JeffLee comments

Posted in: China growth dips to 5% in third quarter on energy woes: poll See in context

Indeed, even the limping US..

"limping"? US growth outlook for 2021 is WELL OVER 5%. Japan's, about half that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 100 yen store chain Daiso opens online shop with 30,000 items to choose from See in context

Please people - stop buying cheap Chinese-made plastic rubbish.

The plastic food boxes, towels, etc. I've bought there are made in Japan. I know that only because I checked the labels. I think if I checked more, I'd find that even more of the items bought there are MIJ.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Kishida sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine See in context


So who is it who votes the extreme imperialists into into power in almost every election?

... with a constitution dedicated to harmonious coexistence with there neighbors.

The Japanese didn't write a single word of that constitution. It was foisted on them by the Americans.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Man steals police car after being left alone in back seat See in context

Amimoto was quoted by police as saying he just wanted to go home.

It sounds like wanted to "borrow" the cop car rather than "steal" it. I imagine fencing a police vehicle would be really, really difficult in Japan. LOL.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Plastic additives found in 52% of seabirds around the globe: study See in context

No surprise. Only 16% of plastic is recycled. The plastics and oil industry have lied about the recyclability of plastics. Thus, this potentially toxic substance will be with us forever, destroying our environment, while hardly anything is being done about it because so much $$$ is involved.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: First and foremost, politicians must abandon the unrealistic and optimistic premise of Abenomics that Japan can cure all ills just by reflating nominal growth. See in context


It was not just personal income that did not improve under Abenomics, it was all aspects of wealth for 90% of the population.

Well, salary/income determines household wealth for most households far more than any other factor.

Financial assets declined for nearly all households, amid diminishing disposable income.

Huh? Japan's household financial assets rose to record highs during the Abenomics years. Some households did better than others, that was because they invested more of their savings instead of traditionally holding cash or buying govt bonds and life insurance. The Abe administration did actively promote non-taxable retirement schemes like NISA, but if people choose not to join them, that's their problem, not the govt's. They're very accessible and user-friendly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: First and foremost, politicians must abandon the unrealistic and optimistic premise of Abenomics that Japan can cure all ills just by reflating nominal growth. See in context

Japan was stuck in deflation and recession when Abenomics started. Many things improved. The exception is personal income, but that is a problem created by private-sector employers, not the govt. The corporations are consciously choosing to hoard their growing cash piles rather than give raises in line with their profit growth.

Corporate tax breaks (!) won't work because shareholder capitalism rewards greed. They'll just hoard more. Tax hikes are the solution, using the extra revenue for enhanced benefits for low-income workers and creating a proper social safety net.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: 2,500 cases reported of sexually exploitative photos of athletes See in context

The (legitimate) Japanese media has a long tradition of this. When I first came here, the sports tabloids' photos of female tennis players with their skirts blowing upward while hitting shots, golfers in tight slacks bending over to retrieve their balls, etc. were de rigeur. I didn't like it, but I don't recall the Japanese public complaining.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. sets new lower salt target for food industry See in context

Japan needs a sugar mandate. The instant onion soup I bought at Kinokuniya tasted craziliy sweet. When I checked the ingredients label, sugar was top of the list. For onion soup??! Ugh.

Also, check the labels here and you'll find dessert fruit concoctions have added sugar as one of their top ingredients. Hello, fruit is sweet enough for most people. This seems to be a deliberate and devious action.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Authorities call fatal stabbing of UK lawmaker terrorist act See in context

 brought about by the heavy toll of Covid and the consequences of Brexit on the population, 

Guess what? Most of the developed countries, including Japan, are dealing with the "heavy toll of Covid" and "consequences" of the global supply-chain crunch "on the population." The Japanese, for example, are bringing in the Taiwanese to make semiconductors amid a global shortage.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: I couldn’t care less about the worst ranking. I would like local residents to be proud of Ibaraki and speak out about its wonderfulness. See in context

the implication being that the locals are not speaking about its "wonderfulness." Gee, I wonder wonder why not.

When we drove through that prefecture on our way to Oarai, my constantly thought was, "These people really don't care about how their environment looks."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese businesses urge active policy debate in run-up to election See in context

I guess they don't realize that their long-running wage-suppression policies are the major root cause of the problems they are railing against (while obliquely blaming the politicians).

"come up with a long-term outlook for fiscal reconstruction"

You want to balance the books? Sure, so let's take money out of the massive surplus held by the private sector and give it to the indebted government sector. Is that really what you want?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't to boost hospital capacity to treat more COVID patients See in context

Too little, too late. The hospitals need to be nationalized ASAP.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Posted in: China's factory inflation hits 25-year high in September See in context

If the monetarist theory is correct....

Monetarist theory is incorrect. Money supply has growth vastly in the last couple of decades in major economies, while inflation has remained low, in Japan even negative. The theory isn't just wrong, it's beyond wrong.


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Bill Clinton in hospital for non-COVID-related infection See in context


In Japan, all the people can afford healthcare, 

No they can't. The monthly bills, out of pocket, are very steep, often the biggest financial burden for working people. Had a girlfriend who worked in a restaurant, and she said the most of the overtime that staff requested was so they could pay their kenko hoken bills.

By the way, the link you posted on global rankings puts US healthcare ahead of Japan, so I'm not sure what your point is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: UK worker shortage threatens Christmas turkey supply See in context

My country has been stolen from me. 

By a majority of the voters. LOL.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: An integrated resort (IR) would greatly contribute to the local economy by attracting many visitors because it will comprise not only casinos but conference halls and hotels. See in context

In Yokohama? I'm thinking gambling, huge groups of mainland Chinese tourists, and little else. Doesn't sound very appealing to me.

The vast majority of tourists to Japan don't come here for en-mass gambling.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. Navy says personnel who refuse vaccine will be expelled See in context

Military members have long been required to get a slew of vaccines. Part of the induction process, like getting your head shaved. What's the refusers' problem with this one?

8 ( +35 / -27 )

Posted in: Survey picks Japan’s most attractive prefectures – Familiar spots at top and bottom of rankings See in context

Ibaraki is indeed a dire place. My fav. these days is the highlands of central and western Fukushima - spectacular!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Rolling Stones drop hit 'Brown Sugar' from U.S. tour See in context

Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields" and references beating enslaved people, and sex with young enslaved women.

Oh, no, those things actually happened! So let's erase their mentioning. Societies that practice such censorship, whether voluntary or enforced, are always awful societies, points out this armchair historian.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: IMF, G20 focus over supply chain bottlenecks, inflation fears See in context

In the big picture, this is good news. The crunch and inflation are mostly due to rising demand on the tails of a devastating global pandemic. This is testament to the power and effectiveness of governments' and central banks' aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Without it, the developed world faced the prospect of the worst global recession in modern history. I'm celebrating.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Main opposition party pledges to achieve growth by reducing inequality, poverty See in context

Say good bye to "free market" policies in Japan. The equality stance certainly resonates with the Japanese public, as seen by this growing political consensus. The Japanese were never suited to neo-liberalism, anyway. Individuals getting ahead, leaving the group behind, goes against the culture.

exempt people who earn less than about 10 million yen annually from paying income tax.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that about $90,000, and therefore includes the vast majority of the working population?

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Posted in: UK job vacancies hit record high amid worker shortages See in context

Wages rose steeply again.

The Remainers always get angry when the British working class sees gains.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Finance chief defends bureaucrat warning against Kishida's stimulus plan See in context


I checked some more of what Yano wrote:

What does he say specifically are the "adverse effects" of the current and recent fiscal spending?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Finance chief defends bureaucrat warning against Kishida's stimulus plan See in context

" adverse effects should be thoroughly examined," 

Good idea. What exactly are Japan's "adverse effects"? Where are the fiscal/financial strains? Cuz I dont see 'em.

All the other warnings by Yano's ilk of the past have been wrong.

They used to cite skyrocketing interest rates. Then rates went near-zero-negative. LOL. They used to cite skyrocketing inflation. Then prices barely budged. They used to cite JGB default. Nope. They used to cite loss of confidence in the financial markets. Then the Nikkei rallied like crazy. LOL.

That's the problem with debt hawks: they're always wrong. So let's hear more about the supposed "adverse effects," because I need more material by which I can ridicule them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Brother, can you spare a coin — a $1 trillion one? See in context

That is an incorrect statement. 

Thanks for your strawman argument. A guy who headed the Fed for many years is on my side.

Alan Greenspan:

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

"possibly even doubling it."

That's a huge amount of money. So much for the LDP's promises a few months ago of "fiscal responsibility." At least the Biden crew want to up their spending on infrastructure and social services.

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

Posted in: Teacher arrested over sexual assault in classroom See in context

"...police said that several other female students have since come forward and reported similar incidents committed by Takahashi."

I love how this sentence is the very last in the story, like the possibility that the guy is a serial offender is not nearly as important as the report of a single incident.

Lead should be: "Police say several female pupils at an elementary school claim that one of their teachers sexually assaulted them. Yoshiyuki Takahashi has been arrested in connection with one of the alleged incidents." etc.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Brother, can you spare a coin — a $1 trillion one? See in context

It may be a gimmick, but it does underscore the fact that the US govt and its fiscal agent, the Fed, can pay any debt in dollars, because they are the sole issuers of dollars. Therefore, they are free to spend as much as they want until inflation becomes a problem.

A much bigger gimmick the debt ceiling: "instituted in the World War I era to make it easier for the U.S. to issue war bonds."

This is insanity. The world's biggest economy being hostage in 2021 by an anachronism.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: KFC Japan suspends French fry sales after running out of potatoes See in context

Welcome to the global supply-chain crunch. These bottlenecks are taking place in plenty of countries, except if somethings happen in the UK, then all the non-conservatives tell us it's Brexit's fault.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

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