Addfwyn comments

Posted in: Hong Kong leader says China patriots now firmly in charge See in context

Good news, it has obviously been a pretty volatile few years for Hong Kong but some much needed stability and consistency should help. Obviously their first challenge is getting the Covid situation under control, as it has been able to run unchecked a lot more there.

Of course, we have to see how things pan out under Lee, but initially optimistic. He has a lot on his plate to try to fix, I don't envy his position.

@Algernon LaCroix

It hasn't worked that well with Russia, the ruble is soaring and Europe is suffering more from the sanctions. With China it would be even worse, China doesn't need them at all but basically every country needs China desperately. Both at the same time would be economic suicide for the west. Especially when it comes to rare-earth metals that can't just be easily acquired from an alternative source.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: China’s export growth tumbles in April after cities shut down to fight virus See in context

China has made it clear they care about the lives and safety of their people more than the economy, if they have to choose. They're not the only ones, but it is reassuring to see.

China's economy grew by a weak 4.8% over a year earlier in the quarter ending in March, up from 4% from the final three months of 202

Despite that, their economy still grew to some extent. So they have managed to handle both anyway. Less growth for thousands, if not millions, of lives saved.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Fears mount for China's economy as leaders dig in on zero-COVID See in context

China is allowing more people to die than other countries.

The US has over a million Covid related deaths, China has 5,000. Despite the relative population differences. Are you seriously arguing that economic disruption accounts for over a million additional deaths?

I won't argue that some countries have better results better results as a percentage of the population, but there aren't many and they are mostly isolated pacific islands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Musk warns Japan will cease to exist if birthrate continues decline See in context

Will Japan have a shocking drop in population?

Probably, it (and the rest of the world) could stand to be less crowded. Infinite population growth is never possible, and Japan has exceeded its sustainable population for quite some time now.

Will Japan cease to exist?

Of course not, short of the entire nation taking a vow of celibacy overnight. It is strange to assume a linear decrease of population, and that birth rate would not increase as population decreases and things like real estate become more affordable.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: As Ukraine war rages, Biden team revives Asia focus See in context

US realizing that they can only functionally sustain one propaganda campaign at a time, coupled with their population's short attention span. If their Shanghai narrative doesn't pan out for them, I expect we will here about sudden new "reports" from Xinjiang soon.

The Biden team can show "commonality" by showing that the United States is standing up for firm principles such as territorial integrity and human rights, she said.

...are they? Those who support Ukraine would probably feel they aren't doing remotely enough, and those who don't support Ukraine would argue they are doing the exact opposite of that. I really don't think shoveling money and weapons is standing up for firm principles.

Blinken, testifying in April to Congress, said that China is sure to see the "massive costs on Russia for its aggression."

How many times does it need to be said, China is not an aggressive superpower. Stop judging other countries based on US standards, it doesn't work.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: New spreadable melon pan changes the way we eat toast in Japan See in context

For toast toppings, pretty much only going with butter. Maybe some marmite if somebody gives me a jar. Fried egg if I am making a sandwich out of it.

Not sure I need a heaping of artifical flavours and shortening on my toast.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fears mount for China's economy as leaders dig in on zero-COVID See in context

China's economic growth has been just fine, and the only complaints I have really seen about Zero Covid are from "expats". Anecdotally, all my Chinese friends in China still support the policy, they just don't think it was executed quickly enough in Shanghai, resulting in the situation we have now. Which is a perfectly fair criticism, the action in Shanghai was far too slow.

China's government has brandished the strategy as proof that it values human life above material concerns and can avert the public health crises seen in other countries.

Most important point from the article. All the hemming and hawing about the economy and the inconvenience of having to stay at home while you get food delivered to you doesn't mean much when the government policy is saving lives. When some western countries have over a million dead, there's not much room for them to talk. With the population density of China, one can only imagine the devastation if they were not so strict.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Okinawa seeks Tokyo's help lowering tensions with China See in context

@Samit Basu

Yes, the last major invasion was Sino-Vietnam war (over 40 years ago), which is something I do very much hold against the CPC. I think it was badly motivated and very revisionist. I don't unconditionally support them, to some people's surprise. I don't think the CPC of today is the same as the party was then though.

I take some issue with their ongoing border conflicts with India as well, as I think that is something they can really resolve peacefully. China-India cooperation could be extremely powerful if they can improve their relations to that point.

My point though, is that China is not exceptionally aggressive in international affairs. Especially compared to other superpowers like the US or Russia.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: CNN+ latest failed attempt of cable news trailblazer to remain relevant See in context

If you are going to offer this kind of streaming package, you need to have a significant value add or at least very compelling personalities. Especially in the news realm, because there are so many free/donation supported alternatives on both sides of the spectrum. I only pay for one news source (The International magazine) and that is more because I support their message more than anything else.

@dagon

He has been a great voice from the left to try to hold conservative Democrats accountable, his trajectory from being on TYT to doing his own thing has been great to watch.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: To what extent do you let reviews of movies or restaurants influence you? See in context

To some degree, but the trick is finding a reviewer who shares your tastes. Overall aggregate review scores (see RottenTomatoes, Metacritic, etc.) mean very little to me compared to the opinion of someone whose tastes align with mine.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Okinawa seeks Tokyo's help lowering tensions with China See in context

On one hand, I agree that ending US military occupation in Okinawa would be a good thing. If for some reason the US did start a war with China, it would obviously be a key territory for the US. At the very least, an assurance that the US would not use it as a base of aggressions, though I am not sure how meaningful that would be.

I don't see the line that China itself is a threat though. I have said countless times before, but what countries has China attacked in the past 10 years? 20? 30? The answer is 0. They are non-interventionist and (for better or worse) do not export revolution. Nor is Taiwanese leadership insane enough to actually declare a formal independence that would require any kind of intervention.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Posted in: Russia bans entry of Kishida, 62 other Japanese ministers, citizens See in context

Not that surprising a move, seems to be in reciprocity like most of their actions have been. I am honsetly still really surprised they were able to come to that fishing agreement last month despite everything else going on between them.

How about de-escalating the situation? Western sanctions are making things worse. It was sanctions that caused WW2.

I wish, but it seems unlikely now. Ukraine saying peace negotiations are off the table. Conveniently right after the US finished their visit to the region.

The powers that be only serve to benefit the longer they can keep the conflict going, the loss of life doesn't matter to them. At this point in time, I don't know if we see a ceasefire before Ukraine's surrender.

Which is sad, because it never had to be the case.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. to deepen ties to deter status quo change in Indo-Pacific See in context

@Alfie Noakes

Precisely. "Protecting the status quo" translates to "Protecting the US hegemony" in this instance. At least for as long as they can keep their slipping grasp.

they shared their concerns about China's moves to undermine the rules-based international order 

I am pretty sure China is not the one bombing other countries on a regular basis, which seems to me to be undermining order a lot more.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's child population falls for 41st year to record low See in context

Inevitable in a country this overpopulated that more couples will shift towards being childfree. Can only hope that the population reaches a sane level in the future, and maybe becomes a bit more decentralized while its at it.

I really don't think the pandemic had a whole lot influence. Maybe delayed a few people who were planning to have kids, but for the most part the trend was pretty consistent with what was happening before.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: As U.S. poised to restrict abortion, other nations ease access See in context

I have immense sympathy for women in third-world countries like the US that have to undergo these kinds of hardships, I still have friends there that will be directly impacted like this. Nobdoy wants to see these kinds of rights taken away from people. The conservative Democrats, who for years have avoided codifying Roe v Wade into law, are just as much to blame as the conservative Republicans.

The good news on this story is obviously that so many other nations are moving in the right direction. The moves China has been making are concerning to me, but we haven't really seen what kind of policy their positions are making.

China is moving to limit abortions, but that’s because it has one of the highest rates of abortions in the world.

Last September, the Chinese cabinet, known as the State Council, published new national guidelines that require hospitals to “reduce non-medically necessary abortions.” In February, China’s family planning association announced it would launch a campaign to reduce teenage abortions.

This could imply that they want to reduce the necessity of abortions (better sex education, access to contraceptives, etc.) without actually banning the procedure. Which I would be totally okay with. Though the framing should probably be on "reducing teenage pregnancy" then.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' creator files lawsuit against Square Enix over disappointing 'Balan Wonderworld' See in context

I don't doubt that there is validity in the statement that Square Enix launched a game that was unfinished, companies do this constantly, but that doesn't tell the whole story.

Balan Wonderworld was fundamentally flawed from a design point of view. No amount of time would have helped that game actually be good, unless they were scrapping it entirely and starting over from the beginning. The problem was it was a bad game, not buggy or unpolished.

Naka carries as much blame, if not more, than Square here. Maybe he should have been removed earlier, but I don't know if it would have really helped.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What's your stance on abortion? See in context

Ambitious topic, certainly.

Idealistic Answer:

Women should have the say on what happens to their bodies. End of story.

Practical Answer:

It is going to happen anyway, people have been conducting some form of abortion just about as long as they have gotten pregnant. Whether that is with special teas, medical procedures, or just in a back alley with some wire.

This doesn't even begin to get into the whole array of exceptions that any society banning abortion would have to make. Do you force a woman to birth a baby conceived out of sexual assault? What's the metric for determining that?

Giving people access to the safest and cleanest method of obtaining abortions just makes simple sense.

Either way, I support the right of women to have access to abortion. I am not a woman and it ultimately isn't up to me, of course, but I support their right to come to their own conclusions.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Nadal, Djokovic slam Wimbledon ban on Russian players See in context

“We are against the government, not the people!”

has just very quickly evolved into “McCarthyism is awesome, down with the people!”

Glad to see some athletes willing to speak up for their fellow competitors.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: People view skipping lunch or breakfast as a feasible choice as long as their health is not affected. See in context

I haven't had breakfast in like 15 years, unless you count a cup of black coffee.

Lunch is free at my office, so I tend to only eat that.

Dinner I probably eat 2-3 times a week since going out with friends isn't really feasible these days anymore.

Not doing it explicitly to save money, mostly I just am not active enough to need that many calories. The savings are a nice plus though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Unjust discrimination and prejudice based on race, ethnicity, nationality or other reasons is simply impermissible. We should seek to achieve an inclusive society where people respect each other's differences and live by helping one another. See in context

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, but I don't see much action backing it up.

I would think the justice minister has more ability to enact this kind of change than almost anyone else in government.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan, Vietnam affirm respect for sovereignty See in context

I am very glad to see that Japan still has the good sense to reach out to their communist neighbors, even if the US would most likely not approve. It shows they are willing to make some diplomatic overtures of their own still.

Worth noting that the JCP is way bigger than people think too, it is one of the biggest communist parties in a non-communist country. Would be fantastic to see them actually gain power and work more closely with Vietnam and China as those countries improve their reations.

@Fighto!

Good for them.

Color me surprised, I will be perfectly honest Fighto!, I never expected you to be supportive of a communist country. Guess I was wrong, good on you. Credit where it is due.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Staring at an image of yourself on Zoom has serious consequences for mental health See in context

I kind of understand the point of the article, but it is easy to circumvent (as the article also states). Just turn off your self-view preview, it is something I have never used after the initial setup of the meeting to make sure everything is framed properly.

It isn't like things are changing so much during a meeting that you need to constantly check how you look moment-to-moment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan urges Mongolia to join int'l pressure on Russia over Ukraine See in context

Such a weird course of action from Japan.

Of course Mongolia is not going to alienate their [very powerful] neighbors at the behest of American interests. Any leader worth the name wouldn't do that.

If they WERE going to change their mind, why would Japan be the country that makes them do so. There's no deep and abiding friendship there that supercedes other relationship.

The only thing I can think of is that this is an easy way for Japan to say that they are trying to contribute too without actually having to do much.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Do you think the U.N. is dysfunctional when it comes to dealing with wars and other disputes between countries? See in context

I like the idea of the UN in theory, a council that states around the world can participate in.

It hasn't been relevant for a long time though, and is basically a puppet of a few states. Even if 99% of the UN agrees on something, it doesn't matter. Look at the UN position of the American sanctions on Cuba, basically the entirety of the UN is opposed to the US on the matter, and has been every time they voted on it, but it doesn't matter. Which begs the question, what is the point?

Nevermind all the grandstanding and performance that have taken place over the last few months, it is a total farce.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: How do you think Russian President Vladimir Putin would react if Finland and Sweden apply to join NATO? See in context

For everyone's sake, can only hope they don't.

I doubt Russia would do anything to them militarily if they actually already joined NATO, they don't want to risk a world war more than anyone else does. Obviously it would be a huge threat to them, I wouldn't be surprised if reciprocating military positions were taken up elsewhere. At the very least, we could expect what trade Russia does have with them still to cease. It'd be a Cold War 2.0, but this time between two capitalist imperialist states.

Part of me remains optimistic that cooler heads will prevail though.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Scholz says Germany seeks closer ties with Indo-Pacific See in context

So...China does NOT have a colonial past or present?

Easy question. No.

The last war China was involved in internationally was over 40 years ago, with Vietnam. They are extremely non-interventionist. I would argue they are too non-interventionist honestly.

Since the unification of China under the CPC the only other international conflicts that they were in were the border war with India, the Korean war, and the annexation of Tibet (which is a whole argument if that even counts as international). Not exactly a colonial force compared to others.

Unless Germany and the EU are threatening Chinese sovereignty, there really isn't much to fear from them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Scholz says Germany seeks closer ties with Indo-Pacific See in context

@Pukey2

I absolutely expect that style of coup if things don't pan out the way American wants there. I am not sure what the German interest would be, outside of placating the US. I don't think they would benefit extensively from involvement there.

You are absolutely right about the hypocrisy of the situation though. Especially in the face of what has happened in Ukraine.

Scholz said he also wanted to come to Japan because Tokyo will take over as chair of the G-7 after Germany.

Is really weird phrasing to me. Is Tokyo a country now?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: New coronavirus strain found in Sendai See in context

Saito added there was minimal cause to worry about the situation, stating, "It hasn't been found elsewhere, and it seems not to have spread far."

Oh gee, haven't heard that before.

Definitely didn't hear that kind of line three years ago.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S., Japan, EU push for open internet amid rise of authoritarianism See in context

Okay, but they don't need to look far from home to start with. Ask Assange. Or just try checking out RT on that free and open internet. And no, I don't think RT is a good news source at all, but it shouldn't be banned either. Especially not if you are going to talk about the freedom of internet with the same breath.

I am not saying governments shouldn't necessarily protect their own interests, but at least be up front about it. Don't try to pass it off as being a champion of freedom.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Russia releases U.S. Marine veteran as part of prisoner exchange See in context

Surely a US Marine, who most enjoy street fighting from my experience, as part or his training knows not to assault police officers?

You'd think that Rodney, but there is no lack of cases of US military behaving badly in countries they live in/are stationed in. Look at cases in Japan alone. I definitely am not surprised that one drunk and on holiday would potentially get up to trouble.

Hopefully though, that is a lesson learned by now. I would be surprised if we hear any repeat cases from him, assuming he ever even deigns to travel again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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