Japan Today

hoipolloi comments

Posted in: Nuclear power to grow despite Fukushima, IAEA head says after meeting Kan See in context

China is already spending tons on researching thorium based reactors. They will lead the way in this sort of electricity generation.

There is also research being done on oil produced by algae. This oil is a full replacement for traditional drilled oil in that it can be used to make plastics, allows existing infrastructure to be used (gasoline engines, gas stations etc.), and be refined to desired grades (jet fuel, kerosene etc.). Take a look at oilgae.com.

I can only imagine what could have been had even part of the money that was spent on nuclear reactors in Japan could have been used to fund public research on alternative energy sources, an open grid with many competing companies using a variety of clean, non-nuclear waste producing electricity generation methods generating electricity and new jobs for the economy. One can dream...

If only nuclear power was used as a temporary measure before transition to cleaner alternatives. Only the most forward thinking of private companies would think of putting resources into researching alternatives that would replace their main source of business.

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Posted in: Lee says Japan lawmakers in danger if they visit disputed island See in context

I wonder what the American response to this is.

Maybe Lee is also in on this charade to distract attention away from Fukushima and the contamination of food produced all over Japan. Granted this will also garner more points for him locally in SK.

If the 4 LDP members being sent are high-ranking types, nothing will come of it except how courageous they are in fighting against their hated enemies, the Koreans. If they're low-ranking stooges groomed for taking abuse, uh-oh.

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Posted in: Norway killer's manifesto praises Japan for not adopting multiculturalism See in context

OK, yeah I think this is a problem with semantics. I can see why you consider Japan to be "multicultural" since it adopts many different things from other cultures. Pizza does not cease being Italian even if it has been assimilated into the culture (although I have met an ossan that insisted to me that the Japanese invented curry among other bits of wisdom but I digress). Chopsticks do not cease being Chinese even if they have been assimilated into the culture (although I have been complimented on my skill in chopsticks and have been asked where I learned to use them although I look Asian but I digress again. Any other Asian non-Japanese have this kind of experience or am I the only lucky sap to have experienced this level of condescension?). Fine. But forgive me for not seeing how the importation of inanimate objects / concepts can be a useful definition of multiculturalism in this current context.

The Japanese like Italian food and using eating utensils instead of having to use their hands before chopsticks were introduced but how would most react (honestly) to Italians or Chinese suddenly living in their neighborhood?

What most of us are concerned about is the multiculturalism related to the people of different cultures and not the things from those cultures. It seems Japanese want to take only things from other cultures without having to interact with people from those cultures. This is the extent of their multicultural ambitions and the level we want to talk about multiculturalism (or the lack thereof) in Japan as referred to by Breivik in his manifesto; that the interactions between people should define the standard of multiculturalism in a country and not in its importing of foreign products for domestic consumption / purposes of fashion.

That being said, the killing of children at the youth camp was in effect killing the future leaders of a more open Norway. The more heinous the crime he can commit, the better chance of becoming front page news around the world and therefore garnering attention for his cause. In that regard, he has succeeded maybe beyond his own expectations. This is probably the most he can do as an individual in working towards such a grandiose plan as to change the direction of culture and politics of all of Europe. He has taken cultural conservatism to its most practical and logical ends.

Given the backlash towards his actions however, this act might (hopefully) act as a catalyst for more serious progress in openness and multiculturalism around the world and that these events will push more people will start to think more critically of conservative rhetoric in light of these events. Breivik considered himself to be a martyr for his cause but I actually hope that the opposite will happen and that the people he killed will become the martyrs for a more open society around the world as Norway was trying to progress towards (one can dream...).

Breivik's plans were years in the making, spent 300,000 euros of his own money for his cause including writing his 1500 page manifesto. He has left ample material for other people to probe his mind. Whatever anyone may think of his actions, everything he has left behind deserves investigation to find the reasons why something like this could occur and how to prevent it in the future.

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Posted in: U.S. issues worldwide alert against al-Qaida attacks See in context


Defense contractors and their benefactors would beg to differ.

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Posted in: 1-yr-old baby girl dies after being left in car for 6 hours while parents play pachinko See in context

So... which clinic does the husband work at...?

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Posted in: Tech leaders ponder future of mobile phones See in context

He spoke of the ubiquity of a device that knows I am at Starbucks and that I read The New York Times when I am at Starbucks.

It's not privacy invasion. It's a feature!

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Posted in: China high-speed train crash fuels safety concerns See in context

Apparently this is all over the Internet in China with many Chinese citizens angry at the government. There have been protests at the Chinese railway ministry and the buried wreckage has now been unearthed and has been transported to the next nearby train station (apparently for investigation). This is according to local Japanese morning news.

Things are apparently going well due to the amount of exposure the accident has generated. If only the same could work here in Japan...

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Posted in: Norway killer's manifesto praises Japan for not adopting multiculturalism See in context


Give it a rest. Even the majority of Japanese themselves consider themselves to be monoculturalist. Even our resident representative of Japanese nationalism Kentaro75 talks about this in a post in this thread. Japanese borrow bits and pieces from other cultures and assimilate them into theirs.

As chewitup suggested, read about the history of Okinawa and the Ainu and see just how Japanese "multiculturalism" has worked in the past.

The "vast cultural rainbow" in Japan between the various regions that you refer to is akin to comparing the "cultures" of whites between different states in the US of A. Texas accent vs. Brooklyn accent? Niigata-ben vs. Hiroshima-ben? Tex-mex chili vs. New York hot dogs? Takoyaki vs. Kyo-ryouri? Is this the extent of your definition of multiculturalism in Japan? Rearry?

Religion in modern Japan is a joke in terms of the amount of influence it exerts in modern life. Strong foreign cultural influence in Japan amounts to Tokyo Disneyland, Louis Vuitton and eating at an "Italian" restaurant on the weekend.

For all practical intents and purposes, Japan is a homogeneous monoculture with fringe elements that the status quo find helpful in defining / refining that monoculture. I don't see why you want to believe otherwise when even Japanese themselves are saying so. What exactly is your reason for pushing this issue?

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Posted in: Japanese bus driver apologizes to victims over fatal crash in Utah See in context


I know right... Ford should also be liable for designing the S350 to be so boring that it puts drivers to sleep.

We know we can always point to Toyota for such EXCITING design features in their computer controlled "braking" systems and driver side floor mats. Those would never put drivers to sleep! Oh wait...

I'm glad that the passengers were all Japanese because they were anything but this accident would have become an international incident.

Has there been any apology/compensation from the tour company? If not, why not? Although it's not a stretch to guess why... Seems like Mikuni is being shafted from both ends for being unable to say 'no' / being overworked to the point of negligence. Oh hey, there's another reference to Toyota again!

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