Muratafan comments

Posted in: Naomi Osaka picks Japanese citizenship with eye on Olympics: NHK See in context

Great business move.

Winning the Olympics for America = Americans will yawn.

Winning the Olympics for Japan in Japan? HUGE endorsements from Japan and virtually ZERO downside from the perspective of her potential American endorsements.

Want to later 'change her mind' and become an American citizen? Far, far, far easier in America than claiming American citizenship and then trying to later on get Japanese citizenship.

Not a difficult decision at all.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: With China rift ongoing, NBA commissioner says league will support freedom of speech See in context

China is interesting and getting more and more brazen by the day. This isn't going away anytime soon. This is heading towards a Cold War and a very long one at that. Silver should know that the CCP controls everything in China and it wouldn't be long before China played this hand. The CCP tries to weaponize everything without actually resorting to violence - provided, of course, that the CCP thinks it can 'win'. Otherwise, they whine like the little brats that they truly are.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, China may boost ties over next decade, depending on U.S. See in context

Give credit to Japan, they know how to deal with Chinese very well. I know Abe is ridiculed here, but he has done a very good job of dealing with China. Unlike the U.S., Japanese companies have not suffered nearly the IP theft (yes, I said 'theft') that America has and it's manufacturing base has not been as devastated as America's. Plus, Japan REALLY - quite correctly - cracked down on Chinese 'investment' in Japanese real estate (yes, the AirBnB debacle was centered around Chinese investment in Japanese real estate).

I personally think Abe is correct in wanting to re-start the military here in Japan. Of course, there's a lot of wiggle room about the strategic 'defense' force, but if anybody thinks China has 'good intentions' with respect to ANYTHING they do internationally, I've got a bridge to sell you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Tariffs push some U.S. manufacturers to exit China See in context

This works in the long run. And, quite frankly, it's the only real option left on the table. I am waiting for someone (other than Akie) to inform me the last time diplomacy worked with China. It is obvious that China has a huge chip on its shoulder and would clearly like to challenge America and they currently are in terms of remote islands like the Solomon Islands, etc.. China has major, major world ambitions and when a country like China has 'ambitions', bad things are bound to happen. Especially if it continues unabated.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What motivates Japanese to move overseas? See in context

The #1 reason is Japan's crushing work attitude - and it's the most dominant factor by a long, long way. For women, I would love to know what the weighting of the factors are, but I would think it's the work attitude and the sexism. I live in America, which is one of the bigger destinations for Japanese who want to get away. Virtually all of them say work-life balance and, for the women, they also mention the sexism. The third problem that many stated was that there was no real change/hope for change and far too much 'shoganai' about the work situation. The expatriates knew it wasn't going to change so they basically said 'I'm outta here.'

However, given how fluffy this article is 'it's a trend, says Spa!', it's very difficult to see just how big a trend it is. I can tell you the trend for Japanese students to get their graduate degree in America or abroad has declined dramatically by 30%. So, this is in direct conflict with this story here. Apparently, young students in Japan do not want to go abroad. Notice how this article actually gives numbers.

Granted, 20% decline in the # of students overall, but that still means another 10% decline in the number of students going abroad. Now, what I would like to know is how that 10% decline in both % and sheer number corresponds to the number of Japanese who've decided to live abroad/leave Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: New York schools urged to refer to Sea of Japan as 'East Sea' too See in context

As an American, this is what I hate about Korean-Americans. On the one hand, they complain about their 'perpetual foreigner status', yet, on the other hand, they INSIST on bringing their Korean-related baggage with them to America. If you are truly American, you would've probably left that baggage behind. Same thing with Chinese Americans and how they insisted on putting a comfort woman statue in the middle of Chinatown, San Francisco. Virtually ALL Americans besides the 2% of Chinese and Korean-Americans label the Sea of Japan the 'Sea of Japan'. 98% of Americans (besides the same 2% - at most) also have virtually no idea what the comfort woman issue is and - if they do - know it is high time to put that issue aside.

Cannot have it both ways.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. reach framework trade pact; no tariff cuts on Japanese cars: report See in context

Not enough detail since a 'cut' in tariffs could be a 5% or 10% or 20% cut. Plus, Japanese car companies are producing an ever-increasing share of their cars for America in America (and I have no idea is those cars are subject to tariffs or if those cars count in the percentage of cars made by Japanese companies and does that lower the overall tariff %).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: S Korea terminates Japan intelligence deal amid trade dispute See in context

Dear Prime Minister Moon:

Please come to your senses. You have picked a fight with Japan, Japan responded is a civilized but strong manner dig in your heels. Meanwhile, one of your aides is in trouble, the Korean economy is stagnant decided to play the 'anti-Japan' card for the umpteenth time. Sorry, this is really tiresome.

14 ( +33 / -19 )

Posted in: China threatens retaliation if U.S. tariff hikes go ahead See in context

Again, for those that bash Trump on this issue, what would YOU do about China?

Diplomacy with China is a non-starter. China breaks virtually every contract/international law out there and will continue to do so.

I don't agree with Trump on many issues, but I do agree with his stance on China.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan, led by less apologetic generation, stays tough in S Korea feud See in context

Japan's international reputation is not tarnished one bit by this latest skirmish. Nobody in America or the Western hemisphere cares about this re-hashing of 'you didn't apologize/yes I did' again and again. Ditto Australia, Europe and Africa. I suppose on could say China might be slightly interested in this, since they likely sympathize with Korea. India could care less and often times think Koreans are being far too petty since India doesn't appear to harbor much resentment towards England.

Move on, quit picking at the scab.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump dismisses trade war fears; China warns of market chaos See in context

So, for those that bash Trump and the trade war, what would you do about China?

It's funny how many of the same people who laud Abe for standing firm against Korea, somehow cannot say the same about Trump and his stance on China.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Pompeo rips into China; urges ASEAN to trust in U.S. See in context

Not a fan of Trump, but he's the first U.S. President to recognize China for what it is and for what it is not. He was the first U.S. President to put a spotlight on China's trade abuses and how China leverages its trade to weaken other countries and to strengthen themselves.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: China's Sun wins 200 free via DQ; gets shunned on podium See in context

Think about this. How many times have you seen other swimmers boycott the stand?

This doesn't happen often. Throw in the fact that Sun has been guilty of doping before, accused of smashing vials of samples in a tirade against a doping agency and is from a totalitarian state with a history of doping.

Gee, I guess it's just the 'Western media' and their hatred of all things great (er, Chinese).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Warship shows Japan's determination to expand military role See in context

Good for Japan. If you don't think for 2 seconds that China wouldn't want to annex pretty much the entire Pacific Ocean under the pretense of 'it's our history!', then I've got some beach front property to sell you. Japan needs a good self-defense these days and to think otherwise is just asking for trouble from China.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Mitsubishi Motors to relocate North American HQ to Tennessee See in context

If you are an automaker, it makes sense to move to Tennessee, hopefully there is enough skilled labor.

If you are a software/hardware/tech/biotech firm, you best stay on the coasts, the talent level for engineers is unreal in state of California. Yes, California is 'anti-business', but the state consistently produces some of the best engineering talent in the world (Stanford, Berkeley, Cal-tech, UC-San Francisico). Massachusetts is also 'anti-business' but also produces an unreal amount of talent from MIT, Harvard, etc..

I lived in Tennessee for 10 years. There is a yawning gap between California and Tennessee when it comes to software engineers, etc..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Washington Wizards pick Hachimura 9th in NBA draft See in context

This is a very nice fit for Hachimura. Low expectations, coupled with potential for a lot of playing time, Hachimura will have the benefit of time to develop his game. If he improves his outside shot/three-pointer, Rui has the build to be a stretch-4. He is listed at 238 pounds, which is prototypical power forward weight and he's a bit short at 6'8"...but his has 7'2" reach, which is exceptional.

He's not flaky, has a good motor. I don't see him being an all-star, but I do see him in the mold of a Paul Milsaps type of player. Solid, workmanlike player who see about 30 minutes a night, average 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Honestly, this draft was very shallow. Zion is otherwordly and I am not sure how good Ja Morant will be. The rest of the pack all had question marks, so Rui at the ninth pick is pretty reasonable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mahathir urges U.S., others to accept China's prowess See in context

Sounds like somebody has received some 'campaign contributions' compliments of the CCP. Gee, who knew that there is some corruption/payola involving the CCP? Never would have guessed that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: China's tough rhetoric leaves trade talks with U.S. in limbo See in context

As an American, I mostly disagree with Trump. On this issue, I agree with Trump. If Trump's tariffs are such a bad idea, then why are so many Democratic, European countries backing him in this effort?

To all who claim Trump is an idiot, what would YOU do about China?

The status quo clearly did not and isn't working. China has no respect for international laws and there are only two things that China responds to: economic or military force. Diplomacy does not work with China and I think we can all agree on that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Questions loom for Nissan in post-Ghosn era See in context

My wife is in contact with a fairly 'higher up' Nissan employee. I know that the Ghosn debacle is wonderful drama, but according to my wife's source, many rank and file Nissan employees were (a) unhappy that France called a disproportionate amount of the decisions (considering that the majority of the profits were generated by Nissan) (b) afraid of what might happen to their jobs should the 'merger' (what they deemed a 'takeover' by Renault) with Renault occur and (c) what type of manufacturing agreement would Renault be negotiating with China.

A merger is rarely an easy thing to accomplish and many, many a 'turf war' is fought behind the scenes. This particular turf war was detailed in the tabloids.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: S Korea's latest big export: Jobless college graduates See in context

SK bought into the 'Education Industrial Complex' whereby more education means more matter which point of the education curve that they are on. There comes a point where the costs of having such a highly educated work force outweigh the benefits. Government subsidies for college tuition represent resources that could have been spent elsewhere and SK is at a point where is a saturation point with respect for the demand for college graduates. I am a Professor here in the States and in the last 5 years, I've witnessed a stunning increase in the number of South Korean students who are onto their 'second bachelor's degree' after being unable to find a job in South Korea.

Japan is benefiting from the ever shrinking population of high school and college graduates, but one thing I think Japan does quite well is the trades and how relatively well off Japanese without a college degree can live.

Taiwan has a similar problem whereby there are simply too many college graduates and not enough jobs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Who pays Trump's tariffs: China and other exporters or U.S. customers? See in context

It's not about the tariffs as much as it is reigning in China's abuses. China wants all the benefits of being in the WTO without playing by the same set of rules that others follow with respect to the WTO.

Let's be honest: trying to make China follow international rules is like trying to teach a cat how to write in cursive. There are only two ways to compel China to do ANYTHING: either by military force or by monetary force. Diplomacy DOES NOT WORK with China.

Tariffs are extreme, but the last 20 years has taught us that the other approaches to China don't work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: While the Japanese government relentlessly promotes the image of 'Cool Japan' and mega-tourism, the current reality is a country run by sociopathic Hitler-loving plutocrats, with plummeting press freedom, endemic poverty, rising censorship, deliberate destruction of public records, continual death by overwork, a corrupt bureaucracy, and a medieval justice system. Despite the triple meltdown of Fukushima, the government is rushing to start nuclear power plants again with reckless abandon. See in context

Actually, I feel for Jake. Married to a Japanese wife, permanent resident in Japan.

Wife lives in Missouri, Jake still lives in Japan.

And, I actually feel for many of the foreigners/ex-pats in Japan. I am extremely fortunate in that my wife moved here (the States) rather than vice versa. I have no doubt that being a Japanese in America is FAR better than being a Gaijin in Japan.

For men, who are probably 95% of the commenters on this thread: no matter what you do in Japan, you'll never (a) make a ton of money and (b) get a huge promotion within a Japanese-based company because of your gaijin status. Throw in the fact that there are some mind-numbingly stupid business practices in Japan and you're stuck: cannot divorce your wife since you'll never see your kids again, but since you're a gaijin, you cannot make enough money to make your wife (and her family) happy.

And, perhaps the worst thing about all of it is this: no matter how bad things get in Japan, the need for 'wa' overrules everything and the frustration can only grow since you're a gaijin, you cannot possibly understand the intricacies of Japan's society - or at least you're told.

Jake's penchant for hyperbole is his undoing here.

Probably a better way would be to say this:

Japan is the largest country in the world to experience a shrinking population. The number of sexless Japanese (a necessary antecedent to population increases) is astonishingly high and yet...nothing. Seriously, nothing. Why? Because the need for honest, potentially controversial dialogue is so distasteful for Japanese people that they would probably rather see their country die a slow death than to disrupt the current 'wa'.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Posted in: Trump announces higher tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods See in context

For those bashing Trump:

Who do you mistrust more: China or Trump?

China has been a lying, cheating, bullying country since 2000. China wants all the benefits of being in the WTO, without playing by the rules.

While Trump is clearly off-balance, at least he acknowledges the fact that China steals IP, manipulates currency, subsidizes industries and bullies its neighbors. Obama, Bush and Bill Clinton (both Democrats and Republicans) all just 'looked the other way' at China's indiscretions and look what has happened in the meantime. Give Trump credit, at least he understands that there is a problem with China and he has shone a spotlight on it.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Posted in: S Korean visit left as unfinished business for new emperor See in context

smithinjapan: Has Japan demanded an apology from the U.S.? No. Has Japan apologized to Korea? Yes. Perhaps Japanese is your second language? Maybe YOUR 'just say 'sorry'' was actually done just not as direct as YOU would like.

If Korea was truly in need of an apology, why does the South Korean 'apology demand curve' spike whenever a politician is in trouble or the South Korean economy is in trouble? In other words, it seems that the apology demand spikes for South Korean convenience. Whereas, South Korean travel to Japan increases every year and doesn't seem to fluctuate very much. Pretty good indication that Japan doesn't need to apologize yet again.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan eyes law to tighten control on gene editing of human eggs See in context

I am truly frightened of what genetic engineering a country like China or North Korea might do to its citizens...or what hyper-competitive parents might do to create the 'ultimate' child. Very, very scary.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan deploys missile units on southwest islands amid China's rise See in context

I'll give China credit, at least they are brazen (or stupid) enough to flat out admit their ambition: domination over Asia, by any means necessary.

I think the overwhelming majority of Japanese realize what China is all about and probably less than 10% (of which Akie is a member) would disagree with this.

1 Chinese can beat 1 Japanese.

10 Japanese can beat 100 Chinese. Although, I still don't like those odds as China currently outnumbers Japan by about 11 to 1!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Sony revitalizes smartphone franchise with movie-style screens See in context

As always, there are detractors about large Japanese companies. However, it appears that Japanese manufacturing is still doing big business in tech...just not the end product. For Iphones, Japan is the second largest (to America) in terms of components for the Iphone 7.

Commentators love to squawk about Japanese protectionism. Have you seen China's protectionism? Please, there is no comparison.

Mobile phones are a very low margin business, with the exception of Apple. Very much a Japanese approach: perhaps lagging on innovation, but very much leading with respect to the manufacturing process.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Amid trade talks, China urges U.S. to respect its right to develop, prosper See in context

You know something is true if both Democrats and Republicans in America agree on something. Both sets of American politicians refer to China as a 'trade cheat'. There really isn't much more to say. China wants all the benefits of being a WTO member without playing by its rules.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Osaka talks about split with coach See in context

The only issue I think about is this: what if Osaka struggles again? I think she pretty much burned that bridge. If she still succeeds, no one will be upset. She is still incredibly young and still learning about herself and her tennis abilities. I will say, she didn't look entirely thrilled at the Australian Open, rather she looked relieved as if to say 'thank goodness this is over.'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.N. rights committee urges Japan to let children be children See in context

If the UN said this same thing about Korea and China, I might be more willing to give it a pass. That said, the literacy rate in Japan is fantastically high, the crime rate astonishingly low. Japan's approach to teaching math is actually extremely well-regarded worldwide as being innovative (regardless of the stereotypes about Asian math teaching).

Yes, America has much more 'great' thinkers and scientists. However, I have to think that America's education system is one of extremes: incredibly great outputs and incredibly bad outputs as well (illiteracy rate ridiculously high for a country of such wealth, poor overall math scores as a nation, school violence, etc.).

I am willing to bet the great majority of commentators here are living in Tokyo or thereabouts. My wife and I own a summer home in Mie. Beautiful area, humble but nice housing and the children there seem very happy, ARE very safe and very personable. We live in the Midwest and our children and very happy, very safe and very personable. However, I work in San Francisco for two months out of the year and guess what: the children there are anxious about how they can possibly ever afford a house, competitive beyond belief and quite honestly, don't seem very happy. My feeling is that living in a very cramped, expensive area, with a very well educated populace makes for a much more intense, competitive childhood - be it Tokyo or San Francisco.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

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