quercetum comments

Posted in: Japan logs Y3.4 bil trade surplus with U.S. See in context

Japanese have been allowed to free-ride on US trade and market access in return for being a geo-political vassal state in the American Imperium. That has been the deal since WW2.

Many don’t realize the political factors in economics/market access and naively think products sell because they’re superior.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Waste report falsified at gov't request for discount state land sale See in context

Is that appraised value ¥956million based from govt appraisal or from independent/private appraising agency? I understand that the govt system of appraising is lesser than the existing commercial value. I'm just a bit confused about all these talks on being able to buy a land 14% of its appraised value. Is it not the same as in buying or selling a dollar from a bank. They would sell you a dollar at a higher rate and would buy yours at a lower exchange rate.

It’s not the same. The currency rate differs when buying or selling but it is never a difference of 86%. Neither are the differences between government and commercial appraisals.

The contractors are talking now and so they’re now saying it’s toxic therefore worth that “less” (14%).

As stated by others, why would you build a school to begin with? The hole they’re digging is far more than 3.8 meters.

The attempt to explain the discount given is that it’s a damaged good (waste on site) and so they’ll give you an 86% discount. Doesn’t fly.

My son’s response after hearing this news:

So it’s like working at the movie theater and when your homies (friends) show up, you sell them popcorn for ¥50 instead of ¥500 and when asked about it by your boss you say the popcorn had hair in it and it took us 30 minutes to remove the hair (he is paid ¥900 per hour and half of that is the ¥450 discount.) And when the boss says it doesn’t take that long to do that, you say well popcorn is unhealthy and worth no more than ¥50 anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe's office knew of possible problems with land deal documents: Suga See in context

The Vet school is more of an example of cronyism than Moritomo perhaps. With Moritomo, Abe may also have been a little pawn, like Sagawa, asked a favor and obligated to toe the Nihon Kaigi line.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe's office knew of possible problems with land deal documents: Suga See in context

We have to admit we Japanese are not good at fighting corruption. We are not as good as Korea. Our nature is to protect our leader and remain loyal to them even when they’re wrong.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't considers abolishing political fairness clause in broadcasting law See in context

Abe takes a page from Xi’s notebook seeing how Xi can get 3000 People’s members under his thumb but he can’t even handle 300.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you think the cronyism scandal involving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his wife Akie and Finance Minister Taro Aso will affect Japan's standing overseas? Do you think people overseas even know or care about it? See in context

Dont know and don’t care probably. Most Japanese feel it is a necessary part of a politician’s job to falsify data and to lie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan would lose voice of fiscal prudence if scandal brings down Aso See in context

This is the guy that has praised Hitler and said if all the elders could quickly die 「さっさと死ねるように」the aging problem would be solved.

It amazes me what they teach the children at the conservative kindergarten school to shout and proclaim at their fall sports day, “Go Prime Minister Abe! The National Security Law has passed at the Diet!” -「安倍首相ガンバレ!安保法制国会通過よかったです!」

This was the law that enables the Self-Defense Forces to fight overseas for the first time since the end of war.

Kindergarteners can cheer for Aso’s fiscal prudence this fall if he survives.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe denies involvement by himself, wife in discount land sale See in context

The furniture’s upholstery looks a little tired doesn’t it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to explore possibility of Abe having summit with N Korea's Kim See in context

PM Abe, you’ll be elected third term and be the head of state at the 2020 Olympics if you help the evacuees of the earthquake still in temporary housing, the aging population, the declining birthdate, the economy, the pension system, etc.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Posted in: 46-year-old man, 16-year-old girl found dead in apparent suicide at love hotel See in context

The rest of the response is missing but I agree there is a more sympathetic view towards suicide in Japan. In other cultures, it may be seen as a way of escape. It is considered honorable if one accepts the ultimate punishment for his sins, beyond what the law calls for, and administers that punishment himself. It may be viewed as honorable if the person is a scapegoat and is taking the punishment of someone else’s sin for which he doesn’t deserve.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Altered documents turn up heat on Abe See in context

"This is good land so please proceed."

Akie couldn’t say this without authority from her husband.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Posted in: Finance Ministry admits altering land sale documents, removing name of Abe's wife See in context

Some of you need to see a video of Abe with a shovel digging and removing the garbage at Moritomo before admitting he was involved. Even then the best you can come up with is, eh look at California.

Moritomo Gakuen claimed that there were thousands of tons of waste buried in the state-owned land.

It turns out that the total amount of waste actually removed from the site was 194 tons, only about 1 percent of the tonnage claimed to have existed there.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Finance Ministry admits altering land sale documents, removing name of Abe's wife See in context

8億1900円 to 1億3400円 ...a discount of 6億8500円…that’s cheating taxpayers of some 550 million US Dollars.

No jail. This is Japan. You just bow. But deeply.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Finance Ministry admits altering land sale documents, removing name of Abe's wife See in context

“the names of several politicians were erased in the version later disclosed to Diet members.”

so who else had their snouts in the trough? Won’t hold my breath waiting to find out.

Per another English paper:

Several lawmakers who were also mentioned in the original documents — former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma, LDP veteran Yoshitada Konoike, former Upper House lawmaker Issei Kitagawa and the late Kunio Hatoyama, former internal affairs minister — were also deleted.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump-Kim summit heightens Japan's fear of being sidelined on N Korea See in context

Abe is no leader.

News is reporting Akie’s name (Abe’s wife not the JT forum poster) has been delete 20-50 times from 14 of the Moritomo documents. The tampering was done last February. How do you lead Japan when you’re doing these kind of things?

Abe is a true survivor.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump-Kim summit heightens Japan's fear of being sidelined on N Korea See in context

Kim will accomplish the dream of his father and grandfather by making North Korea a nuclear state, and gain tremendous prestige and legitimacy by meeting with an American President as an equal. All without giving up a single warhead or missile.

Trump charges ahead and takes risks. High rewards but high risks. Think of your pet and how your pet felt when you brought home a new pet. The dog/cat had no choice but to get along with the new pet.

If you’ve had this experience before, you’ll understand Abe’s feelings if Trump has some success in meeting Kim. Imagine if the meeting is in Florida and Trump takes Kim on his golf course for a photo op. Abe can only sit quietly and deal with Moritomo and some doctored documents.

Trump’s political theatre is on a different scale. It is opening night on Broadway. Abe’s is a little live house in the basement Tuesday night in Shimokitazawa.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: 1-year-old girl dies after being wrapped in blanket, placed in closet See in context

When I read these kinds of stories, I feel sad that people under stress do not make sound decisions or they were incapable and faulty upstairs to begin with.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Finance ministry to admit doctoring documents linked to Abe cronyism scandal: media See in context

A: Toshiba, Olympus, Nissan, Nippon Steel, the Ministry of Finance and so on. Japan needs a philosophy or someone to explain how ethical behavior relates to behavior governed by law and free choice; and how individual and organizational factors shape ethical decision making.

B: Yeah, but corruption exists in other countries too. Japan isn’t the only one!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan eyes steps to avert medical issues with foreign tourists See in context

Id take out insurance against those who can’t or don’t pay on top of this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says China, Japan approve of his N Korea strategy See in context

Trump is facing criticisms for agreeing to this meeting. It’s always been Lucy holding the football and Charlie Brown tricked again. Will NK be serious this time?

He now says China and Japan supports him to legitimize the decision. The headline is a bit off though as if he needed China’s approval.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Search is on for best summit site for Trump, Kim See in context

New Zealand its miles away from everything so neither side has an advantage, they can take in the health spa's, try the local lamb then get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown.

News reported Kim’s airplane is an old Soviet made plane that won’t be able to make the trans-Pacific flight to Washington - no joke - and so New Zealand is probably out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Search is on for best summit site for Trump, Kim See in context

It doesn’t make any sense to have it be held in NK. No way will it be like Albright’s visit. Does Vegas have a line out for this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Where do you think U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should have their summit? See in context

If it’s in Pyongyang, Kim wins automatically even if no agreement is reached. Trump then returns to the US with his Nobel Peace Prize chances diminished.

Reagan met Gorbachev in Reykjavik. Then there’s the Geneva Summit. It needs to be at a neutral site. Most likely in South Korea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: World leaders welcome planned talks between Trump and N Korean leader See in context

In the Clinton years, NK agreed to a freeze then it was found out - actually they told the world - that had a secret program.

In the Bush years, with China, Russia, the US, South Korea, Japan, NK agreed to abandon its program but later breaks promise.

In the Obama years, Kim elder dies, youngest son takes over and continues development.

In Trump’s first year, missles tested. Trajectory shows capability of reaching North America.

In the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kim sends sister to SK.

SK sends emissaries to NK. Emissaries then goes to Washington conveying Kim’s desire to talk. POTUS agreed.

Now you tell know me who is in control here. This meeting should not take place in Pyongyang, but Trump will probably like the attention in going there or the demilitarized zone in NK-SK.

It needs to be in a neutral place ala Reagan Gorbachev. Beijng? Any ideas?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan tax agency head resigns amid cronyism scandal See in context

Aso said in the interview Sagawa’s punishment for contributing to the distrust of the ministry would be 20% reduction in salary for 3 months.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: The current situation in which parents are allowed to refuse to return their children is problematic. It’s necessary to consider improving the system to enhance the effectiveness of the treaty while paying attention to the mental and physical condition of children. See in context

Becoming a signatory nation to the Hague convention was a big step. Laws without enforcement do little to help the victims. All procedures have so far failed. Where is the teeth?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Trees? We don't need trees, say Nakano park planners See in context

City planners are putting in the effort in urban forestry despite the image of a concrete jungle in Tokyo.

There is a road construction project on the northwest side of Nakameguro station on Yamate-Dori where there are plans for cherry trees and other trees to be planted along a 500m strip. The cherry trees are more of an upright variety Yokohzakura unlike the Someyoshino kind with its artistic but obstructive limbs as a street tree. It’s a busy road but they’re widening the sidewalks and it will run parallel to the cherries along the Megurogawa, a popular spot for Ohanami. There are numerous other examples.

If you take the Omotesando Exit from JR Harajuku station and walk down Omotesando Avenue, you’ll see they’ve just planted new trees in the smoker infested corner park across from the entrance to the Meiji Shrine. One of the smallest but busiest stations during the weekend on the Yamanote line, Harajuku station is being renovated and there’ll be more trees in the landscape once construction is completed.

If you ever walk from Tsutaya Bookstore in Daikanyama on the Old Yamato-Dori (different from Yamate-Dori previously mentioned) towards Shibuya past the Malaysian Embassy, you’ll come to a large intersection at the 246 expressway and the Sumitomo Fudosan Shibuya Garden Tower building on the corner. There they’ve planted California redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens, trees that are 100 meters tall in their native habitat. These can also be seen in business complexes in Osaki and Shinagawa.

Those of you who take the Chuo line heading into one of the largest dumping stations - Shinjuku - will see huge Dawn redwoods, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, if you look to your right - south - at Asagaya station. There is a small grove of the redwoods almost ten stories tall, rare in Tokyo because trees planted near buildings have height restrictions. You need to be at the front or rear of the train as the station itself will block the view.

Street tree species in Tokyo and their varieties are limited due to their designated requirements. They must be equipped with a root system able to withstand typhoons and a leaf surface texture that can take road pollution. The Ginkgo tree is one of the few larger trees that passes this test.

The possible downside is the lack of colors other than yellow, or golden yellow in colder parts, in the fall of large shade trees as the overplanted and ubiquitous Gingko -Icho - is the official tree of Tokyo.

The Japanese maple - momiji -while red in the fall is a small tree and does not colour as well in the warmer coastal climate of the capital. Neither will the Zelkova - Keyaki - turning brown or a faint yellow at best despite its good size.

Lots of trees are sacrificed in our little neighborhood areas but larger or rare specimens are designated Heritage Trees and such programs make illegal their removal.

Many trees do fall victim to the workers’ chainsaw. Construction companies indeed need to build, and the local government obstacle is resolvable by fat envelopes, but capital city planning is no doubt quite conscious of the value of trees as seen by the trees planted around town.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump says he is prepared to meet N Korea's Kim See in context

Now, US needs N & S Korea to "unite" as a "powerful" (nuclear capable) ally to "face-off" China and Russia, especially China in Asia.

The US wants exactly the opposite. It would not be in the interest of the US to have a United Korea, not especially one with nuclear weapons and ICBMs. The best the US can do is keep South Korea and Japan as allies. One rung down would be Japan only.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe to visit U.S. in April to discuss N Korea with Trump See in context

Is it not clear the insignificance of Abe and Japan to Trump?

Kim some 35 yrs old and Trump twice his age. Trump needs play the elder role here and guide Kim to an agreement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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