Japan Today

WebsterHuron comments

Posted in: Indonesia defends rail project after Japan expresses anger See in context

Since nigelboy has brought in the Hyundai analogy into the discussion, I just thought I'd leave this here:


His comparison is surprisingly apt for this discussion. One side copies the other's technology, matches it in every pragmatic way, offers a much better value, and triumphs over the Japanese offering. This isn't 1985 anymore.

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Posted in: Study: Samsung phone durable, but iPhone has edge See in context

Clearly the reason why Samsung doesn't sell in Japan is because it is a Korean brand. Let's look at worldwide smartphone sales figures from 2013:

Samsung - 313.9 million

Apple - 153.4 million

Huawei - 48.8 million

LG - 47.7 million

Lenovo - 45.5 million

Source: IDC (https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24645514)

Sony, Sharp? Not mentioned at all and completely irrelevant outside of Japan.

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Posted in: U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Emperor Akihito in Tokyo on April 24. Last time Obama met the emperor in Japan, in 2009, he shook hands and bowed, which upset some members in the U.S. Congress a See in context

Of course it's wrong. Why should the most powerful man in the world (the real emperor in this case) bow down to the figurehead emperor of a tributary state?

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Posted in: Foreign correspondents 'blindly swallowing' anti-Japanese propaganda, writer alleges See in context

The event was intended to publicize the activities by a delegation of Japanese legislators in local government assemblies who had visited Glendale, California to protest Korean lobbyists installation of a statue of a comfort woman in a public park.

Can you imagine the international uproar if a group of German politicians went to the countries listed below and demanded that they remove their Holocaust memorials and museums?


I don't think the Japanese understand how horrible this makes them look in the international arena.

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Posted in: Anti-Korean stickers posted at several points along Shikoku pilgrimage route See in context

There is a vocal segment of readers on this site who claim that all Koreans are brainwashed to have a burning hatred for all things Japanese in their hearts. Yet, when confronted with Koreans who visit Japan to experience its beautiful culture and heritage, they can only respond with hate. If these stickers don't follow local regulations then they should be taken down, but must it be done with a heaping side of racism? Some of the responses to this article here make me wonder who's really brainwashed to have a blinded, burning hatred for whom.

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Posted in: Samsung's first 'curved' smartphone hits S Korean market See in context

A curved display is also less likely to shatter a large area of the screen when the phone is dropped, something I think a lot of us with cracked screens would appreciate.

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Posted in: Quincy Jones to promote K-pop globally See in context

Do you people even know who Quincy Jones is? He's won 27 Grammys and produced for Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, and many others. Michael Jackson's Thriller album, which he produced, sold over 110 million copies worldwide. Quite frankly, nobody affiliated with J-Pop or K-Pop is even worthy of licking this man's boots. Oh, and he's also worth over $300 million, so I doubt he'd risk ruining a legendary reputation built over 6 decades just for some K-Pop payola.

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Posted in: S Korean man stabs himself at airport to protest arrival of Japan envoy See in context

And yet there is that proud feudal Japanese tradition of disemboweling oneself in protest to preserve one's "honor." It's only honorable if a Japanese does it? Savages.

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Posted in: Japanese nationalists proud of isle landing See in context

These people are so stupid. At the end of the day, Japan is completely reliant on the US for defense against a strong Chinese military response. In spite of what the Americans say, do you really think the US will risk a war with China over some islands claimed by Japan? Not when the US public is war weary AND China holds $1.2 trillion of US debt.

Paper tigers need to sit down and shut up.

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Posted in: Korean man assaulted by extremists for protesting Japanese war crimes See in context

This comment thread is representative of the typical Japanese apologist's mentality:

1) Try to claim that nothing bad happened, even in light of irrefutable evidence (in this case, VIDEO FOOTAGE!)

2) If #1 fails, blame the whole incident on the VICTIM. The Japanese can't do any wrong, after all.

Distortion at its finest. It must be easy after 67 years of practice.

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Posted in: Korean man assaulted by extremists for protesting Japanese war crimes See in context

Nothing new to see here. Just more evidence of inherent Japanese savagery. What do you expect from an unrepentant nation descended from barbaric war criminals? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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Posted in: Lee says emperor would have to apologize if he wishes to visit S Korea See in context

Just...so disrespectful.

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Posted in: South Korean soccer players to get military service exemption if they beat Japan See in context

HikozaemonAUG. 10, 2012 - 08:55PM JST They get to force the other team to join the military for two years. That would be pretty funny.

LOL - that's the funniest thing I read all day! Cheers!

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context


Japanese and European companies spend heavily in research and development, for this see the Financial Times from August 8, 2012. Korean companies, cars and electronics do not; instead, they clone the parts and then start selling it as their own.

Are you referring to this article?


It says the exact opposite of what you claimed - "Samsung labours hard at this. About a quarter of its 220,000 employees work in research and development, and it has been the second-biggest filer of tech patents in the US, behind IBM, for each of the past six years (take note, Apple)."

So while every 3 out of 5 smartphones sold in the world today are Samsung phones, exceeding even Apple's sales, I'm still waiting to hear what all that "heavy" R&D spending by the top Japanese companies has yielded for them in terms of revenues. Seems like the Japanese are making products today that nobody wants which may have been marginally relevant in the 90's, like that Casio electronic dictionary featured here yesterday:


I'm glad Casio spent all of that R&D money to create a device that can be replaced by a smartphone app that costs $1.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

YuriOtani - The mortality rate of captured Commonwealth and US POWs in Nazi Germany was under 4%, while it was over 27% for those captured by the Japanese (calculated by Japanese scholar Yuki Tanaka). This statistic only counts the POWs who were captured and not executed on the spot, otherwise this disparity would be even more severe. While I am sure that there were accounts of atrocities committed on all sides, these comparative numbers don't lie.

In short, the NAZIS were far more humane to captured POWs than the Japanese, but I don't see a Pearl Harbor Memorial, Nanking Memorial, or a Comfort Women Memorial in the heart of Tokyo (the way there's a Holocaust Memorial next to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin).

Japan only got a pass after WWII because of its strategic importance to the US during the Cold War, so please stop this nonsense of whitewashing your history with euphemisms, willful ignorance, half truths, and dubious moral comparisons. Getting back to the point of this article, THIS is why the world hates Japan, not because everyone is jealous of Japan's crumbling economy and emasculated global standing.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

OssanAmerica - Good luck to you too. In the words of the great Jay-Z, "Men lie, women lie, numbers don't."

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

OssanAmerica - The aggregate economic rankings of countries aren't as relevant as per-capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP). This is because some countries, like China, have a huge population and infrastructure that naturally will produce more aggregate value than a much smaller country like Singapore. However, it's obvious that the average Singaporean is far wealthier (and has greater purchasing power) than the average Chinese.

Towards that end, here you go:


Over the past twenty years, Singapore passed Japan in GDP PPP in 1993, Hong Kong passed Japan in 1997, Taiwan in 2010, and South Korea is projected to pass Japan within the next 5 years. Japan's economic decline isn't just some unimportant, theoretical construct. It has real, practical implications for the Japanese people, and the amount of denial I see in Japan on this front is troubling.

The simple fact that you wave off Japanese war crimes against American POWs so casually makes me suspect that YOU are simply parroting off the standard Japanese anti-Chinese anti-Korean line. There were over 6 million soldiers in the Japanese Imperial Army, yet 240,000 Korean volunteers and conscripts were responsible for the vast majority of Japanese wartime atrocities? Ridiculous. That only makes sense if all of the Koreans decided to go rogue against the benevolent orders of the strictly disciplined and hierarchical Japanese Imperial Army, which is obviously absurd. Also, 5,700 Japanese soldiers were convicted of Class B or Class C war crimes, of which only 148 were Koreans. That's actually less than the ratio of Koreans serving in the Japanese military at the end of the war (2.5% vs 4%).

My uncle's only debt of gratitude to the Japanese was that they didn't execute him on the spot, even though that was a common enough fate for many captured American POWs. The lifetime of suffering he endured because of the physical and mental torture under Japanese "care" plagued his health until the end of his days. He didn't like to talk much about these experiences either, but it doesn't mean that they didn't happen.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

nigelboy - There are obviously shifts in annual revenues, and my previous comment was based on revenue comparisons from the late 2000's. However, here's a more recent comparison between the various electronics companies in the world based on market cap, which takes into account more factors to assess a company's value than simply revenues:


In 1999 the combined market cap of Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, and Toshiba was about $256 billion. In 2011 their combined market cap had diminished to $79 billion, even though the yen has appreciated since 1999. Apple and Samsung in 1999 had a combined market cap of $51 billion. Today Apple has a market cap of $379 billion and Samsung has a market cap of $121 billion. Clearly American innovation is unrivaled in this comparison as illustrated by Apple's dominance. I think it's also fair to say that one company (Samsung) having a market cap of $121 billion is a clear sign that it's dominating their four Japanese competitors, who's combined market cap is only $79 billion. In that vein, Fitch recently downgraded Sony and Panasonic's debt to one notch above junk status. The trajectories are obvious to anyone who works in this space.

This recent Economist article also covers essentially the same analysis, explaining how the Japanese electronics companies have fallen off so quickly:


Your point that there are 14 companies in Japan versus 2 or 3 companies in Korea in the same space is the root of the problem. R&D is duplicated across the board and everyone basically makes the same thing, leading to inherent inefficiencies that compound their problems in the market. Japanese companies have also stopped innovating in meaningful ways. It is amazing that only Taiwanese, Korean, and Chinese companies are posing any threat to Apple's iPhone, whereas Japan doesn't have a single globally viable product in the smartphone space, keeping in mind that this is in one of the fastest growing sectors in the electronics market.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

OssanAmerica - I find it astounding that you would conclude only an American of Korean descent could make the fact-based observation that Samsung has overtaken Sony and Hyundai/Kia has overtaken every other Japanese automotive brand in global sales. I have invested in Asian companies for over 30 years, and to do my job successfully I have to be aware of these facts, trends and trajectories as they pertain to the market today, and I also must be aware of the history and culture of the countries I'm investing in. The simple truth is that Japan is losing on all fronts politically and economically today, and I see no reason why the Koreans would be jealous of the Japanese. If anything, the Koreans should take Japanese stagnation as a lesson for what they may face in the near future and adapt accordingly.

But to your point on how an American of European descent could possibly view the Japanese in less than a flattering light, my uncle was an American POW captured by the Japanese in 1942. He was imprisoned with Louis Zamperini at one point, who was the primary subject in the bestseller Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I have heard first-hand accounts of the atrocities, brutality, and inhumane treatment that our POWs had to endure under the Japanese, going against all of the international conventions that Japan had agreed to abide by prior to the war. As such, I have a tendency to empathize with the Chinese and Koreans when it comes to Japan's unwillingness and inability to come to terms with its past. After all, the war criminals who tortured my uncle are still venerated in Yasukuni today. In that same vein, I am shocked that there are Americans who are cheerleaders for Japan like yourself, given this history.

I also question your assertion that the Japanese are ever-so-grateful to American generosity, as I've seen plenty of establishments in Japan that refuse to serve foreigners. I hardly consider that adoration or gratitude.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

I also want to point out that there's a difference between absolute comparisons and trends/trajectory. When I say South Korea is rising and Japan is waning, I'm not saying that South Korea has surpassed Japan. I'm just saying that the energy in each country is different. South Korea, like China, is still rising and I see evidence of that every time I visit, whereas I've felt that Japan has largely stayed the same for two decades.

It's like saying that China's global influence is rising and the US is waning. It doesn't mean that China has surpassed the US, but it's easy to see that China's rise is at the expense of the US.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

nigelboy - I believe the double the total revenues figure was from the late 2000's, after Samsung had overtaken Sony in 2005. Regardless, my greater point was that the Koreans now dominate in a market that Japan owned 20 years ago. While Sony developed OLED in 2007 with an 11" screen, they didn't commercialize it and now find themselves behind.

ChessGM - Hyundai/Kia is the fastest growing automaker in both the US and the world:


Given the fierce competition in the US market, I think attaining ~10% market share counts as "making a dent" in the US market. Also, the Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Maxima are not even in the same class (compact vs mid-size/near luxury), so I don't know where you're going with that. Both the Japanese and Koreans cars copy designs from the European brands (see the current Hyundai Sonata and first-gen Mercedes CLS and the first Lexus LS400/Toyota Celsior and the W126 Mercedes S-Class), so I would say that this is a common shortcoming attributable to both cultures.

OssanAmerica - I am NOT Korean, but as an American I can just as easily argue that the Japanese have a tendency to ignore that everything they have accomplished has been made and is still being made on the coattails and generosity of the West, specifically the US and Europe. The US provided the know-how, national security, and the consumer market for Japan's rapid growth, while the Korean War was the primary revenue source with which Japan was able to fund its post-war recovery so quickly (at the expense of American and Korean lives). It's not like the Japanese invented transistors, the TV, or the automobile. I suppose the Japanese should be on their knees every day thanking us for their relative prosperity (even if it's waning).

I remember when Japanese products were known as cheap junk in the 70's, and they really didn't get any respect until the 80's. I don't know where you're getting this whole nonsense about Japanese companies commanding global respect for 50 years. Also, Sony/Ericsson isn't being sued by Apple because THEY AREN'T EVEN IN THE GAME. You do know that Apple's design patents include "a rectangular shape with rounded corners," right? Shameful.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

OssanAmerica - I was just stating the facts. ALL of your points are based on outdated information.

You clearly have zero knowledge about what the electronics sector looks like GLOBALLY TODAY. Samsung makes more than double the revenues of the top 9 Japanese electronics companies COMBINED. The Japanese are technologically falling behind, as no Japanese manufacturer can even make OLED TV screens right now. Mobile phones is a sector which the Japanese don't even compete in internationally. Where is Sony's competitor to the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S3 in the US? Oh right, they don't have one. Again, this is a sign of tremendous STAGNATION.

Regarding Hyundai/Kia vs Japanese car brands, read this:


Again, as I'd noted before, Hyundai/Kia have higher GLOBAL sales than every other Japanese manufacturer except Toyota.

The G8 also includes countries like Italy that are on the verge of economic collapse, yet excludes the #2 and #6 economies of the world (China and Brazil respectively). It's an outdated, irrelevant organization. In 2012, the G20 is far more relevant than the G8, and of course Seoul has chaired the G20 whereas Japan has yet to do so. Again, these are all just facts.

My comment on medals was just to illustrate the new mentality I see in Japan and hardly a show of pettiness, as I personally don't care about Japan or Korea that way (Team USA all the way!). It's just that I see my Japanese colleagues being thrilled that Japan is winning all these bronzes, and I find that a little disturbing, since winners don't aim to settle for third place. If you mix that kind of mentality with zero leadership (6 prime ministers in 5 years!), it's no surprise that Japan is in this mess with no clear way to get out.

In short, this is 2012 and not 1982. My only point was that South Korea is rising and Japan was waning, which isn't an absurd observation given the above facts.

Also, Google is your friend.

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Posted in: S Korea hates Japan more than N Korea, Gallup Poll reveals See in context

As an American, I have traveled to both Japan and South Korea extensively for business in the past 30 years, and I can say with confidence that South Koreans today don't hate the Japanese because they're "jealous" of Japan. Japan has had two decades of economic stagnation, and the energy within each country today feels dramatically different. One is rising, the other is waning. This may be part of the reason why there is such heated rhetoric between the two countries today than ever before. I remember back in the 80's when the average Japanese hardly thought much about Korea at all.

While Japan was stagnating for 20 years, Samsung has dwarfed Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, and every other Japanese electronics company combined. Hyundai/Kia has globally overtaken every Japanese auto manufacturer except Toyota. Korean pop culture is enjoying far more international popularity than Japanese pop culture is right now. Even in the current Olympics, South Korea has 11 gold medals and Japan has 2, although South Korea has less than half the population of Japan. The Japanese may find solace in that they have more total medals, but that's the root of the problem. Japan has become content being a bronze medal nation.

I personally am just shocked by how dramatically the trajectory of both countries have changed over the last 30 years, and how quickly it all happened.

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