jpn_guy comments

Posted in: Ghosn tells Nikkei arrest due to plot, treason within Nissan See in context

semperfiToday  04:08 pm JST


*HJSLLS, what is wrong to have a full confidence in laws ? Is it right to have full confidence in *anarchy ?


You're so smart !

So smart? I can't work out if this is or is not sarcasm .

The implication that there are only two alternatives - 1) complete confidence in each and every one of a country's laws and procedures and 2) a desire to do away with all laws and have total anarchy - is possibly one of the silliest things I have ever seen on JT.

Akie: why would you imply that questioning some aspects of criminal procedure in Japan is the same thing as wishing there were no laws at all?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan to survey 200 mil gadgets for cyber security See in context

"How about the actual owners of that gadget? They just skip that?"

Apparently, there was a law passed last year permitting the government to do this. It received very little press coverage, and most people are only now finding out about it as they are about to start the survey.

As journalist on TV Asahi the other morning said "we have some responsibility here, we need to start thinking more carefully about what we decide to cover in our broadcasts". I can't remember his exact words, but it was something along the lines of


This is quite a remarkable admission for someone live on air and props for the self-reflection.

Still, let's hope this is a storm in a teacup and nothing nefarious happens.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Why do Japanese characters in anime, manga and video games "look" Caucasian? See in context


"Heck, when they say Asia, they don't even include their own country".

This is completely true. But then when we in the UK say "Europe" we mean continental Europe.

It's exactly the same thing. So while there are plenty of incidences and evidence of Japanese people looking down on other Asians as inferior, this figure of speech might not be one of them. It could be equally to do with simply island geography as preconceived notions of superiority.

Of course, Brits do feel they are a little bit superior to their cousins on the continent, so there is that too...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to survey 200 mil gadgets for cyber security See in context

So a government with a history of data mismanagement is going to create, curate and store a list of vulnerable devices?

What could possibly go wrong???

Also, while Bugle Boy might be joking about giving hackers an excuse, isn't this actually true to a degree?

I don't known anything about computer security but couldn't this huge stream of hacking traffic make it easier for malicious hackers to hide their attempts? Maybe someone with some knowledge can jump in here.

There are already security experts online pointing out that if the time of the testing leaks, it could provide cover.

There is also potential for "we are the government, your password is compromised, let us help you change it" style phone call fraud.

As soon as news of the survey is all over the TV, many of the elderly people watching will not understand the details, but maybe they will absorb enough 'something is going on with computers' to be softened up for fraud attempts.

Of course, this is just speculation on my part, but when the pensions scandal went down, it led to a raft of fake e-mails and phone calls from people pretending to help the elderly 'fix their broken pensions records'. Almost every government campaign brings out opportunists in this same manner.

Well, maybe I have my tinfoil hat on and these fears are overblown.

But as gogogo points out, it does seem that much the same result could be achieved with a campaign to raise awareness, rather than actual trying to hack people. Unless they have other reasons??

Anyway, let's hope we can have a successful Olympics without cyber-chaos!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: 3 areas in Japan to bid to host casinos; many others reluctant: survey See in context

This Kyodo News article says "But the idea has been controversial, with critics saying it will lead to an increase in gambling addiction".

A lot of people may not see anything wrong with the sentence, but it illustrates a growing problem in the reporting of controversial issues. A certain group of people can point to a certain fact with is demonstrably true and the demands of "balanced reporting" demand that this fact be relayed as the opinion of the group, rather than a reflection of what is actually happening in the world.

Casinos will obviously lead to an increase in gambling addiction. That is not up for debate surely. It is just that those who favor casinos believe that there will be other benefits that outweigh this problem. They might believe that that even if the problem is severe, resulting in people losing their homes, livelihoods and even resorting to suicide, then that is a matter of personal responsibility and not the fault of those who legalized the cause of their demise. Some may agree with that position. It is their right to hold that position. But that is the position they should be forced to defend if we are going to have an honest argument (defining an honest argument as one where everyone sets out their position and is then forced to asses the positive and negative consequences that would flow from the course of action that they with to take).

But Kyodo here does us no favors as readers. They are not helping us asses the debate.

Writing weasel little sentences such as "critics saying it will lead to an increase in gambling addiction" suggests this fact is simply the subjective opinion of the anti-brigade. This let's the casino proponents of the hook in that they are not forced by journalistic enquiry to better explain their position.

Show me a single instance of building a casino that has not resulted in more gambling addiction!

You cannot argue for a casino by saying it will not increase gambling addiction. You can only, to repeat a little, argue that while it will increase addiction, it is either 1) still the better course of action (for example, it is worse to miss out on the tax revenue by not building the casino, and this means building is the greater good) or 2) irrelevant because the gambling addictions, lost jobs, foreclosed homes, broken marriages, domestic violence, loss of self esteem, addiction and general decrease in quality of life that will seize certain individuals should not be factored into the equation since the government is not responsible for the choices of individuals.

You need to present some sort of philosophical argument to defend what you want to do - you can't just ignore facts. (of course, there will be other possible philosophical arguments I am not smart enough to think of).

In summary, yes, we can debate overall whether casinos are good or bad, but the debate should be held on the basis of a proper analysis of the various merits, not on the basis of this horrible journalistic style that obscures reality and pretends that there are no objective truths, only competing points of view floating unanchored in space.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Composure on big stage fuels Osaka's rise to top See in context

Kenji FujimoriToday 

"Its all the biased negative media trying to shape peoples opinion, no different to Googles biased results, in a sense mind control of the masses.

Divide and conquer as the old saying goes.."

Do you have any opinion on what to do when people are on the end of genuine discriminatory treatment.? Saying references to race in the media is all about mind control does not help mixed race gets getting ostracized at school, for example.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Composure on big stage fuels Osaka's rise to top See in context

"Unless we are a different species, reiterating or over emphasising race in the wordings of the media, is is inhumane and wrong. No peace goes forward in life. Just bickering and negativity and finger pointing".

This is true. But, the opposite can be true too. In the newspaper articles on the "hafu" kid whose hair was cut by her teacher in front of the class, there was no mention of her ethnicity. This completely removes from the story the context that the girl's hair was cut because, like Naomi Osaka's, it is not straight and black like "proper" Japanese hair. So in this instance, the problem is being covered up, and this kind of media reporting is what leads to people making untrue statements such as "there is no racism in Japan".

That is why I don't think it is as simple as just never mentioning race. Then the people who discriminate get to do so without criticism and without their actions coming to light.

But how can we tackle these issues (when certain people are discriminated against on account of who they are) and ensure everyone is respected without dividing people into groups and practicing "identity politics"?I'

The whole area is a minefield, but I'm not sure 'we should stop talking about race' is quite the right answer.

It is good for people in Japan to be forced to see the contradiction between how Naomi Osaka is lauded and how she might be treated if she lived in say, rural Yamanashi, and was not a famous tennis player. Not talking about this issue does no make it go away.

Much respect too for your above post.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Composure on big stage fuels Osaka's rise to top See in context

Kenji FujimoriToday  11:17 am JST

"Why is ones ethnicity, skin color or faith always in the limelight of articles these days. At the end of the day, work hard to achieve results, regardless of who you are. Believe in yourself."

This is a great question. From the tone of your question, I assume you think we talk about race too much.

You might well be correct. It is a shame when we are always talking about someone's ethnicity as if it is the most important thing about them. Like, Dr. King, we all look forward to "the day when someone's skin is of no more importance than the color of their eyes".

But we are not quite there yet are we?

Only a few weeks ago, a biracial Japanese girls' parents launched a court case (I think it was in Yamanashi) again a schoolteacher who cut their daughters hair (which was not straight and black, in the traditional Japanese fashion), humiliating her in front of her classmates, and traumatizing her into never coming back to the school. There are many, many examples of similar discrimination in Japan. Remember Arianna Miyamato's sad tale about her "hafu" friend who killed himself.

So not all mixed race Japanese children are tennis champions and not all mixed race Japanese children are welcomed with open arms. There are certain contradictions in society's attitudes over Osaka that are worth examining, I think.

There is still a fight to be fought. The question is how to go about it?

Does raising the issue of ethnicity in certain contexts help, by drawing attention to those of a similar ethnicity who are facing unfair obstacles in their lives?

Or does it hinder, by making people constantly aware of the divisions?

I really don't know.

The trouble is (to simplify somewhat) there are two camps of people who don't ever want to talk about race, ever.

In the first camp, there are those who genuinely believe never referring to race is the best way to move forward and ensure we are all skin color-blind, judging people only on the "content of their characters".

In the second camp, there are those who never want people to refer to race ever as they are quite happy with the status quo, they don't care if people who are different from them are disadvantaged, and they don't believe anything should be done to help those like the poor girl in the above example.

This is particularly the case in Japan where the default position on anything that makes Japan look bad internationally should be swept under the rug.

Sometimes, from simple online comments, it is hard to tell the difference between the "not speaking about race is the best way to achieve equality" position and the "there is nothing to see here, no problem, move along" position. Sometimes one can look a lot like the other.

"Why is ones ethnicity, skin color or faith always in the limelight of articles these days?"

Yes, this is a great question.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

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

Kenji FujimoriToday  12:31 pm JST

Im correct, see overly sensitive people talking nonsense for nothing, 

And again....look at the comments in full.

Osaka: "But I definitely think that the next time they try to portray me or something, I feel like they should talk to me about it."

Just because it says "downplays" in the headline, it doesn't mean Osaka thinks portraying her as virtually white is completely fine.

Yes, I agree with you that in the grand scheme of things there are bigger things to worry about.

Yes, I agree with you she does not seem to be hugely offended and would prefer to concentrate on playing tennis.

But the issue is not "nothing".

She is not saying it is "nothing".

That is what you are saying, for reasons unknown.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

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

Osaka: "But I definitely think that the next time they try to portray me or something, I feel like they should talk to me about it,"

Bugle Boy of Company BToday  11:05 am JST

"Obviously she doesn't care about it".

Where are you getting this interpretation of her remarks? You seem to be replying to what you wish she had said than what you actually said.

Bugle Boy of Company BToday  11:05 am JST

"People should let her decide if it is offensive or not".

You could do worse than take your own advice.

Osaka thankfully seems to be able to brush this off and continue, as she should, but nowhere does she say it is not even an issue at all.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

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 )

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