Mlodinow comments

Posted in: Nissan unveils new Leaf car after Ghosn's arrest delays it See in context

Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci said the new model was offering customers more power and range, noting that it was "now more convenient and appealing than ever."

...and yet Nissan the company certainly isn't.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe orders steps against S Korean seizure of Nippon Steel assets See in context

Japan complied with the ruling

Not really. They changed a few letters and numbers and carried out essentially the same program in the knowledge that Australia likely wouldn't bother to take them to court again (and made sure of that in their subsequent refusal to acknowledge the court's obvious jurisdiction over the matter).

It should be noted that no nation made any further attempts to intervene in Japan's Research Whaling subsequent to that statement.

No intervention was made because of Japan's refusal to return to the ICJ (because they lost) and because of their liberal use of military technology (outside of Japan's domestic waters I might note).

SK shouldn't let Japan near the ICJ because even if Japan lose they will simply ignore the ruling and decline any further cases referred there. In any case, this article is about compliance with Korean domestic laws and hence the ICJ is basically irrelevant. For some reason you brought it up. Companies operating overseas must comply with laws of the land, it's that simple. Try kissing in public in Dubai or talking to another man's wife in Saudi Arabia & see how you get on.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Posted in: Renault alliance not in danger, says Nissan CEO See in context

"I'm not on fire", reports man on fire

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe orders steps against S Korean seizure of Nippon Steel assets See in context

@Ossan: here is a report on Japan making sweeping unilateral exclusions to ICJ jurisdiction on matters it has previously lost in cases at the ICJ. The political equivalent of taking someone else's ball home with them when they run crying to Mommy. Why should/would Korean accept jurisdiction on the islands when this is what Japan themselves do when they lose?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Posted in: Ghosn's lawyer says bail very difficult before trial See in context

So if he is proven innocent in the trial is he up for any compensation for being detained in solitary for (probably) up to 12 months? Seems insane this kind of thing can happen in a "modern" democracy.

Surely taking his passport(s) off him will ensure sufficient mitigation of any supposed flight risk. It's not like every single border control officer in Japan doesn't know exactly what he looks like.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Posted in: Abe orders steps against S Korean seizure of Nippon Steel assets See in context

When companies do business overseas they must follow the laws of that country, and it's the same here in Japan as it is in SK. If they don't like a ruling they can either appeal it or stop doing business there.

What these recent companies (Nippon Steel, MHI) should have done is publicize the payments in Korea and turn it into a PR win, not the exact opposite. What SK companies will want to deal with them now? Their actions and especially this seizure have devalued their companies significantly more than the value of the actual payments.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Posted in: Gov't to try luggage inspections at subway station in Tokyo as anti-terror experiment See in context

I don't think all passengers luggage who go through gate are inspected at checkpoint. They look at passengers carefully and choose/pick up someone who is very suspicious and maybe keeps possibly explosives or something in. No luggage, No inspection.

This is a fair comment, but what exactly is the purpose of the checks? People can still hide knives (even swords probably) under a coat, so luggage checks will only potentially stop large explosive devices. That shinkansen knife attack would not have been prevented.

Or as KnowBetter above suggested, terrorists could hide an explosive device in a coin locker and send someone onto an arriving train armed with just a knife in order to scare everyone off the train and towards the bomb. You really can't stop all attacks and these checks will prevent nothing...all bark, no bite.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to try luggage inspections at subway station in Tokyo as anti-terror experiment See in context

I suppose the intent is fair, but predictable mega-fail and backlash from angry passengers rushing to catch a specific train. For the sake of all involved, I hope this is done out of peak times and on the weekend (which is basically the opposite timing of any would be attack of course). So saying, I suppose very few people actually live in Kasumigaseki and arriving passengers will (I assume) not be screened, so this will only prove a big headache in the evening rush.

It pays to be proactive, but given the number of train passengers vs actual incidents their money would probably be better spent on surveillance of other forms.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe asks business leaders to raise wages before sales tax hike See in context

That is the CEO of MHI seated between them, where pay "raises" have been less than 1% for years and falling bonuses actually means there is a pay cut. 3%, let alone 5% is a pipe dream. Every year Abe bleats the same fake request with the same result...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan asks employees not to contact Ghosn and Kelly See in context

I'm quite sure that the company can only "request" and cannot enforce such a rule. But if Saikawa and his cronies in crime remain in power I daresay it's likely that employees found contacting those two will be "overlooked" for future promotions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Seawalls may give false sense of security during a tsunami See in context

If a coastal city’s seawall is higher than a forecast tsunami, residents are less likely to evacuate promptly,

I daresay this is true but probably also partly due to that fact that if a tsunami higher than your sea wall is forecast you're going to put in extra effort to get out of there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: A Japanese idol got married, so his management asked fans on Twitter to decide if he should be fired See in context

It isn't legal, and he is free to leave the group.

Actually he should be free to stay in the group (if he so wishes) because otherwise it should be deemed unfair dismissal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: A Japanese idol got married, so his management asked fans on Twitter to decide if he should be fired See in context

I think many contracts signed in Japan are not actually 'legal' as such. Binding yes, but not what we would consider fair or reasonable.

A long time ago during a dispute I showed my contract to a lawer and they kind of laughed and said...'well, you signed it, so there's not much we can do'. LOL (and cry.)

I think this view of "you signed it so, even if it's actually illegal, too bad" also forms the basis for why forced confessions are irrevocable in Japan. Hard to believe that forcing someone to be single is legal in this day & age (especially in Japan with its pitiful birth-rate).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan board meets to discuss governance amid rising tensions with Renault See in context

It rather reflects the reality that Renault put up the money and expertise ( Ghosn ) to bailout Nissan when it faced bankruptcy and watched it flourish under Ghosn leadership. Maybe they should have let it fail then?

Exactly this.

Since Ghosn stepped down as CEO Nissan has seen a series of compliance breaches...Nissan reverting back to "traditional" Japanese business practices already? Let them break away & fail (again).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan board meets to discuss governance amid rising tensions with Renault See in context

“Nissan has communicated actively and transparently with Renault regarding this matter, and will continue to do so. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the alliance,” it said

The Renualt CEO has had to tell Nissan BoD members to stop contacting Renault BoD directors privately (it's against agreed procedure), and (as per comments above) Nissan has repeatedly failed to provide any actual evidence, and hence Renault's lawyers have asked for better documentation. What part of the communication in this circus masquerading as an investigation can be described "actively and transparently"? Renault haven't even had a proper chance to talk with Ghosn himself.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: 42 people injured after suspected gas explosion destroys buildings in Sapporo See in context

Why are so many people talking about city gas and gas tanks etc? The article clearly says they are deodorizer cans. What's more, puncturing them is now prohibited (for blindingly obvious reasons).

Police suspect that gas leaking from more than 100 deodorizer spray cans in the real estate office intended for disposal caught fire when a water heater was switched on.

So now the Fire Dept are saying the building wasn't up to code, but a quick walk down any major street in a large city in Japan and even an idiot can see buildings which clearly won't be up to code. One would think in a country with so many earthquakes, and reticulated gas in every major city, more checking would be performed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Town hosting wrecked Fukushima plant may allow partial access in 2020 See in context

Decontamination work has been conducted to make sure radiation levels will be below 20 mSv per year anywhere in the special zone by the spring of 2020. The government eventually aims to lower the levels below 1 mSv per year.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection, or the ICRP, sets radiation exposure under normal situations at 1 mSv per year and says 100 mSv of exposure over a lifetime would increase the possibility of developing cancer by up to 1 percent.

Why would you ever voluntarily do this to yourself? I feel extra bad for any construction works who are pressured into working on this project...or will this be assigned to a "foreign trainee program"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Panel proposes mass evacuation of coastal areas if mega quake hits See in context

Overseas cities prone to tsunami sometimes have markers within the city indicating potential wave run up heights. If you have a clear line of sight to the ocean you can judge for yourself but having markers around coastal cities would be very useful. I've only ever seen such markers in Japan near swimming beaches or small towns.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: GE's push to fix power turbine problem goes global See in context

@ bearandrodent

You'll find that Marubeni are deeply invested with GE turbines, and even despite this news they are continuing to fumble ahead with GE, preferring these defective turbines over proven ones from other manufacturers. Senior management perhaps think that if they choose other manufacturers they are admitting they made a mistake choosing GE. I'm not sure the exact reliability but the HAs are particularly problematic.

I see that Trump is forcing GE turbines on the Iraqis too now (Siemens had an order cut by half due to a threat to reduce rebuilding lending if they didn't buy from GE).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Transport ministry calls 25 airlines to meeting on pilots drinking See in context

41 incidents in 5 years is simply mind-boggling, but in fairness I'm sure it's not only pilots here. Also Singapore Air had an incident in September which resulted in complete cancellation of at least 2 flights.

Would it really be so difficult to have a central location in each airport (eg at the crew line at security or immigration area) where each crew member passing through gets breathalized? It literally takes seconds per person.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: SoftBank mobile services disrupted ahead of IPO See in context

Will visit them tomorrow to ask for partial refund for this month. Much sucking of teeth and "eee-tooo"s expected.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan hit by new inspection scandal See in context

Nissan is already under pressure following the arrest of its chairman

"Nissan is already under pressure after throwing its Chairman under a bus to avoid a merger with Renault"

Fixed it for you ;)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: 1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise See in context

Given the weird Japanese rule about people not being "dead" until a registered doctor declares them so I really hope that isn't the case with the 2nd person found. 10 hours is a long time in the Pacific Ocean without a life-raft, especially in December.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Drunk vice principal loses job after urinating in girls bathing area on field trip See in context

“Since I was completely drunk, I have no memory of the event. I had absolutely no intention of peeking at the girls.

How would he know the 2nd part if he really had no memory of "the event"? Please tell me Japanese judges have the awareness to ask him such questions for the record.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Kelly denies underreporting Ghosn's salary See in context

It really says it all that Nissan have already permanently replaced him. A normal company would suspend the accused, provide all their evidence to the authorities, & wait for an official charge or confirmation of the guilt before doing so (actually, almost what Renault have done). As others have commented, that other officials "turned a blind eye for a few years" means they are in fact guilty as well. Why are they not also behind bars?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: IOC head Bach visits Fukushima with Abe See in context

Definition of irony: IOC calling for a "clean" Olympics

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors weigh bringing charges against Nissan over Ghosn case See in context

So he basically brought Nissan back from the brink of ruin (which no Japanese CEO seemed able to do) but is now claimed to have been so absurdly stupid as to under-declare his salary, which he knows the company is obligated to report directly to the tax office? There is more to this story than meets the eye. I also seriously doubt he does his own tax, no doubt it is prepared by the company itself, as is done for all regular employees in Japan.

Seeing as the police have now decided to "detain" him another 10 days without officially charging him, he clearly hasn't admitted anything to them. Interesting that this may backfire on Nissan both with charges, and given that Renault are not going to do anything without strong hard evidence.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese, S Korean trawlers collide in Sea of Japan; 13 rescued See in context

Toshihiro: I have no details of course but I wonder if this is part of the answer

The collision occurred northeast of an island known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan,

Possibly each boat thought the other was "trespassing" or something. Certainly looking at the weather it looks clear enough & you'd think fishing boats so far out would have radar or a transponder.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 340,000 foreigners may flow into Japan in 5 years under new visa system See in context

Abe said at the lower house plenary session that the exact figures are "being examined now" but the estimate will serve as a ceiling for the number of foreign workers to be accepted under the new system unless there is a major change in the economic situation.

I lol'd. Chance of a "major change" you reckon huh...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA apologizes for flight delays due to pilot's drinking See in context

I fly ANA almost every month for work and although the airline is good enough and generally on time, it is hardly my favourite (for quite a few reasons).

I was on a Singapore Airlines flight a couple of months ago which was cancelled due to a drunk pilot. With the lives of so many people in their hands, and given that commercial pilots only fly one or two flights a day would it be so difficult to arrange a quick breath-test before they fly? It only takes a few seconds to blow into the machine and it seems that drinking pilots is more of a problem than people would like to think. Thank goodness this one called in sick!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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