isabelle comments

Posted in: Ukraine PM says his country needs missiles, but expects new U.S. aid to come through See in context

Ricky Kaminski13Today 08:27 pm JST

Wow, talk about a turning of the tides of sentiment.

No, it's just the usual pro-Kremlin/pro-Beijing/anti-Japan posters spouting the same nonsense that they always do.

Just another day on the internet.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: EU to seek security accord with Japan See in context

HopeSpringsEternalToday 06:40 pm JST

Entire EU suffering adverse effects of Ukraine proxy war

Just how many times a day do you type the words "proxy war" on JT and other sites? I wonder.

Regardless, no matter how many times you do this it will not change a thing: the Ukraine war is not a proxy war, but a war of aggression by Putin, and Putin alone.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's ¥43 trillion defense spending plan still insufficient: experts See in context

Ramsey's KitchenToday 02:43 pm JST

Let that sink in - $ 66 bucks per month!! to assist with bringing a child up here. You can't seriously say that is adequate "advanced country"level of social support.

That's hardly the only support though, is it? Free doctors, dentists, medicines? Free/mostly free education? Free/heavily subsidized support for kids with special needs?

There's a lot more to it than cash handouts, and I stand by my assessment that Japan does relatively well on social care. If you disagree, fine.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Australia to build biggest navy since World War II See in context

This is excellent news for Japan and the free world. Australia is a very capable and dependable partner, and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us if/when the time comes.

The free world needs to be prepared for the worst. Ukraine unfortunately wasn't, and look what happened. We must not make the same mistake with China.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Private sector participation key for Japan's support for Ukraine See in context

deanzaZZRToday 12:29 pm JST

Which countries are better able to offer loans and other concessionary terms?

1) Debt levels have nothing to do with the fact that China is helping the very aggressor that is destroying Ukraine, killing and raping its people, and abducting its children.

2) China's loans have far more onerous terms than Japan's, and are highly opaque. Just ask Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, etc. etc...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's ¥43 trillion defense spending plan still insufficient: experts See in context

Ramsey's KitchenToday 12:27 pm JST

No, it does not. Look at the pitiful old age pension or childcare support payments for example. An absolute joke in comparison to other G7 countries that Japan likes to compare itself to.

Disagree if you want - that's your prerogative - but I would argue that Japan is doing well in terms of social care compared to the G7 and many other countries. It's certainly not perfect, but I'd say it's generally comparable to, or better than, anywhere apart from, say Scandinavia or Switzerland.

Have you seen, for example, the state of healthcare in the US? Or the UK cuts to social care and the NHS, resulting in huge waiting lists and even the re-emergence of Victorian era diseases?

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/feb/18/return-of-victorian-era-diseases-to-the-uk-scabies-measles-rickets-scurvy

The child support you mention is actually increasing in Japan, as was reported just the other day:

https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan-oks-plan-to-boost-child-allowances-to-tackle-falling-birthrate

If you're unhappy in Japan (if you live here) you should probably move elsewhere... though you may be disappointed in what you find.

Nobody is going to attack Japan

Not if it gets its defense posture right. However, if it doesn't, China/Russia/North Korea certainly would.

Bear in mind that China is already "attacking" in a gray zone sense - via encroachment on Japan's territory in the Senkakus, via cyber attacks, and via economic aggression. And Russia is occupying the Northern Territories, and also cyber attacking.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's ¥43 trillion defense spending plan still insufficient: experts See in context

elephant200Today 11:30 am JST

NO! The political system of Japan has cursed the Japanese people that L.D.P. is the only party

There are multiple political parties that people can vote for. The DPP was in power from 2010-2012.

If the Japanese people choose the LDP (and I'm certainly no fan of them), so be it.

HopeSpringsEternalToday 11:45 am JST

Japan needs to up its DRONE game

I would agree. It should join Pillar Two of AUKUS and upgrade all its defenses (and it likely will do at some point).

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9842/

PseudonymouseToday 12:50 pm JST

Your misinformed is a bell because the preemptive strike needs clearance or is pressured by the USA before happening

As a treaty partner Japan would naturally liaise with the US, but any strike would be decided by the Diet and its elected representatives.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Private sector participation key for Japan's support for Ukraine See in context

GillislowTierToday 11:10 am JST

Also they keep touting they are experts are reconstruction after war… that was 80 years ago and by gosh I hope those experts arnt still working.

Japan has worked on many reconstruction projects since WWII in other countries. It's not relying on expertise from 80 years ago.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Private sector participation key for Japan's support for Ukraine See in context

TokyoLivingToday 07:07 am JST

Japan's private sector must participate in support of its own Japanese people FIRST..

Private companies go where the money and opportunities are. They have no "requirement" to support the people of their own, or anyone else's country, unless those people are shareholders etc.

However, if they're given a government contract to work in Ukraine, that's what they'll do, as that will be a requirement of the contract.

deanzaZZRToday 07:33 am JST

Once peace is finally established China is going to mop the floor as it is currently the infrastructure building king.

I doubt Ukraine will give many contracts to a country that is supplying Russia with equipment (and political support) that is used to destroy its infrastructure in the first place.

Mr KiplingToday 07:57 am JST

Just like ALL other aid projects, Japan will give money to Japanese companies to provide goods and services. Everybody wins, except the Japanese tax payer.

Or alternatively, the Japanese people will, through their taxes, be helping a nation that has been brutally invaded to rebuild itself.

For people that have little altruism that may be galling, but as I've just said on another thread, I certainly don't mind my taxes being used in this way.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's ¥43 trillion defense spending plan still insufficient: experts See in context

Ramsey's KitchenToday 10:24 am JST

Japan has no money for adequate social services for its population

Yes, it does. It has excellent social services compared to many other countries, especially those in the region. And, for that matter, compared to the US, which is the country everyone seems to be talking about here.

William77Today 10:08 am JST

A total waste of our taxes to give a sense of “proud” to these old geezers sitting in Tokyo.

Or, what it actually is: an investment that is needed to defend the people that pay those taxes from the aggressive countries that surround Japan.

elephant200Today 10:38 am JST

Yes, grabbing more taxes and more money from poor people

Taxes work on a sliding scale. The poor pay less than the rich, and those with no income pay nothing.

If the Japanese people dislike the taxes they will vote for a party that changes them. Japan is a democracy, after all.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's ¥43 trillion defense spending plan still insufficient: experts See in context

TriringToday 09:57 am JST

each nation will need to defend with less reliance on the US.

Yes, that's what I said. It was the whole point of my post.

Not sure of the reasoning behind your post. The other stuff you wrote about currency etc. is nothing to do with this article.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's ¥43 trillion defense spending plan still insufficient: experts See in context

BertieWoosterToday 07:06 am JST

There is absolutely no need for this.

With China, North Korea, and Russia on Japan's doorstep?

I assume you don't work in defense planning.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan's ¥43 trillion defense spending plan still insufficient: experts See in context

PseudonymouseToday 06:54 am JST

You mean preemptive strike capabilities when the USA tells you to be a good lap doggie.

Mr KiplingToday 07:58 am JST

Japan's master, the USA.

The usual, fallacious "US says; Japan does" line. The situation is, in fact, very different.

During the Trump presidency, Japan saw that the US may not be as reliable as it thought, if he (or someone like him) is in power. Trump has flat out just said that he won't defend NATO, and if he were in power and deems - in his own, mentally-challenged way - that Japan isn't paying him enough, he wouldn't defend Japan either, despite the concrete alliance.

https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/10/politics/trump-russia-nato/index.html

Given this, Japan - like Europe and everywhere else - realizes that it needs to be able to defend itself in case the US goes back on its promises. Hence, this defense spending.

It's not a case of "US says; Japan does" - it's (at least, in part) Japan wisely making preparations in case the US doesn't do what it says it'll do.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan hosts Ukraine reconstruction conference to showcase its support for the war-torn country See in context

BertieWoosterToday 09:41 pm JST

Kishida should open his eyes, look and make his own decision.

He does.

Say no to his American handlers for once.

Putin invaded Ukraine. Japan is helping Ukraine. America doesn't even come into it.

He may be backing the wrong horse.

Or, as it's known, the right one: the one that resists authoritarians' wars of conquest.

The recent interview with Putin was an eye opener.

It told us absolutely nothing that we didn't already know.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan hosts Ukraine reconstruction conference to showcase its support for the war-torn country See in context

indigoToday 06:11 pm JST

Japan should rebuild japan instead of focusing on Ukraine.

Per my comment @ 05:24 pm JST. Regurgitation took less than an hour:

The usual suspects on JT will regurgitate their "the Japanese government should help the Japanese people before they help Ukraine" line. My reply will be, as always: they can do, and are doing, both.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Posted in: In unusual move, China offers to back Hungary in security matters See in context

HopeSpringsEternalToday 05:43 pm JST

If PM Orban was truly ineffective his EU peers would dismiss him

The EU doesn't hire and fire the leaders of countries.

his approval ratings are far higher than his EU peers.

Please provide the actual polling data you're seemingly quoting here, bearing in mind the fact that polling in a highly illiberal state like Hungary is notoriously unreliable.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan hosts Ukraine reconstruction conference to showcase its support for the war-torn country See in context

Well done, Japan. Please support Ukraine as much as possible.

As I've said before, as a taxpayer here I certainly don't mind some of my taxes being used to help people in Ukraine that have been mercilessly invaded by Putin's hordes.

The usual suspects on JT will regurgitate their "the Japanese government should help the Japanese people before they help Ukraine" line. My reply will be, as always: they can do, and are doing, both.

7 ( +20 / -13 )

Posted in: In unusual move, China offers to back Hungary in security matters See in context

JJEToday 03:30 pm JST

Hungary-China bilateral trade is soaring

This is nothing compared to Hungary-EU trade.

https://european-union.europa.eu/principles-countries-history/country-profiles/hungary_en

Intra-EU trade accounts for 78% of Hungary’s exports

BYD ... is poised to make huge inroads into the European market.

No, it isn't. China is facing an anti-subsidy probe that will almost certainly result in import restrictions. This is also the case in the US and UK, at least - more countries may follow.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-launches-anti-subsidy-investigation-into-chinese-electric-vehicles-2023-09-13/

HopeSpringsEternalToday 03:43 pm JST

Anyone think PM Orban would pursue policies against Hungary's national interests?

Yes.

JJEToday 03:46 pm JST

China does the complete opposite and offers investment and economic opportunity.

No, it offers a client state relationship. Russia was already well on the way to becoming a Chinese client state, and this process has gone into overdrive since Putin began his war of conquest.

Orban is very unlikely to let that happen with Hungary, despite what he says. He is "playing the China card" to wring concessions from the EU. The problem for him is that he has cried wolf too many times, and the EU is sick of him.

deanzaZZRToday 03:55 pm JST

Respect sovereignty.

I would agree. It's a pity that China doesn't with Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, India etc. etc.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: In unusual move, China offers to back Hungary in security matters See in context

In unusual move

Nothing unusual about a totalitarian dictatorship supporting a wannabe-totalitarian dictatorship.

HopeSpringsEternalToday 02:59 pm JST

Seems NATO and EU losing their relevance?

No, Orban backs down pretty quick whenever there's EU money at stake. And if he continues to play his games the EU will isolate him even further.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1862011/viktor-orban-eu-ukraine-aid-package-brussels

If he truly wants to play in Xi and Putin's world, so be it... but his country will be eaten alive. Sadly, though, it's the Hungarian people that would suffer.

JJEToday 03:13 pm JST

Not aggressive, expansionist blocs

I assume you're talking about China and Russia here, given that the EU isn't invading anyone, or stealing their territory.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Digitalization drive proving tough for Japanese school teachers See in context

The schools I have contact with don't seem to have a problem in this regard (my personal experience, of course). There are naturally teachers who are better/worse with tech, but even the older ones have now had several years of COVID/post-COVID to get up to speed.

These (public) schools all have a one-laptop-per-child policy (fully paid for by the local government), where kids can use a mobile data plan (again, fully paid for) if they have no wi-fi at home.

The main problem I've seen is that a lot of Google Chromebooks are used. I wouldn't want any child of mine being watched by Google. This link is a few years old, but the issue is still there:

https://www.eff.org/wp/school-issued-devices-and-student-privacy

proxyToday 07:35 am JST

Can somebody, anyone provide and information to prove these teachers wrong?

Very good point. Kids really benefit from tangible things like pen and paper, physical work, physical play etc. Technology is important, but it shouldn't be a substitute for this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Australia looks to Japan for collaboration with AUKUS on defense tech See in context

Japan should definitely join Pillar Two of AUKUS so that it can improve in critical areas such as cyber defense, AI, quantum etc.

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9842/

I believe there are conversations ongoing with regard to this, but the US in particular is concerned that Japan's national security laws are insufficient to protect critical technologies. Once this is addressed, I hope to see Japan join.

We're all much, much stronger if we work together against the authoritarians.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: TeamLab Borderless returns with more exciting surprises at Tokyo's Azabudai Hills See in context

I'll definitely be visiting this. The Odaiba one was awesome, and this looks even better.

TrevorPeaceToday 06:48 pm JST

But the price is steep

The price might be a little high, but it's a pretty unique experience so I'm fine with that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Philippines eyes hosting 2-plus-2 security talks with Japan this year See in context

HopeSpringsEternalToday 07:02 pm JST

Everyone talks about Taiwan China risk, probably the Philippines at more risk of conflict with China in near term, stepping-stone of sorts, call it a Xi 'Trial Balloon'.

Xi would have to be insane (which he may be) to see it as a 'Trial Balloon.' If he attacks the Philippines, the US mutual defense treaty will be invoked and China will be at war with the US.

Taiwan, on the other hand, is in a situation of "strategic ambiguity." Even so, I'm certain that the US (unless under Trump) would come to Taiwan's aid, and Biden has said so several times.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Philippines eyes hosting 2-plus-2 security talks with Japan this year See in context

Mr KiplingToday 03:15 pm JST

No, in fact the opposite. Marcos, just like his corrupt father, has gone full in as a US vassal. Doing the subservient bidding of the US in the region. His predecessor, for all his many faults, at least tried to balance between the US and China when it was best for the Philippines.

Duterte's behavior certainly was not "best for the Philippines," and even he realized that at the end. He was duped, as many have been, by China's "pledge trap:" he received virtually nothing tangible in return, and surrendered part of his country's sovereignty. China lies, and no-one should believe a word they say.

https://opinion.inquirer.net/147007/after-duterte-avoiding-chinas-pledge-trap

China is threatening the Philippines and stealing its territory; the US isn't. So Marcos is moving closer to the US and the free world for protection. This is not being a "vassal;" it's common sense.

That said, I'm not a huge Marcos fan. As I've said on other threads, the Philippine people really missed a trick by not electing Leni Robredo.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, now world's No. 4 economy, on steep road to reverse low growth See in context

MarkToday 03:27 pm JST

you seem to be wearing sunglasses tinted slightly rosey there Isabella if you think Japan is short on problems compared to the other nations you listed.

I never said Japan was "short on problems" at all. Of course it has problems.

I thought my reasoning was pretty clear, though perhaps not judging by your screed.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Philippines eyes hosting 2-plus-2 security talks with Japan this year See in context

Very good to see. I was afraid that Marcos would be "Duterte without the swearing," completely subservient to China, but it seems he's fully on board with the rest of us in the free world.

He is well aware that the Philippines will become involved in any Chinese aggression in the region:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/Interview/Marcos-says-hard-to-imagine-Philippines-can-avoid-Taiwan-conflict

...and is wisely taking steps to prepare for this.

China doesn't seem to realize that constantly threatening other countries will not bend them to its will, but simply push them away. Sadly, China will never change while Xi and the CCP are in charge, which is a great shame for the Chinese people and all the rest of us.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Oscar-nominated 'Perfect Days' is 'not about toilets', Wenders says See in context

RedemptionToday 12:37 pm JST

Great! I hope these public toilets have toilet paper and soap! Many don’t.

For me, it's extremely rare to see a public toilet in Japan with no toilet paper, wherever I go across the country. It's interesting that your experience differs greatly to mine.

Soap is definitely more of a lottery, though. Smaller public toilets often don't have it, but larger ones usually do.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Oscar-nominated 'Perfect Days' is 'not about toilets', Wenders says See in context

This looks great - I'll definitely have to watch it. A glimpse into an area of society that most of us overlook but which is integral to our lives, and a study on how people can find meaning in their role whatever they do.

Give me something like this over cookie-cutter, CG-laden Hollywood nonsense any day.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, now world's No. 4 economy, on steep road to reverse low growth See in context

I guess it's a shame that Japan lost the number 3 spot (at least on exchange rate), but the country still has a high standard of living, a great society, and a great culture, so I'm still very glad to live here.

In terms of the other countries mentioned, the US has very high inequality and awful social welfare (e.g. healthcare), and China is a horrific, totalitarian dystopia with too many structural problems to list here. I don't know too much about Germany, but was kind of surprised to see them up there as they appear to have many problems:

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-economy-weakens-2023/a-66403943

India too has many problems, though I hope that they will be solved as it becomes more prosperous... but this will depend on whether Modi prioritizes the people over Hindutva, which looks unlikely.

South Korea has the world's lowest birthrate, so its economy will undoubtedly slow, and much of its success is tied to the chaebol: if they do badly (and Samsung announced its lowest profit in 15 years for the last quarter), the economy is disproportionately affected. And Taiwan has issues with low wages (like Japan) and employment:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-67945643

In short, regardless of its GDP, I think Japan is still doing pretty well on the whole and is a great place to live.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan, Pacific islands strongly oppose change of status quo by force See in context

Samit BasuToday 10:33 am JST

Japan has not apologized

Japan has apologized to the region as a whole, and to individual countries, many times. These apologies appear to be sufficient for basically everyone apart from China and South Korea (with whom relations have greatly improved under Yoon).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

Change the record, please.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

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