Japan Today

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Posted in: China keeps pressure off North Korea See in context

limboinjapan: "if SK were to ever take the entire peninsula be it by force or peacefully once stability has been reached one of the first things a unified Korea would do away with are most if not all the USA bases and forces" actually this seems to by far surpass any amount of BS you claim to have detected in the article. Getting rid of US bases, may they be willing to go or not, takes a long time. Also, for all the "government change" guys here, what is the collective memory for those events? Seems it is tried every 5 to 10 years somewhere, always fails miserably, leaves the respective countries in bigger messes, and empowers neighboring rogue states; yet in the next crisis, it seems like government change must be THE way to go.

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Posted in: Do it at home: Train manners in Japan See in context

typical. There are so many books about "living in Japan" that follow the same line as this commentary. "XY in Japan is really great (actually better than at home), but..." ...if I go ahead and apply my own set of values to the community I chose to live in, there are a ton of things to critizice. Just stop at the "but". Train systems in J are marvellous. That includes people on the train. I would much rather ride a full Yamanote for 5 hours straight than an almost empty metro back in Europe for 30 min. In general, people here are considerate about their surroundings and act accordingly. Now if that doesn't fit your "personal space" concept, how is that their problem? Stinking, being loud in conversation, being loud on the cell phone, asking for money, dealing drugs, drinking beer etc. is not considered "polite" in Europe, yet I saw it every day in the metro. At least the Japanese are well-behaved on their own terms, how ridiculous to go ahead and critizece them for not meeting someone else's, especially when you openly commit that you don't value their rules either (regarding multiple seats per person)... Sure, not everything is perfect, but just blindly staring at the "annoying" side is just another way of clinging to culture shock. Look at the bright side, and imagine how a crowded train back in the US would feel like. Then complain, if you still feel like it.

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Posted in: A spirited competition for low carbon energy See in context

I know about the cows producing a lot of methane, which is s serious greenhouse gas, but in terms of CO2 they must certainly be regarded as renewable energy. I mean, why is a plant that grows taking up CO2 which is later released when it is burned as biofuel any greener than a cow that takes up CO2 and emits it partly on the field or when it is consumed? More importantly, the humankind suddenly becoming all vegetarians just isn't going to happen. Not even a 5% increase. It's been advertised as healthy and what-not-all and people didn't convert. They certainly aren't going to do it for "global warming", which has much less immediaty personal consequences. I think it better to focus on realistic ideas, technological progress or just simply: saving energy. There is so much energy wasted that could be saved without any consequences for the individual, it is a shame. And instead of making a top-down approach, campaigning to do this (turn off TV when not in unse), banning that and enforcing another (low-power light bulbs), governments should just raise taxes on energy and cut them on workforce. No wonder energy is wasted when an hour of work (like repairing stuff) is taxed over 100% (if you add all the taxes up from paycheck to sales tax) and energy is basically free (large companies get it so cheap as an "incentive" to come to this plaxe instead of anoher). Then let the market work the rest out... Imagine you had like 30% more money every month but the elctricity (and gasoline) bill just tripled. You'd start thinking about saving energy at home, and so would the companies.

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Posted in: Let’s get back to worksheets See in context

I'm not surprised the ratio of STEM to non-STEM is so low. Think about all the lawyers the US needs for it's legal system...

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Posted in: Film on Japanese occupation of Nanjing wins top prize in San Sebastian See in context

There is no such thing as a nation that went out of WW2 without having commited some acts not worthy of humanity, with the possible exeption of Andorra. I don't see how bashing the Japanese with a flood of hollywood films about their crimes would achieve anything except the Japanese look even further away from the topic and the Americans feeling even more right about what they did in those days. A good film shows how decent people commit the most appalling things in times of war and that for this reason avoiding it is the only true brave and good action you can take (remember "war games", anyone). The US could use some reflection on war crimes just as well Japan, Germany or any other nation. The worst thing you can do is just to look at the other's war crimes. because that only fuels rage and racism and limits intercltural understanding, which is still the single best tool in the box in avoiding wars.

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Posted in: 28 suffer food poisoning at hotel banquet See in context

sure. 100+ million people eat fish every day and a few cases of food poisoning prove it's dangerous. Ignore statistics at your own peril. I wouldn't say a red-meat-heavy diet is safer - or healthier.

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Posted in: Yukiya Amano and the coming nuclear duel between Iran and the West See in context

@ jhk: So just because it's unfair that only the rich countries have nukes, the others should get them as well? I don't think that is a good approach for the population of either countries. Iranians and Westerners are most likely safer with Iranian leaders not having the option to provoke a counter-strike. Nukes aren't just another weapon you add to your arsenal.

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