Japan off the rails?

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cassowary
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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by cassowary » Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:18 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 2:55 am
https://asiatimes.com/2021/12/japan-pay ... wn-market/

The world’s third richest country is facing rising poverty – and its associated ills
This country was in the 1960's the economic wonder of Asia and by the 1970's the wonder of the world. So how did this once energetic, vibrant country ever sink into its present impasse?

Japan gives every impression of being a spent force.
I think the main reason is their ageing population. Japan is not reproducing itself. Nor does it allow immigration. On top of that, they didn't allow their companies to fail. In a capitalist economy, capital need to be redeployed by allowing bankruptcies. Employees and assets can then be redeployed into more efficient uses. Instead, the government kept pumping money into the economy with low interest rates, thus allowing debt ridden Japanese companies to survive. This led ot a generation of slow growth.

I suspect something like this will happen to China.
The Imp :D

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Sertorio
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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by Sertorio » Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:50 am

neverfail wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:02 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:33 am

I notice that for you the democratically expressed will of a people is "petty minded and irrelevant"... Not very reassuring...
Okinawans do not vote at US elections.
They vote in Japan but the Japanese government, under pressure by the US, refuses to accept the democratic will of Okinawans who are sick and tired of US troops violating their laws and molesting their girls. Had American power been as "soft" as you pretend, those troops would have left a long time ago. But the US is a (decadent) empire which will not bear anyone refusing to do as they are told to do. Hopefully we will not have to bow much longer to that decadent empire.

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by neverfail » Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:00 am

Sertorio wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:50 am
neverfail wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:02 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:33 am

I notice that for you the democratically expressed will of a people is "petty minded and irrelevant"... Not very reassuring...
Okinawans do not vote at US elections.
They vote in Japan but the Japanese government, under pressure by the US, refuses to accept the democratic will of Okinawans who are sick and tired of US troops violating their laws and molesting their girls. Had American power been as "soft" as you pretend, those troops would have left a long time ago. But the US is a (decadent) empire which will not bear anyone refusing to do as they are told to do. Hopefully we will not have to bow much longer to that decadent empire.
Yes, I know about their unpopularity with the Okinawans for the reasons you state. With China and North Korea just over the horizon the US cannot afford to give up Okinawa because of its strategic location nor can Japan afford to give up the protection that the US offers.

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by neverfail » Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:35 am

cassowary wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:18 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 2:55 am
Japan gives every impression of being a spent force.
I think the main reason is their ageing population. Japan is not reproducing itself. Nor does it allow immigration. On top of that, they didn't allow their companies to fail. In a capitalist economy, capital need to be redeployed by allowing bankruptcies. Employees and assets can then be redeployed into more efficient uses. Instead, the government kept pumping money into the economy with low interest rates, thus allowing debt ridden Japanese companies to survive. This led ot a generation of slow growth.

I suspect something like this will happen to China.
It all seems very plausable the way you put it Cass: and you might well be right.

......................................................................................................................................

Cass, I saw something on television lately that might have a bearing on why the Japanese are like that. The poms have gone in big for travel programs with a railway theme to them - presented by the likes of Michael Portillo, Joanna Lumley and (Sir) Tony Robinson. These are re-run on Australian television. In his recently screened episode on Japan Robinson ended up at Hakodote on their northern island of Hokkaido. There an erodite local woman told him something about the character of Japanese society that I found an eye-opener.

She described a near obscession with harmony - both within and without. With maintaning the balance.

That might go a long way towards explaining the phenonimun you describe above. Japanese governments seem to have done all within their power to indefinitely postpone reform. Reform could be very dangerous because it would risk causing disharmony, upsetting the balance. Historically, whenever that has happened Japanese society has suffered some horrible civil war.

Which is why the last time this country underwent reform it was under post-WW2 American occupation.

I suppose it would be understandable if a country where three tectonic plates meet and rub against one another: where related natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic weruptions and tsunamis are both commonplace and tragic; if the people who inhabit such an inherently unstable land were to be collectively preoccupied with maintaning a high degree of certainty and predictability in their lives.

(it also explains why Japan is unlikely to be a helpful ally for the United States in the showdown it hankers for with the PRC.)

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by cassowary » Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:03 am

neverfail wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:35 am
cassowary wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:18 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jan 02, 2022 2:55 am
Japan gives every impression of being a spent force.
I think the main reason is their ageing population. Japan is not reproducing itself. Nor does it allow immigration. On top of that, they didn't allow their companies to fail. In a capitalist economy, capital need to be redeployed by allowing bankruptcies. Employees and assets can then be redeployed into more efficient uses. Instead, the government kept pumping money into the economy with low interest rates, thus allowing debt ridden Japanese companies to survive. This led ot a generation of slow growth.

I suspect something like this will happen to China.
It all seems very plausable the way you put it Cass: and you might well be right.

......................................................................................................................................

Cass, I saw something on television lately that might have a bearing on why the Japanese are like that. The poms have gone in big for travel programs with a railway theme to them - presented by the likes of Michael Portillo, Joanna Lumley and (Sir) Tony Robinson. These are re-run on Australian television. In his recently screened episode on Japan Robinson ended up at Hakodote on their northern island of Hokkaido. There an erodite local woman told him something about the character of Japanese society that I found an eye-opener.

She described a near obscession with harmony - both within and without. With maintaning the balance.

That might go a long way towards explaining the phenonimun you describe above. Japanese governments seem to have done all within their power to indefinitely postpone reform. Reform could be very dangerous because it would risk causing disharmony, upsetting the balance. Historically, whenever that has happened Japanese society has suffered some horrible civil war.

Which is why the last time this country underwent reform it was under post-WW2 American occupation.

I suppose it would be understandable if a country where three tectonic plates meet and rub against one another: where related natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic weruptions and tsunamis are both commonplace and tragic; if the people who inhabit such an inherently unstable land were to be collectively preoccupied with maintaning a high degree of certainty and predictability in their lives.

(it also explains why Japan is unlikely to be a helpful ally for the United States in the showdown it hankers for with the PRC.)
I don’t think their geography has anything to do with their desire for a consensus. Their reluctance to change is due to their power structure. Nobody has the power to make big changes. The large companies wield enormous influence. Cooperative civil servants gets cushy jobs in big companies after retirement. So nobody wants s to rock the boat. The LDP has been in power almost every year since independence. Nothing changes. So reform is very difficult.

As for US vs China, Japan feels the Chinese threat more acutely than the US because of proximity. If Taiwan is invaded, it will urge the US to intervene. Japan might also go nuclear.

……………………………………………………..

Why I think China is in a period of slow growth. Firstly, like Japan, it will soon have a declining population. Secondly, it is becoming more Socialist.

Spooked by the rising power of the private sector, Xi has decided to reign in capitalist reforms. Instead of letting loss making state owned enterprises to go bust, it will let them take over private companies.

It is reverting back to Marxism. That means more state control of the economy. Xi knows that this will stifle growth. But maintaining power for the ccp is of the highest priority.

Thirdly, Xi has eliminated all opposition to himself. He is famously the “chairman of everything “. Officials who opposed his policies are purged by accusing them of corruption. Since nearly all officials are corrupted, it means he can get rid of anyone.

So none dares to contradict him. That is a recipe for making blunders. One such blunder last year was banning Australian coal and miscalculating the supply of coal from other sources. This caused power failures.
The Imp :D

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by neverfail » Tue Jan 04, 2022 12:31 pm

cassowary wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:03 am


I don’t think their geography has anything to do with their desire for a consensus. Their reluctance to change is due to their power structure. Nobody has the power to make big changes. The large companies wield enormous influence. Cooperative civil servants gets cushy jobs in big companies after retirement. So nobody wants s to rock the boat. The LDP has been in power almost every year since independence. Nothing changes. So reform is very difficult.

As for US vs China, Japan feels the Chinese threat more acutely than the US because of proximity. If Taiwan is invaded, it will urge the US to intervene. Japan might also go nuclear.

……………………………………………………..

Why I think China is in a period of slow growth. Firstly, like Japan, it will soon have a declining population. Secondly, it is becoming more Socialist.

Spooked by the rising power of the private sector, Xi has decided to reign in capitalist reforms. Instead of letting loss making state owned enterprises to go bust, it will let them take over private companies.

It is reverting back to Marxism. That means more state control of the economy. Xi knows that this will stifle growth. But maintaining power for the ccp is of the highest priority.

Thirdly, Xi has eliminated all opposition to himself. He is famously the “chairman of everything “. Officials who opposed his policies are purged by accusing them of corruption. Since nearly all officials are corrupted, it means he can get rid of anyone.

So none dares to contradict him. That is a recipe for making blunders. One such blunder last year was banning Australian coal and miscalculating the supply of coal from other sources. This caused power failures.
Thanks Cass for reply. I wanted to float the above viewpoint off to you to see how you might respond and can certainly see things from your perspective.

Taiwan? Given that Japan ruled Taiwan for half a century it has old colonial ties with Taiwan. Indeed with the Ryukyu chain of islands stretching south towards it Taiwan almost looks fit to be another of Japan's islands instead of a province of China.

Is this possibly the reason why Beijing is so intent on getting their hands on it?

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by cassowary » Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:34 am

neverfail wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 12:31 pm
cassowary wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:03 am


I don’t think their geography has anything to do with their desire for a consensus. Their reluctance to change is due to their power structure. Nobody has the power to make big changes. The large companies wield enormous influence. Cooperative civil servants gets cushy jobs in big companies after retirement. So nobody wants s to rock the boat. The LDP has been in power almost every year since independence. Nothing changes. So reform is very difficult.

As for US vs China, Japan feels the Chinese threat more acutely than the US because of proximity. If Taiwan is invaded, it will urge the US to intervene. Japan might also go nuclear.

……………………………………………………..

Why I think China is in a period of slow growth. Firstly, like Japan, it will soon have a declining population. Secondly, it is becoming more Socialist.

Spooked by the rising power of the private sector, Xi has decided to reign in capitalist reforms. Instead of letting loss making state owned enterprises to go bust, it will let them take over private companies.

It is reverting back to Marxism. That means more state control of the economy. Xi knows that this will stifle growth. But maintaining power for the ccp is of the highest priority.

Thirdly, Xi has eliminated all opposition to himself. He is famously the “chairman of everything “. Officials who opposed his policies are purged by accusing them of corruption. Since nearly all officials are corrupted, it means he can get rid of anyone.

So none dares to contradict him. That is a recipe for making blunders. One such blunder last year was banning Australian coal and miscalculating the supply of coal from other sources. This caused power failures.
Thanks Cass for reply. I wanted to float the above viewpoint off to you to see how you might respond and can certainly see things from your perspective.

Taiwan? Given that Japan ruled Taiwan for half a century it has old colonial ties with Taiwan. Indeed with the Ryukyu chain of islands stretching south towards it Taiwan almost looks fit to be another of Japan's islands instead of a province of China.

Is this possibly the reason why Beijing is so intent on getting their hands on it?
Singapore is flooded with CCP propaganda via WhatsApp and WeChat. One point they make is that many of Taiwan’s leaders (those who want independence) have Japanese blood and thus not true Chinese. This is probably not true or exaggerated. Just like I heard someone telling me that Taiwan's current pro-Independence President is aboriginal and thus not true Chinese.

During WWII, many Taiwanese served in the Japanese Imperial Army.

A prominent pro-Independence activist, Koo Kwang Ming, was accused of not being a real Chinese but secretly Japanese or at least partly of Japanese descent.

Unlike, other populations, the Taiwanese have a postive view of Japanese colonialism. After Japan surrendered Taiwan to the Republic of China, things declined for the Taiwanese. The corrupt Kuomintang misruled the country. There was a riot and an insurrection against mainland rule. The Japanese actually ruled the country better than their fellow Chinese from the mainland. So the Taiwanese revolted. Mainland Chinese were targetted. Soon, fresh troops from the mainland arrived and put down the rebellion. There was a massacre, called the 228 incident.
The Imp :D

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:01 am

cassowary wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:34 am

Singapore is flooded with CCP propaganda via WhatsApp and WeChat. One point they make is that many of Taiwan’s leaders (those who want independence) have Japanese blood and thus not true Chinese. This is probably not true or exaggerated. Just like I heard someone telling me that Taiwan's current pro-Independence President is aboriginal and thus not true Chinese.

During WWII, many Taiwanese served in the Japanese Imperial Army.

A prominent pro-Independence activist, Koo Kwang Ming, was accused of not being a real Chinese but secretly Japanese or at least partly of Japanese descent.

Unlike, other populations, the Taiwanese have a postive view of Japanese colonialism. After Japan surrendered Taiwan to the Republic of China, things declined for the Taiwanese. The corrupt Kuomintang misruled the country. There was a riot and an insurrection against mainland rule. The Japanese actually ruled the country better than their fellow Chinese from the mainland. So the Taiwanese revolted. Mainland Chinese were targetted. Soon, fresh troops from the mainland arrived and put down the rebellion. There was a massacre, called the 228 incident.
I have heard this Cass - and thanks for confirming my impression.

My father told me how, during his wartime service in New Guinea, among the Japanese captive POW's he questioned late in the War was a Taiwanese. He had been a railway ticket clerk before the war and spoke reasonably fluent English. My dad conveyed the impression that he and other Australian soldiers did not think badly of the Yaiwanese.

However the worst and most dispised elements within the Japanese Imperial army were their Korean conscripts. Yhe worst cruelties were apparently committed by these rather than by the ethnic Japanese soldiers themselves.

To illustrate, they had a unit of Korean captives incarcarated in a POW camp. Conditions in all WW2 POW camps were basic but at least the Australians installed rows of cealing lights inside the barricks that housed them.

One morning a barefoot New Guinea native employed by the Australian army to carry food to these POWS stopped at the gate because he saw something amiss. There was a puddle of dirty rainwater at the gate which he had to wade through to reach the barricks with the food. It had an electric wire running to it from the nearest barracks. A typical New Guinea native of those times had only taken one step out of the stone age and therefore wouuld not have known how electric power works. But this native bearer had the intuitive good sense to back away and report it to his NCO.

During the night those Korean POW's had unraveled the live wiring from their row of overhead lights and ran it down to that pool of rainwater. Had that native stepped into that puddle he would have been electrocuted to death.

I asked my father 'why they did that?' and he answered "it was their idea of a joke."

My father finished by alluding that the Japenese could be and often were cruel in their line of duty 'but they had their bounds. Had these been Japanese captives they would probably never have sunk so low.'
..................................................................................................................

One would think that Koreans, themselves allegedly at the time an oppressed people living for decades under Japanese occupation would have developed an almost instinctive sympathy for other oppressed peoples living at the time under Japanese rule and abstained from committing gratituous atrocities: but in practice the opposite was true. When allowed a certain amount of latitude by their Japanese officers they exceeded the Japanese in atrocities agasinst defenceless pwoplw. I have talked to Pilipinos who had lived under Japanese occupation; Australian POW's in Japanese hands etc and they all say the same: the lowest of the very low in Japanese army uniform were the Koreans.

The Korean nation has suffered greatly from 40 years of Japanese occupation and abuse; the catastrophe of the Korean War followed by the past 7 decades of division into two mutually antagannistic states. If what I have described above represents the sum of Korean peasant morality as it was in the first half of the 20th century then I can only conclude that the Korean nation deserved it all as a form of divine retribution for being such malicious fuckwits.

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:21 am

cassowary wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:03 am

Why I think China is in a period of slow growth. Firstly, like Japan, it will soon have a declining population. Secondly, it is becoming more Socialist.

Spooked by the rising power of the private sector, Xi has decided to reign in capitalist reforms. Instead of letting loss making state owned enterprises to go bust, it will let them take over private companies.

It is reverting back to Marxism. That means more state control of the economy. Xi knows that this will stifle growth. But maintaining power for the ccp is of the highest priority.

Thirdly, Xi has eliminated all opposition to himself. He is famously the “chairman of everything “. Officials who opposed his policies are purged by accusing them of corruption. Since nearly all officials are corrupted, it means he can get rid of anyone.

So none dares to contradict him. That is a recipe for making blunders. One such blunder last year was banning Australian coal and miscalculating the supply of coal from other sources. This caused power failures.
Cass,
You are a master at inventing things - or distorting them - in order to justify your preconceived ideas.

1. China's population may indeed stagnate or even slightly decrease, but that will have no short term influence on China's economy. With internal demand still very far from what it could be, demographics are irrelevant. There are more than enough Chinese to keep the economy going for quite a while.

2. Xi is right by worrying about big private companies. If he doesn't keep the lid on, eventually those companies will subvert government and will cause an increase in inequality. Guaranteeing good education, health care and social security for everybody means the economy must be kept under control by the state. You don't need communism to realize that. Fascism understood that as well.

3. Xi doesn't give a damn about Marxism. Confucianism is more than enough for his purposes...

4. Xi may have some autocratic tendencies, but in China you need the support of a majority of the CCP to stay in power. He will never be a Chinese sort of Stalin. He needs to convince the party that he is the best option.

5. China is all in favour of nuclear power, so coal will stop being a necessary resource.

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Re: Japan off the rails?

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 06, 2022 3:06 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:21 am


Cass,
You are a master at inventing things - or distorting them - in order to justify your preconceived ideas.

1. China's population may indeed stagnate or even slightly decrease, but that will have no short term influence on China's economy. With internal demand still very far from what it could be, demographics are irrelevant. There are more than enough Chinese to keep the economy going for quite a while.

2. Xi is right by worrying about big private companies. If he doesn't keep the lid on, eventually those companies will subvert government and will cause an increase in inequality. Guaranteeing good education, health care and social security for everybody means the economy must be kept under control by the state. You don't need communism to realize that. Fascism understood that as well.

3. Xi doesn't give a damn about Marxism. Confucianism is more than enough for his purposes...

4. Xi may have some autocratic tendencies, but in China you need the support of a majority of the CCP to stay in power. He will never be a Chinese sort of Stalin. He needs to convince the party that he is the best option.

5. China is all in favour of nuclear power, so coal will stop being a necessary resource.
Sertorio,

In this post you seem to make some good and valid points.

I agree with you that uncontained capitalism not disciplined by intervening public policy to ensure fairness is a sure recipe for unjust inequality; jeoparsising the best interests of society at large and even the viability of the nation itself. Yet I would be very loath to entrust the destiny and wellbeing of my country to any authoritarian political power bloc: for whatever any of these label themselves as - Fascist; Communist or whatever they all seem to have one thing in common: they alwatys end up placing themselves above the law and trample the rights, priveleges and dignity of orginary citizens.

Can you trust any government, even a freely and fairly elected one, to do the right thing indefinitely? Perish the thought!
..................................................................................................................

As for the seperate issue of coal: yes it presently looks as though globally coal is destined to a slow death from nuclear and renewables: but nobody has told our coal producers that here in Austraslia who are still enjoying boom demand from Asian customers - including (believe it or not) the PRC. As demand for coal shrinks in Europe it is still expanding in Asia - and of the two Asian expansion exceeds European contraction by many times over.

It is a set of natural advantrages that Australia has and Europe lacks that permits the difference.

ironically, demand for and usage of coal within Australia is shrinking too. The main use of (soft thermal) coal is to generate electric power and in recent years and decades worn out old thermal power plants have been closing down and not been replaced by even a single new one being built. Instead all of the investment capital for electric power production is going into renewables.

It is happening not because of (contrived) government policies (like tax breaks for investment in renewables alonng with fiscal penalties for carbon emissions) but seems to be entirely market forces driven. The salient fact is that it is now far cheaper to produce electric power in this country using solar panels and wind turbines than to produce it by burning coal.

Ironically, we do not as a rule manufacture our own solar panels out here. We import them from China. :D despite some selective PRC government penalties placed on some of our export products Australia-China two way trade is still going strong.

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