kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Don Quijote store operator to buy California-based supermarket chain See in context

the Japanese retailer aims to strengthen its overseas business and boost exports of Japanese agricultural and fishery products.

Another poster on another thread said that Japanese ag produce was being air-freighted at taxpayer expense to overseas markets to promote exports.

For connected people in foreign markets, it sounds like a license to print money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 50 LDP lawmakers urge local members to oppose separate surnames See in context

The thing that bothers me most here is that it signals that the old men in the LDP have to get their own way about absolutely every issue, no matter how small.

LOLz at Marukawa not taking her husband's name.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: The system is letting down students just above the scholarship threshold. Many such students work to support their families and may eventually be forced to drop out if the pandemic continues. See in context

I thought students worked to pay their own way or for fun money. I've not heard of many university students working for money for "their families". Given the costs involved with going to university, it would make sense to not go and work full-time instead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to start vaccinations for elderly on April 12 See in context

I’ll take it for me and the hundreds of students who I am in contact with daily at work. All those students have their families and loved ones who might be at risk.

Teachers should be given high priority. Just one point on the graph, but one of my child's classmates was sent to school on a Monday while his mother, who had symptoms, waited for a PCR test result. This came out on the Monday positive, so the whole class was shut down for three days until the classmate too was tested and given the all-clear. Had the classmate come out positive, it would have been ten days or two weeks or whatever off for the whole class. Thankfully the selfish act of sending the kid in without waiting for the test result (one day!) only cost the other kids three missed days.

Anyway, if there are parents out there as stupid and irresponsible as the above, teachers need to be protected from them.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 chief says gender equality efforts as important as virus containment See in context

It sounds like they are using a new-found interest in gender equality to deflect attention away from Covid-19 related concerns threatening the Games in the summer.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Decision could be made over foreign spectators for Tokyo Olympics by May, says Bach See in context

London had a net drop in visitors for the games!

So did Japan in 2002 for the World Cup. The biggest source of inbound tourists at the time was South Korea, and they stayed home because they were cohosting the tournament. This drop outnumbered the fans who did come, mostly from England, Ireland, and Mexico.

Getting back to the story, other than putting off the decision, I can't see the logic at work here. If fans are coming, all kinds of preparations are needed and two months is very little time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Toyota begins building smart city near Mt Fuji See in context

The buildings will mostly be made of wood to minimize the carbon footprint, and the homes will use sensor-based AI to check the occupants' health, it said.

Toyota's housebuilding division Toyota Home is actually known for building steel-frame houses which are very strong against earthquakes and can have car-showroom levels of open plan designs with no internal walls. They also do massive offsite prefabbing, not a bad thing, to produce rooms that are simply lifted in and bolted together onsite. So I wonder what "mostly made of wood" means here. Maybe its engineered wood, like glu-lam, as a steel replacement or maybe it just means the bits not made of steel are made of wood as an SDGs-friendly bit of PR blurb.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Pandemic wedding plunge adds to Japan demographic woes See in context

This story confuses two similar-sounding but actually different things, getting married and having a wedding.

The headline is about "weddings", but the stat in the first line is about "marriages". In Japan, getting married is "nyuseki suru", the legal act. Having a wedding is "(kekkon) shiki wo suru/ageru".

For couple formation and I guess the likelihood of future births, it doesn't actually matter if you get married with or without a wedding ceremony. However, weddings in Japan are a major form of economic activity and pay a lot of people's bills, the fake priests included. The events sector as a whole has been massively hit by Covid, probably more than restaurants and accommodation who are getting all that GoTo taxpayer cash.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Toyota begins building smart city near Mt Fuji See in context

There is going to be public money going into this, but I hope it is not too much relative to what we can learn from what they are doing.

My take on this is that a place with 360 people is not a "city". If its only a few hundred meters long, it's going to be walkable without needing "autonomous vehicles". The other reason I mention this is as we saw again with the attempt to combine Osaka-Shi and Osaka-Fu, lots of Japanese actually care whether their place is a "shi" (city), a "machi" or "cho" (town) or a "mura" (village). Japan has twelve "mura" with populations of over 10,000 people. Nowhere you would sensibly call a "village" in English has that many people. The most heavily populated "mura" is in Yomitan in Okinawa and has 40,000 people! Conversely, there are three "shi", all on Hokkaido, with fewer than 10,000 people, one of which is Yubari, the poster child for rural depopulation in Japan.

For those interested in planned communities, there was a really good documentary on NHK recently about how tsunami-hit Higashi-Matsushima in Tohoku relocated their community away from the waterfront to a site inland. The thorny issue of how much was spent was not raised, but the process and the result were impressive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Rengatei: venerable Ginza eaterie is birthplace of 'yoshoku' classics like 'tonkatsu' and 'omuraisu' See in context

I don't think most Japanese consider tonkatsu to be typical youshoku you would get at a youshoku restaurant. I think it is much more integrated into washoku, like tempura, and must have deeper roots. The cabbage often served with it strikes me as completely random, so it's nice to hear a theory about it. Many Japanese people are strict about not leaving food on the plate, but it is not unusual for people to not finish their tonkatsu cabbage with no "what about the farmers?" type outrage you get when people leave rice uneaten.

If making an effort, I recommend people seek out proper omu-rice made using the method famously depicted in the ramen movie Tampopo. The "omelette" is actually just scrambled egg with a delicate skin around it produced by carefully rolling the beaten egg around a pan. After being placed on the mounded rice, the "omelette" is slit with a knife and flows over the rice. The restaurant that inspired the Tampopo scene is in Tokyo. I went there once in the 1990s.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ikee books Olympic qualifiers spot after leukemia treatment See in context

"I can't say that I'm aiming for it now," Ikee said when asked about her chances of competing at her home Olympics. "When we start to get results that are world-class, we will think about it at that time."

If this is Ikee warning people to not expect too much, too soon, I hope people listen to her.

She's clearly been through a lot and there should be no extra pressure on her to win just to perfect the feelgood story. She's a winner and an inspiration regardless of gold medals.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Preservation of 2011 quake devastation sites faces funding crunch See in context

There need to be memorials, but manageable ones, not huge buildings that have large maintenance costs. Given the nature of the disaster, something topped with a tall pole marking the height of the tsunami might be appropriate, for both remembrance and as a warning.

The three hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima have preserved 17 sites in all memorializing the disaster, with three open to the public for a fee and four others being readied to be opened for paid access.

I understand that there was widespread suffering which people want remembered, but several sites in each prefecture is probably overkill. The site in the story has good reviews, but photos of it show that the school building needed to be very heavily reinforced with steel girders in many of the classrooms. Keeping a building is not a case of just fencing it off and putting up some info boards. Unlike older historical events, there is loads of great video footage of the disaster, creating less need for actual buildings to be kept.


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers creating waiting lists for COVID-19 vaccine: Kono See in context

The idea of a waiting list is fine.

There is no point scheduling appointments for people who won't turn up because they don't want the vaccine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: There will be demand for travel during the spring school holidays in March, so we should think of doing a Go To campaign to properly support the tourism industry then. See in context

What percentage of notable Covid-19 outbreaks in rural Japan over the last three months were at ski resorts? I think you'll find it was very high.

The worst thing about Go To though is that it pretends only two sectors of the economy need help.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Rising Sun removed from 'Street Fighter II' background in game’s latest rerelease See in context

I'd be more interested in whether Switch controllers have enough buttons in the right place to play this game.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Kono warns of slower pace of COVID vaccine shots for elderly after supply delay See in context

This is neither surprising or particularly upsetting given the low expectations we have of the government. However, it does have consequences. More cases, more deaths, more people who don't get to recover fully, and more disruption to people's lives and the economy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Already a star, on court and off, Osaka eyes more See in context

Now the question is: Where does she go from here?

Well, she is in Australia and it's the weekend, so how about Bunnings for the sausage sizzle?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 killed, 2 injured after car plunges into Gifu rice field See in context

Bungle’s right, this happened on a regular road where the car went straight over one of those high kerbs, crossed a bit of pavement and then through a pedestrian (not car) railing before a nasty-looking vertical drop into the paddy.


It was a kei, but it was the rear passengers who died and in a front collision, suggesting that seatbelts may well have saved them.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Changing jobs in a pandemic no easy task See in context

Nurses aren't going out of fashion. I'd imagine she can rejoin at any time after this calms down.

The surprising thing is that she found short-term office work with a dispatch company that pays 280,000 a month for a nurse, not an experienced office worker who can do wizardry with specialist accounting software, shorthand, or some other advanced office skill. I don't think even "iryou jimu" (admin work for a hospital or clinic) pays that much. It doesn't in inaka.

(Presumably the lady also had a few months on unemployment benefit for 2/3 or so of her nursing salary)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kyoto slammed for manga telling people not to talk at restaurants See in context

I reckon 80% of restaurants have food that is so meh that I wouldn't bother going if I had to pay to eat it in silence. Restaurants in Kyoto included (former Kansai resident).

I'm happy to pay to eat at restaurants I like, but not that often because we are a family of five. I rarely went to restaurants with my family as a child, and I don't see it as some indispensable part of life. It's certainly not one that should be celebrated on TV every single day.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Pandemic puts pressure on gov't to open up rice stockpile to charities See in context

A rolling stock of about 1 million tons is maintained in warehouses around the country, with older rice sold as feed.

For me, this is the key sentence here. They are prepared to sell off the stockpile to another pampered agricultural sector, livestock/poultry farming, rather than help people who are struggling. "sold as feed" means dumped at what must be a very low price, probably lower than very cheap imported maize and seed cake (the residue from vegetable oil and ethanol production).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's celebrations rocket into orbit as Osaka's win takes off See in context

"Osaka got a big step closer to winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics," the Nikkan Sports daily said of the player, who is a leading face of the Games in her home nation.

It's another great Grand Slam win for her, but I don't see how it is "big step closer" to the Olympic gold. She was very highly ranked already and will be seeded. A "big step closer" would be getting a bye to the semi-finals.

There is only so much fanfare to go around at the Olympics, and I would prefer sports with their own high-profile tournaments, like soccer and tennis, to take a back seat and give minor sports more of the limelight, like they used to.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Hashimoto asks staff to work as 'one team' to win public trust for Olympics See in context

In bigger news, Hashimoto has declined payment for this role and claims Mori did too. However, she is still getting her MP salary and expenses, which come to over 30 million yen a year, in spite of not intending to do any MP work. This strikes me as doing things backwards, but is unsurprising in that it works as spin for Mori. Any suggestion about Mori being unpaid should prefaced by his PR firm getting large payments of a highly dubious nature from the organizers and shutting up shop immediately when this came to light.

A poll on the Yahoo Japan site with 385,000 votes shows nearly 80% want the Games cancelled. About 10% want a postponement, and only 8.6% said they should go ahead.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Should Spotify payments go to artists you actually listen to? See in context

I pay for Spotify Premium but I didn't realize that money went to people I don't listen to. That's poor.

There has always been lots of racketeering in the music industry, and there were penniless bands even in the golden age of huge sales of CDs that cost a fraction of vinyl to produce but commanded much higher prices. Even if you buy a song now on ITunes, Apple takes 30%. That is a crazy high percentage for simply hosting a file and accepting a payment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Hashimoto asks staff to work as 'one team' to win public trust for Olympics See in context

The usual bland and uninspiring platitudes from Hashimoto, with some bonus rehashing the old rugby (=Mori) slogan to show who's still pulling the strings.

With a few months to go, it's time to start telling people exactly what "sufficient measures against the coronavirus" will let them "hold a trusted Tokyo Games".

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Flying by See in context

Great photo!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan petitions to add 40 traditional folk dances to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list See in context

for a total of 41 Furyu Odori spanning 24 prefectures.

Cue crisis meetings in the remaining 23 prefectures....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Remote medical technology useful tool in battling pandemic See in context

That's true!

Thing is, the best form of medicine is preventative medicine, and we all already pay for that ourselves, in good food, healthy hobbies, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: How a 22-year-old woman helped bring down Mori See in context

As Derek Grebe says, with Mori still around, it's a very small victory, but a victory all the same. The JOC, IOC, and LDP all tried to shut it down, but that was not allowed to happen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Remote medical technology useful tool in battling pandemic See in context

There have been some great advances in mobile health tech, including fitness trackers and smart watches. If they are accurate enough, the issue of whether they are "medical tech" strikes me as irrelevant. A mass-market device like a Fitbit is going to be way more affordable than a specialist bed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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