jpn_guy comments

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'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

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 )

Posted in: Australian lawmaker proposes to same-sex partner on floor of parliament See in context

The House of Commons in the UK...tends to be more about ad hominems, people telling us that the previous administration were even more incompetent than they are, and others making farmyard noises. 

I’m not too familiar with the Australian Parliament. Is it any better?

No, it is not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Court finds constitutional male-only denial of legal fatherhood See in context

In such a situation, is the real father not allowed to claim paternity?

No he is not. According to Article 772 of the Civil Code, a child born more than 200 days after the day of a marriage and within 300 days of the end of a marriage are automatically the child of the legal husband, and that status cannot be challenged. That is why the woman only had the choice of registering with the "wrong" father or not registering the kid at all.

I read years ago this provision was originally introduced to protect kids born around the time of the dissolution of a relationship to prevent both the old guy and the new guy denying the kid was theirs, leaving them with no father to support them. This is enforced even if it results in the father being the wrong guy and someone the mother is specifically trying to remove from her life.

The biological father, for his part, simply has no claim and no means at all of asserting paternity if the birth occurs while the mother is married to someone else or if the mother is recently divorced. (The 300 days was recently amended to 100 days following a court case, but of course that is still long enough to cause problems, particularly when parents are separated already).

With DNA testing now available, even the 100-day law is still ridiculous, but well....because Japanese politicians.

Maybe DNA testing will be referenced in an amended law eventually. Let's hope.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Police question Hakuho as witness in assault case See in context

The TV news this morning said that Hakuho was interviewed for 7.5 hours, which seems a little excessive for an innocent witness.

I think clamenza may be right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Sumo grand champion Harumafuji retires over assault See in context


Hakuho is popular, and that helps him. He may not realize it, but he may also be walking on thin ice.  There is muttering about his unkind habit of pushing opponents off the dohyo AFTER they have clearly lost. There was resentment when he spoke at length in Mongolian in a yusho interview a few tournaments back.... There has been severe criticism of his bad decision to raise his hand to call for the judges after losing his bout on the 13th day

This is what I am talking about: the most dominant, skillful, powerful wrestler the sport has ever seen and does he get respect? No, he gets sniping, constantly about this, that and the other.

I disagree that he does not realize he is on thin ice though. I think he knows it all too well and is fed up with it.

In the bout on Day 14, when he needed a win to take the tourney, did you notice how he led with his elbow/upper arm (kachiage), a technique he has been criticized for using in the past, even though it is within the rules written by the Sumo Association themselves?

I took that as a big "screw you all". Maybe that's just me.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Sumo grand champion Harumafuji retires over assault See in context

@Droll Quarry

There was indeed a photo of his head. The cut looked very deep and nasty.

So I don't think it is in dispute that he was hit quite hard.

But there is a big difference between a horrible looking cut and a fractured skull / leaking cerebrospinal fluid.

Even with the cut, it is unacceptable and violent, but it is additional potentially life-threatening injuries listed on the medical form that have people questioning Takanohana's motives.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sumo grand champion Harumafuji retires over assault See in context

Everything you describe above also includes the sumo wrestlers from Bulgaria, Georgia and many other countries whom people don't get to see on TV.

I would imagine they had it difficult too. They were not as successful as the Mongolians though. It has to be particularly hard for the top Mongolian wrestlers, who are so strong and dominant, to still have people still whine about them and their lack of hinkaku (which I will translate as dignify and grace as personified by a good Japanese), a set of ever moving criteria which they can never hope to satisfy.

How do you explain Hakuho? HIs popularity?

I agree that a number of people do love Hakuho and it is great. Quite a lot don't though, which, if you read Japanese, you can see for yourself in the way that he is slated in forums online all the time for all manner of infractions, both real and imagined.

Maybe I'm pushing it trying to generate sympathy for a man who has come to Japan and made millions from the Japanese public, but unfortunately he does not have anything like the sort of universal acclaim you would expect for his status as probably the best wrestler the sport has ever seen.

I can't spend time cutting and pasting quotes, but please go ahead and find any story on, for example, Yahoo! Japan, read the Japanese comments, and then come back and tell us if everyone loves Hakuho. I know the internet can bring out the worst in people so maybe it is not a representative sample, but the vitriol he gets is remarkable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Dentsu to pay Y2.4 billion for overtime work See in context

Utter scum.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Sumo grand champion Harumafuji retires over assault See in context

Was this whole thing a set-up to get rid of foreign yokozuna?

Well that is the elephant in the room here. Look at the actors in this drama - Harumafuji's stable master, Takanoiwa's stable master, the head of the sumo association: they are all former yokozuna.

If the sumo association is run by former yokozuna then, as Mongolian's currently dominate, it stands to reason that the sumo association will be (would have been?) dominated by Monogolian-born wrestlers at some point in the future if "nothing is done".

It is amazing how this obvious angle never gets referred to.

Notwithstanding that omission, there was a remarkable section on Fuji TV this morning (a channel not known for highlighting of foreigners rights issues) saying how, when the wrestlers tour the country in the "off-season" Takanohana treats all the Mongolians with total disrespect, ignoring them when they greet him and leaving the ringside when the Mongolian yokozuna start their practice, even though he has already watched everyone else.

A story was even told about Takanohana instructing a bus driver to leave when Hakuho and his entourage were five minutes late - the speaker claimed to have seen this first hand but the other studio guests refused to believe it as it seems so outrageous.

This was all on Fuji TV's "Tokudane" at around 8 this morning.

Anyway, in a story that could easily be editorialized as "foreign wrestler is violent, foreigners are out of order", there was a surprising emphasis on the discrimination faced by the Mongolians and how much tension and stress they must be under as they try to make it in Japan. Of course, there was no discussion of how the tendency in Japan to constantly emphasize the difference betweenJapanese / not-Japanese in all situations and at all times can cause stress and feelings of alienation in the parties so excluded, but, for the Japanese media, it was pretty revolutionary stuff. Dave Spector was on the panel, so fair play to him if he had any influence on the discussion.

I've commented on before on how the deck is stacked against the Mongolians. The Monogolian guys learn Japanese and devote themselves to the culture. When they win, they have to stand under the Japanese flag and listen to the Japanese national anthem, which they do without complaint. When they retire, if they want to own a stable they have to give up their Mongolian nationality (which puts the in them impossible position of being forced to chose whether to continue in the sport they have dedicated themselves to or whether to dishonor their parents). They have already given up their Mongolian names.

Despite all this, when there were no Japanese Yokozuna, the media went on about the public 'longing' to see a Japanese yokozuna in the ring. It is natural to support your countrymen, but weren't the Mongolian Yokozuna indirectly being told that, despite their sacrifice, they were not really welcome?

None of this justifies violence. But then we also have the peculiar matter of how Takanoiwa's medical reports, as submitted by Takanohana when filing the police complaint, claimed Takanoiwa had a suspected fractured skull and leaking cerebrospinal fluid. Of course this made the police pay attention.

The thing is this: Takanoiwa was photographed smiling at training the following day and them making a courtesy visit to a local city hall in Fukuoka. This would seem difficult with a fractured skull. Maybe he was genuinely injured and it suddenly got worse. That said, despite the skull fracture, the report said he would heal in two weeks (and it was conveniently issued around two weeks after the event).

But remember the wrestler who died after a beating a few years ago? Although he was beaten black and blue, the first doctor to examine the body said he died of natural causes. So it is a matter of public record that there are doctors prepared to bend the truth when asked to do so by a stable master.

This an angle which the media also fail to discuss.

The true extent of Takanoiwa's injuries will probably never be known.

So first Asashoryu and now Harumafuji. Maybe they should just get it over with and ban foreign wrestlers, as perhaps some people would prefer?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Ex-Abe cabinet member makes discriminatory remark about Africans See in context

Having lived in Japan for around 20 years and worked as an interpreter, I can tell you all reliably that this sounds even worse in Japanese than most of you seem to think it does.


...could be translated as 'why does he like these black ones?'

While not really a fair transition, it is dangerously close to 'why does he like these black things?'

As everyone knows, Japanese often drops the subject of a sentence, so English renderings are difficult.

Here we have just the adjective 'black' with no noun to attached it to, so we just have to go on his tone. Notwithstanding the tendency in Japanese to drop nouns in regular, neutral speech, it comes across as really harsh when the dropped subject is a person / group of people. If the person / people are not referred to directly and only the adjective is used, it emphasizes the adjective and can make it sound pejorative.

Sure, it is possible to make a positive sentence like 'I'm delighted to have such a talented guy join the team' (あんな素晴らしいのがチームに入って嬉しいよ)with the same adjective "no noun" construction, but it is pretty informal and only works in an explicitly positive context.

Here, the politician is questioning why someone does a certain thing (with the subtext that doing so is a bad idea) so the positive context is lacking.

The あんな also emphasizes the context, making it more positive or more negative.

なんであんなじゃまなものを持ってきたか? Why did you bring something that will only get in the way?

なんであんな高いのを買ってきたか? Why did you buy something so expensive?

In these examples, あんなamplifies the negative context.

So we can see that the questioning tone of 'why does he like these black ones?' combines with the amplifier あんな, and together with stress on the adjective and the lack of a noun, it sounds like he is saying being black is a bad thing, and helping black people is a bad thing too.

That is why, even though there is not so much racially sensitivity in Japan, this fuss is on the news. It's because it sounds totally and undeniable horrendous to the Japanese ear - lumping black people together as a group, making their blackness sound negative, and questioning why anyone would want a positive relationship with "people like that".

As for his explanation that he is talking about the 'dark continent', it is, as any of your Japanese friends will tell you, utter nonsense. I can't believe some of you are taking it seriously. Of course the reason he is scrabbling with such a nonsensical explanation is because he has realized how badly he comes across, and he is desperately trying to backpedal with no room for maneuver.

There is no logical wayあんな黒いの [that black one / those black ones] can be referring to Africa, even if it is known a the dark continent.

In some ways though, I'm not sad he said it. It is sometimes helpful to know how people really feel. The LDP's lack of a filter is a useful means of finding out how they really see the world.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Posted in: One of the difficulties of translating Trump’s tweets is honestly that he uses such childish and informal grammar that the translator is almost at risk of not sounding entirely credible. [You’d lose face]. He also has a tendency to use a lot of buzzwords and even slang that could be tricky to translate coherently into Japanese. See in context


I have just noticed that you have said you are bilingual.

Do you think could you translate and post the two examples I put up in this thread into Japanese without making Trump sound all over the place?


"I have no problem explaining to another what anyone has said, including Donald Trump".

Please go ahead!

I think this site lets you post in Japanese. I would love to see what you can come up with.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: One of the difficulties of translating Trump’s tweets is honestly that he uses such childish and informal grammar that the translator is almost at risk of not sounding entirely credible. [You’d lose face]. He also has a tendency to use a lot of buzzwords and even slang that could be tricky to translate coherently into Japanese. See in context


Funny stuff indeed. You can't deny that Trump sounds like a total ignoramus in the example I posted (which is unedited by the way, check the video on the accompanying link), so it seems that you make the claim that the world salad above is not a representative sample of the way he speaks without a teleprompter. Come on! You know this is exactly the sort of free-associative nonsense he comes out with all the time.

My assessment is not based on one paragraphy. As browny1 points out, I put it there just as any example. Look at the speech he gave to the boy scouts for example. The President of the US talking to impressionable young minds, and what does he chose to talk about? Among other things, he talks about who is hottest on the NY social scene! The way he speaks, the things he chooses to say - it's not normal, is it?

But let me see if I understand you correctly - are you seriously going to argue that I have cherry-picked a passage of meaningless verbiage from an otherwise eloquent man? Really? I don't think you'll find too much support for that position.

Look at his interview with the NY Times.

Read it all. Please. Tell me what you think. Does he come across as educated? Rational? Sincere? Concerned with running the country or concerned with himself?

Well, there are plenty of beauties in here. This is one I found in about 10 seconds.

I think you are barking up the wrong tree accusing me of lacking examples...

TRUMP: You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. You know, you can make lots of cases for different views. I have a totally open mind.

My uncle was for 35 years a professor at M.I.T. He was a great engineer, scientist. He was a great guy. And he was … a long time ago, he had feelings — this was a long time ago — he had feelings on this subject. It’s a very complex subject. I’m not sure anybody is ever going to really know. I know we have, they say they have science on one side but then they also have those horrible emails that were sent between the scientists. Where was that, in Geneva or wherever five years ago? Terrible. Where they got caught, you know, so you see that and you say, what’s this all about. I absolutely have an open mind. I will tell you this: Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important.

And you know, you mentioned a lot of the courses. I have some great, great, very successful golf courses. I’ve received so many environmental awards for the way I’ve done, you know. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work where I’ve received tremendous numbers. Sometimes I’ll say I’m actually an environmentalist and people will smile in some cases and other people that know me understand that’s true. Open mind.

There are plenty of other examples. Face it, your guy can't hold a coherent thought and makes no sense at all.

While we are on the subject of the NY Times, you might also want to ponder why he called the NYTimes the "failing New York Times" when they criticized him, "A Great, Great American Jewel" the one time they were slightly nice to him, and back to the "failing New York Times" as soon as they criticized him again.

His entire communication strategy changes back and forth depending on whether a particular individual is praising or criticizing what he is doing at that particularly moment in time. Exactly like a toddler.

"Mummy gave me an ice cream. I love her." "Mummy told me I can't have another ice cream. I hate her".

Back and forth, back and forth. Trump's only concern is what people think of Trump. One day you'll look back and wonder how you got taken for a ride like this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: One of the difficulties of translating Trump’s tweets is honestly that he uses such childish and informal grammar that the translator is almost at risk of not sounding entirely credible. [You’d lose face]. He also has a tendency to use a lot of buzzwords and even slang that could be tricky to translate coherently into Japanese. See in context


and by the way, the topic is his TWEETS. So yeah wouldnt be any complete sentences, complete thoughts or standard grammar. But whatever fits the Trump is stupid narrative, go for it.

Unfortunately, the problem is not just his tweets though is it?

It's every time he talks without a scriptwriter.

Take a look at the famous example below. I'm guessing you've seen it already.

"Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us".

Going back to our topic, this sort of 'word salad' is obviously a nightmare for a translator. It is strange that anyone would think otherwise. Why would you deny that Trump communicates by simply stringing together whatever thoughts come into his head? The evidence is right there this video.

It is interesting that we have professional translators on this thread testifying that Trump makes no sense while we have Trump supporters, without knowledge of linguistics, contradicting the professional translators in their desperation to support their man.

By the way, the lack of logical thought shown by Trump, as revealed in his language usage, is one of the reasons why people, both on the left and on the right, just cannot trust him (now George H.W. has revealed he voted for Hilary, you can't just blame "the left", unless you now think George H.W. is a leftist).

If are a Trump supporter and wondering why people are always calling you names and suggesting you are 'stupid' or a 'moron', well, you just need to look at the above. How can anyone read through that and think "this is a man I trust, this is a man who should have responsibility, this is a man who should lead"?

Honestly, Bass, Blacklabel, I don't wish to be rude, but what did you guys learn in school? Do you really read the above text, watch the above video, and think, yeah, that's sensible and coherent, that's the man that needs to be the most powerful person on the planet.

I just don't get it. We don't even need to get on to the p**** grabbing, the bone spurs, the $25 million, dollar settlement for defrauding elderly people, the lying about Muslim's celebrating 9/11, the lying about not being able to release his tax return because it is under audit (actually, whatever happened to that?) and all the other nonsense.

Trump's untranslatable communication style should be enough to disqualify him from the presidency as it is obvious that someone who cannot communicate cannot grasp information and someone who cannot grasp information cannot make good decisions.

Why do you support him? If you like his economic policy and protectionist agenda, surely there is a better communicator more adequately equipped to put those plans in place?

Did your schoolteachers talk like this? Your fathers? Your priests? Does anyone else you respect communicate like this?. It's just the disorganized babble of a conman and millions of us are completely unable to understand why some of you cannot recognize it.

He's like a cult leader who spouts nonsense to his nodding followers - the nodding followers are afraid to admit that it is nonsense, even though, in their hearts, they no their naked Emperor makes no sense at all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump says tougher gun laws not answer after Texas shooting See in context


Hi, what is meaningless about that post ? Obviously, the situation would not go on forever like this and it is a bit of a joke but it illustrates a real point: if everyone has weapons all the time, the wrong people will end up getting shot. Didn't an off-duty black cop going to help his buddies get shot in the US just the other day?

Are you denying that these cases of mistaken identity would decrease if more people carried?

I'm not sure what your point is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says tougher gun laws not answer after Texas shooting See in context


Just out of curiosity, do you think society would be safer if all people were armed all the time?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump says tougher gun laws not answer after Texas shooting See in context

@Dango bong

"If someone had had a gun it would have been stopped".

Once you have an active shooter, maybe this is true. But your solution cannot work. It's obvious if you think about it. As M3M3M3 says 'when does the cure become worse than the disease?' Let's expand on this for a minute.

If you follow your argument through to its logical conclusion, then the safest society would obviously be one where everyone is packing all of the time. When two drivers have a collision, everyone in both vehicles is armed. When people spill each other's beer in a bar, everyone is armed. When someone goes into work and is suddenly told they are going to lose their job, everyone in the building - the bosses, the employees, the secretaries, the IT technicians, everyone sitting in the lobby as the sacked employee storms past them and out the door - they are all armed.

Will a society like this will lead to less or more gun violence?

The US, (particularly the state of Texas where university students are free to tool up in their lectures), seems to be heading on the path towards the 'every body, all the time' situation described above.

Japan, the US, Australia, for example, have gone in the opposite direction with 'nobody, none of the time'.

Which situation is working out better?

Another way to look at it is this....

In the US, a burglar knows the homeowner likely has a gun. So if you are breaking into houses (and some people will always break into houses in any society) then you are crazy if you are not armed. You are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

In the UK or example, where penalties for owning a gun are severe, the homeowner is extremely unlikely to be armed. Penalties for breaking and entering with a firearm are far more harsh than for unarmed invasion. So by having a gun, you incur the risk of longer jail time for no additional benefit. This means that a large proportion of break-ins are committed by unarmed people and homeowners don't, for the most part, need to worry about being shot dead in their own beds (sadly, the rate is not zero, but it is extremely low).

It's about expectation and reward. Human behavior is easily modified by changing the reward and punishment balance.

So while in the US, you say you are all "protecting yourselves", what is actually happening is that you are supporting a structure of risk and reward that results in homeowners being shot during home invasions far more often than countries with strict gun laws.

It's not just home invasion - exactly the same logic applies to street muggings and robbery (which in the UK, Japan, and other countries with harsh gun laws are very rarely (almost never) perpetrated by attackers carrying guns).

Look at the difference in body count - your strategy is not working out for you.

Why do you want to plough ahead with an even more vigorous version of the same failing strategy?

Can you not see that your need to "protect yourselves" is simply resulting in you dying more often?

You say 'if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns'. This is not true. Heavy penalties for possession and use of firearms will change the risk reward balance for criminals and, despite the cultural and social differences, bring the US closer to the situation in other developed countries where fewer criminals have guns, fewer people need guns to protect themselves, and ordinary are not being shot all the time.

So to go back to the scenario at the top...are you advocating a society in which everyone stays safe by carrying everywhere at all times? Do you think that will work?

Or should you take steps to reduce the number of active shooter incidents from happening in the first place and recognize that maintaining relaxed gun laws for the purpose of stopping active shooters results in more people carrying, more active shooters and more negative outcomes overall?

How many people have been shot dead in Australia this year? In Japan?

Everyone from outside the gun lobby culture thinks the arguments of the gun lobby are bogus and illogical, but I would love for you to explain more about what we are getting wrong and why implementing your ideas for 'everyone carrying all the time' would result in better outcomes.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: 8 points ahead, Man City will prove hard to catch in league See in context

Britlover: what do you think of the push to allow England, Wales and Scotland to have the poppy on the national team strip? FIFA ban these symbols in international competition, no other nation does it, yet the FA are determined to push it through. When in Rome?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 8 points ahead, Man City will prove hard to catch in league See in context

Leroy Sane is German. Sergio Aguero is Argentinian.

Why do the Premier League and the Football Association force all players from all countries to wear a symbol the specifically honors the dead of the British and Commonwealth armies? (rather than all the victims of all wars).

I wonder how they feel when wearing a symbol that specifically commemorates those who fought against their own family.

Aren't these players being forced to disrespect their own people?

What do the people in these countries feel when they see their own players wearing a symbol of their previous enemy? It seems unnecessarily antagonistic.

It seems a pretty intense form of self-centeredness to require everyone from everywhere accept your own historical, cultural and political symbols.

You could also argue that it devalues the symbol to be worn by people unconnected with it.

Do other countries do this? I haven't seen any other examples.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Australia snubs N Zealand offer to take refugees See in context

Re: Oyatoi and 'virtue signalling'.

The Australian government and right-wing press have misled, and continued to mislead, the Australian people. As a result, many misinformed people repeat the government line that these poor people are 'economic migrants' or 'illegal arrivals'.

The thing is mate, international law guarantees the right to seek asylum. These people are not illegal. They are exercising their internationally protected right to seek safe haven. The Australian government justified sending asylum seekers to their offshore camps on the basis of 'illegality' (not having the right papers) but there is nothing illegal about their actions at all. International law is specifically designed to protect people fleeing danger without having their papers in order. The Australian government cannot change international law simply by speaking a lie repeatedly. Seeking asylum in the face of persecution and threats to your life is a fundamental human right whether Australia likes it or not.

The whole portrayal of this issue in the popular Australian press is founded on a government lie that all arrivals are 'illegal'.

You should also know that the vast majority of people on Manus and in Nauru have been found, after due process, to be genuine refugees. That's right mate - the Australian government believes their stories, but continue to work them over anyway.

After all, how desperate would you have to be to leave your home to cross oceans on a rickety boat, knowing you might die? Commonsense should tell you that the people in the boats are actually more desperate and more likely to be fleeing danger than the people at airports (and the latter, if genuine, are allowed to stay). 

The Australian authorities themselves have recognized that the vast majority of the boat arrivals would face clear danger if sent home. Australia has simply made a rule that, although they are genuine refugees, they can't be settled in Australia as they arrived by boat. It's completely arbitrary and, as I said, in violation of international law. Australia admits almost all of the people are genuine.

Another question you might want to ask your government is this: Why, when criticized over conditions on Nauru and Manus does the government deny responsibility for the people they placed in detention, repeatedly answering, "the governments of Nauru and PNG are in control of the camps so that is a matter for them", before, in the very next breath, claiming the right to refuse the NZ offer of safe passage for the refugees, clearly showing that Australia has, as everyone can see, complete control of the refugee's fate, despite their earlier denials?

What about the suicides, the brutality, the murders, the rapes? Your government, which set up the camps, denies responsibility for all of it. Yet when another more tolerant country, recognizing the horror the refugees have been through, offers humanitarian assistance, they suddenly claim 'we are in control, you can't take them'. 

The whole episode is a demonstration of the most evil hypocrisy and a stain on the international reputation of Australia.

If Australia's treatment is all so above board and innocent, why do you think they passed a law that allows Australia, a supposedly free nation, to put in jail doctors, nurses, lawyers and child protection officers who speak out about what they saw in the camps?

Why do you think Nauru, supposedly acting independently on their own initiative, suddenly, out of the blue, began charging a non-refundable $8000 to apply for a journalist's visa?

Something to hide perhaps? 

Why do you think one of the refugees set fire to himself and died in front of the UN delegation? Was he 'virtue signaling' too?

History will judge Australia for this. It's a shameful disgrace.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Australian court disqualifies deputy PM, 4 senators for dual citizenship See in context

For those of you who don't follow Aussie politics, the article fails to mention that the two senators who immediately resigned of their own accord without going to court to keep their jobs were both members of the Green Party.

The two Greens were the first politicians caught up in this saga, after a lawyer and supporter of the government from Perth went out of his way to dig into their past and discredit them. As we later found out, he unwittingly opened a can of worms which has now exploded under his own party.

There are many interesting things about this saga, particularly the contrast between the Greens, who resigned immediately, and the members of the Liberal and other parties who clung to their jobs and challenged the ruling.

But the contrast goes further. Consider these words from Joyce's boss, the Prime Minister of Australia, when the Greens originally got found out.

"…I think if you are a member of the Australian Parliament, you should be a citizen of only one country and that is our country," he said. "These two Greens senators were careless and they paid the price for it. Australians expect, they are entitled to expect that their parliamentary representatives have allegiance to one nation, and one nation only, and that is our nation."

And yet Turnbull still supported Joyce in going to court to try and hold on to his job! Even in the dirty world of politics, it is unusual to see someone so blatantly and obviously two-faced.

With the Greens, there was even talk at one stage of them having to pay back every cent they had ever earned since entering parliament, a sum that would have of course bankrupted them and ruined their lives.

How things changed when the ruling party were found to be in the same boat!!

Suddenly, there was no more talk of bankrupting "negligent" people by reclaiming past earnings. Instead, the government started talking about 'unnecessary rules', resulting in the court case we have just seen the results of. Turnbull clearly had no reservations in supporting Joyce as he challenged the ruling, despite his condemnatory words on exactly the same topic only a few months earlier.

What is even more remarkable is that the gross hypocrisy of the ruling Liberal Party on this issue is not even up for debate. The timeline of condemning the Greens and then attempting to excuse their own is clear and on public record.

Why do we go from discussion of punitive measure to saying it is not actually a problem at all and the law should be changed?

Why do we have an AP article completely missing out on this key back story?

You would think the media would see this as worthy of comment.

It's a case study in many things: how politicians in more powerful parties the world over are treated differently than those with a weaker power base, how politicians in the Australian Liberal Party in particular are frequently self-contradictory and have no moral compass (they are after all responsible for jailing without trial some of the world's most vulnerable people in blatant violation of international law while claiming to uphold human rights), and finally in how the media, for whatever reason, frequently miss key aspects of moral narratives, deliberately fudging past behavior - which is right there on the record - to nudge readers towards concluding that "all politicians are all as bad as each other".

The Australian Liberal Party makes the UK's conservatives look like and oasis of moral consistency.

(Perhaps some people would argue that as the Greens where born abroad and Joyce was not, the situation is not the same, but the court ruling has just clarified that this argument holds no water).

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump feud exposes racial divide in U.S. sport See in context

*According to the Washington Post there were 730 police shootings resulting in death in 2017. Of those deaths, 32 were unarmed and of those 10 were black, unarmed persons. So there were 10killings by police of black, unarmed men in 2017 out of a total of 730 killings ( or 0.01%) -- liberals will call that a police killing spree of black men.*

@bass "Bingo! Right on point.!"

1) Let's assume these numbers are correct. 10 black people out of 32 unarmed people is 31%. Black people are around 12.5% of the US population. 31 divided by 12.5 is 2.48, so that tells us an unarmed person is nearly two and a half times as likely to be shot if they are black rather than non-black. Is that what you mean by "bingo, right on point!"?. I have not checked these statistics, I'm just pointing out that you don't seem to understand the basic maths of what you are commenting on.

2) A major issue that you are glossing over is that 'black lives matter' is not just about the number of the dead. It is about the subsequent judicial outcomes. Police officers killing unarmed black men/boys are rarely charged, and when they are charged the are almost always found not guilty. Tamir Rice was 12 years old. Two police drove up on him and one of them blew him away. The impact of that kind of event on a community cannot be understated. We are talking about the shooting death of any unarmed child by the law enforcement officers who are supposed to protect him. This does not need to happen hundred of times for it to be a problem.

3) Why do we always see people side-step into black on black killing? Nobody is saying they think this is not a problem. Where are the people saying that black on black killers should not be charged or should be let off with a warning? Violence in black neighborhoods is concentrated into certain areas and perpetrated by specific groups within the community. Most people suffering these high rates of gun violence are only too happy to see these shooters in jail. In fact, when they are caught, that is exactly what happens. None of this has anything to do with police officers shooting minorities and getting away with it.

"Criminals should be in jail!" (Everyone agrees with you!)

"There are lots of killings anyway so violent police officers should be let off!" (This one makes no sense and you know it!).

PS - When you spend a lot of time talking about police killing black people is not a problem because it only happens now and again, you make yourself look at worst cold and un-empathetic and at worst racist. Why does you think it is wrong that black people protest the killing of unarmed people? Ask yourself why you think that, because police do not kill the same number of black people as are killed by criminals, there is no issue, nothing to see, and no improvements to make?

When these comments are combined with certain other comments on this board about black people being "to blame" for their own "bad image" by looting and stealing etc., the underlying attitude these posters have towards black people becomes very clear.

Interestingly, these are also the people shouting "prove Trump is racist, prove it, prove it", so they obviously don't like people being called out as racists and know that racism if wrong. You guys need a mirror, to be honest.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Syria to face Australia for World Cup berth as Saudis qualify by beating Japan 1-0 See in context

to the tune of Glory Glory Man United...

You thought you'd join the Asia and you'd win so easily

Now you see the Samurai just cannot be beat

Always in our shadow for all eternity

Who the **** are these Aussie boys?


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen' and the UN have a new rhyme See in context

I have a prediction: Pitaktaro will, long after having faded into irrelevance overseas, continue to be held up in Japan as a shining example of someone who has made it on the 'international stage', further serving to maintain the status quo and deny many Japanese people the opportunity to realize that their relationships with the outside world looks rather different from the outside than it does from the inside, to realize that the media insistence on a world falling at the feet of Japanese culture is somewhat of a domestically created illusion; a result of cherry-picking facts that fit a narrative for domestic consumption. 

jpn_guy, Jan 10, 2017

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan studying ways to use cruise ships for Olympic accommodation See in context

I've signed in to make this comment as I'm surprised that no-one has yet mentioned a very obvious factor: availability.

London 2012 andR Rio 2016 attracted half a million visitors. They will need quite a few cruise ships, or the whole effort is just a drop in the bucket.

There are only so many huge cruise ships in the world of the type shown in the picture. A few of these ships operate in East Asia, but most are in the South Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean. They are supplying services to paying customers. What is going to incentivize a cruise company to bring a ship to Tokyo and park it there for 16 days?

Passengers pay premium prices to travel the seas and see exciting places.Are punters going to be willing to pay equivalent fees simply for the pleasure of parking up in Tokyo? In fact, they might need to pay significantly more, since the cruise companies would have to cover the cost of disrupting schedules, and damaged to reputations from disappointed customers who could not book a cruise due to the ships being out of action.

Is the Japanese government going to subsidize this? Where is the budget going to come from as measures are currently underway to drastically reduce costs. I wonder if the cruise ship operators included in the task force mentioned in the article include major international operators, or just local concerns? I can see a Japanese cruising operators signing up (being forced to sign up?) for this, but I will be very surprised if this turns into a major international effort housing a significant proportion of the visitors to the Games.

I would not mind being proved wrong if this can be made to work and a larger number of people can get to enjoy what Tokyo has to offer, but I can really see how it would be feasible.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 'I’m glad I’m Japanese' posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users See in context

In Japan everyone is taught from an early age to divide the whole world, whatever the field of discussion, into Japan and not-Japan. This dichotomy is the pervading framework underlying the vast majority of Japanese thought and discussion on all matters social, cultural and historical. If you deny this, you have either never lived in Japan, or lived in Japan with your eyes wide shut.

Nihonjin de yokatta (I'm glad I'm Japanese) heavily implies Nihonjin de umarete yokatta, which means 'I'm glad I was born a Japanese'.

We can draw this implication because while taking Japanese nationality later in life legally makes you a Nihonjin, in common conversation it does not, it makes you simply someone-with-Japanese-citizenship, which while legally the same, is quite different in terms of who it is understood by regular people. A 'nihonjin' is, in common parlance, exclusively someone who was had Japanese citizenship since birth.

People also do say 'I'm glad I was born a Japanese' frequently. I would wager that if you showed this poster to members of the public, gave it one month, then came back to them and asked them what it said, a sizeable percentage would misremember the text as "Nihonjin de umarete yokatta". This is an experiment I would love to do.

So what does all this mean? It means the clear meaning of this poster is 'I'm glad I was not born a foreigner'.

You can perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to make it mean 'I'm glad I was born a Japanese but if had had been born a foreigner I would be glad too', but then there is really no purpose in making the statement.

I don't think 'I'm glad I was not born a foreigner' is a twisted misinterpretation; I think it is exactly the core meaning at the heart of the phrase.

If you don't think being a foreigner carries a stigma in Japanese society, then you don't understand enough Japanese.

There are other phrases such as Sasuga Nihonjin (roughly: isn't that just how a Japanese person would do it?) and 'Yappari Nihonjin da na' (roughly: At times like these I feel so Japanese). These are all exclusionary phrases that are frequently used in Japan and based on the Japan/not-Japan dichotomy and they are all used to elevate Japanese culture above everywhere else, which is perceived as inferior.

Even though there are a growing number of Japanese people who can rise above the education they were given at school to call out this way of thinking, as you can see from some of the negative online reaction, the poster, and what it is implying, still needs to be seen in the above context.

Japan is such a beautiful country, it's so sad some of its people are still pedaling myths of racial superiority.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

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