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john_holthouse comments

Posted in: Environment minister Koizumi takes 12 days of paternity leave See in context

It's good that he is taking a bit of time off to be with his family now. When he has some free moments I hope he also takes the opportunity to become better acquainted with the issues associated with his job. In terms of credibility, he's very seriously lightweight at the moment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Senior drivers responsible for 14% of fatal accidents in 2019 See in context


I've never witnessed a fatality in my 55 years. Presumably you are a paramedic (??). On top of that, you must have witnessed at least dozens of violent traffic deaths, if what you say is supposed to mean something. Thanks for your service.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Senior drivers responsible for 14% of fatal accidents in 2019 See in context

Why aren't we talking about stepping up the basis on which ALL people are permitted to receive and keep their licenses through adequate, rigorous testing and regular upgrading?

What are you saying? That drivers license tests aren't rigorous? From talking with many Japanese over the years, I can assure you that a lot fail the first time. You have to be pretty well spot on to pass.

What do you mean by "regular upgrading"? Trying for a truck license, then a train, and so on? Everyone doing a driving test repeatedly every few years? No thanks. Not going to happen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Senior drivers responsible for 14% of fatal accidents in 2019 See in context

We need more data...

And it takes about 10 seconds to find it on Google if you're interested in checking.


This article confirms that over 75 year-olds cause 2.4 times the number of fatalities per 100, 000 that under 75s do. The 16-19 age group is actually the worst. Take them out of the picture and the over 75s are 3 times more likely to cause fatalities.

Before anyone says "Oh, we have to ban youngsters too if we ban over 75s" remember that we all have to start sometime, and those kids get better with experience. Over 75s are NOT going to get better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Suspect detained over stabbings at Ibaraki farmhouse See in context

As Do the Hustle suggested, the facts presented in the article do very little to incriminate the guy they've arrested. His major "mistake" seems to have been that he bought a knife. He's working in agriculture, is he not? Surely a knife could be useful for purposes other than randomly slaying some old man. If he murdered him, what was his motive? As posters gleefully point out on this site on a regular basis, family killings in Japan are, shall we say, not unheard of these days. We can only imagine what happened, but you see what I mean. Have the cops checked for any history of disputes between the father and son, or have they just thought that it was easier to pin it on a foreigner?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: World Rugby advises teams to cover up tattoos at 2019 World Cup in Japan See in context

Okay, so you want to HOST the WORLD cup, right? That would mean, logically, that you are "open" to "embracing" the world, and its various cultures, no? Japan, under these circumstances, you do NOT get to tell others how to represent themselves!! Get over it, or hand it over to a mature society. It's not too late.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Trump tags U.S. media as nation's 'biggest enemy' after summit See in context

Okay, there have been 108 comments before me, so I'm not going to go through them all. Obviously some other posters MUST have said the obvious thing that any half sane, intelligent person knows: " No, Mr P. Grabbing Sc b_ g -in- Chief, YOU are the problem. You are the nation's worst enemy. You are worse than that. You are the kind of sli_eba_l (take your time working on that little puzzle, Trump supporters, you'll get it eventually) that can make kids give up on the hope of a bright future." American dream...over and out. Which translates to the world stage, sadly (by toxic contamination). The nightmare is real... yes, this person really is in the White House.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's isolated older 'hikikomori' shun society for years See in context

I'm amazed by the number of posters who seem to understand this complex problem perfectly. Given the ease with which it seems to have been diagnosed by several contributors today, one might expect that it could all be cleared up within the next 6 months or so, like a mild case of societal acne.

OZZIEJP, for example, suggests that it is caused by "many aspects of a strong Japanese culture". By "strong", do you mean "twisted"? Mothers beating their kids about their study habits is certainly one area of obvious concern. Connected to this is the situation of kids being pushed by their parents towards doing things that they have no interest in. This is sort of thing is certainly part of the problem, at least.

The truth is that there are any number of reasons why people descend into mental illness, so there is no one cute answer to address the situation. For anyone to assume that they can give specific suggestions such as "Tell him to do a night cleaning job", as a poster so helpfully suggested, is contemptible.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan kills 333 whales in annual Antarctic hunt See in context

@Nessie..."Can you name a single non-landlocked nation that fishes entirely within its own borders? If not, "the other side of the globe" is moot."

Yes, I can. Australia is one such nation. I know that for a fact. I'm fairly sure there are others. As for the killing of mammals vs killing of fish, I take your point. There's room for debate on what the difference is, when species of various kinds are being hounded to the brink of extinction left, right, and centre. I think the thing that annoys many people most about Japan is their gutlessness in this. If they could just admit that they're hunting them to eat, as everyone already knows, they would probably earn a little more respect than they have now (with their pathetic transparent lies about "research").

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: GSDF member arrested for assaulting ramen restaurant employee See in context

Why did the employee follow them outside? A little silly of him, wouldn't you say? The guy has agreed to leave. It's no longer any business of the employee. Stay inside and do your job, boy (and avoid the life-threatening ordeal of being pushed to the ground)! What a baby.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you think the age of criminal adulthood in Japan should be lowered from 20 to 18? See in context

Of course.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Chinese media warn 'immature' Trump over Taiwan policy See in context

Li says it best:

“He’s very fickle as well, he may eat his words sometime soon.”

We've already seen him climb down on obvious nonsense like sending Hillary Clinton to jail, the preposterous "wall" with Mexico that might now be a "fence" (before being forgotten altogether) etc.

Donny's out of his depth. That's plain to see. How much will we all have to suffer because of it? That's the 64 million dollar question.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said he is going to pull the U.S. out of any further negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact, while the other 11 nations involved want it to be r See in context

The fright everyone should have about TPP and such deals is that if passed, they would place multinational corporations beyond the control of governments. Corporations would have the right to sue governments for millions of dollars in "compensation" for denying them the right to, for example, dig for resources in the last pristine environments of the world. That's just one example. They would be beyond control. Workers rights, human rights? Forget it. The multinationals would rule, by the laws they themselves have drafted for these "deals". The corrupt politicians just go along with it. They're in the 1% anyway. TPP = "game over" for the working person. I don't like Trump, but by accident he got this one right (for the wrong reasons...manufacturing jobs aren't going to come back to the US because of not ratifying this). Check out Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner...still means something) for a detailed analysis if you want to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Police arrest man on suspicion of fatally stabbing woman in love hotel See in context

StrangerlandNov. 19, 2016 - 07:41PM JST

Surprisingly low? Is it? How do you reach this conclusion?

By the violent crime rate statistics - which show violent crime in Japan to be really low.

By the statistics. And you believe them? Here's a statistic for you. 99% of defendants in cases that go to trial here are found guilty. Why? Torture/forced confessions. Check Amnesty International, among other sources.

Rape statistics: fairly low, right? But are women likely to come forward and report it? Sometimes yes, but shame, disbelief/lack of support from authorities keeps the number down. I doubt that the police count their own attacks in the statistics either.

Unemployment statistics: Not too bad, right? Of course all those people hanging around building sites, shopping centers etc with orange batons in their hands are doing a crucial service to society, so they couldn't be included in the unemployment statistics, could they.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Police arrest man on suspicion of fatally stabbing woman in love hotel See in context

at least three stabbings in todays news.

Strangerland Nov. 19, 2016 - 10:33AM JST Surprisingly low for a country of 130 million people.

Surprisingly low? Is it? How do you reach this conclusion? Compared to some places (with their ghettos on the outskirts of town, heavily armed gangs, drug violence etc.), yes it is. But Japan prides itself on being a super peaceful, first world country. If you think 3 stabbings a day even among this number of people is nothing, I can't say that I agree with you. My home country has about 20% of Japan's population, but a stabbing (A stabbing) gets front page news every time. When this kind of story comes up (as it so often does), the number of mentally ill wandering the streets in Japan is always the first thing that pops into my mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tomokazu Miura and Momoe Yamaguchi voted most ideal couple for 11th straight year See in context

I can't believe I'm bored enough to be responding to this drivel, but do the people who announce this sort of garbage ever feel obliged to give an explanation for how they've arrived at such a ridiculous pronouncement?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Koike tells Tokyo gov't employees to finish work by 8 p.m. See in context

Sometimes I love to work after 8pm

Could you give a few more details there Kiyoshi? (e.g. Why??)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after 18-year-old girl stabbed on train platform at Sendai station See in context

@5SpeedRacer5 I for one am pretty amazed. Yes. Japan is a functioning civilisation.

Well, if you read the article again, it says he was caught 6-7 hours later at a station 4 stops away from the scene of the crime. No details supplied, but his clothes would almost certainly have been bloodstained, and given what little we know (he's a nutter), he would surely have aroused a few suspicions among even the most dim-witted train station staff, sitting on the platform for hours on end twitching and barking and god knows what. I don't see this one as a triumph of Japanese police work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after 18-year-old girl stabbed on train platform at Sendai station See in context

Summer? I'm sorry to have to say it, but the nutters know no seasonal limits. Watch your back at all times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 police officers arrested for drunk driving in Hokkaido See in context

wanderlust: Now they can really use the 'Sorry, we were drunk and cannot remember' excuse in all truthfulness!

But they went back to retrieve the license plate!! Seems like it'll be a bit hard to say "We had no idea about what happened", don't you think?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Dylan, McCartney, Stones lined up for mega-concert: report See in context

None of them has produced anything of note in at least 37 years (The Wall).

Well, I'm pretty sure Dylan got a Grammy for Time Out Of Mind, a decent album, around the turn of the century. You might want to check that one out. On the whole though, I think huge numbers of long time fans (I'm not going to try to pull a percentage out of my backside) wish all of these old geezers would just go into permanent retirement before they embarrass themselves. AC/DC (Angus), are you listening?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Becky remains secluded at home following enforced leave from show biz See in context

She should pack her bags and do some solo traveling, or just study/do something in a foreign country of her choice for a year or two. No point in sitting around home at her age, and she has enough money. What's she waiting for?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't looking for new catchphrase to replace 'omotenashi' for Olympics See in context

How about "disgrace"? There are so many translations for that, but 汚点 (おてん, oten) meaning "blot" or "smear" seems about right. With the country in piles of debt, huge mountains of recovery work still to do after the 2011 tsunami, people displaced, the big business boys in & around govt decide to splash the cash on a big photo op. A few businessmen & politicians will benefit, the majority won't. Look at the history of these things. "Mottainai" was a good suggestion too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan hits out at UNESCO for archiving Nanjing massacre documents See in context

Hello Triring:

"One citizen killed" you say. You are an example of why the world still cannot quite believe or trust Japan, to this day. How does this come about? Brainwashing in the Japanese education system is the short answer, although there's even more to it than that I suppose.

Listen...there were foreign residents in Nanjing at that time. Do you understand? NEUTRAL WITNESSES!! Among the many quotes you could find (if you bothered to actually look for those inconvenient things known as facts), one that stands out for me is from an American woman who was there and said she believed she'd witnessed the Japanese army commit every crime imaginable to humanity on that one day. Does that help put things into context for you?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: Are you tired of hearing calls from South Korea and China for Japan to address World War II issues with apologies? See in context

Sunrise 777, you're quite sure who CAUSED the war, apparently. You might want want to go back to your history books and read about what went on in 1918 at the Treaty of Versailles, and look at the ridiculous system that was in place pre-1914 that allowed that particular catastrophe to happen. The Germans were made scapegoats for an epic screw-up on the part of all the major European powers. Yes, they started WW2, but did they cause it? It's not that simple.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Posted in: Are you tired of hearing calls from South Korea and China for Japan to address World War II issues with apologies? See in context

Do most of you "yes" voters live with a long-term Japanese partner? If so, you would know the importance/ significance attached to genuine apologies (i.e. "We did a very bad thing. I'm very sorry for the way we acted".) That's a whole different kettle of fish to "Shucks, things got really messed up back then...we really regret that"). People in this part of the world pick up on the nuances of this sort of thing. The fact is Japan obviously has a hard time giving a heart-felt apology (because they don't want to?), and it grates on its former victims. Germany actually did worse things, but showed TRUE remorse and, as a result, has been accepted as a trusted partner by its neighbors again. Will Japan ever learn? As long as it continues to act like the eternal teenager on the international stage, it will never be truly respected.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Posted in: Eggplant most hated vegetable among kids See in context

For no-frills home cooking, steam veges- never boil them- and only for a shortish time. That's one golden rule, for taste and nutritional reasons. Too many people reduce veges into a soggy, limp mess. They're all tasty in my opinion, if prepared correctly. Okay, goya isn't terrific, granted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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