el comments

Posted in: Kishida's apparent nepotism may shake cabinet further See in context

ALL Japanese politicians have sons/relatives as their political secretaries, so that alone isn't that big a deal. It's also not necessarily inappropriate - the son is 30, graduated from a good school, presumably "studied" politics for a year to get real experience. Probably a better appointment than many. BUT, it is tone deaf right now to do this.

What would be nice would be if this opened peoples' eyes to the fact that EVERYBODY does this and this is why politics has become a hereditary business here, not to the country's benefit. Abe didn't have a child himself but he was reportedly training the son of one of his other brothers to do the job. If this provoked the kind of general outrage the reports of the Unification Church have, maybe there will be some real change. But I bet a lot of the LDP lawmakers will handle this carefully on the "if you live in glass houses" principle.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Posted in: Emperor to take prostate MRI test in November See in context

Talk about intrusive; when Akihito was having prostate tests, I was working for a media company - and we did a small article on it. One of the editors came rushing over - "Do we have his PSA numbers? We have to have his PSA numbers!" and got quite exercised over it. We figured, given his age, it was hitting a bit close to home.

The MRI wait could be anything. Probably it's not anything serious but he might be putting it off due to scheduling concerns, "just in case" something more major needs doing - the way ordinary folks might do as well. As for the announcement, yes it does seem intrusive - but again, publicizing these tests often has the effect of prompting more ordinary people to get them. Most prostate cancer is nothing much, but the bad version can be quite nasty and life-threatening.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. Vice President Harris to attend Abe's state funeral See in context

I don’t know 100pct how these things work, but I’d guess protocol mandates someone the level of a Vice President for an EX leader - nothing more or less. Arranging a Presidential trip is too much and he was just here in late May.

17 ( +25 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan defense chief Kishi may be replaced in Cabinet due to Unification Church links See in context

The UC connection is the least of the reasons to replace Kishi. Another is getting rid of an Abe faction member. But the biggest is just his health, it’s really going downhill and this is not a time for a defense minister who isn’t physically up to things.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese city alarmed by biting, clawing, attacking monkeys See in context

In my area, we had crows attacking people as they came to shop and taking things right out of their bike baskets. For a couple of weeks they played a recording of hawks screaming and the attacks seem to have stopped. The hawks sounded like a kitten in pain, so it was disconcerting.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Mother, 10-month-old daughter die in suspected murder-suicide leap from apartment building See in context

Imagine it was some kind of post-partum depression. So very sad. Japan has worked hard to lower its suicide rate and done quite well in general by addressing a lot of factors in the culture, but I'm not aware of much discussion of post-partum depression, which according to some reports I've read can be really horrible.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 62.9% of people with foreign roots in Japan questioned by police: survey See in context

Racial profiling of any kind is abhorrent. But, those of us who are Caucasian from Caucasian majority countries need to remember its as bad if not worse for POC in our native countries, especially in my own US, where “living while POC” can get you killed. I’ve tried to use this as a lesson in empathy.

5 ( +21 / -16 )

Posted in: Japan accepts 8 people displaced by Russian invasion of Ukraine See in context

Japan in 2020 accepted 47 refugees and another 44 for "humanitarian reasons." This from the UNHCR.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to put Tokyo, 12 other prefectures under COVID quasi-emergency See in context

Anon, hate to disappoint you but Chiba IS part of the QSOE

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Cherry blossoms set to bloom even earlier in Japan this year See in context

I saw a different prediction with March 23 fir Tokyo. Anyway it often changes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan eyes shortened isolation period for close Omicron contacts See in context

Actually now it’s pretty standard for them to let close contacts of any nationality go home rather than stay in the hotel, I’ve heard of lots of cases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: All U.S. forces' personnel to take virus test after arrival in Japan See in context

I arrived back in Japan on Dec 30, with about 3 military personnel among the 30 or so of us deplaning in Japan. It annoyed me to see them not only get separate and preferential treatment - although two of them DID do the PCR test along with us - but to be picked up by somebody from the base at Narita and go back home, to presumably live their life without any constraints while the rest of us went off to do our 6 days of hotel quarantine. Not only that, their greeter stood there shouting with a mask slipped half off of her face - and of course nobody objected. Meanwhile we were shipped off on a bus to Mito for our quarantine.....

Without this kind of hole being patched, these border measures become even higher on the BS scale than they already are. Equal treatment for all!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Kishida taking no chances as Japan closes border over Omicron See in context

It's not ALL RESIDENT FOREIGNERS, it's those from 10 specific countries. So let's not panic yet.

That said, this isn't a good sign.

I desperately want to get back and see my 86-year-old mother. Now it looks as though the US may ask all travelers to do a seven-day self quarantine - so I'd get it coming and going. At least part of it is political theater to look more competent than the leader before them. In both nations.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan bars new foreign arrivals for 1 month over Omicron fears See in context

Yotomaya, I don't know how they coordinate. I assume it may be something like landing slots, with each company/flight allotted a certain number of tickets/people a day. But just a look at the prices show that it's definitely an effort to make up for lost money, and the person who buys the tickets first, gets them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan bars new foreign arrivals for 1 month over Omicron fears See in context

Yotomaya, there's a reason plane fares are so high: limited seats. Basically it's first come, first served; if the tickets are gone, they don't care about nationality. Simple as that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't eyes over ¥30 tril economic stimulus; restarting Go To Travel program See in context

That “foreign source” for Delta could well have been Japanese returning from abroad. GoTo isn’t necessarily bad but it should go in tandem with opening to foreign tourism. Why not do what Bali is doing and start on a small scale with quarantine required for three days? I’m down in Kyoto right now and it’s the lack of foreign tourists hitting folks here more.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Former Princess Mako says marriage was a 'necessary choice' See in context

I heard somewhere that she's been getting 16 million yen a year since turning 20, so she probably has decent savings for somebody her age. And we have no idea if they aren't getting some other support somehow. Plus there are rumors she might work for the Metropolitan Museum as a curator of their Japan collection....though that can't pay much either.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: 3 Japan PM hopefuls urge elderly to stay on job for pension system See in context

All well and good, but what are you supposed to do when your company boots you out at 60 just because you've turned that age, regardless of experience, the work you're producing and so on? Not to mention that some companies in fact mandate retirement at 60, not 65.....

No wonder this country can be such a joyless place at times.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Flame lighting events for Paralympic torch relay begin in Japan See in context

”Brain paralysis”??? I’m guessing this is a really bad translation of cerebral palsy, but you’d think they could at least get their terms right.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Interpreters make sure nothing gets lost in translation at Olympics See in context

Very nice, but some of the interpreters on the ground at the venues are not very good. I’ve felt fortunate I speak Japanese

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: How will the state of emergency affect Tokyo Olympics? See in context

Now it just remains to persuade those young people to vote, which will likely be much harder than persuading them to drink.

Unfortunately there's been a growing trend of young people voting for the LDP, so this wouldn't necessarily lead to the desired changes. The biggest problem here is lack of a creditable opposition, which was partly just bad luck - the Dems were running the government when 3/11 happened. I personally don't think the LDP would have handled things any better, but the Dems have been tainted in the minds of the people and discredited as a government force. Sad but true. A friend once described Japanese elections as "re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" and that's going to be more true than ever this fall.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: IOC chief Bach arrives in Japan for Tokyo Olympics See in context

If it's so safe and secure, why is Herr Bach wearing an N-95 mask?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to halt company applications for workplace vaccinations See in context

The vaccines they donated were AstraZeneca, which while approved won’t be used here because of the very slight chance of danger. Unfortunately for Japan a huge part of the doses they secured were AstraZeneca.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Governor Koike hospitalized due to fatigue See in context

She’s done way better as governor than her predecessors, and it’s hard not to conclude so much of the bashing here is misogyny. I mean, her two predecessors both quit due to SCANDALS - haven’t seen any here. She’s had to deal with the pandemic and Olympics and been more decisive than a lot of oyajis would have been - better than Abe, certainly.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Warning to athletes: Follow the rules at Tokyo Olympics, or else See in context

The thing that everybody's forgetting is that the athletes desperately want to be here - it's their profession, they've trained for it, and they only have a small window of time in many cases. Does that mean all of them will obey the rules? I'll believe it when I see it. But though from outside it seems as though the IOC is pulling all the strings, the athletes are more than happy in most cases to go along. One reason the Olympics were postponed last year was big athlete groups, whole nations, refusing to go. Not this year.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: Members of media from abroad covering Olympics to be tracked by GPS See in context

Actually, Tokyo 2020 people have said before, as has Suga, that journalists who break the quarantine rules would have their coverage accreditation taken, and could be deported. Again, this may all just be talk, but.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: As Olympics loom, Japan's health care in turmoil See in context

What this article also doesn’t mention is that while the Osaka situation is definitely bad, it’s actually getting better....

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Posted in: Olympic puppet See in context

Nightmarish. But then, entirely appropriate to these Games.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Restaurants, hotels in Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures disappointed at stricter COVID-19 steps See in context

Yeah well, of course they're disappointed. I'm more disappointed that my own sacrifices - working from home for a year, limiting travel, not seeing my boyfriend who lives in a different part of Japan - aren't being matched by a big part of the population, so that we have this situation with the virus still going on, with NO VACCINE IN SIGHT for most of us for months. My 29-year-old cousin in the US is getting hers, and she has no pre-existing conditions. If the government had taken this more seriously earlier, maybe more of the population would have too, and we'd have fewer cases. And the torch relay wouldn't be having sections cancelled due to viral infections rising.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Some medical experts unconvinced about holding Tokyo Olympics See in context

Well, okay, everything put together perhaps 20,000 foreigners will come to Japan - "tens of thousands" a bit of a stretch - but most of THEM are likely to be vaccinated. The danger will come from everybody here at home. Even Bangladesh has begun vaccinating ordinary people.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

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