blue comments

Posted in: Why the Unification Church has become a headache for Kishida See in context

In the new cabinet, already at least 10 ministers and secretaries with identified links to the Moonies...

Me thinks that looking in the LDP for somebody with no links to the Moonies will be same as searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Why the Unification Church has become a headache for Kishida See in context

Why the Unification Church has become a headache for Kishida

Because news of their links to the LDP is not limited to tabloids anymore but became mainstream news?

Former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, Abe's grandfather, was an honorary executive chair at a banquet hosted by Moon in 1974, the International Federation for Victory Over Communism said on its website.

Tsk tsk! Kishi is the very guy meant in the following 2 paragraphs.

Japan was one of the first destinations in its international expansion, where Moon's conservatism aligned with the Cold War views of the ruling elite.

He launched the International Federation for Victory Over Communism group in the 1960s, building relations with Japanese politicians, according to church publications.

Kishi brought the Moonies to Japan to help "fighting communism" (whatever that meant and this definitely needs some investigating).

As such did Kishi do more than share food at the buffet or toasts at a banquet with the Moonies.

The LDP had no "systematic relations" with the church, Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi has said. It would cut off ties with the church, he said on Monday.

Tsk tsk! Again, contradicted by the following 2 paragraphs.

The church and the LDP share some views, opposing same-sex marriage and supporting revision of Japan's pacifist constitution, said Eito Suzuki, a journalist who studies lawmakers' relationships with religious groups.

The church built ties with politicians to attract followers and gain legitimacy, said Hiro Yamaguchi, a lawyer who has worked on cases against it. Politicians gained access to church members for help with campaigns, he said.

The following needs to be investigated as per the 2 above paragraphs as the 2 above paragraphs shed a very different light on things and potential implications.

The church has said Abe was neither a member nor an adviser. He delivered a speech at an event hosted by a church affiliate last September, according to its website.

Nobuo Kishi, Abe's younger brother and the outgoing defense minister, told reporters he received support from church members as campaign volunteers.

Kishida, who has said he has "no links" to it...

If, indeed, he has no such links, he can consider himself as one of the few "lucky ones". If he does, then his luck will run out sooner or later.

...*said new cabinet members and new ruling party officials must "thoroughly review" ties with the church.*

What about "old" cabinet members and "old" ruling party officials? Luminaries such as Aso, Suga, Kishi, etc, etc who have documented ties?

The church previously pledged not to solicit excessive donations after some members were convicted of illegal sales tactics following an investigation.

Extortionists pledging to extortion less. Got to love that one!

A lot of comments are pointing to the LDP being in cahoots with so-called Christians, Soka Gakkai and a Shinto-cult. Of course, they are!

The LDP has zero values and only shreds of (far-right) ideologies. It's about all the advantages they can get.

Soka Gakkai/Komeito was for electoral purposes. The Moonies also seem to have dabbled in elections (e.g. voting, campaign-support and such). Would love to see whether money to the LDP was involved for "services", such as the name-change which had been pending for 17 years before allowed and confirmed under Abe.

As far as the Shinto-ties do go, I would love to see whether money from the J-gov (read: LDP) is not being provided to them (I think of course about Yasukuni Jinja) or from Nippon Kaigi to the LDP or LDP-members.

Bottom-line, there are Moonies fingerprints all over the LDP and LDP fingerprints all over the Moonies.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Posted in: With reshuffled cabinet, Kishida gets to work in choosing next BOJ head See in context


Kishida may choose a dark horse to distance himself from Abenomics, which has failed to produce solid, sustainable growth in the world's third-largest economy.

A rare moment to acknowledge this truth.

It's not a Jiji or Kyodo-article. QED.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Prices set to rise in Japan for over 10,000 food items on weak yen See in context

Prices set to rise in Japan for over 10,000 food items on weak yen


These items would bring the total number of products that have risen in price or are expected to do so this year to 18,532 items, with the average margin of increase standing at 14 percent, the survey showed.

Love how the title tries to lipstick the fact that we are closer to a total of 20,000 items...Well, that's Kyodo for you.

The depreciation of the yen has been pushing up the import costs denominated in yen. 

I wonder if in future, should the yen appreciates again we will see a decrease in prices?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Posted in: Tokyo court rejects request to halt state funeral for ex-PM Abe See in context

The Cabinet Office said Tuesday that the cost would likely be just under 200 million yen ($1.5 million)...

There is just the problem that the ceremony will cost 200 millions to which security costs for foreign participants (including or excluding COVID-measures??) are believed to amount to another 2.2 billions with not guarantee that the total cost stop there...

This smokescreen around the cost does remind one of Olympics where adjacent costs were simply just ignored in the J-gov's calculations. How convenient. Would love to be able to do that with my household budget! (#sarcasm)

..., and that a state funeral "does not oblige each and every citizen to mourn."

To mourn, no, but in this case, just to foot the bill...

Presiding Judge Keiji Mukai said that a state funeral does not "force individual citizens to offer condolences to Mr Abe or to mourn for him," adding that there was no legal grounds for issuing an injunction against the use of the national budget.

That is indeed more problematic from a legal perspective. Especially looking at how the J-gov squanders money on ego-trips, white elephants, useless junk and private projects with no return for the public. I would create a legal precedent and give the start-shot for an endless stream of legal challenges...

A potentially more interesting angle maybe challenging the systematic use of Dentsu and the cost involved vs the services received and their quality or market-value. Me thinks that there is a lot to uncover in that area...No doubt that Dentsu is involved in this ceremony as well...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: What colors of clothing keep you cooler in summer? See in context

Like Toshihiro, lighter colors. Unfortunately, nothing helps with the overall mugginess and humidity (ungh...)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: At least 5 members of Kishida's new cabinet had links with Unification Church See in context

When asked at a press conference Wednesday if he would sever all ties with the group, Hagiuda said, "for our part, we will continue to make a clear distinction (between the party and church)."

Sounds like a resounding "No!".

Among new cabinet members appointed Wednesday, Minoru Terada, a special adviser to Kishida named the new minister of internal affairs, said he paid 20,000 yen in October 2018 to attend an event organized by a group affiliated with the church, although he was not aware of it at the time.

So, the "I didn't know what I was doing"-routine, then?

Akihiro Nishimura, the new environment minister, also said he had not been aware the church was involved in an event he had previously attended, thinking it was a "conservative forum."

Still beats "I was drunk", "I don't remember" or the (above) "I didn't know what I was doing"...The bar is being raised! (#sarcasm)

Naoki Okada, appointed regional revitalization minister in his first cabinet posting, said that a local secretary had attended an event of a group related to the church, while Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that a local secretary of his deputy Seiji Kihara had done the same.

Well, knowing that the Moonies provide staff and support to politicians, are we really talking about (paid) "secretaries"? Also, "secretaries" acting on their own? This sounds more like the "I wasn't aware my secretary did it!"-routine than anything else.

Meanwhile, Katsunobu Kato, who returned to his former post as health minister, and Daishiro Yamagiwa, who retained his post as economic revitalization minister, both admitted to having previously paid "membership fees" to organizations affiliated with the church.

Would love to know more what these "organizations" were and what their official "purposes" were, in addition with (of course) the amounts involved.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, who retained his post, apologized for accepting an interview in 2012 with Sekai Nippo, a publication known to have close ties to the Unification Church, but said that he had not received donations or election support from the group.


LDP policy chief Sanae Takaichi, named minister for economic security, said she was featured in a monthly magazine released by a publisher affiliated with the church in 2001.

Sounds like these guys who would do an interview with Akahata not realizing that it was "linked to the Japan Communist Party"? (Would be a fun prank to do! We're Shimbun Akahata, a newspaper published in Akasaka and would like to do an interview with you.)

Tomihiro Tanaka, head of the church's Japan branch, said at a press conference Wednesday that he would find it "extremely regrettable if involvement with our organization was the criteria" for the cabinet reshuffling.

The LDP: our brand is getting tainted by associating with the Moonies.

The Moonies: our brand is getting tainted by associating with the LDP.

The J-public is definitely not savvy when it comes to political hanky-panky, but hinting that they are that dim is frankly insulting.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Unification Church says Japan members received death threats See in context

Well, if you're into the business of hurting people, threatening their livelihood, destroying families and driving people to social alienation, financial collapse and possibly suicide, you have to expect some kind of "backlash" from said people, their families, friends or acquaintances.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: Pandemic delivers major blow to number of new marriages in Japan: study See in context

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a major decline in the number of new marriages in Japan, with there expected to be some 150,000 fewer newly wedded couples than expected in the three years to the end of 2022, a recent study showed.

The fall, believed to be a result of several factors including fewer opportunities to socialize due to pandemic-related restrictions, could also lead to around 243,000 fewer babies being born if there is no recovery in the new marriage rate, researchers warned.

I'm probably simplifying this too much, but: 243,000 / 150,000 = 1.63 babies per woman while Japan's fertility rate is currently 1.36. The fertility rate does cover a certain period in life for each woman, but still, this looks pretty optimistic.

The number of new marriages in 2020 stood at around 526,000, about 50,000 lower than the projected figure, while the number for 2021 was expected to be about 501,000, some 63,000 fewer than the forecast, the researchers said.

I do recall a certain raise in VAT back in 2019. No correlation? Really?

The researchers also attributed increased financial stress as among the factors linked to the projected decline.

Aaaah, but yes, of course there is. Now we're talking.

The researchers warned that unless there is a significant increase in the number of births per woman, generally, the decrease in marriages will directly lead to a fall in the number of births.

No kidding? What ya ain't sayin'. I could have said the same without all the boring years of studying. Should have gone for research.

Anyway, ladies (and lads): yoroshiku. (#sarcasm)

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan's population falls by record 726,342 to 125.93 mil in 2021 See in context

towingthelineToday  10:02 am JST

726,342 divvied by 365 = 1,990 less Japanese people on average everyday single day...

Depends on what you mean.

726,342 is the net deficitary balance after adding the yearly births and deducting the yearly deaths. If you mean "less population", you're definitely correct.

But, each year...

The number of Japanese decreased by 619,140 to 123,223,561 for the 13th straight year of decline, with deaths at an all-time high of around 1.44 million and births at a record low of around 810,000.

...1.44 mio people die which equals to 1,440,000 / 365 = 3,945 "less individuals" every day, individuals who had lives, families and friends and leave us every single day.

Well. C'est la vie. We'll all get there someday...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Kishida says new cabinet members must review ties with Unification Church See in context

"His cabinet lineup will show that the LDP is taking tough measures to deal with what is now mostly a problem of individuals before it taints the whole party," said Airo Hino, a professor at Waseda University.

” now mostly a problem of individuals...

Err, from top to bottom is the party in cahoots with the Moonies and had been for six decades...

"...before it taints the whole party..."

Err, a never-ending conveyor belt of scandals have "tainted" the LDP beyond salvage for decades...

It seems that Waseda is not what it used to be anymore...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: How a Czech soccer hooligan became a UFC champion, via Japan See in context

Jiri Prochazka was a soccer hooligan in his native Czech Republic until martial arts and an ancient Japanese text inspired him to turn from street fighting to cage fighting -- and become a UFC world champion.


As a teenager he fell in with the local Ultras -- soccer hooligan gangs -- supporting FC Zbrojovka Brno and fought in more than 100 street battles with rival fans.

From street battles to cage battles. Not my idea of evolution...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Taiwanese foreign minister warns China preparing for invasion See in context

Peter14Today  05:09 pm JST

You realize that buccaneering has gone out of fashion back at the end of the 17th century...Piracy is still occasionally a thing though...

As far as I know, taking a war prize remains the legal right of parties at war and is preferred to outright sinking without warning.

"Under contemporary international law and treaties, nations may still bring enemy vessels before their prize courts, to be condemned and sold. But no nation now offers a share to the officers or crew who risked their lives in the capture:"

So, "Prize court" do still exist...but do not grant any prizes which downplays any incentive to take such risks.

When looking further, it seems that prize courts do still seem to exist "legally" (with prize laws not having been effectively abrogated by their resp. countries) but have stopped to function in practice for already some time.

For the US:,Committee%20of%20the%20Privy%20Council.

Due to changes in the nature of naval warfare, no prize cases have been heard since the statutes were adopted in 1956.

For the UK:

The documenting of the court stops in 1855. Unclear if the practice continued after that.

For France:

The court did hear 228 cases until 1965. All cases pertained to WWII. The court did not have any hearings past March 1965.

For Italy:

The court's last hearing seem to have been held in 1942.

Prize courts also remain national by default with no international court to hear cases.

The International Prize Court was an international court proposed at the beginning of the 20th century, to hear prize cases. An international agreement, the Convention Relative to the Creation of an International Prize Court, was established at The Hague on October 18, 1907, but this was never ratified or implemented.

After that, with WWI and WWII and the concept of "total warfare" by which capture enemy ships becomes a non-issue (not to mention the current absence of a "prize" to incite the taking of risks)

Some articles also point to the UN and the changes in the legal framework codifying the use of force between states leading to prize law becoming relic of the past.

I stand corrected: it seems that some kind of "buccaneering" did remain in use where onus was put on the legally "trading" the captured goods / ship until the 19th / 20th century, with said laws never having been abolished but the concept is currently for all intends and purposes not in practice anymore.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Taiwanese foreign minister warns China preparing for invasion See in context


The world must prepare for ceasing all trade with China, should it invade Taiwan. Pull all companies out of China now and seek alternatives for all products and supply chains. It will happen immediately when China invades, as many nations will be at war with China and it will be blockaded with ships traveling to or from China, sunk on sight or captured as a war prize.

Oh dear...

You realize that buccaneering has gone out of fashion back at the end of the 17th century...Piracy is still occasionally a thing though...

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Posted in: Support for Kishida cabinet lowest since it was formed: NHK See in context


Sad to see Abe keeps being a factor that decreases the confidence in the government even after his death.

Depending on what you imply, it's either pretty much unavoidable or Abe is (by now) completely irrelevant in how the government fares.

Whether the population wants it or not is a memorial being shoved down everybody's throats with the population having to pick up the tab while actually still waiting for the infamous "trickle-down" to start...It is obviously not Abe pushing for his own memorial, it is the current LDP-leadership/government. It's getting hit because of its decision by half the population at least...

The LDP is the most in bed with the Moonies and is doing the least (if anything!) to clean the ship. There is a dead body on the dinner table, a former PM for crying out loud, and the public has questions, which not Abe (obviously as he's playing the silent part in this drama) but the current LDP-leadership/government doesn't want to answer...

So, yes, Abe had a part in the current situation, but his part was over and he exited the stage on a certain Friday afternoon a month ago. He involuntarily got the ball rolling but now, it is all about Kishida's and the LDP's responses, actions and decisions.

It's a paradox: Abe is everywhere and, for obvious reasons, at the same time: nowhere. Kishida and his party and government are just simply nowhere...And that is the reason why Kishida is taking a (in my opinion) well-deserved hit.

Let's not even mention the complete absence of any mention of "social capitalism" anywhere in the media for months. Instead we get: Ukraine, Russia, Abe's murder, the Moonies, Taiwan, China. As usual, not much impacting the life of the plebs in the news or in politics these days. Pretty much BAU in Japan now that the elections are over. I won't expect any mention except during some election campaigning (same as for Abenomics which would suddenly be "resuscitated" during the built-up to the elections to then...again disappear from the news until...the next election...)

Kishida is on very thin ice. Abe managed to keep the population waiting for 3-4 years with his Abenomics. I tend to believe that Kishida will be on a muuuuuch tighter leash/schedule before public patience runs out and this, even without with the Moonies and the Abe-murder.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Abe's fatal shooting continues to ripple through Japan a month on See in context

@Ricky Kaminski13

The slaying of the former PM and the reactions of the Japanese, who process grief and shock in their own way. Inwardly, quietly , emotions kept in check out of respect for those around them, ceremoniously. 

Err...You're obviously not well acquainted with the Japanese (language) internet, are you?

The first years under Abe, it was literally a war-zone of right-wing bonker madness, harassment against other users and weird accusations (which were debunked again and again and again) against political opposition figures, hateful anti-South Korean/Chinese/North Korean rhetoric and sentiment!

To me the tilting point was when at the height of the wave of NK rinky-dinky fishing boats stranding (mostly with literal "skeleton" crews onboard) on Japanese beaches or being picked up by the J-coastguards, I did read some "respectful" and "quiet" Japanese people call out online to welcome the crews...with flamethrowers or sink the boats with their!

Back then, I did systematically flag these sorts of posts and as such can tell you that Yahoo News' responsiveness was pretty lacking in this regard...

These days (and after Abe left in 2020), have things calmed down at lot online. Still...

...while as a public figure he is (of course) news, are comments (of course) pretty much reflecting the division-line about the memorial service, the decision, its financing, its meaning, the person (Abe) it is supposed to honor ricocheting back to Abe's (ahem) "achievements" or lack thereof, to the avalanche of scandals around the man and the answers we will never have now that he is dead, but also ricocheting back to the connection the LDP and, of course, of the Abe/Kishi-families have with the Moonies and an overwhelming call to clean up politics of the Moonies but also about tossing out the people in bed with them.

Additional food for sometimes somehow "heated" discussions online are how the LDP is buzzing like flies around Abe's widow, not out of sympathy (dream on!) but because of a 400 million JPY treasure trove held by 4-5 political supported associations which were headed by Abe and which a lot of people in the LDP would like to get their greedy little fingers on. Don't forget how the very week following the murder how the rustling of first 7 then 10 LDP figures started to take over Abe's (90+ lawmakers strong) faction and now, because of the Moonie fallout the cabinet reshuffle. There is big talk about a "ceremony" to come at LDP-level, but (LDP-)politics plough on, pretty much "unceremoniously", I'm afraid...The result being that Japanese people equally "unceremoniously" talk about it, mostly not in public, but online under cover of anonymity.

As such, there are passionate discussions online on the Japanese internet, interesting discussions as well as stern looks at the man, his legacy (or lack thereof), of why all of this happened, what it is supposed to mean, where this could lead all of us, what can or should be done or could have been done. To be frank, the talks the Japanese are having are sometimes "strongly worded" but are (in my opinion) much easier to have than it was the case while Abe was in charge...

Again, first and foremost, was and will Abe always remain a divise and controversial figures to the Japanese population themselves...And this, whatever our (your or my (foreigner's) ) opinion is on the topic. Ultimately, we are just reflecting this very same division, just from another (foreign) angle. This was even the case for the press abroad...

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Posted in: Myanmar ambassador to China dies; 4th envoy to die in China this past year See in context


blueToday  04:51 pm JST

Oh dear...

To put things in perspective:

No single country in your list has been careless enough to lose 4 envoys in a year, I believe that this is without precedence. However, I also believe it unlikely that this situation in China is anything other than coincidental though I can understand why certain people jump to conclusions, this is tailor-made for the conspiracy theorists.

And according to this, it seems that some...body...or some...people (whoo-hoo, scary) is whacking off political and public figures in the US amongst which none less than Colin Powell, Bob Dole or Donald Rumsfeld.

Must be the deep state! (#sarcasm)

Heck, internationally, their tentacles even reached out and whacked Prince Philip and de Klerk!!!

Yes, some were old, but some were also 42 or 53. No Chinese, North Korean or Russian in the list. No doubt, its a Chinese-Russian-North-Korean conspiracy! (#sarcasm)

Joke aside. Got the point? In the article, the Ukrainian was 65 and the filipino was 74! I lost relatives who were younger than that!

It may come as a shock to some, but people, like...die. We all do! (Now, no need to get paranoid when leaving the house though...)

Yes, those 4 are in a specific (and limited) trade and profession. But again, there are most likely hundreds of foreign (i.e. non-Chinese) embassy-related personnel in China with even a lot of coming and going (back) home or moving to other locations.

As such, more may have had health issues or even died after leaving China within a year or a few years of their return. A little bit like this one:

Ambassador to Sweden in 2016, dead by 2022. Again, got my point? She was in Sweden, but I'm pretty sure that with some of the luminaries we have on this board, if she had been in Russia or China it would be (yet another) complete freak-out.

Just as another reference: here the list by the Japanese Mofa of the embassies (71), ambassadors (57), consulates (103, but generally locals with a honorary status) in Japan. Depending on the country and size of the embassy you may have a lot of attaches (military, trade, culture, etc, etc) not counting the ambassadors who are not plenipotentiary or extraordinary (e.g. in my country's super-small embassy we had 2 ambassadors: one plenipotentiary, one not, both with their families), not even counting the local staffs.

I know it's hot outside. But some people are in dire need of a cold shower whatever the season!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Myanmar ambassador to China dies; 4th envoy to die in China this past year See in context

Oh dear...

To put things in perspective:

2022: Italian ambassador to Australia

2022: amassador of South Sudan to Ghana

2018: ambassador of the Republic of Malawi at the UN

2017: ambassador of Russia at the UN

And that's only a 5-minute Google-search, guys...

There are 195 countries in the world. They have representations, whether embassies or consulates in most countries. If you count the ambassadors and other attaches you literally end up with hundreds of staff members for each country times 195 countries.

These people travel abroad, may be in countries rocked by social troubles or lacking basic infrastructures (such as useable roads), may have local diseases to which some of the staff may be (unknowingly) allergic to, etc, etc, etc.

Some people make it sound like the Power Rangers curse. If you have significant figures of people involved, of course, some are going to be sick, have accidents, be involved or victims of crimes and, unfortunately, die...

Jeez...This is getting too ridiculous for words...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief Kishi may be replaced in Cabinet due to Unification Church links See in context

@english aspyrgend

Japan needs to make it a legal requirement that no politician have links with this pernicious cult.

Only this particular cult?

The problem is that once the Komeito party was established in 1962 as a political arm of the Soka Gakkai, a precedent was created and the game was pretty much up

On this precedent (and I would dare to say infringement to the Constitution) would the Happy Realization Party piggyback in 2009 and create their own political party. And, TBH, if Aum didn't try to start WWIII early back in 1995 and get busted while trying to do so, I am pretty sure they would also at one point piggyback on either the Komeito or the Happy Science precedent and establish their own political party.

Add that the LDP and Komeito got in bed together since 1999 and you can see that we are in either an "all" or a "nothing"-situation and, that when judging at who is doing what, how, why and since when that absolutely nothing is going to change or result from all this...

I would expect that just a few "tails" (shippo) would be "cut" and a few (low-level) players asked to fall in their swords and that's it. Expect none of the bigwigs to resign or retire until they desire to actually do so or...kick the bucket...

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief Kishi may be replaced in Cabinet due to Unification Church links See in context

Japan defense chief Kishi may be replaced in Cabinet due to Unification Church links

Not likely to be related. Not likely to be related at all, as do show the names currently being floated around to join or stay and have been identified as linked to the Moonies.

Kishi is most likely going to be reshuffled because of his degrading health. (At this stage, nobody seems to know what is actually wrong with him, just that his health seems to get worse with time.) I'm starting to think that he will not be in shape to run for office in the next election.

Anyway, his only "value" was limited to his name (Kishi) and bloodline (Abe), so...

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Posted in: Snickers owner apologizes after referring to Taiwan as a country See in context

Oh dear...

Next step, travel guidebooks apologizing for mentioning "Taiwanese Cuisine", "Taiwanese Culture" or even "Taiwan" in their travel guides on...Taiwan...

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida to reshuffle cabinet with COVID, Taiwan, Unification Church in focus See in context

Kishida said he would order the cabinet to scrutinize any links between the church and cabinet members, including deputy ministers, and review them into "appropriate forms" to seek the public's understanding.

Here Fumio.

No need for any thanks, just kick them out...

...But again, if you're just looking for the public's "understanding", we all know what this means, do we?

"As far as I know, I personally do not have any ties with the group," he said.

As per the above link, the correct state of affairs is "unclear/unknown". As is for Matsuno, Moteki and Fukuda.

Kishida did not give any details of his cabinet changes but the Yomiuri daily reported earlier that he would likely replace Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, given his health issues.

No surprises here. If you want to look tough on the international stage, being in a wheelchair or walking on crutches with heavies walking besides you to pick you up (if needed) is not going to cut it. Add to this that Kishi was already identified as in bed with the Moonies.

Jiji news agency reported on Friday that Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki would be retained, and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda would either be kept or moved to another important post.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, as well as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Taro Aso, and Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi would also likely retain their positions, the Yomiuri also reported.

Well, tells you everything you need to know about how serious Kishida is about the Moonie-scandal: Hagiuda, and Aso have already been identified as having ties to the Moonies.

It's just all about getting these silly plebs to "understand" the situation...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Warner Bros axes 'Batgirl,' won't release $90 mil HBO Max film See in context


I remember seeing an ad in the cinemas for a 'Captain America' movie coming up in early 1990. It was shown briefly in Belgium and the reviews were so godawfully negative and terribly rotten, it was never shown anywhere in any theaters ever again. It never even got a videotape release, zip. Nichts, nada.

Captain America had a "troubled" story behind it and yes, it's definitely awful.'batgirl-'-won't-release-90m-hbo-max-film

There are many complete trainwrecks, for example the Fantastic Four (1994) one which went unreleased or the 2015-version which did get released.

I just happened to choose Catwoman as:

.being meant to be a blockbuster

.by a big studio

.involving Warner as well as

.a DC-character

.who happens to be a female heroine

hence, wondering why the disaster that was Catwoman got released and the (expected-to-be) rubbish Batwoman won't.

Times are changing in Tinseltown? One can only hope so...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context

Considering that they could have detonated the bombs over deserted islands as a demonstration or, at least, aim for military targets instead of civilian ones: yes.

Don't know enough to say whether there were other means available, but there were definitely other targets available to scare the bejeezus out of the J-brass/gov and get them to surrender.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Posted in: Warner Bros axes 'Batgirl,' won't release $90 mil HBO Max film See in context

The decision was highly unusual for such a high-priced and nearly finished movie. But the studio ultimately decided “Batgirl" didn't merit either a streaming debut or a theatrical release, and has instead opted to entirely write off the film starring “In the Heights” star Leslie Grace as Batgirl and co-starring Michael Keaton (returning as Batman), J.K. Simmons and Brendan Fraser. It was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Production wrapped in April.

Wow! That's pretty strong wording. How does this one compare to the trainwreck that Catwoman (2004) was?

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Posted in: Extra Diet session starts amid state funeral controversy See in context


The LDP originally sought to have Akira Amari, a close aide to Abe, deliver a more significant parliamentary speech on Friday but decided to forgo the plan amid criticism it is inappropriate, given Amari has been mired in scandals and opposition leaders have given such speeches in the past.

It escapes the imagination to tthink they could give such a prominent role to someone so disgraced, but for the LDP this is the norm, not the exception.

Even funnier, at last year's election in autumn, did Amari not get directly elected and actually lost. The LDP saved his rear thanks to proportional votes and that is why is actually still in the "business" despite being unfathomably unpopular with the voters / population.

An that is the guy they chose for an event that itself was not going to be popular...

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Posted in: Truck maker Hino says emissions data faked for 20 years See in context

President Satoshi Ogiso bowed deeply at a hastily called news conference and apologized to customers and other stakeholders.


Teams that were developing engines knew they couldn’t meet targets and felt so pressured they falsified test results, Ogiso said. That led to more deception, as workers covered up their wrongdoing. No safety problems are believed to be involved, Ogiso said.

Damn these teams who cheated customers, stakeholders! (#sarcasm)

BTW, to those pointing to the VW-scandal, here a pretty detailed recap of the fallout:

In a nutshell: fines, class actions, criminal charges pressed against the management, the works.

In Japan, will things go beyond a "hastly called news conference" and a bowing session? Not holding my breath...

It's really hard to believe that one and a half century ago, some Japanese were committing ritual suicide to atone for what were sometimes trivialities...How times have changed...

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Posted in: Crypto clients beg for their cash back after lender's crash See in context


Crypto currencies can be extremely useful when used as intended.

I am working with a guy in Belarus, crypto currencies allow me to continue our work relationship despite the political climate.

With all respect, this reads like you are circumventing sanctions illegal. As such, I would not be too talkative about it in public...

...when used as intended.

Again, this could be read as: "crypto being intended to be used to circumvent sanctions". You may want to re-phrase all of the above...


Cryptocurrencies allow for the common man to start to take back control of their money abnd the data associated with it purchasing trends, cutting out bank influence. Banks have set up the economy such that all financial transactions are seen by the bank, and subject to government influence. Cryptocurrencies allow the common man to manage their own money, without the banks being able to build a financial profile of that person that they can use to sell to marketers, or to prey on you to use their services so they can make more money.

FX trading of cyrptocurrencies is risky, but at the moment, it's how cryptocurrencies get into mainstream use. People used to ask what they were, now people discuss how they work. Over the years, as they become more mainstream, and as some cryptocurrencies take hold as the defaults, the people will have less and less dependency on the banks, and we will all benefit from that. Banks have preyed on the people through our dependency upon their services for too long. Cryptocurrencies will revolutionize the way humans manage their money.

But for now, they remain primarily a means of FX trading.

You are definitely right on the part about financial institutions (like so many other trading counterparts or intermediaries both private (i.e. corporations) and government) gathering insane amounts of data on us and our transactions. TBH, this is a concern to me as well...

But crypto is also an unregulated wild wild west where anything goes and security takes a backseat over "growing the business".

To give a very specific example (whether you believe me or not is us to you). A few years ago, when the J-gov wanted to become a crypto-powerhouse (as well as do some cleaning after the mount Gox and whatsis Coincheck(?) failures in Japan, did the J-Finance Ministry do a review of all crypto companies in Japan (I think there were less than 20, so no biggie). More than half had so severe structural security fails that in some cases suspension of disbelief was even required (e.g. one case where the CEO had literally all powers over all customers accounts(!) ).

The J-gov then announced it would roll out a framework under which all companies would need to operate, hence stop their (ahem) "self-regulation". Pretty much half the companies left Japan within months, the other half scrambled to find Anti-Money Laundering officers. How do I know that? Because having experience and a background in AML I got bombarded by all my recruiters for all the (same) positions at the same companies again and again and again. I passed over all the offers again and again and again.

Then, the J-gov backed down, essentially as they could not...come up with a framework to be rolled out and...asked the industry to, well..."self-regulate" which BTW was the original problem, hence going full circle but expecting a different outcome...(sigh)

Funnily enough, literally overnight the e-mails stopped coming in. I checked with friends and former colleagues with an AML-background, same story: bombarded for weeks, again and again and again then e-mails stopped coming in, literally falling off a cliff.

The industry was not going to crank up security anymore as it was not an "official" requirements now that they could come up with their own "framework"...

Banks and financial institutions are regulated. As such, there is a minimum guarantee and securities around how they can and are allowed to operate. Nothing is perfect, that is when scandals go bust and fines are dished out. They are indeed in a position of power, but regulated. I guess that "yes" as they are providing a set of services that nobody else is, they are in a situation of monopoly of sorts and can therefore "prey" in a sense on people relying on those services. But saying that the crypto industry is different and not preying on its customers is a bit rich in my books...

Not sure how many people use crypto for "FX trading", but the main impression I have, is that to simply too many people (with quite a lot at the bottom of the food-chain) it is supposed to be nothing more than a get-rich-quick-by-being-(ahem)-"smarter"-than-others-scheme and that the industry, more than having people "discuss how crypto work" is currently having people "shout and cry their eyes out about how getting their (lost) money back"...or getting regulator's help to do so...(after being up and roaring about giving the man the middle finger and...escape regulation in the first place...)

Over a decade into existence do crypto still look like a niche-product. Those who made money out of it mostly bailed out or invest much less in it, while those who lost everything are forced to bail out by default leaving an ever-shrinking pool of potential investors or users. While there is a very large pool of gullible people or let's say "people interested in rare types of ventures" in this world, it is (1) by no means infinite and (2) it has already been exploited a lot, so...

Still, the above is not to say that the underlying technology could not be made (a better) use of.

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Posted in: A-bomb survivor says Kishida's nuclear speech avoided 'honest debate' See in context

"He said he wants a world free of nuclear weapons, but how can we expect that as long as Japan is in alignment with the United States?" she asked, referring to the fact that Japan relies on U.S. nuclear deterrence for protection.

Shades of Abe being asked by the chairman of a Nagasaki hibakusha association: 「どこの国の総理か」(Which country's prime minister do you think you are?) when Abe was neither signing or ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons back in 2017.

2017 and 2022, 2 blunt questions in face of the 2 sides of the shameless coin.

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Posted in: Japan ruling party says parliamentary speech for ex-PM Abe postponed See in context

The LDP, to which Abe belonged, was forced to review its initial plan for Akira Amari, a close aide to the former prime minister, to deliver a speech in parliament on Friday.


They also said Amari has not fully explained himself in parliament over graft allegations against him and his secretaries that led him to leave his Cabinet post of economic revitalization minister in 2016.

Speech for a crook by a crook seems fitting though...

But the choice of Amari, who served as an economy minister in the Abe administration, prompted criticism from opposition party lawmakers who said it would break with the custom of a leader from a different party giving such a speech to express condolences regardless of political views.

It's doubtful that any present or former opposition party leaders are running in the door to deliver that speech or do anything for Abe looking back at the more-than-catastrophic relationship between ruling and opposition parties during the Abe-era. Maybe their idea is to force Komeito's Yamaguchi to hold the bag which would actually be quite fitting (i.e. not LDP and opposed in certain area to Abe).

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