sangetsu03's past comments

  • 1

    sangetsu03

    this news is not really as disastrous as many of you make out.

    It is not at all disasterous to consumers, but it is disasterous to the government. The government has planned the current record-level budget assuming that there would be 2% inflation. Much of this budget again relies on deficit spending, meaning that the government has to borrow anything above what current revenues provide. This cost to service this new debt will now be 2% higher than planned, and while 2% may not sound like much, it is actually a fantastic amount of money when you consider the amount of the deficit. In addition to this, the government expected that the previously existing 1000 trillion yen would also be devalued by 2%, but this has not ocurred, thus future debt servicing costs will bow have to be revised upwards.

    Abenomics is working perfectly! It was never intended to fix the economy, only to enrich the corporate and investing elite through a massive transfer of wealth. Why don't people know they should never drink the rhetorical kool-aid flowing from the mouths of the talking heads?

    You are completely correct. But in Japan the corporate-investing elite have their boards-of-directors full of former politicians and bureaucrats, Amakudari at work. Unless your company is Mitsuibishizuhotomo, or Toyohonissanubaru, Abenomics has left you and your workers out in the cold. There is no "free market" in Japan.

    Posted in: Japan reports lackluster inflation, spending data for February

  • -2

    sangetsu03

    Okinawans have already suffered more then anybody else in Japan and why should they suffer even 70 later for a horrible war that was not in their responsibility? They didn't choose to be part of Japan and are the most peaceful of people I know of.

    Okinawa remains part of Japan, and so long as they remain part of Japan, then they have to deal with what the central government requires of them. Rather than vote for a new governor who cannot defy or overrule the central government, they should instead vote to secede. But if they do, then they have to pay their own way. They can't have their cake and eat it too. But, they will never vote to secede, regardless of their comments to the contrary, they want and need the money they get from the central government.

    The US base in Okinawa is like many other social issues, is something that most people have no real opinion about one way or the other, but which can be used by politicians and activists to foment a crisis, and fool voters into supporting them. Onaga could not, can not, and will not be able to do anything about the base in Okinawa, he knows this quite well. But of course he would never share this fact with the voters. The people got duped, as they always do, and they will be disappointed when nothing changes. But people for the most part are not very smart when it comes to politics, most will actually believe that Onaga tried to do something to stop the base (though he in fact failed), and he will probably be reelected. He has a great issue to use to fool the voters, and it will keep him in office for a long time. Politics as usual, played the same in Okinawa as anywhere else.

    You are absolutely wrong. Japan is completely an independent country now though Japan was historically conquered by the US in 1945, but Japan is no longer colony of the US. You said It sounds like the US is still conquering Japan and it still belongs to the US and hence the US can do everything whatever it wants in Japan. Not any more. If you think that way, America seems soooo arrogant as to make more enemies and wars like ISIL happening, That's why US can't stop always making and joining new wars all over the world.

    You are right, to an extent. Japan is an independent country, but not fully so. Japan still relies heavily on America for it's national defense. But Japan's independence comes at a price, and that price was negotiated in the treaty which allows American troops to remain in Japan, right? As for America starting wars and making enemies, that is nothing new. War is just a more physical form of diplomacy. Of course America has enemies, so does Japan, and every other country.

    Posted in: Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation

  • -3

    sangetsu03

    People are strange, they seem to know little about history when this history does not agree with their beliefs or opinions. Things nowadays may not be perfect for Japanese people, or people in Okinawa, but relative to what might have been, things are quite good.

    America could have done things very differently after the war. Schoolchildren in Japan and Okinawa today might have had to give the pledge of allegiance to the American flag before class every morning. America could very well have made Japan a US territory, like the Philippines was, and like Guam and Saipan are to this day. After the war, Japan and everything in it was the de-facto property of America.

    In 1946 the American flag flew over the capitol, and over government buildings in Japan. Signs all around Japan were repainted into English. American machines, cars, and people came to Japan, there were radio stations in English only. The intrusion on Japan and Japanese culture was total, and complete. Yet the people did not complain. They knew they had lost the war, and that the occupation was the price for that defeat.

    But America's occupation was peaceful, and surprisingly short, and people got along well. If you happen to meet any Japanese who remember those days, you will find they have little bad to say about America, or Americans. The end of the war meant a new beginning for Japan, and of a prosperity to the common people which had never been equalled before.

    Had Russia or China conquered Japan (and Russia very badly wanted to), they would have been far less kind rulers, they were, and are, not the kind who forgive and forget. They would have exacted a far higher price from Japan to pay for the war.

    But once again, people don't know history. They look at the tall foreigners walking around "their" prefecture, and listen to the planes and helicopters flying in and out of the base. But they don't know how lucky they are that things are not worse. They have been able to keep their homes, their language, and their cultural identity, all of which could have been taken away, and which might have been taken away had they been conquered by another enemy.

    Posted in: Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    This is an American thinking. On what legal ground can Americans say Japanese to leave from Japan

    The Americans aren't telling anyone to leave, but the bases have been there longer than most people on Okinawa have been alive. There is no legal ground for telling Japanese to leave, but there is legal ground for US forces to stay. Since America wrote Japan's consitution, America certainly knows what is and isn't legal.

    Why don't US bases go to South Korea? They certainly has much less burden than Japanese, and has better relation with Obama, and has more danger they're facing.

    Because Japan lost the war, and surrendered unconditionally (the Emperor himself surrendered the country), and therefore gave America the authority to put bases anywhere and everywhere America wanted. After the war, Japan, and everything in Japan belonged to America. America wrote Japan's constitution, and arranged the country as America saw fit. America chose Okinawa for two reasons, first, America conquered Okinawa after a long and bloody battle, whch cost many American lives, and many more Japanese lives, second, and quite nicely on America's part, forces were kept on Okinawa so as to minimize their presence in Japan.

    Korea was not conquered by America, Korea is an ally which invited American forces into their country, and values their presence as a deterrent to North Korea and China. Korea would prefer US forces to stay on Okinawa not for strategic reasons, but as a reminder to Japan of the war.

    Japan can continue to rewrite history books and previous apologies, but so long as US forces exist on Okinawa, Japan can never forget it's defeat, and the reasons for it. There must be consequences for causing the deaths of millions, and the displacement and enslavement of tens of millions, otherwise these things may be repeated, not necessarily by Japan, but by others whose ambitions might drive them to do conquer, kill, and rape. These are strong words, but they are nothing compared to the reality of the horrors of war, which must never be forgotten. For all the death and destruction Japan caused during the war, America was very frugal with it's vengeance, the presence of troops on Okinawa is a very slight price to pay for what many would consider an impossibly large debt to humanity.

    Shame of defeat is one thing, but Japan lost well, and should take some consolation from that fact. But trying to erase or rewrite history to lessen that shame is a still greater shame. The US troops are not stationed on Okinawa for strategic reaons only, they also serve as a reminder, just like the US troops who remain stationed in Germany to this very day. For the sake of all those murdered, they should always remain.

    Posted in: Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    I agree. It boils down to unwillingness and lack of vision which seems strange coming from a perceived advanced nation.

    This "perceived advanced nation" still has by far the largest economy in the world, and also has the oldest government. This "perceived advanced nation" built the world's first digital computer, atomic bomb, invented the assembly line, establiished the 40 hour workweek, and put men on the moon. As such, it can and will use whichever measurment system it pleases.

    Posted in: Why doesn’t the U.S. adopt the metric system?

  • -3

    sangetsu03

    The budgets from the Central Government should be based on the needs of the people of Okinawa and should not be used to blackmail and bribe the people of Okinawa to accept things that they do not want. The governor is elected by the people and is obliged to do what they elected him to do and if that means doing battle with the Central Govt. then so be it.

    If a candidate promised that he would get the prefecture to pay eveyone not to work, and won the election, do you think he would actually be able to keep his promise? The greatest inherent weakness in any democracy is that the majority is not always right. I don't agree with much (most) of what the central government says or does, but it is the central authority, and the reality is, the central authority has the last word. If Governor Onaga promised that he would stop the construction of the new base, contrary to the reality of the situation, then his campaign promise was a lie. And if people believed this lie, and the governor was elected on the basis of such a lie, then the people who elected him are going to be sorely disaoppointed.

    The main US base is located on Okinawa for a reason, and that was to keep the heaviest US presence off the main islands. This may not seem fair to Okinawans, but once again, we are faced with another of democracy's inherent weaknesses, Okinawa has a tiny population, and therefore a tiny voice in the democratic system. In the end, regardless of who is governor, if Okinawans don't like the US bases, they will have to leave, because the US troops are certainly going to stay.

    Posted in: Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Good point. But then people who go to fast food places and actually hoover up the muck they serve there are not exactly discerning gourmets.

    I don't think anyone from the UK is qualified to comment on who is a "discerning gourmet". "Muck" is a pretty good description of most British food I have tried, and one of the reasons that I like having the option of McDonald's available on my infrequent trips to England and Scotland. At least the fast food is tasty enough to "hoover up", and I don't have to surreptitiously share food with my host's pet dog (if he'll have it) so as to avoid having to eat it myself.

    America did switch over to the metric system in the late 70's, it was another of Jimmy Carter's failed policies. As students, were had to learn the metric system, and a fortune was spent converting highway signs and car odometers around America to show both miles and kilometers. But it didn't catch on. It is a hell of a lot kilometers from New York to Los Angeles, and many products had long been based on the inch standard. Even today, every television sold in Japan has a screen measured in inches, every car and truck tire sold in the world has a diameter measured in inches

    which in turn is the international standard of weight kept in a vault in Paris.

    The operators of this facility also say that French is the international language of science, literature, and business. The official dictionary of the French language is probably kept in the same vault as standard kilo.

    Posted in: Why doesn’t the U.S. adopt the metric system?

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Do the Japanese politicians forget the Treaty of San Francisco which was used as further punishment to a nation who had already lost a war - as if nuclear bombs and firebombing the civilians was not enough. In order for the USA to return Okinawa Japan had to give up the Kuril Islands which were the bargaining chip needed for a bargain with the USSR in order for the return of Sakhalin and ultimately is why they are still in the hands of Russia.

    You fail to mention that Japan started the war, and killed millions in the process, and had Japan not started the war, atomic bombs would not have been dropped, firebombing civilians would never have happened, and US troops would not be on Okinawa today. But Japan did start the war, and all those things happened. The US troops on Okinawa are a good reminder to everyone that there are consequences for actions.

    Posted in: Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    I love the photos of the blocks, it shows them sitting on sand near scattered bits of long-dead coral, they are not sitting on "reefs" of any kind. But I suppose the governor never bothered to look at the photos.

    Posted in: Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    No money is created by QE, all that is happening is that already existing money is being shuffled between accounts.

    That is false. QE means "quantitative easing"; "quanity" means a number of a countable things, "easing" means relaxing or extending a limit. It does not mean "shuffling money between accounts". The government is trying to cause inflation by increasing the money supply, increasing supply drives down demand and prices, and inflation is caused because it takes more of this devalued currency to buy something. The BOJ increases the money supply two ways, by adding zeros to the balances it holds in it's accounts, and then loaning this money out to commercial banks at low interest. The other way is by issuing debt in the form of bonds, and then adding more zeros to other balances in other accounts which it uses to buy these bonds. It remains an obvious fact that the money supply has been increased, America has increased it's money supply by 140% since 2008, Japan is following in America's footsteps. Unfortunately, unlike America, Japan is not independent in food or energy resources, and has a rapidly falling population, QE is not going to work.

    Posted in: Two years on, BOJ chief says war on deflation 'very challenging'

  • 7

    sangetsu03

    It's challenging because inflation isn't the problem, the problem is lack of growth. Growth causes inflation, economic contraction causes delfation. The BOJ thinks that causing inflation by devaluing currency, and then the government spending this money on stimulus projects will encourage growth. But it hasn't, and it won't. Japan's economic woes are not caused by a lack of liquidity, they are caused by a shrinking population, a high cost of living, and the inability of Japanese companies to compete either domestically or internationally. The automakers are doing well, but only outside Japan. Domestically, have lost money for the last several years, and, according to the news yesterday, aw a further 5% decrease in domestic sales this year.

    In this problem, the government is more of the cause than the solution. Why are auto sales in Japan down? The government mandates expensive biannual inspections, charges excessive rosd tolls (when the roads were built, these tolls were to be abolished after they collected enough money to pay for constriuction, but of course, they weren't) ridiculous licensing fees, and other assorted taxes. Car sales continue to decline in Japan, along with the sales of numerous businesses and the related jobs which support the industry, everything from gas stations to car washes, to floor mats, to car stereos, to parking lots. And this is only one example of how Japan has drven down an insustry. Another indirect result of making car ownership more expensive is that fewer people travel to other communities by car (trains don't go everywhere in Japan) and this reduces inter-community commerce, and is one of the causes or rural decline.

    There is nothing Kuroda or the BOJ can do to stop deflation short of destroying the yen completely.

    Posted in: Two years on, BOJ chief says war on deflation 'very challenging'

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    So what? in 1945, Japan's industries were battered and fully destroyed, and its economy was non-existent. It grew postwar thanks to steep tariffs and government guidance, with the govt dictating to the private sectors what products they would produce and export. The Philippines, with US influence, adopted a more market approach...and look what happened.LOL.

    Right, LOL is what I have to do when I read your posts. The Philippines is not Japan, and the Philippines did not "adopt a market approach". As is usual in third-world countries, the Philippine government looted all it could steal from the private sector. Post-war Japan was not run by the government, it was run by industry and the banks, with the government going along for the ride.

    Costs that are continuously rising, as is the number of middle class members and millionaires. Private consumption is increasingly driving the economy and soon will be the main driver.

    Almost every bit of China's recent growth has been fuelled by borrowed money, China has the largest corporate debt in the world right now. The percentage of income Chinese companies spend to service their debts is more than many can afford, and these "government owned" banks have taken to rolling over corporate debts. This might be a good thing if it weren't for the fact the corporate borrowing is not being reigned in. 7% growth might sound like a good thing, but it is not enough for Chinese companies to repay their debts and cover their operations.

    Have you been to China? Have you tried to see what opening a business is like? Almost every official and regulator in the process must be given a "gift" if you want to see your business opened. Once your business is opened, you can keep out competitors by paying these same officials to deny them permits and licenses. You can pay off inspectors to avoid safety and cleanliness regulations, like McDonald's food processor did last year. A lot of new Chinese middle-class people and millionaires make their money from graft and corruption. Wonderful place China is.

    Anyway, lower costs now can be easily found in Vietnam and Indonesia.

    And jobs are now moving there as well.

    Posted in: Major firms heed Abe's call to raise wages

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Funny how that didn't help the Philippines, which had a lot of Western investment at the time. Manila was the region's busiest airport in the postwar era.

    Japan was an industrial country from the end of the 19th century, the Philippines was not. In 1960 Japan' labor cost was 1/3 that of America's, and less than half of the UK's. Even post-war Italy's labor costs were a third higher than Japan's. People bought Japanese goods because they were cheaper than domestic goods, and for no other reason, back in those days Japanese products did not have a reputation for quality. "Made in Japan" was a cliche, and all of the cheap junk sold in "Five-and-Dime" stores was made in Japan, much like the Chinese goods sold in Walmart today. China's economic success today is also entirely due to lower labor costs, no one buys Chinese goods for their quality, not even the Chinese.

    Posted in: Major firms heed Abe's call to raise wages

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    Wow, on Japan Today you can learn that bank assets are "usually" debts and not cash. I look forward to learning more exciting new facts next time I check the comments.

    Read the quote, Einstein. "They want him to hit those companies in the head and give out more of the mountain of cash them have in banks,

    For some reason, people believe that companies are sitting on record amounts of cash, and are refusing to invest it. On the surface, this looks true, but in reality, it is not. Companies are sitting on larger amounts of cash than before, but only because governments have increased the money supply. America increased their money supply by 140% since 2008, where do you think this money goes? If you look at the amount of money being held by companies relative to the amount of money in the system, companies are not holding on to any more money than they did in the past. And if the companies did spend this cash, where would they spend it? What would be the result? The money would move mainly from one company to the other, and they would be holding just as much as they did before. This is fundamental economics.

    And if these companies did put all this money in the banks, these same banks immediately loan out or reinvest the money. Your typical bank holds only 6-7% of it's assets in cash. But many people believe that banks hold most of the world's money, and refuse to lend it to ordinary people. These people don't realise that the buildings they work in, the computers in their offices, the chairs and desks they work at, are for the most part entirely financed by banks, and that every single thing they drive, ride in, fly on, eat, sit on, sleep in, walk over, look through, or jump over has been paid for with money, and that some portion of this money was borrowed from a a bank.

    Companies and banks do not sit on money if they can help it, as money which is not being used is useless. But, on the other hand, companies and banks are not like governments, which can print out more money when their supply runs low. Companies and banks will only invest their money if they can earn a return on it. If companies are not investing their money in Japan or Japanese workers, it is because they believe that they will not get a return on this money. And with the demographics of Japan being as they are, it appears that they are making the correct choice.

    Posted in: Major firms heed Abe's call to raise wages

  • -1

    sangetsu03

    They want him to hit those compaies in the head and give out more of the mountain of cash them have in banks,

    How much cash do the banks really have? Almost 50% of the Japanese bank "assets" are government debt, in the form of Japan Government Bonds. Another large percentage of Japanese bank "assets" are the debts racked up over two decades by the large domestic Japanese companies, like Sharp, Panasonic, Hitachi, and others. The banks have been rolling over these companies' debt for a long time, in Olympus' case, their debt dates back to the collapse of the "bubble economy". Then you have to subtract the other debts, like mortgages, car loans, etc. In the end, you will find out that Japanese banks, like banks around the world, actually hold little in the way of ready cash, the majority of their assets are usually debt. If you deposit 10,000 yen in the bank, the bank loans that money out to someone else, and charges interest on it. If everyone who has money deposited in the banks right now withdrew it today, about 90% of these people would find that the bank would not have enough money to cover their deposits. That's they way it is. In America, the Volcker rule requires that banks have 8% of their assets in cash, so they can pay depositors who want to withdraw their money, the other 92% of the banks assets are going to be debt, bonds, and other "assets".

    China's communist dictatorship "manages" an economy where 7% growth is deemed "sluggish." All its banks are govt owned, we should note.

    And the average salary in China is about 1/10th that of Japan, or 1/15th that of America. You don't see floods of Japanese, Americans, or Europeans trying to get into China, do you? But you see countless Chinese doing anything even everything they can to get out of China, and into Japan, America, or Europe, right? Many die in the process of trying to get out of China. Been to the immigration office in Tokyo lately? Tell me, if China is such a great place, why are more than half the people lined up in Japan's immigration offices Chinese?

    Funny,

    Posted in: Major firms heed Abe's call to raise wages

  • 4

    sangetsu03

    The opposite is more often true. When Japan's economy was more fully govt protected and managed, in the postwar era, it was a stellar performer and the envy of the world. Growth skyrocketed.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Japan's growth skyrocketed in in the postwar era because Japan's labor costs were lower than those in America and Europe, and therefore they were able to produce and sell goods for a lower price. Next, Japan had no other competitors in the low-priced labor market, Japan was the only industrialised economy in Asia. We also can't forget the wonderful Japan Inc. practice of dumping products in the American and European markets and selling them at a loss so as to drive their American and European competitors out of business. "Government protection and management" had absolutely, utterly, nothing whatsoever to do with Japan's economic success, Japan was the most aggressively capitalist country in the post-war era, and that was the cause of Japan's success.

    The most highly "government protected and managed" post-war era economy was the UK, when 80% of British industry was nationalised. Few people would say that the UK's economy was a stellar performer in the post-war era, would they?

    Posted in: Major firms heed Abe's call to raise wages

  • -2

    sangetsu03

    Once again we see the ignorant who know nothing of economics, business, or government giving their empty-headed, ideologically-colored opinions about all three.

    if these companies don't like it they are always free to give back the trillions they have made DUE TO government intervention and currency manipulation.

    Every yen the government has received since it was formed has come from these companies and their employees. Every building, every bridge, every school, government building has been funded by taxpayers, the largest of which are companies, and the remainder being paid for with taxed collected from people companies employee. Make sense? And yes, when workers see their paltry raises, they will see about half of that raise go back to the government, the rest will be absorbed by the inflation the government has engineered to pay for it's financial incompetence.

    The government isn't manipulating currency to help companies, you seem to forget that 60% of what Japanese companies produce is sold in Japan, and any decrease in the value of the yen hits this market hard, as well as the companies that sell to this market. The government is manipulating currency because they are trying to devalue the 1000 trillion yen in debt they have to pay interest on.

    It is amazing the free market fantasies that still exist out there in bubble land. The free marketers pixy dust beliefs lead to the near world wide depression we experienced in 2008.

    Do you really think that the free market had anything at all to do with the 2008 recession? Which "free market" are you talking about? There is no "free market" in any country in the world. Every market is regulated to an extent, and America's market, particularly the financial markets, are among the most heavily regulated. The 2008 collapse was due to large numbers of consumers defaulting on loans, and these loans had been traded as securities by financial firms. They became less secure when people stopped making they payments they promised to make. These people should not have been given loans in the first place, yet government regulations like the FCRA, FCBA, and FCA, along with a little known regulation known as the CRA all worked together to allow people with low incomes and bad credit to apply and be approved for loans they could not afford to repay. The "free market" had nothing at all to do with it.

    The fact remains that the government exists to serve and protect, not to rule and regulate for it's own financial benefit, or for the personal power of the lucky few who run the various departments and agencies, which is ever more the case. Take a look at these large companies, and see where their money goes. Would you be surprised to learn that these companies pay more in tax than they do in payroll? The government already takes most of the profit they earn, and then tells them that they have to raise wages as well?

    Posted in: Major firms heed Abe's call to raise wages

  • 2

    sangetsu03

    The problem is not deflation causing lack of growth, but lack of growth which is causing deflation. The government cannot cause growth by creating inflation, it has to find a way to create growth. The economy in Japan is like a horse and wagon, and the horse is dying. Rather than cure the horse, or get another, the government is instead buying a larger and heavier wagon. This is only accelerating the demise of the horse.

    Those companies which are earning profits are of course not investing them in Japan. Business people know more about economics than politicians, the worst-run Japanese company has lost far less on their investments than the Japanese government has. These business people know the population is falling precipitously, while public debt accumulates ever more quickly. They are not going to bet their money in a game they know they are doomed to lose in the end. They are also trying to twist Abe's arm into using the phantom "third arrow", because without the third arrow, Abenomics is nothing but the government creating assets which it then loots to keep itself and it's cronies in power.

    If the economy and businesses eventually see the promised reforms, and the prospects for growth become apparent, then they will begin to invest and raise wages. Unlike the government, they cannot print more money to replace that which they lose.

    Posted in: Bank of Japan sees zero inflation in setback for 'Abenomics'

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Most of this budget is corporate welfare. Defence spending is for the defence industry. Social welfare spending is for big pharma. Debt servicing cost are for the financial industry. Infrastructure projects are for construction firms...

    In Japan, the government, banks, and big business are all one and the same. Former bankers staff the boardrooms of companies they have loaned money to, former politicians and bureaucrats staff the boardrooms of the banks they previously "regulated". They all exist to enrich each other, there is no genuine free market or capitalist system in Japan, there is no real private sector.

    What "numbers" are you looking at?!" Fiscal stimulus has boosted growth in past years. What damaged growth were measures that "focus on raising revenue" - the consumption tax hikes in 2014 and also in 1997. GDP plunged right afterward and threw the country into recession. The stimulus that followed was to compensate for those disastrous decisions.

    No, it has not boosted growth. In case you didn't read the news last week, Japan's growth for 2014 was 0.0%, and this number will likely be revised further downward. All Japan did was kite checks, to pay for kickback and fluff-laden stimulus projects with money it had to borrow at interest. This year will be another "lost year", mark my words. You can blame the sales tax if you want, but the goal of the easing programs was to increase inflation, otherwise increase the cost of everything we buy. Tax or currency devaluation, either one has the same net effect, indeed.

    Japan's other big GDP plunge was after the 2008 financial crisis, which was caused by the American private sector, not by the Japanese govt.

    Sorry, but this is foolishness, as usual. The last couple of decades has seen interest rates pushed lower and lower, which is mainly the result of public debts (and debt servicing costs) gowing larger and larger. We have also seen more and more money taken out of the private sector as the public sector consumes an ever larger amount of GDP. Banks (particularly in Japan) have a large amount of their assets tied up in bonds, and other instruments with rather low yields. With interest rates being low, banks cannot earn as much money on interest as they did in the past, and with western economies becoming debt-ridden, and less competitive, opportunities for profit have become more and more scarce, hence the increases in leverage, and the banks' willingness to find other (riskier or "exotic") assets to invest in or trade.

    The collapse you mention was not caused as much by the private sector as it was by the private sector's willingness to lend to people with lower incomes and poor crediit. A friend of mine got a sub-prime loan to buy another friend's home. The lender (Citi) was quite specific when they read the terms of the loan, even highlighting in yellow the changes in the payments as future interest rates changed. But my friend was counting on a few things which would help him, first, the appreciation of the home he was buying, improving his credit enough to refinance later at a lower rate, and more income from his job in the future. He told Citi that he would have no problem making his payments. But his home did not appreciate, and he never got the raise he counted on. He defaulted on his mortgage, costing Citi an $80,000 loss. Whose fault was this? My friend at least was able to admit it was his own.

    But when I think about the losses the public sector has incurred in it's investments, the private sector's losses don't seem so bad at all. GM's bailout has so far cost the taxpayers about $11 billion dollars, and I can't think of another stimulus program or bailout which has provided a positive return. The bailouts of the commercial banks have cost a lot, but banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs repaid the bailout funds they were forced to take (neither of these banks needed the money, but regulators required them to accept it anyway) on the day they were due. It seems that much of the government's economic policy was a power (money) grab, which increased their wealth and authority. And don't think that your government is any less greedy or corrupt than any banker or pawnbroker, take a drive around the suburbs of Washington DC and other capitols, ans you can see where much of this money goes.

    Posted in: Lower house passes record Y96.34 trillion budget

  • 3

    sangetsu03

    The retaliation by the victorious U.S. is still continuing even today. This excessive U.S. military presence and consequent sufferings derived from it is the proof of it, with Okinawa taking the brunt of it mostly. It's a hot issue and not the 20/20 as some poster says.

    There is a difference between retaliation and justice. You cannot forget that Japan had invaded China and other parts of Asia some years before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and this invasion was violent and bloody. I have an interesting old photo which was taken by a Japanese soldier in China, it shows a fellow Japanese soldier killing a young mother and her baby with his samurai sword. The shutter in the camera stopped the action after the blade had beheaded the mother, and was halfway through the baby's skull. The mother's eyes are closed, and her face is wet with tears. Exactly how much harm was a young woman with a baby causing? And what threat was she or her baby to a pair of heavily armed soldiers? Countless Chinese were murdered, in the most barbaric ways imaginable, for no reason at all, other than blind hatred. When you speak about America's "military presence, and consequent sufferings", you obviously have no idea what real suffering is, and god forbid you ever learn.

    My grandfather fought in the Pacific, and it was from him that I got the photo. His diary is an interesting read, describing the fighting, the Japanese burning and killing everything and everyone during their retreat, men, women, and children. The ruins of buildings, houses, and farms, the smell of human bodies rotting in the tropical heat. It also describes the few allies who were liberated, Brits, Aussies, and New Zealanders, sick, emaciated, weighing from 60 to 100 pounds, who managed to survive years of slave labor and continual abuse.

    America was not a "cat cornering a mouse". America knew of the atrocities Japan had been committing in China and elsewhere, and was not so naive as not to understand what Japan's ambitions were. America was right to act as it did, Japan was wrong. And if a mouse is stupid enough to attack a cat, well, that mouse is likely to end up digested and buried in a litter box after a day or two.

    When Japan surrendered, they surrendered unconditionally. This unconditional surrender made Japan, and everything in it, the property of America. The Japanese flags were taken down in Tokyo, and the American flag flew over all government buildings and former military bases. The Wako department store in Ginza was the US Army post exchange, my grandfather worked in GHQ in Marunouchi, across from the Imperial Palace.

    As for the fact that American soldiers are still in Japan, you probably don't remember about the first world war. The allies pulled out of Germany, and we all know the result. The "war to end all wars" didn't end anything, less than a generation later, a far larger and more deadly war occurred. America was determined that this should never happen again. Lastly, the American soldiers in Japan are almost the only reminder modern Japanese have of the war. They don't see much of it on tv, they certainly don't read much about it in their textbooks.

    As it was, America was very just to the Japanese after the war, and, like it or not, Japan owes much of it's postwar success to America. America could very well have made Japan a US territory like the Philippines, or Puerto Rico, Japan's unconditional surrender gave America that right. But Japan regained it's sovereignty quickly, but only on the condition that American troops remain on Japanese soil.

    America's soldiers should stay in Japan for as long as there is a Japan. Japan cannot and must not forget about the war, and their part in it. The price of the troop presence is very small compared to the debt which Japan owes to those many millions that Japan killed, and the great harm they did to those who survived.

    Posted in: WWII firebombings of Japanese cities largely ignored

View all