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A_cross comments

Posted in: Global car giants seek tech allies in China's cutthroat EV market See in context

The North American motor vehicle industry saw this coming twenty years ago, and then missed every opportunity to develop a modern battery-powered motor industry, slow-walked compliance with every environmental initiative and reaped profits from inefficient monsters. Except Tesla. Japan made its revolutionary Ghosn walk the plank and pushes lies about hybrids and hydrogen.

China meanwhile has been looking and learning. Yes, there are subsidies, but the US and Europe have also thrown money at car makers, only to see it spent on production in Mexico, Vietnam and Eastern Europe. Apologists who take one month's sales figures or one opinion poll and pretend they represent a trend are willfully ignoring the big picture, which is this: Toyota has handed its EV customers on a plate to BYD. Battery costs are falling towards a point where EV cars will be significantly cheaper than IC. Who will buy American-made cars and trucks then?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Mount Fuji convenience store' issues apology for bad tourist manners, adds multilingual signs See in context

If I was running that store I would have a pre-fabricated building on its roof called Fujimi Cafe selling premium coffee, champagne and cakes ............

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: AUKUS weighs expanding security pact with Japan to deter China, FT says See in context

OKuniyoshiToday  09:32 pm JST

Japan has to be smart. No matter what you think, no matter what you wish, no matter what you want. Japan is always going to be next door to China. 

Unfortunately, Japan's actual "next door" is Russia. However, that makes "JAUKUS" even more urgent. If there is one (potential) conflict worse than "Russia vs the Free World" it is "Russia allied with China vs the Free World". Japan will need all the help it can get, and Joe, Tone, Rish & Kish would make a great team .....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Fujitsu in firing line over UK Post Office scandal See in context

There's a useful technical description in Computer Weekly, which started investigating this scandal 15 years ago:

https://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Post-Office-Horizon-scandal-explained-everything-you-need-to-know

Also thanks to Private Eye magazine, which has been reporting the scandal since 2011 while newspapers ignored it.

Britain's Post Office is effectively a government organization and applied the "shoot the messenger" solution to this problem. A commercial organization would perhaps have held Fujitsu to account when problems arose.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Airlines pilots 'unaware of fire' at first See in context

JimJan. 4  02:23 pm JST

@A_cross

This is a Japan today article that people are referring to when writing comments. Don’t reference international news sites ......

Jim, are you a moderator?

The first people posting seemed to misunderstand the reports in thinking that 18 minutes was the time it took for everyone to leave once the aircraft was on the ground. In fact, as I pointed out, that was the time that elapsed between the mid-air collision and the pilot, being the last to leave, walked away. That means during those 18 minutes the plane caught fire, landed, came to a stop, doors were opened, passengers evacuated, pilot and crew worked to make the plane as safe as it could be. The slide evacuation did indeed take the designed 90 seconds.

In order to understand this, I had to research other reporting, and just as others have done, noted the URL of information sources. The USA Today article included diagrams which greatly helped understand the situation. Are you saying that no-one should post any references that are not Japan Today?

I don't get your point. Sounds like you are saying any non-Japanese media is untrustworthy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Transcripts of fatal aircraft collision reveal coast guard plane not cleared for take-off See in context

Looks like the JCG plane was neither approaching nor waiting near the runway, it had already run down the runway and taken off when it collided with the descending JAL- 516. They must have just become airborne as JAL-516 descended on top of them, so the Bombardier's above-fuselage wing and engines hit JAL-516's wing and engines with the force of the two planes' combined speed. The JCG plane would have been fully loaded with fuel.

English-language communication, and use of terms such as "take-off" being restricted to permission given or not, were established following the Tenerife collision in 1977. Reports suggest that the JCG pilot was instructed to wait at the runway entry, but was also informed he would be given priority. If the pilot thought that "cleared for take-off" and "given priority" were the same thing, that was a serious mistake on his part. If they were speaking in Japanese instead of English that was a serious breech of safety protocols. Lets hope the pilot survives and can give a full account of the accident.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Transcripts of fatal aircraft collision reveal coast guard plane not cleared for take-off See in context

My post from a more recent JT report https://japantoday.com/category/national/JAL-pilots-unaware-of-fire-at-first-new-details-show about the planes evacuation time would shed light on some of the points raised here:

A_crossToday  01:54 pm JST

According to: https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/the-art-of-the-plane-evacuation-how-airlines-empty-giant-jets-in-under-90-seconds/ar-AA1mpoFK 

All passengers ... need to be able to get off in an emergency in just 90 seconds – ... all the time the 379 passengers and crew on board Flight 516 had before the jet was engulfed by flames 

and the detailed infographics here:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/graphics/2024/01/02/japan-coast-guard-plane-crash-graphics/72083108007/ 

Flight JAL-516 ..... was making a normal landing on Runway C at about 5:47 p.m. local time when the crash occurred.

so when this report says: 

It took 18 minutes to evacuate the entire plane, with the pilot the last ... at 6:05 pm

it means 18 minutes was the total time from the airborne collision to completion of the evacuation, including actually landing and stopping the plane, and then shutting off the fuel tanks.

Sadly the JCG plane's crew died. They must have just become airborne as JAL-516 descended on top of them, so the Bombardier's above-fuselage wing and engines hit JAL-516's wing and engines at the two planes' combined speed. The JCG plane would have been fully loaded with fuel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Airlines pilots 'unaware of fire' at first See in context

According to: https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/the-art-of-the-plane-evacuation-how-airlines-empty-giant-jets-in-under-90-seconds/ar-AA1mpoFK

All passengers ... need to be able to get off in an emergency in just 90 seconds – ... all the time the 379 passengers and crew on board Flight 516 had before the jet was engulfed by flames

and the detailed infographics here:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/graphics/2024/01/02/japan-coast-guard-plane-crash-graphics/72083108007/

Flight JAL-516 ..... was making a normal landing on Runway C at about 5:47 p.m. local time when the crash occurred.

so when this report says:

It took 18 minutes to evacuate the entire plane, with the pilot the last ... at 6:05 pm

it means 18 minutes was the total time from the airborne collision to completion of the evacuation, including actually landing and stopping the plane, and then shutting off the fuel tanks.

Sadly the JCG plane's crew died. They must have just become airborne as JAL-516 descended on top of them, so the Bombardier's above-fuselage wing and engines hit JAL-516's wing and engines at the two planes' combined speed. The JCG plane would have been fully loaded with fuel.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Police investigate report of someone spreading white powder on street in Hyogo See in context

Any reasons for NOT joining it ?

If you don't want to get fit or drink beer ....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan to invest $1.4 billion to make EV versions of its best-selling cars in UK See in context

What happened to the £61 million that UK government promised Nissan in 2016 to keep making cars after Brexit?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Police investigate report of someone spreading white powder on street in Hyogo See in context

Yes, it's a running group. They have been doing this in various parts of Japan for over 45 years. There are thousands of similar groups all around the world. Someone marks a trail with blobs of flour and the rest try to follow it. Then they chill with a few beers.

If the police, or whoever called them, had followed this trail far enough, they would have either found the person marking it or got to the start or finish.

I believe, on the night in question, that would have been near Nishinomiya station.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Landowner seeks understanding over Jingu redevelopment See in context

As one of the residents of the area, I know the developers' "efforts to transmit information ... " have been more than insufficient, they gave been deceptive and downright dishonest. They presented a plan that showed various sports buildings but omitted two high-rise office towers. They presented "before" and "after" plans that showed areas shaded green, saying they were re-planting an (almost) equivalent area of greenery, when the "before" plans showed mature trees and some of the priceless Ginko trees, the symbol of Tokyo, being removed and the "after" plans showed their replacements, bushes at most a meter high when fully grown.

You can see the contrast between the mature trees of the historic area to the left of the photo and the new stadium, with its now full-grown planting, just a few bushes of straggling scrub hanging on the sides of the building. The ancient trees were planted BTW by the ordinary people of Tokyo as an expression of their regard for the former Meiji Emperor.

What these religious "seekers of understanding" need to understand is that this time they may finally have gone too far. This issue has already aroused individual citizens of Tokyo to form human chains and obstruct construction progress. If the quality and character of this historic area is not maintained, they will have to force their development through against ordinary people, tree by tree and stone by stone.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Critics of Tokyo redevelopment plan accuse city government of ignoring residents' wishes See in context

As one of the nearby residents, I can say our experience with the New National (Olympic) Stadium does not bode well. At first they had consultation meetings and gave out plans of the Zaha Hadid design. Then the Japanese architects and experts came out saying it's unsightly, the height will obscure views and beside the winner of the International Competition is a foreigner. They never consulted us again, didn't tell us about the 50m high Hotel next door, the reduction from 85,000 seats to 65,000, the same as the old one, or that it could no longer be used for rugby so they have to build another stadium for that (on the site of the Kenkoku Kinen Bunko).

I reviewed the link KazukoHarmony posted. Coloring a plan green doesn't tell you that they are replacing mature trees with the straggly shrubs draped around the new stadium that need constant watering to survive, or the impact of 2, possibly 3 high-rise towers almost 200 meters tall. This is not sustainable landscape design.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Mount Fuji hiking season nears with warnings against 'bullet climbing' See in context

Trapped (June 22  06:57 pm JST): The old phrase I've heard about climbing Mt.Fuji: You're mad if you don't climb it once and crazy if you climb it twice.

The version I heard was "a wise man climbs Mount Fuji once - a fool climbs Mount Fuji twice". I did the latter. The first time I got a late-night call from some crazy Japanese friends saying let's drive out to Mount Fuji. We got to a car park and it was too cold to stay in the car so we went for a walk. After a while I found I was ahead of my friends, but it was October, I was on the Fuji trail and knew it was closed, so I decided to keep on going until I found the barrier or whatever marked the closed trail. There wasn't one, and I was alone, above the snow line and not equipped. I slipped and slid down, I don't know how far, hundreds of meters, until I reached a less steep part where I could slow down. My jeans were torn and knees were bleeding but I could just about stand up. I climbed back up and was approaching the summit as the sun rose over the skyscrapers of Shinjuku. I got to the top, went back down saying konnichiwa to climbers coming up equipped like Everest mountaineers and realized I was lucky to be alive.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Sex abuse scandal-hit Johnny's talent agency to investigate other cases See in context

This scandal is getting bigger, and unlike before it will not simply get forgotten. Tens of thousands of signatures are now loaded on petitions addressed to politicians. First of all, Johnny's Jimusho needs to re-pay the millions of yen it received from Shukan Bunshun for "defamation" after the magazine reported what was common knowledge about Kitagawa's abuse. Then this "external investigation team" needs to name all the Johnny's Jimusho staff who similarly abused the young boys, and then all the Johnny's Jimusho staff who knew about the abuse and abetted it, and then all the Johnny's Jimusho staff who knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it or report it. All of these people need to publicly apologize and most of them need to resign. Finally, before Johnny's Jimusho recruits another young boy, they need to have a safeguarding plan to ensure this never happens again. Otherwise they should be closed down.

Readers need to understand why the BBC is pushing to reform a corrupt and sexually abusive entertainment industry in a distant country. It is because we were deceived by a similar paedophile abuser, who became knighted by the late Queen and known as a "National Treasure". After he died and his abuses were revealed, by people who knew about them for a long time, the Queen revoked his title and the internet was scrubbed of his name, as far as possible. Britain is still trying to make amends to all the hundreds of children who were abused, including Kitagawa's victims.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to hold ministerial meeting on Johnny's talent agency sex abuse claims See in context

Futaro, Samit, I believe we need to try to protect every victim of abuse, especially sexual abuse, whatever their nation, age or gender. Here, we are talking about young male victims of Johnny Kitagawa. The abuser is dead, but his victims are still suffering. Some did become famous, but as the BBC documentary showed, they still suffer. As with Jimmy Savile, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Johnny Kitagawa and others, every one of those victims was left to suffer by people who knew what was happening and failed to protect them. When our children are being abused, keeping your mouths shut should be a crime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to hold ministerial meeting on Johnny's talent agency sex abuse claims See in context

This is not over, this needs "fixing":

David BrentToday  05:21 pm JST

... Imagine the show "Jim'll Fix It" still running in the UK, but with a different presenter...

Now imagine that Johnny's Jimusho is still going, and among its performers is a Jimmy Savile impersonator called DJ Koo who wears a blonde wig, giant sunglasses and performs on children's TV. Now imagine that at least some of the people who worked at Johnny's Jimusho, and allowed the predatory paedophile Johnny Kitagawa to get away with his illegal sexual activities, still work there, and none of them have been punished, but they think they have got away with it all now that he's dead, by issuing a limp apology.

Now imagine you are a young child with singing talent. Your best career chance would be to sign to Johnny's Jimusho, which is still going.

Now imagine you are that child's parents. Should we let our children join that agency? Should we investigate what Johnny's Jimusho did and whether the people working there have changed? What safeguards can Japanese parents expect for their children?

If the Japanese government does not investigate this, is it not taking responsibility for every case of abuse that young people suffer at the hands of Johnny's Jimusho and other agencies like it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Another ex-member of Johnny's talent agency says he was sexually abused See in context

The abusive agency should return the money it received from Shukan Bunshun for defamation 20 years ago. Those allegations were true, and everybody on the street knew it. The entire nation of Britain was deceived by the paedophile (and worse) Jimmy Savile and the BBC is still working to erase every trace of his memory. Remember, every abusive celebrity is surrounded by people, such as Julie Keiko Fujishima, who "look the other way", and they should be held accountable too. As a Brit, it bothers me that Japan tolerates DJ Koo, who dresses and acts like Jimmy Savile. Johnny's needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Thomas the Tank Engine See in context

The Oigawa line started operating the "Thomas" train in 2014, and I took my kids. They were 2 years old then, and like most kids don't remember anything before they were 3 or 4. But they do have memories of riding the Thomas train.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Bomb threats sent by fax to colleges in Yamanashi, Ibaraki, Hokkaido See in context

My kids' school reported that last Saturday a fax had been sent to the ward office targeting children. On about 10 occasions in 2022 they reported similar "suspicious email". Many schools & universities across Japan made similar reports. I assumed these all came from a malicious Trojan similar to “Emotet”, as documented here: https://www.ipa.go.jp/security/announce/20191202.html , but it looks like "fax-phishing" is also a real threat, see https://www.hoxhunt.com/blog/fax-phishing

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Bar owner found stabbed to death in Tokyo See in context

Shimokita was recently placed #7 in the annual Time Out ‘world’s coolest neighbourhoods’ ranking.

and Shimokitazawa has been on the front page of CNN news for a few days now - for its "quality of life" including the local bars -

back to the sad death of worker in a bar behind on its rent. In Japan, "loan sharks", "yakuza", and "real estate companies" are each entirely different things, but they sometimes work together, especially in the case of delinquent tenants where property laws don't work. JT's report fails to mention that the victim had been dead for a couple of days. Even so, it's unusual that someone sent the bad boys in before the real estate guys checked that the victim hadn't actually paid his rent.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese schools banning nicknames, mandating use of '-san' divides opinions See in context

What language is this article talking about?

My children, and their friends, call each other "- chan" if female and "- kun" if male.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics legacy venue proving a chronic headache See in context

The old stadium was rather a nice design. 

True, and well used, but it was rather old. This meant, besides wanting more seats and a roof:

it was not equipped for modern broadcast requirements - lighting, sound system, camera positions;

it did not meet modern requirements for fire exits or disabled access - seating and steps were uneven or too steep - a big disadvantage when you are hoping to host an event called the Paralympics;

it lacked the public access spaces with retail and restaurants that are part of a modern venue's business plan.

But, the old stadium did have an Olympic Cauldron you could light up during rock concerts, something the post-Zaha design forgot .....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics legacy venue proving a chronic headache See in context

For security reasons, the stadium's detailed plans could not be disclosed to interested businesses. 

I have a set of the stadium's detailed plans that local residents received showing Zaha's competition-winning entry. In accordance with the competition conditions, this had 85,000 seats and a retractable roof, because the stadium's business plan called for big-name concerts. It also included public spaces with retail and restaurants. We did not get anything about the revised plan, but the public were shown images, so we knew the roof was replaced by a canopy over the seating. We were not told that seating capacity had been reduced to less than the old stadium from 50 years ago, nor that the canopy cost was not included in the new revised price. I believe the quoted line should read as follows:

For political reasons, the stadium's detailed plans could not be disclosed to the public because they would show lower seat numbers. There were no interested businesses. 

and

Also part of the equation is the stadium's limited value as a concert venue, because they would have to cancel events when it rains. The operators had no concerns for its surrounding neighborhood.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. agree impact of Russia's aggression goes beyond Europe See in context

expatToday  01:07 pm JST

Kind of obvious, isn't it, since Japan is not in Europe...

Japan is not in Europe, but Russia is only 24 km from Japan ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn calls Japan's prosecution system discriminatory See in context

As someone who loves Japan, I recognize it has imperfections, especially in the legal system, left over from the mediaeval times that ended here several centuries later than they did in the west. The brutal treatment of victims is one such legacy, especially as it applies to foreigners. In spite of his huge contribution to rescuing a Japanese company from bankruptcy, Ghosn became its victim. He recognizing he faced insurmountable odds and used his wealth and position to get away.

Another victim of Japan's brutal treatment of foreigners is Wishma Rathnayake, a Sri Lankan girl whose dream was to teach English in Japan. She overcame many obstacles to fulfill that dream, but failed Japan's immigration laws on a technicality. She died - in a Japanese Prison:

Can we help keep her memory alive in a way that will help others, especially victims of Japan's brutal treatment of foreigners? Could we ask Carlos Ghosn to contribute to a fund for this? Could we even ask if we can call it the "Carlos Ghosn Fund?"

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Posted in: Kishida's debut on world stage offers few clues about his foreign policy See in context

Japan should of course lead the world in environmental concern, just like it did in 1997 when hosting the Kyoto Protocol ........ and what became of that?

So a flying visit was perhaps the diplomatic version of extending two fingers to all the nations who agreed a quarter-century ago that we faced a climate emergency, and then returned to their fossil fuels and profligate consumption.

Why should anyone think they get the message this time?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Tens of thousands of children to be allowed to attend Paralympics See in context

”School visit to Paralympics" has been on my kids' school calendar since April.

So the report is misleading. Koike is not planning something new, she just does not want to be responsible for cancelling it. Koike said that parents should 「まず家庭で健康観察を」"First, observe your health at home" .....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Suga thanks people for helping to hold safe Olympics during pandemic See in context

Safe?

A building made of flammable materials, without proper fire exits, is not "safe" just because it did not burn down this week.

Suga and the IOC took a high-risk approach to staging the Olympics, putting people's health and lives at stake, and got lucky.

Will that luck hold for the Paralympics too?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Why Japan took the word 'mansion' and applied it to condominiums See in context

As Soldier2 says, multi-occupancy buildings with a name containing "Mansions" are fairly common in London, dating from 100 years ago or more. The units they contain would be called "flats" not apartments, and the word "condominium" was not used in Britain.

To return to the original article "Such a building collapse would be unthinkable in Japan" , but the reason is that we are in an earthquake zone, and structures get shake-tested every few weeks. During the Aneha-era "Such a building collapse" came close to being a possibility, and was only avoided by revisiting and re-calculating building structures and imposing re-inspections. Let's hope they continue to do this rigorously and that the authorities in Florida urgently start doing the same.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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