COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

Mike James comments

Posted in: What will life in Japan under a state of emergency look like? See in context

@rgcivilian1: You may be new to Japan, but the Constitution and several laws clearly prohibit "the police to close all exits out of the declared prefectures and not allowed anyone exit those areas."

Unlike some neighboring countries, Japan cannot simply weld the door to your apartment shut, or arrest you while you go buy a sack of rice. Or, just leave your home to take a walk.

However, if you want to live in a police state and be subject to the whims of the leaders , I will be the first to wave to you as you leave on your flight out of Japan.

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Posted in: Abe to declare state of emergency for Tokyo, 6 prefectures See in context

"An expert on the government's coronavirus panel said Japan could avoid an explosive rise by reducing person-to-person contact by 80%."

Obviously an "expert on the panel" who has never taken a rush hour train across Tokyo. What a joke

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Posted in: Abe to declare state of emergency for Tokyo, 6 prefectures See in context

@TamaramaToday  There is no such thing as a "hard shutdown." Such activities are explicitly disallowed.

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Posted in: Abe to declare state of emergency for Tokyo, 6 prefectures See in context

@RecklessToday: You and a lot of others seem to misunderstand what is an emergency directive. An emergency directive is NOT a stay at home order.

Business are allowed to open and people can still move freely. You cannot be forced to comply with a lockdown as there will never be a lockdown.

The only differences will be that the government can claim limited Eminent Domain to takeover private hospitals, some transport, food , and pharmaceutical companies. Businesses do not have to close and no one can ask you to go and stay home. They can also 'request' training and other transport systems to slow down service. Very little else.

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Posted in: Airbnb to verify all 7 million properties to improve trust See in context

Of any single company in the world, I can think of no worse than AirBnB. They literally let people hang blowing in the wind in a typhoon (yes, first hand knowledge).

if they really cared about accuracy and fairness, they would not be taking 14 months to check their listings.

14 months to check rooms? They could do it within a month if they wanted to. They won’t. Why!

This is a PR campaign— simply lip service, as AirBnB spend millions on lobbying every year exactly for the purpose of skirting laws and not being considered a hotel where minimum standards exist.

This initiative will wither and die in 30 days. Some companies are too corrupt and evil to exist.

Do yourselves a favor everyone, and stay at a Hilton or a Sheraton, not at a “technology platform” company.

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Posted in: What’s the best part of Tokyo to live in, and why? Survey gives the top six picks See in context

Pollution? In Tokyo? Bwuhahahaha.

Just go spend three days in Beijing, and buy a pollution app: Tokyo was 37 (good) and Beijing was 188 (unhealthy/potentially dangerous). Tokyo is just fine.

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Posted in: NEC face recognition tech ranks first in U.S. test See in context


"If this was an American company getting first place you wouldn't say that."

No, I would say it about any product that would mis-identify 600,000 of 12 million in a test, and then one that will possible be responsible for falsely detaining or letting 730 potential criminals into a country.

This level of inaccuracy is unacceptable for a product of any manufacturer in any country.

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Posted in: Kyushu Electric to halt 2 reactors due to delay in anti-terrorism step See in context

The energy business is for profit — not for the public good.

TEPCO offers salaries much higher than even top-tier companies, and enjoys a monopoly. Kyushu Electric is no different. Retirement packages are multiples of ordinary companies.

The ¥8 billion is inflated 10x reality, assumes a premium on everything bought, and more than likely to include executive bonuses and other perks. Nuclear energy is an easy out for power generators, and after the not guilty vote in Tokyo last month, a safe one for them.

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Posted in: NEC face recognition tech ranks first in U.S. test See in context

Make that 600,000 of 12 million, 25 people day, 730 a year.

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Posted in: NEC face recognition tech ranks first in U.S. test See in context

“... an error rate of 0.5% when registering 12 million people.”

Or, we mis-identified 6,000 people. Assuming 5,000 people come through Narita on an average day, and this system will miss .05%, three people a day — more than 1,000 a Year — will be wrongly detained, or even worse, potential terrorists or those who should not be let into Japan, will be let loose on the streets.

If the NEC fingerprinting system is any indication of quality standards, I’d rather wait.

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Posted in: Man says he abused stepdaughter because efforts to discipline her didn't work See in context

My "disciplining was unsuccessful, and I started assaulting her as my anger grew"

What a winner of a father.

How could one human treat another human like this, especially a kid? Look at the picture. She was a normal kid. Sleeping, playing and not asking to be abused much less killed.

This makes me want to start a charity to protect children from parents such as this, fire the social workers who failed to save the life of this poor girl, and train a new generation who have the nads to do something when a kid's life is on the line.

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Posted in: Abe pushes for serious debate on constitution as Diet session begins See in context

@joyridingonthetitanic "... Lets get this done and return Japan to the state where it can rightly and respectfully defend its self! A constitution for Japan by Japan, not one forced on it by an occupying state!"

Sorry, but Japan tried "defending itself" once and just about destroyed Asia. So the occupying state came, saved the people, put in a constitution which is better but not perfect, and Japan is now enjoying an unprecedented era of relative peace and economic growth that is still the envy of Asia. Ask anyone old enough to remember the war and the aftermath, and they will profess an unwavering support for being liberated from a Japan that can "defend itself."

Considering Japan's track record of recent dealings with China, Korea, and Japan (bth provoked and unprovoked), Abe's smile while riding in the attack aircraft #731, and the abysmal response of the public to his efforts to revive grandpa's legacy, its not quite time yet.

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Posted in: Forever 21 to close all stores, online shop in Japan by late Oct See in context

If a brand succeeds it is thought of as "taking Japanese culture into account" and doing things that they would not do otherwise. Nonsense.

Starbucks fired two trading houses and a boatload of consultants because they advised against a non-smoking coffee shop, light colored interiors, take out drinks, and --OMG--tumblers. The told Starbucks that they didn't understand Japan.

Well, Afternoon Tea got it the first time, went against the "Japan experts" and brought a great idea to Japan and made it work. Not by changing it, but by providing a need. In the end, Starbuck took over, and forced the typical Japanese coffee shops to adjust.

Old Navy, Krispy Kreme, Taco Bell, Hollister, etc. H&M, and now Forever 21, were undoubtedly advised on the Japanese market by "market specialists" which loosens all the spare change they company can come up with, and ends up being the fastest road to downfall.

Remember, Uniqlo used to sell carrots and a few years ago, and was close to bankruptcy until Yanai-san got himself some help.

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Posted in: Beijing opens glitzy airport ahead of China's 70th anniversary See in context

Hopefully a tad better than current dark and dank Capital Airport with the bad customer service and decrepit infrastructure.

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Posted in: Trump gets victory in bid to block California tax return law See in context

@ulysses: It is extremely important to know if the President is under debt to foreign powers and as a result is acting on their behalf.

Releasing or requiring tax returns will not show if President is under debt to foreign powers. But it is not a bad idea.

Let's make it more through, and not just a tax return. Let's really check them out. Let's make it retroactive to all prior candidates, and their relatives as well.

Biden may have to explain how Hunter made a billion-dollar deal with a subsidiary of the Bank of China in less than ten days after he went there on AF2, and we should start asking about Hillary, who approved the transferring of 20 percent of the U.S. uranium stockpile, followed by nine foreign investors funneling $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.

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Posted in: Trump gets victory in bid to block California tax return law See in context


You are spot on! The requirements to run for President do NOT require aspirants to reveal where money has been earned. Further, a 1040 will not fully cover it anyway.

Perhaps the Gov can work on improving his Dem-controlled state where Bubonic Plague has a real chance of becoming ground zero for a pandemic.

Dems need to stop fooling around with trying to diminish the fact that they lost, and work on advancing a candidate who can win. And they need to find a candidate who can sing p-funk in tune, unlike their current loser of a candidate.

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Posted in: Post-typhoon blackout raises disaster readiness questions in Japan See in context

Local officials said Wednesday that the storm damaged at least 20,000 homes in Chiba, a sharp upward revision of an initial estimate of 4,000.

That is a 300% increase which is not “sharp.” It is completely off the mark and “upward revision” does not even begin to describe it. If a one yen move in the ¥$ exchange rate is a massive fall, 300% is incredulous.

I love Chiba but the reason why these areas are still without power is they don’t matter to Tepco or the government. Areas with revenue-producing factories or workers who commute to Tokyo had power back in minutes or hours. These poor people have been ignored. Aeon finally brought in one small truck from western Japan with basic supplies yesterday, even though their worldwide headquarters is in Chiba and suffered no outages whatsoever.

These areas are far enough away from Nagata-cho and Tepco headquarters that their pleas for help will never be heard. Look at the pre-fabs still in use in Fukushima eight years later, when the billion dollar Olympic housing is looking good.

Tepco and Nagata-cho are banking on the fact that the “gaman” spirit and the short attention span of the media and citizens will cover the tracks of incompetency.

FYI: Tepco executive officials are mostly silver-spoon Todai graduates who only care about how much profit Tepco makes.

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Posted in: People living on ¥1 mil a year: How do they manage? See in context


Horse Hockey.

Softbank paid 3.7 billion yen just in "back taxes" in 2018, and pays taxes indirectly on everything the buy through consumption takes on purchases of hardware, etc. They also pay 50% of employee pensions and insurance premiums as well. That is not "zero" by any means. Far from it.

Japan already has the biggest welfare state in the world (health care costs alone were ¥41.5 trillion in 2018). Health care is about as free as it can get: a basic doctor visit costs about $5-$10. How can Japan "start constructing an extensive welfare state" when it already has one?

Free income? Why? Encouraging companies to hire people and pay them more so they can live comfortably is the better choice (excluding the disabled and elderly).

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Posted in: Business emails deleted? Some advice to get yours read See in context

Is this a joke?

”"Why Being Smart Sabotages Your Business" or "My Mom Thought I Was Crazy."?

This is click bait such as one might find in Business Insider or spam, and I don’t know of anyone in a successful business who would open an email about someone’s mom.

Sorry, the author this author has never actually written a successful business email, and there are no facts that show the effectiveness of one over the other. Try again.

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Posted in: Gov't to use family name first in Roman alphabet in documents See in context

On official documents in the U.S., the last name is often used first, such as Abe, Shinzo. With a comma, the order is understood. But in ordinary conversation, all English-speaking countries use first name first, so this is a step backwards, and just makes the nationalists happy.

Ironically, the J-gov mentioned that China and Korea say their names backwards, but when should Japan need to follow neighbors who really don't care for Japan anyway?

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Posted in: Japan corporate profits tumble in 2nd quarter on U.S.-China trade war See in context

Word choices made to scare up dread and provide a clear misunderstanding of the facts. To wit:

Corporate profits in Japan plunged 12.0 percent in the April-June quarter ....

The fall followed 10.3 percent growth in the January-March period...

If a 12% drop is a "plunge" then why is 10.3% just "growth?" Should it not be a "hike" or "spike" or "jump" or something more spectacular?

So, the net result from January - June is a "minuscule" 1.7% "downward adjustment." Big Deal.

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Posted in: 27% of municipalities concerned over surge in foreign visitors in Japan: survey See in context

@yubaru: You obviously are unfamiliar with how Japanese government agencies put out statistical information.

Unfortunately I do. That’s why I made the comment. They ask the answers as a “choose one” resulting in too much reductionism in the results. The media is complicit, and if there was a way to make it look bad, they would. There was no bad news, so they used the bad data in a negative light, thus twisting the story to fit a narrative.

If the Nikkei closes down, it “closed lower” but if the NYSE drops by the same amount, it “faced a giant drop.” People never bother to look and think about the numbers, only the words.

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Posted in: 27% of municipalities concerned over surge in foreign visitors in Japan: survey See in context

This is absolutely great news! But most comments are from readers who misunderstood and are reacting negatively because they didn’t think about the numbers carefully.

Here is a better way to explain the results of the survey.

A whopping 75% don’t expect to have any problems, and an amazing 95% said they have NOT faced any problems due to foreign tourists.

So, what’s the point of this article? It’s a non-issue, and not a problem. 75% not expecting any problems is a great sign.

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Posted in: China's rust belt looks abroad as growth slows, tariffs bite See in context

"Governments including Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Nepal have scaled back or renegotiated projects they said were too costly or gave too little work to local contractors."

Hope they are not surprised. China gives them loans and then the loans are simply subsidies for Chinese industries. As if these projects were for other countries.... They are not ODA projects, these are projects financed by China and paid for by other countries for the benefit of China.

Make no mistake about the fact that when the countries default on these infrastructure loans, China will become the defacto owner of another counties infrastructure, and will control it at will.

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Posted in: Trump must choose between economy and trade war See in context

Long on "ifs" and short on details.

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Posted in: Airbnb touts Japan recovery, bolstered by hotel listings See in context

AirBnb skirts and flaunts laws, takes a large cut, but never takes any responsibility for their thievery. . They flaunted Japan’s laws and left honest hosts hanging. Have they changed? No.

The best reason to completely ban AirBnb in Japan is obvious, as espoused by the chief propagandist.

““Airbnb is leading the industry in terms of compliance,” Airbnb co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Blecharczyk said.” I would prefer a bed-bug free, clean and comfortable Conrad room anyday.

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Posted in: Is there a way out of the U.S.-China trade fight? See in context

Anything made in China and exported to the US is replaceable. Textiles from Southeast Asia, hi tech from Japan, and tourists from Europe. Other countries will gladly fill in if China decides to sit this one out.

Jet engines, rudders, anything wirh multiple moving tech (yes the billet trains work based on foreign technology), chips, and other high tech products which only the US can supply? China needs it badly and the technology to put it to use and make it run correctly. China needs to give a lot to make the partnership equal. China needs the world more than the world needs China. We can suffer if the price of sweat shirts rise at Wal Mart and as for tech, I trust DARPA.

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Posted in: Incoming emperor's life filled with breaks from tradition See in context

@semperfi "... Empress Michiko managed the transition with seamless grace" ... and "unparalleled serenity & majesty."

You need to study up before posting. Michiko's marriage and rise to Empress was nothing close to "unparalleled serenity & majesty." It was one of the biggest struggles ever documented.

And as an FYI, there are dozens of intriguing backgrounders on why Masako said no, and it was not only the Imperial Household, but her family, several universities, and some professors who were involved and had issues with the marriage. The story is much deeper than what is played up in the media. It might be the second biggest struggle ever documented.

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Posted in: 80% of young eels farmed in Japan may have been smuggled from Taiwan See in context

Hamamatsu has been known for its eels for a long time, but there is a story behind the story.

Even 20 years ago, there was news and rumor that eels were being brought in live and “processed” in Hamamatsu. Here’s why.

The area of “processing” determines origin under Japanese food processing law. Some sellers with low to no scruples were selling Hamamatsu eel from Taiwan even 20 or more years ago.

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Posted in: Vietnamese workers, streaming to Japan, face risks as labor system opens up See in context

@StrangerlandToday  ”I don't know what the exchange rate of credits to yen/dong is.” Reallly? Type it in Google and your answer is 232,100,000

But where do you know it was in VDN? The report says $10k so unless you have some inside knowledge, keep your opinions to yourself.

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