HBJ comments

Posted in: Aichi Triennale Art Festival receives 770 threatening emails See in context

I presume the 770 threatening emails are all being investigated, right?

It shouldn't be too difficult to track down the sender(s) of the emails - sure it takes man hours and detective skills, but you can't go sending threats like that and expect nothing to come of it.

Anyone who sent threats such as “I’ll spray gasoline and ignite prefectural facilities and schools” or “I’m going to spray sarin and gasoline around the prefectural office” or “[I'm going to] to shoot and kill staff” should be arrested and prosecuted.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Heat wave claims more lives in Japan See in context

Here is another one of those things that gets you to question the amount of common sense / intelligence prevalent in Japan.

Sure 'uchimizu' cools down the sidewalk...for a short time until all the water evaporates. It's also a colossal waste of water.

Plant. More. Trees. Trees don't evaporate in the heat, and will provide areas of shade cooler and therefore more comfortable than walking in the direct sunlight.

Use the 'uchimizu' water to feed the trees, so they grow and stay healthy. Water not wasted.

Come on Japan, this really isn't rocket science.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 organizers to open 2nd-chance ticket lottery on Aug 8 See in context

@GW You might have to take a train 30 mins outside Tokyo, but there will be places available. It's much easier for those of us living here to do that than people visiting from overseas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 organizers to open 2nd-chance ticket lottery on Aug 8 See in context

680,000 tickets were 'won' but failed to pay for in the first lottery, or the organizers intentionally kept some tickets aside for a second lottery?

I'm thankful to get a second chance either way!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to set up panel on stable imperial succession by year-end See in context

How many 'intellectuals from various fields' does it take to come to the logical conclusion that allowing female succession is the best solution?

I wonder what proportion of these 'intellectuals from various fields' will actually be female.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: House derails move to impeach Trump for insults See in context

@thelongtermer - If you can’t see how his comments are racist, it’s you that has the problem not everyone else.

Telling people from minority groups to ‘go back’ to your countries - when 3 of the 4 were in fact born in the US, the other a naturalised citizen - is the epitome of racism.

Add it together with his history of targeting people almost exclusively from minority groups for criticism and you see a pattern of racist behaviour.

Just own it. Don’t say it isn’t what it is - it’s as clear as it can be. Just own it and say you agree.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: House derails move to impeach Trump for insults See in context

The problem Republican have is they’ve backed themselves into a corner where they think any criticism of Trump means tacit support of Democrats.

That’s not the case. It’s possible to reject the racism, hate, and lies of Trump while remaining a Republican.

Some issues are bipartisan, and it seems that almost all Republicans have sold their morals.

Just look at Lindsay Graham’s comments pre and post election to see how far these people are willing to go to keep power.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: House derails move to impeach Trump for insults See in context

It’s clear what Trump’s plan is - split the Democrat vote...at whatever cost.

I hope journalists will keep their eyes on the ball though as the timing of this issue is also designed to distract from certain prosecutions that are currently taking place (for members of the Trump campaign), as well as the Epstein case in which Trump might be heavily connected.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Talent agency Johnny & Associates warned by regulator over ex-SMAP members See in context

‘Johnnys’ and who ever it is that manages AKB and the like are disgusting companies that exploit young people (and worse).

The sooner they are gone, the better.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese people least likely to talk to strangers or offer help on airplanes, survey finds See in context

It's not just shyness - I'd expect a similar number of shy people in every country.

It's a mix of social ineptitude, situations outside of the drilled cultural norms, and an inherent fear of English.

It seems to start in the teenage years - as it does in many countries and cultures - only here, a lot of people never snap out of it. It seems that the cultural and social formalities take over and are so easy for people to hide behind rather than develop in spite of.

I'm sure a lot of Japanese people on a plane see the need to help the person struggling to put their luggage in the overhead compartment, but they think "someone else will help", or "I don't want to help because then the person might start talking to me".

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP support rate edges up ahead of upper house election: poll See in context

LDP support rate edges up ahead of upper house election: poll

Of course the 'poll' shows this. Polls are very carefully managed instruments in Japan. They go up and down at times most convenient for the government. They start to edge up before election times because as a whole the people follow the norm, but being hugely uninformed about a whole host of issues - which again benefits the government - enough people will just look at headline 'polls' in the media in order to see in what way the rest of the group is thinking and vote accordingly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Police reprimand over 20 officers for paid work on study guides See in context

The root issue here is that there is a publisher selling study materials for promotion exams. I understand that certain promotions require some kind of examination, but why this requires a 'textbook' made by an outside company is baffling. Indeed, why a 'textbook' is required at all to someone already working within the industry is baffling. The police could easily produce an internal 'Guide to promotion X/Y/Z', and partner up PCs with Sergeants (or whichever promotion is being targeted).

By supporting these textbooks, and/or requiring their use, companies and institutions are fueling these problems. The textbook industry is cutthroat and often have exclusive contracts. In order to keep the contract (i.e. to produce the 'official test guide') publishing companies often start looking to sweeten the deal with payments to people involved.

This has been reported before with publishers of school and university textbooks paying off head teachers and university faculty heads. I work in a university and this absolutely happens to this day. The same crappy, uninspiring textbooks have been used for certain classes on our curriculum for at least the last 10 years only because they are provided by a certain publisher. When questioned as to why these textbooks were being used over much much better alternatives, the official response was that the textbook publisher had a 5 year contract to supply to the school (which had always been renewed as a matter of course). The unofficial response I got from other teachers 'in the know' was that the certain people in positions of power were basically on the payroll of the publishing company in that they received a small cut of the order value, as well as a nice juicy 'gift' once the contract was renewed.

Corruption is rife in Japan, even in places you wouldn't necessarily expect it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese entertainment mogul Johnny Kitagawa dies at age 87 See in context

If only the industry he built would die with him.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Journalist Ito says she was 'desperate to protect' herself from rape See in context

Wow...why all the down votes for all the supportive comments towards someone who alleges she was raped?

18 ( +32 / -14 )

Posted in: Journalist Ito says she was 'desperate to protect' herself from rape See in context

I hope there is an investigation and the correct outcome is reached.

It’s about time ladies voices were heard, and taken seriously on issues like this.

I hope she made some kind of contemporaneous notes or comments to friends or family around the time of the alleged attack - as such words could be crucial in backing up her claim.

10 ( +23 / -13 )

Posted in: UK's top envoy in US says Trump executive 'inept': report See in context

Trump is doing serious damage, not only to the US and its institutions, but also to allies all around the world.

No doubt he'll come out and rubbish these comments and aim a personal dig at the Ambassador. It'll be 'fake news', or he'll be accused of being a democrat, blah blah blah.

It's amazing that so many people say these things, yet he asserts it's all untrue.

The man is a narcissist, a solipsist, and a pathological liar.

He is dangerous beyond words and the sooner he is out of office the better.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan official to Kardashian West: Kimono belongs to Japan See in context

She should just ditch Kanye and marry a Japanese guy with the surname 'Ono'.

That way she'd have no problems selling her new clothing range under her own name - Kim Ono.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: IOC, Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers to clamp down on videos on social media See in context

Idiotic. It's 2019 and this is how people live and communicate these days.

As if shaky, hand held footage, from 65 rows back, with thousands of heads between event and camera is even the slightest bit comparable to professionally broadcast footage.

It's the fans who make the atmosphere, so let the fans share 30 seconds of their experience with their friends.

Imagine if in Barcelona 1992, organizers said "we request that nobody in attendance of events make phone calls to communicate the outcome of races as this will negatively affect the number of people tuning in to watch the highlights packages broadcasters have paid a lot of money to show. Please wait until after 9PM before discussing anything that happened inside the stadium. Thanks"

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan hopes Trump-Kim meeting spurs nuclear, abduction talks See in context

Trump has only three things in his mind when he meets with Kim Jong Un:

1 - Will this make me look good?

2 - Will this help me get a Nobel Prize (because Obama got one).

3 - Will I be able to build a hotel in this country in the future (on a special deal).

Thats all. He couldn’t give a flying fig about abductees or NK human rights record.

The exact same goes for Putin and Russia, and Saudi Arabia and MBS.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: After 31 years, Japan resumes commercial whaling See in context

Japan has hunted whales for centuries and the meat was a key source of protein in the immediate post-World War II years when the country was desperately poor.

Why are these people so passionate about hanging on to a memory of the dark destitute times following WWII?

It used to be the done thing to burn witches, have people carrying katana, use horse drawn carts, and write letters with typewriters - but we stopped doing those things because we either realised it was wrong, or better alternatives were introduced.

We don’t need to hunt and eat whales any more, for any reason.

If these people are so concerned about protecting ‘culture’, I suppose they wear kimonos and yukata every day, right? What...they don’t?!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Posted in: Over 2,000 doctors worked without pay at Japanese university hospitals: survey See in context

Another layer of the Japanese house of cards revealed.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan should broach Saudi journalist's murder at G20 summit: fiancee See in context

Nobody dare step on Saudi toes - and now Trump has made his stance clear, nobody will do anything that will interfere with their relationship with the US.

That isn’t right, but it’s where we are in the world at the moment. A journalist can be brutally murdered and dismembered in an Embassy and no government with any level of influence dare hold the Saudis (and in many ways the current US administration) to account.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for pointing bamboo sword at police box consultant See in context

Mental health issues yet again. The guy was probably rightly arrested, but did he receive any mental health care? Was a psychiatrist called? or was he just thrown in a cell and interrogated for hours on end and left to 'speak incomprehensively'?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for stabbing officer denies charge; carries mental disability certificate See in context

While his actions can never be excused, it is understandable as to why this incident happened.

When on earth will Japan start to take mental illness seriously? It isn’t something that can just be ignored. It isn’t enough to just expect people to deal with it themselves - or for families to deal with the burden.

There appears to be a staggering amount of mental health issues in Japan and I still don’t see a serious attempt to deal with it.

If it continues to be ignored then every so often things like this (and the stabbing a few weeks ago etc.) will happen.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: New speech recognition app shows text by 'swiping' See in context

...and what is the app called?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

The education system is designed to mould kids into entering a life of servitude. The only reason to have national conscription would be to wake the kids up after the education system has turned them into emotionless, opinionless, non critical thinking drones. Why would the government want to undo what the education system had achieved?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

Agnes Chan take a bow.

She should be listened to, and given a broader platform - but she won’t. She will be given the usual platitudes and the issue will fade away.

Japan needs thousands of Agnes Chans in positions of power to try and sort out the mess that she talks about and absolutely nails.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: I understand that I should not be ashamed of my daughter. I know that I should not keep it secret. But I do all the time because I’m afraid my daughter will cause trouble outside the home. I have been depressed, hating myself. See in context

As I've commented in other recent articles about this issue, this is a social problem for Japan as much as it is the fault of the specific parents involved in this case.

This is an example of what happens when kids (in this case the mother) are raised with limited freedom of thought and expression, limited critical thinking skills, and with the constraints of an overly formal language (and culture) that reinforces subservience at almost every turn. Break the rules; act anything but 'normal'; dare to ask questions; or be unfortunate to have a child or family member with a mental or physical disability, and you are outcast - not always because people disagree, or don't accept your situation, but more because people don't know how to deal with the situation.

Bowing deeply doesn't fix having a child with a disability. There's no apologetic phrase that can excuse the burden of inconveniencing someone with a hikkikomori person. Of course these things absolutely aren't necessary, but to a Japanese person constrained by this way of thinking and acting, it's easy to see why the case identified in the quote above happens - put the problem in a room, close the door, and don't talk about it to anyone.

Deep down I'm sure the mother knows her situation isn't right. She says she's depressesed but I guess she has never sought help for that either (weakness, shame etc.). It's tragic that people can't see the ways out of this, that there isn't an effective support system in place to help these people. It needs to start - where many solutions to problems in the world need to start - in schools. Give kids a rounded education where they learn to think critically, freedom of expression is encouraged, and social issues are talked about openly. Outside of school there needs to be an effective social support system that exists without stigma, which people can easily turn to as and when they need it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What realistic measures can countries take to reduce plastic waste being dumped in oceans? See in context

Identify the most problematic plastics.

Implement a new tax on companies manufacturing products made with these plastics.

Start the tax on 1% and raise it by 2% each year.

Provide a tax refund for any company able to change the way their products are made.

Any company that can't adapt their product will eventually be priced out of the market and that product will disappear - which is a good thing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ex-KAT-TUN singer facing marijuana charge released on bail See in context

Agree with comments above. You should never feel the need to get on your knees and bow head to the floor for smoking a bit of weed. That is ridiculous.

I understand that it’s ‘against the rules’, but when are people going to start speaking up for themselves? His career is finished, so he should be speaking out at the ridiculousness of the rule banning marijuana. What else has he got to lose?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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