jpn_guy comments

Posted in: Local residents may be accustomed to seeing bears, but people from countries with few bears who know next to nothing about the animals could encounter them while taking strolls in unexpected areas. See in context

This smacks of the typical "We Japanese are this, you foreigners are that" type Nihonjinron-powered exceptionalism we see everywhere.

Every single topic, all the time. It is so depressing and one of the reasons why spending years learning Japanese to talk to Japanese people is not such a great idea. Large portions of the analysis brought to every conceivable situation are based on nothing more than complete hogwash.

Of course, Westerners have their peculiar beliefs too, but there is not quite an exact parallel as it is not as possible to insert nutty Western religious notions into every conceivable topic in quite the same way as Japanese people will insert the "religion" of Japanese uniqueness into whatever is being discussed, with virtually no exceptions, as we can see here.

The point about urban Japanese is well made. The point about being familiar with bears not meaning that you are exempt from danger is well made also. The bear cannot read the country on your passport or your address.

Simply put, it is exhausting living in a country where people bring spurious bad science and nonsense related to nationality into almost every conversation they have with or about overseas people.

Some people have argued many Japanese people see themselves as separate humanity too distinct sub-species, Japanese and the rest. They are not wrong. Before you move here, it is worth knowing this and considering whether it is a mindset you want to deal with on a daily basis.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Hot-spring resorts tackle tattoo debate ahead of Rugby World Cup See in context

What's wrong with abiding by the traditions and customs of the host country? If you do not agree with it then do not go there.

There are many reasons for objecting to this statement, but sticking solely to the context of the Rugby World Cup and Olympics, you do realize that Japan did not have to bid to host these events, don't you?

You do realize that Japan voluntarily put a huge amount of time and effort into volunteering to hold two international tournaments contested by a large number athletes (and watched by a large number of spectators) with tattoos? In other words, the Japanese government has gone out of its way to invite thousands of tattooed people to Japan.

So it is the Japanese side that is saying "we welcome you" but "we don't welcome you".

I notice this a lot. It is not dissimilar to how the government goes out of its way to encourage tourists, but people complain about tourists. Or how people how "bash Japan" are told to go home, even though many of us came here on Japanese government invitations, because our abilities/opinions were sought.

Overall, there is a contradiction in the sense that the Japanese government wants the country to be seen as a fully-paid up and respected member of the international community, but there are large segments of Japanese society who want to reject all outside influence and just do their own thing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Disney live-action 'Little Mermaid' to star a black Ariel See in context

Yes, but how does she suit the part?

How is the race of the fictional mermaid core to her identity and the development of the story?

And it is incredible that the first post here describes casting a black women in a fictional white role as a "scummy tactic".

You have no evidence that Disney are trying to spark a "race war" or a "controversy". All you have is the evidence that Disney selected a black actress. So by that logic, it is like every time a black actor is selected for a role that is not traditionally black, is it automatically a "scummy" thing to do?

It is analogous to the way people scream "golddigger" every time a rich man finds a partner, simply on the basis that the rich man has found a partner, with no further evidence. It suggests that every such instances is and has to be and incidence of gold-digging.

While this is perhaps a silly analogy, it is with this kind of daft logic that you are saying every non-traditional black casting is "scummy". Not because the actress can sing maybe? Because she can dance? Because she is good at her job? No, it she has obviously (rolls eyes) been cast solely as a race-baiting tactic.

Can you expand on why you think this? It seems that you just think this because you think this, as in the golddigging example above.

These opinions all amount to bad logic and poor thinking, to be honest.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's 'gentleman' equestrian at heart of Olympics corruption probe See in context

@ganbare Japan

It is interesting that even the most ardent supporters of all and everything Japanese do not deny that a payment was made.

I am convinced the $2 Million paid by the JOC to voting members of IOC was simply for legitimate gifts.

You don't tell us why you are convinced. What is your evidence? That the payment was made by Japanese people and Japanese people never do anything criminal or wrong?

This seems to be the major thrust of the arguments in support. The party concerned is Japanese, Japanese are good people, therefore there is nothing to see and we should move on.

You should not be surprised when non-Japanese people do not accept this as a convincing line of thought.

You use the phrase "legitimate" gifts. I have previously heard the JOC defend it as "legitimate consulting services".

The fact remains that Black Tidings, the recipients of the payment, are known to have links with influential people in the bidding process.

No-one defending this payment has stepped forward with a comprehensive and convincing breakdown of what the money is for.

Like you, they seem to prefer to offer alternative innocent explanations with absolutely nothing to back them up.

Of course all countries favor their own, but we may note that there are striking differences in the way Japanese and non-Japanese people under suspicion in Japan are treated.

These incidents may also go some way towards explaining why no-one in power is in a hurry to make critical thinking a more significant part of the Japanese education system.

Do please post again with a better explanation of why you are so confident to declare

Japan won the 2020 Olympics on its own merit

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. catches heat for Women's World Cup goal celebrations See in context

For me, it is a matter of logic more than a matter of etiquette.

You celebrate hard if you score the first goal to break a 0-0 deadlock as you have achieved something difficult and challenging. The celebration is a release of the tension resulting from the close game, and the recognition that you have done something worth celebrating by using your superior sporting skills to take the lead against the opposition.

If you have already scored 10 times, then surely you have already logically established that scoring against that opponent at that particular point in time is not that difficult or challenging, and does not require such an advanced level of sporting skill.

So while t is difficult to decide the issue of whether it is worse, from the opponent's point of view, to keep celebrating or more patronizing to stop celebrating (when you are being hammered it is a horrible experience, so either way it will be bad for you), if we consider the issue solely from point of view of the goal scorers themselves and leave out the etiquette question, it seems clear that celebrating goal number 13 in exactly the same way as goal number one, complete with screams and shouts, suggests you think that the 13th goal is just as skillful/difficult/challenging/valuable as the first goal, and since this is obviously not the case you just end up, man or woman, appearing as if you misunderstand the essence of sporting competition and looking utterly ridiculous.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you consider dress codes forcing women to wear high heels at work power harassment? See in context

Don't like the dress code? Don't take the job.

Well what happens when a huge percentage of jobs have the same illogical rules drastically reducing your freedom to chose your occupation and your pursuit of happiness?

This is the sort of illogical argument people make to defend all sorts of corporate bullying and interference in the lives of their workers (and also against the minimum wage).

The "don't like it, don't sign up" mantra is a uniquely stupid point of view since iIt ignores reality by completely removing from the equation the obvious power imbalance between the employers and the employee based on the fact that everyone has to earn a living, and sometimes, if you let them, a huge proportion of companies will make the same unreasonable demands, leaving the worker with no choice but to comply against their better judgement unless they want to struggle.

It is a position that suggests a company is justified in wanting anything from their workers just by virtue of the fact that that is what they want. There are people who are so blind to this power balance it is almost as if they cannot imagine that a demand can be objectively "unreasonable" - it is as if they don't know the words unreasonable, unnecessary, illogical and onerous are even in the dictionary.

This is the same mindset that thinks it reasonable to order an employee to the other end of the country just after he has bought a new house and his wife has given birth, as in the recent Kaneka case.

Don't trust anyone who uses the "don't like it, go somewhere else" argument to defend poor corporate behavior since those who cannot see the unequal power relationships that govern and shape society are failing to see a huge and critical factor that impacts human social structure and decision making.

This myopic stance (either through ignorance, or on purpose, in cases where it is to the advantage of those in power to subscribe to this positions themselves) is the source of a great deal of human misery (and the foundation of traditional right wing political philosophy).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of newborns in Japan hits record low in 2018 See in context

@ganbare Japan

"AI, Robots, Drones and cheap imported labor from Asia"

How revealing that you include three types of machinery and then tack some human beings on to the end of your list ,as if they are merely just another device to help you achieve your goals, rather than actual human beings with the same emotions and ambitions to live a full and free life.

Your rhetoric is similar to that recent debate in the Diet where all discussion of human beings from the content used the word 'jinzai' 'jinzai' over and over again with no regard to their humanity.

In any case, Japan seems to be shooting for the Middle Eastern model of having a three tier social system, the locals, the privileged expats, and then the "Untermenschen" who are expected to provide services to the majority while putting up and shutting up, before returning home at a time of the hosts convenience.

Once someone enters a society, they become a full constituent part of that society with all the responsibilities and rights, yes rights, that entails.

The Japanese government show no sign of understanding the psychological stress and hardship they are lining up for new immigrants, by "welcoming" them based on an exclusionary mindset that they are here to do the dirty work before leaving again.

The current Technical Trainee system is an example of this abuse. If Japan is intent on having people from other countries come to make up for the population and labor shortfall, a massive rethink is required in terms of commitment to inclusion, opportunity, and paths to citizenship.

Otherwise, people will get wise to the scam, stop coming (as is already the case with the South American Japanese, who have started to realize all that glitters is not gold), and Japan will be back to square one with fewer arrivals and ridiculous expectations that robots and drones (did you really mean to emphasize drones as one of four key drivers to overcome the upside down population pyramid???) will solve Japan's social ills.

Robots, drones and Asians. Robots, drones and Asians.

What a despicable mindset.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe becomes 3rd equal longest-serving PM with 2,720 days in office See in context

@ganbare Japan

I have no doubt that your love for Japan and the PM is genuine, but I do wonder if you realize that your boundless enthusiasm for anything and everything Japanese is starting to look very close to a parody account. Your writing is starting to look as if trying to satirize the account of someone who was so one-sided and myopic that they could not even admit the most obvious problems.

For example, the economy may be booming and the stock market doing well, but what of the huge volume of workers on temporary or rolling contracts who cannot plan for their future, get married, think about raising kids or by a home. Of course this trend towards unstable employment dates back to the reforms of Koizumi. It is also something of a regrettable necessity, given that companies hampered by very strict labor laws are then not nimble enough to adapt their workforce to the economic climate, and can be saddled with too much personnel related expenditure that they cannot afford. Of course everyone knows these reasons, but is does not alter the reality on the ground that there are a great many people struggling, particularly young people, and wondering what their life holds for them without regular employment.

And the 'haken rodo' economy and its knock-on effects is not even close to the full picture of the issues Japan has to face and Mr. Abe has to lead us through Others include the continuing undermining of women's rights (despite well-publicized campaigns to the contrary), issues integrating laborers from other countries who are being told they can come hear, give the best years of their young working life, and then clear right off again, problems with the rising divorce rate, child custody, poverty among working mothers, the likely future collapse of the pension system and financial struggles among senior citizens, the list goes on.

That is why is say your account looks like satire. Nowhere in your voluminous posts to this website to you show any in sign of understanding the complex social realities facing Japan, preferring just to cheerlead with simplistic viewpoints. We love Abe, We Love Japan (and in some of your other posts, We Love Trump).

So if yours is not a satirical account and you genuinely do want to convince readers that Japan is going places and is a wonderful country with a great future then, sure, that is your right, but failing to engage or even mention with any negative viewpoint or problems just completely undermines your position and your credibility.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Posted in: The manual cautions members about public speeches, saying words may be taken out of context by the media. It warns lawmakers to be careful when commenting on matters of historical understanding and political ideology. See in context

I read some of this summarized online.

It contains advice such as

"Don't forget even in private meetings with supporters, journalists might get in" and

"Always remember someone near you might have a recording device".

It is revealing that the majority of the advice is about making sure no-one hears the LDP members' offensive views rather than educating themselves so that they do not hold offensive views in the first place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Would former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest be a factor in whether or not you decide to buy a Nissan car in the future? See in context

I don't think he's as innocent as he claims and Ghosn wasn't designing the cars, so why would his situation have any effect on my decision to buy a Nissan?

It is not about "Ghosn's situation". It is about Nissan's (and the prosecutors') actions.

Ghosn is receiving harsher treatment that he would do if he were not Japanese. This is clear because the heads of certain companies responsible for fraud with much larger sums of money, or even in some cases fatalities, have not been humiliated in this way (I am not saying Ghosn is not guilty, I have no information so I don't know. But I can see how he is being treated based on public information and perform a compare and contrast with what usually happens when Japanese executives are rather naughty). The timing with the proposed Renault merger is too coincidental. Clearly, Nissan does not like the idea of being subservient to a foreign company.

Some people will any of the actions here are motivated by nationality. But, ladies and gentlemen, you just have to start drawing the dots to complete the picture.

If you speak Japanese on a daily basis, it is quite clear that philosophical, culturally and ethically, ideas which are commonly shared in other democratic nations are rejected in Japan.

It is clear that the Japanese world view is very much "Japanese+rest of humanity=human race". This is of course true, logically speaking, but that is not really the point wish to make.

The point is that this division, this searching for division between Japan and everyone else and then commenting on it, is driven home again and again in education, in the media, in casual conversation. It would be absolutely remarkable if this way of framing the world, which the Japanese speaker in Japan encounters all the time just as part of the basic preface to most interactions, had absolutely no bearing on Nissan's decision-making.

Anyone who has ever had any dealing with the police will know the first thing they do is ask your nationality, even if you are the victim of the crime. You may be referred to in the crime report as "the foreigner". We can even see this framework at play in the reporting, currently published on JT, about the Australian fool spraying Japan with graffiti who is often, in headlines, not 'named individual' or even 'Australian individual' but simply 'foreigner', a way of labeling that negatively affects every foreign resident of Japan by associating them with criminality they have nothing to do with.

And coming back to the Nissan case, is it not preposterous that the only other person arrested for wrongdoing in this whole mess is also not Japanese? Is stretches credulity to believe that there are not issues of national pride, bias and identity at stake here.

I want not part of that, so they will never have my money. Quite simple really, whether Ghosn is innocent or not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Petition launched to stop forcible hair dyeing from natural color to black in schools See in context

In a country that was closed for 250ish years and is nearly monoethnic? How is that backwards. In the past it would be a natural line of thought to bring everyone in line for their own sake, so they can be one of the group. Now that it’s the 21st century, people are realizing the problem and talking about it.

I'm sorry, but I cannot stand this line of argument. Japan opened up to the world in 1868. Nearly 30 million people visit from overseas every year. A huge percentage of Japanese have been abroad, millions have family members overseas.

Since 1868, Japan has gained and lost an empire, become one of the world's foremost economic powers, seen drastic social change, and extended its cultural influence around the globe.

It is utterly silly to suggest that we should not call out nonsense when we see it because of spurious historical reasons or perhaps some sort of perceived reluctance to engage in "cultural imperialism".

Some ideas are worse that others. Something ideas are unambiguously stupid. Certain bad practices can and should be stopped overnight.

This, 'oh, Japan is an island nation', 'oo Japan has no contact with the outside world', 'ah, we have our own way of doing things and can only adapt slowly' sounds might have flown in 1899, or even 1969.

But honestly, look at the millions of Japanese people traveling backwards and forward between their own and other countries who know full well that some of the practices here are indefensible in the modern age and have already been indefensible for quite some time.

No kid gloves! No pass! No racism!

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Posted in: Report reveals alleged labor issues at 2020 Tokyo Olympic building sites See in context

No one could have predicted that the country of forced unpaid overtime, toothless labor regulators, complicit politicians, frequent work place suicide, and personnel dispatch companies permanently creaming off more than their half workers' salaries for doing exactly nothing would also be the country of terrible conditions for Olympic construction workers.

(with apologies to@itsJeffTiedrich)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Regional bank in Japan battles ultra-low rates with wine bar, sea urchins See in context

What is wrong with the take a number and wait system?

I think there are many problems with banks (not least the mass panic that occurs at a regional bank when a foreign customer requests help anything out of the ordinary), but the number system is not a problem is it?

It seems like a good way of dealing with a queue, rather than leaving people, including elderly people, standing in a line as happens in my home country. Quite the opposite from your comment, I have wanted to suggest introducing the Japanese system over there when seeing people left standing in a line waiting for ages for an open window. The same applies to the post office.

In Japan, you get to sit down, if you have a while before you number comes up you can use the ATM or whatever you need to do while you wait.

If it is absolutely rammed with people, and your number is way down the list, you can even leave the bank altogether and pop to the shop next door!

What's not to like?

In all seriousness though, what is stupid about the number system? Perhaps I am missing something! Please enlighten me!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Broadcaster apologizes over program insensitive to gender privacy See in context

The above video was just the controversial segment.

Here is the guest calling out the broadcaster's morals live on their show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XviTwjLQZws

The comments below this video almost unanimous in lauding Wakaichi's actions.



10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Delays and long waits as Japan residents rush to buy Tokyo Olympic tickets See in context

Buyers overseas will pay more for ticket because resellers - appointed by national Olympic committees - can tack on a 20% handling charge.

But

Scalping tickets is always a problem at the Olympics. Japan recently passed a law that bans selling tickets at above the original prices. Violators face fines of up to 1 million yen ($9,100), or a one-year jail term - or both.

Sometimes the comments write themselves.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Half of foreigners in Tokyo have experienced discrimination: survey See in context

@the long termer.

I hope you keep posting on this site and fighting the "Japan is not racist" narrative. As well as the "Japan is racist, but everywhere is racist so stop complaining" narrative.

I have been in Japan on and off for 20 years. I speak Japanese well enough to enjoy Japanese movies, read Japanese novels without giving myself a headache, and run a business with Japanese clients. But I have few Japanese friends who have not lived overseas or have non-Japanese family.

The reality of being viewed through a stereotypical lens and being expected to behave in a certain way every time you meet new people can be harsh. As can being denied credit cards and housing, which are two examples of discrimination you cannot just forget about and get on with your day.

As you say, you need to recognize it is not on you and that those people saying "speak Japanese, learn the culture, you will fit in" are just basically gaslighting and refusing to recognize the source of the problem. Interestingly, it is often the people who have made the most effort to learn Japanese and fit in who end up feeling most alienated (and then have to put up with people who have made less effort to integrate denying that there are any issues, mainly because they cannot understand what is going on around them and are happy to be feted as a perrenial guest).

A large section Japanese society (I will add the obligatory "not everyone" here..., don't want to be accused of hypocrisy... ) has massive issues with pigeon-holing, generalizations, people believing rumors at face value and widespread acceptance of unscientific nonsense when it comes to sociology, anthropology and culture.

I agree with your posts. It is not us. We must not be gaslighted. We must not internalize blame. We must stand up for our right to observe the obvious.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK reporter laughed at for asking black hole team for more on Japan’s contributions See in context

Fair point - trying to describe a confusing and contradictory place produces much confusion and contradiction!

Thanks for reading.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: NHK reporter laughed at for asking black hole team for more on Japan’s contributions See in context

Re: comments along the lines of "every country does this, lay off" - well if you really think that you either don't speak Japanese, or you do but are not paying attention.

Let me tell you as story. One of my family members is from a minor country that is never, ever in the news. Imagine how wonderful it was (for an instant) when my in-laws rang specifically to tell me this nation was now being featured on a TV show. In a hurry I switched on the TV. A TV crew was following around another TV crew from our little country. They were of course touring Japan. After a brief introduction to the country they came from, the rest of the show was not just "what do they think of Japan?" but celebrities guessing what the foreign TV crew thought of Japan, even taking time to explain their speculation on what the foreign guests thought of Japan, ideas which often turned out to be wrong once we had the big reveal on how Japan really looked to these visitors.

Anyway, s this level of navel-gazing normal in your country? Is it really? I have lived in a number of places and never come across anything like it anywhere. The thing is, it was not always this bad. The "what do they think of us?" "aren't we great?", "look what we can do?" aspect of Japanese culture, is, as anyone who has lived here for a while can tell you, getting worse and worse. It is driven by the government and their desire to instill "national pride" whatever that might mean. It is not a permanent or desirable feature of Japanese culture that everyone here accepts as sensible.

Some readers maybe surprised that not all Japanese people are on board with this by any means. You can check this yourself. Try Googling, say, "Japan" "praise" "TV show" "makes me embarrassed" in Japanese (日本、褒める、テレビ番組、恥ずかしい) and other similar terms about loving yourself (including a few which are unrepeatable here), you can find reams and reams of Japanese people complaining about this approach to national self-promotion. This is only natural. One aspect of Japanese cultural identity is that Japanese people are modest. You cannot do both these things at that same time.

However, as Japanese culture can seem relatively uniform, especially if you rely on the TV, major newspapers and official pronouncements, there are always going to be newcomers to Japan and Japan 'fans' who cannot see the current wave of self-promotion in a timeline context and have no idea how government policy changes down the decades. These people will fall into the trap of believing that what Japan is like now is what it has always been like and will forever remain and therefore this nonsense is an essential part of Japanese culture that is above criticism.

Then, when more perceptive resident foreigners point out the obvious opinion, (shared by numerous Japanese people themselves), that the navel-gazing is currently getting out of hand, they are dismissed for "not understanding Japanese culture" or "Japan-bashing" or even "cultural imperialism".

These criticisms are way-off-the-mark, and pretty ironic to be honest.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Posted in: Nobel winner Honjo, pharmaceutical company in dispute over license fee See in context

It is disappointing that this article fails to clarify what is at the heart of the matter.

Kyoto University is public funded. In other words, the original research that led to this breakthrough was funded by Japanese tax payers.

As the university does not have the ability to bring a drug to market unaided, there is no doubt that Ono played a key role in the development.

But now the company is making billions and billions of dollars from this breakthrough.

Of course the company will be paying tax on its profits, and the workforce paying tax on their salaries, but most of that money is coming from taxpayers again in the first place, since the bulk of pharmaceutical company revenue, at least where sales in Japan is concerned, comes from government coffers via the national health service which funds the majority of the drug price.

So once again we see how capitalism is allowed to run riot.

The state funds the original breakthrough but the private sector takes the lion's share of the money.

This is surely what Honjo wants to redress. He must be endlessly frustrated as dealing with funding limitations on national universities and their research while the executives of pharmaceutical companies pay themselves millions to spend on goodness knows what, all on the back of a government-funded scientific discovery.

It is kind of the opposite of what happens when private sector banks get into trouble and the government is forced to bail them out.

How did we the people come to accept a situation where industry profits follow to the private sector, financial losses are underwritten by the government, and the government is short of money and forced to issue massive debt?

The only reason no-one blinks at this situation is that the public, particular the American public (which objects to socialism, except for some reason in the case of taxpayer money flowing to massive companies such as in the case above) have been brainwashed by a media acting in the interests of the share-holding class.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Ghosn not getting much help from France, analysts say See in context

It amazes me that commentators here seem more interested in how Ms. Ghosn juggles her various passports that whether or not Japan is a functioning democracy with a fair judicial system.

I recommend we all gain some perspective on which issues are important and which are not.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Posted in: Ghosn not getting much help from France, analysts say See in context

@Tokyo-Engr above

Agreed. The idea that anyone objecting to the Japanese justice system "hates Japan" is so puerile as to be barely worth debating. If you live in Japan long enough you will come across the phrases "shin-nichi" and "han-nichi" as if Japan is like some kind of dessert of chocolate flavor that one must either love or hate in its entireity, not a complex nation with various laws, customs and practices, some good, some terrible and some with all shades of gray in between.

As Tokyo-Engr rights, many of the permanent residents posting hear have lived in Japan for decades. They have Japanese spouses, children, in-laws and friends. How can you decide they "hate the Japanese people". It is a ridiculous assertion.

One of the reason long-term residents are more likely to be critical is precisely because they are more invested in Japan, not less. It is where they have built their lives and so, understandably, like anyone who lives anywhere, they would like the place they live in to keep on improving and striving to be better.

Another reason is that long-term residents are more likely to speak Japanese and understand the intricacies and complexities of their home. Many Japanese people also object to and want to change various aspects of Japanese society.

Among those who have shout from the rooftops that Japan is a perfect society, there are nationalist politicians (and their followers), who have a vested interest in preserving the status quo and convincing people life could not be better than it is now with them in charge. Then there are newbie foreign residents or fans of Japanese culture living overseas who know nothing about the realities of life in Japan. They generally underestimate the various issues the country faces in their desire to claim that Japan is always doing everything right and should not be subject to any criticism.

This kind of thinking is lazy and counterproductive.

From that perspective, it is sad to see many people willfully blind to the reality that justice in Japan is not dealt out with any sort of fairness. For example, the lawyer in the article, who states that Ghosn is receiving favorable treatment because certain Japanese politicians have been locked up for longer, is either being naive or willfully misleading. Do not accept his comment at face value.

Every single politician/official who has been locked up for the long term has been an enemy of or irritant to the ruling party at the time. Every single one. One only has to look at the recent case where taxpayers were defrauded of millions of dollars by government ministries selling off land to their friends at below market value.

Not a single official involved in this fraud has spent a day in custody. Away from the realm or politics, the same is true of the Takata airbag scandal that has results in dozens of people dying. Then their is TEPCO and the Fukushima disaster. And the Olympus fraud. And so it goes on.

The support for Ghosn here on JT is nothing to do with whether he is innocent or guilty. He may be either, we don't know. We can't know. However, his guilt has not yet been proven in a court of law and it is utterly silly and wrong to pretend that his treatment so far mirrors the treatment that a well-connected - and currently in favor -member of the ruling party would receive if under suspicion for wrongdoing.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

Posted in: Sexual harassment toward job-hunting students by alumni widespread See in context

 But "getting her drunk" is what she initially did to herself.

Well not exactly. If the guy is buying her drinks despite her protests that she does not want one, placing them in front of her and telling her to drink while at the same time also hinting that he has influence over the recruiting process and whether or not she will be hired, then surely the alcohol is very much part of the harassment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump's Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen resigns See in context

every effort to protect the border and to put a stop to the suffering and exploitation of migrants 

It is a pleasure to read about a Trump supporting Republican who is concerned for the vulnerable in society.

Can I ask please, do you also agree with large fines for companies and individuals caught employing illegal workers? One could argue that the reason the US immigration regime has remained so lax down the years is that many privileged people and business owners, who tend to vote Republican, benefit from it through a cheap and easily dismissible workforce.

I am also curious to know if you concern for suffering and exploited workers extends to those working under harsh contracts at minimum wage. Given your concern for exploited migrants, I assume that you support broader workers and union rights more generally, and are upset with the general drift towards a more unequal society? Perhaps you support higher inheritance tax as a means to address this. Perhaps you also support a higher minimum wage and a reduction in the gap in pay between workers and executives, for example, as a means to stop suffering and exploitation? A cap on CEO pay maybe? And since refugees are not illegal immigrants, but are rather those fleeing suffering and exploitation that you are fighting against, can we assume that you support stronger refugee rights too?

It would be helpful to know where you stand on these issues so we know how to interpret your belief that a border wall is needed to protect migrant rights and stop vulnerable people from suffering.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Chief of staff says Democrats will never see Trump tax returns See in context

Just because the IRS says taxpayers under audits are free to release doesn't mean that they have to or are required to. They have the option and Trump has taken the option not to release, which is his privilege.

You are absolutely right here. "Can" does not mean "must". At the same time, Trump is not saying he has "chosen not to release" his tax returns, he says he would love to but "simply cannot" release them.

People who dislike Trump are often accused of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Can I try and explain why we keep going back to the same issues? It is because it is completely unbelievable that Trump lies to your face and you don't even care. You write as though choosing a proven liar to be the most powerful man in the world is a good idea.

Why does Trump continue to say that he "can't release his returns because he is under audit"? It completely untrue. We know it is untrue. It makes no sense that you are happy for a man who lies like this to lead you.

If he said, using your words, "I am exercising my privilege not to release my returns" it would be a problem in terms of transparency and accountability, but it would not be as strange as saying over and over again "I can't do it, I'm under audit" when the IRS has repeatedly said anyone under audit can go right ahead.

Not everyone has equal access to information. Not everyone's statements have the same weight. When the person who makes the rules confirms the rules, their statement has truth value. How does it make sense for Trump to continually deny what the rule-makers say the rules are and expect us to believe him? It is a very strange state of affairs. And then people like you go along with it, which is even weirder.

What makes it stranger still is that this is a man who rang up journalists, impersonating someone else, to plant positive stories about himself. No-one denies that as "John Barron" he used to do this. You can hear the recording and know its his voice.

As a general rule, how do you feel about people who make up a fictitious character to tell lies about themselves to influence press coverage. Are they trustworthy? Should they be leading us?

Separately, Trump is known to have put up fake Time magazine covers on the walls of his clubs. No-one disputes this. We all know he did it. Again, this is weird. Who does this? Who behaves like this? Would you respect a friend who did stuff like this?

Leaving aside the $25 million settlement for Trump University fraud, leaving aside the p$$$y grabbing and the porn stars, it makes no sense to those of us outside this cult how you could look at this man and think, yes lead me, yes represent me, yes be my guy.

It makes so little sense that we keep coming back to it. What is the matter with you all? Why can't you see that obvious conman is obvious?

I guess you can call that TDS if you like.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Chicago will sue actor Jussie Smollett after he refuses to pay for police overtime See in context

Wasting police time is bad.

If you do it maliciously you deserve punishment.

But do wasters of police time always get sue to pay police overtime?

Does this happen a lot in the US? I just googled "sue" "police" "overtime pay" and other such terms.

Every story seems to relate to Smollet. Of course, there will be recency bias on the search, but it seems hard to find similar cases (although there is an argument over police overtime concerning a Bernie Sanders rally it seems, I can't find much involving the general public..

I might be wrong, but it seems like this is a new development specifically for this guy.

Has, for example, no white person in history ever wasted police time (if that is what Smollet did?)

As another poster has pointed out, it looks vindictive and targeted.

No doubt someone will soon jump to accuse he of playing the race card, but this is an unusual development, is it not?

Please don't downvote without providing any evidence to the contrary. If you disagree that Smollet is being singled out, show us what you have! I am quite interested to see if anything like this has happened before. Perhaps it happens regularly, I don't know?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Odd translations found on English websites for tourists in Japan See in context

Having worked as an JE translator, and sometimes interpreter, for nearly 20 years in Japan, I can confirm there is a huge problem with (some) non-native English speakers thinking they know better than English speakers how to translate Japanese into English, as mentioned by others in this thread. I am posting this to offer these other translators my support, as some people are giving them criticism for writing what is an evident truth.

It is almost as if certain unnecessary editors feel that Japanese belongs to them and is theirs to mold even when it is being expressed through translation into another language. The reasons behind this are fascinating. I believe it relates to many issues, many of which are rooted in the common Japanese cultural belief that Japanese people and everyone else are virtually two different species.

This presumption explains why (some) Japanese people feel that non-Japanese can never truly understand (and therefore can never truly translate) their language.

In addition to the feeling that foreigners can never interpret Japanese properly, the desire to correct the English of native English speakers is also not unrelated to the low status of non-Japanese in any Japanese decision-making system, where, as far as is practical, people who are not Japanese are often not given responsibility for doing anything of lasting importance.

A third issue relates to the issue that was mentioned on JT the other day in the context of inefficient working practices. Many people feel that if a translation comes across there desk and they do not modify it, they are in danger of lowering their own value in the organization through failure to contribute.

As a final factor influencing the tendency of (some) Japanese people to (badly) police English language translation, we can throw in a sprinkling of frustration at difficulties speaking English despite years of study and confidence in one's ability in other areas, which results in a desire to "prove yourself". In Japan, in professional circles, the ability to speak good English, and show other people that you can, is a matter of status, so frequently people want to assert their credentials.

If you want a good translation of Japanese into English, you need a native English speaker. Of course, that native English speaker could be a Japanese person too. The native language requirement is however obvious and non-negotiable. It is sad that many non native English speakers in Japan have trouble accepting this and feel some odd threat when native English speakers tell them what their Japanese content should look like when translated into our language.

Note that this approach will not fly the other way around.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: High school teacher in hot water after forcibly giving male student a buzz cut See in context

Assault? pluuuuueaase, it's a hair cut

From the phrase "grabbed some hair clippers" and the information that the teacher was in the habit of screaming at his kids from the front of the class, it seems very likely that the teacher lost the plot and suddenly shaved him, in a very brusque way, right in front of his classmates. The story also says that the child then took time of school, suggesting he was traumatized by the experience. Is this really not a big deal for you? Forcibly shaving someone's hair in public has been used as a traditional punishment to disgrace wartime collaborators, for example. Most of humanity agrees that it is a serious public humiliation.

It is an incredible indictment of the morals of the principal that he thought it appropriate to let the situation slide. Of course, this is one of the downside's of the Japanese cultural tendency to view all unusual incidents as reflecting badly on all involved, with no case by case nuance. The principal knows he will be criticized for letting this happen in his school, so he does his utmost to hide it. This cover-up mechanism is not unique to Japan but the Japanese cultural structures and practices certainly amplify it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian senator censured for blaming Muslim victims See in context

There should be a discussion. Wanting to limit immigration especially from countries where people have the tendency to not follow the customs and traditions of their new host country does not mean you are a racist.

Sure, you are quite correct. Immigration is complex and wanting to discuss immigration does not automatically make the speaker a racist. Free-for-all immigration benefits no-one and there is a legitimate debate to be had over how far immigrants should be expected to conform to the traditions of their new home.

However, a reasoned debate about immigration is not the same as saying, immediately after the violent murder of innocent people, including children, "the main reason this happened is because these people are in our country in the first place".

People like antifa respond violently to racism and stereotyping of immigrants because they believe it is the first step on a slippery slope to the worst humanity has to offer, the separation and ultimate elimination of people's based on who they are. Demonizing a people is the first step towards genocide. This is what lies at the root of anti-fascist anger on anti-immigrant rhetoric. Of course, any movement can be hijacked and infiltrated by nutters who just like to smash things up. But the root cause of the righteous anger is not misplaced. Human society can go very wrong very quickly.

Of course, having large numbers of people in your community who don't speak your language or follow your traditions is seem as "society going very wrong" by certain people. But hopefully we can all agree that any "pain" suffered by people who don't like the immigrants they have to live with is incompatible to the pain of the immigrants themselves if they end up being treated like vermin and murdered. If you think otherwise, you might just be a fascist capable of such heinous attacks yourself.

Senator Anning's comments suggest he is indeed one of those who thinks otherwise. He comes across as suggesting that living with immigrants is just so terrible that if someone decides to kill them all, it simply can't be helped.

I would ordinarily agree that cracking eggs over people's heads is not a good way to conduct a debate, but It is this above line of thought that is so far "out there" that the egg becomes a minor, even praise-worthy, act of civil disobedience by comparison.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Australian senator censured for blaming Muslim victims See in context

It was wrong, it was cowardly, Sucker punching and coming up from behind is the absolute worst cowardly act there is.

The worst act there is? Really? Is it worse than saying "unarmed people who were shot dead while praying are to blame for there own deaths because they should not be there in the first place?"

Murdering someone is literal the worst act a human being can commit. So justifying murder is always going to over the line of what a civil society can tolerate. I think you know this.

So why are you saying hitting someone who says this with an egg is worse than the original statement?

What are the consequences of a fascist politician being hit with an egg? A dirty collar maybe. What are the consequences of politicians going on TV after a massacre to essentially say the dead deserved what they got?

It clearly raises the risk of further shooting. It could almost be seen as encouraging them. When someone is shot dead on account or their race/religion, and a politician's first reaction is "well, that lot should not be in our country anyway", it is so far over the line of any normal civilized discourse, so dangerous, so likely to incite further mob violence, that sometimes someone has to make a stand with a public statement that society just cannot tolerate the open expression of such views because the end result is that, through the cycle of violence, society collapses into flames.

Of course you will now be quick to point out that I am supporting retaliatory action against someone as a means of stoping them from encouraging further retaliatory action, but before you leap to call me a hypocrite, can I just point out that egging someone is not the same as refusing to condemn a shooting. I think you know this too.

If you find Anning’s comments racist, that’s your choice....

You do not seem to understand the seriousness of this at all. The problem is not just that is remarks are "racist". It is that they run the real risk of causing the further death of innocent people. The boy did not shoot the senator. He did not cause him grievous bodily harm. His actions drew the worlds attention to a poison in Australian society. By showing people where the line has been crossed, his actions made it less likely that other people will engage in similar inflammatory statements. His actions therefore decrease the risk of further hateful rhetoric and subsequent violence, and for that reason he is a hero.

It may surprise you that I don't actually condemn the senator for punching him back to be honest, it is a natural human reaction to having an egg cracked over your head. But the egg itself? A carefully considered and praiseworthy act of resistance to all that society can never tolerate.

So please don't abuse freedom of speech, which has its origins as a concept in the right to criticize the authorities without fear of arbitrary arrest, with the notion that anyone can say anything as inflammatory, noxious and despicable as they like without society letting them know their view are dangerous and not welcome.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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