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Salvor Hardin comments

Posted in: WikiLeaks creates online archive of hacked Sony documents See in context

Yeah, it's wonderful that Assange's supporters still let him hide away from his predatory sexual criminal charges against multiple, real and breathing women, ready to testify against him, over there in Sweden.

His fans breezily excuse his years of hiding like a coward in some developed country's London embassy...what a hero you've all chosen for yourselves! How convenient that he uses the flimsy excuse "Sweden is so under the power of the US that I can't be sure of a fair trial there!" (If you're looking for a genuine "tinfoil" crackpot excuse for a multiple-charged and still fugitive abuser of women, scipantheist, you'd be hard pressed to find a sillier one than Assange's!

Does anyone REALLY believe that the Swedish criminal justice system is so horribly corruptible that it cannot fairly give its own citizens real justice against this Australian sexual predator? Of course you don't! It'd be insult to Sweden, habitually one of the world's top five least corrupt governments, as well as to its honest people and extremely transparent justice system.

But by doggedly supporting this clown and his evasion of justice, you in fact provide cover to all those other alleged rapists out there who wish to leave all blame and shame of their crime with the women they've victimized!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Hollywhere? Los Angeles unable to halt film exodus See in context

OK. Let's break it down for the downers.

In terms of "filming on location." OK, in case you haven't noticed, the nature of "on location" filming has changed in the past decade or two. What used to be filmed on LA lots can now be filmed anywhere.

As for "on location," in the past, people used to film in the LA environs because the budget demanded localized filming and the stars actually lived in the area. Now we are in the era of 100 Million plus budgets, so filming a movie set in, say, Korea, in LA? Now with the tax breaks as well as the ease of transportation and on-location filming around the world, in the long run in makes more financial sense to film that movie...in Korea!

Now, here's the rub! This AFP (i.e. a report coming out of Paris, France) wants you to conclude that since movies are being filmed less in the LA environs...Hollywood is failing! But hey! Check this out: from 2014, of the top 10 movies made, look at who produced those blockbusters and you'll find...Hollywood-based studios such as New Line Cinema, MGM, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Walt Disney Pictures, Lionsgate, Marvel Studios and so on. In fact, of the top 10 grossing movies made last year, only one studio was owned by non-Hollywood foreigners (the LA-sourced Columbia Pictures, now owned by Sony.)

In other words....they may not be shooting on LA streets as much as they used to do, but the cash is right where it's always been. In HOLLYWOOD.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP panel summons media bosses over news programs See in context

It's not only domestic journalists. I highly recommend everyone here check out the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents Club's farewell from Carsten Germis, correspondent from the rather conservative German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, on his experience in Japan and how much things have changed once Abe came into power. To quote Germis, "There is a growing gap between the perceptions of the Japanese elites and what is reported in the foreign media, and I worry that it could become a problem for journalists working here...It could become a problem because Japan's new elites have a hard time dealing with opposing views or criticism, which is very likely to continue in the foreign media."

He relates how, after writing about Abe's penchant for historical revisionism (something which German observers are by their own historical past now very sensitive about), his paper was paid a visit by a representative from the Japanese Consul General's office who first complained that the article was being used by Japan's political enemies abroad, then actually had the gall to allege that Germis had been bribed by those very powers to write the piece! To quote: "I am forced to begin to suspect that money is involved," said the diplomat, insulting me, the editor and the entire paper. (end quote.)

Google FCCJ and "On my watch." It makes for interesting and, unfortunately, timely reading.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Vagina kayak artist denies obscenity charges See in context

I find it interesting that this article, written by AFP, an outside news organization (from France) writing for what is clearly the non-Japanese market, suddenly refers to the "artist" in question as Megumi Igarashi, and not by her art name "Rokudenashiko" ("Stupid/Ignorant Girl/Child.")

All the previous articles here used that name almost exclusively, while her rather self-deprecating, self-bestowed moniker isn't even mentioned once here.

I wonder why the change...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan scrambling warplanes as often as during Cold War era See in context

Always good to be prepared. Keep your powder dry, Japan.

China is presently building "islands" in order to extend "their" control over Asian waters. This as the US prepares to explicitly extended its defense of Japanese territories to include the Senkakus.

It'd be silly not to expect more Chinese challenges to Japan in the future, especially as China's economy cools down and its autocrats in Beijing seek to point the finger of blame towards "aggressors" outside their country...

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Hiroshima survivors: Haunted 70 years on, determined to remember See in context

danako: could I please see the source for your claims that "The Potsdam Declaration had originally offered Japan the chance to retain the Emperor as part of a constitutional monarchy." Because I'm pretty sure the Potsdam Declaration originally offered no such assurances to Japan to "retain the Emperor" as you allege. I've never heard of such a claim anywhere and cannot find it anywhere on the internet.

There was never any declaration by any Allied power during the war which ever offered Japan the chance to retain the Emperor. All that would be decided once Japan surrendered. And sure enough, MacArthur allowed Hirohito to remain on the throne.

The Potsdam Declaration made NO direct mention of the Emperor whatsoever. It declared, in fact, that Japan must surrender "unconditionally." This didn't guarantee that the Japanese Emperor would be removed from power, but it also certainly didn't spell out he'd be kept on after the war. It also clearly threatened Japan with its "prompt and utter destruction" should it dither in surrendering. Japan dithered and the Prime Minister of the time, Suzuki, maintained official silence in response, and thus the threat of the Potsdam conference was fulfilled as promised by the leaders of the US, China and the USSR.

At any rate, since Japan dithered instead of quickly surrendering once threatened with "prompt and utter destruction," perhaps you should redirect your blame for the atomic bombs from Truman to where it truly belongs: the Japanese government and its Emperor, Hirohito? That would make much more sense: after all, if Japan had surrendered, the I can hardly imagine the US going ahead with using its bombs on the two cities, regardless of whether it had the capacity to do so or not!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Group of teenage Thai actors punished for dancing on Japanese train See in context

Well, judging by these youngsters' "dancing" abilities, at least now we know that the "talents" of other Asian countries' are as talentless as their Japanese "tarento" counterparts!

The Beastie Boys famously first danced around like fools in Tokyo train stations for their "Intergalactic" music video decades ago. That video is now a "classic" for their fans, and part of the fun was seeing normal Japanese trying to compute what the B-Boys were doing...but nevertheless, even they received anonymous complaints from Japanese at the time much like those found above. I guess it all depends on who you talk to...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Diet enacts record Y96.34 trillion budget for fiscal 2015 See in context

Call the debt problem what you want. I just have one question: almost a quarter of the entire budget is devoted to "paying" for this debt-related servicing: can Japan use that money, right now, for social services, defense, pension payments and the like? No, it cannot. So that means 25 out of every 100 yen the government brings in is dead money, but Japan still needs more money, even after the sales tax hike which threw the economy back into recession!

And, now and for every year to come, they borrow much, much more, which only adds to the debt pile. Is this a good thing, the fact that next year more than 25 yen out of every 100 will become "dead money?" I don't think so...

As for "bringing more women into the workforce" this hardly equates to an improved economic situation. I'm all for women working if they wish to do so, but more women in the workforce and hunting for jobs who weren't there the year before means....more competition for jobs, lower pay in general for men (since a women who secures a job tends to receive less pay overall than their male counterparts in Japan), as well as an increase in lower paying part-time, "temp" or "contract" work (the latter of which used to be done by full-time male workers for a higher wage.)

I'll not even go into the societal costs of women in the workforce (delayed marriage and fewer babies, higher stress levels and less parental oversight, etc...) And don't forget that every year, Abe sneaks in an increase in pension contribution withholding, higher monthly unemployment insurance premiums, over-40 "nursing insurance" charges and rising health insurance deductions from one's paycheck mean less real spending power for the average wage earner...oh, and did I mention there's to be 2% sales tax increase again next year??

Abenomics! Hooray??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Thousands visit Trinity on anniversary of A-bomb explosion See in context

"A prolonged war was hardly being discussed."

This completely false assertion defies belief. I'd like a direct reference to Truman's supposed handwritten letter stating that "the Japanese will surrender unconditionally once the Russians enter the war." Because in my many years of study, I haven't found it yet! According to historian Richard B Frank: "The intercepts of Japanese Imperial Army and Navy messages disclosed without exception that Japan's armed forces were determined to fight a final Armageddon battle in the homeland against an Allied invasion. The Japanese called this strategy Ketsu Go (Operation Decisive). It was founded on the premise that American morale was brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion."

Funny how anti-atomic commentators here and elsewhere act like the decision was decided upon in a vacuum, without taking into consideration...well...one of the most ferocious and violently fought wars in history, still in progress all throughout Asia as the final atomic tests were being wrapped up. I wonder why...

A majority of the Allied casualties took place in the last year and a half, when Japanese soldiers fiercely resisted every advance with suicidal fervor. This fact is also regularly neglected in many people's "analysis." On the inhospitable Iwo Jima, not six months before the bombs dropped, only 216 Japanese soldiers surrendered: the rest died fighting and resisting without surrender. And at the battle of Okinawa, not two months before Hiroshima, the Japanese military showed they would sacrifice every civilian under their jurisdiction if necessary to defend their homeland: 40-150,000 civilians perished along with anywhere from 77-150,000 Japanese soldiers, all while under constant attack of Kamikaze suicide missions. Indeed, Allied intelligence had concluded by early 1945 that "...operations in this area will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population," a claim completely upheld by the outcome of recent battles as well as Imperial Government preparations and wartime defensive policies.

This conclusion comes from historian Herbert Bix: "While Japan no longer had a realistic prospect of winning the war, Japan's leaders believed they could make the cost of conquering Japan too high for the Allies to accept, which would lead to some sort of armistice rather than total defeat. The Japanese were secretly constructing an underground headquarters in Matsushiro, Nagano Prefecture, which could be used in the event of Allied invasion to shelter the Emperor and the Imperial General Staff...What's more, in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the planned invasion of Japan, nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals (awarded for combat casualties) were manufactured; the number exceeded that of all American military casualties of the 65 years following the end of World War II, including the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock."

To ignore such horrific battle scenes and starkly determined defensive plans on the part of the Japanese government which the Allies faced as they prepared for invading the Home Islands, and claim that "they shouldn't have used the bomb because the Japanese were finished with fighting" is nonsense. They were ready to fight to the death against a final, planned Allied invasion. Regardless what one feels about whether the use of the bombs were "right" or "wrong," such historically factual information listed above (and much more besides) must be taken into consideration whenever one discusses the use of the atomic bombs.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe to craft war history statement with eye on U.S. See in context

The main problem with the "Murayama Apology" has been missed by everyone here so far. Murayama was a member of the Japanese SOCIALIST Party, not the ruling Liberal Democrat Party which Abe belongs to, and which has dominated Japanese politics in Japan since the end of the war. Therefore, many (Abe included) can write off the apology as coming from a minor (left wing) party which in a fluke of history spoke for Japan for a mere matter of months during the 90s, and as such doesn't represent "their" views. They do this a lot in Japanese media, but not in English, since most people here automatically assume that Japanese prime ministers' sentiments all carry the same weight. Clearly, they do not.

Kono was never a prime minister, but rather the head of a cabinet. And every apology so far has later been qualified, rejected, or amended to change the quality and content of that previous statement. This is what makes people so angry with Japan and the Japanese. You can't pretend that they're ashamed of what they did when they go and bow in homage to the millions of soldiers's souls at Yasukuni directly responsible for those very actions! When Abe's own grandfather sat in the Diet all throughout the war in question, and when Abe's wife's grandfather sat in the actual war cabinet, it's impossible not to conclude that there's not a direct familial motivation for Abe's inclination to revisionism, as there still is within millions of Japanese families where beloved parents and grandparents took an active part in the destructive imperialistic-minded military rampage from 1895-1945.

One thing is true, however. Abe could get down on his hands and knees and beg forgiveness for what happened in the war, and China and South Korea in response would suck their teeth and say, "Not enough. Not satisfied. Now you REALLY need to apologize like you mean it." So Abe is doing the right thing in focusing on the relationship which really matters most now: that with the US (who also expect some form of contrition from the Japanese about a war which the Japanese, without question, most definitely started.)

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: First day See in context

I've always thought that Kako was the prettiest of the Japanese royals.

As for the comments about her attending a nominally "Christian" university, people should remember that the reining Emperor, Akihito, was personally privately tutored for years by one Elizabeth Grey Vining, an American Quaker Christian. The reining Empress Michiko went to the Christian "Sacred Heart Junior High and High School" in Minato, Tokyo, while in 1957 she graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic in affiliation) with a degree in Eng Lit. Finally, the Crown Princess Masako also attended the Jesuit private school Futaba Gakuen in Tokyo, while Kako's elder sister Princess Mako also graduated from the International Christian University. So yeah, all in all, quite a lot of nominally "Christian" education in most modern female Japanese Royals' history!

Barring an (extremely unlikely) change to antiquated Imperial laws which prevent a female like the Crown Prince's daughter Princess Aiko from ascending to the Chrysanthemum Throne, the young and attractive woman you see in the picture above is someday destined to become an elder sister of a future Japanese Emperor! Unfortunately, this means her future (along with her choice in marriage partners) will be highly regulated and constricted, and once she marries, she will be given a lump payment but then lose her claim to the title of "Princess" forever!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Prices of food items rise from 4-13% See in context

Nowadays, everyone is shopping like a Japanese Obasan! If you dedicate more time to shopping around, you can really stretch out your yen.

Important strategies:

-Generic, in-house, store brand staples (sauces, coffees, pastas, etc.) instead of label brand foods.

-I've noticed that fruits and vegetables in both supermarkets and local food shops near my home considerably rise in price once it's Saturday and Sunday (when a lot of people are "forced" to do their shopping or shop for special ingredients for their weekend meals.) Therefore, weekdays are often cheaper than weekends!

-"Time Savings" purchases: 30%-plus off for soon-to-expire meats, fish and other perishables. (Some things like sushi naturally need to be eaten that very day, while others have label dates which allow a few days before they "go bad." Even then, most things are fresh, it's just that newer products have arrived to compete with shelf space.

-100 (108?) yen shops and other discount "supas" like "My basket" for non-perishables like sauces, curry rue, dressings and the like. Often the products are the same brands as in other stores, but much cheaper!

-NOT buying products that have markedly increased in price. You're not the only one noticing the sticker shock: no or low demand for a suddenly more expensive product WILL result in adjustments (or generics moving in to expand market share at the expense of these now-pricier brands.)

-Think "Uniqlo"-style when shopping for food!: 15 years ago, everyone had to buy pricier brands for rather generic things like t-shirts or socks. Now, everyone buys these things in generic shops like Uniqlo or G.U. so they have money left for labelled outer wear. Do the same with food shopping (i.e. saving your costly or quality purchases for those foods that really matter to the dish you're preparing) and the generic "back-up" foods also in the mix will add up to save you a bunch!

In every case, one is sacrificing on time, quality or convenience. But one must do what one must in order to make ends meet!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S., Japan isolated as allies line up to join China-led bank See in context

Ah, the Associated Press cut-and-paste articles. Gotta love 'em!

US/Japan "isolated...." Perhaps. From this single, China-dominated Asian development bank. Invited to join, but deciding on their own to not join.

But "isolated" from everything else in the whole wide world? "Isolated?" Not so much. File this report under, "Meh!"

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation See in context

Well, at least this governor will soon have the perfect lesson on how powerful (or should I say powerless) a prefectural governor in Japan truly is. The fact that this guy chose to do this right as Abe is planning his historic visit to the United States will only expedite the national government's countermoves. As if a guy like Abe would let this newcomer to get away with this while he's trying to demonstrate to the world his own strong diplomatic relations with the country's closest and most important security ally!

It's time to give this governor, and everyone else against the relocation, a serious reality check. Watch and learn, folks...

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Posted in: Former U.S. POWs, Koreans seek conditions for Abe's address to Congress See in context

It's perfectly clear what's going to happen: the United States is a free country, and as such there will never be any conditions placed on what a guest leader of a foreign country invited to the US House can say. For instance, as much as Obama didn't want Netanyahu to come and speak out against the Iran nuclear deal, Bibi came to Congress and did exactly that, so I don't see any problems with Abe coming to celebrate 70 years of peaceful alliance between Japan and the US.

On the other hand, I think these types of groups or any other concerned individuals are also free to request whatever they want, or to at least make their concerns better known to the world. People should criticize what they see as historical revisionism wherever they find it (in Japan or elsewhere.) It won't change anything in terms of Abe's freedom to say what he wants, but it might actually end up having some effect on what he actually chooses to say!

At any rate, while I don't wish to place "conditions" on Abe's speech, I'm on the side of those who say a stronger remorse from the Japanese government for Japan's wartime atrocities would do more, not less, good. This year (the 70th commemoration) is the perfect chance to really come out strongly on the subject, and then put it away forever (without seeking to revise the issue yet again in the future.)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Thai travelers being turned away in record numbers See in context

Yeah, they talk a lot of "farm work" in this article, but what I'd really like to see is a breakdown of the gender of those caught. I would bet it's a 5 to 1 ratio females to males, since the industry who really gets around the system, no questions asked, isn't farmers, but the underground-controlled Japanese sex and night-entertainment trade.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hatoyama says Crimea vote was legitimate See in context

From the same dope who once claimed things like "I promise to remove the US bases from Okinawa this year" and "Japan will cut CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020!" now we get to hear that the Russian propaganda vote in the Crimea "is legitimate."

Given this buffoon's track record with honesty, who would believe a single word he utters?? But when staring into the face of tyrants like Putin, no wonder the man who was once dismissed as "Mr. Soft-Cream" by another Prime Minster went...well, all soft and gooey!

Jeez, Japan sure does produce some winner politicians, doesn't it!?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan accepts just 11 asylum seekers from record 5,000 applications in 2014 See in context

Yokoso, Japan! No, we don't mean you...or you...not you, either...nope...

As with so many double standards in Japan, I guess the concept of "Omotenashi" really doesn't extend to refugees, does it?

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan mourns victims of Tokyo firebombings See in context

@gokai: you sound like a conspiracy theorist! All you have to do is search "tokyo firebombing" and you'll find thousands upon thousands of images that are supposedly "still in the vaults under the Pentagon." Nice try, though.

The Tokyo firebombings (replete with pics) were to be found in my American elementary, junior high, high school and college history textbooks. I was taught this happened from when I was a child, and though terrible, you'd have to be crazy to live in a wartime capital while your country is on a decade-long murderous rampage across Asia and yet still expect that you'll somehow be exempted from all forms of retribution when your country's aggression starts to fail!

Compared to the atomic bombs, air bombings of cities during WWII were quite commonplace. In fact, it was the Japanese who first decided to start the trend when they bombed the Chinese city of Mukden way back in 1931 (8 years before war broke out in Europe, and fully 10 years before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.) In conclusion, it's not like there's a cover-up or anything (as there definitely is with other wartime subjects here in Japan.)

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: Netanyahu says Israel will not cede land to Palestinians See in context

It doesn't matter what "the international community" or Obama wants. Netanyahu will do what needs to be done for his country's security, will win the next election and will form the next government. Until Hamas is destroyed or dismantled, Abbas and the PA have zero power to negotiate anything even remotely resembling peace treaties.

Can you name another country in the world besides Israel who is constantly prodded to make peace with terrorists like Hamas (who controls Gaza and still has the destruction of Israel as a top priority in their founding Charter?) No one else but Israel is expected to make peace with a so-called "Palestinian Authority" run by a guy who last was elected to a four-year term...9 years ago!

Yet the anti-Israeli "activists" just can't stop supporting their pet perpetual victims, the fictional Palestinian people...even though these same Palestinians were the ones who rejected the Peel Commission agreement (which Israel supported,) rejected the UN General Assembly Partition (which Israel accepted,) rejected the Clinton proposals that were the culmination of the Oslo Accords (which Israel accepted) and actually maintained for decades a "Three No" policy against Israel: No Peace, No Recognition, and No Negotiations.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: German vandals ordered jailed, caned in Singapore See in context

I wonder if these vandals will contemplate doing their dirty deed again in Singapore? Probably not!

I wonder if Germans will be well aware after this about what kinds of punishments they will face for vandalism in Singapore? You bet!

Singapore is famous for showing no mercy to those who destroy, deface or even dirty their tiny city-state. These punks knew better and still they did what they did.

Don't go to other countries to trash the place without thinking about the consequences first, please.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan awash in weird warning signs See in context

My favorite (not exactly a warning sign) can be found on almost all food packaging that comes with a picture on the outside: in place of the English, "Serving Suggestion" in Japan we get, "The photo is an image" (shashin wa imagi desu.)

Ya think? What are they worried about, people eating the photo?!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr Spock on 'Star Trek,' dies at 83 See in context

Trekkies...the true originators of "cosplay" and going almost 50 years strong now!

I was saddened to hear of his death, but when I found out he was 83...that's a pretty good run, all things considered.

I didn't really care for Star Trek, but when I was young, Nimoy was hosting a rather unknown show called "In Search Of..." where each episode focused on a different occult or supernatural/religious topic like "poltergeists, the Turin Shroud, Witch hunts of Salem and so on. I can safely say that it was this particular Leonard Nimoy program that changed my life, in that it made me ever curious to investigate the past, understand how biases become ingrained in rational thinking, and to coldly separate facts from superstitions when analyzing events or beliefs here on earth.

RIP, Leonard Nimoy, and thanks for the memories.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Prince William strikes a friendly contrast to crown prince See in context

I know it's William who is on the official visit right now, but wouldn't a much more apt comparison be the Crown Prince of Japan to...the Crown Prince of Wales, William's father, Prince Charles?

They're much closer in age and generation-wise than these two, and no one in either country would accuse Charles of being "down to earth or overly friendly." He's stiff and formal, some would even say pompous, and not many people love him so openly and unreservedly as they did his ex Diana or their elder son.

Anyway, I bet Japan's Crown Prince would be a really nice and friendly person, so I guess this article seeks to bring in many other factors besides "friendliness" when contrasting the two, and sure enough, it does.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: How come Japan has never demanded an official apology from any U.S. government for the dropping of atomic bombs on two of its cities? In fact, why don't Japanese hate America for dropping the bombs? See in context

The reason why Japanese don't hate the Americans is: they know deep down inside that their actions during World War II were abominable. There are countless instances of atrocities coming from the Japanese that are indisputable, as the sad fact is that they habitually treated their vanquished foes as less than human.

America, once it took over Japan, can be said to have treated the Japanese vanquished populace like no victor has ever done before them. This in spite of the sneak attack by the Japanese which brought America into the war in the first place. The Japanese received the Peace Constitution it has today, along with women's rights, equal democracy and an open entry into the world's most lucrative market, all from the US. For these reasons and many, many more besides, no, the Japanese do not hate Americans/America. In fact, for 70 years and counting they have relied on the US alone for their security...and there hasn't been a war involving Japan since! Pretty good track record, if you ask me....

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Sex slave rally in Seoul See in context

Don't worry. According to Abe's brand new school textbooks, it's all just a figment of these old ladies' imaginations.

They made it all up to make Japan look bad, isn't how the explanation goes?

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Posted in: Abe says Japan will stick to plan to relocate U.S. base to Henoko See in context

"Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that the Japanese government will stick to its plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma to the less populated Henoko area in Okinawa."

Abe is simply stating the obvious. All the protest noise aside, did anyone actually think it would ever be otherwise? This has been a done deal for a decade, only more so now that we have a defense-minded chicken-hawk steering the ship.

Let's not forget what brought down previous-prime minister Hatoyama's rather inept reign (you remember, the guy dubbed "Soft-Cream" by a contemptuous Yasuhiro Nakasone?): he went to Okinawa and flippantly promised everyone he'd scrap the plans for the base...then had a talk with the Americans...came out, said he had failed and then promptly retired. Lesson learned.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan sees 25 bil cyberattacks in 2014; 40% from China See in context

You know what I see in all this? A huge moneymaking opportunity for Japanese.

Use your technological know-how to first develop an anti-hacking industry and then market your protections to the rest of the world. You know you have what it takes to do this, you can best China or anyone else, and it could soon translate to creating thousands of high-paying jobs here inside the country.

This is what you should be investing in, not more unnecessary bridges and roads.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Hayao Miyazaki says Charlie Hebdo drawings of Muhammad were a mistake See in context

The old man's entitled to his own opinion. And that's all it is-one person's opinion, nothing more and nothing less. People can disagree with his opinion, and frankly I think that they should. He's probably fine with people disagreeing with him.

Other people hold the opinion that in this modern age, no religion should feel entitled to legitimize violence over non-believers, no matter what the reason. Doesn't matter whether one writes a book like Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses or draws a picture of someone's "holy" leader, people can be upset but should absolutely NOT feel they have a right to use violence in response! I personally hold this opinion. Maybe this rather dull Japanese writer disagrees with me, which is all right-I can take it.

This reason why we both can still live with each other, while we must not tolerate the violent proclivities of either a God or its misguided followers is this: neither Miyazaki nor I will seek to hurt the other just because we disagree.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's economy crawls out of recession in Oct-Dec quarter See in context

So basically, after all the money printing on a much accelerated scale, (after all, it's not like Japan wasn't already borrowing money like mad in the previous decades, is it?) this is the positive growth Abe can crow about? It's positive, no doubt, though lower than predicted by his cheerleaders over at Nikkei, and is basically the same as what Japan historically grew from 2001-2008. Nevertheless....prepare yourselves for a slew of politicians shouting "we've made it out of recession!!!"

It's early days, of course, but then again one needs to factor in the "must be implemented, no more exceptions" additional sales tax hike coming down the pike next year. So basically, Abe's Arrows have about a year to go from no growth, to disappointing growth...to amazing just before the 10% tax on everything kicks in...and then crash into recession once again just as with last year! (While keeping in mind that during Abe's thee years, Japan's total debt burden has already increased from 211.7% of GDP to 227.2%, and is only set to increase!)

As for the "weak yen increasing competitiveness," well, maybe for those huge conglomerate exporters at the top...but still one has to ask...isn't a weaker yen making everything imported by the small and medium sized firms under contract with the big guys...much more expensive? Perhaps this is just one reason why average wages aren't increasing, even though the big boys are rolling in money over at the stock market: everything costs more to import for the all those small guys on the export production chain (which comprise the real backbone of Japan's manufacturing base.)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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