151E comments

Posted in: U.S., Japan launch task force to tackle forced labor in supply chains See in context

Let’s see if the do anything about cobalt mining in the Congo. That’ll show just how serious they are about forced labor.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan reports 245,542 new coronavirus cases See in context

@Yubaru A recent study of 51,011 employees of the Cleveland Clinic found that more doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines positively correlated with increased incident of COVID infection. Perhaps this helps explains Japan’s swelling numbers. Please see: www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.12.17.22283625v1

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Japan turns back to nuclear power to tackle energy crisis See in context

If one is concerned about increased CO2 and global warming, small modular reactors (SMRs) like those proposed by Taylor Wilson and others ought to be seriously considered as part of the national power generation mix.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Why Japan is boosting its arms capability, defense budget See in context

This article is just regurgitated government talking points, with no counter balancing view from anti-war groups, no questioning if these ‘fears’ are indeed reasonable, and no attempt to analyze if the increase in spending will actually do anything to allay said concerns. It is a textbook example of manufacturing consent.  

As for why Japan is boosting its arms capability and defense budget, economist Michael Hudson called it months ago when he observed that the war in Ukraine would send energy prices spiraling, and that US control of the IMF would allow the Americans to offer Japan Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to stabilize the Yen in exchange for increased military spending and ultimately a rewriting of the constitution. I suspect, beyond the usual grift to enrich weapons manufactures, the Pentagon and LDP are arming Japan so she can fight against China in defense of Taiwan, down to the last Japanese, just like with proxy war in the Ukraine against Russia.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan faces long, difficult road to promote inclusive education See in context

"It's a question of social justice," he said, "not creating a more effective society or one that guarantees a more effective learning environment."

I suppose it depends on the class, but I fail to see the "justice" in making anyone sit through a class that is too difficult for them to keep up with; that will only lead to frustration and apathy as they fall further and further behind their classmates. If anything, I'd encourage students to be split up for each subject based on individual ability into remedial, intermediate or advanced classes. But that would take precious funds that the government would rather spend on beefing up the military.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Posted in: Emperor opens festivals marking 50th anniversary of Okinawa's return See in context

50th anniversary of Okinawa's return... Journalist Nishiyama Takichi was arrested and his career destroyed for (accurately) reporting on a (then) secret Japan-U.S. agreement

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Former British ambassador to Myanmar reportedly detained See in context

When charges aren't published within 24 hrs for every person detained, you know it is a dictatorship. 

According to the UK government's own website (www.gov.uk/arrested-your-rights/how-long-you-can-be-held-in-custody) "You can be held without charge for up to 14 days If you're arrested under the Terrorism Act." OK, but that's terrorism. In principle, police are only allowed to hold a suspect without charge for 24 hours. But then this may be extended, depending on the circumstances, up to a maximum of 96 hours detention without charge.

So, by theFu's curious reasoning, the UK would be a dictatorship. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to scrap pre-entry COVID test for triple-vaccinated travelers; cap on entrants remains See in context


Sorry, you’re right to call out the distinction. I should have been more clear. The unvaccinated group had all recovered from prior infection - naturally developed protection being longer lived vaccine induced protection.

Also worth noting is the relatively young age of the population in Qatar. An older demographic like Japan’s might see different results.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to scrap pre-entry COVID test for triple-vaccinated travelers; cap on entrants remains See in context

According to recent data from Qatar published in Nature, the effectiveness against symptomatic COVID infection after 2nd dose of either Pfizer or Moderna falls, within 3 months, from 46.6% to below 10%. After 6 months, effectiveness was actually negative, meaning the unvaccinated would be better protected at this time!

However, a 3rd dose (ie first booster) raises effectiveness to 59.9%, but within 1 month falls to 40.5%, and within 2-3 months is back to zero again.  

The take home message is: a 3rd dose, while quite effective against symptomatic COVID, provides only short lived protection. Ideally, government policy would reflect this.

Please see: Chemaitelly, H., Ayoub, H.H., AlMukdad, S. et al. Duration of mRNA vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants in Qatar. Nat Commun 13, 3082 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30895-3

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: Pfizer seeks OK of updated COVID vaccine booster for fall See in context

At the start of the pandemic, Geert Vandal Bossche was the only scientist (at least that I'm aware of) who publicly argued that mass vaccination during an active pandemic would create evolutionary pressure favoring new vaccine-escape variants. His logic was sound but he was largely dismissed at the time. Now he's predicting that introducing an Omicron specific booster will again create new evolutionary pressure favoring variants that will likely exhibit greater virulence. So I guess we'll see in a few months whose model is right.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Posted in: 50% of Japanese women think work hampers married life: survey See in context

So I guess we all know now who to blame for Japan's abysmal gender gap ranking. Thanks a lot laddies. : j

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: U.S. medical experts call for Omicron-specific COVID boosters See in context

Well, as long as the vaccines remain non-sterilizing, and large numbers of people continue to encounter the virus before their bodies have fully developed a robust immune response (ie shortly after receiving their jab), we can expect still more variants to emerge and the pandemic to drag on. Hopefully, we won't see ADE as a result.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese society begins to grapple with microaggressions See in context

The degree of offence taken should be proportional to or less than the degree of offence intended.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Kill Japan's elderly? Cannes film probes chilling idea See in context

Sadly, it seems most people are unaware that humanity is on the cusp of a radical revolution in which much of the fragility and weakening the body we associate with aging can be largely mitigated, and in some cases even reversed, such that many people could realistically expect to remain physically active and productive for 120 years plus. I'd encourage everyone to google Dr. David Sinclair and the information theory of aging, perhaps read his book Lifespan or listen to his podcast of the same name.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: 'I’ll kill you!' says Japanese schoolgirl when convenience store won’t let her use toilet See in context

arrested for attempted forced coercion

Oddly redundant. An overly literal translation perhaps?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: What Elon Musk's dance with Twitter really means See in context

@Boris Yarovoy

What are you talking about Musk having no long-term goal? He has stated many times that his primary motivation is to make humans an interplanetary species to help ensure civilizations' long-term survival (on the order of millions of years). You badly misread the man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Zelenskyy accuses West of cowardice in helping Ukraine fight See in context

Makes you think that Ukraine should have kept their nukes instead of joining the NPT

This is exactly why North Korea will never give up their nukes. Most Libyans probably wish they had kept their nuclear program too.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: GoFundMe ends fundraiser for Canada convoy protesters See in context

Interesting that GoFundMe supported CHAZ/CHOP despite unlawful activity.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Posted in: Rogan responds to Spotify protest, COVID advisories See in context

It’s clear many don’t know Jack ‘bout Joe. His show — far from being a fount of misinformation, misogyny, and racism as claimed by the msm — features an eclectic mix of extended unhurried chats with interesting people from all walks of life, including: 

David Sinclair, Andrew Huberman, Rhonda Patrick

Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Lex Fridman

Michael Pollan, James Nestor, Sebastian Junger

Daryl Davis, Josh Dubin, Amanda Knox

John Abramson, Edward Snowden, Bernie Sanders

Alex Honnold, Cameron Hanes, Laird Hamilton

Bill Burr, Russel Peters, Dave Chappelle

Reggie Watts, Penn Jillette, Oliver Stone

Rob Kearny, Ben Patrick, Pavel Tsatsouline

Rickson Gracie, George St-Pierre, John Danaher

His show was one of the first to offer such long form conversation where listeners can hear guest discuss ideas in great detail and length. Calls for censoring Joe because of the views expressed by a small handful of guests flies in the face of liberal claims of tolerance and the once traditional liberal value of free speech.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Neil Young-Spotify row underscores podcast disinformation issues See in context

Strange that Mr. Young thinks mere talk on Joe Rogan's rather eclectic podcast is more harmful than the activities of his Blackstone business partners.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: How vaccine misinformation left children vulnerable to Omicron See in context

It's a gamble either way. But taking a wait and see approach with regards to these new vaccines, especially with infants and children, is not irrational given (1) the low incidence of severe disease in children infected with COVID-19 and (2) a 2017 study (Postmarket Safety Events Among Novel Therapeutics Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration Between 2001 and 20100) found that:

*"Among 222 novel therapeutics approved by the FDA from 2001 through 2010, 71 (32.0%) were affected by a postmarket safety event. Postmarket safety events were more frequent among biologics, therapeutics indicated for the treatment of psychiatric disease, those receiving accelerated approval, and those with near–regulatory deadline approval."*

source: jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2625319

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Booster shots needed against Omicron, CDC studies show See in context

Some interesting data from the UK on deaths from COVID-19 in people with no pre-existing conditions shows that, for England and Wales in 2020 (so before vaccines were available), there were:

9,432 total deaths

7,875 aged ≥65

1,557 aged ≤64

with the average age being 81

source: www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/freedomofinformationfoi/deathsfromcovid19withnootherunderlyingcauses

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Expect more worrisome variants after Omicron, scientists say See in context

According to many of those quoted in the article, we remain ever at risk of more virulent variants as long as large swathes of the globe remain unvaccinated. Given the fact potential animal reservoirs have been identified, how long before we're being urged to vaccinate family pets, livestock, even wild deer too?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Who's next? Hong Kong media fearful after arrests, shutdowns See in context

It's nice to see everyone so worried about freedom of the press in China. I only wish there was equal concern for press freedom in the West and the jailing of Julian Assange in Belmarsh.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Kids' low COVID-19 vaccination rates called a 'gut punch' See in context

If there is scientific data that shows lower risks for children when vaccinated that is reason enough to promote vaccination for them, this is exactly what happens with other infectious diseases.

Not necessarily, especially if the baseline risk is low and the treatment is new with no long term studies. RRR (heavily emphasized by pharma sales reps) needs to be interpreted in light of ARR. Would you vaccinate children in Japan against dengue or rabies (both with much higher CFRs than COVID-19)?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to administer COVID vaccine soon to children aged under 12 See in context

Yes, let's vaccinate the cohort at least risk from COVID-19, the cohort at greatest risk with regard to possible long term side effects of the vaccine, and let's vaccinate them with a vaccine based on a variant no longer widely in circulation. Sounds like a great plan.

19 ( +30 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan chooses to go to the moon See in context

To all the naysayers above - if you're interested in 'saving the Earth', then you ought to be interested in commercial fusion reactors; and if you're interested in fusion, you'll be interested in sourcing helium-3; and if you're interested in helium-3, you'll be interested in mining lunar regolith. So there are good reasons for this renewed space race, especially if you think we should be focused on decarbonizing the economy.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan considers bringing forward COVID booster shots for all: Kishida See in context


Thank you for your kind words. I wish you (and everyone else in the comment section) the best of health in the new year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers bringing forward COVID booster shots for all: Kishida See in context

Until boosters are available, consider supplementing with vitamin D as recommended in this open letter you can read at vitamindforall.org co-signed by over 220 medical doctors and researchers including:

Dr. Ashely Grossman (University of Oxford)

Dr. Giovanna Muscogiuri (University of Naples Federico II)

Dr. Mirchael F. Holick (Boston University Medical Center)

Dr. David Sinclair (Harvard Medical School)

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Posted in: Top five Japanese prefectures for childhood education expenditure would make any wallet shudder See in context

Many of these prefectures are out in the country where... there may be less of a push to spend on private schools and the like.

One important difference is that private high schools out here in the inaka are generally for those non-academically inclined kids who can't pass the more rigorous public high school entrance tests.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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