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Posted in: Tokyo court rules that hotels must pay NHK fees according to the number of rooms with TVs See in context

Zichi tells us that the NHK's income was JPY 660bn, which is GBP 3.8bn at the current FX rate (170). The BBC's income from licence fees was GBP 3.7bn. They also earned an additional GBP 1.4bn from commercial operations. So the BBC's total annual income is slightly higher, but they earn ball-park the same amount each year. Comparing the quality of output of the two broadcasters, you have to wonder where the money the NHK earns goes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Hashimoto says allied soldiers raped women after D-Day See in context

There needs to be a stronger diplomatic response from Britain, America, Canada, Australia and France on this. Particularly as we have just passed the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, an event where veterans from both sides came together to mourn those who fell and meet with young people to recount to them first hand the horrors of war. But Hashimoto thinks it is appropriate to give a major speech calling them rapists. Unbelievable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese IT firm to digitize Vatican manuscripts See in context

Looking forward to the end result: 82,000 Excel spreadsheets with the cells made really small and individually coloured as if they are pixels.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: M5.7 earthquake jolts eastern Japan; no tsunami alert See in context

Most earthquakes since March 2011 have been on the Pacific/Eurasian plate boundary. This one looks like it was on the Philippine/Eurasian plate boundary. Interesting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Be a quick-draw salaryman with 'Business Holster' See in context

This will go perfectly with my bluetooth headset.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'God Particle' scientists win the Nobel Physics Prize See in context

This particle has nothing to do with 'God'. Its prediction is one of the greatest achievements of theoretical physics in the second half of the twentieth century. It's discovery was made possible by the most ambitious scientific experiment ever conducted. It is a shame that the highest achievements of science and reason are tainted by association with ancient superstition by calling the Higgs boson the 'God particle'.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe says Japan has no choice but to hike sales tax See in context

I think we all know the headline is inaccurate. It should read "Abe to hike sales tax to take money from the man on the street and give it to banks (quantitative easing), construction companies (Olympic largesse) and large corporations in general (corporate tax cuts)".

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: Line, WeChat: Asian social networks move to conquer Europe See in context

@gogogo Don't you follow the news? Can't see anyone wanting to route their "chat" via the USA.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Docomo to begin selling iPhone soon, reports say See in context

they meekly join the bandwagon after losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

A lot more, actually. Docomo have lost 3.2 million subscribers since the iPhone was introduced.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Kagome aims to boost tomato consumption in Japan See in context

We don't use any chemicals. So we ... train the farmers to cultivate them in ways that use less chemicals

No chemicals or less chemicals, which is it?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's sex slave legacy remains open wound See in context

@David3 The response of the historical revisionist is so predictable and consistent I have reduced it to five simple steps for you: 1) The incident(s) in question did not happen at all. 2) What happened was entirely benevolent. 3) What happened was bad, but not as atrocious as witness accounts and contemporary records tell us it was. 4) What happened was atrocious, but everyone else was committing atrocities as well. 5) What happened was much worse than what everyone else was doing, but we should not judge the past by today's standards.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Goldman Sachs to invest in Japan green energy projects See in context

@sengetsu03 You have been reading too many right-wing blogs. Here are some hard facts for you:

Renewables - economic success: In Spain, at peak 25% of all energy comes from wind power. The Spanish economy has gained 3 euros for every one euro invested in incentives for wind farms (1). In Germany, new renewable energy sources are coming online so fast that they have recently increased their 2020 renewable energy target to 40% from 35% (2). In Iceland 100% of total power production comes from geothermal energy or hydroelectric power. It is a favourite location for large data centres because electricity is so cheap (3).

Non-renewables - economic failure: Japan generates less than 2% of its electricity from renewables. Despite the weakening yen boosting exports, the budget deficit is currently increasing, due to the huge cost of importing fossil fuels (4). The Fukushima nuclear disaster has left hundreds of square kilometres of Japan uninhabitable for decades and displaced more than 100,000 people. I'm not sure you can put a price on that, but if you could it would be enormous (5).

Citations: 1) http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/02/04/business-spain-wind.html 2) http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2012/10/12/climate/germany-raises-renewables-target-40-eyes-cap-support 3) http://www.greendataisland.com/whyiceland.html 4) http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20130308p2g00m0bu042000c.html 5) http://www.nature.com/news/japan-s-nuclear-crisis-fukushima-s-legacy-of-fear-1.10183

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Rules are made to be broken See in context

This annoys me as well. The pavement is blocked by cones, barriers and signs instead of being blocked by bikes. So the pavement is still blocked but people have nowhere to leave their bikes. Or worse, the signs are ignored and people park their bikes in front of them, meaning the pavement is even more blocked than it otherwise would have been.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Earthquake protection strips give new meaning to 'band-aid solution' See in context

@Probie And wrapping concrete columns in fabric isn't a fire hazard?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Earthquake protection strips give new meaning to 'band-aid solution' See in context

The source of this article is SRF, the company itself. I thought it read like advertising.

These results were even surprising to the makers of the material.

Haven't they tested it? Don't they know exactly what it does and why? I thought Japan had some of the strictest building codes in the world.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan riled by WHO's Fukushima cancer warning See in context

They are talking about 'risk', but there have already been three Fukushima children diagnosed with thyroid cancer, it was all over the news last month: http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/130213/bdy13021312510005-n1.htm (Japanese)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Questions and answers on Japan's pacifist constitution See in context

Abe may want to change the Constitution, but until at least 2/3 of the Japanese legislature and over half of the Japanese voting population agree with him, it's not happening.

@Fadamor The LDP know that. Which is why they want to first change Article 96 of the constitution which specifies these restrictions. They want Article 96 to require a simple parliamentary majority and a referendum. First they remove the safeguards, then they ram through the changes they want.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Questions and answers on Japan's pacifist constitution See in context

Changes to Article 9 (the prohibition of war) are just a small part of the LDP's plans. There are some details of the proposed amendments at the English language wikipedia entry regarding the Constitution of Japan. Take the time to read it, it is important. Link and a few quotes are below. I posted this on yesterday's thread, too. Sorry for repeating myself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Japan#Amendment_Drafts_by_the_LDP

Human Rights: The LDP draft revises many of the human right provisions currently adopted in the Constitution. "Human rights should have ground on the State's history, culture and tradition" and "Several of the current constitutional provisions are based on the Western-European theory of natural human rights; such provisions therefore require to be changed."

Freedom of assembly, association, speech and all other forms of expression: The LDP draft adds a new paragraph on Article 21, which enables the State to prohibit the people from performing expressions "for the purpose of interfering public interest and public order".

Freedom from torture and cruel punishments: Under the current Constitution, torture and cruel punishments are "absolutely forbidden", but the LDP draft deletes the word "absolutely" (Article 36).

Obligations of the People: The people must respect the national anthem and flag (Article 3).

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: ANA, JAL switched many Dreamliner batteries See in context

ANA had not reported the replacements to the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) because “the 10 problems were found before flights so were considered not to affect safety”, Yamamoto said.

This is the most terrifying statement of all. You can't perform maintenance inspections while the plane is flying. So of course all maintenance inspections are performed "before flights". Are we to assume that ANA does not report any findings from its maintenance inspections to the regulator at all?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Incoming LDP gov't hints at joining TPP See in context

Is it right that the entire population of 130 million people have to pay some of the highest prices in the world for a staple food such as rice, just to maintain the way of life of the smallholder farmer?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Toshiba unveils robot for helping in nuclear disasters See in context

The robot took a jerky misstep during a demonstration to reporters, freezing with one leg up in the air. It had to be lifted by several people and rebooted.

And if it ever falls, it will not be able to get up on its own.

Anyone who has seen the youtube videos of the Big Dog from Boston Dynamics will know that this robot from Toshiba is not even close to being state-of-the-art. It looks to be designed with one purpose in mind only: to milk the Japanese government/TEPCO for as much money as possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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