Richard_III comments

Posted in: Why are there so few benches and garbage bins in public places in Japanese cities? See in context

Also, there are a lot of totally useless underemployed men who always stand around telling you where it's safe to walk etc. in Japan. They're a blemish on normal society.

These men could be put to better use by collecting rubbish, or cleaning the beaches. I would rather pay my exorbitant taxes on this, than getting irritated like crazy cause some moron told me not to walk in a certain area.

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Posted in: Why are there so few benches and garbage bins in public places in Japanese cities? See in context

I often think that benches are a mark of civilisation, allowing you to sit down, reflect, relax or just watch the world go by. Occasionally you can meet someone and have a chance encounter learning something new.

Japan is a poorer country for not having any benches.

I'm glad the Japan Times and now the Japan Today have started featuring articles about this; even though it will have no effect.

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Posted in: What do you think is the fairest method of income tax? See in context

"Top marginal rate of 80%"

No one with such earning potential will stay in Japan. Taxes here are already too high.

Renho could be doing a better job in cutting public expenditure. There are so many men employed in jobs that don't need doing - I counted 12 men near Shinjuku South Exit with batons telling people where it was safe to walk.

I went to the library - there were three people to hand out one book.

The argument is that public expenditure could be severely cut back to get rid of these worthless jobs. Once taxation is lower and people are motivated to work and create businesses then that will take up these newly found unemployed.

Short sharp shock. It worked in Russia, it can work here.

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Posted in: How do you think Ichiro Ozawa will do as prime minister if he wins the DPJ leadership election on Sept 14? See in context

Ozawa is said to be a master political strategist but I find his standing against Kan to indicative more of vanity than anything, which has the potential to be extremely damaging to the DPJ but also for the image of Japan overseas. He is describing it as a last stand, almost as an act of martyrdom.

I read today an interview in the Asahi Shinbun and his policy outlines seem very half baked. It seems to be that greater financial autonomy for regional government combined with some increased spending towards SMEs will revive the Japanese economy. He surely needs to come up with more than that if he is serious about trying to improve the lot for the average Japanese. He seems conservative on the fiscal deficit and seems to think that increased power for politicians vis a vis bureaucrats will enable bolder reforms. Either he is being coy or he has no real substantive plans, but I wasn't impressed by what I read at all.

http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201009060235.html

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Posted in: Erika Sawajiri: Inside the head of Japan's outspoken star See in context

She probably doesn't have much talent, but kudos to her for kicking up a fuss with these management types. I kind of respect her for that.

Of course, it will all fail. Too many vested interests, outmoded way's of thinking about "this how we've always done it", and many young starlets waiting in line for their next turn who can easily replace Ms Sawajiri.

Sadly we just have to resign ourselves to the fact that this crap that passes for entertainment on the TV is going to be with us for generations. It'll probably get worse too, if that's possible.

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Posted in: Boy falls onto train tracks while looking at handheld game console See in context

These game consoles are turning people into zombies. You can't walk around and play a game at the same time.

The mother should have more responsibility and not let her kid use these games.

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Posted in: The Hafu Project: Exploring the question of what it means to be Japanese See in context

Should I have children, the little blighters might be a "half" but they will grow up in full knowledge of the great ancestry and tradition surrounding their English roots.

Such knowledge, and the great swell of pride that derives from it that is familiar to all those lucky enough to be born in England, will allow them to overcome any such racism or hostility they might encounter with a contemptously disdainful sneer.

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Posted in: Bringing thousands of JETs to Japan is not a good investment for the country's taxpayers in this day and age of an already globalized world. See in context

Alphaape at 04:34 PM JST - 12th August

No offence to ex-military types, but I wouldn't want them teaching my kids.

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Posted in: Karate kid See in context

There is a massive failure of parental responsibility regarding that kid's clothes.

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Posted in: If a longtime expat starts offering you advice, walk the other way See in context

This guy sounds like he's straight off the boat. I gained a lot of good knowledge from senior expats when I first arrived. Downplaying such experience seems foolhardy.

Japan is a dynamic country, one that’s constantly evolving... Tokyo has a heart thumping to a beat all its own.

This made me laugh. Tokyo's bar scene is now worse than when I first arrived. There have been some new additions but they are mostly quiet affairs. Lots of new restaurants, but Tokyo is one hell of a boring city to live in, in my very humble opinion.

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Posted in: It’s time to get rid of sound trucks See in context

I have often stood on the balcony and considered throwing an egg or cabbage at these vans, especially the electrical appliance van which does two or three laps each weekend and is extremely loud.

However, it is futile to try and change anything in this country. I can only imagine the blank expressionless face of the driver as you protested.

My other half can't understand my frustration either. They're "only doing their jobs" according to her. This blind acceptance of everything is actually even more infuriating.

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Posted in: Jolie good time See in context

rough

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Posted in: Do you think a man holding a door open for a woman, holding her chair for her when she sits down, or giving up his seat for her are outmoded gestures of politeness or do they still have their place in See in context

I didn't think they ever had a place in Japanese society. They certainly don't today. Travelling on trains in Tokyo with my pregnant wife has convinced me of that.

Even though Japanese generally don't have very good manners anymore, many of them are aware that this is the case. Just look at the posters that the Tokyo Metro have put up telling people to be more polite and considerate to others. This is a telling campaign.

That said, I think manners have gone through an irreversible decline - I can see little chance that these posters will make any improvement.

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Posted in: Do you think a man holding a door open for a woman, holding her chair for her when she sits down, or giving up his seat for her are outmoded gestures of politeness or do they still have their place in See in context

For those of us brought up to believe in the importance of good manners as a mark of civilisation and good up-bringing, living in Japan is a daily challenge.

More often than not, my manners are increasingly slipping as I am barged, ignored or treated as if I didn't exist. This leads me to deliberately take on the manners of the natives, otherwise you begin to feel like a doormat. Even though I sometimes try to make an example to show my superior manners, I'm sometimes left with no alterntive but to give a good barge or shunt, be it with a salaryman, a zombie with their ipod on, or some walking-dead lass who'll be texting as she walks. It's a sorry situation.

If I ever have kids here, they will be brought up to have good manners and consideration for others. I imagine that they will have to spend a substantial portion of their childhood in Europe or America to avoid catching any of the bad practices of the natives.

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Posted in: Japan split over maiden names, foreign suffrage See in context

Kamei is a dinosaur of Japanese politics with way too much influence.

For me, he represents in many ways all that is wrong with this country: his opinions on everything seem to be set in stone, with a strong sense of paternalism.

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Posted in: Why Japan matters: iPad mania, cloud computing and social intelligence See in context

Interesting perspective, at stark odds to an ongoing discussion on the Business in Japan group on Linked-In regarding the so-called Galapagos effect. The Linked In group are mostly old Japan hands with business experience and have been here longer than three weeks. There is a sense of exasperation amongst a lot of the comments there.

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Posted in: Japanese company meetings: Getting by at the table See in context

I regularly have to sit in meetings that were initially scheduled for only one hour but drag on for two hours. In most cases at the end of two hours there have still been no conclusions or outlines to direct future activities.

You have to ask what the point of the meeting was, and other commentators are right. You waste two hours in such a meeting and it means you're behind on your proper work. Some of my meeting colleauges have it worse though, they go from one departmental meeting to another, consecutively, all day, every day of the week. One can only wonder at what that does to the human soul.

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Posted in: I-Fairy See in context

And there I was thinking Japanese weddings couldn't get any more robotic or pre-programmed. Innovation in action.

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Posted in: Rush hour See in context

I think these photos are staged. Not one person is playing on their keitai.

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Posted in: Hanami rush hour See in context

This photo clearly represents the hell of cherry blossom viewing:

The little man with the tannoy shouting at people, the eager looking crowd who look like they'll run with a frenzy towards the blossoms.

Pure awful hell.

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Posted in: Final 11 Miss Universe Japan contestants begin beauty camp See in context

The two on the left and right are way too thin. Look at their arms. That level of thinness is not beautiful in my opinion.

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Posted in: Kokubo out See in context

Wonder if all that crap about his uniform made him lose his concentration? I know i'd be pretty peed off with the powers that be for making a mountain out of a molehill.

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Posted in: Man saves woman from train after she falls onto tracks See in context

I wonder how show thanked him? Was it the Tokyo custom of nodding the head a little bit and saying "sumimasen"?

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Posted in: Once-glamorous Ginza going from Park Avenue to Penny Lane See in context

Marunouchi is increasingly better than Ginza for buying clothes. If I can't find anything there, then I will sometimes head to Ginza but it is rather uninspiring, perhaps with the exception of Barney's and Mitsukoshi.

One thing that always irritates me about Ginza is the lack of cafes.

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Posted in: Hideaki Ito spotted with heavily intoxicated woman See in context

Tokudane probably dedicated about 40 minutes coverage to this story.

I hate that show.

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Posted in: Uehara, Shiratori promote 'Prison Break' DVD release See in context

They've really wheeled out the big guns for this event.

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Posted in: Foreign-born politicians put new face on Japanese officialdom See in context

Indeed, most policy decisions in Japan are not made by politicians, but by the country’s murky and obstinate bureaucracy, as Heese learned shortly after getting elected. “I wanted to make one small change to the timing of a traffic light in the city, but I found out it’s not the council that decided such things, it’s the police, and they just said no,” he recalls.

Despite this, I'm sure that these guys will achieve more than the likes of Debito et al. This type of engagement is surely to be applauded. I only hope that they are not tokens of "internationalism".

Be serious. Changing your citizenship is, obviously, a big decision. Japan doesn’t recognize dual citizenship, meaning by law you’ll have to renounce the nationality of your homeland. You will have to give up your old passport, and you may no longer be able to live freely, work, or in some cases, own property in your former country.

This would be an inconceivable step for me.

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Posted in: Why is groping so prevalent on trains in Japan? Anyone care to hazard a guess as to the psychological reasons on why men grope? See in context

between Roppongi and Shinjuku. Through no effort on my part, I could feel the contours of the buttocks of the young lady squeezed up against me.

Probably a gaijin hunter having a last fish before going home. Must say, this kind of thing has happened to me a few times too.

On another occasion, quite a while ago but still vivid, I've sat in front of a lass and seen her deliberately open her legs.

There's a lot of sex going on in this country I think.

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Posted in: Sex robot focuses on appealing to the mind See in context

This Honey Dolls company have an interesting website - probably best not suited to work.

http://www.honeydolls.jp/main.html

At 750,000 for a full body that's a lot of hookers really.

Kind of disturbing in a way though. I can very easily imagine some feeble minded guy going a bit nutty with one of them.

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Posted in: Where are all the babies? See in context

Get a couple of kids then you need a bigger flat. Want a flat with more than one or two rooms and you end up somewhere miles from town in somewhere like Saitama or Kanagawa. If you want a good quality of life, then you need to keep the number of kids to only one or at most two.

There's no-way I'm buying a house in this country.

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