Charles Noguhi comments

Posted in: Japan pulls out stops to improve nightlife for foreign tourists See in context

@marcelitoToday "You couldn't even dance until recently"

Definitely not the case. Ageha in Kiba, has since 1988, allowed and encouraged dancing well into the morning, has multiple stages, and is reasonably priced (2,000 to 10,000 yen depending on the number of stages going at once and stature of the artist). They open starting from 8pm to midnight, and close when everyone goes home, often 8am the next morning.

As anyone who works in Tokyo knows, taxi coupons freely flow. Even if you don't have a taxi coupon, there are hundreds of taxis outside Ageha at any given moment and it is an easy 20 minute drive to mid-town, Haneda, Chiba, and if you want to stay out but leave the venue, there are plenty of 24 hour places near the station to keep you busy.

There are so many great places to visit that don't need the government's support. They just need you to come out and support them.

I talk about Ageha as they not only accept "gaijin" but they welcome everyone. I have never had a problem. Single or as a couple, there is plenty of action there too.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: LDP approves antismoking plan with many loopholes See in context

Horse hockey. The reasons why smoking should be allowed have already been proven to be red herrings.

The only way to change the status quo is with your feet. No one will go bankrupt, and smoking will not decrease if there is a smoking ban. Smokimg will simply shift to different venues. The product and concept wins. The best example of this is Starbucks.

Starbucks was advised by ‘Japanese Marketing Professionals’ that they would go bankrupt if they didn’t allow smoking. So they jettisoned the ‘experts’ and now Japan is the biggest profit maker for Starbucks.

It’s not uncommon to see the typical salaryman just keep his cigarettes in his pocket when in Starbucks. The product and concept wins by market forces, not by regulation.

As proof of concept, most coffee chains have now followed suit and completely sealed off ‘chambers’ for smokers, and a few local shops here and there have been languishing with just a few customers who have to smoke inside.

Want to make Japan smoke-free? Give generously to non-smoking establishments, let them know you are there because they have a non-smoking policy.

Be sure to take a pic with the owner and manager, and post the pic to Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and any other site you can find.

It’s not too difficult to change the situation with a little effort.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Craving carbs? Blame your brain, Japanese study finds See in context

@sf2k : You are completely wrong. Milk DOES NOT cause heart disease, and since you use the word "We're" to describe every human's reaction to milk, not everyone has an "over reactions" [sic].

Carbohydrates are NOT needed to live. If the body is in desperate need of energy, it can make glucose through gluconeogenesis.

Proteins and fats can supply most if not all of the elements necessary to build or repair tissue in the body; carbohydrates provide nothing "essential. The Institute of Medicine puts it quite clearly: "The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Extreme cold to test New Year's revelers in U.S.; some events iced See in context

The earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old, and has certainly gone through many changes. More than 95% of all life forms have gone extinct even before man appeared.

It is utter folly to even presume that scientists or laymen can attempt to use a decade or hundred year sample to understand or predict weather patterns that may have a thousand year or million year pattern. Even assuming we had a million years worth of data, there is no way to even guess if it represents 4.5 billion years of weather, or if it can be used for any form of predictive analysis.

Not a reason to waste resources, but the earth will survive with or without us. In 100 years just about anyone alive now will be gone, and humans can easily succumb to the same fate as the other 95% of life on earth.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Basic errors for your sales staff to avoid See in context

I don't buy in to the premise for two reasons, making the whole article dubious.

First, sales is a trait not a skill, and second, does anyone really say "We have this widget”, “Do you want it?” or “We can discount the price?" I have never heard anyone say these words, in a meeting.

I say this as there are quotations around the phrases.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan likely to tolerate smoking at restaurants after LDP's resistance See in context

Japanese culture of smoking can be changed without a law.

When Starbucks was assessing Japan as a market, two rather big trading firms made proposals that included "necessitated" the "darkening of lights," "no to-go cups," and "completely smoking interiors with a few seats for non-smokers." The quote as I remember was "Japanese culture requires a coffee shop to allow smoking or face bankruptcy ." Starbucks let the consultants go and partnered with Afternoon Tea (a 50-50 venture). The owner of Afternoon Tea had restaurants in LA and knew that completely non-smoking coffee shops would be wildly popular.

Forward to today. Virtually every coffee shop, with a major exception of "Colorado Coffee," is non-smoking. Even Tully's had to completely shut smokers in a separate room due to pressure.

So the best way to solve this problem is for forward-looking companies to start the trend.

Customers too, should be willing to walk out in the middle of a dinner if someone lights up. The manager should be made aware that customers are walking out because of smoking. I hope most if not all of the visitors to the Olympics will just get up and leave a smoking establishment, or when "non-smoking" consists of four tables surrounded by smokers. It won't take restaurant owners long to get the message. Will it work? The most profitable and highest grossing Starbucks stores are in Japan.

Even if a law were passed, there would be so many exceptions and lack of penalties that it would be a joke anyway. I would prefer someone with a profit motive such as Starbucks/Afternoon Tea kick out smokers and make non-smoking restaurants and buildings a reality.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump unaware as Abe falls in bunker during golf game See in context

Literally and psysically falling into a bunker, and no one really cares. Par for the course.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Toshiba's quarterly profit jumps 76% on strong memory chip demand See in context

Why are they selling their only profitable business? Surely a short-term gain can’t be top of mind here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Travel trends: Passengers want single biometric identity token for all travel transactions See in context

Perhaps one of the most poorly designed research studies I have ever seen published.

The swat analysis used ‘satisfaction’ which is the lowest possible sentiment toward a service. Poor show. Using percentages to explain trends is also inexcusable. They should be using cluster analysis or regression analyses. So we can see the weight of each item.

The researchers didn’t parse out frequent fliers, nor did they analyze by region. The world is not flat so why are the results?

The wording too, is suspect. One phrase, ‘48% wanted ‘X’’ means more than half didn’t want what was being asked. We don’t know how they asked the question, with a binominal (yes or no) scale or on a five point scale which was colappsed.

This is prime example of the worst in research design and reporting of results. The smart move is to ignore everything in this article until they retract it and try again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Shortage of pilots at Air Do causes cancellation of 34 flights See in context

There is not really a pilot shortage, the shortage is in the amount airlines are willing to pay. If an airline says can’t find pilots, they just need to up their offer.

ANA is having a banner year, and this link is to a JT story on pilot ‘shortages.’

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: How to know what your team is thinking: 'Tatemae,' 'honne' and the 'gaijin' boss See in context

@Dr.(?): “rude, unrepentant and bombastic foreigners”. That’s quite a wide swath of people who are being stereotyped without any proof.

Does the good Doctor have results from a well-controlled study of Japanese and “rude, unrepentant and bombastic foreigners?”

More central to the article, the gaijin bashing does nothing to answer the question posed. Poor writing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 Japanese to sue gov't for same-surname rule after marriage See in context

@Aly: ‘Japanese women who suffer tremendously due to their choice of marrying a non Japanese.’

Suffer, by marrying a ‘non Japanese ‘[sic]?

So why and how to they suffer any more or less than other Japanese women?

I am surprised no one else picked up this tidbit of racism.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Toyota ends production in Australia after half a century See in context

@elephant200: Did you read the article before posting and pointing blame? 'After looming for four years, "Carmageddon" has hit the Australian auto industry.'

Trump was not on the scene four years ago. Slow down and take a deep breath.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Managers know best: Why you should abandon existing screening standards See in context

In this case, substituting age, gender, and experience in favor of motivation, willingness, and purpose won't change the situation. 

Unless it can be proven that motivation, willingness, and purpose are statistical predictors of job success, the change will just be kicking the can down the road.

Involving managers or executives won't help either unless they have been trained in interview techniques which provide for no leniency in the questions asked to candidates.

Involving executives in the everyday processes will only worsen the situation. They should be shortlisting firms which can conduct the process for them.

The only proven process is to develop statistically-based analyses which can predict the thoughts and behaviors based on personality traits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan missile defense drill aims to ease concern over North Korean threat See in context

@Toshiko: What is your point? Apple iPhones are made in China and the United States, and most Japanese TVs are outsourced to other countries. Stay on point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Workers at Japan's top companies get meager pay hikes See in context

@JapanToday: '...Major electric machinery makers such as Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic Corp, like Toyota, lowered their wage hikes ...' 3,0000 yen the previous year. How much is 3,0000 yen?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: North Korea warns of war; U.S. calls it 'pariah' See in context

@Toshiko: You are joking, correct? Are you suggesting that many or most Japanese would approve of using a nuclear weapon against an oppressed population?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Hey, Mr President: It's time to make spellcheck great again See in context

I was very amused at many of the comments, especially those listed below.

'Poor spelling and grammar usually mean that the person doesn't read books very much.'

'I think many Americans prefer 'doers' and see spelling, knowledge etc as optional rather than prerequisites even for potus.

Each to their own i guess but i know i would have little respect for a candidate who can't spell or thinks.

'Guess spelling is just not (another one of) Trump's main priority (-ies).'

'there is the danger of a mistake giving the wrong idea...'

'Bush jr for example had big gaps too (geography, history...'

'Or maybe ...he really is an illiterate?'

'Truth be told, the AP has it derriere hurt-because Trump has attacked the so-called "Journalism" such as the caliber of the above fine piece.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Starbucks posts disappointing sales growth See in context

@mukashiyokatta 'Why do they want to sell more' of their @Tahoochi 'overpriced coffee's in the words of @bones, 'overrated and simply flavored junk' ? Have you all heard of capitalism? It is a strange concept of making money, hiring employees and paying them so they can buy other products. It is about free markets. Thanks to capitalism, all of you have been granted the privilege of seeing an article about Starbucks on the internet and be able to complain about it, and buy or not buy it. Considering there are lines of people waiting to buy Starbucks product (@JeffLee), they seem to be doing a fairly good job of working the capitalism machinery, despite the complaints.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Starbucks Japan starts selling decaffeinated espresso coffee for first time See in context

""Why drink decaf coffee in the first place?" "Decaf espresso? Bit like non-alcoholic beers, not [sic] thanks." "I thought it was all decaf. Tastes that way."

Hey, the article is telling people that can't have caffeine, or don't want anymore caffeine, that it is now available in Japan. That is the extent of the article.

As far as, " . . . I am curious what effect the decaffeination process has on the health benefits of coffee" there are hundreds of articles on the various ways which caffeine is extracted from the bean. As far as health, there are plenty of articles covering that.

There is a lot more to worry about than decaf.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: IOC urges unwavering commitment by Olympic Games' hosts See in context

No one forced Tokyo to host the games. Tokyo wanted them, and in the process underbid and over promised. That is not the IOC's problem.

If the citizens are unhappy, their recourse is with the decision makers in Tokyo.

Tokyo agreed to hold the Olympics and should complete them as promised.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese banks tighten security after Y1.8 bil taken from 7-Eleven ATMs See in context

Of course Jspanese issued cards to 'locals' will never be subject to fraud. Sounds good. Can't wait until this happens with 'local' credit cards. I can see the handwringing and deep bows already. Hypocrites.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't employees to start work early, finish early in July, August See in context

If they are really expected to go home 'around five' the lights should be turned off 'around five.' Turning the lights off at 8pm is the real message being sent. Twelve hour days or more. They are moving backwards.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to cut emphasis on nuclear power in next energy plan See in context

Coal has a bad name that it really first deserve in 2016. High tech scrubbers clean well, and the half life of coal, unlike nuclear particles, is not tens of thousands of years.

In addition to that, all Japan has to do is offer a million dollars to make a scrubber 100x more powerful than now. And in the mean time, we can start recyclables.

It is the easy choice. Another nuclear meltdown could end life on Japan as we know it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Group of lawmakers urge Abe to stick with sales tax hike See in context

No one picked up on this. They are already announcing next tax increase. To pair down the debt, 10% would not even make a dent. It will be be 20%, followed by more public works projects, the Meji Era has returned.

How do I know this... Here is the comment:The lawmakers also proposed that the government should declare it won't raise the tax beyond 10% for the moment.'****

The 10% is already in, and they are already planning the next hike. Amazing. Everyone took a 10% cut in wages and the lemming are still waddling. Some people are slow to learn.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Messy 'manshons' less visible than junk houses, but just as filthy See in context

These are single case samples which are never meant to be generalized to a polpuation. Look at the source and it's easy to see why it is 'Kuchikomi.'

For every example of a dirty house or apartment, there is one on the other side of the spectrum, i.e., clean and tidy. Odds are the results would fall into a bell curve.

I've seen a lot worse in the States.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Cold rice balls, no flush toilets at quake-hit shelter See in context

@Himajin: You said 'In Tohoku, who would have predicted a M9'. Everyone who reads, especially in Tohoku, could have. Major earthquakes and tsunami have occurred in the same area on a regular basis, most with written records. One of the evacuation areas on higher ground was built near a plaque from the 1600's, saying 'This area not safe after a tsunami-- go higher.' It was easily found and documented by a professor. Some of the older generation remember bring told the same thing by their grandparents. There were reports of citizens not willing to enter that building where the plaque was, but kept going up. They survived.

Warnings went unheeded and history was ignored. Money exchanged for safety.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Cold rice balls, no flush toilets at quake-hit shelter See in context

Yes, you certainly are.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan prepares for release of tritium from Fukushima plant See in context

If it is so safe and weak, why is tritium a substance which is used to make thermonuclear weapons?

As it a byproduct from nuclear power generation, what has become of the tritium from 30 to 50 years of nuclear power generation?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Happy Mika Mifune says divorce finalized See in context

@Strangerland: 'unproven does not equal untrue.' This was figured out 2000 years ago but you must have missed that class.

Guilty UNLESS (not until) proven guilty is the status quo. Remember now? Simply hurling accusations at a press conference hardly makes them true. Admitting facts into evidence is even more useless, as Family Court does not allow forensic evidence, and the judges have no qualifications to rule on probative value. Why? Lack of training, and no meaningful rules of evidence exist.

Old Mifune is at least 50% culpable. He allowed, blessed and watched it for many years. As far as she goes, she said "Looking back on her 17 years and 6 months of marriage, she added, 'I have learned many life lessons.'

The biggest one is how to manipulate the system to tear a family apart. She probably already has target and victim #2 in her sights, and 2:1 he was the one who pushed her to insist on the no visitation clause.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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