maxjapank comments

Posted in: Kishida weighs Ukraine visit in February to hold talks with Zelenskyy: report See in context

Why? What do you have to offer them?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Posted in: Some fear COVID downgrade may cause more infections See in context

Good news, time to move on and live with Covid.

This is my feeling now, too. No matter what we do, Covid is here to live among us. Wearing a mask or not wearing a mask is your choice. But I'm ready to see everyone's face again.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Posted in: More youth tournaments banning angry coaches See in context

This is great. And if Japan eventually turns out like the U.S., they may need to ban angry parents towards referees.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Experts urge gov't to take gradual approach to COVID downgrade See in context

This is quite an interesting point. While it was an imposed duty to make sure the students wear their masks, did you think about the risks and benefits of their wearing them? I'm not having a go at you, as it was probably part of your job. It's just that with being able to see what's happening in other countries via the internet, wouldn't it be possible to gain another perspective in that way and not just be limited to what you see here in Japan?

I'm not exactly what risks and benefits you are referring to. I still see value in wearing masks. They can help prevent the spread of colds and viruses much better than not wearing them at all. But it seems no matter what precautions we take, Covid manages to find a way to spread regardless. A mask-wearing father may catch it at work or on the train and bring it home unknowingly, and once he takes off his mask at home, it spreads to everyone else in the family. Then daughter and son go to school with masks on, but during P.E. or sports practice, manages to pass it on to their friends.

As for gaining a perspective from the internet, yes, you can be better informed. But first-hand experience is so much better overall. I also don't wish to criticize others opinions. Most make their opinions based on their knowledge and experience. But I just have a different feeling about it all after seeing how much everyone was enjoying their daily life in the U.S. rather than worrying about catching Covid constantly.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Experts urge gov't to take gradual approach to COVID downgrade See in context

Masks off there, masks on here. I find it fascinating at how simple peer pressure can cause intelligent adults to modify their behavior.

It's not so much peer pressure, but experiencing something different and having a new perspective. Before visiting the U.S. over the holidays, I was a very strict "every one should wear a mask" enforcer. But my only perspective was that of living in Japan where it was also my duty to make sure students wore masks, too. Having two experiences and perspectives enables me to be more intelligent than only seeing one side, no?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Experts urge gov't to take gradual approach to COVID downgrade See in context

I am 3 times vaccinated and will always wear a mask in Japan as that is still the norm right now. But after visiting the U.S. over the holidays, I found it refreshing to see everyone enjoying their lives without masks. So I guess my feelings towards Covid changed a bit. It can be terrible for some who catch it, but it seems to me that whatever preventions we take, Covid manages to find a way to spread around. It is unfortunately something we will just have to continue living with.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

Posted in: Volunteers taking outsized role in Japanese language support See in context

Turns out you don't need special training to teach a language. You just need to have the right motivations.

While motivation is the most important thing, you can often tell who is a trained / experienced teacher vs. someone who is not. And learning from someone with training and experience can provide faster and better learning.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't panel reviewing Japan foreign trainee program holds 1st meeting See in context

I give a speech every year to students about how minorities (foreigners) can often receive less pay and benefits as compared to their Japanese counterparts. But just saying that doesn't click with them. So I began to add a section in the speech talking about how Japanese women still tend to receive less than men in Japan. And suddenly, every girl in the room is fully focused and you can see them beginning to understand exactly what minorities (foreigners) can face. For effective changes to be made, people need to be made more aware of what is really happening. Many just do not know.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Video game hub Japan confronts problem of addiction See in context

Nothing wrong with games. It should be treated as a hobby, the same as TV, books, and sports. Some might say that books offer mental development, but so do some games. Players often do a lot of research and have to make quick decisions based on the environment. Some might say that sports offer physical development. And while that's true, a gamer can get physical exercise in other ways. They don't have to spend three hours every day after school with mandatory club practice.

As long as children are taught priorities and to focus on getting studies and chores done and spending time with family and friends, then there is nothing wrong with enjoying gaming. A long time ago, we spent family nights playing Parcheesi. You can do the same now with video games if you so choose.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan eyes higher corporate, tobacco taxes to fund defense spending See in context

As an ex-smoker, I am okay with taxing tobacco more. But I feel the money gained should be related to health care as that is what tobacco effects. A country's defense spending should not be funded by smokers, especially as the number of smokers are dwindling. If we are going to go this route, then it would should be taxing alcohol more as well. An unpopular opinion I'm sure. But this would provide a more stable yearly revenue.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Taxes to be raised to cover additional defense spending: Kishida See in context

Just no. Please don't make my family and others struggle more.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan beats Spain 2-1 to advance to last 16 at World Cup See in context

I'm very excited for Japan. I also have some good friends in Japan, the U.S., and Australia. And I'm am quite pleased to see all of their countries make it through.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Ex-student awarded damages over high school rule that banned dating See in context

"Considering the school's educational ideals and policies, the rule is reasonable in the context of social standards as a rule for making students focus on studies by banning dating," said Presiding Judge Kazuhiro Murata in handing down the ruling.

Dating, makeup, dress-code enforcements do not make students focus on studies. You can visit multiple countries and see students engaging in all sorts of activities and still performing well in their studies. Japan is not unique in that its students cannot do this. This thinking is so old-fashioned and there is absolutely not valid research supporting it.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's October job availability improves for 10th straight month See in context

If the job doesn't pay enough to afford rent, food, and other necessities, then it will remain unfilled.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Posted in: Moriyasu defends decision-making after Japan's loss to Costa Rica showing See in context

I found the first half to be quite boring to watch. Seemed to be just a lot of passing side to side in mid-field. Then when a pass was made forward and pressure was put on Japan, they would just pass it back and continue the same mind-numbing side to side passing. There was also very little movement from the forwards up front.

I want to see Japan pushing forward more. At a much faster pace. Put more crosses in from the side. Push the penalty area more. I believe they can do better against Spain.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: In U.S., inflation sparks tough Thanksgiving meal sacrifices See in context

We had a Thanksgiving dinner in Japan for four. Skipped Turkey (partly because of price) and had chicken instead. But we had biscuits and gravy and pecan pie! My wife could make anyone cry over her pecan pie.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Trial of English-speaking test for Tokyo high schools face opposition from some parents See in context

I am not a fan of Bennese. They are a business, more interested in making money than in education. But having a speaking test of some kind is much better than having nothing at all.

As for comments about ALTs and JTEs, it really is a shame to continue seeing disparaging comments towards both. Nearly all of the JTEs I know are actually quite skilled in speaking English, even the few who have never studied abroad. Similarly, though ALTs could be used more effectively, if they are serious about their job, they do play an important role in helping both JTEs and students in practicing English. I have often been the main person that keeps my JTEs conversational level to standard, namely as they are unable to use English outside of the school. In fact, I have often observed that the more I use English with my JTEs, the more they will use English with their students.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's economy shrinks as consumers hold back on spending See in context

If everything is costing more and employers aren't going to raise salaries, all you can do is cut back on expenditures.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: 50.1% of Japanese companies suffering from labor shortage: survey See in context

Schools, from elementary to University, are having a harder time finding part-time teachers. Pay is low compared to the amount of work involved, and since many schools don't want to offer tenure, there is no job security. I've seen many talented young teachers move on after a few years because there is no perceivable future. Many schools also force a retirement at age 60-62 respectively with only those in upper administration able to continue to 65. Even retired teachers who continue to teach as part-time are often limited to the age of 65. It's ridiculous to waste years of knowledge and experience because of age.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Posted in: Australia blames Russian hackers for medical data theft See in context

Very troubling. As someone who is over 22 years sober, I could care less if anyone knows that I am an alcoholic. But it was hard and shameful seeking help in the beginning. And being anonymous was extremely helpful. I have also helped a few others over my lifetime and keeping their identity secret was a big reason they trusted me. These hackers represent a real low in being human.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Over 80% of Japanese adults find tobacco smoke unpleasant: survey See in context


For sure, I don't have to drink someone else's drink. But I do have to smell alcohol which can reek just as bad as smoking. And I do have to share the roads with potential DUIs. Thankfully, as I don't go out drinking anymore, I don't have to deal with belligerent drunks anymore. But supposedly my wife's grandfather was a nightmare in the home when he was alive. I mean I was no saint either. I've made many amends for my past.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Over 80% of Japanese adults find tobacco smoke unpleasant: survey See in context

At last Japan is looking at this area, the tax on cigarettes should be heavily increased, smoking areas should be kept away from busy public areas, smokers are the minority, but get special treatment. It’s time Japan declared war on smokers.

As much as I agree with you, one could debate that the consumption of alcohol causes more societal problems, from accidents to arguments to health incidents. I am both an alcoholic and ex-smoker. And I am so glad I gave up both. But I do find it a bit hypocritical of people declaring war on smokers because they are in the minority, while completely ignoring alcohol consumption.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Nearly half of LGBTQ teens in Japan have considered suicide: survey See in context

What made them LGBTQ in the first place? Nature? Lack of education? Society?

A boy born as a boy. A girl as a girl. Why complicated yourself, life and the world?

What a naive statement! What does someone's preference about who they are bother you? Let people be who they are and accept them as is.

4 ( +24 / -20 )

Posted in: Record 245,000 students absent from schools in Japan in FY2021 See in context

It's been a very difficult time for everyone since the pandemic hit, but more so for the young ones. This makes it much more important to make sure each and every student feels safe and welcome when at school. It also helps to add a bit more fun stuff over strict studying to help add some enjoyment.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to cut household electricity bills by 20% to fight inflation See in context

I guess I am completely unknowledgeable about this. But how exactly is this going to help me? Is the money going to the electric company so they can give me a discount? So does that means the electric company is getting richer? What about if I choose to reduce the amount of electricity I use? Sure a reduction in price will still benefit me, but to be honest, I'd prefer to get money and let me use as I see fit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: German named CEO of medical company Olympus See in context

It's sad. But I'd advise against any non-Japanese becoming the face of a Japanese company. Too many people have been burned in the past.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Posted in: Kishida aims to cut utility bills with new economic package See in context

I take you don't live in Japan, and probably never even visited Japan if you think these are usable suggestions.

I do live here. For over 25 years now. And I think they are viable suggestions. I wouldn't write it otherwise.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Posted in: Kishida aims to cut utility bills with new economic package See in context

While it is not entirely possible to live without gas and electricity, Japan could encourage consumers to use less of both. A campaign encouraging people to walk more, bike more, use public transportation more, carpool to work would go a long way in saving money and making Japan less dependable on foreign energy. I've just started commuting to work again by bicycle. And it's been great for my health and helpful in not having to by gas.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Two top Japanese universities drop in British magazine's world ranking See in context

I guess I'm a bit skeptical here. But I often wonder about publications needed to secure a tenured position for foreigners in Japan. I've seen some really good textbooks, but I've also seen some really terrible textbooks with some foreigner's name on it, by a teacher who is supposedly tenured at a university. Makes me wonder how many teachers have secured positions based on the number of publications rather than the quality of publications.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: Court upholds constitutionality of gaming addiction ordinance See in context

Are we also going to limit the amount of hours that we can watch TV, read books, play sports? Gaming is no longer just a waste of time endeavor. It is big business and another social outlet for people. A recent study has even found that playing video games boosted children's intelligence by 2.5 IQ points.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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