Howaitosan comments

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 )

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

According to the Dentsu survey, one in every 13 people in this country is a member of the LGBT community. I don’t believe it. The number is way too high. 

Actually, Kinsey showed in 1956 that about 10% of the male population (of the US) engaged in homosexual activity throughout their adult lives, so these figures seem pretty accurate. As others have pointed out, the question is not so much how many people are LGBTI, but how many are willing to publicly identify themselves as LGBTI; a society'e attitude can make a huge difference to those figures.

Furthermore, what difference does it make how big or small a minority is? Does access to equal Human Rights only apply to minorities above a certain number? Surely ALL law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of a free democracy should have the same Civil and Human Rights as everyone else?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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

commanteerMay 6  05:20 pm JST

If you do find a society where everything is accepted, I don't think you would like it very much.

That is what is known as a "Slippery Slope" fallacy; if we allow people to do X, they will want to do X,Y & Z. It's rubbish. Accepting LGBTI relationships as normal has had NO effect whatsoever on any country on Earth that has done it - except to make conservatives froth at the mouth. I challenge you, comanteerMay6, to find just ONE country where the recognition of Same-Sex Marriage has had any negative impact on society at all.

"Closeted" may simply mean they do not wish to be identified by their sexual or romantic preferences. Not that they are hiding, but that they don't wish to be tagged with such a narrowly descriptive term about a particular aspect of their life. I suspect a good number of the one-in-thirteen fall into this category. And that means they are already probably being sufficiently catered to.

Wrong; it DOES mean that they are hiding. "Closeted" in the LGBTI world means exactly that - hiding in the closet for fear of being exposed - and it ONLY happens in countries where being identified as homosexual can have deeply negative consequences. There is a case before the Japanese courts right now where a man whose decades-long-term male partner died is having to fight his partner's sister just to be able to claim the property they shared. How many survivors of a heterosexual marriage would have to face something like that after the tragedy of losing their wife or husband? THAT is why LGBTI people in Japan hide themselves; they are discriminated against by the judiciary, the parliament, and society.

How many parents in Japan would readily and happily accept having a LGBTI child? Let me point out to you that no LGBTI parents have ever disowned any of their children for being straight. In this matter, Japan needs to wake up to the fact that we now live in the 21st Century - not the 19th.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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

Theres only two sexes and it is not assigned at birth. What a joke.

You seem to be confusing biological sex with gender; the two are not the same thing.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

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

A person's sexual identity is their business and no one else's - unless the manifestation of that identity results in non-consensual acts being forced on someone else.

I think it's great that these companies are starting to see the value of the LGBTI community. If there is a profit to be made, then equality under the law will not be far behind.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 88-year-old becomes oldest person to earn doctoral degree in Japan See in context

It sounds like she has written the thesis (which she could have done quite recently) based on her 30 years of research, and submitted it to the University which has conferred the PhD based on its usual methods of examination.

Thus it is not an "honorary" degree, which are conferred in recognition of an individual's expertise in and/or influence on a particular area of study and/or practice, rather than completion of an actual thesis.

A PhD can be the starting point of a career in research, but it can also result from a long period of working as a researcher, as it seems to have been in this case. One of the works in cited in my own PhD was completed by someone who had many years of research experience in his chosen field (teacher education), but had never actually written the research up as a thesis.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Subaru CEO, execs to return part of their pay over inspection scandal See in context

It may seem like not much to you, but I cannot imagine ANY CEO here in Australia even admitting that they were at fault, never mind offering to take a salary cut by way of apology.

All they would do here would be to sack a few hundred workers from the shop floor and get their spin doctors to blame the unions, the government, the GFC - anything and anyone but them.

You guys don't know how lucky you are!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: New Zealander's death puts mental patients' restraint in Japan under spotlight See in context

If this was one isolated incident, I'd be inclined to chalk it up to staff either not educated in the treatment of psychiatric patients, or simple incompetence.

But an average of 96 days in constant restraint for patients deemed requiring it is unacceptable. That is medieval and would never be tolerated in a modern hospital system in most developed countries.

This needs to change and it needs to change yesterday.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Thousands march in Tokyo for LGBT awareness See in context

It's long past time LGBTI people were afforded exactly the same rights as anyone else in Japan - and everywhere else on Earth.

Dango bong - just because you don't like us doesn't mean we should suffer discrmination. Who does it harm? I don't like homophobic idiots who make comments like yours, but that doesn't mean I think you should be discriminated against.

The costumes make it a celebration, instead of just another protest, though the media always focus on the most outrageous costumes; I'm sure there were plenty of people there dressed in regular clothes.

LGBTI people are law-abiding, tax-paying, voting citizens - why should we be treated any differently to all other law-abiding, tax-paying, voting citizens?

21 ( +28 / -7 )

Posted in: Ascott The Residence opens in Tokyo’s financial hub See in context

It's awful!!

As a hotel, it would be nice to stay in for a night or two - but I could never actually live in a place like that! It has no soul!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump won't reveal North Korea plan as tensions mount See in context

Trump will reveal his plans - as soon as he's had time to read them on Facebook.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Banned from working, asylum seekers are building Japan's roads See in context

The fact is - with a shrinking population and Japanese young people not willing to do this kind of work, this kind of situation is only going to increase.

If Japan and the Japanese people continue to keep their heads deep in the sand over the issue of immigration and an ever-shrinking workforce, one of two things will happen. Either the country will fall even deeper into economic decline, or it will eventually be forced to rush through some kind of half-baked immigration policy that will be worse than the current situation.

If the Japanese can get over the psychological blocks to immigration and start planning now, they have a chance to direct the course of their country's future in this area.

If not, they will end up with a jury-rigged system that will ultimately fail them and their country.

Either that, or start having a LOT more babies NOW.

Your choice, Japan.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Posted in: Panasonic grappling with criticism of LGBT policy shift See in context

Well done, Panasonic. I just wish the governments around the world who still want to deny LGBTI people their Civil and Human Rights could show as much empathy and compassion as you have.

We live in hope that one day the whole world will be free for every person living on it.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Posted in: Sydney to kick off global New Year's Eve celebrations despite terror fears See in context

Well - Sydney may have the best fireworks, but New Year's eve actually starts in Auckland New Zealand about 2 hours earlier. In fact, if you want to be really fussy, the Chattham Islands are the first place to celebrate it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Radisson hotel in Mali attacked; at least 20 killed See in context

Before everyone starts getting hysterical about how great the reach of Daesh is - read this:

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: At least 120 killed in six Paris terror attacks; police hunt for accomplices See in context

Nice one, JeffLee - let's all blame the victims so we can feel better about this.

We CANNOT let these terrorists, whoever they are and whichever group they come from, undermine our basic humanity. If they turn us against our fellow human beings, they will have won.

We cannot turn our backs on genuine refugees, especially those that these groups are deliberately trying to create, even if it means exposing ourselves to danger. Turning humanity against itself has been far too easy in the past, as the last century's two World Wars and the on-going state of war on this planet makes all too clear.

But we must learn to overcome that tendency, or we will destroy ourselves as a species.

THAT is exactly what these people want; they want to turn us against each other so that they can control us. We cannot let that happen.

6 ( +20 / -14 )

Posted in: KFC set to open all-you-can eat buffet restaurant in Japan See in context

I remember the first and last time I ever ate KFC. It was when I was about 7 or 8 and it was the first KFC to open in Auckland, New Zealand.

My family and I contracted food poisoning from it and were sick for 3 to 4 days.

Now I get nauseated just at the smell of it.

Anyway - with Japan's amazing food, why would anyone go for this (frankly) awful stuff?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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