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dreamdrifter comments

Posted in: Tokyo governor apologizes to Muslim world for gaffe See in context

It seems when some of you try to highlight the contrast with what "would have happened (to politicians who make gaffes like this) in any other country", by "any other country" what you really means is "a few select countries, that are probably Western and multicultural".

While it is true that gaffes like this will be front page news in countries like Britain or Canada (and rightly so IMO), if you have spent any time in SE Asia or Eastern Europe and see what politicians there spout and get away with, you will probably realise that the Western standards of cultural sensitity or media scrutiny are far from universal.

Expressing what would have happened in your home cultural sphere as what would have happened "in any other country" is sloppy, inaccurate, and is chickening out of the intellectual fight that you must fight against charges of cultural superiority that comes with comparing one culture to your own. And perhaps more importantly, it means you have fallen into the same trap as these politicians in setting forth an ignorant notion that things can be discussed in terms of two entities called "Japan" and the "rest of the world".

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Posted in: Ethnic Korean children in Japan lose out after Pyongyang's nuclear test See in context

@ msmahumane@gmail. com

 Japan should look at the solution by other former colonial powers in Europe and America. They integrated the former subjects and slaves, who chose to remain, as national citizens

As I explained in my previous post just above yours, any such move will be regarded by the North Korean community as an attempt to forcibly assimilate them into Japanese society, which they fear would dilute their membership's loyalty to Pyongyang.

They are free to apply for citizenship voluntarily, and indeed, there are hundreds of thousands of ethnic Koreans who have opted for Japanese citizenship. But the government cannot force citizenship upon them.

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Posted in: Ethnic Korean children in Japan lose out after Pyongyang's nuclear test See in context


Can't they just switch their citizenship to South Korea?

A good part of these pro-North zainichis are Jeju Islander refugees (and descendents thereof) who fled a huge massacre by the South Korean security forces which killed one fifth of the island's population. (Look up Jeju massacre). The Koreatowns in Osaka and Mikawajima in Tokyo are predominated by Jeju Islanders. For many of them, it will be a cold day in hell before they have anything to do with South Korea.


And why can't they simiply be considered Korean Japanese citizens.

Ethnic Koreans who chose to get Japanese citizenship are indeed considered Korean Japanese citizens. But this article is about a particular group of pro-Pyongyang ethnic Koreans who themselves reject the idea that they are Korean-Japanese and oppose any measure to assimilate them. Look up "Chongryon".


The problem would be solved by all "foreigners" who are related to former colonial subjects and born in Japan automatic citizenship

If only. Chongryon themselves would be the first to fiercely oppose such a unilaterial assimilationist measure.


Japanese government should stop the discrimination and recognize these ethic Koreans as Japanese citizens

Again, Chongryon will see such an action as Japanese citizenship being forced on them without their consent.

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Posted in: ‘Women only’ train cars: Is it a crime for men to ride in them? See in context

"There should be more proper upbringing of males so that we don't have men misbehaving and being a nuisance in public."

In an ideal world, yes, and that would eradicate all crime, everywhere in the world. And now back to the real world...

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Posted in: ‘Women only’ train cars: Is it a crime for men to ride in them? See in context

"It's disgraceful that there's even a need for a women only train car in the first place..."

Yes. In the same way it is a disgrace that there is a need in this world for burglar alarms, rape alarms, CCTV cameras....we don't live in an ideal world so we have to think of solutions to mitigate crime.

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Posted in: Gov't kept silent on worst-case scenario at height of nuclear crisis See in context

Think about this. If the population of Greater Tokyo "evacuated" that will put a stop to all commercial and administrative functions carried out by those people, i.e., Japan as a nation will pretty much cease to function. Paralyzed isn't even the word.

Power will stop, administration will stop, distribution will stop, telecommunication will stop, banking will stop, trade will stop, paychecks will stop.

Even if you assume that the rest of Japan will somehow have spare bed-space for 35 million evacuees (and tell me of an example in history where any society was able to absorb 35 million refugees in one go) the nation will be knocked back to stone-age subsistence living with pretty much immediate effect. Without distribution the entire country will enter famine within a matter of days, resulting in far more deaths and damage than any other scenario.

I can't believe some of you are suggesting that a couple of US aircraft carriers taking a few thousand "evacuees" would have made any difference whatsoever. It would have been a refugee/famine crisis unprecedented in history and the world has repeatedly shown that it is not yet capable of dealing with a crisis on such a scale.

Now THIS would have been the worst case scenario, and the government was absolutely right in doing everything it can to avoid it. Those of you who claim that the J-gov should have risked such a scenario for the sake of "transparency" have probably not thought well enough about the true implications of such a scenario.

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Posted in: Tokyo shoppers clean store shelves of basic goods See in context

"The limits refer to sustained consumption rates"

Crikey, it seems some members of the public do not understand the meaning of this sentence..

According to the BBC's medical correspondant "the extra risk from drinking tap water in Tokyo for a year would be far less than that of someone moving, say, from London to Cornwall for a year" (Cornwall being a part of the UK having a slightly higher background radiation than average).

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Posted in: How do you feel about the nonstop television coverage of the earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis? What effect do you think it has on the public? See in context


Did it not cross your mind that the reason why people are giving their opinions re TV coverage may be because they are merely answering the questions in the title of this thread?

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Posted in: Anti-China protest See in context

Both of the two slogans that the marchers are forcing their kids to hold are completely off the mark. What's this about "winning"? Winning what? What is this "lie at school" they are talking about? And how are they in any way relevant to Diaoyu/Senkaku?

Well, if I had to guess, the former is a meaningless slogan aimed purely to mimic the WWII slogan as described by the poster above in order to invoke right-wing nostalgia. Too bad the concept of "winning" here is so vacuous. And the latter is a right-wing dig at the Japan Teacher's Union, which has always been known to be left wing and anti-nationalist, and frequently accused by the rightists of teaching self-hate.

So this photo tells me only one thing: these marchers aren't normal Japanese folks expressing their anger, they are right-wing weirdos leaping on an opportunity to vent their bigotry.

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Posted in: Woman trapped inside Osaka subway car for 4 1/2 hours See in context

I really do wonder if this would ever make news in another country.

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Posted in: In your experience, which country's tourists are the least well-behaved whenever you have seen them out and about? See in context

I seem to remember a similar BBC poll which found that Brits were at the top of the list of the most hated tourists in European destinations for their drunken aggression, while they were considered one of the most civilized outside of Europe.

The Japanese are usually OK, but can sometimes be rude to service staff. They should accept that Japan's idea of customer service is not shared by the rest of the world.

The Chinese seem to be totally oblivious to the impression they are giving with their queue-barging habits and loud voices. I once sat on a long distance bus in Croatia with the whole bus having to endure a 5-hour racket in Chinese coming from four tourists sat at the very front. It's a shame they gave such a negative impression because I had a chat with them during a service station break and they were very friendly and nice bunch.

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Posted in: Obama says U.S.-Japan alliance a security 'cornerstone' See in context


Ignoring the absurdity of the notion that the US will launch an offensive against Russia over Sakhalin (which Japan is not even claiming), Japan hasn't exchanged fire with anyone since the US-Japan Security Treaty was signed in 1960. Why would the US start a war for Japan when Japan isn't fighting one?

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Posted in: 67-year-old woman killed by train after trying to cross tracks See in context

It seems this is the crossing in question.


@Disillusioned - just out of curiosity, when you say people in Japan cross roads on red signals what country are you comparing it to? It's just that personally I haven't seen a country where people obey a red pedestrian signal as much as they do in Japan, but there again I haven't been to every country in the world.

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Posted in: Japan urges calm after China severs contacts See in context

Japan do not want to talk, otherwise it has to admit 'dispute' first.

Why does China refuse to take the issue to the International Court of Justice?

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Posted in: Roppongi police hold anti-drug event See in context

(as in hemp grown for fiber and hemp grown for dope are differnet variants)

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Posted in: Roppongi police hold anti-drug event See in context


Different variants of the same plant, I believe.

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Posted in: Which side do you think looks more in the wrong following Wednesday's clash between Sea Shepherd and Japanese whalers? See in context


They state they hunt whales for research, yet their justification for hunting the whales is to support Japan's whale eating culture. Is it just me can everyone else see an error in this rhetoric?

They state they hunt whales for research to gather scientific information to justify a resumption of commercial whaling.

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Posted in: American man accused of grabbing own kids released See in context

A few posts here have claimed that Noriko moved to the US specifically to get money and with the full intention of returning to Japan. While we are free to speculate, I can't connect those dots.

I agree. Apparently Chris Savoie tried to convince the courts to prevent her from returning to Japan with her kids on holiday, but was unsuccessful. So she took her kids to Japan and returned to America a couple of weeks later as promised. If Noriko was plotting to do a runner right from the onset why did she return to America?

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Posted in: Should foreign residents have local voting rights? See in context

We pay the taxes so why not?

In return for paying tax, you benefit from the way tax is spent e.g. use of roads, street lighting, waste collection, fire and police services etc. You are even entitled to social welfare benefits. So you are already getting back just as much as someone with Japanese nationality, pretty much.

@ tmarie

The thing with changing to Japanese nationality is that they will still not be considered by the local population as "Japanese". Legally yes but I can't see any benefits besides being able to vote. It certainly won't make my white skin change and look like a local.

But you can play a part in changing that social attitude.

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Posted in: Lockerbie bomber release stirs diplomatic dispute See in context

@ ChrisBiggins

The Americans may not have a right to interfere, but they certainly have the right to voice their opinions about it. Which is all they have done in this instance.

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Posted in: Lockerbie bomber release stirs diplomatic dispute See in context


It was the decision of the Scottish Government to release him, not the British Government who had nothing to do with the decision (and who even got criticised by the Scots for refusing to enter into discussion over the matter).

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Posted in: Lockerbie bomber freed; returns to Libya to die See in context

Surely if the Libyan Government has admitted involvement in the bombings they should be able to say who was really responsible?

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Posted in: Lotteria to give refunds if customers do not like new hamburger See in context

Aren't food establishments supposed to give refunds anyway if a customer takes food back and demands a refund?

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Posted in: Malaysia men who call wives ugly better look out See in context


Yes, I was expecting something else when I opened the article!

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Posted in: WHO says swine flu pandemic is imminent See in context

Unless you can seal yourself shut for 6 months til they develop a vaccine it might actually be safer to catch this now and gain immunity before 1) the virus becomes drug-resistant and 2) the health service becomes overwhelmed.

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Posted in: Hiroshima man held for burning girlfriend’s 4-yr-old son with cigarette See in context

I can't believe this is "top news".

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Posted in: Man beats pedestrian to death in Kanagawa; says it didn't matter who See in context


yup, another sick "Only in Japan" moment. At least in other countries, you know to stay away from certain places at certain times. Japanese loonies like this are a dime a dozen and come without warning.

I take it you've never been to Britain, where "unprovoked attacks", often by a group, are all too common.

Moderator: Readers, references to other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

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Posted in: Man arrested for wiping saliva on woman sleeping on train See in context

Who are these "train security personnel"? I've never seen one. ARe they plainclothed? Are they JR employees, police, or private security?

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Posted in: Tokyo’s St Patrick’s Day Parade – It’s a long way from Tipperary See in context


Ah So: Guinness served in Britain is identical to tahts erved in Ireland. Why make assunptions about British Guinness.

Even if the same recipe is used, if a beer is brewed in different locations then they would result in having slightly different flavours.

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Posted in: Tokyo’s St Patrick’s Day Parade – It’s a long way from Tipperary See in context

Disillusioned - thanks, interesting!

For many of those of us who are not Irish, St Paddy's day is pretty much nothing more than an excuse to drink Guinness, and why not? Much like how Christmas is treated in Japan, we all know it's a marketing ploy but it's a marketing ploy that not many people particularly mind.

Must say I'm impressed with Guinness's marketing strategy - they've managed to turn what could have been regarded as a boring old stout into one of the coolest brands in the industry (as well as making Ireland everyone's favourite country, if even just for a day!)

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