Japan Today

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Posted in: Fukushima mobilizes 3,900 to help decontaminate 'hot spots' See in context

Uhm, check out what James over at Japan Probe is saying regarding this video.


Didn't bother leaving a response there since I'm done with his site. He was one of those who was constantly outspoken about the sensationalist foreign media coverage in the period immediately following the disaster and was also one of those downplaying the nuclear crisis as a result.

Look at this video rationally, sure. I have no problems with that. I also realized it was just a small part of the meeting as the rest of the clips it was taken from is linked in the description. But he seems to be missing the point regarding this heavily edited video and that is the way these government bureaucrats are acting. And spare me about the mid-level bureaucrat who don't have the authority. There is a proper way for even low and mid-level workers (does not need to be just civil servants) to respond and acting in this elusive manner sends all sorts of wrong signals no matter if this was just a small portion of the meeting. They can easily respond that while it is not their responsibility and do not have the authority, they will check and get back in touch with the local government and residents as soon as possible. What the hell is so difficult with that?

His previous article regarding the contaminated beef was even worse in downplaying the situation because no matter how much scientific data he cited in that post, this again is missing the point completely. It's about the government mishandling the situation and as a result, causing its citizens undue anxiety. I can see providing some leeway early on but we're going to be heading into the 5th and 6th months soon. Remember, there was a period of time when the politicians were in-fighting about Kan; a period of time they could have been working with local government officials to set guidelines and insure that this contaminated product would not even accidentally get into the supply chain.

And I'm expected to have any trust and confidence in the government after they've managed to screw the pooch with their inaction?

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Posted in: No. of tainted cattle shipped around Japan nears 1,500 See in context

Throughout this whole post-March 11th disaster, I've maintained a rational outlook while also having contingency plans based upon factual information gleaned from multiple sources. One of my biggest issues however was contamination infiltrating the food supply and well, no need to repeat what is slowly leaking out. I say slowly because it is quite clear, the government has been far more reactive than proactive in handling the situation and cannot be trusted. They've been slow in providing compensation to those directly affected because of bureaucratic red tape when they should be going all out to the cut the crap out and help these people. What ticks me off is this the contaminated food ended up being used in school lunches. What is the Tokyo metropolitans stance on this? The standard serving poses no immediate risk. To which I ask, what about the long term cumulative effects? There is this air of denial going on and that is inexcusable.

Over the past few weeks, we've also been discussing leaving because one of the key criteria was the credibility and timeliness of the information being released as well as the government pulling out all the stops to insure the food supply would not be contaminated. Well they've unfortunately managed to fail on both accounts Family and friends here are growing livid with the handling of the aftermath and it is probably only a matter of time before this will begin to boil over with the average citizen, the more the government continues to bungle things up.

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Posted in: Going gaga See in context

Great, the new JT site now allows me to see photos much larger if I accidentally clicked on it like I did here. Now I need to wash my eyes out.

But I agree with others, the charity side of Gaga is a thumbs up.

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Posted in: TEPCO struggling with water treatment system at plant See in context

One thing is sure...if you stay in Japan and you don't have to, you're crazy. Even those with careers and families here really need to consider getting out.

Thank you for calling some of us crazy and being concerned for our well being but I think I'll make those decisions on my own (like certifying myself crazy and considering the need to leave.) I've stated before I have various contingency plans in place depending upon the analysis of various sources of information.

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Posted in: AKB48's 'newest member' turns out to be computer-generated image See in context

Quite a bit of people last weekend who saw the early published photos from the recent Weekly Playboy thought there was something odd about her. Comments made was that her eyes seemed expressionless and didn't go with the smile. More than a handful said her face looked plastic and were already speculating the face was a mashup of current members.

I suppose it is something instinctive where while the CG mashup is still rather impressive, it still isn't easy to piece together the subtleness of details which emote a natural expression.

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Posted in: Tired teddy See in context

You can't sell a photo to news services unless it shows something heart-wrenching.

Excuse me... but what the hell is wrong with you? I've ignored your nonsensical postings up until now but this takes the cake.

As someone else said, there is more than enough scenes of heart wrenching devastation. Most people who have gone to the areas themselves say the same stuff. The pictures and videos do not do any justice until you see and sense it with your your own eyes, ears, and nose. Scenes like this are more than common but I guess in your view, it must all be setup. Oh yeah, some journalists went out of their way to put all those shoes of children, their backpacks and belongings in a strewn pile just for a photo-op to make a quick buck.

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Posted in: Why did those foreigners who decided to leave Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster come in for so much derision from some people who labeled them with words like 'flyjin?' See in context

This whole fly-jin thing is pitting foreigners who stayed versus foreigners who fleed. Unfortunately, it isn't so simple because my personal take has always been that everyone has their own personal reasons.... folks with kids for example would have a very good reason for maybe wanting to be cautious.

There are of course groups of foreigners who for some reason or another have this rather superiority complex... or maybe even the opposite (inferior complex and have to always prove they know a lot about Japanese culture and society to everyone else). You know the types; the ones who feel they've earned their "wings" based on their years living in this country along with the amount they've learned in that time regarding the different facets of everyday Japanese life resulting in "achieving a higher level" of knowledge and expertise compared to other foreigners (I guess in their eyes, they would label these other lesser foreigners as n00bie gaijin).

Some foreigners who spend serious amounts of time blogging about their life in Japan come across this way. I know most done mean it but some do have this serious condescending style in their approach to sharing their idea of Japanese culture to the rest of the world. A few of those sites (not going to name them here but some are known sites in the gaijin J-blog community) clearly also had a chip on their shoulder directly after March 11th regarding the whole thing about foreigners fleeing the country and causing this foreigner versus foreigner derision in the first place.

My stance has always been that each individuals circumstances are unique and if a foreigner felt it was in their best interest to leave based upon their own situations, then I don't see why some other foreigners felt it was any of their personal business and taking it to a level of creating another subclass. When you look at these folks, they come across as class A morons.

However, I also felt that if someone was leaving on their own decision (weren't being directed by their employer to leave as some companies did), they at least owed their employer some form of simple notice and the reason why. This is just plain common courtesy which I know is very lacking in todays society. Yes, I know some companies are cr*p but in this day and age where jobs are not a dime a dozen, you don't want to burn the bridge or leave a less than desirable impression of yourself no matter how crummy that firm is. I personally would give far more leeway to someone who at least informed me they were concerned for their personal safety or whatever other reason as opposed to someone who packed up and quickly skipped town for a few days without saying anything (communicating intentions goes a long way when it comes to employment). Regardless though, I wouldn't go about classifying these folks in the derogatory manner that some did in terms of the whole fly-jin thing.

IMHO, the ones who intend to engage in that going forward are the ones with the problem as all they are doing is showing what really small minds they have. They really aren't that much better than the ones doing the tasteless scaremongering.

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Posted in: Japan says dumping radioactive water in ocean doesn't violate law See in context

As was said what do YOU want them to do with the lower radiation water that is in the tanks now? Wish it to go away? Don't just rant but try to give us ideas on how to do better.

I posted in some other topic last week that this would be an issue which would vex even the experts. Short term, everything has been stopgap as far as "solutions" go. There was even an "expert" on CNN who was asked if dumping this into the ocean was the best route to take and he said it wasn't but that it was essentially the lesser of two evils. In otherwords, this "expert" in the short term also had no better idea of where to put this lesser contaminated water so that they can use the storage for the more highly contaminated stuff.

Thus I highly doubt any of the armchair "experts" here on JT have any feasible solutions which those working in the nuclear industry worldwide haven't already thought of because if there was one, there would surely be at least ONE nuclear industry expert to have gotten some serious airtime with their solution.

This also isn't about shokatta ga nai and sticking ones head in the sand. Human hindsight is always 20/20 about what should have been done. Maybe if one needs to have so much contingencies in place, maybe that is telling that such a thing should not be done in the first place. Our society has placed great demands for ubiquitous amounts of power and nuclear has been one method for countries that lack natural resources. But like everything else in life, there is no free lunch as there are always potential consequences. Nuclear energy has its achilles heel being shown much more clearly now. You cannot just shut it off and be done with it. There is a long maintenance cycle which includes cooling the fuel rods and then dealing with the ultra long term storage of spent fuel rods. When the system works, it works well. But when things go bad, they go bad big time.

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Posted in: This is not a test See in context

hind sight is always 20/20


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Posted in: Edano criticizes TEPCO for series of mistakes on nuclear plant See in context

Why isn't TEPCO president on site with a bucket and a shovel already?

Maybe because he doesn't know how to operate those two?

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Posted in: Edano criticizes TEPCO for series of mistakes on nuclear plant See in context

The situation at the crippled complex remains unpredictable, Edano said Saturday, adding that it would be “a long time” until the crisis ends.

Unfortunately, this is a huge understatement by Edano. As I mentioned in the other article, one just has to look at the videos of the structural damage to the reactor buildings from the hydrogen blasts to deduce there is going to be damage to the contents of those buildings which just complicates the task of stabilizing the cooling situation for both the reactors and spent fuel storage pools. The radiation complicates everything since it makes it difficult to get into the trouble spots to see what is happening; then there is the whole matter of trying to fix them under the circumstances. We're witnessing the classic "exploding parts" problem where you have all these issues cropping up but are able to only address a few of the higher priority ones that are critical to getting the situation stabilized; but fixing the most pressing issues are wrought with other problems that prevents resolving them quickly.

Still, that does not excuse TEPCO's mismanagement with regards to monitoring and reporting radiation levels in a timely manner as well as ensuring the safety of their workers at the site who have it even worse in terms of having to deal with direct exposure to ionized radiation.

Knowing the modus operandi of large entities in how/when they release information to prevent a larger scale of anxiety and panic amongst the general populace that can lead to irrational behavior, it is quite clear (when reading between the lines of Edano's public criticism) that the government is now feeling more pressure in walking that fine line balancing act because as time passes, the public's level of anxiety will naturally increase. I mean look at the run on bottled water when they just released information related to the increase of iodine in the water plant water supply. The problem is compounded by the scope and magnitude of the disaster (the natural one up north and the man made one at the Daiichi plant). There are no quick easy fixes with the nuclear plant issue and that in itself has a trickle effect on so many other things which the government, businesses, and the populace will be facing in the coming months.

And at this juncture, I highly doubt the government even cares about putting on a good public face regarding the selling of their nuclear technology to other countries because their immediate first priority with the nuclear plant is getting the necessary cooling infrastructure in place to provide long term cooling of the reactor and spent fuel storage. Getting that under control reduces the long term radioactivity risks faced by the public.

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Posted in: Tokyo shoppers clean store shelves of basic goods See in context

Go out and buy a Brita filter and use the tap water.

Thank you for giving me a really good laugh for the first time in two weeks. It is much appreciated in these trying times.

why don't I just pee into it and drink it up? it can filter everything, right brainiac?

Nah, filtering out pee requires TWO of them Brita's... Kanpai!

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Posted in: Jesus Christ lived in Aomori - really? See in context

I wonder if JIZASU KURAISUTO-san enjoyed Aomori's delicious apples and garlic?

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Posted in: Former porn star Ai Iijima found dead at Tokyo apartment See in context

This might just be a case of death by natural causes. Quite a number of her blog postings seemed to complain of poor health (worse than when she stepped away from the geinou in 2006). One photo looks like she is getting her hair done and she jokes about how it looks like she has alopecia areata (hair loss).

Half of JT doesn't even have the integrity to respect the dead. Typical.

What comes around goes around. Karma usually has a way of taking care of classless and disrespectful people like that.

RIP Ms. Iijima.

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Posted in: DJ OZMA to retire at end of year; become producer See in context

“I debuted in Taiwan back in March 2006, and since my peak at the Red and White Singing Contest at the end of that year, things have been going slowly downhill, and I feel I’ve reached my limit,”

DJ OZMA never had any high limits to begin with. His act and resulting popularity was just a flash in the pan which ended up growing old like the "GET'S" dude, Hard Gay, and what will happen if it already hasn't happened to one trick ponies like Yoshio Kojima.

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Posted in: Softbank boosting efforts to shore up sales of Apple Inc.'s iPhone 3G See in context

Regarding sales of iPhone 3G in Japan : the correct data is : on 391 500 new mobile phone subscribers in July, Softbank got 215 400 new subscription, which means 50% of all market !!!!

I believe that Appleinsider article is misleading because it is missing some important pieces of information. If you go to the original Tech-On article http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20080808/156265/, those numbers (391,500 and 215,400) are year-over-year numbers from July 2007-2008 and not for just the month of July 2008.

The article also says near the bottom that SoftBank added 52,000 new subscribers. That number is the gain from the iPhone 3G in July 2008. KDDI's numbers for July 2008 was flat at 17,000 new customers so yes, if you look at it from that perspective, the iPhone 3G had a huge impact on KDDI. The number of actual units sold however is not impressive at just 52,000. This is why this article says they now expect sales to reach just a little over 100,000 units instead of the original 1 million because now that the initial demand is over, SoftBank is way below the rate needed to achieve that original goal unless sales pickup drastically.

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Posted in: Porn actress, producers arrested for filming in rear of dump truck See in context

Did it take the police 20 minutes to get there or did the police have a stop watch and waited until they were finished or did someone get to "review" the evidence?

I believe they used footage from some of the surveillance and traffic cams in the area to figure out the length.

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Posted in: JAL installs self check-in machines at Narita See in context

What I can't understand is why does it take so little effort to get a boarding pass from one of the automated kiosks, but it's like pulling teeth to get the same boarding pass the conventional way, face-to-face with an actual person who supposedly is more familiar with the system?

Maybe because one is a computer? I dunno, never had problems with the ladies at either ANA or JAL at NRT.

You pay extra to cover the wages of all those spare people you see standing around watching and trying to look busy counting photocopies and the like. This doesn't only apply to JAL, banks are pretty classic at it too.

That phenomenon is known as gainful employment and is taken to new heights in Japan (elevator girls, depato greeters, the 3 to 4 people who help guide your car out from a parking garage, the girl next to an SCM, etc).

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Posted in: Cheap Trick looks for Japanese reviewers of 1978 Tokyo concert See in context

Yes, a classic rock album that few high school kids in the U.S. could pronounce.


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Posted in: Memorial concerts for X Japan guitarist hide to be held See in context

I'd go just to hear Nawo, MAXIMUM THE HORMONES loud mouth drummer as her screams resonate through the "fabulous" acoustics of Ajinomoto Stadium.

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Posted in: 'Gal Sone' discloses secret of speed-eating See in context

I'd be upset too if my SO went sneaking around behind my back eating my cheese bread. Where's the trust?

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Posted in: Porn producers arrested for filming at McDonald's in Saitama See in context

So McDonald's Japan is now serving weiners (or maybe the tinier vienna sausage), meat balls, abalone, oysters and clams. Good job.

This sounds like one of those "NATURAL HIGH" public sex productions (not like the usually fake or carefully staged stuff from some other producers).. What's funny is they almost always get away with it as everyone just kind of does the feign ignorance routine. If you are lucky, you can sometimes see these bozos doing their public exposure stuff right out front Akihabara Station.

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Posted in: Actress mirror See in context

Honne, Inc today announces the "Actress Mirror Cracker". With human safe sound frequency and a well crafted obakemono mask, you too can recreate the "ugly face cracking the mirror" effect. Specially designed and engineered just for the "Actress Mirror". First 50 orders get a free subscription to Japan Today.

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Posted in: What behavior by train passengers bugs you the most? See in context

Seriously for myself, aside from some of the things mentioned, one thing that drives me up the wall are the epic talkers/storytellers/gossipers on longer train rides. I'm not talking about the ones that speak quietly either (those folks I have no problems with). It's the ones that talk really loudly so that everyone can partake of their conversation for 2-3 hours nonstop. It is even worse when it is on a limited express or shinkansen. One late afternoon coming back from Kinugawa Onsen on the SPACIA Ltd Express, these group of guys were at it all the way. I know the suit working on his laptop in front of me was super annoyed as I could see him put his hands over his ears.

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Posted in: 10 million yen found in discarded pot in Osaka See in context

Ditto. All I find are the useless 1 yen slugs.

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Posted in: Pimp for teenage girls in Kabukicho busted See in context

Meh, I know someone who works part-time (up to 4 hours max per evening) as an escort and makes effectively 10,000 yen/hour. How much is the client charged by the front office? 35,000-80,000 yen depending on service (she does get extra for the higher cost services). Sure, they don't see the bulk of the money but what they get still isn't chump change when you consider. Like most escorts at the better places, she only makes herself available a few times per week. And yes, she is a pretty normal person and doesn't have a problem talking about the generalities with me (but is steadfast in not talking about any client). They seem to be taken care of pretty well and are required to be frequently tested.

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Posted in: X JAPAN to perform at Madison Square Garden See in context

For their shows in Japan, a certain number of tickets were set aside for people coming from overseas

For most concerts (no matter what country), standard procedure by the bands business manager is to always pull blocks of tickets from the allotment for guests, VIP's, etc. These are usually premium seating. Often times, that guest list is in a constant state of flux until the day of the concert. However, and usually several hours before the doors open, those tickets which haven't been issued to the guest list are released for sale to the general public. Back in the day, we used to "upgrade" our seats by working the system to get these tickets.

For the Tokyo Dome shows, a US based marketing group was involved with coordinating ticket sales/tour packages to overseas participants. That is why tickets were earmarked for that overseas group. I'm sure something like this for Japanese fans will be utilized as a contingency plan in the event that demand isn't strong; it just makes prudent sense but as per my previous message, I doubt they'll have a problem with moving tickets.

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Posted in: X JAPAN to perform at Madison Square Garden See in context

Based on what they announced, they want to bring the stage show experience that existed at Tokyo Dome to whatever concerts they perform overseas. If that is the case, then they are likely going to book the arena. Would not surprise me if Yoshiki is a bit hesitant (thus the lack of what seemed a no brainer to announce something in Los Angeles as well) due to the uncertainty of how much tickets they can sell. Add the expenses they'll be incurring shipping a heck of a lot of equipment and it doesn't take much to figure out there is financial risk involved.

Since this is probably also a tour targeted at the overseas fanbase first, the initial ticket allotment might be skewed in that direction. That initial demand will probably determine the allocation for Japanese fans. With the Japanese fanbase, tour packages are going to pretty much be a given. When TUBE held their 15th anniversary concert in Honolulu, over 13,000 fans from Japan attended the show. There were packages through their fan club and various other packages by tour agencies. In fact, the number that made the trip outnumbered those attendees who were Hawaii residents. There were also a large amount of fans from Japan when Amuro Namie performed at the Waikiki Shell; probably more than half of the 6,000 in attendance. So long as their big artists perform in key cities, the Japanese fanbase will go.

Still, there should be a draw for X Japan as TM Revolution and Tamaki Nami drew around 4,000 (most did not even attend the expo and only went to the concert) in Anaheim at Pacific Media Expo in 2004 and L'Arc~en~Ciel 12,000 at Otakon 2004. If you can attract that many anime geeks and jrockers to Maryland, New York City should be a piece of cake.

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