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Posted in: Olympic torch relay to start as scheduled on March 26 See in context

It could be the second time the Tokyo Summer Olympics have been cancelled.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's food self-sufficiency rate lowest in 25 years See in context

Even when using caloric intake, Japan is ranked number 9 in food self-sufficiency. This is hardly an emergency.

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Posted in: Japan's food self-sufficiency rate lowest in 25 years See in context

Food self-sufficiency measured by production value increased by 2% to 68%. There was a decrease in vegetable and fruit imports and an increase in domestic production of both. Rice self-sufficiency was at 100%. No one in Japan is going to go hungry. Wheat production is low. Nearly all bread is made with imported wheat because domestic wheat is used for udon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's food self-sufficiency rate lowest in 25 years See in context

Japan is the only country in the world that uses caloric intake to measure food self-sufficiency. This is just propaganda from the most protectionist ministry in Japan. The statistic has little meaning. McDonalds and Moss Burger for example import beef from Australia and chicken from Thailand in large volumes. Japan is 100% self-sufficient in rice. It is 80% self-sufficient in vegetables and could easily be 100% if it chose to be. Meat and pork are similar.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. rebukes Japan over tariffs on farm products See in context

TPP will only partially open the Japanese agriculture market in 20 years! What a joke.

The collapse of the Tokyo stock market and the bubble economy is because it was a bubble. It had nothing to do with American pressure. The BOJ raised interest rates to kill the overheating economy. Asset prices became insanely high. Later, Japanese companies completely missed the Internet in the 1990s and early 2000s. Japanese consumer electronics and appliance companies were defeated by Chinese and South Koreans. Japanese computer companies were defeated by Intel, Microsoft, Micron, HP, Dell, and later Apple and Lenovo. Domestic cell phone makers were defeated because NTT was lazy and arrogant so did nothing to develop iMode from 1997-2008. iOS and Android destroyed them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. rebukes Japan over tariffs on farm products See in context

As for US tariffs - There have been sugar tariffs in America since the 18th Century resulting in a price 6 cents per pound above the world average. That is nothing compared to the import taxes Japan imposes on agricultural goods. Rice costs several dollars per kilo over the world average. The savings would free up lots of money to be spent on other goods to boost the economy.

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Posted in: U.S. rebukes Japan over tariffs on farm products See in context

Grain, citrus, dairy, and wine tariffs have nothing to do with taste, Monsanto, or diet. They are to protect domestic manufacturers. In the 1980s Japanese negotiators argued against importing more American beef because Japanese intestines were too small for American beef and that American beef was not as good as Japanese beef. Then, in the 1990s a major Japanese company was caught relabeling American beef as Japanese beef and raising the price. They had been doing it for 20 years and no one complained that their beef didn't taste right. They were caught by a whistleblower. Japanese had been eating shabu-shabu, steak, ground beef, etc. for 20 years thinking it was Japanese beef. So, American beef is equal or better than Japanese beef. It can't be worse or someone would have complained during the 20-year scam.

If you don't like American food don't buy it. But, the fact you don't like it does not justify high import taxes that effectively ban American products from the market. The fact there is a tariff would imply fear that American products will gain market share. American rice is often used in frozen goods and at cheap sushi restaurants. Japanese have no problems eating it. American tobacco would destroy domestic growers. American wheat and barley would devastate Japanese farmers. I can buy a bag of American apples in the US for a few dollars but one Apple in Japan is more than 2 dollars. Just look at Japanese people's faces when they enter Costco for the first time and realize how badly they have been cheated by domestic companies.

It is irrelevant if Japanese rice is best. I don't need the best rice in the world to make onigiri. It is a joke that a rice ball costs 100 yen. It should cost 15-25 yen. Imported rice would kill Japanese rice in convenience stores across Japan. Japanese students would buy the 25 yen rice balls in a second over the 100 plus yen domestic ones.

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Posted in: Tokyo Medical University also manipulated male applicants' scores: sources See in context

Why is this a surprise? Tokyo University always has about the same ratio of boys to girls with girls being around 20%. That is impossible! Girls around the world and in my university classes on average perform better on tests than boys. There are more women going to medical school and law school in America than men. Cambridge and Oxford have even discussed affirmative action for boys because girls out perform on entrance exams 60 to 40. Every university in Japan blocks women from entering.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump rebukes Japan over nontariff barriers against American cars See in context

Cars, whiskey, and beer are the only products Japan makes that are any good. Furniture is crap, home appliances are crap, speakers are crap, houses are crap, apartment buildings are crap, movies are crap, music is crap, clothes are crap, shoes are crap, cigarettes are crap, computers are crap, software is crap, rockets are crap, satellites are crap, etc.

Japanese cars are good but the difference between them and foreign cars is not as wide as the 1980s and 90s. Rarely a week goes by without millions of Japanese cars being recalled. Japan is still years behind in terms of styling. No one, including Japanese, dream of owning any Japanese car. That is not true for American and European cars.

As for the quality of Japanese cars compared to US cars - according to J.D. Powers American cars are number one or number two in nearly every type of car. Japanese are number one in nine categories while American cars are number one in four. The differences between number one and two are basically a coin flip. European cars are number one in just two categories and are nearly non-existent in the other categories.

The non-tariff barrier that prevents US cars from making headway in Japan is the illegal control Japanese manufacturers hold over their dealer networks. A Ford dealer in America has no problem selling Toyota cars. He makes money on the sale of either car. US manufacturers cannot stop the dealer from selling other makes of cars. In Japan, a Toyota dealer will not sell a Ford car because Toyota will not allow it. That control is illegal in Japan but the government does not enforce the law. The cost to build a dealership network in Japan is prohibitive considering the size of the market.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: au commercial turns Tokyo into nightclub See in context

This commercial is not original at all. It is a blatant rip-off of the Nokia Lumia debut in London. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX2Gd-kqV5s

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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