kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: We already have countermeasures in place, such as holding road safety courses for delivery staff and issuing warnings to those who travel exceeding speed limits, as well as giving them suspensions. See in context

Nice passive-aggressive response there.

Whatever safety (!) measures they have are not stopping other road users reporting poor behaviour by the folk they employ.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympics consulting firm paid $370,000 to IOC member's son See in context

Bribing someone so you can make money for their organization at huge cost to yourself. All for some flag waving pride and construction kickbacks.

No prizes for guessing who wears the shoes and who is the doormat.

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Posted in: Japan newlyweds can receive up to ¥600,000 to start new life See in context

As other posters say, the people who deserve help are actual parents, not married couples. It is wrong to assume that the former must be the latter, and that latter must automatically turn into the former in the next year or two.

The best way to support parents is not childcare. Some parents are able to and happy to raise preschoolers by themselves, sometimes at great sacrifice. UBI/child benefit for parents of young children, which would help pay for childcare or reward those raising children themselves, is much much fairer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Police using facial images from surveillance cameras and social media in criminal probes See in context

This is a huge invasion of privacy. If it is to be done, no private companies should be given any access to the data. It should be guarded with the highest security.

I wouldn't say no to all chikan and other sex offenders going on a database and facial recognition being used against them. It seems like there are plenty of repeat offenders.

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Posted in: Japan's national park facilities upgraded with 'workation' in mind See in context

"It is important to trust employees rather than worrying about whether they are really working," a company official told Koizumi when asked about the difficulties and keys to success for implementing workation at each company.

If you judge workers on output, not on hours on a time card or seniority, it doesn't matter where or how they do the work. It is not a issue of "trust".

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Posted in: The gyudon beef bowl that cooks itself in a box See in context

Yes, it does not "cook" itself. It's just reheating. This strikes me as very expensive and wasteful for emergency use. Cassette gas burners, the ones folks use for nabe, are ubiquitous in Japan. Just stock up on cheap gas cylinders and regular retort food pouches.

I don't mind gyudon, but I must have raw egg and the cheapo shinko pickles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: SEGA Toys announces 36 classic arcade games you can play at home with new Astro City Mini See in context

Looks cool. I can't tell from the dimensions, but I hope the controllers are good. The FamiCon Mini that Nintendo brought out maybe four years ago to spark this retro revival came with hard-wired tiny controllers in Japan. Controllers aside, it was an epic console for just 7000 yen. The US version came with connectors, which allowed regular controllers to be used. Shrinking the screen and console box is fine, but the controllers that are too small are fiddly and affect gameplay.

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Posted in: Is home life in Japan that different from your home country? See in context

The usual OMG at the slightest thing sensationalism.

If you buy a dishwasher, I recommend a 60cm wide one. They are all imported and unfortunately will be expensive. Ikea's might be just about the cheapest. 45cm width standard Japanese dishwashers are very small. Some only have one shelf, not two, making them even smaller.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic athletes to be exempted from virus entry bans See in context

Note that this wouldn't be an issue if the gov had any intention to lift the travel ban for visitors by next summer.

So indirectly, they are saying they have no plan to openly let in foreign tourists before then and be in the audiance.

Curious if they also plan to give entry exemptions to foreign coaches, trainers, atheletes' family, foreign media, IOC staff from every country, and all the sponsors.

Indeed, this does pose more questions. Some athletes will make recon type trips to check the facilities and courses, so its a given for them to also make pre-Olympic visits. My guess is that "athletes" here will also cover related staff and IOC people.

We don't know, but this could be a case of opening the border starting with people least likely to draw opposition. Japan has lots of little towns where any out of town number plate has people whispering "Corona! Corona!" When the border is reopened, it will be in defiance to these people. There are lots of people whose pensions or incomes are completely unaffected by economic activity or at least economic activity involving foreigners. It's no skin of their nose if the border is closed permanently. In this scenario, the Olympics may well force the border open earlier than it would be otherwise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Suganomics' will target quick wins, not grand visions See in context

Suga relaxed visa requirements to boost inbound tourism, overcoming push-back from the justice ministry. He also cut through bureaucratic opposition and expanded a scheme that gave tax breaks for donations to Japan's regional areas.

"Suga may not be charismatic, but he gets things done," said Taimei Yamaguchi, a ruling party lawmaker close to Suga. "Some of the best advice I got from him was to make the most of the expertise the bureaucrats have."

This quote follows two examples of him fighting bureaucrats.

Getting more tourists in is good, but I think "furusato nouzei", the diversion of local taxes away from the place you actually live and make use of services, is completely crazy.

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Posted in: Women's rights seen taking a backseat under Japan's new gov't See in context

If I could create a policy, I would immediately end spousal dependency and spend the same money on increasing child benefit. Spousal dependency is only helps spouses (wives) of seishain who do not work (strictly speaking, spouses who do not earn very much). Some of these spouses get the benefit for decades despite raising zero children. Child benefit goes to everyone with children, single parents, non seishain families, women who earn more than the spousal dependency limit, etc. etc.

I also think spousal dependency is an obstacle to gay marriage. Equality means gay couples would have to qualify for it also. Ending it would also improve the marriage prospects of non-seishain men, but like gays, I doubt the government actually cares about them.

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Posted in: Women's rights seen taking a backseat under Japan's new gov't See in context

Japan's global ranking on gender parity has fallen to 121st out of 153 countries in a World Economic Forum report for 2020 - the largest gap among advanced countries and down from 101st when Abe took office for a rare second term in 2012.

There's Abe's legacy for you right there. Note that Japan scores actually scores quite well for health and education of women, but the score is dragged right down due to women's position in the workplace and politics.

I reckon if they enforced labour laws about overtime and national holidays, and scrapped spousal dependency, which effectively makes many married women who earn over 1.5 million yen at least 300,000 yen a year worse off, women's position in workplace would start to change immediately. Japan is a great country to be a housewife but not a working woman. For politics, the key would be for women to vote as a bloc for other women, something which doesn't happen now.

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Posted in: Netflix woos Japan with new original series about a reporter's exchange with Suga See in context

The participants seem fairly mainstream so I have my doubts it will have teeth

I hope they respect the dorama canon so that Yonekura gets to slap Suga in the face and Suga does the kabe-don on Abe.

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Posted in: Suga gets word out: He supports Tokyo Olympics See in context

“Making the Olympics and Paralympics a success, using all means, is the strong commitment of Japan,” Hagiuda said,


Hashimoto, an Olympic medal winner, said her focus was the athletes.

“I think making environments where athletes can respect each other and compete to the best of their ability is the most important," she said.

These platitudes are all very nice but what qualifies as a "success"? A huge amount of money has been spent just to get this far. Is a games with no extra visitors to Japan a "success"? Does anyone here think higher of the UK, Greece or Brazil simply because they hosted the Olympics recently? How many Japanese think higher of South Korea for hosting the last Winter Olympics? The answer will be hardly any. Many will have forgotten already.

The second quote focuses on athletes, but again, how much should the Japanese people pay for "environments where athletes can respect each other". Do they need a billion dollar stadium to do that?

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Posted in: Japanese survey ranks Hokkaido as most desirable prefecture to settle down in See in context

With the Internet and online shopping, the last twenty years or so have been a great time to live in inaka. You're not cut off from anything any more.

Hokkaido has a lot going for it, especially if you are not on local wages. It's cold, but you get a cooler summer with no rainy season. For full Hokkaido points, clear air, the sounds of nature etc., I wouldn't choose Sapporo.

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Posted in: All-plant-based katsu curry arrives at Ikea Japan See in context

They obviously do it to pull the punters in, but it's good that Ikea and Costco have cheap cafes. 500 yen for this curry. I bet there are people living nearby who go solely to eat there.

(I might be tempted by the kebab instead)

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Posted in: As sports embraces activism, what should Tokyo Olympics permit? See in context

Of course not. We don't want athletes shoving their personal politics down our throats. It would distract from the true meaning of the Olympics, which is to shove the brand messages of the "official sponsors" down our throats.

I suppose we are lucky its just sportswear made by child labour and drinks with industrial sugars linked to obesity. Oh and that American crime against beer. Pretty much every football match in the UK now is aimed at brainwashing the viewer into gambling. Its on almost all the shirts and is during every commercial break.

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Posted in: EU chief says UK cannot change EU-UK withdrawal agreement See in context

Can you provide any information such as a poll which shows us that most racist people voted for Brexit?

The page by Lord Ashcroft, as Tory as they come, I linked to says that people who were anti multiculturalism, anti immigration, anti feminism, and anti social liberalism overwhelmingly voted for Brexit.

By large majorities, voters who saw multiculturalism, feminism, the Green movement, globalisation and immigration as forces for good voted to remain in the EU; those who saw them as a force for ill voted by even larger majorities to leave.

I can fully understand not having any interest in other cultures, but seeing multiculturalism as a force for ill is still a large leap beyond that.

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Posted in: Japanese study shows that persimmon tannin juice may render coronavirus harmless See in context

If this is kaki shibu, I have it on my floor. It's an all-natural product used as a traditional woodstain.

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Posted in: EU chief says UK cannot change EU-UK withdrawal agreement See in context

Johnson and the Conservative Party were elected to pass the Withdrawal Agreement. UKIP stood all of its candidates down on the condition that the Conservative candidate declared that they would vote for it. The conclusion must be that the Withdrawal Agreement is the Brexit the British people voted for.

Simple explanations of Brexit do not give the whole story, but there was a huge divide between the young voting for remain and the old voting for leave. The majority of people who work (i.e. with a job to lose) voted to remain. A large majority of pensioners, especially lower class ones on the state pension, voted to leave. You can see some more info here.


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Posted in: Nissan unveils prototype of new generation Z sports car See in context

It looks good from the sides and rear, but that square grille is terrible. The 240Z's is much smaller and part of a more balanced front end.

The press release waffles on about the shape with scant mention of the V6 (it's three litre), which may place it in a good value spot between the (underpowered?) BRZ/86 and the three litre Supras.

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Posted in: Fatal accidents continue in forestry industry See in context

I've had several dozen trees cut down behind my house, the usual sugis that had been planted and then abandoned. An older self-employed guy did it on his own wearing tabi. He used the arm of a backhoe as a guide a few times when felling them. Once they were down, he turned up on the weekend with his school-age daughter and got her to practice operating the backhoe to stack the logs. I found this cavalier approach very funny, but I can see how it can have tragic circumstances.

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Posted in: Japan's new PM: Self-made and strong-willed See in context

I congratulate him for getting this far without being from an established political family, especially if he had to work through college.

However, his insistence on following the Abe administration's policies, as described in the other story, suggest he is far from "strong willed".

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Posted in: Choosing a Japanese name, international name, or one from your home culture for your baby can be challenging See in context

Just to add to the article, note that although you can find kanji versions of many English sounding names from people in Hong Kong, where they've been using Western names for decades, unless the kanji used are included in the Japanese jouyou kanji, your child will not be able to use those kanji in Japan.

The other thing not mentioned is the balance with the characters used for the surname. It is possible to have different opinions on this matter, but it may be an idea to choose a kanji name for your child if their surname is in katakana. Both forename and surname in katakana is rare for someone with Japanese citizenship.

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Posted in: Centenarians top 80,000 for 1st time in rapidly aging Japan See in context

Among other things, this means the average woman receives a pension for 23 years (88-65), nearly 50% longer than the average man (16=81-65). Millions of women in Japan only pay in from leaving education to getting married, at which point they become dependent on their husband's shakai hoken, whose payment does not change. As with all forms of welfare, this can be justified as the will of the people, the society we want to live in, but someone has to pay for it.

For the average man to receive a pension for 23 years, he would have to retire at 58.

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Posted in: Apple rolls out virtual fitness service, new watch, subscription bundle, catering to pandemic work-from-home See in context

My Kindle Fire 8, at a tiny fraction of the price at $100, does everything I need.

If you do the Google Play Store hack, Fire tablets are very capable for typical tablet use and very cheap.

You can get a fingertip oximeter like the ones clinics use for about 2000 yen. Some companies have started measuring it in fitness watches, but there is little info on what the number means and apparently you have to stop exercising to measure it, a no-no for running or cycling.

"It's a lot more aggressive pricing than I thought," said Ben Bajarin, principal analyst for consumer market intelligence at research firm Creative Strategies,

The best-known online reviewer of fitness tech, DC Rainmaker, says the service doesn't offer very much for the money. It is also English-language only.

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Posted in: Suga pledges to balance fighting coronavirus and promoting economic activities See in context

Wasn't he the one who pushed idiotic Go To Travel Campaign?

Furusato Nouzei too, I believe. He has an inaka-done-good image, so maybe expect more throw-money-at-inaka type policies.

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Posted in: Five spots for a warm weather vacation in autumn in Japan See in context

The sun shines all over Japan in autumn. You don't need to go to a special place to find it.

For 2020 in particular, I guess its a good chance to go to famous autumn leaf spots that would normally be crowded with foreign tourists. Kyoto temples etc. There are great colours all over the country.

Clear skies mean the best place to go are the mountains. If staying up there, note that it can get close to zero C overnight. Many mountain huts will start closing at the end of the month, so start planning soon.

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Posted in: Afro-textured hair in Japan: Decolonizing the Afro See in context

Hiphop dancing is pretty popular in Japan and quite a few schoolkids do it, some of them very young. For performances, they'll often wear their hair in braids or corn rows. I've seen kids doing energetic routines to songs full of words beginning with f and s and lyrics about gangs, drugs, guns, "running hoes", all kinds of stuff not suitable for children's ears.

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Posted in: Suga finds himself on T-shirts and bags in hometown See in context

I wanted to bring out the hip hop style

"And you don't stop! You keep on!" could almost be an LDP motto.

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