bebarisu comments

Posted in: Detention of Chinese fishing boat captain extended to Sept 29 See in context

I feel it is somewhat ironic that China should feel that it's territorial integrity is being threatened, when many of its outermost regions rather feel the same way. China, having become the economic superpower it is, also wishes to become a military superpower; this would require a strong and capable navy, so the PRC will see this as excellent propaganda to that end. It would fail to surprise me if it were the case that the PRC orchestrated this incident for that purpose.

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Posted in: Anti-smoking 'monsters' have smokers on the run See in context

About time. You'd think that given the tough drug laws in Japan that more laws against smoking in public would be passed, but then I guess it boils down to the Americans. When they occupied Japan they restricted the cultivation of hemp, but as for cigarettes the Americans have absolutely no commercial interest in them at all...

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Posted in: Bare statistics mask human cost of Japan’s high suicide rate See in context

Naturally, suicide is an issue, but it does not seem very clear to me how to deal with it. As this article states, factors such as unemployment are a big contributor to the issue despite being low comparative to other industrialized nations, so the real factor is how Japanese culture interacts with and interprets the world and events. The Japanese tendency towards introversion, as this article states, is a big part of this. It is where the article suggests Americans as a people to be emulated that I disagree. A society is a complex system of mechanisms arranged by culture, in other words if the Japanese were to adopt 'American' style extraversion this would fundamentally change Japanese society, which I would not wish to happen. To put it simply every culture/society will have its own advantages and disadvantages, and before criticising Japan for its high suicide rate, consider that the rates of crime (especially gun crime) and incarceration are far lower than the US. Just as people are unique, so are cultures, and will change naturally. I highly admire Japanese society, and the fact that it, as with all societies, has problems doesn't bother me as it is inevitable, sad, certainly, but then there is no 'utopian society' as the phrase itself is a contradiction.

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