Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Russians Kill Japanese Crab Fisherman

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The AP story reads,
A Russian border patrol shot and killed a Japanese crab fisherman Wednesday in waters near disputed islands off Japan's northern coast . . . near Kaigara island, one of several islands off the northeast tip of Hokkaido that are claimed by both Japan and Russia.
I guess that's one way settle a dispute: Just kill each other until someone gives in or gives up.

If the Japanese crab fisherman had been a member of Hezbollah I would expect that Hassan Nasrallah would have already appeared on television declaring that a great victory had been won against the Russian occupiers.

Instead, we read that,
The Japanese Foreign Ministry planned to summon Russia's deputy ambassador to explain the incident.
Perhaps the Japanese could just kill Russia's deputy ambassador and call it even. I doubt that the crab fisherman's family would conisder the deputy ambassador any more valuable a human life than the fisherman's!

Back when I was living in the far-northern California town of Weed I frequently came across a sign similar to the one at the top of this post. The signs were intended to make a serious point with a quirky twist of wry humor. No one really took the signs literally but we respected the intent.

I can imagine the waters around Kiagara Island covered with buoys covered with the Russian equivilent of, "Trespassers Will Be Shot." These buoys would, of course, be intermingled with an equal number of buoys carrying the same message in Japanese.

My guess is that the big problem is that most sailors on a Russian border patrol boat crew do not read Japanese very well and that most Japanese crab fishermen do not read Russian very well, either.

Until this all gets straightened out I imagine that the only winners in this whole, tragic mess are the crabs.