I am still not sure where I stand on this whole debate. I think having a pacifist constitution is a great thing and more countries should get one, but I also think that the one that Japan has is a bit too extreme.
I find it ridiculous that when Japanese SDF troops are working together under a UN mandate and they see a convoi of another nation within the mandate getting attacked that they will have to call another nation for back up and sit on their hands until they fixed the problem since the SDF troops themselves were not under attack. Not every combat situation evolves like this but the Japanese troops are severely limited in their options during combat situation as a result of the constitution.
I can also understand the Japanese government wanting to change the constitution to a more liberal version in terms of combat scenarios since tension in the region has been on the rise and the government wants the option for pre-emptive action if needed.
Then again, getting a more liberal constitution will cause tension in the region to rise as former occupied countries can very possibly see it as Japan opening the door to military aggression once again.
The sentiment of the elderly, such as in the picture, is also one that is understandable, survivors of the last war know its horrors and want to prevent repitition at all costs. I think their cause is the most honest and open one, its goals are clear. Whereas the governments plan is still somewhat vague on, possibly, very important details.
Complicated debate for sure, and considering the distrust currently running in the region one that will not be resolved easily.
7 ( +9 / -2 )
Some interesting days ahead for the average Dutch person who lives and works around the Hague. Half the city on lockdown, highways to Amsterdam closed, ridiculous numbers of cops and military personnel in the streets, people being encouraged to work at home and not come to the office. Glad I don't have to be there in the next couple of days.
Hopefully the summit will yield some interesting results, even though they are not binding.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
I never understood Japans scare of the flu. Friends of mine who had the flu in Japan were sent to the hospital to get medicine. Here in my country you either suck it up and continue onward, or if it is real bad, lay in bed for a couple of days until it has passed. If I were to go to my doctor with the flu she would first look at me wondering why I am even there and then tell me to just ride it out. Hell, I've had the Mexican flu (that murderous thing), just slept it off with a few pills against the fever, since 41 degrees celsius is a bit much...
The common flu is hardly a threat but in Japan it is treated as extremely severe. Can anyone provide me with a clear reason for this?
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
Well, the latest development here is that the commission for social environment and transportation is going to investigate whether or not Sea Shepherd acted according to maritime law. Side note: according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Japanese have not been very forthcoming with detailed information up to this point. Sea Shepherd on the other hand has already provided a full statement of the events that occurred.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
I'm curious as to what steps my government will undertake against Sea Shepherd. Last time Japan filed such a complaint it resulted in no more throwing of butyric acid (at least for a while) as a result of the Dutch government telling Sea Shepherd to either stop throwing the acid or lose the Dutch flag. Considering the very warm ties between The Netherlands and Japan, both on a governmental and royal level, I expect my government to give Sea Shepherd a warning. They might even declare a certain amount of distance between Sea Shepher and the whalers as a mandatory buffer in the future, or losing the Dutch flag. I suspect something along those lines will occur.
2 ( +5 / -3 )
I find these comments regarding the guys not beating up the girls and lacking masculinity rather short-sighted and unnessecary.If these 13 guys were actually capable of beating up an attacking mob of 21 girls, then I applaud them for not doing so. Chances are high that the case would then be turned around and regarded as a case of boys using excessive force upon girls. Half the commenters here would be angry at such cowardly guys who would beat up a group of poor girls even though they did not start it themselves.
Boys really can't do right in these kind of cases. You're either a coward for beating a girl up, or a coward for not fighting back.
Also, we are talking young teenagers here, not a coherent group of adult men with fighting/martial arts experience. Just kids who go to school, most of which will probably have never fought before nor have any desire to be in a fight, and somehow some of the commenters expect these kids to jump into fighting stances when set upon by a mob with nearly two times their numbers and beat that mob? That is a stupid and unrealistic thougt.
These girls need to be spoken to rather seriously by their parents and the cops and get some community sentences and fines. Maybe even some juvinile jailtime for the worst offenders.
32 ( +36 / -4 )
The problem is not that there is a lack of support for depression or suicidal people, the problem is the image of suicide in popular culture as an acceptable (even heroic) way to solve problems.
The problem is both. Suicide is still, although much less then before, socially accepted as a way out. However, there is also a serious lack of support. I am not referring to the anti suicide campaigns, there are plenty of those, but to the lack of availability of mental healthcare and the existing stigma on mental health problems. If Japan wants to effectively reduce that amount of suicides it needs to remove the stigma on mental health issues and develop a far bigger network of mental healthcare, and place a stigma on suicide.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
@ StormR: the baby was in the backseat, there is no indication whether or not the baby was in a special seat, chances are that it was and that it still did not survive the crash. Nonetheless a four year old in the frontseat still is not the best of ideas but nearly every parent does it at some point in time, because the kiddo's love it and rightly so.
@ Sherman: Really now? Is the next thing you're going to say that is the mothers fault because she went driving with the kids late at night, a time at which obviously all truckdrivers are driving like maniacs causing accident?
Everything on this website involving the death or injury of a child immediately leads to commentors implying that it is the fault of the parents. Why were the kids still out as this time? Where the parents not paying attention? And so on... without any information available on these subjects. Is everybody on here some kind of flawless superparent? Is it that weird to just wait for the facts before suggesting all kinds of possible causes?
5 ( +6 / -1 )
While I believe that the newly disclosed information should not under any circumstances lead to a less determined clean up effort. I do agree with Tanaka from the NRA that the released information should be correct and provide an understanding of what it means.
It is vital, especially with catastrophes such as this one, that information being released is placed in the proper context in order to prevent popularization and plain faulty explanations. The report of hot-spots with radations levels up to 2,200 millisieverts per hour were very worrying, but without the context provided by Tanaka are unnessecarily alarming and cause great unrest on a societal level. I myself was very concerned about this, but with the information available to me know I wonder why. Here is a couple of things that caused my concern:
I had absolutely no clue of how big a hotspot is and how fast the radation decreases when moving away from said hotspot, I believe very few people do. Now we know that after 50cm's, in comparison to the actual hotspot, hardly any radation is left. This is quite a big deal and takes away most concerns of great health hazzards.
Not being a radation expert, I only have a vague understanding of the different kinds of radiation out there. Based on 2,200 millisieverts per hour being deadly in a couple of hours I assumed the emitted radation to be gamma and thus highly penatrative. This turned out not to be the case and unless you start rolling around naked in the actual hotspot there is no immediate danger, good to know.
300 tons of radioactive water leaked away?! This must be a environmental disaster that will immediately affect the whole of Japan and possible the surrounding countries after a longer period of time. No, not according to the leading experts on radiology. A big relief.
While it is ofcourse horrible that water leaked away and that hotspots with extreme radation levels exist and that it is of great importance that the clean up effort should be spared no expense and takes presedence over everything else, repsonsible and accurate reporting is of great importance as well. Technically the reporting was correct on the numbers, but it failed to provide context and thus lead to another big scare. It is time that besides the government and TEPCO needing to take this more seriously, that the media turn to themselves (not just the Japanese media) and consider the message they send across in their articles as well. People are usually not willing or able to go into the (scientific) details of the cases covered and base their opinion solely on what the media throws at them, leading to worry, misunderstandings and, in the case of crimes, witchhunting and false accusations.
Sorry for the long post, but I needed to get this out there :)
7 ( +8 / -1 )
Nice to see how half of the comments assume that the son is not telling the whole story. It is quite bold to suggest that a son would want to kill his parents, without anything suggesting this. Most people tend to love their parents and do not want to kill them.
But hey, we all know the cute and adorable elderly never go mental and commit suicide right? Must have been the son then.
Regarding the one gunshot... as Sangetsu said:
In the Japanese articles, he said he heard the sound of a gun shooting. It is not clear if he meant one or more shots. I would guess the meaning is gunshots, not gunshot.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
On festivals they usually film and record the shows with good quality cameras and microphones which are streamed to the web live when the show is taking place or posted later. Just watch those videos, far more enjoyable.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Definitely on my list of places I have to go to at least once in my life. Thank you Google for making it possible to take a peek in advance.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I have absolutely no problem with people smoking. If they want to blow through their money by smoking, fine. I don't mind. What I do have a problem with, and I do not know if this is the case in Japan, is that smokers will often be allowed to take extra smoking-breaks whereas the non-smoking employees are required to continue working. That is simply unfair.
-1 ( +4 / -5 )
You want to educate the people so they understand the science behind it, and then ask for our permission.
The problem with this is that this type of science is very complicated and that the majority of humanity is not very smart. You can see this with economics as well, that is so complicated that we are happy to leave decision making about it in the hands of a selected few who seem to get it.
In my rather unimportant opinion...this is wrong on almost every level.
As far as I can see, there is nothing to discuss, it crosses way too many lines that should not be crossed.
I disagree, these are the first steps towards human engineering and augmenting. In my opinion these are logical next steps for humanity to take. I believe humanity will eventually, when the controversy about it subsides, start to alter itself in order to become smarter, stronger, faster and so on.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
Not how I would have spent my money, but people need their symbols, and they come in many different forms. It can be a stone slab full with names, a new skyscraper in place of the old ones to show defiance and conviction, or a tree.
We had the same thing with the Anne Frank tree. On the national news I have seen how it decayed over the years and what attempts were made to save it because of its historical and symbolic value. Now that it is gone, people bought pieces of it and little stems created from its branches are being placed all over the world. I find it a lot of fuss over nothing, but understand the reasoning and sentiment behind it.
I also think that if of the residents of this community wanted this tree to be made immortal as a testament to the 3.11 disaster and their own resilience in its aftermath, then who are we to say that they are spending their money incorrectly. Sometimes a symbol can achieve more than a practicality.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
While it is technically illegal here in the Netherlands, it is tolerated by law in order to keep a tab on its use and spreading. Right now trials are being set up where the weed it grown by the government in order to ensure quality, strength and safety and to keep tabs on the production of weed (which is still illegal here, even though selling it in coffeeshops is not). At the same time in the area's near the borders it is now illegal for coffeeshops to sell to foreigners and natives are required to register at a coffeeshop in order to be able to buy weed. The direct result is a big increase in street dealing and trouble as a result of illegal drug traficking (this illegal weed is being sold to foreigners and natives).
I think that a semi-legalized government controlled distribution of weed is preferable over complete illegalizing, since it helps to keep crime in check. It would be even better to have a system similar to that of Sweden when it comes to heavier drugs. In Sweden the government produces small amounts of hard drugs and provides clean needles and the such to drug addicts in order to slow down the spreading of drugs created by criminals, the spreading of diseases as a result of dirty needles and such, and to help them kick the habbit by reducing doses.
However, despite there being many advances to having drugs regulated in such a fashion, I do not see it happening in Japan soon.
7 ( +8 / -1 )
A bigger issue is, how the world can hypnotize themselves into thinking only Japanese soldiers did this during World War II, and that Koreans, Chinese, American, British, Filipino, Indian, French, German, Italian, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, and all other soldiers sat around reading bibles in between fighting.
The point here is that Hashimoto minimizes the scale of the comfort women problem, its seriousness and impact, not that soldiers from other countries may also have committed rape. So while this is a valid point to raise, it is irrelevant to this particular discussion.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
For me it does not really matter, I do not worry about being troubled since I tower over everyone (in Japan more than in my country). However, when it comes to the surroundings and behavior on the streets in general, then Japan is definitely the more relaxed and comes across as safer. Hardly any stuck up youths who feel the need to prove themselves by picking on others (or at least less than in my country).
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Neither the Japanese or the Chinese are going to let the other party officialy own the islands, and this whole conflict is not about those worthless pieces of rock themselves but more about that what can be found underneath the seafloor surrounding them.
In my opinion the best solution would be a cooperation, set up through the UN, of the Japanese and the Chinese. Something similar to the factory that the two Korea's used to run together. Let China and Japan set up projects and installations to extract the natural resources together, and split the output according to percentages agreed on. Maybe it would even be possible to make the Senkaku's/Diaoyu's some sort of neutral zone.
Ah well... who am I kidding, it would be nice, but both countries are to damn proud and cocky to accept such a solution. Then agian, I doubt that there are many countries that would not be...
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Good to see that the panel experts are making a stand against the new old way of doing business between TEPCO and the regulators. It is absolutely ridiculous to see that even after all the things that have happened the whole issue is apparently still not taken seriously. Cutting costs during a nuclear clean up is a grave error.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
so that is where the warmth went, here in Europe we've been freezing our behinds off since february...
1 ( +1 / -0 )
200 fantasist wannabees who think its cool to call themselves ninja. The chances that any have been, or ever will be, involved in espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination, is about as good as any finding a daimyo to serve lol.
I doubt that that is the goal of the participants. I think you should view it, as stated in the article, as a self-defense course, it's sports basically. It is sad to immediatly put them aside as fantasists SecularBeast. Assuming that all of these women desire to run around in black tights with their faces behind a mask is just short sighted.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
@ Moonraker: Like I said it used to be an empire, thus it makes sense that if there was a symbolic role to fulfill that this would be the emperor. I come from the Netherlands and you can hardly call that a kingdom either. The Queen and the almost new King don't exactly rule, just as much as the Emperor does not rule Japan. The very notion of empire and kingdom suggests that their is an absolute monarch ruling (in the case of an empire it can also be a small group of people), which is not the case anymore, thus both nations do not deserve the titel empire and kingdom. Yet people like to hold on to traditions which is why we still have a royal family in my country and one in Japan. If we were to do this correctly, we should turn the nations into Republics.
The few islands in the Caribbean that are still considered part of he Netherlands are actually for the most part independent countries withing the kingdom. Since when do kingdoms have independent countries that somehow are still part of the kingdom? Makes no sense either does it?
So whether or not my answer was satisfying to you, it is simply the case that it is because of history as an empire and the desire to continue this tradition of having an Emperor that Japan still has an Emperor. For the same reason my country will get a new King 30th of april, not because we still have a functional kingdom, but because the people enjoy having a royal family as a symbolic entity.
The exact differences between an empire and a kingdom can be found on wikipedia. There are in any case differences on governmental levels.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
It is not a kingdom either. It used to be an empire with an emperor and/or empress, pretty much since the country was founded did they always have an emperor and/or empress. It still is an empire since the emperor as a position still exists.
So to answer your question: history, tradition and king and queen makes even less sense.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
OK, I was wrong then, I'm highly surprised Europe can produce any good baseball teams.
I did not know the Netherlands had enough national baseball players to make a team.
Ranked 6th best team of the planet and world cup winner of 2011, the Dutch team needs to be taken seriously. Especially in our own country, they receive very little money, no big national competition, no big sponsors. Some of the players don't even play in a professional team and work besides the sport in order to make a living. I believe that it has even been so that the players needed to buy their own flight tickets to the world cups because our national baseball association simply did not have the funds for a real good financial backing, I hope that this has changed after their 2011 world cup win. Then again it is a tiny sport here, only about 25.000 players in total from all ages.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I dont know why North Korea is called Democratic People`s Republic of Korea .... i dont see any of those words in practise there...
Dictatorial countries have used such names before. DDR = Deutsche Demokratische Republik, but was far from democratic. People's Republic of China but the people don't have a whole lot to say.
On topic: Seems like the same of rethoric to me. It will result in more sanctions, then more threats, more sanctions again, and so on.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Great to see how a lot of posters here assume that when people commit suicide they are completely sane and as such take time to take every little detail into consideration before killing themselves. I mean they want to DIE, but of course it is only normal to make sure you don't inconvenience anyone whilst killing yourself.
Call them selfish and stupid and unworthy of the title human all you like, good to know that you will act rational and sane in every possible situation. If calling them cowards makes you feel strong knock yourself out, but you're being a jerk in my opinion. Everyone deserves respect in dead, especially those who were so completely lost in life that they ended it earlier.
Really, instead of accusing people, I think it more important to find out why.
3 ( +3 / -0 )