Alfie Noakes comments

Posted in: U.S., Japan agree to expand North Korea sanctions See in context

Increased sanctions?

Does this mean that the Japanese yakuza are going to stop importing North Korean crystal meth?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Opposition steps up offensive against Abe over school scandal See in context

Comedy gold.

Abe lied, Suga lied and now this Maekawa is being pilloried in the far-right media for telling the truth. Lies, corruption, deranged fascist fantasies: that's all Abe and his Nippon Kaigi backers have to offer.

The stink of rotten fish spreads further every day and it's coming from Nagatacho, not Tsukiji or Toyosu.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: At least 19 dead, 50 injured by blast at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester See in context

Sadly, it looks like another radical Islamist struck once again. Looks like a possible suicide bomber.

Nothing confirmed yet by either the police or the British government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets? See in context

Yes, but we'll probably never know. Earth will almost certainly fail to develope interstellar travel.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Ex-ASDF chief Tamogami found guilty over illegal payments to campaign staff See in context

Anyone interested in the Tamogami backstory should read this brilliant set of articles:

http://www.mutantfrog.com/2008/11/04/gen-tomagami-toshio-motoya-toshio-and-abe-shinzo/

In 2008, Tamogami was removed as ASDF chief of staff after an essay he wrote justifying Japan's wartime aggression was made public. He retired soon afterward.

What the article doesn't mention is that the "essay" was winner of a contest organised by APA Group chairman Motoya Toshio, the far-right businessman, in 2008. Motoya and his wife, APA hotel boss Fumiko, were in the news recently for their anti-semitic, racist, historical-revionist views, as published in books placed in their hotels rooms.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/business/japan-china-motoya-hotel-apa.html?_r=0

Motoya and Tamogami are old mates from Komatsu in Ishikawa. Even more interesting is that Motoya and Shinzo Abe have a long and deep relationship. Motoya apparently ran a secretive and shadowly support group for Abe, called the Anshinkai.

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%AE%89%E6%99%8B%E4%BC%9A

Abe, Motoya, Tamogami. Birds of a feather, flocking together.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Man held for setting 2 police officers on fire in Okinawa See in context

I'd like to know what they were there investigating.

Gasoline theft? Poor coppers, what a terrible thing to happen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Missile defense 101: N Korea could hit with little warning See in context

Another day, another bucket of prole-fear.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Abe, Nikai say Japan could consider joining AIIB See in context

Belt and Road will have a budget in the region of $900 billion. That's an awful lot of money and future business for Japan Inc to miss out on; Abe will be getting his orders from Keidanren soon enough...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'I’m glad I’m Japanese' posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users See in context

I thought I'd seen this slogan before somewhere and I was right. Back in 2007 LDP candidate Tamayo Marukawa used it as her campaign slogan.

https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2137432635637061001/2137435699145926403

It caused a bit of a stir at the time.

Marukawa won and is now Minister in charge of the Olympics. Last summer she was straight down to Yasukuni on August 15th.

And notorious far-right winger Yoshiko Sakurai also used a similar slogan. The Shinto shrines, Sakurai and Marukawa; birds of a feather flocking together.

http://yuruneto.com/marukawa-poster/

Interestingly, Sakurai gives it the 'Nihonjin ni umarete yokatta', thus differentiating those who are born Japanese and those who aquire Japanese citizenship. Why are so many Japanese women prominent in the far-right when they are so under-represented in the rest of society?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Would you be willing to eat agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture? See in context

Alfie, I read the article but it makes no mention of TEPCO's controling all the information. Please provide links on how Fukushima disaster is covered by the State Secrets Act.

I'm quite sure your googling ability is sufficient to find a host of articles about this.

Incidentally, you seem quite keen on educating the readers of this site about such things as Yasukuni Shrine and food safety in Fukushima. Thank you for your efforts.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Would you be willing to eat agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture? See in context

No. Since TEPCO controls all information regarding Fukushima and it's covered by the State Secrets Act I found it very difficult to believe anything they say.

Now, after reading this article, I find it impossible to believe anything they say:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/13/national/social-issues/fukushima-land-return/#.WRjmnNzraUk

Spin, half-truths and outrights lies in a media campaign. That's all this is. I'd like to support the Fukushima people but, as Maria says, not at the expense of my family's health.

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Posted in: Global summit in Tokyo discusses women's empowerment See in context

The forum presented this year's Global Women's Leadership Award to Abe

What better way to start your day than with a hearty laugh.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe seeks cooperation with Moon on N Korea See in context

Mr.Moon is apparently a left-leaning liberal who favours rapprochment with North Korea but also stands firm in opposition to their nuclear program. He offered an alternative approach from previous leaders and the voters accepted it. This is good news; hopefully we've seen the end of 19th. century style gunboat diplomacy in the region and cool heads will prevail.

Japan would improve its global public image no end if it shut up about these statues. The entire world knows what happened before and during the war and this endless whining about them is cringeworthy in the extreme.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Daily apologizes for story on airborne radiation after Fukushima fire See in context

the government will continue to provide "accurate and objective information" about the fire's effects.

And if you believe that I've got a bridge for sale...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: 'I’m glad I’m Japanese' posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users See in context

According to the Asssociation of Shinto Shrines they made this poster back in 2011 and distributed 60,000 of them to shrines around the country. Mystery over, it was the Yasukuni-lickers that done it! What a shame they used a photograph taken in Beijing of a ( probably ) Chinese woman. Lol, as the kids say.

http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2017/05/09/proud-of-japan_n_16501310.html?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe calls Macron's French presidential election mandate for EU See in context

Abe called Macron's win a "symbolic victory against inward-looking and protectionist moves

Says the man whose job is to maintain Japanese protectionism as much as possible, since the LDP's death grip on Japan is based on buying the votes of rural farmers with massive subsidies. Utter hypocrisy as usual from Abe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe urges LDP members to more actively debate constitutional change See in context

Abe's self-entitlement and arrogance is almost out of control. The constitution of Japan belongs to the country, not the LDP. He seems to think the LDP ( and Nippon Kaigi, of course ) is the country. This is what happens in one-party states with political dynasties, like North Korea.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: No. of children in Japan falls for 36th year to new record low See in context

Abe may be a dangerous fantasist but he's hardly to blame for this; way back in the 1970s demographers in Japan predicted exactly what would happen but successive LDP governments and the bureaucrats totally ignored them. It was bad news at a time of good news, it was a very difficult problem to solve and it was happening 50 years in the future. Of course they ignored it.

Japan should be reinventing itself as a kind of Scandinavia-in-Asia. Instead, it's going back to the 1930s; where there's no hope for the future, there are no kids.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe says he will initiate debate on new constitution See in context

Youthful, dynamic, diverse and bursting with creativity; yes, Japan's future is bright with the LDP.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Posted in: Drill between Japanese fighters, U.S. carrier Carl Vinson canceled See in context

Which one's Fat Leonard?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Luxury spenders defy Japan's tight-fisted reputation See in context

Nice little article, neatly showing the contempt the high-end luxury goods companies have for their "nouveau-riche" clientele, happily taking their money while turning up their noses at the "not very well raised".

It's worth remembering that only a few years ago the Japanese were decried as nouveau-riche interlopers, "lying all over the sofas, touching everything".

"When you look at consumer purchasing behaviour, younger people put less value on luxury brand products" than previous generations, she said.

Good for them. Maybe when their business collapses in Japan these luxury brands will realise they're just selling overpriced handbags, something the world can live without.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Labor shortage a stress test for Japan's convenience stores See in context

The other side of the combini story:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2017/04/23/issues/cost-convenience-japan-foreign-students-work-instead-study/#.WP_astzraUk

It's impossible to have any sympathy for 7 & I Holdings, winner of the Black Kigyo ( evil company ) award in 2015.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Minister resigns after saying 'it was a good thing' 2011 quake happened where it did See in context

The journalist and filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda coined the phrase "the fascism of indifference" to describe what's happening in Abe's Japan. Nobody embodies the utter lack of human empathy, concern for others and simple common sense than this Imamura. An arrogant, clueless, heartless old man whose far-right credentials earned him the job.

This man wants Japan to possess nuclear weapons. Someone thought thought he would be a perfect candidate for reconstruction minister; it's almost unbelievable but it's true. Japan's future really is bleak with these people in charge.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Princess Kako to study at University of Leeds from Sept See in context

Ee bah gum, tha's come about nutty slack I'll be bound. I'll sithee Ned Leather.

It would be rather amusing if she came back to Japan with a broad Yorkshire accent. Flower.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe vows to resolve N Korea abduction issue See in context

where was this abduction push in the 70s and 80s

The LDP was too busy taking bribes from Kim Il Sung:

"The biggest obstacle to official contacts appeared to have been removed when Kim accepted a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu. Kaifu, writing not as prime minister but as president of the Liberal Democratic Party, said Japan is prepared to offer an official apology and compensation for damages inflicted during the 1910-1945 period when Japan ruled Korea as a colony".

http://articles.latimes.com/1990-09-27/news/mn-1432_1_north-korea

The North Koreans paid the LDP massive bribes in the hope of smoothing out the road to re-establishing relations and getting vast ODA support to rebuild their country. The Japanese business world was rubbing its hands with glee at the prospect of a new market just across the water. When eminence grise Shin Kanemaru was finally arrested in 1993 the police apparently found gold bars in his home, supposedly gifts from Kim Il Sung.

The LDP knew all about the abductions but downplayed the affair. As their own countrymen and women were being kidnapped they were in Pyongyang, trousering Kim Il Sung's bribe money. The cynicism and corruption of the LDP is astonishing.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Y800 bil needed to scrap nuclear reprocessing plant See in context

No mention at all of the abysmal safety record at Tokaimura? No mention of the 1999 Criticality Accident where workers were carrying uranium oxide in buckets? Two dead and dozens exposed....

"The town has witnessed three other accidents in the past four years: a radiation leak at another plant in 1995, a fire and explosion at a nuclear-waste treatment plant in March 1997 and the discovery of 2,000 drums leaking radioactive waste in August 1997. But Tokaimura seemed to have learned little from those earlier experiences as it fumbled to deal with last week's crisis. The government's response was child-like, said Takashi Hirose, an anti-nuclear activist."

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2054365,00.html

"According to the IAEA, the accident "seems to have resulted primarily from human error and serious breaches of safety principles, which together led to a criticality event". The company conceded that it violated both normal safety standards and legal requirements, and criminal charges were laid. The fact that the plant is a boutique operation outside the mainstream nuclear fuel cycle evidently reduced the level of scrutiny it attracted. The state regulator had visited the plant only twice per year, and never when it was operating"

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/tokaimura-criticality-accident.aspx

Criminal management, criminally lax oversight from the government but it's the tax payer that ends up footing the bill. Exactly the same as Tepco and Fukushima....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Protective clothing no longer needed to walk near Fukushima plant See in context

Pravda indeed. Disgraceful lies and propaganda from Kyodo, doing the LDP and Big Nuclear's bidding.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Can the Japanese government afford to let Toshiba, which fell into a negative net worth of Y620 billion at the end of March due to losses in the U.S. nuclear power business, go under? See in context

One has to laugh at the inference in the quote that Toshiba's losses are due entirely to its involvement in the US nuclear power business when, in fact, the corporate management had been cooking the books and lying through their teeth about it for years. From 2008, apparently. The 2015 accounting scandal, when it was finally revealed, was the biggest ever in Japan:

"Investigators describe how Toshiba's corporate leadership handed down strict profit targets, known as Challenges, to business unit presidents, often with the implication that failure would not be accepted. In some cases, quarterly Challenges were handed down near the end of the quarter when there was no time left to materially affect unit performance. It soon became clear within individual business units that the only way to achieve these Challenges was to do so through the use of irregular accounting techniques.

The investigative panel concluded that Toshiba's corporate culture, which demanded obedience to superiors, was an important factor enabling the emergence of fraudulent accounting practices. The culture operated on the level of business unit presidents and on every level of authority down the chain to the accountants who ultimately employed the accounting techniques."

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/081315/toshibas-accounting-scandal-how-it-happened.asp

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Pence tells Japan U.S. wants results on trade deal See in context

What a strange couple: Pence is a Christian Supremacist who wants to establish a theocracy in the US, while Aso is a manga reader who spends his nights in Ginza hostess bars. I wonder what they can find in common...

Also, as Yubaru points out, Japanese officials giving it the school playground style, "They're worse than us", is embarrassing...

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

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