as_the_crow_flies comments

Posted in: 'Forgive me,' ex-Peru leader Fujimori says after pardon protests See in context

Well, he was an asesino, presiding over a government that committed mass extra-judicial murder.  In 2003, Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimated that 69,280 people were killed in those two decades. Although some dispute this figure, it is huge compared to the numbers killed in Argentina's 'dirty war' and under Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile.

This is why the protests are so huge. Add to that the corruption, with the $600m plundered from state coffers is also no small matter.

But whatever the back story on his release now, I agree that it is better to release him now and let him fade away on the outside, rather than risk him becoming a martyr to the Fujimori dynasty 'cause'. Maybe it'll drive a wedge between his children Keiko and Kenji, and that can only be good for Peru. Word is that actually Keiko would prefer Dad inside, because that would suit her political ambitions, while Kenji cut the deal with the President to spring Dad. The prospect of Keiko getting into power is appalling, and threatens to undo all the progress made since Dad legged it with suitcases stuffed with cash and Vladivideos to blackmail his enemies with, before faxing in his resignation from Brunei. Unfortunate for President PKK that the timing is so bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Which do you think is Japan's most attractive city? See in context

Agree with GW, 'attractive' doesn't naturally spring to mind when I think of Japanese cities. Though I live in Yokohama and think it does better than many. If any are attractive, it's usually down to the location, and despite what the city has managed to do to ravage the landscape. There are attractive pockets all over the place, but overall, none really float my boat much.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukushima mothers measure radiation levels in food, water and soil See in context

I'd be interested to see some comparative readings from the government and this group. That would be very informative. If they are similar great, and if they are different, good, too, because at least there is a scientific basis for action.

the “invisible enemy” of radiation has continued to worry the mothers. All we knew was that it is frightening,” said Suzuki. This is an important process and is especially reassuring to the parents of young children. This idea that it’s safe and that we shouldn’t be anxious doesn’t really add up. “My parents think I’m a bit paranoid."

The language of articles like this always frame the issue as if the problem is worry, rather than radiation levels. It's a way of framing the discussion to insinuate that anyone who states there is a health risk is emoting. Really annoying. So all power to the mothers and those who supported them to get this lab up and running to reframe the debate in terms of getting reliable scientific data about radiation levels. Knowledge is power. And much more analysis should be going on about why there is so much scepticism of the reliability of government data. For example, as stated above, by comparing.

Oh, and hello Zichi, if you're out there! Good to see a post from you. You've been missed!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump still sees himself as leading an insurgency See in context

"We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard"

Issuing decrees on day 1, eh? Is that the royal "We" or the dictatorial "we", Don? America First is it? So you're saying you'll be disinvesting in every offshore venture you're in, as of today, right? American jobs for American, right? And this People's Movement, that's the billionaire people's movement, I take it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Health diets from overseas flooding Japan, but are they right for Japanese bodies? See in context

What is "Japanese Body" ??

For that matter, and what is "European body"?

Kuchi gomi indeed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump, spokesman slam U.S. media over inauguration crowd coverage See in context

This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period!” Kim Jong Yun's spokesman said, his loud and abrasive tone catching nearly everyone in the room off guard.

“These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong".

...And expect shortly to have your doors kicked down at 4am as you are rendered to a re-education camp for reprogramming.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Seeking power conservation measures while battling summer heat See in context

This is only an option in your own place, but it makes a huge difference. We had windows with thermal glass installed on the inside of our old, leaky, heat trap aluminium windows. Then we had reflective film installed on those aluminium windows. We could as a further step shade the windows with sudare or vinyl screens. Inside the house is a comfortable temperature so far with just a fan to ensure air circulation. I haven't checked actual temperatures, but it's probably about 27 on a hot day. The windows didn't come cheap, but they have transformed a west facing heat trap into something very livable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: English counseling for disability pensions and worker’s accident compensation available See in context

This sounds like a valuable and much needed service, particularly for all the people who suffer workplace accidents while working in nursing care or other places where the chances of injury are high.

Dealing with a workplace issue at the moment, I really know how useful it would be to have someone help me draft everything in Japanese.

It should make clear though if this is basically an advert for a private service, or if this a low cost or free service. One of the biggest issues facing foreign workers who have this type of problem is whether the organisation is legit and really working in their interests.

Although it does sound above board, a proper article (rather than an ad) should be independent and make this absolutely clear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga confident Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid was clean See in context

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that he was unaware of the newspaper report.

He hasn't read the newspaper report, therefore the accusations of bribery are clearly totally unfounded. Obviously.

“I am confident that our bid was conducted in a clean manner,” Suga said, adding that should Tokyo be approached by French authorities on the matter, it would cooperate.

If deflection was an Olympic sport, Suga would be a dead cert for a gold.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Power-generating glass windows installed at facility in Yokohama See in context

Conventional thinking is to design houses so that windows are shaded from direct sunlight most of the year to prevent overheating.

I'm actually still shocked by the number of windows you see on Japanese buildings without any shading provided. No wonder so many buildings are like greenhouses in summer. I'd also like to know if this technology is on the market yet for people to retrofit home windows with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: We cannot feel safe without data on soil contamination because children play with earth, wipe their mouths with their dirty hands and inhale dirt blown up by wind, exposing themselves to possible inte See in context

.....and our results show?? What?

Erm ... a scientific, evidenced based response. If they show consistently low levels, that's good news, as it means that the threat to human health is limited.

And if they turn up some high readings, there will be scientific evidence that will enable the community to take the appropriate action to protect human health, whether that is making a specific area out of bounds, calling on the local government to decontaminate this specific area, or carry out health checks on those who have been in that area, for example.

A wilful refusal to carry out consistent scientific testing and to make the results gathered easily accessible is criminal negligence. On the other hand, funding an advertising agency to get a bunch of talento to put on fluffy rabbit suits and dance in front of a camera with fruit and vegetables from the area and say "Delicious! Eat!", on the other hand, is not scientific.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to announce action plan to curb tax evasion at G-7 summit See in context

anti-corruption summit hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, said the sources, who have direct knowledge of the matter.

Change that "have" to "has" and you have the nub of this. Most of those at this meeting should be under the spotlight themselves. They have plenty of "direct knowledge".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Obama tells Trump: 'This is not a reality show' See in context

"she’s going to be so bad on jobs that wages are going to go down for workers,”

"I would borrow knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good it was good, so therefore, you can’t lose."

Just when you think the level of debate and the proud stupidity can't go any further, he outdoes himself. Truly disturbing. How much lower can it go by the time the election comes?

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Posted in: Regulator declares nuclear reactors safe after quake See in context

Fluke is exactly the word to describe the near miss at Onagawa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu81n4QuxB0

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Keiko Fujimori likely to win 1st round of Peru election See in context

If Fujimori is elected, stand by for an amnesty for criminals to spring daddy. She wouldn't have the nerve to spring him alone, so she'll spring lots of others. Here's hoping daddy stays where he deserves, and Peru gets a fit leader with real policies, and clean hands.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Friction between working moms, working non-moms can get complicated See in context

The fact is, a mother cannot take leave without her work falling on someone else. On who? On non-mothers, of course.

The. Fact. Is. Not. When there's a shortage of staff, for whatever reason - illness, increased orders, maternity leave, just hire temp staff already. Like they do on Planet Earth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Becky remains secluded at home following enforced leave from show biz See in context

Hey Becky, read this! Still I Rise

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? ...

I rise I rise I rise. Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic committee puzzled by reference to IAAF payment See in context

How is this "beyond understanding"?

Perhaps it means "considering the amount we shelled out, we expected them all to keep their mouths shut. Wasn't that the deal?"

Well, these are turning out to some interesting Fun and Games! This one looks like turning into the juiciest scandal yet. I wonder if Japan will be able to keep up this rate of scandals and cockups to keep us all entertained for the next four years. The organisers, if they can be called that, are certainly setting the bar high. I feel so sorry for all the people here who had such high hopes for these games, who are going to keep on seeing Japan's name dragged through the mud.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hadid says Japan trying to take her Olympic stadium design copyrights See in context

How odd that any of the Japanese political elite or anyone in the Japanese construction industry would openly behave like yakuza ... who'da thunk it?

It may be business as usual domestically, but even the most compromised bureaucrat or politician must know that playing out this kind of act on the international stage, specially after the spotlight is on other international sports corruption scandals like the one currently engulfing FIFA, must know that their knickers are very publically showing. Do they really think they can get away with ignoring serious warnings, tearing up a contract, trying to gag someone, and extortion, without it all coming back to hit them in the face?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP lawmaker says 'comfort women' were prostitutes See in context

“I don’t feel the need to respond to each reckless remark made by a shameless lawmaker,” foreign ministry spokesperson Cho June-Hyuck told a regular press briefing, stressing the issue is understood internationally to have marked a “grave human rights violation” against the women.

“What is important at this point is ensuring the victims are not scarred again and creating a mood to steadily implement the agreement.”

That is statesmanship. The LDP circus could learn from the example of their Seoul counterparts.

And the govt could relieve him of these posts, to show he's not in line with government policy:

Director, Committee on Rules and Administration Member, Committee on Fundamental National Policies Member, Deliberative Council on Political Ethics Deputy Chairman, Diet Affairs Committee of LDP Board member of the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020),

He can keep his job as political adviser to the Pachinko Chain Stores Association (PCSA).

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: EU's top negotiator urges progress in trade talks with Japan in 2016 See in context

"What is sensitive in Japan about chocolate? What is sensitive about spaghetti?"

Obviously Sig Petriccione misunderstands, and needs to "be explained" to for a further 20 years that in the case of food:

Japanese digestive systems are different than foreign ones In the case of spaghetti, it's our culture. Japanese customers demand exacting standards, which only Japanese chocolate makers can satisfy.

"But if you look into dairy products, where’s the problem in Japan for cheese?”

Well, what will the Japanese cows do if they lose their livelihood? Shortages are part of our culture. If supply matches demand, customers will no longer appreciate the unique Japanese flavour. Japanese milk is delicious.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Columnist suggests language tests for foreign journalists See in context

Some 80% of London’s current population, Okabe writes, is comprised of people originating from overseas. According to national census figures, UK-born Caucasians now account for just 44.9% of the entire population.

What does that even mean? I can't believe Okabe has really lived in the UK, otherwise he'd know that Caucasian is a meaningless term to use. Are Poles and Lithuanians "Caucasians"? There are over 700,000 Polish people in the UK, and most arrived in the last 10 years. But they look more "Caucasian" than me. At least they're blonder and bluer eyed.

And so what? Does this have anything to do with journalists writing comments critical of Japan? The lack of logic from someone who seems to consider himself a journalist is scary. Just embarressing

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 8 things you should never say to a Japanese person See in context

A recent Japanese tourist to Italy said that she was surprised that vendors in the streets selling umbrellas, selfie sticks, etc. (who also appeared to be foreigners) greeted her with “Nihao” instead of “Konnichiwa.”

Earth to Japan: if you are a tourist in Italy, you are the foreigner. Which somewhat sends a coach and horses through the premise of this article. Though it probably gave readers a laugh.

Furthermore, at a restaurant in Rome, her family was seated in a section with other Asians rather than among tourists of all nationalities. “It reminded me of the now famous incident with Gackt, at a French hotel,” she said.

Maybe it's out of consideration, as Japanese like their mealtimes quieter than the average Roman. Maybe previous tourists from Asia had complained about noise. Or maybe the locals got tired of busloads of camera toting tourists, and didn't care whether they were from China, Japan or Korea. Or maybe they didn't know that Japanese consider themselves superior to Chinese and Koreans and therefore felt insulted.. Whatever.

Agree that this Nihonjinron narcissism gets very old. Amy, I'm sure it's not really your fault, as you don't get to choose the topics you write about, but this one is so lame, maybe you should have turned it down. I also used to enjoy your other columns on other sites, but this one is just sad.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: In boost for transplants, kidney tissue grown in lab See in context

The transformation in the quality of life that a new kidney gives people living with kidney failure makes this work extremely important.

Although it is just one step forward on a long path, it holds out hope to the many many people living with failed kidneys, and their loved ones. As the numbers of people with failed kidneys grows year by year globally, particularly due to epidemic levels of diabetes, the need for an alternative to donated organs will keep on growing. Considering the cost of treating kidney patient, this is important for all of us, if health systems are to be financially viable in the future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Hakone closes hiking trails as threat of volcanic eruption grows See in context

"The blackened eggs cooked in the volcano are said to extend your life, but they do not guarantee protection from volcanoes."

I don't know about extending your life, but I'd have thought that staying on an erupting volcano is likely to leave YOU with blackened eggs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Head of Japan's powerful farming lobby to resign in August See in context

Japanese rice is the best rice in the world

Ok, so if it's the best, its quality will shine through and people who want the best will continue to pay to eat it. Let the rest of us choose from all the other wonderful varities of rice, or choose cheaper rice. Dont force those of us who prefer different rice to pay through the nose for a product we find bland and claggy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity See in context

Arianna pulls no punches in this Daily Mail UK article where she refers to 'a spasmodic of racial abuse' growing up in Nagasaki. And it also points to the absurdity of her needing to justify herself in her promotional video for the pageant. After reading this, I was firstly amazed to find myself congratulating the Daily Mail, maybe for the first time ever for a good article, and secondly, relieved to read something that comes from outside the poisonous construct that is the typical nihonjinron debate on Japaneseness here in Japan. Give it a look -

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3021032/First-mixed-race-Miss-Japan-Ariana-Myamoto-hits-spasmodic-vomit-racial-abuse-suffered-father-African-American.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: What customs, way of life or products in Japan do you wish your home country would adopt? See in context

All of the above, plus people taking pride even in routine jobs. I'm sure it makes it more meaningful to do it, and for everyone receiving the service it's so much nicer, even if a bit slow sometimes.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Stopping ocean pollution at source See in context

Sore de? What can be done about it? Nothing!

Erm, I think the answer is in the conclusion, @JapanGal

...producers must take responsibility for the lifecycle of plastics. Industry must either monetize incentives to recover waste plastics or innovate environmentally friendly product and packaging alternatives. Simply put, if you can’t get your product back, make it harmless. ,...design better products and packaging to replace the status quo

If there's a problem, you can use the same human creativity that came up with the creation of plastics to find a better way to package things. He's clearly stating that the problem is not a technical one, it's one of vested interests blocking an improvement. Just like the nuclear industry is claiming that the massive increase in renewable energy generation in Japan is a problem because " the grid can't cope", when the reality is,those vested interests are out of pocket because OTHER people are making money, and creating cleaner sources of energy. By the same token, there are alternatives to producing so much plastic waste, but we can't take on those who are profiting from the environmental destruction? All there is to do is throw up our hands and say "so what?" Really?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan accepts just 11 asylum seekers from record 5,000 applications in 2014 See in context

I don't understand why japan is obligated to accept refugees. It's a sovereign nation. I believe it's their right to refuse asylum for refugees.

All Japan needs to do is to withdraw its candidacy for the UN Security Council, resign from the UNHCR (High Commission for Refugees), publicly state to the world that its borders are closed for humanitarian reasons, and only open for reasons of self-interest, and fine, it can be as sovereign and lacking in humanity as it chooses. Let it send a clear message to the world, and refugees will understand it's better for them to die in their country of origin than try entering fortress Japan.

In order to make its position quite clear to the world, Japan could at the same time state that it only wishes to be inserted into the world labour market to tap other countries' skilled labour and therefore has no need for "trainees". It could also clearly state that it feels no obligation to partner nations' developing their infrastructure, and thus will expect to be able to cream off trained and experienced health workers that other countries have paid a fortune to train for its own needs, pay them peanuts, deny them career advancement and pack them off back where they came from after three years. Considering the Immigration and Refugee Control Act puts immigrants and refugees into one basket, it needs to state to the world where it stands. Of course it might lose a few trading partners if it does this, further batter its international image, and find itself back of the queue for the best workers, but so be it, it's a sovereign nation, so that's fine, right?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

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