HBJ comments

Posted in: Japanese prosecutors hit back at Ghosn's '8 hours of questions' claim See in context

If only there was a lawyer in the room who could validate their claims.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe rebuffs opposition resignation call over contentious gov't event See in context

He doesn’t have to resign or take responsibility for any of his numerous scandals for the simple reason...nothing will happen.

Who’s he going to be held accountable by? The government ‘runs’ the mass media. The opposition party is basically nonexistent. Many other politicians are corrupt and have their own scandals.

The only way Abe gets held to account is by an upstart in his own party who wants to be PM himself AND is able to gain the support of X number of colleagues - and forces him out. That is very unlikely to happen the way everything is controlled.

So, he can basically do what he wants.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Sellers petition for antitrust probe over Rakuten free shipping See in context

If a seller disagrees with Rakuten's policy change then they have two choices - suck it up and work out what they need to do to continue making money via the Rakuten platform, or leave.

It's simple really, and countless businesses are faced with similar decisions every day - be it a supplier increasing prices, a competitor reducing prices etc. Businesses have to adjust to an ever changing world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Hostage justice?' Japan fights back with an internet FAQ See in context

Well, if nothing else, this proves the general ignorance of The Justice Ministry and Justice Minister Masako Mori.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Invisible computing' startup unveils smart contact lens See in context

I remember listening to a fascinating debate about the future, and how tech companies shouldn't develop any AI, or robots capable of 'overthrowing' the human race. One contributor, who's name escapes me, said:

'Nobody will invent 'a cyborg' per se, look around us, we are evolving into cyborgs. We have powerful machines on our wrists and in our pockets, in our organs and limbs - we are merging technology into our bodies already. At what point do we refer to ourselves as cyborgs?'

This is evolution of the human race.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for leaving father’s ashes in toilet at Tokyo Station See in context

Hishijima said he didn’t know what to do with the ashes, so he left them in the toilet at the subway station.

Hmmm, how could you possible dispose of a pot of ash? I mean even if the only possible solution you were able to come up with was 'leaving them in a public toilet at a train station', once in said public toilet would it never cross your mind to just flush them?

It baffles what goes through some people's minds sometimes. Bury the urn in the garden, take it to the beach, scatter the ashes in a river or forest, add them to a planter etc. Don't just leave them in a public toilet in Tokyo. Come on dude. Seriously?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese salaryman creates model of Shinjuku from paper See in context

I love stuff like this!

Incredible work - but he must get really frustrated every time a new construction project starts and he has to review his models!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Estranged Australian husband freed after trespassing to find his children See in context

As we keep seeing, the Japanese justice system is barbaric.

Ask yourself, what would you do if the government took away your kids?

58 ( +67 / -9 )

Posted in: I am aware that people have various concerns after the recent bribery scandal involving a Japanese lawmaker. Committee members will work hard to gain the public's understanding and earn its trust by establishing regulations and strict license screening. See in context

Heard the same words every single time. Corruption keeps on happening no matter how hard people 'work to gain the public's understanding and earn its trust by establishing...' blah blah blah.

If the Prime Minister can get away with it with his friends and associates, why would people a few steps down the ladder think they shouldn't be getting their share of the rotten apples.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Lawmaker in casino scandal indicted on bribery charge See in context

You know when managers and directors of companies are embroiled in scandal and the Chairman or President comes out and resigns to ‘take responsibility for the trouble caused’...why does this never happen with political scandals?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: World Rugby begins trials of new laws to reduce risk of injury See in context


I’m not sure I like the 50:22 kick rule. Surely this will reduce running rugby and increase the kicking game for field position. Why run for 50 meters when you can just kick to touch and then keep possession?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Aso apologizes for remarks about Japan's historical unity See in context

A load of nonesense that is factually incorrect. A number of contributors on here have pointed out the truth in a matter of hours - unfortunately he won’t be called out by the national media and his comments will just be left to linger in the air for the right wing (and most of the middle) to feast on.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Ghosn's Japan lawyer: Questioning averaged 7 hours a day See in context

Mori said the system follows appropriate procedures under Japanese law, stressing that every culture is different.

Yes, every culture is different. Unfortunately it seems like a large part of Japan’s is:

Overwork and inefficiency. Bullying and harassment in the workplace and unpaid overtime. Political corruption and control over state media. An over regulated press. ‘Hostage justice’ resulting in a 99% conviction rate. A justice system that presumes guilt rather than innocence - unless you are an elite such as an ex-government minister. No right for an accused person to have a lawyer present while being questioned. Very little care or support for mental illness. The general idea that women should still serve men, even in the workplace...in fact, a huge barrier still blocking the emancipation of women. A rising % of single people, NEETS, and Freeters. A falling birth rate.

All of this and more is skilfully hidden from the outside world by a rather thick veneer of quirkiness, kawaii mascots, (exploited) J-pop groups, an image of politeness (which is often just forced conformity, lathargy, or apathy), and the image of efficiency (which is a result of many things from the negative list).

Every place in the world has its own unique culture. I just wish sometimes that Japanese people would take the blinkers off and at least acknowledge everything isn’t perfect here - far from it.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: Ghosn denies wrongdoing; says his arrest in Japan a conspiracy See in context

@Belrick - They summed up the whole Japanese media industry - unable or unwilling to ask difficult probing questions, and approaching a subject from a predetermined viewpoint.

It really was embarrassing, especially juxtaposed to the dozens of internationally minded, multilingual journalists also in the room.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Ghosn denies wrongdoing; says his arrest in Japan a conspiracy See in context

I hope all the Japanese media outlets cover the facts as they continue to be presented and don’t decide to focus on appearances and emotions as I fear they will.

It would be too easy to paint Ghosn as someone who was rambling, with a quirky personality, an angry, unstable fugitive.

What I saw was a highly intelligent man, seemlessly conversing in 5 languages, presenting his side of the story - which he has thus far been prevented from doing.

Yes he absconded, and that is clearly wrong - but please Japanese media listen to the reasons he’s giving for feeling that was his only option.

Finally I have to make a comment about the Japanese journalist representing Tokyo TV. What a great summary of Japan’s international standing that the journalist sent to Lebanon on behalf of Tokyo TV to cover this huge news story could barely string an English sentence together. His question was embarrassing in its simplicity as well as its accuracy.

Hopefully this case will force many areas of Japan into the 21st century.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Posted in: Man hangs himself outside Shinjuku Station in Tokyo See in context

JT, thank you for adding the contact details at the end of the story. I hope this is a change in policy that continues. If it helps just one person it’s worth it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Renovated Shibuya subway station with M-shaped roof begins service See in context

"It's good that it has become convenient to make transfers for other lines. The roof is stylish and foreigners will also probably like it,"

Erm...OK. Let’s not put all foreigners in the same box, but yeah this one foreigner thinks it looks OK.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Liverpool sink Blades to make it a year unbeaten See in context

A stroll in the park.

A year unbeaten in this league is quite an achievement. Unbeaten at home for 51 games is immense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK's annual 'Kohaku' music show sees rating fall to record low See in context

They thought Takeshi Kitano and Kiss would be a ratings winner?!

Japanese TV continues it’s slow death.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese media blasts 'cowardly' Ghosn after escape See in context

The ‘national media’ is nothing but a mouthpiece of the government. It’s an embarrassment.

Any respectable media institution would be investigating the seemingly high levels of corruption in Japnese government and big business, and the ridiculous statistic that the criminal justice system has a 99% conviction rate.

Any media institution that doesn’t ask the difficult questions, or stays away from delicate issues for whatever reason is a complete waste of space.

I can completely understand why Ghosn has fled the country - and at the same time I can also understand that fleeing was wrong. Will any media institution be big enough to seriously investigate both sides of the story, or will they just continue to default to the government’s point of view?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Why housewives refuse to visit their in-laws during holidays See in context

This is what happens when you force people to do specific things at specific times instead of allowing relationships to build freely.

Is it any wonder that there’s pushback when, on one of the few extended holiday periods of the year, it is expected to have a specific plan year after year and behave in a specific way? (ie travel through gridlock for hours to visit people you may only ever see at this time, behave towards them in a formal way despite them being family, and contribute to the housework, cooking, and serving etc.)

Of course some people are fortunate to have ‘normal’ relationships with their in-laws, but for many - mostly women - I can completely understand their misery.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Seven-Eleven to end contract with franchisee who cut opening hours See in context

The shop manager can take days off if he staffs the shop while he's away. He either can't find staff, or he can't afford to hire staff. Either way, that's not a good sign.

He has requested to reduce operating hours, presumably for the same reasons as above, but he is contractually obliged to stay open.

Unfortunately it sounds to me like this is a simple case of a failing business. Just buying a 7-11 franchise doesn't guarantee success.

Maybe his shop could be a success if it operated from 7am to 11pm, but it seems as a franchisee he can't do that. Hopefully taking his struggles public will make other people thinking of buying 7-11 franchises think twice before doing so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Awareness is increasing that one gets expelled immediately for indecent behavior. See in context

Awareness is apparently not increasing that there seems to be a high number of sexual offenses among teachers in public schools, especially involving students. It may be a good idea to rethink the hiring processes, or consider why so many sex offenders seem to be slipping through the net.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Stealing money from online bank accounts surging in Japan See in context

In an ageing society it's inevitable that crimes involving new technology will not only increase, but will also have a high success rate.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Mass killings in U.S. hit new high in 2019; most were shootings See in context

"Best thing to do then is to buy a gun to protect yourself."

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

A bad guy goes to rob a convenience store and ends up shooting the cashier.

A good guy with a gun sees what happened and shoots the bad guy.

Another good guy with a gun runs into the shop and sees 2 people dead on the ground and a guy with a gun in his hand and shoots that guy.

Another good guy with a gun enters the shop...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: 60% of local gov'ts do not have 72 hours of emergency power supplies See in context

I don't know about power reserves but walking into our local city office is like walking into the 1970s.

Hopefully it's forgone licks of paint, grouting, replacement flooring, new desks and chairs, insulation, western style toilets etc in favour of bolstering the power reserves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: In addition to a chronic shortage of nursery schools and high education costs, there is a risk that children might end up becoming social recluses who are unable to become self-reliant. Since assistance from the government is limited, many people are shying away from starting a family. See in context

there is a risk that children might end up becoming social recluses who are unable to become self-reliant.

Emiko Ochiai, this isn't a future issue, it is already happening.

I've been teaching 18 year olds for the last fifteen years, and there are more and more every year who lack basic social skills and self-reliance.

If the education system won't change, while the world is changing around it, it's no surprise that kids are becoming less responsive to it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK broadcasts erroneous North Korean missile launch report See in context

Or... it did indeed happen and NHK were late receiving the government memo.

Who knows any more.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Probe into casino bribery case widens; pachinko operator raided See in context

...its accounts were being scrutinized for any transactions involving Akimoto, who in the past served as a consultant for a firm that had dealings with the pachinko operator.

I'm all for uncovering corruption and holding people to account, but if the authorities are saying a 3m Yen payment to a politician acting as a 'consultant' is illegal, then the authorities have a hell of a lot of work to do. I presume there are dozens of other investigations already in operation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese official kept lid on info about 2 men living in N Korea See in context

Further proof that Abe has shamelessly been playing politics with this issue for years.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

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