Gavin comments

Posted in: Caterpillar to shift manufacturing from Japan See in context

Caterpillar took complete control (bought out) their JV with MHI a few years back so the Sagami plant has been Caterpillar Japan since then.

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Posted in: NHK to air 'August Chronicles' on war, peace, nuclear issues See in context

There are clearly a lot people on here who have never watched NHK documentaries but have decided that they must be towing some nationalist/revisionist line, despite the fact that a lot of them do the exact opposite. Everyone is aware that there are textbooks that attempt to whitewash history and get approved - though nearly every country does this to some extent or another - but that doesn't mean everybody in the country does it; nor that a series of documentaries you've never seen does the same. Think before you post sweeping generalisations about something of which you have minimal knowledge.

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Posted in: Japan women's league boosted by World Cup victory See in context

Think that should be 'JEF United Chiba'

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Posted in: Ebizo-Mao wedding gets average 18.7% viewer rating See in context

1987 wedding between Hiromi Go and Yurie Nitani securing 47.6%, and the 2007 wedding between Norika Fujiwara and Tomonori Jinnai capturing 24.7%.

All now divorced

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Posted in: More Japanese shunning the outside world See in context

Dear All,

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the article. It's not practical to try and answer every post but I’d like to try and comment on a few.

Firstly, I thought Kato-san’s Oscar speech was hilarious and he did and a great job with his limited English. Takita-san was not expecting to win and I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to ‘wing’ an Oscar acceptance speech in a second-language. I also don’t think it’s reasonable to expect everyone to speak English. It does take a long time to be fluent in a language and isn’t necessary or practical for everyone. However, there does appear to be a decline in interest in foreign languages in Japan, at private language schools and universities, that goes beyond the declining student population. Freespeech I think you’re right, "... is slipping behind...", would be better expressed as ‘slipping further behind.’ As for the falling share in US/foreign films and music: I think an increased interest in domestic films/music/culture is a positive thing in some ways but does perhaps also indicate a declining interest in the outside world. Agreed that a lot of Hollywood ‘blockbusters’ are not worth watching and there are better films from all around the world. It is indeed ‘a matter of taste and choice in a free society.’

The article originally appeared on a US news website – www.globalpost.com – though, as it happens, I’m not American and have no desire to see the world dominated by the English-speaking cultures.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment,

Gavin Blair

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Posted in: Nick Baker sent back to Britain to finish jail sentence See in context

I don't how many people remember the ‘details’ of this case. When I first heard about it I thought it had been a travesty of justice, as did this magazine, which at first came out in support of Baker. Then Baker claimed he was on a 'pre-World Cup tour of stadiums to buy souvenirs’. Then it emerged this was his second such tour and that his traveling companion/accomplice was known to him beforehand.

No doubt that there were some poor decisions made regarding evidence that was allowed to be submitted to the court and the presiding judge had never found anyone innocent. However, it appears unlikely Baker was entirely innocent. If you look closely at the language his mother used, you can assume she no longer thinks so either.

Nevertheless, six years of solitary does seem excessively brutal, particularly compared to the lighter sentences often given to those found guilty of violence and sexual violence towards women and children. Nobody should be suffering from frostbite or emaciation in prison and dehumanizing anybody, even prisoners, serves only to dehumanize the system, nation and people who support and carry it out.

As for the comments -

'because the UK system already proved his innocence.'

mmmmm.......where to start?

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