Japan Today

hackney comments

Posted in: Man sues Osaka city over anti-hate speech ordinance See in context

I wonder if he'd be so keen on free speech if I posted a lot of vitriol against the imperial family. I suspect he's be outraged and demand that I be silenced.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Study seeks to end antidepressant debate: the drugs do work See in context

The researchers asked the drug companies if the fact that they funded most of the studies in any way skewed the results. 'Not at all' said the drug companies. So that's ok, then. (This is from an interview with one of the researchers on the BBC.)

Having struggled with depression myself, like the poster above, I read many of the original studies and was shocked at how the data had been manipulated. My old academic supervisor told me always to read the original research, and not others reporting that research. I'm glad I did.

Anti-depressants do help some people, but far fewer than is claimed, and the dangers of taking these drugs is grossly underestimated.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese smartphone attachment trims your nose hairs See in context

At last!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese adult film star offers full marriage ceremony with fans for Y350,000 See in context

I actually contacted the company, but was disappointed to find that I have to pay her, rather than her paying me. They should have made that clearer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: From trade to migration: How Brexit may hit the EU economy See in context

It's not over yet. In my home city in Scotland 75% voted to remain in the EU, with the rest of Scotland not far off that figure. Although I voted in the independence referendum to stay in the UK, I'll be switching that vote in the inevitable second referendum on that issue. It seems that in the UK as a whole the vast majority of young people voted to stay in the EU. They're the people who have to deal with this decision and they would be right to feel aggrieved.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Erica the android can have 'natural' conversations See in context

@Stacy Ann

You're right, she does for a brief segment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Erica the android can have 'natural' conversations See in context

I would have liked to hear Erica actually talking, instead of just a voiceover. We got no idea at all of how 'she' responded to questions, or even what her actual voice sounded like. However, that the voiceover was the usual childlike squeak which Japanese men seem to find attractive tells us everything about the ultimate aim of the project: to create a sex doll for a lot of geeky Japanese men who have no idea how to talk to a real woman.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Japanese girl's WWII job: waving goodbye to kamikaze pilots See in context


The stories of some kamikaze pilots being too drunk to walk are actually from oral accounts of war experiences provided by Japanese veterans. It's unfortunate that the WW2 generation are now passing away. We need to hear their experiences to understand the true nature of war. When I was growing up most of my elders had fought. My father, all my uncles, many of my neighbours and most of my schoolteachers had been in the forces. I don't remember anyone being sentimental. In fact, my father, who was RAF ground crew, told a similar story about pilots in the Battle of Britain. Even the bravest young man has a limit. Many pilots were drunk before going into action as that was the only way they could deal with the stress of combat. My uncle, who fought at Arnhem, told how many paratroopers had to be kicked out of the plane, so great was their fear. I could go on and on with similar tales. We need these stories to counter the official histories of the glory and nobility of war.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese girl's WWII job: waving goodbye to kamikaze pilots See in context

The suicide attacks were very 'successful' - almost 5,000 Americans killed and as many wounded, not to mention the large number of ships disabled. Not all the pilots were as brave as in the stories related in the article. Many had to be carried into their planes as they were too drunk to walk. My guess is they preferred to stay alive rather than become a firefly. Perhaps an application to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site should be reconsidered.

8 ( +13 / -4 )

Posted in: China stresses nationalism in war anniversary propaganda push See in context

Japan just gives fuel to the Chinese propogandists by denying that they did anything wrong in their colonial enterprise before WWII. It's been said so many times in this forum, just own up to your wrongdoing and then everybody can move on, as has happened in Germany. Chinese behaviour here is ludicrous, but will never end until the cult of denial and rewriting history ends in Japan.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Thai theater pair convicted for insulting monarchy See in context

It's lucky we don't have this law in the UK - half the nation would be behind bars. I would have a life sentence without parole.

The pair don't seem too bothered, judging by their smiles in the photos, but Thai people who support this law should be ashamed.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Running police keep the peace at Tokyo Marathon See in context

I'd really like to have one of those small anti- terrorism backpacks. I'd feel much more confident about my safety.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe condemns 'unforgivable' IS execution of Jordanian pilot See in context


Talk of 'levelling the place' is absurd. It's a bit like saying that because the Nazis occupied France in WW2 then we should have levelled France. Most of the victims of ISIS are muslim.

ISIS were never interested in the fate of the would-be suicide bomber. In fact, if she had been handed over to ISIS they probably would have killed her too, no doubt for some serious offence like not wearing her veil when being captured.


All the hostages are on death watch. There was never any chance of getting them back alive. ISIS are not rational people, so trying to 'negotiate' with them is a waste of time.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Why cartoons depicting Mohammed anger many Muslims See in context

That should read:'Nothing more than a dog.'

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Why cartoons depicting Mohammed anger many Muslims See in context

Mahathir Mohamad: 'We respect their religion and they must respect our religion.'

Having lived and worked in a muslim country (one considered rather liberal), I didn't notice much respect for Christianity. Although brought up in a Christian culture I don't profess any religion. Nevertheless I was constantly harassed by a substantial number of people (not the majority I should say, but a large proportion) for being, as I was called on more than one occasion, 'no more than as I was a non-muslim. At least for me it was only verbal insults. A Jewish colleague was subjected to stone throwing and spitting every time he went out. He wisely decided to leave before things got worse. This was thirty years ago. I guess now it's much worse.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Posted in: Asia sports heavyweights reaffirm support for FIFA's Blatter See in context

The level of corruption in FIFA is horrendous. By expressing strong support for Blatter Asian countries are aligning themselves with that corruption. I'm in favour of European countries withdrawing from FIFA and setting up an alternative organisation for world football. Unfortunately, once an organisation reaches such a horrendous level of dishonesty it's virtually impossible to fix it, so the change has to be radical one: starting afresh with safeguards in place to prevent such a situation reoccurring.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Impoverished foreign students fall into life of crime See in context

Japan Today should be ashamed of reporting cr@p like this. It just reinforces the Japanese idea that all foreigners are dangerous and dishonest. I'd like to see the crime figures for impoverished Japanese students - I suspect that the figures are higher. Japan has trouble recruiting foreign students because their education system is so awful and they treat foreign students so badly. Why didn't you just headline the article 'Immigration is Bad' or 'Beware of Non-Japanese'?

41 ( +49 / -8 )

Posted in: Thank you See in context

The only present that dolphin wants is to be swimming free in the ocean.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Posted in: Vagina kayak artist arrested in Japan See in context

Frankly, I think she's leaving herself wide open for prosecution. I hope the authorities give her a good tongue-lashing.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Man arrested for attempting to strangle 77-year-old mother to death See in context

@FightingViking Taking care of children, although very hard work, is different because they develop and become more independent as time goes by. It's usually pleasurable and satisfying to see them learn and take care of themselves. With old people it's only decline and increasing frustration. To get real for a moment, it's a lot easier to change a kid's diaper than an adult's, especially when it's your parent, someone who you've looked up to all your life.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Biker assaulted by iron bar-wielding Nara innkeeper See in context

I think the innkeeper showed remarkable restraint to aim for his knee and not his head.

16 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: Police to charge suspect with murder of Kobe girl See in context

I often see in Japanese crime reports that the suspect 'speaks to police but refuses to discuss the case'. What on earth do they talk about?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says Asahi stories on comfort women damaged Japan's image abroad See in context

I used to work with a Japanese colleague who, when the topic of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima came up, broke into tears and said that his best friend had died in the bombing. I realised later that it was impossible as he couldn't even have been born at the time. I didn't conclude from this man's deception that the bombing of Hiroshima hadn't taken place. The same thing is happening here. One man has misled people with his story about comfort women, but it doesn't negate all the other thousands of pieces of evidence ( and I mean 'thousands')) that exist. Even if half were untrue it would still be a pretty damning indictment of the Japanese military's behaviour.

24 ( +31 / -7 )

Posted in: Generic drugs: The best medicine for Japan’s economy? See in context

Drugs are too expensive, there's no doubt about that. However, using generics isn't so simple. Most generic medicines are not the same as the more expensive branded versions. Many of the constituent parts, especially for delivery of the drug, are different and don't work for many people. I switched to a generic version of a medicine I take and found it didn't work. Everybody, including the doctor, kept saying, 'It's the same drug, it must be your imagination', but in fact I subsequently found out that the generic form wasn't working for more than half of the people who were taking it. This is especially a problem for those with epilepsy, and it can have serious consequences.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Man shows visiting caseworker skeletal remains in closet See in context

Wait a minute. The case worker is shown the remains on Tuesday; she does nothing until she's shown them again on Thursday, when she reports it to the police?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Posted in: Tropical storm heading toward Kyushu, Japan Sea coast See in context

It's not surprising there's no storm in Okinawa as it's not in northern Kyushu, where the typhoon is headed and where I am. Already here there's torrential rain and flooding, and we're only on the edge of the storm, with a full day of this ahead of us. The main item on the news this evening was how hot it was in Tokyo today. One of the complaints people have in this area is that if it's not affecting Tokyo, then it's not happening. How right they are!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: U.N. mission in Tokyo hears about N Korean abductions See in context

The abductions are a good example of the warped thinking of totalitarian states. If they wanted 'Japanese language training' they could simply have advertised in Japanese newspapers for Japanese language teachers. There would always have been some adventurous young individuals who would have liked the idea of spending a couple of years in an interesting location and getting some experience. Maybe, by offering a decent salary and conditions, they could have saved some money and gained a positive impression of the North Korean people. They then return to their home country and spread the word that it wasn't all bad there. But no, the North Koreans have to kidnap them and keep them prisoners for the rest of their lives. Go figure.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Visiting the troops See in context

At least Abe is wearing a suit. I'm tired of politicians changing their dress on military visits. Which is worse, George Bush wearing fatigues, even though he spent most of his early life trying to avoid military service, or Tony Blair in his 'casual' outfit, trying to show that he's not one of those politicians who doesn't know what it's like to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Merkel becomes first German chancellor to visit Dachau See in context

I think she's done a good thing, election or not. The Germans are not immune to 'selective memory' either. If you ask locals what the town of Dachau is famous for, many will answer, 'Beautiful Dachau castle!', pictures of which adorn the tourist posters all over railway stations etc. Mind you, to be fair, they wouldn't attract many tourists with pictures of a death camp.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Showing what they can do See in context

Why don't they just shoot from inside the helicopter? If it's a landing manoeuvre then when they hit the ground they'll be all tangled up in a net. Doh!

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

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