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Posted in: Pachinko: Japan's lifesaver or time waster? See in context

Years ago, I took my foreign guest speaker out for a dinner in downtown. Obviously he had studied his guidebook and knew about Japanese entertainment business so that at every alley he asked me a barrage of questions and there seemed to be no end of his curiosity. To excuse and refresh myself, I took him to a pin ball game parlor. Next day, he started his talk by thanking for the hospitality he got and said "I really enjoyed that Ochinko last night".

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Posted in: Obama, Noda to reaffirm alliance at New York meeting See in context

Reaffirming alliance every 3 months? wonder if this alliance is becoming fragile day by day.

Kevin Mayer, a former director of the office of Japan affairs in State Dep, said "About a half of our job was like keep saying 'We love you, Japan' ".

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Posted in: S Korea to propose sex slave talks with Japan See in context

To begin with, the issue of "sex on the battle field" is an old and enduring problem, which is not limited to East Asia in WWII. In the case of Japanese army, some personal accounts have been made into the falsehood, which has been spread all over the world today. There was a point in time when some Japanese conducted a campaign wherein "comfort women" (prostitutes) were rounded up like slaves and forced to be the companions of Japanese soldiers. To make it worse, the Murayama JSP/LDP government's responses have, without foundation on facts, preferred to concerns of the predicament governments of neighboring countries were in.

I want to share background information and US army documents on this issue. "In 1945, in Myitkynia in northern Burma, twenty Korean comfort women and their employers, a Mr. and Mrs. Kitamura, were interviewed. In the record, we can find statements such as "comfort women" are nothing more than simple prostitutes" and "the women's average total monthly earnings were 1,500 yen, and 750yen, which went to their bosses" (at that time, monthly pay of a sergeant in the Japanese army was 30 yen, meaning those prostitutes made over 25 times more money!)

"The 'house master' received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls' gross earnings depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract. This meant that in an average month a girl would gross about fifteen hundred yen. She turned over seven hundred and fifty to the 'master'. Many 'masters' made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles. In the latter part of 1943 the Army issued orders that certain girls who had paid their debt could return home. Some of the girls were thus allowed to return to Korea." (US office of war Information, Psychological and Warfare Team, attached to the US Army Forces India-Burma Theater, APO 689)


In March of 1945, depositions were taken from three Korean civilians. They said, "On the battle zones of the Pacific War, the Korean comfort women we met were all either volunteers, or women who had been sold by their parents." (Composite Report on Three Korean Civilians List No. 78, dated 28 March, 1945, "Special Question on Koreans" in the US National Archives)

In 1983, a Japanese man named Yoshida Seiji, who was later found out to be a member of Japanese Communist Party, had "confessed" by saying "During the war, I went to Cheju Island (in Korea) under orders from the army to round up several women to be military comfort women". Then Asahi Shinbun (News paper) reported his "confession" as truth and on Aug 11, 1991, Asahi correspondent Takashi Murakami reported that "One of the Korean military comfort women who were forcibly taken to the battlefield as comfort woman has come forward"

In 1989, a female journalist of the Cheju Island Newspaper followed up the story by conducting on the spot investigation. The local residents all denied the story, saying, "We have lived here since that time, and we know nothing of this". A local historian also refuted to the story by saying, "I have followed up the research myself, but it is simply not true".

It was later found out that Asahi Newspaper had cited "a testimony of a former comfort woman called Kim Hak-sun" who was suing Japanese government to obtain compensation. She filed to the Tokyo District Court and stated, "I was sold and had to become a gi-saeng (Korean female entertainer)." However, Asahi intentionally neglected her testimony and deleted the above comment that she had been sold by her parents to a gi-saeng house. Instead, they fabricated that it had been done under "coercion" by Japanese army.

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Posted in: Taken for a ride See in context

Taken for a ride: rickshaw pullers are controlled by the mafia...some as gondola drivers in Italy

I heard a similar story. These rickshaws have proliferated in many busy alleys and don't care their clogging the flow of people and cars. Because bosses of this business have strong connections to and manipulate local police.

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Posted in: Norway killer's manifesto praises Japan for not adopting multiculturalism See in context

I was sure JT would pick up and highlight this part of Breivik's comment. If you go back J history for 2000 years, Japanese has integrated Indian religion and Chinese culture. Namban or Western culture has infiltrated since 16 c. Japan is not and has never been a monocultural society. Just dont mixup Islamphobia and anti-monoculturism.

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Posted in: Nap time See in context

@Piglet @yokomoc I am not sure the drivers' GPS navigators are connected to internet, prob not, and to be able to locate customers' iPhones. The way I would do is make a phone call to cab company from places easy to spot. In the cab, just flick my iPhone up and show the destination. With my GPS on, I check the driver whenever I am not sure if am in the right direction. Is that bothersome?

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Posted in: Nap time See in context

@yokomoc, not techie myself but I know that most of the cabs in my area are installed GPS-navigators. The way it works is once control center receives a request from a customer, then they send nearest free cab. The driver can locate the customer by putting in the phone number of residence.

Quite easy for the company to spot the drivers taking naps under the tree.

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Posted in: Nap time See in context

noticed his socks have five fingers? he must have athlete's foot and give it a little remedy.

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Posted in: Winners See in context

Give a signed jersey to Kan? Oh, what a MOTAI NAI.

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Posted in: Anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune gets suspended prison term See in context

Folks, be clear that Bethune is guilty of ALL FIVE accounts, which is intentionally or unintentionally dismissed in above English translation. Sentence was clear about physical assault charge, which the chief justice denied of Bethune’s assertion. Now lets see whether prosecutors will appeal to upper court, which I will doubt.

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Posted in: Australia to take Japan to int'l court over whaling See in context

Kevin and co should take better care and provide a safe work environment for roof insulation installers. Or you wan to distract from Pink Batts, ETS and Super Profits Tax? Hug your own people, Kevie!

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Posted in: Toyota hit with $16 mil fine over recalls in U.S. See in context

If you can't beat them, fine them.


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Posted in: The Japanese continue to break their promise. They said they would allow American cars to participate in their cash-for-clunkers program but have rigged the rules so that few can. See in context

Do they have "cash-for-clunkers" program in japan? No. It is "Green car" tax-deduction program which is equally applied to both domestics and imports.

I do not believe they are discriminating against Americans as such, they discriminate against all things foreign, in my opinion.

The first program ended last August where European imports were the winner.

They said they would allow American cars to participate in their cash-for-clunkers program but have rigged the rules so that few can.

They simply failed to pass the test. Need Affirmative Action Programs?

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Posted in: Cultures collide with Toyoda testimony See in context

When I saw Mrs. Rhonda Smith started describing her experience with her Lexus, I had hard time to figure out her accounts, in which she said changing the gear shift to neutral, "REVERSE while driving at full speed" and emergency side brake all didn’t work but car stopped in three minutes. If that were the case, the problem for Toyota would be far bigger than ECTM. "The Lexus sedan driven by Rhonda Smith, who testified in Congress Tuesday about a harrowing incident of sudden acceleration, is still on the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, the new owners of the luxury ES350 sedan have reported 27,000 miles trouble-free with the vehicle, according to a NHTSA spokeswoman. Mrs. Smith and her husband sold the vehicle after the incident, in which she thought she might die. The federal safety agency followed up with the new owners last week. A NHTSA spokeswoman said "they have had no problems with the Lexus since they bought it with less than 3,000 miles on the car." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703510204575085283264587688.html?KEYWORDS=Mrs+Smith+sold+lexus

Ms. Smith and her husband had no compunction about selling a car which they characterized as a "death" car to someone else? Makes you wonder, did she describe her story to the buyer when she sold it? If not, and if that car were to be in some unexplained accident involving claims of "unintended acceleration" wouldn't she be criminally libel?

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Posted in: Japan hopes Toyoda can clear image, cool friction in Washington See in context

The whole assualt on Toyota smells rotten from Capitol Hill and the Obama administration. This congressional review on Toyota is a sham. Waxman and Dem congressional leaders with their UAW attack dogs should be ashamed.Let's consider that the Congressional hearings against Toyota will be conducted by congressman John Dingell, and Bart Stupak, both Michigan Democrats with VERY close ties with Detroit and UAW. Three of Dingell's top four contributors were GM, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler; his wife, Debbie, was an industry lobbyist until their marriage in the early 1980s and continues to work for GM today. According to disclosure forms, the couple owned more than a million bucks' worth of Big Auto stocks and options as of 2006. After the last election, Dingell hired a Daimler-Chrysler lobbyist whose previous job had been keeping Congress from increasing vehicle efficiency standards to serve as the committee's chief of staff. Dems think this will make them appear as advocates of the people at a time of conservative populist revolt.

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Posted in: Japan slow to embrace medical tourism See in context

Japan slow to adopt embrace medical tourism

As a person well aware of nuts and bolts of health care system here, I would say medical tourism doesn’t pay off under current universal health care system. The reason is that simple.

@MeJapanese, “Basically, I think it depends on the goodwill of the health provider. In that sense, HMO's r great. They are more into preventive health care rather than treatment health care.”

Health care industry in US is exploiting people like you. Why do they have TEN times more of H1N1 death per 10,000 people in US than that in here? Fortunately no “HMO-Atrocities’” or “Managed Care horror stories” here. According to the international comparative survey results done by OECD, the performance status of Japanese health care system is the best among the member countries; the rich countries in the world. US consumers should be let known that, in spite of huge money they pay into the insurance or to the drugs, they don’t get medical care of those money worth. For example, the survival rate of breast cancer and colorectal cancer, which are the most common form of cancer now, of US patients are inferior to those in Cuba (Cancer survival in five continents: a worldwide population-based study(CONCORD). Lancet Oncol 2008;9:730-56 ) Michel Moor is not exaggerating facts, “inconvenient” facts for medical industry in US.

Japanese research? Don’t worry. Discovery of iPS is achieved by Japanese scientist, which is the cream of the crop for the medical science for the future.

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Posted in: Antiwhaling protester to be brought to Japan for questioning See in context

New Zealanders are fed up of this attention seeking Pete the Pirate and presumably not happy in spending their tax money for his moronic conduct.

With his Earth Race (AKA Ady Gill), he rammed fisher-boat and killed one fisherman and injured two in Guatemala in 2007, while being filmed for a Discovery Channel program. This time, he is mercenary soldier working for SS and attempted to ram again to wrong boat. He is a just race-boat nut seeking media coverage and money. Lets see if he can make any case for conservation movement in the court.

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Posted in: Man saves woman from train after she falls onto tracks See in context

Disillusioned Uh, no. YOU should re-read the article. It clearly says that he positioned her between the rails so that the train would roll over her. It even says that the train was on top of her when she regained consciousness. Gees!

yep, that’s right. Now Mr. Sato tells his own account.

"My body just moved in that way at the scene, never thought anything that I was doing good to the person"


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Posted in: Man saves woman from train after she falls onto tracks See in context

A nice heart-warming story to see in the top of headlines, which is very rare in JT.

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Posted in: Japan worried that Toyota's problems could hurt U.S. ties See in context

Being in the White House for a year, Obama and Chicago Co. are still geared for campaigning rather than governing and never made any progress in foreign affaires. This Chicago inner circle is not interested in or novice in diplomacy. No progress in Middle East and Gitmo, snubbed by China in Copenhagen and Beijing. Stumbled health care reform, series of loss in local elections and two-digit unemployment rate at home. With the sound bite of media circus, very likely to use Toyota to give vent to voters frustration over this 44th president.

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Posted in: Japan worried that Toyota's problems could hurt U.S. ties See in context

Japan has also been criticized for its tax incentive program for “green” cars that Washington said unfairly excluded American vehicles. The program has since been expanded to include more U.S. cars.

The first "Green car" tax incentive program ended in last August where 677017 consumers had got subsidies. The program was very fair and applied to those cars, domestic and imports included, which met criteria such as CO2 emission rate and fuel efficiencies. It turned out that majority of those consumers opted for were imports, where US made were just around 8000. Then Sen Stavenou from Michigan came forward and cried out saying Japanese government was discriminating US cars. In October, Washington, now an owner of Government Motors, insinuated "future trade friction" and asked for an "Affirmative Action Program" for US cars in the US-J trade forum.

This led to inclusion of "Hummer" of GM to next Green (!) car tax incentive program.

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Posted in: Activists claim Japanese whalers were hurt by their own pepper spray See in context

I'd love to know - are the crew of ships permitted to carry pepper spray?

Are they pepper guns? Why whalers were shooting at water? Seemingly SS members didnt know what they were in video.

"If you don't know an answer, a fact, a statistic - make it up on the spot" - Paul Watson

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Posted in: Toyota to recall 437,000 vehicles worldwide for Prius, other hybrids See in context

It's not a big deal on the Prius as the problem only occurs when the ABS is active.

Ford has announced that their hybrids, Fusion and Mercury Millan, have brake problem, which is presumably caused by the same reason. They are secretly sending notices to affected customers, no announcement of recall at all and no coverage by major US media on this regard.

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Posted in: Japanese whalers clash with Sea Shepherd activists in Antarctic sea See in context

SS has started using weapon-class laser, which can permanently cause blindness. Even if "temporary blindness" on the boat can end up to death by drowning in the cold water. Time for Aussie gov to stop supporting to eco-terroism. If they believe controlled catching of mink whale is "unlawful", why not go to international court.

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Posted in: Student held for hitting girlfriend with rock, and trying to strangle her See in context

Why crime stories should always come to the top of the headline in JT?

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