expat comments

Posted in: Aso, Kono meet to discuss LDP leadership race See in context

At least he graduated from a reputable univerisity, speaks English, and has lived overseas. For a Japanese PM, that alone is progress.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: IOC suspends N Korea from Beijing Olympics for Tokyo no-show See in context

So much for the IOC not being a political organization... Guess they didn't see any upside or potential profit there, and decided to cut their losses. You have to wonder how China is going to react...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Blinken to Taliban: Any legitimacy 'will have to be earned' See in context

What right does the US have to hold the Taliban, or any other government, to its standard of "legitimacy"? Has he forgotten about the guy who just got impeached twice, lost an election by 7 million votes, and claims - along with 30-40 million imbeciles that he is still the rightful president of the US, and is still seeking to overturn the result of an election held 10 months ago?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Kishida calls for new type of capitalism to address income, social gaps See in context

We have a suitable system already. It's called socialism. It works well in Scandanavia, Canada, NZ and elsewhere. It begins by considering the needs of those at the bottom of society, not the wants of those at the top.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Takaichi joins race to be next PM; outlines 'Sanaenomics' policy See in context

God help us...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Dead climber on Wyoming mountain identified as Japanese man See in context

Always, always hike or climb with a partner. I got snakebit once hiking alone, back when cell phones were something you only saw on Star Trek. Had to drop my gear, tie a tourniquet, improvise a crutch and hobble downhill 30 mins to the car. Very lucky I'd just started the hike, and it turned out to be a dry bite.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan considering vaccine passports for commercial activities See in context

"All discrimination based on personal medical decisions is inappropriate."

Not when you behaviour potentially puts others' health at risk. How do you feel about drunk driving?

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Posted in: Japan considering vaccine passports for commercial activities See in context

"Considering only the elites and the privileged have access to the vaccines" While this is true on a global level - wealthy countries have hogged the available vaccines - it is not the case in Japan, where the elderly were prioritized, then those in their 60's, now youger people. I got 2 jabs by signing up online with the local health authority, and I'm neither "elite" nor "priviliged", other than that I'm a white western male; my kids, who are less than half my age, got jabs along with everyone else at their workplaces. Your position cannot be defended.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan considering vaccine passports for commercial activities See in context

"The draft, however, warned against inappropriate discriminatory behavior toward those who do not show vaccine passports, such as requiring people to be vaccinated in order to enter a school and take up a job."

Unless the government sets clear standards regarding the use of such passports and specifies restrictions on the movement and activities of the unvaccinated, this will simply lead to confusion and failure - particularly if business owners and staff are left to enforce policies made by their individual establishments without any meaningful enforcement mechanism.

It appears once again that the goverment's wish to be seen doing something has been rushed, and poorly thought out. If they want to use vaccine passports, they should be issued to people who test negative, and then test negative 72hrs later, and a week later, and then renew them monthly. Normal travel could then resume both inside and outside the country. Vaccinated or not, those who test positive should in principle be barred from using public transport of any type and confined at home or hospitalised.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Posted in: Taliban form all-male Afghan government of old guard members See in context

"Shocking", said nobody.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tips for smokers in 21st century Japan See in context

The only tip smokers need is "quit smoking".

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: Vaccine chief Kono draws flak for blocking Twitter critics See in context

"Will he do the same thing to reporter if he didn't like reporter's question?" Japanese reporters' questions are typically submitted in advance to be vetted, the the politician knows who is going to ask what before he calls on them. Japanese pressers are a form of kabuki - everyone knows how the performance ends before it begins.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Vaccine chief Kono draws flak for blocking Twitter critics See in context

"...with some users expressing frustration that someone in his position as a cabinet minister is unwilling to engage in dialogue..." A Japanese politician unwilling to engage in dialogue? "Shocking, just shocking!", said nobody.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan orders 150 million doses of Novavax COVID vaccine See in context

"Hey, I'm cool with whatever it takes to get people to save face and get vaccinated, even if it means introducing new vaccines that haven't been politicized (yet)."

It's those who refuse to be vaccinated that have politicized a healthcare issue. Let them take Invermectin, if that's their choice.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Do we need humans for that job? Automation booms after COVID See in context

This completely undermines the concept of a social contract, and that companies have the responsibility to act in the interest of not only their investors, but society. We are going back to the days of Upton Sinclair, Dreiser and Dickens.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Happy 21st birthday See in context

Animals don't have the concept of birthdays, or of celebration.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Police officer arrested for assaulting restaurant worker See in context

"kicked him in the left abdomen"? Where, precisely is that? And how did he cover the 5 km to the 380 yen per bowl emporium after drinking for 8 hours straight? Do they not deliver, or was he too drunk to dial?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Actor Michael K Williams, Omar on 'The Wire,' dead at 54 See in context

"Man gotta live what he know, right?"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Vaccine chief Kono favorite to become next PM: polls See in context

There is no reason to think that the other faction chiefs are going to have the membership at large vote to determine who becomes PM. They'll take matters into their own hands just as they did with Suga' (s)election.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: China’s 'Little Kyoto' shut down by government after complaints of Japanese culture invasion See in context

Maybe it'll become a UN World Heritage site... and if the rationale is that Japan once occupied Dalian, (as did Russia before them), then there is a pretty large swath of eastern China that's never gonna see a Japanese-style building.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Trial of accused 9/11 mastermind restarts, days before 20th anniversary See in context

They won. The US went into Afghanistan looking for their leader, and got causght in a quigmire that lasted longer than they've been illegally detained. In the meantime, the world got 20 years to examine the US government and military's ethics, morals and principles, and found Abu Graib, black sites, Blackwater, kidnapping/rendition, and the systematic violation of US citizens' constitutional rights by every agency with 3 letters in its name hiding behind the Patriot Act. The emperor has no clothes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Efforts grow to stamp out use of parasite drug ivermectin for COVID-19 See in context

I say let those who want it should buy as much of it as they can take, or take as much of it as they can buy, and in so doing take themselves off the count.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan cosmetics maker to exit S Korea amid anti-Korean post protest See in context

Actions have consequences...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe supports conservative ally Takaichi as Suga's successor See in context

Abe is supporting Takaichi because it will be easier for him to meddle from behind the scenes and sway cabinet appointments and future elections with someone who lacks a faction behind her in office. He would have less sway over Hosoda.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo Paralympics close after facing COVID-19 challenges See in context

In Japan, disability advocates hope the Paralympics will showcase service dogs:


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Senior police officer arrested for filming up woman’s skirt See in context

Anybody remember the old Loretta Lynn song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"? It's his wife's new ringtone.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Suga's one-year term recalls Japan's revolving door era See in context

Career bureaucrats run the country anyway - they script the legislation that the legislators introduce, and hide behind politicians' robes. Japanese politicians are nothing more than puppets that allow the country to claim it has a democratic system of government. Nothing coud be further from the truth, given that one party has been in power for 70 years running, there is no viable political opposition, and the descendants of the old aristocracy are the heads of the various political parties. There is no talk of the rights and responsibilities of the electorate, only their fealty and responsibility to the country. South Korea has made more progress toward democracy in the past 40 years than Japan has made in the past 400.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Florida grapples with COVID-19's deadliest phase yet See in context

"My decision is not to become a burden on society so I wish to avoid the risk of vaccine side effects."

How can you argue with logic like that?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

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