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kiwi07 comments

Posted in: Japan to launch new dialogue on banning nuclear material production See in context

And this is partly because of suspicions about Japan, which has around 46 tons of plutonium stocks - the highest of any non-nuclear weapons state.

Yup, Japan has a large stockpile in case the winds of change make it desirable to change its non-nuclear policy. If that happens, then it has all the hard and time consuming to produce resources already in place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan OKs new foreign trainee program to attract more workers See in context

. I don't understand why the government does not focus on the unemployed Japanese, provide extended training for them and all the orphan children who are aging out of the system. 

I understand your key point, but it overlooks one factor; control. Many of the intern abuses involve being paid less than minimum wage due to the way the program is structured. Interns can’t avoid it due to visa and language barriers.

On the other hand, a local citizen, regardless of education or work history, can freely switch between any job that will accept them, language and visa are no limitations. There are a lot of working homeless people in Japan who do precisely that. If another day labor job pays more, than they switch job. If they need to con-plain about conditions, there’s no language barrier. Expanded training for disadvantaged groups in society is good for everyone, but the bottom feeder employers want employees that can be controlled easily.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Classroom avatar creating constructive conflict at small Japanese schools See in context

This is probably the ideal outcome of 'AI''.

According to the Japanese news websites about this, this isn't AI at all. Dozens of opinions about a pre-arranged topic are pre-recorded in advance and then the teacher in charge selects the appropriate response depending on what the students have suggested, and the app says it. It's part of the new collaborative learning module in the new curriculum.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Solar panels go into service near North Pole See in context

The windswept archipelago -- also known as Spitsbergen -- is located some 1,300 kilometers from the North Pole

Conversely, in winter, the region is plunged in total darkness from early October until mid-February, which makes it impossible for Isfjord Radio to completely give up fossil fuels.

Windswept, in darkness five months a year, and solar was their first choice? I could understand a solar & wind hybrid option, but surely, wind should have bee at least part of that equation.

"It's the first time anyone has done it at this scale in the Arctic,"

And, there seems to be the answer. It seems like they were just after the record for northernmost solar panel installation

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: UK, Japanese, Italian partners agree on next steps for fighter jet See in context

No. FCAS is a joint French, German, Spanish cooperative development program. The British have no involvement in that program.

You're correct. However, confusingly, there are two FCAS programs. One run solely by the UK, which is the one I was referring to, and the other one that you correctly stated is run by France, Germany, and Spain.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: UK, Japanese, Italian partners agree on next steps for fighter jet See in context

The GCAP fighter is designed to be supported by unmanned wingman combat drones. The combat drones will be designed as part of the GCAP program, so it is a wider program than just one fighter design. The GCAP fighter is designed to replace UK and Italy's Eurofighters, and Japan's Mitsubishi's F2s.

The UK is running both FCAS (future combat air system) and GCAP fighter programs at the same time. The FCAS fighter program and GCAP program have some similarities, however, the FCAS fighter is being solely designed by the UK and is unsupported by combat drones. By running the FCAS and GCAP programs together, the UK gets advantages from both going it alone, and joining Italy and Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Three rescued after sharks attack yacht off Australian coast See in context

Unusual. What kind of sharks were they?

Also unusual, from the article:

a nine-meter inflatable catamaran

An inflatable catamaran, with two Russians and a French citizen on board. I've never heard of an inflatable yacht for blue water international sailing. I assume it's a semi-rigid inflatable type.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Opening of Osaka casino resort to be delayed by 1 year to fall 2030 See in context

Just who will come to this resort?

The Chinese?

The Japanese are becoming more impoverished by the day so it won’t be the people here

That's the way it has been designed. Japan residents will have to pay a 6,000 yen entry fee and are limited to a maximum number of 10 visits per month. Foreign visitors have no entry fee and no limitation. The idea is a copy of Singapore's gambling policy that is designed to prevent problem casino addictions in the local community, while encouraging tourist gambling.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Osaka concerned over World Expo slow pavilion construction See in context

I suggest Osaka builds housing there, with a few nice parks.

Manmade islands that are very low lying in an earthquake prone country, and hat are slowly sinking anyway, aren't the best of places for housing. At one stage they were looking to use one if them as a replacement venue for the Japanese F1 Grand Prix, but not sure if that plan is going anywhere.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Over 140 Japan-born foreign minors to get special permission to stay See in context

We're talking about residency here, not citizenship. 33 countries allow unrestricted birthright citizenship, which is when a child is born in a country and neither parent are citizens of that country. However, apart from the USA and Canada, most of those 33 countries are places like Chad, El Salvador, Guatemala, and other countries that people are not not flocking too to have children's there unless they're in an even worse country such as Venezuela.

Most countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, UK, most European countries, etc, have restricted birthright citizenship, which means that at least one parent must be a citizen of that country for the child to become a citizen of that country.

In this case, we're not talking about citizenship at all, we're just talking about residency; the right to live without being arrested and being deported as an illegal alien even though the person was born here and only speaks Japanese.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Convenience store clerk arrested for punching customer over receipt in Hyogo Prefecture See in context

I was a bit annoyed they didn't give me a spoon with my yogurt, but then again I didn't ask for one. Oh the burden of modern day problems can be so stressful.

I blinked in surprise last week when I only bought a bottle of wine and the clerk asked me if I wanted a straw with it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Heroic fisherman who caught Kishida’s attacker now a fashion icon See in context

Interesting translation of この野郎!

Thanks. I haven't seen the Japanese news version, so my first thought was, "what precisely did he actually say in Japanese? He7s a fisherman, so I'm sure it was something colorful."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Deepest-ever fish caught and filmed off Japan by scientists See in context

I’m more interested in what happens if those three inches dwarfs are brought to surface out of that enormous pressure in those extreme depths. Do they become quite big monster fish or even explode? Anyone can calculate, estimate or tell us?

Although there's no photo of it in the article above, they actually did bring a couple of these fish to the surface on the same expedition (that's the bit about traps that they mentioned about in this article). Instead of expanding, they're gelatinous, without any skull, (something to do with less things to be crushed by pressure, the better). So, they kind of melt when brought to the surface.

There's a photo in this article of the same fish that they caught on this expedition after being brought to the surface: https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/scientists-break-record-for-deepest-fish-ever-caught-on-camera-20230403-p5cxox.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hot spring baths block Japan's geothermal potential See in context

What’s the problem? Geothermal energy can be exploited without interfering whatsoever with onsen activities. Maybe the “powerful” onsen industry are afraid that in doing so everyone could enjoy free onsen at home while warming-up their homes at the same time!

It's possible to exhaust, for a while, all the heat trapped in hot spring areas. New Zealand had that issue, by tapping too much geothermal energy for heating and other uses, they almost lost the power of the geysers, that were a tourist hit. They had to stop all geothermal energy use for 20 years, to allow the pent up geothermal energy to recharge, and some extinct geysers came back into action. They also had to find ways to reinject the discharged water to help the recharge process.


5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Women's rights activists in Japan demand dual-surname option See in context

As pointed out by Antiquesaving, for international marriages in Japan, the standard rules that both people must have the same name doesn't apply. My wife still uses her maiden name for everything, and when she renewed her passport, she was given the option of putting my family name in brackets, after her name (which she did).

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Yamaha Motor first to use green aluminum in motorcycles See in context

I smell a bit of greenwashing here. Where do they get the power from to melt down and clean up the recycled Al? Since smelting and refining uses a lot of energy that must be from a reliable supply, which renewables like solar and wind are not, I'm guessing that they get it from fossil-fuelled or nuke plants and then buy some of those "carbon credits" or plant a few trees to assuage their guilt or tick the right ESG boxes.

New Zealand's Tiwai Point aluminum smelter has a dedicated hydroelectricity power station to supply all its energy needs (The Manapouri hydroelectric power station). Although solar and wind are not always reliable for constant manufacturing processes, like smelters, hydroelectricity is a lot more controllable. Of course, you need a lot of land, and to dam a river, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese fighter jets land in Philippines for 1st time since WWII See in context

Japanese fighter jets land in Philippines for 1st time since WWII

Pedantic it is, I know, but did Japanese jets actually land in the Philippines in WWII? Japanese fighter aircraft, of course did, but jets? (Yes, I know it's pedantic, but if no Japanese fighter Jets have landed ever before in the Philippines, then the headline just sounded a bit strange to me). I actually don't know WWII Japanese experimental aviation history that well, (I know about the German Messerschmitt Me 262 programs, etc, but not the Japanese equivalent). So, I'm curious as to is Japan actually did have any experimental fighter jets in WWII that were in the Philippines.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Posted in: Dairy farmer shoots man in head with air gun while attempting to exterminate crows See in context

I'd really like to know what kind of air gun can put someone in a coma. 

Many of the air rifles used in Japan are PCP air rifles (pre-charged pneumatic), and are very different from the old Daisy break barrel kind of air rifle people may have in mind. I have a license and use one for target shooting (at a range), but my one is only in .177 caliber.

Several of the hunting PCP air rifles used for hunting in Japan can have up to 60 - 80 joules in power, and .44, or 7 mm calibers as well as the more traditional .22, etc. On comparison a BB rifle that many of us might have used in the backyard in our home countries is only about 10 joules, and the max allowed for airsoft in Japan is a bit less than 1 joule.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Since there’s been no thinning, their growth stopped while their trunks were still narrow. It is time for trees to be cut down. But they are left uncared for due to low demand for domestic timber and a shortage of forestry workers. See in context

How about chopping down the cedar trees off of western Tokyo? Replace them with young trees of various sorts to recreate a forest again, instead of a failed industrial tree farm that continues to torment the population of springtime Tokyo?

That precise project was considered. The impetus of course, was political as a election pledge that might resonate with hayfever suffering voters, Tokyo politicians did the following:

In that 2016 study, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government asked sufferers what to do about the problem. The top answer in the multiple-choice survey was for the government to do research to find a cure for hay fever. In second place was to reduce the release of pollen by felling trees and trimming branches.

The results was:

Aiming to reduce pollen production, the national research body Forest Research and Management Organization, as of the end of 2017, had developed 142 varieties of low-pollen cedar and three no-pollen types, as well as 56 varieties of low-pollen cypress. Low-pollen varieties typically release less than 1 percent of the volume that regular trees produce.

I didn't quite understand this logic, because the main problem is cedar trees that were planted a long time ago around, and that are economically unproductive to manage or harvest, and so are just left where they are. Gradually clearing them in sections and replacing with a more native balanced type of species forest would benefit both the voters, and the wildlife that would have more diversity. Instead they go for the option of developing new cedar types. But the problem is not that there isn't enough cedar, it's just that most of it isn't needed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: First audio recorded on Mars reveals two speeds of sound See in context

Mars also has very valuable deposits of Turbinium. This mineral is not available on Earth but is very common on Mars.

Well, in Total Recall movie world it has Turbinium. I’m sure you realize in real life, Turbunium is a fictional mineral.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese Youth Conference petitions government to end compulsory after-school club activities See in context

When I taught at a low level private school every student was forced to do a club as it was part of the school’s aim of creating a commitment; especially as the aim of the Kocho-sensei was that the students become good factory employees (human robots). Since then, I’ve only taught at academic public schools, and only about 50% of students do a club. Study time is seen by the school as being more important to their future at an academic school. However, none of the schools considered students leisure time and psychological health in their formula.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Russian offensive widens in Ukraine as U.S. imposes new trade sanctions See in context

If nuclear, chemical or biological weapons are used then I think NATO is going to have to take a very deep breath and intervene.

If biological weapons are used that may very well end up being an indirect attack on NATO. A biological attack, such as smallpox doesn’t stop at the border and would quickly move to Poland (but Putin might gamble that this would seal the Polish border). . Likewise a false flag terrorist type attack on Ukraines nuclear reactors, is also likely to send radiation across the borders into Europe. Even low yield tactical nuclear weapons combined with burning building that would release radioactive smoke would be carried over to Poland. At what point does NATO draw a red line?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Pentagon rejects NATO nations providing jets to Ukraine See in context

We've all seen the ridiculously long tables and tennis court sized distances that Putin keeps between him and everyone else, even his closest generals. Ostensibly, this is for Covid reasons, but in addition, it is probably, of late, more to protect against a Von Stauffenberg type assassination attempt. Putin is Stalin-esk in the sense, he would even refuse to trade to save his own son's life, but the ONE life he does care about is his own. He may be borderline mad, manic, and extremely paranoid, but above all else, he's paranoid to ensure his own survival. In the end, that, as well as the fact that the nuclear arsenal involved layers of people outside himself to activate, are the reasons that the nuclear option is a bluff.

However, before that line, there are other options he can take. Despite instantly destroying what economy remains to him, he can stop the gas line to Europe.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: McDonald's to temporarily close 850 stores in Russia See in context

Good on them to continue paying employees.

I agree. The minimum wage fast food worker at a McDonald's in Vladivostok or Moscow shouldn't be the ones bearing the brunt of Putin's mania. However, I'm just wondering about the technicalities of how they'll be able to keep paying them for months upon months? Of course, McDonald's global has the money for it, but they can't move that money into the country due to banking shutdown and sanctions. And, it wouldn't surprise me if the funds McDonald's has in its Russian banks get seized by Russia on whatever flimsy pretext. The same goes for every multinational company that is pulling out of Russia, but continues to pay the wages.

But at least, they didn't just abandon their workers.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Ukraine says Russia stepping up shelling of residential areas See in context

So the reason none of the European nations willing to send war planes is because they fear they won't have enough for themselves and want US to promise to compensate them with f16. 

No! It’s because Ukraine has asked for Russian warplanes as that is what the Ukrainian pilots are used to flying, and have trained for war in. But, many of the NATO former USSR countries that still have them, have them serviced by a Russian service team in an old agreement. Maintaining a bunch of old Mig 29s without replacement parts, or a proper service team during a war won’t last long.

A better compromise would be supplying Ukraine with more Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones, which they already have and use.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Police ask owners to turn in their crossbows as new ban goes into effect See in context

Up until 2006 there was no power limitation for modified airsoft guns. After a bunch of Osaka punks on scooters started firing 6mm steel ball bearings at cars, from modified airsoft guns that fired at power ratings equal to normal CO2 pellet air guns, they changed the law (to 0.98 joule). It was estimated there were 800,000 overpowered customized airsoft guns. After the law only 1/8th of those were powered down, almost none were handed in as requested, and 700,000 remain unaccounted for. Without a buyback scheme and no way to know who owns what, the honesty voluntary give up something you spent a lot of money for, didn’t work for airsoft. Will it work for crossbows?


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman found dead in bathtub last year had ¥150 mil life insurance See in context

I hope he knows Japan has more CCTV cameras than people. Probably not.

Yes, but time is an issue with CCTV records. The majority of CCTV cameras don't hold the data for longer than 1 - 3 months, and this occurred seven months ago in July last year. Most CCTV data storage would have written and re-written over itself repeatedly in the last 7 months.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for asking acquaintance to store shotgun cartridges in restaurant See in context


It's true that was a bureaucracy problem for the Olympics, but that is very different from the connotation of this article. Shotgun cartridges' are not very big, and there were only three of them. (It's not as those it was three large suitcases). So, asking someone 'to hold on to to something small but dodgy for you a while so it's not in your possession,' - that's suspicious. As usual with articles, there is a lack of information (were any of the licensed to own a shotgun and ammunition, did the shop happen to have a safe, and therefore they thought storing the shells in a safe was the proper procedure?). Otherwise, it all is just dody.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese drugmaker Shionogi mulls developing vaccine for Omicron See in context

Probably the company's way of trying to get the government to give them money for research 

Their vaccine push probably helps with leverage, but not necessarily with research money. Shionogi’s most important profit line is in analgesics. I use their pain med products. They’re the only Japan licensed maker and provider of OxyContin. At the same time they started their first vaccine push last year, they convinced the govt to loosen dispensing criteria for their OxyContin. (That’s a good thing IMO).


-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: There is no reason to distinguish between residents due to their citizenship with regard to the local referendum system. See in context

Most countries do not allow non-citizens to vote in general elections. When they do allow, there are restrictions.

My birth country of New Zealand, did an interesting switch on that. Permanent residents are allowed to now vote in everything (National and local elections, etc). However, citizens, and permanent residents who have been out of the country for more than 1 year can't vote. It was done because the population had risen from around 4 million to 5 million through immigration, but at the same time, there are about 1 million Kiwi citizens overseas long term. So, while some political parties saw benefit in allowing permanent residents to vote for them, other parties were worried that expats Kiwis were biased against them.

Meanwhile, Switzerland, a country I'm a dual citizen of, but have never lived in, invites me to vote in their monthly referendums. (I don't simply because I don't believe I should vote for things in a country in which I don't live and therefore don't have to be responsible for the consequences).

8 ( +9 / -1 )

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