Crowded in Tokyo

I was up in Tokyo over the weekend for a very special event. One thing never ceases to amaze me about Tokyo: the amount of people! Besides the regular throngs of shoppers, goths and ugly maids this weekend was particularly crowded as the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was in town. This is the first time in six years a Chinese prime minister has visited Japan. There was a heavy police presence on the ground around the Diet and the Imperial Palace.

Chinese flags up around the Imperial palace
Chinese and Japanese flags were on display near the Imperial Palace.

The Indian Navy was also in town preparing for a trilateral naval exercise with Japan and the US on April 17th. Announced at the end of last month, this “large-scale maritime exercise” is the first of its kind. It was originally scheduled to be executed before the Wen visit, but was pushed back. India has been careful to calm suspicions that this is some sort of show of strength. The Assistant Chief of Naval staff stressed, “We are not engaging in these deployments to pass messages to any country nor will it be a regular exercise.” Speak Victorian and think pagan, right?

The naval exercise is particularly interesting because of recent talk that there will be an official visit to Japan by the Chinese navy later this year. Can you imagine seeing a ship flying a Chinese flag pull into Tokyo Bay?

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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4 Responses to Crowded in Tokyo

  1. Aceface says:

    Indian sailors were everywhere in Akihabara this saturday.
    They were probably looking for ugly maids!

  2. subadei says:

    Alright. Enlighten me. I get the Goth bit but what’s an “ugly maid.” When I was in Tokyo the popular fashion was really short skirts boots with eight inch tall soles deep tans and platinum frosted hair. We called them BarBQ-chans in light of their weirdly fake tans.

  3. Younghusband says:

    My mate calls them “walking photo-negatives.”

    Walk around Harajuku or Shinjuku and you see these girls dressed up like maids, or baroque dolls or whatever. 9 times out of 10 they are the most, how do you say, “aesthetically-challenged” chicks you have ever seen. The words “crocadillapig” and “swamp donkey” come to mind. Same goes for the ones wearing Pikachu or Gojira costumes out and about. We call them ugly maids.

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