Robert Cikki comments

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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 )

Posted in: Abe becomes head of largest faction in Japan's ruling party See in context

Surprise surprise, exactly as I've said one year ago and many predicted. It is a common practice in Japan for a politician to disappear from the public eye for "health reasons", only to reappear after some time with great glory and holding some office.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Novelist, Buddhist nun Setouchi dies at 99 See in context


Whether or not she converted, what does it matter? And will it change the current state of affairs?

Unlike most other religions, Buddhism doesn't require nor force you to "convert"

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's new COVID assessment criteria to focus on hospital capacity See in context

It took a year and half.. A year and half. And how long before they implement it countrywide?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Non-regular employees are more susceptible to the effects of the pandemic, such as restrictions on business hours, and that may have put a strain on their physical and mental health. See in context

This situation has been debated for at least two decades. White papers, suicide prevention measures... They just discuss it and nothing is done about it. Apart from various leaflets, etc. Just talk. Obviously, the suicide prevention measures are failing for some reason..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Ex-defense chief Nakatani to be Japan's adviser on human rights See in context

TrevorPeaceToday  07:13 am JST

It's the Japanese way. One step forward, the next back half a step.Tortuous, when it's all uphill.

It's more like four steps forward, one step back, new mascot five steps back, one step forward - check out the new mascot! Thanks to him, we took four steps forward at once!

Maybe people will forget some of his minor scandals or odd statements. And to refresh your memory:

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Posted in: Russians go back to work but virus cases, deaths stay high See in context

For several months they claimed they had no covid, that nothing was happening. And people who buy respirators/masks are fools, influenced by western media.

Meanwhile, news leaked out that it's not even remotely good there. And yet they still bravely claimed everything was fine and under control. Then they started saying that they had caught it at the beginning and that they never claimed that nothing was happening. "And in America they beat up black people and nobody points that out!!!"

I know from my own experience that the news from Russia cannot be trusted in the same way as the news from the former USSR.

This one is golden too..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Man gets suspended sentence for killing and injuring about 100 cats See in context

I personally don't like cats. However, I wouldn't dream of doing this to cats.

Just the fact that someone kills/injuries a cat with an airsoft gun says something about the psyche of the person. And with this many, it's certainly not a one-off excess or an accident. And boiling water?

That he got a suspended sentence? I'm fascinated by the justice system here. How it only deals with one thing, but not the other, related things. The fact that the man is not completely mentally well is simply not taken into account. He is completely mental, a nutjob FCOL.

In countries where there is no prehistoric court system, he would serve his sentence and get treatment on top of it. Or a combination of both and serve the sentence in a medical institution.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan starts accepting requests for eased COVID quarantine rule See in context

I love how behind almost every good deed here or government decision there is a catch. So on the outside it looks nice and that everything is fine, but inside it's still moldy and stinks.

including written pledges by the businesspeople and companies to follow anti-virus measures

And why just written? Why not also a verbal pledge? And will it have to be faxed? What year is it? What year are they comming from? I'm reluctant to believe it. Even after 30 years here, when I've seen other things...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Defendant in fatal Kobe stabbing rampage found not guilty due to insanity See in context

What a joke...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 25 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 225 See in context

Let's meet here in a month or two and see if those numbers here are real.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Convenience store FamilyMart employs its first robot stocker See in context

As one expat here once said - behind every robot here is a human who looks after the robot. Then one person bosses the person who oversees the robot. Someone then writes a report on the robot in Excel because the robot doesn't write it in the style expected. And someone has to put their own hanko on all the related documents and fax everything.

Weebs might find this interesting, but that's due to lack of knowledge of the situation here. This country is powered by fax machines and hanko stamps, not run by robots.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: What do you think of TV commercials in Japan? Seen any that impressed you over the years? See in context

Commercials? Do you mean 80% of all the TV channels' shows here, where there is about 2-3 minutes of the show itself in the break and then the rest is all commercials?

All the ads here are loud, screaming, following the same script. You've seen one painkiller commercial, and you've seen all the future ones.

If it's a dinner-related commercial, then mostly the family sits at the table, smiling convulsively. If it's a commercial for a painkiller or a nasal decongestant, then there's bound to be a person spreading their arms and the wind is against them. In the case of detergents, people in white coats.

Most of the advertisements for various support and stimulants here promise miraculous effects, despite that being complete nonsense. In Europe, many advertisements with false content or information would have already resulted in a hefty fine for the television station.

And we haven't even gotten to those shows where the advertising is hidden and spread throughout the show - visiting an establishment and shamelessly advertising.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan labor leader vows to fight for stable, better work conditions See in context

Japan has fairly strict labour laws. Compared to several EU countries, it's even stricter. Unfortunately, they are just ignored and the ignoring itself is also tolerated, publicly.

The most common, and easiest, is the play on words. How to avoid overtime pay and overtime reporting altogether? Like "it wasn't overtime, it was just voluntary work that the employee didn't complete. Moreover, he agreed to this work himself" and so on. Over the last three decades, so many PMs and other ministers have made promises to change working conditions, laws and the overall situation. And virtually nothing has changed since the late 1980s. A few small changes have happened, but we are still more or less in the 80s in that respect. The main problem is lobbying and the ubiquitous geronts in leadership positions. Anyone is short against them, no one dares to oppose them or go against them in any way. This is reflected in the working situation here. And when you add to that the huge inefficiency of work here (20 meetings a day, transcribing data from one SW to Excel, from Excel to another spreadsheet, reports of reports,....), you have a nice Ouroboros.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Several nations pledge to phase out climate change culprit coal See in context

Oh, they don't know how it works here. If someone, especially a foreigner, says that something should be different, then those in leadership positions will only harden up and take it as a confirmation of their good work and continue to do it the way it has always been done.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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