Ubesh comments

Posted in: 40% of evacuees from Afghanistan have left Japan over poor support See in context

@redmanticore

While I agree that immigrants who do not learn the local language can expect to be sidelined, I feel concerned that you assume immigrants can learn a new language to a high degree within a short period of time with little money, something that affects the majority of immigrants to Japan.

I agree that a lot of refugees seem unwilling to integrate though and that the current liberal immigration policy of Western European governments is untenable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't to request energy-saving measures in winter over power crunch concerns See in context

The Russian sanctions are such a silly obsession by western governments and seems to hurt the west more. The majority of the world still trades with Russia.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Posted in: New monarch gives fresh impetus to Scotland's independence debate See in context

The support for a independent Scotland under King Charles III is higher than for republicans either independent or united.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 23 dead in Vietnam karaoke bar fire See in context

Is this really a major news story? Fires happen everywhere.

-21 ( +1 / -22 )

Posted in: Liz Truss vows tax cuts after winning vote to be next British PM See in context

Rishi Sunak got just about half of the Tory party member vote, but I agree that a sizable percentage of that other half were probably against the idea that he wasn't white. We are talking about the most conservative people in the UK remember, not average voters or even average Tory voters.

Truss is widely regarded as being told to captain the Titanic whilst everyone else is readying the lifeboats. And there is a lot of speculation that the UK will face sky-high inflation, a recession and even mass riots by next year. She is viewed as a "wicker woman" for the Tories.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Mass shootings obscure daily U.S. gun toll See in context

I agree with having gun regulations to ensure safe usage, but the US will never be able to solve its gun culture through gun regulations because the black market is just so large thanks to the porous border with Latin America.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: High energy prices threaten UK hospital services See in context

The bigger issue is with GPs, which are private and compensated per service in a similar manner to Japan, who will need to deal with increased energy costs without the financial tools available for NHS hospitals.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: IC Net says there is urgent need for assistance for Ukrainian refugees See in context

The United States and the European Union have plenty of money to help the refugees though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Asian shares slide after Fed rate comments, Wall Street drop See in context

unspoken nod to the potential for a recession

I think everyone in the financial world knows that the Federal Reserve is causing a recession in order to defalte the economy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Still no trace of 2-year-old boy missing for 9 days in Toyama Prefecture See in context

Japanese children tend to have less "fear" than Western children since their are given far more independence and socialise a lot more. I have also been surprised at how social some Japanese children can be, though obviously they are taught to be scared of foreigners so foreigners get the wrong impression.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Have you found that your smartphone has gotten you into the habit of spending more time checking work messages or reading work-related materials or emails in your “off” time at home? See in context

In Western Europe there is a lot of peer pressure to segregate your work life and home life (making friends in the workplace if often frowned upon) so I brought the same way-of-living to Japan since smartphone checking isn't established in Japan yet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Couples who divorced after decades of married life are at their highest rate since 1947, when statistics were first available, according to Japan health ministry data released on Aug 24. Why do you think this is? See in context

You can see all the old salarymen drinking their evening (and health) away every night instead of wanting to return to broken homes.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: What do you think the global community's relationship with China will be like over the next 12 months? See in context

I think most of the world has a soft fear/dislike of China, and there is a lot of racism against Chinese people everywhere right now, but recently there has been significant support in Asia for China being a "rebalancing act" in global geopolitics.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan to maintain sanctions on Russia as Ukraine war drags on See in context

Japan is not food secure. Over 30 years reduced from about 60% to 40%. 60% of our food is imported.

I read somewhere that Japan considered rice security to be very important, and that was where I probably got the idea that Japan did not need wheat from. I personally rarely have a use for a wheat based product except for breadcrumbs.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to maintain sanctions on Russia as Ukraine war drags on See in context

We are big consumers of wheat noodles, bread, and beer. There are no real substitutes for wheat.

I actually forgot about wheat noodles so the premise about food security in Japan is incorrect, but still applicable to most of South East Asia and South Asia. I have only ever met one Japanese people who eats bread for breakfast despite living here for around ten years - usually is raw egg and 2 balls of rice.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to maintain sanctions on Russia as Ukraine war drags on See in context

We also eat or use a lot of wheat too.

Japan imports 5.8-5.9 million tonnes of wheat each year and imports contribute roughly 90% of total food wheat consumption. Japan buys over 95% of its total wheat requirements from only three markets.

Yes but this is what I mean by essential goods. Japanese people as a whole do not need a significant amount of wheat and it is readily replaceable with substitute foods in Japanese cuisine. Russia is capable of feeding itself and heating itself so will not be severely hurt by the sanctions at a basic level. Bread is almost a luxury/novelty cuisine in Japan. If wheat prices were to rise that Japanese people will stop buying wheat, which they are because of a lack of fertilizer and wheat globally, but if rice were to rise then Japanese people will still want to continue buying rice. But wheat is an essential good for the West and a lack of wheat would cause widespread suffering in western countries.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan to maintain sanctions on Russia as Ukraine war drags on See in context

Only 1% of Japanese wheat imports come from Ukraine and non from Russia. Japan imports zero fertilizer from Ukraine or Russia. Canada provides the majority of Japan's potash fertilizer supply.

Asia eats rice and not wheat. The main issue is access to fertilizer and that was one of the reasons that Sri Lanka went disastrously 100% organic. Any wheat reduction in the global markets primarily affects the bread-eating West.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to maintain sanctions on Russia as Ukraine war drags on See in context

@rainyday @Redstorm

This is highly unlikely. Producing system critical parts (as opposed to seats, bathroom doors, etc) for Boeing or Airbus aircraft aircraft isn’t something Russia, or other countries for that matter, can just start doing on their own. Its not just a matter of having engineers on hand, these things require incredibly complex supply chains and high tech components that Russia just can’t produce on its own.

Russia is not self-sufficient in everything it needs. The national air carrier is stripping parts off its planes to keep a fleet flying. The war has taken out many of its armories and now looking to use Soviet stocks.

Russia is one of the few countries that are capable of manufacturing said parts on a mid-term basis since it has a strong aircraft industry that even China is trying to copy. The majority of the world does not have native aircraft building knowledge so buys from the West or Russia.

The West isn’t dependent on Russia for food, and its only a few countries like Germany that are dependent on it for energy, something they are quickly moving to permanently end. Russia’s leverage in energy is quickly dissipating as a result. It’s also irrelevant that sanctions on Russia give it an excuse to put sanctions on these things anyway, it doesn’t need an excuse to do that.

The West needs the fertilizer from Russia, and Ukraine/Russia is the wheat basket of the world, and most of the West IS dependent on Russia for gas except for a handful of countries with natural resources such as Canada, USA and Australia who cannot export to Europe for biological/technical reasons on gas transport. The high cost of transport is also affecting the import of food from overseas - most western countries are not self-sufficient in food or energy so cannot artificially lower the price of everyday goods through currency devaluation etc...

Russia has been doing tit-for-tat stuff since the Soviet era so not sure how you came to that conclusion.

No, the main threat is still from Russia. Saudi Arabia’s armies aren’t running amock attacking European countries. Saudi Arabia isn’t issuing veiled threats to use nuclear weapons against Europe. Nor is it or any other country in that region ever going to be in a position to do these things.

The Middle East is still the main threat in terms of petroleum sanctions and threats to national energy security - the previous sanctions were a result of the Israel conflict which is widely considered to be part of the Eurosphere. Russia is part of the OPEC+ you know.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan to maintain sanctions on Russia as Ukraine war drags on See in context

@Laguna The point was that the generic sanctions against Russia are primarily affecting non-essential goods because the country is self-sufficient in agriculture and natural resources, and it has the expertise to replace most of the technical knowledge affected by the sanctions in the mid-term future.

The West is being more severely impacted because it is not self-sufficient in essential goods such as agriculture or natural resources.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to maintain sanctions on Russia as Ukraine war drags on See in context

The West seems to have gotten itself into a massive reddit-like echochamber devoid of views educated on the reality in the East.

Russia is capable of being self-sufficient in virtually all essential goods (food and energy) and has the mid-term expertise to manufacture the random parts from the west that is does not currently have (for example most of the domestic aviation operations are done using Russian-made planes, and only flights to countries that have not approved Russian planes are operated using Western-made planes, so Russia will be able to self-manufacture the parts required to operate Western-made planes in the mid-term future). The generic sanctions will have the effect of giving Russia a valid excuse to place tit-for-tat generic sanctions on the West where there are vast issues with food and energy independence. Those who say that it's Europe's fault for not becoming more independent from Russia forget that the main threat for petroleum sanctions was and still is from OPEC and the Middle East, so where exactly is the gas supposed to come form?

Furthermore the majority of Asia has maintained a plethora of ties with Russia (including South Korea and Japan), and all to the major Asian geopolitical powers (except South Korea and Japan) have expressed willingness to maintain cordial relations with Russia. The US has been unable to win a cold war with China in the past, and when was the last time the US won a war in Asia? The idea that the US will be able to win such a non-interventionist war with Russia so easily is silly and all this war will achieve is a stronger China.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Posted in: Police file terrorism charges against former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan See in context

The nepotism in the ruling class (which in Pakistan is basically the upper caste) is something that is common throughout South Asia, which we saw in Sri Lanka as well with the Rajapaskas. In India this is associated with the main left wing party (Nehru-Gandhi) whereas the right wing is led by non upper caste educated leaders.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Europe prepares for a winter without Russian gas See in context

A recession would be a given considering the actions of both the Federal Reserve and Bank of England to create a recession by lowering interest rates and thereby deflating the economy (stopping inflation), so anything that the Russians do would be additional downwards pressure on the economy and not actually be the cause of the recession. I also have a strong feeling that the sanctions will be removed due to increasing pressure from European citizens to prevent a energy catastrophe in the winter, where there is a growing realisation that Russia is capable of fighting this "cold war" due to strong support from Asia, and it may be that Europe/West is the worst affected. I think there is a misguided notion in western circles that Europeans want to "fight" against Russia whereas most Europeans do not deeply care about the geopolitics of Central Asia, but politicians in the west want to be seen as being "correct" and not backtracking.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: 2 dead, 7 injured after bus-car collision on expressway in central Japan See in context

I presume that the bus was deviating from its lane (changing lanes?) so consequently hit the concrete divider head-on.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: New Zealand flood recovery estimated to take 'years' See in context

New Zealand is a less densely populated Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Crisis-hit Sri Lanka to ask Japan to open talks with main creditors See in context

A large part of the crisis could have been averted if the medium of trade involved Indian Rupees rather than the US dollar, because India is the easiest country for Sri Lankans to obtain food and medications from, and that currently is done in US dollars. The petroleum issue is also being averted slightly because energy production in the country is set to be 100% renewable by 2025, so the problem would be the transport that still uses fossil fuels and requires US dollar dominated petroleum imports.

But I agree that the Rajapaskas have been incredibly corrupt and running Sri Lanka as if they had an endless pot of wealth for their personal use. In fact most of the government and leaders in the country look incredibly corrupt and there is so much better talent out there Sri Lanka could appoint/elect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan July core consumer prices up 2.4%; biggest rise in 7.5 years See in context

A small amount of domestic inflation is good for the economy as it forces people to continuously spend their money rather than save - something ingrained in the psyches of many ancient Asian cultures but does not inherently make sense in a fiat currency world.

The problem with the current tranche of inflation is that its all related to problems overseas (though some of the problems in the West can be blamed on western governments, such as energy and lack of energy infrastructure) and has nothing to do with domestic inflation.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: N Korean leader's sister tells S Korean president to 'shut his mouth' after offer of aid See in context

North Korea is a useful buffer region for the PRC. If you notice the majority of conflicts where the Chinese have gotten themselves involved concern the defence of the border regions around the PRC.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: McDonald's to start reopening restaurants in Ukraine See in context

I'm not sure that having McDonalds in your country can be classified as a "win", but possibly quite a few health companies in Ukraine might benefit over the long term.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: No halal foods are served in detention centers for foreign nationals in Japan See in context

Considering the scale of Buddhism in Japan and the fact that Buddhists often practise veganism, which is inclusive of Hinduism's vegetarianism, I wonder whether the centers would be accomodating of vegan food?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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