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  1. #51

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    You know, some countries in the South East Asia that I don't even know the names of, burn used tires all round the year as a business. I will hate to see them having to deal with more mess, and that's all I'm concerned.

  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by edz
    Dealers can always (also in Japan) sell things as non-functional curios not intended for use on the mains system or as historical spare parts for tinkerers. Customers, on the other hand, are now much better protected from cheap faulty "made to break" products, This effectively works to extend the average "time of life" of products--- a wee bit of environmental protection through the sidedoor (new "generic" electronics btw. are no longer able to use lead base soldier).
    Have you ever heard of the "time-stamp" that Sony has suggested? What it is that the products will be "made to stop/die" with much shorter life expectancies than they are today. So, these future products will be just as bad as those cheap electronics that are "made to break" as you have pointed out.

    As far as I know, big businesses (multi-national corps) will eventually want to start leasing their products to their customers instead of selling them. So, the customers will have to pay the companies endlessly, and that's the scary part. I don't know how realistic it is, but that's been going around as more than just a rumor today.

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker
    Most Japanese government officials are still not dealing with this problem today because they are:

    a) only concerned about big businesses and nothing else.

    b) all Koizumi's LDP members secretly.

    c) not big fans of democracy at all.

    d) retarded.

    e) illiterate.

    f) suffering from Alzeheimer's disease.

    g) just what they are, whatever that means.
    I don't care how badly you speak of the bureaucrats, but I don't agree with your analysis except a and c. Koizumi and his gangs are trying hard to get rid of external organizations that provide amakudari positions and nontransparent relationship with the industry. But bureaucrats worry about their life after retirement and they want to create more external organizations that support them. Bureaucrats are annoyed by general directions set out by Koizumi and they usually dislike him. Indeed, not many people in LDP like him.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryuji
    I don't care how badly you speak of the bureaucrats, but I don't agree with your analysis except a and c. Koizumi and his gangs are trying hard to get rid of external organizations that provide amakudari positions and nontransparent relationship with the industry. But bureaucrats worry about their life after retirement and they want to create more external organizations that support them. Bureaucrats are annoyed by general directions set out by Koizumi and they usually dislike him. Indeed, not many people in LDP like him.
    You have to pay more attention to what's really happening over here. Privatization (which is exactly what Koizumi is doing in order to sell out (and/or give away) state businesses and properties to corporate businesses for nothing) is not going to help to get rid of any useless organizations being created by retired bureaucrats at all. These corporate businesses keep feeding the retired bureaucrats and using their connections to get contracts from the government.

    Have you heard the news that the METI is going to establish 500 private teting firms and provide the service for free for the first 6 months? This story came out as a solution to deal with the vintage equipment, and that pretty much explains it all.

    http://www.meti.go.jp/policy/consume...hi_q&a_new.htm

    Anyway I'm not going to get into more details since it's so off-topic.

  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker
    You have to pay more attention to what's really happening over here. Privatization (which is exactly what Koizumi is doing in order to sell out (and/or give away) state businesses and properties to corporate businesses for nothing) is not going to help to get rid of any useless organizations being created by retired bureaucrats at all. These corporate businesses keep feeding the retired bureaucrats and using their connections to get contracts from the government.
    That's a very oversimplified view. Government is not simply privetizing existing external organizations. They usually get reduced and reformed. Also, it's not like you said that bureaucrats like Koizumi. This is completely opposite of reality, and ministers are having difficult time between Koizumi and bureaucrats. In relation to the external organizations, in reality, Koizumi doesn't care much. He rarely shows interest on issues that are past peak, and he rarely says anything about details. The pressure to reduce the influence of retired bureaucrats continues, but this is mainly expressed by other members of LDP, like Katayama Toranosuke. What happens depends more on the next head of the LPD and the next cabinet. There are active debates among post-Koizumi candidates, but none of them is sympathetic to old bureaucrats.

    Have you heard the news that the METI is going to establish 500 private teting firms and provide the service for free for the first 6 months? This story came out as a solution to deal with the vintage equipment, and that pretty much explains it all.
    I knew this news since when it came out.
    How "private" the 500 firms are is very questionable, but either way, this is not an acceptable solution for the PSE issue, and everyone knows that.

    Anyway, this is not the place to discuss Japanese politics... so I'll stop here.

  6. #56

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    We are getting pretty close to the day for the execution of the new PSE law that is scheduled on April 1st, 2006. But still there's not been much going on except for the fact now more musicians are joining the protest, etc.

    Meanwhile the mainstream media is very much sided by the government and doesn't tell the truth. The following is an excerpt from the editorial section of Asahi Newspaper:

    "Even though more than 1,000 accidents involving home electrical appliances were reported in fiscal 2004 and the need for greater safety measures is obvious, many people have grave doubts about the new system."

    I belive this is a plain lie, straight out of the government's PR kit. From what I've heard, the "1,000" incidents (or whatever the real number is) were not directly caused by the general use of old electrical appliances made prior to 2001, but they were due to the defects found in the products. The manufacturers must be held accountable for selling them. That's what the real problem is.

    http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-...603230165.html

    EDITORIAL/ Product safety system

    03/23/2006

    Although few consumers are yet aware of the PSE seal of approval mark on many electrical products, whether they carry it or not will make a major difference from April 1, when it becomes required for their sales. The lack of publicity for the plan by government and industry, however, has led to great confusion in the resale market.

    The PSE mark will certify that the product has passed government-designed safety tests of its likelihood of causing short circuits or other electrical accidents.

    After April 1, products that do not bear the PSE mark will gradually be banned from sales. Violations of the revised Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law will be punishable by prison terms of up to one year.

    The revisions to the law, which took effect in April 2001, were passed with little serious debate by the Diet at the time.

    After the law came into force, new electrical products to be put on the market were required to pass the PSE tests to get the seal. A grace period of five to 10 years was set for used products, after which their resale will be outlawed.

    For 259 types of products, including refrigerators and other household electric appliances, the resale period expires March 31.

    The law contains no provisions about what to do about all the old appliances. In fact, it was not even until February that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry posted on its Web site a list of what types of products will be banned for resale.

    Until that list was posted, most businesses and consumers were left in ignorance of the new system, which is aimed at improving recycling and product safety. It seems the ministry, in its bureaucratic arrogance, believed that everyone ought to comply with the scheme simply because it has become law.

    A loud and indignant chorus calling for an extension of the grace period beyond March 31 is being heard among businesses dealing in used electrical products.

    Musicians stand to lose the most from the ban, which includes used electric instruments such as vintage tube amplifiers and synthesizers.

    Such equipment will be banned from resale under the rules because the old pieces would not survive high-voltage leakage tests required to gain the PSE sticker.

    Musicians led by composer Ryuichi Sakamoto have amassed more than 70,000 signatures on a petition against the law, which they say threatens the development of Japan's musical culture.

    Faced with a growing backlash against its plan, the ministry announced a set of emergency measures on March 14. The ministry will conduct the required safety tests free of charge for six months, and it will rent out the testing equipment. It will also exempt vintage musical instruments.

    Despite these eleventh-hour changes, the ministry plans to put the new rules into effect in April, as scheduled. Still, many used electrical products sellers argue convincingly that the government should pay more attention to used electrical appliances than to vintage musical products, which admittedly are used only by a few enthusiasts.

    We agree that enforcing the new regulations as they are would not be wise. Even though more than 1,000 accidents involving home electrical appliances were reported in fiscal 2004 and the need for greater safety measures is obvious, many people have grave doubts about the new system.

    The used electrical appliance market is now worth 100 billion yen. If trade in such products is banned, that means we must throw away tons of used electrical gadgets. That would be a senseless waste.

    Instead of renting out test equipment, the ministry should freeze its plan for six months and work out a better plan to ensure the safety of used electrical products. Then it should make all-out efforts to inform the general public, and the businesses affected, of all about the system.

    --The Asahi Shimbun, March 22(IHT/Asahi: March 23,2006)

  7. #57

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    http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/nation...et017000c.html

    Musicians speak out against ban on sale of old electrical appliances

    Ryuichi Sakamoto and other Japanese musicians spoke out against regulations banning the sale of certain electrical appliances without a PSE safety mark from April, saying that not just vintage musical instruments but all second-hand electrical household appliances should be exempted.
    Sakamoto and the other musicians were expected to file a petition seeking changes to the regulations to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Thursday afternoon. Three other musicians, including songwriter and performer Hideki Togi and music producer Kenzo Saeki joined Sakamoto in the protest.
    "Whether something is vintage or not is not a matter for government officials to decide. It's clear that the government's stance was that musicians wouldn't say anything if musical instruments were exempted (from the regulations)," Sakamoto said.
    Under the Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law, the sale of certain electrical appliances that do not bear the PSE mark, which certifies the safety of goods, will be banned starting in April.
    The ministry had decided to exempt vintage, high-value second-hand musical instruments from the regulations because of their scarcity. (Mainichi)


    By the way, the government has issued a statement saying that their definition of "vintage" is 1989 and older, and I don't know where that number came from.

    So, Leitz V35 enlargers manufactured in the 90's will still be banned. A lot of domestic ones such as LPL, Fujimoto, and Fuji in the used market will be, too.

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryuji
    How "private" the 500 firms are is very questionable, but either way, this is not an acceptable solution for the PSE issue, and everyone knows that.
    I found out that "500" testing units is what the government meant, not the number of the firms they said they're going to. But still, they are so short of getting the equipment, and so far they've got a little over 100 units.

  9. #59

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    This is the latest news on the new PSE law:


    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0060325a8.html


    METI backs off banning sale of used electrical goods

    Responding to an outcry from dealers in used goods and musicians, the government said Friday it will relax regulations on trade in noncertified used electrical items that were set to take effect April 1.
    The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry backed off from its earlier plan to ban sales of electrical goods without so-called PSE stickers certifying their safety.
    PSE is short for "product safety of electric appliance and material."
    After meeting with a group of about 30 secondhand goods dealers, Hidetaka Fukuda, head of METI's consumer policy affairs division, said the government will allow the dealers to sell electrical items, including musical instruments, without the PSE sticker if they conduct safety inspections of the products at some time in the future.
    "In reality, there is a serious shortage of equipment necessary for safety tests. We need to find a solution so as not to cause great economic losses among used goods dealers who have a considerable amount of inventory," Fukuda said.
    Koichiro Ogawa, who heads the dealer group, welcomed the government's decision, saying it is "tantamount to delaying the start of the sales ban."
    "We were worried about the possible halt of our businesses and subsequent bankruptcies because of the ban. With this flexible measure, we can avoid a supply shortage crisis," he said.
    The ban will take effect under the revised Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law, which came into force in 2001.
    The government had set a five-year transition period to give dealers and buyers of used items time to prepare for the new regulations, but a lack of information from METI led to confusion and protests by merchants and musicians.
    The law stipulates that sales of 450 items, including televisions, refrigerators, radios, videocassette recorders and game consoles, will be prohibited if they do not have PSE stickers.
    But transactions between individuals, rentals and selling such items overseas is allowed. Businesses that sell electrical items without the PSE stickers face up to 100 million yen in fines.
    Fukuda indicated the government will not punish dealers trading goods without PSE certification, even after April 1, treating such transactions as "leasing."
    The government will also overlook trade in used items without the certification between businesses if there is a possibility that they will eventually be exported, he said.
    Fukuda and Ogawa said the two sides will continue discussions on the implementation of the law after April 1 to clarify certain points. The dealers' group is seeking a total exemption of secondhand items from the ban.
    Oscar-winning musician Ryuichi Sakamoto and other artists have also urged METI to be flexible in enforcing the ban to enable trade of older electronic musical instruments.
    Following an uproar among the dealers and musicians, METI announced last week it will exempt from the restrictions such vintage items as synthesizers, stereos, vacuum tube amplifiers, movie projectors and photograph enlargement machines. Specifics on the exemptions have not been determined yet.

    The Japan Times: Saturday,March 25, 2006

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