Japan Today

nahaman comments

Posted in: Obama rejects notion that TPP deal is in danger See in context

Am I having hallucinations? I was just thinking that fresh produce prices are the lowest in years. There must have been bumper crops because of a long cool spring. And even though they are from cold storage, 700-ish yen for 6 apples is about the same price as they were 10 years ago, although I do get 4 for 350Y these days. I'm talking about greengrocer prices, not supermarkets where you have to pay their massive overheads and cartel transport costs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: M6.7 earthquake hits north of Okinawa See in context

How can the Richter Magnitude (maximum 9+) and the Japanese M scale (maximum 7) be exactly the same scale????

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: A new growth industry: professional housekeeping See in context

When we couldn't get any locals to clean our house, we tried a local language school where the (mostly) Chinese students were happy to find baito that paid more than minimum wage. We gave then 1000 yen an hour for 4 hours a week, did not abuse them verbally like most local employers, and so had pretty good results except for the expected turnover when they went off to Tokyo to work or to another school. One did steal from us, but I think that's a risk whenever a stranger works in your home. In the end though, it turned out to be easier to do it ourselves, especially as kids got older and more capable of cleaning up after themselves.

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Posted in: Two more U.S. servicemen arrested in separate incidents See in context

Yeah, back to the Phils. Great idea! A longtime resident of Manila told me that it's fine to pee up against a wall there but you'd damn well better cover your mouth when you use a toothpick. I hope our troops can remember that!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Two more U.S. servicemen arrested in separate incidents See in context

The civilian fine for DUI is about $5000 for a first offense on Okinawa, which ought to be pretty good punishment for the daytime drunk. That plus a quick dishonorable.

The buddy system was tried and failed, incidentally, at least during another period of incidents on Okinawa in 2005. I think the problem is an attitudinal one, and self-perpetuating: "They don't like us anyway, so screw'em for not knowing that America is the best country in the world, those ignorant J....s"..


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Posted in: Prosecutors to decide charges for U.S. airman over alleged assault See in context

There is something fundamentally wrong about stationing young, single troops in Okinawa. If you don't believe this true, I invite you to scan the "personals" in Craigslist. KAB seems to be a particularly foul sewer.

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Posted in: Noda says Japan will have to OK Osprey deployment See in context

"A few angry farmers"????? Please bend over a bit farther, Mr. Prime Minister.

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Posted in: Return to cassette tapes (or did we ever truly leave them behind?) See in context

Previous comment on journalistic excellence aside, I think it's great that we can buy good-quality blank cassettes. I own a classic 1994 Honda Beat with a unique original sound system that has a cassette player that sounds as good as the CD changer and a lot better than MP3s. Happy to make some new tapes just to show how good they can sound.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Surplus engines from Japan and climate change See in context

Usually the problem is curable, mainly by correct tuning of diesels. Black smoke is normal at high altitudes, but Manila is definitely sea level. Used engines are usually not too bad, but the author doesn't seem to know much about them if he thinks an engine with a broken crankcase would be exported from Japan. I blame the vehicle owners, who probably just don't care as long as they get the fares.

As for it being a problem of the commons, it's not unusual for Japan to be enveloped in Chinese-generated soot when the winds are right (wrong?)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: TEPCO to drop nuclear exports See in context

Definition of a No-Brainer.

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Posted in: Nissan CEO Ghosn earned Y987 mil in fiscal 2011 See in context

Strangely, I feel myself siding with the high-pay-OK side. Ghosn has been Nissan CEO for quaite a long time, not a new bright light (think H-P). He has done a good job of improving the product line and the profits. Would that most American CEOs were as successful.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to make illegal downloading of music, videos punishable with jail terms See in context

@paulinusa - isn't that true of most white-collar prosecutions? Send Bernie Madoff to prison and (maybe) deter other Ponzi-schemers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to make illegal downloading of music, videos punishable with jail terms See in context

Fortunately for us in Okinawa, the level of active policing is almost nil. Proof? Look at how many cars go around with brake and rear lights burned out. In the US, those are like honey to the bears who slap fines on drivers. We should count our blessings!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: One dead, 52 injured in 15 prefectures after typhoon cuts across Honshu See in context

It was no big deal in Okinawa. I was expecting a sleepless night from the whistling winds but they never really resumed after about 10 pm. Still getting light rain from the tail but the satellite shows it is pretty dissipated, but still might dump a lot of rain on Kansai today.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Typhoon heads toward Okinawa See in context

The first typhoon is exciting but all the rest are just a drag. Okinawa had a small but nasty one last summer that blew my back gate to splinters when the wind unusually shifted around to come from the north, and it caused a lot of damage on the island. And then about 3 years before that there was one that took me a week to clean up garden debris. That one might have been a "super".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's 'Lolita' style: cutesy and disturbing See in context

Beauty (and obscenity) is in the eye of the beholder. Nabokov's Lolita was a victim, not a perpetrator or a pervert, so there is nothing morally wrong with teenage girls dressing in the "lolita" style. I've been much more disgusted with some middle-aged male friends who put them down for "dressing like hookers". Having said that, if these girls understood better what role they could be seen as playing, maybe they would tone it down a bit.

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Posted in: Gov't aims to make all lighting LED-based by 2020 See in context

@globalwatcher - where did you have all those LED lights? Are you maybe confusing them with low-wattage fluorescents??.Those were a lousy deal - never lasted as long as advertised and still a disposal problem.

I replaced all the lamps in my car with LEDs (except for headlights) and don't have to worry about draining the battery if I forget to turn them off.

LEDs are fairly new on the market and still only competitively priced for 20-30 watt equivalent bulbs. If you need broad spectrum illumination for your health, I suggest you leave your computer for a while and step into the sunlight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. may deploy Osprey aircraft at Iwakuni before Okinawa See in context

2005 was not exactly "testing stage", and if you know how they have solved the non-autorotation problem, I'm listening. Actually I am a bit irritable today because Friday was the worst in many moons for military aircraft noise.

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Posted in: U.S. may deploy Osprey aircraft at Iwakuni before Okinawa See in context

"The aircraft is incapable of autorotation to make a safe landing in helicopter mode if both engines fail. A director of the Pentagon's testing office in 2005 said that if the Osprey loses power while flying like a helicopter below 1,600 feet (490 m), emergency landings "are not likely to be survivable"."

Sounds like just the kind of hardware we need flying over southern Okinawa.

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Okinawa marks 40 years since return to Japan See in context

One, (not You (baru)), could make the case that the rich Okinawan culture is worth preserving, but will die if the American presence and the associated mainland Japanese influence continues. Of course that is too much to hope for, but still is a good reason for wanting those influences to vanish. The Okinawans were poor but content before the war. You can argue that they are better off now but I disagree. Don't dredge up the Satsuma/imperialist argument, and the fact that a few thousand landlords have been made wealthy doesn't cut the karashi either. The Japanese government would be happy to end their blood money payments for Okinawa infrastructure and the Okinawans would get along somehow.

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Posted in: Okinawa marks 40 years since return to Japan See in context

I'm waiting to be the designated ignorant one now, but why couldn't the "mission" of Futenma be carried out in an equivalent sized corner of Kadena? The mission consists of people, activities, and facilities. Nothing sacred about not doing it somewhere there is room, excepting the unwillingness of the AF and USMC to play together. Tuff s**t, I say. So OK, the Marines are Very Important For Our Defense, but by the way what is Kadena's mission except to flatten some poor country before the Marines wade in?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't seeks 20% cut in electricity use in central, western Japan See in context

Raising the price of electricity is a GREAT idea. People have no incentive to reduce consumption for the "greater good" but will respond when their individual wallets are targeted.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Boy steals from high school chemistry lab to make explosives See in context

Beans + mustard = ammonia + bleach

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Boy steals from high school chemistry lab to make explosives See in context

sunhawk - not necessarily small quantities. I was a chemistry nerd in Jr High and remember temptingly large bottles of chemicals that were sold to schools by lab supply companies. (The school supply rooms always smelled like alcohol and copper sulphate.)

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Posted in: Boy steals from high school chemistry lab to make explosives See in context

I'm impressed. The rap kids get here is for lack of initiative, which he obviously has lots of. My god, did I ever used to do that kind of stuff! Powdered zinc mixed with sulfur was my favorite - big green flash. For gunpowder++ potassium chlorate works better than niitrate. As they'd probably say now, "it's da bomb".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Panetta hails 'important' deal on Marines in Japan See in context

Hey - that's a great idea, nudge.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. senators say Okinawa base plan needs congressional approval See in context

Agree with Johninnaha - the bases have been here too long and the US presence is an embarassment. It's a huge expense to the US, which is more to the point these days, serving basically as a little R&R for poor guys on their way to Afghanistan. The twerp in Pyongyang and his missiles are a joke, and if we or China wants to start a war I don't want to be in Okinawa when it happens.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: De Niro: I meant no offense with first lady joke See in context

The only possible reason to apologize is that deNiro's ironical joke was too close to the reality that people actually said we weren't ready for a black president in 2008. If you didn't get this, I feel sorry for you and maybe you need to relax and drink less.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan says N Korean rocket may pass over Okinawa See in context

John - how about organizing a rocket-watching party?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Realtors have hard time renting stigmatized properties See in context

timeon - u reminded me.... i only did it once, but it was quite a bit more than walking.

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