Japan Today

Nicky Washida comments

Posted in: Young women interested in how plain-looking 'Black Widow' lured men to their doom See in context

This is somewhat scary - especially the part where they are basically saying "she killed them by carbon monoxide poisoning so its not so bad really, is it? I mean, not as if they suffered or anything?"

What. The. Hell. Is. Wrong. With. These. Women???! Since when is it ever acceptable to idolise someone who cold-bloodedly murdered 3 and probably more. Same thing with "Ichi-sama" (Ichihashi) who they idolised for his coolness - when is it ever "cool" to brutally rape and murder a young girl and go on the run?

This story of the black widow makes me blood run cold, but the following she is generating is making my blood run even colder. These women are out there and they are looking for someone like YOU. Is fantastic sex really worth it??!

9 ( +18 / -9 )

Posted in: Uncertain future for Japan's cat cafes See in context

I dont know much about animl psychology so please someone correct me if I am wrong, but how do these people know the cats are not liking thieir environment? I have never been into one myself, but I am regulary forced to stop and watch through the windows while the kids ooh and aah over the cats and dogs. I dont see any unhappy, frightened or disturbed animals. I see a lot of animals jumping onto peoples knees voluntarily, purring loudly with their eyes closed looking blissful, and puppies happily playing together. They all look clean and well cared for.

I have also recently been involved with an animal shelter up in Fukushima, and seen a lot of lonely, sad, unhappy animals. The workers and volunteers do the very best they can for them but many of them are clearly craving human contact.

I would question the size of the sleeping quarters of some of the animals, but other than that, it seems like a pretty good deal to me, compared to being out in the street, in a shelter, or worst of all in a truly abusive home.

8 ( +15 / -8 )

Posted in: AKB48 candy ad criticized for encouraging homosexuality See in context

Hmmm 116 complaints out of an audience of how many millions? I bet there are other ads and TV items that have received more complaints than this (like Laser Ramon - that was his name? Full bondage leather gear making sexually suggestive movements in front of children - THAT was distateful) but dont make the news because its not AKB48.

Personally I find the whole AKB48-Otaku-Fetish thing quite repulsive, and this advert is very obviously a clear attempt to stir up controversy and put them in the news - again - but as long as they dont bother me in everyday life, and the weirdos that adore them dont bother my daughter - let them get on with it. Personally I would be mortally embarrassed to be male and an AKB48 fan, but thats just me.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese woman kidnapped, raped in Sydney See in context

I hope this woman gets the help she needs, but I am sure she will. I also hope she takes the offer - she will probably feel ok, in fact intensely relieved and want to forget at first but that would be a mistake IMHE and many others.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese woman kidnapped, raped in Sydney See in context

@gyouza - thank you. It is a subject that is pretty close to my heart for obvious reasons, and I think the more it is openly talked about the more likely it is that victims of this horrible crime will be able to come forward without fear or embarrassment. The subject comes up from time to time on JT and I have thought about saying something before but finally grew a pair today for some reason - maybe that Friday feeling?!

As for the thumbs down - no idea! But its not exactly ruining my day! ;)

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese woman kidnapped, raped in Sydney See in context

I didnt tell anyone for a long time. I just wanted to go home, get on with my life, pretend it had never happened. I was so ashamed and angry with myself for falling into such a stupid trap - I had travelled all over the world. I knew better than that, I thought. But as I said, you dont get to be able to just forget it - it comes out in other ways.

Now the only thing I am ashamed of is that by not reporting it immediately that louse has probably been able to do it again to some other poor girls. By the time I went to the UK police he would have been long gone (it happened in Spain but he wasnt Spanish, he was Eastern European. But the counsellors helped me understand that this is not my fault, I was traumatised at the time, and the only person to blame for future events is the perpetrator himself. The police were great but there was a limit to what they could do so they just referred me to the counsellling centre. I hope he has been caught and is rotting in some prison somewhere. But I still feel responsible though - hence speaking up now.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Posted in: Japanese woman kidnapped, raped in Sydney See in context

@ReformedBasher -

I started to type this, then changed my mind, but based on what you just said I will post it:

Australia is a wonderful country and in my experience Australians - with the exception of this piece of vermin - are great people. I am sure that the vast majority of Australians are horrified by what has happened to this poor girl, and sad that it has happened to her in their country. I would feel exactly the same if this had happened in the UK.

I am certain that she will be getting the very best of help and support, through the rape crisis people (or the Aussie equivalent) who are really excellent, and through the police themselves with their victim support system who are also excellent.

She will have a long road to mental recovery from the experience, but the sooner she gets the emotional help she needs, the easier it will actually be for her in the long run. It is not an experience you can hide from however much you try. It comes back to bite you in your dreams, and any time you are vulnerable - like having a bad day. She may feel ashamed and embarrassed, stupid, guilty, burning hatred and anger, depression, anxiety, flashbacks, all of these things and more. She will have felt that things like this dont happen to "nice girls". She will soon be amazed at the kinds of people it has happened to who you would never guess because people dont generally talk about their experiences. But with the right help, she will learn that she is a rape survivor, not a rape victim, and once she has processed all her emotions, she will start to feel very powerful, very strong, and very in control of her life going forwards. That is what I mean when I say that sometimes the worst of lifes experiences can actually have a positive effect on an individual, even if it is simply appreciating every day you are alive.

And please - everyone - be careful out there. And I mean everyone - through my experiences, I have met male victims of rape too. Watch your drinks and dont even trust the bar staff. It is rare but sometimes they work with an accomplice in the bar. Drink from bottles, not glasses, and watch the bar staff open it in front of you. If someones hand goes over the bottle before it is given to you, refuse it. Buddy up with someone when you are out drinking and watch out for each other. Stay safe.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Posted in: Japan Tobacco among companies fighting Australia over cigarette pack labeling law See in context

I kind of agree with this but I am just confused on one thing - if people want to smoke then they are going to smoke, whatever the government do or say to stop it. But - correct me if I am wrong because I am not a smoker - I thought different brands had different tar levels and nicotine levels, and therefore some were more additcive than others.

If it becomes impossible to tell what brand of cigarette you are smoking, does it not then become possible for someone who only smokes "light" cigarettes to wind up with a heavily addictive brand? Sorry if this seems like an ignorant question, but I am just confused as it sounds like all the packs are going to look the same and you cant tell what you are smoking?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese woman kidnapped, raped in Sydney See in context

The way some people talk, it is like women should steer clear of men altogether, ANY man, because you just never know if you can trust them. My life may be safer for never having any interaction with my male friends, but what a poorer, less interesting, less enriching, less fun life it would be. I wouldnt want to live like that.

Sh1t happens sometimes, often to people who least deserve it. Its happened to the best and worst of us, me included. My hope now is that this woman somehow finds herself able to turn this whole horrible experience into something that eventually she can see as something she can use to help her in her life and the lives of those around her, and yes, it can be done. Honestly - I was drugged and attacked years ago in a foreign country. I am lucky to be alive. But it DIDNT stop me appreciating and enjoying my male friends. It just made me very aware to watch my drink, and teach my friends to do the same. If I have even managed to prevent one repeat event for someone, then the whole hideous experience has been worth it.

It will take a long time for this woman to move on, and even to shake off the shame of what has happened to her, and the guilt that it was somehow her fault - certain attitudes in society dont help with that. But she already sounds like a tough cookie - being able to even go to the police takes a barrel-load of courage. She is going to be fine.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Two-year sentence sought for woman who dumped baby daughter's body in woods See in context

We still dont know how the little girl died, but the very fact that the Mother left her body in a place it could not be found until it came to a point where the cause of death could not be discovered just seems horribly suspicious to me. What kind of Mother could even do that to their child? One that clearly has no emotional connection to their child at all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

@yasukuni - yes, I agree too. The information is starting to filter through now, and some practices ARE applying more modern concepts to pregnancy. Mine was one of them. Its still very slow though - when I talk to pregnant women more often than not they are stll being told to limit their weight gain to 8kgs, regardless of their body type or starting weight.

i think being from a university hospital this doctor of course knows all there is to know about his specific field - infertiity. And can speak knowledgeably from that narrow perspective. But as many people have pointed out above, the question of if and when to have a child is absolutely not that simple.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan 'no longer a rich country' by 2050: think tank See in context

So Japan is heading down, and the only ways to stem it are to allow women an equal footing in the workforce and bring in immigrants. What a dilemma! The irony would kill me if it wasnt actually so serious!

17 ( +21 / -5 )

Posted in: Japanese woman kidnapped, raped in Sydney See in context

I have been to the homes of many male friends over the years, and all of them have been kind enough not to tie me up and rape me.

It would be naive to go to the home of someone you didnt know. But someone you knew already and thought was a friend - where is the naivety in that? Stop blaming the woman for this - she was raped because this man is a scumbag whose ego couldnt take rejection. No other reason.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Posted in: Things that foreigners miss about Japan when they return home See in context

Being able to walk around alone even at night without fear. And teenagers who DONT look like they can't decide whether to steal your bag and then knife you, or just knife you for the fun of it.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo mega-quake would kill over 9,600, simulation shows See in context

Yasukuni I have no idea why you were voted down - compulsory emergency medical training in schools is the best idea I think I have ever heard to address this problem. It would be good to teach people how to make emergency medical supplies out of everyday things too - curtains into bandages, alcohol for sterilisation etc. There are sure to not be enough supplies when it happens. There was a story back home a few years ago where a guy on a train saved a stab wound victims life with a credit card! He had just a few days before been on an EMT training course and pressing the credit card over the chest stab wound created some kind of a vacuum that prevented the lung collapsing. It was amazing!

Also agree with what everyone is saying about Ishihara

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

@yasukuni - written or updated within about the last 5-10 years. There are many but the most popular in the English speaking world, and generally accepted as the "bible" of pregnancy is the "What to Expect" series. It states all the details of weight gain clearly in there in the first couple of chapters.

Many of the doctors here qualify through med school not because they have a passion or talent for it, but because it is their "family business" and if they are not good enough to get in on their own steam, the family pay for it.

Then they go to work in the family "business" which is just that - a business. There is no incentive for them to keep up to date by attending worldwide conferences, research seminars and the like - too expensive. Research takes time to come out of the English speaking world and be translated into Japanese, if they will even accept the research as "Japanee bodies are different". There is a shortage of OBGYNs here, and they are ageing. Many of them graduated years ago and have not kept up to date.

This is of course a generalisation - there are many good doctors too, particularly in university hospitals where there is an incentive to keep up to date. But this sums up the general state of OBGYN medicine here, not from my mouth, but the mouth of a Japanese OBGYN - he told me all this.

The doctor in question here - yes, I am sure he knows more than anyone on JT about reproductive health from a clinical perspective. But as I said before, modern medicine is more holistic than that, and a lot more complicated than just the nuts and bolts.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: 2-year-old boy dies after being hit by train at crossing See in context

@iabcd - obviously my conscience forced me. Who in all good conscience could walk out of a park and leave a 4 year old alone? Pls don't nitpick - its irritating.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 'Soapland' manager arrested for hiring 13-year-old girl See in context

I think it has been edited? I could have sworn earlier it said she was given papers?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Int'l marriages test ability to balance love with tolerance See in context

@tmarie - I think my husband married me for MY money! Can't have been my sparkling wit and personality... ;) !

There are many things we do that drive each other crazy, but when you are in it you adjust, accept, and take the rough with the smooth. Except of course when they start making funny honking snorting noises at 5am. Then it's open season!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 'Soapland' manager arrested for hiring 13-year-old girl See in context

Ah, ok GW - didnt think these places were open during the daytime! How innocent am I??! I was stopped on the street in Shinjuku one time and offered a "job" in one - I couldnt stop laughing! I was 6 months pregnant at the time! Lovely jovely!

-5 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

I dont know if it is still the case, (probably not given the average age of first delivery is now 30) but in the UK first time Mothers aged 29 and up used to have "Geriatric Mother" labelled on their medical notes! (Obviously from this doctors era). My friend was a doctor, and she told me after she got married she insisted on having her first by 28 just so she didnt get that label on her notes!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Int'l marriages test ability to balance love with tolerance See in context

agree napolean, and Cleo - well said. The principles that apply to making an international marriage work are the same basic principles that make any marriage work - chocolate, beer and lotsa love!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: 2-year-old boy dies after being hit by train at crossing See in context

@yasukuni - yes, you are right, she could easily have gone off looking in the wrong direction. Done it myself! Just the other day I thought my 5 year old was with my husband, he thought he was with my Mother, and the fact is, he was hovering around the bloody Pokemon game machine in Toys R Us! I was busy watching the 2 year old while my husband was with the 8 year old in the unicycle section - comedy of errors that thankfully - but for the grace of God - didnt end in a tragedy.

I agree with everyone saying its harsh to say the Mother was incompetent. Even on a clear day toddlers are exhausting. Throw in sickness/lack of sleep/distress of some other kind/something on your mind and - very sadly - mistakes can happen. I also agree though that I see a LOT of negligence on a daily basis. I was forced to stay in the park much longer than planned recently because a woman came in with a 4 year old, dumped her in the sandpit, and went off shopping! If I had left, she would have been on her own in the park and I couldnt in all conscience do it. My God I was angry when the woman came back - 20 minutes later!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Soapland' manager arrested for hiring 13-year-old girl See in context

And clearly the guy knew she was underage as she was "given the identification papers of an acquaintance in her 20s to pass off as her own".

But what really makes me cringe - even more than the slime running the place - is the fact that her parents clearly either had no idea where she was at night and didnt care either way, OR even worse knew exactly where she was and were condoning it.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Jetstar Japan sells 10,000 one-way tickets for 1 yen each See in context

Once you add in airport fees, landing fees, taxes, handling fees, service charges, and offer the standard discount for any passengers over 90, accompanied by both parents and with a 3-legged dog named Spot, how much do those tickets really cost?

10 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Int'l marriages test ability to balance love with tolerance See in context

Oh God. Cant wait to read some of the responses to this, but heres mine for what it`s worth:

How to write an appealing article J-tabloid style:

1) Take topic everyone is curious about 2) Find as many extreme examples as possible, preferrably ones that ridicule foreigners. 3) Write up and sell.

You will probably all have noticed that not one example in the article contains a mistake or faux pas made by the Japanese side. What a strange bunch we furriners are.

And Japanese women not being interested in middle aged men??! Bwa ha ha! They are if they are rich and attractive. More like, Japanese women arent interested in middle aged men who cant get anyone in this country to marry them.

It IS true that when you are a partner in an international mrriage here, every day you are in for a surprise. But most of those surprises dont actually come from your Japanese spouse!

24 ( +28 / -4 )

Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Actually tmarie I wasnt thinking of Angelina - she said it too, but she was actually quoting it from the original - it was a guy, in New York, maybe in his 60s now, but his name absolutely escapes me!

Maybe its my age.... ;)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Who was it that said "2 of my 6 children were adopted. I forget which ones".

Carrying a child in your belly for 9 months, even pushing it out at the end of it all is the easy bit. It is the constant getting up in the night, comforting them when they are sick, supporting them when they are sad, listening when they need you to, worrying when they dont eat enough, worrying when they eat too much, sharing a laugh, a joke and an ice cream, getting climbed on, puked on, peed on and hit on for money every 5 seconds - THAT is being a parent. Makes shag all difference whether the child is biologically yours or not.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: 2-year-old boy dies after being hit by train at crossing See in context

I agree Darren - I took my 2 year old out of hoikuen from April 1st so it has been 2 weeks now, and even with my Mum here - my God that boy can try our patience AND he moves like the wind! Try putting any willful 2 year old in reins too and see what you get for your money! Far better to let him run free in a safe place (such as a temple) and just keep a close eye on him.

I feel terribly sorry for this Mother, I really do.

But just one thing: even moving like the wind it does take a 2 year old quite a time to travel 100 metres. So I find her "I lost sight of him momentarily" comment to be just a little unbelievable. More like 5 minutes. BUT there but for the grace of God goes any parent honest enough to admit it.

-4 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: The skill of speaking fluent Japanese See in context

Ive hit a total plateau in my Japanese the last couple of years and it is frustrating. I suspect a lot has to do with this idea of thinking in Japanese. This is what I need to master. I still mess up all the time, but I find when I do it with a smile on my face and a self-deprecating laugh everyone is more than happy to forgive me and/or help me out. Im sure I will get "there" one day - wherever "there" is?!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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