COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

Peter14 comments

Posted in: Cat hanko seals make stamping your documents a lot cuter See in context

Should bring back the wax seal on documents then stamp them with your unique seal/hanko. I like the idea of breaking the wax seal to know I am the first to read the message.

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Posted in: Many Americans willing to trade genetic data for compensation, control See in context

If they want to use my DNA it will cost them $100,000 up front plus 10% of any gross income from anything developed in part or in full from any part of my DNA for the next 75 years. If they want to make money from my DNA then I come along for the ride.

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Posted in: Echoes of Great Depression as Australian jobless queue for help See in context

Got to say so radical not to say draconian a response to the current level of infection/deaths does smack of a panicked knee-jerk reaction rather than a reasoned, holistic strategy.

I disagree. Italy did nothing and the spread was huge once it is well established its horrific. Get on it early and lock down before it is well established and save thousands of lives. Call it what you like, but I call it good sense and a life saver.

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Posted in: As governments around the world apply strict measures to contain the coronavirus, millions of people are losing their jobs and companies are facing bankruptcy. Do you think the economic fallout is worse than the health impact? See in context

Lives will be changed around the world. Change is better than loss. Would you rather lose your job or your mother or father? The answer for most would be, I would rather lose my job than my loved one.

Now may be the time for governments to come together to find a new way of trading and for an alternative to money. Money, a human invention that does not exist in nature, is a way for the human race to coexist and to enable growth through cooperation. But in modern days it has stopped being an enabling force and actually stops things that are needed from happening.

Who will pay to feed the worlds starving? Who will pay to educate all the worlds children? Who will pay to initiate the changes needed to combat global warming? We have the knowledge and the people power and the desire to fix things but what is lacking is the imaginary money to get it done. Now is the best time for change when all the worlds nations would be open for a way out of the crisis the people now face. Lack of jobs due to isolation to beat the pandemic. Who can pay rent and other standard bills with no income, for the next 6 months? Food and medicines are critical supplies but who can pay for those for 6 months with no income?

A new way must be devised that can be instituted around the globe at the same time and would be adopted by every country. With all the smart people the world has, I bet it could be done, but the main obstacle would be the rich and the mega rich.

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Posted in: Japan deploys new Aegis destroyer See in context

A deterrent to any future aggressors, and insurance if they dare attack Japan.

All major nations need such weapons systems until humanity learns to live in harmony with itself and the world around it.

For today and tomorrow it is money well spent.

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Posted in: Japan deploys new Aegis destroyer See in context

Ahh that new ship smell. Always nice.

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Posted in: New Zealand, Australia shut borders to all non-citizens, non-residents See in context

This should have happened in January and then it would be much less an issue now and many less cases if any in the country. If all nations had acted together at the start and closed all boarders then it would not have reached pandemic scale. But for the sake of business as usual things remained open until it was already too late.

Lets hope the lessons learned from this pandemic will be remembered for the next one in a hundred years or so.

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Posted in: Abe says G7 supports 'complete' Games, but polls back postponement See in context

Sporting leagues around the globe are shutting down or postponing seasons or playing without spectators.

The Olympics should not go ahead this year. The cost in lives would be greater than the cost in Yen. It is not worth it.

Host it in 2021 if the worst is past, and perhaps by then a vaccine will be available for athletes, officials and spectators. Nobody will be able to compete at their highest while worrying about the virus.

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Posted in: World failed to learn SARS lessons for coronavirus fight See in context

You think this situation is bad? wait until the last remaining antibiotics fail. Without a huge push to find new ones there is going to be people dying from infections all over the world. Infected tooth, infected finger, infection from a simple operation. Medico's have been warning of overuse and not enough research for decades. It is a constant complaint.

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Posted in: A complete guide to Japanese tea See in context

My palate has no affinity for Matcha. or green tea. To my mouth it all tastes like fresh lawn clippings smell.

I just can not stomach it at all. The good news from that is there is a little more available to those who do like it.

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Posted in: Australia warns it can't stop spread of coronavirus from overseas See in context

As long as borders are open and this virus can be spread before symptoms appear then it can not be stopped.

The only way to stop it is to close borders and not allow anyone in, including citizens. Quarantine for this virus has been ineffective as it only takes one person to spread and start the cycle again. Each individual would need to be isolated from any contact with anyone for 30 days to be sure, like the boy in the bubble as an example. Medical professionals could turn spreaders as many have ended up contracting the virus and some have died. Zero contact is not possible for a virus that has a mortality rate of 2-3 percent.

If the mortality rate for this virus were higher than 10-20 percent then the effort to isolate individuals completely and close borders completely would possibly happen. The WHO has suggested that up to 2/3 of the worlds population could contract this virus and at 2% mortality it would still equal about 5 billion people getting infected and over 100 million deaths world wide.

Some people have reportedly been reinfected after becoming infected then testing negative. If the body can not develop natural immunity after infection then this could be a real nightmare. Lets hope a cure or effective treatment is found fast. Perhaps there is more than one strain or it is mutating already.

Do not panic, do not go overboard and do not get hostile at people, prepare for time off work and slowly stock canned foods, dry foods, fresh water, medicines and do not underestimate the impact this virus can bring to your everyday lives. Those who panic rarely do well in any situation. Those who remain calm, alert and ready can overcome and move forward with confidence.

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Posted in: China-Japan virus cooperation helps offset sea dispute See in context

'Time is everything': World braces for spread of new virus

China bought the world valuable time with its travel restrictions and huge lockdowns


CARLA K. JOHNSON AP Medical Writer

26 February 2020, 13:23

8 min read

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Posted in: China-Japan virus cooperation helps offset sea dispute See in context

Time and time again I have read in articles by news services of other nations that the actions of China have bought the world "time to prepare" and that we should be grateful to China for doing so. Setting cities to quarantine has slowed down the spread. I defy any nation to act perfectly in such a situation. Yes China should have kept restrictions on live markets after SARS and they may well do so now but their action upon confirmation of this virus is admirable.

I am no China supporter but credit where its due.

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context

the United States never condoned the permanent cessation of all of the Kuril Isands to the Soviet Union. Rather, Washington's policy from the Yalta Conference onward merely agreed the Moscow could negotiate directly with Tokyo to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

The Allies did nothing to alter or persuade Russia against the actions it took other than perhaps a statement that they did not agree.

The Allies were not happy with Russia pledging to assist in defeating Japan but not actually doing much, then swooping in and occupying the Kurils. The UK and US were happy to say that Japan must work it out with Russia. But the fact remains that Yalta is the linchpin Russia used to justify its taking of the Kurils as a "spoil of war".

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context

Tussia. I meant Russia.

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context explanation for why the other WWII Allied victors reject Russia's ownership of the four islands is that.....they changed their minds?

In 1945 Japan was the enemy and Russia was an Allie. An agreement was in place and it was honored even though Russia did not strictly honor the intent of the agreement, (to assist the allies defeat Japan).

By the 1950's Japan was no longer the enemy but Russia was the cold war foe. Clearly with the change in the political landscape the allies yes, changed their position. Russia, which has possession, has not changed anything and as far as it is concerned the islands belong to Russia, which is still their stated position today.

What is right and what is wrong? Both sides have differing opinions and in such cases they either drag on indefinatley, get resolved via negotiations, ie take the two smaller islands for a peace deal, or go to war to retrieve the territory you claim. The last is not on the table as it goes against article 9 of Japans, US drafted constitution. Russia gave the Crimea back to Ukraine who originally owned it and now have taken it back again. Tussia does not like to give up any territory it once owned. China is similar.

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context

If your statement above is correct, why then does both the United States and the United Kingdom consider these islands to be Japanese territory under Russian adminstration?

There was a contention that Russia did not join the conflict until the very end and as such they did not deserve to take any territory at all. But the Yalta agreement was made and the allies had to stand by it or risk conflict with Russia, which nobody wanted as a long conflict had only just ended.

What happened 70 years ago and was agreed by other leaders does not mean current administrations need to like or agree with it and the current stance as you stated changes nothing of the past or present. Russia has the islands and the population on them is Russian. Short of conflict Russia will not give up the two main Islands but have previously offered to settle the issue by returning the smaller two islands. Once possession is cemented with populations it is generally only via war that territories change hands. As happened with Russia gaining possession at the end of WWII. If Japan can get two back via treaty negotiations then that is the best current option on the table.

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context

Out of curiosity, taking into account your views on the existence of residents, what is your position on the 4 islands of the Southern Kuriles? The USSR invaded them after Japan declared surrender, rounded up 17,000 civilians and forcibly deported them from islands that were Japanese by treaty with Russia since 1855.

Russia had promised the US that it would enter the war in the Pacific when it felt the time was right, on the side of the allies. That it took control of the kuril's after Japans surrender to the US and its allies is not in dispute.

Was it legal? It was agreed at the Yalta Conference between UK, USA and Russia that Russia would get the kurils for joining the war against Japan. The allies did nothing to stop the deportation of its Japanese inhabitants. It was an agreement made during a war of aggression that Japan itself started. Germany lost territory in Europe and colonies in the pacific as well as suffering a splitting up of the country into two halves for what was left. Germany is now rejoined but it has not recovered the territories it lost as a result of its part in starting the European conflict.

Should Japan get the Kurils back from Russia? It will not get back the larger Islands but may get the smaller two with negotiations. Is the current situation right? Well the idea that a nation can be responsible for as much death and destruction as was committed by Japan and suffer no price of compensation is hard to accept. Russia joined the war late but took what it had been entitled to under an allied conference held during the war.

Japan would not accept it today but it surrendered with the only condition of surrender being that the emperor would not face any charges for the war. That single concession was granted. That the taking of the Kurils happened physically after the surrender is not the real issue but did the Russians take what they should not have. According to the victors the answer at the time was, no they didn't.

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context

One civilian resident on Liamcort Rocks, others are visiting tourists, and government assigned personnel.

There may only be one permanent resident but there are always between 50 to 60 people living on the island at any given time. That makes the islands permanently settled/occupied. This means the islands can not be colonized by another nation as any attempt to do so would be classed as an invasion. If the islands were without a permanent year round population then on a foggy night they could be colonized and occupied and could argue it is not an invasion. This makes a huge difference when making a claim on islands.

Argentina claims the Falkland Islands and as it was being ignored it "invaded" while the Islands are populated with citizens of the UK. History shows the UK wrested control back, and a local referendum was held to determine the wishes of the local population, who naturally want to remain part of the UK rather than the alternative of being part of Argentina.

The strength of having a local population on claimed territory can not be understated. The failure to do so, aka Senkaku, leave it much more vulnerable to counter claims and occupation by the other claimer's. South Korea is in a stronger position in regards to Dokdo islands because of its local population living there.

Who is right or wrong, I am in no position to argue either way, Just saying having people living there makes their claim strong and demanding they leave will always be ineffectual.

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context


There is only one permanent resident an 83 year old woman. Others are assigned there by the government and the lighthouse was built after South Korea unilaterally took control.

As of February 2017, there were two civilian residents, two government officials, six lighthouse managers, and 40 members of the coast guard living on the islets.[1] Since the South Korean coast guard was sent to the islets, civilian travel has been subject to South Korean government approval; they have stated that the reason for this is that the islet group is designated as a nature reserve.

South Korea has people living on the Island and manages them. They clearly at present control what they assert is theirs. Japan does not have people on the Island and does not manage them in any way. Short of physical conflict to wrest control from South Korea, there is no rational way that Japan can gain control over them.

Japan needs to do the same on Senkaku to cement "Japans" claim on it.

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Posted in: Japan presses claim to S Korea-held islets at annual event See in context

Countries claim islands but do nothing to cement the claim like building a simple old fashioned maned lighthouse on them for the safety of shipping. Islands can be more easily disputed if they have no constructions or people on them.

Takeshima/Dokdo Has lighthouses and people living there and they are South Korean's.

Senkaku Islands Have no maned lighthouses or permanent residents and that needs to be corrected to strengthen Japan's claims on them.

As for South Korea, Possession is nine tenths of the law as the saying goes and they are in possession of Dokdo Islands.

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Posted in: Cast of hit sitcom 'Friends' reuniting for 25th anniversay See in context

Reuniting for the reported $2.5 million each. Not bad pay for a few days work.

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Posted in: Japanese data on cruise ship coronavirus infections backs quarantine strategy See in context

How can you say that people were being infected while quarantined?

Because while they were Quarantined on the ship, the vessle is not designed to be used as such. Ventilation systems connect cabins allowing the infected to transmit to the cabins next to theirs. In addition it has been revealed that the virus remains active on surfaces for up to nine days. The passengers were allowed one hour periods of exercise every couple of days on a rotation basis. They used the same exercise areas which were not disinfected after each use allowing further breach of quarantine and a path for additional infections.

True quarantine conditions were not used and as such more people forced into close proximity with infected passengers guaranteed that more would catch the virus.

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Posted in: Japan Rail Pass finally being made available for purchase online See in context

From memory I purchased one from a Travel agent and before I left home and upon arrival at Haneda had to go to the JR office to get it stamped and activated. The line was long and it took 90 minutes to get it stamped.

Perhaps they can allow travel agents to stamp them and have them automatically activated upon arrival via date of arrival or activated online to avoid a long wait time.

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Posted in: Rocker Neil Young calls Trump 'a disgrace' See in context

Eloquent, accurate and patriotic. No wonder his music rocks.

Dumbo Donnie is the one that desperately needs to retire.

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Posted in: Japanese data on cruise ship coronavirus infections backs quarantine strategy See in context

The number of infected do not back up the assertion that it was a success. While Quarantine is the best defense it was not done correctly in this case which allowed more people to become infected. I would call it a failure for those onboard.

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Posted in: Australian bushfires extinguished, but climate rows rage on See in context

People should be adapting to the planet’s normal temperature cycles. At least that is possible.

Humans have been doing that since they first walked on the planet. What people should actually be doing is to manage to live with the planet and not worsen the temperature changes that nature brings. If not then what you consider to be all natural increase in temperature will not stop until the world is as lifeless and barren as Mars is. Because like it or nor human activity is making what is natural, much worse and we keep increasing that harm every year. Keep pouring water into a glass and eventually it fills to overflowing.

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Posted in: Can a curry shop legally ban you if you don’t finish your rice? A Japanese lawyer chimes in See in context

Serve rice in small bowls with unlimited refills. If a small bowl of rice goes unfinished it is of less concern.

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Posted in: Battle of Iwo Jima 75 years on See in context

Japanese aggression is an exaggeration. The US put an oil embargo on Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Konoye tried to meet with FDR in order to reduce tensions and restore oil trade. The US side did not allow such a meeting to take place. The created the conditions for Japan to attack. No oil embargo, no Japanese attack.

The US oil embargo was in support of China which was being subjected to an aggressive Japanese invasion.

Japan not only attacked the US for its oil embargo but invaded the Philippines, attacked Singapore, the Dutch east Indies and Australia was bombed repeatedly. Burma, Solomon Islands, New guinea and the list of Japans victims goes on. The term "Japanese aggression" is in no way an exaggeration.

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Posted in: Battle of Iwo Jima 75 years on See in context

Since Japan was the aggressor in WWII, Iwo Jima was assaulted by American and allied forces as part of subduing Imperial Japanese forces and securing the eventual conditional Japanese surrender. To say it was invaded is a matter of perspective, but in no way should it convey or portray Japan as the victim.

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