kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: You can now buy replica JR train containers to sleep, hang out, or do whatever you want in See in context

2.97 million yen for the Train Storage, 7.7 million for the Train Gallery, and 9.9 million for the Sleeper Express

Wow! A used regular container will be about 200,000 yen for JR size (12 ft).

I don't know about the city, but in inaka, you can put one of these on your land without planning permission and claim it is temporary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Elton John: 'I'm more excited about music than ever' See in context

I'm pleased to hear he's excited about it, but I can't say I share that enthusiasm about modern pop.

I don't like Rolling Stone magazine to begin with, but they updated their list of greatest 500 songs last month. The ones from the past twenty years, Get Your Freak On at number 8 (!!) are generally very meh. I think this reflects the poor state of pop music since 2000. Just for comparison, Sight and Sound magazine does a critics' greatest film list, and it includes very few modern films. I think it was last done in 2012, but the Coen Brothers, Tarantino, etc. didn't get a look in.


-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: UK terror prevention program questioned after lawmaker slain See in context

Of the 697 people who were offered support packages by local Prevent panels, 43% were referred due to fears about far-right radicalization and 30% were linked to Islamic extremism, according to the Home Office.

Who to believe, 700 case studies by people actively involved, or someone on the Internet saying its all Muslims.

Just saying, but it wasn't a Muslim mob who stormed the US Capitol, resulting in several deaths. The situation could easily have spiralled out of control if the authorities had opened fire as they were entitled to. If storming your parliament is not a terror incident, I do not know what is. The US is a similar society to the UK, so the incident cannot be dismissed as irrelevant for the UK.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Mel Brooks plans sequel to 'History of the World, Part 1' See in context

I saw the original at the cinema when I was fourteen and thought it had its moments, but wasn't impressed on the whole. Too long and predictable. The earlier Brooks films like Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein are all-time classics. He might do better this time, but it'll need better writing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Mitsubishi Motors reveals design of all-new Outlander PHEV model See in context

I know this is a pre-announcement press release, but c'mon, its a plug-in hybrid! No info about electric-only range or the drivetrain? No-one will choose this car for the all-new accents in the plastic trim.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Man Utd lose at Leicester; five-goal Liverpool thrash Watford See in context

Villa will be the death of me. Good god.

2-0 to 2-3 in a local derby's gotta hurt. Wolves have been poor recently too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 2,500 cases reported of sexually exploitative photos of athletes See in context

Other women in Japan are groped on the train on a daily basis and filmed up their skirts on staircases in the station, by men including off-duty policemen. Women get paid less, passed over for promotion, and rejected from medical school. Those who are sexually attacked are forced into horrific re-enactments and invariably blamed if they went somewhere, even just a cafe, with the perp. These are far bigger issues than cropped photos of athletes bums or whatever underwear can be seen under their running gear. Like the stuff about having to wear shoes with 5cm heels, campaigns like this belittle and trivialize what happens to women in Japan. There are far more widespread and severe problems that deserve attention first. Let's protect the schoolgirls on the trains.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Man Utd lose at Leicester; five-goal Liverpool thrash Watford See in context

I wonder what Ronaldo is thinking about his decision to return to Utd

Dunno. He was gifted two goals in his first game back against Newcastle, which sent the hype machine into overdrive, and yesterday may be a better indication of his ability and contribution.

The thing Man U fans should be worried about is how easily Leicester got the last two goals. Vardy just moved off for a pullback and no-one went with him. The last one was a second ball off a corner where the defenders didn't move up to play offside. Both are pretty basic stuff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Authorities call fatal stabbing of UK lawmaker terrorist act See in context

Awful news. Twice in five years. The British voting system has many problems, but one advantage of first-past-the-post voting is that it makes the elected responsible for their constituents, and like Jo Cox, Amess was killed at a regular meeting with his. Such meetings are a vital part of what democracy there is in the UK. It was democracy that gave the killers the access to get at both MPs, and it will be a secondary tragedy if such access has to be limited or curtailed for MPs' safety.


2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: An integrated resort (IR) would greatly contribute to the local economy by attracting many visitors because it will comprise not only casinos but conference halls and hotels. See in context

Yokohama usually wins the "where would you like to live" polls they have in weekly magazines. I'd imagine they are getting on fine without a casino and it's no surprise they've elected a mayor who opposes it. The situation won't be as rosy in some other large Japanese cities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Finance chief defends bureaucrat warning against Kishida's stimulus plan See in context

Vice Finance Minister Koji Yano

That job title does not sound like that of a "bureaucrat". Ministers are usually part of the government, not the bureaucracy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: LDP seeks defense spending boost beyond 2% of GDP See in context

Is that him being applauded by the cabinet for doubling the Defense budget? If not, that photo should not be placed next to that headline.

the opposition still weak and fragmented.

Do the press ever pay them any attention? If you pay them no respect, and give them no chance, of course they are going to be weak.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida to seek economic growth before redistributing wealth See in context

Japan's economy should be 3x bigger. We're still at the same level of GDP like back in the 90s.

Japan has undeniably underachieved, productivity per hour worked is terrible, but 1990s Japan was coming off a "bubble", not a "boom". They call them bubbles because they have nothing inside them. 1980s Japan descended into simply hyping up asset prices.

Compared to 1990, Japan also now has 14 million fewer workers (aged 15-64) and 7 million fewer children driving consumption. Factor that in and Japan's performance has just been "meh", not uniquely terrible.

Getting back to Kishida, but this sounds like an indirect way of saying he's not going to hand out money before the election. You would normally expect the handouts or the prospects of them to be a vote winner.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the first bisexual Superman See in context

The latest Robin in the Batman comics came out as bisexual in August.

Can I be offended at Robin not being gay?! I don't think he likes girls.


-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan has lowest share of women studying science: OECD report See in context

If anything, the people throwing their arms up in the air and complaining about this are the ones who are discriminating against women for making different choices

If the choice is raising your own baby/toddler, I'm all for it. Having other people raise your baby/toddler is not ideal. Babies being collectively raised in facilities is actually a common theme in dystopian novels like Brave New World.

I am in favour of "stay at home mothers" of young children and think society should support them. However, what Japan supports is "full time housewives". Mothers of older children and childless housewives have far fewer chores to do and are less worthy of state support. Maintaining a household with grown or zero children is not a full-time job and not deserving of the free pension and health insurance many Japanese housewives get. Japanese women may choose to be housewives, but some of it is going to be due to incentives like this. The choice is people gaming a system, not freely choosing how they want to live.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Report touts benefits of second jobs for workers, firms See in context

I am not against people working more, but they must be rewarded for it and get ahead, not just get by.

Both in the West and in Japan, we seem to have gone from a society where only the husband worked, like my upbringing in the 1970s, to one where the husband and wife both work full time, but the family is no better off. They don't get to save more, in many cases less, and actually retire later. What's happened is the cost of living/housing has simply risen to absorb the second salary. This is regression to poverty, not progress.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan has lowest share of women studying science: OECD report See in context

We have two daughters and the elder of the two studies electronics at one of the Kosen technical colleges. It's a five year program that covers senior high and the first two years of college. The Kosen schools were established in the 1960s and there is one in most prefectures. They are run and funded by the national government independently of local BoEs, and seem like a really good setup. Anyway, out of forty on her course, there are only eight girls.

It looks like science courses at private university can cost a lot more than arts courses, up to 50% more. I would imagine that it is also much easier to fail them. If college is just a rite of passage on the route to employment and respectability, where the college name matters more than what you actually study, it makes sense to students to choose something cheap and undemanding, especially if they are female and have visions of becoming a housewife anyway.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Saudi control of Newcastle — victories over reality See in context

Many Newcastle fans would queue up to see Mike Ashley and his little sycophant Steve Bruce beheaded.

I understand the moral implications here but it is a plague on everyone's houses. It is very rich to expect football fans to take a stand against Saudi Arabia when very few in Britain are, the democratically elected British government and Royal Family included. The oft-mentioned journalist Khashoggi is vastly outnumbered by those killed during the construction of stadia for the next football World Cup or doubtlessly in those concentration camps in China, host of the next Winter Olympics. The England football team and GB Olympic team have no intention of boycotting those events and will be fervently cheered on by the same public now condemning Newcastle fans. The 2022 Winter Olympics and football World Cup will be far more explicit demostrations of soft power and sportswashing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida instructs cabinet to come up with economic package specifics See in context

Japanese productivity per hour worked is lowest in the G7. That's the obvious place to work on improving things in Japan. Even if people can't be paid more, help them work less. Having more time is another form of enrichment.


3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Nissan Frontier vs Toyota Tacoma in 2022 See in context

Niche market that just exploded and became so popular, don't get it myself. 

There were reasons for it, beyond the "dominate the road" type marketing. This is from 2006.

Congress recently passed a tax bill, as proposed in President Bush's economic stimulus plan, that offers a $100,000 tax credit for business owners who purchase any vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds or more when fully loaded.

100k in tax credit is way beyond the sweeteners people get for driving a kei car, and look how they distort the Japanese car market.


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Johnson says UK will emerge from Brexit, pandemic as more productive and dynamic nation See in context

I listened to the whole thing and it was just jolly backslapping delivered in the manner of a bad comedy act. Its very tempting to point out the individual lies, the humiliating withdrawal from Kabul being spun as a triumph for example, but the most important thing is that the poorest 30% of all non-pensioner households are now 1000 pounds poorer a year, just as food and utlility prices are climbing. Most of such people work. That is not leveling up by any stretch of the imagination.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Tourism minister to consider when to restart Go To Travel campaign See in context

Just an observation, but as the domestic tourism pie shrinks due to demographics, I think domestic tourism is also going the way of inbound tourism, i.e., becoming skewed away from the nationwide phenomenon it once was toward high profile sites that resemble oases in a vast desert of nothing. During the Showa period, we would have had inaka city companies doing onsen trips to little onsens in the same prefectures, and millions of schoolkids heading up into the hills to flophouses with baseball fields, archery ranges, tennis courts etc. they could use everyday in summer, that kind of tourism has collapsed and domestic tourism is now about people going to big hitters like Kyoto, Hakone, Okinawa, Kanazawa, Kamakura, Furano, Mt. Fuji, Hoshino Resorts, and TDL, leaving just a handful of adventurous types, folk on motorbikes etc., going to run-down middle-of-nowhere places up in the hills. So the biggest beneficiary of Go To will be central Kyoto, Okinawa, and Disney Resorts. It will barely affect a granny with a minshuku in Yamaguchi.

We used GoTo ourselves only once, and it was a trip to Disney Sea where we stayed at a normally expensive hotel next door. If its half price, the logical thing to do is go somewhere you think is expensive, somewhere you normally cannot afford. It is far more logical and easier than going twice as much to the normal cheap places you would usually go to.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Tourism minister to consider when to restart Go To Travel campaign See in context

If anyone has a better idea how to revive this part of the economy now's the time to say it

To ease Covid pain, the thing to do was furlough workers in the affected sectors when lockdown measures were in place.

Regarding "reviving", it is important to realize that unless people who can afford it stop travelling overseas (highly unlikely), domestic travel is going to decrease anyway. It is not a growth industry. The reason is simple demographics. Look at the active population, the number of people genki enough to travel, mostly under 75. It is falling by about one million people a year. Demographics will mean a number of hotels, onsens, minshukus etc. are going to go bust in the coming years anyway. Every province has a tourism promotion agency and is coming out with pretty drone footage of mountains and seascapes and shots of people glamping, eating great food, and whatever, but they are fighting each other for a share of a rapidly dimishing pie. It would be wiser to spend national money on diversifying provincial economies, such as by decentralization. Decentralization would also increase resilience against natural disasters and pandemics. Shift stuff out of Tokyo and you no longer have "mitsu".

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Honda becomes 1st Japanese automaker to sell cars online domestically See in context

there is an option to buy out a subscribed car before the contract expires.

The headline is probably incorrect. If there is a "subscription" and an "option to buy", this is a leasing service, so Honda is not "selling" cars online.

Leasing a car will work for some people, but it is smoke and mirrors to suggest it is cheaper than buying one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Letters from Japan: ‘Am I missing out?’ See in context

If you live in Japan for five years and still teaching English, this is not an option, pack up and don't waste your life any further

English teaching is a fine career if you commit to it and want it to be. Open a school and get other people to do the teaching if you like, or get qualified enough to do a desirable teaching job. They do exist.

The story is someone 7 years out of college approaching a "birthday". If its the big three-O, a bit of self-reflection is completely normal. Note that the people who reflect on where their lives are going at 30 include those on career ladders but experiencing strong doubts. The grass is not always greener.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Letters from Japan: ‘Am I missing out?’ See in context

I’ve been talking to friends back home and they all have proper careers

This person thinks whatever they are currently doing is not a "proper career". You can have a proper career in Japan if you want one, but it'll need a commitment to something. In the private sector, it may also be subject to the usual Japanese constraints on moving between companies.

Living in another country in your twenties makes it easy to drift along in a situation you see as temporary and put off any decisions or preparations toward building a career.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Why climate change is making it harder to chase fall foliage See in context

I love autumn, it's my favourite season, but this is the first time I've heard the expression "leaf peeping". Viewing autumn leaves is an activity definitely worthy of a name.

Here in Nagano, the leaves are out in force at about 1800m above sea level. We were up there yesterday, it was a glorious cloudless day, and there were hundreds of people out. It's a great time of year to be in the mountains.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan bids to host 2025 world athletics championships See in context

At first there was talk of it being turned into a field for soccer and rugby which would ensure plenty of use.

If they move the football or rugby or pop concerts from the existing venues to the Olympic stadium, the existing facilities will become white elephants. There is only very limited demand for large stadia. Regular sports events can't fill them and performers who can, BTS, Ariana Grande, etc. are already busy. Such stadia need a high level of demand because they cost a fortune to maintain.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan bids to host 2025 world athletics championships See in context

Drumming up another use for the white elephant(s).

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Posted in: Mitsubishi Electric chairman quits; closed culture behind test cheating See in context

I'm surprised the guy quit and didn't just fine himself 30% of one month's salary. That's the normal level of punishment.

Faking tests and poor quality control are widespread, not just in Japan, but this does not make it remotely acceptable. It is fraud and theft.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

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