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HongoTAFEinmate comments

Posted in: Trump officials emphasize coronavirus was 'Made in China' See in context

I think we have much more pressing problems than pointing fingers at each other. There will be time for recriminations later.

In the meantime, I just hope the sane elements that surround President Trump can keep him focused on what needs to be done. If they fail to do so, many folks will die.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Kurabo to sell kits to detect new coronavirus in 15 minutes See in context

Importing these tests, and getting them approved for use are different issues. Unless the government decides to do a "Korea" and fast-track an approval, the importer won't get this on the schedule of approved practices under the terms of the national health insurance system. What is more, there are any number of screening procedures that are currently very close to being produced. Having said that, the Ministry of Health and Welfare is definitely under the pump to get something out there ASAP that can be done much more quickly and cheaply than PCR.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Kurabo to sell kits to detect new coronavirus in 15 minutes See in context

In two minds about this. If it is accurate, sure. If it isn't, the last thing we need is a hysteric population overtaxing existing medical resources and demanding treatment on the back of false positives.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: WHO pandemic declaration won't change Tokyo Olympics plan: Suga See in context

This is turning into a farce. Talk about being in denial. It is obvious that Japan is hoping for a last minute reprieve as we head into summer and the virus dies off. However, there is no proof yet that it will automatically happen.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. airstrike targets 'Jihadi John' from IS slaying videos See in context

Don't know about the idea of publicizing the event potentially before the fact. Rather than grandstanding for the media, the authorities should obtain actionable intelligence and then do the job. Saying this and that but not delivering is worse than saying nothing at all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: It will be great if wind and solar power can work as substitutes, but they can’t immediately serve as baseload power sources like coal does. See in context

Dear Professor: The earth is also round. Stop saying the bleeding obvious and come up with some original ideas.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Irate passenger arrested after getting off train stopped between two stations See in context

Drunk at the time, who would have guessed?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Navajo code talker recalls WWII role in tricking Japanese See in context

Can somebody tell me why they decided on the Navajo language rather than one of the other Native American languages? Furthermore, does Navajo have any cousins (is it one of a number of languages in a specific family)?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan says U.N. envoy retracts remarks on schoolgirl sex See in context

@GW I disagree. Japan has more than enough issues that it deserves to be pillared for. However, it doesn't deserve to be convicted based on shoddy work. This representative should be made to specificy her sources and judged accordingly. If not, then what is the point? Let's face it, people are quick to convict scientific researchers (like Obokata) for fraudulent manipulation of data, why not in this case?

Moreover, making correlations between this case and Japan's myriad other sins doesn't really help. The sole issue here is the report in question, and the veracity of the claims it has made (and the data used to underpin them).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Man arrested after hiding in drain to peep up skirts See in context

Who would be a copper, imagine the smell after this chap had spent some time in the cells.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan says U.N. envoy retracts remarks on schoolgirl sex See in context

While not denying that the problem exists, I have to side with Japan on this one. Using data to support your arguments is one thing, but throwing around random numbers is another. Japan should go in hard on this. The UN representative should be made to clearly identify the "source" of her figures. If "open sources" means Wikipedia, she should be shown the door. Gross misrepresentations of data, whether it is in public policy or scientific research, are unexceptable.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan, White House rule out re-opening TPP talks See in context

@zones2surf Your comment is actually only half right. The long-term driving forces behind the TPP in its current incarnation have been the US and what was once called "the Cairns Group". To cut along story short, they were the countries that were stiffed when the Doha Round collapsed.

Moreover, Japan's own involvement in the TPP saga has been on and off. Tokyo was actually caught out by the fact that negotations moved forward. Hence the panicked scramble a couple of years ago to get a last minute seat at the table (I seem to remember a meeting in Thailand). Before that, however, Tokyo was the heavy hitter in the establishment of APEC, while the theoretical framework for both APEC and the TPP can be traced back to the Crawford-Okita Report of 1976.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, White House rule out re-opening TPP talks See in context

Issue of whether there should be a pact or not aside, what gives the right for the US and Japan to potentially strike side deals? If the US is truly upset about the outcome of the negotiations, then its voters should throw out those politicians whom signed up for it.

However, knowing the recent toxicity of US politics, I'm inclined to think that this has more to do with political point scoring (reading partisan politics) rather than the TPP agreement itself.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Asahi Kasei, Takata, Toyo Tire, Toshiba, Olympus and many more too numerous to mention over the past decade -- the list of scandals concerning fabricated data, false labeling, accounting irregularitie See in context

Signs of a maturing economy? It also has to be remembered that "Japan, Inc." in the first place was a stab at the government's industrial policy at that time. The whole sunrise, sunset industries era and the so-called convoying of business. Indeed, in those days the buck definitely stopped in the ministries, as such, no hanky panky saw the light of day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Police arrest older brother of 12-year-old Kyoto student over smoking marijuana See in context

Reefer madness hits Japan. What was the name of the chicken that ran around screaming "the sky is falling". Also, I hate to be a prude, but I seem to remember the Lancet (the British Medical Journal) publishing an article that linked the smoking of mary jane with an increased incidence of psychosis.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Becky opens Tokyo Dome City winter illumination season See in context

Already 31? I remember when my sons used to watch her on the kiddies shows on NHK way back when.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: War on Christmas? Starbucks cups cause social media outcry See in context

Unfortunately arcadius beat me to the punch. Having read this "story," I feel that somebody has robbed me of two minutes of my life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: End of an era: Sony to stop making Betamax tapes See in context

@turbostat Yes, definitely in its modern incarnation (Jobs Mark 2). Not many people remember that prior to Steve Jobs returning to the company, Apple actually loosened the leash and there were a series of Mac Clones. However, when Jobs returned that all went out the Window. Actually, the Windows vs. Mac paradigm is a good example of the two approaches. The reason why Windows has such a huge market share is that Gates and friends basically gave the OS away to anyone. Jobs, etc., have tried to keep their OS in house. Cannot think of any other good examples at the moment, maybe the DVD format? Feel free to chip in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 Yomiuri Giants pitchers banned indefinitely for gambling on baseball See in context

These guys are toast. Talk about history repeating itself. It's the Black Mist all over again. Any baseball fans out there who want the autographs of these guys will just need to go to AEON, where they will be bagging groceries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: End of an era: Sony to stop making Betamax tapes See in context

@presto I don't know what it is like these days, but way back when there were two major strategies with respect to technologies. One was to keep them on a short leash (the proprietary approach) and the other was to give them away (the open approach). The attraction of the first was to be able to control everything, the attraction of the second was to grow the market quickly. The philosophy in both cases was to control the technology paths (how technology moves from Point A to Point B). Both strategies have their advantages and pitfalls.

Anyway, Sony (the intellectual property folks) decided that they wanted to control Betamax, while Panasonic decided that they would give VHS away. The outcome of this was that VHS sales (through multiple manufacturers and brands) far outpaced Betamax sales (from Sony). Thus, despite Betamax being the better technology, VHS was in everybody's living room. By the time Sony realized their mistake it was too late.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 1st Japanese domestic passenger jet makes maiden flight See in context

Wow, its been a long time in coming. I seem to remember discussing this (and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government flogging the idea at various international meetings) about 10 years ago. I also seem to remember hearing that the bureaucrats down in Kasumigaseki were squaring off for a turf war regarding this project. Whatever the case, I hope that this project ends up being a success.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: End of an era: Sony to stop making Betamax tapes See in context

A very old friend of mine is a veteran of the video wars. A Japanese chap with excellent English, he was very high up at Sony. According to him, Betamax was always the better technology but the marketing and intellectual property folks seriously dropped the ball. Panasonic and friends gave VHS technology away to one and all (to embed the standard in the market) while some idiots and Sony held on until it was too late. The other thing that was not much reported at the time was that the video wars made some companies mortal enemies of one another. Sony was really peaved at certain manufacturers who defected to the VHS standard. Those animosities are apparently still alive and well some thirty years later.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Students complain of being exploited in part-time jobs, survey shows See in context

Having three university students in the family (luckily all tough enough to look after themselves), I have to admit that I have heard some horrific stories second-hand. From what my boys have told me, there are some particularly nasty companies out there. The non-payment of wages, mandatory fines and outright violence are all par for the course. Moreover, female students and those living away from home seem to be particularly at risk. To their credit, however, some folks are not taking this lying down.

"Most Japanese students don't study?" - Show me the data for this?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: The introduction of grandchild leave systems by businesses is an effective way for society as a whole to support the raising of children. See in context

Have to agree with the other comments. This seems very much like PLAN B. The subliminal message is that the legislation (to help parents) which is already on the books is not working, being enforced, taken up by the working generation. As such, let's foist the kids off on grandma and grand dad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Which side do you think will eventually win the dispute between the central government and the Okinawan government over the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station from Futenma to the See in context

Short of independence, it will be the central government. Although unfashionable, intimidation works just about every time. Let's face it, in a little covered episode certain LDP entities have started intimidating the newspapers on the island. Now all the government has to do is use carrots and sticks. There is actually an "Okinawan Development Agency" in the national government, but what do they actually do?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Nastiness threatens future of online reader comments See in context

What's with all the overseas examples? We have a nice little line in vitriol right here on JT (despite the best efforts of the moderators). Moreover, somebody above mentioned this isn't a problem with a "good moderator". Seriously, who would want to sit in front of a PC screen day in, day out, wading through the comments trying to seperate the good from the bad? What a job! Given some of the comments I've seen on other websites, your average moderator either needs a very tough skin or they become a candidate for PTSD.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Schoolgirl seeking crowdfunding to produce anti-train groper pins See in context

Hopefully these pins will be about 9-inches long and tipped with the poison of a puffer fish. Let's just call it a more proactive approach.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Actress Tomoko Tabata reportedly attempts suicide See in context

Knowing a couple of people who have shanked themselves while trying to split a pumpkin, I will give her the benefit of the doubt. Moreover, what if she did try and commit suicide? Criticizing people or grandstanding for the benefit of the peanut gallery doesn't really help.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, U.S. to lead economic rule-making under TPP: Abe See in context

Japan is about a generation too late if it wants to drive the bus. To wit, back in the late 1980s and early 1990s Japan was basically gifted the opportunity to dictate the frameworks by which ISO procedures would be defined. However, they didn't want to know and the Europeans picked up the slack.

Fast forward to the present day and you have buffoons like Abe grandstanding like this. I response to such grandious claims, my first question would be "what can Japan offer"? What we are talking about is a nation state that has huge underlying structural problems that nobody seems willing to recognize, let alone address. As such, Japan proposing to led the formulation of rules rings extremely hollow. Moreover, you have to remember than Japan is a latecomer to the TPP. Indeed, despite the whole structure being based on the work of Okita and Crawford more than a generation ago, Tokyo has not really pushed the agenda overtime. Rather, there is a sense of it being dragged kicking and screaming into this at the last moment. Furthermore, having "America and Japan" dictate terms sounds omnious for the other players. If Japan soft-peddles auto parts, will the US soft-peddle market access for agriculture to the Japanese market? It has happened before and it might well happen again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Sports Agency sets goals for Rio, Tokyo Olympics See in context

Hate to put the kabosh on this, but we've heard it all before. The only difference is that previously it was the mass media pushing the wheel barrow rather than the government itself. Then again, I suppose they have to justify the outrageous amount of money they are spending on the Olympics. But then again, who cares it isn't like the money could be better spent on issues such as homelessness, physciatric care, getting the Tohoku disaster survivors out of their prefabs, putting more money into public education, advancing the social status of women and boosting the birthrate, etc. No Japan doesn't have any issues like that.....

At 20 gold medals, how much is that for each one based on the expense of hosting the games?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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