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Ignatius comments

Posted in: Fiennes defends playing Michael Jackson, colorblind casting See in context

I wonder what would happen if a white actor was chosed to portray Martin Luther King in a movie about him.

It's not as if this would be a "blackface" performance of a bygone era.

Perhaps we should think about the conviction said white actor had towards the man and the role. The very fact that a white actor would be honored to play Dr. King is testimony to the fact that we've come a long way since segregation ended.

King himself said that he envisioned a day when "black children and white children would play and school together, in peace", so perhaps one of these white kids grew up and was flattered to land the role of Martin Luther King in a movie or documentary. How better to appreciate a man's experience than to step inside his shoes and become him for that role?

Personally, I think Dr. King himself would approve. It would be a tribute to his legacy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Should the statue of a girl dedicated to the memory of Korean women forced to work in Japanese military wartime brothels be removed from outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul? See in context

How about they leave the statue, but add in her Korean pimp and Korean family counting their money from selling her to the pimp? If we're going to tell the story and remember, then let's tell the whole story and not try to frame it merely for political purposes. That would provide the most justice for the women and truly make sure it doesn't happen again, by shaming all that had a hand in it, and not just casting out the sins into the Japanese.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: 72-year-old woman arrested for killing bedridden son See in context

The health care in this country is to blame for this woman and her plight, surely there must be some help ?

It's not only Japan, unfortunately. In fact, I'd say that the US is much, much worse on this front. If you don't have the right insurance, you can be kicked out of a hospital or nursing home even when you still have MAJOR medical issues, such as infected wounds, pneumonia, etc. and they won't even give it a thought! Women are kicked out of the hospital the day after (sometimes THE day) childbirth.

Nursing homes here cost on average around $8,000 per month and up to $12,000 per month for a decent one. All you really get for that is a shared (two bed, not private) room in which you get a crappy TV, and nurses to bring you 3 crappy meals a day, and administer your medicines. How in the world can that be worth any more than $1,000 per month? These homes are almost all FOR PROFIT and there are no regulations on what they are allowed to charge. Even an ambulance ride can end up costing upwards of $1,500 WITH insurance!

Since most people struggle to earn $3-4,000 per month clear of taxes, how in the world could they afford a nursing home especially in retirement, without becoming a huge burden on their children? They would most likely have to take out a loan just to pay for their parent's nursing care, as insurance does NOT pay for that.

As the other readers mentioned, this poor mother was probably at the end of her rope and dealing with the caretaking of her son all alone, without any help. Since the bedridden can't do for themselves (and sometimes develop dementia) they don't refrain from calling out and some cases screaming for help 24/7, which can lead the caretaker to exhaustion and depression. Poor mom here must have been despondent and seen no other way out.

How society can expect a single person (or even a family where one or both members are working) to perform the caretaking of a bedridden individual is beyond me. Many times, the afflicted simply have had an accident or turn for the worse health-wise and aren't at fault for their condition.

We have no issue spending society's resources on incarcerating criminals, and giving them free healthcare, meals, and free (albeit spartan) accommodations. So why do we have such a distaste for helping the innocent (caretakers and their charges) but feel a duty to protect felons?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Full plate for Indian entrepreneur See in context

I actually wandered into this restaurant one day a number of years ago after a client meeting I had in Kamiyacho, and it was indeed quite good. One thing that catches me about the title though is that Mr. Raj is noted as being an entrepreneur, which I suppose anyone that starts up a business is indeed. But it also states that he works full-time at a bank as well? It would seem that ten years would be enough time for a restaurant to either "make it" on its own or not.

Seems that Mr. Raj has 3 restaurants now and is still working at a bank though. Perhaps I'm behind the times, but most companies that I've worked for had a very strict policy against outside employment or financial interests. Since he says that the lunch business is very important, and also states that he works at the bank from 8:30 to about 6:30 or 7pm, am I the only one that sees a conflict of interest? So, if one of the 3 restaurants has an issue or an emergency that his workers can't handle, which is the priority...his "day" job or the restaurants? I would think that a bank would demand his full attention, especially in something as crucial as IT, where the business is exposed when systems are down. I would also think that co-workers would feel demoralized if he was off dealing with phone calls from his other businesses while he was on the clock at the bank.

As a parent, I would also want someone starting up a school to be accessible to me at all times. If there was a problem with the school or a teacher that was not to my satisfaction, then I would want to speak to the operator directly, when I want to...not after 7pm when his day job is over. The care and education of children is a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly, and I didn't really read anything in this interview that gave the impression that he wanted to undertake it for the right reasons, other than a "business idea" and not the welfare of the children that would be under his charge.

I wish Mr. Raj well, but I think that perhaps he has too many irons in the fire. It's fine for him personally if he wants to work that much, but it seems unfair to all the other stakeholders in the businesses that he is currently undertaking or planning to undertake. I've found the old adage "you can't serve two masters" to be largely true throughout my own life.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Suspect in Kobe girl's murder to undergo psychiatric exam See in context


Or do you think people with broken legs should be vilified for being "lazy"?

We're talking about a man who had the presence of mind to try and cover up the murder, even going so far as to dismember the poor girl's body. Wasn't very bright by dumping in a woods close to the apartment building, but he had it together enough to realize what he did was criminal and wrong and he made significant efforts to dispose of the corpse.

Comparing this to someone with broken legs as being lazy is really no logical comparison at all. But now that you mention it, someone with broken legs should probably know better (or whomever is his guardian) than to try and get on a ski lift, or escalator, or into a swimming pool. Attempting to do so would pose a risk to himself and the others around him.

If he is legitimately looney, then he should have been institutionalized earlier on and he would not have been in a position to do harm. Even if he is a little "feeble-minded" the horrific nature of this crime shows that he has no place or no use to as you put it, "civilised society".

What I find really ironic about institutionalizing him now is that the state (ie taxpayer) will spend huge sums of money on either "warehousing" him or trying to "rehabilitate" him, rather than spending one corn farthing on helping the family of the victim.

You wouldn't throw good money after bad on a car that was broken beyond repair, and I certainly don't wish any of my own money to benefit Kimino in any way. Civilised would be allowing him to be executed by lethal injection, then allowing him to have a proper burial, with his body in tact at the time of cremation.

He didn't allow that little girl the same dignity, and was perfectly willing to let her body lie in the woods in a plastic bag as if she was a piece of garbage. He gets no sympathy from me, and doesn't deserve to be weighed on the same scales of justice as the rest of "civilised society" in my opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan arrests Chinese fishing boat skipper over coral poaching See in context

There are such laws. The trick is in apprehending them. For example, this article alleges there were a hundred Chinese boats fishing for coral. Earlier this year there were hundreds of Chinese boats illegally fishing in Korean territorial waters.

Indeed. And Japan has every right to enforce them.

How can you catch that many when they all run as soon as they spot a patrol boat? The Chinese government should inform their fishermen that they should not intrude into other country's territorial waters or be poaching endangered species.

Japan should send the ASDF out to strafe all these ships in finds in the Ogasawara area as it is not disputed. If China currently claims that this is not an official harassment tactic against Japan, then these ships are renegade criminals and China has no right to complain when Japanese aircraft sink all they can find.

Would make for good target practice for the ASDF too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 66-year-old man arrested over death of 92-year-old mother See in context

Actually, I'd like to see the two of you care for an elderly relative and keep the same holier-than-thou attitude. Unless you've had to do it for yourself, you have no idea what it's like. I don't condone violence or murder, but perhaps you should walk a mile in a caregiver's shoes before you pass judgement.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Sino-Japanese War still stings China 120 years later See in context

We know China is 4.5 times of US and is 14 times of Japan in terms of population. It is a huge consumers' market. The Koreans are currently reaping in all those economical benefits.

The size of the Chinese market doesn't matter as much as everyone makes it out to be. China is already experiencing a decline and will not be able to sustain its consumption levels. If there are only 200 million people with any sort of affluence and the rest are dirt poor, then what makes China unique from Africa or Latin America in that respect? You see throngs of Chinese immigrants in all the developed countries around the world, and that flood shows no sign of stopping. Perhaps those that have lived under the "miracle" know better and are voting with their feet as to whether the Chinese miracle will last or not.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: S Korean president meets Tokyo governor See in context

Masuzoe made a courtesy call at the presidential Blue House, which Park used to reiterate Seouls demand that Tokyo make proper redress for grievances related to its 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula.

So the current Governor of Tokyo can't be received as a guest, but is used by Park as the lighting rod/conduit for transgressions from 70 years ago, which he had nothing to do with?

In particular, she highlighted the plight of so-called 'comfort women' forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels, the Blue House said.

SK was not worried about the plight of comfort women when Japan paid reparations to SK. They took the money and used it instead for their own political purposes, and the 'plight' which Park speaks of was conveniently ignored by the SK government. If they really cared about the 'plight' they would have used the reparation money JUSTLY to compensate the victims at a point in their life when it might have actually made a difference to them. Braying on about it now 50 years after the fact is disingenuous, and shows that SK is once again putting political motives ahead of the 'plight' of the comfort women.

'The issue of comfort women is not merely a bilateral one, but an issue related with general human rights,' Park was quoted as saying.

No, in this case it IS a bilateral one. Seoul needs to be (very) publicly brought to task over what happened to the money the Japanese government paid in the 1960's that was meant to alleviate the plight of the 'comfort women', as it was earmarked for that purpose and that purpose alone. The South Korean government CHOSE to use it to industrialize the nation and build infrastructure. That was their choice. See below:

South Korea agreed to demand no further compensation, either at the government or individual level, after receiving $800 million in grants and soft loans from Japan as compensation for its 1910–45 colonial rule in the treaty.

Take note of the point " SK agreed to demand no further compensation" above. They have obviously broken that term of the contract, and Japan should consider any financial claims permanently resolved. No matter what anyone thinks or feels here, this was an agreement willingly signed by both parties, with neither one of them under duress or coercion. If you owed a debt to a bank, paid it in full (or paid a settlement amount that both parties agreed to) and then continues to send you bills saying your debt was not paid off because the president chose to "take his directors out on the town" with your money, and not apply it to your debt, then that is the bank's problem and not yours. The bank's claim would never stand up in court, and this is pretty analogous to what SK did with the reparation money. Japan paid in good faith, and SK used it for a purpose that it was not meant for. Again, their call and they need to be taken to task over it in front of the world.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: China holds ceremony to mark Sino-Japan war See in context

Imperial Russia took a huge part of China's land in the northeast, which to this day still forms a huge chunk of Siberia. Since they got their lands back from Japan almost 70 years ago, I have to wonder why they don't seem to peep up much about the Russian land-grab which still affects them.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan hits back at China for criticizing Abe's remarks See in context

A furious Wang accused the two...

Certainly don't want to be accused by a furious wang ^_^

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor unveils plan to lure foreign business talent See in context

We probably would have stayed in Japan indefinitely if it weren't for the outrageous cost of international schooling. Companies usually pay for the schooling for expats for 2-3 years, then cut funding and you're on your own to pay the 3 million+ yen per year per kid. With 2 kids and the rent and utilities, etc to pay for, being an expat in Japan loses it's luster and gives a new meaning to "kyouiku binbou."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China seizes Mitsui O.S.K. ship over unpaid wartime contract compensation See in context

I'm about as anti-China as it gets, but I'm surprised at all of those blaming China here, especially those misquoting the 1972 joint communique. That document normalized relations between Japan and the People's Republic of China while cutting ties to the ROC. That document renounced any claims for reparations, but this is a contractual obligation. That took about 3 minutes to look up. I usually find reasonable and intelligent comments here, but this time I'm afraid I'm going to have to give a big FAIL!

And most countries have something known as a "statute of limitations" that stipulate how many years a crime can be prosecuted, or a contract enforced. Since this case is some 80 years old, the court systems of most countries would throw out the case, with the defendant offering the absolute defense that the case is "out of statute".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: China seizes Mitsui O.S.K. ship over unpaid wartime contract compensation See in context

China has a lot of debts it incurred to the US government prior to and during WWII that it weaseled out of paying by claiming that the debts weren't made by the legitimate government.

Perhaps the US should use this case as a precedent to call in China's debt, then refuse to pay it's recent debt to China until the past debt is made good?

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for killing bedridden mother See in context

Don't comment about it until you have walked in his shoes and been the sole care provider for a bedridden relative with no support, nor sympathy from the government or family members.

17 ( +17 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese girl mauled by dogs in NZ was bitten 100 times See in context

I've never cared for pit bulls (or their owners) and this is just one more reason to dislike the breed. My heart goes out to this little girl, and I hope the owners of the dogs will sell everything they have to see to it that this little girl gets the best medical attention money can buy.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: S Korean president warns Japan over war sex slavery apology review See in context

From the Wikipedia link posted in a previous post:

Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea during the 1960s and 1970s, and the father of incumbent president Park Geun-hye, encouraged the sex trade in order to generate revenue, particularly from the U.S. military. Park seized power in the May 16 coup, and immediately enforced two core laws. The first was the Prostitution Prevention Law, which excluded "camp towns" from the governmental crackdown on prostitution, and the Second was the Tourism Promotion Law, which designated camp towns as Special Tourism Districts.

So since her father encouraged the sex trade WELL AFTER Japan's defeat and withdrawal from Korea, perhaps the current president feels the need to clear his name and cast his demons off to the specter of Imperial Japan?

During the 1960s, camp town prostitution and related businesses generated nearly 25 percent of the South Korean GNP. In 1962, 20,000 comfort women were registered, and the charge to the American soldiers was two dollars for a short time and five dollars for a long time. The prostitutes attended classes sponsored by their government in English and etiquette to help them sell more effectively.

They were praised as Dollar-earning Patriots or True Patriots by the South Korean government. In the 1970s one junior high school teacher told his students that "The prostitutes who sell their bodies to the U.S. military are true patriots. Their dollars earned greatly contributes to our national economy. Don't talk behind their back that they are Western princesses or U.N. Madams."

So they still used the term "comfort women" and actually praised them as patriots? I'm not sure about the GDP figures and how accurate they are, but perhaps it debunks the notion that the Koreans abhor prostitution and that it was a strictly Japanese undertaking. Seems to me that they were quite comfortable with the notion of prostitution, and profited from it quite handsomely. Going back to ancient times, militaries and prostitution existed side-by-side, and that phenomenon continues to this very day.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Is Japan overworking its teachers? One exhausted educator says, 'YES!' See in context

I don't think people realize just exactly teachers go through unless you either are one, are married to one, or closely related to one. It's eye-opening to say the least. My brother and I both spent a lot of time growing up in Japan and also either went to college there or did graduate work there. He did his undergraduate in Chemical Engineering and decided to go into teaching high school after a brief foray in the business world.

He taught regular Chem, Chem honors and AP Chem, as well as Japanese for the foreign language department. He got 20 minutes for lunch, but was rarely able to take it as there was always some matter or student that needed attending to. The school gave him exactly 40 minutes to plan for 6 different classes taught daily and to grade, and was often pulled out during planning time to deal with something completely unrelated. Needless to say, he worked a lot of free overtime at school (with clubs or as an advisor) and also coached American football as well. He did get some extra pay for the coaching bit, but when accounted for on an hourly basis, it came out to just over a dollar per hour, so it was a labor of love for him and not something that he really expected to pay.

After dealing with an often absent and indifferent administration, poorly behaved and lazy students, unreasonable and self-righteous parents, and a generally hostile public he decided to go back into the private sector and tripled his teacher salary after only a year and a half. The public depends on the good and generous nature of teachers to educate their children and keep society going. I think in many countries, we've been able to get away with paying teachers far below what they are worth by taking advantage of this good nature, not only in terms of deplorable pay, but also in heaping duties onto them that are clearly unrelated to teaching.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Time running out for former Korean sex slaves See in context

@Eiji Takano

Alex80 and others, you know that's a ridiculous argument. So you're saying that because of something the Korean government did, the comfort women shouldn't be apologized to or compensated?

Japan has apologized and paid compensation in the past, even though they weren't entirely to blame.

This is about the comfort women, not something the Korean government did.

The Korean government and many Korean people were at least complicit, and at worst profiting greatly from the comfort women system. The fact that they don't give a fig about the sex tourism and human trafficking which still goes on today by their own countrymen, shows that it's not a moral issue per se, but an instrument of revenge and political tool to push their economic rival Japan down.

Oh yeah, and if they're not Korean, then it's ok? I still don't see Japan properly apologizing and compensating the Dutch comfort women, for example.

That's funny, I wasn't aware that the Japanese reached the Netherlands and took Dutch women captive. So the Japanese are evil for stripping colonies away from colonizers? Were the Dutch innocent babes in Indonesia or wherever these women were supposedly taken from?

One other poster highlighted the testimony of a former comfort woman that stated her beau's family objected to marriage as she was an orphan. Not because she was a comfort woman, as this was before she was a comfort woman, and we can see how she was sold into prostitution. Unfortunately, Korea still condones this to this very day, and the Imperial Japanese Army is no where in sight to scapegoat the phenomenon on. If the Korean government really cared for them, they could certainly provide better accommodations and make their final years more comfortable. There are only 55 of them according to this article. Instead, they largely ignore them and parade them out when they are useful as a political tool.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan on backfoot in global PR war with China See in context

I really don't know where to start. Of course there are some blustering idiots in Japan that should never have access to a microphone, much less an interviewer, if not for anything but that they lack the good sense to know when their comments can be inflammatory and cause unnecessary problems.

That being said, I can sum the whole thing with an analogy of a young student that was caught smoking on school grounds. Teachers haul him back in front of his class to give him a dressing down. The most vocal teachers is actually smoking a cigarette while chastising him, and the other teachers are tut-tutting while they all have a noticeable pack of smokes in each of their front pockets. Other students that have also been caught smoking previously (but were forgiven for simply admitting their misdeed) are shaking their heads in disapproval, now feeling that they are justified in judging their classmate. All involved have done the same misdeed in the past, but somehow feel that they are in a position to call their student/classmate out publicly while conveniently forgetting what they themselves have done, or simply ignoring what it is they still actively do.

Perhaps all involved should have their mug shots and rap sheets posted up on the wall for all to see, then we can see who wants to cast the first stone.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Is the China-Japan relationship at its worst? See in context


Japan needs to be more honest, more magnanimous to it's neighbours.

Until what date in time exactly does Japan have to be magnanimous towards its neighbors? There is not a culture of reciprocity in either Korea or China. You are either superior or you are inferior, period. I'm not saying that Japan need be belligerent, but all of the kowtowing it has done in the past has bought it no goodwill. There will always be some matter than one or both of the neighbors will throw back up to try and put Japan on the defensive.

Unless Japan is masochistic and enjoys being on the inferior end, then there's really no benefit to trying to appease either one of it's fight-picking Asian neighbors.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Is the China-Japan relationship at its worst? See in context


I'd agree with that dialogue between Tanaka and Mao, that's essentially what a prof I had back in Uni said. That the Japanese decimated the Kuomintang as they were in the coastal regions, and failed to chase the Commies into the interior of China. The net effect was weakening the Kuomintang to the point where they couldn't fight any more and had to flee.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: China dashes Hollywood's hopes for greater access in 2014 See in context

China should pay Hollywood for projected losses from these quotas if they expect to keep unfettered access to US markets. Or oh yeah...keep buying more Treasury Bonds.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Russia rejects China's offer to help with Japan dispute See in context

Didn't China say that disputes with all of it's neighbors in the South China Sea would be handled bilaterally and it would not negotiate with multiple members at once?

So why is it okay for China to propose multilateral negotiation for the Kuriles, which are not near China and have nothing to do with China?

I can see their logic now: "China supports Russia's claims to the Kuriles, because Japan is a baaaaad country!"

Glad to see that Russia is taking a mature outlook on the situation, and also glad to see that China is showing it's true face for the world to see.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Woody Allen rejects 'untrue and disgraceful' sex abuse claims See in context

Bitter divorce between Mia Farrow and Woody Allen was one reason some peoples think Mia Farrow had taught and brain washed her adopted daughter Dylan Farrow for revenge Woody Allen affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn.

Despite what some people wrongly believe, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were never married nor lived together. They did have a relationship of some 12 years, but were never married nor lived together. Both maintained separate apartments on opposite sides of central park.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Woody Allen rejects 'untrue and disgraceful' sex abuse claims See in context


He married his own adopted Korean daughter as his wife.

Seems like your information is incorrect. Soon-Yi's maiden name was "Soon-Yi Farrow Previn"

She was not the adopted daughter of Mira Farrow and Andre Previn. Woody Allen was not her adopted father.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: China says Japan's 'hype' on air defense zone spreads tension See in context

China does not feel threatened by countries in Southeast Asia and is optimistic about the situation in the disputed South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said, warning Japan not to spread rumors it plans a new air defense identification zone.

Kind of like saying that the 250 lb brute doesn't feel threatened by the 90 lb weakling. It is precisely because China doesn't feel any serious threat from its S.E. Asian neighbors that it is pulling the stunt in trying to claim almost the whole South China Sea.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Anti-whalers claim aggressive ramming by Japanese fleet See in context


Maybe they should also be targeting other nation and not just Japan.

They tried that once in the Faroe Islands and got hauled into shore, manhandled, and charged. The reception for them at the harbor wasn't very civil, hence they've learned their lesson about attacking peoples that fight back.

Supposedly, they're going to have another go at the Faroese this year as well. Hopefully, whatever naval force the Faroese have will be used to sink the SS ship(s).

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Virginia becomes hotbed of diplomacy over Sea of Japan name See in context

What does South Korea have to gain by attempting to change the name of the Sea of Japan to the East Sea? Do they think that it will become their territorial waters? Anyone have an answer?

It would strengthens their claim towards any islands in the sea, of course. Simply put, it sets a bad precedent for Korea and China to make more demands on Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Virginia becomes hotbed of diplomacy over Sea of Japan name See in context

Hey, as long as it doesn't become part of the China Seas, I think both South Korea and Japan should be happy to settle with a neutral name like the East Sea.

So why not call it the West Sea? East Sea is completely Korea-centric and is anything but neutral. In fact, it makes the Korean argument for renaming it fall flat on its face.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

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