Mapip comments

Posted in: Japan's population marks steepest decline ever See in context

In the face of a potentially devastating population crisis, an advanced retirement age incentive could be instituted. For example, having an optional retirement age of 70 and ensuring a 70% increase in pension once retired may drive some older people back into the workforce. Some may argue this isn't enough, but consider that many Japanese at 60 are perfectly capable of working and have no need to retire; a 70% increase in pension, once achieved would significantly affect their lives.

More drastically, a mandatory retirement age of 70 would temporize the present problem until measures can be taken to curb population decline.

I doubt anyone in the government has the clout to do such a thing without risking political suicide. And to the previous poster, it's "¡ay caramba!"

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Posted in: The gun control debate: Do you support the right of citizens to own and bear firearms? See in context

For those that said no, you should edit your post to list roughly where you live and your circumstances (no obvious inclusions that would obstruct your privacy).

My example: One of the largest US cities, in a safe-ish neighborhood that borders the heroin outlet center for the country; gunshots heard many times per week, plenty of aggressive robberies in my neighborhood every year, have a girlfriend who lives with me, I'm a student.

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Posted in: 40% of unattached singles in their 20s, 30s don't want relationship: survey See in context

It is a sad state. Unfortunately, Japan is competing with very powerful economic forces in the Asian export and financial markets, forcing the economy to be in over-drive. However, young professionals clearly still have time for their own interests, but the desire to personally share their experience with an intimate connection is largely absent. The lack of this desire to provide the effort to secure an intimate connection is probably not a consequence of economy, but one of cultural/social disruption.

I find it odd, because my Japanese friends are very passionate, caring people. They have an enormous capacity for love. However, compared to my Hispanic/American/Black/Chinese/Euro/Indian/Arab/Israeli/Canadian/Russian friends (I'm a med student, meet a lot of peeps), my Japanese friends were the hardest ones to establish; by nature, it seemed they were more distant, cautious, and non-committal until a bond was finally established -one I had to work very hard to establish on my own.

Potentially, the sphere of a busy work life and plethora of amusements one can enjoy alone -in a background of personalities that are more reserved and solitary- creates a perfect storm where the energy required to establish a trusted intimacy is simply not available to the average 20-30 year-old.

Please read as an honest observation, not trying to be an expert or provide definitive answers. I wish dearly that rewarding, lasting love be a part of more lives in Japan.

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Posted in: Group of teenage Thai actors punished for dancing on Japanese train See in context

I think that they were punished for the horrible dancing. I've seen a seizing dog put on a better show. Likely, they are being trained right now. If MJ, rest in peace, manifested and started dancing in the metro, he'd have a backup troupe from the group giving the stink-eye in no time.

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Posted in: In your experience, which country's tourists are the least well-behaved whenever you have seen them out and about? See in context

I have to share one story as a tourist. I'm an American by birth, but I spent my summers and winters in Mexico growing up, so I sort of entered the interstitium, culturally, between the two nations. As a tourist in Paris for the first time, I became helplessly lost near the Louvre trying to trace my way back to the hotel. Without a phone or map, I wandered about for an hour before I became worried and sought help. Every person on the street I addressed in English would either totally ignore me or say "I'm sorry" and kept walking. After about five of these encounters, I gave up and went into stores to try asking for directions. I can say that asking for help in English was totally fruitless and generally met with complete disdain. One store clerk said "Well, if I help you, do you plan on buying anything?" I wised up and switched into Spanish and people immediately became more friendly and offered help. Unfortunately, I could not understand the French being spoken to me and nobody spoke Spanish. One guy, a liquor store clerk, even drew me a little map, but it still wasn't very helpful since I couldn't understand his directions. Now about four hours of being lost, I found a Chinese restaurant on my way back to a main street (where I was heading, hopefully to find a police officer). I had studied Chinese in college and was pretty fluent, so in I went. I explained my situation in Mandarin and the hostess told me in about 5 minutes how to get back to my hotel. Took about 20 minutes to walk back, but her directions were perfect.

I can't comment on how each person I interacted with that day must have viewed me. To some, I may have been an idiot tourist who didn't know anything about Paris or the French language -sure, I should have studied more French, but my sister (the French speaker) didn't give me much warning ahead of time when she demanded I go with her on a trip only a month before. To others, I may have just been a normal foreigner who needed help and, depending on my heritage/nationality, would be either deserving or not of their assistance. One thing I can say for sure, if you have something in common with those that you visit abroad, much more will be open and available to you.

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Posted in: German co-pilot was once treated for suicidal tendencies See in context

Imagine if we had access to a pilot's psychiatric history while booking flights..

I fear that this sad event may actually deter pilots from releasing information about their psychiatric history and seeking help to begin with for fear of being diagnosed with a disorder that prevents them from working. This will be a very difficult problem to solve, but developing enhanced cockpit security measures and new algorithms to prevent in-flight catastrophes may provide benefit.

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Posted in: Canadian police break up Asian prostitution ring See in context

I don't feel that anyone here is arguing whether sex trafficking exists or not -or that is terrible. There is a discrepancy though between the article mentioning "victims" and "two others are still wanted by police, including a woman alleged to have recruited young women into the prostitution ring". When a person is recruited for an activity, such as a sports team or the military, it does not mean forced enrollment. That some of these 500 victims may have been "recruited" conflicts with the notion that they are victims in the first place. If the recruiting was based totally on lies, such as being told initially to cook pad thai and are instead forced to work as a dancer at a night club, that may be different. But, if the "victims" in question knew that they would be working in the sex trade, and joined regardless, then a considerable amount of responsibility must be attributed to them. Sure, it may be easy for an experienced recruiter to fascinate the young mind with promises of riches and lavish realities while dodging the potential consequences involved with working as a prostitute. However, we cannot assume that each prostitute "recruited" into this ring was helpless when making their decision -I'm sure they had parenting or social informing against being a prostitute, no?

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Posted in: World powers, Iran reach nuclear deal See in context

I don't see how anyone can believe that either side of the deal will be obediently kept. Sure, we should applaud the leaders of nations for coming to some agreement instead of behaving like children and shouting "mine" indefinitely. Realistically, Iran could send 20-30 of its best physicists and engineers to a remote desert location at around the 35.9N latitude and hope for the best (worked for us).. If enforced, the deal could certainly slow development, but I don't believe it will ultimately prevent Iran's nuclear capabilities from emerging; a change of political and social direction would likely be required.

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Posted in: Youth in toothpick prank videos sent to juvenile correctional facility See in context

I am pleased that they sent him to a "juvenile" correction facility. In America, we try hard to convict our children of adult crimes (look up Jordan Brown, age 11, sentenced to life without parole (youngest in the world); Cristian Fernandez, age 12, tried as an adult, plea bargain saved his life). Even though he is 19, he clearly has an immature mindset defining his motives and would likely benefit from a system that is designed to teach children to be become better young adults.

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Posted in: First day See in context

Lovely princess! Wouldn't sharing a cup of coffee be so interesting with her?

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Posted in: Sendai official sacked over fake bereavement days off See in context

Jokes aside, this man was contrite, at least, and apologized in the face of a harsh punishment. This action highly contrasts many American counterparts who usually respond with "my attorney advises me not to comment at this time" in such situations.

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Posted in: 93-year-old Japanese woman donates ambulance to local fire station See in context

I only wish we had her picture. I would print, frame, and hang it on my wall.

Now if this ambulance has a positive impact, perhaps local authorities can decidedly invest in an improved ambulance fleet instead of waiting for the graces of angels like Kitamuro-sama.

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Posted in: Three men die in hot spring gas poisoning in Akita See in context

Cardiopulmonary arrest was the perfect term to use in this case. If the men were encountered as pulseless and not breathing, then their state is best described as such. A heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest, if it produces an infarction profound enough to inhibit cardiac output or electrical conductivity to sustain vital function. Hydrogen sulfide can immediately reduce lung and heart function upon exposure, leading to a sudden passing out in many cases. Unfortunately for these men, exposure to hyrdrogen sulfide air concentrations above 100 ppm can reduce the ability of the nose to detect the smell of the gas (nasty eggs), leading a person to believe they are no longer at risk; when exposure to a concentration of 500-1000 ppm occurs, death nearly always occurs -and swiftly at that. Pronouncing a person dead at a scene is generally reserved for grossly obvious cases such as incineration or horrendous trauma. Even still, each death has to be confirmed by a trained physician, such as in a hospital, before a death certificate can be signed and issued.

Peace be with these men and their families.

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