A_cross comments

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. 


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


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 )

Posted in: Japan trails world in COVID vaccine rollout 2 months after its start See in context

According to Shinjuku Ward, they will start shipping vaccination COUPONS for over-75s on 26th April, for 65-75s in late May and under-65s depending on how things go. Announcements of vaccination locations and schedules is planned for May 1st.

Also, since the pandemic started, schools in the area have been relatively safe. Now school kids are starting to catch the virus.

The 2020 Summer Olympics opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on 23 July 2021 at Olympic Stadium in Shinjuku.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Barring fans from abroad for Tokyo Olympics creates many questions See in context

The Olympic Charter (2017 version) states that nothing should be done to put the health of athletes at risk.

The Olympic organisers are currently selecting volunteers who will interact with those athletes, and do not require the volunteers to be vaccinated or tested.

Since there is a pandemic raging, and there is a vaccine , surely that is putting the athletes at unnecessary additional risk.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: IOC, Tokyo Olympics to unveil rule book for beating pandemic See in context

One word missing from this entire discussion: "volunteers"

One year ago, Tokyo began to realise that their generally excellent transportation system could not handle the Olympic logistics. Then, as one of the volunteers, on which the entire event depended, I started training, and after that I was offered a position as, basically, an unpaid taxi driver. They even asked me if I had my own car. I thought about the risks of an accident versus the rewards (zero), and declined.

This year they have not even asked the volunteers to schedule the training yet. Would I accept the added risk of infection? Sorry, I was really excited about the Olympics and Paralympics 2020, but in 2021 I would prefer just to stay alive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 78-year-old man, driving wrong way on expressway, crashes into car, killing driver See in context

Modern motor vehicle regulations are intended to prevent collision fatalities even at expressway speeds. Lightweight "kei jidosha" cars clearly cannot do this.

Keep them off the expressways ...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: English mistake makes Kyoto the enemy of the world See in context

GWToday  10:55 am JST


Story I heard, those of you that have been here several decades may remember that Panasonic used Woody the Woodpecker as a mascot for the their laptops....

Anyway at some meeting in Tokyo where people from overseas were present in some numbers, a Japanese presenter presented the following slogan in speech:

Touch Woody the Internet Pecker


I heard about this from an American employee of Panasonic at the time. She only mentioned the phrase "Touch Woody", and the lengthy discussion that ensued about why it was not a good idea .....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic organizers unveil scaled-back Games plan See in context

When are they going to refund the money we paid for tickets?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Netflix woos Japan with new original series about a reporter's exchange with Suga See in context

"Japanese are too used to viewing TV for free" - surely this should read "Japanese are too used to viewing TV for the ¥25,000 per year NHK fee"?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Hide away in this mountain hut-themed yakitori restaurant in Yotsuya See in context


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Recent Comments


Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.