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JaneM comments

Posted in: Japan's grim population outlook makes immigration talk inevitable See in context

@goldorak: The only immigration that could possibly work here in japan would have to be a 'chosen' one similar to what's been done, very successfully, in Australia, for decades now. Well educated, from some countries and not others, ideally rich, with skills which are in high demand etc. Basically a cherry-picked, 'J-specific' immigration.

But then you will have everybody here up in arms calling the country, its government and people racist, discriminative, and what not. As we have seen, choosing whom to let into your country is never your own busness when you are Japanese.

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Posted in: Do you think the United Nations is relevant in helping to solve global conflicts? See in context

From what I can see as an outsider, it certainly does not look very effective in helping solve global conflicts. One of the (many) problems is that some coountries consistently work for the interest of their own military industry rather than for world peace.

@sangetsu: Why did the US bypass the UN? Do you remember the reasons? Do you remember that the UN repeatedly failed to take Saddam to task for denying access to weapons inspectors to numerous sites? Do you remember the times the inspectors were expelled?

I was still at an age when I was not interested in politics but as far as I remember those weapons were never found. As for Saddam declining the request to let inspectors look at the supposed weapon sites, I wonder how the US would respond if somebody from “outside” (or “the other side”) insisted on seeing any military equipment they have stacked in the USA (and other parts of the world).

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Posted in: If you saw an adult hitting, roughly handling or yelling at a child in public, would you intervene or just mind your business and assume it was a parent disciplining his/her child? See in context

@thunderbird: Yes, all families have their black sheep but if you don't raise your kid properly the chances are high he will grow up into one of those spoiled self-centered scums that everyone wants to avoid,

Only that two- and three-year olds with tantrums cannot be categorized as black sheep yet. If you bother to read more about child-raising you might discover that the tantrums are a natural stage of any kid’s growth and the children grow out of them. Indeed, some parents choose to “educate” their kids by using physical power. Others, with more patience and understanding, choose the more difficult way – communication and explanation why such behavior is not acceptable.

I sure have met a lot of spoiled, self-centered **** who have been “properly” raised by their parents in the old-fashion way.

Spoiling your child is a totally different thing from waiting for a tantrum at that age to pass and then talk about it with your child.

and he just won't get it, what's wrong with throwing your trash from your car, yelling at some staff or even slapping someone?

Children learn by watching what their parents and close family do. More often than not they copy their parents’ behavior and if a child throws their trash out the window, I would question the behavior of their parents first. It is the same with slapping someone. A child who has been slapped or more - physically abused - by his/her parents at a young age is much more likely to emulate that behavior when he/she grows up than a child who has not been treated in that way.

No one ever told me "no". Please, educate your children to respect everyone equally. Period. But this is just my opinion...

The problem is not “never saying no.” The problem is not explaining why it is not good behavior. And, mind you, you need to do it considering the developmental stage of your child. But, yes, I understand, it is always easier to spank the kid because physical power communicates your message faster than any verbal communication.

I can tell you, the only things that always prevent me from intervening in these cases is because I feel bad for the mother.

And there is no need to feel bad for her. I am sure she knows much better how to raise her child than you, a total stranger who by mere coincidence happen to be there for a short moment in time and who knows nothing about her relationship with her child.

And #2 I don't want to draw attention as the "noisy gaijin".

Ah, yes, the usual, “they treat us as if we are a different kind” implication.

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Posted in: If you saw an adult hitting, roughly handling or yelling at a child in public, would you intervene or just mind your business and assume it was a parent disciplining his/her child? See in context

@thunderbird: Actually I really thought about intervening many times (inside the train, a combini) but in the opposite situation: an uncontrollable spoiled brat screaming and hitting stuff while the mother watches, hoping for it to end.

It depends on the age. I am aware that people choose to raise their kids in different ways depending on their cultural background, education, social norms, environment, etc. The “terrible two and three” are the age when you see kids throw tantrums and change their mood for the smallest of things. Still, from direct and indirect experience I can say that even the kids who have not been spanked (understand: whose mothers have chosen to wait patiently for the tantrums to pass instead of using physical power to calm them down) have grown out of that age and are now well behaved kids. I may be mistaken, but it seems that the trust between such kids and their parents is somewhat deeper than with other kids.

while the mother watches, hoping for it to end.

Or rather, waiting patiently for the tantrum to pass. You can talk to your kid after he/she has calmed down and make your point by explaining the reasons why you did not grant his/her request.

Gosh....if you can't educate it, why having a kid in the first place?

For many people nowadays “educating” / “education” means patience, understanding and relevant communication rather than using physical force or verbal spanking. Waiting for the tantrum to pass (it always does) does not mean that you are spoiling your kid.

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Posted in: Kristen Stewart says coming out is worthwhile if she can help others See in context

Clamenza, Guess that something in your eye is so big that all your sensibility is concentrated on it. Your (and others ' comments) here only show how what you are trying to prove (that gays have it easy) is not at all true.

I hope that at some point in the not so distant future we will get to live in a world we're celebrities and ordinary people alike will not have to be talk about sexuality just because others speculate or spread rumours about it. And then we might not see comments by people who pretend to not care but keep commenting on the thread.

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Posted in: Japan's first Premium Friday shows mixed results See in context

Sorry but this attitude is wrong. Literally offering breadcrumbs to those suffering a famine. (In reply to: I applaud the gov't for trying something.)

So doing nothing is better?? Ever heard of "Better late than never?"

I am not Japanese but being part of the workforce here I took a half day off and did spend some on things which I could not have bought otherwise because I had no time for visiting that particular store. So if it takes the government to "order" the people to take some time off, why not? The first time ever, you got mixed results. Not 100% negative ones. If you stick to it, people and companies will gradually warm up to the idea. All the power to those who promote and stick to the Premium Friday.

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Posted in: Inside stories about those new cheaper short taxi rides See in context

The people who take taxis still take taxis, and those who don't, still don't."

Hmm, it depends. The other day I got a taxi for a distance which I would have otherwise walked just because the distance was within a kilometer and it cost only 400 yen. I guess there are quite a few people like me. Also people with young children, families that visit somebody in the neighborhood, etc. And the rainy season just a few months away followed by scorching summer days will most likely have a positive effect on the number of fares collected then.

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Posted in: White House: Trump comments on sending troops to Mexico 'lighthearted' See in context

Comment: So great, war with Mexico now?

Retort: They had a great free ride for 40 years, about time their gravy train stopped. I wish I could say that stupid is as stupid does and be over with it but I am afraid we will be seeing much worse for some time.

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Posted in: Rakuten CEO tweets Trump move to ban refugees makes him cry See in context

Nordeic503: I agree. Japan has no room to talk on this issue.

Only that it is not Japan talking but one person who happens to be the president of a private enterprise and thus he is representative neither of the country nor of its government.

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Posted in: In 2015, Japan accepted 27 refugees, including three Syrians, after some 7,500 people from 69 countries sought such status in Japan, according to the justice ministry. Do you think Japan should take i See in context

njca: I dont think its right that Japan depends on the rest of the world to buy its products but then says FU when other countries need help.

Well, I guess you should not forget the fact that Japan has actually been making a lot of contributions to countries in need (the list is too long to give it here). Yet, every country should have the right to decide what is best for them in any given situation. It seems that some of the members of the EU were not really happy with the "open door" policy which Mrs. Merkel (indirectly) imposed on them. Leave Japan decide what is best for them.

kurisupisu: would vote yes with caveats To be part of society requires acceptance of norms of the host country

Says the person who is always one of the first to jump against whatever the Japanese (government/companies/universities/ society, etc.) do and very eager to tell them why they are wrong on so many counts!

@M3: We actually agree on this point. Refugees have absolutely no obligation to integrate, contribute or learn the local language.

Obligations aside, I do not see how without learning the local language and integrating they can ever get out of the limbo which the refugee status puts them in. And why should not refugees be expected to contribute to the country which accepts them? If they are not expected todo so, then what gives them the right to expect (and even demand) acceptance and support from their host country?

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Posted in: Cool Japan Fund CEO on what’s uncool about how Japan handles its cool See in context

@article: But your purpose is to export Japanese brands abroad, so it makes sense to consult people on the receiving side? .... No, we don’t think that way. For example, if a French restaurant wants to open in Japan, do they consult Japanese experts? No. They also don’t create their menu and interior based on Japanese people’s preferences. They base it on their own brand’s image.

The oddest comment ever made by someone regarding foreign restaurants in Japan. All the restaurants offering cuisine from my country have adjusted their recipes to match the taste of their Japanese customers. The same with most of the French and Turkish restaurants here: go try the same dishes in the country of their origin and compare the taste you get here!

@article: I think Japan should start promoting its countryside to foreigners. Everything is currently centered in the big cities.

JNTO has already begun promoting Japan's countryside. And a number of local authorities and local producers have been doing so for more than a year now. Which world does this guy live in?

@david v: I can rest assured that "Cool Japan" will continue to fail to do anything more than provide another white elephant that the government can throw money at.

Well, with the rapid growth of foreign visitors this year, too, I would not say that Cool Japan has failed. The point is that they need to adjust to the environmnet and not be stubornly set in their own ways. The world is changing and so should any organization which is trying to sell a product (be it a destination or anything else).

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Posted in: Japan's pudgy pop stars take aim at obesity prejudice See in context

@John Michael Wgit: Fat is not cute.

Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I am glad these girls have the courage to stand up against stereotypes created mostly by the fashion industry. I have seen enough women who have been struggling to fight their genes by starving themselves repeatedly, trying bogous diets and what not.

Only hope that they will change the menu of the monthly lunch they have with their fans.

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Posted in: Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families See in context

@juzetto:Also, learning Japanese and surviving in this hostile environment (I am Caucasian, got my PhD in Japan, female, with a great job and still encounter a ton of racism and discrimination...

I am really tired d people making statements like the one above. How hostile is the environment here? Are threatened everyday by someone who thinks your religion or cultural background is different? Or do you have to struggle with violence while in Japan? Or do you have to fight for your food while you are here because you chose to stay? Even though you got your Ph. D. here, you have missed a bigger lesson which is that what you perceive as a hostile environment in Japan is INDEED your lack of understanding of the locals' shyness and their ways of trying not to create "mebdokusai" situations for people like you. Call me an apologist or whatever you like. Still, in the Japanese society reciprocity is very important and you usually get back what you give away. Do you still wander why some people make long-lasting friendships with local people and others think the environment is hostile?

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Posted in: Japanese news program criticized for translating Lady Gaga’s protest message as 'I hate Trump' See in context

A pretty bad translation. The person/s who translated it did not (probably have time to) give it any thought at all.

@yakyak: The Japanese people have very little choice. They are told who to like and who not to like according to the news filters and stupid talk show hosts

Believe it or not, last Saturday I had a girl’s party with a bunch of J ladies. They “surprised” me by saying that though he was not someone they would have voted for Trump’s bad image had been tremendously inflated by the mass media and there was indeed a lot of performance on his side during the campaign. They continued by adding that there seems to be reason in what he wants for the American people. Did not sound like they were told to think so.

@igloobuyer: how could any sane person like someone who has all the traits we dislike about a person

Are you implying that over half of the Americans are insane?


I see what you are trying to explain. In many cases the use of “ga” and “wa” is more important in translating a phrase than many foreigners would care to admit. Cleo, Thunderbird and Strangerland seem to know better.

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Posted in: Japan to conduct first major survey on racism: report See in context

@smithinjapan: Can you vote, even with a permanent visa, and the fact that you pay taxes? No. Even if that somehow could be called "tolerance", how is it accepting?

Smith, being allowed to vote or not has nothing to do with racism. If you so much want to have your voice heard naturalize, become a Japanese citizen and vote. Once you have your Japanese passport, your ethnic background will be irrelevant to your right to vote. I may be ignorant but I have not heard of a country which allows un-naturalized permanent residents to vote in national elections.

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Posted in: Japan to conduct first major survey on racism: report See in context

@jonathan: I love my Japanese wife but I am still a full foreign guy to her eyes without consideration of my experience and knowledge acquired about that country and its wonderful people.

And what is wrong with that? You will never be an ethnic Japanese. Your "foreign" genes cannot be changed, not in your lifetime? If anything, knowing the language and culture but still being a foreigner gives you the advantage of being accepted while your Japanese relatives and friends do not burden you with their high expectations of you to be exactly like them. I think this is called tolerance, not discrimination, not racism.

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Posted in: Japan to conduct first major survey on racism: report See in context

@DieRealityCheck: reaching as far as up to Japanese (Young and old) who rarely come in contact with non-Japanese media and/or with foreigners themselves. This way, some of the issues deemed as racism might turn out to be some misunderstanding on either one side or both sides.

Quite often this is the case but as F4HA604 mentioned above, the self-entitled touchy expats are never too quick to call it “racism.”

@roughneck: Joking aside, the outcome of this survey is obvious. Without understanding the Japaneses culture, all foreigners think that Japanese are racist. Isolation is not racism. A closed society is not racist. They don't beat you up, because you are different. (…) Many elements of Japanese society is not easy for foreigners to adopt. And just because foreigners can not adopt it, doesn't mean the Japanese need to change it. Japan value their culture, their way of life. And all those who can not accept this, will always cry of racism.

Haha. I totally agree with you. The foreigners who cry “racism” are not very keen on trying to understand the local culture and the reasons for the frustration of many Japanese when they have to speak/counteract with foreigners. The easiest way is to blame the locals and hint that in this godforsaken land nothing ever changes. It is also quite often the case that the Japanese are aware that parts of their culture are difficult to be accepted by people of different cultural background yet they (the Japanese) do not ridicule the foreigners who are so clumsy at “reading the air.” I can go on and on but I know that there will always be people who will try to establish their imaginary superiority by ridiculing the local people or writing derogatory comments about their way of life, customs, traditions, etc.

@takeda: For starters, Japan should create laws to actually protect the rights of foreigners, like they were supposed to.

But then somebody might say that creating laws only for foreigners is racist because ….. (feel free to complete the sentence as you see fit – I am sure you can find a thousand ways to prove why such a law would be racist.)

@Phil: I hope they also ask whether we have seen other foreigners behaving inconsiderately or condescendingly towards Japanese. Much of the dislike of foreigners by Japanese is due to an inability of foreigners to perceive Japanese sensibilities, or to think they matter.


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Posted in: Japan's new recipe for exports - feed the world's foodies See in context

@article: Once we get to 5 trillion yen, I think agriculture can become a mainstay for exports along with cars and electronics.

Surely, before that, there is a need to motivate young people to work in agriculture. I can't see how the declining number of farmers in Japan will be able to produce enough to make agriculture "a mainstay" for exports.

@inkochi: Seriously though, some of the people who have these ideas about soft diplomacy like this should have a good hard look at themselves. The same goes with Cool Japan - not everyone wants to get dressed up as a wistful manga maiden in a mini-skirt up to here with physiologically impossible boobs.

True, but then the people running the campaign do not expect everybody to do it and the campaign is not about getting everyone dressed like a cartoon character. PR does not work in that way. However, supported by visa waivers and cheap yen, the Cool Japan campaign has produced results which are better then the ones initially expected so I can't see any reason to not give credit where it is due.

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Posted in: Trump calls accusers 'horrible horrible liars' See in context

@Fred Wallace: Unbiased media, a relic in the good ol us of a.

While it might be true that nowadays media tend to be less biased than in the past, Trump cannot blame the media as he is the one who first came up with the comments about women (what he wants to do when... etc. etc.) and has been set on this path for quite some time now.

You pull the lion's tail and you expect the lion to purr and show his love for you? Which world do you live in?

@nadaku: Someone has been very active with multiple accounts, not going to help in about 4 weeks...

I thought the same. Multiple accounts or a party of one-coin net fighters. Since yesterday it seems. However, its highly doutfull that the downvotes on Japan Today will have any effect on the elections in four-weeks.

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Posted in: Osaka sushi chain apologizes for using too much wasabi in foreign customers' orders See in context

@papi2013: If they didn't want these customers, they could have just hung a sign saying "no Koreans, and no Chinese allowed".

Yeah, right. And the comment section here would have been (at least) 3 times longer than it already is.

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Posted in: Ready for battle See in context

@Bertie: Good luck to her. Someone needs to put the fascist Abe in his place.

I am no fan of Abe, but how is he a fascist? You have been spilling poison on him and what he does for years now and nobody has arrested you for your anti-government stance. He has been traveling a lot overseas and as a result has had the name in Japan put in the main media of every country he visited for good reasons... There is no procecution of minorities in Japan (despite the fact that they still face prejudice) and the state still maintaines the principles of free speech (at least those who want to speak freely are welcome to do it, just like you.)

@Kato Kushiro

Even though she gets a lot of support the party she leads is still a very long way from being able to rule the country. They showed their incompetence when they got the support of the majority of Japanese several years ago and just blew up the opportunity to change anything they said they would. A joke of a political "power" This is not what "the main opposition party" should be.

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Posted in: Japanese sake looks overseas as local market dries up See in context

@jaymann: but it just doesn't have the taste complexity of good wine

You haven't drunk enough sake from different sakaguras then. The taste of sake ranges from very clear easy-to-drink-a-lot tastes to very complex, fruity, bouquet types which easily match the gratenes of good red wine.

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Posted in: Since Aug 21, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been to Brazil, Kenya, Russia, China, Laos, the U.S. and Cuba. Do you think he is traveling abroad too much? See in context

In the world of business, what he is doing is called promotion. Promotion is expensive nowadays but if those visits are effective, all the power to him.

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Posted in: Japan's antitrust watchdog considers action against Apple, carriers See in context


Exactly. The ridiculously high fees for data which the providers charge, the early contract-termination fees, etc. etc. No need to look any further to find unfair practices.

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Posted in: Koike tells Tokyo gov't employees to finish work by 8 p.m. See in context

I very much hope this works. Yet, the old mindset is difficult to change.

Just last Wednesday I was talking with one of my superiors who came from a large well-established company three years ago. When I said that working hard during the day and leaving at 6:00 was my understanding of a well-spent day in the office, he told me that leaving at 6:00 was my right but there were still many reasons why most Japanese would not do so. The reasons he gave: 1. Those who leave the office as soon as the official working hours are seen as people who do not care for the company and do not do for it 2. For young people working overtime is a good way to leave good impression while supplementing their low salaries with the overtime payment. 3. It is considered rude to leave the office earlier than your boss. To my surprise, he then went on to say that most of the time it is indeed possible for him to complete the day’s tasks before 6:00 but then there would be no reason to remain in the office after the end of the official work hours. However, he prefers to do only 60-70% by the end of the day, stay late and leave the office somewhere between 8:00 and 10:00 pm. He also said how he worried about his son (who is a brand-new employee at another well-established J company) Guess what! The worry is that his son goes home around 6:30 and spends the evening as he pleases!

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Posted in: Paralympics open in Rio See in context


I guess the capacity of the facilities is one reason.

I think the Paralympics should be held before the Olympics, not after. I hope I am wrong but the interest of the public seems to cool down with the closing of the Olympics. The Paralympic athletes deserve much more attention for their efforts and achievement than they get at present.

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Posted in: Koizumi backs sick U.S. sailors who blame Fukushima radiation See in context

@5SpeedRacer5Sep. 08, 2016 - 11:29AM JST

I am glad you wrote your post and agree with all you said. Though I was not in one of the plumes of Fukushima, as a young child, I was in an area which was rained on by the clouds saturated with particles from Chernobyl. At that time, my eldest cousin was 3 months pregnant. It was in May, leafy vegetables were on the table all the way through spring that year and the years after that. My cousin’s child, just as the other children at the time - and I mean “all” because in a small town there is no way to hide it if something abnormal happens - was born fine and is a handsome man now. My friends have all had children without any physical or mental defects and, thankfully, all of them are healthy and enjoying their childhoods and teenage years.

About Koizumi and Kan. Absolutely agree. While the first set deregulations which turned disastrous for a large part of the workforce in Japan the second’s time in office was a fiasco brought by his lack of experience, good judgement and strength as a leader.

As for electricity and TEPCO. You are absolutely right. But still there are many who love the dream of “clean” energy. Nothing wrong with having a dream. However, believing that we can achieve this dream tomorrow or at the latest by the end of this week is way beyond reasonable.

In my experience, there were perhaps two days where I thought it was best not to be outside. I also reported here on JapanToday how I was harvesting my lettuce at other times, and I ate it. Hysteria notwithstanding. Indoor radiation levels never got very high.

I wonder what the other JT posters’ reaction was to the above.

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Posted in: Finding a half decent gym in Japan: A survival guide See in context

Has anyone tried "Anytime Fitness" gyms? Supposedly 24/7 kind of a big chain.

Yes, I sometimes go there. It is not crowded and I love the fact that I can use it any time of the day and anywhere in & out of Tokyo but if you want free weights it may not be the place you are looking for.

For what it's worth, I would recommend Gold's Gym over all the others as the environment is generally more conducive to getting results and full-time membership, at around 9,300yen per month, is pretty reasonable.

The “reasonable” part is debatable as it depends on who pays the fee and what they want to achieve. Personally, I avoid the Gold’s because several years ago, when I tried to get a membership, they told me that if I did not apply and get a Gold’s credit card I would not be allowed to become a member. It was annoying because they just tried to impose their terms of payment for the pure benefit of the company running the gym and obviously never considered that new customers might find their credit card unnecessary (one too many in the wallet) or might prefer other payment methods.

They also buy fancy/expensive workout clothes.

Fancy clothes are not necessarirly expensive (that is if you know where to go shopping). I buy fancy workout clothes at outlet stores and love them. Feeling good while working out is no bad thing! A girl is a girl no matter where she is.

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Posted in: Make waves at the beach in a high-cut Totoro swimsuit See in context


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Posted in: China criticizes U.S., Japan, Australia for 'fanning' tensions See in context

Article: Wang said in a statement Wednesday that the move by the three countries came at an inappropriate time and wasn’t constructive.

Certainly not as "constructive" as China's work on the atoll in South China Sea where they are constructing a military base.


You are wasting your time here. There seem to be no or very few Chinese participants on this forum except you so there is no need to protect the "spotless" reputation of China's leaders.

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