livvy comments

Posted in: Japan faces longer state of emergency, casting doubt on Olympics See in context

A lot of working age adults whose companies refuse to allow working remotely could have been vaccinated over this past week, had that been a priority, rather than vaccinating the elderly or spending time at home resting during a pandemic.

So many people just stayed at home -- they could have spent some of their holiday standing in line at at stadium somewhere, waiting to be vaccinated. It would have been a good use of downtime. What a missed opportunity yo increase safety for all!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 1st batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Japan See in context

That's an interesting location, in Otemachi, a major business center and destination for adults not yet approaching retirement.

I think I'll keep checking if there are cancelled appointments. Eventually, before end-July, they may admit adults below retirement age, if many elderly people choose to wait for vaccination at a place closer to where they live rather than travel to Otemachi.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Please drink' treated Fukushima water, China asks Aso See in context

Let's be real: dumping toxic mercury into a river that supplies drinking water and fish that people consume is obviously much more dangerous than dumping radioactive water into the sea. I don't believe there is any comparison possible due to the natural high rate of dispersion of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. (Bivalves, the shellfish, do concentrate radioactivity in their bodies, however.)

China and Korea's positions are further weakened by the impending dumping being on the Pacific side of Honshu. As far as providing a virtous example of following international laws and agreements, China in particular hasn't got a leg to stand on.

Readers of JT should think again before being so quick to jump onto China's and Korea's bandwagon. This is a dangerous neighborhood, and full of hipocrytes.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Posted in: Coronavirus cases rising in 42 of Japan's 47 prefectures See in context


There may be many individuals who provide your contrary anecdotal evidence, but surely David Shawn Kanda is right that the administrative layer, the bureaucrats and the scientists fastidiously record data, creating the overall highly analytical thinking society that David identified.

It may be, however, that the speed of processing the data and taking action is behind the curve of rescuing the citizenry from infection ... time will tell. Perhaps this is your meaning about "indecisiveness".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Overseas Tokyo Olympic ticket holders may get only partial refunds See in context

I foresee problems with partial refunds. Let's say a resident of Japan, whether Japanese or foreign resident, bought tickets for his or her immediate family, already in Japan, and the grandparents or friends of the family, who were going to come from outside Japan for some of the events.

The immediate family members still want to attend, but tbe intended overseas guests can't enter Japan. Does the ticket buyer risk the entire transaction being refunded, ie., losing all tickets through a processing wrror? Can the ticket holder instead invite others who are already in Japan, instead if getting a refund?

I am fortunately not in this situation but I feel sorry for those who are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 430 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 2,073 See in context

I went to Koganei Park in the late afternoon and rode through the entire length (2km) on my bike. I saw zero plastic tarps stretched out under any trees, and except for one baseball team outside the baseball field sitting together waiting their turn, everyone seemed to be observing social distancing. The park was all the more beautiful for being less crowded, and lacking the customary flea and crafts market in one area where it is held every weekend. I saw lots amd lots of people safely enjoying spring!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 25 health care workers in Japan suffer anaphylaxis after vaccination See in context

It bears repeating: anaphylaxis is a condition which leads to hospitalization and treatment in a regular hospital bed with readily-available medicines for less than 48 hours. It has not killed anyone, nor does it spread to family members and coworkers. On the other hand, covid-19 is a known killer which jumps easily from person to person and requires special beds at hospitals. It is absolutely more dangerous and harder to treat. Reasonable people who care about family members, co-workers and neighbors should accept the risk of anaphylaxis over contracting covid-19, even if the chance of anaphylaxis is great -- which it is not.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Posted in: American tsunami victim's father building on daughter's legacy of learning See in context

I've been living in Japan since before the cataclism of 2011 and this is the first profile of a foreign teacher killed while teaching English in Japan, in the Tohoku region that I have read. I've seen passing references to such tragic cases but as far as I can recall, there were no names or details of the deceased provided. I look forward to reading more such articles, even ten years after the disaster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mori to resign over sexist comments; Kawabuchi, 84, tipped to replace him See in context

It's fascinating to see Japan hurtling headlong into modernity once again. The world trend is for the holders of honorary positions to represent their country as it us currently, including the current positions of their governments. What Mori-san did, with his comments, is rely on privilege and seniority, very long enshrined in Japanese culture, to gain some advantage over female JOC members. In so doing, he provoked an international storm of fury directed vis embassies and in the public space over the Internet at Olympics host country Japan. Mori-san badly misjudged the international politics, showing his unreadiness to represent his country in a global forum.

Mori-san was unseated not by public outcry directly, but the judgment of corporate sponsors that his comments had damaged their carefully cultivated global brands -- the same brands they have paid big money to the JOC to promote as corporate sponsors, so there is no discernible general awakening among the Japanese population that Mori-san's attitude towards being a team player in teams that include female members has changed. If Japan broadly speaking respects women as equal citizens under the Constitution (as the Japanese Constitution guarantees), this scandal does not show it.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 429 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,626 See in context

According to my doctor, a general health practitioner at a private medical clinic, the official tally of new daily covid-19 cases does include positive tests conducted through private clinics.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: 20-year-old student drowns in river See in context

Rivers flow fast and cold in Japan. Many people are not confident swimmers, if they swim at all. Young people with low body fat and weak swimming skills are easily overpowered by river water here, sad to say.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo slowly gets back into motion after lifting of state of emergency See in context

This is a good time to check around your residence and make sure that people who have been living alone in your neighborhood, especially, are still alive. In my neighborhood in Western Tokyo, postal deliveries were way down compared to usual. Mail may not have piled up in someone's box over the last few weeks, but may start to do so now. Do be on the alert and notify building management or others (be they other neighbors or koban or your local city hall) if you think someone may be at home, but deceased).

People die alone in their homes regularly in this metropolis. That was the case before Covid-19. Just call friends who live alone and make sure they're OK -- be alert and find those cases asap.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Reporter lambasts Japan's domestic media for their copycat reporting See in context

Iglenn, TheJapan Times is an English language newspaper, the English language newspaper in Japan, and it has no Japanese main newspaper. Perhaps you have been reading the Yomiuri News, in English?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn's lawyer just as outraged by Japan's justice system as by escape See in context

Whatever visa Ghosn held when he arrived in Japan in 2018 is probably null and void by now, so most likely his passport was his only form of ID.

He wasn't residing physically in Japan, anymore, and very likely his visa had been sponsored by Nissan, and his accomodation(s) in Japan were part of his compensation package from Nissan.

I'm guessing that from the moment he was "fired" as Chairman, he had to pay for his own lodgings out of his own pocket as part of his bail arrangement.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: When you drink coffee or tea in Japan, do you prefer the chains like Starbucks, Tully’s, Doutor, etc, or do you prefer the traditional “kissaten?” See in context

Besides the smoke-free environment, I prefer the furniture at the more recent chain shops. I never appreciated Starbucks and similar others' so much in the past, but tiny tables, odd plastic chairs or really low sofas in Kissatens really opened my eyes to the value of stable, heavier and well-designed furniture!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Do young Japanese women want to be housewives? See in context

Saying that housekeeping "with every possible convenience" is pure laziness is absolutely ridiculous and shows the writer never helps out at home. Do we say say office work of all kinds has become pure laziness because of computers and printers and copy machines? Misogyny means looking down on some activity and some people just because they are women or women's typical activities. Don't be a misogynistic!

Anyway, not every family can afford all those conveniences. Many homes don't have enough space for a clothes dryer, for example, let alone a dishwasher. Except in the most recently built homes, stoves have just two burners ... the list goes on and on. A housewife is a problem-solver, someone who figures out solutions to common problems and is available to conduct family business during daytime hours. Not all women are so clever, nor do all husbands hand over all their paychecks to their wives every month. That is a myth. It depends on the husband. Not all women are cut out to be housewives, and everyone should pitch in with housework and child rearing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: M5 quake jolts Kanto region See in context

Not at all fun to experience on the 10th floor of a small, new building near the station in Ikebukuro! It was stomach-churning, really.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Police believe murdered girl, missing boy were taken near train station See in context

It is incorrect to say, Japanese parents ... Clearly some Japanese parents don't mind letting children run around freely around shopping areas during the day and early evening, but in Japan too, kids don't have unlimited permission to be away from home for three days! Something is clearly wrong in these kids' families. No Japanese families I know give their kids permission to be out past 8pm. On the contrary, I find the amount of scheduling of the kids' lives to be incredibly tight and suffocating, even.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Security bill debate masks deeper divide over pacifist constitution See in context

This is a top-down power grab, pure and simple. By weakening the Pacifist Constitution, not only do PM Abe and his supporters in industry and the shrine business gain business opportunities to produce war armaments, but simultaneously he weakens all political groups who are organised around pacifism and promotion of humaniste rights. I think he even strengthens his wing of the LDP! So as far as a political calculation this one is All Systems Go-go-go! There is no morality here, he is potentially Machiavelli's Dark Prince. It remains to be seen how much criminal activity this group is willing to engage in to achieve their aims. We have only to look back at the end of Taisho Democracy to see how far into lawlessness Japan can stray by activation of the same sentimentality and duty-fed behavior that seems to be guiding Abe and cohorts. May cooler and wiser heads prevail.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Naked nationalist stirs up election campaign See in context

I remember that the artist who produced a canoe in the shape of her vagina is now embroiled in the legal system on charges of obscenity. How about this guy?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's whaling plans come under scrutiny at IWC meeting See in context

Unfortunately, it's not just "saving face" that motivates the LDP to do whatever they can for whalers. The whaling program is a symbol of the LDP's pork barrel politics. By persisting against the international opinion, the LDP seeks to consolidate its power with the many powerful regional interests that comprise Japan, saying to them in effect, "Vote LDP because the LDP will see you through the toughest of times." It's a loyalty issue for them. Local and regional interest must prevail over Japan's international obligations.

But please keep in mind: the LDP is not (all of) Japan. Far from it!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: China, S Korea urge Japan to reflect on wartime aggression See in context

It's actually really twisted to say that the war dead are the foundation of modern Japan.

Obviously, as war dead, they did not do the huge work of rebuilding Tokyo and major cities of Japan that were bombed and burned until the aggressions stopped. They were removed from their daily productive lifes as farmers and merchants, fathers and sons, and they were ground up by the cruel war machine.

PM Abe is lying, a really big lie, if he insists that the sacrifice of the lives of soldiers that is commemorated at Yasukuni Shrine is at the foundation of modern Japan, since the dead were absent from the post-war rebuilding effort and their contributions to Japanese society were limited by their call to duty. I believe what PM Abe is really trying to say is: Japan today rose from the ashes of defeat, please rejoice for your country (as ghosts) and forgive the government for sending you to your deaths -- which had very little to do with the prosperity Japan enjoys now!

What PM Abe is showing me, at least, is that State Shinto is alive and well, within his political party at least, despite the law of the land, that is, the Japanese Constitution which explicitly made the Emperor a "symbol" of Japan, stopping the Emperor from continuing on in his capacity of the Meiji Era as the chief Shinto Priest. In this sense, I believe neighboring countries of Japan are right to call "Foul"! Japanese people need to see through the LDP politics and respond to the concerns of other countries about the resurgence of State Shinto in whatever way they can. It is an urgent matter for world peace.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: China, S Korea urge Japan to reflect on wartime aggression See in context

If I understand the Japanese ancestor-worship and angry kami/ghost placating system correctly, the practice of "honoring the war dead" is actually a defensive one, from a Japanese cultural point of view. Rather than elevating the memory of the deceased and holding them up as models to the living, as might be the case in another culture, if I understand the culture correctly, the Japanese are concerned with preventing angry ghosts from rising up and chasing them in today's world. Perhaps PM Abe is particularly concerned that angry ghosts might go after his family if he doesn't take the proper measures to placate them. What we might have here is a totally non-modern government which has an overt religious purpose component needed (in their eyes) to keep modern Japan safe -- this is unknown in any other democratic country, I think.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Russia detains Japanese whaling research vessel See in context

Nightmare. The sea north of Hokkaido, especially Kuril Islands chain area, is teeming with fish and they should NOT be disturbed by stupid military exercises. This is the disturbing news to me here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe's new plan to beat deflation: more baseball teams See in context

This is smart politics, straddling economics and the all-important "cultural" aspect. Japanese will understand this, and get behind it, and it will boost Abe's popularity. Smart move!

Now if he can get broadcasters to give more TV time to show not only the most important games, that will be a big help. TV coverage has shrunk markedly for baseball since the busting of the Japanese economic bubble, and interest has flagged. Also, stations are such schedule fanatics, if a game runs long, they stop broadcasting no matter how many people are tuned in. It's not the most baseball- friendly culture.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Taxi driver held for drugging women with diuretics See in context

Does anyone know which taxi company this guy is associated with?

In the Japanese social system, Japanese workers are never viewed as individuals. This guy completely abused his company. Be this as it may, since a company car was used, in Japanese society the company is obligated to be up front and apologize publicly for the "TORABURU" (trouble) that the member has inflicted on a member of the public. There is far too much that is not being reported in this "news" article. I wouldn't even call this journalism. It's more like "quickie daily transcription service" of the police's (?) routine announcements. I'm really tired of such low-quality "news". Where are the interviews that would provide more detail, such as how long the victims were held against their will, and whether or not they were dropped off at the location they originally ordered, or some other place?

Even If the cab is independently owned and operated, still the driver has besmirched his association's name and must really hate them. The public derserve to be informed what kind of relationship this driver has/had with his company and how much responsibility they accept for accepting this pervert into their organization.

I guess it's up to the police I decide how many minutes of trapping a customer in a taxi constitutes kidnapping. Clearly this driver entrapped a customer with the intention of inflicting humiliation, if not actually torment them. The intention to cause pain and videotape it (?) clearly makes this a crime of somesort, not just lewd behavior.

In fact, the detail that the victims are female are not particularly relevant -- I have to wonder if this detail is provided to help the newspapers get readers for this article. If deliberately using the pain and suffering of the victims to help sell newspapers, there should be charges filed against the news organization, it seems to me.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Aso says Obama powerless to get U.S. Congress behind TPP See in context

Slowing down passage of TPP in the US is actually a good thing, in my opinion, especially if it means Congress can review the details of the agreement. Just asserting that TPP is in the US national interest does not make it so. Japan may actually be doing the US a favor here.

Also, as one of my students pointed out to me, the national government of Japan is not in a position to dictate policy to each ministry, but must go through a tedious consensus-building process -- the Japanese form of democracy is actually more "bottom-up" than "top-down", and the massive bureaucracy cannot be conveniently disregarded in favor of a quick "Fast-track" agreement.

As I am not at all convinced that TPP is wholly in the interest of US voters, especially since the public lacks access to the details, I think Japan is doing the US a favor, in this case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Record number of foreign visitors come to Japan in March See in context

I'm very glad the government's tourism program "Youkoso Japan" is working! The economic and cultural exchange benefits are greatly needed to help support the Japanese economy right now. There are zero negatives for Japan from this program.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The Japanese government remains cautious about addressing the population decline and labor shortage by accepting immigrants. What do you think are the pros and cons of Japan accepting more immigrants? See in context

I think the Japanese can and will eventually organize groups of laborers for precisely defined projects that have a beginning and an end, where truly bilingual people are in a supervisor's position, and where the Japanese labor laws are fully upheld. A key point will be to supply housing and cafeteria services that suit the needs of the laborers. The Japanese actually have lots of experience operating such facilities. Think of the giant construction projects in the Middle East and even Algeria (the natural gas plant way out in the desert that was attacked by terrorists, for example). The key is sufficient funding and well-designed facilities.

I think what the Japanese fear is a lot of foreigners moving in and sitting down to eat lunch/dinner with them in low cost restaurants, riding public transportation, and making demands for services from city halls. If some pilot programs are well set up and run as the Japanese know fully well how to run them -- and with no kickbacks and no cheating by shady operators -- then I think the Japanese public will see the light and permit such well-focused and well-managed temporary immigration.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: How do you think the taste of Japanese rice compares with rice produced in other countries? See in context

Japanese rice is delicious, but I was raised on brown rice in California and I much prefer Japanese rice that is NOT polished completely. Fortunately my husband, who is Japanese, also prefers not completely polished rice! We buy 5x polished rice at an organic foods store, the "gobuzuki" rice. It tastes nuttier, and has better health benefits because the rice germ is not removed. Recently we have taken to adding red and purple artisan grains of rice, which further adds taste and (I think) vitamins, and makes the rice purple!

Of course I thoroughly enjoy eating basmati and California short and long-grain rice whenever I can! If I knew where to find it in Tokyo, I would also buy the "wild rice" that we can find in California. Haven't see it here. The more rice varieties, the merrier! Having said this, I agree with Japanese who say their rice dishes are not what they expect when another country's rice is used in their dishes. I disagree that it tastes BAD, but I agree the taste and texture is different.

Of course I prefer to eat basmati rice with Indian food in a restaurant, and disapprove of restaurants catering to the tastes of Japanese customers. I'm a purist, you see.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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