Mike Walker comments

Posted in: Leaving Japan: What you need to do See in context

If you have permanent residency you can pay 6,000 Yen and keep it going for up to 5 years without coming back to Japan, so dont give in your gaijin card at departure.If you are on the health insurance scheme you can pay a minimal fee of 3,000 yen a month to keep pension and health rights current. However I would guess this will change.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Get your car washed by girls in swimsuits for Y10,000 See in context

They tried this in Kansai and has now stopped. The girls said they were raising money for the Tohoku disaster and would clean ones car for 5K and donate all the money. They were a bikini clad group and enjoyed their soapy work. I was last car there one day and they asked for a ride to the local railway station. It was a hot day and I obliged. One sat in the front and chatted very closely to me, while the others sat in the back of the car. I dropped them off at the nearby railway station. I noticed that my jacket on the back seat had been moved and upon inspection that my wallet had gone missing. This happened to me again a few days later and twice at the weekend.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: See Japan by rail without breaking the bank See in context

The Sieshun Ju Hacchi Kippu still seems to be available 3 times a year in holiday times, according to this website. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2362.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Theft of toilet from public park in Kyoto leaves authorities baffled See in context

A police spokesman said-" We have nothing to go on"!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 2012 a record year for Asia-Pacific tourism See in context

I would say this is likely to increase with the advent of LCCs like Jet Star, Peach and Air Asia. Japan was very slow to adopt cheap flights for everyone and still wanted to gouge rich fliers, cater for elites along with rip off loyalty air miles scams. No frills is now the name of the game and at last Japan is realising this. Well done PEACH. Happy 1st Anniversary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Could the way we behave on the train reveal our true personality? See in context

Ewan Harzamy,you made my day and I burst out laughing at your comment.Second comment but best.Thanks for that therapeutic giggle. Do you read Viz? You must be from the UK?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: TV drama captures public angst at 'Made in Japan' decline See in context

Everything will be resolved during World War 3 which is rapidly approaching.Japan really made great leaps after WW2,The Korean War and the Vietnam War.Economies need wars.I would imagine the sides to be Japan,USA.India and NATO against China,Pakistan a united Korea and possibly Russia.All the signs are already there.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Students forced to drink diluted acid as punishment at Aichi school See in context

Hydrochloric Acid can be diluted and its pH will increase towards neutrality. The concentration of HCL in the stomach is quite strong and can burn a hole in the stomach if there is a chemical imbalance there.This is an ulcer. In people who continually vomit the tooth enamel can also be eroded by this acid.I would suggest that the teacher did dilute the HCL in the chemistry lab many times and he did taste it first and it would taste like lemon juice or vinegar.Both dilute acids. However one of the most important lessons that students can get from chemsitry lessons is that there are many toxic and dangerous chemicals around that should not be ingested. Many that look like water.The students may now consider it a suitable punishment for others at the school,because the teacher did it, which could lead to serious problems.Best possible outcome would be a free transfer for that teacher to another school or a 5 year suspension without pay, to give him time to consider another occupation. Teachers must now be more alert than ever as many students do record these kinds of events with smartphones.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Top 10 places to ski like an Olympian See in context

Hey they forgot Nagano. Home of the Winter Olympic Games and some great skiing.

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Posted in: 10 things to do on a budget in Tokyo See in context

If you are on a budget Im sure you will not be in a hotel with a sumo stable around the corner,let alone having a concierge who can understand you.The writer then loses the plot and suggest Island hopping which is probably much cheaper on a ferry.Not sure which islands he is thinking about? Perhaps he just heard all these things in a bar back in Australia? Vending machines are everywhere in Japan and not just Tokyo.Most of the suggestions can be done in half a day and then what?

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Posted in: ANA launches Experience JAPAN Fare See in context

A bit late JT!! This campaign started off in July and was aimed at Summer tourists,although I cant think of anyone wanting to visit Japan in the Summer.As with most campaigns there are too many restrictions,airports are a long way from anywhere.Train package for tourists is a much better deal.

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Posted in: What were they thinking when they named these products? See in context

The Mitsubishi Pajero had to be renamed the Misubishi Shogun in many Spanish speaking countries due to the translation of pajero as hand relief in Spanish.Drivers did not want to drive a Mitsubishi W#####r!!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: How to deal with a student sleeping in class See in context

Many of the male students who tend to nod off in class have done long overnight shifts at convenience stores in order to pay for their new expensive smart phones.Girls dont work these graveyard shifts and often Daddy pays for thier phones and plans. I used to take photos of the sleepers,but am now a bit wary because of the new privacy laws which could backfire on the instructor. I once told all the students to leave the room very quietly and not disturb the sleeper. We all did and then I turned the lights off.We all peered in from the door windows and laughed when he woke up.If you ever walk past a Japanese teachers classroom you will find they are much more tolerant of this kind of behaviour then us.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Baby panda born at Ueno Zoo last week dies of pneumonia See in context

It was sad to see the baby panda being handled by the keepers bare handed. This would leave a scent on it that could possibly lead to rejection by the mother.Also mothers milk does contain certain anti biotic agents that give the growing cub partial immunity to infections, however Im sure the keepers would have been aware of this?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to make illegal downloading of music, videos punishable with jail terms See in context

They could easily stop this by throttling downloads with the co-operation of ISPs,limit downloads to a monthly amount and stop selling blank DVD-Rs and CD-Rs. Any electrical outlet store has huge amounts on display encouraging copying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Korean idol enrages Japanese netizens by eating instant noodles from the pot See in context

Nobody noticed she also has her elbow on the table.A huge faux pas in Japan -land of rules and regulations that foreigners dont undertsand.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Don’t fall into Japan’s tax traps See in context

These articles always end up saying its far too complicated to understand and you should contact a tax accountant or attorney,which Beacon Reports will lead you to and get commissions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Education can solve religion-science conflicts See in context

Americans distrust of science is possibly due to discerning it as a threat and danger to cherished beliefs and fundamental values.They are also probably distrustful of its democratising power,just as conservative elements distrusted the ascendancy of human logic in the eighteenth century which ironically helped spur the French and American revolutions. Perhaps they dont like the hubris of modern science and way it threatens to unweave the rainbow and take the magic and mystery out of life.Paradoxically many anti evolutionists happily embrace GM technology.The idea of Intelligent Design is not from the Bible,but a pseudo scientific notion aimed at challenging evolution.I always wonder if mankind does become extinct through some disease or cataclysm-will there be a second coming?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 8-yr-old girl stabbed by man while walking home from school in Matsudo See in context

Its a very sad story.I think parents should encourage kids to walk home in groups with the possibility of some older children being monitors.Im sure there are plenty of older people who would be willing to fulfill a valuable role as an escort for children who walk alone or who have busy parents.Its also a good idea to vary ones route home and times as often the ambush attack is made possible by observing a routine.Needless to say that if the attacker had been on a borrowed bicycle the police would now have him in custody.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Starbucks Discoveries See in context

It probably tastes similar to all the other brown muck concocotions which are made by grinding up loads of brown crayons, adding tons of sugar and a couple of molecules of coffee essence plus water. No indication of the mega calories it must contain. Its probable that 2-3 of those would supply the daily calorific intake for some of the skiiny girls around.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out? See in context

I think Makoto is slowly taking us on a journey that she herself is possibly one step ahead on.She is on an exciting trip of self discovery and often uses her past Japanese experiences to colour each milestone of her journey.Even her surname alludes to this-Rexrode-The Kings ride!!! Sorry Makoto. I like her articles and after reading so many student compositions and listening to speeches I feel some affinity with her style. She refers to things obliquely and sprinkles her writings with small gems that we have to locate and pick up in her narrative.We cannot see the whole picture as this is not her style. She is unlikely to indicate her whole resume to make things clear for us.She succeeds in giving us an impression and in many ways her writing in English is very much like a Japanese story that are often non linear,circuitous and avoid clear details, which Westerners often demand,egThe Tree of Life.Many of the comments demand this clarification of facts and reasons for various aspects of her life.I think her whole persona is one of attention grabbing and extrovertism.This is the only way to survive in the nomadic world she inhabits.Ive seen many children from forces families shrink into their own worlds after a life of continual change.Not investing any emotional energy into a relationship as they know it will soon be over.Others thrive by quickly making friends and contacts with full energy,possibly being percieved as weirdos,but not wanting to shrink away.I think Makoto is in this group.In her life she can take risks,experiment and try out new lifestyles,as she knows she will soon move on.Of course her blog will as well and this is why we can enjoy being carried along with her and waiting for her next article.Dickens would be proud of her along with her parents who have a bi cultural and bi lingual daughter.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: 11/11/11 -- It's also 'Pocky & Pretz Day' See in context

In the UK Pocky is called Mikado,because Pocky sounds too much like pokey which means a small and dirty place. We celebrated at 11.11 am and all my students remembered the day.One girl from China told us that in China it was lonely single persons day. A friend met the inventor of Pocky when working for Glico a long time back.The inventor didnt expect anything for his discovery and low and behold got nothing as patent rights belong to the company.He was just doing his job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ex-Olympus boss has no memory of cover-up See in context

You can always tell when a Japanese President is lying.Their lips move!!! No doubt the shredders are working overtime at Olympus and any paper trail is quickly being obliterated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: SkiJapan launches four free nights promotion See in context

Its going to a very tough ski season for many of the northern resorts and its a good idea to get in quick with some decent free offers.Domestic skiers will not be spending so much and will be cautious about being near Fukushima along with eating local foods.Ski resorts also consume large amounts of electricity which maybe still rationed up there.Foreign tourists will also be wary of Japan.However with the coming of low cost carriers and a inquisitive and wealthy Chinese middle class there might be some hope.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to double consumption tax to 10%, G20 action plan says See in context

Amazed that Japan is actually seeking help and listening to advice given by other countries.I wonder if Greece and Italy have given any advice? Borrow as much as you can from the UK and Germany and then ask for plundered art back or gold plundered in WW2 as a debt swap mechanism!!! Seriously though Japan seems to think 10PC consumer tax is OK as other developed countries have much higher rates of VAT.They fail to mention that high rates of VAT are only on luxury items.Food,clothing,books,newspapers and other essentials have a zero rating.If consumer tax is increased to 10PC you can be assured it will not go back down in the future. Once the Tohoku reconstruction is taken care of there all the problems of an ageing society and a massive public debt.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Planned naval base on Jeju Island has security implications for Asia See in context

I think its a good idea to meet force with force as China certainly has strategic plans in this area and China does and will respect a strong counter force which will help keep the peace.The Naval Bases will also bring prosperity to the Islanders as in the case of Okinawa and historically in the Phillipines-Clarke,Subic Bay etc.As regards UNESCO sites its often the case that nature thrives in such closely guarded areas where humans dont interfere too much.Just look at the N/S Korean border,which is a wildlife refuge at the moment.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Heatwave kills four, sends 900 to hospital throughout Japan See in context

Its very sad to read about the deaths of people due to heat stroke. Much of the problem lies with the behaviour people going on with regular activities and pretending to be seen to be busy.Its seems very difficult for Japanese to kick back and relax unless they are hidden from view.They seem to sheepishly rush around, take holidays when told to and carry as normal during heat waves. Surely a siesta style life would suit them more in the summer heat. Why not change lifestyles?They could have easily introduced daylight saving and made use of natural light in the morning.How about starting work at 6am and finishing at 12.Keep out of the heat until late afternoon and then go back to work. Staggered holidays and time off would also allow for a more flexible approach in avoiding the hotter times of year.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: No. of heatstroke cases reaches record in July See in context

A possible reason for this is that hospitals and clinics are allowed to run air conditioners at normal levels of cooling whereas for the rest of us we are told to run them sparingly set at 28 and to wear cool biz clothing.So why not tell a little white lie and check in for a few cool days and recover. They also advise using cooling fans which are almost impossible to get hold of at the moment. Another point is that records have only been being kept since 2008!!! Thats only 3 years.Hardly time to build up a statistically valid case study.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man, 19, arrested for beating girlfriend's 2-yr-old son to death See in context

It would be great if the authorities had a system where a red flag would go up everytime a non biological parent moves in with a single parent,especially in the case of a stepfather.Many western nursery rhymes serve as a warning of the fact that step relatives are unlikely to be kind and nurturing.The mother devoting and channeling her love into a child often makes a man jealous of that attention and then he sees the child as a threat. Im not sure that the new laws being enacted only make it possible for married couples to get the new child allowance,in which case we may see an increase in this sort of bahaviour as single mothers may be desperate enough to grab any man around. Its rare to see Japanese berating children in public and when it does happen it usually does cause a crowd to go silent,but not interfere. Possibly due to being unable to vent anger and frustration with children in public,anger is amplified when alone with a child in private and these terrible cases occur?

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