powderb comments

Posted in: Make climate fight 'sexy' and 'fun,' says Japan's new environment minister See in context

Japan Today should start a Koizumi Meter: a running tally of entirely uncritical fluff pieces that heap praise on him.

If every article refers to him as a rising star without actually saying why that is, then propaganda mission accomplished.

His father was Prime Minister; he speaks English, and his fiancé is beautiful.

Is there anything of substance in the resume before he is so ordained?

34 ( +37 / -3 )

Posted in: Dignitaries from over 190 countries expected at emperor's post-accession ceremony See in context

Adding a touch of regality and class to the whole proceedings will be a musical number by (checks notes, gasps) Arashi.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/18/national/popular-j-pop-band-arashi-tapped-perform-festival-celebrating-emperors-enthronement/#.XYLUn-cza-o

I shudder to think what cringeworthy entertainment there will be during the Opening Ceremony at the Olympics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

The majority of Japanese support same sex marriage. A few seconds of google searches will answer that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

@TheLongTermer: and what of the Japanese half of the relationship? What rights does he have in his own country?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

@Jcosplay: a fair reply.

Let's reframe the entire story:

Instead of "American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa" let's rewrite it this way: "Japanese citizen married to same-sex American partner sues gov't for long-term visa."

This is, in fact, what is happening.

If it were, let's say, two American men suing the Japanese government for full rights in Japan, then, for the sake of discussion, I can go along with the idea that they are pushing their western ideals on Japan. Still disagree, but ok, I can concede to a degree.

But one half of this relationship is Japanese. What of his rights in his own country? What of his rights to marry who he wants and live in his home country?

Those supporting this are also saying: if you are gay and lesbian and happen to fall in love while abroad and want to be married, you are forfeiting your right to return to Japan. This is ok with you? Is this not simply discrimination? The supporters here are saying: if you are gay or lesbian and fall in love with a foreigner, you may not live in Japan as a married couple. That's not the West pushing its ideals on Japan. It's the very definition of discrimination.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

Japan is, in fact, trending towards more LGBT rights. This is the right moment in time for such lawsuits to be brought. Japanese nationals have made similar claims; the fact that this particular issue has a foreigner involved is almost secondary. Don't forget one half of this couple is Japanese. What about his rights in his own country? His right to be married in his own country is being denied. Is that the West pushing its ideals on Japan? This is a Japanese citizen protesting something he feels is unjust.

For those saying this is cultural imperialism, then what do you say to Japanese lawmakers and Japanese plaintiffs in similar lawsuits? There are numerous cases.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/05/national/tokyo-adopts-ordinance-banning-discrimination-lgbt-community/#.XXrs6ZMzaqk

Here, a Japanese couple with a similar suit:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190905/p2a/00m/0na/023000c

If you can't accept two adults, in love, wanting their love to be officially recognized, then you are on the wrong side of history.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

It would be easier if all the people supporting this would simply come out and say, "Man, I hate those f*gs." Just be out with your hate and bigotry, because that the end of the day, that's what it comes down to.

@Jcosplay: Is Japan ever wrong in your eyes? Serious question, not sarcasm. Is it possible that on some issues it might be lacking? I'm from the States originally and have lengthy list of things of things that are wrong in my home country. If an "outsider" criticizes it, I owe it to everyone to listen.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

This couple is not asking to be married in Japan; they are asking that their marriage be honored in Japan. It's a huge distinction. As noted in the article there are cases setting legal precedent for same-sex partnerships, so why not this particular case, too?

As an aside, or perhaps it's the main issue, after all: it's time to lose the bigotry.

To those who proclaim it's one country or culture pushing their values on another, well, perhaps it is to a degree. But if you are planting a flag on a hill that says two adults, in love and happy, who happen to be gay or lesbian, can not get married, and can not travel freely, then perhaps your values are indeed flawed.

Every country and culture has its own beauty and its own warts; defending all of it in its entirety benefits no one.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Posted in: American man married to same-sex Japanese partner sues gov't for long-term visa See in context

@burning bush:

You write, "Because the laws of foreign countries don’t apply in Japan."

Actually, with regards to marriage they do, insofar as marriages abroad are recognized in Japan, and that is the point of the lawsuit.

A heterosexual marriage from America is recognized in Japan, whereas a marriage between a gay or lesbian couple is not. And that's why they have a legitimate claim that this is discriminatory.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Posted in: Koizumi seeks further innovation in Japan to fight climate change See in context

"a rising political star in Japan" is, quite simply, bad reporting and bad writing.

He may very well be an excellent human being and turn out to be an excellent politician. The latter is not something I expect at all, but I'll focus on the writing itself.

What are the reasons to support such a phrase? Without that, it comes across as nothing but propaganda fluff.

The author should be embarrassed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Uber Eats to test delivery of convenience store items in Japan See in context

I’m neither lazy nor anti-social and I consider myself quite able in the kitchen, but some days I’d rather have someone else do it for me, particularly if that something else requires ingredients I don’t happen to have at the moment.

No shame at all in ordering something delicious when I’d rather be doing something else.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Wondering if your boyfriend will be a good husband? Give him the tea test See in context

Are you happy together?

End of test.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Australian tourist arrested over graffiti around Kamogawa River in Kyoto See in context

In related news, the Bansky graffiti is still being celebrated by Yuriko Koike and the city government.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: AKB48 sister group member criticizes probe into assault on her as 'lies' See in context

I’m asking out of wide-eyed bewilderment: can someone please explain the “not indicted” aspect?

Do the police need someone to actually press charges? I’m assuming if I were stabbed by a would-be mugger I surely wouldn’t need to go through the formality of pressing charges. The police would act, regardless of my involvement after the fact. Why should attempted rape or related charges be any different?

Failing that, can the victim herself press charges?

What an awful sham of a justice system.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: U.N. rights committee urges Japan to let children be children See in context

@yokohamaries: this exactly. Life through elementary school does seem like a wonderful time, what comes after is the what is troubling and sad to watch. Of course, there are countless exceptions and people find ways to create happiness, but. Just but.

Anecdotes are not the best for evidence, but here is one: a good friend (English father, Japanese mother) wanted to visit the U.K. this past Christmas holiday but did not because their 14 year old son had baseball practice in the week between Christmas and New Year's. They told the coach they wanted to miss practice, but were told, quite clearly, that he would be letting down his team and school by not showing his spirit. Again: practice in the middle of winter, just before the most important holiday on the Japanese calendar, for a summer sport.

The child's grandmother died this past January. They did not see her. They did not say goodbye. All for not letting down the team for a practice of almost no value.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Posted in: U.N. rights committee urges Japan to let children be children See in context

The moment a new mother and father look at their newly born child surely they will be overwhelmed with happiness and won't be able to conceive of living life without that young life.

This is, however, something my wife and I, mid 40s, have opted never to experience.

The pressure and overwhelming control school has on a child's life here is just too enormous. Yes, there are countless happy families and children, but I do think it's because they know no alternative and make do with what they have. Good for them, truly. But having grown up outside Japan and knowing what else is possible, I just couldn't do it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Sanders eyes 'bigger' 2020 bid despite some warning signs See in context

If Bernie Sanders would not join the military on moral grounds, and was open and transparent about it, I have zero objections. The same as Muhammad Ali refusing to serve on moral grounds. Disagree if you like, but they have been open about exactly why they chose to do so.

A world apart from having wealthy and well-connected parents invent medical ailments for missing service.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Tight races across the U.S. as more polls close in battle for Congress See in context

Gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement are, indeed, powerful tools.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tight races across the U.S. as more polls close in battle for Congress See in context

There seems to be unusually high support for Trump on JapanToday. Is this just me, or have others noticed this? Is this American military in Japan voicing conservative opinions? I am open to being proved wrong, but I meet no Trump supporters in daily life. Granted, that is my world that I create for myself and I will be around like-minded people, but over the past two years I seem to recall a surprising amount of support for Trump on this site.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada See in context

Some countries do, in fact, claim extraterritorial jurisdiction in certain cases. That is one aspect to debate, granted. But for this particular "crime" how would Japanese authorities even go about deciding who to test, question, arrest?

If Japanese snowboarders in British Columbia post their partying on Instagram and there is photographic evidence for their "crime" then I'll leave it to the lawyers to debate the jurisdiction.

But will every Japanese tourist returning home now fall under the, ahem, cloud of suspicion? Sign your customs declaration and please pee in this cup.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada See in context

"Most outsiders wouldn't understand" can be used to justify anything and it completely stops any possibility of conversation.

Imagine a tourist having one's arms cut off for suspicion of theft in a deeply conservative Muslim region. Then imagine the locals telling that person's family to get over it, as "most outsiders wouldn't understand."

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada See in context

Picture this headline:

Taka Saito, 18, and Ayumi Suzuki, 19, were arrested today at Narita airport upon their arrival for having consumed alcohol while on homestay in London. Each has pled guilty and faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

An inconsolable Ms Suzuki, 19, claims she had only one sip of wine at her farewell dinner and usually never drinks alcohol. She has been suspended from her university pending further investigation. Mr. Saito, 18, admitted to having had alcohol before.

Yes, absurd, again, but again, that's the point.

29 ( +29 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada See in context

This is absurd on many levels, so where to begin?

People must follow the laws of the country they are in. People do not follow the laws of their home country regardless of where they are. You have to put aside whether or not you agree with the legalization of marijuana. It is, in fact, irrelevant.

As someone else said, would the American government start arresting 20 year old foreign students returning from Japan for having drunk alcohol?

If the laws of the home country take precedence, well, can Canadians on ski trips to Hokkaido now smoke marijuana as they wish while in Japan? After all, that is the law of their home country. I know that sounds absurd, but that is the point.

Will there now be urine tests administered in at customs at Narita and considering marijuana use spans across every demographic, how could you possibly decide who to test?

I’d love to say something more erudite and insightful, but give me a break will need to suffice.

32 ( +34 / -2 )

Posted in: Journalist freed from Syria returns to Japan to relief, rice balls and criticism See in context

I'd be curious to know if all the nationalists criticizing him for being reckless overseas, would also criticize Abe for wanting to revise the constitution to allow soldiers to go overseas, some might say recklessly.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Women demand Tokyo Medical University compensate them over entry test rigging See in context

How one can not have nothing but sympathy for these women is beyond me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Foreign divorced parents fight in vain for child custody in Japan See in context

The obvious: this is horrible and cruel.

My question: why does the article calls this “patriarchal” when it clearly causes nothing but pain for the father?

Or, forgive me, are Japanese fathers (or the opinion of Japanese fathers) so awful that to be free of not having to help raise a child is viewed as a patriarchal benefit?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Yasukuni Shrine chief priest to quit for criticizing emperor See in context

The notion that a “person’s soul” can not be moved because it goes against the rules of Shintoism is absurd. These rules were made by man and can thusly be changed by man. An actual God did not manifest from the forest with eternal truths carved in stone.

If made by man it can be changed by man.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo named world's best city for 3rd year in row outside U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler poll See in context

For what it's worth, if you go to Conde Nast's own website and read the supposed 2018 awards article, the results link to the 2014 survey. Have we been duped by old news?

https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2014-10-20/top-25-cities-in-the-world-readers-choice-awards-2014

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kono says Japan will accept more foreign workers See in context

@browny1 You wrote Naomi Osaka left Japan because of intolerance of her in-laws. Do you have a source on that? I don't doubt it, but I'd like to see that firsthand.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: Kono says Japan will accept more foreign workers See in context

Oh, I'll just sheepishly admit it: I clicked because of the woman seated on the far right.

(Begs forgiveness)

15 ( +19 / -4 )

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