otis123 comments

Posted in: Japan lifts self-imposed ban on weapons exports See in context

US forgot how USA industries were crushed by Jaoan Inc. in last half or 20th century. US wants Japan to help US cause and will be gypped by Japan again

@Toshiko what are you even talking about? If the Japanese heavy industries were to directly compete with Lockheed Martin and the like it would jeopardize their own contracts and the technology transfer that is currently taking place (with f35 contract for example). Since the cycles on these projects are much longer than on things like stereos and TVs, I think it would be several decades before we would see Japanese companies competing directly with US companies on major deals.

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Posted in: Why are European automakers more successful in the Japanese market than U.S. ones? See in context

Surprised (not really) to see such limited understanding of the international automotive market.

Toyota, GM, and VW are all very close in worldwide sales, with Toyota leading sales, but VW leading revenue. GM and Ford are adept at making smaller cars, as evidenced by their strong sales in developing nations. Focus started from Ford's European division, but is now designed in the US. While the Corolla is the top selling car in the world, Ford's two top selling cars (the Focus and Fiesta) are just about on par in terms of sales with Toyota's (Corolla and Camry). Bear in mind, these Fords are actually benefiting from Ford's partnership with Mazda.

I would say that the reason that US cars do not sell well in Japan is that they are often in direct competition with Japanese automakers and are not luxury items like some European manufacturers. VW is probably the most successful car company in the world, but have not had much success in the Japanese market either for this same reason. The same can be said for Korean automakers. In the US, Korean and US cars are often cheaper than their Japanese counterparts, giving them an edge in the value segment. In Japan, they would likely end up being more expensive than their generally superior Japanese counterparts.

Additionally, Japan is not a growth market and the price of setting up shop in Japan does not make it an attractive investment compared to other parts of the world.

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Posted in: Japan losing its manufacturing edge to South Korea See in context

Manufcturing has a massive impact on trade balance (exports versus imports). Boeing counts towards America's export revenue.

You are correct in that what you consider low-level manufacturing has an enormous impact on trade surpluses and deficits. And it is precisely this manufacturing that Japan is beginning to lose ground in. Advanced manufacturing alone will not maintain Japan's balance. You are certainly correct in your assessment that Japan is a leader in advanced technology, but that advanced manufacturing is no guarantee for future surpluses.

America's continuing industrial decline in is represented in the Boeing which continually loses its manufacturing autonomy with each model.

You could point to a lot of American companies as a sign of US industrial decline, but Boeing is simply not one of them. Of Japan's high-tech manufacturers, only Toshiba and Hitachi have higher revenues, and they are certainly more diversified companies. Boeing is one of two or three elite aerospace manufacturers out there, none of them currently Japanese. While Boeing tried outsourcing more 787 components to save money and to grease the wheels on international orders, that is hardly a sign of industrial decline. There is a reason why Boeing remains a world leader and Mitsubishi has had consistent problems getting its MRJ (which has a US-manufactured engine) off of the ground.

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Posted in: Japan losing its manufacturing edge to South Korea See in context

It's a fact that America's industry is dead. The US has run continuous and increasingly alarming deficit levels since the 80s. America's current account deficit in 1990 was already disastrous at $78 million. In 2010, the deficit was even more shocking - $470 million. America was a world leader in advanced manufacturing in the 70s, but it decided to move away from this vital industry and go into finance. We can see how that turned out. An artificial economy which crumbled like a house of cards. If America wanted to make manufacturing a priority today, it would still take many many years to reach the level of expertise reached by the Japanese and Germans. It's just been too long and the gap has widened.

Wait, are we talking about advanced manufacturing now or trade deficits? Anyone with a basic knowledge of the global economy would know that the relationship between the two is not so simple as that. Regardless, advanced manufacturing alone is unlikely to maintain Japan's former trade surplus.

Anyway, by stating that American industry is dead, you are actually disproving your point about Japanese industry. America lost its consumer-centric product manufacturing jobs, Japan is now losing those jobs as well. Japan has specialized in parts (or producer's goods as you put it), and the US has specialized in aerospace/defense. Stating that the manufacture of parts is more advanced than that of aerospace is simply your own value judgement, and a completely ridiculous one at that. Your other comment about how Boeing's 787 is 1/3 Japanese as a sign of the weakness of US industry is also patently false, as Boeing outsources as a way to help secure large orders in other countries (Boeing has a near monopoly among Japanese airlines). Many of the most advanced aspects of the 787 (avionics and composite fuselage) were in fact manufactured in the US.

Had you read any Japanese business newspaper or magazine in the past year, you would notice the Japan desperately wants to get in to the aerospace industry, but it way behind the US, Russia, and the EU. I am not saying this to shame Japan. Their heavy industry are world class and do supply vital parts (generally the wings) aircraft. I am merely bringing this up to illustrate that "advanced manufacturing" is a much broader category than you think, and there are many international leaders, including Japan, that have chosen to go down different paths.

Will specializing in parts keep Japan at the forefront and lead them to further economic success? Who knows.

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Posted in: Japan losing its manufacturing edge to South Korea See in context

America's industrial base, the envy of the world in the 60s and 70s, is dead, dead and buried

Oginome, you lose credibility with statements like this. I completely agree with you that Japan is still a leader in advanced manufacturing. However, by your standard, so is the US. Whereas Japan has specialized in parts, miniaturization and whatnot, US firms have specialized in defense/aerospace, and IT infrastructure. To deny that the US is a, if not the, leader in these areas of manufacturing is simply ridiculous.

What is happening to Japan's industry is similar (but not the same), as what happened in the US. Both countries have lost (US) or are losing (Japan) out on consumer-centric manufactured goods, and have replaced that with the manufacture of more specialized (and higher margin) goods.

The automotive and consumer electronics industries are just highly symbolic, thus we see articles like this trying to rile us up. Successfully, I might add, judging by the 200+ comments.

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Posted in: McCain ridicules Obama over Iraq policy See in context

Quite frankly, both of the candidates are a bit daft on foreign policy. At least Obama, celeb or not, strikes one as intelligent in some regards, unlike McCain.

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Posted in: Japan ranked 5th most peaceful country in world See in context

Homogenous nations for the win!

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Posted in: U.S. has 'ramen moment' as chefs, foodies embrace Japan's beloved comfort food See in context

Only the US would claim a dozen good authentic ramen shops in a country of 320 million people, concentrated in two areas (SoCal and NYC) is a call for declaring some kind of ramen breakthrough. There are probably as many good Nepalese curry shops in Japan, I don't hear anyone declaring a Nepalese curry moment.

I'm pretty sure there are more Nepalese curry shops in America than in Japan and they also haven't declared it a Nepalese curry moment. I think it's because this is a site that caters to Japanese news and it's a slow day. Also there aren't so many places with good ramen shops outside of Japan, whereas Nepalese curry isn't so rare.

Now are those ramen americanized in flavour as most of the food in america seems to be.

People running restaurants serving foreign cuisine always cater to their host countries, it's called business. Only in cities with large foreign born populations do you find foreign food that can be considered authentic, whatever that means.

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Posted in: You're never too old to learn a new language See in context

Now I feel bad for only being fluent in 17.6 languages (don't want to be the only one not tactfully advertising their language prowess).

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Posted in: English graffiti 'Hack' grounds bullet train See in context

However like in most countries there is a tendency to blame foreigners for many crimes. Japan is not the only one, just look at Italy, South Africa, France, and the US.

In the US we usually blame minorities, not foreigners.

I think everyone here characterizing places that tolerate graffiti as slums and places with low standards need to get off their high horses. While this news certainly shouldn't be used as an excuse to bash Japan for being anti-foreigner, neither should it be used by Japan-lovers to spew hate and non-sense about places with graffiti like NY, Germany, London, etc. The graffiti on the front of my apartment buildings says no more about the people living in my neighborhood (or the US as a whole) than the knife wielding psychopath in Akihabara says about Japan.

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Posted in: Celebrity Australian chef introduces Japan to the pleasure of breakfast See in context


USA food the lowest form of food? Maybe you've only been exposed to "hamburg" and have never had soul food. Gumbo, jambalaya, poboys, cornbread, greens...it can't be beat.

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