (無學大師): “돼지 눈에는 돼지가 보이고, 부처 눈에는 부처가 보인다.” When you and netouyo insist seeing poop, where I see only handsome Japanese, I would not interrupt your perception.

  • provIdence

    qYou are a good Korean as may be expected reaching to a right perception in an instant thanks to your Korean way of thinking. I watched the video referenced @42 and perused its 900-strong comments, where only a few of them are saying the dog is on its back while most other commenters are giving reference to pooping. So, I must have gotten the same perception as yours, thanks also to your reference to odd-looking peas. The gigantic mother dog is giving birth to …, sorry, but it’s better not to say any further. Please give my regards to “有”學大師.

  • yuna

    I watched the SMAP version from this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN0v5oZe7_Y

    I like how the shop assistant introduces “Samsung” phone model to the SMAP おっさんたち :
    “こちら あの サムスン という 会社が 作ってますので….”
    삼성이라는 회사가 만들어서..
    this is made by a company called Samsung..
    Never mind Psy, the lack of 認知度 of Samsung in Japan is the real LOL.

    I also like how the least recognizable SMAP member worries about
    “ソンさんが どういうつもり?”
    “손씨, 어쩌려고?”
    “What is Mr.Son thinking?”
    when they hear that the basic the tariff between family members are free.

    Other than that, it’s cute to use the aging members of a boyband but I still love Shirato san the best.

  • slim

    SMAP for me embodies the complete and utter suckiness of the Japanese entertainment world. They have no talent, save perhaps their good looks, and are hard to avoid on night-time TV in Japan.

    I lived in Tokyo from 1991-97 and avoided even buying a television because I knew here was nothing to watch. Went back during the 3.11 tsunami-nuclear crisis and, stuck in hotels, tuned in to find … SMAP on every night! They can’t carry a tune.

    I guess this also helps explain why Korean dramas etc do so well in Japan. It’s a wasteland stuck in the early 1990s, entertainmentwise.

  • provIdence

    We don’t expect much from the over-grown “idol” group. Any “talented” members must have left the group by now, and remaining members have been surviving as good-looking boys in the neighborhood without notable talent thanks to TV.
    I am just curious whether any posters here have written what was going on behind the scenes in 1993.

  • Q

    qrovIdence,

    Great Monk Muhak (無學大師) is a real historical figure who contributed to the inception of Chosun dynasty:

    http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/무학

    He left a proverb ‘돈안지유돈 불안지유불 (豚眼只有豚 佛眼只有佛)’ that would be translated ‘pig’s eyes could only see pigs, Buddha’s eyes could only see Buddha’.

  • provIdence

    As I understand, it is one of the oriental common courtesies not to directly address personal names. In that sense, my name is not suited for indirect addressing. I think indirect addressing is interesting thing to use even today if it works well.

    I am very glad to learn that the Korean dynasty of Choson is greatly indebted to Great Monk Munhak. Hoon, the history appears repeating itself in Korea. How did the Choson dynasty express their appreciation to buddhist monks in Korea. According to my meager knowledge about Choson, their answer was to destroy tens of thousands of buddhist temples all over Choson, and according to the book by Mrs. Bishop, buddhist monks were disgraced not to the lowest caste but to the outcaste and not allowed to get inside the wall of Seoul. I am very much like to hear similar Korean traditions.

    By the way, did I get to the right perception about the gigantic mother dog?

  • Q

    I thought you like playing with the letter q (qo-called, qmart, qYou), which I use for my personal name at MH. :)

  • provIdence

    I once directly addressed in this blog to a notable person here during an active debate while we had and have had no previous exchange of opinions. I had an impression at that time that that direct addressing caused for some posters here to doubt that we were a part of a group of acquaintances who had similar inclination of thought on matters of Korea. I felt sorry for him or her at that time for the suspicion and disruption of debate I might have caused on the poster.

    I also feel sorry to see odd pages by accessing Occidentalism which might have led me to this blog. I had something in mind I’d like to ask the landlord there.

  • provIdence

    It’s a long time since the days of Water Cronkite and Dan Rather, and TV scenes in the US must have changed much since then. I’d rather suspect that it must still be the part of the world these days.

  • provIdence

    Even Koreans deride Koreans:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3oWoyqDHWQ

  • provIdence

    Or rather, Koreans deride even Koreans.

  • Q

    I have sympathy for Lee Chungsung and Chu Sunghoon. Many Koreans feel sorry for them. I am glad Lee Chungsung and Chu Sunghoon are doing well. Both of them suffered prejudice from both countries and chose Japan for their citizenship. Fortunate was that their stories were later produced in documentary and moved hearts of Koreans. Chu got very popular after how he overcame the hardship got known via the program. He is now a celeb in S. Korea.

    I think Japanese Brazilians had similar stories:

    http://www.brazzil.com/2003/html/articles/sep03/p130sep03.htm

    Overall racism in Japanese society:

    http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=632&catid=18#400

  • provIdence

    I am out of town tonight, and not feeling good enough to seriously read the story of Ms. Eva Paulino Bueno.

    English education in Japan or Korea is a big problem as to how much money and time is to be expended for that purpose. During the last forty years in Tokyo, I only had a single occasion to briefly encounter with English the other day when I went to Akihabara where girls from Hawaii asked me how to get to Don Quijote. I could tell them just by pointing a building. Other than that, the use of English for me is to read some stories in the web and write some sentences here. In most cases, I don’t throughly understand even at MH. Does it worth the money, time and efforts expended by the government and students when almost all students in Japan or Korea spend their whole lives without ever speaking a single sentence in English.

    Anyway, I will try to read Ms. Eva Paulino Bueno first soon.

  • TheKorean2

    dogbrett, what the hell is T&A?

  • dogbertt

    What’s Google?

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    t&a= breasts and butt (of a woman)

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    t&a=팉스 엔드 에스

  • TheKorean2

    pawikirogii, plastic breats and butts, oh yes.

  • Q

    I think this video would be relevant for this post. Japan’s Hidden Apartheid: Koreans in Japan:

    1) http://youtu.be/gvxLHIXGFRA

    2) http://youtu.be/lwn6NK0tT9E

  • provIdence

    Wasn’t there a dispute recently, not many years ago, between Korean parliamentary members about the matter of conscripted labors on relative of one member? The other member disproved that matter on the basis that the conscription only started just before the end of the war. It is said that there were only a few hundred conscripted Koreans after the war.

  • provIdence

    According to wiki, the President and his family smuggled out, because of restrictions on belongings, to Korea in 1945 just after the war which ended in August.

    Mr. Son’s father, on the other hand, smuggled into Japan in 1947, long after the war.

  • provIdence

    It would have been an all-told story and would not have attracted much audience if it were entitled “Chinese Korean, Stay Off Korea!”
    Ms. Bueno is certainly a very good person at heart, but she was providing too much as a teacher. As I read some of her information on the web, she got a job in 1999 at Mukogawa Women’s University where I can find no department relating to Spain, Portugal or Brazil other than an introductory intramural course on Spanish language and culture. Portuguese, Brazil and Brazilian Japanese could have been out of scope of interest of her students.
    As for gaijin teachers, many teachers can teach knowledge of a few pages of textbook at each class, but what more important is to inspire the dream and desire to read more related books by themselves in them, and white and even black teachers appear better suited to that end, although I am just guessing because there were no such teachers in old days where I grew up.
    As for Japanese Brazilians working in Japan, she at one point said that they returned home, had their houses built, and even started their own businesses. She later heard some miserable stories of Brazilian Japanese and blamed the Japanese at large. The head of Nissan Motor is Carlos Ghosn, a Brazilian, since 1999 and she could easily talk or write to him about the mishap of fellow Brazilians for help. In this free market world, though, self-help of their own is more important.

    == The comment reached its limit. ==