jonswan4 comments

Posted in: If a longtime expat starts offering you advice, walk the other way See in context

Maybe he was just highlighting your highlights - I mean, anyone who's tasteless enough to have highlights done needs a quiet word, in my opinion :)

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Posted in: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet See in context

David Mitchell has quietly written four masterpieces so far so I'm looking forward to this; no pressure. Number 9 Dream is the only thing that has matched or beaten H. Murakami for magic ideas, fun and sheer reading pleasure.

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Posted in: The shrinking state of Japanese salarymen's pocket money See in context

There are clearly a lot of women who 'milk the system' in Japan to their own ends - you've just got to make sure you don't get caught by one of those who farm out their single akka-chan then go shopping and sit yakking with their mates and have an easy time of it. I've known quite a few women who, once they were engaged, simply forgot about work/training etc. as they knew they were about to put their feet up for a very long time.... there's a reason why Japanese women live the longest in the world and it ain't just diet. I can sympathise with the negative comments on here, but I also agree it can be a one-dimensional feeling - don't go near women like that! If one of her hobbies is shopping, walk away....

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Posted in: 10% consumption tax will destroy Japan, argue some See in context

Why don't they put it up to 7.5% and increase the price of cigarettes to western prices (800 yen a packet)? - that way they pay off some of the debt and get healthier too. VAT in the UK is 20% and it isn't quite dead. 10% is hardly likely to kill Japan. Whatever they do, the debt level in this country is way too high. Leaving it the way it is is irresponsible and unfair to future generations.

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Posted in: A cool night's sleep See in context

Duh, no, it works for 30-60 minutes, long enough for you to drop off to sleep. Once you stop lying on it, presumably it cools itself down and is ready to go again.

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Posted in: Germany, Argentina advance in games marred by refereeing errors See in context

It was Go Japan; now Go home Japan. It's rotten to go out on penalties.

The refereeing in this tournament has been so diabolical that FIFA has to bring in technology that has made tennis, cricket and American football more enjoyable, exciting and, crucially, fair. In football there is too much cheating that goes unpunished, and where games are won and lost by biased/incompetent refereeing. Regarding the England game, it would certainly have made a huge difference to go into half time 2-2 but the Germans outclassed England. I might mention that at world cups since 1970 England have played well 4 or 5 times, whereas the Germans have been to the finals or semis about 9 times. The gulf in class is staggering, and the fact that England continue to serve up the equivalent of footballing diarrhoea every 4 years without pause to reflect leaves me wondering why I bother following their progress.

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Posted in: Obama accuses BP of recklessness in national TV address See in context

I don't understand at all why people are blaming Obama - it's BP and whoever they have in charge of stopping the leak. It is without doubt an appalling situation, but blaming Obama is low and completely wide of the mark.

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Posted in: People turn to advice column to air quirky family concerns See in context

'When poking around in the old boy’s briefcase, the daughter-in-law.....' perhaps she should mind her own business and stop creeping around looking into people's bags? How would she like it if he looked through her secret possessions? And yes, it's his money to spend as he wants.

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Posted in: Waiting for iPad See in context

Apple make many amazing products - that some people say otherwise is peevish and simply untrue. They ain't perfect - that's true but anyone who says they prefer a Dell to a MacBook Pro needs their head examining. And without iPods, we'd still be stuck in the dark ages hauling around portable CD players. There is a kind of rank, sad desperation to sitting outside a store for 48 hours, though. Wonder who's paying for it? His mama probably. Perhaps part of it was getting his photo taken.

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Posted in: Again, Obama seeks China's help on Korean crisis See in context

This article, especially at the beginning, shows such naivety; saying that America is going to China to help solve its problems with NK thus giving it more 'international heft' - China is NK's only ally and its closest neighbour - doesn't it make crystal clear sense to get China to rein in its mad dog neighbour? Wouldn't doing it any other way make no sense at all? The US has basically no contact with NK - why would it? China essentially keeps NK alive and it's about time it leaned on those NK maniacs. And it's true, sadly, that China does nothing at all that isn't in its own interests - there's nothing new in that. And a quick reminder that it was the GW Bush administration that chose to invade helpless Iraq whilst NK was busy developing its nuclear weapons, which really doesn't help now that NK is starting to be truly unhinged in its actions.

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Posted in: Who do you think was behind the sinking of a South Korean warship on March 26? See in context

41% of people blamed the United States for torpedoing a ship of one of its allies? That basically means that 41% of people who post on here are clinically insane.

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Posted in: Windows 7 strong, but don't pay to upgrade See in context

MS Millennium ed. was a total dog, ditto Vista. I run XP on work PCs and have to run anti-spyware, anti-virus and download colossal numbers of patches, all of which takes time that I don't often have. The boot up times are annoyingly slow too. Privately I use Macs; they pretty much always work, are easier and more fun to use. Vista stole all its good points (like the search function) from Mac OS Tiger. What's astonishing is that with 20 times the money, Microsoft still sell a product that is around a fifth as useful, enjoyable and user-friendly as Mac OS. It's a fact - it's indisputable but puzzling. I really hope MS can improve their OS and at least make it more secure seeing as the business world relies on them.

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Posted in: Health insurance gets more complicated with new visa law See in context

This is a major issue for foreigners in Japan, so thanks for JT for highlighting the issue.

I've been on private health care for all of my 6 years here. If I died, my insurer would pay to ship my body home, if someone in my family died, they would pay for me to go home for the funeral, if I have a major accident or disease, they will pay all but the first 5-10,000 yen. In any of these situations the Japanese system would mean colossal amounts of money paid by me or my family, leading to possible bankruptcy. It simply does not cater to my needs.

Finally, the pension scheme proposals are basically extortion or simple robbery. I would guess that only 10-20% of Japan's foreigners stay more than a few years, and thus the pension scheme to the other 80%+ is an added tax that will be mostly unreturned. Any payments made between 4 - 24 years here you would still receive 3 years maximum - that, to me, is a complete disgrace from a supposedly democratic country.

I fully support the Free Choice Foundation - there simply has to be choice for foreigners in Japan due to their wildly differing needs. Perhaps what the Japanese government could work on is making sure that ALL foreigners have some kind of health insurance, and making the pension scheme optional.

If this doesn't get sorted out sufficiently, I will be leaving on or before the day when my visa runs out (2011) and I shall take my expertise elsewhere.

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Posted in: Divorced, separated Japanese fathers also fight to see children See in context

The laws on child custody and visitation rights in this country are complete outrage, and counter-productive to the well-being of the children. There's no wonder that other countries find it ridiculous.

"Japan’s government has argued that signing the convention may not protect Japanese women and their children from abusive foreign husbands." Ugh, casual racism rears its ugly head in Japan once more, suggesting that foreign husbands will ultimately be abusive.

Johnshiomi; your story is very touching, and if I were in that position I'd be heartbroken. I truly sympathise.

pdmc30; I agree, why did they choose a wife-beater to highlight this? That's an outrage in itself.

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Posted in: Chicago's Olympic loss is blow to Obama, too See in context

Rio was always going to get the vote, seeing as it's never been in South America before. Obama probably took the right decision to go, though; why not support Chicago? And why not do it in the shortest time available?

This idea that he's doing too much might be partially true, but a lot of things he's doing cannot wait - wars, economy, environment, healthcare. The latter is failing not due to Obama but to widespread bribery in politics in America. I'm talking, of course, about lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry who openly pay politicians to reject policies. I'm sorry, but the fact that in the supposed leader of the free world you can openly - and legally - bribe politicians is profoundly disturbing. Meanwhile 46 million Americans have no healthcare and are essentially leading third world lives when they get sick.

Obama came into office after physically and mentally the laziest man ever to be president; GW Bush took more holidays than anyone ever did, and he was in bed asleep by 10. That's another reason why Obama looks like he's doing a lot.

And that comment about Obama's "America-hating' wife is pure Republican vitriol; OK, you don't like her, but don't print shameful lies.

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Posted in: Iran President Ahmadinejad proud of Holocaust denial See in context

Ahmadinejad's denial of the holocaust would be like me denying the 1980-89 Iran-Iraq war ever took place. Sorry - and this goes for people who claim only 185,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis - there is too much documentary evidence, too many photographs and videos. The Nazis were very precise in recording what they did and so archive evidence alone is overwhelming. By stating that 'only' 185,000 died, you end up looking foolish because your statement is not based on facts but on misguided emotions.

While the behaviour and actions of the Israeli government over a period of decades has been nothing short of despicable, you cannot deny what took place during world war 2 (the Japanese have tried it over the Nanjing massacre and it just doesn't work; deny all you like but there is enough evidence for us to know it happened). Perhaps if Israel treated its neighbours with less disdain and brutality, and that Iran had leaders who weren't dangerous religious fanatics then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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Posted in: Celebrity drug offenders face public humiliation See in context

I think the writer is implying that the reaction of the media and the public is really over the top, and I fully agree. It's not like Sakai was snorting crack then crashing her car into hordes of people, for goodness sake. All the media and public sensationalism is childish and counter-productive. Better to have a rational debate about it - that way we might find out what she was taking and why. For me, drug use is personal - if she does it at home and doesn't disturb anyone, exactly what harm is she doing to anyone but herself? I personally don't do 'drugs' as I don't need to - I prefer life the way it is.

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Posted in: 18-year-old Japanese woman loses Y8 mil antique violin on Austrian subway See in context

Where I come from we'd call her a blithering imbecile. I wonder what she was chatting about that took precedence over something almost priceless. If you had 8 million yen in a bag would you travel the subway, and if so, would you ever, for a second, forget about it?

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Posted in: Jewish human rights group protests 'anti-Semitic' ad in Nihon Keizai Shimbun See in context

KyotoChris: Sorry, but are you referring to my comments? Not sure as I never used the word 'silly' but if we take your comments then you're saying that NKS could promote Nazism too? And homophobia, racism and suicide bombing? And if we don't like it we shouldn't read it? In a world renowned newspaper? I don't think you've thought this through. I think we've evolved a little beyond the wholesale peddling of lies throughout societies - this isn't 1940s Nazi Germany.

Your last comment is the mother of all non-sequiturs, unless you think I am a world controlling Jewish financier in disguise...

Your earlier comments on people crying 'anti-semitism' whenever Jews are attacked is a different point entirely and hints at darker motives. I happen to despise what the Israeli government and its military have been doing in seeking to wreck, murder and de-humanise Palestinians, but here we are talking about a world renowned newspaper allowing anti-semitism and lies about the Jews controlling the world financial system in its paper. Whether you like it or not, the idea is warped fantasy.

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Posted in: Jewish human rights group protests 'anti-Semitic' ad in Nihon Keizai Shimbun See in context

I find this extremely disturbing, unlike some who've commented.

If a wacko site is proclaiming that the Jews control the world financial system then we laugh at them because we know it couldn't possibly be true. When a respected financial newspaper does the same then it is more serious, even if it's an 'ad' taken out in the paper. This kind of stuff just wouldn't be allowed in Britain; it's incitement to hatred. It's also patently untrue.

Just because there are a lot of Jews in Hollywood we would never deign to call it Jewish Hollywood. Just because a lot of Jews are involved in finance doesn't mean they're in on some kind of huge conspiracy. That is childish nonsense.

But in Japan lately I have seen how much casual racism is rather commonplace here. You only have to delve into the recent changes on health care restrictions for foreigners to see that casual racism is accepted fully. But that goes with many countries who are supposedly almost wholly one 'race' - ignorant attitudes take the place of sensible rationality.

Perhaps there's also a huge Jewish conspiracy to keep pumping out Nobel prize winners or great authors too? We should fight and rage against ignorance and stupidity everywhere.

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