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IronBeard comments

Posted in: Japan to boost response to quasi-legal drugs amid rising health fears See in context

Just to add clarity to the article: the altered cannabinoids which are already illegal are HHC and THC-O. One is hydrogenated and the other is acetylised.

The other ones they are talking about are mostly minor cannabinoids which are naturally occurring in hemp, and legal because of the 2018 hemp farming laws. These are gradually being made illegal (THCp and THCh for example). Then as the govt makes them illegal, hydrogenated and acetylised forms of these minor cannabinoids (some of which have 33x the CB1 binding affinity of THC) are popping up. Just change the T to an H or add an O on the end. THCp-O, HHCp, etc).

Essentially through making the original unadulterated forms so illegal, the ‘tweaked’ (and far more potent) variants of THC are getting ever more convoluted, with more unknown effects (which usually just amount to a longer half-life or more intense high).

Given the fact the tax agency is ‘encouraging’ young people to self-harm by drinking more alcohol, which is taxed at a very low rate in Japan, it seems that legalising cannabis and capitalising on the carte-blanche tax status to set an incredibly high tax rate would be the smart move here. But that’s likely to require pressure from US export lobbyists because of how effective the anti-drug rhetoric has been.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: World champion halfpipe skier Smaine dies in avalanche in Japan See in context

Very sad.

You can get avalanche bulletins here, but they are only updated every few days and only for popular resorts.


Agreed that backcountry people are largely left to their own devices. International Personal Locator Beacons are illegal here because of radio frequency restrictions, so you’re limited to Garmin InReach (or similar iridium satellite comms) and something called cocoheli which is a bargain at 5000 yen a year. Always be prepared to spend a night on the mountain if you go into the wilds


Hope this info helps.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 13,074 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 77,450 See in context

A whopping 3,500 tests on the 11th.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 21,122 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 100,949 See in context

It’s a miracle! 21,000 positive results but only 20,000 tests!

Of course official positive % is calculated based on 3 day average (23,000, so 90%) but I’m willing to bet that Monday’s ‘official average’ is over 100%.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 12,813 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 62,612 See in context

63% positivity rate according to the official counting method (cases / avg 3 day tests). That’s just silly. They need to test more.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Posted in: Visually impaired Paralympian hit by self-driving bus See in context


Headline should read ‘Self-driving bus stops for pedestrian at crossing; operator overrides system and causes accident’

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese research group to explore food production on moon See in context

While I understand and share the concerns about vaccines, the research that goes into learning how to grow food at -100C without adequate water and nutrients could be incredibly useful in the upcoming climate crisis, which in all likelihood will make Covid look like a walk in the park. So I think this is a good initiative.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: 84 COVID-19 patients died at home in Japan over 6 months: gov't See in context

Not counting these 500+ then I guess?


I’ve been trying to identify a source which gives a clear definition of ‘covid death’ but can’t find one. It seems to me that the only people who will be counted are ‘confirmed cases that are denied hospital admission’, and no post-mortem confirmations of covid are included in these tallies. This could explain how they are massaging the numbers to show such low mortality rates.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,195 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 8,393 See in context

The positivity rate is extremely high and we are undoubtedly seeing an unrestrained exponential explosion in cases, but the results from tests come in over the course of 3-7 days so it’s not 78%. Tokyo officially uses a 7-day rolling average which is hovering around 20% (still FAR too high for comfort, and 4x what it was a month ago) but the PDF suggests to use the 3 day average tests.

So 2195/8333 = 26% positivity rate.

In no way am I saying we are in anything but a dire situation, with positivity rates being 5x the previous baseline of 5%. But given how long it takes to collate the information (fax machine FTW) it’s not as astronomically high as some comments above suggest.

Still definitely getting significantly worse, very quickly.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Heatwave hits Hokkaido ahead of Olympic marathon See in context

I’m in Hokkaido. In a normal year we get 1-2 weeks above 30 when we struggle with our lack of aircon. This year we have already had a whole month at 30-35C and it looks like August is going to follow suit. It’s pretty brutal. 2 months over 30C instead of 2 weeks.

28 ( +28 / -0 )

Posted in: Some restrictions may remain after Japan lifts state of emergency: Kato See in context

"The important thing is how to curb the spread of the virus effectively,"

Vaccination seems like a good place to start.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Posted in: Wages in Japan see 1st rise in 13 months due to less part-timers See in context

Salaries for full time workers dropped. Salaries for part time workers also dropped. But more part-tome workers lost their jobs than full-time workers so the overall average salary increased.

Very creative / optimistic / disingenuous way of interpreting the data by labelling this an increase in any way.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Posted in: Plastic bag usage at Japanese stores down by 50%, but plastic bags sales through the roof See in context

Our prefecture sells plastic bags (20-40yen) for flammable and non-flammable waste. They specify that recyclable waste (plastic, cans, bottles) has to be in a clear plastic bag or they won’t take it. All ears if anyone has some suggestions on how to get around using plastic bags for rubbish. Cardboard is the only thing we can dispose of without the council requiring us to use a plastic bag.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan begins distributing cash handouts for virus relief See in context


NHK suggests that any child who was born prior to the 28th of April is eligible.

The 1m for freelancers and 2m for SMEs is an online application form. It’s still in it’s early days and I haven’t done it but what you need to be able to evidence is a 50% or greater drop in revenue for any one month in 2020. So even if revenue was ok for most months, if you saw a drop of 50%+ for (for example) April 2020 compared to April 2019 then you would be eligible. But 1-2m is the maximum amount they will pay and I don’t know how they decide the sliding scale.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gender gaps deeply ingrained in Japanese society: U.N. official See in context

In fact I just read up on it and it’s worse than that even.


10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Gender gaps deeply ingrained in Japanese society: U.N. official See in context

I recently discovered that the 遺族年金 system (basically small government life insurance for if your partner does so you can support your family) is higher if the man dies than if the woman dies. It doesn’t matter if the woman was earning and the man was looking after the kids: the government support received from the death of a wife is less than that for the death of a husband.

Was pretty gobsmacked to be honest. All this talk of womenonics and the system is still set up this way. In the past it seems that if the woman died the man got zero though so I suppose it has improved... a bit.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Former Mt Gox head Karpeles plans new bitcoin tech business See in context

Headline seems to be misleading. The article states his company will be working on a blockchain-based OS. Blockchain and Bitcoin are not the same thing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Elderly driver, passenger die in Fukuoka 5-car crash; 9 in hospital See in context

Elderly drivers are another problem which would be solved outright by autonomous vehicle car sharing services.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Key suspect indicted over fraudulent Tokyo land sale See in context

This whole case is brilliant.

The fact that Sekisui house is so lacking in due diligence that they will pay 5.5Bn yen to someone who doesn’t even own the land they are selling - hard not to laugh.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn planned to oust CEO before his arrest: report See in context

The plot thickens.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: 9 dead, 33 missing after M6.7 quake hits Hokkaido, knocks out power See in context

Hokkaido update: phone towers are running out of battery so we will have no connectivity soon. Reception already faltering. Water will be cut off in the next 30-60 min. Let’s see how long it takes to get things working. Local friends say they’ve never had anything like this before so may be a while.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: 9 dead, 33 missing after M6.7 quake hits Hokkaido, knocks out power See in context

Pretty big shake here in otaru and no water or electricity yet.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: AI robots to help teach English in 500 classrooms next year See in context

Everyone seems pretty quick to shoot this idea down but considering that the issue Japanese people have with learning english is the fear of making mistakes I think a robot could help alleviate that fear. So long as they get the NLP in the units right I don’t see an issue.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Over 80% of Japan's transport operators found to have breached labor rules See in context

Automobile drivers will be exempted for five years from a legal overtime cap to be introduced at major firms in April next year

So office workers have their overtime capped but people responsible for driving multi-tonne vehicles through residential areas are not? If anything this should be the other way around.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, EU sign massive trade deal to eliminate nearly all tariffs See in context


7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Crypto exchange Coincheck to refund customers after theft See in context

Slickdrifter - they didn't recover any funds. They are going to reimburse you using their own money.

You really should use a hardware wallet like a Ledger is you have any money in Crypto. Let this be a lesson! Maybe the next exchange to get hacked won't have such deep pockets or the inclination to reimburse their customers using their own funds.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Baby in assembly raises controversy in Japan See in context

They should provide daycare facilities as standard.

Having young children in a meeting will no doubt disrupt the proceedings. But mothers (and fathers) of young children should also be catered for by providing adequate facilities.

Seems like a simple problem to solve.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Boris Johnson gives Koike Olympics advice See in context

shrug off criticism during the 2020 Games preparation period, saying everything will work out in the end

The Brexit Approach.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Inside the world of recruitment See in context

From personal experience - Sri is a good guy.

There are good headhunters out there, but there are also bad ones. If you build a solid relationship with an honest recruiter then it can help your career. If you listen to a bad one, it can harm it.

Just use your judgement as you would with any other business parter - after all, a recruiter is the person responsible for representing the 'business of yourself' to other people. There are good and bad in any industry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Amnesty Int'l criticizes Japan in 2014/15 human rights report See in context

I was on the Keikyu Kawasaki train platform waiting for the first train back, slightly drunk. I waited for the police because I believed that everything was being recorded - but it turned out the screens on the platform were just 'monitors' and Keikyu don't record the footage. Pretty unlucky, but I probably should have gone home on the last train the night before...

the main problem here is that a confession counts as evidence. People can be sentenced to death based purely on confession. With the 23 day system and the strong desire of any arresting officer to save face and not been seen as having made a mistaken arrest, confession rates are very high.

I believe that in most countries a confession alone cannot be used to convict someone - same as an eye-witness testimony. Even putting coercion to one side, memories change and are reprogrammed with time. How can that be used as evidence to sentence someone to death?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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