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Doug Birbeck comments

Posted in: China releases Japanese wartime documents See in context

it's interesting that most Japanese people in my opinion don't know much about the war in the Pacific and about the relevant time in Korea and China, don't know and don't want to know. i think this is an Asian thing, not at all like Western ways of thinking and approaching historical facts. i have only ever lived in Japan (apart from a brief stint in HK) so i'm not totally sure about this, but i do know i, as an Englishman without much interest in Japan, know an awful lot more about these things than my wife for example (who is Japanese). i do find the political bickering between China, Japan and South Korea irritating (i was quite shocked when coming back from Seoul once to have read a Korean English language newspaper and the have read so much anti Japanese hate propaganda in several articles in just the one newspaper) and i wish they would all grow up.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: China's booming military spending belies caution See in context

i have a modern upgrade to Sun Tzu's famous quote: "the battle is already won before you enter the battlefield. there is NO battlefield"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreign correspondents 'blindly swallowing' anti-Japanese propaganda, writer alleges See in context

i like a good laugh when the Japanese establishment are trying to cover up their shameful and disgusting past history. this is worse even than living in the UK by a huge margin. actually i was on a flight back from Seoul on Korean Air last year and picked up a Korean, English language newspaper and was shocked at how rabidly anti Japanese it was. actually the Koreans especially, in my humble opinion are quite correct to feel that basically the Japanese Establishment doesn't give a damm about their past history in Korea, as evidenced by all this crap about comfort women, even coming from the current Japanese PM, who would have, i have no doubt, watered down the already feeble apology about comfort woman if he could have got away with it.the notion that these women were all poor women drawn to prostitution like was the case in Europe in WW1 and WW2 somehow doesn't quite gel. i don't know why the Japanese try to be so stupid in their foreign relations. if i was advising the British Government (which i'm not) i would say this country can never be completely or even mostly trusted if the going got tough. i sometimes wish i'd never left Europe.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Posted in: Hundreds of millions with tropical diseases lack treatment See in context

and how much was it that the US Treasury buys in Government bonds each month, i thought the figure was something like $86 billion.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor vows to patch up relations with China See in context

there is some merit to city to city relationships and cultural and other exchanges. i don't agree that he is exceeding his brief as Governor and i am so glad that that tit Ishihara has gone

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 5 reasons foreigners find it hard to become friends with Japanese people See in context

interesting article. i live in rural Akita where people think wearing wellingtons is normal behavior. i have tried so hard for 13 years until recently to get on well with my wife's family round the corner but they are usually just polite (sometimes they forget to be polite even, really annoying). i think Japan is the most anal country on the planet and i find it a pain in the ass to live here, but there are good things too of course, same as anywhere. i think most non western countries are fairly xenophobic and racist in their own ways, with maybe a few odd exceptions like Singapore. now i just take the piss out of people and situations that piss me off, just my way of dealing with it. i've never been good at making friends but usually had one or two good mates, but here it's impossible and now i can't be bothered to make an effort an more. even small talk in shops and cafes is too much to ask for. i suspect somewhere like Osaka, where people are reputed to be more lively plus being a big city, might be easier that the peasants here

15 ( +23 / -8 )

Posted in: U.S. approves pill camera to screen colon See in context

i've been thinking of something like this for a while now, perfect and definitely the way of the future. i had a camera shoved down my neck several years ago to examine my stomach and it was horrendous

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Rolls-Royce confident of another strong year See in context

Rolls Royce is Rolls Royce, Bentley is Bentley and Aston Martin is Aston Martin. they are all British no matter what and the finest cars money can buy. from an Englishman

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Posted in: Genetic mutation studies shed new light on schizophrenia See in context

fantastic study and i hope it is the start of a method to provide early detection. mental illness is still a stigma in most places and an absolute blight on the individual, friends and loved ones.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Researchers use cosmic rays to see nuclear fuel inside reactor See in context

this is most fascinating technology. i think i'll have some muons with my breakfast tomorrow hahahaha

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Early gene therapy trial for blindness promising See in context

fantastic, i can't even begin to imagine what it must be like, how terrible, to lose your eyesight. let's hope it develops into a standard treatment in the near future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Google making sugar-sensing contact lens for diabetics See in context

absolutely amazing, great research and the way of the future i think. could help so man people

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA apologizes over racial stereotyping in new TV commercial See in context

this ad doesn't bother me, a bit lame actually imho

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Drinking linked to faster mental decline in men See in context

campai at 9am hahaha

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Nuclear missile force poses a headache for U.S. military See in context

i agree Bertie, very wise

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: IBM to invest over $1.2 bil in cloud services See in context

very interesting. IBM are one of the most trustworthy and reliable people in the computer business. as a former IBM mainframe programmer, they are my first (but most expensive) business choice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Police fire at fleeing driver after he rams patrol car See in context

i personally think these kind of incidents where the police open fire is an example of why the police in Japan should be unarmed like the British Police. however i did read of another guy who was shot here recently after stabbing one officer. i would be interested to know if the cops in the US would be opening fire in circumstances like the above story as some kind of reference. with such a low crime rate in Japan apart from in the big cities, i always wonder why they have guns at all, especially somewhere here, Akita THE BIG CITY hahaha. even the cops wear wellingtons here in the boondocks. and guns

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Emperor Hirohito's record may shed light on his war role See in context

it's interesting that the Imperial Household Agency is also a hereditary organization, i was quite staggered when i found that out recently

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: A tale of two leaders in China and Japan See in context

good article and some positive, interesting comments. usually this kind of story, even in the UK's Financial Times has all sorts of poor comments attracted to it, much to my personal dissapointment

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Some with Alzheimer's find care in far-off nations See in context

so sad to end up like this at the end of life. i do hope there is a cure or more powerful medication to better slow or stop this kind of disease. i can well imagine Thailand or the Philippines have most attentive carers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Hand, face transplants regulated like other organs See in context

this is most curious news, the first i've ever heard of face and hand transplants. i feel so sorry for the woman in the picture who had her hands and feet amputated. the threat of rejection and having to go through another amputation really is an unsettling factor, but me, personally, who has all body parts intact, fortunately, can only wonder what a life would be like missing one or more body parts, i always feel sorry for people like this or disabled when i see them on the street. i would imagine the next development and ethical problem will involve stem or other cell rejuvenation of missing body parts. i hear teeth may be a possibility soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: A minute with: Ralph Fiennes on Dickens, Shakespeare and Bond See in context

no, no, no 'M' is the best yet to come !! happy New Year everyone !!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Making waves: In the hunt for invisibility, other benefits seen See in context

amazing stuff. come on Dr Spock....very interesting article, thanks

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gunman opens fire on Thai opposition rally See in context

very sad situation. i am beginning to think the beautiful Yingluck may have to step aside from the PM's post as her brother is indeed a very divisive person.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Thousands killed as South Sudan slides towards civil war See in context

why do these people do this ? how many more centuries i wonder will mankind be so intolerant of each other.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Thorium and the dream of clean nuclear power See in context

this is fascinating stuff, let's hope it becomes commercial reality if it's as simple as the article states.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Education ministry proposes radical English education reform See in context

imho, Japan actually has the potential discipline to be the first big population country to have a reasonable level of English proficiency in the general population, but i agree with the comments above that the Ministry of Education is run by a bunch of well paid old fart dreamers. they should take a serious look at Benelux, Scandinavia, India, Singapore etc to see how they actually achieve these results. as for other countries in Europe, for example, Joe Blogs can't speak English usually in, say Germany (unless he or she likes travelling) and equally in the UK, USA, etc foreign language skills are also crap. i volunteered for a year in my son's shogakko to help in English classes and i was shocked as to how much of a waste of time they were, just play time. the teachers always couldn't speak even basic English and i stood there like a lemon all the classes and was asked to repeat a word every now and again. a bit like being an ALT but without the money

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: French troops pour into Central African Republic See in context

what a mess. poor and terrorised. i hope the peace keepers are able to sort these bstards out

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 300 killed since Thursday in Central African Republic See in context

thank god at least the French are there...come on Paras !! going into houses and killing men women and children....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hyundai Motor feels heat from Japanese rivals in China See in context

the big Hyundai cars look sharp and cheap at the same time. i would have thought they would fit in well in the Chinese marketplace (not meaning to sound funny or anything) they must give more bag per Yuan for the same class size of car.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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