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So, any concerns right-wingers? (Apparently none at all.) Also, is Japan a jerk? (Page 15)
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subego
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May 30, 2017, 04:36 PM
 
My extrapolation ended up oversimplifying the situation. Apologies.

In terms of the specific restriction of the size of their military, it looks like they're at about half the maximum.
     
The Final Dakar
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May 30, 2017, 04:50 PM
 
I think I solved the spending problem: Gundam Battalion
     
subego
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May 30, 2017, 05:04 PM
 
I was thinking laser guided beer.
     
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May 30, 2017, 06:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
IIUC, if Germany wanted to back out of the NPT, there's nothing stopping them from having nukes.
Except that Germany's European neighbors would be really, really uncomfortable with that. That's one of the reasons Germany doesn't spend much money on the military and is instead generous when it comes to humanitarian efforts. French and British concerns about German hegemony were a major stumbling block in the 4+2 negotiations in 1990, and led to, among other things, the Euro (that was a concession to the French). Germany's government does not aim for nuclear arms. These more nuanced aspects are typically left out of the discussion, but really crucial if you want to understand the dynamics.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Japan has all kinds of whacky restrictions because we wrote their constitution.
I wouldn't call it a whacky restriction, Japan isn't supposed to have a military, period. So they labeled their military “Self Defense Forces” and were done with it. Unlike Germany the Japanese government has worked to keep a path to nuclear weapons open. Japan has all the key technologies, rockets, experience with nuclear material and high tech manufacturing. Abe currently wants to lift those post-WW2 restrictions, and many expect that he aims to arm Japan with nuclear weapons. I could go into more details, but that'd derail the conversation.
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May 30, 2017, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Europe should absolutely pay more for NATO, but I know they won't because our only threat is non-participation. I'm fine calling them skinflints about it to their face, though.
This is a big misunderstanding that has spread to the US Presidency: the 2 % goal has nothing to do with payments, it is not money that is owed to NATO or the US. The goal is to spend 2 % of GDP for defense. (Trump apparently gave Merkel a bill over 374 billion €.)
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subego
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May 30, 2017, 10:24 PM
 
There is no misunderstanding. I think they should pay more because I think they should pay more. This is a personal opinion.

I think Japan should be able to have a military, just like Germany has one, so I consider the restrictions to be whacky.

I withdrew my initial statement about nukes and apologized for it.
( Last edited by subego; May 30, 2017 at 11:09 PM. )
     
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May 31, 2017, 02:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
There is no misunderstanding. I think they should pay more because I think they should pay more. This is a personal opinion.
Pay more to whom?
This is not an argument about payments, but about spending. No NATO members owes the US money.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I think Japan should be able to have a military, just like Germany has one, so I consider the restrictions to be whacky.
I wouldn't Japan's persistent violation of its own constitution “whacky”, nor is the origin weird in any way. Germany didn't have an army of its own for about 10 years after WW2, the Bundeswehr was established in 1955.
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subego
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May 31, 2017, 03:22 AM
 
What an odd semantic hair to split. If I spend more I'm paying more.

When did origins enter into it? What makes it whacky are the conditions in 2017, not 1947.

That said, I love a good constitutional violation, and am all ears!
     
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May 31, 2017, 07:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What an odd semantic hair to split. If I spend more I'm paying more.
It's not semantics in this case, the connotations are very different, as even President Trump was thinking that payments should somehow be made to either NATO or the US directly.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
When did origins enter into it? What makes it whacky are the conditions in 2017, not 1947.

That said, I love a good constitutional violation, and am all ears!
Japan established its Self-Defense Force (which, by definition, is not an army) in 1954, and so it has been in violation of its own constitution (Article 9 specifically) since then. Prime Minister Abe has long wanted to change that, and it looks like he is taking a stab at constitutional reform. Abe has been moving Japan more and more into an authoritarian direction, and unfortunately, the Western media only seems to focus on Article 9. Japan has slipped in the World Press Freedom Index from 11th to 72nd rank. He has surrounded himself with right-wing weirdos that for the longest time were at the fringe of the political spectrum such as the “Nippon Kaigi”. The erasure of unpleasant historical events from public consciousness is in full force. And there are new laws, inspired from the good old days of colonialism, tightening the screws on freedom of expression. I'm kinda worried about my home of choice actually.
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subego
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May 31, 2017, 10:32 PM
 
The difference between the two isn't enough for me to ultimately object to my argument being phrased "Europe should spend more".


How does Japan relate to the dynamic between the Supreme Court and the Constitution?

For example, I think Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional, but after more than 40 years, it's an academic argument.

I gotta be straight here... when it comes to Japan's problems with erasing past historical unpleasantness, that's something I've been led to expect for a long time. Certainly compared to Germany, who to their credit have what I'd term a "flagellant" attitude about it.
     
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Jun 1, 2017, 02:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How does Japan relate to the dynamic between the Supreme Court and the Constitution?
On paper Japan has a very strong Supreme Court, but it rarely if ever rules on the constitutionality of important laws. For instance, it avoided to rule on the constitutionality of the Self Defense Forces and deferred to the Japanese government on that matter.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
For example, I think Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional, but after more than 40 years, it's an academic argument.
Any body or organization run by humans will make mistakes. But I think a worrying trend is that Supreme Court judges are judged by much of the political class by how they decide certain cases. Conservatives were very disappointed of Chief Justice Roberts when he decided against blocking the ACA. Ultimately, it is very foolish to evaluate judges by how they decide cases based on your political sensibilities.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I gotta be straight here... when it comes to Japan's problems with erasing past historical unpleasantness, that's something I've been led to expect for a long time. Certainly compared to Germany, who to their credit have what I'd term a "flagellant" attitude about it.
I think it's an advantage, because you try to be better and it also improves relations with your neighbors. Japan's refusal to face its past and take responsibility is still a major factor in its relations with South Korea (whose culture in this aspect is very similar) and China. About 15 years ago I went to a museum that used to be a prison run by the Japanese administration of Korea during the occupation. I've been to quite a few similar places in Germany, and the difference was stark: instead of scientifically accurate information, inscriptions such as “The screams of our ancestors still permeate these walls …” make it very hard to work through this. Of course, the onus is on Japan, not Korea, the point was just that oscillating between avoiding the topic and focussing on it emotionally makes it very hard to work through the issues and let the wounds heal. I couldn't imagine still having such a difficult relationship with, say, France, Italy or Poland.

This attitude has downsides, e. g. it is hard to normalize relations to people of Jewish faith, simply because the first associations with the word “Jew” are horrible — holocaust, killing on an industrial scale organized by my grand parents'/great grand parents' generations, etc.
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subego
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Jun 3, 2017, 12:22 AM
 
Thanks for the reply!

Isn't the Supreme Court consistently deferring to the government on the question of the JSDF in itself a decision?

That's why I brought up Roe v. Wade. I can think that's unconstitutional, but until a few months ago, the decision was so far away from getting flipped, what I thought only mattered to people who discuss constitutional law as a leisure activity.
     
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Jun 4, 2017, 01:21 PM
 
Whoops! Wrong thread!
     
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Jun 4, 2017, 09:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Thanks for the reply!

Isn't the Supreme Court consistently deferring to the government on the question of the JSDF in itself a decision?
Sure, it is a decision, but it means that the Japanese Supreme Court doesn't play much of a role in the system of checks and balances. And in case of the JSDF, to anyone with eyes the violation of the Japanese constitution is obivous:
Originally Posted by Article 9 (2)
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
Compared to Roe vs. Wade or other contested decisions (e. g. the Hobby Lobby or Citizens United decisions) you don't need an elaborate line of argumentation. Just imagine of Congress banned all guns and maintained that because guns and arms are two different things, banning guns is a-ok. Here, the Japanese state rebadged their army “self-defense force”.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That's why I brought up Roe v. Wade. I can think that's unconstitutional, but until a few months ago, the decision was so far away from getting flipped, what I thought only mattered to people who discuss constitutional law as a leisure activity.
Again, I think this goes part and parcel with having a strong Supreme Court, the ability to get things wrong (and even that is a matter of debate). I'd rather have a strong Judiciary that keeps the other two branches in check than not — even at the price of contested decisions.

Would you rather have a weaker Supreme Court endowed with less powers?
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subego
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Jun 4, 2017, 10:06 PM
 
"Less powers" implies the Supreme Court is not allowed to pass a different judgement. Is that the case?

To put it another way, is the weakness of the court based on legislative restriction, or because the justices aren't pushy?


My understanding is the argument is the JSDF are cops. To my mind, that's not a particularly twisted rationale.
     
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Jun 4, 2017, 10:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
"Less powers" implies the Supreme Court is not allowed to pass a different judgement. Is that the case?
You misunderstood what I tried to say: What role would you like a Supreme Court to play, a strong role like in the US or Germany, or a weak role like in Japan.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To put it another way, is the weakness of the court based on legislative restriction, or because the justices aren't pushy?
Does it matter whether the weakness is due to legal restrictions or tradition?
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My understanding is the argument is the JSDF are cops. To my mind, that's not a particularly twisted rationale.
You find that argument convincing?!?
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subego
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Jun 4, 2017, 10:45 PM
 
Sure. Why not?


Whether the weakness is created by the legislature or the judiciary is overwhelmingly important, because that's what determines who is authorized to change it and by what means.

I prefer a system where the judiciary is allowed to be strong, but I don't necessarily want them to be exploiting it all the time.

I'm a constructionist type, so I'd rather American justices were somewhat less activist, but I'm not going to suggest changing the system to accomplish it.
     
subego
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Jun 5, 2017, 10:10 AM
 
And... to keep equal portions of argumentative and informative, I'll continue to plum your expat knowledge database.

How do the Japanese view the JSDF? Do they think of them as cops? Do they just pretend they think that way and do a nudge-nudge, wink-wink?

Is Section 9 somewhat based on the idea Japan already has cops with tanks, subs, and jet fighters?
     
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Jun 5, 2017, 07:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How do the Japanese view the JSDF? Do they think of them as cops? Do they just pretend they think that way and do a nudge-nudge, wink-wink?
No, neither side of the debate believes that the JSDF is a “police force”, it's clearly a military for all parties involved. The pacificsts (of which there are many) see it as a violation of Article 9 while the hawks (which are in power now) see their military shackled by the pretenses of Article 9 — and so they would like to get rid of it. The hawks see the constitution as being forced upon Japan by America and as unnatural. There are veiled and not-so-veiled plans for Japan to get nuclear capabilities. For my wife's family (which is from Nagasaki, and her father and aunt are survivors of the nuclear bomb) this is a red line. They hate Abe and his government. I think it is quite likely if the trend continues that Japan changes its constitution and silently acquires nuclear weapons — they have all the pieces lying around, ready for assembly (e. g. they can re-use their rocket technology developed for JAXA, the Japanese space agency).

The blatant violation of Article 9 has been backed by the US and the Western alliance: similar to Germany, Japan bordered the Soviet block and it isn't a coincidence that Germany and Japan rebuilt their armies at roughly the same time, the mid-1950s. This was after the initial window of global nuclear supremacy of the US closed and the Soviet Union had developed nuclear weapons as well. Japanese culture has less qualms about using tatemae (lit. standing in front, meaning facade, public stance) that clashes with the inner spirit of laws. So even though pacifists are of course aware of this, they fear that changing Article 9 could lead Japan down a militaristic path. The majority of Japanese people share this view, but the Abe government is nevertheless trying to push constitutional reforms, and one of the center pieces is a revision of Article 9.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is Section 9 somewhat based on the idea Japan already has cops with tanks, subs, and jet fighters?
Do you mean Article 9 or do you refer to Section 9 from Ghost in the Shell? (The latter is based on the German GSG9, the special forces group of German federal police.)

If you mean Article 9, that preceded Japan's rearmament. It is a key piece of the postwar constitution and the rearmament came afterwards. The original intent was for Japan to never get an army again (whether you pretend it is a police force or not doesn't matter).
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subego
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Jun 5, 2017, 10:08 PM
 
Thank you again for the informative response!

I actually did mean Section 9, Tachikomas and all.

To an American, they have an odd feel. We don't really have dedicated special forces type cop units. They get created and dispersed on the fly from regular cops with extra training. They spend most of their time as regular cops.

Section 9 is a lot more like something the CIA would do, but of course the CIA are most emphatically not cops, and for the most part aren't pointed internally, so that doesn't really work.
     
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Jun 5, 2017, 11:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To an American, they have an odd feel. We don't really have dedicated special forces type cop units. They get created and dispersed on the fly from regular cops with extra training. They spend most of their time as regular cops.
The real-life GSG9 is a police unit because the German constitution clearly separates the duties of police and military, and the military is not allowed to be deployed domestically to perform police work. If you look more closely, the GSG9's tactics and weapons are very different from military weapons, for instance their sniper rifles are very distinct from what is used by the Bundeswehr (the German army). IMHO that level of specialization gives the German people a more optimal outcome.

That's very different from assembling SWAT teams as needed. Furthermore, people with a military background have received a different type of education than police optimized, special forces training.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Section 9 is a lot more like something the CIA would do, but of course the CIA are most emphatically not cops, and for the most part aren't pointed internally, so that doesn't really work.
The fictional Section 9 is, like you wrote, a mix of police and intelligence unit. The fact that they straddle the gamut from police force to anti-terrorism counter intelligence unit is quite unique. Especially the focus on hacking is quite forward looking.

Speaking of Ghost in the Shell, the creator of the series picked US-Japanese relations and Japanese nuclear armament as central topics of Season 2 of the anime (aka Second Gig). A faction of the Japanese government ousted the prime minister of Japan and realigned themselves with the US because the elected prime minister wanted to go beyond the WW2 security arrangement between the US and Japan.
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subego
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Jun 6, 2017, 02:58 PM
 
All very interesting. Thanks again!

My guess is the spread-out nature of the US makes dedicated units impossible. We'd need several hundred teams to effectively cover the entire country, and more local teams aren't needed often enough for them to be full-time.
     
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Jun 6, 2017, 07:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My guess is the spread-out nature of the US makes dedicated units impossible. We'd need several hundred teams to effectively cover the entire country, and more local teams aren't needed often enough for them to be full-time.
Also in Japan that'd be quite hard, Japan is very long and thin with mountain ranges separating the coasts. That means you need a lot of time to travel from A to B. Even with the V22 Ospray-alikes, it'd be hard to cover the whole country. Plus, nobody knows where Niihama (“Newport”, the new fictitious capital of Japan) is located).
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Jun 6, 2017, 09:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Speaking of Ghost in the Shell, the creator of the series picked US-Japanese relations and Japanese nuclear armament as central topics of Season 2 of the anime (aka Second Gig). A faction of the Japanese government ousted the prime minister of Japan and realigned themselves with the US because the elected prime minister wanted to go beyond the WW2 security arrangement between the US and Japan.
Even speaking as Mr. Blow-em-up guy, I can't figure out why Japan would want nukes. To defend against what?

Not to put to fine a point on it, but the shit's an island. Invading it would be suicide, and all there'd be to show for it at the end would be a goddamn island.
     
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Jun 6, 2017, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Even speaking as Mr. Blow-em-up guy, I can't figure out why Japan would want nukes. To defend against what?
China and North Korea for the most part. North Korea has been launching rockets in Japans direction with some frequency, reminding them that they could reach the island if need arises. Plus, they want to be seen as a local superpower again, akin to the situation in the late 19th, early 20th century. Japan has been in a recession since the bubble burst in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Population is on the decline and the old ways are crumbling as they are no longer sustainable. The old family model is on its way out because both, a single average salary is no longer enough to support 2+2 people and because young people are no longer interested in finding partners (30 % of people in the 20-39 age bracket are single and of those 40 % have no interest in finding a romantic partner).

Arch conservatives of course blame this on the new ways and want society to return to the values when they saw Japan on the rise: the time just after the Russo-Japanese war and the end of WW2. They want to be somebody again, respected in the world. People should sacrifice for their country, for their Emperor, stick to the old ways, expel foreigners (especially those pesky Koreans who for some strange reason are living in Japan (their ancestors were forced laborers, and even after that many generations, they still haven't received citizenship and are excluded from many types of jobs)). Going nuclear means entry to an exclusive club of countries you don't eff with (that's why we treat Pakistan very, very differently from Afghanistan). They want to be freed from the “shackles” of the post-WW2 order, see values such as free speech as forced upon them by the West (especially the US). They erase unpleasant bits of history from school books or, at the very least, play it down (favorite non-topics are the Nanking Massacre and the Korean “Comfort Women”). Especially the last bit has particularly nasty consequences: even very well educated Japanese tend not to know about these things and therefore have little understanding for when Korea complains about that. (Why are they so upset?) Abe himself is the grandson of a war criminal and part of a political dynasty in Japan. It is clear where he wants to lead the country.

Of course, I think this analysis is non-sense. Japan's uberfocus on racial purity will lead to a lack of diversity that will prevent it from adapting to the 21st century.

To give you one practical example of the lack of Japan's soft power: the world's four biggest economies are (1) the US, (2) China, (3) Japan and (4) Germany. When the US (#1) bowed out of the Paris Climate Accords, it wasn't #2, #3 and #4 who filled the vacuum left by the US, it was China (#2) and Germany (#4) who stepped up.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Not to put to fine a point on it, but the shit's an island. Invading it would be suicide, and all there'd be to show for it at the end would be a goddamn island.
With nuclear weapons, the concern isn't an invasion, but the fact that civilization in that country as you know it now is over. The Tokyo metropolitan area is home to 35 million people, roughly 25 % of the population. If that gets hit by nuclear weapons, Japan would collapse. Even with missile defenses, the attacker needs to get lucky only once while the defender needs to be lucky every single time. And while North Korea might be crazy enough to attack nonetheless, China certainly isn't.
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Jun 6, 2017, 10:13 PM
 
But there's no reason for anyone to nuke Tokyo unless Japan is acting as a belligerent.

NK could do it for no reason I guess, but the proper response would be to flatten NK conventionally.

What's far more likely is NK will simply collapse, and way before Japan could realistically have operational nuclear weapons.

That leaves China, who has no reason to want to nuke Tokyo, even ignoring the part where that would be the end of the world.
     
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Jun 6, 2017, 10:31 PM
 
There are only two people on Earth with capability and the stupidity to launch the first nuke. If Kim Jong Un tries, my suspicion is he will be stopped by his generals in the knowledge that NK would be flattened in response.

The other one is the orange buffoon.
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Jun 6, 2017, 10:37 PM
 
What the hell is this thread about now? Japan? What?
     
subego
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Jun 6, 2017, 10:54 PM
 
We want to know if right wingers are happy they caused Japan to become a nuclear power.
     
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Jun 6, 2017, 11:34 PM
 
It will make me super happy when our in-house right-wingers drop the partisan conversation barriers and admit to us that Trump is horseshit (preferably without a defensive "but Obama/Hillary/emails") so perhaps we can actually come together and figure out what ought to be next for the country.
     
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Jun 7, 2017, 03:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
But there's no reason for anyone to nuke Tokyo unless Japan is acting as a belligerent.
North Korea already has a history of erratic behavior and aggression. In 2010 they sank a ship of the South Korean navy. North Korea periodically launches ballistic test missiles and lets them crash into the Sea of Japan.

China as it is now acts in a completely different fashion. But also here Japan has a dispute around some “islands” (it'd be more accurate to call them rocks in the ocean), but these have some significance (e. g. for fishing rights). Negotiations between two nuclear powers are done very differently than between one nuclear and one non-nuclear power.

I am strictly against nuclear arms, but I understand the logic here.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What's far more likely is NK will simply collapse, and way before Japan could realistically have operational nuclear weapons.
Estimates are that it will take Japan less than 1-2 years to become a nuclear power. Japan has had an eye towards developing the necessary dual use technologies for decades. It has strategically developed all the pieces: from rockets that resemble ICBMs to sufficient amounts of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. In the words of a former minister of defense:
Originally Posted by Shigeru Ishiba
I don't think Japan needs to possess nuclear weapons, but it's important to maintain our commercial reactors because it would allow us to produce a nuclear warhead in a short amount of time ... It's a tacit nuclear deterrent.
Plus, you are forgetting that just after collapse is probably the most dangerous point in time, because all state control of the nuclear weapons has seized and a lone madman (or greedy SOB) could sell nuclear weapons to the highest bidder — or use them.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That leaves China, who has no reason to want to nuke Tokyo, even ignoring the part where that would be the end of the world.
Again, think of it as leverage and a way to get a seat at the “big boy's table” and in case of China at least, less of a response to an imminent threat.
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Jun 7, 2017, 11:19 AM
 
I was including the time it would take to jump the legislative hurdles. Even without those, NK lasting two more years isn't a forgone conclusion.

I can't justify nuking NK as a sovereign nation, even if they first-strike, so I really can't justify nuking it as it falls to pieces.

I'm not going to argue it doesn't suck having to live next to a madman who could decide to light-up Tokyo just because his gangrenous feet hurt, but NK already has tons of nukes aimed at it, and it's not doing anything. That Japan could somehow tip the scales is hubris.

Superficially, I can see why China might be considered a problem, but, how do I put this delicately... there's only one nation in the region who has a consistent record of imperialist aggression, and it ain't China.
     
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Jun 7, 2017, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm not going to argue it doesn't suck having to live next to a madman who could decide to light-up Tokyo just because his gangrenous feet hurt, but NK already has tons of nukes aimed at it, and it's not doing anything. That Japan could somehow tip the scales is hubris.
You are missing the point, which is that Japan wants to be able to do this itself without having to rely on the US. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the election of the erratic President Trump and an acceleration of these plans are connected.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Superficially, I can see why China might be considered a problem, but, how do I put this delicately... there's only one nation in the region who has a consistent record of imperialist aggression, and it ain't China.
With due respect, but it doesn't seem as if you know much about the history of that region. China was the regional superpower for literally millennia, and there was only a short historic dip between the Opium Wars and the end of WW2. And of course, that meant subjugating other peoples (such as the Koreans whose king was a vassal of the Chinese emperor). Japan on the other hand had consciously decided to close itself off for 250 years until the US (and other countries) forcefully opened it. Even before that it was somewhat of a hermit nation that did not trade much with the outside world. By some miracle of history it managed to avoid colonialization by one of the powers (e. g. the US) and managed to build up a sizable military. ”The Black Ships” (the American military steam vessels that arrived in the 1850s) is still a fixed expression in Japanese for a looming outside threat, and left a permanent mark on the cultural psyche of the country. Japan did that by copying the big colonial powers such as Great Britain and the United States, and invested heavily to expand its military.

None of this excuses the violations of human righs, massacres and aggression, and Japan has managed to avoid a critical review of its past. This period is romanticized by many Japanese right wingers, because it is the period where Japan was strongest in their view — forgetting that it is unusual if seen from the perspective of ~2000 years of modern Japanease history. But I think it is a mistake to measure Japan's behavior with a different yard stick than that used to judge the behavior of other colonial powers.
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Jun 7, 2017, 10:29 PM
 
To selfishly rerail this, so, uh, any thoughts on Trump's actions in that Comey statement right-wingers?
     
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Jun 7, 2017, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
To selfishly rerail this, so, uh, any thoughts on Trump's actions in that Comey statement right-wingers?
     
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Jun 7, 2017, 11:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
[IMG]
Not you.
     
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Jun 7, 2017, 11:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You're doing it again, mixing real and fake tweets … 
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Jun 7, 2017, 11:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Not you.
I was joking, but I'm going to answer anyways.

Not really. As I mentioned somewhere else, how big a deal it was covering for Flynn depends on what Trump knew.

My spidey-senses tell me the major players at the NYT and the WP have known for a long time Trump isn't being directly investigated, and the claim Comey told him so was true.

It ain't been reported that way.
     
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Jun 8, 2017, 05:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I was joking, but I'm going to answer anyways.

Not really. As I mentioned somewhere else, how big a deal it was covering for Flynn depends on what Trump knew.

My spidey-senses tell me the major players at the NYT and the WP have known for a long time Trump isn't being directly investigated, and the claim Comey told him so was true.

It ain't been reported that way.
An interesting bit I picked up on was one of the reasons for Comey not wanted to announce that Trump was not under investigation- that if he made a public statement, he would be obligated to correct it if that changed.

This isn't me saying that I think it will or should change, I just found it interesting, and completely logical.
     
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Jun 8, 2017, 10:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You are missing the point, which is that Japan wants to be able to do this itself without having to rely on the US. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the election of the erratic President Trump and an acceleration of these plans are connected.

With due respect, but it doesn't seem as if you know much about the history of that region. China was the regional superpower for literally millennia, and there was only a short historic dip between the Opium Wars and the end of WW2. And of course, that meant subjugating other peoples (such as the Koreans whose king was a vassal of the Chinese emperor). Japan on the other hand had consciously decided to close itself off for 250 years until the US (and other countries) forcefully opened it. Even before that it was somewhat of a hermit nation that did not trade much with the outside world. By some miracle of history it managed to avoid colonialization by one of the powers (e. g. the US) and managed to build up a sizable military. ”The Black Ships” (the American military steam vessels that arrived in the 1850s) is still a fixed expression in Japanese for a looming outside threat, and left a permanent mark on the cultural psyche of the country. Japan did that by copying the big colonial powers such as Great Britain and the United States, and invested heavily to expand its military.

None of this excuses the violations of human righs, massacres and aggression, and Japan has managed to avoid a critical review of its past. This period is romanticized by many Japanese right wingers, because it is the period where Japan was strongest in their view — forgetting that it is unusual if seen from the perspective of ~2000 years of modern Japanease history. But I think it is a mistake to measure Japan's behavior with a different yard stick than that used to judge the behavior of other colonial powers.
Hit me with your fave Chinese atrocities.
     
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Jun 8, 2017, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
To selfishly rerail this, so, uh, any thoughts on Trump's actions in that Comey statement right-wingers?
We had some actual "right-wingers" at one time, but they've pretty much all left. You can't expect people to stick around, given the usual state of hostility directed towards opposing views around here. Not everyone is like that, of course, but it's common enough that it's created a chilling effect. I knew this place would devolve into an echo chamber eventually, and now that's what it's become. You (general "you") can only call someone an "idiot" or "dumbass" so many times before they wash their hands of you, and now you don't have anyone to debate with, and while subego does a yeoman's work trying to simulate one at times, it's not the same.
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Jun 8, 2017, 03:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
We had some actual "right-wingers" at one time, but they've pretty much all left. You can't expect people to stick around, given the usual state of hostility directed towards opposing views around here. Not everyone is like that, of course, but it's common enough that it's created a chilling effect. I knew this place would devolve into an echo chamber eventually, and now that's what it's become. You (general "you") can only call someone an "idiot" or "dumbass" so many times before they wash their hands of you, and now you don't have anyone to debate with, and while subego does a yeoman's work trying to simulate one at times, it's not the same.
This is so reminiscent of a great quote from Miles Jump on the BBC Radio 4 News Quiz, 'It's not so much a case of the pot calling the kettle back, as a bastard calling some other bastards a bunch of bastards.'
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Jun 8, 2017, 07:51 PM
 
I can remember feeling utterly outnumbered here by right wingers. I would say it wasn't that long ago but it probably was. Most of them do appear to have left at this point.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 8, 2017, 08:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
An interesting bit I picked up on was one of the reasons for Comey not wanted to announce that Trump was not under investigation- that if he made a public statement, he would be obligated to correct it if that changed.

This isn't me saying that I think it will or should change, I just found it interesting, and completely logical.
Comey's explanation makes total sense, but I'm talking about leaks.

This whole time there's been exculpatory evidence sitting around, and I find it interesting it just happened to be the only goddamn thing successfully kept under lock and key.
     
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Jun 8, 2017, 10:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I was joking, but I'm going to answer anyways.

Not really. As I mentioned somewhere else, how big a deal it was covering for Flynn depends on what Trump knew.

My spidey-senses tell me the major players at the NYT and the WP have known for a long time Trump isn't being directly investigated, and the claim Comey told him so was true.

It ain't been reported that way.
I'm not sure I can agree. When there are headlines that an investigation is moving into the white house and kushner's name is floated, that implies that no one else in the White House is under investigation. When it broke that they were investigating possible collusion, it was purposely pointed out that they weren't looking at Trump but his campaign.

Obviously, if there were misleading headlines, you're more likely to remember, but I feel like the actual reporting never implicated Trump being investigated, just that he is the common thread in a lot of the people who are.
     
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Jun 8, 2017, 10:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
This is so reminiscent of a great quote from Miles Jump on the BBC Radio 4 News Quiz, 'It's not so much a case of the pot calling the kettle back, as a bastard calling some other bastards a bunch of bastards.'
and almost as if on cue, you made my case for me.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I can remember feeling utterly outnumbered here by right wingers. I would say it wasn't that long ago but it probably was. Most of them do appear to have left at this point.
There was never a time when the Right outnumbered the Left here, ever. However, there was once a time, perhaps 7-10 years ago, when there was near-parity. The constant, steady abuse and insults fixed that, however, and now you have your almost perfect echo chamber, well done.
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Jun 9, 2017, 12:54 AM
 
IMO, the forums as a whole have always skewed "internet left".

When I decided to wade into the PWL (2005), I felt it was pretty even, but that was back when we still had raids. I know Abe liked to pull in outsiders.

Since, it's drifted pretty solid left.
     
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Jun 9, 2017, 05:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Hit me with your fave Chinese atrocities.
Let's start with the present and work backwards. China is a huge multiethnic state with 56 officially recognized ethnic groups and about 300 languages. The oppression of e. g. the Uighurs (and predominantly muslim) and the Tibetans is very well documented. In Tibet's case, the Chinese government has burnt down ancient buddhist temples, is meddling with the succession to the Dalai Lama and settling the area with “proper” Chinese. These peoples are often forbidden from using their own language and are discriminated against by Han Chinese.

The next one is the cultural revolution where somewhere between 400,000 and 10,000,000 people died (estimates vary wildly, it's hard to do research). Again, ethnic minorities such as the Mongolians, Koreans and Uighurs were on the receiving end of violence, forced resettlements and of course death.

During the Qing dynasty there was the Yangzhou massacre in 1645 where up to 800,000 people died (the number is probably too high, but considering that the total population of the earth was much smaller then than it is now, in relative terms it must have been very high).

There was also another big massacre in Guangzhou in 878 or 879 where an estimated 120,000-200,000 people (mostly Muslims, Jews and Christians) were killed.


Look, there is a reason China is as big as it is: it conquered all of its neighbors. The ancient Korean kingdom did not submit voluntarily to Chinese hegemony on the continent. They were forced to in battle. China was (and is) the Asian superpower with a history that stretches millennia.

Again, nothing excuses Japans violations of basic human rights during their brief colonial period, and its crimes should be mentioned in the same breath as the Holocaust, the millions of dead and deported during the Soviet revolution in modern-day Russia and its satellite states as well as the cultural revolution. (We could argue which other crimes to include here, e. g. the Armenian genocide during WW1 by the Turks.) But we should put everything in the proper historical context. Besides, Japan's violence and abuses need not be weighed against China's violent past. Hitler is not responsible for Stalin's atrocities. And each nation has a responsibility to be honest about their past and try to act better, in a more moral fashion in the future.* Japan is failing miserably in this respect.


* Having met a lot of Chinese, they are (on average) equally uninformed about their own abuses, even if they have been living abroad for a long time with access to Western media. But China —unlike Japan — isn't a democracy, and democracies should be held to a higher standard.
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Jun 9, 2017, 07:54 AM
 
We need to square-up our history books here.

By 1300, all of modern China had been conquered by the Mongols. They were the neighbor-conquering, imperialist bad-asses.

Once the Chinese got their act together, they pushed the Mongols back. The Mongols ran out of steam, and China stopped pushing.

With the exception of Xinjiang, modern China is a smaller Yuan dynasty China.

Don't get me wrong. The Chinese are dicks. The point is they're the kind of dicks who stay inside their borders for seven centuries and counting. Don't **** with them, and they leave you alone.

Which is why Japan making a scene is ridiculous. China's just not that into you.
     
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Jun 9, 2017, 08:28 AM
 
Japan and China got into it a century or so ago I thought? I'm sure there was a war on in the first Ip Man movie....
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