sangetsu03's past comments

  • 2


    Been there, done that, I heard the same thing two years ago. Japan will keep it's market closed until the day comes when their market is too small to interest other economies.

    Once again, I couldn't find butter at the grocery store, I can't help thinking of "1984". Packages will now be reduced by 10% so as to increase the number of packages available, but while not increasing the overall supply. Silliness. Funny that such things should occur in a modern and developed country.

    Posted in: Japan negotiator: TPP trade deal with U.S. doable by spring

  • -1


    In the past it was said that hiding behind a mask made you "brave before god, and a coward before men". We see this phrase proven true over and over again. A mask implies shame and fear, and only the shameful and cowardly would be part of a cause which required them to wear masks.

    We shouldn't stop any of our "citizens" who wish to fight and die for ISIS, better they do it in barren and worthless places like Syria and Iraq than in our own countries. We should even provide them the tickets to go. But when they go, they can leave their passports here, so they can't come back.

    Posted in: 'Jihadi John' won't have the same impact unmasked

  • 2


    Wow this island just reeks of omotenashi haha...

    I'm sure it reeks of something else. Don't let your kids play in the sandbox...

    Posted in: It's raining cats and tourists on Aoshima

  • -11


    There is a power vacuum in the middle east, and this has largely occurred since 2008, when the "Arab Spring" began. This vacuum has been caused by America withdrawing much of their forces from the region, and more or less putting their tail between their legs after the Iraq war. The collapse of the Egyption and Libyan regimes should have been eploited, or used to help create more tolerant regimes. Unfortunately, Obama ignored the troubles in the regions, and the vacuum is now being filled by extremists and fundamentalists. What could have been done earlier with diplomacy and little force may now have to be dealt with a great deal of force and bloodshed in the future.

    I disagreed with America invading Iraq in Bush's time, but after the war, America was greatly responsible for the safety and stability of Iraq. Obama, "Incompetent-in-chief" shirked that responsibility. He now makes the occasional speech when a western journalist is beheaded by ISIS, but doesn't let the deaths of countless Iraqi soldiers and civilians take him away from the gold course.

    His entire approach to the middle east is "hands off", and Netanyanu is not the only one who is disapponted (or outraged), by Obama's big words and absent actions. But Obama will be out of the white house in less than two years, which is an event more and more people are looking forward.

    Posted in: Netanyahu assails Iran nuclear talks in speech to Congress; Obama disagrees

  • -1


    Let's keep this really, really simple. Japan does not have a "humongous" debt. It has a money supply made up of money issued when the government spends and credit issued by the commercial banks.

    Wrong, it is debt. The government is creating "assets" which it is selling to itself, as the commercial banks are now shunning these assets, and are reducing their holdings of them. These assets are transmitted in the form of bonds, and bonds are debt. Issuing bonds to finance government spending is also known as issuing debt. The government must pay interest on these bonds, just as you or I have to pay interest on our own debts.

    If the government could simply issue currency to pay for it's operation, why would it bother to sell bonds and pay interest upon them? As it is, the interest on JGB debt now consumes 26% of all tax revenue collected by the government, is this not true?

    And even if this "fear" was causing people to not spend, so what? On one hand the Doomers claim Japan is doomed because people are not spending. Then they turn around and claim Japan is doomed because people are not saving and this will CAUSE A CATASTROPHIC BOND MARKET COLLAPSE. Cognitive dissonance on steroids.

    There has not been a collapse in the bond market mainly because JGB's are not sold on the general market. Almost all of the debt is domestically held, which is a bad thing. It is bad because in Japan there are close ties between bureucracy, banks, and business (amakudari at work, how many former bureaucrats sit on the boards of Japanese banks or large Japanese corporations?) The banks and businesses have benefited by getting money and contracts from the government, and in return, they buy these bonds. Were JGB's sold on the world market, like every other government-issued bond, rates would be far higher, and Japan would not have been able to acquire as much debt as it has. The government would have had to manage itself much more responsibly to attract bond buyers. Japan's debt is "debt", you can paint a turd whatever color you like, but it will still be a turd.

    We are already seeing consequence which is worse than a bond meltdown or market collapse, either of which we could recover from rather quickly. We are seeing the population rapidly declining. Much of this decline is caused by economic uncertainty, and high living costs associated with an economy which has long lived beyond it's means. This decline in population eliminates any chance of economic growth, or growth-driven inflation. It also makes it eventually impossible for the government to meet fund future entitlement spending.

    Posted in: BOJ chief defends inflation target

  • -3


    Wonderful, your tax dollars hard at work. Your taxes will subsidize this technology, but the vehicles will likely be priced far beyond the reach of most taxpayers. Do Toyota, Nissan, and Honda really need government handouts to develop this technology? I know that Hitachi and Panasonic are in dire of money, but in the world of successful economies, companies compete against each other to produce the latest and greatest, and for the best price. Here we see yet another example of corporate collusion and the amakudari system at work, so taxpayers can subsidize companies so they don't have to compete, along with another layer of bureaucracy to oversee the squandering. These bureaucrats will end up with boardroom seats at the auto companies, or become Todai or Nagoya University trustees. Pardon me while I vomit in disgust.

    I think I will buy a nice German can the next time I am in the market.

    Posted in: 3 Japanese automakers to jointly work on self-driving car technology

  • -2


    Rising consumer prices can be offset by decreases in other things. So the prices of groceries increase 7%, but the price of oil decreases by 15%, we would end up with a neutral, or possibl negative inflation rate.

    In normal times, inflation is caused by consumer demand. If there is a shortage of iPhones, people are willing to pay for more them. Since people want the phones so much as to pay more, then Apple increases production to meet demand. More materials are bought, and more workers hired to make the additional phones. The tightening of the labor market causes wage competition, so wages increase as companies are willing to pay more for them. The end result of this type of inflation is economic growth.

    But these are not normal times. The falling population in Japan (and Japan is not unique, of the G20 countries, only one has a birth rate which exceeds replacement levels) results in decreased demand. Fewer consumers means fewer goods sold, fewer goods sold means fewer goods made, which means fewer materials are bought, and fewer workers are employed. Unemployment remains low as there is a shortage of workers, but there is no wage competition, because consumption is decreasing too quickly. The natural result of this situation is deflation, as the market adjusts to decreasing demand.

    Unfortunately, large debt holders cannot easily maintain their debts in a deflationary environment. If there was 2% annual inflation, these debts would become 2% lighter each year. But if there is 2% deflation, the weight of the debt increases by 2% per year.

    Decreasing consumption means decreased incomes, so the government sees decreasing income and sales taxes. With revenues decreasing, and deflation increasing debts (not to mention the fact that the government continues to spend ever more each year), the only options the government has are to increase taxes, and try to create artificial "cost-push" inflation. The government is devaluing the currency in order to drive up prices, and, and by some perverted form of logic, somehow expects that this type of inflation will decrease the weight of the government's debt. The problem is that the government is creating and buying assets to create this cost-push inflation, which means that any lightening of the debt through devaluation is erased by adding the money created and borrowed to devalue the debt. Once again, this is like drilling holes into the bottom of a sinking ship to let out the water, it won't work.

    The economic picture in Japan remains less-than-rosey.

    Worse yet, America's recent GDP growth numbers have been revised downwards, from 2.6% to 2.2%, and when looking closely at where last year's increase in GDP came from, it turns out it was not from the private sector, most of the increase in GDP was the result of government spending on the Affordable Care Act, which means that America's growth was primarily the result of the government borrowing and spending even more money.

    Our governments and central banks are painting our economies into a corner.

    Posted in: Japan's inflation rate falls in January on lower energy costs

  • -2


    Nothing can be done about bullying, it exists and has existed in all cultures. There is a natural pecking order among all living things, including people and children. Bullies are usually the ones that don't seem to fit into pecking order, they are not happy with their place in the scheme of things, and try to create their own pecking order, with themselves on top.

    When I was a child, my family moved a lot due to my father's job. New kids in school don't fit in right away, and are prime targets for bullies. I learned from a young age how to deal with bullies, I had to beat the living crap out of them, or get beat up myself in the attempt. Bullies hate to have to take what they dish out.

    Posted in: What can be done to stamp out bullying at schools?

  • 4


    LOL. Amazing that this guy can insult the intelligence of the public -- "friendly activities" -- and know he will get away with it. Well, like the old joke says "How do you know when a Japanese politican is lying? Simple, his lips are moving

    I can't laugh because the public has no intelligence to insult. Were the public intelligent, it would elect leaders from among it's peers, not from a permanent political ruling class, who are the sons, nephews, and grandsons of other politicians. Were the public intelligent, they would never have allowed their government to amass a quadrillion yen worth of debt. Politicians do as they please because the public is unintelligent. You can't blame politicians for being what they are, you must blame the public for permitting this situation to endure.

    All politicians lie, none tell the truth, we have known this since the days of Plato. But despite knowing this, we keep electing and reelecting them, much to our sorrow.

    Posted in: Education minister denies receiving illegal funds

  • 3


    It is getting to the point where the news is someone who DIDN'T take anything.

    Welcome to the world of politics. Why do you think people become politicians? Not because they want to serve the people, or make the world a better place, but because of the perks of the job, and for the favours, the graft and kickbacks.

    If you want to be a politician, you have to be part of a party, and to be part of a party, you have to do as the party says. This means doing business with whoever the party tells you to do business with, and take money from whoever the party tells you to take money from. It doesn't matter which party, both are identically the same when it comes to padding their pockets with our money.

    If you don't want to be a member of a party, you are not going to get elected. You can create your own party, but to compete with the main parties, you need money to run, which comes from supporters. These supporters will be affiliated with other parties, and any money you get from them will have strings attached to it. Those few who have their own money to run will never win, because the political system will not tolerate politicians who run on principle, and may actually want to serve the people, or make the world a better place. There can be no politician without strings which can be pulled by other politicians.

    If you upset the system, those stings get pulled. Information is leaked, magazines print stories, and you are shown the door, or, worse yet, a prison cell.

    That the ministry mentioned is involved in the 2020 Olympics says a lot about the situation. Few projects in the world can generate as much graft as hosting the Olympics, I can't begin to imagine how much arm-twisting and backstabbing is occurring as our tax money is being allocated to various contractors to build all of the venues and facilities. Perhaps Shimomura is not spreading the wealth as much as others would like, or they are squabbling over which contractor get the money to build what.

    "It doesn't matter how many times he explains it, nobody will understand." - We understand very well! We understand that, most Japanese politicians are just caniving thieves that will pocket and misappropriate as much money as they can get away with and not face any criminal charges if caught. My favorite still that crying head of cabbage that used public funds to go to hot springs and girly bars

    You can change the word "most" to "all". But don't limit the picture to Japan, it is a worldwide problem, from America to Zimbabwe.

    Posted in: Education minister denies receiving illegal funds

  • 3


    The full-year profit forecast is still $4.6 billion!! So why is he stepping down? Have to love capitalism.

    He is not stepping down of his own accord, he is a victim of crony capitalism, which is the only kind of capitalism we have in Japan. Japan is a country of business relationships, a place where who you know counts much more than what you know. These relationships rig bids, fix prices, and manipulate the marketplace to squeeze consumers.

    It is tragic for Japanese business, and it's future that Ito has left. The old fossils which inhabit the board rooms and back rooms still control everything, and even someone as big as the CEO of Honda is powerless to resist them.

    Posted in: Honda CEO takes the fall for air bag fiasco

  • -1


    These 100-yen shops succeed because they externalize many of their costs, especially the social impact of underpaid work and the environmental impacts of the throw-away, plastic economy. These costs are paid especially by people in poor countries, by future generations and by other natural life.

    Tell me son, what is better, underpaid work? Or no work? The Walmart argument is flawed, sure, the workers are paid little, and may collect public benefits. But these benefits are a fraction of what they would be if these workers were entirely unemployed, right? And Walmart's profits? Almost no profit is sat upon, or kept in a vault, it is almost entirely reinvested, and the funds are used to create or expand business, very likely some of these invested funds find their way into your paycheck.

    Next, take a look at the Japan around you. The population is falling quickly, meaning that Japanese businesses, even 100 yen shops, have fewer paying customers every year. As it is, fully 70% of Japanese domestic companies remain classified as "loss-producing". Exactly how can these companies pay more? And with wages as low as they are in the 90% of Japan which exists outside the large cities, 100 yen shops are one of the few affordable places many can shop at.

    Please tell me in detail about the price paid in poorer countries. As globalization has progressed, developed countries may indeed be paying less, but a full fifth of the world's population (about 1.3 billion) in developing countries has been lifted out of poverty.

    It is always fun to see how hypocritical people are. They want to tax the rich to feed the poor, but by the standards of more than half the world, you yourself are filthy rich. Why should you cry if your pay is cut when the money finds it's way into the hands of a worker elsewhere in the world who formerly earned as much in a month as you spend for one lunch at McDonald's? Why don't you apply the same yardstick to yourself as you apply to others?

    The sad truth is that anyone with a healthy body and half a brain can be as successful, or make as much money as they want, but too few people bother. Rather than make something which pays them what they think they deserve, they want others to pay them instead. I am sorry if you believe I value you less than you think you are worth, but why should I value anymore than you value yourself? If a minimum wage worker values his time to be worth $15 an hour, it is a tragedy. I assign no limits to my worth, therefore I assign no limits to what I will do to acheive it.

    I get tired of inexperienced young people or academics who know less about the real world than they do about the surface of Mars, and yet vent vociferously at the supposed wrongs that occur. Try starting your own business. Invest your savings, put yourself in debt, and put it all into smething you believe in. Put in 16 hour days and 7 day workweeks, and fret for the first few years hoping that your business will earn enough to pay the bank, your taxes, and your staff, and hopefully leave something for yourself. Think about having a hundred or so workers that depend on you to feed their families, and how any decision you make affects their lives. Then assign a value to what what you have risked, the work you have done up to this point, and the hard work, thinking, and choices which will have to be made almost daily, particularly in a shrinking economy, in the face of ever-increasing foreign competition. I do all of these, and I love it. A life without challenges is not a life, you should go out and live for yourself, not your boss, or his company.

    Posted in: The evolution of 100-yen shops and how they've changed people's lives

  • 1


    The highest income earners in any society are not professionals, or other highly educated people. The high income earners are usually business owners. In America, about 11% of people are pursuing entrpreneurial activities, in Japan, the number is less than 2%. The Japanese as a whole are very risk-averse, and the vast majority prefer the safety of working for a company, however puny the wages may be. This contributes much to the income inequality in Japan. The problem with all of this is that with so few people trying to start new businesses, fewer new businesses are created, and fewer new businesses means fewer jobs, and less competition for workers, which helps drive down wages.

    The smaller number of people at the top of the economic ladder in Japan can spend more, because they have precious little competition to spread the wealth with.

    One thing to consider is that taking more from the top wage earners to support the lower wage earners would further discourage people from trying to create businesses, and further widen the gap. If Japan wants to narrow the gap, it needs to remove the hurdles which discourage people from taking risks, like draconian bankruptcy laws, and the education system, which discourages independence, action, and critical thought. Public schools must not be places where "the nail which sticks out gets hammered in", and Japanese universities must stop being four-year summer camps which provide no serious academic training, where "graduates" with pitifully little knowledge and laughably irrelevant degrees get mediocre-paying lifetime jobs. Japan's worker bees are all drones with no sting.

    Other things would be to eliminate the non-competitive activities large Japanese companies engage in, like bid-rigging and price-fixing, amakudari, and real anti-trust regulation which would allow a small business culture to grow, rather than having Japan's handful of large conglomerates swallow up any profitable small business thay can consume.

    But don't expect Abe to address any of these problems.

    Posted in: The gap between the haves and the have-nots has been widening under the Abe government's reflation policies. The surging sales of luxury goods is one phenomenon showing this widening income gap.

  • 1


    It's amazing what is asked of troops, but what little is given to them as far as pay and support. The men and women in the fray are always given such little care, told to stay longer, told to come back, told to wait for care, and so on. They're soldiers, but they are people, too and most of them don't feel good about what they're told to and why they're supposed to want to do it.

    I have been there and done that. But so did my father and grandfather (and great grandfather) in previous wars. And as tough as things are for our soldiers nowadays, it is not a scant fraction as tough as our fathers and grandfathers had it. In previous wars as many American soldiers died in a single battle as all of the American soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan over a decade.

    Obama can slow down the troop withdrawal, stop it, or send more soldiers, he no longer has to worry about being elected or reelected. He can actually do what is necessary, rather than doing what is politically expedient.

    Posted in: U.S. signals likely delay in troop exit from Afghanistan

  • -5


    This article answers in part the question why not. The question why is that the US, like most other so-called democracies, have become corporate states, where politicians and high level bureaucrats do the bidding of the corporate and investment class and do not represent the people who elect them or pay their salaries.

    The opposite is true. The political class in no less beholden to corporations than it is to the voters. Were this not the case, American corporations would not be paying 38% corporate tax, or hold their overseas assets outside the country so as to avoid America's unique repatriation tax. The government wouldn't be levying multi-billion dollar fines against financial and other companies for any misdeeds. There wouldn't be miles of red tape, licenses, fees, and bureaucracy of all levels to navigate in the course of doing even routine business.

    The political class is a power unto itself, which despises the corporate and business culture as much as it pretends to serve the lower classess The political class gets into power by manipulating the ignorant into voting for them, and twists the arms of businesses and corporations to contribute money to campaigns. For businesses to work with politicians, there must be sufficient graft to funnel back to whichever politician approved the work. This is one of the reasons America's infrastructure is crumbling, the costs for even a simple project are astronomical, due to missed deadlines, and associated cost overruns which benefit the political class more than it does the contractors who do the work.

    But you can believe the class warfare rhetoric that the political class uses to divide and fool, and which causes businesses to move to places were they face less extortion. But when you can't get a job, or earn decent pay because any company which is still doing business in America pays more in tax than it does in payroll, you might change your opinion.

    Posted in: Why is U.S. pushing for free trade pacts?

  • 0


    Oh and can people please stop saying "America won the war"? The ALLIES won the war - you lot didn't turn up for the fight until you got a kick up the bum towards the end of 1941. The Americans, by dropping those disgusting weapons shortened the war in the PACIFIC.

    Sorry, but America won the war in the pacific, not the allies. Not one single plane which bombed Japan belonged to the allies, not one single ship or landing craft which carried soldiers to conquer the various islands belonged to the allies. During the occupation it was General MacArthur and the US Army which ruled Japan, not the allies.

    As for the war in Europe, yes, the Americans won there as well. Most of Europe had already fallen by 1941, and those parts which hadn't were using Enfield rifles and .303 bullets made in America. Look at the alliies' battle in the pacific. The British general staff at Ft Canning never ordered their troops to stand and fight the Japanese. Almost every order issued was to pull back. Fighting occurred when the Japanes were finally able to advance more quickly than the orders for the British, Australian, or New Zealand soldiers to retreat could be issued. The allies' battle in the pacific ended when Singapore was surrendered.

    America was hesitant to enter a war which came about much due to the negligence of the European powers, who did little-to-nothing to stop Hitler's rise to power. It was not America which allowed fascim to rise in Europe, but America did sent it's sons, in the hundreds of thousands, not to mention untold weapons and vehicles to fight an enemy which never set foot upon American soil.

    Some of my own American ancestors are buried in France and England, my grandfather's brothers. Had you lot not waffled, vaccillated, procrastinated, and allowed war to become inevitable, our lot wouldn't have had to shed our blood to save your sorry skins. My grandfather's brothers might have had a chance to live their lives, and have families of their own.

    Show a little gratitude.

    Posted in: How come Japan has never demanded an official apology from any U.S. government for the dropping of atomic bombs on two of its cities? In fact, why don't Japanese hate America for dropping the bombs?

  • 2


    American won the war, Japan surrendered unconditionally. Prior to the end of the war, the military government told the Japanese people that if the country surrendered, the Americans would rape and kill every Japanese they found. This propaganda led many Japanese in Okinawa and other places to commit suicide rather than be capture by the American soldiers.

    But the occupation was peaceful, Japan and the Japanese were more or less left alone to do what they pleased. Much of the land and industry was redistributed to the common people, farmers who had lived on and farmed a plot of land for generations as tenants suddenly became land owners. The new peace allowed the Japanese to focus on work and industry instead of conquest, and the country prospered.

    Why would Japan demand an apology from it's conquerers after losing a war which Japan started? Why would they want an apology for dropping atomic bombs, when they know full well that if their country had developed such weapons during the war, they would have used them without hesitation? Japan lost the war, and they lost well. America won, and America won well, and a peaceful mutual respect has existed ever since.

    Posted in: How come Japan has never demanded an official apology from any U.S. government for the dropping of atomic bombs on two of its cities? In fact, why don't Japanese hate America for dropping the bombs?

  • -2


    Blatantly false statement. It is not "debt", it is not a "burden", and it is not the "worst", as Japan is the currency issuer not the currency user as are countries in the Euro Zone. What they think is debt is in fact the supply of Japanese yen.

    Wrong. Japan raises money to pay for expenses by selling bonds (otherwise known as "issuing debt"). Now Japan is issuing currency which it uses to buy bonds from itself, and of course ends up charging interest to themselves for money they create and borrow from themselves for themselves. Does nothing look wrong with this picture?

    Since these bonds must be paid for over time, and currently debt servicing costs amount to 26% of all revenue collected in Japan. This is a burden of epic/fantastic/phenomenal proportions, and this burden is still growing steadily.

    Posted in: Gov't adviser not worried about temporary slowdown in inflation

  • 0


    Just a note.. Hydrogen is the most common and most abundant element in the universe. That the "95% of hydrogen produce in the world comes form fossil fuel" is preposterous.

    Google is your friend,

    Wikipedia "Currently, the majority of hydrogen (∼95%) is produced from fossil fuels by steam reforming or partial oxidation of methane and coal gasification with only a small quantity by other routes such as biomass gasification or electrolysis of water.[3]"

    Posted in: More electric car charging points in Japan than gas stations

  • 0


    You can say that trillions of yen have been created. Whether they are printed on paper, or are simply extra zeroes added to the existing supply is just a matter of semantics, more yen now exist than did before.

    As a result of this printing, or creating, of yen (or easing/asset purchasing), people have seen the value of their savings and labor reduced. The government has not, and will not meet it's inflationary goals, it has not met it's growth goals. The only thing accomplished is a greater increase in debt, a cheapening of the yen, and even less possibility of ever balancing spending.

    Blaming the consumption tax is pointless, the raise was also seen as a further method to increase inflation, as the end result of devaluation or increased tax has the same result, the end prices of goods are increased. But inflation has not increased, and though tax revenue has increased, the net loss via GDP contraction and stimulus spending saw three yen vanish from the economy for every extra yen collected in tax.

    The government is "holding it's fire" on increased stimulus for the simple reason that it hasn't been working in the past, and it is even less likely to work in the future. If it was working, they would be continuing, right? The yen is at 120 to the dollar, which doesn't sound so bad compared to previous exchange rates, but since other currencies have emerged (or disappeared) the effect is different, the current relative dollar/yen exchange rates is about the same as it was in 1984, or 233 yen to tne dollar. The decrease in the value of the yen is far greater than planned for, the government's goal was to have the rate at about 103 to the dollar. This is the end result of asset-purchasing/printing/creating/easing, a good term for those who are silly or stupid enough to think that there is any fundamental difference between the terms.

    Posted in: BOJ holds fire on fresh stimulus despite weak GDP

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