Brendan Lyons comments

Posted in: Japan's population falls for 8th straight year in 2014 See in context

After a long career of teaching in Japan I am cheerfully adding to the problem. Pensions are down 15-20% from about 20 years ago and look like getting worse. As the working population decreases the number of retired people increases. The system is basically unsound since contributions of current workers are used to pay the pensions of retired workers and the fund is dropping way down.

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Posted in: Foreign residents pick their favorite snacks to pair with Japanese beer See in context

Slightly off-subject, but I was struck by the fact after arriving in Japan (a long, long time ago) that Suntory beer was and still is incredibly inferior to Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo. Or is it just me?

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Posted in: New NHK head's 'comfort women' remark stirs controversy See in context

It's a controversial issue and this "grub" (excellent description) stepped right into it, as so many Japanese politicians are wont to do. Surely they should have some sort of training course? It's true that the French allowed brothels for its troops (red light for officers, blue light for men) as literature from the First World War, in particular, makes clear. The alternative, apparently, was to watch VD rates reach stratospheric levels necessitating the withdrawal of soldiers from the line. The ladies, at least, were volunteers. I'm not too sure how the Japanese went about things, but suspect the worst.

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