interuni321 comments

Posted in: Finnair to resume Helsinki-Tokyo flights on March 9, avoiding Russian airspace See in context

I don't like the look of that southern route I'm afraid, currently a bit of a mess down there, that's when accidents happen. I'd rather fly the Alaska/Greenland route that JAL seems to be doing. The Russians won't deliberately shoot down an airliner. All that said I'm not leaving Japan while there's potential for more of covid issues, never mind potentially WWIII.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Black hair, white shoelaces: Japan's school rules under fire See in context

These kinds of rules are ridiculous, should have been scrapped a long time ago. I hope the girl in Osaka wins her case and gets a lot more than 2m.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Essential things I’ve learned from raising kids in Japan See in context

Yes playgrounds are important in Japan. Funny though how so many people say they were unprepared to be a parent. Even though I had my first in my early 20s, it all came very naturally to me, which doesn't seem all that strange given humans have been raising kids of millions of years, you really would think such behaviour would be built in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Elementary school teacher arrested for sexually molesting 4 girls See in context

The real problem is warning signs are so often ignored in Japan, I wouldn't be surprised if there has been a decade of suspicious behaviour (or full blown incidents) and the guy has just been transferred to different schools. There was a case in my prefecture where a teacher that placed hidden cameras in the girls toilets was apparently just transferred, (though the outcome was murky, possibly not to another school and perhaps more happened to him later out of the public eye, but that was where the local education board appeared to leave it, still not exactly a great warning to others).

This kind of thing needs to be taken far more seriously in Japan, it is treated as if a teacher slipped up in some kind of human way that anyone could, whereas the reality is paedophiles are special, dangerous class of psychopaths who at the very least can never be reformed to the point where they could be trusted to be unsupervised around children, so obviously cannot be teachers or involved in education. Children have to be put first and protected from any unnecessary risk.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Take cover - but where? Japanese helpless over N Korean threat See in context

This is becoming comical, the rockets are flying at twice the altitude of the space station in space, 700 km about Japan.

At the height even if did malfunction, it would burn up in the atmosphere before hitting the surface, as it can only survive re-entry if its falling nose first at a specific angle to survive the intense heat.

Hey kids, quit hiding under your desks and read your science books.

People are not particularly worried about the test rockets flying over Japan, what people are quite rightly worried about is future missiles deliberately fired at Japanese targets. An entirely plausible scenario in even the short term, even if unlikely on any given day. If you take the risk of earthquakes seriously it makes sense to take the risk of missile strikes seriously too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony nearly triples annual profit forecast See in context

The Ghostbusters 2016 reboot wasn't a flop, your information is completely out of date, it had minor stumble on the opening weekend, and only in the US anyway. It's made an immense amount of money just as a film, the value boost to the franchise as a whole has also been staggering though. The original movies have been soaring in the charts both on disc and via streaming. Although I doubt they'll feel there is material for a direct sequel, there are big plans to diversify the brand as has been done with Starwars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: AT&T-Time Warner mega-deal: Merger for new media era or a bad remake? See in context

One dying media company merging with another, the execs, accountants and lawyers will likely be the only beneficiaries, the naive pension funds will be left holding worthless paper if the company ends up as a dinosaur. Technology is moving fast and these kinds of companies can be gone in the blink of an eye.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of Bob Dylan's continued lack of response to being awarded the Nobel literature prize on Oct 13? See in context

It's fine, he didn't seek it, he can take his time responding to it or not at all, he doesn't owe anyone anything. Though obviously it might make him look more polite if her says something eventually.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 14-yr-old boy dies after being beaten by teens on Oct 10 See in context

Absolutely no way does this kind of thing happen more in Japan. In the UK this happens on a daily basis across the country, it's just so common it doesn't always get reported. Also remember Japan has 128m people, twice the population of the UK and many times the population of other English speaking countries, though only a third the population of the US, but then again a third.

I expect there will be one psychopathic ring leader and a bunch of weak minded followers in this case, and once again a reminder that even a single blow to the head can be fatal, life is not like the movies.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka train driver apologizes to Japanese passengers for ‘having many foreigners’ on board See in context

Well done to the Japanese lady who raised a concern over this. Still, wrong though this is, I suspect/hope it's a case of naive racism rather than the deep rooted fascist kind. Send the driver on some kind of awareness course rather than firing him, and or send him off to learn English or Chinese language.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe says it is his duty to revise constitution; calls for debate See in context

Stop saying the Japanese constitution was imposed, it wasn't, it was originally passed by Japanese legislators and has never been seriously challenged, even though it could have been overturned by the Japanese people at any point since it's introduction.

Abe's real intent here is not article 9, it's the civil liberties aspects.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The key to loving Japanese TV if you're a foreigner See in context

A good article. Yes there are plenty of positives, it could be worse. But ultimately most of it is the inane, lowest common denominator (though admittedly that might be fractionally higher than the UK and US, although the fact that most viewers are over 60 doesn't help much) drivel you get in every country. I certainly don't think things are worse than other countries and dramas and children's TV in Japan are pretty good, albeit we don't have the flashy dramas here you see in the US.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Will smart cities save Japan? See in context

There's already loads of space in Japan, certainly outside central Tokyo. Vast areas of untouched forest, and plenty of flat land across the plains, outside Tokyo, the land use is hardly that dense at all. Once all the factory space is reclaimed when 3D printing and other technologies take over, there will be plenty of space left. It's not even like Japan's population is growing or even staying the same.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: More girls turning to sugar daddies to wine and dine them See in context

This wouldn't be nearly such a problem if part time workers and women were properly paid as opposed to exploited for a demeaning and ridiculously small minimum wage thanks to an increasingly neoliberal government deliberately shifting income from poor to rich. When you get such an imbalance, it's only natural that exploitation increases. As the government doesn't even properly cover school fees and expenses for high school students and university students, this further adds to the pressure. I'm not saying some don't do it for luxury items, of course they do, but that's of less concern, we need to worry about people feeling they are forced to do this kind of thing. And being forced to do it is not something people are likely to own up to publicly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Babymetal shows maturity as rude UK award presenter repeatedly interrupts speech See in context

Wow, embarrassing. Benji Webb acting like the grandad no one invited to the party, trying to be cool with the kids, but ending up coming across as an immature jerk. Well handled Babymetal, you have class.

At least he has now apologies, might be time to retire though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Missing Hokkaido boy found alive in SDF hut in forest after 6 days See in context

Never been so pleased to be wrong. Thank goodness it turned it ok. If you look at a nap of the area, its amazing he managed to find shelter, though les lucky that he didn't make contact with a heavy golf course, but the poor kid is 7, maybe he really felt permanently abandoned. I am amused by all the people saying they can't believe he survived without food for 6 days (I get the impression many people here would be deeply concerned to miss a single meal), most people, even kids, would have little trouble surviving 6 days without food, as long as they had water and out want too cold and they didn't have to exert too much. Still it would have certainly been an unpleasant ordeal. Just glad he's ok.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Want some canned Japanese idol air? Smartphone virtual crane game offering exactly that as prize See in context

And people wonder why so many idol fans are sick enough in the head to stalk and stab a singer 20 times. Don't encourage these perverts!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Searchers struggle with lack of clues to fate of missing 7-year-old boy See in context

This really is bizarre story. Surely Japanese police helicopters have thermal imaging. Have the police pulled the cell phone records of the parents to establish their location over the prior days? Have they interviewed the family separately? Have they pulled CCTV images of the family's route? Have they corroborated the stone throwing with other people in the area? Have they searched the parents' house and garden as well as other local areas? Really while I wouldn't accuse the parents of murder, situations like this around the world sadly often turn out to be far from the straight forward explanation the parents offer. The risk of kidnap by a 3rd party is small but not non-existent. The child may also have been knocked down. I really hope the police are being more savvy and competent than it's coming across.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Searchers struggle with lack of clues to fate of missing 7-year-old boy See in context

Sadly I'm also very suspicious. The sister should be taken into protective custody for the time being and gently questioned if possible. The parents should also be questioned separately.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Missing 7-year-old boy left in mountains by parents as punishment See in context

Terrible case very fishy.

But I'd point out that there are 120m people in Japan, so one father's actions can hardly be taken as representative by anyone. Also it is absolutely not ok under Japanese law to leave a 7 year old alone, although admittedly many people do it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: New photo of Japanese journalist missing in Syria appears with message plea for help See in context

The fact that Japanese tourists and journalists keep getting themselves into these problems suggests something is lacking in Japanese news media or education. I do get the feeling many Japanese have a Disneyesque view of the world and having grown up in such a safe country they cannot fathom the danger that exists in other countries, of course it's not everyone, there are plenty of Japanese who do get it, but in Japan it seems to be a problem that affects even well educated people who should know better. When westerners get caught they seem more likely to have known the risks they were taken it come from religious backgrounds that also make them blind to the risks they face.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you think Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should visit Pearl Harbor to reciprocate for President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Hiroshima? See in context

Yes, but the president should be there too and while he can regret the loss of life he probably shouldn't apologize either. While Pearl Harbour was a sneak attack and Hiroshima was genocide, the logic of not apologising for Hiroshima applies to Pear Harbour, more so probably. Not to mention Pearl Harbour was carried out by a non democratic regime that had ceased power by violence, Hiroshima was carried out by western democracies that still exist today.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Obama arrives for summit See in context

Be nice people:)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 159 passengers enter Japan without passing through immigration at Narita See in context

Fine to cover it as an amusing anecdote, but it's just an innocent administrative mistake. There was and is no security threat from this, as it's not an error that could have been predicted, and is unlikely to be repeated. People wishing to enter Japan illegally are most likely to come by sea anyway.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: McDonald's Japan wonders where its customers went See in context

McDonalds Japan has a stinginess problem. This results in host of sins: certainly there is a cleanliness problem, especially in older restaurants, and even in newer ones they lack the required number of staff to keep up. I feel the staff are over worked and under paid as well, generally there isn't a problem with the attitude of staff (like there often is in other countries). The food is not high quality enough or healthy enough, it is still full of trans fats for example which have been eliminated from McDonalds in many other countries (what does that say about their attitude to their Japanese customers). When they do get a winning item on the menu they usually soon retire it (I guess because it had ingredients that cost too much). They also have a problem with their prices which are pretty outrageous, especially on drinks and fries. Their social media and IT strategy is also patchy and stingy, they don't have apps for all devices (not even a windows one) and they changed the apps so that the coupons only work for 40 minutes or so, that's not respecting customers. Finally in some new restaurants they have opened a premium counter for premium items, but service there is extremely slow and takes staff away from their duties in the rest of the restaurant which is just silly. Bottom line is that McDonalds Japan overtly cares only about making every last yen it can from customers, there is no long term strategy or respect for customers. BUT if they really had a change of heart they could turn it around, but that probably won't happen until they get into desperate financial trouble and saving the business in the long term becomes more important than making a few extra yen in the current quarter. McDonalds in the US needs to step in and demand McDonalds Japan sort themselves out before they damage the global brand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Couple found dead in murder-suicide in Nagoya apartment See in context

Disgusting, it's one thing to kill yourself, but only a total loser kills someone else first.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Couple arrested for locking up 6-year-old boy in bathroom See in context

And people want to build casinos all over Japan. I'm usually a libertarian, but allowing gambling is a disaster for everyone except the owners. If it's not about money set a limit on stakes of under 100 yen or something, otherwise just get rid of all gambling completely. We don't allow cocaine or heroine, so why gambling? Why do we need it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who wants to amend part of the war-renouncing Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, argues that the Constitution was created during the U.S. occupation after World War II, and See in context

The constitution could use with being tidied up, but unfortunately the risk that some rights and freedoms will be taken away from the Japanese people in the process is far too great. At the very least any referendum should allow votes on every single line/issue, not be an all or nothing change. If it's just yes or no to lots of changes, they are going to slip in some really horrific things alongside the reasonable ones.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Becky in hot water over rumored affair See in context

It's really none of the public's business, we should respect the privacy of all parties in this matter. It certainly shouldn't affect their careers. Japan is NOT the Islamic State or Saudi Arabia. People should be able to manage their personal lives however they see fit (genuine criminality aside). Also why is it always the woman who gets blamed? We don't know who is responsible in this case, it could be any of the three people involved, all or none.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 80-year-old driver arrested after his car hits, kills 15-year-old girl See in context

There is no reason why over 65s should not face rigorous retesting procedures, surly the right to life of our kids is more important than the privileged of the elderly to drive. When I got my license renewed last time, there were quite a few elderly people in front of me who were clearly struggling on the eye test but were still passed through, I think it would be pretty easy for them to cheat at it as well. Importantly it's not just eye sight, they need to test for early signs of dementia as well.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

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