Kazuaki Shimazaki comments

Posted in: Search continues for 12-year-old girl who vanished 5 days ago in Osaka See in context

The wording may be less than sensitive, but the possibility of her being dead is quite real.

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Posted in: A crash course in Japan’s blood type theory See in context

Well, at least the stereotypes are convenient when making fictional characters. You can tell your Japanese audience a lot about what to expect just by saying your new character's blood type is X :-)

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Posted in: Japan aims to keep elderly driving with compact EV subsidies See in context

I really am stunned at the number of people that advocate the deprival of rights in principle to an age group of which many, even most, can still drive.

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Posted in: Japanese tourist arrested in Australia over child porn possession See in context

@StrangerlandToday 09:38 am JST

Maybe he thought they wouldn't check his phone. Maybe he thought they couldn't.

Exactly. Australia is a first world country. Freedom of speech! You don't expect to get checked and imprisoned over stuff lying harmlessly in your phone!

But you didn't even seriously consider this possibility when it favors him - you just said he was "smuggling" and "trying". :-)

Of course, there is such a thing as an idiot criminal, but the information given does not favor that possibility.

I could just as easily say it's quite likely they are pictures of real children

Here's one reason why the odds favor them being anime pictures: they are legal where he came from. Thus they are a lot easier to find. Sure, I'm certain if you DIG you can find illegal porn taken with real children, in Japan or anywhere, but the anime stuff is still so much more accessible.

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Posted in: Japanese tourist arrested in Australia over child porn possession See in context

@StrangerlandToday 09:39 am JST

He may very well have been bringing it into Australia to sell it.

If he's a smuggler, he would have taken more precautions, and the contraband won't be on his phone. Most likely, it'll be on some cloud drive - he can always pull the pictures down onto his phone via an encrypted connection once he passes immigration. Or at least a little micro-SD plugged into his camera, so they are less likely to suspect it.

As for whether intent is required, it depends on the charge. If you said he's guilty of "possessing" forbidden pictures. I'll roll with it, but not with "attempting" to bring child porn material because there is simply no attempt involved.

As I said, I acknowledge the reality of Ignorantia juris non excusat but don't think it is just to apply it for an unintentional, victimless crime (it's quite likely they are anime pictures). I hope they'll take up your proposed option of deporting him and be done with it.

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Posted in: Japanese tourist arrested in Australia over child porn possession See in context

@Strangerland Today 11:55 am JST

Because he was trying to bring prohibited material into Australia - AKA smuggling.

I agree "trying to bring prohibited material" is roughly equivalent to smuggling. I'm just not sure whether you can say one is "trying" to do something when what happened is almost certainly not Action, but Omission/Inaction from Unconscious Negligence.

If you enter a country, the onus is on you to research whether you are permitted to bring in the items you are bringing in. If you choose not to, you may end up In jail. Like this guy.

And as I said, this is a burden that ignores reality. People don't even know what laws are in their own country, nor are their legislatures working to make it more realistic to actually know it, with punishable offences scattered all over the breadth of the law. Ironically, Russia and China actually score well in this regard because at least all their crimes are in ONE code which makes it at least less of a pipe-dream to be obliged to study that one code.

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Posted in: Japanese tourist arrested in Australia over child porn possession See in context

@Strangerland Today 06:26 am JST

Maybe this will get deleted again, but why do you insist he was "trying" to bring prohibited materials to Australia or analogizing this case to smuggling? Both would mean he actually knows it is illegal and intentionally tried to bring it in anyway. Don't you think the probability favors him simply not realizing he has to take any precautions with his smartphone just making a visit to an ostensibly-free First World nation?

And while Ignorantia juris non excusat, the reality is that even the basics of domestic law is not a part of compulsory education, and the only part that might realistically be taught is something of the Constitution.

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Posted in: Japan, S Korea weigh creation of fund amid spat over wartime labor See in context

Now they are just denying it ever happened:


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Posted in: Poll finds over 80% in Japan back female emperor See in context

Put me in the ayes, too.

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Posted in: Kyoto’s popular tourist spot Gion to forbid photos on private roads See in context

@JeffLeeToday 09:28 am JST

I hope a lawyer challenges the constitutionality of this, assuming the "private roads" are actually public roads. 

I've been to hard-core authoritarian countries, and I've never seen this.

Oh, and which article are you going to claim they are violating? If we grant that they are private roads, by which we presumably mean roads owned by private citizens, regardless of their appearance, then the right to set restrictions is actually a property right guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution, and the district-level restriction an act of regional autonomy.

You can't even claim an Article 19 violation, because "taking photos" by random private citizens or tourists can hardly be called "expression" - if they interfere with a reporter's photography as part of the material for a news report, that might be different...

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Posted in: Gov't to start using 'family name first' order from Jan 1 See in context

I agree. Family name first is a pro-collective mindset. We need more individualism.

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Posted in: Busty blood drive anime girl artwork not recognized as sexual harassment by Japanese Red Cross See in context

@girl_in_tokyoOct. 25 03:13 pm JST

Yes, you have to explain it. Because here's how a man actually would imagine himself dealing with these situations, had he been a woman.

 "I love your big breasts"

"Why, thank you." or "You won't be as enamored if you have to carry them around 24 hours a day..."

"show me your tits"

"If you show me or D-" or "No."

"wow big boobs" while making groping hand-motions

Well, if imagining it makes him happy, it is totally harmless. I'll be more concerned if males don't feel this way when seeing me, because it'll imply I'm completely unattractive to their instincts. Let him be.

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Posted in: Court rules July election vote gap constitutional See in context

We really need to deal with this constitutionality problem. One way to resolve it is to actually give different Diet members different voting power in accordance to the population. We are in the digital age and there is no reason why a Diet member can't have say 1.43 votes or 0.23 votes, and the final result being 300.2 to 164.8. There is no reason to insist on integers.

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Posted in: Tokyo 2020 marathon move decision 'final', says IOC's Coates See in context

I'll call the IOC's move Abuse of Power. The weather in Tokyo was not a secret, and could not feasibly be. So that means there are no changes in factors. If an agency wants to justify a major change, it needs changed circumstances (changed facts). Otherwise, it is just arbitrariness that's going to cost Japan greatly.

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Posted in: Busty blood drive anime girl artwork not recognized as sexual harassment by Japanese Red Cross See in context

@girl_in_tokyoToday 01:06 pm JST

Has the possibility of NOT assuming that the person who talks about your body is "purposely intimidating and sexually harassing" occurred to you? It's not like you could actually read his mind, so while it is your freedom to react negatively to a comment, what is your objective basis for deciding he "purposely" intimidated you?

Certainly, I don't think a man will automatically react to "Wow you have a great (presumably muscular) bulge" negatively.

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Posted in: School lunches keep Japan's kids topping nutrition lists See in context

This child had some serious allergy problems that she was being treated for by a doctor, and she had special meals prepared by her mother, daily.

If the best example of an exception is something like this, most people will say they are mandatory. Mandatory to most people implies the lack of voluntariness, not that there might absolute no exceptions.

My 11 year old daughter who has given up meat needs to take in veggie sausages etc to replace the compulsory meat dishes on the school menu.

One can make the pitch that 11 years old is a bit early to make oneself a vegetarian, and one of the points of the school lunch is to teach children to at least tolerate as much as possible, so kicking off an entire food category would be antithetical. Being a vegetarian comes with substantial social and personal cost :-)

Do people here not have the teeth or jaws to eat the various types of bread typical of continental Europe?

I'm not sure I would want to eat bread regularly that needs substantial "teeth or jaws" (I suppose you mean they are hard).

The only reason that children have to do it is that the poorly funded schools in Japan want to save money on employees for a real cafeteria and to clean the school.

If you can save money and at least give the kids a chance to learn at the same time, that's generally considered a good thing.

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Posted in: S Korean opposition party submits bill to settle wartime labor dispute with Japan See in context

There is a legitimate reason why Hatoyama did not last very long in power. He's a stupid leftist who doesn't understand much about legal obligations or international relations (see his little farce with Okinawa).

As far as the text of the 1965 Treaty is concerned:

1 The High Contracting Parties confirm that the problems concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Treaty with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finally.

The Japanese and Korean governments are free to interpret it to not "extinguish" individual claims, as long as it does not lead to a situation where one government unilaterally uses its judiciary to make such claims.

Start with the text, not the legal theory.

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Posted in: Prosecutors appeal TEPCO acquittal in Fukushima case See in context

Oh, how frivolous. I suspect they don't have significant new facts to put on the table, and the judge's reading of the law is almost certainly correct. This will get bounced, and they will yelp :-(

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Posted in: Japan refers U.S. military pilot to prosecutors over Osprey crash See in context

@TheLongTermer Sep. 26 08:29 pm JST

how can the Japanese judicial system have any jurisdiction over a US citizen who is property of the US government?

US citizens are "owned" by the US government? We are not going to even pretend they have control? :-)

To the essence of the issue, the other side of the coin is that they are working on foreign soil, and the victims of their mistakes are likely to be the locals rather than an American citizen. Though in this case, it seems the only victims are indeed Americans since the crash happened in the ocean.

Remember the printable part of jurisdiction is that the winning jurisdiction is better qualified to listen to the case. Since this is (at least de jure) happening under foreign sovereignty, the US jurisdiction should be interpreted as permission to substitute (key word) the sovereign government in the task of administering justice. The United States should occasionally self reflect on whether she is doing this substitution properly and in good faith, or is she exploiting it as a means of getting its own people off.

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Posted in: Japan refers U.S. military pilot to prosecutors over Osprey crash See in context

@Yubaru Today 01:41 pm JST

There are indeed large patches of sky allocated to American exercises, but they are still close to Okinawa and is likely to be within its sweep.

Since the topic is about Japan putting together the prosecution case, it is more important the Japanese might plausibly know than me. As for us, we don't have the prosecution casefile, and without it, we can only make extremely approximate guesses as to whether they might have enough information for a substantive case.

@Yubaru Today 01:43 pm JST

Deterrence or not, a prefecture is not "responsible" for the national defense. National defense is the responsibility of the national government.

As an aside:

Chip StarSep. 25 06:59 am JST

These stories always are. Funny we never here about ASDF pilots being referred to prosecutors after they crash.

It has happened:


(from https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%96%E3%83%AB%E3%83%BC%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%83%91%E3%83%AB%E3%82%B9)

On a more general note, when Atago collided with a fishing boat, they did prosecute the MSDF officers involved. Overall, SDF officers don't nearly get the same effective immunity as US officers seem to get.

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Posted in: Japan refers U.S. military pilot to prosecutors over Osprey crash See in context

@Sh1mon M4sadaToday 10:13 am JST

ditto. Particularly in this instance where the investigation could never establish whether the tanker 'might' have slowed down rather than the Osprey speeding up. It's all relative.

If there is radar data, then it would be apparent who changed its velocity. As a general principle, aerial refueling has both planes roughly matching speed, but it is the guy needing the fuel that takes initiative in the docking.

The pattern of first blaming the pilot is trouble some though

This is a collision during an aerial refueling. Unless you want to argue the Osprey throttled up by itself, or the tanker slowed down spontaneously, there was a misjudgment of some kind involved.

@YubaruToday 06:29 am JST

Not by Japanese radar I will bet.

Why are you so certain? They were supposed to be pretty close to Okinawa when this all happened.

Oh and your wording here, "overly aggressive" that is an assumption on your part correct?

I said "it is not out of the question" and that they "might have a case" (since everyone is so certain this is politically motivated), not that this is a proven fact or that I've convicted Pilot in my mind already.

Being as neither you nor I are Osprey pilots, no one here knows the actual regulations, and you also do not know either if it was part of the training as well.

Fortunately (at least for this question), Japan is buying Ospreys and so should presumably have some information on this regard. It is also a plausible reason why this took so long to process - getting the MoD to shoot over some information about Osprey handling and regulations. And since when is "intentionally closing faster than the regulated speed in an aerial refueling" a training topic?


Speaking of generalities, the Americans do have a bad history of refusing to initiate (or if initiated convict) American servicemen even when it is conceded Mistakes Were Made.

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehime_Maru_and_USS_Greeneville_collision

2) https://www.rokdrop.net/2008/06/gi-flashback-2002-armored-vehicle-accident/

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Posted in: Japan refers U.S. military pilot to prosecutors over Osprey crash See in context

The jurisdiction issue aside, as a matter of substantive law, they might just have a case.

From: https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO50128840U9A920C1ACYZ00/



In essence, what happened for sure is that the Osprey dented its propeller on a air refueling hose and crashed. The accusation is that the pilot was negligent in using too high a closure rate, thus causing the crash.

It is at least plausible that both aircraft were tracked on radar, and thus their closure rate determined. It is not out of the question the US pilot was overly aggressive in his closure.

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Posted in: Anger at acquittals of TEPCO execs in Fukushima case See in context

@oyatoi Today 02:01 pm JST

Though it should not be necessary to make clear that it was intended metaphorically,

I can see it is a metaphor. My point is that your metaphor was inappropriate by making an equivalence between a fully prepared and mandatory governmental act and the research that might lead to such an act.

You can be assured that if a smoking gun had existed, in the form of compromising paperwork or an email trail, it would long ago have been excised from the record.

In other words, no such thing was presented to the court. As far as the law is concerned, such paperwork does not exist.

It is laughable in the extreme for you to be suggesting that safety not profit was the primary concern.

As a corporation, its goal is to make money. As such, as long as it complies with the minima set by the government, it may focus the rest of its efforts on profit. It is one of the reasons the government acts as a go between.

You've nailed it there!

Which as far as a corporation is met when they met the governmental requirements. If they must plug someone for criminal negligence, the correct target is the heads of the governmental team who wrote and reviewed the norms active as of 2011, not the corporate heads.

The only ways I see heads of corporation being proper criminally liable even if they met the governmental norms is if for example you can prove they for example bribed the people writing the norms to make them looser.

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Posted in: Anger at acquittals of TEPCO execs in Fukushima case See in context

But what if an airplane crashed after having been given the all clear to fly by an airworthiness maintenance engineer who hadn’t been keeping up to date with the latest mandated airworthiness directives. Or, perhaps came to grief because it collided with a truck that had been inadvertently parked on the runway.

There was no "latest mandated airworthiness directive". At best there were reports and internal research which might eventually form the basis of an updated "mandated airworthiness directive".

There is no such thing as perfect safety, and safety does not come for free. The balancing line is calculated by the government and laid out as government standards after consultations with industry (to determine the possibilities and costs of safety measures), external experts (to identify the potential risks of NOT implementing extra safety measures), and the Customers (to determine their willingness to suffer extra burdens in pursuit of safety).

Once the line is set, industry should be able to rely on the line. Unlimited liability is severely detrimental for business.

It is fallacious of them to argue that nobody could have foreseen the known risk associated with tsunamis in an area which has a history of devastating ones.

The usual minima for negligence is failure of a duty of care, not mere foreseeability.

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Posted in: Court rules TEPCO execs not guilty of professional negligence over nuclear crisis See in context

People with long memories may remember I had long been an opponent of this prosecution and predicting its failure. Called it.

The key element of the case at the end, is their conformance to contemporary safety standards. Once that was accomplished, only a very policitized court will be able to find them guilty. If companies cannot rely on the officially mandated safety standards, those standards are meaningless and the business environment of that country will suffer tremendously (far more than a little radioactive dust). Standards are there not only to protect the consumers, but to limit liability to business.

You might also consider the real consequences of using internal communications and research against them, should they have been found guilty on those points. That would mean conducting such research is detrimental, and no company with a brain will conduct such research ever again, nor will they commit any doubts onto paper. The paperwork in the next case will be clean, because nothing "dirty" would ever have been put on them.

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Posted in: Anger mounts in Japan over 'outdated' rape laws See in context

rainydayToday 11:46 am JST

Nobody has to prove consent (in countries where the lack of consent is a defining element of rape, which is most countries). The onus is on the prosecution to prove there was a lack of consent.

That's a beautiful theory, but it is mere formality for the simple reason that only in a minority of these cases will there be any third-party evidence of consent. It will be He-said, She-said and either the judge takes the woman at her word (dreaming up some BS about how "credible" she sounded) or he goes with the principle of not convicting on accusation and you are back where you started.

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Posted in: Hong Kong protesters reject leader's concession with new rallies See in context

Hong Konger view.

My sense, watching the protests these last few nights live is that while they are still there, they are definitely smaller. No one is talking about tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions. Now we are talking tens, hundreds, maybe thousands.

Two nights ago, they came to my place. My thought was Platoon 1 and Platoon 2 - they no longer have the numbers to form a tight formation. The biggest opposition was when the police chased them one of the nearby residental areas and the residents did not like the idea of police coming in.

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Posted in: Seoul, Busan pass bill to boycott 'war crimes' Japanese firms See in context

@oldman_13 Today 06:51 am JST

To their credit, as indicated in the article, not all SK politicians and citizens believe in this nonsense.

Not enough of them to stop this stupidness from passing, though.

@HeckleberryToday 07:00 am JST

One quote from a legal expert:

Source: https://www.lawfareblog.com/korea-and-japan-clash-over-history-and-law

Uh, the author's name is Brian Kim, neither of the degrees are in Law and he graduated from Peking University?

However it is interesting that while Japan argued that rights of individuals to claims were extinguished, it went against its own official stance in negotiating an agreement and compensation for the 'comfort women' in 2015.

Technically, (except perhaps in extremely simplified renditions for peasants) Japan claimed that the right of diplomatic protection is lost (not exactly the same thing). However, even at that people have criticized the agreement in the first place as going beyond the obligations (for Japan) in the 1965 Treaty.

Still, it is one thing to negotiate for extra advantages above the treaty (which you must remember South Korea quickly reneged on), another to unilaterally declare it by dint of judiciary (a government organ).

@YubaruToday 07:11 am JST

No, "to boycott" is OK, since that is indeed the purpose of the bill. It just isn't backed up with coercion.

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Posted in: Gov't to use family name first in Roman alphabet in documents See in context

@cleo Today 05:16 pm JST

Which comes first is simply a matter of syntax, not collectivist thinking.

If we are going to follow the syntax, then we can just continue writing it as per usual English syntax. To propose reversing the order will be to deny the importance of grammatical syntax, thus letting other things rise up.

@commanteerToday 05:31 pm JST

How can being one of the many millions of people named William be an indicator of individuality?

Usually, you work in a small group, and in that small group chances are you will be the one and only William. That brings us back to where we started.

Plus, remember, people in English find it hard to break their usual syntax. To ensure they get it, the name would have to be written "SHIBAYAMA Mashiko", which only further destroys the harmony and visual smoothless of the text. The reader has to pick up the signal, throw away his usual assumption that this is the first name, read the last name, and then read the first name. BUMP!

Plus did you notice the family name just got more prominent again? The family is big, individuals are small.

It isn't that big a deal, true, but if we are to discuss the merits of this change, such considerations must come into play.

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Posted in: Mother, boyfriend get suspended sentence for leaving scalded child at home See in context

DisillusionedSep. 5 06:37 pm JST

but for one to have serious 'untreated' burns just shows a complete lack of any kind of maternal affection towards the child.

Ironically, maybe the idea of treating it with plastic wrap isn't as horrible as first impressions make it:



And they won't be the first parents to feel that an injury does not always merit a trip to the hospital.

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