Japan Today

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Posted in: Many organizations that were not ready, not prepared, are being forced to do telework, which is causing lots of trouble. See in context

Unfortunately, research shows that with pre-recorded lectures, students tend to skip a lot of the content and fast forward through it. This doesn't work well especially in compulsory courses.

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Posted in: Japan needs foster care rather than institutions: UK experts See in context

... I do not see how training would hurt.

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Posted in: Japan needs foster care rather than institutions: UK experts See in context

Perhaps it is helpful (and necessary) for foster parents to get some training/education about child emotional development and childrearing because it could be that children put in foster care come from disfunctional families, troubled backgrounds, and might have a lot more emotional baggage than kids who do not have such history (of being put in foster care for a reason). I domno

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Posted in: Japanese companies confront reality of racial harassment See in context

When you have children born here (but are biracial or "look foreign"), it breaks your heart that some people constantly Other them. Why would my children, born here, have to be offered a fork or spoken in (broken) English? They might speak only Japanese and Russian or French... Imagine your biracial child and nobody else at the table being offered chopsticks in a restaurant overseas. How does that feel? Or being spoken in broken Chinese, for good measure.

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Posted in: 'Sponge cake' looks way too much like the real thing See in context

What flavor is it?

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Posted in: Women turn to apps, podcasts to explore sexuality through sound See in context

Female sexuality, just like male and any other sexuality, is not necessarily only heterosexual, so there should be no assumptions that the audio segments will focus on"male" voices only.

As for tributes to the female figure, what frequently happens is that only one or two stereotypical female body types are portrayed and adored, typically an hourglass figure and a skinny "model" type with a large bust, whereas most of the real women do not look like that. So, no, looking from the female perspective, the female figure is not even accurately depicted, much less paid tribute to.

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Posted in: Historical documents show Japanese gov't role in providing sex slaves See in context

I honestly wonder about the logic of establishing "brothels" and sexual slavery for the purpose of preventing rape. I fail to see a connection. If brothels and prostitution in general prevented rape, there would be no rape in, for example, Japan. From what I have read, rape is not just about sexual urges. It is about power, having control over another person. Thus, married people and people in relationships, with available partners for sex, also commit rape. I am surprised that governments would still argue about brothels and rape prevention connection that has never been proven.

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Posted in: Conservatives submit ex-imperial member restoration proposal to Abe See in context

Why is that a group of people consisting of males only get to decide what women should or should not do? How has that become normalized?

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Posted in: Japan's new working visa acquired by only 219 foreigners in first 6 months See in context

How many actually people applied for this new type of visa? Its written that 219 acquired it, but what percentage is that of the number of applicants? Did 219 apply and all got the visa?

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Posted in: Women make up 80% of cancer patients aged 20 to 39 in Japan See in context

Here is some more information about HPV vaccination in Japan: https://www.hpv-yakugai.net/2018/06/29/5years-english/

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Posted in: Women make up 80% of cancer patients aged 20 to 39 in Japan See in context

Not mandatory to get HPV shots in Japan anymore.

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Posted in: Human pyramids continue in Kobe schools as injuries mount to 51; mayor’s pleas to stop unanswered See in context

It’s one thing to do gymnastics, run, skate, or whatever as your own choice. Injuries are a part of it. But, having a child who is being forced to take part in “human pyramids” and risk injury that can not only be painful but costly (medical treatment, medication, etc. — the cost can add up) and put your kid out of school for some time is a completely different issue. Do children/parents have a choice in this? Whose responsibility it is if a kid breaks a femur or suffers from a concussion?

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Posted in: Stationery company releases anti-groping stamp See in context

Not sure how effective, practical, and meaningful this is, but so many first reactions that immediately assume that women (why only women?) will (mis)use this to wrongly accuse men are a bit strange. When pepper spray was marketed as a product for women protection, or the condom with “teeth” (for rape prevention) was announced, I wonder if reactions were also that negative. I assume that with any product, in particular in the case of self defense products, you will have people of any gender who purposely misuse them. I mean, people “misuse” kitchen knives to stab their victim.

Finally, if someone wanted to wrongly accuse another person, they would not really need this stamp, would they...

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Posted in: Muted in country of their birth, three women try to find their voice See in context

The nationality issue is a little more complex than the article reveals, in particular in the case of Zainichi Koreans. During the 35-year colonial rule, Korea was annexed to Japan and its people were made Japanese subjects (nationals, citizens). That means that Koreans living in Japan at that time had a Japanese nationality. However, that status was taken away from them by the Japanese government in 1952. Now, without given any choice as to whether to keep their Japanese nationality or not, these people were suddenly made foreigners. For many, that meant suddenly becoming a foreigner in the country of their birth (Japan) at no fault (and no choice whatsoever) of their own. If your family was made Japanese and then arbitrarily that status was years later stripped away, and now if you want your former Japanese citizenship back, you are forced to apply for it and explain in detail why you want this citizenship, how would feel about it? I think it's personal pity that these people were not even given a choice to keep their Japanese nationality (in 1952 or later, to correct what was done to them singlehandedly).

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Posted in: Do you support so-called “quota systems” to achieve gender diversity by promoting women to senior leadership positions in companies? See in context

“Equally qualified” male and female job candidates or candidates for promotion are not necessarily equally evaluated. Research shows that even university students evaluate male professors a lot more highly than female professors (this has been repeatedly reported on), even when fake names are used for online courses. Having a family and young children is frequently seen as evidence that a man is established, needs a job to support his family, and will not leave the job as he needs the income. However, a woman with young children is often seen as a risk as she might take sick leave when the kids are sick. Married women in Japan, and I am speaking from personal experience, are sometimes not even considered as in need of a job (“her husband can provide for her,” “the current position is good enough for her=no need to promote her”).

I also wonder how employers can evaluate working parents, given the fact that in Japan it is mostly mothers who lose a few years’ worth of career if they choose to have children. Having a baby means, as a minimum, having a fulltime job taking care of it for a year (each feeding lasted about 30 minutes, done every two hours in the case of my children; diaper changing, etc.) as the baby’s father is absent from home (working hard for a corporation but also developing his career and improving his future prospects in the company and on job market). Returning to work after two children, it is impossible to compete with childless candidates or most men who have children. My resume has “holes” that correspond the births of my children. My husband’s resume does not have any such “marks” (scars) that record the expansion of his family.

My conclusion is that perhaps quotas would help working mothers I just described.

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Posted in: Labor minister opposes banning female dress codes with high heels See in context

Necessary? Why in the world would that be necessary? Reasonable? Debatable. I wish this man would be required to spend a few workday in high heels. Then I would ask him how necessary he felt it was to wear high heels for his work performance. Next, I would also like to hear again from him how reasonable he felt the requirement was.

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Posted in: Major Hollywood studios may reconsider Georgia business over abortion law See in context

Men should have more say? Hmm...

Historically, it has been either exclusively or largely the men who make decisions about women's bodies. Religious leaders, pater familias, lawmakers... for thousands of years men made rules that governed what women could or couldn't do, not only in the Western world. Look at the results. I have never seen a society or an era where women exclusively make decisions about men's bodies and lives in general.

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Posted in: Forever young: Study uncovers protein that keeps skin youthful See in context

Here is more detail: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/anti-aging-discovery-could-lead-to-restorative-skin-treatments/

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Posted in: World designed for men constantly failing women: author See in context

Could you give a few names of "feminists" who have claimed that "men and women are biologically identical"?

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Posted in: 'Short skirts cause sexual assaults,' according to Japanese school uniform poster See in context

In my neighborhood I see many young boys of elementary school age and junior high wearing very short pants. Does anyone think that's an invitation? Do potential predators, or whoever, find that titillating? Would anyone blame a boy for wearing something such as tight or short pants if he experienced sexual assault or was approached by a predator? In my country of origin, not a small number of cases of rape has been reported in churches, committed by priests. I doubt anyone blamed the boy victims. I remember reading that this issue of victim blaming (she was wearing this or that and whatnot) has been debunked. People get raped and attacked usually not because of what they wear (or not).

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Posted in: The health ministry plans to introduce standard methods to calculate the costs of services associated with medical treatment for foreign nationals, such as interpretation, by the end of March. This means medical institutions can have foreign patients shoulder an appropriate amount of the cost of an interpreter, which is an added expense for hospitals. Do you support this idea? See in context

Just wondering. Doesn't dealing with deaf (or even blind or maybe even wheel-chaired) patients also incur extra cost to medical institutions (requiring extra staff, time, or services)? I suppose that explaining a medical procedure to a deaf patient might require a sign language interpreter. Do these patients pay more than others, for this specific service?

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Posted in: What do you think of the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program? See in context

Wish that there was more understanding that exchange and teaching in the JET do not and should not involve only native English speakers and Western countries.

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Posted in: Do you think volunteers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics should be paid? See in context

They are expecting volunteers to commit to long hours of work. I think at least some meals and/or transportation should be provided/the cost covered. Yes, volunteers donate their time, skills, and work, but I think it is a bit too much (given the circumstances in Japan) to expect them to work so many days and hours and still have to pay for their meals and transport.

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Posted in: Tokyo riot police officer arrested for molesting woman on street See in context

The officer is human and has bones and sense? Sure. So does the woman he molested.

Does that excuse the officer? I am curious what the point is.

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Posted in: Understanding the Japanese pension system Part 3: How do I collect? See in context

I was also wondering if you don't need to actually annually or occasionally visit Japan in order to continue receiving your pension, once you're the age you qualify for it. I do know of a few Japanese retired couples living overseas, but they regularly visit Japan every year and renew their overseas visa on the way back to their countries of residence. I assumed that their pension is paid to their local Japanese bank accounts.

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Posted in: Advanced countries spent decades advancing gender equality, but Japan has not caught up with them at all. I’ve seen many female doctors harassed at the workplace after getting pregnant and giving birth. It is also strange that male doctors are forced to work for long hours. See in context

You might easily fare better with a female doctor:


The original study is here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2593255

In particular if you are also female:


Sent from my iPad

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Posted in: Tokyo 2020 chief asks Abe to consider daylight saving time See in context

In the press and on TV this week, some Japanese doctors expressed their concerns about this. It looks like health can be negatively affected:


If this is done only for the two weeks when the Olympics takes place, not sure how reasonable it is to switch during two years and affect the whole country.

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Posted in: Tokyo Medical University confirms altering scores to limit women See in context

Edit: 18% of surgeons are women**

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Posted in: Tokyo Medical University confirms altering scores to limit women See in context

Just to add some more stats and other relevant info as it seems that the argument is not about unfair treatment and lies but it has spread to the argument about women as surgeons. 

In the U.S., 18 % of women are surgeons. Many occupy top leading positions. 

I suspect that percentages are higher in some European countries (such as Latvia, Spain, Finland, Poland, Portugal, ...) because the % of female physicians in some European countries is over 50%.

How having women surgeons is actually beneficial, not MDs only in general for patients' health outcomes:


Another beneficial aspect on surgical teams' cooperation and women's contribution:


All the while women physicians are still being underpaid, expected to do more housework and childcare (not only in Japan).

This morning, on TBS and Asahi TV, female Japanese surgeons (外科医) reported that once women do get a position as a (young) surgeon, senior male surgeons still give preference to (young) male surgeons. That means that senior men mentor younger men, invite them to watch and assist in surgeries (立ち会わせ) to gain experience, and provide more training opportunities to them.

No wonder women might be inclined to leave such work environment. Discrimination continues even after you get into medical school. But perhaps instead of reducing the number of women in medical schools and in medicine (there is a lack of doctors in Japan), maybe work conditions should be improved? That would benefit the men, too.

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Posted in: Tokyo Medical University confirms altering scores to limit women See in context

Why it is good (for male doctors, too) to have more female doctors: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/08/women-more-likely-to-survive-heart-attacks-if-treated-by-female-doctors/566837/

The article is not just someone's opinion or pure speculation but based on data and multiple studies.

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