Ah_so comments

Posted in: Travel agents scramble to adjust itinerary of Golden Week tours to Paris after Notre Dame fire See in context

Phew - I was worried that there was no Japanese angle to the fire of Notre Dame.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: University professor accused of getting students to produce MDMA See in context

Seriously, I truly pity anyone who needs a drug in order to be energetic or empathetic or experience pleasure.

You are misquoting and straw manning the article. It states a "heightened" sense of these characteristics.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Notre Dame smolders as investigation begins See in context

A full restoration in reasonable time is feasible if money is no object. The materials are certainly available. It will take quite some time to research and replace all that lost fine carved woodwork, if that’s the way they go with the restoration.

You're right Swiss Toni. You know, someone once said to be that rebuilding a priceless piece of architecture is like making love to beautiful woman. It will take time, but if money is no object, it can be done. And yes, it can be done. We will rebuild Notre Dame.

And Notre Dame will take time, and a whole lot of spending money, to do it right. The late George Harrison said something a bit like this but his words are quite resonant now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fire ravages Notre Dame cathedral in Paris; spire collapses See in context

Its just a building! It can alway be rebuilt, just like the castles in Osaka and Nagoya...

More than just a building and it means far more to the French than Osaka and Nagoya castles mean to the Japanese. Japanese buildings burnt down frequently and get rebuilt. This one has stood in its current form for 850 years (actually the two towers were extended more recently). This one building means more to the french than any other.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Fire ravages Notre Dame cathedral in Paris; spire collapses See in context

This is a real tragedy. Really should be the lead story today - there are few buildings like it in the world.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: 1st exam held in Japan for foreigners seeking new work visa See in context

watch the video of Japanese top business people criticizing how easy and irrelevant the Manila test were.

And when the first tests for nurses came out to allow an extended stay, the pass mark was so absurdly high that only one nurse passed it.

Unfortunately I have seen this video or know who the “top business people” were. And why do they have access to the test?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Another women’s university in Japan to accept transgender women, the first in Kyushu See in context

This is going to thrill plenty. The usual reactionary pseudo-enlightened bunch.

From the abolition of feudalism, through universal suffrage, the translation of the bible out of Latin, votes for women, the end of slavery, colonialism, fighting sexual discrimination, gay rights and racism - the conservatives always object initially. And then come round to it.

The current battle is on gay rights to marriage and transgender rights. The former of these two is nearly won.

Given the track record conservative resistance to social progress over the past 600 years, I don't think this one will be any different.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Brain scans may reveal concussion damage in athletes See in context

Boxers and American footballers seem to be particularly at risk from this.

One of the ironies is that the greater the protection the greater the risk ie boxing gloves and football helmets.

The padding alleviates short term pain but allows harder hitting which is conducive to brain damage.

Footballers should go back to the padded leather helmets of previous eras and ditch the dangerous helmets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. charges Assange after London arrest ends 7 years in Ecuador embassy See in context

"Seeing Assange dragged out of the embassy was hilarious."

You know why he did that. He can use that at his trial that he was taken against his will, it’s a good argument for his defense. That’s why he purposely did that as emotionally as he could for good measure. Assange is not a fool by any stretch of the imagination.

Bass - I'm not sure that being arrested by force is any useful defence in the UK. He's been on the run for 7 years. After the charge of skipping bail they can now also add resisting arrest to his charge sheet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. House panel chairman gives IRS April 23 deadline on Trump taxes See in context

All they will show is that Trump doesn't pay tax. He regards paying tax as only something that the poor and stupid do.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Another women’s university in Japan to accept transgender women, the first in Kyushu See in context

This is going to annoy plenty. The usual reactionary social conservative bunch.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan's working population drops further See in context

socrateosToday  02:17 pm JST

It's not "National Debt" and definitely not for "every man, woman, and child."

Unlike many other countries like Spain or Argentina, Japanese debts are all internal, based on Yen. The debtor is Japanese government, not the nation, and the creditors are Japanese people. The people ("every man, woman, and child") do not owe money. The government does.

The government, however, is a sovereign entity which can print money at anytime at their will; therefore, they can always pay. Besides, because Japanese currency is considered as safe haven, printing money does not crash its value unlike other nations.

As a nation, Japan is a creditor nation. In fact, Japan is the biggest creditor nation in the world for many years

"National debt" is the phrase used to describe government debt. And governments represent "every man woman and child.

The government debt may largely be internal, but it still owes money and will have to raise money somewhere to finance it.

Yes, the government can print its own money, as can countries such as the USA and the UK. However, status as a "safe haven" depends largely on not printing money recklessly. If it does print its money to repay debt, the value of its currency would crash. Yes, the Japanese government has been spending more than it gets in revenue and has been able to do so by borrowing money. However, it has been able to do so at such low interest rates because the purchasers of its debt believe that it will not devalue the currency by printing new money to repay it.

As a nation, Japan is a creditor nation. In fact, Japan is the biggest creditor nation in the world for many years

It is ironic that here you proclaim Japan as a creditor nation, yet at the beginning of the post, you deny that Japan is a debtor nation, making the obscure point that it is the government and not the nation that is in debt, yet when it comes to the credit, it is suddenly the nation and not the government. Make up your mind!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: FY2019 female civil servant recruits in Japan hit record 35.4% See in context

This is not a cause for celebration. The target should be 50%. 30% is a disgrace.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. seeks quick deal on tariff cuts with Japan See in context

Their food is crap, we don’t want it. Their cars are crap we don’t want them. Our PM is crap but he does what trump says.

Then don't buy them. If you don't want an American car, buy a Toyota. Even in America you see lots if people driving Japanese cars.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: China says it wants to eliminate bitcoin mining See in context

Cash is the best enabler for criminal operations, USD in particular. It's really easy to pay for your drugs, weapons or hide from revenue department through cash, it's virtually untraceable.

Not necessarily. Cash is hard to launder or even obtain in the first place. Also, it needs to be exchanged face to face. A drug dealer can set up a reasonable operation taking orders on the dark web for bitcoin and distribute the drugs separately. Far harder to monitor. Bitcoin has been a boon for criminals and speculators. It is almost never used for ordinary transactions and does not pass the standard economic tests as a form of "money".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Virgin territory: Study shows heterosexual inexperience rising in Japan See in context

Contrary to “Popular Belief”, there is NOTHING “Wrong” with this.

Why do you use speech marks? It seems as though you are just throwing them around at random.

But even if we ignore them, I disagree. There is plenty wrong with it. It is downright weird for grown adults to remain celebate for do long - it hints at something very wrong in Japanese society.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

Posted in: Virgin territory: Study shows heterosexual inexperience rising in Japan See in context

If more and more people are "virgins", I wonder why I see so many pregnant women down here!

That's just confirmation bias.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Posted in: Fukuoka police tackle shortage of female recruits via fashion show See in context

This is so cringeworthy. It says far more about the people who decided on this campaign than the people they are targeting.

"There were uniforms I hadn't seen before, and I was introduced to the variety of available jobs."

Cracking translating there Kyodo - this is just how 16 year old girls talk :).

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: Nissan shareholders to vote on removing Ghosn from board See in context

The new case against Ghosn is far more serious than the existing charges. The original charges were more about getting rid of Ghosn on a pretext with the cooperation of the police and justice system. So far, standard abuse of the levers of power - typical for Japan, but a useful spotlight on it.

The new charges relating to Oman are far more serious. If there is a clear paper trail showing money going from the till back into Ghosn's pocket, he will be in real trouble.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: World's first 5G phone released in South Korea See in context

I will never buy Korean or American smartphones. They are garbage. Chinese smartphones all the way!

Top of the range Apple and Samsung are still the best - I think you say more about yourself than the handset market.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: World's first 5G phone released in South Korea See in context

Don't understand why other Japanese mobile brands just wants to remain within the border. Why not go international, it will end the saga of Apple and Samsung.

Modern Japanese films still use flip phones which seem out of this world.

I asked this question many years ago. It signalled the start of Japan's decline for me. Despite having phones for sale domestically that were a good two years ahead of what was for sale in the West, Japanese firms were unwilling or unable to penetrate Western markets, which were dominated by Nokia etc.

Then Apple cleared up with the ipod - Japan was slow to react in an area it should have been all over.

Then came smartphones. Again, Japan's answer was too little too late. Only Sony even tried and made no impact.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Convenience store operators urged to tackle labor shortages See in context

There are probably too many conbini in reality. One of the factors of a franchise model is that it is relatively easy to enter the market but the franchisee takes the risk.

Yes, you can pay more, but many of these combini are on very tight margins. Having to pay a high wage to keep an empty combini open in the middle of the night is not economical. Let them keep the hours that are economical. In some places this may be 6am to 11pm in the week.

Te alternative is having them shut down altogether.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: France refers to Ghosn's rearrest in talks with Kono See in context

In fact, Ghosn has been rearrested.

Fact, Nissan is a Japanese company.

Fact, Renault is a French company.

AND, Japan is a country.

It's for insights like this that I have been reading this site for nearly 20 years.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: World's first 5G phone released in South Korea See in context

Apple iPhone XS is better.

Yeah, because 4G beats 5G.

At least you are not implausibly claiming that a Japanese phone is better. Unable to do that, you are knocking a Korean phone you have never even tried.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Trump's attorney says IRS cannot legally release tax returns See in context

We all know what the tax returns will show - Trump had paid hardly any tax for years. He probably pays less tax than I do.

So there's hardly any point to ask for this. We know what it says.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 'I have names' - Ghosn vows to clear his name in trial See in context

"Ghosn's wife happened to be with him when he was arrested, so they confiscated her passport and her mobile," said Junichiro Hironaka, who heads Ghosn's Japanese defense team.

"His wife is not a suspect ... this is unforgivable,"

This just needs repeating if you want to understand exactly how the authorities behave in Japan. Any doubts as to whether Japan is still a medieval county in its heart can be laid to rest.

The state reigns supreme in Japan, is authoritarian and unaccountable.

It rarely needs to show its teeth because the people are so obedient and willingly repressed, but ocassionally it will.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: High school teacher in hot water after forcibly giving male student a buzz cut See in context

A haircut is not assault, the story reference 44 other cases of hair cuts.

if I forcibly gave you a haircut, how would you react? I suspect the police would get involved and rightly - this is assault.

Perhaps the pupil was in breach of the rules, but he should have been ordered to get a haircut if he wanted to to attend lessons. To forcibly give someone a buzzcut is clearly assault.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Odd translations found on English websites for tourists in Japan See in context

Tokyo bus station has classics such as:

"Do not enter in flowering plants"

"Do not lie down"

"It will ban the act to be a nuisance to other customers"

"Do distribution of flyers or similar and No speech"

Not outright hilarious (apart from the first), but all stilted, even those that are grammatically correct.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Extra abdication holidays pose dilemma for Japanese workers See in context

Being born in Japan you really draw one of the developed world’s short straws. Few holidays and a life of relentless work to achieve so little. And when they are given an actual period of holiday they don’t know what to do with it. Quite sad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Some see Japanese era system as unnecessary, unsuited for modern age See in context

should Japan scrap Kimono waring, scrap Geishas, and the famous Samurai? 

But they are traditions not the everyday. Samurai were scrapped around 150 years ago and it is extremely rare to see anyone wear a kimono out of a ceremony or holiday.

Bu contrast the Japanese date is the default - that is what is on your newspaper or on the board at school or pre-printed on official documents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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