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browny1Aug. 04, 2015 - 09:05AM JST
From my 20 odd years of hearing this debate, in my estimation the extremes of - all US bases in Japan out, to all bases in & more - are not what the majority wants.
The concern for most Okinawan citizens is simply the overburden placed on the community. Why over the decades couldn't the top 2 economies (until recently) in the world lessen that burden by moving a reasonable % of the bases out of Okinawa.
With the $trillions spent on military over this period was a move of Futenma to Kyushu - or elsewhere soooo difficult???
No, instead they just continued their game of stand-overism - we make the rules and don't forget it - a double cocktail if you like of US belligerence / arrogance and Japans neo-feudalism(we bark you bow).
We hear the oft-repeated stories of the bogey-men of war coming to attack, so in order to keep Japanese citizens safe, Okinawa is essential.
All just a game - but this time the balls landed out of court - Abe has called it in - and the server, Onaga and his supporters are disputing it and won't give in.
US in collaboration with LDP have made this mess over decades, and I for one hope to see them squirm and for the aggrieved residents of Okinawa to have a "little man(&womans) victory. Good Luck to them.
Posted in: Okinawan governor, Suga to continue talks on U.S. base relocation
browny1Aug. 02, 2015 - 11:15AM JST
As Stranger said - how on earth can a completion date be announced even before a design is on the board. This is the kind of false announcement(lies???) that help to create this fiasco in the first place.
And the IOCs bleatings praising the decisions to save money etc etc are so shallow. Where was the scrutiny when the Olympics were awarded to Japan? All feathering their own nests, out to protect Olympic Inc and associated interests.
One feels like laughing at the gross ineptitude and cronyism, but unfortunately it's too serious a matter as millions continue to suffer in this country and no Bread & Circuses act will allay that.
For future events the only viable way is to base the Olympics in one place, build the infra-structure and associated networks and then let it gather a sense of character, importance, imagination and vision over the ensuing years of competition. Athens the historical home of the Olympics is the obvious choice.
Posted in: New stadium to open three months before Olympics
browny1Aug. 02, 2015 - 10:53AM JST
This is only a short article - but reading a fuller account, the most interesting stat for me is Hong Kong is placed 2nd for women & 1st for men making their combined longevity the world's highest. This trend has been continuing for some time now with the difference between HK women & Japanese women only a few weeks.
I assume HK also has high quality medical services accounting partly for the longevity - but I wonder if the medical technology available to all equals that of Japan. I suspect that the other big factor deemed as equally critical - The Japanese diet - is also only part of the picture. Which then indicates other forces are in play.
If we look at a random sample of the top longevity countries eg Italy, Singapore, Australia, Spain, Scandinavia etc - many of these cultures embrace a sense of bon homie, where family and friends build a community / society based on a kindred spirit. Okinawa - until recently the longest living prefecture in Japan - was/is famous for such social relationships.
The elderly in Japan also have a history of such familial & communal ties. And they are the ones living longest even though most of them have suffered terribly at one time or another through war & deprivation.
Somehow I doubt many in the following generations have such grasps and cling to a belief in dna or the hope of medical science to keep pulling themm up a rung or two.
Posted in: Life expectancy for men and women in Japan at highest ever
browny1Aug. 01, 2015 - 10:36AM JST
Jeff1 - you spelt English wrong.lol
And yes this excellent technology along with others like Teslas brilliant Power Wall home battery systems WILL change the face of energy supply & distribution - esp for the residential market.
The future will not be more and more megalithic power cathedrals operated by the self-imposed cardinals of energy, industry & govt.
These systems operating in synergy with renewables such as solar, wind, tidal etc will create a new level of energy safety, supply & efficiency yet understood by most.
But I am not so naive as to believe it will be the immediate energy panacea or result in the demise of "Energy Barons", but it's a good start.
Posted in: Fuel cells provide electricity for homes
browny1Jul. 27, 2015 - 09:46PM JST
Tina - actually my kitchen control is the master control - not that anyone has ever tried a prank anyway.
Back to bathroom designs / layout.
5 years the original bathroom in my house had seen better days. Tiles cracking, dampness in the walls above the tiles. I wanted to renovate in a retro-art deco style with brass and porcelain taps, clawfoot bathtub, black & white tiles etc...
I couldn't get a suitable quote for anything close to my budget and the builder said he would cut even more off if we chose a "unit bath" - he had deals with all his regular suppliers including Yamaha. Yes our bathroom is a Yamaha. I have had a few Yamahas before, with my favorite being an XJ900. ha, ha!
So we did. Up to 10 workers came gutted the old bathroom and fully installed the new system in 4 days. A deliciously ergo-nomic long tub, great heating, drying functions, all the mods mentioned by others, great water proof speakers and i-pod control (connection is outside the room), non-slip floor, easy cleaning, excellent waterproof led lights, kept our big window (unit was altered to accomodate it) etc etc.
What I originally opposed I've now come to enjoy. It may not grace the pages of a Vogue Interior magazine, but certainly makes for easy living.
Posted in: 12 awesome features of Japanese bathrooms you won’t find in the West
browny1Jul. 26, 2015 - 09:42AM JST
Not mentioned in this article, is the deemed by many, incredible price paid.
Apparently they coughed up A$1.3 billion for a paper with a circulation of about 700,000, which of course had pundits flabbergasted.
As a comparison, I read that the "esteemed" Washington Post was bought in 2013 for A$250 million.
Something else brewing here.
Posted in: Nikkei and the FT: A meeting of minds or culture clash?
browny1Jul. 26, 2015 - 09:28AM JST
Harry - G - No mistake in my bathroom. The same water is reheated to your desired temp promptly.
As Tina said water level and temperature are maintained. Of course I have to pay for the extra gas required for such a "luxury", but in winter my family can have a long bath, each enjoying a constant "hot" soak. It's great.
But what I particularly like about these bathrooms is as mentioned , they are self contained, fairly spacious,(in my case)wet areas, which means no need to worry about splashing walls, floors & ceilings.
The shower cubicle in my parents house in oz just doesn't cut it for me now.
browny1Jul. 23, 2015 - 09:27AM JST
tina - as I posted earlier this has nothing to do with east vs west or west vs east. Some may raise that point - including you - but it's not the pertinent point.
I live in Japan, my family is Japanese, I own a house in Japan, I work & socialize in Japan - in fact my life is consumed by all things pertaining to Japan. This forum is "Japan Today".
So I think it's only right and fair to make comment on things in Japan that I believe directly affect my welfare, the welfare of my family and friends and in fact the welfare of all citizens of Japan.
If I lived in the states I'd no doubt make comments re their state of affairs on any number of public forums or media sites from NY times to Huffington post etc.
And on this topic, my belief is there is a severe lacking in corporate accountability and transparency in JAPAN. The same opinion is held by many here from the lower rung of status temp workers through to government, academic and judiciary persons.
Accepting a valid observation when it's made, instead of casting in them & us terms, can have positive benefits.
Posted in: Long-established Japanese companies such as Toshiba tend to have a highly hierarchical structure, making it difficult for employees to challenge top-down decrees over cover-ups to "save face" for the company. Do you think this corporate culture can be changed?
browny1Jul. 22, 2015 - 10:42AM JST
It's not really a question of whether East is worse than West or East is better than West - corporate corruption & deceit knows no bounds. A globalization of fraud if you like.
With that though, it has been said many many times that a little more transparency, a little more lateral decision making, a little less seniors know best, a little less officiousness all together with a dollop of "lets listen" would help ease some of the company constipation problems for workers, management and clients.
My wife works at a large regional bank head office and quite frankly it is way out of whack with progressive business operation ideas. It's not my opinion - but a common view amongst staff, some who privately express their opinins. The upper echelons and mid level seniors of the company work think & work in a parallel universe. The high school you attended, the university you graduated from, the people you know(OBs etc) still hold great power. Some of the brilliant young(ish) staff I've met abhor this culture, but toe the line for their carrers and families sakes.
Could be anywhere, I know, but the Cheops pyramid model still appears to be the #1 company model in Japan.
browny1Jul. 21, 2015 - 08:52AM JST
This has all the hallmarks of a leader - Abe - trying to confirm himself as captain of the ship after there has been rumblings of discontent amongst the crew due to the messiness of recent decision making. Read as - I'm strong!
I can't really imagine other G7 leaders wielding the axe in similar circumstances to show who's on top.
Beautifully Choreographed Pantomine.
Posted in: Do you agree with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to start the Olympic stadium design process from scratch?
browny1Jul. 18, 2015 - 10:44PM JST
Very 80's in fact. Been doing these things with sunflower seeds for 30 years.
Often surprised when people "discover" things to do with ingredients that have been not given there full due or maligned. eg sunflower seeds = vegan, hippy, raw foodies, health nuts, kit only.
Posted in: Making a richer corn chowder with help from sunflower seeds
browny1Jul. 18, 2015 - 10:35PM JST
Yes, the Japanese awarding commitee comprised of expert architects, engineers & financial experts certainly have a lot to answer for - as does the pie-in-the-sky-at-all-costs politicians junta hand in hand with construction inc.
This is surely the face that is Abe Japan now - so totally out of touch with it's citizens.
Posted in: Abe says Olympic stadium to start from scratch; Rugby World Cup misses out
browny1Jul. 18, 2015 - 02:21PM JST
smithy - thanks.
My meaning was Halola is not from another list , but in fact is from the same list as this typhoon - Nangka.
In my first post I mentioned this naming system is used in the west pacific - a loose description of the zone.
Posted in: Typhoon Nangka barrels toward Japan
browny1Jul. 17, 2015 - 07:47PM JST
What a cop-out by Ando.
Yes, as one of the most famous architects in the world, renowned for eclectic but workable designs, who as head of the committee that approved the design, now says , BUT we didn't expect such costs. They are out of our control. LOL.
Everyone scurrying to save face - It's not my fault. Bleh!
And Abe bleats louder "While listening to the voices of the people..." Nauseating in the least.
Posted in: Architect Ando defends selection of Olympic stadium design as anger grows
browny1Jul. 17, 2015 - 07:26PM JST
Classic Spin - Now the original olympics offered and accepted by the chosen few as the best plan have been gutted, Abe is still trying to milk it for whatever he can. The peoples Olympic - what a joke. Everything is the peoples but he never says so if it doesn't suit.
The blow-out costs were to be expected as they are at every Olympics. Now to suddenly direct blame at easy targets to save face is demeaning to the sensibilities of Japanese people.
I hope the people remember this.
browny1Jul. 17, 2015 - 10:09AM JST
smithinjapan - succinctly put.
However as I posted earlier, Halola is not from another list altogether because of where it's formed.
Meanwhile - around here - Shikoku - we had a lot of rain but fortunately the 150+km winds didn't hit us.
Anyone who thinks they can take typhoon warnings lightly, do so at their own peril and stupidity. Disaster warnings are that - warnings. If the worst case scenario doesn't eventuate we should be relieved and happy - not condemning authorities as "Wrong Again!" as some posters have inclined.
I do agree though some officials can be a little over zealous, esp re school closures, but who'd want to be on the end of the wrath of society for understating a potentially disasterous event when tragedy occurs.
browny1Jul. 16, 2015 - 06:54PM JST
It's Me - they are named in succession from a pre-determined list regardless of the territory of origin.
This name - Nangka - was decided ages ago.
As I said, the next one is Halola and the following one - yet to be spawned is Soudelor followed by Molave followed by.....!
browny1Jul. 16, 2015 - 06:11PM JST
UK9 - the naming system is used in the west pacific region (as it is in others) by almost all of the typhoon affected countries. Each country submits names they deem suitable. Usually they choose names associated with nature but not always. Typhoon # 8 this year was a Japanese name - Kujira. There are a few anomalies (not all follow the system in the media) but generally the system is used to avoid confusion and to give a clear identitiy to each individual typhoon. In fact if you open the JMA(Japan Meteoroligical Agency) site you'll see # 11 officially referred to as NANGKA and the next, # 12 as HALOLA.
Everyone remembers Hurricane Katrina - but I doubt they'd recall it as - oh yeah, # 11 or whatever number.
browny1Jul. 15, 2015 - 08:55AM JST
danal- in your scenario it appears that you are okaying the bringing into Japan of contraband - as long as it is in transit.
Don't think that argument would impress authorities in most countries.
Posted in: Case dropped against Thai ex-police chief over gun possession
browny1Jul. 14, 2015 - 12:39PM JST
If you think drugs are a no-no in Japan then guns are the mother of no-nos. Self defence force members have been drawn & quartered for not accounting for one missing bullet after training.
So a foreigner bringing a LOADED weapon into Japan, just about breaks the No-No of No-Nos scales.
Read - don't even think about getting out of this one lightly - no matter what.
But that is what has just happened. Unbelievable.
There's no stupidity or slip-of-the-mind on this guys part (it was a loaded pistol not a stuffed toy) so with a dose of rational thought, we can only assume he must have had an agenda.
And the prosecutors lame reasons - we couldn't prove where he got it from or it maybe it wasn't his. DUH!
Regardless of his final intent, he illegally brought into Japan a highly dangerous weapon - ready for use - breaking numerous laws.
As others have indicated - why does he walk after a couple of weeks???
Aug. 04, 2015 - 04:24PM JST
In resume... US should have wiped out Japan with all the A bombs they have... since…
Posted in: U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japan in 1945: How AP reported it
Aug. 04, 2015 - 04:23PM JST
tinawatanabe AUG. 04, 2015 - 04:08PM JSTIt's consistent with US action. I'm not blaming the Americans…
Aaron Lloyd Brummett
Aug. 04, 2015 - 04:22PM JST
This is very sad! RIP!
Posted in: Elderly couple dies after car goes into sea in Okayama
Aug. 04, 2015 - 04:18PM JST
Is this some kind of new mating ritual?
Posted in: Man steals woman's shoes, underwear, then posts photos of them to her
Aug. 04, 2015 - 04:15PM JST
now might be a good time to pass a carbon tax when the bite ain't so…
Posted in: Fire sale on stuff that burns: Oil, natural gas, coal down