Japan Today

charles chevaux comments

Posted in: Painful anniversary brings more torment to N Korea abductee's mother See in context

Pyongyang had claimed that among the remaining 12 abductees, eight had died and the other "four" never entered the nation, but it explained "three," excluding Tanaka, never entered the country when North Korea proposed the return of the two men.

Incorrect. Abe wanted ALL the hostages back. Note that those "two" did not include the girl mentioned in this article. You don't need to be a die hard Abe fan to understand that.

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Posted in: FIFA boss Infantino urges World Cup ceasefire in Ukraine See in context

Childish Infantino

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Posted in: JR employee arrested over groping incident on train in Ishikawa See in context


Which is why I advocate fully for more cameras, better public education, and other means of ensuring such crimes don't happen in the first place.

That's it really. Monbusho could put in the curriculum, as well as awareness about bullying. Start early.

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Posted in: JR employee arrested over groping incident on train in Ishikawa See in context


| "And as someone who had experienced this on many different occasions, I can also tell you that these perverts don't always wait for the cover of a large crowd. Much of the time it is not that hard to know which guy was the one who groped you."

Sure. And in this case the culprit was clearly identified by camera. If the girl can clearly describe what happened that should be sufficient evidence .

| "Why would a woman chose a random man on a crowded train in hopes of ruining his life? She would have to be mentally unstable. And do you think the police can't recognize when someone is mentally unstable?"

Actually I don't think police judgement should be the final word. They don't have the training, nor is there a defense lawyer. It is better they collect evidence and let the court decide. Therefore I don't think suspect names (for any crimes) should be revealed until conviction. It works both ways - it's predictable that police would see some women as "unstable" unfairly.

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Posted in: JR employee arrested over groping incident on train in Ishikawa See in context

@girl_in_tokyo - Have you "Sore de mo boku wa yatte inai"? I must say I wasn't convinced the guy was innocent - but most Japanese people (including women) who I talked to seemed to believe he was innocent, even though most Japanese women riding trains regularly have been groped (I believe).

Not challlenging you at all ! - just thought you would find the movie and public reaction to it interesting (or maybe maddening).

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Posted in: JR employee arrested over groping incident on train in Ishikawa See in context

@name_not_important - How about calling it "groping, which is a form of sexual assault". Of course "it was only groping, not rape" can be used in the wrong way - but arguably that is an attitude problem, not a word definition problem. Going the other way - "rape is no worse than groping, because they are both sexual assault" - that's not acceptable is it. Changing words doesn't necessarily change attitudes. So maybe start with the attitudes?

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Posted in: Musk 'kills' new Twitter label, hours after launch See in context

Should have quit when he was ahead after rescuing those Thai kids.

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Posted in: Facebook parent Meta cuts 11,000 jobs, 13% of workforce See in context

The metaverse wasn't looking so hot, but also Tik Tok was getting more clicks, and Apple made changes to keep Meta from getting PI on Apple users. Additionally, foreign countries have began to ask for a share of the pie for their newspapers when Facebook or Google act as news aggregators. And there is a general push towards privacy - especially in the EU. That's the way the cookies crumble.

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Posted in: Biden hails Democrats' 'strong night,' acknowledges concerns See in context

The problem with Dems labelling this as a win is Dem's then won't make an effort to do better. 40% of registered voters are independents - a share that has risen from 30% decades ago. That's evidence that the country is not a divided binary, but rather that party knights no longer seek the vote of those outside the castle walls.

Democracy is not a static perfect crystal, it is a living thing that requires constant care and attention. The US doesn't have proportional representation, which means for Democracy to work for Dems, they have be "inclusive" of more than just 30% of the voters.

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Posted in: Ukraine denies Western pressure to soften stance on talks with Russia See in context

The long term cost of pulling support for Ukraine would be incredibly high - hope that doesn't happen.

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Posted in: 81-year-old man arrested for murder after pushing wife in wheelchair into sea See in context

It is a crime, and although there are mitigating circumstances, it is wrong to turn it around and call it proof of love. That doesn't mean he didn't also love her, and hadn't given a lot to her.

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Posted in: Dems, GOP make urgent final pitches before midterms See in context

Gallup historical polling shows that the number of "independent" voters has increased even as the claims of a solidly divided country have increased. [See Gallup article "U.S. Political Party Preferences Shifted Greatly During 2021", the last graph at the end "Party Identification, Annual Averages 1988-2021".]

While the numbers of D or R both float around 30%, undecided/independent is now around 40% - hugely larger than the number of either. And among this group are switch hitters whose votes actually do change elections.

But if the country is really divided, then why would party membership have decreased? I think that there is another possible answer - that the really divided people have occupied either party. Valuable skeptics who naturally question the policies of whatever party they generally vote for, looking for marginal improvement and encouraging lateral thinking, are not really welcome on the whole. There is not much room for debate when every issue is cast as absolute good vs absolute evil.

Declining party membership also means the candidates tend to be more of the "divided" type, and closed primaries ensure only party membership gets to vote on it - exacerbating the trend.

Theoretically, the forces of Democracy should push party members to appeal to and welcome a broader range of voters, listening and compromising as required to build a bigger alliance. But it is not happening.

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Posted in: Music inspires powerful emotions on screen, just like in real life See in context

TV shows from the early 60's used to have decent unique soundtracks - gave employment to a lot of musicians. By the 70s that was gone.

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Posted in: Japan to remodel surface-to-air missiles to intercept hypersonic weapons See in context

Reliably intercepting hypersonic missiles is going to be very hard (if not impossible) but reliably very expensive.

The old Nike missile bases all over the US (there are several abandoned bases in any large city - several I cycle past frequently), were armed with Nike anti-missile missiles having nuclear warheads with 2, 10, 20 or 30 kiloton yields. These were supposed to meet the incoming ICBM missiles within 100 miles (altitude up to 20 miles) and blow up or deflect them at least. For reference Hiroshima was 15 kilotons. Basically success meant poisoning the US (and probably the whole earth) with radioactive fallout anyway.

Constant improvements to the system became obsolete almost as soon as they were developed because of improvement in ICBMs. Once the SALT talks took place the whole idea was abandoned as impractical - MAD assured they wouldn't be needed anyway ... but here we are today and world is looking MADder than ever.

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Posted in: Japan aims to revive inbound tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2025 See in context

@Samit Basu - 19.5%~20% of Japan's GDP is from (value-added) manufacturing since 2015, very stable. Financial services, including domestic insurace, amount to no more than %6.

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Posted in: Osaka bus driver flunks alcohol test after eating steamed bread See in context

Popyseeds (as in Poppyseed or Everything Bagels) can trigger an opioid drug test. In the US this is a never ending source of women having children taken away after childbirth, as well as failing employment tests or getting fired.

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Posted in: Japan aims to revive inbound tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2025 See in context

Ticket R/T from California USA are now around $1000, which some cheapies as low as $800. That seems pretty cheap considering higher fuels prices and inflation - the same prices as 2019.

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Posted in: Self-Defense Force member arrested for assaulting wife See in context

"Police said the woman was not seriously injured."

Not the same as plain "not injured" or even "not visibly injured".

Just simply not enough information in this article.

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Posted in: 2 Americans who helped Ghosn flee Japan sent back to U.S. See in context

They had friends in high places having been involved in "privatized" international hostage rescue for some time. Apparently Ghosn covered $500K in legal fees and they also made a million on top of that. But you have to wonder if it was worth it to them since they were probably rich anyway. The result shows that the US did not condone their choice and didn't appreciate not being asked.

Ghosn is as guilty as hell as well as being made a fall guy and treated unfairly - those aren't incompatible truths.

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Posted in: Japanese fear rising over China's (and Xi's) rising power See in context

Those engineers moving to China will just have their brains picked for a very few years then be back in Japan to finally retire - using the public health system, etc.

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Posted in: Documents show Xi vowed to secure interests over Senkakus as China's historical duty See in context

@kaimychal - China won that war in 1969 "Zhenboa (Damansky) Island" which was recognized by Russia in a 2005 peace treaty. In 10 or 20 years Siberia will be run Chinese workers and you know what comes after that.

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Posted in: Documents show Xi vowed to secure interests over Senkakus as China's historical duty See in context

@venze -- "Somehow his absolute power may put China in regress gear mode"

Somehow = Xi surrounding himself with "yes" men who only tell him what wants to hear. That mistake will propagate all the way down the power pyramid.

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Posted in: Tokyo dept store praised for refusing entry to costumed Halloween revelers See in context

I hope that they'll relax the policy and relieve the pressure if things start getting tight outside.

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Posted in: South Koreans mourn, wants answers after Halloween crush kills 153 See in context

Korea Heral Map of incident - https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20221030000272

Google map street view showing the entrance to steeply sloped alley where many of the deaths occurred - https://www.google.com/maps/@37.5349883,126.993338,3a,75y,191h,51.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfPi6Xv8FP75eDjpzjfP4GQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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Posted in: China warns Japan not to refer to Taiwan in defense strategy See in context

@kaimycahl - "in 1969 Russia took part of far east China territory from china"

In 1969, China won the battle of Zhenbao island. Of the course of three Russia-China treaties in 1995, 2003, and finally 2008, the China-Russian border became completely defined, including assigning Zhenbao island as Chinese.

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Posted in: Man arrested for kidnapping teenage girl in Kitakyushu See in context

@ Stephen Chin As Yoshitsuru knew the girl and had contacted her by phone more than a year ago. Most likely she was in love with him and went away with him voluntarily. He did not snatch her from the street to carry her away.

Even if that much is true, it does not necessarily follow that -

@ Stephen Chin So he did not kidnap her against her wishes.

because you don't know his behavior after that point. It's more than a stretch to assume she didn't want to return home.

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Posted in: Cabinet OKs ¥29 tril spending plan to counter inflation See in context

Part of the tolerance for low yen is the hope that companies will onshore the work they have offshored to China, and also that Japan can up export market share from China. However, the Renminbi is also plunging, so it could be a race to the bottom.

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Posted in: Japan to allow wage payments to digital wallets from April See in context

Is this OK security wise? Payment to bank account is working perfectly. I can't really see the advantage of the change.

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Posted in: British minister tells gay World Cup fans to 'be respectful' See in context

Oil that gushes rivers of money. Money that flows like water. But oil and water don't mix.

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Posted in: Japan has only 60% of needed interceptor missile stockpiles: estimate See in context

@JTC - "So to cut a long story short, the Japanese Government hasn't got a realistic [Nuclear War] plan"

The phrase "realistic Nuclear War plan" is kind of an oxymoron. However, "nuclear deterrent plan" is very much alive around the world and alters a nations chances of being conventionally attacked.

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