Along with the United States, Japan and South Korea are the only industrialized democracies among the fifty-eight countries in the world that employ capital punishment, and in Japan, the condemned don’t know when they will be executed until the day arrives.

intense interview with PM Abe @ Foreign Affairs

It always seems to cause problems when you talk about history, so why not just avoid it? And let me ask a related question: In order to put these issues aside, can you promise that as prime minister, you will not visit Yasukuni Shrine in either your official or your private capacity?

I never raised the issue of history myself. During [recent] deliberations in the Diet, I faced questions from other members, and I had to answer them. When doing so, I kept saying that the issue is one for historians, since otherwise you could politicize it or turn it into a diplomatic issue.

About the Yasukuni Shrine, let me humbly urge you to think about your own place to pay homage to the war dead, Arlington National Cemetery, in the United States. The presidents of the United States go there, and as Japan’s prime minister, I have visited. Professor Kevin Doak of Georgetown University points out that visiting the cemetery does not mean endorsing slavery, even though Confederate soldiers are buried there. I am of a view that we can make a similar argument about Yasukuni, which enshrines the souls of those who lost their lives in the service of their country.

But with all due respect, there are 13 Class A war criminals buried at Yasukuni, which is why it makes China and South Korea crazy when Japanese prime ministers go there. Wouldn’t it be easier just to promise not to go?

I think it’s quite natural for a Japanese leader to offer prayer for those who sacrificed their lives for their country, and I think this is no different from what other world leaders do.

"~Crazy!~"

North Korea warns: Japan to be first target

NPR:

If the North Koreans launched even a limited artillery strike against the South, South Korean troops would fire back instantly.

If North Korea were then to escalate, Presidents Obama in Washington and Park Geun-hye in the Republic of Korea would decide how to respond.

That’s the escalation scenario, and it leads to all-out war.

I just really really hope NK doesn’t take pot-shots at Japan. The quakes never scared me, but the fuckin’ Kim-Jungs being so close and so well armed, YIKES.

UPDATE: 

NYT:

TOKYO — The Japanese Army set up a battery of interceptor missiles on the grounds of the Defense Ministry in central Tokyo on Tuesday, as the nation girded itself for a possible missile test by North Korea.

slate:

Oops, I’d forgotten that science, the world, etc., revolves around what males find attractive

Annual revenues in U.S. in 2011 for:

  • makeup industry: 316 billion dollars
  • fashion industry: 427 billion dollars
  • dieting industry: 394 billion dollars
  • dating industry: 190 billion dollars
  • post-secondary education (50% of): 322 billion dollars


Yeah, she’s right, men don’t care about women’s looks, and women don’t care what men think! That’s crazy! 

Gotta love her use of the present tense in an article about THE DISTANT PAST, too. You can tell she’s really mastered the topic, understands how hypothesis work, “etc.”…

ps - i made up all those dollar figures m^_^