Kokegawa comments

Posted in: Blinken reaffirms U.S. commitment to defend South Korea and Japan See in context

I would be more interested in what he has to say about US involvement in propping up dangerous cults behind the scenes of Japanese politics. I'm sure we all wonder what US "commitments" apply there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Industry minister Nishimura visits Yasukuni shrine See in context


It wasn't an act of "forgiveness". That is complete and utter nonsense. The decision to enshrine the class-A war criminals was done in secrecy and by ideologically driven priests who rejected the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (or "Tokyo Trials"). Before 1978, the head priest Fujimaro Tsukuba tried to put off the enshrinement as long as possible, until he died and Matsudaira Nagayoshi took over. And it is publically known that Matsudaira completely rejected the Tokyo Trials and considered them illegitimate for casting Japan as the villain. Matsudaira also had family members that were convicted war criminals This wasn't about forgiveness. This was about bitterness over the defeat, and a rejection of the peace imposed on Japan. Look up the article "Yasukuni and the Enshrinement of War Criminals" for a more complete examination.

There IS A REASON no Japanese Emperor has visited the shrine since 1975. The Showa emperor himself expressed his displeasure at the act in private. Further, the shrine's Yūshūkan museum is war crimes denial on steroids and casts Japan as the victim. It is rightful that politicians should choose not to associate themselves with this place, and if they do, they ar right to be criticized for it. If the Emperors of Japan can see that this is a heinous monument to militarism, why can't you?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Support for Kishida cabinet lowest since it was formed: NHK See in context

@Beto Ramirez

You don't understand how statistics work. The marginal improvements to the error-term decreases with greater sample size, so much so that polling 100,000 people is economically unjustifiable for almost any polling firm. Going from polling 100 people to 200 people will net you much more in terms of representativeness than going from 10,000 to 20,000 for instance.

Most pollsters do around 1,000-2,000 people because that is a good sample size that only carries a margin of error of a few percentage points. Why "only" 1,000? Because of the law of large numbers, which dictates that the greater your (random) sample of the population, the greater chance that it is equal to the expected values (which we can only guess at, here) found in the population. Think of it like this: if you roll a 6-sided dice 6 times, you probably won't get each of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 right? But if you roll it 60 times, or 600 times you'll probably get a more equal distribution of the results. BUT, while rolling it 6,000,000 times might net you even more accuracy, it's not really justifiable to do so, as getting a reasonably accurate result takes much less time and ressources.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan minister says women 'underestimated' See in context

It's somewhat amusing to me how I'm getting downvoted. The things I write in these comment sections aren't just pulled out of thin air, and I even refer you guys to where you can find the information. What can you possibly say to that beyond some knee-jerk reaction where you downvote something you don't like? Some people really just can't take being wrong, can they, even if the facts are shoved in their face.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan minister says women 'underestimated' See in context

It's not like men in Europe (or anywhere else, really) are any better at sharing housework.

See, this is false too, actually.

If you look up the data posted by OECD on this, you will for example see that Danish men contribute about 40% of all housework and Swedish men 45%. In general, men in other developed countries contribute more to housework than do men in Japan and East Asia at large, so there are differences.

I'm not sure were you got the idea that men were all the same.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan minister says women 'underestimated' See in context

The more equality a culture has, the lower its birthrate (see Europe, for example). Women won't have children until men earn enough to pay for their wife to look after the family so she doesn't haven't to work. That's how it worked before and everyone was happier...

Long post, but bear with me:

This is demonstrably wrong, and I will point you to the work of people like Peter McDonald, Gøsta Esping-Andersen and, for someone who has studied and written much about Japan, Mary C. Brinton, who have extensively argued the case of gender equity theory in demographics. The evidence shows that across countries there is a u-curve relationship between gender equality and fertility. In the most traditional societies, gender equality is low and fertility is high, but as societies move into a transition period, where women start to work in "jobs" but norms haven't catched up to actually recognize them as equals to men in the workplace and in the home, you can observe lower fertility rates on average. You see this in Southern European countries, for example, which have the lowest fertility rates in Europe, whereas the Northern, most equal ones actually do better overall (!). Of course, the same applies to East Asia and its notoriously patriarchal culture. There is also an excellent article by Leonard J. Schoppa: "The Policy Response to Declining Fertility Rates in Japan: Relying on Logic and Hope Over Evidence" posted in the Social Science Japan Journal, Vol 1 (3) that gives a good overview of the current situation and the failure of policymakers to properly address the issue.

But sure, let's instead listen to the views of ignorant paternalists. It's not like they've been in power in Japan since time immemorial! Just look at how well the birth rate and families are doing, oh wait... It's almost like this confirms exactly what I am talking about.

Snark aside, if you think about it from the perspective of working parents it makes sense - you would expect fewer women wanting to marry and start a family in a society where they are expected to work yet also expected to do most of the family chores and child raising and perhaps also to take care of the grandparents, too. At the same time this also negatively impacts men who want to be more than just absentee fathers, since society expects that they keep working and don't take too much time off for what is a "woman's job". This is why, despite the nice paternity leave options, many men are hesitant to take them. The culture is a hindrance.

You do not solve the problem by going back to the old ways; that is no longer possible and it would be foolish to think families would do better if supported by just a single income - those days are gone. Women are out to work, and businesses are no doubt unwilling to just be rid of their new labor force.

The real solution is, for anyone who knows anything, more gender equality; respect for women, respect for men doing "women's jobs", balancing of family life and so on. Sexism is a disease, a tumor on Japan, and it is destroying its very future in the form of shrinking and burdened future generations. Good on Noda for at least recognizing this. It's a start.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Posted in: Former Princess Mako, husband leave for New York See in context

Just leave them alone.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Posted in: Only 1 in 5 Japanese happy with ¥100,000 handout plan: poll See in context


The size of the population does not really matter. You're misunderstanding the nature of sampling and statistical representation. The main determinant of error is absolute sample size, not sample size relative to the population. And the marginal effects of larger sample size on accuracy are decreasing in nature, meaning that going from 100 to 200 people nets you a far greater reduction in sampling error than going from 10,000 to 20,000. That is why pollsters usually consider around 1,000 people to be a good number, because at that point they will have a reasonably accurate sample with a margin of error of a few percentage points, and any gains to be made from increasing the sample size will be increasingly miniscule and costly.

You are correct in pointing out that the sampling method is not necessarily a good one, however. All of what I said above is conditioned on the sample being random and representative of the population it is extracted from. I just wished to correct your erroneous statement about the sample size being a problem.

Also, cue the downvotes, a statistical probability (hah!), from people who do not understand the subject in the least.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP sees separate surnames premature for legislation See in context

These clowns deserve to lose everything in the coming election. Utterly spineless dinosaurs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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


First of all, you're making a common mistake in assuming that "Class A" war criminals are the worst ones. That is not necessarily the case. Class A war criminals are those that committed "crimes against peace", while Class B criminals committed conventional war crimes (mistreatment of prisoners, deliberate targeting of civilians, destruction of cities), and Class C were those that committed crimes against humanity (i.e. systematic persecution, the Holocaust). There are more than 1,000 of all 3 types enshrined at Yasukuni.

Second, and this is perhaps what is most important: the war criminals at Yasukuni were not enshrined there from the beginning. The enshrinement was a continuous process that took place over many years after WW2. The decision to enshrine Class C and Class B criminals was made only in the late 1950s and done in secrecy (against even wishes of some of the families) by ideologically driven priests who thought that by exluding war criminals it meant tacit acceptance of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, which they viewed as illegitimate. Class A war criminals only became enshrined in 1978 after the head priest, Tsukuba Fujimaro, had put if off as long as possible. The new head priest, Matsudaira Nagayoshi, had a father-in-law who was a class C war criminal that was executed by firing squad. So the enshrinement of war criminals was a secretive and ideologically-driven act done out of contempt for the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. It was done precisely out of contempt for the fact that Japan had lost the war; they were sorry they lost, not sorry they did it.

I recommend this article that really goes into depth about the issue: https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

7 ( +22 / -15 )

Posted in: Ruling party kicks off race to pick Suga's successor See in context

A drummer in a heavy-metal band and a motorbike rider as a student, she favors traditional gender roles and a paternalistic family system and staunchly supports the imperial family's male-only succession

You're telling me Takaichi is a total hypocrite? Do as I say, not as I do? What a surprise!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Opposition proposes cash handouts, vaccine priority for teachers See in context

People who call this "vote buying" should remember that political parties exist more or less as what you might call "transmission belts" for the interests of their supporters. It should not surprise anyone that a party will do something that benefits the interests of those who support it - the question you should be asking yourselves is if this thing you call "vote buying" is the right thing, if this "vote buying" is something that makes our society a better place.

Of course, one should also be weary of empty promises, and we see those a lot - but that is in part because Japanese people too often just take things lying down instead of punishing bad politicians for their (lack of) actions.

In any case, I do think these policies would be the right thing to do, regardless of whether or not you want to call it "vote buying"; any policy that benefits anyone can be construed that way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Opposition proposes cash handouts, vaccine priority for teachers See in context

Considering and then really forming a platform with the communists alone disqualified that whole block already. The rest is just only cosmetics. You can’t bring the country on course for all the future challenges with a childish manifest of a small insufficient cash handout or vaccination priorities for a small group of the population that even contradicts their otherwise always equality ideologies

"Always equality ideologies" is such a terrible and ignorant perspective on communism. It's like something any child can come up with. I will always recommend people read more, because it would lead to less of this confusion. Let's take a look at the classics:

"But one man is superior to another physically, or mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right, by its very nature, can consist only in the application of an equal standard; but unequal individuals (and they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal) are measurable only by an equal standard insofar as they are brought under an equal point of view, are taken from one definite side only – for instance, in the present case, are regarded only as workers and nothing more is seen in them, everything else being ignored. Further, one worker is married, another is not; one has more children than another, and so on and so forth. Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal."

Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1875).

"[The] real content of the proletarian demand for equality is the demand for the abolition of classes. Any demand for equality which goes beyond that, of necessity passes into absurdity... The idea of equality, both in its bourgeois and in its proletarian form, is therefore itself a historical product, the creation of which required definite historical conditions that in turn themselves presuppose a long previous history. It is therefore anything but an eternal truth."

Frederick Engels, Anti-Dühring (1877)

Giving vaccine priority to those who may well need it most "contradicts" nothing of the ideological content that the JCP claims to have. And these are just emergency policy proposals and whatever the parties could agree on, not their entire platform.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan considering vaccine passports for commercial activities See in context

Honestly this comment-section is full of typical antivaxxer talking points disguised with sophistic "freedom" mumbo jumbo (majoring in political science has helped me notice these types wherever they appear; they are frequent in America, too). You talk of "medical discrimination" - why yes, because you're putting other people at risk with your stupidity if you choose not to get vaccinated with a vaccine that has been approved by health authorities worldwide, mind you. It's the same reason we "discriminate" against people covered in dung from head to toe - you're a walking health risk, and you had better clean up your act before going anywhere near the rest of us.

Vaccine passports work just fine in my home country. You use it when going to bars or big festivities, to let people know you're safe to be around. It's okay, people.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Posted in: Japan considering vaccine passports for commercial activities See in context

Ok. So I assume they will also be refusing entry to anyone that has not been vaccinated against influenza, tuberculosis, mumps, chickenpox, measles, etc. too?

People were vulnerable to a whole range of things long before Covid ever came along, and yet those risks (and deaths) were deemed acceptable or, more importantly, "that's life."

We're not currently in a worldwide tuberculosis pandemic with millions of people refusing treatment and thereby putting millions of other people at risk. At the moment, influenza is an endemic disease, meaning it exists at a constant baseline level in the population.

So these things are simply not comparable. Your little jab here is rather ridiculous, and the amount of upvotes this has gotten says a lot about the lack of thought shown by people here.

Here it comes. Fascism pure and simple. But people talking about this a year ago were "conspiracy theorists."

Tell me you don't know what fascism is without telling me, Gooch.

Like for real, go read a book or something. It will hopefully help you understand what terms mean and not merely throw them around on the Internet in such a crackpot manner. For a short read, Umberto Eco's Ur-Fascism should help you on the road.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Posted in: Abe supports conservative ally Takaichi as Suga's successor See in context

People also forget that while Takaichi is able to brush off the photo-incident as an "accident", she also ran around promoting a book that praised Hitler in the 90s:


Not someone who should ever be in the position of PM.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: LDP leader hopefuls position themselves as general election looms See in context

I hope they choose the worst possible candidate and absolutely tank in the general election, just like 2009.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to give public employees paid leave for fertility treatment See in context

It may be worth the government thinking of giving a second child bonus payment because I am sure many parents after the first child, with all the sudden problems that gives them, may just decide one is enough. At the very least talk to parents of one child and see what is stopping them have a second one. Maybe give them ten days off a month for baby making and some free love hotel vouchers. In reality just given them some extended lunch breaks on the fertile days of the month.

As a partial answer to Nator's post, according to the The 15th Japanese National Fertility Survey conducted in 2015, the most common reason for having less than the desired number of children is indeed economic reasons, i.e. that it costs too much (answer given by 56.3% of those who did not have the desired amount). If you dig into the data of the survey, you'll also find that a not insignificant part also say they're prevented from having their desired amount of children because they cannot conceive (19.1% for 35-39 y.o. and 28.4% for 40-49 y.o.), which suggests the need for fertility treatment also.

I'd actually suggest anyone who wants to know more about the topic go look at the survey, because the basic facts are often poorly understood, I feel. Another stat to take note of is that Japan spends relatively little on family benefits as a % of GDP; you'd think they'd have gotten the memo by now (literally) and would start upping the cash flow accordingly, but I guess that's too much to expect from J-Gov.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga cabinet support rate hits low of 35.9% See in context

Do you mean nonsesncial policies such as:

First of all, why are you trying to sidestep the issue here? Do you not agree that the alcohol ban was a complete waste of time and resources? Don't you think the policians and/or bureaucrats who sat down to decide this couldn't have come up with something less idiotic?

1) the lowest covid death rate in the G7?

On the face of it, this is fair, but it is not as low as that of its neighbors in the region. On the whole,

2) Free Vaccinations for everyone in Japan.

There is nothing special about that. Not to mention that Japan is now in lack of vaccines. As we saw in another recent article, vaccination has to be slowed down. Japan is really far behind on this front - it also matters, because most people who die are the unvaccinated.

3) the lowest unemployment rate in the G7.

They like to cook the books with this one. Unemployment is artificially kept low by the 1/3 of the workforce that are part-timers and non-regular workers. What good is it that people are employed to be essentially wage slaves barely staying afloat?

4) A record budget surplus

What budget surplus? I literally can't find data on this anywhere beyond a vague forecast of a surplus possibly coming around* *2029.

5) a Japan that is both safe at home and abroad.

What an extraordinary achievement for a country that has not been at war for almost 76 years.

6 A Japan that saw none of the riots that the west saw. - United States Capitol attack just to name one.

Nothing special. Japanese people are generally, for lack of a better term, far too docile to riot, but the lack of riots is not unique to Japan among developed countries.

7) the lowest number of covid cases in the G7

Doubtful, especially with the pitiful lack of actual testing over the last many months.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Posted in: Suga cabinet support rate hits low of 35.9% See in context

Even if Suga ends up taking the fall, my fear is that the LDP will just replace him with yet another spineless old buffoon that'll sit on his hands and waste time on nonsensical policies (like the alchohol ban) that do nothing to materially benefit ordinary people.

I would also caution anyone taking this to mean that the LDP will lose the upcoming election; we've seen it before - low approval ratings don't necessarily translate into an election loss in Japan, especially not with how bad the opposition is at siezing the moment and presenting themselves as a legitimate alternative (to say nothing of the broken election system and general voter apathy).

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Posted in: COVID state of emergency likely for Tokyo Olympics See in context

Suga did not confirm the report but noted Tokyo's upsurge and vowed "to do everything we can to prevent the further spread of the infections."

Empty words from quasi-PM Suga.

27 ( +32 / -5 )

Posted in: Lower house seat allocation to be reviewed to narrow vote weight gap See in context

Instead of this nonsense, they should really consider overhauling the entire election system. It is stupid and dysfunctional: the kind of system that gives the LDP supermajorities despite getting less than half the votes. Despite the inclusion of so-called PR-elections, in Japan they don't actually correct for the disparities and therefore only serve to make things slightly more proportional.

Here's some suggestions that would fix these issues:

1) Keep electoral districts if you wish to have candidates that are locally anchored and can represent local interests, but turn them into multi-member districts to ensure less votes are lost and more diversity of opinion emanating from the different regions of Japan. The precise number of seats per district can be allocated based on population as they are now (or some different method), but even failing to update the number (per the census) will not spell the end of popular representation - the next suggestion is why.

2) Strengthen the PR-mechanism so that any significant disparities between the party percentage share of the seats elected from districts is automatically corrected to be in line with the popular vote. The way to do this is, similar to now, to set aside a non-zero number of seats to be allocated according to proportionality. These extra seats will, in other words, be weighed so as to correct the disparity with the popular vote without nullifying the results of local district elections.

This will ensure a proportional system truly reflecting the will of the electorate and will also be in line with the Constitution, namely that each vote should have equal weight - at least when it comes to national representation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's population falls to 126.22 mil in 2020; drops out of top 10 in world See in context

As usual, people are celebrating without understanding the nature and conseqences of the decline (or perhaps simply ignoring it to feel better?). The decline won't be good for Japan.

Also, it's quite naive to think you Tokyo-ites will feel the effects of this any time soon. The depopulation is primarily happening in other regions of the country, whilst the remaining people are all packing themselves in the capital.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Suga upholds Japan's apologies for wartime aggression, comfort women See in context

Disgusting denial of history by kennyG in this comment section. The massacre was widely reported at the time, including by foreign journalists and diplomats present in Nanking. Everyone knew what Japan had done. It's the perfect example of why other countries believe Japan has never truly accepted its past doings; you really are not helping your case.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 436 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 2,652 See in context

Very strong low numbers! However, the fear mongering continues...we are living in sad times with people walking around living in fear.

This reads like a Trump tweet. Equally ridiculous, too.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan births hit new record low in 2020 See in context

Propagators of the overpopulation argument here (such as oldman_13, JeffLee and OlympicSupport): you're being ridiculous. You do not seem to understand the coming burden of a hyper-aged population, as well as the fact that many people in Japan actually want to have a family but forego it due to lack of time, energy and money. This was the background to Abe's pledge to raise the TFR to 1.8 (a ridiculous pledge considering he never really did anything) - it was however based on the ideal number of children that couples would like to have as indicated by survey data.

And even if Japan's number of births recovered to around 1.1 million a year, which was the case 10 years ago, the population would still decline to less than 100 million. Even recovering to the replacement level of 2.07 will yield a substantially smaller population for Japan due to the lower and lower number of women in the fertile age range. As the 1950s and 1970s cohort retires, the burden will become immense, and a continually low fertility rate will only create a compound effect on all society. A TFR of 1.34 children per woman is not "healthy". Calling this a "good thing" is pure ridiculousness, and I'm frankly tired of such narratives. You are celebrating what is obviously a sign of huge social ills. I also view your opinions as a lack of farsightedness, because whether or not 800,000 or 400,000 children are born this year, they will have to support the same number of people in their parent's generation regardless - fewer being born right now simply means a much larger burden on those very same people in the future.

In addition, if you're so concerned about the planet, the issue is not with Japan, where the decline is all but assured (my point is that recovering fertility rates is necessary to stabilize the situation and avert catastrophe), but with the rapidly expanding third world that will surely want to adapt the living standards, and thus resource usage, of the developed world.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Posted in: Suga likely to call snap election after Olympics, Paralympics: report See in context

As much as I hate to say it, part of me hopes the games will be such a disaster that it forces the incompetent buffoon from power.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Posted in: Large percentage of Chiba city officials embrace paternity leave See in context

It's good to see. Now, if only the big heavy-weight politicians could actually show some initiative as well, instead of sitting on their behinds like always, Japan could come much further in creating a more proper work-life balance and make parenthood not a reason to be a social pariah; both should help with the birth rate, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Withdrawal of immigration bill underscores Suga's precarious standing See in context

The approval rating for Suga's Cabinet fell to 41.1 percent in a Kyodo News poll conducted last weekend, down from 44.0 percent in April.

Unbelievable that it is not lower.

Is Suga breathing all it takes to gain these people's approval?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese gov't drops bill to revise immigration law amid opposition See in context

The Justice Ministry turned down an opposition request to release video footage showing Wishma as her condition deteriorated, partly for security reasons

"Security reasons". Obvious BS.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

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