hampton comments

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 )

Posted in: Death penalty commuted to life for man who fatally stabbed 2 people on Osaka street See in context

Good decision. Some murders here only happen because the perpetrator hopes for a death sentence. Life in prison is often cheaper than execution due to legal procedures and costs, and I agree with Disillusioned that life here without parole is a harsher sentence. Since this guy hoped for death, it's better to give him life, and this may even discourage others like him from committing similar crimes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Smokers face tighter rules as Tokyo eyes smoke-free Olympics See in context

Fear not, at the last moment the glorious leader himself will urge smokers to refrain from the habit a bit for the two weeks or so of the Olympics. He might even vow to do this before urging.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: China-backed trade pact gains momentum as Trump threatens to ditch TPP See in context

I personally dislike Donald Trump, but he offered a free trade deal to the UK, and will do to others. It's the unfair trade that costs US jobs that he will stand up against. Why should the US allow other countries to ravage US markets when the US has only limited access to those same protectionist markets? Check how many non-Japanese car factories exist in Japan, and check the latest rice and dairy tariffs here. Check China's overall protectionist stance on trade and its deliberate, long-term, excessive currency manipulation. Any trade agreement involving Japan and China will be even more laughable than the final version of TPP was. Any trade deal led by China will end up suiting China. Other Asian countries should back away from this, Japan included.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan seeks way out of Trump's bad books on trade See in context

Right, a long Excel sheet; how uniquely Japanese.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: City tags dementia sufferers with barcodes See in context

They could easily be tagged with a wrist band and located using GPS. No need for barcodes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukushima costs to double to Y21.5 tril: government See in context

The Japanese aren't great at estimating are they? They don't have a lot of accuracy estimating economic growth, Olympics, tax takes, Fukushima clean-up bills etc. Given that tens of thousands of them sitting around in bureaucracies all day every day estimating things, the accuracy rate is rather worrying. Couldn't they just fire all these estimators and save a fortune of our tax on unnecessary wages for their estimating task forces? The bills for the bureaucracy are the biggest waste of the lot, and that's saying something.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: The regulations will make our business operations impossible. Why does the government plan to impose restrictions that could lead to the closing of small shops in local areas ahead of the Games? See in context

Patricia Yarrow, may i join you? I almost never go out anywhere because I don't want to choke on smoke.

Smoking is a filthy, smelly, disgusting, unhealthy addiction, that kills you and those around you and it's time smokers were stopped from inflicting this on everyone else. In Japan, around 15,000 deaths a year are linked to passive smoking. That is 15,000 people die young because selfish drug addicts deliberately poison them. How is there even a discussion? If 15,000 people were shot dean in Japan every year, there would be an outcry. But 15,000 people slowly poisoned to death every year, and if you object you're apparently selfish. Again, how is there even a discussion? Ban the product completely.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Court upholds deportation order for Thai teenager born and raised in Japan See in context

Most of the non-Japanese I know do not have health insurance or pension. Those with multiple jobs often never full income tax rates either. The system is ludicrous. Depending on which company you work for, you can be stung for full taxes, pensions that you can't receive because you can't pay in for 25 years, and Japan's crappy 70% health insurance, or you can avoid the lot. My best friend here earns a million yen a year more than I do, avoids paying income taxes and gets charged withholding taxes at lower rates, and also avoids national health and pension, instead paying 17,000 yen per month for full Interglobal cover. I pay well over double the taxes he does on a lower income than his. Fact is, Japan does not do fair or nice, as this kid is finding out. Japan is a country packed full of incomprehensible antiquated laws and ridiculous multi-tiered systems that screw over some and not others based on a bizarre set of existing bad laws they won't change. The fact is this kid is illegal because both his parents were illegal. The law says he has to leave, so this court returns that verdict. Personally I would let him stay and become a much-needed tax payer, but that's not the law unfortunately.The laws don't deal with common sense, not when it comes to salaries, tax rates, pensions, healthcare, and definitely not when it comes to immigration.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: My girlfriend told me, if this is all I make, we can’t get married, we can’t have children. Honestly, it was pretty shocking to think about. See in context

If she had said "we", it would make sense. Raising families is far more sensible with some financial security. If all she wants is for hubby to make lots of money while she avoids work and goes off to ikebana, tea ceremony and eikaiwa classes, dump her and find someone else.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says TPP would be 'meaningless' without U.S. See in context

Well, if the Japanese hadn't used the usual Japanese tactic of delaying the agreement for years on end until everyone else finally gave up and said okay to Japan's protectionist demands, the TPP would have been signed and sealed years ago while Obama had the power to do it. There is really nothing in the final TPP agreement for America. It would have meant more unfettered access to US markets at the cost of more US jobs, with nothing much offered in return from multi-layered protectionist countries like Japan. And it was all done to protect the aging Japanese farmers, because Abe relies on the wonky vote from rural Japan to repeatedly return his government. So having done all he could to prevaricate and remove as much free trade as possible from the agreement, Abe has made sure the agreement will never be signed. Trump has been elected on a ticket of protecting America's interests. This is his first act. I dislike him, but I completely agree with him about scuppering TPP. There is nothing in this for America.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Up to 40% of Japanese men can’t sleep because of work stress See in context

After the working day, most have long commutes spent staring at smart phones. Looking at screens late in the evening affects sleep, so it's probably not just work stress, it's probably night time routine mixed in with this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Which professions, other than politics, do you think have the biggest liars? See in context

Receptionists in eikaiwa schools must top the list.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Nov 11 - It's Pocky and Pretz Day See in context

Yeah, "On the 11th day, at the 11th hour, we will eat Pocky" just doesn't work.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Clinton, Trump warn of dire consequences if rival wins See in context

How did the democratic party manage to put forward the only candidate in America even capable of losing an election to a man like Donald Trump? They're both war mongers, and neither of them even remotely fit for the presidency.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan GDP shake-up knocking world's growth indicator See in context

Scrote, yep, this has Abe written all over it. When vowing, insisting and urging fails, it's time to re-interpret or just make stuff up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: IOC, Koike to set up 4-party review panel on 2020 Olympic costs See in context

Hello Alfie,

Loved your stories from the north. Japan only has the Olympics because if their "estimate" of the cost, their "compact" bid, and the fact that their main rivals either had no money or were insecure due to Islamic insurgency. The IOC should have no ability at this stage to bully Japan into spending 29 billion dollars and rising on their 8 billion dollar Olympics.

Koike to J. Gov: "Let's split the fee..."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Post-Brexit, Britain may need 'Hotel California' model See in context

Voted remain myself but there was a strong economic argument for Brexit. Europe is in decline. Check youth unemployment in Greece and Spain and be afraid. Europe as a trading block has the lowest growth of all similar blocks. Many commonwealth nations are on the up. The world's 3 biggest economies are not European and the UK can now have closer relations with other powers. Britain can easily forge strong relationships with up-and-coming economies too, whilst still maintaining links with Europe. I support the EU, but even I can see that membership of the EU has not protected us from e.g. Chinese steel imports. The destruction of Welsh industries by e.g. China led to Wales voting leave. Where was the EU support? Where was the power in being part of the EU? Where was the safety in numbers? Where were the barriers against a nation like China dumping all over European interests?

I am sure plenty of racists voted for Brexit, but most did not vote leave out of racism. Anyway, Britain will not really leave the EU in our lifetimes. There will be an amicable separation of sorts in a few years from now, but no divorce. Don't forget that over 48% of us supported remain. The country is quite evenly divided on this issue still and there will be compromise once the dust settles. I hate Theresa May, but I believe she will be able to negotiate the amicable separation that both UK and Europe need for a more prosperous future.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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