Mike James comments

Posted in: How to prepare for Japanese drinking culture at work See in context

Did someone find this article in an old box from 1978?

Stereotypes and old useless information. History of life in a Showa-era company.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: 6 misconceptions about teaching English at a Japanese university See in context

This is not a university teaching position you are describing. You are describing a dispatch employee sent to teach conversation as secondary part of the curriculum.

The Ministry has guidelines for hiring of instructors and professors and according to the background you described, you would not have made the initial cut.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nursery school head, ex-employee to be charged over child’s death in swimming pool See in context

Inexcusable for a child to die in child care. But before you go jumping to conclusions, I would take closer look at the operator more than the teacher. Many, if not most operators are for profit, and make a lot of money from subsidies, which they pocket.

The really bad operators hire the bare minimum staff, pay the minimum wage, force unpaid overtime on them, make them work with only 3 or 4 days off a month, and then force a day schedule on them from 7am to 8pm. If they quit, they are blacklisted, and won't find work elsewhere. They are also trained to meet parents at the door with a smile and make sure the the parents don't ever see what really goes on behind the scenes.

I bet the one who left was cleaning up because they were one or two staff short, and if they didn't keep things running on time the operator would dock their pay.

If there is any industry in Japan which needs more oversight, it is child care.


7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's economy minister says Trump misunderstands trade See in context

Japan has been using these same nuggets since the 1980s. It’s amazing that no one remembers them or calls them out on it.


Why not scrape a layer deep and understand the definition of “domestic and imported content.” The critical parts of a car, especially the drivetrain, is always made in Japan and is imported to the U. S. It will never ever be made in the USA. Honda will say “Imported parts from Sayama Japan.” That is where Honda drivetrains are made.

Have you noticed all of the mid-tier shops opening up in Kentucky, Ohio and other states where a Japanese automaker is? It’s the automakers supplier who makes and resells critical parts for Japanse cars. If a part is made in Canada, it is considered domestic content as well.

The only part the US gets is dock, sales, and factory jobs. Some lower supervisory jobs, and non mission critical parts. Recalculate the percentage of pure American parts and the number changes drastically.

I will still buy a Honda, and somwill others, but you are mistaken if you think even 50% is American content.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Is there an equivalent of the Japanese word 'natsukashii' in other languages? See in context

Trying to find a one word translation for words is what gets many Japanese English learners all uptight in the first place and it is usually blamed on the textbook. Now everyone is helping.

There are generally three levels of translation, where there is an exact word, at the lowest level, and an explanation at the top levels. If you live and die by waves or snow, there are usually several specialized words in that area. If not, the culture does not develop a word as it is not needed.

You can find this with every language, so picking up Natsunashi as a sign of some sort of uniqueness is meaningless, but it might help some who are studying Japanese. Certainly not news, however.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Smoking-linked losses in Japan estimated at over ¥2 trillion See in context

@Meiyouwenti "There are smoking-linked gains too. Smokers’ earlier deaths mean fewer pension and nursing care costs."

Sorry, but this is completely wrong. The "gains" of pension and nursing are far outweighed by the absurdly high anti-cancer treatments, radiation therapies, nursing costs, doctor's salaries of treating the incurable (at the expense of other diseases), hospital costs, insurance payouts, as well as the human toll of young children having to watch a parent or grandparent die of emphysema, cancer or other preventable by-product of cancer sticks.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: The unspoken truth about international business See in context

Most of the content in this article has been lifted from Edward Hall and others which were disussing these ideas in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Presenting them as new or not giving credit to those who have published these ideas before is cheating—in any culture.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Deaths from heatstroke quadruple to 96 people in July in Tokyo See in context

@kwatt: You said "It seems to get hotter every year from this year. a little worried about home air conditioner in the future. Japanese air con is good working and reasonable cost between temperature -5° and +42° of outside air. It is said that higher than +45° does not cool room any more. So this kind of air con can't be used in very hot desert."

There are natural variations in the earth's temperature and it "seems" is hardly a reason to worry. I can remember more than a few relatively cool summers in the last 10 years. No trend when we consider the millions of yearly datapoints.

BTW: Where has it been 45 in Japan? Last time I checked Japan is not a "very hot desert." What is your point?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Ruling party lawmaker says LGBT couples lack 'productivity' See in context

People can do and what they want. One poster said “What is psychology [sic] wrong with people that can’t accept those who are different?”

The same logic means that LGBTQ people should accept and allow arguments that do not line up with their ideas or ordeals.

In other words, logically and morally, if people can’t accept the opinions of those who don’t agree with LGBTQ values, we should ask, in the words of an LGBTQ supporter “What is psychology [sic] wrong with people that can’t accept those who are different?”

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's push for telework hoped to ease traffic during Olympics See in context

Wow. And you wonder why JAL is Japan's second best airline and will never be world class? JAL has no real international reputation, and the people awho work there, mostly government dinosaurs and those who could not get a job at ANA or at Spirit, are just a little slow? Read her comments:

'"Usually I come home late. But by using telework, it is easier to secure time for communication with my children," said Horio, sending her three children out for the day.'


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Record heat broils Japan, prompting warnings See in context

"...issued new warnings Monday as a deadly heatwave blankets the country, producing record high temperatures in Tokyo just two years before the city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics."

Well, it is an interesting twist to cover today's problems by linking it to something that is two years away. Useless. For those of is stuck in this weather and for the athletes, the sentence makes no sense.

Participating countries should be seriously considering pulling out of the summer games NOW, unless the dates can be moved to ensure that their athletes will not die, while old Mooooori, who will be wheeled into a nice comfortable air-conditioned room with some young girls and a cool drink to watch an event he does not undrstand, counting his kickbacks. Then he will be off to a nice chilled limousine back at the penthouse suite they have reserved for him during the games.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Search and clean-up work continues as flood death toll tops 200 See in context

"Disasters set off by torrential rains have become more frequent in Japan, perhaps due to global warming, experts say. "

Which experts are these? The comment does not fit with the article. This is about the disaster, not about global warming. The "experts" should find better ways to deal with the disaster instead of taking a political chance. Same with JT for running an unsubstantiated claim.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Posted in: Transgender professor fails to win mayoral election See in context


What difference does it make if one is transgender, gay, or whatever? “

If it didn’t matter, then it should not havebbeen part of his/her platform. By announcing it, it becomes relevant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Akita Prefecture may be glimpse of Japan's graying future See in context

If they gave me some land, tax-free, and thee are some single young women who would like to have a few kids, I'll go. Give me a job in the city hall arranging for baseball games and a nice new Daihatsu kei, and what could be finer? Oh, and my Tokyo salary too.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Women's university in Tokyo to accept transgender students See in context

Ochanomizu has a very mixed reputation and the (already low) educational standards there have been in decline for a long time. They discriminate against men in hiring (blatantly, in public databases and don’t even bother to give a reason), the management imposes arbitrary term limit on teachers so they can fire at will if someone does not tow the feminist line (yes, they check), and the salary for teachers is low but very high for management.

I bet this is move is twofold; one, to get more exchange students who pay full tuition, and two, to create a buzz for the university that has been falling ever since rational discussion was eliminated and any discourse except radical feminism shut down discourse on the subject.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Number of trained 'dementia supporters' tops 10 mil in Japan See in context

"To become a volunteer supporter, a person needs to complete a 60- to 90-minute training session... 10.15 million people have completed the mandatory sessions, including instructors as well as those who have taken the course multiple times."

Well-intentioned but just how much can you learn in 60 minutes? And how did 10 million people get this training? I have a feeling all public servants were given a seminar for three years in a row and one or two public sessions were thrown in at local schools. Better than nothing but has it helped?

BTW--Why would an "instructor" take the same course multiple times?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Car carrying five 13-year-old students crashes, killing one in Okayama See in context

"hit a pole on the median strip" Really?

Look at where the impact was. Left side center. The impact was so hard the damage went through the crumple zone and bent the door open which is latched on to the horizontal frame. If the car "hit a pole," why is the front still intact but bent by the impact from the side?

There was a lot more involved than hitting a pole. How can you hit a pole from the side?

I used to drive the neighbors kids back and forth to the movies or shopping center in a van, and one of the parents scolded me (and then I was scolded by my bitter half) because I stopped the van and went back and re-buckled a couple of kids in who had unbuckled themselves and were climbing between the seats.

I traded the van in the next day for a sedan, and told my wife that if the prevailing attitude was I was wrong for making sure the occupants were buckled in, we will not be shlepping kids around anymore, and I would take our kids, or they would not be going.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokio Marine scouts for Asia, U.S. deals with $9 billion war chest See in context

So Japan’s largest property-and-casualty insurer by market value makes almost half of its profits from a few overseas purchases, but all that Japanese infrastructure, sales offices, and insurance programs are lagging.

Why not just close the Japanese operations which are dragging the company down?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan cosmetics firm Kanebo seeks to promote 'J-beauty' to world See in context

Anytime a Japanese CEO tries to export some product based on some unique aspect of Japan, it usually fails miserably, much like the billions of yen they spent on Cool Japan.

If they would just sell their products with humility, they end up doing a better job.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan warns U.S. auto tariff would cost American jobs, damage world economy See in context

Creating sales and port jobs, yes. Designing and some marketing too. Factory jobs too, but not what you might think. Most of the tech firms associated with the Japanese auto industry went to the US quietly, under the radar. The most important parts of cars are still imported from Japan and NOT made in the U.S.

Automotive technology revolves around the drivetrain. Look at any imported car, say Honda.

Final assembly point: USA.

Engine and Transmission? Imported from Sayama, Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Airbnb, Uber woes show Japan does not share easily See in context

@Yubaru: "THIS is Japan, and when foreigners start pushing new things the establishment here tends to push back, and rather hard too!"

I think you missed it here. For the longest time, Japan and Japanese organizations routinely use foreigners or foreign countries as you know, 外圧 to push agendas which would not be tolerated by Japan as a whole.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: TV ‘talent’ Becky dating minor league baseball coach See in context

@Civitas Sine Suffragio: Why not just keep it simple and use the fine English translation: “Home Wreaker.”

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo gov't passes strict anti-smoking laws See in context

Ingenious! Here is the plan. "Restaurants can set up an indoor smoking space but customers cannot eat or drink inside the smoking area." So all they have to do is make two areas without any separation. They can call one are the "smoking place" and the other space "the room" and not even block it off. Everyone is free to smoke in The Room, but allow smoking only with no food at the two tables in the "smoking place."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Virginia restaurant refuses to serve White House press secretary Sarah Sanders See in context

Just call it plain stupid. You can’t just refuse tinserve someone because you don’t like them. Such a fine attitude by the left will put us back 50 years.

The owner asked for “honesty, and compassion, and cooperation,” but shows none. Hope she goes bankrupt.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Unlicensed lodgings remain listed on Airbnb after new law takes effect See in context

Well, AirBnb sucks, and shifting the onus to the government is par for the course. AirBnb said “"If (the government) makes us aware of any listings with inaccurate registration details, we will remove them immediately,"

No, just add a field in the database which can be populated with a number. No number, listing goes offline.

"We are also working hard to remove listings that do not appear to have a legitimate registration number."

BS. They could if they want to. They are seeing how far can push the government. Typical AirBnb. Cheats.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Woman gets 9 years in prison for killing husband with lethal dose of insulin See in context

"54-year-old woman . . . murdering her husband . . . then 70." Hmm. Insurance payout? Looking for a younger man of 60 or so? Nine years makes her 63 when she gets out. Smart judge.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Train company under fire for ad saying defenselessness is a form of femininity See in context

Momoe Waguri, an associate professor, has way too much time on her hands. Maybe she should conduct more research and make fewer comments which don't serve any useful purpose.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Posted in: S Korea conducts war games to defend islands against Japan See in context

@afanofjapanToday: "I dont get why Japanese would continue to bring these up." Did you read the same article as we did? The article is titled: "S Korea conducts war games to defend islands against Japan," not 'Japan conducts war games to defend islands against S Korea."

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Posted in: FamilyMart relaxes customer service rules for sake of foreign workers See in context

Stupid and petty. It is not that hard to say ''Mata okoshite kudasaimase.' Hear it once in training, hear it once in store, and then it is fine.

The problem is when Management, with waaaay too much time on their hands, have to make it much more difficult that necessary, and add a useless explanation. Employees can read this at night instead of taking an Ambien, or in a language school class which is probably staffed by ex-FM executives. lol

I, for one, will boycott family Mart until they stop acting so arrogant, and frankly, stupid.

----Family Mart Hype and BS-----

"But that’s not all. Japanese has a systematic form of grammar used for respectful speech, which requires adding an o- to the beginning of a verb, lopping off its last syllable, changing that removed syllable to its corresponding stem ending (for which there are multiple methods depending on the base form of the verb), then adding the preposition ni and the appropriate form of the verb naru (usually “become,” but meaning “do” for this purpose) onto the end. So koshite would be no good. It’d have to be changed to okoshi ni natte, which would now give us “Mata okoshi ni natte kudasai.”So with a growing number of employees who aren’t native speakers of Japanese, FamilyMart has decided it’s simpler to just have its clerks say just Arigato gozaimasu (“Thank you very much”) instead of Arigato gozaimasuMata okoshi kudasaimase (“Thank you very much, and please come again.”)."

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Posted in: Japan's home-share listings grow ten-fold on month to 1,000 ahead of new law See in context

Who wrote this? The article says Japan's home-share listings grew" ten-fold on month to 1,000..." and have crossed the 1,000-mark. This means it was down to 100 listings last month. If there were 62,000 listings "earlier this year" which means the number of listings is down 98.38%.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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