Japan Today

Eleonora comments

Posted in: Depending on locale, single moms in Japan can depend on social support See in context

Yeah right, let's encourage Japanese moms to drop their husbands and just go away with their child, like they're already doing, and thus increasing the child abduction problems that's already all over the place in Japan.

Unless the diet doesn't approve some kind of joint custody, I don't think we should encourage single parenting.

(although I am aware that a lot of good Japanese single moms are stigmatized, and their husbands were just mean or violent to them, and in those cases, I absolutely think they should receive all the help they need).

It's true that there are some DV cases, but in Japan the law is just weak and incomplete and the false claims are not checked into, so a lot of good fathers are actually being kept away from their children by it.

The issue is complicated and the cases are extreme diverse from one another, but let's just drop the "good mom, bad father" stereotypical view for once.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: 61-year-old man kept father's body at home; says he didn’t want to be separated from him See in context

yeah right... sounds totally normal (sarcasm).

the sad thing is that I read these kind of news everyday.

when is Japan going to address its enormous problem of people refusing to leave their parent's house because they're either hikikomori or too scared of society?

when is Japan going to address these huge psychological issues that it's population suffers?

it seems to me all they are doing is just trying not to acknowledge them, just waiting for them to disappear.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Stationery company releases anti-groping stamp See in context

Instead of producing all sorts of gadgets, why doesn't Japanese education system focus on teaching students and people that groping someone on the train is not acceptable, and that they should respect other people's bodies?

The gadgets are not solving the problem, it's like putting a band-aid on a hemorrhage.

If you want to solve the problem you should aim for its root.

The government should also try to reduce the stress everyone has in their life (together with the strict society manners that create it), as I think that's part of the problem: people don't socialize, they don't have friends or are in a relationship, thus they are ore prone to groping strangers, maybe.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe to reshuffle cabinet, ruling party executives in Sept See in context

Every time he reshuffles the government, the inept politicians just stick to it, like Taro Aso.

Moreover almost every Minister is over 60, so not really catching up with the times...

I wish Japanese politics could just give young people a wider opportunity to run for the Ministries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Harassment book seeks to raise awareness of minority discrimination See in context

I think this is a great initiative.

But i have a doubt: how do you plan on resolving this issue, without changing Japanese society from it's core?

The problem in Japan is related to everyone's pressure to conform to society, to be identical and standardized. It's a society that favors the group instead of the individual, criticizing individualism.

So how are you planning to seriously address LGBT+ or other minorities discrimination issues, without changing that?

Japanese people have this conception about conformism that is taught them since childhood, in school.

Either you change the education system (and the society) or you won't be able to properly address the root of the problem, in my opinion.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe says WWII labor row is biggest issue with S Korea See in context

In my opinion, Japan is a bit hypocritical when talking about wartime.

The point is probably also that revisionism is strong so Japanese people are also ignorant about it (and they don't understand why SK complains).

When Japan embraced it's imperialism and militarism attitude they invaded a lot of countries (China, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, among others...) and they established colonies and "protectorates".

During those years, people were exploited, killed, subjected to chemical experiments etc (like in China) and in SK people were also forced to speak Japanese ant not Korean anymore (this is why a lot of elderly korean can speak Japanese). Japan wiped out korean cultural identity during the "protectorate" from 19010 to 1945. They also forced a lot of koreans to move to Japan to work in factories (creating the zainichi problem that they all whine about today).

The point is, that while Japanese government strongly highlights what they lost during the war, always talking about the disasters of Nagasaki and Hiroshima (which I think everyone agrees that are atrocities that should never happen again), they have never taken responsibility for what they did in Korea and in Asia during the war, and what's worse, they denied any wrongdoing, with public figures saying things like "the Nanjing massacre has never happened".

For the people claiming that "war is war" I want to point out that Korea was conquered in 1910, way before the war started, and atrocities have continued ever since.

Also, how come the "war is war" attitude is ok to excuse what Japanese people did to Asians, but not for the two atomic bombs?

A lot more people were killed by Japanese in Asia, than the bombs killed in those 2 days. (btw I am not trying to legitimate the bombings).

The problem is that Japanese diplomatic attitude was not coherent towards what happened in the war, they want to be seen as victims of what other people did to them, but they do not want to take responsibility for what they did to others. This is the problem, in my opinion.

I just want to say that I am not excusing/legitimatizing atomic bombings by the US or Japanese atrocities, I think that all of them (and war in general) not tolerable, and inexcusable behaviors, and most of all none of them should happen again.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's food self-sufficiency rate lowest in 25 years See in context

This is probably also due to the fact that since agriculture is such a protected market segment in Japan, it's not very competitive and thus not efficient. They could probably produce more than they are doing, if the market was stimulated by competition.

The problem is the government's strongest voting base is made up of farmers, and this is why they don't de-regulate the market. This is not a wise strategy in the long term, though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Heat headache as Tokyo swelters a year before Olympics See in context

Maybe this is a stupid question, but since i don't see many trees in Japanese streets, why don't they plant some??

they could provide shadow and freshen up the air, together with pollution.

I don't understand why a big street like Ginza has no trees at all. They'd be very useful.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Man, estranged from wife, arrested for allegedly kidnapping son at Aomori Nebuta Festival See in context

This is probably just another case (and there are many, unfortunately) of parents that are divorced or don't live together anymore, so the mum decided that the son is her own property and took him with her, refusing to let the dad see him.

I wrote my master degree thesis on this topic, and while there are also many DV cases, the majority of children were abducted just because in Japan people suppose that after the parents split, the kid should cut the contact with one of them (90% of the times it's the father that never sees them again).

I'm not trying to justify the father, since we do not know the details and background, but I find it pretty sad that a young couple - or the mother - (who could have had more progressive views about custody) decided to refuse joint custody to the father.

This social problem is not going to end soon, especially since the government does not seem to want to address it in any way. They're applying the evergreen "deaf hear" Japanese attitude, to people who ask for changes in the custody law.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's top bar association urges authorization of same-sex marriage See in context

I hope they'll recognize it soon, but unfortunately it doesn't take away the stigma that Japanese people have towards LGBTQ people and the shame of "not being like everyone else" that's still so imortant to Japanese people.

Most of them are not bad, they're just ignorant, meaning they don't even know what LGBTQ is...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Suicide jumper flung back onto train platform, injuring 2 See in context

Despite the advertised motenashi and Japanese "kindness" myth, I have seen a lot of Japanese people only complain about these acts and thinking egoistically about their schedule, without showing any mercy or pity for the people who kill themselves.

I understand (since it happened to me as well) that having a train slowed down on the way to work is irritating, but I think we're losing perspective if all we care abut is getting to work on time, rather than thinking about why a man in his 20s decided to kill himself, and what problems in society brought him to do that.

Maybe is this loss of humanity and empathy that brings people to commit suicide...

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Posted in: Campaign encourages commuters to stand still in two lines on escalators See in context

Oh come on, now they're even telling people how to go up and down the stairs... Like we're all a bunch of kids.

On the contrary, this pervasive control just makes you even more unable to think with your head and evaluate right or wrong (but maybe that's just what they want).

I understand some inconsiderate people might bump into others, but I don't see any big problems in Japan or in the rest of the world due to this.

Isn't it just another way for the government to subjugate people and tell them what to do at all times of their lives?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Local gov'ts precede state in efforts against hate speech in Japan See in context

PS: I forgot to mention that laws can be interpreted in different ways, and are not only interpreted literally (at least in the West). But maybe in Japan it doesn't quite work this way? I would like to read something about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Local gov'ts precede state in efforts against hate speech in Japan See in context

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

you have the freedom to hate whoever you want, at your house you can do whatever you want, of course.

I am a passionate supporter of human rights and freedom (and of course I realize that limiting free speech is very dangerous, since it can limit personal freedom and the government can just ban whatever it doesn't like).

I just think that, even if you hate someone, you should be civilized enough to say your opinion in a decent manner.

What you say about protecting a minority taking away part of freedom of a majority is right, but it's also a very complex topic. Someone's right of free speech can't interfere with someone's right to live a peaceful life, or someone's right to decide where to live. For example, everyone is free to move across the world (respecting the immigration laws of course) so if I decide to live in Japan, abiding to all the laws, I am entitled to stay there and live my life, but for example if some Japanese come to me and shout at me on the street to go away, they are endangering that right, and also causing me psychological problems (potentially). I understand that their freedom of speech must be protected (and I agree) but I am against hurting others with speech. I just would like a utopia-like society where people are well mannered.

Anyway, I understand what you say and I can't say it's wrong, it's just that I can't completely agree with you (due to my personal beliefs).

Also, at least in Europe (where I live, and where human rights were historically discussed and developed first), threatening someone to kill him/her is a felony (in Italy, where I'm from, it's punished with a fine and, if it's a particularly serious threat, you could go to jail for 1 year).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Local gov'ts precede state in efforts against hate speech in Japan See in context

Insulting others, telling them to die or to go back to their countries is NOT part of the freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech must be exercised through good manners and polite tones, and most of all, respect for others, even when their opinion differs from yours. This is the base of a civilized society, not hate.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan now has crab fish paste sticks that taste like soda See in context

It's very sad that one of the world's best cuisines, so healthy and light, is now full of wannabe American or western crap food, and all these new products that are full of chemicals and preservatives.

Actually I tried those butter crackers or whatever, but their flavor is so strong and not natural it made me sick.

I think all these food (crackers with butter and related stuff) are still part of that "wannabe Western" kind of attitude, some sort of "inferiority complex" mixed with "exoticism for the West".

I think that normal bread or normal crackers are way better -in taste and healthiness- than all those cute colored stuff that they produce.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Osaka rolls out red carpet, not red-light district for G20 See in context

Are we sure that brothels closed by their own initiative, rather than being made so by politicians or the mayor?

It would not be rare in Japan to be pressured to do something in order to better the appearance of a situation, so I wonder it they really closed because they wanted to, or not.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan shareholders OK governance steps, Saikawa remaining CEO See in context

Saikawa and the other board members, including French alliance partner Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, bowed deeply at the meeting at a convention center in the port city of Yokohama, where Nissan is based.

Empty bows.

Although Nissan has been trying to put the scandal behind it, many wonder why the alleged wrongdoing, if true, had gone unchecked, and especially how much Saikawa knew. One shareholder asked whether Nissan officials besides Ghosn shared in the alleged misconduct.

This is the point tha everyone seems to be forgetting. Or that maybe media and Nissan do not want people to get.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese students more open to use of marijuana, survey suggests See in context

A part from the fact that marijuana was cultivated in Japan freely before the American Occupation forces came, so talking about influence from the West really makes no sense to me.

The really maddening thing is that Japanese people are not taught (and do not even inform themselves) about drugs properly.

Some Japanese friends of mine admitted that they are taught that marijuana is the same thing as heroin, and they thought you have to inject it to use it.

They do not have any idea about drugs, what they are or what they do. I think everyone has the right to be informed but of course in Japan the government prefers people not to know stuff. The problem is also that they don't really have a critical thinking so they don't inform themselves independently.

This said, smoking pot once in a while is not the symptom of an unsatisfactory life (as someone in other comments said), and this proves well that those people do not know what they say (otherwise drinking one beer once in a while would mean the same thing, or not?)

Japan has a big problem with alcohol, but no one seems to care about it. but if you have one joint, you'll be publicly shamed (like those tv stars and idols) and serve time. Come on......

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn, Kelly appear in court; lawyer asks why Saikawa wasn't indicted See in context

Saikawa's attitute is so typically Japanese (I saw it happen many times in my office too): making it other people's fault in order not to pay consequences, pretending not to know anything.

"I didn't know, I didn't see..." when he obviously knew and saw (how could he not?).

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't rejects ¥20 mil savings estimate for those living to 95 See in context

Taro Aso is almost 80 years old, throwing BS all around and still works? why doesn't he just retire?

Where is the generation switch in Japanese politics? I don't get why they don't elect younger candidates...

Of course everyone now is panicking because something "inconvenient" has been said right before elections, and if people notice it, the Party will lose face (again).

The problem is that no matter how many scandals the Party faces, everyone will vote for them again because "that's what we always did and it worked out so far".

I may be pessimistic, but I don't see a lot of propensity to change in Japanese people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to stiffen rules for foreign university student enrollment after 1,600 go AWOL See in context

I've got a technical question: if those "students" overstay their visas, how can they work in Japan without any visa at all?

How do you live in Japan if you are illegal?? Do you work in the black market or what? How do you even rent an apartment?

In order to do any basic thing you need documents and IDs, so I don't get how they can stay below the radar and just not get caught.

Sounds like the government should enforce better control on visa holders and their expiry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors drop case against man accused of killing wife over her failure to cook dinner for him See in context

You don't need to admit that your country has domestic violence problems, if you drop the DV cases and not prosecute them, right?

This is how Japan keeps the statistics low, and the same goes for ijime, karoshi, and all other social problems that they don't want to admit they have.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: YouTuber gets 2 years in jail for assaulting, confining wife See in context

I f she was making those comments probably she resented him for some reason. Then why didn't she just ask for divorce, instead of being mean to him on social networks, why not get a divorce?

The problem is, most of the times Japanese couples get married just because it's convenient (from a society point of view) and end up hating their partner. I personally know a lot of people in such cases.

Probably the root of the problem is this. They should not marry someone because society put pressure on them to get married or whatever, or because they just want a husband or a wife that could fill the societal role that they expect. These are decisions that need appropriate consideration.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Ex-captive journalist denied passport issuance for 5 months See in context

This case really highlights how Japanese government actually bends the law and ignores it, and acts like a dictatorship more than a democracy. If the Constitution says a person is entitled to have a passport, then you have to issue it. Otherwise they're gonna start denying it even to normal people, just because.

Moreover, I am totally against people who attack the journalist for being captured.

It's his goddamn job, it's not like he was there on vacation! If the world didn't have brave and courageous journalists that are willing to risk their lives just to make us know what happens in war zones (and the things that governments don't want us to know), we would lose a lot of precious knowledge and individuals. For example If we didn't have brave the people that went to Vietnam during the war to tell us what was happening there, how could have we known?? The same goes for a lot of other cases.

I am 100% supporting the people who put their life on the line just to do their job, and that are passionate about their career. The world needs more of them. And since journalism is a renowned job (but maybe Japan doesn't really get it, since they practically censor their journalists to cover up the misdeeds of the government) I am willing to use my taxpayer money to pay for them, if they get caught.

I am more willing to pay for them, than the useless salary that a lot of idiotic MP receive.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Terrace House' comedian Ryota Yamasato marries actress Yu Aoi See in context

And all along I thought he was gay...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Politician’s birthrate plan: Parents should nag their kids to have at least 3 babies See in context

Why is he even still a power position at 70?? How can a grandpa (because that's what you are at 70) who clearly has no competence for his job, still be allowed to be in the government? Why not just retire???

This is the problem with the world: old people (who of course have old-fashioned world views) being in control of governments, affecting people's future (but of course not their own, since they will die) and imposing their obsolete standards on young people.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Gov't to review parents' disciplinary right in effort to reduce child abuse See in context

The problem is also that there are not enough punishments for parents who abuse their child, and reading these article gives me the impression that sometimes even social workers do not check properly.

If I'm not wrong, by the law, even if you abuse your child you can't get stripped of parental authority right?

Looking into social problems that lead to child abuse is a very complex task, but generalizing you could say that Japanese society is a very stressed one, and also that education nowadays still have that militaristic imprinting that was given in the past. A lot of emphasis is put on discipline, respecting formal ties etc, and I think they're neglecting a proper attention on the "inside" of things, like on the psychological well-being of people.

Moreover, relationships between people most of the times are just burdens to bear, since they're wrapped in formalities and rules, which kind of takes away the pleasure of being with people (even with family).

I reckon they're acting like: "as long as everything looks good (even if it isn't) then there's no reason to act."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to urge firms to hire employees until age 70 amid labor crunch See in context

I don't understand one thing: the system says that you have to retire when you're 60 years old, regardless the amount of time you have actually worked in your life?

For example, there are people that start working in their 20s, people starting working in their 30s... Of course people who start working earlier pay a lot more taxes than others.

The system doesn't say how much time you should work before actually being able to retire?

For example, in Italy, we have to work 40 years (regardless when we start working) before being able to retire, this means that the earlier you begin, the earlier you finish.

Moreover, 60 years is really a low limit, considering how long Japanese people live. You could end up spending a longer time in retirement than in the workforce, thus weighing on the pension system.

Anyway I think that the age at which you want to retire should be your choice (provided you have contributed enough to the pension system), so instead of saying "everyone should retire at 60", the govern should just set an amount of time that you have to have worked before retiring, thus leaving everyone free to decide for themselves.

I get that being able to decide for themselves is something that Japanese people can't really do though....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Solo activities grow in popularity among women seeking independence See in context

I think the point is beyond the eating solo thing.

As I see it, in Japan hanging out with other people is not only a moment of joy and pleasure and friendship, but also a moment where you have to care about 上下関係 and thus (more than in the West) always be careful to what you say and how you say it.

I think this is the reason why a lot of Japanese prefer to stay at home rather than going out, or why you see all those restaurants with seats for people who are eating alone.

I am totally supportive of the independence of both men and women who are comfortable travelling or going out alone (I do this myself), but I think that in Japan the issue has a bigger perspective and is a matter of society and societal norms, which kind of make the individual feel the pressure of relationships, thus making him/her want to spend time alone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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