gifu comments

Posted in: Toyota Corolla: World's most popular car See in context

The battery on my Corolla went flat after I left the lights on. The JAF guy who came to give me a boost said this and flat tyres were the only reasons he ever had to go out on calls involving Corollas. 'Nuff said.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan says it will honor apologies for World War II atrocities See in context

Ancient history? Don't think so. There are neighbours of mine in Papua New Guinea still waiting for their pay for years of forced labour for the Japanese military. And for payment for all the food that was stolen. With compound interest it might pay for some of the medical bills of these old men and women.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Posted in: Are you proud of being whatever your nationality is, or don't you think about it one way or another? See in context

"Glory not in this that you love your country; glory in this that you love mankind." Baha'u'llah

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Amazon to launch Japanese-language Kindle See in context

For those of us with poor eyesight, Kindles are a godsend. I can crank up the font size and have much better contrast than with paper books. I can even read without my contacts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: TEPCO couldn’t get battery during Fukushima meltdown; went to hardware store the next day See in context

So they couldn't break into a car, a garage, or hardware store and take the batteries they needed? We do it better in the Third World. When the Rabaul, Papua New Guinea volcano suddenly erupted in 1994, a couple of local business leaders announced unilaterally that all car lots and new car showrooms would be broken into and the vehicles hot wired to evacuate residents (most of whom were too poor to own cars). Because of this, an entire town was evacuated in a day with no loss of life. Why are intelligent people in the First World unable to make such no-brainer on-the-spot decisions?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Island plans by Ishihara may stoke fresh China tensions See in context

Building unnecessary structures on these rocks and thereby unnecessarily antagonising the communist government of a country armed with nuclear weapons is courting disaster. Why would the leader of a large metropolitan want to court suicide for his citizens like this?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Truman's grandson visits Hiroshima after meeting atomic bomb survivors See in context

The dropping of the atomic bombs caused the quick surrender of Japan. This saved the people of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea (where I make my home) from potential genocide. Early in August indigenous "workers" (= slaves) of the Japanese were warned by a righteous Japanese soldier/overseer not to go to a "celebration" at the end of the month because the Japanese soldiers were going to use that gathering to get the men of the island together, get them drunk, and machine gun them, because the soldiers were blaming the locals for the fact that they were losing the war. Because of the A-bombs in early August, they never had a chance to start the carnage. Instead in a few months New Irelanders were dancing as the Japanese occupiers marched to the American ships carrying them home. (Incidentally, when the Allied troops arrived, locals hid the Japanese informant who wanted to save their lives. They gave him up only when it was clear that the Allies had different rules of engagement than the Japanese and were not going to kill all the Japanese troops. In the 1960s the Japanese man had become a successful businessman and sent some Toyota trucks to a school where he had been as an occupying soldier. Many occupying Japanese soldiers were evil. He was not. He is fondly remembered by our old people, as is the dropping of the A-bombs by the Americans.)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: To rent or to own a property in Japan? See in context

I bought a house with a bit of land for less than US$100K in a semi-rural area just 40 minutes from downtown Nagoya. I had a friendly bilingual real estate agent and found no real bureaucratic problems others than those caused by my lousy Japanese. People with permanent residence and a steady job seem to have no problems getting mortgages. When I compare my home with expat friends in crummy rented and overpriced flats in the city, it's a no-brainer that buying a house that young Japanese don't like is a better deal.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Special anti-terror squad to guard Haneda Airport See in context

I disagree with you Al Stewart. Japan has a history in the past few decades of very nasty terrorist attacks and abductions,, all caused by either the North Korean government or Japanese citizens. It is therefore appropriate to ban flights to and from North Korea (already done) and to have special officers monitoring the movements of Japanese citizens (now being done, it seems?). Since, except for a small minority of North Koreans, foreign residents and visitors are not involved in terrorist activities in Japan, I guess we can assume that this special unit will not need to harass foreigners at the airport?

-4 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Sea Shepherd claims win after fracas with Japan whalers See in context

I was just in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where people are praising the anti-whaling activists for protecting their valuable whale watching tourist industry. Old-timers say there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of friendly play among younger whales; they credit the limits on whalers, who made whales learn to treat humans and their boats as enemies,

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Fukushima residents seek immigration to South Korea See in context

So much is unexplained in this interesting article: (1) Who initiated the idea (My guess is charitable Christian Koreans who had some link with the Fukushima church)? (2) Are many or most of these people ethnic Koreans (It seems a large percentage of many Christian churches in Japan are zainichi Korean citizens or descendants of Koreans who became naturalised Japanese)? (3) Have they looked into settling in rural areas of western Japan (Land and houses are unbelievably cheap, even by US standards)? (4) What is their answer to the obvious question about the rather tenuous "safety" of living next to wacko North Korea and in a small country with so many nuclear plants? (5) Are proper visas even a possibility? Answers anyone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: In memory See in context

What kind of a society has hospital staff who leave behind patients? Or police and military personnel who allow it? And who do the same themselves? And to think the world actually raised money to help such a people!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Fukushima's No. 2 reactor may be reheating See in context

No backup thermometer? !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Thousands in Tokyo march against nuclear power See in context

If the vast majority of nuclear plants are offline now, isn't Japan already nearly nuclear-free? Nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive to maintain. Make a ten-year plan to close down the last remaining plants and put money and talent into making even better solar energy and wind generators. Between solar panels and LP gas, it's very possible to cut a family home's reliance on any nuclear-produced public electric grid. Long before Fukushima my local gas dealer was passing out pamphlets telling people to do just this "before something bad happens".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Argentina says Britain has nuclear weapons in Falklands See in context

The ancestors of the Falkland Islanders have lived there longer than many of the ancestors of the current Argentine president have lived in Argentina. Certainly longer than the Japanese have been in Hokkaido or Ogasawara or the Americans in Alaksa. Argentina's claims are based on the hope that a post-colonial era UK will have no desire to defend a colony so far from London. The Argentine president should realise that in this post-colonial world, nations and territories should have the right of self-determination, whatever form that takes.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan 'should watch' China's naval reach: report See in context

No way will China attack Japan. A good businessman does not kill his good customer.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Noda says he'll do his best to make sure Futenma base is moved from Ginowan See in context

"Do his best?" I thought Japan was an independent country. If so, why can't it simply tell a foreign country's military force to please leave?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's population to shrink two thirds by 2110 See in context

Finally, a seat on the train in the morning!

26 ( +26 / -1 )

Posted in: Radiation fears slow clean-up in Tohoku See in context

Wouldn't it be cheaper and safer to offer relocation assistance to anyone in those areas who wants to move to an undamaged area? Here in Gifu, for example, there are many rural communities who would be happy to have more children in their schools and more taxpayers on their rolls. Better to spread human beings around e country than to spread potentially radioactive debris.

17 ( +17 / -1 )

Posted in: Fukui 'Nuclear Alley' conflict: reactor danger vs economic reality See in context

Equality said:--- however, I also believe that people who live in areas in which nuclear power plants are the largest employer do have the right to express their opinion on the matter.--- If their opinions affected only them, they can do whatever they want as far as I am concerned. But I live directly downwind from Fukui and their opinions and decisions are potentially life threatening to my community and me. I have every right to oppose the decisions they make, which make money for them in the short term and endanger my well being in the (hopefully) long term.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't kept silent on worst-case scenario at height of nuclear crisis See in context

Seems the EU governments that told their citizens to get out of Tokyo quickly (and I think even arranged planes?) we're right on the mark. Having worked with Japanese government officials, their embassy staffs must have known whom to believe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukui 'Nuclear Alley' conflict: reactor danger vs economic reality See in context

Money and the economy are much more important than health and safety. These plants need to be opened as soon as possible and need to be working at full power so we can all become rich. Worrying about health and safety is against the "ganbaru" spirit and therefore unjapanese.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Newspapers in Japan defy new media challenge See in context

If newspaper readership is so high in Japan, why do even well educated people know so little about the world they live in?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: University of Tokyo considering autumn start to academic year See in context

Universities in New Zealand and Australia have no problem attracting overseas students, even though they start their academic year in February. Possibly it helps to be teaching in a world language and offering good chances for permanent residence and eventual citizenship to graduates? I would imagine a lack of nuclear plants spewing out radiation doesn't hurt either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't to probe radioactive apartment block See in context

This cement could have been shipped anywhere in the country. Any overseas potential tourists reading these posts-- your hotel anywhere in Japan could have been built or repaired with radioactive materials. Beware.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Azumi worried about Japan's debt rating after EU downgrades See in context

I doubt Japan has much to worry about. The euro downgrades happened not long after the Chinese said they'd like an alternative to the US dollar as a basic reserve currency. They started talking about shifting their overseas US$ denominated investments into euro-denominated ones. By strange coincidence the US-based rating agencies then started to grumble about the structural weaknesses of the euro zone. And now the crisis. The Chinese haven't said they would prefer yen-denominated reserves. If they do, watch out Japan. But until then, the US will keep sending out its rating agencies to hunt down the euro. The US fears nothing more than losing the US$ standing as the international reserve currency. Without that, the US economy goes down the hole faster than Greece's.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Unemployment benefits won't be extended to those who lost jobs due to March 11 disaster See in context

Why not take all the money donated to or allocated for the Tohoku recovery, split it up among the people living there, give them a two-year inome tax holiday and then let them make their own decisions ? Some would start new businesses, some wold go back to school, some would build a new house, some would move to work in another area, and some would drink it way. But none could be as heartless or unthinking as the politicians and bureaucrats making these decisions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Kansai Electric begins power-saving measures See in context

We recently got a similar message in a notice from Chūbu Electric here in central Japan. And schools have promptly turned down the heat. So kids get colds while advertising, pachinko parlours, and Christmas lights continue? No thanks. I live 2pm from a massive Christmas light display. Until that is removed and the local pachinko parlours turn off their lights, my house stays nice and warm.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Defense minister apologizes to Okinawa governor for official's 'rape' remarks See in context

This man gave an honest assessment of how Japanese people treat Ryukyuan people. So why shiukd he have apologised?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Amnesty International urges African nations to arrest George Bush See in context

The only war criminals who are ever arrested are those from poor countries or countries that have just lost a war, like Japan in 1945. Sadly, this murderer will live out his life in comfort and wealth.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

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