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Posted in: Man stabbed to death; another injured in Nagoya street brawl See in context

For those who wonder what the fuss is about the weapons, the "replica wooden swords" in question are bokuto, practice swords for aikido and iaido. Bokuto are (usually) crafted from a solid piece of maple, and weilded properly hit harder than a baseball bat. As mentioned above, Musashi fought the majority of his duels using these - against steel swords.

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Posted in: Man in possession of marijuana locks himself in car in Ginza See in context

It's a poor translation - what happened according to the Japanese press is that when the guy was pulled over, he refused to roll down (open) his window, which led to the police entering the vehicle by force because his behaviour was deemed to be highly suspicious.

If he had simply rolled down the window and given them his license, he would have been fine. Assuming he was concerned about the odor of the mary jane, if he had even exited the vehicle, license and shaken papers in hand, and closed the door behind him, he still would have been fine.

Instead, he sat there in a panic, and provided them with reasonable cause for a search.

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Posted in: How does your workplace deal with the issue of passive smoking? See in context

I work for a health and nutritional supplement company. In keeping with our corporate principles, there is no smoking in the office, in the building, on the grounds, or in the general vincinity of the offices where any of our associates or customers can see our staff. They are further forbidden to smoke anywhere while visibly wearing articles of company logo clothing, and there is no smoking allowed at company functions.

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Posted in: Man arrested for stabbing brother in love triangle with ex-wife See in context

But what is it with the Japanese and knives?

Simple - firearms are tightly controlled and the average person here doesn't have access to anything deadlier than a knife.

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Posted in: 15 teenagers arrested for dangerous driving on scooters in Tokyo See in context

On top of that, you have to keep in mind that Japanese police ride motorcycles that look like they were made in Russia circa WWI, and which couldn't even catch up to a scooter if they tried.

Smithinjapan... you obviously know nothing about motorcycles.

Most of them ride Honda VFR750P, and I know skilled guys who've tried to outrun them on Hayabusas or other liter-plus sportbikes who've been nabbed in the end.

Demonstration of riding skill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Vsnw1u5g4

The reason they have such trouble with these kids is that they are bound by procedural regulations regarding juvenile offenders dictating that they can't harm the kids in the process of arrest/detainment unless they are presenting a clear and present danger to another individual.

In other coutnries, the kids don't stop, they get their rear tires "nudged" and down they go.

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Posted in: Woman held for taking indecent photos of 6-yr-old daughter for sale See in context


I haven't heard of orphanages in Japan.

There are actually quite a number of them. The bike club I ride with is in the midst of preparing for a Toys for Tots run for one of them right now.

In a case like this, the child is unlikely to go to an orphanage - more often they will go to live with their father, grandparents, or other relatives.

Unfortunately, that means the same family that produced her mother.

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Posted in: Father, 4-year-old son drown on fishing trip in Kumamoto See in context

I take my son out for little trips like this all the time.

Nothing unusual there.

If they were at the bottom, sounds like they got picked up by some undertow. Tragic, but accidental. A lot of people don't think about wearing lifejackets if they're casting from banks or wading... I've got some that autoinflate within five seconds of hitting the water.

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Posted in: Club host held for giving drinks to woman who caused fatal accident See in context

He'll just get a hefty fine, and he'll have to get some other desperate women drunk to pay it off.

Nope. The current law allows for up to three years imprisonment, and in a case where someone has been killed by the drunk driver, maximum sentences will be handed out all 'round.

The police are still looking for a few more "enablers" of this sort to crucify, as well. They still need to drive home the potential repercussions for the rest of the populace.

There is no way he's getting off lightly.

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Posted in: High school student drowns during diving practice in Chiba See in context

It doesn't say he drowned. There are many incidents in which novice divers have activated the CO2 charges on their buoyancy compensators and shot themselves to the surface while holding their breath, the subsequent expansion of air in the lungs causing massive and fatal pulmonary barotrauma (burst lungs).

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Posted in: LDP warns voters against change in Aug 30 election See in context

“Do you want conservatism? Or do you want new socialism for Japan?” she said.

Said as if Japan isn't already a socialist country... national socilaism is still socialism after all.

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Posted in: Man arrested for umbrella attacks in Shinjuku See in context

"Tonimura is accused of hitting the second woman in her face with his umbrella, pulling her to the ground by her hair and then hitting her face with his hand before stepping on her fingers and running off"........and all this happened in Shinjuku where there are hundreds of people everywhere anytime of the day or night.....and nobody grabbed him and gave him the lesson of his life (a good flogging) for hitting a woman?????

A friend of mine intervened in a similar situation back in 2003, ratpack, and was summarily charged with assault, fined three million yen, given a year in prison suspended for five, and then deported. The guy who had been beating on the woman was also charged with assault, fined, but was given an unsuspended sentence.

In an unrelated case, a Japanese friend restrained a chikan on the Saikyo line, and broke the pervert's wrist in a scuffle as he and the victim were attempting to get him off the train. You guessed it - the guy doing the right thing got assault charges, a massive fine, a suspended sentence and - insult to injury - had to pay for the perv's medical treatment.

Keep in mind that it is actually not lawful to use physical force in defense of another here unless that person is a member of your family or in some other way was connected to you prior to the altercation. You are actually expected to simply call the police and stay out of the way.

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Posted in: 14-year-old boy in hospital with iron burns after card game gets out of hand in Fukuoka See in context

When I was a teenager the thing to do was to put our forearms against each other and put a lit cigarette in the middle, then let the cigarette burn down towards our arms. First one to move lost.

Second and third degree burns were commonplace.

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Posted in: Two women attacked by man with umbrella in Shinjuku See in context

Umbellas should be banned. They can easily poke eyes out, and people use them while riding bikes. Raincoats rule.

Denden - I agree- raincoats and hats are more effective anyhow. You'll be happy to know that as of last June carrying an umbrella while riding a bicycle is a traffic offense that carries a fine of up to 50,000 yen. People are slowly getting the message, too.


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Posted in: 72-year-old man arrested for hitting 8-year-old girl with car in Chiba See in context

Eminent domain (compulsory purchase, resumption, compulsory acquisition, or expropriation) is not legally recognized in Japan. The state does not have the right to simply force you to sell your property, or even to force property owners to tear down eyesore buildings. The worst they can do is force vacation of structurally unsafe structures and even that is difficult.

In any event, most of these narrow roads would be better handled by converting the neighbourhoods, as has been done in many parts of Tokyo, into well marked one-way grids and lowering the speed limits. Speed humps would also be a welcome addition in many neighbourhoods, and an excellent use for recycled rubber from used tyres.

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Posted in: MSDF seaman arrested for rape, theft after breaking into Hyogo brothel See in context

This guy is not allegedly guilty of rape, he is allegedly guilty of theft. He ate deserts that were in the display without paying for them.

Wow. That ranks right up there with "the tramp was wearing a miniskirt, so she deserved it." Just because a woman is a sex worker does not turn rape into shoplifting... sex is either consensual, or it is not consensual... and given that he gained entry to the building by kicking the door in, it's not particularly likely that this bloke was a paying customer.

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Posted in: Irie frustrated over swimsuit debates See in context

Make it simple - in the spirit of the original Olympic games, just even the playing field and have all the competitors compete in the buff.

Added bonus - more people would actually watch.

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Posted in: Ken Ishiguro to star as wrongly accused in drama about sarin gas attack in Matsumoto See in context

After the infamous sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in March 1995, blame for the 1994 attack was shifted to the cult Aum Shinkiryo. The police chief, on behalf of the police department and media, publicly apologized to Kono.

The article makes it sound like the police immediately apologized when Aum was identified... Kono didn't receive an apology from the police until 2002.

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Posted in: Tokyo man on nationwide wanted list for murdering wife and son See in context

A spanner is a wrench.

Murderers rarely switch weapons - the likely scenario here is that the wife strangled the child and the husband bashed her skull in with a wrench when he found out.

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Posted in: Man arrested for kissing woman during overnight bus trip in Shimane See in context

Not long at all.

"tonari ha chikan. untennsan he." 隣は置換 運転さん呼んへ

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Posted in: 4 charged in underwear theft cases in Aichi, Chiba, Kanagawa and Niigata See in context

The thieves need psychological help

You think so?

Let's review:

18-year-old college student was arrested for allegedly stealing 44 sets of underwear belonging to small children from a kindergarten

He doesn't need psychological help, he needs a thorough beating, lengthy prison term, chemical castration and an ankle bracelet for life.

24... part-time employee at the child welfare department... stealing 115 items of girls’ underwear and sandals from a changing room at a primary school

Same basic kind of sick pervert as the case above, but made worse by the fact that he was employed in a position where he was trusted to oversee the safety and well being of children.

He deserves the same as the 18 year old above, except he should serve his prison term in general population.

The other two cases at least involved post-pubescents.... they still need a hitch behind bars, neutering and monitoring.

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Posted in: There are 'rich' homeless and 'poor' homeless See in context

A tiny but insignificant minority of the homeless might choose that lifestyle but the majority are forced into it.

Actually, in Japan, the majority of the homeless are homeless by choice. They are men that came to Tokyo to work or find work, and ended up unemployed. They choose to stay in Tokyo, homeless, rather than admit failure and return to their families and home towns. There's even an ordinance that requires local governments to buy them a train or bus ticket home, and a stipend for meals, upon request.

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Posted in: Cozy prisons coddle foreign inmates See in context

Japanese inmates receive ‘mugi-meshi’ (an unappetizing but nutritious boiled rice-barley mixture) as the staple food. Westerners get meat and bread.

Not exactly true. American military prisoners get meat and bread, but that is because their rations are provided by the American military onder the Status of Forces Agreement. Civilian westerners eat the same food as the Japanese prisoners.

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Posted in: Child mortality rate in Japan 2nd highest in world See in context

Gives the impression that Japan is behind Sudan and Ethopia. When in fact it;s behind Sweden.

Got the nail on the head right there. Japan is 12th worldwide in this one area... not a bad place to be.

Part of the reason, by the way, is that newborns that would otherwise be considered without hope in other countries are kept on life support until they are at least a year old in Japan.

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Posted in: Medical priority system handled badly at Akihabara rampage scene See in context

As a trained first responder myself, I can verify that a stab wound to the abdomen can be extremely hard to diagnose. If the victim is sitting up or lying in the fetal position, they can seal the wound and hide the small amount of blood that has already been shed, making it impossible to see.

A more accurate assessment of the situation is how many people with life-threatening wounds were saved - despite any criticism levied, the ambulance crews and police did an excellent job with that scene.

Kato was stabbing people in the abdomen with an upward thrust and twist, attempting to hit the heart and, barring that, damage as many other organs as possible. He succeeded in hitting the heart in three cases.

Five of the victims died at the scene (two that were run over by the truck and crushed, and three stabbing victims), two died in hospital after (one from the truck, and Muto). The victims that died on scene were already in cardiac arrest when the ambulances arrived.

The other eight stab victims all survived, while the remaining injuries from the truck assault were superficial.

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Posted in: Apple's iPhone could find Asia tough to crack See in context

ey Coligny

RMGTTF... No AU softcrap explicitly ask for JP version of XP. As I told you, not even the international version with MUI in japanese was working.

I think I have the phone you're talking bout - you need to go into Regional preferences, and set the code page to Japanese before it will work. It is not enough to have the code page enabled - it must be the default code page.

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Posted in: Ibaraki woman arrested for drowning 13-day-old son in bathtub See in context

I guess it happens everywhere, but this kind of thing seems to happen more and more regularly in Japan.

FD - the thing to remember is that incidents like this are national level news in Japan. In other countries, something like this would be a footnote. Seeing stories like this in the news isn't what should concern you - it's when you stop seeing them.

unless you don't know, a japanese girl once discharged from the hospital after 4 or 5 days after giving birth, she has to resume work at home like cleaning, shopping, taking care of her in-laws and plus taking care of the baby. And that she usually does not recieve any help from anybody.

That is a load of complete and utter tripe. The most common practice here is for the new mother to spend her first month at her parents' (or husband's parents') home, where her relatives can help her learn to care for the child as well as taking some of the initial load off. If there are existing younger children, they will go with their mother. All of my Japanese friends and colleagues whose wives have given birth have complained of missing their wives and children during these periods.

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