AnonymousNJ comments

Posted in: China can learn lessons from Japan's progress in cleaning up smog See in context

Air here is much cleaner than New Jersey.

Excuse me, but we do have clean air here. When you're over the bridge away from New York, the air feels fresher. I judge the air quality by how well you see the sky. If you can see the sun and the blue sky on most good days, you're good to go. (Not like Los Angeles' hazy sky.) We don't wear face masks over here. There are only a few times where the air quality may go down a little, and that's during the summer, but we rarely ever see something like smog.

I tend to relate NJ with Japan because both places have four seasons. I'm not sure about smog levels in Japan though. I always believe Japan has some of the cleanest air in Asia whenever I visit. I love looking up into the blue sky.

(Taiwan may not be so fortunate as its air quality has gone downhill thanks to China.) If only China had taken notice years ago of other clean air countries, yes, I'm sure China's air would be smog free by now. Perhaps, it's still not too late if acted now?

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Posted in: Nearly all fuel in Fukushima No. 1 reactor has melted, says TEPCO See in context

This doesn't mean it's safe. At Three Mile Island and Chernobyl there weren't tsunamis or hurricanes.

Correct. Those places didn't have tsunamis or hurricanes. What they had were human errors that led to their problems. Most nuclear reactors, in the States, are more modernized and better off than the oldest ones. It's just the one in my state that is exactly the same as Fukushima's, and a very old model to boot. Somehow, after all these years, those people over there in that facility have managed to learn and try their best to make sure the facility doesn't run into something as catastrophic as all these other nuclear fall outs. I'm not really fan of nuclear, because I'm 100% all for solar and water power. I don't really find atomic energy that good, so that's my opinion. I don't like coal either.

I'll just say that we in NJ just make sure we learn from the past history's mistakes. Maybe, our Salem reactor will shut down for good one day? That's fine. We have multitudes of other energy sources in the States. Japan, on the other hand, needs to find a good energy source that can replace nuclear. TEPCO cannot be trusted, obviously.

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Posted in: Nearly all fuel in Fukushima No. 1 reactor has melted, says TEPCO See in context

Mar 16, 2015 · New Jersey, LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP.-- The Salem 1 nuclear reactor was taken off line this weekend after workers were unable to meet a repair deadline

You can't hug your kids with nuclear arms. Unsafe, expensive, replaceable.

I live in the state that has that Salem 1 reactor. It gets turned off once in awhile whenever there is a problem, but unlike Japan, we don't have tsunamis. We get hurricanes with sea water that comes up when it's high tide. Yes. But, we survived Sandy. The reactor survived Sandy. However, we're a state that relies not just on nuclear energy, we're also solar obsessed (and minor wind farming love). We have have a lot of solar panels here.

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Posted in: Why does 'Engrish' happen in Japan? See in context

Even in America, the Japanese (and most other Asian 1st generation immigrants) use Engrish, but I don't mind. At least, it's a little better than over in Asia for obvious reasons.

On a Japanese travel agency flyer for example: "When you contact to us, please tell us 'I joined NJ Food Fest 2014.'" It's understandable where the "to us" came from.

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Posted in: No. of foreign visitors to Japan exceeds 10 million See in context

I think it's all good for Japan regardless of whether it's a tourist's first or fifth visit to Japan. In the US, it's a bit hard to tell sometimes because we got people traveling to here not just for tourism purposes. US is made up of immigrants as well, so, you can't really tell who is a tourist sometimes. Not like in other countries/regions such as Japan or Europe where tour buses are the means of transportation for most tourists.

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Posted in: Train service See in context

I guess my last comment here was a little OT. To be more on topic, I'll just re-iterate that I highly respect the mixture of culture and service in the Japanese industry. The train service is no exception to this. Although, I have not riden the Shinkansen in Japan yet, I've experienced the very quick cleaning service of its Taiwanese cousin. :).

Fast and efficient service. A good model for the international train industry. :)

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Posted in: World watches American TV, not always legally See in context

Taiwan is already up to season 2 of "Once Upon a Time". Japan has a lot to catch up to now. This is great. "Once Upon a Time" is spreading out~! <3

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Posted in: Encounter with an American school lunch See in context

In my elementary school, we had to bring our own lunches. I got to eat a healthy sandwich for all four years before transitioning to junior high where I got introduced to a cafeteria setting. On some days, I would buy the cafeteria food. On some other days, bring my own food from home. Lunch-a-bles was really popular back then so I tried to bring those in as much as I can. Then, high school came and made me hate/loathe sloppy joes. At least, they offered salad, in plastic containers, which make up for the joes. Hence, I still kept trying to bring my own food from home as much as possible. On very few occasions, I would eat only onigiris due to the time. Hah...

Well, I'm sort of glad to see that now, in this day and age, American kids do have more cafeteria choices than before (depending on the state). Of course, kids will be kids when they don't like veggies. So, in that sense, kids will still choose to have a less healthy diet unless the parents encourage them to eat healthier at home. ^_^

The whole veggie thing and Japan reminds me of all my annual trips to Taiwan to see family. I always look forward to coming back to the US to eat veggies, because honestly, the veggie scene in Taiwan is also very very sad. Their veggies are not as good/fresh as the ones in the US. Ironically, I sometimes pick up the Ito En Veggie Shot drink from Mitsuwa because it tastes good. :D

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Posted in: Is it safe for minors to drink non-alcohol beer? See in context

In one of the Mitsuwa fairs (NJ location), they were promoting the alcohol free Kirin beer in a bottle. So, my dad bought one bottle and brought it home. For several weeks, I kept opening up the refrigerator staring at the bottle wondering exactly how different it is from the real thing. (Well, I don't drink anything with alcohol in it, but I stayed clear away from this bottle since I'm not sure what's in it.)

Telling by some of your responses, I'm glad I never took a sip from the free samples they were giving out back in Mitsuwa. :D I think my dad enjoyed it a little though, since he was the one who consumed the entire bottle over a period of time.

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Posted in: National obsession with cleanliness bodes ill for health See in context

Whether I'm in Asia or the US, if I use a bidet wash for a few seconds, and then, wipe with toilet tissue, does that mean I'm still okay? :D

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Posted in: China slams Abe over comments in Washington Post See in context

China will contiue to have difficulty in diplomacy with international community

As long as China continues to be "aggressive", then, yes. Difficulty in diplomacy will rise. If it stops its imperialistic-ish ways of doing things (plus political corruption), then perhaps, other countries may respond better with it.

Soon enough, we'll have sufficient provocation to dismantle the PRC into six independent countries,

This would be an interesting sight to see. rubs chin

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Posted in: China slams Abe over comments in Washington Post See in context

I guess my first post here was a little "too" much. I apologize for that (to the mods). >_< I'll make amends by toning it down a bit.

To paraphrase a more on-topic part of what I said before, it's quite clear that China is a big bully. I put that in a 21st century mindset of way. We know they skewed their own history and affect other countries' air quality (i.e. Kyushu). I wish other people could step up like Abe, in this sense, and say the truth where it needs to be said.

Most people do not know what is China's core values

If you're in Asia, it's crystal clear to me: money and economics.

Which is why I brought up Taiwan as a fine example. Taiwan is a country on its own right and wants to be internationally recognized. However, the CCP wants Taiwan to "harmoniously" be a part of it. According to Chinese textbooks, Taiwan is a part of China. The CCP used money as a way to get other countries to not accept Taiwan as a country. The Taiwanese don't want that and never saw it that way. They know their history. They don't consider themselves as Chinese, and will complain about the Chinese tourists in Taiwan when they can. Which is why, I'm not surprised about the anti-Japanese sentiment in the Chinese textbooks.

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Posted in: Declining kanji-writing skill of Japanese blamed on cell phones, computers See in context

I really can't imagine the Japanese language without kanji.

How can you differentiate kami (hair) and kami (god) if these were written out in hiragana and katakana? Byouin (hospital) and byouin (beauty salon)? (Ok, the usage of the "yo" would give these away so they're not the best examples in that sense.) Yasui (cheap) and yasui (easy)?

Knowing the yomi of the kanji, on top of knowing a lot of their meanings and stroke orders, does feel overwhelming. It does get a little tricky when I come across a kanji that has multiple meanings. However, I can understand their functionality. They really do help make sentences shorter.

It's very comfortable to write in kana, but I feel that kanji makes up the second half. So, knowing some of the kanji is worth the challenge and experience. When it comes to writing some kanji on the computer, I don't just rely on the Japanese language pack to automatically see what kind of kanji i want to use. I use a tablet to write in some kanji so I get my stroke order work-out that way. However, I do have an issue with some of the so-called "obsolete" kanji.

As for the article itself, I just can't believe they're doing a study as of now in Japan. I remember when the US had the study of how the computer age is changing the way people are writing years ago. I believe that in any culture and country, handwriting is important. The digital age may be growing stronger, but, handwriting must never be forgotten. Ok, I can completely understand the ease of using technology with kanji, but the English alphabet shouldn't be totally used by a generation relying on a spell checker.

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Posted in: Japan bets on overseas 'Japantowns' to boost economy See in context

@ Fadamor:

Here in Northern Virginia, we have Super H Marts. Mostly Asian food (Japanese/Korean/Vietnamese), but there's a smaller section of the store dealing with Japanese/Korean small appliances and other sundries. No clothing to speak of, though.

I think it depends on the H-Mart as every single one of them is different. H-Mart is the shortened nick name for its full name "Han Ah Reum" and as you can tell by that, it's a Korean super market/mall chain. We have several of them here in my state too (as we do have a significant Korean population up here). One of our Super H-Marts is like a mini-mall so they also sell clothing, serve bakery goods, has a bookstore, etc. and etc.

@ SwissToni:

The Yaohan mall in London was sold on to a (Hong Kong) Chinese company but still didnt make it. Theres a large Asian population supporting a vibrant Chinatown in the city and a good few Japanese businesses too. These have grown up supporting immigration and tourism rather than by any export endeavours. In Japan Yaohan's businesses were taken on by Aeon who have gone on to be major mall developers but they are essentially generic shopping centres.

I see. o__o Wow. Thanks for informing me on what happened to the rest of the chain. ^^

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Posted in: Japan bets on overseas 'Japantowns' to boost economy See in context

@ SwissToni

If I remember correctly Yaohan tried this in the 90s and went bust in the process. The centre in London was biggish, pretty cool and sold plenty of Japanese products but was just too expensive. So far it seems the most sustainable Japanese retail export has been Uniqlo selling its Chinese made clothes. But is it really so different to the chains available locally in any developed country?

Yaohan, the name, sank, but it got bought by a new company which then became Mitsuwa. I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the US, the Mitsuwas (formally known as "Yaohans") are thriving to say the least. Then again, I've never been to any of the other Mitsuwas except the one in my own state, which is ALWAYS crowded in the weekends. We do have a high Asian population to count for that though. So lots of people will still go for the ramen and other Japanese food. However, our Mitsuwa is owned by a Korean, but a lot of expat Japanese and Japanese Americans alike will still come by and shop/work here. (That's usually a good sign.)

Whenever I go to Uniqlo, I don't buy any of the clothing that says "made in China" on their tags. Of course, they don't seem that different than a lot of other clothing chain, but I like Uniqlo's color and size selection. I put them right besides Kohl's and I'm perfectly satisfied with that.

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Posted in: Japan bets on overseas 'Japantowns' to boost economy See in context

I'm not sure about this... Exporting Harajuku overseas. I really do think some forms of Harajuku should stay in Harajuku. Every time I go to the NYC Kinokuniya, I semi-cringe looking at the Lolita fashion magazine section while passing by it. And if NYC should ever import a maid cafe, I'll be face-palming for eternity. (NYC does have its own Japanese "little Tokyo" per say, but it's kind of branched out.) As I'm not in NYC, I'm perfectly content with Mitsuwa. However, the one thing I'm SUPER happy that's going to open up in the fall for me is UNIQLO. My local mall will have the first serious mall UNIQLO in the States. Finally, a clothing store with the right kind of sizes and styles for me. No longer have to ride an airplane just to get to a UNIQLO (and I avoided all NYC stores because paying bus fare on top of clothing + NY tax isn't worth it).

There are certain things that Japan can export and do it right, but they shouldn't be done in the "Cool Japan" image. :/ California has several Little Tokyos and Daisos. Daiso never expanded beyond California though. Well, so much for expansion.... I found a cute little "made in Japan" trashcan in Taiwan's Daiso, which made me relieved because I was afraid I wouldn't see one in that store filled with things mostly not made in Japan, asides from the food.

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Posted in: New Jersey town's monument to Korean sex slaves upsetting Japanese officials See in context

Wow, I didn't realize this was going on in PP. (And the article link is broken for me....) We do have a size-able amount of Korean Americans in Bergen County, so I'm not surprised by this. Palisades already has a memorial set up for the Korean War. I don't think the Japanese Americans, living around Palisades and Fort Lee, have much of an issue with this. But on the other hand, I'm not surprised that the Japanese government would have an issue. I don't think it matters where they are when it comes to the issues of comfort women.

I always wonder if there is going to be a day when the J-government accepts the victims' stories for what they are and move on?

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Posted in: Why are Japanese so bad at English? See in context

When I communicate with native non-English speaking people around the world, a lot of their English isn't so bad. A Swedish person can speak and write a good amount of English, even if it isn't perfect. It's because he learned English as early as the age of 6, as it's required in their education system.

When it comes to other Asian countries, a lot of their students are speaking/reading a decent amount of English. Which then allows them to go abroad and study without too many problems. A lot of Korean people, who come to my state to study, already come with enough English just to get them by.

Japan is an exception, which I view with mixed feelings. I kind of agree that it may have something to do with the katakana in the system. I seriously agree that motivation is a key factor to all this. I also agree that a lot of Japanese people won't have a need to use English if they're not going to come across any foreigner. (Much like some people in English speaking countries, who feel no need to retain a second language.) Yet, I think some Japanese do have the potential to cross the international boundaries other than the internet. I think there's this stigma placed on Japan, that because it's one of the richest countries in the world, it's expected to have an important role in the international community. If teachers can take away that stigma, and reshape the way English is taught in Japan, perhaps, some Japanese will not see English as a chore. (And then, they can fix all the crazy grammatically incorrect English names they put on random items and signs! Ahahaha..)

I'm currently learning Japanese. Just completed two semesters and I feel that I learned a lot by two different professors. Both of these professors are Japanese, and they both made us have to speak as part of our learning experience. I had to exchange some conversations with my fellow classmates, and it was really fun (although, that made us get out of our comfort zone). Before taking these courses, I was self-teaching myself a little bit of the language so I already had a grasp of about a100 kanji. Taking a class helped me to apply the kanji even more (even if I had to re-learn some of them). Nihongo no class wa tanoshii deshita! Te form ga daisuki desu. Takusan shitta.....

And before any of that, I had five years of Italian, starting in junior high. Over the course of those years, I started to lose a bit of motivation with the language. By my fifth year, I was ready to move on. Compared to learning Italian, I found Japanese to be easier to pick up on. Plus, I'm always seeing some form of a Japanese text every day as oppose to Italian, where I really didn't see much of it back in my high school days. Motivation + persistence + enjoyment = a self-fulfilling experience. ^__^

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