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samwattersSep. 14, 2014 - 08:15PM JST
"Families of the abducted have continuously insisted that they do not appreciate being used for their political gain."
They may say that but the actions of some of the families say otherwise, especially the Yokotas. They have an army of "handlers" and "advisors" and have turned the abduction of their daughter into a cottage industry complete with audiences with two US presidents and a generous tax-funded package to remain as spokespersons for the abduction issue.
Posted in: Abe says he won't back down until all N Korea abductees accounted for
samwattersSep. 14, 2014 - 10:26AM JST
“Resolving the abductions issue is the top priority of my administration,” the prime minister told the crowd.
Rather misguided considering the state of the economy, relations with South Korea and China and impending implosion of the nenkin system.
samwattersSep. 14, 2014 - 10:20AM JST
@Educator60. Fair enough. We should allow all of the information to be gathered and that process is still ongoing. You have a valid point.
Posted in: Police questioning man over kicking of visually-impaired girl
samwattersSep. 14, 2014 - 12:11AM JST
Educator60. "We don't yet know why he kicked this particular girl or whether he had kicked five rugby players the day before or made a habit of only kicking blind people or had never before hit anyone at all."
I'm sorry but I don't know what your point is.
samwattersSep. 13, 2014 - 09:38PM JST
OK, the police say he is an outpatient getting some kind of psychological assistance. Fine, I get that. But he must have some cognitive ability if he only chooses victims who can't fight back. Now if this "mental patient" had been kicking people indiscriminately, say a high school rugby player who could have put him in a different kind of hospital, I would be a bit more sympathetic but since the alleged kicker has only kicked on a defenseless girl, I'm not so sure this isn't jusrt a convenient excuse. Sure Japan has lots of people who should be sitting sedated in a padded room. But Japan also has a lot of people with "conditions" that just seem to justify their bad behavior kind of like salarymen who can't be held responsible for bad behavior because they were drunk. and can't remember anything.
samwattersSep. 12, 2014 - 01:39PM JST
I wonder if this is the same restaurant Prime Minster Abe, Taro Aso and others spent 300,000円 while discussing the tax raise last year. It must be nice to be king.
Posted in: Sushi chat
samwattersSep. 10, 2014 - 09:15AM JST
I will probably get slammed for it but I'm going to say it; the problem with Japan is the elderly. Not only are there way too many of them and not only are they consuming far more than they contributed but they will not change and will not allow others in their vicinity to change. Japan has been in the top three of life expectancy for decades; lives over the age of 90 are now the norm. That's enough. After that it's time to focus on the next generation.There are two priceless articles in the Japan Time; one write about the problems of one island in the Shikoku region to attract younger people through tourism but the elderly don't want it because it would "disrupt their tradtitional way of life" (Amy Chauvez) while another article writes of the tyranny that is the chonaikai (neighborhood committee) systerm in which the elderly bascially collect money from neighborhood residents to conduct "events" which are really nothing more than day trips for seniors. When other members (those not in their 70's and 80's) suggested that the millions of yen collected could be better used to benefit all of the neighborhood they were met with cold stares. I can't remember the name of the author but again it was from the Japan TImes. Japan has a wonderful asset in their rural communities---boundless nature, streams, lakes, trails, etc.--- and in the next 20 to 30 years when a great number of the elderly die off those assets can be developed and the people will come back and recreate vibrant towns, megacities (places that I believe people live in out of necessity not choice) will shrink a bit and lessen the burden placed o the social safety net. It will get better but it's going to take some time.
Posted in: Demographic crisis empties out Japan's rural areas
samwattersSep. 09, 2014 - 11:12AM JST
Whatever excuse is trotted out is irrelevant as this photo just proves what long time Japanese residents already know; Takaichi is as far right as the right-wing politicians get. She right up there (or down there) with Hiranuma and Ishihara.
Posted in: Two of Abe's new picks deny neo-Nazi links
samwattersSep. 07, 2014 - 08:49PM JST
"Chikan problem can be solved by deploying Womens Only trains easily!!"
I agree and do not understand why there aren't more "women only" cars. Unless lesbians are on the rampage (that's sarcasm) women only cars eliminate the chance of groping. A small side is that women only cars also protect the occasionally innocent man who has his life destroyed by being wrongly accused of groping.
Posted in: Women who attract 'chikan,' and women who don’t: An illustrated guide
samwattersSep. 06, 2014 - 11:00PM JST
Meet the old boss, same the as the old boss.
Posted in: What do you think of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new cabinet?
samwattersSep. 04, 2014 - 03:22PM JST
I am now a big fan of Japan's first lady!
“I think there are still areas where, if not a waste, taxes are not being used properly and could probably be fixed,” she added. I can understand there are aspects that would be difficult if we don’t raise the sales tax, but in my personal opinion, before doing that, shouldn’t we put a bit effort into the economy, fix what can be fixed and cut what can be cut?”
These words should be tattooed on the forehead of every politician and bureaucrat in this country.
Posted in: Akie Abe discusses sales tax, nuclear power, life with PM
samwattersSep. 04, 2014 - 07:58AM JST
I eat whale in Hokkaido and understand the culinary/culture excuse. But Japan must understand that the waters off the Antarctic are not Japanese waters so any protesters have just as much right to prevent the catch of whales as Japan has to catch them.
Posted in: Japan to resume Antarctic minke whale hunt despite ban
samwattersSep. 03, 2014 - 11:10AM JST
@Sensato. Thank you for the link.
Posted in: Teacher arrested for taking photos of girls in toilet
samwattersSep. 03, 2014 - 09:53AM JST
Let us/society punish Suzuki and the administration that protected him; find out what school he taught at, find out the names of the principal, vice principal and school board officials and flood social media with this information. I guarantee you that this school is hoping this blows over and things can get back to normal. Not this time. The students and parents at this school have a right to know about Suzuki and have a thorough investigation to ensure that there are no other sexual predators employeed. We will continue to read mind-boggling stories about repeat offenders (last week it was a cop caught filming up a women's skirt on a train for the second time) until society begins taking effective albeit nonviolent action.
samwattersSep. 03, 2014 - 09:40AM JST
@Bass. Excellent popints, research and writing.
Posted in: Video purports to show beheading of second U.S. journalist
samwattersAug. 29, 2014 - 10:49AM JST
@scipantheist. True, 0.001% appears to be small potatoes but please consider this. 1.)These are people who have given up their US citizenship, something that was almost unthinkable twenty years ago. 2.) This group does not include the thousands of US citzens who already live overseas who are most likely not coming back. 3.) The US economy has become a system of a few supporting the many. I'd bet a nice steak dinner that the majority of people leaving the US are high earners. So I kind of see the 0.001% you're snorting at as akin to turning off the engine of a hugh barge in the middle of an ocean; it will continue to move for a while on its own momentum and no one will really care but when that same barge finally stops in the middle of nowhere and cannot be started it will get really ugly. Again my hometown of Detroit is a wonderful microcosm of what could be coming; government made disasterous decisions, the tax payers left and even now the public servants are still waiting for their "promised" pensions. The US government will probably grant immunity to these illegal immigrants for a number of reasons, both good and bad. But the majority of the citzens can't and don't want to pay the cost (remember, government doesn't earn one dollar it spends; those dollars have to be taken from someone else) and what happens when there is no one left to pay?
Posted in: U.S. to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims
samwattersAug. 29, 2014 - 01:50AM JST
@SuperLib. It was a Reuters article. The figures given for people renouncing their US citizenship were 500 in 2011, 1800 in 2012 and 3000 in 2013.
samwattersAug. 28, 2014 - 05:04PM JST
@WA4TKG. I thought you were making a joke; I did not realize your marriage in Japan had ended and your were in the process of being deported and/or having your visa revoked. No offense was intended in my post and I apologize if my post was offensive. I had assumed you were planning on leaving the US to live in a different country and wanted to point out that many people are already doing just that as they have lost all faith in the US government (regardless of party) to make sane, rational decisions. I also agree with you that US immigration policies are a mess. A friend of mine just paid thousands and thousands of dollars over years and years so his Japanese wife could stand in line and legally obtain permanent resident status when she could have gotten the same thing if she would have just dashed across the border.
samwattersAug. 28, 2014 - 01:59PM JST
"I'm moving to Mexico."
@WA4TKG. You may only be half-joking. Record numbers of people are emigrating out of the US. For every bad government initiative there is an equally bad assumption. In this case the initiative is granting huge numbers of illegal aliens amnesty (again!) with the bad assumption being that the working tax base can-and-will support it. People are already voting with their feet; see my native Detroit for a preview of what's coming. This is not a battle between Rebublicans and Democrats; this is a battle about national sovereignty.
samwattersAug. 21, 2014 - 11:34PM JST
I guess we' ll have to agree to disagree on the uploading part but I want to comment on a few points you made.
"...I can't justify the uploading of any material showing death and, as you mentioned, rape, or the viewing of same."
I nor the rest of society needs your justification, permission, etc. However noble you deem your ideas to be you are arrogant boarding on reckless if you think you are so superior to control what others view or do not view.
"Here in the UK there is speculation that even viewing the video could be a criminal offence."
If that is true then it is truly a sad day for a great country.
And again you ducked my claim that your ghoul statement was out of line. Your original post barely mentions the "effers" you ridicule in your last post but rather attacks the people who view them.
Posted in: Do you think Twitter, YouTube and other social media should remove images of grisly murders, such as the execution of U.S. journalist James Foley or the 7-year-old boy holding a severed head in Syria, for example?
Sep. 15, 2014 - 01:00PM JST
Jesus, what a meaningless blahblah.
Posted in: Heidrick & Struggles: Building strong leadership teams
Sep. 15, 2014 - 12:58PM JST
I hate I missed that.
Posted in: Meguro's annual saury festival draws 30,000
Sep. 15, 2014 - 12:57PM JST
So will you admit, Blacks and other people were racist towards Bush because he was…
Posted in: Obama says U.S. will attack IS inside Syria for first time
Pretty much everything I thought we'd have by now has occurred with the exception of faster…
Posted in: When you were younger, which inventions or technological developments did you think we would have by now, but which have not eventuated?
Sep. 15, 2014 - 12:55PM JST
I don't think the Global community should have to deal with them... I think normal, hard…
Posted in: What do you think is the best way for the global community to deal with the Islamic State?