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TravelingSalesSep. 19, 2014 - 09:06AM JST
It is always so nice to travel to a clean country and so disappointing to come back to Japan.
I was in Manila a couple of days ago and could safely go into any restaurant without having to worry about sitting in a cloud of some moron's smoke. Then I have to come back here to the filth and the stench. Let's hope Japan improves soon.
Posted in: Asia's rising tobacco epidemic
TravelingSalesSep. 17, 2014 - 11:30AM JST
Much more important than the fate of Scotland is the fact that their independence will increase the likelihood of the rUK leaving the EU and of Catalonia leaving Spain.
Posted in: Should Scotland be an independent country?
TravelingSalesSep. 16, 2014 - 10:44AM JST
Just relax & go for it. How bad can it be? If she's ugly, close your eyes. If she's a smoker, turn her over. Just another notch on the bedpost.
Posted in: Female bosses not averse to sexual harassment
TravelingSalesSep. 02, 2014 - 03:34PM JST
This idea of transferring people between departments every couple of years is crazy - you can't build up any expertise.
Posted in: It's a custom among Japanese corporations to promote someone who knows the company well: people who have been with the company a long time and have transferred to different departments and places. Women tend to end up quitting before experiencing all that.
TravelingSalesSep. 02, 2014 - 11:13AM JST
It was never about the planes. It was (and is) about hundreds of phones simultaneously and rapidly jumping from one cell tower to the next while flying low over the city and so overloading the network. The typically bureaucratic over-reaction was to ban everything. Good to see the FAA finally backing off.
Posted in: Japan OKs use of smartphones, tablets during plane takeoffs, landings
TravelingSalesSep. 02, 2014 - 11:08AM JST
Home equity loans have finally started in Japan (only 40 years behind the US), so that will help - even if they are limited to 10 million yen.
Posted in: Amari: No need to be so pessimistic about household spending
TravelingSalesAug. 29, 2014 - 03:56PM JST
The death penalty, when actually applied, has the lowest recidivism rate of all criminal punishments.
Posted in: Gangster, arson-murderer hanged
TravelingSalesAug. 24, 2014 - 06:24PM JST
The point is that they have to break deflationary expectations. That is not the same as breaking deflation. So long as people and firms expect deflation, whether or not there is in fact deflation, they will hoard cash, not spend or hire, not ask for or expect wage hikes and reinforce the downward spiral.
Posted in: BOJ may ease policy for some time to beat deflation: Kuroda
TravelingSalesAug. 19, 2014 - 01:05PM JST
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed regret & disappointment at Mr. Palmer's remarks, pointing out that he had deeply wounded the feelings of the Chinese people who (as made clear by the Ministry of Public Tranquility) are very emotionally attached to the ancient Chinese customs of having tanks driven over their kids and of enjoying involuntary late-term abortions.
Posted in: Australian tycoon calls Chinese government 'mongrels' in TV tirade
TravelingSalesAug. 16, 2014 - 03:35PM JST
CORRECTION: Once the BoJ prints to pay government obligations like pensions, medical costs, public sector wages and local subsidies, inflation will really kick in.
Posted in: Japan not out of deflation yet: economy minister
TravelingSalesAug. 16, 2014 - 02:56PM JST
The Japanese government owes more money than it can ever pay back. Its debts are roughly the same size as the US government's, but the US has an economy three times as big as Japan and a growing population.
The Japanese government has four ways to get out of this - tax more, spend less, default, or cause inflation to debase the currency.
They are trying to tax a bit more, but there are fewer and fewer people earning good salaries to be taxed and increases in consumption tax have to be eased in gradually to avoid stalling the economy.
The Japanese government doesn't spend that much compared to other rich countries, and what it does spend is increasingly linked to the needs of the elderly population. Not much room for cutting left.
Default by the government would cause total economic collapse, worse than anything seen in other defaulting countries because most Japanese government debt is held by Japanese retirees or people saving to retire. Defaulting on them would cause a total collapse of economic activity.
Inflation (otherwise known as a slow motion disguised default) is thus the only way out. Right now the BoJ is just printing money to buy bonds from banks or insurers, which doesn't work well since most of them just deposit the money back to the BoJ. Once the BoJ prints to pay government obligations like pensions, medical costs, public sector wages and local subsidies. The challenge then will be to control it and prevent a Zimbabwe scenario. At that point, it will be great to own stocks, real estate, commodities and foreign currency assets (especially if funded with borrowed money) and terrible to have cash, deposits or bonds.
Generally speaking, when the government is a borrower, you should be too.
TravelingSalesJul. 29, 2014 - 05:45AM JST
It was 70 years ago. Get over it already!
Posted in: Japan needs to keep apologizing, making gestures of contrition and seek a fuller understanding of its shared past with Asia. The apologies tend to be vague and lack specific references to atrocities and excesses, therefore not addressing the needs of the victims.
TravelingSalesJul. 08, 2014 - 09:46AM JST
Tokyo real estate prices are now back, in real terms, to 1972 levels. You have to be pretty brain dead to call that a bubble. Maybe this guy used to work for the Ministry of Finance?
Posted in: There are companies that have offered unbelievable prices to ask us to sell our land.
TravelingSalesJul. 05, 2014 - 08:14PM JST
Ultimately you're worth what your employer is willing to pay you. In Japan Ghosn's salary is not as much as it sounds. The government will take more than half - he'll be lucky to take home 400 million.
Posted in: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn earned 995 million yen in fiscal 2013, making him the highest paid executive in Japan. What do you think of compensation levels for CEOs? Is anyone worth that much to a company?
TravelingSalesJul. 03, 2014 - 09:34AM JST
What party is he from?
Posted in: Lawmaker bawls at press conference over his use of public funds
TravelingSalesJun. 30, 2014 - 03:53PM JST
Why are the people here so dirty? Even China, Korea and Philippines are cleaner now in restaurants, offices and bars. Japan seems stuck in the '50s.
Posted in: Even if a smoking room is set up, smoke can leak when people open and close the door. I think the central government has to work on achieving a complete smoking ban.
TravelingSalesJun. 26, 2014 - 10:50AM JST
It was 70 years ago. It doesn't matter any more.
Posted in: Singapore PM asks Japan to turn page on history
TravelingSalesJun. 25, 2014 - 09:33AM JST
Why would highly skilled workers come to a country with a 55% tax rate when you can go to Singapore (20%), Korea (18%), Hong Kong (16%) or Dubai (0%)?
Posted in: Abe unveils grand plan to boost economic growth
TravelingSalesJun. 04, 2014 - 10:58AM JST
Feed him, cure him, clothe him, court-martial him.
Posted in: Obama defends deal with Taliban to free U.S. soldier
TravelingSalesMay. 28, 2014 - 10:09AM JST
Japanese families should have the same rights to hire domestic helpers from overseas that Singaporean and Hong Kong families have.
Posted in: To allow women to work to their full capacity, we will have to bring in people from Southeast Asia to help with childcare and housework.
Sep. 24, 2014 - 07:15AM JST
Very sick and sad. What would drive someone to do this an innocent child? Insanity seems…
Posted in: Body parts of child found in bag may belong to missing 6-year-old girl
Sep. 24, 2014 - 07:14AM JST
I was literally distraught by this news. I was hoping that they would find the girl…
Sep. 24, 2014 - 07:12AM JST
Don't let it be her. God, don't let it be her. Or any child for that…
Sep. 24, 2014 - 07:10AM JST
" the threat to the global community"
Threat? Seriously? Your odds of getting struck by lightning…
Posted in: The U.S. is putting together a coalition, including Japan, to eradicate the threat to the global community from the Islamic State. Do you think military action will be effective or will it make the situation worse?
They just showed a 20s man revealing his face and talking to the media.When fools do…