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King Minus comments

Posted in: Canada bids farewell to plastic straws, cutlery and checkout bags See in context

Paper straws are inferior to plastic quite simply, and I'm not sure metal ones are too great either.

Sure, but given that plastic ones can take up to 200 years to decompose, a slight inconvenience is a small price to pay. I almost never use straws anymore, and it hasn't exactly ruined my life.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: 1st shipment of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau arrives in Japan See in context

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Japan the world's largest consumer of this... stuff?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Sex abuse scandal-tainted Johnny's eyes setting up new firm See in context

As alluded to by other posters, the real story here is the culture of silence and collusion by much of the industry and associated advertisers. Kitagawa's crimes have been an "open secret" for a long time.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Diet to convene extraordinary session on Oct 20 See in context

The same old Mery Go Around and it will never change until the old men and their family members are removed from office. Nepotism is alive and well in this country, and especially in the Japanese government and the people here just say "shoganai" meaning "it cannot be helped.

I never see this changing in my lifetime and maybe not even in a hundred years from now and so I guess I am in the club of "shoganis."

But, it can be helped. For too many things, "shoganai" is code for "I can't be bothered."

It seems that voters here either value consistency over progress, or feel that politics are none of their business. For a "modern democracy", the Japanese deference to power is rivaled only by that of the English.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: U.S. guitar maker Fender opens flagship store in Tokyo See in context

Peter NeilToday  06:58 am JST

I don’t think the guitar shops in Ochanomizu are too happy about it.

I doubt it will matter to them. This looks like a branding exercise, not a serious music shop.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Tug-of-war unfolding over Unit 731-related exhibit at Nagano museum See in context

I believe the elephant in the room here is "pressure" from extreme rightist groups. There seems to be an outsize fear here of these fringe elements, despite their low numbers and buffoonish presentation.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Posted in: Takeshi Kitano returns to Cannes, 'indifferent' to success See in context

After his weird, out-of-touch comments on same-sex marriage, depicting homosexuality among samurai seems like some sort of progress.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Court commutes death sentence to life in prison for man who killed 2 people in hit-and-run See in context

Mr. MidnightToday  07:10 pm JST

Death penalty seems to be a pretty good deterent in Adian countries. Far less violent crime than western countries where animals get a light sentence, go to prison to be further hardened into crime, come out and commit more. US has the most incarceration among the OECD countries but violent crime is still the highest. While Japan is the safest.

Considering the high suicide rate in this and other "Asian countries", and the manic nature of a lot of these crimes, I doubt that the death penalty is the deterrent you believe it to be. In this country, I would suggest that shame is a far more powerful implement of control.

Westerners need to fix their society before criticizing others.

Whataboutism is a much better way to stop a conversation than solve a problem.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's immigration law revision to retain controversial proposal See in context

If Japan was truly a liberal democratic state under the global rules based order it would welcome millions of refugees and migrants following the sterling examples of the US, Canada, France, Germany and others, and fully integrate them into Japanese society regardless of cost and social disruptions. This would also solve the problem of Japan’s declining birth rate…

Yeah, but it's not. It's an ethnostate, where a baby boom that included a large number of non-Japanese would likely be seen as a problem, rather than a solution. As for the countries you've listed above, many of their track records with respect to integration have, unfortunately, been less than "sterling".

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Posted in: Repeated abuse of inmates by guards at Nagoya prison reported See in context

The sad thing is, if you took a random poll here in Japan, I suspect that an overwhelming majority of respondents would be indifferent at best to the issue of prisoner abuse. This society seems to have a baked-in lack of empathy for those "unlike us", often relying on rules and regulations to obscure or justify this tendency.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Individually wrapped potato chips now on store shelves See in context

The pandemic enabled an already widespread hypochondria in Japan. I predict the masks will never go away, and we'll see more of this eco-absurdity as companies feel emboldened to exploit people's fears (and hopeless addiction to "convenience").

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Court refuses to recognize trans woman as parent of child born after transition See in context

A 2019 global poll by Pew Research indicated that 68 percent of Japan residents agreed that homosexuality should be accepted by society, nearly equaling the 72% recorded in the U.S. And likely the 30% of Japanese that don’t agree that homosexuality should be accepted by society will gradually die off over the next decade.

Yes, but since when has government here cared much about the feelings and needs of that 68%, when the 30% has proved such a reliable, predictable voting block?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Unification Church followers in S Korea protest negative Japanese media coverage See in context

NO Problem, Come and take your brothers and sister to South Korea, Japan has NO PLACE for Cults.

Oh, if only that were true. Japan seems to love a good cult as much as anywhere.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Unification Church followers in S Korea protest negative Japanese media coverage See in context

Aw, poor babies.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Japanese schools banning nicknames, mandating use of '-san' divides opinions See in context

One less chance for kids to exercise judgement and develop their own moral compass.

Ah, Japan, sweeping the genkan while the house burns...

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Tokyo medical school ordered to pay 13 women over exam rigging See in context

Women mature earlier than men and therefore they do better at college entrance exams. Some kind of adjustment can be justified at medical schools or we will be seeing more dermatologists and ophthalmologist and fewer surgeons and ER doctors.

Perhaps that's because girls here are largely raised to be "sensible", while boys tend to be pampered and get all the attention. I'm generalizing, of course, but as a parent, and having worked in the school system, I've observed this trend again and again.

"Boys, be ambitious! Girls, B minus!"

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: 18,000 police officers to be mobilized during Biden's visit to Tokyo See in context

One of my friends mentioned to me that Japan has the highest police to citizen per capita in the world, with Tokyo being exceptionally high. Didn't check the stats but I can easily believe him.

Personally, I'm sure I have noticed a significant increase in their numbers over the past year or so, at least in central Tokyo.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: 18,000 police officers to be mobilized during Biden's visit to Tokyo See in context

Hasn't the Tokyo Metro PD been in a state of "high alert" for...like... the past 10 years?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo, 15 other prefectures facing power shortage See in context

While I have no objection to keeping my home power consumption as low as possible, for the sake of both the environment and my utility bill, I resent the onus being put on the individual. Japan in general, and Tokyo in particular, is easily the most over-lit place I have ever encountered. According to the season, either heat or air conditioning blast out of open shopfronts, benefitting no-one. Train cars, packed with commuters in winter coats, are heated to the perspiration point.

The responsibility needs to start with the public and commercial sphere, who are both clearly the main offenders and very effective at setting the "tone" for the citizenry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Canada wins gold in women's speedskating team pursuit after Japanese skater falls See in context

Hopefully the Japanese online troll army doesn't drive her to suicide.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Posted in: Prosecutors drop vandalism case against singer Onitsuka See in context

Why was this "news" in the first place?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan hopes to lead Asian zero-emissions push: minister See in context

I know the initial costs are high, but is there any other reason that Japan is not exploiting its geothermal energy?

I admit I don't know much about it, but it would appear to the lay observer that this country is (literally, in some cases) bursting with it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Chapelle special spurs Netflix walkout; 'Trans lives matter' See in context

I've watched his last three specials, and despite being a long-term fan of his, I felt his trans jokes in the first one were kind of uncharacteristically hacky and out of touch. Not really hateful or anything, just lazy throwbacks that seemed kind of beneath him. Other than that, there were some funny bits.

Then, if memory serves, he spent a good chunk of the second special defending himself in the manner of a middle-aged man who's had his pride compromised, and most of the third doing more of the same, while detailing his heroic friendship with an untalented trans comic who reinforced his belief in the righteousness of his cause before she was driven to suicide by the fallout.

It was all a bit cringey, and I don't remember laughing once.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's universities tightening background checks on foreign students See in context

The last time Japan's universities were at full capacity was 2009. A shrinking university student aged population creates an oversupply of universities with spare capacity. That leaves only 3 options, the number of universities needs to decrease, or the income and therefore salaries and services at the universities decrease, or the spare capacity is made up by foreign students. 

How about lowering the barriers to entry for domestic students – not making them devote their last two years of high school almost solely to preparing for the entrance exams, for example – but actually make them attend classes, pay attention, and maintain a reasonable academic level once they're in university?

A novel concept, i know...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Many cars do not stop at crosswalks in Japan, although they are required by law to do so. Why do you think that drivers don't stop? See in context

A lot of pedestrians seem to have adopted the strategy of "If I don't look, then it's YOUR responsibility to avoid me." This plays out on sidewalks as well, with the smartphone zombies and those who just stare at their toes.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Many cars do not stop at crosswalks in Japan, although they are required by law to do so. Why do you think that drivers don't stop? See in context

@borscht I think you've hit on something there. I believe it's cultural, too, but I think the notion of status also plays into it.

I have noticed that a high percentage of those inconsiderate, entitled drivers are men of a certain age who would have grown up at a time when simply having a car gave one a sort of "big shot" status. I also see this sort of attitude in people who drive for a living.

This is reinforced by Japanese pedestrians' tendency to defer to drivers, even when they have the right of way. Power, even this petty version of it, seems to be almost unconsciously regarded as inherently legitimate.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: No texting please See in context

Pukey2, that seems to be a weird form of assertiveness here, with the bonus that one is not responsible for what one "can't" see.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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