COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

JaneM2 comments

Posted in: WHO declares coronavirus crisis a pandemic See in context

"We are deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction."

WHO has been sending unclear messages, hesitating to give straightforward guidance and now is blaming the spread on the inaction of local authorities. Zero risk management by WHO. In times of crisis, it is important that they constantly re-assess the situation based on the latest data available, re-adjust the call for action and send clear messages to the state governments and the general public. None of these have been achieved by WHO since this outbreak. They have failed to reassure the public that though serious, the condition does not result in death for over 96% of the infected. They need to make clear that as a society, we need to take action to protect the people in the risk groups, for whom an infection could be fatal, even more so if the symptoms are left untreated.

No wonder the response has been slow and the counter-measures insufficient. No wonder people panic and many think they will be the next.

No matter what the confusing messages of WHO and the media frenzy have made you believe, if you are not in one of the risk groups, your chance of surviving an infection and fully recovering is close to 100%.

If you contract the virus, protect your loved ones by taking the necessary measures not to transfer it to them.

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Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

I love this woman. From my most recent observations and experience, though, in spite of the fact that the parenting trends she describes are still going strong here, I can see that some parents realize that they need to teach their kids to be as human as possible, creative, unconventional. The number of such parents is still small but the society needs to start somewhere.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: A bill banning parents from physically punishing children is expected to be passed during the current Diet session. Do you think it should be illegal for parents to hit their children as a means of discipline? See in context


You previous comments imply that using physical power is an option in disciplining a child. Glad to see you do not advocate spanking or hitting a child throwing a temper tantrum.


Never thought that I would find a common ground with you :-) Though I believe that every toddler has bad moments, hitting/spanking should never be an option. Adults should know better.

W Bjornson

What Cleo said.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: A bill banning parents from physically punishing children is expected to be passed during the current Diet session. Do you think it should be illegal for parents to hit their children as a means of discipline? See in context


Cannot help but wonder how you are going to stop the 2 yo’s tantrum? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Posted in: A bill banning parents from physically punishing children is expected to be passed during the current Diet session. Do you think it should be illegal for parents to hit their children as a means of discipline? See in context

When a 2 yr old is in the middle of a violent tantrum that will last 10 minutes, are you seriously going to attempt to reason with him/her?

Really? How violent can a 2yr old be while throwing a tantrum? Does the child hit you or chase you with a knife? Does he/she bite you or kick you?

So instead of waiting the tantrum to finish you decide to punish him or her with spanking. Reasoning with a 2 yo is not an option as the child is not in a developmental stage for reasoning. There are, however, other ways to deal with tantrums. Next time try to spare 10 minutes of your precious time and give them to your child by waiting for him/her to get out of the tantrum. Believe it or not, children always do.

There’s a big difference between discipline and abuse.

Yes. When you discipline your child (and you do it consistently all the way from the cradle to his/her becoming a grown up) you do not need corporal punishment.

A swat on the bottom to get the attention of a child is very different than using a closed fist...

Believe it or not, there are a hundred other ways to get the attention of a child without swatting them on the bottom. It is incredible how lazy people can be when it comes to learning about how to be better parents. Swats, spanks, fists... all of them are expressions of physical power of one person (the parent) over another person (the child).

Swatting, spanking, hitting, all create distrust towards the parent and teach the child that it is ok not to try to find a solution different from corporal punishment.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan ready to support France in rebuilding Notre Dame cathedral See in context


It is not about the availability of resources. It is about showing compassion and support in times of need. For the French, this cathedral is part of their identity. This morning a friend of mine said that he felt like his identity had been damaged by the fire. I do believe that showing support (the effect of donations) will go far beyond the monetary value of the donations made.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: How to create connections at work in the age of isolation See in context

In Japan, every Japanese citizen gets the right to take Monday mornings off.

This is the very first time I have heard of this. Really?

As for the number of e-mails, there seem to be more people who prefer to send e-mails rather than talk in person with their co-workers. The sheer number of non-relevant e-mails CC-ed every day in my division is overwhelming. The worrying thing is that even when it is obvious that many people cannot and eventually don’t bother reading all the mails CC-ed to them and it is obvious that efficiency suffers, the mailers persist in avoiding face-to-face communication. And We sit just about 2 meters apart from one another!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Popular Tokyo cherry blossom-viewing park increases admission prices by 150% See in context

Shinjuku Gyoten is good but there are many more better and free of charge places to enjoy the cherry blossoms. And the majority of the offer splendid views.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 2020 Democrats' new litmus test: Abolish Electoral College See in context

The founding fathers had the foresight to allow for the Constitution to be changed. Anyone saying it can't be changed has no respect for the founding fathers.

@bass Yes, but it won’t be changed, not that it can’t be changed, we all know that it can be, but it won’t.

Plant the seed!

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Posted in: Gov't OKs plan to legally ban parents from physically punishing children See in context


No, it is not. Nonetheless it is abuse. Physical punishment is only one of the many forms of abuse.

Mia’s father did not beat her to death. He just made her stand long hours in the bathroom and take cold showers. (Another, more sofisticated form of physical punishment.) If we follow the logic of your post above, she died not because he abused her. After all, he just disciplined her the best way he could. Too bad she failed to appreciate her father’s parenting.

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Posted in: Tokyo to ban parents from physically punishing children See in context

I do hope that the day will come when corporal punishment becomes a thing of the past. If you start early enough teaching your kids by your actions and by explaining to them why they can do “this” but not “that”, show them your appreciation when you are happy with what they have done, you will most likely never need to punish them physically.

Parents need to be consistent and patient. Children, parents, everibody has bad moments. But you do not beat your partner because she/he was upset with her nosy coworker and eventually let her frustration out in front of you, do you?

Parenting courses help to understand the developmental stages of the child and learn parenting techniques which help both you and children to get through every stage rather smoothly.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Amid tensions with Japan, S Korea to boost world awareness on wartime sex abuses See in context

@sj Another genius logic! In the world, only Japanese people eat Japanese sushi, and westerners never can think with a Japanese logic. Great! Admittedly, I have nothing to refute.

I lahughed quite a bit at your statement. It seems that it never occurred to you that if other people exhibit logic similar to that of the Japanese (and it seems that quite a few foreigners do) that is probably close to what the majority calls “common sense”. But never mind. It is really quite telling that as the Korean government gets more vocal about what they want the world to believe is Japan’s lack of atonement, we get more people coming to tell us foreigners that our logic is wrong and we need to adjust to the Korean logic in all this. The timing is tellingly perfect, indeed.

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Posted in: N Korea to scrap missile sites if U.S. reciprocates; Kim to visit Seoul See in context

Hehe, now we have Kim working for world peace. I wonder who buys it.

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Posted in: Tokyo 2020 chief asks Abe to consider daylight saving time See in context

Daylight saving time should be introduced once and for all. In summer, the sun rises before 4 am and sets down around 7 pm. It feels so much better to be able to sleep well in the morning and have more light hours after work to enjoy.

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Posted in: Japanese students use VR to recreate Hiroshima bombing See in context

No amount of recreating the bombings will ever match the reason WHY the bombings were absolutely necessary.

So that you can sleep well at night.

They should be thanking the US, not wallowing in self pity

Tell that to the civilian victims and the family members who survived those who died. to Tell that to the mothers who lost their children in the bombings.

Or even better, try to put yourself in their shoes and see whether you would be able to thank the Americans for killling your loved ones.

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Posted in: Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of U.S. atomic bombing See in context

wtfjapanAug. 6 01:55 pm JSTYes, of course - all victims should be remembered but each country can do it's own mourning as well, surely? absolutely, but let do it without pointing the finger at others for your suffering,

Yet, it is not exactly finger-pointing. It is rather a reaction to all the posts of previous years saying how Japan deserved it (yet, they never acknowledged that the bombs killed  hundreds of thousands of civilians  - mostly women, children and old men who never fought or killed anybody) and perpetuated the hypothesis that the bombs saved millions of American lives; that, despite the fact that Japan was on its knees, starved of food, munitions and young men, if it  had not been for the bombs,  the Japanese would have continued to fight for years, etc. etc. 

Being the winner of a war can be a sweet thing but as times change perceptions change, too, and eventually the winners have to face the truth as well.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Ruling party lawmaker says LGBT couples lack 'productivity' See in context

Yes, the backward thinking! Here we go again.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Trump could have been dealer of the free world See in context

But continue to ignore the single most successful Presidency in modern history as you wish. But it'll get pretty hard for you with the President Trump's popularity at an all time high, 

I really needed something to laugh at. Thanks for supplying the above statement!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: The issues of worker exploitation by employers and long working hours have recently captured public attention, so young people today are strongly conscious of the negative aspects of working for companies. Putting more priority on their private lives, an increasing number of people wish to work relatively short hours and be promoted to positions that are not too high but not so low. See in context

Really, Disillusioned?

Guess your recipe for success in life is the youth (and everybody else of course) working long hours without almost any time for private life?

Work efficiency and long working hours are two different things, aren't they? You should know.  After all, you also complain about the Japanese staying in the office late even when they do not have so much to do there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan booed as it advances on yellow cards despite losing to Poland 1-0 See in context

Samit Batsu

There is no point in comparing the Japanes and Korean teams. While there are many ifs and what ifs the fact remains that the Japanese team is going to the next stage thanks to a well calculated though boring game. Not the first nor the last team to have done so.

Meaningless nastiness and bitterness over this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Airbnb hopes to make rules simpler for home-rental services in Japan See in context

The main concerns people have are seeing strangers (foreigners) in their building or neighbourhood, and guests not sorting trash properly. 

I think it depends on the place. My Japanese neighbors are fine with me and a few other foreigners living in the same apartment building. They just do not want unregistered people (be they foreigners or Japanese) to come and go care-free and oblivious of the fact that people want quiet in their building. Safety is a concern, too, as non-registered individuals (the nationality does not seem to matter) come and go as they please all the time. Registration and safety regulations are a good thing no matter what some may say.

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Posted in: Trump insists U.S. runs deficit with Canada, statistics notwithstanding See in context

Bass: Oh, stop! The world lies about the US almost every single day. We deal with it, Canada can as well. Everyone needs to grow up.

Haha. Care to elaborate?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: S Korean president lashes Japan over wartime use of 'comfort women' See in context

Until all Japanese citizens apologize and pay a substantial fine, this will have to be brought up permanently.

If they do wait for the next demand: all of them commit ritual suicide so that the issue can be resolved at the exclusive discretion of the Korean government.

But then again, once the Japanese nation becomes extinct, there will be nobody they can use as a scapegoat for their political gaffes.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan pro-whaling documentary wins award at London film festival See in context

Japan should stop whaling with immediate effect. Even though Norway and Iceland whale much more than Japan, they are fine to continue as they do it responsibly

And you know that because? Please do elaborate.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Posted in: Ruling parties to adjust Diet schedule for Abe to go to Pyeongchang See in context

Though some may not believe it, Abe has been invited by the hosts/organizers. If he goes, this will be a step in the right direction (though a small one) for the relations between Japan and SK.


Since when has the entire nation adjusted its schedule according to the personal plans of Abe? I had no idea you were going to consider doing that. And no, those plans are not personal. They have a lot to do with the relations between the two countries.

@Akie: Quite honestly, Japan owes a lot to neighbors.

Do you mean those neighbors who very conveniently forget and ignore what the post-war Japan has done to help advance their economies, improve their standard of living, etc.? Those same neighbors who do not honor bilateral agreements with Japan whenever it suits their political agenda?

Yes? Ah, I thought so, too.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Subaru CEO, execs to return part of their pay over inspection scandal See in context

I have no idea how many vehicles have been inspected by uncertified staff but I am on my second Subaru and chose to buy it because of the great performance of the first one. The post-purchase service is great. The first Subaru never showed any problems, not even the smallest one but, unfortunately, I had to give it up because the tax would get significantly higher a year later. The socond Subaru performs very well, too, and true to the company's reputation has shown no problems so far.

@Lorem : These articles are so hysterical. Japan is hysterical.

A bit  of overreaction?

Return part of your pay? And only part of it? How about you fire them, bar them from ever working in the automotive industry in an executive position for ten years

While I do not condone what they have done, so far nobody has been injured or has died because of the vehicles being inspected by uncertified staff. I do hope that they have all vehicles inspected by certified workers, though, and realize how damaging to the otherwise great image of Subaru such a slip can be.

and prosecute them and lock them up for their malicious practices?

Malicious? Wow! This coming from the person who finds the article hysterical?

I sometimes really wonder how this country is still the world's third largest economy with all the idiocy that goes on here.

I am sure you can find an equal, if not larger, amount of idiocy in the first and second economies of the world. You only need to look closer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Items that survived U.S. A-bombs to be displayed in Oslo See in context

An excellent and poignanti idea. The world must never forget.

Clamenza: No one has. Not a single country has attempted a sneak attack on the US since 1941.

Yeah, but that has not stopped the US to wage wars all over the world. If that makes you proud of being American, then so be it. But don't wonder why and don't cry when people express their dislike of US governments and US' foreign policy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ayumi Hamasaki offends S Korean fans during concert with Japanese war flag See in context

 @AgentX: The fact is that, deservedly so, the flag is offensive as so many have now pointed out

“Deservedly so” or not is up to the commenters to decide and as many have said (written) above that flag should not be considered offensive as it is not the one which the Korean fans believe it is.

I think it's proper those proponents to take note of the offensive action,

You want a great number of people to be considerate of the mistaken understanding of a bunch of pop music fans but when people give you proof that those fans are mistaken in their understanding you show zero consideration. Right. A very good approach to a constructive discussion. Not.

I have simply called out those that are perverting the course of this discussion.

Remember the pot, kettle, etc?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Ayumi Hamasaki offends S Korean fans during concert with Japanese war flag See in context

 you need to read about the true facts of WW2 and the atrocities that flag represented at the time. If you still feel proud about wear it on a jacket then your the one that needs to look at yourself in the mirror.

But once again, the flag on the jacket is not the flag which the Korean fans think it is. And yes, it is ignorance but this time not on the Japanese side.

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Posted in: Japan eyes imposing departure tax ahead of 2020 Olympics See in context

Looking at the cost breakdown on my latest air ticket, there is a Y2090 international passenger service charge and a Y520 passenger security service charge.

Those are charges which benefit the airport, which is a business organizations and operates to make profit while offering certain services. Those charges have nothing to do with the new tax which will flow into the coffers of the government.

I recall Kansai Airport had some kind of airport tax in the past, maybe still. Some would arrive unawares without cash (maybe 2600 yen?).

Not just Heathrow. Manchester’s the same. In fact, it’s a UK-wide tax.

An airport tax is imposed by every single airport in the world. The amount varies depending on the country and airport though. In most countries the passengers are unaware of it because it is part of their air ticket and most passengers simply do not check the breakdown of the ticket price.

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