cleo's past comments

  • 0

    cleo

    Still think the Japanese auto industry isn't protectionist?

    I've never claimed the auto industry isn't protectionist. My point is that US whingeing is over the top, seeing that European brands sell so much better than US cars; as the link you give says, German brands and Volvo account for about three-quarters of all foreign cars sold in Japan. What are they doing right that the US is doing wrong?

    Your link gives us more clues:

    The American manufacturers don't even bother to show their faces at the Tokyo Car Show; how do they expect to sell anything if they aren't even here?

    “kei” cars, which have small engines of 660cc or less, account for about one-third of sales in Japan, a category almost nonexistent among U.S. and European manufacturers.

    Gotta try to sell what the customer wants to buy....why no kei cars?

    (By the way, the VW was not 'beloved' by me, though Mr. cleo loved it; I was happy when it went and we got a Toyota instead.)

    Posted in: Protectionist policies such as the withdrawal from TPP and renegotiation of NAFTA will have a negative impact on the global economy including Japan's. These policies only enhance protectionist and populist movement spreading around the world, and could largely shake the free trade system that has supported global growth.

  • 0

    cleo

    Do you have any actual stats to prove that the rich are prefering to buy European over American?

    Stats? No. Just lots of European cars seen on the roads every day, vs no American cars. And it's you claiming that only rich people can buy new European cars, not me.

    Because the link I provided above shows....

    Mmm, no, it makes claims. It doesn't show anything. And why do you keep referring to an American source to tell us how European car manufacturers think they are doing in Japan?

    The Japan Times tells us that VW, the top foreign car seller in Japan, saw its sales drop (for the first time in 6 years) last year as a result of the emissions scandal, not unfair Japanese tariffs.

    The paper also reports that while sales of foreign cars dropped 1.6% overall last year, sales of Japanese brands dropped 5.8% in the same period.

    VW, Merc and BMW together managed to sell in excess of 166,000 vehicles.

    I can't find any figures showing how many US cars were sold here last year. I did find a number of old articles claiming that the US tries to sell cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side, dunno if that's still true. Is it? Or is 'driving on the wrong side of the road' seen as an 'invisible tariff'?

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/08/business/volkswagen-loses-seat-top-foreign-car-seller-japan-2015/#.WIWzMLF7E18

    Posted in: Protectionist policies such as the withdrawal from TPP and renegotiation of NAFTA will have a negative impact on the global economy including Japan's. These policies only enhance protectionist and populist movement spreading around the world, and could largely shake the free trade system that has supported global growth.

  • 0

    cleo

    Because the very very rich don't care about tarrifs.

    Plenty of my neighbours drive European cars. They aren't very very rich. My sil has a Merc. She isn't very very rich. We used to have a VW. We aren't very very rich.

    But if the very very rich don't care about tariffs, why are they buying European cars and not American cars?

    this whole American cars are too big for our parking spaces crap

    We have access to two cars - my sil's Merc (she leaves it with us most of the time coz parking in Tokyo is too expensive) and a smaller, Japanese car. When we have to drive into Tokyo we use the smaller car because it's easier to drive on the narrow streets.

    Brother in law. Jeep Wrangler.

    One car. So why aren't other people buying them?

    Posted in: Protectionist policies such as the withdrawal from TPP and renegotiation of NAFTA will have a negative impact on the global economy including Japan's. These policies only enhance protectionist and populist movement spreading around the world, and could largely shake the free trade system that has supported global growth.

  • 0

    cleo

    European cars ARE having problems in Japan.

    I see plenty of European cars on the streets daily - Mercs, BMWs, VWs in the main.

    Can't remember the last time I saw an American car here. Or even an advertisement for an American car.

    Posted in: Protectionist policies such as the withdrawal from TPP and renegotiation of NAFTA will have a negative impact on the global economy including Japan's. These policies only enhance protectionist and populist movement spreading around the world, and could largely shake the free trade system that has supported global growth.

  • 10

    cleo

    I notice that the plan to "put Americans first" is generally viewed with antagonism from around the world. Why? Other countries surely put their countrymen first, right?

    Yes, it's taken for granted that as a politician you put your own country first. Everyone understands that. The thing with Trump is that he makes such a big obnoxious deal about it, goes on and on about it so much, it makes people think maybe he means something different from what is normally understood.

    Posted in: Trump's stance on TPP complicates Japan's trade, growth options

  • 1

    cleo

    before the war, when the Japanese tribe ate mostly foods they had always eaten, the average lifespan was only 55 ...

    In prewar Britain, the average life expectancy was 59.5 for females, 52.9 for males.

    We've all seen improvements from a more varied, richer diet, not just Japan. And it's not only food, of course; better hygiene and medical care play a very important part.

    All the 'this country is different', 'that country is special' arguments are just so much hot air. We're all just people.

    Posted in: Health diets from overseas flooding Japan, but are they right for Japanese bodies?

  • 3

    cleo

    It sounds revolting. No thanks.

    Well-named, though.

    Posted in: Japan ushers in new U.S. president with Y5,800 'Trump Burger'

  • 0

    cleo

    Ever wonder why why there is never a referendum vote on the base issue?

    Because the Japanese government are aware of what the likely result would be, and is afraid of the reaction of their US overlords? Hatoyama can tell them what happens to PMs when they try to pull off 'politics in which the people of Japan would be the main actors'.

    The average citizen is more or less neutral and really does not care one way or other.

    'Keeping your head down and trying to stay out of the firing line' is not the same as not caring either way. As you note, people have their lives to live; they can't afford to rock the boat. Doesn't mean they wouldn't rather be on a cruise ship instead of an unsinkable aircraft carrier.

    Posted in: Detention of Okinawa activist sparks cries of political oppression

  • 0

    cleo

    You are very conveniently forgetting the agricultual protectionism that Japan is so famous for.

    It isn't only garlic, and it isn't only nishikat. Imported veggies tend on the whole to be cheaper than their local versions. Look in any supermarket. For cheap Japanese veggies (though still not necessarily cheaper than imported), shop seasonally at the local farmers' market (nokyo chokubaiten).

    Japan's food sufficiency rate has been mostly below 40% since the turn of the century. (=60% or so is imported). How is that protectionism?

    Posted in: Protectionist policies such as the withdrawal from TPP and renegotiation of NAFTA will have a negative impact on the global economy including Japan's. These policies only enhance protectionist and populist movement spreading around the world, and could largely shake the free trade system that has supported global growth.

  • 0

    cleo

    Just wondering if these are the same dogs left outside the houses, all year round, whatever the weather, tethered to a kennel, water bowl just out of reach

    Nah, the poor dogs that get treated that way (why bother having a dog at all if you're not going to look after it???) are in a different league to the indoor dogs, the ones that get fed gourmet stuff and dressed up in daft little coats. Though I understand a lot of the indoor dogs spend a lot of their time in a cage or circle - not much different from the outdoor dogs, except I suppose that they're not exposed to the elements.

    Posted in: Yappy New Year for Japan's worshipping pets

  • 3

    cleo

    high demand from animal lovers

    two miniature dachshunds that were proudly sporting tiny fur-trimmed kimonos.

    Does not compute. What kind of animal lover uses fur?

    Some might describe the idea as barking mad

    Count me in with the some.

    Posted in: Yappy New Year for Japan's worshipping pets

  • 3

    cleo

    I would argue that the problem is not guns, per se'...but peoples hearts. It is from the heart that the evil comes that compels people to hurt others. Unless this "heart problem" is addressed, then killing will continue.

    Then what's your explanation of this 'heart problem' that appears rampant in the US, but that doesn't bother other developed countries to anything like the same degree? What is the US doing wrong/other countries doing right?

    unless peoples hearts are changed then you will NEVER be absolutely safe around others.

    No one is ever absolutely safe anywhere. We're all going to die eventually. I'd rather my eventually be way off in the future instead of tomorrow.

    When people have a weak argument, they try to bolster it by playing the 'absolutely' card. There's no point being vegetarian, because you cannot prevent all animal deaths/suffering....there's no point trying to learn a foreign language, because you'll never speak it exactly like a native, or pick up all the subtle nuances....there's no point trying to regulate dangerous drugs, because some will always get through. It's a pretty negative way of thinking. Why bother doing anyting?

    if the law obeying citizen is prevented from obtaining a particular means of defending themselves, then those that would break the law have an advantage...

    That doesn't explain why other countries with stricter gun laws don't have the daily bloodbath we are constantly assured the Second Amendment is keeping (though not absolutely, of course) at bay in the US.

    the reason that crime is rampant in the U.S. is NOT because of lax gun laws, it is because the State has failed in its duty in punishing the criminal.

    Roughly 4.4% of the world's population, roughly 22% of the world's prisoners. More executions yearly than anywhere bar the shining examples of China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. How would you suggest punishment be ramped up? Longer prison sentences? More widespread use of the death penalty? Replacement of the lethal injection with public beheadings? Mandatory viewing by all citizens of televised executions? Summary execution by cop on the streets of anyone looking even slightly dodgy?

    If the US is the awful lawless state proponents of the 'right to defend meself' make it out to be, the best bit of the US Constitution is surely that it allows citizens the freedom to emigrate to a place of greater safety.

    Posted in: Do you regard the U.S. Constitution as a model for the free world?

  • 7

    cleo

    WHY ought your conclusion take precedence over mine?

    Erm.. is this a trick question?

    Because it's me giving my opinion about my freedom and my safety?

    Taken to the extreme...if I did not exist, then you need not fear me.

    So long as you stay with your arsenal in the land where the Second Amendment reigns, and I'm free not to ever have to visit there, I guess we're both happy and free. Not sure that you're safe from the other gun-nuts, though.

    Posted in: Do you regard the U.S. Constitution as a model for the free world?

  • 3

    cleo

    Still got a three-quarters eaten Christmas cake sitting on top of the fridge. It's very yummy, and slowly disappearing in small, calorie-controlled slices.

    Posted in: 7-Eleven under fire for selling half-eaten Christmas cake to customer on Christmas Eve

  • 0

    cleo

    Oh the printer's have this, the city office has that, so many forms to reprint.

    Exactly. Just use the forms you have, cross out the heisei and write in/rubber-stamp whatever the new nengo is. No big deal. Save tons of paper being needlessly scrapped.

    Same with calendars - even if the name of the year changes nothing else does except the Emperor's birthday (which still remains a public holiday, they just change the name, and people can easily pencil in the new Emperor's birthday - no doubt some enterprising body could make a small fortune marketing calendar stickers), the old calendars with the 'wrong' nengo are perfectly usable.

    various Shinto rites, which are private acts of the family

    If they're private acts of the family, let the family sort them out themselves. It's surely no one else's business.

    The present emperor's schedule is full till mid next year. You'll also have to prepare a national event inviting dignitaries and royals from around the world

    And if he died tomorrow? (sincerely hope that doesn't happen) The schedule would still be dealt with somehow. And the dignitaries would still be invited for the coronation; it doesn't need to happen immediately. Akihito's own coronation took place in mid-November, after his father died in early January.

    As others have said, if the succession took its 'normal' course the bureaucrats would be rushing around to fix things, and the earth would continue to turn. The life of the country would go on.

    Just let him go.

    Posted in: Emperor's abdication eyed for his birthday in 2018: source

  • 7

    cleo

    mt9334,

    wrong.

    You have misunderstood me. I do not think it is a choice of either freedom or safety. I want the freedom to be safe; the two go together.

    If I have the freedom to be safe from loonies with guns, then your freedom to run around carrying an arsenal of weapons is restricted.

    So, not a choice between freedom or safety; the question is, whose freedom? whose safety?

    On a personal level of course, I think my freedom to be safe trumps your freedom to threaten others with firepower.

    Posted in: Do you regard the U.S. Constitution as a model for the free world?

  • 8

    cleo

    Ought one give up the freedom to own firearms in exchange for safety? Or, should one be willing to sacrifice Safety so that one may keep ones freedom to defend oneself?

    How about the freedom to walk the streets in safety, knowing you are not likely to get caught up in a drive-by shooting, your kids are safe in school and unlikely to be shot by some wimp with a grievance and a firearm, and you can go shopping free of the fear of a deadly altercation at the checkout?

    Not to mention the freedom of little kids to play with toy guns without being summarily executed by the police.

    My freedom is your restriction.

    Posted in: Do you regard the U.S. Constitution as a model for the free world?

  • 0

    cleo

    the key thing here is conservation, management, when the time is right may be we can bring back a structured program for catching whales

    Conservation and management is one thing, but not (in everyone's mind) the key thing.

    There are strict rules in place determining how an animal may be killed in an abattoir; it must not be subjected to stress, pain, anxiety, etc., the animal must be stunned and unconscious when it is killed and the kill must be quick and clean.

    None of that applies to the killing of marine mammals on the open sea. The terrified animals are chased to the point of exhaustion and then the harpooner takes a pot shot at it with an exploding harpoon. The death is never quick or clean, and the animal may suffer for anything from several minutes to over an hour before it dies.

    I don't care how many minke or other whales there are in the oceans, I don't care how economically viable commercial whaling might be; it is impossible to kill a whale humanely, or even with any rough approximation of humaneness. The killing of a marine mammal for commercial purposes is barbaric, antiquated and unjustifiable and should be banned for all time.

    Posted in: Sea Shepherd finds Japanese ship with slaughtered whale

  • 2

    cleo

    被害者が死んでもいいとは考えていませんでした. The translation above is weird. I'd say something along the lines of 'I wasn't thinking that it was ok for the victims to die'.

    It is an awkward sentence to translate. How about, 'I wasn't thinking that I didn't mind if they died' or 'I wasn't thinking that it didn't matter if they died'.

    If we move away from the more literal and take context into consideration, maybe even 'I didn't intend for them to die' or 'It wasn't my intention to kill them'.

    I didn’t think I could let them die doesn't work.

    Posted in: Former student pleads not guilty to 2014 murder of elderly woman

  • 3

    cleo

    So, some of you think there is money in the whale meat business, and some of you don't. Sort your story out, please!

    The money isn't in the whale meat business. It's in the 'scientific research' subsidy boondoggle. They can't sell the meat (when they put it to auction, there were no bids...) but people who make the relevant decisions do very well out of the subsidies, thank you very much.

    On a level with the empty concrete boxes and roads to nowhere.

    Posted in: Sea Shepherd finds Japanese ship with slaughtered whale

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