mikemiro comments

Posted in: Teacher’s verbal abuse, threats blamed for 15-year-old girl’s suicide See in context

i teach at several universities and always keep things extremely positive in classes. But its primarily because IMO students now are so sensitive to any kind of criticism that one has to keep comments or feedback super syrupy sweet at all times, in order to not be identified as a bully & be placed on the faculty or admin blacklist. I'm not saying the coach/instructor in this case did things correctly or in any way appropriately, (obviously he went too far), but I also know how difficult it can be to instruct/advise a group of lackadaisical, disinterested (bored) youngsters & feel like there are no.options left but to use a "stick" when a "carrot" no longer provides the results the school administration expects.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Man stabbed after umbrella altercation on Tokyo street See in context

I've heard that some Japanese otaku (assuming he is one - working in a manga cafe) carry knives for protection because thieves mug them & steal their backpacks full of otaku merch when they're in Akiba. But this guy was in Shinjuku so he just may have some kind of head problems or something...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: AirAsia, ANA part ways over management clashes See in context

Typical Japanese businesses maintaining a stranglehold on their market and impeding consumer-oriented foreign-based companies from gaining a foothold & running a business that fulfills consumer needs. This is why the Asian FTA will fail - because Japan prevents open competition & refuses to allow foreign firms from competing in Japan unless its run by a Japanese partner that dictates how the venture operates.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Van Halen opens first tour of Japan in 15 years See in context

Got my tix!18,000 each but I reckon it'll be worth it. Unlikely to see Diamond Dave & the boys again - I'm stoked!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Look to Japan's aging industrial sprawl for roadblock to Abenomics See in context

Instead of the govt in Japan supporting aging & no-longer-viable industries like steel & auto & electronics that face insurmountable hurdles from cheaper & younger manufacturing economies, they should focus on developing competencies in new industries like renewable energy. If they focused on improving solar, wind and geothermal technology and exported it abroad, Japan could wean itself off of foreign oil & gas & high-risk & costly nuclear energy. China is the biggest solar panel manufacturer so its already well ahead of Japan in this energy production area. However Japan could still use their resources to improve and enhance other renewable energy industries & lead the way, for example in geothermal energy, to reduce its dependence on foreign oil imports & develop new industries to replace the non^competitive ones holding the economy back.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Rakuten expects to defy European gloom See in context

@Knox Harrington - absolutely - I think their customer service & returns policy in Europe will have a huge impact on how well they do there. The UK has really strict consumer protection laws in place (as the does the US - though not quite as tough as the EU) so Rakuten had better focus on its customer service & returns policies & logistics (i.e. delivery times) if it wants to succeed. If they can run things like Amazon does, they might pull it off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Abenomics' kicking average wage-earner in teeth See in context

@cleo - absolutely agree with your points. I cannot imagine companies paying employees more when their operating costs are increasing by 8 to 10%. We've been living on borrowed time & borrowed money for years but it looks like Abe is going to kick everyone - especially the average salaryman in this article - in the teeth in order to help his friends in the export business..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan faces nuclear shutdown for second time since Fukushima See in context

the problem now is that the LDP is tied to big business in Japan & because nuclear is a cheaper alternative than imported fossil fuels (especially as prices are set to rise with the global economy starting to turn around) they will definitely be in favor of restarting the reactors. Sad really, as this is (was?) a great opportunity for Japan to innovate & focus on creating enviro-friendly fuel sources & technology that they could then export & profit from in the future without destroying the planet.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Walkman for swimmers See in context

That's weird. I bought this thing (with 4GB storage) through Amazon Japan last year in June & love it. Warning: people do stare at you because it looks quite different than an iPod but I love it (I run in the rain with it but haven't used it in the pool... yet)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Women can tell which men cheat just by looking at them: study See in context

34 men & women in the study & they actually publish it as credible? statistically that number of participants is too insignificant to have any merit...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: A Japanese suicide See in context

so sad & so unfortunate. man, that was the most riveting read on JT I've seen. yeah, thanks for sharing...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: China IMF boycott a sign of things to come, say analysts See in context

Funny how the Chinese govt now spurns its international responsibilities because of its economic strength, when 10 - 15 years ago it courted developed economies & was given loads of investment capital, assets & infrastructure to acquire that strength. Its like the little kid n the school yard who gets sick & is helped by those around him only to later return as a big, fat kid who then bullies everyone.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: It’s never too late to change bad chopsticks-holding habits See in context

@philly1 - using chopsticks properly is very real & very serious... and don't call me shirly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: How companies go about forcing employees to quit See in context

I understand why this is such a big issue in Japan. This has been going on for decades everywhere else. The problem is not the layoff/restructuring. The problem is the stigma attached to being let go by your employer in Japan. I think as more & more people start working for more than one employer over the course of their careers, the issue of getting laid off by your employer won't be such a big deal any more. It's never easy losing one's job, but at least there won't be the huge loss of face hat's connected with it now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: A night out at Yasukuni Shrine See in context

The festival itself is kind of fun & the food stalls had some tasty treats for us when we were there last night.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Populist Osaka mayor grooms candidates for national stage See in context

Though I agree that Japan needs a drastic change in its political leadership, I worry about Hashimoto's nationalistic mindset. I wonder how he will cooperate with his neighbors and economic partners. If he pursues goals based purely on nationalist interests, he'll have a tough time trying to convince trading partners like China and the US to support him. If he depends solely on their markets for revenue and the Japanese market remains closed off to their exports, he'll bury the economy here even further.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: New Zealand fines Japan Airlines over cargo cartel See in context

Interesting that all these airlines are either part of or affiliated with the OneWorld Alliance... I wondered how they could all collude but as they are all part of the same carrier network, it really seems quite plausible. Of course this just means they will no doubt raise their fees & put the costs to the consumer to compensate for their legal losses...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Powerless See in context

@little_miss: I assume then that the elevator girls at KEIO & Mitsukoshi dept stores are all corporate executives then. Because corporate Japan is chock full of female senior management, it would be very wrong to assume that this woman is some low-level foot soldier. If TEPCO had had even one woman on its executive board, I bet we would not have seen the level of corporate mismanagement we saw during the disaster last year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't excludes Nomura from Japan Tobacco share sale See in context

I agree with you on several of your points; such as tobacco taxes not being used to help smokers quit or pay for health care costs that result from people who end up in the cancer ward. Though one point I would make relates to what I think govt's should not be doing - and this is a moral stance if not a realistic one - is profiting from a known harmful & damaging commercial enterprise. Your point that it is not an ethical battle I cannot agree with. It took 30 years in N.Am for the public to realize that tobacco was dangerous & to get the public to then pressure govt to adopt policies to educate others & accept the fact that smoking does cause cancer. Had it not been for ethical & moral crusaders battling big tobacco & their govt backers, we would still have the Marlboro man on every street billboard promoting how wonderful tobacco is. ... ... ... ... ... That said, I do understand your point about govt duplicity & corruption & how it only serves to line the pockets of bureaucrats. But in Canada, where I come from, the govt has put a lot of resources into the anti^tobacco lobby & fighting tobacco companies in order to protect its citizens. We pay a much higher tax rate than our US neighbours but I think most people in Canada are happy to do so, knowing that our "socialist" govt does take a moral stand and not a corporate one (at least most of the time). But living here in Japan, where I see a corrupt govt perpetually deceiving the public (The Health Ministry does not have a single full-time employee working on smoking related issues), the double-dealing and hypocrisy perpetually have me looking for an exit strategy so I no longer have to put my health, or the health of my loved ones, at risk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't excludes Nomura from Japan Tobacco share sale See in context

@REMzzz - your argument doesn't make sense. You state :"It would be worse if it was owned by somebody else and they raised the tobacco tax to collect the same amount of money as the profit they now collect" . How do you figure? , The profit they make from tobacco sales go back into advertising & promoting their product - certainly not into paying for health care costs associated with the tobacco they are selling. And why should I pay taxes to support the health care costs of smokers in Japan, who, like you, choose to smoke, then end up in the cancer ward in the hospital? If they raise taxes on the product, then those who choose to smoke, people like yourself, should pay for the health care costs you incur. Because unlike you, I live in Japan where I have to pay national health insurance which subsidizes everyone, including smokers. And they are deceptive - because as long as they have a hand in the revenue till, they will not inform the public as to the dangers of the product they sell. Unlike the US, people here are not informed by their govt about how deadly tobacco is - because that would reduce their profits. So I'll stand by what I said earlier, they are extremely deceptive & nefarious, because on the one hand they point fingers at Nomura, while they simultaneously promote a product that causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung disease.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't excludes Nomura from Japan Tobacco share sale See in context

i still find it unconscionable that the govt owns 50% (now 30%) of Japan's tobacco industry and thereby promotes & supports the sale & distribution of a harmful & destructive cancer-inducing product. And here they are excluding Nomura from the sale for their previous deceitful practices when the govt in Japan is more deceptive and unscrupulous than any financial services agency...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't to test-drill for oilfield in Sea of Japan See in context

especially now that nuclear power generation has been limited, I guess Japan will start looking everywhere for new resources to supply its energy needs...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Woodford to receive Y1.2 billion in settlement with Olympus See in context

I agree with globalwatcher & a few of the other posters. Woodford succeeded in exposing the corruption that is rife in corporate Japan. Although there is little investors outside of Japan can do to promote change within the system, I would hope that outsiders will reduce their investment in Japanese businesses. Because Japanese corporate shareholders hold all the cards, nothing will ever change in the system here, and this type of corporate malfeasance will continue unabated because its an accepted part of the system here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Life is tough for core group who refuse to leave Fukushima nuclear plant area See in context

you know what the really sad part of this is? one day, when all of these people & their children are at the oncologists or in a cancer treatment ward, we'll all be supporting their medical costs through our tax payments. And the nefarious, deceitful Japanese govt & media will portray them as impoverished, unfortunate castaways who were mistreated by TEPCO and now deserve our help. But we won't be able to say no, because we non-Japanese have no say as to how our tax money is spent. we'll have to pay up & shut up - or leave.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Woodford agrees to out-of-court settlement with Olympus See in context

no surprise here... the entire corporate structure is so corrupt that there is no way Woodford could have done anything to change things at the company. As evident in the way the shareholders backed away & in effect supported Olympus' tainted new board. He did the smart thing - took the money & ran.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese family's average savings: Y16.64 mil See in context

that's good & bad news I reckon. As part of the reason why this country is mired in deflation is because people don't spend their money. However, after experiencing the consumer-unfriendly return policies here among retailers (once you buy it, you can't change your mind & return it) I understand why people here are reluctant to spend & keep their money in their coffers. Of course that is not the only reason, but it plays a role in why people here hang on to their yen so tightly.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese beer heads cause Westerners to froth at the mouth See in context

I couldn't agree more - have had beer handed to me at the Hub that was half foam & demanded they re-pour. It always surprises me how gullible people here are. As in this case, believing Japanese beer marketer's claims that foamy = fresh. There is a lesson to be learned here. If you want your crap product to sell in Japan, package it in an aesthetically pleasing way, pay some cute or well-respected Japanese celebrity to endorse your product & then have a bunch of talent-oh debate the benefits of the product to the Japanese people on a chat program & voila! watch your revenue rise!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Why you must learn kanji See in context

I agree, in principle, with the writer but like many commentators have stated, I don't think it is necessary to learn 2000 Kanji nor is rote memorization a palatable approach to learning. The problem is the time & motivation required to learn Kanji keep me from developing (and sticking to) study habits hat will allow me to communicate better in Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Sevens needs more fun, pompom girls: rugby boss See in context

too funny. I was there & Lapasset is right. people tried to get the crowd going but only when Japan was playing - and they were fairly lackluster so it stayed quiet. I was there with a throng of Englishmen but we weren't drunk enough to inspire any revelry. more pom pom girls next time please!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Zuckerberg tells Noda tsunami inspired him to widen Facebook's role See in context

@brainiac - ditto. its because Japan changes people...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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