Antonios_M comments

Posted in: Obama says gun tragedies must end See in context

An assault weapon ban was passed in 1994 under president Bill Clinton but it expired in 2004 and was never resurrected. Obama supported restoring the law while running for president in 2008 but did not make it a priority during his first term.

I know it is not so easy to go against both the constitution and the arms industry (not to mention all the conservative Americans who will get furious with this decision), but here is the chance for Obama to prove that he really wants change. Go for it, Mr. Obama. At least you must revive the debate for it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe pledges no compromise over disputed islands See in context

We need to have wisdom not to turn political issues into economic issues.

Mr. Abe, this is not possible and you know that. Especially when these "political issues" involve the second and the third biggest economies on the world.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Police see rise in membership of extremist groups See in context

The problem with this line of thought is that groups that were once on the fringe are now becoming mainstream. In Greece you have groups like Golden Dawn suddenly gaining in popularity as Greece's economy deteriorates

Well, Greece and Japan are two totally different cases. Greece has a huge problem with illegal immigrants leading to a stunning rise in criminality, as entire areas in central Athens were turned into ghettos. Additionally, the unemployment rate (officially close to 26%), the uncertainty for the future, the political corruption and the mistakes of the past have nothing in common with Japan (despite its own economic problems). The situation in Greece is very similar to a (light) Weimar Republic and the rise of the Golden Dawn was something - unfortunately - to be expected. However, if Greece remains on track as she has done so far, I believe that GD's popularity will fall as it was the case with LA.O.S, another more moderate right wing group that was left out of the parliament during the last elections.

On the other hand, the rise of extreme right wing groups in Japan is not justifiable. Yes, there is uncertainty but there is not any problem with immigrants (at least not of a European scale), the unemployment rate is low and despite the economic problems and the long recession, the overall economy is not that bad. People should know that extreme ideologies not only offer absolutely nothing, but they certainly create more problems as it was proved countless times during the last century. Maybe this is the source of problem: the more the time passes and we distance ourselves from the horrible events of WWII, the more people tend to forget where extreme ideologies led us and how many millions of people died because of them. This is really really sad.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Royal hoax radio presenters off air after nurse found dead See in context

Is it just me or there is something much bigger going on behind this awkward story? Ok, this prank was of bad taste, (as it is the case with most of the pranks), but committing suicide after replying "Oh yes, just hold on, Ma’am" just does not seem right.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: More Japanese youth wearing surgical masks to hide their face See in context

One funny fact: even though I have never worn a face mask (while being healthy) and my girlfriend keeps wearing it every day when she commutes, she is always the one that gets sick more frequently. She always gets upset about that, but when I am trying to convince her that face mask does not provide an 100% protection against germs, she replies: "then why everybody wears it?" I guess crowd psychology thrives in Japan...

On the other hand though, I am glad when people that are already sick, wear face masks.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: At least 5 dead in fire after Yamanashi expressway tunnel caves in See in context

Japanese news said something about the metal frame that was supporting the concrete panels, which apparently slipped off and caused the panels to collapse. The tunnel was inspected in September

If the tunnel was indeed inspected in September, then some people must be held responsible for this terrible accident. And on Chuo Expressway? One should expect them to be very very strict with the inspection.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan halts beef imports from U.S. plant over safety concerns See in context

Deja vu anyone? Come on guys, how difficult is it to prepare those documents and avoid another ban??? I just hope that price of beef won't skyrocket following the ban (like it is not already expensive enough...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Two die after being hit by train in Saitama See in context

When the train is coming, no matter what, leave that old guy and get the heck out of the way. No need to "sacrifice" your life. You did your best, but at the last moment, you must get out of the way of the train.

You definitely have a point there, but I don't think she could abandon the old fellow. Not many people would have had a clear conscience having done so... Too bad that things in real life don't work like in movies. RIP poor people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fewer Japanese view China positively: poll See in context

Japanese people has very few things to be proud of in post war Japan especially their dignity has been lost under US military occupations known as 'protection'!

Well, reconstructing a country from the ashes of a devastating war and becoming one of the leading economies globally in less than 20 years is something very impressive though, isn't it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Two die after being hit by train in Saitama See in context

This is very sad, but this woman was a hero. She sacrificed herself in order to try to help the old man.... If I were mayor of the city, I would have ordered to make a statue for her. It is good to see people that are willing to risk their lives in order to help others as there is so much reluctance to assist those in need nowadays...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Two more U.S. servicemen arrested in separate incidents See in context

There is one basic law in human nature: the more you try to control and discipline someone who is not willing to cooperate, the more trouble he is going to make. I guess the curfew was a bad idea. Even more so with patrols. More and more accidents like that are going to happen, and more and more angry Okinawans will protest against the bases. It's inevitable. It's human nature.

What should the army do? In my view, either completely leave from Okinawa (something that it is not a realistic option for the time being) or reduce the troops and transfer them somewhere else. The problem is more or less isolated on Okinawa, not that many Japanese in the rest of the country are complaining about the U.S. bases. Keep in mind that there is not Anti-American sentiment in Japan, contrary to other countries of Asia. It will be a pity if some very few soldiers create one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: No time for cleaning? These hot guys will take care of it for you See in context

Don't pay people to do things that you can do by yourself. It's waste of money, really...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Survey asks: What makes Japanese citizens feel distinctly Japanese? See in context

When I push everyone to board on a train even though it is already full and the next one arrives 5 minutes later? When I am wearing a ridiculously short skirt and then have to hide my pants with my hands when I am climbing a stair? When I believe everything that "tarento" on TV say? When I don't ask people for their astrological signs, but for their blood type?

Of course, there are many good ones as well. Discipline, cleanliness, kindness, sense of duty, etc.

13 ( +16 / -5 )

Posted in: Life Fitness Japan See in context

Tokyo needs more affordable gyms! No wonder nobody goes - they cant afford it! The one near my place has an unbelievable 52,500yen joining fee... Then 12,000yen per month.

That's true! In Greece, one year subscription in the local gym was just 100 euros, the same amount that you have to pay in Japan's gyms monthly...

Of course, it is always the supply and demand law...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. serviceman apologizes for assaulting boy in Okinawa See in context

My question is: what would have happened if the father of the child had struck back and hit the serviceman with a baseball bat? It would have been a pretty rational reaction; at least that's what I would have done if I had seen a stranger in my house punching my son.

These kind of incidents not only do they damage the image of us, foreigners, but also might cause a diplomatic issue between U.S and Japan. People should not view them simply as individual criminal acts but as something even more serious. And why do they always occur in Okinawa? It is not the only place where US servicemen are located, right? Is it just statistics or is there something else going on?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Happy day See in context

The Japanese students seem genuinely happy for Obama's re-election.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Great nature See in context

I went there last year. It is stunning and worth visiting!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Film director Koji Wakamatsu dies after being hit by taxi See in context

Oh, God. That reminds me of the death of the famous Greek director Theodoros Angelopoulos in January. He was hit by a motorcycle while he was filming his new movie, and ironically, he was also 76. Even more ironically, Angelopoulos also attempted to cross a busy road at night... Maybe directors often get absent minded? So in peace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Swimming the hard way in Japan - in samurai armour See in context

Nice. Now try that with a 27-kilograms Hoplite equipment. That would be harsh...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese tourists share impressions of traveling abroad with limited English ability See in context

I think the article is missing a critical point: when you are visiting a foreign country as a tourist, you should not worry that much about how your accent sounds like, or whether they give you many coins as a change, etc. What really matters is simply that: to manage to get from point A to point B without getting ripped off; book the hotel room; being able to order food and shop without any problems; and always have the number of your local embassy in case of an emergency.

Now, when you are going to study or live in a foreign country, then yes, you should start worrying about how your accent sounds like or whether you are getting accepted by the locals, etc.

My view is that - usually - the Japanese divide the world simply as Japanese and Non - Japanese (who are usually viewed as Americanized). It is not very surprising, thus, that they tend to stereotype everything and everyone around them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: McDonald’s Japan offering free coffee this week See in context

any time between 6 and 9 a.m.

Who is going at McDonalds so early in the morning???

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Out and about in Tokyo: Epson Shinagawa water stadium See in context

I have been there twice. It worths a visit!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: EU calls for Japan moratorium on executions See in context

Not that I agree 100% with the capital punishment, but EU should indeed mind its own business...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Body of newborn baby found in woman's refrigerator See in context

Not again.....awful!!! What is going on inside these women's mind??? How could they do this? That's inhumane!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Edo-Tokyo Museum: One station past Akihabara, and several centuries earlier See in context

Amazing. I have never visited this museum but your article made me want to go!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Schoolboy breaks 200-meter breaststroke world record See in context

Amazing. What a promising start for his career....well done!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Point of view See in context

Good Morning Japan. Another day of tension, I am afraid...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sit back See in context

There is a secret for convenience when traveling in economy class. If you book your tickets in advance, and you can choose your own seats inside the airplane, always select the seats in the front row, as they are the ones with the largest space for your legs. I always choose the front row, and I can stretch my legs like I am in the business class.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Death sentence upheld for man convicted of killing 7 in Akihabara rampage See in context

Good call. I approve the capital punishment in certain cases, and this is definitely one of them. The victims will never come back, but at least their relatives will feel much better knowing that the culprit got punished instead of being locked up in a cell and being a burden on the society for the rest of his life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Pentagon maps Japan radiation after March 11 disaster; says U.S. personnel were safe See in context

It showed the highest rate of adult exposure at Sendai, just north of Fukushima, where the estimated adult dose of whole body radiation was 0.12 rem and 1.20 for the thyroid - the organ most affected by radiation. By comparison, a full-body CAT scan yields a whole body exposure of 5.0 rem.

I hope that everyone understands right now that the panic following the catastrophic events of March 11th, caused mostly by foreign media, was to a large extent unnecessary. I remember many foreigners at that time accusing the J-government for its failure to conduct an evacuation plan for Tokyo, apparently not realizing that it was impossible to conduct such a plan, while struggling to cope with the consequences of the tsunami and assist the affected areas.

There are many things to blame the J-gov for, but in my view, its dealing with the crisis at that time was the most appropriate. There were no looting, people quitting their jobs, etc. Everything was in order with the sole exception of the power cuts. Now, can you imagine what would have happened if the Jgov had announced "the evacuation of Tokyo due to radiation fears" as many readers had suggested at that time? Chaos. Personally, I am glad that both the Jgov and the Japanese media did not cause any unnecessary panic, contrary to how many foreign governments reacted due to over sensationalism by global media.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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