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hoipolloi comments

Posted in: Japanese bus driver apologizes to victims over fatal crash in Utah See in context

Thanks nichibotsu for clearing that up. I hope the tour company is reprimanded as well with operating license revoked. Mikuni is getting shafted but in all possibility he could have spoke up and refused to drive in the state he was in and should be punished to some degree. In light of the evidence, the company can and should be sued by the survivors and family.

I'm just waiting for sfjp330 to continue to blame the accident on Ford E350 design problems.

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Posted in: Japan ignored own radiation forecasts from very beginning See in context

"Unfortunately, you can't vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place." Noam Chomsky.

In any case, I suppose voting rights for non-Japanese and permanent residence holders are a moot point now.

The "moronic incompetants" are being willfully negligent for good reason. If they were to put up the money and resources to investigate, measure and decontaminate they will be providing evidence against themselves for lawsuits and requests for compensation. By not doing so, they save time, money and effort that would otherwise go towards attempting to save the infrastructure they have invested so much money in just like all well functioning corporations are inclined to do.

NISA as hand puppet of the electricity industry is no accident. There is a lot of money involved in order to create and maintain the government entities to allow free reign by industry. Do not for a second that these people are dumb. They know exactly what they were doing and how to go about doing it. They craft their reports and statements for the desired effect from the majority of the populace of which the 0.5% of the non-Japanese population is not a part of (well, except for the die-hard apologists).

In the meantime, stall, stall and stall some more. They will set themselves up to allow for plausible deniability. If any future cancer cases occur, you can be sure that they are banking on it being difficult to prove in court that the cause was a direct effect from the accident at Fukushima.

In the meantime, don't worry too much and go back to work, paying taxes and consuming. It's all about maintaining the 'wa'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Chiba parents arrested for allowing child to starve to death See in context

We need studies on these sorts of people to find the root causes for incidences like this not just these sound-bite reports of it happening after the fact.

My guess is that it'll uncover a lot of unpleasant truths that are sure to discourage the results of such studies from seeing the light of day.

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Posted in: TEPCO says it has lost contact with 143 nuclear plant workers See in context

Labor abuses like this is not new for TEPCO. There were other incidences in 1997 and 2003 according to this link which quotes from Reuters:


"At Fukushima in 1997, Japanese safety rules were applied in a way that set very low radiation exposure limits on a daily basis, Fujii said. That was a prudent step, safety experts said, but it severely limited what Japanese workers could do on a single shift and increased costs.

The workaround was to bring in foreign workers who would absorb a full-year’s allowable dose of radiation of between 20 and 25 millisieverts in just a few days.

“We brought in workers from southeast Asia and Saudi Arabia who had experience building oil tankers. They took a heavier dose of radiation than Japanese workers could have,” Fujii said.

Tepco would admit five years later it had hid evidence of the extent of the defect in the shroud from regulators. That may have added to the pressure to finish the job quickly. When new cracks were found, they were fixed without a report to regulators, according to disclosures made in 2002."

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Posted in: TEPCO says it has lost contact with 143 nuclear plant workers See in context

People are cheaper to hire than buying and maintaining a fleet of expensive robots that require specialists to handle.

The nuclear industry has a history of using sub-contractors to perform the dirty work. There maintaining safety standards then becomes the responsibility of the contractors. Very win-win for the likes of TEPCO.

Fukushima's Bio-Robots http://www.slate.com/id/2290932/

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Posted in: Republicans hit hard at each other in debate See in context

Dream line up: Ron Paul on the Republican side and Dennis Kucinich on the Democrat side.

America (and indeed the world) needs Ron Paul and/or Dennis Kucinich.

Look up any of their videos on YouTube.

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Posted in: Anti-Korean Wave in Japan turns political See in context

An actor loses his job over publicizing his anti-Korean sentiments? Wow. Times are a changing.

If only that would also work at the political level...

But I guess now that Sousuke has a lot more free time to help volunteer up in Tohoku or was that his plan all along?

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Posted in: Japanese TV show invokes Hitler as motivator See in context

Lincolnman: "Yes, Hitler exerted extremely strong mind control over the German populace, however, it doesn't compare to the level of absolute subservience and manipulation Emperor Showa exerted over the Japanese people, who also committed mass murder and similar types of atrocities in his name during the war....."

Personally, I found that the show was focusing on the techniques that Hitler used in his public oratory and found it informative. Knowing more about people we find objectionable helps us to spot others doing the similar things. However, I don't think it was appropriate to use it in a variety program shown on primetime complete with Yama-chan using Hitler's oratory techniques to blather on about AKB48 of all things (and fail). Something along the lines of a serious, late-night historical documentary on NHK would have been more appropriate. But when was the last time you ever heard of Japanese being sensitive to the thoughts of non-Japanese?

Now all that needs to happen is for another country to do what Lincolnman hinted at which is to showcase the cultural aura and techniques used by the Showa Emperor and the Japanese government during the war to rally the people behind mass murder and atrocities committed all over Asia. They could even take it further and show how the aura continues unabated even to the present day in even the highest levels of modern Japanese society. That would make for a hell of an informative documentary.

We can even have Chris Tucker to try and emulate the Emperor's techniques in front of everyone (but fail).

"Ohmuhgod... WUUUUUUUUT??! YoumeantosayIgottalikeslow DOWWWWWN likethisyoumean?"

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Posted in: Japanese companies trail global peers in use of flexible work practices See in context

This story being here is preaching to the choir.

What we need is for this story to get out to the rest of the world and especially to Japanophiles / anime freaks who think it would be so cool to work in Japan.

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Posted in: Kan criticizes nuclear safety agency, cozy ties to industry See in context


We leave the clean up of the toxic waste to future generations of course! Think of all the new government posts and industries that could be built around it! We just need to be able to pin the blame on the other party and then appear as environmental heroes while making lots of money in the process. Smart, eh?

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Posted in: Kan criticizes nuclear safety agency, cozy ties to industry See in context

"Yes, We Kan"

...is needed now more than ever.

He could have easily quit just like the others and then fade into obscurity and a quiet life knowing just how screwed up things have become like the others. But he didn't.

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Posted in: 3 Japanese lawmakers give up and return home from Seoul See in context

Summary: this is a stupid political stunt to pander even slightly nationalistic voters (a huge demographic) for the next election and distracting attention away from what they should actually be working on and that is containment of the nuclear accident.

Seriously, what the hell are they doing?!

The effect of this charade would also have similar effects in Korea I imagine. The current government would be garnering points with their own nationalistic demographic so why not go with the flow?

In either case, all of this is pointless that gets nothing practical done. I hope someone is able to publicize the amount of taxpayer money wasted in airfare etc. for these idiots.

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Posted in: Record high radiation reported at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant See in context

Apparently, describing the spread of contamination to resemble neat concentric circles is entirely meaningless according to this University of Tokyo professor who has been leading teams into the disaster area to help with decontamination efforts. These videos are all subtitled in English:

Prof. Kodama Angry about Japanese Gov.'s Gross Negligence (Part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlf4gOvzxYc

Prof. Kodama Angry about Japanese Gov.'s Gross Negligence (Part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDlEOmcALwQ

Links to French and German subtitled versions of this video can be found from this blog entry: http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/07/professor-kodamas-speech-in-four.html

Things are much more complicated than it seems and there is an extreme lack of any scientific commentary in mainstream news.

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Posted in: Norway PM urges culture of tolerance See in context


The question was whether 9/11 and this recent Oslo incident are of the same size and scope. And the answer is NO. You won't be seeing much reported on this crime in six months time outside Scandinavia.

Maybe... but that will be because Norway chose not to wage an extended war or employ other violent / invasive measures with their own citizens and other countries over these events.

But realistically, I think that we'll start seeing all the nice analysis results that will be done on Breivik and his manifesto being released from Norway (where they are hopefully out of the sphere of influence by certain interests who wouldn't like what those results may reveal).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Supersize me See in context


The types of cows bred for their marbled meat have black hair. Do a search on Kobe beef on Youtube to see first hand. This is about as much as I know and the "black-haired" was a direct translation from the Japanese source. There's probably a better term that could be used in its place but I don't know.

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Posted in: Kan calls for careful cutback on reliance on nuclear energy See in context


What SquidBert said.

I would like to add that Kan has shown that he is willing to go against the interests of Japan Inc. and their LDP partners. They have given up trying to work with him and are now working the media to damage the image of the DPJ (including swaying members of Kan's own party) in an effort to position themselves for the next election. Kan is unable to pass any needed legislation due to the minority government position of the DPJ unless it is reworked to the whims of the opposition party alliance. By stonewalling anything they don't find agreeable the opposition can use this point to Kan's "incompetency" in being unable to get anything done all the while offering no specific solutions for the nuclear crisis other than Kan's immediate resignation. Kan is being blamed for the nuclear crisis when the legislation/corruption/cronyism surrounding nuclear infrastructure in Japan was carried out by the LDP for decades yet all the majority of Japanese see is reports of incompetence of the highest level in mainstream media. It is a wonder he has lasted this long with other prime ministers not having had to deal with something of the scale of the nuclear crisis in addition to all of the remaining economic and social problems that exists and quitting early. Granted he has probably had to make great concessions with the opposition and corporate interests in order to last as long as he has.

Incidentally, fringe parties like Minna No To have offered specific solutions like repossessing TEPCO as a public company for the double purpose of selling off its assets and using the funds to pay for restoration/compensation as well as transitioning Japan away from nuclear power (which I would love to see but likely won't).

And let's not all forget this related story on JT:


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Posted in: Japan widens ban on radioactive beef to Miyagi Prefecture See in context


Did your wife or any of your family members in Japan join you when you left Japan or did you leave by yourself?

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Posted in: Taken for a ride See in context


From the link given above by the_sheriff: http://www.asakusa-e.com/sansaku/koto.htm

The store's name is called "Shimizu Honten" and is an art store established in 1873 (Meiji 6) featuring swords, armor, ceramics, pictures and various other art collectibles. According to the store description, It's popular with visitors from overseas and boast a number of state guests from foreign governments as its customers. They have handled many orders for heads of state like the former president of Indonesia, Sukarno via the Japanese Prime Minister's office.

Incidentally, the tarento Debi Fujin is the former wife of former president Sukarno.

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Posted in: Supersize me See in context

Ted Barrera:

The only text I can make out reads "中目黒 獅子丸バーグ" (nakameguro shishimarubaagu). Doing a search on that pulls up the following sites of an upscale restaurant in Naka Meguro, Tokyo.

http://shishimaru-nakameguro.com/ http://shishimaruburg.com/

The second link shows that the burger being advertised on the Hummer is available by mail order. 5 patties for 3,400 yen or 10 for 6,400 yen since it's made with select beef made from Japanese black-haired cows. Now with extra cesium.

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Posted in: Norway PM urges culture of tolerance See in context

Wow. The first few paragraphs of this article read like a dream. Norway is using Brevik's actions as a catalyst to strengthen their cause for a more free, open and tolerant Norway.

Have you heard of any politician who has said something like this and is willing to back it up? I know I haven't.

While I'd like to quote the whole bit and praise it I'll restrict myself to this little tidbit:

Stoltenberg’s promise in the face of twin attacks signaled a contrast to the U.S. response after the 9/11 attacks, when Washington gave more leeway to perform wiretaps and search records.

It reflects the difference between the two countries’ approaches to terrorism. The U.S. has been frustrated by what it considers Scandinavia’s lack of aggressive investigation and arrests.

This says it all.

Please continue to lead by example, Norway. Please continue to show the world (especially the US) the correct way to deal with terrorism and right-wing anti-multiculturalism. Please continue to show the people of the world just what is possible in a free, open and tolerant multicultural society. Breivik's victims will not have died in vain!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Police, coast guard hold security drill for Taiji dolphin hunt See in context

Japan wants to appear to the world as if they are advancing science and preserving tradition through whaling as well as reaping its commercial benefits (simultaneously downplaying the latter aspect of course. "It would go to waste" and all that.) They are trying their hardest to appear to world to be as "good" as possible while being able to reap the financial rewards involved while employing many questionable methods to do so. They have already been well exposed thanks to the Cove etc. yet they continue to fight. This needs further exposition to the general Japanese public to let them know just what their taxpayer money is being used for. This might not be a great time with the economic, food contamination and nuclear crisis still around. Given the lack of reaction of the Japanese populace / strength of the elites to withhold information regarding these more serious issues I have little hope that whaling will be resolved in a positive manner anytime soon. One can always hope and Greenpeace is still carrying on effort.

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Posted in: JR West punished staff with toilet duty, cutting weeds See in context

"The beatings will continue until morale improves."

This train of thought (pardon the pun) behind this sort of abuse is indicative in all traditional hierarchical Japanese companies. Labor violations abound yet are ignored and/or unreported. Unpaid overtime the norm and workers are treated like disposable cogs and this kind of treatment is against regular Japanese. Imagine the kind of treatment non-Japanese receive in these sorts of companies.

This all contributes to the large amounts of undue stress induced on the general populace which help to propagate further social problems. Workers feel powerless when exploited in these sorts of situations and with the economy the way it is they feel they have no choice but to comply. Guess who become the convenient scapegoats to direct the anger felt from their exploited positions at work?

The logic behind punishing workers this way is "learned subservience to the company" but it is also to save the company money on maintenance at the same time. Hell, even if the staff didn't do anything wrong, you can make something up however minor to "punish" them in order to get some free maintenance done. They're on salary after all? The flip side is that they get to do the same thing to their inferiors once they are promoted and the circle of life continues. To make sure they do not think about, make it as humiliating as possible. To be fair, I have seen regular cleaning staff in uniform around major stations but minor stations probably have the regular staff taking turns doing the maintenance, some of which are lacking and are grimy as hell.

You gotta wonder what those executives and managers do all day talking among themselves...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Police, coast guard hold security drill for Taiji dolphin hunt See in context

Where to start with all this...

My opinion is that if Taiji is trying to play the tradition card they should take that to its logical conclusion and use only traditional boats, hunting equipment and methods in their hunts. After all, they're doing this in the name of tradition, correct? A great time to put their money where there mouth is. By doing this, the number of whales hunted will drop significantly, tradition preserved and hunting confined to only areas near Japanese waters where they will bear full responsibility and effects for any overhunting that may occur. I think that is a fair compromise for allowing the hunt to continue. Most of the world does not want commercial whaling in Antarctic waters period especially in light of current Japanese whaling methods (eg. spear to the head and let to writhe until death).

Moderator: Whaling is not relevant to this discussion.

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Posted in: Lee says Japan lawmakers in danger if they visit disputed island See in context

As long as there is still a sizable voter demographic in Japan that is still anti-Korea for political reasons existing you'll have J-politicians positioning to acquire those votes in various ways (diversion of public attention away from nuclear problems at home being a bonus). Any improvement in relations with Korea and China and you stand to alienate that demographic. Are there any J-politicians courageous enough to do that?

Think big picture, guys. Just what are some of the underlying reasons for this charade at this time of national crisis?

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Posted in: Japanese bus driver apologizes to victims over fatal crash in Utah See in context


You're funny, dude. Mikuni admitted to falling asleep at the wheel and the police have already deemed the accident to be 100% driver error. Any vehicle would have flipped travelling at 75mph which is what the speed of the van was travelling at the time of the accident. No amount of "better weight distribution, low center of gravity" etc. is going to counter a fully loaded vehicle going 75mph with a sleeping driver. Period. Can you try to think within the parameters of the accident at hand instead of trying to pull out general statistics that don't relate at all? Or should we all try to blame the design of our vehicles the next time we fall asleep at the wheel at high speeds and cause an accident? How you can bring Toyota Siennas into this conversation is beyond me (I know it's because you want to divert attention away from the fact that a Japanese driver was negligent, in another country no less, and that Japanese automobile technology is superior blah blah blah).

Alright then here's something to think about: if the Ford E-350 is so dangerous as you say then why was it chosen by this Japanese tour company to use in its fleet? Shouldn't they have known better to use superior Japanese vehicles to safely transport their most honorable customers? After all, the Japanese hold safety to be of the utmost importance (driver side floor mats, buggy braking systems software, nationwide food contamination and nuclear reactors in proven earthquake zones notwithstanding)?


Japanese tour companies that engage in illegal driving? A Japanese tour industry that doesn't listen to the locals that they're allowed to do business in? Thank you for sharing with us the existence of these foreign criminals within the United States. I hope they are reported and punished for the various traffic and labor violations they have committed and that they do not cause further accidents that would also endanger the lives of local citizens who allow them to do business there.

You sound like you have a very hard schedule to maintain in your job. Do they not consider having an alternate driver along and/or schedule more frequent breaks? Or because of the shortness of Japanese holidays are they forced to abide by these sorts of grueling schedules?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. issues worldwide alert against al-Qaida attacks See in context


Yep, that about covers it.... Looks like I can't do anything anywhere without worrying about an attack....

The Al-Qaida boogeyman is everywhere! But not to worry, Captain America is here to save the day!

Is there no way to stop this endless creation of enemies for the purpose of spending and profiting off of defense resources and controlling resources?

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Posted in: U.S. issues worldwide alert against al-Qaida attacks See in context


Good point. Soros invested heavily in scanners just before Obama greatly expanded the role TSA would have in 'providing' security. Did you invest ?

Call me dumb and impractical but even if I had the money and the infrastructure available to make an investment on it, I could not in good conscience profit from the invasion of privacy of Americans and anyone who flies in and out of the US. This is coming from someone who isn't even American.

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Posted in: AKB48 performing 3-day concert series at Seibu Dome See in context

The creators and marketers of these groups are geniuses. Do you not think being able to get people to pay to watch girls play rock paper scissors and getting them to buy large numbers of physical albums and goods in order to get votes for their favorite performer (in this age of digital music) to be utter genius?

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Posted in: Ebizo, Kobayashi have baby girl See in context


But putting work before family especially something like not attending the birth of your firstborn child shows extreme dedication in eyes of your superiors! </sarcasm>

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Posted in: Utility executives biggest political donors to LDP: report See in context

This is my surprise face: ( -_- )

These numbers reflect only what has been reported. Who knows how many other exchanges under the table have gone on...

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