CruisinJapan comments

Posted in: U.S., Japan, EU seek new global rules limiting subsidies See in context

"No more subsidized industry!" "No TPP!"

Say the Japanese government officials who gain so much support from lobbies like JA, and continue to dish out rice and farm subsidies in the antiquated quota system to buy votes.

If you're against subsidies, I don't think you should get to pick and choose based on what you perceive to be disadvantageous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony, Sharp supply parts to U.S.-blacklisted China security video firm See in context

"Japanese companies' awareness of human rights lags 20 years behind U.S. and European companies," he said.

Awareness of human rights and...

Japanese companies' awareness of the modern workplace, labor laws, technological advancements, is about 20 years behind not just U.S. and European, but ASEAN countries as well

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Revamped cabinet lineup signals Abe's gambit to stay in power See in context

Well, for those who may not see the glaring problem with this picture here's an article published 5 years ago today:

With its aging population and dwindling workforce, Japan more than ever is looking to women like Ms. Suzuki. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has brought the issue to the forefront of his economic-growth policy known as "Abenomics," proclaiming a goal to fill 30% of leadership positions in Japan with women by 2020

It may help, Abe-san, to set the example where you have control.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: South Korea detains 6 for illegally entering Japan consulate See in context

What is disheartening is that these students didn't live in the era of war and occupation, and probably not even their parents. They seem to have inherited their hate and anger from the aging survivors.

We need to break this chain of handing down prejudice to the next generation and instead focus on how we can move forward constructively.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Posted in: 50-year-old cyclist dies after being hit by car in tunnel See in context

As a cyclist in Japan, this scares me. There aren't enough wide shoulders, but especially with older tunnels there's no way to change anything.

Please drive carefully and notice cylists

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese firms to offer telework to ease traffic jams during 2020 Games See in context

I'm glad to see the move toward flexible work options in Japan.

I'm disappointed that it's going to be temporary, and only because of the Olympics.

Please let this last more than next summer.

Don't make social changes for international spectators, make social changes because your citizens are working themselves to death in Tokyo skyscrapers every day.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Big plastic user Japan fights waste ahead of G20 summit See in context

I've been saying this for years, but why not add water fountains in more public places (and government buildings).

It seems silly to me that when you make your occasional trip to city hall, or a public park, you have to buy a PET bottle of water for 100-120 yen, when all you need is a sip or 2 of water on a hot day.

By the way, what's the first thing sold out on 40 degree summer days?

I think Japan loves its PET bottles because it's easy to make money off thirsty people!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Renting a girlfriend in Japan: Relationship goals or just plain awkward? See in context

Call it what it is, this is an escort service.

It's only a matter of time before a customer with bad intentions takes advantage and tries to coerce these young women.

It only looks cute because they found a non-threatening, normal-looking guy who wouldn't have trouble finding a girlfriend without "renting" one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What are some of strangest company rules you've experienced at your workplace Japan? See in context

No matter how long you work for your client each day, never report that you worked more than 7 hours (illegal)

During international business trips, if you eat lunch by yourself (without the client) you cannot claim the meal as a business expense

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Safety steps for foreign drivers introduced amid rise in accidents See in context

Reckless, I found out that if you're from the US and you walk into any AAA service shop, you can purchase an international driver's license that can be used for up to a year.

If you come to Japan as a tourist, you can use the AAA license to rent a car legally in Japan without a knowledge test. I have a permanent driver's license now, but in the past I used the international license to rent a car from Toyota.

The fact that I didn't have to take any kind of test and could still drive legally in Japan was kind of surprising! It's interesting that it's a lot harder to get a license to drive if you have a residency card!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Safety steps for foreign drivers introduced amid rise in accidents See in context

Also causing problems in Japanese roads?

Next to no traffic police enforcing laws

-Illegally parked or stopped vehicles on busy downtown roads

-Mo-peds and scooters weaving and lane splitting

-Drivers watching live streaming television on the navigation unit or smart phones

-Pedestrians and people riding mama-charis on smart phones

-Increasing numbers of unchecked elderly drivers

-Self-important taxi drivers and cowboy bus drivers

-Street cars tracks that are shared by vehicular traffic

And why, oh why, are there no roundabouts?

Where have you lived in Japan that has enough space and government funding available to address this issue? Good idea, but there's some other stuff that could come first, like ENFORCING the LAW.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Hulu and Marvel to create 4 animated series See in context


You make a fair point, and certainly informed. I still think Marvel/Disney are over the top right now.

The movies are entertaining, and we've known the characters our whole lives, so there's no need to waste time with too much character development.

Then again, it's painfully obvious that some film projects have put profit and merchandising rights way ahead of a quality story. The stories are formulaic. Good guys bicker and struggle, bad guy seems like they will prevail, good guys work together and / or find previously unknown inner strength, defeat bad guy... for now... until sequel...

Critics whine about whether story is "true to canon" and use of CGI...

Rinse, repeat

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese beauty product prints English backwards on package so women can take better selfies See in context

Finally, a marketing pro who understands me!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Hulu and Marvel to create 4 animated series See in context

I love the people they have involved in the project, but frankly I am getting tired of everything Marvel all the time.

Film studios seem to have run out of new ideas.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Sapporo blast occurred after 120 spray cans were emptied See in context

In light of revelations that Apaman didn't provide a service that customers paid for, it may be a good time for regulators to come take a look at how else they may have scammed customers.

This type of poor decision making starts from the top down, and some large fines should help encourage the removal of incompetent managers from the upper ranks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Language skills remain major concern for foreign nursing care workers See in context

JLPT is not an indicator of whether someone is at a level with which to meet with clients. Their ability to communicate effectively while speaking in Japanese is what matters. Someone can have passed JLPT and still not be an effective communicator.

I agree! To have the textbook grammar and kanji recognition to pass N1 or N2 starting from zero could take 2-3+ years of dedicated full time study (or having a background in another Far East language). But I've watched many people become conversational in a year when they are immersed. I think they ought to just do away with levels N1 through N5 and make a scale score like the TOIEC does.

Besides, the JLPT doesn't even examine speaking ability! Nurses or care-takers don't need to know the kanji for samurai or how the 10 conjugations of how to say "I must" in order to do their job.

After all, there will still be Japanese supervisors on staff!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Language skills remain major concern for foreign nursing care workers See in context

I was not a caregiver in Japan, but I was an IT consultant. Despite holding JLPT N2, my Japanese employer wouldn't put me on projects with Japanese clients, only with foreign businesses operating in Japan. I guess not even the JLPT 2 is enough for a respectable bank or insurance company.

I tell you what though, if you're foreign and want to work in a restaurant, conbini, or kiosk for 750 yen / hr, the Japanese will snatch you right up even if you've only been in Japan for a week and can't spell konnichi-wa.

I hope the politicians, businessmen, and hospital owners realize the oxymoron they've put themselves in. They want people with a skillset that simple doesn't exist, and can't seem to find a way provide a path to get there!

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Posted in: Wild boar bites off woman's finger See in context

Wild boars are a threat to human safety in mountain communities, and boars are hunted and trapped daily to keep residents safe from attacks. They're not like deer, they don't run away from humans. I encounter boar almost monthly, and I keep my distance when I hear them coming.

This isn't Narnia where all animals are just like humans and can be bargained with.

Ashiya is a wealthy neighborhood with many schools just outside of Kobe where houses back up against the forests of Mt. Rokko.

Not killing the boar could result in more people (not to mention school children) being put at risk.

Sometimes you have to use the tools available in an emergency, and tranquilizing boars is not the protocol for hunters; they kill boars.

Go ahead and feel bad for the way boar was killed, but these people did what they needed to protect the community.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Snapcrap app steps in to take on public poop in San Francisco See in context

What a crappy place to live!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Philip Morris woos puff-happy Japan for post-smoking era See in context

I'd rather be out at an izakaya or bar with only iQOS and vape users, and no cigarettes...

... but ultimately the goal should still be a smoking ban in public places including restaurants and bars.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Judge reprimanded for ‘inappropriate’ tweet concerning abandoned dog case See in context

Dog gonnit!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Keidanren's plan to rethink hiring rules causing waves in Japan See in context

The hiring process is simply in the intersection of so many other failures of big businesses and the university system.

A. Most Japanese university students finish the required 120 credit hours in 3 years. Despite this, they still pay tuition for a 4th year, while doing minimal coursework while job-hunting and taking graduation trips.

SOLUTION: Spread out your coursework over 4 years, have a part-time job and a hobby, gain soft skills, that way your last year in college isn't a whirlwind.

B. Then, the average student applies to 50 or more companies, handwriting each resume (a time-consuming process). That means company HR offices have to go through thousands of CVs from their feeder schools.

SOLUTION: Students research companies, don't apply to every company you've ever heard of. Companies should absolutely allow a typed resume in 2018, and hire science grads for lab-work, business grads for accounting.

C. As 1/3 of new hires quit in one year, my well-informed hypothesis is that this stems from the amount of companies pressuring new employees to do unpaid overtime, and often mandating new-hires relocate sometimes within the first year.

SOLUTION: Companies pay your employees for their time worked. Stop cooking the books. If you hire an applicant for the Osaka office, don't relocate them in Fukuoka in 6 months.

D...E...F...G... Failure to adapt to 21st century global information grid and so on...

If the Keidanren doesn't revamp this system, sure some people might be uncomfortable for a few years, but failing to do so will put Japan even further behind the global curve than it already has become.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 6 killed, 2 injured in motorcycle crash in Nara See in context

Just checked a few other news sites. There were 8 people riding on only 3 bikes... definitely some foolishness going on. I hope the 2 that survive can shed some light on this.


11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't panel begins discussions to slash plastic waste See in context

More public water fountains = less plastic bottle usage

More incentives for bringing reusable bags = less plastic bags

Less products individually wrapped inside a wrapper inside another wrapper

Less staff at conbini's and grocery stores putting single items in plastic bags

... the legislation lacks penalties for those not complying.

And how about laws that have teeth, instead of polite suggestions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Foreign interns being used in quake-hit Kumamoto reconstruction work See in context

"It is difficult to know the actual working conditions of the trainees and trainees cannot easily raise their voices," said Shinichiro Nakashima

No it's not. You need to have your labor and or immigration regulators get off their butts and visit the work sites.

A man who runs a construction company in the hardest-hit town of Mashiki said he was surprised to find local subcontractors using so many foreign workers

Oh, and shifting the blame to a subcontractor? Classic move there

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Pharmaceutical giant Takeda opens new global headquarters in Tokyo See in context

Gimme a break. That arrangement clearly runs counter to "work-life balance." It's really so workers can spend endless hours at the office instead of going to home and spending time with their families. If workers want to do yoga, relax or "refesh," the best place for most people is in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. No way, I'd do any of that at my office. Ugh.

In defense of Takeda, they are headed by a European CEO and have several other foreign executives. They operate more like a European company than a Japanese company. This new office design follows suit with what has been going on overseas for a while.

Also, if you are visiting Tokyo from their overseas branches, you may not be able to get a membership at a gym for a week, so having these amenities in the office is a nice perk. Also, not everyone working their has a family and kids, so for college grads this could be a great place to start!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: One in four young people in Japan’s biggest cities thinking of moving to countryside See in context

5,000-person study in which they asked participants if they want the government to put greater effort into programs helping urban residents of Japan relocate to rural areas

I have a completely different idea, and it involves entrepreneurs and businesses making telecommuting a possibility in this country. Around the globe there are free-lance programmers, graphics designers, writers, and a myriad of other jobs that could be down just about anywhere.

If the private sector takes advantage of modern telecommunications breakthroughs of the last 20 years, Japan may finally join the rest of the world on tele-work and reserve the extreme urbanization trends.

Heck, maybe then there will be more children born each year!! Wishful thinking!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese consulting police more than ever on non-urgent matters See in context

Just a thought: they could cut into a lot of the noise complaints if police could actually stop all those bozo kids and their engine revving.

They hit my neighborhood several times a night which I'm sure generates dozens of calls each time.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Aso ridicules N Korean leader's plane See in context

I was about 99% this headline was a typo, and that it was supposed to read "Aso ridicules NK leader's plan"

But no, Aso is just that petty

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan's 3 megabanks consider operating ATMs jointly See in context

I don't see this as good for consumers, just the banks themselves. Bank hours 9 - 15, ATM hours 7 - 22. Banks here serve you when it's convenient for them!

The banks can imagine that Japan will become a cashless society. But the ojisan selling takoyaki out of a van outside of a busy station stations isn't ready for it!

Might be a better idea to promote the use of mobile payment for small vendors before reducing ATMs, especially in time for the Olympics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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