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Nightshade 2014 comments

Posted in: New whaling plan will prove hunt is for scientific purposes: negotiator See in context

Anyone got some oceanfront property in a landlocked state to sell me? This whaling issue needs a large infusion of rational thought brought to it. Emotionalism isn't helping anyone...particularly the whales. It's either science or economics. Let's be honest.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan overwhelmingly favors CDs to digital music See in context

Whatever media music consumers use, at least they are buying music. Lets not knock it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Civil servant suing Fukuoka for one yen over employee drinking ban See in context

Tiny, incremental incursions into what should be the realm of individual choice..... I like the 1 yen amount, because that shows the guy is arguing the principle, not trying to get rich or be silly.

Dear Baseel-san: your expression "...to wash the taste of work out of their mouth." is such a brilliantly and well-said phrase. Kudos to you for being poetic and realistic at the same time.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's bid for economy driven by women faces big hurdles See in context

Some great comments here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe's stance on next tax hike 'utterly neutral,' says Amari See in context

"The government, however, last month flagged a risk that the April sales-tax hike could have a prolonged effect on the economy."

Wow. How insightful. So THAT's why everything is more expensive at the cash register and I'm having to tighten the belt. Now I know. Who would have guessed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: HIV/AIDS awareness in Japan still lacking See in context

I agree with Frungy. This article is excellent...a very nice mix of fact backed by sources + personal experience + personal commentary on those experiences to make it interesting. Nicely done. Unfortunately, my experiences dealing with Japanese people about this issue very closely mirror the author's experiences with HIV/AIDS awareness in Japan. I don't have all the answers, but as the author suggests, I think sex education type knowledge needs to be taught in schools (get off your butts, education people), and Japanese need to get it out of their head that AIDS is a gaijin disease. How many times have I heard about Japanese people going on business trips outside Japan and doing sex tours or availing themselves of that city's bodily resources, and then coming back to Japan and spreading whatever "omiyage" they brought back among their country folk. AIDS may not have originated in Japan, but it is certainly here and it is obviously on the rise...and I doubt it is the gaijin from nations that educate about this who are spreading it amongst the locals by not being at least minimally careful.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Plane chartered by U.S. military lands in Iran amid mix-up See in context

Whoops. Those pesky flight plans.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Akie Abe discusses sales tax, nuclear power, life with PM See in context

Disillusioned: "'driftwood' employees" made me LOL. That's a great image.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. welcomes Japan's new cabinet See in context

The efficacy and appropriateness of a cabinet should be judged by its efficacy and appropriateness, not on the statistical breakdown of its constituent members. I agree that there is a need for politics to be more balanced. So Abe-san should be complemented on his attempts, perhaps. But at the end of the day, it comes down to what these new appointees actually DO for us the people. On that count, I think I shall just wait and see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: AKB48's adult member 'graduates' after 4 months See in context

Who else thinks that AKB (and their similar peer groups) appears on TV too much? I'm kind of tired of seeing them on pretty much every channel. Sure, I could change the channel, but as most of anyone who watches Japanese TV knows, there's always something similar waiting for you no matter which channel you pick. Sorry to any fans

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: It's not just Hello Kitty: Japan's character craze See in context

"Some see Japan’s cute-craze...as a sign of immaturity, but others say it’s rooted in a harmony-centered way of life that goes back to ancient animist traditions."

I can understand the first part of that statement, but not the second. What does Funassyi or Pikachu have to do with harmony-centricity or ancient animistic traditions of an ever-present pantheon of gods in all things? Are those people trying to suggest that Doraemon is a god? Or Kitty-chan? Or anything cute? I'm not buying it.

See, it's an unconvincing assertion. I believe the reason for the popularity of "kawaii" and all of its manifestations is far more complex and environmentally/socially based than just assigning it some long-ago Shinto significance. It is by looking at such phenomena (please note that I have not labelled it "bad") and the reasons for them that allows a society to understand itself. Why is Kitty or Pikachu at the heart of pop culture (sub-culture?)? What does it suggest? These are the questions that will help us all to grow and progress.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Dolphin-hunting season kicks off in Taiji See in context

Can't figure out the reason for the thumbs down I'm getting. My comments aren't very incendiary, and similar comments by others get thumbs up in this post. I'm confused.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Dolphin-hunting season kicks off in Taiji See in context

zorken: very nicely put.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Dolphin-hunting season kicks off in Taiji See in context

They say this is a tradition, but I'm not convinced it is a tradition worth keeping. Maybe it's time to get with the times. As many commenters have said, dolphin meat is not recommended for food because of its level of pollutants. And consumption of cetacean meat IS going down in Japan according to many studies, so the necessity for the mass killing is less and less. Also, stabbed and bludgeoned dolphins cannot be used in aquariums, so again, less need for this. The financial incentives to continue the practice do not appear very viable. And that tired old red herring argument of "they're not endangered" doesn't make much sense either. So what if they're not endangered at this point in time? That doesn't change a thing. There appears to be no actual need to kill a bunch of dolphins, as per the points above.

So why do they do it? Because it's a tradition? Doesn't sound like much of a reason. Besides, what does a primitive tradition of needless blood and slaughter say about the people who demand to preserve it?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Japanese publishers blast new Amazon book sale rules See in context


Thank you for clarifying this. That was a great explanation, and nicely worded too. As someone who likes to read, Amazon's attempt as you have summarized it is quite disappointing. Smaller publishers and the readers stand to lose. That's just sad.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese publishers blast new Amazon book sale rules See in context

I found this article hard to understand, maybe because I'm not familiar with the publishing industry. I'm not quite sure what the issue is. I would appreciate it if someone could put it in simple terms for me. "Some smaller publishers are facing demands to accept a surge in commission fees..." Does this mean Amazon is charging more to put stuff on their site? Sorry, please enlighten me. The more I re-read the article, the more I'm not sure....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Study: We travel with our own germs See in context

Humans/humanoids have lived for thousands or tens of thousands of years with bacteria, viruses, germs and other critters. They managed to survive for tens of thousands of years. Kudos to our immune system. I'm not going to worry about this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Special English zones proposed as part of Cool Japan tourism initiative See in context

"...in an effort to strengthen Japan's ability to participate...in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics." Please tell me the planning goes beyond the Olympics. Otherwise, this is just a matsuri. Also, if the word "officially spoken languages" is going to be used, I'd like to see what measures are being taken in the education system to prepare its citizens and youth for,the upcoming official English zones. But I guess overall this is probably a good thing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe sent support message to war criminal memorial service in April See in context

Japan committed terrible atrocities during the war. There, that's out of the way. But but but...Abe-san is pretty much damned no matter what he does. Almost every country honors its war dead. Whether or not that is seen as positive or negative depends on which side (winning or losing) the country was/is on. Having said that, look at the opening sentence of the article: "...an April memorial service dedicated to World War II war criminals...". Although I wasn't there (and so I could be very wrong), I doubt the ceremony was dedicated to 'war criminals'. I suspect (and I repeat, I wasn't there so I could be wrong) it was dedicated to war DEAD. No one would show up for a ceremony to celebrate criminals. Whether on the side of 'right' or 'wrong' it doesn't change the fact that tens of thousands of people died. The whole temple/shrine thing is another matter....

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Posted in: Japan to propose 50% cut in young tuna catch See in context

Wow, this is an encouraging move. And a bit of a pleasant surprise. Those countries that most avail themselves of the ocean's blessings should have an active interest in protecting ocean resources and using them sustainably. Although I'm sure that many fishers will not be too happy about this, in the end they would more unhappy if the stocks disappeared completely. So, a step in the right direction.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to release testimony of deceased Fukushima plant chief See in context

Mixed feelings on this. I appreciate his efforts in the face of a terrifying situation. But the almost universal attempts to paint him as a hero sets off my BS radar. No one quite knows his true role in saving Japan, or in being unable to prevent the accident. I saw an NHK documentary that suggested a series of blunders and miscalculations, which makes me wonder. Anyhow, RIP Mr. Yoshida. I will be brave and err on the side of your heroism...for now.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: 57 Fukushima children suffering from thyroid cancer See in context

Who are these "researchers" doing the studies? Who is this "committee comprised of experts"? Who are these experts? Who are these "Fukushima prefectural officials"? Come on JT, please dig into the details and provide them, rather than being ambiguous. You are watering down your own credibility with this vagueness. Of course prefectural officials and the researchers assigned by them are going to say they cannot conclusively say the cancer is related to the accident. But I have also seen other scientific studies (not commissioned by the prefectural officials) that statistically show an almost incontrovertible link between the accident and cancer rates. There are many studies. Why not a review of them all?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan looking to buy more stealth fighters in 2015 See in context

Cricky: "...flys just as well sideways as forward." I laughed literally out loud. I can't get that picture out of my mind. LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think Twitter, YouTube and other social media should remove images of grisly murders, such as the execution of U.S. journalist James Foley or the 7-year-old boy holding a severed head in Syria, See in context

This doesn't really have to be controversial. Social media sites have existing terms of use and policies, which are legally binding text. Those policies should be clear, unambiguous and open (and in most cases generally they are). It should be those terms & policies that dictate (in advance) what content is considered inappropriate for the social media site, rather than wondering about it once someone has posted 'objectionable' material. Therefore, if the policy says clearly 'no gore' or whatever, the site is not only allowed to, but possibly obligated to remove the content that is considered offensive.

If the terms/policies that users have to agree to in order to use the site are fuzzy, over-general or non-existent, then banning or removing certain videos would be a kind of censorship. These policies must be clear and detailed, and laid out in advance, because one person's disgusting gore is another person's entertainment. Which is also the reason why, if the site's terms and polices are clear, no user should claim offense at the postings of another user.

Without that, it's all just subjective and can never find a happy medium.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan looking to buy more stealth fighters in 2015 See in context

True, the F-4 is getting close to the end if its relevance, despite being a truly formidable aircraft. But is the super-expensive F-35 really the plane that Japan needs? Japan's constitution Article 9 is not multi-role. So do they really need a multi-role aircraft, which also happens to be the most expensive aircraft ever built on earth?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks See in context

CrazyJoe: you said "spoiled teenager". That's actually kind of charitable of you. You are a kinder person than me. I would have said it as "selfish infant"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Celebrities take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight disease See in context

Thank you lostrune2. You raise a good point: we must also remember that this is actually helping people for real, right now. I am worried about it just being a fad. But even if it is, it's good to remember that people are being helped.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks See in context

Well, I'm sure this is going to do a lot to make diplomatic progress between the two countries. (sarcasm). Schoolyard childish insults. I wonder what the US will say in response.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Celebrities take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight disease See in context

There are many many many diseases out there. Is there enough ice and water on the planet to help raise money for all of these? If not, maybe a bucket of sand or dirt? I think M3M3M3's solution is more practical. Let's make it one dollar a year to tackle a whole bunch of them. Raising awareness is very important; so is raising funds. Maybe it's good that awareness has gone viral. But what will people do once the gimmick gets old?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: 100,000 elephants killed in Africa, study finds See in context

fxgai, I think I can understand the point you are trying to make. And you are right that people in Africa should be able to enrich themselves, and shouldn't have to turn to a black market to do so. But if you are going to use the word "sustainability" you need to be careful. As I said above, shooting an elephant, hacking off its tusks and leaving the corpse to rot in the sun is not an efficient use of the animal. By sustainability do you mean that there should be a quota on the number of elephants than can be killed, mutilated and left to rot? Or do you mean something else? If there wasn't a market in China/Asia for this unnecessary substance, there would be no poachers who waste these poor creatures for a single part of their body. African poverty will not be solved by the ivory trade. Let's move on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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