fleg comments

Posted in: Japan offers most paid leave for fathers in world, but few take it See in context

New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland are among countries on the list offering no paternity leave.

In regards to Canada, this simply isn't true, a woman is entitled to 15 weeks of maternity leave and one or the other parent is entitled to up to 35 weeks of standard parental leave, or both parents can split up to 40 weeks of parental leave between them.  There is also extended parental leave where either parent can take up to 61 weeks, or a maximum of 69 weeks if split between the two parents.  While these systems do not offer full pay, maternity leave is paid at 55 percent of one's regular wages as is standard parental leave.  Extended parental leave is paid at 33 percent of one's regular wages.  There is, however, a weekly maximum payment for all three types of leave.

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-maternity-parental.html

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Probe of IOC's Takeda hangs over Tokyo Olympics See in context

I don't understand how "shock ran through people working on the Tokyo Olympics."  I remember reading about preliminary investigations by French authorities into this matter at least two or three years ago.  The only thing that has left these people shocked, "perplexed, and flabbergasted" is this investigation is gaining more traction and broader exposure rather than being something that could be swept under the rug or held within the confines of the Tokyo Olympic Committee as their dirty little secret.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: San Francisco mayor accepts 'comfort women' statue; Osaka to end sister-city ties See in context

Hmmmm....  Maybe Tokyo or Osaka or Kobe should erect a "Japanese internee" statue to commemorate all of the Americans of Asian origin who were interned and had their lives destroyed during WW2.......

Actually, Canada also interned thousands of Japanese immigrants and native-born Canadians of Japanese descent during WW2. Many were relocated from the Pacific Coast and interned in camps in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. This injustice is not only recognized by the Canadian government, which offered financial reparations to surviving former internees in the late 1980s or early 90s, but it is also studied in depth in secondary school social studies and history classes. In fact, one of the former internment camps in the community of New Denver, British Columbia has been turned into a museum memorializing the hardships and injustices the internees faced. I wouldn't be surprised if other communities throughout Canada and the U.S. which had internment camps also had museums or other memorials documenting this shameful truth. Therein lies the difference. The Canadian and American governments as well as politicians at the municipal, provincial / state, and federal levels don't try to whitewash the internment of Japanese Canadians and Americans or downplay it as some kind of necessary evil during wartime.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Posted in: YouTuber conducts experiment to test Japanese people’s honesty See in context

I think most of us "foreigners" would have to agree that, in terms of personal safety, Japan is indeed incredibly safe, especially if we were to compare large metropolitan areas here to those in our home countries. While I don't know the true statistics, in my opinion, people here are less likely to be victims of a violent mugging or robbery where physical force and/or weapons are involved. Car theft, burglary, and home invasions are also, once again, in my opinion, far less prevalent in Japan than in the cities of my own relatively safe homeland of Canada. However, I think non-violent petty theft in Japan, while perhaps being statistically less common than in other developed, first world countries, is far from being a rare occurrence. I’m sure many of us have our own personal anecdotes or know of others’ experiences which would disqualify Japan from being "the most sincere country in the world" as stated in the video.

During my eighteen years in Japan, I have lived in areas from rural, and everything in-between, to urban (central Tokyo). There has not been one community in which I have lived where I haven't seen signs and posters around the neighbourhoods warning residents to be careful of purse snatching (ひったくり / 引ったくり). When I first came to Japan and was working as an ALT at a senior high school, every month, without fail, there was at least one report about students stealing from one another or being caught for shoplifting. I myself have had bicycles stolen twice: once from the station and once from the bicycle parking area at my place of work in which I was the only non-Japanese employee. That bicycle was, however, miraculously returned to the same place from where it was stolen once word got around the office that I had filed a police report. I guess guilt, or more likely fear of being caught, was incentive enough for my sticky-fingered coworker to return my bike.

The following is something I posted about a friend’s experience after reading a similar article on Japan Today from a couple of years ago (http://www.japantoday.com/category/arts-culture/view/saudi-arabian-tv-tempts-would-be-thieves-in-tokyo-to-test-japans-honesty).

Years ago, my American friend and her Japanese boyfriend stopped off to have lunch at an okonomiyaki restaurant in Hachinohe, Aomori on their way to buy snowboarding gear. My friend had about 60,000 yen in her wallet. The table at which they were seated had a small shelf for belongings built into it underneath the table top, which is where my friend placed her wallet. Prior to being served their order, a family of four entered: dad, mom, and two teenaged daughters. The owner asked my friend and her boyfriend if they would mind moving to the counter so the family could sit at the table. When they moved to the counter, my friend forgot her wallet at the table which she didn't realize until after they had finished eating and it was time to pay for their meals. Her boyfriend went over to the table and asked the father, who was sitting where my friend had previously been seated, to check the shelf under the table top for her wallet. The father took a cursory glance under the table and said it was not there. Noticing that he had barely even looked under the table, the boyfriend then took it upon himself to check, and, sure enough, the wallet was there. Finding the father's behaviour slightly odd, but not overly suspicious, the boyfriend went back to the counter and handed the wallet to my friend; however, when she opened the wallet, it was completely empty of the 60,000 or so yen it had previously held.

A confrontation between the father and my friend and her boyfriend then ensued. Luckily, they were regular customers, so the owner had sided with them, and, eventually, the police had to be called. Apparently, the father was making random accusations saying, at first, that the boyfriend had somehow stolen his girlfriend's money in the few seconds it took him to go from the table back to the counter after discovering the wallet. He then shifted the accusations to both of them and claimed that it was some kind of ruse to swindle him out of his own money.

Long story short, the police, who had grown very suspicious of the father's behaviour and random accusations against my friend and her boyfriend, asked him to step outside. A few minutes later, the father reentered the restaurant, approached my friend, bowed deeply, and handed over the exact amount of cash that had been taken from the wallet. Whether or not the wife and two daughters were aware of what the father had done was difficult to tell as they had apparently all kept their heads down, eyes fixed on the table throughout the entire ordeal. In the end, the police asked my friend if she wanted them to pursue criminal charges against the father, but she decided against it, partly because she didn't want to bring anymore shame upon the the wife and the daughters in the case that they were truly unaware of what the father had done.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Saudi Arabian TV tempts would-be thieves in Tokyo to test Japan’s honesty See in context

Years ago, my American friend and her Japanese boyfriend stopped off to have lunch at an okonomiyaki restaurant in Hachinohe, Aomori on their way to buy snowboarding gear. My friend had about 60,000 yen in her wallet. The table at which they were seated had a small shelf for belongings built into it underneath the table top, which is where my friend placed her wallet. Prior to being served their order, a family of four entered: dad, mom, and two teenaged daughters. The owner asked my friend and her boyfriend if they would mind moving to the counter so the family could sit at the table. When they moved to the counter, my friend forgot her wallet at the table which she didn't realize until after they had finished eating and it was time to pay for their meals. Her boyfriend went over to the table and asked the father, who was sitting where my friend had previously been seated, to check the shelf under the table top for her wallet. The father took a cursory glance under the table and said it was not there. Noticing that he had barely even looked under the table, the boyfriend then took it upon himself to check, and, sure enough, the wallet was there. Finding the father's behaviour slightly odd, but not overly suspicious, the boyfriend went back to the counter and handed the wallet to my friend; however, when she opened the wallet, it was completely empty of the 60,000 or so yen it had previously held.

A confrontation between the father and my friend and her boyfriend then ensued. Luckily they were regular customers, so the owner had sided with them, and, eventually, the police had to be called. Apparently, the father was making random accusations saying, at first, that the boyfriend had somehow stolen his girlfriend's money in the few seconds it took him to go from the table back to the counter after discovering the wallet. He then shifted the accusations to both of them and claimed that it was some kind of ruse to swindle him out of his own money.

Long story short, the police, who had grown very susipicious of the father's behaviour and random accusations against my friend and her boyfriend, asked him to step outside. A few minutes later, the father reentered the restaurant, approached my friend, bowed deeply, and handed over the exact amount of cash that had been taken from the wallet. Whether or not the wife and two daughters were aware of what the father had done was difficult to tell as they had apparently all kept their heads down, eyes fixed on the table throughout the entire ordeal. In the end, the police asked my friend if she wanted them to pursue criminal charges against the father, but she decided against it, partly because she didn't want to bring anymore shame upon the the wife and the daughters in the case that they were truly unaware of what the father had done.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: As the public increasingly looks harder at education, teachers are losing confidence and sight of their social roles. See in context

This shouldn't come as a surprise considering the pathetic state of teacher training in this country which requires almost no practical experience. Basically, university students tack on a few education courses to their major field of study, enabling them to sit for the teacher licensing exams. They take part in a two-to-three-week practicum in which their biggest obligation might be taking over the morning and afternoon homeroom duties from their sponsor teachers. The rest of their time is spent observing lessons and learning about general school administrivia. At most, these student teachers will only have actually "solo" taught one or two demonstration lessons by the end of their practicum. Finally, they can sit for their teacher licensing exams, and, provided they pass, when they step in front of their own class for the first time as a certified teacher, it will really only be the second or third time they have taught a lesson on their own.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: No. of accidents involving people using phones while walking increases See in context

As another poster previously mentioned, this is hardly a new phenomenon. Since I first moved to Japan in 1998 - long before the advent of cell-phone texting and smart phones - one of the common pet peeves amongst westerners visiting or living here has been a seemingly utter lack of awareness of their surroundings on the part of the Japanese. This behaviour extends to when they travel abroad, to which many of us who have ecountered Japanese tour groups in our home countries or during our own travels can attest.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese restaurants in New York introduce ban on tipping See in context

When I'm back in Canada, I find the service in restaurants to be generally quite good, partly because the waitstaff is relying on a tip at the end of the meal. Although I agree with all the posters who say we shouldn't be expected to tip in order to get good service and/or subsidize someone's wages, I do tip as it is the customary practice in Canada; however, I will not tip for bad service no matter the expectations of the waitstaff.

That being said, twenty years ago, a 10% tip was considered the norm no matter how exceptional the service, then it went up to 12, and shortly thereafter 15. Now (in Canada), 15% percent is considered the minimum tip for satisfactory service, while a tip between 17 and 20% should be included for above average to excellent service. If these constant increases continue, I can honestly see some point in time within the next ten years when the minimum expected tip will be up to 30%. Hopefully, we, as consumers, will have come to our senses by then.

Despite what many restaurant owners and workers would have you believe, here are a few "tips" about tipping ettiquette in Canada and the United States. You should only tip for table service, meaning a server comes to your table, takes your order, delivers your food, and checks back periodically to see if you require anything else. You do not need to tip if you place and pick up your order at a counter, so feel free to ignore those tip jars that have become so ubiquitous. In addition, you do not need to tip on top of a service charge or gratuity already included in the bill. Moreover, your tip should be calculated based on the pre-tax amount of the bill. If you order a bottle of wine with your meal, subtract the cost of the wine from the total before you calculate the tip since the mark up on a bottle is at the very minimum twice as much as its actual retail value. Most importantly, if you do not feel the service you are receiving is worthy of a tip, you are not obligated to leave one. However, it's advised that you report your displeasure with the service to the management, preferably when you first notice it so that there is a chance for it to be rectified (you may even get a free appetizer, dessert, or drink out of it).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Teacher suspended for taking part-time job as call girl See in context

quote: "I doubt that teachers can freely avail themselves of the services of establishments in which this teacher worked as customers. If a teacher were photographed going into, or using, one of these establishments, then that educator might lose their job, under any 'no disrepute' clause."

While I can only speak from personal experience having worked in the public schools, I don't think it would be uncommon at all for male teachers to pay for such services. In fact, from what I observed in some of the schools where I worked, there is definitely a "culture" amongst some male teachers and administrators where such behaviour is tacitly accepted.

I was employed directly with the boards of education in a neighboring town and city for a number of years. On several occasions, after attending the second party after the main staff party (welcome, farewell, year-end parties, etc.), I was invited by male teachers (the majority married), and on one occasion with the principal as well, to go to pink salons, "rub and tugs", and "touch pubs", where you get a lap dance while you fondle and kiss the breasts of the employee. I refused the invitations and stopped attending the after parties in order to avoid having to constantly refuse. Another time, having gotten into a bit of a disagreement with a younger employee at the board of education, we went out to dinner to clear the air. After dinner, to further mend fences, he offered to pay for both us to go and get some fellatio at a pink salon. Although he was not married at the time, he was recently engaged.

I think there is definitely a double standard at play here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Silver bullets won’t help Japan, and neither will JET See in context

Not all do. Many workers are now on contracts/disptach so they get none of the things you mentioned. JETS are VERY overpaid for their value and the job they "do".

I was wondering, tmarie, if you felt the same way back in the day when you were actually one of these VERY overpaid JETS whom you seem to hold in such disregard now. And let's not forget that that was when the starting wage for a JET was 320,000 yen per month. Were you so appalled by your obscene salary vis a vis your "value" that you forfeited the perks of the job as well as returned the unjustified overpayment in wages? I highly doubt it.

Moreover, a JET is a government employee who is either directly employed by a municipal or prefectural board of education. As so, some of the benefits and perks, such as housing allowances (but never bonuses), are afforded to some JETs just as they are to other government employees.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Minister calls judo beatings Japan's worst sports crisis See in context

The biggest joke about this whole scandal is the shock and dismay that is being expressed by the various governing bodies within the judo community, by the Japanese Olympic Commitee, and by the Japanese government. In my own personal experience and opinion, physical and verbal abuse of players in judo is widespread and widely accepted. I have seen it with my own eyes a number of times within the dojos themselves and even at competition venues. I was a member of a well-respected dojo in the Kanto region from the early to mid 2000s where one of the female members - a junior high school student, at the time - later represented Japan on the judo teams for the Beijing and London Olympics. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she were one of the members on the current national women's team who has lodged this complaint. Although now years ago, I can still plainly remember the head coach repeatedly and audibly striking the face of the above-mentioned student, kicking her, and throwing her around the dojo (and eventually out the door) as if she were a rag doll, all for having "under performed" during randori (sparring) practice. The poor girl was no more than fourteen years old at the time and was just having an off day. Unforunately, "off days" were not tolerated. With the exception of a few adult members and former students looking for a place to practice, the majority of the members at this dojo were junior high school students and such acts of violence towards them by the coach were neither uncommon nor done in secret. When they did happen, they were oftentimes carried out in full view of adult members, assistant coaches (two of whom were police officers), and even parents. To reiterate my main point, the shock and dismay that is being expressed by the All Japan Judo Federation, Kodokan, the JOC, and the government has less to do with the violent physical and emotional abuse of judoka, and more to do with the fact that the athletes themselves have garnered the courage to stand up for themselves and have dared to try and put a stop to it.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

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