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Thursday, August 19, 2010

In the news ニュース

A colonial-era wooden building in downtown Fengyuan (Hōgen/Toyohara) 豊原 that has managed to survive to the present day. Someone has got to do something about that paint job, though.

Looking through the headlines on the Japan Times ジャパンタイムズ website this morning, I became very interested in one that read "Pre-'45 posts accounts top ¥4 billion; 19 million from war zones yet to claim savings" (Kyōdō News 共同通信社 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100819a1.html), and clicked on it to have a further look:

"Japan Post Bank Co. ゆうちょ銀行 is holding about ¥4.3 billion ($50.4 million/NT1.6 billion), including accrued interest, in nearly 19 million unclaimed savings accounts that were established in Japanese-administered territories up until 1945...The statute of limitations has been suspended on the accounts because of the difficulty in tracking down the holders, who range from Japanese civilians and military personnel to locals living in former Japanese-occupied territories, including Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula and areas involved in wartime hostilities...The government has been urged to work more aggressively to publicize the issue of unclaimed savings so the holders, their heirs or next of kin or agents can claim them. The government had encouraged people not only in Japan but also in areas under its colonial rule and wartime occupation to deposit their money in postal savings as part of its efforts to secure money for the war effort."

Taiwan! Just I was thinking of the possibility that my mother-in-law might have a fortune hidden away in a long-forgotten bank account, the last paragraph of the article splashed the cold water of reality on my face:

"As for Taiwanese, Japan took special measures between 1995 and 2000 to reimburse them for postal savings and other determinate obligations at 120 times the value of their actual amounts as part of reparations."

Easy come, easy go. And hey, Dan Bloom, it seems the Japanese government has done some paying up for its sins of the past, after all.

The Japan Times also had the same Kyōdō News story on the conviction of former Brother Elephants 兄弟エレファンツ manager Shin Nakagomi 中込伸 that appeared on the Japan Today website yesterday. "Game-fixing coach walks in T'aipei (Taihoku) 台北" http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100819a7.html had a couple more details that didn't get into the Japan Today article:

"Prosecutors, who sought an 18-month prison term, have yet to say if they will appeal (Nakagomi's suspended 20-month prison term), thus requiring Nakagomi to stay in Taiwan until further notice...(The court) said Nakagomi's contrition for his behavior and the fact that this was his first offense meant a suspended sentence was sufficient as a punishment and deterrent."

No mention was made of how much money Nakagomi has in his Taiwanese bank account.

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