hammereddownnail comments

Posted in: Japan eyes first-strike capability, Marines in defense policy update See in context

It has only become politically feasible within the past couple of years.

Let me finish that last sentence for you.

It has only become politically feasible within the past couple of years..... because of borderline fascist politicians nationalizing islands, planning to revoke previous apologies for Japanese atrocities in mainland Asia, and other attempts to fan the flames and provoke a response from neighboring countries, with the Japanese electorate falling for it hook, line and sinker.

The ease with which the Japanese can be manipulated in this way by appeals to their sense of 'patriotism' is the reason why this push for greater militarization could be the first step along a path that does not lead anywhere good for East Asia.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan eyes first-strike capability, Marines in defense policy update See in context

You are confusing the two issues I see

Boosting military capacity is boosting military capacity. There is only one issue here. It makes no difference whether or not you use some smokescreen to explain it or not.

Of course, from the broader perspective, this wouldn't be happening if the USA didn't want it to be happening, and the motives for the USA allowing this to happen and the LDP/Japanese rightwingers wanting this to happen are different.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan eyes first-strike capability, Marines in defense policy update See in context

It's about time! Japan needs to have the legal capability to defend it's allies if they are under attack

Hahaha. Are you trying to portray this start of a new arms race as an altruistic gesture? Does Japan have any allies that need it to defend them? All the countries nearby don't exactly like Japan, and its main ally, the USA, certainly doesn't need military help to defend itself (although they would like someone else to bear some of the costs of standing up to China in East Asia).

Of course, in theory, Japan should have the same right to arm itself as any other country. However, I have absolutely zero faith that Japan will ever have the kind of level-headed, charismatic, and reliable politicians needed to harness and control a major military/industrial complex. With many more decades of economic/population/social decline looking inevitable for Japan, I think this arms race could become the main way that Japanese politicians think they can retain the country's dignity...

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: 1,000-yen Mt Fuji climbing fee begins on voluntary basis See in context

around 10,000 mountaineers will pay the entrance fee over the 10-day period

Ugh, similar to the Japanese habit of standing in a massive queue for entry into a restaurant that was recently featured on TV rather than going to other identical ones nearby without a queue.

The whole point of going out to nature should be to get away from it all. There are 20 other mountains over 3000m in Japan, where you can avoid that spirit-crushing feeling (that I get at least) that pervades when entering into 'zones of Japanese tourism', full of people wearing identical hats and carefully packed rucksacks, and following guides holding up flags. [rant over]

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Widow of famed painter Hirayama concealed assets to avoid tax bill See in context

That's not the point, the point is the government being able to take half of what you own, money that has already been taxed once.

"The TV told me that the phrase "being taxed twice" means that I won the argument. What do you think Bubba?"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Widow of famed painter Hirayama concealed assets to avoid tax bill See in context

Starve a government of taxes and you create efficiency and reduce waste. Governments are just corrupt gangs that confiscate money from the productive people in a society.

Go live in Somalia or some other place without a functioning government, then we can really talk about corrupt gangs who confiscate money.

Taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society. The endless problems with democracy in its current nascent form and with governments are not reasons to do away with them, they are reasons to work to improve them. Failed states today and history from times when there was almost no state make this clear.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Widow of famed painter Hirayama concealed assets to avoid tax bill See in context

the taxman is never happy until he gets every last single yen he thinks is due

Do you or do you not believe the law, as it is written, applies to all people? Even if you don't believe in the concept of parking tickets, you wouldn't try to use that argument to avoid paying one. The same applies to tax.

You or others can work to change the law regarding tax (I'm sure you'd get a lot of wealthy donios to help), but this is not about that. It is about people who don't follow the law being treating accordingly... like criminals.

Incidentally, this short video is interesting in this context. http://www.openculture.com/2010/10/malcolm_gladwell_the_good_life_high_taxes.html

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Widow of famed painter Hirayama concealed assets to avoid tax bill See in context

I reckon, given that the pro-tax avoidance/evasion comments here seem to be studded with phrases like "death tax", the source of most of these comments is Americans. Ultimately, many of these opinions arise from the attempt to delegitimize the concept of 'tax' in general in the US media over the last 30 years, in part because the people with most to gain from not paying taxes are the people who control the news that US citizens hear.

Very few people in the rest of the world have been raised in this climate. For the rest of the world, the idea of championing those who break or subvert the law for financial gain, especially when it is so clearly to the detriment of the country as a whole, is just weird. Almost as if these opinions have been carefully placed in people's minds...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Widow of famed painter Hirayama concealed assets to avoid tax bill See in context

Death and taxes; the two things in life that we are sure of.

Unless you are rich, or a multinational corporation with offshore affiliates for "accounting" purposes

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Widow of famed painter Hirayama concealed assets to avoid tax bill See in context

@Himajin

I hear what you're saying, but compare it with the American system, where any decent-sized accumulation of wealth means that your descendants, often as far as four, five or six generations down the line, will never have to work a day in their life.

Much of this excess wealth wouldn't be used for productive purposes, it would just be used to increase property portfolios so that they can continue to siphon off money from other people via rent, or put into trust funds for 20 odd years, so that the next generation can live a life of luxury, too. I say tax them until it hurts. Inheritance tax is one of the best ways to avoid the development of an entrenched aristocracy.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Tokyo pledges 'model' drug-free Games See in context

Canadian Dick Pound

Hahaha

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Posted in: Tommy Lee Jones to visit Japan to promote 'Emperor' See in context

Where did you learn your history, wikipedia? America dominating the globe? At the end of WW II, the only thing Americans wanted to do was GO HOME. I know that's what my dad wanted to do.

Well - there is what your dad wanted to do, and then there is what America wanted to do, and I'm afraid the latter took precedence.

... or has the US ended up with military bases in 63 countries out of the goodness of its heart and concern for the well-being of the world's citizens? lol@uramericanhistory

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Tommy Lee Jones to visit Japan to promote 'Emperor' See in context

Keeping the Emperor alive would have served "American" interests? As if post-war Japan had anything of interest to America? The place was just about worthless, I think that there are some people who a revising history here and implying that Japan had some value after the war.

Japan has been America's major pawn in East Asia for nearly 70 years now. Why do you think Japan has almost no foreign policy (besides economic foreign policy)? Whether as the base for supplies or as a launching pad for dropping a few million tons of chemical weapons on Indochina or as conservative stronghold to limit the spread of communism and to limit China's power in the region, Japan was key. At the start of the occupation, the Americans (rightly or wrongly) believed that keeping Hirohito in power would keep the Japanese on their side, and make them more malleable as a useful tool to dominating as much of the globe as possible throughout the 20th century and beyond.

It seems to have worked very well

2 ( +5 / -3 )

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

Judge Tomoko Tanaka ordered that the mother pay a total of 95 million yen because she “provided insufficient guidance to the child that may have prevented this accident.” Several netizens called for a stricter license system in Japan.

Just ridiculous! The Japanese still don't seem to understand that sometimes, bad stuff happens. Even if everyone in the country wears a face mask, if everyone goes for a full-body medical checkup every three months, if no one goes outside when it's too hot or too cold, if every child is wrapped up in cotton wool and forbidden from playing outside, if everyone has bought separate insurance for their pets, their teeth, etc., if every housewife spends 10 hours a day removing 'germs' from throughout their houses, bad stuff still happens.

You also can't legislate in an attempt to prevent bad things from ever happening, and fining a single mother the equivalent of a lifetime's salary doesn't help anyone except the insurance company.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Toyota heir takes center stage in drive to shed 'boring' tag See in context

“I am at the top of Toyota and drive cars myself,” Toyoda told reporters... “I was also born with this name.”

Well, I pity the PR team who have the job of making a middle-aged Japanese salaryman seem charismatic. Good luck with that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested after 90-year-old mother found dead in apartment See in context

Maybe he thought that if he could keep receiving her pension for a few years, then he could pay for her funeral.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Man nears half-century on Japan death row See in context

@CrazyJoe

I once read that Japan's conviction rate is 99.98%. It means that the system is working.

No - it essentially means that the trial itself is (99.98%) irrelevant. It means that it is actually the proceedings prior to a trial that decide whether you are guilty or innocent. This includes 20+ days of forced detention, without a lawyer present, with no recording of what went on, and with frequent forced confessions, which alone can be used as a basis for conviction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Man nears half-century on Japan death row See in context

@KariHaruka

The only cruel act in this whole thing are the murders of innocent people by these murderers.

I'm going to try to explain it simply to you Kari. (1) Murder = bad (2) Death penalty/life imprisonment of an innocent person = also bad

(I have no idea if (2) is the true here, but try to think a little deeper than (1) sometime)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Man nears half-century on Japan death row See in context

"Japan is very advanced country in the human rights. Why you laughing? Shut up! SHUT UP!"

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Facebook time See in context

Shinzo: You have a friend request from Toru Hashimoto: Accept or Decline?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Shop 'til you drop See in context

Tourists are welcomed. Customers are welcomed. But please take a rest at appropriate place. Please.

I suppose you're right, but there are almost no public roadside benches anywhere in Japan. Of course, the Japanese are too busy working/studying/being bossed around/taking 10 photos a minute while on holiday etc. to have time to sit down and enjoy the view, but some benches might be useful for foreign tourists.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Defiant Ecuador drops U.S. trade deal over Snowden case See in context

You liberals make me laugh, you think that Ecaudor thumbing their noses mean anything to the US. The bad thing is, the innocent poor people of Ecuador have to suffer because of this. The man didn't win anything. This is a huge loss for Ecaudor. For the US, it's like, "Oh, well" for them. That's going to bite them hard.

The Threat of a Good Example - Noam Chomsky http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/ChomOdon_Example.html

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Defiant Ecuador drops U.S. trade deal over Snowden case See in context

This is getting stranger and stranger by the minute.

If it had been a member of some Chinese security agency releasing information about mass Chinese spying on this, that and the other, then you and most Americans would be praising him as an upholder of truth, human rights and so on. There's nothing strange in thanking nations or individuals for standing up against undemocratic activities and those who spy on their populations, whether the party at fault is America, China, or whoever.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Defiant Ecuador drops U.S. trade deal over Snowden case See in context

If it wasn't for the fear of being tracked by the NSA, I would write a comment stating that it's about time someone mentioned the level of American hypocrisy because [...... deleted in the interests of national security]

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Australia harpoons Japan's whaling program at U.N. court See in context

Whales are just fishes. Reducing their population will increase global food supply of fishes and planctons.

The problem here is that, in major organizations and the media in Japan, there isn't much of a custom of different opinions having to compete with each other in terms of their validity in order to be accepted. Instead, conclusions are reached by 'consensus' or at the whim of the most senior individual in a group.

As a result, ridiculous opinions can become widespread or even reach the status of 'common sense' in Japan, such that senior diplomats really believe they'll be considered credible when they stand up in front of an international audience of human rights specialist and claim that "Japan is one of the most advanced countries in human rights" or in front of an audience of world-leading marine scientists and say "whales are big, so they eat a lot of fish, so killing lots of whales will give us more fish".

If they offer these opinions in front of a Japanese audience or in a Japanese media interview, they'll rarely be challenged, such as by bringing up the 99% conviction rate or the concept of food chains and the importance that they aren't disrupted.

However, when Japan realizes the ridicule that such 'common sense' opinions are met with upon exposure to the outside world, they retreat behind their beloved status of victimhood ("Japan bashing") or the unique Japanese culture ("no one understands us because no one can understand us"). There doesn't seem to be anyway to avoid this cycle.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Suga stunned at Hatoyama's Senkaku remarks on Hong Kong TV See in context

The whole incident in nothing but pure propaganda by the current government to stay in powers and pretend to be tough

Thumb up! Every news cycle that Shigeru Ishiba and the others can hijack with BS about being tougher than the other guy regarding China/Korea etc is a news cycle not spent discussing things that really matter to people's lives (but that politicians of all stripes are unable to improve), be it food prices, radiation, employment conditions. Will the national ownership of a few abandoned rocks in the middle of sea make any difference to the lives of Tokyo or Beijing residents?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Suga stunned at Hatoyama's Senkaku remarks on Hong Kong TV See in context

Storm in a teacup?

So to paraphrase, all he said was, "given the disinformation in the Chinese media about the islands history, it isn't surprising that Chinese people believe that the islands should be part of China"

That sounds reasonable, but easily misconstrued if you just read the bold text above

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Suga stunned at Hatoyama's Senkaku remarks on Hong Kong TV See in context

This is a consequence of the Japanese approach of always trying to say what you think the other person wants to hear, and not really having any fixed beliefs yourself.

The Japanese, like an onion... many layers, but no core.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Posted in: Christel Takigawa appointed 'Cool Tokyo' Ambassador for Olympic bid See in context

As this is now essentially a contest about which country is most likely to passively accept massive debt and future declines in the standard of living in exchange for government vanity projects and artificially propping up the economy, and given Japan's excellent track record in this regard, I think it's all over bar the shouting.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: What is the craziest thing you have done in Japan? See in context

This one time, I turned on the air-con in the office a day before the designated date.

I once didn't put on the special slippers to go to the toilet

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites


©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.