Howaitosan comments

Posted in: Ex-transport minister Hata, 53, dies from COVID-19 after falling ill on Dec 24 See in context

The worrying thing is that he died five days after falling ill; that's fast even for Covid-19.

Japan's "let's-pretend-it's-not-that-serious" official response to this pandemic is deeply concerning. The general public seems to be taking it more seriously than the Government at the moment.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: Hundreds of Japanese adherents of QAnon contesting Trump's election defeat See in context

"We should humbly approach (the phenomenon) and ponder why there are people who start believing in conspiracy theories." Watanabe said.

I agree that we need to understand what drives people to believe these insane conspiracy theories, and why people are drawn to obviously divisive destructive people like Trump in clear violation of their own self-interest (he's a misogynistic White Supremacist who has sucked up to and showered praise on one of the worst Communist Dictators on Earth).

But at the same time we need to make sure that they are watched carefully to ensure that they don't descend into an Aum-like insanity that could have similarly tragic consequences.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Posted in: Hundreds of Japanese adherents of QAnon contesting Trump's election defeat See in context

Sad little idiots.

At least we can now clearly identify the mentally ill among us before they become dangerous. I have only compassion for people as deluded as these obviously are.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Posted in: 38% of LGBT people sexually harassed or assaulted: survey See in context

Isn't it time that Japan joined most of the Developed World in the 21st Century?

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Posted in: Battered but unbowed by coronavirus, Tokyo's gay district forges stronger ties See in context

It sounds like the early days of the AIDs crisis; bars in my home-town did the same thing. The LGBT Community rallied and came back stronger than ever.

I guess that's one of the good things about being Gay - we have a stronger sense of Community and we're used to working together to overcome adversity.

It's good to see that spirit is still alive.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Posted in: Nike ad addresses bullying and racism in Japan; riles up debate online See in context

Timely and apposite. I admit to being a little conflicted by Nike's ads, given that they are made for self-serving purposes; however they do raise issues to national and international prominence which people often try to sweep under the carpet.

Racism and bullying are both serious problems in Japan - as they are in many parts of the world.

For those trying to deny this or to deflect criticism to Nike itself - facing up to the problem is the first step to fixing it.

Deal with it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: More than 2,000 daily coronavirus cases reported in Japan for 1st time See in context

I have several clients who work in the Medical field in Osaka.

They have ALL told me that hospitals here are quietly gearing up for a big rise in the number of infections.

Given the paucity of testing in Japan and the fact that a significant number of infected people will be asymptomatic, the real number of infections is almost certainly larger by an very big factor.

The Government seems to think that if they just ignore the virus, it will go away on its own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Hanko' to be abolished for all but 83 kinds of official documents See in context

I will be sad to see them go, but the fact is that Japan lags well behind most of the developed world when it comes to digital technology.

Having moved here from Australian little more than a year, I can say that most bureaucratic and official procedures are almost comically archaic here; in a great many instances, procedures are still used here that were abandoned 20 years ago in Australia. The use of Hanko exacerbates the difficulties.

There has to be a change, although I think that one Hanko-maker's idea of creating digital Hanko is a good compromise.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: As teen suicides rise, 21-year-old Japanese student starts online message counseling See in context

What a terrific idea!

It's fantastic that they have people volunteering from different time zones, so that people can contact them any time at all. I have worked on similar services before in Australia - Lifeline and the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard. I would love to help with this one, but my Japanese is not nearly good enough.

These services can make a real difference and there can never be too many of them.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo ward assemblyman apologizes for remarks against LGBT rights See in context

What really concerns me is that anyone that stupid and ignorant got enough votes to be elected in the first place!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Posted in: How walkable is your city? London, Hong Kong put pedestrians first See in context

Osaka certainly isn't that walkable; the car traffic isn't so bad around my area, but the cyclists are deadly!!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: LGBT groups in Japan launch petition seeking equality law See in context

In my view the Japanese Government's refusal to change the law is absurd.

I am legally married to my Japanese partner in my home country of New Zealand and in our mutually adopted country of Australia, but when we step through Japanese Immigration at the airport we are suddenly no longer married!


The marriage laws in Australia and New Zealand are virtually identical to those in Japan, but marriages performed under those laws are only legal in Japan if they are between a man and a woman. Why the difference?

Do people from Islamic countries married under Islamic law suddenly become single when they enter Japan because Islamic law is not recognised here?

Then there are the issues of visas, hospital visits, inheritance rights - all manner of rights and privileges that accrue to married couples that are not available to us.

Japan needs to get into the modern era with this and stop pretending that a person's sexual identity is anyone else's business.

14 ( +27 / -13 )

Posted in: Japan's top court backs lower pay for nonregular employees See in context

Workers who do the same work under the same conditions should get the same payments - that's it.

Japan is going backwards on this issue.

24 ( +24 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo ward assemblyman under fire over remarks against LGBT rights See in context

These doddering old relics of the 1980s still dominating Japanese politics have to go.

It's time for some new blood.

11 ( +25 / -14 )

Posted in: Sushi chef using shirtless bodybuilders for delivery to buoy virus-hit business See in context

Doesn't seem very sanitary to me.

Well .... you could always take them into the bathroom and give them a thorough wash ;).

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Sapporo, Osaka make LGBT couples eligible to receive support money See in context

Small steps ...

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Actor Geoffrey Rush wins largest ever Australian defamation payout See in context

Nobody wins in this case.

Geoffrey Rush will be forever tarred with the accusation, even if it was defeated in court; his accuser will be forever identified as a young woman whose assertions permanently damaged another actor's career - she will struggle to find work after such notoriety.

Meanwhile, the genuinely guilty party - Rupert Murdoch and his notoriously sensationalist and fallacious "news" services - will pay out the paltry (for him) sum of $2 million and blithely go on distorting the truth and wrecking people's lives for money.

He shames the very concept of journalism.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Cities in Japan recognize 900 LGBT couples since 2015: survey See in context

Japan is still so far behind most of the Developed World on this issue! There are even some Third World countries that have moved ahead on it, but Japan still lags behind for some inexplicable reason.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: Cities around the world are taking steps to remove statues that represent cultural or racial oppression. Do you support such moves? See in context

I think the statues should be removed but not destroyed - rather, placed in museums where they can stand as exemplars of the colonial/slave era mentality and where their history can be recorded.

Similarly to the retention of some Nazi Concentration Camps - they are monuments to how badly Human beings can behave towards on another when a madman takes control of a country.

We need to be reminded of these events so that we can try to ensure they do not happen again.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Only 10% of firms in Japan have addressed LGBT issues: survey See in context

employee to employer: I'm gay

employer to employee: that's nice what does that have to do with your job?

In Australia, Dango:

employee to employer: I'm Gay

employer to employee: well this is a Christian institution and your lifestyle does not accord with our values, so your employment is terminated immediately. Please leave as soon as possible.

Yes - that is actually legal in Australia even now. Any religious organisation can fire someone for being Gay, religious schools can expel students for being Gay or even for having Gay parents - and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

THAT is the sort of discrimination LGBTIQ+ people face.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Only 10% of firms in Japan have addressed LGBT issues: survey See in context

But the requests and the rules DO change.

When? Where? I've been fighting for my Rights for nearly 50 years and we still haven't achieved equity or even equality, as Japan's official attitude towards my marriage shows only too clearly. We want the same rights and freedoms as every other law-abiding, voting, tax-paying citizen. What is confusing about that?

Because not every LGBT has the same opinion.

...because LGBT people in different countries suffer different levels of discrimination. Again - where is the confusion here? Think about all the rights and freedoms you enjoy and then imagine not having some or all of them. That is what we want.

Who is their leader? Where is their edict? Where can I read their official demands?

We don't have a "leader"; we don't have an "edict"; we don't have a list of "official demands" because every case of discrimination is different.

But we all agree that we want to be treated the same as everyone else - that's it.

If you really want to learn about it, you can start by reading this:

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Only 10% of firms in Japan have addressed LGBT issues: survey See in context

And if I would have to answer to a similar questionnaire, I would probably answer I don't know what special measures should I take.

It sounds like you don't need to timeon - although I wonder what would happen if I worked at your office and brought my husband along to an office function.

It's easy when you are not a member of a minority to fail to see any problems - but they are there and they can get really bad for some people.

For example - I am legally married to a Japanese national in my home country of New Zealand and our adopted home of Australia - but when we get through Immigration at the airport here we are suddenly not married anymore because Japan refuses to recognise our marriage as legal.

Why? If it is legal in other countries with similar laws, why not here? Japan has no problems with marriages made under Islamic law or Hindu law as long as they are between a man and a woman - so why not a legal same-sex marriage? It makes no sense and makes our lives here unnecessarily complicated.

That is just one example of the systemic prejudice that exists here - two people who love each other and who are breaking no laws by doing so are prevented from marrying just because the Marriage law - which actually does not specify the biological gender of the two people - is interpreted to mean male/female couples only.

The problems arise when there is harassment, and just because it's all cool where you work doesn't mean that is the case everywhere. There need to be laws in place to protect all minorities subject to discrimination - not just LGBTIQ+ people. What you can do is start educating yourself and other people about the problems LGBTIQ+ and other people face.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Only 10% of firms in Japan have addressed LGBT issues: survey See in context

What issue needs to be addressed by companies RE lgbtq? What actual discrimination has taken place? Seems like an answer looking for a problem.

I'll issue you the same challenge that I did to Michael; tell everyone at your workplace that you're Gay and see what happens.

And FYI - a young, anti-Gay Christian in the US did exactly that and kept it up for a year. It profoundly changed his views on the need for legislation to protect LGBTIQ+ Rights.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Only 10% of firms in Japan have addressed LGBT issues: survey See in context

it's no wonder that many people find it difficult to figure out what y'all want.

It's called "Equal Rights", Bugle Boy - and the requests haven't changed at all.

I you can't figure out why a persecuted minority is demanding that their persecution be ended, then there is no point in even trying to enlighten you.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Only 10% of firms in Japan have addressed LGBT issues: survey See in context

Why do business need to do anything about this issue?

Tell everyone at your workplace that you're Gay - or even that you support LGBTIQ+ rights - and see what happens.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Only 10% of firms in Japan have addressed LGBT issues: survey See in context

Why should anyone be treated differently from anybody else in the first place?

I've been asking myself that same question for over 50 years. Why on Earth would anyone who isn't interested in dating me care at all about my sexuality?

Unfortunately some people seem to think that:

a) it's is their business, and

b) they can say and do whatever they like about it.

Japan is still a long way behind most other developed nations when it comes to issues of LGBTIQ+ rights.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Posted in: Temperatures soar across Japan amid concerns that face masks may cause heatstroke See in context

I can't breathe... with that thing covering my mouth and nose.

Oh come on! I worked in hospital ICU and A&E Departments for 20 years where we wore them for hours at a time.

I admit they can be uncomfortable, but there is no problem with breathing.

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

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.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

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.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

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.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

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