kohakuebisu comments

Posted in: Ruling bloc pushes bill to expand foreign labor through lower house See in context

Backdoor immigration has already been with us for years through dodgy language schools, dodgy technical training, and yakuza brokers. So I think the only way to judge this law is whether it will lead to better treatment of the foreign workers. This will come at the expense of the shady (insider) types who are bringing them in already.

I'm possibly naive, but I can't see how blue collar workers coming in legally can be worse for them than them paying some yakuza broker, having their passport taken off them by another yak as soon as they arrive, and then being paid a fraction of what they were promised, with threats to their families in their home countries whenever they complain.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Top 20 free attractions around Japan, compiled by TripAdvisor See in context

Kurobe Dam is not free in the sense that the only access is via the Alpine Route, a linked-up system of electric buses, ropeways and cable cars. The shortest access is from the east (Omachi) side and that costs close to 2000 yen return for the electric bus.

Factory tours might be good on rainy days, but I reckon the best free activities in Japan will all be mountains you can hike up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't outlines fiscal stimulus to ease tax hike impact See in context

Our youngest is six, so we'll have to aim for being low income!

The genuine poorest will be hand to mouth, so they mightn't have the cash for a twenty thousand yen voucher redeemable for twenty-five thousand. Poor people do not pay for things in advance.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Curry rice king Coco Ichi removes 80% of rice, replaces it with something else in new dish See in context

Cauliflower rice is a thing in the West now, so this is just copying. You can buy it in big supermarkets in the UK.

On the Sora News "isn't Japan ZANY?" o-meter, I give this story three out of ten. The three is because I like the way they pair it with the same old (unhealthy) CocoIchiban toppings. Karaage straight out of the freezer into the fryer. Top quality work.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Getting around the neighborhood by bike comes with plenty of rules in Japan See in context

For a bargain bike that's not a mamachari, I recommend a second-hand shop called "buychari" on Yahoo Auctions. They have a chain of shops in the big cities, but you'll get a much better deal bidding on something they've put online.

Cycling is just one of many hobbies where Japanese go all-in at the start, so that there are lots of high-end second-hand bikes out there that have barely been ridden.

With the mountains so close in Nagano, I hope the guy did not buy a mamachari. There is so much to explore in this prefecture. So little public transport too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 1-year-old boy hit, killed by car; driver arrested See in context

The story says "parents", so I hope the boy was behind or in front of the father. Simply saying "behind the mother" makes it sound very bad. It does happen in Japan, but is not necessarily the case here with the information given.

It is already very dark at 6:15pm. Be careful out there, everyone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: EU finally seals Brexit deal; urges Britons to back PM May See in context

Any deal was always going to be an almighty fudge around all the impracticalities, which both sides would dress up to sound much better than it is. However, even with expectations set that low, this is still very poor. I can't see it passing Parliament without huge bullying of politicians from party leaders. The general public seem very opposed to the deal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Some Japanese firms encouraging employees to take worktime naps See in context

As we've all seen on trains, some Japanese people are epic at grabbing a short nap.

I work at home and have occasionally fallen asleep at my desk, but it has always been when I am so sleepy that my productivity has been 10% or less for the preceding hour. I don't jump back into anything like 100% on waking up either.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: In 2015, Hakodate was voted Japan’s most attractive city and it’s not hard to see why See in context

I think 90% of the photos I've seen of Hakodate have all been from that mountain viewpoint or from the air. Show me how amazing it is at street level and I might actually go there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan snow crab recognized by Guinness as getting most expensive bid See in context

I'm quite curious about the theory that someone bidding a huge amount in a staged and possibly fake auction will actually increase tourism or increase business. Locals always winning suggests to me that these auctions are fake and the money they have bid is returned.

So, are there people with cash to spend out there who wake up it the morning with nothing to do and then think "Let's go to that place with the fifteen grand melon!" Or "the twenty grand crab!" Or the "eight hundred quid haddock!" Do such people actually exist? Does the more time-poor version of this person react to one of these auctions by going online to order 20,000 yen of magic mikan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan university students with experience of dating at lowest on record See in context

I wouldn't be surprised if the methods used in these surveys are flawed, but I still think this is a topic worthy of study. It is already common for groups of young people to go a restaurant and sit there looking at a phone without engaging with each other. I think it is important to know the effects tech and commercial use of tech are having on society. Since we are talking young people, schools also have to adapt, warning kids about online grooming, revenge porn, online bullying, etc.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't plans 5% rebates for some cashless payments after tax hike See in context

Cleo's right that this is a wealth transfer from poor to better off. Credit card companies also charge businesses a commission that is larger for small businesses with no bargaining power. Some businesses, petrol stations for example, still charge more for credit card payments. On kakaku.com, you'll see that often the cheapest place to buy some gizmo or appliance won't accept a cc payment. If you want your cc points, you'll have to pay more to get em.

What Japan should have is debit cards, but its banks are still in the stone age.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Sexual harassment poster from Japanese government draws criticism for seemingly taking men’s side See in context

Personally the issue I have as a man is that I don't think women who get complemented for a change in hairstyle should automatically see themselves as victims on a par with women who get regularly propositioned or receive comments of a more overt sexual nature about their bodies. Those are the problems that need to be eradicated. Ninety something percent of men will happily get behind this.

It may be news to some women, but lots of men don't like their male superiors and having to humour their office chat either. Lots of male banter is of a derogatory nature. With some people, it is constant put-downs. You just have to grow a thick skin or find work elsewhere.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Sexual harassment poster from Japanese government draws criticism for seemingly taking men’s side See in context

If another woman, who happens to be a lesbian, says a woman looks good today, is that sexual harrassment?

I'm in favour of stamping out sexual harrassment, but the battle does not need to be fought over borderline comments like this. The campaign should focus instead on complete eradication of more flagrant abuses, the "I normally go for sexier girls than you, but I'll shag you if you're up for it" comment that the blogger Ha-chu got from her boss at Dentsu, a guy that would ring her up at midnight. Any woman who manages to record her boss saying that should automatically win in court.

Metoo started with Weinstein who was "let me do what I want or no job". It wasn't "you look fabulous".

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: 1st snow of season in Sapporo latest ever recorded See in context

Somewhere, in a car showroom, someone who goes skiing, has a photo of themself skiing on Facebook, and sends gopro videos of themself and others skiing to their friends is buying an oversized vehicle to go skiing. All of their skiing friends will say this oversized vehicle is amazing.

Climate change is obviously not caused by skiers alone, but if people who define themselves by an activity under heavy and obvious threat from climate change cannot modify their behaviour, there is probably no hope for mankind as whole. Some people not being able to ski will be a relatively minor problem given what experts say climate change has in store for us.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Almost half of mothers in Tokyo want train cars designed especially for moms and kids, so that they don't have to worry about sideways glances from other passengers when their children cry or act up, according to a Tokyo Metropolitan Government survey. What do you think about this? See in context

This strikes me as "ask a stupid question, ...." You can design more family-friendly train cars, but train design is not going stop babies crying or certain people reacting to that in a manner that may be interpreted by a (stressed) parent as judgmental. Both are pure fantasy.

Anyway since less than half want it, we can assume from the triumphant rules of Brexit that they cannot have it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese cheese factory aims to cut it in face of foreign competition See in context

possible threats from cheap imports

Japanese people spent 13% of their income on food, noticeably higher than other First World countries, for food produced using large amounts of agricultural chemicals. By that definition, the food cannot be higher quality than other countries. They are paying for inefficiencies in production and distribution, not higher quality.

Lower peoples' food bills across the board and they would have more money to buy luxuries, like high-end speciality cheese from Hokkaido.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Doing it right and being polite: An interview with writer Amy Chavez See in context

I decided to write a definitive guide,

It's for other people to decide whether her book is "definitive".

I doubt there is much cross over between tourists who cause proper trouble (*) and tourists likely to read a book on etiquette. Japanese people will appreciate it if readers do line their coins up or hand banknotes over the write way up, but let's get this straight, they are not a "major faux pas". As kurisupisu says, it would be nice if Japanese people would do these things too.

(*) Proper trouble does not include things that may inconvenience others but are shouganai, like taking a big suitcase on the subway.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Fabrication allegation rocks popular Japanese TV variety show See in context

My kids like this show and variety programs in general so our tv gets left on this channel, the Yomiuri one.

You may think I am splitting hairs but it is noticably the worst channel. It pushes the over-excited celeb schtick even harder than the others, as Aly says to create some happy little Yomiuri utopia where people don't ask questions and tick the LDP box.

(I constantly tell my kids that tv is full of yarase and made up stories)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Women in Tokyo strongly back single-sex transport amid security fears: global poll See in context

Public transport, especially trains, is famously expensive in the UK, so I wouldn't read too much into UK women saying that personal safety is not their top priority. It could still be very important to them, even without the (should be outrageous) level of groping seen in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: North Korea says it has tested 'ultramodern tactical weapon' See in context

It's a Windows 95 computer with a dialup connection, outflanking Japan's cyber security minister with his fax machine and abacus.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Posted in: SDF mortar round lands outside training area, nearly hitting civilian car See in context

I'm sure there are more incidents like this, but we only get to hear about the ones that can't be suppressed.

In 1961 a B-52 broke up over the US and dropped two live nukes, one of which came close to detonating. Compared to that, a single mortar shell is small beans. The SDF were also on the news yesterday for letting Takanohana drive a jeep at a fair without the required licence. He was only supposed to sit at the driver's seat for a photo, but started the engine and drove off before they could stop him. The animated version they showed on the news was very comical.

This is not a criticism of the armed forces, btw, simply a comment on the ability of things to go wrong for any person or organization due to human and other factors. The "human condition", or whatever you want to call it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Nursing care sector to accept largest number of foreign workers: gov't See in context

Regarding Do the Hustle's story, the wages sound like standard for a care home. Low compared to the cost of living in Japan, but standard. Given that communication will be a huge part of the job, a non-native speaker being assigned many menial duties is also understandable. The problem is the unpaid overtime. Expecting anyone to work 25% more for nothing is exploitation. Unless this issue is dealt with, it is idiotic to expect in-demand skilled workers of any profession, be it medicine, programming, or whatever, to flock to Japan. It is also idiotic to expect Japan's latent workforce, mostly married women, to give up spousal dependency and work under the same conditions. The difference between eight hours and ten hours for someone with responsibility over child-raising is huge.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: New exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start younger See in context

It is poor if schools do not have programs that give kids enough exercise. In a car culture like the US, this should be a very high priority.

Duration stays the same — at least 2½ to 5 hours of moderate-intensity or 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of vigorous activity a week, plus at least two days that include muscle-strengthening exercise like pushups or lifting weights.

Lots of activities that are not exercise, gardening etc. qualify as moderate-intensity activity. According to the UK NHS,

examples of muscle-strengthening activities for most people include:

lifting weights

working with resistance bands

doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups

heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling



These sound like things you do as exercise, not things that have exercise as an additional benefit. I do loads of hard cardio, but it sounds like I'd better start doing pushups etc as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 87-year-old man dies in fall from mountain in Yamanashi See in context

I looked it up and its a nice looking mountain, an 800m climb on the route I saw. Impressive for an 87 year old.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Eat it to believe it: Vegan haute cuisine at EdiTion Koji Shimomura See in context

That looks pretty good.

I think kaiseki would also work well with vegan ingredients. Its courses focus on different styles of preparation, grilling, deep-frying, nimono (boiling in broth), etc. so its not ingredient dependent and there is no "meat course" or the like to replace.

I was vegetarian many years ago before I came to Japan and my conscience is driving me back toward it. It is enough of a privilege to live in a First World country without jacking up your eco footprint yet higher through consuming lots of meat. It'll be cutting back rather than stopping, but every little helps.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: K-pop group BTS's talent agency apologizes over A-bomb shirt See in context

Wearing the Nazi insignia is just as stupid. Nazism killed over 6 million Jews, 5 million non-Jews and up to 50 million due to wars. Totally tasteless.

I agree and the numbers are true. However, the mass killing never stopped other artists, some very famous, from flirting with Nazi imagery. Lemmy from Motorhead was an avid wearer and collector, but his eulogies did not mention it. David Bowie's didn't either. The press are being completely selective on this. fwiw, I do not think Nazi imagery is appropriate, but would rather the media focus on more important issues. There is far too much actual ongoing suffering in the world to focus on things that simply remind us of historical suffering. Nazism spread and got to kill millions through a belief system, ideas, not symbols like swastikas or white circles on red flags. not the symbols. Japan had to change the temple symbol because people confuse the symbol with the ideas. When the new Nazis come, it will be with different colours and new symbols, but more or less the same ideas. It is these ideas that we need to fight.

Holocaust is considered the biggest horror of the 20th century in Europe, way more than any other war related crime

"Way more"?? As starpunk says, the Nazis killed nearly as many non-Jews. I suspect the biggest difference may be in the voice given to such victims.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Tower power See in context

Purple reminds me of Prince.

I said who in the house know about the 'quake? (We know) I mean really? Really??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Pressure on girls for perfect body 'worse than ever', says Orbach See in context

As the other posters say, a lot of this pressure is from other women.

Apparently studies done on dating apps suggest that men rate the appearance/body shape of the average woman far higher than women rate the average man. Taken together, these suggest that it is women who need educating, not men. Love Island's target audience is also "female".


Just to show that things may not be that much better for men, it sounds like there are hundreds of thousands of UK males on steriods for looks.


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: I think support networks for children have been weakening. Now, we cannot expect the same thing from families that we used to expect. We can’t expect parents or grandparents to provide the support they used to. And in this situation, children remain alone. See in context

I think support networks for children have been weakening. Now, we cannot expect the same thing from families that we used to expect. We can’t expect parents or grandparents to provide the support they used to.

Hells yeah to that

And in this situation, children remain alone.

I would imagine this is on the increase, but is it a major factor behind "In 2017, 250 children in elementary, junior and high schools committed suicide, the highest number since 1986"? Suicide is caused by many factors. Depression is way more complicated than simplistic logic where lonely=depressed and suicidal. Some depressed people are outwardly very successful.

The first part of the quote is very true though. We live in inaka and the basic assumption here is that every family has a housewife, either the mother or the grandmother. So the mother can be called upon at anytime by the school or neighbourhood or kids' activities without children or siblings being abandoned, dinner being uncooked, etc. etc. With nuclear families and more and more single parents, and dare I say it, some mothers actually working in proper jobs, people should not expect the same thing from families that we used to expect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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