Japan Today

151E comments

Posted in: China and Russia increasing military collaboration, Japan foreign minister warns See in context

@JeffLee

I'd recommend you read 'Nyet Mean Nyet' 2008 diplomatic cable from CIA director William J. Burns (available to us thanks to WikiLeaks). In said cable the then US ambassador to Moscow writes, "Ukraine and Georgia's NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, the engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region. Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia's influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests. Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face."

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: WHO says COVID emergency is over. So what does that mean? See in context

But... but... but... What about all those who remain unvaccinated in the Global South? We were told time and time again that the unvaccinated were "variant factories", that hybrid-immunity from vaccination and recovering from infection was far superior to natural immunity, and that to end the pandemic everyone needed to get the vaccine. How can it be over with billions still unjabbed?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan split over Diet debate on Constitution revision: survey See in context

The Constitution of Japan, regardless of provenance, expresses an ideal that all nations should aspire to. Renouncing war as a means of solving international disputes, while retaining the right to self-defense is the highest expression of bushido.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: Chinese electric vehicle brands expand to global markets See in context

Those who casually dismiss Chinese manufacturing as cheap and of poor quality should remember the same used to be said of Japanese and Korean manufactures. I wouldn't sleep on Chinese industry or they may well eat your lunch.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Posted in: SpaceX giant rocket explodes minutes after launch from Texas See in context

As the old saying goes, "If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." This is a misleading title. As a safety precaution, the rocket self-destructed when separation from the booster stage failed. Events like this are expected to happening during the development stage. Design mistakes will be corrected and the next iteration will perform better. The main test was still successful.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Progress made in Japan on gender wage gap, but more must be done: gov't See in context

While my wife has her own business; she is the exception amongst our female friends and acquaintances, most of whom openly say they aspire to marrying a guy rich enough that they don't have to work. Given such attitudes, who is WEF to chide Japanese women for not wanting to work an 80 hr+ work week?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan births hit all-time low in 2022; below 800,000 for 1st time See in context

Stephen J. Shaw's research indicates that most childless couples end up so accidentally, having postponed finding a partner and having kids until it was simply too late. For those interested, part one of his three part documentary, Birthgap, is available on YouTube.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's Indigenous peoples fight stigma to reclaim identities See in context

@oyato

Thanks for the link! I look forward to reading it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's Indigenous peoples fight stigma to reclaim identities See in context

Japanese history is full of stories of quarreling brothers and warring clans but where are the accounts of the curious customs of the Ainu or tales of the heroic deeds of the Seii Taishogun in battle with the Emishi? Spanish conquistadors left accounts of their plunder of the Mayan and Aztec empires. American settlers left accounts of their contact and conflicts with various tribes. Curiously, Japan seems to lack anything more than the briefest mentions of the wars for which the famed title of shogun was originally bestowed.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't says drones included in eased rules for downing flying objects See in context

Tough times ahead for the hobbyist weather balloon community.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for assaulting man who dropped litter outside train station See in context

Let's keep Japan beautiful! Punch a litterbug!

7 ( +14 / -7 )

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

@三九

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 )

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