kp123 comments

Posted in: Disaster aid puts new face on U.S. military in Japan See in context

Rudyard Kipling composed a very poignant poem about how the public generally behaves toward their military that has held true for centuries before and after him when he composed "Tommy" about a common soldier by the name of Thomas Atkins typifying the British soldier during WWI(Excerpt):

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away"; But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play, The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play.

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Posted in: Some airlines put Japan expansion on hold See in context

Passenger traffic between U.S.-Japan will probably decline over the near-term as these flight plan changes by the airlines suggest. Expansion plans will eventuallly take place in due course.

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Posted in: Hawaii braces for downturn in travelers from Japan See in context

The shoe fits on the other foot when I recall Japanese cancelled vacation plans to the U.S. during 9/11 out of guilt ... at least among my Japanese friends then.

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Posted in: What do you think of the Japanese government's response to the earthquake-tsunami disaster so far? See in context

Japanese can thank their lucky stars that they're Japanese in times of a crisis like this and should be or are deserving of the respect they are receiving from around the world for their public deportment. A classic case study for psychologists seeking an explanation for the orderly behaviour of the Japanese. Something about the group thing where no one single individual stands out in this crisis as it happened during the Katrina debacle. Everyone pitches in.

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Posted in: Stocking up See in context

During the Kobe earthquake,the most asked for item from friends with the care package I was sending was a portable gas burner and extra cans of propane to cook their food with.

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Posted in: Fukushima No. 3 reactor's container feared damaged See in context

I agree Gurukun.

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Posted in: The TV viewer's guide to sumo bout fixing See in context

I've seen wins described as such by anonymous and former sekitoris for decades. So how far back does one suspect that "fixing" took place? Since the Edo period? Some enterprising TV station should have a program detailing the daily match as fixed not fixed. Too bad sumo has come to this.

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Posted in: Rise in number of empty houses a growing problem for Tokyo See in context

Heartless as it may seem, best for government to take them over through imminent domain as the last resort.

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Posted in: Why are Tokyo cabbies so clueless? See in context

I would say this article is fundamentally correct. I always use a landmark , i.e., store, station, intersection, etc., to guide the taxi driver for quicker results. Many of drivers by the way in Japan based on my discussions with them were laid-off from their career jobs so give them a break during their learning curve.

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Posted in: Kan calls quake worst crisis since World War II; OKs power outages See in context

I understood there was a converter system that changes the 50/60 cycle transmission between East and West Japan somewhere in or near Nagoya some years ago.

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Posted in: Obama to make state visit to Britain in May; stay at Buckingham Palace See in context

Makes up for not being invited to Prince William and Ms Middleton's wedding. Anyway, a good gesture on the part of GB.

Trivia: doubt many of you out there can name the members of the G-8, let alone the G-20 without looking it up.

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Posted in: 14 Wisconsin lawmakers flee state to block anti-union bill See in context

Demonstrates how democracy can get somewhat messy and boisterous at times. In a way, a very inefficient way to govern. Look at Japan as a clear example. But as ole Churchill said, we have not found a better way to govern.

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Posted in: What do you think about the wave of anti-government protests in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Iran? Should countries like China and North Korea feel uneasy about it? See in context

China : overthrow I doubt. Secession or home rule for Tibet and Jiangyin (Muslims): possible. N. Korea : implosion from economic collapse creating caretaker government of China or S. Korea.

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Posted in: Air France begins A380 Flights between Paris and Tokyo See in context

Rainman1 .... Thanks for the up date on Narita. Good to hear they remodeled. By the way, no American airline purchased A380 except FEDEX and UPS. All are opting for the Boeing 787 which is more practical for their U.S. domestic demand. Only 13 U.S. international airports are currently gearing up to handle it with one backing out (Hartfiedl, Atlanta). My town is also upgrading our airport for the A380 traffic from Europe by moving the airport 30 miles out, but it won't be ready until 2018, by then, I'll be dead and gone, pushing up daisies.

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Posted in: French unions strike over pension overhaul See in context

The French seem to fear retirement after 60 when most countries are between 62 - 67. Retirement benefits should increase accordingly for the extension to satisfy these concerns. Japan is increasing the retirement by one year every 3 years. So the official retirement age will be 65 by 2015. I believe our Congress is talking about extending it to 67 but how they do it is still up in the air.

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Posted in: Air France begins A380 Flights between Paris and Tokyo See in context

I haven't been to Narita in a while; have they remodeled the airport to accomodate the plane or are they resorting to the same method of meeting the plane with buses at the tarmac? I estimate it might take an additional couple of hours to clear immigration and customs before boarding bus limousines heading for Tokyo. Not easy to travel in Japan in spite of its efficient transportation system.

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Posted in: Pearl Harbor marks 65th anniversary of WWII's end See in context

I have one more anecdote : in the early 70's I and my American business friend visited Nagasaki on August 9 after seeing a factory in Miyazaki Pref. (A tortuously long trip in those days). The entire city was commemorating a day of peace during the anniversary of the day the atomic was dropped. He felt very uncomfortable about it and stayed in his hotel room for the remainder of that day. We returned to the States the following week and stopped off at Honolulu for a few days and visited the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbour. Over half of the visitors in our group visiting the shrine were Japanese tourists. It was a solemn and quiet occasion for all.

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Posted in: Pearl Harbor marks 65th anniversary of WWII's end See in context

Pearl Harbor will remain a symbol in the hearts and minds of all Americans for many a generation and longer. In contrast, Japan tries to forget. A young visiting Japanese businessman of ours visited us on Dec. 7 and didn't realize Dec. 7 was the anniversay of the attack.

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Posted in: Blair memoir excites booksellers, riles critics See in context

I read excerpts of the book on the web and am continually amazed how well the Brits have impeccable command of the English language. In otherwords, you have to read it word for word to ingest the information. It's like reading Charles Dicken's "Bleak House" but wouldn't go so far as to say that it's equivalent to Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales". In otherwords, you can't skim read it. I also have deep respect for both the British and Japanese for their speaking abilities as well. They know their respective syntaxes well.

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Posted in: New York Imam: Mosque fight about Muslim role in America See in context

Western and Muslim cultures are light years apart. I don't see the two ever getting along. Been that way since the Crusades. Those supporting the Mosque, do it by intellectualizing it while those who oppose it, do it by emotionalizing it; the two arguments, again, are light years apart from ever reconciling with each other....zero-sum situation. Very similar to what's going on in Jerusalem between the Islamic Dome of the Rock shrine and the Tower of David that are almost across the street from each other.

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Posted in: Carter leaves N Korea with freed American See in context

The hostage seems to be not all there. These border incursion thrill-seekers are complicating matters in a dangerous world.

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Posted in: Soaring yen threatens disaster for most, but profits for some See in context

For expats living in Japan, a strong Yen is a great position to be in. You're wealthy as all get out. Downside of course is that you're in a higher tax bracket with the IRS, provided you are filing.

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Posted in: Growing number of Americans incorrectly call Obama Muslim See in context

Intuitively, I believe Pres. Obama is a secularist having no deep conviction for any religion other than going through the motions of a person of Christian faith. Nothing wrong with that as religious beliefs are a private matter and not necessarily requiring politicians to wear them on their sleeves. Many Americans tend to conclude that if you don't look American, you're a foreigner or not cut from the same cloth and the President with a Muslim name can only have them conclude that he is of Muslim.

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Posted in: Ex-champ Kobayashi arrested at New York hot dog event See in context

Hope the judge or DA's throw out the case. Kobayashi may have grievances but needs to be careful in the future as he can potentially be subject to deportation for a misdemeanor and could be placed in detention until such time he is. But, I doubt he will face that prospect. Whether it's feasible for him to do or not, he might consult an attorney to file his grievance against MLE for restraint of trade or whatever reason for his argument.

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Posted in: Ethics probe: Palin legal defense fund was illegal See in context

Something about Sarah Palin that rings tinny. She's on Fox News but adds very little value or insights of any significance to the programs. However, she is truly a capable politician with star power who can command a following.

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Posted in: Japanese company meetings: Getting by at the table See in context

I've sat through many Japanese board and committee meetings and would say the author of this article is quite correct about the Japanese business style. I have one observation why meetings take so long : the Japanese language. It is imprecise to the extent that it requires face-to-face discussions that written action notes often times fail to accomplish in Japan. A Japanese executive would rarely approve and sign-off on a written memo without discussing the issue in length with the originator and his members.

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Posted in: Dear Angry Western Guy See in context

Whoever that guy was, he's an absolute jerk whether in Japan or anywhere else for that matter. If spouses have a disagreement, do it behind closed doors. All of this talk about cultural differences and individuality about behavior has nothing to do with this incident.

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Posted in: Iceland's volcanic activity keeps Fuji-watchers on their toes See in context

I wonder if geologists and volcanologists can correlate earthquake activities and volcanic eruptions?

Wonder if geologists and volcanologists are able to correlate earthquakes with volcanic eruptions? There was a large earthquake in 1703 in Edo that killed 108,000 people about the time before Mt. Fuji erupted. Maybe I'm just blowing hot-air with this surmisation. Climbed Fujii-san twice and recommend it to those who haven't yet.

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Posted in: Obama: Afghan war will worsen before it improves See in context

Hmmm.....President Obama makes similar statements about all the other issues facing us. He's very cautious by nature and avoids tyring to raise our expectations for fear of failing. I trust he won't pull the plug on the other issues as he will with Iraq and Afghan.

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Posted in: E-mails show Goldman Sachs boasting as meltdown unfolds See in context

What isn't clear and may be someone in Japan working for or knows GS first hand can clarify : were the profits from shorting CDO's also to the benefit and protection of their CDO investors of this financial instrument or was it exclusively for GS's benefit? If the latter, I'd say GS is very culpable. Maybe this will be cleared up by Blankfein at the Congressional hearing this coming Tuesday.

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