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Posted in: Why do tourists continue to stay away from Japan, despite the fact that there are many places of interest far away from the crisis-affected areas? What should Japanese tourism officials do to promote See in context

Why do tourists continue to stay away from Japan, despite the fact that there are many places of interest far away from the crisis-affected areas? What should Japanese tourism officials do to promote Japan as a safe destination?

Because Japan has the new stereotype of being extremely unsafe. Since Japan is so small, and Fukushima is still spewing harmful radioactive contaminants into the soil, water, and air, the image is that the entire nation of Japan is one destination to seriously avoid, at all costs.

Japanese tourism officials should not try too hard to promote Japan as a safe destination, because that would insult the intelligence of people who would prefer to travel to other countries where their health would not be compromised.

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Posted in: Why do tourists continue to stay away from Japan, despite the fact that there are many places of interest far away from the crisis-affected areas? What should Japanese tourism officials do to promote See in context

Japan is unsafe, plain and simple. Japanese mothers have low level traces of radiation in their breast milk.

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Posted in: Rally See in context

Sign should read "It informs to Wen Jiabao! Fukushima Produce! Still radiation contaminated!

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Posted in: Disasters challenge plans to reinvent Japan Inc See in context

The article essentially makes the statement that Japan is finished.

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Posted in: Japan's disaster becoming contagious abroad See in context

I think elbudamexicano has a very valid point here. Japanese from Hiroshima and Nagasaki were certainly subject to discrimination after the war, from other Japanese.

Not only will all Japanese now suffer from 'radiation' discrimination abroad, but now everyone from Fukushima Prefecture will be radically distanced from the rest of Japan.

It's a double whammy.

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Posted in: Shoppers' appetite for spending is being restrained by a feeling that it is inappropriate when nearly 28,000 are dead or missing and more than 180,000 survivors huddle in shelters. What effect do you See in context

Japan will make it out of this, but the nuclear crisis will have a severe impact on Japanese exports both near and long term.

The world must continue to aid Japan in her time of need.

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Posted in: Kan says Japan will remain on 'maximum alert' to deal with crisis See in context

So the half life of plutonium is a few hundred thousand years.

Japan will be on 'maximum alert' for a very, very long time.

What on earth were they thinking?

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Posted in: As Japan shutdowns drag on, auto crisis worsens See in context

Buy American, or German.

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Posted in: China reports radiation on 2 Japanese tourists See in context

China offered to help on a massive scale, but it was Japan who was reluctant to accept due to pride issues.

These countries are neighbors, so setting aside national agendas for the sake of saving lives should be the right approach here.

Japan immediately responded to the Sichuan earthquake with a dispatch of rescue professionals.

China is returning the favor.

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Posted in: China reports radiation on 2 Japanese tourists See in context

"China, truth. Two words which can never be used in the same sentence."

Japan, radiation. Two words which can now always be used in the same sentence.

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Posted in: China reports radiation on 2 Japanese tourists See in context

"the chinese are really trying to kick japan whilst its down...i don't believe any statements from them, esp when they refuse to give any facts or numbers ..."seriously exceeding" ..what a joke"

Laughable. China has offered massive assistance in relief aid, along with providing rescue professionals. Hardly what I would call kicking japan whilst down.

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Posted in: China reports radiation on 2 Japanese tourists See in context

Oh no!

Quarantining everything and everyone coming out of Japan will be next.

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Posted in: Uneasy tourists shun Japan amid radiation fears See in context

I saw pictures of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo with a total of 15 people there, all employees.

Tokyo must be a ghost town for foreigners.

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Posted in: What do you think about all the panic buying of bottled water in Tokyo after reports that radioactive iodine exceeding the limit for infants was found in tap water in some wards? See in context

I think Japan is a very dangerous place to visit now.

So does most of international community.

Hope Tepco can fix this.

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Posted in: How do you feel about the nonstop television coverage of the earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis? What effect do you think it has on the public? See in context

Makes the Japanese more paranoid then ever.

Japan was already paranoid about everything involving China. Now, Japanese are paranoid about everything involving Japan.

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Posted in: Radiation discovery fans food fears in Japan See in context

I guess Japanese are either scared of Chinese food imports for fear of it being poisoned, or frightened that Japanese food sources are now radioactive. Or afraid of American beef for mad cow disease.

Got to give it the Japanese. They are the most insular people on earth. Hopefully, non-radioactive food aid from other nations, namely, the United States, China, and South Korea, will help the 500,000 tsunami affected Japanese who are now starving.

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Posted in: Costco reshapes wholesale industry See in context

Costco rules.

Best place to buy electronics, especially with their 2 year warranty and 90 day return policy.

USDA prime steaks from Costco are awesome.

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Posted in: Discontent, but no revolt in China - yet See in context

No discontent, just anxiety, in Japan:

Recently, I had a most bizarre experience. I was walking down a street when a total stranger approached me and asked, "What will become of Japan?" And this happened not once but three times. Under a normal circumstance, those three people would have simply passed by wondering in which newspaper or TV show they had seen my face. But obviously they felt it impossible to repress the anxiety that they felt.

Interestingly, all three encounters happened last spring, well before blatant security threats cropped up in the fall when a Chinese trawler rammed two Japan Coast Guard cutters near the Senkaku Islands, and North Korea shelled a South Korean island.

Still, even last spring people had good reason for concern. At that time, Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio was straying in his handling of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa Island. Immediately after he told U.S. President Barack Obama "Trust me," Hatoyama made remarks that betrayed Obama's trust. He later tried to explain the intentions behind his remarks, but Obama refused to meet him. When Hatoyama told the press that he had at last been able to communicate his message to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had sat next to him during a meal, Clinton took the trouble of inviting the Japanese ambassador to the State Department to tell him that she had not acknowledged Hatoyama's comments.

People grow uneasy when they perceive that their government is not functioning well. But whatever complaints the Japanese may express about their government every once in a while, no other people trust their governments as much as the Japanese do.

South Korean philosopher-statesman You Jin Oh once told me, "The Japanese people looked down on the Koreans for their lack of patriotism during Japan's colonial rule. The Koreans are actually patriotic people, but they have few memories in history of having receive benefits from their often tyrannical government. The Japanese, in contrast, show patriotism by uniting with the government in times of emergency. In short, the expression of patriotism is different between the Koreans and the Japanese. To be different has nothing to do with the concept of good or bad."

In Europe, China or Korea, families own precious metals and jewels that they can use for funds in times of emergency. In contrast, in Japan practically nobody hoards gold or jewels for that purpose. The Japanese trust the state and society so completely that they are content to keep their savings deposited in a bank or post office.

While the Japanese people are always freely bashing away at bureaucrats, they — occasional political turmoil notwithstanding — have never doubted that the government — in particular the bureaucracy — would always protect their interests. But witnessing the Democratic Party of Japan show so little respect for the bureaucracy, the people have lost confidence in the reliability of administrative institutions.

Also, while people have indulged in criticism of the government for being too subservient to the U.S., most Japanese did not doubt that the U.S. would protect Japan in a crisis. This trust and conviction, however, collapsed during the Hatoyama administration.

While I was telling others about my encounters with the three strangers, I recalled that this was not the first time the Japanese people had become wary of their government's handling of state affairs.

One year that has long remained in my memory is 1945. The Japanese people had been excited by the country's military victories in the early battles of the Pacific War and the conquest of Southeast Asia. But after the U.S. began carrying out air raids on Japan's mainland, city streets became filled with victims and food grew increasingly scarce. And every one in those days was saying, "What will become of Japan?"

Although the government tried to conceal the true conditions of the war, the gap between the official announcements and the reality became increasingly obvious. Ultimately, the Japanese people lost confidence in their government.

Going back further in history, there was the Feb. 26 Incident of 1936, a military coup d'etat that ultimately failed. I was only 6, but clearly remember the incident — in particular the deep concern that grownups felt over the uncertain future.

Around the time Japan was commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, the press interviewed older people to describe the most shocking events of their lifetimes. Even though they had experienced such major incidents as the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression of 1929 and Japan's defeat in World War II, many chose the Feb. 26 Incident. Throughout the war until its miserable end, no matter how painful the experience was to them, the people were united with the government. But the people interviewed said the Feb. 26 Incident, which was the only coup d'etat in Japan's modern history, made them feel that they no longer had a government they could rely on.

Fortunately, the atmosphere in Japan today has greatly changed since the days of the Hatoyama administration and popular confidence in the government is again growing. This is partly due to recent provocations by China and North Korea. The Kan government has openly emphasized that the alliance with the U.S. is the axis of Japan's foreign policy, and the U.S. has responded positively to this new stance. Today no objection is heard when the Ministry of Defense proposes improving the defense of the southwest islands of Japan or when Self-Defense Forces units are dispatched as observers of the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises. In addition, there is little bureaucracy bashing.

I believe this change is a manifestation of the wisdom of the Japanese people, to which the Kan government has responded. Prime Minister Naoto Kan acted boldly and dauntlessly when he appointed former Liberal Democratic Party economic planner Yosano Kaoru as minister of state for economic and fiscal policy. I hope that the prime minister will depart from all past complications and announce that Japan will exercise of the right to collective self-defense as well as revise the three-point principles to ban arms exports in the forthcoming meeting with Obama. Such actions would solidify the alliance between Japan and the U.S. and further alleviate the Japanese people's deep sense of insecurity.

While the inadequacy of Japan's defense budget will continue to pose an obstacle to the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. alliance, the above two measures would, without any financial outlay, fundamentally solidify the alliance with the U.S. and alleviate the Japanese people's deep worries.

Hisahiko Okazaki is a former Japanese Ambassador to Thailand.

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Posted in: Japan scrambles F-15 as China jets near airspace See in context

"An F-15 fighter jet made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. lost tail parts yesterday during flight training near Hyakuri Air Base in eastern Japan, the Air Self- Defense Force said.

"Aluminum parts measuring 2 meters (6.6 feet) by 40 centimeters dropped from the plane, which took off from the air base at 11:50 a.m. yesterday, Hiroaki Akeguchi, an Air Force spokesman, said today by telephone. No injuries and damages were reported, he said.

The Air Force noticed the parts were missing after the plane landed an hour after take-off, Akeguchi said."

Bloomberg January 8, 2008

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Posted in: Japan scrambles F-15 as China jets near airspace See in context


Here's a quote about the USAF and JASDF:

"The US Air Force has grounded all its F-15 fighter planes after an accident in Missouri triggered concerns about the ageing fleet, officials said Tuesday.

The decision comes after Japan on Sunday grounded its F-15 fleet after it was informed by US forces that an Air National Guard F-15 fighter jet had crashed.

In Japan, Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba told reporters that Tokyo has also suspended flights of F-2 fighter jets after one crashed on takeoff and burst into flames at an airport in central Japan last week.

"We will deal with the task of preventing airspace incursions with our F-4 fighter jets," the oldest model among Japan's fighter jets, Ishiba said."

AFP November 6, 2007

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Posted in: Japan scrambles F-15 as China jets near airspace See in context

They said they were jets, though. Y-8s are prop driven.

Perhaps they were recon versions of the J-8, or the JH-7. Or the twin seat version of the J-10, or naval J-11 (SU-27 clone).

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Posted in: Japan scrambles F-15 as China jets near airspace See in context

USNinJapan2 and techall,

Make no mistake in this regard, I very much respect your comments, especially knowing that both of you served and have more knowledge about the F-15 up close than me.

My only point was that the F-15J needs to be replaced due to age, as does the F-4J Phantom, with more advanced U.S. fighters such as the F-35.

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Posted in: Japan scrambles F-15 as China jets near airspace See in context


I'm referring to the F-15Js built in the 1980's. While JASDF's maintenance program is probably top notch, there have been reported cases of the entire fleet of F-15's grounded in Japan and the U.S. due to heavy flight fatigue on the airframe.

"The Air Force has grounded its entire fleet of F-15s, the service's premier fighter aircraft, after one of the planes disintegrated over eastern Missouri during a training mission, raising the possibility of a fatal flaw in the aging fighters' fuselage that could keep it out of the skies for months.

Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, ordered the grounding Saturday after initial reports indicated that the Missouri Air National Guard fighter plane had broken apart Friday in midair during a simulated dogfight. The pilot ejected and survived."

The L.A. Times, November 6, 2007

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Posted in: Japan scrambles F-15 as China jets near airspace See in context

It's a good thing that the Japanese F-15 did not fall apart in the air because their airframes are so old and fatigued.

Anyways, Japan better purchase the F-35, because...

Planners in Tokyo have been alarmed by the rapidly advancing capabilities of neighboring China, which recently rolled out its next-generation stealth fighter, the much-touted Chengdu J-20. Though that fighter may be years away from actual operations, it is seen as a rival to the F-22 and far superior to what Japan now has.

Even without the J-20 shock, Japan was under increasing pressure to replace its aging F-4EJ and F-15 fighters. It had initially planned to make a decision in 2007, but has repeatedly pushed back its deadline amid budget and bureaucratic battles.

Associated Press Feb 22, 2011

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Posted in: Gadhafi's vows to fight to 'last drop of blood' See in context

He could have been in Venezuela or Cuba by now, smoking Montecristos.

Now, after firing upon his own people with fighter-jets, this guy is going to be roasted on a shawarma spit.

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Posted in: Watch the birdies See in context

Wie and Creamer look great.

I kind of feel bad for Ai. This picture makes her look so unflattering compared to her neighbors.

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Posted in: Moody's downgrades Japan outlook on national debt See in context

Told you so.

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Posted in: Gadhafi appears on TV to dispel rumors he has fled See in context

It appears the massacre that is happening in Libya puts a major dent in Hikozaemon's assertion that these sort of things no longer occur in the Middle East, and only in China.

Fighter-bombers attacking unarmed civilians. Brutal.

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Posted in: Japan excavating site linked to WWII human experiments by Unit 731 See in context

Japan is trying to come clean after 60+ years?


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Posted in: What do you think about the wave of anti-government protests in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Iran? Should countries like China and North Korea feel uneasy about it? See in context

'The leaders of the military know that if the CCP is brought down, they will have just as many crimes to answer for as the leaders of the party, so everyone is locked into protecting the regime.'

And the people also know that if the CCP is brought down, anarchy will reign, which means that China will descend into utter chaos. So yes, everyone is locked into protecting the regime, the growth rates, the military's expansion, etc, and this includes most of the people.

China is the 2nd largest economy in the world. Common folk in China see more opportunities in this reality than trying to hold the CCP for crimes, though many, that have occurred many decades ago.

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