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Hoofin comments

Posted in: Managing employees in times of crisis See in context

The other thing that seems odd about the article is how you sense that the author considers other people as simply "units" to be used and then scrapped.

Even the pedestrians around Tokyo aren't "functioning" quite the way they should.

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Posted in: The big Buddha See in context

I went there last year. Quite a piece of artwork for something made several centuries ago, and a great inspiration for followers of the faith.

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Posted in: All signs point to Republican victories: polls See in context

Wiki any mid-term election for the last 100 years. By and large, the Presiden't party loses seats in Congress. Sometimes, like 1946, 1966, 1974, 1982, 1994, and 2006 , it's by a large amount.

All this goofy wave talk is nothing new.

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Posted in: Ascendant on the rise See in context

I don't know for absolute certain, but the word in the accounting community is that the business model works like this:

1) Rely on ACCJ to funnel business opportunities to this company, particularly smaller, overseas outfits looking to do some business in Japan.

2) Convince the foreign company that it's better to outsource their finance function (including HR & payroll) to Ascendent than to have an in-house team in Tokyo.

3) Hire people at cut rate to service this now-outsourced business. The article mentions 10-15% turnover on a staff of 80. Which piece of your now-outsourced company functions are going out the door with that turnover? 150 multinational companies and a staff of 80. Hmmm.

4) Once the foreign company signs the outsourcing deal, they're somewhat stuck. If you had hired the wrong in-house team, you can try to make adjustments. But if you outsource, your remedy is really just breach of contract. (Remember, you signed up in the first place to save money and avoid legal and financial headaches.)

The business model works fine as long as everything works right. If something doesn't work right, for whatever reason like turnover, it can be a mess. This is why I believe these kinds of firms are "unique". Once it goes beyond something that looked like the traditional accounting firm into some new "professional services" firm, there are too many moving parts.

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Posted in: Walk this way See in context

ben says:

<i>An amateurish, boring photo of absolutely no social relevance or visual interest.</i>

It's not so much that, as . . . it's been done already.

Some urban background of a Tokyo building or scene scape, and a business or casually dressed Tokyoite with a keitai. Oooh! How exotic! How electronic!

I think when I was snapping the Yaesu Mizuho Shoken board on Sotodori the other day, (after Kan won), I caught a passer-by in the flick. I have to go back and check, but it's going to look a lot like this photo. Except a guy and the electronic shoken board.

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Posted in: What are some of your favorite examples of the way English is misused in products, advertising and pop culture in Japan? See in context

I think the misspellings are minor and do a lot to lighten up the place. Language is art.

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Posted in: Katy Perry to perform in Japan on Aug 16 See in context

It's a J-Wave fave, but I think it was down to #2 in the Top Ten this afternoon. Katy uses a number of '70's and '80's themes in the song, and at one point sounds like Cyndi Lauper. What's old is new again.

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Posted in: Open season See in context

The young man is a multimillionaire, before age 20. Millionaires have their eccentricities, and get away with them!

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Posted in: From TV to politics, Renho blazes a trail See in context

Wow! 150,000 followers. I wonder how many are government bureaucrats wondering if or when the ax will fall . . .

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Posted in: Hatoyama apologizes for plan to move Futenma base within Okinawa See in context

This is all nonsense and makes Uncle Sam look like the bad guy.

If Japan doesn't want the bases, end SOFA.

They won't end SOFA because nobody on the other side of the Sea of Japan forgot what Japan did 1910 to 1945.

America is just being used, and the American sellouts within Japan aren't speaking up enough.

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Posted in: Anti-base ad See in context

"I dislike how the discussion" is what I meant to say in that final paragraph.

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Posted in: Anti-base ad See in context

My concern with reopening the Okinawa redeployment is that changes would be without opening up greater SOFA. Changes to the Okinawa agreement should be made only as part of the overall Status of Forces agreement.

Japan can end SOFA at any time by giving one year's notice to the United States (and vice versa).

If Japan doesn't want the bases there (or anywhere), just end SOFA.

I discussion how the discussion about Okinawa always tends to repeat the same anti-American arguments. People have a right to their sentiment, but it just sounds like Okinawa is once again being "used", figuratively, toward some other end. It makes you wonder whether it is genuine support for Okinawa or just an excuse to go into the mode.

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Posted in: The rise and fall of the Roppongi Hills 'tribe' See in context

Hey, they left out Lehman Brothers Japan (40th something floor of RH) going bankrupt in September '08, and setting off a financial crisis, too!

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Posted in: Visa guideline on health insurance deleted See in context

Noborito, give me some time to get a post up at my site.

If you an American, you (or your employer) must certify that you are covered under both American pension and social security in order to avoid the Japanese system.

Furthermore, if you do get this certification (evidenced by form "USA/J-6"--USA comes first), you agree not to use the Japanese medical system at all.

That is the rule. What the Choicers front page is saying is plain wrong.

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Posted in: Visa guideline on health insurance deleted See in context

Noborito, if you are an American, you would also have to certify (an obtain a special certificate) that you will not use the Japanese hospitals or doctors in the system at all. More on my blog today and later this week.

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Posted in: Visa guideline on health insurance deleted See in context

Guideline 8 has nothing to do with free choices. It was an administrative rule to consider your duty to enroll in Japanese health and pension programs as one of the factors in a visa renewal.

Now, they simply won't consider it. Instead, if you haven't enrolled, they'll give you the information on how to, (and probably pass your name over to Labor and Health, the real enforcer, to see what your circumstances are.) If you have enrolled, then you can submit your card and blue nenkin book.

I think the guidelines for PR status are different than the seven given for a visa renewal. There is more to PR status.

Since Ron Kessler's "group" never bothered to contact Labor and Health about this gap-insurance proposal, I think anyone who hasn't been paying the right premiums could still potentially be on the hook.

Check with Labor and Health as to whether, as a foreigner, you can wing it with the health insurances, and good luck with that.

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Posted in: Visa guideline on health insurance deleted See in context

Noborito says:

overall policy up to 1,700,000 US$ per year. Even pays for my remains, if I were to die here, to be shipped home.

There is no way an insurance selling for less than $150 a month is going to give you a $1,700,000 a year coverage on health care.

"Repatriation of remains" insurance is just overpriced life insurance. The keisatsu will only release your remains to an embassy or family member. They are going to arrange to ship you home, then. Your estate can cover the bill for much less than the gap-insurance markup.

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Posted in: Visa guideline on health insurance deleted See in context

individual offices and officers are “forbidden” to pressure anyone to join

And I'm wondering if this is in the (now) Seven guidelines, or is embellishment from the article's clear source.

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Posted in: Visa guideline on health insurance deleted See in context

Noborito, what is the limit on your policy, and what is your assurance that you won't be asked for an estimated payment of a bill in full if you show up at a hospital here? (Or, even, be turned away . . . )

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Posted in: Visa guideline on health insurance deleted See in context

The Immigration department indicated late last summer that they would not be enforcing Guideline 8. But Guideline Eight isn't the real law anyhow. And Immigration does not enforce insurance and labor codes.

Now immigration will simply ask you for the card. And if you don't have it, your name will just get forwarded to your local ward office insurance desk. To check up on why you don't have it.

As I've been saying, if they kick you out of the country, there goes the insurance payments.

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