Blacksamurai comments

Posted in: We'd like to transform the city into a place where young people are encouraged to take on new challenges, where young people gather, and where young people want to live. See in context

Kitakyushu isn't a bad city and it's near places like Mojiko and Shimonoseki which are nice coastal locations, also gives access to Yamaguchi for weekends of hiking and exploring. The Kyushu lifestyle is way better than in many other places - the benefits of fairly big cities without the crowding problem of Tokyo for one.

Transportation in Kita Kyushu is just as good as the best anywhere else. But all the buzzwords from local representatives mean zero and saying they're going to create a 'Generation Z Division' is the same old dumb almost military speak of some of these out of touch local authorities. Sounds like a barracks.

The trouble with Japanese planning for the demographic freefall is it's designed to sound good - tho here it sounds like some pointless waffle which it is - without any really constructive back-up. There are better ways to get the younger demographic living somewhere.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Continuing to eat cup noodles and other high-salt foods can lead to high blood pressure, which combined with the mental stress and disrupted lifestyle during evacuation can lead to life-threatening problems such as a stroke. See in context

Cup noodles and other preseved dry foods are essential post-disasters/emergencies when blackouts mean no refrigeration or other kinds of food preservation available. However, the fact that this kind of food has not been replaced yet after some time means a failure of local government planning for disasters.

It also demonstrates the lack of organised and traditional charities including church ones, food banks and food co-ops in Japan. After disasters in countries like the US and Australia to name two, there are deliveries made by such organisations so people aren't dependent on local authorities if they are not functioning well enough.

Time for the regional authorities to start spending the taxes we all give them even if we live in cities on way better disaster/emergency preparation especially food and medical stocks. No more sculptures or other 'attractions' to supposedly lure tourists - use the taxes better thanks. It would also help if authorities in areas regularly or semi regularly hit by disasters had established connections with farmers' groups who could step in to supply surplus food - they do it in other developed countries, why not Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: In a seller's market where the number of university students is decreasing, companies are engaged in a heated battle to attract students. Potential employers are trying to reassure parents, offering them a clearer insight into career paths and company culture. See in context

How about getting the fundamental terminology correct? It is not a 'Seller's market' if the number of students means that there is no over-supply but in fact a lack of competition.

In this case it is a 'Buyer's market' - those that are looking to buy have more choice than ever because they are not competing with the numbers of previous decades. The sellers have to work harder here to persuade the buyers that what they have to offer is better than their rivals.

I get that some people lack the fundamentals of even using the correct sayings these days but come on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to boost child allowances to tackle falling birthrate See in context

Not sure if raising the child alllowances in Japan to a level per month that a number of western countries give per week is going to encourage more Japanese citizens to give birth to multiple children to fit the fertility rate needed. That ship has already sailed - the demographics can't change so radically to reverse the population pyramid of Japan.

And giving even more child allowances/baby bonuses to follow countries like some in Europe and Austalia for example, isn't the answer. Those countries are completely different in their single mother/non traditional households/refugee/asylum seeker demographics. The low income end of those societies tends to have more children than the middle/affluent/wealthy end.

Some people on here think everything should be free for people with kids - maternity care, birth giving, hospital visits, healthcare etc. There's one basic problem with that - just because something is 'free' doesn't mean it is, it's just a transfer of public resources from other groups to that group. It has to be paid for because the costs associated with all this are enormous. Families with kids already get all this well subsidised thanks to the J NHI.

Japan's tax model already is geared towards couples with kids. Its traditional company model is too with extra payments built in to salaries for married couples. Japan has the same issue that other developed countries have - the changes to society regarding gender roles and greater choice for women have resulted in more women saying no thanks to more than 1 or 2 children or children at all.

Mass immigration is no answer especially with the European experience of some decades now of tolerating illegal immigration under the catch all phrase 'asylum seeking' which also goes under the name of 'immigration' despite the fact that immigrants as they used to be in western countries paid for their visas, were expected to follow their new countries' laws and brought money instead of expecting their new countries to provide housing, medical services etc for free.

Japan will never do this nor tolerate this even if it wasn't an island nation. The maintenance of order will always be crucial to Japanese society just as Japan will resist demands that it changes its essential culture to accommodate other cultures especially if those come from regions of the world where there are undesirable 'norms'.

It's unlikely that Japan also will tolerate different ethnic communities bringing their back-home conflicts to their new country. I think Japan will keep bringing in foreign workers but still make PR and Citizenship hard to get. It will focus on improving the tax base to help solve the demographic problem instead of fertility rates when it becomes more and more clear that they will not improve.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Valentine’s Day do’s & don’ts in Japan See in context

Just another dumb article about dumb rules the Japanese have made up when taking the culture of western countries. This writer and all those who have culture stolen other's customs like Christmas, Halloween and Valentine's Day need to sit their silly azzes down and keep quiet about culture that isn't theirs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 3 foreign-born residents sue over racial profiling by Japanese police See in context

And as for people saying that Japanese people being stopped randomly by the police 'never happens' or they've 'never seen it in 30 years and neither has their Japanese wife' or whatnot, sorry to burst that bubble.

In 2021 I saw the J police pull over Japanese bicycle riders in Bunkyo Ku, not far from Tokyo Dome. They checked young J males and females for bicycle registration and also asked J people who were riding battery powered bicycles to stop. Their concern with the batter powered bicycles was mostly the speed at which they were travelling as well as checking to see their registration. The age group was from teenagers to around the 60s and both J men and women were stopped.

In Shibuya I've seen the police ask for Japanese young people's ID - the great majority of those were male and a few of them had dreds. I've also seen bicycle checks in Shinagawa Ku and Meguro Ku and the police targeted every age group riding a mami chari, battery powered bicycle and everything in between. Didn't see any foreigners at that time, only Japanese people.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: 3 foreign-born residents sue over racial profiling by Japanese police See in context

I sympathise with those men and understand that as foreigners especially dark skinned foreigners, we stand out unless we're Asian people who look similar to the Japanese. Some East Asians can pass for Japanese, for example.

However, I have to disagree that profiling is inherently discriminatory and that the Japanese police like police in other developed countries have no reason to do it. While it can and does become discriminatory, that's not always the case. So for example in a lot of cities in the US, drug dealers and their runners - talking all ethnicities here - are pretty obvious when they hang around the areas known as drug markets. The police have the right to stop, question and search if necessary people who fit that profile.

In the case of these men I'd like to know where they live. Some areas in Japan, cities or not, have more incidences of unnecessary stopping of foreigners - for example I lived in Shizuoka at one time, no not Hamamatsu with its relatively large South American population and one of my friends had the locals calling the police on him because he used to jog at night. In my opinon and his, that was bullshiz and after the first questioning by police, they didn't do it again and told those responsible for calling them that he was no problem.

A foreigner who hangs out in certain areas like clubland in Roppongi, Shinjuku and Shibuya is going to get some attention under certain circumstances because everybody knows that western countries have a lax attitude to drugs compared to Japan. The circumstances include the location's reputation for drug availability, the kinds of people who have been dealing it including J people and the way people are dressed. The police go on previous experience and they're not going to give that up in case they've mistakenly profiled a foreigner.

There was a black dude who had some drama with the police in Shibuya a couple of years ago on his way to work in the daytime. I'm not saying the police were correct but his dreads matched their profile and they searched him close to his English teaching job. I've seen the police search Japanese males with dreads as well for the same reason.

Interestingly I've seen the same black dude who is a 'streamer' hanging around Shibuya annoying people, drinking whatever canned alcohol is cheapest from the conbini, yelling out when drunk or not and making totally inappropriate comments about young Japanese women and Japanese teenage girls - wish the police would stop him and the other 'streamers' and question them.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Noto locals pin hopes on return of tourists to hasten quake recovery See in context

Sorry for the harsh truth but it's time to be realistic about the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa and those areas that were affected by this recent earthquake. There was a forewarning of this earthquake in 2022 when the region had a significant one - seismic problems are not going to go away because of wishful thinking about tourists reviving regions of Japan that don't have a long-term future due to demogaphic facts that can't be changed.

The regions need an influx of the youthful but it won't be happening in Ishikawa if we look at the past and present trends. There were some tourist attractions pre-the recent earthquake like the market and locals worked hard to make those kind of areas interesting. But this is not sustainable without the population to maintain it and the numbers of elderly in these kind of regions are increasing.

There shouldn't be talk of a tourism revival at this point when the destruction and damage is so evident and bodies are still under rubble. There needs to be talk backed up by action about how to prepare for the future earthquakes that are coming and especially how to limit the deaths of the elderly as well as make sure there are enough emergencies supplied stored in these towns. The fact that many survivors had just bread and cups of water for a while tells you that all the tourism talk is false priorities.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Yamazaki Baking praised for assistance after Japan earthquake See in context

And don't forget that Yamazaki and any other food/beverage company here that is assisting with the disaster relief, would be upping its production quotas due to this emergency demand. This isn't easy unlike what cynical posters imply. And no, I don't care what Pepis Co does - most of us are focused on wishing this relief and recovery process well and giving credit where its due.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Yamazaki Baking praised for assistance after Japan earthquake See in context

I disagree with the cynical comment that Yamazaki helps in a disaster because ''It does promote their brand, which is why they do it'. You've gotta wonder why some people on JT always find something negative in the decent actions of people and companies in Japan.

Yamazaki is a proud Japanese company - and I think they make the best tasting bread, cakes etc in Japan - and would help anyway regardless of any promotional value. They don't really need it as their brand is famous here but don't let that get in the way of negative sniping.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Posted in: Woman in her 90s rescued 5 days after Japan quake See in context

The kind of news we've all been waiting for - fantastic and let's home this lady makes a full recovery.

Respect to the rescue staff who will do everything they can until it's no longer possible under these terrible conditions as well as respect to the rescue dogs and their owners/trainers.

As for the dumb comment about the blue tarp - of course they are shielding this woman, it's called caring about the dignity of victims alive or dead and the J media also keeps a respectful distance generally especially in situations like this.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: 'I had to do something': Turkish volunteer feeds Japan earthquake victims See in context

Interesting how one or two people on this thread are trying to use this human tragedy to score points. This isn't a competition between different ethnicities - this is a heartwarming story of a Turkish foreigner married to a Japanese woman who is doing what he can to make a difference in such a desperate and sad situation.

Nobody is saying Japanese people aren't doing anything and nobody forgets that those poor people doing a magnificent job flying aid in the coast guard plane died doing that. However, this man has earned the right to simply comment that he wishes more Japanese people would assist.

He is not judging, simply commenting as somebody who lives in Nagoya which is far from Ishikawa. He is not claiming to know why - it could be in his mind that there is not enough organisation going on during non-disaster times from government authorities. I

I hope this tragedy will be a watershed in the way disasters are dealt with - although nothing can be done about broken roads and snow that make it very difficult in this case, our taxes need to be spent far more on preparation for this kind of event and for regional Japan to shore up its towns and villages in whatever way it can.

My own city of Meguro like just about every other city spends taxes on digging up roads and re-paving them in order to use up the budget so more can be requested. This is a practice that needs to stop and these kinds of monies need to go into a designated disaster fund or similar actions need to be taken.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Posted in: In the ruins of a historic market, a Japanese artisan looks for his cats See in context

This is another heartbreaking story among others that we will hear more of as this goes on. I hope Mr Kirimoto doesn't give up and finds his beloved cats soon.

Cats are very good at hiding themselves away so hopefully they are in hiding somewhere among the ruins.

There were some stories from the affected regions in 2011 of pets surviving - and of the love and bravery of people going into radiation affected zones to feed them - so hopefully Mr Kirimoto will be re-united with his cats soon.

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Posted in: Hopes fade for survivors of Japan quake; 92 dead, 242 missing See in context

I don't know what anybody is trying to achieve by posting photos like that of the boat washed up. We don't need to see it as there are photos of the horrific damage done here on this website and all over the net.

The only good news are the stories of survival against the odds like the woman in her 80s who was rescued from the rubble. Let's hope for more of this kind of story and comments.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Woman arrested after slashing 4 men in train at Tokyo's Akihabara station See in context

Killing or causing injuries to strangers isn't some kind of new trend in Japan caused by socio-economic conditions as some think. Nor is it necessarily the work of a 'scumbag'.

People with conditions such as paranoid schizophrenia or extreme psychosis do this in every country especially if their mental illness is undiagnosed or the laws of their country mean there is limited means of keeping these people away from the public who they later attack.

A friend told me of a recent case in a city called Adelaide in Australia which has a smaller population than Sydney or Melbourne and is generally considered safer. Recently a mentally ill man who was released because under the state's laws he couldn't be detained longer and one of the govts of the same party running it now did away with institions for the mentally ill some time ago.

That man told the police he would kill again if released and not long after he was released he went and murdered a woman in a real estate company and injured another woman there. All the 'We can't stigmatise mental illness and can't call certain mental illnesses potentially dangerour or dangerous' activity of western countries has also made it damn difficult to prevent those kinds of murders especially if there are no insitutions where dangerous sufferers of mental illness can stay.

I'd say the woman who stabbed the men on the train is likely to be mentally ill and may even have heard voices telling her to do that. Conditions like paranoid schizophrenia can also lead to the sufferers going on outbreaks of violence because they believe people around then are clones and are 'evil' and the real people have been replaced by clones. It's incredibly sad but minimising the dangers of untreated mental illnesses doesn't helpy anybody.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreign English teacher in Japan calls student’s ability garbage; says it was an 'American joke' See in context

There's no 'Foreigner bashing' going on here especially as most of us who won't give this pretender of an English teacher any benefit of the doubt, are actually foreigners.

Regardless of what is wrong with the state of English teaching today in Japan - outsourcing, no benefits, a rise in eikaiwa that don't give a base pay but only pay teachers when somebody takes their class and a willingness to up the number of Specialist in Humanities visa for those who can't meet basic standards including emotional smarts - the teacher/s in question have a real responsibility to educate and if they don't want to or can't meet a certain standard then don't apply for teaching jobs in Japan. It aint rocket science.

The teacher in question is working in the school system in Japan and if the responsibility of that hasn't registered with him, then yep it's down to him to start putting some effort into learning how to teach a language and how to show some respect to those he is employed by and those he is supposed to be teaching.

And I'll say it again - there are many more visas issued these days to native English speakers or those who have a high level of English proficiency. That doesn't make the quality better and it often works as the opposite. Too many 'English teachers' are just marking time during their teaching hours before they go off and make another video screaming in Shibuya or filming people who didn't give permission or running around saying they're 'artists' and 'photogaphers' etc etc.

If these kinds of 'teachers' took teaching seriously, they'd be carrying out the purposes of the visas they're given. Cut the number of those visas and make an educational focus the priority for giving visas and we won't be hearing of teachers insulting students, not preparing for classes, turning up hungover to the job, bellyaching that their teaching hours are stopping them from making youtube and twitch videos etc.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreign English teacher in Japan calls student’s ability garbage; says it was an 'American joke' See in context

Just another 'English teacher' who has no idea about what it is to do the job. Why the hell would you talk to an student of any age like this when teaching is about inspiring your students and giving them the confidence to make progress. Especially why would you talk to a school student in this way?

There are just too many foreigners 'teaching English' in Japan who don't have the academic, social and emotional skills to do that - as well as to live successfully as grown ups in another culture that is so different from that in their home countries. Cut the number of visas issued for educational employment purposes and establish standards for the industry and there will be improvement.

So many of these losers hanging around Japan are here to make videos on youtube or stream on twitch and get the attention they can't get in their home countries. Educating others is beyond their capabilities especially as they are here to hang around in Japan and so a visa serves that purpose instead of work objectives being that purpose. But remember, they're 'artists', 'content creators' and 'influencers'......

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: M7.4 quake strikes central Japan; tsunami reach Japan Sea Coast See in context

Adding 'This is the worst since thousands died' to the authorities' evacuation notice probably makes sense in the Japanese context. Japan has earthquakes, typhoons, etc with regularity so the response of people is generally a stoical, non panicking one. The extra urgency in the evacuation messages serves to bring home the need for quick escape by whatever means.

There is also the psychological factor of human responses to disaster emergencies - some survivors of 9/11 who were in the offices of the Towers later spoke about dead colleagues who delayed leaving because they were packing up stuff, doing things that were usually normal but highly risky under the impact of the extraordinary danger of the situation. Humans react in different ways and it's common for minds and physical reactions to be slowed down as a physiological response.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Setagaya family murders remain unsolved 23 years later See in context

True, that's why this murder feels like a paid hit. It was done with such cruel efficiency with nobody aware of it including the house's inhabitants until it was too late.

However, the personal element of hanging around checking out the house seems to indicate some previous interaction or at least knowledge of Mr Miyazawa. I could be wrong but I think his job was working in an entertainment company - it might be Sony - and initially he was reported by a few sources to be a lawyer but I don't think that's correct.

The J police receive unfair criticism sometimes for not disclosing information or supposedly not actively assisting those connected with their investigations of homicides such as the victims' relatives.

However, they're very careful with releasing information and especially when they could have somebody in mind but don't have any evidence connecting that person to the relevant crime. They also respect the dead person's reputation more than in western countries - they're reluctant to release any information that might be rightly or wrongly controversial in any way.

I am not suggesting at all that Mr Miyazawa did anything wrong but as Japanese people do tend to compartmentalise their networks and relationships more than Americans do, for example, there could be a credible suggestion about somebody who was in his life and could have done this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Setagaya family murders remain unsolved 23 years later See in context

Probably the biggest obstacle to solving this crime is the unwillingness of the police here to give information that might reflect badly on the reputation of Mr Miyazawa. This shocking murder seems like either a hit put out on him that sadly involved his family to remove witnesses or he knew the man who visited the house and killed him and his family.

Murderers don't usually hang around in the house of their victim and this behavior was especially risky as either Mr Miyazawa's or his wife's parents lived very closely next door. The fact that the guy hung around the house and even ate food as well as using the net shows a sense of acquaintance or even relationship with Mr Miyazawa as well as complete ruthlessness especially after killing the wife and children.

The murder will never be solved as the murderer most likely left Japan shortly after and probably was a very low profile person. I don't think he was a foreign or half foreign military person as somebody speculated. This seems almost like a secret relationship gone bad and because the J police can't find the murderer and know from experience they won't, they won't tell the public that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't overrides Okinawa objection to OK U.S. base transfer work See in context

As an American I don't like the way the military-industrial complex plays such a gigantic role in our economy and that of the world plus all the military commitments and the mistakes these commitments have made.

However, like it or not the realities of the 21st century are clear - the People's Republic of China was permitted to become an economic superpower by the US and other western countries closing down their own industries to outsource them to China, and have favorable trading deals that facilitated its growth and the west's over-dependence on its manufacturing and other industries. Lots of this money went on military development way beyond what China could have done on its own and Chinese hot money flooded every kind of market in the west.

Now developed democracies are having to confront the end product of this devil's bargain and Japan is included in that. I like Japan's pacifist constitution but apart from the huge threat China poses to Okinawa which has always been close to Taiwan geographically and ethnically, there is also the fundamental fact that Japan and Okinawa must take responsibility for their own military sooner rather than later. Western powers shouldn't be expected to send their own troops to fight on behalf of the Japanese - time for Japan to re-arm responsibly and increase its responsibilities in Okinawa.

The Governor there conveniently forgets that the American military presence is so big there precisely because Japan doesn't yet shoulder all the military responsibilities it should. And you can't have your gyoza and eat it too - refuse to co-operate with the national government on the American military arrangements but then demand to be protected if China does turn its threats and incursions into something stronger.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: Israeli military says Gaza ground offensive has expanded into urban refugee camps See in context

Hamas 'has shown resilience' because civilians have born the brunt of the Israeli invasion. There is plenty of blame to go around on both the Israeli and Hamas side.

Israel for playing Hamas and Fatah off against each other thereby blocking the prospect of a viable Palestinian state that could live side by side with Israel, ignoring illegal acts like driving out Palestinian and Bedouin inhabitants by Jewish settlers many of whom come from outside Israel, allowing extremist Jewish movements that want to claim all of Jerusalem including the Armenian quarter to aggressively pursue their 'claims' including even building a temple of Herod. etc.

Hamas for making civilians an active military target by storing weapons, making hidden tunnels in schools, hospitals and mosques, displaying their true extremist colors since their election some years ago including vile public punishments and normalisation of home and street violence to control women, girls and others with no power in the society and promoting the usual anti Jewish conspiracy theories that infect the ME.

Unfortunately when people in countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ and others join what they see as the pro-Palestinian cause they are essentially supporting an extremist regime that has weaponized all aspects of life in Gaza - even as they protest agains the militarized Israeli society.

There is no simple solution and a deep lack of intelligent perspective poisoning the developed world's response to this latest war - as you can see if you look at some of the comments on the J Today article about how the UK is leaning towards curbing 'protests' that are going well over the boundaries of legality. Shame on those posters.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: The right to protest is under threat in Britain, undermining a pillar of democracy See in context

All the posters here downvoting the legal right of lawful authority and the public not to be subjected to mob intimidation with all that accompanies it in the UK and other democracies would be the first to scream if that was happening in Japan. It doesn't - another reason why some of us respect this society.

You're really shameless. As one person in London said after the Hamas attack on the Israel side of the border, they went to the Israeli Embassy to pay their respects but were blocked by out of control people screaming 'Jihad' and far more violent threats against Jewish people. As well as doing their prayers on the streets and public spaces, blocking people in a scene more from the ME than the UK. This is what people are talking about, not lawful demonstrations. And this kind of public fanaticism and intimidation is why until this year, the Palestinian issue hasn't gained broad support as well as the fact that Hamas presided over a state that hangs people from cranes in public, endorses domestic violence and public beatings of females etc.

The right to peaceful assembly and protest is still desired by the authorities and public in the UK - criminal actions are not. Stop conflating this with lawful protest and behaving like victims because some western governments still care enough about order.

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Posted in: The right to protest is under threat in Britain, undermining a pillar of democracy See in context

To the off-topic comment made by somebody who calls him/herself a 'reamer', the answer is simple.

This topic is about the right to conduct lawful demonstrations/protests in the UK and other democracies but that has never included legally the right to disrupt lawful commerce, other lawful business including national days of comemmoration, commit acts of violence, intimidate by threats of violence, harass your 'enemies', threaten or attack the police and also use hate speech including based on racial/ethnic origins.

Balanced, fair people have noted that it seems to have become acceptable to use anti Jewish slurs or even calls to kill Jewish people by mouth or on protest materials such as signs during pro Palestinian protests in the UK. Completely unacceptable, repulsive and breaking the law yet it seems the police were intimidated to the point that few if any arrests have been made of these protesters breaking UK law.

At the same time those kinds of protesters enjoy the protection of UK law to live and receive generous money usually from the taxpayers as most of them definitely didn't migrate and pay visa money and all the usual costs of migration. They received the generosity of the UK public and 'reward' it by this kind of behavior that is illegal and in certain cases close to terrorism. J

ust like the douches of Extinction Rebelliion who threw paint over people just walking past one of their protests and put the public at risk by dangerous stunts, these kind of protestors don't deserve to be rewarded by continuing it with no penalties and pushback.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Posted in: The right to protest is under threat in Britain, undermining a pillar of democracy See in context

No sympathy here. There is no absolute right to 'protest' - lawful demonstrations in democracies like that in the UK are given permission to go so long as they are not targeting with violence or threats of violence/harassment etc anybody they perceive to be 'the enemy' not violating other laws including traffic/transportation laws and regulations and not threatening property or disrupting lawful commerce.

The recent pro Palestine demonstrations in London were notable for some of the crowd doing exactly the above and in disrupting the peaceful and absolutely correct Remembrance Day ceremonies in the UK. The hate speech against Jewish people by some sections of the demonstrators was repulsive and in fact many of those responsible for this and other law breaking were not arrested because of fears of an increased level of hysteria and violence.

You can understand the nuances of the Israel-Palestine conflict without supporting violent, threatening demonstrators who for some reason were not arrested or fined for openly breaking the law. Central London is a small place and the life of the city has to go on without those who owe their freedom and in many cases benefits monetary and otherwise to live in the UK taking advantage of that freedom by interfering with others' rights.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Posted in: Japan's population forecast to fall nationwide except Tokyo in 2050 See in context

Tokyo draws in so many from the regions but why wouldn't it? Big cities have social capital, it's where the connections and jobs are found as well as many choices of things to do and see. One of the answers to population decline is as some posters have said, de-centralisation of employment opportunities, government services, lifestyle facilities etc.

This won't fix the birthrate decline overnight but young/younger people would move to other cities than Tokyo and with younger communities around them plus ways to accommodate women who want to work and have children as well as women who don't want to work and are happy to be home-makers, the birthrate is likely to go up.

Osaka, Nagoya, Okayama, Hiroshima and Fukuoka are all major cities. The national govt could work with private industry and give incentives for companies to move to those cities. Osaka should be thriving as it has the history of being a business hub. More can be done to encourage mobility of young families but there have to be real incentives. As for those regions that are losing towns, the answer is far from easy as they have to offer young families more than the peace of a regional lifestyle.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: We are advising people to place valuables deep inside their bags and to keep their bags in front of them when in crowded places. See in context

Sad to see that this problem is increasing apparently. The only place in Japan I've had to watch my wallet was in the area near that old tower in Osaka - two of my J friends even had their wallets taken in one of the kushi katsu restaurants around there. Despite the upgrade of the tourist part area, the areas that surround Dobustu En Mae Station have always had significant parts of socio-economic deprivation.

Tokyo wins respect for being the safest real city in the world. And I've always found the homeless in various parts of Tokyo as well as those clearly suffering from mental illness to be dignified and low key.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Avoiding a catastrophe if Mount Fuji erupts after major quake See in context

Good looking if the poster who said they escaped by bicycle after the Kobe earthquake did do that. Obviously they were lucky that they lived in an area where the damage wasn't enough to stop them.

However, eruptions and lava flows and the resulting high speed damage actions are worse than the terrible mudflows that in the recent past have killed too many Japanese people in similar areas to those in Shizuoka and Yamanashi within Mt Fuji's range. Sadly people had neither time nor any physical way through to escape on their bicycles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: At least 60 are killed in central Gaza in one of the war's deadliest strikes See in context

That region is a hot mess because of actions taken that never should have been after WW2. Understandably the Jewish people wanted a place to call their own after the horrors of the Holocaust but in fact there had been a back to Israel movement in the 19th and 20th centuries preceding that.

As part of its reparations, Germany should have been made to provide one of its former colonies to those Jewish people - with the consent of the people living there. The wealthy Jewish Americans and other successful Jewish people who luckily made their lives in other countries before the Nazi's rise to power in Germany would have assisted.

Hamas and their militias are not necessarily ethnically Palestinian - there are mixed ethnicities in Gaza and the West Bank. In fact as Islam is a latecomer religion compared to Judaism and Christianity, the irony is many Palestinians are actually of Jewish ethnicity originally and converted either freely to Islam or were forced to centuries ago. Hamas was voted in because they were very organised and looked as if they were going to be different from the corrupted Fatah opposition.

When they showed their theocratic extremism as a government that hangs people from cranes in front of Palestinian children - and that's only one of the outrages they have perpetrated - it seems that the Israeli Govt wasn't too worried as their objective was to keep the conflict between Hamas and Fatah going so as to prevent a unified Palestinian state.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Avoiding a catastrophe if Mount Fuji erupts after major quake See in context

Seismologists and government at different levels from local to prefectural to national can monitor Mt Fuji but little can be done to avoid disruptions and casualties if it erupts. As for a 'fair amount of warning' as el asserts, what on earth are people whose lives, land, housing and jobs are located within the danger zones going to do - suddenly stop everything and flee due to the high possibility of Fuji blowing before it actually happens?

People will continue to stay living in these areas until it actually happens which is the same as every major disaster. Plenty of people have been killed by massive rockfalls and mudflows during heavy rain in Japan and their houses broken like matchsticks. They knew their areas were danger zones but there was not much they could do as there were no transportation arrangements in existence to take the old populations away when the situation look as if it was going to develop.

A real eruption of Fuji will probably see a heavy blanketing of surrounding areas in Kanagawa and Tokyo To with ash and other dust. Don't assume life will go on as usual if we don't live in Shizuoka if Fuji erupts during our lifetime. Transportation and commerce will be heavily disrupted and the air quality will be a health hazard.

As for the genius who thinks they're going to ride a bicycle far enough to be comfortable on roads full of debris and lava flow as well as breathing in toxic air, don't bank on it.

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