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browny1 comments

Posted in: Michigan cop's mistake leads to $320,000 deal with Japanese man wrongly accused of drunken driving See in context

So it appears he was detained for only a relatively short amount of time as the blood test would have been promptly carried out, thereby proving his innocence.

$320K, minus tax & fees, is a nice payload for a few hours.

Imagine the same scenario in Japan. An American guy wrongfully tested.

Just squeezing an apology out of the authorities would be tough, let alone money to buy a new house and car and some - lol.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Posted in: Mother gets 2 years in prison over death of 3-year-old daughter See in context

I'll play that broken record again.

Don't know how many times I've posted on this forum over many years saying that "In Family" murder is treated way more lightly than "Stranger Danger" murders.

The violence, pain and cruelty inflicted on such a little girl resulting in death and 2 years is the sentence.

Like - Be Real.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Teacher fined over 2019 deaths of Japanese teens in Australia See in context

John - good points.

But swimming in a 25m shallow school pool does not generally equip kids with water safety awareness.

Sadly the kids who died obviously could swim - one wanted to swim across the lake - but swallow a mouthful of water in playing antics, will soon seen one gulping for air leading to sudden panic, grappling with your partner and losing rational decision making quickly.

I've witnessed it as a teacher/swimming supervisor in Australia years ago. I was lucky as other students quickly alerted to me the failed-to-follow-instructions-boy was going down in a flurry of arms.

First rule of water safety esp for kids in groups is "You can die". Then work back from that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Teacher fined over 2019 deaths of Japanese teens in Australia See in context

From the Official Magistrates Court of Queensland findings document delivered February 8 2023 re the Huckleberry tour company case.

*"......Lake McKenzie 23. Lake McKenzie is a freshwater lake near the middle of K’gari (Fraser Is). Its surface area is approximately 150 hectares and it is approximately 8 to 9 metres deep. The initial gradient of the lakebed is slight from the shoreline out to about 10 metres, before it drops away at an angle of approximately 30 to 35 degrees. The lake was not fenced and was accessible to members of the public. *

*It was not patrolled. There were a number of visible signs in the area, including one sign with the following warning*: "Safety around water. People have suffered serious injuries in water related accidents. The lake is not patrolled by lifeguards. Swimming is not recommended. Avoid tragedy — do not dive into the lake; always stay with children when near the water...."

The boys were swimming and playing way out of their depth. Simply this should not have been allowed. Many people failed to exercise strict management of a potentially dangerous situation. The tour company, the Bus driver/guide, the interpreter, the teachers all should have prohibited swimming.

The whole document gives clear insight and background to the tragedy.

Guilfoyle v Huckleberry Australia Pty Ltd [2023] QMC 1 (sclqld.org.au)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Dreaming of summer peaches? Some gardening tips for growing a peach tree in many climates See in context

The yellow clingstone peaches pictured in that bottom photo - I've never seen here in Japan.

Many are ok, but way too hard and not juice dripping everywhere succulent.

I'm going to search harder this year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan eyes 20-year background check for those working in jobs involving kids See in context

@mark -

my kids are happy in Japanese schools, i have no troubles at all with their staff / teachers, everything is taking care to the full details. I will say, their school management system is best of the world

That's great that your kids and you are happy with their schools. Best in the world - compared to what?

The high school I teach at I also think is pretty good in most departments. In fact from my years of teaching there I'd say the teacher / student relationship is extremely positive and caring with individual support for troubled students.

The schools my kids went to - not at all the same. Elementary and Senior high focussed on study, study, study. Rules, Rules, Rules. In Junior high, thankfully the air was breathable and my kids enjoyed to a greater extent.

The PTA and OBs had way too much say in trivial matters and control and regimentation was the order of the day to "protect" the school image.

There's no-one-size-fits-all when talking about schools anywhere.

And re the article - as I mentioned earlier - any institution involving kids from judo clubs to kindergartens to cram schools to high schools, background checks of staff is essential and should have been put in law way back.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: The Japanese look at the West and see that mass immigration is hardly helping ailing economies like Britain, France, and Germany. Japan's national cohesion also makes for a very liveable and safe country, unlike Germany or the UK. See in context

Speed - right to the point.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about MASS immigration being required for Japan.

The EU shares common borders and are located close to the largest mass-upheaval of people through war, conflict, socio-economic hell etc.

Japan is not comparable at all.

It's needs are distinctly different.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan eyes 20-year background check for those working in jobs involving kids See in context

Decades behind.

This was proposed / discussed here ages ago and progress has been close to nil.

Hopefully something concrete comes out of this and not passed onto future meetings, meetings, meetings.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: University of Tokyo to launch new 5-year program with 50% foreign students See in context

Following on from a previous article of a few days ago - Osaka Metropolitan University wanting to switch to English as the base language in the future - we have Todai's Headlined announcement of 50% of a new Under/Grad course to be offered to foreigners.

Then on reading we see this equates to 50 students. Hardly earth shattering for The Most Acclaimed University in Japan out of a student population of almost 30,000.

Yeah - I know their plan is to increase over the decades - good on them.

Maybe it's just the local media playing it all up, but not front page stuff.

NHK headlined it also on it's earlier news tonight.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman gets 9 years in prison over death of 2-year-old granddaughter due to neglect See in context

Another case of an "in family" murder of a child by those entrusted with care, and receive a relatively light sentence.

I'll say again - as I have many times on these topics - the big bogeyman "stranger-danger murders" attract most media attention and severe sentencing (and rightfully so as they are heinous), while the domestic murders seem to be in a "Well....hmmm...it's tough...." category.

Being killed by those who society deem to be a child's natural love and care giver, just seems to me about as awful as it can get.

IMO such acts of cruelty demand harsher punishment than the equally horrendous stranger murders.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Osaka university globalizes with fall start date; governor wants English as official language See in context

rainyday - thanks for the response.

Actually my comments were in regards to an earlier comment re the failure of such "all English schools".

And I did mention it's small size/limited offerings, so obviously it's not in the same category as OMU.

But AIU is situated in the countryside of Akita - well known rightly or wrongly as real boondocks territory - with a very small population. Who'd thought they could do that???

Osaka on the other hand is a Major World city, a center of business, industry, education, culture etc easily accessible domestically and globally with a very large regional population.

That there exists a desire by leaders to establish an English based major public university in Japan is to be commended.

No one would suggest that it wouldn't be a steep cliff to climb, but "impossible" is the quote of naysayers.

That Japan does not have one such large public campus seems to indicate a realistic opening for those with vision - and of course backing and funding.

I'd hazard a guess that many Japanese students would like to enrol, as demand is shown by how many applicants try to enter AIU yearly.

I'm not sure if OMU is the place to set up or not, but looking far ahead Japan could comfortablyy support at least one such major university. It has to start somewhere.

The benefits would come.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka university globalizes with fall start date; governor wants English as official language See in context

Akita International University (AIU), also a prefectural public university, is ALL English.

It is based on an American liberal arts format with the focus on Global Studies.

It has sister school arrangements with over 50 universities around the world and all students must spend at least one year studying at an OS university of choice (all in English). International students also attend of course.

It consistently ranks in the top tier in the fields in which it covers.

It has surpassed Todai a number of times as the school with the best teaching in Japan.

It's students are heavily in demand by the business world.

Pound for Pound it's the best overall tertiary institution in Japan, just it's small size limits it's offerings.

Osaka Prefectural University surely knows well the achievements of AIU and is bent on replicating the recipe as a necessary step towards global success in 2050 and beyond.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: We should understand that the use of physical restraints and seclusion violates human rights and must be reduced. See in context

Extract from research article by BMC psychiatry 2020

............The mean length of stay in psychiatric care beds in Japan (mean length of hospital stay among discharged patients) was approximately 500 days in 1990 but fell to under 300 days in 2011 and further decreased to approximately 266 days in 2018........................................We are currently striving to integrate care to create a health care system centered on community-based integrated care. Several other countries, particularly in Western Europe, have already been actively transitioning from institutional care to community-based care. Based on our findings in this study and on these efforts in other countries, we conclude that it may be pertinent to consider the comprehensive structure of future mental health care.

Still a lot of work to do here in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: A new exhibition aims to bring Yoko Ono's art out of John Lennon's shadow See in context

Regardless of your taste or likes - of Ono or her art - the fact remains she was active in the experimental art world well before Lennon met her.

It was her edgy, abstractness at the time that grabbed Lennon's attention.

He wooed Her.

She may well have had a negative influence on the Beatles team, but her work with Lennon was consistent with her art. To suggest otherwise is to insist Lennon was not of sound mind and was being led. Hardly.

Lennon's post-Beatles work would never had been the same or of similar impact if he was totally solo.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: Are we about to find out moon's origin? Japan's space agency says it may now have clues See in context

Lots of work already done on this.

I remember reading a Science article years ago where the Oxygen isotopes trapped in the rocks were close to identical - apparently a key factor - meaning they originated from the same source.

This supported the "Big Impact" theory.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Frightening video shows Japan’s stop-and-listen-for-trains driving rule maybe isn’t so silly after all See in context

Of the Billions of vehicles crossing at the 10,000s of train-crossings every year, how many signal failures are there? How many accidents?

The same could happen at any road traffic light situation. There could be a signal failure or mishap.

We don't want drivers slowing cautiously at green lights, looking directly left and right...well just because.... you never know!

Other countries, when I've driven, I can only recall stopping if boom gates are down or signals are flashing and bells ringing. Otherwise it's always slow down (signs) and proceed carefully. When I drove a school bus long ago in Australia we were instructed to stop at all crossings - not sure if that's changed. And that's the only case I know of.

I believe the current dead-stop look both ways rules, were introduced way back in the infancy of car / train crossings and have never really been updated, even with modern electronics.

I understand at some of the crazy crossings like those in major cities, but they are not so many and could have separate rules posted.

My city here has only 2 crossings out of many that you don't have to stop as they have separate traffic lights installed called  fumikiri shingo (踏切信号). It's heaven to just slow down a little and continue driving through. But still there are people who come to a dead-stop with Green Lights Blazing, causing all to suddenly brake.

There should be many more of such similar crossings nationwide.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: International-hit candy Hi-Chew adds English to in-Japan logo, makes it bigger than the Japanese See in context

So many products already here are advertised, presented, sold in Japan with names/titles in English.

The article mentions Nintendo, Toyota and Sony and they are but a few of the 1,000s, many being major corporations.

So if anyone is "sad" at the loss of Japanese-ness, then they haven't really been paying attention.

English is ubiquitous.

Just a non-event imo.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: COVID patients again rising in Japan; experts warn of 10th wave See in context

Long Covid is a Real Issue affecting 10+% of those infected world wide (650million).

In many cases they have debilitating problems including circulatory, neurological, deep fatigue, immune, gastro intestinal amongst others.

2ndary+ infections can cause more complications in a minor % as opposed to the expected decrease in volatility of symptoms. Genetics it seems plays a major role in initial susceptibility and further.

A lot to learn yet.

A link to an interesting article with further links.

Estimating the heritability of SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 severity | Nature Communications


-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Posted in: Is Japan’s custom of slurping noodles irritating, and why do people do it? See in context

Onlooker - many may well believe that - me too to an extent.

But it's more the Volume of Noise than the actual slurping action that bothers some people.

The overly - exaggerated water pump sounds. Do louder sounds make the noodles more delicious.

I can slurp, as many others can, with a level of decorum regarding the sound.

Serious but Soft Sucking can result in Softer Sounds, without missing out on all the "said" benefits.

And I reiterate - does pasta taste better being loudly slurped? A number of people must think so.

I've even encountered a guy slurping loudly his fried eggs in the hotel for breakfast. Like I mean really sucking them up. He was my wife's friends husband - nice guy. He must believe it fits into the "deliciousness model" mentioned by many above.

As I noted earlier, I think it's more out of habit than anything deep.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Takeaways from Supreme Court arguments over whether Trump is ineligible to be president again See in context

The case doesn't resemble Trumps in the simple but very important manner relating to the facts of "Deception and Obstruction".

They are criminal offenses.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Is Japan’s custom of slurping noodles irritating, and why do people do it? See in context

This came up again with Japanese friends a while back.

The common answer was it cools down the noodles sitting in hot stock.

I said then why do people continue slurping even if they are eating cold noodles - ざるそばそば?

Answer - was because....er..... it's a habit.

When questioned about why it bothers people esp "westerners", I said probably people were brought up to eat quietly with your mouth closed. Talk after swallowing. My grandfather used to say to us kids "You sound like pigs in a trough" - lol.

Personally I've become used to it and only annoyed when the slurping becomes sucking at jet engine decibels.

I agree with Moonraker's point that many women I know esp younger, think it's ダサい dasai, low class/manners and reminds them of old men.

But that doesn't stop my Lovely in-laws from slurping to their hearts content.

Even pasta gets a thorough sucking a la Dyson.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: 12 bitten in dog attack in Gunma; 5 taken to hospital See in context

From the article if it's a pure bred Shikoku dog it would be a very large one.

Could be a Tosa which is bred from a Shikoku dog. Tosa is in Kochi, Shikoku.

Tosa are Japanese fighting dogs and are banned in many countries.

Either way the negligence of the owner is the problem.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Ukraine-born Miss Japan relinquishes crown after reported affair See in context

Ask TradeToday  07:39 am JST

The bigger problems is that these misogynistic competitions still exist.....

Great post.

Why do such events still garner so much attention these days?

They always feel deeply rooted in the bygone razz-a-ma-tazz of the 1970s and before.

Aside from the degrading "man-trophy" aspect, they have such little relevance in this era of sms, where talent, looks, intelligence, wit, charm etc can be seen on a daily basis.

The pedestal has long crumbled.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: People in the world’s ‘blue zones’ live longer – their diet could hold the key to why See in context

The critical point imo not elaborated on in this article (not a new article btw), is that all citizens in Blue Zones are part of active communities. They have lifelong bonds with family, neighbours, friends and residents sharing the common environment.

They are valued and have meaning in life through association.

Diet / activity alone may not ensure longevity.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Mount Fuji climbers from Yamanashi side to be charged ¥2,000 as tourism rises See in context

If you can travel all the way to Mt Fuji - assuming most climbers are not locals - then you can pay the price of ¥2000. That's about the same as a movie admission ticket and a drink.

I'm with Clippety on this - ¥3000 ~ ¥5000 seems more appropriate. There must be large costs involved in maintaining the site, it's trails, infrastructure, carparks, access roads etc etc.

And the mountain itself has a tolerable climbers limit which seems like it has been reached or exceeded. The overcrowding ard inability to move due to congestion in parts is a recipe for a disaster in the making.

Crowd management is a hot topic these days with many examples world wide incl Japan of dire consequences through lack of vision and planning. No local / prefectural authorities want that on their conscience.

And if you can't afford it - save up a little of your weekly coffee money or put aside ¥100 a week for a few months.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Should you drive through a red traffic light like this in Japan? Confusing road rule explained See in context

My first use of a roundabout in Japan was a few months ago.

It was made in a developing suburban area about 3-4 years ago, and is still the only one in the prefecture.

I used it to do a U-turn.

No other cars were on the roundabout and as I was heading to exit a large 4wd entered on my left completely oblivious to me. I wasn't about to brake and stop on a roundabout as I had total right of way, so I gave a quick blast of the horn.

The guy nearly jumped out of his seat as he came to a screeching halt.

He tried to glare me down, but I just shook my head in a No, No, No manner.

Can't imagine what it's like there at busy times.

I don't think they'll ever be common here - not because of narrow roads and space - just you need to re-train/update millions of drivers, with many of them aging.

Not an easy call.

But reducing the number of mind-numbing redlights at minor intersections in my city/suburbs would be welcome.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Charges dropped against group that allegedly broke into vending machine after Noto earthquake See in context

Aside from the suffering of the victims / evacuees of the quake, the biggest downer of this story is that the Yomiuri Shimbun published a main article without verifying the facts.

Then to just cowardly withdraw the article with no apology/explanation as if nothing happened.

Not the first time Yomiuri has played it's hand like this.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and how is it treated? See in context

wallace -

The Gleason score was the first result given to me by my doc after my biopsy.

At 2 other hospitals in my city that I know of it is the standard.

A friend in a neighbouring city also had a Gleason score of 6. He was 75 years old at the time and his doctor said he needed a soon as possible prostatectomy.

He has said to me more than once that he would be dead now if not for his great doctor.

I've never said anything to him about his diagnosis and operation - no meaning. He's now 82.

Point is he had a risky for his age operation that was not required.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and how is it treated? See in context

For those who have or had prostate cancer one of the most critical points is what was the Gleason score.

A tumour with a Gleason score of up to 6 with a 3 + 3 rating is now considered by many learned urologists/surgeons as not even cancer.

However there are many doctors who will still recommend surgical removal - allowing for the possibility of a number of post operative problems - even with this low score.

100,000s of Gleason 6 men in the states( I think) were followed over a long period and there were no cases of a Gleason 6 tumour metastasizing. In cases where cancerous cells developed, they were found to be unrelated to the original tumour.

Be very well informed and up to date about all aspects of BPH and cancer when discussing with your urologist. Some are still back in the 20th C.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and how is it treated? See in context

Anecdotal only -

I have BPH. First diagnosed 12 years ago when I was checked after an elevated PSA reading.

Had MRI and biopsy. Size was nearly 3 times larger than "normal" and a little irregular in shape.

Took prescribed medicine for a week to stop inflammation, but had some side effects which was troubling as a fulltime worker.

Researched and found that Saw Palmetto/Beta-sitosterol supplements (incl other ingredients) were very commonly taken in Europe with positive reviews.

Bought first product and peeing returned to young man "normal" in a very short time.

Have twice yearly checkups. 6 months ago had an MRI. Hyperplasia still exists but my prostate has shrunk over the years by half.

My urologist derided my decision originally, but he realized after a few years that something was helping.

So I will keep taking the supplements. One point is to check/verify carefully the source and ingredients of the product. As we know - all things are not equal, incl doctors and prescription medicines.

For those with similar problems it's worthwhile to trial.

If it works - good; if not then back to doctors advice.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

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