COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

Henny Penny comments

Posted in: On Japanese TV debate programs, men discuss difficult subjects while female announcers are on the set like ornaments. On TV dramas, too, you might see men holding a business meeting and women serving them tea. See in context

At the Japanese university where I worked for 18 years, some departments had male clerical assistants. They served tea and coffee to guests and to faculty members both male and female killing time in the office.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: On Japanese TV debate programs, men discuss difficult subjects while female announcers are on the set like ornaments. On TV dramas, too, you might see men holding a business meeting and women serving them tea. See in context

I suspect that the many female news readers on US/UK television are eye candy for a predominantly male audience.

As Educator60 notes there are also news and commentary programs in Japan where women have at least an equal role, sometimes more.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe faces struggle on coronavirus, economy, after Olympics delayed See in context

If they had even a modicum of self-respect Abe would have been out ages ago.

Further, it is not for foreign nationals to decide who Japanese should be voting for any more than it is for me as a Japanese citizen to be telling Americans, Brits, Aussies, etc. who they should be voting for.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: LDP lawmaker faces possible ouster from Diet as aides indicted See in context

Japanese politics. Dirty as a manhole cover.

Dunno. I grew up in the Chicago area. Compared to Chicago, politics in Japan are squeaky clean.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, spared mass outbreak so far, now sees national crisis after Tokyo surge See in context

"Claiming patients dying in hospital of coronavirus are dying of flu because they haven't been tested for the virus and thus can be said to have died from coronavirus is utterly amoral, and putting the population at risk to protect the reputation of the government."

What evidence is there that this is actually being done? There have in fact been numerous statements that the influenza count is much lower than is typical for this time of year.

There are thousands of hospitals in Japan, many of them private. The idea that there could be a general cover up is absurd.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike urges cooperation to avoid Tokyo lockdown See in context

Koike can talk about "lock down" all she wants, but she does not have the legal authority to order a US/European style lock down. Even if she did, she does not have control over either the military or the police to enforce it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Times changes reference to 'comfort women' after backlash See in context

--Having a clear understanding about Abe's class A war criminal

Kishi was briefly held as a suspect. He was never indicted or tried. Had the US considered him an actual war criminal, he would have been hung.

The quotes in the Wikipedia article come from a book that used a pornographic novel as its primary source.

I spend a number of years reading Japanese sources covering the period when Kishi was in charge of the Manchurian economy. The most typical description of him was that he was a red (that his economic policies were heavily influenced by those of the Soviet Union under Stalin).

The book by Mark Driscoll that supplies most of the quotes about Kishi and sex is one of the silliest things I've ever read. I don't think anyone other than a small number of loony lefties takes it seriously.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Health ministry not helpful for foreigners in Japan seeking virus info See in context

 I would say that other developed countries are doing a better job at communication and direction. 

How many countries did you survey? Which languages did you check?

We are owed by the nation we live in and pay taxes in for reliable and clear info for not just our sakes but our family. Get it now?

If you have been in Japan for 18 years running your own business, you should be fluent enough in Japanese to use the Japanese language sources that most residents use.

In terms of information in foreign languages, the Japanese government is right to stress Chinese. Japan has more than 800,000 resident Chinese nationals (ROC and PRC). The bulk of foreign visitors to Japan are also Chinese.

People who have Chinese as their first language vastly outnumber any other group including Koreans, about half of whom are born in Japan and have Japanese as their first language.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Another death from coronavirus in Hokkaido; in-hospital infection suspected See in context

The NYT article is naive at best.

There is no mention of which specific tests are being used in Korea and Japan. There is more than one way to do a CV test. Proper testing is not simple.

This WHO document shows very clearly that countries are using different tests. Therefore, the simple numbers game in the NYT is irresponsible journalism.

Japan appears to be using essentially the same guidelines for testing as the US.

Yesterday, when I checked, US sources were saying that there would be the capacity to test 10,000 per day in "about two weeks."

The US population is 3.5x that of Japan. If the US was well prepared as Japan, it should be capable of testing 14,000 per day now. Assuming the tests that Korea is using are reliable and that Korea is the model for how things should be done, on a population adjusted basis the US should be capable of 63,000 tests per day now, not 10,000 per day in a couple of weeks.

The NYT article looks like a disguised excuse for the lack of preparation in the US.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Dozens allowed off cruise ship have symptoms such as fever: minister See in context

How about "Stay where you are and don't go outside. We'll send a doctor TO you with testing kits to confirm what is going on."

Testing is a complex laboratory procedure that takes two hours and special equipment.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Clock's ticking for Nissan boss Uchida to show he has a plan See in context

Nevertheless, for Nissan execs, it's useful not only from a face-saving standpoint, but also to hide the fact that they neither have a plan, nor the business sense to formulate one. However, I'm sure they're pretty good at the bowing and meishi exchanging and kissing arse routine - all very important for strategic planning and management!

Have you and the others making similar comments actually looked at the names in Nissan top management?

Nissan top management has numerous gaijin of various nationalities. Executives with names like Kent O'Hara or Gianluca De Ficchy may not fit your model.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Coronavirus infection cases spread further in Japan See in context

I wonder if the Japanese government to say nothing of the WHO is aware of the immense pool of public health knowledge found among those who write comments here? I'm surprised I'm not seeing recruitment advertisements on this pages from the WHO, the CDC, etc.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Avoid crowds and non-essential gatherings, health minister urges See in context

Hard to understand why people are wasting time commenting on the sort of pro forma public statements that officials would make in any country under similar circumstances.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Cruise ship virus cases jump to 175, including quarantine officer See in context

The Japanese government should have refused them entry! But they didnt, and this is the best way to keep the rest of the country safe from a potential epidemic!

I don't know how accurate the figures are, but it is being said that the Diamond Princess had 1285 Japanese on board when it left Hong Kong. PRC citizens 470, US 425.

Looking at the figures for those taken ill and removed to hospitals, it is clear that there are many Japanese on board.

Turning away a ship with more than one thousand Japanese on board would have been political suicide for the government.

What I find interesting is that I have not seen any numerical breakdown in any major English or Japanese language news source.

That is very odd and very suspicious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: One single black mother's story of raising a half-Japanese child against all odds See in context


Thanks for the reference. 

Gotta luv it when strictly factual posts, especially posts that show Japan is not uniquely evil, get down voted.

There is actually quite a bit of writing in English about the hassles you face growing up haafu in the US or the UK.

I see haafu black kids in my neighborhood. They are always mixed in a group of Japanese kids, laughing and chattering just like the other kids.

My two haafu sons have gone through generic Tokyo schools but report no hassles.

People seem to have forgotten the vitriolic racism directed at Barack Obama, a haafu in Japanese terms.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan ranks as 3rd-biggest country for U.S. trade deficit in 2019 See in context

The real question is, except Apple, is there anything Japan buys from the US?

Apple? Most of their kit is made in China.

As someone else said, Google is your friend. Here is 2018 data.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2018 were: mineral fuels ($9.1 billion), machinery ($8.2 billion), optical and medical instruments ($7.5 billion), aircraft ($6.5 billion), and electrical machinery ($4.8 billion).

U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Japan totaled $13 billion in 2018, our 3rd largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: corn ($2.8 billion), beef & beef products ($2.1 billion), pork & pork products ($1.6 billion), soybeans ($927 million), and wheat ($717 million).

U.S. exports of services to Japan were an estimated $45.2 billion in 2018, 1.7% ($790 million) less than 2017, but 13.7% greater than 2008 levels. Leading services exports from the U.S. to Japan were in the travel, transport, and intellectual property (industrial processes) sectors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't eyes succession talks after crown prince's April announcement See in context

Anything but women. They'd rather drag some random fellow in off the street than support gender equality in the Imperial Family ... Such bs.

Having a queen (actually more than one over the years) did not produce gender equality even within the British aristocracy. Outside of the monarchy, the rule is still primogeniture. Having two female prime ministers has not given Britain gender equality in politics. Parliament is still 66% male. Top corporate positions are even more heavily male.

Since imperial succession is based on hereditary principles, having a female emperor would not mean that every little girl in Japan could dream that she might become emperor.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: English in public places in Japan See in context

Far more important to get signage in Chinese correct. Japan has more than 800 thousand residents with Chinese nationality. Chinese nationals are the largest component in foreign tourists to Japan.

Further, there is no one English language. British English is quite different from American English. How many Americans would know that "mind the gap" means "watch your step" when it is used in train announcements? Australia has many expressions that would be incomprehensible to most speakers of American English and many Brits as well. Just between Britain and Ireland, there are differences.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ghosn used Nissan-Mitsubishi venture to inflate pay: lawyers See in context

Just goes to show how a man who saved a Japan icon is now hounded after a miss calculation by inept prosecutors, who jumped the gun from a secret internal report containing no evidence just innuendo from Nissan.

The only people I know who describe Nissan as an icon are foreigners. If there is a Japanese auto company that is an icon, it is Toyota.

Doing something good 18 years ago does not preclude the possibility that you later turn out to be a bit crooked.

Ghosn paid a one million dollar fine in the US and was banned from corporate positions for 10 years. Nissan was fined 15 million dollars. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charges were only part of those brought against him in Japan.

US authorities have proven that they will go after Japanese companies and executives of Japanese companies without any cooperation from Japanese authorities whatsoever.

You might also consider the fact that even Renault has not said, "We want him back. We can't function without him." I can read just enough French to know that he was intensely disliked within Renault. French trade unionists have said they were quite happy to see him get busted in Japan.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Posted in: Japanese companies confront reality of racial harassment See in context

Japanese criticize other Japanese for being un-Japanese. A really biting criticism in Japanese is 日本人らしくない - you're not acting like a (real) Japanese.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese companies confront reality of racial harassment See in context

Those Japanese particularly living in the city like Tokyo are cold

That's my experience for big cities everywhere. If someone starts chatting to me on the Underground or a bus in London, it is creepy. If they do it in Sheffield, it is perfectly natural.

It's also age related. Elderly people in Tokyo will strike up a conversation with me at a bus stop. Young people don't.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese companies confront reality of racial harassment See in context

I don't think it is an unreasonable assumption that someone with an American sounding name and with an American parent can't speak at least some English. 

Indeed, and since he is 30 now, that means his childhood experiences in school would be from 24 to 16 years previous.

I have two haafu sons, one 19, one 16. Neither has reported any hassles although if I am around, people tend to assume they can speak English. When I say in Japanese, "We are all Japanese" or I chime in with a comment in Japanese, people switch to Japanese.

I spent 10 years in Britain as an invisible gaijin. Instead of asking you whether you like natto, Brits, ask "Do you really like bitter?" (Bitter is British beer served at room temperature.) I've even been complimented on my ability to speak English, possibly because some Brits (and Japanese) think I am eastern European. I've also had Brits try to pick fights with me in pubs when they hear my Chicago accent.

Further, there were times when I was told very explicitly that my allegedly American ideas were not suited to British culture.

When I see negative comments about Japan here, I always wonder how many of those making such comments have any experience living as a gaijin in a country other than Japan. Even in the US, I've been hassled because of my strong Chicago area accent.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Coronavirus cases on cruise ship in Yokohama jump to 61 See in context

In the future, they should turn part of Iwo Jima into an emergency quarantine and supply center since they already have an airstrip that can handle commercial jet planes.

Good idea. The facilities that Australia is using were originally set up for isolating refugees and asylum seekers. When the coronavirus crisis is over, Japan would have Australian-style facilities ready to use for refugees and asylum seekers.

The Australian PM is a known admirer of Abe. Australian technical assistance in turning Iwo Jima into Japan's Christmas Island would be a great goodwill gesture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Its Wuhan plants shut, Honda reports quarterly profit drop See in context

Its Wuhan plants shut, Honda reports quarterly profit drop

Bizarre headline. The quarterly report covers a period before the Wuhan plants were shutdown.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 14-year-old girl jumps to death from apartment building in Kumamoto See in context

The stresses of being a junior or senior high school student in Japan are unbelievable! That's without adding bullying. I am in no way surprised by so many high school kids choosing death over the expectations and rigors of the high school system.

No, it is your claims that are unbelievable. I have two teenage sons who have gone through generic public schools in Tokyo. One is still a student in a high ranked public high school. Neither experienced nor reported seeing the kind of stress you are claiming.

For eighteen years I interviewed (in Japanese) high school applicants to a private university. I also taught first year college students (again in Japanese) fresh out of high school in a seminar course that focused on college admission. None reported experiencing or seeing the kind of stress you are claiming.

To be sure, there are some who are stressed, but half of all high school students do not go on to college. Of those that do, the bulk go to private colleges that have what amounts to open door admission. Only a small fraction of all students aim for colleges with competitive admission.

Stories about youth suicides in the US or UK stay local if they are reported at all. In Japan any youth suicide anywhere in the country can become national news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan may expand ban on foreigners from China amid virus outbreak See in context

The Japanese government would solve a lot of their problems if they'd simply hire on the JapanToday commenters, experts in absolutely everything, as consultants.

I think China needs them even more than Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: How to apprehend a 'chikan' and protect women from being groped on a train See in context

While I was living in the UK I was warned several times not to get involved in police matters. I was given this warning because Brits assumed that as an American I might see something and try to make a "citizen's arrest" or if I came home and found a thief inside, I might try to restrain him and in the process cause injury.

Even in countries with formal provision for "citizen's arrest" you run a risk of getting into serious trouble yourself whether you are a citizen or a foreign national.

I was once questioned as part of an investigation into a double murder in Hachioji because I cycled past the murder scene on a fairly regular basis. The detective who questioned me had absolutely no interest in my status as a foreign national. The questioning was short and to the point. Everyone passing the murder scene was being questioned.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan bars entry of foreign travelers from China's Hubei Province See in context

Australia was one of the first countries to pull its citizens out of Huwan at no expense to them and set up an offshore quarantine station.

Japan is doing bugger all by comparison.


In Wuhan, they [Australian citizens] have been asked to pay $1000 and sign a waiver stating that they agree to be quarantined at the Christmas Island detention centre for up to 14 days.

Was this fake news? Has Australian policy been changed since it was first announced?

Have Australians actually been evacuated? I think that if you check, Japan was actually among the first, not Australia.

Looks to me like some people are doing bugger all when it comes to reading about what other governments are doing in terms of evacuation and even less when it comes to fact checking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of foreign workers in Japan totals record 1.66 million See in context

We cannot vote. Just pay taxes, follow the rules and do what you are told.

Some cities allow foreign nationals to vote in local elections.

I am a Japanese citizen with permanent residency rights in Britain. I pay taxes but I have no vote at any level of government.

Permanent residency in the US does not give you a vote but you get to pay taxes even if you have no US income.

Nothing particularly notable about Japan in terms of what (permanent) residency gets you.

Japanese companies utterly refuse to hire anyone with professional experience but low level of Japanese 

Some large Japanese companies have so many such employees that they have made English the language for corporate meetings even in Japan. Some large Japanese companies even have CEOs with no significant Japanese language skills.

Small businesses cannot afford the luxury of people who are functionally illiterate in Japanese. They hire foreign graduates of Japanese universities who often have near native level Japanese, fluent English, and one or more languages from their home countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan speeds up new virus measures; infected carriers to be barred entry See in context

Commentators here have frequently styled Abe a "dictator." I can understand their disappointment when he has failed to act like one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.