AlsoInOsaka comments

Posted in: Watch out for Yellowstone bears -- they're hungry See in context

Jeez. I'm going to be in Yellowstone next week. Glad I saw this.

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Posted in: Soaring yen threatens disaster for most, but profits for some See in context

It is funny to me that people are criticizing Kan for his, "failure to take countermeasures against the steady appreciation of the Japanese yen" but what is it that he is supposed to do? The only way to control the currency market, and the thing the the government has done for decades, is to have the BOJ buy/sell Yen at the rate that they want. Unfortunately, they don't have any money to do that anymore. Weren't we just talking about cutting budgets and raising taxes a couple of weeks ago?

The only way to get the massive amount of money needed to control the currency market is to issue more debt, something that Kan doesn't want to do, and frankly the public doesn't want either.

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Posted in: 10 ways to get a seat on a packed commuter train in Japan See in context

You also forgot to add the go one or two stops in the opposite direction to the terminal. For example, an Osaka classic: get on the Midosuji (the busiest line in Osaka) at Shinkaneoka ride one stop (less than two minutes) to Nakamouzu (the terminal where the train reverses), sit down and enjoy your seat for the 32 minute ride to Umeda.

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Posted in: More Japanese shunning the outside world See in context

Professor Koyama notes that foreign language departments are struggling to get students. What he doesn't mention is that all university departments are struggling to get students.

It is well known that there are more seats available then students to fill them at universities here. Especially at new universities like his. According to this line of thinking I could say that because business departments are struggling to get students, Japanese people are no longer interested in business. Or, technology departments are struggling to get students, so Japanese people are no longer interested in technology.

To turn it completely around: Japanese culture and language departments are struggling to get students; therefore Japanese people are no longer interested in Japan. It's laughable.

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Posted in: Top 5 contract employment myths See in context

I'm glad that Casey Wahl thinks that the situation is so rosy, and I guess it might be for executives or consultants in Tokyo. I am a contract worker (Higher Education) and most of his so-called myths apply to my situation.

Myth 1: Contract employment is unstable

Yes. My employment is unstable. I have a contract for a fixed period (one academic year: 10 months). My contract is not for more than that, certainly not indefinite. In fact, my contract specifically states how many times it can be renewed (2) and after I run out of renewals, I am on my own to find a new job.

Myth 2: Contract employment is a dead-end:

Yes. Recently I had a conversation with my boss, who admitted that my job was a dead-end one. He even went so far as to say that my job was designed to be a dead-end one. They want people work for a while and leave. They want high turn-over in my position.

Myth 3: Contract employment is for unskilled workers:

No. My job is actually high skilled. It requires an advanced education and specific knowledge and skills that most people do not have.

Myth 4: Contract employment means lower salary:

Yes. In comparing my salary to that of non-contract faculty I am paid between 30 and 40 percent less. Again, my boss admits that biggest benefit for the university of hiring me on contract is saving money.

Myth 5: Contractors receive no benefits:

Yes. Just because an employer is legally required to do something doesn't mean that they will. My contract specifically states that I will not be given any benefits. I am on my own. In fact, when you factor in the lack of benefits into the equation, my salary drops by another 10 to 15 percent.

It seems to me that these are not myths, but truths.

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