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Reicheru comments

Posted in: Obama's bow to emperor causes outrage in Washington See in context

timorborder I would refer those who would criticize President Obama to generally-understood diplomatic protocols [...] Generally speaking, when in the presence of royalty (specifically the reigning monarch), whether it be that of Japan or the United Kingdom or one of the North European countries, a bow (or a curtsy in the case of women) is understood to represent the formal method of greeting such personages. That is just the way it goes folks. Such protocols have been around for hundreds of years, and they will be around for hundreds of years more. Now if those who criticize the President do not understand such practices, you have to wonder about the quality of education that such people received.

I would refer you to the State Department Handbook on protocol. The President does not bow to any foreign monarch. The First Lady does not curtsy to any foreign monarch. This has been established etiquette and protocol since the birth of our nation. I would refer you to a history book on the Revolutionary War and America's historical opposition to monarchy.

Call America an "arrogant" nation all you want, but until now, no American President bowed to a foreign monarch. There is nothing "arrogant" about refusing to bow or curtsy, as the mutual display of respect between dignitaries in the 21st century involves a "firm shake of the hand" or mutual nod of the head. Note how when Emperor Akihito meets with Hu Jintao of China, or Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea, they exchange hands -- NOT bows.

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Posted in: Policeman fires two shots during brawl with foreigners in Mie See in context

The attacker is lucky that the officer only fired warning shots above his head, rather than through it!

To those living in Japan, what aspect of this story makes it more newsworthy to the Japanese: The foreigners assaulting an officer, or the officer responding with a display of his willingness to use deadly force?

There seems to be a tremendous burden of scrutiny placed upon officers who carry in Japan. As an American, I read about situations like these where an officer is outnumbered and vulnerable, and question how they can protect themselves or maintain their authority without the ability to brandish a firearm.

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Posted in: American father arrested in Japan had asked Tennessee court for help See in context

tetsukon Noriko was tricked into moving to America thinking they were going to try to patch up the marriage,

Where has it been claimed, outside of unsubstantiated user comments and conjecture, that Noriko moved to the US on the basis of trying to "patch up the marriage"? Noriko asked for a divorce while they were living in Japan, but Savoie refused to place his stamp on the papers. It is equally possible that they relocated to the US on the basis of having the divorce filed there, because Savoie would not agree to one otherwise.

If you were so dissatisfied with your marriage that you wanted a divorce, would you attempt to "patch it up" by making an unnecessary move to your spouse's home country? Would you add to the existing problems in your marriage by uprooting your children from all they new, isolating yourself from all the family and friends you know, with all the stresses that entails? There was definitely something else going on here.

tetsukon she then discovers her husband is living with another woman and is served with divorce papers.

Once again, where is your source for this information? The Associated Press merely stated that Savoie was living with another woman before the divorce was finalized. This is not unusual. Divorces take time, especially when there are custody, alimony, and community property issues this complex involved.

Could it be that Noriko asked for a divorce because Savoie was having an affair? Yes. Do we know if that was the reason? No. There has been no timeline provided to us as to when they agreed on a divorce, or why either of them decided that a divorce was necessary. We do not know when Savoie initiated the relationship with his present wife.

There is no fault divorce in the US, so all of this is irrelevant, and in no way justifies Noriko's final decision to flee the country with the children.

tetsukon Savoie was aware she wanted to go back and tried to stop her taking the children. Do you seriously think he wanted sole custody?

Do I think that he wanted sole custody? Well, Savoie did hop a plane to Japan in order to take back his kids. But what he wanted does not matter. What matters is that he abided by the custody agreement. His ex-wife broke it.

To my understanding, Noriko was awarded primary physical custody of the children. If Noriko wanted to move back to Japan with the children, no court would have stopped her. They would have simply made revisions to the custody and visitation arrangements of both parents before giving her permission.

What Savoie wanted to stop was Noriko absconding with the children and violating the custody agreement, cutting off all contact/association with their father. We now know that he wasn't unjustified in those concerns.

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Posted in: American father arrested in Japan had asked Tennessee court for help See in context

Tetsukon the $800,000 payout is new information which explains why she was prepared to travel to the US in the first place. The rest of my points stand, he was selfishly expecting to get divorced, move overseas (J->USA) and expect his ex-wife and children to follow him and live in a foreign country.

If the $800,000 settlement "explains why she was prepared to travel to the US," then this must mean that you are of the assumption that Noriko traveled to the US expecting for Savoie to file for divorce. If that was the case, then there was mutual knowledge of the divorce during this relocation. There was mutual benefit as well, so how was the arrangement "selfish" purely on Savoie's part?

[Noriko] tried to get a divorce while the couple still lived in Japan, but her husband had refused and later persuaded her to move to the U.S. with the children. -- Associated Press

It was Noriko who initially asked for a divorce and not Savoie.

There is a very real possibility that the couple's relocation to the US was done for the purpose of divorce. Noriko stood to gain far more financially if this divorce was filed in the US. Savoie stood to lose all rights to his children if the divorce was filed in Japan. The divorce agreement was beneficial to both parties and Noriko obtained more than enough money to live independently.

Also, nobody said that she could not move back to Japan. If she had made the proper custody/visitation arrangements she could have moved back to Japan if she wanted. But apparently $800,000, alimony, child support, and joint custody wasn't enough for her...

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Posted in: American father arrested in Japan had asked Tennessee court for help See in context

I should also mention that she stood to gain much more by divorcing in the US than she would have ever hoped to receive in Japan.

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Posted in: American father arrested in Japan had asked Tennessee court for help See in context

tetsukon Now he expects his ex-wife to live as a single mother in small town in a foreign country where she knows no one except her ex-husband. Her job prospects probably top out at shelf stacking at Wallmart. I guess his new wife wouldn't be prepared to move to a foreign country so he could be with his kids.

According to the Associated Press, Miss Noriko received $800,000 tax free from Savoie in their divorce settlement. If she was married to him for 8 years as you claim, then she was also entitled to alimony (in addition to the child support she was already receiving). We can only assume what that amount might have been based on his prominent position as Chief Executive Officer of a company that holds a major contract with Blackberry.

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Posted in: What is the best way to settle the Yasukuni Shrine issue? See in context

But I think Japan should deliver a real formal apology to China and Korea for their war crimes. Have it observed by the world to see and make that a national day of remembrance every year.

Japan made apologies to these countries long ago, both in writing and in the form of restitution. But no amount of apologies will ever put an end to the resentment that these countries have for Japan, so why should we continue to entertain that resentment with ridiculous talk of national "war crime remembrance days"? Do we have a "day of remembrance" for dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or sending men to their deaths at the Bay of Pigs? The best thing for Japan is for its descendants to not be forced to live in the shadow of the crimes that may or may not have been committed by their indoctrinated grandfathers during a time of imperialist rule.

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Posted in: What is the best way to settle the Yasukuni Shrine issue? See in context

There are 2.5m entities "enshrined" in Yasukuni, many of which died before WWII, during Japan's civil war. It is a site of religious, historical, and cultural significance to the Japanese people. Should all of that be overlooked simply because a handful of war criminals are enshrined there? To the Americans posting here saying that we should "bulldoze" Yasukuni, would you say the same about graveyards and memorials to the Philippine-American War? Did you ever even learn about the Philippine-American War in your "non-revisionist" American schools?

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Posted in: We understand that the sight of hundreds of frozen tuna looks unique and interesting for foreign tourists. But they have to understand the Tsukiji market is a professional place, not an amusement park See in context

Many of the tourists visiting Tsukiji conduct themselves with as much restraint as a four-year-old at a petting zoo. They will take pictures of themselves poking or even petting the fish on display, which is both unsanitary and bad for business. Tsukiji Fish Market is not analogous to the NY Stock Exchange; these fish are likely going to be served raw on a sushi platter somewhere. Would you want to eat anything uncooked that had been touched by a bunch of foreign tourists? I doubt it.

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Posted in: Australian rape victim loses case against police for bungling investigation See in context

Although it is regrettable, I think this case would have seen the same outcome in any other western country (America, Britain, etc.). The principle is sovereign immunity or "the King can do no wrong." Judges and prosecutors have absolute immunity under state law in the US for example except for civil rights actions under federal law (§1983). Police are largely immune too. This is one circumstance where Japan is actually following the example set by western countries as unfortunate as it sounds. Hopefully her case will promote public awareness and encourage change, but she can't force change with this kind of civil action.

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Posted in: Cinderella rings See in context

It looks like the Cinderella theme is present in some of the engraving options (which have iconic motifs like the glass slipper, pumpkin carriage, etc.).

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Posted in: Chocolate bath fizz See in context

This sounds so yummy! I wonder if the chocolate scent is faint or overpowering.

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Posted in: Amnesty International Tokyo English Network helps foreigners fight injustice See in context

The problem isn't the death penalty. The problem is Japan's corrupt criminal justice system with its lack of juries, non-existent appeals process, extracted confessions, police who do not follow protocol or legal procedure, prosecutors worried of losing their careers if they lose a single case (and therefore choosing not to prosecute in most cases without a confession)... I could go on and on.

How is it proactive to attack the symptom (Japan's high death penalty conviction rate) rather than the source? Japan needs serious legal reform and launching a morality debate on capital punishment itself isn't a very proactive way of bringing attention to the problem (especially when 80% of the public already supports it). Amnesty International's feelings are in the right place, but they're focusing on the wrong issue.

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Posted in: Both U.S. presidential campaigns faulted for negative ads See in context

Saying that candidate mccain doesn't know how to send email because of his war wounds is a huge stretch in logic and an even bigger one in imagination. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_NaturallySpeaking Voice recognition software. Game over.

Dragon Naturally Speaking is extremely unreliable software. It is only used professionally by people who do not otherwise have access to a secretary or someone who can type for them. Also, it only works with word processing and not general computer use. I think it is an even further stretch of logic for anyone commenting here to assume they are educated enough about McCain's POW injuries to pass medical judgment on the extent to which they may or may not limit his motor skills...

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Posted in: Both U.S. presidential campaigns faulted for negative ads See in context

I'm not quite sure, though, but I don't think McCain's injuries prevent him from using the computer. They might make it a less convenient way of communicating or accessing information and if one were to say that, I could understand it. But to say that the injuries prevent him seems to me to be a coy way of saying he can't cope with modern technology because he was a hero. And that seems to me to be a bit suspect.

Using your fingers to type properly involves advanced motor skills. If you've ever known anyone who suffered a disease or injury that affected their mobility then you would know how frustrating even routine use of a computer can be for them. Considering how often McCain's fingers were broken in a PoW camp, is it really all that "suspect" to say that his war injuries could make it difficult if not painful for him to use a computer?

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Posted in: It’s time to get rid of a few Olympic 'sports' See in context

Dressage demands just as much athleticism and skill from the rider as it does the horse. The rider must constantly control the horse's natural gait, rhythm, and movement while giving aids that will be both understood and performed by the horse with obedience (even the slightest hint of evasion is unacceptable). It only looks like the horse is "doing all of the work" because Hiroshi Hoketsu is so adept at what he does and in such control of the animal that he makes every performance appear virtually effortless. This is the ideal of dressage, which is why at age 67 Hoketsu was chosen to represent Japan at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Anyone who would say that the horse is "doing all of the work" knows very little about horses and equestrian disciplines.

If fencing is acceptable because of its roots in combat, then why not dressage? The sport originated to demonstrate the ability of the horse and rider in cavalry. The piaffe was used to keep the horse alert and ready to move on the battlefield, while the side pass directs the horse to move at an angle while facing forward so as not to be outflanked by the enemy.

Japan Today really needs to add a Humor or Satire category to their website. It baffles me how this became a featured article, let alone article of the day, when it is so ignorant that it barely qualifies above being blog material. I was surprised to learn that the author is actually a sports writer for a magazine...

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Posted in: Does the U.S. need to have military bases anywhere in Japan? See in context

What a stupid question. If our bases were not in Japan then South Korea, and possibly even Japan, would not exist as they do today. Our continued military presence in these countries is vital to their security and independence. That was the case half a century ago and it is still the case today. The military and geographical significance of these bases has not changed either, which makes them a need for the US. Without these bases we would not be able to maintain military presence or leverage in East Asia and the Middle East. They are certainly not a waste of American tax dollars.

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Posted in: 19-yr-old man held for threatening stabbing spree at Tokyo Disneyland See in context

To the people saying that this is just a false alarm: Would you rather have the police ignore such postings? Would you rather risk second-guessing the resolve of a person who is clearly disturbed enough to post such a disturbing threat in the first place?

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Posted in: California's top court legalizes gay marriage See in context

"I personnally see nothing wrong with the polygamist lifestyle. Man wants more than one wife, it's their business; but that's not the subject."

Polygamy is a huge tax scam. Just look at the polygamist ranch that was raided in Texas recently. The average "family" consisted of one man, five wives, and twenty children. These are women who are classified as "single mothers" and receiving ample welfare, financial aid, and tax benefits. How else do you think all these women could be happy little polygamist homemakers? Meanwhile the sole "breadwinner" husband would list his multiple wives (and children) as "dependents." Oh, and let's not forget that the compound itself was considered a religious institution and therefore exempt from taxes!

As for this "not being the subject," it has everything to do with the subject. If the definition of marriage cannot descriminate against the sex of partners, then how can it descriminate against the number of partners? The polygamists have been arguing for their marriages to be recognized long before homosexuals, and long before California even became a state. They also have a stronger argument than homosexuals on the grounds that their "lifestyle" is a requirement of their religion (Islam, Mormonism, etc.).

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