ngeorge comments

Posted in: Abe seeks Mongolia's support in China island dispute See in context

Moonraker, landlocked Mongolia has a navy?

Mongolia relies on transit of goods for export through China, to ship out of ports n China. Somebody should mentioned this to Mr Abe, as there is no practical benefit for Mongolia to side with Japan against Mongolia's largest trading partner.

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Posted in: No. of dead pigs found in Shanghai river almost 6,000 See in context

The Mersey river in the UK was once a purple colored waterway of death, that changed, but it took time to stop paper mills and soap companies from dumping their toxic effluent into it.

On the Cheshire plain there are many ponds due to the salt flat that lies beneath it, and these ponds have been used for centuries to dump unwanted farm machinery and carcasses of livestock. That may have changed.

I am not writing as an apologist for China, but to throw brickbats at Shanghai is ignoring the fact that all developing industrialized nations go through an arc of pollution then realization that pollution is a bad thing. Then they clean it up. This happened in the city of Suzhou, close to Shanghai about ten years ago, and has set a precedent in China.

Maybe japantoday.com readers might like to read up on Minamata Disease.

Glasshouses, and all that.

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Posted in: China's navy seeks to 'wear out' Japanese ships in disputed waters See in context

The islands in question have been listed on maritime charts as belonging to China for about five hundred years. They were seized from China in the first Sino-Japanese war, 1895. The People's Republic of China was not a participant in the treaty of San Francisco, 1950, when the matter of Japan's land claims by aggression were settled.

Objectively, the islands are Chinese.

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Posted in: Japanese firms look at other countries as alternatives to China See in context

Tokyomusing, surely you mean keiretsu?

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Posted in: Japanese firms look at other countries as alternatives to China See in context

American and European businesses already have substantial investment in China, in manufacturing and distribution, research and development, and construction. Examples: Volkswagen, Elders, Ikea, Mercedes Benz, Kraft Foods, Heineken, GlaxoSmithKlein, Apple. Japanese investment into China is relatively new compared to other nations. Germans set up the first European brewery in Qingdao and French expertise was used to establish vineyards in China over a century ago. The concept of Made In China is of course nothing new when one considers the historical trade of spices and silk with Europe, and whilst certainly Japanese business protocols such as punctuality and reliability have been difficult for Chinese staff to assimilate, China does have many more centuries of experience than Japan in actually doing business with, and getting along with, other nations.

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Posted in: Japanese firms look at other countries as alternatives to China See in context

Tandoori nacho, excuse me contradicting you, but the Chinese government have, within the last year, raised the official poverty line enabling many millions more Chinese citizens the opportunity to receive government welfare. Their government does consider the lot of the "common man".

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Posted in: Japanese firms look at other countries as alternatives to China See in context

Firstly, the islands in question have been on Chinese maritime maps as Chinese territory since the Qing dynasty, about five hundred years ago. Secondly, when diplomatic relations were re-established between China and Japan in 1972, both leaders agreed that discussion of the sovereignty of the islands could be decided by later generations, putting aside the issue that Japan seized islands during the first Sino-Japanese war (1895). The islands are geographically much closer to China than mainland Japan (Okinawa also used to be part of China). In addition, the suspension of the rare earth exports to Japan was retaliatory measure, not for the collision between the Japanese coastguard vessel and the Chinese fishing boat, but for the fact that the then Japanese government lied to the Chinese government in their apology, and the truth of the collision was revealed when the coastguard video was put up on YouTube. The Japanese coastguard, risking their lives on the high seas, quite understandably being irritated that office dwelling bureaucrats in Tokyo should lay the blame on them, and chose to post the video. From what I have seen in Chinese media, their nation has taken a defensive stance and have reacted diplomatically in disbelief, as has been pointed out in the English language Chinese media: why would the Japanese government choose to buy something they in effect already own? Historically China has been painfully aware of what has happened when Japan makes a land grab on Chinese territory, and the denial of the events of 1937 in Nanjing by the mayor of Nagoya (a city twinned with Nanjing until the mayor's denial of the events), and the support of this by Mr Ishihara has been met with stunned incredulity in the Chinese media. China has spent the last twenty years or so doing its best to make friends with many nations, particularly African nations. Japan does not seem to have bothered getting on good terms with their neighbors, and this Daioyu islands incident does seem to be an example of this mindset.

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

correction please; Chiba prefecture is EAST of Tokyo.

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Posted in: Who are (or were) some of your favorite comic book characters? See in context

John Constantine, Rorschach, Alf Tupper, The Drunken Bakers, Miracle Man (by Moore and Gaiman).

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Posted in: Traditional Finnish soup See in context

Most Tokyu stores and a few Ozeki stores (amongst others), have fresh dill. Best to shop for it in the morning as they sell out quite often by later in the day. Prices vary but usually around 190 yen or so for a pack of more dill than you are likely to need.

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Posted in: Japan fattens textbooks to reverse sliding rank See in context

i say so what........... because on the plus side Japanese schools don't require metal detectors at the gates, nobody sells crack in the toilets or behind the bike sheds, you won't find graffiti, there won't been any heroin sharps in the yard or in the park, and there are very few teenage pregnancies. i have a son in his final year at elementary school in Japan, for me the pros outweigh the cons all round compared to the UK (I have a brother who is a high school vice principal in the UK so in am current on the situation in British schools). Change would help, but a lot of the teachers are old dogs (like anywhere), and they don't take easily to new tricks of course.

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Posted in: What are some of your candidates for the worst movie of all time? See in context

Star Wars. Sucked the biggy.

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Posted in: The man who launched a thousand chips See in context

another baker! i hope Amos can make a go of it here, obviously a man passionate about his product. This is a tough market for an outsider to crack, even or especially if you have a quality product. If anyone posting here has a memory long enough, do you recall the rapid rise and demise of Cinnabon rolls in Japan? It was copied to death.

all best to Amos.

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Posted in: Bake my day See in context

Zenny11, i had hoped our communication via mail would have stayed private, it was a serious issue to close down the bakery ten minutes before a bake order was completed. The pro oven i use is a forty capacity USA made model, which requires a transformer to connect to the Japanese grid. It always gets hot to the touch, but had never given off fumes before. It was immediately disconnected and the bakery was aired out. At the time of emailing you i didn't know what the problem was with the transformer, whether it could be fixed, or whether i could find a replacement domestically, or if i would have to airfreight one from the US, that's why i speculated on a week. It was fixed by an electrical engineer and machinist friend, and the socket was cleaned later that day, and now works fine. Sunday was a rest day, and i was attending to pending orders after this morning's shop. I have a bake on tomorrow pre-booked, and now my Wednesday has a few bake hours free, so i was about to mail you and suggest a Thursday delivery for your order. I have apologized for the inconvenience, and also offered free delivery for the rescheduled order. Back in April when i cut myself, i had to cancel the regular weekly order to a brokerage company in Toranomon. They take Friday lunch orders from me, and have been doing since the first week of April. They are a demanding customer, often ordering items i don't have on my menu like steak and ale pie which i of course will provide on demand, but they fully understood the situation as kitchens are inherently dangerous places, and were very considerate for my welfare. I would have appreciated your consideration regarding the privacy of our communication, and the situation i found myself in.

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Posted in: Bake my day See in context

my2sense, we do chilled takyubin with the post office, which is an excellent service (they are also the cheapest). Just mail me your order to contact@thepieguy.biz and we will go from there.

We have used this service before for deliveries to Tochigi and Okayama city for example, so Osaka is no problem at all.

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Posted in: Bake my day See in context

takyubin or personal delivery, it is always COD. Post office takyubin is very convenient for us as the payment goes into our P.O account the following day.

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Posted in: Bake my day See in context

well, could do, but butter is rather more expensive than the lard. it is not simply a matter of demand, it is the pricing too.but...... i could give it a go, and thanks for the encouragement. as a rough guess, what per centage of vegetarians do NOT eat fish, because we have a supplier of very good trout in Tochigi.

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Posted in: Bake my day See in context

oh, and the vegetarian option; sorry there's no point. my pastry is made with beef lard.

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Posted in: Bake my day See in context

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement i have received here for my new business. As i bake to order, i can accommodate most requests if there is enough quantity, for example last Sunday i baked and delivered six steak and kidneys to a specific order, and that isn't on my regular menu. I do make apple pies to special order, i use a lemon zested pastry for that, and a bulk order of those was made on a special order for chilled takyubin delivery to Okayama city in April. They were very popular, but i don't make a habit of making apple pies. We use the post office chilled takyubin service to deliver all over Japan, they are the cheapest option, they are also excellent. I shipped four deliveries to regional and Tokyo metropolitan customers of Madeira wine trifles via this service, the trifles all arrived in perfect condition. Gastronomically most of the world eats "pies" in some form, if you regard them as simply a protein filling inside a carbohydrate case. Gyoza are pies, piroshki are pies, niikkuman too, and basically sandwiches and burgers are open "pies". The pies i make are of a type familiar to anyone from the UK and Ireland, also Australia and New Zealand. They are not the fluffy little confections you would find in a Japanese bakery, but pretty much a meal in themselves.

All orders are taken via email for the simple reason it allows me to keep track of everything, and buy fresh produce accordingly.

Thanks again for your kind words. cheers now,

Best regards, Nick/The Pie Guy http://www.thepieguy.biz

Pies! spread the word (and the mustard).

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Posted in: Japan slow to embrace medical tourism See in context

i have had decent treatment in Japan when i have had need to visit a doctor, and my dentist is excellent. My local doctor correctly diagnosed a food allergy, which developed when i was 38 years old, and i had been eating that fruit since i was a child. Very surprised, but he was right. By contrast, i was misdiagnosed last time i visited a doctor in my country, and it almost killed me.

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