noriahojanen comments

Posted in: Suga suggests optimism for lifting state of emergency See in context

Majority of bars are restaurants were not obeying the curbing request. The covid numbers have been falling drastically though human mobility rate has remained high during the SOE. The SOE efficacy is now questioned. Experts/SOE proponents must review and account for the phenomenon. We shouldn't repeat it for the next wave(s).

Japan has reported about 3,000 new cases per day, in a population of about 125 million. By contrast the USA, population 330 million reports over 300,000 new cases per day, with few, if any, restrictions on foreign travel and no states of emergency.

Following up, more than 2,000 new daily deaths for US in comparison to 21 for Japan yesterday. As for vaccination rates, Japan has already outpaced the US. I prefer cautious reopening on the borders, though.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan is losing its credibility among international students as a study destination, which could impact the country’s ability to attract talented individuals. See in context

The conditions about entry restriction are almost the same for many other countries.

Japan's higher education services are already oversupply due to rapid shortfall of young population. Many have been dependent on incoming foreign students (in vain). It's time to downsize or overhaul university systems to upgrade service quality.

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Posted in: Japan reviews medical system ahead of possible 6th COVID wave See in context

That only works under the assumption their revenues drop, the reason why some private hospitals do not comply with treating COVID patients is because their regular patients would stop visiting the hospital, which coupled with the extra cost and low profits from treating COVID patients would mean losing revenues. For those hospitals being named as "non COVID" could actually increase the number of patients and profits.

Revenues of most private hospitals are from the national healthcare insurance. They are already semi-public institutions responsible for treatment under nationwide health crisis.

Few people may expect or request plastic surgeons or animal doctors to become also cooperative (even though I believe their skills could still contribute to the rollout campaign). A problem is that some hospitals have kept refusing covid patients although having received state subsidy for cooperation to fulfill profit shortfall amid the pandemic. That's a serious breach. Non-compliant bars/restaurants, other "risky" businesses are subject to name & shame publicity, swindlers subject to prosecution. Why are hospitals exempted? Let's be fair.

Aside from money issues, healthcare professionals have been fast-tracked, prioritized for vaccinations and will continue to be so for upcoming boosters, in the hope that they come to work in the frontline. I hear some doctors and nurses GO-TO traveling after taking double shorts. If they are unable or unwilling to cooperate, leave the queue to let other vulnerable people to take jabs.

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Posted in: Mariners walk Ohtani in 9th; hold off Angels to keep pace See in context

I only wish Mike Trout came back to the lineup and right behind Ohtani.

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Posted in: Japan's universities tightening background checks on foreign students See in context

You can't imagine the amount of pro-communism activism those guys were doing, right in the middle of the class. They were extremely indignant whenever anyone complained about anything China. They were also organized by rank, with one guy obviously a leader of some sort (we couldn't get more insight as they were of course using exclusively Chinese among themselves and confirming everything before one of them was allowed to speak English to the rest of us). All in all, an extremely creepy situation.

I have similar experiences at school setting. Chinese students seem "well-organized" in collective actions and thoughts. For example, their counter-protesting acts against Tibet, Uighur or HK are timely and coordinated despite a short notice. It's no wonder as all Chinese students and expats are registered at local Chinese embassies, and they are regularly monitored and contacted by authorities (in the pretending form of social activities).

Japanese schools shouldn't discriminate Chinese students, but should take into account this inconvenient truth. They are kept hostage or string-attached even overseas.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's universities tightening background checks on foreign students See in context


Are you suggesting it is time for a McCarthyite witch hunt of communist sympathisers in Japan, looking for 'reds under the bed' and asking prospective students and academics if they now or have ever voted for the JCP?

No. Japan is far from China where Chinese nationals under "foreign influences" are constantly monitored, arrested without warrant or good reason, or sent to re-education camps. Many critics "vanish" from the streets all of a sudden; but unfortunately such is not unusual in neo-Maoist society.

BTW, the JCP is very critical to the CCP over a number of issues including territorial disputes and human rights abuses.


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Posted in: Biden hosts Indo-Pacific leaders as China concerns grow See in context

A next breaking news: China applies to join the QUAD :D (and followed by application from Taiwan).

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan's universities tightening background checks on foreign students See in context

There are also some Japanese students, faculty members as well as school officials spying or closely collaborating with Beijing.

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Posted in: 3 Japan PM hopefuls urge elderly to stay on job for pension system See in context

There should be a retirement age, people should be able to work for as long as they want to. The pension age will rise though, as life expectancy rises.

Retirement age will soon be disputed as it's based on chronological/calendar age without considering other age-related attributes such as biological age or career development history. They must differ considerably among individuals. It's a sheer discrimination when you fire someone because of sex or ethnicity, then why is (chronological) age kept relevant reason?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: 3 Japan PM hopefuls urge elderly to stay on job for pension system See in context

Kono has drawn questions from his rivals after proposing creating a guaranteed minimum portion of public pension that would be fully financed by tax revenues instead of premiums.

Kono's plan is the centre of discussion at the session, which I also find worth debating. By quick calculation, the consumption tax rate needs to be raised from the current 10 % to 15 % to guarantee the minimum pension amount (65,000 yen per month). Meanwhile the current scheme financed though pension premiums (at minimal 16,000 yen per month) is already becoming heavy burdens on younger lower-income individuals.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: 3 Japan PM hopefuls urge elderly to stay on job for pension system See in context

When your people live close to 100 years old. Retirement age will have to change. People in the future might live to 120 or 130. You can't expect to retire at the same age when life expectancy was 50 to 70. Japan is not the only country making this changes. More countries will have to follow.

I think that retirement age is ageism, thus should be abolished altogether. Employers instead should be allowed to cut employment through negotiations (with retirement money guaranteed)

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to donate 30 mil additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine See in context

Japan has also focused on "Last One Mile Support," which includes providing refrigerated trucks and other cold chain equipment necessary to distribute vaccines to remote areas.

Some Japanese firms have great cold chain logistic technology. They can contribute to global vax distributions.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Taiwan applies to join Pacific trade deal days after China See in context

Taiwan is a very hopeful and relevant candidate (or say "economy"? :)) It deserves to be a TPP member, and will be better off under this multilateral framework.

Neo-Maoist economy on the Chinese continent will have many hurdles to overcome.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Women's entry in LDP leader race may not boost empowerment See in context

"Even if she wins, it's almost like decorating the same old party with just the mask of a woman," said Mieko Nakabayashi, a political science professor at Waseda University in Tokyo.

She's got to the point. Female LDP lawmakers who had been picked up (without considering merits/qualifications) to the high-ranking positions often ended up being a puppet or "mannequin" figure due mostly to lack of own experience and power bases.

To resolve this, I suggest that more women or minorities be taken in at the entry to middle levels of the party organization, perhaps through quota or preferential policy while top executive leaders should be selected based on merit and via fair and open competitions.

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Posted in: LDP president candidates vow to double spending on children See in context

Support should be arranged in a way that kids can benefit directly. Under some current programs, money goes to parents, some of whom "embezzle", not use it for their kid (s).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't leans toward lifting state of emergency at end of month See in context

Vaccination is probably responsible for the sharp decline while the SOE turns out to be almost futile. By data analysis, the human mobility rate in Tokyo as well as major cities has remained levelled-off or slightly increasing during the latest SOE (whose primary aim is to curb the mobility).

I suggest an incremental approach back to the normality. Be prepared for the next wave (by beefing up health care resources).

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan's elderly to get COVID-19 booster shots in early 2022 See in context

Medical personnel are expected to get their booster shots within the year, Kono told a press conference, as they were the first to be vaccinated in Japan starting in February.

If they are again prioritized for a booster jab, they must cooperate with the government on covid treatment. Many have remained idled, shy away from the frontline. Some hospitals refuse covid patients while receiving the subsidy.

President of the Tokyo Medical Association is hesitant at his backyard although he always demands hard restrictions on people and "risky" industries. His own hospitals haven't taken in covid patients.

東京都医師会の尾崎会長 自身の医院でなぜ陽性者を受け入れていないのか

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Posted in: Nikkei closes with biggest fall in 3 months on China property fears See in context

A virus and then financial crisis... global problems come almost always from there.

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Posted in: After virus-hit Olympics, public split over future Games in Japan See in context

We shouldn't make any effort or promotion to host another unless begged by the IOC. I'd also suggest games with zero yen public spending by the host city & country.

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Posted in: After virus-hit Olympics, public split over future Games in Japan See in context

The spread of COVID-19 posed a daunting challenge to the organizers who ran the Olympics from July 23 to Aug 8 despite public opposition and concern that it would become a superspreader event. Foreign spectators were barred.

The recent data analysis suggests no direct link.

Tokyo Olympics Didn’t Worsen Covid-19 Spread, Data Suggest

Rather than "safe & secure" public health issue, the local Japanese residents were angry and frustrated mostly because of Olympic exceptionalism and privilege at large expense of wider public interest and fair treatment.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Seniors account for record 29.1% of Japan's population See in context

Chronological age doesn't matter. Many of present-day Japanese seniors are healthier and more active/productive at work compared with their previous generations.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Ruling party kicks off race to pick Suga's successor See in context

Listening to speeches of all four candidates addressing various policy areas, I find Noda's straightforward but well-focused and strong. Though that she's unprepared as having come into the race very late.

Noda is the least hopeful candidate this time while facing the scandal regarding her spouse's profile. But she seems to get started in shape for the next or thereafter. A few key heavyweights are believed to back her not in the hope of electing her to the president, but of pulling the legs of the presumed frontrunner Kono (and of showing some alternative to Takaichi, another female candidate).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ruling party kicks off race to pick Suga's successor See in context

The campaign is only for Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers in the Diet and grassroots members, not the general public.

More critically, the LDP election campaign is private, not subject to the Public Offices Election Act regulating irregularities. For example, there is technically no limit of money or other means to solicit votes, putting aside some ethical issues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China submits application to join TPP free trade deal See in context

Unlike conventional free trade pacts, TPP covers much wider areas namely intellectual property rights and transparent investment. China as a statist economy is incompatible with TPP's core principle. Under Xi its economy is getting less liberal and more Maoistic. The application form may be thrown into the dustbin.

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Posted in: China submits application to join TPP free trade deal See in context

The UK and Taiwan will most likely join the TPP as regular members ahead of China. Beijing insisting on "One China" will end up retracting its application.

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Posted in: Former women's empowerment minister Noda to run for LDP leadership See in context

But she is seen as a long shot to win, and her late candidature indicates she may have struggled to gather the necessary support from fellow LDP lawmakers.

True, but this underdog may bite some votes away from the frontrunner Kono who could fail to obtain the absolute majority on the first round. In the run-off voting, the contender Kishida is said to win a majority over Kono. A strategic game is now being played out.

It is rumoured that her husband is a former Yakuza...

It's more than a rumor, as the court has recognized it as a fact.

The former member from Yakuza or designated crime syndicates will have to spend about 5 years after "defection" to gain full civil rights. Noda's husband has fulfilled the condition to become an ordinary citizen. Thus technically the spouse's profile can't or shouldn't affect her candidacy. But of course he seems to tarnish her image.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian nuclear subs will be banned from New Zealand waters: Ardern See in context

Doesn't she fully understand underwater situations and submarine capability? Territorial waters are breached by nuke subs belonging to foreign countries. NZ's is not exception. How could NZ Navy possible locate them?

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan's top COVID-19 adviser wary of easing restrictions See in context

Mr Omi should be accountable for the cheat of (publicly funded) hospitals for which he is a board member. They are suspected of having denied covid patients admission while having received 13.2 billion yen as state subsidy for cooperation. Why not starting at his own backyard first if he is to seek more cooperation or sensibility from people and businesses?

【独自】コロナ病床30~50%に空き、尾身茂氏が理事長の公的病院 132億円の補助金「ぼったくり」

All the same, economic crimes with regard to state subsidy programs are coming into public attention and criticism. Hospitals can never be exempted from it. Many beds remain available, yet many have died at home without proper care ... that is most ridiculous!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: COVID-19 deaths of people aged under 60 soar in Japan due to Delta variant See in context

It's worth noting that the significantly increasing number of younger and working aged Japanese have died amid the pandemic, of other reasons than covid-related. They are mostly victims of illogical and unbalanced anti-virus measures.

It's full of irony to see today's another top new story about a record number of centenaries in Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Chinese students hit by U.S. visa rejections See in context

Chinese students as well as expats have virtually no freedom even abroad as Beijing monitors and instructs them through local embassy networks. No wonder that we have seen their political activities made in their settled societies have been active and coordinated.

Free and open spaces in the West host society should be valued and not be taken for granted. Where is the rule of reciprocity? Although most Chinese expats can freely and safely protest on the streets, utilize democratic culture for own sake, their counterpart or foreign residents in China have no such civil rights, under constant surveillance or intimidation.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

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