NZ2011 comments

Posted in: Trump salutes NRA; asks them to elect Republicans to save gun rights See in context

Trump, first time round mislead the evangelicals, this time counting on fans of the NRA.

By mislead, clearly he doesn't hold the same values or really care about what the evangelicals really want, but panders for their vote, and likely he isn't that bigger fan of guns but knows the power and money the NRA has..

Never mind that every time the democrats have been in they, in my opinion, sadly have done little to change gun safety in the US.

Bass4Funk, I believe in all the surveys and polls I have seen the vast majority of law abiding gun owners are in favor of reasonable safer regulations around gun sales, ownership, registration, storage, training and so on..

This all is totally separate to the issues of what would actually work in the US to help with the clear and present gun problem there. This is where partisan politics and thinking is destructive on all sides. Often the left looks at restrictions and policy to try and avoid issues, which can be seen as restrictions of individual rights, and the right is all about punishment and action at the end once something starts going wrong, which other than "getting the bad guy" doesn't really help avoid it in the future. The truth is that it probably needs a bit of both.

Some limits on who can have a gun when and where, and then once they have them that they are embraced as a responsibility rather than a right.

Laws and rules are changed, times change, technology changes, the way we live changes, I really do think this 2nd amendment needs looking at, potentially clarifying.

I guess we can be thankful some other technologies weren't around then,

Car Amendment, no person can be restricted in their use of their automobile, and no law shall be enacted to do so.

Kids driving cars, no license, no registration, no insurance, no speed limit, don't have to obey road signs... you could imagine the arguments..

But we understand clearly that driving a car isn't a right, its a responsibility to you, your family and society, therefore we take on some limits to our absolute right and treat it like a privilege with a few, fairly low, hurdles.

I come from a place where there are guns and you can have them, but there are reasonable restrictions. It seems to work just fine, farmers and people that really want guns have them.. and while I haven't looked into it recently I'm guessing though semi-automatic essentially military style weapons aren't allowed.. nor are you allowed to carry them about the place like some western.. pew pew pew

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Unjust dessert? Japan demands Koreans wipe map off summit dinner mousse See in context

bicultural... yeah totally agree.. South Korea clearly is actively there and in South Korean control, and the other rocks down the bottom of Japan are, while admittedly less clear due to lack of occupation, Japan is in control.

Make friends with South Korea on this issue.... its not like anything is actually going to be lost, (except some Oyaji pride...) there are already Koreans there...

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Posted in: In Japan, new rules may leave home-sharing industry out in the cold See in context

Sorry meant to add, I think if you have your own stand alone house you should probably be able to do whatever you want provided it isn't bothering your neighbours in any really tangible way.

But you can see how it might, very late and early arrivals regularly etc etc..

I don't think this is as easy and straight forward as people think.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: In Japan, new rules may leave home-sharing industry out in the cold See in context

Our building body corporate recently enacted a rule that effectively bans this kind of short term rental.

Im in two minds about it.

Im in a new tidy secure access building, the idea of having to deal with any issue, rubbish disposal, noise, security, over capacity visitors, in the Japanese way seems extremely difficult.

(passive aggressive notes on the building notice board are likely to be ineffective)

Its a place with young families and is relatively peaceful and quiet.

Renting out long term is of course fine, I believe one apartment already is.

On the other hand when during the meeting they said could mean many overseas foreigners, I pointed out, firstly there are two "foreign" apartment owners in the building and they seem to be doing fine, and that specific point doesn't really matter if they are overseas or from elsewhere in the country there are potentially bothersome Japanese people too.. they actually said they would change the wording since I brought it up.

There is the need clearly for these kinds of services, but until the rules of renting vs leasing and having the ability to quickly remove people not following rules and regulations it seems like a tough ask.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: IOC tells Tokyo 2020 organizers they must prepare for questions, criticism See in context

Hmm is this when Japan Inc starts to learn that the bows, sorry, there is no excuse and we will try harder parade doesn't actually amount to much without real accountability, a plan and transparency?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo gov't seeks stricter smoking ban than national gov't See in context

Lets hope stricter conditions really do come through.

Walking with my wife recently we saw a local, reasonably sized restaurant that had been "reformed" and looked much nicer than before, on the first walk past it seemed it was non-smoking, perhaps getting ready for the new restrictions, great we thought, we will have to support that business, sadly later that evening walked past again, and there like so many other examples is one old guy puffing away in a place filled with kids and families.. so disappointing.

Its just a matter of time, so why not get on board with the rest of the developed world on this issue, as much as I don't enjoy China's larger cities even they have banned smoking in most restaurants.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe asks Moon to visit Japan before inter-Korean summit See in context

Haruka, I have to agree in part, if the whole reason is to talk about the abductees, which if is accurate is terribly sad for the families but in the grand scheme of things fairly minor given changes in the region and the issues in Japan.

While perhaps suggesting any Japanese citizen that wants to return to Japan would be allowed to do so might be OK as a minor point, I would hope that the major part of any meeting would be to assure South Korea that Japan will do everything it can to assist South Korea remain a free and democratic society and to make clear its desire to work together economically and politically.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Abe asks Moon to visit Japan before inter-Korean summit See in context

Redtail, but how would re-unification work given the current situation?

I'm not saying it shouldn't happen in time but there are significant issues.

South Koreans don't want to live under an oppressive dictator, we have seen free democratic South Koreans fill the streets when they aren't happy with their government, I can't seem them accepting the kind of control the North would want or giving it up.

South Korea would also somehow have to absorb the financial and economic burden of the North Korean citizenry.

China likely would only "allow" it to happen if all US forces left Korea as they don't want an American Ally on its boarder. I assume thats what the recent rushed China North Korea meeting was about as much as talking about collective defense.

Would the "Kims" be given Political asylum in China or Russia?

You are right it suits the US and Japan to some degree, but it also suits China and Russia too.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe asks Moon to visit Japan before inter-Korean summit See in context

People just playing politics games, but it does certainly look like a summons rather than reaching out and working with South Korea, which I still strongly believe is critically important to retain a power balance in the region as things are looking to change fairly rapidly.

Japan and South Korea have far more in common lifestyle, economics and similar ideas about freedom and rights, than either do with China for example.

Come on Abe, its only 3 Hrs away and you have your own plane...

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Posted in: 930,000 enter workforce as Japan's new fiscal year starts amid gov't scandal, higher food prices See in context

I really wish the young people were able to be a little more individual, and the employment chances weren't so often restricted to these mass new hire type of situations, though to be fair in the airline business where safety and high levels of repetitive organization are needed the "Japanese way" might actually suit fairly well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe fears U.S.-N Korea talks will omit Japan security concerns See in context


Im not attacking you, Im trying to reply point by point as to why I disagree with you.

Japan doesn't want a war, to even suggest so is blatantly silly, but Japan, nor the people that live here want a slow military backed China takeover of the region.

There is no immediate military threat to China, but they are making political moves, essentially allowing a dictator and are building up their military while flexing their presence around the pacific.... for what purpose?

Despite what you think submission to China or a war are not the only options but what do you expect in the meantime, Japan to simply sit around, of course not, it needs the tools to counter any threat to its sovereignty, and if the US is unable or unwilling then Japan will have to do it itself.

Its not what I would like but China's actions are leaving little choice in the long term.

Again Japan isn't threatening anyone... it is being threatened though by NK very directly.

I don't think that some agreements, trade partnerships and relationship with China are out of the question, Japan and China are already huge trade partners, but they can't simply suit China, they have to be mutually beneficial.

You keep bringing up Abe, I don't understand why, I don't particularly like him, he is a bit revisionist and too right wing for me and this scandal doesn't look good, but ANY Prime Minister of Japan has to put Japan and not China first..

Peter14, I agree, to but also underestimate China would be a huge mistake, it has been very clear for sometime, that China wishes to exert its economic control over the world, and failing that have a backup military plan.. which will end badly for all who wish for peace and freedom.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe fears U.S.-N Korea talks will omit Japan security concerns See in context


I don't want conflict anywhere near me, but Akie, a very strong China supporter seems to not be aware that unbalanced regions are generally not very stable or peaceful, if China continues its military build up and increased activity it more or less forces others in the region to try and balance that...

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe fears U.S.-N Korea talks will omit Japan security concerns See in context


Abe changing the peace constitution, there are clearly some idealogical reasons behind it but if the US doesn't stand by its, occupation, and defense of Japan at some point it is going to have to change, why you would say, because Japan has a Dictator in North Korea who has directly threatened it many times, there is also the increasing in military and maritime military spending and activity from China.

You might say China is just doing this in "peace" as is their right, so straight back at you, why can China and not Japan?

Why increase military spending, possible lack of support from the US, and North Korea and China.

Why long range missiles, Japan isn't threatening anyone, and isn't run by singular dictators like NK or China.

Why would it be ok for Japan to have first strike and not NK, because it has been a militarily responsible member of the international community since the last war.

And this really seems to be what it always comes back to, the war, Japan isn't that Japan anymore, do I wish Japan was more apologetic, sure yes, but modern Japan isn't a risk to anyone, other than a few actually very small bothersome territorial claims doesn't seem to have any desire to expand outside of where it already is, I don't think the same can be said for some of Japan's neighbors.

I know you are just in here to stir things up, and possibly even are a representative of China, but come on be reasonable.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: What do you think of airlines' frequent flyer programs? See in context

Life without the lounges, shorter lines, occasional upgrade would be pretty terrible when I travel internationally nearly every month.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Facing labor shortfall, some Japanese firms turn to refugees See in context

As I have said before, Japan really needs to start look at how it attracts "desirable" immigrants before they simply have to open the flood gates to anyone that will as a last ditch effort.

By desirable I don't mean already well off, or even a university education, Japan needs workers as well, by desirable I mean those prepared to come here, invest here, keep their money here, learn the language, how to fit in with the local culture, and in some cases leave the bits that don't fit at the door.

Low wages are a real problem, even for local Japanese people, how anyone could survive on an ¥800p/h conbini job anywhere near Tokyo I just don't know..

As for her Visa, I think unless she is over a earning threshold (probably unlikely at Uniqlo), a manager or married to a local its going to be very pretty tough to turn that into a permanent residency.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Xi says China ready to fight 'bloody battle' to regain its rightful place in world See in context

Just got back from Beijing.. what an unpleasant place to be.. we have to make sure the rest of Asia doesn't end up like that.

I had organized a VPN before I went but some colleagues couldn't believe how restricted information is there..

Leader for life, control the information, apparently the whole government control of TV is going to change to be even more strict.. its a scary prospect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China, not North Korea, to dominate Japan military planning See in context

Japan isn't the one "testing" things of late to be fair..

China may have provided some important cultural influence to Asia, but what is going on now has little to do with that.

I for one appreciate freedom of association, movement and speech, but to name a few things that Japan has, one could argue, been influenced by other cultures.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: United Airlines image bruised after latest round of PR fiascos See in context

I only fly United, or any US carrier when I have no choice, occasionally the US office will say, the United flight is a few hundred less than ANA for example, though have successfully pointed out that while the initial ticket might be cheaper the likes of ANA don't make me pay $200 if my bag is half a KG over..

(I would be more than happy to pay the difference personally if the travel system allowed for it).

As its the only Star Alliance option to the states, and at least get a few miles out of the ordeal, in my experience Delta etc are just as bad.

The United service is frankly shocking, the staff dismissive and past caring about just about anything, who knows, it could be a generally quite aged staff compared to other airlines or maybe they are treated like the passengers are by their management, the little fees here and there for the slightest thing, the fact if you have an issue in Japan you end up calling the states to try and sort it out....

Recently I was stuck in that snow storm a month or so ago flying United, and sure no-one can change the weather but it was absolutely shockingly bad service and while I try to stay calm it was hard to not be annoyed at the ground staff who simply had no idea about anything.. it was clear for hours the flight would be cancelled but made us sit on the plane.. then I found out before just about anyone it was cancelled when it came up in my United app on my phone. Tell them please let us off so those of us who can might be able to get home, as because they had waited all the hotels were all totally full.. they were saying, its not cancelled.. Im saying call someone.. it is.. having dealt with the nonsense before I got straight on the phone to the US office to rebook my flight, but I felt so sorry for all the Japanese travelers, begging, what do I do, the local staff say call the US.. rebook.. and get out of the airport.. everyone says there are no trains, no hotels.. what do we do.. no answer just get out of the airport..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Xi reappointed as China's president with no term limits See in context

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, ah ha ha ha ha... good one.

She, along with all Im sure the absolute majority of Japan would never live under Chinese control by choice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony robot dog owners demand longer after-purchase repair service See in context

Working in a company that makes some hardware, supporting more than 7 years after then end of sale is difficult, parts availability and specifications change, (not to mention supporting drivers as computer OS's and the like change without any control) and as a company you have to keep investing in future technology as you are no longer making any income on those older devices.

The best bet is to find an independent "best effort" repairer who will purchased used/broken units for parts and it sounds like someone has made a business from that, so good for them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Xi reappointed as China's president with no term limits See in context

United State of Northeast Asia... that is a terrifying prospect..

I hope I get the chance to take my wife and her family far away if anything like that looks like it will happen, besides which I if I didn't leave would probably end up in some camp somewhere if I stayed around as I believe in freedom of speech and expression, even when its directed at dear leaders, dictators and prime ministers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Smoke-free workplaces on rise in Japan as companies promote health See in context

I have always found it odd that Japanese, so generally tidy, polite and considerate (yes yes even if its only for show) disregard this when it comes to smoking.

Butts all over the ground, lighting up when kids and babies are around even in closed environments like cars..

The remains of a patriarchal society where most men smoked perhaps?

Toasted Heretic, I get that some people smoke, subhuman can only really be applied to people that act that way I would say, however I have friends that are smokers and do their best to be considerate. I really wish that the separate smoking areas really worked, but so often they really are only an ineffective gesture, some places its simply one area of an open plan so you can say, I would prefer non-smoking and end up being sat next to a table of smokers, and even when you aren't close you can still absolutely see it wafting over.

While most people would just say "pick another job" I don't think its right for young people, especially if they are from a less well off family and are working to support school in the evening, to often have little real choice but work in very smokey environments.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP to urge gov't to possess capability to strike enemy bases See in context

Akie, Im not sure if its a language issue but suggesting anything is perfect, let alone to say China is a perfect neighbor is pretty far fetched.

Things aren't generally perfect, leaders aren't always right, no system of governance and so on, its generally scales of less harm and more harm, with some bad even in the best of situations.

As for everyday Chinese people seeing Anti-China rhetoric from Japan on their news... that just goes to show the terrible shame of government controlled media and propaganda, sometimes of course Japanese politicians speak about China, but certainly not all the time, and to be honest Im not sure precisely what you mean by Anti-china, that means anytime anyone from Japan has any issue with anything China does?

China is facing a massive challenges as its massive economic growth goals starts to become more difficult, with a growing middle class that wants better conditions, better living standards, better salaries China will face what all countries with developing areas end up facing which is a population unhappy with the government.

Rather than try to openly deal with this problem, reducing access to information and allowing politicians to stay in power without public input, on top of which simultaneously building up its military when there is no real threat to mainland China and suggest that there are threats or issues with neighboring countries is standard operation when trying divert attention from issues at home.

Are these kinds of issues are not unique to China, or course not, Japan, the US, Russia etc etc all countries use these tactics to appease the population but history doesn't have a very good record when individuals are given almost unlimited power, Japan, Germany, Soviet Union, especially while military buildups are happening.

Abe probably won't get another term or be the PM for much longer if these current scandals in Japan continue, but at least he can be removed unlike the changes in China recently.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's political longevity likely elusive in a post-Abe world See in context

While life long dictators is not something I think anyone should want, and as much as Abe has his issues, the previous merry go round of Japanese PMs was pretty embarrassing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Xi reappointed as China's president with no term limits See in context

this i believe is far more worrying than any potential changes to Japans constitution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: LDP to urge gov't to possess capability to strike enemy bases See in context

Again, people see the threat of North Korea and direct threats have to be taken seriously but there is the very real chance that depending on negotiations the American presence for good or bad may change significantly, i.e the beginnings of building up for war, or the beginning of less US presence in the region.

Both leave Japan in a potentially bad position.

I see Akie is on here again promoting China and Japan alignment, the trouble is they don't align, fundamentally the differences are large, besides which as I pointed out the are already some of the largest trading partners in the world which is what really matters, but what I doubt any Japanese person wants Chinese style governance in Japan.

This isn't to say there isn't problems in Japan and with its leadership, of course there is, but its very different to whats happening in China, as freedom of speech and information, human rights issues.

I believe Japan, Australia, South Korea, India, the South East Asian nations must work together to not challenge but keep China in check, with or without help from the US.

This isn't to say that China is an enemy, I don't think it is necessarily but the signs aren't great, massive military build ups, and other issues like issues of "soft" influence and intimidation in politics and education in Australia and New Zealand from China.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese bemused by Trump bowling ball car test claim See in context

Im not sure why the attention is on cars, if Trump, for example convinced apple to build more in the US then more US made would be brought.. or anything that people actually wanted but tis always easy to blame someone else.

The majority of US cars however, simply don't suit Japan, the size of engine and fuel usage, designed for a different purpose, long straight multi-lane highways, and while its improving the build and material quality has been lacking.

I visit the US regularly and the size and type of cars that are more likely to be useful in Japan on US roads aren't American cars, they are European, Japanese or a lot of South Korean. (perhaps Trump thinks all the Kias and Hyundais are Japanese?)

To the point of an earlier poster about Japan copying car designs, there is some truth to that, in that early on car companies did get overseas models and look at the design and use them as reference, but they weren't American, they were Golfs and Minis from what I have heard.

I recently purchased a car, and went with a Japanese maker, I considered some europeans cars but not american even once, of the cars in the categories I might consider the engines simply don't produce a reasonable amount of power for the size, and I really am not fond of the design as much as the US makers are trying to make their compact cars more inline with Japanese and European design.

On top of which is the service level, while to be fair I have never bought an american car if my experience with US customer service in general (work makes me fly united sometimes) is anything to go by... no thank you.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Smoke-free workplaces on rise in Japan as companies promote health See in context

This is hopefully what will, like most other places around the world, be what forces non-smoking in all work places, leading to the ban of smoking in Bars and Restaurants.

Im not a fan of frivolous law suits but a few court cases with people against their employers would be good.

I think the incentive of extra holidays for non-smokers is a good one, perhaps not so easy for the average Japanese office worker but I used to take regular, Im going for a walk around the block, when the smokers started gathering for their all too regular "smoke breaks". The Manager asked what I was doing and explained simply, if the smokers get an extra 10-15 minutes break nearly every hour why shouldn't I be able to go for a walk, he looked very confused but got the message.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: LDP to urge gov't to possess capability to strike enemy bases See in context

I don't want it but given the flippant nature of Trump and the threats in the region Japan could well end up in a place were it needs to defend itself more or less alone... again it isn't what I want.. but I wonder if its inevitable.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Posted in: Cancer researcher sets up site on smoke-free restaurants See in context

Good for her!

Looks like she needs some help to widen the reach a little!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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