mark_in_japan comments

Posted in: Reading, writing, math and English conversation are important. Note I said English conversation, not English. See in context

TPOJ, I am as shocked as you are but I have to admit he got it right this time (not that the entrance exam driven system is going to change anytime soon).

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Posted in: Two men arrested for pouring water from apartment balcony onto people below See in context

Chronological ages: 24 and 25; Mental ages: around 12.

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Posted in: Forging false IDs for foreigners a flourishing trade See in context

In any other country the headline would read "illegal immigrants" and not "foreigners". This tells you a lot about Japanese attitudes towards non-Japanese (this is nothing new, I know).

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Posted in: Media criticize Aso for mistakes during Davos speech See in context

I wonder what the h**l he is thinking pledging that kind of money when the Japanese economy is in the state it is and Japan already has a higher proportion of debt to GDP than any other advanced nation.

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Posted in: 69-year-old man stabs noisy neighbor in Nagoya See in context

If Japan, a country with the second largest economy in the world, would start building proper apartment buildings instead of tissue paper and tinketoy boxes, people wouldn't have to put up with their neighbor's noise as much as they do.

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Posted in: China has been far more skilled than Japan at attracting the attention of the international community. See in context

I couldn't disagree more with bakabaka. Japan is generally very low-key in international relations. The Chinese like to bully and threaten and so get a lot more attention.

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Posted in: What do you think of the government's plan to give a Y12,000 cash handout to members of the public in an effort to stimulate the economy? See in context

Totally idiotic. Economists get lots of things wrong but this is one they have gotten right: this does almost nothing to stimulate the economy but helps increase national debt, which is already staggeringly huge in Japan proportional to its GDP. Instead they should cut taxes and eliminate the pork subsidies handed out to the construction industry in cahoots with the transportation industry. Oh, and forget about raising the consumption tax if you expect consumer spending to recover at all.

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Posted in: World bids sayonara to a rocky 2008 See in context

"Japan has long boasted a system of lifetime employment at major companies, but that has unraveled this year amid the financial crisis."

Could they try to be accurate, at least? That "system" started unravelling at least 10 years ago. It really hasn't been an issue in the current economic crisis.

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Posted in: Troubled Toyota still in F1, will cut costs See in context

"Watanabe said F1 was a good way to attract young people."

Maybe he should be more worried about keeping the young people he is cutting loose daily. Toyota should follow Honda's lead and use the millions of dollars they would save from scuttling their F1 program to keep more people employed.

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Posted in: No other country is making such a big fuss with some 1%. This shows the strict awareness Japanese society has against drugs. See in context

Likewise with alcohol: numbs you to the fact that you are being worked to death, letting you forget about that minor detail of your life for a little while (nevermind such inconsequential side-effects like cirrhosis of the liver, wife-beating, and drunken driving deaths). Of course it is sanctioned by the government.

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Posted in: Sky Illumination 2008 See in context

Considering all the special deals mega-developers like Mori get from the government at the expense of the taxpayer it should be free.

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Posted in: Youth found dead in vacant lot in Shizuoka; police suspect bike gang involvement See in context

Cops can't be bothered to do a proper investigation of a rape case so what would you expect them to do with this lot? You don't find these kinds of idiots running amok without restraint in the US, that's for sure.

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Posted in: Men's bras getting a lot of support See in context

Holy crap. I don't think I will ever have any kind of insecurity about any aspect of my body after reading this article.

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Posted in: What's your recommendation for helping Crown Princess Masako recover fully from whatever is ailing her? See in context

Convince the Prince to leave the Imperial Household with her and live a more normal life. Unfortunately, that would be impossible in Japan and they probably want to live here.

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Posted in: We'll notify companies that revoking employment offers to graduating students without proper reasons is illegal. See in context

Umm...Isn't not having a sufficient volume of business a "proper reason"? You can't blame the companies for not having foreseen the financial meltdown. Probably there are some bad eggs amongst them using it as an excuse but I'll wager that most of these companies can't afford to hire additional workers because of the poor business climate, which has no prospect of improving much any time soon.

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Posted in: It's meant to be a compliment to wrestlers by fans delighted by a particularly thrilling bout. It sounds tasteless that cushions will be tied together by strings. See in context

Some stupid fans have brought this upon themselves and I think it's a good move. The tradition is that cushions are thrown when a Yokozuna is upset. However, too many people throw the cushions when they aren't supposed to, for any upset. Also, incredibly, more than once I have seen people throw cushions when a Yokozuna wins--a clear insult--because they thought the other wrestler should have won.

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Posted in: Los Angeles bans plastic bagging in stores See in context

It's good to see an American city actually doing something positive at the consumer level. It would be good if major cities in Japan did the same. I believe that in Japan most bags end up getting incinerated which in theory is better for the environment (high enough temperatures are supposed to avoid release of harmful chemicals like dioxin). In practice, however, it seems many incinerators do not do what they are supposed to.

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