Muratafan comments

Posted in: Reformers look to fix Japan's damaging youth baseball culture See in context

A 46% decline in 10 years is astounding. Alas, this is Japan. This means that (a) no one wants to talk about an obvious problem (lest the 'wa' gets disrupted) and (b) no one wants to de-romanticize Koshien....even though pretty much every team that wins is a high school that offers 'scholarships' and then proceeds to practice throughout the year (and in the process, destroying far too many young pitcher arms).

I love NPB, but high school Japanese baseball needs a lot of work.

The comment about 'incompetent HS coaches' rings very, very true.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan says it is seeking closer ties with U.S. after Biden's win affirmed See in context

At least Biden will be consistent and the traditional U.S. allies will be more closely allied with the U.S. than with Trump, who was mercurial and ridiculously undisciplined and unorganized.

I think many on here love to rip on the U.S.-Japan relationship as being one-sided (especially the Europeans) in favor of America, but keep in mind, Japan has run a really big trade surplus with America pretty much forever. Japan gets to keep exporting its goods to America, while 'diplomatically' refusing to buy too much American imports and, in return, gets a bit cowed by the U.S. military presence. The trade surplus with America always hovers around $50bn-$80bn a year.

And, yes, many Japanese would love to get rid of the U.S. military presence here, but at the same time, REALLY don't want any more Chinese aggression either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan unveils 3,000-ton new submarine See in context

I like this picture quite a bit. It's provocative and it's thumbing its nose at China. Gambare Nippon!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan extends deadline for casino host city bids to April 2022 See in context

For those who think that Chinese and Vietnamese gangs will 'run the casino' in Japan, I think you're being overly doubtful of Japan, Inc. America continually accuses China of IP theft, yet Japan has managed to keep IP theft to China at a minimum. When Chinese investors threatened to overrun the B-and-B business, Japan did a really good job of curtailing that practice. Yes, of course there will be corruption. But at the end of the day, it's probably a big, net benefit for Japan.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan extends deadline for casino host city bids to April 2022 See in context

Nagasaki/Sasebo would be a boon to that area. Truthfully, this is just another way of increasing government tax revenues on the backs of tourists. When the working population continually shrinks and the retirement community explodes, something has to replace that tax revenue.

Most likely, a casino will be overrun with Chinese tourists...which makes it less attractive to the native Japanese population....which means less to worry about in terms of native gambling addiction.

I know the casino is not exactly popular here, but how else is Japan going to replace the tax revenue that is lost every time 2 Japanese retire (and stop paying taxes) and only 1 Japanese enters the workforce? I know it may not be a 2 to 1 ratio, but I think we can all agree that the # of Japanese new retirees/day is greater than the # of Japanese new workforce entrants/day.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Berlin rescinds approval of 'comfort women' statue installation See in context

Message to any Korean-Americans:

You cannot on one hand claim to be a 'perpetual foreigner', yet continue your 'heritage's home country' baggage in America without being a total hypocrite.

Kudos to Germany. Also, for anyone in Germany trying that $hit....goodness don't you have a life to live other than to torment Japan about something that happened 75 years ago?

19 ( +30 / -11 )

Posted in: Australian think tank says there are 380 detention camps in Xinjiang See in context

China wants to be thought of as a world leader to stroke their ego and the CCP's. They like the spotlight, but can't stand the heat.

As a member of the 'Anglosphere' we have a saying: if you've got nothing to hide, then show me everything.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe plan for land-attack counterpunch could mark major military shift for Japan See in context

So...a neighboring country with a major chip on its shoulder and long, bitter grudge has exhibited the following:

Violent border disputes with India;

Forceful takeover of Hong Kong;

Blocking water flows to its neighboring countries;

Built military bases in Africa (now why might that be?);

Built artificial islands in the SCS;

Has a military budget greater than all other Asian countries...COMBINED;

And...yet Japan is the one with 'so many unrepentant militarists'?

Yikes, I suppose we should all learn Mandarin right now.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: China's rise takes the world into uncharted waters See in context

China's goal is simple: to return it to what THEY think is ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE on Earth:

That is, the "Center" of everything. Chinese population, nationalism, restrictions on informational access and ethnocentrism, combined with a fascist government, is a recipe for disaster, if not war. China's action in the South China Seas is Exhibit A of this recent trend of 'We're China, deal with it' attitude, combined with a 'hey, HISTORICALLY we were the greatest empire, so all we are REALLY doing is reclaiming our past empire.'

Exhibit B? The building of artificial islands of the coast of China.

Exhibit C? Choking off the water supply to the Southern neighbors of Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia.

Exhibit D? The VIOLENT and deadly border dispute with India.

Exhibit E? Hong Kong.

Exhibit F? Uighur situation in Xianjiang (or is that 'Western propaganda', Akie?).

Exhibit G? An unprecedented military buildup because...Japan is going to attack China again, or is it Korea, or is it India? Please be real here.

Say what you will about the U.S., the U.S. actually holds elections and allows its citizens to (a) discover, obtain and inveigh upon different viewpoints (b) CRITICIZE its own government (ha, try that in China, Akie!) and (c) vote out Presidents (and there's that whole 'term limit' deal unlike 'Emperor for Life' Xi).

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: The complicated concept of suicide in Japan See in context

Laughably poorly researched article AND extremely misleading:

'Japan has a notably high suicide rate.'

NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE! In fact, the suicide rate in Japan has been DECLINING FOR THE PAST 10 years.

In fact, it's almost gone down FORTY PERCENT IN THE LAST 10 years from 25.7 to 16.

And, guess what Luke? The 16 per 100,000 in Japan is....only about 10% more than the U.S.'s 14.2 in 2018.

But...please change the subject (before too much scrutiny is given to your faulty analysis and misleading verbiage) and focus on teen suicide.

Because 'Between 2016 and 2017, more young people killed themselves than any period since 1986.'

YOU FAIL TO MENTION THAT Young person suicide in Japan is a very small percentage of the overall suicides in Japan with less than 5% (or 4.3%) of the overall suicides in Japan being from those between 10-19. If you want to include those of the Terrace House member the rate is less than 17%.,21.1%20suicides%20per%20100%2C000%20inhabitants.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: China offers farmers cash to give up wildlife trade See in context

This is very lame attempt at PR by the CCP. The CCP can point to this 'attempt' to reduce the wildlife trade - notice how they ANNOUNCED IT FOR THE WORLD TO SEE! - and then have local, corrupt officials look the other way when the wildlife trade systematically returns within a year/after the Western media attention dies down.

The CCP can say 'hey, look at us, we're taking steps to reduce the wildlife trade'....but won't let anybody investigate how effective it is enforced. Kind of like their 'actions' to reduce their emissions. Lots of talk, little results.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: WHO head urges global unity to help make Tokyo Olympics safe See in context

The CHO...err WHO have clearly outed themselves as a corrupt mouthpiece of the CCP. No pun intended, but who cares what the WHO says?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Wuhan's wet markets struggle after virus lockdown See in context

Nice try China. The PR move is far too late. Everyone knows that within a year or so, the wet markets (or whatever they referred to) will be back. The demand for 'freshness' supercedes a concern for health.

Moreover, interesting how this article came about. I thought China had kicked out all the U.S. reporters? Alas, China is trying to 'show' how they've cleaned up their act (ha, ha, ha!).

Kind of like how China is 'trying' to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Rather, they are reducing the annual INCREASE in their annual emissions. So, instead of polluting at 70 kph, they are now polluting at 50 kph, but still increasing the overall output of emissions.

CCP, no one trusts you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump cuts off U.S. payments to WHO during virus pandemic See in context

Well, let's see here: China did not allow the CDC access to China, the WHO ignored Taiwan (because of China), the WHO parroted pretty much every line the CCP gave it to say and - sad to say for most non-Americans on this board - the U.S. has footed the biggest portion of the WHO budget for pretty much it entire existence. Yes, that sounds like Yankee boasting. But, apparently, it is more effective to buy votes directly (ala China) than to fund an agency. Since Tedros isn't going anywhere (thanks to China), what is the U.S. to do? 'Cooperate' with the WHO and its 'Chinese characterstics'? What good has that done to date? The WHO is not independent and quite honestly has failed in its mission.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: New York state virus toll tops 4,000 with 594 new deaths in 24 hours See in context

The answer for New York's poor leadership is as simple as that of Japan's: the failure to shut down public transportation. Virtually everyone in New York takes the subway. If you don't shut down the subway, what good is a quarantine anyway? HALF of all American coronavirus deaths are in New York and New Jersey. If it was truly poor American leadership, then half of all deaths wouldn't be concentrated in an area with less than 1/10 of American population.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Mask diplomacy: China tries to rewrite virus narrative See in context

China is a long ways away from being an influential country on global scale. And the answer lies in its attitude towards other countries. Virtually all democracies (i.e. Europe, Americas, Japan, Australia) despise the CCP because the CCP stands for values that are antithetical to democracy. Authoritarian countries don't mind China since (a) China can (and has) bribed MANY a foreign politician and (b) the bribed head of states can control the media narrative about China.

So, when China throws its usually hissy fit about being criticized (see Australia, America, Brazil), the CCP seems to think that because they cannot be criticized by Chinese citizens, they cannot be criticized by other countries within its 'web of influence.' Newsflash to ethnocentric Chinese: the rest of the world (especially 'the West' which is code for Democracies) does NOT think like you and NO you cannot 'buy' the suppression of a nation's voices.

We have a saying here in America 'if you want respect, you give it.' China's CCP doesn't seem to grasp that concept...and, guess what, in democratically elected countries, the CCP's image is awful.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: WHO says prepare for local virus outbreaks; China slams U.S. control travel controls See in context

It is difficult at a time like this to say anything positive about the CCP. To take pot shots at the U.S. when - once again - the CCP was 'less than forthcoming' about the pandemic at the outset is just petty and pathetic. Apparently, the CCP seems to think that the 'Western media' is either too dumb to remember the SARS debacle (when the CCP withheld information from everybody) or too mean to Chinese because the U.S. feels 'threatened' by China's 'rise'. Personally, I think that the CCP is using the 'foreigner card' again to win support among the rank-and-file Chinese.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan looks to protect intellectual property in wagyu beef cattle See in context

The focus on China is for a reason: what other country do you know might actually try to sell tainted 'Wagyu beef' in an attempt to make a quick yuan?

I am sorry but the last thing the Japanese cattle industry needs is a cheap Chinese knock off.

I know that won't please the Japan bashers on the board here, but thus far Japanese Wagyu beef and the Japanese cattle industry have done a great job in marketing and operations - especially operations. Yes, it's classic Japanese 'uber control' of everything to the point of being anal retentive, but it has worked very well. Americans, Britons and others recognize that Wagyu beef usually entails a higher quality cut of steak (I am not a huge fan of it, but some Americans and Britons are more than willing to pay a premium for it). These consumers are - for now - savvy enough to know that a cheap Chinese knock off is probably (a) not raised in the same manner and (b) probably injected with a ton of growth hormones. However, it won't take long for the Chinese to do what they usually do when they enter a market: compete solely on price, cheat on materials, etc. and take the market down a rabbit hole.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: S Korean court rejects petition to repeal Japan sex slave deal See in context

Speaking as an American and a 'rule of law' country, once a deal/contract is made, the countries should honor it. Otherwise, why do the deal in the first place and second, why would you ever re-negotiate a deal with someone who doesn't abide by the original agreement? Remember, it's not as though the 2015 Korea was in dire straits and was forced to sign the 2015 accord. So, why did Korea sign the 2015 agreement if they were going to re-visit it/re-litigate it?

I haven't really seen an answer to that question.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: Leaders of Japan, China, S Korea to promote N Korea-U.S. dialogue See in context

One voice, one people, one northeast asia.

Yes, just like one country, two systems. Nobody - outside of those who are Chinese or receiving $$$ from China - wants to be 'unified' with China.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Star Wars' struggles in a country far, far away: China See in context

Wandering Earth...sucked.

Episode IX was solid, probably mid-pack in terms of the nine movies. The first three were awesome, obviously. Although the Return of the Jedi was not the best. The second three, the first two (one with Jar Jar Binks) were awful. Episode VIII was pretty awful as well. Given all that was on the plate, Episode IX did the best that it could, considering it had to wrap up many loose ends (since it was supposed to be the 'final' episode).

I agree that the Leia scenes were really forced, however.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: On screen, Asian-Americans rarely get into Christmas spirit See in context

Article written by a Chinese-American (or perhaps as many are wont to do: American Born Chinese). Let's do the numbers here:

Asian-Americans represent approximately 5.6% of Americans. Of that, 40% are Christian.

That makes is approximately about 1 in 50. Which would be the equivalent of a 'rare Asian face'.

The author of this story has a twitter feed, check it out:

My feeling is that the author didn't do too much research before being triggered by the phrase 'diversity' that didn't include Asian-Americans (or more importantly American Born Chinese). Nothing gets Chinese-Americans more triggered and angered than the phrase 'diversity' or 'affirmative action' that does not include Chinese-Americans.

Oh, one other thing, whenever there's a Christmas movie, it's usually snowing. And that would exclude California....and if you exclude California, the percentage of Asian-Americans in the states that have snow is even lower:

Wisconsin= 2.6% Asian-American;

Minnesota=4.5% Asian-American;

Michigan= 2.6% Asian-American;

North Dakota= 2.7% Asian-American;

South Dakota= 0.9% Asian-American;

Iowa= 2.3% Asian-American;

Montana=0.6% Asian-American;

Illinois=5.6% Asian-American

So, now we're talking about even less...approximately 1% of snowy-state, Christmas celebrating Asian-Americans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S.-China trade deal gets tepid reception See in context

It's not about the trade imbalance as much as it is about China using the trade imbalance to underwrite and fortify their military ambitions. Supply and demand theories go out the door when one is discussing national security.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: S Korea, Japan trade barbs over who said what about salvaging intelligence deal See in context

S. Korea caved. The word was 'reversal'. And that word was used to describe S. Korea, not Japan.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: Landslide democratic win in HK election raises pressure on city's leader See in context

Very good and a great day for democracy, let’s hope Beijing respects the process, I have my doubts, but I pray that they do.

China listens to no one. If someone says they have an unfavorable opinion of China, China simply says 'you are uneducated about China.'

I have feeling this is simply cover for China in the near future to say 'see, elections were held and there is STILL violence....clearly democracy is not helping anyone in Hong Kong. It's time for China/Beijing to 'help' stabilize things in Hong Kong'.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, S Korea agree to summit next month See in context

South Korea and Moon caved. Simple as that. You don't say 'let GSOMIA lapse' and then turn around and say 'we'll take measures to make it work' within 3 weeks.

For all of their bluster, the South Koreans look impetuous and foolish.

For all of you that say 'Japan hasn't done enough about the atrocities of WWII', I will say this:

In virtually all wars, after a war is complete there are reparations, treaties, etc.. Please tell me which post-war treaty has been constantly referred to as 'unfair' and which said country continues - 70 years later mind you - to refer to that treaty?

Also, why would Japan fork over that much $$ only to have Korea say 'we want more' 70 years (almost 75) later?'. You don't give that much money on the premise that 'well, we will just pay more as time goes by.'

Whenever a South Korean PM gets into trouble, the Japan-bashing commences.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Worst likely over for S Korea boycott effect on Japanese economy See in context

This will blow over and Korea will look like idiots. Then, just when a high ranking Korean politician is nearing a scandal, back to the well it will go. Not a coincidence that Moon is in trouble politically and - just like that - the Japan-bashing started.

Cooler heads prevailed in this one.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Couple, 3-year-old daughter found dead in apparent murder-suicide See in context

Yes, the murder rate is incredibly low in Japan and that is why THESE types of murders are reported, because there are so few murders to begin with.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Pro-Beijing politician wounded in Hong Kong knife attack See in context

I just saw the video. This is hilariously obvious. Clearly staged, laughably heavy handed. Notice how PERFECT the Cell Phone Camera angle was, how PERFECT the timing was, how the 'assailant' had spoke a very honorable - but sneaky - way to Ho and then - ta da! - stabs Ho just like in a Hollywood movie. All captured perfectly for the camera.

My goodness the CCP will stop at nothing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Pro-Beijing politician wounded in Hong Kong knife attack See in context

There's already undeniable proof that the PLA is dressing up as Hong Kong police and beating up protesters. Why shouldn't we believe such a wicked and unrepentant regime as the CCP wouldn't lower itself to assassinating it's own people to control the narrative? I'm not saying this is 100% certain to be true, i'm just pointing out that it wouldn't surprise me if it was revealed that the attack was planned by the CCP to undermine the protests.

This is quite believable. The CCP has long been accused of - by multiple sources including 'non-Western' sources - such awful things as detention camps, organ harvesting and the 'forced bedding' of Uighur women.

Yet, this same CCP government would somehow NEVER stoop to a planned attack? Apparently, the CCP is so principled that it would draw the line at a staged attack.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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