Japan Today

Alex Hutchins comments

Posted in: Another Japanese firm admits falsifying data for quake shock absorbers See in context

Completely unacceptable. These quality control issues have implications which endanger people's lives!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: More from Mori See in context

If there is one thing that Tokyo really lacks and which would make it a much more friendly city, it is seating. 

Too true. The seating makes me happy -- I don't care so much about what's inside. Nice trees too! Well done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to announce 2019 sales tax hike to address debt mountain: reports See in context

Abe is despicable. Does he know that higher domestic spending is necessary to drive the Japanese economy (and thus drive more tax from sales)? Of course he does; he just doesn't care. Abe would rather decrease taxes on cash-hoarding J-companies and push the burden to small businesses and average citizens than do anything that would hurt himself or his corporate cronies. Increase corporate taxes and cut needless spending on more highways and other concrete throughout the country-- this is how you cut down debt.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Moomin theme park completes construction in Saitama See in context

Hoping this park it less kitschy than other European theme parks built (in the 80s and 90s) in Japan. There are too many to list off and many have gone belly-up since. We will only see!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's universities improve in global rankings after years of decline See in context

Japanese universities will not prosper in the future nor rise in rankings if they don't adapt to globalization at a faster pace and encourage english-based degree programs. It seems such programs are evident at some institutions, but it should be more widespread. That only 11% of Tokyo University students are international students is pretty embarrassing.

I've always thought that if a couple Japanese universities, say Kyoto University, were to begin mandatory first-year intensive English coursework for particular schools within the university, that they could then implement english-based degree programs much easier and create knowledgeable students who move on to study or work outside of Japan. There is definitely an imperative for Japanese universities to change their amount of foreign faculty, etc, but I also believe that some universities should begin more holistic entrance examinations but expect more of their students once they enter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 women found dead in apartment in Kitakyushu apartment See in context

People who commit suicide have a mental illness -- they cannot make fully rational decisions. Please don't criticize them as cowardly or stupid for ending their lives. When you are in your 20s suffering, longevity does not hold the same value.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's average land prices rise for 1st time in 27 years See in context

The figures in the article are referring to the Standard Land Prices and do not reflect actual land price increases in Japan. It is more of a government benchmark that can be used to understand or predict trends.

This article does a better job to explain what these figures mean in relation to actual land/real estate prices.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Former Morning Musume singer arrested over hit-and-run incident See in context

Drinking at 7am? Then go driving during morning rush? That's crazy. Wow

I think she probably was still drunk from a wild time the night before. There are times I have been still drunk (or at least not sober enough to drive) at 10am, despite not having a drink since 2am. It seems morning drunkedness has been the cause for multiple accidents we read about here on JT.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 9 dead, 33 missing after M6.7 quake hits Hokkaido, knocks out power See in context

That's a big number....I'm glad damage and injuries are low, at least from what we hear now.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Shibuya Stream tower hopes to create new flow of visitors See in context

To be fair, at other sections of the stream there are more trees being planted. But if you stray from beneath the canopy of the trees and happen to actually look down at the stream you may find....a cute, miniature version of the LA river.

Also, the big new building that was built right next to this one is pretty ugly. And both are pretty uninspired blocks. I'm kind of surprised that Google Japan and other companies are choosing to re-locate here because these developments don't seem "innovative" in any shape or form.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 3,000 people being transported out of typhoon-hit Kansai airport See in context

The Kansai airport was a first-of-its-kind when it was built in the 1990s. Other airports built on reclaimed land in the sea, such as the Hong Kong International Airport, learned from KIX's design, as well as its failings. When criticizing KIX, some of you forget that it was a revolutionary design at the time which has influenced airport construction across the world and which also solved issues surrounding the fact that a big enough available area in Kansai on top of already-existing land could not be easily found.

The damage wrought by this typhoon hardly warrants some of the groans in this comment section...as with even the best planned works (like Kyoto Station), the effect of abnormally strong typhoons can not easily be predicted.

This all said, I do wish they had somehow build KIX closer to central Osaka but one can't get everything one wants ;-)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for assaulting two people at Akihabara Station in Tokyo See in context

My first thought when I hear about people getting their teeth knocked out is, “Who pays for the implants?”

One would think that would be the person pulling the fists, but that’s not normally the case is it?

In any case, I feel really sorry for both victims. I hope they can heal soon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan completes domestic procedures to ratify TPP without U.S. See in context

While I have my resignations about the environmental impact of the global meat industry and its entrance in the Japanese market, I see the TPP as somewhat necessary for other reasons.

One reason being that the Japanese agricultural industry needs a significant impetus to start producting more efficiently (fewer, larger farms) and deliver high-quality value-added products. (Ex: Japanese cheese is usually dreadful)

The average Japanese farmer has long had grey hair and I can’t see the current model lasting much longer without an increase in exports from overseas. The Japanese government should continue to financially support farmers who are able to remain efficient without becoming reliant on an under-class of imported labor like the U.S.

The best result from the TTP would be cheaper produce for the average Japanese (who are getting poorer) as well as financial support for farmers in Japan, especially for young farmers and recent migrants to Japan (though the latter may rarely happen under Abe).

Somehow, farming in Japan will need to change dramatically in the next 20 years...and TTP must be followed up with additional efforts to ease this transition.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated as heavy rain hits wide areas of Japan See in context

Be safe everyone!

Stupid me decided to bike around Shikoku in the rainy season and yesterday I was pummeled by rain for 9 hours, eventually leading to a nasty fall and road rash. Maybe today will be better.

Im hoping things let up soon! Any trip to Kyoto would be amiss to not include a lovely stroll along the banks of the Kamo River.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. apologizes to Japan over repeated military accidents See in context

Crazy...Okinawa is a colony on two fronts, both by the Japanese and the Americans. Let Okinawans have control of their land and have full agency over how to develop their society and economy. These accidents won't stop until America's neo-colonial policies are put to an end.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Media get first look at construction of maglev line station at Shinagawa See in context

Headline could read "Media gets first look at Abe's useless money-hole that will certainly go over-budget"

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Komeito member quits parliament over misuse of lawmakers' housing See in context

Even if this was an affair, who the **** cares? What really gets me going is that these dormitory rules extend to company housing and to college dorms...meaning that no one is allowed to stay over. This strikes me as very old fashioned...why do institutions feel like they can police the private lives of their workforce or student body? Smh

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Books teaching elementary school students about LGBTQ issues grab spotlight See in context

Wow, so many misinformed commenters here.

It is a GOOD thing that Japanese children, like all children, learn about people different from themselves. And for the 8% (yes it is around this percentage) of students - who are discovering new things about themselves and about their feelings towards other kids - having someone there to shed some light on these feelings, or let them know that they have a support network, will do wonders for their development and sense of self.

Y'all complain that Japanese teachers do a bad job teaching english but when some attempt to be proactive about other subjects, y'all just complain some more. It's ridiculous. Shame on you for wanting to keep this subject hidden from kids who can easily grasp this information if presented.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Vice minister's use of official car for daycare sparks controversy See in context

Me thinks there are other politician misdeeds that we should all be worrying about than this. I can certainly emphasize with her, especially given that using the car in that context allowed her more time to effectively balance life and do her job.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: For the first time in 1,300 years, the Yamabushi open their doors to international visitors in search of self-discovery See in context

Beware, always, of the "truth-seekers" of the world. They will not be coming to Japan to grasp cultural meaning or insight - simply to find answers to problems that self-absorption and consumerism have wrought into them.

Yamabushi training is quick, practical, and effective, and provides a powerful context in which to resolve any challenges, questions, or decisions that need to be made.

And this company does not represent the true insight of the yamabushi of old. Beware of any institution or retreat that claims to be quick, practical, and effective." How can a refined, conscientious way of thinking be found in a three or five-day stay? It's impossible. It takes the greatest zen masters, Hakuin or Dogen for example, years - and for the most dedicated practitioners their whole lives - to be able to understand how to honestly confront live's problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tohoku citizens react to minister's gaffe on social media, launching positive campaign See in context

I love this! Out of disaster and insult, people are reaffirming their commitment to community and place. It's heartwarming to say the least.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Origami vending machine makes news around the country See in context

I find it hard to imagine the products escaping the machinations unscathed.

From the article it seems that the origami comes into plastic containers, which buyers then put into a sack outside the machine once they receive it.

What a cute, environmentally-friendly idea! I would totally be a customer - the origami is so cheap too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump's immigration order causes chaos at airports, outrage at protests See in context

I am simply ashamed to be an American right now. I am technically also Australian and I've been thinking of telling Japanese people that I'm Aussie just to save myself from constantly explaining how a person like Trump could ever get elected. I'd be wedging a bet, though, that Japanese people can't tell the difference of an American and Australian accent (in Japanese). Worth a try, anyways!

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Posted in: No. of foreign workers in Japan tops 1 mil for first time See in context

Protect these workers. Do not let them be exploited. And if they would like to stay long-term, give clear pathways to do so.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Posted in: China's tourism authority urges boycott of APA hotel group See in context

Good on them - get APA where it hurts. Although historical fact and reasoning doesn't seem to work on these kind of revisionists, they always seem to balk at the prospect of losing $$$.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Posted in: SDF mobilized to dig out snow-stranded vehicles in Tottori See in context

How marvelous! This is how the SDF ought to be primarily used - helping out the country's populace through bad times and hardship - not engaging in (usually) useless, foreign wars.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Anime hit 'your name.' finally coming to theaters in U.S. and Canada See in context

"Kimi no Na wa" was very tastefully done and I'm happy the English-speaking masses will have something besides Miyazaki films to reference when they claim to love Japanese films, still forgetting of course that none of these animated pieces (or shoddily done samurai action flicks) really eclipses the work of Ozu or Kurokawa. But alas, we can never expect much!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Despite redesign, Toyota Camry’s reign as top U.S. car in jeopardy See in context

Plz Americans buy smaller, fuel-efficient (or even hybrid/electric) cars! Cheap gas will not last forever. If only we paid as much for gas as the Europeans we would have probably developed better public transport and I wouldn't have to see suburban moms driving huge trucks anymore...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Big tuna See in context

Japan's great consumption of bluefin tuna and other marine species will not last much longer....for their will be hardly any of these animals left to make fishing for them viable. An environmental catastrophe.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan greets New Year with prayers, shopping and 'Kohaku' See in context

Ah, if only 24hr.Tokyo trains/subways were a thing for the rest of the year, too! Think of how much more fun nightlife would be!

May 2017 look favorably on Japan (and the rest of the world). We need all the good fortune we can get...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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