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Howaitosan comments

Posted in: Japanese tourist imprisoned in Australia over child porn possession See in context

why do I sense some backdoor defence of the man with that long winded explanation of Aussie laws, and how complicated they are?

Because I know of people whose lives have been ruined and who even committed suicide for being labeled as 'pedophiles' when they were nothing of the kind - even two 17-year-old teenagers in a relationship who ended up being convicted for sending private sexts to each other. It might suit your faux sense of "moral outrage" to rail against anyone and everyone the police target with this kind of charge, but personally I'm more interested in actually dispensing justice - not to mention actually targeting REAL pedophiles.

And in case you missed it, I specifically stated that I was not commenting on this specific case - perhaps English is your second language?

He wasn't arrested for a 20 year old dressing up blah,blah blah as you said,but for more yucky stuff.

And you know this how exactly? Were you there? Did you have access to his phone?

Only people that way inclined could defend that.

And here we have the predictable knee-jerk response to anyone who tries to introduce some sense into this debate - an attempt to smear me as a pedophile - proving conclusively that the only response someone like you can manage in a debate of this kind is an attempt to shut down any opposition. Thank you for proving my point so very well - and we can all rest more easily tonight knowing that YOU are not in law-enforcement.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Posted in: Japanese tourist imprisoned in Australia over child porn possession See in context

Even mainstream news wouldn't mention it here.

Strangely, I can't find any mention of it on mainstream Australian news either. It may be that the material was on the lower end of the scale for that stuff in Australia.

As I said in my earlier post, even pictures of legal-age models who look under-age (18) or where attempts have been made to make them look younger are illegal in Australia, but the courts will sometimes give lighter sentences for that kind of material.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese tourist imprisoned in Australia over child porn possession See in context

I understand everyone's outrage - the sexual abuse of children is always unacceptable - but it's important to remember that Australia's anti-child pornography laws are among the most peculiar and poorly written in the World.

I don't know the details of this case so I can't comment on it directly, but I do know that the laws in Australia are so broad that you can technically be charged with possession of "child pornography" for having a picture of a 20 year-old woman dressed as a school girl – even if it is just a drawing. Manga that are completely legal in Japan would get you convicted in Australia.

Furthermore, the State laws of consent vary over there (16 in some States; 18 in others), but anti-child pornography laws are Federal (18) and apply all over the country. In Victoria where I lived I could legally have sex with a 17 year old, but if I filmed the act, took photographs of it, did drawings of it, or even described it in my diary, I would be guilty of producing “child pornography” and could wind up in prison! Pedophilia is abhorrent, but no one is going to convince me that a 17-year-old and a 7-year-old are in the same category when it comes to sexual consent.

Protection of children from sexual abuse is vitally important, but in Australia they seem to have gone overboard in the writing of these laws. As I said I don’t know about this case, but I know of others where people’s lives were utterly destroyed – sometimes literally – for doing things that do not amount to genuine child abuse.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Posted in: Trump hopes for COVID-19 vaccine by end of year, 'maybe before' See in context

"We are looking to get it by the end of the year if we can, maybe before,"

"We think we are going to have some very good results coming out very quickly,"

Maybe by the end of the year; maybe before; maybe after; maybe never; some very good results very quickly; some maybe not so bad results pretty soon; some OK results in a while; some results eventually.

All the usual Trump waffle with even less factual evidence to back it up. Trump has take the art of saying nothing of consequence to new heights - largely because he is a man of no consequence; an ignorant, self-serving buffoon who nevertheless was elevated to one of the most powerful positions on the planet and is catastrophically incapable of handling it.

I weep for the US.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: Foreign workers feel the pain of 'corona job cuts' in Japan See in context

The elephant in the room here is the fact that these companies are so financially fragile that they cannot weather a storm like this without government help and immediate layoffs.

So is the Economy - in fact the Economies of most so-called "developed" nations. They started collapsing within weeks of the beginning of this crisis. That is NOT the sign of a strong economy - it's a glaring indication that those economies - and the companies and banks that profit so handsomely off them - were living hand-to-mouth with no fall-back capacity should things go wrong.

Why is it that ordinary workers are expected to have enough savings to get through weeks or months of unemployment (or to be able to survive on one single payment of ¥100,000), yet multi-billion dollar, multi-national companies start begging for government handouts and engaging in massive staff layoffs in many cases within a week or two of the start of the pandemic?

Something is seriously wrong with the World's financial systems if a crisis like this can break them so easily.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese firms back same-sex partnership certificate campaign in gay rights push See in context

As long as the Diet is full of Conservative geriatrics, nothing will change. Their antipathy towards same-sex marriage is just a symptom of a much deeper and very serious problem.

Japan is well behind most other advanced Western Democracies on a whole host of issues, as the coronavirus pandemic has shown; the whole issue of working online, for example and businesses still using faxes and hanko!! It's absurd!

If those dinosaurs in the Diet won't move their well-padded backsides (and by the way - I'm 63 myself, so I am in that demographic), then they need to be booted out and replaced with younger, more progressive and imaginative legislators.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Universities to help subsidize students' costs for online learning See in context

Education funding in Japan is extremely underfunded by the government-where does the tax money go to?

The same is true in Australia; Educational funding, especially to Universities, has been slashed beyond the bone. My University in Melbourne - one of the biggest in the country with one of the top Faculties of Education in the World - had its funding cut by almost $4 million the year I graduated.

Universities are supposed to make up the short-fall with fee-paying students, most of whom come from China. With the pandemic now in full swing and students from all over the World blocked from entering the country, most Universities in Australia are facing significant drops in their cash-flow.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't lists 10,000 clinics offering telemedicine for new patients See in context

... all in Japanese, so far. Hopefully they will provide the information in other languages as well.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Bodies of 2 missing boys and uncle found in Gunma river See in context

How exactly do people die so quickly in rivers and what are some rules of thumb to avoid danger?

A child can drown in as little a 2cm of water and in less time than it takes to answer the telephone. Children always need to be watched when close to water.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to allow 1st-time patients to receive medical services online See in context

I wonder if the service will be offered in any language other than Japanese.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan 'on the brink' as it struggles to hold back coronavirus See in context

Everyone where a mask!

Cuts droplets.

Reminds you to not touch your face.

Lets get 100% of people in mask

Good luck finding any if you haven't already got some sleepytanuki!!

I had a box, but the last one - which I had been using for weeks - fell apart this morning. I have been scouring the shops all over the city for more than three weeks, but I haven't been able to buy even a single mask!!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: No gender, photo, or first name – One company makes major shakeup to job application forms See in context

Hobbies: Playing Rugby and riding Harleys. Hmm... I wonder which gender this applicant is.

It could easily be either.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: No gender, photo, or first name – One company makes major shakeup to job application forms See in context

Sounds good to me. In Australia, female Academics noticed that grant applications were treated less favorably if they put their (gender-specific) first name on the form as opposed to just their initials, meaning that the official bodies which make funding offers were biased towards researchers they though were male.

As an older male (63) I am constantly assailed by my age in the job market; one of the reasons I came to Japan to work is because - despite it being officially illegal in Australia to discriminate on the basis of age - I was unable to find a job. Time after time, as soon as my age became apparent (and employers have all sorts of ways to get around the law), my job application was rejected.

The situation is not all that good in Japan, but at least employers are up-front here when they refuse to hire people over 60, so I don't waste my time applying for jobs I have no chance of getting.

This move levels the playing field somewhat. It's good to see at least one company in Japan accepting applicant on the basis of merit, rather than on trivialities like gender, appearance, or age.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: What are ALTs’ rights during the coronavirus school closures in Japan? See in context

Anyone over the age of 30 working as an ALT in Japan seriously needs to consider their life choices

... and what would you suggest as an alternative, No Business? Some of us just haven't had the luck for our life choices to work out the way we had planned and worked for.

Perhaps when you get a little older, you'll realise it's not so easy to make the world dance to your tune.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Tech lifestyles enable 'safe escape' from coronavirus See in context

What if the Uber driver has the virus? The Gig economy is in trouble with this, as most of its workers do not qualify for sick pay and cannot afford to take time off work due to illness. This makes people who work in platform industries particularly vulnerable to a) contracting the virus, and b) spreading it widely. Wearing masks and washing hands won't help if your food preparer or delivery driver has unintentionally infected the food you are eating.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese mothers struggle to cope after virus shuts schools See in context

Great idea!! Close all the schools - where children could be taught infection control procedures, monitored for symptoms, and easily isolated if they got sick - and send the children home for a month - meaning that at least one parent has to either stay home from work or take the kids in with them, and where children will get bored and want to go to the movies or shopping malls - precisely the kind of places they should be avoiding!!

Is Abe in the employ of some drug company that hopes for a more rapid spread of the virus, I wonder?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese tourist arrested in Australia over child porn possession See in context

As an Australian expat, I have to say that I feel the child pornography there laws there are very confusing. The legal age for pornographic images is 18, which means that anyone under that age is classed as a 'minor'. This means that you can be charged with possession of child pornography for having an pornographic image of a 17 year-old. Since pedophilia is a sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children (not just under-age), this seems a bit strange to me; I can't see how a 17 year-old and a 7 year-old could be seen as in any way equivalent.

On top of that, the law states that the image doesn't have to be of someone who is actually under the legal age - they just have to look younger or even appear to have been made to look younger. It applies to photographs, videos, digital images, and drawings - even cartoons. One man was convicted for having images of elves and fairies that looked 'child-like', even though there were not pictures of actual children. It means that you can have a picture of a 25 year-old model who looks 17 and still get arrested for possession of child-pornography; since it also applies to the written word, that technically makes ownership of books like Nabokov's "Lolita" illegal.

The most ridiculous part is that, while the anti-child pornography laws are Federal (apply to the whole country), the age-of-consent laws vary from state to state. This means that, depending on where you live, you could legally pick up a 17 year-old and have sex with them, but if you photograph them, draw their picture, or even describe the encounter graphically on your blog or in your diary, you are guilty of producing child-pornography and could end up in jail.

I am all in favor of protecting children from exploitation, but Australia's laws seem confused and overly punitive to me.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Alarm bells sound over 'outings' in Japan's LGBT community See in context

Japan needs to grow up with regard to this issue; most of the developed world accepted homosexuality as normal decades ago.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Posted in: Gay couples seek marriage rights in Valentine's lawsuit See in context

Well duh! Marriage is a particular institution that is naturally incompatible with homosexuality. If it were otherwise it would have become normalized thousands of years ago.

Well, duh!! It WAS normalized thousands of years ago - until Christianity came along. You need to study history before you shoot your mouth off about something you obviously know nothing about.

And since when has loving someone enough to want to spend the rest of your lives with them - and to have that union publicly and legally recognised - been an exclusively heterosexual situation? There are a raft of laws and rights that apply ONLY to legally married couples; why should people in a loving and committed homosexual relationship that is legally accepted be denied those rights because one Pope back in the 6th Century decided he didn't like homosexuals?

I am legally married to a Japanese national and we very much want to move to Japan to look after his elderly mother who has no other family but us, but I will need to find a sponsor because we can't apply for a spousal visa. How is that fair or just? Try walking a mile in my shoes before you make your bold - and frankly regressive - comments about whether or not I should be allowed the same rights as any other legal citizen.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: More people identify as LGBT as social awareness grows in Japan: study See in context

It is very typical of the LGBTQ lobby to inflate thier numbers in order to elicit public sympathy and eventually have thier unions legally recognized.

No it isn't; that is an outright lie spread by the rabidly homophobic, Right-Wing Evangelical Christian movement in the US. Don't fall for their propaganda.

And since when did numbers matter when it comes to basic Human Rights, like the right to get married?

Are you seriously suggesting that Human Rights should only be applied to groups that have more than a certain number of people in them??

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: More people identify as LGBT as social awareness grows in Japan: study See in context

Something tells me that 1/11 is an exaggeration. If true, Japan has one of the highest percentages of LGBTQ people in the world. I don't think so.

Uuuhm -- Alfred Kinsey proved in 1948 that roughly 10% of the adult population were actively homosexual throughout their lives, so the figures for Japan are about the same as everywhere else on Earth.

Where did you get the idea that 1/11 is a high figure?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: ¥9 mil awarded to convenience store from man for over 11,000 hours of unauthorized parking See in context

Here in Australia, they would have simply towed his vehicles away every time he parked there. He would then have had to pay the towage and recovery fees to get them back. He would have found another place to park pretty quickly I imagine.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Smartphone-distracted boy dies after being hit by train in Shizuoka See in context

Train drivers should sound their klaxon on entering stations as the zombie smartphone phenomenon is not likely to disappear anytime soon...

It wouldn't help. I live within walking distance of several primary and secondary schools. I've watched kids with their eyes glued to their phones literally walk into moving traffic, while motorists were blaring their horns at them, and the kids only looked up when the cars actually stopped next to them, horns still blaring.

3:30 pm here is hell if you're driving and trying to get through, with distracted school-kids wandering along in an iPhone daze, and/or mothers in HUGE 4WDs double- and triple-parked, blocking the roads so that they can pick up their kids.

It's a miracle more children don't suffer serious injury or death every day!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated as heavy rain hits wide areas of Japan See in context

Wow!! I've visited Kyoto many times and walked across that bridge. I've never seen that much water in the river!! Stay safe, everyone!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Belgium beats Japan 3-2 in injury time to reach World Cup quarterfinals See in context

Or .... we could congratulate the Japanese team for getting a far as they did in an incredibly difficult and challenging International competition and work towards supporting them and cheering them on for their next attempt.


Does anyone commenting negatively here have even the smallest understanding of what it takes to just make it to the competition at all, never mind getting as far as the knockout series?? How many of these armchair critics have ever come close to an equivalent achievement? How many of them have even attempted to?


It's a massive achievement in itself. So stop banging on about what the team "should have" done in all your lack of wisdom and knowledge, and applaud them - and the fans that have made such a terrific impression on the world with their post-match behaviour - for the great job they did in getting to this stage of the competition. They deserve your praise - NOT your opprobrium.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Trump backs down; orders end to family separations at U.S. border See in context

Trump just needs to copy Australia's long-running policy on asylum seekers - sorry ... "Illegal Immigrants"; find a handy off-shore detention site and ship them all there, while at the same time making it illegal for the press to cover the story in any depth, and for any of the people who work in the Concentration Camps - sorry ... "Detention Facilities" ... to talk about what happens there.


All the deaths and despair will happen at a convenient distance from the mainland, and the whole thing can be more easily swept under the carpet.


Australia has proven that you can keep people under those conditions for years and years, even in the face of condemnation from your own people, and in defiance of the UN Human Rights Treaty to which you are a signatory and of the local courts in the place of incarceration when they rule the facilities illegal.


It works even if your own Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a Senate Select Committee, and a government-appointed independent expert all raise concerns about the policy.


Most of the time, the problems solve themselves when the prisoners - sorry ... "Detainees" ... kill themselves. "No comment" works just fine if anyone asks embarrassing questions.


It's ridiculously expensive, morally repugnant, and utterly inhumane - but it's worked for Australia.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump believes N Korea will denuclearize; says he gave up nothing See in context

"We didn't put it down in the document but it will be worked out,"

Yeah ... like the Mexican Border wall. I won't be holding my breath waiting.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Men rearing infants and toddlers an 'unwelcome idea,' says LDP exec See in context

These stupid and regressive old men need to be retired. They are holding Japan in a timewarp of their own making and it is damaging the country.

It's time for some new blood in the LDP.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Major Japanese companies turn their eyes to LGBT consumers See in context

There's an interesting case going on in the UK about a Bakery that refused to write upon a Cake "Support LGBT Rights" under the grounds that the message was against their own Religious beliefs - they didn't disagree with the cake, nor the person, just the message.

The point is, how far should professionals be allowed to go with refusing to provide a service to LGBTI people? A cake may seem trivial, but what about other services?

There is a case in the US where a doctor refused to treat the child of a Lesbian couple because it was "against her sincerely held religious beliefs". It's completely legal to do so where she lives. So what happens when a Christian or Islamic paramedic with "sincerely held religious beliefs" that LGBTI people are an "abomination to God" attends a car crash and finds out the driver is Gay? Or even thinks they might be. Should they be allowed to refuse them service? If not, why not?

And what about White Supremacists? They have "sincerely held beliefs" that white people should not associate with people of other races. Should they then be able to refuse service to non-whites? Where do you draw the line?

If you're going to allow one form of discrimination to be legal, then what reason can you give for disallowing any other form?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Major Japanese companies turn their eyes to LGBT consumers See in context

Societal changes take decades to manifest, so you really have no point here yet.

Indeed they do - which is why I point to countries like The Netherlands and Belgium, where Same-Sex Marriage has been legal since 2001 and 2003 respectively. More than 10 years have passed and there have been no negative consequences at all. How long do you think we should have to wait? 20 years? 50 years?

Or is the truth really that there is no amount of time that would convince you, since your objection to Same-Sex Marriage is not rational, but emotional?

Neither you nor I can know why they keep that information to themselves, though you seem to think you somehow know.

I do know because I am Gay myself and old enough (61) to have been a young man when it was still illegal and considered a mental illness in my country. No one - NO ONE - hides such a fundamental part of their nature as who they love because "they don't wish to be identified primarily in that way". They do it out of fear of the repercussions of being open and honest.

I have lived it, so yes - I DO know. You don't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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