David Elson comments

Posted in: Aso says he won't resign over Nazi comments See in context

The Nazi's approach to undemocratically change the consitution didn't work out so well for Germany why would Japan copy it now?

If it really needs to be changed (why?) then hold a referendum and let the people decide... openly and without secrecy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. lawmaker urges steps to open up Japan's markets See in context

At least not so many people argue that American cars are inferior quality anymore. Hearing those people makes it sound like they haven't driven a Ford since the 90s or earlier. My dad still owns a 03 Focus and its the most reliable car he has ever owned,

Isn't that a European made Ford?

If that democrat politician's argument is that there's something wrong simply due to the end result of a competitive market ie, USA auto imports to Japan are simply undesirable to most consumers there then it would be ludicrus to link USA trade protection to import/export results.

However it does also seem that the domestic regulatory structure does adversely effect foreign competitors (outside the luxury car segment). IF Japanese cars are better in general, and I believe this is the case, then they would have nothing to lose in relaxing these rules or in refraining from applying these more strictly to O/S competitors. However I am sure in some segments niche competitors could gain a foothold. ie; which Jap vehicle in terms of being fit for purpose matches the Dodge Ram ute? Or GM Statesmen?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. lawmaker urges steps to open up Japan's markets See in context

I think Japanese made cars rival that of the German auto makers in quality and certainly exceed that of those made by Aus, USA, Korea, France and China.

However if Japanese consumers wish to buy a cheaper vehicle from SKorea or China, or they wish to buy a more uniquely styled vehicle (think Jeep or Citroen) then I don't think the Jap Gov has the right to prevent them.

What exactly are the restrictions the gov uses to prevent buyers from obtaining the latest Feista, Focus, Astra, Golf, Cruise or Barina?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Chinese ask: Why doesn’t Japan hate America for dropping the A-bombs? See in context

Perhaps because the US doesnt deny the dromping the US and in relation to China the UK doesn't rewrite their history to white wash the opium wars (and other imperial inflicted tradegies).

See? It is easier for victims when their attackers don't lie and deny past atrocities.

27 ( +53 / -26 )

Posted in: China says Japan's defense paper 'ignores facts' See in context

too many problems in Japan and all she cares about is those tiny islands.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Posted in: Health ministry warns of rubella vaccine shortage due to outbreak See in context

So if this was the result of banning and or non mandating children vacc then it is the govs fault

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Chasm grows between Japan, neighbors: study See in context

Honest reflection upon one's past is one way to ensure a peaceful future.

That's very true. I don't think that current Japanese people (state) need to be forced to pay additional compensation nor apologise further... but ignoring your history or changing your history books to include ahistorical info to paint yourself as the victim is not the way forward.

At the end of the day, it is in Japan's interest to stop all this crap, trying to whitewash history, a half-hearted 'regrettable' apology does nothing when you then go on to make gaffes and belittle the true victims (a la Ishihara, Hashimoto, Abe).

Quite so... ending permission for the anti-korea/foreigner demonstrations would also be beneficial to mend ties with your neighbours.

Move on Japan! You've apologised enough, you've paid your compo... but there is no need to go back on your word and re-write the history or shame your forefather's dead victims by denying these crimes occurred.

Imagine how influential Japan would be, if instead of being divided; China, Korea and Japan were able to put aside their differences and work together?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan says Australia trying to impose its culture in whaling row See in context

More than 1 is opposed -

"The Governments of Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States jointly condemn any actions that imperil human life in the Southern Ocean," they said in a joint statement released by the US State Department. "We are deeply concerned that confrontations in the Southern Ocean will eventually lead to injury or loss of life among protesters, many of whom are nationals of our countries, and whaling crews," they said. "We remain resolute in our opposition to commercial whaling, including so-called 'scientific' whaling, in particular in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary... and are disappointed about the recent departure of the Japanese whaling fleet for the Southern Ocean."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8954985/Nations-unite-against-Japans-annual-whale-hunt.html

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: S Korean court awards compensation over Japan forced labor See in context

Of course there is. That's what international treaties are for and it's the role and duty of the judicial system of each nations to abide the terms set forth in the said treaties to supersede the domestic state law. What do you think would happen if a Japanese national sues the U.S. Government in U.S. For damages caused by aerial bombings which at that time was classified as war crime per London Charter(wonton bombings of civilians)? There is no doubt in my mind that the defense will use Article 19 of the Treaty of peace with Japan and the judge will hence dismiss the claims. The Agreement which Korea and Japan specifically states that claims rising out during the annexation period is SETTLED COMPLETELY AND FINALLY.

There are frequent examples where international treaties are not ratified by participating nations parliaments, or ratified and ignored (I'm not advocating this desirably merely indicated that this possible and common place).

For an example, see Japan's long term postion on the "Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction" or their refusal to ratify the "Geneva Convention for the Regulation of Whaling" (setting whale quotas) or the IWC total whaling ban. Despite this being the official stance of the International Whaling Commission of which Japan is a ratified member.

To compare like with like, it's highly unlikely that if a US firm were accused of using forced labour or not paying Japanese (or other foreign national) correctly during the war period that they could refer to Article 19 of the Treaty of peace with Japan in their defence and escape from backpay.. They would more likely be forced to pay for these lost wages irrespective of any treaty.

Even as German companies have been frequently forced to pay compensation to their victims additional to any previously paid compensation from the German Government.

This is a sad precedent that Japanese companies may continue to face compensation claims so long as past victims are still alive. What will be Nippon Steel's response if their appeal (very possible) were to fail?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Korean group working to subvert Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid See in context

Might I suggest that at least no more permits be given to the anti-Korean demonstrators to demonstrate in zainichi-Korean residential/business neighborhoods, or even banning them altogether?

A first conciliatory step toward international peace and brotherly love?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Korean group working to subvert Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid See in context

I have a lot of time for Japan but Abe's statement that the Japanese are not xenophobic sounds like the leader of my country telling the world that the UK doesn't have crappy weather. As for WANK or whatever it's called, I wouldn't waste more than a sentence on this unpleasant, bitchy rubbish.

This is undoubtedly true, Japanese are in many cases Xenophobic, however this VANK group doesn't sound any better... I hope that Japan will win, and be allowed to host these Olympic Games..

One could also wish that they would put an end to any racist protest marches (these kind of racists demo's appear to be banned in all other developed countries).

Perhaps Japan hosting the Olympic Games could be a step toward a more inclusive Japan, better integrated with its neighbours including SKorea?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Health ministry warns of rubella vaccine shortage due to outbreak See in context

Another case of preventable diseases increasing due to people not vaccinating.... Come on Japan (and every other developed nation experiencing the same), you can do better!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Alarmed by anti-Korean demonstrations in Tokyo, anti-discrimination groups in Japan are calling for a law to make hate speech illegal. Would you support such a law? See in context

so who decides what is and isn't a form of hate speech?

Anti-discrimination commission? Judges? Legislating enforcing the people's will?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: S Korean court awards compensation over Japan forced labor See in context

Irrespective of international treaties and reparations between nations there is no real way to prevent private individuals and organisations from also seeking legal redress under these kind of circumstances.

This isn't limited to Japanese firms it's been a problem for a number of German firms in the past as well, despite how many billions the German state has poured into the EU (to both former ally and enemy alike).

Sadly one can't place a legal limit on how much $$ can be paid out if said nation, firm, individual has participated in war crimes (mass murder, sexual slavery, forced military conscription, forced labour etc etc..)

I know that Korea (and China) has a lot of bad blood with Japan over these historical actions... I just hope that over time they can learn to forgive and work together... the beneficiaries in that case won't be 4 victims from a long ago war, but everyone of their respective citizens and probably the world.

Moving forward Nippon Steel can pay the compensation and then generate some good will towards themselves in SKorea, or they can continue to appeal and perhaps prevent a precedent that would allow further claims against themselves....

I understand that Nippon Steel intends to appeal the decision. So it will be interesting to keep an eye on this case.

How many appeals to they have left before they either have to pay up or refrain from entering SKorea (for fee of contempt of court penalties?)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan says Australia trying to impose its culture in whaling row See in context

This -

Yes, well Japan certainly seems to think it's culture and traditions are more important than those of other countries in this case. Because Australia also has a culture of whaling. In fact, the whaling industry was integral to the foundations of the nation - as it was for other countries like the US, whose whaling ships also fished the waters around Australia for it's whaling culture and industry. [sic] No. It's just selfishness. It's picking and choosing when you wish to be a global citizen, and when you don't.

Quite so.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Big election win for Abe could strengthen vested interests See in context

What regulations has he curtailed to allow this to occur?

Or is this just more of the same big spending, borrowing that has failed the EU and USA

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Summers in Japan becoming intolerable See in context

Temperatures here seem lower than normal...

Must be all the ice melted by GW cooling the earth :D

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Facebook time See in context

Finished updating history textbooks, on onto updating Facebook history?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Elderly driver arrested after killing two pedestrians See in context

My grandpa was a very safe driver.

40km/hr at all times... even on the motorway :D

Although he never did check blind spots or keep an eye on where other cars/pedestrians were.

He was however an expert at using a manual transmission.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Posted in: Doubts over competitiveness of Asia teams -- except Japan -- remain for World Cup See in context

@ Tamaram,

Very insightful analysis.

I guess unlike other nations who have adopted Soccer (Football) as a national support, Australia has a number of alternative football codes which are usually considered (locally) of a greater priority; NRL, AFL and Rugby Union.

After watching the Australia V Japan game, I wouldn't be jumping to the conclusion that Japan was somehow ahead of the rest of Asia even if they are the "best" in Asia.

Cheers, David.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Korean campaigns for removal of Japanese flag from French stores See in context

hey pushed me a wrong idea since I was 6. I could not sing my national anthem Kimigayo till the age of 53.I needed to see some specialist for therapy to remove some level of brain washed condition. I was a victim of their wrong education in late 50s to 60s

Are you Abe? :O

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Korean campaigns for removal of Japanese flag from French stores See in context

I know that the confederate flag can cause some uneasy feelings with people. So it's understandable that an archaic flag that is reminiscent of Japan's imperialism may cause unpleasantness with koreans. I think we should consider other people, especially in a public place. If it's your house, then that's a different story.

This.

Also the German imperial flag (which is much older than the swastika as a symbol of the German regime) is also not something that's commonly displayed about the place..

Personally I don't have a problem with the flag, and I wouldn't haven't taken it down if I was the store owner in question, however it's a free country; people can display or remove flags as they wish, and other people can complain or not complain if flags are removed or displayed.

It's not like we are living (or people in France) are living under an imperial regime that would mandate the removal of such flags :D

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Japanese student named Brisbane ambassador See in context

As she is a student ambassador for Brisbane I think it is entirely appropriate that she dresses in the fashion of the locals....

What can, I say, it's always "hot" here :D

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Ministry stops recommending cervical cancer vaccination due to side effects See in context

It's been widely administered in Australia without any problems since 2007 (unless Japan's come up with their own killer vaccine).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/17/cervical-cancer-vaccine-success-lancet

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese media slam 3-0 loss to Brazil See in context

Just import some talent from Brazil, Germany etc.. make them Japanese citizens and kazzam Japan will have a World Cup winning team :D

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. conducting late-night Osprey drills despite agreement not to do so See in context

Send them home :P

Let China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan settle the security of the region between themselves.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/7/china-helps-anti-piracy-effort-it-harries-japans-c/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: G-8 faces uncertain recoveries, turbulent markets See in context

At previous summits, Obama has pushed European leaders to focus more on growth, rather than austerity. But most European governments have already begun to make that shift.

Is there evidence for this assertion?

My understanding is the large EU economies (especially UK and Germany) are heavily committed to austerity, and had continued to resist calls from Obama to focus on borrowing for stimulus.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: NHK may charge viewer fees for Internet, smartphone usage See in context

What a world...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: NHK may charge viewer fees for Internet, smartphone usage See in context

I'm not quite sure i understand.....

Why are you paying additional for NHK? If you don't want to watch it can you opt out and choose to watch alternative stations/channels? (in this day and age what's the problem?)

Or alternatively is the NHK an employment scheme for Public Servants, funded through taxation and "subscription" fees (and hence can't be allowed to be opted out of)?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Germany steps up evacuations as floods swamp central Europe See in context

is it climate change if this sort of flooding happens all the time there?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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