InspectorGadget comments

Posted in: Japan encourages foreign tourists to buy travel insurance due to surge in unpaid medical bills See in context

Simple solution. Anyone arriving applying for a tourist visa should show proof of valid travel insurance at immigration on the way into the country.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan grapples with traffic jams, visitors' manners amid tourism boom See in context

If anyone is interested, JTB's research arm has some very interesting stats on inbound tourism, including countries of origin and change over time. The data can be found here:

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan grapples with traffic jams, visitors' manners amid tourism boom See in context

Having both studied Tourism and worked in the hospitality industry for many years, these kinds of complaints are common throughout the world when tourism experiences rapid growth. There are multiple issues at play here

1) Japan has experienced a rapid explosion in tourist numbers in under 20 years. In 2000 there were 4.75 million visitors to Japan. This number includes both business and those visiting friends and family who have only a portion of their time involved in tourism related activities. In 2018 that number was 31.2 million with the vast majority being tourists. Also remember that 2019 and 2020 have major sporting events.

2) Tourists tend to congregate around attractions and and not evenly dispersed. Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and to a lesser extent Okinawa and the ski resorts attract the vast majority of the tourists.

3) Foreign tourists stand out due to their appearance and mannerisms. They are a readily identifiable addition to the landscape in the eyes of the locals. Japanese tourists blend in and are not noticed as much although they are a significant component of the tourist numbers.

4) Increases in tourist numbers change the attraction that they have come to partake of. Look at the number of foreign owned ski lodges and restaurants in Hokkaido, fake monks, mass produced tourist trinkets. Prices go up, congestion increases and 'inauthentic' experiences tarnish the image of the attractions.

To manage this issue, the Japanese government should look at spreading the load by enticing travelers to new locations within Japan and cracking down on rogue operators.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: Pilot vertigo likely cause of F-35A jet crash See in context

I dunno. There are quite a few question marks here

They have no data from the recorders, and no radio indication of anything particularly unusual from the pilot. All they really have is radar information indicating that he plowed into the Pacific at close to 700MPH.

I would have assumed that the aircraft has some kind of terrain avoidance system which should have alerted the pilot he was too low and heading for the sea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman kept body of husband in apartment for 4 months See in context

she didn’t know who to contact

Maybe she should have talked to anyone 5+ years of age. I'm sure they could have pointed her in the right direction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man stopped over erratic driving hasn’t had license for 40 years See in context

Just to check licenses? No. Random breath testing, at which time a license, vehicle registration and roadworthiness can also be confirmed? Sure, why not?

I'd be in favor of that too. Other countries do random breath testing which can involve blocking off entire streets for this purpose. Even then, pre-screening of motorists only takes about 5 seconds when talking into a breath tester. If it gets the drunks off the road and only stops you for less than a minute . . . . why not?

A more modern method of screening is to use a camera in the police car to read the licence plate information of other vehicles as they are passing. The police in the vehicle are then immediately alerted when the camera/database confirms that the target vehicle has expired registration, shaken, stolen plates etc etc or is wanted for any other reason (i.e. associated with disqualified drivers, criminals, habitual drunk drivers). Hundreds of cars an hour can be processed using this system with only those vehicles of interest being stopped.

Most law abiding drivers drivers would never be stopped at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Regional bank in Japan battles ultra-low rates with wine bar, sea urchins See in context

If banks really wanted to drum up business, how about making them more accessible to the public. In Japan they put up so many barriers, eg re-arrange the banks and have a one to one sit down with customers and no physical barriers in between. Get rid of a much paperwork as possible. Get rid of the stupid 'take a number and wait' system. Stick a kids area in the corner. etc etc etc

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Driving graduation ceremonies' help coax elderly to give up licenses See in context

A larger issue here is that although many of the younger generation have moved to the cities, the elderly in the rural areas are reliant on cars for everyday services. They often don't have anyone to take them shopping and run errands which is why they are often so reluctant to give up driving. Bus and train services often don't service these areas, and taxis are very expensive

They also don't have the technical ability to order online.

To add to that, the government and the Taxi unions seem very reluctant to allow cheaper (Uber, Lyft etc ) services into this area.

If the elderly had a cheap alternative to driving, it might be easier to persuade them to give up.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Emperor to 'commute' to palace from current residence for a while See in context

Why not just swap residences? Clearly they both regard their current homes fit for habitation.

Why are the renovations required?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: 3-year-old girl dies after baby stroller catches fire See in context

There is no mention of the tank being compromised in the article.

Most likely the tubing has either been punctured or detached in the stroller. Strollers by nature have many moving parts and it would be easy to crimp or crush a line. Once puncture, and being IN the stroller, it would likely have leaked Oxygen into the mattress, under blankets and anything else in the stroller, just waiting for an ignition source. This could be something as simple as static electricity, or a child's toy.

RIP poor girl. I hope the mother and all present get the support that they will require.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Looking back: A bygone boom era when Akihito became emperor See in context

Until the current generation of politicians and bureaucrats are gone, we can expect little change. Many are in their final years of employment prior to shuffling off to retirement (or Amakudari).

Why rock the boat when they can look forward to a generous pension or milking the system from the private sector, both of which would be under threat if fresh new faces and ideas were to come along.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukuoka police tackle shortage of female recruits via fashion show See in context

Of if they are really lucky and qualify, they can wear the costume of Fukkeikun, the Fukuoka Police mascot . . . . .

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Odd translations found on English websites for tourists in Japan See in context

This still drives me nuts. Companies are willing to spend thousands, if not millions of yen on large signs and upgrading websites etc, . . . . but not willing to spend significantly less than than on a native language speaker to make some basic changes.

For the examples above you wouldn't even need a qualified translator, just a native speaker.

25 ( +28 / -3 )

Posted in: Extra abdication holidays pose dilemma for Japanese workers See in context

Has anyone considered having a staycation?

With a city the size of Tokyo, it would take you years to explore all that it has to offer, and it is always changing.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Posted in: First haircut See in context

It must have been close to as tall as she is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan introduces legal cap on long working hours under labor reform law See in context

Its a start, but this is still going to be highly ineffective for a number of reasons.

1) Loyalty to the company means that few few will ever report excessive overtime requirements

2) May do overtime as a matter of obligation. If the boss is still working . . .then so are you.

3) If it is a single measly 300,000 yen per six months for the entire company, most would earn that in increased profits from one evening of company wide staff overtime. Start stinging them percentage points of their total revenue or profits to make it hurt.

4) If they can't get things done, big companies with then farm out the work to 'temporary employees', individual contractors or smaller businesses which are not subject to the rules.

Loop holes everywhere.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka sued by ex-junior coach over 20% of earnings: report See in context

Interesting little problem here. If, say, the contract did exist how would it work?

A parent can sign a contract on behalf of their child, but one the child legally becomes an adult and was not a signatory to that contract, is it still valid.

I would guess if it exists, he has a claim to 20% of her winnings until she became an adult. In most counties this is 18 years.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: NZ gov't to announce gun reforms within 10 days See in context

This is how a civilized and democratic country should operate. NZ has a mass shooting, and within 10 days political parties are coming together to fix the problems with the local gun laws using a proven methodology (gun buy backs, restrictions on certain calibers and categories of firearms). It has worked extremely well in Australia after the Port Arthur Massacre, and the figures back it up.

The US, on the other hand, has similar massacres of innocent men, women and children, and the best it can come up with is feeble stand-down periods.

The Second Amendment is outdated. It enshrines the right to bare arms, not taking into account that weapons technology has progressed exponentially since 1791. At that time you were good if you could reload and aim your flintlock twice a minute and people were more evenly distributes in rural environments where a firearm was a necessary tool.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: New Zealand struggles to answer 'why' in wake of massacre See in context

@Hiro is WRONG

The Police in Christchurch have been in a state of heightened alert after a series of firearms incidents at the end of Feb, and were carrying sidearms on their hip at this time of the shooting an also had access to bushmaster rifles in their vehicles.

At times the police in NZ patrol armed, but they always have access to firearms when required.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ruling finalized ordering cell phone TV owners to pay public NHK subscription fee See in context

To be honest, I can't see these types of phones with tuners being around for much longer, which will render this whole case redundant.

They first started selling one seg phones in about 2005-2006 when everything was Terresterial, but since then there have been a vast number of streaming services start up in Japan offering the same of similar content. You no longer need a special 'galapagos' Japanese phone with a tuner to access these services as it is all done with 4G. Likewise phones from foreign makers (eg Samsung, Apple, Huawei etc) have become more popular and just don't have tuners.

Of note is that NHK is looking at offering a streaming service for all it's programming in 2019. No tuner required, but arguably they will need to implement some kind of login/subscription process for this service.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Ghosn's lawyers hand dossier to U.N. human rights office showing violations See in context

Usually the intention of detaining someone is to prevent them from tampering with evidence during an investigation, or if they are a flight risk. Ghosen is unlikely to do either of those especially after this period of time.

Continued detention now looks more like an attempt to force a 'confession' or some sort of admission of wrongdoing, rather than a means to investigate whether wrong doing has actually occurred. If this is the case, it shows that the Justice System has already pre-determined that he is guilty, rather than weighing up the facts.

In this case, it would indeed be a violation of his Human Rights as he is being arbitrarily detained without trial.

The fact that this is being raised at the UN to highlight this issue could hopefully embarrass Japan into action, not only for Ghosen but for others in this situation. However, Japan will likely just wait for the controversy to blow over and carry on as usual.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo to ban parents from physically punishing children See in context

These measures never work. Even with punitive clauses. In NZ they introduced an 'anti-smacking' law. Severe child abuse is worse now than ever before. If anything it forces this sort of behavior into the shadows. In the meantime regular parents are having random visits by social services because of overzealous nosy do gooders disapproving with the way a child was pulled out of the way of an oncoming bus (for example). Normal (good parents) become paranoid & the bad ones carry on doing what they've always done.

Amen to that.

Reasonable physical punishment is appropriate in rare occasions for repetitive poor behavior or where a stark lesson needs to be learned because the behavior could lead to physical injury. Lets not forget that toddlers do not have a full grasp of the world, or a language, and a light smack on the hand is something that will be remembered. Who doesn't remember having time out?

The key word here is reasonable. A reasonable adult would not use a closed fist, a weapon, withholding of food/water for a prolonged period etc.

The simple fact is that these people don't care, and changing the law will have no effect on them. Only the law abiding, loving parents who are seeking to gently correct poor behavior

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Kono criticizes S Korean assembly speaker's emperor remarks See in context

Here we go again:

The South Korean government need to look up the meanings of the words 'final' and 'irreversible'

Various leaders in Japan have apologies many times over the years as listed in the following Wikipedia article"

Likewise the Emperor has made similar remarks as per the Guardian link below.

This will never end. Elements in South Korea are using this as a political football to gain support.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Renault denounces Nissan over Ghosn investigation: report See in context

"Renault has gathered sufficient evidence to understand and regret the methods used by Nissan and its lawyers to seek interviews with Renault employees through the Japanese public prosecutor's office," they said.

Read that slowly. Nissan was using the Public Prosecutors Office to compel Renault staff to make themselves available for interviews.

If the J.P.O need information they can seek these interviews by themselves without Nissan getting involved.

Nissan was seeking "evidence to support allegations against Carlos Ghosn after his arrest" and failed to consult its French partner, according to the newspaper.

One would think that an investigation is for the purpose of gathering evidence on whether an allegation is true or not. That is unless you already have a position and you are just backing that up. Smells like they are trying to find a scapegoat.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Posted in: Court upholds 'sterilization' rule for gender change See in context

I am really starting to wonder if it is necessary to put a sex on Birth or any other documents. If all citizens are equal under the law, what purpose does it serve?

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Posted in: Ruling bloc to agree on tax reforms spurring car, home purchases See in context

So let me get this right, if you buy a new Kei car after 1 Oct this year, you will be stung with the extra 2% Consumption Tax . . . . . less between 1000-4500 yen.

I'm not feeling the love here.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: S Korea may freeze Japanese firm's assets if it doesn't negotiate over forced laborers See in context

This is a tricky one for Korea. They have now signed several international agreements supposedly 'settling' the issues only to go back and have another bite of the pie when either the government changes and/or civil legal action is taken.

Arguably Japan would have a fairly strong case to argue at the International Court of Justice should they wish to take it that far.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump says Japan treats U.S. unfairly on trade by not taking more American cars See in context

American cars just don't have a good reputation in Japan and it probably was justified in the past. However, times have changed, and the American car manufacturers now have several issues to deal with before they can successfully establish themselves here:

1) They have a huge perception issue to get around in terms of their cars being poor quality, inefficient and unsuitable for narrow Japanese roads. This is a marketing issue.

2) Japanese people have a vast selection of makes, models and sub-types to choose from. There is little compelling a Japanese person to choose an American vehicle over a Japanese one.

3) European vehicles still come with that 'aura' of luxury, that often follows European goods. German vehicles also have the perception of quality and reliability surrounding them (rightly or wrongly)

4) Japanese people are often more receptive to European styled vehicles.

5) And the big one is the long standing relationships that corporate, organisations and the public sector has with Japanese vehicle manufacturers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Passengers to be banned from carrying knives onto all trains in Japan from April See in context

The transport ministry will prohibit passengers of all trains in Japan from carrying unpacked knives onto trains from next April

Totally useless. Unless they are planning to start screening both hand luggage and suitcases this is totally unenforceable. If they did so it would, as pointed out earlier, greatly diminish the convenience of using the Shinkansen

As far as I can see this just is a duplication of the Swords and Firearms Control Law which prohibit people from possessing blades longer than 5.5cm or 8cm depending on the type. The rules were tightened after the terrible stabbing rampage in Akihabara in 2008. The law also specifically bans the use of a knife as a weapon.

The Petty Offense Law also bans the possession of an aggressive tool without a justifiable reason. It is up to the police officer on site to determine what exactly an aggressive tool is based on time, place and circumstance. Walk across a public road with a large hatchet to cut down a tree on your land in the middle of the day on you're fine. Hide in the shadows at night in the middle of a city with the same hatchet, and you can expect to be having a rather protracted stay in a very uncomfortable (but solidly built) hotel courtesy of your local constabulary

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for alleged export of child porn from New Zealand to Japan See in context

If the crime originated in New Zealand, wouldn't New Zealand authorities demand that Shinoda be extradicted back to stand for those crimes? Just wondering if this will turn into a fight against extradition or not. I don't know if New Zealand and Japan have such a treaty in place - wouldn't see why they wouldn't

I can't see New Zealand getting involved in this. In the short article above it was a crime by a Japanese national, selling to Japanese in Japan.

Why take the time and effort request and organize extradition for a non-national, only to bear the cost of prosecuting him, imprisoning him, only to deport him back to his home country. If the Japanese police are doing the hard work and clearly have the evidence and information . . . .

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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