Japan Today

ninjaboy comments

Posted in: Why are Tokyo cabbies so clueless? See in context

Have to fully support the comments made in the article. Customer service in a country where "the customer is God" has long since vanished. Nowadays, it seems to be the same everywhere in Asia; "we got our salary, so who cares what the customer thinks?"

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Posted in: What makes Japanese women say, 'I never want to see that jerk again!' See in context

The question in the headline is so easy to answer ...

Just say "I love you" to your Japanese girlfriend. She'll freak and run away and you'll never see her again.

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Posted in: China overtakes Japan in 2nd quarter as world's No. 2 economy See in context

It was the beginning of the end a long time ago. Back in my student days in the 90s, and again while working in local government, the warning signs of a dying country, culture, and people, were already evident, but scarcely taken notice of.

Lethargic office workers who arrived late every morning with hangovers. A postal and banking system reliant on too much manual labour. Government departments that struggled to justify their very existence, let alone their budgets. A myriad of meaningless rules & regulations that only serve to keep a communist-style government in power. An outdated education system that creates a nation of malleable workers who do not question authority power.

Japan will die and no-one will care.

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Posted in: Lindsay Hawker's accused killer appears determined to fight murder charge See in context

Can’t wait to see what travesty of J-justice will occur here. There will be no justice for this poor girl’s family.

I already have a good idea what will happen because the law in Japan works something like this ... If a women accepts an invitation to enter a man’s apartment, but get raped, the man will be spared from full punishment because she herself voluntarily accepted the invitation to enter the premises. Now, if a man accepts an invitation to enter a woman’s apartment, but SHE gets raped, the man is, once again, spared from full punishment because she voluntarily extended an invitation for the man to enter.

This case is going to last forever.

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Posted in: Man's body found at tonkatsu restaurant See in context

"Tonkatsu Don" -- made up name?

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Posted in: Knife-wielding man attempts to rob police station in Miyagi See in context

The reception of a traffic safety association ..? Now there's a place brimming with cash.

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Posted in: Back to the 'eikaiwa' drawing board See in context

Excellent article. It goes without saying that the state of English teaching in Japan has been in a sorry state for many years. I attribute this, among many other reasons, to Japan's eikaimwa schools preference for low-cost, not necessarily experienced, 'tourist teachers.' Most language schools just need a foreign face at the front of a classroom to promote an image, and let's be honest, any language school can fish one out of the vast ESL pool at any time. Most eikaiwa only have an eye on profit to stay in business, so what does it matter to any school with regard to the quality of foreign teacher? Most tourist teachers start on the JET Programme which, aside from being the biggest farce of all time, offers an easy route into Japan for grads who have no clue about what to do with their lives after graduation. Most, including myself at the time, treated the JET Programme as the 'graduation holiday.' After spending almost 13 years in Japanese-style schools (inc. a Japanese university) I spent the entire year sitting at an empty desk because my host institution didn't know what to do with me. In spite of my education and experience I decided to train to become a professionally qualified language and business teacher. Today, I am not a low-cost, inexperienced, 'tourist teacher.' But that makes individuals like myself still not required in Japan. The exodus to Japan the article speaks of during the 80s has reversed today with many trained professionals preferring to move out and sell their knowledge and skills to other countries who give a dam about the quality of education for their students. China, for example (where I work now,) is filling-up with experienced and qualified ESL teachers. There is no way I could the job I do now in Japan. And why would I? The Chinese are not short-sighted and recognise what professional teachers have to contribute to the organisation. We give lectures and seminars, or design entire courses in English/business communication and culture. We train students and professionals alike in ways that improve their lives, and in a country like China, it gives one a tremendous amount of satisfaction. Chinese education has its faults, but colleges, universities, and business training centres are years ahead of Japan.

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Posted in: The Japanese media and its Orwellian nature See in context

Japan has done it's upmost to 'dumb down' the entire population - like any communist power would do. The media is a powerful weapon for the management of information and I've found that all Japanese people generally believe anything they're told, simply because they saw it on TV or read about it in the papers. The government has created a subservient population of people with genrally low IQs who lost all their critical, logical, and intelligible thinking skills. When people start to think it gives them ideas and ideas are dangerous when the mailable populace starts to question. The result is, indeed, an Orwellian society that is structured and ordered.

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Posted in: Police capt in organized crime unit warned for accepting fridge from gangster See in context

He's lucky to get away with just accepting a fridge. I was often told that 'gift-giving' by members of organised crime syndicates to various high-ranking police is quite normal. It always has been in just about every prefecture. And they are gifts (usually cars or holidays) because gifts of the financial kind arouse suspicion straight away and the transaction is traceable. It has, and always will be, a normal custom in Japan.

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Posted in: Magazine airs anxieties over China's burgeoning economic clout See in context

Ha! The fist's up the other one now!

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Posted in: Narita ranked third in airport quality survey See in context

Waiting for an hour to go through immigration is hardly 'efficient.' Shanghai Pudong Airport is, in my opinion, the best airport I've ever been through. From stepping-off the plane and walking through to collect my suitcase usually takes less than 15 minutes. And it keeps getting quicker every single time.

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Posted in: Ehime man arrested for killing mother, putting body in freezer See in context

No more yakiniku for me!

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Posted in: Growing interest in urban agriculture produces greenery in heart of Tokyo See in context

Nice to see more people growing marijuana plants in the urban area.

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Posted in: What it's like for department store staff in a recession See in context

One of the most interesting, yet heartbreaking, stories to appear on JT. It's certainly an accurate and sad reflection of the situation in Japan today.

I can see many Chinese department stores moving in and/or taking over prominent and prestigious retail premises in the future to cater more for ever-growing Chinese customers.

Shanghai & Beijing department stores, by contrast, are thriving hubs of activity all day long with customers spending what I can only describe as a phenomenal amounts of money on brand-name goods. Lets hope the Chinese can save Japan.

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Posted in: Man slashes two women on Sapporo street See in context

These incidents are (sadly) becoming so normal that it's almost worth not considering it as news-worthy anymore ...

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Posted in: More Tokyo train stations start using lights to stem suicides See in context

What is needed are thick glass panals with sliding doors that run the entire length of the platform. Only when the doors to the train and the platform are aligned will they open. Works only in stations where, I assume from reading the article, most of these suicides happen.

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Posted in: Autumn tint See in context

Its been a dream of mine for almost 20 years to visit this place. Just never seem to get there !

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Posted in: How a meaningless argument ended in murder See in context

Quote: "Police suspect all were under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime. Yet another incomprehensible act of violence over a meaningless argument."

... Just another typical day in Japan

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Posted in: New breed of employees can’t communicate and wilt under pressure See in context

I work in China and we have the same problem here. Even the most gifted graduates with dreams of joining a foreign company/working abroad usually end up working on the assembly line with a screwdriver. They totally lack the creative and imaginative input large companies demand of their employees to stay ahead of the competition.

Many more large companies in China (esp. Hong Kong) are being criticized for recruiting foreign talent out of necessity.

I can't help wondering if many of Japan's large companies in the future will solve this problem the same way.

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Posted in: Flower expo See in context

Shouldn't this picture be with the lead story "Hatoyama's Cabinate Takes Shape" ???

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Posted in: English-language teaching industry in bad shape See in context

Japan needs to take a lesson from China. Many of Japan's private language schools have yet to utalise the kind of language-learning facilities that China has implimented for many years. I work for a corporate training centre in China which is very "IT competent" and does make use of automation when educating students. Many of China's private language schools have invested heavily in IT and teaching technology that has really improved the teaching and studying experience for everyone. So much so, in fact, that the current generation of Chinese students are moving away from that traditional - dare I say, almost 'Japanese-style system of karaoke English,' by becoming more creative and imaginative. Chinese students are developing their own sense of style and independence, as well as a strong motivation, to learn English.

China's universities and private language schools woke up a few years back and realised that good ideas and innovation keep any country ahead of the game. Corporate training and language learning centres (and the one I work for is a good example) inspire their students with a strong sense of creativity and imagination, mostly as a result of hiring the kind of professional instructor, not the "tourist teacher" I always seem to meet in Japan.

I would like to work in Japan applying my knowledge and skills so that a generation of Japanese students can achieve the kind of results I've succeeded in doing for countless hundreds in China. So why can't I get a job there? Reason? I'm not required. Even though my second language is Japanese and I'm quite familiar with, and comfortable within, Japanese society and culture, I'm not a "tourist teacher." I'm in it for a long term commitment and this makes Japanese training centres nervous. If only private schools in Japan woke up and realised how important creativity and innovation are to a country's development, like China did, then (perhaps) Japan wouldn't be in the state it's in now.

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Posted in: Cleanup See in context

Well that's bound to work! Now the police don't need to patrol the area - this sign takes care of everything. hmmmmmmm

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Posted in: Capt Kirk, American icon? See in context

Great article! Loved reading this!

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Posted in: Japanese pop singer dressed as pineapple robbed in Sweden See in context

Fruit punch anyone?

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Posted in: Japan to spend more than Y10 tril in new economic stimulus See in context

Sounds more like an expensive 'face saving' exercise to me. Anything to stop China from toppling Japan off the No#2 spot.

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Posted in: NHK faces terror scare for second day See in context

Quote: “We have sent the bullet-like metal to the Metropolitan Police Department for examination.”

Yeah.., that'll make a big difference... A bunch of Keystones standing around staring at it for several minutes in silence until until one is brave enough to venture a breakthrough theory... "I think this is a bullet!"

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Posted in: Baby-faced dad, 13, raises 'broken Britain' fears See in context

Well.., if it all goes wrong and young Alfie has to join Father's For Justice, at least he'll be able to find a Spiderman costume that fits!

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Posted in: What's wrong with the way English is taught in Japan? See in context

One of the biggest problems I've encountered is the phenomenal amount of "tourist teachers" in Japan. Or more to the point, schools and colleges who are happy to employ those taking the 'graduation holiday' and could not care less as to their professional qualification, training, or experience. This may explain why, in the majority of cases and with the exception of kindergarten teachers, the more dedicated and professional teachers are simply not required in Japanese schools and I'll even go as far as saying this is why the J-Gov will continue to bemoan the fact that Japanese students will always be glued to the bottom of international English language test scores.

In my case, do you think I could ever get a job teaching English for business, practical communication skills, or cross-cultural seminars in Japan? Even though Japanese is my second language, thats unheard of!!! No, I'm in China where my knowledge and skills are more highly valued and (to a certain extent) why students like mine are communicating at more of an international level than their Japanese counterparts. I am astounded that the average Chinese fifteen year old is able to talk for an hour-long about business, politics, and culture in a near-fluid conversational manner.

I have yet to meet a Japanese adult in more than 20 years who is able to achieve that kind of level. I also believe the Japanese education is too teacher orientated. The teacher 'outputs', they talk and the students watch and listen. It is the opposite in "western" education systems where the students 'output'; they talk, write and put their skills into action... and thats what education is all about.

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Posted in: Job rally See in context

Gambare to the next generation of unemployed / unemployable !!!!

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Posted in: Japan’s Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity See in context

I was lucky enough to have been tutored by most of the authors of this brilliant book when I was an undergrad at Sheffield. Believe me, they know their stuff. This work is insightful and a must-read for anyone interested in racial/cultural identity and/or ethnicity. Japan is far from anything 'homogeneous.'

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