kiwi07 comments

Posted in: Japan slowly buying into cashless future despite widespread misgivings See in context

I use prepay cashless forms of payment for most things (Nanaco, Line Cash, prepay credit cards, etc). But keep cash at home in case of an earthquake cutting power.

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Posted in: NZ gov't to announce gun reforms within 10 days See in context

I've read the white national terrorist had his weapons modified to fire semi-automatic.

From what I've read, he modified his rifles to fire fully automatic; they were already semiautomatic when he purchased them. He also added high capacity magazines. It has always amazed me that they never did anything about the high capacity magazine loophole. In part, it was because the firearm laws were last changed 30 years ago, and so complacency had crept in. When I did my NZ firearm's license, I though the process was quite well thought out, but already then I thought it needed upgrading to keep it current. After I got my license and started seeing all the loopholes, I was shocked that they weren't doing anything about it.

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Posted in: AI-based medical diagnostic services to be launched in Japan See in context

@Omachi

Sorry to hear about your misdiagnosis. My brain tumor was first diagnosed as being gout, and that was despite both me and my wife's insistence that it couldn't possibly be gout.

Once we got to a university teaching hospital however, they were a welcome change in professionalism. If possible, look around for a big university teaching hospital to get a another opinion. The one I use now has visiting overseas surgeons, English speaking neurosurgeons, and the surgeons go for three month training based sabbaticals to North American hospitals every few years. The morning ward rounds are even conducted in English, because the head teaching professor thinks surgeons should have a good grasp of English so they can understand the latest foreign medical research, as well as attend overseas conferences.

As for misdiagnoses issues, that happens in every country, including my home country. My home country has started using AI diagnostic tools as a backup to the GPs diagnosis in some clinics.

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Posted in: Faced with destroyed crops, city in Chiba encourages hunting as business See in context

As Yubaru mentioned, shotguns are used here for hunting (unless you've had a shotgun license for 10 years, only then are you allowed to apply for a rifle license). I'm in the process of getting my shotgun license. At first I didn't like the idea of hunting with shotguns as it seemed like a person couldn't make a quick kill, but then I was taught about rifled shotgun slugs as an alternative to rifles. I used used to hunt in New Zealand, simply because the country is filled with introduced animals and there are no native predators. I lived semi-rural, so hunting was a normal activity, including for my father, who I learnt from.

I can't say I agree with trapping for large animals though, as it can be quite cruel. We use instant kill traps for ferrets, stoats, weasels, and possums in NZ, but I don't think people are allowed to trap for larger animals because of the same issue that Yubaru pointed out.

The natural predator for Japanese deer and boar was the Asian wolf, but that became extinct in Japan 300 years ago. I actually would prefer wolves be introduced as a way to balance the ecosystem, but that option will never be allowed. Therefore, humane hunting is fine. The hunting license system is quite extensive in Japan, but the actual process to become licensed for a firearm is about the same in New Zealand as it is in Japan (though the Japanese test is easier than the NZ test for a firearm's license).

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Posted in: Alternative medicine might help ease psoriasis symptoms See in context

@1glenn

High CBD and other cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG, products are available in Japan, but those products are mostly in oil or capsule form for internal use, or E-liquid form for vaping. I haven't seen any creams available for skin use here, but there's no reason why they wouldn't become available, as long as the THC content is below 0.3%.

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Posted in: Student held for production of explosives and 3D gun also charged with stimulant possession See in context

Give him a warning only, and steer him towards a proper university course where he can channel his interests into a useful career in Japan's industries. Although, I'm in two minds about this, simply because it is the same type of thing I did as a high school teenager. When I was in high school, I was a near drop out and had no interest in school. In the country I lived, we could only buy fireworks for a few days each year, and I loved fireworks (more the sparkler type instead of the bang type). I decided to make my own gunpowder and fireworks. I learned from library chemistry books that I needed potassium nitrate, and so set about producing a nitric acid electric-arc still, to make the nitrate. I couldn't quite get the gunpowder mixture correct though (it fizzled more). Through further non-stop experiments (over about a year), I was able to make small amounts of high explosives instead, and some RDX and other things, but none of those were suitable for fireworks (too powerful and the brisance problem). Ironically, it was the gunpowder that I couldn't get right, but everything else that was a lot stronger was easier to make (this was 1980s, so pre-internet help days). One thing it did help me with though was my high school grades in science went through the roof, and it was the one subject I could do. It saved me from dropping out of high school. That taught me I could actually be OK at subjects, and so I later went and did undergrad and then post-grad university.

This kid doesn't sound like he had any nefarious motives, he was just curious about the world and wanted to find out things. I don't think there should be any criminal charges; at the same time, I don't want anyone in society who wants to make stuff, able to find out on the internet how to go about it. In the pre-internet age when I was messing about with this stuff my view was that the effort required to do it, meant that most people who had nefarious motives wouldn't have been able to do it. It probably wouldn't take too long now to gather all the same info that it took me more than year to discover by myself.

In this particular case, it seems the only real danger was to himself from an accident. I taught an after school science club at a school I taught at in Japan, and none of the students were anywhere near this kids level. The important thing is that those kids who figure this stuff out, don't go and teach others who may have different motives.

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Posted in: Marijuana tops paint thinner as most abused substance in Japan See in context

I hate to think what regular paint thinner sniffing does to the developing brain in terms of potential long term effects. I assume when they say pain thinner, they mean it's being sniffed, rather than taken in some other form.

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Posted in: Demand for foreign workers may soften Japan's immigration rules See in context

Reminds a bit of Australia's policy in the 50-60s where they tried to take the whitest looking immigrants from Europe due to a perception that other cultures wouldn't intergrate properly into society due to language and cultural barriers.

Indeed. New Zealand was the same. My parents immigrated from Switzerland to NZ during that period. At first NZ and Aussy only wanted Englanders, but then when they couldn't get enough of them, they took white Europeans. The theory, as you stated, was that they spoke a funny accent, but at least they were the correct color and had the right cultural background. Later when there was still a shortage, they opened it up for Pacific islanders, but then closed the door and tried to remove them all when the economy hit tough times (of course, they only tried to remove the Pacific islanders).

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Posted in: U.S. sailor referred to prosecutors for alleged drug smuggling See in context

In Japan, if its a prescription drug or an over the counter medicine from outside of Japan, 

Your doctor must have been mistaken. The generic name for allegra is Fexofenadine. It is an over the counter drug in Japan that doesn't require a prescription and can be purchased from local pharmacies (you can even buy it on Amazon Japan), and customs allows up to one month per package. I get my allegra from Australia without any issues, and yes sometimes customs have opened it and cleared. Even though it is a local over the counter drug, I use Australia as it is cheaper and the doses are higher (180 mg per capsule).

Because I have a brain tumor I get a variety of prescription drugs sent to me by mail such as tramadol and cannabidiol, and other things. I always check directly with the customs agents and asl permission from them directly before I order (you can email them directly, here is Japan's English email address list they provide for people to ask them questions http://www.customs.go.jp/question_e.htm ). They are always very polite and tell me exactly what I can and can't import.

General prescription medicines that are non-narcotic or stimulant based, and are not controlled at a higher category can be mailed to Japan at the rate of one month's dose per month.

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Posted in: Man arrested after 3 found dead in house in Kagoshima Pref See in context

@Zichi

I read the article, and then I read your summarized outline. Sometimes some of the crimes I read about in Japan are so weird and convoluted, that it helps to have a more outlined summary of events, like the one you wrote, just to make sure I’m understandng it correctly.

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Posted in: Man arrested for murder after bringing father’s body to police station See in context

 He went inside and said he had killed his father, 

In certain ways, being a cop must be a lot easier in Japan than other countries. For one thing, it seems like a lot of murderers turn themselves in. I mean, it reduces the amount of detective practice work they get. but...

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Posted in: Amazon Japan hikes shipping rates by up to 50% amid rising logistic costs See in context

Have been using them for years. The Prime service is still relatively cheap, and also comes with Amazon Prime TV and Amazon Prime music, at no additional charge. The delivery company they use is Yamato, who last year increased the pay, and break times for their drivers. The Yamato guy knows me by name now because I get so many deliveries, and he seems to have an affinity for the fact we're both bald. So it's not uncommon for him to yell out to me by name when he sees me as he's driving up the road in my part of town.

As another poster mentioned, most of the products purchased are actually sold third party by Japanese businesses. In that sense, Amazon is more like Rakuten, or Yahoo shopping.

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Posted in: Cannabis ingredient holds promise as antipsychotic medicine See in context

Not in Japan it doesn’t...

The chemical they are talking about is CBD and it is perfectly legal to buy n Japan. I use it in Japan to treat symptoms caused by a bran tumor. Don’t confuse CBD with THC. CBD is rated as a dietary supplement in Japan so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. There are some very good Japan based suppliers of CBD. It is non-psychoactive (but still neuroactive which is why it can be good for reducing pain).

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Posted in: Man sent to prosecutors for shooting at cat with air gun See in context

Weird behavior, and one that needs to be looked from a bigger issue (lack of maturity, or unbalanced issues.

In regards to the cat, I’m assuming he used an Airsoft pistol like the type you can buy without a license, but which are low powered so wouldn’t have seriously injured the cat. That doesn’t make his behavior OK, or anything. But for an actual air pistol a license is required, and only 500 people in the whole country are allowed a license at any one time for an air pistol. So, if he possessed one of those pistols without a license, that in itself would be considered a serious offense by the Japanese police.

but either way, the desire to hurt innocent animals is disturbing.

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Posted in: Ex-SDF member shoots pet dog, then himself in Kitakyushu apartment See in context

nandakandamanda wrote:

(Maybe a translation mistake, or vagueness in the original, but this would have to be a shotgun that he had used for hunting and for clay pigeons, surely not a hunting rifle. In fact I'd lay good money on it.

He could easily have owned both, and used the hunting rifle as described in the article. In Japan, once you have had a shotgun and license for 10 years you can apply for a hunting rifle (as in a centerfire rifle, not a .22 rimfire, because .22 are banned for hunting). I'm currently going through the process now to get a gun license for target shooting, so am familiar with the regulations. There is a handful of foreigners in Japan who have their hunting rifle license, but as you suggested, it is rare. Shotguns are more commonly owned due to the way the Japanese licensing system is set up. Apparently, the ten year limit to own a hunting rifle was put in place after a teenager shot a policeman with one of the two hunting rifles he was licensed to own.

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Posted in: Japanese girl says school forced her to dye hair black; sues Osaka gov't See in context

My daughter has even lighter brown and very thin hair. Luckily she is in high-school that even allows dying hair in all colors for their culture festival! She wanted to bleach and her classmates do it but we strongly oppose it because it might damage her weaker hear. And now she is doing even hair-modelling so being different is not always bad in Japan!

I've worked at high schools in Japan for the last 14 years, and the most liberal public high schools I've worked at have always been in Osaka, where I've taught for the last seven years. At the three public high schools I've worked at in Osaka, none of them required uniforms, and all allowed hair dying. One allowed extreme hair dying (shocking pink, for example), the other two were fine with it, as long as it wasn't too extreme (tinting, blond streaks, and other normal types of color changes are fine, for example). However, I guess that's just been the schools I've worked at (the more academic the school, the more liberal the rules were).

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Posted in: LGBT groups, educators call for diversity in school uniforms See in context

I’ve worked at four different high schools in Japan; only one of those schools required uniforms. The three public high schools I worked at in Osaka never required uniforms. A private high school I taught at was the only high school that required uniforms.

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Posted in: Sick pay in Japan: What you need to know See in context

I took two month's sick leave, but it was for a brain tumor, and most of that time was spent in the hospital. My contract covered 100% pay for the first month, and 50% pay for the second month. Thereafter, if I had not returned back to work my company health insurance would have paid 80% of my salary for the remainder of my contract, or until I returned to work. Of course there was a lot of paperwork involved, basically I had to get an official leave of absence certificate, and an official reinstatement back from leave of absence certificate when I returned to work. But for serious illnesses like that, sick leave was not an issue. Ironically when I got food poisoning and was out for three days I was expected to take nenkyuu; but that was partly because I hadn't assembled the paperwork so didn't bother about sick leave.

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Posted in: Sky high: Why foreign carriers pay more to land in Japan See in context

So just how much is the landing fee for one airplane coming into these airports?

That's what I wanted to know as well. What percentage difference are we talking about for a standard 777-200 landing at Narita as opposed to London. I did find some data on another article from 2013.

"The largest decrease will be enjoyed by the newest and quietest aircraft. The Boeing 777-200 will be the recipient of the largest rate cut, dropping by around half from 455,000 yen to 214,000 yen per landing, TBS reported." http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/narita-airport-cuts-landing-fees-to-increase-competitiveness

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Posted in: Whaling film 'In the Heart of the Sea' becomes 'The Battle with the White Whale' for Japanese release See in context

The real story of this event is, as they point out, quite amazing. By the end the survivors not only had to resort to cannibalism, but they drew lots to decide who would be the next person to be shot and used for food for the remaining survivors.

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Posted in: Yamada was questioned by police in Tokyo 2 days before Osaka child murders See in context

The real issue is the lack of resources such as mandatory sex offender lists with a compulsory reporting requirement. It is not the fault of the police that no such tracking exists. The man has a history of sexual offences, specifically targeting young boys, and yet he is allowed unregulated freedom of movement across the country. The police acted within their powers, however, I feel if you've been convicted as a sexual offender you should have to be on the sex offender's list for life, along with other restrictions (having to report current address, not being allowed offensive items such as stun guns, etc).

I have no issue with things such as pepper spray as some of my female students carry police strength pepper spray, which they buy from Amazon Japan, as a result of personal incidents they've had. However, they also sell stun guns on Amazon Japan, and in my opinion they are more offensive than defensive.

Ironically, last year I was on an Osaka train where some nut case started spraying people with pepper spray; the second time in ten years I've had random unprovoked nutcase issues. I only had my own pepper spray, but that is not useful in a train incident.

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Posted in: Homeless man arrested for stealing woman’s handbag See in context

I'm curious how the eight million yen from eight other victims breaks down in terms of actual cash per person. Was there eight random women walking around with a million yen in cash each? Or did he just hit the jackpot one day and get eight million yen from just one of those victims, and a modest amount from the other seven? Either way, between the eight of them they were carrying the equivalent $64,000 US in cash on them.

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Posted in: Company president arrested for fatal abuse of employee See in context

As it seems as of now, there are only two living witnesses; the woman and her son. We'll possibly never know how much the son was involved, and if the woman is, at least in part, taking all the blame in an effort to spare the son a criminal conviction. However, as others have already said, in most developed countries his actions would also attract associated criminal charges.

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Posted in: Indonesia court overturns teachers' sexual abuse convictions See in context

This case was a farce from the start. I`ve been following the history of the case for a while. Among the key evidence sighted against the Canadian at the court hearing that found him guilty was that he only had sex with his wife once a week. They found an Indonesian psychiatrist who testified saying that a man would normally have sex with his wife everyday, and because this Canadian only had sex once a week then his sexual frustration could have built up and manifested itself on the children.

The parents who did the accusations went from one hospital to another trying to get a physical assessment of sodomy evidence, however all the hospitals they went to were not able to find anything except an Indonesian military hospital.

It was also telling that the family that made the accusation went to the school with their allegations and demanded money to stop them pressing charges. As well as that, the nature of the allegations from the accused changed as they sought more money (initially they requested $12.5 million dollars, and that slowly increased to $125 million dollars.

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Posted in: Toyota's American PR chief arrested for suspected drug violation See in context

@TexPomeroy

people will try "importing" hemp;

Provided there is no THC in the product, then hemp products can be imported by people directly into Japan. CBD oil (the second most common compound behind THC in cannabis and used for pain relief) is available from Amazon.co.jp (expensive, but available). And, can be sent to you in Japan as Japan is one of the 40 countries that allows hemp products. I've had Charlotte's web and other high CBD oil compounds sent to me by mail order.

As for pain killers, over the counter medications here have codeine (cough medicines, and the little yellow pill things that they sell 180 in a bottle and have 3 mg per pill). But nothing as strong as Oxycodone of course.

Getting pain medication from a doctor is an issue though. However, as others have said, in her position she would have had access to medical resources if she had looked into it more. And it is the posting items to herself that is a big red flag for customs. Similar to other cases where people try to disguise it in tylenol bottles and things.

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Posted in: 2 hospitals to lose 'advanced treatment hospital' status after patients' deaths See in context

@M3M3M3 I required extensive brain surgery last year to remove a large tumor. I went to three different hospitals before I found one where I was comfortable going through the procedure at. I also wen through the rounds of angry surgeons, simply because I had a lot of questions. Even among the university hospital, the standard of care and the professionalism of the medical staff varied greatly from one hospital to another.

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Posted in: Man admits flushing ashes of wife down supermarket toilet See in context

@gaijininfo In Japan a lower temperature is used for cremations, which purposely leaves some bone material. It also leaves gold and platinum from dental procedures which when pooled together the city is allowed to sell to add to the city coffers. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jan/14/japan-cremations-gold-metals

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Posted in: Technology to look inside Fukushima reactors faces challenge See in context

http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201206/muondetectors.cfm

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Posted in: More body parts found in Hyogo river See in context

The river is 20 to 30 cm deep.

That is only 8 to 12 inches deep, less than knee deep. Unless this is a typo.

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Posted in: Protectionist wins Melbourne Cup See in context

The Japanese-trained Admire Rakti, who started the race as favorite, faded badly over the last few furlongs and finished last.

And, has since died in its stall.

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