wolfshine comments

Posted in: Japan decides to ease medical rules on COVID-19 on May 8 See in context

Some of the comments above can best be described in a few words as "moral guilt tripping". Which has more or less been the theme of the Covid era - well, that and the rich getting richer while the little guy's wealth decreases and the government yet again further intrudes into his life due to meaningless policies.

As far as Japan goes, they have been exposed. Almost two years ago, the simple notion of hosting a spectatorless Olympics, in a period where not that many people were dying, was enough to ignite massive protests. Now way more people are dying, and as far as downgrading is concerned... No protests. Truly a testament to the duopoly of man.

I'm glad about the direction Japan is heading in though, truly. It's disappointing that they are going to wait until May. They need to stop assuming people will forget about Covid at a certain point, thus cushioning their poll numbers. The best time to make the right change is right now.

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Posted in: Japan launches intelligence satellite to monitor weather, N Korea See in context

Sick photograph!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan reports 59,885 new coronavirus cases See in context

Perhaps the 8th wave is nearing the end of it's cycle. Well done Japan.

It's been "nearing the end of it's cycle" since November.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Toranomon Hills Station Tower to open in Tokyo in autumn See in context

Fine with me. I'm happy with how central Tokyo looks honestly. There are many cities with far uglier architecture, especially in Europe. Over there, they typically plop some glass postmodern architectural nightmare right next to an old building that's actually quite lovely, resulting in this awful contrast. That is an actual problem, the intentional degradation of once beautiful city streets.

Tokyo doesn't have this problem, because everything that was once beautiful was already destroyed by earthquakes or bombings. So bring on the all the new stuff. I could care less what the naysayers say.

If we wanted to actually improve how Tokyo looks instead of grifting, I say start with the suburbs and residential areas, not the business districts. Japanese houses are really generic. Is there a way to bring back the Machiya style and make parts of Tokyo look more like Kyoto, but modern? This actually preserves Japanese architectural traditions in my opinion.

I'd like to believe that this sequential Roppongi tower will be occupied by economic transplants who are fleeing China or Russia to reinvent themselves as Japanese companies. Or, American companies that want to leave the woke reservation. Probably not - but one can hope.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Asia travel hotspots quiet as Chinese tourists stay away See in context

In the bad old days lots mentally distorted individuals were bashing Japan

To some extent, I can understand your perspective on this. I love Japan, I love living in Japan, and I have a generally positive view of the culture and people. I have defended Japan on a lot of occasions, particularly in regards to the Yasukuni Shrine, anti-Japanese foreign boycotts/sentiments, or their passive rejection of woke culture that we so often see in the US.

But no country or group is immune to scrutiny or criticism. Actually, in the Covid-19 era, especially over the past three years, Japan deserves a lot of the bashing that it has been getting. An absurdly strict travel/tourism ban that really overstayed it's welcome, a doctrine of extreme conformity and irrelevant hierarchy, and a worsening economic situation has lowered my image of Japan. It's not subjective culture shock: these are realities. Prior to 2020, I think Japan more or less had lightning in a bottle, and kind of blew it. Now that they are finally downgrading Covid, I mean, they've kinda been exposed.

China certainly deserves the lions share of the blame for Covid. But many of the things I have seen said about their people kind of rub me the wrong way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Asia travel hotspots quiet as Chinese tourists stay away See in context

Regrettable. I don't have any problems with Chinese people. Long before Covid-19, my younger sister lived in Beijing for a short period of time. While she was there, she fell ill, and at one point, collapsed on the street while walking. A stranger immediately came over to help her, and called medical personnel, acting as an interpreter to explain her symptoms. People there were very kind to her, generally. Certainly, not everyone she met there was spectacular - but as far as the people were concerned, she had an overall positive impression of them. On the other hand, I've heard stories in Japan of elderly people collapsing near a train station, and hundreds of commuters just walk by without even helping.

I imagine the majority of Chinese people are not Japanese loathing ultranationalists, but rather, mostly ordinary people trying to make their way in the world; blue jean wearing, rock n roll listening, sushi fanatics. They've shown not only that they want to resist Zero Covid, but also insane work culture in the forms of "Lying flat" and "Let it rot". In Japan though, no major social movement has arisen to challenge this - only more "Gamman" philosophy. And as a foreigner living and working in Japan, sometimes I feel like people who don't even outrank me on the hierarchy scale are seemingly obsessed with my work productivity, even though I am extremely busy. I am constantly probed with questions about what I am working on even if I'm visibly busy, or why I am leaving the office early, even though it has already been fully established if I have external meetings or a holiday booked in advance. I've never left on short notice, once. It's just awkward and ill-mannered to be barraged with these kinds of questions all the time.

Chinese tourists are chatty and want to take selfies a lot, but I don't think they're anywhere near as rude as people on this website make them out to be. On the other hand, I actually find Japanese people to be far less polite than their public relations tourism image suggests. Especially when they drink. They scream loudly, reference things they think are funny but are actually really cliche and/or annoying, overtly and directly comment on people's weight or appearance right in front of them, assume foreigners are stupid and need to be talked to like children, ect. Not only that - but I am sick and tired of being recommended terrible content on YouTube or Instagram wherein a Japanese person stands in front of a camera and lectures the listener about the "Dos and Don'ts" of being in Japan - again, repetitive, cliché, garbage. A conformist society ultimately produces lots of uninteresting, cookie cutter people.

China is unfortunately a dark and dystopian dictatorship with an evil government; but the people are actually quite sweet, I think. Japan is a functional republic, a beautiful country, and a relatively good place to live; but deep down, a lot of the people are nasty, judgmental, and incapable of having actual fun. It's sad - among the two, there's only one I would actually live in. But said country is held back and not being realized to its full potential, due to its culture that many fanatics are do desperately trying to keep 100% pure. At some point, people have to be willing to make compromises.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Finance chief: Japan's fiscal health worsening on unprecedented scale See in context

Based on the non-response, I suspect the poster either made it up that the government wasted "too much money on mRNA boosters", or they looked it up, and realized it was like 0.0000000000000000000000000000000001% of the economy.

That's a faulty metric. The Japanese government budget is 114 trillion yen in 2023. As of Nov 22nd last year, the government had spent up to 17 trillion yen on mRNA vaccinations. That means that approximately 15% of Japan's total budget is spent on Covid if we're only talking about the vaccine side of it, but the real financial and social cost has/will have been much greater. We're talking about record debt that the (declining) young population will have to bear in the future.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: North Korea locks down Pyongyang over 'respiratory illness' - report See in context

After several years of Covid shenanigans, I would normally be concerned about reports citing an "unspecified respiratory illness" in just about any other country. However, unlike China, people don't really travel in or out of North Korea (especially these days), so if this kind of thing had to happen anywhere, eh, this is probably the best place for it to happen.

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Posted in: Finance chief: Japan's fiscal health worsening on unprecedented scale See in context

The government wasted too much money on mRNA boosters that weren't effective. Total malinvestment. This is what I have been saying - that all the Covid era money printing would cripple the economy. Finally, they are seeing the writing on the wall regarding this.

What they need to do is make the economy more dynamic. Provide more incentives for foreign companies and workers to come to Japan.

Time to temporarily ease all immigration rules in Japan, even those that existed before Covid. Some countries implement moratoriums on immigration from time to time; Japan needs a moratorium on immigration rules. The current process is incredibly convoluted and unwieldy. Bring in as much foreign talent as possible - entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, developers, scientists. And actually pay them. Even if they don't speak a word of Japanese. Japan is globalized enough already that it would be manageable. Maybe in some cases, Japan needs to compromise and be more willing to grant dual citizenship, or at the least, much easier permanent residency rights. And finally, as a sea-locked island, this factor alone is already enough to ward off most undesirable groups.

Also - there are probably at least several million Chinese that would give up a limb or two to flee the CCP and live/work in Japan, especially after Covid. They will learn the language relatively quickly/easily, work, pay taxes, and within three generations, be completely assimilated. As a special limited time program, why not let a small amount of them in, like only one million? I mean what is the argument against this? That from time to time some of them are rude and make the snobby residents of Kyoto extremely uncomfortable? Give me a break.

Eventually, a choice needs to be made. Will Japan retain 100% cultural purity while nosediving economically, or compromise, even if just a little, to secure a more stable path forward? The latter is clearly the better option.

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Posted in: Japan reports 32,571 new coronavirus cases See in context

There are a lot of good signs on the horizon for 2023. Japan is most likely going to downgrade Covid-19, which means people finally will no longer have to pay tribute to the Church of Public Health Consciousness in the form of a negative PCR certificate or 3x vaccinated card before they enter Japan - yay. Unfortunately, Chinese people that hate their government and just want to be away from home for a week in the paradise that is the land of the rising sun won't be able to for quite some time. It is regrettable, but predictable. I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I'm not both unvaccinated and Chinese - I imagine they have it pretty rough. As for masks? People in Japan can continue wearing them if they want to, I don't really care because I won't be. I'm looking forward to being able to use hand dryers again, because after washing my hands like a good obedient Covid citizen, currently I have to shake them off to dry them due to not carrying around a damp rag in my pocket (seriously, who does this anyway?).

I think the biggest reduction measure that needs to be tossed out is open windows in the winter time. All of the busses are doing this, and many government buildings, such as schools, too. At my work, some of the rooms have these devices that read both CO2 levels and display the temperature. I noticed that one of the rooms was at 17°C due to having the windows wide open at 8 in the morning. So the idea is, we're going to prevent people from getting sick by...checks notes...keeping buildings freezing in the winter time which in turn makes people sick? This is in addition to them not using heaters to their full capacity due to rising energy costs.

I'm happy for the progress that's being made - just hope they step it up a little and my lord, spring cannot come fast enough.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Posted in: Some fear COVID downgrade may cause more infections See in context

Ah yes, the totally cliche Some people fear XYZ change in Covid policy will cause more infections article that gets posted immediately after the government announces another step in reopening.

Will it cause more infections? Well duh, of course it will. But begging the government for a "Permanent Quarantine" state merely acts as confirmation bias to what I have been saying, that if you were to allow these people to have power... they would simply choose never to open up, at all. Imagine assuming a position that even totalitarian Communist China understands is not a viable long term strategy.

I have no sympathy for these people, honestly. Scared of Covid? Lock yourself inside your house and only go outside for necessities whilst wearing three masks. I do not care what they do anymore. The money that has been spent to try to placate these people and ease their fears has been utterly astounding. Trillions of dollars that didn't really address the problem and could have been spent elsewhere. All it ever did was shift data a small fraction of a percentage point in the overall risk assesment. A big "oopsie" for Japan, an otherwise rational nation state.

It's over. I'm ready to party. Unvaccinated and unmasked, and no shame in being this way.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Posted in: Japanese company defends Van Gogh ownership after lawsuit See in context

Yeh honestly, the right thing for them to do is return it. Though the original owner's family also asking for a hundred million dollars in addition is really trying to milk the whole WW2 Era Guilt angle a bit excessively, I think. Which might work on self-hating Caucasians, but won't on the Japanese. So these demands won't go anywhere.

Realistically, the family will probably be able to buy the painting back at some point, and then they can sell it to another bidder for even more money. Which let's be honest, is all this is about anyway.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan, India begin 1st-ever joint fighter drill See in context

India is a great country for Japan to align with right now. A lot of things are going their way at the moment. Much manufacturing is probably going to move from China to India and some other countries from now on, especially over the course of the next decade. First will be Apple, and then you will start to see other companies doing it too. Also, later on this year, India is set to surpass China in terms of population.

If I were Kishida right now, I would be asking Modi to consider allowing Indian Armed Forces to be hosted on Japanese soil. And visa versa, possibly. This proposal would inevitably upset many NIMBYs in Japan, but they don't matter. What matters is actually building a robust strategy to counter China that doesn't solely depend on the US.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Daiichi Sankyo seeks approval for Japan's 1st home-grown mRNA vaccine See in context

One of its rivals, Shionogi & Co, applied with the ministry last November for approval of its recombinant protein-based preventive vaccine

Btw, why is this taking so long?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Gov't considers lifting anti-COVID recommendation to wear masks indoors See in context

This won't matter. If Japanese people are willing to mask/double mask up outside in late August, then they are still going to do it indoors.

And that's okay - my personal happiness isn't derived from other people's choices that don't affect me. I stopped wearing a mask outside of my job altogether. It has not been a problem for me.

Other Covid related policies that directly affect me and/or my wellbeing, such as border measures or vaccination requirements, I actually have a problem with.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

Posted in: Japan’s cherry blossom forecast for 2023 is here! Tokyo among cities to see sakura first See in context

No mention of areas along the Eastern Izu Peninsula where leaves blooms much earlier and much pinker.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Experts urge gov't to take gradual approach to COVID downgrade See in context

At Class 5, no legal controls exist to isolate infected individuals or close contacts, nor are there measures for hospitalizing primarily older or high-risk individuals. State of emergency declarations would no longer apply to the coronavirus, and the government would dissolve its countermeasures headquarters.

Well I certainly like the sound of this.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: GOP opens long-promised investigation into Biden family See in context

They're interested in "kitchen" issues like inflation, jobs, and immigration reform, all of which the Democratic Party is working on.

What did they do about those issues when they had control of Congress? Nothing.

That is NOT how American jurisprudence works. Either you are completely ignorant of the law or you just do not care.

I didn't know you had access to classified information and/or legal documents, Nemo.

So beyond MSM articles, can you absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, clear Joe Biden and/or his family of wrongdoing?

If not, I rest my case. The process will play out regardless of your naysaying.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: GOP opens long-promised investigation into Biden family See in context

Good. No person should be above the law. Nor should the law be selectively enforced.

These investigations may not find anything, and that's okay. But it's better to check just in case. Gather all the information available and come to a resolute, legal conclusion on this matter. Besides, if Joe Biden and his son have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't have anything to worry about...right?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: U.S. seeks Canadian help to ease crowding at U.S.-Mexico border See in context

@wolfshine, if you live in any of those countries you should definitely move.

I already did. I saw the writing on the wall with America's immigration and other policies, and got out.

Maybe to Cuba? Haiti? Russia? Hungary? My list could go on, but I'm sure that even you get the point.

Not sure what point you are trying to make including Hungary among that list.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. seeks Canadian help to ease crowding at U.S.-Mexico border See in context

This is just embarrassing at this point.

These three leaders, Biden, Obrador, and Trudeau are a match made in hell. Under them, North America doesn't have a very good future ahead.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: China renews threat against Taiwan as island holds drills See in context

This is what the US is going to try to do: talk up a big game like they did for Ukraine, escalate tensions to the point of no return, engage in reckless rhetoric, then when China actually does invade Taiwan, do nothing, and shame Japan for also not doing anything. The US is basically useless at this point.

Because even though it's a horrible situation, why would we risk nuclear war over an island? 

I believe Japan will do what's smart - be patient and bulk up. Don't do something reckless in the short term, play the long game. Work with India, maybe Vietnam as well.

There may come a point in time where Japan is powerful enough to actually negotiate military alliances and have enough clout that other countries would allow and help them surround China. That is not right now.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: China renews threat against Taiwan as island holds drills See in context

Nobody in the US government said that the US would intervene in Ukraine.

I didn't say anybody in the US govt did.

And to the larger point, it is not Pelosi's fault that an authoritarian dictator got his britches in a bunch over a normal Congressional visit. (We will leave aside your equally laughable claim that she was ineffective as a Speaker.)

These are the words of those who claim that they are neutral, but in reality carry water for expansionist dictatorships.

She is responsible for not only stirring the pot but going out of her way to do so. And no, she has not been a good Speaker of the House. All she has been successful at is convincing rabid member of her party that non-members of her party are somehow covert allies of America's enemies. As you just demonstrated.

I really could care less what happens to the US as I am trying to start a new life for myself elsewhere, but I'm also not going to pretend the things you support aren't damaging regional stability.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: China renews threat against Taiwan as island holds drills See in context

Reads like a schoolboy fantasy.

Someone seriously underestimates the superiority of the Japanese Naval fleet over the completely untested Chinese navy. China's navy has never beaten anyone - let alone Japan.

Fighto, it's clear to me you have strong patriotic feelings for Japan and detest China. I feel the same way to an extent, but you are not viewing this situation realistically. Japan poses no threat to China, at all. Actually, no non-nuclear power poses any threat to a nuclear power, unless said non-nuclear power starts building nukes. The game has changed. Japanese people understand this, which is why for decades even diplomatic and peacekeeping missions were severly restrained. Japan militarily intervenes to stop a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, and immediately, antiwar sentiments would divide the country in a time it needs to be united. China meanwhile can continue to pull from a bottomless pit of conscripts, because over there, to be antiwar means to directly oppose the state itself. Moreover, beyond second hand information from the U.S., Japan is not combat experienced and thus not tested or battle ready.

To be clear on this, I strongly support Japan building a modern fighting force for the sake of defending its own territory. I also agreed with what Abe proposed as far as allowing Japan to host US nukes, even though this idea is basically dead on arrival. Regardless, Japan needs decades before it is even remotely ready to defend its own islands let alone Taiwan. This is what Nippon Kaigi and the "Ra Ra USA" types aren't telling you.

It's better to let China cook itself. The demographic crisis and ethnic tensions within China already pose a much bigger problem for them than Japan ever will. India is also a much better horse to bet on, because their population size is of an equivalent size and their military has no restraints. I'm not saying a war between India and China will solve the problem or is even likely, but if we should be arming any country, it's India.

Yes, it's Nancy Pelosi's fault that Xi and his band of zealots are about to try to overthrow a functioning, self-governing democracy.

Ask yourself this: what did Nancy's visit accomplish other than selling the Taiwanese a false promise?

People claimed the US would intervene in Ukraine - they didn't.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: China renews threat against Taiwan as island holds drills See in context

Thanks to Nancy Pelosi, the worst ever Speaker of the House and biggest political parasite to ever exist in the history of the country I was born, the Pacific is closer to war than it ever was before. Any scenario is bad for Taiwan, and here's why:

-China invades Taiwan, and the US intervenes militarily; this in turn increases the risk of nuclear war between major powers.

-Said scenario above occurs and Japan intervenes; Japan cannot directly defend Taiwan from the island because they have no presence there, and would instead need to try to intercept Chinese vessels in a Naval fight it will not win, also turning China's attention on Japan. Japan is not nuclear armed nor does it have an equivalent fighting force so any which way you look at it Japan is at a disadvantage.

-China invades Taiwan and neither Japan nor the US intervene. I would actually say this is the optimal scenario because it reduces the risk of nuclear war or attacks on Japanese soil, but it's still bad for Taiwan. I think the Taiwanese could hold them off (especially since amphibious assault on a mountainous island with difficult geography/weather conditions is very risky), but China could keep sending waves of draftees for years, making it a long and bloody war.

Most likely the US and Japan understand each of these scenarios and will take option #3. Not defending China, but at this point, only Taiwan can really defend Taiwan.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Posted in: China suspends visa issuance to Japanese travelers, industry sources say See in context

Wolf warrior politics on full display. I condemn the move. It's an unfortunate development - as China continues to isolate itself further geopolitically and economically, the region will become less stable, and the risk of war increases. They need to calm down and work on "living with Covid" - lockdowns and travel bans will never work. I don't care what anyone says, mRNA vaccines are not going to do the trick either. As was the case with the US and India in 2020-2021, Covid will ravage you eventually regardless of what you do or what measures you take, and you just need to let it run its course. By "flattening the curve", you are effectively making it longer and more painful.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan reports 75,504 new coronavirus cases See in context

Takashimaya is now turning its hand dryers back on. Very happy to see this. Not sure there was ever any justification in banning their use to stop the spread of Covid - but nonetheless, it's a good thing and I'm hoping to see more of this in 2023.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan to add Macau to negative COVID test rules for China entries See in context

Hong Kong should not receive any exemption either - it should also be on the testing list. Highest covid cases there in almost a year - and an authoritarian Chinese puppet govt that is hardly transparent.

At this point it would be less disingenuous for you to just say outright "People from XYZ countries are undesirable in general, so we should erect a travel ban." Overall most countries are not even reporting their case counts, nor are they/have they been transparent this whole time.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan reports 95,308 new coronavirus cases See in context

I re-entered Japan for the second time in the Covid era today, and wow, getting into Narita Airport actually resembled something of a normal travel experience! Last summer at Haneda, we had to walk around the airport in a circle for thirty minutes through poorly air conditioned airport gates that had been repurposed into "quarantine stations". This however was not the case at Narita today - only showed my blue screen once and was then at immigration and customs. Kept my mask off the whole time and no one bothered me about it at all.

It is astounding it has taken them close to three years to re-learn how to conduct entry procedures, but baby steps, we're getting there.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Posted in: Japan reports 190,538 new coronavirus cases See in context

Yeah, because those are exactly the people to mimic.

Why wouldn't I want to emulate healthy people with strong bodies and successful athletic careers? Do you even realize what you're saying?

You aren't qualified to guarantee this. Nobody is.

Fine, but the statistical likelihood still supports what I'm saying. Athletes (generally) almost never die from Covid.

Good that you corrected a second time the false claim that Omicron was prevalent in 2021 or the beginning of 2023, now you can actually compare the cases between seasons with the same variant and clearly understand the role both factors have in the number of cases

So the now we're attributing higher Covid deaths to the weather?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

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