kiwi07 comments

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).

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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).

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Posted in: Man gets suspended sentence for killing and injuring about 100 cats See in context

There is a link between harming animals and then moving on to people...

Agreed. He needs a proper psychiatric assessment. We're not talking about someone who hates cats and throws something at strays. He actively captured to torture them,


The perp is 49, a little late for escalating to human beings don’t you think? 

Are you suggesting that possible psychiatric illnesses that cause a person to want to to harm others has an age limit - a young age limit of 49 at that??? Here's a man-child with a desire to harm and torture other living things, with a possible untreated psychiatric illness, who now feels even more powerless and trapped in is life as he has been caught for this, and will soon be back in society. Free to roam anywhere there are powerless animals; oh say, children's playgrounds for example. - But you're suggesting that won't be a problem because he's 49 years old. This logic escapes me.

Also, was he using a pellet air rifle instead of an airsoft gun? If so he needed to be licensed for it, and even if he was licensed for it, usually the courts are harsh on irresponsible gun use, even if it is just a pellet air rifle.

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Posted in: Japan considers lending statue of famed Chinese Zen master to China See in context

He came to Japan in 1654 and died here in 1673, so as the statue was created in 1663 (9 years after he arrived in Japan), that would make the case for its Japanese origin providence relatively simple.

So, it is not like a relic, or similar, that mysteriously disappeared from another country, and whose origin and method of acquisition are murky. That makes Japanese ownership clear, so is probably the reason it is considered OK for lending out.

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Posted in: Japan issues new ¥500 coins for 1st time in 21 years See in context

Whatever happened to the ¥2,000 note?

> Apparantly they are passed out at foreign banks if tourists exchange some money before coming to Japan,

Pretty much that. Every time I've made a visit back home, and for one reason or other, needed to buy Japanese yen before returning, my home country banks, after giving me the 10,000 yen notes always gave me the loose extra notes as 2,000 yen notes. Made for some suspicious double takes at a convenience store when I paid for things with them once. Not sure why, but it seems the Japanese mint must use them only for foreign distribution.

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Posted in: Man arrested for molesting elementary school girl in park See in context

This is a perfect example of where a child sex offenders national list is needed. Yes, for all we know it may have been a first time offense, if so it wouldn’t have stopped this situation. But, the suspect openly acknowledges he has a desire and that he clearly can’t stop himself acting on it if the opportunity arises (assuming he wasn’t already in the park for that purpose; if so that adds an extra predatory seeking behavior to it). As he will be back in society soon enough, without a child offenders list there’s no way to keep tabs on him or to do a background check on him.

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Posted in: Hair from culled Hokkaido deer made into jeans See in context

As for deer, I feed my dog wild hunted Japan venison. High protein, low fat, and being wild, what fat there is, is higher in omega-3 than grain fed farmed animals.

Until the Americans took over the country no THC hemp was grown but the Americans banned it.

Hemp is still grown in Yamanashi, and JA sells certified seeds to the growers with permits. Technically, as long as you have a permit, and use JA seeds then you can grow hemp in Japan. It is not no THC hemp, but industrial hemp has less than 0.3% THC. I think the JA supplied variety has about 1.8%, (either way, it's useless for smoking, but good for everything else that hemp is used for, including painting canvasses).

Unfortunately for Japan, imported hemp derived products are far cheaper, so as a result, all the CBD, CBN, and CBG products available in Japan come from the US. (I used to use one locally produced oil product, but switched to an cheaper Colorado import).

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

Instead of doing "background checks", how about not letting anyone from outside Japan into the program? This way, there is no danger.

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. That brings up the issue of who is doing background checks on foreign students. If it is the universities, then the background checks are being done by the same organization that is desperate for every foreign student they can get.

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Posted in: Man arrested for smuggling gun parts from U.S. See in context

Unless we know the gun part, no one can be confident of the man's intent. It could be a serious situation. Alternatively, this could just be a situation blown out of proportion by the police to get some positive attention and easily thrown out of court later.

According to the Japanese news and accompanying pictures, it was a resin pistol body.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for smuggling gun parts from U.S. See in context

I'm assuming it was something like a rifled barrel for a pistol, which is obviously illegal.

I've never had any problem importing other gun parts for a PCB air rifle (scopes, buttplate, etc). But, I check with customs first, they have a contact office and are very friendly in giving a written reply by email as to if it is OK, and it has always been OK. Likewise, I custom build my own airsoft pistols as a target shooting hobby, and I've never had any issues being allowed to import either individual parts or conversion kits.

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Posted in: Toyota cuts global production further on virus issues, chip woes See in context

I don't believe that at all. The chip shortage won't get better until 2023.

it seems the critical shortage is in the 28 nm and 14 nm chips, in which, Taiwan and China are the lead manufacturers. As the chip shortage is only one piece of the supply chain woes, it seems like the shortage in other parts could end up being a bigger supply chain factor by 2022.

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Posted in: 2 injured in acid attack in Tokyo subway station; suspect at large See in context

It is time to tighten the rules for the purchase of certain chemical products.

I buy sulfuric acid for hobby reasons, however due to shipping laws it can only be 10% strength; the same strength as weak car battery acid. To get stronger acids such as what this guy must have obtained in a more speciality place.

after a kid used acetone to make a crude bomb, they tried to tighten down on buying acetone, but as it is ubiquitously used for hobby and DIY uses, and whenever Japan tries to introduce bureaucracy for these things, they make it overly complicated do drop the effort a while instead of producing a workable system.

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Posted in: How COVID pandemic changed methadone treatment for addiction See in context

In New Zealand it is also used for chronic pain in place of other opioids.

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Posted in: Aluminum cans slowly replace plastics to tackle marine pollution See in context

Typo - glass melting point is approximately 1.5 times higher than aluminum (not 2.5X).

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Posted in: Aluminum cans slowly replace plastics to tackle marine pollution See in context

Although aluminum cans, including beer and other drink cans, still contain a plastic liner inside, that liner uses a lot less plastic than an entire plastic bottle. Plastic is usually down-cycled into lower grade products, not recycled, whereas aluminum cans become new drink cans.

Aluminum is relatively easy to recycle with a low melting point, a bit over 1/3rd that of steel, and as it’s vastly cheaper to recycle aluminum as opposed to refining bauxite ore to make new aluminum, then there’s that added cash incentive to collect and recycle it, as opposed to plastic.

Glass is great, but it’s heavy so has extra transport issues, has a melting point 2.5 times higher than that of aluminum, and where I grew up in the 70s and 80s smashed glass beer bottles were a much bigger pain (literally- a lot of cut open feet), at the beach and in the rivers than aluminum. (Personally, I do prefer beer from a glass bottle though. Asahi still comes in big bottles at the Super.)

I have an estrogen receptor brain tumor, which responds negatively to BPA from plastics. But it is so ubiquitous in our environment that it’s hard to avoid.

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Posted in: Tokyo's real life Paw Patrol keeps crime on short leash See in context

Its really sad to see so many dogs in Tokyo in summer wearing dog clothes... Are the owners trying to kill their pets?

Some of the dog Summer jackets are made for cooling. There’s types that are wet with cold water and the evaporation keeps the body cold; they work for about an hour. There’s also gel filled types which are put in the fridge overnight and stay cold an hour or so while walking. And some are cooled by those coolies that are put in dog jacket pockets; the same type of gel filled coolies that keep Cooley bins cold.

Even if you stick to walking a dog at 6.30 am and again at night, as we do, overhearing is an issue. The wife uses the cold water evaporation type jacket, which out dog seems to like.

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Posted in: Waiting for a bite See in context

Very cute! The age range of the three, makes it look a like a 'fun for all ages' activity. Could easily be grandad, father and son.

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Posted in: Tokyo hotel criticized for 'Japanese only' notice for elevator use See in context

Some Japanese guests have asked the hotel whether they were prohibited from using elevators marked as for "foreigners only," they said.

The article unfortunately doesn't report what the hotel's answer were to those questions.

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Posted in: Shop hopes its deerskin goods focus minds on Japan's huge deer culls See in context

I feed my dog venison topper from wild caught Hokkaido venison. The deer is processed in a jibie wild game processing center, and is usually sold for human food (especially restaurants). But with Covid, they had a tough time selling, so I buy the tougher and cheaper cuts (shoulder), and pressure cook it. Much lower fat than farmed meat. But I grew up in NZ on hunted venison, so always been a fan.

Unless Asiatic wolves are reintroduced, then humans are the only apex predator capable of controlling deer and boar numbers.

I couldn’t pass my hunting license, (ironically the shotgun license is easier for me to pass than the hunting license).

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Posted in: Dentist arrested over possession of 3 modified model guns See in context

According to a Japanese article, the police were working on a tipoff, and all three converted pistols were modified airsoft revolvers, allegedly converted into firearms with enough power to kill.

You would have to go to a massive amount of trouble to modify an airsoft revolver into a workable firearm. You'd either need to replace nearly every part, or you'd end up with something that was liable to explode if it was ever fired.

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Posted in: Toshiba's No. 2 shareholder calls for immediate resignation of chairman, 3 directors See in context

But please stick to reality. It is an exaggeration to say the new propellers the Soviets were then able to produce made their subs "100 times quieter"

The 100 times figure was from a variety of reports I read about the fiasco. I used the term, "which was one of the factors" because, as you mentioned, there is more to a submarine than its screws. Everything I've seen suggested that 'one of the factors, was the Toshiba milling machine. other factors were the Walker spy ring + Soviet independent advances.

"  In addition to the illegal acquisition of Western secrets, the Soviet Union has made new submarine advances on its own. Id. New Soviet attack submarines, named Mike, Sierra, and Akula, are 100 times quieter then the older Soviet submarines. Id."

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Posted in: Toshiba's No. 2 shareholder calls for immediate resignation of chairman, 3 directors See in context

It's kind of minor compared to past Toshiba scandals. I mean, with the Toshiba-Kongsberg incident of the late 1980s, they secretly falsified records and sold nine axis milling machines to the Soviets for screw milling, which was one of the factors that enabled the Soviets to make their Akula and Sierra class submarines up to 100 times quieter than they had been before. Two Toshiba subsidiary employees were arrested and charged, and four executives resigned. Even the US Senate and House wanted a five year trade sanction against Toshiba, but Reagan rejected, in part due to intense Japanese lobbying.

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Posted in: Teacher arrested over video voyeurism in girl’s toilet at elementary school See in context

If the guy was never caught with any crime, he won't be in police' radar.

That's true, it is not a perfect solution because it doesn't stop first time offenders. But it does at least stop repeat offenders, and gives any organization that needs to screen adults to be around children, one layer of being able to check past offences. Currently, there is nothing to stop teachers moving to a new prefecture, and becoming teachers again. Even if there is a national BOE level database, the Jukus, private tutoring firms, scout and girl guides, and other children's organizations couldn't access it. A national sex offender database at least helps to screen out repeat offenders.

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Posted in: Teacher arrested over video voyeurism in girl’s toilet at elementary school See in context

People involved in the care and education of small children should be examined very carefully in their jobs, 

In my home country, everyone who works, volunteers, or otherwise has a regular role in a school needs a police background check. My mother needed a police background check just so she could volunteer a few hours a week in the local school library, after she retired.

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Posted in: Teacher arrested over video voyeurism in girl’s toilet at elementary school See in context

Yes, absolutely a sex offenders registry is required. In the few surveys I’ve seen over the years, public support is there for one, and conversely, I have never heard a convincing reason for there not being one. Occasionally, local politicians (at governor and mayor level), have asked for one, but they can only control what happens in their jurisdiction (which is why some localities have a version of that).

The only thing that will make it a national reality, is if central govt politicians call for it. Even if they did it, and enacted it, as a smokescreen method so the public overlook other things, it would still be progress.

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Posted in: 15-year-old boy arrested after stabbing gun shop employee See in context

@kiwi07..."air rifle license"? Wtf lol!

Yes, to join a target shooting club (and, yeah, I know what you mean). But, the air rifles used in Japan aren't your daisy BB or break barrel type pellet gun. They are mostly PCP air rifles, which are a lot more powerful. They are often used for hunting as well (a separate exam is required for that).

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Posted in: 15-year-old boy arrested after stabbing gun shop employee See in context

"Gun Shop" most likely means replica, airsoft gun shop.

As other posters commented, there are gun shops, but there is a strict limit as to the number allowed in any area. I have an air rifle license, and the only place I can buy one was of course from a gun shop. Foreigners with a centrefire rife license are very rare b(I only know of one). But there are a number of foreigners that have their shotgun license for clay pigeon shooting, and to get that license, you first need to purchase 100 shotgun shells to use for your practical shooting exam.

Although, one of Japan's worst shooting incidents, the Zama and Shibuya shooting, involved the taking of hostages in a gun shop. It was due to that incident that the time period required for centrefire hunting rifles increased to first having owned a shogun for 10 years.

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Posted in: Smoking gun: French film can't kick nicotine habit See in context

When I was 11 years old, I used the money from my first paper route payday to go and see my first ever movie in a cinema. It was a James Bond movie (a rerun), in which Sean Connery's smoking scenes were a central part. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. So, I used my second paper route payday to buy my first pack of cigarettes' (there was an age limit to buy, but the small corner shop owner didn't care, the same way he didn't care about selling me fireworks way underage). I finally quit smoking in my 20s.

Of course, if I was 11 years old now, I would have the internet, so a smoking James Bond would probably be the least of my bad influences

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Posted in: Japan's strict gun laws trigger problems for Olympic shooting See in context

Air-guns don't use normal bullets (with gunpowder) as with a standard "gun".

They use a type of metal pellet that is propelled with air.

It's a bit arcane to regulate an otherwise harmless pellet.

I think the article might be talking about two different things. I have an air rifle license in Japan for a PCP air rifle, but there has never been a restriction on me buying .177 and .22 caliber pellets in Japan. They openly sell them on Amazon and Rakuten, and when I've wanted special types, I've had them sent to me from overseas without any issues, and they were always cleared by customs without needing to inquire about my license, etc. While the article starts off talking about air rifles, and limits on air pistol ownership, I think they're talking about the issues for other types of shooting events when they talk about limitations on ammunition. There are very strict limitations on proper

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Posted in: Pet seller arrested for keeping 85 dogs in poor living conditions See in context

There are like 5 or 6 animals shelters in all of Japan yet hundreds of dubious pet shops and puppy mills where conditions are horrific and abuse rampant. 

Added to that issue is that there are a number of fake shelters. It's illegal to sell dogs without a license, but it is not illegal to rescue and rehome dogs without a license as a charity and charge a fee for it (even if the fee is several hundreds of thousands of yen). When we were looking to adopt our dog, several so called 'dog shelters', and 'dog rescue organizations' were underground breeders. Legitimate shelters, such as ARK, and Heart Tokushima, etc, welcome volunteers, are not breeding the dogs, and are often trying to rehome the harder to adopt out dogs, such as older dogs. We got our dog from a city dog pound in the end (保健所).

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