Japan Today

missbatten comments

Posted in: How the ultrarich in Japan educate their kids See in context

What I wrote after quoting the incorrect information in the JT article was that a child born in May will in fact be among the OLDEST in the class. A child born in May will turn 6 almost a year BEFORE entering elementary school the following April. But everything I wrote before and after the quote has ... disappeared.

A 6 year old with a May birthday will be noticeably bigger and more physically, socially, and mentally mature than most classmates with fall and winter birthdays. By the time younger classmates start to catch up as growth rates slow in later grades, parents hope that their May-born child will already be a confident, recognized leader of the grade-school piranha pack.

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Posted in: How the ultrarich in Japan educate their kids See in context

A child born in May will be among the youngest in the class.

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Posted in: Japan's births fall 3.6% to 370,000 in Jan-June See in context


It's all here ... Average annual income 4.4 million yen (not just wage and salary earners). Average male income 5 million yen, average female income 3 million yen.

If you are not a "seishain", halve that. If you are under 35 (i.e. a good age for having kids), take off at least 1 man a week. If you live outside Kanto, take off another 1 man per week. And another 1 man goes bye bye if you work for a company with less than 100 employees.

Please don't nag your working Mom coworkers because your boss says it's their fault that you have to do more overtime. It's not their fault. It's the bosses' fault for assuming that the workers they will nbe trying to recruit in 20 years time are somebody else's babies.

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Posted in: Mother arrested for leaving 3 children at home while she went drinking See in context


Looking at your comment from earlier in the day. What were you saying about double standards?


Today  12:04 am JSTPosted in: Woman, daughter stabbed outside home; suspect hit, killed by train  See in context

Not condoning what he did, but he's still a 17 year old BOY.

I don't wish him to die in this manner. I would have preferred that he turn himself in, and rehabilitated.


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Posted in: Public schools in Japan short of over 2,500 teachers last year See in context

Why are people talking about high school salaries? The article is about elementary and middle school teachers, i.e. those who teach compulsory education. They earn on average a little more than local government employees and a little less than national government employees. They do get allowances for taking on extra duties such as clubs, but it's a flat allowance - no overtime.

If you think Japanese public school teachers are spending decades getting paid generously for sick leave, please tell us where you get your fascinating info. Those of us who look at local government guidelines find things like "three to six months on 60-80% of pay, up to 2 years (3 years in a very few places) on a much smaller percentage of pay." That's "up to" not "on average," and it's a percentage of base pay, not total income including allowances for extra responsibilities and so on.

And as for teacher shortages being a rural problem that the rest of us don’t need to worry about ... not so. Tokyo is fine, Kanagawa has only a small shortfall - but Chiba and Saitama have 8-14% unfilled positions. Even Kyoto city has 10% of public middle school positions unfilled.

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Posted in: Japan to provide over $1 mil, relief supplies to tsunami-hit Tonga See in context

@Alfie Noakes, @ snowymountainhell

Would Tonga be so poor if East Asian countries paid for more of the tuna and other seafood they catch in Tongan waters? Not ashamed to rob a country with a small population and limited ability to police their waters, and then blame them for being poor?

Would Tongans be so dependent on imported food and water if port infrastructure projects and foreign fishing were forced to prioritize Tongans who need to fish and gather food from their limited land and coastal waters?

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Posted in: 2 women waiting at bus stop die after being hit by car driven by 71-year-old man See in context

Fatal accidents have been declining in Japan for over a decade. Stricter re-licensing for older people is part of that.

Old drivers are involved in daytime suburban accidents that kill children and women - max shock horror value compared to two middle-aged drunks wiping each other out in the middle of the night, or pro drivers succumbing to fatigue on a highway.

As a proportion of license-holders, 75-79 year-olds have a risk level similar to 20-24 year-olds of being involved in a fatal accident. Population numbers for these two age bands are actually very similar, so it’s a robust comparison.


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Posted in: Japan's lower house has fewer women despite empowerment law See in context

Wot a laugh. So many people convinced that the lack of intelligent, experienced, driven female candidates with an impeccable moral code is the problem. Politics is all about nepotism, and suddenly you want all these new-fangled ideas about quality of candidates?

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Posted in: Seniors account for record 29.1% of Japan's population See in context

"The ratio of those aged 65 or older with jobs reached 25.1 percent, the second-highest among major economies."

@kohakuebisu ”The average Japanese woman now lives to 88. Keeping 65 as the retirement age means paying a pension for 23 years. ”

What makes you think that most Japanese women get pensions that cover their living costs? Don't worry, your taxes are safe from those skinny obaachan hands...they're out there working hard physical jobs like night-time cleaning, and it's not because their tax-funded senior years are so comfortable they're just bored.

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Posted in: Delta variant confirmed in New Zealand; virus case total increases to 7 See in context


Quarantines don't work? It's slightly old news, but de Machaut quarantined himself from plague and reinvented western music (while ordering pizza). I suppose he would rather have been down the pub, and quarantines make for skinny musicians. Even so, we're still benefiting from his life in lockdown several centuries later. He also didn't die of plague, always a plus.

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Posted in: 316 people are shot every day in America. Here are 5 stories See in context

People who aren't Americans care that so many, many Americans die, shattered into guts and gore, every hour of every day.

But we don't decide American policy.

The rest of us don't care about your little class and party games, you all look like Americans to us. We just care about your people, and we wish you did too.

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Posted in: Hurdles remain to getting ex-nurses involved in vaccine rollout See in context

@Elvis is here

That's right, ex-nurses, put the babies in a locker at the station and get to work. No blaming poor administration for the errors and delays, it's clearly all your fault for having babies.

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Posted in: Minister admits coercing Olympics app developer into cutting costs See in context

Naturally, he also returned half his salary to show that he was sincere about saving taxpayers' money.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 260 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,793 See in context

...ask around and see - at least in my area, crematoriums have had to make families wait (10-14 days in January was the longest of several local cases I heard about), because they can't handle the numbers.

The 2020 excess deaths are discussed right here in a preliminary report that in any case only covers up to September 2020. It states quite clearly that there were excess deaths, even with that early cut-off point and interim data.


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Posted in: The government will study the infection rates before deciding on whether to extend the emergency measures. See in context

The "r" rates. That's what all the weird "data" for Tokyo has been about. Creating an artistic decline in r rates for Tokyo. The Tokyo Keizai site that JT links to shows a nice sharp decline from May 13 on.

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Posted in: 2-year-old boy missing after grandfather sends him home alone See in context

Don't want to assume the worst of a grandfather I've never met, but in my experience, a grandfather's sense of responsibility extends as far as personal convenience and no further. Father in law and his wife begged me to let my kids stay and play one hot August morning while I cycled to off to pay a bill. Returned 30 minutes later to find my 18 month old alone in a paddling pool in the middle of the road, while adults were inside enjoying an icecream and a nice chat....3 year old was crying hysterically in the road, torn between trying to call grandfather and sticking with sibling.

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Posted in: BOJ expands asset purchases to Y80 tril to spur recovery See in context

Friday before a long weekend - nah, that couldn't have anything to do with it!

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Posted in: Man arrested for stabbing passerby in front of Ueno Station in Tokyo See in context

Help them help themselves? Why yes, we have the 2006 Services and Support for Persons with Disabilities Act, http://eiyaku.hounavi.jp/eigo/h17a12301.php which helpfully makes local authorities responsible for those "resident" in their areas.

These authorities can but are not required to consider specialist medical advice or advice from service providers in direct contact with applicants for services or support. I keep hearing of cases where municipal authorities tell direct service providers that they must reduce the number of those they report as "eligible" for level 1 or 2 benefits....if they refuse to comply by reporting that applicants are mysteriously improved or cured, the service providers are threatened with removal of their permission to operate at all.

There has been a consistent push over the past few years to reduce the number of disabled people (especially those with mental illnesses) on disability benefits. We can see the rising numbers of mentally ill people (homeless and otherwise) on the streets; where are the rising numbers of ex-beneficiaries in stable employment and accommodation?

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Posted in: Japanese people reflect on examples of excess customer service See in context

My favorite was the funeral parlor manager who said enthusiastically "See you again soon"" as he saw us off after our family funeral....he did seem to notice that he'd said something problematic though!

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Posted in: Clearing WWII's explosive legacy in the Pacific See in context

The nations responsible have taken and continue to take responsibility...but the truth is that there is way too much stuff out there that nobody has any accurate information about. And this is also what makes me nervous about scattering radioactive waste around Japan to "share the burden" - in 100 years, nobody will have a clue what is where, any more than we know now where dangerous ordinance and other WWII problems lie in wait.

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Posted in: Tohoku University evicts entire dormitory for rampant drinking See in context

The Meizen dorm has a decades-old reputation not only for drinking, but for forcing alcohol on reluctant students, well beyond the usual concept of student partying. And yes, it looks like a tip from the road - though surely the university had some responsibility for upkeep. I don't think this was a decision lightly taken by the university.

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Posted in: 3,179 people taken to hospital for heatstroke July 14-20 See in context

It's not the heat, specifically....it's the high humidity remaining after rainy season, combined with the rapidly climbing temperature. There is always a spike in heat stroke cases at this time of year, rather than when midsummer temperatures are highest (but stable, and with lower humidity).

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Posted in: Meteorological agency predicts higher than usual temperatures for April-June See in context

a series of high and low pressure systems are expected to make their way across Japan.

Now that's unprecedented!

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Posted in: Mini-skirt turbulence at Skymark Airlines See in context

There are no male flight attendants>

Actually, there are (and I do mean male CAs and not pursers). There are even Japanese male CAs...unfortunately, they are not being hired by Japanese airlines. Japanese airlines don't apparently REQUIRE applicants for CA positions to be female, they just don't "happen" to hire men.

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Posted in: Mini-skirt turbulence at Skymark Airlines See in context

God forbid! You could see some female legs!>

It's not the legs that are the issue, is it? Ultra-mini uniforms may be fine for some physically inactive jobs, but if you expect a CA to look forward to giving you a peepshow while she works, you'd better look forward to fetching and carrying your own drinks, meals, sick-bags, blankets etc. in future!

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Posted in: Panel discusses revision of teaching manual to include moral education See in context

This is not a new development, it's been gathering steam for a while. "Doutoku" (Ethics) is already taught both as a subject, and as something that is to be included when teaching other subjects. The "special subject" development means that it would have a centrally-decided curriculum. i.e. schools would no longer be free to decide how to teach it, but would have to teach the ethical values that MEXT requires, in whatever ways MEXT requires.

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Posted in: New Zealand PM wants Japan apology in whaling dispute See in context

“That would be good,” he told reporters when questioned about whether Japan needed to say sorry.

That's a long way from "demanding an apology".

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Posted in: New Zealand summons Japanese ambassador over whaling dispute See in context

The UN Convention is not intended to cover every aspect of the law relating to use of the sea, and fishing vessels in distant waters are covered by a number of other agreements. In the South Pacific, it has taken a long time for East Asian fishing vessels to respect the EEZ of small island nations, so Pacific nations have historical reasons to keep a close eye on foreign fishing vessels, and the region does have a number of agreements on international fishing.

Usually foreign fishing vessels respect these regional agreements and conventions (such as FAO agreements) and report their presence in a country's EEZ, or stick to a direct route when transiting through an EEZ to another fisheries area, without delay, and with all fishing gear stowed and not ready for deployment. The Shonan Maru II is a whaling vessel, and I have not heard that those functions have been disabled.

NZ is merely expressing displeasure at the way in which a Japanese government fishing vessel has disregarded these conventions. That is not a legal sanction, and is well within the rights of any country which finds a foreign fishing vessel within its EEZ for any reason other than transit.

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Posted in: Japan upset by S Korean 'comfort women' exhibit at French comic book festival See in context

Let's remember that it wasn't a "manga" festiva held in Japan, it was an international comic festival held in France. Political issues have long been part of comics, although that has become rare in manga. Japan has no reason to expect comics to turn into manga, and no reason to expect foreign media to follow Japanese writers and publishers in "self censoring" either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Is Japan really racist? See in context

Oh yes. Not a week ago, I was at a meeting about cultural understanding, no less, where several people were talking about how "returnees" just weren't the same as "pure Japanese", even decades after they had returned to Japan. When I called them on it, they thought I was disputing their findings. When I said I was more concerned with cutting "returnees" out from the "pure Japanese" group, nobody batted an eyelid, they just patiently explained to me that it was because they aren't "pure Japanese", they're different, everybody knows that....

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