hampton comments

Posted in: Body found in Chiba river may be that of missing 7-year-old girl See in context

According to local media in Matsudo City, Saya had learning difficulties and was not able to speak Japanese well. The first volunteers out looking for her were the family and the local Chinese community. They searched this riverbank several times within hours of her disappearance after finding her kickboard in the park and found nothing. The shoes were found the following day in the same place they had searched. Locals here are not convinced this girl took off her own socks and shoes and fell in the river and cannot understand how the search teams failed to spot them. Surveillance cameras only show she travelled towards the park alone on her kickboard, but no one witnessed her in either park, and of course no one knows why she did not go to the local park and wait for her mother there. The police found another body in the river during the search, this time an adult male. He has not been identified and his discovery in the river is not being treated as suspicious! This was only reported locally. I still think this was an accident, but plenty of people here do not believe it was.

There is a story here with a lot of details.

12 Days After a 7-Year-Old Girl Disappears in Japan, a Child’s Body Is Found in a River (vice.com)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Body found in Chiba river may be that of missing 7-year-old girl See in context

Saya was filmed on several surveillance cameras going towards the second park. She was definitely not abducted from the nearby park her mother thought she was going to. She headed towards there on her kickboard, alone, as proven by surveillance footage. There are no witnesses who saw her in either park, but the weather forecast was poor, and most people stayed home that day. The Edo riverbanks are very near the park where the kickboard was found, and that's where her shoes were found. The area is overgrown and slippery, not a clean concrete bank. Most likely this was a sad accident, but she must have known which park her mum was going to meet her in, and according to her parents, she was afraid of the water and did not go near the river. If walking on the riverbank, why would she take her shoes off? Kids don't tend to sit on wet riverbanks with their feet in the water. It is a bit strange.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Toy firm allegedly bribed ex-Tokyo Olympics executive See in context

This is the tip of an enormous iceberg. Mr. Ishihara himself was never made to account for the money that disappeared in the bidding process, despite telling the public that every yen would be accounted for. How many brown envelopes stuffed with cash would have surrounded the event itself? I wonder why they are only gunning for Mr. Takahashi. He must have upset the wrong people.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: 60% of people with foreign roots questioned by Japanese police: survey See in context

Long ago, I went to an izakaya with a bunch of guys from Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The police were waiting outside for us to leave. Apparently, a worried Japanese person had told the police there were non-Japanese having a beer, which was suspicious of course, and required investigation. It took around 10 minutes of shining torches and checking cards to confirm we were all legal. The crazy thing was that they didn't bother to card me. They just carded the ones who looked Asian. They just assumed the white guy was a legal English teacher and would have a proper visa. That was a real eye opener. White foreigners here should not think this doesn't happen. It happens all the time, but mainly to those with African, Asian and South American backgrounds.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Man arrested over murder of Osaka karaoke parlor owner asks for death penalty See in context

You don't necessarily wait decades for the death penalty in Japan anymore. The process is not as slow as it used to be. Mamoru Takuma committed his crimes in Osaka on June 8, 2001. He was executed on September 14, 2004, as he waived all rights to appeal. If someone fights the death penalty, the process takes a long time, and the whole process can be more expensive than life imprisonment due to the legal costs involved. Agree with others that this man should get life without parole.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Rate of young Japanese people who want to get married someday drops to lowest ever in survey See in context

Education costs are another factor. Years of paying for juku, then paying for HS, then paying for college. This is crippling for families and is the main reason why me and my neighbors won't be having more children. Most families can only really afford the education costs for one kid these days, and it's not going to get any easier.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Russia to hold joint war games with China in Far East, Sea of Japan See in context

Yeah, and the US, Canadian and British militaries are planning huge joint exercises again. All countries do this with their allies. Unfortunately the British flagship carrier broke down before making it to the Atlantic, but we were willing. As a Brit, looking at the current state of our armed forces and economy, I'll hold off on any jibes at Russia and China.


4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese government worried young adults aren’t drinking enough alcohol See in context

I would drink more if it was easier to go to bars that served decent beer. All too often the only choice for a beer drinker is between a few samey lagers. Many izakaya only stock one beer or one brand. You can have it nama or bottled. Sometimes you get a choice of 2 bottled beers, by the same company, that taste identical. Or you can go to the Hub, and you can find a Guinness and a Hub Ale, alongside the Kirin nama. In some cities the choices are better, but the prices are painful, especially for younger people. The Japanese government wants us all to spend money on a very highly taxed (Japanese) product in a heavily protected market. No surprise there.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Injured motorcyclist returned to accident scene after hospital refuses to take him due to positive COVID test See in context

My nearest hospital, which is the biggest in the city, takes the temperature of anyone trying to enter, and refuses entry to anyone with a fever of 37 degrees or higher. So, basically, sick people are not allowed in. This has been the policy since the initial Covid outbreak. Nearly all hospitals and clinics are essentially private, and they can decide who they treat. The health system makes no sense, but neither does the education system, the tax system or the pension system.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan executes prisoner who killed 7 in Tokyo street rampage See in context

I don't support capital punishment and favor life in prison with no possibility of parole for murder. Too many mistakes are made as we all know, and posthumous pardons don't really cut it. Multiple U.S. states scrapped the death penalty because legal costs made its use too expensive. Life in prison is much cheaper, and is a more severe punishment in many ways. It also allows for release and compensation if an error is made.



I have no sympathy for this guy of course. He is absolutely 100% guilty of a disgusting crime that ruined many lives. If the death penalty is to be used, it should be reserved for cases like this one, where there is absolutely no possibility at all of an error having been made.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Before fatal shooting, Abe was up close with the crowd See in context

John Coffey, a lot of people (like me) did not like Abe much, or appreciate his politics, but also do not understand why people bother to downvote e.g. a clear message of condolence, like the one from Jan at 07:24. I hope I don't know any of them. This was a disgusting, cowardly act, and an affront to democracy and free speech. Abe Shinzo's wife, family and friends will be hurting terribly, some every day for the rest of their lives. Why would anyone downvote a message of sympathy?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Court rules in favor of French man's wife over child custody rights See in context

He has no access to his kids because the Japanese government has refused to modernize the law and allow joint custody, which is now an international obligation. Why do other countries allow Japan to get away with this?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Posted in: Japanese convenience store switches from plastic spoons to edible spoons for ice cream See in context

Ministop's vanilla soft cream is seriously good stuff. I like the idea of the edible spoon too. Good on them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Johnson resigns, but will remain British PM until new leader chosen See in context

I am hoping the new PM will hold a snap election to get a real mandate, but if not, there won't be an election until January 2025. We may have quite a wait before we get a chance to clear out the current Tory rabble. Happy to see the back of Boris, but slightly concerned about who might replace him.


4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Johnson resigns, but will remain British PM until new leader chosen See in context

Boris was only in power because the unions that control the Labour Party threw up the Hamas-loving, extreme left-wing Jeremy Corbyn to take him on and the conservative party had no talent at all. Boris was less popular in 2019 than Theresa May in 2017, and she has been repeatedly voted the worst PM of the UK ever. Starmer seems normal for a Sir, but Frankie Boyle said he reminded him of someone playing the part of a Prime minister in an old Spice Girls video. Perhaps Sir will get jolly batey at least. Some of the conservative names out there are worrying. Patel, Truss, rees-Mogg, Shapps, Zahawi, Gove. The cupboard truly is bare, and thus we had Boris.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: 1 in 4 singles in 30s not willing to marry: Japan gov't survey See in context

I hope this is generational, but David Brent is mainly right. Many women here expect men to pay for them to basically do nothing. My wife has never worked in more than 20 years, despite our frequent financial struggles, and she never would. Her only hobby is reading twitter, which she does all day every day, while I work myself into an early grave paying the ludicrous costs of Japanese private education. My teenage kids have seen this all their lives. One swears he will never marry, and the other will only marry a girl who wants a career. I have a long wait before I meet my grand children.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's frugal households offer no respite for BOJ, retailers See in context

Oh dear. The news now simple announces that we have had 4 years of recovery due to Abe and his ridiculous Abenomics nonsense, despite all evidence to the contrary.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 Chinese women sought over vandalism at Meiji Shrine See in context

Ossan, I reckon if they vandalized something Japanese in China, they'd probably be okay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: FEATURE: Falling childbirth rate changing Japan's cram school business See in context

Actually, it's even worse for parents that most here think. Where I live, you are viewed as a bad parent if you don't waste your money on juku. There is a horrific social pressure on parents to conform to the system, as to do otherwise is seen as disadvantaging your children. I have two kids here, one at JHS, the other at elementary school, and both are doing fine without any money at all having been spent on juku. We have to add in a little at home for what the state schools leave out, but it's not difficult to do. Juku should be abolished, and state schools should teach real curriculum, but there are too many vested interests, and the system is not going to change anytime soon. The exam system is designed to force everyone to go to juku unfortunately. The education system here is a big club that you are supposed to be a member of, and the more you pay, the better the returns are supposed to be.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. told Japan before Trump-Xi talks of option to strike N Korea See in context

Yubaru, have you never heard of sarcasm:

Since there's never been a war on the Korean peninsular, we have no way to know what could go wrong!

Wow....why do people make comments on a topic they know nothing about?

The next line even mentions the Korean war of 50-53. Perhaps you're not a native speaker. Never mind...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. told Japan before Trump-Xi talks of option to strike N Korea See in context

Wow, surgical strikes on North Korea, which (for those who haven't noticed) borders South Korea. Since there's never been a war on the Korean peninsular, we have no way to know what could go wrong! The US couldn't beat North Korea in 195--53. Then it was the Chinese army (still a peasant nation) that beat them. Then in the 60's they tried Vietnam. That didn't work out. On to Iraq and Afghanistan. Oops, two more massive failures, and a series of others. And none of them were even military powers. North Korea is a military power with a huge army just waiting to swarm all over the South Koreans. They have lots of rockets and bombs to destroy South Korea with. They can also hit any number of other countries, including the whole of Japan, and obviously Okinawa and the US troops there. I'd love to see NK dealt with, but regime change probably needs to come from within. Striking Pyongyang unilaterally could have consequences too terrible to contemplate. Mind you, if that's the idea, do it now. They're only going to get more powerful.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Video of passenger getting dragged off flight in Chicago sparks uproar See in context

Well, bumping at check-in is appalling, and is morally reprehensible. Deciding to remove passengers after boarding is absolutely repellent. The flight was full, but it was not overbooked until the company decided to load four more people (its own employees) after boarding. That's insane, and should not be allowed. I object to bumping, but at least at check-in there may be other options. No airline should be able to evict passengers after boarding. That's unacceptable, should be illegal, and I hope this man sues them for a fortune and forces new laws into place that prevent this from ever happening again.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Posted in: Toshiba execs under fire at shareholder meeting as loss forecast balloons See in context

The age range of Toshiba's executives is 62-79. The investors quoted in the article are in their seventies. The company has a long history of fibbing about its figures, which is rife in Japan. Dishonesty is a standard practice. Their products were once superb, and are now basically trash. The traditional markets no longer exist for company's like Toshiba, and the old men at the top are fossils in an industry that needs to be dynamic and at the cutting edge. Sad in a way, but so many established firms are set up like this one, and will eventually run into the same difficulties.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What advice would you give to a man wrongly accused of groping by a woman on a crowded train? What should he do? For example, recently, some accused gropers have jumped onto the tracks to escape. See in context

As a foreigner here, I would laugh off her accusation, look shocked, tell her I am not attracted to Asian women, tell her I am happily married with a wife and kids and from a country where people simply don't grope. I would tell her she's made a mistake, tell her obviously it wasn't me etc. I would never insult her, accuse her of lying, or do anything that might get her back up even more. Just tell her she's made a huge mistake, and walk away, anata wa kowai-so kedo machigaimashita. If anyone else tries to touch you, tell them that touching you is dangerous because you will defend yourself from attack. Then walk. Once arrested, you are screwed. It doesn't matter you're a foreigner or not when it comes to groping. If the police show up, and you're still being accused, you will end up either signing away half your life savings, or spending three weeks in the slammer being forced to confess. Extract yourself from the situation immediately if you can, and keep walking.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Posted in: Why can't Japanese teachers of English ... speak English? See in context

Well, it's mainly because they didn't need to speak English to pass English tests. The system is based on passing old-fashioned tests, having rote-learned complex and often antiquated grammatical structures for those tests, instead of learning to "communicate" in simple, modern English. Many Northern Europeans appear fluent, but they often have a limited range, and don't even attempt passives or other complicated grammatical structures. They communicate using relatively simple language, which is easily enough for daily interaction. Non-Japanese arrivals here do the same thing with Japanese because we need to communicate, not read 19th century Japanese prose.

The Japanese system does not teach English as a language of international communication, neither does it test English in this way. Until this aspect of language teaching changes, the Japanese will remain weak when it comes to communicating in basic English. Banning TOEIC here would be a start, but other exams need to change in order for English to become more widely spoken.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Toshiba crisis shines light on Japan's corporate culture See in context

Those involved in cover-ups also know that if they get restructured they will probably never get another job at anywhere near the same level of earnings, and have fake bonuses that depend on company profits. They are protecting their own jobs and incomes every bit as much as they are protecting their companies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Accused groper on train escapes by jumping onto tracks See in context

goldorak, wish that were true, but it isn't. Doesn't matter you're foreign or not either. Some of these women are in gangs, and they have their little friends to back up their accusations, all on the pay role of course. Falsely accused Japanese men can end up spending months in prison if they won't "confess". They lose their wives, jobs, homes, the lot. Some of them commit suicide due to such allegations. The man has no chance to win unfortunately. All men here are fully aware of what can happen if accused of groping, falsely or otherwise.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan says no barriers to auto imports after U.S. fires trade salvo See in context

US cars are not monstrously too big in the UK, neither are they left-hand drive in the UK. The US makes very good cars now, that are perfect for the English countryside, and also absolutely suited to Japanese roads. If you've never seen them, you won't know them, but they are manufactured and sold in "right-hand drive UK", and they are every bit as good as the European and Japanese equivalents.



I'm a Brit, with no reason to support US cars, except that they are very good in the UK, and this "way too big for Japan" line is a decade out of date. The US manufacturers have fair access to the UK market, not the Japanese one. That's the difference. I've driven a Toyota Auris and a Ford Focus in the last few months in the UK, both right-hand drive, and I can't choose between them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan says no barriers to auto imports after U.S. fires trade salvo See in context

Yeah, but if you're from a smaller country like the UK, you get American cars designed for UK roads and conditions, and they compete and sell. This huge American gas-guzzling SUV imagery is a deliberate Japanese red herring. US cars that sell well in e.g. UK, like the new Ford Focus, should have similar market access in Japan. But they don't. The real reason why they don't is that Japanese consumers believe in the superiority of their own products unless something has brand/fashion value, plus collusion here stops free competition, which skews prices. So you see quite a few high-end Mercedes, but you never see Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat etc., and you seldom see Ford or GM.

Food is indeed the biggie. The Japanese are nowhere near self-sufficient, import taxes are sky high, and protectionism is rife. It is impossible to re-educate the Japanese into believing US cars are great, but the Japanese will eat more US and European food. The US should challenge this area more.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

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