kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: EU raises pressure as UK promises new Brexit plans See in context

I think the UK government wanted a soft Brexit with trade protected, but was too incompetent to properly negotiate for one. We are now at the mercy of whatever the EU offers. The main card the UK has left is the UK consumer. Losing access to the UK market will hurt EU businesses, and it is pathetic that this could not leveraged into a workable deal by now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan inflation edges up but way below target in August See in context

So most inflation is in food and energy.

Great news for a country with 28% over 65 years old and 20% over 70.

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Posted in: It became clear that a large amount of unpaid taxes can be collected from overseas assets, so the latest case will have high ripple and deterrence effects on other tax defaulters. See in context

This is an inter-family transfer of a large taxable sum from someone resident in Japan. The tax will be the "jotouzei". The limit where it starts to be applied is at several million yen.

The recipient may have been overseas, but I don't think that makes this gift "overseas assets". It is simply a taxable money transfer from Japan, like an inheritance. I doubt the Japanese authorities would have the wherewithal to go after what most people would normally call overseas assets.

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Posted in: Do you think the brand of comedy of old-time comedians such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and so on would appeal to modern audiences not familiar with their work? See in context

Expat is onto something in that the comedians mentioned are on different levels. I won't try to analyze it or rank them because I'll just sound like a ponce. From memory, Abbott and Costello would look the most dated.

I showed my son a Chaplin film, Hard Times maybe, when he was about six and he laughed at it.

Come the revolution, it would be nice to see the Yoshimoto offices up in flames. Them and all the other firms with a yakuza-type grip over Japanese entertainment.

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Posted in: 5 foreign chambers of commerce in Japan urge gov't to legalize same-sex marriage See in context

I don't think Britain should be telling any other country about how to hand out spouse visas.

More non-EU spouses of British citizens will be kept out of the country by onerous requirements (i.e., xenophobia) than gay spouses are kept out of Japan by homophobia. The number is in the tens of thousands.

Once Brexit is in, the same may happen to EU spouses.

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Posted in: Disaster recovery debts in Japan proving tough to service See in context

With landslides onto paddy fields, you can end up with astronomical amounts to repair single fields that net their owners very little when farmed. This is a poor use of taxpayer money. It would be wiser to accept that the landscape has changed and pay the farmer a bit of compensation. 90% of rice growers are part-timers whose main income lies elsewhere.

The loans of "up to 3.5 million yen" sound like emergency support for dislocated people. They are not for rebuilding. The government loans offered for rebuilding are much higher, but are not easy to qualify for and take ages to process. Anyone who qualifies probably qualifies for a regular bank loan anyway.

If the government did not waste money rebulldozing paddy fields and reconcreting river banks post disasters, there would be more money for ordinary people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 2020 Olympic volunteers to get ¥1,000 a day for transport expenses See in context

For young uns I guess it's something to write on your cv, like an unpaid internship. It is morally questionable to not pay people, I do not like it one bit, but it's the way of the world now. If you want to blame someone or something, blame neo-liberalism.

It would be nice if the IOC were paying this 1000 yen, but it'll be the Japanese end.

Regarding the issue of volunteering, it is an everyday thing in Japan. I volunteer all the time for my kids school, their sports clubs, local events, and our community. I must do brush cutting at least eight times a year, often with a 5am or 6am start. Such activities are not regarded as "volunteering" in katakana, but Japanese society would soon collapse without these "youji" and "touban".

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Posted in: Do you think Okinawa should hold a referendum on whether or not it should host any U.S. bases? See in context

In the UK, we let Scotland have a referendum about independence, in which they were told independence would mean being forced out of the EU. Independence was rejected.

We then had a nationwide referendum about leaving the EU in which people were told it would make 350M pounds available for the NHS and other public services. The leave vote won and promptly told everyone the 350M was a lie. After voting to stay in the UK, Scotland voted to remain in the EU, but will have to leave with the other home nations.

Other countries have had referenda that rejected the EU's Maastrict treaty or the austerity program in Greece. The results were ultimately ignored.

So my advice is do not put your faith in referenda.

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Posted in: UK's Hunt says Britain can flourish even without Brexit deal See in context

Apparently the recent Japan-EU agreement stipulates that Japan will have to get EU permission to offer the same terms to the other trading partners, e.g. the post-Brexit UK.

The mess of Brexit means that most senior cabinet posts in the UK are held by stooges while others wait in the shadows. I have more faith in the EU letting the UK down lightly than anyone in the UK government powerfully negotiating a well-reasoned settlement.

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Posted in: Japanese schools losing their pools due to rising maintenance costs and aging facilities See in context

As long as they are getting lessons, it doesn't matter if they are on campus. With a falling number of kids, swimming schools can't be thriving, so it makes sense for them too.

At elementary schools, there can be a huge difference in the quality of sports lessons between teachers, so its good to have dedicated swim coaches give the lessons. As Michael says, parents are on the hook as lifeguards, in my kids' school's case, during the holidays only, so it would be one less thing for the PTA to do. At my kids' school, parents have to book time off work, even though the actual job of supervising is weather dependent and the class will be cancelled if it rains.

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Posted in: Mother indicted after 1-year-old son dies after falling off electric bicycle See in context

I looked up the Japanese report and it said that it is illegal (possibly just in Kanagawa) to ride a bike with a child strapped to your chest. To your back is okay. The reason given was that on your front, it obstructs the handling of the bike and can obstruct your view.

The umbrella had been suspended on the handlebar and shoved between the frame (presumably the fork) and mudguard. I'm a cyclist and that strikes me as an accident waiting to happen.

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Posted in: Japan sees surge in foreign nursing care students amid labor shortage See in context

But it is unclear whether Japan will be able to continue to see an increase in foreign students, as other countries such as Germany, Britain, the United States and Singapore are also looking for foreign workers in the caregiving sector.

We may end up with a similar situation to university students where the brightest and better off go to study in the US and the less bright and less well off come to Japan, using Monbusho scholarships wherever possible. Anyone coming to Japan for a nursing job is going to have to learn a very difficult language to be considered. Most educated Filipinos will know English already.

There is also the moral issue of whether First World countries should really be "stealing" trained medical staff from poor countries, instead of (paying to) train their own. This is already rife with the UK's NHS.

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Posted in: Trump imposes tariffs on $200 bil more of Chinese goods; Apple smart watches, other gadgets exempt See in context

Apple obviously using that cash pile to put money in the right hands.

Just tax unAmerican things like bicycles instead.

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Posted in: Mother indicted after 1-year-old son dies after falling off electric bicycle See in context

She won't go to prison. However the charade of having a case that hands out a suspended sentence in the vague hope of setting an example will still cost money.

My recommendation would be to spend the money on policemen who stand on street corners and hand out spot fines to people using a phone in their hand while cycling, carrying an umbrella, suspending shopping bags or the like off the handlebars, carrying kids in a sling and not a child seat, etc. That is how you change behaviour.

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Posted in: Japan sees surge in foreign nursing care students amid labor shortage See in context

My wife had a brief spell on unemployment insurance earlier this year, just three months. Anyway during it, Hello Work, the Japanese job center offered her a chance to do a training course for the two-year caregiver qualification. It was.

free full-time tuition for two years. (about 1.2 million yen a year at a private college)

travel expenses covered (about 90 minutes by train, about 400,000 yen per year)

her three months of unemployment benefit extended for two years while she studied (about 2.5 million yen total)

So getting on for 6 million yen off the taxpayer to train up a middle-aged woman with three kids on the off chance she'll make use of the qualification. This screams to me that they are desperate.

(it was too much traveling so we didn't consider it).

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Posted in: 70-year-olds and above account for 20% of Japan's population for 1st time See in context

Seniority at Japanese companies means most sixty year olds are on very high wages regardless of their current performance. The lifetime employment system relies on them finishing. I'm afraid there are too many out there with limited talents and productivity to force companies to keep them on on that very high pay scale. Many workplaces already support their ageing seishain by using young people as temps on poor conditions.

The actual number of old people in the story is simply playing out as predicted thirty or forty years ago. Provided that the pension scheme does not blow up, I think the real problem will come when the boomers hit 85, because the stats say that's when most people need some kind of help. I think there is also a large drop in consumption as 70 year olds become 80 year olds. This will surely hit domestic retail and domestic tourism.

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Posted in: Times are changing See in context


Like most people on tv, the guy probably has an invented "character" that is not 100% his true self. I would expect everyone on tv to be projecting some kind of image, even newsreaders and commentators who feign concern about stories they are probably not interested in and know nothing about beyond the script they are reading.

Soejima san was raised in Japan and culturally he is close to 100% Japanese. Thane Camus is too. They grew up watching Japanese tv and talking about it at the normal Japanese schools they attended. In Soejima's case, he grew up in Japan without a Japanese father spoon-feeding him with "ore" type male speech. This situation tends to produce young men who come across as "kawaii". He's probably hamming it up a bit, but not that much. It is not uncommon for male haafus to not speak ore ore Japanese.

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Posted in: Attention shifts to flood risks as heavy rains increase in Japan See in context

The major rivers in Tokyo all have a history of flooding. See Japanese wiki about the Tonegawa etc. They have huge dykes, called "super teibo" in Japanese built or being built along them. In the government plans, its something crazy like a 200-year project.

I only heard about it recently, but there are also areas of Tokyo that have sunk due to overexploitation of ground water. Some are now several meters lower.

Anyway, it would be wise to know about the area you live in and know what measures you should do when the danger level increases.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Advice to victims of bullying, DV, neighborhood trouble: Record it See in context

Their merit is their ability to produce evidence that can’t be ignored.

Who are they suggesting this will work against? Black companies? Tailgaters? Bosozoku? Gymnastics coaches who physically assault young athletes?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 28 suffer food poisoning at MOS Burger restaurants See in context

I ate at MosBurger in Nagano with my youngest last week. I've been ill since, but only with a cold symptoms and nothing with my guts. It makes you think though.

I trust this will be treated with the seriousness it deserves. The company being Japanese does not give them an easier ride than McDonalds or anyone else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 1-year-old girl, 2-year-old brother killed in car crash See in context

As others have pointed out, a "minivan" is NOT a kei. Its a people carrier. From the video, the children were in a big boxy Toyota that looks like a Hi-Ace. The Japanese press is also reporting that there were two child seats in the car.

What a horrible accident. RIP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 74% of Japanese companies against daylight saving time for 2020 Olympics: poll See in context

I've changed my mind on this and instead of daylight savings, I think Japan should change time zones, either to GMT +9.5 like Central Australia directly below Japan or GMT+10 like the bit of Russia directly above Japan. This would require only one disruption.

Japan has a very similar latitude to Malta, meaning a very similar length of daylight to organize the clock around. However, sunrise and sunset in Malta in winter are over twenty minutes later. This suggests GMT+9.5 would be a good fit, but GMT +10 would make things easier to calculate. Malta has summer time, but at +10 Japan wouldn't need it.

Japan is dark or near dark at 6pm for half the year. Far more people are awake and out at 6pm than before 6am, so this makes things unnecessarily miserable. Less time for kids to play, more anxiety for women and schoolgirls out on their own, less incentive for anyone to relax outside, etc. etc.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan on brink of IWC pullout after commercial whaling comeback blocked See in context

Country Financial Contribution

Japan 123,482 BILLIONS



Is that denominated in Mario coins? Anyway, my sources say the correct figure was eleventy billion.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Serena cartoon fuels debate about 'racist' Australia See in context

Serena Williams was pathetic and has disgraced herself.

The cartoonist and editor are also pathetic and have disgraced themselves. They have done so by producing something where the question is not "how pathetic is that behaviour?" but "is that S@mbo from the Jim Crow era?". The obvious response would have been to print a small apology followed by exactly the same cartoon drawn "less S@mbo".

We have terrible newspapers in the UK too, so this cartoon says nothing about Australia. I'm from the UK, but the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, and the vast majority of politicians, celebrities, and people on UK TV do not speak for me. Many of them are a running embarrassment.

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Posted in: Ex-Morning Musume singer Yoshizawa admits drinking more than 3 cans of ‘chuhai’ before hit-and-run See in context

The video is here.


The top rated Youtube comments make "is that what Tokyo/the city is like?" quips.Number four unsurprisingly compares it to China.

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Posted in: 1 in 18 babies born through in-vitro fertilization in Japan See in context

I suppose this is the inevitable conclusion to women being thrown on the employment scrapheap once they have kids. They end up putting childbirth off as long as possible, risking their and their partner's fertility in the process. The bill, here for IVF, is picked up by the government.

The solution is a combination of worker-friendly policies that allow people to work 9-5 and only 9-5 and the introduction of sensible parenting that does not drag parents out of work for vacuous tasks at schools, kids clubs and neighbourhood associations. In short, a work-life balance.

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Posted in: Osaka's U.S. Open win re-opens cultural discussion in Japan See in context

Osaka said people tell her that she acts "kind of Japanese." But she added: "I think my tennis is not very Japanese."

Poor girl. Leave the identity politics aside and just let her play tennis.

For me, if she qualifies for the passport, she's Japanese and that's it. it's end of story. Since that is what the law says, I fail to understand why people seeking to deny it need to be given a platform.

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Posted in: Five important manners to remember when buying something at a Japanese convenience store See in context

Perhaps the article should point out that these were requests made in Japanese by a Japanese store worker to Japanese customers.

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Posted in: Probe into foreigners' health insurance abuse stirs controversy See in context

alleged cases involving foreigners who fraudulently obtained residential status in order to join Japan's public insurance system

Who made the allegations? Twitter? 2ch? Someone with a large black van?

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Posted in: Half of Tokyo’s universities to use credits to 'convince' students to volunteer in 2020 Olympics See in context

Standing outside a train station holding a placard with an arrow on it. That's sure to get Japanese universities flying up the global rankings.

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