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Posted in: EU food exports to Japan soar due to free trade pact See in context

What is a free trade agreement ? I always imagined it to be like the following, guess I was wrong. New Zealand has free trade and as an example allows the imports of thousands of used motor vehicles each year without duties or tariffs whilst NZ butter imported in to japan has high tariffs.

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

noun Trade between nations without regulatory barriers such as tariffs or quotas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

noun international trade free from government interference, especially trade free from tariffs or duties on imports

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

noun international trade free of government interference

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Posted in: EU food exports to Japan soar due to free trade pact See in context

bogvaFeb. 3 03:34 pm JST

Haven't seen lower prices. A friend said french wine is cheaper but how about cheeses and meat products, olives, etc., etc.?

Guess trading companies in Japan are very happy getting richer while their employees working longer hours for the same pay...

Don't blame the trading companies. Find out who controls the imports of many food products and subjects those products to ridiculous tariffs.

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Posted in: Suzuki Motor says it must respond to Dutch emissions probe by mid-February See in context

The problem I see is that governments ( who don't design cars ) setting fuel and mileage targets that are difficult to attain.

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Posted in: If you live in Japan but were not born here, which food or drink item do you miss most from your home country? See in context

New Zealand,

Cheese of all sorts, crumbed Lamp chops, smoked Mullet, Real chicken thighs (no hormones) Vogel grain bread, any food that is not at ridiculous Japanese price. ,

Fruit sold by the kg and not each, Golden crumpets, lots of fresh cream at half the price of Japan, NZ Scotch fillet steak.

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Posted in: Japan asks Interpol to issue red notice for Ghosn's wife See in context

Public Prosecutors Office, said Nahas, 53, may have also destroyed evidence according to Ghosn's wishes.

May have, we think, we believe, could have, we are sure, we suspect, it is possible etc. etc. These are the words that the prosecutors spout out all the time.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan asks Interpol to issue red notice for Ghosn's wife See in context

Prosecutors accuse Ghosn's wife of perjury - Well, here is the true meaning of perjury.

the crime of telling lies in court when you have promised to tell the truth:

She wasn't a witness in a court case !

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan asks Interpol to issue red notice for Ghosn's wife See in context

A red notice for perjury? Is that a joke? There are over 7000 current red notices and not a single one is for such an minor crime.

I thought perjury pertained only in an official court case. I understand she went voluntarily to speak to the prosecutors. How can it be classed as perjury ? Of course we are not told what the supposed lies are according to the prosecutors.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan asks Interpol to issue red notice for Ghosn's wife See in context

Prosecutors already have asked USA to check the 2 sons of Ghosen living there. They seem to think it is a crime if family has them any money in the past. They have nothing on Carlos and were counting on another year of delays to break him and confess.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

Posted in: Over 70% worried about economic outlook after consumption tax hike: survey See in context

The consumption tax is not the problem. It is the low wages coupled with a contract and part time work system.Add to the problem is high food prices for imported products caused by very high tariffs.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Aso plays down need for stimulus after tax hike See in context

If they want to increase consumer spending, just raise the minimum wage- is that so hard to understand since something like 60% of workers are on low wages and contract work.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Tax hike adds to woes for low-income households in Japan See in context

The consumption tax raise is not the problem. Low wages eg. minimum wage is the problem people with higher incomes can afford the tax. NZ for example has 15% tax but public hospitals are free, pension is funded out of the tax take, there is accident compensation, no compulsory health payments- you can join your own health payments system, food is cheap, welfare for poor and disadvantaged people is very good. A newly introduced system of quite a large rebate on winter power charges for everyone.

It is not he government that produces tax money. It is the workers who pay the taxes so it is only right that the government give back to their citizens in meaningful ways.

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Posted in: Musk unveils SpaceX rocket designed to get to Mars and back See in context

No one can go to Mars .

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Posted in: People living on ¥1 mil a year: How do they manage? See in context

Many Japanese are working on the very low minimum wage trying to survive. Japan has the lowest minimum wage of all OECD countries surveyed. So much for a country that is regarded as rich by the rest of the world. It is not just young people who are forced to take low wages on contract and non permanent jobs. Many are in the older group of people.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. seek to sign 'very big' trade deal in September See in context

GMO Corn ?

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Posted in: For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad? See in context


Nice looking cheese, but Wow- the price per 100g ! NZ price Blue vein, 100g-333Yen. Colby cheese & Edom cheese ,740 Yen for 1kg. Brie & Camembert ,125g 250 Yen.

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Posted in: For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad? See in context

Butter, cheese, bulk spices, ( none of these stupid small overpriced bottles of spice in Japan), Vogel bread.

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Posted in: U.S. aviation regulator bans select MacBook Pro laptops from flights See in context


Buy a Japanese computer.

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Posted in: There were an endless stream of people at the crosswalk. I thought pedestrians would stop for me. See in context


pedestrians often trust the green pedestrian light and cross without checking the actual traffic situation.

Totally agree with what you say. Most Japanese just blindly cross a crossing without even a glance to judge the traffic, and in many cases peering down on their smart phones. When waiting on a left turn at a crossing, many times pedestrians and cyclists advance from behind the car and not the marked crossing and then feel bad if you didn't see them coming. These people have no idea of what drivers in Japan have to put up with.

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Posted in: There were an endless stream of people at the crosswalk. I thought pedestrians would stop for me. See in context

How about all those people crossing and especially the cyclists deliberately racing across the pedestrian crossing well after their light has turned red ? I encounter this every day when driving.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Theme-park food to be taxed 10% if eaten at table; 8% if eaten while walking See in context


 Maybe this will motivate you to find a better paying job.

Do you really think that people want to work at a job for 900 yen per hour ? Many companies that should pay a proper livable wage employ people on contract and non permanent work thanks to the morons who bought this system in to Japan.

I know people who had special training for their job, and then after 5 years have to leave unless the company employs permanently. But, the good news is that they can return to the same job after 6 months away. People from necessity want to continue their work after 5 years even on their low wage but are punished by these idiotic Japanese rules.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Panel proposes average minimum wage of more than ¥900 for 1st time See in context

A government panel proposed Wednesday that the average hourly minimum wage in Japan should be raised to 901 yen in fiscal 2019, exceeding 900 yen for the first time ever as the consumption tax will be increased in October.

what sort of comment is that ? So, if the minimum wage rises again in the future, will they state the minimum wage rise exceeding 927 yen for the first time EVER. Any increase is the first time ever. ??

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Posted in: Panel proposes average minimum wage of more than ¥900 for 1st time See in context

To be inline with other OECD countries of higher rank, minimum wage needs to be Ten 1,500 per hour nation wide. A 27 Yen increase per hour is an insult to Japanese workers.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any organisation in Japan who can stand up for the people who have to work on low pay.

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Posted in: Trump slams congresswomen; crowd roars, 'Send her back!' See in context

Israel is established as Jewish land, as it was taken from the neandertal tribes when jews left Egypt

There is zero archeological evidence of Kews having been in Egypt, which means your argument isn't based in reality.

Correct ! It was the Hebrew Israelites that were captives in Egypt, not jews. The jews (Pharasees) themselves claimed proudly that they had been in bondage to no man therefore had not been in bondage in Egypt.

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Posted in: What do you think about the anti-vaccination movement that blames the medical practice of vaccinations for a wide range of health problems? See in context

JonorthToday  05:31 pm JST

Unfathomable. I do not understand what make regular Joe's think they know more science than scientist. It is anti-science, arrogance and an unwillingness to accept that some people know better than you.

There are plenty of scientists who know how dangerous vaccines can be and some of them have been murdered for speaking up. If you have read other news articles, various scientists have been paid off by drug companies for making false reports in favor of vaccines.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: Gov't unveils measures to prevent car crashes caused by elderly drivers See in context

There is an easy way to stop mistakes on the accelerator pedal. Teach people to drive with 2 feet. Left foot for brake, right foot for accelerator. Once the brain learns this, it would be impossible to make a mistake.

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Posted in: Abe denounces attacks on tankers near Strait of Hormuz See in context

False flag- just an excuse to demonize and attack Iran. The so called video showing someone removing a mine is so blurry that you wouldn't know who it is.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Posted in: Labor minister opposes banning female dress codes with high heels See in context

What the minister is referring to is shoes with the small heels called " Pumps " Just like in the photo above of Japanese women in their black pumps. In actual fact, what we term high heel shoes would be banned in most companies like banks etc. Pumps are basically part of the company uniform.

Everyone is completely misunderstanding what shoes the minister is referring to.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Elderly driver, passenger die in Fukuoka 5-car crash; 9 in hospital See in context

I just saw the video of the car which I believe was travelling down the centre line at more than 100 kph. It wasn't a mistake and appeared deliberate. Were they having a big argument and driver put his foot down ? It was horrifying. Don't blame all elderly drivers as though they all have dementia or something.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 injured after 80-year-old man backs car into them in Osaka See in context

Time to teach 2 feet driving for automatic cars. Left foot for the brake and right foot for the accelerator. It has other advantages like holding a car on a hill without having to yank on the side brake each time. The time for shifting the foot from the accelerator to the brake is too long. Once the brain has learned to using the left foot for the brake, it is impossible to make a mistake on the accelerator.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. beefing up forces in Middle East to counter Iran See in context

What did Iran ever do to the USA ? Who in the past attacked Iran and murdered some of their scientists ? --- Israel.

In Trump's own words 12/1/16

We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments. Our goal is stability not chaos.

In our dealings with other countries we will seek shared interests where-ever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding and goodwill.

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