Archive for Japan

Opinion | Don’t Fall for Facebook’s ‘China Argument’ – by Tim Wu – The New York Times

America’s global dominance in technology requires fierce competition at home, not the coddling of monopolies.

Tim Wu

By Tim Wu

Mr. Wu is a law professor who specializes in antitrust.

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CreditCreditAlex Merto

“Over the last year or so, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and other American tech leaders have issued a stark warning to those who want to see more competition in the industry. It goes something like this: “We understand that we’ve made mistakes. But don’t you realize that if you damage us, you’ll just be handing over the future to China? Unlike America, the Chinese government is standing behind its tech firms, because it knows that the competition is global, and it wants to win.”

This — Big Tech’s version of the “too big to fail” argument — has a superficial nationalistic appeal. It’s certainly true that the Chinese technology sector is growing and aggressively competitive, and that many of its companies are embraced and promoted by the Chinese state. By one count, eight of the world’s 20 largest tech firms are Chinese. That would seem to suggest a contest for global dominance, one in which the United States ought not be considering breakups or regulation, but instead be doing everything it can to protect and subsidize the home team.

But to accept this argument would be a mistake, for it betrays and ignores hard-won lessons about the folly of an industrial policy centered on “national champions,” especially in the tech sector. What Facebook is really asking for is to be embraced and protected as America’s very own social media monopolist, bravely doing battle overseas. But both history and basic economics suggest we do much better trusting that fierce competition at home yields stronger industries overall.

That’s the lesson from the history of Japanese-American tech competition. During the 1970s and into the ’80s, it was widely believed that Japan was threatening the United States for supremacy in technology markets. The Japanese giant NEC was a serious challenger to IBM in the mainframe market; Sony was running over consumer electronics, joined by powerful firms like Panasonic and Toshiba. These companies enjoyed the support of the Japanese state, through the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, which pursued a nationalistic industrial policy thought to be infallible.”

Source: Opinion | Don’t Fall for Facebook’s ‘China Argument’ – The New York Times

Posted in: Japan, Monopoly or Monopsony

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Suicides Among Japanese Children Reach Highest Level in 3 Decades – The New York Times

By Motoko Rich and Makiko Inoue

“TOKYO — Suicides by young people in Japan rose to their highest level in three decades in 2017, according to new figures released by the government.

Japan has a persistent problem with suicides, although the number has been declining over all. But child suicides have risen recently, with experts pointing to school pressures and bullying as likely triggers.

Last year 250 children in elementary, middle and high schools committed suicide, the highest number since 1986, according to data released last month by the Education Ministry.

According to the Education Ministry survey of schools, most of the students did not leave any explanation for why they decided to take their own lives. Of those who did, the most frequently cited reason was worries over what path to take after graduation. Other reasons included family problems and bullying.”

Source: Suicides Among Japanese Children Reach Highest Level in 3 Decades – The New York Times

David Lindsay: Apparently, the schools do not have a School Counselor, like American public schools all do.

Posted in: Japan, Science

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Europe and Asia Move to Bolster Global Systems That Trump Has Attacked – By Steven Erlanger and Jane Perlez – NYT

 July 18, 2018 134 查看本文简体中文版查看本文繁體中文版

BRUSSELS — From trade to regulation to security, America’s traditional allies are accelerating their efforts to buttress a global system that President Trump has seemed prepared to tear down.

After months of stunned indecision, they have undertaken a flurry of efforts intended to preserve the rules-based order the United States created after World War II and championed ever since.

The most obvious example came on Monday, the same day a stunned world watched Mr. Trump praise President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as a competitor after having dismissed Europe as an economic “foe.” A few thousand miles away, in Beijing, the leaders of the European Union and China held a long-scheduled meeting of their own.

In the past, expectations for such meetings were low, given the conflicts on trade and human rights between the Europeans and the Chinese. But while those differences remain, this summit meeting produced an unusual joint declaration and a common commitment to keep the global system strong.

The next day, the Europeans traveled to Japan and signed the biggest free-trade agreement in history, just the sort of deal the Trump administration has criticized.

And on Wednesday, Europe’s top regulator announced a $5.1 billion fine against Google, another strong indication that Brussels is not just fighting to maintain the rules-based trading order, but is also positioning itself as the watchdog of that system.

After months of denialangerbargaining and depression, Europe and other parts of the world have accepted that Mr. Trump and his mission of disruption are not going away.”

Source: Europe and Asia Move to Bolster Global Systems That Trump Has Attacked – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Globalization and Trade, Japan

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122 Pregnant Whales Were Killed in Japan’s Latest Hunt. Was This Illegal? – The New York Times

By Tacey Rychter      

“More than 120 pregnant female whales were among 333 killed during Japan’s recent annual summer hunt off the coast of Antarctica, according to a new report.

The report, released by the International Whaling Commission this month, said 122 of the slaughtered minke whales were pregnant and 114 were considered immature.

The last hunting season in the Antarctic for Japan ran from Dec. 8 to Feb. 28.

Conservationists said the new report was further evidence that Japan was killing whales for commercial purposes under the guise of scientific research.”

Source: 122 Pregnant Whales Were Killed in Japan’s Latest Hunt. Was This Illegal? – The New York Times

Posted in: Japan, The Sixth Extinction of Species

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U.S. Allies Sign Sweeping Trade Deal in Challenge to Trump – The New York Times

SANTIAGO, Chile — A trade pact originally conceived by the United States to counter China’s growing economic might in Asia now has a new target: President Trump’s embrace of protectionism.

A group of 11 nations — including major United States allies like Japan, Canada and Australia — signed a broad trade deal on Thursday that challenges Mr. Trump’s view of trade as a zero-sum game filled with winners and losers.

Covering 500 million people on either side of the Pacific Ocean, the pact represents a new vision for global trade as the United States threatens to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on even its closest friends and neighbors.

Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from an earlier version of the agreement, then known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a year ago as one of his first acts in office. It will undeniably be weaker without the participation of the world’s biggest economy, but the resuscitated deal serves as a powerful sign of how countries that have previously counted on American leadership are now forging ahead without it.

“Only free trade will contribute to inclusive growth of the world economy,” Taro Kono, Japan’s foreign minister, told a group of ministers from Southeast Asian countries in Tokyo on Thursday. “Protectionism isn’t a solution.”

Source: U.S. Allies Sign Sweeping Trade Deal in Challenge to Trump – The New York Times

Here is a comment I endorsed at the NYT.

Rich G

New York 4 hours ago

“While American beef farmers will have to pay 38.5 percent tariffs in Japan, for example, members like Australia, New Zealand and Canada will not.”

I’m sure that most in the beef industry voted for Trump. Well guess what, More expensive steel is going to mean your costs are going up and the tariffs mean your income is going down. America First? Much more of this and it will be America Last.

Posted in: Foreign Trade Policy, Globalization and Trade, Japan

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Japan to provide patrol ships to Vietnam amid maritime row with China | Thanh Nien Daily

An aerial view shows Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, fishing boats from Taiwan and Taiwan’s Coast Guard vessel sailing side by side near the disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan, in this photo taken by Kyodo in this file photo dated September 25, 2012.

RELATED NEWS Japan to provide planes, ships for Philippines amid sea dispute with China Japan eyes record defence budget to develop anti-ship missiles Japan protests after Chinese navy ship sails near disputed islands Japan pledges support for Southeast Asia security to counter coercive China Japan considers providing new ships to Vietnam’s coast guard.

The Japanese government said on Wednesday it is ready to provide Vietnam with new patrol ships, in its latest step to boost the maritime law-enforcement capabilities of countries locked in territorial rows with China.On Tuesday, Japan agreed to provide two large patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines, another country at odds with China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea.Japan itself has been at loggerheads with China over a group of tiny, uninhabited East China Sea islets.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, of Tokyo’s intention in their meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN-related meetings in Vientiane.Japan has already provided six patrol ships to Vietnam, but they were all used ones, a Japanese foreign ministry official said, adding that details such as the timing of the delivery and the number of ships to be provided have yet to be fixed.Japan plans to extend a low-interest loan under its official development assistance program to Vietnam to facilitate the acquisition.”

Source: Japan to provide patrol ships to Vietnam amid maritime row with China | Politics | Thanh Nien Daily

Posted in: Japan, Vietnamese Foreign Policy

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