Hito Bito comments

Posted in: Kishida, Yoon agree to restore ties, address N Korean issue See in context

lol. And so the cycle begins...again. New five year, lame duck Korean president. Cannot run for a second term.

Year One: New Beginnings, handshakes and rosy talk from the leaders themselves

Year Two: Walk-back of New Beginnings, no more direct talks of leaders, no more handshakes at PR events

Year Three: Lose local parliamentary elections, Introduce "Limited Protections" against Japanese "cultural and tech imperialism"

Year Four and Five: Outright protectionism, Visits to contested islands, Court confiscations of Japanese assets and pre-planned "protests" against Japanese "imperialism"

(Bonus Points: President Indicted on Corruption Charges, hamstringing any and all "outreach") Sigh...

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Posted in: Crown prince, 6 other imperial members to attend Abe state funeral See in context

The prince has put on a fresh coat of black, it appears. Reminds me of that happy American ad jingle from the 80s (which, funny enough, originated from an even older song from the musical "South Pacific"): "I'm gonna wash that gray right outta my hair!.." lol

"i cant find any information if Abe was cremated or not..."

Could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the only people who do not get cremated in Japan are the folks in the Special Family like the ones you see in the pic above...

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Posted in: U.S. and Canadian warships sail through Taiwan Strait See in context

China's hissy fits expose their impotence. As if they really expected everyone to lie down and surrender whenever they make some illegal claims regarding open navigation accepted by the entire world save one unfree country, this after directly threatening the Taiwanese by shooting live missiles over the island.

Russia similarly expected the world to lie down and surrender when it launched its so-called "special operation" in Ukraine...how's that working out for China's Best Buddy Putin? Behold the "mighty power"...down to scrounging North Korea for superannuated artillery and Iran for "high-tech" (lol) drones! Pay close attention, Xi, and be very, very careful, because the world's telling you as plainly as possible: the quickest way to bring your country to ruin is through an aggressive, unprovoked invasion of Taiwan...

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Posted in: Kishida calls for U.N. reforms to address Russian aggression See in context

Reform of the UN? Don't make me laugh. They've talked "reform" of the UN almost as long as it's been in existence, without admitting the obvious: the UN is a relic of past realities, of a past war settlement from a time when 70% of the "the world" weren't even nation-states, but rather colonies or protectorates.

What' is Brazil's, or Germany's, or India's, or even Japan's record internationally anyway? When the rubber hits the road, as it were, what did they contribute? And what would make, say, an India which not only refuses to condemn outright invasion, but also seeks to personally profit from it, any more appealing than, say, China's own well-known global opportunism?

Let's face it: the UN "works"...except for all those times when it doesn't! lol. And as for creating any international new organization that can both supersede the UN while also diluting the power that those on the present Security Council now enjoy, deserving or not? lol. Good luck with that!

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Posted in: Hopes grow for win-win effect of inbound tourism in Japan, weak yen See in context

lol. You see? Win-win! There's no downside!

lol. No, your savings didn't lose almost 30% in value compared to other currencies. No, your paycheck, if in yen, won't lose more a further 10% purchasing power again come October, when 95% of food producers raise their prices by that much. And no, your heating, gas and energy bills won't wise any more than they've already done this winter. Even if they will...look on the "bright side!"

Win-win! A boost in tourism which accounts for less than 3% of GDP in total. And you get to work harder for less equivalent cash and purchases each week. What's not to like?

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Posted in: There are serious doubts about the eligibility of the group, formally called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, as a religious corporation. Many say the government should file with a court for procedures to disband (the Unification Church) under the Religious Corporations Act. See in context

lol. Has anyone noticed how quiet ruling-party-partner Komeito has been through all this? Komeito, the political wing of the undisputed king of pressure-cult-masquerading-as-psuedo-religion, aka, Soka Gakkai and its "venerable dear leader Ikeda Sensei".

Komeito sit in government, keeping the LDP in power for over a decade, while everyone (media included) look the other way...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Over 75s top 15% of Japan's population for 1st time See in context

"over 65s, or seniors, accounting for 29.1 percent of the population, or 36.27 million people"

That in-country group of retirees is about as large as the entire population of Poland!

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Posted in: Kishida cabinet support rate drops to 40.2%: poll See in context

Just wait until next month, when a new fiscal year begins and...everyone in Japan hikes prices bigly!

From Reuters: "Nearly 80% of Japan's listed food companies have either raised prices this year or plan to do so, four times the ratio of last year, according to a survey by private research firm Teikoku Databank.

"These rises affect more than 20,000 food items, which will go up by an average of 14%. One-third of the increase is scheduled to take effect in October, a sign that inflationary pressure could intensify later this year."

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Posted in: Japan logs record August trade deficit on weak yen, costly oil See in context

Hope Japan got a discount for their serial (and apparently limitless) sanctions evasion practices....

"Japan, imported over 200% more natural gas from Russia in August compared to the previous year, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday, citing data from Japan’s finance ministry.

Japan shipped 450,000 metric tons of LNG from Russia last month — a 211.2% increase from August 2021."

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Posted in: From carmakers to refiners, U.S. industries brace for rail strike See in context

Suddenly, Democrats go all silent in their support for "collective bargaining" and pro-labour policies. Typical!

Take as much union cash as you can get with one hand, and slap the union members in the face with the other!

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Posted in: Japan warns of intervention; BOJ conducts 'rate check' over yen's fall See in context

The global markets and speculators in general are going to bet big that they have more cash on hand than the Japanese Government does. They do. They're going to bet that Kuroda and the BOJ will be forced to break from near-ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), even if Kuroda's myopic "qualifications" for doing so haven't been fulfilled.

In the end, the markets will win. We'll soon see the charade of Japan's "fiscal uniqueness" come crashing down. And anyone here trying to tell you that maintaining a 266% debt to GDP is "just the way central banking works" should be totally ignored...

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Posted in: 'Succession' and 'Squid Game' big winners at television's Emmys See in context

The Emmys. lol. How many categories are they up to now? Hundreds of awards each year? Several hundreds of categories?

Whenever I hear "Emmy" I always chuckle at the memory of a scene from The Sopranos. In it, a degenerate gambler-slash-washed-up screenwriter JT Dolan gets in over his head playing cards in a high stakes game and owes money to AA companion/mobster Chris Moltistanti.

After getting roughed up, Dolan scrounges for cash, taking his Emmy to the pawn shop. The cashier offers him...$15 for the award! "Aw, come on, man!" Dolan screams in desperation. "15 lousy bucks? This is An Emmy!!" The uninterested reply, "Maybe if it was an Oscar..." lol.

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Posted in: With all the bad news in the world, whether it is the war in Ukraine, coronavirus, climate change , economic problems or political divisions, do you sometimes get tired of the news and just "switch it off?" See in context

Nope. It's better to be depressed about news events and to learn to cope with/put it into its proper perspective than it is to allow oneself to become ignorant of facts and events. Much as you try, you just can't have all yin with no yang; can't have all good and no bad. That's fantasy, not reality.

If fact, I'd submit that it's exactly this willful choice to be ignorant that makes a lot of the bad news begin in the first place!

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Posted in: U.S. angers China with potential $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan See in context

I am encouraged by the quality of and understanding found in the above comments. People are getting it: China is the aggressor, and their chickens are coming home to roost. This is the decade in which the world and China learn this: China needs the outside world waaaaaay more than anyone outside China needs it!

The world MUST now do to the unelected communists in Peking what those communists positively FAILED to do themselves at the start of COVID: CONTAIN THE SPREADING THREAT AT ALL COSTS.

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Posted in: Gorbachev's tragedy - a flawed reformer on an impossible mission See in context

Gorbachev ironically thought he could give people more freedom, while keeping the coercive Communist Party as the monopolizer of all aspects of political expression. He insisted that, inside the confines of the Party, a measure of "openness" would spread, without damaging the prerogatives of the Party itself. What he failed to see was that it was HIS PARTY that had long been THE stumbling block to all "openness" in the first place! So why even keep it going, many began to wonder?

It should've been obvious that the very first thing people would do with their new freedom is to criticize the party and its many failings. Yeltsin used this masterfully, using Gorby's restrictive "openness" and working against the party from within the party, until he became a bulldozer of Communist Party power by reigniting Russian Nationalism so that Russians demanded that Russian interests should take precedent. "This is a union of Socialist Republics? OK then. And Russia, being the most powerful of all, must have the premier slot, must come first before the rest. Primus inter pares!"

(You can imagine all the other non-Russian republics happily following Yeltsin's lead, claiming that THEY too had to put THEIR republic's/enthnicity's interest before the "party unity", to the point of demanding independence FROM Gorbachev's beloved party)...and STILL Gorbachev clung to power, insisting that his broken, bankrupt Party must come first, that any move towards democracy must provide his party with unfair starting advantages no one else was afforded...until an attempted coup sought to put Gorby's Glasnost genie back in the bottle...and Gorby himself faded into irrelevance, and the USSR ceased to be because nobody wanted or needed it anymore!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Travelling to Miyajima and Itsukushima Shrine? Best to be a glass-half-full type of tourist See in context

This article is written like a stalker followed "Mari" around the entire time! "After Mari did X...Mari thought Y...Mari thought it would be best to do Z..." lol. Weird, man!

Miyajima Island is one of my favourite places in Japan. The ferries are purposely affordable, unlike many cool destinations here. You can pack a lunch to save heaps on food. Hike a little bit outside the downtown area and nature overcomes you. The hike up the mountain is not too bad, and the view from the top is superb. Yeah, the gate is wrapped up, and was that way when I went in early 2020. But oh well...

Oh, and pro tip, skip the overpriced "shika senbei" and just pull some leaves off the trees for the deer to eat. They went CRAZY when I did that, especially cherry and momiji tree leaves, and I couldn't shake them off for quite a while! Suddenly, dozens of Japanese tourists took my lead and did the same, with happy results for all! lol.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Mikhail Gorbachev's death mourned as passing of rare leader See in context

The irony of Gorbachev is this: we now celebrate the man for what he FAILED to do; for what his FAILURES brought about.

Gorby tried with all his heart to salvage the USSR, to keep it going, empire and all (minus Afghanistan, which he quickly abandoned), until the economic and social policies he misguidedly enacted grew beyond his control and led to the exact OPPOSITE of his aims: the total COLLAPSE of his beloved Soviet Union, and the end of a need for a General Secretary Gorbachev in the process!

As bad as the USSR was for its people, it provided some measure of stability. Gorby's policies removed that stability, and also took away their "pride" in being a "world power", so it's little wonder that Russians despise him for it. They now hate Yeltsin, whom they lionized at one time. And soon, the same dislike will be felt for all the destruction the vile (ras)PUTIN is presently set to bring to the Russians...some things never change!

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Posted in: Japan cannot make itself more secure just by increasing its defense spending. Enhancing Japan’s defense capabilities could appear threatening to others in the region, leading them to respond in kind and leaving no one better off than before. See in context

That's basically the gist of it, Paul. "Don't do anything while rivals ramp up offensive military spending, because if you respond, YOU're the one at fault!" Smh.

Nobody forced China to become so aggressive towards its neighbors, or to develop a "Lone Wolf" predatory, zero-sum view of cynical diplomacy. Nobody told China to lie to the world while weaponizing illegal man-made islands with offensive missiles. Nobody but China threatened the peaceful nation of Taiwan with war. Nobody forced North Korea to start developing nukes, or to start shooting missiles over the heads of innocent civilians.

Japan is simply returning to the real world, making its own decisions regarding defense as any other sovereign nation has a right to do. The "arms race" in Asia was started by one country only: the misnamed People's Republic of China.

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Posted in: South Korea to end pre-departure COVID test requirement for inbound travelers See in context

I'm waiting for Japan to stop requiring tests to get into the country. They've stopped testing on arrival, which is great, and they've dropped the useless quarantining, too, for vaxed people. (So many of the old rules were just silly: no public transportation for arrivals, but taking a taxi home? No problem!? lol.)

One more step: no more COVID tests prior to departure. Take their temperature pre-boarding. Normal temp levels? Yokoso Japan! This Pan-demic is at an End-(emic)!

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Posted in: Why do Japan's opposition parties seem unable to field candidates who can oust the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from power? See in context

First: what's the record for the Opposition in power? How did they manage government during the years (admittedly small in sample size) when Minshuto was in power? Hatoyama? (Suddenly quit and ran away from all politics after less than a year in office) Kan? (Presided over the Fukushima meltdown) Noda? (Does anyone remember anything about this guy now? lol. Oh yeah, he presided over a crushing sales tax hike, pushing the country back into recession.)

As for the rank and file candidates? Some might be good, but the platform of their party seems suspiciously vague, and when the so-called "moderates" align their "moderate" party with the Communists like they did last time round..well, let's just say that makes Japanese people suspicious about said "moderate's" true intentions.

Japanese for the most part are default conservative. The culture is default conservative. They tend to think about the person's association/party even before they think about the individual's merits (it's not "Hi I'm Taro...from Minshuto" it's "Hi I'm Minshuto's Taro") And there is a major tendency here to think that a person who is in power "deserves" to be there...all this and more...

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Posted in: Democrats: Abortion rulings may be 'a blessing in disguise' See in context

funkymofo: Ted Cruz? What?

I quoted a DEMOCRAT from Virginia. Straight from the horse's mouth. Ted Cruz has NOTHING to do with my quote.

Ralph Northam, Democrat, former governor of Virginia said that (he's also a happy wearer of KKK costumes to parties, by the way, but hey, that's perfectly excusable for Democrats, too, since they re-elected the guy even knowing this! But that's a different topic.) He's a doctor!

Once the storm broke out due to the, you know, HONESTY in his messaging, he immediately refused to say any more on the subject. Now, no Democrat will answer the questions: "How far does your extremism with abortion go? Does it go even to birth and beyond? Where do you draw the line?" They simply will say "I believe in the right of a woman to choose". NO EXCEPTIONS. So what are we to make of that??

It's supposed to be a secret. Just like this left-slanted article from the left-slanted Associated Press, the spin is that the "extremism" is all on one side, when in reality there's a world of variance in what one state does versus another, what one anti-abortion activist thinks versus another. lol. The monolithic extremism is with the Democrats! To refuse to say that killing babies that can be viable outside the womb, or killing babies that are already born might not be so good...That's not extreme?? lol.

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Posted in: Democrats: Abortion rulings may be 'a blessing in disguise' See in context

You're doing a great job of evading my question! lol. You said it was...what was it? "Literally completely untrue" that Democrats will NOT limit their abortion extremism in any way, shape or form.

You're doing my work for me! Change the topic, ad hominen arguments! I'm still waiting for a single Democrat on record stating there are limits to the murder they are in favour of. You should be able to provide HUNDREDS of examples, right? But you cannot find even one?

Here's a quote from a Democrat, a doctor, on his willingness to allow murder to even viable, post-partum children with no defects at all: "“In this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother...” (about if they want to kill their child lying beside them.)

Your turn! Name names, please, or get off...

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Posted in: Democrats: Abortion rulings may be 'a blessing in disguise' See in context

2022, sorry.

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Posted in: Democrats: Abortion rulings may be 'a blessing in disguise' See in context

Name names, please? Just one.

Go ahead. We're all waiting. Name one Democrat that is running in 2020 and has set limits on when a woman can legally kill their child.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Posted in: Democrats: Abortion rulings may be 'a blessing in disguise' See in context

"...egg which was inseminated three days ago..."

There it is! Straight to straw man silliness. lol. If you're brainwashed enough to think this is about "three day" situations, I don't think you can be brought to see the reality. You're just not interested.

Ask any Democrat, any at all running for power positions, if they would place ANY limit on ANY abortion procedure. They will refuse to answer. After 5 months? No. After 8 months? No. After birth? No comment.

Will a single Democrat say that "A viable baby, born full term and still unwanted by the woman, should not be killed"? Not a single one. Even then, they stand for a "woman's right to choose" (death for the child).

Take your "three day egg" trope somewhere else.

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Posted in: Couples who divorced after decades of married life are at their highest rate since 1947, when statistics were first available, according to Japan health ministry data released on Aug 24. Why do you think this is? See in context

Simple, really. Most husbands in the traditional Japanese mold spend all their productive lives at work, leaving the wife to fend off boredom/raise kids/keep house mostly on her own.

After 30 years of having a Ghost Husband, one who is only truly home for brief spells of sleep and food, suddenly the Ghost is Home Forever, moping around the house, complaining about this and that, ruining the old daily routines, unaccustomed to being "retired" and discovering, like the wife, that an aged, unsympathetic stranger is set to share both residence and life until the very End?

After 30 years of living apart, both sides might conceivably find that the person they thought they married long ago now bears little resemblance to the aged stranger they presently find invading all aspects of their once independent lives?

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Posted in: Abe's accused killer says in letter, tweets his life destroyed by mother's religion See in context

Oh, the poor, poor Murderer! Tears for the Assassin! The Associated Press in this hideous article comes dangerously close to making justifications for the culprit of this heinous crime...for what again? For Abe being responsible for his Mummy's life decisions? Really??

How does that work again? There are parents who spend all their money at pachinko parlors, leaving nothing for the kids: maybe that kid would be justified in doing violence to a pachinko parlor worker? Or what about Warren Buffett, one of the richest men on earth: he's planning to give away all his money, and takes the attitude that giving inheritance to unproductive kids is a bad idea..,Anyone else "sympathize" with the kids of Warren Buffett? Should those kids have "rage" at their father's spendthrift charity, or maybe they should put all their anger on Bill Gates instead, whose Fund is the benefit of all of Daddy Buffett's billions?


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Posted in: Prime Minister Kishida should seize the chance for talks as the West lacks a strategy to end the Ukraine war. See in context

lol. Japan to the rescue? Is this "professor" being serious?

The strategy of the West is Attrition. The sanctions were for long, not short term, effect. Russia's stalemate situation isn't changing anytime soon, and when Winter arrives, they'll be sitting ducks for all those wonderful new offensive weapons the Ukrainians are being trained in right now. Oh, and watch out for those freezing temps and lacking parts and tech! Whatever Russia does, it has to keep shipping out more, more, more oil and gas or risk needing to cap those wells...forevermore?

Japanese "mediation" would be a sad spectacle of impotence by comparison.

Did Putin just call for his army to be expanded by over 100,000 new troops? Yes, yes he did. Why does he need more troops, one wonders, if everything is going so swimmingly??

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Posted in: Mitsui, Mitsubishi to keep stakes in Russia Sakhalin 2 energy project See in context

Well, time to add two new companies to the boycott list. I know, I know, my investments are only a blip. I don't care. I don't reward companies that do things I don't agree with. Period.

Thanks for the tip.

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Posted in: What do you think the global community's relationship with China will be like over the next 12 months? See in context

TLDR version: In a word: Consolidation.

Comment: The so-called "global community" (lol) will continue to consolidate its relations with one another, continue to build new arrangements that will help weaken China's ambitions and stifle its predatory economic and diplomatic aggression. Supply chains will diversify. Military pacts and coordination will intensify, and a general global disdain for the Communist Party's "lone wolf" style Sino-Chauvenism will continue to fester around both Asia and the wider world.

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