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Posted in: Kishida to stress rules-based global order, support for emerging nations at OECD meeting See in context


I'd add last year's Draconian immigration law amendment which actually is against international law. A country is changing its own rules to not abide by international rules but poses as an enforced of a rule-based order. Japan is in good company though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Town to block Mount Fuji view from troublesome tourists See in context

exasperated by crowds of badly behaved foreign tourists

Wow! Way to start an article.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Posted in: Kishida marks 78th anniversary of World War II end without mentioning Japan's wartime aggression See in context


Spot on. I'd go even further and say no sincere apologies have been made, at least not by the system the PM represent. Saying "sorry" while keeping denying you did anything wrong doesn't sound very sincere to me.

But for Kishida to even publicly acknowledge any wrongdoing by the then Japanese government and army would be enough to enrage some of his voter base and other supporters, so he won't even do that.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Posted in: Japan, Egypt seek resumption of democratic transition in Sudan See in context

"As a country that has suffered atomic bombings in war, (Japan) never accepts the threat of nuclear weapons by Russia, and they should never be used."

Here we go again, pacifists when it suits our narrative, aren't we?

Japan, or anyone really, won't go out of their way to suggest a "rule-based" system in Yemen or other places because it would mean calling out rule breakers that are better not called out. The rhetoric is understandable though as you can't just say you want money when you go to a country that obviously has very little of it. You have to make it look like you're helping.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Kishida sends ritual offering to Yasukuni shrine; economic security minister Takaichi visits See in context

Why is this even being reported in the news, if it's a gesture made as a private citizen

Nope, the PM doesn't act as a private citizen. I agree it's not newsworthy though, as it would be more shocking if the leader of the LDP wasn't a war-criminal worshipper.

-18 ( +17 / -35 )

Posted in: Japanese gov't ordered to pay damages to Kurdish asylum seeker See in context

Good, but it'd be great if there was more media coverage of the changes the government is planning for the immigration law. The system is fundamentally cruel, and the ruling party is planning to make it even worse, i.e. making it easier to deport unsuccessful refugee status applicants.

(No need to reply to this post about how it's more "humane" to deport than to detain. You won't convince me and I won't convince you.)

or is he an economic migrant

Even if he was (probably not), what would be great the problem with that? Do you believe some people are more deserving of prosperity than others? What's more, we need to get rid of the delusion that the so-called developed world is inherently a better place to live than elsewhere. Japan, for example, is hostile to outsiders, has a twisted working culture and worse gender equality than most of the countries people are fleeing. You're probably either really privileged or really in need of help if you choose to live here.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Posted in: Kishida unhurt after explosive device thrown at him in Wakayama See in context

Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary general of the LDP, said, "It is deplorable that such violence took place during an election, a bedrock of democracy."

Lol. Now the LDP cares about democracy.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Posted in: Half of unmarried people under 30 in Japan do not want kids: survey See in context

citing such reasons as the high cost and anxiety about Japan's future

The first part is obvious and understandable. The second, however, is incredibly vague.

Some issues that come to mind are the economic decline, social isolation, political instability in the region we have been reading about a lot recently and climate change.

It might be good to find out what young people are anxious about rather than throw money at the problem and pose for photographs.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Posted in: Kishida pushes rule of law in U.S.-led democracy summit See in context

I bet you feel silly now demanding it. Every time a child is educated, they are much less likely to support a murderous tyrant.

No, I don't feel silly. Sharing a US government agency's data doesn't really work as independent proof. What's more, the notion of western powers "educating" poor countries for their own good is as old as colonial history.

And even if the US, and other "developed" countries, do contribute to advances in education in less wealthy countries, it always comes at a price, often in the form of extraction of resources and cheap labour. What's more, "murderous tyrants" in countries such as Nicaragua, Chile, Zaire (now the DRC), Iran (before another one took over), Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, just to name a few, were or are openly supported by the US, in some cases at the expense of less harmful system. In other situations, such as Iraq, the US with their allies helped replace a dictator with complete chaos.

The US isn't responsible for what goes on in Iran until the end of time. You should not support the murderous Ayatollahs and then cynically say it is all the US' fault.

It's only a hypothetical, but I wonder how many people would have gotten radicalised and toppled the Shah's regime if they'd live under the democracy the US had helped end. The same goes for other parts of the Middle East. The same goes for the Khmer Rouge that recruited largely from areas heavily bombed in Cambodia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: LGBTQ summit calls on Japan to enact anti-discrimination law See in context


You mention legal rights heterosexual couples have. Let me just add a few informal, or social, ones that a potential anti-discrimination law and support systems might help tackle:

A name designating who you are is not used as a slur.

Your parents won't disown/reject you because you shared this important piece of information about you.

When looking for housing, you don't have to look for places that are "heterosexual-friendly", because you always assume someone might have an issue with who you are. In fact, you don't have to make that assumption ever when you meet new people.

Your group isn't vilified by large parts of society and accused of trying to destroy it.

These are things most of us never even have to think about, which is why every society is slow to respond to the needs of marginalised groups. Asking to receive support in these situations isn't asking for anything more than others, it's just to approach a daily life most other people can enjoy without even thinking about it.

The fact that this needs to be spelled out repeatedly on a forum presumably mainly consisting of non-Japanese people living in Japan (and, therefore, experiencing some of the same issues as LGBTQ+ people in their daily lives) only shows how many of us can't think beyond our own lived experience, empathise and have little interest in creating a society that caters to the needs of anyone different from us.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: Kishida pushes rule of law in U.S.-led democracy summit See in context

India is the US's ally?

Yes, it is. And Japan's, Kishida visited India a few days ago with a mission of "creating a safe Indo-Pacific". There was an article on it here, on Japan Today. Both Japan and US are hell-bent on countering what they see as a threat from China in the region.

Democracy does exist and it is better for the world than despotism.

Of course.

Ridiculous. It doesn't always make the news when education is provided or disputes are mediated or anti-corruption laws are enforced on overseas transactions.

I don't know what "education is provided" is supposed to mean, but anyway. The fact you haven't given a single specific positive example (rather than picking random countries that have bad relations with the US to show how bad they are) may give a clue as to why it doesn't make the news. Also, didn't the Ayatollah seize in a series of events pretty much started after the US staged a coup against a democratically elected PM?

I'm glad you hate America and Japan

Being critical of a country's policies doesn't mean the same as "hating" them. But to some people it's all about taking sides, I guess.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Kishida pushes rule of law in U.S.-led democracy summit See in context

I'm glad you brought it up. American freedom of the press is 1000x better than that of Russia and China.

This is not a binary. Not everybody who criticises the US needs to side with China or Russia. You're the one who keeps bringing up the worst possible examples that also happen to compete with the US and its allies on the international stage.

In terms of freedom of press, Japan was 9th in 2009 and is 71st now (PFI 64.72). The US have a press freedom index of 72.24, landing it in 42nd place just behind Burkina Faso.

Russia has an index of 38.82 and China of 25.17. It is bad, landing them close to the bottom, but 1,000x is a huge overstatement.

By the way, India, the US's and Japan's ally is only a few places above Russia at 41. Saudi Arabia, another important ally, has a PFI of 33.71.

This is a lot of detail, but it's impossible to get the full picture by making sweeping statements.

Neither the US nor Japan have contributed to the democratization or enforcement of law or any kind of fairness anywhere outside its borders (and are, to a great extent, not doing a great job within either) in the last 70 decades, and in the Global South ever.

The rhetoric about "freedom", "democracy" or "rule of law" is only a way to sell the otherwise less than appealing means to extract resources outside the country's borders that help advance the economic interests of those most powerful within that country.

It's completely understandable these powers are afraid of losing their hegemony in their respective areas. Also, places like Taiwan would arguably be a much worse place to live if it was ruled by the CCP. However, I have no illusions Japan or America want to protect anything else except their own economic interests. So does China, but two wrongs don't make a right.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Kishida pushes rule of law in U.S.-led democracy summit See in context

Democracy does exist and Russia and China ain't it.

Nor is the US with its oligarchical system and Japan with its one party rule and plummeting freedom of speech.

Japan blatantly disregards international law when it comes to foreign citizens, has an abysmal record on gender equality. US has, unlike China, been bombing countries and toppling their democratically elected governments in the global south for decades.

But no social issues or things like freedom of press matter if we can rile everyone up against a common threat from the outside.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Posted in: Kishida pushes rule of law in U.S.-led democracy summit See in context

This is nothing new.

The US and its allies (such as, right now, Japan) have been always using buzzwords like "democracy" and, more recently, "rule of law" or "rule-based order" to promote mostly exactly the opposite of that.

Obviously, many of us see through this kind of double speak, but way too many don't, making it just efficient enough for people like Kishida, or whoever is in the hot chair that month, to gain enough public support for pretty much anything.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Posted in: Top court acquits Vietnamese trainee of abandoning stillborn twins See in context

Obviously some woke Supreme Court

The story is, despite the acquittal, tragic. However, this made me laugh. The famously woke Japanese judicial system with its virtue-signalling support for minorities and gender equality. Lmao!

Or are we at the stage where everything showing any decency or compassion is considered "woke"?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Kishida says India 'indispensable' in ensuring free Indo-Pacific See in context

free and open Indo-Pacific

India is about as far from "free" as it gets. For examples, it ranks 150th in the world on the Press Freedom Index. But I understand that two ultranationalists would have a slightly different perception of "freedom" than most of us.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan struggles to persuade its big brands to join military build-up See in context

As Tokyo spins up its defense industry for the country's largest military expansion since World War II

This is one of the most terrifying ways to begin an article, but it does only describe where we are right now.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: 3 arrested for 'sushi terrorism' pranks See in context

a country with famously high standards of cleanliness.

Completely unnecessary and anyone who's ever visited a men's public toilet would know it's untrue.

The youngsters' behaviour would be unacceptable anywhere. Kaiten zushi places are one of the best things about daily life here, but there's no need to appeal to Japanese exceptionalism.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Posted in: Progress made in Japan on gender wage gap, but more must be done: gov't See in context

If my girlfriend takes a job interview she is outright asked if she has a partner or plans on having kids.

Afaik that's illegal. But who is going to sue an interviewer, right? Especially if it's something everyone does.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Cabinet approves proposals for Japan immigration law changes See in context

The test for granting asylum is not whether the claimant feels unhappy or unfulfilled. It's whether or not they have a well-founded fear of persecution.

That's not what your original question was about. One could argue that "they didn't die" is not proof there weren't persecuted, but that doesn't matter because you dodged my question anyway.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Cabinet approves proposals for Japan immigration law changes See in context

Can you point to a single case of a rejected asylum seeker deported from Japan and later killed or persecuted by their own government?

I don't know enough refugees or asylum seekers personally. What I do know is people who have death warrants or are in situations where returning from Japan after having fled "illegally" would at least land them in prison.

Refugee NGOs have a huge incentive to track and publicise such cases but none seem to exist.

If that's the case, can you point to a single case where someone was deported and ended up living a happy, fulfilling life in the country they fled? Even if such cases exist though, that doesn't prove the point that it's safe to return for everybody, not even the majority.

Japan's record for assessing the credibility of asylum claims appears to be quite good.

If you think 99.9% of them are frauds, sure.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Posted in: Cabinet approves proposals for Japan immigration law changes See in context

Many refugees will face certain death when deported to their countries. So well done, Japan's nationalist politicians and their supporters. What makes this proposal additionally sickening is that it's been presented as "humane" by shortening the detention. However, it's just a way for Japan's authorities to wash their hands from the deaths of more people than they already are.

If you think Japan shouldn't have to deal with the problems of other countries, then next time you buy clothing made in Cambodia, a new phone with a battery (the cobalt almost certainly comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo), or chocolate (probably grown in a west African country), think what would happen if we were truly detached from the rest of the world. And don't get me started on what causes people to flee from the Middle East.

-12 ( +13 / -25 )

Posted in: Kishida says ban on same-sex marriage not discrimination See in context

“I don't think disallowing same-sex couples to marry is unjust discrimination by the state."

Yes, it is. But whoever thinks this in 2022 isn't going to be convinced easily.

The problem here is, like with any social progress, that those who demand equal treatment are seen as asking for more than they "deserve". If, in the conservative mind, homosexuality is inferior to heterosexuality, wanting equal treatment is asking for an unnatural privilege. Just like for foreigners the right to vote, or just live in the country without constant scrutiny. Or just like for women the right to vote 100 years ago, or equality in the workplace even now.

Kishida and Nippon Kaigi won't be on the right side of history. However, the worldview that justifies this type of discrimination is rooted in deep prejudices, often supported by fear. Fear that those "unworthy" will somehow change society and take away the privileges of those who have them.

2 ( +32 / -30 )

Posted in: All-male BOJ selections another blow for gender equality in Japan See in context

As long as they’re the best for the job then that’s all that matters. It shouldn’t be like the US and UK where first they chose skin colour, then female with skill level being last if at all.

Saying this implies women (and by extension people of colour) are inherently less qualified/competent. If things were truly fair and the "best for the job" were selected, the proportion of people in positions of power would roughly match the percentage within the population. That's not the case in the US, Japan or most other places in the world though.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: 4 more arrested over Tokyo Olympics bid rigging See in context

Uhm, wait. Japan won the bid for the Summer Olympics in late 2013, Koike-san was elected mayor of tokyo in 2016.

I didn't say she was involved in the bid. My point was that the Olympics (in this case the Tokyo games) are rotten to the core and a few people getting caught like this is just the inevitable tip of the tip of the iceberg.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: 4 more arrested over Tokyo Olympics bid rigging See in context

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike said the arrest of Mori was "extremely regrettable."

This all happened on her watch. She was the one who went through with the Olympics against the will of the majority of people in Tokyo during the largest Covid surge to that date. The bid itself was based on lies about the "ideal weather" in summer and islamophobia against Tokyo's competitor, Istanbul.

If she, or anyone involved, regrets anything, it's someone getting caught. But being in politics, everyone must have known this was inevitable.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Posted in: Kishida fires aide over LGBT couple outburst See in context

"His comments are outrageous and completely incompatible with the administration's policies,"

Not even close. Does he think we forgot his remarks from only yesterday?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Posted in: Aide to Kishida says he would hate to see LGBT couple See in context

65% of the people involved in thier survey only.

I thought it was common knowledge that such numbers are based on surveys and not on asking all the population. My bad.

Pointing out that 126 million people haven't been asked this question isn't the gotcha some might believe it is though as it's obvious to anyone who understands anything about how such numbers are obtained.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Aide to Kishida says he would hate to see LGBT couple See in context

So the argument against transgenderism of 'but I could be trans-racial' doesn't really fly with me. It's just a whaddaboutism by low-intelligence angry people who don't want to discuss the issue because they lack the intellect to actually debate it without resorting to argument ad absurdum.

Spot on. It's a way to move the focus away from the actual issue. I've learnt to never play defence on issues made up by the opponent. Them forcing you to do that means they're not arguing in good faith.

Also, Kishida's aida has moved the conversation from "LGBT couples don't deserve official recognition" (as Kishida suggested yesterday) to saying he "hates to see them". Both are displays of bigotry, but at quite different levels. The latter wouldn't fly with most people as just an "opinion" in a private, informal setting, let alone if it's a person with influence on policy makers.

Anyway, I'm actually happy for these gaffes. Wishful thinking, but if they keep making "mistakes" like this, enough people might choose not to re-elect them. Public opinion is already clear on these issues, support for LGBT+ rights can only keep rising, and no matter what "conservative" politicians do, these out-to-touch old, rich dudes can't stop the time.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Aide to Kishida says he would hate to see LGBT couple See in context

"We need to be extremely careful in considering the matter as it could affect the structure of family life in Japan,"

This is the same fear mongering as years ago in countries that already have same-sex marriage. A few members of society having rights doesn't affect others who want to live the same way.

it would "change the way society is"

I wish!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

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