Japan Today

astroboy comments

Posted in: The isolationists' dilemma See in context

I believe the term "isolationist" is used as a degrading and exaggerative term!

Having good (peaceful) relations with the world does not mean being in isolation!

Proponents of war, just use this term to make people feel that not going to war means being in isolation! This shows what extremists such people are!

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Posted in: Why democracy is an insufficient force against WMD See in context

The British parliament's refusal to countenance military intervention in Syria, and President Barack Obama's decision to delay a strike until Congress approves it, point to a larger, even more dangerous contradiction of the mass destruction age.

Had Obama not lost his major supporter (Britain), he would never have gone to the congress!!! Did he get permission from congress to attack Lybia? No he didn't! Democracy means nothing to Obama, didn't you hear what he said yesterday in G20? He said something like this (not exact quote): even though the majority of Americans are against the war, I know better, and I will go to war! Obama has proved to be even worse then Bush! The US congress has no say in the fate of Syria! It is the United Nations that has the legal ability to accuse Syria not one country's president and congress! The US blocks every Security council statement against Israel, it is not only Russia that vetos resolutions!

in the case of Syria, the targets of these weapons

No one knows if the Syrian government actually used those weapons, there was no need to! The rebels are loosing, why should the government have used chemical weapons!?!?!?!?!?!? The foreign supporters of the rebels provided them with these weapons and they sacrificed some of their own women and children to fool simpletons (the author of this report is one of them!). There is absolutely no evidence or reason for the government to have done this!

Iran likely has biological and chemical stocks

There is no evidence for this claim either! Why do you make things up!?!? (Like all the above)

Please don't forget that the US has one of the largest chemical, biological and nuclear stockpiles of the world! That is why it so easily ignores the United Nations Security Council! When the other countries see this, they say to them selves why shouldn't we have this power? The US is creaky showing that as long as you have power law means nothing!!!!

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Posted in: Egypt's crackdown a gift to al-Qaida See in context

Democracy is not determined in the street my friend! There is a ballot box and people and political parties should use that to express their political views! Judging from the street there was no sign which side has brought more people! Also consider the fact that most of the lopulation can't come to the street everyday to protest, only the extremists do!). The ballot box was created for this purpose! The opponents of the Muslim brotherhood could not get a majority in an election, that is why they finally joined forces with the military and orchestrated the coup!

If they would have left the Muslim Brotherhood to finish their four years, the people would have understood that politics and religion should not go hand in hand, but by doing the coup, they just made everything so much harder! The Muslim bortherhood extremists now have excuse to get violent, because the military, the opposition and their western supporters declared war on them. They would have been proved wrong in 3 years time on the next elections, unfortunately the USA military-industrial complex (that is managing all the killings in the middle east) doesn't see beyond the moment and can't make a decision even for its own long term interests!

The CIA paid people to come to the streets in Iran back in 1953, they then used those paid demonstrations to justify the coup, they are doing exactly the same now in Egypt. Please have a look at history before making decisions.

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Posted in: Egypt's crackdown a gift to al-Qaida See in context

I am not supporting any side; politics should be free of the military, religion and companies! Egypt is right now trying to choose one of the first two! The whole purpose of both sides is wrong! Each of these three are respectable as long as they remain in their own realm, but when they mix in politics you get Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan for the first two and the USA is how companies are controlling the politics! All are wrong!

I asked you to name some internationally recognized elections, you give me youtube videos!?!?! There where elections credited by all international institutions in Egypt, the Muslim brotherhood got a majority in all. I have to say the opposition was very strong (and supported by the west!). But they still lost!

The military (and its supporters: the western countries) only want democracy when it is friends with them! There are so many examples in the last century, just this week CIA admitted to the coup in Iran, who is to say they are not managing all the killing in the middle east now?! All those deaths you cited are caused by the western countries not accepting what the local people want!

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Posted in: Egypt's crackdown a gift to al-Qaida See in context

Can you name one of the elections in Egypt (after Mobarak!) that it didn't obtain a majority?

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Posted in: Egypt's crackdown a gift to al-Qaida See in context

I am personally against both parties in Egypt, but I never heard any report about the sit-ins not being peaceful. There might have been an incident or two but in general they where very peaceful (CNN had reporters in there throughout and they didn't report any major violence).

Isn't Obama imposing his version of "democracy" to the US? Or isn't Abe imposing his version of democracy/economics to Japan? Every party all over the world that wins in elections imposes their ideas. The Muslim Brotherhood had won in all the elections!

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Posted in: Elections do not make a democracy See in context

The guy didn't even have one year to do what he promised to do in 4 years! How many of his promises did Obama accomplish in his first year in office?!? After nearly 5 years he still hasn't accomplished his first promise: closing Gitmo! The fact is very simple, the military in Egypt is under full US control, it would not have done this with out green light from the US. It has nothing to do with the people!

All this talk about Morsi not using all of Egypt's political parties is also not acceptable! How many republicans does Obama hire and vice versa, the same for all countries. When one party comes into power they hire people closer to their own ideology.

One more thing you are all ignoring: as long as I remember, Morsi asked the secular groups to join all the decision making sessions but they usually quit all the discussions them selves without making any compromise. So please don't only blame the Muslim Brotherhood! The secular groups are equally at fault, if not more.

I am personally totally opposed to religion mixing into politics, thus I fundamentally disagree with the existence of Muslim Brotherhood (as a political Islamic group). What I am saying is that the reasons you are putting forward to justify the coup d'etat are totally baseless.

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Posted in: Kanji skills decline in digital age See in context

Thinking that all the way in their K-12 education Japanese students have to learn how to read really surprises me! In most other languages (including English!) a child can read a news paper (not necessarily to understand it, only to read it!) half way in their first year of their primary school! But not in Japan, they have to be well into their high school (or be exceptionally smart) to be able to pick up a newspaper and read it! I find such an investment absolutely insane! English and all other Indo-Europian languages have evolved to fit the times during the last few thousand years, but the Japanese and Chinese seem to take a take so much pride in keeping an archaic form of writing!

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Posted in: Galaxy glitz See in context

I don't think Docomo will allow the pure android version! Although I hope they do.

Disillusioned: Andoid is no iOS copy! It is fundamentally different, offering so much freedom. Not like the chained world a user experiences in the iOS where you have to bow to and accept Apple's desire in anything you do! I am not saying Android is perfect, it has limitations too. But the limitations are far less than iOS.

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

If you don't believe me, look what an ex-radical says to CNN: edition.cnn.com/video/standard.html The video titled: "ex-radical details anti-western sentiment".

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

HonestDictator: I know and have talked with many of them. My point is the arguments the extremists use to persuade the "normal" people in their countries. People who have left the country and have experienced or know of the modern world are not a good measure of the success of the extremist arguments! I know and have discussed with a lot of the "normal" people there too.

The main problem of extremists is with other followers of their own religion: Al-Qaeda and the current Iran government for example are both more comfortable talking to the US than each other! This is why they kill more of their own religion!

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

Continued from the previous post:

If only after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the US and its allies would have acted as wisely as they did when they conquered Japan and Germany after WWII. They haven't done that and the behaviours of the western cultures in the Middle east has been very wrong and has resulted in such extremist groups gaining more ground between the populations of these countries. As much as we would like to think that our western countries are civilized and base their actions on reason and mutual respect, their behaviour against the Middle Eastern countries in the last century has been very far from that.

So please understand that the fact that you see more Muslims committing extremist actions (I don't deny this!) is not because of Islam! It is because of the actions of the western world against their countries.

Let me also say that most of the borders in the Islamic countries were not made by them, but by the western conquests. That is why you feel their desire for a " pan-national state ": because the borders that currently define most Muslim countries were forced on them by alien forces.

So instead of repeating this radical right-wing view that it is Islam that is the problem (and thus ignoring all the wrong things the western world has done to the Muslim countries in the last century and even before), we should try to help the people in those countries achieve economic stability and safety. Like all of us, they would also like enjoy the pleasures of life in an international environment (as kawamuracat observed with her/his Muslim friends), so if you let them prosper, it is clear that those extremists will not gain any support and thus fade away. Please remember how the actions of the western world towards the Muslims is so much like what the humans did to the Na'vi in Avatar, we don't want the out come of that film to happen in the real world.

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

I will break up my reply into several comments:

It seems that to think critically based on historical facts is too hard for the majority of people here, and some how girls are a better source of judgement compared to history. So let me say what I am saying in a language you will understand.

I guess you have all seen Avatar and have empathised with the hero (the amputee human soldier: Jake) in helping the "Naavi" take back their planet from the humans. The way Muslim extremists view the western relation with their country and culture is very similar to how the natives of "Pandora" viewed humans' relation with them in Avatar. They feel the western world is trying to subjugate them and exploit their belongings (both natural and cultural). Ever since WWII the west has only helped (by repeating provocative actions) those extremists (who view things like this) promulgate their ideas in the, mainly poorer, populations of their countries. Let me list some of those actions:

Blindly supporting Israel in the Israel-Arab conflict.

Placing sanctions on the countries and making life harder for the people.

The 1953 Iranian coup by the British and American forces against a democratically elected government. Only so they could keep their oil flowing.

The Blind support of all the Arab monarchs (dictators) that are devastating the lives of the ordinary people in those countries (Bahrain and Jordan are two examples these days).

The fake documents on which the Iraq war was based and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people that have suffered and died because of it.

The way US soldiers have ridiculed Islamic texts and fighters in their camps in Afghanistan and Iraq.

You all sympathised with the "Na'vi" (natives of the planet) in Avatar. It is strange how you don't see how the western countries are doing exactly the same thing with the Muslims (as the extremists see it).

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

So if you want to stop this extremist behaviour by the Muslim countries, the thing you shouldn't do is to go and kill more of them with drones (killing so many innocent women and children with it). Instead you should help them progress economically and not interfere with their cultural habitats. Just look how other aspects of western spending in Afghanistan and Iraq is dwarfed by their military spending in those countries. Once they acquire a good population of middle class people you will see how these extremist groups will fade away, it is only natural: because the people will learn to enjoy life, not be afraid of a drone shooting their house every day! But as long as the western countries are killing ~10 women and children in the hope of killing one militant, they are fuelling and feeding the extremist propaganda, adding more recruits to them.

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

I hope my argument above shows you that the root of these extremist movements is not about religion but about national pride. Religion is just a tool they can exploit to further their claim. And this is not particular to Muslims, right now Buddhists are killing Muslims exactly because of the same kind of argument (nationalistic). So if you want to discuss the roots of Muslim extremism, you should look in to the geopolitical history of the middle east instead of blaming Islam!

By the way, the numbers I gave above are just very crude approximations as the Muslim extremists like to announce to their followers, it is not based on historical facts or my own idea. I am trying to enlighten you on their arguments and how they recruit. So you see what an important role nationalism (which is of course intertwined with Islam) plays in their arguments. For me all religions are the same, history has shown that they can all be very deadly.

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context


Muslims killed directly or indirectly due to western power's intervention: millions

People in the western world killed directly or indirectly by Muslims: ~4000 on 9/11, all the rest summed up in the order of 100.

I am not trying to justify what the Muslim extremists are doing, I am just saying that these numbers make their argument very favourable among their own people: That the western powers want to destroy their identity and heritage (national and religious).

What ever country or culture you are from, how do you think your people would react if they felt such a danger from a foreign (more advanced) enemy?

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

If you believe that such conditions in the 21st century are nothing special and not particularly prone to breed extremist views, well there's nothing more than I can say.

I don't believe in this! I am saying that all religions show exactly the things you listed, it not just Islam! Can you name one religion that has "evolved"!?!?! Evolution and religion do not go hand in hand! It is the subjugation by the western powers of their lands, way of life and national pride, in general, as they see it that is feeding the extremist groups with anxious new recruits. The primary cause of all the extremist groups are nationalistic, religion is just a tool for them to gather more followers. Don't blame it on the religion, I gave you examples of how Christianity and also Buddhism have also been mis-used like this (in the 21st century).

The Muslim extremists just gain more media attention to fool short sighted people that it is only Islam showing such tendencies. Their aim is clear: they thrive in an environment filled with right-winged people constantly wanting to be afraid of some threat.

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

JeffLee: you are blaming Islam for an inherent problem making it particularly susceptible for extremism. I am saying the inherent problem is not only in Islam, but in any form of any ideology or religion. So I am concluding that the reason you see more Muslim extremists today has to do with things other than Islam: it is actually due to national identity and pride.

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

JeffLee, you have to study some history instead of blindly looking at the news today and making judgements based on your experienced to date girls!

Al-Qaeda and Taliban are a direct child of the US support of the Mujahidin movement in Afghanistan against the Russian invasion in the 80s. In those days the US supported them in the hope that they are better than communism (very similar to how it is supporting the opposition in Syria). So you see that the roots of both these groups are nationalistic.

I already gave some examples of Christian extremism. To correct your ignorance about extremism in Buddhist beleifs I will also refer you to the news these days of the Buddhists in Burma (Myanmar) that are killing and pushing the Muslims out of their lands. Infact this was just part of yesterday's news. Although the Buddhists are intentionally attacking the Muslims, but I don't blame Buddhism, the Myanmar Buddhists are also acting on nationalism that is mixed with their religion as they see it.

All religions have the potential of very destructive actions. If you have an unbiased revision in the news and history you will see so many examples in all religions.

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Posted in: For American Muslims, dread See in context

All religions have extremists. The reasons the Islamic ones are more active now is because of the US and Europe policies towards them in the last decade(s), starting with the construction of Israel (I feel this is the first cause of the conflict between the Muslims and the Western world after WWII, I might be wrong).

Just look at that Christian church in the US that burnt the Quran, if you don't call that extremist I don't know how you define the term! Also please don't forget all the extremist behaviours done in the middle ages by Christians (that took about 1000 years while the Muslim countries were in the peak of their civilization, thriving in all the arts and sciences of the time). I can also give an example of the Aum Shinrikyo (a mixture of Christianity and other beliefs based on Wikipedia's explanation) that were behind the Sarin gas attack in Tokyo Station.

I don't intend to say that Christians are extremist, what I am saying is: Extremists are everywhere, in any ideology (not just in religions but all ideologies). It is the political environment of each era that chooses which ones are more active (can attract more followers) and which ones aren't. In the current political environment (different from the middle ages!) the more enemies a country (which defines its self based on its religion) has, the more people in it will diverge to extremism, because their nationality and religion is intertwined. This is the cause you see more Mulsim extremists recently. It has nothing to do with Islam.

Please let me repeat: All ideologies have the potential of devastating extremism. The reason you see more Muslim extremists is the current international political environment and has nothing to do with Islam, but more to do with nationalism and national pride.

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Posted in: Apple fans See in context

I am still very happy with my iPhone 3GS, the next iPhone I will probably get is iPhone 7!!! I feel so rich and proud that such things do not attract me so much to wait like this in a line! Being rich is not about having a lot, it is about needing less, the same way, being up-to-date doesn't mean you have to have the most recent hardware, it means making the most of what you have. At least that is what I believe!

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Posted in: Remnants See in context

I have been to Arahama before and after the Tsunami, the wall of pine trees was such a nice view before; only by passing them could you feel you are close to the ocean! The city is totally flat now and the pine tree wall is mainly gone. I really like the fact that they are not rebuilding over there and in other Tsunami flattened regions (because they are vulnerable).

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Posted in: Who do you hope will win the U.S. presidential election on Nov 6? See in context

In most of the "non-democratic" countries (as defined by the US), the opposition party that is being suppressed by the government and is being supported by the US has a weaker voice in the public than the voices that are being ignored in the US media (like Ron Paul or those other parties). It is such a hypocrisy by the US to know its self as democratic and designate those countries as non-democratic.

Just for the information of those who don't know, the Green Party's (one of other parties) candidates were arrested last week (search the news and you will see). If something like this had happened in any other (developing) country, the US would immediately call them undemocratic and apply some kind of sanctions to it!!!

I just mean to give more evidence of how there is absolutely no difference between Obama and Romney when you consider how the truly different voices are being suppressed. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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Posted in: Who do you hope will win the U.S. presidential election on Nov 6? See in context

Their difference is just cosmetic and a show.

What happened to Ron Paul?

Why is there no news of the other parties who are holding debates now?

These guys were and are different but mainstream media are intentionally ignoring them so their voices don't get heard! I don't know how the US can consider its self a democracy any more!?!

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Posted in: Life on a budget: How salarymen and women make ends meet See in context

While 746 yen might not sound like all that much... this figure is taken from the 1990s, at which point the yen was worth much more than it currently is.

My argument above shows the exact opposite!

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Posted in: Life on a budget: How salarymen and women make ends meet See in context

The average businessman spent an impressive 746 yen on his weekday lunch in 1992, compared to just 500 yen today

I am no economist (So please correct me if I am wrong) but I don't see any mention of inflation been taken into account. The deflation of Japanese Yen must not be ignored: taking the US dollar as a base, in Jan 1992, $1~125Yen, while now it is about 80Yen. So assuming the value of dollar hasn't changed (I agree it has) every yen today is 1.56 times the value of a yen in 1992. So 500Yen today is roughly equal to 781Yen in 1992. So this simplified argument shows that the average salary man spends roughly the same amount as 1992.

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Posted in: Why it’s so hard to have your family come to Japan See in context

One of the best things about Japan is that you don't see too many foreigners if you step one street away from the major tourist destinations. This applies to nearly all countries, but in Japan it sensed more. Since most tourists like to see other tourists they don't find this interesting. But from my point of view (a foreigner living in Japan) this is one of the main reasons I love living in Japan.

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Posted in: 9 random reasons to love Japan See in context

Although some might find the Japanese politeness too much and fake (A gaijin friend of mine for example!), but I find it very genuine. After two years living in Japan with out any trips abroad, I had a business trip to Germany and the first thing I felt was that everyone (in public places) is being so rude!!! Prior to that I took the politeness for granted but ever since that trip I value this aspect of living in Japan so much!

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Posted in: Making diplomats accessible is a risk, but a risk you have to take See in context

I wish he was asked about Canada's unilateral action in closing its embassy in Tehran and ordering Iranian diplomats to leave Ottawa.

I guess he would have decried it.

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