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Japan Watch Thread

Japan Shinzō Abe China Korea sci-tech military politics USA East Asia Pacific

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#41
kjaggard

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I can't really make much use of a lot of what is said in the second article and while the first one makes a much clearer argument I find that while nothing he says is really wrong, he too is overly obssessed with growth and labor.

 

How can you increase productivity without increasing working population? Oh gee, hmm, let me think... half the world is bitching about increasing automation.

 

Second of all why does everybody use economic growth as a measure of success? Here's a wacky thought, why not try for economic sustainable plateaus?

Cancer continuously grows, that doesn't mean is a healthy model to base our practices on.

 

But all that aside I'm not a doomsdayer myself but I look all around at the world economies and leadership choices being made and is all smells like a remake of the great depression or almost like we've been painting over the rust and cracks that started back then and the foundations have been eaten out from under us and we are left standing on the thin glaze we have just added to over the year. The illusion is all that is holding us up.

 

We are balanced on an edge and the people in charge are flipping coins about what to do, spread the weight out or everybody jump up to reliev the weight for a minute.

 

it seems like nobodies asking the right questions and so many answers they are giving in reply are so blind that I've just decided the best I can hope for is to minimize the personal risk to myself and any I care about who will listen. Then hope the system comes down fast and that those who spend years helping their communities in times of disaster are ready to help put in place thing that will see to the people again. And from there we will climb back up, changed and maybe a bit wiser.


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#42
MarcZ

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I can't really make much use of a lot of what is said in the second article and while the first one makes a much clearer argument I find that while nothing he says is really wrong, he too is overly obssessed with growth and labor.

 

How can you increase productivity without increasing working population? Oh gee, hmm, let me think... half the world is bitching about increasing automation.

 

Second of all why does everybody use economic growth as a measure of success? Here's a wacky thought, why not try for economic sustainable plateaus?

Cancer continuously grows, that doesn't mean is a healthy model to base our practices on.

 

But all that aside I'm not a doomsdayer myself but I look all around at the world economies and leadership choices being made and is all smells like a remake of the great depression or almost like we've been painting over the rust and cracks that started back then and the foundations have been eaten out from under us and we are left standing on the thin glaze we have just added to over the year. The illusion is all that is holding us up.

 

We are balanced on an edge and the people in charge are flipping coins about what to do, spread the weight out or everybody jump up to reliev the weight for a minute.

 

it seems like nobodies asking the right questions and so many answers they are giving in reply are so blind that I've just decided the best I can hope for is to minimize the personal risk to myself and any I care about who will listen. Then hope the system comes down fast and that those who spend years helping their communities in times of disaster are ready to help put in place thing that will see to the people again. And from there we will climb back up, changed and maybe a bit wiser.

 

That's because you focus only on meeting supply, not about the other part which is demand. If the population is not growing and there are less people to buy the good, then why in hell would you want to increase the efficiency of making the supply? That's a no-sense move. This means that no one is willing (and rightly so) to invest in the Japanese economy, most investors are not stupid they can see the demographic problem this country faces, and this also affects their bottom line. 

 

Secondly economic growth combined with increases in economic productivity, are the only ways to increase overall well-being by most measures, this includes everything from personal income to greater and more sustainable funding for public programs.



#43
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Japan is in serious trouble. Perhaps they could temporarily create a solution to their aging population via allowing immigrants to enter.Of course there are significant problems to that, not least the fact that Japanese don't actually like foreigners much.Even then it's not sustainable in the long run.

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#44
wjfox

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2 years after nuclear disaster, Japan spawns freaky fruits and veggies

It might be wise to steer clear of vegetables from Japan's Fukushima area for, oh, say a few hundred years. A Korean website assembled this image collection of produce from towns and villages surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. And they are NOT pretty pictures. From Siamese-twinned corn cobs to what can only be called peaches with elephantiasis, the region's agriculture appears to have taken a heavy radiation hit from the nuclear disaster in 2011.

http://now.msn.com/f...ue-to-radiation


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#45
Lunix688

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2 years after nuclear disaster, Japan spawns freaky fruits and veggies

It might be wise to steer clear of vegetables from Japan's Fukushima area for, oh, say a few hundred years. A Korean website assembled this image collection of produce from towns and villages surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. And they are NOT pretty pictures. From Siamese-twinned corn cobs to what can only be called peaches with elephantiasis, the region's agriculture appears to have taken a heavy radiation hit from the nuclear disaster in 2011.

http://now.msn.com/f...ue-to-radiation


Posted Image

Do you think we will ever be able to decontaminate areas completely? Hundreds of years is a long time..


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It is mindless anti-government idiocy. If it isn't turned back I predict the end of this country as a world power. Simply put the need to educate our entire population like any sane country is sen as wrong by the cult that practice this foolish idiocy. So is simple workers rights, child labor and every other sane policy of the modern world."
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#46
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http://www.theage.co...0604-2nomz.html

 

Heard much about Fukushima lately? You know, the disaster that spread deadly contamination across Japan and spelt the end for the nuclear industry.

 

You should have, because recent authoritative reports have reached a remarkable conclusion about a supposedly "deadly" disaster. No one died, nor is likely to die, according to the most comprehensive assessments since the Fukushima nuclear plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

 

The accident competed for media space with the deaths of nearly 20,000 people in the magnitude 9.0 quake – 1000 times worse than the Christchurch quake – and tsunami, which wholly or partly destroyed more than a million buildings.

 

The nuclear workers were the living dead, we were told; hundreds of thousands would die if the plant exploded; even if that didn't happen, affected areas would be uninhabitable and residents' health would suffer for generations.


Instead, two independent international reports conclude that radiative material released from Fukushima's four damaged reactors, three of which melted down, has had negligible health impacts.

 

In February, the World Health Organisation reported there would be no noticeable increases in cancer rates for the overall population. A third of emergency workers were at some increased risk.

 

While infants in two localised hot spots were likely to have a 6 per cent relative increase in female breast cancer and 7 per cent relative increase in male leukaemia, WHO cautioned this was a small change. The lifetime risk of thyroid cancer, which is treatable, is only 0.75 per cent, so even in the worst-affected location it rose to only 1.25 per cent.

 

Now the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation has drawn on 80 scientists from 18 countries to produce a draft report that concludes: "Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers."

 

The committee has had two years to build a fuller picture of radiation dosages (measured as mSv) and impacts. It finds most Japanese in the first and second years were exposed to lower doses from the accident than from natural background radiation's 2-3 mSv a year.

 

Also, "No radiation-related deaths or acute effects have been observed among nearly 25,000 workers involved at the accident site. Given the small number of highly exposed workers, it is unlikely that excess cases of thyroid cancer due to radiation exposure would be detectable."

 

Those workers, who were allowed a maximum short-term dose of 250 mSv, have been closely monitored. Of 167 exposed to more than the industry's recommended five-year limit of 100 mSv (a CT scan exposes patients to up to 10 mSv), 23 recorded 150-200 mSv, three 200-250 mSv and six up to 678 mSv, still short of the 1000 mSv single dosage that causes radiation sickness, or the accumulated exposure estimated to cause a fatal cancer years later in 5 per cent of people.

 

So, not even one case of radiation sickness to report.

 

A swift evacuation of 200,000 residents within a 20-kilometre radius of the plant helped protect them – WHO estimated most residents of Fukushima prefecture received doses of 1-10 mSv in the first year. By August 2011, however, the dose rate at the plant boundary was only 1.7 mSv a year.

 

The rapid decay of most of the radioactive material (iodine-131, which reduced to a 16th of its original activity in a month) also means the evacuated area has not been permanently blighted. Many residents have returned, although some areas have restricted entry until radiation drops below the 20 mSv-a-year threshold, expected in 2016-17.

 

Nor has the environment been devastated. The report says: "The exposures on both marine and terrestrial non-human biota were too low for observable acute effects."

 

The quake and tsunami damage is the real catastrophe.

 

About 1000 deaths have been attributed to evacuations. About 90 per cent were people older than 66, who suffered from the trauma of evacuation and living in shelters. Sadly, those of them who left areas where radiation was no greater than in naturally high background areas would have been better off staying.

Let's be clear, Fukushima was hit by a worst-case scenario: the world's fifth-most-powerful earthquake since 1900, a tsunami twice as high as the plant was built to withstand, and follow-up quakes of magnitudes 7.1 and 6.3. A Japanese commission of inquiry described it as a "man-made disaster" because of regulatory failure and lack of a safety culture.

 

This "perfect storm" hit a nuclear plant built to a 50-year-old design and no one died. Japan moved a few metres east during a three-minute quake and the local coastline subsided half a metre, but the 11 reactors operating in four nuclear power plants in the region all shut down automatically. None suffered significant damage. (The tsunami disabled Fukushima's cooling system.)

 

Yet such is the imbalance of dread to risk on matters nuclear that this accident was enough to turn public opinion and governments against nuclear power. Never mind that coal mining kills almost 6000 people a year, or that populations of coal-mining areas have death rates about 10 per cent higher than non-mining areas, or that coal emissions drive global warming.

 

And surely the fact that the more modern Onagawa nuclear plant was twice as close to the quake epicentre and shut down as designed, without incident, counts for something.

 

Japan struggled without 30 per cent of its generating capacity for almost two years before electing pro-nuclear Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December. About 50 reactors are expected to restart within a year. Worldwide, more than 60 plants are being built and 300 are in the licensing process, the strongest growth since the 1970s.

 

Fukushima was serious, but it was not the end of the debate about nuclear power, nor should it be. And it's hardly an informed debate when the good news about smaller health impacts than anyone dared expect is so widely neglected.


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#47
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Bump, time to update the status of Abenomics.

 

1. http://www.ft.com/in...l#axzz2nM11xIsI - Abe’s arrows: Absence of wage rises could run Abenomics off road

2. http://www.forbes.co...ore-than-taper/ - Why Japan May Matter More Than Tapering

3. http://blogs.wsj.com...enomics-doubts/ - The TPP Stall: More Abenomics Doubts?

 

Gee that pesky third arrow, why do these right wingers not understand that giving all these profits to big business will not make them raise wages? Also he hasn't done many reforms yet although he has undertaken his first now... I could see unemployment rocketing in Japan from this move...

 

http://www.bloomberg...-landlords.html - Abe Breaks Micro-Farms to End Japan Agriculture Slide: Economy



#48
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Yeah, they clearly should have continued to do what they've been doing since the late 1980s, 'cause that's worked really well, hasn't it?



#49
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Yeah, they clearly should have continued to do what they've been doing since the late 1980s, 'cause that's worked really well, hasn't it?

 

The problem is demographic, it isn't economic in nature. This won't do anything, in fact it may backfire quite spectacularly. 



#50
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Yeah, they clearly should have continued to do what they've been doing since the late 1980s, 'cause that's worked really well, hasn't it?

 

The problem is demographic, it isn't economic in nature. This won't do anything, in fact it may backfire quite spectacularly. 

 

Japan's aversion to immigrants is what it is and it is not going to change overnight. One could say Abe is simply trying to play a bad hand as best as he can.



#51
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Another great article from the BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk...siness-25369031



#52
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Japan is in serious trouble. Perhaps they could temporarily create a solution to their aging population via allowing immigrants to enter. Of course there are significant problems to that, not least the fact that Japanese don't actually like foreigners much. Even then it's not sustainable in the long run.

Why do you think they're working so hard on getting functional robots?


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#53
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Japan is in serious trouble. Perhaps they could temporarily create a solution to their aging population via allowing immigrants to enter. Of course there are significant problems to that, not least the fact that Japanese don't actually like foreigners much. Even then it's not sustainable in the long run.

To be honest, I am a bit surprised that while many Japanese women are probably (de facto, possibly not de jure) oppressed to some degree, they generally don't tend to reproduce very much at all.



#54
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Japan is in serious trouble. Perhaps they could temporarily create a solution to their aging population via allowing immigrants to enter. Of course there are significant problems to that, not least the fact that Japanese don't actually like foreigners much. Even then it's not sustainable in the long run.

To be honest, I am a bit surprised that while many Japanese women are probably (de facto, possibly not de jure) oppressed to some degree, they generally don't tend to reproduce very much at all.

 

 

I think it is understandable, who want's to have kids when the landmass is so small and you already have aging parents you have to deal with due to the shortage of end of life care centers available. 



#55
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Hi guys, I'm starting this up so that we can track developments in the Japan this year. It looks like there is going to be some major, major developments coming as Abenomics enters its second year, and also in regards to the energy and military sectors as well. In fact Japan will likely be the most important story to follow this year.

 

Here is what we are looking at in the coming year, firstly Japan is continuing its massive quantitative easing policy, in an attempt to devalue its yen and boost exports. Abe needs this to translate into higher corporate profits, and in turn higher wages to boost spending and get the domestic economy going in order to boost government revenues to tackle Japan's whopping debt (which stands at 230%+[color=#ffff00;]*[/color] as of this writing the highest in the world, even worse than Greece.) The problem is that as the yen weakens, and excess money enters the system the price of goods will rise, if wages don't follow suit everything will become more expensive relative to current wages, and Abe's political support will collapse and most likely so will his government. His support is already falling after some pretty draconian secrecy laws which have eroded his support.

 

As if that wasn't explosive enough Abe is also looking to hike the sales tax in Japan from 5% to 8% in April, this will not be popular with the Japanese people and could also result in the collapse of his government if it causes faith in Abenomics to be lost. The problem is he can't back off from this consumption tax increase as most of the creditors of the government are weary of Abenomics' current success after 2013, yes exports are rising, but inflation has really only taken hold due to rising energy prices of importing fossil fuels to offset the shutdown Japanese nuclear reactors, this is not enough to satisfy them that it will increase government revenues, and failure to increase revenues will cause a surge in Japanese interest rates (going up to 2.0% could eat up 80% of the entire government revenues), which would result in either unprecedented cuts to the government at best, [color=#ff0000;]or total bankruptcy of the state and financial collapse[/color]. Japan is the world's third largest economy any major issue here could bring the world economy back into recession. Paradoxically, he is increasing spending to try to dampen the decrease in consumption which follows any tax hike, unclear if this will stop Abenomics totally in it's tracks and cause a loss of confidence in the economy. This makes the Japanese economy quite possibly the most important story of the year.

 

As was mentioned above Japan is paying lots of money to import energy, Abe wants to get back onto nuclear power to lower this. However, this will be extremely politically challenging for him following Fukushima. Also Abe needs to implement the "third arrow" or third part of his economics program which is labour and structural reforms to the Japanese economy to increase domestic consumption, he needs to get women more active in the labour force, from about 40% right now (lowest in developed countries) to around 60% more in economic norms which could boost consumption by 10%, he also needs to make Japanese industries more competitive by getting rid of bureaucracy and inefficient regulations, he has started with farm reform this year but that is only one thing when he needs to do much more quickly to try to turn Japan around. He also needs to take a hard look at immigration or some sort of fertility policy to stop the aging of the Japanese economy as it is adding to the debt load in social security costs, and giving businesses less incentive to invest if the market is going to shrink.

 

Finally, we mentioned spending earlier to offset the tax increase, much of this spending is going into defence, as the Senkaku/Diayu dispute does not look like it is going away. Some have suggested Abe may begin to act more aggressive here should his economic policies begin to go badly, and they probably will (one expert suggested Abenomics has a 12% of success and 88% chance of failure) I tend to agree, I think Abenomics is doomed. This seriously could inflame tensions and possibly create a maritime conflict between Japan and China.

 

Overall, going to be a dramatic year for Japan, these policies are going to be closely watched around the world as many countries (Britian which has large debt loads, Germany which has a rapidly aging population) are going to be encountering problems Japan is currently facing in the near future. Hopefully they find a successful way out of all this or this does not bode well for the future of the world.

 

[color=#ffff00;]*Edited: Changed 260% to 230%.[/color]



#56
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Here is what we are looking at in the coming year, firstly Japan is continuing its massive quantitative easing policy, in an attempt to devalue its yen and boost exports. Abe needs this to translate into higher corporate profits, and in turn higher wages to boost spending and get the domestic economy going in order to boost government revenues to tackle Japan's whopping debt [color=#ff0000;](which stands at 260+% as of this writing the highest in the world, even worse than Greece.)[/color] The problem is that as the yen weakens, and excess money enters the system the price of goods will rise, if wages don't follow suit everything will become more expensive relative to current wages, and Abe's political support will collapse and most likely so will his government. His support is already falling after some pretty draconian secrecy laws which have eroded his support.

 

The British debt is higher - their external debt is around 480% of their GDP, while the Greek one is 276% and the Japanese one is around 60%. Don't confuse it for public debt, which is less important. The public debts of those countries are 95%, 190% and 231% respectively. Source: http://www.usdebtclo...debt-clock.html

I do agree with you that Japan has problems, but don't blatantly lie without providing sources like that. I will also certainly closely monitor the situation in Japan during 2014-2015.


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#57
MarcZ

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Excuse me, don't accuse me of blatantly lying, there is nothing better about domestic debt than foreign debt...

 

Also, you may want to just create a post as opposed to quoting a long intro, makes the topic easier to navigate. 

 

As of 2011... 

 

http://www.gfmag.com...l#axzz2oUwjhIzc



#58
Mashallah

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Excuse me, don't accuse me of blatantly lying, debt is still debt and Japanese foreign debt is rapidly increasing. If you want your sources then...

 

Also, you may want to just create a post as opposed to quoting a long intro, makes the topic easier to navigate. 

 

You provided no sources at all and the numbers you provided don't relate to any of the actual numbers, so you either misinformed others at best or blatantly lied at worst.

P.S. I shortened the quote.


I don't like being lied to, but I'm also tired of The Truth.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.


#59
MarcZ

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Excuse me, don't accuse me of blatantly lying, debt is still debt and Japanese foreign debt is rapidly increasing. If you want your sources then...

 

Also, you may want to just create a post as opposed to quoting a long intro, makes the topic easier to navigate. 

 

You provided no sources at all and the numbers you provided don't relate to any of the actual numbers, so you either misinformed others at best or blatantly lied at worst.

P.S. I shortened the quote.

 

 

I did a lot of research on this topic before I posted... It is pretty much widely reported by all major sources that Japanese government debt is the highest in the world...



#60
Mashallah

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I did a lot of research on this topic before I posted... It is pretty much widely reported by all major sources that Japanese government debt is the highest in the world...

 

 

Name one.


I don't like being lied to, but I'm also tired of The Truth.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.






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