Yotomaya comments

Posted in: Scholars urge Japan to restart issuing visas to foreign students See in context

@Happy Day

I'm sorry if my wording was unclear. I'm not defending Japan's policy at all. I think that, while the policy is not unique, the country's xenophobic elements are unhealthy and will harm the country itself in the long run. No amount of the "this is how we do it, deal with it" will make up for the reality the outside world gets to see in times like these.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Scholars urge Japan to restart issuing visas to foreign students See in context

Japan may be the only country among the Group of Seven to have restrictions this strict. However, it isn't the only "developed" nation to do so. For example, New Zealand isn't issuing new student visas at all at the moment and it's been like this since February 2020.

Having said that, it is very much in character for the J government to not give citizens of other countries the freedoms its citizens enjoy in those respective countries. There's probably no official rationale behind this, but anyone who lives here knows how it's common for many (especially those in charge) to see the outside as dangerous and unclean. In this case, ignoring the fact that Japan's Covid response has not been a succes (unlike, for the most part, NZ, Taiwan or Vietnam) and this lack of reciprocity is mostly not justifiable. If you think you're better by default, you don't have to justify treating others as inferiors.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Weak yen morphs into new threat to Japan with surging energy costs See in context

Not an economist, but we might expect another rise in consumption tax if this kind of news keeps reappearing. If the economy is doing well and exports are rising, most people in the country never experience any benefits (not that I know off since the bubble). No matter what happens, our overlords will always find a way to make the money trickle up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Ex-U.S. envoy Hagerty slams Japan's justice system over Nissan case See in context

I don't think any of us here have the credentials or background knowledge to decide whether Kelly and Ghosn are guilty. These top CEOs all seem to act within a grey area where stepping over a certain line while having the wrong enemies can be met with severe consequences. We do know, however, that a local CEO or politician would easily bow his way out of such as 'scandal', which would be forgotten within weeks. On the other hand, one thing I have mixed feelings about is a Republican senator calling another country's system 'rigged', 'inhumane' or 'barbaric'.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Japanese celebrities urge young people to vote in general election See in context

Good idea, but first young people need to start seeing a connection between politics and their lives.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Posted in: Vaccines, masks? Japan puzzling over sudden virus success See in context

Almost overnight, Japan has become a stunning, and somewhat mysterious, coronavirus success story.

A bit early for a victory lap, but yes, things aren't looking too bad right now.

Probably many factors at play at once, like habitual mask wearing (albeit not perfect), smooth vaccination rollout (although not "remarkably rapid"), absence of millions of antivaxxers and conspiracy theorists, and of course the good old not-counting-private-clinics trick that makes everything look rosier.

Not really a mystery to me. It's not over yet though. Nowhere is safe unless everywhere is safe worldwide.

Cleanliness

Seriously? Is soap and hand washing exclusive to Japan? A white person saying that about their ethnicity as opposed to other ones would be justly called out immediately. Yet I keep hearing this argument here over and over.

-11 ( +19 / -30 )

Posted in: LDP most popular; nearly 40% of voters undecided ahead of election See in context

Welcome to Japan, a country where the ruling party can suppress testing during a pandemic to hold an international event most people don't want, dither and cover up for almost a decade about a nuclear crisis, blatantly engage in cronyism and bribery (while obviously avoiding investigation), erode press freedom and continuously make income inequality worse, but instead of voting them out or taking to the streets, a big part of the electorate is 'undecided'. True, such as society isn't susceptible to a populist taking power who'll promise they'll 'sort things out' while lining their own pockets and quickly make things even worse for most of its country's residents. However, the result here is that things are deteriorating only slowly enough that those in power don't have to fear anything, which is ultimately not a good thing, probably.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Kishida sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine See in context

No surprises there. However, I do find it entertaining (for lack of a better word) that this was a headline only three days ago:

Kishida urges S Korea to do more over wartime row to improve ties

Do as I say, not as I do. I can only imagine how deluded these nationalists must be to think their "urging" actually means something if they keep worshiping the past they want others to forget.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Posted in: Japanese billionaire Maezawa not afraid ahead of space trip See in context

@Hito Bito

These characters work because they're recognisable. The disturbing thing about these real-life buffoons is that their wealth they build their bloated egos on comes from the exploitation and suffering of thousands of others.

When Jeff Bezos thanked his employees for paying for his vanity trip to space, Amazon workers surely thought that all their working on minimum wage without toilet breaks was worth it. As probably do sweatshop workers in the clothing industry when they see this guy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

@Simon Foston

And saying members of Nippon Kaigi support state Shintoism (with many also involved with Shinto Seiji Renmei), is like saying McDonald's sells hamburgers. It's not criticism, it's just stating the facts.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

@Rob

Nippon Kaigi, that all the "top" politicians of the LDP are in, promotes state Shintoism, so your observation is correct.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

We are demonstrating our resolve to defend the Japanese people's lives

They're not under threat from the outside. This is textbook populist talk. If anything costs and will cost lives within Japan, it's the growing wealth gap that these "conservatives" are responsible for.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Posted in: Report touts benefits of second jobs for workers, firms See in context

And why the hatred for the gig economy? Do you want to be imprisoned in full time employment. Not all ad hoc employment is abusive. It works well for many people, especially single parents with kids in school and those who are looking after elderly parents.

Nobody who delivers for Uber Eats can support kids or their elderly parents comfortably. This reasoning is either disingenuous or out-of-touch.

As for capitalism. I'm not sure about others, but I can simply imagine a better world. There are specific policies (which actually used to exist before the neoliberal establishments got away with them) that could bring us closer to a fairer society.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Report touts benefits of second jobs for workers, firms See in context

@finally rich

I understand where you're coming from agree with you. I'm not writing this to disagree, rather add my viewpoint. I had to escape corporate Japan as well.

However, I have a bit of a problem with how people try to excuse certain things as "culture". Yes, Japan, just like many East Asian, societies puts much less focus on the individual and rather than focusing on results, it is often desirable to focus on the process. But I honestly feel this kind of mentality has been very skilfully highjacked by neoliberal ideology where working "for the group" has become synonymous with being pretty much property of your company. The members of "the group" don't benefit from this type of mindset. Only shareholders and anyone who is high up in the corporate ladder. While "culture" is a notoriously difficult concept to define, I really don't think there is anything quintessentially Japanese about unquestioningly submitting yourself to exploitation. It's more, at least partly, the result of capitalist conditioning.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Report touts benefits of second jobs for workers, firms See in context

@Reckless

True. Actually, John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that, thanks to technological developments, people will work 15-hour working weeks. Although he was the economist that inspired post-war development, he couldn't predict neoliberal economics in which the many work for the profits of the few and are conditioned to be grateful for that.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Report touts benefits of second jobs for workers, firms See in context

Awful piece of corporate propaganda

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Bureaucrat's widow asks Kishida to look into scandal that led to suicide See in context

he has often insisted he is "good at listening to people.

This might be true, probably even the reason he's been offered the PM position. It's all about which people he chooses to listen to.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese businesses to offer benefits using vaccination app See in context

Require proof of vaccination or refuse service. Let people take responsibility for their choice to not get vaccinated.

Agree. I'd just add "proof of pre-existing condition that makes you the vaccine a risk" for the few people who can't make that choice and are put at risk by those who do and choose to not get vaccinated.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Posted in: Transgender man in Japan wants switch recognized without surgery See in context

if a man can just say they are a trans woman, doesn’t the entire concept of “woman” become entirely empty of any meaning?

No, it doesn't. There will never be so many intersex people that binary gender will lose its meaning. The concepts "man" and "woman" are deeply entrenched in every culture. The fact that someone is forced to perform as one side of the binary they're not comfortable is kind of the point.

Neither chromosomes and not even reproductive organs are a 100% sure way to identify someone's gender. It is, however, most of the time, which is why the concepts of binary gender do and always will exist. All transgender and non-binary people want is to not have to adapt to absolutes that don't suit them individually.

By the way, many cultures around the world recognise this. It's somehow predominantly western and west-influenced cultures that seem to make a big deal out of it. I wonder why.

-23 ( +12 / -35 )

Posted in: Transgender man in Japan wants switch recognized without surgery See in context

This is a big issue and yet another one Japan is lagging behind on. Not all trans people should have to get reassignment surgery to be recognised as a different gender they're assigned at birth. Apart from being costly in Japan, surgery is also invasive and (let's repeat it) gender and sex are not the same.

Looking forward to the nuances discussion on this one.

-28 ( +19 / -47 )

Posted in: Kishida to become PM; hold general election Oct 31 See in context

Shuffles in the Japanese cabinet are like personnel changes in idol groups. Some of the faces change, but it's ultimately just a superficial charade that serves the interests of rich men.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Kishida to create new ministerial post for economic security See in context

Creating an entire ministry against an imagined enemy! Maybe he'll also appoint a genius who's never used a computer. Again.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Kishida fills ruling party key posts with Abe allies See in context

This is the same group of people that botched the coronavirus response (especially vaccinations) and went through with the Olympics when cases were peaking. By the same token, they made Japan's press freedom plummet from world's 9th to 67th, so it's not surprising the media unquestioningly consider their next "leader" also the next prime minister.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Kishida's longevity as PM hinges on November general election See in context

Kishida's longevity as PM hinges on November general election

Obviously, that's how democracy works or, more realistically, should work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese hope Kishida shows better leadership through pandemic See in context

I'm repeating myself and stating the obvious but the back-to-back coverage of the LDP's internal affairs along with the uncritical assumption that they will win enough seats to form the next government, as if other parties didn't exist, feels dystopian.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's next PM must work quickly on virus, economy, China See in context

In a world in which the next leader of one party is automatically the next prime minister. Just before the election.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: PM hopefuls rally local support with focus on tourism, agriculture See in context

...for gender equality don't mention any form of equality before the election, such as income equality or doing something about low-wage contract work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: PM hopefuls rally local support with focus on tourism, agriculture See in context

It's telling that the LDP panders to the countryside, which is its base (just like with most populist parties around the world). Even the so-called former minister

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 Japan PM hopefuls urge elderly to stay on job for pension system See in context

@Laguna

It's not voluntary. I know of people who got "caught" after years in Japan and had to pay years' worth of pension insurance. If they don't find out about you (and chances are, admittedly high they won't), you don't have to pay. But that's only if you're willing to take that risk.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 Japan PM hopefuls urge elderly to stay on job for pension system See in context

Understandable. Their chums work way past retirement age.

Jokes aside, it's always rich when the super-wealthy ask the plebs to contribute to "the economy" while they themselves don't. And it's depressing to see how voters actually fall for it.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

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