Richard Burgan comments

Posted in: Trump says G7 leaders are getting along well See in context

No, no, you are interpreting Trump's statement all wrong. When he says "they are getting along well" he means he is getting ready to change that. These world leaders have figured out how to play Trump. Look out for what's coming.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: S Korea says it will share military intel with Japan through U.S. See in context

@kwatt No one has a spy satellite over North Korea. It doesn't work that way. Satellites are either in geostationary orbit over the equator or in synchronous orbits that pass over North Korea periodically. You cannot place a satellite over North Korea and keep it there. That's how the Physics works. The US, Japan, and South Korea all have satellites in space. And, they all have many other sources of intelligence. North Korea probably also receives satellite intelligence from Russia, China, and others. Sharing is important, it allows verification and collective interpretation which add tremendous value. GSOMIA is mostly about trust and the expedience of sharing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe says S Korea canceling intel deal damages trust See in context

South Korea previously had one friend in it's local neighborhood, Japan. Now Mr. Moon seems to want to go it alone. He also seems to be a very good friend of North Korea. Maybe he thinks North Korea will be a better friend? The US has propped up South Korea militarily for many years. If South Korea wants it that way it is time for the US to pull out. That shoulld help relations between North and South Korea. The US can move ahead and strengthen its relationship with Japan.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: S Korea terminates Japan intelligence deal amid trade dispute See in context

Mr. Moon's temper tantrum will only hurt South Korea and isolate it further. By the way who are South Korea's neighbors and friends? Oh, they don't have any? That's not normal. The Japanese don't care about SK not sharing intelligence they can get it through the US. It was SK that benefitted the most from the GSOMIA agreement anyway. Often, right before people cmmit suicide, they give away their stuff and isolate themselves. Is that what's about to happen here?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan again approves shipment of high-tech material to S Korea See in context

South Korea is doing all it can to alienate it's only friendly neighbor country. Now SK is playing games with the relationship. Every time Japan and SK meet Japan just says, remember that treaty we signed back in 1965 and all that money we paid? Well the treaty still stands and, by the way, what did you do with the money? Then the two representatives talk past each other for a while and give up and return home. I doubt much will change until SK backs off and returns Japanese Corporate assets. Unless SK decides it really doesn't need any friends...

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan-S Korea rift may change regional economic, security structures See in context

South Korea has managed to allianate its only neighboring friendly country, Japan. Apparently Mr. Moon thinks he can take on the PRK without any friends. He must be pretty stupid. Time for the US to get the heck out of South Korea. They don't need to be the sole guarantor any longer.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Pompeo voiced support for Japan over wartime labor issue: sources See in context

When you make an agreement, sign a contract, ratify a treaty, you are obligated to abide by what it says. You cannot just change your mind when politics change. This goes for Korea and Japan too. WWII is over. Look forward not backwards. South Korea (SK) seems to want to buddy up to North Korea (PRK) and relive the past in order to gain political points. SK has created steadily worsening friction with Japan recently. Japan has been a friend of SK for a long time now. Relation between the two countries have been very good. If SK wants to change that they should remember that Japan is its only friendly neighbor. They US is pretty annoyed at SK for souring the relationship with Japan and its actions related to NK. If SK continues on this path it is time for the US to think about pulling its military out of SK and strenthening its relationship with Japan and other pacific nations. Think about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe says WWII labor row is biggest issue with S Korea See in context

Moon is the main cause of the problem. He thinks he can handle reunification with NK without neighbors. He says he wants a "peace economy" with NK. If that includes breaking the UN economic sanctions then the US should pull out of SK right away. If Mr. Moon thinks he can handle it let him. The US - Japan alliance will get stronger and be able to counter the threat of NK Nuclear weapons.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Moon calls for 'peace economy' with N Korea; slams Japan See in context

Are we sure Moon is not a North Korean agent?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Angry South Koreans accuse Japan of 'economic invasion' See in context

They 1965 treaty and payments Japan made to Korea legally settled this issue. Mr. Moon and his policies have implemented the PRK's desire to split South Korea and Japan. I expect Japan to respond in kind to every attack South Korea makes. Eventually, Japan may move its companies out. While facing the PRK South Korea should cultivate its friends better. Japan may say don't come asking if the PRK attacks you.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Posted in: Pompeo hopes to help patch up Japan-South Korea ties See in context

This situation was created by the Korean Prime Minister (Moon) for political reasons. He has reactivated an old issue from WWII and Koreans are seizing Japanese corporate assets. It's a mistake. It has now resulted in trade limitations, boycotts, and deteriorating relations. Japan has a valid treaty dating from 1965 covering the issue. The boycott is not working as Koreans are still buying Japanese products. Japan should hold firm and respond in kind. Korea will eventually get the message.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Switzerland helping Japanese prosecutors with Ghosn investigation See in context

The world would be better if people had to disclose their income and financial transactions publicly. I know, I know we are used to privacy in these matters. But, that is exactly what enables bad behavior and gives the few their privilege over the many. If people had to actually accept responsibility for their actions it would clean up a lot of problems. Operating in an open environment would Ghosn have been able to get away with his activities? [This is mostly a question to think about, not something that will become reality anytime soon.]

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Governor rocks See in context

Gov. Tamaki has one issue in focus, that's the Futenma base relocation issue. He's actually a really nice guy. And, he believes in his issue and he was elected by promising to solve it. So, he thinks he's doing his job when he talks to people about it. On the other hand he also has a prefecture to run. Okinawa is the poorest prefecture with the weakest economy of all prefectures. There is high child poverty and wages are low. The Abe administration has held back a great deal of money intended to compensate Okinawans for hosting so many bases. Gov. Tamaki should also focus on making the lives of Okinawans better and the economy stronger. But, he seems to be a one issue politician.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Families, survivors mark 3 years since mass murder at care home for mentally disabled See in context

The Police usually get their man quickly. But, the judicial wheels turn very slowly in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, South Korea clash at WTO over trade dispute See in context

South Korea has recently chosen to bring up old wounds from the WWII and pre-WWII era. Agreements were reached many years ago and signed by BOTH countries. What Japan did was really inhuman. After the agreements both countries moved on to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. Both countries developed economically and in many other ways. With the most recent change in South Korea's government the old issues came back. Bad things happen when you don't honor your agreements. Japan has allowed "favored nation" trade status for South Korea. Yet, certain critical materials exported to South Korea ended up going to disallowed nations (AKA North Korea). South Korean courts have allowed several complainants to seize assets of Japanese companies. How did you expect Japan to react? I don't expect either country to change their policy and the situation will get worse. So, maybe South Korea should develop it's own capabilities so they won't be dependent on other countries. Japan will lose it's market. And, all will be well. Or, maybe he who threw the first punch should apologize and reverse course.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese women running for Diet seats in record numbers, but face many obstacles See in context

Truly and "Old Boys Network". When women finally reach the tipping point (maybe somewhere near 50%) of political representation they can start to make significant changes. I hope that is sooner rather than later.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hokkaido ski resort tackles growing tension between Japanese, foreign residents See in context

Foreign residents have a difficult time learning the Japanese system because there is so little organized information. Moving into a neighborhood can be a lonely experience. People don't move often in Japan so the "welcome wagon" probably won't stop to welcome you like it does in many other countries. In many ways people here live behind the walls of their property. It's often up to the new resident to reach out. Of course there is the problem of language. But, even for a Japanese citizen who lived outside Japan for 40+ years coming back and reintegrating can be very hard. There is a lot to learn and just asking Japanese locals won't often get you a good answer because they don't really understand how it works either. Then there are some things that don't make sense (to anyone?). Like how Japanese banks operate. (Bank passbooks? Are you kidding me?). This will change, banks in Japan are starting to struggle. Or, the use of the Era Date System which by the way is not required in law. You may simply write the calendar date. Cities in Japan would be wise to be proactive about integrating foreign residents. Make information available as people arrive. Have an ombudsman to lead people through the process and help teach people how things work. It's not necessary for each city to do it all alone, they can share and cooperate in setting this up and running it. The number of foreign residents will continue to increase based on Japan's economic needs. Growing pains are inevitable. If cities try to operate the same as they always have it will be painful for everyone.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Hokkaido ski resort tackles growing tension between Japanese, foreign residents See in context

@WA4TKG Okinawa is easy for foreign residents. Some rural areas of Japan are not so easy. People tend to be very reluctant to change or accept new ideas. 73

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hokkaido ski resort tackles growing tension between Japanese, foreign residents See in context

Come to Okinawa and see how a large number of foreign residents can coexist with the local population. Forget all the hoopla about the base issue that's politics. The people get along great. Okinawa has an outreach program that pretty much covers the world and has built great relationships with people all over the world. Both foreign residents and Japanese need to make efforts to connect to each other to make it work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Journalist Ito says she was 'desperate to protect' herself from rape See in context

Rape is a terrible crime. Unfortunately, it can be hard to prove. She should have gone to a hospital emergency room and asked to have them use a rape kit. That can preserve and document evidence. Then, even after the passage of time, the evidence can be examined for DNA. Also, many of the date-rape drugs metabolize quickly so it is important to have blood tests immediately. I hope this case is resolved in favor of the victim. (I don't know if rape-kits are available in Japan. But they should be.)

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Posted in: Heavy rain forces evacuation order for 1.1 mil in southwestern Japan See in context

Apparently people in Kagoshima know what's best despite the governments' evacuation order. Of the 1.2 Million people under the evacuation order only about 1,700 actually evacuated. A higher percentage of people obey speed laws than that. Collective intelligence beats the government every time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Heavy rain forces evacuation order for 1.1 mil in southwestern Japan See in context

First of all people should follow information and instructions to safeguard lives and property. I have no argument with that.

However, when I heard the "Evacuation Order" Level 4 for Kagoshima city this morning I immediately said "Yea Right" with maximum skepticism. They can't mean all 590,000 people should immediately leave their homes and go to evacuation centers. That's just not possible. Tonight's TV news showed an evacuation shelter with 38 people present. There's something wrong with this system. Certainly people who live in specific areas that are in danger of landslides or flooding should evacuate. But how about people who live on the upper floors of a typical mansion (apartment high rise) who live in a city center? Not necessary.

I think what the news media is reporting is that 590,000 people live in the area of a Level 4 Evacuation order. Not that all 590,000 people are ordered to evacuate.

The new 5 level disaster alert system needs much more clarification. Does evacuation mean evacuate? No it doesn't. It means evacuate if you are or will be in danger. Everyone else should monitor the situation. Japan has been slow to develop this system and now that it has been implemented and stressed tested by reality the flaws are apparent. Basically, people don't understand it, even the news media.

It's time to clearly educate the public.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Ex-captive journalist denied passport issuance for 5 months See in context

Since passports are not issued for travel to specific countries, any country in the world could deny him entry and the Foreign Ministry would deny him his constitutional right to travel outside Japan. Its strange that Japan lets foreign countries control who gets a passport.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Labor minister opposes banning female dress codes with high heels See in context

Sometimes I think Japan is an advanced and modern society. But when it comes to how it treats women, not so much. It would be better for society if men would empower women and let go of the idea that they need to control them. I hope the "minister" will become more worker friendly real soon.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to ban free plastic bags at stores to fight marine pollution See in context

When I arrived in Japan I was shocked to see how much plastic is used for packaging and wrapping. At the grocery store items already wrapped in plastic are bagged a second time. What a waste. And, with all the plastic that shows up in the ocean I don't understand why a nation like Japan, surrounded by the sea, continues this practice. To our part we bring our own bags and a basket to the grocery store and tell them not to second bag anything unless it's leaking. Yes, the stores all charge for bags but 2 Yen is not enough. It would be much better if the stores charged a deposit for plastic bags and had to refund it upon their return. My hometown (in the US) doesn't allow plastic bags to be thrown away in the municipal trash. The stores all use paper now.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says he is outraged over stabbing rampage See in context

I'm sad and sorry this happened. The families of the victims must be in shock. I hope the news media won't sensationalize the perpetrator and will just leave his name and picture off the air. Who were the hero's who did something to help? Publicize their stories so others will know what to do.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe meets with U.S. National Security Adviser Bolton See in context

The important thing for Japan is to keep Trump happy so he doesn't have a temper tantrum at their expense. So, Abe will treat him with pimp and circumstance. As for his national security advisor, just remember BoltOn / BoltOff either way your screwed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's top two banks report double-digit full-year profit declines See in context

I predict Japanese banks will continue to lose money until they come out of the dark ages and offer services to their customers. Compared to foreign banks Japanese banks operate in primitive ways with stupid policies. For example many banks have a 108 Yen charge if you use a teller machine on Sunday...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Police checking dash cam over car accident that left 2 toddlers dead See in context

Every time I drive I think of the possibility of a crash that injures children. I try to be extra careful near schools and when I see children near. I have 50 years of accident and ticket free driving about 15% of that in Japan. I never take driving for granted. After hearing this heartbreaking story I will drive even more carefully. I cannot imagine having an accident that injures a person of any age. I will be installing a drive recorder (dash cam) soon. I'm going to think of the video it records as public information for all to see. Someday I will have to make the decision to give up my license. The dash cam will help with that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Teacher’s verbal abuse, threats blamed for 15-year-old girl’s suicide See in context

Teachers, schools, and school boards should realize they depend on their students for their own success. If the students (all of them) don't graduate with an excellent education the staff has failed. Bullying by a teacher is a sign of incompetence. The teacher only proves he/she is bigger and more powerful than the students. Producing a new well educated generation is also the parents responsibility. In this case where were the parents? We they aware of what was going on at school? If they were they should have been down at the school confronting the principle and coach.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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