Aly Rustom comments

Posted in: English education to start for 3rd graders from FY 2018 See in context

Agree with most of the above.  The problem is these kids will be limited to a once a week class with a foreign teacher (many of which today are not even native speakers anymore) doing exactly what Disillusioned said: dog and pony show with songs, games, flash cards and no real academic purpose.

If they are really serious about teaching english then here are a few recommendations:

  1. Once a week is not going to do jack for their english skills, so lets stop hiring teachers to go around 5-10 different elementary schools or JHS. They are ALTs, not the paperboy or milkman. Keep each teacher (or teachers)  in one school and have them teach the same students 2, 3 or 4 times a week. 

  2. If you are serious about education, one of the important things is stability. To get that, you need to retain your foreign teachers for a number of years, if not permanently. To do that, you need to remember that foreigner teachers are human beings.  They need decent wages to survive. Many of these ALTs are also supporting JAPANESE people(spouses, children), so how about we start paying them a decent wage instead of the GOMI 220,000 or so a month that is being offered for a full time 5 days a week position? We can easily do that by getting rid of dispatch companies and forcing the BOEs to hire direct.  There also needs to be a national consensus as to how much the teachers get paid.  Some of the BOEs do hire direct, but they end up screwing the ALTs worse than the dispatch companies. There can be many ways to do this.  For example, you can pay the ALTs 200,000 yen a month but give them free room and board with utilities paid and enroll them in the Shakai Hoken system. Then allow them to leave immediately after their last class so they can get a second job to support themselves and their families. Also, make sure that the teachers can stay in the same school if both the teachers and the school are happy. Stop moving them around. Give them a degree of stability.  Look after your teachers and they will look out for the school and education in your city.

  3. Involve the teacher in the decision making process in regards to what to teach and how to do it.  Many teachers are happy to contribute, but sometimes are left being a human tape recorder. Let the teachers have a say. Their input can be of use.

  4. Set up workshops sponsored by the BOE of the city to help the ALTs improve their teaching abilities.

I could go on, but what's the use?  Nobody out there who makes decisions is listening. My point is that it doesn't matter if you start teaching english to the kids from elementary school 1st year. If the method is flawed, you will get unsatisfactory results. Nuff said.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested after requesting bank cashier hand over Y1 million See in context

I ended up playing too much yesterday and ran out of money. So please give me 1 million yen.”

What is she, your mother?

I desperately wanted money to have fun and acted on the spur of the moment.”

Well, at least he's honest.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Opposition steps up offensive against Abe over school scandal See in context

JC agree 100% but also remember its not just the politicians, but also the Bureaucrats who hold even more power than the politicians and are the movers and shakers of Japan.  Its not only new policies and mandates that we need.  We need to get rid of the Japanese bureaucracy which is bloated and useless.

Having said that,  happy to see the opposition revitalized to do something, anything to take down this tyrant of a PM.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump's son-in-law Kushner reported to be under FBI scrutiny in Russia probe See in context

This just keeps getting deeper and deeper..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: A simple guide to 'izakaya' See in context

Aly, really? I don't look at it as an either/or thing. Izakaya are a great place to bring the family or meet up with friends or coworkers. But I also always feel trapped at my table with just those people, especially work events where seating is even designated, and those other more interesting or attractive people over there penned in as well. I'm too old for clubs but they and pubs are hanging with your mates and mingling or meeting new people. This is especially advantageous if you're single and aren't into gokon.

jc, I think it depends on the Izakaya you go to.  they are so different.  But like you said, Izakaya are a great place to bring the family or meet up with friends or coworkers. I'm not single, but I do know that my single friends prefer the western bars a bit.  I agree with everything you said, but I don't feel trapped at my table unless the tables next to us are filled with smokers, which they often are..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Just say no when it comes to hosting Olympics See in context

Similar to what many of us were saying when Super Mario Abe was pursuing the games. That perhaps such money could have been spent improving the lives of victims of the disaster in Tohoku or building enough daycare facilities in Tokyo or funding education or making it less necessary to raise regressive sales taxes.

Not only that. Abe actually shifted money designed for reconstruction in Tohoku and spent it on the construction in Tokyo, while at the same time, his sales pitch to the Olympic committe was to give the people of Tohoku some hope by hosting the Olympics in Tokyo. Disgusting.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What's known and not known about marijuana See in context

Interesting article. Quite informative

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: A simple guide to 'izakaya' See in context

I prefer izakaya to western bars as the service, food and atmosphere is more to my liking.  I prefer to find an Izakaya that has Ozashiki as removing one's shoes and sitting on the tatami is one of the most pleasant experiences here in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Professor concerned that female soldiers would be naked after bombs blow off clothes See in context

I’ve never heard of a battle where just the combatants’ clothing got conveniently blown off.”“I saw something like that in Dragon Ball.”

“Is this supposed to be an erotic dojinshi manga plot?”

“So there’s a ‘nude bomb?’”

“This goes beyond stupid.”

“This guy plays too many porn games and watches too much anime.”

Agree with all the above. Sangetsu excellent post.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Say thank you or be identified, police tell owners of lost items See in context

If we learn that you did not call and say thank you, we will pass on your name and telephone number to the finder," the original note said.

DUH! IF you call and say thank you, your name and telephone number will become known to the finder ANYWAY.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Foreigners in Japanese immigration detention end two-week hunger strike See in context

Shigeki Otsuki, a justice ministry official overseeing immigration detention, confirmed the hunger strike had ended and said authorities were already doing what they could to improve conditions.

"We will continue to respond appropriately as we have done in the past. We won't change anything in particular," Otsuki told Reuters

Contradiction in terms. The only way anything will change is if their plight gets worldwide media coverage and condemnation. Without naming and shaming, nothing will change.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan protests against U.N. privacy expert's queries on conspiracy bill See in context

First, whatever the merits of this bill, it was not "rushed through".

Yes it was. And only a few days ago, Abe refused to even discuss the contents.  This was reported HERE as well, so please don't go there

If Mr. C had even so much as bothered to check even frigging Japanese Wikipedia

I think a UN official has better sources than friggin Japanese Wikipedia

before opening his big mouth, he would have realized the bill has been proposed on and off for over a decade.

Yes.  And it was shot down EVERY time! Gee- I wonder why??

Japan has signed the darn convention in 2001. Japan is already in year 17 or so of trying to pass a conspiracy bill with the first proposal in 2004. Rushed is not the way I'll be using to describe it.

Of course. NONE of Abe's cheerleaders would describe it that way, but that is exactly what it is.  A rushed proposal that Abe knows is not popular. He's taking a page out of the US playbook about how to ram unpopular proposals through. And only the likes of Makoto Sakurai support that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan protests against U.N. privacy expert's queries on conspiracy bill See in context

 blank the powers over everyone.

excuse me. I meant blanket powers

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan protests against U.N. privacy expert's queries on conspiracy bill See in context

In essence, the only way to satisfy Mr. C's doubts is to not have the conspiracy bill, because no matter how you word it, you are still giving the government the power to get people at an earlier, fluffier, less certain stage than the General Part of the Criminal Law allows

that's BS. What he said was the security bill does not to be rushed through, but only the right wing wishes to see it rushed through because then that would give them blank the powers over everyone.

The wording of the bill is already conservative and tries to not make the new conspiracy charge an all-encompasser.

The wording of the bill is very vague and as many Japanese lawyers have stated it is open to abuse by a right-wing fascist government.

As CH3CHO already pointed out, the wording is no worse than the US law, and the US law doesn't even try to restrict conspiracy to criminal organizations or terrorist groups.

if your benchmark of freedom, democracy, and human rights is US law, that's pretty low. The Americans dropped two atomic bombs on you. They are holding human beings illegally in Guantánamo Bay.

Mr. Shimazaki, May I suggest you try to raise your human rights standards a little bit more? The United States is hardly a benchmark.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 15-year-old arrested over forcing classmate to eat insect, dog feces See in context

To paraphrase Mr. Gandhi, feces for feces make the whole world stink.

to paraphrase someone else, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Man facing eviction for not paying rent tries to rob two convenience stores See in context

Koizumi created more damage than one could ever imagine.

So true. Spot on drlucifer

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Man's charred remains found in Kyoto park See in context

That is an awful way to die

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan protests against U.N. privacy expert's queries on conspiracy bill See in context

Yes, and the UN is being hypocritical. Because the origin of all this, the "Convention against Transnational Organised Crime" is a UN instrument. In essence, the UN is telling Japan to implement the conspiracy bill and NOT implement it at the same time.

No the UN expressed concerns regarding the wording. And not only them.

Critics including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations have also warned the changes, combined with a recent widening of legal wiretapping and courts' reluctance to rein in police surveillance powers, could deter grassroots opposition to government policies.

Its the wording of the bill that allows the LDP to turn Japan into a fascist nation all over again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 15-year-old arrested over forcing classmate to eat insect, dog feces See in context

Give him a taste of his own medicine- force him to eat feces and maybe a cockroach

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Marriage on the Rocks See in context

I've been there. Futami is a beautiful place in my favorite prefecture. Mie rocks! (pun intended!)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

Many country towns where like ghost towns as the residents moved to the coast. They changed it due to (like Japan) the congestion. People just got sick of overcrowding. Plus Many people only made money in the Holiday period so why not spread it throughout the year.

Exactly.  The gov was talking about how to revitalize the countryside. This could be one measure to help save it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan protests against U.N. privacy expert's queries on conspiracy bill See in context

Japan on Monday protested against a letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from a U.N. independent expert raising concerns that planned legislation targeting conspiracies to commit terrorism and other crimes could allow police to trample civil liberties.

This is getting orwellian. Japan is now protesting the UN's concerns about its human rights?

The protest by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga drew a stiff rejoinder from Joseph Cannataci, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy, who blasted Suga's comments as "angry words" with "no substance" in an email to Reuters.

See? Its not just the posters on here. The UN High Commissioner is expressing concerns- not only about the bill, but also about the Abe regime's handling of any questions or concerns.  I'm sorry, but this has the making of authoritarianism all over it.

He asked Abe for information on the accuracy of such concerns and the compatibility of the draft law with international human rights norms and standards.

What's so unreasonable about that??

The content of the May 18 letter from Cannataci was "clearly inappropriate and we strongly protested," Suga said.

Who the hell are YOU to tell the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner that their content is inappropriate?! Suga has lost it.

"It is not at all the case that the legislation would be implemented arbitrarily so as to inappropriately restrict the right to privacy and freedom of speech," he added.

Right. We're supposed to take your word for this??

Unless and until corrected on any point of fact, I stand by every single word, fullstop and comma of what I wrote to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe," Cannataci wrote in his email.

Good on you! Please do! This regime has lost it.

"There is absolutely no justification for the Japanese Government to behave in this way and push through seriously defective legislation in such a rush."

Exactly.  Unless, of course, its aim is to turn Japan into an absolute authoritarian state.

The lawyers' group has expressed concern that ordinary citizens would be targeted, despite government assurances to the contrary, and that the crimes governed by the law include acts unrelated to organised crime or terrorism.

That's exactly what's going to happen.

A Kyodo news agency survey published on Sunday showed voters are split over the controversial bill, with support at 39.9% and opposition at 41.4%.

Huh? What about the other 20%?

Take note people.  When the UN itself starts to express concerns about the human rights bill in your country that in effect will negate in the future any claim Japan can make publically that it respects human rights.  The UN should pull Japan on this and no longer allow leaders of Japan to proclaim at the UN general assembly that they are a nation that respects human rights. Not after this.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

I agree with the above posters that we first have to address the time off for the adults.

While I commend the gov't for trying to think outside the box, there is no way that companies are going to let parents take the time off.

There is a way.  Make a law that says that companies are allowed to make their workers not take the time off, IF the company BUYS the company employee's day(s) off. They should pay 100,000 yen per day to every employee they make work.  Make the companies BUY the employees' day off. Most companies will then FORCE their employees to take that time off as no one wants to fork out that kind of money.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets? See in context

Yes.  there must be.  There are BILLIONS of galaxies out there. Ours holds 8 planets.  Others might hold more, and there are billions of them.  So the law of probability says that there must be life somewhere else. I can't believe for one second that we are alone in the cosmos. No way

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Man attempts suicide at detention center in Saitama See in context

Police performed first aid on the man and he was taken to a hospital, where he remained unconscious and in critical condition on Monday.

According to sources, the man was arrested on May 12 on charges of obstruction of official duty, after he spat on a policeman.

Ironic isn't it?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Ex-ASDF chief Tamogami found guilty over illegal payments to campaign staff See in context

Agree with above 2 posters 100%

The defense counsel, however, claimed that though the senior campaign staff proposed paying Shimamoto, Tamogami did not approve the move. Tamogami did not confirm if the payment was made because he did not think it was an important issue, it said.

Stupid semantics. He is guilty.  Anyone with half a brain can see that.

Tamogami told a news conference after the verdict that he was disappointed because prosecutors failed to present any tangible evidence of a conspiracy and that he felt the trial was unfair

He's right.  The trial was unfair.  He should have gone to jail for a long time, not gotten a suspended sentence.  Ridiculous

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Exports propel Japan to trade surplus for third straight month See in context

Domestic demand is getting strong, which helped increase imports,

If you want strong Domestic demand you need to put money in people's pockets.  How about raising the minimum wage and cutting down on the hours that workers have to do?

Easy money is supposed to be the stimulus, and my great-great grandchildren already hate you for making them foot the bill of your ego.

Won't take that long. Even we can feel the pain of the so called stimulus as the yen weakens and prices increase...

Reform? What reform? Where? This part is BS too!


-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: N Korea says missile tested warhead guidance; ready for deployment See in context

This is really pushing it.  One day NK is going to go too far and Fat Boy might get a rude awakening.  On the other hand, I did see a documentary showing NKoreans are starting to get fed up and are not swallowing the cult propaganda that surrounds him.  Maybe with a little bit of help he can be overthrown.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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