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Posted in: France declares war on terrorism after attacks See in context

Valls has found a diversion to overshadow the failure of economy.

. Paris has "no go zones" to appease the immigrants.

Where is that ? Tell me. I'm in Paris now. Well, I've seen the maps from US media and both the place where I live and the one where I work are what they call "no go". Everyday I change trains in Gare du Nord which is classified at the same rank as a Taliban training camp. I am tough as I was using Osaka's Tennoji station too (to then walk through Nishinari-ku on nice weather), and that was supposed to be no-go. That's like in Tokyo, if you've walked in Roppongi once, you think you are still alive but no way, it's so dangerous that you must dead and it's your ghost that is reading that.

Legal penalties for blasphemy, adultery, and the like. Death penalty for apostasy. Prison/death for gays. These are not radical positions at all within the Islamic faith.

They are not radical position within the Catholic faith, the Jewish faith, and any other. I mean in 1930, 80% of the French were religious and they were thinking like that, roughly. For instance, a homosexual guy (they were not yet called gay) from my grand-parents' village was avoided by all villagers and at his death, they made a parade to refuse to bury him near the church (the only graveyard that officially had accept everybody). In 1950, they were still 60% and the stigma was still big if your dared divorcing, living with someone without a religious marriage, etc, and you could lose jobs, being refused sales/rental of housing, entrance to shows. That's only since the 70's that tolerance has become the mainstream opinion in France, and most people now consider that the neighbor's lifestyle may not be their cup of tea, but as long as it's not interfering with theirs, it's not their business.

The west's rights and freedoms are slowly being eroded

All the contrary, they have progressed in France in the last decades. It's freer than ever. I think we have progressed and succeeded in educating the masses, and we have to continue the campaigns to reach the communities that are behind -and that's not all migrants, not all Muslims. As long as we are left with one idiot that openly hates and wants to bully the gays/Jews/agnostics/ women in skirts/ women in scarves/all women except Mum/blacks/divorced/cartoonists/commies/Muslims/pharmacists that sell the pill/doctors that do abortions/you-name-it... the job is not over.

France's 2010 arms sales

I agree that's a shame. I have always thought we had nothing to do in that business.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Je suis Charlie? Attack sparks debate on free speech limits See in context

As a French, I'm totally disgusted by this article and its title. Non, ce n'est pas negociable. There is no debate on our freedom. You're just looking for excuses. The killers are no philosophers, no thinkers. They were plain criminals. Their only cause was crime. Their project was to kill, to shock, to scare and to get their 15 minutes of fame.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese restaurants are springing up all over the world - most of them fake See in context

Fake I don't care but 99% of self-titled Japanese restaurants I see in Europe are yucky, authentically yucky or unjapanesely yucky, it's not edible. Seriously, avoid them. Macdo is still better. And well, that's not only about sushi joints, the quality is going downward in general. In Japan, I have been to dozens of "inauthentic" European restaurants and except the cheapest chains, they all provided excellent dishes made from good ingredients, I recommend them.

If it's good food, and the business is run well, the restaurant will survive.

No. The worst food sells the best. It's a global trend. Oh the answer is in your statement. Business "run well" is about cutting corners, suppressing wastes due to spoilage by serving mostly long shelf-life industrial dishes reheated/thawed by unqualified low wage staff.

If more Japanese "chefs" would venture out into the world

Japanese cooks are certainly those that go to work abroad the most. But there, they are hired to make what local eatery owners decide.

No, it's about people who think that it can't be Japanese dishes (or 'washoku') because it was not made by Japanese or people who have trained in Japan, and doesn't use 'kyo-sai' or other grown-in-Japan ingredients

Well, if you have never been trained in Japan, never tasted the Japanese food and don't have the ingredients... what is left ?

they could still learn and make wonderful washoku (or simply Japanese food) without ever having set foot here,

Overseas, they can learn where ? There are good French, Italian and Chinese cooking schools in many countries, but for Japanese cuisine, please name one. And I'm not fussy, I'd accept something like Le Cordon Bleu. But you won't even find that. You have courses taught by the chefs that are currently making calimaki with blocks of watery mochi rice, unripe avocado, neon colored smoked salmon and sriracha. They could very well go to learn in Japan, no need to go to extreme and do the grand-pa sushi apprenticeship. Hiring an interpreter is expensive for one, but for a class of 30, during 3 months, they could get a deal. They are just not interested in knowing more.

Heck you could learn it on YouTube if you wanted

Sure, you can taste the food on the video, the texture of cooked rice... surely.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Man denies coercing 14-year-old stepson to commit suicide See in context

coersion, and unless it can be proved he should not be charged as such

The 2 ***** have admitted beating the kid they had in charge (with duty to protect, support, love...) during more than a year so it's even an "accident" he survived so long and hadn't died of internal bruise long before. They are 200% guilty of causing his death. For me, the only debate is the choice of wording to redact on their life jail sentence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger after latest police killing of black teen in St Louis See in context

I hope the video can show the truth. I have not the shallow of a doubt that racial bias is everywhere in the US... but I'm getting tired of these protests and homages to a "black angel" victim of a "white devil". This time, the shot youth was not out there to get a can of juice. Roughly the protest is because that guy was shot by a white policemen rather than by a black thug of another gang.

Police are enforcing the law. Punky thugs break them. Police are trained to respond to standard procedures

I agree, but given the number of cases of lethal shootings by cops in the US, I think they should seriously reconsider their training. And also rethink their programs to deal with these delinquent teens before they become violent criminals.

Martin’s mother Toni Martin disputed the police account.

Mrs Martin, if you're a decent person, take a lawyer and investigators, but disappear from media till you're sure of the result of investigations.

“His girlfriend told me that the police was messing with them,” Martin said on CNN.

Her "baby" was a professional gangster in a gang with his gangster girlfriend, so he was the one messing with law. Her son died mostly because of the failure at educating him into a law abiding citizen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe vows to rewrite constitution, instill patriotism in schools See in context

So he is going to retire ? After the new Constitution has reinstated the Emperor as a living god, giving him back all powers and the new generation gets the brainwashing and become obedient robots, elected people like him will be useless.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan runs short of butter as dairy farms dwindle See in context

As the Christmas Eve cake rush approaches,

98% of kurisumasu keiki don't contain a gram of butter. They are made of the same transfat as KFC kurisumasu chicken. Then, these cakes are made in factories when bakery students have their Summer break and they are stored frozen till December.

Insanity. Fresh milk could never be supplied from abroad - it's volume and short shelf life would prohibit it.

It could easily. Milk is exported to/from many countries. Most milk sold in Japan is the processed type (treated for sanitary purpose, skimmed, re-fatted, mixed, supplemented... read the labels some day). It's not fresh, it is stored in the factory God knows how long, and then it has weeks of shelf life. They could just process it a little more and they would store it 2 yrs at room temperature during 2 years, for same level of quality (low anyway). The industry prefers proposing only the refrigerated version for marketing purpose as it has a better image and customers are willing to pay more for anything sold in a fridge. For butter, every year they organize the rarity to get a pretext to inflate prices. It's expected, stock some in November when it's cheap.

Last week the government announced its latest plan for “emergency imports”

Last week, Abe and his bunch have discovered Christmas would fall on dec 25th. That's how they manage the country. Soon, they will discover they need emergency measures for economy too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Happy birthday See in context

Oh my ! Is that a selfie with the timer of the grand-pa's camera ? They didn't even bother with pro make-up and photo-shop. You get much better for 5000 yen at the shotengai photo shop. I like Masako's outfit, a classy classic that would perfect if she was 20 yrs older, but OK that fits the context. Now the 3 others bought their clothes from a catalog in 1952 or is there a Sazae-san retro cloth shop that re-edits that ? The sofa looks an Ikea in a waiting room, which would be perfect in a waiting room , but here... they look like people waiting at the dentist's. When your job is to live in the Imperial Palace, you can find a better background, and borrow stylish costumes for 5 minutes every year...

The whole shebang is paid for by the tax payers.

Precisely, for the price, taxpayers should get a stylish photo,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Your history is not appropriate to work as an announcer, a position that requires a person of integrity. See in context

former beauty pageant contestant...because of her past work as a hostess.

That's getting ridiculous. They accepted a beauty queen but not a hostess ? I don't see much difference between the 3 occupations : being pretty and well-groomed, smiling, talking softly, approving anything you're told, never expressing your own opinion (even by facial expression). And I'm not ironic, even if that doesn't require the IQ of Einstein, it's not easy jobs, you need lots of care to be always like a doll and you're fighting boredom during your workshift. OK, no dance, speech, circus, numero, bikini perp walk required to be announcer... and you're not paid by the number bottle of booze you sell. So that would just be easier for her.

a position that requires a person of integrity.

So because you work in a bar once you have no integrity ? I would suspect more a person with a background of working on J-TV and in J-showbiz..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Name some movie scores that are so famous that after hearing only a few seconds of the music, you can immediately name the movie. See in context

Chunking Express's soundtrack, especially Faye Wong covering the Cranberries's song.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's star sushi chef warns of raw deal from overfishing See in context

Great but useless. It's too late now, time to get used to veggie and natto sushi... Sensei, where were you 40 years ago when the problem appeared and things could still have been controlled ?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: What can newspapers offer that digitally delivered journalism cannot? See in context

For the content, anything on paper can be on a screen. But you can hide behind a paper paper... Well, you just need to own one and you can reuse it everyday to cover while reading online news.

newspapers are at least half a day out of date by the time most people read them.

Agreed. That's surely the appeal for some. You can read a story and they don't reveal you the next episode ... You can do your Cluedo without fear than an automatic update will pop up to reveal you who was the killer before you finish reading all the hints,

a waste of natural resources.

Plus the ink is toxic, polluting... so don't wrap food nor burn to produce toxic smoke.

Crossword puzzle and the ability to cut out a story and file it away.

Er... you can to that on your tablet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Comparing notes See in context

She reads manga too ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Manager of ryokan in Ibaraki arrested for murder of husband See in context

An easy claim to make when the accused is no longer alive to refute it.

If there is truth in the claim, his body will still be drunk at the post-mortem and she has fresh bruises.

at around 4:15 a.m. Sunday in her office,... with a kitchen knife

Weird place to spend the night... and keep a knife.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: If the government restricts protests, which are based on the freedom of expression, by using restrictions on hate speech, it could endanger democracy. It will be an extremely dangerous move. See in context

If the government restricts protests, which are based on the freedom of expression

It's not IF. Japan has always restricted protests, allowing only some of them. And in general freedom of expression is also limited in medias. The principle is already in action. They just need to redefine what to restrict. I think they could allow more (polite) criticism of the Imperial system, of government, politicians, big companies... and for the "patriots", well they already restrict them once in a while, a bit more wouldn't hurt. Then there is still a need to "educate" people on what can be said at school, at work, in shops... but that's probably the case everywhere.

by using restrictions on hate speech, it could endanger democracy.

By restricting aggressive behaviors, you endanger democracy ? Screaming hate and insulting people for being different from you is not giving an opinion, it's violence. Bullying is not democracy.

The US does not have wide-scale racial, gender, or religion based hate being practiced openly

That'd be what if that was openly ? Well, the US come from far. They are still in post-Apartheid phase. They still accept a lot of abuse because, the current amount is a fraction of what that was 2 generations ago.

despite having NO laws against hate speech.

The US no laws against speech ? Thanks for the ROFL. You can't even get a visa to sit in a plane that refuels on the American soil if you don't sign a paper stating you never belong to such or such political group that they deem hateful. And my point is not to say they are wrong to restrict, just to say they do. They definitely have to remind there exist limits to "freedom" to their KKK and such, and doubly, since they let them roam around with guns.

I saw the demonstration on Youtube and they were not making any hate speech or placards.

You saw one part of one demo that was OK. So ? Nobody wants to ban demos nor public debate. It's about setting limits and repressing abuses that sometimes occur.

I'm against any restriction on any speech.

Really ? Even if you and your family were on the receiving end ? So you'd tell what to your daughter Anne, 5 yr old ? Something like : "Oh, these people are just talking... that's ok if they hate the Jews, scream terrible things at you and want to put us in camps...if you can also insult them ? Er... I said I'm against restrictions, so Ok..."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man killed in Osaka residence; nextdoor neighbor arrested See in context

According to police, a Pomeranian dog belonging to the victim, was barking,

So the whole building is suspect. Maybe it's a collective work.

they have arrested a 53-year-old man

Why him among all others ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: IMF chief Lagarde charged in French corruption case See in context

“always acted in the interest of the country and in accordance with the law.”

And she believes it. All the rotten banks in the US, UK, etc, have saved under the same mantra... and all the small people that lose their shop in Greece or their house in America are just let down. The "interest of a country", according to the IMF is the interest of the 1%.

Where will it all end?

When IMF rule ends. What Lagarde did in that case is not different from what she does day after day as her job.

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Posted in: Business is bad See in context

This has less to do with the economy and more to do with changing infrastructures .

It's a fact. Let's say 20 yrs ago, the shopping malls and 24/24 supers were not there yet, the shotengai was the market where everybody would shop. In Osaka, most shotengai, except the touristic ones, have become just for elderly, both owners are grandpas that started in the 50's and 60's and should retire, but they want to keep the shop open to get something to do of their days, and the few customers are their buddies that visit more to chat than to buy. Many rest on Sundays, open later, close earlier, open irregularly. The new centers have taken most of the business from shotengais and depatos. And even the quality food shops, like nice bakeries have moved out of shotengais to be independent and avoid the "community"... well, you know how a shotengai works. The station galleries are having problems too it seems.

Several of my favourite shopping streets in Osaka and neighboring prefectures are full of shutters,

Your fav's of the 90's, it's pre-history. But you've haven't seen Costco, the farmer's market or Tennoji Q's shopping mall that empty ? I don't think so. That will come and too soon, but not yet. The wheel turns, and Japan tends to have shift of "trendy" areas much quicker than European countries. That doesn't mean business is good, just that shops moves instead on renovating on the same location.

I'm actually really surprised to see that so many people refuse to believe that this is real

I can believe it's real, I can't believe that means much. Most shotengais died between years 1995 and 2005. Photos like this one are no longer a sign of anything. That said, I am not surprise the volume of sales of everything are still dropping in Japan. I would not believe if you said the contrary. Who would buy ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Organic food movement in Japan progressing slowly See in context

Almost everything his company sells is a processed food,

Exactly. Kombini junk, with one or two zero added on the price tag.

Well, for example, I eat almonds. One could choose almond milk,

And one can make it from these almonds. That takes 1 minute of your time with basic equipment.

It may be organic,

Unlikely because the liquid contains additives for preservation and it sits months in a package that progressively releases chemicals that are not in the organic range.

rather than giving consumers what they want which is safe, healthy food grown in ways that don't harm people or the planet?

I think carrying useless tons and tons of water infused with token amounts of organic produce is harming the planet. And evidence are accumulating to demonstrate how drinking from those packs day after day is detrimental to people's health.

but that's a band-aid that mostly serves to make the consumer feel better about his purchase.

Exactly. They are really selling to super snobs. There is a market of nonsense hipsters in Japan, but with less and less means.

So I gather you only eat fresh fruit and vegetables, and nothing which comes out of a bottle or carton?

That could be. But no. I buy oil and few products in (preferably glass) bottle. There is a huge middle way between eating only fresh local organic produce and stupidly wasting money on products like the first and only I checked on this site : "Peruvian coffee". It's the ground coffee with long shelf life (translation : stale coffee, beans are good within an hour after grinding and within 10 days after roasting). Oh that's a brand I know, as we can get it for 3~4 euros in French supermarkets (which is expensive since non-organic equivalent is 0.5~2 euros). Here it's priced as :

exceptional organic food

Take a seat : about 1300 yen ! For 250 g, that means over 5000 yen per kg. For the price, you could get freshly roasted Blue Mountain, here it's just old stale Peru robusta. That gets expensive just because the beans have a stylish French label retranslated in Japanese and the product traveled all the way over the world... And you will say :

I actually prefer [that crap] to any Japanese version,

That demonstrates that all you know about Japan is Lawson and Aeon and you've never been to one of the many coffee roaster's. And we can take 90% of the offer of this shop and get to the same conclusion.

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Posted in: Osaka assemblyman in hot water for intimidating children via Line app See in context

met a group of junior high school girls at a school festival..... He joined the girls’ chat group

He got their contact from the school ? Already creepy at that point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: We would never consider dumping the water into the ocean unless we received the consent of local residents. See in context

Oh, they had got consent the other times ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ex-plant worker jailed for 42 months for tainting frozen food See in context

2,843 people

... that he poisoned and could have killed... and he gets a couple of days per victim. If I was a victim I'd feel insulted.

So what punishment was given to this company

They've lost a brand, a year of marketing campaign...and of course, they not were punished by justice, only by the market as the shops dropped them, Still harsher than what got TEPCO,

taint frozen food products such as pizzas and croquettes, four times... often complain about low wages

I hope doctors will check his head at the end of his jail stint, Otherwise next time he gets something to complain about, he may step up and cut heads..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: What suggestions do you have for reducing the amount of garbage that gets thrown out each day? See in context

A lot of habits of everyday life can change. The easiest ones : Shops like macdo and starbucks could disappear... unless they learn how to clean vessels instead of wasting so much single use paper/plastic cups and box for food/drinks that is not taken away. Then for take out, as many customers go there (and to supermarkets/kombinis) all the time to get exactly the same products, refilling containers should be made possible and encouraged. More vending machines could pour drinks into a cup and let the option of refilling your own container. There are already water fountains in parks, there could be some in busy streets and shopping centers. When you buy a 80 g super-phone, you should get out of the shop with only the device and accessories (and a box/bag only if you ask one) instead of getting 2 kg of explanation booklets in 20 languages (unless you want the booklets... but at this point, you have to bargain to refuse them). Single use shopping bags and double/triple packaging can be reduced greatly. Cardboard to deliver merchandises and big stuff like furniture should be taken back by delivery companies and sent back to be reused (we did that no so long ago). Printed paper and magazines should get a surtax so more people switch to electronic version.

just about every major supermarket has refillable bottles available,

In what country ? Not at all the case in Japan. Some wholesalers deliver drinks by boxes of 24 bottles propose a few choices (like beer or beer or even beer) in refillable glass bottles. For coops that deliver milk, you need to sign to get it delivered twice a week for months. Big globes of water for office fountains are also on inconvenient subscription deals. That's really limited. The refillable glass bottles for wine/beer/milk/soft drinks, what we had in the 70's, they could come back into supermarkets.

begin selling in larger portions per package so a family of four does not have to buy 4 or 5 packages of ground meat....all products come in one serving packages.

Not the case. You seem to be a newbie and/or you are feeding a family of whales... I never got a problem to buy packs of 5 kg of ground meat to make lasagna for a party, or just 50 grams for myself. That's not in the same shop. Nearly all butchers and big supermarkets sell meat in larger amounts, they propose whole fishes, half a salmon, whole watermelons, cans of 10 liters of oil, etc. And if that's not big enough, you can order easily (an acquaintance orders whole lambs, that just an email or a phone call, and at his door the next morning...). Then you get the Costco and such everywhere now. But yes, the local stores cater mostly to people buying individual portions and they have to keep doing it as that reduces waste, because most people cook for 1 or 2 (in European cities they do too, but we can't easily buy small amounts so a lot gets bad and is thrown away at home...). Pick the right supplier to minimize your packaging.

make people PAY to have their garbage collected.

That's already the case. Most people prefer paying the few yen more per item to get useless bags and to throw away everything so others will clean. They use it as an excuse "oh, I pay so I don't need to make other efforts..." @Yubaru, recycling is better than accumulating garbage, but that uses energy and water so that's still a waste. I'm thinking about the towel/spoon sets, catalogs, leaflets, fancy over packaging... that go into recycling without even being useful. Pure waste. People also use it as an excuse so they feel it's OK to throw 12 cans a day.

why do so many people buy water here?

You know well that everybody, every company, every store, all Japan has to keep an earthquake stock. And these bottles have to be renewed every year at least for PET bottles (that release too much bisphenol and such over the time). For the purpose glass bottles don't work. They could get metallic water canteens, but refilling with tap water is not great.

if Japanese tap water is so incredibly clean, safe, and delicious

That's impressive compared to water they are now getting in Gaza. But in first world context, it's average. Depending on where you live, there may be chemical stuff from the nearby plants (or damaged nuke power stations), rice paddies... It's not delicious everywhere and it either lacks some minerals or purity. For instance, it's not suitable to prepare good teas. Then, do you really go to drink in the toilet from the station in case you're away from home and thirsty ? Repeating it : I think there could be refill options at all levels.

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Posted in: Japan is a developed nation with the numerous problems resulting from a mature society, including a stagnant birthrate, aging population and financial stringency. If Japan can be the first in the worl See in context

PEople have been giving me a barrage of warning about Japan's "Imminent" collapse for a couple of decades now. One teeny problem: their predictions never come true. Never. Ever.

Japan DID collapse. It's not a prediction.

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Posted in: Bad back? Acetaminophen may not work. Try exercise See in context

Some doctors said most people would get better within a week or two whatever treatment they tried.

If I hear that on the phone, that's OK for me, I don't go to bother a doc and a pharmacist. But,,,

said it was too early to give up on acetaminophen

...that's lost business for them. In other words : "Gullible consumer, keep buying until the next hyped placebo arrives on the shelves...". That's not that I don't believe in modern medicine and its great advances, but let's be real, 1/3 to 2/3 of doctor advice and prescriptions are just theater and they make people waste a lot of money on useless treatments.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Sasebo See in context

Knowing her name would bring nothing. The girl if she did it, or the other person if it's not her, is a dangerous freak. I don't know if rehabilitation is ever possible. What will the system do of her ? A few years of juvenile jail then set free or lifelong psychiatric internment ?

Who knows how many 15 year olds have their own apartments in J-land.

Not many. But I agree that's not the problem.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Missing girl's mother consulted police about same suspicious car in May See in context

Maybe hes not a stranger, which is a common thing.

Exactly. People talking to kids are not necessarily strangers... and people harming kids are even more likely to be close acquaintances than unknown "weird guys in weird cars". I hope the girl is fine and only went on some Summer holidays in advance... meanwhile if I were the police, I'd investigate in all directions, including the family and the mother.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: N Korean daughter of Japanese abductee could visit Japan this year See in context

Question??????????? Are the Yokotas in denial

Short answer : yes.

why is it so hard to write or say in print the "grand daughter of the Yokotas"?

During a decade, the Yokota's PR team was demanding that. But well, these people are suffering, they have the right to be irrational, to reject their grand-kid, to change their mind, to eat sushi every Saturday...just that's boring news. But the attitude of Japanese media and officials is silly. Thousands were lost in the sea after the tsunami... and the successive governments feel the need to concentrate their energy on "13 ... kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s".

the issue has been a major stumbling block in normalizing ties between the two countries.

A pretext. Japan, stop the circus, just say you don't want to normalize ties. Nobody will blame you for not dealing with this insane regime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Free Wi-Fi approved for New York City's airports See in context

Get your computer and phone's content scanned for free.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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