J-Boh comments

Posted in: Japan Inc's ritual hiring past sell-by date See in context

I like it The758. Another one that used to amuse me was the Japanese listed company whose official English name was "Geostr". It looked more like "Geostar" from the Japanese but they insisted the English name wasn't a typo...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Top court approves seizure of N Korea 'embassy' See in context

As TrevorPeace1 has already pointed out, it's not an Embassy, because Japan and North Korea don't have diplomatic relations. It's just a sort of "representative office", and as such doesn't qualify for diplomatic protections (though there are quite a lot of Japanese police around it in case anyone tries to burn it down or anything).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ozawa decides not to leave DPJ for the time being See in context

I'm with 2020hindsights. Of course raising the tax will be negative for the economy, but it has to be done anyway as a step towards reining in Japan's spiralling public debt. Cutting government spending further (also negative for the economy) will be necessary as well.

I also note that Noda didn't break any pledges by putting this tax up. Ozawa's gripe is that raising the tax wasn't mentioned in the manifesto (but neither was not raising it). To call that a betrayal is pushing it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: DPJ leaders forge late-night consensus on reform bills See in context

Oh come on. There's no way Japan is ever going to balance its books without this tax increase. Spending cuts would be good too, but both are going to be necessary, I'm afraid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: A Korean student's view of the Fukushima crisis See in context

I realise that this is not presented as factual reporting, only as a subjective view from one person, but for me, it contained too many errors to take seriously.

"But the thing which brought the utmost devastation was the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. "

Given that 20,000 or so were killed by the tsunami, and none (so far) by the nuclear accident, this is a truly bizarre statement. True, the exclusion zone has had to be abandoned, but the "utmost devastation" of property all along the coastline also came from the tsunami.

"Japan is gradually reducing its dependency on nuclear power plants" - well, no. First of all it switched them all off; now it's starting to switch them back on again. Long-term energy policy had been to increase dependency on nuclear power, but that's all under debate at this point.

I could go on, but I won't.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: DPJ, opposition reach tax deal to end deadlock See in context

I can see you all hate it, but this tax increase really is the only plausible way for Japan to start to deal with its enormous debts. The spending cuts the commentators above call for are going to be needed too, but slashing spending aggressively while the global economy is weak and exports are being hammered by the strong yen would be disastrous. Believe it or not, Japan has already been squeezing its government spending quite hard in recent years - public works spending, for instance, has declined substantially. But the ageing population and weak economy put inexorable upward pressure on government spending, and it's simply not plausible to expect to balance the books without a substantial tax increase. Japan's tax revenues are currently one of the lowest in the OECD as a share of the economy. Well done Noda for apparently succeeding where so many of his predecessors have failed!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: DPJ dissent grows over tax bill as Noda heads to Mexico See in context

@JapanGal there's not a great deal of difference between a VAT and the Consumption Tax - both are regressive. But it may be the only way Japan can start to tackle its government debt. Currently Japan's tax take is one of the lowest in the OECD as a % of GDP: http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?QueryId=21699

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Daredevil walks on tightrope across Niagara Falls See in context

It may have been a little further downstream, but most people regard Blondin to have been the first:


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Can Occupy Wall Street survive? See in context

I think almxx offers a reasonable summary of what the movement is about. But apart from drawing attention to inequality, they don't seem to offer any programme for doing anything about it. If they can't come up with some appealing practical suggestions soon, it's not surprising people are losing interest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hilton Tokyo staff to welcome guests in Cool Biz attire See in context

I think it's a good idea. Go for it, James. (I can't afford to stay with you though.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Yen eases on IMF intervention comments See in context

Let's get some perspective here. Japan ran a trade deficit last year for the first time in decades, but this may have been a one-off because of earthquake effects (Japanese production was hit, and nuclear power switch-offs increased imports of fuel). Ignoring such one-offs, Japan still exports at least as much as it imports, and this seems inappropriate for a wealthy country with an increasing proportion of retirees. Why should Japan be able to run continuing surpluses all the time when poorer countries need them much more? As for Japan's debt position (canadianbento), the debt is almost all yen-denominated and held by Japanese people, so the value of the yen is of limited relevance to it (and vice versa). Japan still holds a large net surplus of foreign assets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tsunami wreck sightseers in Oregon urged to reflect on 'tragedy' See in context

Yes, but the dock wasn't from anywhere near Fukushima anyway and was washed out to sea by the tsunami before radiation leaks started. So testing it for radioactivity looks like paranoia to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: American Airlines resumes flights from JFK to Haneda See in context

Resumed? I wonder when they stopped. Perhaps in the late 1970s when Narita opened?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Seiko Matsuda releases new album See in context

I reckon it's bona fide headline Japanese entertainment news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gemba rebukes Japan's envoy to China over Senkaku remarks See in context


The Americans only handed back sovereignty, not administration, because they didn't want to rile the Chinese. But by avoiding a short-term problem, I fear they created a long-term one.

Japan officially incorporated the islands into their territory in 1895, so that's a long time before the Chinese claim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ex-TEPCO chief denies plan to pull all workers from Fukushima plant See in context

Squidbert, regardless of the safety issue, I'm not sure it makes sense to build nuclear power stations in the middle of major population centres. It's much easier and cheaper to find a suitable site out in the countryside - and on the coast it's easier to ship the fuel to it too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Otaku' men find themselves much sought after See in context

jumpultimatestars your maths is fine but you didn't read the question...

It's a group of nine men and nine women, regardless of the 30 applicants per place. Five couples means 5/9, not 33.33%.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ishihara wants to buy Senkakus to keep 'burglar' China out See in context

To comment on some of the comments:

Japan certainly invaded lots of places it wasn't entitled to in WWII, but that doesn't mean China is entitled to do the same now. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Cleo hits the nail on the head with the comment about persimmons. The geographical proximity of the islands to China or other countries is not relevant to their sovereignty.

Cletus is also right, strictly speaking, to say that the US has not gone so far as to recognise Japanese sovereignty of these islands. However Hillary Clinton has stated that they are covered by the US-Japan Security Treaty. In other words, the US will defend them on Japan's behalf if China attacks them. But I think there's plenty of room for doubt about whether the US would actually do so.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Panasonic may halve its 7,000-strong headquarters See in context

No mention of lay-offs in the article, just "transfers to subsidiaries" and so on. Those arguing that Panasonic should have done this ages ago are right, in a way, but bear in mind that forced redundancies are illegal in Japan, except in a few very limited circumstances (such as risk of bankruptcy), which may only now be starting to be usable as an argument.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman gets suspended sentence for dumping her baby's body See in context

Since there presumably isn't any convincing evidence that she's guilty of murder, the sentence can't take that into account. A suspended sentence seems a bit light for deliberately wasting a lot of police time and money, but it's not completely unreasonable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Buying real estate in Japan See in context

There is a common misconception that renting is "just throwing money away" by contrast with owning your own home. This only true if house values are rising more than other investments would have done - a lesson a lot of people are learning the hard way in recent years.

In Japan, buying residential property is made significantly more attractive by various associated tax breaks, but these are only valuable if you have Japanese income. In fact these tax breaks apply even if the home in question isn't in Japan. Property transaction costs are high in Japan (it's not unique in that respect) so generally it's only worth buying property if you're fairly confident you're going to want to keep it for at least 5-10 years, I'd say.

Of course there are also non-financial advantages to owning your own home. Like doing your kitchen and bathroom how you want them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Support for British monarchy at highest for decades: poll See in context

Fugacis may well be right that the economic arguments in favour of the monarchy are unproven, or indeed irrelevant. But I don't think the monarchy compromises British democracy. The Queen is a "symbol of the state" in much the same way that the Japanese Emperor is, and her involvement in the democratic process is purely ceremonial, influencing it little, if at all. Jimizo is right that Prince Charles has some tendency to attempt to influence decisions, and that's certainly a risk, but I think it will work out OK. Molenir is wrong that Charles has announced he will not take the throne; there's some popular support for the idea of passing it straight to Prince William, but I think it's unlikely to happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Emperor, empress return from Britain See in context

Impressive stamina from the Emperor and Empress and the fact that they were so determined to thank us Brits for help last year was much appreciated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hosono fails to convince Kansai leaders on restart of Oi reactors See in context

The comparisons with last summer are a bit misleading. Lots of reactors were still working last summer, particularly in the Kansai region which is more dependent on nuclear anyway. And the weather wasn't especially hot last summer, either. With the spirit of "gaman" now fading, it could be a lot more difficult to avoid black-outs this year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: China slams Japan for allowing in Uighur activist See in context

It seems China doesn't really understand how a developed democracy works. Slamming Japan for letting people in and having a meeting is silly - pretty much anyone can come to Japan on a tourist visa unless they are a terrorist or have a drugs record or something. And unlike in China, it's no business of the government what meetings people have when they're visiting. It reminds me of the protests against the Danish government for "allowing" cartoons offensive to Muslims to be published in a Danish newspaper.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan faces 'extinction' in 1,000 years, researchers say See in context

The great thing about thousand-year predictions is that they can't be proved wrong. For a very long time, anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan seeks bloggers for cyber-charm tourism drive See in context

Actually, it looks as though Japan's image isn't all that bad: http://www.globescan.com/images/images/pressreleases/bbc2012_country_ratings/2012_bbc_country%20rating%20final%20080512.pdf

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Rie Miyazawa to divorce former pro surfer See in context

Mie Riyazawa is available! Me me me! I saw her at a party a couple of years ago and she was still absolutely gorgeous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Emperor, empress to visit Britain for Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee See in context

I hope not and that the visit can be a symbol of the excellent relationship between our two countries.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Crisis-hit Japan debates shift to renewable energy See in context

Unfortunately the free market won't price in externalities such as the pollution and climate change caused by coal. It's also extremely difficult for it to price the risks of a nuclear accident accurately. Of course the government gets things wrong too, as we've seen, but I think this is one sector where it has to stay involved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.