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CruisinJapan comments

Posted in: Pro-Russian hackers target Port of Nagoya; demand ransom See in context

Having done cybersecurity/IT consulting work in Japan, this is frustrating but not surprising.

Japan is lagging behind in a big way. Most domestic organizations are unwilling to spend enough money to reduce risks and modernize systems. "It's been okay so far, why pay more?"

The industry consensus is, you spend some money to reduce risk because you end up paying more when threats like this are realized.

And here we are caught on our heels, tying up drivers, products spoiling inside containers, and the effects will be felt for months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Court rejects case opposing restart of Miyagi Prefecture nuclear plant See in context

Perhaps they could have amassed more than 17 residents to sign on as plaintiffs if they want to be taken seriously.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Pair of Hokkaido melons fetch ¥3.5 mil in auction; 2nd highest bid on record See in context

That's a nice set of melons you got there!

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan to provide 100 military vehicles to Ukraine See in context

Just about 15 months into the conflict. Better late than never, though.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Posted in: U.S. looks to work with Japan to boost women's tech job opportunities See in context

Japanese women go to college in great numbers, get selected at great businesses, and many are on the track to good careers. I saw it in Tokyo. They're trying to address the issue with support groups and new measures.

However, once most Japanese women take even a single a maternity leave, it's almost impossible to get back on track in the corporate world. For example, a common "working mom job" you see frequently on the news is that of a 1,200 yen per hour call center with a built-in daycare. The mom can see their child through a window from the desk. HA!! Um, where's that for working dads, am I right?

Japan has a double-edged sword with "women in tech" or any career path, and they don't know how to wield it. The government is trying to get women to have more children to fix the declining birthrate, and companies are hurting for skilled employees.

But the whole concept of a "career woman" in Japan is that of a cavalier woman warrior that doesn't want or need a family. And the thought of a mom leaving "early" to pick up kids from school basically means no more upward mobility at MOST big J-corporates. So why even participate?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo schoolboy assumes other boy’s identity for 6 months; attends classes at top high school See in context

Who's buying the rights to this story? Hopefully someone with a good production budget!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman sues Tokyo company after having to work 48 days in a row with limited bathroom breaks See in context

Being a mid to late career woman (or even a man) at a firm like this doesn't necessarily leave a lot of options to switch to another firm. Being exploited may be better than being unemployed or starting a new job with a lower salary.

I think finding a new gig in your 50s after being demoted to a general office job is not easy in any country, let alone Japan.

She should take TV Tokyo Seisaku to the cleaners for misconduct, and she better win. I hope her co-workers can testify to the validity of her harassment.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Posted in: Former Tokio pop group member arrested for riding motorbike while drunk See in context

This guy really fell from grace. I hope his story has an impact on pop stars' decision making. You can't invite high school girls over to your house while being really drunk, basically try to force sex on them, and expect no consequences, just because you're a pop star. Hopefully parents learned something from that as well.

“I will spend my days taking a hard look at myself and praying that the victim, her family and her friend can someday be at peace and return to their lives before this took place,” said Yamaguchi, the bassist for the popular all-male idol group Tokio, during a hastily arranged news conference at a hotel in Tokyo. - 2018

But honestly, I hope he can get treatment and stop being such a mess, his hard look at himself hasn't seemed to work yet.


-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump to make court pick by Saturday, before Ginsburg burial See in context

If Donald was so confident he'd win the election, there should be no reason that he and the Senate Republican Musketeers are trying to jam this in last minute.

Let's be clear, this is the sign of a bunch of nervous politicians trying to assert control of the courts in years to come by breaking their own precedent, which was SHOUTED at the American people exactly 4 years ago with Obama's nomination. That's probably because, should Trump lose, he'll have 3 appointees in the Court to possibly dispute the election. Trump has even indicated he may fight the results if he loses...

The Republican held Senate also removed the requirement of a 60 vote super majority to confirm a Supreme Court Justice in 2017. As citizens, we should be more concerned about either party using the nuclear option to vote their will in the Senate. Sixty votes was meant to ensure a slim majority couldn't ever overturn long-standing laws.

Lastly, you're going to keep hearing the defense "That's because in 2016 the Executive and Legislative branches were split (Obama - D, Senate - R), now Republicans control Executive and the Senate"

Let's remember, in the 2018 Midterms, the American people swapped 41 seats in the House, however, the Senators have 6 year terms. Their lingering control of the Senate does not give them the 60 votes required to appoint a justice as it would have been required before they changed the rule in 2017. They knew exactly what they were doing!

We should all be shaking our heads at the hijacking of these nomination proceedings.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: Journalist ponders meaning of Japan's (currently) low coronavirus infection numbers See in context

I can just think of the bathroom at our local JR train station, complete with a sign written in Japanese that says "please do not steal our soap" and there's a place for a bar of soap (which has already been stolen) and everyone is supposed to share as they wash their hands with cold water.

By the way, what's the 4th hypothesis? Keep on keepin' on cause it's hard to control ourselves?

I'm embarrassed this published.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's virus testing policy causes dilemmas in self-isolation See in context

One of the first cases in Nagasaki resulted from a lack of guidance. A college student doing his job hunt in Kansai started to feel sick. After staying several days in the hotel, he decided it would be better to come all the way back home....

Meaning he decided to get on a train, go to Kansai airport, go through Fukuoka or Nagasaki airport, and take public transportation back to his apartment.

Someone with authority in the government really needs to step up here. Who knows how many people are infected and spreading the infection if you refuse to test them, or even tell them what to do?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. Forces extends health emergency to all of Japan See in context


Be nice to have the numbers of military who have actually contacted the virus be openly shared with the general public here.

I think you have the right to be concerned, but sharing that information with the world about service members' health is dangerous, and honestly, I highly doubt any world power would reasonably do the same.

On the flip side, several weeks before Abe finally came to his senses and called the state of emergency, US military commanders began taking this extremely seriously. Anyone caught violating the policies is punished. Meanwhile, military personnel moving from city to city (domestic OR international) are held in quarantine for at least 14 days before being allowed to move around. There are daily screenings, and anyone exhibiting symptoms are to be tested.

If you want to criticize what the U.S. military is doing in terms of reporting, I hope you realize that it's kept quiet for their protection, and meanwhile they are doing MUCH, MUCH more to contain the pandemic than any Japanese prefecture has done to date. Let's work together to do the same off base as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese health care facilities stretched thin, doctors say See in context

I feel terrible for this, I really do.

But looking back at the arrogance and denial of the leadership as they talked about 1,000 beds set aside like it would be enough... I still don't understand what they were expecting to happen.

The evidence of what would happen was on display around the world, and here we are, arguing for every barbershop and izakaya to stay open, and pretend that little face-masks will prevent people from contracting an extremely contagious virus.

Why, oh why, did anyone think that it was okay to wait to take action...?

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese auto industry vows to protect jobs worldwide See in context

This is a prime example of Japanese fighting spirit, and a concept that's hard to explain to people in a modern setting. On the flip side, earlier this week a Japanese taxi company laid off their entire staff. The auto-industry seems more deeply rooted in tradition and protecting the working class.

There was a Japanese novel turned movie "A Man Called Pirate" or "Kaizoku to yobareta otoko" by Naoki Hyakuta that demonstrates this unique cultural trait which seems to be dying out.

The president of an oil company did everything he could at the end of the war to keep his employees. They did all kinds of odd jobs to stay afloat while the MacArthur occupation prevented oil sales to the Japanese oil industry. It may have been fiction, but the message resonates. I hope he can preserve jobs and weather the pandemic.


1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: No emergency See in context

So if the government were trying to evacuate a coastal area before a tsunami, I'm sure these same types of folks would be protesting at the beach. Can't fix stupid.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe cautious about declaring emergency despite spike in virus cases See in context

All I am hearing is that Japan is worried about pushing the emergency button because they have a bunch of poorly written emergency policies. And we have already seen how poor the response can be to emergencies! Remember thirsty people in Kumamoto after the earthquake, and storage facilities nearby with filled with water NOT BEING DELIVERED?

Why not use this time to:

A. Remove nonsensical policies

B. Make an actual response plan based on what is working abroad

C. Push the emergency button already!!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Brokerage worker loses paternity leave appeal in Japan See in context

@Punctual Plum

Also, I'd be interested to hear from fellow posters that have come to Japan for work think about working there?

I've worked in Japan after being transferred to the Tokyo office of an American company. I did IT consulting work for a number of banks / insurance firms in Japan.

This story of paternity leave brings back memories of how my employer took me off good projects to place me into worthless projects outside my department, simply because I'm a native English speaker. In my experience Japanese managerial style doesn't promote employee growth, and simply pushes talent to where there are gaps. If you stick around long enough and are loyal enough, you may end up getting put on good projects with the best customers. But don't bother taking time-off outside of Golden Week, Obon, or New Years (or when you have a child)

On the positive side, being an expat, I took on a lot of high visibility projects at a young age. I felt like I was important for the company's mission (although underpaid).

On the negative side, we would do an honest assessment of our clients' IT systems, and their leadership usually didn't like our ratings, so they argued with us to give them a higher score. Of course, my Japanese managers allowed us to raise their scores because "okyaku-sama wa kami-sama" or "customer is God".

The sad thing is, we were just there to help them improve. Instead, I feel one bank in particular received our assessment and ignored our recommendations, and pretended like they were already perfect. So what's the point of hiring us?

I also remember going to Europe and America with a Japanese client to visit their subsidiaries, and watching the Tokyo executives fail to understand budgeting cycles and management culture in the Western world. They failed to complete "due diligence" and our team received a lot of angry feedback when telling (not asking) the subsidiaries about unrealistic timelines. I've never felt as much tension in a meeting as I did on this project.

I quit my Japan job within a year. I am paid way more to do the same job back in the USA and not work 10-14 hours a day. It would take a lot to convince me to ever go back to a Japanese firm.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Virus breaks the mold for telework in office-bound Japan See in context

Once again caught flat-footed due to their own ability to change with the times, J. Inc. is already contributing to the spread of the pandemic by keeping employees commuting to the office.

Remember last July when the government "encouraged" companies to try telework to prepare for the Olympics and nearly no one tried it?

The only problem is, now that society needs salarymen to stay home, no one really knows how to do it effectively, and the stakes are now life and death.

The world is watching, and if Japan can't keep up with trends like telework and allowing employees to stay home during this pandemic, they're going to have a hard time recruiting international talent going forward.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Australia says no collusion in decision to withdraw from 2020 Games See in context

I would have hoped that teams across the world would come to the same conclusion.

Frankly, I wouldn't even care if they colluded. They made the right call. I hope 2021 happens though because we already paid for tickets!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo records most new coronavirus cases in a day as pressure for lockdown builds See in context

Compare this situation of not testing more people to the prosecutions by the Japanese justice department. They seldom take cases to court that are not slam-dunk convictions.

Japan has this obsession with being certain about something before acting.

They need all the rubber stamps of approval before a deal is made.

They need the meeting notes before a meeting is held.

They need the class print outs before they attend a college lecture.

Yes, it's cultural, and it is a time-honored trait of this country. But it has its time and place!

This time though, I'm so tired of excuses about hospital beds, and I'm really starting to be scared for all of my in-laws as most of them live in metropolitan areas.

What's the right number of confirmed cases before Abe can say "stay home or else!!"

For those of you who think "testing of mild cases is a waste of beds" based on hospital bed count, you fail to realize that in less in a month they're going to be full anyway. BUT, this could have been slowed down!!

Stop defending this administration!!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Koike calls for fewer outings; says state of emergency up to PM See in context

The number of infections continues to increase from last week and we are at a crucial moment which will determine whether we can minimize the number of further infections

...determine whether we can minimize...

Dear Japan, yes you CAN minimize infections by ordering people to stay home, not just in the evening and on weekends.


The rest of the world

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Nagoya Stadium disinfected See in context

This is beyond hilarious! Look at how many people from the press are there to document something that has no impact! Hopefully they're disinfecting subway cars, buses, and elevators around big cities instead of wasting time in a dugout no one has been in for WEEKS!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-Aug 8 in 2021 See in context

Wow, maybe instead of deciding to publicize the new dates for the Olympics, the leaders in Japan could focus on a massive problem literally at the last opportunity they have to minimize the impact of the pandemic!!

Are you seriously answering this question faster than the questions about quarantining and working from home?!

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo's infection spike after Olympic postponement sparks questions See in context

At this point rather than argue over the missteps up until now (which we can all agree there are many)...

It's time to take real action. No where else in the world crowds trains and subways like Tokyo.

If you think 2 digit daily increases in infections are bad, without REAL measures, it's going to become 3 digits, then maybe even 4, very very soon.

Stay home. It's the single best way to curb the spread.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 Japanese businessmen charged in U.S. over tech hardware price fixing See in context

Hillclimber and Kazuaki,

You're making semantical arguements about my point that it's not compatible with the laws in America, hence why stating American values is necessary for me to do.

If you do business in another country and simply carbon copy your business model from your home country, you're already setting yourself up for failure. Regional laws and cultural values. These things matter, and it would be the same for American businesses abroad.

Frankly, I don't care if we're talking about hard drive components, software, or bubblegum. Your semantics detract from the central point. Price fixing is illegal. The fundamental arguement is that it stifles competition and innovation.

If excessive competition leads to a race to the bottom, that's when competitors who can't make a profit exit the market and do something else, not everyone can go home a winner forever. You can't let businesses collude to arbitrarily set supply and pricing for all industries, or McDonald's and Burger King would just start charging $10 for a burger.

Besides, it's not the only law governing competition. We have tarriffs, quotas, subsidies, anti-trust laws and other measures to protect producers and consumers from unfair business practices.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 Japanese businessmen charged in U.S. over tech hardware price fixing See in context

All in the name of Harmony. They just don't get it. These Japanese companies "fix prices", so that they all survive. It is a humanitarian thing that they do.

Actually, it's called cheating, and it stifles innovation. It makes products and services needlessly more expensive for everyday people when companies price fix.

I've noticed that prices in Japan are "sticky" and Japanese society does whatever it can to prevent price changes. For example, if input costs for a liter of juice go up, the juice sellers use the same package and change the volume to 900 ml to be able to sell it at the same price.

There's also nearly no inflation and extremely low interest rates in Japan, but at the same time no GDP growth.

I think Japanese business men need to realize that these practices aren't compatible with American values where we focus on growth, ecomonies of scal,e and competition. I suppose we'll continue to see a case like this a few times a year involving Japanese firms.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: Graduating from marriage: The Japanese phenomenon of 'sotsukon' See in context

Japanese men are the world's most notorious "Momma's boys"

They live in a protected state from a young age, where their 365-days-a-year sports team practices take precedence over learning how to do anything domestic. Most of them live at home or company provided dorms until married, never cooking a single meal. Then they get married and expect their wives to pick up where their mothers left off.

Lots of Japanese wives even have to give their husbands a daily cash allowance because apparently budgeting is also a skill men here lack.

I wouldn't want to even be roommates with this kind of person, let alone spend the rest of my days cleaning up after one.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Number of foreigners in Japan with new working visa totals 1,621 See in context

What Southeast Asian or Melanasian has time to learn Japanese while becoming a "skilled laborer"?

How many Japanese are willing to move to developing countries to teach Japanese for low wages?

The expectations on applicants is way too high. The average worker targeted for this program doesn't exactly have an opportunity to study Japanese in their home country.

While Japanese language teaching programs do exist in developing countries, they don't seem to be producing the expected results. Even Japanese majors in universities may have a hard time passing JLPT!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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 )

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