nichibotsu comments

Posted in: Japanese driver in fatal U.S. bus crash gets less than a year in jail See in context

Yes, it wasn't malicious or intentional, but it was irresponsible and cost 3 lives and about 4 others have permanent injuries. I would have liked to see him get a bit longer sentence. To Human saying it was all about the company overworking Mikuni, I would have to disagree. I worked for the same company. He was asked if he could do the job and said yes. He was flown in from Vegas to Salt Lake and picked up the bus and drove it back to Vegas for the job the next day. Flight is 1 hour...drive back to Vegas is 7. Add a few hours in for door to door. That is under the on-duty and driving hours of 15 and 10. (15 total hours on duty...of which 10 can be driving) He was exhausted because of what he did before he flew up and the fact that he didn't get to bed soon after getting back to Vegas. Both of which had nothing to do with the company. Racism? He was asked to do the job partially because the travel agent said they would prefer a Japanese national over a Japanese speaking local guide who was also available. If anything, a citizen would probably have gotten a harsher sentence and treatment if they had killed 3 people from a foreign country in Utah to enjoy a vacation. The state probably would have wanted to come down hard to save the tourism image. Being as the driver and customers were Japanese and he profusely apologized, I think that led the judge to think, "well I am not going to pile on when they seem to have their way of taking care of things".

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Posted in: Japanese bus driver apologizes to victims over fatal crash in Utah See in context

Actually we do know the true circumstances of the crash. Because a company I work for at times was involved, I also went to the hospital to help out with translation. 4 survivors straight up said that he was going to fast and that they were worried about his driving soon after departing Vegas. The car was fine there were no maintenance problems. I personally would not drive a glorified hotel shuttle at 80 mph, but that is what the company ordered. When I say company, I mean the Japanese agent. Just 2 weeks before this accident I did a tour with 13 people on a full size coach. The only reason I can think they went with a mini-coach with 14 people is money.

For those that asked, we do have breaks every 2 hours on these tours. I have customers.....when I say I drive 6-10 hours in a day, it doesn't mean we don't stop for snacks, water, and the bathroom. I usually try to put a stop in every 90 minutes. The day he crashed was a 6 hour driving day that included 3 breaks and hiking at Zion somewhere in between. 2 survivors told me they saw him dosing off and felt horrible for not saying anything to possibly prevent the accident.

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Posted in: Japanese bus driver apologizes to victims over fatal crash in Utah See in context

Sorry for repeating this everytime this subject comes up, but I work for the same company. He was not forced into anything. He actually was not even a full time employee of the company. The tour came up during a very busy time and there was a lack of guides around. The company asked him and he said yes. He was someone we knew that worked for a place in Vegas and the tour was starting from there. He was flown up to Vegas and drove the van down to start the tour the next day. Sleeping before and after driving that drive was his responsibility. The tour he was on is not a tough tour as far as driving goes. If you want to find fault with companies, how about the Japanese tour companies that will no longer use Canyon or the other local company for business, but designed their own tours from Vegas that include illegal daily driving. I have driven for many a Japanese company a 1 day Vegas to Grand Canyon and back to Vegas. 2 night 3 day Grand Cirlce tour with sunrise and sunset included. The tours were impossible to stay within the 10 hour driving 15 on duty limits. The day Mikuni crashed, that tour only includes around 6 hours driving that day. I just got off a 1400 km 3 day tour in a Ford 350, no problem with the van if you don't throw it into a sudden fishtail at 80 mph. I feel sorry for the kid, but he was naieve, irresponsible, and put in a situation that could have been averted if the Japanese tour industry would listen to the locals in the country they are allowed to do business.

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Posted in: Driver pleads guilty in Utah bus crash that killed 3 Japanese See in context

I work for 2 of the companies involved. First, he had 7 hours off between work. The law is 10 for drivers. He accepted a job he didn't feel confident about doing. He smoked pot. That may not have caused the accident, but to come to a foreign country and ignore a number of laws shows a character flaw. Even that said, it was an accident and I agree I don't think he should go to prison for more than 3 years, which is probably what it will end up being...with good behavior. On the other hand I hope the others involved would spend some time in prison. I just got off a 3 day tour for Japanese customers basically on the same route. Pick up at 6 am....that day see sunset, next day sunrise....same day sunset, followed by day 3 sunrise. Japanese tour companies routinely flaunt the law and know that local bus drivers will not take the job because the hours are way over the limit. That is one reason next time you come to the GRAND CIRCLE area your tour guide may be some young Japnese college kid that knows little of the history of the area. 5 million a year go to Zion and Bryce...that must be some boring keshiki huh nimbus. sfjp330, agreed the van does suck, but the 2 customers that survived and filed suit said that the kids driving was erratic and too fast from the start of the tour.

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Posted in: Ford cuts Mazda stake; no longer top stakeholder See in context

I am pretty sure the new Focus is based on the Ford Europe engineered platform. (VOLVO, MAZDA, FORD) all collaborated on the new platform. It is the platform the Mazda 3 and 5 use. The Fusion runs on the Mazda 6 platform(US market name...I don't know the Japanese market name)

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Posted in: Ammann sweeps ski jumps with victory in large hill event; Kasai 8th See in context

The way the media reported the qualifying round would make you think Kasai was the top jumper. It didn't make it clear that the top jumpers were already prequalified for the final. It is a disservice that I have seen a number of times this week.

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Posted in: Lysacek upsets Plushenko for figure skating gold; Takahashi takes bronze See in context

Do you ask how you can win the WBC without power hitting? Did Arakawa do it with jumping prowess? Consider the source....when you consider Stojko. Plushenko or Lysacek a subjective call? Yes. But so were 3 through 6.

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Posted in: Lysacek upsets Plushenko for figure skating gold; Takahashi takes bronze See in context

I think most Americans would agree that the gold could have went to Lysacek or Plushenko and lived with that result. Of course if they were Lysacek fans they would have been bummed, but only a few would say he was robbed. But for some to get on here and say Takahashi , who didn't just miss his jump, but completely fell on his keister and had a bobble later in the program, should be scored ahead of Lysacek??? You just lose credibility and are scoring with your heart and not the real numbers. He did great but he was lucky to hold onto the bronze with that complete fall.

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Posted in: Toyota to replace gas pedals in 3.8 million vehicles in U.S. See in context

I don't understand why some on JT always have to stick to one side or the other, no matter the facts. If this were Ford or Audi or the like would you be so quick to make excuses? Sure, Toyota makes a great product, but look at the facts of this recall. They were dragged kicking and screaming, prematurely announced that they were "innocent", and then finnaly asked for a voluntary replacement not a mangatory recall. If you believe they are sincere about this recall, ask yourself why they would hold off and announce on the afternoon of the beginning of a long Thanksgiving holiday. #1 rule of PR firms.....if you want to bury it, let it out on the night before a weekend. Yes, it is the fly-by-wire that I believe is the problem they are worried about. Fortunately for Toyota, they have better "we are perfect" lobbyists and PR firms working for them than Obama.

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