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Posted in: 168 lawmakers visit Yasukuni shrine See in context

I'm so sick of this damn issue.

These politicians aren't doing it to honor the dead. They're doing it to put on a show for the nationalists who voted them into office. It's nothing more than shameless pandering. And then those same panderers talk about "strengthening ties with China and South Korea." If you're constantly pissing them off, you're not exactly strengthening ties. It'd be like America "strengthening ties" with Japan by commemorating the Japanese internment camps.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Next James Bond movie expected within 3 years: MGM See in context

I loved Skyfall. Wasn't perfect, I thought the scenes at the castle were actually a bit anti-climatic in comparison to the grandness of the scenes in Turkey, Macau and London. But it was still very, very enjoyable. And after Quantum of Solace seemed like it was ashamed to be a Bond film, having a return to the classic tropes was sorely needed.

Now that we've got Ralph Fiennes' M as well as Moneypenny and Q back into the franchise, I'm really looking forward to the next installment. Would be nice to revisit Quantum (the only good thing from QoS) as a modern-day version of SPECTRE and maybe bring back Blofeld.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Normal behavior in Japan, taboo abroad See in context

In Japan, if you aren’t at least 10 minutes early, you’re late. However, in other countries, showing up to a party too early could be considered rude to the host who is still preparing for guests.

I've actually seen this a lot in my area, so it's not just a Tokyo thing. When having guests over, I started telling my Japanese friends that the start time was later than I'd tell my fellow foreigners. That way, they tend to show up at the same time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ads in Tokyo stations for Western horror movie deemed too scary for commuters See in context

On international woman's day.. and with violence against woman nothing to joke about.. and with people getting stabbed in metro stations ... there is no need for this kind of film..

The Cabin in the Woods is not this kind of film. It does not glorify violence against women. It does not glorify violence. It actually plays around with a lot of the tropes of horror movies.

Before you accuse a movie of being misogynist or violent, you might want to try, y'know, actually watching it.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Posted in: Survey among expats: What did you think about Japan before you started living here? See in context

Because Japan is an advanced nation, everyone can understand English to some extent.

Reality: Not exactly.

Best. Understatement. Ever. Made me chuckle.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Foreign media in Japan without piracy - Part II See in context

sigh Okay, let me make this simple. Copyright is a territorial issue. Just like there is no "internet police", so there is no international copyright. Copyright is registered with the relevant authorities in different countries, normally by an agent, or re-sold to a distributor, or they open a local company branch and register it through them.

You act as if you're an authority and bemoan other people's misunderstanding, yet you yourself seem to have some fundamental misunderstanding of copyright law. Particularly in regards to the Berne Convention

The Berne Convention, of which Japan is a signatory country, requires all signatories to recognize the copyrights of works from authors in all signatory countries in the same way that it recognizes copyrights of works of its own nationals. So if a work is published in the United States, that copyright is also recognized in Japan. It does not have to be registered in Japan. In fact, the Berne Convention specifically prohibits signatories from requiring formal registration of copyright—under the Berne Convention, copyright is automatic. That means once a work is published in a signatory country, it is copyrighted in all signatory countries for the Convention's set minimum term of the author's life plus fifty years. The author does not need to register that copyright with either the work's country or origin or the other signatory countries.

By claiming that there are different copyright holders in different countries or that a signatory country requires a formal registration of copyright, you end up sounding like a moron. You are confusing licensing and distribution with copyright.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Foreign media in Japan without piracy - Part II See in context

When any of you came to Japan from your home countries, or when you moved from any one country to another, did you bring any books with you? Any movies? CDs? Any iTunes store purchases made before you came to Japan? According to Frungy, you've committed piracy.

Have any of you ever taken books or movies bought from one country when visiting a foreign country? While you were in a foreign country did you buy any media there and then take it home with you? According to Frungy, you've committed piracy.

Do any of you have family or friends in another country who bought a movie, book, or album for you as a gift and then sent it to you? According to Frungy, you've committed piracy.

Do any of you use Amazon's Kindle device and online bookstore? The one which Amazon advertises as having global wifi so you can download books from the Amazon US store no matter where in the world you are? According to Frungy, you—and Amazon—have committed piracy.

Have any of you ever bought a video game from a website like Play Asia and then had it shipped to Japan because the Japanese version of the game doesn't have any English language option? According to Frungy, you've committed piracy. So has Play Asia.

Have any of you ever bought any media from any website not based in Japan and then had it shipped to you in Japan? According to Frungy, you've committed piracy, as have those websites. And if it was clearly labeled and/or if it was opened by customs and they still let it through, the Japanese customs agents probably have some liability as well.

Ever bought a region-free DVD player to play non-Region 2 DVDs? According to Frungy, you've committed piracy.

In fact, under Frungy's extremely broad definition of piracy, if you've ever transported any media from one country to another, you've committed piracy.

There are lots of things that are considered copyright violation. For example, have you ever been out in a public place for your birthday or a friend's and had everyone break out into a chorus of the Happy Birthday song? Congratulations, you've all just committed piracy.

Context is important. The way Frungy talks, you'd think the cops are ready to bust down the door of every single foreigner in order to toss them in jail from bringing their DVDs over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Foreign media in Japan without piracy - Part I See in context

You can order cds and dvds from Amazon.com if you want, no waiting 2 years, no 5 times the price. They will happily ship to your door. THere is no bubble. Just a lot of self-entitled whiners.

What's the difference between ordering an Amazon DVD from the States and getting it shipped to Japan or ordering an Amazon digital movie from the States and downloading it in Japan with a VPN? Both times, I'm paying the price Amazon lists the product for. Both times, Amazon is getting their fees for carrying the product. Both times, the content owners are getting paid. Both times, I need to rely on something extra to circumvent region-blocking (with the DVD I need a region-free player, with the digital movie I need a VPN). The only difference is the method of delivery.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Bruce Willis says he's against new gun controls See in context

Have you ever seen a knife cut something by itself? Or a bat hit a ball by itself? Probably not because those are all inanimate objects designed to function in accordance with and with the control and manipulation of a human being.

A knife has uses other than violence. A bat has uses other than violence. A gun's only purpose is to destroy and kill. And it doesn't justify the NRA's continued opposition to even the most sensible of legislation, like allowing the ATF to do their job.

A gun can't kill by itself, but it's a lot harder for a person to kill someone if he has to go through background checks to get that gun. And it's a lot harder for him to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time if the power of the gun is limited or if the magazine size is limited.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Bruce Willis says he's against new gun controls See in context

I may not agree with everything they say but they do defend my 2nd amendment rights better than any other organization.

No, no they don't. They defend the gun industry so they can sell as many guns as humanly possible and turn as big a profit. The NRA was once for sensible gun control legislation. But since they turned into the public relations arm of the gun industry, that stopped.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: AKB48 singer shaves her head as act of contrition for dating See in context

Anyone who says "a contract is a contract" needs to shut up. Your employer should never have any say over whether or not you can have a relationship, it's crossing a line. And as for the "fans" who feel "betrayed" -- grow the hell up. You never had a chance with them to begin with. Stop living in a fantasy world.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Posted in: What killed the karaoke stars? See in context

Dying out? Maybe it's not as popular with the office culture as it once was, but there are still lots of karaoke boxes lining the streets around my area and you sometimes have to wait to get a room on a Friday and Saturday night, so I'd say they're still pretty popular.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Is the JET Program really necessary for Japan? See in context

No. Anyone with a brain knows this and this topic has been done to death. Next.

Ranting and raving on the Internet about JET ALTs has also been done to death, but apparently you have no problems with that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers 6-day school week; teachers not enthusiastic See in context

Instead of looking at the root of the problem, let's just keep doing what we've been doing, except for longer hours. Because that solves everything.

Seems to be Japan's answer to any problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 7 services that don’t make sense to foreigners in Japan See in context

For NHK, I say just make it an opt-in/opt-out thing. You don't want to pay for NHK, you don't get NHK access, simple as that. Last time the NHK guy came to my place, I told him I never watch Japanese TV, I only use my set for playing DVDs and video games, and that my TV doesn't even seem to get broadcast channels any more (might be some problem with the antenna but I've never bothered to check because I never watch it any way). I offered to have him come in and see for himself, he said that was okay and left.

That was two years ago, haven't had an NHK visit since.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe visits Meiji Shrine in apparent rightist appeal See in context

I'm surprised people can say, "so what's the big deal?" It's very well-known that this is a sensitive issue for China, and at a time when Japan is involved with them in a row over the Senkakus, Abe says he wants to improve relations and then deliberately does something that he knows very well will provoke them?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Posted in: 14.8% of Japanese housewives claim to have committed adultery See in context

@Lowly, I don't know how you can look at a statement like "a commitment requires honesty and communication" and bring back from that "living like lawyers with agreements and constantly verbally confirmed declarations of intent and feeling." That's a massive leap.

You said people should live by actually feeling each other and understanding each other -- THAT MEANS COMMUNICATING YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE RELATIONSHIP! If you commit to someone, you owe it to them to communicate what that commitment means, and they owe it to you to do the same. If you're going to just assume that they're okay with adultery, that's not understanding -- that's assuming.

It's got nothing to do with a rulebook or a contract or judging people I've never met or any of these arbitrary labels you keep forcing on it. It has to do with being open and honest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 14.8% of Japanese housewives claim to have committed adultery See in context

There are plenty of ppl who accept and don't mind their spouse wandering if they come back home. But they DO NOT want to know about it.

If that's been communicated in the relationship, then that's different. If it hasn't, then it's a betrayal, pure and simple.

Thinking everybody's relationship has to be based on this or that because it is written somewhere on a peice of paper or because someone said so, is the path away from self-knowledge, and to cold lifeless relationships that ignore the partners' real needs and desires, and real current situation.

I never said everyone's relationship has to be based on this or that. But a relationship is a partnership, communication is important, honesty is important. If your spouse tells you, "I don't care if you seek out other partners, but don't ever tell me about it," then THAT'S CONSENT! That's an agreement! If your spouse tells you, "I want you to be faithful to me," then by violating that, you are betraying your partner. And if your spouse has never said anything and you just assume they're okay with you running around with other lovers, then clearly you are betraying your partner because you aren't being honest and you don't know what their views actually are.

Cold, lifeless marriages aren't created because spouses need to be more understanding about their partner's lack of self-control. Cold, lifeless marriages are created from lack of communication and dishonesty.

When you commit to a person, and I'm not talking about marriage, I'm talking about committing to a person, then you have an obligation to be honest with that person about your sex life. Not only is it just basic human respect to be honest with the person you supposedly love, but it's also a matter of safety. Spouses have a right to know what risks are involved in their sex life.

If you aren't willing to be honest with your partner, then you should not make that commitment, plain and simple.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 14.8% of Japanese housewives claim to have committed adultery See in context

@Lowly, cheating is most-definitely a bad thing. If you and your spouse have an open relationship, then it's not cheating and more power to you. But if you pursue other partners without your spouse's knowledge and especially without their consent, then you are betraying your spouse.

If you don't want monogamy and your spouse does, then the relationship needs to end, because you both have conflicting ideas about what the relationship should be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 14.8% of Japanese housewives claim to have committed adultery See in context

There are some people on this thread who are doing a lot of bashing of J-women, which makes me wonder about their motives for these kinds of posts. I wonder, if the J-woman bashers think it's just fine for married men to go to hostess bars? Is it okay for them to go to soaplands?

There have been more than a few Japanese men who have said to me, "so you have your girlfriend, but tell us about your special friend." When I asked what they meant, they basically described a mistress. Every single one of these married J-men had a mistress, some had more than one. And I think if you probed a bit deeper into that 14% and asked why they had affairs, I'm positive a good many of them would say that their husbands do it as well.

It doesn't make it right by any stretch of the imagination. But it sheds a little more light on the motivation, which some in this thread seem to want to make out to be "J-women are evil."

2 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan needs women power to galvanize economy See in context

My apologies, cleo. I thought you were referring to stay-at-home moms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan needs women power to galvanize economy See in context

@cleo, I suggest you do some research on the term "devil-wives." It's not always a matter of mothers choosing not to work, but sometimes a matter of society stigmatizing working mothers. Add in problems with adequate childcare plus the ridiculous demands Japan places on its workforce and there are many families who probably find it more feasible to have a parent stay home with the children.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Nationalist strains echo on campaign trail See in context

Always remember that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. And Abe, Hashimoto, Ishihara and their ilk are scoundrels of the highest order, which makes them among the lowest forms of life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ishihara calls for nuclear-armed Japan See in context

Ishihara won't be happy until he starts an all-out war with China. The man's psychotic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Despite 2011 disaster, pro-nuclear LDP favored to win power See in context

Meet the new boss, same as the old -- literally. It's baffling to me how anyone could be stupid enough to put a right-wing loon like Abe into a position where he could ascend to PM once again.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Ishihara calls for nuclear-armed Japan See in context

Japan has changed since WWII. There is no need to worry about it doing something "bad" anymore. First off, the fact that you used scare quotes around "bad" suggests that you don't think Japan did anything "bad" in the past. And that says a lot about your support of Ishihara in this instance.

Second, when you have people like Ishihara who claim that Japan never did anything wrong during WW2, who claims that other races are inferior to the Japanese, who laughs off the deaths of his own countrymen during 3/11 as "divine retribution," and who shows a willingness to be unnecessarily confrontational with neighboring nations, giving those people access to political and military power is a very, very dangerous thing. And it's not just Japan -- it applies to any nation and any period of history.

Ever hear the phrase "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"? Ishihara IS one of those people. He flat-out refuses to acknowledge Japan's own past and his nationalist, racist, violent rhetoric will be extremely dangerous for Japan. Because I will let you in on a well-known secret about Ishihara -- he doesn't give a crap about you. He doesn't care about the future of Japan, he doesn't care about what's good for Japan or for the people of Japan. He's a shameless opportunist who cares only for himself. He's a sociopath, and a sociopath with power is the most dangerous kind of sociopath there is.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Opposition LDP keeps lead - poll See in context

Meet the new boss, same as the old -- literally, if the LDP wins and puts Abe in charge once again.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan needs strong gov't to handle China: media See in context

If the Yomiuri thinks that the LDP and Abe, with his record of revisionist history, is the man to solve the dispute with China, then they are truly fooling themselves.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Noda warns against jingoism as parties draw election battle lines See in context

For those who think Abe would be a suitable replacement, remember that his plan to "print more money" would likely lead to hyperinflation, which would completely destroy the value of our money.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Noda warns against jingoism as parties draw election battle lines See in context

Noda warned of the dangers of just talking tough in diplomacy. “Healthy nationalism is necessary, but if one goes to extremes, it becomes jingoism,” he told a news conference. “Diplomatic and security policies influenced by such an atmosphere are a danger for Japan.”

I'm not a big fan of Noda, but this is the most sensible thing said by any of these politicians in a long time.

Exhibit A of crazy rhetoric:

In recent days Abe has called on the central bank to print “unlimited yen” and set interest rates at zero or below zero to boost the economy, remarks that sent the yen falling the most against the dollar since central bank intervention in 2011.

And Exhibit B:

“Or whether because the LDP created the mess, we should have a stronger more intelligent leader, like Hashimoto,” the lawmaker added, referring to popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who leads the small Japan Restoration Party.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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