JFX comments

Posted in: Drug culture, familiar to past generations, staging a comeback among the young in Japan See in context

Back in the US now after 20 years in Japan. It's impossible to walk down the street, or even go on a hiking trail, without the stink of weed wafting in your nose. I miss being free of that stuff in Japan. I hope Japan keeps up its strict enforcement.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Elon Musk reaches deal to buy Twitter for $44 bil See in context

You're all missing the point. The real reason for the purchase is to train Tesla's AI about humans. It's so obvious, but no one can see it in front of their eyes. Amazing.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Posted in: Lexus unveils all-new RZ, the first pure battery EV for global markets See in context

The E for Electric Youtube channel reviewed the base Toyota (not Lexus) version, and concluded that it is a very weak entry into the EV market. Maybe the Lexus version will have better features. Another reviewer concluded that with the limited volume of production that Toyota is disclosing, this is most likely a compliance vehicle and will just rot away in the back corner of dealer lots.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Why is Japan stuck in a wage rise rut? See in context

@MarkX I am not sure that I completely agree with you. I worked for a pretty major Japanese video game company for almost ten years. The company was losing money most of that time. Occasionally it would squeak out a little bit of profit. While I was there, a Japanese fund came in and saved them from going under. After that fund ran out of interest/money, another Japanese company came along and gave them a cash infusion. I was a contractor so didn't receive a bonus as part of my pay structure, but the other employees basically received minimum to no bonus. Interestingly, their US and European subsidiaries paid well. More than the Japan HQ, for sure. At one point they tried to make me a "regular employee", but I said "no, thanks". After that they pushed me out of the company. Being made a regular employee would have meant a major pay cut. My point is, there are a lot of Japanese companies that are either on the brink of insolvency or way past the brink but are being kept alive somehow. I'm not an International business consultant, but something tells me that these companies would not be around if they were in the US. So, while the article might have some holes in it, I have no doubt that there are a lot of Japanese companies that are on major life support and are staring into the abyss...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Whoopi Goldberg awkwardly demonstrates how the idea of race varies by place and changes over time See in context

This article seems to suggest that there is no "sustained national dialogue" about race in the U.S. Well, after moving back to the U.S. in 2020 after having lived for more than 20 years in Japan, to me it appears that the U.S. is totally obsessed with race and everything, everywhere is about race and only race. It is a national obsession that really bewilders the mind. So, I am not sure that I agree that a lack of focus on race and racial issues is really the issue.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The crisis of super-aging – how can Japanese society cope? See in context

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Many countries in the West have a similar situation with their "native" populations, but are addressing the numbers through mass immigration. So, when this all comes to a head in Japan (and some Eastern European countries and other East Asian countries), they will most likely start to even out the numbers again as the elderly populations die off and are replaced by lower and lower numbers of elderly. At that point any increase in the birthrate will get things going toward the direction of positive growth again. They'll just have to power through some tough years. On the other hand, countries in the West will have to carefully manage the transition from their past and current cultures to a new ethnic and cultural landscape. Challenges abound for both approaches.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Record 88% of Japanese 'feel friendly' toward U.S.: survey See in context

I moved back to the US after 20 years living in Japan. I'd say that the positive feelings towards Japan here in the U.S. are very, very high. People only have good things to say about Japan.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Posted in: Australian Open players tire of Djokovic saga See in context

Much respect to the Australians. I still think they should remain on total lockdown with no one in or out of the country until Covid19 is 100% eradicated. It's about saving lives. The rest of the world can do as they please and travel, but the Australians definitely should do the right thing and stay in their homes and in their country.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Hong Kong police switch to goose-stepping 'to show patriotism' See in context

They should also switch over their uniforms to the PRC style to complete the look.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Biden accuses Trump, supporters of holding 'dagger at throat' of democracy See in context

Republican or Democrat doesn't matter anymore. It's talking about two separate systems for two soon to be separate countries. Let each party have its way with its future country. If you're annoyed with one party, then just chill because it won't be a party that affects your country for much longer. No need to get all upset about things. Again, not saying that I want this to happen, but it seems to be inevitable.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Posted in: Biden accuses Trump, supporters of holding 'dagger at throat' of democracy See in context

I'm not saying that I want this to happen, but it's obvious that the US is going to break up into at least two, probably more, separate countries. It's just inevitable. Hopefully it will be done peacefully.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

Posted in: Japan's new COVID assessment criteria to focus on hospital capacity See in context

Seems like a sensible plan. Most governments (except Australia and NZ, which rightly kept their populations locked down and banned from international travel, but have since, wrongly, deviated that strategy) really had a great plan from the start. Plans evolve over time. Increasing the supply of hospital beds, offering vaccinations and keeping the economy functioning sounds right for Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 21 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 162 See in context

@Reckless indeed the business travelers and students will be pleased. I suspect that if cases spike again they won't restrict long term business or student visas. Instead, they will increase the quarantine period for short term business trips. Tourism will probably have to wait until next spring. This is all based on my gut feeling and just a guess, but it makes sense to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Xi's 'common prosperity' goal may make Japan loath to invest in China See in context

Income redistribution seems to be a common theme among governments these days. I think that Japan does a relatively good job of it. As for China, it's their country so it's up to them how they decide to do it. I see offshoring of production by places like Japan and the U.S. being reversed, at least somewhat, in the future due to what happened during the pandemic and other things causing supply chain related issues. If China can't continue to grow the way it has been due to foreign companies offshoring production, then there might be social unrest among the people who have been able to work in those factories and related businesses. So, this might be a way of heading that off. Who knows? I'm certainly no expert. But I can kind of see their logic. Also, slapping down the big tech companies in China was probably a result of U.S. tech companies censoring, ahem, certain powerful people. I can kind of see China's logic in that too..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Manhattan office workers are coming back, but slowly See in context

NYC always reinvents itself. Will be interesting to see how it turns out, especially with the new mayor coming in.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 29 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 314 See in context

As far as testing and numbers, as long as the Japanese medical system has the capacity to treat patients and there are not a lot of deaths, then the testing numbers don't really seem to be a significant piece of info. I say just get on with "normal" life unless or until the medical system starts to feel strain. Except in Australia. Australia should go back to lockdown and close its borders. That worked for them so should keep doing it for the foreseeable future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 29 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 314 See in context

I think tourism might be a bit much for Japan now, but if they keep the 14 day quarantine for long term work and student visas, with a full vaccination requirement, it is time to open up for those visas at least. It would be tough to argue at this point against letting in fully vaccinated long term visa holders who quarantine. I've heard that they might let in short term business visa holders first, with the argument being that they will be in a limited area. I don't see the logic in that since they will be at a customer's site and meeting with people in Japan and they will not have had time to quarantine. Anyway, I'm just some dude commenting on the Internet. Things don't. have to make sense to me...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: The first battle in the culture wars: The quality of diversity See in context

Here in Chicago local city politicians try to keep their respective areas demographically homogenous in order to stay in power. For example, Hispanic Ward politicians will try to keep white and African American residents out in order keep a mainly Hispanic electorate in place so that they can continue to be reelected. It works the same way for African American and White wards. It's not so much a racist system as it is the work of self interested politicians and voters who often vote based on race.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: New Zealand reports highest daily number of virus cases See in context

I think the people of NZ need to stay strong and brave and endure these lockdowns and isolation from the outside world for the foreseeable future, and maybe beyond. I think the Australians should also isolate from global travel until the world sees zero cases. I really salute their bravery in doing this to SAVE LIVES. Well done, Aussies and Kiwis! You are heroes.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan is losing its credibility among international students as a study destination, which could impact the country’s ability to attract talented individuals. See in context

I came to Japan from the US twice as an international student. The first time as an exchange student in university, and the second time as a Monbusho scholarship student to do my graduate studies. Both were great experiences. I feel bad for those many students waiting to get into Japan and get on with their experiences. There might be some students who come to Japan to work, but my guess is more for the training programs than university programs. Not knocking that either though. Everyone has their own dream.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand’s largest city to remain locked down See in context

Different countries have different approaches. I agree with how Australia and NZ are handling this for their respective countries. I also agree with Reckless that for those countries the lockdowns and travel restrictions should go on for as long as it takes. I think it will be years before those restrictions are lifted for Australia and NZ, as there will inevitably be more variants and cases will continue to pop up from time to time. Much respect to the people of Australia and NZ for doing the right thing and staying inside and giving up on their international travel plans. You're in in for the long haul, my friends. Hunker down and stay safe. Here in the U.S. people are out and about and traveling all over the place as if there is no pandemic. Not sure which country has the right approach, but again, much respect to you there for doing what you think is right.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Posted in: Democrats prepare 'incitement of insurrection' charge against Trump See in context

My question you all is, why do you care? The US isn't even a nation anymore. Why do you care if someone is a traitor to it? Are you fervent right wing nationalists who want a strong nation state or something?

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Posted in: Democrats prepare 'incitement of insurrection' charge against Trump See in context

I'm in the U.S. now and it's a totally failed state. No one believes in the institutions of the country anymore. No one wants the country to exist anymore. There's nothing left to be a traitor to. If they want to go after Trump and the rest that's fine. The place is finished. It's like hanging a traitor to Rome. Who cares? Rome fell a long time ago.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

Posted in: Japan's middle class slowly sinking into poverty See in context

Having worked in corporate Japan for almost 20 year and now in corporate America I would say that corporate America is definitely a better deal. Once you start getting into the "higher class" income bracket in Japan the taxes eat into so much that it's not worth the extra stress of having a higher paying job. The 401(K) system in the US and lower tax brackets mean that more goes into your pockets here. Plus the housing costs in Japan, weird bonus system and lack of widespread equity/profit sharing mean that it's hard to get ahead. That being said I loved my time in Japan and often miss it. Japan is more of a socialist system where the middle class rely on their pension and paid off houses with low property tax rather than building personal wealth. By the way 80 hours overtime for 6 million yen probably works out to a pretty low hourly rate for that extra time at the office.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Sega troubles continue as company asks hundreds of employees to quit See in context

I worked at Sega (in Tokyo) for over 8 years. They do this from time to time. Every time they do it they lose people who are employable elsewhere and their employee base is increasingly made up of unemployables. I understand why they do it. It's the Japanese system. But the company just becomes more of a zombie every time they do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Why the U.S. is experiencing a coronavirus plateau See in context

Looks like that guy to the left is doing some street pickup and escalation. Enjoy.

That place reminds me of a certain Wings place in Ebisu. I hope they're better at social distancing there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo airports — eerie reminder of virus See in context

I left from Haneda April 9th. There were some restaurants open but were mostly empty. It was eerie and dark in the terminal. I may be leaving Japan forever this time, so it was a bit of a sad way to leave..

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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