Peacetrain comments

Posted in: Tainted water leaking into sea from roof of Fukushima plant See in context

I still don't know enough about nuclear power plants, radiation, how to solve the problem.

But the best and brightest should be working on this, and all the labourers should be getting great salaries and benefits.

Tepco should not be in charge.

Get someone independent and capable in charge - there should be no middle men cheating the laborers out of the wages. If the same thing were happening in most 1st world countries the media would be all over it.

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Posted in: Magazine asks women if they’d rather date an ugly millionaire or unemployed hottie See in context

You can't help being ugly or a hottie.

Nobody ever watched Beauty and the Beast?

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Posted in: Japanese media self-censorship grows under Abe See in context

"We cannot say left when the government says right."


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Posted in: 2,100 people sue Asahi Shimbun over 'comfort women' stories See in context

Every now and then you hear of a fake Jewish holocaust survivor, or someone who said they fought with the Green Berets in Vietnam or a firefighter on 9/11.

It doesn't negate the truth.

A child can understand that. It's sad but a little scary that thousands of adult Japanese can't.

But let's face it, there are two kinds of revisionist. One honestly doesn't know because of ignorance. - I've talked to many Japanese who honestly think that the Japanese govt and army were perfect gentlemen during the war as opposed to Americans who were there bad guys.

On the other hand, the more academic types obviously know the truth but don't want to admit it.

If a govt, can set up Unit 731, is it really hard to believe that there were comfort women who suffered?

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Posted in: 10 kinds of posts that make Japanese want to block their friends on Facebook See in context

I think if you don't like Facebook, you should just not use it. And in a second you can probably scroll through 6 photos of food anyway.

But here's the thing. If a friend gets married, has a baby, ate something really nice, it doesn't bug me to see a photo about it. I'm happy for them. And if my more serious friend has a post about something political, that's fine too. He or she just might be more concerned about something important rather than videos of drunk people falling over.

Successful dates? If some of my lonely single friends finally had a nice date and fell in love I'd be happy for them.

If they worked through the night - I'd feel sorry for them.

Maybe more people should just Friend the people who they are interested in? Or maybe I'm just a nice guy.

As for poems, nobody on my list has done that yet, but I'd me impressed if they did. If I didn't like the poem I'd just skip over it.

People complain too much. Here's another deep piece of advice. You don't have to watch every show on TV, and you don't have to read every article on Japan Today.

There's this really cool human ability called skimming. Try it.

All in all Facebook is simply a great way of keeping up with people you know. And if they were painful, it's a lot easier skimming over a poem on Facebook then actually meeting them for coffee and not knowing what to say if they wanted to recited all their poems.

Modern people are never happy.

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Posted in: Islamic State video shows beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya See in context

Yep, cowards. Evil disgusting cowards. They need to be exterminated. Very simple.

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Posted in: Islamic State video shows beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya See in context

Can you imagine what would happen across the planet today if a video was shown of 21 Muslims being not even killed but hit over the head with some pork or a Koran?

There'd be murder and mayhem and bombings and shootings.

Given that the ones being killed were Christians, Obama will probably make an apology speech. Remember, some of you who are outraged need to get off your high horses.

I think it's time for us to get off our high horses alright and pronounce a jihad against Isis and any other terrorist group. There people need to be removed from the planet.

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Posted in: Islamic State video shows beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya See in context

I just hope this doesn't lead to people misunderstanding Islam. Or Islamophobia - the REAL serious problem in the world...

I imagine this latest incident will have Muslims all over the world demonstrating in rage.

No, perhaps not. They're probably tired after getting exhausted expressing their anger over the comic books.

It's all about priorities.

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Posted in: Abe briefing document rules out Japan strike on Islamic State See in context

" It will be messy."

ww2 was a little messy from what I read. But I'm glad Hitler and co were stopped.

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Posted in: Housewives going crazy home alone all day behind facade of normal life See in context

Let me get this right. These women don't even need to get a job, have running hot and cold water, internet, shops, libraries, TVs, safe streets, washing machines, micro waves, and they are need of sympathy?

Perhaps they could jog, get a part-time job, study English, play tennis, pick up papers, volunteer at retirement villages, or any of a couple of 100 things I could think of.

Heck, they could even study counselling and help people with REAL problems.

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Posted in: Prosecutors won't indict former TEPCO execs over Fukushima disaster See in context

This will probably all be decided on the golf course or in a drinking establishment. Methinks these three will be okay.

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Posted in: S Korea balks as U.S. picks Japan, Australia to service F-35s in Asia See in context

Very stupid. You'd think they'd realise that this will make the Japanese public even less inclined to listen to them.

With North Korea and China being the way they are, the best thing is for Korea and Japan to get on better.

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Posted in: Is Japanese TV really as bad as its reputation? See in context

We need a guy like Jerry Springer to come here and show the Japanese how to make REAL TV shows....

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Posted in: Yuletide spirit See in context

Hate to say this, but I have pleasant memories of the "Salvos" as we call them in Australia playing on hot summer nights and they sounded good. These guys they practice much? I'd say they've just been told they have to do it, and probably just can't NOT do it. But they'd be better off not playing and just asking for donations.

Having said that, good on em for trying. But probably instead of one or two at each station, they should band together (see what I did there?) and work on their repertoire. I think they'd get more money and a better reputation.

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Posted in: Japanese wives in int'l marriages share what they hate about Christmas overseas See in context

This scene amazes me.

"except for the jealous sister-in-law who proclaimed, 'we don't need you to bring over turkey, we're Japanese, we eat sushi' . " She said all this while sinking her teeth into a turkey drumstick, so I proceeded to remove it from her mouth and threw it into the bin."

I'd pay money to watch a movie with that scene in it.

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Posted in: Japanese wives in int'l marriages share what they hate about Christmas overseas See in context


Thanks. I will!

I like Christmas anywhere actually. The way people celebrate Christmas varies from country to country and families within each country have their own traditions that are vastly different too. If you are lucky enough to be invited to someone's place for Christmas I say enjoy it and learn that everyone does things different.

These days I'm thinking that you can just decide to like something - better than just getting annoyed and then complaining later.

I LIKE the way Japanese have their own spin on Christmas. Turkey vs KFC, Santa vs Jesus vs Saint Nicholas, punch vs sake vs egg nog, Bing Crosby vs John Lennon, Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays? Who cares - it's all good! Just as long as we aren't blowing each other up.

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Posted in: Japanese wives in int'l marriages share what they hate about Christmas overseas See in context

Life's so hard isn't it? How terrible to have so face the dilemma once a year of whether to say yes or no to turkey.

I probably shouldn't comment on this in my state. But as a foreigner who gave up so many nice Christmases in my own country because of my Japanese wife, and who tried his best to do all the Japanese New Year things the Japanese way - gladly, but then to have his wife leave him to face his first Christmas in years alone - I think these women are much less deserving of sympathy than billions of people right now.

The irony is that for years, I was told that we just HAD to eat Kentucky fried Chicken and we just HAD to do Christmas this way. So, I think the problem with some Japanese women is this.

They expect the world to love their traditions and won't bend, but they somehow also want to change western traditions to they way they want and expect everyone to fit in with that too.

Sorry for ranting. I really do love Christmas. And i even recently got into looking forward to getting in early at KFC to make sure the chicken didn't run out!! lol

But being alone in this country hearing carols all the time will be a little melancholy.

So I'd say to these women that they have a "zeitaku na mondai".

Have a little turkey and wrap some presents just to make your other half and his family a little happy. If you can't do that for one day of the year on an important day in your partners life, maybe you need to spend Christmas in a children's hospital or an orphanage to get some perspective.

Merry Christmas

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Posted in: These young men who died here believed they were defending their family and loved ones. We need to rediscover their sacrifices and learn from them. See in context

I say let him remember those men and think about what they went through, and do his best to make sure he and his generation don't get their lives lost through the mistakes of the govt.

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Posted in: Vagina kayak artist arrested in Japan See in context

Oddly enough, I am offended by phallic festivals, but Megumi and her Kayak? That's just cute. Though I can understand a police officer wanting to put her in handcuffs and give her a spanking and use his ... no i'll stop there.

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Posted in: Tens of thousands get rare peek at Imperial Palace See in context

I like the royal family. Great people.

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Posted in: Opposition, too weak to take power, aims to dim Abe's luster See in context

The best hope for this country was immediately after the earthquake. That should have been the time when everyone pulled together and created change and a new Japan. Instead of letting the PM at the time get going in the most difficult time in Japan in decades, Kan had to put up not only with continual attacks from the LDP but even his OWN people Hatoyama and Ozawa. To me that was unbelievable and extremely disappointing. That those two could attack their own party leader during Japan's biggest crisis made me realise that the country was finished.

sorry. But it's hard to see a great future for Japan. They could have at least all got together for a few months and put the daggers away for at least the rest of 2011.

It was shameful. They were all hitting themselves over the head with fiddles while Japan burned. (yes I know - I butchered the quote)

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Posted in: Yomiuri apologizes for using term 'sex slaves' in English edition See in context

"PeacetrainDec. 02, 2014 - 09:58AM JST The difference is that many of the comfort women were simply killed when the war was drawing to a close or if they became of no further use. That is rather a brand new accusation. Where did you get that? There are Japanese martial court records in which Japanese soldiers were severely disciplined for injuring or misbehaving against Ianfu. it seems we have unforeseeable past."

Ch3Co, If this is REALLY a new accusation for you, than you just haven't read enough. Seriously. And if you think the fact that some Japanese soldiers were disciplined in some cases for misbehaving means anything, then it's pretty hard to discuss this with you.

How many reports of the suffering of these women have you actually read?

Some right-wingers are ignorant and have just not read the literature, but others probably know but just want to argue. Which group are you in?

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Posted in: Yomiuri apologizes for using term 'sex slaves' in English edition See in context

@Kazume Nishidate.

If you really think about your Texan analogy in an intellectually honest way, you will realise how ridiculous it is.

But, one thing I agree with you on is that most people don't know much about what they are talking about.

For the record.

Not all women with the title "ianfu" were mistreated. It varied depending on the place and most importantly the people in charge. Some women were lucky or enterprising enough to become an officer's personal mistress and they lived in relative comfort. They were also mostly Japanese.

Yes, Koreans procured comfort women and did so for their own personal profit. But this happens in every country even today.

Some women were prostitutes before they became ianfu. But, anyone who knows much about prostitution in those days will know that they were in effect slaves - including the Japanese. Anyone interested in Japanese history should look into this. You'll see that many women who were prostitutes were sold by their parents, and once they were in a brothel they had no freedom - even in peace time Japan. If that brothel contracted to supply women to the military, the individual had no say in that. And of course once they were in a foreign country, they couldn't say "Oh, I think I'd like to leave now".

We could argue about numbers and how many women made how much money, and whether they were duped by Japanese, or Koreans, or Chinese forever. I don't think those numbers will even be able to be ascertained exactly.

But any decent human being - male or female - would be disgusted if they read of the treatment of many of these women.

As for the Roponngi statements - the same probably applies. There are no doubt women making lots of money living a fine life. But there are others who have no access to their own passports, and are literally sex slaves.

The difference is that many of the comfort women were simply killed when the war was drawing to a close or if they became of no further use.

Any decent Japanese who know the truth about the experiences of these women would not want to defend the practice.

but, it is definitely true that the existence of comfort stations did lead to a decrease in the sexual attacks on civilian women.

And it should also be remembered that the average Taro who went to a comfort station didn't always know what the women were going through. He was also encourage to go there because of superstitions regarding sex. Not that most probably needed that much persuading.

If I were Japanese I would keep the Kono statement. Even as a male, I feel like apologising.....

The right-wingers who defend all this, are usually the same people who think Hitler wasn't so bad, and question the holocaust. On the other hand, some people without much knowledge play into their hands.

2 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: How do you feel when you speak fluent or reasonably good Japanese to a Japanese person and they insist on answering you in English? See in context

Okay, another person to back up Cleo. I hardly ever speak to anyone in English. On the contrary, I'm thrilled if someone speaks to me in English. I DO understand how frustrating it is to speak to someone in Japanese and have them speak back in English when you are trying to learn, so if someone speaks English to me I answer in English. If I realise they really can't speak on a level for the purpose of our conversation, I might say a sentence in Japanese - at which they'll probably come over to Japanese.

Now here is were I will offend everyone.......

One person here was angry because they talked about how great they were in Japanese - translating both ways and how their vocabulary was so good. A little anecdote. The last time I met someone complaining about Japan, Japanese and their pet peeve about people replying in English even thought they are better at japanese than most Japanese......(?!), I finally heard him speak Japanese. Basically, he was nowhere near as good as he thought. Not only accented (which is only normal to different extents depending on your mimicking skills), but the whole way he talked was just....unnatural and uncomfortable. iow, he spoke in a way that Japanese wouldn't in that situation. So sometimes. as the song goes "we're not as smart as we'd like to think we are".

Of course sometimes, a person will reply in English, but so? Good on them for trying. Often they're a sales assistant who thinks they should be able to. Or doctors - who everything seems to think are can speak English (and German!), who are embarrassed that they can't and might say something in front of the nurse. But even then, I speak Japanese to all my doctors too.

So, maybe once a year? or less I meet a person who seemed to go overboard trying to speak English, but to me it's less irritating than just a little humorous. And then I just think "Aren't Japanese great they way they try so hard to be welcoming".

Kind of dismayed the way some of you are obnoxious when you don't need to be. Maybe that explains why Japanese are less friendly to gaijin than they used to be. I pity the people on the end of some of the exchanges with some of you.

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Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair See in context

"I found out u need to be in foreign language speaking evironment day and night. "

Yeah, but we all know people who have lived in Japan for 20 years and can't say or understand anything.

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Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair See in context

”One hint to all contributors - make it a habit to RE-READ what you write, before posting anything connected with your name. ”

Point taken. But lots of us are busy and just want to make a point and get away. Others of us fall victim to the funny antics of our spell checkers.

And finally, I don't really mind what is connected with the name Peacetrain. We'd probably all be more careful if we used our real names.

And no, my real name is not Cat Stevens....

@Cleo, I agree totally about making things interesting.

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Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair See in context

Let's face it - speaking in a foreign language is difficult. Some of you commenting here see things through your own perspective but forget to realise that you are highly motivated and basically smarter and more gifted linguistically than most people.

There very people who will disagree with me with probably write a very nice rebuttal - but it will be something that most native English speakers would struggle to write.

Cleo, I agree with your initial comments about making mistakes. I'd put that at more than half the problem. And that persists later. How many times have you watched TV when it's all about people laughing at English mistakes. A Japanese politician giving a speech or interview will always be criticised for mistakes. So a lot of this is cultural. Japanese have to learn to "give it a go" and realise that speaking a language is less like studying history as it is like riding a bike or playing a guitar. You will make a lot of mistakes, and you have to be prepared to make mistakes even after 20 years.

But as for your Latin remarks.

"but that led on to actually reading in the original stuff like the love poems of Catullus and the very words that folk like Julius Caesar had written 2000 - two thousand!! - years ago, and for me that was very, very exciting and made all the slog worth it."

For every student like you there are probably dozens who never got that far and rejoiced the day they could not have to think about Latin again. Reading your posts over the years I'd put you in the top 3% of the population in terms of linguistic expression.

So, it may be difficult for you to relate to the average Joe learning things. Basically, half the foreigners teaching English here wouldn't know the grammatical terms you used in some of your posts.

Back to the solution. I think three simple things would go a long way. First, start English education earlier even if its just encouraging all elementary teachers to use English words and expressions naturally in the classroom.

Secondly, they should spend 6 years learning what they now learn in 3 years. If Japanese would speak and understand the content of their Junior High textbooks, they'd be fluent. Most kids are lost by the time they're in high school. Have many of you looked at the high school text books? It's just not necessary. Take a look at most conversation of native English speakers and you'll realise most of us speak on a very simple level. Even the President when answering questions isn't using difficult words or sentence constructions, and also includes lots of ehs etc.

Lastly, while I'll offend the guys on the JET program, maybe it would be better the other way around. Get the Japanese English teachers going overseas or somewhere in Japan where they use real English with native speakers. Young Japanese need to see more models of older Japanese using English.

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Posted in: Father of girl who murdered classmate in Sasebo found dead in apparent suicide See in context

"Suicide seems to be the easy way out of life's problem"

I agree with Cajun on this. He was probably doing what he thought was honourable, and many Japanese would not be surprised or critical of his actions.

But, suicide in order to take responsibility is one of the things I want to see changed in Japan.

Spending the rest of his life talking about the issue and trying to do something positive would have been much better.

Suicide in these situations has to be stopped or that culture will keep getting passed down.

We have to make the best out of bad situations.

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Posted in: Man killed by train while trying to crawl under it See in context

I do feel sorry for this guy. But, i often read things like this and wonder how many deaths in the world (including early deaths due to tobacco and drugs) are just due to..... lack of wisdom (trying to put it nicely).

Same as the airmen who died taking photos of waves in a typhoon.

The weird thing about Japan though is that so many old people do stupid things. In my country old people usually tell off young people for doing dangerous things on the roads. At 61, you'd expect he'd have thought a bit more.

While I'm on my rant.... I'm amazed at how many older people just run across train track crossings by lifting up the boom gates or whatever they're called.

Maybe they're needs to be a yearly class in schools called "Ridiculous Ways People Have Died"?

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Posted in: Growing restrictions make for frustrated park users See in context

Really hard for me to understand because i feel the opposite to the older people who complain. You'd think they'd welcome the noise of kids playing. After reading the news about beheadings and bombings and global warming and economic woes I go past a park and see kids being kids and being noisy as they play and think that the world isn't going to end after all - because there are still kids who don't care or know about Isis or Abenomics or the next Presidential election because they're too busy having fun.

And there are kids for whom their own own isn't such a wonderful place perhaps because of depressed or fighting parents or maybe even parents that abuse them. How terrible to take away their fun at the local park - maybe their only escape.

Not to mention then when you get old and realise that you don't have forever left, that kids playing should make you remember your own childhood.

Really can't understand it. The noise of kids playing in a park is one of the few sounds in this modern world that I don't want to see disappear.

As for the danger of swings - I fell off a jungle gym when I was 6. It hurt. But guess what - I got better at climbing and was forever more careful to this day because I learned a little about gravity!

A park full of kids playing on their iPhones? I'm the biggest apple fan out there but the day a park if full of kids playing on iPhones instead of climbing, running, kicking a ball, and even occasionally calling another kid baka and then making up later will be the day the music died.

And radio taiso - I've never really been into it, but I like getting a kick out of seeing old people in the park doing that.

If they want to ban anything, ban the senkyo cars!

oh, what irony. Just as I was writing this I could hear the city office car going passed with a recording of a lady telling people that it was wrong to throw cigarette butts on the road.

Probably the old guys ignorant and stupid enough to still be smoking and throwing their butts on the ground are the same ones complaining about kids playing onigoko.

I think I'll go to the park this afternoon and tell the kids to play louder!

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