Japan Today

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Posted in: Parents arrested for assaulting, confining 16-year-old daughter See in context

Put on too much weight? Solution - Starve the poor child? Sounds like Ancient Rome rather than 21st Century Japan. Seriously, the physical appearance of the child is an irrelevant issue. The only thing that matters is that the parents are alleged thugs.

Of course, everybody realizes that parenting can be difficult. However, "normal" people do not try and fill in their kids with an iron bar.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Computer overheating? Twitter user suggests using 10-yen coins to cool it off See in context

If you are that much of a heavy user, buy and assemble your own custom-made computer. Although not a geek, looking around stores like Yodobashi, I've seen some massive fans for custom-made desktop models. For laptops as well there are things like cooling plates, etc.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Ebi-chan, husband ILMARI welcome birth of baby boy See in context

A very unflattering photo indeed. She was great as the pitchman for ZESPRI kiwifruit years ago.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Shibuya Ward issues Japan's first same-sex partnership certificate See in context

This is a great development. Let's hope that over time a momentum builds behind this and leads towards full recognition under law. Moreover, before anybody gets on their moral hobby horse about this I would offer two brief comments. Don't criticize others until you have walked in their shoes. Secondly, you cannot openly discriminate against minorities in society and expect them to just suck it up.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: What is the most effective way to deal with the groping problem on trains? See in context

Define "problem"? There and then or more generally speaking. There and then my suggestions would be as follows:

If you are the victim, don't just take it. Scream, cry, shout, whatever. Embarrassment can be an effective tool in this anally-retentive society. If you are an onlooker, don't just stand there. You have a moral obligation to help. It doesn't matter if you are a weedy little chap or a 7-foot monster. Anybody who attacks the defenseless needs to be confronted.

Speaking of the big picture, the cops and the prosecutors need to pick up their game. This means both burying the culprits and rigorously investigating. Wrongful convictions are just as bad as letting somebody skate.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Teacher arrested for taking upskirt photos of schoolgirl See in context

Get 'em while their young, and lock them up (the teachers).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Queensland signs Japan rugby fullback Goromaru See in context

Sounds like a good fit. The Reds have been atrocious in recent years while Goromaru was a real star at the World Cup. Following on from what I said yesterday, I wonder if we will see an exodus of Japanese players to other Super Rugby teams due to the administration gridlock that seems to be prevalent at the JFRU? Moreover, Goromaru playing for the Reds will mean that he won't get much exposure up here next (with for some stupid reason the Japanese team being in the other conference).

Whatever the case, I wish him the best of luck despite being a proud supporter of the Brumbies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 12-year-old boy jumps to death in Nagoya subway; leaves suicide note See in context

@Strangerland It's a cliche, a default position. As somebody who has put my kids through school in Japan, I can tell you that these "educators" and "administrators" are all over the parents and the kids until something goes wrong. Then they just through up their hands and don't want to know. Admitting that they screwed up is out of the question.

Based on past cases, what will now happen is that the parents will be forced to launch some form of legal action to get the authorities to admit any blame in this case. It's almost like the old Mito Komon TV series, a sort of highly-scripted, warped morality play in three parts. We've all seen it before and will no doubt see it again. Those who should have been responsible will try and scuttle away like coachroaches exposed by the light. In the end, nobody will take responsibility for this. The kids will skate through the legal system as minors, their parents might give some "atonement" money, but this twelve year old will still be dead. It is a shocking state of affairs that repeats itself again and again like Ground Hog Day. It is all rather despressing.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: In your experience, which airline has the best flight attendants and which one has the worst? See in context

Singapore probably the best in the world, ANA probably the best in Japan. As to the worst, I don't use any other airlines that much anymore, however, as a kid I remember some great stories courtesy of a family friend who was a globe-trotting diplomatic messenger. Back in the day the "east European" airlines apparently had some interesting people working for them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: 12-year-old boy jumps to death in Nagoya subway; leaves suicide note See in context

It's hard enough being a kid. I can be almost unbearable when the pack pursue you. As usual when this happens, a shake my head in despair when some teacher (or local government official) says "we didn't know" or "the child didn't say anything." Such an attitude can only be described as "shirking responsibility" or (more brutually) "trying to weasel your way out." It truly disgusts me. Leadership and responsibility are interwinned.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Duck with arrow in its neck spotted at Saitama park See in context

Here we go again. If I had a hundred yen for every time a duck was drilled with an arrow in Japan, I'd have bought my own island somewhere in the Pacific (or paid the Chinese to build one for me). Does anybody remember the case in Ueno Park years ago when hundreds of government officials ended up terrorising the local avian population in pursuit of one poor bird?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Fare-evader arrested for assaulting taxi driver See in context

Back when political correctness wasn't such a big thing, people who were "really drunk" were in danger of walking into telephone books or falling down the stairs when locked up down the local nick. Reading stories like this makes me reminsce about the good old days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: All Blacks star Dan Carter named World Player of the Year See in context

Although a die-hard rugby fan (and former player), I still cannot get beyond the impression that things are very much a closed shop. Next time, for the first time, the World Cup will actually be in a country other than a traditional powerhouse. That being said, however, all the awards above are restricted to the same small pool of nations. Not too good.

BTW - The referees award should be vacated this year. Owens (and his touch judges) had a shocker in the final. Joubert seriously stuffed up and the conversations with the TMO throughout the tournament were a real snooze fest. While the skills of the players have benefited from professionalism, the referring is a disgrace. I hope the IRU takes a serious look at the situation and develops programs to nuture young elite-level referees because the current crop are failing miserably.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: American goes on trial for murder of woman dumped in bay See in context

Unemployed? That's not what he claimed when arrested. The whole three month timeline might just be because the cops have a slam dunk on this one. What the media report and what the police know are two different things. If they have him on CCTV in one location, you can bet they have a much longer daisy chain of evidence from other cameras as well. His popping over to the US as well doesn't look good. That the police picked him up at the airport indicates that he was under surveillance too boot.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Suspect arrested after man shoved off train platform in Machida See in context

One of my two local stations, the other one being Odakyu. The chap is question is lucky that this happened at the JR station, where the Yokohama Line stops about every ten minutes. If it had been early morning on the Odakyu Line (once described as the most crowded trains in Japan), he might well have been killed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Police to be out in force in Tokyo for Halloween on Friday, Saturday nights See in context

What ever happened to the "Party Line" on the Yamanote? Way back when (and I mean way back), participants in that little escapade were met at each station on the ring by hundreds of Tokyo's finest. Talk about party poopers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Sony, Panasonic post big profits as turnaround plans take hold See in context

Sony? Profits? Is this a misprint? The biggest problem with Japanese consumer electronics is that while things have been liberalized here (due to years of protest regarding the so-called "convoy system" of industrial policy), Japan's main competitor (South Korea) is quite happily using the old Japanese playbook.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Man jailed for 6 years for beating, coercing stepson to commit suicide See in context

This is wrong in so many ways. The sentence, the crimes of this person, the alledged role of the mother. I don't really know where to begin.

At the same time, however, the thing I find most upsetting is this whole "disciplining to make him stronger" malarkey. If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine a self-absorbed little weed of man picking on somebody weaker than himself. The whole image makes me sick. What does acting like such as d*ck really achieve. I hope this chap really gets what he deserves while in prison.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese actress to carry World Cup trophy onto field at Twickenham See in context

It is in England, please choose one of the many English babes!

The "English babes" are unfortunately unavailable. They have all been back training at their clubs for the last month, and for the RFU therein lines the problem.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: What's your prediction for the Rugby World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand? See in context

As a long-time rugby tragic, I cannot decide. On long-term form you would have to go with NZ, however, they haven't really been push thus far. On the other hand, the current Wallabies setup seems rather focused. It's going to come down to the tactics employed. It will depend on who controls the ruck and how the rules are enforced by the referee. Both sides have a strong backrow.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese actress to carry World Cup trophy onto field at Twickenham See in context

If John Eales is one, surely the other one has to be Richard Loe.

Well maybe not.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't overrides protests; resumes work on U.S. base transfer See in context

To put it in a nutshell, the locals have been stiffed yet again. While I agree with the premise of the US-Japan Security Alliance (if only to act as a brake on the rightwing of Japanese politics), I don't agree with the intimidation and strong-arming of the local population down in Okinawa. They have been shafted too often and for too long. Indeed, it is time to consider a reloction of these bases to the mainland. What about the 4th District of Yamaguchi Prefecture, which has a wonderful port at Shimoseki. Surely the local member, one S. Abe, would not object. Tottori No. 1 is another contender, the local MP would be so enthusiastic he would probably lay out his tongue as a red carpet for Uncle Sam.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Man jailed for 6 1/2 years for abducting, confining 11-year-old girl See in context

Although I hate to say it, the girl was lucky. Wasn't there are case up in Niigata (?) where some nutjob lifted an elementary school girl and kept her as his "companion" for something like 10 years?

Moreover, the reporting in this article confuses me.

Sakura’s mother had spotted Fujiwara’s car and contacted police. However, she was only able to provide four digits from his number plate.

Why didn't this information lead to an earlier arrest? Four digits and the color of the vehicle is a fair bit of info in Japan if you consider that the major components of a number plate are "4 digits and a hiragana indicator." Given all the different classes of vehicle (denoted by the index number), how many silver cars were there in the vicinity of Okayama at the time with the same four digits?

Finally, 6.5 years is rather short. On the other hand, however, as somebody who comes across as a "convicted kiddy fiddler," 6.5 years in the general prison population might be a very hard stretch, honor among thieves and all that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: To contribute to the prevention of juveniles repeating offenses, it’s essential to secure opportunities for them to be able to interact with ordinary citizens through such activities as clean-up activ See in context

I can also think of a number of other outcomes from such interactions:

The juvenile delinquents in question could invingle themselves into the confidence of ordinary citizens and then commit crimes against them, a sort of modern-day interpretation of the old Indian practice of thuggy. "Here grandma, just look up at the stars......"

The other outcome of this is a boom in tea sales, which would probably not go astray considering this chap teaches at the University of Shizuoka.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Chiba police officer found dead in apparent suicide See in context

Policing is a thankless task. Long hours, poor pay, high levels of stress and often interactions with people at their worst. It is also very difficult to convey to others what the job means - normal folk just don't understand. Incidents like this are very sad. Unfortunately, however, they are hardly surprising.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Bitcoin CEO spent embezzled funds on prostitutes: reports See in context

As I commented last time this chap was arrested (or perhaps it was the time before that - I'm losing count), if nothing else, this case highlights the way that the Japanese police work. They are not in a hurry to arraign him, all they have to do is chip away bit-by-bit and build their case piece-by-piece. Given how long they have been working on this guy, they probably have more than enough ammunition to keep him in remand for the next five or ten years, without him being formally charged and go in front of a court. No wonder Amesty and certain other groups are critical of the criminal justice system in this country, and no wonder that the conviction rate is so high. All the police have to do is shove him in hole and periodically interogate him to get additional tidbits of information (which form the basis of additional periods of detention).

On a somewhat different tact, given the "evidence" and "supposition" reported on so far, I'm inclined to believe that some of the mud will stick. Then again, whether or not he gets his date in court is immaterial, perhaps it is just cheaper for the state to keep him permanently on remand. No expensive legal fees and all that.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Actress Ai Takabe arrested for cocaine possession See in context

As a follow up to my earlier post, the other "idol" I mentioned was called Minako Komukai. I believe she was grasped by the long arm of the law in 2009. Because this made her into a social phariah in Japan's "entertainment industry," she ended up (or was forced) into a more seedy career. Moreover, having just Googled her name, it seems she was sentenced again this year, the gutter press now describing her as an "AV queen."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Actress Ai Takabe arrested for cocaine possession See in context

She's toast. She'll either go the way of Sakai Noriko (amphetamines at the same time as being the face of the national anti-drugs campaign) or one who was busted a couple of years ago (and ended up doing live sex shows down in Asakusa - cannot remember the name).

Moreover, as usual her "management company" (who probably tried to control every facet of her life) dropped her like a hot potato.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: South Africa, New Zealand set for 'brutal' Rugby World Cup clash See in context

Let's put things in perspective, professionalism in rugby has toned down the biff. No matter how "tough" these guys are, they pale in comparison to the old-style hard men like one Richard Roe, one Buck Shelford, on Togo Rodriguez, etc. The first of this trio, a New Zealander, was famous (or infamous) for offering free cosmetic surgery, free eyesight adjustments, free proctology examinations and a range of other invasive procedures. Buck Shelford was famous for both dishing it out and having certain parts of his anatomy re-attached to his body so he could play the 2nd half. The third gentleman is famous for a single hit (well scrum engagement) which dislocated the shoulder, broke three ribs, shattered the cheeckbones and jaw of an unfortunate opponent (who was actually given a warning in advance). Again, the tough nuts of today don't even compare.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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