Japan Today

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Posted in: Myanmar police fire on protesters in ancient former capital See in context


Myanmar can be difficult to understand for outsiders. The military has had a firm grip on power for more than half a century, and even during the last decade with experimenting with democracy, the military still mainly kept a huge part of the power.

And the way the military leaders make decisions are very superstitious. When the military in the 00s decided to move the capital to a newly developed area, it was after consulting with a fortune teller. Probably they did the same this time around.

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Posted in: Japan ready to support France in rebuilding Notre Dame cathedral See in context


Photos and videos wont really be needed, as there is plenty of documentation going hundreds of years back which in detail describe pretty much all parts of the church, both from historians, architects, Church people and so on.

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Posted in: Last-minute cancellation by Chinese tour groups driving businesses crazy See in context

About the credit card thing. Hotels and other establishments should be able to charge for no shows. That is the point of having the credit card number as guarantee. I used to work in a hotel, and if you were no show we would charge the amount for the first night or more, that was the policy. But yes, should not be charged before the costumer arrives, but in the event of no show its different. Why this is not done by japanese hotels is beyond my understanding, unless its just some bureaucratic rule that they are not allowed to. Of course if the costumer has gotten a new credit card in the mean time, then its a bit difficult :P

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Posted in: The wait is over for Pokemon Go fans in Japan See in context

In Denmark, a pokemon go hunter found a real dead body instead. And a woman who normally never locks her door had some unwanted visitors in her apartment due to a pokemon being in her place. Personally i think this wwhole pokemon go thing is stupid, but i guess there has to be stupid stuff from time to time to keep people occupied.

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Posted in: Man arrested for punching 2-year-old son in face See in context

I hope the japanese social services will step in and make some kind of action plan. I have no idea how family social work is laid out in Japan. I am a social worker myself and have worked in youth department where we would get cases similar to these. First there would need to be a quick estimation of whether its safe or not for the child to be at home, and then estimate what kind of support the parents could need. In the case of the father maybe an anger management course, or learning how to be a better parent. Hope things turn out well for the kid.

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Posted in: End of an era: Sony to stop making Betamax tapes See in context

No surprise news. Betamax has not been targeted for private use for decades, but as a few others pointed out, the format was used by many local tv stations and people who work professionally with video formats. Now i wonder if there will be any VIDEO 2000 news popping up as well at some point, as that was the third format battling Betamax and VHS back in the days. And of course earlier on there has been even other tape formats, like Telcon.

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Posted in: Woman arrested for fatal abuse of 3-year-old stepdaughter See in context

Sad case. Anyone commenting here should be wise enough to know that child abuse happens in any country in the world. There are severe cases to deal with whether its Japan, the US, Denmark, Italy, Nigeria, or wherever. What needs to be done is have more attentive children protection services, and neighbors who does the necessary reporting if they witness or suspect cases of child abuse. Even with a lot of attention to the issue, you still cannot eliminate child abuse from happening. Many parents might have symptoms of mental problems or frustrations that they let out on the defenceless child.

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Posted in: Two Russian women arrested for not paying taxi fare, assaulting driver See in context

Any person who regularly takes a taxi knows that prices can vary a lot. And really don´t see that the price has anything to do with running away from the bill and then physically attacking a driver. Unless he was asking to be paid with sexual services. But since the article mentions none of that stuff, then its pointless to try to read a lot of stuff in the article that just isn´t there. Physical assault is totally unacceptable. In case the girls didn´t like the price, they could have filed a complaint.

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Posted in: Studio Ghibli’s newest animated feature gets official release date See in context

Doublehelix74, "Kokuriko-zaka kara" was written by Hayao Miyazaki, but directed by the son Goro Miyazaki. And yes, that was from 2011. But most of the rest of the world have only had premieres of it in 2012 and 2013.

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Posted in: Police get tough on cyclists violating traffic laws See in context

Sounds like the april fools joke of the year. I remember back in 2003 or something, in a swedish newspaper, the april fools article was about a new traffic law that would prohibit bicyclists to bike faster than 20 kilometers per hour.

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Posted in: Zombie parade See in context

Zombie parades have been taking place all over the world for several years. Its a regular thing at least in Copenhagen. And also in Helsinki it happens every year. Nothing new, but a fun thing.

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Posted in: Man, woman stabbed to death in random attack on Osaka street See in context

Sad case. Has nothing to do with evil. The man was a mentally sick bomb just waiting to explode. And yeah, after studying about Japanese society, its clear that there are problems in the country that needs to be addressed. But look also around the world, and there are loads of examples of mentally unstable people that commit murders. Just this year i have read of similar cases from the US, Finland, and Denmark. Don´t forget that some weeks ago in Italy there was the retired guy who planted a bomb outside a school and killed a teenage girl. These things are not just a "japanese" thing, although there may be more ticking bombs in Japan.

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Posted in: Best breasts and wings in town See in context

@Fadamor You can´t have eaten at many japanese restaurants;) There are quite many restaurants which has service charges or some other kind of charges.

And about Hooters, well i like breasts, but when i go out to eat, its about the food and the company, and could not care less about the looks of the staff.

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Posted in: Man cooks, serves own genitals to 5 paying diners See in context

Yumichanmay This will actually not change the image of Japan at all. Most foreigners are used to the socalled "strange" news coming from Japan, and this we be just seen as something "bizarre" in the line of so many other news. I think it is much more shocking to read about discrimination issues in Japan, bizarre murder cases, or about Osakas mayor asking people if they have tattoos or not. So really there is nothing to be ashamed about. The german case about a guy who killed another guy to eat his genitals has not stopped people from visiting Germany.

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Posted in: Man cooks, serves own genitals to 5 paying diners See in context

haha. Get over it, people. Every day there are some kind of "shocking" news to be found. The guy appearently has not done anything illegal, and he even followed specific laws about how to handle everything. I will agree with those that think he might have mental health issues. I think there need to be more focus on A-sexuality, but that does not mean that one should have ones organs removed. About the cannibalism, personally i don´t care. I don´t see it as disgusting or a taboo. That is a social construction to see it as such. Again, no laws have been broken, except for peoples own incredible will to get upset.

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Posted in: Peru president leaves Japan with $250 mil in loans See in context

I should mention that in most cases, when natural disasters happen, the money needed is often given, the economic goals mostly reached. Many studies show that. The problem is, as ZICHI point out is the implementation of plans. Slow decision making and bureaucracy, not to mention lack of will to get things done faster, plus also costs for administration, means that problems are not solved. But what most people dont realise is that the money is often already in place. It was the same with the tsunami-money donated for the big disaster in Thailand/Indonesia/Sri Lanka almost a decade ago, and also the case with the Haiti earthquake. Another problem in some areas is also rampant corruption, which means some money get "lost". Actually im wondering why people are not more critical towards the creation of a socalled free trade agreement. Free trade agreements often benefits mainly big companies, and not so much local production. At least hope the money is spent well on making the Peru system more green.

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Posted in: Obama becomes first U.S. president to back same-sex marriage See in context

When talking about christianity, then its not just about what the bible might or might not be saying. The reality is that many christians are homosexual, both in the protestant, orthodox, and catholic camp. There are furthermore muslim homosexuals. For a person that is raised as a christian, but also discovers being homosexual, of course it will feel as an act of discrimination not to be able to combine ones own religious beliefs with the sexual orientation. The true problem here is that too many people dont emphatize with other peoples feelings, but persists in only looking at themselves, and disregards other peoples narratives in society. Whether Obama is saying this for election reasons or not doesnt matter. Just by saying it, you have a huge symbolic, and for many also a historical, statement that will be a part of what his presidency will be remembered for. It will take decades before equality is reached, still after 5 decades there are still many racial issues in the US, even though segregation laws were abolished in the 1960ties, or more than 150 years after slavery were abolished, one could say. In Denmark, it is now being discussed whether homosexuals can marry in churches or not, as its only legal to marry in a town hall/on the paper. And looks like Denmark will join in on the liberal side. A step forward for equality.

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Posted in: Japanese woman kidnapped, raped in Sydney See in context

The majority of rape cases around the world occurs between people who already know eachother, so it is in no way strange that the two of them had met before and the woman probably trusted the man enough to go to his place. Hope he receives maximum penalty if found guilty. And hope she gets the right counselling on top of this ordeal.

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Posted in: Japan to unfreeze Libyan assets See in context

Good luck to the new rulers of Libya. Facing a hard task. And to people here talking about terrorism...well, Gaddafi was the biggest terrorist of them all. Decades of depraved dictatorship finally came to an end. And anyone who knows just a bit of Libyas population would know that a lot of people strive for a moderate version of Islam and sure it wont be an easy task since Gaddafi pretty much spent a lot of time playing tribes and fractions against eachother...but now is the time for a new beginning.

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Posted in: 4 Japanese lawmakers to be banned from visiting island near Dokdo See in context

Well, S. Korea was a military dictatorship until 1993, so pretty recently. And the turmoil of political problems between Japan and S. Korea has always been big. But my South Korean friends also blame their own politicians for creating a lot of tension and the political environment is pretty bad. There is a growing group of S. Koreans who also think that the problems between North and south korea are worsened because of S. korean government rhetorics.

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Posted in: How important have social media like Facebook, Twitter and mixi been in disseminating information and organizing quake relief aid activities during the current crisis in Japan? See in context

Not only facebook or twitter, but also social networks like couchsurfing has helped spread a lot of information about what is going on in Japan, and people could get connected with info about volunteering and donations. Social networks online is becoming a bigger and bigger thing in peoples way of gathering information.

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Posted in: What are some of the most unusual themed restaurants, bars or cafes you have been to in Japan? See in context

Im surprised no one knows about Kagaya, which must be one of the most personal of the crazy places around Tokyo. all the rest like alcatraz or the Lockup are just chain restaurants in comparison. Search for kagaya on google, and you will know what i mean.

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Posted in: 'Norwegian Wood' debuts at Venice Film Festival See in context

Well, no work, be it book or movie will ever please anyone. "Norwegian Wood" was the first Murakami book i read, and i could identify with the character. Looking forward for the movie, mostly because i have liked the vietnamese-french directors movies for years before i even heard of Murakami. Definitely one of the talented moviemakers of today. Will be interesting to see how this movie is compared to his other beautiful movies.

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Posted in: Local residents fight to save historic school buildings in Tokyo's Chuo Ward See in context

The lack of architectural city planning in japanese big cities is really headshaking for me. I spent a good deal of time in Kyoto walking around in the city, and next to really beautiful old machiya-style houses there are often the worst business concrete buildings that are built totally out of sync with the older buildings. Its sad to see older buildings give way to buildings that are just functional but in generel is not considered beautiful.

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Posted in: 5 most impressive movie women who kick butt See in context

not having Pam Grier from her role in COFFY is a big mistake.

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Posted in: Canadian rock band Sum 41 singer hospitalized in Osaka after attack See in context

Seeing that there are many types of bars in Osaka, they could randomly have walked into a place that was a private members club and problems could have occurred when they were refused entrance. Or it could have been a prostitution-type of bar, or a yakuza hangout. Unfortunately the article doesnt elaborate on this. Personally there are many bars i try to stay away from if i dont know the system of that particular bar. Even in my homecountries Denmark and thailand there are several places i wouldnt go.

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Posted in: If a longtime expat starts offering you advice, walk the other way See in context

I find this article a bit laughable, but of course these kind of generalizations does have its truths and falses. I myself try to give advice about do and donts in Japan to other people coming here, but often its japanese themselves who are telling people what the do and donts are. Sure are are a lot of things that stay the same in Japan, but in a way because of the pop culture and trends in society changing, there IS a lot of dynamical things also. For example there are more and more young couples who want to share responsibilities for raising children and sharing housework, and i hear more and more company people complaining that the young japanese who start working in a company doesnt wanna drink with the seniors working in a company. But in generel an advice are given on basis on an individual persons experiences about things, and of course other people may not share that viewpoint. If i asked an american for advice about mentioning about american politics or why the US seem like such one-sided country, then i might get the advice that there are certain things i should not talk about. On the other hand if you meet a liberal type from california or New York, or even a liberal from the mid west, then you probably would be advised differently. Basic point...get the advices, but dont see them as holy truths.

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Posted in: Officer ticketed after going wrong way down one-way street See in context

crazy stuff. In Denmark the police cannot be fined for something like this. They would most likely be driving in the wrong direction on purpose.

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Posted in: It’s time to get rid of sound trucks See in context

A lot of whining here. Try going to Bangkok and hear the trucks that drive around in the small sidestreets there. Pretty much the same as in Japan, but in Bangkok you just have a lot more aggressive people driving around.

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Posted in: Teacher arrested for stealing woman's wallet while on train See in context

CapnSinbad, this is a theft crime common all over the world. Dont see how your point would be more or less valid in specific to Japan as compared to other nations like Denmark or the US for that matter. You have lots of people also in most other countries who steal even though they dont need to. Its called being a cleptomaniac, and it occurs frequently in nations whether they are full of regulations or being pretty liberal.

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