Coffee comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?


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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Posted in: Thiem beats Zverev in 5 sets to win U.S. Open for first Grand Slam title See in context

Glad to see Thiem finally win a grand slam! I left the house this morning and he was down two sets to zero and thought he was about to go 0 and 4 in grand slam finals. Zverev is making a name for himself this year too. Youth his on his side.

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Posted in: Japan, Singapore to resume short-term business travel from Sept 18 See in context

Logically, in terms of controlling the virus it doesn't make any sense to go ahead and allow the business track (business trips, no quarantine) but still block the residence track (long-term workers, with quarantine). According to a person in Singapore waiting to process her CoE, though, apparently Singapore is already letting in new work visa holders, so this announcement is really only benefiting Japanese short-term business travelers. For every 10 Japanese travelling to Singapore I wonder if there is even 1 Singaporean traveling to Japan for business. Completely one-sided arrangement.

I just got my CoE and waiting for Hong Kong-Japan travel bubble to be announced so I can officially process my work visa. I am an internal transfer and can sit on my hands for the next year if needed, but thousands of CoE holders were supposed to start new jobs from April and they are still waiting in limbo. Many of them have had to cut their losses and just get on with life.

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Posted in: China expects Japan's next PM to be conciliatory amid U.S. tensions See in context

As an American working in China, on my way back to Japan where I lived for a decade, I really hope that cooler heads on all sides will prevail. However, if the headline is accurate, then China's arrogance is on full display. Japan does not need to bow to China. This is the same country and government that in 2012 openly endorsed nationwide protesting and rioting against Japanese businesses. My company at that time had a ban on Japanese travel to China for safety reasons and I had to visit suppliers for my coworkers and remember flying from Haneda to Shanghai on a 777 with only 3 other passengers.

Just yesterday the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said sports and politics should be separated, in response to calls to rescind the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. If sports and politics should be separated then why hold the NBA hostage over one individual's personal opinion? The direction of wind in China changes very quickly.

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Posted in: Koike says postponed Olympics should be held 'by all means' See in context

I'd say everything should be postponed until 2024

Postpone them or cancel 2020 games outright and move on directly to Paris?

Testing figures in Tokyo are abysmal. We are testing more than 1 million people here in Hong Kong this week. I just got tested and saw at least several hundred others come and go in a span of 15 minutes at my neighborhood testing center.

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Posted in: Despite being written off by skeptics as an economic wasteland for the past three decades, Japan has often managed to scrape by, and has even enjoyed periods of sustained growth. The Covid-19 pandemic will test whether the country really has nine lives. See in context


Completely agree that the Japan housing market is cheap. You can buy a brand new 4LDK in suburban Tokyo for the cost of the deposit of 30+ year old cramped housing estate in Hong Kong. Not to mention the favorable loan conditions.

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Posted in: Japan to ease COVID-19 entry curbs on foreigners with resident visas: NHK See in context

I am a former 10 year plus resident of Japan, now living in Hong Kong, but currently processing my visa paperwork to move back. Admittedly I should be last in line to enter Japan, but it is welcoming news that restrictions are finally starting to be eased. My company asked me several times to relocate to Tokyo HQ, and at first I was hesitant to go back to Japan, but with the escalations in Hong Kong and a relocation package on the table, the writing is on the wall for me to return. With the handling of COVID-19, I can understand why many long-term residents are considering leaving. I made that same decision to leave Japan several years ago but now find myself circling back.

Several people have asked about whether or not returning Japanese nationals are required to quarantine at designated hotels. I know two Japanese nationals who have returned in the last few weeks and this is their experience. No health certificate is needed pre-departure, and upon arrival they must take a simple swab test (not the invasive one up the nose...not looking forward...). After a few hours the results were released and they could then travel on freely. Technically they are advised to self-quarantine at home, but this is not compulsory. One of my friends did say he received a phone call from the authorities calling to check-in, and they left a message along the lines of try to limit time spent outside. Foreigners, however, must present a health certificate issued within the last 3 days prior to boarding, take a PCR test upon arrival, and then quarantine at government designated facility. NHK reported that they both Japanese and foreigners are being processed the same but clearly that is not the case.

Anyways, the situation is what it is. I do hope that those stuck outside ultimately get some kind of tax break or something to offset the loses. That being said, Japan is a great country with plenty of other redeeming qualities. It's a once in a lifetime pandemic that hopefully never happens again.

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