Japan Today

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Posted in: Monetary stimulus not enough for Japan: German finance minister See in context

Schaeuble said Japan knows it must find a solution to its structural problems

“If monetary policy is used instead of financial and economic changes, then we run in the wrong way,” he added, speaking through an interpreter.

Japan knowing something, and actually doing something about it, given the dysfunctional political system, are two different things. IMO, Japan running "in the wrong way" is far more likely.

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Posted in: Japan blames sabotage for record low whaling haul See in context

Sea Shepherd committed “unforgivable sabotage”, Hayashi said, according to Kyodo News, including a collision with a whaling vessel as it was being refueled.

I think most people outside of Japan would use the word "unforgivable" to decribe Japan for conducting their slaughter in the first place, not Sea Shepherd in trying to stop it. Especially since it costs what it does, and over 300,000 folks are still homeless in Tohoku.

“We will seek more support from other countries to conduct research whaling in a stable manner,” the minister said.

Yo, good luck with that.

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Posted in: Japan's automakers lose ground in China See in context

The numbers don't add up.

Japanese automakers’ collective share of China’s passenger vehicle market fell to 12.5% at the end of February from 16.4% at the end of last year

Meaning there was a fall of 3.9%, while;

German brands in particular have taken advantage and claim 19.3% of the market, up from 18.4%

The top rising group, the Germans only gained 0.9% meaning there was a drop of 3.0%- in overall car sales.

It's not Japan losing grounds, it's Chinese economy slumping with car sales as an indicator

Samurai -- I did re-read the article, as well as your initial post (above), and you are COMPLTETLY WRONG. The fact that Japan lost 3.9% market share, while the Germans only gained .9% share, is in NO WAY an indication of the fact that Chinese car sales are slumping. LIke I said, you are mixing apples and oranges in analyzing the percentages. I sure hope you are not responsible for analyzing statistics at your company. And my B.S. in economics and MBA stand behind that.

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Posted in: Japan's automakers lose ground in China See in context

SamuraiBlue -- afraid you need some remedial math. You are mixing apples and oranges -- market share percentages with market growth and sales growth percentages. You can't do that. In reality, Japan's market share dropped almost 25% -- from 16.4% to 12.5% -- and that is HUGE. Much larger than the 3.9% number you reference implies.

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Posted in: How healthy a food is sushi? See in context

It's polished white rice, sugar and dead fish. Not a veggie in sight, apart from the occasional bit of cucumber.

LOL. The Japanese have among the world's highest average life expectancies, have for decades, and Cleo trashes one of their most traditional meals, because it does not please her Vegan sensibilities. Gotta love it. And in case you missed it Cleo, "dead fish" isn't such a bad thing. In fact, fish is one of the key elements in the "heart-healthy" Mediterranean Diet, that is increasingly popular here in the states.

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Posted in: TEPCO takes blame for Fukushima nuclear crisis See in context

“Our safety culture, skills and ability were all insufficient,”

Ya think? Pretty much covers all the relevant areas -- not enough thought to safety, lacking the skills needed to manage nuclear power, and the ability to respond in a crisis.

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Posted in: Property tycoon accused of tax evasion posts Y500 mil bail in cash See in context

So just keep his 500 million bail and call it even. Apparently it is just walking around money for him, so he won't miss it.

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Posted in: Japan's jobless rate up to 4.3%; prices, manufacturing fall See in context

underscoring the fragility of the recovery of the world’s third-largest economy

What recovery? Having the governor of the BOJ say it don't make it so.

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Posted in: Why Japan is winning and 'Western management' isn’t See in context

Complete hogwash. First off "lifetime employment" is not mangement. It is a societal value reinforced by numerous rules and regulations which make it virtually impossible to fire an individual employee, no matter how poor their prerformace. Second, the actual measure of management is how well it utilizes this resource that it has been given in the form of lifetime employees. And since Japan's domestic effciency rate, as well as profit margins, are among the worst of the major economies, you'd have to say they are failing miserably at this. Finally, one of the key measures of mangement is its ability to set strategy for companies and build organizatons that can adapt to a changing environment, especially in the 21st century. Again with an economy in close to its third decade of stagnation, and major firms like Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, etc. bleeding red ink and having their bonds classified as junk, you'd have to Japan is woefully deficient here as well. Respectfully, this article reads like a term paper for a business major at a Japanese university. Not to be taken seriously, and no better than a "C+".

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Posted in: Japan 4th in world liar rankings See in context

Absolutely no surprise to anyone who has spent any significant time in Japan. Since there is no sense of guilt in Japan, lying is no big deal. It is getting caught that leads to shame that is an issue.

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Posted in: Italian court orders retrial in Knox sex-murder case See in context

The U.S. as a country believes that a person can't be tried twice for the same charge, as in this case. Italy already had its chance.

Bryan -- exactly. This is why the U.S. has the "double jeopardy" laws. If the Italian justice system erred by finding her ot guilty, they don't get a second chance.

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Posted in: Gov't to examine electoral system after lawsuits over vote disparities See in context

Observers say the legal challenges are aimed at bringing moral pressure on politicians of all parties to alter an electoral system that has become weighted in favour of those living in rural areas

Leave it to Japanese politicians to frig up a free lunch. As Yubaru says:

One Person One vote! How hard is it?

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Posted in: To dye or not to dye? See in context

Probably a good thing since that awful shade of "dog-poop" brown that many ladies get from the cheap, do-it-yourself hair dyes is not attractive.

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Posted in: Japan's ambassador urges U.S. to endorse Japan's TPP bid See in context

He said Japan is sensitive to the concerns of U.S. industry, and he urged the U.S. to be sensitive to Japanese agriculture, in pursuit of the “higher goal” of building regional free trade

Clever strategy. Japan knows it would lose this debate on simply the merits of "free trade" since Japan will almost certainly try to exempt their "sensitive" categories, and then likely throw up lots of non-tariff barriers to undermine the agreement in many others, as they have always done. So, instead, they are playing the political card, and, read between the lines, trying to play the U.S. off against China. In other words, play ball with us, U.S., or we'll play ball with China. But, they need to remember that all treaties need to be approved by the U.S. Congress, and the members of Congress listen to their constituents, who care most about jobs, and not a bit about Japan or China.

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Posted in: The ideal nutritional proportions are 50 to 60% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and the rest fat. See in context

A cup of boiled edamame will give you somewhere in the range of 30 grams of protein.

Yum, yum. No thanks. I'll gladly get my protein from chicken, fish, pork and lean beef. My taste buds like the variety. Besides, in many counties, you can afford to do so. LOL.

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Posted in: Do you think the Bank of Japan can get the economy out of deflation? See in context

These dudes are really playing with fire here.

gaijinfo -- spot on. Creating inflation merely by printing more money, like you said, and spending wildly on pork-barrel projects is not a long-term solution. It simply masks the underlying problems in the Japanese economy that caused deflation in the first place and does not create the pressure needed to re-structure the economy. So in two years or so, the country'sdebt to GDP ratio will be well over 250%, and the cost of needed imports, like fuel and food, will have gone sky high due to the weaker yen. Which will eat into people's already razor-tight budgets. Then what do they do?

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Posted in: Japan posts Y777.5 bil trade deficit in February See in context

Exports to China in February dropped 15.8%, partly due to the territorial spat and also the effect of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

Shipments to Europe, a key market for Japanese products, tumbled 9.6 percent, while exports to the US market climbed 5.7 percent from a year earlier.

I hope all you folks who say Japan doesn't need the TPP are reading this and can put aside your anti-U.S. sentiments for the good of Japan. Tade with China will always be precarious due to the nature of the political relationship between the countries. Europe is struggling to avoid an economic meltdown. Only the U.S. can be Japan's reliable trade partner -- strong enough to lift Japan's all-important exports. Facts don't lie.

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Posted in: U.S. senators want no exemptions for Japan over TPP See in context

“As we look at Japan, why in the world would we believe at this point that this would be any different?”

Like myself and others have been saying for a long time, Japan needs deals like this more than the other countries need Japan to be part of it. Most developed countries, especially the U.S., are fed up with Japan's antics and know there is very little upside for their companies. Japan's days of growth are long gone and so they cannot bluff their way through anymore. Face reality folks, Japan Inc's protectionism worked great before the bubble burst. But now with an economy that has gone nowhere in over two decades and a shrinking/aging population, that model is completely obsolete. But since that model has bred a generation of corporate leaders that only know one way to manage, and rely on the tariffs and other trade barriers to mask their comapnies' inefficiencies, Japan is between a rock and a hard spot. I hope these senators hold Japan's feet to the fire. For Japan's sake.

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Posted in: Fukushima to get 20,000 cherry trees on 190-km coast See in context

with organizers saying they want something to welcome nuclear evacuees in three decades’ time.

Talk about a meaningless gesture that will only let these "organizers" feel better about themselves. Most of the evacuees, unfortunately, are well on in years and will never likely see these in "three dacades". Why not focus on real reconstruction, rather than gestures? Of, right, I forgot, we are talking about Japanese government.

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Posted in: Japanese diplomat in San Francisco gets year in jail for wife abuse See in context

“As of today he is the vice consul, and I emphasize ‘as of today,’” Watanabe was quoted as saying.

He pleaded guilty back in December. Why is he still a government employee? What kind of message does that send?

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Posted in: Matsuzaka doesn't make Indians' roster See in context

what a burn out..

Acclerated no doubt by him being guilted into playing for Japan in the WBC and not allowing his arm to get the rest it needed. Hope Japan got the value from that wn, because the BoSox certainly did not get value for Dice-K. He cost them over $1 million per win in his career. Good to see Darvish learned this lesson and did not play in the recent WBC.

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Posted in: Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan' See in context

sorry, typo " so your simple minds"

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Posted in: Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan' See in context

Truly wishful thinking from a China supporter's point of view.

Ossan, first off, the fact that I think Abe and his foolish, history re-packaging form of patriotism is dangerous to stability in Northeast Asia does not make me a "China supporter". But you neo-cons like to place labels on people soyur simple minds can wrap around things.


Please read the above articles so you can get a real picture of what's going on.

Insult other poster's intelligence if you want, but not mine. Don't refer me to "Stars & Stripes" and a couple of OPINION pieces in the Sydney paper as "articles" intended to provide the real picture. Keep that logic for your fellow FOX News types, where preaching to the choir is held in high regard.

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Posted in: Japanese media, fans rue Japan's semifinal exit at WBC See in context

“Japan batters came under pressure after Maeda yielded a run,”

Yup. When your style is based on bunting, even a one-run deficit is a lot. Especially against teams like PR and the Dominican, that have great athletes who can play "small ball" if needed, but can also hit for power. This time around, at least, the better athletes beat the better "team".

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Posted in: Panasonic to scale down TV business See in context

Panasonic was sideswiped by slumping sales on the back of the global slowdown and also took on huge restructuring costs, which contributed heavily to its bleeding bottom line.

No, it got "sideswiped" by failure by management. It gambled too heavily on plasma technology while SK was making LCD's better and cheaper. Too much arrogance and inward focus.

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Posted in: Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan' See in context

Nervous? We (the United States) have been pushing constantly for this since 1950.

Ossan -- nonsense. While it is true that the U.S. has favored Japan taking a greater role in international missions, including mutual self-defense, the LAST thing Obama wants right now is a potentially more unstable Northeast Asia caused by Abe deciding 51% in the Diet is enough to change the Japanese constitution. The U.S. is already trying to find a delicate balance between China, Taiwan and Japan -- not wanting to infuriate China based on its long-standing agreements with the other two. Plus the Kook in NK is causing the U.S. enough difficulties without Japan throwing more fuel on the fire. Not to mention how SK would respond to Japan moving in this direction. You need to look at the big picture and also recognize that Japan has ZERO credibility right now with Obama and the U.S. going back to Hatoyama, so, there is plenty of nervousness about this in the U.S.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan free trade talks with EU a 'masquerade' - Ford See in context

American cars are designed to fail and become unrepairable after a few years.

Jim -- HOGWASH. Please get up to date on reliability rankings. You are still stuck in the 90's.

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Posted in: Record high cesium level found in fish by Fukushima plant See in context

High cesium level found in fish by Fukushima plant

Isn't "high" a wee bit of an understatement????? I think 1,000 times the legal limit qualifies for a little more than "high". How about "record"? Or "atronomical"?

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Posted in: Pope wades into crowds, surprising onlookers See in context

and delivering a six-minute homily — brief by church standards — in the Vatican’s tiny parish church,

Wish my priest had done the same. He spoke for twenty minutes about Pope Francis, but the pope only took six -- go figure.

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Posted in: Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan' See in context

Abe said in January he intends to change the constitution, by modifying an article which stipulates that amendments need a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Very foolhardy and dangerous. No wonder both Japan's allies, like the U.S., and its neighbors, are going to be nervous. A constitution is supposed to be a document of basic principles for a country, not a political one subject to the "flavor of the month". Abe and his cronies who seek this concept of a "proud Japan" do not seem to have truly learned the terrible lessons of the past.

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