mnemosyne23 comments

Posted in: 62 knives stolen from supermarkets in Kobe See in context

Oops! I meant seaforte03. Sorry!

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Posted in: 62 knives stolen from supermarkets in Kobe See in context

Um, can someone clarify what KIND of knives were stolen? Are we talking about steak knives, butcher knives, clam knives, butter knives, what? If they weren't in a locked display I have to imagine they aren't of the slice-your-hand-off-if-used-improperly sort, and since no one SAW anyone making off with all these knives, they must have been small enough to smuggle out of the stores under someone's coat or in someone's purse without drawing attention.


nah...flea markets...

Agreed! If someone wants to steal a knife to do some kind of illegal activity, they'd do just that -- steal ONE knife. Probably a pretty big, sharp one, too. They wouldn't go around snitching 62 knives in total from four different stores. It's more likely someone is going to flog these at a flea market, pawn shop, or internet auction site to make some money.

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Posted in: First Buddhist memorial to be held in honor of X-Japan guitarist hide See in context

sarcasm123: I imagine it's the same reason that U2's The Edge is called The Edge. To be edgy.

RIP, hide.

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Posted in: Sakai, Fujiwara to host Japan Record Awards See in context


i thought that when i left japan i could leave behind these kinds of out-of-date chauvinistic tv pairings. then i watched strictly come dancing

That's nothing. Check out Univision if you're ever in the States. It's Spanish-language television, and the pairings are disgustingly chauvinistic. Usually there's a gorgeous, modelesque, twenty-something female co-host in an evening gown and heels, paired up with a short, dumpy, greasy guy in his forties or older. It's a source of endless amusement to me.


at first i thought, it was NorikO Sakai.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one! I saw "Sakai" in the headline and nearly fell out of my chair. I had this image of Noriko trying to co-host with the COMEDY group Fujiwara while they made endless puns at her expense. I'd feel sorry for Sakai-chan, but Fujiwara are one of the few Japanese comedy teams that I actually find funny (me and my darn Western funny bone), so I'd have checked it out anyway.

Imagine my disappointment when I saw that they meant MASAAKI Sakai and NORIKA Fujiwara. Tossed all my little hypotheses right out the window!

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Posted in: Man attempts suicide on Ginza subway line See in context

PS - Good grief, I'm a long-winded one, aren't I? Please forgive me! Depression is an issue that's near to my heart, so I tend to blab more than I usually do (which is saying something!).

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Posted in: Man attempts suicide on Ginza subway line See in context

It's terribly sad that train-jumpers are so common in Japan that it becomes standard practice to include the length of time and number of passengers inconvenienced by their attempts at suicide. Honestly, that breaks my heart.

I don't know what drove this man to try to commit suicide, just as I can't be sure of the motivations of any of the attempted or completed suicides that crop up all too frequently here at JT. Clinical depression is a medically diagnosed condition that is caused -- at least in part -- by chemical imbalances in the brain. These imbalances can be treated with therapy and drugs, if necessary. Unfortunately, many anti-depressants that are common in other countries are not available in Japan, and there's no guarantee that those suffering depression would seek out the medical diagnosis necessary to be prescribed such medications. However I highly doubt that the massive number of suicides in Japan are caused solely by undiagnosed clinical depression. If that's the case then it's time to start looking at what's in the food and water to see what could be causing such drastic chemical imbalances in so much of the population!

Everyone goes through dark periods in life where they feel hopeless: After the death of a loved one; being diagnosed with a serious medical condition; falling into debt; losing a job; a broken marriage. Unlike clinical depression, however, these dark phases can be overcome through positive reinforcement, social interaction, and interpersonal communication. It's not easy and it's not necessarily a fast process, but when people have access to a support network -- even if it's just a friend to talk to, a family member to lean on, or a co-worker to commisserate with -- they can recover and reintegrate themselves into productive society.

The problem is the stigma attached to any kind of mental illness. This is hardly a Japan-only issue; you'll find stigma against the mentally ill is a problem all over the globe. But in Japan, where so much is focused on working hard, not complaining, and not standing out from the crowd, it's difficult verging on impossible to step forward and say, "Please help me."

I have to imagine that the initial anxiety is compounded by the fact that insurance is nationalized, which means that someone in some government office has a file, and in that file is the note that, "So-and-so was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed such-and-such." If that information got into the hands of an employer, what would be the fallout? Why would a company hire the "suicidal loony" over the seemingly "normal" applicant? Those records are supposed to be private, but so are credit card numbers and bank PIN codes. That doesn't stop security breaches and identity theft from happening just about every day. When you've got a bored file clerk with loose lips handling secure medical records it's only a matter of time until privileged information gets shared somewhere it shouldn't.

Not to mention the government's vested interest in keeping costs down by not introducing a stress-laden population to a slew of expensive psychiatric drugs. It would be like a bank run during the Great Depression: people might get trampled in the stampede and coffers would quickly run dry.

What needs to happen is education, education, education. Not just in schools, but everywhere. Billboards, subway posters, pamphlets, leaflets, community centers, government offices -- there needs to be education EVERYWHERE. Not just the typical, "Gambatte!" kind of message, but actual facts and figures about mental illness in general, depression in particular, and available treatments thereof. People need to understand that depression is not something to be ashamed of, but something that needs treatment. Maybe that will just involve talk therapy, or maybe medication will be necessary, but whatever the root cause of the problem there IS an answer other than suicide. It's a paradigm shift that will need years to take effect, but it has to start somewhere or it will never get anywhere.

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Posted in: Saitama cop arrested for assaulting girl on street See in context


I think that it would be accurate to say that per capita, the J-Cops have a much higher crime rate than any other occupational group in Japan.

Best. Comment. Ever.

It certainly seems that way, doesn't it? Between police, commuters (train and car), parents, and the unemployed, I don't know which single group is reported as behaving badly more often here at JT. I bet it would be an interesting tally, though.

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Posted in: 15 teenagers arrested for dangerous driving on scooters in Tokyo See in context


The Mild Ones

I laughed so hard at that, I nearly snorted milk through my nose. :-D

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Posted in: Mother, two children found dead in apparent murder-suicide See in context

Since the article doesn't go into detail about a potential motive for this tragic event, we can't really speculate on what caused it. Perhaps the mother suffered from severe clinical or post-partum depression, both of which are diagnosable medical conditions. Perhaps she was struggling to support her children in the poor economy and didn't see a bright future for herself or them. Perhaps she discovered the husband was having an affair (since no reason is given for why the husband was living separately from his wife and children). Any of these situations, and likewise dozens more, could have driven this mother to the edge. And while I can understand the hollow, sucking urge to surrender to your worst instincts, I still could never condone the killing of a child, especially not by the parent who is supposed to love and nurture them. I hope they all rest in peace, but it breaks my heart that no one was around to prevent this tragedy in the first place.

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Posted in: 73-year-old man killed outside home in Fukushima See in context

Just for the sake of argument, is it possible he might have suffered a heart attack, then received the head and neck injuries when he fell as a result of the infarction? This particular article doesn't go into detail about the nature and extent of the injuries, just that he'd sustained some. I know the neighbor said she'd heard him apologizing to someone, but we don't know exactly what he said. He might have been apologizing to God for past transgressions because he knew his final moments were at hand. I'll be interested to learn the details of the autopsy.

RIP, ojii-san.

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Posted in: Officer loses gun on the way to toilet aboard train See in context

Wow... Yeah, i think this is even more fantastically overboard than the drunk offduty cop who broke into that Saitama office building to sleep off the alcohol. Just wow.

Seriously, though, did he just put the bag down or did someone grab it or what? Since the gun wasn't taken I assume it was the former, but it might have been the latter. I can just picture some dumb teenage kid deciding to teach the Jcop a lesson by snitching the cop's bag, then having a small heart attack when he realized there was a GUN in said bag. Kid would have dropped it like a hot potato and BOOKED it.+

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Posted in: Man arrested for punching 6-yr-old girl on Hyogo street See in context

I'm glad they caught this guy! I remember the original story back in September. What a waste of skin this guy is.

hellhound: I'm sorry, but there is NO justification for a thirty-year-old man punching a SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRL in the stomach. What the heck can a six-year-old girl do or say that would justify that kind of action? Answer - nothing. Absolutely nothing. It's a clear case of a guy with MAJOR issues and no legitimate way to vent his frustrations.

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Posted in: Cop arrested after breaking into Saitama office to sleep it off See in context

Wow. That's right up there with the drunk guy who stole the police cruiser to try and drive home. {head tilt}

Definitely charge him for breaking and entering, with at LEAST some kind of fine as punishment. I honestly think in this case a fine is enough. A HEAVY fine. And he should pay for the door out of his own paycheck.

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Posted in: Climategate: The fix is in See in context

In college, one of my speech and persuasion classes discussed "God words." These are words or terms that are so polarizing that invoking them is dangerous, and DEBATING them is virtual suicide. For example, "racism." If a black person is turned down for a job and claims racism, it makes front page news. But if a white person makes the same claim, that person is villified as a liar, a racist, and a bigot. It doesn't mean that the black person WASN'T discriminated against, nor that the white person WAS discriminated against. It's just a way of demonstrating how the term racism has taken on a life and a cultish following of its own that undermines any genuine discussion or debate of the issue.

The same can be said for the term "global warming" (or climate change, or environmentalism, what have you). For decades we've been browbeaten with how humanity is destroying the planet. Pollution, deforestation, urban sprawl, overpopulation -- everything is our fault, and we're all going to die because of it. Honestly, I've always been skeptical of the hysteria. It's not that I don't believe in such a thing as global climate change -- to do so would be to deny history. Climate change has occured on this planet many times since its earliest days of molten rock and iron. Plants flourished in the beginning of the world, soaking up the rich carbon dioxide atmosphere and expelling oxygen as waste.

That was a climate change.

Next came the dinosaurs, which grew to enormous sizes in the global tropical heat. Herbivores grew to match the size of their plant material and meat eaters grew to match the size of their plant eating prey. Then an asteroid purportedly hit the earth, spreading a cloud of black ash that blotted out the sun and cooled the earth for centuries, killing all but the hardiest reptiles and small, neophyte mammals.

That was a climate change.

The Ice Age covered half the world in great sheets of ice. Mammals, with their self-regulating body heat, were able to grow and thrive in the environment. Wooly mammoths and mastadons, saber-tooth tigers, direwolves and short-faced bears -- they all emerged during this period. But then the glaciers receded and the earth's temperature climbed, and it was time for a new age of animals, plants, and people to take over.

This was a climate change.

My point is, climate change is a natural process. It DOES happen, and it IS effected by terrestrial activity. When the first plants began belching out oxygen I'm sure there were little plant environmentalists screaming about how all the plants were going to DIE because they were going to use up all the carbon dioxide. And you know what? They were right. To an extent. The animals that were able to evolve in the new, oxygen rich environment consumed those plants for fuel and sustenance. That's what climate change really is: planetary evolution. It's not nice, and it can be painful, and a lot of innocent (and not so innocent) bystanders can be hurt in the process, but it happens.

That said, this kind of scientific hooliganism is a disgrace. Worse than a disgrace. It's undermines every scientific discovery and achievement of the recent past and into the future, environmental or otherwise. The HEART of scientific inquiry is theory, debate, experimentation, documentation, and replicability. Without those elements there would be no science. That's what this scandal has done. It's taken the field of environmental science and transformed it into a pseudo-science, like paranormal investigation and alchemy. The comparison is apt: these "scientists" were taking leaden facts and turning them into burnished gold bull####, all to further an agenda.

Can they claim their actions were justified? Perhaps at first; blame it on blind idealism. Even with this new evidence of fraud I don't think you're going to find anyone advocating the dumping of toxic waste in baby seal breeding grounds, nor pumping chlorofluorocarbons out of industrial smokestacks into the atmosphere by the boatload. But the continued bamboozling of the international community is unforgivable. The silencing of critics is no different from the Soviet secret police stealing people out of their beds in the middle of the night to quell potential rebellion. Without open discussion and active debate, the open market of free ideas becomes no better than a filthy slave trade.

Beware "God words." ALWAYS question absolutes. ALWAYS be skeptical of statistics. ALWAYS draw your own conclusions rather than letting someone else draw them for you. The greatest travesty of the human experience is when a society of free-thinking individuals allows itself to be herded like cattle into a narrow canyon of proscribed thought, driven by the whips of guilt and ignorance and fenced in by the fear of reprisal should they try to escape. It's tyranny, plain and simple, and the thing about tyrants is they topple like dominoes when their subjects start to think for themselves.

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Posted in: Chiba woman arrested for stabbing 11-year-old son in neck See in context

I'll make the point that other people have made in similar cases: if you want to commit a murder/suicide, kill yourself first, THEN kill the other people.

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Posted in: Elderly man hits elementary schoolchildren with car See in context

Even if you don't see the light -- and human error being what it is, that's entirely possible -- you still should be maintaining constant vigilance for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles, especially if you're in the vicinity of a school. I'm thankful that none of the boys were killed! Perhaps they need to start employing some crossing guards.

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Posted in: Man held for stealing car left in parking lot where bodies in drums found See in context

{headtilt} Okay, hang on. The guy rented the space for one month, then disappeared without returning the key, and the space hasn't been rented out since? Well dang, if that's all it takes to get five years of free storage in Japan, sign me up! Seriously though, why didn't the parking lot manager have the guy's car towed after a couple of months of non-payment? I think he would have been completely within his rights to do so. Then maybe they would have found these two poor souls and brought their killer to justice then, rather than dragging it out for five years.

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Posted in: Man arrested for different crime suspect in Chiba Univ student's murder See in context

dolphingirl: Agreed! This seems a little too pat for me. I sincerely hope this is the guy and he's made to pay for his crimes, but I'm going to wait for more facts before I start jumping for joy. Besides, he didn't admit to the murder, just to using the debit card. Those are two very different things, and culpability in the latter does not necessitate culpability in the former.

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Posted in: Man gets 17 yrs for fatally abusing girlfriend's 2 daughters See in context

memyselfI: Seventeen years IS a long time. But it's not long enough. This awful man killed two innocent children, the older of which was only four years old. He abused them to death. Who knows how much those young children suffered in the days, months, or years leading up to their deaths. The man is a monster, and he should have received a monster's sentence. As it is, he'll probably be out walking the streets again as a free man in five years. And some idiot woman will probably take him in with plans to "fix him" -- because that's what always seems to happen with these jerks -- only to find herself in the same abusive boat. He's scum, and he should be treated as scum.

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Posted in: Odds stacked against police in solving Shimane, Chiba student murders See in context

Odds are certainly stacked against them, but I nonetheless hope that they're successful in finding these evil men. The brutality of these crimes, particularly the Shimane murder, is not something that anyone wants to see repeated, and the best way to avoid that is to catch the men responsible.

I'm glad to see they're investigating hardcore horror movie rentals in the Shimane case. While 99.9% of horror fans are perfectly normal people who happen to have a screwy sense of what constitutes entertainment (sorry, I just don't get it!), the remaining 0.1% are wildcards. There's no guarantee that this line of investigation is going to lead anywhere, but at least it's SOMETHING.

What they do lack, in my opinion, is imagination and intuitive reasoning, which can be a good starting pointing in investigations like these. You imagine what might have happened and see if the facts bear the theory out.

YES. Thank you, smartacus! While the average, run-of-the-mill beat cop who spends his day directing traffic or giving tickets to cyclists might lack motivation (and really, who wouldn't after a steady diet of that?), anyone involved in the actual investigation of crimes like these -- especially detectives -- do not lack motivation to solve the case. You don't become an investigator because of the pay or the hours; you do it because it's something you're good at, or because you love solving puzzles, or because you have a zeal for justice and an idealistic streak a mile wide.

That's why I agree with you that what the Jcops may lack is the imagination and critical thinking needed to solve something as brutal as these murders. You can't come at it from the standpoint that the criminals involved function on the same level as your average dimestore thief or chronic drug user. There's something wrong with these men's brains, and that requires new ways of thinking. I'm sure there are J-detectives who have the faculties to see through the killer's eyes (so to speak), but I couldn't say how many. The Japanese school system doesn't teach abstract thought, so where would they even learn those skills?

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Posted in: Kobe civil servant arrested for stalking ex-lover See in context

My guess is after 10 years she got sick of waiting for him to leave his wife and marry her instead, so she called it quits. I'd call her a smart girl, but getting involved in an affair with a married man is possibly one of the stupidest things a woman can do, so I'll settle for saying I'm glad she wasn't the victim of physical violence. We see way too many stories of stalkers brutally assaulting or murdering the objects of their obsession; at least this case didn't have a chance to go that far.

Yelnats: I'm sorry, but I agree with dolphingirl, ca1ic0cat, et al. She broke off the relationship OVER TWO YEARS ago, in April 2007, and suddenly he pops up on her radar again like a bad penny? Incessant phone calls and emails over a dead-and-buried relationship? And that's just what he's charged with. The woman went to police because this guy "continued to show up at her home and workplace." The implication there would seem to be that he kept coming back for the greater part of three years despite her desire to end the relationship. That's stalking. She should have reported it sooner.

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Posted in: Student leaps to death after trying to kill girlfriend See in context

I pray that this poor woman pulls through and recovers not only from her physical injuries, but the psychological ones as well. It's a shame the boyfriend killed himself -- such a quick death was far too good for him. I hope he knew real, mind-numbing fear as he plummeted towards the pavement. that at least would be some justice.

I agree with everyone's confusion over why the woman was at his apartment, and why there would be blood leading TO the apartment. If he'd stabbed her in the car, why would he stop and bring her up to his apartment to finish the job? Why not just kill her in the car? And if he DID stab her in the car, and she was mobile, why didn't she run AWAY? You certainly wouldn't run to the 9th floor of your stalker boyfriend's building and stumble into his apartment to call the police. This would seem to suggest that if she was wounded before being taken to his apartment then she MUST have been unconscious. How much blood was found outside the apartment? Was it a spatter, or pools of gore? Those details would be necessary for trying to piece together a timeline.

Again, my prayers are with the victim in this beastly crime.

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Posted in: Police continue search for clues in murdered Shimane Univ student case See in context

trinklets2: Agreed. This definitely doesn't sound like the work of a first-timer. They found her fingernails? That's some deep depravity right there. You don't progress from killing someone to tearing out their fingernails in the first go. That sounds like escalating behavior to me. Now, it may just be that wild animals scavenged the fleshy parts of this poor girl's hands and left the nails, but that doesn't seem very likely.

Police, you probably already know this, but PLEASE investigate other unsolved crimes in the surrounding area that may be related. Animal mutilations, assault and battery, rape charges; if this guy has been escalating his behavior, he must have started somewhere. He's GOT to be on someone's radar. I pray they find him and lock him away before anyone else's son or daughter becomes a victim.

As always, RIP, Hiraoka-chan.

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Posted in: Family of slain Chiba university student send letter to police See in context

nandakandamanda: I keep squinting at it, too, because I can't tell if that's the guy's real face or if he's wearing some kind of disguise. I don't know if that white blur across his face is glare off the camera lens or if he's got some kind of plastic... something on his head. I wish I could see it a little bigger.

Of course, we don't know this ATM guy is the one who killed the poor young woman. He might have simply ended up with her bank cards through other dubious means, like pickpocketing or trading for illegal goods and services. Either way, he needs to be found.

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Posted in: Family of slain Chiba university student send letter to police See in context

I agree that this letter seems like an odd choice. I can't begin to feel their pain, and of course they are entitled to do whatever they deem necessary to seek resolution and closure in their daughter's murder. But instead of sending the letter to the police, why not send it directly to the media rather than expecting it to be passed along by the police? Instead of asking the police to do more, why not call on the local and national community to find the guy in the ATM picture and turn him in? I'll admit that I have trouble sometimes with the Japanese use of passive-aggressive coercion and indirect confrontation (that sounds like such an oxymoron), but in this case I'm doubly nonplussed. Going to the guys who are already working on the case and telling them to work harder... I don't think that's really going to do any good. You need to expand the investigation to include the aid of everyone from the combini cashier down the street to the salaryman who takes the train every morning to work.

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Posted in: Johnny's boy bands join lineup for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' See in context

I'm so excited for Arashi! They deserve this honor, absolutely.

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Posted in: Children's depression and suicide a worsening problem See in context

The death of a child is incomprehensible, even more so when that child takes his or her own life. All the comments I've read have been truly insightful, and I really wish there was a way to get someone in a position of authority to actually READ these discussions. But as has been mentioned by several other posters, this isn't a matter of simply changing a few laws and tweaking the work hours so families spend more time together. This is a problem that is deeply seated in a social and cultural morass that has existed for thousands of years, where pride and respect for the individual has been perennially subsumed and sidelined in favor of group success. I'm not saying that narcicissm is the answer, because I'm not stupid, and I'm not saying that Western thinking is better than Eastern, because God knows Western culture has plenty of its own pitfalls. But I look at all the stresses placed on children in Japan - juku, exams, school activities and clubs -- and it breaks my heart, because NONE of it is done with the child's best interests in mind. It's all about bringing honor and respect to the family, or the school, or the class. It's about bragging rights between neighbors and co-workers, not a celebration of the child's accomplishments. When so much emphasis is placed on, "Be better than everyone else!" there's no room for a child to think, "I want to be the best me that I can be." When anything less than success is considered failure, how can we expect our children to see themselves as anything but a disappointment?

That said, you also have to look at the flipside of the coin: families who don't show any interest in their child whatsoever. These are the parents who never ask how their child did on the algebra test, or where they went after school, or who won the soccer game, and wouldn't give a d@mn if they found out anyway. Unlike the perfection-seeking parents who drive their children down a path of ambition in anticipation of bathing in reflected glory, these apathetic parents cause just as much damage by acting as if nothing their child does matters. Accomplishments aren't lauded, failures aren't discussed, and improvement isn't encouraged or nurtured. If the mantra of the Perfection Parent is, "Be better than everyone else!," the mantra of the Apathetic Parent is, "You'll never be anybody, so who cares?"

In the end, it comes down to communication. Yes, depression is a medical condition, and sometimes the only effective treatment is medication. In some cases the depression is a byproduct of an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid problem or severe anemia, and in these instances medical intervention is required. But for other sufferers, talk therapy and emotional support might be enough.

This is where a parent's unconditional love for their child is so important. Having a parent they can turn to and depend on for support is vital to a child's mental health. Physical contact -- a hug, a pat on the back, a kiss on the cheek at bedtime -- does so much for the parent/child bond, not just on the child's side, but also for the parent. This is why there are so many strong proponents for breastfeeding; the physical contact provides more than just sustenance. The same goes for any parent whose child has come into their room at two in the morning to say, "Mama, I had a bad dream. Can I sleep in here with you tonight?" That physical contact signifies comfort, protection, and safety to the child. While these broad physical displays of affection fall by the wayside as a child matures, it is nonetheless vital to maintain some kind of physical contact: a hug before school; a pat on the back for a job well-done; a high five after a home run. They're short, they're simple, and they're something every child should receive daily.

But most importantly, a child needs to know that they can go to their parent and say, "Mama, papa -- I didn't score well enough on the exam to get into Keio," and not have to worry about how their parents will react.

"Did you do your best?"

"I did, mama. I really did."

"Then you did just fine."

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Posted in: Police widen search for Hiraoka’s killer as grisly details emerge See in context

I hope they find the sick freak who did this, try him, convict him, and then hand him over to the general public for a good ol' fashioned lynching. I'm assuming it's a male who did this, but if it's a female I want the same thing. No mercy, no leniency, and absolutely no chance of breathing fresh air again.

To me the ground off flesh would suggest she might have been hit by the car

Agreed. Hit by a car, or possibly dragged by an animal. I'm not a forensic specialist and I certainly don't know the total state of the remains that have been found -- despite the media's attempts to tell us all the grisly details -- but I have to believe that at least SOME of the horrors inflicted on this poor girl were done post-mortem during disposal of the body. Which is not to say I give this disgusting creep any kind of leniency; he's a butcher and a devil. Hmm, you know, instead of a public lynching, how about they go REALLY old school on this guy and draw and quarter him? There'd be some sweet justice in tearing him (or her) limb from limb, don't you think?

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Posted in: Police continue search for missing body parts of slain univ student See in context

LRFAgain - Hear hear! You've expressed it beautifully. Though I'd also like to add that, at least from my point of view, a great deal of the outrage around the Lindsay Hawker case was less about the murder itself and more about the fact that Ichihashi was able to escape from his apartment, shoeless, dodging around a bunch of slackjawed Jcops, while Ms. Hawker's body mouldered in a bathtub full of sand on his porch. The furor was spurred by disbelief in the international community over the utter incompetence of the police who failed to apprehend Ichihashi despite having him and the body in their possession. I won't deny that it would have never played so largely in the international media if Ms. Hawker had not been a Westerner, and certainly not if her family hadn't kept pressing Japanese law enforcement to find Ichihashi and bring him to justice. But I think the outrage in the Hawker case was (and is) completely justified.

That being said, I echo the feelings of other posters here that this poor girl's murder should meet with equal attention in the Japanese media. So often when we hear murders reported in Japan it's been perpetrated by a family member, a friend, an ex-lover, a stalker, or someone else who is identifiable. Frequently, the killer turns him- or herself in to police without a fight (something I must admit I'll never understand -- if you're going to feel enough remorse to turn yourself in, just don't commit the crime in the first place).

But in the case of Hiraoka, the killer is a complete unknown. He (or she) could be anybody. What if it's a serial killer? What if Hiraoka-san is his latest victim? Or worse, what if she's only the first? So yes, there should be outrage, but I think a lot of what you'll see reflected in the media is fear. In addition to being horrific, chilling, and gruesome, Hiraoka-san's murder is, quite simply, frightening. It will remain so until a credible suspect has been identified, arrested, and proven guilty.

I don't have much hope for the Jcops' chances of recovering more remains; at least not in good condition. Scavenging wildlife and weather conditions have probably ravaged whatever hasn't yet been found.

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YES! Well done, ferry passenger! Thanks to you, this scum is finally under lock and key. A tip of the hat to you, and to the Jcops who didn't let him run off this time. we'll see you in the courtroom, Ichihashi!

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