kiwi07 comments

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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Posted in: Unused COVID shots piling up in Japan amid slow rollout See in context

Maybe they can just hand them out and let us do them ourselves.

They'll need to create a mascot for that campaign first; although the short lived Fukuppy mascot they designed for another project is ironically already perfectly named for this situation. - I always try to stay optimistic about these things, but it's hard not to be driven down the cynical path. It's not like they had a year head start to plan things out or anything

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Posted in: Gov't seeks safety guarantee over digital wage payout plan See in context

Pardon my ignorance, but my salary is already paid electronically into my bank account and I can pay for anything with a credit card linked to that account without ever touching cash. Am I missing something?

Exactly. Money goes into my acc, and then through my bank linked credit card to Apple pay (Suica app), online orders, supermarket purchases, Chemists, etc. I transfer vash by electronic banking to my wife's acc for things. The only time I touch cash is for small purchases at a convenience store or work cafe.

This sounds more like they're trying to find a way to bank the unbankable; those foreign interns that banks don't want to deal with. That could simply be solved by legislation forcing banks to bank everyone, instead of creating some wird digital currency system, which will have middle men at every step taking a free. Not to mention, giving even more control to employers over their foreign trainee interns.

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Posted in: Death of man attacked by bear sparks conversation about what to do when facing one See in context

I've seen bears riding a road bike on tarmac roads five times

First they skip the hibernation period, and next they take notes from their captive circus bear friends and start riding bikes.

When I lived in Inaka, I only ever lived in areas with black bears, which as most on here know, are a very different, smaller, and more timid animal to deal with as opposed to the Hokkaido brown bears. For the black bears and children, the bells worked quite well. One child was still attacked in my old area because he was late for school and running along a forest road, and being late, he'd forgotten his bear bell, so chanced upon an equally panicked black bear (he survived, but required extensive hospital treatment).

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Posted in: Princess Mako's boyfriend expresses resolve to marry her See in context

I think Al Bundy said it best on Married with Children:

"Al : Now Jefferson, all kidding aside, run. Run hard, run now, run silent, run deep, run like Mexican water through a first-time tourist, but the key word here is "run!"

Jefferson : Don't you think she's cute, Al?

**Al : ***Run."

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Posted in: Man arrested for kidnapping 15-year-old girl found dead in tent at campsite See in context

A short drop and a sudden stop for this pervert, please.

While I understand the sentiment, I think that may be giving him exactly what he wanted all along. Instead, a long life in prison with strict conditions may be his worst nightmare.

As for the rest of the situation, the saddest aspect, of course, is that too many young teens, want to kill themselves, and are in a situation where their developing minds are so frazzled, that they end up prey to all kinds of situations.

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Posted in: Hyogo residents learn downside to living in an apartment that used to be a yakuza office See in context

 they found four new dents, small but distinct, had been put into the shutter-style garage door on the building’s first floor. Then, while inspecting the area, they found what they believe are four ricocheted bullets,

These shutter style garage doors are made from quite thin metal. Even a .22 pistol would do more than just put "small but distinct dents" in such metal; if it was at reasonably close distance it would punch holes through it. Either it was fired from a considerable distance, or it was some improvised type pistol; unless it's an air pistol they are talking about. That and the fact that the petrol bomb was also a failure, and it was 10 years past the wrong address, it doesn't sound like an organized rival group.

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Posted in: Shizuoka Pref bans teachers from personal communication with students on social media See in context

From an IT perspective I would have stated that all comunication between teachers and students must be through services approved by the relevant IT Department of that BoE.

Yes, I communicate a lot with my students with the school's LMS system outside of class. All schools should have an LMS (Learning Management System), such as Google Classroom, Edmodo, etc, setup. I put lesson preview videos up a day before each lesson I teach, and review videos up after each lesson I teach my students. Students use it to prepare and revise on their smartphones at any time from my lesson review videos. Students also communicate with me directly through the inbuilt direct message system about homework problems, extra study problems, revision questions, etc. However, it is a school and BOE endorsed LMS system, and the school can monitor all communications. This is at a public high school, and students and teachers can interact through the school monitored app at an time.

My BOE had adopted LMS systems years ago, but some schools still hold out. When I moved to a new school, they wanted me to just use LINE and email to communicate with students, but I was able to convince them to adopt the BOE suggested LMS due to last year's lockdown. Many of the older teachers at my school, however, still use LINE as they are not I.T proficient enough to use the LMS system.

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Posted in: New Zealand remembers 185 who died in quake 10 years ago See in context

The CTV building collapse was one of those events where multiple errors and in one case fraud, all aligned to make a complete disaster. The man who designed the building was inexperienced in designing buildings over two stories in height, the company that employed didn't provide adequate monitoring of his work, and to top it off, the man in charge of supervising the buildings construction had a fake engineering degree he obtained through identity theft.

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Posted in: Pet ownership in Japan on the rise amid pandemic See in context

before the pandemic the shelters were filled with abandoned pets,

We have just adopted an older dog from a city operated dog shelter, and that city dog pound was full of abandoned dogs for the flip-side reasons stated in this article. A lot of people have lost their jobs, and in some cases their accommodation too due to Covid, and were forced to get rid of their dog. Unfortunately, a lot of these dogs are older, and so the city dog pounds are more full of these older abandoned dogs now due to Covid, compared to normal years. The one we adopted three weeks ago was a classic example, an abandoned beagle which the vet thinks is 8 years old, and was in a terrible temporary state of health due to bad nutrition from whoever abandoned it.

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Posted in: Universal basic income proposal by Suga adviser may be hard sell in Japan See in context

70,000 yen be paid every month to each citizen under the basic income program, 

The translation of 住民 into 'citizens' causes confusion. For example, the original 100,000 yen of Abe money paid out last year to each resident, was labelled as for '住民 in the Japanese plans, but was translated in the English language newspapers as 'citizens', and caused the mistaken belief that foreign residents were excluded, (which was the never plan, it was just the way it was reported in English). The Japanese articles I've read for this UBI idea also say 住民 instead of 国民. In reality, as many foreigners have paid into the pension scheme for more than the minimum number of required years, and have an individual pension number with a record of payments, and projected amounts expected back in pension payments, then it would be difficult for the government to scrap the pension system, etc, and not include foreign residents that have already paid into the system. Especially as several foreign residents I know that have been here 20+ years are already recently retired and receiving the pension.

However, I fully expect there will be some technicalities, such as the Vietnamese 'interns', being excluded from any UBI system.

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Posted in: 273 teachers in Japan punished in fiscal 2019 for sexual misconduct See in context

"The number of teaching staff who requested leave for mental illnesses stood at a record high of 5,478."

isn't this even more alarming?

and no one cares.

Although it is alarming, it is not more alarming than sexual molestation of students by teachers; instead it is its own separate serious topic that deserves an article by itself as the two are unrelated figures. Unfortunately, this situation is often overlooked, and some politicians actually encourage it, by speaking to their base about what they term as spoiled entitled teachers and their all too powerful unions.

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Posted in: New Zealand votes to legalize euthanasia but not marijuana See in context


The NZ law change only allows euthanasia for patients who have confirmed terminal illness with less than six months to live. That is partly put that way, to stop the possibility of some of those issues you pointed out.

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Posted in: Fake residence cards proliferating as more foreigners overstay visas See in context

¥5000 is cheaper than I paid for my legitimate gaijin card. They must be very thrifty.

Good point. The cost for the revenue stamps to the immigration office for my permanent residence visa was 6,000 yen + a few thousand yen to the local city office for confirmation of residence certificate, tax and pension payments certificates, etc. Even then, I till have to pay to replace the card every seven years to update my photo. I expected the black market version to be going for a lot more.

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Posted in: Japan’s healthcare system summed up in photo of hospital bill for father’s heart surgery See in context

I paid 325,000 yen out of a total bill of 5 million yen. That was for a 2 months hospital stay at a university research hospital, 12 hours of brain surgery, multiple MRIs, various catheter surgeries inside the brain, etc. No real complaints.

Not sure how the upper cap limit for my co-payment was decided, but they needed my income details first, so it probably had something to do with income level.

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Posted in: Man found dead in car on rail crossing suspected of killing woman See in context

How did he get a gun?

As usual, we'll have to wait for more details. But from the description of the area, it seems a bit inaka, so it isn't that uncommon for a person to have a shotgun license, or other type of gun license in inaka.

I'm more confused by the ages; 41 and 61. I wonder what the relationship between them was?

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Posted in: Life prison term to be finalized for Peruvian man for killing 6 See in context


Agreed. Prisons should not be used as substitutes for forensic psychiatric hospitals. A lifetime inside a forensic unit, keeps society safe, while potentially yielding answers. In regular prisons there re usually 4+ people per cell for all kinds of reasons, (dope, theft, etc), and Japanese prisons are no picnic. But the ideal for prisons is reform, and mixing clinically insane prisoners in the same cell as three other guys who will be out over the next few years, does nothing to normalize them back into society.

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Posted in: Police extend reward period for info on 1996 murder of student See in context


the statute of limitation has apparently been abolished for murder. Makes sense, as although circumstantial evidence and witness memories, etc, can become weaker over time, DNA evidence can still find a match beyond reasonable doubt decades later. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though they have DNA evidence in this case. Although it would be worth getting labs to go over all physical evidence again, as new techniques can find DNA evidence on samples, where older techniques could not. Even if the match they find is to a person who has already died, it may bring some closure at least to the family.

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Posted in: New Zealand's ruling party plans higher tax for top earners if re-elected See in context

As a Kiwi, I’m surprised by the number of stories in this online Japan newspaper about New Zealand. It seems every major movement by Jacinda’s govt gets a brief headline in the latest news section of JAPAN today.

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Posted in: Woman arrested for attempted murder after shooting crossbow arrow at man See in context

It's always seemed odd to me that I had to go through a barrage of paperwork, interviews, and an exam, just to be able to own an air rifle so I could join a club. But if I wanted a crossbow, which has a lot more power, all I have to do is order it from Amazon or Rakuten. In a country where everything else is regulated, from the length of a pen knife that you can carry, to the power of an airsoft pistol, it seems odd that crossbows are apparently unregulated. I assumed it had something to do with them being relegated as bow weapons and so they were categorized along with the type of bows used by high school Kyudo clubs; hence the lack of regulation.

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