Friday, 11 January 2013


Thanks to China, my wife is sound asleep.
She hasn't been sleeping well at night ever since the burglary early this week. But over the last few days we have been taking preventative measures to guard against further incursions into our sovereign territory.
Chief among them are the dozen made-in-China window locks we picked up from the ¥100 shop. Come nightfall, the lights go on all over the bunker. Having no sons, I don't have a cricket or baseball bat to hand, but I thought better of tackling future home invaders armed only with my daughter's badminton racquet. So I've taken to sleeping with an umbrella beside my bed. Until the weekend at least, when we have time to rearm, any invader will face the wrath of me and my brolly.
I can admit to myself that if I'm truthful, that probably didn't set my wife's mind at ease. But that and the cumulative power of a dozen small changes have. We don't forget to lock the doors and windows every night. We always close the outside window shutters now. And we pay attention to who is walking around the neighbourhood. Our strongest defence is openness — we tell what we know to anyone who will listen. The whole neighbourhood now knows what happened a few days ago, and because of this we learnt there was another break-in an hour before our home was raided. As a result, everyone is looking out for each other.
And the prime suspect.
The cops reckon he's in his 20s or 30s, is 160cm tall with 24cm-size shoes. They are pretty certain he's in the building trade because he's so neat and tidy. And there have been sightings of a young stranger walking around the neighbourhood with orange shoes. I saw him myself a week ago.
But I'm not so sure.
Remove the urge to make assumptions and other possibilities spring up. There's another word for a man who is short, neat and tidy with dainty feet:
A woman.
But whether it's a man in the building trade, a chap with orange shoes, or a woman: we're ready this time.
We're shuttlecocked and loaded.  


While I was splashing out on one-off home defence measures, the prime minister was too. Although Shinzo Abe's measures come in at considerably more than ¥1,260 ($15), which is what I paid for my window locks yesterday. The government is going to spend ¥180 billion ($2 billion) on missiles, fighter jets and helicopters as an emergency economic measure, according to my morning copy of the Japan Times.
This was in response to Chinese incursions into the Japanese held Senkaku islets, the most recent of which was a few hours before my home was invaded.
Abe's ¥180 billion also buys ¥16 billion of "antiquake and tsunami measures" for the Self-Defence Forces. That's presumably concrete. Sounds like an awful lot of money for very little to me, but of course it's also "to stimulate the economy," according to a defence ministry official. Of course it is. Everything is to stimulate the economy, just as long as someone else pays for all that stimulating. And unless there's a concrete factory around here, I doubt the Abikan economy will be much stimulated, but what would I know?
I can't help thinking of how many window locks Mr Abe could buy with that kind of money, although he probably won't be buying them cheap from China now.


@Crank_Dub said...

By jove, I think you've got it: the solution to the problem of the Senkaku islets. Put windows all round them, then put locks on the windows. Genius. You'll be having tea with Abe in no time.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Or we could just all challenge each other to a game of badminton.

Kevin Wood said...

try the DIY store or local construction site for a short (60-90 cm) length of rebar (that stuff they put in concrete. Failing that, a sock with a big handful of 10 yen coins can do some real damage, certainly more than the 'brolly.
Stay safe.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Daughter informs me that ¥100 shop carries baseball bats too. I'll add the DIY weaponry after I've completed the gator trap door and poisoned spear pit.