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Posted in: 24 injured after M6.3 quake hits western Japan See in context

If I'm not mistaken, the earthquake alerts depend on the location of the epicenter, your distance from it and the time it takes for the information to be relayed over the phone networks from the meteorological agency. You could be slap bang in the middle of a large quake and only find out about it in progress; but someone a bit further away might receive notification of the approaching seismic waves. Fairly complicated stuff and definitely not 100%, but if it saves any lives then it's worth it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Customers’ behavior changing sushi culture in Japan See in context

I remember reading in a Japanese article that a lot of chain restaurant sushi chefs often just grab a nearby plate of what the customer orders, and put it on the express rail, rather than make something from scratch unnecessary. Since the conveyor belts converge in the kitchens, it's quicker and saves wasting time and food. Even with that in mind I didn't have any problems using the touch screen to order what I couldn't find on the belt- and never had any stomach trouble during my time in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Have Japan’s anti-smoking laws gone too far? See in context

Defiant smokers often claim that they are being unfairly targeted. Most cleaners however, will tell you just how lazy and uncaring the vast majority of smokers are of their surrounds. Where I worked, you could see cigarette butts piled up in outside alcoves of buildings, with dedicated bins only a few meters away which they could have used- but just couldn't be bothered with. In Japan, one of my peeves was with friends who would ask if they could smoke, while already in the process of lighting up. I don't think all smokers are selfish, but I think it's an addictive habit which overrides consideration of people who sensibly choose not to smoke. By the way, there is nothing more miserable than walking behind a smoker on a wet, and cold day.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Sanctions noose makes it harder for Japan's Koreans to help their own See in context

Some people forget the lessons of history and just how much more effective North Korea has been at sealing itself off from almost all outside influence; while holding its own population captive and perpetrating the kind of brainwashing and segregation that even the Nazis would find incredible. I've seen accounts of defectors to South Korea still tearing up at the sight of Kim Il Sung or his son/grandson on tv- and most will readily admit that when they were living in the North, they thought they were happy as they had no point of comparison with the outside world. This may be slowly changing as smuggled S. Korean and Chinese tv shows/movies have been making the rounds; but with a society in which your closest friends, neighbours and even family are keeping a close eye on you- we have no right to pass judgement over the average North Korean citizen. Throw that together with Korean history and its repeated invasions and subsequent extreme xenophobia (Keep in mind that South Korea still had military dictatorships into the 1980s), and you can see that North Korea still has a long way to go in breaking the ice internally and externally.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan 4th in world liar rankings See in context

he said it was because he didn't want me to think he was lazy and had left work before 7pm.

Kringis, what if that was another lie, and he wanted to demonstrate his uniquely Japanese work ethic;)

Since leaving Japan, I've had to deprogram myself from all the white-lie stuff. In my own country I'd never have to tell my workmates a "relative died and I have to go back to my hometown", so I could take time off for an overseas trip in holiday time, so I wouldn't provoke jealousy and be lumped with extra work as punishment for my audacity etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Mumford & Sons wins best album at Grammys See in context

For the love of God, whoever gave me a thumbs down for commenting that a song repeated ad nauseum on the radio might be irritating- surely has issues. I don't care what the band is, but if a song is played to death on across the FM spectrum, then I'll naturally want to shut it out and stick my fingers in my ears and wish one of the JT mods had the power to delete these songs as easily and readily as they do with trivial posts

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Mumford & Sons wins best album at Grammys See in context

*playing to death

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Mumford & Sons wins best album at Grammys See in context

I haven't heard any of their other material besides that "I will wait" track that Aussie radio is playing time death...I'm that sick of it I switch stations but it's a Hydra. Make it stop!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Modern etiquette: Minding your manners at the gym See in context

For the record, I've never come across a decent article on gym etiquette in mainstream newspapers.

I agree with quitting the gym and employing some imagination. I quit ages ago, took up running and got some weights for home, and saved an incredible amount of time and money each month. I noticed that because I was hitting the gym, I felt entitled to eat what I wanted and so while I was fairly healthy, I'm now far fitter from condensing my workouts and spending time on actual hobbies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Chinese frigate locked radar on Japanese navy vessel See in context

The stakes are much higher than just Japan and China having a old school naval rumble. This situation ha<>s the potential to engulf the entire region already simmering over past and present territorial disputes. Japan, China, the US, South/North Koreas (for starters), would be dragged into an absolute disaster by all of this. The status quo might not be that palatable, but it sure as hell beats what is looking likely in the near future.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Australia protests to Japan after whaling ship enters its waters See in context

I haven't heard of any boycott movement, and I doubt most Aussies have. Not to say it doesn't exist but you can find green group opposition to just about anything. They'd want to boycott Chinese products if they could, but that would be all but Impossible. I for one think it's time that Australia beefed up its navy and prescence with patrols using the considerable wealth at its disposal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Australia protests to Japan after whaling ship enters its waters See in context

The Japanese government will probably barely notice the whole irony of this- and call for the waaaahmbulance the next time a fishing boat from China shows up.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Posted in: Okinawans stage anti-U.S. military rally in Tokyo See in context

In the event the Americans are pushed out of Okinawa, someone high up in the military should make mention in their farewell speech about that area being ancient territory of China :p

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: $20 trillion shale oil deposit found in Australia See in context

Peak oil is not a myth, but I'm sure the industry is content to find ways to gouge us- as plenty of industries tend to do. Although on different timescales, it's akin to saying the world ending due to the death of the sun (within around 5 billion years), is a myth. Oil is finite and whether peak oil hits in a decade or a hundred years, it is a certainty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: $20 trillion shale oil deposit found in Australia See in context

The company has since distanced itself from the calculations of 20 trillion:

Linc chief executive Peter Bond told BusinessDay: ‘‘That’s not our valution. I don’t know who did that but someone’s got a calculator out and come up with that number ... but we wouldn’t put a valuation on it at this stage. It’s too hard.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ken Hirai writes Red Cross blood donation campaign song See in context

I've donated on campus in Japan and it never seemed to be a problem. Mind you I'd be really annoyed if it wasn't used. Everyone should donate if they're able to. That said a few bars of Hirai hitting the high notes is enough to curdle my own blood :p

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Lance Armstrong biopic in the works from Paramount, J.J. Abrams See in context

My idea is that he's cast as the Khan for the new Trek movie: An enhanced and altered villain who zips about the galaxy trying to cover up and deny his insidious program.

"LAAAAAAAAAAAANCE!!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Coming-of-Age Day See in context

Words fail me, even sarcastic ones by some stroke of a miracle.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: The king of pizzas? We sample Domino’s pricey new luxury pizza See in context

What an awfully written and pretentious article. Back to the pizza, I usually made my own in Japan but one of the chains nearby had reasonably sized and priced pizzas. I agree with Probie, potato for me has no place in pizza. I don't argue that this pizza is tasteless by any means, but one glance at the 7th paragraph where this bizarre spiel kicks into gear, puts me off wanting to eat in general for a while.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Reaching out See in context

I'm sure Jakku Riichaa wouldn't have been too much of a stretch for audiences. Alas my2sense, the Chinese are even more confusing with their translations. My favourite was 'Free Willy', which in China got translated to: A Very Powerful Whale Runs To Heaven

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 men found dead in sauna in Wakayama hotel See in context

A tragedy for sure, but damn, what a way to go...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Fugitive Sea Shepherd founder hands over reins See in context

BurakuminDes, Bob Brown never struck me as being "flamboyant", as you stated. Despite political leanings, I hope that the ex-senator can bring a more moderate, intelligent and persuasive outlook to this issue and bring about some positive change.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Don’t forget your towel - experiencing mixed public bathing for first time See in context

Out of all the foreign bathers, Germans are the most hilarious...The ones I've met will throw their clothes off at the drop of a hat and don't mind baring all to the crowd- an uninhibited lot for the most part!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Don’t forget your towel - experiencing mixed public bathing for first time See in context

I've read that it was the prudish concerns of the American occupiers that led to the demise (for the most part), of mixed-bathing onsen...Too bad, as I've been to one and it was a pretty good experience and definitely didn't have any weirdness. If the interviewee above couldn't control his 'wicked thoughts', it's his own problem and maybe he'd be better off relaxing telling his problems to some biddy at a hostess club.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: LG begins sales of next-generation TV See in context

It would be a very embarrassing situation if OLED tvs became a must-have for the cashed-up, and they were the only choice for Japanese consumers. That would hit morale very hard, so come on Japanese makers!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: LG begins sales of next-generation TV See in context

This is one beautiful tv. I already started saving cash for an OLED tv (aiming for the $10,000 mark), which by that time they should be far affordable,reliable and possibly improved. That way I'll have leftover dollars to do whatever with.

I'm actually surprised that the Japanese makers haven't done anything on the OLED tv front lately. Have they given up completely or are there more issues with this technology that LG haven't 'fessed up to yet? The Samsung tvs I've seen are brilliantly clear and vivid in colour, so I hope they get on the bandwagon quickly. While the Japanese models I've seen are very good in terms of clarity, they seemed a bit dull on the colour front, so they'd better get it together and give us consumers some better choices.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Australia's legal challenge to Japan whaling moves closer See in context

" It's the Australians who have territorial designs..."

Seriously? Australia has far better relations with its neighbours than Japan could ever boast, and that's despite those neighbours being vastly different culturally and ethnically. I object to Japanese whalers traveling thousands of kilometres to kill species for highly dubious reasons. Months ago, Japanese whalers violated Australian territory, and yet within a week the Japanese government/media were bleating on about another Chinese boat showing up in the Senkaku islands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Why Japanese men can’t stop spending money just to drink and talk with girls See in context

Jkanda, the staff drinks by law are either non-alcoholic or watered-down as much as possible, as it would be a occupational health risk for staff to be boozing it up every night of the week. I completely agree, that the kinds of people frequenting these places are leading fairly vacuous lives and see it as a form of escape from their misery. As with gambling, these things can become a huge money pit and all for nothing as I see it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe seeks security ties with Australia, India See in context

I'm pretty much with Outta here on this one. While China has been a bit hawkish and overreacts;, there are many reasons for this without necessarily justifying their recent attitude. One thing we can do is hold a mirror to China and dissuade them from taking action that might seem too much like Japan circa WWII. Japan and China need to work around these island disputes and Australia should be working to help negotiate these- not throw our lot in with one side and risk so much in the process.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe seeks security ties with Australia, India See in context

Australia is also pursuing defence ties with China, including joint training. I'm a bit cynical of Japan's sudden want for this, and think that Australia is best to avoid getting dragged into an awkward position. If China wants to grow then there's nothing much we can do about it, and having Australia and other Asian countries in a diplomatic position between the two would be the best outcome for security and economic growth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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