brians comments

Posted in: Truck driver arrested after fatal accident See in context

Very sad. Surprising it doesn't happen more often. Every day I witness flagrant disregard of traffic laws by the full spectrum of drivers. The one thing I do not witness is a police presence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Weak exports, not tax hike, could stall Japan's recovery See in context

The bright boys at the BOJ might also consider how the average household in Japan is weathering the tax increase.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's consumer prices up 1.3% year-on-year in March See in context

Demand for household goods in March picked up because of the April 1 tax increase. Will be interesting to see the figures for April and beyond.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. steps up pressure on Japan to make good on trade promises See in context

YuriOtani: "The Americans do not buy cars Japanese will buy." Oh, really? My parents drive a Prius.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the quality of kindergartens and daycare centers in Japan? See in context

The three children attended a neighborhood daycare. Excellent programs and essential preparation for Japanese elementary school.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after traveling 1,600 kms on stolen bikes See in context

1600 km on a mamachari? Bridgestone should present him with its top-of-the-line machine.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan may review study on WWII sex slavery See in context

Dear CH3CHO,

I wasn't aware my irony was so subtle.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan may review study on WWII sex slavery See in context

Deplorable, but not surprising.

Why haven't Japanese pols learned anything from their counterparts in the US? To whit, just don't bring up the indefensible or embarrassing, for instance civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, torture, etc. Just don't go there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 chairman Mori critical of Asada, ice dancing brother and sister See in context

Criticise the Japanese Olympic Committee, the domestic skating federation, not the athletes themselves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Only a few companies that earn sizable profits, such as automobile-related firms, can respond to the demand for pay-scale increases. See in context

The nation's carmakers announced earlier this week a projected drop in domestic sales of 5 million units (or a little under 10% of 2013-14 numbers) for the year starting April 1, 2014, when the consumption tax rises to 8%. Even these companies now appear unlikely to offer anything in the way of a significant pay-raise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese watch Abe's Yasukuni shrine visit with mixed feelings See in context

Respect for Class-A war criminals?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Republicans criticize Obama for Castro handshake See in context

By McCain's logic it would be a mistake for more than one world leader to shake the US president's hand as long as Guantanamo (not to mention other sites) remains in business. And Americans incarcerate more Americans than anyone else, Mr. Senator.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Cabinet OKs Y5.5 trillion stimulus package to offset tax hike effect See in context

The Japan Times reports that the stimulus to offset increased taxes totals 18.6 trillion yen. Either way a lot of money. So much for shoring up social insurance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: After initial promise, Japan's new economy risks backsliding See in context

Didn't stop reading there, but should have.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: If you're low-income, here's what you're doing wrong See in context

Much obliged to you, Spa editors, for the helpful hints. Could you perhaps further assist by suggesting to my employer that its loyal workforce receive a pay-raise?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Driver arrested after car hits schoolchildren at crossing in Fukui See in context

Drivers would be more careful if there were a robust and visible police presence. Motorists do make careless mistakes (not much of an extenuating factor, really), but nearly all of the red-light violations I have observed over the years were of the flagrant, not the distracted, kind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

No, Get Real, I did not approach the city over this, I was angry, more than a bit disheartened, and figured, as the commercial area in question is home to older, established businesses forming a tight-knit community, I wouldn't be welcomed by the merchant's assoc. anyway, whose tenants are no doubt aware of the No-foreigners policy, are complicit in its continuance and possibly responsible for it in the first place. In the end I just decided to take my business elsewhere.

Ninjoyokocho it's called: <>

Yes, I have good Japanese friends, and they were no less surprised and offended than I.


1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Cyclist killed in hit-and-run in Kita-Kyushu See in context

A YouTubeof the RKB News report on the incident shows the accident scene. The accident occurred near an intersection, but it is unclear from the report whether the cyclist was in the zebra crossing at the time he was struck by the motorist who sped away, then by a second car just behind the first. In the video the police appear to be concentrating on a section of roadway 20 or so meters from the crossing. Perhaps the cyclist was dragged to that point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

Am a long-time resident of Japan, permanent visa holder, married to Japanese national, children... Have been looking into opening an eatery in Niigata City, asked a Japanese friend, local businessman, to inquire about renting a small storefront owned and managed by the local government. The friend went round to the management office, explained that he was there on behalf of an expat friend, vouched for the bona fides and all the rest.. The City of Niigata flatly refused, saying it did not rent the commercial space to foreigners, regardless of their standing in the community, Japanese ability, etc. Then asked another Japanese friend to sign for the lease, friend submitted necessary paperwork, management asked who would run the business, and on learning I would be on the premises, stipulated that a Japanese would have to be present at all times. No unsupervised foreigners. I emphasize, this is the official policy of Niigata City.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Interac See in context

My BOE has only 2 JETs (down from 10 twelve years ago), 16 municipal hires, and 14 'gyoumuitaku' (Interac) ALTs. Why is that? Let's do the numbers Ben, shall we, and use local hires for comparison?

By your own admission, Interac ALTs cost 4,000,000 yen/ year; my BOE has 14, at a cost therefore of 56 million/ year.

The cost of 14 municipal hires: 300,000/ month (salary) X 12 (3,600,000) X 14= 50,400,000 yen.

Now, municipal hires in my city receive a 15,000/ month housing allowance, or 180,000/ year; X 14 = 2,520,000

In other words, salary and housing allowance totals 52,920,000/ per year for 14 direct hires. Inching closer to 56 million, aren't we?

Then we have the city's half of social insurance payments, which are for the city 40,000/ month/ ALT, or 480,000 yen annually/ ALT. Multiply that figure by 14 and you get 6,720,000 yen.

We're now at 59,640,000 yen, 3.6 million more than your figure of 56 million, and we have yet to figure transportation reimbursement. Are you following me?

Transportation reimbursement for drivers is 22 yen/ km, and for those who take the bus or train it is the real fare. The monthly total/ ALT is 5,000 on average. Multiply that by 12 and you have 60,000/ ALT/ year; multiplied again by 14 ALTs, you get 840,000 yen.

So what do we get when we add 59,640,000 and 840,000? A total of 60,480,000 yen is what we get.

A total that is 4.8 million yen (or approx. 1 ALT) more than Interac charge.

So now do you see why BOEs strapped for cash (as they have been since the Koizumi years, but perhaps you haven't been here long enough to remember that enlightened prime minister) might opt for Interac, Heart, et al?

And remember, mate, JETs cost more, much more, than local hires.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Interac See in context

Not an especially important point, but for the record:

JETs are guaranteed 3,600,000 yen/ year. half of JETs' social insurance is covered by BOEs at approximately 40,000/ month some JETs receive a housing allowance, 15,000 yen/ month in my city JETs' local taxes are paid by contracting organisations at a figure of over 100,000 annually

This exceeds 4,000,000 yen by a considerable amount, and I haven't included transportation reimbursement, airfare, or training seminar costs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Interac See in context

One reader has commented that an Interac 'gyoumuitaku' contract costs as much as one through the JET Program. This is untrue. Because JET teachers are provided return airfare, have their local taxes paid for them, and are enrolled in the social welfare scheme, such instructors are considerably more expensive than Interac or even municipal hires (the latter lack some of JETs' benefits).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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