Japan Today

sethwright comments

Posted in: Japan won't join NATO, but local office OK, Kishida says See in context

We (Japan) should join NATO

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: China tells tech manufacturers to stop using Micron chips, stepping up feud with United States See in context

Even if we set aside the unsubstantiated claims of "security risks" by both sides, the West and democratic allies like Japan should be aggressively sanctioning Chinese companies in retaliation for China's 50+ years of bans and abuse of foreign companies, their workers, and their shareholders.

It is enraging unfair that non-Chinese companies (workers and shareholders) have had to compete uphill for decades before something was finally done about it.

We can drop the these sanctions when China opens their market to foreign companies on an even playing field.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 major Japanese motorcycle makers to jointly develop hydrogen engines See in context

Laughably bad idea.

Hydrogen for motorcycles & cars reach a maximum efficiency of around 35% (from generation to movement) compared to batteries which are already over 75% efficient and improving.

H2 will never be able to compete with batteries for ground transport and these project will absolutely fail because of MATH. This exemplifies the problem with putting STEM-illiterate business grads in charge of companies.


TransportEnvironment.org (using data from world bank, US DOE, US National Research Council)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't approves hike in household electricity rates See in context

It's the utilities fault for relying on fuel imports and not investing more in renewable energy decades ago. It's embarrassing that Japan lags the world renewable energy installation when so much of the technology was developed here.

The government should condition any rate increases on agreement to procure more renewables and set specific yearly targets.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Posted in: China says it is ready to 'smash' Taiwan self-rule See in context

Taiwan's status should be decided by Taiwanese people.

Arming Taiwan and promising to protect it from any invasion is the best way to guarantee longterm peace.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't unveils measures to promote marriage, raise birthrate See in context

I'm in a same sex partnership and we would love to have children but the government refuses to let us get married. And that makes is vastly more difficult to provide a good environment for children.

Discrimination against LGBTQ is a contributor to this problem and I still don't see these out-of-touch LDP ojiisan doing anything of substance to include people in the family structure.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: China threatens retaliation if U.S. House speaker meets Taiwan president See in context

Be my guest... We're not afraid of you.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Diet enacts record ¥114 tril budget for FY2023 See in context

Japan's budget needs to prioritize investment in renewable energy and building to stop the hemorrhaging of money from the Japanese economy that flows to fossil fuel states like Russia.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to spend additional ¥2 trillion to ease inflation pain See in context

Best way to address inflation:

Energy independence via solar, floating offshore wind, and geothermal energy would radically improve inflation.

Electrify buildings to lock in long term cost effective heating and cooking: (ban gas in buildings like most of EU, California, NY are doing).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Hot spring baths block Japan's geothermal potential See in context

RE: Open-minded,

A study by Caltech indicated that geothermal energy reduces the risk of major earthquakes by releasing pressure by the extracted heat and micro earthquakes.

So it would actually reduce the danger of earthquakes while also giving us clean energy...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's food self-sufficiency alarmingly low; 72 mil could go hungry, magazine says See in context

This problem could be solved over night if people would eat vegan. But it seems no one in power in Japan is bold enough to encourage people...

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Posted in: Biden lay out his budget plan; challenges GOP to follow suit See in context

I like Biden's negotiating tactic.

This is a welcome break from Obama-style surrender-first negotiations.

When trying to work with congress controlled by another party, you don't start your negotiations at the point of giving them 80% of what they want, then compromise until you've lost every priority of Democratic voters...

Biden's move of presenting a clear plan of what he wants is how you open a conversation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. House speaker declines Zelenskyy invitation to visit Ukraine See in context

McCarthy might as well explicitly encourage Putin...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Kishida says ban on same-sex marriage not discrimination See in context

Is there any promise Kishida hasn't broken?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Posted in: China calls for Russia-Ukraine cease-fire, peace talks See in context

I have a 1-point peace plan:

1) Russia gets the hell out of Ukraine. Go. Bye.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan 2022 average condo price hits record high for 6th year in row See in context

Too bad the quality of the new construction mostly sub-par. Japan's building efficiency standards were last updated in the 1980s and regulators have been too afraid of developers to update them. Yet another area where Japan is trailing the rest of the developed world...

Would really be great to see action on this so people could have more confidence in their purchase.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan establishes simplified visa track for skilled foreigners See in context

Treat ALL people better and you will grow the skill of your existing foreign talent!

The above changes will do almost nothing to make Japan more attractive to foreign talent, especially young entrepreneurial people.

I arrived in Tokyo 10 years ago as a teacher and over several years moved into the highly skilled category- I'm now more than paying my fair share in taxes and yet this career change was made incredibly difficult by the poor treatment non-highly skilled people get.

You can't change jobs or take time to skill up without a ton of admin and fear of losing your residency. It should not be this difficult for people with jobs, paying taxes, of any age or income level to live in a society on this steep of a decline.

Immigration should:

Relax the strict-ass standards of constant employment and near-indentured servitude to employers.

People with a clean record should not be getting constant 1-year renewals for residency.

The 10-year requirement for PR for non-highly-skilled people should be more like 5 years.

Keep the existing point system, just lower the cutoff from 70 pts to 50 pts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Russia tells Macron: Don't forget Napoleon when you talk of regime change See in context

"I'm not a lawyer but pretty sure your neighbor murdering someone 20 years ago doesn't mean you get to go on a killing spree." - Jessica Berlin

These dictators are so stupid they have nothing but the same rhetorical playbook: "What about that thing that happened decades / centuries ago that you are tangentially related to that's not really the same thing?.... See! it's all even! We can kill people and you are a hypocrite is you call us out."

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Kishida apologizes to LGBTQ activists over ex-aide's remark See in context

The lack of willingness of Japanese activists to agitate for change is very concerning to me.

In a healthy democracy when a majority of the population wants something, they get it, or at least they aggressively target politicians who stand in the way. Regarding the lack of action on LGBTQ rights, it's getting downright embarrassing! My anecdotal 10 years of sampling opinion of Japanese in Tokyo shows me that most people support their queer friends but have simply given up hope that the LDP will ever do anything in this decade...

The culture of conciliation in Japan is clearly not proving effective in getting results. It does not bode well for Japanese society's ability to grow and adapt in the future - nor to even maintain status as a democracy when so many people are apathetic to demand results from their leaders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Same-sex marriage is unlikely to be on the agenda anytime soon, but momentum is building, and it's possible that something will change, such as including same-sex couples in legal frameworks like pensions. See in context

RE: piskianToday

If LDP wants more children to pay tax later in life,why don't they allow same-sex marriage and adoption,surrogacy?

Agree. But they are bigots and are detected from reality.

RE: Sven AsaiToday

In an aging society with lowest child birth rates this topic surely doesn’t belong on top of the agenda.

LGBTQ equality is quite literally one of the solutions to the birthrate problem! And your comment makes it pretty clear your concern is not about government priority but about making excuses to deny LGBTQ people basic dignities.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: China's Xi expresses support for Iran amid Western pressure See in context

A friendship between two autocratic regimes, based on nothing more than the belief that the West is being mean to them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: BOJ's 'bazooka' chief Kuroda stepping down after record tenure See in context

"After a record tenure"... of devaluing our savings and salaries...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: China says it refused U.S. call about balloon because atmosphere not 'proper' See in context

So they refuse to pick up the phone yet cry "escalation" when we shoot it down. It's like these losers don't have the ability to conduct diplomacy in good faith. It's constant lies and performative outrage.

It's time to reframe the narrative and stop appeasing the CCP. We signed no treaty agreeing to see Taiwan as a part of China. The "One China Principle", something they pretend is a holy document, is nothing other than an informal agreement by a misguided US president, dead for decades. The official policy of the West should be Taiwan's status is up to Taiwanese voters. And we won't ignore human rights or rule-of-law violations.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: IOC responds to Paris mayor on Olympic plan for Russians See in context

I'm glad Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is taking a strong stand against Putin's invasion.

The IOC, by it's nature as a scam that robs cities of their wealth for the benefit of corporate sponsors, only makes decisions based on politics and the benefit of their members.

On a side note: Hidalgo's also been fantastic on other issues such as urban planning and ending car-dependence in Paris: reducing traffic, improving walkability, bike-ability, air quality, etc. Much to the dismay of a minority that wants to live in an American-style hellscape of freeways and parking lots.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Lawson upsizing several items by 47%, but for same price, in February See in context

Really tired of Japanese brands doing short-term, seasonal things that could make their offerings better, only to end the product 3 months later...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida cautious about same-sex marriage See in context

Enraging that in 2023, Kishida still thinks we don’t deserve to be treated equally.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Boeing ordered to be arraigned on charge in Max crashes See in context

I think the judge should throw the book at them.

And the 373 MAX should be banned because it's inherently unstable:

The new, high-bypass engines (how it achieves it's higher efficiency vs old 373s) are too large for the plane and have been placed higher to fit them under the wing, creating instability. If Boeing was responsible, they would have redesigned the aircraft to fit the engines. In an act of criminal greed, they did not. And decided to instead use software to constantly correct the plane from pitching it's nose upward and stalling.

The 373 MAX, because of this design flaw, will never be as safe as other aircraft and will constantly rely on error-prone software corrections informed by error-prone sensors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: South Korea plans fund to compensate World War II forced labor victims See in context

Should millennial and gen-x shareholders of Mitsubishi, saving for retirement, be required to pay reparations to descendants of WWII victims?

This is the problem with going after public companies generations after a crime has been committed. In the context of the WWII slavery case, these companies are not the same companies. They are owned and managed by different people, generations later. Demanding reparations from, essentially, a brand is a non-targeted way of going after perpetrators.

While I sympathize with the victims, plaintiffs pursuing this case today, demanding that reparations come from a brand name, are clearly playing PR games.

The reality is that there is no perfect way to resolve these issues and at some point, people need to move on so that future generations don't have to suffer and pay the cost of strained relations. As Japan has already paid reparations, we have reached this point.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Families in Tokyo to get ¥5,000 per child to address falling birthrate See in context

In my opinion, we need a comprehensive plan to address the birthrate and inequality in "one go":

Free universal preschool.

Free universal lunch for children pre-school through high-school.

Allow LGBTQ+ couples to marry and adopt children or pay for surrogacy; freeing up orphanage capacity and resources for children, while allowing more people to provide stable family environments for children with the protection of the law that's afforded to opposite sex couples.

Adjust academic calendar to sync with the rest of the world, helping Japanese children to compete on the global stage and take advantage of study abroad opportunities.

Reduce the consumption tax on groceries, diapers, and supplies for babies to ZERO.

Health insurance covers 100% of costs (no co-pay) for mothers from pregnancy to child-birth, and for children 0-20.

Amend the labor law to require businesses to allow (both) parents to take babies to most jobs where it is practical (offices) between the end of parental leave and the beginning age of pre-school. And allow extra breaks for these parents if necessary to feed babies, etc.

- Cut corporate welfare to pay for the above.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: China sends 71 warplanes, 7 ships toward Taiwan in 24 hours See in context

Shoot them down.

They are violating Taiwan's restricted airspace despite repeated complaints. What is Taiwan waiting for?

...for them to fly over Taiwanese land?

...for them to drop bombs?

...for them those bombs to land on ppl?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

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