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Alex Hutchins comments

Posted in: Kumamon and other Japanese mascots get muscular makeover in new energy drink commercial See in context

This commercial reminded me of my daily experience with noise pollution in Japan.

I’ll pass...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: JR East to move up last train departure times in Tokyo from spring See in context

Jesus I’m glad I moved to a more central location in Tokyo before all of this

Trains like the Yamanote loop and subway should be running all night, perhaps with a train every 15 - 20 minutes or so. Cutting service should be out of the question. Maybe JR could cut its (likely) bloated office staff?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Kono backs Suga for prime minister, but still has his eye on top job See in context

Comparatively, I liked Kono. But he never had a chance.

How many of these near-to-the-grave old men need to have their moment in the sun (a return to the 90s PM-rotation scheme?) before someone comes along with real leadership capabilities?

I need a drink.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Convenience stores use plastic sheets for social distancing See in context

The woman behind the register at my local Gyomu in Setagaya handled customers with nothing more than a flimsy paper mask. She appeared to be in her 60s.

The Japanese government must work out a system of compensation so that she can stay home out of harm’s way and not need to go to work, given the heightened risk for her age group. It’s so alarming and I think Abe and his crew just don’t care about the lives they are putting as risk.

I’m teary-mad that this country cares so little about its citizens.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Osaka red light district to be closed during G-20 summit See in context


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Watami restaurant to set up Singapore unit to source foreign workers See in context

2 years ago I met the crooked founder of Watami in Yakushima while skinny-dipping with a female friend in a river next to his house. He invited us in to the private onsen at his mansion on the island. While we were talking, I realized that he only really wanted to look at the figure of the girl next to me. Later, I looked him up and discovered what a horrible person he is, earning his company "black" status.

I don't like the idea of anyone having to be exploited at such Japanese companies, particularly vulnerable foreign workers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Last train on Yamanote line in Tokyo to leave 27 minutes earlier See in context

Ridiculous. They should be moving the last train to.....never. At least the Yamanote should run 24/7. So many people live within the Yamanote loop and izakaya and bars would enjoy increased business...not to mention that Salarymen might be home in the morning to see their families (maybe). Oh and people like me would like to be able to go home at 3am after partying in Nichome. The hours of 3-5am can be very fun, but they can also be not fun at all if tired and half-drunk.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Fukushima town promotes snow shoveling as fun exercise See in context

Older folks in Japan get a surprising amount of exercise, compared with their counterparts in the US at least. However, it can be both troublesome and dangerous for them to take part in heavy-duty snow removal, and many can't do it all themselves with their aged children away and all. I'm glad that there are people trying to create a better situation for all -- best of luck!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Takarazuka graduation day See in context

Wishing these girls all the best in the pursuit of their dreams! Maybe for some, Takarazuka will not be end stop of their career, but they have worked hard to do something they are passionate about. I'm confused why some would frown at them completing a study towards something bigger?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Barbara Ehrenreich tweets about Marie Kondo widely condemned See in context


2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Hope, anxiety in Japan over opening up to more foreign workers See in context

I hope that when discrimination and other labor violations occur, and they are bound to, that these foreign workers know the resources existing for them in japan. They are few but there are some amazing Japanese people who also want to better their conditions and fight for oversight.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Founder of Japanese supermarket chain arrested on charges of receiving prostitution revenue See in context

Well this surprised exactly no-one.

Forced prostitution, where it occurs, should be stopped. But I also hope this chain survives. Tamade has given me so much for so little yen!! Many a poorly-paid eikaiwa teacher has been saved by their low prices (stay away from the sashimi and you’ll be okay)

also, Tamade’s sign is quite nostalgic. As if some was back in 80’s/90’s Japan. And it fits Osaka’s atmosphere well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese woman gets 6-year jail term in China for espionage See in context

These arrests are really troubling. Given the shady things China seems to be doing, it’s no wonder that foreign internet networks don’t want to use Chinese companies like Huawei, that production is being transfered to Vietnam and India, and that nations are turning toward the country aggressively.

China arrests but gives no detailed explanation. One key sign of a (in this case, thinly-veiled) dictatorship.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Posted in: Shiseido Japan’s same-sex kiss ad wins gold in Epica advertising awards See in context

I lovely video and a lovely couple. Let's get more advertising on this scale of creativity!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New station on Tokyo's Yamanote line to be named Takanawa Gateway See in context

I can already hear the "gateway" being dropped by most Tokyoites. What a strange addition...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Drunk vice principal loses job after urinating in girls bathing area on field trip See in context

Sometimes this stuff happens. I personally was so drunk once that I woke up in the middle of a night after heavy drinking, just like this guy, and instead of heading to the bathroom accidentally opened the door to the dorm room next to those facilities and peed on the floor. In the morning I did not remember a thing -- and was mortified. Lesson learned. I don't really think one mistake like this is grounds for firing -- especially since it seems everyone chaperoning was drinking! Not that that is the best thing to do on a field trip where 24hr assistance must be provided, but my point remains the same: mistakes happen. I feel for the guy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Global arms firms show off wares in Japan See in context

These shows are gross. Just displays of collusion between national governments and the military industries their bureaucrats are tied up with. So much money wasted in war and lives lost for a couple egos saved.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Man arrested after pushing woman off train station platform See in context

The amount of times I hear about a nut job (usually make) doing this...it’s just frightening. Japanese men are coddled and then when life doesn’t turn out as planned, they take it out on women (most of the time young women). I’m so happy the station employee was quick on their feet and her life was saved.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Going solo: 'Ohitorisama' or the Japanese art of doing it alone See in context

Traveling alone, in particular, is an experience that everyone should try at least once! It feeds the soul to do what one wants to go and be directly engaged with one's surroundings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Going solo: 'Ohitorisama' or the Japanese art of doing it alone See in context

One only has to go to McDonalds, or any other casual restaurant, to see how Japanese society caters to the single market. So many chairs lined in a row, usually facing a wall or low barrier. I understand that many office workers choose to go out to eat alone, but the lack of 4-person or even 2-person seats can be quite depressing...communication with others is paramount to a healthy life. That said, I too enjoy activities alone and I respect the wishes of people to do so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Chinese trainee wins compensation for withheld pay See in context

Her treatment was abhorrent. And for every trainee that finds a lawyer, there are many more who cannot access one. The lack of regulation and supervision of the trainee program shows that, honestly, the Japanese government couldn't care less if foreign workers are mistreated! As long as business bodies are happy...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Teachers reprimanded for using Japanese imperial flag and apparent war propaganda on school test See in context

I was sad to read the comments from Japanese citizens that saw no wrong in the teacher's actions. I don't think that the Japanese education system does enough to portray Japan as the aggressor in situations where Japan was definitely the aggressor, the colonizer. This said, I am glad the school principal seems to have his head in the right place...they often don't!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan OKs extension of tsunami-hit 40-year-old nuclear reactor See in context

I don't want to live anywhere near these plants. I can't imagine that local residents are too happy either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to revise health insurance system to prevent misuse by both Japanese, foreign workers See in context

It's so strange that out-of-the-country kin were being covered. I can agree that at least THAT should be changed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kyoto aiming to disperse crowds to ease 'overtourism' See in context

I lived in Kyoto last year in the fall. There are quite a few beautiful and/or historic places, that I do not want to put into print, where tourists (Japanese and foreigners alike) are seldom. Many natural areas are mostly Japanese tourists. I want foreign tourists to Kyoto to have more peaceful experiences, such as enjoying a morning walk along the Philosopher's Path, but I also feel pained knowing that the Kyoto Tourism Bureau might direct tourist flow to these "undiscovered" areas. (Btw, Philosopher's Path is far from undiscovered, but it's still relatively quiet).

I never go to Kiyomizudera because the crowds are so daunting. I would hate for the rest of Kyoto to become like that! Please, just direct tourists to other Japanese cities which need tourism! There is plenty more to see in Shikoku, Tohoku, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's nuclear industry growing, but slower than government hoped See in context

Good, as in, I hope growth slows to a halt, preceding the dismantling of all nuclear power entities from Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's nuclear industry growing, but slower than government hoped See in context


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Writer Haruki Murakami plans archive at Japanese university See in context

An archive just for his works? C'mon....how self-absorbed can he be? Who would go for serious academic study? It will most likely be fans of his....not really something I think a reputable university should attach itself to. But I may just be grumpy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: What are the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana? See in context

What cons? Legalize marijuana for less business occuring in the informal, unregulated sector which leads to worker abuses for people like trimmers going unreported (As someone from marijuana-growing region of Humboldt County, CA, I know this problem to be acute). Also, more tax money to fund governmental services, especially in the rural areas where weed is grown. And maybe America's Trump-supporting "patriots" will become a little less crazy after a joint or two.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't kicks off Warm Biz energy-saving campaign See in context

It would seem all of this is simply common sense...until you see that it's not followed by a significant number of people...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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