Japan Today

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Posted in: Schools in Australia barred from showing gay film See in context

So True Okinawa, lemme get this straight (pardon the pun). Children would still be better off in a “normal” family setting even if hypothetically one or both parents were abusive, neglectful, unsupportive, uncaring and unloving? Through your holier-than-thou eyes a gay couple could never be decent so how could they possibly raise a child. Have I got that right?

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Posted in: 63% say Japan should stop apologizing over war: poll See in context

Agree with warispeace here. I think there's a very good argument that successive Japanese governments have failed to genuinely display contrition in their "apologies". Some individuals have for sure but "regret" is not the same as "sorry" and the Japanese know that. Too much pride, usually nationalistic, has gotten in the way. Of course there's regret. They lost! Millions of Japanese died, the nation was decimated but above all their precious pride was severely dented. It's beneath the likes of Abe to apologise contritely. To do so would be an insult to his grandfather Kichi and his right-wing constituents.

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Posted in: Volcano alert for Mt Hakone raised after small eruption See in context

Chinpira, thanks for the link.

Our house is only 10.2kms from Owakudani according to Google Earth. A couple of tremors today were really noticeable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan beats Australia 1-0 to advance to semifinal against England at Women's World Cup See in context

Well done Nadeshiko Japan. They were clearly the better side even if the goal was late and scrappy. The Matildas can hold their heads high however. They're a young team on the rise. Hopefully next time they can go a step or two better.

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Posted in: Australia fancy their chances against Japan in Women's World Cup quarterfinal See in context

Why not? Go for it Matildas! I'd suggest getting in the faces of the Japanese girls and put them off their fluent game but the Aussies haven't picked up a single yellow card yet so it's probably not their style to get physical. Nadeshiko Japan will be hard to beat but they're not unbeatable.

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Posted in: Japan beats Netherlands 2-1 to reach Women's World Cup quarterfinals See in context


I wasn't comparing success between the men's and women's teams. There is no comparison, the women have exceeded expectations while the men have failed to live up to their lofty, unrealistic hopes. The point I was making was that there seems to be a lot of overconfidence in Japanese football. It starts in the media, with comments made by people who clearly know little about the world game, and that seeps into the mainstream public. The performances of the men's team in last year's World Cup and this year's Asian Cup weren't all that surprising to neutral observers but came as a big shock to many here. Why? Because there is major disparity between belief and actuality. I have no sympathy for the plight of the Japanese men's team because a lot of players have brought that on themselves by feeding the populace with a false sense of capability. To be fair, the Nadeshiko Japan players don't show the same arrogance. They're confident, as they should be, but respectful of their opponents. I hope the Matildas beat them but it will be very hard. Who knows? The Australian men just won the Asian Cup. Like Japan, the women's team might just trump them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan beats Netherlands 2-1 to reach Women's World Cup quarterfinals See in context


easy game for japan. next game prob gonna be the same.

We'll see. The Matildas beat Brazil and are improving as the tournament rolls on. Japan will be heavy favourites but that comment is indicative of the arrogance that's crept into Japanese football. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastic to see Nadeshiko Japan win the last World Cup. But when both the men's and women's national teams here start to do well, a lot of less than knowledgeable football fans start thinking Japan just has to show up to succeed. There's been a lot of bitter pride-swallowing around the men's underwhelming performances of late. If the Matildas upset Nadeshiko Japan, probably the only thing we'll hear are the cicadas.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Hundreds protest Islamic law in Australia See in context


Yep, fair enough. I think though the right-wingnuts at times like these try to capitalise on societal concerns and use fear as a tactic to recruit support. Islamic extremism is a cancer, not just on the world but also peaceful Muslims as well. These redneck clowns who drape themselves in the Aussie flag don't speak for me or most Australians and they need to be reminded of that fact. It's the same with nationalists anywhere, including Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Hundreds protest Islamic law in Australia See in context


These people probably aren't the most articulate or educated and their delivery is a bit crude...

They enlisted Pauline Hanson to speak. Say no more.

...but I think most people would agree that the underlying concerns about terrorism and Australians joining ISIS are legitimate

Of course but does that justify their obvious racist agenda?

They also don't seem to be anti-Islam simply because they themselves are fundamentalist Christians, so I don't think the comparison is fair.

That doesn't make sense. First of all, I doubt they're fundamentalist Christians. They're likely just a bunch of dumb rednecks, maybe even Australian nationalists (if there's such a thing). Anyway, if they did happen to be fundamentalist Christians it would follow that they'd be anti-Islam.

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Posted in: Prince William strikes a friendly contrast to crown prince See in context

I'm no royalist but they both seem likable guys. I'd have a beer or scotch with them.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Crown prince warns of need to remember World War II 'correctly' See in context


Face plant!

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Posted in: Crown prince warns of need to remember World War II 'correctly' See in context


Crown Prince did not learn hiow to talk to Japanese people from foreigners.

Not sure what you're banging on about there. The Crown Prince is his own man and he's clearly not afraid to denounce the drivel of the nationalists. Good for him!


A message for China and Korea-GET OVER IT-THE WARS- AND MOVE ON TO THE FUTURE!

You're clearly missing the point made by your Crown Prince. As obstinate as China and Korea can be, until Japan properly recognises its dark history and shows genuine contrition for the atrocities it committed, not just hollow expressions of remorse, former Asian foes will be unable to "get over it" and "move on".

Until China can invent a time machine to go back to the 1930s, it will have to learn to live with the history that so far cannot be changed.

No, true history cannot be changed. No matter how much Abe and his right-wing cronies try to rewrite and gloss-over Japan's shameful past, the factual truths will forever endure. I think Abe would be first in line to buy that time machine and zip back to the Imperial glory days.

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Posted in: Crown prince warns of need to remember World War II 'correctly' See in context


Well said, I totally share your sentiments. As genuine and likable as this particular family seems to be, monarchism in all forms ought to be irrelevant in modern, democratic societies. It's just a silly perpetuation of antiquated class systems. I don't get anyone who supports royalty and its privilege by birthright. Maybe they watch too many Disney movies. Having said that, I actually have great respect for the crown prince for his apparent stand against nationalism in Japan. It really must burn those right-wing nutjobs who long for the glory days of Imperialism.

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Posted in: Shimane stages annual rally over disputed islands with S Korea See in context

@Yoshimi Onishi

...the people who claim these islands belong to Japan are all right-wingers. This is absolutely off the mark.

Well maybe not ALL are but the main proponents on both sides are clearly right-wing nationalists. It's not about the islands themselves, they're unlivable. It's not even really about the surrounding rich fishing grounds. It's about national pride and sovereignty. The hundreds of Korean tourists who go to these barren, rocky islets on ferries aren't interested in sightseeing. There's nothing for them to do or see there. It's often foggy, very windy and they have to dodge seagull droppings. No, they go there waving their flags and chant nationalist slogans and that's exactly what these people in Shimane would do if Japan were the custodians.

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Posted in: Shimane stages annual rally over disputed islands with S Korea See in context

@ bjohnson23

Japan should station some SDF forces there with the equal amount of personnel as the SKoreans.

Great idea. What's your strategy? I reckon the JSDF should sneak in one foggy night, build barracks, desalination plants, a dock and an administration building on the other side of the jagged rocky outcrop to the Koreans. Oh yeah, and don't forget to put up a really big flag pole so when the Korean coast guard wakes up they'll be totally surprised.



3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Shimane stages annual rally over disputed islands with S Korea See in context

I'm neutral in this but the adage "possession is nine tenths of the law" does bear considerable weight in territorial disputes, particularly the longer they drag on. Just look at the Kuril islands. The state that has actual custodial control over the disputed territory is more likely to retain it, especially when their claims have legitimacy. Korea knew this and took action. Japan dropped the ball by not doing enough to prevent Korea building structures on the islands, including dwellings, desalination plants, docks and even mobile phone towers. Sorry Japan but the horse has bolted.


occupation through force is never accepted by the world especially by the UN

No, it's not but that's irrelevant. These islands were unoccupied and not forcibly annexed. Korea claims that they have simply established a settlement on their own territory. Japan has to now prove legally through the (toothless) ICJ that without question the islands are theirs solely. Korea has refused requests by Japan for a joint ICJ case to be heard purely because they actually govern the islands and don't recognise that there is a dispute, much like Japan with the Senkakus. So unless Japan resorts to force, which is highly unlikely, it would appear as though Korea's de facto control is permanent.

Japan is not showing force because of Article 9 or the Koreans would have been kicked out a long time ago.

If you're implying Korea's military would be a pushover that's pretty ignorant. In any case, if Article 9 doesn't prohibit Japan from forcibly defending it's own territory, what's stopping them? Let's hope we never find out.

@ Jerry Alan Carroll

All Nations recognized them as the property of Japan.

That's not the case at all. Do some research. Both countries have valid claims and to keep neutrality they're internationally recognized as the Liancourt Rocks.

Korea snuck folks on there and Japan was being peaceful by not blowing them of the planet. Sorry, but Korea, China and Russia are losers

Sounds like you're in the Team Japan cheer squad. Yes, Korea snuck people on there because they were cleverer, or more cunning if you prefer. Japan were asleep and now it's too late. I'm not sure how people here have garnered the idea that Japan would wipe Korea militarily. It shows a real lack of knowledge. In any case, if Japan cannot control territories that it claims are theirs, unfairly or not, it would appear as though they are the losers. Japan, Korea, China and Russia are all intransigent provocateurs.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Shimane stages annual rally over disputed islands with S Korea See in context

Yep, that ship has sailed. By allowing the Koreans to build on and then occupy the islands Japan knows it no longer has a realistic chance of entitlement, whether it has legitimate territorial claims or not. Maybe Japan should now count its losses and make a diplomatic trade off, to save some face, by getting Korea to drop its ridiculous idea that the Sea of Japan be named the East Sea. East of where? Not here. If Japan didn't exist (wishful thinking for some) it'd be the Pacific Ocean. It's just more silly Korean nationalism. That won't happen of course. Too much commonsense involved.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Posted in: Charlotte Kate Fox goes from 'Massan' to 'Chicago' See in context


maybe you are Scottish but for me who is not, her Scottish accent is fine!!!!!

No, my name is Scott but I'm definitely not Scottish. I'm presuming you aren't a native speaker of English because if you were you'd realise how embarrassing it is to see the unmistakable Scottish dialect that her character should have be completely butchered by an American actor speaking in her own tongue. Of course the target audience is Japanese and very few would ever know the difference so I'm assuming that's why she doesn't even bother trying to get into true character. My wife still likes her and the story seems interesting (haven't seen much but I went to the Yoichi distillery last summer). However, I'm not convinced of Fox's acting ability, sorry.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Charlotte Kate Fox goes from 'Massan' to 'Chicago' See in context

My wife loves Massan but I crack up when "Scottish" Ellie speaks in a broad American accent. Hope you can sing Charlotte Fox 'cause you can't act.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: Australian PM throws submarine tender open to domestic shipbuilder See in context

It concerns me that Abbott, despite nearly losing the leadership, still believes he retains a mandate. He has proven already that he's prepared to act unilaterally in order to impose his antiquated ideologies. It's rather ironic that such a staunch monarchist thinks he has the authority of a president. Today's polls have his popularity at record lows and would see his government humiliated at the next election. He is clearly unfit for office yet his colleagues somehow saw fit to give him another shot. They'll likely regret that when they lose their jobs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian PM survives leadership challenge See in context

Good on him? Well, anyway Abbott retaining the leadership is actually good news for the opposition Labor party who are now likely to retain government in a landslide. The Tory PM is in total denial. Abbott is extremely unpopular and always has been yet he incredibly thinks his government were elected because of him. The fact is they were elected despite him. The Murdoch-led conservative media machine went into overdrive, creating an angry vote against the incumbent government resulting in a win by default for Abbott's Liberal party. But now people, including the right-wingnut media, are just coming to the realisation that Australia's leader is just a gaffe-prone embarrassment. He is Bush Lite. I could elaborate at length but I'll just leave you with my favourite Abbott quote: "No one, however smart, however well-educated, however well experienced, is the suppository of all wisdom." Says it all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: A tale of two countries: Dice-K returns to Japan See in context

He really was an outstanding young talent. But I do recall several non-Japanese in the game (Bobby Valentine maybe one of them) cautioning against his possible burnout due to ridiculously excessive pitch counts. Sure he wasn't the only one but I wouldn't be surprised if that is what's occurred. Still, he's 34 and apparently worthy of the big Yen for a few more years yet.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan Football Association fires coach Aguirre See in context

How about a Japanese manager next time ?

Absolutely. Australia had been doing the same for years, failing to fulfill potential with foreign managers each differing in philosophy. We've just won the Asian Cup with an Australian at the helm who's had the guts to rely on a squad of relatively unknown youngsters. In the past these foreign managers refused to blood untried players because they had no responsibility for future development beyond their contracts. They were only concerned with performance bonuses. Where possible a country should always give preference to one of its own. In Japan's case it's even more pertinent because of language.

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Posted in: Katy Perry dazzles at Super Bowl halftime show See in context

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone, the global viewers for the Super Bowl were around 550 million. Not bad. Manchester City v Chelsea on their regular fixture last Saturday got about 650 million.

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Posted in: Katy Perry dazzles at Super Bowl halftime show See in context

Katy dazzled with her two big hits

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Australia downs South Korea 2-1 in extra time to win Asian Cup final See in context


I'm from Brisbane and know people from the Korean community there. If your post is genuine (seems a bit too weird), your childish bad sportsmanship shames them.

Neither goal was remotely offside and the referee gave Australia 5 yellow cards to Korea 0, hardly favouring the home team. In the end, Korea played well but the best team won. You clearly have no clue about the game.

I'll bet your Aussie neighbour isn't racist at all. You just can't handle a loss. Making false accusations like that is a disgrace.

I take it by your sister's choice to support the country of her birth (good for her) that you also hold an Australian passport, perhaps as a dual-national. If you feel such a discord with your country, Australia, the country which generously gave you citizenship, feel free to give it back and return to Korea.

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Posted in: Record number of teachers disciplined for corporal punishment See in context


Sorry your Principal was an idiot.

Thanks. He was but he had the authority to carry out such disciplining in those days. It was what it was but thankfully sanity has since prevailed and teachers no longer have the authority to discipline physically.

I was trying to 'suggest' that there was a direct correlation to the 'fear' of getting 'it' that kept students in check.

Physical intimidation of kids may often work but it's just as morally a questionable tactic IMO. I'm a teacher myself and I know if I ever were to lose it that's my fault for not maintaining control of the class and my own emotions.

There will always be challenging students of course but good teachers need to have great social skills and an understanding of individuality. In other words, all kids are different and that fact needs to be approached accordingly. There are times to be strict, times to be sympathetic, times to be humorous and times to not be so anal. Kids are smart enough to see through your BS. A school teacher can't just be a stand-off educator like a university professor. But I also don't agree when some Japanese homeroom teachers try to assume a parent role and either smother or scold them like they're their own children. It's inappropriate to get so close emotionally. Care for them but keep a professional distance. There needs to be a proper balance.

All the best

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Posted in: Record number of teachers disciplined for corporal punishment See in context

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Nobody can control your heart, but did you at least put up the proper attitude most of the time?

Are you kidding? You don't know me and you weren't there. If you must know I happened to be a good kid who stayed out of trouble. I was respectful to teachers even if I didn't respect them. Who do you think you are?

While I'm against corporal punishment, for your case, you and the bully, having chosen to use violence to settle your differences, are in a weak position to complain about the principal doing the same.

Are you for real? What a ridiculous conclusion to make. I stood up for a defenseless little kid who was being beaten and ended up in a fight with the bully. Again, YOU WERE NOT THERE. That means you are NOT in any position to pass judgment. I stepped in, defended the victim, was then attacked by the bully so I defended myself. If I'd adopted your "resolve your differences without fighting" position on that day I'd have ended up in hospital. I've recounted this story many times and you're the first person to ever question me over it. What does that say about you? I'm sure most people reading my comments would have had the commonsense to realise my points. Teachers (past or present) automatically do not deserve respect. They have to earn it. Also, corporal punishment being outlawed was the correct thing to do.

The decision to beat you more severely is also logical, since the point of corporal punishment is not sadism, but educational.

Completely and utterly wrong in this case. But you're such an expert that it'd be easy to come to that nonsense conclusion even though you weren't there and didn't see the pleasure this principal was taking in his authority through violence. I saw it in this guy's eyes. When other kids pleaded to him that I was the innocent party he didn't want to know.

You, on the other hand, were clearly recalcitrant.

How exactly was I being recalcitrant? By telling the truth? By standing up for myself? He saw me fighting but he didn't want to hear it was in self defense. In your acquiescent, conforming, pathetic little world I guess the right thing to have done was to just admit I was wrong, apologise and beg for forgiveness. If you've got kids, I feel sorry for them if this is the attitude they're being brought up with.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Record number of teachers disciplined for corporal punishment See in context


Not saying that I EVER condone a teacher hitting someone in school but...

Sounds very much like you are condoning it. Have the guts to say so.

Back in those days we had a respect for our teacher

Please spare us that "In my day" rhetoric. I had little respect for plenty of teachers when I was a kid growing up in Australia. In particular a principal at a pretty exclusive private school who took to whipping my backside one day with a thick cane, stopping each time to check if I'd cracked and shed a tear. I refused to give him the satisfaction so I copped a real flogging. The reason for my punishment? Standing up to a bully who was punching a friend of mine, a weaker kid. The principal, what a man, saw me in a fight with this bully, decided he didn't need explanations despite protests from witnesses, marched us both up to his office and punished us. The bully was petrified and burst out crying before the first hit so he only got a couple of light ones and a telling off. My father upon hearing this all dropped everything, went up to the school, threatened to knock this cowardly principal's block off and promptly took me out of the school. That's pretty much how I'd feel if some teacher ever struck one of my kids.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Australia rising in Asia, on and off the soccer field See in context

One great thing to see was the lack of crowd segregation. There were about 15,000 Korean fans there in patches amongst the Aussies and not a hint of trouble. My brother was at the game and said everyone got along. Even when the Aussies playfully sang "Your flag looks like the Pepsi logo" (that's hilarious) the Koreans laughed along to their credit. The whole tournament was like that. Iranian and Iraqi supporters intermingled as did other traditional foes. Female Arabian fans not only attended en masse, they wore whatever they liked and drank beer. They did things we in the West take for granted. There were no politics, just sport. It was the most successful, most attended and most watched Asian Cup ever. Compare that to Qatar four years ago. Nobody should doubt Australia's contribution since joining the Asian Confederation.

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