kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Some people prefer to say holiday tree instead of Christmas tree. What's your view on this? See in context

Other people can have a holiday tree if they want, but the one in my house is a Christmas tree.

I'm working on the day, so it won't even be a holiday. The kids might be at school, I've not checked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Johnson says he has won a big mandate for Brexit See in context

Boris Johnson gambled everything on this election and won.

Boris Johnson was head of a lame duck government with a majority of minus forty. He got an election because the SNP and the LibDems gambled on one. Johnson did not have enough votes without them to get an election on his own. Labour had no choice but to get on board the following day when it became obvious that the Tories, SNP, and Lib Dems together had the votes to call an election.

Of the three parties calling the election, the Tories and SNP won big. For the Lib Dems, it was a disaster. The SNP wanted an earlier election partly because former leader Alex Salmond is facing multiple cases of sexual harrassment and sexual assault in 2020. I note the BBC World is using the "Johnson gambled line" too, but that organization is miles from impartiality and loves simple melodramatic narratives. They do not do nuance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Johnson says he has won a big mandate for Brexit See in context

I had hoped the Brexit vote was just middle finger to Cameron and Russian lies on a bus, which it was to an extent, but despite three years of finding out what it is in gory details like a border in the Irish Sea, car factories closing down, and new roaming charges, driving licenses, car insurance, and visas to go across the Channel, the British people still want it. They still want it even if it means goodbye to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Corbyn became more Remain-y compared to 2017 and was punished for it in 2019.

So for once I agree with Johnson. He has won a big mandate for Brexit. I wanted to hang onto freedom of movement for my kids, but other British people won't let them have it. I don't like it, but Brexit it is now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: UK exit poll suggests solid majority for Johnson's Conservatives See in context

The main drivers are Conservative vote strong in Brexit areas, strong in the most deprived areas, and strong in areas with under 25% of university graduates as voters.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: UK exit poll suggests solid majority for Johnson's Conservatives See in context

There is poverty in Japan, but poverty in the UK is far worse. Japanese pension premiums (kokumin nenkin) are much lower than UK national insurance. If you don't pay much in, you won't get much out. That's how pensions work. Japan has a huge national debt because of social spending, which dwarfs military or infrastructure spending. The UK is coming off 10 years of huge cuts to social spending. UK style austerity would be politically impossible in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: UK exit poll suggests solid majority for Johnson's Conservatives See in context

I don't hate Japan's government. I'm off to get my teeth done later today in a state-of-the-art clinic thanks to its well-funded healthcare. I get child benefit I need but would not qualify for in the UK, and my youngest got really good subsidized childcare that cost 1/4 of the fee in the UK. I live in deep countryside but have 50MBit fiber optic broadband, something I wouldn't get in many UK cities. Japan has various problems, but it's a good country. I don't hear about Japanese people having to go to food banks like the UK. Japanese people volunteer to help each other out after national disasters, not to feed and clothe each other in normal times. Japanese children do not have to sleep on a hospital floor because there are no beds.

Many people dislike Corbyn or the media-presented image of Corbyn but he increased the Labour vote on a Leave platform in 2017 and looks like decreasing it this time on a Second-Referendum/Leave platform. The more Brexity Corbyn was more popular. I am anti-Brexit, so this is not something I point out with any joy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: UK exit poll suggests solid majority for Johnson's Conservatives See in context

Since this is an international site, from an international perspective, I would say this is more significant than Trump winning. Trump was an outsider taking on the incumbent Democrats. He was elected partly because people felt no loyalty/gratitude to the Obama administration and disliked Hillary Clinton, the clear "establishment" candidate he was up against.

Johnson here is the incumbent. Voting for him is voting for more of the same. If you want a comparison, this result is the same as Trump being re-elected against Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, far better candidates than Clinton was. This vote is a rejection of change.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: UK exit poll suggests solid majority for Johnson's Conservatives See in context

A depressing exit poll, but let's see how it plays out.

Regardless of your political orientation, it is a very sad day for Britain to elect someone as clearly dishonest and bigoted as Johnson. As with Trump, this is post-truth politics.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Johnson heads for election win in tightening race See in context

Under the Good Friday Agreement, all of the imprisoned terrorists were released. Some of them had been inside for sectarian murders. People whose family members had been killed, including that comedian who lost his father, just had to accept it as the price of peace.

Do people seriously believe you can end a conflict without talking to the other side?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo’s first vegan Japanese-style convenience store now open in Asakusa See in context

The food in the photo and shop itself look better than a regular convenience store. I don't get the hype about conbini food in the first paragraph. In the city, any department store will have far better takeaway food.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Climate activist Greta Thunberg is Time's 2019 person of the year See in context

Good choice. Getting political leaders to enact policies is how you enact real change. Such change is on a whole different level to someone refusing a plastic shopping bag at the convenience store.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: At climate talks, Koizumi confronts critics over coal See in context

I live in Tokyo.... our house has Solar Panels and they totally cover the cost of our electric needs. I look around our neighborhood and I see many new homes and I'd say maybe 1 in 20 or even 30 has a solar panel setup.

The government does not even have to mandate solar panels for new builds. All it has to do is mandate they have a roof that enables them to be fitted in an efficient way. Even if people moan about the cost of solar panels, do not let them build a house which cannot be fitted with them because the roof faces the wrong way.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Johnson heads for election win in tightening race See in context

88% lies from one side, 0% from the other. It should be obvious who not to vote for.

Two lies in two days from the BBC's top political reporter, first about someone not being beaten up and then topping it with an illegal comment about the result of the postal vote. It saddens me, but that is clearly worse than what we see in Japan. The BBC may do nice nature programs, but their reporting is shameful.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Honolulu’s award-winning modern Vietnamese restaurant, The Pig & The Lady, opens doors in Ebisu See in context

Done well, Vietnamese food is cheap and very good to start with. The pho in the photo actually looks pretty standard, so I wouldn't want to pay big for it.

Are there many VIetnamese in Hawaii? There are in Vancouver and the VIetnamese food there was pretty good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese hit song 'Paprika' goes global with English version by new singers and dancers See in context

In English, this has less appeal than PPAP, which had some 8-bit/Casio VL Tone type 1970s electro goodness and a funny looking dude in leopardskin. This is just a standard kids' TV level song with standard kids' tv level choreography. Unless you hype it as Olympics-related, which most people outside Japan do not care about, it will die a death. We will not see schoolteachers forcing kids to do it, like you get in Japan.

It's good that the story ends with a link to the English version of Rassun Gorerai, because that got nowhere either despite many Japanese thinking it was amazing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Thin line between neglect and independence for Japanese kids See in context

As ever, Japan is what you see with your own eyes people! Not what Kyodo or anyone else tells you to think.

I was under the impression that gakudo was just an after-school club, a supervised place where kids of working parents can spend time.

Regarding hochigo, this is not new. There was a famous case at least ten years ago, which was then made into the movie Dare mo Shirenai (Nobody Knows). I think the reality is just that some people are terrible parents and society is too busy pretending they don't exist to step in and help the kids. In short, society fails in its responsibility to protect the children.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tighter climate policies could erase $2.3 trillion in companies value: report See in context

Most people own no shares so this will not affect them.

There is the "oh but their pensions ..." argument, but that is where the ratings agencies and fund managers should come in. If certain industries have a downside risk from increased regulation, it is obvious that pension funds should not hold those assets.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Sapporo budgets ¥700 mil in road repairs for Olympic events See in context

I won't argue the rights or wrongs of this, but will state that it was obvious when the decision was taken that there would be lots of big costs involved in moving the marathon. It will cost a lot and it was entirely predictable that it would cost a lot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What’s better for the environment: a fake Christmas tree or a natural one? See in context

We've got a fake one for the kids. I won't let them put it up before Dec 1.

We actually have a fir tree in our garden but it is about 10m high. I'd need a cherry picker truck to decorate it safely, and the decorations would be at the mercy of lots of snow. We also have an abandoned conifer plantation behind our house where I could grab a small tree, but I can't say I've ever noticed a nice bushy one. Just lots of sad looking ones with few branches.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Dream big: Japanese students seek new paths to overseas study See in context

At last, Japanese are waking up.

Isn't the number of Japanese studying in the US around half the number it was twenty years ago? The number of young people has fallen due to demographics, but I believe the number of kids studying overseas has fallen further.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Johnson promises Brexit and less immigration ahead of election See in context

The age divide in the vote in the UK is savage.


Brexit was very similar. You have to ask why people near the end of their lives want to saddle young people with something they clearly do not want. Do they think they are "helping" young people by doing this?

In Japan, old people are often blamed for reelecting the LDP, but the actual numbers don't bear that out. It is nothing like the UK data in my link. In the last general election, many under 40s Japanese voted for the LDP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Johnson promises Brexit and less immigration ahead of election See in context

If he gets a working majority, Britain is screwed. What's left of the Conservative Party is zealots, with the moderates gone. This new version will be much worse than before.

Like everything else he says, Johnson's spending promises are lies.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Lake Suwa: Climate change unravels 600 years of history See in context

Great story. The story was that the electronics manufacturer Seiko, who are massive in that area, originally set up in Suwa because the clean environment was good for precision manufacturing. It's sad to hear that the lake is well on the way to becoming a dead zone.

A 2.4C rise in average temperature is absolutely huge. If this is an example of what we can expect to happen elsewhere with another degree of warming, this is very frightening indeed.

Just about the omitwatari appearing last year, but I live in Nagano and it was noticably colder than recent years from October onwards. We have a woodstove, so it is easy to track how much heating we are using from the wood left in the shed. Until it got warm in February, I thought we were going to run out.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Rethinking of gender roles is a prerequisite for raising Japan’s birth rate, experts say See in context

By First World standards, Japan's birthrate is not that low. The twin problems are that Japan has long live expectancy and low immigration, which accelerates the ageing of society. The post-war baby boom is also having its inevitable effect now.

Gender roles in Japan need to change though, not just for the birthrate. As for as attitudes go, I don't think images like the one accompanying this article help very much. Men with the time and energy for housework, not a given, will not do it if they face ridicule.

Japan still supports housewives at the expense of full time working wives/mothers. The tax and health/pension system needs to change. As things stand, it makes sense for many women to not work even if they want to.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: High school student 'forced' to quit school sues Kumamoto Prefecture for a single yen See in context

The boy in question here joined the "soft tennis" club, tennis played with a squishy ball that is harder to overhit. Tennis is an individual sport, so you cannot use the justification that hazing rituals build team spirit. Team spirit never won a tennis match.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan's households tighten purse strings as sales tax, typhoon hit See in context

Japan is the most indebted nation in the world...

That's not necessarily true. It may have the most indebted government, but that is not the "nation". As should be more obvious in this country than any other one, the government has its own currency and a printer for it.

How indebted the "nation" is also depends on private assets and private debt. People with private debts do not have a money printer. All the simple analysis about "paying your debts" as a household applies. It does not apply to the government. In general, private debt in Japan is low. Japan's per capita personal debt relative to GDP has fallen in the last twenty years. In countries with real estate booms, like Australia, it has skyrocketed.


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Evangelion' anime studio chief arrested for taking photos of nude teen See in context

The Japanese press used the word 10代後半 literally "late teens".

Japanese has a word for underage, 未成年, which I guess they would use if it were appropriate because it is a far more serious crime. To translate 10代後半 accurately without misleading the English reader, I believe you need to understand and indicate whether 未成年 is excluded if such info would be implicitly understood by the Japanese reader. I don't translate in this field, so I am in the world of speculation here.

If she is not underage, her age is actually irrelevant. Non consensual contact is sexual assault regardless of how old she is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA opens world's 1st shop with avatar robot in Tokyo See in context

The thing on the right looks so low tech that I assumed the avatar must be the one on the left.

The future used to be better than this!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't compiles ¥26 tril stimulus package to prop up economy See in context

I trust this free money for cashless payments is not going to Paypal. That company in Japan is worse than a Japanese bank. "We are retaining 20% of your receipts for 180 days". Yeah, just kill my cashflow.

If everyone in Japan is getting 5,000 yen free, I bet it's A5 wagyu time at cashless payment companies like Paypay. 25000 (20000 plus the free 5000) times 3.5% commission times 100 million people is 90 billion yen. That should be enough to open the amakudari gates for the boys at the MoF.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese labor federation to demand minimum hourly wage of ¥1,100 See in context

I live in inaka and I can just imagine all the people out there saying 1,100 yen is a good wage without thinking for one second about the practicalities of trying to live on it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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