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Posted in: 'Succession,' 'The Bear' win big at TV's Emmy awards See in context

Nothing for Better Call Saul. Kind of a joke contest.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Disney debuts deaf Native superhero as 'woke' debate swirls See in context

Loved Vincent D'Onofrio as Kingpin on the Netflix show so will give Echo a chance. The trailer looks promising... Hope it's not a bloated, boring, meandering mess like most (all?) Disney+ Marvel shows.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: China plans to keep ships near Senkakus for 365 days in 2024 See in context

That only worked as long as the bulk of the Chinese population saw their economic lot improving measurably year after year. The "status quo" was ever increasing prosperity. 

Good points. I guess I would counter by saying the zero covid policy tested the appetite of the Chinese public for change and didn't really amount to much. I think you could be right over the long term though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: China plans to keep ships near Senkakus for 365 days in 2024 See in context

Too many Chinese have studied and traveled abroad. Most families have relatives living abroad. Despite the censorship they know what their leaders tell them is not true and most do not harbor ill will towards the democratic nations like their leaders do. 

The problem is, most are quite comfortable with the status quo. They might know they're being lied to but they really don't care enough to do anything and are quite used to having limited state-approved conversations in public.

China would want to be careful about the Senkakus though. You have the current US president saying that they'll defend Japan if it comes to it and the likely opposing candidate would only love an excuse to give them a smack after covid.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Are you optimistic about Japan's economy this year? See in context

Optimistic. Inflation will subside, interest rates increase to zero, salaries slightly increased to keep up with inflation, Kishida steps down and is replaced by Kono perhaps. Stronger yen.

Tourism boom will naturally slow down but stronger performance by Japan's private sector will offset the shortfall in money in for Japan Inc.

Something unexpected could happen - invasion of Taiwan, a quake, etc. - but otherwise pretty hopeful for 2024.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo’s Shibuya district bans public drinking on New Year’s Eve, cancels countdown celebration See in context

I don’t get it, Times Square, NY can pull it off but Shibuya, Tokyo can’t?

Yeah apparently not. Gerontoracy rules supreme in these parts.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: ‘The Marvels’ melts down at box office See in context

It's just that all these superheroes are C-listers. Spiderman and Thor will draw a crowd regardless of quality but I don't think I'd even heard of Captain Marvel until these movies started coming out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo's Shibuya sees subdued Halloween as tight security dampens mood See in context

Country with population crisis, loneliness and suicide problems - "Let's ban one of the few things we do where young people can meet each other".

By all means, arrest people for anti social behaviour but this sort of crackdown is as dumb as it is unwarranted.

Mayor Hasebe should be ashamed of himself.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Posted in: Tokyo's Shibuya district raises alarm against unruly Halloween, even caging Hachiko statue See in context

Foreigners and young Japanese are an easy target for the media in Japan.

This Shibuya Halloween story will be discussed non-stop on TV where an ever increasing number of seniors will be told that Halloween and having fun is the work of the devil.

Spitfire is on the money here. This is the gerontocracy at work and you see it time and time again if you read or watch any Japanese media.

Other events that aren't strictly Japanese such as St. Patrick's Day where Omotesando Hills is closed off for a parade and other international events held at Yoyogi Park show this can be done safely and generate a massive amount of money. You can bet you'll have old cranks that would love those events cancelled too.

In any case, last year proved they've ruined any chance they had at monetizing Shibuya halloween. Typical lack of creativity from stiff, soreheaded old bureaucrats.

I have my own parties to go to this year so won't be at Shibuya but hope everyone going there has a fun and safe night. :)

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: A year after Musk's Twitter takeover, X remains mired in turmoil See in context

Inclined to believe it's not as bad as it's being made out to be. A lot of these X detractors, some mentioned in the article, have an axe to grind with Musk.

Check out Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads. Graveyards. Way too soon to be heralding Twitter's death knell.

I don't actually use X all that much myself because JapanToday is the only news source I need :D

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Controversial U.S. livestreamer 'Johnny Somali' arrested in Osaka See in context

Like it or not, this does unfortunately give ammo to racist groups here making it that bit harder for the rest of us. Originally saw this news on kansai television channel on youtube with the top comment of over 50 likes being "外人を日本に入れるべきじゃない". A couple of people called it out but still kind of sad to see.

Not sure what you do but a hefty fine confiscating all the money he makes out of his inflammatory videos and a month or two in the slammer would be a start.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: Shibuya mayor says 'Don't come' for Halloween See in context

but even in 19th-century America it became an excuse for vandalism and mayhem..

I too am old enough to remember the 19th century. But we must not let our Victorian sensibilities impede on the hard fought freedoms of the current era.

I say, let there be Halloween for those who wish it and let those who not wish it do literally anything else as is their inalienable right.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Shibuya mayor says 'Don't come' for Halloween See in context

Halloween is for children grow up

Halloween is for everyone.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Shibuya mayor says 'Don't come' for Halloween See in context

Not many of you went last year I take it? Halloween in Shibuya has been killed - just police shouting at people to keep moving on loudspeakers, very few costumes, mostly just influencers and shutter bugs showing up to have a gawp.

It was great about 10 years ago when there wasn't such a big crowd of normies but those days are long gone.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Man admits starting deadly Kyoto Animation studio fire See in context

Leave him alive for as long as possible in that husk of a body he composed for himself.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: In Japan, a third of today's 18-year-old women may not have children: study See in context

When I look around, every single seat was occupied by a young, beautiful japanese woman, all by herself, having her lonely tea & cake in a saturday evening.

That's what they want. I've never believed the birth rate decline was an issue to do with insufficient income. Poor people tend to have tons of kids.

It's just that there are so many options now and it's so easy to just not have kids. Especially for men who are capable of having kids in later life if they really want to do so.

Don't know if there's a solution to this to be honest asides from making everyone's lives sufficiently bad or boring enough that having kids doesn't seem like that big of a deal by comparison.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: With Trump absent, Republican rivals trade attacks at first 2024 debate See in context

When they passed that $2.2 trillion COVID stimulus bill, they left us with 90 million people on Medicaid, 42 million people on food stamps.

Majority of that money goes directly into the US economy (as opposed to foreign adventures and buying up carbon credits). The attacks on budget deficits as a whole by Rand Paul conservatives are just bad economics. The gold standard and balanced budget policies directly strangle economies and the middle class. The usual think tanks sponsor this rubbish despite all the lessons learned since the 1920s crash.

So there's how much public debt? How much of that is in the US private sector? Infrastructure projects? Paying the salaries of public sector employees. It doesn't just vanish into nothing. Cutting all these things with austerity - well then you lose all that output but you get to show everyone your lovely looking budget surplus. Hurray.

Government budgets cannot be run like households budgets. It's crazy that 100 years later some republicans still support this nonsense.

FYI - I'm also an outside independent observer.

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Posted in: No more ice cream with Mount Fuji: Japan train line phases out snack carts See in context

It's just a bus on rails now. Even Amtrak can serve food.

I wouldn't say it's quite that bad yet...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Brain fog and other long COVID symptoms are focus of new small treatment studies See in context

How did that work out? I haven’t heard anything about it at all recently.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41429-023-00623-0

"Prophylactic administration of ivermectin reduces the severity of pathological changes associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection"

For the record, I'm not a proponent of using Ivermectin to treat Covid but I think the massive backlash against it was frankly quite weird.

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Posted in: Japan traffic accident deaths up in Jan-June for 1st rise in 10 years See in context

Driving standards here do seem to be quite lacking. Poor enforcement I think - you just wouldn't get away with some of the things I've seen on Tokyo roads in other cities.

Road rage here is also insane - everyone here is convinced they're a driving genius.

With all that said, last year was a record low in traffic deaths in Japan*. So a 2.1% increase probably doesn't mean that things are suddenly getting worse.

*https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14812779

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan's June jobless rate falls to 2.5% amid ongoing COVID recovery See in context

Good to see. One of the reasons I came here 10 years ago was the low unemployment rate. Very easy to get a job if you have an even halfway suitable skillset and work at applying to positions for a month or two.

Don't recommend going through recruiting agencies here. Most generally don't know what they're doing - definitely not worth the commissions they charge.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: An expert warns about the dangers of humidity See in context

Yes, there are dangers you should be aware of when exercising outdoors in humid or hot conditions but it's also important not to use this as an excuse to avoid exercising completely. Anything you can do, be it weights or walking, will help. Try the early morning or late evening when it's not that hot and make sure as the article advices to drink plenty of water.

Nearly 70% of Americans, nearly 60% of Europeans and 25% of Japanese are overweight or obese with all the physical and mental health complications that come with that status. Completely avoidable in most cases with only 150 minutes of physical activity a week (and once you see the results, you may want to do even more than that).

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Asian shares mixed as Japan reports weaker than expected trade data See in context

The U.S. dollar fell to 139.54 Japanese yen from 139.68 yen.

Some good news.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Visitors to Japan top 2 million in June for first time since COVID See in context

Tourists were always flocking back en masse once the gates reopened. I didn't hear anyone say "masks will keep tourists out."

Yeah but there was plenty of whinging last year about going to other places instead because racist border controls and cry for me because I can't go on my holidays where I want to last year.

It will be telling if this tourism boom continues when the yen gets back on its feet. People just have travel a higher priority in a post-Covid world.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Second Alzheimer's drug in pipeline can slow the disease by a few months but with safety risk See in context

The most promising development we've seen in Alzheimer's since the amyloid hypothesis was first proposed, I think. These initial drugs will have their dangers but, like the early rheumatoid arthritis drugs that caused liver disease, they will continue to get better and help patients and their families.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan issues heatstroke alerts as temperatures soar See in context

Went for a run yesterday and today. As long as you drink water it is no problem.

Same. But it's rough lately - my energy gets sapped much more quickly in this heat. Have to swap out running for swimming on days when it's really bad.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Domino's signs deal with Uber Eats in a bid to make more dough See in context

Don't Domino's already work through UberEats here in Japan? I think they have for a while.

I stopped using them when they started introducing that extra cost during busy periods. They're also pretty blatantly trying to normalize that ridiculous US tipping culture.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan COVID adviser seeks better pandemic response See in context

Japan's accumulated number of deaths per million has been kept relatively low due partly to hardworking medical professionals' firm commitment to the protection of people's health, 

There's a lot to be learned from Japan's response to Covid.

A recent paper in Nature* notes the significant correlation between countries with obese populations and high covid mortality.

I would argue that low obesity rates, along with the timely vaccine campaign before the aggressive Delta wave, were the most significant factors in Japan's favor during the pandemic.

*https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-33093-3

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan may have entered 9th COVID-19 wave: Omi See in context

Don’t forget Long Covid people. That’s the real issue here.

"In a recent trial, around 60 percent of long COVID patients recovered from severe fatigue after a four-month course of cognitive behavioral therapy, compared to about a quarter of those who did not receive CBT. "*

It would seem that adopting a positive mental attitude (PMA) would help alleviate long covid symptoms.

*https://slate.com/technology/2023/06/mental-illness-long-covid-body-mind.html

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: We can't immediately increase the number of buses due to a shortage of drivers, so we'd like people to make way for each other so that everyone can use them with peace of mind. See in context

That really is the quote of the day. Contender for quote of the month.

Looking forward to a surge in the yen when the BoJ raises interest rates and a corresponding drop in tourist numbers...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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