fireant comments

Posted in: What changes are needed in Japanese society to stop the falling birthrate? See in context

This talk about money... When my wife and I decided to have children, money wasn't high on the list; the fact that the kids wouldn't be 'pure' Japanese and how their schoolmates would dealing with them and how the school system would deal with them were higher discussion topics, as were availability of medical professionals.

If people are not having children because of the costs, then perhaps it's best they don't have children. Money is the least of the worries; education, bringing them up, health, safety, dealing with bullying (if any), and making sure the offspring see the world as theirs, not just Japan.

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Posted in: What changes are needed in Japanese society to stop the falling birthrate? See in context

More sex?

On a more serious note, more maturity on the part of 20 ~ 30 year olds. If buying the latest Hello Kitty PC sends them into a frenzy feed, perhaps they should resist the urge to reproduce. How to make them more mature? Another good question.

While money is a strong bait, I wonder how many men will rush out to have a child just because they'll get a tax break - which they already do. How many women will jump at the chance of a few more shekels if they had to go through childbirth?

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Posted in: De Niro to open Japan-themed hotels in Israel, New York See in context

BigDudeGSO, oooh, clever.

Has anyone been to any of DeNiro's Japanese restaurants? Did the sushi police give him a gold star or anything?

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Posted in: Convicted rapist pleads guilty to strangling Japanese woman in New Orleans in 2003 See in context

life behind bars without the benefit of probation

I've never heard this one before. I've heard of life without the possibility of probation. Is this a new sentence or translation?

Condolences to Kanako's parents and family. I certainly hope they can remember the living woman rather than focus on her death.

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Posted in: Read Real Japanese Essays See in context

There's another book Getting into Japanese Literature, I believe the name is. It has stories by Natsume Soseki and Akutugawa. Then, you go to a website (, I believe) and download someone reading the story. Native pronunciation, native writing. Plus, fortunately or not, the translation is on the opposite page. It comes with copius notes for vocabulary.

This book looks similar except with the non-dead authors and CD. I've asked many students who speak English well how they learned pronunciation and the naturalness of their speech and they almost always say, "Listening to movies, music, and native speakers.'


Did your textbook include the essay on plywood imports of 1972? Always a gripping tale, that one.

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Posted in: Naoto Kan See in context

I like the big sign in the background: Temps.

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Posted in: Woman arrested after trying to flush infant down toilet in Nagoya See in context


no-one who was there to help this woman.

Well, she is 33 years old. Old enough, I presume, to take care of herself. But apparently not capable of understanding labor pains - pity she didn't go to a hospital with the onset of labor. Pity more that the poor child had 0 chance at a life. A baby hatch wouldn't've have helped in this case, I'm afraid.

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Posted in: Japan’s best-known novelist fails to deliver—again See in context

I enjoyed Norwegian Wood. I picked up a few of his books in the bookstore but didn't buy any because, well, read the review above.

Oe Kenzaburo's novels are similar, I think. I read one. Liked it. Read another one and thought I had re-read the first novel but no, different title. And he got the Nobel Prize and Murakami is being touted for one, too. (At least Dan Brown isn't.)

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Posted in: 62 lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine See in context


There you go again, using western logic. I saw that when he was prime minister, Koizumi walked to the shrine. (Much to the chagrin of his ministers, who had to walk, too.) Personally, I think attending this particular shrine on the government's dime is unconstitutional but that's just me thinking like a foreigner again. Of course Presidents of the US go to church all the time - mostly Christian; in fact, this election seems to be the 'tell us your religion' election. Pity, because they really should be separate - many Americans are not Christians - and many Japanese may not approve of their elected officials going to Yasukuni.

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Posted in: Hamas rejects Carter's call to halt rocket fire on Israel for 1 month See in context

I wonder how this meeting will effect negotiations later; Carter has a history of inching things along between rivals: Egypt and Israel, for example, that don't have immediate results. It's intriguing and perhaps important that someone rise above the fray to inform and learn from both sides of a conflict.

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Posted in: Back in the 1940s, every newspaper, every magazine, the movies, the radio, everything was geared that the Japanese were short, myopic, everyone wore glasses, they all had buck teeth, they were all int See in context


You're assuming having your friends killed in front of you has nothing to do with finding closure. I'm assuming this guy, since he was on Iwo Jima, saw more than a few friends die at the hands of the Japanese. It may be this trauma rather than war-time cartoons of Japanese that kept him from wanting anything to do with Japan.

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Posted in: The future is gray See in context

If growth is stagnant then there would be no need for more employees so the children of those who have made it wouldn't be able to find jobs and, therefore, not be able to buy homes, cars, food, and iPods. If a company has mostly 55-65 year old employees and growth is flat, then, when the employees retire new employees would be hired but fewer of them (growth is flat); and the new employees would work until they are 60-65, so younger people wouldn't get a job. Some growth is necessary. Japan is in for some painful years, I suspect, as the population shrinks and growth stagnates. In the end, Japan might be a better place to live (fewer people, more 'nature') but it will be a painful birth.

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Posted in: Trilingual ability lowers hurdles See in context

There are secretaries in Los Angeles that speak three or four languages. They don't have the necessary skills, like Ultradude said, to be managerial level, but they are indispensable when it comes to customer care.

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Posted in: 1-year-old boy dies after being left in car by pachinko-playing mother in Kagoshima See in context

Poor kid.

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Posted in: Carter defends plan to meet Hamas leader See in context

skipthesong, Carter had great support among blacks when he ran for governor and president precisely because he could talk to the Black Panther-ish and the KKK. He helped Georgia (and Atlanta) become more racially tolerant while he was governor than most others. However, this news item isn't about racism in America, it's about Hamas.

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Posted in: The salmon is cooked rare to make it rather unpalatable ... However, if they do eat it all up, without leaving a scrap, it tells us they have a spirit of fortitude. See in context

spirit of fortitude? or lack of knowledge about food-borne diseases and a spirit of 'he told me to do it' which every employer is looking for: dumb and loyal.

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Posted in: OLs licking their lips at young fresh-faced new hires See in context

Every time I read one of these 'factual and investigative' articles from the vernacular tabloids I'm reminded of both the Penthouse Forum, as Alphaape mentioned, and American tabloids ("Elvis spotted on Mars!"). I'm pretty sure the authenticity of articles like these are dubious at best and that they have been on JT for seven years and is 'one of our most popular sections' does not mean it is good journalism. These articles are just for titilation and enjoyment.

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Posted in: Man dies after being hit by two cars on Ibaraki street See in context

if he was jaywalking he put his own life at risk and suffered the consequences.

Personally I don't agree that the death penalty should be invoked for jaywalking. Condolences to his family and children, if any. A sad day for them.

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Posted in: Weather girl See in context

Nice camera.

greenteaonsens, a long time ago a weather man in the US got in trouble and fired because he said he had a PhD in metereology but didn't. He got fired for lying. In his own defense he said he really wanted the job and lied about the PhD in order to get the job. He had studied metereology, just not at the PhD level. So, yes, sometimes a PhD is required to be a weathercaster in the US.

I have my doubts about this particular applicant - she may have a degree in metereology but from that pose, I'm assuming that is not the qualification Hokkaido Shimbun is looking for.

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Posted in: Do you think the U.S. military in Japan is doing all it can to prevent crimes by its personnel? See in context

When will we have a true democracy?

When you vote for one.

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Posted in: 4-year-old boy drowns in Fukuoka pond See in context

6-year-old brother, 6, and younger sister. Modeditors: what seems to be wrong here?

Also, how long were the two boys in the water before the passer-by came by? I think the passer-by deserves a great thanks that both boys didn't drown. And yes, I would never let me children alone near water and I can't swim.

Condolences, though, to the mother who is probably very distraught and the boy's family and friends.

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Posted in: What behavior by train passengers bugs you the most? See in context

Gropers. If they can't get a piece of action with someone they know, why inflict their juvenile personalities on a stranger? Actually saw this salaryman (about 50) grope this high school girl. She was putting up with it - I don't know why. I casually walked over and kneed the culprit in the small of the back, followed by a quick 'sumimasen' but he got the message and the girl smiled at me. I'm sure his back hurt for a few weeks. (edited for potentially offensive content)

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Posted in: The U.S. did a great job at deboning the Japanese until most have no spine, no guts and no strength left in them. They couldn't do much to my generation, but most younger Japanese are as weak as one c See in context

Mr. Suzuki seems to be forgetful about what the US did to his generation - turned it around 180 degrees: from an emperor-worshipping, kamikaze-loving, everything-for-the-state dictatorship to a peaceful pseudo-democracy in less than five years. In less than a generation. People of his generation were the ones that ran Japan after the war and steered it toward the money (US). People of his generation were the ones that opted for kowtowing to the US; not the current generation which doesn't even know where the US is.

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Posted in: Asia is different from the United States and Europe. We dream of more vertical cities. In fact, the only choice here is to go up and use the sky. See in context

Mori seems to forget the fact that some European and American cities have tall buildings, too. In fact, most major cities do. So building up isn't an Asian 'trait.' And I'm pretty sure people don't dream of vertical cities - many probably dream of grandpa's (or great-grandpa... or a mythical) farm and the open spaces it had.

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Posted in: Train ticket machine gives back too much change in Nagoya See in context

soap for the gents'?

How about toilet paper first? I too am surprised no one bought a bucket load of tickets to get more 'incorrect' change. I assume it's because everyone is in such a hurry that the extra 10,000 or 5,000 or 100,000 isn't worth being a nanosecond late for work.

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Posted in: Train ticket machine gives back too much change in Nagoya See in context

I understand putting the wrong denomination in the wrong slot but two different denominations in the same slot? Some assistant stationmaster wasn't paying much attention to what he was doing.

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Posted in: Troubled times in Yokosuka See in context

I don't necessarily disagree with most of what is written but I do have a question about the 'endless number.' Does anyone have any real, hard numbers as to how many crimes have been committed by US military personnel over the last 10 or 20 years or so?

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Posted in: Tokyo Gov Ishihara welcomes new employees See in context

“People tend to have homogeneous ideas, wishing for stability and continuity (in their organization). But we cannot survive that way in a rapidly changing society.”

Did Ishihara write this speech? Is he really advocating Diversity in Thought?

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Posted in: Three bodies found after fire guts unoccupied house in Kagawa See in context

Well, if three bodies are found in a house after a fire I guess the house wasn't exactly 'unoccupied.' By definition. Maybe it was 'abandoned' or 'left vacant' but it certainly wasn't 'unoccupied.'

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Posted in: Mariah Carey to provide theme song for NTV baseball telecasts See in context

Add 'incompetent' to the list of words the commentblog doesn't like.

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