Bruce Chatwin comments

Posted in: IMF urges Japan to double consumption tax to 20% by 2050 See in context

Today's news: Japan's retail sales tumbled at their fastest pace in more than 4-1/2 years in October as a sales tax hike prompted consumers to cut spending, raising a red flag over the strength of domestic demand.

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Posted in: Gov't considers expanding part-timers' pension coverage See in context

What a sad joke.

One universal pension plan for all workers, part-time and full-time, would solve the problem.

Likewise, one universal medical plan for all workers, both part-time and full-time, would solve be a huge benefit for the Japanese economy.

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Posted in: IMF urges Japan to double consumption tax to 20% by 2050 See in context

Taro Aso is Japan's representative to the IMF.

We're doomed.

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Posted in: IMF urges Japan to double consumption tax to 20% by 2050 See in context

The consumption tax is a regressive tax disproportionately affecting people with lower incomes.

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Posted in: IMF urges Japan to double consumption tax to 20% by 2050 See in context

According to the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, Japan spent $46.6 billion US in 2018, ranking it in the top 10 countries for military spending.

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Posted in: Abe pushes for serious debate on constitution as Diet session begins See in context

Hey Abe! How about focusing on the steadily declining conditions of workers in Japan instead of distracting us with constitutional reform.

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Posted in: 10% or 8%? Retailers scramble to cope with sales tax hike See in context


As sales tax punishes the lowest wage earners disproportionately it is considered worldwide as a REGRESSIVE tax. Fitting then that Japan has chosen to implement such a scheme, rather than PROGRESSIVELY taxing those that take maximum advantage from the government and can absolutely afford to pay their fair share - the ultra wealthy corporations for one.

I wholeheartedly agree, but to be fair, most countries (or states/provinces where applicable) have regressive VAT/sales/consumption taxes. Individuals are increasingly being forced to pay more while corporations pay less. For example, I believe the corporate tax rate in Japan in 2009 was 40%; today it is 31%. In Canada, the corporate tax rate decreased from 31% in 2009 to 27% today. In the UK, the corporate tax rate decreased from 28% in 2009 to 19% today. In the UK, the VAT (i.e. consumption tax) increased from 15% in 2009 to 20% today.

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Posted in: 10% or 8%? Retailers scramble to cope with sales tax hike See in context

No increase in my salary in over 15 years despite a 100% increase in the consumption tax rate in that time. Also, despite the protestations of the government, there has been a substantial increase in the cost of living in the past 15 years, yet no increase in salary.

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Posted in: What to do if you are stopped by the police in Japan See in context

it may be completely normal in your home country — fellas! — to relieve yourself outside, in an alley or on the side of building, whereas here the keisatsu (police) may stop you for defacing private property or indecent exposure.

Really? In Osaka men of a certain age piss just about wherever they like.

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Posted in: 'No Japan' banners scrapped in Seoul district after outcry See in context

@Samit Basu

Japanese never protest.

Labour unions and political parties protest. Human rights activists, environmentalists, anti-war groups, and groups demanding the closure of US military bases in Okinawa also regularly protest in Japan.

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Posted in: Japan lawmakers' average income in 2018 hits 16-year high See in context

In 2011, the basic monthly salary for a Diet member was ¥1,300,000 and his/her yearly bonus amounted to ¥5,500,000. Each lawmaker is allowed ¥1 million a month for tsushin kotsu taizai-hi (communications, transportation and lodging expenses). Lawmakers are not required to submit receipts showing how they spent this money, so that’s an extra ¥12 million a year, tax-free. That’ a total of over ¥33,000,000 a year.

Also, if the politician belongs to a parliamentary group that is working on a specific issue, he/she can receive an extra ¥650,000 a month in legislative administrative expenses (rippo jimuhi) while the group is operating.

According to the national tax agency, the average salaryman working for a private company in Japan earned ¥295,000 a month in 2010, and received yearly bonuses of ¥580,000.

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Posted in: Japan lawmakers' average income in 2018 hits 16-year high See in context

"Japanese lawmakers' income averaged 26.57 million yen ($245,000) in 2018"

That is it? Chump change compare to America.

The median net worth of a US senator was $3.2 million, versus $900,000 for members of the House of Representatives. A LDP dietman at $245,000?

There is a difference between income and net worth. The figures for Japan are for yearly income while you are talking about net worth of US politicians. They are completely different beasts.

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Posted in: Japan lawmakers' average income in 2018 hits 16-year high See in context

Japanese lawmakers' income averaged 26.57 million yen in 2018.

No wonder they're not worried whether or not their pension will be sufficient to see them through retirement.

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Posted in: Abe survives censure motion by opposition over pension report See in context

Instead of getting all het up about an "arrogant political stance that takes the people and the Diet lightly," and saying "the situation is so serious that it cannot be tolerated", perhaps the opposition parties could put together a platform and a field of candidates that can take power away from the LDP. Honestly, the state of politics in Japan is so pathetic, it's almost as bad as the US.

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Posted in: Watami restaurant to set up Singapore unit to source foreign workers See in context

As other posters here have noted, Watami has a reputation of being the among the worst of the so-called "black companies" in Japan.

Major shareholders in Watami include Miki Watanabe and his family through a holding company (25%), Suntory Liquor (8.01%), Asahi Beer (4.26%), and Shinmei Holdings (4.19%)

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Posted in: Tokyo court orders car owner to pay NHK fee See in context

The NHK fee is yet another non-tax tax.

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Posted in: Osaka red light district to be closed during G-20 summit See in context

My Gawd! What will Hashimoto and the rest of the Ishin no Kai lot do with themselves?

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Posted in: China formally arrests Canadian ex-diplomat, businessman See in context

One of the far too many ugly sides of the new China is on full display here.

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Posted in: Osaka red light district to be closed during G-20 summit See in context

Westerner's are such prudes about sex

By "Westerner's", I take it you are referring to Americans...

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Posted in: While the Japanese government relentlessly promotes the image of 'Cool Japan' and mega-tourism, the current reality is a country run by sociopathic Hitler-loving plutocrats, with plummeting press freedom, endemic poverty, rising censorship, deliberate destruction of public records, continual death by overwork, a corrupt bureaucracy, and a medieval justice system. Despite the triple meltdown of Fukushima, the government is rushing to start nuclear power plants again with reckless abandon. See in context

Poverty is Japan. About 1-1.5 million people living below the poverty level

In October 2009, Japan's Labor Ministry released a report which stated that almost one in six Japanese, which would be 22 million people, lived in poverty, in 2007.

In 2013, the Japanese government recorded relative poverty rates of 16%.

According to the Nippon Foundation, the child poverty rate in Japan stood at 13.9% in 2015.

According to a Unicef report released in April 2016, Japan has some of the worst wealth inequality and highest rates of child poverty in the developed world. The report ranked Japan 34th out of 41 industrialised countries.

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Posted in: North Korea demanded U.S. pay $2 mil for captured student in coma See in context

Trump: "I'm really a great negotiator. I know how to negotiate."

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Posted in: Reckless bicycle riding endangers lives See in context

According to Osaka Prefectural Police:

In the following cases, a bicycle is permitted to travel on a sidewalk.

Where there is a traffic sign permitting bicycle use. Where cyclists are children under 13 years old; the elderly above 70 years old; or the physically disabled. Where a bicycle cannot travel safely in a road because roadwork, parked cars or heavy traffic hinder the safe movement.

Paragraph 2, Article 63-4 of the Road Traffic Law

Punishment: a fine of 20,000 yen or less

When on a sidewalk, a bicycle shall move on the half portion of the sidewalk to the road way side.

When on a sidewalk, a bicycle shall move at such a reduced speed as to be able to stop immediately.

A bicycle shall stop whenever the travel of pedestrians is impeded.

A bicycle shall pass on a designated portion if there is a bicycle lane designated for the bicycle use.

Where there is a bicycle lane designated for the bicycle use, use the lane. If no pedestrians are on the sidewalk, a bicycle shall pass on the sidewalk in a safe manner according to the road condition.

This seems rather at odds with what is published in this article.

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Posted in: Taste of Japan in Rome See in context

Spaghetti alla Scandal?

Risotto al Moritomo?

Salse al statistics?

Vermicelli al veterinario?

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Posted in: About 70 Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine See in context

Koyasan's Okunoin Temple has a monument to more than 1,000 "Showa martyrs," referring to soldiers who fought in World War Two in the name of the late Showa Emperor (Hirohito). The monument also honours 14 "Class A" war criminals who were military leaders.

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Posted in: Retiring late: More Japanese opt to prolong employment See in context

In my experience, many companies force employees to retire when they are 65, and then rehire those employees as temporary workers at a greatly reduced salary with no benefits.

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Posted in: 'They won't let anyone else in' – Japan captain Leitch on Sunwolves expulsion See in context

30% of the present team were not born in Japan; it's a team of ringers.

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Posted in: Let foreigners enter, but don't let them obtain Japanese citizenship, doctor urges See in context

In 2017, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was made aware of Tweets made by Katsuya Takasu in 2015, in which he praised Nazism for the progress made under the Nazi regime. He stated that no doubt that the Jews were persecuted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party, but the toll of Auschwitz and the Holocaust victims was exaggerated by Allies. On November 8 2017, the Simon Wiesenthal Center announced that the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery expelled him due to the Holocaust and Nanjing Massacre denial.

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Posted in: Sterilization victims to get ¥3.2 mil in state redress each See in context

Less then $30,000 US. Pathetic.

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Posted in: Vietnamese woman charged with killing N Korean leader's half-brother loses bid for release See in context

@Ganbare Japan!

the Indonesian girl has same religion as the extremists running Malaysia

Just out of curiosity, what's the religion of the extremists running Japan?

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Posted in: Governor, mayor resign to create 'Osaka metropolis' See in context

@ Ilovecoffee

 They also privatized the Osaka metro

If by privatize, you mean creating a company where all the shares are owned by the City of Osaka,

The subway will be operated by a new stock company, Osaka Metro, whose shares are held entirely by the city of Osaka. (Mayor) Hirofumi Yoshimura, won the assembly's approval after proposing that the municipal government own all shares in the new company.

then I guess they privatized it. Seems to me more like an unnecessary name change and an opportunity for a retired guy to parachute into a plumb position....

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