Japan Today

ChibaChick comments

Posted in: British 'drug mule' faces 10 years' jail after acquittal overturned See in context

Yes, backpacking at 56 - clearly you have never been a backpacker - there are people of all ages travelling.

Airlines will allow you to fly with an onward ticket - you dont have to have a return ticket.

Its not hard to get a contact for lodging - and it doesnt say that he didnt have this - just no actual reservation. A lot f people on arrival will come into town and look round the hostels for a decent place to stay.

I am not protecting him. He is guilty as hell. It is obvious and he deserves everything he gets. But I disagree with them using his method of travel to convict him. the drugs alone should have been enough.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: British 'drug mule' faces 10 years' jail after acquittal overturned See in context

I think the guy is guilty as hell, but to be fair, the logic of this escapes me:

“The defendant had no company for the trip and no reservations for accommodation as of his arrival in Japan. He also says he had no plans to meet anyone and no itinerary while in Japan,” it said.

When I was backpacking years ago, I used to arrive in a country in exactly the same way. It is not this that makes him suspicious, it is 2.5kgs of drugs that does. That is a lot to be carrying and not knowing about it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Police say computer files show stalker planned murder See in context

You ALWAYS hear "Matsumoto yougisha" or "Tanaka yougisha" on the news. I have never heard of "Taro yougisha" or "Yoshihiro yougisha". Doesnt happen.

But I dont think this is a foreigner-targeting thing. I think in general Japanese just always use family names for JApanese, and first names for foreigners - even "haafu" if they are perceived to be a foreigner. Ignorance? Maybe. But I kind of feel sorry for Japanese sometimes - damned if they do and damned if they dont. They are taught at school that we use first names, and then when they do we complain about it.

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Posted in: 4 Dalmatians escape home, attack passersby in Sakai See in context

Perhaps those are deaf. About 30% of Dalmatians are deaf and you need to be very careful not to startle them

you are walking down the street minding your own business, and a pack of snarling dogs comes at you - would your first reaction be "Oh! Mustnt startle them!"?!

It wasnt the victims fault, and it wasnt the dogs fault either. Anyone who keeps 11 dogs in an enclosed space is at best clueless, and at worst - I dont even want to think about it.

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Posted in: What would it take to convince you that seafood, rice and other food products from Fukushima Prefecture are safe to consume? See in context

This question reminds me of the time in the UK during the BSE crisis that the then Agriculture Minister tried to convince everyone beef was safe by feeding his 5 year old grand daughter a burger live on national television. She took one bite, grimaced, yelled "URRRGH!" and spat it out!

Pretty much second what blvtzpk says.

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Posted in: Greek police seek global help to identify blonde girl found in Roma camp See in context

Poor kid looks terrified

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Posted in: Kanebo whitening creams spark 15,000 complaints See in context

It was 80 degrees here today and I stood in the park with my kids rubbing sunscreen onto us all. The J women nearby stood top to tail in hats, masks, long sleeves, several layers, one even had a woolly scarf on - and whined about how hot they were.

overchan - it wasnt an allergic reaction, and it didnt happen after one application, it builds up over time.

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Posted in: Police say computer files show stalker planned murder See in context

Ya think? The guy broke into her house and hid in a cupboard with a knife.

I would call that premeditated, wouldnt you?

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Posted in: Private investigator’s job takes him to darkest depths of juvenile crime in Japan See in context

An interesting thing is happening here in the US at the moment - one kid being bullied in high school and told he had no friends, turned to social media and asked people to support him. 100 people turned up to his school to have lunch with him and the bully apologised.

A 14 year old girl was lured to a 17 year olds house and sexually assaulted with another girl. The pollice dropped the charges through "lack of evidence" - it has now gone viral via social media and the case has been re-opened.

In another example, a young Sikh girl had a picture taken of her without her knowledge, distributed online and made fun of (she had hirsutism). The viral pic eventually actually got back to her, and she posted in the comments to say that she understood it seems weird, that her belief system prevents her from removing body hair, and if the guy needed a pic or to ask questions he need only have asked. the guy who took the pic actually apologised and said she was a better person than he was, and he was a better person for having met her.

I am sensing a turning of the tide in the whole bullying issue, and I am hoping it spreads to Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: 20% of Tokyo university students want to die, NPO survey suggests See in context

This is sad . "country ( Japan ) is not coming out of recession for last two decades"

That is the fault of gaikoku, especially Lehman Brothers.

You do know that Lehman brothers happened in 2008, right? And the Japanese economic bubble burst around 1990? But dont worry about that little detail - just keep blaming "gaikoku" for all Japans woes if it makes you feel better. Never let Japan take a look at itself for its own problems, and you will still find yourself 20 years from now posting on here about Japan not coming out of recession for 4 decades...

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Posted in: 'Fukuppy' firm rethinking mascot after Internet ridicule See in context

NOOOO!!!!! Dont change it!!!! Its already the most memorable of all the nonsense characters out there!

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Posted in: 'Anpanman' creator dies at 94 See in context

This guy personally decorated the walls of the pediatric surgery unit at a major Tokyo teaching hospital with all the characters and we had the dubious pleasure of staying there for 2 weeks when I saw first hand the joy they brought to the kids in there, mine included.

Definitely the end of an era, but the legacy will continue. RIP Yanase Takashi.

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Posted in: Japanese breakdancer wins Asia-Pacific competition See in context

If there is one thing that has really stood out for me over the 11 years I was in Japan, it was how generally talented Japanese are at art, music and dance. I dont know the reasons why, and I get that we also have amazing talent in the west, but I see a LOT of Japanese with a high level of skill in the arts.

Every Japanese I ever met could read music and play at least one instrument. The art at school on display was a far higher level to the equivalent in the west, and anyone who has ever been to a simple dance or exercise class will know what I am talking about when they stand at the back in amazement while the Japanese all around them just seem to "know" what they are doing! Japan produces amazing dancers and artists.

I dont know if it is down to natural talent, the way they are taught, or a combo of things, but its been really noticeable to me over the years so not surprised by this report.

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Posted in: 11 unique experiences for tourists to Japan See in context

If you dont mind, I think Ill stick to the onsens, hiking and sushi bars.

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Posted in: Japanese adults top in reading, math skills: OECD study See in context

Ive found it very interesting that my two older kids, slotting into US schools after so far only being in Japanese schools, are so far slowly coming up to speed with their English (Reading, Language Arts in particular) but are peeing all over the other kids in Math, even in their second language. The J system must be doing something right in that respect.

But I agree, Math is just one aspect of overall intelligence.

The schools here are also way more advanced technologically. We are in a particularly good school district so I guess it may not be representative of everywhere, but they have computer classes every day and each child is assigned an ipad. Ive been pretty impressed so far after hearing very mixed opinions on US education. But maybe we just got lucky with the school district.

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Posted in: People playing it safe with their money See in context

My 35 year loan on my 50,000,000 yen mortgage is only 1.12% fixed, and that was with only 5,000,000 down

Ours was very similar - 50 million mortgage, we put down a bigger deposit, and 1.17% fixed. That was Risona bank, but others are very similar. It makes no sense to rent long term. Now in California we are doing the same thing. Just got a mortgage approved and looking for somewhere to buy. Would much rather be paying my own mortgage than someone elses.

But everyones circumstances are different and there are many cases when it may well be better to rent.

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Posted in: Dolphin-killing town to open marine park See in context

Ah, but, you see, what none of you are understanding is that opening whale and dolphin parks is a very important part of Japanese traditional culture........

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Posted in: Dolphin-killing town to open marine park See in context

Youve seen the show. Now you can eat the cast!

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Posted in: U.S. dysfunction at home undermining its credibility abroad See in context

Starting to feel like I got off the merry go round that is Japan, only to get on to the rollercoaster that is the US. Could be worse. Could still be on the death slide that was the UK. And dont even get me started on France ;)

Canada sounds nice......!

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Posted in: Miley Cyrus in tit-for-tat exchange with Sinead O'Connor See in context

The only thing more mysterious to me than how and why Miley Cyrus decided to morph into this half-crazed porn-desperate wannabe everyone is laughing about when she actually has got talent and can carry herself perfectly well on her voice alone, is why Sinead O Connor felt the need to stick her beak in and offer unsolicited advice in the first place.

If Miley feels the need to train-wreck herself in order to learn who she is and how to grow up - let her. Certainly gives us something to read about other than the children bickering on Capitol Hill.

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Posted in: Mother on trial for suffocating 5-year-old son over Nintendo DS argument See in context

I wonder how any of us would act if we are chronically sleep-deprived and drugged up to the eyeballs. Ive lost it before. Not to the point of killing someone, but I feel like Ive been near-out of my mind with exhaustion and trying to keep it all together completely on my own. When I got to that point, I tended to lock myself away in the bathroom with a good book and a cup of tea, or just breathe until I came back down to earth again. But then, I wasnt on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol. Not usually, anyway :)

No excuses for this woman though. What she did was absolutely wrong and she must have known it - she was lucid enough to be able to bind and tape the child and seal him into plastic bags. Who does that? Even if you lose it to the point that you think about it, or even START doing it, surely there would come a point very quickly, as a Mother, that you check yourself. Even if she did then fall asleep, not surprising really with the cocktail of alcohol and drugs sloshing around inside her, she must have known what she was doing was dangerous before she fell asleep.

Im just wondering though, where the rest of the family was at 11am on a Sunday morning? I totally get chronically sleep-deprived stressed out mothers losing it. I can never understand though losing it to the point that they would actually harm their child. You would have to actually be temporarily insane. Perhaps she was.

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Posted in: 10 tips on giving birth in Japan See in context

Lots of generalisations, and I agree - everywhere is different. So nobody is necessarily "wrong" in what they are saying here. Except two points I must coment on:

Frungy: oxygen did shag-all in the active stages of labour. Mask made a very handy projectile though. Would have been more effective if it hadnt been attached to the wall though.

And Cleo: with all due respect, from one veteran to another, in my humble opinion, Lamaze can shove it up his ***! ;)

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Posted in: Japan may be on brink of rabies epidemic See in context

"The single biggest threat to mans continued dominance on this planet is the virus".

I would agree with that.

Dont think its going to be Rabies that gets us though. Try again, amateur weekly playboy writer trying to make a name for yourself.

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Posted in: Flipping classrooms: Is Japan embracing new educational paradigm? See in context

We have been in US education now for 4 months, after being only in J education so far. We are blown away. Daily computer classes, and all kids have ipads - in a PUBLIC school. This particular school district is renowned for its education levels, but even so - a loooong way from my eldests Japan classroom. And I also think elementary school in Japan is good. Just in different ways.

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Posted in: WWII comfort women: the pain that time cannot heal See in context


know you did'nt like my coments regarding this story, but can I ask a question. Can you giver me some sources that prove your point?

You could try reading the article where the victim actually tells her story? Or if you are not comfortable trusting someone who is not Japanese, perhaps you could refer to the testimonies of the now elderly former Japanese soldiers who regularly come forwards and clear their consciences by backing up these womens stories, confirming everything they say is true. There was one quite recently describing how the men lined up with their pants already down to save time.

Or of course, you could just stay in denial and continue to endure everyones disgust. Your choice.

From a legal perspective, however, don't you just love these "hazy on the details and timing of her ordeal" testimonies?

I find nothing to "love" about a testimony given by an elderly lady on events that happened nearly 80 years ago when she was a child and was so brutally violated and traumatised that she has almost certainly blocked aspects of it from her memory just to enable her to survive the rest of her life. Meanwhile, as I just said above, and many others have pointed out, more and more Japanese soldiers are backing up their stories, and mass-fabrication across other countries and cultures just isnt conceivable.

Have some respect for these victims.

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Posted in: Woman causes disturbance at airport; body of daughter found in home See in context

And the father did not keep contact to his daughter? Post, email, telephone, a visit? No woman would stop me if she were my daughter.

Sadly not all fathers are like you. I think "living and working elsewhere" may be a euphemism for "gone and no longer gives a crap".

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Posted in: Tokyo police advise women on how to stay safe while in elevators See in context

This did happen to me. And it wasnt a man but a psychotic woman (wh was eventually arrested for assault on someone else). It came from nowhere. She screamed at me and punched me and I had my 5 year old and 2 month old baby in a pram with me. She also tried to up-end the pram. It was a terrifying experience. I tried to fight back but the minute I took my hand off the pram she was attacking it. There was a camera in the elevator but the angle of it blocked most of the evidence. However, a few days later she attacked someone else (she lived in our building which was where it happened) and that time there were eye witnesses and injury to prove what she did.

Its not just "evil" men you have to watch out for. It can happen to anyone by anyone at any time. No need for paranoia, just awareness.

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Posted in: 18-month-old girl dies after being left alone in hot room for 18 hours See in context

I cant believe people are making excuses for her because of "the system" or the "lack of daycare". Has anyone ever seen young women with small children homeless and begging for food on the street in Japan? I doubt it. Because there IS help available. A simple trip to a ward office would have yielded her all sorts of financial help. There ARE 24 hour daycares around and for women in this situation they are virtually free. There are NPOs and charities that give support. The situation in Japan is NOT hopeless. Tough, maybe, but not impossible. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for leaving an 18 month old baby alone for 18 hours period, never mind in a non-air conditioned room. Cant get daycare? Then you dont work. The ward office are never going to kick you out on the street to starve if you have nowhere to go. I have heard of many combinis and restaurants quietly giving food to homeless and/or desperate people.

There are also far more kindhearted people around then there are A-holes. How many of us commenting right now would have turned away and done nothing to help this girl if we knew her, or if she was a neighbour of ours?

Too proud to ask for help because of the gaman culture? Then you are an idiot, and as it turns out now a murderer too. No one unless they are mentally incompetent could leave a baby like that alone for an extended period of time and expect them to be in good health on their return. So unless this girl was actually intellectually sub-normal I think she knew exactly what she was doing and I think she wanted "rid" of the child, without actually bringing herself to killing her herself.

I probably sound horribly judgemental. I dont really care. I am sick of hearing of these shocking cases of neglect and abuse, in Japan and elsewhere in the world.

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Posted in: Woman held for attempted murder of 4-month-old daughter See in context

After my 2nd child I was given a questionnaire by the local ward office to fill in to check my health status. Questions like "Are you lacking energy?" "Do you feel you want to harm your baby?" " Are you having suicidal thoughts?" I ticked "yes" to every single red flag to see what would happen and sent the questionnaire off. Never heard back. I will probably get someone knocking on the door around the time he turns 18!

No excuses for this woman. But I do understand her frustration. Ive been there. Difference was that I beat the hell out of a pillow. You are exhausted, frustrated, depressed, and cannot see reality anymore. Its like sleepwalking all day and all night with no end in sight. You think you will never be normal again. But a part of your consciousness as a mother kicks in and you know no matter how hard it gets you would never ever harm that little bundle. You would rather kill yourself first. I guess some people dont have that consciousness. Whether that makes them ill or evil is beyond my ability to know.

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