151E comments

Posted in: Japan says China's military strategy unclear, of serious concern See in context

If Japan doesn't deal with the situation now, she may very well one day wake up to find herself a vassal state, with Chinese bases dotted across the country and no independent foreign policy, pressured to spend public treasure to equip JSDF with Chinese made weapons (ostensibly for self defense), and kids forced to learn Chinese in school!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan starts vaccinating people aged 18 or older at large-scale centers See in context

@mmwkdm I think 2hat you are alluding to is the body's innate immune response which, unlike the adaptive immune response (responsible for producing antibodies), we don't yet know how to train, although some people are researching whether this might be possible.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: High court judge faces impeachment for inappropriate tweets See in context

@Kazuaki Shimazaki Thanks for the link - it's far more insightful than this Kyodo news wire story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan starts vaccinating people aged 18 or older at large-scale centers See in context

@noriahojanen Thanks for the link. Interesting to compare this with the US VAERS data.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: High court judge faces impeachment for inappropriate tweets See in context

Could someone kindly explain what was offensive about the judge's tweets? Was it the fact that, as in the examples cited above, they were long noun phrases and not full sentences? Or was it simply petty payback for his criticism of extending the retirement age of prosecutors? Expressing even mild criticism of 'the powers that be' seems to quickly get you in trouble these days.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Posted in: Town hit by threats, complaints over COVID vaccination program for youth See in context

The mRNA vaccines are a promising new technology, with great potential for the rapid development and treatment of other diseases such as malaria and cancer. However, they are new. And while, over the past year or so, millions have already been successfully vaccinated with little or no short term adverse effect, since no long term studies have been conducted, no one - no doctor, no scientist, absolutely no one - knows what long term ill health effects may arise. So it is reasonable for people to weigh the known dangers of COVID-19 (relatively low for young people, and exponentially severe for the more elderly) against the unknown dangers of the vaccines. Since most of their lives is still ahead of them, young people face the greatest risk of any unforeseen future health problems possibly arising from these new vaccines. People should not be labeled anti-vax and dismissed as anti-science for expressing this concern or for having a different level of risk aversion than others.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Posted in: American arrested on suspicion of smuggling cannabis oil See in context

@OlympicSupport

Nice catch on Japan's GPIF investing in cannabis! How I wish Japan had a homegrown John Oliver or Jimmy Dore or someone who could entertainingly point out government and corporate hypocrisy, greed and incompetence here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Putin says Russia ready to continue peace treaty talks with Japan See in context

If Japan ever truly hopes to get back any of the islands (and realistically, considering Russian domestic sentiment, the most they can ever hope for is the smaller two) then Japan has to offer something of equal or greater value to Russia. Yet somehow this basic fact seems to elude the Japanese side (and a fair number of the posters above). A peace treaty is of less value to Russia than are the islands to Japan, so those holding out for Russia to concede territory first are going to have to wait a long time.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: It's easy to get vaccinated in Japan – if you have 'connections' See in context

For those without connections, there are things you can do to help minimize you risk from COVID-19 until you are eligible to get vaccinated (but apparently mentioning this under COVID-19 stories is somehow 'off topic'). Anyway, for those interested, I'd recommend listening to the conversation between US critical care physician Dr. Pierre Kory (who, by the way, helped pioneer the use of corticosteroids and blood thinners for treating COVID patients) and Dr. Bret Weinstein on the later's youtube channel or podcast.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Court rules restrictions on transgender official's use of women's toilet legal See in context

If gender is a social construct, does it not follow that your gender is not your decision alone but a negotiation between the individual and society at large? Perhaps, for now, providing a unisex lavatory option in public spaces and larger private offices would be a reasonable compromise.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Posted in: COVID lab origin theory gains traction in U.S. See in context

Whoever wrote the headline for this article needs to learn the distinction between hypothesis and theory.

26 ( +28 / -2 )

Posted in: Man ordered to pay damages for tweeting insults over late 'Terrace House' star See in context

The Japanese use of the term of 'slander' (中傷) confusingly seems to blur the distinction between criticism, insult, and slander - only one of which should be a civil offence. The trolls' comments were uncouth and spiteful, but the judgement is farcical. I can't help but wonder if this won't eventually be weaponized to silence criticism of government policy.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Posted in: Many reasons why Japan has been slow to roll out vaccinations See in context

One problem for domestic producers not mentioned in the article is the inability to procure enough single-use bioreactor bags. Predictably, there has been a rush on these to meet the ramped up production schedule necessary to provide enough vaccine. Apparently the Ministry of Health, late to the game, has been calling around to foreign suppliers (and most single-use components are made overseas) hoping to use their clout to help secure supplies, but they are all on backorder as is. So, thanks to this bottle neck in the supply chain, I wouldn't expect domestic production to begin in earnest for several months yet.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP renews push to revise constitution See in context

Never let a good crisis go to waste!

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: Anger in France after 'civil war' warning over Macron's 'concessions' to Islamism See in context

For those who keep asking "What concessions?", Radio France Internationale details some of the military's concerns - particularly the emergence of a 'parallel' Islamist society within France that shows open disdain for and defiance against the values and laws of la République. Whether you agree with their critique or not, it should come as no surprise that many soldiers, after having been sent to fight Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan, Mali, Central African Republic and elsewhere, should feel particularly galled to return home and see the spread of more radical Wahhabi and Salafist strands of Islam within their own country.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Is it safe to go to big sporting events during the pandemic? See in context

@Happy Day If we're going to invoke science, the critical risk factor is virion density - so enclosed spaces are more dangerous than open spaces, and densely packed areas are more dangerous than widely spaced areas. Sporting events are not magically exempt from this calculus.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: COVID-19 vaccination for those under 65 may start in July: minister See in context

@obladi Question is, by the time we get the vaccine, will it still protect us from the most infectious virus variant?

It all depends on how similar the new variants' spike proteins are to the original. There is an equally interesting yet frightening discussion of this question with Geert Vanden Bossche on Bret Weinstein's DarkHorse podcast. Bossche (who, just to be clear, is pro-vaccination and spent three years as senior program officer for vaccine discover at the Bill and Melidnda Gates Foundation) argues that mass vaccination campaigns during a pandemic introduce evolutionary pressure favoring new more infectious variants that existing vaccines will eventually be ineffective at combating. He presents a logical argument but, just how things play out in the real world, we'll just have to wait and see.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Police report record number of cannabis offenders in 2020 See in context

For me the fundamental question is: Provided there is no harm to others, what right does the government have to regulate what adults choose to do with their own bodies?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Female monarchs to be debated as Japan looks to secure imperial line See in context

IVF with PGD - problem solved.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Cosmic rays causing 30,000 network malfunctions in Japan each year See in context

We really should be hardening systems now in anticipation of the next Carrington-like event.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Disney parks abandon 'ladies and gentlemen' announcements See in context

@snowymountainhell

Really, 'folks'⸮ You seriously think that 1930's dog whistle for white supremacists is O.K.⸮ It's widely known that Walt Disney had Nazi sympathies and the term 'folk' is heavily laden with white ethnographic nationalist associations. Clearly you understand that language can negatively impact the lives of LGBTIQCAPGNGFNBA minorities and are striving to speak with greater inclusivity, but 'folks'⸮ No, just nooooo.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Leader of political party that refuses to pay NHK ordered to pay NHK See in context

Back in the early days of radio and television broadcasts, when cost was a significant barrier to entry, having a government supported broadcaster and mandatory licensing fees did make some sense. However, these days with the internet, there is now much greater consumer choice and virtually no barrier to entry to the journalism marketplace.

The mandatory licensing fee system should be revisited in a national plebiscite. If the Japanese people feel NHK is of national importance, it should be funded through general taxes instead of a separate licensing fee. However, if the Japanese people feel NHK is no longer of national importance, the government should stop interfering in the market and allow NHK to compete like any other corporation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Cartoon dog pitches COVID vaccines to skeptical Japanese public See in context

@Tokyo-Engr

Why not simply state the benefits of the vaccine and then the risks and people can decide based on their own physical condition and personal risk factors?

I suspect the answer to that question is that there are two competing interests at play which authorities would rather most don't think about. From the broader social perspective, it's clearly best to have everyone share equal risk and get vaccinated in attempt to eradicate the virus. Whereas, from the perspective of individual self-interest, there is an obvious advantage to be had in having others accept all the risk of vaccination while still reaping the benefits of herd-immunity. However, if too many people adopt the free-rider position, the current situation will drag out indefinitely.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Calls grow for U.S. to rely on rapid tests to fight pandemic See in context

@Burning Bush Your fears are unfounded. Antigen false results will most likely be false negatives not false positives, whereas the more sensitive PCR tests are more likely to result in false positives when running 40 cycles or more. If interested, you can read more about the benefits of cheap (i.e. $5 USD per unit), mass, rapid testing at rapidtests.org.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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