555Book comments

Posted in: Miss Universe Japan 2009 See in context

I am developing the habit of hearing voices in my mind.

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Posted in: Hustle Mania See in context

Er...is this supposed to be a novelty? I can't imagine other singers of her age get involved in wrestling.

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Posted in: Gov't to boost moral education for young people See in context

Students or individual can change but their effort can be shortlived and ineffective if the larger environment is already tainted. In order to effectively overhaul the entire system, the change has to come from the very top, only they have the power to make sweeping and far reaching changes. Leaders should set a good example and use it to influence the entire society.

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Posted in: Japan's recession worse than thought See in context

rgetty, I agree that our increasing drive to consume more is not sustainable. You and I today may discipline ourselves to consume less, but our employers on the other hand are sure to make us sell more to the consumers, so it is really a dilemma we all are facing. Corporate performance and the global economic growth engine is one which is measured on ever increasing profits, surely we can't tell our employers that we should all do less.

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Posted in: Zenchu See in context

This tariff on imported agriculture produce seems like a major distortion to Japan's economy. Is it true that the government protect the local rice industry because it is a matter of national security?

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Posted in: Food crunch opens doors to bioengineered crops See in context

I heard experiment shows that even animals prefer to eat partially rotten natural fruits instead of healthy looking GM fruits.

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Posted in: Mika Nakashima sings beneath Tokyo's biggest Christmas tree See in context

She makes some pretty decent music too.

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Posted in: Komuro See in context

Yeah, I guess those music you grew up listening to really mean something to you, that's why I still listen to people like Seiko and Akina.

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Posted in: Roppongi Hills See in context

Is this the best time of the year to visit Japan/Tokyo?

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Posted in: SDF appeal See in context

haha..nothing beats reading all the practical jokes in JT, good thing that the subject does not know about it.

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Posted in: Art installation See in context

Is she floating or is my mind floating.

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Posted in: Keiko makes first media appearance since husband’s arrest See in context

hm...shame on me to focus first on Tetsuya himself when I read the news.

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Posted in: Panda twins See in context

aw...lucky fellas.

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Posted in: Softbank's Y13 mil diamond cell phones sell out in three days See in context

No Sarge, I don't live in Japan, 13 million yen can buy you a very nice house in my country, something like 4000 sq ft. of built up area and fully furnished.

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Posted in: Softbank's Y13 mil diamond cell phones sell out in three days See in context

That is more expensive than my house and car put together.

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Posted in: Honda's new Life See in context

Ah...what can I say, I am a fan of Honda automobiles and I have to say that this car looks rather average, but then again if you have to like something you will have to like both the good and the bad, right?

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Posted in: NHK announces 'support group' for 'Red & White Song Contest' See in context

Sooo...this show is actually sponsored by NHK

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Posted in: Shinjuku Terrace City Illumination See in context

Very nice, looks like the stage of one of those j-pop variety shows.

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Posted in: Jury bra See in context

This picture of the day section always bring out the creativity of readers or is there something comical about Hiromi.

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Posted in: Jury bra See in context

Ha ha...this Hiromi is looking more and more funny, is it a coincidence that the company intended to debut her this way, I mean amid all the injustice being reported these days.

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Posted in: Japan's burgeoning class: Working poor See in context

No system in this world is perfect. Socialism did not work. Free capitalism and free market did not work either!

Athletes, I fully agree with your above opinion. Some times, the problem really isn't so much with the systems, it is the people directing and operating the systems who are creating all these problems.

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Posted in: Japan's burgeoning class: Working poor See in context

Capitalism is definitely an ironic thing, when China partially embraced capitalism she was able to lift a huge portion of its population from abject poverty in a very short time span. But as evident in many developed countries, when capitalism was left to function fully on its own it will almost always create an increasing divide between the haves and the have not. It is quite obvious that such a widening divide is not sustainable in the longer term.

As mentioned in the article, the root cause of the rising working poor in Japan was the bursting of the economic buble some 20 years ago. In its effort to rescue to floundering economy back then, the government took on massive debt to pump prime the economy. Unfortunately the intented return from this big investment did not materialise. Since the economy did not perform well, the government wasn't able to collect enough tax revenues to pay off its debt, and that is why the tax rate in Japan has to remain high. That of course mean that the general public could not enjoy a higher spending power.

The other reason for the diminishing household income is the low interest paid to savings. The government really couldn't raise interest rates too much because that will cause the value of those government bonds (issued to finance the pump priming) to drop and cause some kind of systemic disaster in the financial market.

Then there are also issues related to the long delays in cleaning up bank balance sheets, overly conservative capital and credit markets, aging population, growing risk avoidance in business and a general pessimism among the people. As I understand, all these in some ways contributed to the growing poverty in Japan.

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Posted in: Diva's Dream Festa See in context

Damn! I should have learned Japanese long time ago.

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Posted in: Japan's burgeoning class: Working poor See in context

I think that the article is suggesting that urban poverty is becoming an alarming trend in Japan. If I can remember what I have read correctly, Japanese government is in a pretty difficult situation to rectify the problems in the country.

Their economic policies are mainly aligned to support the big corporations and multinationals. They have to constantly keep their interest rates low to ensure that these companies have access to cheap credit and at the same time maintaining a weak yen to let these large exporters maintain price competitiveness. This has erroded the living standard of the general public because the low interest rates have reduced the return on household savings while the weak yen have made imported food stuff and energy (fuel) expensive.

There is also this reluctance on the part of the credit and capital market in Japan to promote entrepreneurship and to grow their small and medium size enterprises. As such the level of new investment and job creation is quite stagnant.

I also agree that the growing number of part time jobs will seriously limit the ability of the workforce to acquire useful skills and this may turn out to be a big hidden cost to the economy in the future.

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Posted in: Man dies after being hit by express train in Nagasaki Pref See in context

Suicide is the worst way to die.

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Posted in: Vending machine See in context

Is the crime rate really that high in Japan or is it an example of over spending on public amenities?

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Posted in: Toray swimsuit girl See in context

That is why I prefer JT to the NHK site, I love reading the comments.

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Posted in: 2 inmates hanged; number of executions most per year since 1999 See in context

Japan, which in the past has faced criticism for keeping prisoners on death row for decades before their executions

Is this suppose to allow them ample time to come to term with their death sentence so that they can 'move on' more at ease?

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Posted in: Married man arrested for torching hotel before bogus wedding in Yamanashi See in context

Gosh, you sure don't get to read stuff like this at the NHK site.

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Posted in: Name your five favorite TV show themes. See in context

I like Miami Vice.

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