Japan Today

Nicholas Poetker comments

Posted in: 100-yen shop solves what to do with your trash See in context

I love Japan but trash here is a big problem.

I think this looks cool but like mentioned above its not new nor very clean, as we know people will fill their bags and randomly just put the whole bag down someplace out of sight.

I just got home from a 2 hour hike in the mountains and was once again reminded at how many people go up to the hills to dump trash.

I really wish there were more trash bins around the city and in parks. I have seen kids playing while eating snacks just showering the park with little plastic wrappers. There is a very low education on how to properly take your trash home. Thats why, given all the taxes we pay, we should have proper bins for public usage.

I live in the country side here so it might be different in the bigger cities but I can see trash flowing down the rivers and trapped in bushes everywhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan on suicide watch as children go back to school See in context

"Countries like New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Norway, Canada and the US have higher rates"

Not true! Here is a list from 2016,


3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan on suicide watch as children go back to school See in context

Horrible article to read about!

Both my kids 12 and 14 were happy to go back to school. My daughter 14 loves her junior high school and my son has many friends that he is happy to see. Obviously my wife and I have helped to create kids with positive outlooks on life. Talking to my students makes me sad as most kids and adults only complain about things.

I don't get it, they have too much crap to complain about and when I give them a positive outlook they complain back. I tell them you can complain all you want but I will only start talking to you when you talk positive and they pep up, its funny! But here in Japan everyone condones negativity, I don't as for everything you think is bad, there is a good in it as well, it sounds stupid and corny but its true!

I talk to my students and the 3 top reason why they don't like going back to school is;

On the first day back they have to take test! Yaaaaaaa thats awesome!!

They have to sit through a long boring ceremony as they teachers give boring speeches. WoooHooooo I love you teachers!

They are rushed to finish their summer homework which everyone seems to cram into the last 3 days. Oh ya, learning about old dudes a long time ago who took control and stole peoples money with taxes is fun!!! Yaaaaaaaa

But I don't think any of these are true facts to the point that someone must take their own life.

Im sorry but the there are a lot of things that can change for the students here to possible bring on more joyous outlook from day to day.

I don't agree with the whole summer homework thing but beings as thats what it is we deal with it easily by letting the kids our kids do an hour day. It sucks but there are some fun things about doing science together and painting pictures together.

I have no idea if the first day of school brings this on, but suicide for me a big issue with deep moral roots that have gone wrong. I personally don't kill any bugs, it scares me thinking what if that was me being smashed, so for someone to have the COURAGE to take their own life... that means a lot!!! What has truly happened for things to come to this point? That is an individual problem for each person.

For many reasons I feel deeply, the whole school system here in Japan needs to erase all that they know start over taking some very critical key points from countries with happy kids running around. Is that possible? Who knows as most people here are too hard headed to even open their minds to new ideas, even kids not just adults!!

I have to admit living in Japan is very tough overall, there is too many mind games going on with laws, rules and standards set by everyone and everything!

BUT, lay back and have fun, learn to stay foolish and enjoy the moment while living in the moment!! These are things only a few people get here but the most just don't get it!! Life is good, love is good, cherish both!

Im glad I have the ability to let kids enjoy class and learn to love the simple things in life, I wish I had more time with all of my students to teach them better qualities of living and appreciating of how good life is. If you open your eyes and see that what you have NOW! This is as good as it gets right in front of you, so enjoy it! Laugh about it, and take it for nothing serious as its just a test, its just a person saying stupid things or its just something you have to do, so just simple do it and have fun! The most important opinions in life are you own and living for yourself to better yourself is a very important quality of living!!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: How big are the benefits for bilingual speakers? See in context

I have students who always boast that they understand english and can comprehend written english as well as write for themselves but can't speak a lot. I think part of that is true but its mostly false as most of them can't write an essay or short story keeping their ideas centered and in order. Also most of the grammar they learn here to me always seems to be a bit off. Many textbooks for junior and high school kids are packed full of sentences and phrases that I question, when would or in what situation would I ever say that?

Im sorry but the whole english education here in Japan needs to be erased and they need to focus one style of english, meaning either British or American grammar and spelling and stop confusing the students so they can progress in a more positive manner. I get very frustrated when I have helped a student learn something but they come back to my school saying their school teacher said that is wrong! Then the whole national test system is far under par for actually testing the ability of the students and pass people with very low ability but they can used those results to attain status and job security. This kind of frustrates me as a teacher.

Culturally there are too many idioms, phrases, and metaphors in the English language that even my most proficient students can't get off the bat without me having to explain them. There is still a huge gap between what bilingual means because in the business world you can't make mistakes that leaves customers pondering whats going on! Then, I think verbal Japanese in general is a very vague language and it seems to me that even a lot of Japanese people themselves are lost at times speaking their native tongue. hahahaha!!!

When Im out in town I only use my Japanese if its necessary, as an English teacher Im always testing the English ability of people working in shops and on the street to better my understanding of where the majority of Japan lies for its English fluency. From my perspective 98.4% of the population still can't put together a proper sentence despite having at least 6 years of English and most likely more given the fact most continue to study after high school as well.

To fully understand a second language you must emerge yourself in the culture, there is just no way around it. Its almost impossible to become fluent in a language unless you have lived in the country or grown up around the culture enough to understand inside jokes or cultural references. Not having lived in the US for over 15 years, I too am stumped at things said and things talked about when Im home. Pop culture especially!!

Last, for Japanese students and education for English here in this country, I feel it needs to be an elective for the students who really want to learn English. Most of my high school students complain to me about their class environment after I question them. They say the reason the level of English is so low is simple because there are too many students in the classroom who have no interest in learning. A second language is an art form learning to articulate in our own way not to just follow what others do or what you think you need to do to impress your teacher. Learning and educating is for the individual but I think this also is a concept that does't exist here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Celebrities raise millions for Harvey relief See in context

Cool, everyone needs as much help as possible!

This is a very bad disaster and support is needed!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Moving on: Finding love just before I started anew In Tokyo See in context

I feel that love is one of the strongest emotions in the world! It makes people the most relaxed and happy.

I feel that once there was love, those feelings and past experiences will never be lost even if the 2 split up.

My parents have been divorced way longer than they were together but when I go back home they come together to visit us and for the sake of their grandchildren. I watch them as they talk and spark on memories they once had. Its cute, its beautiful that even with years of separation and other lovers between them, they still can feel and express their love they once shared. Even if you and your boy friend split up, beings as you split due to long distance, when you see him again you can still share all the feelings you once had as if their was no time in between. Who knows what the future holds but a positive notion in thought and inspiration will keep you smiling and moving forward. :)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: North Korea's missile launch: Why Japan? See in context

What's his motive for launching these missiles?

What does he gain or benefit by randomly launching missiles around?

If for example that missile landed in an area and killed 100 people, what would be the Japan's and other countries reaction?

Sorry for my ignorances but, this all seems very irresponsible as a countries leader with no positive gains for their welfare or countries economic growth.

Im perplexed at this whole situation!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Under 20s to remain unable to smoke or drink despite legal changes to lower age of adulthood See in context

The truth is those who want to smoke or drink will!

Kids as early as 10 smoke here in this city and I think thats congruent nationally. Those who don't don't! Also in this area my high school students say they can easily order beer or cocktails in restaurants with no problem and many shops actually encourage it as they know they are coming of age adults.

My biggest question is, will with the change the "sejinnsuki ceremony" from 20 to 18? ahhahahhahahahhhahah

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's energy drink makers seek to lift sinking sales See in context

The ultimate energy drink is freshly roasted ground coffee!

Green tea is my second. Then for an immune booster, a teaspoon of ground turmeric, a teaspoon of ground ginger in a liter of water. Shake it up and drink slowly over a couple of hours. True energy comes from pure ingredients not sugar filled drinks with extracts of elements only containing partial nutrients but labeled to contain pure plant ingredients. Extracts have only take out what pharmacist think are the most important. Whole food and whole plant is where true vitality lies.

I went to the big city last weekend and was astonished at how many young people were walking and drinking Monsters! hhahahahahhahahahahahah

Its like hamburgers, those made at home with lean ground beef (no fillers), freshly bake buns and fresh veggies are very healthy. Fast food is not! So the misconceptions come from companies marketing products to do wonders when in truth we need to go back to the farm for good health.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 6 arrested over unauthorized stem cell therapy using cord blood See in context

The true question is, did the treatment work or have any beneficial treatment to the patients who received the procedure? Unfortunately as the law stands on its hardheaded non practical ideologies, in court that evidence will never be considered. Beings its against the law, the scientific proof or evidence will never come into play as its against the law, they can't test it or run experiments as the law forbids it. Doctors and patience working together to fight to make improvements and actually test to see if this is applicable or not is needed but once again the law states, you can't do that! An agreement between two people, if and only if both parties have agreed to whatever is being done, I think the law has no right to step in and take action as it was mutual. Kind of like prostitution, I still can't understand how the law can forbid actions that are very human in nature. I can see how this might have been a ploy of just money for the doctors tricking patients as its not proven but thats at the risk of the patient looking for treatment. Such an odd story, people being arrested for trying to help or treat others, hummmmmm tons of money involved or not, this is immorally wrong to the doctors involved, unless it is just a scam! All of their research will now be discarded as long as the laws forbid these practices.

What solutions do people have when the laws want to create and run society like robots? This is worldwide not just Japan. How can new treatments ever come into implication if the laws forbid actual research? Its scientifically proven the placenta or afterbirth is full of immune boosting properties that can have tons of benefits for those in need. But instead they are packaged up and burnt daily. We all know animals eat the placenta after giving birth to boost the mothers depleted energy. So, could these laws against usage of the placenta be a suppression keeping the truth from people?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Death rates far higher for 'alternative' cancer cures: study See in context

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Snicker snicker!

In reality nutrition is key to a healthy life style. Having cancer is a very sad and I feel for all of those who suffer.

But, there are natural elements that have been proven to slow the growth of tumors and cancer and even in some patients rid their body of cancer all together.

I read about Steve Jobs and how he tried all kinds of alternative medicine and they said given the amount of cancer that was spread through his body his alternative supplements prolonged his life by about 20 years. When he finally did take the doctors advice the cancer was already spread too vast. His secrets? Anyone know? I do! No animal fat, lots of fruits and veggies and lots of green cannabinoids. What can one do when you know the answers but legally aren't allowed and don't want to be wasted from chemo? People will try things that may help and may work knowing the pain and suffering that chemo causes.

Plus this article is kind of fake as their is no way they could have researched all the people who have been cured from alternative medicines compared to those who used hospital remedies. A true side by side test would be necessary with so many factors and elements to prove and disprove. Test for each cancer and each treatment would be necessary!

Its a tough world we live in, I say for anything research yourself and do as your gut tells you! If Steve Jobs never caved in and took his wife's advice to get surgery, what would have been different, a little shorter life span a little longer? We will never know but speculating is always fun! Just to think if he didn't try his alternative remedies, there could have never been the iPhone!! :)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese organization wants stricter regulations against people smoking on their own balconies See in context

What if they started using a sploof?

Or something sophisticated that would filter blown smoke that is easy to carry around with the smoker because to outlaw what you can do on your balcony is pretty hard to control and very petty!

I have a neighbor that burns his trash with black smoke from his plastic bottles billowing up, what can I do as thats obviously against the law but he has been doing for 16 years! hahahahahaha My solution even though I hate to do it, is to just shut my window as I know he won't stop!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Australian researchers report peanut allergy breakthrough See in context

This is great news! Lets see more positive reports on health issues like this!

I love it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. Osprey takes part in joint drill in Japan despite safety fears See in context

All the crashes to date, there have been 10 crashes and 10 other mishaps since 1991.


In June 2014 an Osprey encountered a lightning strike. This occurred while flying over the city area in Miyazaki prefecture. Two of the three blades on the right proprotor were damaged, and there were problems with multiple control device.

Just facts, as Im not an expert and don't know how many are flying frequently so its hard to evaluate if these are high or low odds. But 10 crashes in 26 years?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Marijuana use holds threefold blood pressure death risk: study See in context

One of the only health concerning articles about cannabis that comes to Japan and its all lies.

When will we see a positive article about the benefits of cannabis and how its endogenous to the human body. If you still don't get it, look up the endocannabinoide system and read about the cannabinoid receptors inside the human body. Teach yourself and learn how cannabis helps improve your immune system from the inside out compared to pharmaceutical medications that push your symptoms away without actually curing anything.

The reason for hypertension heart illness can stem from a 1000 other factors in daily life than light cannabis usage, something the article doesn't talk about and sounds like wasn't researched, very vague!

The most and basic main cause of hypertension is simply the over consumption of animals fats, processes meat (unfortunately thats 90% of all meat not he market now), tobacco usage and bad exercise habits. Then there is more research and evidence linking pharmaceutical medications to hypertension than natural substances like cannabis.

Its just sad for me see how other countries are opening up the full benefits to cannabis and how its the oldest used medicine world wide yet, here we still have people brainwashed not researching fully and continuing to push lies that are easy to believe by the masses given the heavy stigmatism cannabis still holds. Its obvious there are countries like Japan that are still trying to heavily control rather than educate and enlighten its people.

Wake up, research and study for yourself!!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan aims to reduce suicides by 30% in 10 years See in context

For me a big factor that leaves people feeling helpless here is the ideology of Japans "Senpai" "Kohai"! This leaves many kids and adults feeling powerless and no matter how hard they try the Senpai will always be condescending and demanding of unpractical things. The Senpai also has a bad rep for not actually listening or taking suggestions.

Unfortunately this ideology is deeply ingrained in Japans culture and society. I got in an argument last week when an elder who tried to pull this on me. Just because he is older he thought he could boss me around. I pushed him after he confronted me telling him Im human like you, I will treat you equally but I too respect the same, if you want things nasty between us that can be easily done as Im not going to kiss your ass!

He sulked and 2 hours later was my buddy again! I just don't get it! Its demeaning and builds grudges deeply inside people as most Japanese can't bluntly say what they think or feel in situations like this.

If this Superior/ Inferior ideology was broken here it would give employees and students the personal freedom to start saying and doing things they actually feel and think rather than only living on trying to build your reputation as a diligent person.

I have also tried doing open discussions about problems or events for both kids and adults here. You soon realize as a society Japan has very poor communication skills. Once again the stronger opinion instantly becomes everyones, but I hear the little voices who are against it but when confronted to just openly share their true feelings, they bow their heads and pretend all is good.

Im sorry, but culturally this problem isn't going to be solved that easily. I have tried for many years to just help people think freely but sadly they can't. People put themselves down and are always comparing their standards of others to theirs, once agin the Senpai Kohai ideology!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe sees devastation in flood-hit area See in context

I live in this area!

Many of my students and close friends are evacuated and their homes are full of mud now.

This area of Japan has been survive as is without this kind of disaster for a long time, the cities are potting cities and they rely on the natural resources to keep surviving and producing fine pottery. The people living in these area never leave and have been living here for hundreds of years. Some of the homes are very very old and the people here are very old. I was in Toho-mura two week prior to this disaster. I bought locally grown rice, mochi, umeboshi that was hand made by the grandmother working there. She was about 85-90 years old.

I don't know about why Abe was here or what help that actually offered but the people here are suffering. All the shops are closed down, they were out of electricity for 3-4 days and are STILL out of running water. They just got internet service back up 2-3 days ago now.

The facts and truth, the people living in these areas are mostly elderly people and don't have the ability to get back on their feet physically or finically. Their homes are very old and have been either flooded which means lots of mold and rot that is now setting in or they have been washed away from the flood and mudslides. Its hard to direct when a natural disaster will happen in any area and its something you can not predict. They do send out warring of areas that are potential mud disaster sites but you never know.

The military has been here for a week and they are doing a lot of good!

But is a very slow progress! I fear for the cities and people as these are already dying cities with a very low population. The people here are farmers and their yearly crops have been totally wiped out!! No money equates to no food and no lively hood. I don't know what else to say!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Host towns' across Japan to welcome athletes in 2020 Tokyo Games See in context

I like how this sounds and how its inviting to the people coming over here to play or participate in the Olympics. However, I have been a part of these tour groups and it creates a tight schedule for these foreigners giving them little freedom to do as they please. I know for me personally, I just want to be left a lone when traveling so I can take on everything as I like in my own terms, its part of the fun and adventure. Japan has great ideas, Im not against it but they also do a very good job at babying people and making them feel awkward. Also, if your are dedicating a town to cheer for a country, its not sincere!

Its of course a great opportunity to form a good relationship with another county! Only if the respect is mutual. In other words, the other country has to be aware that this is supposed to form better ties between the countries!

As a foreigner here, I have been asked to do many events volunteer. At first I did them all but soon realized, its only a show for the people and they don't care about my feelings. Im exposing myself, my country but when I flip it and ask about Japan, everyone bows their heads and stops taking. Not fun and very humiliating!! Let people be and let them express what they want to do, or have a large menu of events and things for them to do in the city and let them wonder freely as they choose the events they want try.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK sorry over Hitler T-shirt worn by talk show guest See in context

Its a T-shirt! How much more control do we need in this country?

Let it go and grow up society! Idiots!!!!!

If intentional or not, did it cause harm to anyone other than the thin skinned over pretentious control freaks?

Then, why no picture on the this article? At least give us another evaluation of how bad or irrelevant it actually is!!

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Posted in: Death toll rises to 11 as heavy rain continues in Kyushu See in context

even "Event"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Death toll rises to 11 as heavy rain continues in Kyushu See in context

This is my home town!

I have been here for 16 years now and a lot of my friends and students are out of homes.

Very sad in many ways but this is a natural even that has happend. Its very difficult to predict this kind of event and just shows us as humans how important it is to start becoming more and more ecological trying our harderst to build lives around nature encouraging its beauty rather than living against it. Its very hard in this era as we have been pushed into beliving everything new is easier and happier for life!

Its scary and I was very worried up until last night when my good buddy finally got a signal and he e-mailed me. All fo the homes along the river are wipped out and a newly built road they have been working on for 2 years, its gone! With more rain falling extreemely as we speak, everyone lets be safe and keep your ears open for warrnings in your area! :)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 police officers stabbed by defendant at Sendai court See in context


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo’s ban on high school girls working in the controversial JK industry goes into effect this summer See in context

Alfie Noakes, Right on!!!!!

Once again the government trying to attack innocent people rather than targeting the real offenders.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo to penalize act of encouraging children to send selfies See in context

I feel like in Japan the media and people try to use tactics to scare people into believing things that aren't true.

The truth is minors or anyone with phones will continue to take pictures and selfies, the government can't control everything. Then I speculate 99.9% of random selfies taken never see any form of pornography at all. This is just a scare tactic in the realm of what? So people start using their phone less? I don't think so!

Anyone sending nude photos online is already doing things immoral to themselves but are obviously doing it as they want to! They want to do it, its impossible to accidentally send a nude photo, impossible and there is no need to start penalizing innocent people. I think the police here don't know how to do a proper investigation collecting tangible evidence getting those who are to blame rather than put the blame on society by trying to control us with petty laws. Petty petty laws!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese high school students fail to meet English proficiency target See in context

I have been teaching here in Japan for 16 years now. I have a little private school. Over the years its become obvious that between each other and in front of other students ( short speeches) most students have a very low self esteem to perform to their actual ability. They know lots of English but pretend that they don't! I think this problem lies in a cultural aspect that they are bound by. I have many students who have become very competent with their verbal and listening comprehension over the years but, when it comes to test, like E-Ken they still perform poorly or they perform greatly but can't use the English from the test in high proficiency. I think the test in general are too vague and are not promoting, rather just confusing. We need to help encourage the students and teach them in a way that that understand with situations and easy to use phrases, that builds a foundation to improve on. Also, the e-ken grades on a curve that really doesn't help them either. So they are passing kids while their ability is still way under par for that particular level. My son took the e-ken 3 test when he was in 2nd grade (elementary school). At the time his reading speed was still too slow, so he didn't finish the last 3 pages of the reading part of the test but all the questions he answered were correct and got 100% on the listening part. They passed him! I was furious because he obviously didn't finish the test but got a passing score. Im sorry but that makes it difficult for us as teachers to properly evaluate students. The claim they have passed that test and because they have they want to move up to the next level. My son in 3rd grade eventually passed e-ken 3 with a 100%. So, I now only let me students move up if they have answered with a score of 90% or higher!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Vietnamese detainee killed himself in immigration center, community leader says See in context

My buddy here in Japan walked home from a festival drunk, very drunk! He made it home and was sleeping in his front yard. He has some bad words with his wife who is Japanese. She called the cops on him as he was very drunk but when they came he was sleeping. The woke him up and tried to take him away. In his disarray or drunken state he fought back saying I did nothing! Finally, 6 police took him down, beating him up! I got a call to pick him up from the police station. When he walked out his face was beat read swollen with black eyes and bloody lips, his arms were also very swollen and he was limping. He said they hog tied him naked in the cell all night. He couldn't get up to pee, he kept calling for water as he was very thirsty, they gave him nothing! No food no water and tied up in a cell naked all night long. To me this is very very very wrong!!!!! How and why could that be justified? Yes, he was drunk and yes he was fighting back because he did nothing wrong other than to fight the police to get off his property. So, reading the comments here and this very vague story I can see how the system here in Japan is full of lies and coverups! Im still very sad from this, they way he was treated and can't imagine what it must be like for these people. I feel sorry for this man who died while being detained. This article doesn't give him the respect he deserves and doesn't actually tell us if he did anything wrong!!! Sad Japan!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: 50 crows found dead in Tokyo park See in context

Its sad but people are the real pest! The birds are natural and have acclimated to their environment while people are still trying to make it difficult for them to live! Let nature be and let the birds live, selfish humans always complaining about their own problems!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Kyoto police set up system to predict when and where crimes will happen See in context

You can't effectively predict a crime that hasn't taken place yet. That would all be false and you couldn't convict a person on suspicion only. They criminal needs to actually do the crime before they can be arrested. This makes living in this country that much more scary! hahahahahah

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Actress Makiko Esumi announces retirement from showbiz; denies affair rumors See in context

She has the right to do as she pleases without explanation to anyone for her personal life. I think the media takes famous peoples lives and exploit them way too far past personal comfort. She has made many wonderful dramas, movies and has been on many shows giving people 30 years of entertainment. What she wants to do in her free time is up to her with no reason for explanation! How many famous actors and actress in the US do not see for many years and then boom, they are in another movie. I feel like Japan is a very insecure country and has to put everything into a detail manner pertaining to nothing particular but when it comes to things that actually matter, everything is not in detail and very vague to what will happen. Let her live and be with her family!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.