Sensato's past comments

  • 4

    Sensato

    Kuroda's visual aid here is titled, "Expansion of Quantitative/Qualitative Monetary Easing" (「量的・質的金融緩和」の拡大).

    I find the 3rd of the 4 elements of this stimulus package the most surprising — the BOJ will start buying Japanese government debt (JGBs) with remaining maturities of 7 to 10 years, a 3 -year increase in average maturities (長期国債買入れの平均残存期間を「7~10年」に 「+3年」). Until now, the BOJ's open market operations were limited to debt with remaining maturities of up to 5 years.

    Essentially, this is a big leap in terms of the BOJ monetizing Japan's fiscal (government) debt. This could spark substantial yen depreciation. Kyle Bass and the other yen bears will have a field day with this. It will be interesting to see what happens in Friday's markets overseas.

    Posted in: This is how it works

  • 4

    Sensato

    One of the adverse side effects of QE in Japan, the EU and the U.S. alike has been a redistribution of wealth from the middle classes to the extremely rich. They have been feathering their nests with the easily available low interest cash, while average salaries edge lower for the average Joe. Theoretically, the wealth is supposed to be trickle-down, but obviously it never does.

    One troubling statistic as evidence for this trend is that the number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis hit (followed soon after by aggressive central bank QE programs), according to CNBC yesterday.

    Posted in: BOJ expands asset purchases to Y80 tril to spur recovery

  • 12

    Sensato

    “It was most unfortunate that these long friendly relations between Japan and the Netherlands should have been marred because of World War II,” Akihito said. “While never forgetting this past, we hope to give more attention than ever to the promotion of good will between our two countries.”

    Very well said.

    I have my reservations about the concept of royal families everywhere. Having said that, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have had a positive impact on Japan's international relations overall. They never visit Yasukuni but visit an alternative site to honor Japan's fallen soldiers, never talk of 'reviewing' Japan's past apologies, and never deny the nation's past wrongdoings.

    I wish PM Abe and other politicians would take a cue from them in this regard.

    Posted in: Recovering crown princess attends 1st imperial banquet in 11 years

  • 6

    Sensato

    But China and Japan’s [and Korea's] strenuous English-language media efforts [and remarks by politicians] [often] result in an own-goal.

    Great quote (but it should also have included S. Korea).

    The leaders of all three of these countries continually shoot themselves in the foot. It would be comical if the stakes weren't so high.

    Unfortunately, it is clear that politicians in the three countries are deliberately shifting focus from problems at home by fueling an "us against them" mentality against one another. There will be a rough road ahead if they keep resorting to this counterproductive strategy.

    Posted in: Japan’s PR battle for U.S. hearts and minds

  • -5

    Sensato

    This is an interesting twist on the "Japan is buying up America" frenzy of the 1980s. Now the tide has shifted to the Chinese barbarians at the gate posing a national security threat with their aim of buying up Japan's entire diaper supply.

    Anyway, this impending scramble to stock up on diapers has got to be good news for the share price of Nippon Paper Industries.

    Posted in: 3 Chinese men arrested for buying too many diapers

  • 1

    Sensato

    I am surprised that Miwazawa's staff members submitted the actual receipt showing the SM bar's name to claim reimbursement for work-related expenses. They obviously were in a workplace culture where they felt no need to fear embarrassment or negative consequences.

    Invariably, erotic entertainment businesses in Japan offer a second receipt printed with the name of a 'respectable' alternative business, exactly for business men and government employees who need to file expense reports. Maybe they flubbed up and turned in the wrong one.

    Posted in: New trade minister hit by S&M bar scandal

  • 2

    Sensato

    Oh well, "just" roughly 18.000 Yen, or maybe they forgot a couple of "0s"? I mean, what can you get for that money at an S&M place? Two "mizuwari"? Maybe someone can tell me. And of course he didn't know, he wasn't present, he didn't see, he didn't hear .... this time it looks like the 4 monkeys.

    @klausdorth

    Agree. Japan's lack of bold investigative journalism is glaringly obvious when political wrongdoing like this breaks.

    It sounds like the media is reporting verbatim the story they were conveniently handed at the press conference — all the better to maintain the firmly-established and cozy media-government reciprocal kisha club ties.

    Posted in: New trade minister hit by S&M bar scandal

  • 7

    Sensato

    But his staff did not break the law

    It's not against the law in Japan to spend taxpayer money on visits to S&M clubs? Astonishing.

    Posted in: New trade minister hit by S&M bar scandal

  • 5

    Sensato

    This is great to see, and one area where Japan is doing a marvelous job in making this country a top tourist destination.

    In Yokohama I regularly see huge cruise ships docked at the port, and tourists everywhere — much more than ever before. Plus, the city and developers have made intelligent urban planning decisions in creating a vibrant and pedestrian friendly cityscape, with lots of events and activities year round.

    Japan's ski areas are also doing well at attracting visitors from overseas. At most of Japan's major slopes these days a large percentage of skiers hail from abroad.

    Posted in: No. of foreign visitors to Japan exceeds 10 million

  • 1

    Sensato

    Is the caption, "Like me," meant to refer to Zuckerberg or Abe?

    Posted in: Like me

  • 8

    Sensato

    I think the current grid cannot handle input from random locations in rural areas.

    “That’s how a country like Spain has made such good use of renewable energy,” he said, adding 30% of its supply now came from renewables.

    @proxy

    What you say may be the case, but if Spain can make it work, Japan certainly can.

    Posted in: Green power floods Japan grid as premium prices bite

  • 0

    Sensato

    I keep seeing Mitsui's name pop up in news related to the power industry, particularly renewable energy.

    The company looks to be going full steam ahead in the energy sector, increasingly getting involved in countless energy projects worldwide and building up its expertise in that segment of business. Smart move, with lots of potential for big profits in the decades ahead.

    Posted in: Mitsui acquires additional interest in power generation project in New York City

  • 12

    Sensato

    Japan's feed in tariff scheme encourages private companies to build environmentally-sound means of generating electricity by promising them a set price for electricity they generate, and requiring power companies to buy it at those prices.

    It was introduced in July 2012, and has been much more successful than thought in terms of bringing about construction of renewable energy infrastructure (mainly solar, but also wind, biomass and geothermal).

    Now, it looks like there is a risk that the government could renege on their promise to back renewable energy, with pressure from power utilities like TEPCO who would rather use fossil fuel- and nuclear-derived electricity.

    Developing and selling renewable energy technology could be a boon to Japan's economy in the decades to come. Let's hope pressure from the power company lobby doesn't cause Japan to drop the ball on this growth opportunity.

    Posted in: Green power floods Japan grid as premium prices bite

  • 0

    Sensato

    Such behavior has caused the international community to think that Japan has forgotten its past mistakes and is supporting such perceptions of history.

    @sfjp330

    I agree. The nation of Japan certainly has not forgotten the immense suffering it endured in the past, but it does often seem to have forgotten the suffering it caused others. It is important that the nation remember both.

    It is very important that politicians honor Japan's fallen soldiers, but doing so at a site that whitewashes and glorifies the Imperial Japanese military and its role during the war years is a disgrace to those soldiers and to hopefully peace-seeking nation of modern Japan.

    Posted in: Abe meets Chinese PM amid furor over lawmakers' Yasukuni Shrine visits

  • -1

    Sensato

    If they won’t do the right thing for legal reasons, perhaps they will listen to their customers and shareholders.

    I would guess that the soft porn featuring minors sold by these companies, and their selling of it, is barely legal. It might accord with the letter of the law, but certainly not the spirit of the law.

    However, in Rakuten's case, they are clearly in breach of their own documented code of ethics. This document states: 1. "We maintain the highest ethical standards." and 2. "we staunchly reject any request to engage in illegal or morally questionable activity." Here is the link to Rakuten's code of ethics: http://global.rakuten.com/corp/about/philosophy/ethic.html

    Unfortunately, Amazon seems to say very little about upholding high ethical standards overall. Plus, their stated vision is to "build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online." I find that vision to be a bit shameful really. No wonder much of the global community seems to be increasingly coming to regard Amazon as an unethical corporate citizen. I hope they change their ways.

    Posted in: The fuel for Japan’s pedophiles

  • 5

    Sensato

    Is it mentioned that this place was a former POW camp

    @Andreas

    Here is one sentence from the sign at the Heiwajima site explaining its origins provided in Japanese (unfortunately, there is no English at the site from what I can see): "平和観音像が建立された平和島はさきの大戦中相手国の俘虜収容所があった處、戦後はわが国戦犯が苦難の日々を送った請わば「戦争と平和」の因縁の地であります。"

    Rough translation: "During WWII, a POW camp was located [here] on Heiwajima Island where this canon of peace has been erected. The destiny of this site after the war is that of [symbolizing] war and peace in reflection of Japan’s war criminals who caused daily hardship."

    Posted in: Ex-U.S. POWs visit Japan, recall horrors of war

  • 8

    Sensato

    But there is still no monument anywhere in Japan which remembers those former POWs.

    @Andreas There actually are a number of such monuments throughout Japan, one of them being the Heiwajima Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) located at the former Omori POW camp site, shown in the photo with this article.

    Posted in: Ex-U.S. POWs visit Japan, recall horrors of war

  • 3

    Sensato

    Louis Zamperini, a U.S. track star in the 1936 Olympics and bombardier during WWII, spent time at the Omori POW camp which is located close to Omori station, one stop from Shinjuku station in Tokyo. A movie about his life (and possibly featuring actors playing the roles of these men as well) directed by Angelina Jolie is slated for release in December ("Unbroken"). Zamperini recently passed away, in July 2014, otherwise he might have been part of this group of ex-POWs.

    In 1988, CBS interviewed the most infamous Omori Prison Camp guard, nicknamed "the bird", who made life particularly hard for Zamperini and these other prisoners during their time in Japan. Here is a clip of that interview (at the 31:00 mark): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEGL-wyz1yk

    Posted in: Ex-U.S. POWs visit Japan, recall horrors of war

  • 5

    Sensato

    In her most recent blog entry, the author of this article now writes, "In the past 48 hours, I have been shocked and amazed at all of the support, but also with the amount of persecution and harassment I have received."

    In the last several hours, her name has been removed from this article (now just the initials, J.S.), and her video seems to have been removed. She also seems to have taken down some controversial content from her blog.

    Whether you agree with her opinion or not, she sparked some constructive and worthwhile discussion. This is a sad moment for freedom of expression. She has obviously faced some sort of intimidation that was possibly legal from a corporate law department, possibly in the form of net uyoku harassment, possibly threats to her or her husband's workplace (which has happened to other activists in the recent past).

    We might not ever know what caused her to quell her dissent, but I imagine that story is an even more intriguing than what she posted for us here today. Thank you J.S.

    Posted in: The fuel for Japan’s pedophiles

  • 1

    Sensato

    is it any worse or offensive American child beauty pageants which turn very young girls into sexual objects.

    @zichi I would guess that most of the people posting against these books, mags and DVDs also feel the American child beauty pageants are horribly exploitative and inappropriate. I certainly do, and have been vocal about it in the past.

    However, to your question as to is this practice in Japan "any worse or more offensive," I would say considerably more so.

    First, you don't find child beauty pageant videos or magazines in the porn section of video stores or bookstores in the U.S. Here in Japan it is ubiquitous. Also, any adult male who exhibited a fetish involving this sort of material would very likely face public outrage or much worse repercussions.

    Posted in: The fuel for Japan’s pedophiles

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