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charles chevaux comments

Posted in: Do accents disappear? See in context

Coming back to the US after 20 something years pretty well immersed in Japanese and speaking English to non-native speakers, I was repeatedly complimented by random people - "your English is very good!" That faded within a year.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokushima high school serves up edible crickets in meals See in context

Before pesticides rice paddies hosted edible small fish and bugs. They might still be there but no longer edible. In exchange, however, the rice crop is bigger.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Kishida negative about gov't bonds to finance defense spending hike See in context

... [no bonds] he will seek public support for his plan to rely instead on tax increases


Kishida reiterated that the government will not raise income taxes to finance the planned hike in defense spending

I wonder if he is thinking sales tax but was too afraid to say it. He didn't say "no sales tax increases".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think having female quotas in college admissions, government and company management positions is reverse discrimination against men? See in context

A few years ago several medical universities (including the elite Tokyo Medical University) were found() to have been deliberately downward adjusting the entrance test scores for women - a civil case was brought and won against those universities. (Via a request for internal investigation, not by a subpoena for records to be confirmed externally).

That's not a direct answer to the question but perhaps it could be included as circumstantial evidence to ponder while answering the question.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan starts power saving period amid fear of supply crunch See in context

That 2000-3000 yen a month will come in handy to buy a few family packs of kairo to have around the house.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's WWII foreign minister asked Holy See to avert war with U.S., documents show See in context

Has the US left Japan?

Japan was occupied and administered by the victorious Allies of World War II from the 1945 surrender of the Empire of Japan at the end of the war until the Treaty of San Francisco took effect in 1952.

After that the US played no part in running Japan. The Japanese and the US signed a treat, the Anpo Jyoyaku, establishing US bases in Japan to assist in Japan's self defense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan beats Spain 2-1 to advance to last 16 at World Cup See in context

The ball has to be completely over the line to be out. From the angle in the picture the ball looks to be at a perfect tangent with line - so literally neither in nor out. But the camera appears to be viewing slightly from the inside, so a perfect vertical view would show to it be overlapping the line.

Good call. Great game!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Researchers: AI in connected cars eased rush hour congestion See in context

AI would crash 100 percent of the time

This is not really "full AI driving" but adaptive cruise control with inputs of (1) speed, (2) speed of car ahead, (3) distance to car ahead. It's actually driving like a lot of level-headed people already drive, who don't mind other ADHD drivers constantly butting in front.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Musk says he is granting 'amnesty' to suspended Twitter accounts See in context

On Twitter going forward you can be certain that all your personal data will be monetized to the full extent possible, and possibly given for free to whatever companies, governments, or power brokers that Musk approves of. Everyone is familiar with consumer monitoring - the next big market will be micro managed political and speech monitoring. Do you think the FTC will protect you? Earlier this month -

In a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan, Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), urged the agency to back off its proposed rule-making process on commercial surveillance and data security.

Musk would ignore the FTC to the bitter end anyway - but for at least the next two years the house majority will be backing him up to boot. Musk has clearly stated on Twitter that he thinks Ukraine should forfeit Eastern Ukraine to Russia, and that Taiwan should become an administrative region of China. Keep that in mind when he says "free speech for all" - it just means Twitter users are donating their speech for free, so that it can be used for whatever monetary or political purposes Musk sees fit. If you want to help Musk then please use and support Twitter - I respect your freedom to choose to do that. Otherwise if you use Twitter for the purpose of political expression you are just betraying whatever it is you thought you were promoting - and possibly too wrapped up in the fog of viral social media dopamine to think clearly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Musk says he is granting 'amnesty' to suspended Twitter accounts See in context

Why stay on Twitter unless you want to give the Musk the satisfaction that he owns you?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: An estimated 33% of married couples get a divorce each year, according to the Japanese government. Why do you think the figure is so high and do you think this is a worldwide trend? See in context

An estimated 33% of married couples get a divorce each year, according to the Japanese government

I think this number 33% might actually be describing the ratio of divorces to marriages each year. See wikipedia "Divorce demography" section "Divorce-to-marriage ratio", and see the number for Japan ~ 35%.

Notably, the "Divorce-to-marriage ratio" doesn't indicate the average length of marriage until divorce. For example, suppose a population with a constant number of marriages each year, but also a the same number of divorces but only after being married for 40 years. Then that ratio would be 100.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan gets 2 late goals to upset Germany 2-1 in their World Cup opener See in context

Gambare Nippon!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Taylor Swift ticket trouble could drive political engagement See in context

The political issue should be the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Was that detrimental to competition? How come that's not mentioned here, but AOC is?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Disney ousts CEO; brings back Bob Iger to lead company See in context

When corporations start focusing only on the next quarter, profits will first rise, and then start crashing - the activists shareholders will shake their fists at the heavens and cry "why aren't dollars raining down any more!" and will sacrifice the CEO - whether they are long term good CEO's or not.

At least, that's what what happens at some US corporations.

As for Disney, short term profits are down - whether Iger will make a difference or not - I don't know and I can't tell from this news.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What is the Unification Church, and how will Japan's probe affect it? See in context

If they lose their tax free status, that won't impeded their functioning as a social group. In fact, it may legitimize further political donations (once the noise has died down).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Yamanashi uses toilet paper messages to help suicidal youth See in context


... this is offensive and wrong on so many levels... the way to help people who are suicidal are the followings things: Somebody to listen, somebody to take time to intervene if noticing the signs of suicide

The inscription is


followed by a phone number.

I take the semantic meaning to be - "If you have feelings of self hatred phone ###...###".

It never explicitly says "end it all" anywhere. 大嫌い is hate, not suicide or kill. So the article is somewhat misleading, I think.

At the other end of that phone number is a person waiting "to take time to intervene" - just as you suggested.

I don't think a politician came up with this. I think it was a person who wanted to help people who need someone to talk to. By placing in a toilet like this, a reader doesn't have to be concerned about being observed by others. They can simply tear off a piece and take it home on a whim, which they might be embarrassed to do if it was outside in a public place.

じぶんのことが大嫌いだという = X who says they hate Xself

where X could be any of you/he/she/they

By sticking "comma you" on the end it becomes disambiguated.

じぶんのことが大嫌いだという、あなた = You who say you hate yourself

It's not an accusative "YOU!", it is functional.

A direct translation to English is kind of awkward - I could see how it could be interpreted as a suggestion to hate yourself or an accusation that you hate yourself. But in Japanese I believe the nuance is much softer gentle hook towards those who do need to talk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan sets up panel to review foreign trainee program See in context

Among other issues discussed included trainees incurring large debts to enter Japan, working illegal hours and not receiving wages.

These are the big three issues. Employers should cover transportation costs in and out. I'm not sure how health insurance works, but employers should pay premiums if that is required.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Shionogi's oral COVID drug given emergency approval in Japan See in context

untested drugs to be used as a last resort.

They have certainly been tested. I didn't personally double check the results but I know it has been extensively tested. Normal drug approval takes years - hence "emergency approval".

I am familiar with the money motive, but that doesn't prove that this drug is not a net positive.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan nuclear watchdog considers extending reactor life See in context

Building new plants to new standards - for example a large leadfilled buffer under the core to automatically extinguish any meltdown - is a necessity if nuclear power is going to be continued. It's a more expensive design but far cheaper than the Fukushima cleanup.

No new plan but relying on extending the old plants indefinitely seems like a risky strategy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Top court scraps comic magazine editor's guilty verdict over wife's death See in context

Most damning is the nullification of the high court’s ruling last year, in which, according to NHK, the high court judges concluded that “the state of the wife's body and evidence found at the site contradict the presumed situation of a suicide.”

Lots of questions here.

Of course there are lots of questions, but we don't get to see and judge the evidence. No system is perfect and the Japanese recognizes this and allows for appeals up to the Supreme Court as way to improve accuracy. Undoubtedly they want to minimize the chance of a false prosecution while still serving justice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 Chinese diplomats with Japan ties were detained, freed Japanese man says See in context

Sounds like they were guilty. Being a spy is not all James Bond and massaritis cars.

When everything is by default a secret unless Xi asks you to say it, then everyone who speaks is a spy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Vietnamese trainees call out unpaid illegal overtime at Japanese firm See in context

Their tough working conditions led them in August to approach a nonprofit organization supporting Vietnamese people in Japan ... Jiho Yoshimizu, a supporter from the NPO, said it will "continue to work to have their human rights protected.

The reason we even get to hear this story about maltreated 11 workers is because of this Japanese NPO.

A little browsing shows that Jiho Yoshimizu is the head of the Japan-Vietnam Coexistence Support Group (JVCSG) which is based in Nissinkutu, a three-floor Buddhist temple in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. There is a little about about it here: [Buddhist Temple in Tokyo Offers Vietnamese Workers Refuge from the Pandemic, by Craig Lewis, buddhistdoor dot net]. It seems that JVCSG does not have it's own web site! Small megaphone but giant heart. The best of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: With Twitter in chaos, some ways to protect your account See in context

It is a huge mess, we knew it and it’s a lot messier and more corrupt than previously thought. He’s got this, just gut it and get rid of everyone that doesn’t fall in line or is a liability.

@bass4funk - I found this summary of Twitter 2016 operating costs -

In 2016, Twitter spent $2,896.83 millions on operating costs ($932.24 millions on cost of revenue; $1,251.11 millions on sales, general, and administrative expenses; and $713.48 millions on R&D). In the same year, the total revenue was $2,529.62 millions. Furthermore, Twitter has 2,300 employees.

So perhaps for about $2 billion dollars a year, Musk could have hired 2000 employees and started a new social network company - that $44 billion allowing for a decade or two of launch time. Since he plans on completely changing the code base and the business model anyway, it would probably be better to start from scratch. And Musk could probably have assembled a good motivated team and made a decent stab at it (although the field is already crowded so success is far from guaranteed).

Your argument could only make sense if Musk bought Twitter in a fire sale under about 10 billion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors to extend accused Abe assassin's psychiatric evaluation: report See in context

He was fully compos mentis, pre planned it with incredible detail, admitted it, explained exactly why he did it for revenge and to make publicity. He is definitely not crazy. He even said he didn't have anything personal against Abe - the high profile murder was just to make a statement. It could be classified as domestic terrorism. An insanity diagnosis is always possible if you want to believe it. What do the LDP want? To put him to death firmly or to put him away quietly?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Musk gives ultimatum to Twitter staff: Work intense, long hours or lose your job See in context

Twitter's new boss Elon Musk has asked staff to choose by Thursday between being "extremely hardcore" and working intense, long hours, or losing their jobs, according to an internal memo seen by AFP.

Sure long hard hours happen and workers are often happy to do it given proper motivation via periodic mileposts and positive reinforcement. Making the workers choose that behavior without seeming to punish them is the magic of good management.

Is that what Musk is doing?

There is also the "problem" of more experienced (older) workers, who have great value to the company, but have other commitments like family or just getting regular sleep - they don't want to be told suddenly to pull all nighters because it damages brain function. Doubtless many if not most of those have been scared away.

Fortunately for Musk, the H1B visa employees can't quit without losing their visa. So now there should be a higher than normal percentage of H1B indentured servants at Twitter. Is that the Libertarian Dream?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Trial of English-speaking test for Tokyo high schools face opposition from some parents See in context

In Korea, you can have a perfect conversation virtually anywhere with anyone below 40 years old.

In Japan, they speak random english words here and there as a joke or something.

Same IQ. Different levels of self-confidence.

Not my experience during the total time I spent in factories, and outside of factories in the evenings for a few months in total, working in Korea on assignment from Japan.

Most people only spoke Korean. Top engineers dealing in production and quality control also spoke Japanese as it comes in very useful for work - they do a lot of business dealing with Japanese machinery and products, meeting with Japanese engineers. Engineers at the R&D level, who usually had gone to a good university, often spoke English (but usually not Japanese).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 3 men arrested for causing injury resulting in death after pushing man into river See in context

I understand group responsibility. Nevertheless, I wonder if they all pushed him, or just one guy pushed him, and I wonder if they all intended for him to fall into the water. I also wonder if they were Yakuza.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to reopen to cruise ships after 2 1/2-year ban See in context

Popular cruise ship family and group illnesses:

Gastrointestinal illnesses - e.g., Norovirus, E. coli, Salmonella.


Legionnaires’ disease (or a variant: Pontiac Fever)

Hepatitis A

COVID (new variants available in first class only)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to reopen to cruise ships after 2 1/2-year ban See in context

Kind of hard to have "outbreaks" when we are living in one giant one everywhere and all the time

A good word for that is "endemic". Before is was "pandemic".

A pandemic can still have waves of various sizes, like the beach has waves, but now it's OK to go surfing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Flash floods sweep away houses, cars in Australian town See in context

That’s quite contradicting and bare of logic. Either we have ... warmer air that holds the more moisture or we have the opposite, more flooding

The tropics, closer to the equator have always been warmer and the rainfall is tremendous - e.g., in Taiwan. However, other areas closer to the equator, e.g., Saudi Arabia, are warmer (during the day) but are very dry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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