Japan Today

glidingneedles comments

Posted in: New immigration laws hinder some married expats returning to UK See in context

I'm really starting to despise the phrase "to protect the tax-payers." It's a politically driven yet senseless term that politicians throw around these days to make xenophobic statements sound noble. So are they implying that foreigners don't have to pay income, consumption or any of the hundreds of taxes that nationals do?

In a way, foreigners pay MORE tax because we do not derive as much benefit from it. For instance, for every dollar of US taxes I pay, about 60 cents will go to the military (which has no interest in protecting me, a foreigner) or Medicare/Medicaid, which is something that I will never see. So only 40 cents goes to services that I benefit from. In a sense, I'm the one who's subsidizing US citizens who can't pull their weight.

But I can't VOTE so that's why I'm their target and not the nationals who, in reality, may or may not pay taxes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Mother ordered to pay Y95 mil after bicycle-riding son collides with elderly woman See in context

Perhaps the mom should sue the bike company for not emphasizing the dangers of riding a bike and also potential lawsuits resulting from insufficient education of it? Let the bike and insurance companies figure this one out.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: 33% of Japanese think marriage is pointless: survey See in context

If their parents had the same view, they wouldn't be alive making such comments. It seems like their primary concern is MONEY and how they want ALL of it for themselves, i.e. no sharing with spouse and children. What a selfish generation we have become. But then again, over-population is a problem so maybe it's not such a bad idea to let them have their way and die alone/ childless and have their genes eliminated.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

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

It's fine for you all to have an opinion on this matter and honestly it really doesn't matter what we all think and write here. At the end of the day, the French store agreed with the student and took it down. If you fell strongly against that, you should email the company too to do something about it. I admire the student for taking action to change something she felt was wrong and I would praise anyone, regardless of nationality, for trying to make a difference.

For those arguing that the hinomaru and swastika cannot be directly compared due to historical use of the hinomaru before the 20th century, point well taken and thanks for the info. However, the word 'negro' was also widely used and even at some points in time preferred over 'colored' or 'black' to describe people of African origin. Don't think you'll find anyone using it these days though. What's important is not the dictionary definition, but context and emotional impact.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Abe wants to replace landmark 1995 war apology See in context

Regrettably, little of this has to do with "justice" per say. We are not talking about the opinions and thinkings of ordinary citizens here but nation-states and politicians with an agenda. Winners write history and Japan will apologize, whether it wants to or not, to other Asian countries once it finds it in its economic, military and political benefit to do so. So the best thing that Chinese and Koreans can do is put themselves in a position to "softly demand" an apology and if things continue in their current trajectory, an apology may not be too far away. In fact, as a S. Korean national, I can attest to the fact that this antagonism and grudge against Japan can sometimes be a driving force for success, be it economic growth or soccer games. I've noticed the same thing in China as well. Actually I could care less about the issue (I don't want to pretend that I'm the primary victim here and most Japanese I've met were well educated and willing to admit the past when the topic did come up) but am infuriated that some people, Abe in this instance, are able to gain personal benefit by manipulating other people for the wrong reasons.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's indifference to 'Gangnam Style' riles S Korea See in context

First of all, again the media and individuals exaggerating stories for their own benefit. Congratulations, this has more comments as of now than the Okinawa rape and radiation stories. Ordinary Koreans actually don't really care about what Japanese think about Psy. We sell enough k-pop in Japan anyway and likewise enjoy Jpop as well. Honestly, we don't even know why so many Americans find it amusing either.

Second, for those who think Psy is a one hit wonder, he's been around for 10 years and was already a household brand in Korea. Just because someone isn't popular internationally doesn't mean that he/she is unpopular.

Third, to those who think the music video is stupid - that's the point. People like Mr Bean for his stupidity. Koreans like Psy for his wtf-ness. He's a guy that enjoys making fun of ppl who takes themselves too seriously.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Soccer player Honda says Japanese not patriotic enough See in context

First of all, let's not pretend that there shouldn't be any nationalism in the Olympics. In fact, alongside the World Cup, it's probably the most nationalism-driven sports competition in the world. A healthy dose of nationalism is good and should not be confused with jingoism, which is extreme patriotism that leads to wars.

Second, I find it ironic that people very much mind the sign but seem to have no problem with Japanese fans waving the Rising Sun Flag, which is the Swastika equivalent for Asia. Seriously, think about it for a moment. I can understand why the Japanese are proud of the flag (I would be too if I were Japanese) but let's be real - it is a symbol of imperialism. In fact, there were people waving such flags during the game in question and the S Korean government issued a formal complaint to the IOC to ban the use of such flags in international sports events.

Lastly, having lived in Korea, Japan and China, I honestly believe that most of us respect and like each other in general. Japan is much respected by pioneering of the East Asian development model, South Korea for catching up rapidly creating a wave of its own, and China for it's grand history and current stellar economic growth. If you have a brain, you really shouldn't fall trap to the politically motivated rhetoric of the media.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: S Korea rejects Japan's proposal to take isle dispute to int'l court See in context

As this is JapanToday.com and not KoreaToday.com, I understand how most people will side with the Japanese on this issue, regardless of their level of understanding. As a Korean, I would like to balance the discussion a bit by contributing a couple of thoughts and would also welcome corrections/mature feedback.

Liancourt Rocks were Korean territory prior to the 1910 colonization and Japan did not make any claim to the islands before the colonization. However, these are such small islands way off the coasts of both S. Korea and Japan that it is difficult to imagine these islands playing a big enough role to be mentioned/documented heavily in ancient times. My understanding is that both countries have documents/maps that support their claims. Back in the days people had a "if you can reach it and beat the natives, it's yours" mentality so it's not too surprising that both sides can find claims of ownership over LR. However, LR is 87km from the nearest Korean islands Ulleungdo (inhabited from ancient times and became Korean territory in the 8th century) and 157km from Japan's Oki islands so it was probably was much easier for settlers in Ulleungdo to notice LR than their Japanese counterparts. Yet, let's assume that there is no clear winner when looking at historical claims.

When Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, it promised to return all Korean territory to Korea. It went further to outline the specific pieces of land but unfortunately, the list did not include Liancourt Rocks. Also, there are different versions of the document with different claims. So this is where the problem starts, Korea uses the version advantageous to them while Japan chooses to adopt the split that puts Liancourt Rocks under its territory. So legally, both S Korea and Japan can claim that LR is theirs.

S. Korea already de facto controls LRs and thus South Korea will not go to ICJ not because it fears losing but rather because there would be no benefit for doing so. It already de facto controls the islands, which are already inhabited by a South Korean family. Obviously a government act but then again, where was the Japanese government when the Koreans were sending people and raising their flag on the islands? During the past 60 years, Japan was in much better condition, both economically and politically, compared to S. Korea to make a move. Their lack of action seems to me an indication of lack of interest... until they found some potential large natural gas reserves under the island.

So here we are again, fighting over resources.

Oh, and to all those people saying things like "S. Korea need to solve this at the ICJ"... If somebody wanted to go to court with your for something that you already control and feel that it is lawfully yours, would you bother spending time and money at court trying to prove it or would you rather ignore the guy? In fact, it would be stupid for S Korea to go to ICJ now when Japan's economic and political strength in the international stage is declining. Why fight now when you know your opponent will be weaker tomorrow? For those who think this is cowardly, you certainly don't know how politics work. It's not about right or wrong, it's about what benefits who. (as per chucky3176's comment)

To those who scream "then why do S. Koreans claim that LR is theirs if they truly believe so?" Remember about a decade ago when Japan started claiming that Kimchi was their unique cultural heritage and branded it as "Kimuchi"... obviously failed but this somewhat ridiculous attempt strengthened South Korea's belief that it must actively protect its culture and territory... especially against Japan

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: New Jersey town's monument to Korean sex slaves upsetting Japanese officials See in context

Okay, first of all, let's bring the discussion back to the topic of the article - Comfort women

Second, let's review some history. Japanese Army commits crimes against humanity but the government still denies some parts of it, one of which is the issue of comfort women. Post WWII, the S. Korean government receives aid from Japan and normalizes diplomatic relationships. The S.Korean government also agrees that this aid is compensation for the atrocities committed - points already made by some of the folks.

Third, can we establish a relationship between the Korean government and the issue at hand? NO The monument is on U.S. soil, erected and funded by aid from local citizens. No S.Korea government involvement here and hence I see no logic in the argument that the S.Korea government should stop raising the issue - they did not. And yes, the government spent that aid for development rather than compensating the victims (remember, comfort women were not the only victims of atrocities committed) The S.Korea government will have to deal with this and will have to compensate the victims with its own budget.

More importantly, financial compensation does not bar anyone the right to honor and remember the victims. If I injure somebody and we settle, this limits the victim's right to sue me. It does not prevent the families or others from talking about/commemorating the issue. If you think that US$1.1bn just washes history away like that, you have much to learn. History never forgets. Nations still fret over issues that happened thousands of years ago.

One last thing, Japan really needs to stop embarrassing itself like this. I do not believe that any nationality or race is naturally superior than any other. We have good centuries as well as bad. The difference is how we face the bad ones. Unfortunately, WWII war tribunals were mostly arranged to address the crimes committed against the allied powers and hence a lot of issues that relate to Asians were never completely dealt with - comfort women being one of them. I do not think the Germans were morally superior than the Japanese, they simply had no choice but to face it then and there and look at the respect they receive now. The Japanese were never "forced" to do so and hence the wounds still remain. In today's world, when economic and political center of gravity is moving towards China and other Asian countries, it would be in Japan's best interest to address those wounds as soon as possible.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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