Steve Western comments

Posted in: Agriculture vice minister in trouble for kissing married colleague See in context

Incredible, you mean there exists a place on earth where improper conduct of a quasi-sexual nature is frowned upon? Japan is a long way from the screw-em-if-you-got-em, Bill Clinton world, known as America. Surely this pretty lady can find a single guy, she doesn't need to cut the grass in another lady's yard.

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Posted in: Passenger arrested for sexual assault on Hawaii-Japan flight See in context

Depressed people don't generally do such things simply because they lose interest in all the things they once enjoyed, sex, sports, outdoor activities etc. and have low energy. This fellow sounds like a manic depressive, in the manic phase where he feels he is Superman with all the energy in the world, in addition to being a gift to women and able to accomplish anything. His mother may have given him an antipsychotic med to slow him down, and he fell asleep. He is clearly a danger to others mental problems or not, he may be sent to a state mental hospital until he is well enough to do time in a federal prison. I wish the victim a complete recovery, I'm sure she has a great deal to forget from having this animal assault her.

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Posted in: Nago mayor takes anti-base case to U.S. See in context

I agree with the man, in fact bring ALL US troops home from Korea, Japan, and Germany as well as Afghanistan. It's not as if the USA has the funds to maintain all these bases and why should there even be the possibility of the spilling of US blood in the countries where they are not wanted or needed. Let the Japanese and the Koreans sweat out their own security issues, take off all regulations preventing Japan from having an active army. Why do a people a favor costing you billions when there is opposition to your being there? My family has lost many men, away from home, defending Europe from the Nazi's and freeing the Pacific from the Japanese militarists. I doubt that all the fatherless children, the widows and grieving parents were grateful to throw away the best and brightest in foreign wars. If there is a panic so be it, you don't risk your life for a country that doesn't want you around. South Korea and Japan will just have to find away to deal with their own issues.

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Posted in: Husband gives wife a piece of his lung in a revolutionary transplant with the help of a 3-D printer See in context

It's all good, wonderful news for a couple who wished to be together for as long as they can. To fear technology is idiotic, only an evil person misusing technology has the capacity to harm others, its the human not the machine we should fear. We have machines that can take metal and form the most delicate designs using water jets and now 3-D printers having the ability to do similar work and benefiting mankind. More people can afford nicer items due to the advancements using machines to make products that previously required a great deal of hand labor, in the same way the 747 make international travel affordable for the middle class. Good luck to the couple, may they heal completely and enjoy a happy productive life.

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Posted in: New round of TPP talks to begin in Vietnam See in context

I would definitely exclude Mexico, they tend to export people rather than merchandise. The developed countries, for their own good, should be working together to save their economies and jobs, rather than working for an agreement with the 3rd world countries providing little worker safely, environmental controls and paying very poor wages. The UK, Japan, balance of the EU, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada are all getting destroyed by Thialand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, India, and other cheap labor countries. The least we can do is to make it extremely easy to do business with each other by dropping tariffs and other protective procedures within the group. China has the worst environment on earth by virtue of coal mining, and the use of coal in their power plants, the developed countries are taking a much cleaner but more expensive approach further making it more difficult to compete price wise. If China has no desire to reduce coal use, are we not obligated to penalize them in the area of trade? Are we so addicted to cheap products that we care little about our air? And yes we all breathe China's pollution the dirty air doesn't remain over China, every person on earth shares it.

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Posted in: Stalemate remains in Japan-U.S. talks on TPP See in context

And why is China the enemy here? Because the U.S. says so? Japan does a lot of trade with China.

Clearly you have never taken an Economics course, nor do you know anything about the global marketplace. I'll go slow and maybe you will understand. China will always be able to make cheaper items than Japan or North America (Canada is in the same boat as the US) meaning they can undercut virtually every other manufacturing country in the world. They do so by paying average wages that are 1/4 to 1/15th of what the same job pays in first world countries. They also have NO environmental regulations to insure employees are working in a safe, clean, factory, or that the heavy metal pollution of the water and air is restricted or controlled. So then why don't we let the lowest price win out, who cares about working conditions, or how many hours an employee must work to keep their job or even if the air is so thick you could walk on it? (check out the 25 most polluted places in the world, China has more than half). Well if we let them make all the cars, steel, electronics, construction materials, etc, then the countries that buy will have extremely high unemployment, boarded up factories, and people with no money to buy the Chinese imports. Get It? Japan has excellent technology and first class quality control of what is made in the country, but they see all those jobs being lost to third world countries in the same way the US lost manufacturing jobs to Japan in the 50's and 60's when China was as closed to the outside as North Korea is today. The US is a food power house and along with Boeing aircraft and military items those three categories make up the leading exports to the rest of the world. Think of bartering, we send you aircraft and you send us steel and high tech products. Then we both have employment and prosperity, BINGO? The agreement is meant to protect what North America sells to Japan and what Japan sells to North America protecting jobs and creating prosperity.

There are no bad guys or good guys just reality.

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Posted in: Stalemate remains in Japan-U.S. talks on TPP See in context

What can the US really sell Japan but Boeing jets, military equipment and produce. The idea that Japan would have any use for the piss poor US made cars and trucks is a joke. The US auto industry is an orphan child with great political muscle just as the Japanese famer makes the government quake in their boots. The only sensible approach is to forget about importing US cars and for the Japanese government to have the cajones to stand up to the farmers and allow US produce to flood into the country. Afterall, a country of rugged hills and mountains with a population busting at the seams seems like a poor place to raise food in large enough plots so the fruits and vegatbles can sell the produce for affordable prices. I have driven through central California for more than 5 miles (8 kilometers) and have still not passed a tomato farm. The same can be said for most any vegetable, fruit or nut crop. That's not going to happen in Japan, land is too scarce and valuable.

Why do we need trade agreements? Simple to prevent China from undercutting Asian and North American products and further dominating both continents. It's OK to have cheap crap, but when no one has a job, how do they pay for China's goods? The average worker in those gawdawful Chinese factory cities or capitalism zones works 60+ hours a week for $300-400 a month in an area with horrible pollution. Do you want wages in Japan to fall that low in order to compete pricewise, with all the polluted water, air and land? Increasing trade in both directions, eliminating barriers increases employment while boosting economies. Japan will always have a favorable balance of trade with the US, so have no fear.

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Posted in: Tsunami survivor’s Y1.2 mil camera: heart-felt gift or PR stunt? See in context

I can't get as cynical as those who are worried about the camera being too expensive or if it was just a PR stunt. I can see a girl who has lost friends and an opportunity to attend college and pursue her dreams. The company heard about her dissapointment and gave her something to help her to continue her love of photography, it's simple. Just what would any company do when giving a gift, but give a very good example of their work rather than some cheap throwaway model. If they did then people would call them cheap and make sarcastic remarks: "Gee you really went all out, you sure you can afford to be so generous?" I'm happy for the girl, I hope her success in the future dims the pain of all she lost.

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Posted in: Taxi drivers complain about entertainers See in context

In the US taking a longer route is called "Longboarding" and sadly is too prevalent. If a cab driver is native to the country it helps, in the US it's not very likely to find an native American behind the wheel. Indians, Pakistanis, Mexicans on the west coast, Russians and and Eastern Europeons on the east coast. We did say "Thank You" automatically, because our mothers were always telling us: "Say thank you" everytime we had anything to do with a non family member. Many times we do mean it. The worst ride I ever had was with a just off the boat Russian who took a 15 mile and three freeway drive to take me from the Baltimore airport to the train station a half mile away. It assured me he knew better than the simple directions I gave him. I felt badly for him, he was a proud man and hated to call in to dispatch to find out how to get back to the airport area. No, I didn't pay the $55 fare, I missed my train and had to wait 4 hours.

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Posted in: 5 reasons foreigners find it hard to become friends with Japanese people See in context

I enjoyed reading the article, but I am troubled by the few hostile responses. The author shared their own feelings and experiences in an honest and sincere manner, others may have different relationships and that's fine but to be uncivil and confrontational, why? I have never been to Japan but its a long time wish to spend a month or so visiting the areas I have heard so much about. Before I leave I'll try to get up to speed on the best ways to avoid social goofs while keeping my comments to strangers very limited. To come from the west US where everyone is open about starting conversations and quite friendly, I realize Japan will be much different. When you visit a different country, you play by their rules. I appreciate the information and the additional comments.

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Posted in: China consumer TV show targets camera maker Nikon See in context

No question China has become the regions bully, declaring they have all these "protection zones" other countries must respect and obtain permission before flying over or cruising by ship. As an American, it's extremely hard to find products made in the US or in China. I'm always puzzled why the most expensive clothes such as those made by Polo have to be made in Thialand, Taiwan, Vietnam or China. Don't tell me that an $85 golf shirt can't be made in the US, Canada or Japan still allowing for a lot of profit, or a $400 pair of wool trousers, a $300 soft wool sweater. We have been flooded with cheap Chinese motorbikes that require a lot of expense to run, repair shops have to replace bearings and bushings made of very poor materials, I would hate to think that someday we might see Chinese cars. Traditionally I've purchased German cars or US made Ford SUV's, I just bought an Infiniti M sedan and I'm in heaven, very superior vs BMW's and Mercedes. Apple has to deal with copies sold in stores that are made to resemble real Apple Stores, China should be working on protecting high quality, high tech companies before making whinny critiques. For what it's worth all the Apple items I own have been made in China, in one of the hell hole factories. If I had a choice I would never buy another China made item for the poor quality and terrible working conditions. I love the few items I own, made in Japan.

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