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Saudi crown prince seeks soft power in game hub Japan

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By Katie Forster and Mathias Cena

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Japan this week, where he will hold talks on energy while hunting more opportunities in gaming as he seeks to improve Saudi Arabia's image.

"Soft power" is an interesting way to describe dismembering dissident American journalists with chainsaws.

10 ( +22 / -12 )

Just shows what the main game is! Lip service to human rights is all these politicians offer when money is involved

10 ( +12 / -2 )

We should keep in mind that the CIA concluded with "medium to high confidence" that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S.-based journalist and critic of Saudi Arabia's government.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45812399

“Jamal Khashoggi: All you need to know about Saudi journalist's death”

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Everybody lock up your journalists.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Saudi has seen how well the sports-washing of its appalling human rights situation has gone, so now they're games-washing, it seems.

Sadly, money talks and I'm sure MBS will find many willing partners :(

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Mr. J. Khashoggi a U.S. permanent visa holder was beaten up then killed and cut into pieces by knives and a bone saw while inside the Saudi Embassy, then his body parts were put in plastic bags and removed from embassy before the Turkish police was allowed to enter the embassy.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

 the architect of global energy policy, a financial powerhouse, and a nation in a major socioeconomic transition" -- can be a desirable partner.

MBS, The Ayatollah, Putin, MBZ and the other global masters of fossil fuel will continue to use Japan Inc. as long as Japan's fossil caste remain fossilized and beholden to the global masters of gas and oil. Burn, baby burn that fossil fuel, and keep the global masters living lives of wretched excess, while the planet chokes on exhaust and burns

Pollution from Fossil-Fuel Combustion is the Leading Environmental Threat to Global Pediatric health and equity

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800116/

7 ( +7 / -0 )

bass4funkToday 08:53 am JST

Also oil is not so good for your ally Israel, considering where it comes from.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This man and his country are not friends of Japan. They are the polar opposite to Japanese values.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

bass4funkToday 08:53 am JST

perhaps heavily invested in big oil/gas, or just another lackey for the global fossil fuel masters that's swallowed their climate change denial propaganda?

A lackey for an energy source that is reliable and has kept the world running for over 120 years. You can walk and chew gum at the same time, if the U.S. doesn’t get the oil, someone else will, it is not going away, it will be drilled and used, if that’s the case then it should be by US because it would be processed definitely cleaner and used more responsibly than by either the Russians or the Chinese.

We used to use coal for everything. Now we don't. China is building lots of green energy stuff and EVs and I bet some of it will be used domestically. They have smart people in charge that must have gotten the memo on climate change.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So the "saw power" MBS now wants "soft power" and according to analyst Toto,

"Japanese companies might face lower "moral hurdles" to doing deals with Saudi Arabia, which "doesn't have that super bad image that it has in the West".

Well, say what you will, the prince got away with murder under hypocritical Western eyes practiced in the etiquette of looking away from heinous crimes committed by members of their exclusive international fraternity so the Japanese need not fear to tread in the footsteps of MBS's softly, softly "rehabilitation" paved with sticky oil dollars and blood.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

bass4funkToday 09:06 am JST

We used to use coal for everything. Now we don't.

In 2022 alone the US consumed about 525 million short tons of coal. So you just made a Pinocchio.

We've bent the curve on that signficantly so no pinnochio on me.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=37692

to his own, but I’ll be looking forward to when we can start re-drilling.

As long as you acknowledge you aren't too good with the science.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

we have come a long ways from the days that I remember as a kid the skies were purple in LA and with the new emission control standards put in place that has all changed

LA still has purple skies and it has nothing to do at all with emissions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@: Not to defend the Crown Prince, but

By whatabouting - typical old Soviet style - Comm. may not be 'defending' MBS, but certainly is not criticizing him. Hummer owner. perhaps heavily invested in big oil/gas, or just another lackey for the global fossil fuel masters that's swallowed their climate change denial propaganda?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@: B: Well, you can trust China, I never have

Gross flip-floppery from someone that supports China's partner Russia in Russia and China's conflicts with the US.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

wolfshineToday 01:56 pm JST

I don't think Saudis are the foreign consultants you are looking for, unless your plan is to just make everything Chinese owned.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When Kishida visited Saudi Arabia last July, the focus was on energy, particularly green energy and decarbonization.

Is that what they call using massive leveraged transnational capital to entrench fossil fuel hegemony?

The Kingdom sure has a way with words.

Count on PM Kishida to act as shamelessly as usual in the face of such oligarchical puissance.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

At the end it's surely somewhat convincing to sign everything when the negotiation 'partner' has it all, money, oil and chainsaws. lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it's great that when MBS is not busy having journalists dismembered, he's got time for computer games.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Soft power" is an interesting way to describe dismembering dissident American journalists with chainsaws.

I think that’s really the point. They probably realize that murdering journalists who criticize the royal family is counterproductive.

But the goal is the same: to promote their legacy. Qatar is doing a similar thing by donating to universities, hosting sports events etc.

Would it be crazy to suggest that some opinions expressed by college students in the U.S. about the Gaza conflict can be traced back to petroleum profits?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Islam is the enemy of the west... unless they have mountains of gold"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't think Japan would have any scruples about buffing up the image of MBS.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Mohammed bin Salman is the head of a country which uses ‘law’ to carry out mass executions, stonings, lamppost street hangings , limb decapitations and keeps bone saws at overseas embassies for nefarious purposes.

And the Japanese are welcoming such an individual?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Here is just one salacious example of Saudi ‘hard power’

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/03/15/saudi-arabia-mass-execution-81-men

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@isabelle

I'm sure MBS will find many willing partners :(

And these partners of MBS will likely be your Japanese comrades.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

We criticize Japan for its toxic overworked culture, but they don't sit on top of land with an autogenerate-money feature, can't just sit around in the sun getting free lunches. Without a disciplined work culture, Japan would be nothing.

In the end money trumps everything. Don't have the will, nor talents, nor patience, nor skills to build it ? Buy it!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

commanteerToday 06:57 am JST

Soft power" is an interesting way to describe dismembering dissident American journalists with chainsaws.

I suppose they should just throw them into a dark dungeon for years like the US and UK do. Not to defend the Crown Prince, but until our own houses have been cleansed of oppression and corruption we have no business trying to reform others.

Assange is not a journalist but thank you for playing. And the west has a role in calling out countries that are dramatically worse on press freedom.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Excellent...

It's always good for Japan to make alliances with BRICS+ members..

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Wolfshine .

The truth is hard to hear, isn't it?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

We've bent the curve on that signficantly so no pinnochio on me.

Hardly.

https://www.worldoil.com/magazine/2024/february-2024/2024-forecast-and-review/u-s-drilling-more-of-the-same-expected/

We need more of this.

As long as you acknowledge you aren't too good with the science.

I beg to differ.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Soft power" is an interesting way to describe dismembering dissident American journalists with chainsaws.

I suppose they should just throw them into a dark dungeon for years like the US and UK do. Not to defend the Crown Prince, but until our own houses have been cleansed of oppression and corruption we have no business trying to reform others.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

We used to use coal for everything. Now we don't.

In 2022 alone the US consumed about 525 million short tons of coal. So you just made a Pinocchio. The coal we use is primarily used for electricity generation, contributing significantly to the country's energy mix, and yes, its share has been declining in favor of natural gas and renewable energy sources, but it’s not gone or going away anytime soon.

China is building lots of green energy stuff and EVs

China is not the country that the left think it is.

https://youtu.be/neSWgfRpTE8?si=fNorcb1GuuuqcE9f

and I bet some of it will be used domestically. They have smart people in charge that must have gotten the memo on climate change.

Well, you can trust China, I never have, and never will. You can by their BYD crap, I would never, so each to his own, but I’ll be looking forward to when we can start re-drilling.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Campaigners say Saudi's quest for soft power belies a dire rights record, and Human Rights Watch this week called on Kishida to press Prince Mohammed on the issue.

And this will accomplish literally nothing. Biden criticizing Japan's attitudes on immigrants accomplished NOTHING, aside from upsetting the netto uyoku as well as many "Pick me!" foreigners (which was quite entertaining I suppose).

Kishida, take the deal. Your society is becoming an irrelevant joke. Most of your industries are doing nothing noteworthy and many companies here are receiving corporate welfare to prevent millions of people from becoming unemployed. Since your yen is tumbling so hard you might as well just put everything up for sale anyway. I would LOVE to watch all of these useless oyajis get evicted and replaced with young and dynamic foreigners that will make the workplaces more open and productive.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

They are the polar opposite to Japanese values.

You're right. "They" are thinking big. They are being ambitious. They are thinking ahead and thinking of the future.

The Japanese are still endlessly trying to solve yesterday's problems.

We criticize Japan for its toxic overworked culture, but they don't sit on top of land with an autogenerate-money feature, can't just sit around in the sun getting free lunches. Without a disciplined work culture, Japan would be nothing.

Their work culture is a big part of the reason why they are on the decline. People are working absurdly long hours and have no work-life balance, which is causing social problems ie men and women not interacting or forming meaningful relationships, which means people aren't having kids, which is helping the population slide downwards, meaning lower tax revenue, meaning all of the great social programs and government programs Japanese people like will eventually wither away because they can't fund them. All those great trains? Many of the stations are closing outside of a handful of regions. Small towns are disappearing, some even in Kanto.

Moreover since the 1960s they basically abandoned agriculture in favor of a service based economy, and now Japan imports over 60% of its food, meanwhile the service economy isn't actually producing anything worthwhile. All they can really do is try to copy things the west has done in hopes they can catch up.

Mass immigration is not the answer. But we don't need the oyajis anymore, either. Send them to retirement, I don't even mind if they get a nice goodbye package in the process. But they have failed at running things. Bring in the foreign consultants to run the companies and assist the government and I guarantee you there will be more investment into Japan and the economic situation could stabilize.

The first part of the process is accepting that there is a big problem. So I for one welcome our new Saudi overlords.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Japan only get the crumb, China already got the main deal

https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/Interview/Saudi-Arabia-to-keep-bolstering-ties-with-China-economic-chief

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

perhaps heavily invested in big oil/gas, or just another lackey for the global fossil fuel masters that's swallowed their climate change denial propaganda?

A lackey for an energy source that is reliable and has kept the world running for over 120 years. You can walk and chew gum at the same time, if the U.S. doesn’t get the oil, someone else will, it is not going away, it will be drilled and used, if that’s the case then it should be by US because it would be processed definitely cleaner and used more responsibly than by either the Russians or the Chinese.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Japan's fossil caste remain fossilized and beholden to the global masters of gas and oil. Burn, baby burn that fossil fuel, and keep the global masters living lives of wretched excess, while the planet chokes on exhaust and burns

As we should, oil will never, at least not in the foreseeable future go away, we can come up with cleaner policies, we have come a long ways from the days that I remember as a kid the skies were purple in LA and with the new emission control standards put in place that has all changed. We need to drill more, not less and use the energy we have, energy that has always been the most reliable, and that’s oil, coal, gas, but at the same time we should look for other viable and sustainable alternatives that can match resources we have been using reliably for over 120 years. China and India will, they will and they’re not beholden to any strict standard, the U.S. has and as such should continue to harness these resources.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

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