Ah_so comments

Posted in: AI robots may lend hand in Japan's English classes See in context

For all the talk about robots this is nothing more than a language app that could easily be on an ipad or pc, but in a plastic box.

Computers do assist with language learning and you can have a whole class simultaneously practicing their speaking and listening at their own pace while be corrected by the computer.

So it is basically a good idea if it supplements other tuition.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Quake shock absorber maker says products may have been used nationwide See in context

KYB officials, who bowed deeply at the beginning of a news conference

Well, they apologised and I think that's the most import thing.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Plastic piling up in Japan after China waste import ban See in context

It's  always has been Japan's problem not someone else's.

Agreed. The sarcasm in my original part might not have been obvious.

Japan has been treating it's own garbage as somebody else's problem and so been highly irresponsible in how it uses plastic.

WWe need a simultaneous plastic tax on manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

Watch the demand for plastic collapse.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Plastic piling up in Japan after China waste import ban See in context

Chickens coming home to roost.

As soon as Japan realises that it has to deal with its own waste and has nowhere to put it, then it's attitude and laws will change pretty quickly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Plastic piling up in Japan after China waste import ban See in context

Somebody else's problem just became Japan's problem.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Posted in: After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world See in context

I  wonder what effect this will have on the social mobility of the poor. Once mom and dad get their dope habit on, does it mean kiddies get to take care of them by dropping out of school, or do they just make it a family affair and give up completely?

Is it only the poor that are affected by recreational drug use?

Anyone who wanted it could get access to dope anyway. Also, there is another substances out there that is rather more dangerous but also legal - alcohol. Alchohol is also addictive, more than cannabis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: With 'America First,' where do human rights rank? See in context

Trump will certainly sit quite high on the psychopathy scale, so will have little concern about the odd murder here and there.

However, Saudi Arabia is a deeply unpleasant state and in one way or other, behind the growth in radical Islam and terror attacks. Cosying up to its leaders allow its poison to spread.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Spring already? Cherry blossoms make unexpected appearance See in context

Does anybody notice there is no mention of specific locations in the article? Is this on purpose or just a slip

News agency article principally intended for overseas news, so the exact locations wouldn't be that important or meaningful for readers.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Tidying-up robot for home use unveiled See in context

This will sell well. I bet irk be a bit pricey though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese TV show 'Densha Otoko' to be remade in U.S. See in context

Only took 50 years for a Japanese program to find it's way to America and probably be another 50 before it happens again!

'Monkey' was released in America. Other than anime, it is the only Japanese TV series to be shown around the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Showa University medical school admits rigging entrance exam scores See in context

Failed females can marry male doctors, but not the other way around ...

And failed females can become nurses, but of course this is not an option for the men.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Showa University medical school admits rigging entrance exam scores See in context

It's common knowledge amongst Japanese people that children of medical school alumni are given preference, so I don't know why there's any surprise about this. 

And remained common knowledge without any level of scandal for many years. How very Japanese - one of those unfair things that permeate right through Japanese society and must be endured - shou ga nai.

Perhaps this is an opportunity and a moment of awakening to start righting some of the wrongs that it has put up with for so long.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of bicycling etiquette in Japan? See in context

Never even thought about it until now. Never had a problem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Showa University medical school admits rigging entrance exam scores See in context

Male applicants who had failed multiple times were also shunned because they also tend to fail the national exam for medical practitioners, which would bring down the university's ratio of successful applicants and hurt its reputation, according to the sources.

I am actually slightly more sympathetic to this - someone who has failed 3 or 4 times already quite probably does not have what it takes to be a doctor. They might get over the line through a herculean feat of study, but as the data show, they have a high rate of failing to become doctors and are essentially depriving someone else of the opportunity to become a doctor.

However, the sexual discrimination against women is a disgrace to Japan and those who lost out on the chance to become doctors should be either compensated or offered the opportunity to enroll.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think stores should stop providing customers with plastic shopping bags for free to reduce plastic waste? See in context


It's up to indiviuals to be responsible for their behaviour. As I am.

They are responsible, or rather, grossly irresponsible.

I go shopping and pay good money. I need a bag to take my purchases home. Which I will then recycle.

As you state later, you put them out in the rubbish to be taken away - usually burnt. This is not recycling.

I can do it. So should everyone else.

But you don't do it - you throw it away with the rest of your rubish.

Whether it's this or something else (sugar tax or stopping the sale of cheaper booze for examples) why am I being punished because a few morons can't sort themselves out?

In this case it is not a few morons, but the vast majority.

I'm not going to carry plastic bags in my pockets on the off chance I happen to go shopping.

No one says you have to - just pay 10 yen when you need a bag. When it has been tried in other countries, the demand for plastic bags dries up, despite the token charge.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says climate change not a hoax, but not sure of its source See in context

And most of them are liberal, so of course you’re going to say that that’s that liberal one side the point of view.

Perhaps they are mostly liberals but they are all scientists, and scientific opinion requires strong evidence.

More significant is that when ordinary people are presented with scientific facts that they personally do not like, they do not change their opinion (as logic would suggest), but rather they seek to undermine the science and the scientists.

This is not just an issue with the right, but also the left too. And it works the other way round - science that supports one's opinion is never questioned.

In this case, the right ignores or disputes the strong evidence. It throws up woolly arguments about volcanoes and CO2. It questions the motives of the scientists.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: Jared Kushner 'likely' paid little or no income taxes for years - NYTimes See in context

At least he didn't send classified material on emails from an unencrypted server endangering national security.

Not aware that anything in Hillary's emails endangered national security.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: It is difficult for patients to judge whether their cases are emergencies or not, especially for parents of young children. See in context

In Japan even adults are quick to go to the doctor's with minor conditions. It is even harder when you have a baby showing signs of sickness - how do you know it is not a serious condition? Babies sometimes run very high temperatures and parents are obviously not willing to diagnose themselves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think are the root causes of the data falsification scandals that have plagued corporate Japan in recent years? See in context

Good question. Japan is not an inherently corrupt country where lying and falsification are considered everyday acceptable business measures, at least not compared to other countries, where corruption is endemic.

So what has led to this change?

I think that this is probably as much of an internal issue within the companies and the pressure that workers face to meet management expecations. The engineers are given expectation of engine performance requirements and budget and soon realise that the expectations cannot be met.

This is where Japanese culture kicks in - an unwillingness to say that the expectations cannot be met and that either they have failed or they were asked the impossible.

But someone then comes up with a way to both meet all expectations - pass emissions tests, maintain engine performance and do it within budget. And yes, in a literal sense they have met expectations - in test conditions, the car performs as expected.

The idea gets circulated and hanko'd and no one puts their hand up and points out that this is obviously cheating. No one fails and no one loses face.

Obviously I do not know that this is what happened, but from my knowledge of Japanese culture and society, it seems feasible. In certain countries, I could imagine people sitting down and overtly working out how to cheat the system, but not Japan. The result is the same, however, and there has been a massive loss of credibility in Japanese car makers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Some nurseries promoted by gov't closing due to financial woes See in context

That's fair enough but parents only need nurseries until they start school. Only 8% of Japanese women with children of all ages work as seishain. I think the government should care much more about how many women with 10-year-olds have an active career rather than how many women with a 10-month-old baby. The problem in Japan is not how few or many women with babies work, it's how few women with school-aged kids do work that is not casual and low paid.

kohakuebisu - I think that you make a good point - there are very few mothers in the workforce generally, but I think that the problems start when children are very small/babies. Once women have children, they effectively leave the workforce.

In that sense, I would not distinguish between mothers with pre-school age children or mothers with older children. The problem starts when they become mothers and leave the workplace. This is partly because of societal expectations and the lack of childcare facilities - in itself a result of the lack of working mothers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Jared Kushner 'likely' paid little or no income taxes for years - NYTimes See in context

They bought the 41 story tower at 666 5th ave in New York.

No surprise there then.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: More med schools discriminated against female applicants: minister See in context

Ah_so, nations are judged by their deeds, not by their slogans. Makeup doesn't make you beautiful.

Akie, yes, I agree, but I think you got the wrong end of the stick. The "slogan" came from someone criticizing the attitude of the schools, not claiming that people are treated equally in Japan. This may have been lost because the post I replied to was moderated away, leaving it out of context.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Healthy breakfast ideas for each day of the week See in context

Never mix yogurt and fruits. 

Backpacking Nepal - where did you get this and other of your strange rules and dictacts from?

Pour Cocount or Almond Milk

I wouldn't recommend either on a regular basis. Coconut milk is high in saturated fats and is bad for your heart long term.

Almond milk is very bad for the environment and tastes pretty poor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Australia seeks to ban schools from expelling gay students See in context

Why won't any other sexual preferences be given equal legal protection under this law? 

M3M3M3 - perhaps they should be, but the problem they are trying to stop is gay children being expelled from catholic schools.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Highway tailgating cases handled by police double in Jan-June See in context

Put on your fog lights - the tailgater will think that you are braking and brake in response opening up a nice gap between you and annoying the other driver.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: More med schools discriminated against female applicants: minister See in context

All people are equal ?

I think that the OP was saying that all people should be equal in society because they are from a moral perspective, even if the reality fails to match this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: More med schools discriminated against female applicants: minister See in context

The rigging was aimed at keeping the proportion of women studying at the university at around 30 percent to prevent a shortage of doctors at affiliated hospitals, on the grounds that female doctors tend to resign or take long leaves of absence after getting married or giving birth, according to an internal report and university sources.

You wonder how other developed nations seem to manage so well without sexually discriminating against women's exam results.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Still no U.S. ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Turkey amid crisis See in context

Trump's childish lack of focus means that his government had no time for matters of putting decent and capable administrators into key roles across the branches of government. Those roles that gave been filled tend to go to semi-competent cronies.

A very good example of why Trump is not fit to be president.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: More than half of taxis in operation don’t have customers. It’s important to boost the industry’s productivity. See in context

The current system always seemed very Japanese - sit around for a couple of hours for a single ride which is so costly that it makes the sitting around economical.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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