knowitall comments

Posted in: Virginia becomes hotbed of diplomacy over Sea of Japan name See in context

We are not politicians; we are citizens, we are moms and dads, Kim said

Citizens of where? If Korea, they have no business petitioning a US state to change its textbooks. If USA, they have no business getting involved in political disputes of foreign countries.

Things like this make me question where the loyalties of such "hyphenated" Americans lie. If it were a cultural issue, maybe; but this is a political issue. Korean- and Chinese-Americans seem to be using the USA as a venue to front the political interests of countries they never were or are no longer citizens of in there never-ending grudge against Japan.

And then there are the micro-managing politicians. Will their decision benefit students if the state can't use the best textbook if it only uses the official internationally recognized name for some insignificant body of water on the other side of the world?

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Posted in: Splish splash See in context

They do this in Nagano too.

At night.

In the snow.

If they guys in toasty Tokyo become pure, I wander what they become in Nagano where it is like minus 15 degrees.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's national health insurance can save your life and savings See in context

Fortunately for me, I was one of the 80-odd percent of Americans who had private health insurance, for which I paid about $40 less per month than I pay into the Japanese health plan.

No deductibl, no coinsurance, and no copayment and not subsidized by an employer, but less than Japanese national health insurance? I doubt that very much.

National average for kokuho is 85,123 yen a year (actual premium differs by prefecture, income, etc.). Maybe you can get it for less than with shakai hoken, provided by most employers, which includes pension (social security). But from somebody who thinks he has to file paperwork every time he goes to the doctor, I doubt you even know what you are even paying.

If American insurance is so cheap, why does 20% of the population not have it?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's national health insurance can save your life and savings See in context

In Japan, you are required to pay, even with National Insurance. You the submit the forms and are reimbursed the 70% of the cost which the national system covers.

You either are doing it wrong or you have no first-hand knowledge of the system. You simply show your insurance card at the hospital/clinic, and they then only charge you 30% of the total costs. No forms unless you forget your card and have to pay the full price. No doubt that the US has some very good doctors, but they prices for medial treatment are outrageous and you never know when the insurance company will try to find a way out of paying. $5000 dollars or more for a colonoscopy (almost the price of the device itself, which is used over and over)! I got a colonoscopy here in Japan for less than $100 out of pocket (i.e. after national insurance).

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: British 'drug mule' faces 10 years' jail after acquittal overturned See in context

Why would a middle-aged geologist try to peddle "stimulants," which aren't worth that much money anyway.

Not being familiar with the going price, I looked to Nikkei Shimbun to find out that stimulants (meth) go for 70,000 yen per gram. 5500 grams x 70,000=175 million yen. I am sure the mule's cut is a lot less, but probably more than what I could make for a couple days "work."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan’s 20 best free sightseeing spots See in context

Kurobe Dam free? Sure there is free to look at the thing, but it costs 2500 yen round trip to get there unless you want to climb over a mountain. And that is just from the Nagano side! From Toyama side it is a bus, cable car, and trolley ride that will run you close to 10,000 yen round trip. Show up at Kurobe Dam with 1000 yen in your pocket and you will see how "free" it is.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Ships collide off Japan coast; 5 dead,1 missing See in context

Sad situation. It's a heavily trafficked area. Hope they find the person missing, and hope the five in 'cardiac arrest' end up okay.

Unfortunately, they were all dead. Only a doctor can declare someone officially dead in Japan (maybe there are exceptions if the body is in a state where it would be impossible to come to any other conclusion). So, the media will not say "dead" until a doctor says so. While there may be hope of resuscitation (I did see the divers giving CPR on the deck), all too often the person is dead if the media says "no heartbeat" or "cardiac arrest". Many media 'translators' just don't know how to interpret the meaning of this to the international audience.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man caught driving wrong way on expressway said he was going back the way he came See in context

Unless it causes an accident, driving the wrong way on an expressway is not a traffic violation in Japan. (no fines, no demerit points).

Wrong! 9000 yen and 2 points (for passenger car). Penalty for driving the wrong direction is not limited to expressways. Same applies for driving on the right side of the center line. (Article 17 of the road traffic law) What is your source for saying this is not a violation??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Man caught driving wrong way on expressway said he was going back the way he came See in context

This whole paragraph is just plain awkward and confusing. Was the man actually driving his car backwards or driving in the opposite direction of traffic?

Checking Japanese sources, you see that he was merely going the wrong way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: M6.5 quake hits eastern Japan; no tsunami risk See in context

Nevertheless, the measurements of the USGS and the JMA are often different when quakes are reported. Sometimes, one group or the other adjusts it later. Deal with it.

I think you misunderstood me. I was speaking of the 6.5 (or 6.9) and 3 difference. I have no problems "dealing with" USGS and JMA difference. I was merely pointing out that the article gave no definition for the "3". The "3" is NOT magnitude.

Please re-read my comment, and you will see that made no reference at all to the USGS and JMA difference.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: M6.5 quake hits eastern Japan; no tsunami risk See in context

AFP/JT is mixing apples and oranges.

"6.5 magnitude" is how powerful it was in terms of energy released.

"Tokyo where it registered a 3" indicates seismic intensity (how much shaking at a specific point) on the Japanese "shindo" scale.

Magnitude does not change depending on location. A 6.5 magnitude quake is a 6.5 magnitude quake. Period.

Unfortunately, whoever compiled/edited this for AFP doesn't know his earthquakes. I am no expert, but I certainly know the difference between magnitude and shindo.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Hot Halloween See in context

They have Christmas stuff for sale at Costco already.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: SDF sees surge of popularity thanks to anime tanks See in context

Steam-Powered Exercise??

Did the SDF suddenly go back to the 1800s? This must be some steam punk SF version of the firepower (Karyoku) exercises held annually.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Commuters receptive to JR’s innovative new system of keeping carriages cool See in context

This is not really new. It is a common practice in some places in the countryside during winter, as the cars can get very cold with the heater running. It is so common, that a friend's wife mistakenly tried to open a shinkansen door manually!

I hope this catches on with the cityfolk so they will at least be aware of the concept. I can't count how many times I have had to go close the door after some tourist gets on the train and leaves the door open (and I don't even ride the train that often!)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Swiss apologize for encounter Oprah calls racist See in context

I am still waiting to hear how much the other bag she was told would be more affordable costs. Any store with $38,000 handbags was surely not even carrying $38 handbags that would be "more affordable to the black lady" (or probably even $380 bags). For someone used to VIP treatment anywhere, anything less than 100% satisfaction must have a sinister reason like racism behind it. I think if the clerk was such a 'racist' she would have not even let Oprah in the door.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Ben & Jerry’s offer free ice cream to encourage people to vote on Sunday See in context

federal election is less important than choosing ice cream flavors

Well, it only makes sense as there is no such thing as a federal election in Japan. Japan is a constitutional monarchy, not a federation. So, until it becomes a federation, I will take the ice cream over something that doesn't exist.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan officials mistakenly reveal internal memos See in context

not in enligsh me guess and if it was in Japanese language only China can read it correctly

Of course! Everyone knows that only Asians can read Asian languages. Its genetic....

If you believe that, you probably believe that it was Chinese who translated the google instructions into Japanese and left out privacy instructions so they could get the Japanese data.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Asia's low fertility rate opens opportunities in IVF market See in context

Getting so desperate for babies that you start bribing women in their 40s to have them via IVF

Can you tell me where to go to get those bribes? Even with subsidies, it can cost more than a million yen a year for IVF in Japan if you are not one of the lucky ones go get pregnant in the first couple tries. I wish we knew that we could actually get paid instead of forking out millions of our own money...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 24-hour bus service to begin in Tokyo in December See in context

Shibuya to Roppongi is just a 3 km, 30 min walk (according to Google). You could get to your destination quicker by walking if the wait for a bus is more than 30 minutes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Free Wi-Fi for tourists to become available at 11 JR West stations See in context

The need to subscribe to a Wi-Fi service lies in the providers of such services being responsible for what happens on their networks. So, if someone uses a free Wi-Fi connection to upload viruses, the cops go looking for the owner of that IP address. The recent false arrest fiasco shows how the cops mainly go after IP addresses to find the culprits. So, some of the blame for lack of easy Wi-Fi access is legal worries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Legendary, Chinese group to make blockbuster films See in context

"Blockbuster" denotes a very popular or successful production. These guys must be able to tell the future if they are already declaring success!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after taking Lexus for test drive to grandmother’s house 180 km away See in context

Car dealers are so trusting in Japan. I wanted to do a test drive of a Honda Life, and they just handed me the keys. Granted it is a rather inexpensive car, but still valued at more than a million yen. No license check, no questionnaire. Just, "When can we expect you back?" Japan may have its faults, but you can't fault how trusting most people are (when they want to sell you something at least).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: S Korean media slam Abe's 731 jet photo See in context

A survey of all numbers and words that could be offensive to anyone in the world should be taken, and those numbers removed from use by anyone, at any time, for any reason.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Posted in: 64-year-old deer hunter shot dead by fellow hunter in Miyagi See in context

There is no need to cull. It's people messing around with the habitat for their own profit or out of ignorance who are the problem.

Ah, the words of the city dwellers who have not seen close up the damage an uncontrolled deer population in Japan can result in. Hell, even the liberal press in Nagano almost daily is lamenting about the lack of people who are licensed to shoot the habitat-destroying deer. Alpine flora, agricultural land, and trees are all victims of the overpopulation of deer (Nagano alone is trying to reduce the deer population by 35,000). Reintroduction of predators is not realistic in this day and age.

The regular hunting season is over, so this was an officially sanctioned cull to reduce the deer population to a manageable number. If more people would get over their phobia of guns and learn to use them responsibly, and if the laws on their ownership were made more realistic, the 80 year old wouldn't need to be out there doing something someone with better eyesight should be doing.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Can Tokyo be transformed into a 24-hour city? See in context

Before you get all worked up about the "multinationals" comment, remember that this is Weekly Playboy, a tabloid at best, and not a serious news outlet.

Until the unused hours when transportation is running are utilized, I frankly don't see the need for round-the-clock transport. Many shops don't open until 10 am, a good 5 hours after the trains start running. And those are 5 hours of daylight due to Japan's screwy time zone.

The main benefit for 24 hour a day train service is for those who want to go out drinking past midnight but don't want to make it an all-nighter. Maybe expanded late night bus service to the suburbs would help those out late (shorter taxi rides), but maintaining train lines when there is no break in service would be difficult to day the least.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Smart way to see Roppongi See in context

From the partially visible instructions, it looks like your phone has to have the Osaifu-Keitai e-wallel function. There is also a barcode visible. I doubt that it gives you anything that your smarthphone doesn't already have....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Mos Burger to take on McDonald’s in breakfast arena See in context

and five different types of pancakes at 190 yen each.

Note that this is a mistranslation. Not pancakes (hot cakes in Japanese), but hot sandwiches.

See the Mos press release <http://www.mos.co.jp/company/pr_pdf/pr_130225_1.pdf

If you want processed slop that is no better than microwaved frozen "food", you go to McDonald's. For real food, you go elsewhere. Fresh cooked is why Mos cannot serve you in 20 seconds or less.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: China calls on Japan to stop scrambling its fighters See in context

And when did the United Nation Security council EVER condemned China for aggressive actions? Tell me the No. of resolution, please!

Now that is just an utterly ridiculous statement. It is impossible for the Security Council to condemn China. Why, you ask? PRC has veto power in the Security Council. So, China would have to approve any condemnation of itself.

Oh, China is definitely expanding its territorial claims. For example, they think they own the ocean up to the coast of the Philippines!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: China calls on Japan to stop scrambling its fighters See in context

And why Japan never calls Russian to stop sending Tupolev95 bombers CIRCLING around the entire nation of Japan?

Isn't this article about China asking Japan to stop defending itself? As far as I know, the Russians don't tell Japan to stop scrambling fighters.

But if you want to talk about Japan's complaints about Russia, yes government protested the incursion into Japanese airspace last year. Don't you read the newspaper? In fact, Japan scrambled fighters against Russian approaches to its airspace 248 times last year. Like China, Russia actually went as far as violating airspace once last year. This is something that has been going on for decades. Both Russia and Japan know how to play the game. But occasionally, the Russians are caught offsides...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: China calls on Japan to stop scrambling its fighters See in context

Note that China doesn't say it will stop sending its planes toward Japan.

While the actual violation of airspace was a Y-12 prop plane, the majority of flights skirting Japan's airspace are by fighter jets (source: Ministry of Defense http://www.mod.go.jp/js/Press/press2013/press_pdf/p20130417_02.pdf )

So, until China says out of Japan's air defense identification zone, the scrambling will continue.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

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