Heffalump comments

Posted in: Osaka reaches Australian Open final, closing in on world No. 1 ranking See in context

I see in Osaka a great young tennis player. So good for the game to have fresh stars in the making.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: JOC chief Takeda denies corruption allegations See in context

Could they not have fitted a few more microphones, and a lie detector?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of foreign tourists to Japan hits record high 31.19 mil in 2018 See in context

Do people think these numbers are sustainable, or will remain at this level into the future? Particularly after 2020. Or is it just another boom, before a bust, or at least a slight deflation?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Judge says Ghosn being detained due to flight risk and possibility he may conceal evidence See in context

A man, who in my country would be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, wouldn't be brought into court in handcuffs. But he is, in a country where a guy on death row for a long time recently committed suicide. What next in Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese ships leave for 'research whaling' in Antarctic Ocean See in context

There is no justification for Japan's commercial whaling, which this is. It's also Japan sticking a finger up at us and being bloody-minded (but having to hide miles out in the oceans hoping no-one will see them). Whaling traditions (bo***cks!).

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Posted in: 2 firms fined Y380 mil over maglev bid-rigging See in context

The whole project is stupid, particularly as it'll further damage Japan's mountain and rural environment in a big way. Perhaps they could use more or less the same route as the Tokaido Shinkansen, and construct MAGLEV in stages along it? Surely that will still be fast enough for most of us?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, Britain hold joint military exercise in central Japan See in context

Japan needs to have armed forces, but much smaller in number than the current forces; they should be specialized professionals equipped for Japan's role in the 21st century, and be independently responsible for helping to ensure regional security. The US should gradually pull its forces out of Japan and allow Japan to take full responsibility for helping ensure regional stability and security. And Japan should be a partner, where required, in any action which is taken to combat threats or conflicts abroad. Give Japan a seat on the UN Security Council. Why not?

Are those guffaws I hear from those who believe the US will never pull out? That Abe won't stop at that? That Japan wants to rule the world? Perhaps that's the problem. Most people see it as inconceivable Japan could ever be trusted or responsible for determining its own destiny.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan drops bid for World Heritage listing of southwest islands See in context

Or the planet?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Luxury complex Tokyo Midtown Hibiya opens See in context

Rather head for somewhere more intimate for a shopping, drinking, meeting people experience ... Yanaka, Meguro, Yotsuya ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 years until kick-off See in context

Wherever. As long as England's there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 dead after small plane crashes in Nara mountainous area See in context

I've been organizing and leading walking tours in the mountains of Nara and points south and east in the Kii Peninsula for Hike Japan and Quest Japan for nearly 15 years. I've seen very few private light aircraft in the skies. Lots of crows and kites!

Most unfortunate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike to push for smoking ban before 2020 Olympics See in context

Hurrah!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families See in context

I wonder how easy it is to 'get permission' to travel outside the prefecture they live in? I would have thought that it might help them find work if they could travel more freely.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Two quakes turn hills into deadly cascades of mud See in context

I know little about this subject, but isn't water a major factor in landslides? Mud is soil mixed with a lot of water. Planting the right sort of vegetation would help, and I'd have thought that, if possible, channellng of water away from areas of soil - normally on an incline - which could potentially liquefy and slide down onto areas of human habitation or activity might help? Only trouble is that there are thousands of locations around the country which must be at risk. Travelling extensively around Japan, I've seen many, many examples of poor land and resource management. Those who suffer tend to be people living in the smaller rural and mountain communities. The problems Japan has to deal with as a result of its geology/topology Japan have been compounded by successive corrupt governments and misguided, ineffective policies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't eyes 20 mil foreign tourists a year by 2020 See in context

Hi Nostromo, Do you know when that JNTO survey was done, and if the results are published on the Web?

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Posted in: TEPCO hires nuclear safety advocate See in context

I wonder if Lady Judge would care to live in Fukushima or Kashiwazaki?

Nuclear power is not the best long term energy policy for Japan. No highly paid consultant is going to persuade me otherwise. But I'm just a heffalump.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan will never stop whaling: minister See in context

Japan is whaling in the whale sanctuary in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. There is no justification whatsoever for whaling there. As for 'Whaling has long been part of traditional Japanese culture', so were outcasts and non-humans, doing away with the Ainu, ritual suicide and beheading. Grow up, Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Gov't approves TEPCO request for extra Y697 bil in public funds See in context

Ten trillion yen! How can those who support nuclear power for Japan justify the risk of having to pay such astrononomical compensation and decommissioning costs after an earthquake (admittedly a big one) which will amount to a sum approaching the GNP of New Zealand? Not to mention the appalling cost to people's lives, the environment, and the economy more widely. And there are how many more nuclear power plants which could be similarly damaged by another earthquake or tsunami? Surely nuclear is a bonkers energy policy for Japan? Those who disagree are simply living in denial.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan comes out big winner at U.N. conservation meeting See in context

I agree Tanabata san. I feel Japan is a loser in the sense of losing credibility both in terms of any commitment it claims to make in terms of wildlife conservation, and in political terms. Whilst Japanese fishermen are fortunate in having an abundance of fish in the seas around Japan, and - dolpins etc. excepted - make a reasonably good job of managing catches, when they go further afield they tend to do what the stereotypical Japanese tourist does. Tabi no haji wa kakisute. Whether in the Southern Oceans or the North Atlantic, they really couldn't care what happens to species which will, sooner rather than later, cease to exist. All the social and regulatory pressures at home vanish as they hunt without much concern for the consequences. In global terms, the behaviour is irresponsible and shortsighted, that of a loser telling those watching to 'get lost'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan comes out big winner at U.N. conservation meeting See in context

Japan = loser

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Posted in: Whale watching See in context

This breaching beauty looks like it's having a whale of time. Guess we better get used to seeing whales in this form. Not much time left for the real ones, unless we do something, and the Japanese government takes an intitiative for a change and does what I feel most Japanese people really want them to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

This offering from the Asahi Shinbun today – “Tokiya Nitta, a lecturer at the School of Marine Science and Technology at Tokai University who has studied the history of dolphin hunting along the Izu Peninsula of Shizuoka Prefecture, said the movie could strengthen the opinions of opponents of the practice. "In Japan, there is a history of hunting the dolphins with feelings of gratitude and respect because it helped the Japanese when they were faced with famine because of the war," Nitta said. "However, foreigners appear to only focus on the cruel reality of the hunt."” Dead right about the strengthening opinions. Rubbish about feelings of gratitude and respect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

Cleo is quite right. As a side note, the character for tai can be translated as ‘solid’, and ji, ‘ground’. Paradoxical, now that ground upon which the dolphin slayers stand is now looking decidedly blubbery. May they quake in their little white booties. For the times they are a’changin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

The notion that the fisherfolk of Taiji put out in their boats, as they have for hundreds of years, to hunt dolphin for food, and catch a few for the aquarium, is misguided. The local fishermen in the documentary are thuggish, aggressive, and mainly intent on ensuring that their activities remained secret, or at least out of sight. In the winter months, a small flotilla of boats regularly sets out to alarm and confuse dolphin, which end up being herded into a small cove. After selecting good, female specimens, for sale to aquariums such as Sea World in the America, they slaughter the rest, in an inhumane way, whilst keeping a few for their meat. The females dolphins, which end up stressed and being kept alive on medication, and dying prematurely in captivity, fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars. This explains the animosity to all the attention in their activities from the outside world. The dolphin meat contains levels of toxic chemicals well in excess of regulated amounts, not merely ‘trace’ levels. This meat was, until recently (and thanks to The Cove) sold to children in schools in Taiji. This is going on in your backyard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

The Japanese fishermen of Taiji, and other Japanese people, deny, and get angry, when others explain ecological realities to them. They are finding it hard now, there will be confusion and depression, but they will one day come to deeper understanding, and will, in the end, accept that this sort of behavior must end.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

I hope all of you, your family, and friends, have seen The Cove? I recommend you do. I watched the documentary a few months ago, and one image that stays in my mind from it, is a scene near the dock in Taiji, where a couple of young kids, on their way back from school, are walking past a dolphin that has been hacked and fatally wounded. The dolpin is clearly in agonizing distress, but was simply left like that, blood flowing over the concrete floor, to die for over an hour. The kids didn't even bother looking. I suppose this just the culture people live in here ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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