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selph comments

Posted in: Shock-resistant watches See in context

You said it! These are toys for children, not timepieces for adults.

Exactly, choice of fashion is often about how old one feels. Those boring "timepieces" are great for those who count hours to a happy, hopefully rich, retirement! :D

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Posted in: Shock-resistant watches See in context

I find G-Shock Big Face line quite fashionable. Some of its models look simply spectacular - got my ltd edition G-Shock X Maharishi 'Bamdazzle' collaboration - definitely more a funky accessoire than a watch, despite all the advanced functionality. Well done Casio! :)

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Posted in: S Korea may station troops on disputed islets: Yonhap See in context

"Divide et impera" - the principle is as old as the world. Japan is a puppet of American military interests in the region, so is South Korea. Whatever may or may not happen, there's only one force both interested and capable in escalating tension in that part of the Far East - between China, Taiwan, the two Koreas and Japan. Which other force is there? There's only one that has most strategically placed military bases right in the heart of the region.. In the mean time, the poor simple folks of all the unconsciously participating countries naively hate each other, appropriately inspired by their national media, troubled by their "channel 8"s, fears of a war, missing new F16 fighters, etc - all in favour of the puppet master they don't see, to whom the cold war is a state-of-the-art game, perfected over decades.. It's more sad than it is pathetic, really.

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Posted in: Russia's Medvedev says he's sending weapons to disputed isles See in context

Raymasaki, I don't think it's about how many square miles a land has or doesn't have. The issue is clearly political: just as much as Maehara would like to make the return of the islands his "big achievement", so does Medvedev need to show his political strength and ability to protect even the smallest part of the country far away from Moscow. And it doesn't matter how disputed that little part is - today, to the vast majority of Russians, whether they are aware of the historical background or not, it's a Russian territory, inhabited by Russians. Which is something Japan so aggressively fails to understand, seemingly relying only upon the extremely vague (and weak) concepts of "historical justice" and "international law".

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Posted in: Historians rethink key Soviet role in Japan's defeat in WWII See in context

Sorry if my speculations seemed to be addressed personally to you, it was not the intention.. However, with all due respect and while I do believe that Japanese leaders are capable of thinking something "US-independent" after the war, I seriously doubt their ability to make that thinking public! Therefore the Japanese sources are likely to be biased.

We all know the facts:

July 26, 1945 - Potsdam Declaration (without USSR), declined by Japan.

August 6+8 - A-bombings of Japan.

August 8 - USSR joins Potsdam Declaration and declares war against Japan.

August 9 - At the meeting of Japan's Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, prime-minister Suzuki states that USSR entering war with Japan makes continuation of the war impossible.

August 10 - Japan announces they are ready to accept Potsdam declaration with a correction that the Emperor remains.

August 11 - the US officially accept the correction.

August 14 - Japan accepts the declaration as whole.

September 2 - Emperor signs the Instrument Of Surrender.

There's a lot more happening behind that simple calendar. But I believe to understand why the Japanese surrendered, it is important to remember the purpose of their war. It was by no means a defensive war, like that for the USSR. Japan intended to expand territory and invade Asia, to begin with. They had built about 4,000 fortifications along the Soviet border, and were secretly developing bacteriological weapons. At the Khabarovsk War Crime Trial general Yamada admitted that USSR entering the war and the unexpected efficiency of the Soviet troops in Manchuria put an end to the hopes of using bacteriological weapons on the land, subsequently eliminating the last hope in the war.

Back to the A-bombings: there's a remarkable document called US Strategic Bombing Survery from 1946, which attempts to justify the A-bombings by comparing the effect with that of regular bombings, supposedly required to end the war. However, I find the argument extremely misleading, as the document does not even take into consideration the most obvious forthcoming expansion of the Soviet troops onto the Japanese islands, which would most likely have followed if Japan did not surrender in time..

All in all, I'm sure there are many angles to look at the events from. But that's exactly my point! :)

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Posted in: Historians rethink key Soviet role in Japan's defeat in WWII See in context

The kind of fighting that would have taken place during an invasion of Japan - with just about the entire population (women, kids, etc) throwing themselves at US troops in human waves, cannot be compared to the kind of fighting that took place during the Pacific campaign up to that point, right?

You mean that's what they tolds us to justify the A-bombings? :)

To begin with, those would be mostly Soviet troops, not American.. But, do you really believe there was a guarantee that 2 A-bombings of civilians will be sufficient? If so, how come the Japanese troops in Asia were fighting to death after the bombings, 84,000 dying for the Emperor? And if so, how come that the 7 months of devastating American bombings of civil Tokyo didn't end the war earlier?

On a more general note, do you believe that by killing civilians in any country one can achieve victory over the nation? Say, if someone started killing civilians in your land [think 9/11 in NYC, for an American example], would you then immediately surrender to the agressor? Does it not sound absurd? <br><br><br>

I believe the only effect one can achieve by killing civilians is a national state of "sacred revenge" and that's very far from a victory of any kind. One doesn't need to explore American military history too far back to find good examples of that..

What I also believe is that it was the defeat of the Japanese army that ended the war, not the bombings of the civil cities in Japan. The A-bombs were entirely a demonstration of power to the Soviets and a hint to the Japanese about who has the scariest weapon (i.e. who to surrender to). Everything else is likely to be pro-American anti-Soviet propaganda of the Cold War origin..

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Posted in: Historians rethink key Soviet role in Japan's defeat in WWII See in context

Undeniably, the US wanted to end the war without an invasion, mostly out of concern for its own troops, but it's generally agreed that millions of Japanese also would have died, so what exactly is the "cute silly joke?" And by the way, between '41 and '45, the US fought a hell of a lot more "actual Japanese troops" than the Red Army did that week in August.

Hm. The total number of Japanese military killed in the war was about 2 million, and that's over years. The number of killed Japanese civilians is about half-million, laregly attributed to the A-bombing and bombings of Tokyo. What "millions" are we talking about now? The war wouldn't have lasted for anoter 4 more to kill 2 more millions of soldiers, would it? Or were American troops kind to the japanese between '41 and '45, not killing too many? :)

What's "generally agreed" and by whom? Just like it was "generally agreed" that Soviet Union didn't participate in the victory in the East and everything was sorted out by the peace-making bombers? Com'on, being "generally brainwashed" is okay - we all suffer from that, but there's always time for question and reconsidering.

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Posted in: Historians rethink key Soviet role in Japan's defeat in WWII See in context

the Soviet invasion came AFTER the first atomic bomb had already been dropped, the Japanese were already defeated. the Soviet attack met minimal resistance and was merely the final nail in the coffin.

oh, and i've read and studied plenty about this so umm ... "thanks, dude."

Yo, dude, if you "read and studied plenty about this" (I assume from those anti-Soviet sources that are targeted in the article), what do you call a "Soviet invasion"? Invasion of what? Of the territories outside of Japan invaded by the Japanese troops? :D

I believe you might need a little more research into this, and here's a delicate hint on the "minimal resistance" you mentioned - while the US safely bombed civil cities in Japan, the Soviets were fighting the actual Japanese troops elsewhere in Asia, and mind it, lost 12,000 soldiers.

As for all that rambling about how dropping the nukes was the "least abhorrent choice" - what a cute silly joke! Not only that at the time no one was sure of the scale of the A-bomb effects, the main reason for the A-bombing was to demonstrate to the Soviets the new power of American weapons. Had America not dropped the nukes, half of Japan would have become Russian territory now - those 1.6 million troops sent to the Far East would have provided the Russians with enough potential. Which was not exactly what the US wanted, as it was the only time when they could establish a power presence in the region (particularly important since the Soviet troops already took over Eastern Europe).

Obviously, the A-bombings succeeded in both scaring the Japanese into what today is easily seen as American occupation, and in stopping the Russians where they stopped. Since that time, Fear has become the main ingredient in American international politics as well as a good method to squeeze cash out of the genuinely patriotic American tax-payers.

.. and where it comes to Asia - just like 65 years ago, the US want to maintain their military power in the region. Over the decades, they have also perfected those methods based on fear - I'm still curious about that awkwardly well-timed sinking of the Cheonan exactly at the peak of the Futenma debate! :D Is there someone here who has "read and studied plenty" into that, perhaps? ;)

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Posted in: Spaced out See in context

I wonder if Mrs. Yamazaki got to answer questions about seeing Prime Minister's spouse passing by on a UFO..

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Posted in: Woman arrested for staying in hotel 36 nights with parents and not paying See in context

Some advanced enlightened beings may call it "dumb", but I find it good to know there are places like that still, where people are inclined to trust each other, no matter how naively. There were times and areas in the west, too, where/when people didn't have to lock their homes, but those didn't last as long. Mind it, having a god's name written on money changes one's praying habits. So.. how about sparing some wisdom and superior intelligence in favour of a moment of nostalgic envy? [perhaps not available for customers from California, Nevada and a few other remote locations]. "ONLY IN JAPAN", IINA! :)

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Posted in: Prominent Kyoto restaurants say no to Michelin See in context

To hell with Michelin, they have turned so many good places to eat into obnoxiously expensive and self-important "Michelin restaurants". All over the world. Go Kansai go!

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Posted in: Are you optimistic that things will get better in Japan under new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama? See in context

There's at least one good thing a new government could do for Japan - get rid of the historically outdated excess of American anti-culture, and send back the unnecessary American citizens in uniform populating the islands. Essentially, in the 21st century it is about time Japan becomes a country of its own, rather than a post-war American colony. Whom they will want to unite with after - China, America or Portugal- is altogether another question.

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Posted in: Noriko Sakai's yakuza upbringing in spotlight See in context

I seriously question the notion of an "in-house mistress" as applied to a life of junkie-celebrity-club-chick like Noripi. The other girl may as well first have been Nopipi's own lover, further expanding into becoming a "family member" and even a helpful "second mother" to replace the busy actress at home. All that very likely implies having the three were having great drug'n'sex parties at home.. can there really be a "mistress" in a threesome? Okay, it may as well be that the hubby and the "mistress" had developed a relationship beyond expectations of Noripi, but that's only natural.. and another story altogether.

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Posted in: What do you think Noriko Sakai's fate should be? See in context

There's probably a law in Japan which will prescribe her fate. Further on, it is her character which will decide it. Is she to go to jail? Is she to stay with her husband? Is she to work in a convenience store to make her living? Is she to... What's there to discuss? Let's get it over with. There's a lot of people challenged by fate on a daily basis all over the world and we all struggle in our own little ways. Good luck Noripi!

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Posted in: Yada's management says she, Oshio had been living apart See in context

Isn't it a bit like the Noripi story, when the woman flees from police with the child, to avoid being questioned and tested herself? Except Yada-san is at least reasonable.. Celebrity world is full of drugs, the only difference is that husbands have the courage to take them outside the house! What a joke..

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Posted in: Barrage of complaints force Miss Universe Japan to change costume design for finals See in context

I do understand the people complaining about the costume. However if the nation in question was to be a little more open about some of the not-so-hidden passions and well-established fetishes found in its culture and everyday life, the Miss Japan's costume is nothing but plain suitable in the context of a Miss Universe 2009 - an openly sexist kind of entertainment [and money business!] in itself. The outfit is both manga-AV-kawaii-cute and a reference to traditional costume.. yes, one can argue about the sense of haute fashion as the leather outfit is slightly on the kitschy Gaultier side, while the kimono aesthetics is so sacred to many. But as a statement in the world of showbiz this works fine [see the reaction!] - my great respect to the designer and to Emiri-san for the courage. Sometimes I wish people and “nations” in general had a slightly more relaxed, honest and humorous attitude towards their own “national values” and “national image”. In the end, we are all but humans, no matter nation or race - and we all smile at, cry about and get aroused by the same things.

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