Japan Today

EthanWilber comments

Posted in: Takata refuses to comply with U.S. demand for expanded air bag recall See in context

Takata’s response to the call come from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seems to be ignorant, and irresponsible not to mention arrogance.

Here is the thing: from the very beginning of whole episode, Takata has been apparently “embarking” a self-destructive route from the early stage of confusion then concealment to current pivotal point of evading responsibility. Putting all of these nonsenses together, American general public would perceive Takata’s actions and its products as something that are endangering people’s lives.

There is one thing that may be worth to bring out. Takata’s CEO, Mr.Shigehisa Takada and his mother Ms. Akiko Takada ( who has significant influence in the company) are wrestling the control when it comes to the decisions of handing the fallout.

Certainly, it’s early to project how the final outcome will be, nevertheless, it doesn’t look good for Takata at this point.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Oil plunge is threat and boon to global economies See in context

@fxgai "The numbers I have seen and heard suggest that it's more like $40 or $50."

You have a good point. to add on that, I believe that the costs to get the cruel out of the ground vary a lot depending on the geographic locations. For example, Saudi Arabia would spend a range of $25-$35 to produce a barrel of crude oil from most of its wells, but for the US and Canada, the costs would be higher.

For Japan, lower prices of crude oil would be a mixed bag. For consumers, it means more disposable income because people spend less at the pump, but for BOJ, that is a potential issue which may be counterproductive for it to reach its goal of ending deflation in Japan.

The steep slide of crude oil may point to a bigger problem – weak demands of commodities from the used-to-be hot growing countries may show the sign of fatigue, which ,in turn, might hurt already hammered Japanese economy due to lack of demand for Japanese imports.

I think that it may take weeks if not months for the crude oil price to find the floor. Until then, fasten your belt, it could be a wild ride. :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Yomiuri apologizes for using term 'sex slaves' in English edition See in context

Back to the states, we used to say “De Nile Is Not Just a River in Egypt” when someone lives in denial.

I am wondering when Japan as a nation is able to start to own the past and move on.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Young Japanese worry about future amid recession See in context

“The generation born as Japan’s economic bubble burst in the early 1990s will be supporting a vast cohort of retirees. … most are making do without the security of lifetime employment enjoyed by their parents and grandparents.”

I feel truly sorry for young Japanese who have to work hard to support themselves, their children (if they ever get married and start families) and a fast-growing population of retirees not to mention they have to pay more than a quadrillion yen of national debt. On top of that, they could become the fresh victims of intensely competition of international talent pools.

The bottom line is that there is little chance for young Japanese to have better lives than that their parents and grandparents did given the current economic trend of Japan. The worst part is that young Japanese don’t have much welding power to charter a new course. In fact, their hopes may turn dimmer as each day passes by.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Honda admits failing to report 1,729 deaths, injuries to U.S. regulators See in context

Honda’s action provided fresh evidences of Japanese corporations’ ever-growing scandals, raising some serious questions about Japan Inc’s integrity.

I am still waiting for TEPCO to admit withholding the data of wrongdoing, hopefully the day will come sooner in light of awareness.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Low voter turnout could erode Abe's call for fresh mandate See in context

Two points: a. LDP is less of two evils and DPJ is worse. b. Abe is already a damaged goods, winning the election may make him look good on the papers (no pun is intended), but he is facing mounting challenges to turn the tide of a diminishing Japan including deep rooted deflation, and the odds is not on his side with his competence records. Do I mention both friends and foes of Japn in the world don't him seriously any more ?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Chinese island project in disputed waters justifiable: general See in context

The sad reality is a more assertive and aggressive china will continue pushing the envelope as far as it can possible get in Asia unless the Asian countries want to start a war with China, which is highly unlikely at this point (during the recently gatherings of APEC and G20, countries heads were trying almost everything to get close to Xi for the so called prospective business opportunity including Tony Abbott. )

With fresh memory of two recent wars that are still pretty much being fought at this very moment in Iraq and Afghan plus a combusting situation in Ukraine with those threatening Russians armed forces that challenging the world orders settled after WWII, the ways and means available for the US to push back Chinese expansion in Asia is relatively limited.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe's support rate at lowest ever See in context

"Only 39% of those polled by the Asahi Shimbun daily in a poll conducted Nov 18-19 said they supported Abe, down 3 percentage points from a survey done earlier this month and less than the 40% who said they did not support him, as a stuttering economy has eroded his popularity."

Anyone here is surprisedabout the numbers given Abe's past track records ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to reduce sales tax on food, other items in April 2017 See in context

That is a good move towards right direction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China pledges more dialogue on regional conflicts See in context

"China pledges more dialogue on regional conflicts"

Yeah right, lip service at best.

Chinese regime is clearly buying time for its big hidden scheme. Case in point, right now, satellite image shows China is build a manmade island on Fiery Cross Reef, which is 3,000 plus meter long, increasingly look like a military plane runway. And that is not all, it has been reclaiming more lands in South China Sea than any claimants ever did.

This kind of behaviors are not types of peace-seeking initiatives thatChina's neighbors want to see let alone proactive and inflammatory.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Rape testimony proven false See in context

The prosecutor (s) should be reprimand as well for the shabby work. And the victim should be compensated sufficiently for pain and suffering inflicted.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't defends election over 'waste of money' criticism See in context

When we talk about cutting the waste in Japan, this kind of Govt’s spending should be on the top of the list. But the question is: do Japan’s leaders really care about the country or themselves? The answer is obvious.

If this kind of democracies in disguise for personal gains is hailed by someone, I am speechless.

That is why folks from both isles on the Hill show little respect to Abe’s admin, something is hopeless here!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again See in context

There are few things that Abe’s Admin or a new admin can do in terms to restoring Japan’s fiscal health through some policy changes with raising consumption tax.

Yes, as many thoughtful posters pointed out: cut waste spending. That means to do whatever it takes, not just to call for the panels to study for months, then take little and no actions. Exempt daily essentials from next consumption tax hike. The govt can’t jsut ignore the need to lower the finical burden on people who try to make the end meet. Right now the well-heeled and disadvanged groups in Japan share the same consumption tax rate, that is not fair. Reduce social society benefits for a set of years to give a Japan a breath room. It’s definitely not popular among elders, but it’s necessary to curtial the entailments to save the country. Japan can't spend most of its future money on those unsustainable social programs. Stop the “IV” for elder farmers and let inexpensive farm goods in through trade agreements such as TPP. I don’t have to tell you guys how much rice cost in Japan. (the prices are ridiculous and exorbitant. ) Ensure majority of govt. projects to focus on growing regional economy and creating good jobs for young people to make a comfortable living and raise families in small cites. Right now young Japanese flood to few big cities where they get jobs, yet they can afford to buy decent dwellings, let alone to start a families and raise the offspring.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. auto safety regulator calls for nationwide recall of Takata air bags See in context

Depending on the portion of costs incurred through world-wide recalls, it could pave the path for Takata to call bankruptcy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan cuts Antarctic whale catch quota See in context

Heda, I respectfully disagree with your rebuttal. IMO, Japan is trying to circumvent ICJ’s decision.

Let's get this straight,, Japan's Antarctic whale research program , in essese, is a commercial whale in disguise.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: Aso says sales tax hike delay must not happen again See in context

We will see about that.

Keep the fingers crossed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan cuts Antarctic whale catch quota See in context

I found that Abe’s (or Japan’s) flip-flop of decision-making process is really troubling.

For instance, About four month ago, Abe told the crowds in a press conference in Australia regarding to ICJ’s ruling “Japan is a country which values international law and order and the rule of law and therefore Japan will abide by the(ICJ’s) decision.”

Now story is changed, no wonder Japan is losing respect from the international community and becomes increaseingly irrelvent.

So, if Japan is not able to abide by the rule of law, then don’t preach it, please.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

Posted in: Okinawa vote a blow to Japan-U.S. ties, say analysts See in context

As I said many time. keep it real, please!

Moving some of the bases to somewhwere else, that might be doable, but to completely evict American bases out of Okinawa, that would be highly unlikely if not wishful thinking.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe calls election; delays sales tax hike See in context

What Abe just did would achieve one particular goal: to borrow time for himself and LDP.

For decades Japanese politicians from both isles have been using the same highly predictable tactic called “not-in-my-backyard”. To sustain their terms in power, those elected officers care little to none about Japan’s future. As long as they get what they want and their friends are been taken care of, there is no need to face the reality. That is why so far Japan has amassed equivalent 250% of GDP level of public debts on its books and still growing at this minute.

As we know, there is no free lunch, at some point the gravy train will stop, and someone will have to pay for the bills, Japan will not be exempted for the earthly gravity, either. With dwelling population and living standards in Japan, sooner or later, the music has to be faced by someone.

There comes the ironic part, the Japanese market indexes and world ones may take cues to cheer up Abe’s brilliant actions ( financial markets love the certainty, Abe just offers that), so while you are at it, party on, even unfortunately at Japan’s expenses.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe adviser calls for stimulus after 'shocking' GDP See in context

Talking is cheap, instead, Japan should do something that is right for long-term gain not just for borrowing time.

Bottom line is that Abe Admin has failed so many fronts including the long-waited third arrow. In short, it has lost credibility per se.

Spin doctors won't save Japan's economy, that's for sure.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe expected to announce election, sales tax hike delay on Tuesday See in context

Just in, Japan's real GDP shrank 1.6% on an annualized basis.In other words, Japan's economy has slipped into a recession in the third quarter.

So the unpleasnt economic data leave Abe little choice but ... That's sad, isn't it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Asahi Shimbun president to resign over inaccurate articles See in context

For anyone who may have second thoughts on Japan’s war-time sex slavery just because of Asahi Shimbun’s reporting mistakes. Please refer New York Time’s Op page written by Mindy Kotler published on Nov. 14th. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/opinion/comfort-women-and-japans-war-on-truth.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

In Mindy Kotler’s article, she pointed out squarely the historical context as well as Abe’s admin’s real motive on this issue.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe wants more defense ties with U.S., Australia See in context

Abe wants so many things right now from raising its admin's rating to 70% and making abenomics work like a charm; can his wish to be realized? You are the judges.

Knowong one's wants is one thing and how to get there is a complete different ball game.

Here goes a reality check: If funding cuts (a.ka. budget sequestration in 2013) mandated by the US Congress continue, the US Army may have less 450,000 soldiers by 2019 from last years’ 530,000.

So Mr. Abe, pease do the math.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. Senate committee to hold Takata air bag hearing See in context

@marcelito “The minimal reporting on this issue by the likes of Yomiuri, NHK etc. is very telling.” Well-said! Yomiuri is right-leaning news outlets and NHK, well, don’t even get me to start it.

It becomes apparent that Japanese press constantly fails to live up the role of the fourth estate

In America, if a major publicly traded company, whether it’s JP Morgan or GM, if it’s practices that violate the laws or put consumers safety in jeopardy, the responsible US senate panels would grill the heads of the company to find the answers.

Right now, Commerce Committee wants to find out if Takata has deliberately withheld its faulty airbag testing data from the public. If it did so, laws and fines will be applied.

One day, I hope that Japanese legislative bodies to do the same, questioning the big hams of Tepco for its Fukushima’s wrongdoing and making the company to pay for its crimes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's smartphone 'zombies' wreak havoc on the streets See in context

The army of Tokyo smartphone 'zombies' is the absolutely amazing one in the world. the worse part is the number is strill growing from my vantage point, SMH!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 72% of Japanese firms want Abe to delay tax hike See in context

Let’s face it, majority of Japanese including us who are from other countries and working here are getting pinched more or less by 8% consumption tax, one way or another. But, the reality is, to put Japan’s fiscal house in order, there is not many feasible alternatives available. For example, cutting social security spending and increasing retiring age may help reduce crashing deficits to some extent if Japan govt can survive the uproar of elders who consist of 26% of Japan’s population and will grow rapidly in next decades so.

The bottom line: raising tax is a dirty job, yet someone has to do it for the sake of long-term financial freedom in Japan. As they say “You can run, but you can’t hide” Abe can surely delay the scheduled next installment of consumption tax, yet the consequence will not be pain-free ("good old days" have been alredy views in the rear mirror), I can tell you guys that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe wants to invite Putin to Japan next year See in context

“You're the one that brought the U.S-Japan summit. I thought I should just remind you the declining influence of U.S. thanks to the lame duck Prez.”

Please keep it in mind: Whether or not Obama is a lame duck president, he is still Command in Chief who decides where and when American soldiers are sent, and the US is still the leader of the free world.

BTW, the main topic here is about the relation between Japan and Russia, don't get carrried away for something else, okay ?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Abe wants to invite Putin to Japan next year See in context

@niceboy "

That was Obama's goal and not Abe. Obama came out looking like a fool in regards to the lack of progress on the TPP. Abe was successful in that he was able to clearly have the POTUS state "Senkaku" covering the security agreement. (First time in history, BTW)

"...And let me reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute, and Article 5 covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands..."

Get real, please! You seems still living in last year, the issue of disputed Senkaku Islands has already mooted at this point, just in case you don't know.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe wants to invite Putin to Japan next year See in context

Certainly, Abe can express his hope as he wishes but It would be a loft goal for him to make any really meaningful progress with Putin given the backdrop of increasingly escalating armed conflict at Ukraine as we are speaking.

For people who are not aware of current event in Ukrainian theater: this week Russia sent a column of heavy armored vehicles and tanks into rebel controlled region (Russia denies its involvement as usual) and shelling has been intensified. It looks like the frigile truce has already in jeopardy.

There is no easy way to put it, Abe’s hands are tied in terms to mending the ties with Russia unless he prepares to quit the US led efforts to put sanctions against Russia’s aggression. I doubt that Abe is willing to be the black sheep in the group.

BTW, Abe invited Obama for the state visit last April, but he failed to make a deal on TPP with Obama.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: China wins support for Asia-Pacific trade proposal See in context

"What is your point?"

Tina, That is a very good question.

My first point is that Japan needs to get out its comfort zone and embrace changes in the region (stop burying its head in the sand and living in denial and dilution.)

My second point is that the US is gradually shifting its positions regarding to China’s rise. Instead of pushing Chinese regime to be more hostile to America, the US is trying to engage it as a strategic and business partner while setting the limits through candid and constructive dialogs. For instance, one night at APEC, Obama had a long walking and talking with Xi in his resident complex. Although the talk was scheduled for 3 hours, but it lasted 4 hours and 40 min. At the end of meeting, the pairs made a series of agreements from reducing military confrontations between two nations and bilateral trade agreement which would be worth billions and billions for American corporations.

Here is the thing: the only thing that is constant would change itself. Hope you got my points above.

"Which country is nicer than Japan to USA?"

Hmm.... How about UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Poland .. If you still need more, please let me know, that can be furnished. :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Recent Comments


Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.