InspectorGadget comments

Posted in: Japan faces decision over contaminated Fukushima nuclear plant water See in context

I don't think they have a choice. There is more water to deal with and they have almost run out of space . . . .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Hostage justice?' Japan fights back with an internet FAQ See in context

Death by a thousand cuts. Individually the conditions are just about OK. But when combined, 24 hour lights, limited bathing, limited enrichment (TV, contact with family, freedom) and no end in sight . . . .

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Lawmaker's aide admits knowing payments made to campaign staff were illegal See in context

The campaign office is suspected of making two receipts to be signed by the workers to make it appear the payments were under the legal cap of 15,000 yen per day

You watch . . . . notice how it is the Campaign Office signing off the payments, not a named individual in the office. Just like it is the office of the lawmaker receiving the ahem gifts/donations, rather than an individual at the office.

The difference . . . you can't arrest a whole office of you keep it vague enough.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Lawmaker's aide admits knowing payments made to campaign staff were illegal See in context

30,000 yen to a group of "election warblers," as women who are driven around in small vans touting their candidates over loudspeakers are known, according to the sources

If given the opportunity, I'm sure the locals would give them double that to shut the hell up. Those speaker vans are terribly intrusive!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors raid Tokyo office of Ghosn's Japanese lawyer See in context

Japanese media reports said prosecutors had likely seized the computer to track down how Ghosn escaped and who might have helped him.

And attorney-client privilege has just gone out the window.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: No. of traffic-related deaths in Japan in 2019 falls to record low 3,215 See in context

wtfjapanToday  03:45 am JST

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

per billion km traveled Japan ranks about average

I'm afraid not for several reasons.

Deaths, in Japan, which occur more than 24 hours after a road accident are attributed to other causes, rather than injuries sustained from the incident. I read a research paper a number of years ago which roughly said that this reduces the number of deaths counted by around 30%

* The ongoing movement of people (especially young) to the cities reduces the number of daily drivers in rural environments where the speeds are generally faster on the open roads and the roads are poorer.

Japan also had/has a serious problem with EMT staff and bureaucracy. In many countries EMT staff have the ability to autonomously provide life saving/sustaining treatment without seeking permission from a doctor. In Japan, EMT staff must seek permission from a doctor first before administering treatment, which can unnecessarily delay life saving care.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Arrest warrant issued in Japan for Ghosn's wife See in context

That is a cheap move. Very suspicious that they've been hanging on to this since April and the allegations are vague to say the least.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Ghosn says he will reveal names of Japan gov't officials behind his arrest See in context

I sure hope that he has the "actual evidence", it is credible, and he makes it available. Otherwise he will come out of the press conference looking like a fool rambling about conspiracy theories.

If he does provide the evidence, then it could have major repercussions within the government.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: More details emerge on Ghosn's escape from Japan See in context

The details of his escape remain spotty, with Japan saying it is still investigating how he slipped past strict security measures imposed as part of his bail conditions.

Well all this has been reported already. What more is there to investigate?

They weren't monitoring him 24hrs. Japan has no system to allow for a GPS ankle bracelet etc.

The CCTV system was not being watched.

They allowed him to wander around with a valid French Passport in a plastic pouch.

Japanese airports don't check the outgoing luggage on private jets.

Game over!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: 24-hour video on fugitive Ghosn checked only once a month See in context

Although the security cameras at his home were on 24 hours, the footage was only required to be submitted to the court once a month, on the 15th, according to lawyers' documents detailing Ghosn's bail conditions.

And even then, it is unlikely that anyone from the court will review them unless they know what/when to look for. Its almost pointless having the

Hironaka told public broadcaster NHK TV late Friday that Ghosn had carried one of his French passports in a locked plastic case, so that it could be read without unlocking, in case he was stopped by authorities.

So he didn't have a Gaijin Card, like the rest of us, for identification purposes? Instead they let someone they thought could be a flight risk, walk around, un-monitored, with a valid international travel document in a flimsy clear plastic case? Wow!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors question 5 lawmakers over casino-bribery case See in context

Japan recently legalized casinos to be operated at integrated resorts in hopes of attracting more foreign tourists and helping to boost the economy after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Japan doesn't need any help attracting new tourists, and setting up foreign owned Casino's for foreign punters is just a dumb idea. The money will just be whisked back off-shore either way.

it does however need to focus on maintaining the existing tourist experience, managing over tourism, and cracking down on poor quality foreign owned and managed operations giving Japan a bad name.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New site to allow shinkansen tickets to be booked outside Japan See in context

Jonathan PrinToday  02:50 pm JST

Byt he way, we don't hear anymore of number of tourists per month, and per year now. What are the figures ? I have my ideas about the trend.

In answer to your question, Oct was about 2.5M inbound visitors, with it likely to be just under 35M for the 2019. They did get a boost from the Rugby World Cup in Sept, and who knows what kind of a bumper crop next year will bring with the Olympics and Paralympics etc.

The figures from JNTO are usually 2-3 months behind and focus on inbound visitors, not tourists alone. Tourists, however, now make up the vast majority of those numbers.

Bare in mind that in 2000, there were only 4.8M inbound visitors for the entire year. Japan now does that in less than 2 months.

https://www.tourism.jp/en/tourism-database/stats/inbound/#annual

https://www.tourism.jp/en/tourism-database/stats/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: New site to allow shinkansen tickets to be booked outside Japan See in context

Great idea. Why not a single portal (which tourists needs to create an acocunt for) for the JR Rail Pass and actually booking seats. That way of too many booked seats are 'missed' there is the ability to cancel all future bookings.

This stops people opportunistically booking seats with no intention of actually using them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn to be summoned by Lebanon's public prosecutor See in context

Nice timing though. Slip out just before New Year while all the bureaucrats are sipping sake, and the airport services are running at capacity.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Turkish jet firm says employee falsified Ghosn records See in context

Lebanon won't hand him over. Ghosn is incredibly popular in the country and in the region and returning him to Japan would be political suicide.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Vertical farming takes off in aging Japan See in context

Globally renowned firms such as Panasonic, Toshiba and Fujitsu have tried their hand -- converting old semi-conductor production lines with varying levels of success.

Bare in mind that there is a considerable amount of investment required when setting up one of these facilities and is is extremely difficult to re-use an old building which has not been deigned from the beginning to have very tight environmental controls. The big three mentioned in the article above already have decommissioned facilities sitting idle which have paid off their initial investments.

The advantage with growing indoors is that the produce being grown has a known rate of growth etc, so they simply become a commodity. Buyers/sellers can lock in a price for the produce months in advance and know that it will be delivered on time without concerns about the weather affecting production.

Recent advances in LED's have also reduced the power required, as well has optimizing growing conditions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn carried spare French passport while out on bail in Japan See in context

So this is where it gets interesting.

Interpol has now issued a "Red Notice" to Lebanon and the Lebanese Justice Minister has stated that they will implement it.

However

France has just stated that they will not extradite Ghosn if he arrived in the country,

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50972149

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn's escape leaves Japan red-faced See in context

It'll be interesting to see what Mr Ghosen says now that he is able to talk freely.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Greece gives actor Tom Hanks honorary Greek citizenship See in context

Does this make him subject to Greek tax laws on his income?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Authorities urge elderly people to be careful when eating 'mochi' See in context

Get those vacuum cleaners ready! I wonder if Dyson has a special attachment for this?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: 60% of local gov'ts do not have 72 hours of emergency power supplies See in context

zichi

Thanks for the comments. Likewise, I am also responsible for maintaining the backup unit for a large business for similar reasons.

Yes. any unit installed would need to be pre-wired for auto fail-over, and the size comment (2 car parks) was to illustrate that the excuse of lack of space was a poor one. In an ideal world the units would be housed internally, with base isolation etc, but with the limited information in the article it looks like generation capabilities may have been made a requirement after these buildings were erected, or as a result of recent events.

In this scenario, a self contained mobile genset with sufficient fuel on an appropriate base with the necessary wiring should be sufficient to immediately meet the requirements without large and time consuming modifications to buildings. Those can occur later, possibly re-utilising the same units.

Solar etc should be considered a power source to augment traditional generation capabilities in the event of a disaster . . . . if they are available. IE, get the generator up and running with sufficient fuel for 72 hours, and anything you can generate from solar is an enabler for extra services, or time extender. Night, or a volcanic eruption (ash on the PV panels) will severely diminish generation capabilities. Then again ash will kill a generator without some kind of extra filtering.

What is interesting in this field is the interest that vehicle manufacturers are taking in using EV batteries to power homes under some circumstances. IE Store cheap power available over night (in some countries) in the vehicle battery, and use it during the day when power is more expensive. At some stage this may also be part of the mix of resources on tap when disaster strikes.

Sensitive equipment (eg server room, coms and life sustaining etc) needs to be behind a suitably sized and spec'd UPS with voltage stabilization etc. Likewise this essential kit needs to be secured (computer racks bolted down, units secured etc) in a suitable room for this to continue to function after a disaster strikes.

I appreciate your input.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 60% of local gov'ts do not have 72 hours of emergency power supplies See in context

That is a disgrace!

A 280kW genset and 5000L of fuel would be enough to keep the lights and essential services up and running for 72Hrs+ on all but the largest buildings if you managed the load properly. This would take up the space of two car parks, so size is not an issue.

It takes all of 5 minutes to fail and a run for 60 minutes once a month to check things are running.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Probe into casino bribery case widens; pachinko operator raided See in context

NHK said its accounts were being scrutinized for any transactions involving Akimoto, who in the past served as a consultant for a firm that had dealings with the pachinko operator

So why limit the probe to transactions only with Akimoto? If they believe the company has been ahem *influencing *ahem politicians, surely any transaction or series of transactions with politicians past or present would surely be of interest?

Or are they afraid of what else they might uncover?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Toyota union to propose larger focus on performance in pay increases See in context

This is going to be an interesting one of if gets implemented for the following reasons

Japan culturally has a long history of deference and respect based on seniority which is usually earned by years in service/age etc (the old Sempai - Kohai relationship etc). How will this be factored into the company culture if a junior member of staff is judged to be more capable and is paid more than one who has been employed for longer? What effect will it have on interpersonal relations in the company? In many 'Western' companies. dealing with these kinds of relationships is the norm and most people are accustomed to it.

Secondly, from an HR perspective, Japanese companies will probably have little experience with accurately assessing skills and aptitude and then awarding differing pay rates based on these measurements. Unless they get up to speed quickly, this could also be another source of friction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: November department store sales down 6% on higher consumption tax See in context

If they hold massive sales before the consumption tax rise, and everyone buys everything they need at sale prices . . . . . of course the numbers will be down the following months!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Putin calls Japan-U.S. security alliance a threat See in context

Putin calls Japan-U.S. security alliance a threat

Translates to "divide and conquer"

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 organizers hold earthquake drill at Olympic venue See in context

I'd have to echo some of the responses here.

Japan is very good at planning for things in advance and pre-caching resources to access in the event of a disaster. Often events like these are just a how and tell exercise.

However, the main issue which Japan seems to struggle with is a cultural one. In a natural disaster (s), plans go out the proverbial window. Japan struggles with delegating authority and empowering individuals on the ground to make decisions and act when warranted. The concepts of group consensus and direction from above, prevalent in Japanese society, work against rapid decision making often with extremely poor outcomes.

Those in leadership positions try to follow pre-prepared plans which are not applicable in the given situation. They then will wait for direction from above, or form a committee to try and achieve consensus on a course of action. Valuable time is lost. Meanwhile people who are used to receiving guidance and direction just wait.

Good examples of this are:

1) The victims of the Okawa Elementary school in the 2011 Tsunami. The school evacuated to the field and the roll was taken. The tsunami alert was issued. The plan for a Tsunami was unclear. The teachers then formed a mini-committee and wasted time even though there was a hill 200m away.

2) Kobe. It took several days to get a decent response organised from the government.

3) Japan Airlines Flight 123. The US had Marines in a chopper on site that night. The Japanese authorities took all night to take action.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan gov't eyes new law to draw more tourists to museums See in context

I really wonder whether the government has actually asked tourists what their wants/needs are before going through with this. There also needs to be a greater focus on re-developing the domestic market.

smithinjapan's example above is something which could have been successful if planned and pitched correctly. I have read that 1-2 night agricultural tours are reasonably popular with the young domestic market, with city dwellers wishing to sample village life (i.e. rice planting, fruit picking etc). It obviously would be seasonal though and not provide a stable income for the operator. The trick is pricing it correctly and giving a number of options of activities from the base location. Drop the Inaka museum from the itinerary and it sounds like the location is just wrong.

The location needs to be less than 90-120 minutes from a city centre. No one wants to take 2 days off for an adventure, then spend a full day traveling to get there.

50,000 yen is pretty steep, but a large portion of that cost would be made up of transport costs. There should be an accommodation/activity only cost.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Groper says he couldn’t resist 'young females’ breasts' See in context

To be honest, I'd expect this kind of reporting from SoraNews24 and TokyoReporter, as they are more of the tabloid end of the foreign media in Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan gov't eyes new law to draw more tourists to museums See in context

How about:

1) Not limiting the JR pass to consecutive days. If you could break them up it would encourage tourists to stop and explore.

2) A rural rail pass, Like the JR Rail pass but cheaper and only for use on local rail lines outside of the city centers. Tie this with free access to museums and local attractions. Make them available at JR offices with a tourist visa, with the ability to purchase multiple individual days travel.

3) Work with the locals and publish a website of day trip, or 1 or 2 day self-guided excursions from city centers. Include all relevant information on transport, attractions etc. Encourage them to use the pass mentioned in #2

4) Subsidize quality translation work with native speakers at the target rural attractions. No one wants to make the effort of travelling a reasonable distance to see a museum/attraction, and then not understand what on earth they are looking at.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

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