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Chris Case comments

Posted in: Japanese high school kids average 12% correct answers in English oral test See in context

 it broadens your horizon massively and you can read or understand so many different things more than usual, things you have never known that they existed or that you have ever could dream or think about yourself. 

True, but this is an argument for education as a whole, at least as it has been conceived for centuries. I think you saying this is especially true of English, and I'm inclined to agree. But surely the first step would be to learn aa significant amount of what can be learned in one's own language. Japanese youths seem to be abysmally ignorant of so much that I for one consider important to know about in order to have any view of world that will be able to deal with what immediate crises are coming down the pike, e.g., the environment, the economies, global politics, artificial intelligence. Now that I mention those, I start to wonder how knowledgeable or aware of such universal considerations a person literate only in Japanese can become, given what's available, even if (s)he overcomes the intellectual insularity tradition encourages.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese high school kids average 12% correct answers in English oral test See in context

the ministry sampled about 42,000 students at about 500 schools in the nationwide April assessment.

The ministry says direct comparisons with previous assessments are not appropriate, as the average is calculated from the sample alone.

Whereas the previous assessments were not based on samples? Back 9n good old days when there was time to assess millions of test results?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Can you trust your ears? AI voice scams rattle U.S. See in context

i wonder how long it will take for people to realise that they can check the veracity of a voice by asking a question to which only the real person knows the answer. "Where did we go on holiday when you were in high school?" People who worry about this in advance could also decide mutually on a "safe word" to be used for the same purpose. Should be easy for a family.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Singapore conducts two more executions See in context

You're saying if it's carried out by an infallible judicial system it would be moral and ethical.

The irreversibility of a sentence might be the immoral aspect, as it leaves no room for rectifying error.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Singapore conducts two more executions See in context

Given the popularity among mass shooters of taking one's own life in preference to the certainty of longterm incarceration suggests that the latter is less inviting. Japan's method seems to be to imprison them for many years of alternating hope and despair possibly resulting in remorse, and then hang 'em.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Relaxed mask usage guidelines barely spread among Japanese public See in context

I find all these comments by Americans referring to Japanese hive mind to be absurd,given that the American populace is polarised to a ridiculous degree, with people on the various sides of extreme dualisms deriving their entire notion of reality from the manipulated media they consume, hardly anyone thinking for themselves, and certainly few daring to question the mainstream view of the day of their faction, be it about Covid or Ukraine or gender or racism. No country is more illustrative of the phenomenon of Manufactured Consent than the US. Maybe it's the homogeneity of the Japanese consensus reality that makes people from a violently divided, dualistic collective mind think themselves superior.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Ueno zoo panda's return to China delayed again due to pandemic See in context

Of course, one experience zoos offer that is not available on line is the aroma of animal cages. An unforgettable memory of mine is of being taken to a zoo by my aunt when about 8 years old. I stood watching the jaguar with fascination when he suddenly peed several metres from his cage straight into my face. Another close encounter of the undesirable kind came years later when I was alone in my campsite a few kilometres above Pahalgam in the Kashmiri Himalayas when on the other side of the fire appeared a panther. We stared at each other for a heartstopping moment, I doing my best to project friendly intentions, until he turned back into the shadows. I really prefer my big cats to be virtual.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ueno zoo panda's return to China delayed again due to pandemic See in context

There are literally hundreds of David Attenborough videos available, many of them for free, which can provide children and adults alike with far more interesting information and views of animals in their natural habitats, with the amazing visual quality of the BBC's extraordinary photography and Attenborough's engaging narration. Who needs zoos?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Russians keep pressure on Mariupol; massive convoy breaks up See in context

When all this is over, examination by neutral observers of the site of the bombed hospital m,ay well confirm the Russian assertion that it had long been emptied of patients and become an Azov headquarters, and that analysis shows that two local explosions, not shelling, caused the damage. Reports also come from non-Russian sources confirming that the neoNazi battalions are bombing their own country in many false flag attempts to win the propaganda war while preventing civiians from leaving. The surrounded Azov battalion's attacks on Mariupol's escape corridors appear to be further examples, and also the attempts to seize the nuclear reactors, of which Russia is wisely taking control. On the ground footage of Ukrainian civilians incredulously exclaiming that they are being bombed by their own military is not being shown in the west.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan condemns Russia's move as violation of Ukraine sovereignty See in context

Lavrov has made the interesting point that according to accepted definition, a sovereign state is one that is inclusive of all its population and their interests, not one that seeks to eliminate millions of them. He might also argue that a neo-nazi dominated regime that overthrew a democratically elected government cannot be considered a legitimate sovereign state just because it got control of the capital city and some portion of the land. If Russia's sending forces to protect those repudiating the coup can be called an invasion, then NATO's forces sent into the western sector is also an invasion.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Ukraine's Zelenskyy calls on Putin to meet as tensions soar See in context

Whenever you see an article that speaks of the danger of Russia seizing or invading Ukraine again as in 2014, there's little need to finish it, as this shows that the article is mere stenography of the US propaganda narrative. Any article with either memory or research behind it would make clear that Russian forces were already legally in Sevastopol, never crossed in from Russia, and that the Crimean referendum overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia, which the latter agreed to with official annexation. One would hope that writers in Japan would be free of the pressure to substitute US fake news for journalism, but I suppose they get the same message from above about the narrative required by corporate vassals.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan eyes evacuating nationals in Ukraine See in context

I think it's pretty obvious that nobody, including the Americans and Brits, believes that Russia has had any intention of invading Ukraine. But pretending to think so allows them to justify moving militarily into Ukraine, ostensibly to protect it. As time goes by and no invasion occurs, they will claim that they scared Russia out of it, and probably retain their military presence there, thus achieving much of what allowing Ukraine into NATO would be intended for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 9,468 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 50,030 See in context

Just as yesterday, no reported cases of anyone over 50. So the greying of Japan resumes....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Border restrictions force 300 foreigners to decline Japan teacher jobs See in context

It was quite early on in my more than 50 years in Japan that I realised that Japan could be an excellent place for one who already preferred to be an outsider from conventional society, provided s/he had an independent and imaginative spirit and could find a way to be self-employed. Those who hoped to be included in Japanese society and be employed by its companies were and are far less likely to find satisfaction. Creative or resourceful people who even in their own countries did not want to have to subscribe to the consensus reality can find the lack of peer pressure to conform to a group quite liberating. If a career in the arts or another way of being self-employed is what you want, the exclusion and lack of a sense of Belonging is more an asset than something to complain of, and you may well be treatid with respect for your relative independence, if it is unthreatening and you show respect for the finer aspects of Japan. Working for a company or the government is an option I would never have considered, and I daresay I would have ended up commiserating with half the people in this discussion had I done so.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: What will 2022 bring in the way of misinformation on social media? See in context

Most misinformation is produced by foreign entities and political fringe groups

No, most is homegrown, distributed by the corporate oligarchy's media

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Omicron variant reported in 22 of Japan's prefectures See in context

Possibly even less rational than diagnosing other people's Covid variant on the basis of reported symptoms is diagnosing their intelligence based on correspondence of their opinions with one's own

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: TEPCO files for approval of Fukushima plant water release See in context

It’s far beyond a ‘drop in the ocean’.

Not really. The ocean contains 352 quintillion gallons of water

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan hangs 3 death-row inmates; 1st executions in 2 years See in context

One might argue that the practice of not telling people when they will be executed and holding them for decades before doing so allows them to live the rest of their lives like anybody else, not knowing when it might happen, and therefore almost forgetting about it until the last moment.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan launches COVID-19 vaccine certificate app See in context


-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan launches COVID-19 vaccine certificate app See in context

Wear a mask if it makes you feel better.

Or, if you're not totally self-centred, wear one because it makes others feel better, with good reason.

Covid denialists should realise how lucky they are to be in a country where few precautionary measures are compulsive because people cooperate voluntarily, and should refrain from trying to get others to join them in their sulky refusal, lest the consensus shift to mandates.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Posted in: Best hidden spots for a winter trip in Japan See in context

Quite spectacular are the frozen falls in Ogano, just past Chichibu https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-city-guides/onouchihyakkei

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't was aware of sinking ground ahead of U.S. base landfill work: documents See in context

 "We do not normally disclose boring and other survey results every time they are conducted."

Yes, we definitely would prefer only the exciting survey results.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Rare shot shows 2 distinct seasons meeting in one place See in context

I think what's said about Japan that is unusual is that it has five seasons, with the Rainy Season coming between spring and summer

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: New Omicron variant stokes world fears; triggers travel bans See in context

And "Xi" was skipped since Xi should be ignored.

Or because people might not know how to pronounce it. In Japan, of course, "kusai" means "stinks"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 5 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 77 See in context

Some possible explanations


4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for molesting elementary school girl in bookstore See in context

That god she told someone, most Japanese girls don't.

If they don't, what experience has taught you that?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: KFC Japan releases official ramen recipe, other Japanese-inspired cooking ideas See in context

The steps for making the okonomiyaki do not include the use of the flour and water listed among the ingredients

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Burger King releases 100% plant-based Version 2 Whopper in Japan See in context

The descrption does not match the picture, which is not of a patty sandwiched between the various veggies, but of the veggies sandwiched betwen two patties. Looks like a way to get your fingers really greasy...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: First positive COVID tests reported for 2 athletes in Olympic Village See in context

Are figures available for how much more would be lost and by whom were the Olympics to be cancelled altogether at this point?

I still feel the best compromise would be to go ahead and stage the Olympics, but without athletes.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan sees no impact on Olympics from U.S. travel advisory See in context

Being unwilling to lose the trillions of yen from broadcast rights, accommodation income, souvenirs, etc. that cancelling the Olympics would occasion, Japan is rumoured to be considering holding them, but without athletes.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

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