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harkins comments

Posted in: China bans all Japanese seafood imports after Fukushima water release See in context

China complaining about any type of pollution is hilarious. If this was in China, they simply wouldn't have told anyone they were dumping it. In fact, they'd probably have denied there was ever a nuclear accident in the first place.

And their dodgy fishing fleets will still trawl the waters and sell it to their public.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan aims to revive inbound tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2025 See in context

And from what I understand, it will continue for a very long time as I’m told that even though the government say you don’t need to wear one outdoors, nobody (Japanese) is prepared to be the first to take theirs off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan aims to revive inbound tourism to pre-pandemic levels by 2025 See in context

I’m here for four weeks with my wife and child to visit the family.

From the perspective of a tourist from the UK, I’m simply fed up with the mask wearing. It’s driving me potty wearing one alone in the middle of nowhere. Every time I take it off, which I’m allowed to do, a Japanese appears from nowhere and glares at me. I’ve seen people wearing them in the most ridiculous situations. A couple with a baby in a pram, playing badminton in a quiet park, at least fifty yards from anyone, on a hot sunny day.

It might not put people off coming at the moment, but I doubt it will help people go back home and sell a trip to Japan to friends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Message for Mars fans See in context

Is Japan ever going to move on and join the rest of the world again?

My wife’s family were fully masked for the school sports day, outdoors. It makes me feel quite sad to see it.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: 72% of survey respondents say border controls reason for not visiting Japan See in context


If you are entering the country with a visa application based on the family of your wife, and your wife does not need a visa being Japanese and the child probably too. You can travel anywhere you wish and will not be stopped or detained.

No one is being stopped and detained.

Come and enjoy your Japanese family and the country.

Thanks, that sounds encouraging.

Lol where'd you get these silly ideas?


Will you as a European be allowed to go anywhere alone? Hahahaha

Well, as tourists are only allowed in on North Korean style guided tours, I figured that despite it being a family visit, to all intent and purpose I would look a lot like a tourist when alone and sightseeing and brandishing a camera. I just suspected that I might be regularly questioned by travel staff and security personnel. In the past I have enjoyed travelling around the country sightseeing whilst my wife is catching up with school and uni friends. And as so few people are visiting Japan now, it has been difficult to get tales of others experiences.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 72% of survey respondents say border controls reason for not visiting Japan See in context

When I come to Japan with my Japanese wife and our child to visit her family, will I as a European be allowed to go anywhere alone or will I be stopped, questioned and even detained for being on the loose? Will I need to stay by my wife’s side for the whole trip?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Cartoon dog pitches COVID vaccines to skeptical Japanese public See in context

It amuses me how for the last year I kept reading how COVID isn’t serious and those millions who have died would have anyway because they’re old and/or have underlying health conditions. Now suddenly the same people have immediately and directly attributed the deaths of elderly people to the vaccine.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Becky loses sponsors, regular TV appearances over affair scandal See in context

While the blame game goes on and people question whether Becky new he was married or not; I'm amazed he managed to spend new year with her at his parents and that they were also oblivious to his marriage. If even they were being decieved, what must his wife be like "yes I'll marry you and I don't mind if you don't tell your parents and we spend new year apart". The whole thing is frankly bizarre and I struggle to feel sympathy for anyone involved.

I rather like her though so if she needs an insincere shoulder to cry on....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: High radiation readings found at Fukushima tanks See in context

I wonder why some nations are currently itching to get involved in a sovereign nation's business and chuck millions of pounds worth of ordinance at them yet those same nations seem to have no interest what so ever in intervening in probably the worst environmental disaster ever to occur? I can't help feel that the damage being done to the the earth, particularly the sea is as big a tragedy as the deaths happening in an ongoing civil war.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Corinthians beats Chelsea 1-0 in Club World Cup final See in context

Correction, not a soccer fan, a Yank.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Corinthians beats Chelsea 1-0 in Club World Cup final See in context

And Manchester United get mentioned by a 'soccer fan'. Oh well, nothing worth reading about football around here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Corinthians beats Chelsea 1-0 in Club World Cup final See in context

I'll just say that I think that Chelsea won the European Cup on more than dumb luck.

Chelsea have got all sorts of problems at the club right now and were disadvantaged in this tournament by several factors.

Fair play to Corinthians though. They were well organised and hell bent on winning the competition. And their fans could show all European clubs fans a lot about fanatical support."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Thousands of Chinese protesters besiege Japanese embassy See in context

If it wasn't for the presence of the US in the pacific I am sure the Chinese would today be crashing around east Asia in a way that would make the Japanese in the 30's and 40's look like they were organising a birthday party.

However, going off the numerous other recent crisis in the region, it will all blow over and be forgotten about again soon enough. The North Koreans have brought the region to the brink of war countless times in the last couple of years by sinking ships and shelling islands and launching ICBM tests but nothing ever happens because they all know it ain't worth it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Kagawa says back injury is not serious See in context

Japan should get used to him suffering mysterious injuries every time international fixtures are due. United and Ferguson in particular have never been very co-operative with national sides. Ryan Giggs rarely ever appeared for Wales, especially if they were friendly fixtures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Successful appeal See in context

Tough on Ukraine but the correct result. Even here in the UK there were no complaints as the BBC commentators agreed with the decision, despite us dropping a place to bronze. Crazy end for the Japanese team though. It was more like a buckin bronco than a pommel horse. But in fairness the crowd was going nuts as the Brits were performing brilliantly on the floor while the Japanese were trying to concentrate on the horse.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 12 killed, 59 wounded at shooting during 'Dark Knight Rises' premiere at Denver cinema See in context

All the gun controls imaginable won't prevent these incidents from happening but they would surely reduce the chances to some degree, and anything is better than nothing.

What I'm curious about though, as someone not in America, is why with this fondness for people being able to have guns to defend themselves didn't anyone in or around the theatre shoot back? I have somehow, mistakenly it seems, got the impression that yanks are all armed to the teeth because Charlton Heston thinks it's for the best.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Giri-choco See in context

Even with giri-choco Valentines day seems to have more substance to it than it does here in the UK. It was reported this week that a supermarket was selling valentine cards for 7 pence each (about 10 yen I think). How romantic!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 12 reasons to visit Japan in 2012 See in context

Japan is clearly a terribly dull overcrowded place with little or nothing of any interest to anyone. Lord knows why anyone would want to visit Japan or even more incredibly, actually live there!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Radiation found in rice from Fukushima Pref; more tests planned See in context

You do wonder just when it will dawn on the government that a big fence needs putting up around a large area surrouding this plant and maybe some other isolated spots and that everything within it is given up as gone. It's tragic but there is no other way. A part of Japan is gone, for as long as anyone can imagine.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Radioactive decontamination task force launched in Fukushima See in context

In fairness, I would imagine they would have to have waited some time until it was felt that the radiation being emitted had reached a state where a clean up wouldn't have been completely pointless. And of course that the situation was deemed sufficiently stable that there won't be a sudden event that re-contaminates everything they had cleaned overnight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Belgian soccer match halted after Fukushima taunts See in context


It seems you are still missing the point of context. And shouting New York does not immediately put anyone on mind of 9/11. Maybe shouting Twin Towers might though.

I think that we can agree that taunting opponent’s players is part and parcel of many team sports. Taunting players for mistakes in play, a lack physical fitness or having being caught using prostitutes are quite normal and accepted as the kind of things you just have to deal with. Even the recent taunting of a Korean player about eating dogs is not worth the fuss it caused. But I can only see that referring to an ongoing nuclear disaster that is affecting thousands of innocent people is slightly overstepping the mark here.

Let’s say if your friends or family were killed or injured in a freak yachting accident and I shouted at you ship ahoy!! whilst you were trying to play pool. Would you just think, I was merely referring to sailing generally, which is fine or would you suspect I was laughing at the fact you been affected by a disaster and tell me to shut up or worse?

I expect that we will not agree on this but I guess it doesn’t really matter to either of us anyway. Cheers for the debate all the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Belgian soccer match halted after Fukushima taunts See in context

Spidapig. That was 'nasty or bad' because why on earth would 200 people in Belgium be shouting at an opposing team's goalkeeper the name of a prefecture/city in Japan that they quite likely had not heard of before March this year?

In Europe and likely across much of the world, Fukushima is the word used to refer to the wrecked nuclear power station. I assuume you are acting dumb as a wind up as I can't really believe that it needed explaining.

Just in case, try looking up 'context' in a dictionary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Belgian soccer match halted after Fukushima taunts See in context

As a regular at football matches throughout Europe, I can say that despite the perceptions of many non European football fans, this kind of chanting is both rare and very much frowned upon by the vast majority of supporters, irrespective of their social backgrounds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the decision by Malaysian Airlines to ban babies from its first-class cabins because of complaints from other passengers that they had paid big money for first-class seats but cou See in context

Sounds good to me. Parents are always getting high and mighty about their right to spoil everyone elses experience because they are so wonderful for having children in tow.

Having said that, by agreeing to this move I am just accepting a greater number of babies crying throughout a 12 hour flight back in economy. But maybe the upper classes babies cry in a nicer way.

To the palace fan. I like how you stated that a father will have to travel alone in business class while the mother and children sit in economy. That sounds like a wonderful father. "I'm not giving up on my froie gras and reclining seat to sit with my wife and offspring". Superb!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Thaksin's sister seeks unity after winning election in Thailand See in context

I don't know much about Thai politics but she is certainly the prettiest national leader I've ever seen. Looks like a very lovely lady.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Columbo' star Peter Falk dead at 83 See in context

Ivan, it was written Frank Columbo on his warrent card that is seen in a few odd episodes. But despite that, it was never actually said and I think that the intention was that it should not be known.

RIP Mr Falk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ishihara adamant on manga censorship ordinance See in context

I wonder how old the model in the picture is. She looks anywhere between 13 and 33 to me. And in turn, I wonder if that while most people can clearly see that a cartoon character is meant to be a child, will the artists and publishers not get around some of this by claiming the characters are adults who just happen to look young?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Comparing Japan and Chernobyl See in context

Klein2. I have no intention of raising fear nor do I think my doubt ridden thoughts above have the potential to raise any fears – especially buried in this forum.

And yes you are correct. I didn’t know if it was true but some reporting has suggested that TEPCO hoped to salvage the reactors and I merely brought it up in a discussion. I am glad that you are so certain that they did not compromise people’s safety to save their assets. It’s good to know.

And finally, I am not panic mongering and I certainly don’t think any of this is funny in the least. I have family in Japan and I love the place and all I hope for is as swift and clean an outcome as is possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Comparing Japan and Chernobyl See in context

If comparing or contrasting the two events I would say that one of the key differences was the immediate response of the authorities. In the Chernobyl case it seems that the Soviets sent men to almost certain death to try and contain the situation as quickly as possible.

Whereas in Japan (and I admit that this is only my personal take) the authorities seem to have spent the initial period at least trying to salvage the reactors for continued use.

Perhaps I’m very wrong but I am sure the Soviet mind set was snuff it out fast and try not let the west know. And the Japanese mind set was these are expensive, we must try not to write them off.

Like I say, this is just the impression I get and I’m not saying that the Japanese should have sacrificed men either, just that they may have been able to do something had they accepted that the reactors would be lost from the offset.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Deal me in See in context

It's entirely right that a lot of attention is given to these poor children but it is amazing just how resilient children are. I've seen many pictures of smiling children and I imagine that the kids are likely coping a lot better than many of the adults. Having said that, I have seen some very sad pictures of clearly distressed older children at graduation ceremonies. My heart goes out to all of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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