Japan Today

Paul Arenson comments

Posted in: Missing 12-year-old girl turns up in restaurant car park See in context

Actually reading the article, I don't see any indications, but the article is poorly written. It also does not look at why the police refused to give info or if--in fact-- they even had info. It is probably just a verbatim report of what the police said the girl said as well. Little effort is madee to pursue a story in order to clarify.

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Posted in: Ishiba under fire for comparing state secret bill protesters to terrorists See in context

"What leads previous posters to think Japan is a Democracy? Japan has never been sold as a Democracy to its people and most educated Japanese will surely tell you it is not run as a Democracy. If you are non-Japanese and cant handle this then dont let the door hit you in the behind on the way out."

I see. So just because this country does not function as a democracy means people here--Japanese and non Japanese--should not be pressing for it to be one? This argument was raised previously by former Singapore leader Lee and Malaysia when citizens there were clamouring for human rights. At the time Lee said human rights were a foreign concept. Yeah, right?

In any case, whether one comes from a nation which claims it is a democracy, such as the US (with a long tradition of protesting for democratic change), Japan (with less of a history but a Constitution that guarantees it and many people who demand that it be respected), or an out and out dictatorship, the issue is the same: states are in a race to erase freedom of speech and the right to know. It has nothing to do with accepting the rush to fascism just because Japan has supposedly never been a democracy. This was the warning of ex-Mainichi reporter Niahiyama Takichi (found guilty in an earlier era of using "devious tactics" to uncover the truth about US and Japanese collusion over the reversion of Okinawa) and numerous legal and other scholars who have told us that the law is nothing more than a step along a dangerous path to the pre-war days. Hiding of information, such as the spread of radiation, caused residents of Namie town to evacuate in the wrong direction, according to its mayor. The law is bad news for a press which is already fettered by press club rules that discourage muck-raking journalism. It will be much worse from here on in.

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Posted in: Masked artist makes sticky issue out of radiation in Japan See in context

Here is what appears to be his site:


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Posted in: First book ever printed in U.S. sells for $14 mil See in context

What is a buyer's premium? If the bid was for x, why did the final price become x plus premium?

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Posted in: Lawmaker who gave letter to emperor receives death threat See in context

Lots of people are upset? From where I sit, many Tohoku refugees think he is right on. I know quite a number in Kyushu. Nagasaki prefecture/localities have even given farmers free land. Most of those I have met believe they have been raped by the grand business govermnent alliance which brought us Fukushima.

The JCP takes issue with his defecto recognition of the Emperor system, but o not criticize his actions. That leaves the unrepentant ideologues who were left in power by the US at the end of WWII....the LDP and those to the right of them.

These monsters are just thumbing their noses at the victims by continuing to promote nuclear plants abroad and refusing to take responsibility for the crimes of Repco and METI.

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Posted in: Mino Monta resigns from long-running news show 'Asa Zuba!' See in context

Horsefella and steveway...you have that right according some reports I have seen on the non mainstream media, the mainstream media/Keidanren/pro-Tepco people are furious with him on his anti-nuclear position (a surprise to me, but then even former LDP PM Koizumi, now that he has retired, has taken a similar position). Also being reported in the non mainstream media is that regarding the two things--the harassment accusation and the son's arrest--one actually never was reported on at all UNTIL the other because the pro nuclear forces in the media wanted to bring him down. And they are also reporting that former PM Kan has therefore come to his defence on that score. In addition to the non mainstream media reports, I found one report on Yahoo News re Kan defending Mina. And the video speaks for itself.

One other thing to take note of is how newly elected rep and former actor Yamamoto reporter has also been subject to bashing on his personal life by the same media forces because of his anti nuclear stance, perhaps with the hope that he will be pressured to step down.

This is the reality--if you cross big media, the government and the nuclear mafia, they are going to come after you.

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Posted in: Watch on-air TV with your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad See in context

Will this work with a USB to TV cable that apple sells to allow you to watch YouTube and a few other things on the tv (with red, white, yellow cables attached I think)?

Reason...we live in a place in Kyushu where normal digital terrestrial reception requires an outdoor antenna, which the landlord prohibits, and we don't want to pay for cable tv each month.

If it does, great. Even if not, does one see basically mean all the local digital terrestrial stations, or is there a difference.

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Posted in: Actor Cumberbatch says Assange letter affected his film portrayal See in context

They could have gone through other channels? Others have tried to go through the proper channels in revealing US crimes committed by the agencies they work for. All rebuffed. A group of tthem have in turn recently awarded Snowden with a prize....People like former CIA agent Ray McGovern, who has helped shed the light on the US role in the killing of priests, nuns and peasants in Central America in the 80s (School of the Americas). A reporters groups has, in fact, for the first time in its history focused on the repressive ness of the US in its treatment of journalists. This is what whistlenblowers and the independent media are up against.

Insiders who reveal secrets, reporters like Greenwald who stand ready to assist them in getting the truth out who are then turned into criminals themselves by a US administration lead by a president who seems eager to outdone Bush in terms of repression.....this is what is important. The media will focus on things like Bradley Manning's gender, or Assange's personality and thereby obscure the crimes of which the US stands accused, crimes that are all the more serious because they are done in the name of protecting freedom, democracy and high moral values.

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Posted in: Japan asks WTO to intervene on S Korea fish ban See in context

Also, the tendency to take matters such as this, one concerned with food safety, to a body such as the WTO, which is concerned with traded "fairness," ignores national sovereignty and the right of people in each country to have their legal and human rights protected by their own countries's policies. And we can only expect more of this use of trade laws ( such as TPP) to combat attempts of countries such as South Korea to protect their own citizens from radiation (other things include allowing countries to label whether food has been genetically modified). TPP, which is based on a previous attempt in 1997 or so, called the MAI, Multilateral Agreement on Investments, goes even further that the WTO to deprive people of the right to enact laws on the basis of things like safety.

So this is an important case that Japan deserves to lose. It is contaminating the ocean and taking action against countries which want no part of it. However, it is a double edged sword in that we are investing a trade body with too much power. The very existence of trade bodies such as the WTO has tended to trivialize and weaken national sovereignty and threaten the food safety of people around the world.

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Posted in: Japan asks WTO to intervene on S Korea fish ban See in context

Here are some comments from an oceanographic scientist who has been to the areas offshore Fukushima and who is critical of the simplistic " there is nothing to worry about" reassurance from the government. At the same time he admits that the levels are not particularly high. Yet he is worried about cumulative levels. Another scientist talks about the depth at which contaminated water is discharged into the sea, noting that there may be a lower risk to accumulation in the food chain at a lower depth.


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Posted in: Maglev floats a fine line between success and failure See in context

It was hinted at in an earlier artilcle, which stated that they are rushing to build it because the aging Sanyo Shikansen will be requiring costly repairs in the years to come. I have heard from a few knowledagable people that a big issue is that the Shinkansen tunnels may be subject to the same deterioration that caused an auto tunnel to collapse last year. Don't count on the secretive gov. To broadcast this. If true, people shoud be aware of it, so it is best to keep an eye out for more info through alternative media.

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Posted in: Lightning strikes moving train in Japan See in context

What is a pallie? What does the cameraman and Zeus mean? Sorry, English has changed so much in the time I have been out of NY.

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Posted in: Ehime enacts law instructing cyclists to wear a helmet See in context

"which is bad news for pedestrians who enjoy taking shoulders to the face at 15km/h."

Sorry, what does that phrase mean....

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Posted in: Korean 'comfort women' cancel meeting with Hashimoto See in context

Toshiko, the people who defend Hashimoto claim that because S Korea also committed crimes in Vietnam, the women have no right to complain. you are right, this is about the women who were victims of a crime. South Korea as a government is not the same as South Korean victims. Governments do evil, but that does not excuse the countries which victimize women, no matter which country they come from. I agree with you.

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Posted in: Korean 'comfort women' cancel meeting with Hashimoto See in context

To the rightwing apologists who say, well the SK government also violated women in Vitetnam, that the US military has been involved in sexual exploitation in Okinawa historically...well these are all true. but what does it mean? Wormen Agaiant Violence in War, who sued Abe about 10 years ago or presuring NHK to alter a program on the war guilt of the Emperor, has pointed out that the sexual violence was not unique to Japan. Nor was the violence in general...we had our My Lai massacre, the fascist gov of South Korea massacred its own activists in Kwangjeu as it helped the US murder Vietnamese with agent orange, as Japan had its unit 731 and the Nazis the same thing. The difference is that unrepentant Japanese rightists still idealize the fascist regime and pretend it was about liber acting Asia. The US apologists for war and empire are a little different..they say it was isolated cases, that there was collateral damage, or outright lie and say that Okinawan civilians and US service folk were not exposed to agent orange. they wear a different hat, a more caring one, but war militarism is militarism, misogyny is misogyny. Are the govs of Korea or the Us being hypocritical in not looking at their own history? Yes. But it does not make the fascists like Hashimoto, who fires teachers who refuse to sing the anthem and participate in flag ceremonies, any nicer. They all deserve to be condemned for what they deny.

Always the victims are the weak, the poor, the powerless. Always the women forced to satisfy the whims of men, men who themselves were brutalized by the military mentality so that they would feel no pain, whether in killing or in raping. Those at the top bear the greatest responsibility for forcing men to give up their humanity. My late friend Allen Nelson documented the brutality of the US killing machine in Vietnam and how it dehumanized him. It is the same for Japan's wartime fascists. We all kid ourselves and say it did not happen, or that if it did--like the incineration of Nagasaki and Hiroshima--that it couldn't be helped, or that we had god or a divine wind on our side. It is all a lie.

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Posted in: 2 perish in Tokyo apartment fire See in context

Because that area is filled with narrow streets and closely caked buildings.

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Posted in: Life after death? Yes, says one doctor See in context

Why is ths evidence of anything?

"He tells of a man in his 50s who, 28 years ago, caused a fatal car crash. In the passenger seat was his sister. The man recalls an ascent from which he looked down upon what was happening on the ground. At a certain point his sister said to him, “It’s time for you to go back.” At that instant he woke up in the wrecked car. His sister lay beside him, dead. Later he told police what he had seen them doing from above. Police confirmed his observations.

In other words, WhatDid he tell police he saw and what did, they confirm? If nothing else, poorly written.

Jim Poushinsky....maybe you DID have an OBE experience. While falling asleep you find yourself waking up high in the sky. Ok. But why could this not also be a dream?

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Posted in: Life after death? Yes, says one doctor See in context

Maybe OBE is real, but if you think you had one, could it not simply be a dream?

And the story makes no sense. When the driver woke up after his sister said to go back, the police supposedly confirmed his story? What did they confirm? That he had been hovering above the car? As written, it makes no sense.

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Posted in: 126 U.S. military members to sue TEPCO See in context

It all has to do with illegitimate authority, obedience, and lies. Tepco lied, the US military lies about Agent Orange exposure, you forfeit your rights when you sign up to serve "your" country.....US blue collar soldiers, Japanese day laborers recruited through Yakuza to clean the plants, even long before Fukushima. Genpatsu gypsies they are called. And recently come to light is how the US military fudged the figures on radiation exposure of atomic bomb victims to make it seem that radiation induced illnesses were less than they were....it all serves to prop up Empire and the military industrial complex. The only way forward is to fight illegitimate authority. Uninformed wisecracks about people quick to sue play into the hands of those who want free reign to destroy the environment and people's lives as long as it is good for the nuclear industry and weapons makers and serves to reinforce the illusion that a strong military preserves the peace, while in reality keeping the world on a war footing increases profits for the likes of Lockheed and GE. Even assuming that some soldiers are just looking for a chance to get some free money, the real criminals in Tepco and METI get off Scott free. Another example of how confused things are is how a WHO report on cancers, tailored to avoid alienating their cohorts in the IAEA by citing a very low figure, get twisted by the Japanese gov, who portray even these conservative estimates as alarmist. It is all designed to keep the wool pulled down over people's eyes, with the help if a compliant media who get their advertising revenue from the likes of Tepco and its agency, Dentsu. So more power to anyone helping to expose the crimes of governments and corporations alike.

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Posted in: Okinawa's off-base housing may suffer infestation of Chinese bugs See in context

SB is trying to make it appear that the movt against the bases is somehow controlled by China, that otherwise the people of Okinawa are fine, or at least not upset by the bases. He or he does not know, or does not want people to know why the bases are there, does not know or want people to know that the US is not benevolently looking after their well being. This "tirade" then is to show that the US presence has very little with keeping the peace. It is not just rapes and crimes, the whole reason the US is here is to maintain its hegemony. But the Japanese right and US military industrialists use disinformation in order to persuade people the bases are a force for good. And outright bribery in the form of economic incentives...keep the people poor, or at least economically dependent on the unwanted bases.... No bases, no jobs....like the way the nuclear mafia builds libraries and sporting facilities in towns that host their reactors. Okinawa and Tohoku are two of the poorest parts of Japan, abandoned by the state, or perhaps the word is sacrificed. Not off topic....it is not about the bad Chinese eavesdropping on the good US. They all do that. The real question is why they have these massive bases here in the first place and whose interests they serve.

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Posted in: Okinawa's off-base housing may suffer infestation of Chinese bugs See in context

The US has killed in those nations. It and it's proxies in El Salvador, Chile, etc. saw thousands upon thousand of disappeared, a democratically elected Socialist Pres Allende assassinated on Sept 11. China, N Korea are no bargain, but their belligerency is facilitated by US attempts to paint their presence in Japan as protection from these supposedly treacherous evil nations. The US wants to see the that belligerency as the raisin d'être for the presence of its troops, but this is an excuse to persuade citizens that they are here for them, rather to further US empire.

As long as it succeeds in maintaining the image of a dangerous NK, for example, it bets that people will at least reluctantly accept the stationing of troops and equipment. But these are used directly and indirectly to kill civilians in The Middle East, and to even allow under so-called liberal Obama for targetted assassinations of US Citizens without due process. Sure many want the bases as they are the only way for the economy to survive, but this just illustrates how the weak are being screwed by the military and politicians, and given a history of discrimination or apathy by mainland. Japanese toward their Okinawan fellow citizens, they are in a bind.

The Us calls N Korea unpredictable, but it has in reality come very close to dropping nukes on that nation a number of times and broken promises. As the worlds most famous democracy, it uses the media to manipulate public opinion so that it sees the threat as one sided, and many people do not understand that the real threat comes from ramping up zon tensions on purpose. To create a permanent need for the military industrial complex to embed itself. Meanwhile napalm bombs dropped by troops stationed in Okinawa killed millions in Vietnam, AgentOrange disabled perhaps a similar number, and the US according to recent investigations has lied about the exposure of GIS and Okinawan citizens to it as well.

Yeah, my country is a democracy, so long as you do not challenge its lies too closely. When it says it does not torture, for example, it fails to tell you that it outsourced extraordinary renditions and torture to others countries--even Syria. So full of lies, and assuring t he Japanese that it is here to protect them is the baldest one. the Okinawans remeber when the US stole their land at gunpoint and have about as much regard for the US as they do for the nationalist Jpanese politicians who sacrificed them during WWII, whose descendants just happen to be the likes of PM and his fascist associates.

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Posted in: Okinawa's off-base housing may suffer infestation of Chinese bugs See in context

So, if you are so well informed (laugh-like JCP supposedly being one and the same as the Chinese, please show us your significant data showing origin control of Okinawan anti base groups.

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Posted in: Okinawa's off-base housing may suffer infestation of Chinese bugs See in context

Sorry, Samurai blue..I am a long time activist involved with these groups. Even the Okinawa branches of the conservative parties are far to the left on the base issue. The manipulation is done by the US....disinformation specialist. The activists are of all stripes, but outside countries parties are not manipulating people. Some of those who are less anti base are only so because they worry about the military economy and are afraid as in other quasi colonies of economic loses.T his is the same reason people in other impoverished areas are kept on the leash by the gov in order to build up the nuclear industry or other lethal enterprises. in the US some of the greatest violations of environmental safety are on the Mexican border...poor people everywhere are at the mercy of the military and the corporations. no B movie plots about communist infiltrators please....we had enough of that during the red scares.

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Posted in: Okinawa's off-base housing may suffer infestation of Chinese bugs See in context

Samurai Blue

The JCP has relatively poor relations with the CPs of China, also former soviet. This is an indigenous movt, do not plant the idea it is foreign influenced. You betray your ignorance of j social movements. The converse is true...us uses excuse of foreign interference threat to justify its presence, which is all about war making for oil and hegemony, and profits for Boeing and Lockheed.

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Posted in: No guns at home, so Japanese shoot 'em up in Guam See in context

Shame on you. This is not the time for an article on cultural tourism about guns.

Obviously the writer was going to do it anyway, so he stuck a line or two to refer to the tragedy.

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Posted in: Light sodas may hike diabetes risk See in context

The Mayo Clinic is just making a comment,not conducting research, which looks at, among other things, weight gain in people who use artificial sweeteners. While not conclusive, the research should raise a red flag---especially when we have so many obese people living on the sweeteners daily and NOT losing weight. Weight gain is, in and of itself, a risk factor in high blood pressure. It also depends on what people eat--since refined carbohydrates have their own effect on blood sugar.

Some research:

"Artificial sweeteners activate sweet taste receptors in enteroendocrine cells, leading to the release of incretin, which is known to contribute to glucose absorption. Recent epidemiologic studies in Circulation (2008;117:754-761) and Obesity (2008;16:1894-1900) showed an association between diet soda consumption and the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome "(and other studies mentioned here http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/704432

And "The problem with non-nutritive, noncaloric sweeteners is that the body senses them through the same mechanisms used to sense sugar," said Tim Osborne, professor of diabetes and obesity research at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Lake Nona.

Our bodies not only have sweet-taste receptors on our tongues, but all through the gut and even in the pancreas, he said. "These receptors detect sweetness and tell the brain and body to get ready for something sweet."

When these sweet receptors get tripped, studies suggest, they turn on a mechanism that causes the body to absorb more dietary sugar and potentially convert more of that energy to fat, Osborne said."

as well as

"Researchers at Purdue University found that rats fed yogurt sweetened with saccharin gained more weight than rats fed yogurt sweetened with glucose (or simple sugar). The saccharin group also ultimately consumed more calories, had bigger appetites and put on more body fat, according to a pair of studies, the most recent of which appeared in April in Behavioural Brain Research.

Susan Swithers, who co-authored the studies, hypothesized that the sweet foods give the body a strong clue that it's about to get a lot of calories. The body gears up, but when false sweetness isn't followed by lots of calories, the individual is driven to eat more.

"That might explain in part why obesity has risen in parallel with the use of artificial sweeteners," she said."



You say:

"Until there's scientific evidence of a mechanism by which artificial sweeteners cause weight gain, diabetes, etc. then articles in the mainstream media like these are highly misleading and even dangerous. They're based merely on correlation, along the lines of, "People who wear purple neckties are 3 times the chance of having heart attacks. Thus purple neckties cause heart attacks.""

Not so---the food industry has a big stake in this, and like the Diet drug makers, they are not interested in your health, only in selling you a product.

So bottom line is, read the research, observe what you eat, including total carbs and fat, monitor your blood sugar, monitor your weight and blood pressure, take your meds if they have been prescribed, but talk to your doctor about how exercise and Diet change might help. They might enable you to decrease the dosage of insulin, for example Again, under medical supervision only. If you MUST have sweeterners, maybe you can cut back on the amount or frequency, since the sweet tooth is something that may play a part in the vicious cycle. In other words, yes, you CAN experiment, you do not have to be beholden to the food industry. Of course you should not believe that any one study is conclusive,but studies often offer insight into why some people do NOT do well on sweeteners.

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Posted in: Light sodas may hike diabetes risk See in context

not so flawed...just not conclusive, but we already know that aspartame has a similar effect on blood glucose levels. plus sugar has been oversimplified as the main cause of type 2 diabetes when we know It is more complex, has much to do with sedentary lifestyle, total diet....

the food industry would like you to keep consuming their junk, and the safety alone of some of the additives has not been confirmed. meanwhile, I have watched obese relatives and friends stuff their faces with fat-laden, high carb (pasta, etc) food in copious amounts, washing it all down witha Diet Coke and maybe adding a non sugar ice cream for dessert.

clearly the body is conditioned that it needs all this bombardment, and the fact that most people I know count a walk to the refrigerator as their only exercise other can getting out of bed, it is no wonder that diabetes is a growing problem.

no, the study is not necessarily flawed, just incomplete. we also need to know what helps people who are already type 2 diabetics. meanwhile, we do know the benefits of moderation and exercise. that we expect quick fixes by food conglomerates who usually work hard to addict us to salt, sugar, and fat--much as the tobacco industry industry worked to addict people to their products--is part of the problem. and there is also some evidence that the artificial sweeteners work much as sugar does to encourage us to eat more.

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Posted in: Famed American sniper killed at Texas shooting range See in context

My friend Allen Nelson, a US Marine in Vietnam said it best, that the US military trains you to become desensitized to killing. Yes, to be a murderer. Was this man a murderer?Were those he helped also murderers? Yes, to both questions. But they are also victims...in the military for whatever reasons..because they believed they were defending their country, because it was the best chance to get an education, in Allan's time because they were drafted and had no choice. Was their PTSD real? You bet. They are victimis who also played the role of victimizer. And Allan realized the reality, he suffered from PTSD. He spent his last years talking peace. He succumbed to cancer just a few years ago, and he was courageous in confronting the monster that the military turns you into. He said to me that he was trained to shoot people in the leg, not the heart, so they would scream and writhe in pain, so they could attract others--civilians, suspected "Viet Cong"--and then shoot them in cold blood. It is not either/or. The killers we become in service to empire leaves us violated as well. Maybe he was doing a real service for these traumatized ex soldiers, but being proud of what he did in the war, that to me shows a serious flaw...one that the military was no doubt grateful for--a soldier who could inflict death and not be afflicte with self doubt. PTSD is a same response to what these soldiers were forced to go through. And they are not ultimately culpable...it is those who put them in harm's way. Those who concocted the plans to drop atomic bombs, napalm, Agent Orange (produced by our beloved Monsanto, with their GMO seeds), those who turned it into a safer game with their drones, where the stench of death....whether "enemy" or child ("collateral damage")....is undetectable from so far away....those are the ones who are getting away with murder, while the hired hands do the killing and then have their own lives turned inside out by guilt and PTSD.

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Posted in: Is the JET Program really necessary for Japan? See in context

Another problem is that the use of contracting companies is illegal. You did mention these companies, but it should be pointed out they are external to the program(. Some boards of education are trying to circumvent the law here. This is being fought by several labor unions.

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Posted in: U.S. officials defend handling of Boeing 787 mishaps See in context


I know someone involved in another field of micro-electronics, and he made the point of telling me that he avoids this particular company's batteries because of higher failure rates than other companies. So it may be a question of quality control, but then who is ultimately responsible, Yuasa, or Boeing, who should be aware of any problems within supplying companies.

Maybe the larger problem is outsourcing.

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