Muratafan comments

Posted in: Business sentiment cautious in Japan as virus fears linger See in context

Is Japan Inc. ever NOT cautious?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: EU has little appetite to join Beijing Games diplomatic boycott See in context

Germany cannot live without its exports to China...its second biggest partner after America.

Merkel was a bit of a right winger, but she too had to tip-toe the U.S.-China dispute.

Not surprising that Boris Johnson (the poster child of Brexit) agreed with the Americans, whereas Germany and other EU leaders have vacillated.

I know I am going to sound like a 'Yank', but the EU ought to man up and walk the walk and talk the talk.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Shohei Ohtani: Japan's baseball 'Frankenstein' enjoying monster success See in context

Whiting is practically dripping with gaijin superiority complex when he says 'When you look at Ohtani, the image of the Japanese as physically smaller or inferior people just disappear'.

Seriously? The year is 2021 and Ichiro won the MVP TWENTY YEARS AGO, Matsui won the World Series MVP 12 years ago, Hideo Nomo was an All-Star 25 years ago. I think the HS players in Japan today know full well that they can compete at the highest levels. Ohtani insisted on playing both even when he signed with MLB. If he truly thought of himself as inferior, he would have never even tried to go to MLB, let alone insist on both hitting and pitching. And Japan won the first two World Baseball Classics, the first one close to 15 years ago and the second one over twelve years ago.

I guess they just had to find an old (close to 80 years old) white guy to opine on Ohtani for the sake of the largely white, older MLB audience.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: China's Xi warns of 'grim' situation with Taiwan See in context

Here's the point that no one seems to comprehend: the Taiwan straits are incredibly strategic, as is the South China Sea. The Crimea? Not nearly as so.

It IS in the World's best interest (especially economic) that Taiwan remain an independent country (to all the Wumao's out there, yes, Taiwan IS a country). China is intent on using the South China Sea to buy/bully/control the rest of Asia and..the world. China may not want war, but they CERTAINLY want the South China Sea to be fully controlled by China. That way, China will be the World's manufacturer AND the world's exporter AND the world's 'middle man'. China is unlikely to want war, but diplomacy has NOT worked with China (see: Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong). The Wumao's will always counter 'but Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjian are just PART of China anyway, like Taiwan.' Gee....what's next the 9-dash line? I think we see a pattern here.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Tensions grow as U.S., allies deepen Indo-Pacific involvement See in context

China's lying, posturing and aggressiveness have escalated since Pooh Bear decided to appoint himself to a lifetime post. History is clearly repeating itself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: S Korea marks 30 years since 1st public testimony by ex-comfort women See in context

This is not nearly the issue in Korea that many people think it is. I went to the top-5 Korean newspapers (using Google translate) and there was not a single mention of this issue.

While I know that there's a great deal of enmity between Koreans and Japanese, I am not sure that this particular statement is generating that much discussion in Korea.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Major Chinese carmaker to form hybrid vehicle venture with Renault See in context think this might have something to do with Ghosn's ouster from Nissan?

Japanese Management to Ghosn 'be careful in China, many, many companies go there thinking they'll be swimming in money only to find out down the road that there is a Chinese company using IP theft to supplant you.'

Ghosn to Japanese management 'please be quiet. I turned around Nissan 20 years ago, I KNOW what I am doing. Trust me.'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China sentences Canadian to 11 years in case tied to Huawei See in context

When in Rome, do what the Romans do.

Tell that to the CCP when it comes to obeying the WTO laws, which they routinely flout. That's the problem with China: they want to be part of the WTO, but won't play by the rules. Surprise! China cheats. That is THE single biggest issue with the Meng case. The WTO said 'follow the rules and do NOT break the sanctions with Iran by trading with Iran.' And guess who just so happened to trade with Iran? Good ol' China and good ol' Meng was right at the center of it.

Same with the WHO. China wants to be part of the WHO, but won't play by the transparency rules.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics draw to a close See in context

Reading the comments on here, I can't help but think the majority of posters are not Americans. The American media has been quite favorable towards the Japanese management of the Games. You should have seen the coverage of Rio. The Rio games will be remembered in America for the squalid, standing water and the Ryan Lochte 'incident'. Rio's image took quite a beating. Tokyo, on the other hand, enhanced its reputation and all of Japan. People already knew that Japan - for the most part - is efficient, clean and orderly (and I know that there are many here who correctly note the inefficient business environment of fax machines and too many meetings, I agree...but that's a different context), but Japan pulled off a pretty Herculean (in difficulty and thanklessness) task quite admirably. Many an American has said to me 'there's no way the U.S. could've pulled it off, there probably would have been protests, scalping and probably a little violence to boot.'

Yes, the Tokyo games cost quite a bit of money, but if it wasn't for Covid, these games probably would have made money. Remember, pre-Covid, the biggest complaint was the inability to get tickets (and the demand to supply ratio was 10-to-1). And most posters here were griping about how bad the crowds were going to be.

In terms of those who say Tokyo lost a ton of money, keep in mind much of those stadium costs were sunk costs by the time Covid hit.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan beats U.S. 2-0 to win 1st Olympic baseball gold medal See in context

@smithinjapan. Pretty Euro-centric of you to say 'Most nations in the world don't even know what it is, and they had to dig up extra teams to try and make it more valid.'

Here's a list of countries that care about baseball:

Japan, America, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Taiwan, South Korea, Haiti, Australia, Philippines.

How many countries are interested in Kata karate? How many have even heard of it? Yet, it was an Olympic Sport, as was rock climbing up break dancing (yes, you read that correctly).

I think baseball has earned its way to the Olympics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Chinese firm to build ¥50 bil battery plant for Nissan EVs in Japan See in context

Perhaps I am being overly optimistic, but Nissan still retains a big ownership % in the firm and everything is being made in Japan. What this tells me is that there isn't enough manpower in Japan to make the giga-factory. Japan Inc. has done pretty well in not having their IP stolen in China, whereas America has experienced a ton more IP theft. A big part of that is that American companies do a very poor job off monitoring their Chinese suppliers (no surprise there). Japan appears to do a better job of it.

Another big factor was that Ghosn was hell-bent on being huge in China and had attempted to sell the Nissan's entire battery unit to China a couple of times. To this day, I think the two things that caused friction in Nissan was (1) Ghosn's insistence of a triple merger w/Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi...with Renault executives getting to call the shots and (2) Ghosn's rather Euro-centric view that 'China is where the growth is and Nissan will be #1 in China' while neglecting the Japanese market and Japanese employees.

Nissan just appears to be a rudderless wreck right now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Behind Airbus-Boeing truce lies a common rival: China See in context

Quick question: would you ever fly on a plane made in China?

I know I wouldn't.

It's not capitalism that's causing the problem, it's the fact that a key trading 'partner' is a human rights abusing, dictatorship with a goal of global domination.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Actor John Cena faces backlash in China for calling Taiwan a country See in context

As much as I despise the CCP, a little context is in order here. Cena was on Weibo or WeChat - both of which were underwritten by the CCP - to promote his movie. He was an invited guest and Cena took the invitation. He then made the 'faux pas' while on CCP-underwritten media. He issued an apology. It's kind of like being invited to someone's house and then saying something offensive to the hosts.

Now, if Cena was on Jimmy Kimmel's show and said 'Taiwan the country' and CCP demanded an apology and Cena then apologized, Cena would be a total loser/coward.

I don't think Cena could even point to Taiwan on a map.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Ohtani's 2-way play, Walsh's walkoff HR lift Angels over White Sox See in context

No matter what you say, getting 7 strikeouts in one game and then hitting a 451-foot bomb is impressive....even for an ol' codger like stickman. If it was so easy, how come nobody else has done it?

The fact that the phrase 'good old days' was even used tells me everything I need to know. In the good old days, only Nolan Ryan would throw as hard as Ohtani and he had plenty of walks too. And, Nolan didn't exactly hit 450-foot dingers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kelly's trial increasingly focusing on Nissan-Renault rift See in context

Isn't that what partnership is all about, the more shares you own the more voting rights you get?

The issue was that Renault was not making much profit but getting to make the lion's share of the decisions. And, to be frank, Renault does not exactly have a sterling record for quality, whereas Nissan's (while not the best) exceeded that of Renault. I can see how the two companies did not see eye-to-eye on issues such as quality, emissions, etc.. My feeling is that Renault executives thought of Nissan as a 'subsidiary of Renault' whereas the Nissan executives didn't feel likewise.

In 2017, Nissan sold about 40% more cars than Renault and also likely had a higher profit margin per car than Renault.

Yet, Renault treated Nissan like a subsidiary.

And...Renault was looking into merging with Fiat during 2017. And, I think we all know that Fiat is not exactly the highest quality car manufacturer out there. If that merger went through, Nissan would have had virtually no say whatsoever in the corporate decisions.

Lots of blame to go around. It's basically like a divorce, except in this case it's two companies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kelly's trial increasingly focusing on Nissan-Renault rift See in context

Ghosn turned around Nissan no doubt. However, he suffered from a very, very common CEO problem of 'Empire Building', which is a function of hubris. I think the Nissan-Renault 'merger' was doomed from the start and there's a reason why there are so few international 'mergers of equals'. This was a very tenuous alliance all along and I am quite sure that the French executives ignored the issues raised by Japanese executives. Ghosn thought he could navigate the two cultures and seamlessly integrate the two companies....or subsume Nissan as part of Renault.

Michael Porter had a great line 'Culture eats strategy for breakfast.'

The strategy of being the one of the biggest car companies in the world and benefiting from scale was more than offset by differences in French and Japanese business culture. Ghosn thought he could overcome those hurdles. He was wrong.

Is he guilty of wrongdoing? I rather doubt it and by American standards his corporate perks were pretty run of the mill. But, you could clearly see Japanese executives being upset at (a) being ignored by Ghosn and his cronies and (b) flaunting his wealth/position. (a) is clearly the reason why this all went down and Nissan is using (b) to try Ghosn in the court of public opinion.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Attacks against Asian Americans in U.S. intensify a year into pandemic See in context

Go ahead, name a 2 or 3 and contrast that to Asians and their high standard of living, high earners on average, hardworking, most graduating with some of the highest degrees, extremely low incarceration rates, family unite intact, so which Black city can match ANY Asian city in the any rich and prosperous Blue State?

Asian Americans don't have a higher standard of living than White Americans after you adjust for cost of living.

There are no 'Asian' cities in America. Yes, there are Asian enclaves, but not Asian cities.

Propaganda? I understand Trump got the highest black vote yet. How do you explain that?

Yes, I guess going from 6% to 12% of black men and from 4% to 6% of black women means that Trump is wildly popular with black Americans?

And...guess what the #1 reason for that increase in the black vote? Immigration.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: New S Korean ambassador eyes political solutions to issues with Japan See in context

As an American who's accustomed to contract law, at what point does Japan simply have to say 'hey, no more contracts since S. Korean politicians always seem to nullify any prior agreements'?

I've seen some people on here say 'well...Japan needs to live up to its side of the deal'? Like how? Never going to Yasukuni shrine? Yeah, that's a great idea. Restrict someone's movement in their own home country. Apologize? Hasn't Japan apologized enough already?

It's just such an easy solution for S. Korean politicians to use whenever they need support for flagging poll #'s.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

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 )

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