kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: 1,300 apply to come to Japan on guided tours since reentry rules eased See in context

Just for context, the numbers for June and July 2019 were 2.88 and 2.99 million. That's double the number of Japanese who travelled in those months, so even if Japanese demand got back to normal, which will take years, there would still be a big hole in revenue for the airlines, airports, and all other related businesses, to say nothing of accomodation and the like serving inbound tourists.


5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: What are some movies that you really liked, but got terrible reviews? See in context

I really like Mr Baseball! It's formula all the way, but great with it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Toyota, slow to move to EVs, says it offers customers choice See in context

Toyota is global leader in hybrids, so this is to be expected. It has sold over 15 million of them.

It looks like a similar number of "electric cars" have sold cumulatively to the end of 2021, but this number also includes plug in hybrids, cars that principally run on gasoline. Many of these are made and sold in China, and would not be to potential buyers of Toyotas.

I doubt the grid as it stands could withstand a large market share for electric vehicles, such as 30%. It will need more capacity and extensive rewiring if folks are to fast charge at home. This requires way more power than ordinary household activities.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Kishida to be 1st Japanese leader to attend NATO summit See in context

NATO is a fundamentally anti-Russia Cold War relic and shares some responsibility for the ongoing destruction of Ukraine, which NATO itself helped provoke and is fuelling as a kind of proxy war. Japan has far more to gain from having a positive relationship with Russia than getting further into bed with its enemies.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Posted in: 1 in 4 singles in 30s not willing to marry: Japan gov't survey See in context

I saw a chart the other day and it suggested that Japan now has one of the highest birthrates in East Asia. After seeing years of doomsaying headlines to articles that focus on Japan in isolation, I ended up laughing out loud. If its happening across the continent, you cannot blame the state on Japan-specific things.


It is sad if economic or social pressures are preventing young people from leading the lives they want. Some of the reasons given though, such as marriage=nasty housework, sound like projecting by people who are naive and whose entire life experience may amount to watching their mother and father.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo ward rejects couple's marriage registry under separate surnames See in context

And if they set more priority to found a new family and showing the will to live together and share the common future way, then they should easily choose one name out of the two former ones and name their new family such and fix it by a marriage and ceremony. What’s so difficult to understand or abide with that?

Some single children in Japan are told to keep their family name. Their parents will only consent to marriage if the family name lives on. This can apply to daughters as well as sons. Such people are adults of course, and can ultimately go against their parents' and/or grandparents' wishes, but should it really be necessary? I do not think the law should place limits on people's pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness or force them into unnecessary confrontations with their families. The law should be their protect people in trouble, and not cause trouble itself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 64% of Japanese unhappy with gov't response to rising prices: poll See in context

Taxing food is the obvious error to correct here.

Some of the rest is just choosing your poison. The yen is falling against the currency oil and foodstuffs are priced in because of the Fed pushing up interest rates to strangle the surge in post-Covid demand seen as causing inflation. If Japan pushes up interest rates, it'll be loans that cost more, not prices at the pump and in the supermarket. The country already spends something like 30% of tax revenue on servicing the national debt, so there's not a lot of leeway there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Businesses pin hopes on foreign tourists as Japan set to reopen border See in context

Let's just hope this "guided tour" phase is as short as possible and proper tourism can resume in 2022, preferably around August, but by autumn at the latest.

I fear they've bet on the wrong horse because with the "style" of tourism Japan is allowing, they're not going to see much of an uptick in sales and profits. 

There is no money in doing things this way. I presume the objective is to placate chronic worriers and xenophobes who associate foreigners with Covid. A month or two of foreigners coming in with no explosion in Covid numbers should be enough dispel such people's fears. You cannot shut down part of the economy forever just because of Chicken Little. It really shouldn't need saying but accusing people of being unclean is not o-mo-te-na-shi.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Ukraine today could be East Asia tomorrow: Kishida See in context

This ignores the historical context and series of developments that led to Russia invading Ukraine.

The same context and developments cannot be seen for Taiwan.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan eases border restrictions, starts visa procedures for guided tours See in context

The "guide" is basically a mask monitor, isn't he/she? They probably don't need any guiding knowledge or skills. "This is a famous temple in Japan....This is our famous noodle." level.

I wonder what the pay is. It's morning to night, so long hours.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 3 Japanese schools to introduce genderless swimsuits with unisex two-piece design See in context

The suits look fine and its good for kids to swim. Important too in case of accidents.

According to Japanese reports, the price is around 6500 yen, which is a little expensive for boys, but probably par for the course for girls if you factor in the rash guard. Anyone with sensitive skin will still have to wear sunscreen, and I hope schools recognize that because some ban it as "makeup".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Survey suggests about half of Japanese companies has an 'old guy who does nothing' See in context

This is the downside of lifetime employment. Most people in this situation will be unsackable.

It is perfectly normal for folks to burn out, so some of the individuals in question are not (entirely) to blame. Ageism means they will never get another seishain job. They have to cling to the one they have, even if unsuitable for it.

Of course, having unsackable unproductive staff on high wages means companies cut costs elsewhere, such as by not making young employees seishain and working them as hard as they can.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Should there be an age limit for driving licenses? See in context

I don't support an absolute limit because they are always outliers, people who don't seem to age at all.

There should be yearly tests though, starting around 80. Stats say that at 85, around half of people need some kind of assistance (kaigo), even if its just a day helper.

If full testing could be used on cars with automatic braking etc. to verify its benefits, one option would be to give older driving licenses that are restricted to cars with it, just as Japan already issues stick shift and automatic only licenses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: It is weird to require an approval from a spouse when taking a pill. Is Japan still living in the middle ages? See in context

One of many obvious problems here is what happens when a wife in a sexless marriage wants to take the pill. There are many sexless marriages in Japan.

A husband in a sexless marriage does not need his wife's permission to take Viagra.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Will Tokyo become a modern-day Pompeii? See in context

Once upon a time in prehistory, North and South Honshu were separate islands. They are now joined because of a series of massive volcanic eruptions in the channel between them. This extends from I think its Myoko and Hiuchi-dake in the north to Mt. Fuji in the south. The infilled land is known as the Fossa Magna, and was discovered and named by a German scholar in the late 1800s. Geography/geology is not my forte, but it's a really interesting story and completely non-obvious, to the point that a non-Japanese scholar had to turn up and discover it. At the west edge of the Fossa Magna, there is a plate boundary and the ISTL series of faults, which come just before (in places just hundreds of meters) the Northern Alps mountain range.

The tl:dr of the above is that there were absolutely massive eruptions in prehistory, which if repeated would probably wipe out everyone in central Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Irish leader sees no UK will to end Brexit trade standoff See in context

The Anglo-Irish Agreement does not appear to have contained any means of accommodating the UK leaving the EU.

The problem has been caused by politicians in the UK choosing to leave the Single Market and Customs Union. The British public only voted to leave the EU, which in itself does not cause problems with the Good Friday Agreement.

Most of the things promised to voters voting leave, like frictionless trade, could only happen if Britain had remained in the SM and/or CU. The referendum was about leaving the EU, not leaving the SM and CU. That decision was taken post-Brexit by politicians. The consequences for Northern Ireland when this decision was taken, by PM Johnson by the way, were already known.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Ex-Tokyo Olympics chief Mori displeased at backlash over sexist remarks See in context

"I simply said that women talk a lot. I get scolded for telling the truth,"

This is a lie. He said a lot more than "women talk a lot" and that's why major sponsors started pressurizing the IOC to get him sacked. It was international pressure that did him in, not the concerns of Japanese women who have no power in this country.

This is a very powerful man being allowed to rewrite history here. The article should state what Mori actually said at the time, and not simply his highly diluted version of it one year later. Giving only his side of the story encourages people to side with him. Mori's comments embarrassed Japan internationally, which was not the intention of hosting the Olympics.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Saiki City mistakenly let resident claim ¥1.3 million in gift certificates See in context

ADK99 nails it in that this is ultimately unwanted. The tickets are intended to boost local spending, but 24,000 people don't want to spend locally in the stipulated ways even when subsidized to do so. The subsidy should have been reallocated to something else. Osaka reducing everyone's water bill by the fixed charge for three months was a much easier and more sensible way to give every household 5000 yen.

Unless the car is manufactured locally, the spending on it will have a very low multiplier effect on the local economy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Clients will be OK with wearing a mask indoors but wearing them 24 hours is a hassle. The cost of having a guide at all times may deter clients until later when they have more flexibility. See in context

I saw an advert for trips from Thailand that someone posted on Facebook. The advert was titled "Fun back at Fuji" or something similar. It was in Thai so I couldn't read the details, but the trip clearly included a trip to the safari park at Fuji and to Disneyland. There were three dates, the first in July and the last in October. With Disneyland being included, it got me wondering about what they mean by "avoiding crowded spaces" and about the use of guides. At Disneyland, a family of four would need two guides if the two kids want to go on different rides. Presumably the 8000 yen entry fee for the guides is coming from us taxpayers.

These trips are clearly a joke in themselves and worthy of the North Korea comparisons. However, part of me suspects they are just an ostentatious display of the government being shincho (=cautious) to placate the naysayers. The decision to open the border with an actual date may have been taken already, with these trials just a PR exercise intended to shut all of the "shimpai" people up. As a parallel, Covid vaccinations in Japan only started after a tiny, timewasting trial in Japan on Japanese people. We can only speculate on how many Japanese people would have had the vaccine if the government did not have a piece of paper saying "Tested on Japanese!" The trial and these terrible sounding tours may be more necessary than we'd like to think due to this excessive need for reassurance hurdle.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Posted in: Saiki City mistakenly let resident claim ¥1.3 million in gift certificates See in context

My town issues the same tickets. Half of the tickets are restricted to certain local shops and services who may sell stuff you don't want, but the other half can be used in the supermarket, gasoline stand, etc. While the tickets give you free money, 13,000 yen of tickets for 10,000 yen of cash, some people don't buy them because of the usage restriction. In my town's case, there is a raffle for the right to buy any remaining ticket books. There are some left over, but it's certainly nowhere near half the books that they issue.

To me, this sounds like someone has worked out that a usage restriction on the tickets doesn't affect them, i.e., the car dealer will take them. Free money suddenly becomes much more attractive when you can spend it where you want and are not limited to spending at the dry cleaners, the wagashi shop, and the ripoff sports shop with the monopoly on school gymwear.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to ask foreign tourists to wear masks, take out COVID insurance See in context

I hate this kind of announcement which implies Coronavirus is spread by foreigners with unclean habits (not wearing masks) and also implies foreigners are a burden on the Japanese health system, which is also bogus.

However, I strongly suspect that since they are using the magical word "guidelines", none of this is actually going to be enforced on anyone coming to Japan. Not wearing a mask on the plane may get you into bother, you might get kicked off before takeoff, but after you've got off in Japan, I doubt you'd get more than a dirty look off someone for not masking up. Maybe some grief and chasing away by a shopkeeper, but that's about it. The insurance one can probably be avoided with a tick in a "it's free with my credit card" box and no actual proof. What this announcement may actually be is a reassurance to Japanese xenophobes that the government understands their concerns about unclean, freeloading-on-the-health-system gaijins who xenophobes assume must exist in their thousands. While superficial pandering to such prejudices may be a necessary step in bringing us closer to a border open to tourists, something many of us want ASAP, it also reinforces the stereotypes mentioned above and is distasteful for it.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Posted in: Australian KFC customers clucking mad over lettuce-cabbage switch See in context

I thought lettuce was commercially grown now with hydroponics, not in fields. Especially in a hot country like Australia. Lettuce plants bolt in hot weather so you need somewhere cool to grow them outside. Hydroponics is an expensive method, but prices should be relatively stable since it is not weather dependent.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Weakened British Prime Minister Johnson survives no-confidence vote See in context

He may be elated for the time being.

I bet he isn't. Johnson may continue to do the "happy go lucky" act for the cameras, but he will be livid about this. His loyalists were resolutely denying a vote of confidence would happen even just two or three days ago. The holding of the vote and Johnson's poor showing in it greatly weaken him. He may limp on, but there is probably no way back now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese schools banning nicknames, mandating use of '-san' divides opinions See in context

Everyone, every bully included, knows you can mock someone or give an empty apology just by changing your tone of voice, facial expression, etc.

There is far more to respect for others and sincerity than certain words and honorific titles like "san". The biggest bully in my son's class is also the best spoken when adults are present.

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Posted in: Majority of Japanese firms struggle to get materials due to war in Ukraine See in context

Perhaps this is why we use the word "interests" and not "interest".

While it is probably in our interest as humans to help Ukraine and punish Russia for what is undeniable aggression, it is also in our interest to stay fed, clothed, housed, mobile, etc. with the means we have available.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to 'throw everything' at Brazil after thrashing Paraguay 4-1 See in context

Didn't Japan beat Brazil in 1996 Olympics?

Under 23s, and my memory says there was a howler by the Brazlian goalie for the single goal.

I'm going to tune in to this friendly and am looking forward to the game. Brazil have brought a very strong squad, and are good all over the pitch now. It's not just incredible flair players and a very soft center, as in the days of Zico etc. Or when Germany beat them 7-1 not so long ago under big Phil but with some of the worst defending you will ever see. They were just walking it in. There's a great photo for the other day of Neymar, Richarlison, Bruno G, Paqueta etc. all riding a roller coaster at South Korea Disneyland. Gabriel Jesus sounds like he is set to leave Man City due to Haaland, but he's finally started emerging from Aguero's (immense) shadow and really looked a player in the PL run-in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan-born American files suit against Japan's dual nationality ban See in context

On the general issue, different countries handle dual nationality differently, so there may be no right answer.

It's probably not connected to this lawsuit, but anyone born Japanese but who took another country's nationality was presumably locked out of Japan during the pandemic. Such people would still need to apply for special circumstances to visit family etc. to get in today. Once you lose your Japanese passport, you will come here as a tourist. You can't work here any more either.

As AntiqueSaving mentions, the law does not treat everyone the same about this, depending on whether you were born a dual citizen. There is a parallel with someone marrying a non-Japanese, who may retain a different surname to their spouse. Two Japanese who marry cannot do this.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: How has the coronavirus affected your mental health? See in context

I already worked from home and live away from people in the countryside, so it didn't affect my lifestyle at first. However, my income took a big hit after the first year, and that's been a big concern. Tightening your belt takes a lot of fun out of life.

I must admit I'm getting sick of wearing a mask, hearing about Covid on the news, and my daughter being stuck in her little dorm room at college with the common rooms closed and trips and events downgraded or cancelled. I just want it over with now.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Researchers transform food waste into potentially edible 'cement' See in context

I don't see how this is better than just composting it and returning nutrition to the soil.

Concrete can be made from other materials, like hemp. This article uses "cement" and "concrete" interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Cement is the binder or "glue" in concrete.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan test tour by 4 Thai people canceled after COVID infection See in context

It's normal , natural, expected that some of the tourists will be found infected, part of the test, now they get to evaluate if their planned responses are lacking /adequate

Yes, that is true. I'm sure its not an issue this time, but for opening up fully, which most of us want, presumably there'll have to be hospitals in Japan willing to treat non-Japanese and probably non-Japanese speaking people who potentially have Covid. And somewhere for such people to quarantine, assuming quarantine is deemed necessary. Knowing what some of them are like, I would expect a number, possibly very many, hospitals and hotels to not play ball with this. Especially ones near inaka tourist spots like Shirakawa-go, Nikko, onsen towns with Asian visitors like Kusatsu, etc.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

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