Apocalypse may be realized

Houthi faction, the anti former president faction in Yemen, has attacked a nuclear power plant under construction in UAE, as the news reported this morning. It has made me surprised or rather felt the most unwanted thing had finally happened there. Now there will be more attacks to nuclear power plants in the Middle East. 

The domestic politics in Saudi Arabia seems to undergo drastic conflicts for the right to the throne there. Saudi Arabia and the allies are fighting with the anti former president faction in Yemen.

Trump administration would move the embassy of the US in Israel from Tel Abiv to Jerusalem. It would destabilize the situation around Israel, which bring forth to the war in the area.

Syria and Iraq are still in fierce terrorism and civil war. Afghanistan and kurdish areas are not exceptions of unstable situation.

Apoclypse seems to turn into reality there. It is not a problem far away from here. Our government is going to export a model of military carrier planes to UAE. It is involved in worsening the conflict in that way. Military industrial complexes are deeming Middle East to be one of the most "hopeful" markets for their products. I am afraid the western countries won't resist or suppress their export of arms to the areas in conflict. Military industrial complexes, global in its nature, are beyond control of each government in the western world. 

In this area, there is still a fear that the US military would attack North Korea in an unexpected manner. They say it won't be realized soon since the military and civilian people of the US have not been evacuated from South Korea. I am afraid, however, Trump administration would do it when they are critically relegated with the issue of Russian gate. Military action would, they know, distract the criticism to them to fanatic support of their military.

Our government won't publish the expected damage/victims due to the possible war with North Korea. It is estimated to be a few million victims if any nuclear bombs are used. Dozens of nuclear power plants along the Japan Sea are vulnerable to military attack by such as missiles from submarines. If a few of them are destructed by missiles, it would mean our country won't survive any longer. 

This realization of Apocalypse won't be localized in this area or in Middle East. It would bring us the end of the civilization of human on the earth. The terrorism and cult based nations like North Korea bieng involved, this crisis is much more serious than that in the cold war era. 


The 39th anniversary

It will be our 39th anniversary tomorrow. Such anniversary could have never been our own affairs for us. It has come, however. Time is surely flowing fast.

Starting our residency at a med school hospital, we were not involved in the sweet life of honey moon. All concern was at the training as med doctors in pediatrics for me as well as in psychiatry for my wife. No car nor TV set at the dorm those days.  No ham radio in the first year at least. The life was full with new experiences and ambition for the future.

Now we are at the last chapter of life. I am thankful to my wife for her dedication and endurance. It is my turn to make her happier from now, even though it might be a bit too late. Never too late. Believe there are good things ready for us in this chapter.

Sorry for the same photo as I posted here in the past but this one is my favorite one taken in the honey moon. She was, no, is beautiful.

It could be taken a cheating. Here is more recent one taken during the trip to Shinshyu 7 years ago. 

Happy holiday seasons to all of you, my friends.


The words a professor has left

Seven years ago, professor of Tokyo University, Yohji Totsuka, has died from colon cancer. He was a disciple of Masatoshi Koshiba, professor emeritus of the same University, a Nobel Prize awardee for quantum physics, and had been making research work regarding elementary particle after his elmer. I bet he was in his fifties then. Of course, I had no acquaintance with him but have known him only through his blog as told below.

In the process to death, he had kept a blog for months. He has written something profound in plain words in it. Once, he was asked by a person with the same illness of poor prognosis how he/she could live positively despite of the fatal illness. Professor Totsuka has answered that person to start writing/reading/listening more carefully as well as deliberately. With that effort, he/she could overcome the fear for death. He has told this in most tender manner to that person. Most affectionate way. I knew that was what he had actually been doing at that time. He also introduced words of Shiki Masaoka, one of the renowned haiku poets in japanese traditional style, who fought against tuberculosis and died in his young age. It was "To be enlightened in life is not to die well but to live well." I was most impressed how he has answered, in kind and open minded way, to the other who suffered from the same fatal illness. Very few could do such a thing in his situation. What he said sounded right and appropriate as an answer to the inquirer. It is, moreover, suggestive to us how to live and die.

It is not so soon when I should consider of dying by myself. But no one knows when it comes to us. At my age, I feel I should get ready for that. Totsuka might mean we should live well in order to die well. I feel it couldn't be too early for us to prepare for that moment.


A military conflict in this area is risky

There is a path that the US high officials enter our country without immigration check. Land on Yokota base then fly to Akasaka Press Center on a helicopter. Our governmental office has no idea how many visitors from the US are in our country.

The large mastery of the air from Kanto to Chubu area, named Yokota air space is controlled by the US. Our civil aircrafts could not access to that area.

These facts are the proof that our counry is not independent yet. President Trump has landed on Yokota but not Haneda or Narita. He has made the first address for the military personel at Yokota base in his visit to our country. Could there be any explanation other than his intention to assert that Japan is a dependency of the US?

President Trump has claimed that our government should have shot the missiles earlier this year. The missiles flied too high to be shot with the missile defence system. If he really knew of that limitation of missile defence system, he must have insisted that Japan should be a military shield against attack by NK toward the US. He also mentioned that Japan was a warrior country but not a country of peace.

He won't care for the victims, refugees and the devastating damage by any conflict between the US and NK in this area. It is estimated at least one million people would be killed in such a conflict. If our nuclear power plants are targetted for attack by NK, our country won't survive any longer. Of course, our bellicose PM Abe should be blamed for his policy of brinksmanship. Yet, hopefully, the US people and the other peoples should know how risky it is to attempt to give rise to military conflict in this area.

A step to police state

A japanese journalist, Shiori Itoh, was raped by a person, Takayuki Yamaguchi, who had been in close relationship with the Abe administration members. Yamaguchi used to be also a journalist and to have written a couple of books regarding the prime minister Abe. They were just intended to flatter Abe.

With approval for arresting Yamaguchi by the court after appropriate procedure, he was being arrested by the regional police in charge of the case, when the chief of criminal investigation in police ordered them to stop it. This chief used to be a secretary of the chief cabinet secretary in the Abe administration. The following site depicts what has happened in this case;here.

Itoh, the victim of the case, has made formal complaints about this cancellation of this arrest to the prosecution committee. But the decision by the chief of criminal investigation was not denied. This chief has been promoted in the police after hushing up this scandal.

Now a number of elites in the police are involved in the cabinet as a step for promotion. They won't go to the field work in police but get close relationship with the pliticians in the ruling party through work at the cabinet. The chief of the cabinet information research is one example, who has worked in the police for a long time and is told to be also involved in this scandal case. With close relationship with the police through these elites, the administration is gathering informations of scandal the politicians of the opposite parties or the bureaucrats resisting to the administration.

Police state is a condition for totalitarianism. I am afraid our country is lead to it.


The general election was over

The general election was over. The issue was the choice between authoritarian nationalism and democracy with grass roots movement. However, the vote rate remained pretty low, even if the effects of the typhoon attack considered, that is, approximately just above 50%. It has made me stunned some vote places were closed earlier due to that typhoon attack. It has violated our right of vote. At any rate, I suspect there has been little consensus among people that the vote right is the fundamental right in our society. Or they have despaired too deeply for the present political situation.

Prime minister Abe would go straight ahead for changing our constitution. His authoritarianism will bring the article of the state of emergency provision into the constitution. It seems to be his ultimate goal in the politics. That article made it possible for him to do anything revisionistic or authoritarian. It is comparable to the enabling act by Nazis. It may reflect the fact some people crave for something strenuous and powerful in the politics even if it could bring forth to severe pain to the people.

With the result of this election, PM Abe would hide the privatization scandal of the national assets as well as of the governance system. He and his administration may blindly follow the brinksmanship of the President Trump against NK. Both the President and NK have been on the edge of military conflict, which may result in catastrophic war in this area. NK has never insisted of invading the other countries including Japan. Their main purpose of this brinkmanship is to maintain their regime. The US government has not taken any strategy against the armament of nuclear bomb by NK but rather permitted the nuclear merchant in Pakistan etc to export the material and devices for nuclear weapon production to NK. There seems to be plots by the military industrial complexes regarding this crisis in the East Asia. The binkmanship policy won't solve the problem but expose us to the risk of nuclear war. Our PM won't care for that but would take advantage of this situation to arrange the authoritarian administration.

It was a real waste of our budget spending the amount equivalent to five hundred million USD only to realize his purpose. The bright aspect of this event is, however, that there is a real democratic party born based on the grass roots movement. It is the Constitutional Democratic Party. It has gained only 50 seats in this election. But the number of the voters to this party was only a little bit less than the LDPJ, the party fo PM Abe, in the proportional representation district in Tokyo. This will be the nucleus for the movement against the authoritarianism in Japan.
I won't stop committing in such political movements for real democracy in order to provide better future for the next generation.  


Learning Morse Code results in qualitative change in white matter

It is interesting that diffusion tensor imaging technique shows the increased integrity and development of neuron fibers in the brain. This study shows learning Morse Code has augmented the fractional anisotropy of the Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus whose function is vaguely understood regarding emotion or thoughts. It means learning Morse Code has caused alteration of this structure of white matter, that is, increased connection of centers in occipital, temporal lobe and the other areas.

Reading only this abstract of the paper, I am wondering how they have set the control in the observation of time dependent change. The other question is if learning Morse Code could be compared to second language acquisition. Since Morse Code system has no grammar, it is not a language itself.

Despite of such questions in this study, it still means Learning Morse Code causes structural change in the white matter, which means the improvement of the skill in Morse Code reception will be done stepwise. Once we obtain its capability, we won't lose it easily. Morse Code reception could be useful to activate our brain. 


 2017 Jul 26;11:383. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00383. eCollection 2017.

Learning Morse Code Alters Microstructural Properties in the Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus: A DTI Study.


Learning relies on neuroplasticity, which has mainly been studied in gray matter (GM). However, there is mounting evidence indicating a critical role of white matter changes involved in learning processes. One of the most important learning processes in human development is language acquisition. However, due to the length of this learning process, it has been notoriously difficult to investigate the underlying neuroplastic changes. Here, we report a novel learning paradigm to assess the role of white matter plasticity for language acquisition. By acoustically presenting Morse Code (MC) using an in house developed audio book as a model for language-type learning, we generated a well-controlled learning environment that allows for the detection of subtle white matter changes related to language type learning in a much shorter time frame than usual language acquisition. In total 12 letters of the MC alphabet were learned within six learning session, which allowed study participants to perform a word recognition MC decoding task. In this study, we found that learning MC was associated with significant microstructural changes in the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF). The fractional anisotropy (FA) of this associative fiber bundle connecting the occipital and posterior temporal cortex with the temporal pole as well as the hippocampus and amygdala was increased. Furthermore, white matter plasticity was associated with task performance of MC decoding, indicating that the structural changes were related to learning efficiency. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate an important role of white matter neuroplasticity for acquiring a new language skill.