kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Shibuya bans drinking alcohol on streets for Halloween, New Year See in context

I suspect the problem is the odd idiot, who will still act like an idiot. In that case, all this will do is punish people who are not idiots.

Drinking fueled revelry is big part of many Japanese festivals. It is not a public order problem. Lots of gomi to clear up after matsuri too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan encourages foreign tourists to buy travel insurance due to surge in unpaid medical bills See in context

Some of the people will be overseas for the first or second time, so simple ignorance could be a big part of the problem. People just assume they won't get ill in the three or four days they are in Japan, and that it would have no consequences anyway. This means an information based campaign is not a bad idea. I would be against taxing everyone to pay for the actions of a minority.

For Japanese who don't pay, the problem is poverty or stinginess. Some stingy folks out there, unfortunately.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think a protest rally similar in scale to what happened in Hong Kong could ever happen in Japan? See in context

Maybe if the Internet went down nationwide.

fwiw, there are some great photos of the strikes in the 50s and 60s.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump launches re-election campaign, presenting himself as outsider and victim See in context

You do not "shake up Washington" by appointing John Bolton. That's jumping into the swamp, not draining it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Go glamping and 'disco' strawberry picking at a farm north of Tokyo See in context

Shipping containers make great cheap sheds, but are a poor choice for buildings if you are actually registering them (kakunin shinsei/touki), which will be essential for permission as accommodation. To register them, you'll need a foundation, and if you are going to the trouble and expense of building one of them, you can make a much better building from scratch out of wood. One with none of the restrictions you get with shipping containers, e.g., 2.5m wide, minus the width of your hopefully insulated walls. In fact, the best reason to use shipping containers as accom is to attract people who incorrectly think it is an amazing form of recycling or amazing architecture. It is neither.

Placed of concrete blocks, shipping containers make epic storage though. If anyone hassles you for planning permission, you have the "it's temporary" getout. Expect to pay 250,000 for one in decent condition. They are not free like in countries that import far more than they export. In countries where containers are free, there is more incentive to make buildings out of them. The main reason though is that it is trendy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: FSA estimates couples need retirement savings of up to ¥30 mil See in context

dismal return.

The model case in the mainichi link says a kosei nenkin pension pays out 221,000 yen for 30 years, making a total of 80 million yen. Thats off paying in 40 years. In the first say fifteen years, where compounding gains the most, the person will probably have paid in less than 30,000 a month. This means the return is actually huge. I don't see how it is remotely sustainable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: FSA estimates couples need retirement savings of up to ¥30 mil See in context

The reality is worse for lots of people, but slightly better for the ones this is aimed at.

These studies assume that everyone is married and has a fully paid-in kosen nenkin pension. In the model case, it pays out 220,000 yen a month. If the husband dies, the wife gets 70% from then on. The 20 or however million shortfall is for people already getting this much money. My guess is that this is one person in three or fewer. Everyone else has much less to start with.


To state the obvious, lots of people are not married, lots of people do not have fully paid-in shakai hoken pensions, lots of people have shakai hoken, but paid in off a lower salary or. Lots of people are registered for the 70,000 a month max payout kokumin nenkin pension intended for the self-employed, but don't actually pay in, and will only get a fraction of that. I think the average payout is actually 45,000 a month. All these people will have to work as before.

The slightly better bit is that this is assuming those middle class people need 250,000 yen a month in retirement. That tax-free will be more than some young families already survive on while renting. If you don't have the savings to support this lifestyle, you'll just have to budget like everyone else, many of whom don't own their own home. For old people who've always rented, there are plenty of 5 million yen or less homes in the countryside they can move to.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Pierre Taki given suspended term for cocaine use See in context

(Taki) used cocaine alone while watching movies and listening to music to relieve stress from work

It's the classic one in Japan, but gotta love this excuse.

It was the stress, m'lud, from working.

I trust his acting skills extended to saying it with a straight face.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Go beach-hopping in Shimoda this summer See in context

Whole family who love beaches: check

Cycling-honed, love handle-free gut and still slim wife: check

Big van: check

Lots of camping gear: check

Time off at weekend: check

Kids getting two days in a row off club: err.....

We might squeeze in the odd daytrip to Nihonkai, but Izu, forget it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Man who shared NZ mosque shooting video gets 21 months in prison See in context

Well done NZ. Contrary to the headline, this man did not merely share the video.

I'd like every society in the world to make examples of people who want to make memes out of hate crime footage.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Posted in: The media has a big problem: Who will pay for the news? See in context

The thing to understand here is that if you do not pay for the news (reporting), you will get the news someone else has paid for.

See Chomsky/Herman "Manufacturing Consent" for starters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: What’s your impression of parental supervision of children when families are out and about in Japan? See in context

On the whole, it's pretty good. The notable exception is a wanton disregard for certain known dangers. Near water, like river banks, beaches etc. , it's not bad if the dad is about, but I'll often see kids in the water with no supervision, usually when it's just the mother with them. In car parks, it's fine if its the family out together at a supermarket, shopping center etc. If it's just one parent picking up kids at hoikuen or an activity at a sports hall or community center however, you'll often see young children running around the car park unsupervised while the parent chats to other parents. I would put seatbelt use at about 50%, which is also very irresponsible.

In most places, restaurants and communal spaces like playgrounds, families are usually very well behaved. Camp sites too.

This is all based on observation of inaka people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: G20 agrees on international framework to reduce marine plastic pollution See in context

Reducing and reusing are best. You also have to do cradle to grave type analysis on everything, not just superficial analysis based on how something sounds.. It seems like some things that are biodegradable do not biodegrade very quickly. They can be dug out of landfill sites intact a year or two later.

Some countries have reusable PET bottles. I think they are more eco than glass.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's anime industry in crisis even as its popularity soars See in context

I heard from people in the industry that a lot of the simpler tasks like colouring are outsourced to firms in South Korea. This was several years ago.

The people who actually get the things made, line managers, have a reputation for being hard taskmasters.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 7-Eleven stores struggling in face of labor shortage See in context

increasingly become a part of the Japanese social fabric....the services and readily accessible products they provide now integral to people's lives

I use convenience stores, but usually only when I am feeling lazy or am unprepared. You can buy better stuff, or the same stuff much cheaper elsewhere. You'd have to be lazy or unprepared a lot of the time for a convenience store to be "integral" to your life.

The problem here is that the convenience store overlords are forcing franchise operators to stay open when it is uneconomical for them to do so. This happens because every sale profits the company, even if it costs the franchise owner money.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Reverence for tradition threatens same-sex marriage in Japan See in context

I reckon one of the big sticking points is the state support given to married couples. The government does this as an antiquated way of supporting child-raising, even though some couples do not have children and none spend their entire lives raising under 18s.

To continue supporting children but ease any worries about sham gay marriages assumed to be for benefits, the thing to do would be change the welfare system from supporting spouses to supporting guardians of children.

I think you'd find the path to full recognition of gay marriage would be much easier if spouse (housewife) benefits did not exist. Most gay couples won't care about spousal dependency anyway. What they want are other forms of recognition.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan's private lodgings grow 8-fold in 1 year; half run by businesses See in context

Japan inc protecting Japan inc. Air B'n'B should stand by it's original purpose of facilitating the peer to peer economy, not the greedy status.

AirBnb is a travel agent offering a business to customer service, not "peer to peer". If you are running short stay accommodation, you are a business. If you don't want to be a business, let people stay for free. If you charge money, it's a business. If you feed people for money, you are a restaurant business. If you drive people somewhere for money, you are a taxi business. It's not hard to understand.

AirBnb's "original purpose" was to make someone from Silicon Valley and their venture capital investors lots of money. Just look at the commissions. It is laughable to think it is some Robin Hood come to help the needy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Q&A: Coffee with Bill Murray and Jim Jarmusch See in context

I'd love to read this article but I'll have to stop singing "Fishing....... with John" in my head first.

Check it out if you've never seen it. There are some uploads of a Japanese broadcast on Youtube.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Parenting book author says school system, overprotective parents killing kids' creativity See in context

I wish this article was more about her thoughts and recommendations and not about her as a person/celebrity. Most of the things she says are correct. As for her own children, unfortunately most people can't afford to send their kids to the seventh best boarding school in the United States. Her child-rearing methods and everything her own children have "achieved" has to be viewed in that context. It would be more value to hear of childrearing experiences from people of more normal means.

I'm all for changing Japanese education. I had to walk out of a class observation at my daughter's JHS because it was so boring that my blood was boiling. However, I would warn against assuming that some better form of education would produce no hikikomori or no disaffected kids. That goes against the common sense observation that you can't please all the people all the time. By all means improve interaction in Japanese schools, scale rote-learning to the only thing that needs it, kanji, try to eradicate sempai-kohai in clubs (remove kohai are ballboys, bag carriers, nonstarters type rules), etc. but do not expect this to eradicate all of society's problems. That is not going to happen.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese comedian baffles, amazes judges on 'America’s Got Talent' with weird dance, Japanese humor See in context

It'll just upset me, so I'm not watching. There's awkward people humour I like, Andy Kaufman, Curb, the Office etc. but this will just make me cringe.

I know it happens, but talent shows should not show professionals and judge them like they are amateurs. Its just another example of fakery and general low moral standards. You can do what you like so long as folks are buying/watching. Maybe its always been this way, but I do not like it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Record 3,129 stranded on Japanese mountains in 2018 See in context

Some of them are people who (obviously unexpectedly) are just out hiking or gathering and encounter health problems like strokes and heart attacks. Some mountains are very steep, and digging up takenoko can be very strenuous.

Some of them are foolish, I don't care how experienced, who go up high mountains taking on the weather, possibly because "it's the only time I can go". The biggest idiots are the ones who say poor conditions are character building or equate it to camping in a bit of rain.

Some of them are posers who have bought 300,000 yen's worth of gear and want to be a cool kid who goes "backcountry" snowboarding or skiing (read: walking 200m from the top lift of a ski resort and dropping in) but are too stupid or inexperienced to get a map out, or too stingy to pay 8,000 yen a head for a guide.

Anyone suggesting 70 year olds shouldn't be active should look up the 70-year-old marathon record or best time on a big cycling climb like Mount Fuji or Mount Norikura. They should then try to beat the time.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Four-time Tour de France winner Froome in intensive care after high-speed crash See in context

Get well Froomey! Come back strong. I hope we can see him next year in the Olympics. I plan on going to watch myself.

I suppose its customary for those in the sport to downplay it, but this sounds like a "lucky to be alive" crash. Rather than clipping a wall, it sounds like he went straight into one at 55kph. It was a time trial day, and he'll have been on a time trial bike with aero bars and a much reduced drop handlebar. Those bikes are built for speed, not ease of control or stability, and this may have been a factor in any evasive move he tried to take.

Regarding Reckless's story, front wheel problems are the worst. A thick branch in the spokes and you're going over the top. If your back wheel seizes up, you'll enter a massive skid, but it won't throw you anywhere.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: How much do you need to earn every month for a 'normal' life in Kyoto? Here’s a sample budget See in context

I won't nitpick the individual categories, but yeah, to live on your own enjoyably in Kansai, I think 240,000 a month is a decent ballpark total. It can be done on less, 200,000 or so, but you'd have to have cheap tastes. You can't expect someone in their twenties to never go to the izakaya etc. That's no life at all.

For Japanese people, free or near free rent in a company dorm would help a lot.

Obviously, people could just live and home, sponge off their parents, and spent their 240,000 yen salary on themselves. Full marks to those who don't though.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan sets carbon-neutral goal by 2050 See in context

"As the first country to legislate for long-term climate targets, we can be truly proud of our record in tackling climate change," Prime Minister Theresa May was quoted as saying in a statement.

I'd have thought Theresa May would be wary of bold declarations after "I will deliver Brexit", and "we will be leaving on March 29, 2019" but she's in there again. The cynic in me sees it as an attempt to save her historical reputation. Since she is out the door, whatever the UK does on climate change will be decided on and lead by other people. While May was leader herself, the UK dabbled in fracking.

As for Japan's declaration, without actual action, this is merely nice sounding words.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan grapples with traffic jams, visitors' manners amid tourism boom See in context

There are enough sightseeing buses to cause traffic jams in 38% of municipalities with tourist destinations? Ginza okay, around Toyosu okay, Kyoto okay, Kamakura okay, but 38% of places across the country can't get moved for tourist buses? I find that very hard to believe.

I see traffic jams all the time in Matsumoto but they have nothing to do with buses carrying Chinese people.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Over 60% of women face enforcement of wearing heels at work, study finds See in context

I'm a man and not well versed in these matters, but this story and the previous ku-tsu story last week were both illustrated with photos of Japanese women wearing heels of around 5cm in height. Excuse my ignorance, but are shoes of that height "high heels" and are they inherently bad for your feet? I always associated the expression "high heels" with something much more extreme and much more likely to be painful. The shoes in the photos are the same as those worn in those ballroom dancing shows on tv.

If 5cm heels are indeed problematic, then of course, women should not be forced to wear them. fwiw, poorly selected or badly fitting men's formal shoes can also be very uncomfortable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Domino’s Japan unleashes 1 kilo of cheese pizza See in context

Would any New Yorkers like to wade in about the naming of this? Some of them are very proud of their pizza.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't aims to create 300,000 regular jobs for people in 30s-40s See in context

The early nineties were 25 years ago.

I think it might be tricky getting employers to find "regular jobs" for people who've not had one for 25 years. If we take the Bubble collapse as 1991 a high school grad from then will be 46. A 4-year uni grad will be 50 (!), not "thirties and forties". They're fifteen years off retirement! (crazy emoji)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Messi is sports world's highest earner: Forbes See in context

Messi is a legend, a geniune all-time great. You run out of superlatives.

I think it's only recently that footballers have been paid more than every other sports star though. I don't think Ronaldinho or Brazilian Ronaldo were.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't rejects ¥20 mil savings estimate for those living to 95 See in context

btw, 60 is too young for housewives to be getting a pension. Nurses and other frontline workers is okay, they've worked hard and paid in, but housewives haven't. Life expectancy for a 60 year old woman is something like 88. The average woman will get that pension for nearly thirty years. It's current workers who are paying for it.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

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