MarkX comments

Posted in: English education to start for 3rd graders from FY 2018 See in context

Great, so in less than one year, all schools will find qualified English teachers to begin interesting and fun English classes that will motivate and inspire Japanese young people to love and want to use English for the rest of their lives. Great! Mission accomplished. All of us can go home now as the job will be done correctly once and for all!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan amends law to raise nursing care costs for high-income elderly See in context

That income thresh hold is pretty darn low, to be considered wealthy. "3.4 million yen ($30,500) or more for single-person households and 4.63 million yen or more for elderly couple households."

There is so much information missing in this article. Does the income also include money from pensions, or from investments? Or is it only for those who continue to work into the 70's and 80's?

So if you work for a big company or are a civil servant automatically you are expected to pay more, but small companies are exempt, regardless of how much they pay. While I know, they usually make less money, shouldn't it be done by income? Not where you work?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan consumer prices rise in April for 4th straight month See in context

"Falling prices can discourage spending by consumers, who might postpone purchases until prices drop more or look to save money instead."

Every damn article about deflation has this comment. I wonder is there a rule that they must keep citing this lame excuse! It drives me crazy. As Reckless said above, the more money I have in my pocket after taxes the more I will spend. But if you keep raising taxes, keeping salaries stagnant, then people will not spend. Not because they think they will be able to get something cheaper in a few months or a year later!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Kisenosato pulls out of summer tourney due to lingering injuries See in context

There was an interesting article here on Japan Today about Kisenosato coming back to fight in this tournament, and the pressures that were being put on him. First, was the money he could get from the advertisers who were lining up to have their flag paraded around the ring. Next was from the Sumo association, as they wanted to prove their decision was correct to promote him. Third was from NHK who sees a marked jump in viewers whenever he wrestles.

The man has only missed one tournament in his career, and now the head of the Sumo Association is talking about how he has to toughen up! I feel bad for the guy. He should have sat out and healed completely.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Manchester concert suicide attack prompts security rethink worldwide See in context

At first I thought the suicide bomber had acted inside the arena, but upon further reading he detonated himself outside as the concert goers were heading home. It will be very difficult to stop that type of attack, or it will take a huge effort by police and officials to keep anybody and everybody away, which I don't think can be accomplished.

I really don't know how we are to deal with this going forward? It is so depressing that our normal way of life will probably never be the same. And of course Abe will use this to push harder for his conspiracy bill and changes to the constitution. Too depressing for a Wednesday morning.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

kohakuebisu, not sure where you live, but there is far more pressure on kids in local areas to join club activities than in the city. And yes, the clubs do act as babysitters, but not in the same way you mean. It is a place that you know your child is at, where they will be looked after and you don't have to worry about them getting into trouble. And yes, a lot of parents know this and count on this. When my kids were in JHS, and HS, it was so hard to find time to take a holiday. The clubs are just as bad as a company. If you are absent at all, kiss your chances of being a starting member or main player away!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

The other problem is that it seems each locality has the authority to control their school holidays. In the city I live in, they decided that students need more days of study and unilaterally shortened the summer vacation. Whereas nearby cities have a longer summer break. If that is the case, then I think many districts will just ignore the idea claiming students have to study, to reach the goals Monkasho has set before them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Man spends wife’s inheritance from her mother on mobile games See in context

Those numbers don't add up. There must be a typo. I suspect he was spedning Y40000 a month, which would deplete the savings pretty fast. I understand the wife was grieving, but did she not talk to her husband at all? Did she not notice his head buried in his smartphone 24/7? She should file for divorce and try and recoup the money. Have his salary confiscated until he has made retribution!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

While I commend the gov't for trying to think outside the box, there is no way that companies are going to let parents take the time off. SO the kids will either sit at home, or cram schools will open special classes for the kids to take, so they aren't at home bored. Also, I can already hear teachers of graduating students complain that they are losing valuable test taking time to prepare their students.

I think Abe and his cabinet have to first address the problem with parents not being able to take holidays before they change the way students take them. It is putting the cart before the horse.

27 ( +27 / -0 )

Posted in: 11 countries agree to keep TPP deal alive despite U.S. rejection See in context

But gogogo, the TPP agreement did nothing of the sort. It protected the Japanese agriculture industry and allowed them to keep tariffs and duties for a very long time! If it had had the desired effect, I would have been more supportive, but it wasn't. As for favoring corporations over gov'ts, that too was frightening, but since it is such a secretive deal, we still don't really know what it really says, which is another red flag!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 11 countries agree to keep TPP deal alive despite U.S. rejection See in context

Sangetsu03, I agree with you. I think that the other countries were willing to allow Japan to force its way during the negotiations, all for the chance to sell in the US. That was the big prize. But, now that the US has pulled out, they should force Japan to change its stance or withdraw, because there is nothing in it for anybody, but Japan. As you said, most of the other countries all want to sell agricultural products, and Japan, and JA will not let that happen.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japanese collector pays record $110.5 mil for Basquiat painting at New York auction See in context

Had to google this guy, and even though I don't agree with his idea of art, he is definetely a self-made man. So whatever money he wants to spend on art, and helping the arts, good for him. I'd like to know who was the bloke who purchased this for $19000 and has now made a tiny profit of $110481000.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Cabinet OKs bill to allow 1st abdication of emperor in 200 years See in context

Nobody is mentioning that we are losing the December 23rd holiday, and it's being shifted to Feb. 23. That sucks. It was always nice to have that day just before Christmas. I think for a lot of schools it marked the end of the classes before the winter vacation started. Hopefully they will keep the holiday and rename it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Toxicity levels 100 times safety limit detected again at new fish market site See in context

What I would like to know, and maybe it has been stated before, but is there anything they can do, other than tearing the whole place down, decontaminating the soil and start over, that can be done to get rid of this benzene?

Of course I would like to blame Ishihara, and his cronies, but for the time being, try to get something done now to fix the problem, then go after who is guilty.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese essayist, TV newscaster Sawako Agawa announces first marriage at 63 See in context

Cleo, you are so right! I also hate how at the hosptial, dentist, etc., they always call out my full name when its time to pay or see the doctor. I have two middle names, and decided to drop one, since it was such a pain in the neck! As for the bank, they are now finally able to print my name on the bank book, without having to write it by hand.

Good luck to her and her husband. Its nice to know you can find love at any age.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's economy expands for 5th straight quarter See in context

Every damn article about the economy, inflation or deflation uses that stupid line that people postpone making purchases because of falling prices. People will buy when they have money and have confidence. Two things woefully lacking in japan at the moment!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Fuji TV starts 'Kintame English' on YouTube channel See in context

This is comedy?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe reaffirms conviction that TPP benefits Asia-Pacific See in context

While i absolutely despise Donald Trump and all he stands for, I must say that when he signed his executive order pulling the US out of the TPP, it was the best thing he has done by far. Any secretive trade deal that gives all the mulitnational companies vast powers to sue other gov'ts if their profits and companies are not protected is a bad deal for all the little people. I agree, allowing Japan to enter negotiations and then bullying its way into not opening its agricultural sector was the biggest mistake they made.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's potato chip shortage likely to linger until fall See in context

So what happens if the same weather happens again and Hokkaido gets hit by more typhoons, which seems to be more likely thanks to climate change, and the potato crop is once again damaged or wiped out? Will people just have to gaman again until the can finally get a good potato crop? I could care less about potato chips, but with all the restrictions and duties levied on foods, this could get really ugly and quick if Japan is not careful.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Moon tells Abe history must not hamper co-operation See in context

Perhaps Mr. Moon was telling Abe not to let the abductee issue take precedent in any negotitiations with North Korea. Whenever there was any kind of 3 way or 5 way talks to discuss nuclear disarmmement, and a deal was struck or some agreeement made, Japan would then bring up the abductees and it would scuttle the whole process.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: Abe's constitutional reform push facing questions from LDP members See in context

While this is good news to hear that there are cracks in the LPD's support for a constitutional change, I fear this might just be posturing by these two leaders to try and garner support. I hope that is not the case, but I really do not trust Ishiba. Kishida, I have more respect for, but as soon as you say they are both thinking of making a run at the LDP presidency, then you have to take things with a grain of salt.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Central Tokyo population expected to keep growing See in context

dcog9065, I'm not sure what you mean by living standards, if you mean living in a tiny cramped apt. with paper thin walls, and near train lines, busy roads or some other noisy facility, then yes, Tokyo has great living standards. I just came back from a week in Tokyo, and really don't know how people can get used to the crush of people, the constant lines, the noise, and the nonstop pace that people live at.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: JR East luxury sleeper train makes debut See in context

Look if it gets people spending money, and the money staying in Japan, then I am all for it. How many people will travel abroad this Golden week, spending vast amounts of money in the US, or France when that money doesn't do anything to help the domestic economy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: No end in sight for Japan's potato chip crisis See in context

I wonder if this isn't an easy way for these companies to raise prices without a huge outcry from customers. They claim there are no potatoes, or a shortage, they can only produce so much, and their hands are tied because of government regulations, so the only thing they can do is raise prices. Will other industries start to do the same. Abe would be happy becasue it would further help his goal of reaching 2% inflation, and as we have seen his cabinet's popularity is impervious to any criticism. A win win for Abe, and we the customers are the losers, as usual.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Luxury spenders defy Japan's tight-fisted reputation See in context

The problem seems to be a lot of older people have all the money and spend it on luxury goods, while younger people are struggling to make a living and have trouble even affording everyday necessities. But that seems to be the core of Abenomics. Much like what is happening in the US with the 1%. To hell with the rest as long as they get theirs.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: SDF trying to stop members from going AWOL See in context

It's a stupid question, but were these people still paid even though they did not show up for work? Maybe if they cut paying them, they would up and quit.

I agree that the SDF is like a lower rank public servant job, most working from 8-4, then going home and having weekends off.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Father, 4-year-old daughter found dead in suspected murder-suicide See in context

Well this will do wonders now for fathers trying to get child custody. I don't wish anyone ill harm, but if you are going to harm yourself, do it alone. Do not make others suffer for your selfishness.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: I was moved to tears by the U.S. armed forces’ support during Operation Tomodachi (after the March 11, 2011 disaster). They did so much to help Japan in its time of need. See in context

There is an article in the Asahi about her, I guess that is why the quote is there. That is great that she feels indebted to the US military, but how about all the other groups that helped out and got little or no recognition. I would hope that with the military presence the US has, that in times of crisis and adversity that they would help out and send volunteers to do whatever they could.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Abe vows to resolve N Korea abduction issue See in context

In the midst of a nuclear crisis our fearless leader is going to demand his own personal pet peeve be settled the rest of the world be damned! I feel for the families who had someone kidnapped, but this cannot derail any kind of plan to settle this on going nuclear crisis.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Cabinet approval rate rises to 58.7% See in context

Well there you have it. There is almost nothing the Abe cabinet can do that will lose him support with the Japanese people, so we might as well just give up hope for any kind of change in Japan. This news is so disheartening that people feel there is no other alternative or way, and that they trust this awful man and his band of incompetents!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

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