Rio comments

Posted in: Child mortality rate in Japan 2nd highest in world See in context

Healthcare is an inherently moral enterprise, but when business objectives get mixed up with it, little kids (among others) die needlessly. Lately market forces have been allowed to have more influence over policy than ethics or morality, so the system is dysfunctional and the financial stakeholders make it very difficult to change. The same thing is happening in education... It seems that very few people in Japan want to draw on their own understandings of what is right and what is wrong. Instead, they defer to the group, which usually has some kind of commercial aspect to it. Perhaps it's not a case of them not wanting to think about what is right and what is wrong, but a case of not knowing right from wrong. The pathetic healthcare and education systems in Japan leave one suspecting that the Japanese are, indeed, as morally corrupt as some argue.

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Posted in: Man arrested for stabbing father, daughter during stroll in Ibaraki See in context

people are expressing concern because this type of thing is increasing. Like I have said before, Japan is still super safe - but this random slashing is getting ridiculous.

There's a big difference between an increase in the incidence of a crime and an increase in the media's reporting of a crime. So unless you have access to objectively compiled stats on incidences of crimes in Japan which support your ideas, this type of thing isn't increasing, and it isn't getting ridiculous. JT (and most other news sites) is just appealing to its readership's sense of fear so as to increase advertising returns.

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Posted in: Motorcyclist dies in police chase in Osaka See in context

romulus3...he could have taken a few people down with him...or survived the crash when others were killed. And while no-one forced him to run, you can't say that the chase did not have a role in causing the crash. And no, a 21 year-old bike rider does not know the score. The cops should have understood the threat he would pose in a chase situation and let him go hide somewhere for a while.

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Posted in: Motorcyclist dies in police chase in Osaka See in context

While I think the police should show zero tolerance for dangerous riding/driving, there is some wisdom in the decision not to chase, as the chase often ends with a crash and that crash often results in the deaths of innocent motorists or pedestrians. The alternative to the chase is getting the license plate number, showing up at their address the next day, and hitting them with something like a life-long ban on driving. But even if you don't get the license plate number, is it such a big deal to let it go in the interests of public safety? I think not, and I dare say that the uninjured car driver would agree with me.

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Posted in: Plan to cut convenience store hours 'playing with fire' See in context

I can't help but think that there's a different agenda here. The folks in Kyoto etc. must know there are more obvious targets for greenhouse gas emission cuts. So what's their real reason for going after convenience stores? Something to do with the youth who frequent them in the wee small hours, I suspect.

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Posted in: English graffiti 'Hack' grounds bullet train See in context

Can't understand the big deal about graffiti, me. If it's not offensive and adds color to what is otherwise yet another bit of bland industrial space, then I say let it go. Encourage it, even. I dare say that deep down, a lot of people feel that way, but they allow organisational morality to trump their ideas of what is and isn't acceptable. The person who pulled this train out of service, for example, probably couldn't give a toss about 'hack', but thought he should do it because JR would expect it.

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Posted in: Why don't Japanese speak English better than they do? See in context

Why don't Japanese speak English better than they do?

Because the J. governments see English as a symbol of globalisation and a threat to Japanese-ness (see Hashimoto, 2003, if you're that way inclined).

Though I'm an English teacher I don't really have a problem with that - I respect and enjoy the differences that I experience in Japan, and if those differences are the result of Japanese-ness, then I hope resistance to English imperialism thrives.

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