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Hikozaemon comments

Posted in: Hashimoto's feud with Asahi resurfaces See in context

The apology isn't even owed by Asahi specifically to him - the reason for the enormous apology was of course the offensive of the tone of the article toward buraku people, a constituency Asahi traditionally has defended and stood up for. They used a racist and broadcast prohibited term - "burakumin" to describe him, which is again, the equivalent of NYT calling someone the n word. The apology was as much to buraku ("Dowa") people as it was to Hashimoto.

Now whether the new writing is as much of a slander - it seems not. But for a publication that has already openly declared itself a political enemy of Hashimoto, it is understandable that this, combined with the discriminatory language it used against him in the past gives him a heightened sense of outrage at criticism from them that he believes is inappropriate or unjustified.

And if you like Asahi and hate Hashimoto, fine - but then consider how this stupid episode has put the Asahi and its ability to criticize Hashimoto legitimately on the back foot. Just a bone headed move by them, and a sign of why the left in Japan is in such complete overall disarray at the moment.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Hashimoto's feud with Asahi resurfaces See in context

The left wing pathologically politically correct Asahi, in it's desperation to attack Hashimoto - who made himself an enemy for his union busting politics that got him elected in Osaka - previously resorted to pulling out racial incitement using his buraku background in order to cast him in a negative light. While the Asahi is a champion of anti-discrimination and equal rights, it was so blindly full of hate for Hashimoto that they actually attacked him as a buraku, breaking one of Japan's few actual anti-discrimination laws that the Asahi was prominent in lobbying for, in order to attempt to slander him.

They did the equivalent of the New York Times attacking Dick Cheney as the son of a "dirty Jew". So YES, of course the apologized on two pages, and yes, of course the Asahi president stepped down.

And yes, when they start up on attacking Hashimoto again, who rose to prominence as a talented attorney, of course he is going to start talking about taking legal action.

Love or hate the man, the Asahi lost its mind in going out to attack him.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Noda tells of nights of hard drinking with Geithner, Cameron See in context

This actually explains much of his prime ministership.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Have Japan’s anti-smoking laws gone too far? See in context

Erm, how old is this...?

The DPJ has been out of government for a while now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Taiwan adds new ships to patrol disputed islands See in context

If Japan transfers sovereignty of these islands to anyone other than the US, I hope it is Taiwan. Just a nice way of saying screw you to China.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: China plans to send surveyors to disputed islands See in context

Japan should seriously propose the relocation of Futenma airbase to these islands...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Korea’s ban on pachinko gambling sees increase in gamblers coming to Japan See in context

Last time Abe was in power, he considered banning pachinko and was asked not to by the South Korean President Roh, because of the detrimental effect such a ban would have on the South Korean community in Japan, which is prominent in pachinko owning (as are North Koreans). It looks like this is another new flow of cultural exchange - Japanese go to Korea for cheap plastic surgery, Koreans come here for abortions and and pachinko, both of which are illegal in South Korea.

I tend to agree that pachinko should be more regulated in Japan also.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe tells Obama Japan will join child abduction treaty See in context

This is a good time for the US to make demands of Japan - the DPJ so badly damaged relations, and the LDP is so desperate to patch things up that the US will likely get its way on pretty much anything it asks for during this summit. Futenma relocation - done! Osprey deployment issue - what issue?! Negotiations for lowering of agricultural subsidies to join the TPP - we're still figuring out how to break that one to the folks back home, but consider it done!

All Japan wants in return is a reaffirmation of the US security commitment to Japan, in the face of rising Chinese aggression. And a good thing too - because frankly, the US, democratic presidents in particular, tend to have no stomach for confronting China, especially in favor of Japan.

But the US should favor Japan. It is America's most loyal ally, it is democratic, PRC unilateral actions against its neighbors are disturbing and unacceptable, and number three economy ain't number 2, but it is still pretty damned important.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: China slams Abe over comments in Washington Post See in context

Someone slap me. I'm finding myself totally in agreement with Shinzo Abe...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Standing up to pee 'a matter of honor' for one man See in context

Another fun stat - most guys presume they have good aim, and don't think their droplets on the floor are that big a deal when they miss them. But we pretty much feel the same as women when it comes to nearly standing in the urine of others.

It is a bit like driving in that way I suppose. I don't think Japanese have particularly better or worse aim than anywhere else. The article is also somewhat inflammatory framing this in terms of "Japanese pride" also.

That said, anyone who knows what Japanese marriages are like - the woman rules the home - and if hubby is not allowed to stand and hubby doesn't like that, life can get very unpleasant for the husband (don't forget, in most homes in Japan, the wife controls the bank account and husband's income, as well as pocket money allocations to the husband and so on).

In my experience, resistance is pretty much futile. Just thank heaven for smartphones.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan expected to ratify Hague Convention on child abduction See in context

tmarie - the reason the Hague Convention was agreed was because divorce and nasty child custody disputes are so COMMONPLACE in western cultures. Japan is only catching up.

Family law in Japan is still based on the time and age that divorces were almost unheard of and reserved for extreme cases, of death, or violence, or extreme abuse. Divorce is treated as a de facto death of the father in the family in most cases.

Japan's Family Law has not kept pace with the reality that more and more people with young kids do divorce now - and that divorce rates are particularly high in international marriages.

The issue is of Japan catching up to the west in nasty divorces and custody disputes, not of such things being some special problem in Japanese culture.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan expected to ratify Hague Convention on child abduction See in context

This article is a bit of a mess. It makes valid points but gives the wrong impression that things like access of fathers to kids are something that the Hague Convention would fix.

Just to be clear, the Hague Convention is a procedural convention, set up to resolve situations where (1) parents in divorce proceedings get conflicting custody orders from family courts in different countries, or (2) where parents seek to gain an advantage in family court custody proceedings by taking their kids to another legal jurisdiction.

The convention is a mutually agreed mechanism to determine (1) which family law applies, and (2) where the proceedings should take place. And "wrongful" removal of a child is not inherently prohibited by the treaty. The stability and interests of the child are prioritized. Even a kid wrongly taken from the US and brought to Japan in violation of a custody order can become settled in life in Japan, attending school and making friends, whereby Japan becomes the "habitual residence" of the child. In such a case, the treaty would say that the Japanese family court would have to resolve the custody issue, but applying US family court principles.

The issue here is that courts will always clearly find ways to favor the law and principles they know over those of another jurisdiction. I find it hard to believe that a Japanese court will ever grant joint custody applying US family law, or indeed, that a US court would block paternal access to kids in the way a Japanese court would. But this is what he convention is for - settling the procedure so you don't get conflicting orders. Signatory states "trust" the family law systems of the other countries to handle cases appropriately.

The cornerstone of the convention is "habitual residence". If a parent removes a child from a jurisdiction to gain an advantage, the key is for the other parent to act before the residence of the abducting parent becomes the habitual residence of the child, thereby getting an upper hand in terms of forum, even though in theory, the forum is supposed to apply the law of the other country. So a parent can still theoretically benefit from child abduction, even with this convention. And it will not be a great help to the many foreign mothers and fathers that have tried for years to get access to their kids in Japan. In fact, my fear is that this convention will remain a sort of false hope, given that in most old cases, the kids will undoubtedly be determined to be in Japan now as their habitual residence.

The article is right to address the more important issue of domestic family law, and the definite anti-father bias that exists therein, among other issues, including the lack of a concept of joint custody. This lack of compatibility with other family law systems is partly why signing up to the Hague Convention has been a challenge for Japan. There is indeed some hope that it may be a source of external pressure for Japan to bring its family law legislation more into line with other countries. But that is a separate issue.

What hopeful parents tied up in messy child custody cases need to understand is that the convention is not in and of itself a solution to their issues. It is merely procedural and only likely to be of benefit in new cases of recent abductions.


6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Standing up to pee 'a matter of honor' for one man See in context

I fought and lost that battle a long time ago - I haven't stood up to pee at home in years now.

Now the complaint I get is that I take too long. I figure if I am not allowed to stand up and am going to sit down, I might as well take the iPhone with me and get some reading done or clear another level of Grand Theft Auto.

Sometimes you can still win by losing.


1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe pledges to resolve island dispute with Russia See in context

Loving the intellectually lazy comparisons to the Senkakus.

The Northeast Territories were inhabited at the time of occupation. The townspeople and landowners from the islands are still alive, and Russia allows them to make periodic visits to tend to family graves and the like on the islands.

Japan has also never been silent or acquiescent on its claim to the islands like China was for 100 years. Japan has never conceded sovereignty of the Senkakus, unlike Breshnev who proposed returning two of the islands. Russia and Japan have never signed a peace treaty specifically because of this issue - Japan and China happily founded diplomatic relations with the issue set aside in 1972.

The last time the Senkakus was inhabited was when it was used as a mackerel processing center during the war. There are no Senkaku refugees or landless from this dispute - there is a whole town of islanders in Nemuro waiting to return to their property that Stalin took before putting them into gulags for up to 20 years after the war.

Oh yeah, but these are all exactly the same, I forgot...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Chinese frigate locked radar on Japanese navy vessel See in context

Avigator - the conclusion to the thesis points out China using military force in any way to resolve the conflict is dumb, and that sharing the resources around the islands (another thing China stopped doing years ago after the original agreement to jointly drill for gas).

The author rules out pretty much all solutions as unfeasible. Which leaves the islands under status quo Japanese control.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Chinese frigate locked radar on Japanese navy vessel See in context

China is testing Japanese defenses and reactions - and Japan is basically unable to respond to these tests.

Today, coastguard ships spent 14 hours around the islands, the longest yet. Chinese navy is starting to more aggressively test and challenge the JMDF, and planes keep testing the resolve of Japan to respond.

The point of all this is China is looking to creep in to exercise control, confirming carefully at each point that they can get away with doing a new act, and that Japan will not respond. You know South Korea would respond with missiles if a coastguard vessel got near Takeshima, just as China would respond with force if Japan tried any of these steps against Chinese territory.

It is a slow invasion - something unaccountable dictatorships have the luxury of time to enable them to do. One day Japan is going to wake up and it will be Japan knocking on the door of these islands, rather than the other way around. Without direct intervention, with assistance by the US, China isn't going to stop escalating until it has taken control of them from Japan.

And frankly, I don't think the US wants to know about this. And if Japan reacts, as it is being provoked to do, PRC has a news story to distract the disgruntled 600 million affected by the unprecedented government failure to control air pollution and focus anger on Japan instead once again. It's all win-win for China.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Minister calls judo beatings Japan's worst sports crisis See in context

Can someone remind me how many women Judo athletes were cremated without family consent after being beaten to death by dojos that were also, at the same time engaged in professional match fixing?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP, partner on track for big election win, latest surveys show See in context

Thomas - I disagree, DPJ changed LOTS. They basically reversed nearly every manifesto promise and as of now, are practically a slightly less popular reincarnation of the LDP. I'm amazed at how much they've changed. Just unfortunately, nothing that they were voted in to change...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP, partner on track for big election win, latest surveys show See in context

Smith - I call the Future Party the "Ozawa Party", I have even called the LDP the "Incompetent Rightwing Maniacs Party" at some point. I call the parties what they are. If you are not smart enough to know that Komeito - founded by Daisaku Ikeda himself, located within a few hundred yards of his house, funded by SGI members, campaigned for by SGI members, unquestionably controlled by Ikeda is not a political front for the religion (which is a lovely group of very nice people that I have no problem with whatsoever), then I don't think you can really comment much on politics. I suggest starting with a lookup of the Komei League on Wikipedia. Komeito only disavowed links to SGI probably under legal advice that the JCP's threats of getting it liquidated as breaching the constitution were technically valid.

Komeito is a secular unaffiliated independent political body, in the way that pachinko is not gambling, and "health bars" are not brothels. They are illegal entities that the public willingly accepts and looks the other way upon - as they should. The constitutional separation of religion and politics imposed by America is an anachronism, and should be among the first thing to go when LDP amends the constitution. And if that happens, I GUARANTEE you that Komeito will go back to being an out of the closet religious party, as it already is. Which is cool - they are Japan's version of Germany's Christian Democrats. All good - but they ARE the Soka Gakkai Party, and EVERYONE knows that. No one would dream of voting for them otherwise.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP, partner on track for big election win, latest surveys show See in context

Mod - Apologies - cut and pasted too much - can you please remove?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP, partner on track for big election win, latest surveys show See in context

It also amazes me that the Soka Gakkai Party stays in bed with the LDP throughout all this. The one thing I respect about having unconstitutional religious parties (like the Happiness Realization Party also) is that you at least expect them to exercise some kind of moral compass when making political decisions. Yet, here they are having rubber stamped previous nationalist reforms when the LDP was in power before, and promising to do so again helping Abe back into power. They are SUPPOSED to be against revision of the constitution - although if the polls are right, and they actually find some backbone, LDP will just get help from Ishihara and JRA instead to amend the constitution. But if track record is an indicator, LDP probably won't even have to do that. Komeito is in it for the power and the influence being in bed with LDP brings the "backers" of the party, even if among them are Shintoist nationalists that contradict the basic values and tenets of the party.

It seems like JRA, DPJ and Komei will be vying around 10% to fill the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place - the DPJ may very well finish third the way things are going. Which means (1) recommencement of nuclear power, (2) an end to administrative reforms and a full continuation of administrative guidance reinstated under Kan and Noda, and (3) back to old school LDP economic management.

Given the track record of LDP and Komei together, I almost hope JRA comes in second, just to shake things up. It looks like all the actual left of center parties (JCP, Ozawa Party and the Socialists) are languishing in the 3% or less category.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to postpone talks with N Korea See in context

Let's hope North Korea uses the extra thinking time this gives them before they talk to Japan again, to really think of the benefits to them of continuing to hold onto the Japanese citizens they abducted.

It's a shame that this kind of thing has to prolong their captivity and suffering in North Korea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Google sets up face time between politicians and voters See in context

I don't think Google set up Facetime (tm), but they did Hangout (tm).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China opposes U.S. bill amendment on Senkaku dispute See in context

Last week China was claiming Hawaii right in front of Clinton. Nice to see the US standing up to put an increasingly out of control PRC back in its place.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: S Korean soccer player gets 2-match ban for displaying political banner at Olympics See in context

I still think that (a) given he was found guilty, (b) he is such a patriot, and (c) his medal is still being withheld, he should not be exempt from military service like his teammates, who got it as a reward for winning their medals.

I think he should be given the sign, and a uniform, and left to hold it proudly in the air atop Takeshima for 4-5 years national service.If you think about it, it's a win-win!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's anti-nuclear groups join forces ahead of election See in context

Oh the torture. Can people here support a party backed by Ozawa?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Keidanren chief calls Abe's BOJ plan 'reckless' See in context

Serrano - Taiyo no To is dissolved and a member of Ishin no Kai now. And to answer your question, Komeito (the Soka Gakkai Party) looks likely to get about 4-8% of the vote, maybe more than Ishin and retain current third place. And if you want more choices, there are 17 parties again now with the governor of Shiga forming a new party.

Japan probably has among the most diverse representation of small parties of any country in the world.

However, what is absolutely clear is that the next government will be center right, based around Abe as PM and the LDP.

The good news is that the LDP will not do anything the BOJ or Ministry of Finance thinks is a bad idea. They do as they are told - and don't worry about them feeling pressure from anything they say before the election. Government under the LDP will run essentially almost the same as it does now. Tax boosts locked in, slow restarting of nuclear reactors, as DPJ is committed to, will probably proceed with the TPP as part of their commitment to fixing the US alliance.

I'm pretty sure Abe's talk of BOJ intervention is bluster to scare the markets into lowering the yen. Keidanren, which has been begging for a lower yen, is playing along here - heaven forbid they should appear happy at attempts to manipulate the currency to their benefit.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: LDP remains election favorite - poll See in context

Globalwatcher - there are only three issues for this election:

TPP yes or no Sales Tax increase yes or no Nuclear Power yes or no

All parties are pretty much lining themselves up around those soundbytes.

Ozawa and Ishin are talking about administrative reform, SDP is talking about US military forces in Japan, Ishin and LDP are talking about constitutional reform and militarization. But the rest is all just soundbytes.

Politicians do not run, or have much meaningful power in Japan, especially under the LDP. This election is meaningless as a result. I don't see what there would be to emigrate over. Nuclear power perhaps, if that really bothered you... But what else?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Governor promotes Fukushima rice at Tokyo supermarkets See in context

Zichi - so what are you going to do? Cook your own food 3 meals a day?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Fewer Japanese view China positively: poll See in context

Warispeace - so you are saying that the months of anti-Japanese pogroms and riots in China on the news is Japanese Right Wing mind control and propaganda?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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