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Henny Penny comments

Posted in: Imperial Japan university unites graduates decades after war See in context

Nothing mysterious or unknown about Kenkoku Daigaku. Not part of colonization policy. Specific to Manshu (Manchuria) and the state socialist regime the Kwantung Army and reform bureaucrats 革新官僚 were creating there.

Recollections of those who attended are easy to find. I read a whole book about Kenkoku Daigaku some years ago. It very explicitly described the gap between official ideology (harmony among the five peoples of Manshu) and the reality (Japanese on top).

I took it up in my courses about modern Japanese political history taught in English to foreign students here.

many in Japanese government want to bring this type of education back to the classroom, like Abe's support of the ultra-right school in Osaka.

Preschool. And, it was not Abe Shinzo himself but rather his wife (now widow) who had given what some interpret as support.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Every police station in Kanagawa accepting funeral home bribes, according to former officer See in context

The police in Japan are but one step removed from the scum they are supposed to protect us from.

The article makes it explicit that this pattern is something peculiar to Kanagawa.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 2nd Omicron case confirmed; Japan to bar foreign residents' re-entry from 10 African nations See in context

Latest news reports say the Transport Ministry has asked all airlines to stop accepting new reservations for flights to Japan from anyone through December.

This effectively ends the "discrimination" between citizens and non-citizens.

I expect that foreign nationals outside of Japan wishing to enter will be very, very pleased with this new policy that treats Japanese and non-Japanese equally.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 130,000 meals for Olympic staffers thrown away in 1 month See in context

They rather throw the food out for the roaches than poor homeless people of Japan.

There are fewer than 4K homeless in all of Japan according to a count said to be reasonably reliable by a foreign academic who studies this issue.

Even without considering the difficulty of safely distributing the bento during July weather, how do you locate the homeless that might want the bento?

I regularly cycle along the Arakawa. If you look closely you can see DIY shelters made by the homeless. This is probably true for other rivers.

Where is the labor to transport and distribute bento to these homeless going assuming they actually want the bento (which you cannot know until you find and ask them)?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Posted in: Bodies of 2 adults and 2 children found in parked car in Yokohama See in context

"Japan and Korea lead the world in suicides. Not a record to be had."

Not by a long shot.

Japan is around 30th in terms of suicide rate. Lithuania and Russia have much higher suicide rates, just to cite European examples.

In recent years the Japan suicide rate has been only slightly above that for the US.

Korea is higher than Japan but lower than Lithuania and Russia.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Some foreign residents in Japan consider traveling to other countries for vaccines See in context

"Some foreign residents are considering" but I suspect most are not.

In numerical terms, the typical foreign resident of Japan is from the PRC followed by Korea, Vietnam, Phillipines, etc.

A serious article on what foreign residents in Japan are thinking would start with the Chinese and work down the list.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Why a Japanese man proudly took his wife's last name See in context

I took my wife's surname when I naturalized. The law is gender blind on this point.

I filed a 通称 (known as) form with my employers saying "My legal name is now ... but I want to continue to use my birth name."

Japanese law allows you to use a 通称 even to stand for election. Both men and women do.

I only use my registered name in three contexts: passport, taxes, insurance.

Everywhere else I use my birth name. (I was never a maiden and never will be a maiden.)

Many local government websites have a page, often in English, on how to register and use a name other than your legal name.

Here is an example (in Japanese) from the Shibuya Ward office. Japanese women who marry foreign nationals and take their husband's surname use the 通称 system to retain their Japanese name for daily use.


-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Ghosn case haunts Japan a year after brazen escape See in context

Which big smelly fish? The Japanese biased justice (or is it injustice) system? The one with 99% conversation rate equal only to countries like China and NK and that anyone that is honest knows also has a clear slant against non Japanese defendants.

The conviction rate in US federal courts is the same or even higher. Some have 100% conviction rates.


But, as I always say, never let facts stand in the way of what you want to believe about Japan and the Japanese.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Pandemic, celebrity deaths likely trigger rise of suicides in Japan See in context

Being a nation that encourages, nay, expects conformity, will inevitably lead to copycat cases of suicide given the constant reporting of cases in the media.

An increase in suicide following widely reported celebrity suicides has been observed in a number of countries not known for expecting a high level of conformity.

Here is one example of this from Britain, a country known for its love of eccentricity.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: French investigators to question Carlos Ghosn in Lebanon See in context

So Ghosn is basically accused of doing what Abe just confessed to doing, misappropriating funds to pay for a personal fete.

That's not what the article says.

"the 66-year-old businessman is facing a number of legal challenges in France, including tax evasion and alleged money laundering, fraud and misuse of company assets while at the helm of the Renault-Nissan alliance."

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: After early success, S Korea sleepwalks into virus crisis See in context

This makes me feel very, very old. I can remember when foreign journalists and those writing comments here and in other venues were saying that Korea had nailed COVID-19 by doing everything right that bungling Japan had done wrong.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Posted in: Man referred to prosecutors over 'Terrace House' star's suicide See in context

The Japan Today comments are not SNS?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese architectural craft approved as UNESCO intangible heritage See in context

The utter contempt shown for Japan and the Japanese in most of the comments here makes me wonder what accomplishments those posting can claim for themselves and their countries.

My father was a carpenter. I worked with him on construction sites until I went off to college. Even now, a half century later, I always stop to look at residential construction sites. Not many use traditional techniques, but when you find one, the craftsmanship is extraordinary.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Posted in: Man gets 16 years for murder of 9-year-old stepson See in context

If Japan locked up people at the same rate the US does, it would have roughly 780 thousand people in prison. It has less than 50 thousand in prison.

Which country is safer?

Which country has less violent crime?

Which country has less crime overall?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Judo in Japan getting unwanted scrutiny for abuse, violence See in context

Period. I already dread the day when my kids enter school here in Japan. After going through experiencing and seeing how Japanese are abusing and harassing each other in the workplace, I feel like my kids will be constantly in danger in school.

That has not been the case with my two boys in generic Tokyo public schools. As a native of the Chicago area, I know a thing or two about violence in schools.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Nissan employee testifies against former exec Kelly at trial See in context

Very discreet of the article and commentors here not to mention that Ghosn paid a $1,000,000 fine in the US and Kelly a $100,000 fine (without admitting guilt) over essentially the same issues the Japanese government is raising now. (Nissan paid $15,000,000.)


Of course, we all know that the US is a client state of Japan and American officials will do whatever the Japanese government asks them to do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Survey shows 64% willing to work beyond retirement age See in context

The results of this survey mean little. Only those having policies with one particular life insurance company. The headline should say

64% of those who bothered to respond to a survey of people with life insurance policies of Nippon Life said

The survey is moreover clearly part of an effort to get people to buy retirement policies from that company.

Personal comments about retirement in Japan mean little given that individual circumstances vary and are not necessarily representative of what retired people in general receive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Complaints overwhelm red-tape hotline hours after launch See in context

this country thrives on red tape

Is that a defining characteristic of Japan?

In my experience, Britain is at least as bad as Japan.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Posted in: Japanese kids suffer near worst mental health among richest nations: report See in context

Those citing allegedly peculiar features of Japanese society should be able to explain why New Zealand comes out with an even lower ranking despite being a very different society having little in common with Japan.

I would also note that the US ranking is not that much better than that of Japan.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan's tripling of coronavirus tests unlikely to improve fight, experts say See in context

The claims about how hard it is to get tested do not square with my experience. Last month, my teenage son had mild off and on symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. A generic neighborhood doctor asked for a test. My son got it the next day. The (negative) results came two days later.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese government's digital ambitions still stuck in piles of paper See in context

Odd that no one has mentioned this very recen New York Times article that points out that the US relies heavily on fax for compiling data on the COVID-19 pandemic.


Fax is also widely use in the medical sector in Britain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 237 new cases of coronavirus See in context

However, we pay them. We pay tax. We feed these people in Government. Put their kids thru college. Cloth them.

The Anglophone gaijin in Japan are a microscopic fraction of the tax paying population. They could all stop paying taxes and it would not be noticed.

If any group of foreign nationals can say this, it is the Chinese who at 780 thousand plus outnumber all other national and language minorities.

As for reporting by fax, it is not a Japanese peculiarity.

Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine - The New York Times


-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Tokyo court denies bail for ex-justice minister, lawmaker wife See in context

Japan injustice system don't understand the idea of "bail".

A number of European countries do not have cash bail systems.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese hospitals cut staff bonuses as coronavirus drives them into the red See in context

Hospital staff get bonuses? That seems crazy.

Bonus is a slang term. In formal Japanese it is seasonal adjustment 季節手当.

All manner of regular workers get them including those in government and in the non-profit sector.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of dementia patients reported missing in 2019 hits record 17,500 See in context

There are numbers for Japan because the issue is taken seriously at the national level. When the same report came out last year, I looked for comparable data for the US and the UK. It does not exist because the issue is left up to local authorities.

For good measure, I checked with an American expert on this issue. He had had the same experience. Good data for Japan; almost nothing for other countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 50% of young adults felt education gap during school closures over virus: survey See in context

All my friends' kids in the US and Europe finished out their school years online.

There have been numerous reports in US/UK newspapers about problems with on-line instruction, especially the gap resulting from income differences. How to make up for lost time is an on-going issue in Britain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Arrest of ex-justice minister could hasten Abe's departure See in context

I concur with everything that has been said here. It is painfully obvious Japan will never have a great leader like Donald Trump.

Hell's bells. We can't even get someone like Boris Johnson,

Japan and the Japanese are completely hopeless.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo to ask nightlife workers to take coronavirus tests See in context

Also in yesterday's confirmed cases were 6 people who flew into Tokyo from Brazil and Peru, 5 of whom were NOT Japanses citizens.

I thought foreigners were banned....

Foreign nationals with 特別永住者 status (99% Koreans) are treated as citizens for entry/exit purposes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 dead, 1 wounded in crossbow attack; suspect arrested See in context

Someone mentioned about the low crime rate in Japan, thats true, But I reckon this kind of crime in more prevalent here than other countries.

More likely that most such killings stay as local news. Even in the UK, which does have national newspapers, the stories tend to be in the tabloids and local news, not the broadsheets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The death of 'Terrace House' cast member Hana Kimura and Japan’s mental health struggles See in context

Japan’s mental health struggles

There's nothing particularly Japanese about this except the location. More than 30 "reality television" participants worldwide have died by suicide.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

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