JeffLee comments

Posted in: Tokyo summers are both very hot and humid. Compared with past host cities, the atmospheric conditions are the absolute worst, and this will take quite a toll on the human body. See in context

This should be interesting. in my experience the searing oppressive heat is broken sporadically by raging typhoons. Not exactly a climate that inspires a festive mood.

Mind you, the current spell is bizarrely a reversion to the cooler rainy season. Climate change is the wild card.

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Posted in: It’s still very difficult for women to reenter the country’s workforce following the birth of a child. If you are a married woman over 35 in Japan, it’s hard to find even a temporary job. Prime Minister Abe’s government is far from serious about creating work-life balance for working mothers. See in context

It's not Abe's doing. It's the employers. How obvious is that? Hello, the latter are the ones throwing up the barriers; the former urging them to bring them down.

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Posted in: Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine for war dead See in context

Yasukuni and it's supporters remind me of those Confederate Statues and U.S. far right nationalists. 

Not me. I would be reminded if one of the Confederate Statues was regularly visited by US Presidents and other top-ranking members of the US government to show their respect, and if the statue bore plaques honoring prominent slave traders and owners and describing Confederate soldiers who died trying to preserve slavery in heroic terms.

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Posted in: His actions stab the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the back. Athletes and several hundred thousand spectators from around the world will be exposed to secondhand smoke. Protecting the policy of a complete ban on indoor smoking is the duty of the minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. See in context

Alarmingly, Japanese public health policy at times puts tradition, public image and vested interests over findings from modern medical research. (Anyone for a nice gargle?)

A nice thing about going abroad to Vietnam or Singapore is that i don't have to launder my clothes or worry about the state of my lungs every time I return home from a restaurant or bar.

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Posted in: Trump bows to pressure, calls neo-Nazis and KKK criminals See in context


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Posted in: Japan's 2nd-quarter GDP blows past expectations on robust domestic demand See in context

Another version of this story credited the tight labor market, which in turn is boosting consumption, which in turn made the economy grow.

Just watch out for the 10 percent consumption tax hike.

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Posted in: 70% of major firms expect economic expansion this year: survey See in context

The top solution was the creation of workplaces that women can thrive in

No it isn't. The solution is to give workers raises when their employers do well, like companies used to do in the good old says. Growth was at least twice as high back then, and female participation and opportunities were a lot lower.

There ARE ways of achieving growth. The problem is that today's companies don't want to do them.

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Posted in: Do you think some passengers bring too many (or too big) carry-on bags with them when they board planes? See in context

Not really. It used to be worse, especially on Asian flights, where I remember passengers trying to take boxed TV sets on board with them.

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Posted in: His goal is to become the No. 1 company in the world through expanding in the technology area. He has the ability to gather money and information. He can act, and he can make decisions. See in context

His greatest talent is for spending money: Softbank is about 120 bil dollars in debt, with debt to earnings around 5 to 1. The biggest money making part of the business is inside a Japanese oligopoly. But if that protection is loosened, then look out!

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Posted in: JR East to operate British rail franchise See in context

The Japanese stake is only a third. The Dutch rail operator holds what appears to be the controlling stake. But this story comes to us from Japanese media, so anyway....

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Posted in: Abe should focus on regulatory reforms, say economists See in context

Confusing story. The "majority" number does not seem to be cited, despite it being the key element of the story.

Is this it?

"Of 31 economists who answered an additional question on what Abe should do to regain public trust, 18 said he should focus on regulatory reforms."

If so, 18/31 is not much of a majority, making the headline quite misleading. I would use the term "fairly divided."

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Posted in: French police arrest man over car attack on soldiers See in context

Why would they release his year of birth but not his name?

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Posted in: Google fires employee behind anti-diversity memo See in context

The “Diversity” ethos demands the discreet choice of adhering to the ideological line or staying silently in the closet.

As for dissent, even in its mildest forms, large all-powerful corporations and other official institutions will ensure that individuals deemed ideological impure will have their careers and even lives ruined. This news is a case in point. Feel the vibrancy! 

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Posted in: Trump says opioid crisis threatens everyone See in context

 It is because people were told that pain could be a voluntary choice -- that one could live pain-free

Which choice would you make? I know which one I would, if I had a painful chronic disease, such as diabetes and cancer, and not much time left to live.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context


> So now you say that LeMay said no invasion would be necessary. How interesting.

Yes, if he was allowed to go ahead with his plan of incinerating all the other remaining Japanese cities. Truman had some awful decisions to make, especially after Japan ignored the Potsdam surrender offer. He took the least worst option, given that it forced Japan's surrender very shortly afterward, and the killing on both sides stopped in aug 1945, rather than 1949 or 1950 or whenever.

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Posted in: Okinawan in hot water after charging Chinese tourists 10 times more for beach parasol set rental See in context

He had ONE chair broken after serving what, hundreds? thousands? of paying customers. So he effectively bans a large segment of his client base? Yep, really astute businessman, there.

Reminds me of the story of the izakaya operator in Shinjuku in the 90s who banned all foreigners because one beer glass (which are given to businesses free) was stolen by a group of eikaiwa teachers, who had until that point been frequent and lavishly spending customers.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context


LeMay loved nuclear weapons. 

Ah, context and reality, enemies of the revisionist.


Years after relaying the orders from President Harry S. Truman to drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, General LeMay said the actions were not necessary.

''We felt that our incendiary bombings had been so successful that Japan would collapse before we invaded,'' he said in a 1985 interview with the Omaha World Herald. ''We went ahead and dropped the bombs because President Truman told me to do it. He told me in a personal letter.''

You just don't get it, do you. We went thru this last year, you making one cherry-picked point after another, and then me disproving them all. It was tiresome then, and it's tiresome now.

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Posted in: Cambodia to ask Japan to invest $800 million in skytrain See in context

A Skytrain was originally built in Vancouver. It was copied for Bangkok, built by international consortia. I guess he's asking the Japanese because he knows they're more likely to throw tons of public money at the project without a lot of potentially embarrassing transparency.

Otherwise he'd be enlisting consultants to determine the project's feasibility, and so on.

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Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context

I'm not posing my words or ideas, they are the words of the commanders 

You fail to grasp those words' basic context. To cite one example, Lemay didnt like nukes, because he believed the incendiary bombing, as seen with Tokyo, could do the job cheaper and easier than with nukes. The result would have been more devastating on both sides, since a incendiary bombing campaign would have been more prolonged. More deadly too, judging by the effects of the Tokyo bombing.

No commanders thought Operation Downfall would ever be used. 

My father did. He was a soldier in Europe at the time. He and thousands of his comrades were getting ready for redeployment to Malaysia in the late spring of 45. But then atomic bombs fell on Japan. And the war was over. And he and comrades celebrated, because they could finally go home and start families. And the world, including Japan, would finally start to enjoy the fruits of peace.

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Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context


You posted the same flaky revisionist narrative last year at this time, and I picked the whole thing apart, including your gross misinterpretation of Truman's diary and other materials (Sigh.) And I don't feel like going thru the same points all over again.

The "slaughter of civilians" you just mentioned would have been much much higher if the war didnt end in Aug 1945. The horrific Battle of Okinawa would have been a minor sideshow once Operation Downfall, scheduled to begin in Nov. 1946, got underway.

The Americans didnt want any more Battle of Okinawas. They - and the rest of the world - wanted that awful war to end. And the nuclear bombs achieved that.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context

The intentional targeting of civilians is a war crime.

Everyone did that, so why single out the Americans? And Japan did it way more (other than the Nazis), given that it killed around 10 million people compared to the 2 million Japanese who were killed.

1 ( +20 / -19 )

Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context

" Everyone in the military knew Japan had been trying to surrender since April..."

Then why did they ignore the Potsdam Declaration issued in late July?

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Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context

No, because they ended the war quickly, saving many, many lives. True war crimes, like the Holocaust, had no such strategic role.

Debating the moral issues of the bomb while ignoring its its role is pointless. But that's what nearly all Japanese do.

7 ( +35 / -28 )

Posted in: Hiroshima marks 72nd anniversary of atomic bombing See in context

 If you know ANYTHING about Japan during WWII the public were never told anything.

Are you kidding? They were told A LOT about their soldiers' "heroic" exploits. The contest to decapitate 100 Chinese, for example, generated a gushing media frenzy back at home.

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Posted in: Hiroshima marks 72nd anniversary of atomic bombing See in context

"There was an extreme prejudge against Japanese at that time..."

Because Japanese cities were bombed? Before this happened, Japanese aircraft bombed the heck out of downtown Singapore, Georgetown, Manila, Chonquing, and dozens of other major foreign cities, killing lots of innocent civilians. The Japanese back home felt nothing but a sense of pride and celebration when those atrocities occurred. Talk about "prejudice."

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Posted in: What differences have you noticed in the movie-going experience at cinemas in Japan compared to cinemas overseas? See in context

I stopped going many years ago, after I was forced to sit on aisle steps because there were no empty seats, even though the theatre was happy to take my admission money.

We earlier had to stand outside and wait in a line in the rain because we weren't allowed to enter the cinema until just before the movie started. This was in Kabukicho quite a while ago. Maybe conditions are better now and in other locations.

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Posted in: Businesses look to attract more foreign tourists to rural Japan See in context

The nature is often wonderful with lots of potential, but the people usually ruin it with their drab architecture, addiction to concrete and highly restrictive and domineering attitudes toward service.

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Posted in: Struggling Singapore Airlines offers crew unpaid leave See in context

I'm getting some pretty good fares for Singapore Airlines on Skyscanner. And it's a great way to fly!

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Posted in: Perks? No! U.S. flyers prefer the cheap seats: poll See in context

"US carriers are shielded from international competition...."

The US airline industry was deregulated in 1979. Service levels have been dropping ever since. Give me a protected oligopoly airline, like JAL, or a state-owned and controlled airline like Singapore any day.

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Posted in: Abe says he'll focus on bread-and-butter issues such as jobs See in context

With 2.8 percent unemployment, "jobs" is not the issue. Salaries are. The only option is to punish corporations that refuse to give salaries and raises in line with their earnings growth.

Higher corporate taxes, rescinding procurement contracts and heavy fines may be the answer.

With Japanese corporate profits at record highs, we now know that healthy corporations does not mean a healthy economy.

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