jpn_guy comments

Posted in: Osaka downplays dispute over skin color in anime See in context

@Euro Dude

Maybe I misjudged your comment.

I guess the "racist sham" is the advert itself.

I though you might have been referring to the furore over it.

I am still not sure which to be honest.

In any case, hopefully we can all agree that Nissin were not motivated by spite and did something silly without thinking about it. It is not the biggest issue in the world, but it is not not an issue either, as Osaka says when she agrees they should consult with her on future occasions.

It is a bit of a distraction really. Let's hope she wins!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka downplays dispute over skin color in anime See in context

"She has too much common sense and good will to be part of this racisst sham."

What sham is this?

Osaka explicitly says that she understands why people are upset and that she hopes they will ask her next time before portraying her.

So while she accepts it was not done on purpose, she seems to be agreeing with the people who say it was weird to show her as white.

Of course, she is to be commended for saying this in the nicest possible way.

Again, where is the sham exactly?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Roma,' 'The Favourite,' 'Black Panther' get most Oscar nominations See in context

So "Belrick" makes the very first comment by saying: "Bohemian Rhapsody is awesome! Black Panther was total, racial garbage!"

Shinjuku no Yaju responds by saying "I do think that far to many people automatically dislike anything that has anything positive to say or show about people of African decent. Black Panther was not overalls racial in anyway unless having people of color existing is “racial” ".

And then ulysses says: "@Shinjuku no Yazu, please do not bring racial context into movie likes and dislikes".


A revealing little exchange there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to recommend southwest islands for UNESCO listing again See in context

[insert joke about registering the entire country here]

To be honest, the strangest thing for me is the way visit numbers soar once a UNESCO listing is granted.

Do people in Japan not know what is worth seeing in their own country?

Does the listing change the experience in any meaningful way?

The huge boost in numbers suggests that some people don't think a place is worth visiting and then suddenly when it has a UNESCO listing they do, despite the fact the place has not changed.

Maybe a lot of this is due to the media coverage of the registration serving as a form of proxy advertising but it is still a rather peculiar phenomena, given that if a place is worth of an international listing local people surely known about its attractions already?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese teacher punches high school boy in face; social media on his side See in context

I'm sure a lot of foreign residents had the same reaction I did when seeing this on the news. The announcer said that a teacher had punched a student in the face and I could not believe it was not a police matter. This happens all the time in Japan, horrible bullying teachers creating a toxic atmosphere (particularly during club activities) acting in a way that would get you arrested if you did it in the street, and then hanging on to their jobs. It is incredible how much teachers can do without getting sacked or facing charges.

But is this really one of those cases? Watching the footage changed my mind to be honest . Once a kid is up in the teacher's face saying その小さい脳みそで考えろよ (which in Japanese, given the way you are supposed to talk to teachers using teineigo, is probably even ruder that "have a think about that you dumbass"), what is the teacher supposed to do?

Let's go the other way and imagine the teacher does not hit him. What happens then? Then he is on the Internet being abused by a student and just taking it. He becomes a soft mark. Other kids will join in, the teachers classes will deteriorate into a mess, and he will have lost all control and authority. Sure violence is not the only solution, but isn't the student getting a quick slap better than the alternative outcome - a teacher continually disrespected and abused by his student? You could argue persuasively that a better teacher might never have let it get to this point, but once the student is this far over the line...well, it's a not a simple matter.

Imagine one of your kids is in the class with the teacher who is now unable to teach because he is being constantly bullied by his own students.

There are probably structural issues with the teacher-student relationship at the school. The teacher may have insufficient support. From the language of the kid, we can guess the school is in an area with intake from poor struggling families with terrible parenting models.

So there is a lot going on here. Violence is wrong. But there is no follow up punch and the teacher does not get the red mist and lose it completely. Abusive students ruining education for everyone else is not a better option.

Some posters are saying that all the teacher has done is teach the child that violence solves problems.

That is one way of looking at it. Another way is that he has taught him that you cannot cross the line and say whatever you like to whoever you like however you like and expect to get away with it.

In an alternative timeline may be the student who escaped a smacking here goes on to cross the line later in his life with someone more dangerous than a teacher and things then work out badly for him. Maybe he should be grateful?

Still, the teacher needs some sort of discipline. I would suspend him for two or three months maybe. In the UK, he would be sacked of course. That I would disagree with.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Bangladeshi asylum seeker's handcuffed hospital visit sparks debate See in context

He is detained because he stayed illegally, which means he already broke the law,

The way people like you think is so sad. Sometimes people are in desperate situations. Sometimes people need help. The Japanese government refuses to help refugees, despite signing international treaties pledging to uphold refugees rights (in much the same way as Japan signed the  Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination but has not put in place any laws to back it up).

In any case, when you criticize the detainee saying "he already broke the law", you are not really making any sense.

If a country decides to criminalize or otherwise mistreat almost all those who make applications for asylum, then maybe those people are technically "illegal", but the question is whether they have been treated just and fairly in accordance with international law in the first place.

This is the problem with right wing political philsophy. Any government or authority can put in place any set of rules, no matter how unjust, and as soon as an individual is found to be in violation of those rules, rightists do not look to the people who put the rules in place and demand they stop behaving unjustly. Instead, like little sheep they repeat "he broke a rule, bad man - he broke a rule, bad man". over and over, refusing to see any form of nuance, refusing to recognize that not all rules, laws and procedures are just, and refusing to see the humanity in the individuals punished under the scope of the unjust treatment.

This is how you can identify a Republican in the US and an LDP supporter in Japan.

A picture of a handcuffed man on a rope is a good litmus test.

Thoughful people will see a man in handcuffs and ask - does he deserve it? What has he done? Why did he act the way he acted? What would I have done were I in his position? Is his treatment just?

However, many are not troubled by such difficult thoughts - they simply repeat 'he was detained, must be evil; he was detained must be evil; he was detained must be evil - with no regard to the context behind the detention.

If you are sworn by legal arguments, be reminded that seeking asylum is not illegal.

Perhaps you could all try repeating a new mantra - human beings have an inalienable right to seek refuge from violence, human beings have an inalienable right to seek refuge from violence, human beings have an inalienable right to seek refuge from violence.

Do you rely believe all of the 99.8% of asylum applications refused by Japan are fraudulent? What horrendous cynicism.

A further irony is that these asylum seekers are displaying exactly the kind of drive, energy, and desire to struggle, improve their situation and succeed that many right wing voters see, when it suits their agenda, as core elements of desirable human behavior.

Why not raise a glass to these brave men and women and their endeavor?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Bangladeshi asylum seeker's handcuffed hospital visit sparks debate See in context

Interested in the reasons for the downvotes above.

What is it that you disagree with?

Do you think that genuine asylum seekers, who Japan is sworn under international law to protect, should be treated as criminals simply because Japan fraudulently fails to accept genuine application? A 99.8% rejection rate is extremely strong evidence that is what they are doing.

Do you think that leading human around on ropes is not demeaning and unnecessary? (particularly the individual is not a criminal suspect and they are already handcuffed and in slippers and surrounded by multiple officers)

Do you disagree that the Japanese justice system is arbitrary (meaning that judgements are based on who in trouble rather than what they did with the same treatment for everyone, regardless of status?)

I wonder who disagrees with these statements. Japanese government employees monitoring these boards for "anti" comments? New arrivals who don't yet really understand how Japan works as a nation? Bilingual nationalists determined to defend Japan against all and any criticism (there are quite a few of those lurking on these boards).

In any case, regardless of your objections, this roping asylum seekers terrible in the international news. I thought Japan looking bad internationally was something that the nationalists were always so very keen to avoid?

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Posted in: Bangladeshi asylum seeker's handcuffed hospital visit sparks debate See in context

@Furan If he's detained by authorities, then he must have overstayed his visa or broke some form of immigration procedure, something this article cleverly left out. Ergo, 自業自得.

You aren't detained for seeking asylum

Well, once again we have people dismissing the plight of those who have much more difficult lives than themselves while confidently putting out opinions that don't tell the whole story.

Legally speaking, you cannot be detained for seeking asylum. However, Japan rejects 99.8% of applicants far more than any other prosperous democratic (democratic?) nation.

Once the appeals are rejected, the rejected applicants are treated as overstayers.

But it seems extremely unlikely that 99.8% of applications are false, considering the rates of genuine cases found by authorities investigating in other nations, even those like Australia where the climate for refugees can be quite hostile.

Of course we do not know about this particular individual, but the 99.8% rejection rate makes it extraordinarily likely that hundreds of genuine applicants are in immigration detention.

This issue has recently been picked up by the mainstream Japanese press, again, not known for their love of refugees and immigrants. This was following a number of suicides of people in detention. Of course a suicide cannot prove a genuine application, but it is further evidence that this is not just about people gaming the system to get into Japan, but people with a genuine fear of going back home.

So your conclusion that he "must have broke some form of procedure" is correct in a manner of speaking.

However since virtually all refugee applicants, including large number of genuine refugees, are rejected by Japan, they become overstayers as a result of Japan's failure to honor its international obligations towards then, rather than as a result of their own wrongdoing.

Your target of your scorn is misplaced.

And separately, a handcuffed human being in slippers surrounded by three officers does not need to be on the end of a rope like a dog.

If you live in Japan, you live in a country with an arbitrary justice system.

Which means, even if you do nothing wrong, that might be you on the end of that leash one day, so you could try exercising a little compassion.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

Posted in: 'We don’t need an age of women,' Japanese commercial says; then hits actress in face with cream See in context

I would like to offer an alternative interpretation here. Although the ad is odd, I believe the theme here is quite consistent.

The actress is lamenting the way women are put down and ignored in society but saying the way to solve this is for each individual to push forward and be judged on their own merits, not by creating a culture where women are put on a pedestal simply for being women.

Now it is debatable whether anyone, in real life, is actually saying that "women are put on a pedestal simply for being women" but that at least is the internal logic of the ad.

The ad does not really contain the three logically inconsistent stages claimed in this article.

Part of the culprit here is a possible mistranslation.

もてはやされるだけの「女の時代」なら、永遠にこなくていい。(Motehayasareru dake no onna no jidai nara, eien ni konakute ii)

I don't think this can be translated as "If you’re going to keep crowing about the ‘Age of Women,’ then we think it’s fine if it never comes.”

This does not really make much sense as an English sentence, which is a good clue something has gone wrong.

The problem here is that the original Japanese provides neither object nor subject for the verb 'motehayasu', and this is left to the reader to infer.

もてはやすmeans to make a fuss of, make the center of attention. The translator mistakenly thinks "Era of Women" is the object of the verb 'motehayasu'.

But you cannot make an era the center of attention, at least not in the usual sense of 'motehayasu' which implies someone being praised, fawned over and talked about in a social context. The true object of this sentence is simply "women" themselves.

(In other wordsもてはやされるだけの「女の時代」 is short for 女がもてはやされるだけの「女の時代」)

With this interpretation, we can see the full original sentence means something along the lines of "If your 'Age of Women' simply means making a fuss over women just because they are women, I hope that age never comes!"

Now we have the correct meaning sorted, we can see a defiant woman saying, 'if your idea of an era for women is that we simply go on about women as if we are inherently special based on our gender, well, you can stick it'.

Looking at the rest of the piece suggests this interpretation is correct. It ties consistently in backwards to the complaints about how women are treated. It also consistently ties in forwards to the subsequent statement about how a key idea for the future is your confidence in yourself as an individual, not simply as a representative of your gender.

Now we are free to interpret the pie throwing as "the adversity and difficulty that life throws at people, particularly women" and the actress reaction as her ability to "battle her way through life as an individual", and we don't need a dodgy sexual metaphor (although given that this is the advertising industry we are talking about so it is probably that as well!)

I have to admit that it is difficult to pick up this interpretation from simply the written text. And it seems that some Japanese viewers are also confused about the message, which of course would not relate to the mistranslation in English. So, yes, it is an inherently peculiar video to begin with, leaving aside additional translation issues.

But if you actually watch the video and catch the pitch changes and emotional nuance in the actress' voice, then the ad makers intention becomes very clear.

It also confirms that the headline for this piece is rather misleading.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Shop selling sharkskin products hoping to revive tsunami-hit city See in context

This is a general problem with Japanese news, the inability to put more than one view point in a story.

If the story involves someone trying hard or doing their best, this is doubly so. It's as if having an industrious person in the story automatically cancels out other considerations. There is also a huge "pro-commerce" bias.

How many other long term residents of Japan can confirm that the news will move from reporting on Japan's efforts to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets before immediately, and without irony or missing a beat, going on to talk in glowing, excited tones about the new deliveries of tons and tons of Beaujolais Nouveau being transported by air from France?

Part of this is down to the Japanese culture of conflict avoidance. This approach has advantages too. For example, in Japan we do not see rightists demanding that they stop teaching evolution in schools, since not everything has to be black and white and everyone is more comfortable with contradiction.

The flip side of this is that, particularly where the negative elements of business activity are concerned, points of view that seem obviously relevant and pertinent to the Western reader get entirely left out of the story.

As Japan Today has news from variety of sources, we do not see this too much, but believe me, (as that chap likes to say) when I tell you that the local news in Japanese for domestic consumption is viewpoint blind like this most of the time in most areas.

Lack of exposure to mutually competing arguments is also relates to generally poor problem-solving skills, discomfort when having discussions and, indirectly (though not that indirectly) to terrible English ability.

In any case, if this article were in Japanese, I suspect the vast majority of local people who read it would see absolutely nothing wrong or missing.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Actress Yoshiko Mita’s son gets suspended sentence after 4th arrest for using stimulant drugs See in context


I love that on this site you are one of the few long term residents who seems settled and happy here, but it seems that sometimes your love for Japan includes more than a little side dish of willful denial.

How can you possibly live in Japan for decades the wealthy and connected don't necessarily get special treatment.

I'm not saying this is a purely Japanese phenomenon, far from it, but any analysis of criminal cases in the public eye demonstrates this clearly.

And this is not just restricted to the justice system. If you know how society here, works you know connections are everything. As you said above in your own post, different societies work in different ways.

There is a definite feeling here that someone who has made other positive contributions to society has earned the right to avoid severe punishment for themselves and their family and meting it out to them is practically rude.

You will remember Tetsuya Komura and his huge fraud case. You will remember Inagaki "member" from SMAP who was not given the usual 'yogisha' (suspect) suffix after an arrest.

Of course you will say this is all anecdotal, but c'mon man, you can love Japan without issuing misleading denials. People thinking of moving to Japan need to be informed what the society is like so they can make an informed choice over whether to live there or not.

My current feeling is that public information on Japan in English is so polluted denialist rhetoric that it does not allow people from overseas to exercise informed consent on what in means to live in Japanese society and what you can expect as a resident.

The justice system is two-tier. If you live in Japan and speak and read the language, denying this is like denying the rising of the sun.

Remember the journalist accused of sexual assault on the point of arrest at the airport before he was let through after a phone call from on high? The list of cases like this is endless. Why is Ghosn in custody but no-one from Takeda, Olympus, Toshiba, TEPCO...

You can refuse to bow before anything but hard data if you like, but one can go on and on with this, the weight of anecdotal evidence indicating bias in the Japanese justice system is quite staggering.

And where is this hard data going to come from anyway? Do you think the government keeps statistics on how well people are treated vs. how well connected they are?

How does one measure well-connecteness as a scientific variable.

Sometimes mate you just have to observe the world about you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ski jumper Kasai says he'll compete in Beijing Olympics, at 49 See in context

To provide some appropriate context for this article, the writer would do well to mention the Japan ski jump team victory on home soil (home snow?) in 1998 in Nagano.

The gold medal won by Harada, Funaki, Okabe and Saito is one of the most well-known moments in Japanese Olympic history, summer or winter.

The one name missing from that list of gold medallists explains a lot about Kasai's obsession.

Kasai is an amazing athlete and an incredible man.

It is a little worrying though to hear him talk with certainty about going for a medal at 49.

I hope he will be able to find peace in his eventual retirement.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman gives birth on train at station in Chiba See in context

Good to hear this story had a happy ending and fair play to everyone who helped out.

A big congratulations to the mother and baby!

A nurse and doctor who were passengers dashed to the car of the train, which was bound for Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, from Tokyo's Shinagawa Station, but they arrived only after the birth, the witness said.


The following may be an excessively negative comment to add to a happy story, but there's no where else to put it where it would be relevant so, with apologies, I will say the following:

The article in general and this sentence in particular lack any semblance of the rhythmical ebb and flow one expects to find in professional writing. The overall level of quality is poor. The decisions on ordering and structuring the information in the article are atrocious.

In summary, reading it makes my ears bleed. I hope other readers also notice and point this out to encourage a better standard of writing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to curb asylum seekers' right to work from Monday See in context

I agree that's possible, but 417,000 unique detainees still sounds like a huge number, which is why there has to be some repetition.

And the article specifically mentions the same individuals can be included in the total more than once.

This is exactly the type of note a translator adds to a translation when faced with the vague Japanese word 'nobe' (meaning cumulative total) accompanied by a ridiculous figure that bears no relation to reality.

If there were 417,000 people who had been detained in 2016, it would still mean that an average of more than 1,000 new individuals were being brought into detention (however defined) each day, which seems far in excess of the impression given by media coverage of the issue over the years.

Given that a lot of the discussion on this board is revolving around everyone's surprise over this total, maybe JT can confirm??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to curb asylum seekers' right to work from Monday See in context

Or you could just edit the article to remove the reference that is misleading and unclear. It lower the quality of the page when a misunderstanding is the major source of reader comment. Cheers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to curb asylum seekers' right to work from Monday See in context

Many commenters have noted that the figure of 417,383 people seems absurd.

I would place a heavy bet that the data in the original Japanese is 延べ 417383人.

延べ(nobe) is a nightmare for translators as it simply means "cumulative".

However it provides no clue as to how the cumulative calculation was conducted.

This is why the articles says "The figure includes those detained more than once during the year, however" .

This creates the impression that we are counting people who were detained, released and detained again and that the repeat detainees are a minority of the total. Neither of these implications is likely true.

Based on various translations of various reports I have done over the years, I would say it is far more likely that they have simply added the daily totals of people in detention on each night to create a yearly total (which is essentially meaningless).

If you divide 417,383 by 365 you get 1143, which is well within the 1,800 capacity mentioned by bullfighter, above, and a number that tallies more closely with common sense, given that there are fewer than 3 million foreigners in Japan in total, legal or illegal, and a very small population in detention.

Here is an example of how Nobe is often used.

Imagine a ski resort says it has 'Nobe' 100-thousand customers over the month. This will simply be a total from each day added together, so anyone staying at the resort and ski-ing over multiple days is counted as a separate individual on each day. There is no way to tell how many actual individuals visited the resort, nor the proportion of day trippers, weekenders or students on their winter break going virtually every day in the month.

This method of counting is favored when it is difficult to figure out who is a repeat visitor and who is not. It is also favored by organizers of events who want to inflate attendance for whatever reason.

It is of course completely inappropriate for a detention situation, even if the underlying 'logic' behind the repetition and accumulation is the same.

The figures were presumably released by the Immigration Department. Perhaps they have a vested interest in making the numbers sound large, both to frighten the population as to the scope of the immigrant scourge, and also to justify their budgets (although you would think the bean counters in the finance ministry are familiar with 'Nobe' shenanigans.

Given that the information in this comment will completely change how most readers interpret this article, I hope that JT could do me the favor of bumping it up the page. Cheers

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 2017 imported vehicle sales in Japan highest in 20 years See in context

@BB - I think the figures for Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers are for vehicles made abroad and re-imported back to Japan, so maybe it excludes the domestic production which, as you rightly say, would be a lot larger. Cheers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese cram school gives students permission to smash window, break into building on test day See in context

OK, sorry, you are right, that was unnecessary. I take it back but can't edit or delete. So I 'll just leave this apology here. Have a good weekend.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Restaurant manager arrested for shooting dozens of toothpicks into face of employee with toy crossbow See in context

So after the story the other day about the woman tattooed against her will on her 'butt', now we have another story about horrific physical abuse coupled with (in places) a light-hearted frat boy tone.

Is this going to be a new trend? Are we going for the Logan Paul vibe here?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese cram school gives students permission to smash window, break into building on test day See in context

Guys, guys, guys, what is with all the outrage? It is explained (imperfectly) in the final paragraph.

But @nemuizZ thinks there might be a subtler purpose to the sign. Even with their school’s permission, many teens would feel a natural resistance to break into the building, especially if they knew they’d also have to run from the police. So @nemuizZ’s theory is that by putting the sign up ahead of time and spelling out the undesirable scenario that could unfold, it’ll encourage students to be extra-diligent about not leaving anything behind in the classroom.

If you can read Japanese and understand the tone, the whole post is clearly a warning, in the form of ridiculous parody advice, to make sure the kids don't leave anything behind. The idea in Japanese culture that responsible adults would suggest kids take action that would result in them having to run from the police is so ludicrous that this can only be interpreted in this comedic way. It gets people attention, and its very well done.

The reason I say that the final paragraph explains the situation imperfectly is that it uses the phrase "even with their school’s permission". This is not correct. As the statement is not serious, the school is not granting "permission" at all. They credit their kids with enough intelligence to realize this.

I am surprised to see so many people failing to catch this interpretation and taking the statement at face value.

In the UK, it might be true that the police have given up even chasing people who, say, shop lift less than 100 pounds worth of goods. But in Japan, any trouble with the police can ruin your life and reputation. This knowledge should be enough to confirm that the school is not seriously suggesting students should break in and try to evade officers on the way out. If the statement simply said only 'feel free to break in but you would have to pay us for the damage' then the jury might be out on whether the advice was genuine or not but adding 'you'll have to be quick as the police will be their in three minutes' clearly marks this out as fake news.

I would not be surprised if they have staff at the school on the morning as others have suggested. They are just trying to help the kids by coming up with a novel way of attracting their attention and encouraging them to get their stuff together.

Most stupid and dangerous idea imo. Wasting police time. Criminal damage. Possible injury to students. The person who thought of this idea needs a reality check. Get your lazy butt into the office early on this day, if you think the problem exists.

Absolute irony bypass here mate, sorry.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo man arrested for forcibly tattooing his initials into the butt of a maid cafe employee See in context

Agree with the above posters.

While the major issue is obviously assault and not the language used, the word 'butt' here is really jarring and odd. The fact that it stays here on your front page represents a major lack editorial judgement.

It shows a lack of awareness of how language and communication works.

As a very casual word, it has a knock-on effect on the rest of the piece, even having the effect of making the "This ostensibly makes him her boss, adding another layer of horror to her abuse." sound slightly sarcastic (although I am sure this is unintended).

Either way, both author and editor need to up their game here.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump book author says his revelations will bring down U.S. president See in context


Super lib commented

Trump owes our people tens of millions for his fake university

You replied

So you don’t think going to a place like Harvard and paying over $50K a year is not a ripoff?

I have to say that of all the crazy stuff you have posted in defense of Trump since his election, this is by far the most bananas. It is valuable though to have your comments as it reveals just how detached from the real world Trump supporters are and how you will do anything to support him, even completely defying logic.

So let's break this down.

Do you know what 'high pressure sales tactics' are? They are well-known, well-documented techniques for persuading people to part with their money and buy something they do not really want or need. One of the key techniques this: you offer someone something for free that piques their interest. when they attend your course/lecture/seminar or whatever, instead of actually giving them any information, you spent the entire time telling them that if they pay you just a small amount of money, you will let them in on a secret.

A proportion of your audience will take up the offer and decide to spend the $50, $100 or whatever. Then, once they've spent the money, instead of actually revealing the secret, you spend the entire time telling them that now, if they pony up $1000 they will be let in on the 'real secret'.

This is psychologically extremely clever. If the mark walks away without buying the thousand dollar course they have wasted $100. However, cognitive dissonance does not allow them to believe they are stupid enough to have paid $100 for no reason. They don't want to waste the money they have already sunk, so they take the plunge and go further, thinking that this will justify the expense.

Of course, once they pay the thousand dollars, the special course consists of nothing more than sales patter to convince them that if they really want to find out the 'final' truth, they need to stump up say, $30,000. Now it's even more difficult to say no, or they will have to admit to themselves that they have just wasted $1000. And of course the $30,000 course still does not magically transform the buyer (who can ill-afford to lose the 30-thousand) into a real estate magnate.

These are the techniques allegedly used by Trump University. These accusations are documented by Trump University employees in the depositions given to the court. This is all public knowledge. What's worse is that these fraudulent up-selling techniques were, according to the depositions, combined with attempts to get people to max out their credit cards to pay for this nonsense. This information is again, all in the court depositions.

You might think the depositions are false, maybe someone with an ax to grind, but the man you wanted to be the leader of the "free world", the man who you seem so determined to defend all costs, paid $25 million to settle so you can't pull the 'nothing burger' response here.

It's utterly unbelievable that a guy who behaves like this is not only now the most leader man in the world, but also has the support of right-wing Christians who see themselves as upstanding moral people who would not trick someone out of a dime.

The only reason that Trump University is not a bigger issue is that it has been swamped by the continuous stream of craziness that has happened before and since.

$25 million to settle fraud for a "University" allegedly run on well-known pressure selling principles with absolutely no academic content. And your response is:

"Well, it costs $50,000 to study at Harvard, so that's just as bad, isn't it?"

Are you saying that Harvard also uses psychologically-based up-selling techniques and escalation to scam people into buying something of no value? Is that really what you are saying?

If you want to defend your guy at all costs, then that is your right, but just remember that the rest of us can see that your arguments do not really stand up.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan on Olympic drive to get rid of squat toilets See in context

While they are improving washrooms for the Olympics, perhaps the government could encourage JR to add some hot water, soap and dryers to their station washrooms?

Totally disgusting how in many stations, including Shinjuku, the busiest station in the world, the only option for tourists caught short without their own detergent / towel would be to not wash at all or simply wet their hands in cold water.

Given that most people will be arriving in Japan thinking it is some kind of hi-tech country, I doubt many of these visitors will realize they have to carry their own supplies around if they want to be hygienic.


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony Pictures plans to release Slender Man movie See in context

Geyser, now 15, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide in a deal with prosecutors, who have asked she get at least 40 years in a mental hospital when she's sentenced in February

> Sony Pictures plans to release a "Slender Man" movie this spring

You might all think that this seems like a pretty scummy thing to do, but Sony is an honorable company so I'm sure the timing is just coincidence.

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Posted in: No. of Japanese tourists to Guam plunging on N Korea missile scare See in context

I sometimes visit Hawaii and am always satisfied. I would not really consider paying slightly less to go to Guam considering flight time is only marginally shorter.

Guam is four hours away. Hawaii is eight.

This means a two or three night break is feasible for Guam but rather ridiculous for Hawaii.

Not sure I would use the phrase 'marginally shorter'.

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Posted in: Mitsubishi says it is on track to deliver long-delayed jets by 2020 See in context

It is very interesting to see psychologically how this works.

Mitsubishi is going to be seven years late with their plane. Yet ANA are still standing by them.

If this was a non-Japanese manufacturer, they would have cancelled the deal long ago, with all the attendant bad publicity, which would reinforce the widely held belief that foreigners are unreliable and can't do things properly.

However, as it is, it is a Japanese firm that is failing to get its act together and the issue just keeps trundling along. The lack of drastic action and subsequent wall-to-wall media coverage of a huge dispute allows people to kind of ignore what is happening, and hang on to the belief that Japanese companies are, by default, far more trustworthy than their overseas counterparts.

Obviously, people in all countries of the world cut their own some slack (and maybe there is government pressure on ANA not to pull out) but in this case it is more than a little jarring due to the kind of statements you will hear local people come out with about Japanese reliability, efficient and on time delivery and whining that foreigners can't do things properly (comments which you will have heard if you have worked for a Japanese manufacturer).

It is almost as if incidents that confirm existing prejudices are widely trumpeted while those that do not are quietly forgotten about.

Anyway, I hope they get the aircraft ready eventually. It will be cool for Japan to have its own domestic-made plane.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 'The Last Jedi' is a hit but how much did audiences like it? See in context


Wait a second, are you saying any movie with black and Asian lead actors will always suck?

It sounds like you are saying that when there is a choice between a non-white and white actor, selecting a white actor will always make the movie more enjoyable and selecting a non-white actor will always spoil your fun.

So you can only enjoy a movie if the leads are the same race as you are?

What happened to you to make you racist?

I feel sorry for you. How sad that your enjoyment of a movie is so affected by the race of the cast.

Life must be a struggle for you having to see all these brown faces everywhere.

If only they all went back to their own country, eh?

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Posted in: Shiga Pref men have longest life expectancy among men in Japan; Nagano for women See in context

@Dango bong, come on mate, you know that makes no sense!

It is not like there is only one factor involved. Maybe due to other lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, Japanese people are destined to live much longer and then the smoking reduces that difference but not enough to overturn it completely?

If more people in Japan quit, maybe the lifespan gap would be even larger?

Why would you just rule that out as a possibility and declare there is no link?

(P.S. disgusting habit, especially in restaurants where it shows a complete lack of manners)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Democrat Jones wins U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in blow to Trump See in context

Posters seem to be ignoring a key issue in Moore's defeat.

There was a high turnout of black voters and 96% of them voted against Moore, which might have something to do with him saying this:

“I think the US was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

He said this in response to a question about 'when was America previously great?'.

This is a fantastic question, as MAGA clearly implies that the US was better in the past, but at any time prior to 1965 the US had legally institutionalized racial discrimination, so anyone who identifies the 'was great' period as prior to 1965 is a racist by definition. Note also that more does not include black people in the definition of 'families' and implies that they are not part of 'our country'.

@bassforfunk - so what do you think about Trump endorsing this guy after he said this, given that you are continually telling us how 'not racist' Trump is?

(I would also like to ask you about his full-page newspaper advert calling for the death of the Central Park Five (later proved innocent) and his campaigns to keep black people out of his rental properties, but I guess we cannot go into that without getting off topic, so we'll save that for another thread)

Anyway, it goes without saying, but suggesting that America was better during slavery completely disregards the well-being of African Americans as a factor in when the US was closest to the society it should aim to be. Totally discounting the rights and happiness of one racial group is virtually the definition of racism.

For most ordinary politicians, these sorts of extreme views would be a deal breaker.

Not for Trump though.

Why wasn't this a deal breaker for Trump, your friendly 'non-racist'?

Because 'good people on both sides?' maybe?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers 10 consecutive days off around crown prince's succession See in context

Firstly, I hope his Imperial Majesty enjoys a long and healthy retirement.

On the holidays though:

If there are 10 days off, it is of course a boon for employees who can claim a salary.

But what about independent contractors, freelancers and small businesses who, unless working on long term project, might then forced to go 10 days with reduced or no income?

Many people work independently providing services to larger companies and are forced to go without earnings for at least some of the period their clients are not operating. This happens every year around the New Year, Golden Week and O-bon. It is to an extend unavoidable and a prudent contractor will seek a longer term project or budget for the shortfall.

But isn't a 10 day break just making life unnecessarily difficult and ignoring the needs of these workers to an unacceptable degree?

I wonder if any of the politicians advocating this have thought of people in this position?

Admittedly the 10 day period contains 2 weekends so some people might think it is not as bad as it sounds, but it still quite a blow to the wallet, given that when major businesses are operating, contractors (be they system engineers, website designers, translators, or printing firms) frequently get work on a Friday for Monday delivery.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

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