信近エリ - Sketch For Summer
What does the future hold for Japanese MMA?
Brilliant and witty reading about the “relevance” of Said’s ‘Orientalism’ in Chinese studies.
Japan has not only suffered from dismal macroeconomic performance over the past two decades, but it has lost its edge in areas of its greatest competitive strength, such as electronics, especially information and communications technology (ICT) hardware.Japanese electronics firms have declined by many standard measures of industrial performance, such as market share, exports, and profits.
So what went wrong? In short, recent developments in the global economy have severely undermined Japanese firms’ institutional strengths and exacerbated their weaknesses. Japan’s weak macro-economic performance contributed to declining industrial competitiveness because it left the government and the private sector with diminished resources to invest toward future productivity gains.Beyond that, however, Japanese firms have confronted two critical challenges: the decomposition of production and the services transformation.The decomposition of production refers to the process whereby integral production centered in one country has given way to modular production and global supply chains.In the earlier era, vertically integrated manufacturers controlled the production process from research through production to final assembly.In the current period, manufacturers engage in more outsourcing, purchasing goods or services from outside the firm, and offshoring, moving production abroad or purchasing from a foreign supplier.The services transformation refers not only to the growth of services relative to manufacturing but also to the integration of manufacturing itself with more service functions, including software and applications.
Japanese firms’ strong orientation toward the domestic market rather than the global marketplace has hindered their ability to take advantage of both the decomposition of production and the services transformation.Commentators now commonly refer to this as the “Galapagos” phenomenon.That is, Japanese manufacturers develop high-quality products that are only suited for the Japanese market.13 In a classic example, Japanese electronics companies produce some of the most sophisticated cellular telephones in the world, and they dominate the Japanese market,and yet they have not succeeded in world markets because the handsets are not suited to global technical standards, their features are tailored to Japanese tastes, and their prices are too high. ..read more
A member of the Japanese parliament has been reprimanded for attempting to involve the emperor in politics.
Taro Yamamoto is to be barred from future events at the Imperial Palace after handing a letter to Emperor Akihito about the impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Such contact is taboo in Japan, where the emperor is seen as a figurehead with no political role.
Smile in your face - BOO ft. MURO
In China - as in many countries - more women than men are entering university. But are there jobs for the girls out in the real world?
Manicurist or courtroom judge? Cake decorator or radio host? For the cost of a ticket, children in Beijing can test out dozens of possible careers at the I Have a Dream theme park.
But even in this imaginary world, these children - and their parents - stick to rigid gender stereotypes.
"China’s labour law suggests mining work is unsuitable for women, so we ask women to refrain from applying to our major," explains one of the department’s senior professors, Shu Jisen.
This university is not alone. Out of respect for women’s safety, it says, China’s education ministry bans girls from studying a variety of subjects across China, from tunnel engineering to navigation.
At one university in Dalian, northern China, females are barred from studying naval engineering - because months on board a ship would be tough for women to endure, one admissions officer explained to the BBC.
Slightly different reasons are given for severely restricting the number of women who can study at Beijing’s People’s Police University, which has a strict quota, limiting girls to comprise 10-15% of the student body.
An admissions officer refused to be interviewed in person. But over the phone, he told the BBC that women were not allowed into the university in large numbers because there were not many jobs open to them after graduation, since most people in China expected police officers to be male.
Jiangsu’s mining engineering department cites similar practical considerations. Women would not be able to carry heavy mining equipment, they explain, and they would not be able to escape the mine as quickly in an emergency.
"Some jobs are really inappropriate for women," Prof Shu argues.
"If they force their way into these jobs, they will waste energy that can be better used elsewhere." ..read more
One weird thing about this brand of warfare was the inconsistent vocabulary used to describe it. Various armed services, government agencies, and international bodies applied a variety of nomenclatures to unconventional arms. There was CBR, and CBRN, and NBC, you name it.
One acronym I have never cared for is “WMD,” shorthand for “weapons of mass destruction.” Why? The fine folks at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who publish the authoritative guide to Deadly Arsenals periodically, put it best when they issued the 2005 edition. The coauthors disavowed WMD because the term, though convenient, conflates very different types of weaponry entailing very different characteristics, effects, and moral implications.
In particular, they fretted that merging chemical with biological with nuclear weapons in the public mind had distorted the debate over how to handle Saddam Hussein’s unconventional arsenal. WMD implied nuclear for the untutored, demanding major military action to prevent an arms race in the Gulf region. But the suspected Iraqi mass-destruction arsenal was made up of chemical arms and perhaps biotoxins, whose properties resemble those of chemical agents. This was a threat of a lesser order. While Saddam hoped to resume his atomic quest at some point, it was a remote prospect a decade ago. Lesser instruments of war may have warranted lesser countermeasures.
More precise language, argued the Carnegie team, begets more prudent deliberations. If so, disaggregating these munitions for analytical purposes helps restore precision to debates over nonproliferation and counterproliferation. Deadly Arsenals maintains that nuclear weapons are the only true weapons of mass destruction. I agree.
Think about it. Teaching shipboard nuclear defense always elicited gallows humor from navy students. It demanded that mariners assume a lot: if you survive the blast, and the heat, and the electromagnetic pulse, and the initial radiation, and the radioactive fallout that accumulates on exposed surfaces, then you can take certain measures to recover and fight the ship. Well, OK, then. ..read more