hampton comments

Posted in: Gov't considers lifting anti-COVID recommendation to wear masks indoors See in context

It seems sensible to mask up when social distancing is impossible, like on packed trains and in crowded supermarkets. Other than that, people do it because it has become a social norm and because the masks help keep the face warm outdoors and hide a lack of make-up. It doesn't matter what the government says, having 98% of people around us masked 24/7 is the new normal.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Prince Harry says UK royals got into bed with tabloid press 'devil' See in context

Harry is one of the richest and most-entitled men on the planet. He is worth a fortune and has a life most of us could only ever dream of. Does he really think the average Brit, struggling to pay the bills, keep the heat on, and put food on the table, is really going to feel massive sympathy for him because his brother pushed him over and there were comments made about his wife that could be taken to be racist? Royal protocol means the palace won't respond to any of this and it will blow over soon enough. I wish Harry and Meghan well, but I think he should stop feeding the media and get on with enjoying his dream life in California. Wish I could.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Kishida urges wage growth to revive Japan's economy See in context

If he is pledging wage growth, how about he raise the minimum wage? No, thought not.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: China warns against Japan-Australia defense accord See in context

Well, the region wouldn't need military blocs were it not for the aggression of China.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Husband of former princess Mako passes New York bar exam on 3rd attempt See in context

Really good to hear he passed this difficult exam in his second language. Good on him.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Liz Truss quits after six chaotic weeks as UK prime minister See in context

The sales tax is an interesting example, albeit a simple one. Cutting it can increase consumption and increase the total tax yield. Raising it can dampen consumption and lower the yield. Yep, we know. Regarding the 45p of income tax against 40p, actually, whether or not this could have increased the tax yield is irrelevant at the moment in the UK. People have faced 12 years of austerity from Conservative governments. Many people cannot afford to heat their homes. Working people with multiple jobs struggle to feed their families and are forced to use food banks. Public services are a shambles. Every public service has been cut and the poorer in the society have borne the brunt. This is the result of 12 years of Tory policy, although, to be fair, it has been aggravated by Covid, Brexit and the war in Ukraine. A new PM who comes in and instantly gives a tax cut to the wealthy is clearly out of touch with reality. That Liz decided to try and do this in her mini budget with Kwasi showed that she has no idea what is happening in her country and proved her to be unfit for leadership. We need a general election and a new government (from Labour) with a proper mandate and fresh ideas. But the Tories are so unpopular now that they will try and hang on until January 2025 with a new leader. Dear oh dear.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Liz Truss quits after six chaotic weeks as UK prime minister See in context

One of the many negative effects of Brexit is an estimated annual loss of 4% of GNP for the UK. That is about 100 billion pounds annually, of which almost 40% would have been tax take. Jeremy Hunt, our wonderful Finance Minister, is scrambling around looking for 40 billion pounds or so to balance the books. I wonder where that money could have come from then! Liz Hunt, who managed to be a worse PM than Theresa May, is the only person I have heard of in the UK who has looked at the "benefits" of Brexit over the last few years and changed from an ardent remainer to a passionate leaver. What evidence of Brexit success caused that U-turn? We now know she U-turns on everything because she is always proved wrong at lightning speed. "Dear, oh dear" was certainly one way of putting it. Thanks to King Charles for that summary of Liz and her policies. She should never have been anywhere near the running for the job of PM.

The Conservatives can hold off on an election until January 2025. If they called one now, they would get virtually wiped out, so an election anytime soon is unlikely. We could have more than two years of this Tory shambles before we get a chance to vote them out. There will be untold problems this winter when millions will struggle to heat their homes and feed their families. That could create the pressure for an early election, although Penny Mordaunt or Rishi Sunak will be a lot more competent than Liz Truss. What a mess and what misery for so many.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Slain teen parents hope U.S. gun control fight will continue, 30 years on See in context

A little more research shows that around 60% of daily gun deaths are suicide by gun. But there are around 42 homicides each day on average. There was absolutely no reason to shoot this kid, or even confront him. I am so glad my family and I don't live there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Slain teen parents hope U.S. gun control fight will continue, 30 years on See in context

Americans have a right to own guns, but this doesn't mean they should have a right to gun down children going to parties. Hattori was dressed as John Travolta, wearing a white tuxedo. No one on earth robs a house wearing a white tux after ringing the doorbell. Peairs went back into his house after shooting a 16-year-old child. After realizing he had made a mistake, he did not even call an ambulance. Hattori's friend had to go next door to a neighbor for help. The court cheered when Peairs was found not guilty of manslaughter, but he did not even need to step outside for a couple of kids in his yard. He decided to confront them, armed, and took a life, instead of calling the cops. That should be a crime. On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot dead in New York City. Since then, over 1.5 million Americans have been killed by guns. If you go there, be aware that 321 people get gunned down every day on average and 111 of them die. Mostly it is gang violence, but often times it is not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Kishida aims to cut utility bills with new economic package See in context

smithinjapan, yes, those sorts of policies are what we need. He might even introduce subsidies for new cars, which are obviously more fuel efficient than older cars, so we can have a bung for Nissan, Honda and Toyota.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Film explores innocent man's decades-long imprisonment See in context

One of my neighbors is a judge and has been for over 25 years. He told me he has never once found anyone to be not guilty. Apparently, the police are always right, and never make mistakes, so the judges don't have to judge, they only have to sentence. They are more severe on those who show no remorse, so if you didn't commit any crime to start with, and won't sign a forced confession, you are in the worst possible place when it comes to sentencing. That is basically the system. I understand fewer cases come to court and the prison population is comparatively low, but this cannot be right.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Body in Chiba river confirmed as that of missing 7-year-old girl See in context

Surveillance cameras show she went to the second park near the river alone on her kickboard, which was found in the Nagareyama park. She was clearly not abducted from the local park, but no one knows for sure what happened after those surveillance images. No one actually witnessed her in either park, but the weather forecast was poor that day, so maybe that is why. I think she had a sad accident, but not everyone thinks so because the area where her shoes were found was searched several times the day she went missing, and no one found socks and shoes there.

The full story with a Japanese news link and video is here.

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

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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)

2 ( +2 / -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 )

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