NAM comments

Posted in: A safer gun? 'Smart' pistols headed to U.S. market See in context

This tech is one step in the right direction, but I don't think it can be used to stop most/all of the gun problems in the USA. I think it will be the most useful for families with children, so the kids can't accidentally shoot it if they find it. However, I doubt this will be very useful for suicidal people- generally speaking they need therapy and psychological help more than tech can help them. As always, there needs to be better and stricter registration, licensing, legislation, and safety procedures in the USA about guns.

I like how in Japan the police come to the houses to check how people are keeping them, and to own a gun here is rather complicated. If they did a similar thing in the USA, that could really help. Not to mention a mental health check up before purchasing a gun, but I know I am dreaming here lol.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Firefighter docked pay for making over a million yen from game streaming See in context

Clearly they need to pay firefighters more! This is the second article this week about firefighters getting pay deductions for working side jobs. It's hard to say if they actually will ever pay more, what with all the white collar crime there is little left over for real working people.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: IOC major sponsors mostly muted in runup to Beijing Olympics See in context

I am so done watching or thinking about the Olympics. Last summer really did it for me, I can't unsee how corrupt, greedy, and selfish all the people involved are. I think most people are like this now, and sponsors are noticing. The IOC needs to clean up its act.

Also slightly related, if you want to know more about the Olympics doping scandal from a few years back, Icarius was a great documentary on Netflix about it. It even got an academy award.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Oscars will have a host again in 2022 See in context

I hope they choose someone other than Jimmy. He's ok, but it would be nice to give someone else get a chance. Maybe Tiffany Haddish, Tracy Morgen, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Adored and endangered: The complex world of the Japanese eel See in context

This was a great article, I definitely learned a lot!

I knew about the endangered status of eels a while ago, which is why I stopped eating it even though it was one of my favorite dishes here. But I didn't know about the black market for eel, and how much Japan imports.

I agree that the only solution is to stop eating it for a while and let the population bounce back. Simple, but how to support the people whose livelihoods depends on eel? Governments will need to focus on this in the future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan promoting universal tourism, catering to diverse dietary needs See in context

This is nice in theory, but when will they allow tourists in again!? They're just starting to allow people with current visas in, there's something like 370,000 people who have been waiting. After they get through them tourists will be....??? Summer 2022?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China's 'Single's Day' shopping fest subdued by tech crackdown See in context

As the old joke goes, China is a capitalist country masquerading as a communist one lol.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to cut quarantine to 3 days for business travelers, students from Monday See in context

This is really great news for all the separated families out there, like mine was. There was a strict no visas for families unless it was a life/death situation or medical necessity, and the paperwork was enormous. I think when we finally counted it all up, the paperwork we submitted was about 153 pages. It's great that these families can put their lives back together again, it has been horrible these 2 years for everyone. The stories are just heartbreaking.

This is also great new for students who were planning to and paid to study abroad in Japan. I have quite a few students who are stuck in their countries but doing all their classwork and Zoom from there. It will be so nice for them to finally get the real Japan experience they dreamed of.

This is such happy news for so many people!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: For Stella McCartney, fashion must ditch leather or die trying See in context

Using leather and fast fashion are not such simple topics or problems to solve.

For example, although she claims people wear fast fashion a maximum of 3 times, I believe this might be true for rich people but not for people who have less money. Generally we wear our clothes until we can't fix them anymore. I personally have a shirt from H&M that I've been wearing since the early 2000s. Secondly, you also have to consider that most sustainable fashion brands don't make clothing for people above a size large/medium or for disabled people. So, their clothing is a lot less inclusive and many people shop fast fashion because it fits. Third, the price. I can go to a second-hand store (like Hard-Off) and get a used leather belt for 300 yen that will last me for years and years.

Of course, if there were less expensive, sustainable clothing that fit I would go for it, but the problems with sustainable fashion right now aren't so easy/simplistic to solve.

Not to mention, making fake leather out of plastics or fungi or pineapple or whatever still requires factories, extraction and manipulation of resources, and energy use. Are they really better for the planet than organic leather? It seems to me there is still a long way to go in terms of improving the fashion industry, and focusing on leather seems small compared to all the other problems.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Scientists discover cause of Alzheimer's progression in brain See in context

My father died from early onset Alzheimer's and my uncle on my mother's side died from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. I know firsthand how horrible these diseases are, and I feel so grateful that researchers and doctors are making so much progress with understanding and treatment.

I hope when I'm older there will be more effective medicines and treatments, and for anyone going through this with loved ones, remember this too shall pass. And please don't take their actions or words personally, they just aren't the same anymore, even if you get glimpses of their real selves. Try to remember all the good times together and the life they were able to live.

Articles like this are really uplifting, and I hope to see more positive news like this!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: How to nurture creativity in your kids See in context

One of my favorite things to do with kids is art projects! Drawing together, coloring together, making paper crafts together, etc. If parents can take the time out of busy schedules to just clear the kitchen table, pull out some crayons and pencils, kids start to see it as a valuable activity too. Of course, resist the urge to instruct them in the "right way" lol

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan adopts plan to push clean energy, nuclear to cut carbon emissions See in context

Building and using nuclear power plants in a country with so many natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, landslides, etc) is just stupid at this point. Nuclear power might be a good option for a more stable country, but it's just not a good fix for the energy needs of Japan. It's too dangerous, and there are too many people at the top of corporations willing and able to money and profits before safety. It's just a gamble of when the next problem/disaster will be, not if.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Teacher arrested over sexual assault in classroom See in context

People seem to be confused about the age of the girls. This is my best guess:

In Japanese, they don't really have an official word for teenager, although many people use and understand the katakana version of it. In the original article, they most likely used "10年代" or something similar, which means someone from age 10-19. So if that was the case, the girls clearly could have been about fifth grade, which would make them 11ish. Old enough to be in elementary school, get lured by the promise of a sticker or stamp, and still have breasts. Of course I don't have the original article here in Japanese, but that's what for me seems most logical-just a not perfect translation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: The 'zombification' of married life See in context

This article is kind of all over the place. The first couple seems like they might be OK except for financial hardships. The second couple sound like they're basically roommates to each other now. Those seem to be very different problems to me. So, why are they grouped together as reasons why people don't divorce? I mean, why not add more reasons like a sick partner, a shared business, etc. There are as many reasons out there to not get divorced as there are reasons out there to marry. This article fails to draw any parallels between the couples they give as examples, or support their "zombification" claim with any data or research. I assume they thought the term sounded cool, it kind of tied in with Halloween, and so they hit publish. I feel stupider for having read this lol.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Squid Game': South Korea's latest cultural phenomenon See in context

I find it really interesting too that Korean series and movies are so strong and moving, yet Japanese ones are so weak comparatively. Japanese anime is much more of a powerhouse.

If you compare the Japanese and Korean ministries associated with entertainment, you will see a big difference there. The Korean entertainment ministry has been mostly headed by arts-related people (writers, poets, etc.) and few career politicians. The Japanese heads have been all career politicians or businessmen as far as I can tell. So, you get a real sense about what who can understand what moves people's hearts. The Korean ministries of entertainment clearly support arts that might not paint Korea in the best light, but are moving and profitable. The Japanese ministry heads seem to be focused only on what can be profitable. So, it's very easy to market anime or Pokemon compared to more complicated stories like Nobody Knows or Battle Royale.

I hope in the future Japanese cinema will improve, but it seems unlikely.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Posted in: Japan has lowest share of women studying science: OECD report See in context

Well said @letsberealistic! I agree fully.

From my own personal experience, I also find this to be true when talking with female students about what they want to do in the future. Many Japanese young ladies talk about being kindergarten teachers, office workers, opening bakeries or cafes, and other less science/math oriented work. I'm not saying these jobs are bad of course, but the number of ladies interested in that work is clearly disproportionate to what it should be. I think, and this is just my opinion, that these jobs appeal to them because they are not "threatening" to men, and are easy to quit when you get married. Many women here still have the traditional ideal that men work and women stay home and take care of the house and kids. They don't consider how vulnerable that makes them to the whims of their partner or in case of his death or abandonment. Being financially independent from your partner is just crucial to women's lives, and I wish more women here will get into science and math work. It's hard, but so well paid and secure. It seems a lot of eastern European women have figured that out.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: The next fashion trend is clothes that don't exist See in context

This is such a rich, first world thing. People who have actual problems would never waste their money or time or something like this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: YouTube removes R Kelly official channels after conviction See in context

I think people are missing the distinction. If R Kelly himself/his people run his YouTube channel, then he/ they receive payments from advertisement revenue and view counts. So, in that way YouTube would be financially supporting him. In order to not financially support a convicted criminal, they are removing his official channels.

However, fans are still free to use his music, post his videos, upload his albums or concerts, etc so it will be available if you want to listen to his work still, despite his crimes.

It's not about big tech becoming a nanny, it's about them making the choice to not financially support him anymore. Which is completely in their right to do. I'm sure there are many companies that advertise on YouTube that don't want their brands associated with him anymore too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Transgender man in Japan wants switch recognized without surgery See in context

It doesn't really matter what you personally believe about transgender people, but the government forcing people to be sterilized or get surgery is wrong. There is no other group forced to do so.

If they can force once group to get unwanted medical surgeries, what's to stop them from forcing another group? People should have the right to bodily autonomy.

As usual, the comments sections under transgender articles turns into a swamp of judgment, rather than talking about the actual issue brought up in the article. Are these laws constitutional?

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Posted in: Organizers unveil COVID-19 rules for Beijing Winter Olympics See in context

I'm glad they have some strict protocols for reducing COVID infections, but it is still stupid and risky to have massive sporting events before the world is vaccinated.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to fully lift state of emergency measures this week See in context

Yay! I hope these endless SoE extensions will finally end and things will start to be open as usual again. I'm really looking forward to little things, like seeing a movie in a theater, not calling restaurants before I go to see if they're open/what time last order is, getting regular haircuts, and in general being a little more at ease taking the trains and going out shopping. Of course, everyone please keep careful by wearing the masks and disinfecting hands, but I'm looking forward to a little less stress.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: 5 trails in Japan I can’t wait to hike again when it’s safe to travel See in context

Yakushima is a little tricky to get to, but absolutely gorgeous hiking. I was lucky enough to spend 5 days getting there, hiking, and coming home. It was totally worth it! Not only do you see ancient trees and amazing vistas, there are also lots of deer, frogs, monkeys, and other wildlife that are so not used to people that they don't dash off at all! They just go about their business while you take amazing photos or smile at the way deer chew.

This was pre-pandemic of course, I doubt they're really open for tourists right now and besides their hiking season should be wrapping up soon anyways. Summer is a great time to go down there, when you get to the top of the peaks it will be cold but not so bad that you need heavy duty gear, which keeps your pack light for hiking. After 3 days in the mountains, we spent a night by the beach and saw sea turtles hatching and going to the ocean. It was a nature lovers' paradise. I really can't recommend it enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman arrested after body of newborn boy flushed down toilet See in context

That poor maintenance worker!!!

That lady was probably panicking to be honest, if I was in the toilet when my baby came and I didn't have my phone, I'd probably be freaking out too. Not saying what she did was right or ok in any way, but it sounds less like a planned, premeditated situation than something that happened spontaneously. Hopefully she won't be charged with anything like murder, again not saying what she did was right, but it really didn't sound thought out at all. Who knows what kind of language abilities or support she has in Japan, if she even registered the pregnancy at the ward office, etc. Really crazy situation. I agree with @savethegaijin, well said.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: 17-year-old boy will not be prosecuted over 6-year-old sister’s death See in context

What a mess! The poor girl, may she rest in peace now.

As for the boy, I'm pretty sure when I was 17 I knew not to kick a 6 year old in the stomach. Jeez, everyone failed in this situation! The Japanese welfare department had no business deciding a 17 year old could take care of a kid, the divorce system that doesn't require fathers to pay child support, the mom for being absent-not said here in the article but probably she was working and trying to get money to take care of everyone,---everyone here should be held accountable! This country does so much hand-wringing about their declining birth rate, then does very little to actually support anyone- especially those outside of the traditional 2-parent family household. Despicable.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Posted in: Fashion icon Naomi Watanabe has a reassuring anecdote for Japanese people in the U.S. See in context

Well of course they're going to say nice things, they literally work for her! She's paying them to provide a service, so naturally they're going to say nice things partly cos they want a tip, and partly because they need a good review and want to work more in the future. Rich people live in little isolated bubbles, and think this is how the real world works for the rest of us. She needs to take the subway, hang out in a park, and be around people that aren't serving her. Then she will hear some real comments.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to allow wider preimplantation genetic testing of eggs in IVF See in context

This is definitely an ethical grey area, but as @chabbawanga said, these are couples that have struggled with infertility already, usually for years. The expense, not to mention the emotional and physical toll, is already immense. If that couple feels they can't handle more difficulties, I don't think as a society it is fair to tell them they must take it on, if there is a way that they don't have to. For example, if they get 5 eggs after treatment, and 3 are unhealthy but 2 are fine, it just doesn't seem fair to them to make them choose the unhealthy eggs. Not to mention, after an unhealthy egg is fertilized, the rate of implantation and development into a fetus is lower and miscarriage is higher. So if it doesn't develop into a fetus, that would be forcing the couple to undergo implantation again, again at great financial, emotional, and physical cost.

Of course if we are talking about embryos or fetuses already developed, then it is harder to justify. But, at least at the egg and sperm level during IVF, I feel the couple should have more say in it, considering their already large burdens. I mean, we aren't talking about meaningless genetic screening here, like sex or eye color, predispositions to leukemia, cerebal palsy, spina bifida, etc can cause death. It's a very sad and difficult issue though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sapporo enters the ready-to-drink hard seltzer market with Water Sour See in context

What a bad name for a product! That was a big mistake on their part. A better name would be Hard Seltzer or Sour Seltzer or something.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: University students attending virtual classes struggle with isolation See in context

I feel sad for this kid, but university students aren't the same as high school students. They have part-time jobs, club activities, live with family members, and generally speaking for large universities in Japan-are much more crowded and almost impossible to control and socially distance compared to HS. Not to mention half of them are old enough to go out drinking. It's a very different situation, which is why it needs to be treated differently.

As for her classes, I agree with @ExtraPat that her teachers must really be phoning it in if all her classes are just lecture style Zoom, and there's no one with their cameras on or breakout rooms. In my online classes, I require everyone to have their cameras on and mute off or they lose points for attendance. Not to mention I go around to each breakout room, talk to students, and check that they're on task. It's a huge pain in the ass, from a teaching standpoint, but I've also heard in feedback from students that this is their only time they meet other students and they enjoy the classes. My classes and the other English teachers in my department doing this style have also had higher ratings than the other classes.

Anyways, I know this is not feasible for a 300+ student class, but at least having some event once a month on campus, socially-distanced with masks, would be safe for students and help them a little with the isolation. This particular girl sounds like she's depressed, and there should also be counseling available for the students. But, until vaccination is more widely spread, I can't imagine universities opening up soon. It's just ripe for a major outbreak.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman with COVID-19 loses baby after being forced to give birth prematurely at home See in context

This is exactly why pregnant people should have been on the medical priority list for vaccines. If she was vaccinated back in May, maybe she wouldn't have been infected. Of course, the vaccines aren't a guarantee, especially considering how bad Delta is, but it would reduce her chances a lot! And, then maybe she would have had 1 medical emergency instead of 2. And for a country that does a lot of hand-wringing about their birth rate, I really can't understand why pregnant people weren't included on the medical priority list. This illogical, lack of foresight thinking is just inexcusable and should be criminal at this point. COVID has been around for a while, they should be more prepared by now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to give public employees paid leave for fertility treatment See in context

As usual, comments are focused on the birth rate, and not the actual problem mentioned in the article, which is that 73%of people undergoing fertility treatments find it difficult or impossible to schedule their treatments considering their work schedules and policies.

Nowhere in the article did it claim to be a cure for the falling birth rate, it's just addressing a specific problem. In the same way that safety belts, air bags, drunk driving fines and laws, better lighting on roads, stop signs etc have all contributed to making driving less dangerous. None of these one things cure the whole overall problem, but they all help address a specific problem.

Paid leave helps infertile couples get their treatments a little easier, and having gone through this process in Japan firsthand, I can tell you it is so difficult on so many levels. Anything done to ease it should be applauded!

Of course, lots need to be done besides this, such as paying younger people a higher salary so they can start saving and planning for kids sooner, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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