Michael Erickson comments

Posted in: Japan eyes putting TPP into force without U.S. See in context

Japan's PM-Abe could have used the TPP ratification as justification for needed domestic Japan reforms that were contentious to his people and businesses. However, it does not have to end with the failure of the TPP. As long as the USA and Japan negotiate the follow-on Trade Agreement, then PM-Abe will still have that justification available to him. The key aspect is to accomplish the negotiations quickly. One of the biggest complaints by American businesses and Congress about the TPP has been that...although Obama refused to keep Congress informed as it was being negotiated, Obama allowed members of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights to have access to texts all along. These members include representatives of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Entertainment Software Association, as well as firms such as Gilead Sciences, Johnson and Johnson, Verizon, Cisco Systems, and General Electric. Obama and USTR negotiated for intellectual property provisions that it knew could not achieve through an open democratic process. For example, it includes provisions similar to those of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that the European Parliament ultimately rejected.

Thus, Prime Minister Abe should stop dreaming about creating a new TPP-Light, led by Japan, and instead try to negotiate a new Bi-Lateral Agreement with USA...because without USA in the mix, Japan's economy will continue to flounder aimlessly....particularly in light of the fact that Japan is struggling to influence a successful Agreement with the EU...Obviously Japan's influence did not stop BREXIT.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan eyes putting TPP into force without U.S. See in context

I disagree with you on most of your points for this effort:

The USA will not join into something that Japan spearheads alone, when USA is not included from the start. Thus, it is foolish to believe that if Japan leads a TPP-Light renegotiation, that USA would later join. The world does not work that way. The minute that Japan attempts to include Taiwan into a revised TPP with other APAC countries, then China will really get ugly diplomatically, with Trade, and Military might. Japan has no chance to negotiate Taiwan into a TPP-revamp Agreement. Japan has no economic or military might to convince Taiwan to go against the 'One China' policy; only USA has that might. If PM-Abe tries this, without USA involved from the start, Japan will be in real trouble. This is TERRIBLE idea.

The damage is already done in Japan and throughout APAC region by the terminated TPP. All APAC countries will be very leery about rejoining a multi-lateral Trade negotiation lead only by Japan (too many rice-bowl issues; too many complaints against Japan to overcome if they are the lead). Prime Minister Abe rushed to meet with Hillary Clinton a couple months before (a mistake), but then he commented to the Japan press on 21 November (after meeting with President Trump) that the TPP without the USA is meaningless. Some ex-pat Americans who live and conduct consulting in Japan have berated PM-Abe for these comments, but they are the ones that are committing career suicide by not understanding the precarious nature of the balance PM-Abe faces between maintenance of USA-Japan alliance and that of serving the interests of his Japanese constituency.

Short-sighted 'bloviators' at 'think-tankers' are encouraging PM-Abe to bluster-forward with a hastily-modified TPP Agreement with the other Countries (minus USA), and hope that eventually USA will join that renewed effort at some point in future (e.g. 4-years from now when new Elections). Japan is sad that their influence on the world stage has slipped, and wants to hold a leadership role, particularly in light of the hegemony of China towards all the other nations. Unfortunately for Japan, if USA is not part of the Agreement, then it is 'economically meaningless'. However, that does not mean that Japan cannot continue to be ONE OF THE leaders in APAC, in collaboration with USA. Remember - it is not necessary to reach an Agreement at first, but only to seek an adjustment, ideally an improvement, in the issue or in the Trade Relationship.

Without USA in the mix, there is very little incentive for these 10-countries to attempt another grand Multi-Lateral Agreement. The now-terminated TPP required that for it to go into force, countries that ratify the agreement through their domestic legislative processes must represent 85% of the total Gross Domestic Product of the twelve original signatory countries. The U.S. GDP represents 62% of TPP signatory nations. That means Japan and the other 10-countries only make up a tiny 23% of combined GDP of the original TPP gathering. There does not seem good justification for arduous and complex negotiating effort just to gather this smallish 23% of GDP into one Agreement.

If Japan attempts to negotiate with USA on a Bi-Lateral nature (or new Multi-Lateral nature) then Japan has a somewhat-improved chance to negotiate a trade agreement that serves its own economic interests if it has alternatives to a no-deal—a longstanding insight of negotiation dynamics. Japan will almost surely attempt to use the potential Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as a bargaining chip against the USA. However, Japan should remember that they can NOT wait for USA Populism to wane, hoping that the USA will re-engage on a Trade Deal that Japan spear-headed after collapse of TPP. If USA is not one of the Agreement-Leads, then the USA will be forced to subvert any 'TPP-light' Agreements that Japan or China attempt to orchestrate to protect Bi-Lateral Agreements. Thus, at this moment, it appears to be 'All-in (with USA), or All-out'. However, the value is that a renegotiated Multi-Lateral Agreement, with USA included in the mix, does not have to start from scratch.

The USA will always be one of the most important Economic & Trade Leadership roles in APAC. Japan and the APAC countries understand this. The other APAC countries will not follow if only led by Japan. Some countries will most likely throw much effort into attempting to convince President Trump to renegotiate the Multi-Lateral Trade Agreement in a way to ensure continued USA participation, rather than trying to negotiate such an Agreement with Japan only as the Lead.

One of the biggest problems with USA-Ratification of the TPP in Congress was the feckless handling of the TPP negotiations and the absolute veil of secrecy caused by Obama and the US Trade Representative (USTR) team. This was compounded by PM-Abe blindly following Obama and secretly negotiating with Hillary Clinton in hopes that she would revive the TPP when she won. Unfortunately, PM-Abe's dreams failed with Hillary's. Hillary Clinton is equally feckless; had she won the election, the TPP would still have been terminated. When Obama and his USTR kept all matters of the TPP secret, except for participation by their favored jumbo-corporations (e.g. Sugar Industry; Clothing; Pharmaceuticals; Insurance; Boeing; etc.) and PM-Abe, then Congress and the entire USA business communities were left worrying incessantly about how it might affect their business interests. Everyone's fear of the unknown was much scarier than the reality.

With or without the TPP, USA and Japan will be able to collaboratively draft and negotiate a bi-lateral or multi-lateral Agreement that stymies China's apparent economic advantages (e.g. undemocratic, does not respect human rights, the rule of law, transparency, copyrights, environment, etc.). Then USA will be able to influence the other countries in the region to follow this because of the concept of collaborative security, which produces economic and trade growth. This will then counterweight China's closed market and anti-competitive legal system.

I completely disagree with your idea for creation of a TPP Headquarters in Osaka; what a foolish idea. Although the promoters of this concept may have gathered a group of Japanese Professors (e.g. Toshihiko Hayashi) and ex-pat American Professors for this effort, they are just looking 'starry-eyed', at Singapore's APEC Secretariat and Jakarta's ASEAN Secretariat, when you recommended that a $100-Million Dollar TPP-Headquarters should be established in Osaka (and theoretically manned by them). None of the other Asian Countries (nor President Trump and the USA) will feel this is a necessary infrastructure item. Everyone will see this as a Staffing & Budget scheme just to keep the professors gainfully employed and to throw work at the Universities in the local area. All of the Professors all work in Osaka Universities, that is why they promote Kansai as the best location. I completely disagree that Osaka would even be the best place for such a HQ. No one wants to travel Thousands of Miles to get to Japan, and then travel Hundreds of Miles again away from the Tokyo Capital and Business Community, just to get to Osaka. Perhaps it would be possible for Japan (and USA) to 'thumb their noses at China' by putting such Headquarters in China's backyard at Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, or Taiwan (Osaka is too expensive to get to). Additionally, I completely disagree with the Professor's suggestion that such Multi-Lateral Trade Headquarters should have 'Diplomatic Immunity' (just trying to protect themselves from their bad recommendations, and the diplomats bad-decisions).

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Posted in: Abe to propose major job-creating plan to Trump, reports say See in context

U.S.-JAPAN ECONOMY & JOB GROWTH PROPOSAL Erickson’s Fast Facts

Japan-U.S. Growth and Employment Initiative: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to propose during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Feb. 10 a bilateral economic cooperation plan, including the creation of a $450 billion (¥51 trillion) market through railways and other infrastructure investments in the United States to generate 700,000 jobs. a. Development of the world’s most advanced infrastructure in the United States: High Speed Rail Projects (Dallas-Houston; Baltimore-Washington, DC; California) – Japan to provide Technical Cooperation & Low Interest Loans (from Japan Government Pension Fund). Japan to replace 3000 aging USA-manufactured Train Cars with Japan-produced Train Cars. b. Cooperate in highly efficient gas-fired power generation and the latest compact nuclear power generation systems. c. Drawing on demand for infrastructure around the world; d. Research and development of robots and artificial intelligence: Cooperation between Japan (who has advance robotic technology) and USA (which leads in AI technology). Jointly develop robots to be used for inspecting aging infrastructure, decommissioning nuclear power plants, and carrying out medical diagnosis and surgery. Cooperate on development of autonomous cars, autonomous planes and autonomous ships. e. Trade Cooperation: Compete against China by sstrengthening the implementation of trade rules to cope with oversupply of steel, aluminum and other metals as well as illegal acquisition of intellectual property. Japan and the United States would jointly work on creating common rules related to e-commerce, government procurement, labor and other issues so that Japanese and U.S. companies will be able to operate under fair conditions, even in “non-market economies” where preferential treatment is given to state-owned enterprises and free competition among private companies is not guaranteed. f. Collaboration in new areas such as cyber and space; g. Cooperation in employment: Toyota has been making big investments in the U.S. It has built big factories, created jobs. If they make profits, their salaries increase and the benefits for Japan also grow. If the United States grows, without a doubt that benefits Japan. h. Defense Cooperation

Texas High-Speed Rail a. When: Starting construction next year, completion estimated by FY2021? b. Where: 90-minute travel time in North Texas Dallas-to-Houston. See Route at six geographic areas include: • Corsicana (CR) • Bardwell (BA) • Interstate Highway 45 (IH‐45) • Middle (MD) • Hockley (HC) • Downtown Houston (DH) c. Cost: About US$10 billion even though Texas Central Railway has not revealed the cost of purchasing the land, buying the rolling stock and building the railway and stations. Does not include the cost of needed Inner City Commuter-leg. d. How Fast: 200-mph (in a fully-sealed corridor) e. Players: 1) Texas Central Partners (formerly called Lone Star High Speed Rail, LLC); 2) Central Japan Railway Company (20-Employees in Texas) f. Technology: Based on the N700‐I Toikaido Shinkansen (Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka). See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N700_Series_Shinkansen g. Objectives: 1) Relieve congestion along Interstate-45 2) Connect businesses with Houston 3) Efficiency 4) Increase Passengers on Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) light rail 5) Bring High-Speed Rail Station into downtown Houston 6) Bring more Japanese companies to North Texas – already lured Toyota, Kubota h. Feasibility Studies: http://library.ctr.utexas.edu/digitized/texasarchive/MS1530.pdf i. FRA Analysis of Alternatives (AoA): https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L17203 j. Environmental Impact: minimal impacts to the natural and built environments by maximizing adjacency to existing infrastructure ROW. See 1) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Report at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L16978 2) FRA Corridor AoA Report: http://www.texascentralhighspeedrail.com/resources/Step-1-Screening-of-Corridor-Alternatives-Report.pdf 3) FRA Alignment AoA Report: http://www.texascentralhighspeedrail.com/resources/Step-2-Screening-of-Alignment-Alternatives-Report_20151105_Issue_LowRes.pdf 4) FRA Last Mile Report: http://www.texascentralhighspeedrail.com/resources/Last-Mile-Analysis_20150327_ISSUE.pdf k. Infrastructure needed to be successful 1) Gulf-Coast Rail District – The planned route for Texas Central Railway’s high-speed train between Houston and Dallas would only bring the train as far as the 610 Loop. Houston would need a Commuter Rail segment: http://www.gcfrd.org/docs/CR_Feasibility_Final_Report_FEB_2015.pdf l. Economic Impact: http://www.texascentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Economic-Impact-Report-Summary-Slides.pdf m. Train Stations: 1) Dallas: Atop I-30 (south of downtown) to connect Cedars neighborhood n. Decision Makers 1) Drayton McLane Jr. (Board of Directors), Texas Central Partners 2) Tim Keith (CEO), Texas Central Partners 3) (former) U.S. Ambassador-Japan Thomas Schieffer (Advisor) Texas Central Partners 4) Jeff Mosseley (VP-State)(former Texas Transp. Commission; Denton Co. Judge) Texas Central Partners 5) Michael Moore (VP-Houston)(former Houston Mayor Chief-of-Staff) Texas Central Partners 6) Lee Kleinman (Councilman) Dallas City 7) Mike Rawlings (Mayor) Dallas 8) Sylvester Turner (Mayor) Houston

Baltimore-to-Washington, DC High Speed Rail Project: a. Japan's ambassador to the U.S. (Kenchiro Sasae) announced Japan Government-funded $2 million to support a feasibility study on building a high-speed train. b. Memorandum of cooperation between Japan and Maryland signed with Gov. Larry Hogan & Japan Ambassador Sasae. The agreement formalizes trade relations between the state and Japan. c. November 2016 Federal government (FRA) awarded $27.8 million in seed money to The Northeast Maglev (TNEM) a private venture seeking to build a high-speed magnetic levitation train between Washington and Baltimore. A 20% outside match is required (Japan will pay this 20%). d. Engineering Analysis commenced. e. Cost $10-$12 Billion Dollars

California High Speed Rail Project

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Posted in: Abe to meet Toyota CEO; Keidanren sets up Trump task force See in context

Regarding TPP Renegotiation, these are my thoughts (I do not represent any government):

I disagree with most of the points for this effort:

The USA will not join into something that Japan spearheads alone, when USA is not included from the start. Thus, it is foolish to believe that if Japan leads a TPP-Light renegotiation, that USA would later join. The world does not work that way. The minute that Japan attempts to include Taiwan into a revised TPP with other APAC countries, then China will really get ugly diplomatically, with Trade, and Military might. Japan has no chance to negotiate Taiwan into a TPP-revamp Agreement. Japan has no economic or military might to convince Taiwan to go against the 'One China' policy; only USA has that might. If PM-Abe tries this, without USA involved from the start, Japan will be in real trouble. This is TERRIBLE idea. The damage is already done in Japan and throughout APAC region by the terminated TPP. All APAC countries will be very leery about rejoining a multi-lateral Trade negotiation lead only by Japan (too many rice-bowl issues; too many complaints against Japan to overcome if they are the lead). Japan Ambassador to USA attempted time and again to work with Clintons, because they felt she was a 'shoe-in'. In fact, the Ambassador tried to convince Chelsea Clinton to speak at 'Women's Empowerment' type of conferences (evidently to tell about how she used Clinton Foundation to fund her lavish lifestyle). Prime Minister Abe also rushed to meet with Hillary Clinton a couple months before (a mistake), but then he commented to the Japan press on 21 November (after meeting with President Trump) that the TPP without the USA is meaningless. Some ex-pat Americans who live and conduct consulting in Japan have berated PM-Abe for these comments, but they are the ones that are committing career suicide by not understanding the precarious nature of the balance PM-Abe faces between maintenance of USA-Japan alliance and that of serving the interests of his Japanese constituency. Short-sighted 'think-tankers' and University Professors such as this Yoshihide Soeya, professor at Keio University, are encouraging PM-Abe to bluster-forward with a hastily-modified TPP Agreement with the other Countries (minus USA), and hope that eventually USA will join that renewed effort at some point in future (e.g. 4-years from now when new Elections). Japan wants to hold a leadership role, particularly in light of the hegemony of China towards all the other nations. Unfortunately for Japan, if USA is not part of the Agreement, then it is 'economically meaningless'. However, that does not mean that Japan cannot continue to be ONE OF THE leaders in APAC, in collaboration with USA. Remember - it is not necessary to reach an Agreement at first, but only to seek an adjustment, ideally an improvement, in the issue or in the Trade Relationship. Without USA in the mix, there is very little incentive for these 10-countries to attempt another grand Multi-Lateral Agreement. The now-terminated TPP required that for it to go into force, countries that ratify the agreement through their domestic legislative processes must represent 85% of the total Gross Domestic Product of the twelve original signatory countries. The U.S. GDP represents 62% of TPP signatory nations. That means Japan and the other 10-countries only make up a tiny 23% of combined GDP of the original TPP gathering. There does not seem good justification for arduous and complex negotiating effort just to gather this smallish 23% of GDP into one Agreement. If Japan attempts to negotiate with USA on a Bi-Lateral nature (or new Multi-Lateral nature) then Japan has a much improved chance to negotiate a trade agreement that serves its own economic interests if it has alternatives to a no-deal—a longstanding insight of negotiation dynamics. Hence, a re-launched Multi-Lateral Agreement, with USA in the mix, strengthens Japan’s hand in future trade negotiations. Japan will almost surely attempt to use the potential Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as a bargaining chip against the USA. However, Japan should remember that they can NOT wait for USA Populism to wane, hoping that the USA will re-engage on a Trade Deal that Japan spear-headed after collapse of TPP. If USA is not one of the Agreement-Leads, then the USA will be forced to subvert any 'TPP-light' Agreements that Japan or China attempt to orchestrate to protect Bi-Lateral Agreements. Thus, at this moment, it appears to be 'All-in (with USA), or All-out'. However, the value is that a renegotiated Multi-Lateral Agreement, with USA included in the mix, does not have to start from scratch. The USA will always be one of the most important Economic & Trade Leadership roles in APAC. Japan and the APAC countries understand this. Therefore, they will most likely throw much effort into attempting to convince President Trump to renegotiate the Multi-Lateral Trade Agreement in a way to ensure continued USA participation, rather than trying to negotiate such an Agreement with Japan only as the Lead. One of the biggest problems preventing USA-Ratification of the TPP in Congress was the feckless handling of the TPP negotiations and the absolute veil of secrecy caused by Obama and the US Trade Representative (USTR) team. That would have occurred the same way under the feckless Hillary Clinton, had she won the election. When Obama and the USTR kept all matters of the TPP secret, except for participation by their favored jumbo-corporations (e.g. Sugar Industry; Clothing; Pharmaceuticals; Insurance; Boeing; etc.), then Congress and the entire USA business communities were left worrying incessantly about how it might affect their business interests. Everyone's fear of the unknown was much scarier than the reality. With or without the TPP, USA and Japan will be able to collaboratively draft and negotiate a bi-lateral Agreement that stymies China's apparent economic advantages (e.g. undemocratic, does not respect human rights, the rule of law, transparency, copyrights, environment, etc.). Then USA will be able to influence the other countries in the region to follow this because of the concept of collaborative security, which produces economic and trade growth. This will then counterweight China's closed market and anti-competitive legal system.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What Trump didn't say about TPP See in context

Regarding TPP Renegotiation, these are my thoughts (I do not represent any government):

I disagree with most of the points for this effort:

The USA will not join into something that Japan spearheads alone, when USA is not included from the start. Thus, it is foolish to believe that if Japan leads a TPP-Light renegotiation, that USA would later join. The world does not work that way. The minute that Japan attempts to include Taiwan into a revised TPP with other APAC countries, then China will really get ugly diplomatically, with Trade, and Military might. Japan has no chance to negotiate Taiwan into a TPP-revamp Agreement. Japan has no economic or military might to convince Taiwan to go against the 'One China' policy; only USA has that might. If PM-Abe tries this, without USA involved from the start, Japan will be in real trouble. This is TERRIBLE idea. The damage is already done in Japan and throughout APAC region by the terminated TPP. All APAC countries will be very leery about rejoining a multi-lateral Trade negotiation lead only by Japan (too many rice-bowl issues; too many complaints against Japan to overcome if they are the lead). Japan Ambassador to USA attempted time and again to work with Clintons, because they felt she was a 'shoe-in'. In fact, the Ambassador tried to convince Chelsea Clinton to speak at 'Women's Empowerment' type of conferences (evidently to tell about how she used Clinton Foundation to fund her lavish lifestyle). Prime Minister Abe also rushed to meet with Hillary Clinton a couple months before (a mistake), but then he commented to the Japan press on 21 November (after meeting with President Trump) that the TPP without the USA is meaningless. Some ex-pat Americans who live and conduct consulting in Japan have berated PM-Abe for these comments, but they are the ones that are committing career suicide by not understanding the precarious nature of the balance PM-Abe faces between maintenance of USA-Japan alliance and that of serving the interests of his Japanese constituency. Short-sighted 'think-tankers' and University Professors such as this Yoshihide Soeya, professor at Keio University, are encouraging PM-Abe to bluster-forward with a hastily-modified TPP Agreement with the other Countries (minus USA), and hope that eventually USA will join that renewed effort at some point in future (e.g. 4-years from now when new Elections). Japan wants to hold a leadership role, particularly in light of the hegemony of China towards all the other nations. Unfortunately for Japan, if USA is not part of the Agreement, then it is 'economically meaningless'. However, that does not mean that Japan cannot continue to be ONE OF THE leaders in APAC, in collaboration with USA. Remember - it is not necessary to reach an Agreement at first, but only to seek an adjustment, ideally an improvement, in the issue or in the Trade Relationship. Without USA in the mix, there is very little incentive for these 10-countries to attempt another grand Multi-Lateral Agreement. The now-terminated TPP required that for it to go into force, countries that ratify the agreement through their domestic legislative processes must represent 85% of the total Gross Domestic Product of the twelve original signatory countries. The U.S. GDP represents 62% of TPP signatory nations. That means Japan and the other 10-countries only make up a tiny 23% of combined GDP of the original TPP gathering. There does not seem good justification for arduous and complex negotiating effort just to gather this smallish 23% of GDP into one Agreement. If Japan attempts to negotiate with USA on a Bi-Lateral nature (or new Multi-Lateral nature) then Japan has a much improved chance to negotiate a trade agreement that serves its own economic interests if it has alternatives to a no-deal—a longstanding insight of negotiation dynamics. Hence, a re-launched Multi-Lateral Agreement, with USA in the mix, strengthens Japan’s hand in future trade negotiations. Japan will almost surely attempt to use the potential Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as a bargaining chip against the USA. However, Japan should remember that they can NOT wait for USA Populism to wane, hoping that the USA will re-engage on a Trade Deal that Japan spear-headed after collapse of TPP. If USA is not one of the Agreement-Leads, then the USA will be forced to subvert any 'TPP-light' Agreements that Japan or China attempt to orchestrate to protect Bi-Lateral Agreements. Thus, at this moment, it appears to be 'All-in (with USA), or All-out'. However, the value is that a renegotiated Multi-Lateral Agreement, with USA included in the mix, does not have to start from scratch. The USA will always be one of the most important Economic & Trade Leadership roles in APAC. Japan and the APAC countries understand this. Therefore, they will most likely throw much effort into attempting to convince President Trump to renegotiate the Multi-Lateral Trade Agreement in a way to ensure continued USA participation, rather than trying to negotiate such an Agreement with Japan only as the Lead. One of the biggest problems preventing USA-Ratification of the TPP in Congress was the feckless handling of the TPP negotiations and the absolute veil of secrecy caused by Obama and the US Trade Representative (USTR) team. That would have occurred the same way under the feckless Hillary Clinton, had she won the election. When Obama and the USTR kept all matters of the TPP secret, except for participation by their favored jumbo-corporations (e.g. Sugar Industry; Clothing; Pharmaceuticals; Insurance; Boeing; etc.), then Congress and the entire USA business communities were left worrying incessantly about how it might affect their business interests. Everyone's fear of the unknown was much scarier than the reality. With or without the TPP, USA and Japan will be able to collaboratively draft and negotiate a bi-lateral Agreement that stymies China's apparent economic advantages (e.g. undemocratic, does not respect human rights, the rule of law, transparency, copyrights, environment, etc.). Then USA will be able to influence the other countries in the region to follow this because of the concept of collaborative security, which produces economic and trade growth. This will then counterweight China's closed market and anti-competitive legal system.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to send envoy to U.S. to meet new leaders See in context

If I were advising Prime Minister Abe-san, Katsuyuki-san, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Sugi-san I would hint that Japan should consider very carefully the importance of the first congratulatory response, and the level of their dignitaries sent to visit Mr. Trump. With so many key issues facing USA-Japan relations currently, it is most important to get started off in right direction (e.g. TPP; potential Military Base Realignment; Fukushima Environmental Remediation; cross-border Business Partnering; etc.). Such visit to Washington, DC by Japan Government perhaps might include a potential private meeting with the individual who Mr. Trump plans to Appoint as USA Ambassador to Japan. I could support Japan Government such congratulatory visit to DC...if Katsuyuki-san invited me to do so. The Japan Embassy-Washington, DC knows how to find me, through my Japanese wife. Michael J. Erickson (email: me98 at yahoo.com).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China concerned at Japan holding weapons-grade plutonium See in context

Much of this story is B.S. Japan did not buy the Weapons Grade materials for "Research Purposes". There is numerous documentary evidence strewn all over the Internet that tells about the true reasons for Nuclear Weapons Grade materials being in Japan (just search: Japan Nuclear Bombs to see it). In fact, Prime Minister Abe's uncle (former Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda) was keen to secretly develop Nuclear Missiles after end of World War-II, but was not allowed to do so by the Japanese Constitution. Current USA Ambassador Caroline Kennedy's father (President JF Kennedy) wanted to deploy Nuclear Bombs and Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) into Okinawa and mainland Japan, ostensibly pointed at China (but perhaps pointed at Russia also), and wanted to store Nuclear Weapons Grade materials in Japan. This would allow USA to pretend to comply with the limits of international weapons agreements. Thus, JF Kennedy threatened Japan government, that the only way the Japanese people would ever let Japan have Okinawa back again would be if Japan agreed to deployment by U.S. military of Nuclear Bombs into Japan. Thus, President Kennedy and Prime Minister Ikeda struck a secret deal that would last decades. President Ikeda so convincingly lied to the Japanese people and professed to be peace-loving (and hated nuclear weapons) to the point that he won a Nobel Peace Prize, but he and the LDP Party never told the Japanese people what a phony he was. Prime Minister Ikeda later admitted this secret bargain in public to the press years later. The Japanese got Okinawa returned to them, and the Japanese factories got US Military contracts for development of Nuclear Bomb parts and supplies. The Americans received a willing and secret repository for nuclear and chemical WMDs in Japan. Although it has not been proven...as yet...some members of the DPJ Party have been telling Fukushima Environmental Cleanup attendees that one of the reasons that Japan's government will not allow American businesses into Daiichi Power Plant (and one of the reasons for the huge explosions) is because they are still trying to hide all the Weapons Grade materials there...and don't want nosy foreigners to find out.

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Posted in: Japanese airlines say they will obey China's air zone rules See in context

If Japan sits idly-by and allows China to dictate Airspace through which they will grant Japan permission to fly through...or NOT...then the next step is that China will begin to dictate which ships can sail through their newly colonized waters/seas. Pretty soon, Japan will be nothing more than a suburb of Beijing. Japan must NOT allow China to annex all of the airspace over these islands and the whole sea...that would be the same as when Japan did it to Korea, China, Russia, etc. 68-years ago.

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Posted in: Problems mount for White House in push for TPP deal See in context

For all those that are worried (and you should be !!!) about the secretive and wholly-biased negotiations between USA and APAC with regard to the Intellectual Property-IP portion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, you should download the Draft-IP Chapter of the TPP at: https://wikileaks.org/tpp/static/pdf/Wikileaks-secret-TPP-treaty-IP-chapter.pdf

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Workers slam TEPCO's shady recruiting process for Fukushima cleanup See in context

Some DPJ Parliamentarians have been commenting (off-the-record) to American businessmen from companies involved in the US Trade Dept mission for 'Fukushima Environmental Remediation' (started in 2012) that the US Government has been storing nuclear weapons grade materials at Fukushima, Daiichi Power Plant, and other locations in Japan for years (so they can keep the records of Tons of highly-enriched materials off the US rolls for Intl Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)). They claimed this was part of the reason that most foreigners (aside from the TEPCO sycophant companies) are not allowed to participate in the Power Plant cleanup operations. If that is true, it explains more about the bumbling efforts to get these places remediated.

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Posted in: Japan-U.S. security talks likely to highlight Tokyo's cyber-defense gaps See in context

I am confident that if they have not already done so, the U.S. will be sending much more NSA-created software over to Japan...so that NSA can spy on Japanese citizens just like they do to law-abiding American citizens in USA. In USA, the NSA (and their shills) beat the drum of 'cyber-attacks' to a frenzy, just so they can trample and steal all the American's Constitutional Rights. The NSA has already infiltrated and corrupted the world-Standards and software at Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Apple, all of the telephone companies, etc. The Japanese should not worry so much about finding the software attackers; the NSA has built so many back-doors into the software that cyber-hackers will certainly find easy way to join the NSA in the pockets of Japanese people. Japanese people (and Americans) need to wake up and read all the NSA-related studies published by The New York Times and The Guardian news agencies. Then they will forget about the home-grown amateur hackers that can be twarted by basic common sense, and start staying awake at night worrying about the NSA (or the Japanese Government equivalent) bribing NTT-Docomo, AU, Yahoo-Japan, and others to serve the Japanese citizens up on a platter for Professional-grade spying.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Overflowing tank cause of new leak at Fukushima plant See in context

This radiated-water leak works out very well for Yoshinoya (Gyudon restaurant). They announced this week that they will start a major Vegetable and Rice growing effort in Fukushima Prefecture. Might as well use the constant leaks of water to produce 'glow-in-the-dark' (radiated) Rice and Veggies to go along with their 'Franken-fruit' that is grown in the prefecture...and sold throughout Tokyo and Japan. I also heard Japan Government is brow-beating Korea and other Asian countries into lifting the ban on imports of (potentially-radiated) seafood from eastern Japan. I want to hear PM Abe-san, TEPCO President, and Parliament tell the world that they will be eating that produce. They need to punish all these companies involved, including the foreign companies that are responsible for filtering this radiated water (send them packing back to their countries and get new batch of better-qualified technologies imported). At least we are not hearing much in the press any more from that foolish French commentator (shill for TEPCO?) that previously claimed...'Don't worry; its not significant amount'.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe orders 2 Fukushima reactors scrapped; pledges safe Olympics See in context

I am not taking a stance either-way on this, and I am not proclaiming my beliefs about it. However...I have often read (particularly recently) factual documentgs about Japan's LDP Party historically knowing about, and consenting by written Agreement to, the US Military storing nuclear bombs in various locations around Japan, Okinawa, and outer islands. Further, I have read that Japanese and American governments colluded to transport and store nuclear matter and wastes at Fukushima for decades. I have read documents that indicate Japanese companies have been hired by the governments of Japan and USA to manufacture nuclear weapons parts and components at their factories in mainland Japan. I have read that Japanese government officials admitted to having so much nuclear fissile matter that they could easily create up to 3000 nuclear warheads within 24-hours of an emergency-need occuring. I have read that Japan's space program (JAXA, JRANSA, etc.) is really just a cover for their testing of Rocket technologies for lofting these warheads into international airspaces. Further, I have recently read that not only has Japan continued forward with their Nuclear Weapons Programs at break-neck speed, that it has produced so much weapons-grade Plutonium at Fukushima (combined home-grown and USA-provided) that when the Tsunami hit, this is the reason that there is so much devastation at Daiichi...and the reason that Japan's government refuses to allow any significant foreign corporate involvement in the Fukushima environmental remediation efforts. Of course Japan's government has consistently denied all of these facts for decades (since Nixon and PM-Sato Eisaku first signed the Agreement which traded the Okinawan land back to the Japanese in exchange for future rights to continue storing nuclear armaments in Japan) because it flies in the face of Japan's Constitution. My questions are...do any of the Japanese people care? Do Japanese people ever read these news and comments, or is only the Ex-Pats in Japan and those foreigners that have ties to Japan that read it? Do Japanese people ever investigate this info through Internet Google Searches (e.g. Okinawa nuclear bomb), and then question their government on it? Do the Japanese people really want to remain a nuclear-free country, or is it all just a convenient ruse? What are your thoughts?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan balked at steps to control Fukushima water in 2011, memo shows See in context

I am not taking a stance either-way on this, and I am not proclaiming my beliefs about it. However...I have often read (particularly recently) factual documentgs about Japan's LDP Party historically knowing about, and consenting by written Agreement to, the US Military storing nuclear bombs in various locations around Japan, Okinawa, and outer islands. Further, I have read that Japanese and American governments colluded to transport and store nuclear matter and wastes at Fukushima for decades. I have read documents that indicate Japanese companies have been hired by the governments of Japan and USA to manufacture nuclear weapons parts and components at their factories in mainland Japan. I have read that Japanese government officials admitted to having so much nuclear fissile matter that they could easily create up to 3000 nuclear warheads within 24-hours of an emergency-need occuring. I have read that Japan's space program (JAXA, JRANSA, etc.) is really just a cover for their testing of Rocket technologies for lofting these warheads into international airspaces. Further, I have recently read that not only has Japan continued forward with their Nuclear Weapons Programs at break-neck speed, that it has produced so much weapons-grade Plutonium at Fukushima (combined home-grown and USA-provided) that when the Tsunami hit, this is the reason that there is so much devastation at Daiichi...and the reason that Japan's government refuses to allow any significant foreign corporate involvement in the Fukushima environmental remediation efforts. Of course Japan's government has consistently denied all of these facts for decades (since Nixon and PM-Sato Eisaku first signed the Agreement which traded the Okinawan land back to the Japanese in exchange for future rights to continue storing nuclear armaments in Japan) because it flies in the face of Japan's Constitution. My question is...do any of the Japanese people care? Do Japanese people ever read this JapanToday news and comments, or is only the Ex-Pats in Japan and those foreigners that have ties to Japan that read it? Do Japanese people ever investigate this info through Internet Google Searches, and then question their government on it? Do the Japanese people really want to remain a nuclear-free country, or is it all just a convenient ruse? What are your thoughts?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Despite Obama's promises, NSA breached privacy rules See in context

Obviously (despite Obama's lies denying it), since we know from recent Snowden Leaks that the DEA and NSA have already hacked all of the iPhones (and other mobile phones on the market) to illegally listen in on American's conversations...we can assume that the NSA also worked closely with Apple in advance of launch on this iPhone-5S to ensure that the millions of customers worldwide who embed their fingerprints into their iPhones are helping the NSA and Interpol to build a jumbo, international Fingerprint Library matched to their Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers. If all OEM Manufacturers of Mobile Handsets go down this same technology path, then we can assume that all Telephone companies will be extorted (or bribed) by the U.S. Government to sell their Fingerprint meta-data registries to the DEA/NSA. Since almost everyone on Earth now uses mobile phones, instead of this NSA day-by-day covert program-creep with Fingerprinting everyone via their phones, why not just do like Hitler tried and stamp bar-codes on our arms so we can jump straight to the inevitable surrender of all our Constitutional Right to Privacy and Constitutional Right to protection against Self-Incrimination? The fools that inlay/embed their Fingerprints into these new iPhone-5S handsets will have no one to blame but themselves.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. law enforcement to share fingerprint databases online See in context

Obviously (despite Obama's lies denying it), since we know from recent Snowden Leaks that the DEA and NSA have already hacked all of the iPhones (and other mobile phones on the market) to illegally listen in on American's conversations...we can assume that the NSA also worked closely with Apple in advance of launch on this iPhone-5S to ensure that the millions of customers worldwide who embed their fingerprints into their iPhones are helping the NSA and Interpol to build a jumbo, international Fingerprint Library matched to their Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers. If all OEM Manufacturers of Mobile Handsets go down this same technology path, then we can assume that all Telephone companies will be extorted (or bribed) by the U.S. Government to sell their Fingerprint meta-data registries to the DEA/NSA. Since almost everyone on Earth now uses mobile phones, instead of this NSA day-by-day covert program-creep with Fingerprinting everyone via their phones, why not just do like Hitler tried and stamp bar-codes on our arms so we can jump straight to the inevitable surrender of all our Constitutional Right to Privacy and Constitutional Right to protection against Self-Incrimination? The fools that inlay/embed their Fingerprints into these new iPhone-5S handsets will have no one to blame but themselves.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Kono urges Abe to stop being coy over Yasukuni Shrine See in context

What I do not understand is why the diplomatically-inept Japanese Prime Ministers and Parliamentarians don't just get a bit wiser. They should separate a portion of Yasukuni Shrine burial grounds (e.g. NW corner 1-acre) with a low fence around it for those Japanese War Soldiers of 'questionable' virture (e.g. War Criminals). Then name that section of Cemetary something like...Oshioki-Corner (or Bad-Boys Annex). Then move the War Criminals to that Annex. The Families of these genocidal maniacs can be happy because their relatives were not kicked-out of the Yasukuni cemetary completely. And when Abe-san or other Parliamentarians are scolded by foreign Diplomats for visiting Yasukuni Shrine, they can have plausable deniability by saying that "they did not actually visit to the Oshioki-Corner". If Japan government puts a mailbox with separate address in Oshioki-Corner, then he can send his Offerings directly there by Kuro-neko Transport and no one would be the wiser.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Facebook considers adding profile photos to facial recognition See in context

Obviously, Facebook is under pressure from the U.S. NSA to incorporate more facial data into their websites...so that it will make it easier for NSA to gather secret information on the. Facebook, Google, etc. are all being paid by the NSA to help the US Government spy on not only foreigners, but also spy on Americans. People who load up their Facebook account with personal information, and now photos of themselves, are just opening themselves up to easy Identify Theft and giving up their rights to Privacy.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: TPP negotiators finish 'difficult' round of talks See in context

It is very understandable that USTR is having difficulty negotiating this TPP in Japan and other Asian countries (after 4-years of delays, and 4-years of missed Presidential ending forecasts, there still is no realistic sign that they will be concluded anytime soon). It is because USTR team is inept and has little comprehension of the cultures and business practices in those countries, yet they refuse any offered (e.g. from myself) consulting support from outside experts that better understand the needs and sensitivities of the politicians, businesses, and citizens in these countries. USTR blames the foreigners as obstructionists for their protection to sectors such as vehicles, rice, etc. in Japan...while the whole time demanding all countries must agree to USA carve-outs such as Sugar, String-Forward (sewing & cloth-making) and Textiles, Truck/Cars, Dairy, etc. that were part of the historical FTAs with each country. USTR demands that Investor-State disputes (ISDS) be settled by an international panel of arbitrators (which destroys the justice system in each country, and diminishes the protections of the WTO). In USA, the Government always claims 'Sovereign Immunity' protections, but USTR demands would allow businesses (or even foreign investors) to sue an entire State for supposed grievances. The American car industry is not as much interested in growing their presence in Japan as they are towards keeping their 25-percent Tariff on Light Trucks (2.5-percent on Cars). USTR continues to say 'don't look behind that TPP secrecy curtain'...instead, I say, it is time to pull the curtain back on USTR negotiations on TPP, so the public can understand what the Wizard of OZ (USTR) is unskillfully jerking around behind the scenes. It is time that USTR admits they have little understanding about what is important to Japanese and American businesses and invite additional experts (such as myself) to support with our multi-cultural, bi-lingual, business expertise.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. says differences remain after TPP-linked talks with Japan See in context

Elementz: You are correct...I misspelled Ms. Wendy Cutler's name. It was a Typographical Error as I typed quickly and then did not proof-read before hitting send; which I apologize for. Thanks for pointing this out. However, the essence of my comments stand. All of the points I made above are valid. Sorry again for misspelling.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan unveils biggest warship since World War II See in context

Owens: "Do you have reference for this?"...Yes, I have the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) websites for the document that describes their plans for V-22s on Senkaku and Nansei Islands, and I have the websites for the V-22 Costs. However, because the V-22 websites also contained a wealth of other closely-held info on the V-22 capabilities and Environmental Impact of V-22 placement (which may impact US military and/or Bell/Boeing plans)...and I do not want to be labeled as the next Snowden...thus, I have sent the info over to Homeland Security for their consideration. Sorry.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan unveils biggest warship since World War II See in context

Japan's recent move to nationalize the Senkaku Islands had more to do with their military plans for the Islands, than for the publically-stated ruse (to ensure China does not send fishermen there). Defense Minister Morimoto has already tasked his staff with obtaining Cost Estimates and studying how to place V-22s at the Senkaku Islands and Nansei Islands. In addition to the Procurement Costs of this Izumo Aircraft Carrier $1.2-billion/ship), Japan should also remember the Procurement Costs of buying V-22s to put on the Izumo (approx. $60-million/aircraft for CV-22Bs); the Flight Costs $83,256/Flight Hour (according to Time USA)), etc. Obviously, there are millions of Japanese people that could be clothed, fed, and housed with this wasted money. The impact V-22s have on Okinawa can be read in a 228-page environmental report...which Japan MOD casually published to the Internet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan unveils biggest warship since World War II See in context

SamuraiBlue...You obviously have no clue about military sea/coastal strategy. I very much know what Lottoral means. It extends inward from the oceans about 60-meters deep, all the way inland past Breakers, Berms, Beaches, and well into the Coastline. Offensive Littoral Operations are frequently used during land invasions from the sea-coasts. There are many kinds of Littoral Combat Ships. However, in this case, Japan's claimed Territorial Waters extend so close to the coastlines of China, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, etc., that the proximity of Japan-claimed territorial waters (and the Littoral areas surrounding their Islands), blurs the lines of distinction between what is defined as Littoral and what is Oceanic. Japan's claimed Territorial Waters by themselves lie almost inside the Littoral Areas of some countries (e.g. Russia, Taiwan, South Korea). The Tsushima Strait is only 90m at deepest. With this new Izumo Aircraft Carrier, outfitted with V-22 Osprey (600NM range), F-35s (600nm), and Helicopters, the JMSDF and JASDF could theoretically invade South Korea (70nm) or North Korea (<600NM) from not far off of Kita Kyushu. The Territorial Waters surrounding Tsushima Island are only about 40nm from Busan Airbase in South Korea. If the new Aircraft Carrier is positioned off the Senkaku or Goto Islands to protect them, Japan could theoretically invade Taiwan (130km away), and mainland China (330km towards Whenzou). If the Aircraft Carrier is positioned off the Kirile Islands or Hokkaido, Japan could theoretically invade Sakhalin Islands (70km) or even mainland Russia (350km), since the La Perouse Strait is only 50m deep. If Japan built two (2) of these Izumo Aircraft Carriers and positioned them in Tsushima Strait and near the La Perouse Strait, Japan could effectively blockaid and defend any and all areas in the entire Sea of Japan. SamuraiBlue, it is better that you should remain quiet than open your mouth and prove how little you know.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan unveils biggest warship since World War II See in context

Is this Warship nuclear powered? If so, then I guess the Japanese people will have to stop saying we dont want nuclear powered American ships coming into harbor in Japan...since the JMSDF would already have them sitting in the (Yokohama) harbor. No one is foolish enough to believe that this is not an Aircraft Carrier. This Izumo Warship was given specific design changes so that it could accommodate the Bell V-22 Osprey aircraft and the LockMart F-35 Lighting-II aircraft; so I guess Okinawans would then have to stop complaining about the Osprey flying over Japan (since JMSDF may eventually put them on their new Warship). This isnt a Warship for peacekeeping; this is a full-fledged Aircraft Carrier for littoral (offensive) operations. Prime Minister Abe will just change Article-9 of the Constitution and then approve Osprey-landings on his new Carrier. More than 100,000 people displaced from Fukushima by the Daiichi nuclear disaster could be comfortably fed, clothed, and housed for at least 10-years with the $1.2-billion dollars each of these Warships cost to build (Japan intends to build at least 2 of them).

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Posted in: TEPCO starts pumping out toxic groundwater from Fukushima plant See in context

"A French Expert said the environmental risk was small..." ??? The so-called French 'Experts' are completely in bed with the Japanese company TEPCO. The French Government said from the beginning that Japan did not need to close or shut-down any nuclear power plants...and their reward for that self-serving lie was that Japan government and French government signed Agreements to collaboratively build more nuclear power plants around the world. 42-percent of French people are against Nuclear Plants versus 33-percent in favor. Is that because they know how unreliable the French nuclear companies are at protecting the environment? Areva, from France, is one of the only companies invited by TEPCO to help at Fukushima, and Areva (with Kurion) was supposed to be responsible for Groundwater Containment filtering. I guess those French 'Experts' were not successful in preventing 300-Tons of contaminated Groundwater per day escaping from Daiichi. Since TEPCO has no clue about where the water is leaking from, nor how long it has been seeping into the Ocean...If this has been going on since March 2011, then 300-gallons/day x 30-days/month x 29-months...that is only 261,000-tons of contaminated water. Good thing the French 'Experts' have assured us that this is insignificant, when superflously and out-of-focus comparison to the total contamination of the entire Fukushima-ken and surrounding prefectures. So, TEPCO promises (again) to have a system that pumps 100-tons/day ready sometime in August...leaving only 200-tons/day flowing into the Ocean...perhaps we should ask the French so-called 'Experts' to drink the water or eat the fish anywhere on the eastern coast of Japan, since it is such a small environmental risk in their minds. The Japanese people should demand that these French 'Experts' from Areva (supported by Kurion) to stop proclaiming self-serving platitudes about how environmentally risk-free this contaminated water is and go back to France?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. says differences remain after TPP-linked talks with Japan See in context

Acting Deputy Trade Representative Butler is inept and completely unsuitable to lead these delicate TPP negotiations with Japan. These negotiations have dragged-on for 5-years, with no end in sight. Ms. Butler does not understand the first thing about any of the most important aspects of Japanese political, commercial, or cultural sensitivities that drive all decision-making in Japan. When it comes to deft negotiations, she could not 'find her arse with both hands and a flashlight'. The USTR plans for simultaneous Bi-Lateral & Plurilateral Market Access Negotiations is completely unworkable and unrealistic. A uniform Tariff Reduction for all States should be employed. The typical American Trade negotiation strategies entail incessantly bullying Japan in to reducing their Trade Barriers for Rice and Cotton, but refusing to reduce any of the American barriers on a whole string of commodities such as Sugar, Fabric, etc. What a self-serving approach to force Vietnam to buy Yarn or Fabric made in USA, ship it to Vietnam for weaving clothes, and then ship it back to America (String-forward rules of origin). Although most Nations have already agreed to WTO Rules (TRIPS), because they don't favor President Obama's favored companies, then USTR wants to impose unrealistically higher Standards on developing Asian nations, so that they must incure a prohibitively-higher cost trying to meet America's advanced technology levels. The US insistence upon ISDS mechanism for handling Busines vs. State disputes (instead of already established WTO rules), only serves to benefit the largest American Capital Exporters in forcing APAC nations to surrender their sovereign immunity. All of these US TPP strategies are designed to destroy the current WTO processes, and replace them with US-favored mechanisms. President Obama is losing a struggling battle to convince Americans to accept his failed 'Obama-care' Insurance policies domestically, but still wants to force Japan to reduce their Insurance Barriers. This is so companies such as Kaiser Permanente can sell insurance to unsuspecting Elderly Japanese, and so that American Family Life and other Insurers can convince naive Japanese elderly to throw their money away on unnecessary and overpriced Whole Life policies instead of investing their money in the Postal Insurance System (which also does not gain them any interest). Lastly, it is completely inhumane to force developing APAC countries to conform to USA-based Pharmaceutical Price Regulations and processes. 'Obama-care will escalate Medicinal-costs in USA beyond belief; in APAC it will push patented drugs out of reach of the most needy (greedy Pharmaceutical companies will price towards the richest tier in each country). In essence, Ms. Butler has no skill or Win/Win solutions to offer Japan, so instead she hopes to continue brow-beating Japan over these one-sided (favoring America) TPP easements, while President Obama threatens Japan with neglect on Military and Political issues if they do not agree. This can be seen by President Obama's slap in the face to Japan, when he nominated the wholly-unqualified Caroline Kennedy as future Ambassador.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: U.S. trade chief says concluding TPP deal won't be easy See in context

It is very understandable that USTR is having difficulty negotiating this TPP in Japan and other Asian countries (after 4-years of delays, and 4-years of missed Presidential ending forecasts, there still is no realistic sign that they will be concluded anytime soon). It is because USTR team has little comprehension of the cultures and business practices in those countries, yet they refuse any offered (from myself) consulting support from outside experts that better understand the needs and sensitivities of the politicians, businesses, and citizens in these countries.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Caroline Kennedy may be next U.S. ambassador to Japan See in context

Let’s review the (weak) credentials Ms. Kennedy needed to get this Ambassadorial consideration: in a Time Magazine interview on 13May2002, she stated that she saw her future as a Writer; then changing that, she attempted to use her Kennedy name and daddy’s money to step into the Senate-seat vacated by Ms. Hillary Clinton, but failed miserably in that effort (mostly because she is secretive about important issues, and did not want to tell about her $100-million dollars). Then she ‘expressed a passing interest’ in being U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Ireland, the Vatican (refused to have her), UK, etc., but did not get those either. She reminds me of Katy Perry song about changing minds like changing clothes. She worked part-time (3-days a week) for the NY Department of Education as a fund-raiser for school systems (that isn’t helpful in Japan) at salary of $1 (I guess it was lucky she had those $100-million in savings); and worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art (not helpful unless Japan becomes a big Arts donor); she represented her family at a couple funerals and park-dedications; she donated $2300 to Ms. Clinton’s Campaign Fund…oh, yes…she stumped for President Obama and wrote a nice article in the press praising him. She also wrote a nice piece about her field-trip visiting Graceland in Rolling Stone, so I guess that shows she can write. She gathered some campaign donations as well. She certainly is a noteworthy orator (vitally important for an Ambassador)…having said ‘You Know’ 168-times during a 30-minute interview with NY1. Perhaps the Japanese Government will be impressed with that capability; it will certainly make all the official USA/Japan meeting transcripts much longer.

However, America should be asking if these credentials are sufficient to champion our interests and protect our citizens in Japan? Doesn’t Japan deserve better than someone rejected by so many others; why scrape the bottom of the barrel?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Caroline Kennedy may be next U.S. ambassador to Japan See in context

What a disappointment to hear that President Obama will select Ms. Caroline Kennedy as next U.S. Ambassador to Japan. This is not the best way to demonstrate to USF-Japan, Japanese Government, or the Asia-Pacific region that America highly values the strategic alliances in APAC.

Instead of lowering the bar to meet her capabilities…isn’t the Mission of the U.S. Ambassador to Japan all about appointing the best people to protect America’s civil and military interests with professional expertise? Why is it that these crucial Ambassadorial appointments do not take into consideration any: Credentials, Local Expertise, cross-border business or personal connections, understanding of military activities, or even a concerted desire for a posting?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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