oyatoi comments

Posted in: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi Aircraft over alleged theft of trade secrets See in context

What this is essentially about is the until now taken for granted practice of Japanese firms, no doubt with the connivance of and perhaps even at the instigation of the central Government, exploiting the openness that other societies practice as a matter of course. With its quasi militaristic ‘business is war by other means’ mindset, Japan is forever looking to pick the eye teeth fruits of Western know how, enabling it to leapfrog years of R&D efforts to achieve technological breakthroughs which translate into market share. Aided immensely by having a captive market at home as well as being able to maximize profit via quasi militaristic workforce conditions is a winning formula that they will never tamper with. Only when the rest of us finally cry foul and insist on full reciprocity and quid pro quo will things change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi Aircraft over alleged theft of trade secrets See in context

Once upon a time Japan Inc. would’ve gotten away with this kind of thing. It seems though that elites here are yet to grasp the fundamentally changed reality that America and its partners are in the process of implementing. One can only hope that wiser counsel will prevail and that they’ll dispense with the wishful thinking that all of this is going to soon blow over. It won’t and indeed if Japan continues to insist on its right to have their trade cake and eat it then it’s only going to get worse.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 6 bodies found after house fire in Sendai See in context

“..........two daughters and two small grandchildren live in the residence”

Purely speculation, but I’d say the most likely scenario is that the grandfather, exhausted mentally and probably financially having to host three generations under the one roof, decided he’d had enough.

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Posted in: U.S. wants deal with Japan to avoid competitive currency devaluations See in context

“An official at Japan's Finance Ministry said there were "no plans" to include the currency agreement in a trade deal with the United States and that it was unnecessary because Tokyo had not intervened in the foreign exchange market since November 2011”

Direct intervention, perhaps not. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat and Japan’s very good at hiding it’s market distortionist tricks such as purposely engineering infinitesimal interest rates to encourage money offshore where it artificially inflates the US dollar, to the ultimate detriment of the US because it allows the US to live beyond it’s means.

It’ll be shown for the lie it is when the US finally gets serious and puts a stop to the above, sending the yen back under 100 to the dollar in the direction of its fair value. That’ll test their ‘non-interventionist’ rhetoric.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't considers 10-day holiday period around 2019 imperial succession See in context

Every Chinese I know imbibed with their mother’s milk a party line fable about a shichifukujin like boatload of assorted geniuses who, whether exiled or of their own volition, left China, lobbed up in Japan, whereupon they became the progenitors of the Yamato race. Ask one to humor you with the story next time you have a chance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't considers 10-day holiday period around 2019 imperial succession See in context

“Japanese law stipulates that a weekday sandwiched by national holidays automatically becomes a public holiday”

Meanwhile, on other parts of the ball, in places run by people who aren’t so tight, Japanese would be gobsmacked to learn that they employ ideas such as this; making the following Monday a holiday when a public holiday falls on a weekend. And workers required to work on a public holiday or substituted public holiday are entitled to remuneration at a holiday penalty rate.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Video voyeur arrested after fleeing from train station by jumping onto tracks See in context

If they made punishments here fit the crimes, there wouldn’t be enough jail space to house all the wackos. Instead, aberrant deeds are simply tolerated with a world-weary, reflexive shrug of the shoulders and resigned shoganai.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Keidanren's plan to rethink hiring rules causing waves in Japan See in context

"For businesses, the time and financial burden of recruitment would increase."

Again and again they employ this hoary old canard, this self-evident truth, to justify their inertia in defence of privileges that are way past their use by date. They get away with it because people have been conditioned to hearing it for so long that they accept it unquestioningly.

Rather than resisting long overdue change, they should be asking themselves what is it about virtually all Western societies that renders immunity from the operations of the ineluctable logic of one size fits all hiring. And then once that’s been isolated, trying to replicate it here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: IMF chief urges revamp of Japan's economic policy, more women in workforce See in context


“This only indicates that IMF is becoming a political and social activist organization trying to control its members' society”’

I see. So, you’re opposed to that, but you’re entirely OK with the push for conformity and maintaining the status quo and protecting those whose interests would be threatened if the barriers hindering women were dismantled.

Opposing greater female equality of opportunity and indeed insisting on workplaces as bastions of male bonding is a no brainer for all those who wish to defend the evil of service overtime. Conversely, supporting women in the workplace identifies you as someone who is opposed to the ideology of workplaces as surrogate boot camps.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: University employee caught spending 50 hours a month looking at manga porn at work See in context

Another Kansai public official with his mind in the gutter. Oh well, it’s a change from reading about errant cops misappropriating funds, letting prisoners walk out the door, or molesting schoolgirls.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Most firms uninterested in work hour exemption for professionals See in context

englisc aspyrgend

“.....so don’t hold your breath expecting the international community to come riding to your rescue, unless it suits their interests”

It’s not to my rescue, it’s to their own! And, as Trump’s embrace of tariffs shows, it DOES suit their interests.

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Posted in: Most firms uninterested in work hour exemption for professionals See in context

Japan’s quasi-militaristic work ethos confers a huge comparative cost advantage which it would never unilaterally surrender. Denying workers here rights that are simply taken for granted elsewhere; two days off a week, flexible working hours, no arbitrary postings to distant places, a minimum four weeks annual vacation able to be used in full, no service overtime, contract term limits, labor laws with real teeth; all of this translates into the higher profits which enables Japan Inc. to undercut foreign competitors which are legally obligated to pay for all those things. Japan’s appalling treatment of its workers, its cynical use and abuse of them as expendable assets, is excused and justified as part of some zero sum game greater good national power equation. It will only ever be tackled when the countries that do business with Japan insist on making access to their markets conditional upon Japan bringing its labor practices into line with those of its competitors. That, or face being tarrified.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan defies S Korean call not to use rising sun flag at naval event See in context

mmwkdw “I do see Japan's use of the Himawari flag as provocative within Asia”

A himawari flag; I’d like to see that!


4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's about-face on trade talks with U.S. raises questions at home See in context

“Under the TPP, Japan will incrementally lower its beef tariff to 9 percent over 16 years after the accord takes effect.”

Trump should be telling Abe that America will be imposing an immediate 25% across the board tariff on cars and parts imported from Japan to indicate in no uncertain terms that America is no longer prepared to let things slide. Japan’s sincerity will be measured by it’s taking practical steps to scrap much of the plethora of rules and regulations which serve to quarantine the country from foreign competition and the shrinking of the bloated trade surplus which will surely follow in the wake of that. Good faith will be rewarded and Japan can look forward to more favorable treatment later. There is no other way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. agree to start talks on bilateral trade deal, shelving auto tariffs See in context

It would pay Japan to be very careful with where this is going. Repositioning himself as the poster child of free trade is all well and good. But it wouldn’t have happened were it not for Trump single handedly putting all the Asian mercantile regimes on notice and, even more to the point, forcing them to acknowledge, that lopsided trade imbalances are unsustainable and that they can no longer take American largesse for granted. If this Sino-Nippon pow wow is merely a delaying strategy that’s all about stringing him along with vague promises they have no intention of ever implementing, in the hope that Trump will inevitably be succeeded by someone amenable to going back to the way things were, such bad faith will cost Japan dearly. Time for both China and Japan to bear the unbearable and accept the unacceptable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for paying taxi fare with counterfeit money he printed at home See in context

“Takuya Kimura, an ex-employee at a hostess club”

Busted trying to live in a style more befitting his namesake. Guess he’ll just have to go back to being one of those preening touts who hang around train stations looking to entice girls to visit his club.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Mother, 3 children found dead in Tokyo apartment in apparent murder-suicide See in context

“Why is family on family violence common in Japan?”

Even to ask this question takes a certain amount of courage. Alas, too many here are so browbeaten and fearful of being labeled as someone unable to read the air that few hard questions are ever asked and such murder-suicides are the natural result of this cultural predilection for avoiding unpalatable reality. There is much to gain from encouraging a more forthright assertiveness in discussing the problems which bedevil people’s lives here.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe tells U.N. Japan to pursue free trade; hopes to meet North's Kim See in context

When it comes to laughter, Trump’s speech wasn’t a patch on Abe’s pure comedy gold.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Swedish PM Lofven ousted; anti-immigrant party pushing for policy role See in context

“........born(e) out of the stupidity and incompetence of the European socialists.”

Hardly! The wholesale transformation of Western societies took intelligence and competence of the very highest kind to achieve. Whether there is sufficient intelligence and competence to undo the damage they caused is another question.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: China says it can't hold US trade talks with 'knife to the throat' See in context

In the finest tradition of Sun Tzu, the Chinese game plan in response to Trump’s demands; stall, make promises that they have no intention of keeping, then stall some more, all the while letting the clock run down until Trump eventually loses office and things return to how they used to be. How richly ironic that a country so implacably opposed to availing its own people of democratic rights has no compunction about depending on the American people to rescue them from misfortune that was very much of their own making.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Swedish PM Lofven ousted; anti-immigrant party pushing for policy role See in context

“Something that the rest of the world can learn from the EU”

The EU is learning what the rest of the world already knows.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Trade wars: Is Trump lining up Japan next? See in context

“What Abe should do is promise to increase purchases of "shale gas, military items, and some other items that will not substantially affect domestic production,"

Here we go again. Can’t upset all those vested interests. Apples, nup.......Gotta protect those Aomori farmers. Ditto grapes, cherries, tomatoes and the rest. What about cars, electronics, steel? Nup, none of those either.

Japan is a country that has never been averse to taking full advantage elsewhere of that very quality of openness that they decry here. The road to becoming an export powerhouse, owner of vast equity in the U.S and status as one of the wealthiest countries in the world was in no small measure aided by the willingness of the U.S to accept some measure of societal change (read job losses) consequent to their penetration by Japanese exports. 

The U.S could have but elected not to deny Japan access to markets, an equity stake and technological advances pioneered there, yet Japan stonewalls without end when it comes to the U.S and others seeking reciprocal rights here. The rhetoric we are hearing from Trump about the need to recalibrate a trade relationship that is seriously skewed by one side’s propensity to want to play by two sets of rules, one for itself where it gets whatever it wants and the other for everybody else allowed a few crumbs, is a consequence of such zero sum game thinking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 9-year-old boy drowns in river in Osaka See in context

It’s bad enough further out, lots of trash and not exactly the sweetest water one would care to take a dip in. By the time it gets to Sumiyoshi and closer to the sea, it’s little more than a drain. I guess these kids had nowhere else to go as the municipal pools shut as soon as summer’s officially over. In a more compassionate society than this one, the little boy’s death might have been avoided since there would’ve been funding that would’ve allowed those pools to stay open just a few weeks longer.

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Posted in: Another top bureaucrat quits scandal-hit education ministry See in context

"I want to apologize sincerely. We will work to regain trust."

There is so little trust to start off with, that winning back the modicum that was lost should be a breeze. Establishing a deeper foundation of trust however would require that they abolish amakudari. But since we know that’ll never happen, we’ll just have to be satisfied with the former.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 women found dead in apartment in Kitakyushu apartment See in context

The morbidity stats include thousands more every year who kill themselves more slowly through extreme overwork and associated causes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Australia eyes PNG military base to curb China's Pacific influence See in context

Do the Hustle:

"It makes sense that Australia would build a military base in PNG because it is an Australian territory." 

Sense is something that’s in extremely short supply.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 women found dead in apartment in Kitakyushu apartment See in context

This story should, but won’t, be on the front page of every newspaper in the Western world, drawing the connection between their deaths and an ends justifies the means, utilitarian, greater good ethos that underpins them. Whatever other issues they were confronting, the most insurmountable one is the engrained, strong eat the weak, prevailing mentality that accepts and excuses official policies that are directly implicated in this. Feel free to speculate, but high on the list of what contributed to this outcome is Japan’s refusal to accept that the mental health of its people is being threatened by policies that are deliberately designed to put obstacles in their way.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Posted in: Australia eyes PNG military base to curb China's Pacific influence See in context

Total waste of money. It won’t do a thing towards stopping China from consolidating control within its current target zone in the South China Sea, which once completed will pave the way towards future claims that will encompass half the Pacific, including this mooted submarine base. If common sense wasn’t in such short supply, the Australian authorities would immediately annul the Darwin Port deal on the grounds that it is immensely dangerous to Australian security to afford its most likely future adversary such a prize asset.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: When you feel like you’re the only outsider in the community, do these 2 things See in context

Japan poses an awkward dilemma for those who sing the praises of diversity and tolerance. Staying true to their beliefs is to put themselves immediately at odds with a society whose guiding instincts have always been antithetical to the idea that greater and greater diversity is always good. Accepting Japan’s right to be like that though entails a need to be equally understanding and accepting of nativist sentiment, Maori or Pakeha, in the NZ her parents emigrated to.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan-U.S. trade talks to be delayed after new U.S. tariffs on China See in context

Historical necessity has got us, inexorably, to where we are now. That the magic pudding must surely one day stop giving was always on the cards and the wily Japanese surely have contingency plans in place for dealing with an America that is doing one of its periodic turning inwards in response to historical forces that, albeit perceivable, are beyond its control. With regard to trade, assume henceforth that America will likely treat Japan EXACTLY as Japan has treated America.

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