md2009 comments

Posted in: 7-Eleven under pressure in Australia over wage fraud claims See in context

There are 2 sides to this, The first is the unconscionable exploitation of students. This must be stopped. But the other side no-one is asking is why students are allowed into Australia with no means of support so they are forced into part time slave labor like this. Australia has unemployment of more than 5 percent so why do these students go to Australia and expect to be able to find work? Maybe students should be forced to show they have the money to survive before letting them in there?? Why are they working at 7-11? I guess jobs are very scarce so they should not go if they are placing themseves at mercy of employers like this. Sonething seems wrong all around. And as for Japan I hesitate to imsgine the amount of exploitation going on. Why are there so many more Chinese staff at convenience stores these days. Lower wages? Why?

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Posted in: Abe says he is 'deeply pained' over 'comfort women' See in context

There are 2 underlying and criticsl issues here. (1) japanese people have never been educated about the bad things they have done. It is not taught in schools or discussed in official channels. For example: When I tried to discuss the Nanjing Massacre and also comfort women issues with my 40 year old Japanese friend, she really did not believe it, and was fairly dismissive saying that all countries do bad things in war and that Japan had been victim of propaganda to justify America's use of the atom bomb (I am just repeating her view). No amount of discussion was sufficient to dissuade her view that there was no proof Japanese did anything wrong (presumably because she had not been taught the truth). (2) Just my view based on anecdotal evidence, but I think a majority of Japanese still are incredibly prejudiced towards nationals of most Asian nations and really look down on Chinese in particular, and also Koreans ( with the limited exception of some Korean celebrities at the youth level). Japan sees itself as a higher nation. I am not wanting to offend by saying this, but many Japanese believe mainland Chinese are dirty, rude, uncultured and money focused (translation: jealous of their economic success). It is difficult for politicians to apologize against the background of pervasive prejudicial thinking of this type. I hope and pray there will be strong leaders in Japan who will educate their young and help eradicate these prejudices, but until then, even were an apology to be made ( which is unlikely) it will not really be representative of broader Japanese opinion and so could not really be taken seriously. I really hope the next generation of Japanese will prove me wrong.

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Posted in: Magazine speculates McDonald's may pull out of Japan if things don't improve See in context

I think it all comes down to service and atmosphere. McDonalds is supposed to be fast food but in Japan every time I walk in I get a number and have to wait. Often I get the burger and have finished it before the fries arrive. Second, McDonalds has become an embarassing place to be seen. It feels like the stores have not refreshed and so inevitably I hesitate before being seen there. Usually lots of students sitting around using wifi, It looks and feels like a place for those on a budget rather than a place to take the family or work colleagues. Finally the service is often unfriendly. I was not aware of the franchisee system, but that explains a lot. Staff are clearly not motivated. All in all, going to Maccas has become a depressing experience and they will continue to fail unless they make their stores somewhere people want to be and be proud to be!

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Posted in: Toyota case shows it's hard to prosecute execs See in context

But prosecutors say they had little choice, in part because of constraints with evidence and the challenge of gathering testimony and information from witnesses outside the United States

What a load of rubbish. Since when has the US been unwilling or unable to prosecute beyond its borders? I smell a rat somewhere.

I would suggest that Toyota should be excluded from all US government tenders until all key executives submit to US jurisdiction and testify as to what really happened.

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Posted in: Fukushima plant springs another radioactive leak See in context

I am so angry when I see stuff like this. Japan's culture and politeness is touted the world over and it is true there are so many special things to admire. But the flip side of all the things we admire is a perverse inability to tell the truth, make decisions and take responsibility in a meaningful way. Japanese company executives, managers and bureaucrats see their sole mission in life as to pass through their working life without rocking the boat but that no longer works.

(1) The famed Japanese style of consensus - no doubt the reactor and other reactors in Japan passed and continue to pass all the necessary annual tests and the requisite number of employees sign off on whatever meaningless safety certificates they need to sign off. If everyone agrees it is safe, it must be safe, right? Pass the little tray from person to person to the guy at the back of the room as is done at banks all over Japan for exchange of $10 worth of currency. Nemawashi has no place in nuclear safety!!

(2) Japanese style crisis management - yes, Japanese are always prepared for disasters! From their time at elementary school they prepare for earthquakes and fires with the requisite standard drills but no-one actually is taught to use their heads - everyone is taught from a young age that they need to ganbare for everything from meaningless after school tests to standardized sporting events - "gambare Nippon" is a stale slogan that passes the buck from the politicians and bureaucrats to the population. Please start thinking about how to change your society, you deserve better!!

(3) Tell the truth!! Japanese society is generally peaceful because no-one really questions whether others are telling the truth and no-one aggressively challenges their neighbors and colleagues. Japanese do not ask the right questions so they do not get the right answers. Everything is kept very vague and aimai. All very nice to be peaceful, but it is time for Japanese to realize that they need to challenge each other and expect the truth of those in positions of power.

(4) Taking responsibility: The Japanese way to take responsibility by bowing and apologizing (maybe even resigning in extreme cases) is long past its use by date. It is time for people to be held accountable under the law. Look at the case of Olympus where the only guy who tried to get it right (who happened to be a courageous foreigner) is no longer there!! Obviously Tepco executives should be hung out to dry. It is time for Japanese to start holding their corporate and government officials accountable under the law.

Enough is enough Japan. You continue to negligently expose your people to risk of radiation, your education system and your economy is in a mess and no-one seems to want or have the courage to drive change.

Time for fundamental change Japan. Ganbare!!

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Posted in: China less attractive to Japanese firms - but not because of riots See in context

There are lots of reasons why Japanese are pulling out not least of all because of rising costs and because China often does not know how to make products that meet the quality standards that Japanese consumers demand. But underneath it all many Japanese do not like the Chinese very much and they are happy to stick it to the Chinese when they can. Based on discussions (admittedly an unscientific sample) I have held with Japanese, many Japanese hold the view that Chinese are inferior, unclean and unsophisticated. And not so far underneath it all many Japanese blame China for their country's economic woes. Japan has lagged behind China for so long and many Japanese find that hard to take.

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Posted in: Why Japanese girls are a better catch than Japanese men See in context

I am guessing this article is written by someone who has never been married to a Japanese woman. Japanese women are dainty, cute etc, and yes they do pour drinks for their husband and friends in company...but....and it is a big but.....Japanese women change a lot after marriage and in particular when the kids come around. Japanese women see it as their mission in life to take control of the house, daily finances and most importantly the KIDS. While of course they will usually ensure that their husband has a meal waiting when he comes back from work, the kids are number one priority up to the point of obsession. If you have ever seen a group of mums planning an event at a school PTA you will know that husbands are the furthest things from their minds!! I have heard many stories of Japanese wives falling asleep with their kids while husbands are left to complain or more often than not to find themselves someone else to keep them company on the side. So beware, life after marriage things may not always turn out as you may have imagined when dating over candlelight or swapping English and Japanese lessons....

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Posted in: Why are Japanese so bad at English? See in context

The fact is that if the Japanese Government really wanted to, it could develop effective English language programs in schools. The reality is that the politicians really do not want people to speak English any more than they do. If people started to speak English well they may just understand the foreign media and maybe even become more Western thinking. Their sons and daughters might marry foreigners in greater numbers than they already do, and they might start asking silly questions about nuclear reactors and the like. Look what happened when a crazy foreigner started asking questions at Olympus, imagine if Japanese people became more like that! This society is designed to be closed. North Korea blocks the internet and foreign TV, here they just make sure that even though everyone has access to it, no-one really understands what is going on. And by the way, they do not really want you foreigners to speak perfect Japanese either. I have been here many years and love Japan, but just feel very frustrated that Japanese politicians continue to allow their grandchildren to waste years of their life struggling and learning in a way that is designed to ensure they will never ever learn to speak English.

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Posted in: 45% of children tested near Fukushima plant have radioactive elements in thyroid glands See in context

I cannot understand why the Japanese are not out on the streets. These poor kids. Japan is starting to resemble Libya or Syria in its propaganda. Maybe the result will be the same one day when people have had enough. Surely for even this tolerant society there is a limit to what they will be prepared to put up with. "Moushiwake gozaimasen" society does not work any more.

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Posted in: Enterprising moms cash in on micro-scooters See in context

Actually looks like from their website these guys say they are the official exclusive distributor. we bought one for our daughter online and they seem to have a decent sized operation going here so this mum thing might be a bit of good marketing. I also see they are already at Tokyo Hands in Shibuya. anyway our daughter loves hers so well done to them for bringing them here. good luck to them.

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