beowulf comments

Posted in: Miyazato cites drop in motivation for retiring at season's end See in context

A very popular sporting personality in Japan today announced her retirement at the relatively young age of thirty-one. It was major news and every news station ran her press conference, therefore "Japan Today" ran an article about it.

I am not sure what people expect to read about in "Japan Today", but I think the hint is in the title.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's population projected to shrink 30% by 2065 See in context

"Rainyday" has a point regarding distribution. Kanto in particular is overcrowded. I think it sits around 35 million people at the moment. Basically 10 million of those people could be living in Hokkaido or any prefecture on the Japan Seaside of Japan.

The federal government needs to start subsidizing jobs in rural areas, so companies will think about moving more manufacturing into those areas.

Anybody talking about immigration as an answer has no idea what they are talking about. Basically for Japan to maintain its current population it would need about 1 million immigrants a year! Think about that. By 2065 that would be about 25 percent of the population.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Is hanami in Japan actually all that fun? See in context

I live in the country and Hanami is fantastic. It is one of my favourite times of year. Basically in the countryside there a lot fewer company parties and mostly parties involving family and friends, so it is usually very relaxed and fun. This is the kind of Hanami I like.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Kyoto Board of Education administers English test for teachers with disheartening results See in context

They are not the best results, but I would like to know the age of the teachers that sat the test. I imagine the younger teachers scored better than the older teachers. I am not blaming the older teachers, because given the workload of junior high school teachers I think it would be very difficult to maintain a high level of English over twenty or thirty years.

I do think testing teachers of English every two or three years would be a good idea in order for teachers and officials to keep track of their English levels. It also might encourage teachers to actually work a bit harder at trying to improve their English. But again, that is not easy given their jobs and the amount of work they have to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: No sad endings for Japan's virtual romance fans See in context

As long as this game - like any other - is played in moderation where is the harm? It is just a bit of escapist fun.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Sun setting on Japan's solar energy boom See in context

As far as I can tell Japan is encouraging renewable energy, particularly at a prefectural and municipal level. I have always been opposed to coal and see it as the worst way to generate electricity. But given the hysteria surrounding nuclear energy in this country and practically all over the world what do you expect governments to do?

Nuclear energy is demonstrably better for the environment than gas, coal and oil, yet Japan has at the moment 44 idle power plants doing nothing with only seven potentially restarting in the future. Hyperbolic fearmongering by certain groups of the community is helping to destroy the earth that they apparently want to protect. Oh well.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Woman stabbed to death by ex-boyfriend in convenience store in Shizuoka See in context

What exactly are the police supposed to do in this instance? People say they did not do enough, but what else could they have done according to the law? The police can not put a person in prison for something they have not done. They can not hold them unless they are suspected of committing a crime.

The only crime this guy has apparently committed is stalking and now murder. But detaining somebody because they might commit a crime without hard evidence sets a dangerous precedent.

I want to stress that it is a horrible crime and more needs to be done to prevent people who are being stalked, but sometimes I think we expect too much from the police.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Posted in: Osaka sushi chain apologizes for using too much wasabi in foreign customers' orders See in context

They obviously should not be putting excessive amounts of wasabi in foreigners sushi, but it is quite funny. "You want more wasabi you say! Well here you are!"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Uber loses at least $1.27 bil in first half of year: report See in context

why isn't UBER or something like it in Japan yet?

You need a license to carry paying customers in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan wins first badminton gold in women's team doubles See in context

"They are very tall so we needed to use our brains to fight them,” Takahashi added.

The old trope.

You do realise that in badminton players have use different tactics to beat their respective opponents?.

Both the Danish players are much taller than the average height of female badminton players, so it stands to reason the Japanese would use different tactics to beat them. Because the Danish pair have longer reach and and are taller they can hit the shuttle at a higher point in the air, so if the Japanese players play them the same way they would play a shorter pair they would probably get beaten.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Nice lunch for athletes See in context

Given that these two women probably train six hours a day I doubt this one meal is going to have that much of an affect on their performance or their body weight. I am pretty sure they have their diet under control, despite what all the experts on the internet have to say.

I know they are top athletes, but they are allowed to live just a little bit.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: New hires shock Internet with their sameness See in context

"The nail that sticks out gets hammered in".

I have never heard a Japanese person say this...in fact the only people who say this are foreigners living in Japan. I think people say it to give the impression that they have some kind of innate understanding of Japan. Yet people who say this statement seem to forget that most cultures have some kind of variation on this theme. Australia has the "tall poppy syndrome" to name but one.

The photo is of a group of women who have just started working for a company in the service industry. They are all wearing similar clothing. Oh my God! The world is going to end. I did not realize that there was a correlation between clothes worn at a job and level of creative output. All those chefs all over the world who practically wear the same kind of clothing must be bereft of ideas.

0 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Sorry about that See in context

Whether the apology is sincere or not is beside the point. It is about actually making the apology and standing in front of the press and being shamed. I am not saying it is a perfect system and most Japanese know that the apology is quite often insincere, but Japanese people like to see an apology.

Besides if you take away the bow is it really any different to abroad? The Volkswagen boss had a press conference in Detroit and apologized to America for his company's deceit. Practically the same as what Mitsubishi did, but you know he did not bow.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Ichiro so close to 3,000 hits - if he can get enough at-bats See in context

I have always liked Ichiro, but I really hope he either retires, or plays in a lower league next year. He is not good enough for the majors any more. I have nothing against players in any sport who continue playing something they love, but I do not like it when players stay in a league or competition that besmirches their past glories. It is just a bit sad.

Tennis and golf both have masters tours, which I think is ideal. Fans get to see their favourite players, while the players get to play at a reasonable level without looking silly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Nadeshiko Japan miss out on Rio soccer as Australia, China go through See in context

As a long time Nadeshiko Japan watcher I saw this coming from about three years ago. They are still the most technically proficient women's team in the world, but they are slow on the ball and seem frightened to put the ball in the box. Their movement in the final third was poor in the world cup and it has not improved.

To make matters worse they have been defensively frail at this tournament. The first goal they conceded against Australia was just terrible marking, which is something I do not associate with them. The reason they made the final last year was their defending, though in the final they were poor.

I also have no idea why Rumi Utsugi is not playing in this tournament. She is tall, strong and skillful, easily Japan's best midfielder, but she is playing in France at the moment.

I have got tremendous respect for Sasaki, but he should have retired at the end of the last World Cup. They just need a change of coach to breathe some fresh air into the team. I hope they go with Takakura.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Izakaya' operator to pay Y133 mil over employee's suicide due to overwork See in context

I suppose the only good thing in all of this is that Watami are finding it more and more difficult to find workers. A university friend of mine told me straight that she would never work for any izakaya connected to Watami due to the bad press they have been getting.

With the declining population and jobs becoming easier to find I hope that in the future companies will be unable to treat people so terribly, because workers will just walk out on them and find another job.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Megumi Hagiuda carries the sweet smell of success across nations See in context

"To my surprise, she engaged easily in English conversation and I even questioned whether she was 100 percent Japanese, which made us both laugh."

Am I the only one who cringed when reading the above sentence? I know Japanese people do not perhaps have the best record when it comes to learning English, but c'mon.

Other than that I am glad Hagiuda is doing something she likes and succeeding.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't plans to raise minimum wage to revive economy See in context

Three percent is not enough, but at least it is a start.

A twenty percent rise would actually make a difference.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: 18-year-old girl arrested for drunk driving resulting in death See in context

I would like to know the driver's actual blood alcohol level. If she had been really drunk I daresay she would also have been charged with driving while drunk. Basically that charge is normally reserved for people who leave the bar and get straight into their car.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Most Beautiful Legs See in context

They all have very nice legs, but Anna Tsuchiya's legs are exquisite.

I tend to think Japanese women have very nice legs in general.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan says U.N. envoy retracts remarks on schoolgirl sex See in context

Despite all the naysayers I would be very surprised if 13% was accurate. If we just take high school kids that is around 170000 girls doing enjo-kosai right now apparently.

If Ms Boer-Buquicchio has been informed by people in Japan that it is still a problem, along with underage prostitution and human trafficking then she should definitely raise public awareness. But she should not use unsubstantiated facts, because it just gets in the way of fixing the actual problem.

Case in point is this article which is focusing on misreporting of facts as opposed to the problem of enjo-kosai. A problem which is nowhere near as bad as what it was fifteen to twenty years ago. But nonetheless it is a problem.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Actress Ai Takabe arrested for cocaine possession See in context

微量 = minuscule

She now loses her job and her career over traces of cocaine.

Actors get screwed in this country. Everybody has an agency contract and if you break that contract, good luck trying to regenerate your career.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Looking good See in context

Westerners often say that Asians "all look the same", but just look at this photo. There is such a contrast between them all.

I would like to add that they all look very nice.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: The pros and cons of inpatient and outpatient care See in context

If you can afford to stay in hospital for a little bit longer I really do believe it is beneficial. I had surgery last month in Japan and I was in hospital for a week. What I liked about it was that I was able to talk to the doctor and the nurses on a regular basis about anything that was worrying me after the surgery. It was reassuring and I was able to relax without having to worry about anything else.

If I had had similar surgery in Australia I would have been discharged on the same day maybe with a stay overnight and would have been left to fend for myself at home. Based on my experience that would not have been ideal because I live by myself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Documentary looks at why Japanese parents let young kids walk to school by themselves See in context

About thirty years ago kids used to walk and ride to school in Australia. I know this because I did it from the age of six. I do not know why this has changed, but I do think it has a lot to do with the media and its ability to make the world a frightening place.

I am not sure whether Japanese kids are more independent than their foreign counterparts, but in some facets of their lives they appear to be, eg. cleaning the school, serving lunch and walking to and from school to name but a few. But you know it is all relative.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Their claims are based on their self-centered and extremely egoistic thinking that they don't want to go to war. We can blame postwar education for such widespread selfish individualism. See in context

It was from Twitter, so here for everybody's edification:

SEALDsという学生集団が自由と民主主義のために行動すると言って、国会前でマイクを持ち演説をしてるが、彼ら彼女らの主張は「だって戦争に行きたくないじゃん」という自分中心、極端な利己的考えに基づく。利己的個人主義がここまで蔓延したのは戦後教育のせいだろうと思うが、非常に残念だ。

https://twitter.com/takaya_mutou/status/626788645379280896

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: YouTube creators looking elsewhere for money See in context

I had been led to believe that a lot of Youtube performers make most of their money by surreptitiously promoting products in their videos. If you ever see a Youtube performer say they like a particular product or have been using a particular product in one of their videos, then they have probably been paid a couple of thousand dollars to say so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan’s 30 best travel destinations, as chosen by overseas visitors See in context

@HongoTAFEinmate

It was a list by foreigners.

Most people when coming to Japan for the first time do not stray too far from the Tokaido Line. Who can really blame them, because it has an awful lot to offer.

I love Kyushu, Hokkaido, Tohoku and Shikoku, but I would not recommend those areas to people who are coming to Japan for the first time, because the good parts of those areas are a little bit off the beaten track and do not have the same level of tourist infrastructure compared to Kanto and Kansai for foreigners.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Sendai nuclear plant obtains final permit needed to restart See in context

Yes, Kagoshima, home to an active volcano that has already erupted 500 times this year. Seems a good place to re-open a nuclear plant. I mean, what could go wrong?

Yes, and at over 70kms away it is a major threat to the nuclear power station. I live 20kms from an active volcano, and guess what? Life goes on.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

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