Robert Cikki comments

Posted in: China marks 84th anniversary of Nanking Massacre See in context

This will not appear on our television, in news. A large part of our fellow citizens here don't even know about this massacre. For decades, they have tried to suppress it here by calling it an "incident" and various softer names. One of our previous ministers of justice even called it a fabrication. The clown who calls himself the mayor of Nagoya says this never happened. And today's generation doesn't know about it, that is, unless they are more interested in history.

But yeah, I know, revisionism and whataboutism like Uyghurs and stuff. However, coming from China, this sounds hypocritical.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Posted in: How well do you understand the pension system in Japan? For example, do you know how to calculate how much you will receive if/when you leave Japan? See in context

> David BrentDec. 7  11:04 am JST

Even after three decades here and acquiring citizenship two decades ago, no one is ever able to explain exactly how the pension system works

You get a login ID and password issued from here:

Yes, but you're talking about a situation where you're already receiving a pension.

I'm talking about the fact that nobody can answer you exactly how it is calculated, the effect on paying taxes, tax deductions, the possibility of transferring it to another country. No one simply knows how it works and attempts to explain it are always "you know, it's complicated". So everyone is happy to get something in the end. But are they getting the right kind of benefit? Nobody knows. What is the formula used to calculate this? No one can tell you exactly and for sure. The effect of inflation? Atp, etc. What I've given are just examples.

Any questions about the pension can also be answered here from the Q&A or by contacting them directly.

No, only the questions that everyone knows the answer to. Those are in the Q&A.

If you ask them, everyone will give you a different answer. And then if you ask in person somewhere in the office, then the staff will tell you it's because of "a different interpretation of the situation by the previous staff".

However, if you are happy to receive a pension and you don't care if you get the right amount, then that's fine, to each his own.

Every few years, with some reform or minor reform, they promise to make the pension system simpler and leaner. So they hire more staff and, as a result, make it even more complicated and messy with loops and dead ends. The pension system here is a complete chaos and an unbelievable mess. But at least it keeps people busy and employed

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Posted in: Gov't panel OKs 2 draft proposals to preserve Japan's royal family See in context

I can remember several similar revisions in three decades here. Always a "revolutionary idea", however, it always ended up being swept off the table with some absurd excuse as to why it couldn't be done and that it would mean the end of our traditions or the end of something else.

I am a realist. Not an optimist or a pessimist.

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Posted in: Sending a delegation of Japanese officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics would send the wrong signal to the international community because that would be equivalent to condoning of human rights oppression by China. See in context

As always here it is about what someone else thinks, will think or maybe even just that we think what they may think. The rest is not so much a consideration anymore.

Instead of someone thinking and considering what our stake in this is, what good and bad it may bring us, it is simply about the "wrong signal".

The 80-year-old old man in the background who always runs everything always sees the most that if we do this, it may happen that the other side may do the same thing some day. A stuck situation.

Something like rational reasoning, human morality or ordinary code? No, don't bring that in.

Hello Kitty 321Today  10:04 am JST

The Olympics are supposed to be unpolitical.

They are supposed, but never were unpolitical in it's entire history. The original idea alone is political.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Which is better for the environment: an artificial Christmas tree or a natural one? See in context

And what are the input parameters for growing trees or making artificial ones? Only then can the question be answered.

And from what point of view? In terms of energy required for growth or production?

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Posted in: Man arrested for threats to organizer of contentious Tokyo art event See in context

Germany has somehow come to terms with its history. So did Russia, and the Soviet Union, although there is now revisionism and the covering up of everything "negative" by saying like "but there was work and it was safe. Why do you say EVERYTHING was bad! How about the USA and racism there!!!!!".

But here in Japan, it just isn't. Even several decades after the war there are similar people who feel the need to spew their hatred and make such threats. This country refuses to face and deal with its own history, instead it tries to push it forward, just keep pushing it forward.

And it doesn't matter what kind of statue it is, whether or not everything around it was true, etc. It's about the way the disagreement is expressed. Disagreement can be expressed in other ways, in a more sophisticated and, above all, more civilised way than this.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: How well do you understand the pension system in Japan? For example, do you know how to calculate how much you will receive if/when you leave Japan? See in context

exactly as borscht said - Even after three decades here and acquiring citizenship two decades ago, no one is ever able to explain exactly how the pension system works (not what is written on the pamphlet), exactly how much one gets for a certain number of years of pay, what it entails in terms of taxes, and other things.

You want numbers? No one knows exactly and it usually starts with someone saying "You know, it's pretty complicated...". Then they usually read what you can read yourself, or some learned phrases from training. You don't learn anything new, so you usually end up with a pile of other leaflets and possibly some contact to another person... ...who knows as much as the last person.

And it doesn't matter whether you ask the ward office (or any office) or some private consultant - you never really learn anything, except what you already know from the leaflets, which say nothing.

And even native Japanese don't know. I also know from my wife's side of the family that they just end up getting a pension, but whether it's calculated correctly or not, nobody knows.

Now imagine, for example, the basic question of what would happen if I moved to a country in the EU with which we have bilateral relations and a pension situation - absolutely nobody here knows. Some vaguely suspect that it is possible, but most believe that it cannot be done.

The pension system here is an opaque black hole for money. The pension system has been revised in some way so many times that I can't even count.

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Posted in: IAEA delays Fukushima visit to assess water release due to Omicron See in context

The more and more the IAEA is mentioned in this context, the more it stinks of the following:

a) something unexpected happened, someone made a mistake and e.g. fish are dying in the ocean - "it's the IAEA's fault, they approved it!"

b) tanks with contaminated water rusted, burst, water spilled - "it's the IAEA's fault, we wanted them to approve it and they didn't come!!"

c) everything turned out better than everyone thought, the critics who predicted the death of marine life are now laughable - "you see, you can trust us, TEPCO. We thought it up so well and we told you so! We didn't even need anyone to tell us"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan will no longer allow foreign students to buy duty-free goods See in context

I believe they have not given any thought to all the implications that this move will bring. Just to ask the basic question - what Duty Free actually means for the economy and what the presence of Duty Free means for customers.

Here, a few old heads have simply 'thought it through' and said that this move will stop those who buy large quantities of duty free items and then sell them at higher prices. But as always, the context is not looked at, the context is not thought about here. And that this was a big problem? Well, that's like having a blister on your foot and instead of treating the blister you cut off your whole foot and the other one too, just in case. Yes, the blister is gone...

They could have taken a page from other countries instead. But that would have been too big a problem.

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Posted in: Japan's military, among world's strongest, looks to build See in context

Probably like everything here, we always have a nice presentation, great facade. But it's always about the weakest link in the chain that is in the background. And that is here, the absence of elementary crisis management, decision-making in critical situations and the difficulty of cooperation outside a certain circle (whether people or technicians). If a new, unexpected situation arises, everything stops and there is debate about how to do what. Except for a few progressive companies, there is no one who would step in and go with the crisis scenario.

Yes, we can do various exercises and drills and we can demonstrate it nicely. It's just that when it comes to breaking bread....

And our, even a complete JSDF force would do nothing against some action by our neighbours. At least against the sheer number of personnel the neighbouring armies have.

But yeah, at least we can boast. Our citizens will not question this at all.

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Posted in: If you do not live in Japan, which part of Japan would you like to visit first after the international border reopens without restrictions? See in context

1) Hokkaido

2) Tokyo

3) Shizuoka/Aichi

4) Islands around Okinawa

In 30 years and countless visits, I've never understood the hype about Osaka and its cuisine.

In my experience, it's one of the worst places in all of Japan. However, if one looks at it through a TV perspective or a tourist guidebook where Osaka is always IN, then Osaka is a cool place... although it's not.

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Posted in: It’s frustrating because we were in the middle of preparing to deal with strict self-quarantine measures and coronavirus testing on foreign students. See in context

But this move was to be expected. Many people foresaw this. Think back to last year and the various stimulus measures to improve the economy - many people pointed out that it would come with even more force after the easing because people would lose their caution and many would say "and it's over". Add to that the erratic actions of our government, which, when the going gets tough, puts everything on the prefectures...

Or think of the promises about vaccinations, the bravado about how the virus will be "almost eradicated by the end of October" (ah come on, you get the point), etc. Suddenly no one remembers and everyone looks surprised.

But here it is just an old habit to be silent, not to ask questions, not to challenge illogical decisions, etc.

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Posted in: Japan suspends new reservations on all incoming flights See in context

Japan banned all foreign visitors starting Tuesday. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the step is an emergency precaution against the new variant. The ban tentatively extends through the end of the year. The government is also requiring Japanese citizens arriving in the country to quarantine for up to 14 days.

And that's the stumbling block. Imagine a situation - a Japanese citizen and a citizen of a foreign country go on a trip together. To any place. They'll be together the whole time, one room in a hotel, not a step apart. Then they want to return to Japan (citizen of a foreign country on a trip here, not a visa holder, etc). The citizen is allowed in, the foreigner is not. Even though they both meet the same criteria. Few of the geniuses give it a second thought. That the virus will just keep on spreading and it won't care what citizenship someone has. And now it doesn't matter that a foreigner just won't look here. It's the principle - that ignores the fact that a citizen can bring the contamination here.

I see it more as a populist gesture and a symbolic washing of their hands over the whole situation.

And perhaps also as a distraction from the core of the situation to something secondary - "newcomers, especially tourists and foreigners. After all, we let our citizens in!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: We don't have any politicization here. It is not being viewed through the lens of freedom or individual rights. See in context

I don't think it is, I think the opposite. Vaccines are politicized here too, although not as ostentatiously as in Europe, for example. However, even so, in a rather unique way here - remember "Vaccine Czar". The second difference is that when it comes to a difficult situation, the government often hands it off with the excuse that it is not possible under the constitution.... .... and then pass it on to the prefectural authorities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic Games uniforms for 28,000 volunteers remain unused See in context

More than 1.7 billion yen was spent in procuring the uniforms, with Japan preparing for at least 48,000 volunteers

I guess I'm not good at math somehow, because a simple division gives me an astronomical amount for one uniform. I can't believe it....

....No, not really. The total cost of the uniforms was much lower, but the rest was split by various politicians, organizers, surplus staff, etc. I've seen so many situations like this in three decades that I'm not really surprised anymore. If the citizens pay for it and don't even mind, then why not actually rip them off. No one here is going to dispute that, questioning and asking how that is possible. When politicians throw helicopter money around again in some form, people will forget the previous excesses. And the most that will happen is that someone will say "but we couldn't have known" or "exceptional situation". しょうがない and stuff

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: Ex-PM Abe to visit Malaysia as special envoy See in context

As many people predicted and foretold - he will resign for health reasons, withdraw from public life for a while and be almost unheard of. Someone "weaker" will take his place. Then he'll reappear and people will say "yes, he was better than that weakling". And since he is now "out" of politics, it is much easier to deal with the corruption that thrived so much under his rule. He's just not a politician anymore so it's "different corruption".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Domino’s Japan’s new sextuple topping pizzas come with special chopsticks to eat them See in context

Pizza in general is horribly overpriced here. Consider what it's made of and how it's made. The fact that pizza is so expensive here is simply because it is a "foreign exclusive". Just add the label 'made from Italian wheat' somewhere, even though there is maybe a tenth of a percent of Italian wheat, and it can be sold for an outrageous sum. And people here want to pay for it.

Or pizza margherita - virtually zero production costs, no special ingredients. A perfectly trivial and basic pizza. And yet here it is only slightly cheaper than, say, a tuna and corn pizza. Which doesn't make financial or logical sense.

But considering how much a slice of pizza cost here in the late 80s and today, I believe that in another 30 years pizza will cost about the same here as anywhere else.

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Posted in: Kei Komuro pays ¥4 mil settlement over family financial dispute See in context

OK, it's money from our pockets, our taxes, if it took 4 years, he certainly didn't magically make it. Okay, it pisses me off, my money. However, at least now our tabloid media can give them a break. I don't like him one bit, the whole thing stinks, but it's none of the media's or the public's business. Let them live their own lives. Just stop it already. It's a disgusting hunt for two people.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think are some of the major differences between J-pop and K-pop music? See in context

As David Brent, J-Pop is utter rubbish, K-pop is slightly less rubbish. K-pop is at least "trying" (i want to insert triple doublequotes) something new, some new faces, etc. But J-pop churns out "artists" like a copy machine. Same faces, same tunes, plodding along without any deeper interest or talent. It kind of feels like K-Pop comes up with something and J-Pop just copies it a year later.

Like AKB48, SKE48, NMB48... I don't think they're even trying to hide that they're just raking in the money and can't do anything else than that.

But either way, K-Pop and J-Pop strikes me as sound, not music. They're both rubbish.

It's like with everything here - you come up with something new and instead of evolution and further development, you just stand still and live off the fact that it used to be cool and new and unorthodox... yeas prior.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Shinkansen conductor caught playing GPS smartphone game on train…for 10 years See in context

What strikes me more about this whole thing is that it took 10 years. And judging by the playing time during the ride, it's even more astonishing. That it didn't come up during some random inspection, or any inspection at all... I reckon he's the only one who's going to have a problem from all this, but no one thinks to look at his employer anymore and how it could have gone unnoticed for so long.

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Posted in: U.S. drug overdoses top 100,000 in pandemic year See in context

At the same time, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has warned Americans about prescription pills available online that are made to look...

Buying prescription-only drugs over the internet at a suspicious price is not a privilege, it is a choice.

And if someone argues that addiction is to blame, then maybe it's worth using your brain a bit and thinking about what caused the addiction. Or, who caused it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Docomo develops blade-free drone fitted with high-res camera and LEDs See in context

Haaa NemuiNov. 17  07:51 am JST

Sounds like a helium filled balloon to me.

Lately, everything where there is an algorithm, however primitive, "AI" and other buzzwords. Anything that needs to be sold somehow just needs to be wrapped in some buzzword and that's enough here. So in this case it is a "drone", what does it matter that it is just a helium filled balloon with a couple of LEDs and an ultrasonic drive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for abusing 2-year-old girl See in context

I had warned the child because she was messing around, but she wouldn’t listen to me.

That's a new, another fine excuse. I will keep that in my drawer with other excuses like "I didn't know it was illegal", "I don't remember because i was drunk", "I had a fight with my wife and I was frustrated".

And still there's this consensus that we don't need a list of sex offenders and child abusers in here and that we are fine without it.. Right?

In many other countries, these monsters get punishment that we wouldn't dream of here. Here? They get out of jail "pretty quickly". Because "hey, the baby was crying and it was loud and he just couldn't take it anymore". In more than three decades here, I can't recall a case where the perpetrator of any offense against children received any substantially long sentence coupled with post-sentence treatment..

Such crimes really make my blood boil.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Apple to start letting people fix their own iPhones See in context

What's the catch? Or what's the catch? A ton of glue, special screws and thousands of dollars worth of equipment or otherwise make it more complicated? But then they'll claim "but we give you the right to fix it, not like we used to...". I smell Malicious Compliance with apple flavour

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you think children of past generations had better manners than kids today when it comes to gestures like saying "please," "thank you" and showing respect for their elders? See in context

They always say things like that. That there used to be better music, that there used to be better movies, that there used to be better women, that the food tasted better, that the grass was greener,... In the '80s, I was told that my generation was worse than the '70s. And my father was told the same thing by his father. Then it was said that the 80s generation behaved better than the current generation. And on and on. It's nonsense.

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Posted in: I feel pain when I think about the feelings of the bereaved family. Such an incident must never happen again. See in context

Just as I predicted. It ends up not really ending exactly, it ends up in some kind of vacuum. The only thing I was wrong about is that somewhere they find a random low-level official who had nothing to do with it, he apologizes and bows several times, someone else promises to make sure it doesn't happen again. Maybe some posters, some training for immigration officials, but the system just won't change. And the final argument in these cases is and will always be "but he broke the law (because he was here illegally)". But the fact that someone died for the fact that the official simply ignored the situation, no one will point that out. And no one disputes that instead of death and long detention of this "evil evil criminal", where detention costs us taxpayers a lot of money, they could have just deported her, given her a ban for a certain period of time for example. They would have saved money, they would have saved themselves time... But no, they would have rather let it happen that she died. She didn't kill anyone, she didn't steal anything. She just broke immigration law. And death for that?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: What are the pros and cons of a completely cashless society? See in context

The cashless society does not yet exist anywhere and will not exist anytime soon. The cashless society is just an option to the existing cash society in all countries at the moment.

The typical argument is "what will the old people who don't know how to use computers or those who just don't want cards and cashless payments do?!?!?". This is nonsense. If someone just doesn't want to use it, they don't have to. There's always the option of paying with cash.

And the absurd argument about tracking electronic payments? Yes, but it's the same as the ability to track regular currency - serial numbers of bills in the context of, say, a CCTV system and matching the camera footage and the time of receipt of a particular bill.

Unfortunately, the arguments on both sides are generally limited to two camps - the aluminum hats and those who don't understand the issue at all.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan set to meet U.S. request to pay more for hosting troops See in context

Hahaha, this is exactly what I said would happen in the first half of this year, when our politicians forcefully said how it was out of the question, that we would not agree to it, that perhaps we would force them to partially pay for their stay here themselves (!!!) and similar heroic talk. Yet the current situation is simply that if we do not subsidise it, then either they will not be here at all or the staff will be substantially reduced. While this is outwardly the dream and wish of some politicians, in reality many people do not want this. This is mainly because of three problem neighbours (or two and one clown neighbour).

Many people here in Japan don't realize the difference between, for example, EU countries that directly border Russia and where there are some US garrisons or similar presence and where there are not. And how it has worked out in some countries (Ukraine for example)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: JR East opens test run of autonomous bullet train to media See in context

One autonomous bullet train, but still, the driver sitting in the photo with clenched fists will have to fill out a stack of reports, put hanko stamps on it, report reports (all in Excel, of course), then print it out and fax it somewhere.

So far everything autonomous here is backed up by an army of fax machines and other desk officers. And after all, it's necessary and not possible to just let the train run? But nobody is saying that.

In my decades here, and through working in our company for other companies, I know and see how the volume of different clerks and paperwork has increased with the deployment of IT and automation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: U.N. experts to review plans for release of Fukushima water See in context

officials say tritium, which is not harmful in small amounts, cannot be removed from the water, but all other isotopes selected for treatment can be reduced to safe levels

Situations like this are just there to divert attention to one thing. What does it matter that water is being discharged and there is not just one component, but many. One simply takes just one and says "but this is commonly found in the oceans" and that concludes all discussion on the subject.

Alternatively, other discussions revolve only around tritium. TEPCO has lied so many times in the last 10 years that they can't be trusted. And our government supported it, never took decisive action. At most, someone somewhere apologized, but that was it.

So the whole thing will end up waiting for the various international organisations and their statements. Then, if everything ever turns out well, TEPCO and our government will be saying 'see, nothing happened, we told you and a lot of people did not believe us'.

But if, after a while, there are fish with three heads (yeah I know..), or fish running on the beach and chasing people sunbathing on the beach (seriously?), TEPCO or the government will say 'but the international organisations approved it! We were just following it. It's not our fault, it's the fault of those foreign organizations!"

2 ( +8 / -6 )

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