Mike Critchley comments

Posted in: Philippine President Duterte to visit Japan next week; won't meet emperor See in context

Biggest scumbag in Asia. Duterte is nothing more than a narcissist sociopath who was handed a license to mass murder thousands by the population of the Philippines. What's worse is that they still supported him long after reports were going out about the execution-without-trial killings happening all over the country. This guy shouldn't be visiting anywhere except a jail cell.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Hikers advised to get insurance against mountaineering accidents See in context

WeiWei hit the nail on the head here. People plan hikes (i.e., set dates) long in advance of the hike. And they will proceed with the hike even if the weather looks to be unusually wet or cold. Combine with that the fact that most people who hike are fair-weather, relatively inexperiences hikers, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Furthermore, as with many things, Japan's nanny state has kind of lulled people into a sense that everywhere is safe. Mountains aren't safe. Staying overnight away far from civilization is never safe if you aren't prepared. These high numbers of incidents don't surprise me at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, EU still apart in free trade talks; dairy products remain issue See in context

Ah yes...free trade. Which, for those who don't already know, translates in Japanese into...

"We want free access to your markets, but we won't give you any access to our price-fixed domestic markets protected by tariffs."

Why do countries even bother? Just tell Kishida to leave ALL his tariffs at the door and understand that free trade is just what it says. Otherwise, he can sit the next round out brooding and puffing away at the local kissaten, grumbling about how unreasonable and insensitive these gaijin are to the special needs of Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: 2 elderly women jump to their deaths on rail tracks See in context

Not sure why the people saying that more barriers are needed are getting so many down votes. I'd suggest that while it's possible to "just go to another station," I'd imagine that some of these jumpers are people who are just standing there as usual and think, Oh sod it. A barrier might provide that lack of choice that will get them onto the train and hopefully onto a better and brighter day.

In this case though, yeah, these women weren't Thelma and Louise...they clearly went there with intent. And it's sad that we may never know what drove them to feel that they needed a way out of their life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe to propose major job-creating plan to Trump, reports say See in context

Delusional much, Abe? You can't even fix your own economy. How do you propose sweeping reforms that will create all those jobs in a foreign country? Idiot.

Although gotta be careful with that "idiot" word. Trump has re-defined it, and not in a good way.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: China changes start date of war with Japan to bolster patriotic education See in context

Totally understandable that the powers that be in China...whose biggest fear is the general population actually calling the leadership on their BS...would want people to focus on the war. Instead of...say...the 45 million who died under their hero, Mao.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Posted in: Panel urges Olympic venue changes as 2020 Games costs likely to top Y3 tril See in context

who won the bid largely on Japan’s reputation for efficiency

If it were a competitive internationalized Japanese company doing all the preparations, this argument for efficiency might be valid. But we're talking about the J-government here. And the J-gov (or any government, for that matter) ain't known for spending control and efficiency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo begins taxi service trial with starting fares of 410 yen See in context

Chalk up one for righteous deflation, and another blow to Abe's misguided attempts to inflate prices.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says it is his duty to revise constitution; calls for debate See in context

I don't know, does cramming his right-wing goals of militarizing Japan to make it "beautiful" again qualify as "debate"?

Read my lips Abe, "Stop farting around. Do your job and fix the freaking economy!!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 7-month-old baby killed after mother knocked off bicycle by car See in context

The only thing that surprises me about this article is that we don't read news like this daily.

In my years in Japan, I saw moms driving with kids in a front and back carrier, on their backs, and rarely with helmets on. All it takes is for her to lose balance and just have the bike fall over -- that would be enough of an impact to kill a child if their head hits pavement.

Given how much of a nanny state Japan is, with "danger" signs all over the place, that they let this practice continue means that the J-government is partially to blame for this child's tragic death.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Organizers opt for harmony in new Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo See in context

I think I'm going to become a logo designer in Japan. Create some boring, mono-color POS...then wax poetic about it,sit back, and watch all that sweet cash pour in. Cha-ching!

Next time ask a class of 5-year-olds to give design ideas. They'll likely be more inspirational that this yawn-inspiring logo.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's far-flung island defense plan seeks to turn tables on China See in context

Although I think Japan stirred up this particular kettle with their initial nationalization of the Senkaku / Diaoyudao Islands, this is one time I agree with pushing back. It doesn't matter who started this one. China will keep pushing out to control the entire region if not given a not-so-gentle nudge back.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Bangladesh asylum seeker deported after working for years in Japan See in context

I have no problems with this.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan cuts female leadership goal in blow to 'womenomics' See in context

@sf2K - I was just going to write about that.

For those who haven't heard, when newly-minted PM Justin Trudeau was asked why he immediately instated a gender-balanced cabinet, his reply was to just look at the reporter like she had just asked the stupidest question ever and replied, "Because it's 2015." https://youtu.be/cqhMse--cLw

While I applaud this, and think the world should all be like this, getting there in Japan won't be easy. I worked a lot of years at a university in Japan, and I rarely met female students who were aiming at careers beyond getting any job that would lead to marriage and kids ASAP.

Setting a target like 30% in this environment leads to the same danger as the 2% inflation target of Abenomics. Abenomics is a disaster not because of the 2% target, but because of how Abe and his stooges are trying to achieve it. They are trying to hit that 2% by devaluing the yen to make things more expensive (bad inflation), instead of creating more value in the consumer market through innovation, deregulation, higher minimum wages, and supporting and protecting smaller businesses that have something of value to the market place, making people WANT to buy stuff because they have more money, driving up prices (good inflation).

This 30% target has also failed -- as will the 7% target also likely fail -- because Abe's concern has been to just promote up ANY woman on the basis that she has two X chromosomes, rather than choosing the best and brightest. Why? Because the best and brightest aren't there yet. As long as Japan continues to be dominated by boorish, misogynist, aging old idiot men who resist change at all cost, there simply will be too few women wanting to strive for those positions. Screw that! Fire all the old dudes. Get more young people of any gender who have intelligence, drive to improve Japan and the life of Japanese people, and the personality to lead into the work force and political arena. Do that, and I'd bet as many women as men will start to take a career in business and politics more seriously. Then we can start talking numbers!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for killing bedridden mother See in context

@smithinjapan

you can understand to an extent the stress and frustration that must build at having to take care of a bed-ridden person 24-seven

Seriously? You're suggesting this kind of brutal bludgeoning to death of one's own, bedridden MOTHER is somehow understandable due to stress? Wow. And this apparently wasn't an isolated incidence, as the mother reported abuse prior to this grisly act of matricide.

Sorry, Smith, but I can't agree that there is ANY reason to show any sympathy or understanding to the daughter. Japanese hospitals are full of people who practically live there for long-term care. If the daughter couldn't deal with it, there are institutions that can. Nobody's mother was harder to deal with than my own in her later years, but even feeling that kind of anger at a sick, elderly person, no matter how bad the relationship was, is just unthinkable for a normal person.

This daughter should be put behind bars before she decides the stress of raising her kids, being with her man, or dealing with the local neighbors is too much and she decides to go a few rounds with them. RIP to the mother. Awful stuff going on in Japan these days.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Attackers in California shooting had thousands of bullets See in context

Farook “doesn’t agree that Islam is not a peaceful religion.”

Sure. And nothing screams peace like mass murder. Right. He sure showed her how peaceful Islam can be.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's whaling fleet departs for hunt despite international outrage See in context

Officials, including Abe, have long said their ultimate goal is the resumption of commercial whaling... Shimonoseki...is home to the whaling fleet and part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s election district.

'nuff said.

This guy would sell his granny to slavery to stay in power, so what's a few thousand whales.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan plans extra budget, handouts to pensioners to pump up recovery See in context

This makes perfect sense. I mean, if you're going to unabashedly buy votes, it's best to pay the demographic who do vote and tend to vote for your party. Giving to the young would clearly stimulate the economy to a MUCH greater degree -- because they spend on discretionary items -- but they are less likely to vote and to vote the way you want.

If nothing else, Abe knows how to be efficiently corrupt. Well played, sir. Well played.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't plans to raise minimum wage to revive economy See in context

I was so hopeful when I read the title of this article. At last! They are finally legislating a fair wage for all employees.

Wait a sec? 3%? You mean, not even keeping up with the increase in daily goods prices due to the gutted yen? Great. So the late-shift guy at Don-Quixote on premium part-time wages now makes 1030 yen an hour instead of 1000 yen an hour. And he's still making less than a few years ago thanks to Abe.

Note that this would work out to about ¥49,000 a year for a person on the current minimum wage working 5, 8-hour days a week, every week of the year. Which is about what he'll spend to cover the extra cost of cup noodles -- prices recently raised -- he'll be eating twice a day for that year.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Cup noodles and chocolates keep Abenomics' pulse beating See in context

Which Abe fanboy wrote this waste of digital ink?

So in yet another recessionary period we're to remain hopeful because cup noodles and chocolate sales are up, and because of a 1.5% increase in part time wages??

Must be happy pizza day at JT.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan its own enemy in push to improve cybersecurity See in context

Most useful JT slot-and-fill title ever. Can be used in almost any article about Japan.

Japan its own enemy in push to improve + (insert name of any social, political, educational, or industrial institution here)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's farmers eye export push, unfazed by TPP See in context

As other posters have written, only in Japan do consumers buy into the myth that Japanese fruit is magnitudes of order higher in quality than other countries; that $100 for a tiny melon or Japanese mango is worth it because of the love put in to growing it. I get amazing mangoes here at the market in Bangkok -- I mean, super amazing -- for about $3.5 a kilo (the "expensive" ones). As long as Japanese farmers and politicians continue to live and shop in their tiny swimming pool, they won't know that high quality fruit is everywhere on earth. Cherries from where I was raised in Canada blow the Japanese ones away. Time to get out and experience the real world outside of Japan, boys!

Having said that, one thing for which I will always applaud Japan is that they face any challenge when they are really forced to (individuals, that is...not politicians, who are a bunch of dirtbags). Until now, the farmers have just moaned and complained because they don't WANT to innovate. But I'd bet my bottom dollar that if the TPP gets ratified, these farmers WILL learn how to do it better and more cheaply than many of their competitors. After all, the fruit produced in Japan IS great. And I'd like to see them flourish and get that out to the world...just not at the insane prices they try to gouge people for now.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: How universities are trying to help worried parents by babying their students See in context

My uni also had PTA meetings several times a year. At first I was like, "Say whaaaat? Don't PTAs end in high school?" But in all honesty, at no point in a Japanese person's life do they become fully independent, so why should we expect universities to push students to be so?

In one example given above, they talk about homeroom class. Why not? They had it in high school. And they will have it again for the rest of their lives when they do the daily morning meetings at work where they just do a "gambarimasho" and maybe some stretching and yelling out some key phrases in unison that are key to customer interaction. They'll also have pre-meeting meetings for just about any organized activity outside of work. Even drinking sessions have someone stand up and do introductions and speeches before they get started into the beers getting warm on the table in front of them.

People also never have full independence from parents, having parent intervention and/or financial support when they marry, buy homes, go on vacations, choose schools for their children, etc etc ad infinitum. So again, that schools are acting as surrogate parents seems a logical service to provide given how much schools in Japan ask in tuition.

Is this all a good thing? I don't think so. Indeed, I would say that it explains Japan's economic and social decline during the 23 years I lived there. The rest of the world is speeding toward creating multi-skilled critical thinkers, and Japan is still bent on hammering down those pesky nails that are sticking out. And now Abe is going to rip the humanities away from universities as well. So I guess the thinking is that Japan's economic saviors will be a generation of coddled engineers taught not to think, but just build what they're told to. I don't think so.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: New law requires companies to set goals in hiring female execs See in context

It also only requires that targets be set, not met, and does not address a lack of enforcement of existing requirements for companies to give equal pay for equal work.

That line was about all you needed to write for this article. More useless tatemae.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 63% say Japan should stop apologizing over war: poll See in context

It's true. What Japan needs to do is stop apologizing...and instead use direct language to clarify what they did. The world is looking for Japan to stop refuting and questioning what was done in the past, and to stop glossing over a brutal military campaign with words like "aggressions." They want the young people to know why Manchuria is significant, and not simply give back a blank stare. They want Japan to know their history, but not feel they have to apologize for something done a generation or two before they were born.

History will not repeat itself if we LEARN from history and our mistakes. But changing history, ignoring historical issues, not confronting directly the deeds of our ancestors...and expecting that everything will be forgotten and forgiven if we just say sorry...that never ends well.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Why do 'ore-ore' phone scams continue despite so many warnings? See in context

What I don't understand is why the police and banks don't just shut these guys down. As one poster wrote above, security for us regular banking types has become ridiculous. My online banking is constantly opening with warnings, and even simple transactions require official ID and a registered stamp (annoying). I haven't opened an account for a while, but I assume some ID check and confirmation is done on all individuals opening an account. If that step is being performed, then why not just link the account back to the individual who opened it?

Even if the criminals are using hacked accounts as recipient accounts and transferring money electronically, there is ALWAYS a trail in Japan. Can anybody explain why these trails aren't being followed back to the criminals? I certainly can't be the first person in Japan to have thought of this. lol

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese designer refutes plagiarism claims in Olympic logo See in context

As a designer, the guy definitely did a wide image search around, probably looking at logos based around T. And as the logo is a fairly generic-looking one based around a letter (there are many T-logos...and there are only so many things you can do with a "T"), it's a slam dunk that similar designs exist. So while he might not have copied the logo directly, it's highly possible that he saw the Belgian logo, or one very similar, floating around somewhere and just thought, "Oh, that would be cool if I did something like that." But instead of doing "something like that" he just "did that."

There seems to be a feeling in Japan that copying from somebody is actually a good thing...but it's only copying if it's EXACTLY the same. Otherwise, as long as you put even a little bit of your own stank on it, then it's original and you can ignore pesky details like referencing sources or admitting that you straight-up stole stuff.

I see this a lot with students who submit work with massive amounts of plagiarized writing, but who honestly feel their work is original and that the plagiarized bits are just highlighting. Ditto with a lot of Japanese rock bands. They will say they were "influenced" by Offspring or Linkin Park...but they actually are straight-up stealing their signature sounds, stage antics, and their riffs. Watch any Maximum The Hormone song and you'll see what I mean.

So while it's possible Sano lives in a bubble without an Internet connection and never saw the logo before, I'd say it's more likely he DID see it in a search, but just considered it an influence, rather than straight up stealing. Fine if you're in Japan I suppose. Not fine if the logo is meant for international consumption.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Mount Fuji climbing season opens; free Wi-Fi available See in context

@yelnats: This from the web:

'The magma chambers located beneath Mt. Hakone and Mt. Fuji are not connected, so there is no effect on Mt. Fuji,' said Toshitsugu Fujii, who chairs the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions.

Seems they aren't connected. Which is good, as I plan on hitting Fuji for the first time in 23 years this August.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Pinched pensions limit Japanese consumer clout See in context

Real wages rose 0.1% in April, the first increase in two years

A whole 0.1%?!?! Wow! A 10th of a percent. Finally I can afford to buy once a month that extra-large size of mixed nuts at the convenience store I've been dreaming of. Thanks, Abe!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Flight attendant sues JAL for 'maternity harassment' See in context

JAL upper management engaging in sexual or maternity harassment?? Say it ain't so! (Said no female flight attendant employed by JAL ever)

I wish this woman were suing for 5X what she's asking, accounting for lost wages, personal hardship, and lost wages going forward as she tries to find new work.

And if JAL wants to show that it ISN'T run by scumbag, sekuhara, oyaji d-bags and set a good example to both corporate Japan and the public sector (yes, that means you, LDP), they should step up and offer 10X with a heartfelt apology.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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