Halwick comments

Posted in: Congress has no right to 'do-over' of Russia probe: White House counsel See in context

No president, no person in the United States is above the law."

And the Presumption of Innocence, one of the sacred principles of the American judicial system, holds that "a person is innocent until proven guilty" also applies to the President (even if his name is Trump).

But the Trump-haters don't believe "Presumption of Innocence" rule applies to Trump. Instead, in their zealous efforts to prosecute Trump for any crime, has proclaimed Trump is guilty, guilty, guilty! absence of proof of guilt beyond doubt notwithstanding.

The Mueller report found insufficient evidence to establish that Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy.

So, the Democrats, not politically satisfied with the report findings, has gone back to dig into the minutiae, to find anything, ANYTHING, that can be construed as GUILTY of questionable criminal action to use as a basis for impeachment.

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Posted in: Lawmaker expelled from party over remarks about possible war with Russia See in context

While Japan is trying to negotiate a peace treaty with Russia, to have this guy publicly allude to war as a means to regaining the islands, would be a major diplomatic faux pas.

But he is telling what is an unpleasant truth. That is what is going to take if Japan really wants those islands back.

Look at the map. Russia will never give up control of the islands as it is a strategic gateway access to the Pacific Ocean for the Russian Navy. To lose sovereignty and control over the islands would mean the Russian Navy would be bottled up in the Sea of Okhotsk. Russia wants to increase its presence in the Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, there is oil and mineral deposits in the region that Russia is interested in.

Realistically, Japan cannot resort to military action to take the islands as its Article 9 prohibits it to use war as a means to settle disputes. (I guess Mr. Maruyama forgot that.)

But what if Russia installs anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles on those islands, then what can Japan do? Unless Japan removes the Article 9 limitation that prohibits the use of military force as a means of settling disputes, Japan is going to have to rely on the U.S. to keep Russia in check

With Russia gaining access to the Pacific Ocean and China controlling the China Seas region, they have the potential to blockade Japan if necessary.

The U.S. and Japan will have to maintain, if not increase military base presence on mainland Japan and Okinawa, to counter this combined potential threat.

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Posted in: Okinawa-based U.S. Marines may start moving to Guam in Oct 2024 See in context

The US bases make Okinawa a target of the Chinese. 

In other words, you are saying that removing U.S. bases on Okinawa and Okinawa will not be a target. That makes about as much sense as saying "police presence in cities makes cities a target for crime; remove the police presence and crime will disappear."  

The US bases are not to protect Okinawa but project American power!

Look at a map and you'll see Okinawa's proximity to the East China Seas region and Japan and why Okinawa is of strategic importance to both U.S. and Japan. It is in both Japan and U.S. interest to keep that region stable. To keep the region stable, there has to be military presence on Okinawa, whether it's all-U.S. , joint U.S.-Japan or all-Japan. (It remains to be seen whether Japan's Article 9 limitation will allow increased Japanese military occupation on Okinawa.)

China hasn't made any aggressive moves (yet) in that region because the US bases on Okinawa are keeping them in check.   

At the moment, the anti-base protests are directed against the U.S. Marines. After the successful removal of the U.S. Marines, then there will be anti-base protests against the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. It is Gov. Tamaki's goal to remove ALL U.S. military presence as he believes the U.S. military threatens Okinawa's peace.

Remove all U.S. military presence from Okinawa and you can be sure China will begin aggressive actions in the region.  China will attack and annex Taiwan. They will probably claim the Senkaku Islands and build military bases there.  They may even renew claims on the Ryukyu Islands. In the meantime, how will Japan react? Appeasement in order to avoid direct war? Most likely yes, given the absence of U.S. military umbrella protection.

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Posted in: U.S., Japan, India and Philippines challenge Beijing with naval drills in the South China Sea See in context

Time for China to mine their territory.

Wouldn't put it past them to make the attempt. It's only a matter of time before China instigates a "misadventure" in the region and claim they were "defending" their territory.

Good for U.S., Japan, India and Philippines (where is Australia?) to hold naval drills and challenge China.

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Posted in: Kono opposes giving food aid to N Korea See in context

Given how "fat and healthy" Kim is, it appears that he keeps whatever humanitarian aid, especially food, from his own people. So why should the world give humanitarian aid to North Korea, knowing it won't get to the people?

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Posted in: Russia, Japan say differences remain over disputed islands See in context

The Russian occupation of the Northern Isles is the same as the Israel occupation of the Golan Heights and the West Bank or the Russian occupation of the Crimea?

The islands are resource rich and have rare earth metals. That's why Russia annexed them.

Oil deposits were discovered in the Golan Heights, which is another reason why Israel annexed it.

It all boils down to where resources are found and who can control the drilling or mining rights and eventual control of the region, doesn't it?

I say let Russia keep those islands but in return for building a gas pipeline from Russia to Japan

So they can entice Japan to become dependent on them and put them in a position where Russia can turn off the pipeline to blackmail them? Yeah, right.

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Posted in: Russia, Japan say differences remain over disputed islands See in context

The Kuril Islands are strategic importance to Russia. Russian control of those islands are crucial to the Russian Navy's access to the Pacific Ocean. Also, the islands are resource-rich and have abundance of rare earth metals. These are the primary reasons why Russia will not give up control of these islands.

With Russia access to the Pacific Ocean and increased Chinese Navy activities in the China Seas region, they have the capability to blockade Japan anytime they want. This is the reason Japan and U.S. maintains military bases in the region, including Okinawa, in the event there is some sort of Chinese or Russian misadventure instigated.

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Posted in: Renovated Hiroshima A-bomb museum building opens with new exhibits See in context


So you ARE saying that a costly invasion by the U.S. and Soviet Union, resulting in millions of civilian Japanese deaths and prolonging the war and ending in a postwar Japan divided into two countries -- a DPRK-like North Japan and democratic South Japan -- would have been the better decision and preferable fate for Japan. Somehow I don't think so and I doubt anyone else would think so either.

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Posted in: China's Xi promotes building initiative amid debt worries See in context

@Reckless: I'm just being cynically and pessimistically realistic. I actually prefer the U.S. political system over China and hope you are right about the U.S. staying out in front.

But right now, I just don't see the U.S. or Japan or the Western world having the political willpower to challenge China. For example, China is making massive investments in Africa, particularly the Congo region, to dominate and control the rare earth and metals market. We all know cobalt is a crucial item in lithium-ion battery production and China aims to corner that market and be the "center of renewable energy universe", to use their words. What is U.S. and Japan doing to counter that threat?

Then there is China's space program. According to an article I read about China’s space program ambitions, it is aimed at "long-term wealth creation for the Chinese nation, by utilizing a space-based economy", which implies expanding on the Belt and Road program through investing in lunar and asteroid mining capability. The lunar surface is filled with thorium, magnesium, platinum, titanium, silicon, water (ice), aluminum, and iron ore just waiting to be mined. The moon could serve as a new and tremendous supplier of energy and resources. China has gone on record stating "Whoever first conquers the moon will benefit first.”

The U.S. isn't even thinking on this capitalistic level, instead still stuck in the "flag and footprints" model.

And I'm dismayed to admit that China has become more pragmatic-, capitalistic- and opportunist-thinking than the U.S., particularly where "long-term wealth creation" is concerned.

I have to call it as I see it.

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Posted in: Renovated Hiroshima A-bomb museum building opens with new exhibits See in context

 I certainly wasn't aware that Japan had made its first steps towards a nuclear capacity of its own. I don't have much doubt that the Japanese military would have used it if it had it.

And nobody wants that dirty little secret known as it would detract from Japan's "atomic bomb victim" story.

Japan actually had two independent atomic bomb programs: "Ni-Go Project" (Army) and "F-Go Project (Navy).


There is an intriguing but never substantiated story that Japan might have successfully detonated an test atomic bomb in Konan, North Korea just days before the actual end of the war. But who knows what really happened in Japan and North Korea during those closing days. (Many claim Japan didn't have the knowledge or resources to build an atomic bomb. These same "experts" were also claiming at the beginning of the Pacific War that Japan couldn't build a superior fighter plane or a massive super battleship.)

Had they succeeded in preventing Hirohito from making his announcement of surrender, they might well have forced Japan to fight on until a real Armageddon.

That is what Japan's "Operation Ketsu-Go" was preparing for.

The sooner the Americans come, the better...One hundred million die proudly. (Japanese wartime slogan circa Summer 1945)



Although many cite Japan was already beaten, Japan actually had reserve army and aircraft in the mainland ready for the anticipated invasion plus millions of Japanese civilians ready to defend their country.

In debating the use of the atomic bomb and whether it was justified, very few bother to discuss the probable alternative ending, i.e, invasion of Japan mainland and ending in a "Armageddon" as you say, The "Battle of Japan" would have been more horrific than the "Battle of Okinawa" and would have prolonged the war well into 1946 with millions of Japanese civilians killed as Imperial Japanese military desperately fights to the very end, refusing to surrender.

Then there's the horrifying thought that had Japan been successful in developing their atomic bomb, they would have used it against the invading Americans in Kyushu. American GIs and Marines would have landed on radioactive beaches.

Can we honestly say that this "Armageddon" ending would have been preferable ending for Japan than the way it actually happened?

And furthermore, a forgotten fact frequently glossed over is that the Soviet Union was poised to invade the Hokkaido on 24 August, well in advance of the 1 November American invasion on Kyushu. By then, North Japan would have been under Soviet occupation and South Japan under American occupation, resulting in a divided Japan much like divided Germany.

I would say the U.S. atomic bomb was actually a blessing in disguise for Japan: It was a major factor in convincing Japan to end the war before an actual Soviet invasion; it avoided the inevitable invasion with accompanying millions in civilian casualties; and lastly it prevented Japan from being divided into a communist North Japan and democratic South Japan.

Lastly, it was the atomic bomb that turned Japan into a peace-loving pacifist nation pledged to forsake war as a solution to conflicts. Had the atomic bomb not been used, Japan might have retained their prewar Imperialist military mindset.

I'm sure the renovated Hiroshima museum or any revisionist history will never discuss that probable alternative end.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: 120 interviews later, photographer releases book about Japanese ‘hafu’ identity See in context

Interesting article and responses. "Hafu" is an interesting word-and-a-half, can be open-ended and adaptable to however you want to define it. I don't see anything racial or inflammatory about it. It sounds better than "half-breed" or "half-caste".

Most of you have no idea what Japanese hafus have endured and what kind of skin we have had to grow.

When I was a young boy, my mother once told me a story about a friendly bat who tried to make friends with mammals and birds. He wasn't successful as neither group wanted him on their team. He went to the mammals saying he has fur and looks like them , only to be rejected because of his wings and ability to fly. So he went to the birds, stating he had wings and can fly just like them. They rejected him because he had fur and looked like mammals.

He flew off in dejection and disappointment. I can empathize with that bat.

In my case, I'm a "Hafu" by definition and tri-cultured as well: Product of Caucasian father and Asian (native Okinawan) mother. I was born and spent early childhood in a Latin American country. My teen years was in a heavily Latino community in a southern U.S. state during the late 1960s/early 1970s. I've had my share of prejudice and discrimination from all sides....from Caucasians, Asians, and Latinos. But one of my high school teachers thought my being multi-racial and multi-cultured was a wonderful thing and encouraged me to embrace the best that all three cultures offered. It was one of the best and encouraging advice I ever received.

(As for bats, bats aren't so bad and are fascinating creatures, once you get used to them and accept them for what they are.)

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Posted in: Reckless bicycle riding endangers lives See in context

Interesting. I've seen bicyclists in the in the U.S., particularly in the beach communities, riding about disregarding stops signs and red lights and twiddling on their smartphones (with one hand!). They must believe street traffic rules are not applicable to bicyclists. Or is it a sense of entitlement that, as bicyclists, they can do as they please.

I've seen aggressive and daring bicyclists in Latin America, Philippines and Thailand darting in and out of traffic in complete disregard to traffic rules.

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Posted in: Daimler says it has no idea how Kim Jong Un got his limos See in context

Nice limo. If they are indeed Kim's limos, it was probably bought through third-party proxies and then shipped to NK discretely. No mystery; happens all the time. People in high places have means to get whatever they want.

Now here's another one: Kim attending Kim-Jong-Il's funeral. Note the Lincoln Continental limousine --- an AMERICAN car at that. Wonder how he got that one?



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Posted in: China's Xi promotes building initiative amid debt worries See in context

Don't underestimate or write off China and its Belt and Road program. China looks at the long term, not short term. China is not concerned about debt; in the long run (say in 50 years), the program will benefit China in terms of market dominance and control, established logistical supply chain for China's military, and political control over the recipient country.

As much as I respect China's capitalistic shrewdness and ruthlessness, I prefer Japan's and U.S.' system over China.

Beijing could enhance the appeal of Belt and Road by making it more like the World Bank or other multinational organizations, 

Wouldn't be surprised if China buys or takes over the World Bank. Then it could really finance its Belt and Road program at other countries' expense.

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Posted in: Biden's 2020 bid reshapes White House race See in context

I can't wait for either to name AOC as their running mate.

A vice-presidential candidate must meet the same qualifications as a presidential candidate.

Since she'll not be 35 by Jan. 20, 2021, she's ineligible.

I agree, but I'm sure the DNC will find a way to change the rule so she CAN be eligible as a running mate. AOC is the "darling" of the new far left socialists and will demand the change, just as they are demanding elimination of the electoral college that enabled Trump to beat Hillary.

It's going to be fun to see the Democrat Party implode as the far left socialists factions battles the traditional liberal factions. All Trump has to do is stand back and let them shoot themselves in the foot and mouth.

The 2020 Democrat primaries and Convention will be a repeat of the 1968 Democrat campaign (with the exception of an assassination). It's going be a nasty primary and the AOC radical faction will split the party and alienate the moderates and traditional party liberals.

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Posted in: Renovated Hiroshima A-bomb museum building opens with new exhibits See in context

I'm not certain how Hirohito could have been utterly powerless to stop the war on August 7, but somehow had the authority to do so a mere 8 days later on the 15th.

Very thoughtful question and one of the debatable controversies about the actual role Hirohito played during the war, i.e., the extent of his authority and direct involvement. But there is evidence that he favored the Imperial Japan expansionism in Asia, authorized the war campaigns from the very beginning as early as 1931, but at the same time, he was kept isolated and not told the real truth that Japan was losing by late 1944.

Regardless, during those days following after the Hiroshima bombing , there was internal power struggle between those advocating continuing the war and those ending the war. Finally, to break the deadlock, Hirohito stepped in and made the decision to end the war and accept surrender. Then there was the "Kyuju incident", an attempted military coup on the night of Aug 15-16 to stop the move to surrender. Fortunately the coup was not successful and Hirohito was able to make his unprecedented announcement of surrender.

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Posted in: Renovated Hiroshima A-bomb museum building opens with new exhibits See in context

What is lost in context of this whole discussion......and in the atomic bomb museums.....is the fact that there was a war going on. And in wars, nations will use whatever weapons are available, or create new weapons, to win the war.

When nations commit themselves to WAR, all conventional morality is thrown out the window and the nation as a whole, its leaders, the fighting men (or women), etc. will do whatever it takes to KILL the enemy and WIN the war. Wartime propaganda (unthinkable during peacetime) will stir up hatred to continue the war. Even the folks at home....women, children, elderly who cannot fight, will contribute to the war effort by praying for the enemy's defeat or work in factories building weapons that will win the war for their country.

During wartime, people will do things they would never do under peacetime.


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Posted in: Renovated Hiroshima A-bomb museum building opens with new exhibits See in context

*There was a Japanese newspaper in display from the day after the bombing that evidence that the Japanese government understood that the US had superweapons. This caused me to wonder why Hirohito waited at all to surrender.*

For a couple of reasons: 1) Japan refused to accept the unconditional surrender terms because of the implications of Hirohito being tried as a war criminal and executed, thereby ending the Emperor monarchy (fortunately Gen. MacArthur didn't allow that to happen); and 2) The Imperial Japanese military "bushido code" disallowed any thoughts of surrender, instead vowing to fight to the very end. But yes, its a wonder why Emperor Hirohito didn't step in earlier. Perhaps he wanted to.

Does the museum still avoid giving historical context for the decision to drop the bomb, such as the suicidal resistance by Japanese in Okinawa and the Philippines?

Oh I'm sure it still avoids. I doubt it even mentions that Japan was also pursuing its own atomic bomb program. But then the museum's purpose was meant to present the effects of a nuclear attack.......along with the subliminal guilt of portraying Japan being the only victim of a nuclear attack perpetrated by the U.S..

It is unfortunate that Stalin, Khrushchev, Mao, and more recently Kim, did not take Hiroshima and Nagasaki into conscious consideration before embarking and building up their nuclear programs. And let's not forget the Soviet Union, under Khrushchev, built and detonated the most powerful hydrogen bomb ever.....the 50+ megaton "Tsar Bomba" in 1961.

Let's also remember that prior to 1945 there were NO nuclear weapons, yet the world was involved in World Wars throughout the centuries. After 1945, the threat of nuclear weapons and destruction made World Wars unthinkable and unwinnable. In this way they had unintended effect of encouraging dialog in settling disputes and promoting "World Peace".

It's unfortunate the Unit 731 museum in Harbin, China, isn't as well known as the HIroshima and Nagasaki museums. The effects of biological and chemical warfare are just as terrible as radiation. Let's pray that there shall never be a war fought with biological and chemical weapons, either..

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Posted in: N Korea's Kim says U.S. acted in 'bad faith' at Hanoi talks See in context

You failed to include the former "Soviet Union" and its control over Eastern Europe. Maybe that's what Putin is really yearning for: "Return to the good 'ol days of the Soviet Empire".

What organization responsible for 'international law' is able to settle issues arising among the 3 (and possibly others)?

Is there a global group powerful enough to deal with issues among them

Gee, we thought that's what the UN was for. But then it, as a global organization, it can't agree on anything, nor does it have the power to deal with issues. So what's the solution?

Kim said he hoped to usher in a "new heyday" in ties between Pyongyang and Moscow.

The pair "were unanimous" that their meeting could help in "strategically controlling the unstable situation of the Korean peninsula in the wake of the second DPRK-US summit talks"

We knew all along Kim never intended to "denuclarize". All the so-called summit meetings with the U.S. and SK were all smoke and mirrors to buy time in order to get China and Russia support lined up. With China and Russia firmly backing NK, coupled with NK's new nuclear power and ICBM capability, Kim will demand a "demilitarization" of the DMZ, U.S. leaving the Peninsula and SK to disarm.....and then Unification of Korea under DPRK.....or else!

That will be the groundrules for a second DPRK-US summit meetings....if the US is foolish enough to agree to one.

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Posted in: North Korea demanded U.S. pay $2 mil for captured student in coma See in context

North Korea, which has denied accusations by relatives that it tortured Warmbier, has said he was provided "medical treatments and care with all sincerity."

Yeah...right. NK has a history of torturing its own people. This is nothing more than extortion.

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Posted in: Abe plays balancing act between China, U.S. See in context

Abe plays balancing act between China, U.S.

Japan is more afraid of going against China than going against the U.S. for the following reasons: 1) China's military buildup and expansionism in the China Seas, 2) China's Belt and Road program is making inroads throughout the world and undercutting Japan's (and the U.S.) influence; and 3) As Japan (and the rest of the world) shifts to renewable energy and dependence on lithium-ion batteries, China is working to dominate and controlling rare-earth minerals and metal mining and mining operations.

Hedging bets that Trump is probably on the way out, Abe knows he better start brown-nosing Xi and siding with China on important issues.

But Japan has always been good at playing both sides and brown-nosing.

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Posted in: Biden's 2020 bid reshapes White House race See in context

Biden is too old, and too associated with the hegemony in place today; we need new blood

Age is a factor - it's time for a younger generation...

It'll likely come down to Biden v Sanders for the nomination

I can't wait for either to name AOC as their running mate.

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Posted in: Japan drops 'maximum pressure' on N Korea from diplomatic book See in context

Meaning, from behind the scenes the US told Abe to cool things down with the rhetoric.

More likely CHINA told Abe to cool things down and ease up on the sanctions. In another JT article, Japan is walking a fine line between the US and China. With Xi's upcoming visit to Japan, I'm sure Xi told Abe that if he wants the meeting to go well and not lose face, he'd better ease up on buddy Kim.

Then there's Russia. Putin probably told Abe that if he wants a peace treaty, then ease off NK.

Shinzo should go to Pyongyang and offer humanitarian and economic aid

Ridiculous!. Why should Shinzo go to Pyongyang? Kim needs Japan more than Japan needs NK.

If NK need more financial aid and support (you mean aid from China and Russia isn't enough?) let Kim go to Japan and grovel to Shinzo on hands and knees with head bowed deeply.

But then maybe you're implying that unless Shinzo goes to Pyongyang and offers aid, Kim will renew missile firings and nuclear tests and threats against Japan?

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Posted in: Law enacted to recognize ethnic Ainu minority as indigenous people See in context

I only hope Tokyo will not try to turn Ainu culture into a tourist attraction.

Oh they will and exploited as a novelty as well...like Okinawa. At a popular Japanese grocery store in California, I saw a display of Hokkaido cuisine items and a curious smaller subdisplay of Ainu cuisine. Like Okinawan cuisine, the Ainu cuisine was interesting and different.....and appeared to be healthy eating.

It's a shame the Ainu language and culture, like Okinawa's, were brutally suppressed and its people forced to assimilate. It's also a shame that they weren't recognized as indigenous until recently.

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Posted in: Abe abandons June timeline for Japan-Russia peace treaty: sources See in context

f you keep going into negotiations with the exact same position and no new concessions it is logical that nothing will happen.

And who do you suggest should be making the new concessions? Japan? Why must it always be Japan to make the concessions? Why not Russia?

It's interesting that a third independent party, the European Parliament, in the resolution “Relations between EU, China and Taiwan and Security in the Far East”, adopted on July 7, 2005, called on Russia to return to Japan the “occupied” South Kuril Islands.

Of course, Putin ignored the resolution.

It's strange that Russia takes this position -

Not really strange, just protective of territorial claims. Looking at a map of the region, the Kuril islands are strategic to Russia. Russian control and sovereignty over the islands guarantees a safe access through the Sea of Okhotsk to the Pacific Ocean for the Russian Navy. That's why they have been building military installations on the islands they occupy. Russia wants to expand its presence in the Pacific Ocean and strengthen its involvement in East Asian affairs.

A Russian military naval activity in the Pacific Ocean region north of mainland Japan, coupled with Chinese naval activities in the China Seas region south of the mainland Japan should be a major concern to Japan and the U.S.

The only solution is the return of the islands with Russian bases still on the islands. Japan has surrender soverentry of Okinwa to the Americans. It can do the same with the northern territories.

Is Japan so desperate for a peace treaty with Russia that Japan is willing to give up its territories where there is dispute? First those two remaining islands. What's next, renewed claim on Hokkaido? After Japan surrenders those islands, what if China renews its claims on Senkaku and Ryukyu Islands? Should Japan surrender sovereignty of those islands as well? Are you that willing for Japanese citizens to living under foreign occupation again?

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Posted in: 'A good day': Trump claims victory with Mueller report out See in context

Trumpophiles obviously haven't bothered to begin reading the report:

Who has read the 400 page report, anyone?

And I doubt the Trump-haters have either. In their eyes, Trump is guilty until proven guilty, guilty, guilty with even the slightest shred of doubt as proof of guilt. 

Look at the Trumpers here engaging in their fantasies and fairly tales

Look at the democrats and Trump-haters who can't get over Hillary's loss engaging in their fantasies and fairy tales as well. For nearly two years, the democrats and their allies tried to undermine and obstruct Trump's presidency.  If the Trump-haters can't get him on this, then THERE"S GOT TO BE SOMETHING OUT THERE to indict him on and use as a foundation for impeachment.  

Pelosi and her gang are already looking for new straws to latch onto Anything. They've done everything they can think of to slow Trump down, and yet he keeps moving forward.

Well it's obvious to everyone he tried to obstruct justice.

       Trying is not the same as “did.” We don’t convict people on “possible or likely or almost scenarios.”

                   Attempted murder is not a thing?"

That's right, spin more fantasies and fairy tale accusations.  So now we have Trump "attempted murder"?  This will be the democrat's new investigation?

It's been entertaining watching the liberals, Trump-haters and democrats implode.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Posted in: China says Japan should do more to seek cooperation, not competition See in context

China says Japan should do more to seek cooperation, not competition

In other words, China wants a free reign to implement their "Belt and Road Initiative" globally without any interference or competition from Japan (or U.S.). 

It is China that needs to do more to seek cooperation rather than dominance. It should get smart and let Japan take the lead in any future partnership

Yes, it is China that needs to seek cooperation.  But the world should be wary of China cooperation.  The Chinese are also smart enough to let Japan (or the U.S.) take the lead and risk in opening new markets and then sneaking in and undercutting them, coupled with promises of investments and infrastructure improvement through the "Belt and Road" program. 

Any country that is lured into being a part of the "Belt and Road" should be wary.  The real underlying intent of the Belt and Road program is to provide China with the raw material logistics and resources for their military.  China should not be underestimated or viewed as "benevolent".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What happens to residents when an old age home goes bankrupt? See in context

Is there no non-profit operator in this sector?

For years in Southern Calfornia there was a particular non-profit nursing home that had mostly Asian residents. It was actually one of the better nursing homes. But it depended heavily on charitable contributions and government subsidies which over the years declined to the point where it was running in the red and operations couldn't be sustained. (So yes, even non-profit operators goes bankrupt.)

It limped along until it was sold to a FOR PROFIT management who found high turnover, short-term rehabilitation/therapy made it more profitable. The established long term residents (many whom are under Medicaid) are allowed to remain, but it is now more difficult to get a new resident in for long term unless financial ability can be demonstrated and sustained. It costs about $7,000 per month. Very few people can afford these rates, so in order to qualify for Medicaid, they spend down their assets to have no more than $2,000 and an annual income no higher than $12,000.

While my elderly mother was recovering from a stroke, one of the nurses (who was Japanese), opined that Japan has a much better elder care system. But as this article points out, even Japanese nursing homes have their problems and are not immune to financial woes, despite government oversight and subsidies.

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Posted in: Chief of staff says Democrats will never see Trump tax returns See in context

Speaker Pelosi has been demanding Trump to release his tax returns for this year and the previous 9 years.

Will Speaker Pelosi support legally requiring the speaker of the House to release his or her tax returns? Will Speaker Pelosi release her tax returns for this year and the previous 9 years?

You can bet the answer is "NO" and many in Congress has refused to. What are Pelosi and her cohorts hiding?

So why should Trump release his tax returns when the Democrats aren't willing to respond in kind?

IRS officials have said taxpayers under audit are free to release their returns. 

Just because the IRS says taxpayers under audits are free to release doesn't mean that they have to or are required to. They have the option and Trump has taken the option not to release, which is his privilege.

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Posted in: Trump says he made Golan Heights decision after a quick history lesson See in context

What isn't mentioned in the article and discussed is that a substantial amount of oil and natural gas reserves was discovered on the Golan Heights. That's the real underlying reason Israel wants it and U.S. supports it. Under the current legal condition, oil in the region cannot be commercially extracted and traded on the international market because it would violate UN resolutions . Recognizing Golan as a Israel territory would unlock the legal impasse and oil could be legally traded with the U.S. along with profitability to investors.

So that explains Trump's "snap decision" to recognize Israel's claims on the Golan Heights.


The politics always boils down to oil and energy and who gains to profit from it, doesn't it?

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