inshikoku comments

Posted in: Should some countries have the right to tell other countries that they cannot have nuclear weapons? See in context

... have the right to say ... !!!?!

Rights are a kind of condition for quality of life that can only work if there is at least tacit agreement among parties concerned that the 'right' in question is valid may affect all parties albeit in variable ways or to variable extents.

To have or not have nuclear weapons ... Nuclear weapons!!! Rather than North Korea and the traditional big-power non-proliferation issues, India and Pakistan are a better scenario for discussing this issue. I would include Israel, but lecturing Israel about nuclear weapons is to bring automatically a truckload of other 'rights' which might be complimentary, contradictory and distracting all at the same time. Consequently, in some ways Israel is the 'North Korea' of the Middle East.

Nuclear weapons make a country appear selfish and imperious - basically less attractive the more they go on about them. A real bane on the world.

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Posted in: New 'Star Wars' teaser, cast information revealed at event See in context

Any non-humanoid characters, androids aside, I wonder.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Vagina kayak artist denies obscenity charges See in context

This 'vaganoe' business reminds me of when they were marketing female condoms here in the early 90s - what, male condoms are OK, but female ones are not? Like female genitalia-shaped art is obscene but traditional phallic totems are celebrated! lol

Female condoms never took off. I wonder why (!?!) and I wonder if they are still marketed.

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Posted in: Woman, sister go on car chase after bag thief See in context

NHK fee collector maybe had no money, goes to pachinko parlor (!!!), maybe lost some people's 'fees' so snatches someone's bag.

Hmm! And who thought that NHK has no advertising?!

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Posted in: The government is encouraging unemployed people to consider becoming health care workers because there is a chronic shortage in the nursing care business. Do you think that is a good idea? See in context

Seems like a desperate suggestion.

Carers for family members aged, sick, handicapped, invalid at home may already be considered un- or under employed. So, maybe it is less necessary for the government to blanket all unemployed like that. And carers for family members frequently have the dedication which strangers would lack, with or without special training.

Yeah, as several comments above say, without appropriate training, remuneration and other support for people supporting people needing health care it, probably would bring a host more problems than it would seek to solve.

Society in Japan is one of the first to undergo these situations. I am not sure if Mr Abe and his ilk are the best ones to be governing this future course.

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Posted in: Should the abductee issue be part of the agenda for the six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear program? See in context

Agree with LFRA - the abduction issue is bi-lateral and a distraction in regional a regional forum.

That is not to say that it is irrelevant, just better left to parties concerned, or as an extra point on which Japan can grandstand, or some politician here can open his or her big mouth about for populist purposes.

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Posted in: 'The Interview' DVDs dropped into North Korea by balloon See in context

I wonder if they will send copies of Myeongryang dvds by balloon here. Shouldn't be necessary, but, hey, the movie has to get to Japan somehow.

I don't think that the JT item from August last year (http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/film-on-1597-victory-over-japan-breaks-korean-box-office-records since 'expired') was enough to make the movie's existence widely known.

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Posted in: Full plate for Meat & Livestock Australia See in context

Roast lamb and mint sauce please, with roasted potatoes, carrots, maybe pumpkin and some greens, and a spot of gravy on one side of the plate: my Australian 70s childhood suburban Sunday afternoon idyll.

I wonder if they could recreate that here.

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Posted in: Turning English learning on its head See in context

*>When did you first come to Japan and what brought you here?

I came here 13 years ago, running from the law - just kidding.*

This is the start of the interview. Yes, I know it is his 'joke', but I am not sure that this ironic self-effacement is pragmatically useful.

In other words, on the face of it he starts by telling everyone he is a criminal and then a compulsive liar.

I hope that pragmatic strategy is not taught in his 'Power' communicative approach.

And anyway, often I wonder how much the English is the point of all the engagement in English programs anyway.

I was interested in the article because of the expression 'English learning' in the title. After all, that is supposed to be the point of it all - English teaching is JUST ONE WAY to facilitate English learning.

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Posted in: Why doesn’t the U.S. adopt the metric system? See in context

Inshikoku, British road distances are in miles, as an official policy. Do you also wonder why Britain is the China of Europe?

Oh no, Nessie! Britain is the Japan of Western Europe.

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Posted in: Why doesn’t the U.S. adopt the metric system? See in context

When I went to school in Australia, my year was the last year we were taught Imperial measurements before they changed to metric (and also the last year calculators were banned from public exams for university entrance). Always watching US TV shows was one way to keep up this knowledge.

But a few years ago visiting the US was one of the strongest deepest culture shock, with my assumptions of normal behaviour being caught out as early as Immigration at the airport, US Imperial measurement sometimes different from the British one, remembering again just how much farther a mile is than a kilometer, wondering why lengths were always in feet and not even in yards, dollar note denominations all the same size and colour, half and quarter dollar coins and so on.

It all just seemed so as normal to them as it was frighteningly different to me.

The only other place I experienced this was in China, for a truckload of different reasons.

Sometimes I wonder if the US is the 'China' of the western hemisphere, or if China is the 'US' of eastern Asia.

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Posted in: Dogs by the hour: Company offers pet rental service See in context

Agree with Ed High - most people here have absolutely no idea about dealing with dogs.

For instance, it is almost unnecessary to say anything to a dog, as lots of dog communication is visual and also olfactory. Just looking is often sufficient.

Some breeds are better tempered to changing social surroundings, and the local shiba-ken is not one of them I would say.

Renting dogs - a good human business but the business of being rented out like a Tsuchiya DVD wears thin for a more animate commodity, like a dog.

All that being said, they say that the best children are usually someone else's, and usually before you need to clean up after them or put up with their tanty. Perhaps also the best dogs are someone else's - after all, cleaning up after a dog, especially without a scoop, is not everyone's cup of tea.

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Posted in: What are the three scariest movies you have ever seen? See in context

Count Yorga, Vampire, released about 1971, & couldn't sleep without light on for 2 years

Aliens - starts with the cat at the start, and you think 'Aliens already'?! There! then nothing but building tension till the knock from in the formalin case followed by the line, 'Burke, ... love at first sight!!'

Halloween years ago (1979 or so wasn't it?)

Geez, some of the people in those movies are old now!

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Posted in: Even Arnie can't mask troubled Formula One start See in context

Honda developed their VTEC engines in F1 in the 80s and 90s with McLaren and then unceremoniously got out. Now to catch up with Toyota they are doing it again.

There is the new Formula E in the US, with electric powered vehicles. Some results even got into the papers.

Weirdly and sadly F1 becomes interesting with a few deaths, like in the bad old days. With Schumacher it was more boring when he was winning with Ferrari, but it became interesting when he had his accident, skiing, hitting that tree that jumped into the middle of the road.

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Posted in: Do you support same-sex marriages? See in context

this is such a first world problem

I agree.

Someone earlier mentioned that should be a new word for same-sex unions. 'marry' and 'marriage' are a bit too loaded with traditional heterosexual nuance and the need to wave the bloodied sheet after the consummation. Somehow 'same-sex marriage' is not a good fit here.

Others have talked about 'state-sanctioned relationship'. Yeah, I could go with that.

I voted 'no', incidentally. Why? Dunno - probably a kind of 'F U' to people and media who ramming the pro-gay marriage idea down everyone's fault.

Strangely, my parents never married - in their youth marriage was so unfashionable and institutional. Nowadays do two people really need a ritual a piece of paper with a state stamp on it to prove to the world though more likely just themselves that they have a relationship? Sadly the answer for so many is yes!

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Posted in: Disney makes it official -- 'Frozen 2' on the way See in context

I wonder if there will be a sequel to the Veronica Mars movie. I'd see it.

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Posted in: Half a car See in context

It's just a Mirage.

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Posted in: At your service See in context

Retrenched Crocs sales staff will have to settle for cheaper Chinese-made Croc knock-offs

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Posted in: 'Jihadi John' won't have the same impact unmasked See in context

Captured and tried would predictably be a government's preferred outcome - but where? The ICJ in The Hague, or in Britain? Or, say, under Sharia law?

Emwazi a casualty from a drone strike - I do not think that it would be so satisfying nor 'fair'.

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Posted in: Don’t want to pay your NHK TV license fee? Beat Takeshi agrees with you See in context

It is a heartless, disheartening job, collecting NHK fees. I once saw a job ad for this work. I was so glad that I was not long-term unemployed here, as some people may age are, and didn't need to consider applying for it. In my own country I have done jobs like that out of need.

One other point, in 30 years and numerous NHK fee collectors in various places I have lived here, all have been male.

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Posted in: Do you think there is a role for monarchies in this day and age? See in context

In the sense that a monarchy is one of those anachronistic, archaic or simply odd things which characterise a society or culture - ie. making it 'interesting' or something people in the society/culture can identify with, Yes.

Far better than transient celebrity (or タレント) culture.

However, monarchy real political power intitutionalised by law or force - a big NO!

That goes for the dynasticism of presidentional electioneering in contemporary US history, and family-focused nepotism in Japanese national and local politics, from the Prime Minister down.

Ironically though, Crown Prince Hironomiya recently saying something cultural which became political in a matter of seconds is an exception, which, though timely and welcome should not be encouraged.

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Posted in: Harrison Ford to reprise role in 'Blade Runner' sequel See in context

I read the sequel novel to 'Blade Runner' (film) and 'Do Androids dream about Electric Sheep?' novel (ostensibly!!!) (K. W. Jeter, Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human (1995)), which was a bit gloomy, had an interesting scenario for physical injury and trauma therapy, yet had a happy ending.

I doubt Harrison Ford could reprise his role in a movie version of it, as the plot does NOT take place "several decades after"" the events in the movie.

So, Hmm, maybe the real drama will be among the different owners of 'rights' to the story and its different titles.

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Posted in: Afternoon break See in context

Flogging pork with a durry in his mouth - couth!

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Posted in: Should Japan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact, which seems to be stuck over differences between Japan and the U.S.? See in context

First, government regulated free trade - a confused concept.

Second, TPP is not a bilateral trade negotiation. There are over 20 'partner' nations involved. Incidentally, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and soon afterwards Brunei were original members of what was to become TPP, back in 2002. It probably worked then in a balanced way.

Now these large commodity exporters (Japan, Australia, US) hijack the arrangements ostensibly for selfish reasons, every one wanting exemptions on this and that. Rather, bilateral trade agreements between these just-come-to-the-party would-be TPP hijacker nations would be easier and more equivocal. For instance Australia and Japan recently worked out one, which is not perfect but does go further than the previous trade arrangements.

In Australian supermarkets now, people already complain about the crap meat, fruit and so on which is frequently similar in cost to Japan, mainly because the good stuff gets exported. Get ready for more of that all over the place if TPP goes ahead.

There is one other point: sometimes people in a place just do not want the stuff from somewhere else. People in the US and Australia and other places might want Japanese cars and other manufactured products, but forcing people here to have US or Australian rice is not palatable. Further, I for one do not want to drive a Cadillac or a Telsa in Shikoku.

Commodity cost, admittedly a large part of it, is not the only consideration. Human cost needs to be considered too, not to mention food security.

As well, wait until China wants to get on board too. Then all the pro-TPP-ers might change their minds.

Easier would be some kind of East/South East Asian trade bloc - at least all those places have traditions of tofu cuisine, if you get my meaning.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Kyoto’s amazing underground bike parking system See in context

Kyoto is not really as bicycle-friendly as you'd think, except for along the Kamo River, which is surprisingly underused, even for parking bikes (thank God!). Over the last few years authorities in Kyoto have become more ruthless about bicycle parking and behaviour - not always a bad thing, and I wish they were a bit more ruthless here in Shikoku sometimes, lights, texting and so on.

This new parking system is not the only one - just down past the central post office near Bic Camera there is a DIY underground parking station for bikes, which I used once. But I had to pay, which seemed anachronistic with my own, folding bike. When I lived there I never paid for parking. But a bike I had was nicked there once, so maybe I deserved that.

Now when I go to Kyoto I just walk everywhere, and having lived there I know shortcuts, away from the growing tourist population. Geez! sometimes in spring and autumn trying to get around some of the places with a bicycle is just not worth it.

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Posted in: New radioactive water leak detected at Fukushima plant See in context

Get ready for stories like this every now and again in the long-term future.

And in Shikoku (and other places around) solar panels fill unused ricefields. Eyesores or whatever - though I don't mind them, at lea they are useful - I don't have to worry if I have taken my iodine tablet, or if the fresh fish or fruit is going to kill me. We read far more about leaks, radiation and 'evil' TEPCO than energy alternatives, even on JT.

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Posted in: 8 U.S. lawmakers visiting Japan to promote TPP See in context

TPP, or Government-regulated free trade - a bad concept.

Who are those 8 people representing anyway, government, business, Republicans, or what?

Or are they just a bipartisan committee on a junket to Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: The evolution of 100-yen shops and how they've changed people's lives See in context

I can never get over the amount of instruction text on (including diagrams) the packaging - for so many different items.

3D printing has made a lot of consumers aware of the real production cost of simple products, for example a toothbrush can be printed (if you have the equipment) for about 23 yen

I am sure a 3-D printer does not cost 100 yen. Or, that is a lot of 23-yen toothbrushes to recoup the actual cost of the 3-D printer.

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Posted in: Grammy winner Sam Smith meets Kyary Pamyu Pamyu See in context

Those two seem SO different. Look at their name styles (if names have styles?!) the 'interesting' Japanese one and the less interesting English one.

All the same, whatever!

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Posted in: Sex slave rally in Seoul See in context

I once read a history article about memory: the gist was that it takes three generations to be able to move on properly.

Generation 1: has first hand memory or was participant in the period or event

Generation 2: born after period or event but hears first hand accounts from Generation 1

Generation 3: born well after Generation 1 has passed away but hears accounts of stories from Generation 2

It is only after Generation 3 has passed away that and the period or event becomes properly past history, that the culture can move on.

According to this theory, on the Comfort Women issue, I would say we are in Generation 2 moving into Generation 3. So, maybe about another 30 years.

Still it is about people from Korea, so this 3-generation memory theory could be quite wrong. But certainly the issue never goes away.

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