Japan Today

Harboe comments

Posted in: Volkswagen Japan exec arrested for alleged stimulant drug use See in context

When I came back from holiday in Hawaii, I had bought 6 tubes of Colgate toothpaste. US Customs opened and squeezed every single one of them! The price of security...

From the UK, never had a problem.

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Posted in: Sailor missing for a week on U.S. warship found alive onboard See in context

I hope the sailor is okay.

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Posted in: Pikachu and Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt co-star in new Pokemon ads See in context

I wonder if Bolt feels a touch of "mespirit" when he runs in the relay team.

(Pokemon: An Alternative Dictionary)

Mespirit The confidence and motivation that comes from knowing you are the star of the team and effectively carrying everyone else.


The Pokémon characters have some really wierd names. They sound like they could have original meanings in their own right.

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Posted in: Private detective agency to keep eye on senile seniors See in context

"It plans to charge 32,000 yen and up for a 3-hour course and 108,000 yen and up for an 8-hour session"

for these prices, you could surely hire someone to spend regular quality time with them as a helper/social worker. A daily visit, help them go shopping, talk to them, make them a cup of tea, make sure they eat at least one good meal in the day, build up a relationship.

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Posted in: 'Japan: Guilty Until Proven Innocent' documentary shines light on controversial legal system See in context

The Al Jazeera video suggests they had a 18 million yen insurance policy on her daughter's life. Do you know anyone who has an insurance policy that big on their kid's lives? What are you insuring for? I'm not saying she is 100℅ guilty, but I can understand why police might think there is a strong likelihood she is.

Here's one for the foreign men married to Japanese women. How many of you have life insurance on your life but not on theirs? Personally, I would want to make sure they are okay if I died, but I wouldn't want to "gain" anything from my wife's death. My life would be pretty much over anyway,i think.

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Posted in: Japanese companies go on spending spree abroad See in context

Would it be possible for a country to tell all its citizens for one year to invest their money in foreign currency based indexes, then the following year devalue the country's currency as much as possible, the suddenly everyone would be richer with foreign dividends or capital gains being paid at a better conversion rate. In fact, that is what happened with the weakening yen, suddenly anyone with dollar based shares gained a third or so on their portfolio, just because of the yen weakiening. I hope they do that again, just before i retire, and boost my portfolio by 30% or so. I think most of the politicians are at retirement age in Japan anyway,I'm sure they made a nice tidy increase on their non-yen based retirement funds. In fact, they should do that with the national pension funds, just by a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund with the pension funds, then devalue the currency b 50% or so and live off that. Then we can get by with 40% of the population being retired in 2060.

i'm sure there is something wrong with my simplistic idea, but sounds plausable to me.

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Posted in: Japan asks U.S. publisher to change 'sex slave' reference in textbook See in context

this sums it up well for me

"While the approach is popular among core right-wing supporters in Japan, it does not have broad appeal among a Japanese public that largely feels disconnected from events more than seven decades ago."

The government should stop wasting any more time, money or diplomatic currency on this issue and focus on other matters.

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Posted in: Osaka man wipes away millions in owed taxes by deducting losing horse race tickets See in context

reply to Fadamor:

Yes, i think it does raise that problem of where to draw the line between casual or habitual gambler and one doing it according to some system. I mean, many people can claim they are following a system when they gamble. In this case, I think the horseracing gambler could prove that he was placing the exact same kind of bet each time (ie following his system) with betting logs as proof, as opposed to in a casino where there will be no print out of your betting pattern over a year. So in that way it would be almost impossible to make that claim for profits versus losses.

I wonder what the law is if you win 5,000 dollars in Las Vegas and you are resident in Japan (given that a resident is taxed on global income regardless of where it is made). Are you supposed to declare that? In addition, if you "won" 10,000 one night, but "lost" 5,000 another night, would the Japanese tax authorities expect you to pay 20%-40% on the 10,000 or would they view it as "one continous action to make a profit" and just want tax from the 5,000 profit? I imagine that practically nobody would declare this, but is it technically tax avoidance?

General question:

On another note,is it illegal to gamble on internet web sites that are based in other countries (and that you had signed up for and used before moving to Japan), even if you are accessing it from a Japanese IP adress?

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Posted in: Osaka man wipes away millions in owed taxes by deducting losing horse race tickets See in context

I don't know about the lottery in the UK, but with bookmakers in the UK, I think the bookmaker itself has to pay a special gambling levy, while the customers/punters don't pay tax on their winnings.

With the internet, people have been able to follow gambling "systems" more easily, which involve them making large numbers of bets over a long periood of time, hoping to get a profit margin of even just 5-10% or so in a year over all. I'm glad the judge was able to see logic in this case and allow him to deduct his losses, otherwise it would have been completely unfair.

What suprises me more is the fact he is paying 43% of his winning in tax? (67m tax on 155m profit) Sounds a bit steep. There goes my dreams of finding "the system" and still living in Japan.

p.s./e.g. Backing manchester united at home and not to win away on every league game this season with the same bet amount will porbably get you 5-10% profit over the year.

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