Japan Today

stephen424 comments

Posted in: China to build two new Antarctic bases See in context

20 years from now Air Self Defense Zone will stretch to Antarctica in the South, Siberia in the North, Hawaii in the East, and Israel in the west. Following with land disputes with all the nations got in between those zones. It's no surprise that it would happens considering the way China has acted in the last few years.

America has been useless in int'l affairs since Obama took office. Perhaps we should count on Putin to give this self conceited B a good wake up spanking instead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Hyundai Motor feels heat from Japanese rivals in China See in context

"The domestic market's new foreign cars sales share is 15% and rapidly rising, compared to Japan's only 5%. "

The market for left hand traffic is way smaller than right hand traffic. It just make sense for companies to avoid full investment to left hand cars, thus the selection are less than those of regular drive side. In that case, customers in Japan would actually have less motivation to get a foreign brands.

Korean buy foreign cars are because it's either your car sucks or you people are some stupid show off fools.


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Posted in: Hyundai Motor feels heat from Japanese rivals in China See in context

i see, so 200 billions/year export to China. Doesn't that mean if China stop buying your goods, you'll go shit!! considering your export is roughly 600 billions, that's 1/3 of your total export already.

and that 200 billions/year is way higher than what US export to China, does that mean your K goods are better than our USA made goods?

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Posted in: Japanese cuisine added to world heritage list See in context

it's foods, folks. Why all those hate speeches!!!

I believe most if not all people in this forum are living in countries that neither have food shortages nor in a war zone. So can you all stop your EGO.......and just enjoy eating!!??

It's time to read Toriko with some sushi and Kimchi side dishes.

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Posted in: Gov't to allow Kawasaki Heavy to supply parts for use by British navy See in context

"Abe's neo-nationalism agenda is tied to a neo-liberal economic model that seeks all opportunities for huge corporation to profit, including through arms sales."

America has done similar stufffor the last xxx years, not NEO anymore pal.

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Posted in: China says it is ready to talk if Japan admits isles are disputed See in context

"Having administrative rights does not mean Japan owns the islands. Period! "

yeah, right. same thing could be said about Tibet, right? Also tell that to the phillipine and vietnam about the spratly island issue.

"Take this issue to the international court and let them resolve it. China is willing but Japan is not."

also, yeah, right? Then why didn't China bring it to the ICJ themselves? and why china against the idea of the phillipine bring their issue with china to the ICJ?

seriously, what does china think of itself? just because of economic developments that they think they are so great that are on pair with the US and Russia perhaps. Sorry but chinese fanboys, you still have a long ways to go to reach to those 2 nations. In this world, only US and Russia is able to bent things as they wish, got it!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Fujitsu introduces Raku-Raku Smartphone 2 See in context

"Another attempt to save face over not accepting the iPhone."

without competitions, you probably still using iPhone 2g iOS now mr iFan.

I own both an iPhone and an Android device, and i like them both. The next one should be a Window Phone perhaps.

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Posted in: Aso says Japan needs to raise sales tax next year See in context

raising taxes won't solve the problems Mr Aso. Why don't you take a good look at Detroit.

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Posted in: Japan logs Y180.8 billion trade deficit, but exports jump See in context

"This is a badly written article. The 7.4% growth, although it doesn't say, is in comparison to June 2012.

Basically what it is saying, what others are also saying, is that exports have shrunk in volume, but because of the depreciation of the yen from a year ago, the value of those shrunken exports have increased in their monetary value."

You are right in term of basic calculation. After all, if:

I exported an item for 120 yen in last year, it was equivalent to $1.5 ($1 to 78 yen). This year in order to sell for $1.5, my price in yen should be 150 yen ($1 to 99.6 as of today). compared to last year, my gdp should be up 25% in yen term, not a mere 7.4%, right? That mean the export is actually shrunk compared to last year, right?

However, let's talk business.

If i'm a producer in Japan, the first thing i'd think of right now is how to gain market shares for future profitability. While raw material and utilities costs sure have gone up; however, other costs such as human resources and fixed costs remain the same due to no inflation.

Assumes that i produce an item with raw material at 25%, utilities at 25%, human resources at 25%, and other costs at 25%. If last year it cost me 100 yen to produce a product, it was $1.25 in term of USD. ($1 to 78 yen) This year, raw material and utilities shoot up to 25% due to cheaper yen; however those 2 only account for 50% of production costs, so a 25% increase only cost me 12.5% more in real term. That's 12.5 yen extra for production costs. This year, HR and other costs such as advertisements, rental costs, etc remain the same since there is no inflation. Thus, my product costs for this year is only 112.5 yen, which is around $1.125.

Last year i sold that item for $1.5 (120yen). The mark up margin in my field is low due to intense competitions from oversea producers. I got a 25 cents (20 yen) of gross profit of each item sold. This year with cheaper costs, if selling at $1.5, i should be able to get 37.5 cents of profit, and that's a whopping 37.5 yen with current yen value.

However, as i've said, my field's margin is low due to heavy competitions. I've been losing grounds to other makers because of their lower cost productions. Now with this extra profit, i rather spend it to get back the market share that i've lost in all those years. After all, if i'm able to sell more products compared to last year, my profits will also increase. Last year i made 20 yen profit per item, this year too i'll keep that 20 yen and the rest will be spend on getting back that market share. So instead of selling at $1.5 (150 yen), i'm selling it at $1.325 (132 yen) (150-17.5=132.5 yen or 132 or 133 yen rounding up, all up to you guys).

Compared to last year, my export went from 120 yen to 132 yen, a 9% increase in term of yen (10% if calculate at 133 yen). However, in term of USD, my export fell from $1.5 to $1.32.

My products will be cheaper compared to last year in overseas, thus i will be able to increase market shares in this year. Also, I'd still be able to pay this year bonus to my employees the same as last year. However, in term of USD, if i want to make more profits, i simply have to sell more.

While in real life, companies have different cost structures, a 50% in raw materials and utilities are rather high. Also, the reason i decided to go with a low profit margin example is to match with the current Japan business conditions. After all, the current Japan isn't what it was 30 years go when it was the top of the world in many industries in which it was free to fixed prices.

This pattern only apply to countries with super low inflation or in a delation such as Japan. If apply in countries such as emerging economies, where high inflation is a norm, inflation pressure will eliminate all those price cut options.

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Posted in: Bank lending hits four-year high See in context

"Housing is not an investment in Japan, it's an expense. Houses are constructed to last only 10 years, so they depreciate. "

any reliable quotes/link for this?

"One out of every four houses, apartments, shops, businesses and factories will disappear in the next generation. "

and this?

"Most of the housing loans in the article are probably Daitokentaku loans to support their Ponzi-scheme. "

and this?

"Most are rented out after or even before construction is finished, but most people move out after the first two-year lease and they remain unrented. "

and this as well?

"But, I'm sure Abenomics and inflation will make everything better, huh?"

As for this one, do you think deflation make thing better? So, will you wait a slowly death that apparently will happens anyway OR give it a try for something new? if no one is willing to step forward, this world is full of boring craps.

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Posted in: Miura betters J-League oldest goal record See in context

"Incase you didn't know, J2 is the second tier of the J League, where 2 two teams, go up to the creme of J soccer , J 1. A few more geriatric goals like this and Kazu could be kicking it off with the best domestic Japan has to offer"

The best scorer in League one is only an average in Premier League.

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Posted in: Bank lending hits four-year high See in context

"Please explain why stuff being more expensive six months from now is a good thing."

Please explain why not only cost of living, but also SALARY IS LOWER than 10 years ago is a good thing?

with delfations=less profit for companies==less bonuses, less pay raise=less hirings=less this, less that... and why is it a good thing?

please ENLIGHTEN me, please.........

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Posted in: Big three U.S. automakers to skip Tokyo Motor Show See in context

"The US auto industry can't compete with Japan.

Yes, it can. In fact it beats Japan in the world's biggest market, which is China. GM is No. 1 there."

why don't you just compare US and Japan car sale statistics in Iran instead.

ya know people in Iran won't got beaten up for driving a Japanese brands car.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Sea Shepherd, whalers clash in Antarctic waters See in context

"There you have it. I'm just cheering for those environmentalists who are trying to protect the most precious thing on Earth, life."

Then you shouldn't consume anything. Everything that exist in this world has life in it, be it a tree to a small bug. viruses and bacterias are also life forms, ya know?

killing whale is not right, but your excuse for not killing is even more lame.

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Posted in: S Korean small businesses urged to boycott Japanese goods See in context

"I would never buy the cheap inferior Japanese goods. "

In the mobile sector, yes, despite the higher prices, Samsung is outselling J competitors in every aspects.

That's the only exception while on every other sectors, K products are known for cheap prices, not quality.

Then, do you know that Camry is the best car in Korea in 2012? Canon and Nikon lead the world in the Camera sector.

Just because you don't like Japan and don't want to use its products, doesn't mean they are inferior. What you are doing basically similar to those Detroit workers in the 80's. Also, you have the same mindset and mentality as some Japanese that you always criticized for looking down on Korea.

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Posted in: Abe says he wants 'good relationship' with S Korea See in context

"Japan is the only country in the world that has territorial disputes with ALL of its neighbors: China, Korea, Russia, and Taiwan.

I think Japan forgot that it lost WWII and wants to start WWIII.

Keep up the good work, Japan!"

a perfect example of a brain washed being, or rather, i'd say, a pure AHO.

I can easily list at least 10 countries that have territory disputes with all of its neighbors.

Rather than the Japanese have forgotten WWII, it's more like AHO like you that keep ringing up WWII in every conversations.

"keep up the good work" AHO.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Sony on track for comeback See in context

"Even with favorable exchange rates, Samsung is still more expensive than Sony. Just go into any electronic store in America. All the latest high end stuff are Samsung, all the cheap and outdated stuff are the Sony, competing with the Chinese brands. Dream on. Lol."

"favorable exchange rate"? you must be kidding or pure ignorant about the fact that Korean Kwon have dropped from 800-1170 vs the dollar while the yen at its worst rise from 128-75 during 2008-2012. Are you even in any business? do you know how anything about business buying processes vs regular consumers?

"Even with favorable exchange rates, Samsung is still more expensive than Sony. "

Last time i went to shop in the US, prices are basically:

TV section: Sony is always at least $100 more than Samsung or $150 more than LG in this section, considering roughly similar specs. Toshiba is about the same price as these 2 k makers, and Panasonic is a little higher. Anyway, this market is a dying business for all. Profit margin is way too low, but overhead costs are high. Only a fool would focus too much on this sector nowaday (Sony is a fool for not knowing this) Camera: Samsung is thumb down on this, they simply suck. Game console: no Korean makers. Home appliance: Various makers here, and prices are pretty much similar. Well, S and L aren't popular with this category anyway. Computers: Toshiba is pretty good in this sector.

The only big difference is the cell phone market, which is also a money maker for Samsung. However, sooner or later they will also follow other companies leads. Just take a look at Nokia, BB, Motorola, etc....No one stay at the top forever.

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Posted in: TV drama captures public angst at 'Made in Japan' decline See in context

"Everything will be resolved during World War 3 which is rapidly approaching.Japan really made great leaps after WW2,The Korean War and the Vietnam War.Economies need wars.I would imagine the sides to be Japan,USA.India and NATO against China,Pakistan a united Korea and possibly Russia.All the signs are already there."

Too much video games for you i guess.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan machinery orders surge on weak yen See in context

YubaruFEB. 07, 2013 - 10:20AM JST Japan’s core machinery orders surged unexpectedly in December, up for a third straight month

Thank you Mr. Noda."

No, thank you Yen Sama. More jobs for workers at those establishments.

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Posted in: Honda to build new car plant in Thailand See in context

"Honda to build new car plant in Thailand"

One plant or many plants? Mod must be careful with such basic stuff.

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Posted in: Abe says he will release new statement on World War II See in context


" Like sheep, Japanese just accept their government's explanation. Any other country, there would be warnings of dangers, street protests and riots against the lying government, followed by resignations and jail times. "

did you mean China? or Russia? or Egypt? or etc....???

"It's not the apologies (although words do mean a lot). It's the persistence and determination to learn from the past and never to make the same mistakes, that Germany has always shown, makes them stand out from the morally rotted Japan."

Japan dominated and killed millions of Asians (directly and indirectly) during the war; however, these people descendants are pretty much moving on with the past. The left over 2 that always b****ng about the past are the C country and the K Country. Then, here's the question: Why others are able to move on but not these 2?

also "makes them stand out from the morally rotted Japan." WHILE "LOL.. I for one, is enjoying this show from Japan." alright, we got it, you don't have to show us how "morally rotted" you are.

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Posted in: Microsoft beats forecasts with $6.4 bil profit See in context

"Only 6.4 billion dollars? That's small change for some real big companies..."

$6.4 billions profit for "the past quarter". Revenue is expected to be around $80 billions and profit wil be at least $20 billions. To me that sounds hecka efficient already. Can you count more than 10 companies that has more than $20 billions in profit?

Just for your info, Toyota this year profit is to be expected at $9.6 billions, at total revenue of $240 billions. The margin is less than 5%. Even for oil giants, profit margin is only around 10% of revenue.

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Posted in: BOJ governor says it will be tough to meet inflation target See in context

also, BOJ is considered to be INCOMPETENCE in the last 2 decades. Chaiman Berneke once heavily critizied the BOJ for its uselessness in the 90's. Mr Shirakawa here also got voted as one of the top ten incompetence Central Bank Chairman with his handling of the current crisis. The FED is in tune with the US government, then why can't BOJ be in tune with its goverment?

This guy is just another typical J executive, too afraid to carry actual responsibilities.

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Posted in: BOJ governor says it will be tough to meet inflation target See in context

2% inflational target is indeed not a huge number compared to other countries; however, it is the first step for Japan to get out of the deflationary trap. Japan is and will be screwed even more in the future if nothing change from the current situation. Be it for a better or worse, at least it is making a first step.

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Posted in: Japan talk of warning shots heats up China dispute See in context

so basically

It's ok for China ships to roam Japan's water. It's ok for China planes to freely entrane Japan's airspace. It's ok for China to openly grab lands from its neighbors.


"China has proxies such as Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, Myanmar and its support from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization aka SCO. And much of the Asean are dependent on investment and the purchasing power of Chinese consumerism. "

oh please, do you seriously think any of those countries would actually come to China aids when needed? Pakistan has India to worry, N Korea care more about S Korea, Iran is in no position for any international conflicts, and Myanmar is by no mean going to help China nor Asean will allow it. As for the SCO, they are LOYAL TO RUSSIA, NOT CHINA.

within Asean, Japan is currently its #1 investor and #2 business partner(go look up on wikipedia for reference). Not to mention the current shifting of investment from China to SEA by Japan, they are more than welcomed. China and Japan can fight for all they want, Asean will give no S**t to either sides.

If war really broke out, China will be alone. America either participate in full combat or with unlimited supplies of weapons and necessity goods to Japan along with NATO. Russia won't help simply it needs check and balance in the East, if China grew too strong it would be bad for Russia as well in the future.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: Auto insurance premiums to be hiked by average of 13.5% See in context

car insurance is way cheaper than the USA, but everything else car related are goddamn expensive..ie...Shaken, highway tolls, parking, gas, etc...

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Posted in: Chinese media seize on Hatoyama's apology at Nanjing Massacre Memorial See in context

DogJAN. 19, 2013 - 08:59AM JST

"Are you saying that the Nanking massacre never happened? Are you saying that an ex-PM, now a private citizen doesn't have the right to say sorry for the unspeakable crimes of the Japanese Army?"

NO ONE here, on this post, ever said that Nanjing massacre NEVER happened. you are imagine things here. Mr. Hatoyama has EVERY RIGHTS to apologize toward the Chinese all he wants; however, keep it in mind that he is only a PRIVATE CITIZEN, and thus needs to act as one. Does it mean if every single JAPANESE CITIZEN in this world offer apology toward China and visit Nanjing massacre hall, they'll all get to several new headlines?

As in governmental levels, the Japanese government has already apologized a few times before, it's all up to the Chinese how they comprehend that.

And lastly, no one is condemning about his apology statement, but his foolishness to gain popularity.

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Posted in: Senior Chinese leader urges island talks with Japan See in context

"Having the second biggest economy in the world and growing by 7+ % is an economy that others would die for"

who verified those data? you put your trust in chinese sattistic data? i'd rather trust the Russian more. Also, back in 1968 when Japan surpassed Germany to become #2 in the world and with an annual growth rate of 12%(way higher than the slow ass growth rate of China, if you want me to put it that way), had anyone ever thought of that Japan is the same Japan nowaday?

"if Japan keeps up with its stupid posturing and the US doesn't wake up to the fact that the Japan of the 21st Century is more like the Japan of the 1930s, than the one they left in 1952."

i think you are mistaken between the J and C.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Dollar hits new 20-month high, passing 85 yen See in context

"Remember that most old folks save for two reasons.

One is to make sure they will be all right in those post-retirement twenty or thirty years when they are old and weak, unable to work and increasingly vulnerable, but more so, they hope to pass their savings on to people like you one day."

Also please remember that if i don't have a stable job, income, and saving now. I'm screwed now, and more so in the future. Then how can i MAKE SURE that i WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THOSE POST RETIREMENT TWENTY OR THIRTY YEARS when i'm OLD AND WEAK. and how do i HOPE TO PASS my SAVINGS ON TO my offsprings?

are you happy with the current Japan? old folks did their best to build up the country, and we thanked them for that. However, this is the youngster generation nowadays, and we can't feel the prosperity that the old generations enjoyed then. Useless politicians, obsolete business models, and weak spirited citizens. This country is hopeless.

I just hope there is an OBAMA in Japan.

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Posted in: Dollar hits new 20-month high, passing 85 yen See in context

This post is for Dog

"The non tarrif barriers / merchandise licencing laws of Japan always have ensured that the Japanese consumer was never going to feel the benefit of a cheaper Yen with imports. The profit margin of the traders and the limited retailers were the ones who benefited. European wines consistently stayed at the same prices, Aussie beef even got a little more expensive and US cherries were still 4 times the price paid in the USA."

I think you mean a STRONGER YEN. Because, with a cheaper yen, those things will be even more pricey. Even so, we do see a vast expanding movement of 100 yen shops and cheap manufacturing imported goods (uniqlo, cheap electronic devices all over Akiba).

"As for the Japanese oil and gasworkers, I think I've met 1 in the last 20 years in Japan."

who are you comparing to? Japan to USA perhaps? wait, Japan have never been famous for its oil and gas........Is there still any remaining for production? or do you mean the oil distillery industry??? you confused me here.

"The only way 80 year old Farmer Hiroshi and his 70 year old trader son in law, Makoto, are realisticly going to pass on their jobs to their kin, is if they increase productivity. " "As for those manufacturing jobs, well a majority of them were actually lost before the Yen crossed the 100 to the dollar rate, around Y115 to the dollar to be exact, and although Koizumi delayed it for a while, playing with the employment laws and benefitting from the Chinese boom, they were always going to go and they will go yet, no matter how Abe plays with the nation's finances. "

The farm industry in Japan is by no mean for mass production as of that of the USA. Even when the yen get cheaper, that mean pricier food import, which give J farmers a competitive edge, they will still not lowering any prices if not to increase along with inflation. Times have changed, the purchasing powers are increasing in Asia as whole, not only China. Demand for Made for Japan goods are also increasing. This is one benefit that Japan has during the 70's and 80's export of quality goods to these countries. If 10 years ago, J brands goods were sought, People didn't mind if the J goods were actually made in China or elsewhere; however, things have changed now. Take Canon for an example: Japan made models are specially a favorite of foreign tourists even though prices are 20-30% pricier than foreign made. Still, the persistent strong yen is doing no goods at all for business.

"The only benefits will be felt by the big multi-nationals, when they repatriate foreign profit and going by the last time they were flushed with cash, 2002 - 2008, their workers are not going to feel any of the benefits in their wage packet."

Indeed but not at all really, small and medium size manufacturing firms will also be benefiting. In most countries, small and medium size firms are the actual backbone of the country. I'll say this outloud, most J multi billions, multi national corps are a bunch of non-innovative old timers that are waiting to meet their end. On the other hand, many small and medium size firms are fabulous in term of new style managements and innovations. Especially those small firms; however, what cheap import and strong yen basically kill off their competitive edge. You mentioned that you are in a business trip so i figure that you also have an understanding about business dealings, negotiations, and profit margins.

"I'm in Ho Chi Minh City right now, like I am for business, every year for the last 12 years. And the multi-nationals maybe richer and the tourists maybe happier, but the general city populace are lot poorer than they were 10 years ago. I just got an air conditioned taxi to drive me all around District 1 looking for pirated software for $2, while 3 years ago it cost me $5. The only thing that has gone up for the locals in the last 10 years are the basic foodstuffs and resources."

Sir, i feel sorry for you since you got ripped off big time here. Pirate softwares do not cost more than $1 for the local, and prices haven't changed for the last few years. So basically you are lucky this time since you get ripped off less than the last time. As for other things, beside Food, i can use one word to tell you, it's COMPETITION. As the market is more opening as year pass by, more business pop ups and bring more competition to lower the prices.......it's econ 101. Foor food supplies, it's not VN but the entire world is facing a food shortage now.

You said people are poorer, let's put this list:

10 years ago, only the rich can afford computers. Now, almost every family in big cities has at least one. 10 years ago, cell phones were luxury goods (remember the hecka old Nokia 1100 something? it costed $400 then). Now, cell phones are regular goods, unless it's newest models. Tablets are also popular as well. 10 years ago, the majority only able to afford chinese made Honda copied bikes. Now, Honda Viet made bikes are popular, and the entire industry is estimated at 4 millions/year. 10 years ago, PPP was $2100. Now is $3800.

"As for Korea, I suggest you do some basic background research. South Korea has the biggest inequality of wealth distribution in the whole of Asia AND IT'S GETTING WORSE WITH EACH PASSING YEAR."

wealth distribution inequality has nothing to do with a standard of living. Just because one group is super rich, and another is super poor doesn't mean standard of living is lower. Don't rule out the importance of the middle earners yet. Income inequality is mainly use for social managements, not the standard of living. My original post was about standard of living. Why don't you look up and see what Korean could afford then and now?

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