Kazuaki Shimazaki comments

Posted in: Japan's supercomputer suggests changes to travel, work amid airborne virus threat See in context

Its lead researcher, Makoto Tsubokura, said that opening windows on commuter trains can increase the ventilation by two to three times, lowering the concentration of ambient microbes.

Assuming the windows can even be opened, Japan can get so hot in July and August people might start dying from the heat instead.

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Posted in: Court rejects damages suit by man in forced sterilization case See in context

obladiToday  06:28 pm JST

"The state did not respond to claims about whether the eugenics law violated the Constitution."

and yet

The judge said that "[sterilization] infringed upon the freedom to have a child ensured by the Constitution."

Based on what's here:

The first line concerns the abstract act of the law. The second line is about the concrete act of sterilizing the plaintiff. The second is much easier to win, simply because of how much more declaring the unconstitutionality of an abstract act means.

First, let's be brutal about it - as a demographic, people who have a disability are a lot more likely to have kids with one. Further, they are much less likely to be able to take care of them, and disabled kids are a lot less likely to be societally productive.

Second, in 1948, there wasn't that much food and other resources to go around. Would you not argue that society's interests are in concentrating resources on the healthy?

Thus, to say the abstract act is unconstitutional would be to say that even in a situation of dire straits, the right of disabled individuals to autonomy should be prioritized even if there is a high chance they would become a burden on everyone else (when everyone else did not have a lot to spare).

A court would be very slow in making such a determination.

A concrete act on the other hand, can be challenged from so much more. For example, things are less desperate by 1957. Further, the individual decision to sterilize the plaintiff may be faulty to begin with. Maybe his disability is not hereditary. Maybe it is hereditary but the child if borne still has a decent chance of being societally useful. And so on.

Finally, to say it is unconstitutional does not forbid the government from enacting acts in times of desperation.

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Posted in: Court rejects damages suit by man in forced sterilization case See in context

Well, the Statute of Limitations is an important legal barrier.

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Posted in: U.S. prosecutor fights bail bid by men accused of helping Ghosn escape from Japan See in context

Helping him escape and hide (Article 103).


If you can read Japanese, try this.

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Posted in: European lawmakers chide Japan over parental child abductions See in context

Jim HarperToday 03:32 pm JST

Even the Japanese government admits there are a lot more than the three cases you dismiss (despite only presenting objections to a single case). 

It is, however, sufficient to defeat the claim that those whitewhiners are necessarily as pure as you think.

Personally, I remember the case of James Cook:



Who tried to get his children back, even as he was living in a room in another person's apartment.

You have presented nothing concerning the idea of joint custody

IIRC, at least one person has pointed out that if the parents are departed on good terms, you don't need the law to make a de facto joint custody arrangement. When they talk about the superior results of joint custody on children outcomes, no doubt they ingested a lot of such cases.

But we are talking about the ones that are bad and require court intervention. What sounds like the solution that has the less bad worst-case scenario - letting one person have the kid or forcing them to share and expect good results to come from it?

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Posted in: Japan wants U.S. to extradite Americans who helped Ghosn flee See in context

Well, of course they do.

Taking the issues from first to bottom, the available information simply does not support any other conclusion other than Ghosn being at least a high probability accused. His lawyer may bluster and complain, but he has also submitted broad-spectrum (not targetted) requests for discovery. This indicates that the material in the case file plus any material he already had access to is sufficient to "cook" Ghosn, and he is praying something is in the material he does not have access to. Or more darkly he's hoping he'll bump into some convenient material he can use for blackmail. Anyway, the court recognized his fishing expedition and refused his request.

Second, people should not conflate "criminal" and "illegal" or "unlawful". Escaping bail might not rise to a crime in Japan, due to the kind heartedness and restraint of the system, which Ghosn ruined I might remind everyone. But breaking a deal is definitely at least a tort.

Third, in common usage, when word criminal covers suspects, accused, defendants as well as convicts. The section the law is in emphasizes this because most of it concerns actions that are only useful to people who have not yet been convicted, anyway. I suggest not trying to knowingly twist language.

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Posted in: Journalist in Japan's #MeToo movement sues cartoonist for defamation See in context

I frown at this lawsuit.

Given that there was physical evidence that Shiori was raped and that a court of law agreed

Consider the consequences of what you said - once the judicial authorities have decided something, no one in the country can take the alternate position in public without a serious risk of it being defamation.

If the judge had found Yamaguchi NOT liable, then should Shiori be barred from saying anything about the case, because that would clearly be defaming an innocent man?

If not, then we have to accept that both ways. The judgment may settle it as a matter of law, but citizens and media must be allowed their alternate interpretations.

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Posted in: Foreigners with humanitarian needs will be exempt from Japan re-entry ban See in context

jeancolmarToday 12:16 am JST

Practically speaking, what is the physical difference between a Japanese and Permanent Resident of Japan coming back from California? It may be that the Japanese is infected and the PRJ is not. Both, I presume, would be quarantined. Right?

Please remember that PRJ status is not easy to get. You get it if you are like a Japanese person in good standing: stable income, secure family life and good behavior. In short you are in Japan because you have established healthy roots. All that is shattered if you happen to be outside Japan (perhaps on business) when suddenly the quarantine comes down.

If we must say things that are somewhat taboo, here it is. When a Japanese thinks of a "foreigner", first and foremost, he thinks of a Caucasian, which means those living in Europe or America. This means two unfortunate characteristics.

First, as per official statistics, many European countries have been hit harder than Japan, to say nothing of the United States.

This is partly because of the SECOND characteristic, namely, the lower than average (demographic) collectivist spirit. Tactics like voluntary compliance might (barely) work in Japan. They clearly don't work in Europe or the United States.



These two factors make foreigners, unfortunately, a high-risk demographic. Like it or not, a foreigner doesn't stop being a foreigner because he went PRJ or even a citizen. Arudou Debito is famous for getting his citizenship as he does that most American thing of filing a lawsuit...

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Posted in: Japan to seek extradition of men arrested in U.S. over Ghosn escape See in context

Be interesting to see if the US extradites them, when it has refused to extradite the woman who actually killed a teen with her car in the UK. Japan wants revenge, his family seek justice.

To be fair, that woman defensibly has diplomatic immunity. In this day and age, with countries like China, the United States understandably does not want to create ANY precedent that can be remotely twisted to create a situation where a country like China can get their hands on anyone important enough to have diplomatic immunity.

The Green Berets don't have such immunity.

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Posted in: U.S. arrests ex-Green Beret, son on charges of smuggling Ghosn out of Japan See in context

I call this Justice.

As for what are the real odds for Ghosn, I don't know. We may, however, make inferences by his lawyer begging for the right to search random E-mails. That's only important if the casefile already has enough to "cook" Ghosn and he's praying for some exculpatory information that he doesn't even know is in there.

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Posted in: Coronavirus crisis sparks calls for revamping Japan's school year See in context

borschtToday 11:43 am JST

Plus most academic years have a summer vacation (June to September) without a ton of homework because summer comes in the middle of the school year. How will Japan handle kids being out of school without onerous assignments? The horror.

I don't know about you, but somehow I remember having to do summer homework, and we in HK are September starters like the UK and China. Unfortunately, the presence or absence of Summer homework is not affected by the start of the year.

I get the pro arguments, but I do see this as one where the gains are too small to override tradition. Tradition may not be TOO important, but it isn't nothing, either. In the end, universities are mostly there to provide people for companies within the country. If they find a one-time callup around April most convenient, that's what the universities should optimize for.

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Posted in: Hong Kong history exam on Japan questions sparks China rebuke See in context

I really am unable to see the displeasure here. Really, the question was structured so students pretty much have to answer in the Negative, that is "I don't agree Japan did more good than harm to China between 1900-45", which is exactly how the CCP would like it answered.

The so called "positive sources" was about some education and financial support. That's nice, but would anyone want to write an essay to say these are worth more than 8 years of war? If anything, the positive sources were given so that they would have something to write in for the other side, nothing more.

There are any number of questions that have a much greater chance of going south for the CCP:

The same question, but 1900-1936 (thus avoiding both wars).

Given the situation in 1936, is the CCP decision to encourage immediate war against the Japanese a correct one?

Were Japan's intentions good (that is separate from the above question, which emphasizes the result).

You can answer in an "anti-CCP" direction for these 3 questions, and still have to conclude "I don't agree Japan did more good than harm to China between 1900-45".

Really, this question is a gift to the CCP. They are just groaning for the sake of groaning.

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Posted in: ANA eases dress code for female workers, allowing shoes without heels See in context

It's good to see that they have not banned (short) heels. There will be shorter women who may actually want to wear them.

As long as it doesn't turn into a case where lower level leaders are quietly directed to "nudge" their people to wear the heels. As in "voluntary" overtime.

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Posted in: 2 men stabbed in Tokyo apartment over noise dispute; one dead See in context

And how did the two stab victims not first check through their door peephole? They must’ve seen the nut job carrying said weapons.

The visibility through a peephole isn't that good, and I can understand mistaking him for a harmless nutjob, thus opening the door to yell at him until he goes away.

However, the lack of gates in front of Japanese apartment doors is really having an effect - if they had gates, they can open the door, yell at him through the gate and the guy will have to work his knife around the grille to get the leg plus he'll never get a vital because that's usually covered by a solid plate.

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Posted in: Japan divided over introducing emergency clause in Constitution See in context

WobotToday  10:17 am JST

The govt wasted time pretending they couldn't do anything about the coronavirus because of the constitution when really they could have worked round it

It is amazing that the average JTer seeks the worst interpretation of events. Why not interpret this to say the Japanese are actually relatively scrupulous in following their constitution?

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Posted in: Arson-hit Kyoto Animation studio now completely demolished See in context

BTW, does anybody know exactly what happened to the arsonist? He has dropped off the radar of reporting for some time.

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Posted in: Flight reservations for Golden Week holidays dive more than 90% See in context

@Tokyo-EngrToday 07:54 am JST

Ultimately, it is because you are not a citizen. Why do Foreigners in Japan keep thinking they deserve to have their cake and eat it too? You wanted to keep your rights as an American, but you want all the rights as a Japanese too? Isn't that a bit greedy?

The average Japanese "citizen" does not have an "elderly parent" in the country with the most confirmed cases in the world. Don't you think that at least statistically speaking you are endangering the Japanese population by choosing to visit your "elderly parent" and then returning?

@KnowBetterToday 10:56 am JST

In other words, it is also conditional to the government's discretion. Further, the entire concept of "not including public transportation" is elitist, especially in Japan. Not everyone conveniently has a car or access to one. It effectively gives a privilege to the rich.

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Posted in: Osaka mayor under fire for saying women dawdle at shops See in context

Sigh, I have to side with Osaka mayor speaks truth side of things. At least, it seems to be consistent with everything I know about my relatives.

As an aside, unfortunately, one of the lessons of the coronavirus is that one of the old hobbyhorses of the liberals, which goes like everyone is equal, everyone can be trained in the rules, so don't discriminate, blah blah blah is less true than we would like. While of course each culture / race / society has a spread inside, bunched together as a demographic the averages are not in the same place, with a corresponding change in how well the virus spreads and how hard a lockdown you have to impose (and how many people would resist even the strongest lockdown).

(This is by no means to say the Japanese are the best or whatever. As far as I can see, they are above average in that regard, especially compared to say Italy, but are there societies that do better? Yes.)

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Posted in: Japanese customs: A guide in a coronavirus world? See in context

@daito_hakToday 11:54 am JST

No, answer to my point or just refrain yourself from addressing my post. The masks are not effective at preventing outbreak of flu or anything else in Japan every year. Are there large flu or gastroenteritis outbreaks in Japan every year, yes or no?

They are not completely effective - no one is saying they are a hazmat suit. Do you understand there are gradations of grey between 100% effective and completely ineffective?

Further, even if we assume the masks are completely ineffective, since that does not invalidate the observation we will have to credit something else.

Good performer, oh really? Japan is making 882 test per million people. That's an embarrassing low number in comparison to many other countries. Once Japan decides to stop trying to hid the real situation of the infection, come back to us.

The article acknowledges this as a partial contributor. However, if you look at comparative ascent curve, you will also realize that's not the whole story. Further, it also means you have nothing really but guesses to contradict the current observation.

GWToday 11:56 am JST

I really hate these nihonjinron blurbs...….as already pointed out by many there is likely NO cultural habits that will really affect transmissions in Japan!!

Actually, there is a kind of nihonjinron that is peddled around in JapanToday - mostly consisting of negative Japanese traits. If it is a question of being tough on school uniforms, police interrogating suspects ... etc, it is nationwide. But if it is positive it is marginalized. Hmm...

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Posted in: Japanese customs: A guide in a coronavirus world? See in context

@Do the hustleToday 08:26 am JST

To what extent is still unknown? Well, considering the cases were 6,000 two weeks ago and are now over 20,000 with over 550 new cases last weekend alone, I’d say to no extent at all.

Actually, it is making a difference. That makes it something like over a week to double on average, when an European country might double every two or three days. It just isn't making enough of a difference.

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Posted in: Japanese customs: A guide in a coronavirus world? See in context

@daito_hak Today 11:23 am JST

Wearing mask or bowing has never prevented Japan to have flu outbreaks every year. In fact wearing mask is often useless since people don't know how to use them properly, they touch them, re-use them, put them off and back, all of that without washing their hands.

Nobody is arguing that is some kind of immunity shield, and your mask argument is exactly the one the West reversed itself on.

We are talking a game of statistics played over a populations of millions or in the case of China even a billion. Small differences in average living habits, even ones that will be treated as "statistically insignificant" by a scientific study that at best would only have hundreds or a few thousand test subjects can make a difference in the result.

Is Japan the best performer? It is not. But it is a relatively good performer, a First World country (which means more connectivity than say Niger) and not applying a lot of suppression (compared to say Australia).


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Posted in: 60% still go to office despite state of emergency over virus: survey See in context

@FuzzyToday 07:38 am JST

The government should apply pressure directly on the management of companies. The employees for the most part are just doing whatever their management tells them. They may want to stay home, but unless their company tells them explicitly to do so, then they feel obliged to go to the office.

They don't just "feel" obliged. Unless the government gives them an order to stay home, the company explicitly permits or directs it or they have a statutorily valid reason (ex: they are already sick and are now taking sick leave), they are legally obliged to go to the office.

@HBJToday 09:37 am JST

This is in many ways no surprise, but when you consider that Japan has been aware for decades of the potential for a massive earthquake hitting the Tokyo region, it is incomprehensible that there isn’t a workable emergency solution for everyone to fall back on.

To be fair, if a massive earthquake hits Tokyo, its more likely that computers and advanced connections will be destroyed completely than sheets of paper and hanko.

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Posted in: Governors call for Golden Week travel curbs, compensation for business suspensions See in context

Some called for stricter measures, with Tochigi Gov Tomikazu Fukuda saying, "Traveling across prefectures should be strictly limited, and we also need to consider developing legislation."

Maybe they can persuade the railway companies and regional airliners to increase the price of tickets by a factor of ten? As well as increasing the toll on the intercity roads? That might the travel out a bit.

We have the power in us to persuade our loved ones, bosses, friends to not go out.

Well, bosses might be hard.

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Posted in: Man arrested for throwing ceramic hotpot from 6th floor apartment See in context

WaddoToday 08:38 am JST

Japan is missing many basic laws, such as disturbing the peace.

One reason it is not here is because "disturbing the peace" is actually an extremely fluffy "catch-all" charge that should be replaced by more specific articles or none at all.

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Posted in: Japan's population drops at record pace in 2019 See in context

expat Today  12:12 pm JST

What counts as a "significant contribution" to international policy? At the very least, Japan hasn't started a bunch of little wars in Islamic countries it can't even finish. On the human rights front, I do have to point out that Japan is still relatively liberal and you can get away with saying things you can't in the likes of Europe which is getting increasingly PC and thus cracking down. What restrictions are there are primarily the result of gaiatsu (Westerners who self righteously preech like a peacock about banning this and banning that). You don't hear anything like the excessively powerful Muslim community.

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Posted in: Man arrested for molesting boy in station building toilet See in context

girl_in_tokyoToday  08:56 am JST

Uh, I know you have taken on a Sarcasm Mode recently, but I can't tell this time if you are in that mode or not.

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Posted in: Convenience stores use plastic sheets for social distancing See in context

JeffLeeToday 06:51 am JST

For better or worse, at least they are willing to touch your hand :-)

Never had that happen to me while in Japan - money's always in the tray for me.

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Posted in: Koike takes tougher stance than Abe on coronavirus See in context

smithinjapanToday 02:16 pm JST

Ah, so China does it, and you want to be like China, whom clearly you admire in such respects, so it is therefore okay that Japan does it. You have just said that you are all for revision so long as it favors Japan, just like China does with its history. Well done.

Oh, let's completely ignore their present positions when making this statement, shall we? I see stuff from both nations, and my sense right now is that Japan is "underpressurized" when it comes to getting its fair due, while China is "overpressurized" (otherwise known as entitlement). In fact, China had ALWAYS been overpressurized except for their so called One Hundred Years of Humiliation, which might as well be called The Abandoned Century of Socialization.

When Japan gets to something approaching neutral pressurization, I might start worrying about nationalism and all that stuff. Right now, there are other priorities.

But back to the point, right now, Koike does look more promising than Abe. Plus, we can check that box of Japan never having a female leader :-)

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Posted in: Koike takes tougher stance than Abe on coronavirus See in context

William77Today 08:47 am JST

Keep in mind that she’s affiliated and a strongly supporter of a movement willing to give less right to foreigners and rewrite the world history in a benevolent light for Japan,to don’t mention in various interviews in the past she support the same idea of Abe to use blue collars from abroad as disposable.

All countries have the right to fight for a more favorable world history. Certainly, China has been the beneficiary of an extremely "benevolent" history that is actually interfering with normal defensive measures corresponding to China's actual threat level.

As for "less right to foreigners", do you mean the right to vote? Even though you may still have a vote back your home country?

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Posted in: Koike takes tougher stance than Abe on coronavirus See in context

itsonlyrocknrollToday 12:33 pm JST

Most importantly the reasoning behind not succumbing to a policy advocating wholesale business shutdowns.

To be fair, the sheer size of Japan's debt, even if aided by the fact it is mostly to domestic lenders is undoubtedly a consideration. Decades of being unable to make hard decisions is coming to bite them in the butt - if they were less indebted, they'll easily be able to put out a relief package now. But can't piss off those old fossils by reducing their pensions to a level sustainable by taxes, eh?

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