Mike James comments

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.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

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.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

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.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

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).

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

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.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Leopalace21 probe finds ex-president directed changing wall materials See in context

Leo Palace had a decent reputation for mid/levels apartments so who would have guessed? Who could know, and fire retardant materials? How nice to know that your 10 story apartment is not up to fire codes... This too was a story during the bubble, which precipitated each stage of construction requiring pictures to be taken at each stage. With Photoshop, who knows if the pictures are real. If you are living in an apartment, you’ll never know.

When a friend was having a house built, he told me members of his family took turns and pulled up a lawn chair, and took his own pictures along with the company names, construction workers, and all of the construction and materials.

Still no guarantee.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't investigates 700 foreign students AWOL from Tokyo university See in context

I hope this hasn’t surprised anyone; this scam been going on for twenty or more years now.

Some foreign students were even sharing bank deposit certificates (submitted to the same or different school) and other documents, and the forgery ring was (and still is) quite sophisticated.

It has been making it very difficult for honest exchange students to get a visa, admitted to a university, find an apartment, and not be considered a flight risk.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Omar furor reflects intensifying national debate over Israel See in context

Typical drivel. Other House members have been censored for similar or less. Omar should be stripped of her committees and then she can have more time to pow-wow with Farrakhan about her world views.

As for “views are shared by an ever-growing portion of younger generations in the U.S., including Jews” bad writing makes for a good point. If one Jew believed this and his friend joined it is a 100% increase. “Ever-growing proportion” is NOT a fact, it is simply a way to bs when you have no proof.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Otsuka Kagu head calls for father-daughter cooperation amid feud See in context

Otsuka Kagu has been a lost cause since the bubble era. They sell fair-quality quality products sourced cheaply overseas and marketed as "upscale" here. Now that any item can be easily priced over the net, the masses have seen how Otsuka Kagu has been ripping off customers.

Both the father and daughter ignored IKEA and Nitori and they should have opened Otsuka Light, instead of continuing to raise rices and hope that the image would carry them through. Most of the generation who bought from Otsuka are well into their 80s, and their children and grandchildren are enjoying meatballs at Ikea.

The Otsuka showrooms are drab, boring, and if you want to just take a look, you are REQUIRED to register with ID so they can keep your name and phone number.

On one level the employees will be the ones that suffer but I hope the battle brings down both the daughter and the father.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Mitsubishi jet starts test flights in U.S. to gain safety certification See in context

@AkieToday  Japan is awakening.

Awakening as Rip Van Winkle, from a nightmare of cost overruns, poor designs, bad understanding of aerospace realities, into a living hell in competing in a market which is already saturated with better products.

The Mits jet has nothing special to offer the market unless it so heavily subsidized that it is dumped. Even then, parts, maintenance, and other issues which would need so much work for so few planes it would not make it an attractive purchase, say for a few Japanese feeder routs.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

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