ThonTaddeo comments

Posted in: Kishida says return to deflation can't be ruled out See in context

Let the record show that after the 4.1% inflation we suffered through this year, a return to the roughly 0.1% deflation that working people enjoyed back in the 2000s would still take more than forty years just to get prices back to what they were one year ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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

When is Kishida not cautious about something?

When he's reaching into the workers' wallets, of course.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Opposition questions Kishida in Diet over tax hike plan See in context

Kishida promised that the government will work in tandem with the Bank of Japan to realize growth and price stability

This sounds great, only the BoJ has an Orwellian definition of "price stability"; they seem to think that increasing prices means "stable" prices. And they never get called out on this. Their policies are bad enough for working people, but the least they could do is stop lying to them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida's intention to raise consumption tax in focus at Diet See in context

We now have a global inflationary spiral, turbo-charging financial harm, poverty and economic damage. I'm not convinced that our Glorious Leaders thought this through.

@GBR48 - the alternative is that they did think this through and this is exactly what they've been wanting.

I've been banging the drum for the merits of the pre-2012 economy for many years. Strong yen, mild deflation, low borrowing costs. When your salary went up, you saw the full benefit because the cost of living didn't rise. You could borrow money for a house and not be swamped by interest. The strong yen meant that energy and material imports weren't expensive. It was a perfectly fine economy as long as you weren't a politician or big-business exporter, and was frankly better for the people than the bubble era was.

Then the LDP decided the serfs weren't being oppressed enough, Abe swept into power in 2012, the yen began dropping as the money printers were turned on, and a decade later we're in the situation we're in, with working people (and younger working people in particular) in a much worse position than they were a decade ago.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Kishida warns Japan on brink of social dysfunction amid falling birthrate See in context

This buffoon remains committed to devaluing everyone's money and pushing the cost of living ever higher, and then complains that the birthrate is falling? What did he expect? Cost-push inflation has ruined every society it has been foisted on, and Japan is no exception. When people can't buy as much, they cut back. And they put off big expenses, including having children. You'd have more kids if you thought the cost of raising them would be lower in the future, wouldn't you? Would you have more if you knew the cost of everything was going up, up, up? To ask is to answer. And Kishida and the LDP have been pretty clear about what kind of quality of life they expect the serfs to have.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan reports inflation hit 4%; 41-year high in December See in context

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has been fending off deflation, or chronically falling prices, for decades.

Again with this "Japan has been battling deflation, which is BAD BAD BAD" nonsense from the journalists.

Back when we had deflation, it was on the order of 0.1% per year. Even if we went back to that right now, it would take roughly 40 years of such very mild decreases just to get back to last year's prices! (1.041*0.999^40) Four decades of products getting just slightly cheaper and the working man having it just a little easier... wiped out in a single year of BOJ money printing!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese passport ranks yet again as most mobile in the world See in context

Very happy to see the change in phrasing from the erroneous "most powerful" to the more accurate "most mobile". The Japanese passport allows visa-free travel to the most countries, which is admirable in itself, but it doesn't allow you to hold a second passport, or work in many different countries, so the word "powerful" has always been a misnomer. "Mobile" is a good revision.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: It is important to think about regional transportation that is easy to use for people such as the elderly, who often struggle with transportation and cannot drive a car. See in context

@wallace, as great as that minibus is, why is it only available for people over 70 and not for anyone who cannot drive a car? (This isn't your fault, of course; I'm criticizing your city fathers.)

Nobody talks about this when these services are created. If you have impaired eyesight, or epilepsy, or any of several other conditions, you can never drive no matter how old you are, but can't use these services (and might be in even more desperate need of them, still being in the work force).

It must be like salt in the woulds for a partially-blind 30-year-old to watch a 71-year-old who also has a driver's license and car riding this taxi. I wish these communities would be more cognizant of exactly who is most in need of the services and who is most disadvantaged by today's infrastructure.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Top Japan business lobby to request pay increases that outpace inflation See in context

They keep bloviating about this supposed 'virtuous cycle' in which wages and prices both increase. For better quality of life, there is nothing good about the price-increase half of this: you want your wages to grow, and for prices to stay flat so that you can buy things and enjoy the full fruits of your labor; not see the gains taken away by increased prices, forcing you to work even harder to hopefully get another raise that will make up for the price hikes!

The only one for whom this is 'virtuous' is the debt-burdened government, who sees the real value of its obligations melt away as prices rise higher and higher. The workers lose all the way, stuck on a hamster wheel chasing gains that will always be taken away in the form of higher consumer prices.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's female politicians face headwinds as gender bias still rampant See in context

What kind of moronic fossils would make a deal out of a blouse peaking out from the back of a jacket?

They decided in advance that they were going to find something, anything, to mock her for, and that's what was chosen. If her blouse hadn't peeked out of her jacket, something else would have been found. A common tactic of bullies and abusers.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Kishida urges wage growth to revive Japan's economy See in context

talk is cheap.

About the only thing that is, these days!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Yen set for turnaround in 2023 after slide to 32-year low against dollar See in context

Kyodo just an LDP mouthpiece with the top stacked with party amakudari apparatchiks.

You can say that again. These writers' non-stop cheerleading for the inflation and devaluation which Japan Inc. wants and which ruin the lives of the 99% is nauseating. Seemingly every article has paragraphs like this one inserted:

A stronger yen trims profits earned overseas when repatriated and undermines the price competitiveness of Japan-made products abroad.

It's like they're copy-pasting it from a template.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: What are some of your favorite Christmas songs or carols? See in context

Good King Wenceslas

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Gaudete

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Announcement of Don Quijote’s beloved mascot being changed has shoppers in shock See in context

Small correction for Japanese learners:

When you consider Do ("ド") is also used as a slang suffix in Japanese to mean "highly" or "super"

"Do" is a prefix, not a suffix. "Do-erai", "do-mannaka", et cetera. You can't out do on the end, only at the beginning.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's FY2023 budget likely to hit another record of ¥114 trillion See in context

@Meiyouwenti - the very mild deflation of the previous decades is what kept working class people's lives from getting worse. It's the inflation of the last few years that is pushing Japanese workers' quality of life downward. Government spending only makes this worse.

Now as for the consumption tax, yes, it should go down or be abolished, particularly for essentials like food, clothing, and medicine. It is discouraging that there always seems to be discussion of raising it no matte how high it goes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP panel agrees on tax hikes to beef up defense, with delay See in context

"Participants agreed to leave the defense tax plan entirely to me," Miyazawa said.

The arrogance of these LDP oyaji knows knows no bounds.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Diabetic man dies in police custody after not eating for 3 days or being given medication See in context

Why was the man even being detained?

It looks like he hadn't even been convicted of anythingl he was merely suspected. These police officers tortured an innocent man, not a convict.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP eyes shifting 1% of income tax payments for 'defense tax' See in context

Motegi is the same buffoon who callously picked a fight with a foreign female reporter when she asked about immigrants being able to return to the country during the early days of Covid. Why am I not surprised to see his name come up in a similar possible-misquote flap?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Buying Japanese concert tickets may get even harder with new gov't plan See in context

Something similar is happening with the subway tickets I use every day: they're going to stop selling multiple-trip tickets (11 for the price of 10; 14 for the price of 10 on weekends and holidays) and replace it with some kind of points-based system that requires a chipped smartphone or plastic card... which will be registered in your name, so they can track who is going where and when.

I'm sure they're selling that information to who-knows-who. And the discounts have been nerfed to the point where it's not worth getting them. I can just imagine the government officials who will soon be pushing for the My Number card being required to ride the train.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Police invoke old anti-dueling law over Osaka club catfight See in context

about 5 shaku 5 mon (about 165 cm) in height.

Isn't it 5 shaku 5 sun (五尺五寸)? There's no mon as a unit of length.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida orders funds to raise Japan's defense budget to 2% of GDP See in context

Let's do some math. Military spending is capped at 1% of GDP now, and GDP is not expected to increase significantly any time soon. And Kishida demands that it be 2%. Which means... a doubling of military spending!?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo court orders 2 to pay ¥500 mil over 'fast movie' uploads See in context

That companies should've sued Youtube. Youtube also got advertising revenues and allowed that videos.

They sued the individual YouTubers, because in this society you aim not for the one with the deepest pockets, but for whomever is weakest and who you know you will win easily against. Think YouTube would have accepted a 500-million-yen judgment, or the bogus methodology used to calculate it? (Really, 200 yen per view? If I saw a condensed movie on YouTube and there were a 200-yen charge to see it, I wouldn't watch it at all.)

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Posted in: The U.S. dollar’s appreciation is bad news for the global economy. Do you agree? See in context

With inflation raging at 8% in the US, the US dollar is only "appreciating" relative to other currencies, which are falling even faster. The people are not winning anywhere; the only difference is the degree to which the average working person's savings are losing value.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Verlander strikes out 11 to lead Astros over Yankees 4-2 in ALCS See in context

@Sven - I was thinking the opposite: if there's one piece of baseball vocabulary that even people who know nothing about the game are familiar with, it's the 'strikeout', in which the batter swings and misses (or fails to swing at a good pitch) three times. A perfect headline for a story about a baseball game.

The 'ALCS' is the American League Championship Series, in which two teams play for the right to represent the American League and face off against the National League's winner, to see which team will be champion of the baseball world next week.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Some restaurants require that customers use their smartphones to read the QR code in order to see the menu. How do you feel about that? Would you rather see a printed menu? See in context

Disgusting. Not everyone has a smartphone; not everyone has a QR reading app; not everyone has good enough eyesight to read a menu on a smartphone screen.

If digitalization is that important, have tablets at each table where people can click on the food they want to buy. Forcing QR codes and smartphone usage on the public is just digitalization for its own sake.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: In general, how religious do you think Japanese people are? See in context

If you consider "being Japanese" to be a religion, then yes. It's the primary thing children are indoctrinated in at school, and the thing that you will be ostracized from society the most -- almost like a heretic -- for not adhering to in public life.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to scrap current non-digital health insurance cards in 2024 See in context

@wallace - Your understanding of the visa renewal system is mistaken. You have no control over when your status gets renewed: you submit your application, and the Ministry of Justice takes as much time as it needs to process it. The two-month extension stamp isn't there for you; it's there for them.

They sometimes contact your employer to confirm things and ask you to submit additional documents, and when they're done they send you a postcard to go there to renew your status and get your new resident card, after which you can get a new My Number card. Hope you don't need any medical care during this gap!

In their rush to ram through the My Number system and connect as much of society to it as they can, the government clearly hasn't thought everything through. They completely forgot that immigrants are under separate rules.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to scrap current non-digital health insurance cards in 2024 See in context

If you're an immigrant, your My Number card expires on the same day that your residence card does.

When you renew a status of residence, there is an automatic two-month extension while the government reviews your situation and decides how long to extend you for. Your residence card gets a stamp on the back indicating this.

So even though your residence is perfectly legal, your My Number card will expire and you'll have to renew it too. If health insurance is linked to My Number, how do you use the healthcare system, which you are paying into every month, during that interval when your My Number card isn't valid but you're still insured?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan ranks record low 29th for global digital competitiveness See in context

@wallace and Sven - I totally feel you on how ridiculous it has become to mail things abroad. I'm lucky to have a post office where they can do the digital side of things for you and print whatever needs to be printed. I haven't had to make any accounts to use it.

I think this is a case of over-digitalization; digitalization where it isn't needed and only complicates things. Really, yet another username and password to keep track of just to mail things at the post office!? For all the guff Japan takes in being behind in some areas, societies who force digitalization where it does more harm than good should be criticized too. This post office situation is a big one, but there are also restaurants that demand that you use a QR code on your phone just to see the menu; loyalty cards being replaced by cumbersome phone apps that spam you with stressful notifications; paper tickets for planes and trains being replaced by more smartphone-related junk. This kind of digitalization is a classic example of "we did it because we could, but didn't stop to ask if we should".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Yuzu Pringles: New Japan-exclusive flavor is so stimulating it’s turned Mr P’s eyes to stars See in context

Look at how thin those packages are. Pringles are the original 'shrinkflation' king: years ago they suddenly dropped from 165 grams to 110 grams with a tiny decrease in price (198 yen to about 178), meaning a huge increase in unit price. Did they expect people to just keep buying even when they get less product for their money?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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