Coffee comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 3,621 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 23,447 See in context

I went to Paris a few weeks ago for business. Not a soul in the city wearing a mask. I reluctantly wore a mask so I could get my negative PCR test to return home to Japan (which they never asked for of course). Despite wearing a mask I still tested positive after returning to Japan. Very mild symptoms. Life moves on.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: COVID-19 entry ban could deter interest in Japan: UK scholars See in context

Well both my wife and I moved to Japan during the pandemic. I was reluctant to move back to Japan when my company first approached me, but my wife found work as a tenured professor at a university so here we are. Both of us needed to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility and then convert it to a proper work visa at our our local consulate. Despite the headline of this article Japan very much is still open for business.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: 'Squid Game' characters drawn from director's life See in context

He still have yet to tell he is influenced by Japanese series and anime but he will never.

I have yet to see Squid Game but it sounds extremely similar to Battle Royale and Kaiji. Here's a direct quote from the director on how he developed the story and how he sees his storytelling approach as different:

“When I first came up with the ideas in 2008, I was into the Japanese survival comics – Battle Royale; Liar Game: Reborn; Gambling Apocalypse: Kaiji; to name a few,” he said.

“As I read on, I thought about making the survival genre in Korea. The Japanese game-based comics focused more on the games than its characters. While the games were elaborate and complex, the players were less carefully treated.

“I wanted contrarily to show more of the characters playing simple games. I have watched The Hunger Games and Black Mirror, which did not affect me for this work. I have not watched As The Gods Will. Only later, when I heard that the first game was the same, I looked up that particular scene.”

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Half of Japan's population has received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine See in context

A lot of criticism for Japan’s slow vaccine rollout is certainly warranted. I finally got my vaccine voucher from local government (Tokyo suburb) and my age bracket can’t even make reservations until November.

That being said corporate Japan stepped up big. Once government announced corporations could do vaccinations I received a survey from my company within a day and later that week I had dates for both my shots. I am younger and was last in line out of 50,000 employees but just received the second shot earlier this week. The entire process, except for brutal side effects from the second shot, was extremely efficient. Same situation with my wife’s employer.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Russian team topples American powerhouse with Biles out See in context

As an American myself I could hardly care less if the US took home the gold or the silver. Although CNN was running with the headline "America's worst nightmare comes true after Simone Biles withdraws" lol. I enjoyed each country's performance and one of my favorite moments of the night was when the Americans high fived one of the Russians after her stellar performance on the uneven bars. It was nice to see the competition bringing the athletes together.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreign students in Japan job hunt online amid pandemic See in context

As a foreigner who has enjoyed seishain status at three Japanese companies, all listed on Tier 1 of the Tokyo Exchange and founded in the Meiji Era, and two of them in the annual top 20 for companies that new grads want to work for, the myth that Japanese companies will not hire foreigners or mixed Japanese nationals is a complete lie. Learn the language and doors will start opening everywhere. I have had coworkers of all races and nationalities and regularly meet others working with the client or partner companies. Don’t get discouraged.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: China announces over 6% economic growth target; boosts defense spending by 6.8% See in context

Li promised to pursue "green development" following Xi's pledge last year to ensure China's carbon emissions peak by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. That will require sharp increases in clean and renewable energy in an economy that gets 60% of its power from coal and is the world's biggest source of climate-changing industrial pollution.

I hope that they can get the air pollution under control, though it looks like it hasn't improved much from those pictures. The AQI is reading today is more than 200...yikes...normally they try to control emissions and traffic during the Two Sessions and other important meetings so Beijing can have blue skies. I used to live in Beijing and the air pollution nearly drove me insane.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Party over at Clubhouse, the app that had China talking See in context

This is the same China whose Ambassador to the US said on CNN the other day that “there are existing and even mounting restrictions imposed by the United States government against all this free flow of technology and information . . . I think technological progress should benefit everybody, the entire global community, and everybody in every society.” Amazing that the CCP is given an open platform by the Western media to spew garbage, yet at home still they even blocked the US Ambassador to China’s op-ed in a major newspaper just a few months ago for “failing to meet editorial standards lol.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga apologizes for glitch in Japan's COVID-19 contact-tracing app See in context

Has anyone else used the app? I downloaded it for iPhone when I arrived last November and the app was extremely faulty. Every time I would open the app I would need to re-register, so highly doubtful I would have received any push notifications of coming into contact with someone when the app wasn't open, which might explain why I never had a single encounter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to halt entry of all nonresident foreign nationals See in context

@Aly Rustom

For those of us that can, we should try to find somewhere else and immigrate. We are trying for Canada, but everything is upside down now.

Have you considered Malaysia? They have a very favorable policy called My Second Home Malaysia that offers unlimited renewable 10 year visas. It’s suspended at the moment, COVID of course..., but the entry barrier is quite low. Depends if you are ready to retire or can make enough money online to sustain your lifestyle there.

I am looking to move there part-time as soon as the situation settles down.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to halt entry of all nonresident foreign nationals See in context

Stricter quarantine measures are fine but the government should not point the blame on people breaching quarantine measures when there was literally no instruction as to what we can/cannot do when entering the country other than don’t use public transportation.

My company put me in a weekly apartment that was advertised as for business persons needing to self-quarantine. It had a fridge and that was it. Not even towels or toilet paper. I am not advocating going straight to the pub with friends but what are people supposed to do when the government and businesses keep dropping the ball?

As for permanent residents, yes, you can be deported. Same for places like Singapore as well. It is what it is. If you truly love Japan and wanted to be treated as a Japanese national then consider taking up citizenship here.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Activist, champion: Naomi Osaka selected AP Female Athlete of Year See in context

Athletes are welcome to voice their opinions and use their platforms to draw attention to causes that they believe in, and hopefully they can use their influence to bring about substantial change to improve our communities. However, many times it reeks of insincerity.

LeBron James famously says "I am more than just an athlete and won't shut up and dribble a ball", but he then criticized former Houston Rockets' GM Daryl Morey for exercising his freedom of speech after the GM tweeted "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong". LeBron James doesn't want to jeopardize those tens of millions of dollars coming in from China. Recently he's been confusing class privilege with white privilege, crying that Lori Loughlin, former Full House actress who bribed school officials to get her daughters admitted to college, got to pick the prison of her choice only because she's white. Hmmm, does he really not expect the same treatment for him and his family too?

As for Naomi Osaka, how much does she really understand about the individuals whose names are on her mask? Is she even aware that Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery were not victims of police violence but rather killed, you could even say murdered, by civilians. Unfortunately Trayvon Martin's family never got criminal justice but Ahmaud Arbery's killers have been sitting in jail since May as the await trial, and were recently denied bail, and no doubt guilty already in the court of public opinion before their trial. Maybe she should wear a mask for Nicole Simpson as well then.

Naomi Osaka is in a unique position to use her platform to raise awareness for racial inequalities in Japan yet she stays silent as that sponsorship money continues to roll in. She didn't seem to mind Nissin whitewashing her last year but imagine the uproar if that ad was made in the US. As an American who has lived in Japan and China, while the US is far from perfect, racism is unfortunately much more tolerated here. The Star Wars actor John Boyega complained that Disney wouldn't market him because he's black. Well, the perfume brand Jo Malone, whom he was the global ambassador for, did not even give him a heads-up when they axed him out of the Chinese commercials in favor of a Chinese actor.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan developing tracking system for travelers from overseas as anti-virus measure See in context

Hmmm sounds like empty words and a deflection of the real reason cases are spreading. Why were these measures not implemented earlier? 11 months into a pandemic and we’re now finally talking about tracking arrivals? When I arrived in November no one asked to see my pre-departure health certificate and I was not tested upon arrival. One of the most baffling things I witnessed on arrival at Narita was that many of airport staff helping with arrival processing (seemed more like volunteers) had masks that were not properly attached (do people seriously not know how to wear a mask here!?) and they kept distributing pens among the arriving passengers to fill out forms. I saw one pen travel between eight different people with no sanitizing in between.

As for quarantine, the only instructions I received were “try not to use public transportation”. My wife who arrived last week, thankfully before the upcoming ban, said she received no instructions either, although she is isolating at home regardless. She just went through two separate quarantines in China and Hong Kong, the former you are locked in a hotel room with no way of escaping, the latter you need to wear an electronic monitor and will face a heavy fine if you breach quarantine.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Posted in: China looks forward on anniversary of 1937 Nanjing massacre See in context

What!? User names aren’t unique...Scrolling through the comments and surprised to see another Coffee posting...

I agree that it’s important to use history as a reminder of how catastrophic we humans can be, but that it should not be used as a way to teach hate. However, my grandparents and parents never complained about “how evil Japan” whatsoever. My grandmother, who passed away last year at 95, was a red cross nurse and stationed in Hiroshima from 1946-1947 and then later in Chongqing, China from 1948-1949, only had fond memories of Japanese and Chinese.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Posted in: Milo sales suspended for winter after demand surge causes shortage See in context

As with many other commenters above, I seriously had never even noticed Milo on supermarket shelves in the decade that I previously lived here. I did immediately notice it after moving to China, though, where it is practically everywhere. Anyways definitely not going to miss it this winter as I prefer black coffee and unsweetened tea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Have you or anybody you know been tested for the coronavirus? If yes, what was the result? See in context

Tested negative twice, both times in Hong Kong.

First test was govt city wide free testing for all residents where they conducted around two million tests within a week. Very well organised and the test seemed legit, with a nurse taking a deep swab of both my nasal and throat.

Second test was a private one, for travel purposes, but Japan never asked me to submit it when I arrived. The test was run by a well respected hospital, with nurses sent from Mainland China to help test the samples. The actual test was a complete joke, though. They sent me to a private tent in the parking lot and asked me to spit mucous that I suck into my throat from the back of my nose. Zero supervision whatsoever and honestly not even sure if I did it right. Around 30,000jpy to basically get a negative certificate.

I was expecting my third test at Narita upon arrival but was able to enter the country without testing or providing my recent test results from Hong Kong.

I was quite sick with respiratory difficulties in December last year for about a week after a business trip to India. Who knows could have been COVID? Perfect health since then partly, I think, due to constantly wearing a mask.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, China restart reciprocal business travel See in context

Forgot to mention the quarantine part. Japanese nationals and foreigners are subject to the exact same quarantine measures after arrival, although foreigners (except PR and spouses...may be wrong...) will need a “Written Pledge” from your company prepared pre-departure. This document needs to be stamped by the embassy/consulate pre-departure and submitted at immigration upon arrival, and basically holds your employer responsible if you break quarantine (maybe they get a fine or something).

As for the actual quarantine part, it’s basically an “onegai” to not use public transportation and to use proper judgement and stay at home unless it’s necessary to go out to shop for food, etc. I received zero instructions on what I could/could not do and no checkup phone call during the two weeks. I freely when in/out to shop as necessary and did not find it that restrictive. It’s much better than being locked in a hotel room in China and not even allowed to throw your trash away that accumulates during the two weeks.

Obviously for business travel the quarantine is too prohibitive therefore departure and arrival tests, with a detail itinerary for contact tracing purposes, should be sufficient. Of course it will not please everyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, China restart reciprocal business travel See in context

I traveled from Hong Kong to Tokyo three weeks ago on a new entry long-term visa. There’s a lot of misinformation here, especially regarding PR and other visa holders being allowed back. PR and other visa holders have been allowed to re-enter from August 1, with all new entrants (those with Certificate of Eligibility) allowed to enter from October 1 regardless of country of origin.

Yes the pre-departure test certificate for NJ only is unfair. However, I did not submit any pre-departure test and was not tested upon arrival at Narita (seriously...I was shocked also). From my understanding countries deemed safe enough are no longer required to submit pre-departure tests. I confirmed with the consulate that effective November 1 this is indeed the case. Thankfully I took one anyways, at my company’s request, and was asked by Cathay Pacific in order to print my boarding pass. That is a separate issue though as there is zero coordination between the embassies and airline companies as I was told new entries could still not enter (even though I had a signed letter from the consulate in hand...). After an hour or so of Cathay calling Japan then I was finally able to check-in.

Can’t wait to use the travel bubble and go to Singapore soon for a business trip...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Disney to lay off 32,000 U.S. workers in 2021 See in context

And I was hoping to get my dividend reinstated! Oh well, my Disney shares are up 60% since the March lows, not too shabby.

The move comes on the heels of Disney's $4.7 billion loss in the most recent quarter, which reflected the hit to its theme park business and the derailment or postponement of major movie releases.

Yet in this distorted market, somehow these quarterly losses keep driving up the share price.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse as Beijing moves to quash opposition See in context

Just another example of Hong Kong's eroding freedoms that continue to pile up each day. Last week they introduced an anonymous hotline to report anyone violating the National Security Law. Snitch on your neighbor and get 10 points towards your social credit score!

I took an offer from my company to relocate back to Tokyo and will be leaving Hong Kong this week. I have been bummed out all week to leave this amazing one of a kind city, but the writing has been on the wall for months now to get out.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: What's fake, what's not See in context

My wife was just telling me that her friend in Hong Kong got her first "six figure bag" to celebrate her one year wedding anniversary. 100,000 HKD is approximately 1.4 million JPY. I will not criticize what others do with their own money but am certainly happy that my wife is not into material possessions!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Republican senators confront Netflix over Chinese sci-fi show See in context

Why China puts up with this?

Because the US is taking a page from China's playbook.

Look up 李志, legendary Chinese folk singer whose career has been completely erased from Chinese internet because of he pushed too far on issues like Tiananmen and Taiwan. Just a few weeks ago Chinese media censored an essay from Ambassador Branstad, yet the Chinese ambassador can publish whatever he wants to in the US. Let's not act like China is a victim here.

Can’t they just be friends?


5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Republican senators confront Netflix over Chinese sci-fi show See in context

Take a look at your dear glorious leadership and you'll find out.


-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Republican senators confront Netflix over Chinese sci-fi show See in context

"The Three Body Problem" is available at our library as a trilogy. After reading reviews claiming it was excellent, I decided to read it. It is well worth reading, and has nothing to do with forced labor camps.


I wonder if these Republican Senators bothered to read "The Three Body Problem" before they attacked its author. I would be willing to give odds that they did not.


I have been wanting to read The Three Body Problem as well. Recently watched The Wandering Earth, adapted from one Liu Cixin's stories. I think the purge from the Republican Senators is complete bogus. I'm assuming it's being led by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, namely Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

That being said, the issue is not about the content being questionable (it's not about forced labor camps), but that his response to an interview in the New Yorker about forced labor in Xinjinag: "“Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks? If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty.” He then goes on to justify how the current CCP is the only acceptable form of governance to manage today's China.

It's a bit ridiculous trying to censor a film adaption over the Author exercising his freedom of speech. Why hasn't Roman Polanski been censored yet, then? As an American living in China, everyday I wake up wondering what will escalate worsening relations next?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump nominates conservative Amy Coney Barrett for court See in context

What rabbit hole did I fall into? Who spends all day debating back and forth American politics on a Japan Today comment section? Trump sucks. Democrats also suck. Whichever foot the shoe was on both Republicans and Democrats would try to ram through a Supreme Court nomination. The difference is Republicans control the Senate now as they did in 2016. This is politics. Have a great day everyone!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to ease entry ban to allow long-term stays from Oct 1, but not tourists See in context


If they're HK residents, then that's old news. Lots of residents from the Indian subcontinent have been allowed back since day zero. It's time HK and other countries reciprocate. So damn sick and tired of this hypocrisy, and this 'all take and no give' attitude by Japan.

I am talking about new expats from our Japan HQ that previously did not have HK residency. We have been accepting long-term residency visa applications this entire time. So has Singapore, which is why they probably only announced the one-sided "business track" travel arrangement that mostly benefits Japanese business travelers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to ease entry ban to allow long-term stays from Oct 1, but not tourists See in context

Olympic support staff, JET, any of them. If they are from countries on the banned list, they should not be allowed into Japan, if that is policy.

Then this should also apply to Japanese nationals re-entering the country. Foreigners must test negative 72 hours pre-departure and upon arrival, whereas Japanese nationals only need to test negative upon arrival. Are you ok with this?

Tokyo reported 59 new cases today out of a whopping 419 tests conducted on September 20. Are you not concerned about Japan's own abysmal testing rate. 14% positive test rate, try extrapolating that to Tokyo's 13 million population. Whereas in Hong Kong we mass tested 1.7 million people with 26 confirmed cases. India and US may be train wrecks but at least they are testing.

If proper protocol is in place people should be able to get on with their lives. My office continues to received new Japanese expats so why can my internal transfer not be processed? International agreements should be two-way.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to ease entry ban to allow long-term stays from Oct 1, but not tourists See in context

Designed purely to allow Olympic athletes in. Who on earth needs a longterm stay without a visa..

There are thousands of people around the world who have job offers or acceptance letters to Japanese universities, Certificates of Eligibility already in hand, but the Japanese Embassies and Consulates still will not process our visa applications. While still not official this is a major step forward for new entrants. I am an internal transfer who has been waiting in limbo since June. Meanwhile my Hong Kong office has continuously received several Japanese expats in a one-sided arrangement. I would like to get on with my life too.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Survey shows 64% willing to work beyond retirement age See in context

To prepare for post-retirement life, respondents said they want to save an average 30.33 million yen, while 62.1 percent said they do not know how much they would receive in retirement money and pension benefits when they retire.

LMAO. You have to be kidding me. 30.33 million yen is your magic number for retirement? Enjoy living off nothing but daikon and onion soup for the rest of your life. I would not bet my future on the pension or your company's retirement package.

It amazes me how adverse Japanese are to stock investing. I talked to a few coworkers and business partners recently and they basically think stock investing is a form of gambling that their wives won't allow. If time is on your side just buy into a low-cost index fund like VTI, automatically reinvest those dividends, forget about it for 20-30 years and you will rewarded handsomely.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic athletes to be exempted from virus entry bans See in context

The Olympics is still 10 months out, why are we even discussing exemptions for athletes now? How about we focus on allowing those on resident tracks (workers, students) with Certificates of Eligibility that are waiting in limbo since April into the country first?

The business track travel agreement with Singapore is a one-sided joke meant to serve only the interests of Japanese business travelers. How many business travelers to Japan from a country of 5 million are there? I was optimistic at first (as I am in Hong Kong waiting for an internal transfer to Japan), but the fact that there is still no announcement on the residence track for Singapore shows you that Japan is not seriously considering the issue. FYI, Singapore government has been accepting new visa holders so Japanese companies can send their employees on overseas posts. Hong Kong too. We received two new employees at my office here just last month. That is why there is no rush to implement resident tracks.

Agreements should be reciprocal. Everyone passing through the border should be subject to the same protocols.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

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