Japan Today

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Posted in: Planet 'on the brink', with new heat records likely in 2024: U.N. See in context

There is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop climate change. Climate doesn't have a remote control that can be switched on or off. Once we reach the tipping point, it's over. Humans keep reproducing because consumption is what drives G20 countries' economies. Billionaires are building bunkers to stick it out, the rest of us go the way of the dinosaurs. I wonder what an iPhone fossil will look like?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Japanese travelers more stressed than others sitting next to strangers on planes: survey See in context

While there are regional and situational differences, indifference to strangers is the main reason I need to get out of Japan at least once a year to a Western country. I miss being able to strike up a conversation while shopping, "Oh my, just look at these apples!" or in a restaurant, "How's the casserole, sir?"

One reason given is that the Japanese don't want to inconvenience or disturb others. In fact, it's this disconnect from other people that results in social isolation, e.g. hikikomori. That the language barrier is also cited is the result of the way English is taught in Japan, relying exclusively on test-driven multiple-choice situations. The system is not concerned about what students think or feel. Almost nobody takes the productive parts of proficiency exams, i.e. oral and written.

One other thing I've noticed recently is that young people don't know how to interact with people. I believe this is the result of electronic media in which messages are peppered with emojis and sentence fragments.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Posted in: Okage Yokocho: Walk through ancient Edo and Meiji period downtown streets and indulge in local delicacies See in context

Given that the shrine is rebuilt every 20 years, YES!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK to suspend new contracts with talent of scandal-hit Johnny's See in context

People act as if this is something new, feigned moral outrage by the public and the media after having benefited. The casting couch is old and worn...

The real victims are the performers, not because of the sexual abuse, but because of a gatekeeper system that prevents true and new talent from making it into the spotlight.

Any of these boys could have walked away but instead carefully weighed the potential benefits against their own core values.

And what is it with these androgynous boy bands anyway?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Big Buddha See in context

Kannon is not a Buddha but a Bodhisattva.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: American cyclist dies in expressway accident in Yokohama See in context

The American thought it would be faster to take the expressway rather than regular streets which would entail waiting at stoplights when there is no traffic. If he had ignored the traffic lights he might have been stopped by the police, even if there was no traffic. Japanese pedestrians will routinely wait for the light to change in the same situation.

At 3:15 the expressway is mostly deserted so he probably thought it wouldn't be dangerous, except that he might have been stopped by the police if a motorist alerted them that there was a cyclist on the expressway.

BTW bike messengers and food delivery bikes routinely ignore traffic signals, even in Japan, and especially in the US for reasons already stated above.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Desecration of national treasure See in context

Why is it that graffiti on old buildings creates outrage when graffiti on modern buildings goes unpunished? And yet we are in awe at the drawings etched on amphitheater walls by spectators at gladiator games.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Flying solo: Five Japanese activities you can enjoy on your own See in context

This is true, especially for high-end ¥35000+ ryokan. I'd actually stay at these places, even on a week day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Watches stolen in Tokyo Rolex store heist worth ¥250 mil See in context

Where's the Edo era justice when you need it most?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: 6 stabbed in Paris train station; attacker shot by police See in context

The Garde du Nord links Charles DeGaulle Airport to Paris and is the departure point for the Eurostar to London and the Thalys to Brussels and Amsterdam. Also if you want to visit Van Gogh's grave in Auvers-Sur-Oise. At that hour, the first train to London would be leaving.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 15-year-old girl who stabbed 2 people outside Shibuya Station sent to juvenile reformatory See in context

A "practice run"? Why involve innocent 3 parties?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Plaintiffs appeal Tokyo court ruling on same-sex marriage See in context

This refusal maintains the modus operandi that "Japan is special and unique". It tried unsuccessfully to permanently close the borders because of Covid, but money talks.

You would think that because young people are not interested in sex or getting married that the government would embrace any effort to build stable, loving family units.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Posted in: A look at the Tokyo museum just for bizarre Japanese-to-English mistranslations See in context

I never understand why the Japanese almost NEVER have their translations reviewed by a native speaker. The most common and simplest example are signs in front of restaurants and other businesses, "CLOSE". Even Tokyo Metro gets it wrong, "Please be careful as the train goes over a curve" and "Thanks for boarding". It's obvious they used a direct translation of the Japanese word, which is the wrong word. It's not a big deal if communication is not affected, e.g. you want a "hambaagaa" but get a "hamburg".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo students take oral English test in high school entrance exam See in context

The Japanese education system is entirely test-oriented, and tests are not a measure of ability, but to separate winners from losers. In that respect, they are highly efficient. The Japanese like one correct answer and the thought of scoring rubrics terrifies them and smacks of uncertainty despite the fact that rubrics have been used by the ETS in the United States for decades. That said, the following is still considered to be correct English, "Tomorrow I will go shopping."

The JET programme has cost the government billions with no improvement in speaking proficiency because ATs are used for "fun and games" rather than improving proficiency. And since speaking isn't graded, why would students care?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan births at new low as population shrinks and ages See in context

@ Michael Machida: The Japanese are risk-averse and contamination paranoid. Just look at all those people wearing masks.

I just returned from Paris and the one thing that struck me about the French is how they enjoy being in the moment and just living. People are not glued to their cell phones but are interacting with others or just thinking. Masks have given the Japanese another reason to self-isolate. You can't make babies like that.

Otaku, hikikomori, and cosplay women who dress up like girls, and androgynous boy band idols; It's no wonder anyone is interested in sex, let alone having any physical contact.

-17 ( +23 / -40 )

Posted in: Lawmakers say Unification Church asked ruling party members to promote its policies See in context

This happens all the time in the US. What's the big deal? How is a church influencing policy any different than a Zaibatsu, other than a "moral" imperative?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Posted in: 170 cats abandoned in house in Gunma after owner falls ill See in context

I don't think he meant to harm the cats, the situation just got out of hand. Think of it as "cat hoarding". There have been others like him. Like any addiction, the people, or in this case the animals around the person are affected. On top of the addiction, he's old and single, doomed to die a "lonely death".

Good that they'll be rehomed. I'd foster a couple but I'm going to Europe in a couple of weeks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: N Korea fires another missile; flies warplanes near border with S Korea See in context

This is what happens when a spoiled brat gets expensive soldier toys. The best strategy is to ignore his tantrums. If there's a miscalculation and one of his toys hits either South Korea or Japan, North Korea is toast.

Unfortunately, this may set off a chain of events worldwide. It's been a while since the last big event.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe's state funeral cost ¥1.2 bil, less than ¥1.66 bil initial estimate, gov't says See in context

I wonder if the powers that be are aware of the visuals of this event. It looks no different from North Korea, China, etc.

7 ( +22 / -15 )

Posted in: Man arrested for beating son in his 20s See in context

What exactly is, "a company employee"? An "office worker"? A "chef" at the HIlton? And what does this have to do with the incident? Would it be less serious if he were "unemployed"?

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Posted in: There is a growing perception in many countries that the pandemic is over. Do you agree? See in context

@ OssanAmerica This is a common problem when Japanese write English. They are not direct and concise because being direct and concise is rude. There are ways to be rude in English but this is not one of them. The question should simply read, "Do you think the pandemic is over?"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Travel firms thrown into confusion over rules as Japan reopens to foreign tourists See in context

The only reason Kishida did this at the G7 conference was to save face in front of the other member countries. Japan is extremely contamination phobic and so now it is putting up barriers to travel just as the Shogunate did during the Edo era with 関所 checkpoints to control movement on the main roads. Only the most devout Japanophile will put up with the monitoring and repeated testing. That said, people are entering on student and business visas and going about their business unfettered and unmonitored.

-2 ( +17 / -19 )

Posted in: Japan-born American files suit against Japan's dual nationality ban See in context

Happiness and equality aren’t really concepts that are considered by any ‘government’ let alone the Japanese one.

This applies only to Japanese, not to foreigners. She gave up her Japanese nationality, case closed.

-14 ( +11 / -25 )

Posted in: Woman’s body found in water tank in Chiba See in context

Reminds me of the Elisa Lam story and the Cecil Hotel in LAX. She disappeared without a trace and there was a lot of speculation when an elevator video showed her acting strangely. Her body was found a week later in one of the water tanks on the roof. There are numerous documentaries about the case, but the Netflix version is the best.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for kicking 2-year-old boy inside elevator at Fukuoka station See in context

I see kids sprawled on the floor at least once a month, screaming kids often. I'm sure in "family friendly" areas, it happens a lot more. Since the parents are oblivious to the public annoyance caused, I've come close to saying "urusai" many times. But kicking? Hmmm...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Man admits killing and injuring over 100 cats See in context

If the police go digging around his house they may find human corpses. A psychopath rarely stops at animal abuse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Bach, in Hiroshima, says his visit reaffirms 'peace mission in Olympic movement' See in context

Apparently the South Korean delegation had other ideas. What a bunch of losers! After taking all that compensation from Japan and still complaining. It was their president that brokered the deal. They should take it up with their government, or better yet, go firebomb the ex-President's residence.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: Foreign business chambers urge Japan to speed up vaccine rollout See in context

It seems like Japan would like nothing better than a return to Tokugawa Edo closure. At this rate, the country will not open till 2022. I wonder who is profiting from all of this? Mask producers?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Nothing can stop Tokyo Olympics from going ahead: IOC's Coates See in context

Where's the vax?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time? See in context

Where's the vaccine?!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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