kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Man mistakenly sent ¥46.3 mil in COVID funds gambles it all away See in context

The man got 463 separate payments listed as "Covid special relief" into his bank account. It was obvious where the money came from and that it was in error.

Even if you had a massive bank balance flash up on an ATM, it is highly unlikely anyone would use the money without first checking it. Use the yakuza's money sent to you by mistake and you will end up in the sea with a concrete block chained to your leg.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Man mistakenly sent ¥46.3 mil in COVID funds gambles it all away See in context

He wasn't entitled to 463 households' money, and so that opens up all kinds of interpretations of both criminal and tax law. I have received various subsidies both as a father and a business owner during Covid, and every single one was clearly indicated with the subsidy name as the payer. He cannot claim he did not know what this money was and could "reasonably" (its a word lawyers use) be expected to notice the error.

Since the law is involved, this could drag on forever, which may be how the man has been advised.

I love pointing this out, but this looks like another example of a nail sticking up but society failing to hammer him down. In Japan, only some nails get hammered, not all of them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Man mistakenly sent ¥46.3 mil in COVID funds gambles it all away See in context

I'm sure online gambling is illegal in Japan. As we saw with Ghosn, the police have questionable powers to grab and detain people for "enquiries" when they feel like it. I do not like to recommend this, but the man is refusing to cooperate and is ultimately provoking a response. I bet he could have negotiated keeping a decent chunk of the money, a few free million, by quietly returning the rest. That kind of "wakai" is the norm here.

It is possible that they don't actually want to grab him because the best result for the authorities is for the story to go away as quickly as possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: UK raises stakes in EU feud with threat to break Brexit deal See in context

The British has always had a dysfunctional parliamentary government

No, and that is exactly what they want you to think. The belief that "all politicians are the same" is the greatest possible gift to bad politicians. The current British government is the worst in a long long time and needs to be called out for it. It's not politics' fault, it is the current government's fault. They are worse than Theresa May's government which saw all of the problems with Northern Ireland coming and had a better plan to deal with them. Johnson's government signed a treaty and are now trying to get out of it. The EU won't play ball and neither will the USA. The USA has stated this in the clearest possible terms already.

The long-term likely result is that the UK will break up, losing Scotland and/or Northern Ireland. This will weaken the country and is a huge international embarrassment. The plan was for the EU to break up, not the UK. The only silver lining is that it is likely to happen peacefully and not in conflict like Yugoslavia.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan not considering new nuclear plants despite energy concerns See in context

Doesn't the taxpayer fund research into them? Mini community sized ones that go underground and ones that use thorium? Its a waste of time if the tech is not going to be used.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Man mistakenly sent ¥46.3 mil in COVID funds gambles it all away See in context

I find this hard to believe, but wouldn't be surprised if the town swallowed the story whole.

Isn't using such sites illegal in Japan? You would also have to transfer the money overseas, where all kinds of anti-terrorism BS kicks in when you're moving 46 million yen. You'd have to do it in dribs and drabs, giving the town loads of time to step in. I suspect the money will be hidden in cash somewhere in Japan.

(yes, the town and bank are to blame too)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you use toilet slippers at your home? See in context


If I had a freezing cold toilet with an even colder tiled floor, I might consider it. As it is, we live in a house that's well insulated and has a modern wooden floor that continues into the toilet.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to trial small group tours from 4 countries See in context

If the Japanese government is having this done on a trial basis, there's a good chance the accompanied tours are what Japanese call "monitor" tours that are subsidized by the Japanese taxpayer. So you might think, "who wants to go to Japan and be stuck in a group?" but there's a good chance the tours will involve lots of big hitter sites and accommodation in really high end places at a fraction of their actual cost. If the Japanese taxpayer is footing half the bill or more for a pampered tour, they'll have no problem finding people to go on them.

If you keep your ears open, inaka governments frequently do monitor tours to local tourism sites that may be free to Japan-based foreigners. All you may have to do is fill in a questionnaire or the like at the end. Tell them what they want to hear and they'll love you.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Newcastle blow up Arsenal's Champions League dreams See in context

Newcastle are third in the form table since Jan 1, above even Tottenham in points per game. That's 18 games for them, one short of half a season.

This has actually been Arsenal best go at a Top 4 place for a while, not some new low for them to mourn. Two years ago they were eighth with a lowly 58 points. They've beaten Chelsea, W Ham, and Man U recently and were flying before the North London Derby. Spurs and now Newcastle have totally done them though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man who mistakenly received entire town’s COVID-19 relief money vanishes See in context

Keep in mind probably tens to a hundred civil servants in that city making from 5 to 10 million yen per year to do a simple job, screwed this up.

If its typical inaka, the local people will support this kind of employment, because it will be their sons and daughters. The local government will get a big chunk of its income in disporportionate grants from the prefecture and central government, so its the kuni/ken magic money tree that pays, not taxes from local people's pockets.

An an aside, a town with 3000 people is likely to have at least 8 councillors who will be part time and on 200,000 or so a month. It will also have a mayor and deputy mayor on much more. My town has 8000 people but 12 councillors, plus the other two. By constrast, Osaka City has 83 councillors for 2.6 million people.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Drama and exhibition portray lives of Japanese women in UK See in context

I'm curious about how Japanese people get on in the UK so I'll have to see if any of this is online.

I'm a little surprised at the ideal mother-type stereotypes mentioned and would have expected more something on a much lower level, that is, Japanese being mistaken for Chinese and receiving anti-Chinese sentiment, especially in the 1960s and 1970s.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Man who mistakenly received entire town’s COVID-19 relief money vanishes See in context

This story just keeps getting better, or worse if you cringe at others' failings. The recipient was an outsider who was renting a cheap empty home through a relocation scheme. Not someone with any local links or family ties. It's stating the obvious but this cranks up the flight risk at least tenfold. The mistake happened on April 8th but they gave him a month to withdraw the money and get around all the daily limits on that. I think it is dishonest to not return the money, there is so much incompetence on display here. The local government and local bank deserve as much punishment as the man.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Liverpool beats Chelsea to win FA Cup See in context

Mostly rubbish game. Extra time was two shots to Chelsea and zero to Liverpool, so yes, pretty much a waste of time. They might as well have blown up at 90. Both teams had the dial set at don't lose before penalties at "9" and try to win it at "1".

That was zero goals between these two sides in six hours of finals this year. I have fond memories of the FA Cup, but they involve much more entertainment than this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: The changing face of 'papa-katsu' as coronavirus bites harder and longer See in context

Now she went full-time. If the client wants sex play she’ll play; if full sex, she’ll consider it. Sometimes she’ll meet as many as five clients a day, but that’s exceptional. Eighteen hours a week is usual, providing an income of 270,000 yen a month – not bad for her home town, Shizuoka, with its relatively low cost of living. Many holders of more conventional part-time jobs toil longer for less.

I suppose it depends how much of that is sex work, but if most of it is, that's poor pay, 3500 a hour. Five clients a day suggests it is mostly sex work.

If papa-katsu includes meeting men in their thirties, I would say this is just enjo-kousai by another name. Yes, some (usually younger and poorer) women have always sold themselves to some (usually older and richer) men, but the world does not get better by using jokey euphemisms for it.

Married men turning away from affairs with women at work due to fear of sexual harassment is a new angle though. I'd imagine there'll be some truth in there.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Azaleas in full bloom See in context

We've got a couple in our garden, light pink and crimson-y pink. They're not pruned into nice shapes like this. Ours came out this week and I'm surprised its the same timing as Hakone. We're at 800m above sea level with a much colder climate (still getting frosts).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Earth given 50-50 chance of hitting key warming mark by 2026 See in context

This is a confusing article. It throws out different averages and claims about how important they all are. It's hard to get a clear picture from it.

Towards the end, it says this "1.5C above in a single year as an average" will be reached due to a further increase of one tenth of a deg C in five years from where we are now. Which implies that although the multi-decade average is currently 1.1C above (rear view mirror), we must already be at 1.4C over in single years. Another alarm bell ringing which will no doubt be ignored. With the Ukraine war affecting a major wheat producing region and therefore food security, there could be very serious consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: World's biggest YouTuber PewDiePie moves to Japan See in context

His stuff is nothing like Chris Broad's - he has his formula that has been more successful than pretty much anything and if I were him I'd just stick with that. 

It is certainly true that PDP is on a completely different level to Japan based Youtubers. He has 30 billion views. Its like comparing Real Madrid with Halifax Town Football Club.

However, I find hard to believe that any influencer coming to Japan would not produce Japan themed content, not least because of the commercial opportunities from Japanese sponsors. The impressive thing with PDP is how popular his stuff has remained and that's because there must be something new in there. PDP will have a massive savvy team behind him, much bigger than any Japan based Youtuber who also do not operate alone, so I doubt he/they would need to copy anyone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: N Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles toward sea See in context

It's not like he's test firing a nuclear warhead by dropping it on a Pacific island nation like the USA and France did.

Very good. Sometimes it's good to look in the mirror.

I wonder if people who have been mocking the dear Leader for his "Top Gun" video realize that the original "Top Gun" movie itself was funded by the CIA as pro-military propaganda. Bryan Adams was famously first choice to do the soundtrack, but he refused because he said it glorified war.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: World's biggest YouTuber PewDiePie moves to Japan See in context

I didn't realise he was still number one. If so, that is impressive because it is very easy to switch to someone else. I'd imagine he has a big backup team doing all sorts to make sure it stays popular.

There are lots of people out there doing "OMG Japan is so ZANY!" stuff on Youtube, some of them quite successfully. I wonder if the PewdiPie media organization intends to move in on that with a more shouty version. I find "Japan is ZANY" content tedious and chronically prone to underdelivering, but boy is it popular.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: Lessons I learned about body positivity after visiting a Japanese hot spring See in context

Communal bathing is great and yeah, its important to feel good in your body.

Maybe I'm oversensitive, but while I now see lots of TV ads in the UK (I'm British) showing positive images of normal sized or curvy (read "would have been considered overweight 15 years ago") women, I do not see positive images of men of all shapes. I just see buff men with big biceps and six packs. One of the biggest forms of drug abuse in the UK is anabolic steriod use among men, which now extends way beyond just the bodybuilders of old. Hundreds of thousands of men are on them, with some estimates reaching over one million. As suicide and depression figures show, men are just as susceptible to mental issues as women, and for some issues more so.


3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Naomi Osaka launching her own sports agency: report See in context

If she wants to do side projects, that's great. She has a phenomenal talent for playing tennis though, and I hope she can get back to her best. Or at least to a position where mental issues are not affecting her game.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Posted in: Town in Yamaguchi Prefecture sues after ¥46.3 mil subsidy mix-up See in context

The whole thing is a farce, but they have to try everything to get the money back. It's everyone's money, so imagine the resentment over what's happened.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't says masks not needed outdoors if distancing maintained See in context

There are plenty of people in Japan who need to be told this, so I don't mind the announcement. I think it'll have to be repeated several times for some to get the message.

I hope it means all outdoor events will be back to normal now. Festivals, fireworks, music events, etc. The same goes for public run facilities who were very zealous during Covid. My town has a sports center with outdoor trails that it closed to the public even though indoor private gyms were still open.

fwiw, I didn't mind wearing a mask during earlier versions of Covid that were more deadly.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Seeking ways to cope with the dreaded May malaise See in context

Weather affecting mental health is well understood, the "winter blues" in countries far from the Equator being the most famous one. It's easy to get depressed when you only get six or seven hours of grey daylight.

Regarding May's weather in Japan though, it's warm and not hot, pretty dry, the air is quite clear (good views of mountains if you're in them or near them) and I don't think there are masses of pollen about. So I don't what there is to moan about. By comparison, the rainy season (mid June to mid July) can be totally grim, sticky, wet, dark with grey skies. Your house will get mouldy and if you have a garden, it will explode with weeds that will be wet when you try to cut them or dig em up. For me personally, it is easily the worst time of year, much worse than the hottest days of summer.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan planning to allow 20,000 daily foreign arrivals in June See in context

Japan's government is arranging to double the cap on arrivals from overseas to 20,000 people per day in June, government sources said Wednesday.

I wish Kyodo used better translators. The original Japanese, which I had to look up, is 入国者, which I am fairly certain carries the meaning of Non-Japanese by nuance. Most "arrivals from overseas" will be Japanese, who also get the spit test for Covid. In terms of logistics at the airport, it is this testing that is the hassle, not the difference between handling Japanese and non Japanese passports.

I flew to Tokyo with Air France on April 19th. 90% of the plane was non-Japanese, but the vast majority of them did not enter Japan despite taking a Tokyo-bound flight. They were all let off first and went off through the "connections" corridor. They were simply using Narita as a hub airport, probably due to a lack of other flights to East Asia/Australasia through the usual channels like HK, Seoul, and Singapore. If many people currently flying to Tokyo are not entering the country, it begs the question of how do you cap the number of non-Japanese people coming here. You cannot do it with the number of seats on planes. The probable net result of this is that it is unlikely anything like 20,000 NJ people a day will enter the country, even if that number is officially allowed.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you think political correctness will be the death of comedy? See in context

I think the current crop of stand-up comedians are nothing special. It's certainly not a golden age. Yet in the UK, they are playing stadium gigs.

So political correctness is clearly not killing comedy. If anything, we have a mediocre generation of standups compared to Carlin, Pryor, Murphy, Derek and Clive, Python, NTNON, .... selling out massive venues and selling DVD box sets and getting millions of views on Youtube. Lenny Bruce never did that.

fwiw, I think there's plenty of good comedy out there, but standup, the genre most likely to be killed by "political correctness", is actually super trendy and plenty of them are coining it in despite not being all that good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Can pee help feed the world? See in context

In ye olde Japan, farmers would build urinals along major roads like the Tokaido and pilgrimmage routes to collect free pee for the fields. One of the houses at the Hida no Sato museum in Takayama has a urinal right next to the front door for the same purpose.

For us modern folks, the main problem would be other people catching us peeing on the plants. It does seem stupid to flush a load of NPK away and then buy it in another form at the home center.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Should you watch end credits at the movies? Japanese celebrity’s comments spark fierce debate See in context

Sora News reporting a few tweets as a "fierce debate" again.

I'm a big fan of putting an unbroken white wall in a house for an easy home theatre, its really easy in a washitsu, but am ambivalent about movie credits. The most attention I pay to them is when I want to know what a song was.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Yoshinoya refused to let 'foreign' student attend recruitment event See in context

A recruiter at Yoshinoya Co based the assumption on background information provided by the student, and told the student that foreign nationals face difficulty in obtaining work visas, according to the official.

What is this "background information"?

A katakana surname or two katakana names?

Non-oriental facial features in a photo?

An overseas address?

A parent or next of kin with a foreign sounding name?

A birthplace overseas and/or indication of schooling overseas?

It certainly should not need saying on a English-language website about Japan, but Michael Leitch, the rugby player, is Japanese. He has a Japanese passport and is therefore Japanese. His "background information", such as potential answers to the above may not sound "Japanese" to some, but such opinions are irrelevant and in no way lessen Leitch's Japanese citizenship. Likewise, it is perfectly possible for applicants with unexpected-to-some background information on a Yoshinoya application form to be Japanese, it is a nationality not a race, so small-minded people are just going to have to ditch their prejudices and get with the program.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

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