MGigante comments

Posted in: Xi tells Abe he hopes Japan will do more to enhance regional trust See in context

So, Xi had to act this way given the fact that the CPC ramped up the anti-Japanese sentiment and rhetoric for years.

That being said, this is a huge political gain for Abe. Japan maintains its position on the Senkaku Islands, and he got a closed door meeting with Xi. Whether Xi is sincere about fixing relations is a different story, but its a symbolic victory for Japan who can now resume somewhat normal economic/diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Kagoshima governor OKs restart of Sendai nuclear reactors See in context

@slumdog,

The hurry is that there is currently a trade deficit that is hampering growth because power is so expensive in Japan. Its not a question of whether or not the power will be there, its a question of whether its contributing to sluggish economic growth.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: China calls on Japan to end jet scrambles See in context

@Sabrage,

There used to be one, but the CPC got rid of it during the cultural revolution. Instead, the word for logic that they have now takes into account the unique cultural heritage of the Chinese people; e.g., logic with Chinese characteristics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe's agenda challenged as scandals mount See in context

@mitokomonalex,

Or just someone who was annoyed that he was appointing women at all, and possibly grooming one of them to be the next PM. Most likely someone in the DPP, to be honest, if there are strings being pulled.

I don't think these scandals are enough to bring down Abe's government, anyway. Significant, perhaps, but nowhere near fatal.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Casino bill delayed again; resort opening could miss Olympics See in context

It's been proven that Society has always been the losers!

Not entirely true. Atlantic City has generated enough wealth that entire areas of the city are being rebuilt due to the money generated by the strip. Furthermore, more goods and services are offered in the city because of it, as well.

The real issue is getting these casinos into the second cities (and Okinawa), and not the major cities of Japan (like Osaka, Tokyo, and Kyoto). Regional revitalization would benefit from an influx of jobs in the country, rather than pressuring more people to work in the cities.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Shaky Japanese economy hit by growing trade deficit See in context

@yakimo,

Japan is nowhere near that point. Abe's major pitfall was being far too aggressive in raising taxes before his reforms were more widely felt. He devalued currency then taxed people more before companies felt the benefits of a weaker yen which would have then spurred them to increase wages. The wage increases are slowly starting to happen, but the economy is still pretty shaky since those wage increases are slow.

Furthermore, LNG imports are crushing Japan's balance of trade, and making energy more expensive. Once the reactors are on again (a necessary, if temporary, step regardless of your position), the deficit will be a bit more positive.

The future of Japan is not in default. Japan is nowhere near defaulting on its debts, despite the size relative to GDP. Instead, the future of Japan's economy lies in growth. A few decades of stable yearly growth (in the neighborhood of 3%) will solve their debt crisis.

Responsible and limited immigration, and a greater role/respect for women in the workplace (as both mothers and workers) will also grow the Japanese economy. The TPP (which Japan wants primarily to force its various sectors to become more competitive, not because it wants American/Australian goods), and the European equivalent that Japan is currently working on will do the same.

These are just the musings of some guy on the internet, but we are far from throwing our hands in the air saying: "we're totally screwed! game over! Abe should resign and continue Japan's decade of instability (and set back our beautiful wives/girlfriends/friends/daughters/sisters another five years)!"

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: As long as the world was dependent on fossil and uranium fuels for energy supply, Japan was a resource-poor country. On the other hand, when technologies are economically available to harvest renewabl See in context

Japan is fairly resource rich right now. Methane-hydrate is the near-future of Japan's energy usage and exportation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan’s new policy on collective self-defense: Storm in a teacup, or bridge too far? See in context

Perhaps then you would care to explain how a nuclear missile can be used defensively?

There's also the small matter of the A-bomb, which is why no country with the A-bomb has been invaded since it was invented, there is simply too great a risk that some "death or glory" general will authorise its use and destroy half the planet.

In your own words.

And this is what proponents of offensive weaponry for Japan just cannot grasp, that buying the offensive versions means that Japan's military spending would go up massively... and why?

Completely wrong. Many of Japan's weapons platforms can deploy offensive systems. There is no reason why Aegis ships, for example, could not deploy ballistic missiles, nor is there a reason why their current fighters cannot deploy smart bombs. The F-35 certainly will have most certainly have offensive capability out of the box.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Costs, politics erode chances for a Tokyo casino by 2020 See in context

Tokyo and Osaka? Really?

Why not in Okinawa? Chuugoku region? Anywhere in Chukoku? Southern-Central Kyushu? Hokkaido?

Tokyo and Osaka's central position in Japanese society is one of the major contributing issues for Japan's demographic problems.

I get that the market is there year round, but I thought we were talking about regional revitalization? How does it help having more money flow into Tokyo?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants Japan to have a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. Would you support such a move? See in context

I support such a move. The problem, however, is that the PRC (supported by South Korea, at least) would never allow Japan to attain permanent member status without a hard fight.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. blame each other for snag in TPP talks See in context

"Without TPP there is no "Abenomics", because without real trade reform, any other reforms are doomed to fail."

I agree that the TPP can push through necessary agricultural/industry/trade/corporate forms, but Japan is also necessary for the TPP to balance out interests. Without Japanese involvement, the TPP will be dominated by the US (by virtue of it being the largest economy in the world), something smaller economies do not want. Japan's position as contrary to the US is healthy for the TPP as long as they eventually get a deal signed (and I'm sure they will eventually).

Furthermore, Japan cannot throw its farm industry (and medical, and its various other industries) under the bus just for the benefit of American companies, and if you think the US is sticking to zero tariffs, as Japan is sticking to the alternative, for anything but self-interest you are mistaken.

Instead, Japan needs very gradual removal of tariffs (over a decade or more) which will give their industries time to become competitive. That is best for Japan, and ultimately that is what Abe and the US will have to agree to if a (relevant and strong) TPP deal is to be signed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Industry minister tries to convince public on need for nuclear energy See in context

In the future, yes, Japan should invest more into renewable energy. However, we are not at a point where renewable energy sources are reliable enough to replace standard forms of energy generation.

Furthermore, the problem a lot of people also seem to ignore is that transferring to another energy source (that would fill the gap that nuclear energy occupied) would take another decade, and Japan's energy needs are pretty desperate now.

These reactors have to come back online for the time-being, and they need to come back online sooner rather than later.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's trade deficit narrows 2.4% in August See in context

Japan has too little room to grow crops.

Not quite. The government reports that around 40% of Japan's arable land is not being utilized. There is a lot of room for crops. Just not enough people/no mechanized farming to farm the land.

I wonder what Japan's trade imbalance would have been back in 1988 if Japan had only 15% Nuclear energy at the time. Were Japan's positive trade numbers mainly due to lack of energy imports.

I'm sure it had something to do with it. Right now, LNG imports are tanking the overall balance of trade, and with the reactors online the balance would be in the positive.

Also, gas was cheaper in 1988, making things a bit more expensive now than they would have been before. Another reason the trade deficit exists is because we have seen many companies shut down manufacturing in Japan in the last two-three decades, and move them overseas.

In short, its not just increased LNG imports, but the complete shut-down of Japan's reactors is a significant reason why the the trade deficit exists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: It’s true that many people have suffered, and Japan’s honor has been stained in the international community because of the Asahi Shimbun’s erroneous reporting. See in context

@BertieWooster,

Wrong. His ratings for early September are:

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001547443 -- 64%

http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2014091200665 -- above 50%

On topic --

Its somewhat true that Asahi's irresponsible reporting has helped to tarnish Japan's reputation. That being said, the denial by some Japanese officials certainly did not engender respect for Japan on this particular issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Demographic crisis empties out Japan's rural areas See in context

A free cow? Talk about out of touch. Lowering taxes to attract businesses is the smart move, but it needs to be supported by building proper infrastructure.

Building bridges and tunnels, and expanding railways (not just the ones that lead to Tokyo), ports and airports in the inaka is going to be necessary to break through the isolation the country faces. A nation-wide increase in the speed-limit to the tune of 10km more wouldn't hurt either.

Furthermore, completely reforming the agricultural system is necessary. Its great that people have their own personal farms, but that is not working, and it is not going to work. Mechanized farming, and proper land utilization in the inaka has to be made much better. Those infrastructure expansions will help get more people in the inaka, as well as help expand business.

The inaka is totally set in their ways, and its almost a different world from city Japan. But its beautiful, and there is no reason why so many people should be fleeing. In some cases, we're talking prime real estate next to gorgeous beaches, in the shadows of beautiful mountains.

Ultimately, its going to be up to companies to make the real changes, but the government can help by allocating that 1trillion yen to infrastructure projects and allowing towns and villages to cut/remove taxes on certain businesses. I guess we'll see what happens, Japan is beautiful, so here's hoping something can change in the near future.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Concern growing in Australia over plan to buy Japanese submarines See in context

Do the Australians have the technology to do this at all?

Australia will need technological assistance if they decide to produce the submarines locally (or even create a new class) from Japan. This is very expensive and could lead to going over budget.

They are certainly capable, but its just cheaper in both time and cost to buy them from Japan. It also doesn't mean the Australian ship-building industry is done as Australians will likely study the submarines extensively for their own manufacturing purposes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: New internal affairs minister says she will visit Yasukuni Shrine See in context

Well, I am surprised! Did not expect that in the slightest. Can't say I'm particularly for or against it, either. Japan has a right to worship its war dead, and it is a religious matter. That said, it is a bit poorly timed.

In any case, for any real progress on this matter, there needs to be dialogue and South Korea, and the PRC need to change their anti-Japanese stance (amounting, for the PRC, to find another enemy to direct its domestic campaign at).

Japan should take steps, too, but they are minor when compared SK's and the PRC's vehemently anti-Japanese position.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: What is unlikely, and would not in any case be constructive, is that India lines up with Japan against its neighbor and major current economic partner, China. See in context

Aligning itself with Japan, immediately, is not in India's best interests.

However, slowly aligning itself with Japan will integrating economically with the People's Republic of China IS strategically important for India.

So while in the short term India should accept foreign aid from both the PRC and Japan, in the long term it will and must align itself towards Japan and the US once economic integration with the PRC reaches a certain level. Thats the smart move, and it is most likely what India is going to do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. box office slumps to worst summer in years See in context

All these blockbusters have the same formula and audiences are getting tired of it. Any surprise?

When you try to mass-market crap, eventually people get fed up. I like big-budget films every once in a while, but its just getting more and more difficult to be excited by movies these days.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: We've just become the number two player in Japan - we think we could become number one by the end of next year. See in context

No, it would just be in competition with all the other food you can get in Tokyo, including many excellent pizza restaurants. And it's a bit arrogant to imply that the Japanese need to know what pizza is really like when there are so many places that make the Neapolitan version and do it very well.

I'm sorry that you lack the vision, man. Japanese people love foreign gimmicks, and they'd eat up an "Angelo's," or a "Louis'." I've been to many a Japanese pizza place, ones known for their pizza, and they don't do it nearly as well. And they are usually far more expensive for far less food.

If you can tell me a spot that serves pizza half as good as New York's please tell me and save me the 13hr plane ride.

And claiming that the Japanese don't know what real pizza is not a proclamation of cultural superiority/inferiority, so save do me a favor and save it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: We've just become the number two player in Japan - we think we could become number one by the end of next year. See in context

A New York-style, family-run pizza place would destroy Domino's' cardboard garbage, and show the Japanese what pizza is really like.

This country is screaming for such a themed place, and Japanese people would eat it up (no pun intended). Maybe if immigration, and the TPP become things it could happen.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: China urges Japan to ease political tensions in informal meeting See in context

“Leaders need to talk because there are issues. So I have said, Japan’s door for discussions is always open, and I would like China to have the same attitude,” he said.

That is precisely the correct attitude. Here's hoping the PRC wakes up to the realities of 21st century diplomacy, and realize the tributary system has been dead for centuries (in Japan's case, since the 17th century, anyway).

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan ignores the facts, makes unreasonable criticism of China's military development ... and deliberately embellishes the China threat as an excuse to adjust its military and security policies and ex See in context

I suppose Vietnam, and the Philippines are over-blowing the "China threat," too?

This would be a credible statement if the People's Republic of China's own publications not openly called for war with Japan, and the PRC's other neighbors not also felt threatened.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's nuclear restart may be delayed until 2015 See in context

Not very good for Japan's trade deficit.

For the short-term, getting these reactors online is a priority. After that, invest in all the clean energy you want.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: South Korea slams Japan's 'ludicrous' island claim See in context

Then why don't Japan ask China to settle Senkaku/Diaoyu at the ICJ? It's free for Japan to ask. Do you see Japan doing this? Nope.

Because Japan doesn't believe there is a dispute. Therefore Japan would never acknowledge the dispute by asking the PRC to come to the ICJ. Therefore, the onus is on the PRC to bring Japan before the ICJ, not the other way around; e.g., it is the responsibility of the disputed party to bring the matter to the ICJ, not the other way around or it hurts your position.

The Takeshima dispute is also somewhat different from the Senkaku Islands dispute, because Japan respects the ICJ while the PRC does not.

What a lot of people don't know is that Japan has signed on to the the ICJ's compulsory jurisdiction statute, which means if any country were to take Japan to the ICJ the Japanese side would be compelled to respond (they can't ignore the lawsuit like the PRC is doing with the Philippines).

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan defence paper warns over China's 'dangerous acts' in sea, air See in context

The answer is very simple. Just give the islands to Taiwan.

How do you think the PRC will react when Japan recognizes de facto Taiwanese independence with that treaty? Even if the PRC did not protest, how is giving territory back to a break-away province of the PRC (which is what the PRC considers Taiwan) a good move for Japan?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to launch military space force: report See in context

I think this makes perfect sense. Space is the next frontier, and the country with the ability to assert itself in space if going to have an edge.

Also, considering Japan is planning to use solar satellites in orbit to supply itself with clean energy (testing to be done in the next year or so) its a prudent move.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sino-Japanese War still stings China 120 years later See in context

What a pathetic enormous chip on the shoulder country. The Sino-Japanese Was their biggest humiliation? What was the Opium War? Or the Boxer Rebellion?

Of course, but we all know that this "chip" is just a fabrication of the Chinese Communist Party.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan rejects U.N. committee's call on 'comfort women' See in context

Just wanted to point out that the People's Republic of China, Pakistan, and Russia are on the UN's Commission on Human Rights.

Not saying these things are not important, but can we just continue ignoring the UN on this issue?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese firms hurt by tensions with China, S Korea See in context

Shinzo Abe gets a lot of undue hate on this website when he's one of the best, most effective politicians in the world. The PRC does not like him because of that, the fact that he takes a hard line against PRC aggression, and also the fact that, despite this "China rising"-business, Japan is one of the only regional powers able to stand up to the PLAN and PLAAF.

Furthermore, am I the only one paying attention? Tensions with South Korea and the PRC are not new, and this recent flare up is Abe's fault. It was the DPJ, and the former mayor of Tokyo who started this whole issue in the first place. People who believe this recent flare up of tensions are mainly caused by historical revisionism by Japanese politicians are kidding themselves.

The only thing that would make things better at this point is if Abe were to agree that the Senkaku Islands are disputed, and that the PRC have a legal claim to them (which they absolutely do not). That is something Japan should not, and will not do.

And @toshiko,

The entire world copies off eachother, and Japan is no different. Buddhism, which became a core aspect of Chinese culture, originally came from India, for example. Also, Shintoist belief does not originate in China. The word comes from Chinese, but a proto-Shintoist belief most likely began during the Jomon period (and this culture did not originate in China).

0 ( +12 / -11 )

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