Japan Today

JayJayE comments

Posted in: New Zealand's legal brothels gear up for busy World Cup See in context

Disgusting? I assume many here live in Japan, where prostitution and porn are "technically" illegal. Plus all the Thai trips and God knows what my wife says about her Japanese colleagues trips to China! Get over it! New Zealand, as usual has one of the best ways of dealing with something that is always there, just not above ground. Make it above ground and suddenly, there's health regulations, labour practices, the lot. Getting closer on the same thing with weed.

Any time in Japan should tell you the more uptight and the more conservative you are about something, the weirder it gets. Hell, not just Japan, ultra right, anti-gay American politicians having sex with little boys? Think what you want, things above board are better than below...

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Posted in: Moody's downgrades Ireland debt to junk status See in context

Moody's are the same firm that gave Leeman Brothers an A rating right until they filed for bankruptcy. So the question is, who are they to make any call like that? Why does the economic sector and the mainstream news still take them seriously? They are partly responsible for the financial meltdown in the first place. You have to wonder...

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Posted in: What makes conspiracy theorists tick and what is the best way to combat their beliefs? See in context

Exactly right, DaCat. The fact is, do any research into history, and I mean real history, not the History Channel, and you can find all kinds of stuff. All true, all sourced, with credible witnesses. As I said, this whole question is loaded. It assumes from the get go that anyone who disagrees with the main line is out there. The truth is quite different.

The sad part is people who think man didn't really land on the moon and Area 51 is really housing UFO's are grouped with the same people who argue that state what can be proved. Things like that the CIA had a hand in mass murdering dictators during the 80's and even the fact (I'm doing history so I can prove this to) that Japan was trying to surrender through the Soviets before Hiroshima and the US was well aware of it. The latter are NOT conspiracies. They are documented fact. You just have to look.

The 9/11 thing really gets me. It is NOT debunked. Not by a long shot. The truth is no one really knows exactly what happened and the inconsistencies are huge. It may have indeed been El Quida, but questions remain. And the biggest is how no one and I do mean no one, was fired or held accountable for the whole debacle. There is documented evidence that other nations, including the SIS of Britain had warned of a possible attack of that very nature. What was done? Nothing. I'd like to put it down to shear incompetence. That would be easiest and fit well.

People who want to claim such notions are 'conspiracy theories" are completely missing the point. There is a huge difference between Area 51 and someone dropping the ball on 9/11. "Conspiracy Theory" is just a convenient label now for people who bring up questions people would rather had not asked. And that's not cool.

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Posted in: What makes conspiracy theorists tick and what is the best way to combat their beliefs? See in context

The word conspiracy theory is thrown around so much, yet is so badly defined. Lizardmen from Outer Space control the world? Yeah, that's pretty nuts. But all too often very valid concerns that run opposite to what the mainstream media tell us are defined as "conspiracy theories" when in fact, there is some plausibility.

I guess I should point out a difference. Not believing, or knowing there are holes in an official line does NOT make you a conspiracy theorist. It makes you a skeptic. Taking the lack of information and making wild assertions with no evidence makes you something else.

So to the questions.

What makes conspiracy theorists tick? There are a number of reasons. Some have pointed them out. But the main one is doubt. Doubt in what they're being told. Same as a skeptic, but a skeptic will stick with "I don't believe it, but then, I don't know."

The best way to combat them? Now I have a real problem with this. This whole question is loaded to make anyone who doubts the offical line seem like a loon. Very Orwellian. The truth is, ironically, if we all knew the truth and there were no doubts, then conspiracy theorist would basically run out of air. But the fact is, there is so much misinformation and decet that they are given an arena.

And on top of that, some "conspiracy theories" are not really that at all. They are quite provable and some have even been admitted by those in power. Like the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Robert McNamara admitted in "the Fog of War" that it was indeed all made up. And that's just a start. We've been lied to before. So then what to believe?

Another play on logic. If event need evidence to not be a conspiracy theory, then what does that make religion? Not being anti-religious, but if you follow that line of thinking, that's where you end up.

Food for thought. And there's nothing wrong with being skeptical.

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Posted in: Rescue team See in context

As a Kiwi, I say screw the cynicism. Thanks Japan, I'm sure you'll be of great help down here!

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Posted in: Kan prods Ozawa to resign, calls for tax reform See in context

It's the same the world over. The only person who makes any sense is US politician Ron Paul. And he's a Republican? All confused!

Anyway, the point is the monetary system has been flawed for years. Most of our taxes go to paying off debt created by banks and when banks get into trouble more tax payer money gets thrown at them to keep them alive. Right wingers who claim more taxes are bailing out lazy poor people are completely missing the point. Our taxes are helping the insanely rich.

This is why it's all bogus. Liberals and Conservatives continues to throw insults at each other, without realizing we're all being screwed.

Yep, Ron Paul has it right and it's the same in Japan. Both parties are useless to the people, only to big business. Expect more taxes and less benefits.

Moderator: Ron Paul is not relevant to this discussion. Please stay on topic.

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Posted in: What do you think will be the biggest technological development of the coming decade, so that when we look back in 10 years' time, we'll wonder how we ever did without it? See in context

Electric cars, plus Water powered cars, hydrogen fuel cells and the like have been around for decades. It's not a matter of technical no-how, more of economics.

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Posted in: What do you think will be the biggest technological development of the coming decade, so that when we look back in 10 years' time, we'll wonder how we ever did without it? See in context

Yeah, as a musician I would say no cables would be nice. They're getting there but still a ways to go. I can't tell you how annoying it is to set up a show while sorting through Spaghetti!

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Posted in: Hawk eyes See in context

Falcons are cool. Fastest animal on the planet. I always admire Falconary. Useless fact. Did you you in both World Wars, Falcons were used to intercept Homing Pigeons? It's true.

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Posted in: What do you think will be the biggest technological development of the coming decade, so that when we look back in 10 years' time, we'll wonder how we ever did without it? See in context

Wikileaks and the like. Whether you love or hate 'em, it's changed things forever. The funny thing is, is that what they've "leaked" is nothing really new. But now it's public view, without having to go to all the trouble of reading a book (Lord help us!).

The network news and mainstream news is shait, CNN, FOX, BBC, whatever. Liberal and Conservative has nothing to do with it. Finally, we get the facts and we can make whatever judgment we want.

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Posted in: What are some of the worst movies you saw this year? See in context

Inception bad? Without a doubt, I thought Inception was the best movie of the year, hands down. Mind you I still wouldn't put it in my top ten. This year's been pretty bad for movies.

Avatar was okay, but that's really 2009. The rest. Meh. Nothing really to speak of, except Inception.

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Posted in: Utada: 'I don't want to be a helpless adult' See in context

One of the few J-pop stars I have time for. And I don't like J-pop. But she is a genuenly talented musician, writes almost all her own songs (not just the lyrics, everything) and doesn't act like a bimbo in interviews. And she's hot. Maybe that's why she's lasted so long.

I saw an interview with her on CNN (her English is practically native). She came across as a really intellegent but humble and down to earth girl.

I wish her all the luck in the world, and it's cool she doesn't want to be sheltered.

btw, I found out one of her favorite bands is Nine Inch Nails. Wicked! Who would of thought?

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Posted in: 'Space Battleship Yamato' blasts off See in context

The sister ship of the USS Enterprise-D is the USS Yamato (oh, the irony). Yep, my Otaku nature has raised it's head.

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Posted in: 'Hobbit' films to be made in New Zealand as planned See in context

Unfortunately this showed up a flaw in the NZ film industry. And before anyone flames, I am actually from Wellington, New Zealand itself. Hollywood was always good at pandering to stars but New Zealand never was. Weta had everything, the studios, the gear, the landscape, and more importantly people willing to work for dirt cheap on something cool, since the living cost is so low.

Bring in actors, in particular, overseas actors and all of a sudden you have a problem. The Lord of the Rings, lived on humble actors that were willing to bear it, some were not even that well off at the time. Since LOTR has become a success, the actor thing has become more of an issue, though I'm sure it'll survive, as some actors are still willing to do it in spite of bucks. Sir Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman being amoung them.

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Posted in: In Triumph See in context

Hiromi Nishiuchi was the best. The next to (2009 & 2010 respectively) are okay, but she was the best.

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Posted in: Too much katakana contributing to Japan's malaise See in context

The argument Kaga puts forward that loan words and katakana is causing Japan's woes is weak at best. Many languages, including English make heavy use of loan words, but I don't see any connection there. And I agree that Kanji makes reading Japanese easier, but I'm going to talk about something different.

I think Kaga is trying to say something but in typical fashion these days, espically among Nihonjonron crowds, simply can't figure out what it is and is lashing out at the most convienent target, foriengers, or Americans.

That said I think he does have a point but it's not language. Japanese culture has lost it's spiritual centre. Now, before people lash out, I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about something different. Japan has not always been this way and has seen some great thinkers, artists and writers in it's history. It's ironic that he brings up The Tales of Genji, because I doubt anyone could come up with something like that now.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Japan, after World War 2, sacrified any kind of intellectual culture it had to become an economic power. It's built into the school system, the work culture, the media, everything. And now it's backfiring. So Doshin, the founder of Shirinji Kempo, wrote a lot about his feeling about the direction Japanese society was going, spiritually, in the 50's and 60's.

Just listen to the current music, watch the current movies or watch TV and I think you'll see where I'm going with this. Scientists too, in fact anyone who expresses a deeply thought perspective on the world. The one's that are known, pretty much have to leave Japan to get anywhere.

Japanese are people just like anyone else and they need that side of life, not just money, jobs and fashion. Whether or not this is completely Japan's fault or if America has something to do with it, I'll leave other posters to debate.

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Posted in: Rally for Senkakus See in context

@ isthistheend, I agree, but I'd take it further. Not sure if you'll agree or not. Nationalism is built of the feeling of victimisation. "We've never done anything wrong, we're victims". It's a very ugly thing and these days being bought up all the time. People have the right to curse me if I'm wrong, but I believe both China and Japan play this card.

I have gotten insults and haven't won people over from this view. It's very strong. By the way, America and most other countries have it too.

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Posted in: Rally for Senkakus See in context

In my opinion, and I'm also neither Japanese or Chinese, this situation is pretty significant in a not too positive way. Nationalism is getting it's way over reason, on both sides. And I think that's what certain parties want. Just checking some other forums, I can't believes the racist, pigheaded insults being thrown around.

People are totally blind to the truth. This is about who get's what. Scared lands and national pride have nothing to do with it. It's about resources. Like almost every war has ever been about.

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Posted in: In your experience, which country's tourists are the least well-behaved whenever you have seen them out and about? See in context

It's not the American military are "tourists" but that the image of Americans is inflanced by them. Which is what I think is unfair. I'm not bashing the military,just saying. I live in Kanagawa and know not all Americans are rude and not all rude people are American.

While I was in Greece and Turkey, Americans were the nicest people I came across.

So I think I want to put to bed, this notion that Americans are bad tourists. I don't think so.

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Posted in: In your experience, which country's tourists are the least well-behaved whenever you have seen them out and about? See in context

In Japan most Americans get a bad wrap because to the military. But I don't think that's entirely fair.

I saw one young American Navy guy almost shouting at a Japanese old lady to take his seat. Hey, he was doing the right thing! But the old lady was scared to death.

On top of that the non-military people I'm friends with are some of the most well mannered, culturely sensitive, reasonable people I know.

So yeah, I don't pick Americans. Though you guys can be kinda loud.

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Posted in: In your experience, which country's tourists are the least well-behaved whenever you have seen them out and about? See in context

It's difficult to say because people are individuals. A lot of people would say Americans. But I would disagree. Some Americans are loud, yes. But that's not always rude as such. And I'm not American either.

Some people say Chinese. Maybe. I have found both times I've had trouble with people putting their seat right back on the plane, with no concideration, it was Chinese and Korean. But I've meet nice Chinese and Koreans abroad too.

In Greece, I found Germans were incredably rude to their hosts and very demanding. But again, I don't want to paint all Germans that way.

I think it comes down to more a persons background rather than nation. I find people who are etho-centric and not well travelled tend to be the worst tourists regardless of where they are from..

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Posted in: Series of aftershocks rattle New Zealand See in context

What I'm surpirsed about is not the quakes. That's expected in New Zealand though not well liked. Whar I'm surpirsed about is JT first report is about the AFTERSHOCKS! They reported a plane crash in which maybe 7 people died but never bothered to report the biggest quake in New Zealand (recorded) history! How JT could miss that I really won't know. CNN and BBC were all over it!

Aways, I not religious, but I am a Kiwi. I hope everyone in Christchurch is doing okay. Yes, I know shitting in a bucket is undignifying, but hang strong, you'll be okay...

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Posted in: Erika Sawajiri: Inside the head of Japan's outspoken star See in context

Right message. Wrong messenger. Good looking though.

As someone has has actually been involved with the music industry here, I would have to 100% agree with past posts that Japan is basically the West in the 50's or 60's. Being that everything is controlled by agencies, labels, big companies and VERY few artists of any kind break through on their own talent and hard work alone yet alone originality.. That includes, humm, Ms Sawajiri.

There are good actors and musicians in Japan but you won't think it looking at the mainstream. Again, as posted before, it's all about what has worked in the past and reusing the formula and making sure everything is in neat little boxes to sell.

What she says is true, but I can think of a lot of Japanese people with more right to complain than her. Still if they complained, no one would listen. Erika Sawajiri is a "controversial star". So maybe I should be glad she said it, I guess.

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Posted in: What is your favorite Asian airline and why? See in context

Malaysia airlines is surprisingly good. I would say Singapore Airlines, but Malaysia has almost as good service for less price. And actually Air New Zealand is pretty good. They were not so much 10 years ago but they've really gotten their act together so much that I would say they're the best Australasian/Oceania Airline, way over Qantas.

Cathay Pacific is okay, didn't like Korean Airlines so much. But in general Asian/Oceania airlines are the best, I flew once on American Airlines and it was horrible.

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Posted in: Creative hobbies that cost zero yen See in context

Actually I can think of more.

Body Surfing, don't even need a board.

Hiking. Even just a day walk.

When I was a little kid and complained about being bored my mum would turn off the TV and say "We have pencils, pen and paper. We have an old guitar old the back. Entertain yourself."

Speaking of entertaining yourself there's always.....ummmm.

That's free.

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Posted in: Creative hobbies that cost zero yen See in context

Why does everyone miss drawing and painting? Drawing or even doing comics, sketches the like costs you a notebook, a pencil and an eraser. Hardly expensive. Granted, oil painting is expensive but watercolour isn't that bad.

Or how about writing? Again just a pen and paper. Could be a novel, short story, or a novel, if you really want.

Singing? Your body is already equip with it's own music instrument. Listen to beat boxers and you can get an idea what it can really do once you get good enough. Even some musical instruments are cheap. You don't need a 250,000 Gibson Les Paul or a 150,000 Roland (huhhmmm) Keyboard.

Hmmm, running? I suppose you need shoes and clothing. Swimming? Soccer isn't that expensive.

I'm amazed that in our age of video games, shopping and television, people have lost sight of the hobbies that have entertained people for thousands of years, all over the world.

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Posted in: The Heart of Aikido See in context

Further note: the root of Aikido, Aki Ju-Jitsu and Shorinji Kempo is in Zen Buddhism. All of these arts view neutralizing an attacker while causing no permanent injury the highest form of self defense. Easy to say, pretty hard to actually do. The skill of these people is very high.

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Posted in: The Heart of Aikido See in context

I used to do Aikido and now do Shorinji Kempo (a mix of Kung Fu and Aikido).

The people that do both of these arts are some of the nicest, most accepting, most balanced people you will ever meet in Japan. Unlike some other arts, they aren't macho or about kicking someones arse. They're about self defense and peace through deterrence. I only wish some in modern Japan and the rest of the world would pick up on the message.

Could be worth a read.

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Posted in: Law student Nana Tanimura decides music is a better career See in context

She's cute. That's it.

I can think of a number of other talented Japanese song writers (women) that should get more attention.

Still this is Japan and I admit, she's nice to look at. This place being what it is in terms of entertainment, I think she'll make it.

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