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Posted in: Kishida, 3 ministers eat Fukushima fish to show it's safe See in context

Poser ... Doesn't have much choice, does he? (How do we KNOW that fish is from Fukushima, or when it was caught??)

What is quintessentially a Japanese problem has now been 'shared' with the rest of the globe. Let us all applaud the tragedy, and Japanese magnanimity. (we have been left no choice, either, have we?)

(I suppose we'll all get to like frankenfish sooner or later ...)

Should I give a stuff? I'll be dead by the time the release of poisoned water is completed.

Maybe the Japanese are right: "F*ck everyone else! we don't give a monkey's toss!"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Report names and shames countries cozy with Big Tobacco See in context

We should all be free to 'choose our own poison'. If you want to kill yourself with cigarettes, just go ahead - BUT leave others out of it!!!

The biggest objection to smoking is that it often forces others to co-smoke. Secondhand smoke is dangerous!

Smoking in the car when non-smokers (especially children) are present is selfish and cruel.

Smoke leaves traces, including nicotine and tar stains, on your skin, teeth, clothes, carpets, curtains, even wallpaper. Yuk!!

Have you ever worked in a bar and had to clean out dozens of ashtrays filled with dog-ends, cigar stubs, ash ...? It was the task I hated most when I worked in a pub.

Cold smoke stinks. Kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray.

Agreed, having to leave a restaurant or pub in order to smoke (as in some countries in Europe) is unfair on the poor addicts. They have to sit outside in the cold, perhaps wet, night air to get their fix.

I really object to someone's smoke wafting over my food and drink!!

I started smoking (a pipe) when I was 17. I stopped - cold turkey - when I was 32, saying to myself "It's unhygienic, expensive, anti-social and possibly fatal."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga vows to do all it takes to organize Tokyo Olympics next year See in context

Save the money, the hype, the hot air about people running round tracks and jumping over bars..

Save all the nonsense about reorganising the administration of Osaka.

Forget the hanko reforms. Save all the money and hoopla.

Stop wasteful GO EAT schemes.

GIVE that money to the poor. Ensure children who NEED free school meals get them. Winter is coming. Many will be hungry and cold.

THINK, you politicians!! THINK about the people who voted for you!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to release treated Fukushima water into sea, media report See in context

For general interest, can we see oceanographic maps of where this water will flow to? The currents and movements?

How long will it take for it to contaminate ALL the seas and oceans on Earth?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Teacher arrested for sexually assaulting teenage girl in hotel See in context

Didn't the girl's parents warn her about:

a) meeting men at night - often much older men?

b) having dinner with them, and possible consequences?

c) going elsewhere with him after the meal? In his CAR??

How stupid was she?

How hopeless were her parents?

How wicked and stupid was the teacher?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: The reason why Japanese students don’t pronounce English properly See in context

Let's start with the 'models' available to (often very young) English learners. Most of the time, they are elementary school teachers, or even juku teachers, who are Japanese speakers. So, their own pronunciation is imperfect.

Next, from whom did they learn their own English? Probably from another Japanese speaker of English. The errors are thus compounded, multiplied, passed on.

Third, the propagation of Jinglish in the media.

Millions of people around the world achieve good renditions of English. Why not the Japanese?

Then, the bullying mentioned above, and this nonsense about the nail sticking out getting hammered down - well, that's endemic to Japanese society, and is one of its most inhibiting, unattractive features.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, Britain to wrap up trade talks soon; cheese last remaining key issue See in context

To Lovecrafting:

I really hope your comment was meant to be humorous.

Anyone who has ever been to the U.K. would know we have a considerable range of cheeses, including some VERY unusual ones.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Train operators refining 'live' foreign-language announcements ahead of Olympics See in context

I regularly use the Tokaido Line.

Sometimes I have to listen to the drivers' agonisingly bad English. The biggest problem is pronunciation. Although I have lived and worked in Japan for eleven years, I have GREAT DIFFICULTY understanding what the driver wants to say.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Driving in Japan: From obtaining your license to navigating the roads See in context

Japan is a country of contradictions. Children are taught the most rigorous traffic rules, but as adults ... Oh dear!

Zebra crossings here are a BIG DANGER ZONE. Drivers seem to think pedestrians are invisible. DO NOT assume that if you are on a zebra, you can safely cross.

Cyclists often use the pavement ('sidewalk' for Muricans). Very frightening.

Drivers here are so damn slow when the lights change!

Drivers here leave WAY TOO MUCH space in front of them when waiting in a traffic queue.

BEWARE old drivers. Very unsure and dangerous.

Old people on bicycles are a real danger. They wobble about and don't know where they're going!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Letters From Japan: 'Why must we visit my Canadian husband’s home every year?' See in context

Try to get your husband to compromise. Get a cheaper flight with a stop-over, (get a real live travel agent to help you), or go to two destinations: 5 days in Hawaii, 5 days in Canada, for example.

Are there any children involved in this equation?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Japanese ships leave for 'research whaling' in Antarctic Ocean See in context

So WHERE are these research results? Do they have any national / institutional backing? Are they part of a respected corpus of valuable scientific knowledge that will contribute to the preservation of the species???

I think this is a load of fiction. Lies, in fact.

Cary Elcome,

living in (whale flesh eating) Japan

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Posted in: Bringing the concept of 'real life' English into the classroom See in context

glories, NOT "lories"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Bringing the concept of 'real life' English into the classroom See in context

Several of the comments make negative assumptions about the teachers.

When I taught in Laos, it was abundantly clear that most Lao would not have the opportunity to travel overseas.

Mickey Mouse, the latest Smartphones and movies were way removed from their daily lives.

What could they possibly talk about?

Exactly that! Their daily lives: families, friends, homes, parents' livelihoods, events and ceremonies, travels within the country, their futures... Plenty! The great propagandist "ambassadorial" nonsense is irrelevant.

Similarly, in Japan, many quite prosperous young men and women have no ambition to live or work overseas. They travel to exciting places in gaggles of Japanese together, shielded from anything close to being a real experience of the country by a bossy, Hitlerian tour guide.

So... there are a myriad CONTEXTS that can be explored for language development. A few photos that FIT the contexts might be fine, but they should not appear as the toys of arrogant foreigners, blasting off about the joys of life in the United States.

Teaching English is not an ego-trip for some slighty-more-than-backpacking young people from other countries, nor is it an attempt at brainwashing, expounding the phantom lories of other places.

It is about bringing people together to share ideas and experiences. It is about being able to motivate and excite learners to communicate with people anywhere in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Can male commuters be charged with non-contact 'groping?' See in context

We're talking about a vast range of male/female behaviour here. "Sniffing??" You must be joking. Why do women (in other countries) wear perfume. Why indeed does anyone wear deodorant?

Prurient, perverted, GROSS male behaviour has always existed. Men in Japan are TOTAL demagogues/dictators (see the latest "doctor in the sumo ring" utter hypocrisy).

Because the bosses of education (= traditional, nationalistic/fascist, Imperialist) brown-nosing, just like the ministers, are all (or very nearly all) shrivelled old men with 19th century dogma and doctrine, women get a RUBBISH deal. Every time: glass ceilings, pay structure; even walking on a pavement, women step aside for men.

When will Japan realise that this is HATEFUL, DEMEANING behaviour? Do men feel they are more masculine because they touch up women (or even little girls), demonise them, use them, and sniff them?

Is there no romance??? Simply verbal, physical or sensory abuse?? For shame!! Women are NOT toys!!

(I am not saying it doesn't occur elsewhere. It does - and I'm not excusing it in any way.)


Teach BOYS to have TOTAL respect for GIRLS. Girls are not "property" or "sex objects". Those practices belong in the 18th-19th century.

Reform your civics in your education, and AT HOME. Husbands, show your wives equality and respect, so that your children will not be chikans or, humiliated, mentally disturbed young women.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Japanese high school students fail to meet English proficiency target See in context

Insularity, arrogance and narcissistic neo-colonial attitudes are responsible. I have taught at a Japanese university and found an army of starchy, grey-suited greybeards using really antiquated methods to teach English. One "colleague" I heard as I was passing his class one day told his students with heavy finality "I talk. You listen."

Just as the Brits are/were infamous for their poor language skills, the Japanese suffer from a smug feeling of insularity and superiority. The issue of losing face is paramount, and concepts of global language, communicative skill and the sheer bravado of trying to express oneself in another language are totally alien here. The U.K., Australia, and to a lesser degree, the United States and Canada, are at the forefront of practical language teaching and learning worldwide, but the methods and techniques are contrary to the traditional classroom practices, ethos and atmosphere of Japan, where it is still common for teachers to deliver a sharp smack on the back of the head to the 'less attentive' pupils. Hardly conducive to a friendly, confidence-building feeling in a class ...

Of course there are proficient users of other languages, and Japanese diplomats and Kazumigaseki staff are given excellent intensive, practical training and courses, especially at the Foreign Service Training Institute in Sagami-Ono. Many scientists and researchers speak accurate English (particularly in their fields of interest), but the real issue is the shamefully low level of ANY foreign language among the GENERALITY of people. I can only echo what other contributors have said: "Start again. Watch, experience what other countries do" (But change some of your cultural barriers, too)...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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