Matt Hartwell comments

Posted in: As Trump threatens election meddlers, Russia says 'so what?' See in context

What the US can do is put sanctions on any country or entity that does ANY business with Russia.

Won't happen when you have a European Union that looks at Russia and its 150 million people as a source of economic benefit they are currently missing out on to a large degree due to trade barriers and sanctions on both sides.

The U.S has to be very careful it does not push its European allies too far on Russian sanctions. There is a lot of support with Germany etc on more business ties with Russia and it only makes sense given that Europe is so far from Asian growth and Africa is a hit and miss proposition still torn by strife in large part.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan on brink of IWC pullout after commercial whaling comeback blocked See in context

I think there was an opportunity for compromise in formalizing the low numbers of whales that are killed now under a legal framework, instead of the loophole that Japan currently uses and Iceland and Norway ignore altogether.

There will be a split now and Japans demands, along with pro-whaling nations, will be far more egregious under a new whaling body that they form. If we have could said, ok you can take the low numbers now, 300 or so, legally, as the small amount of commercial whaling we allow under the IWC would that have been enough for compromise?

I think Australia's position should have been

Support and legitimization for very limited commercial whaling, on or about the same as what is currently taken under dodgy circumstances because clearly demand indicates, its enough. How many countries eat whale meat? count on one hand?

No takes from whale sanctuaries. Many of the anti-whaling countries have large territorial zones. Australia, U.S, E.U, even Russia sat on the fence. If they were aggressive enough in setting up whaling sanctuaries and policing it, it might be enough to ensure there numbers don't plummet again. Keep in mind all the other threats - ship collisions, sonar, micro-plastics and other plastics absolutely everywhere in the ocean, discarded fishing nets etc.

Funding for ongoing monitoring of numbers, scientific studies etc. Legit studies.

Could that have been a compromise? At the end of the day though, whaling doesn't stack up as an economic activity. It makes little sense beyond a niche activity, which is why I think this compromise could have been floated.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Posted in: Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters See in context

Canada was smart enough to ditch the F-35, bail out of this madness

Yeah but the Canadians are cheap buggers buying second hand used and abused F16's from Australia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters See in context

Soon they will find that jet has NO STEALTH plus a complicated high cost maintainence fees. But I think Abe doesnt cares at all!

Apparently the latest European developed radars can detect stealth planes, so I have read on another site.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump rebukes Japan over nontariff barriers against American cars See in context

As always, Trump only thinks about fighting the economic battles that America lost 50 years ago. He has no clue how to actually win the economic battles that are coming up in the future. Ever the backwards thinker, he wants to waste his time on dying industries instead of nurturing the next generation.

Steel, aluminium, cars. You think are dying industries? I get your point that the U.S seems focused on old industries instead of say, renewables, A.I etc, which is a massive oversight. They need to do both. And they need partners to do both. However, the U.S cannot afford to lose any of those base industries that contribute to so many others.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters See in context

Japan also wants to build its own stealth fighter, dubbed the F-3, although the high cost of military aircraft development means it will probably need to find foreign partners to share the expense.

And I very much hope that development goes ahead with suitable partners. I would like to see Japan produce a 5th or 6th generation aircraft.

The E.U is in the process of designing its next generation aircraft and that's a good thing as well. Its not wise to have the West and all of its allies reliant on one plane. I know it makes sense to get the price down but if there is a serious flaw in the F-35 and lets be honest, there has been a lot of controversy about this plane, then we need alternatives that we can build fast.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan donates ballot boxes worth $7.5 mil for Cambodia election See in context

Might just as well burn them. Cambodia is a Chinese sponsored one party dictatorship these days, no different from China itself. Japan is wasting money that would be better spent supporting democracies elsewhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump rebukes Japan over nontariff barriers against American cars See in context

American producers face "higher barriers" to selling their products abroad than competitors do selling products in the United States, the report said.

Pretty sure you could be creative if you wanted to be. How much do you want to support the industry and are you prepared for the blowback? Its all about priorities.

Its like the steel and aluminium tariffs. Some things are just necessary to support core elements of a countries manufacturing industry and even defense. Since both products are so widely used you would have to be seriously dumb to run your industry into the ground.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump rebukes Japan over nontariff barriers against American cars See in context

Arguements about the quality of U.S cars aside and the realization that when we talk about the automotive industry we might not be talking about complete cars, but components and alike, I thought this passage was interesting.

"A variety of nontariff barriers impede access to Japan's automotive market, and overall sales of U.S.-made vehicles and automotive parts in Japan remain low," said the Economic Report of the President.

Japan, however, imposes no tariffs on imported cars.

So are you refuting Trumps point or not? Or do you recognize non-tariff barriers exist? Nice slight of hand there btw, but nobody is fooled.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Old hands worry Kono's Twitter diplomacy sends wrong message on China See in context

Its a photo. I recall seeing many very chummy photos between world leaders and foreign ministers over the years among people that were otherwise assumed to be opposed in some way. It does nothing to change the reality on the ground.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe disagrees with calls to drastically rewrite war-renouncing Article 9 See in context

Feel free to pull me up if I am wrong with my logic below....

"A change in the second paragraph, depending on the wording, may make it possible to fully exercise the right to collective self-defense,"

Some might say:

"What is the point of even entering into alliances with Japan if Japan is not prepared to come to our aid in times of need"?

So yeah, what is the point, say from the U.S point of view?

Is the point that Japan wants everybody to help Japan if Japan is attacked, but will not lift a finger if the reverse is true? It seems that way.

At this stage the only genuine alliance Japan has is with the U.S, but it something other countries, like France, the U.K, Australia and India need to consider if military cooperation with Japan is to progress any further.

Until that changes, I really do question the usefulness of Japan in military matters. And i question why the U.S or Australia or France or anybody else should do anything at all if Japan is attacked.

You see its a two way street. Not a one way street on Japans terms.

At least take the step of introducing a change which would allow Japan to help if the "homeland" of an ally was attacked. That way you avoid being part of U.S misadventures overseas but still come across as a country willing to help if the U.S mainland or the mainland of any other ally is under attack.

If that change is not made maybe we should simply leave Japan at the mercy of China, Russia and anyone else who wants a slice of Japanese territory.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Australia's women players to be paid for test matches under new deal See in context

How about female tennis? Shorter games...yet the same amount of prize money. Is this okay or is it wrong?

Its clearly a case of gender discrimination and PC gone mad again. I don't see how anybody could argue differently. In any other field of endeavor, if you said we will pay this group the same wage as this group, everything else being equal (which it isn't by the way, because the men are arguably a bigger draw) and they only have to work 2/3's as hard, is that fair?

No, it clearly isn't fair.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Global shift as Olympics set up shop in Asia See in context

I don't really buy this argument that only Asian countries can afford it. Plenty of Western countries can afford it, but it comes back to the fact that these events often lose money and since these countries are democracies its seen as a political risk to support an event that incurs debts rather than profits. Its dumb economics. Although I hear that Sydney and London did ok in the end. In terms of re-invigorating cities, well that was certainly the idea behind the Olympics in London.

Certainly prestige is another factor. The Chinese might see it as prestigious, but the West has been there and done that and no longer see's the Olympics as particularly special. The Olympics is a tradition dating back ages in the West. Its nothing new or particularly exciting. The World Cup is more exciting for many.

And lets be honest, how many countries in Asia could actually pull off either even at this point? There are only 3. China, Japan & South Korea. Not exactly representative of the entire region is it.

Really gross overstatements in this article.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Hamleys opens its largest toy store in Beijing amid Christmas debate See in context

Why? For what reason?

Why should we? It's not a religious holiday we recognize, based on any religious story or myth, and it bares no relation to any national achievement, event or movement of significance to any Western country, such as labor rights, or women's suffrage. No war or military connections either. Its a wholly imported foreign holiday that boosts Chinese culture in the West and we promote it due to our support for diversity and multiculturalism, but if there is no good will or reciprocity by China to allow a Western Christian holiday, why should we continue to officially support it? Makes no sense to me.

I question the necessity of government support in terms of funding, time off work, helping with logistics (road closures), which no doubt impact productivity. Like I say, the first step is to withdraw official support. I don't see why tax money should be allocated to support it. We should use our resources to support Western traditions or traditions from other cultures in which there is a sense of good will and the willingness to share our traditions.

... Try, and this might be difficult depending upon one's mental capacity, to separate the Chinese people and culture from the CCP. The CCP is an evil dictatorship that will engage in whatever capricious acts are viewed as necessary to bolster its existence and distract from its evil rule. I don't know what "we" you are speaking for, but in countries such as Japan, the USA, and Canada, people can and will celebrate Chinese New Year, as they should. There was no Christmas in the Americas before the Europeans rolled up... But it is as welcome as Chinese New Year or Hanukah or Tanabata wherever free people celebrate. Get a proper focus on the difference between governments, nationalities, and culture... And before you claim to speak for "the West," remember that you don't.

Never claimed to speak for the entire West, simply pointing out that its not Western holiday in any sense, which is entirely accurate.

And before you claim to speak for "the West," remember that you don't.

Applies to both of us doesn't it.

The CCP is an evil dictatorship that will engage in whatever capricious acts are viewed as necessary to bolster its existence and distract from its evil rule

Well we can send a message, that you reap what you sow and what goes around, comes around.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Hamleys opens its largest toy store in Beijing amid Christmas debate See in context

Guess if they want to start banning Christmas, we can start banning Chinese holidays in the West, starting with Chinese New Year.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Pope cautions Japanese students over 'excessive' competitiveness See in context

I have a lot of time for Pope Francis but think he is off the mark here. Nothing wrong with meritocracy. That's how it should be. Better than what they are trying to push in the West in some cases - advancement based on race and gender. His arguments against consumerism apply to the entire planet pretty much at this point. The problem is the only model we have for prosperity is based on never ending growth and the never ending consumerism that comes with it. Perhaps the Pope has a plan for that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Toyota to build fuel-cell plant in California See in context

Onwards and upwards.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Calls to cancel Trump visit to UK put queen in tough spot See in context

It was reported in Australian media yesterday that the U.S is opening a new embassy in London in January next year. It was suggested that instead of a full-on state visit, Trump will attend the opening of that embassy, perhaps meet the Queen and senior government officials and leave. This will avoid a lot of the public appearances and perhaps a speech or two he would be expected to make under a state visit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan drawn against Colombia, Poland, Senegal in World Cup See in context

I would suggest that this is the best opportunity Japan has had at the World Cup with that draw. Australia on the other hand has France (a tournament favourite), Denmark (former European Champions) and Peru :( :( :( lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump calls Kim 'sick puppy;' threatens new sanctions after N Korea fires ICBM See in context

There will be no war

I don't know why people insist on getting excited and terrified

Its a classic stalemate through mutually assured destruction

The only real result at this stage is the North Korean people moving further and further into abject poverty.

The hope is clearly an internal rebellion initiated by a sizable enough proportion of the N.K military.

If that doesn't eventuate, this situation will go on for years and years.

Much like it already has.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: N Korea launches intercontinental missile; Trump says U.S. will 'take care of it' See in context

A few question to those calling for war :

The north korean regime has been telling its citizens for decades that the US are preparing to invade, so do you understand that Trump is doing exactly what they want ?

Do you understand that north korean civilians are under constant propaganda, and already blame the US for their poor situation ? What do you think they will do in case of invasion ?

Trump talked about TOTALLY destroying North Korea. Are you ok with committing a genocide then ?

Trump hasn't invaded. He hasn't so much as fired a shot across the bow. All the actions the U.S and South Korea have conducted have been in South Korean territory

I suspect they would fight back hard, just like the nationals of any country which is invaded. Many would also flee in both directions.

Nobody would be ok with it, which is why such a severe action will never be committed by the U.S unless the U.S or its allies are attacked with nuclear weapons. Then the North Koreans deserve everything coming to them.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Victoria becomes Australia's first state to legalise euthanasia See in context

...under a Labour government.

I would not be surprised to see a reversal under an LNP conservative state government since there are a lot of Catholics in the LNP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: SoftBank offers to buy Uber shares at 30% discount See in context

Is there anything Softbank does not want to buy? Talk about a spree.

offer is a chance for early investors to lock in substantial profits and for employees to cash in shares that have to date only had value on paper. Shareholders, including employees, with at least 10,000 shares are eligible to sell.

Take the money and run I say. The media focus surrounding Uber is only going to increase which means any mistake is highlighted to the extreme and share value curtailed as a result

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: It is a purely defensive system needed to protect the lives and property of our people. It does not present a threat to Russia or other neighboring countries. We have explained our thinking to Russia. See in context

With NK, China, and Russia as neighbors, it’s a wonder Japan doesn’t develop a 2000 nuke defense arsenal to ensure its safety. Literally the worst neighbors on Earth.

Your not kidding. Although anywhere in the Middle East is not exactly ideal either.

Russia has some nerve, they sent up their Cosmo Drone into space today. Its signal knocked nearly 20 smaller nation satellites out of their designated areas therefore blinding those nations. Now Russia is saying they lost the Cosmo Drone. Yeah right, cosmo drone did its job. Its all about the end game with Russia. Japan is doing right. Arm yourself ...

Just read about that, although not the fact they knocked out all these other satellites. Its interesting that apparently it was carrying satellites from NATO countries, Japan and Russia. Bit risky isn't it? Allowing Russia to have access to your satellites? Its been going on a long time so there must be checks and balances I suppose.

I imagine this failure will encourage other countries to provide the same services that Russia provides. There's a handy new industry for Japan for instance, perhaps on one of those 480 islands ;)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: N Korea launches intercontinental missile; Trump says U.S. will 'take care of it' See in context

And so it continues. Will be interesting to see the Chinese response. Facts on the ground suggest China is not happy (recently closing the bridge, closing down flights) but is it all a ruse? Time will tell.

This gains North Korea nothing in reality. Obviously they will have a weapon to target the U.S but attempt to use it and firstly its likely to be shot down by one of 3 defensive layers and secondly, if it succeeds, the result is many millions of dead North Koreans and potentially just as many South Koreans and Japanese in retaliation.

I have no doubt Trump will pull the trigger if a missile lands on U.S soil. He has no choice.

All the while it further encourages South Korea and Japan to beef up their offensive and defensive weapons with North Korea as the fall guy, but in reality, also aimed at having some sort of protection against China and Russia as well. Although its unlikely to work. Lining the pockets of Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Trump is pleased.

Sanctions will remain, even hardened further.

Expect to see more dead North Koreans turning up Japanese shores.

North Koreans think they need nukes, but the reality is they could achieve the same outcome of self defense by maintaining and enlarging their very considerable conventional force. Any attack under those conditions by South Korea or the U.S will be repelled by Chinese involvement. If only they could see that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump says there is a 'Pocahontas' in the U.S. Congress See in context

Usual suspects here crying racism this, racism that.

I just think, after decades, its about time we got the biology correct and stopped being so lazy.

We all belong to the same race, Homo Sapiens, its our ethnicity that varies.

Racism would logically suggest you hate ALL humans, because fundamentally we're all the same biologically speaking.

Ethnicicism lol? Doesn't quite roll of the tongue so easily but its a lot more accurate.

We need a new term, or we could just say something like "ethnic prejudice"

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Posted in: Britain not fazed by mixed-race fiance for Prince Harry See in context

Mixed race couples are entirely standard in the West now, Britain included.

Why would you want to restrict your options to those of the same ethnicity as you, when there may be very compatible people out there of other ethnicity's. That said, obviously you need to be aware of different norms and traditions and how you might handle that going forward. In this case I doubt its an issue.

 I do care about another addition to the tax bill. If they want a more modern monarchy in tune with the plebs, cut the ridiculous pomp, lavish homes and other nonsense. Perhaps a more low-key monarchy may even help reduce the voyeuristic interest in these people from the tabloid-reading public.

Thing is, its all that pomp and ceremony, the palace etc that continues to attract media attention which helps the monarchy retain an interest in the eyes of the public. An invisible monarchy would signal its death. Its also the reason why the British monarchy is the most well known the world over.

To that end, Harry and William have been a godsend for the future of the royal family being as active as they are.

Britain will be the last country on Earth to get rid of its monarchy. They tried it once remember, it didn't last.

People seem to forget that.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Who will be affected the most by Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura's decision to end sister-city relations with San Francisco after San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee authorized the city council's decision to accept the donation of a statue symbolizing comfort women that was built by a group of Chinese Americans and others? See in context

I don't see why the U.S should be involved. I don't think its appropriate for U.S soil to become a battleground for this issue. Trump should tell the mayor to get rid of it. America should be trying to bring South Korea & Japan together, that's what's in America's interest, but of course this statue was created by Chinese Americans and whether they are acting in America's interest is extremely debatable, could be an outpost of the United Works Department.

If I was an American acting in the interests of the country, I would be tearing it down. I hope that is what becomes of it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japanese cosmetics maker apologizes over sign barring Chinese See in context

For anyone whining about the Chinese murking up everything, remember that without their infusion of cash into the economy, Japan will simply continue to slide downwards in the list for worlds biggest economies.

Diversify, diversify, diversify. Japan is and should continue to spread its wings as much as possible. China is a large market with a massive and growing middle class. But there are plenty of opportunities outside of China. Should be getting in on the ground floor with India, its obviously a very promising relationship and a massive market long term. ASEAN as a block has tremendous potential.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: San Francisco mayor accepts 'comfort women' statue; Osaka to end sister-city ties See in context

Why drag Asian historical problems into America and further divide the Asian American community? Chinese communist supporters could be behind all this, with help from their embassy staff.

Given the heritage of the U.S mayor involved, I should think its quite likely. The tentacles of the China's United Front Work Department, their overseas propaganda workforce, also spread far and wide.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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