JeffLee comments

Posted in: Japan's households tighten purse strings as sales tax, typhoon hit See in context

Japan is the most indebted nation in the world...

No it isn't. In fact, it's the world's largest creditor nation. And the money Japan borrows is its own, which it has the sole authority to issue. And over 40% of the current outstanding debt is held by the BOJ, a public sector institution. Nothing wrong with any of that!

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Posted in: SoftBank's Son sticks with investing in chat with Alibaba's Ma See in context

Son on Friday said the decision to invest in Alibaba was driven by a gut feeling.

It's just that most of Son's other gut-feeling deals ended in embarrassing losses. The same "instincts" prompted Son to buy bitcoin at around... $20,000 a unit (LOL) and then sell it later at a $180 million loss. Buying at the top of the market, then selling at the bottom, what a strategy. An investor would have to be crazy to give their money to Son.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't compiles ¥26 tril stimulus package to prop up economy See in context

@Chip Star

"..... completely disagrees with you."

I'm not stating a opinion but an irrefutable fact. The yen remains one of the world's most stable currencies, which global investors stock up on when markets look risky.

All of the predictions by the mainstream economists, neo-libs, free marketeers and others that Japan's spending and deficit are risky and dangerous have proven over many years not just to be wrong, but beyond wrong. While the debt keeps growing, Japan has built up a world-beating currency, extremely low interest rates and a solid current account. None of these things are supposed to be happening according to the orthodoxy, which predicts the opposite happening.

When the facts consistently undermine your worldview, it's time to get a new worldview.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't compiles ¥26 tril stimulus package to prop up economy See in context

flood of fake money!

The yen is the top safe haven currency among global investors. It is anything but "fake."

So Japan is going to borrow its own money from itself and then back itself back...with its own money. Yeah, that' really something worth worrying about. LOL.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Posted in: Before the mosque was built, people even asked me if it had any connection with al-Qaida. By engaging with them directly and being patient in my explanations, I was able to get them to understand. See in context

The article doesn't mention if there is a call to prayer, which mosques frequently broadcast loudly on loudspeakers and can be a major irritant to anyone living nearby who happens not to be Muslim.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to buy island in Kagoshima Pref for U.S. military drills for ¥16 bil See in context

 the bully that pretends to be a friend.

Actually public opinion polls find the majority of Japanese, around 75%, are in favor of Japan's defense alliance with the US. So, in this regard, the US is indeed Japan's "friend." No pretending there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to OK sales of duty-free goods in vending machines See in context

Are the goods "duty free"? The Canadian Customs exemption instructions on my landing card make no mention of purchases at duty free outlets. For my whisky and sake, exemptions are based solely on volume and they never ask if I bought it at a duty free store. I'd love to bring in a ton of Japanese whisky and not pay any duty on it.

Anyway, the selection and prices of whisky, etc. are better in my local Tokyo discount shops than at the "duty free" shops, so I really don't see the point of the whole system.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to buy island in Kagoshima Pref for U.S. military drills for ¥16 bil See in context

I wonder how many other uninhabited islands in Japan are privately owned.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's jobless rate remains at 2.4% in Oct amid labor crunch See in context

I wonder what the actual real % is?

I imagine it's extremely low, as in 2 to 3 percent. i have lived in high-unemployment places, like Britain in the early 80s, and they were nothing like Japan is today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Actor Hirofumi Arai sentenced to 5 years in jail for sexual assault See in context

"That's a harsh sentence..." 

He claimed innocence. The Japanese judicial system doesn't look kindly on suspects who don't quickly confess. Stiff sentences act as a deterrent to other suspects thinking of claiming the police or prosecutors might be wrong.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Smartphones in Japan: How to buy, unlock and change plans See in context

A phone that has been unlocked should, in theory, work on any network worldwide.

"in theory" yes. But the evil Softbank doesnt doesn't things by the book. They "unlocked" my Nexus handset but that only freed-up voice. I couldn't get on a Canadian data network because all handset's network settings were still very much locked to Softbank's standards. Setting controls were either grey-shaded or absent from the menus.

The very knowledgeable support person in Canada said he had never seen anything like that before. I explained that Softbank's evilness knows no bounds.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Hong Kong protesters say 'Thank you' to Donald Trump See in context

It's a refreshing change from when foreign policy was heavily influenced by the neo-liberal globalists, and "embracing China" ("authoritarian communists are really our friends!") was bizarrely seen as a constructive policy stance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Autumn afternoon See in context

Not sure of the attraction of joining a big, tightly packed crowd on a concrete road for seeing this. My grassy neighborhood park in Tokyo is more spectacular than that, with lots of red maples in the mix, and there were very few people there on the weekend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Half of Japanese manufacturers operating overseas expect revenue falls See in context

 When the two biggest economies are fighting, any company that operates on a global scale will suffer.

Vietnam isn't suffering. In fact, investors today are gaining new interest in emerging markets, with stocks from that region one of the hottest investment spaces right now. China and Europe are doing badly, but they are not the world.

As for these Japanese companies, they always complain. Right now, their profits are still close to the all-time record high set last year, but they still complain.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: We won't permit the entry of accommodations that do not attach importance to certain matters, including the preservation of local culture. See in context

Since when does a mayor of a major Japanese city care about "preserving local culture"?He should be spending his efforts creating more and bigger pedestrian spaces, wider sidewalks and improving transport infrastructure, like bus stops with shelters and benches and yes, public benches in green spaces and sitting areas where food is being sold.

Our last trip to his fair city was a crushing, exasperating experience thanks to its inadequate, badly planned infrastructure.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Former Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone dies at 101 See in context

He engaged in that creepy brand of Japanese racism, which described the Japanese people as "warm and wet" (flexible, emotional and forgiving), and gaijin as "cold and dry" (rational, harsh, aloof). Yup, the wisdom of a world leader, head the world's second-biggest economy. LOL.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Posted in: BOJ policymaker Sakurai sets high bar for additional easing See in context

"... if overseas risks triggered a financial crisis."

But not Japanese risks? Japan's 1992 financial meltdown, caused entirely by domestic factors, was the worst of them all.

"Japan may slip back into deflation if the overseas slowdown lasts longer than expected..."

The major contributor to low inflation is here at home: Japanese employers' stinginess when it comes to wages. This is the land of rock-bottom salaries. 

Gaikoku = danger. Is this mindset imprinted on the Japanese DNA?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Actress Sawajiri’s detention for drug possession extended another 10 days See in context

Did her lawyer agree to that? Why aren't we allowed to know about what her legal defense is doing?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo's Shinjuku Gyoen national park to sell entrance tickets online See in context

Lining up and paying money to enter a public park is wrong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Britain's chief rabbi warns 'poison' of anti-Semitism has taken root in Labour See in context

Part of this comes directly from Israel.

Yeah, it's a Jewish conspiracy. Let's not go down that road. History shows us what happens when people start believing things like that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: IMF urges Japan to double consumption tax to 20% by 2050 See in context

People being productive is what makes us richer 

Actually, people consuming does a much better job at making us richer. About 60% of GDP comes from private demand. It's about 70% in the US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Toshiba develops way to accurately detect 13 types of cancer from drop of blood See in context


I also have to make a special request that the PSA check is added to my annual physical. Obviously, it should be mandatory, since it's a simple thing once your blood has been taken. There have even been times when the staff have warned me that will will cost money, as in an extra 200 yen, as if that is some kind of reason not to have it done.

And it's a lot easier to take than the alternate method.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Toshiba develops way to accurately detect 13 types of cancer from drop of blood See in context

Hurry up, because I'm really not happy with the current method of checking for prostate cancer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Yakuza are getting old, facing future without a pension or retirement pay See in context

If they don't have a pension, it's because they've chosen not to have one. Write down "self-employed" on the form, pay 16,000 yen a month and then start collecting at age 65. I dont feel sorry for them in the slightest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's consumer inflation stagnant despite tax hike boost See in context


We aren't talking about you. We're taking about the outlook for the economy as a whole. I'm waiting to hear an analyst on Bloomberg or CNBC say, "The outlook is bright, and the future is full of certainty."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested over attempted rape of teenage girl See in context

Later that same day, another woman living near the crime scene experienced a similar sexual assault.

I'm wondering why this is the last sentence of the story, like the attack isn't as important as the other one. As a lead, how about, "Police have arrested a man on suspicion of an attempted rape and are questioning him about another assault in the same area."

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's consumer inflation stagnant despite tax hike boost See in context

 "...when the future is so gloomy."

the future is always gloomy and uncertain. When was the last time anyone said, "hey, the future is certain and bright!"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: The new visa program for specified skilled workers in 14 sectors was launched in April 2019, yet only 376 people received this visa in the program's first six months. The fact that foreigners are not rushing to embrace the program should alert Japan to two critical questions: Why would non-Japanese want to work here? And once they come, how can they be successfully integrated? See in context

Why indeed? This always reminds me of the saga of a Silicon Valley tech whiz, earning a six-figure income at home, married a Japanese woman, re-located to Japan, where he was offered less than 200,000 yen a month by several Japanese IT/tech companies, who told him only old people with seniority can expect higher salaries. Young people, even with top skills, must "gaman" instead for many years.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: WeWork to lay off 2,400 employees in SoftBank revamp See in context

 I’d expect the technologists will be able to find jobs elsewhere...

WeWork is a real estate firm, not a tech firm. Most of their employees are service workers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: WeWork to lay off 2,400 employees in SoftBank revamp See in context

Well, Masa-san needed to fire up the $1.8 billion to pay Neuman to, um, leave, plus his 200 mil. "consulting fee." Having fewer workers to pay is a good way of raising Neumann's riches. Too bad the workers won't be able to pay their rent or for their groceries, but as long as the billionaires get their loot , no problem, right?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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