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M3M3M3 comments

Posted in: Doctors, dentists sue Google for keeping reviews they say are unfair See in context


Of course they can, the reference I provided clearly says this is perfectly possible. What part of the article from a legal office can you demonstrate is wrong?

No. With respect, I think you've misunderstood the article. The situations it discusses are those that fall under fraudulent obstruction of business (ie. Art.233 of the Penal Code).

In Japan it's illegal to post fake reviews (or even genuine but slanderous reviews) and misinformation if you do so with the intent of harming a business. However, if you post misinformation about imaginary tourist attractions purely for entertainment (as Ebisen has done), it's not illegal per se (unless you do so with the intention of harming Google).

What if someone wrote a business of someone in your family was a front for organized crime? and what if several people find that funny and do the same?

This would be illegal because it's defamatory (and obstruction of business) but it's not an analogous situation. If I were to post about a fictitious business and accuse the fictitious owners of being involved in organized crime, that is not illegal. Nor would I be liable if someone read my story and wasted their time trying to visit this fictitious business.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Doctors, dentists sue Google for keeping reviews they say are unfair See in context


You understand this is against the law, right? If someone is affected by the false reviews they may force google to give up information to identify you and sue.

It might be illegal, but not in the broad way you suggest. If someone travels to Ebisen's fake castle ruins, they can't sue Ebisen for posting inaccurate information. Just like I can't sue you for leaving a 5-star restaurant review when the meals are objectively 3-star. Neither you nor Ebisen owe other internet users any obligation to provide accurate information. Whether people choose to make travel/restaurant plans based solely on what they read online is entirely up to them.

Where it becomes illegal is that it likely violates Google's terms of service, which theoretically gives Google the right to sue Ebisen for disrupting their business.

The link you provided doesn't address the situation here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Iran launches retaliatory attack on Israel with hundreds of drones, missiles See in context

Probably because it wasn't a diplomatic mission. It was a military headquarters

Whether it is a diplomatic mission or not depends solely on whether the host nation (the Syrian Arab Republic) recognises it as such. It was an accredited diplomatic mission regardless of who or what was inside, end of story.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Are embassies off-limits? Ecuadorian and Israeli actions suggest otherwise, setting dangerous diplomatic precedent See in context

One might recall that in mid March 2022 Iran attacked what it called a "Mossad spy base" at an Israeli diplomatic compound in Irbil Iraq.

But there is a crucial legal difference here. When Iran targets Israeli 'diplomatic' compounds, they can legitimately claim to be targeting a non-state actor, because Iran has withdrawn recognition of Israeli statehood (something they are entitled to do under international law). In contrast, Israel does recognise the Islamic Republic of Iran, and by doing so they voluntarily assume certain obligations under international law to respect diplomatic property of other states.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Israeli troops withdraw from Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest, after 2-week raid See in context

It's only a matter of time before this warmonger Netanyahu and his ultra right government are Dislodged

Israeli governments left and right have been carrying on a slow-motion genocide of the Palestinians for as long as I've been alive. This narrative that it's all because of Netanyahu and his ultra-rightwing government is just false. It's very convenient for the Israeli state and society to pretend that only one man is responsible for this collective madness, and that all will be forgiven if they just swing Netanyahu out of office like some sort of sin chicken.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump says Jews who vote for Democrats 'hate Israel' and their religion See in context

When you look at the top funders of both political parties, it's not surprising that US elections have devolved into a contest of who loves Israel more.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Biden backs Schumer after senator calls for new elections in Israel See in context


He is a 'defender of Israel', but not of Bibi.

Please explain the difference. Because the Israeli policy of strangling the Palestinians has been consistently upheld by multiple Israeli governments/PMs for decades. The fact that Netanyahu is speedrunning the plan in Gaza doesn't change that plan.

Also, when Schumer talks about Israel's 'survival', he's not talking about Israel being wiped off the map by an invading army. He's worried that young Americans on TikTok are beginning to question why their politicians send billions of dollars in interest free loans (which eventually get written off) to a small state in the middle-east which offers nothing in return. Unless you actually look at the numbers, you can't appreciate just how unviable Israel is as a state without American handouts.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Biden backs Schumer after senator calls for new elections in Israel See in context

“Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah"

Schumer refers to himself the 'defender of Israel', has spent his entire career siphoning hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars and weapons to Israel, and is now trying to control Israeli elections because he thinks the optics threaten Israel's survival. He couldn't care less about the genocide of Palestinians.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: U.S. ambassador says Beijing stance on TikTok ban 'supremely ironic' See in context

but in China "many Western platforms, including Google, Facebook and Instagram, are blocked from operating in the country"

You seem to be suggesting that this is an inherently bad thing. I don't see it that way. I think some degree of 'digital sovereignty' will increasingly become the norm over the coming decades. China is an early and dramatic mover, but we also see the EU moving in this direction.

There is no reason why Silicon Valley (or Beijing) should take a cut of every mobile payment, advertising spend, taxi ride, or food delivery that takes place in Japan, the EU, or anywhere else. It makes very little sense to allow foreigners to control digital services that are effectively natural monopolies.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: U.S. ambassador says Beijing stance on TikTok ban 'supremely ironic' See in context

I think 'hypocritical' was the word he was looking for.

No, ironic is probably the more appropriate term. Hypocrisy would require a failure to live up to standards which you yourself claim to uphold. It's not hypocritical for a person holding lower standards to simply point out that a person claiming to have higher standards is not acting in accordance with those higher standards.

In this case, China is completely transparent about maintaining state control over the internet and blocking access to foreign platforms. The United States, on the otherhand, is the side which ceaselessly promotes the idea of free markets and unrestricted access for foreign capital. So it would be accurate to say China is pointing out US hypocrisy, but not the other way around. It can only be ironic.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Posted in: Putin warns again Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons if its sovereignty threatened See in context

Or we could just decouple from Russia as long as they are an aggressive entity. I like that idea better, and I vote.

There is no 'we' here. You are American, I'm not. Our interests are not aligned. Russia is our neighbour and the biggest country in Europe. Our economic competitiveness and prosperity relies largely on access to Russia's cheap natural resources. Yours does not.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Posted in: Putin warns again Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons if its sovereignty threatened See in context

Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz outright refusal to supply Ukraine its huge stockpile of Taurus long-range cruise missiles, and President Macron empty boots policy has provided/convinced Putin EU/UK simply does not have the stomach, or the courage to defend Eastern Europe when threatened.

Meddling in Ukraine has been an unmitigated disaster for Europeans, and Germans in particular. Doubling down would be even more foolish. It's time to cut our losses, cut ties with the insane foreign policy hawks in Washington, and restart economic cooperation with Russia.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Posted in: 3 foreign-born residents sue over racial profiling by Japanese police See in context

Sorry to pour cold water on this but what actual evidence of racial discrimination are they planning to bring? Because a court is not going to infer racial discrimination simply because you happen to be a gaijin who gets stopped more than average, especially given the number of other gaijin who never get stopped.

Do they have recordings of the police admitting that the stop was based solely on their race? If not, they are likely going to lose. The police can always pull up 3 mugshots of wanted criminals or visa overstayers who look nearly identical to these 3 and suggest that this could explain the stops. No evidence = no case.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Posted in: S Africa's genocide case against Israel sets up high-stakes legal battle at U.N.'s top court See in context

Can anyone enlighten me as to what interest SA has with Gaza/Israel in order to raise such a request that Palestine could have done themselves ?

Genocide is a crime against humanity, giving every country standing to bring such cases. Palestine is a signatory to the genocide convention and could have brought the case themselves, but having a third state bring do it lends it more gravity. There are also countries such as the US which attempt to deny the sovereignty of the Palestinian peoples within the international system, but this controversy becomes moot if SA brings the case.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Why do they give? Donors speak about what moves them and how they plan end-of-year donations See in context

The real answer is the US tax code. No other country makes charitable donations so attractive and tax efficient. It's why Americans donate more than anyone else. It's basically a scam used by the rich to funnel their combined family incomes into a lower tax bracket. The trick is to set up a "foundation" staffed by your spouse or family members who distribute the "dontations" to other charities. The donation to your foundation is tax deductible even if your spouse/family salaries recoup 90% of the initial donation in salaries.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Figure skating icon Hanyu announces divorce; blames slander, stalking See in context

He married a woman. A slightly older woman, if the tabloid reporting is correct.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Netanyahu rejects growing calls for a cease-fire as Israel battles Hamas outside main Gaza hospital See in context

You have yet to explain how the ICC can investigate where it has no jurisdiction.

The ICC has jurisdiction in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. The State of Palestine been a signatory to the Rome statute since 2015.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to give $10 million in emergency aid to Gaza Strip civilians See in context

Obviously better than nothing, but this works out to less than $5 per Gazan. One, maybe two meals at most?

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Posted in: EU summit points to reforms bloc needs in order to welcome Ukraine and others as new members See in context

EU membership for Ukraine is extremely unlikely, and nearly all of Ukraine's eastern European allies (Baltics, Poland, Romania etc) are likely to oppose it if it comes to an actual vote.

If a country as large and as poor as Ukraine were to join the EU, it would end up consuming huge amounts of EU cohesion funding and agricultural subsidies under the current funding formula. All recipients of EU funding would recieve less, and some would even flip from being net recipients to net contributors. Allowing Ukraine to join is not in most EU member's interests.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Drone attack kills 112 at Syria military academy as Turkey pounds northeast See in context

It depends on the opinion of the particular legal scholars you ask. There are two arguments that support the counter IS coalition intervention in Syria.

There is a broad consensus that the US occupation of Syria is a violation of international law. Minority opinions held only by a few should be properly recognised as such.

Even if one were to accept that the US or Iraq faced some sort of imminent threat from Syria in 2016 justifying the use of self-defense, the UN Charters requires the relevant states to report and submit themselves to the judgement of the UN Security Council as soon as possible. This was obviously never done. The occupation of another state for nearly a decade under the guise of self-defense goes far beyond anything that can be called necessary and proportionate.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese universities climb rankings in Times global survey See in context


How many of these schools are in the top 500 or top 1000 ? Why?

Some women's universities are very highly regarded in Japan, like Ochanomizu and Nara Women's University. They perform very poorly in the Times survey (but so do Keio and Wasada, two of Japan's best universities!)

Because for such an advanced nation with a high population, the university rankings simply don't look so good.

As I've said, in my opinion, the criteria used in these surveys is fundamentally flawed. Especially when ranking universities in non-English speaking countries. These surveys say nothing about the quality of education students receive. At most they tell you how well-funded these institutions are.

For example, look at 2 of the criteria used in the survey; First, the ratio of students per academic and second, the ratio of published papers per academic (and they only survey English journals btw).

If University A has the money to hire 10 new academics to just sit in their offices churning out papers, and University B hires 5 new academics to teach and tutor students, which will score higher in the Times survey? But which will likely provide a better education for students?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese universities climb rankings in Times global survey See in context

One another very notable distinction is the Male / Female student ratio in Japanese Universities. The closest to any sort of balance is Tokyo with 68% M & 32% F. 

Any yet Japan has dozens of universities with tens of thousands of students who are 100% female. The existence of so many women's universities inevitably skews the sex ratio at co-ed universities to some extent. This is an example of a country-specific issue that the Times survey does not properly take into account.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese universities climb rankings in Times global survey See in context

These rankings have always been bonkers. The criteria they use is deeply flawed and misleading.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Posted in: Charges dropped again over death of detained Sri Lankan woman See in context

It's a reasonable decision. Yes, with the benefit of hindsight we know that the guards made the wrong call, but that doesn't turn them into criminals. Whether the Japanese government should be civilly liable for the woman's death is another matter.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Posted in: How do you feel when you speak fluent or reasonably good Japanese to a Japanese person and they insist on answering you in English? See in context

It's just a basic gesture of politeness. If you don't understand and appreciate this, Japan might not be the right place for you.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Tips for managing disruptive behavior in English classes See in context

"The so-called disruptive students should be praised and encouraged to become great leaders like Elon Musk"

-Marc Lowe, this week

"Elon Musk is such a slimy, smarmy greaseball."

-Marc Lowe, last week

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: Anti-trans hostility rises in Japan See in context


Japan does not recognise same-sex marriages between a Japanese national and a foreigner.

I never said they did. I said they recognise same-sex marriages of third country nationals.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Anti-trans hostility rises in Japan See in context


There are less than 10,000 transexuals in Japan out of a population of 127 million. The transexual laws make it very difficult to change.

The Japanese laws and requirements on transitioning are only half the story. If a foreigner shows up at Narita airport with a penis and a passport declaring they are a woman, can Japanese authorities deny them access to women's bathrooms in public buildings since they haven't complied with domestic requirements for transitioning? Probably not. It's an unresolved issue.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Posted in: Anti-trans hostility rises in Japan See in context

Transgender people in Japan point out they have long discreetly used restrooms matching their gender identity, without incident.

Of course there were fewer problems when the only trans who dared enter women's bathrooms were those who could credibly pass as women (ie. the person in the photo)

The problem is that once you enshrine these things into law, you can't limit them only to those who can pass as women. Any man claiming to be a women will have the right to enter women's spaces.

7 ( +23 / -16 )

Posted in: Fugitive ex-auto tycoon Ghosn sues Nissan for irreparable damage See in context

If Ghosn had simply stayed in Japan to face justice, he would likely have been convicted and released by now. Instead, he's serving a life sentence as a prisoner of his own pride and ego.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

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