"We need to make agriculture a profitable business," Kishida said.
It's the same old hashed beef coming out of these politicians mouths.
So is Kishida suggesting Japan pull out of the TPP and other trade partnership agreements, which further expose Japan to global commodity markets and products produced with cheap labour and fewer environmental regulations? Or he'll get supermarkets to start competing on how high their prices can be and then pass these profits on to agricultural companies, and of course their workers? Maybe he wants to bring in tens of thousands of migrant farmers from Africa and put them on low-wage trainee contracts. Please, sir, explain.
3 ( +8 / -5 )
So then it's OK for government officials to expense account tens of thousands of yen for dining (during pandemic emergency restrictions) with employees of corporations that the government is then going to hand out corporate welfare to. And the rest of us meet for ¥500 coffees or over the internet.
Japan needs and independent body with the authority to really hold accountable and fire bureaucrats that break ethical rules, such as this Akaishi fellow.
9 ( +11 / -2 )
What especially Americans need to reflect on at this time is how their foreign policy and the exploitation of the resources and peoples in many regions of the world by their transnational corporations was deeply connected to the 9/11 aerial attacks and how the anger and fear after led to the US military conducting an illegal and unjustified war of terrorism against mostly people not at all involved in 9/11, both abroad and in their own country.
3 ( +6 / -3 )
Under the current Constitution, there has been no new prime minister heading into a national election without making a policy speech before the Diet.
Yes, this is important, so we can know to which private entities our tax payments will go as part of the huge corporate welfare giveaways that are part of the LDP's longstanding class warfare.
Here is a link to an excellent article showing with good statistical evidence the growth of inequality and precarity under Abe, though that was just the most recent period.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
This is another example of the censored news related to the climate emergency. "Unfavorable weather", the writer here names it, when there is factual data about the impacts of human induced climate change on food production. Only need to look at maps of the shifting agriculture zones in North America to know the future crop production of key staples looks bleak and people in the middle and lower classes should expect to pay a much higher percentage of their incomes for social reproduction from now, especially with the spiral down pressure on wages.
Industrial agricultural practices are also not mentioned in this article. These include too much tilling and over-use of fertilizers to compensate for soil nutrient deplenishment, which lead in the long-term to lower yields, are also not mentioned in this article.
Isn't the purpose of journalism to inform the public?
4 ( +13 / -9 )
What should have been initiated and coordinated by the central government at least 6 months ago, based on the knowledge about the Delta variant coming from overseas, was dumped on local governments once at the last minute with no plan. With this kind of negligence, many in administrative leadership positions should be investigated for dereliction of duty.
5 ( +5 / -0 )
It will take longer than years to pay this off. The Montreal Olympic debt of C$1.6bn took 40 years, and the T-Olympic debt, when adjusted for inflation, is far greater.
I'm not sure about Shintaro Ishihara angle, but this was also about a huge transfer of public money to private corporations, as part of Japan's usual corporate welfare schemes. The LDP politicians are deeply wed to the cement and other built environment industries (and of course Dentsu, the banks, the auto industry, etc.) and together they always come up with new massive projects that ruin the natural environment and increase the tax burden on the young and future generations.
And all for a few weeks of sporting events. What a huge opportunity cost: money waste that could have been used to deal with the human made Fukashima nuclear disaster, the climate emergency, biodiversity collapse, the Covid pandemic, even creating smaller sporting infrastructure that we could use daily, such as playing fields.
18 ( +21 / -3 )
Aren't the people of Japan better served with the revolving door? The longer terms of Koizumi and Abe have led to the deep implementation of neoliberal policies and a class war that has expanded the wealth gap and brought precarity to a significant percentage of households.
8 ( +11 / -3 )
It's OK for the US to send any kind of yahoo with a weapon into other countries to storm homes and terrorize neighbourhoods, but a heavy screening occurs in questionable sites when people seek refuge in the failed aftermath of an invasion and occupation.
-1 ( +4 / -5 )
The headline says the LDP leader hopefuls position themselves, but this puff-piece does not tell us at all what their "positions" are on the range of key issues facing the nation, nor does it go into any detail about their leadership qualities, simply telling us this one is popular and this one has the "right credentials".
These hopefuls have held key administrative positions, so how did they perform? What did they specifically achieve or what controversy have they faced?
Ryotaro Nakamaru, some serious journalism, please.
4 ( +5 / -1 )
Dylan sings in one song, "all things old can be new again". This is appropriate for another LDP leader's race. Suga will insist his second coming will be new and improved, like the latest dishwashing detergent. And Kishida will try to bleach the stained neo-nationalist, neo-liberal policy agenda, trying to "make Japan proud again" and dressing up more deregulation and class war, this time, as Fumiomics.
8 ( +9 / -1 )
The US War of Terror and imperial hubris once again comes back to bite, but many of the victims are not combatants, not the neocon and neoliberal ideologues, not weapons makers and investors and not the war-room planners and generals.
4 ( +5 / -1 )
Just what Japan and the Asian region needs as the next so-called leader, another member of the ultranationalist Nippon Kaigi.
6 ( +24 / -18 )
@Do the hustle
It is not culture, it is exploitation based on unequal power relations. We all need to ask why we have some degree of democracy in our civil lives, but don't demand this in our workplaces, which are run more autocratically.
22 ( +23 / -1 )
No doubt people will freak out about the foreign material, and of course there should be concern until the substance is identified, but this should be put into perspective when we think about all the foreign substances that go into our bodies every day. There are the microplastics in food, air and water. There are the fragments for rat hairs and fecal matter in our flour. There is all the chemicals in the products we use or in the environment that are taken up and accumulated in our bodies, etc...
This is an unfortunate development and will make more people vaccine hesitant at a time when Japan needs to rapidly increase the vaccinate rate. Let's hope calmer heads will prevail. There are always recalls of some batches of a product.
10 ( +23 / -13 )
There has always been only one way out of this pandemic: immunity. Vaccines offer an alternative to populations building natural immunity, which comes with a huge death rate.
Forced social engineering, in the long run, clearly doesn't work, as the rise in cases in New Zealand is showing. Border controls and lockdowns can only be temporary steps to buy time to develop a vaccine and secure the health system.
The Japanese authorities have failed on all counts. A slow vaccine role-out, with no locally produced vaccine, inept planning to provide enough hospital beds, a weak emergency enforcement mechanism, pathetic mixed messaging, which saps legitimacy, etc...
Only the pre-Covid accepted behaviour or mask wearing and the better health of the population has prevented the larger death rates seen elsewhere.
Now that the vaccination system has geared up, the challenge will be to get a high percentage of people jabbed. Yet we don't hear about plans for this, only more state of emergency calls to stay-at-home. What about moving quickly to create a disincentive programme, where people who don't want to cooperate, and don't show proof of vaccination, will be denied access to services and will require more regular paid out-of-pocket testing?
2 ( +7 / -5 )
Of course they want to work closely with the pro-nuclear International Atomic Energy Agency. Wouldn't want any real critique of your plan from say, ecologists.
17 ( +18 / -1 )
Now that the Olympics are over, with all the corporate welfare benefits it gave to the construction industries, the LDP turns to another favorite venue for transferring public money to private businesses and investors. Desire was used to sell the former payout and now fear is used to sell the legitimacy of this new weaponized giveaway. It is complete hypocrisy when the people who have profited from the deep economic relationship with China scaremonger about the Chinese threat. Corporate states and all of their players inside and outside of government, around the globe, are a threat to the peace and security of ordinary people, and we should not let our tribal attachments blind us to the real workings of wealth and power.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Emanuel is public instrument of neoliberalism, an ideology and practice that has not only gutted the community health system in Japan, helping to create the present hospital crisis, but has led to ever growing wealth inequality and a huge working poor population in Japan. It is a complete disrespect for the working people here and for democracy that Biden would dump this outcast in our region of the world.
20 ( +26 / -6 )
It's clear you do not have a good understanding of the deep connection between energy use, human population growth and economic growth. If you track these historically on global level, you will see they align and they all rise exponentially when humans start using industrially fossil fuels, especially oil and gas. Take a large amount of fossil fuels out of the equation (which the science tells us we must) and the human population will naturally decline. For anyone with a knowledge of ecological principles, this is pretty easy to understand. Take an important energy source out of an ecosystem and the carrying capacity of that system decreases. So as we go off our addiction to fossil fuels, if we can, then we will both have to lower our standards of living (which are based on this form of fuel) and reduce our populations. If we were to all live at the material and energy consumption of Cubans, the planet might sustainably support the existing population, but those who have are not likely willing give up what they are use to. So the only way to maintain higher material/energy use is a lower population base, and you are completely wrong in your argument to think half the global population would just double their consumption. This would be impossible with lower use of fossil fuels.
You are great at trash-talking others' arguments and proposals, but where are yours? How do you see the world reducing the use of fossil fuels?
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Now I realize that you are not advocating mass exterminations like that, but by framing the issue as one of “we need to get rid of humans” you are making the job of people who do want to do evil crap a lot easier. And for what? Our problems aren’t that we have too many people, its that our institutions do a crap job of distributing what we have. You could cut the population in half and it wouldn’t get us an inch closer to solving any of our problems if the distributive problems persist. The wealthy over-consumers will just react to that by doubling their rate of consumption and we’ll be stuck in the same place. Demographics offer zero solutions to our problems, its an inane argument at best, a dangerous one that can be distorted to justify about any atrocity one can imagine at worst.
I see that you are trying to frame my argument as "getting rid of humans", when I am actually arguing for a reduction by having fewer births, it is not eliminating or "exterminating" existing humans. (Nice embellishment, by the way).
Since demographics (too many people consuming too much fossil fuel energy, following an ideology of perpetual growth and unlimited accumulation on a finite planet) are part of the problem, then how can demographics not be part of efforts to addressing the climate emergency? Fossil fuels led to more humans, once we knew how to transfer that energy into food energy. If we actually reduce the use of fossil fuels, this will mean less food energy, regardless of how much we produce now. So either in a more encouraged or more chaotic and violent way, the human population will shrink. You seem to opt for a more violent outcome. Is this not the real atrocity?
By the way, human demographics are deeply tied to distribution. More humans over-consuming feed animals has meant less distribution of food energy for wild animals. Why do you not talk about this "extermination"? We live beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. Yes we should share, but we still have to reduce our material requirements and our numbers. There is no way to fudge this math.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
Pretty much all our energy needs can be supplied by renewables now without negative impacts on standards of living.
Agreed if you are talking about the standard of living of most people in Cuba. On a national basis, Cuba is one of the few countries that takes a year to go beyond per capita global sustainable resource use. Japan, for example, reaches this every spring. After that, consumption today just diminishes the younger and future generations' life chances. On an individual basis, one can imagine that Jeff Bezos and the like reach this within the first five minutes of the new year.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
I guess one way to limit thought is to use emotionally charged terms to label and dismiss an argument, rather than engaging with it. You may not like the fact that the world is overpopulated with people living way beyond the carrying capacity of the planet, but it is a fact and whether it takes a decade or more to change demographics, these will change either in a more planned or more violent way. The industrial food system, built on fossil fuels, has allowed the human populations to grow exponentially. By some calculations, it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce, distribute and consume 1 calorie of food energy (many of these lacking enough nutrition). To go off fossil fuels quickly means we must drastically alter the industrial food system. A food system based on flow and not stock energy, especially that from the sun, will not be able to sustain the present global population. So are you suggesting that starvation, food wars, refugees dying at sea and infanticide are more ethical approaches than planned population reduction?
Please note I did not suggest that we need only reduce human population to address the climate and other ecological emergencies, and I called for a reduction of the greediest among us. We must try everything, with some action having a shorter time horizon and some longer. Going after banks and other capital funds to divest and targeting government subsidies for the fossil fuel industries are more immediate and necessary actions, but nothing should be off the table, whether you are emotionally comfortable with it or not. One could argue that the religious beliefs that promote and sanctify the excessive procreation of humans are unethical, as human life impacts the life chances and quality of other species on the planet, which we have an ethical obligation to share.
And really, did you have to pull out the Nazi card to try and gain an argumentative advantage?
-4 ( +1 / -5 )
This should be the top news story, not many about Suga, who will likely be gone in a month or two.
Anyway, actions need to be taken.
1) Reduce humans, particularly in countries with excessive consumption habits.
2) Stop investments in fossil fuel development and end all subsidies for oil, gas, coal companies.
2) Stop the war machines, especially the US military, a huge CO2 emitter.
3) Greatly scale back the industrial meat industry.
-3 ( +5 / -8 )
If Japan really wanted to increase the chance for future Olympic athletes and even medalists, then rather that sinking billions into the corporate Games, all of the money could have gone to building public sporting facilities and helping amateur sporting organizations. For example, now many sports fields are on river banks that get washed away with the increased flooding from the climate emergency and practice is disrupted. Wouldn't it have been better to make safe and sustainable sports grounds? The opportunity cost from these wasteful Olympics is huge.
6 ( +8 / -2 )
A question to be asked is: why did Japanese government authorities and corporation, including media and advertising conglomerates so intent on "selling" these Games to the Japanese people? If the Games in themselves are such a worthwhile event, socially, economically, psychologically, even politically, would there be the need to create so many reasons to hold them, so many just to gain support, legitimacy and popularity among the voting and paying public? Shouldn't the Games sell themselves?
Each time some justification was pronounced and echoed, such as rejuvenating Tohoku, an economic injection for rural areas and for Tokyo, the legacy of new infrastructure, hope to overcome the suffering in the pandemic, an environmentally friendly Olympics, it was clear that the real motivation for the Tokyo 2020 was always about private interest and not public benefit. From the initial lie, that Tokyo 2020 would make money, despite the legacy of Olympic host nation and host city debt, to the ones that followed, these Games were always a disconnection, a contradiction from the tension created when the corporate-state must legitimize the transfer of public finances to private companies through corporate welfare schemes. All of the spinning, all of the justifications, all of the lies were efforts to contain this contradiction, that the many scandals, cost overruns and finally the pandemic kept liberating.
32 ( +34 / -2 )
If you ask what it means, Shakespeare said it best, through Macbeth.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
If you ask what it cost, then we need only look at our tax bills for years to come, as we pay for another huge corporate welfare scam.
3 ( +5 / -2 )
What a mess. All they need to do is follow the scientific and medical advice. Even once someone is vaccinated, it takes several week to develop a higher level of immunity, and the tests are not always accurate.
I just came to Canada, where there are strict protocols. First tested before flying, Then tested after landing, at the airport. Then 3 days in a designated hotel, where I could only leave the room for 15 minutes of fresh air. After, transferred by private vehicle to a safe place of isolation to quarantine for 14 days. During this time, I had to check in with an app every day to report my condition. A government agent showed up at my door to make sure I was there and not sick. I was also phoned by a local government agency. I had to take another test on day 8. And finally after 14 days was cleared to move around.
In Japan, Uganda team members arrive with an infected athlete, they send him or her home and just let the rest into the country without proper testing and procedures. Of course if one member was infected there was a high chance others would be.
It's easy to guess what will happen when thousands of people arrive from many places with high infection rate. We can already see the next wave rolling in.
23 ( +26 / -3 )
Unlike the race to the bottom in wages and incomes, this is a race to the bottom the world needs as there are just too many humans driving the world past the ecological boundaries. Finally Japan in showing the kind of global leadership other nations need to follow.
1 ( +19 / -18 )
Why is it that all these western political leaders who rail on about China are so eager to take donations from corporations profiting off of China's lower labour costs and environmental standards? Some of these corporations will be Olympic sponsors for the corporate games. So why don't we hear Trudeau and his neoliberal crowd condemn them as well as the Chinese authorities?
They always play this duplicitous and cynical game, appearing progressive on social and political issues while supporting laws and policies that help further enrich the transnational companies and investors that control our lives.
5 ( +6 / -1 )