NagoyaOya comments

Posted in: Cross-dressing Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening Tokyo Olympics 'would embarrass Japan' See in context

It's not as if the Olympic opening ceremony would feature a JPN48 idol group and nothing else. It will no doubt be a mishmash of Japan old and new, traditional and modern. And J-pop, anime and manga will undoubtedly be a part of it. Japan has such breadth as well as depth to its culture that it could be an amazing show.

Oh, and the comments deriding Matsuko Deluxe for being a fat, untalented, flavour-of-the-month "thing" are hugely disappointing. In Japan of all places it's important to have people who are prepared to challenge the status quo, to stand out from the crowd and to speak truth to power (her comments on the political rise of Koizumi Jr were a breath of fresh air). More power to her!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of murders in Japan in 2013 drops to postwar low See in context

The LA Times reported on the issue of Japan's low autopsy rate back in 2007: http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/09/world/fg-autopsy9

Whatever about the accuracy of the stated figure, I would guess that it's counterbalanced by the fact the in Japan's case the total also includes attempted murders and even plans to murder. Surely they would outnumber actual murders? A UNODC survey in 2011, which counts only intentional murders, gives a 2008 figure of 646 for Japan, and a later report gives 506 for 2009. Interestingly, and unusually, Japan has about a 50/50 male/female ratio of both victims and perpetrators. http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/Homicide/Globa_study_on_homicide_2011_web.pdf

Whatever about the country's many other failings, Japan's high level of personal safety and security is a wonderful thing.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: No. of foreign visitors to Japan in 2013 exceeds 10 mil target See in context

Given that the 10-millionth visitor landed at Narita on December 20, and based on the JNTO's figures for 2012 & 2013, it's very unlikely the total for the year was 11,250,000. http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/ttp/sta/PDF/E2013.pdf http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/ttp/sta/PDF/E2012.pdf http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/topics/2013/president_message_20131220.html

That aside, I'm delighted that a target that, to me at least, seemed unlikely to be achieved a couple of years ago has been realised. A good deal of the credit should go to Stefan Schauwecker's Japan Guide website, which added Chinese and Korean versions several years ago.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: The Eagles have no regrets about earlier life in the fast lane See in context

I was a fan of the hits but knew little more of them when I was offered a free ticket to the Hell Freezes Over show at Tokyo Dome in '95 (I doubt I would have bought one). It was one of the best live shows I've seen, great songs and great musicianship.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Worldwide anti-dolphin, whale hunt rallies planned for Tokyo, 8 other cities See in context

@AriesKJJ - once again here's a comment about turning Taiji into a dolphin/whale-watching destination. I agree that the town - and the greater Kumano region - is in many ways perfect for much further development as a tourist destination. But activists have to do more than talk about the tourism revenue and jobs as if they were a given. SJD, SSCS and all the rest have the money and/or connections to the kind of money to fund a full-scale feasability study. Ric O'Barry and others rightly cite the islands of Mikura/Miyake as an example of where dolphin-watching is already being done right, but on a fairly small scale because of accessibility issues. Time-consuming though it is to get to the southern Kii peninsula, you don't have to rely on overnight ferries - there is decent public transport and expressway access is improving. Extending both the Ise and Hanwa expressways and expanding train schedules would be central proposals of any wide-ranging feasability study but even a plan that didn't require that degree of government cooperation would have considerable persuasive power. The economic benefits to the region and protection of wildlife would of course have to be balanced against the environmental impact of new infrastructure and hordes of tourists.

IMO, people need to stop saying that tourism can save Taiji until they have some solid numbers to back it up. If you can show some nice big numbers to the populace of those coastal communities where young people see no future for themselves, then watch as the tide of public opinion changes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: H&R Group See in context

He is indeed. I'm no expat, but after I moved from Tokyo to Nagoya, Steve was one of the people I got to know here. Nagoya has a pretty close-knit foreign community and the smaller scale of it compared to say Tokyo seems to make it a friendlier, more inclusive group. So if you're a non-expat moving to Nagoya from elsewhere in Japan, you probably won't be in the market for his company's services but you could do worse than join Steve for a night out on the town!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Wakayama court clears anti-dolphin hunt activist See in context

No surprise there. Erwin was made an example of by being cooped up for an extended period. To have actually convicted him would have been ridiculous, as the inconsistent testimony mentioned above illustrates. The whole exercise was a case study in how far the Japanese law can and will be used against you if someone wants to make a point.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Dead shark dumped in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park See in context

Any joggers in Yoyogi park this morning really would have had to jump the shark.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: NMB48 song tops Oricon chart See in context

@plasticmonkey - exactly, and precisely why the guillotine was recently brought down on two members of AKB48 for the shocking offense of being photographed hanging out with guys - not lewd, not naked or even close, just hanging out, in a group no less. But otaku illusions were shattered in an instant, and untold potential revenue lost. Remember, these groups are selling a million singles IN A DAY. Ka-ching!

Lest we forget, this whole concept is nothing new and goes back to Onyanko Club in the 80s and hits like セーラー服を脱がさないで/"Don't make me take off my sailor suit" The continuation is fully illustrated by this AKB48 version of the same song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njl0-jpuRhY

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Grammy man See in context

Yoshiki, who splits his time between Los Angeles and Japan, is actually a voting member of the Recording Academy and so one of the people who decide the Grammy Award winners. X Japan are putting a lot of money behind their current effort to break into the US market. History would suggest their chances of success are limited, since the last time a Japanese artist even broke the Billboard Top 40 was more than 30 years ago. Who can name the artist?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Taiji meeting on dolphin hunt set for Nov 2; public to be barred See in context

Suggestions for questions anyone? I'll be able to pass them on to the participants for their consideration (seemingly the deadline for submissions has passed but I doubt this meeting will be as structured as they hope). The public may not be allowed access to the meeting but our tax yen are involved here so we all have a stake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Taiji meeting on dolphin hunt set for Nov 2; public to be barred See in context

The participants in this meeting can each ask 3 questions. If you were to attend, regardless of which side you stand on - if any - what questions would you ask? Here's three of the top of my head.

Are the officials of Taiji prepared to allow independent testing of its citizens for mercury and other poisoning and its effects? This testing would be paid for in full by (insert environmental group name). If not, why not?

What is the breakdown in revenue received by the Taiji fishermen/Isana Union, the Taiji Whale Museum and Taiji town related to the small-cetacean hunt in 2009? (to include live capture, the sale of meat, and any funding from local or national government)

Would Taiji officials be prepared to cooperate in a feasibility study, funded by (insert environmental group name), of alternatives sources of revenue for the town, its fishermen and those working in related businesses?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Heroes' actress Hayden Panettiere gets chilly reception in Taiji See in context

A lot of the most commonly asked questions are answered here: http://www.savejapandolphins.org/faq.php

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Heroes' actress Hayden Panettiere gets chilly reception in Taiji See in context

SppedRacer, You don't have to go all the way to the top of the aquatic food chain to find high levels of mercury. The Cove director Louie Psihoyos relates how he was tested at the Minamata Institute and was found to have high levels of mercury from eating a lot of sushi. The doctors then did a bit of testing on themselves and found that their mercury levels shot up when they ate daily but modest amounts of the high-grade sushi tuna. they don't eat it anymore, nor allow anyone at the hospital to eat it, but are "too scared" to speak out about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Heroes' actress Hayden Panettiere gets chilly reception in Taiji See in context

Just to add a bit more information missing from the story. The visit was sponsored mainly by the Whaleman Foundation (Jeff Pantukhoff is the founder), and Panetierre is the spokesperson for their "Save the Whales Again" campaign. Pierce Brosnan is another celeb who has promoted it, but bringing him to Japan is presumably a bit of a stiff order compared to a 20-year-old B-starlet.

The local organizer of the trip, as the article says, was Steve Thompson, a high school English teacher in Osaka who includes a union victory against Osaka governor Hashimoto on his resume.

And by the way, this story continues tomorrow with Panetierre & Co. attending the Dolphin Peace Picnic in Osaka tomorrow. http://vegansociety.jp/hayden-panettiere-dolphin-peace-osaka/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Heroes' actress Hayden Panettiere gets chilly reception in Taiji See in context

What this reports leaves out is that the fishermen's union representative actually sat down and talked with members of the visiting group for a couple of hours yesterday, which I believe was the first time for them to agree to do so. Without going into details, one result of that talk was that Taiji officials decided not to deal with them anymore. So it seems that some good could have come out of this but it is more likely to simply strengthen Taiji's siege mentality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

Japan should realize that racism by Western nations is nothing new and we were the first country that proposed articles dedicated to the elimination of racial discrimination to be added to the rules of the League of Nations at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. This was the first proposal concerning the international elimination of racial discrimination in the world. Uhm, Nihonryu, you do realize that almost a century later Japan STILL doesn't have a law against racial discrimination?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anger and defiance in Taiji after 'Cove' wins Oscar See in context

For anyone who thinks that the people who made The Cove would have better spent their time looking at abattoirs, circuses, zoos and the like, well that ground's being covered (see Food Inc, Earthlings, etc).

I will be interviewing the star (Ric O'Barry) and director (Louie Psihoyos) of The Cove tomorrow. If you have a question you'd like to ask either or both of them, please email it to thecove@japan-zone.com. Please provide a first name and country at least, but let me know if you DON'T want me to use your name. I'll be giving preference to people who are in Japan, and (despite my own views) I won't be choosing questions based on any bias. I'll be putting the interviews, along with articles about Taiji and The Cove, on Japan Zone as soon as I can.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Online Shop English portal site attracts 200 shops in 1st month See in context

BTW, their inane tagline of "We bring you the best!" was born out of a phone conversation I had with one their guys. I can't remember what they had before (but it was awful) and I suggested they start by changing it. "You know...We bring you the best Japan has to offer...or something like that, but snappier." Voila!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Online Shop English portal site attracts 200 shops in 1st month See in context

Shouldn't Japan Today mention that JOS is (or at least was) a sponsor/advertiser? I run one of the stores that JOS links to and it has led to absolutely zilch in new business. I mean, fair play to them in trying to build a business but their lack of understanding of how to communicate with a non-Japanese audience is astounding. I'd love to know how much money is being wasted on all this (including that given to JT).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Pink Floyd member Richard Wright dies age 65 See in context

I'm a lifelong PF fan and Rick Wright's loss is a sad one indeed.

But I have to say to Taka - making a mental note to a co-worker?! Syd Barrett would be proud of you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Britain, Ireland lowest in Europe in quality of life: study See in context

Without knowing what the full list of factors are, we can argue ad nauseum about their objectivity. But having just come back from a trip to Ireland, I can affirm that the cost of living there is astronomically high for the quality of life you get. I arrived in Japan at a time when, compared to Ireland and the UK, living here was very expensive. But it was compensated by lower taxes and safer streets, plus a host of more subjective benefits to being a gaijin in Japan. Not much has radically changed here, prices included, in the last 20 years. But in that time, the cost of living has increased several times over in Ireland, to the point where it's now more expensive than Japan. This country has its faults, but it's only when you visit a supposedly fellow first-world country like Ireland that you see the many things Japan has done right.

Now as to whether I prefer the cold, rainy Irish summer or the hot, humid Japanese one...I think the cold and rain takes it by a whisker.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: British employee of Merrill Lynch Japan among 10 busted over cocaine use at nightclubs See in context

I think you'll find the answer in the word "sueing" a few comments up!

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Posted in: British employee of Merrill Lynch Japan among 10 busted over cocaine use at nightclubs See in context

Some interesting circular posting going on here. Is it okay to post a link to a site that DOES name names? (URL changed as the original one set off the naughty word alarm)

http://tinyurl.com/3m8tpy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: British employee of Merrill Lynch Japan among 10 busted over cocaine use at nightclubs See in context

I see the comments mentioning his name and age have been deleted, even though they're on the Asahi newspaper's Japanese website.

But anyway, barring a positive blood test, the "the drugs just found their way into my pocket" defense is solid, isn't it? If I were in possession of some coke when the police raided a bar, I'd be looking for some securities company employee's pocket.

<strong>Moderator: At this stage, we ask all readers to refrain from publishing the suspect's name.</strong>

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: X JAPAN to perform at Madison Square Garden See in context

Oh, and while I'm picking holes, the KISS show at MSG was in 1996.

<strong>Moderator: The mistakes have now been corrected. Thanks for pointing them out.</strong>

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: X JAPAN to perform at Madison Square Garden See in context

Jeez, JT still think that Yoshiki is the singer? Two people pointed out the error on the previous story. These entertainment "stories" aren't credited to Kyodo so are they being translated in-house? The quality is pretty poor, either way.

I started translating the Jpn entertainment news over on japan-zone.com many years ago simply because no one else was doing it. There are a few alternatives now, but JT certainly isn't a decent one yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the new Japan Today design? See in context

I'm looking at this page and I see...ads. Lots of ads above the fold on a full-screen laptop view: (Site logo), a big leaderboard ad, (the navigation bar), two side-by-side Google AdWords blocks, an HIS affiliate ad, (the search box), and the top of the directory listings (sorry, ads).

At least until people have recovered from the shock of the new, I'd cut back on the ad over-exposure. Though I'm also wondering why almost no one else is saying this...ad blindness, perchance?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the new Japan Today design? See in context

Disappointed. This relaunch has been coming for what, six months? And it's pretty much business as usual in terms of what the site has to offer.

I suppose it looks a bit more "Web 2.0" but that's supposed to be about function more than form. But then again, now I don't have to suck my finger and stick it out the window to get the latest wind speed.

So anyway, what is the wind speed of air leaving a rapidly deflating balloon?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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