Japan Today

Michael O’ Dereiter comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 5,534 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 25,156 See in context

Maybe there's some kind of strategic genius somewhere in the LDP ranks, who's worked out how to manipulate public opinion with these numbers. Raise them? Oh, it's the young people's fault, and they don't vote, so we can discard their value. Hmm...we're getting mutterings of discontent. Better drop them by a thousand or so...yep, that gave the LDP a slight boost in an instant poll. Got to keep the balance right. Too high and people complain, too low and they think we're counting the mackerel, as it were.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Number of severe COVID patients in Japan hits record for 4th day in row See in context

They didn't care to start with. Stay home and die.

C'mon, be fair. This is Japan, the home of politeness.

"Stay home and die please"

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you respect anti-vaxxers' stance? See in context

I can't believe that I'm quoting America's Weirdest Religion / Money-making scheme here (and if you wonder how I know about that, I took an elective course in contemporary religion at college.which is why I'm an atheist), but the typical anti-vaxxer is actually pretty well described by half the list of traits of a Suppressive Person:

1) Such a person speaks only in very broad generalities (statements that give no details)

2) Such a person deals mainly in bad news, critical or hostile remarks, invalidation (making someone seem wrong or less worthy) and general suppression (actions that keep others down, make them fail, etc.).

3) (such a person) worsens the communication when he passes along a message or news. Good news is stopped and only bad news, often added to, is passed along.

4) (such a person) continually selects the wrong target (cause of things) for his anger.

5) (such a person) supports only destructive groups and attacks any constructive group or group working to help people.

6) Helping others is an activity that drives (such a person) nearly insane. Activities that destroy in the name of help, however, are closely supported.

I see quite a lot of anti-vaxxer rhetoric in there.

11 ( +35 / -24 )

Posted in: Concerns mount over possible collapse of Japan's medical system See in context

I wonder if it's this, rather than the Olympics and the relatively slow vaccine rollout, which could hurt the LDP.

I read somewhere that the Japanese go to the doctor several times more per year than people from other countries. I don't recall the exact figure, but it wasn't a trivial number.

I've even heard it said that some older people go to the doctor as it's a kind of social club; they know their friends will be there. Few years ago I had to go to a local clinic a few times to get a minor issue sorted out, and even when I arrived right on opening time, the waiting room was already completely full, mainly with the elderly.

Logically, it's the elderly who would need to visit a clinic or hospital the most. And statistically, it's the elderly who provide the LDP with a large chunk of their votes.

Course inertia is a tough thing to overcome, so even a stressed medical system might not be enough to make the people realise that they're getting hosed by the people they keep voting in.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese firms to jointly develop facial recognition payment system See in context

The patent application looks good:

"A system for recognising a face, wherein: a camera records a person's face, the camera prints the face onto polaroid paper, the paper being sent by fax to an 80 year old man in a dusty office, said man who looks through a binder of photos of 126,000,000 people to try and find a match for the polaroid, and, upon finding it, telephones his section chief who comes and affixes his seal to said polaroid, and the 80 year old man faxes back said polaroid to the operator of the camera".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga's medical adviser urges tougher anti-virus measures See in context

Suga has his medical advisor in one ear and his economic advisor in the other... Guess who has the loudest voice?

Neither. The loudest voice is that in between the two, the "I have no idea what to do and I can't be bothered to think about it" voice.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Posted in: Suga's medical adviser urges tougher anti-virus measures See in context

Maybe Dr. Omi and PM Suga should sit down with a regular Joe (or regular Taro) who hasn't yet been able to get vaccinated, and watch as they try to book a shot, be that through a local clinic which doesn't have any vaccine, a mass vaccination centre which does but which fills up within half an hour of being opened, or any other method.

They won't, of course, but it might just give them a little insight.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Posted in: Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin washed away during typhoon in Japan See in context

Are these pumpkin things like Japan's answer to Jeff Koons' balloon dogs?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,612 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 10,574 See in context

I'd love to believe that this genuinely represents a drop in cases, but I don't know if I have the self-hypnosis skills required.

The games are over, people are now actually paying attention to what's going on outside the games, and if they start seeing figures of 4 to 5 thousand as per last week, they might get the impression that the government's not doing its job in keeping numbers down.

So it's hard to take these figures without reading something else into them.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: After Tokyo, Olympians hanker for 2024 Games See in context

2024 is still way in the future, however if this pandemic continue until then French people will not be passive as Japanese. Streets and venues will literally be on fire.

That alone would be more entertaining than anything at the Tokyo "games for nobody (except the rich and important)"

I'd love to see Bach breaking out in a cold sweat, watching the Parisians go mental.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Sayonara Tokyo, bonjour Paris: Summer Olympic focus switches to 2024 See in context

Paris sounds like it'll be a lot of fun, but then I think of the massive price gouging that will inevitably take place, and the open season on the visitors by pickpockets. It gives one pause about going.

I consider myself a semi-Francophile; I can speak French moderately well and I've been there several times. I have to say that the last time I went to Paris, it was a mixed bag. The city itself is as elegant as always, but I didn't care for the roaming gangs of people with clipboards pretending to be doing surveys but actually intent on just scamming as many people as they could.

Plus coming from Japan, where shop staff are polite - if kind of robotic - the attitude of staff in France was just terrible. Like "WTF are you doing in my shop" terrible.

And I do specifically remember hearing the warnings about pickpockets on the subway. That's a pretty poor advertisement for a city planning on hosting something like the games.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics draw to a close See in context

Best spin I can put on these games: they will serve as a cautionary tale to the next hosts. "Yo, Paris. Vet the people involved very carefully. If you have someone who bullied a disabled kid to the point of flat-out psychopathy, and then bragged about it, they probably shouldn't be involved in the games, yeah?"

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,066 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 14,472 See in context

Let’s all enjoy the summer sun and take sensible precautions

Haven't you stated several times that you will not get vaccinated?

I mean, that seems like a pretty sensible precaution.

I'll take my hat off to anyone who can actually enjoy the summer sun in Japan, unless they're in Hokkaido or something.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Counting the coronavirus cost at Tokyo Olympics See in context

Hey, Tristis Quepe. I respect your guts in putting an analogy up here. Usually anything that requires anything other than a linear thought process gets deleted pretty fast!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: As pandemic Olympics come to a close, Japan asks: What did Games mean? See in context

It means I have no vacation time in August now,

I booked the last week of August off. Now that the Stupid Games (TM) are over, the government will probably announce a total, nationwide, please-please-please-please don't go out SOE. They can go swivel. I'm taking my vacation and if I want to go somewhere I'm going to mask up and do so.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: As pandemic Olympics come to a close, Japan asks: What did Games mean? See in context

From a personal perspective, these games meant that my estimation of this country, where I've spent almost twenty years, has taken quite a hit.

In the time I've been here, I have lived on the assumption that Japan is, while far from perfect, fundamentally a country with its head screwed on right.

That assumption is now on wobbly legs.

There's still a whole lot to like about it, and I have permanent residence, so it's not as if I'm planning on going anywhere in a hurry, but this whole farce has demonstrated that political apathy on the part of the people, and unchecked (thanks to that very same apathy) political ambition on the part of the government, can result in incredibly unwise decisions being made.

So that's my takeaway from the whole thing.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan studies giving 3rd coronavirus vaccine shots next year See in context

For the posters getting worked up about this because many of us (myself included) still haven't got our first shot, note that they are studying this now so when the time is right it can be implemented. If they don't do the studies now, in a year from now we'll find ourselves in the same predicament again i.e. a delayed start making matters worse. I'm just as frustrated as the next, but I see this as a positive step.

It's becoming clear that this virus is with us for good now. We need to deal with that.

That is very reasonable thinking. My only issue with it is that it assumes competence on the part of the people who are "studying this now".

Even if they are themselves competent, their conclusions will presumably have to be run through the national government, where common sense and competence are in even shorter supply than the vaccine itself.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan studies giving 3rd coronavirus vaccine shots next year See in context

my university just emailed me canceling my first vaccine shot (for the second time) due to lack of supply.

I like how a simple statement of fact already has two downvotes.

Guess the notion of Japan as a less than perfect country is hard for some weeabos to take.

14 ( +26 / -12 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,566 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 15,753 See in context

I think we got to the top here. The government is doing all it can to prevent the spread of this pandemic.

Funny, I recall another poster who uses the exact same words and has the exact same message every day.

How peculiar.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan studies giving 3rd coronavirus vaccine shots next year See in context

How many of us are still completely unvaccinated?

(Raises hand). Not through lack of trying, but there you go.

Fortunately my better half has had both of hers through her job, and she can't telework. So at least I have that to be grateful for.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,566 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 15,753 See in context

Would the numbers be this high now if the government had been competent in getting us the vaccine?

Probably not, but then they wouldn't be the government in that case!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Suga says Paralympics spectators to be decided in line with COVID situation See in context

Pukey2Today  05:04 pm JST

Forget about the Paralympics, I'm already looking forward to the Sapporo summer games!!! I just love wasting money!

Suga's next plan: lobbying to have Japan recognised as a member of the Commonwealth so they can host the eponymous games.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sapporo hopes Tokyo Games success will boost 2030 Winter Olympic bid See in context

I read that book and LOVED it because it was so spot on!

He wrote it in 2001. It would be fascinating if he wrote an updated version, looking back on the original book and seeing where Japan is now compared to where it was then.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo's Olympic legacy: Forcing mental health center stage See in context

From reading the comments, it's clear that the solution for these athletes' mental health issues is to realize that the athletes have no value to society whatsoever, that their problems mean nothing, and that other people have it worse.

Pretty much. Yeah.

No value to society? They run around and jump and swim and people tell them that they are wonderful. Their only value to society is in letting people exist vicariously through their exploits, people who should be working on achieving something in their own life rather than having to live through a bunch of muscled oafs.

Their problems mean nothing? Nobody's problems "mean nothing", but apparently being able to run fast or jump high means that your problems are great fodder for the media and everyone loves you for being so "vulnerable" and "open".

Other people have it worse? Yeah, you could say that. People who don't get to do what they love all day every day at taxpayer expense and then be adulated for running faster and jumping higher than the average Joe, and who don't get to pull the "mental health" card with a bunch of simpering "experts" cooing over their bravery.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo's Olympic legacy: Forcing mental health center stage See in context

I like this attitude. I'm going to tell my boss that I intend to take a month off, for which I intend to be paid in full, while I "mentally recharge my batteries" and "center myself" so that I don't wreck my "mental health". I also expect to be told that I am absolutely wonderful for doing so, and that I have everyone's "support" and "love".

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: Sapporo hopes Tokyo Games success will boost 2030 Winter Olympic bid See in context

Total mental illness is the only explanation as to why anyone would look at the financial and social mess the Tokyo Olympics have been and say " yes we would like to do the same".

Let me throw this out here. If anyone's read "Dogs and Demons" by Alex Kerr, he mentions a characteristic of the Japanese: being able to "narrow their focus", so they will see a picturesque bridge but somehow miss the tons of concrete and power lines surrounding it.

Could be that Sapporo's doing something similar: envisioning tourists and glory, and overlooking the fact that 2030 is not even ten years after Japan held an Olympics which featured several high profile resignations and withdrawals due to, inter alia, verbal gaffes, admissions of horrendous bullying, and holocaust jokes, as well as representing absolute and spineless submission to the IOC.

Sapporo will be like "yeah, but apart from that...."

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 5,042 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 15,263 See in context

Honestly the only people I see walking around without masks, indoors or out, are foreigners. 

They're definitely one of the guilty parties. Not all, though.

But personally I've noticed that the main maskless groups are:

1) As you state, foreigners.

2) Yankis and other カス (mods: it's not aimed at another poster and it's a pretty accurate description)

3) Recently, more and more elderly people, who have presumably had their shots and now consider a mask unnecessary and/or are unaware that they can still catch and transmit Covid.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 4,166 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 14,207 See in context

Michael O’ Dereiter - I rarely find myself agreeing with AntiquesavingToday, but the journey you describe sounds like you have no idea about commuting in Tokyo.

Try travelling through Shinjuku daily, as I did through all the SOE's and continue to do so. Only in the first SOE was there a period where you could describe the trains as not being crowded.

Fair enough. I only used to work in central Shinjuku before teleworking was the norm, but as you apparently know me better than I know myself, I will bow to your telepathic powers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 4,166 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 14,207 See in context

So are you saying 5:30 AM or PM 5:30 at either point is not Rush hour in Tokyo and Definitely not on the route you mention.

Try Chiyoda from just about any point North at 7:00 to 9:00 or returning North at 19:00 to 21:00.

Same applies to Hibya same time slots.

The words "sardine Can" come to mind.

I don't recall claiming that 5:30 was rush hour. I simply responded to a question about what time I was on a train.

Then again, as I mentioned, people on here have a tendency to interpret pretty much everything in light of their personal biases, so...y'know what the kids say today: "What - ever".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 4,166 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 14,207 See in context

...with increased vaccines being given.

I'll accept that argument if you can point me to data which shows areas in Japan where the provision of vaccines has shown a marked increase.

I'm still trying - daily - and failing to get a reservation for my first shot, and I'm trying a triple pronged attack: the mass centre at Otemachi, the local centres, and the local clinics. So far, nada.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

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