Japan Today

James Benedict Matthews comments

Posted in: Trump says Japan treats U.S. unfairly on trade by not taking more American cars See in context

More of the usual Trump ignorance (willful, I guess) and belligerence. It's not a matter of Japan "letting in more US cars", as the barriers to US manufacturers selling their cars here are not ones set by the government. Rather, US manufacturers don't have any significant presence here, either in a marketing sense or a sales and support sense. It is doubtful that they would be willing to invest in a marketing campaign to raise awareness of their products, change their cars' generally poor image (uneconomical, unreliable, ugly and oversized), and foster interest or demand. Furthermore, they almost certainly wouldn't be prepared to invest large sums in an extensive local dealership network (vital here) to sell and support/service their vehicles. Therefore, American cars will remain an exotica with a niche market, bought almost exclusively by a small number of enthusiasts or hobbyists, and unknown to or unwanted by average motorists buying cars for practical reasons.

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Posted in: Tokyo police ask cyclists to exercise caution See in context

Sigh lops - agreed. Taxi drivers are a damned menace for us cyclists. As are truck drivers who belt past you without even a hint of slowing on narrow roads - very scary and have almost been knocked off by the buffeting wind they make.

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Posted in: Two Asus mobile devices look to the future See in context


The Zenfone 5 featured in the article (LTE version with a Snapdragon 400 cpu) is not dual sim. There is an older 3G only model that has an intel atom cpu and that is dual sim. I don't think it is sold directly in Japan, but I bought one (for my daughter) online from Expansys. It is actually slightly more powerful than the Snapdragon one, cheaper (I paid under 20,000 yen) and has the advantage of being dual sim. If you are not bothered about 4G speeds it is a good buy.

This really isn't a new phone, though it has only been officially sold in Japan since last Autumn I believe. The successor is due out this Spring and seems like quite a big upgrade with the same low-cost price. Still, highly recommend the phone - it is unbelievably good considering the price tag. I also have an Asus tablet (the latest Memo Pad 7) and love that too - another real bargain. ASUS are a good company imho.

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