Tag Archives: Japan

North Korea erasing most anti-US propaganda

trump and kim jong un
If we could just get the US media to do the same, that’d be great.
From NY Post: Nix the nuclear warheads, cue the doves. The North Korean government is erasing much of its anti-U.S. propaganda following dictator Kim Jong-un’s forays onto the world stage.
Gone are the posters depicting the U.S. as a “rotten, diseased, pirate nation” and promising “merciless revenge” on American forces for an imagined attack on the totalitarian country.
In their place are cheery messages touting praising the prospects for Korean reunification and the declaration Kim signed in April with South Korean President Moon Jae-in promising “lasting peace,” according to reports.
Still the most isolated country in the world, very few North Koreans have access to news and information from the outside world. So state propaganda plays a huge role in shaping their views.
Murals, banners and posters displayed throughout the capital, Pyongyang, have for decades depicted the U.S. as a brutal, imperialist aggressor hell-bent on destroying the North Korean regime. South Korea and Japan were also frequently targeted as willing allies of the U.S.
But things started to take an Orwellian turn in the run-up to Kim’s June 12 summit with President Donald Trump, with the old posters vanishing since then.
“All the anti-American posters I usually see around Kim Il-sung Square and at shops, they’ve all just gone,” Rowan Beard, a tour manager at Young Pioneer Tours, told Reuters. “In five years working in North Korea, I’ve never seen them completely disappear before.”
Infamous posters and postcards showing North Korean missiles on their way to Washington are a thing of the past. Also removed are the anti-American trinkets that used to be sold to tourists as souvenirs. In their place are items showing themes of Korean reunification.
The change extends to the country’s government-controlled media. News reports that once depicted the U.S. as hostile, and its involvement in places like Syria as proof of imperialism, are no longer critical. The Financial Times said the main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, hasn’t featured a direct attack on Trump since March, when he agreed to meet with Kim.
The paper was filled with pictures of the two together at the summit, and is no longer reporting anti-U.S. news. Other international events, like Kim’s visit last week to China, are being reported right away, rather than after a waiting period, and in more neutral language.
“This is fascinating,” Peter Ward, North Korea expert and writer for NKNews, told the BBC. “Generally speaking, neutral or positive coverage is normally reserved for countries that Pyongyang has friendly relations with.”
In one sign that relations are improving, the U.S. military said it positioned at least 100 wooden coffins at the border of North and South Korea on Saturday to prepare for the return of the remains of U.S. service members missing since the Korean War.
While the preparation suggests that the repatriation could happen soon, details about timing and location remain unclear. Kim agreed to return the remains during the June 12 summit.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says 7,697 Americans are unaccounted for from the 1950-1953 war. About 5,300 of those are believed to be in North Korean territory. Roughly 400 remains have been recovered from North Korea since 1990.
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Loser Hillary says Trump and China should soften up on North Korea

hillary clinton nasty woman
Grandma, you ain’t president. Go back to the woods.
From NY Post: Hillary Clinton used a conference in Beijing to blast both President Trump and the Chinese over their stance toward North Korea — saying it needs to soften up soon before things get out of hand and nuclear war breaks out.
Serving as the keynote speaker at Caijing Magazine’s three-day annual conference on Tuesday, the former secretary of state called on Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to avoid “bluster” and “personal taunts” when dealing with Pyongyang, according to Bloomberg.
She reportedly criticized the Trump administration for retreating from diplomacy in recent months and said she hoped that China wouldn’t follow suit.
While Clinton focused much of her sentiment on the US stance toward North Korea, she took most of her jabs at the Chinese — claiming they, too, were taking the wrong approach to the situation and making things worse with their “secret” military buildups.
“Beijing should remember that inaction is a choice as well,” Clinton said.
Like the Trump administration, the Chinese have chosen to avoid diplomatic talks with the North Koreans as tensions continue to escalate in the region.
Clinton said Tuesday that she hopes the six-party talks — multilateral negotiations held between China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the US on denuclearization — will be brought back after being shelved in 2009.
The Chinese have called for a resumption of the process in the past, to no avail.
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Washington state school district halts international trips

illegalSeems to me it’s the ideal moment to provide illegal aliens with an education on how to become a legal citizen.
From MyNorthwest.com: A school district in Washington halted all international field trips over concerns students in the country illegally wouldn’t be able to get back in.
The Seattle Times reports that the Kent School District’s Board of Directors announced the decision Wednesday. The decision immediately canceled an education exchange to Osaka, Japan, and a band trip to Victoria, British Columbia, in Canada.
District spokesman Chris Loftis says confusing messages from President Donald Trump’s administration caused uncertainty about whether students would be allowed back into the U.S.
Loftis says the district doesn’t track students’ immigration status because of a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision that says it’s unconstitutional to deny children in the country illegally a free and public education.
The school district says it has students from 100 countries.
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People can now pay for sex with dolls in Barcelona

lumidolls
No words…
From Daily Mail: A newly-opened club in Barcelona claims to be the first in Europe to offer clients the chance to have sex with a doll.
Lumi Dolls says men (or women) can get into the mood by having low lighting in their room, candles and huge plasma TV screens to watch some racy movies. As a special offer, an hour with one of the life-sized dolls is £70 which will go up to £100 after the opening promotion.
There are four dolls to choose from, all with female body features and the club promises each one is washed and disinfected with anti-bacterial soap before it is re-used! Each of the dolls, which cost £4,300 and weighs 40 kilograms, are made from silicone.
Clients can choose from Lili, who is 161 cm tall and has Asian features; the blonde and ‘big-boobed’ Katy, who at 170 cm has pouty lips and piercing turquoise eyes; an ‘African’ doll named Leiza who stands at 168cm tall or Aki, who with blue hair appears to be modelled on Japanese anime.
Describing itself as ‘the first sex dolls agency’, Lumi Dolls has a rather delicate question and answer section on its website says of the quartet: ‘They are totally realistic dolls, both in the movement of their joints and in the touch, that will allow you to fulfill your fantasies without any limit. These Sex Dolls will make the experience more pleasurable, exciting and erotic.’
Clients, who are advised to ‘still use a condom’, have to pay at the front desk on leaving. They can even ask in advance for the dolls to wear a special outfit and to be placed in a specific position.
The new club is proving such a success that sessions are already booked up days in advance.
Similar dolls are already a great hit in Japan and Malaysia. According to the website, appointments can also be made for entire nights or for couples.
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US students are getting worse at math as science and reading skills stagnate

This is what happens when school administrators are concerned that everyone receives a participation trophy and coddle special snowflakes. Maybe they should focus more on real education instead of worrying about which bathrooms transgenders should use.

American Federation of Teachers union members wear "Obama, Biden 2012" shirts as they wait in line to hear U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speak during their AFT convention in Detroit, Michigan, July 29, 2012. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

American Federation of Teachers union members wear “Obama, Biden 2012” shirts as they wait in line to hear U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speak during their AFT convention in Detroit, Michigan, July 29, 2012. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook


From Daily Mail: Americans students are having major math problems and have fallen behind the rest of the world, a new study has revealed. The latest global snapshot of student performance shows declining math scores in the U.S., while performances in science and reading stagnated.
The concerning findings were part of the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, which looks into the performance of more than 500,000 15-year-olds across schools in more than 70 countries. Just under 6,000 students took part in American schools.
The top performing country in all three categories was Singapore, while Hong Kong and Macau were second and third in mathematics. Japan and Estonia, and Canada and Hong Kong rounded out the top-three in science and reading, respectively.  The U.S. ranked 40th in math, 24th in reading, and 25th in science.
‘We’re losing ground – a troubling prospect when, in today’s knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world,’ Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said after the results were published. ‘Students in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Minnesota aren’t just vying for great jobs along with their neighbors or across state lines, they must be competitive with peers in Finland, Germany, and Japan.’
Education Secretary John King

Education Secretary John King


Math was a stubborn concern, the experts identifying the drop off the result of something that has been building for years. The U.S. average score was 470, below the international average of 490. Singapore topped the math chart with an average of 564. The American score was 12 points lower than it was in 2012 and 18 points lower than in 2009. The tests are based on a 1,000-point scale.
‘This pattern that we’re seeing in mathematics seems to be consistent with what we’ve seen in previous assessments – everything is just going down,’ Peggy Carr, acting commissioner at the National Center for Education Statistics, said.
Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at OECD, said the struggle of American students in math was in part due to their inability to solve more complex problems. ‘Students are often good at answering the first layer of a problem in the United States,’ Schleicher said. ‘But as soon as students have to go deeper and answer the more complex part of a problem, they have difficulties.’
Moving away from math, the study also found U.S. students were right around the international average in science and reading. Americans scored 496 in science, compared to a global mean of 493, and 497 in reading, compared to 493. Scores in both categories have remained flat since 2009. The study is the latest to document how American students are under-performing their peers in several Asian nations.
ATF President Randi Weingarten

ATF President Randi Weingarten


The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) described the results as ‘disappointing but not surprising’. ‘They were predictable given the impact of the last 15 years of U.S. education policies combined with continuing state disinvestment following the 2008 recession. Thirty-one states still spend less per pupil than before the recession,’ AFT President Randi Weingarten said.
Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes
National Center on Education and the Economy President Marc Tucker said the test proves the U.S. needs to look at what works for ‘smarter countries’ around the world and adopt those methods. ‘It is critical to look not only at their average high performance, but also at the strategies they use to achieve much greater equity across and within schools compared to the United States,’ Tucker said.
The test is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and conducted every three years. Schools included in each country are randomly selected.
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Japan's worst day for teen suicides. "Collective thinking" part of the problem?

japanese youthJapan’s “killer collectivism” has been around for some time.
CNN: Nanae Munemasa was at elementary school when the bullying started. The 17-year-old student says she was beaten by boys with broom sticks, slapped in the girls’ bathroom, and even attacked during a swimming lesson. “I was the last one to get out of the pool,” she said. “A brush flew out of nowhere and it hit me underwater. I nearly drowned. I had a huge bump on my forehead.”

Nanae started skipping school, and even thought about taking her own life.

Suicide spike

She’s not alone. More Japanese school pupils commit suicide on September 1 each year than on any other date, according to figures collated by Japan’s suicide prevention office over a period of more than 40 years.

The grim spike in the statistics is linked to the typical start date of the new school term after the summer holiday has ended. “The long break from school enables you to stay at home, so it’s heaven for those who are bullied,” Nanae said. “When summer ends, you have to go back. And once you start worrying about getting bullied, committing suicide might be possible.”

Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, and it is the leading cause of death among those aged 15-39. The government’s figures show that in total 18,048 under-18s took their own lives between 1972 and 2013.

Nanae said she became a target for bullies after she transferred schools for a short time before returning — meaning she was branded as a truant. When the bullying worsened, she considered suicide, but did not go through with it. “I thought that actions such as cutting my wrist would cause trouble for my parents, and committing suicide would not solve anything.”

collectivism

Collective thinking

In the end, Nanae decided to stop going to school and stayed at home for nearly a year.

Nanae’s mother, Mina Munemasa, was supportive of her daughter’s decision. “Nanae was saying things like, ‘If I jump off the Tokyo Tower, I think I can fly,” Mina said. “I don’t think school is a place where you have to risk your life to go.”

Nanae thinks the Japanese education system’s focus on collective thinking is at the root cause of the problem.

“In Japan, you have to fall in line with other people. And if you cannot do that, you’re either ignored or bullied,” she said. “You are required to have a unified opinion, and it crushes the uniqueness every person has. But that uniqueness is not something to destroy.”

Some experts agree. Child psychiatrist Dr. Ken Takaoka said the suicide rate increases when school restarts because schools “prioritize collective (action). Children who do not get along in a group will suffer.”

Living hell

To raise awareness of the issue, a Japanese non-profit organization, Futoko Shimbun, is even printing a newspaper for children who stay home to avoid bullying. Keiko Okuchi, one of the organization’s representatives, said the problem is exacerbated by a culture that dictates that going to school is the only option. “It is a living hell for children who know that they’ll be bullied at school, yet they have no other choice but to go,” she said.

Now, Nanae has returned to her studies and is also singing in a pop band called Nanakato along with her brother. Nanae hopes that one day they will have enough fans to fill Tokyo’s famous arena Budokan, and play their music in a foreign country.

Nanae is also trying to help others being bullied by writing a blog about what she went through. “It would be great if (the blog) helps at least one person stop thinking about committing suicide,” she said.

Nanae’s mother said her daughter’s time on the Internet was a key factor in helping her get through the bullying. “By creating connections with people in Japan as well as other countries, she was able to regain her confidence,” Mina said. “Adults tend to say that the Internet is dangerous but there are definitely some children who are saved by it.”

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Dir. of U.S. Navy Intelligence sacked for warning about China's aggressive designs in East China Sea

Obama’s purge of military officers continues. The latest: the director of the U.S. Navy Intelligence — because he actually told the truth about China.
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China threatens war in East and South China Seas

Saber-rattling from China, at a time when the United States has a president who is weak and whose foreign policy is at best confusing and confused, and at worst is contrary to U.S. interests.
~Eowyn

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U.S. directly challenges China's air defense zone with B-52 bombers

WooHoo! Despite their limp-wristed commander-in-chief, our men in the Pentagon still have cohones! China commies, you can stuff your East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone up where the sun don’t shine. ~Dr. Eowyn

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Crisis Over Senkaku: China declares East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone

What I’ve been fearing is upon us. China and Japan both claim ownership of a cluster of small islets in the East China Sea called Senkaku (by the Japanese) and Diaoyu (by the Chinese). Yesterday, China upped the ante by declaring an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the islets. Japan will not back down, and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reiterated the U.S. position — (1) that the U.S. recognizes Japan as the owner of the Senkakus; and (2) that the islets are included in the U.S.-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty. In other words, the U.S. will be obliged by treaty to aid Japan should war breaks out between Japan and China over the islets. ~Dr. Eowyn

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