Addfwyn comments

Posted in: NZ, Japan boost security ties amid Russia, China concerns See in context

Japanese and NZ cooperation makes a lot of sense just because they occupy a similar area, but I am not so sure that Russia or China are a particular threat to either country. In fact, I would say those are the two biggest powers that Japan/NZ should be cooperating with in the region, not cooperating against.

Russia has no cause to invade either country, unless there is a massive abused Russian diaspora in Hokkaido clamoring for annexation that I have never heard about.

China doesn't invade countries. They are non-interventionist and look to their own affairs. Look at the number of wars they've been involved in for the past 20-30 years.

Don't know where that information about her being a Maoist comes from, but Arsern is quite openly progressive, or leftist. China isn't.

China is a country in a transitory period, using markets under strict government supervision to build themselves up before transition to a full socalist economy. This is a concept that Lenin goes into a lot of depth on in The Tax in Kind, I strongly recommend reading it. State capitalism is material preparation for socialism, not some kind of subversion of socialism.

I am not so sure Ardern leans that way, but I could be wrong. If she did, I would expect her to be more open to cooperating with China as well.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Posted in: Surprisingly low Shanghai COVID death count spurs questions See in context

You know, I didn’t think western media would be able to twist “low COVID deaths” as a negative. I was woefully naive. Of course they would. I’m sure they had another story ready to go in case reported numbers were high.

I’d believe that due to chinas method of counting (a method clearly disclosed) their numbers would be a bit deflated. We are talking about a scale that can’t really be hidden though. Unless you thought China is able to hide hundreds of thousands of cases.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Yellen, Ukraine official walk out of Russia's G20 remarks See in context


Probably lapel pins, it is the politician equivalent of a twitter bio line emoji.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Le Pen, Macron in bitter clash ahead of tight French election See in context

Neo-liberal vs right-winger, almost two flavours of the same exact thing. That is not a choice I envy my French comrades, pretty much a lose-lose. I wouldn't be surprised if Le Pen actually pulled it out, as a lot of french voters who wanted neither of them probably find her less insufferable. Which is telling in itself.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese-style Mapo Tofu from 'The Wok' See in context

Half the point of mapo dofu is the mala for me, so cutting the sicuhan peppers seems a bit unusual. Even in Japan, it tends to be much milder but you can still find reasonably authentic versions using them. Substituting chili oil is not gonna get you close to the same effect.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Riots over Koran burning test Swedish tolerance See in context

"We are living in a democracy with far-reaching freedoms of speech and the press and we should be very proud of that," he said.

Unless you want to use Huawei devices, or maybe check out Russian media on...anything.

They seem to make a lot of fuss about placing freedom of speech on a pedestal, despite only really caring about it when it suits what they agree with already. Which to be entirely fair, I don't necessarily disagree with, I think freedom of speech is sometimes far too venerated and I don't think states need to allow everyone to say anything. Just don't be a hypocrite about it.

In which case, you should ban hate speech too, unless you actually tacitly support what this man is doing.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Yellen, Ukraine official walk out of Russia's G20 remarks See in context

My opinion on this is the same as the UN walkout a while back. Pathetic and they deserve to be replaced immediately. Political grandstanding at best to win some social media brownie points.

Your job is to talk to people and come to terms on a variety of issues. Yes, sometimes that means you’ll have to talk to people you disagree with. Nothing gets better by holding your hands over your ears and ignoring the problem.

We teach better to children in kindergarten.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Japanese firms hit by COVID lockdown in Shanghai See in context

@Desert Tortoise

Is mostly right about comrade Xi. I agree with pretty much everything in regards to him being fundamentally a ML communist, not a capitalist by any stretch of the imagination. Now that China has utilized capitalism to be safe of outside interference, they can theoretically transition to a more socialist form of government. Which ultimately was always the goal of the CPC.

The point we may disagree on is that this is why I consider him one of the best major world leaders in existence today. I think as an assessment of what his character actually is, you are without reproach though. Too many people dismiss China out of hand as being closeted capitalists, which they mostly are not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to send masks, hazmat suits, drones to Ukraine See in context

Any attempt to claim otherwise is Russian propaganda.

This is preceisely why it is impossible to have any measured discussion on this topic. People have painted it in such a way that if you don't 100% support NATO in everything that they do, that you must be a paid Russian asset. There is no acceptance of any kind of middle ground or acknowledgement that things are anything less than black/white.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to send masks, hazmat suits, drones to Ukraine See in context

Just give up the East part and stay neutral - which was always the deal from day one.

In all honesty, from day one the deal would have been even more generous. Not even give up the Eastern regions necessarily, just "stop killing everyone in the East part" and agree to stay neutral would have done it. They did try multiple agreements to that effect to be fair, they didn't work.

Now, I am not so sure they'd get such favorable terms, but I certainly doubt it is getting any better by prolonging things. I am skeptical if Zelenskyy would be allowed to agree to any terms though, even if he wanted to.

In the meantime, protective gear like this could help some, but I really do think more humanitarian aid would go a longer way to protecting the people that need it the most. Blankets, food, water, or medicine will save more lives than gas masks and hazmat suits. Of course, nothing stops you from sending both.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Average condo price in Tokyo area sets new high in fiscal 2021 See in context

I am pretty excited to be moving out of Tokyo next month, something that seems fairly difficult to do and keep a job. It is crazy how even an hour or two outside the city you are paying like half the price for something double the size.

Honestly if the government could encourage people to move out of the city more, and decentralize the country just a tiny bit, a lot of these real estate woes would be alleviated. China's system of building infrastructure first and then encouraging growth after has seemed very effective, but is by no means the only solution.

At some point, the cost of living in Tokyo is just going to be too much for anyone to handle.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Russian-language sign at station in Tokyo back on view after being covered up See in context

Why do many commentators are sympathetic with Russians? Putin was elected by them and vast majority of them support him. We Japanese still have been bashed by foreigners for misdeeds in WW2 even after 80 years past. but I believe its the cost we Japanese have to bear. By the same token, Russians have to bear the cost of their misdeed in Ukraine.

Even if you were totally against the Russian government and their position in the Ukranian conflict, that doesn't justify blanket racism against an entire culture of people. It is incredibly depressing that that even needs to be said.

Americans have a pretty long history of electing far worse war criminals, yet people don't [generally] hate all American people. Nor should they; I was born in America and certainly have no love lost for any American leadership. They recognize that the leadership of a country is not always representative of all the people.

Not to mention, this isn't even necessarily about Russians in Russia. Long-dead russians who died before Putin was even born are being censored, ethnic Russians who are citizens of other countries are being targeted.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Tea leaves auction for record ¥1.96 mil See in context

I never see news along the same lines so I honestly don't know, but do any other countries do the whole "First X of the year" selling for an exorbitant price? Or is it just an advertising line used here?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese firms hit by COVID lockdown in Shanghai See in context

Yeah, any international firm based in Shanghai is going to suffer the same as domestic companies, that is the way this works.

You can definitely critique the Shanghai situation for being way too slow/unprepared in their response, and I don't doubt that heads will roll after this is done with. They should have been on top of this WAY sooner, but they started with the kind of half-hearted lockdown that hasn't worked overseas, and started way too late. I don't know if the leadership there was unprepared, if they were worried about the economy, or simply the Jiang clique that wanted to make Xi's government look bad. I am leaning towards the clique explanation, but that is purely speculation on my part.

It's funny how little we heard about every other lockdown China did internationally because they were so smooth. Didn't want to accidentally make China look good.

I'm interested in hearing from those who spent the past 2 years telling us that China's official covid numbers were too low to be believed and therefore must be lies and propaganda. The extreme reaction by the Chinese authorities in this outbreak suggests that those low official figures must have been more accurate than not.

Aa you forget a key part of reporting on China.

Any good news about China must be immediately dismissed as propaganda that couldn't possibly be true.

Any negative news about China must be immediately accepted as the absolute truth, no matter how far fetched it may seem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Old Enough:' Netflix show sparks global debate on parenting and child safety See in context

I realize it is just an excerpt for the sake of the article, but those comments praising the show seem...inane at best. The critical ones seem a lot better, and actually composed in the form of a sentence.


Yeah it is a pretty pervasive double-standard. I bet if you showed this show to two groups of people, told one it was China and the other it was Japan, you would get radically different attitudes in the responses. Heck you could probably do the same with North/South Korea and the same results.

Those are some of the benefits at ceding your autonomy entirely.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. Marine indicted over sexual assault of woman in Okinawa See in context

It is good he is being indicted, but it must have been some really extreme evidence to allow for that. Hopefully he is looking at dishonorable discharge and jail time.

It's another piece of evidence to the pile of reasons that the occupying forces need to be out of Okinawa, because this is sadly not the first time this has happened. I seriously doubt it will be the last either. These aren't isolated incidents

It's not just in Okinawa either, this has happened in a lot of places with a longterm occupation. South Korea has dealt with a lot of the same kind of cases.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to send masks, hazmat suits, drones to Ukraine See in context

It seems honestly unlikely, for a lot of reasons. The only real risk of chemical attack we have seen are the biolabs that were not Russian-operated to begin with.

At the same time, it doesn't really hurt. It's all protective equipment that, at the absolute worst, won't do anything and could potentially save lives. I am much more for this kind of thing, along with humanitarian relief items like blankets and clothes, over more weapons. The kind of thing that even when it inevitably ends up in the wrong hands, won't be a serious risk to anyone.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Want to know why India has been soft on Russia? See in context

Mr. Kipling nailed it again, India is just behaving in their own self-interest. Which, unsurprisingly, does not align with America's interests. India is not a vassel of America and is not beholden to them in any way. India simply stands to benefit a lot more by continued trade with Russia.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: What do you think of Tesla CEO Elon Musk? Is he the sort of person you'd like to work for or with? See in context

I dislike him, but not any more or less than any other capitalist. I dislike the whole self-made narrative, he is rich because of his family's emerald mines.

Now to be fair, every billionaire has made their money by exploiting other's labor, it is literally a requirement. So in that regard, he is in no way better or worse than anyone else. In a perfect world, it wouldn't even be possible for someone like him to exist.

Also no, I would never want to work with/for him.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 7 in 10 Japanese support Russia sanctions even if they feel impact: survey See in context

70% support is probably the highest it will get, as the effects start to trickle back at some sectors of the Japanese economy.

I agree with the other posters that the demographics surveyed definitely will play a role, would be curious to see those. Businessmen and politicians in Tokyo? Probably totally down with it. Fishermen in Hokkaido? Probably a lot less supportive.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese firms try to encourage paternity leave under new law See in context

We have it at my company, which is a foreign company operating here under Japanese management.

I don't know a single person who has ever taken it. My coworker had a baby recently and he didn't even see meet his child until a few days after he was born.

To the company's credit, it has been a huge HR push to get people to take paid time off, maternity leave, and paternity leave, but people just...don't. They would probably be thrilled if people actually tried to take paternity. Most people take the bare minimum paid time off each year that is legally required and the rest goes to waste.

Short of actually mandating it, I am not sure how you change the culture.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol defy surrender-or-die demand See in context

Shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. I said before that Mariupol will be the harshest theater of fighting, because it is [was] the headquarters of Azov, and that definitely has been the case so far. While the average soldier or citizen could surrender safely, that is probably not the case for those Neo-nazi elements, so that they may as well go down fighting even if takes out those around them. They don't have much else left to lose, and they know that.

While Azov's structure itself may be more or less shattered, that doesn't mean every member is suddenly gone.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Posted in: Russian-language sign at station in Tokyo back on view after being covered up See in context

Absolutely insane that they covered it up at all. It is a language, it has no political affiliation whatsoever. If seeing a language makes you "uncomfortable" the problem lies with you, not the sign. If there were a giant statue of Putin in the train station, I could see that logic.

Glad they retracted that one, but just another sign of the massive wave of Russophobia that has been sweeping the world.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: How would you evaluate the international news coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine? See in context

@Mr Kipling

Can you recommend some of those news stations? I’m always keen to add some independent news sources to my rotation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: North Korea marks key anniversary, but no word on army parade See in context

It seems like a nice light display, not much to say past that. I wonder if the parade is held in check because of COVID, we still don't really know the degree that it has impacted North Korea. Definitely still seems the majority of people are masked still.

Some experts say the ongoing brinkmanship is also likely motivated by domestic politics, as Kim Jong Un doesn’t otherwise have significant accomplishments to flaunt to his people since his summitry with then-President Donald Trump aimed at winning badly needed sanctions relief collapsed in 2019

That new housing project that is opening is pretty significant at least. At least the first 10,000 are already opened, and look fantastic. Not sanction related certainly but I think providing better housing for your people is an accomplishment.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Chinese man gets Japan's 1st skilled worker visa with no time limit See in context

Seems a bit ironic that the world's second largest economy would have its citizens wanting to move to another country for a better opportunity.

What's the logic here, that people should only move to a country with a larger economy? The United States is still the world's largest economy for now, but plenty of Americans move overseas for a myriad of reasons. Maybe he disagrees with his government and wants to live somewhere else, maybe he just has friends and family in Japan, maybe he just thinks it is a good chance to get in on something early. Heck, maybe he just really likes the food.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: When Biden 'speaking from his heart' doesn't speak for U.S. See in context

I don't want a president who is emotional or speaks from the heart, I want someone who thinks from their mind and is carefully spoken. You can give a passionate speech that also has been thought out. Ultimately though, that is just window-dressing on policy decisions. You can give the best sound bites in the world, but it doesn't matter if you go back to the office to get back to some bombings.

For comparison, Obama was a great speaker, but we saw more drone strikes internationally under him than any republican president.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Russian military's damaged Black Sea flagship sinks See in context

its been almost 20 years since the last time the US launched a major invasion of another country.

What? Bombing countries is basically the American past-time. You can attack countries without sending in ground troops. In fact if you don't care about collateral damage and civilian lives it is very cost-efficient.

There were 852 US airstrikes in the middle east alone last year, and over 1000 in 2020.

America is definitely not the "good guy" in the world. Russia obviously isn't either, but those aren't the only two choices thankfully.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Posted in: Russian military's damaged Black Sea flagship sinks See in context

So much for the anti-missile defense systems,

Most missile defense systems have a way lower efficacy rate than you would expect. (Especially for ICBM defenses, but that is another topic). Missile defenses are constantly playing catch up to their offensive counterparts, not the inverse.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: How would you evaluate the international news coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine? See in context

Absolutely terrible, at least as far as the mainstream and social media coverage. Any dissenting opinions are quickly silenced and/or banned. When push comes to shove, the west's vaunted free press falls in lockstep with what the government tells them. Obviously this has happened before, but never so absolutely and widespread.

Now that said, there are still sources available. First-hand accounts from more open platforms like Telegram. JT itself actually allows for way more dissenting points of view in comments than most sites I have been on, which I have to commend them for. With VPNs it is possible to get around the bans on media the government has banned and still see what they are saying (which is important to do even if you don't agree with a word they say).

Obviously Russian sources aren't close to unbiased either, but it is insane to think that they are the only ones employing propaganda. It is always advisable to get as wide a variety of sources as possible in conflicts like this, especially when almost all media you consume is affiliated with one side or the other.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

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