blue comments

Posted in: Japan to uphold apology if South Korea settles wartime labor issue See in context

@OssanAmerica

Awa no GaijinToday  06:16 pm JST

Look up the Korea concept of ‘han’, and you’ll see that this is just a never ending cycle.

Look up han Chinese and the ancestors of Japan

Then you'll understand they are the same people squabbling

Never ending yes

Neverending false information. Japanese DNA are closely related to Tibet. Not Han China. The Yaoi people crossed over from the Korean Penninsula to mix with the Jomon.

"Y chromosome evidence of earliest modern human settlement in East Asia and multiple origins of Tibetan and Japanese populations"

https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7007-6-45

13 years after the above paper.

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abh2419

Ancient genomics reveals tripartite origins of Japanese populations

The most noticeable archaeological characteristic of Kofun culture is the custom of burying the elite in keyhole-shaped mounds, the size of which reflect hierarchical rank and political power (1). The three Kofun individuals sequenced in this study were not buried in those tumuli (see note S1), which suggests that they were lower-ranking people. Their genomes document the arrival of people with majority East Asian ancestry to Japan and their admixture with the Yayoi population (Fig. 5 and fig. S17). This additional ancestry is best represented in our analysis by Han, who have multiple ancestral components. A recent study has reported that people became morphologically homogeneous in the continent from the Neolithic onward (56), which implies that migrants during the Kofun period were already highly admixed.

...

Only Han were successfully modeled as a source of ancestry in the model (Fig. 5B), with a significantly better fitting of the three-way admixture than any possible two-way admixture models (table S11). Given that Jomon ancestry is diluted by approximately a factor of 4 between the Yayoi and Kofun populations sampled, these results suggest that the state formation phase saw a large influx of migrants who had East Asian ancestry.

Best out of three?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan refiles request to list divisive gold mine on UNESCO See in context

@OssanAmericaToday  06:38 pm JST

Awa no GaijinToday  06:58 am JST

A nearly 400 yr old slave camp !

Japan is so proud of that place

Korean laborers under the Wartime Mobilization Law, who were not "slaves" were involved from 1938 to 1945. That's 7 years out of 400.

"The people who were mobilized were sent to work at private-sector companies, where they were paid relatively high wages usually based on the terms of their time-limited contracts of employment."

JapanReview_Vol2_No2_05_TsutomuNishioka.pdf (jiia-jic.jp)

Why do you persist in posting without actually studying a subject?

Nishioka Tsutomu (西岡力 ) is a far-right pundit busy contributing for over more than a decade to mad-as-a-hatter-not-above-conspiracy-theories-rags like:

. Will

https://www.kinokuniya.co.jp/f/dsg-08-EK-0938980

https://www.web-wac.co.jp/magazine/will/200708w-2

or

.Hanada

https://twitter.com/hanada_asuka/status/1175644526150443010

https://www.amazon.co.jp/%E6%9C%88%E5%88%8AHanada2020%E5%B9%B47%E6%9C%88%E5%8F%B7-%E8%8A%B1%E7%94%B0%E7%B4%80%E5%87%B1%E8%B2%AC%E4%BB%BB%E7%B7%A8%E9%9B%86/dp/B081WRM1R3

This tells volumes about what "material" you "study" and where your "vision" of History comes from...

Dude, really???

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan reports inflation hit 4%; 41-year high in December See in context

@JeffLee

Facts over narratives

Sayz the guy repeating over and over the BS inflation figures of the government that NOBODY in the country believes...

Dude, really?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Posted in: Japan reports inflation hit 4%; 41-year high in December See in context

JeffLee

other nations include food in their calculation

So does Japan. The 4% headline figure includes food. The 2.3% figure is core inflation, excluding food. Japan's price rises are still relatively modest, so hiking interest rates doesn't seem like a great idea.

I envy so much the place you seem to live in Japan. In my place (Urayasu-shi, Chiba) have food prices on average increased around 10pct irrelevant if a dirty cheap supermarket or expensive outlet.

Everybody around me: friends, neighbors or colleagues feel the pinch.

Dude, really?

On a side-note; today I asked a friend if she could drive me to the city recycle center (I have a tons of stuff I want to get rid of). She was ashamed to ask me if it would be possible to "borrow some money for the gas as she has problems getting through the month"...They are a 4-head family and they are middle class. I don't want to know how bad the lower echelons have it...

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Posted in: Japanese finance minister cautions against changes to debt redemption rule See in context

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki cautioned against making any change to the government's debt redemption rule as it helps the government maintain fiscal discipline.

"Fiscal discipline"? Laughing my rear off. What "Fiscal discipline"???

We already cranked up VAT to 10pct to "insure sustainability of health care and pensions" while regularly both are being downgraded.

Since begin January this year is the LDP barking about a plan to "deal with the low births problematic", plan which involves a lot of spending which some LDP-pundits are already saying could be financed by...increasing VAT...(other are estimating a future VAT at 14pct...)

A much easier way to deal with all the necessary public spending would be to cut all pet projects, ego-trip, megalomaniac nonsense, vote-grabbing fluff, etc that represents both the LDP's core "business" and the sole way it has to remain in power but that is not likely to happen any time soon...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: LDP lawmakers to set up group to promote Japan's defense exports See in context

@DesertTortoise

Look how easily HMS Sheffield was sunk. 

I have zero knowledge in the field, but the HMS Sheffield was launched back in 1971 and sunk in 1982. That was 40 years ago...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMSSheffield(D80)

Things may have changed since then, no? Do you have any more recent examples?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Will Okinawa once again become a battleground in a Japan-China military conflict? See in context

In the upcoming Diet session, Asahi Geino concludes, much will depend on Kishida's ability to justify his proposed tax increase in order to boost Japan's defense expenditures.

...To the public? Fat chance!

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/d5c41753f3cd7d0e02f3972fc03c4f9030e10413

His approval levels crashed down yet another level of underground parking at 26.5pct.

How low can he go, our Limbo PM? (#sarcasm)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Ex-Japan defense chief Kishi to quit soon; by-election eyed in April See in context

@Cricky

Just out of interest, what exactly do these people (men) stand for? Are they social reformer advocates? Or are they focused on a war footing? A bit of clarity on their vision of a future Japan would help. Do they want to continue the current status quo? People as ( not me, I’m a dirty foreign resident) voters should know? Rather than a patriarchal system imposing their choice on the population. So what are their goals?

What do they say they stand for?

During election times, have a look at TV pieces and you will see that all these blue-bloods stand for "continuation of their fathers/grand-fathers-grand-grand-fathers' policies". That the times and challenges have changed and that solutions good 50 years ago may only amount to moot today does not seem to bother them in the least...

What do they really stand for?

.a cushy seat in parliament

..warm in winter

..fresh in summer

.high salaries

.high bonuses

.high expenditure budget, no questions asked

.more perks than anybody would need in their life

.zero responsibility

.zero accountability

.impunity (depending on seniority, of course)

In exchange, they only need to do some footwork during election-time and toe the party-line. No biggie.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's opposition parties unite to take on Kishida over tax hike plan See in context

@fxgai

No, just don't downvote me, give me some rational alternatives.

Japan Innovation Party.

.the Japan Innovation Party in which creation right-wing xenophobiacs such as Hashimoto and Ishihara dabbled (before they fell out)?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Restoration_Party#Split_with_former_Sunrise_members

.the Japan Innovation Party which bet the farm on

..Osaka Expo which expenses are spinning out of control...

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20221011/p2a/00m/0na/014000c

..the Yumeshima IR/Casino resort which expenses are spinning out of control...

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14541025

.the Japan Innovation Party which is hellbent on pushing down the throat of the Osaka inhabitants the 2 above projects?

A lot of projects with shades of Tokyo Olympics as far as cost-control, public support and strong-man tactics do go...

.the Japan Innovation Party which has 13 of its (current) 61 representatives in bed with the Moonies?

https://www.fukuoka-fa.com/touitu-giin/

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E7%B6%AD%E6%96%B0%E3%81%AE%E4%BC%9A_(2016-)

If the idea is to exchange a far-right xenophobic and autocratic party with lackluster financial literacy currently in bed with a weird cult (the LDP) by another far-right xenophobic and autocratic party with lackluster financial literacy currently in bed with a weird cult (Ishin), you have to excuse me if I am not exactly overwhelmed by the options on display...

2 years ago when Ishin scored big (and I mean real BIG) at the expense of other opposition parties, did some political analysts go ahead of themselves and were pondering the possibility that, should further down the road the momentum keep going, the LDP may ditch Komeito (which whom they do not have much ideological common ground) for Ishin (which is pretty much in-line with their own agenda) as the token "junior coalition"-pet.

Two hurdles to the nightmare mariage though: the LDP would need to forfeit the Soka Gakkai voters / campaigners prepping up Komeito and Ishin, now closer to the the LDP, may get their feathers ruffled by Osaka / Kansai voters. But again, in the past Komeito and the LDP were at each other's throat...

Also, on a side-note, you may want to check how many Ishin-members were at one point of another members of the LDP...

Ishin and the LDP: different plumage, same bird. Exchange the LDP for Ishin and what you get is just the LDP with a Kansai-ben accent.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Russian ex-President Medvedev says Kishida should disembowel himself See in context

OssanAmericaToday  02:39 pm JST

Give it up, you can't change history.

I'm pretty sure that I won't be the the only one on this board to take a screenshot of that one and frame for later use. (#sarcasm)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's opposition parties unite to take on Kishida over tax hike plan See in context

OssanAmerica

Does eveyone who is against the LDP have a better alternative for Japan? No, just don't downvote me, give me some rational alternatives.

At the stade the country is at?

These guys would do a better job at running the show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r079Wiacx_Q

Anybody and anything else than the LDP could only mean going upwards again.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Posted in: Eras are often defined simply by their names, but the Heisei Era underwent some changes. I will be preserving my collection of Heisei stuff for posterity so academics in the future can contemplate the trends of those times.” See in context

Eras are often defined simply by their names, but the Heisei Era underwent some changes. I will be preserving my collection of Heisei stuff for posterity so academics in the future can contemplate the trends of those times.”

> Mero Yamashita, 41, who refers to himself as a “Heisei culture expert.” He is one of many people looking for reminders of the just-ended Heisei Era (1989-2019). The trend gained so much momentum that “nostalgia for Heisei” was nominated as the most-used phrase on social media in 2022.

Can Yamashita-san give us a clearer definition of what "Heisei stuff" or a "Heisei culture expert" are supposed to be. Like many people my age (52), I probably still have truckloads of Showa or Heisei "stuff" at home while currently piling up "Reiwa" stuff but I doubt that anyone is / will be interested in that junk in the future, unless it is already of interest now or already was of interest back in the days...

On a side-note, I would believe that people being nostalgic for the past, even the most recent past, shows how much they do not like the present...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo to make child care free for all 2nd children from October See in context

Tokyo to make child care free for all 2nd children from October

Definitely more impressive than the earlier 5,000 JPY alimony to have kids.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/families-in-tokyo-to-get-5-000-yen-per-child-amid-falling-birthrates

Still:

.1 the scheme is at odds with the J-gov's push to move people out of Tokyo, making it increasingly clear that Koike is weaponizing the issue against the LDP-gov for political gains.

https://japantoday.com/category/poll/the-japanese-government-is-offering-families-1-million-yen-to-relocate-from-tokyo-in-an-effort-to-revitalize-towns-across-the-country.-do-you-think-this-is-a-good-idea

Anyway, rats fighting in a bag, so nothing to do with us plebs, so it's all about what is effectively in for us plebs which bring us to the below w points...

.2 it caters to those who could afford a first kid, not sure how those who couldn't afford the first one to start with could benefit much from a scheme pushing for planning a second one...?

.2 what is the situation as far as the actual child care capacity goes? I recall the 待機児童 (kids' waiting list for kindergarten) problem from last decade never being solved...? Where are we on that now? What would be the point of getting free access to what may ultimately be a very loooooong waiting line...?

Long story short: the devil is in the details and the whole thing may be in practice be much less impressive than it sounds on a Tokyo Gov PR dept's press release...

Wait and see...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: It is important to think about regional transportation that is easy to use for people such as the elderly, who often struggle with transportation and cannot drive a car. See in context

A senior transport ministry official. The ministry is considering ways to secure transportation for people living in rural areas where bus and rail services are being scrapped or reduced due to population declines

This tying pretty much into this earlier article:

https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan's-'little-trains-that-could'-battle-for-survival

We have been spending trillions over decades to "revitalize" the countryside. Still, for some reason, we seem to have missed the above issue completely. How come?

Anyway, far too late. The problem has already been there for 1-2 decades due to a lack of vision for a country heading for a demographic car crash (insert massive understatement here) at Shinkansen-speed.

Let me guess, the so-called "ways to secure transportation" will involve additional funds (billions? trillions? who knows? who cares? Well, the tax-payers actually may but as they don't seem to vote...), all this while we are spaffing 7 trillions on a Maglev train (Linia) nobody needs.

Too many non-priority "priorities" and an utter lack of vision. Things are not going to improve anytime soon...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Prison terms to be finalized for couple in Abe cronyism scandal See in context

@browny1

Completely agree.

The whole Moritomo (plus Kakei) Gakuen scandal is pretty much most (if not pretty much all) what is wrong with Japan as a "democracy".

The whole saga had:

.public funds being pilfered / ransacked / misused

.corruption of officials of the highest rank

.sweet deals at tax-payers' expense

.involvement of key senior public officials and senior politic figures (the PM and his wife for chrissake's!) and their respective ministries and agencies

.far-right nutters and politics

.bespoke laws / regulations (Kakei)

.personality cults around dubious / far-right politicians

.a complete breakdown (absence being more like it actually) of ethics, moral and compliance standards in the government and public sphere

.cover-ups at the highest level, such as (but not limited to): whiskering key witnesses away to far locations, destruction of evidence / tampering with evidence, hush money, perjury, you name it

.a delayed media coverage, later limited to opposition media (as usual) trashing the government but not showing any real investigative journalism and conservative papers completely ignoring the scandal altogether by looking the other way, leaving only tabloids and local papers / media do the footwork

.a mockery of a public investigations in parliament

.a useless opposition

.a joke of a police investigation and a prosecution going AWOL

.the latter point evidencing the three powers to be in bed with each other

.a never decreasing public outcry...resulting in absolutely nothing at the next election

...and, sadly...a dead body to wrap the whole mess up...

Japan has all the elements / hallmarks of a "democracy", unfortunately it is obvious that the system has either:

.has become completely dysfunctional

.has been gamed by those whose very job it is to defend it

.has never really functioned and has only existed for "show"

The Moritomo / Kakei scandals should be made compulsory studies in foreign courses about Japan as a "democracy" and its so-called "legal / political" institutions

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Posted in: There are problems regarding how far companies can get involved in visualizing sleep data of an individual. Sleep technologies are effective as an investment for improving productivity. See in context

@Aly Rustom

sleep apnea and insomnia are severe illnesses of which I suffer from. It would be nice to have treatment included in the public healthcare.

I hear you, man.

A decade ago, I had some serious sleep apnea issues (still do to some extend) and had to get a CPAP for 2 years (seems in Japan, you can only "rent" them and it was frankly expensive).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Prison terms to be finalized for couple in Abe cronyism scandal See in context

Prison terms to be finalized for couple in Abe cronyism scandal

Abe got his national funeral, Akie has gone lost somewhere in the Japanese inaka with possibly hubbie's treasure trove of "funds for political activities" (reportedly 415 mio JPY, but a caveat on this one as the LDP was up and roaring about pocketing the funds, which is the reason that at one point her name was floated to run for office in Abe's constituency).

Sagawa went into early retirement and despite (if memory serves) an 8 mio JPY pay-cut, still pocketed 40+ mio JPY. As this guy simply knows too much, I think that the media should investigate what he is currently doing, where he does it and how much he earns as I wouldn't rule out a sweet deal to help him to keep his mouth shut...

Tani-san, Akie's secretary, was whiskered away to Italy to avoid her showing up at parliamentary questioning

Nothing happening to the various ministries and agencies or ministers and senior public officials running them.

Nothing to see here. Just two low-level far-right crooks bent backwards taking the fall for everybody else...

10 ( +20 / -10 )

Posted in: The Japanese government is offering families 1 million yen to relocate from Tokyo in an effort to revitalize towns across the country. Do you think this is a good idea? See in context

@Strangerland

For those who, for whatever reason, have already decided to move there: yes, it's a bonus to them.

Is this an incentive to move to anybody else: no, absolutely not.

So you don't think it would be an incentive to those who want to go, but are too worried about the associated financial costs of moving?

I do get your question, but:

.the amount is one million

.the initial poll question is whether that one million is a good idea (as in: is that one million enough to make people want to leave / would they leave because of that one million...at least this is how I understand the poll).

My answer is "no".

I came to Japan and did the reverse, I lived in Ibaragi then got close to urban centers. It wasn't the Japanese wasteland / outback, but we definitely needed a car (which we ditched after moving).

The costs will need to cover for:

.movers

.we got shafted for the amount of the guarantee despite leaving the apartment to be spic and span

.back then we needed to pay a 礼金 for the new apartment

.most likely a car (which one may (or not) have if living in an urban area but may become critical on the countryside)

.depending on the stage in your life, one may buy a house (or not) which may need renovation (or not) or move to a bigger apartment (or not), plan to have kids (or not), etc. The more "or nots" you go for, the cheaper. If you start scrubbing off "or nots" from the list, the costs will skyrocket.

.most likely other stuff (which your new lifestyle will need) while ditching current / older stuff (which will not fit your new lifestyle anymore)

.setting up your own business (depending on the cases)

etc

All the above adds up.

If you are already in a (financial / logistic) situation where you are pondering the decision to move (read: have the money upfront or at least most of it and have your new lifestyle mapped out to enough of an extend), that one million becomes a sweetener and / or possibly the "last push" making you go ahead. If you don't have the money ready or are still nowhere plan-wise, it's a no-brainer...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: UK, Japan sign defense agreement allowing troop deployments See in context

Addition: Actually, I faintly remember that a few years ago in the UK (can't recall if it was it still under May or already under Boris, anyway as Brexiteers were running the show did the PM not matter), the idea being floated around establishing some "network" of (military) outposts around the world to, you know, be a "global" UK and stuff.

Unfortunately, back then the UK brass (and the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) as well) gave the whole idea a pretty harsh rebuke as not having neither the manpower nor the logistics (or the funds for that matters (OBR) ) to be able to do so...

Thinking about how, not later than last month, the JSDF brass both prior and current (the latter under the guise of anonymity) did give the J-gov's strategic plans an equally harsh rebuke for pretty much the same reasons tells volumes about how deluded J and UK governments ran by simpletons are and as to where things were really standing...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: UK, Japan sign defense agreement allowing troop deployments See in context

Two cardboard-cut PMs, both pretty much already on their way out, (pretending to) lead what their respective morally bankrupt and corrupt political parties left of each one's country in what are nothing more than just post-imperial-withdrawal-syndrom-twilight years while in complete denial as to their own ineptitude to define their resp. positions in a much more complex and multilateral world than they ever thought was ever possible and the pile-up of problems at home reaching critical mass...

Imagine two old dudes way past their expiry-limits trying to impress each other by flexing their flaccid muscles.

This will only get far-righters in the UK and Japan, Brexiteers and LDP-tools fretting. Average Joes and families at home in the UK and in Japan have more urgent things in mind, like, ya know: surviving.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: McDonald's Japan to hike prices for third time in 10 months See in context

The price for a single cheeseburger will go up to 200 yen this month from 140 yen a year ago. The cost of the signature Big Mac hamburger will go up to 450 yen from 410 yen previously.

From 140 to 200 = 42.85 pct increase

From 410 to 450 = 9.75 pct increase

But but but...I thought the inflation was only a mere 3 pct and breadcrumbs. How could they get it so wrong...Hey, wait a minute. No. They wouldn't be telling us porkies would they? Noooo, the LDP would never dare, would they? (#sarcasm)

Luckily, I don't depend on MacDonald's to survive. Unluckily, my neighborhood supermarket (on which I heavily depend to survive) has been waaaaay north of 3 pct since last summer on pretty much everything they sell...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: The Japanese government is offering families 1 million yen to relocate from Tokyo in an effort to revitalize towns across the country. Do you think this is a good idea? See in context

For those who, for whatever reason, have already decided to move there: yes, it's a bonus to them.

Is this an incentive to move to anybody else: no, absolutely not.

Shades of GOTO. Only those who could afford to travel did and were subsidized...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: if Japan shoulders most of the burden of its defense while America provides the alliance’s striking arm—then U.S. forces will enjoy a sanctuary from which to prosecute combat operations in Taiwan’s vicinity. Sanctuary is oftentimes a pivotal ingredient of victory in a hard-run conflict. You try to create it for yourself while denying it to antagonists. See in context

if Japan shoulders most of the burden of its defense while America provides the alliance’s striking arm—then U.S. forces will enjoy a sanctuary from which to prosecute combat operations in Taiwan’s vicinity. Sanctuary is oftentimes a pivotal ingredient of victory in a hard-run conflict. You try to create it for yourself while denying it to antagonists.

Well, you heard it from the horse's mouth: Japan is nothing more than a pawn in a much wider game being played in Asia...an expendable one.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Volunteers taking outsized role in Japanese language support See in context

This article pretty much circles back to this one (also from today) and my (own) comment about that one.

https://japantoday.com/category/quote-of-the-day/there-is-a-huge-gap-between-areas-with-regard-to-support-for-students-who-need-japanese-language-education.-i-believe-that-half-the-students-who-need-to-be-taught-japanese-live-in-areas-where-there-is-little-language-learning-support.

Reiko Hayashikawa, representative of the Tokyo Nihongo Volunteer Network and a committed volunteer for 40 years, says there are limits to what untrained individuals alone can do.

While the government lists the classes in its annual survey of locations where Japanese is taught domestically, she argues that the initiative's "Japanese classroom" moniker is a "mistake" that misrepresents what takes place.

"Volunteers are not teachers...What we most need, especially in areas where there are few Japanese schools, is for local governments to take responsibility for absolute beginners," Hayashikawa said.

There is "no guarantee qualified teachers will be at volunteer classes, which forces volunteers to take teachers' roles or leads some groups to conclude they can't take on people needing the most help," she added.

As far as foreign students go, did Japan come up with a plan to reach 300,000 students back in Heisei 20 (2008)...

https://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/koutou/ryugaku/1420758.htm

...14 years later, we are reaching the magical 300K...but seemingly without providing the students with adequate language support...The J-gov has not been doing their homework for nearly 2 decades and volunteers end up picking up the pieces...You can't make this up...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: U.S. looks to work with Japan to boost women's tech job opportunities See in context

@Samit Basu

This is a actually bad news for Japan, since the US state department considers Japan a country with unequal treatment and rights for women that needs US diplomatic pressure and "encouragement" to prop up equal treatment and opportunities for women in Japan.

Don't worry, in practice is nothing is going to happen in Japan any time soon on this front...Besides, the US needs Japan's support on other "fronts" (e.g. Taiwan).

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Kishida to highlight security concerns on trip to Europe, U.S. See in context

Under the new strategies, Japan plans to start deploying in 2026 long-range cruise missiles that can reach potential targets in China, nearly double its defense budget within five years to a NATO standard of about 2% of GDP from the current 1%, and improve cyberspace and intelligence capabilities.

For the umpth time, Japan is not a NATO-member making the comparison moot to start with.

Moreover, Japan's current GDP per capita would place it at rank #15 in the NATO-organization were Japan to be a member...

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=JP

https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/gdp_per_capita_ppp/NATO/#:~:text=The%20average%20for%202021%20based,countries%20where%20data%20are%20available.

...while increasing its defense spending to twice what it currently is, would make Japan look like it had a GDP per capita second to only Luxembourg in the group of NATO-countries, Luxembourg being a 650K population country with a finance-centric economy which, of course, only nominally participates / contributes to NATO.

Kyodo comparing apples and salads here, saying they are the same as being all, ya know, "green edible stuff".

As far as "cyberspace" capabilities are concerned, did the J-cop only get a legal framework to fight cybercrime...last year (2022). Not evening mentioning the lack of IT-expertise in Japan in the private sector...As such, expect the US doing most of the work here...

The Biden administration, which also adopted its security strategy in October, expects Japan to assist in the supply and storage of fuel and munitions in case of a Taiwan emergency, experts say. Japan and the United States are also reportedly considering establishing a joint command.

The main point being, of course, US expectations to which Japan has not much choice than abide...

While, like in the case of the Ukraine war, are Ukraine-supporting nations not being targeted by the aggressor, in theory, they are legitimate targets to the aggressor as indirectly participating in the conflict. Japan may want to keep the latter part in mind...

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Kishida to discuss gov't, BOJ roles with new central bank head See in context

Kishida to discuss gov't, BOJ roles with new central bank head

Like Abe, Suga and every PM before them, does Kishida just want the new guy to get the message that he is running a "subsidiary" of the J-gov (a public statement by Abe a few years ago) and get the guy's phone-number on speed-dial to back up Kishida's (already) failed so-called "economics".

Asked what kind of person he would choose as BOJ governor, Kishida said it will be someone "best suited for the job" when Haruhiko Kuroda's term ends in April.

"Best suited", such as: bellboy, waterboy, office runner or similar.

Surging raw-material import costs have pushed inflation well above the BOJ's 2% target in recent months, achieving what Kuroda's decade-long stimulus efforts had failed to accomplish.

When you realize that you are not reading a Kyodo article.

Core consumer prices in November rose 3.7% from a year earlier, and analysts expect inflation to remain above the 2% target in coming months, as companies continue to pass on higher costs to households. Wage rises have lagged well behind inflation, with nominal pay up just 0.5% in November from a year earlier.

...Nope, definitely not a Kyodo-article...

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: There is a huge gap between areas with regard to support for students who need Japanese language education. I believe that half the students who need to be taught Japanese live in areas where there is little language-learning support. See in context

First things first.

Iki Tanaka, head of YSC Global School, a private education support program

"Private education support program" may give the wrong impression. YSC seems to be an NPO not a private company.

https://www.kodomo-nihongo.com/index.html

Educators are raising concerns that while the number of international students is on the rise...

What does actually "on the rise" mean here?

The J-gov's own estimates dates back to pretty much one year and showed and overall 13.3pct decrease for 2021 only.

https://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/koutou/ryugaku/1412692.htm#:~:text=%E5%A4%96%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA%E7%95%99%E5%AD%A6%E7%94%9F%E5%9C%A8%E7%B1%8D%E7%8A%B6%E6%B3%81%E8%AA%BF%E6%9F%BB%E3%81%AB%E3%82%88%E3%82%8B%E3%81%A8%E3%80%812021%EF%BC%88%E4%BB%A4,%EF%BC%85%EF%BC%89%E6%B8%9B%EF%BC%89%E3%81%A7%E3%81%97%E3%81%9F%E3%80%82

If you look at this site for both 2020 and 2021 did COVID crash the party for an aggregated 23.7 pct.

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/ja/statistics/zaiseki/

Here a breakdown of said decrease (pages 5 and 6)

https://www.cas.go.jp/jp/seisaku/kyouikumirai/dai4/siryou4.pdf

None of the above sites have any updates yet for 2022 which is not half surprising as:

.Japan started to cool off about restrictions last quarter, there may therefore be only nominal changes (positive or negative) to report.

.Japan's school year starts on April while most countries do in September making the switch logistically difficult to start with.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_day_of_school

.Japan's move to "raise the drawbridge" and slam shut the door put a lot of workers / students in a limbo, one can be sure that they left off a lot of steam talking about it around them at home (i.e generating a PR-disaster).

.studying abroad is pretty much a "life-impacting" event, one wants to proceed with caution as to who may want to do what, why, where, when and how. COVID made things difficult for everybody with Japan adding its very own layer of difficulties in the process.

Bottomline: Japan lost pretty much a whopping quarter of its foreign student population over the last 2 years. When saying that things are "on the rise", it is more likely that they are inching to going back to "what they were" and have adequate support provided to those valiant students who decide to do the big jump and come here. If said adjustment to "back to normal" is painful, it is most likely because things were already painful pre-COVID...

...Which brings us to the framework (or seemingly lack thereof).

It appears that Japan has a "300,000 student plan" (留学生30万人計画).

https://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/koutou/ryugaku/1420758.htm

But according to what Tanaka-san is saying, while the J-gov wants foreign students to come to Japan, once they are here some are left fending for themselves...

Again, like the targeted numbers of foreign tourists, workers, etc, it seems that Japan is pulling numbers out of thin air, without much homework (or work) done before and around the whole idea as to capacity, feasibility or sustainability, dumping the whole thing then on NPOs/NGOs/the private sector/industries/schools and local communities, asking them to "make the whole thingamabob happen"...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: U.S. warship sails through sensitive Taiwan Strait; China angered See in context

@OssanAmerica

The last vestige of the Ching Dynasty was Henry Pu Yi who became head of the Imperial Japanese Army backed Manchukuo.

More correctly, he was made the puppet ruler of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puyi#Puppet_ruler_ofManchukuo(1932%E2%80%931945)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puyi#Emperor_of_Manchukuo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puyi#Collapse_of_Manchukuo

More details on Manchuko.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchukuo

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's trade minister calls for new world order to counter rise of authoritarian regimes See in context

Evolution of political language:

2015:

https://japan.kantei.go.jp/97_abe/statement/201508/0814statement.html

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when Japan ended up becoming a challenger to the international order. Upon this reflection, Japan will firmly uphold basic values such as freedom, democracy, and human rights as unyielding values and, by working hand in hand with countries that share such values, hoist the flag of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” and contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world more than ever before.

2018:

https://thediplomat.com/2018/09/at-un-japans-abe-defends-the-rules-based-order/

He also took the opportunity to promote his Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy: “What must control our sea and air spaces that are broad and wide is the rule of law, and the rules-based order, which are in turn backed by solid institutions.”

2019:

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ecm/ec/page4e_000973.html

International order Japan preserves

My third and last point is about Japan's commitment.

Japan is determined to preserve and committed to enhancing the free, open, and rules-based international order.

2022:

Japan's trade and industry minister said on Thursday post-Cold War free trade and economic inter-dependence had bolstered authoritarian regimes and the United States and like-minded democracies should counter them with a "new world order."

"Authoritarian countries have amassed tremendous power, both economically and militarily," Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "We must rebuild a world order based on the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."

Not sure if we are shifting the chairs around the table or changing some of the chairs in the process?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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