michaelqtodd comments

Posted in: Japan in line for more Tier One games See in context

I am a big fan of Japanese rugby and it is exciting that they have beaten Ireland and Scotland. Before we get too carried though look at how the Sunwolves performed in Super Rugby this year. Well behind the other 15 teams and a points differential of -290. About 20 points a game on average. Teams have to fly all the way to Tokyo to play them in one off games but still managed to thrash them. Sunwolves had practically the whole Japanese World Cup squad and coaching team. They also had several other regular players including their top scorer Hayden Parker, who are not available to play for Japan.

The change to a 5 year qualifying period will hit them quite hard too.

The Sunwolves have been dumped from the competition after 4 years of perpetual failure. Japanese rugby refused to pay the annual licence fee any more and want to put the money into their own competition from 2021.

Am not sure that this will improve the performance of their national side, it is not doing much for France for example.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: School lunches keep Japan's kids topping nutrition lists See in context

Kids also learn discipline, routine, cooking and cleaning skills, teamwork and have fun preparing and eating the meals together.

Has always surprised me why other countries do not copy this system.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Posted in: Man forgets wallet with ¥2.8 million in it on Yamanote line; cleaner who found it nabbed See in context

I found a very expensive looking handbag in a residential street in Shibuya once and handed it in to the police at the station. When they opened it they found a lot of money and some jewellery.

About 3 days later I got an envelope in the mail containing what I think may have been all the cash as it was an irregular amount about 225,000 yen and a thank you letter. The woman also sent me her phone number and invited me for dinner!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan names Rugby World Cup squad See in context

In this way the games between Japan and Samoa, Italy and Canada and between Fiji and Georgia would have real meaning and the "Qualifier" semi finals and final could be played on the final 2 Wednesdays of the tournament which would fill in the long gaps and maintain interest. Argentina or France will almost certainly come out on top and grab the qualifying spot but it would really improve the tournament

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan names Rugby World Cup squad See in context

Japan might squeak past Samoa but only a serious optimist would have them beating Scotland and as for Ireland I would say almost zero chance. All in all somewhere between a 1 and 2% chance of reaching the quarter finals.

The World Cup needs to have a "B" competition where the 3rd teams in each group play semi finals and a final with the prize automatic qualification for the next World Cup

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Colonial-era Korean laborers want Mitsubishi compensation See in context

It is ridiculous that my Japanese children and grandchildren should "shamed" into apologising and paying for something that happened over 50 years before they were born.

It is surely obvious that Japan would not have made the payments it has if these payments were not final.

Enough of this. Think it through. There has to be a cut off point and almost nobody still alive played any part in this. Japan has said sorry a lot and paid money according to the agreements that were made.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Players hope World Cup successes turn into greater support See in context

$4 million prize money compared with $38 million ??

The TV audiences for any of these games was huge. The England - USA game was the most watched sports event in 2019 so far in the UK I think.

This puts the women back in the early 1970s when players in sports like tennis and gold had to fight for recognition. Surely they deserve at least a quarter of what the men get? That would mean another doubling of their prize money for 4 years time.

The level of play and stamina really has improved across the board and nearly every playoff game if not all in the last 16 were really hard fought.

The transfer fee of a top woman Sam Kerr is $1 million compared with $200 million for the top men. Look for this to change radically over the next few years.

Equal pay maybe no but a quarter yes for sure

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Amid plague of U.S. mass shootings, 'heroes' emerge See in context

There is a lot of money in guns the economy will always come first.

Did you see the house in LA with over 1000 guns in it on the news today? Estimate the number of guns in America then triple the number you guess.

The Wild West era never really ended. The constitution wanted to offer some protection from looters and robbers to those who did not have a sheriff in their town. Now it is still used to justify drive by killings and housewives carrying a piece in their handbag or their glove box when they head to the all.

Madness all of it.

Trump just fuels it by laughing and cracking a joke when somebody at his rally recommends shooting immigrants. The crowd all cheered.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Ghosn indicted on aggravated breach of trust charge See in context

If this charge alone is proved then surely Ghosn will spend at least 5 years in prison. This is a lot of money and it seems that it will be difficult to defend.

I do not agree at all with how he has been detained again and again but he does seem to have been incredibly greedy. Not sure at all why he could not have just been paid say $50 million a year instead of being paid $10 million and having to "sneak" the other $40 million by all sorts of illicit schemes. Presumably in order to avoid taxes?

Hopefully for the good of everyone all his assets are captured and he pleads guilty to all the charges and goes to prison forsay 12 years with a minimum of 8. I pay my taxes and would expect to be in trouble if I got caught avoiding paying them on $40 thousand let alone $40 million

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

Posted in: France respects Japan's judicial procedures regarding Ghosn: Le Drian See in context

Good that Carol Ghosn got away. Here is the story about it https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2019-04-06/carlos-ghosns-wife-says-french-government-should-do-more-for-ex-nissan-boss-ft

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Ghosn, lawyer protest his rearrest; prosecutors confiscate Ghosn's wife's passport, mobile phone See in context

Says here she used her US passport to fly to France on Friday the Japanese police only took her Lebanese passport https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2019-04-06/carlos-ghosns-wife-says-french-government-should-do-more-for-ex-nissan-boss-ft

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn, lawyer protest his rearrest; prosecutors confiscate Ghosn's wife's passport, mobile phone See in context

This is confirmation that the Japanese police just make up the rules as they go along when it comes to foreigners and rights. Was probably naive to hope for anything different. Mrs Ghosn should apply for a new passport I guess. You can get them in a few days. If I was her I would get out quickly before she is locked up for a few months without trial too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nagano eyes luring tourists with scenic Japan Alps bike route See in context

Biked along the 254 road from Mochizuki to Saku and back most days for 3 years was beautiful. Also biked to many other parts of the prefecture. There are great areas on the sides of the roads to bicycle on around most of Nagano. Enjoy!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn served 4th arrest warrant; calls it 'outrageous' See in context

All any of us want to know is the truth so obviously Ghosn should have just made a press release rather than warning he would do it. No reason his lawyer or his representative cannot do this on his behalf at any time though so bring it on.

Is against natural justice for Japanese police to keep these new charges in reserve. What else are they holding back? How many times can they do this?

How many times can a man be arrested? Or is he forever damned? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Angry over Brexit delay, 'Leave' supporters march through London See in context

Barely any chance of a strong majority coming from an election. Opinion polls are pretty much 50/50. Politicians have done barely anything but have extra elections and discussed and voted about Brexit for past few years anyway.

I am no fan of Brexit but what I do know is that when they voted or chose to abstain the "Remain" camp accepted that Brexit meant Brexit. It was meant to happen 2 days ago and for some unexplained reason never did. This fact already has severely eroded trust in the democratic process.

This loss of trust will in the long term be much more damaging than Brexit itself. Political system needs fixing fast

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: N Korea calls for investigation into Madrid embassy attack See in context

Haha yeah so true. That idiot Trump had a meeting with Kim so now North Korea are acting like they are some kind of legitimate country. What next?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Ghosn held $260,000 Rio party billed to Renault-Nissan, documents show See in context

Wow now over 3 months in prison for Ghosn and no end in sight. At least it will be getting a little warmer in his cell. I wonder how many foreign executives have turned down chances to work in Japan because of all of this. Ghosn has had no chance to respond to a long list of allegations. Prison is for people found guilty of crimes. This guy actually saved and created a lot of jobs and made his company money. Sure he was creative in the way he paid himself but nobody in the company stopped him. This is more of a civil matter than criminal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn allegedly used Nissan fund in dealing with personal investment See in context

That is a lot of money but I think that Japanese police should have to show that there is no reason why all charges could not also have been brought at the time of his first arrest. Otherwise he should be released to his home under strict bail conditions.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Ghosn re-arrested for aggravated breach of trust See in context

Deru kugi wa utareru? "The nail that stands up will be hammered down."

No Japanese CEO who was not the founder would have behaved like Ghosn. This was never going to end well. Ghosn needed regular cultural advice about how far to push things as a gaijin or even a non founder in Japan he only has himself to blame. They might have as many as 30 more potential crimes that they can drip on him. Drip drip drip....

-28 ( +3 / -31 )

Posted in: Cohen claims Trump knew hush money payments wrong See in context

Trump has now lasted 2 years probably a year more than he expected to. He must think it is all hilarious. Meanwhile him and his supporters are destroying the environment like a wrecking ball. He needs to be stopped right now for everybody’s good. Not sure how we stop Pence from continuing it all but at the very least Trump has to go. There is enough on him now with what Cohen has confessed to and what the AMI and National Enquirer have admitted, the audio tapes etc so impeachment and indictment actions should begin. He may even just give up when faced with the weight of it all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese fishing boat owners charged in Hawaii with helping smuggle shark fins See in context

Sharks are all but gone. After 400 million years keeping the ocean food chain balanced we have managed to wipe them out in about 40 years. Once they are gone we are gone as far as I can see. Once the oceans die we die. Is very rare to catch fishermen like this so the book should be thrown at them. 5 days in prison? They will all risk that for the big money involved

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese prosecutors say they will detain Ghosn as long as needed See in context

I went to 2 very short meetings with judges and a police prosecutor both were conducted in quite formal Japanese and I was not allowed to have a lawyer present. The police and the judges involved made it very clear from the start that they were "rubber stamping" meetings. The purpose of the meetings were permission to detain me and to extend my detention. For breaching immigration regulations regarding visitor visas presumably but I am not even sure that they have to state exactly why you are being detained. I was allowed to speak but they gave no indication that they were listening. No notes were taken and I am not even sure if anything was recorded. I was urged to plead guilty at both meetings but I did not.

Being detained is different from being charged with anything. The policeman who took me back to my cell told me he had never seen a judge turn down a prosecutor's request to detain or to extend detention.

After I was finally released after 53 days I went to a lawyer to enquire about a false imprisonment claim she told me that there was zero chance of success as no rules had been broken and that all I would do was piss off the Japanese police and the immigration authorities and make my future in Japan more difficult.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese prosecutors say they will detain Ghosn as long as needed See in context

6 years ago I was detained in solitary confinement for 11 days then in a 5 person cell for another 43 days after that. I was never charged with anything. I was never actually even close to being charged with anything I do not think. During the 11 days of solitary I never met anyone, the food was terrible and it was cold. I had nothing to read so the days were fairly long. Police were merely trying to give me a hard time. I eventually got allowed out on bail and never heard anything more about it. I had lived in Japan for over 10 years and had zero previous contact with police so it was quite a shock.

I travelled to a town to interpret for a Canadian TV crew making a documentary about dolphin killing but I only had a visitor visa. They kept trying to get me to confess to taking money but they did not have a scrap of evidence. This is the Japanese way and is unlikely to change. Like other countries you just take the good with the bad in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Hundreds of migrants push on to U.S.-Mexico border bridge See in context

Trump's support base of 23.9 % of the voting public who scream "build the wall" at his rallies will be watching how this plays out closely. He will not dare let the down so it may well get ugly. These guys have come a long way from Honduras and will not be planning on returning. Did someone feed the idea to these people that America would somehow just let them walk in?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: More than 1,000 still missing; 71 dead in California fires See in context

Have been about as many buildings burned down in California in the past year as in all other years combined. Warmer and stronger winds which will get warmer and stronger each year from now on. Need regular work bees and people employed to go out and thin forests to 100 trees an acre and to clean up dead trees and branches and leaves. New strategies for the new reality of climate change.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Women in Tokyo strongly back single-sex transport amid security fears: global poll See in context

This problem can be fixed so easily. Start putting the faces and names of chikans or up skirt photographers randomly in newspapers and on the TV news. Will eliminate 95% of the incidents overnight don't you think? Ditto for those selling drugs to children or shoplifting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe lays wreath at Australian war site in Darwin, 75 years after bombing See in context

Copied from Wikipedia. People in Australia lived in terror from multiple Japanese attacks against civilians for 2 years.

Japanese aircraft made almost 100 raids, most of them small, against northern Australia during 1942 and 1943. Land-based IJN aircraft took part in many of the 63 raids on Darwin which took place after the initial attack. The town of Broome, Western Australia experienced a devastating attack by IJN fighter planes on 3 March 1942, in which at least 88 people were killed. Long-range seaplanes operating from bases in the Solomon Islands made a number of small attacks on towns in Queensland.

Japanese naval aircraft operating from land bases also harassed coastal shipping in Australia's northern waters during 1942 and 1943. On 15 December 1942, four sailors were killed when the merchant ship Period was attacked off Cape Wessel. The small general purpose vessel HMAS Patricia Cam was sunk by a Japanese floatplane near the Wessel Islands on 22 January 1943 with the loss of nine sailors and civilians. Another civilian sailor was killed when the merchant ship Islander was attacked by a floatplane during May 1943

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Abe lays wreath at Australian war site in Darwin, 75 years after bombing See in context

Everybody in Australia knows about the Japanese attack on Darwin do not worry about that Ossan. Massive damage was done and over 300 killed.

If you ask any Australian or New Zealander about Japan they will probably say that they kill whales and make good cars. Japanese have zero idea about just how much bad publicity their whale hunts bring them in Australia and New Zealand.

Japanese submarines also entered Auckland harbour in New Zealand during WW2. A lot of Japanese spies entered Australia by submarine and parachute. The sinking of the Australian red cross ship and the terrible treatment of the prisoners of war will not be forgotten for several centuries. Japanese kids need to be taught all of this to understand why they are so disliked.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Posted in: Despair as crippling drought hammers Australian farmers See in context

90 day forecast for Tamworth shows prospect of maybe 30 -50 mm of rain which is barely anything. Maybe the farmers who have not already done so can get some money by selling their land to fracking companies who will poison all the aquifiers and raise CO2 emissions and fill the rivers and streams with chemicals. Fire season is also coming up in Australia and this summer will be brutally hot with El Nino conditions from November. Australia needs to focus on planting trees and developing renewable energy and ditch beef and dairy farming and fossil fuel exploration. But they will not because this is the age of stupid

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Rescuers search for survivors as flood death toll reaches 110; 79 still missing See in context

This is terrible and is becoming almost annual. There are literally millions of empty houses in other parts of Japan maybe some people from these danger zones could head there for a couple of weeks at this time of year?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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