Craig Dandridge comments

Posted in: Kanto area faces water restrictions next week See in context

The Kanto Regional Development Bureau plans to cut the water supplied to Tokyo and surrounding prefectures by 10% next week due to a water shortage.

Hey "Sometimes I wish I lived closer to Tokyo, but in this situation, so happy to be a resident of Kanagawa!" Magnet, the last time I checked, Kanagawa prefecture lies within the Kanto region... Why not simply stop wasting water because it is the right thing to do for the environment, regardless of where you happen to live?

Born and raised in California, perhaps I am more sensitive to this issue than most, but seeing older men and women liberally watering the pavement in front of their homes or shops always makes me cringe. What a waste of water! Will someone ask these people to stop doing this now?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Korean group working to subvert Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid See in context

Does anyone else out there wonder why Mitsuhiro Suganuma, a former official in Japan’s national security apparatus, is attacking the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK)--a group of private South Korean citizens--as if that group actually represents the South Korean government?

Does Mr. Suganuma have some evidence that VANK is supported in any way by the South Korean government? VANK comes across as a fringe grassroots organization likely to be given little credence by the IOC.

However, Mr. Suganuma's statements are rash, politically naive and overtly nationalistic--and ironically serve to support some of the claims in the petition to the IOC.

Is Mr. Suganuma really threatening official Japanese political and economic retribution against South Korea for the activities of a small group of South Korean citizens? Really? Mr. Suganuma should know that he is only extending the group's time in the spotlight.

People who may have ignored VANK, or missed them completely, now might take a second look.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Woman forced to wear bunny ears as penalty for missing sales targets See in context

Given that the plaintiff in this case is a 61 year-old woman, I assume that Kanebo hazed this employee in an attempt to get her to quit her job. And I'm guessing that since this woman took the extraordinary (in Japan) step of actually suing Kanebo in a court of law, that the hazing achieved its goal. Tip of the iceberg? If Kanebo hazed this one employee to get her to quit, it is most likely a common practice within the company. It would be nice to see some articles on this wider topic: How Japanese companies haze older employees into quitting their jobs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Woman, 'unaware' she was pregnant, delivers baby into cesspool See in context

Surprise births seem to happen far more often than one might think. See for yourself: Google "didn't know she was pregnant" and see how many results come up.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: TEPCO seeks yet more cash for Fukushima payouts See in context

Unbelievable. Someone at TEPCO really needs to go to jail.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Hashimoto says he lacked sensitivity to U.S. perception of prostitution See in context

More than 2.5 million people live in Osaka. Is Mr. Hashimoto really the best they can do?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Sharp reshuffles management after record loss See in context

Alternative Title: Sharp Reshuffles: Different Cards, Same Old Deck

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Why you shouldn’t learn Japanese See in context

This "Opinion" piece is based on a nonsensical premise: Why you should not expand your mind or learn about another culture.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: 'Mother, help me' fraud: NPA, public select new name for bank transfer scam See in context

More evidence that Japanese government officials should never be allowed to name anything...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for cutting off women's clothes as they slept See in context

How much free time is too much free time? I think we have the answer!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe says women are key to Japan's economic revival See in context

More lip service from Mr. Abe. How about some concrete legislation on the matter?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan logs Y362.4 billion trade deficit in March See in context

With Captain Abe at the helm, I fear the good ship Japan is doomed... Giving Abe a second at the apple was clearly a desperate gambit by a moribund Japanese political system so completely out of new ideas that it reached deep into its back pocket and pulled out the ABC gum that is Abe. Seriously, is there really no one who can lead Japan forward? Do you mean to tell me that out of 128 million people (336 per square kilometer), there is not a single person who can lead the Japanese people into a new era of prosperity without falling back on bad 20th century economic policies that never really worked in the first place?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Softbank offers employees Y1 mil incentive to master English See in context

When SoftBank Corp. took over Vodafone K.K., the company had many employees skilled in English. Unfortunately, most of these employees left for better paying jobs as SoftBank Mobile lowered salaries and other compensation over the first few years of the company's existence.

If SoftBank Mobile wants employees skilled in English, it is going to take more than a one-time bonus payment. The company must compete on the open market for employees with English skills: this means paying a better annual wage, and coming up with other innovative incentives that adequately compensate workers with the skills the company needs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Cabinet approves Y423 bil new stimulus for ailing economy See in context

This sounds like business-as-usual pork barrel spending to benefit construction companies and other government contractors... How exactly is this type of spending supposed to stimulate the economy as a whole?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man who cooked, served his own genitals sent to prosecutors See in context

4 x 2.5 million yen: Now that's a fundraiser! Book 'em Danno!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to complete 3 new reactors despite no-nuclear policy See in context

This sort of illogical, politically motivated, and economically costly maneuvering is merely one more symptom of the continuing decline of modern Japanese politics. Among other things, this decision, which will affect the lives of millions of people for years to come, is more evidence that the Japanese government will never effectively reduce the enormous budget deficits that accumulate year after year: White elephants, white elephants, white elephants on parade...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo court rejects Apple patent claim against Samsung See in context

Looking for Justice? Well, you've come to the wrong place...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Upper house passes censure motion against Noda by 129 to 91 votes See in context

Sayonara, Mr. Noda. Your time is nearly up...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan hints at economic action in S Korea isle feud See in context

This type of international economic/political tit for tat is a slippery slope. Though these reindeer games may work in Nagatacho, it is unlikely anything positive will come from such actions in the international arena. I fear Japan is greatly overestimating its own geopolitical position in the 21st Century...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of heatstroke cases reaches all-time high in July See in context

FightingViking: Sorry but I fail to see how 9,531 is the "majority" of 21,082

Well, the number of elderly (9,531) represents over 45% (9,531/21,082 = 0.452) of the total number of victims of heatstroke in July. So if the remaining 11,551 (21,082 - 9,531) victims is broken up into two or more categories (say people under 20 years of age and people 21-50 years of age), then the 9,531 elderly individuals would at 45% constitute the majority of victims.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S., China neck-and-neck in Olympic medals race See in context

Just what does the medal count mean? This argument will never end. However, it is most notable that even North Korea has taken home more gold medals than Japan! There is something to think about here.

No matter which way you measure advantage in sport (GDP, population, number of athletes, experience in international competition, sporting tradition, etc.), this should simply not happen.

Granted, the 2012 Summer Games are only at the halfway point. The medal count will change. Japan still has the opportunity to improve its performance on the world stage.

Here at the halfway point, perhaps the overall (under) performance of Japan's Olympians in London will serve as a wake-up call to this nation's attitude toward sport...

One can only hope for positive changes at both local and national levels...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Warner Bros cancels Batman premiere in Japan after shooting See in context

The studio said it would continue with screenings for special guests and promotion winners so as not to disappoint fans.

Dear Warner Bros Pictures:

This fan is extremely disappointed, and will now stay home from the theater altogether.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: TEPCO head baffled by criticism of utility's role in nuclear disaster See in context

The words are all there, but this story is far too kind to Mr. Hirose. This how I would have edited this story:

In a scathing report issued this month, an investigative panel appointed by the Diet concluded that the last year's Fukushima disaster was preventable and resulted from "collusion" among Tokyo Electric Power Co, its regulators and the government. (TEPCO has been) lampooned for its inept response to the reactor meltdowns, and denigrated for its perceived arrogance.

(In response,) 59-year-old Yale-educated Naomi Hirose, the new head of the company at the center of Japan's nuclear disaster, said on Thursday he was baffled by fierce criticism of the firm where he has worked nearly 40 years and hoped to rebuild public trust but offered no clear idea how to do so.

Grilled over what critics say is TEPCO's tendency to cover things up, a common charge against a company that admitted in 2007 that it had faked safety reports and hidden defects at its reactors for decades, Hirose acknowledged that there was "a very large perception gap" between the company's view of itself and the way the public sees it. "We have to close that gap," he said.

Fukushima's spent fuel pool No. 4 has been a source of international concern because they are exposed to the atmosphere after one of the explosions that hit the station tore the reactor building roof off and caused its walls to tilt. That was "quite a shock for us," Hirose said, because the company assumed its reinforcement work has been sufficient. ...we should make more efforts to remove people's anxieties and concerns," he said.

Perhaps a nearly 40-year veteran of a corrupt company is not the best candidate to clean up that company. In a matter of hours, Mr. Hirose has established his pattern of response to this ongoing crisis: Regardless of the amount or quality of evidence presented to the contrary, just pretend everything is fine; blame the victims/critics of your company's crimes for possessing unfounded or irrational beliefs. Dear Mr. Hirose, if you truly want to "remove people's anxieties and concerns," start acting like a human being who actually cares more about people than profits. Stop trying to change the "perception" gap. Acknowledge your wrong-doing, and start taking care of the people your company has harmed. Finally, stop pretending that everything is fine. Everything is not fine.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Google chief declares war on international criminals See in context

"I was treated as a piece of property to be used to make profit... I cried and I cried. They told me to shut up and they said I didn't have a word and nobody would listen to me."

Welcome to the 99% Club!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Reported domestic violence cases up by 46.3% so far this year See in context

Too bad the police do nothing about domestic violence. You can report it, but I have never heard of anyone being arrested for even obvious physical abuse. I once stepped in to stop a man who was punching his wife on the street, in broad daylight. The woman was covered in blood from the pummeling she received. However, when the police finally showed up, they refused to arrest the man, telling me that it was a private, domestic issue, and none of their concern. While my friend comforted the woman and tried help her clean up her face, the police officers stood around and joked with the guy.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Donors pledge $16 bil for Afghan aid at Tokyo meet See in context

Japan would provide up to $3 billion over five years, in addition to $1 billion for Afghanistan's neighbors.


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan business sentiment improves, risks remain See in context

Monetary policy? What monetary policy would that be, specifically?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo projects economic impact of 2020 Olympics to be nearly Y3 tril See in context

I do not support Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, however, I must point out that the article concerns the economic impact, not a net profit from holding the games in Tokyo. The real argument lies in whether the economic activity generated from preparations for the Games and holding the Games would really be new economic activity or merely a reallocation of resources from economic activity that would have occurred without the Games.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to make more plutonium despite big stockpile See in context

I would rearrange part of this article:

Despite a promise to international regulators not to produce a plutonium surplus, Japan's plutonium holdings have increased more than five-fold from about 7 tons in 1993 to 37 tons at the end of 2010.

Japan said the stockpile would shrink rapidly in the early 2000s as its fuel cycle kicked in, but that has not happened.

In response to international concern, an official at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Koichi Imafuku said, "There is no excess plutonium in this country." Most of Japan's plutonium stockpile is stored in France and Britain.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ishihara says support for Tokyo's Olympic bid will grow See in context

Tokyo 2020: Just Say "NO" Spoiled Selfish Tokyoite

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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