Japan Today

JackKasket comments

Posted in: Why is nationalist sentiment rising in politics around the developed world at this point in time? See in context

Because there have been concentrated efforts by governments to lower the quality of life of middle- and lower-class citizens. Secondly, the media has been throwing gasoline on people's fears while political pundits are lighting matches.

That is, the middle- and lower-class citizens (or economical groups) are experiencing exceedingly lower quality of life due to government manipulation of taxes and prices from everything between commodity goods to basic services, and media is diverting their increasing distress and fear for their own well-being towards peoples that have different skin color. The saviors come in the form of far-right reformist, whose rhetoric validates the fears instilled in the middle- and lower-class.

You don't have to watch History Channel (in fact, don't) to know where these tactics are headed towards globally.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Ghost in the Shell' makers defend Johansson casting See in context

She's a cyborg, and her appearance has changed in almost every re-boot of the franchise.

But, whatever...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to conduct first major survey on racism: report See in context

@Disillusioned Come on now. Not having something in your native language is, gasp, racism?

Secondly, two percent of the population are foreigners. Two. Not large. Two.

Hell, to me, it's kind of racist that proper cheese costs so much. Like an invisible foreigner-tax. And how about those chili peanuts. You have to order them online!!! Pretty racist.

Come on.... Let's just not do this....

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to conduct first major survey on racism: report See in context

This sounds fun. How do I partake?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think automatic translation technology will get good enough one day so that we won't need human interpreters or translators? See in context

Machines already do a remarkable job at translating standardized, high quality speech and text, but the problem right now really is that machines cannot differentiate between people or adjust to people's deficiencies in language use.

It's kind of ironic to see examples (such as above), where the speech is filled with disfluencies, and the argument is that machines can never understand it. That is, if a machine is built to be as accurate as possible, but the input is garbage, then the output is garbage as well.

For humans this is not a problem, but we'll have to wait a few more years for AI and machine learning folks to construct something that does well with low quality speech, or text for that matter. Until now, it has hardly been a worthy goal to build something that can parse garbage into comprehensible garbage in another language.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Will 'strategic special zones' turn into hotbeds of prostitution? See in context

This is such BS from the government side. Encourage housewives to go to work.... Are they really THIS tone deaf, or what is the real purpose for these visa changes?

The REAL reason housewives do not work is the double income limit, where they can only earn about 100,000 and change per month, if the husband is working as well. Which, obviously, is not worth the effort. Hiring a Filipino housekeeper is the opposite of solving the problem...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Finding a half decent gym in Japan: A survival guide See in context

Oh god.... The stories I could tell.

I've been to a dozen gyms in Japan, and let me tell you, 11 out of 12 of them are garbage. Luckily, I now have one of the good chain gyms less than 1km from my home that has a one set of all the barbell equipment I need.

The problem? It's filled to the brim with oyajis that have absolutely no clue what the hell they are doing. Further, it's almost criminal how the staff does not correct the behavior of any of these old farts, but are lightning quick to yell at me for not putting locks on a deadlift bar.

There was this one guy in spandex who would do arm curls while standing on one of those step-up box things in the middle of the free weight area so that the bar would be at head level at every rep for anyone walking by. And he was there, every. single. day. I never saw him come, and never saw him leave. Arm curls on a box. Every day, all day.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: It appears that elements that do not look kindly on having an individual who has been critical of the current administration appear at a noted event like Fuji Rock are using the logic that politics sh See in context

Suppressing people not to include politics in music is bringing politics in to music.

... whoever the "elements" (earth, wind and fire???) are.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Ghostbusters' backlash brings out Internet trolls See in context

Two things:

Ronda Rousey is not male the last time I checked Any press is good press, especially when the movie looks like Garfield (the one Bill Murray said YES to)...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Obokata 'types' not uncommon in business world See in context

A third-party giving opinions about someone's mental health or existence of a personality disorder, and those reported as "news" is pretty vile. Regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

The real question is, why would a third-party part-time lecturer give her opinions about a person in published format? Anyway you look at it, it's certainly unprofessional and most likely unethical for a medical practitioner (if this is the case).

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: French prosecutors probe $2 million tied to 2020 Tokyo Games See in context

Before everyone has a hissy fit, please note that NOTHING will happen due to this.

The 2020 games will still be on.

Unless a specific person is named, by the French, no one will resign or face any action.

Business as usual.

2 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Luxury or bust for foreign automakers in Japan See in context

(Un)fortunately, there are only limited places where you can drive a car interestingly in Japan. 99% of the time, you'll be another slug in the traffic, trying vigorously not to get hit by a 90-year-old grandma in a moving pink box.

That being said, I would love to try out my neighbour's tuned up Subaru on some mountain roads, after getting a proper life insurance. That thing looks sweet as hell.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: 2-year-old boy dies after being confined in plastic storage case See in context

This is the worst of the dozens of child killing news I've read.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Death by overwork on rise among Japan's vulnerable workers See in context

All those regulations are worth less than the paper they're printed on. Take, for example, the vacation days. Sure, all companies offer everyone the same number of paid holidays a year, but 1) it's in the employees own discretion to use them, and 2) the employee does not get reimbursed from unused holidays. Combine that with the subtle or not so subtle guilt tripping from using a paid holiday, and oh-boy...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Company president gets five years’ probation for killing employee See in context

As a Japanese citizen, I'm more concerned that the overall society works reasonably well rather than each and every court decision satisfying foreign nationals with little or no stake in my country.

I doubt the quotes in the article are from "foreign nationals with little or no stake in YOUR country".

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe oblivious to people's hardships, says tabloid See in context

What the article says about the income is 100% true. Basically, due to the tax ceiling, if husband/wife brings home 500,000 before taxes, the other partner can make about 80,000yen a month. This comes down to about 450,000yen after taxes and health care payments per household a month.

However, there are also other considerations for young families. With the above income, daycare would cost about 40,000-50,000 a month for an infant (government mandated cost). That means that the wife/husband working part time would be, in reality, bringing home only 30,000-40,000yen a month. This brings the total after tax income of the above family with ONE child close to 400,000yen a month. You could break down the cost of living here as well, but I would think most of you are well versed enough to do it yourself.

Now, what would be the situation for the family where the main bread winner would make a more realistic/common salary? Pretty f'ed up, I would say.

And yes, you can draw parallels from this to low birthrates and aging population if you wish to do so...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump backers baffled by criticism of his Muslim proposal See in context

This whole debate would be over the minute anyone with authority or exposure would acknowledge that you cannot determine a person's religion just by looking at him/her or their passport.

sigh Just stop already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: California shooting rampage leaves 14 dead; 2 suspects killed in gun battle with police See in context

The attack has many of the hallmarks of the 2 Paris incidents and Mumbai, I noticed from the start. Several gun people working in a team with assault rifles hitting "soft targets." The parallel is obvious to me, but an expert who knows more than I do is continuing on about mental illness on CNN.

One shooter was a former employee.

So there's that...

World is a scary place right now, but don't let the terrorists win. OK?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: California shooting rampage leaves 14 dead; 2 suspects killed in gun battle with police See in context

The right to bear arms and protect oneself is an inalienable right.

I wonder what John Locke would say about the contribution of one Mr. Noidall: Life, Liberty, Estate and Guns.

Following Locke's logic, it's pretty obvious that right to bear arms conflicts with all previous three rights, at least in the US of A. It is the governments job to protect the natural rights, and to an astute observer, this is not happening. Logical solution would be strict gun control, which not only protects the three first natural laws of Locke, but also protects Mr. Noidall's clever fourth one.

Or, overthrow the government, but you know, that's just Locke.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Weak data latest bad news for Abenomics See in context

So, now we wait for Abe to give a speech where he puts the blame on consumers not spending enough, or taking loans to fund their "enhanced" cup noodle purchases.

Victim-blaming ahoy!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Cup noodles and chocolates keep Abenomics' pulse beating See in context

How is this portrayed as a "positive"?!?

This is simply a classic statistics trick to fool the people who are not in the know. What they did is divide a category (cup noodles) to two sub-categories (standard vs. value-added) to get some type of a "positive" result only on one of the sub-categories (without telling us if there were other sub-categories, like say, gourme that was left out).

Then, what's worse, is that these "value-added" noodles are 8% more expensive, and the article claims that a 10% increase in sales is something good. Were sales measured as revenue? I bet they were... Yeah... wow.

But hey, all is well! Nothing to see here! Go back to your homes!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Clinton debate boost may keep Biden on 2016 sidelines See in context

Come election day, I just hope all the Bernie people will actually vote. This piece, mirroring that of CNN douchebaggery, is going to be just one example of media manipulation in this election.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan has a pill to cure your pre-speech jitters See in context

Aren't there OTC beta blockers in Japan? Is this news because of the package?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: New law aimed at curbing bicycle traffic violations, accidents goes into effect See in context

Unacceptable. What happens if a person on a bicycle is quickly comes in the opposite direction? It is always safest to stay on your side of the street, and if you think it seems otherwise, you may be unfit to ride a bicycle.

Depends on the road, really. When I'm riding a bike on streets with tighter fit, I prefer to be on the opposite side so I can actually see the oncoming traffic, and adjust accordingly in case there are parked cars or idiots.

On a busier multi-lane street, it just makes more sense to keep to the left side as there are generally less obstructions and cars have more space to go around.

However, what really pisses me off are the "professional" cyclists while I'm driving a car. Yeah, they are usually on the left side of the road, but pay no attention whatsoever to the motor traffic. There's a car parked on the side of the road? No problem, lets just swerve on the car lane without looking. I'm sure the driver's don't mind.

I get instant road rage whenever I see a hunched up spandex troll on a public road.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Hero lady apparently saves guy from groping accusations by posing as girlfriend See in context

*Having lived (sigh)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Hero lady apparently saves guy from groping accusations by posing as girlfriend See in context

Do right handers keep their phones in their left pocket? Left jacket pocket maybe, but left trouser seems awkward to me.

Right front pants pocket: Keys Right back pants pocket: Wallet Left front pants pocket: Phone

Only weirdos deviate.

Living in a country with pickpockets, you'll never put a phone in your jacket pocket.

Plus, it was summer...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Hero lady apparently saves guy from groping accusations by posing as girlfriend See in context

I'd like to share a story.

On my usual morning route, there happened to be a foreign guy, most likely Brazilian, sitting next to a girl in a summer dress. He was couple of rows away and I had a pretty good vantage point as I always stand on this leg of the train ride.

Suddenly, through my earphones, I hear this guy yell very loudly at the girl. What I gathered is that the guy was reaching for his phone in his left trouser pocket (right handers have it there), somehow brushed against the summer dress girl's leg, and now the girl was accusing him of chikan.

Well, I didn't see what happened, but this guy did what is in my opinion exactly correct. He yelled like a madman, explained the situation in loud voice to everyone in the car, asked the people sitting opposite of him to confirm that they saw what happened, and I think he even directly accused the girl a liar.

I hope he came out OK, and by the looks of it, I'm pretty certain. Give me a shout if you see this!

Moral of the story: Gaijin Card works if you use it. Also, always stand facing the doors with phone in both hands.

Or don't. I don't care.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Coke bets on super milk; more protein, less sugar See in context

Ergo, white non-carbonated sugar water with added whey... Well, it's not the person who sells it, it's the person who buys it...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Coke bets on super milk; more protein, less sugar See in context

This is confusing. How come a lactose-free milk has 50% less sugar... 50% of zero is still zero.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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