Japan Today

Luca comments

Posted in: Gus works See in context

No wonder Japan is one of the ( very ) few nations where the ( great ) majority of the population can only speak their native tongue.

Same as US or UK, for example? :)

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan asks U.S. to ground fighter jets after tank dumping case See in context

@Desert Tortoise

They do... probably they cannot do that in the US, but they don't care as much in other countries. In Italy too, it happened many times. And they know that because it's not their country, they won't have big consequences... at worst they will be sent back to their country and.. almost that's all.

If you don't believe me you can check what happened in Cermis (Italy) in 1998.

Of course this is just an example, a big one, but many other small "accidents" happened all the time. And not just involving airplanes.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic organizers defend request for 500 nurses as virus spikes See in context

Let's be realistic, most of people outside Japan don't really know what is going on here.

Usually the news are just very "general" ones, probably taken from official japanese media, and when I explain the situation here to family or friends, they are always quite surprised. Because the image, the perception they have of Japan, is totally different from the reality.

So I guess that japanese government is way more interested in what other countries can easily see, rather than what is actually happening.

If pulling some nurses away from hospitals will lead to some more "local" death, that is something they can live with, during a pandemic, and something that nobody can directly link to those "removed" nurses.

On the ohter side, if something happen to an international athlet during the Olympics because Japan didn't have enough medical personnel, THAT would be a disaster for japanese government.

And here we are talking about nurses, but what about other doctors? or all the paramedic staff? All people that can help with covid treatment or vaccinations.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Overseas Tokyo Olympic ticket holders may get only partial refunds See in context

I don't really like japanese governemnt, and I complain about it often.

But what is the problem here?

Japan sells the ticket to the resellers: $1000 ($1000 profit).

American reseller sells the ticket to the final buyer: $1200 ($200 profit).

Japan refunds the ticket: $1000 ($0 profit).

American reseller only refunds the nominal ticket price: $1000 (still $200 profit).

So blame the american company, not the japanese government. After, the american company can sue japanese goverment because they modified the event, I guess. But the $200 refund is on them.

Even more because they got a lot of money from american government to help during covid-era.

The UK reseller is refunding the $200 as well, like it should be.

So here I can't really blame the japanese goverment (well, blame them for making it a no-foreigners event, if you want), but the american company. Or you think japan should refund $1000 to the UK company and $1200 to the american one, just because they are greedy?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Posted in: 23 health ministry employees party until midnight despite virus restrictions See in context

Isn't this a bit too much?

I mean... I agree they are probably just a bunch of people that got lucky enough to go to a nice university (probably without even studying, after they got in), so they could get a nice job, and now they feel they are better than others because of their "status".

But SOE ended, and there are no real rules or restrictions on where or till what time they can party.

And they are just normal workers inside the ministry, not really any important politician, so it's not like they have the moral obligation to be an example for others.

Yeah, they did something kinda stupid, and people will blame them for that, but any punishment would be way too much, and even quite illegal, I guess.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Relief, concerns mixed over having state of emergency lifted early See in context

Am I the only one that noticed how the official numbers started to drop as soon as the first SOE in january got declared?

It either mean:

The numbers already started to go down "naturally", so the SOE was actually useless.

The numbers are not real at all, and the "smart" people in the government started to decreasing them too early.

Moreover, here in Tokyo they closed some outdoor sport areas (basket, soccer...) from today (27th) till March 7th, because of the virus.

If they did it as soon as the SOE started, I could accept it, but doing it now, just one week before it will be lifted, doesn't make any sense. Just a way to show that they did something. Pathetic....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Russia deploys missiles to Pacific islands claimed by Japan See in context


I agree with you that you do not know all the details. The Allied powers gave Stalin the right to take the "Kuriles" which meant the Kuriles that Japan took from Russia in 1904. In 1945 Stalin used the term "Southern Kuriles" in a letter to Truman, knowing that there was a huge difference in interpretation. This is part of why thje other WWII Allied natons do not recognize Russia's sovereignty over these four islands to this day.

And I'm sure you know a lot more details and facts than me, but still I don't see the difference. I mean, I can't find any official source saying that "Kuriles" means only "Northern Kuriles" and not all the islands, like it would be logic. Honestly a word used in a letter by someone, doesn't make it official. And if other nations changed their mind later (something not so uncommon), it just makes things more complicated.

I also agree with you that the current residents are Russians. This was achieved by forced deportation of 17,000 Japanese civilians at gunpoint, many of whom had been there for generations. Then Russia populated the islands with immigrants from other parts of Russia using economic incentives.

That's true... and Japan achieved to have Japanese civilians there by forced assimilation of the original Ainu inhabitants, and then sending other Japanese to live there.

So I guess we should give them back to the Ainu :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Russia deploys missiles to Pacific islands claimed by Japan See in context

I don't know all the details, but afaik the Yalta Agreement gave the Kuril Islands to Russia. And most of the people living in those islands are russians.

Japan is just trying to get those islands saying that:

They didn't sign the Yalta Agreement (well... of course...)

They want the most southern islands, that they don't recognize as part of the Kurils.

I guess because the first ones to live there were Ainu... but looking at what japanese did to them, I wouldn't push much on this point :)

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Posted in: A troubling pandemic thought: Are THESE the good old days? See in context

We had world wars, nuclear bombs, black death, spanish flu, earthquakes, typhoons, tsunami... and still we could reach these "old good days".

For sure this virus is not a joke like someone tried to tell us at the beginning, but it's not an apocalypse either. Many countries were not ready, and many people probably didn't care much (and many don't, even now). There will be consequences, and for sure our way of living will change a bit. But maybe not always for the bad (more time with family, and so on). And hopefully we will learn the lesson (but I doubt...). Look at Taiwan: they learnt the lesson the hard way (SARS), but because of that they were ready to react fast and well to the new virus. Plus they never believe what China say :)

For the rest, it's just a lot of IF.... (IF we won't get a vaccine... IF climate changes will get worse... IF some other disaster will happen...)

Some restaurants or hotels are probably going to close... and after new ones will open again. It's not the first time we see it.

Not saying it's not terrible for the people involved in that, but it's just what was already happening before the virus, just multiplied by x times. People will change job, others will find new business, others will open new restaurants and hotels when things will get better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Nobody knows for sure how the Spanish Flu pandemic, which killed millions of people around the world between 1918 and 1920, ended but it did end over a relatively short period of time, without a vaccine. Do you think the coronavirus will end in much the same way? See in context

Even if it might sound weird, I guess that the reason why SARS-CoV-2 might last longer is because the general world situation is way better than in 1918.

We have to consider that in 1918 there was a world war ending, so the general situation of people in many parts of the world was very bad. A lot of people got injured during the war, didn't have enough food or even a decent place to live, many soldiers were packed together in small places after years of war... starving and with many other health problems to start with.

So the flu had a very easy life, jumping from a weak body to another one. And most countries had no more enough money or infrastructures to deal with that, after the long war.

If you add the fact that hospitals, medicines, doctors at that time were no way efficient as they are now, there is no surprise that so many people died in a relatively short period.

So why it disappeared? probably because the most deadly viruses tend to kill the carrier too fast to be able to spread to others. If you add it to all the problems people already had at that time, probably only a less or non deadly version of the virus could survive.

The weakest oned died, together with the virus. Many other got herd immunity. And some small precautions like using masks and avoid crowds, did the rest.

Nobody will know it for sure, because at that time they didn't have the knowledge and infrastructures to study the virus like we have now, so we don't know much about it, but I guess that maybe SARS-CoV-2 in 1918 would be same as the Spanish Flu or even worse....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New 'comfort woman' statue in South Korea stokes anger in Japan See in context


I disagree Luca,Italy have a stronger right wing support than Germany,some exampley?

Well, right wing doesn't mean automatically fascist. Lega Nord had no real connection to it, and was more about federalism or secessionism rather than fascism.

Salvini is the italian Trump... I guess it says all :)

Fascism itself was not all bad, so even if Fratelli D'Italia (MSI - AN) had its roots in fascism, it doesn't mean that it's a fascist party, or that is trying to put a new Mussolini at the top of the country.

But I guess we are going OT...

Because in the end at a certain point of history every nation did something bad.

Indeed at the end every country did something bad or wrong.

Trying to ignore it is as bad as keeping using it to fuel anger or using it as a political tool for other purposes, no more related to those episodes. I guess there is something behind it, if a statue in an unknown botanical garden got so much hype about it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: New 'comfort woman' statue in South Korea stokes anger in Japan See in context

I am much more worried that the return of fascism is more likely to happen in "repentant" Germany than in Japan.

I guess it's something hard to say, because they are very different.

In my opinion (and I can be wrong..), in Japan they need a very strong person at the top of the country leading everybody on that way, to be able to see a return to fascism. Japanese people tend to "follow the flow" and are easier to follow someone that is already in a strong position.

In Germany, it's easier to have smaller groups of fanatics acting by their own or trying to gain power.

Same for Italy, where the fascism was born... but I guess that the chances to go back to fascism there are way less than in Germany.

Which is the most scary? No idea...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: New 'comfort woman' statue in South Korea stokes anger in Japan See in context

It's just a statue in a private botanic garden... we can discuss if it was really needed or not, and we can discuss if the man looks like Abe or not (I don't think so, but in a statue like that it's easy to "see" anyone you want), but why it has to be such a big international problem?

Those facts happend. Japan officially apologized and gave to Korea the money they asked. For the countries themselves it should be something already set.

The rest is all about the single person, to deal with it. Remember, forget, forgive or not... as long as they keep it respectful to the other people way of thinking, they are free to do whatever they want. And a statue like that doesn't have anything offensive or wrong.

The ones not "letting it go" are more the japanese rather than the koreans, I guess (at least in this case)...

Nobody would say anything if a private japanese decide to make a statue to commemorate the victims of the atomic bombs, so why a private korean can't do the same for a matter he cares about?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

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