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Odds and Ends: the Innovative Korea Edition

- Somebody forgot to tell Bloomberg that Koreans are automatons who lack creativity:

South Korea ranked first in Bloomberg’s Global Innovation Index.

Booyah.

Lovely photo on the “Methodology” slide, too.

Financial Times’ Seoul correspondent tweets that “many in S Korea would dispute this finding.” The ensuring Twitter conversation is worth reading, especially TK’s comments. For what it’s worth, while I agree that “many in S Korea would dispute this finding,” including many Koreans themselves, I myself am not really surprised Korea placed so high.

Anyway, this is going to make President Park Geun-hye very happy—she can’t get through a speech without mentioning “the creative economy.”

- Once again, Koreans are overreacting to a perceived historical slight, with the Korean ambassador to the United States threatening business ties with a US state.

Oh, wait:

The government of Japan urged Democrat Terry McAuliffe in late December to oppose an obscure bill in the Virginia legislature about textbooks or risk damaging the economic relationship between the two governments, according to a letter obtained Thursday by The Washington Post.

In the letter to McAuliffe before his gubernatorial inauguration, Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae urged him to oppose a measure that would require future Virginia textbooks that mention the Sea of Japan to note that it is also known as the East Sea — the name preferred by Koreans.
[...]
In his letter, Sasae said: “I worry that Japanese affinity towards Virginia could be hampered” if the measure is enacted. He noted the $1 billion in direct investment that Japan has made in Virginia in five years, the 250 Japanese companies with investments in the state and the multimillion-dollar export market in Japan for products from Virginia.

“[I] fear . . . that the positive cooperation and strong economic ties between Japan and Virginia may be damaged,” he wrote.

Look on the bright side, Japan—sure, that’s some seriously ham-fistedness, but it’s not quite as bad as offering to plant cherry trees in a city that’s largely Korean. And look at how far your diplomacy has come since the Twenty-One Demands!

- Meanwhile, in Davos, the Chinese and Japanese (admittedly, more the former than the latter) are giving us plenty of reason to be afraid, be very afraid. Read the respective rants by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on your own—I’ll just reprint this chilling conclusion by The Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:

As readers know, I have been writing about this parallel for a long time. China is exploiting incidents to test the willingness of the United States to stand behind its treaty alliance with Japan, just as Kaiser Wilhelm provoked spats to test England’s willingness to stand behind its entente with France. It was a self-reinforcing process before 1914, and it is self-reinforcing now. All it takes to produce a catalyst is some “damn fool thing in the Balkans” to borrow a term.
[...]
Listening to the raw passion in the voices of Shinzo Abe and Wang Yi over the last 24 hours, I think there is an astonishing level complacency about the world’s most dangerous fault-line.

As for the “damn fool thing in the Balkans” thing, “an influential Chinese professional” at Davos reportedly silenced a room by openly talking about igniting World War III:

But then he said that many in China believe that China can accomplish its goals — smacking down Japan, demonstrating its military superiority in the region, and establishing full control over the symbolic islands — with a surgical invasion.

In other words, by sending troops onto the islands and planting the flag.

The Chinese professional suggested that this limited strike could be effected without provoking a broader conflict. The strike would have great symbolic value, demonstrating to China, Japan, and the rest of the world who was boss. But it would not be so egregious a move that it would force America and Japan to respond militarily and thus lead to a major war.

Well, when the Chinese professional finished speaking, there was stunned silence around the table.

Stock up on Pepto-Bismol, folks.

(HT to Joshua Trevino)

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • vtwkang

    Looking at Bloomberg’s methodology, the factors considered in scoring the countries are based entirely on statistical measures like R&D expenditure and the number of patent filings. The nature and quality of the innovation produced aren’t given any weight, although I suppose this would be a difficult and perhaps subjective exercise.

    So it doesn’t seem to challenge what I’ve always thought: Korea produces a lot of evolutionary/incremental innovation, but not so much of the disruptive kind. I don’t think that Korea gets enough credit for the former, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up about seeing a Korean Apple or Google in the near future.

  • RElgin

    Per the last part of your thread – The PRC leadership has made no secret of their assignation of Japan as Enemy no. 1 – they have openly declared war without saying it is war. They have too many Chinese men and a conflict would be a Maoist tool to help deflect domestic criticism and to solve the problem of too many dogs in the kennel – dogs only because that is how much CCP leadership treats their people.

  • seouldout

    I doubt a “surgical strike” will be launched; it makes the PRC out be the aggressor in international public opinion. More likely a large fleet of PRC fishing vessels will Zerg rush the Senkakus under the cover of naval and air protection. If the Japanese Coast Guard responds Beijing gets the cover it needs by stepping in to protect “defenseless” fishermen.

  • redwhitedude

    Funny how china lectures Japan about history. It is them the chinese that need to be lectured about their history. They probably conveniently leave out people killed due to the great leap forward. The present the long march which is a last ditch attempt to save communist as something glorious. They somehow think that the world will side with them despite the crummy reputation. Sure Japan hasn’t been very forthcoming about its history but china is even worse.

  • redwhitedude

    If they pick a fight their navy will be wiped out.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Not surprised by the Bloomberg findings. When the world’s largest IT company makes up 20% of the economy, there’s bound to be innovation. But like vtwkang wrote, the innovation seems to be incremental, not groundbreaking. But it’s innovation nonetheless.

    What Koreans should be concerned about (and what I’m not surprised about) is that South Korea is ranked 33rd in terms of productivity. Korean corporate, office, and classroom culture needs to change if SK wants to keep up its momentum. Undue deference to elders, needless socializing, staying late at work for no reason, sexism in the workplace, online shopping, instant coffee breaks, company MT weekends, excessive dinner and drinks… This does not a productive country make.

  • seouldout

    Could you specify who they or their are?

  • seouldout

    They same can be said for every other country, particularly those where the historical emphasis is on “poor us, oh the injustices we’ve suffered.” What lessons they draw from that skewed history and the resulting behaviour is of concern.

  • redwhitedude

    The PRC.

  • redwhitedude

    Not really. Chinese historical interpretation tends to be much more laced with a political agenda than others.

  • seouldout

    Perhaps, if the PLAN initiates the conflict. Do you think the
    Chinese really will make it so simple for Japan? Under the scenario I mentioned the PRC forces Japan to be the aggressor. A handful of Japanese CG ships are going to have a heck of a time rounding up 50 or more Chinese fishing vessels whose captains refuse to turn off their engines; often the response it to shoot at the engines or rudder to disable the craft. If there is wave after wave of these vessels quite simply the Japanese CG will be overwhelmed. Once boats are disabled and the crews seized the Japanese then have to sail approx. 400km to Okinawa to jail these fishermen. Meanwhile more Chinese fishing vessels have entered the “battlespace”.

  • JinJoo

    ‘똥’ 묻은 개가 ‘겨’ 묻은 개를 흉보는 격이지요.

    Iris Chang charges in her book [The Nanking Massacre] that Japanese soldiers in Nanking in 1938 murdered Chinese in barbaric and gruesome
    ways.

    Some historians say that such charges stem from wartime hostile propaganda, possibly easily believed by the Chinese public even if such
    scenes were never actually witnessed, because they were precisely the ways in which Chinese often killed each other throughout their history, including this period. Many Chinese had suffered such fates at the hands of fellow Chinese, and the average man or woman knew next-to-nothing about Japanese culture. Such people make easy prey to Chinese propaganda.

    Read more…

    http://www.chinasucks.org/execution.htm

    “Some historians” could very well be Japanese, and I am very aware how cruel the Japanese solders were during the war, but in some degree, I agree with the above article.

    The other day, I mentioned a non-fiction book titled ‘Scarlet Memorials’ written by Zheng Yi. It is about cannibalism during Cultural Revolution in the southwestern province of Guangxi, China.

    It wasn’t due to lack of food; it was the sysmatic killing and annibalization of individuals in the name of political revolution and “class struggle.” The
    owners of the land in the area, who were against communism were eaten by communist party officials and others who worked for the land owners. They were fried, boiled and some people especially loved raw livers and eyes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Scarlet-Memorial-Tales-Cannibalism-Modern/dp/0813326168

    똥묻은 개=

    겨 묻은 개 =

  • redwhitedude

    The point is that the chinese deliberate manipulate history and engage in revisionism while accusing Japanese of the same. Both sides do this with a political agenda and much more blatant than other countries. China has very little credibility in this regard.

  • redwhitedude

    Since when was fishing vessel part of the chinese navy? lol.
    Nice “high tech” navy you got there.
    Chinese know that the PLAN doesn’t measure up to other more modern navies such as Korea’s and Japan’s.

  • JinJoo

    “China has very little credibility in this regard.”

    I agree with you 110%.

  • redwhitedude

    Add other things such as complaints of poor manners of Chinese tourists and bullying other nations and you’ll see how little sympathy they’ll get. The chinese will undoubtedly interpret this as some sort of agenda against them. Let’s not forget pollution drifting to other countries and consumer scares. They’ve dug themselves into a big hole if they want others to think well of them.

  • ChuckRamone

    In terms of the modern era, since the Industrial Revolution, I think very few, if any, innovations from non-Western countries have been of the disruptive kind. Even Japan, early on, was reverse engineering American technologies and then refining them, making improvements. Korea is more or less copying this system from the Japanese. Maybe sometime in the far future we’ll have entirely novel innovations coming from Asia, like in the past when China was inventing all kinds of stuff.

  • redwhitedude

    Yup countries like Germany are putting them to shame. The Germans only work 7 hours with 1 hour lunch break but they manage to be productive and generally don’t goof off during work time.

    There’s a BBC documentary Make Me German about a british couple that temporarily moved to germany and tried to live like an average german family to see how the Germans were successful after WWII more so than British. Look it up on Youtube. Compare that with all the above with Koreans.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Sounds interesting – I’ll check that out. I’m lucky that I have a job where I keep my own hours. One of the office employees down the hall always looks surprised when I leave at 4:00, but then she just goes back to her online shopping.

  • redwhitedude

    There’s a scene in the documentary where the man was trying to send one single text message and they wouldn’t let him. They told him to focus on work.

  • seouldout

    You really ought to read a bit more.

    The incident underscores China’s current maritime strategy that involves “drawing a line” in the sea using civilian vessels to challenge littoral states that run the risk of exacerbating a critical situation by resorting to military means and engaging the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy (PLAN) ships lurking in the background.”

    csis.org/files/attachments/130606_DeCastro_ConferencePaper.pdf‎

    The Chinese Navy is determined to create a long-range global presence by modernizing its fleet. But the use of civilian boats is part of a different goal — to better defend and more firmly assert sovereignty over China’s coast, its territorial waters and the exclusive economic zones that extend 200 nautical miles off the coast. Using civilians is a crucial part of the doctrine that Chinese military officials call “people’s war.”

    Dennis J. Blasko, a former military attaché at the United States Embassyin Beijing, said the Chinese military articulated this in 2006 in a white paper on national defense. “The Navy is enhancing research into
    the theory of naval operations and exploring the strategy and tactics of maritime people’s war under modern conditions,” the paper said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/world/asia/06beijing.html?_r=0

    “It is a brilliant strategy by China to establish their control over an area without firing a single shot,” said Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, head of the Beijing office of the International Crisis Group, a think tank that works on conflict resolution.

    [...]

    The game is to deploy civilian agencies on the front lines, giving the military plausible deniability and allowing China to avoid serious repercussions.

    The People’s Liberation Army’s navy always hovers
    in the background. In one instance, Japan claims, the navy pointed its radar at a Japanese ship, and Vietnam on Monday accused China of opening fire on a fishing boat. But this for the most part has been a cold — and wet — war waged not with bombs or bullets but with water cannons,
    buoys, fishing nets, surveying equipment and seismic cables.
    [...]
    State-owned oil companies and private fishing ships are also getting into the push for Chinese sovereignty. Two Chinese fishing boats were accused by Vietnam last year of cutting a seismic cable used by its state oil company for exploration in the Gulf of Tonkin. China says the
    cable was snagged by a fishing net. In the East China Sea, a self-employed fisherman was responsible for one of the most serious incidents when he rammed his trawler into two Japanese coast guard vessels in 2010.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/27/world/la-fg-china-maritime-20130327

    The Vietnam incident occurred near the Vanguard Bank involving a Chinese fishing boat which had been specially equipped with a “cable cutting device”.Two Chinese CMS vessels came to the aid of what the Chinese government referred to as a ship in distress, characterizing the Vietnamese ship as “putting the lives and safety of the Chinese fishermen in serious danger.” This remains a disputable assertion and the possession of a special devise by the Chinese fishing boat would suggest a certain amount of premeditation in the incident.

    How has the fisherman — a seemingly unassuming practitioner of his ancient craft — come to play this vital role on the international stage? There are a number of factors at play. For starters, Asian waters are running
    out of fish — which means more fishing boats are straying into foreign waters in search of good hauls. Then there’s the growing nationalism in many of these countries, which raises the stakes in these disputes and allows one
    arrested fisherman to take on national significance.

    In addition, there’s the suspicion that some countries — notably China — really do use fishermen as proxies
    in their ongoing disputes with other countries — that these fishing boats are not the innocent bystanders caught up in forces greater than themselves that they seem. At the height of last year’s tensions with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, it was reported that
    China was sending an “armada” of 1,000 fishing boats to the islands with the goal of overwhelming the Japanese coast guard — though the reports later proved false.

    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/16/why_are_so_many_diplomatic_crises_sparked_by_fishermen

  • redwhitedude

    Basically the Chinese are fascist. Force everybody within their state to carry out the state agenda. In this case “private” fishermen. Why would be such a–holes to put these fishermen in harms way? I’m sure people in China would be appreciative of the chinese not caring about their safety to use them to carry out the government agenda. Once people wake up from that the Chinese government will be in trouble.

  • tatertot

    Japan is definitely being asshattish regarding the textbook issue, but why is there “a measure that would require future Virginia textbooks that mention the Sea of Japan to note that it is also known as the East Sea” in the first place? While the Sea of Japan is literally “also known as the East Sea” in Korea, that is only 1.05% of the world’s population (if you include both South and North Korea).

    I propose that we start renaming all the things:
    Pacific Ocean -> West Ocean
    Atlantic Ocean -> East Ocean
    Puget Sound -> Northwest Sound
    Gulf of Mexico -> South-southeastern Gulf

    and lastly

    동해 -> 일본의 해

  • vtwkang

    I recently read Daniel Tudor’s Korea: The Impossible Country, and he makes a similar point. Workforce productivity (economic output per person per hour worked) is one of the lowest in the OECD, and much of this is blamed on long hours, lack of adequate breaks, etc.

  • vtwkang

    It’s certainly not easy to produce disruptive innovation, that’s for sure. Even in the West, only a relatively small number of companies are disruptive — everyone else follows.

  • redwhitedude

    There are a lot of Koreans so the Virginia legislature is favoring that. I wonder if its going to be the same with states such as California. I wonder if there is going to be another silly Japanese delegation going to virginia. That delegation that went to Glendale was really weak.

  • redwhitedude

    Perhaps it is thought that if you leave early you are viewed as being lazy.

  • RElgin

    *Much* worse, indeed.

  • RElgin

    Raffle the sea names off to the corporations with the most money:
    MacDonalds Gulf,
    Sea of Samsung,
    South Google Sea
    Maybe the Japanese and Chinese would shut up and Start worrying about something more useful like how not to poison there population.

  • redwhitedude

    Wait until you hear about nationalist chinese claiming that there is an anti Chinese agenda being carried out by the US with the Japanese being their puppets.

  • redwhitedude

    How about calling it the Voldermort Sea. That is the East China Sea.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Coming from a technical background (and also Korean), I don’t quite understand why Apple is considered so “innovative.” I think a lot of their “innovation” is merely cosmetic, i.e., readily recognized by the non-technical public but not really a giant leap in “innovation” to those more technically literate. For instance, when Steve Jobs (who never programmed, by the way) passed away, his achievements were widely praised by the popular press. A week later, when Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of the C programming language, passed away, very few in the popular press covered him, even though the latter’s contribution to innovation was much more than the former. Also, if you look at technical journals in those fields today, many of the authors (I’d venture to say most in certain specialties, but I don’t have statistics on hand) have Asian last names, including Koreans. Even if innovation is occurring in America, it is by those whom many on this thread would consider to be “automatons who lack creativity.”

  • cckerberos

    It’s a bad day when Abe Shinzo comes across as the voice of reason.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I’m not a tech guy, just a consumer. But Apple introduced the iPod, the touchscreen smart phone, and the tablet. My 5+ year old Macbook still runs flawlessly, even for post-processing large RAW photo files. I don’t need anti-virus software and I never get error messages (can’t say the same for my new Samsung PC at work). Apple makes products that are easy and enjoyable to use and don’t slow down over time. I can’t say the same about Samsung or any other PC company. So, not to sound like a fanboy, but as a consumer it’s easy to see why they’re considered innovative.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Understandable. But that’s whole different animal: blame Microsoft, an American company.

  • redwhitedude

    Yeah really. The chinese must be overplaying their hand.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Of course, Samsung or any other IT company can develop an OS at anytime. But instead they choose to design their machines around Windows.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I don’t get how this detracts from my point: many of the people working for Apple, Microsoft, or any other IT company, American or not, are those whom you and others here would describe as “automatons who lack creativity.”

  • redwhitedude

    I hate to see this backfire on the PRC leadership. They could face a situation similar to Russia in 1905.

  • Dan Strickland

    To join in a bit, often people think in terms of consumer electronics with regards to innovation. However, I do copy-editing in the medical field, and I see a lot of innovative papers in medical engineering, cell biology, genetics, stem cell techniques, and the like. KAIST is especially productive, but there’s some interesting stuff coming out of the so-called Oriental Medicine research community as well. There’s a lot going on that’s not readily visible simply because it’s not out to the general public or even the science popular press yet.

  • 8675309

    ” There’s a lot going on that’s not readily visible simply because it’s not out to the general public or even the science popular press yet.”

    What you failed to mention is that there’s a lot going on in Korea that’s not accessible to the general public — or the rest of the world for that matter — simply because it’s in Korean and hasn’t been translated into English. Unless that happens for every document and ever paper published in Korea, is it safe to say that you don’t even know what you don’t know?

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I don’t know where to begin. First, many scientific papers in the US are generally not accessible to the general public. You need pay a pretty penny for subscriptions. (Have you heard of Aaron Swartz?) Second, there are a lot of papers in English coming from Korea, and the rest of East Asia, i.e., where the “automatons who lack creativity” live. Lastly, even if the paper is in Korean, or any other language besides English, many papers today have an English abstract.

  • charliemarlow

    Iris Chang was a serious researcher. I believe she documented the Japanese atrocities beyond doubt. Certainly the Chinese govt. has killed many more Chinese people than the Japanese were able to, but that does not reduce Japan’s guilt.

  • charliemarlow

    How so? He compared Japan to the UK in WWI, a not so subtle taunt to China, considering what they were doing there at the time. And a couple of decades later, Japan was allied with Nazi Germany, though he may not be aware of that.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Just to be clear, when I wrote “automatons who lack creativity,” I was in fact mocking said view.

    You can never be too careful on the Interweb nowadays.

  • Dan Strickland

    I don’t really understand your point. All I was addressing was what I see as an editor and scientist.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    RK, congrats on your self-awareness. As you noted, some, particularly those who do not speak English as their first language, might easily misunderstand and quote one of Korea’s leading ex-pat bloggers out of intention or context Even I, however, could, with great difficulty, deep contemplation, and meditative reflection, understand the mocking tone on this one.

    Nonetheless, as a frequent caller to the blogger’s hotline, I hope that all bloggers remember how easily local media can (ahem) misinterpret authors’ intentions by simply quoting them literally.

    (I also want to wish you, and everyone, a Happy Sollal.)

  • cmxc

    This is the ultimate example of “the emperor’s new clothes.” Korea, leading the world in innovation?
    It’s the same garbage that let the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to Kim Dae-jung in 2000, (who’s efforts coincidentally helped fund the North Korean nuclear warhead program), or let Fortune Magazine feature Enron as American’s Most Innovative Company for 6 years before it imploded for accounting fraud, or the same people who continually harp on Korea’s supposed miracle of the Han economic growth story conveniently overlooking that the entire country went bankrupt in 1997-98 and had to be bailed out by the IMF, (of which Koreans to this day say IMF as if it was to blame rather than the international organization that saved its ass).

  • cckerberos

    I was referring to the quote in the link, namely: “We must restrain military expansion in Asia, which could otherwise go unchecked. Disputes must be settled by the rule of law, and not through force and coercion”.

    As for the WWI quote, maybe the full FT article reveals something different, but nothing link says that Abe specifically cast Japan in the role of the UK when making the comparison.

    But hey, nice irrelevant reference to WWII.

  • RElgin

    I don’t take the Bloomberg bit seriously either, yet there is innovation to be found in South Korea. I can appreciate a fair amount of the work done at KAIST. They are the only ones to come up with a clever way of using robots and how they are controlled, to rid the sea of the plague of jellyfish that have been clogging fishermen’s nets and stinging people. I only hope they can come up with a way of combating the potentially devastating effects of global warming on South Korea; effects that are only now hinted at in nature.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    It went bankrupt, and so what? It has recovered nicely since then. 1997 does not make the fact that the country had an incredible period of growth disappear. There was a miracle on the Han, which had a rough patch 17 or so years ago.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I agree that Korea is a very innovative country. I was just commenting that from the perspective of a consumer, Apple innovates with the user in mind. Samsung might make great computers, but that will never matter to me because I don’t want to use Windows. Whether it’s the OS or the machine that sucks doesn’t matter to the average consumer – to us they are inseparable. My computer savvy friends often tell me that for the same price as a Macbook I could get a much more powerful and advanced PC. But the fact is that 3 years from now, the macbook will still be running like new and the PC will be slowing down and prone to viruses.

    Though I might add that I do love my Galaxy S3, possibly because Android is also designed with the user in mind.

  • SeoulGoodman

    You know, this makes me wonder why a certain Korean car manufacturer feels the need to lie about the horsepower and fuel efficiency of its car engines.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I did realize that and was adding to mocking that view.

    It is often the sad but true case that the Internet isn’t the best medium for sarcasm.

  • wangkon936

    Well said vtw.

    I do wonder though. How does one measure the quality of “disruptive” innovation?

    I would add that there is value in evolutionary and incremental innovation. Making things faster, better and cheaper is valuable and is still a form of innovation, albeit “systemic” innovation.

    However, “disruptive” innovation does create more value and more wealth for the nation, overall.

  • wangkon936

    I don’t think Korea leads the world in overall innovation. Many of these measurements in Bloomberg’s methodology are per capita based such as R&D Intensity, Productivity, High-tech density and Researcher Concentration. So, it would appear that the more correct assertion is that Korea is the most innovative country relative to its (and everyone elses’) size. So, even liliputan countries such as Israel, Finland and Sweden can also be relatively high on this list.

  • wangkon936

    Rob, nice pic and congratulations on the selection!

  • wangkon936

    Lie yes. But that’s not the whole story. Generally, no on ever says that Samsung lies about their processor speeds or that LG lies about their screen’s pixel density.

  • wangkon936

    GE and IBM are what you call non-disruptive innovative companies. They represent the staple of America’s tech industry.

    “Disruptive innovation,” also known as ‘lightening in a bottle.” Usually only happens a couple times a generation.

  • seouldout

    “One one ever says that Samsung lies about their processor speeds …”

    No one?

    http://www.zdnet.com/samsung-caught-fudging-benchmarks-again-7000021432/

  • wangkon936

    Exaggeration of this nature is done often in industries. I’m sure this has been said about Intel and Qualcomm too.

    Oh, and Ford too.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/15/business/la-fi-ford-mpg-20130816

    These are capitalistic companies after all who are sometimes motivated more by marketing pressures than technical capability.

  • seouldout

    I’m not going to play this wiggle game with you today. It’s lovely, sunny day and I’m enjoying my pool.

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  • JinJoo

    http://www.ne.jp/asahi/unko/tamezou/nankin/whatreally/chapter0814.html

    War (without gunfire) in North-East Asia will never end.

  • JinJoo

    By the way, I am not an apologist for Japan. I am a Korean and I am only against the right-wing group who defend Japanese imperialism.

    There are fair-minded and level headed right-wing Koreans who want to put what the Japanese Imperialist had done to Korea in the past behind, and try to get along well with Japan (even if Japane is still 미운 나라), as at the moment China is the biggest threat to both Korea and Japan (and the USA), but politicians like Abe and Suga sure don’t help much. Still, I hope PGH and Abe wink at each other when no one watches.

  • que337

    People might have to understand Mr. Abe Shinzo however crazy remarks he make, when the economy of Japan is sinking crazy:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/01/20140113_jap1.jpg

    Source: Zero Hedge – Japan Unveils Its Worst Current Account Deficit Ever

  • wangkon936

    Could be worse. He could think that an alien invasion could be a good way to jump start an economy like this economics Nobel laureate:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/paul-krugman-alien-invasion_n_1612973.html