Tokyo Streets From a bd-1

One bite of the sweetest part of the strawberry and the rest is trashed

strawberries in JapanStrawberry farmers in Japan have growing strawberries down to an exact science like in the Chihibu region where there are many strawberry farms with the strawberries grown in large greenhouses. Customers visiting these strawberry farms can pay a fee and then for 90 minutes (tabe hodai) can pick strawberries to eat while walking through the greenhouse. At several strawberry farms, owners have been reporting that visitors to their strawberry farms pay a fee of ¥1,400 to pick and eat strawberries. Reports are coming out that visitors to the farms pay the ¥1,400 then while picking what they think are the most delicious strawberries, pick these strawberries with the deepest red color, bite the sweetest part of the berry then throw the rest away in garbage buckets wasting most of the strawberry.

Vistoers take one bite of the sweetest part then throw the rest of the strawberry away

Visitors take one bite of the sweetest part then throw the rest of the strawberry away

So these farmers spend the entire growing season to carefully cultivate and grow the most incredibly delicious strawberries only to have their beautiful strawberries picked for a pittance and then watch as visitors trash most of the strawberries they pick to eat inside the greenhouses? One more better reason why people should grow their own food if they want to eat, or at least respect the farmers and those who are less fortunate who have never eaten strawberries like they are grown in greenhouses in the Chichibu region of Japan. Just imagine the owners of these strawberry farms for a small fee, allow people from Tokyo to waste strawberries these farmers have spent so much time and energy raising during the summer and autumn months in their green houses? ¥1,400 is a pittance for the amount of strawberries being wasted like this.

Deutsche Bank in ‘free fall’ with the “third arrow of Abenomics flying wide of the mark”

Deutsche Bank in freefall

Deutsche Bank in free fall

So again, how can you force manufacturing and the sale of manufactured goods when no one is buying the manufactured goods during what few will admit is a depression? And then the second question is: How can you increase consumption when the consumption tax is raised from 5 percent to 8 percent and then again with a coming expected further increase to 10 percent? Yet, the BoJ continued cranking out billions in QE (easing) which led to Deutsche Bank (because Deutsche bank is highly leveraged with US$75 trillion in derivatives) issuing a warning to BoJ. Once bank panic sets in look out because it is contagious with European banks including Deutsche Bank now in free fall according to Zero Hedge. Deutsche Bank has been paying off on lawsuits to prevent its exposure of its risk on derivatives. And as Jim Willie recently stated: “If Duestche Bank goes under it will be Lehman times five.” But to be fair with Haruhiko Kuroda’s Bank of Japan head, he did warn that the “BoJ is out of ammo” after he returned from Devos, Switzerland a few weeks ago.

Source: The Japan Times

"What did Deutsche Bank warn? No more easing or we will be trapped?"

“What did Deutsche Bank warn? No more easing or we will be trapped?”

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda attends a news conference at BOJ headquarters in Tokyo in January. | REUTERS

Economic jump-start sputters as ‘third arrow’ of Abenomics flies wide of mark

February 9, 2016

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his three-pronged program to revive Japan’s stagnant, deflationary economy three years ago, the stock market cheered every step along the way.

Not any more.

The “third arrow” of Abenomics — reforms to make the economy more productive — is barely a work in progress, but Abe got straight to work on the first two, fiscal expansion and monetary stimulus, with the enthusiastic support of a new governor at the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda.

In the first year of the program, the Nikkei index jumped nearly 60 percent, drawing in a net ¥15 trillion ($128 billion) in foreign cash. Enthusiasm for Kuroda’s bold stimulus, in particular, was strong, with each of his first two money-printing announcements prompting a 7 percent weekly surge.

His decision last week to introduce negative interest rates was equally bold, and quite unexpected, but as Abe’s arrows have sailed wide of their target, investors have sat on their hands.

“The market’s reaction is getting duller day by day. The negative interest rates boosted the market only for two days,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, and trading data show even that was down to short-term “gamblers,” he added.

A week later, even those gains are gone, as foreign investors withdrew a net ¥207 billion from the market, taking their total for 2016 to more than ¥1 trillion. U.S.-based Japanese stock funds also saw an outflow in the week that ended Feb 3.

Though the Nikkei is up about 36 percent since Kuroda was appointed in March 2013, the yen has weakened from 95 to nearly 117 to the dollar over that period, so in dollar terms it is up only 10 percent, less than half the rise seen on the U.S. S&P 500 index.

“Real economic reform will only make a difference in the longer term. So I can only hope that Abenomics doesn’t lose momentum,” said Hannah Cunliffe, senior portfolio manager at Union Investment in Frankfurt.

Read more:

Japan-based link network busted by Google for manipulating website relevancy

Looks like a few link networks in Japan just got caught attempting to buy some influence through PageRanker™ (Google PR is one of the methods Google uses to determine a page’s relevance or importance) by buying, selling and trading links. What this does is to artificially inflate the number of visits to particular websites to make it appear those websites are more important than other sites usually related to a websites ability to make money. When people do Google searches for specific websites (product sales) these links can be manipulated to make it appear there are a higher number of visits to these links. Think of url links as votes, the more the votes the more important (profitable) the website is (website relevance). PageRanker™ remains a very important part of Google. Link networks are very important in online SEO rankings. The bottom line here is converting rankings to profit. A basic description would be a url link through websites, blogs or embedded articles in a network as a group of sites that are all connected. These sites can be owned by one person or multiple people and most people don’t like them because they manipulate search engines.

Busted by: Google.


Source: Search Engine Land

Google Has Penalized A Link Network In Japan

After being quiet for over a year on link network penalties, Google says it has penalized a large, Japanese-based link network.

by Barry Schwartz

February 5, 2016

Japan caught manipulating GoogleThis morning, on the Google Japanese Webmaster Blog, Google announced it has targeted a link network in Japan for using practices against the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, the link network was trying to artificially inflate the PageRank and trust factors of websites through buying, selling and trading links with the sole intent of ranking higher in Google’s search results.

The translated version, via Google Translate, of the blog post reads:

As part of this effort, Google this time, in order to operate illegally search result link program has undergone a countermeasure against some of the site network of the Japanese had done the buying and selling of participating in the link. Among this is because it was also included sites that repeatedly Webmaster Guidelines violation, was subjected to severe measures than normal in some cases.

In addition, we tell even before, there seems to be the case that measures would be carried out, such as violation of the Webmaster Guidelines in place without the knowledge of the webmaster. Previously it introduced the example of SEO firms, but it seems there is also be generated by the outsourcing of such advertising not only SEO skilled in the art. In order to prevent this, the webmaster you we recommend that you check from time to time and see whether subcontractors are doing what measures.

The last time Google officially confirmed hitting a link network with a penalty was back in November 2014, when Google targeted a Polish-based link network. Google did take action on many link networks back in 2014 but has focused more of their attention, at least communication-wise, on mobile spam and redirects.

You can see more of our coverage on Google Penalties over here.

Will Japan build a collider under the International Linear Collider project for a cool US$10 billion?

Japan and China to build collidersThe European Organization for Nuclear Research known as CERN is derived from the name “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire” and is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. CERN is one of the costliest technologically advanced machines on planet earth taking about a decade to construct costing of about $4.75 billion. The Large Hadron Collider took about a decade to construct, for a total cost of about $4.75 billion. What most people do not realize is that the internet was established to run CERN even this day. It was Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN, who invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989. This is military technology. Taking all of those costs into consideration, the total cost of finding the Higgs boson (big bang bullshit) at CERN ran about $13.25 billion. Except I don’t think CERN was constructed to smash particles or to find the Higgs boson particle. This explains why Japan and China want their own particle colliders.

This leads me to wonder why Japan is planning on building a collider itself tentatively planned for construction in the Tohoku region for the International Linear Collider (ILC) – if Japan ends up hosting the facility. This collider if built in Japan could cost $10 billion. Japan isn’t the only country outside of France and Switzerland (CERN location) to build these expensive pieces of machinery. China is also planning on building a collider while for decades, Europe and the United States have led the way when it comes to high-energy particle colliders. Both the U.S. and Europe are planning an even larger collider than what is at CERN. China is quietly gathering momentum raising the possibility that China could soon position itself at the forefront of particle physics. Why are these countries like Japan, China and a few others building these incredibly expensive machines that have military applications? Japan is working to first establish an international grouping before it goes ahead with construction on its own collider.

Source: ILC


The lhc has discovered the higgs – what does that mean?

ilc japanJuly 4th in 2012 is destined to be a special day in the history of humankind. On that day, physicists working with the world’s largest scientific facility, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), at the European ­particle physics laboratory CERN, in Switzerland, announced that they have discovered a ­particle that looks a lot like the long-sought Higgs boson – the final missing piece in the Standard Model that describes fundamental ­particles and forces. The Higgs boson is the key to the explanation of how all the other fundamental ­particles get their masses. A few months later, this ­particle was confirmed to be a Higgs particle.

Discovering this new ­particle at the LHC is a triumph. After two successful years of operation at the LHC, the next step in our understanding of the Universe has been revealed. Now that the scientists have found a Higgs boson, many more years of follow-up research will be needed to verify its full identity. For a ­particle to be exactly the Higgs as originally conceived, all of its properties must be measured with great accuracy; a tough job indeed.

Read more: ILC

What happens to cash when governments go electronic?

A previous post published here was on the subject of a cashless society and what will be introduced in Europe first with electronic cash. There is a historical precedent and when governments come up short on cash they reboot the system by first confiscating assets. Japan will probably be one of the last countries in on the cashless society band wagon but seems inevitable based on recent topics on this subject. Martin Armstrong who I have been reading since he was released from prison as a political prisoner, in the following post describes this historical precedent and how electronic cash to be introduced will be a windfall for governments. Once again, the producers don’t own this system of money creation and finance where central banks lend to governments. So remember this when your cash is confiscated and you are forced to convert your cash to electronic money where your savings will be taxed on the transaction. The shift from an analog past is moving swiftly to a digital future.

Source: Martin Armstrong

February 1, 2016

by Martin Armstrong

Martin Armstrong cashless societyQUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; What happens to paper money when the government moves electronic? Is it just cancelled? Does cash then become worthless?



ANSWER: It appears that electronic currency will first arrive in Europe. The cash will be demonetized, so yes, it will become worthless. However, they will most likely give you a time window to redeem cash for electronic money. Keep in mind that this will produce a windfall for government. They are most likely going to tax anyone who cannot prove why they have cash.

This is typical; it is not a modern invention. The Roman Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD) saw the treasury depleted with the cost of his Dacian War. The brilliant idea was to DEMONETIZE all older coinage prior to Nero’s reform in 64 AD. They declared the old coinage to be invalid for paying taxes. As a result, you had to turn it in under the pretense that it was worn. In truth, he reissued coins with 10% less silver content. So, he took in the old coins, melted them down, and thereby increased the money supply by 10%. This was the Great Restitution Issue of Trajan. Politics never change. The same responses can be cataloged in a book. Perhaps I will do that in my next life since I already have a lot on my plate for this one.

The battle against organized crime in the entertainment industry in Japan continues

Ikumi Yoshimatsu yakuza Japan entertainmentAgain the Japanese media backs down from investigating and reporting on the Yakuza‘s control over the entertainment industry in Japan despite Jake Adelstein who reported in December, 2013 at the Foreign Correspondence Club of Japan Ikumi Yoshimatsu’s case. Ikumi Yoshimatsu refused to go to work for several talent agencies linked to organized crime and she was harassed, intimidated and stalked because of her decision. She decided to go to battle against organized crime. The fact that the Yakuza controls the entertainment industry is well known and has not disappeared either since this incident with Iukumi Yoshimatsu back in 2013, in fact, the entertainment industry has come under even more control by the Yakuza.

Jake Adelestein writes for the Daily Beast and his article on how the Yakuza controls the entertainment industry is republished below. Over the years, I have observed the unbelievably poor shitty quality of Japan’s television talent (terebi tarento) and industry and am now convinced the reason for this is because of the control organized crime has over the entertainment industry. Now it appears that a Yakuza insider who wanted to do something “decent” before he dies, has come out willing to discuss how organized crime controls the entertainment industry in Japan. Is this the best that the elite rulers of Japan can provide for their youth where so many young Japanese people desire to go into the entertainment industry?

Ikumi Yoshimatsu: Miss International 2012 “The Dark Side of Japan’s Entertainment Industry”


Source: Daily Beast

The Yakuza Are Running Japan’s Hollywood

February 6, 2016

Jake Adelstein yakuzaThe Japanese mob has been trying to dominate Japan’s talent agencies for years. Now one yakuza has stepped forward to tell the story.

TOKYO — Japan’s entertainment industry is infested with organized crime and despite crackdowns on “yakuza Hollywood” nothing much seems to change. For example, last month 10 comedians from the colossal Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency were caught up (innocently, they said) in a yakuza insurance fraud scheme involving, ahem, free massages. The scam reportedly netted over a million dollars. Who will be prosecuted remains murky. And that’s business as usual.

What is unusual is for a yakuza boss to break the code of silence and discuss how the talent agency he worked for intimidated its stars and the media, even using other yakuza to get the job done.

As reported in The Daily Beast previously, when the first Japanese woman to win the Miss International title in over five decades, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, refused to go to work for any mafia-connected talent agency, she found out that standing up for the right thing is a sure way to get knocked off your throne and be ostracized from the Japanese entertainment world.

The reign of the talent agencies is severe and oppressive—only recently did a Japanese court rule that it was unacceptable for an agency to forbid a female idol to have a boyfriend. Her agency had even sued her for daring to have a personal life.

In the Yoshimatsu case, in December 2013 she and her lawyer held a press conference at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan to explain the sequence of events that led to her filing criminal charges and a restraining order against one of Japan’s most powerful talent agency executives.

Read more: The Yakuza Are Running Japan’s Hollywood

Dusting of snow over the mountains last night as Tokyo’s population increases

Snow in the morningLast night had a dusting of snow over the mountain ranges looking down over where home is contrasting these mountains to what the “scenery” must be like in Tokyo as more and more Japanese move into Tokyo from all over Japan. The upside is many of these relatively remote places have a lot of small businesses like restaurants and gift shops as well as local food being sold. As Tokyo swells with a growing population, they might just end up going out of central Tokyo to visit some of these outer regions on the fringes of Tokyo bringing their business with them. Tokyo and its surrounding areas marked the 19th consecutive year of net population increase in 2014, as 110,000 more people moved into the area than moved out. Statistics released by the internal affairs ministry last year showed that about 470,000 people moved to Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, while 360,000 moved out. The numbers indicate many Japanese from Hokkaido are moving to Tokyo with 8,942 people from Hokkaido moving to Tokyo in 2014.

snow dust in TokyoTook these photos just after sunrise on Sunday morning, February 7, 2016 at about 6:00am way out here on the very western fringe of Tokyo. It’s not all that isolated out here actually. I get water from a spring where the water is filtered naturally as it runs underground from these mountains. There are always several stainless steel containers around here with water from this spring. Locals set up a system where the water is collected and then forced to flow through a pipe where the water empties out making it easy to fill containers. And in the event of a major earthquake there will be no problem accessing clean water if water sources are cut off at the tap. With 13.8 million (depending on source) inhabitants living in the Tokyo area clean water would be a good resource to have access to. And as far as plans are concerned, the Japanese government have announced a plan to revitalize local businesses by slowing the net inflow of Japanese moving to Tokyo while Japan’s population continues to shrink. Another plan hey? Big difference between announcing a plan and making that plan work. There are so many empty houses in this area it would be enough to house thousands of Japanese. And what happened to the land and housing plan the Japanese government had a few years ago? These houses are all still empty. Why is it everyone wants to live in Harajuku and Shibuya?


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