Newsman comments

Posted in: Gov't to inspect 5,500 Schindler elevators after fatal accident See in context

Sigh ... after reading this, I don't know the name of the hotel. I don't know the woman's name. I don't know whether a company other than Schindler was responsible for maintenance. If I turned in a story like this to my own editor, it would be returned to me right away, with a note asking me to report the basic facts. To report an accident and selectively identify only one possible responsible party is unfair, I think.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Ishihara steps down as Tokyo governor to take over Sunrise Party See in context

Every Tokyoite should get down on his or her knees and exclaim, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Inspiring or inconsiderate? Foreigner plays guitar for train passengers stranded by typhoon See in context

My feeling is that, if there is someone who finds this worthy of complaint, you truly have a nice life all and all. So some guy played guitar on the train. So what?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: 9 things that make an ‘ikemen’ (hot guy) See in context

Love #4: "It would be good to go for that look." Guess I'm going to have to undergo plastic surgery and then walk around with my eyes half-closed all the time in order to "go for it."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Clint Eastwood mocked for Republican convention appearance See in context

I am no fan of Romney, but he did a very credible job in his speech, pretty much along the same lines as Dukakis in '88: former Massachusetts governor, lacking in the charisma department, generally doing better than expected. (You may laugh at the comparison, but even though he ran a generally awful campaign, Dukakis' acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention actually went over quite well; if you don't believe me, go look it up.) But Dukakis in 1988 didn't have to have this millstone of an aging movie star sucking all of the oxygen out of the room. I almost feel sorry for Romney -- here's the biggest moment of his life so far, and if he doesn't win it will likely be the biggest public moment of his life forever, and here an 82-year-old man messed it up for him beyond all belief.

-7 ( +2 / -10 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for beating 8-year-old son See in context

@WilliB: I seriously doubt that any father would have called the police for a first-time, out-of-the-blue event such as this. Calling the police on your spouse is not an act that is conducive to a continuing, happy family life. So it is reasonable to guess that there is more here than meets the eye.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Thousands stage anti-nuclear rally outside Noda's office See in context

Wow. Real political dialogue between a popular mass movement and a Japanese leader? I'm not saying anything is going to happen -- for all I know Noda will file the notes from the meeting in the appropriate trash can -- but still ... can anybody ever remember anything like this happening in Japan before? It wasn't that many decades ago when the government would just round up the usual suspects and move on.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: TEPCO gets Y1 tril in public funds, putting it under gov't control See in context

You know TEPCO was doing poorly when Fukushima Daiichi is put under the control of the national government and everyone says it must be an improvement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man gunned down in Fukuoka Pref See in context

I saw that, that was 5 min from my place. In LA, I am a bit used to ghetto birds flying around and heavy police siren, but here in Japan and of all places Chikushino?! I was completely blown away!

Uh, I thought it was the 65-year-old guy who was blown away ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Cover-up See in context

Besides the fact that it looks like hotel banquet napkins they're putting on their heads, I was just wondering ... if Noda were to receive an honorary doctorate in Kabul, would Afghan women be removing their headscarves to welcome him?

8 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: ALT is 'Gaijin #1' under new residence management system See in context

This guy hasn't realized it yet, but if he can learn to speak Japanese fluently, he's got all the notoriety he needs to be a TV star here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan zoo says missing squirrel numbers no mystery See in context

For those people who complain about other people who can't do anything else except post messages about how foolish the Japanese are and how silly life in Japan is, my answer is this: They might not be posting so many sarcastic comments if stories like this weren't so prominently placed on this website. C'mon, at least two different squirrel stories placed near the top of the page in the last couple of days? It's a minor human interest story, that's all. It's cute, but it doesn't mean a hill of beans (or even acorns). The last-minute cancellation of the Japan-South Korea pact is far, far more important -- it warranted stories in both the Washington Post and the New York Times -- but it was only worth a small headline on JT far down the page. The size of the headline and the placement of the story should reflect the importance of the story. Right?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Olympus board promises no more scandals See in context

No more, no less!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 1,324 Fukushima citizens file criminal complaint against TEPCO, gov't See in context

Even if it is somehow proven that not a single death nor injury has resulted from the disaster, I still think the company can be held criminally liable based upon the fact that the homes and properties of thousands of people are now unlivable and worthless. Family inheritances and livelihoods have been destroyed. You could probably find a close parallel with an arsonist, or perhaps a chemical company that negligently poisons the groundwater under someone's property. Regardless, I hope these people find a way to pin some INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY where it belongs. I'm so tired of the excuses!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Police arrest president of bus company over fatal crash See in context

Hence it doesn't pay to cut corners.

No, Novenchama -- generally speaking, in Japan it does pay to cut corners. Bureaucratic regulations are so onerous, and legal penalties relatively light, that most people have drawn the conclusion that cutting corners makes an awful lot of sense. Most people find cutting corners saves time and money, and they'll risk the lottery of something unexpectedly going wrong. You see the examples in the news every day and every year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Making the cut See in context

Unintended irony: The photo caption "Making the Cut" is adjacent to the headline "Man Arrested over Knife Attack at Shibuya Station"!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 73-year-old Japanese woman scales Mount Everest See in context

Good point, Zybster. It's so easy for people to judge after the fact, but before the fact is where the true test of judgment is made.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Parents awarded Y12 mil after child injured smashing milk bottles together at school See in context

I have less sympathy for a woman who tries to open a cup of hot coffee that she's placed between her knees than I do an 8-year-old boy who may not fully understand the consequences of what he's doing

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Can samurai period dramas be revived? See in context

One issue the article failed to mention is product placement. I hate product placement as much as the next thinking viewer, but it is a fact of life that many programs get more than a little extra reward by placing products (cell phones & what-have-you) in a typical drama. Naturally, you can't do that in a good historical period drama!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: No monkeying around for world's fastest man on four legs See in context

Um ... I hate to break the news to him, but I think there are good reasons we are bipedal now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Woodford demands to know why he was fired as Olympus CEO See in context

I sincerely doubt Mr. Woodford would be carrying on like this all by himself, like he was pursuing some sort of lost-cause vendetta. Most likely, he's met with some shareholders who, although a minority, are equally frustrated with the company's governance and want him to keep on fighting. To me, he doesn't stand alone, nor is he the only one among the shareholders and the employees who is royally ticked off by the old boys in charge.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: TEPCO workers quitting due to threats, sense of despair See in context

How about this as an alternative paycut solution? If you actually involved in daily, on-site TEPCO cleanup work, your salary is UNCUT, you are eligible for enhanced medical and life insurance, and you qualify for a big bonus if -- and this is a big bonus -- the great corporate ship that is TEPCO ever rights itself down the road.

If you normally wear a suit and work in a boardroom in Tokyo, however, you are put on minimum wage until this debacle finishes!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Noda defends use of death penalty See in context

Perhaps the death penalty is indeed not a deterrent ... but couldn't there be another reason for applying it?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Woman dumped child in baby hatch so she could study abroad; another used it for babysitting See in context

Hey, TBS, who exactly sits on your "panel of experts"? The same sort of self-satisfied windbags who are always on call to regurgitate their opinion on television that modern Japanese society is on the fast track to someplace awfully hot? You'd be better off firing them and instead getting gogogo to sit on your panel. These parents and guardians of the abandoned children may be irresponsible people, but they did NOT "act irresponsibly". Once you've left a child in the hatch -- for whatever reason, good or bad, moral or immoral -- you are admitting that you cannot take care of that child. And if you cannot take care of the child, the responsible thing to do is to leave the child with people who have pledged they will take care of the child.

And, by the way, I wonder if the subtext to these objections to the baby hatch is the fact that it is being run by a Christian hospital. I would hope we're not seeing residual sentiments of the Tokugawa Era, when Christianity was a pernicious doctrine that would undermine the rulers' Neo-Confucianist, Shintoist ideals. My two cents' is that, I don't care what your religion is or what you believe -- if you're going to take in an unwanted child and rear that child to be a healthy and well-developed adult, you deserve to be applauded and held up to the rest of the country as a role model instead of being considered part of the problem. To the "experts" everywhere: You'd better start thinking more deeply about the words that come out of your mouths!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Death penalty finalized for man who killed mother, child while he was a minor See in context

I couldn't care a rat's posterior about rehabilitation. I simply want to see justice done. As far as I'm concerned, the death penalty for two horrific murders is justice enough, thank you very much. Sympathy for Otsuki? I think not. He strangled an 11-month-old child. Think about that one for a moment. If you can.

As for any complaints about changing the penalty to suit popular feeling, well, I have no problems with that, either. What, you get to be a complete hoodlum at 19 years and 364 days and you can get away with a lesser penalty? Any judge who would follow the narrow letter of the law differentiating between minors and adults and ignore the magnitude of the crime would be guilty of refusing to exercise that wonderful gift -- human judgment. Seems to me the Supreme Court listened to Spike Lee and Did the Right Thing. Where's the compelling reason for showing him mercy? His birth certificate? Not good enough as far as I'm concerned.

To blindly follow the letter of the law and let it lead you to outrage is stupidity, pure and simple. The law is a servant of justice; the pursuit of justice is not a slave to the law.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Cozy relations continue between politicians, nuclear industry See in context

Excellent story; AP is on the ball as usual.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Donald Keene obtains Japanese citizenship; shows off 鬼怒鳴門 as his name See in context

Cleo: Amen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan may revive Datsun brand See in context

For the Chicago market, get Richard Dotson to pitch for 'em!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China hikes military spending to win local wars: Wen See in context

I so enjoy the tongue-in-cheek comments of j4p4nFTW. That being said, I think his comments in this instance are not very far off. When was the last time Japan was seriously threatened by one of its neighbors? 1281? If China is going to be making noises like this, I think Japan has got to show it has its own regional diplomatic/military policy, if only to show those who make threats that they'd better think twice before acting on their boasts.

And by the way, exactly how many military/diplomatic alliances does Japan have? Seems to me the country has exactly one (and we all know who that one is.) The common-sense thing to do would be for Japan to start making friends, and fast, with similarly threatened countries. I recommend South Korea for starters, followed by Vietnam and the Philippines. Wouldn't such a diplomatic triumph make Beijing's head spin! And if you could somehow pull Taiwan into a regional alliance, that would definitely make the dragon pause ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Wynn Macau board ousts tycoon Okada for 'unacceptable conduct' See in context

as well as use of the casinos best butler.

I love that part. "Hey, if you want me to play along, I ain't settling for no number-two butler. And he'd better be named Jeeves, too."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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