mikesbo comments

Posted in: Train men See in context

It's no different than any other hobby, building models of airplanes, trains, cars, ships, visiting museums, studying history, watching aircraft operations at an airport, keeping fanatic track of statistics for sports teams and players, etc., and it is a positive way for people to spend time and socialize. It's healthy for human beings to have interests and hobbies. Besides, trains are cool.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe heckled at ceremony in Okinawa on 70th anniversary of battle See in context

"Okinawa was the only part of Japan in which battles were fought."

Iwo Jima

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Sign of the times See in context

Japan belongs to the Japanese. They can do what they like. It's not China, it's not Korea, and it's not America. I consider it a kindness that they've posted in English as much as they have. If you're going to live and work in Japan, learn Japanese.

-6 ( +10 / -18 )

Posted in: U.S. judge dismisses lawsuit over U.S. base in Okinawa See in context

Volland, I'm not supporting the bases on Okinawa, nor arguing against local/self-determinism, I'm simply saying getting the US off the island won't fix their problems. In other words there is no good solution to this. What you describe is an outcome, a goal, but not how to get there.

The US constitution, BTW, gives greater power to the local government, with powers being explicitly delegated to the larger and more central governments. See how they've managed to twist that around to almost exactly the opposite.

USNinJapan2, people generally conflate "army" and "military". Volland meant the latter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. judge dismisses lawsuit over U.S. base in Okinawa See in context

Volland, see my point on the topic: Even if the US were to abandon the bases, Japan would populate them with SDF. Also, NIMBY, the Japanese government IS acting on behalf and enacting the wishes of the rest of Japan by forcing the bases on Okinawa. In this case, it is Okinawa versus the rest of Japan.

This is, in part I suspect, why there is an Okinawan independence movement. I have no idea whether such a thing could happen, nor how successful Okinawa would be as its own nation, but I understand and support those who wish for such a thing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. judge dismisses lawsuit over U.S. base in Okinawa See in context

It's a Japanese issue whether to allow bases or not. A US district judge can not tell the military what to do with regard to a contract or treaty with a foreign nation. That is a matter for congress and the US supreme court, if there is a question whether congress has violated the constitution.

I feel for the Okinawans. They're getting screwed. There is certainly debate there about this, some want the bases, but the truth is the have no choice in the matter. Tokyo went NIMBY and pushed all of these bases, or rather left them as they were mostly in place from WWII, on Okinawa. Okinawa is still paying the bill for Japan's imperial expansion a century ago.

What's more, even if the US were to completely pull out of Okinawa, the land would not revert to its Okinawan owners. Tokyo would take those bases over, filling them with SDF. Still screwed are the Okinawans.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Suzuki uses more resin outer panels for new Alto See in context

The thing about "auto safety" is that 40-50 years ago, when you could buy a VW Beetle (the original, air-cooled, motor-in-the-back, MK.I version) for $1500, and it weighted ~1500 lbs (~700kg). If you think this Alto is a death trap,you've never looked at the original Beetle.

The thing is, 45 years ago, with 60hp, manual steering, manual drum brakes, maybe seat belts, those cars were 1/100th as "safe" as cars today, but the accident and death rates have maybe halved, or are 1/3. Not 1/100. The fact is, as cars become safer, people drive more carelessly, and adding safety to a car reaches, very quickly, a point of diminishing returns. The most power piece of safety equipment on the road is a driver's brain, i.e. how he uses it.

As a result of this, "make the car safer so the human can be more stupid", my 2014 Ford Fiesta, not really any bigger than my classic Beetle, throws a 1 liter, direct injected, DOHC, variable valve timing, 4v/cyl, turbo-charged engine, good for 123 hp, at its wind-tunnel shaped, 2500lb body to get 43mpg on the highway.

I owned a 1986 Mazda 323 with a 1.6L 4 cylinder engine, with 1 cam, 2v/cyl, and fuel injection, good for 80hp. It got over 50 on the highway and weighed, 1500~1800 lbs. It was larger than the Fiesta, although it had no airbags and all that.

My early 70's Beetle? A carbureted, 2v, OHV (cam-in-block), good for 60hp, on a body designed without any real thought regarding aerodynamics, and it is good for 35mpg.

IMHO, we passed the optimum efficiency/overhead point some time in the late 80's. Remember that airbags were introduced by GM in the 70's or 80's as an option, but nobody wanted to pay for them, even though they were safer. The government has done our thinking for us and required all of this, at the expense of cost and efficiency, and now it wants it both ways, regardless of what the market, the people, actually want to pay for...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't cuts budget for Okinawan economic development See in context

YuriOtani, I find it amusing that you speak of American hypocrisy only two posts after saying you want the American bases to go away while in the very next sentence counting on America to defend you from China. Likewise, you call the American presence on Okinawa an occupation, but complain that occupying force isn't "nice" enough for your liking.

It all comes across as inconsistent and childish. This is why you never win anyone over to your side/opinion, even when they agree with your overall position, as I suspect most people posting here do: that the bases should either be in mainland Japan as well as Okinawa, or my opinion, which is that we should return Japan's defence to Japan. I also believe that if America turns Japan's defence over to Japan and pulls out of all bases on Okinawa, Japan will simply move the SDF into those vacated bases, and Okinawa will find that the SDF will be an even less accommodating "occupying force" than the Americans were. Be careful what you wish for.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't cuts budget for Okinawan economic development See in context

I've not been to Okinawa much in recent years, but my experience with it spans 30 years. I've watched it go from bubble economy prosperity to what it is today, addicted and dependent upon national government handouts.

The local people, to me, only seem to benefit in the form of temporary "make work" jobs (note: the "New Deal", if anything, extended the US depression of the 30's) with no future and the go away as soon as the money spigot is turned off. The businesses that seem to profit are from the mainland, and they create places such as the shintoshin area, which are mainland shopping districts transplanted to Okinawa.

Okinawa will not prosper until they wean themselves off of the bribe paid by the national government to keep the bases located there, and develop their own economy, tourism or whatever works. I'm coming to the opinion that much of the anti-base sentiment has to do with resenting the bribe rather than the bases themselves because of what it, their presence, represents...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: 4 things women are banned from doing in Japan See in context

The difference between sexes:

If women form a "women's club" and ban men from entering, men react with shocking disinterest. When pressed, they will say something along the lines of, "Who cares? Why would I want to participate in a women's club?"

Women, on the other hand, when presented with a "men's club", will be absolutely incensed by the misogyny and not stop until granted full access, at which point it becomes a women's club.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Tens of thousands get rare peek at Imperial Palace See in context

It's not purposeful to judge what you don't understand. To the Japanese people, the emperor and royal family are very important. It's an anchor for their culture, their sense of being Japanese, which is their strength. I hope they don't lose it, as the US (and much of Europe, particularly England) has with its crazy multiculturalism.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Man arrested for taking 'normal' picture of woman on train See in context

Dangerous, slippery slope, basing laws and punishment on how someone "feels." How does this guy know how the woman feels? Maybe she wants to be in pictures? Who can possibly know for certain, even the woman herself? I suspect her "uneasiness" would disappear if she learned that "creepy man" next to her turned out to be her favorite movie or music star. It's an arbitrary standard.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Posted in: Business is bad See in context

Abe's policies may add to the problem here, but the decline of the economy in general, and these old-style shopping streets/districts has been going on for more than 20 years. I noticed it first in Okinawa, comparing places like Koza-city's (Okinawa City) Goya district's (Ichibangai, Sun City) between the first time I went there in the bubble years, 1987, to the post-bubble 1990's and into the 2000's.

It was crowded with shoppers, full of stores, noise, and life in the 80's, but after the crash, a slow death. It's depressing now, and it's also the mom & pop stores outside these malls which have died. Places like Mihama, Shintoshin, maybe stores like Sanei and the malls the anchor, have replaced them.

Tokyo still has places like Ameyokocho, little shops around in Akihabara, etc., but fewer of those than in the past as well.

It's not Abe, really, it's the past 20 years of not clearing out the bad investments of the 80's. It's so Japanese to save face this way, and in many ways it helps their society, but this is one where it does not. I would say the same mechanism is behind TEPCO's reaction to Fukushima. "Cover it up and try to fix it before word gets out" only works when you can and do fix it...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: China wraps up anti-Japan propaganda campaign See in context

Not to defend Japanese aggression in WWII, but 1) that was over 70 years ago, and 2) ask China about Tibet.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

voiceofokinawa,

I said the crime rate was 1/3 of Okinwawans. I don't recall any commander saying that, and as I have also said several times, you're missing the point. The, "we'll address your complaint" not being what you want is exactly what I am saying.

I'm convinced now you are incapable of seeing this so I hope you learn to enjoy the US military presence, because what you're doing will not result in it leaving. I'm finished "discussing" it with you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

voiceofokinawa,

My point is that the US military will work on what you complain about and not leave. It doesn't matter what the "thing" actually is.

In the 90's, it was "criminal soldiers", and so they clamped down by limiting off-base passes, various policy changes, etc. Maybe it worked, and soldier crime is down, but they did not leave.

Later, the environment was added, shelling beaches, filling in the habitat of such-and-such a fish. They delayed the base-move to "study" the environmental impact, maybe moved bomb practice to more remote areas. They did not leave.

By complaining about being victimized by this or that thing, you're giving them a way out, because it's not about them leaving, it's about this or that thing. So they work on this or that thing rather than leaving.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

voiceofokinawa,

A strawman of my own making? Since I brought it up? Study your (recent) history. It has been the "crime" card since the early 90's, now "environment", as well. You're still not listening; I'm actually trying to help you, and yes it is the victim card, and it will not work. I've watched this for well over 20 years. It won't work. Go after what you want.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

voiceofokinawa,

You're missing the point. If what you really want is your land back, then go after that. Don't try to "shame" the US into giving it back by playing the victim to "soldier crime." Not only is it disingenuous, but you will, as I said, get the US military to focus on crime rather than what you really want.

In fact, you're giving them a way out of giving you what you really want. The reply will be, "look at all we're doing for you! The crime rate is down, blah blah blah", and you've done nothing to further your goal of getting your land back. There is a saying in English, "Be careful what you ask for, as you just might get it." Ask for what you want.

As for crime rates, I looked at the crime rate of US soldiers stationed on Okinawa vs. Okinawans. I did this 10+ years ago, so it may have drifted, but per above, the actual crime rate ratio is really not my point.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

Steve Fabricant & atrueokinawan,

As I said, Okinawa belongs to the Okinawans. They should be able to do with it, their land, whatever they wish.

But, while it might be fine to have one or two Shintoshin-type areas on the island, I have a strong suspicion that every parcel of newly-available land will turn into something like that, a tourist area owned and targeted at mainland Japanese and/or tourism. Mihama, reclaimed land, is another touristy example. How much retail does the island need without a productive, non service sector to finance it?

I don't see much at all in the way of Okinawan businesses in these places. Like I said, some is fine, but I believe Okinawa and its culture will be parceled up and sold in pre-packaged bits for tourist consuption. It will become a mainland Japan theme park. What's more, it will move from financial dependence on the US to dependence on a tourist economy. I wish more for it than that.

voiceofokinawa,

The US wants bases in Asia. Mainland Japan has so far wanted the US to provide for its military defence. Mainland Japan has always thought of Okinawa as a colony, second rate compared to the mainland, so when it comes to deciding where to house this foreign military, NIBMY (Not In My Back Yard) is what it's all about.

The US has a good deal with bases in Japan, and Japan has a good deal shoving the bases on Okinawa. You need to work on both, and BTW, trying to guilt-trip the US with complaints of "criminal soldiers" (I studied this over 10 years ago and found that the crime rate of Okinawans was 3x that of the soldiers stationed there) is not the way to do it. Quit playing at being the victim, and work toward what you really want. If you complain about crime, the military will try to address crime...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives See in context

This issue has been ongoing since reversion. One the one hand, Okinawa belongs to the Okinawans, so if they want their land, if they don't want to rent it out for use as military bases, but want to use it themselves, that is their right. However, I have seen what ends up happening with former base land.

Shintoshi is a perfect example: a commercial district built on what was once a base. It looks entirely like what it is, a mainland Japan planned and populated commercial district. There is nothing to do with Okinawa anywhere, and it is neither owned by Okinawans, nor generating profit for them. This is what will happen to former base land. Mainland Japan will do its best to turn Okinawa into a Japanese Oahu.

Having said all of that, the US should leave. We can no longer afford to police the world, and as Japan is showing that it is willing to take up its own defence, we should let them. I suspect, however, that popular opinion will shift away from this as China and Korea become more threatening.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: No. of suicides in 2013 falls below 30,000 for second straight year See in context

CH3CHOJan. 17, 2014 - 09:09AM JST

I agree, but the root cause is not the national debt.

Not the national debt per se, but the economy, the lack of jobs, career, purpose. I'm sure health is also a big factor, but I would say that the "family problems" also stem, in large part, from economic problems.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of suicides in 2013 falls below 30,000 for second straight year See in context

Get to the root cause, not "counselling against stigmas.: What is really needed is to liquidate the bubble debt which is still hanging around Japan's neck, then for the government to spend within its means while reducing its own debt. That will lead to these men having purpose, work, which is a man's central identity.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Emergency services worker arrested for exposing himself in subway See in context

So this guy is an "emergency services worker", to me that means fireman or something close. The only way a girl in her 20's could have "dragged" him off the train is if he let her. Desperate cry for help?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The past, present and future of maid cafes See in context

I remember Akihabara before all of the anime/manga/kibakei stuff. I liked it much more as a place of electronics and computer geekvana. A lot of that is still there, but it's not like the old days with all of the specialized cubby-hole shops that seem to be fewer and fewer each time I visit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: In Japan, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right See in context

Why is it only "gun" violence matters? Is every other type of violence somehow OK? There are people who don't want the public (US) to have guns. That is the agenda, not stopping violence. More people are killed with hammers per year than with so-called "assault rifles." You are very nearly as likely to die brushing your teeth as to be killed in a "mass murder" like Sandy Brook.

America IS different than Japan. What works there WILL NOT work in America. Australia and the UK have gun bans, and their murder rates, assault rates, home invasion rates went WAY (69% in the case of Australian murders) up.

What's more, the purpose of 2A is to arm the people AGAINST the government: "When a government fears the people, there is liberty. When a people fears its government, there is tyranny." That purpose is probably lost on most Americans, but if things get truly bad enough, it is the government fearing (respecting) the people which matters, not an actual 1776-style revolution. The problem is, people (liberals) in the US will not realize this until it is too late, and it is already getting late.

The US gov wants a top-down authority-driven model like Japan, but the reason it works in Japan is because of Japan's particular and homogeneous culture. It can not work in the US, and all that confiscating guns form law abiding citizens will do is to insure they're unarmed when criminals, who will not turn them in, come a calling (e.g. home invasions up 29% in Australia).

Most people in the US are, in truth, not for gun control, at least "not for me" (just everyone else). Even those who "support" it will head to the gun store and buy one if they feel threatened. Liberals are hypocrites, and do not realize that if a law is not for everyone, it is for no one.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Posted in: Chinese leaders may come to regret anti-Japan protests See in context

JoeBigs, There is no such thing in the world today as "unregulated capitalism" (other than what are called "black markets"). They are all "regulated", which is to say controlled and manipulated by various states.

Others, Japan and China are very different from what they were a century-or-so ago. China is much, much wealthier and a greater military force, while Japan is less wealthy relatively, and much, much less a military force. What's more, the Chinese people (at least as evidenced by these protesters) are looking for China to go out and get payback for what happened four generations ago, i.e. not to anyone marching around with signs today, as well as for China to basically do what Japan tried to do 100 years ago.

This is one faction in a very large country, so who knows what China will, collectively, do. Two things are certain, and this is perhaps what China is banking on, the US is too broke to go to war to defend Japan and too dependent upon China as its great "trade partner"/"US debt financier."

The American century is over.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Posted in: Arizona shooting once again ignites gun control debate See in context

Parlor games?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Arizona shooting once again ignites gun control debate See in context

Junnama, the final authority is the people. That's what 2A is all about. Whether they/we abdicate, as you obviously have (assuming you're American), or not is another matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Arizona shooting once again ignites gun control debate See in context

"Oh and interpretation of the constitution is the responsibility of the supreme court"

Absolutely not! The constitution was written to be understood and interpreted by everyone. Why have 2A otherwise?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Arizona shooting once again ignites gun control debate See in context

anotsusagami,

The G18 is the only full auto model. Look it up at Glock's website, again censored URL, because "it contains potentially offensive content." It's a magazine, not a clip, and a 33rd magazine in a semi-auto pistol is, tautologically, a semi-auto pistol with a 33rd magazine, period.

As for the G18 and "assault weapon", that term is very loosely defined. Basically, it has been used to describe any black, scary-looking gun. Typically, semi-automatic carbines like the AR-15, which resemble the select-fire assault rifle versions used by the military. So, whatever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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