Japan Today

Jayy Edwards comments

Posted in: Seniors account for record 29.1% of Japan's population See in context

Japan and South Korea think they are 'exceptional' and they will be - for trying to solve their ageing population problem with 'guest workers' from developing and third world countires who will be kicked out after they have done their work. Japan has already embarked upon this road to nowhere policy by setting up new laws that deny such people the right to bring their families etc. All this does is create an underclass of foreign workers unlike genuine immigration which provides rights that provide a social context to work.

I'm not sure that the rapidly ageing population of Japan will make it 'more conservative' - the Abe years simply made revisionism the norm and the ignorance of 20th century Japanese history is only one factor. Japanese society can borrow all the counter culture looks and trends it likes from western society but it essentially doesn't take in the original meanings or attitudes. The society here is fairly reactionary and that goes for many young people too. 'Diversity' is just another trend and even having a 'hafu' population won't make any real difference unless that population becomes more than 10 per cent or so.

It's not good news that old people can work til they drop because they need the money - that is just cynicism on the part of those in power as well as ignorance to think Japan can just carry on with fewer children, no real immigration and all the rising costs associated with a society where the younger tax base diminishes, the demand for schools and teachers declines outside of the key big cities as only one example, and the health costs of the elderly, already way too high because of their infamous over-use of the public medical system that young people are paying too much for, that will become unsustainable.

And sorry, it's already too late to have genuine immigration, even that far more limited than in western countries and other developed countries that get the need for it. This country lacks any real vision apart from a persistence in clinging to past notions and anything new is usually related to image making, but demographic realities are unforgiving.

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Posted in: Osaka should take whatever time off she needs See in context

I also think she has the kind of character and personality that is not cut out for public life as a sports star or anything else in the spotlight. That's fine and if she wants to leave it behind, good for her.

But that is her choice and zero to do with the public who somehow are being drawn into a kind of blame game by these kinds of misdirecting articles. My impression of her from interviews etc is she is not particularly bright like so many athletes, and this is probably why she has to make everything about her and her career somehow the fault of others on a big scale. Just deal with your own problems Naomi and yes if you want to quit, taking those multi-millions and understand you are privileged.

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Posted in: Osaka should take whatever time off she needs See in context

Um, I think the writer and a few people are forgetting the fine print here - Naomi Osaka CHOSE to make professional tennis her full-time career and as a result of playing tennis she has enriched herself through prize money but mostly huge sponsorship money.

She and her parents have used those opportunities to the max and she is not the first person famous or otherwise to feel pressures and have emotional issues. But that is essentially down to her - ridiculous money for hitting a ball looks like it's too much for her and fine but let's cut out all the media playing it to somehow make it the responsibility of others.

If she doesn't fulfil her contractual obligations to sponsors, then rightfully she should or will lose money. This is business and it is separate from her own feelngs or whatever she or others see as her 'right' to not do what the other 99.9 percent of pro tennis players do and speak to the media for a short time post match or to show basic sporting manners on the court.

I'd argue Naomi has actually been treated with exceptions rather than the rules. As long as she is a professional tennis player she owes the game some concessions such as media conferences and basic manners on court. I personally could care less if she gives up the game - it's her business but please cut the manipulative narrative of how 'she doesn't owe us blah blah blah'. Those kinds of assertions are irrelevant.

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Posted in: Memorial service held for Japanese who died in Siberian labor camps See in context

Wow, the poster Khuniri just made a huge generalisation of non Japanese who come here to live and work but gets upset cause some posters can't find anything positive to say about the Japanese military during WW2.

'One comes as a brash Occidental to the most prosperous, democratic and stable nation in East Asia, makes an easier living than one could in one's home country and then dumps on it..' meaning Japan. Plenty of complexes showing here, dude, and you might want to cut out the self-righteousness if you're going to generalise so much in such a bigoted way.

People from western countries who live here are allowed to have an opinion even if it's negative and those opinions don't necessarily 'dump' on Japan. This echoes the cries of 'Japan bashing' that the ruling class in Japan has used for some time now to stifle debate about Japanese society's problems.

As for the 'easier living' - that hasn't been true since the Bubble Economy and that decades ago. While it's true the facebook generation started to come in relatively big numbers to Japan after about 2009, some of em grads from the US and Canada who wanted to pay back loans, there's nothing easy about living in a society like this one where as a resident you're not going to get the raft of benefits and assistance that you would get back home in a country like Canada or Australia to name two examples, as a resident taxpayer. Or the access to equal info in the US to find out how you can get benefits and assistance.

Just now many resident foreigner taxpayers are finding out that Japanese people have been able to defer or not pay at all juminze and kokumin kenko hoken in this pandemic when they have lost significant income but foreigners are 'too late to apply'. Their city halls told them nothing and of course when the info is not accessible, people cannot make use of the services and benefits that their taxes paid for. I could give a lot of other examples and I think you need to stop making assertions and pretending they are facts.

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Posted in: Memorial service held for Japanese who died in Siberian labor camps See in context

Those Japanese were treated about the same as the Russians would have treated any German soldiers and civilians - and maybe the Japanese were treated better. But we have to remember that many of those Japanese did nothing except participate in a war that was not optional.

There's good reason that in WW2 the Japanese Imperial Forces gained the reputation of being cruel and merciless, extending that to civilians in hospitals in Singapore, for example, who were slaughtered along with doctors and nurses along with many other instances documented in primary sources including the infamous butchery in Nanjing. There's a museum there I've seen and most of it isn't propaganda.

However, there were many Japanese who were the counterparts of the Canadians, Americans, British, Australians, New Zealanders etc who fought as required by their country's governments. And you can find true stories of decent Japanese soldiers, usually ordinary ones, who helped keep prisoners alive such as women prisoners who they felt sorry for. And I heard from an old Singaporean lady about the famous spy 'High Pockets' who was tortured by the Japanese but allowed to go as she had shown huge courage in refusing to break,

With men of course it tended to be different because they had surrended and the Japanese forces showed contempt to those prisoners but there were still Japanese military who behaved with humanity. And so much for the glorification by Abe, Nippon Kaigi and their Uyoku friends of the WW2 Japanese military - beatings until death were administered by Japanese soldiers to their own sometimes and not necessarily for cowardice or desertion but because they were different and young recruits were sometimes savagely bullied.

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Posted in: Japan's governors call for COVID lockdown See in context

Now posters are asserting 'We support all the governors especially the Governor of Osaka.'

Please cut out the 'We' - you might be fine and dandy with enough money and I have a secure income but so many who don't have been thrown on the scrapheap here in Japan since last year and will be destroyed financially by a lockdown.

Time to get out of the smug 'I'm fine' so others can have no income or one that basically won't pay jack. This kind of selfishness is also behind the refusal of the Japanese public to cut out their cafe, restaurant, bar, pachinko, movie theater etc visits and their complete apathy at the incompetents and the callous who call themselves politicians here.

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Posted in: Japan's governors call for COVID lockdown See in context

Why do a few posters here keep repeating false info re Australia's and NZ's lockdowns? I'm Canadian but I actually make sure I keep up with world news.

Those 2 countries are and have been since lockdowns started last year, financially compensating people who can't go to work or have lost income cause of these measures. In fact in Sydney there are people who are receiving around 3,000 Canadian dollars per month - roughly 300,000 yen give or take the exchange rate - now. Australia from the jump made a scheme to make sure citizens and residents don't suffer financially.

What happened in Japan for all the taxes we pay - and yep, I don't paying taxes but lower income earners which luckily I'm not pay a lot of tax which they wouldn't in some other rich countries. Everyone got 100,000 yen, about 1,000 bucks Canadian. 1 X. It paid one month's rent plus a few bills for many and that's all.

The institutional cruelty here is astonishing - of course the self-employed, part-timers, temporary workers and low income earners who don't have a company providing for them are being financially destroyed. The callousness here just depresses me. I don't agree with the tardy and panicked calls from politicians who do just about nothing for a 'lockdown' - they will punish those categories of workers even more.

The mask is really off - this is what Japanese society really thinks of those not lucky enough to be provided for tho they pay way too much tax on their small incomes. Shameful.

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Posted in: Coronavirus infections in Tokyo outstrip hospital capacity to treat patients See in context

Honestly, why the surprise? I'm not sarcastic here. This is about what the Japanese people vote for just like it is in other countries with voting systems.

The denial here as you could see in daily life from the start of knowing that a virus was coming from Wuhan to even now is clear - ignorance especially wilful ignorance has consequences. Unfortunately those of us who never thought that Abe ethno-supremicism - 'We will defeat the virus the Japanese way' - was going to do anything are in the minority.

Then after the 1st SOE the shopping/entertainment areas were flooded with people who thought that a paper mask and supposedly being 'cleaner than other races' - of course Japanese is an ethnicity - had 'beaten the virus. The delusion was everywhere from what I could see and hear first-hand. Remember the dumbos at their university graduations laughing and holding up signs about 'Corona Chan'?

This is a problem across the society here - the ruling party is never really challenged by the public or the opposition, the opposition had done little to spark any constructive debate and just griping about the Olympics was their contribution, many Japanese I know who are educated didn't want to think about what is going on in other countries where the political parties are all involved in the process of dealing with the pandemic, etc.

This is what they wanted - the govt, the pollies and many of the public - and anybody is surprised at the third world situation here? Unfortunately those of us who never agreed are funding this oligarchy and its willing subservients.

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Posted in: 3 cabinet members, Abe visit Yasukuni Shrine; Suga sends offering See in context

Oh yeah and those war criminals ARE enshrined at Yasukuni. This was done by a special Shinto ceremony carried out by the priest there without the Emperor's knowledge.

Some misinfo by Zichi about this.

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Posted in: 3 cabinet members, Abe visit Yasukuni Shrine; Suga sends offering See in context

Wow, the hypocrisy of people like Abe who belongs to the neo fascist Nippon Kaigi - Japanese people really don't understand the ideology of key Jiminto Govt members and politicians - claiming to be committed to the Japanese Emperor when in fact Emperor Hirohito at first opposed the fascists who were assassinating moderate and relatively moderate politicians before WW2 and tried to stage military coups which were finally successful.

After WW2 the Emperor was angry to find out that war criminals had been enshrined at Yasukuni. It was never done with his prior knowledge or approval. And Abe's grandfather was well nicknamed 'The Monster of Manchuria'. Rape was just one of his crimes there. Japanese like him were why the Japanese diplomat who heroically gave visas to Jewish refugees quit his post in Manchuria.

No, I don't hold people responsible for crimes their family members did. when they were not around I hold them responsible for not disassociating themselves from those family members and accepting the truth of what those family members did. German politicians and other notables did that with their Nazi family members but here we are in 2021 with this ethically challenged ex PM with his shabby public behavior making a mockery of the WW2 dead including Japanese who died because they had no choice due to their fascist overlords.

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Posted in: The unavailability of information on vaccines is a common problem faced by all foreign residents of Japan with language barriers. To spread information, public administration services should work with communities of non-Japanese and their support groups, and they should also use social media platforms that are viewed by non-Japanese. See in context

I need to add that I live in one of the Tokyo wards, not in a far flung prefecture or the countryside.

Some of these city offices seem to be somewhere else when it comes to the 21st century. Heard first-hand true accounts of foreigner friends and acquaintances who need to discuss serious matters of health insurance and tax at their city offices but none of the workers/officials there are designated English speakers.

So they have to wait while somebody hunts around for someone in city hall who is willing to speak English and assist the foreigner. City health insurance and residents tax sections also withhold key info from foreign residents through this insistence on letters and information in Japanese. For example, some Japanese have delayed payments or won't pay at all during the Covid-19 pandemic but access to this information is not given in other languages to foreign residents.

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Posted in: The unavailability of information on vaccines is a common problem faced by all foreign residents of Japan with language barriers. To spread information, public administration services should work with communities of non-Japanese and their support groups, and they should also use social media platforms that are viewed by non-Japanese. See in context

Good to hear from the Vietnamese doctor stating the obvious that needs to be stated because it doesn't seem to be obvious to so many policy makers and officials at all levels of J Govt. Including your local govt which is supposed to give you some consideration in return for all the taxes you pay. Foreign residents are taxpayers, too - remember?

I live in a ward that has a relatively high number of foreign residents compared to some other wards yet the Covid-19 information I received was all in Japanese.

Health matters should be of highest importance for everyone regardless of their background but it also included an anketo that confused some foreign residents I know who do speak and read some Japanese but are not anything like the level needed to read this kind of information quickly and confidently fill out a medical survey.

This is the 21st century and Japan is part of the global community, has been effectively that since the 1980s.

English is recognised as the international language of the world partly due to history and partly because its writing system is so simple unlike Chinese, Japanese and Arabic to give only three examples. If English was not a compulsory subject taught in Japanese schools at JHS and HS level then maybe there might be some excuse for the lack of English information at local govt and other levels.

The same stubborn dynamic of not providing accessible information in the global language understood by many is at work for tax matters at local govt level as well. While the actual tax offices have some English and other language printed guidance, the people at city hall that charge you all that residents tax and health insurance somehow think it's fine to provide just about zero information in English or other languages.

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Posted in: Osaka thanks fans for support after French Open departure See in context

I won't be surprised to find this is all leading up to Naomi pulling out of the Olympics. In fact that might very well have been behind the twittering about refusing to speak to the media and her mental health.

This then led understandably to the French Open and other Grand Slam tournaments publicising the rules to stop this before it led to other 'activism on mental health' and other players deciding they would do what they liked as Naomi was doing it.

I think she genuinely doesn't feel up to playing at the moment and if she pulls out of the Olympics then people should respect her right to put her well-being first. However, the way she and her team did this after the French Open organisers had offered support tells me she was trying to create a bandwagon of no interviews unless we say so.

Pro sports in the US have already seen their share of multi millionaire players doing this but I don't think this should come to the tennis tournament structure where four different countries host the Grand Slam tournaments. The US model of confrontation in this case will just end up destabilising a sport where a minority player in Serena Williams has already shown you can upend the status quo, be aware and still fulfil your obligations to the rules.

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Posted in: Yokohama begins inoculations at mass vaccination center See in context

But but in Japan social distancing is impossible so we have to have these kind of dangerous lack of distancing actions when we are trying to beat a nasty virus that thrives on this same lack of distancing between people.......

Easy - stop jamming so many people in one place, steady pace of vaccinations doesn't mean the usual Japanese preference for being in each other's space. I even saw a photo on a news website that showed a woman being vaccinated and she was wearing a yellow plastic vest. I'm pretty sure she didn't get to take it home and also there were not lots and lots of those vests so everyone had their own personal one.

But I'm not surprised - the 'cleaner than everybody else' myth is still pushed in Japan by politicians and the media. Remember how they would defeat the virus by not wearing shoes inside? The fact is the numbers are 'low' because the tests are still lagging with those of poor countries.

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Posted in: Olympic swimming champ Chalmers admits COVID-hit Tokyo a 'bit scary' See in context

kurisupisu says that the swimmer should 'understand that social distancing is not possible in Japan' - maybe if you think it's normal to swamp other people even when there is space.

I've lived in other high density cities in other countries and many people in those cities did their best to avoid pressing up against other people, even in pre-covid 19 times didn't want to cram into elevators unless there was an appointment they were late for, weren't up in each other's faces except in completely rush hour conditions where there was no choice and generally respected the fact that you don't need to always put yourself in others' space when you can move somewhere else.

As for the false statement that 'As in Australia and the UK there are no penalties for breaking the rules', go tell that to the people there who got told by police to disperse and were fined for not doing so, not wearing masks in public when they were made obligatory by emergency rules, etc.

Next you'll be echoing the Japanese iiwake that the 'States of Emergency' where people are free to be in each others' faces, drunk and maskless in bars and restaurants no matter how cramped so long as it's before 8 pm and where countless people who don't have to use transportation for work are constantly riding the trains, are limited due to the Japanese Constitution.

Complete horse manure - many other countries that are developed and have democratic constitutions in some cases guaranteeing more rights than the Japanese one, dealt simply with the pandemic by making laws. Their political parties sat down and passed them to ensure some actions would be guaranteed. So far from the Japanese Fantasyland.

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Posted in: Naomi Osaka pulls out of French Open, citing mental health issues See in context

How many posters actually play and follow tennis especially the big tournaments? Obviously some don't because if you did you'd know what kind of questions tennis journalists from countries other than Japan ask.

Journalists overwhelmingly have been very easy in their questioning of Naomi - some of that comes from when she had to put up with the boos and stress of a New York crowd going crazy for Serena, rooting for her against the newcomer when Naomi won the US Open. Tennis journalists also tend to be professional.

Naomi seems to have been advised badly by those around her. Her feelings were discussed with French Open organisers BEFORE she went on twitter, that is why she and her advisers were served notice that the rules were going to apply to her and when she played in any other major tournament. Using social media platforms instead of showing some respect for organisers and keeping discussions going with them was plain wrong.

What is clear is Naomi doesn't want to come out and initiate any kind of debate about unnecessary questions asked by Japanese journalists and Japanese on social media criticizing her including those who are racist. She probably should not have chosen J citizenship as she is free in the US to criticize the country and society - as she has openly done. I don't expect she will ever have the courage to do that with regard to Japan.

It's interesting how the Japanese media ran headlines like the Hachimura brothers have been victims of racism - and focused on the US whereas Rui's younger brother has clearly stated he has had the problem in Japan.

Rui himself in the past a few times has mentioned the racism against him and his family but seems to have shelved that now he lives and plays in the US. Sports pros get praised for their stances in the US and often enhance their sponsorship deals etc by being 'activists' - it takes courage to make a stand regarding the problems in Japanese society and neither Naomi nor Rui have so far met that challenge.

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Posted in: JOC board member blasts Tokyo Games organizers, IOC See in context

On what basis does Richard Gallagher feel confident to write as if Australian isn't one of the safest and most committed countries in the world re its handling of Covid-19?

That country's states closed their borders to each other to contain transmissions around April last year, the national borders were closed to everyone except returning citizens/residents, there were lockdowns that actually were lockdowns and as it stands the only infections being recorded are those coming from returnees, Australian like my own country being a multi-cultural one with people from all over the planet living there and moving around the world.

In fact Melbourne is locked down at the moment to prevent the virus brought by returnees from India from becoming a community transmission. As for their athletes, they will be vaccinated before the Games in their home country.

Richard then slams foreigners, specifically American, for not 'respecting' the manners and customs of Japan. And what exactly are those - the refusal of many Japanese to give up dining and drinking especially in small spaces?

The wearing of masks while crowding around each other, breathing in each others' air through paper masks that offer some protection but can't work against people squeezing into small elevators instead of waiting, rubbing shoulders with each other on trains even when they aren't packed - so many of them have to get into other's space - men in particular exposing their noses while wearing their masks in close proximity to people and some actually taking their masks off to sneeze?

The constant need to be out and about on the weekend, making the trains and dangerously cramped buses much busier than they should be because they won't give this up even during a pandemic? Crowding out the shopping areas as usual? I live in Tokyo and it's obvious to me that the ethnocentrism of the Japan and Tokyo Govt's approach that Japanese would beat the virus 'their way' is also deeply entrenched in the public here.

I hear Japanese people continually say 'The SOEs are going on too long so Japanese people are tired and don't listen'. This shows nothing but the excuse-making custom at work. How can Japanese people be tired of the SOEs when so many of them have done nothing to change the way they behave except wear a paper mask and sometimes sanitize their hands? Unbelievable and self-deluding.

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