Upgrayedd comments

Posted in: Academics call on Japan to face up to its history See in context

It's the 14 war criminals who are enshrined there that's causing the problem

The problem isn't that a few leaves on the tree are spoiled, but that the very roots of the tree are rotten. If you prune the 14 bad leaves off the tree, you are still left with a rotten core.

Chinese and Koreans are not angry that Japanese politicians regularly visit a shrine that glorifies a few war criminals. They are angry that Japanese politicians visit a shrine that glorifies war in general and in particular, the extreme suffering they endured during WWII and Japanese colonial rule.

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Posted in: Philippines, Japan hold historic naval drills in flashpoint waters See in context

The Philippines was still a colony by definition, during the period 1898-1946, whatever the plan was.

It was a de-facto independent commonwealth from 1934 and had very significant and real local rule long before that.

Compare the situation Philippines to other colonies at the time. Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea...The Philippines does does not compare to any of them. At least not in any way to support the original statement made by poster Hikikomorii.

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Posted in: Philippines, Japan hold historic naval drills in flashpoint waters See in context

What would you call the american occupation of the Philippines during the period between 1898 and 1946?

What year are you specifically asking about?

The nature of the American military presence in the Philippines was very different all through that period. Just consider the stages the country went through: 1) full blown military occupation and government, 2) US civilian government, 3) long gradual transition to local rule, 4) full local control with locally written constitution and democratically elected parliament.

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Posted in: Philippines, Japan hold historic naval drills in flashpoint waters See in context

That said, the Philippines were still a colony.

The Philippines were not a "colony" by any reasonable definition of the concept when the Japanese invaded. The US gave up its colonial ambitions in the Philippines decades before WWII broke out.

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Posted in: What do you think would happen to the Okinawan economy if all U.S. military personnel left? See in context

but then will recover with people (J and otherwise) discovering this as a tourist paradise

Okinawa is already a well known tourist paradise in Japan and Asia in general. Is there any evidence that the presence of the military bases is preventing people from visiting?

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Posted in: What do you think would happen to the Okinawan economy if all U.S. military personnel left? See in context

Boom. Since more tourists would come.

Who are these tourists avoiding Okinawa because of the US military? And how is the current occupancy situation? If more hotels are made, would more tourists come or would Okinawa be left with just a bunch of empty hotel rooms?

Think of all the farmland that would become available for production.

Agriculture would bring in more money than the base economy?

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Posted in: Philippines, Japan hold historic naval drills in flashpoint waters See in context

The Philippines was an American colony.

...on schedule for becoming independent when the war broke out.

Anyone who has ever spent any time in the Philippines will tell you that the Filipino people were firmly on the US side during the war.


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Posted in: In U.S., 'comfort woman' demands apology from Japan See in context

DisillusionedApr. 25, 2015 - 12:09PM JST

They should stop calling them 'comfort women'. They should call them what they really were, 'kidnapped sex slaves'.

What should we call the volunteer prostitutes?

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Posted in: Japan posts 8th straight surplus in February See in context

Measured in what currency? The yen?


Seriously, if you don't know the answer to this most basic question of international trade, you might want to take some time to do a little bit of side research into basic economics and trade before making posts about the export value of Japanese goods.

Japanese exports are up under Abe and are on a general path to make a full recovery and surpass the pre-Lehman Shock days in the next year or two.

Just sayin...

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Posted in: Japan posts 8th straight surplus in February See in context

None of the better current account figures were due to an increase in Japanese domestic-made products being exported abroad. They were solely due to a fall in the price of imported fossil fuels and an increase in returns for financial investments made abroad due to a weakened Yen.

Real exports have risen by about 10% since Abe took office. More Japanese domestic products ARE being exported abroad. It's a simple fact.

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Posted in: Abe's advisers split over how to describe Japan's WWII actions See in context

For every apology, you have someone like you who claims Japan did nothing wrong, and is the victim in all of this. These denials cancel out the apologies.

Personal statements by individual Japanese cannot cancel out the official public stance of the Japanese government.

As Mr. Bum said, the very fact that a government appointed panel is discussing whether Japan was the aggressor shows that these apologies are not held to be the stance of the government here.

Come back to us if the panel issues a new statement that contradicts or modifies existing policy.

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Posted in: Japan's trade deficit narrows as lower oil prices reduce imports See in context

So if there is lower oil costs why doesn't this reflect at the pump?

Refineries might be backlogged. Or the cheap oil hasn't filtered out to the market yet. Depending on the actual operational details, there might be a significant time delay before the cheaper oil is physically delivered to Japan.

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Posted in: WWII firebombings of Japanese cities largely ignored See in context

One could easily argue otherwise

Please note that the Soviet Union was not invading the main Japanese islands, but Manchuria and Korea.

So one might surmise that it was a combination of the Soviets and atom bombs that brought about Japan's surrender. That is not to say the firebombings weren't an awful act

It was a combination of everything.

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Posted in: WWII firebombings of Japanese cities largely ignored See in context

It was the prospect of invasion by the Soviets that really brought about Japan's surrender.

The Japanese were never really concerned about an invasion from the Soviets. They knew that they did not have the ability to invade and hold any of the Japanese main islands, including Hokkaido. They lacked the basic naval and logistical capabilities and would have easily been repulsed. Basically, they didn't have enough boats to move the required number of people and equipment from Korea / Russian Far East to Japan.

The Japanese were terribly worried about an invasion of the main islands but they knew that if it ever happened it would be coming from the US or no one at all.

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Posted in: 'Englishisation' - Is it working? See in context

99% of Rakuten employees would avoid English if they could

This is very surprising considering that close to 20% of their employees in Japan are non-Japanese. Surely you mean 99% of the Japanese employees right?

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Posted in: Japan's 2015 crude imports from Russia may hit record high See in context

Where is the USA? There is a glut of energy at the moment. The US exporting it's produce to Japan would help bang another nail in the Putin regime's coffin. The POTUS should work to get US energy exports to Japan and Europe permitted asap.

A big increase in US oil exports is not going to happen under the current administration.

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Posted in: Five things expats wish Japan had See in context

ATM's are not a problem anymore now that pretty much every convenience store in the country has 24 hour ATMs Yes! Let's get on this problem. Don't notice it I can see how this could be a problem for people. I wear US size 12 and I've always been able to find shoes. I'm right at the limit that most stores cater to. Lucky me. For casual clothing that fits well, Uniqlo is the store of choice. For work clothes I get everything custom made (not that expensive). Yea, large pizza at pizza hut is 3,000+...Not fun

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Posted in: Hatoyama praises 'happy life' in Crimea; slams Tokyo's stance See in context

Oh I see Japan has its own Jimmy Carter

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Posted in: S Korean president urges Japan to apologise to 'comfort women' See in context

@Christopher Glen

Hashimoto and Ishihara do not have the authority to speak for the Japanese government so I'm not sure how they can cancel out any official statement or position of the Japanese government.

Abe could potentially do that but the specific statement quoted in the article you posted was not an official statement of the government but his personal thoughts on a very specific aspect of the comfort women subject that is still open to historical debate in Japan. The question is whether or not the Japanese military went around rounding up women at gunpoint, as opposed to simply letting private brokers handle the recruitment of comfort women.

Later on he said that his government will stand by the original Kono Statement.

The Telegraph article also quotes a former Korean comfort woman by the name of Lee Young-Soo. This is really unfortunate that people keep publishing their claims without any attempts at all to verify their testimony or even mention how their testimony has changed over the years. Lee Young-Soo is well known to have changed her story about the circumstances of her "kidnapping" multiple times. In the 90s she was simply deceived by a brother owner. Later on she started claiming that she was kidnapped at gun point. She told the US Congress in her testimony that she ran away from her village with a friend of hers and met up with a broker by a river. This story was given after she was touring Japan telling people she was kidnapped by Japanese soldiers from her own house.

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Posted in: S Korean president urges Japan to apologise to 'comfort women' See in context

I think it's fair to point out that the treaty signed during the resumption of relations between Japan and Korea in the 1960s did not include comfort women at all. The calculations used to determine the proper compensation revolved mainly around the usage of forced labor in factories.

Comfort women did not become a significant issue in Japan or Korea until the 80s and 90s as aging women gradually started to come forward with their experiences.

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Posted in: Keanu Reeves seen location scouting in Tokyo See in context

This guy is such a class act. I hope his filming in Japan is a success.

Also, throwing in a plug for John Wick. It's easily one of the best action movies of the last 20 years or so.

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Posted in: Tokyo Metropolitan Government revamps website See in context

Also, if we compare the Japanese and other language sections, especially the "guide for residents", it's clear that foreign residents are treated mainly as temporary guests and not as immigrants who have made Japan their permanent home and want the same up-to-date information (or disinformation) as the locals.

Permanent residents would just read the Japanese section.

Don't see what the problem is.

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Posted in: Gov't seeks quick boost for regional economies with Y3.5 tril stimulus package See in context

It just baffles logic; Japan has the highest debt among developed nations, yet defend this new stimulus project by Abe because "hey, we're going to use a bunch of extra money we just have sitting around, so it's okay!" So, they could have used this instead of jacking up the debt, or more importantly, instead of creating more. Glad they have their priorities sorted out.

What is so difficult about the logic? Deflation is a more pressing long-term problem than the debt.

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Posted in: Market bears bet on Abe victory, then a yen disaster See in context

Financial institutions like GS are betting the yen will hit 140 to the dollar by the end of 2015 and will be between 150-160 to the dollar by the end of 2016. After that, the slide is predicted to continue.

That's not true.

GS's forecast is actually

2015 - 130 2016 - 135 2017 - 140

BY the end of next year the debt will be nearly 300% of GDP, well up from the estimated 245-260% it is currently at. The amount of tax required to service the debt therefore rises. It's already half of the country's collected tax revenue, or around 25% of total spending.

Source on that?

but the government is elected by old fogies in the countryside so has no new policies for encouraging the birth rate.

Birth rate has been steadily recovering every year from its low in 2004. One big reason is the increase in daycare capacity (a huge push from Koizumi's government) and promotion of flexible work schedules.

@ Mr. Perfect

Respectfully disagree. This has been the trend since the Ryutaro Hashimoto administraton amended the labor laws in 1998. Abe will do all he can to further them in huge form as Keidanren has his ear (balls) now and Rengo has been sent packing.

Sorry but that isn't true.

Let's look at the data. The following will be (Year) (% of non-agri labor force in permanent employment) (% in non-permanent employment).

1984 (84.7) (15.3) 1994 (79.7) (20.3) 1998 (76.4) (23.6) 2000 (73.8) (26.2) 2004 (68.4) (31.6) 2008 (65.4) (34.6) 2014 (62.9) (37.1)

That trend started a long, long time before Hashimoto.

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Posted in: Market bears bet on Abe victory, then a yen disaster See in context

They are right but at the expense of full-time/with benefits positions which have been declining as corporate Japan has pushed to downsize it's full timers and replace them with part-time contract workers made much easier due to Juminto and Abe's deregulation and watering down workers rights under the employment laws and regulations.

This is a long term trend that has been going on for a good 40 years and has nothing to do with Abe's "deregulation" but more to do with huge shifts in Japanese society. I.e. the massive emergence of women into the labor markets on a part-time basis...among other things.

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Posted in: Market bears bet on Abe victory, then a yen disaster See in context

(4)The consumption tax, also called "sales tax" will be increased to 10% after the election, by Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and its ally Komeito. If your income is 40000 yen a month, you will have 36000 yen after tax to spend. Your standard of living will drop. Other political parties like the Democratic Party of Japan want to decrease or stop the increase in the "sales tax"

The sales tax is not an income tax. You will have the exact same amount of after tax income regardless of whether or not sales taxes rise. The only thing that is changing is the price you pay on the things you purchase.

Whether or not your standard of living decreases will depend on multiple factors, the most important of which is the amount of inflation in the general economy and changes to your income. Japan's measurement of inflation takes into account the tax increases and its at about 1% right now.

And, nice of you to plug the DPJ. I see you conveniently forgot what party was responsible for the tax increase in the first place...hint, it wasn't Abe's party.

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Posted in: Abe's LDP on track for landslide victory: media See in context

In just about any other country the electorate will punish the party in power for the type of poor economic conditions Japan is facing to show their displeasure with the policy direction. Here voters that turn out and the silent ones who don't will give the ruling bunch an even stronger mandate to screw things up. How to understand this?

The recession is not a result of Abe's economic policies but the tax increase introduced by the previous government.

Just saying.

People are going to vote for the LDP because they are willing to give his policies a few more years to bring results.

The DPJ being terribly disorganized doesn't help either.

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Posted in: Struggling Sony to cut pay despite Abe's calls for higher wages See in context

Mark my words, when Abe starts going after labor market reforms next year, everyone on this website will go crazy about him going after the middle class and ending employment security.

That man can do no right in the eyes of the readership here.

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Posted in: Japan's recession worse than thought, data shows See in context

The vast majority of the nation are starting to suffer from Ahonomics, in one way or another, and there's no way in hell spending will go up when companies are failing to implement wage hikes (but being given heaps of profit through Abenomics!) and when the country slides further into recession. Way to go, Abe!!

Spending has already recovered and is going up...

At least get your facts straight.

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Posted in: Struggling Sony to cut pay despite Abe's calls for higher wages See in context

wonder where these unions learned math. A 3% rise in the consumption tax, along with another 2% rise expected, plus rising import costs, and increased costs across the board, and they think that 2% rise in base pay is enough?

inflation in Japan is only about 1% right now. And that figure includes rising import costs and the recent tax increase.

Just saying.

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