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Raymond Chuang comments

Posted in: Japanese musician, actor Ryuichi Sakamoto dies of cancer at 71 See in context

He, the late Yukihuro Takahashi, and Haruomi Hosono pioneered many of the modern electronic music sounds we hear nowadays when they formed Yellow Magic Orchestra around 1977. YMO's second-release album in the USA, x∞Multiples, was especially influential. You can tell Sakamoto-san was a music genius when the first song from his debut album, "Thousand Knives," had such an amazingly innovative sound. He will be truly missed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: South Koreans mourn, wants answers after Halloween crush kills 153 See in context

You really wonder what kind of measures the South Korean authorities can do to avoid a repeat of this extremely unfortunate tragedy. Like it or not, they may have to consider physical changes to much of Itaewon itself for better crowd control.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic graft case reveals how Dentsu controls Japan ad industry See in context

This whole case sounds like a repeat of the Recruit scandal from the late 1980's.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: S Korea in shock, grief after 153 die in Halloween crowd surge See in context

Given this horrible tragedy at Itaewon, I would not be surprised that the metropolitan government of every major city in Japan cracks down on any Halloween night gathering. Expect a major police presence at Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro and places like Harajuku/Omotesando and Shimo-Kitazawa in Tokyo to discourage the type of crowds that could result in dangerous conditions.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Why you don't need a 5G phone just yet See in context

There are so few 3GPP NR 5G installations worldwide that it isn’t worth the money now. By the time the 2020 model iPhones arrive, we’ have more power efficient chips for 5G on the phone and there will be a lot more 5G installations available.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Police ask train operators to shut some exits at Shibuya station during New Year countdown See in context

Another reason why the police wants some transit station exits closed: the continuing rebuilding of the entire Shibuya Station area--a construction that may last well into the 2020's! As such, due to construction zones in and around the station, that could cause major bottlenecks in terms of pedestrian movement, hence the restrictions mentioned in the article.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Snow job See in context

People forget due to the winds coming in from Siberia, the effect of the waters of the Sea of Japan, plus the uplifting effect of the mountains in Honshu, the result is that Sea of Japan side of Japan can get HUGE amounts of snowfall, some of the highest in the world. As such, towns like Akita, Joetsu, Itoigawa, Toyama and Kanazawa can literally be buried in snow during the winter months. Interestingly, Niigata actually has less snowfall, mostly because of the geographical shadowing effect of Sado Island offshore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Train etiquette: Top 10 inconsiderate behaviors that tick Japanese train commuters off the most See in context

I think a HUGE problem with commuting on trains and subways in Japan is all decorum goes out the door during the peak commute hours. I've seen videos on YouTube of commuters squeezing onto trains on the JR East Saikyo Line in Tokyo, the Tokyu lines as the trains get closer to Shibuya Station, and Okakyu and Keio trains as they approach Shinjuku Station from the west. I'm actually kind of amazed at the reasonably well-behaved commuters considering the crowded conditions on the train.

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Posted in: Town hosting wrecked Fukushima plant may allow partial access in 2020 See in context

I have heard that JR East plans to make the Joban Line fully operational from Iwaki all the way to Sendai in 2020. In fact, they've already started work to make that a reality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: With Ghosn in rear-view mirror, Nissan faces new tests See in context

At least Nissan has experience building electric cars with the Nissan Leaf. And Renault's side has built a number of electric cars, too. As such, Nissan leaping into building a lot of electric cars isn't a major leap in terms of technology.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hachimura thriving as No. 3 Gonzaga's go-to player See in context

Hachimura-san has the good fortune to play for one of the VERY few college basketball programs that can compete against Duke, mostly because Gonzaga has a good number of experienced players.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Fruits Basket' manga to finally receive a complete anime adaptation next year See in context

I'm sure the animation style will be more "modern," though it may closely resemble the original manga. I do hope for a long run as an anime series, since there is so much to cover story-wise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Samsung sets new Galaxy device launch for October See in context

Could it be the long-rumored foldable screen cellphone that has been talked about for over a year?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Attention shifts to flood risks as heavy rains increase in Japan See in context

Tokyo has a very sophisticated flood control system due to the fact much of the city is essentially built on a river delta. Much of Tokyo used to frequently flood during heavy rainstorms until those flood control measures were built. Now, similar flood control systems will be needed for Nagoya and Osaka.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Apple iPhones get bigger and pricier; Watch turns to health See in context

I still think Apple will reveal probably early in 2019 the successor to the iPhone SE. The iPhone XR is a hint of what the iPhone SE successor will be like, but in a size not much bigger than the iPhone SE. I expect the iPhone SE successor to be primarily aimed at the Indian and Chinese markets.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Arguing, booing overshadow Osaka's U.S. Open final win over Williams See in context

The sad part is this is NOT the first time Serena Williams had temper issues during the US Open tennis tournament. Look at what happened in 2009 and 2011. Which is too bad because it mars otherwise a truly stellar career in that sport.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Naomi Osaka wins U.S. Open after Serena Williams penalized a game See in context

Unfortunately, this is NOT the the first time Serena Williams has done this. It's kind of a open secret among Women's Tennis Association (WTA) circles that Serena has a bad habit of throwing tantrums when things don't go her way.

Poor Naomi Osaka--she was going to win anyway but what happened in this match will sadly overshadow Osaka-san's accomplishments.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Typhoon death toll reaches 11; thousands being transported from Kansai airport See in context

I've seen quite a bit of damage to overhead wiring and occasional flooding on various rail lines in the Keihanshin region. It could be quite a while before JR West, Hankyu, Hanshin, Keihan and Nankai train services return to normal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 dead, many injured as typhoon hits western Japan, shuts down Kansai airport See in context

JR West has essentially shut down all train services. I've been monitoring the live web cam pointed at conventional train tracks at Shin-Osaka Station and I didn't see one train go by for nearly 20 minutes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Discovering Tottori’s Mount Daisen through its quirky community and food culture See in context

Be aware, though, that getting to the Mt. Daisen area is not that easy nowadays. The closure of the JR West Hakubi Line due to the recent very heavy rains has made it more difficult to reach that area, even with bus service.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Powerful typhoon on course to hit western Japan late Thursday See in context

Unfortunately, I wonder how this has affected JR West's ability to reopen the San'yo Main Line west of Himeji all the way to Shimonoseki?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Deadly month: Japan's weather-related deaths top 300 in July See in context

It's been very hot in most of Japan. Even Odate northeast of Akita in northern Tohoku reports temperatures in the low 30's C during the day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Temperature soars to 41.1 C in Kumagaya; highest ever in Japan See in context

It is dangerously hot in Japan right now because these high temperatures also include over 75% humidity. That type of heat can actually cause serious medical issues.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: At least 11 more dead as heat wave continues to grip Japan See in context

The big problem with this heat wave: the 70-plus percent humidity plus temperature in the mid to high 30's (Celsius). And it's not just central and southern Japan; someone I follow on Instagram is living in northern Akita Prefecture in the northern Tohoku region and are reporting daytime highs around 31 degrees C., very warm for that part of Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Volunteers struggle with heat in flood-hit areas; evacuees suffering ailments See in context

A major issue now is just getting relief supplies to the most affected areas. With the major expressways closed now and the JR West San'yo Main Line not fully operational until circa middle August 2018, it will be difficult to get relief supplies into Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures. Even deliveries by sea isn't of much help when much of the ground transportation is not usable.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Workers struggle to restore water supply to flood-hit towns See in context

I think an even more major issue now is to get ground transportation links restored in western Honshu. JR West said they are working around the clock to restore the San'yo Main Line, but full service may not be available until middle August 2018. At least getting that restored will allow goods transportation into that area on a larger scale.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Why buy barbecue sauce when you can design your own? See in context

If you can get access to a Japanese-oriented supermarket here in the USA, you could even attempt to make your own tonkatsu sauce. I've known of several people in Hawaii who actually tried this with surprisingly good results.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't speeds up reconstruction efforts after torrential rains See in context

JR West should prioritize re-opening the San'yo Main Line from Shimonoseki to Himeji, since once that line reopens at least essential goods can be moved by train. They also need to get the San'yo and Chugoku Expressways reopened, too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA to cancel 176 more domestic flights for engine inspections See in context

From what I've read, the only fix for the Trent 1000 Package B and C engines is to redesign the critical components to make essentially a near-new engine. If that's the case, ANA won't be able to get their 787 fleet back into full operation until past 2020!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Rescuers search for survivors as death toll from floods, landslides rises to 157 See in context

I know that parts of the San'yo Main Line suffered landslide damage, especially between Hiroshima and Aioi west of HImeji My guess is that JR West will prioritize reopening the San'yo Main Line at the earliest opportunity, since there is a lot of JR Freight and local passenger traffic on that line.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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