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Jens Zier comments

Posted in: 64% disapprove of tax hikes to cover Japan's rising defense budget: poll See in context

I am wondering if nuclear weapons wouldn't be not only more effective, but also cheaper?

I do realize they are unpopular, but if the last years showed us one thing, it's that nuclear deterrent works. How many countries have been invaded/attacked over the last 10 years? How many countries with access to nuclear weapons have been invaded/attacked?

It is unfortunate, but it does work...

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan media watchdog organization responds to complaints about 'Demon Slayer' See in context

“The popularity of the series and movie suggest that its content has been deemed acceptable.”

Exactly that!

“I was incredibly uncomfortable at the grotesque depictions of people being eaten, an arm being torn off, and other terrible acts of violence.”

The idea to switch to another program or - heaven forbid - turn off the TV never has crossed this persons mind?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan may exempt Australian troops in joint drills from death penalty See in context

I am sooooo exited to see how they would word a corresponding law, which basically does excempt Australian troops from a part of Japanese criminal legislation - granting them a better position than Japanese nationals.

§ 1 "Everyone is equal before the law - Except Australians under specific circumstances."

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Around 450 million cyberattacks were attempted during Tokyo Games See in context

Good Job, just can't believe the number of attacks?

My guess is they just used a common DDoS protection service and reported every blocked request/attemt as a "cyberattack". On one hand it makes sense, because especially with distributed denial of service attacks there is no way to tell how many attackers are really behind it therefore how many different attacks are taking place at any given time. On the other hand this of course renders the numbers meaningless.


On the other hand I would be hesitant to even call a DDoS a "cyberattack". Yes, it disrupts your service for end users when successful, and can even have dangerous sideeffects if your IT design is stupid enough, but there aren't sophisticated north korean hacking experts behind it who try to break into your system to steal your data by using yet unknown security flaws - which is more what comes to mind when I read the word "cyberattack". It's a bit like with "hate speech". People just tend to like the word and want to use it more often, so everything suddenly becomes a cyberattack...

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for kissing 3-year-old girl playing video game See in context

Well, of course he says he doesn't remember. What else could he say?

"I swear to god I didn't know she was three!"?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: State-run vaccination sites to extend operation until late November See in context

I have been looking for two months yet and still have to yet to see a single open slot in Osaka...

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to start multilingual coronavirus helpline See in context

Is it so that tourist who aren't allowed to travel can call from abroad?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man abandons mother’s body in apartment; tries to get money from her bank account See in context

Other problems aside - if his mother died - isn't it his money anyway? So technically I doubt it would qualify as fraud...

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Posted in: 18-year-old girl arrested for not paying ¥160,000 Tokyo-Shiga taxi fare See in context

Hmm, maybe there is just the part missing where he said "sorry, no credit card"? ;)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan aims to revive tourism industry by subsidizing people to go on vacation See in context

I am no expert on the topic, but maybe not banning ~95% of the world population from entering the country could also help a bit with tourism?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't eyes pushing businesses hoarding face masks to sell them See in context

Do not announce it. Seize them. Distribute them. Hoarding companies will never be a problem again...

Pro-Tip: Judging from the supermarket today, butter seems to be the next big thing...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Traditional Japanese seal system hampers telework for some See in context

Could be resolved easily: There is already a law in place that states qualified, digital signatures are to be treated as equal to inkan/hanko. All that is missing is law to enforce everyone (including the government) who is accepting a hanko/inkan to also provide a way for the form to be submitted electronically signed.

You could even use this as a way to push the My Number system further, since the card contains such a signature.

And the best: No one is left behind, because if you don't want to use it, you can still stamp the old way. Only if the customer/employee/citizen wants to use a digital signature, you have to provide a way.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan coronavirus cases pass 5,000 as state of emergency fails to keep people home See in context

How exactly was the state of emergency expected to have any impact on todays numbers, when it was declared three days ago while the incubation period is known to be between one and two weeks?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Sweden's sexual offense law could be guide to amending Japan's law See in context

Sweden's sexual offense law is nothing short of a catastrophe! While I totally get that rape is a serious crime and has to be punished accordingly, Swedish law basically makes any person punishable at any time, since it is basically guilty until proven otherwise...

Just look a bit into Snowdens case...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese deputy justice minister tells Lebanon Ghosn should stand trial in Japan See in context

Japanese Government should have consulted with me before going to Lebanon. Would have saved them some time since I could have told them the outcome beforehand...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Makers distance themselves from Abe's 600-million mask pledge See in context

@Chip Star It is more complicated than that.

Of course any type of mask does not completely prevent an infection. Neither from spreading, nor from contracting.

That said there seems to be an agreement that they provide decend enough protection from spreading an infection. One of the problems with corona is, that you might be infected while only showing light symptoms or even no symptoms at all. So if enough of those people would be wearing masks, that might be enough to prevent an outbreak scenario.

Corona causes (in unfortunate cases) your lungs to break down for a few days until your immune system manages to fight off the virus. In societies with good health care systems hospitals do have the nessessary equipment (a respirator for instance) to keep you alive for those days. However, the numbers are limited - so you maybe can handle 2-4 bad infections per hospital, but not 200 - therefore slowing down the infection rate is key - masks can help with that!

As to wearing a mask to prevent an infection of oneself: This is were stuff gets complicated. There are those expensive N95 masks with air filtration which are rated to block at least 95% of small particles (0.3 micron - which is the upper limit for virus sizes). They also do block smaller particles - just not 95% percent of them.

However - in a real world scenario you have to learn how to put on such a mask effectivly. It needs to maintain skin contact, as otherwise air would bypass the filtration system (also, if you have facial hair you are out of luck...). And this is where stuff gets interesting: Studies show that if you can manage close skin contact cheap masks, like the ones sold here in Japan, also can provide decent filtration: https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/54/11/1569/321689

So the conclusion here would be that - while no masks provides 100% protection - it does make sense to wear them. Your personal success with infection prevention will depend on how tight you can fit your mask to your skin.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: More than 200 cruise ship visits to Japan cancelled over coronavirus See in context

The question is: How long would you keep them closed? At the moment it is absolutely possible that corona might become a regular, seasonal thing like influenza which kills between 300.000 and 650.000 people each year...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan should ban confiscation of foreign employees' passports, lawyer says See in context

I don't really understand this whole "we keep hold of your passport, so you cannot leave"-scheme. (Just like I did not understand it in Ghosn case). Its just a short trip to the embassy of your home country "I do not have my passport, please give me a new one".

Even if you are not eligible for a new passport (for example if you are accused of a major crime in your home country) the embassy will supply you with temporary travel documents that will allow you to travel home.

There is exactly one reason your passport is checked by an airline when leaving: The airline is forced to transport you back if you are denied entry (they will hold you liable for the costs afterwards, but even if you do not have any money on you, they are forced to transport you back). If the country you are traveling to guarantees you entry by other means (for example through the embassy), there is no need for a passport!

Holding a person hostage in a foreign country just by confiscating their passport technically just does not work!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese prosecutors hit back at Ghosn's '8 hours of questions' claim See in context

70x4 = 280 hours of questioning. Seems a bit exessive, if you are not trying to force out a confession of someone claiming not guilty...

Luckily, since Ghosn decided to sue Renault over his pension claims, it will be found out in court if he is guilty of at least part of the accusations.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Turkey detains 7, including 4 pilots over Ghosn's escape through Istanbul See in context

Laguna: Depends. I know for sure that Germany does grant its citizens the right to get one additional passport. The idea is that you might want to travel to countries without letting them know where you have been before...

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan's new CEO reaffirms alliance, promises revival See in context

Nearly all important managers in the european car industry have very good connections with each other. After Ghosn I highly doubt anyone will be willing to work in Japan in a similar position. It is a shame, but I see only two possible outcomes for Nissan from now on:

Bankruptcy (a slow one of course after several rounds of help from the government)

Getting bought by Renault or another car maker - most likely foreign

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: 5 reasons Japan is a budget traveler’s dream destination See in context

Na. Japan is an excellent travel destination for what it has to offer, but cheap? Not really.

Hotels generally tend to be a bit overpriced. Not by much, but still a bit. Even very run down locations can cost you 8000yen/night. And yes, there are cheap private offers on certain websites. That is not Japan-exclusive however...

Transportation in Japan is expensive. For the "reduced" price of a Japan Rail Pass for 14 days I can rent a car in most countries... If you are paying non-tourist prices for getting around it is definitly not budget friendly

Many places you might want to visit have entrance fees. I do see those places have to be maintained and staff needs to be paid, but for instance 2300 yen just to get on the roof of roppongi hills tower does not strike me as especially cheap. I was told that in china you can basically just enter any building and go to the roof because no one cares...

Free Wifi is not widely available and cellular data is expensive compared to other countries.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: IMF urges Japan to double consumption tax to 20% by 2050 See in context

Plain stupid. An aging population causes exactly zero problems. Having fewer working people paying for health insurance/pension of more and more non-working people is, what causes the problem.

It does not matter if you take their money away by raising social insurance costs or by raising consumption tax.

The trick is, to prevent older people from leaving the workforce. And Japan is doing a magnificent job at this!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Year-end jumbo lottery tickets go on sale with ¥1 bil up for grabs See in context

Stupid waste of money! goes back playing fate grand order on mobile

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan wants to go cashless, but elderly aren't so keen See in context

I can’t imagine what reasons. We’ve been paying utilities and umpteen other regular bills through the bank for as long as I can remember.

You don’t need a debit card. Just take your bills in to the bank and ask them to take care of them every month for you.

I tried to do it online, since virtually any payment slip has a "hey, register and pay directly through your bank account url". They all seem to support a limited ammount of banks and mine is not one of the big 4-5 here - so it isn't supported

Better still, set up regular payments through your ordinary credit card, and enjoy the points that accumulate

I have no ordinary japanese credit card at the moment, since I got my visa just a couple of weeks ago. I could get an american express card without hassle, since I have been a customer for over 20 years, but the platinum one does cost nearly double of what it costs in my home country... So I am holding on to it just a bit longer...

(And of course you cannot pay regular bills with a foreign credit card - NHK and Internet Service seem to be exceptions)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan wants to go cashless, but elderly aren't so keen See in context

Maybe they should start making banking usable? Like actually beeing able to pay through things by a bank account? Introducing a mandatory description to a wire transfer, so invoice numbers, etc. can be entered? Introducing monthly scheduled transfers as a mandatory option for banks to offer to their customers, etc. It is no wonder they prefer trading cows and chickens here, when it ends up beeing more convinient...

(I just have received a visa debit card from my bank - i thought it might be actually useful. turns out you can do "nearly" everything - except setting up monthy payments for bills like water and electricity. Because reasons...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Yokohama legal firm refuses to return passport to Filipino woman See in context

Ex_ResToday 01:47 pm JST

It is illegal for employers to keep passports of foreigners, full stop. A passport is not technically the property of the individual, but the property of the government which issued it.

Exactly that - I am not too sure about other countries, but all my documents from Germany (Passport, Drivers License, etc.) are legally owned by the German Federal Republic. This is why the police of any other EU state will never confiscate my drivers license for example (which would be the standard procedure of the German police for major traffic offenses).

I am sure it would be a fun call for the Embassy of Germany to call human ressources of a small company to demand their passport back...

Or even better: Let the Japanese police fetch it in person

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Registers, rates and points: Tax hike woes for Japanese retailers See in context

That has raised concerns about fraud after the disastrous rollout of convenience chain 7-Eleven's cashless payments system, which was shut down days after starting because of a hack.

No. It wasn't because of a hack. The system was not hacked. It was designed without spending half an hour thinking about account security. And no, the problem is not with the missing two factor authentication. The problem was with sending a password reset link to an email address of choice (!) when the former mailadress, the birthdate and the telephone number are known - three pieces of information that are required fields for every form (online and offline) this country has ever seen...

So - please stop giving people the impression that the system was "hacked" by some kind of evil genius. It was just designed by a five-year-old.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: In high-tech Japan, cash is still king See in context

Well. As a first step they could start to accept Google Pay/Apple Pay. Not the super-secret-japanese-working-with-domestic-creditcards-only Google Pay/Apple Pay but the one that works in the rest of the world, too. That way, at least tourists could pay without cash. Also you could force taxi drivers by law to accept another form of payment besides cash. Sony could also drop licensing costs for Felica, so that every smartphone in the world could just it.

Oh and btw: Make Suica/Pasmo postpaid. Thats whats keeping me from using it for other means than transportation because I do not want to keep track of how much is left on the card and recharging and stuff... Also you could just use the Shinkansen with it, because you would not have to worry about limits...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to stiffen rules for foreign university student enrollment after 1,600 go AWOL See in context

Yubaru/zichi - Please excuse I didn't go into detail abount my situation: I have an immigration lawyer of course and I have applied for a self-sponsored visa. It's just that it takes up to 6 months to process and because of several reasons I prefer to spend most of the waiting time here instead of my home country (business needs to be set up, etc.). There is nothing fishy/illegal about it. "Working" is not allowed, but you are allowed to attend meetings/sign contracts, etc.

I respect the laws here in every aspect!

For me - personally - it is just a bit frustrating that the process takes so long, since I do want to work, I do want to rent a nice apartment, maybe buy a car instead of renting one, etc. But everywhere I go I get turned down with "that is not possible with a temporary visa, you have to get the real one first" - even if there is no law that would prevent any landlord from renting to a company - wether the director has a long term visa or not (I even suggested paying 6 months in advance so they wouldn't have to fear I am suddenly leaving)

So my technical question was really just that: I wondered how you can get by here as an illegal immigrant when you are beeing checked at every opportunity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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