ishel comments

Posted in: UK offers EU last-minute Brexit deal See in context

Simple solution for everyone: bring another last bastion of British imperialism to an end and get Britain out of Northern Ireland; Ireland becomes one country again, remains in the EU, and there is no border problem to solve.

Not going to happen of course, but it would make a lot of sense. Ian Paisley is gone, after all, hehe.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to pardon 600,000 to mark emperor's enthronement: media See in context

Ah, I knew the Japan Today readership would not disappoint in bringing their sourpuss attitude to bear on what is really just a simple, traditional and symbolic act which will end up meaning quite a bit in the lives of numerous petty (yes, petty!) criminals. Ironically, @sourpuss is one of the few who sees this, as I do, positively.

Why can we so rarely have a piece of essentially good news which is not greeted by the usual howls of derision and naysaying?

Now go ahead, prove my point, vote me down, hehe! :P

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: On the go See in context

Pandering to tourist dollars I guess. Can't believe the people who chatter on on the tourist websites and Facebook pages about how this is one of the things they really want to do in Japan. Good grief!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: 'When They See Us' honors real Central Park 5 at Emmys See in context

Thank you M3M3M3 for your detailed and informed analysis of these issues.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Top doctor sounds alarm over heatstroke at Tokyo 2020 Olympics See in context

100% of the blame for the inappropriate timing lies with the demands of American media. Go ahead, vote me down - but this is the truth. In 1964 that problem had not yet emerged and the games could be held at a much more amenable time of the year.

Once again the holy US$ calls the shots!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. power waning in Pacific, warns top Australian think tank See in context

No empire lasts forever, and the American empire is certainly on the wane. Countries like Japan and Australia will need to look after themselves increasingly in the future. The Chinese empire is nothing new of course - it has been waxing and waning for millenia, though its resources now place it very well for a period of significant expansion. The question now is the extent to which those nations which stand to lose to that expansion can stand on their own two feet.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Emperor Hirohito stopped by PM Yoshida from expressing remorse over war, documents show See in context

Bix's book is certainly the go-to source in English for the serious student of Emperor Hirohito. However, he himself would admit that he was not setting out to examine so much Hirohito as a whole, but more the question of war responsibility. And his conclusion, which is popularly but not universally accepted, is pretty much that Hirohito was the supreme architect of the war as far as Japan's role is concerned. It would be interesting to hear Bix's thoughts on these newly revealed documents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Emperor Hirohito stopped by PM Yoshida from expressing remorse over war, documents show See in context

Opinions, opinions, opinions... we need to let the historical evidence speak for itself and put aside our fondly held biases and prejudices. This article is about some new evidence which does add to and alter some existing historical theories about Showa Tenno. That's all.

May I pay particular tribute to the balanced and sincere comment by MiaTanaka - I think you have tried to weigh everything you know and the new material fairly and dispassionately. Thank you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Photo op See in context

It seems to be this movie:

This is a trailer:

As an ex-idol going it alone, I did not have high hopes for her, but this movie may be a turning point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Can Tokyo's efficient rail system handle Olympic strain? See in context

I have experienced the normal rush-hour crush at Shinagawa station, 6 pm on a weekday... as a non-Japanese, the human tide there is incredible to observe, and a little unnerving to be a part of. So I can only imagine what it will be like during the Olympics. Having said that, I would never attend any Olympics in person, for all kinds of variations on the same theme. So... I wish the people of Tokyo the very best at that time, and those who have the ability to leave the city and put their jobs on hold for that time, you will be the happy ones! Unfortunately, not every employer will facilitate this - or even be able to, some workplaces have to function no matter what.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: HBO chief: Sorry, fans, no 'Game of Thrones' do-over See in context

So funny that some fans can't accept that what the artists who created this thing delivered have the right to determine the shape of their art.

I am no fan of this program, and indeed of most TV programming, give me a good book any day. But asking these folks to remake a season is like asking an artist to repaint a painting - or a novelist to change the ending of a novel cos you didn't like it the way he wrote it. Crazy. What a spoiled generation of entertainment consumers we have become.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe apologizes to families of former leprosy patients over discrimination See in context

Two poignant novels which are very revealing about the past of leprosy in Japan:

Durian Sukegawa - Sweet Bean Paste

Shusaku Endo - The Girl I Left Behind

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Smoke spread so fast at animation firm victims couldn't open rooftop door See in context

@Rena Matsui, thank you as always for your simple good sense comments which effectively straightforwardly summarise the most appropriate responses.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Daily grind See in context

If that's Shinagawa station then that photo must be around 6am in the morning...

Hehe, yup... my experience of Shinagawa at 6 pm has been very much more crazy! Especially wheeling luggage headed for Haneda... pretty terrifying :P

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Singer Ayumi Hamasaki criticized by fans for 'inappropriate' Instagram picture See in context

The sad part is that stuff like this is even considered newsworthy. I put this on a par with all the recent angst about Game of Thrones. Come on, news media, stop pandering to lowbrow minds and give us real news :P

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Parts of Japan experience record high temperatures for May See in context

If there is so much suffering because of sporting events at this time of year, I suspect what we will see at the Olympics in the height of summer next year will be a bloodba... errr, sweatbath. But commercial considerations dictated that scheduling lunacy.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Game of Thrones' reaches its end, with one or two shocks left See in context

Hehe, I am always amused how seriously some entertainment news is taken. It's entertainment. Some people will love it, some will hate it. But is it news? I guess for some it is. But then, for me personally, sport news is also a big yawn. So many more important things going on in the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Writer Haruki Murakami plans archive at Japanese university See in context

Hehe, Alex... I think you are just being grumpy, but I respect the fact that you say so! I am a fan of his works, so for me it's good to see this development, and I think Waseda will genuinely welcome the move. But I may just be biased :P

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Journalist freed from Syria returns to Japan to relief, rice balls and criticism See in context

This story should be cause for celebration. A pity to see so much negativity. If no reporters and photographers were prepared to go to dangerous war zones, the world would have much less insight into what is happening there. Maybe he has some personal issues he is working through by doing this work as well, but I applaud his bravery. I do feel for his wife and parents of course. But come on people, lighten up and be happy for the guy and his loved ones. As for a ransom, well, that's another matter and a difficult one to know the best solution. War is an ugly business at best, and if a ransom was paid, that won't be the worst thing that happens in Syria this week.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Man gets 3 1/2 years in jail for assaulting truck driver after tailgating him on expressway See in context

Sad to see this road rage rubbish happening in Japan. We have too much of it in Australia, and it's good to see the Japanese system being prepared to deal strongly with offenders.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: On your way See in context

Great to see the younger members of the imperial family out and doing things... such a pity that the girls must lose their status on marriage, the family can ill afford such losses really.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: S Korea begins naval event without Japan after Rising Sun flag row See in context

The 'rising sun' flag is much older than Japan's imperialist period to which Korea refers; it goes back to at least the Edo period and the sun symbol was used in various contexts even before this. Simply because it was also in use during the imperialist period does not make it irrevocably connected with that imperialism. To be honest, as a British-born person and a professional historian, there are many aspects of Britain's imperial history which are quite shameful but no-one suggests that the symbols of the former empire still in use in modern Britain should be discarded. This is just another beat-up by Korea.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: IMF chief urges revamp of Japan's economic policy, more women in workforce See in context

Side issue question from an economic illiterate: why would they want to raise inflation above 2%? Simply to try to attract investment / raise interest rates? Or is there more at work there? (My impression was always that governments attempted to get inflation as low as possible... apparently not).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Elaborate throne for next emperor arrives in Tokyo See in context

Gee, honestly, I can't believe all the mocking and derision... this is part of Japan's cultural heritage, whether it suits your personal stylistic taste is hardly relevant. Thank you to Japan Today for covering an interesting insight into a detail of imperial ritual, and I think the mockers only devalue themselves as being unable to appreciate long standing cultural phenomena.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese carrier joins drills with British warship heading to contested South China Sea See in context

Japan and Britain have so much in common as island maritime nations off the shore of a continent with which they have experienced a lot of conflict over many centuries and from which they feel somewhat alienated; it is only natural that they should work together.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese carrier joins drills with British warship heading to contested South China Sea See in context

Good to see Britain and Japan reaffirming a friendship that goes back well over 100 years as regards naval cooperation, and which among other things helped give rise to the unique Japanese affection for curry! :)

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: X Japan leader Yoshiki says he will never stop trying to crack U.S. market See in context

Unfortunately too many American music fans are parochial and don't look beyond what's thrown at them by local media. There are exceptions, but sadly not enough to achieve what Yoshiki yearns for. In my book, the lack of acceptance in the US is almost an accolade in itself - but of course, there's no $$ in that kind of accolade.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Soldier's nephew in Japan receives second WWII souvenir flag See in context

It's good to see US veterans organizations who are willing to let the past be the past and reach out to a former enemy but current close ally in this way. All props to those vet leaders responsible!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Uproar as politican praises White Australia policy, urges Muslim ban See in context

My first comment is to categorically oppose the views of this Anning and his ilk as regards narrowing the focus of immigration. It is unbelievable that he attempts to claim never to have heard the phrase 'final solution' in connection with Nazi Germany - to the point that I actually don't believe him, and if he's by any chance speaking the truth then his ignorance, as a member of any parliament, should disqualify him anyway.

However, I am concerned about the rise of bigotry of various kinds, especially when inspired by religious views, and this includes a range of right wing Christian groups, but also swathes of other religions including Islam. As soon as a group starts singling out other groups for marginalisation, their right to a voice in a modern democracy needs to be questioned. Many of these groups oppose each other, but also seek to exclude LGBTI people and other minorities which they see as living against their religiously inspired lifestyles.

In my opinion there needs to be a debate about how to assess the socially exclusive vs inclusive views of prospective migrants, regardless of their membership of any particular religious or ethnic group. Those who are opposed to social diversity should not be allowed entry as migrants.

How you practically progress that is of course another question.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Relatives commemorate victims on 33rd anniversary of 1985 JAL jet crash See in context

@SaikoPhysco - The point is not that Boeing were proven to be guilty of anything, it is that they would not participate in normal procedures to discover who was responsible and allow justice to take its course. That is why they may be described as arrogant... or worse. Thankfully I mostly fly on Airbus products these days :P

14 ( +15 / -1 )

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