JeffLee comments

Posted in: I don’t think Japan made sufficient atonement after the war or was required to make those kinds of reparations ... because the U.S. saw Japan as a bulwark against communism. It might’ve been great for U.S. geopolitics, but it obscured suffering of millions of Koreans and millions of Chinese. See in context

Leave Japan and the two Koreas to work out their own problem.

That's kinda what's happening. The Trump administration prefers to be less engaged in Asia or elsewhere. For Japan and Korea, it's not working out so well, is it.

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Posted in: Do you support so-called “quota systems” to achieve gender diversity by promoting women to senior leadership positions in companies? See in context


"...then there would be more females available, capable and trained to compete for positions of senior leadership."

There should be more, since women have tended to slightly outnumber males at universities and other higher learning areas for the past 30 years or so in the developed world. If women aren't "competing" for senior positions, it's because they have chosen not to. And all the quotas in the world ain't gonna fix that.

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Posted in: Japan's trade surplus with U.S. soars ahead of talks See in context


You can't fit regular-sized automobiles from the US anywhere in Japan,

The Ford Focus parked in my central Tokyo neighbourhood fits quite nicely. And yes, the steering wheel is on the right. In fact, Ford and Mazda jointly developed that model's platform. The biggest private vehicle in my area is a Toyota FJ Cruiser, which does NOT really fit the narrow streets. So let's ban it, eh?

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Posted in: JR East aims to launch ferry route linking Haneda with central Tokyo See in context

Sounds like Bangkok. The river taxis there are a great way to get around.

As it is, my connection to Haneda is pretty awful: gotta take a bus or the Yamanote Line (!). Narita is much better, owing to 2 dedicated high-speed rail links.

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Posted in: Elvis fans remember his death 42 years ago with vigil See in context

I remember the day he died. We had arrived in Ostend from Dover on the ferry, and all the Belgium newspapers had the news on page one.

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Posted in: For a very export-driven economy, it’s actually holding up pretty well. Given the global collapse of exports, you’d expect Japan to be doing much worse. The big question going forward: Is there a straw that breaks that camel’s back? See in context

Japan's economy has long been in a good place (except for lacking natural resources). It can borrow its own money to pay its debts, which means its "straw" is a lot more resilient than most other countries, especially ones indebted for foreigners or the eurozone's Euro-chumps.

Japan remains the world's largest creditor country last time I checked, with a solid current account balance, and its GDP per capita growth is in line with OECD averages.

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Posted in: Japan surpasses China as largest non-U.S. holder of Treasuries See in context

The US is the best country to invest in or simply park your money in.

Anyway, what are the Japanese and Chinese supposed to do with all those US dollars they accumulate in their foreign trade activities? Gotta stash your cash somewhere.

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Posted in: What sort of wearable tech do you see being developed in the near future? See in context

Mainly medical. Especially ones that can measure calorie intake and blood sugar levels.

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Posted in: Double disqualification after heat shortens Olympic triathlon test event See in context

It seems to me IOC and sponsors do not care about athletes' health.

It seems Japan's Olympic bid organizers are the ones who don't care about athletes' health. Why did they push so hard to host the summer Games, and why were so excited when winning the bid?

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Posted in: Emperor expresses deep remorse over Japan's wartime actions See in context

...the peace and prosperity we are enjoying now are built on the ultimate sacrifices of the war dead.

yes, the war dead of Japan's enemies. The Japanese soldiers were the essential underpinnings of a fascist regime bent on regional domination and harsh colonization that caused the violent deaths of over 10 million innocent people in Asia.

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Posted in: As trade war rages, central banks ponder radical steps See in context


".... central banks looking to devalue their debts"

Huh? The major central banks have massive amounts of bonds on their balance sheets. That makes them creditors, not debtors.

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Posted in: As trade war rages, central banks ponder radical steps See in context

The inevitable result of "free markets", "free trade" and globalization. Ugh.

Ever since the West ditched Bretton Woods and Keynesian economics, this is the reality: negative interest rates and inflation, huge national debts, deficit spending as the norm, shrinking middle class and the super rich taking a bigger and bigger chunk of national incomes while workers get less and less.

Thanks, Mr. Reagan and Mrs. Thatcher, not to mention Mr. Nixon for abandoned Bretton Woods. This is what you wanted for us.

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Posted in: Delta to transfer all U.S.-Tokyo services to Haneda from Narita See in context

This means a lot to me. I'm a big Delta points earner and was flying free quite frequently on Delta to Singapore and Bangkok for my winter vacations.

I also prefer Narita, given its dedicated rail links.

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Posted in: Major Japanese companies pessimistic about economy: survey See in context


Once the cycle ends, there are no more easy money to borrow, that leads to rapid contraction in demand...

Where does that little analysis come from? After QE ended and rates were hiked back up in the US, the economy staged a solid recovery with stable prices and full employment, while corporate earnings were at record highs.

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Posted in: Women in managerial posts seek outside advice amid lack of role models See in context

 Why is that so hard to do?

Because the govt announced females-in-management quotas a few years ago, and employers are under pressure to meet the targets.

Forget merit, aptitude, ambition etc., and say hello to neo-Stalinism.

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Posted in: Apple loses more ground in smartphone market See in context

Some of the low-end Androids, around $300-$400, are extremely capable right now. Differences with the top-end models are subtle. There is less and less reason to get an iphone. (I never found a reason.)

Meanwhile, Apple has abandoned many of its Mac users with the doomed "trash can" model, its limited but really, really pricey successor, and taking forever to bring its stale macbook line up to speed.

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Posted in: Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth to separate: media See in context

Apparently, she licked his face a couple of times in front of photographers, which really peeved him off. The girl needs counseling.

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Posted in: Woman in critical condition after trying to save 11-year-daughter at beach See in context

You should always have a floating object and/or a pole or stick handy when swimming. Trying to save someone by grabbing them in deep water is extremely dangerous and difficult to do, even for strong swimmers.

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Posted in: Caught in the trade war: Resurgent yen poses risk for Japan Inc See in context

The outlook for Japan’s economy is highly uncertain.

The corporates say that every year. They NEVER, EVER say the outlook is "certain." LOL. It's a ploy to get what they want from the authorities and society at large: corporate tax cuts, accommodative monetary policies, subsidies, permission to conduct wage suppression, profit hoarding, paying third-world guest workers third-world wages, etc.

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Posted in: All-natural and low-sugar: Kombucha takes U.S. by storm See in context


"That sounds exceptionally unlikely, as health benefits aren't something that can be easily measured.."

The US, like other countries, regulates nutrient and health claims on labeling for food and drugs, based on specific standards.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic construction worker dies of suspected heatstroke See in context

@Henny Penny

..."the timing of the Olympics was set by foreign television networks..." 

If it weren't for the "foreign" TV networks, the Olympics wouldn't be nearly the global event it is today, and cities like Tokyo wouldn't be interested in hosting them.

Anyway, they pay a ton of money for the rights, and therefore they should have a voice on scheduling. Tokyo officials knew all this before submitting their bid, so that doesn't excuse them one bit.

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Posted in: Lying down on the job See in context

Japan definitely has a public bench deficit.

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Posted in: Death penalty questionable as a deterrent to mass killing See in context

So what. We live in Japan, where the people are fiercely pro-death penalty. The reason is retribution. It's a cultural thing. Deterrence is rarely part of the debate.

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Posted in: They are developing by far the most diverse lineup of different mobility products, from personal mobility to luxury cars and various types of shared commercial vehicles. Investors generally agree that Toyota is looking like a winner. See in context

There is tons of talk in Japan of ""mobility" but I see hardly any evidence of it on the streets. In other countries, I've seen plenty of people on e-scooters, hoverboards, etc. and disabled on really elaborate vehicles over the past several years, including in developing countries like Vietnam.

Japan, by appearances, seems really behind (maybe because of the strict cops).

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Posted in: New flight paths to Haneda will cross over central Tokyo See in context

The map shows that my gaff is just outside the affected zone. Score!

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Posted in: 2 Japanese arrested in Bangladesh for gold smuggling See in context

I wonder what Bangladeshi jails are like? Maybe not so nice.

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Posted in: Samsung ditches headphone jack after jabs at jackless rivals See in context

That jack is also a microphone input, which the media rarely ever mentions.

I have used mine professionally to capture high-end audio, including when shooting video. The input on my fabulous LG v30 is well worn, I can tell you.

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Posted in: Trade war may escalate to currency war, hurting Japan See in context

"... to help restore Japan's fiscal health, the worst among major industrialized economies..."

Balderdash. If Japan's fiscal health were poor, it would have had a bond crisis or default ages ago. The fact it continues to meet its debt obligations and maintain its fiscal obligations with basically zero side effects while printing the world's safe haven currency is evidence that its "fiscal health" is healthy indeed.

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Posted in: Scorcher See in context

Those macaques come from cool, shaded forests. If they're going to be stuck in a zoo, at least give them something similar to their natural environment.

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Posted in: FamilyMart apologizes after rodent video goes viral See in context

I have to walk through Shibuya in the early mornings on my commute and it's getting disgusting, now with the summer heat. Putrid garbage strewn across streets, crows and rats feasting. Hey, denizens, put your damn garbage in hard bins, not flimsy plastic bags!

No surprise this store was in Shibuya.

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