Japan Today

Robert Dykes comments

Posted in: Sick pay in Japan: What you need to know See in context

This isn't sick pay, I belive what this article is talking about is what we would call in the USA "disability leave" and is covered under the same umbrella that unemployment benefits are governed.


"Wrong, 100% wrong! People do not typically "use" sick days here because of the required paperwork involved. Sick days, and sick pay exist, it's called びょうきゅう byoukyu,"

Not 100% wrong. I am kyoumuin (which something like 20% of the country is) and was told I can use byoukyu all I want, but I won't get paid. My choices are nenkyu when I am sick and get paid, or use byoukyu when I am sick and pay is docked. So its not 100% wrong. (I am not complaining, I get more than enough nenkyu to throw around)


"hospitalized for an extended period of time" This is what I don't understand. Japanese hospitals and doctors want to admit you for months at a time for a stubbed toe for "observation". I once looked into getting my tonsils out and they told me it would take two weeks in the hospital. I told them I would much rather be sick. In the decade I have been here I have had to stay, luckily, only twice in the hospital, but had to fight tooth and nail each time to reduce my stay. Just a couple months ago I had a fever and the doctor wanted to admit me before he had even examined me or listened to what I had to say. Finally we got him to see I didn't need to stay in the hospital, but good lord they are so quick to admit people for extended periods for things that would require 90% less time in the states or be outpatient treatment. No wonder both timesI was in the hospital I was the ONLY one of working age (i.e., the only one under 70 years old) there because a hospital in stay in Japan is usually a couple weeks minimum and would be a death sentence for your job.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe brushes off fears of threats to civil rights by conspiracy bill See in context

What is truly surprising is most people have no idea how low ranked Japan is in terms of freedom. If you go hit the web and search for "freedom of press" and "freedom of speech" rankings, you will find Japan ranked very very low on this compared to most western countries. Depending on the list and who is doing the ranking, they tend to be around 50th. Much lower than North Americans and European countries. Laws like the one in this article are really pretty typical with the type of power Japan already has over its people and the media. The freedom people have in Japan is very much an overstated illusion. Have you never wondered why you never see ANY programs on TV that are critical of the J-gov like you would see on the UK, even BBC, or on the USA (Daily Show, Vice, Tonight Show, documentary after documentary). Japan is perfect and you are never allowed to say otherwise, now they need to spy on us to make sure we don't think so otherwise.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Stats on entertainment businesses show accelerating pace of decline See in context

"Mahjongg has been affected by electronic games, as young people in particular prefer games." Yet electronic gaming is also in decline in Japan.

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Posted in: 1 in 4 Japanese men remain unmarried at age 50 See in context

"Roughly 40% of Japan’s labor force consists of temporary workers today, making unstable employment conditions more common than decades ago."

Yet story after story about labor shortages in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: A-bomb museum sees record visitors in FY2016, boosted by Obama's visit See in context

"No matter the reason, the more people are educated about the horrors of nuclear weapons the better!" You are kidding right? The A-bomb museums in mainland Japan only tell half the truth. They leave out major swaths of history, they portray the Americans as bad guys and play up that Japan were helpless victims in a war that "other countries instigated". For example they show a picture of a school the evil americans destroyed with the bomb. They fail to mention that school was a military training institution and grenade making factory. At one of the museums, I can't remember which, they have an extensive timeline of the events that lead of to the bomb dropping. They completely omit the warning we sent directly to the emperor telling him of the attack begging his surrender because they did not want to attack Japan anymore, which the emperor completely ignored at the behest of many in his military. What a curious thing to totally emit.

The peace thing is great, but those museums paint a very lopsided and half truth of the war. The only decent WW2 museums I have been to in Japan are in Okinawa. They paint the true and real history of the war. There were no good and bad guys. It was just horrific war. The reality of the war that is depicted in the Naha museums is a much more sobering experience than any main land museums.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Author Murakami calls for fight against history revisionism See in context

:Novelists are limited in what we can do:

because of government censorship. Japan is ranked SUPER low on freedom of press. They straight up tell news stations and newspapers what they can and can not talk about.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Akie Abe reportedly in hot water with mother-in-law over school scandal See in context

Correct me if I am wrong. In the USA when I think of "private" education I think of top notch schools from K-12 and University. In Japan when I think "private" education I think no good institution that puts money first and is only for students who could not cut in the public school system. I feel like there are FAR more Moritomo Gakuen out there than good private schools.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Sakura shutterbugs See in context

@wtfjapan agreed. They come back every year. Just enjoy them. Try and live life NOT through a viewfinder. And what I really want to know is how many of these people actually go home and look at these photos?

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Posted in: Pet pals See in context

I just wish pets were treated better in Japan. I see so many doges tied up to a 3 foot leash and just left in the same spot 24/7. Never taken for a walk. Never brought inside except for the most extreme weather. Makes me really sad :(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony exec pokes fun at Netflix at 'Blade Runner 2049' preview See in context

"“Netflix my ass”"

Ummm... Sony is the one who has been falling on its ass for the last decade with a zillion bad business decisions. Cell phones that can't compare. Walk Men that can't compete. Movies that don't make money. TVs that can't compete. The only division that made any money last year was "Entertainment Division" which makes PS4 and publishes games. Sony has been failing for failure to innovate and ignoring the competition. Iphone and Ipod... We don't don't need to worry about those! Samsung TVs that cost half as much as our TVs, who cares? Dissing and ignoring Netflix is just one more example of dinosaurs running this used-to-be awesome company into the ground.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Getting the right shot See in context

"Robert have you got out of bed the wrong side today? " Not at all. I just think FAR too many people live some of life's best moments through a viewfinder and don't actually experience the moment.

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Posted in: Getting the right shot See in context

There are more photos of cherry blossoms than grains of sand of in the ocean. Seriously... put the camera down and just enjoy the fleeting moment, that's the whole point! A couple selfies or pics of you and your SO under the hanafubuki is one thing, but how many times have all of you seen people spend their entire time taking 1000 pictures of cherry blossoms like it's the first and last time they will ever exist. Do you really think they are sit there in the cold of December going through their camera admiring their spring photos? No, they will never ever get viewed even once.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Why can't Japanese teachers of English ... speak English? See in context

"Katakana has nothing to do. If there were no Katakana in Japanese, they would use Hiragana to write down the pronunciation."

You are missing the point. They are using a phonetic alphabet, it doesn't matter if its katakana, hiragana, or Maritan, that does not adequately have enough phonemes to replicate even HALF the sounds in English. The Japanese phoneme system (which can be represented using hiragana and katakana) has something like 300 phonemes vs over 4000 in the English IIRC.

Plain and simple they need to use roman letters (i.e., the English alphabet) or even IPA.

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Posted in: Why can't Japanese teachers of English ... speak English? See in context

@sf2k I hate to say this, but sometimes "learning" is just about learning. It doesn't matter if the skills are ever used or how long it takes. We all learn calculus, how many of us use it? A lot of school is just about being off the streets. It's about keeping busy. Its about growing socially. It's about flexing our minds. It's a million things. Its why so many college degrees are pointless yet still required for so many unrelated jobs. Because you still gain things and grow in the process.

My point is if the kids spent 100 hours learning English and master 5%, or 100 hours learning Esperanto and master 90% of it. The end result is the pretty much identical. They still spent 100 hours learning.

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Posted in: Umami Burger opens in Tokyo See in context

"Is it just me or does "umami" (馬ミ) sound like "horse meat"?  Ok, maybe it's just me!!"

Umami is one of the 5 basic taste groups. Bitter, sour, sweet, salty, and umami. Umami in English is actually a Japanese loan word, originally うま味 (its etomolgoy can actually be traced back to うまい "delicious").

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Posted in: Where super-thin is still in: Attitudes to body image in Japan See in context

Its not about weight. Its about BMI and BF%!!!!

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Posted in: Dog bite incidents in Japan number in the thousands every year See in context

"Biting by smaller breeds such as Dachshunds and the like is more common"

I worked at a vet clinic for nearly 5 years as an part time job when I was a student. I was bit (not badly) 3 times and every time they were the small toy sized dogs. I have never seen a large dog bite someone or even snap.

"I don't think I've ever seen a Pit Bull in Japan."

From my experience pit bull are naturally one of the sweetest dogs breeds there are. Same with rottweilers. Chows are easily the worst meanest dog breed that I ever came across.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan says no barriers to auto imports after U.S. fires trade salvo See in context

"Also, the current crop of American cars are not suited for mass market in Japan... They are niche fashion statements (american muscle). Detroit-3's best hope is to just carve a niche."

Absolutely not a problem at all. Just look at the Toyota Hilux. One of the best selling cars (trucks) in the world. One of the rarest cars in Japan. A big car company can design and churn out a car for a particular market in no time at all.

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Posted in: Tsukiji fish market may also sit atop contaminated soil See in context

Good lord. Next they are going to find out Minamata levels of contamination cover the entire country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Do Japanese take use-by dates too seriously? See in context

"It's not only in Japan. In the US we had pull anything and everything that weren't sold by the sell-by-date. Many people won't eat anything past that date."

Yes but there are places (not in Japan) that will donate the food to food shelters. IIRC France is making this a LAW. Where in Japan it's AGAINST the law to donate the food. It MUST be disposed of. Plenty of bread stores and the like in the USA make it a company policy to donate unsold bread to local shelters and food centers. In addition to a program in New York city for example,DNSY (recycle food program for NY city), there is a massive movement in New York city for volunteers to go around participating shops and restaurants and pick up left over food each night to donate to the needy/food banks (for the life of me I can't find the name of the program. It if is not "City Harvest" that I am thinking of its another program similar to City Harvest).

I know this article is mainly talking about stuff found on store shelves. But come on, I would bet hard cash that the VAST majority of the "6.32 million tons of perfectly good food" is from the zillions of combinis and pan-ya peppered every 10m in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 killed in car crash in Shizuoka See in context

"Yet another thing the police are horrible at enforcing." Its not that, society is horrible at INFORMING. Too many parents have no idea how to properly secure their baby seat, child, or young person in a car.

Never in my life in the USA have I ever seen a child STANDING in a car in the USA. Don't get me wrong I would say the majority of people in Japan know how to properly secure their baby seats... But too many don't.

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Posted in: Grammy producer apologizes for Metallica, Caesar glitches See in context

They also played a Metallica song when Megadeth won best metal song and went to collect their award.

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Posted in: '24: Legacy' may be even better than the original See in context

Cool. I am looking for something new to watch... I am back to rewatching TNG and X-files.

This looks better than "Designated Survivor" with Kiefer Sutherland which is really just a very mediocre "24" clone with Kiefer as leader and Maggie Q as pseudo Jack Bauer.

BTW: IMDB has 24 Legacy at a super high 5.4 out of 10.... and its not on Amazon Japan Video or Netflix Japan or Hulu Japan. TPB it is I suppose.

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Posted in: TEPCO spots possible nuclear fuel debris beneath Fukushima reactor See in context

"The "fuel debris" at Chernobyl is a solid slug of previously molten uranium, which if you look directly at it will kill you."

It is called the "elephant's foot", and yes while this was once true, it is no longer, the radiation levels have dropped enough that they have sent in people for direct measurements and study, albeit seconds at a time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What is your most memorable off-the-beaten-track experience in Japan? See in context

numerous Haikyo. Japan has some of the best in the entire world! Some are "well known" in the underground circles, with a little internet sleuthing you can find some maps, or GPS coordinates, but its not hard to find some new and undiscovered one yourselves. I found a few in the mountains of Ono in Fukui. Old logging summer stations of some sort. Calanders dating back 30-40 years, Handcrank records players. The snow has since taken the building to the ground. Just be VERY careful, many are very dangerous, many are illegal to trespass. So please dont break any laws, take nothing and leave only footsteps please. But to see some off these old buildings, if only from the outside, is a majestic snapshot of a Japan slowly fading away.

The The Nakagusuku Kogen Hotel in Okinawa is VERY easy to find and has some of the most amazing graffitii I have seen in my life.

And of course if you want to 100% make sure you are on the right side of the law you can buy a ticket to visist Gunkanjima in Nagasaki, but its just a tourist trap now... but it is what got me interesting in discovering my own haikyo

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Depachika' -- Japan’s underground food emporiums See in context

We have a VERY tiny "depachika" in the Fukui eki-mae Sebu.... Its better than nothing, but man do I love visiting the ones around Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo. Its so hard to decide what to get. Bentos, and treats, and take home food by weight, as far as the eye can see in every direction. And yeah.... the prices tend to a be high, but at least its usually worth it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Solar heat storage system tested for strawberry cultivation See in context

Fantastic! No shortage of Japan's only cake ingredient in the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's draconian marijuana laws against ongoing trends See in context

" The problem is that governments can't tax it, which is about the only reason it is illegal." Tell that to the BILLIONS of dollars the enlightened states in the USA collected directly from the sale of weed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: American man arrested for smuggling marijuana in candy See in context

"I have lived in Osaka and Tokyo for a total of 16 years and never caught a whiff of it once"

Bro... It is EVERYWHERE in Japan. I am not crazy enough to touch the stuff here, it ain't worth it plain and simple, but good lord, I have run into it probably 25 times in 10 years in every corner of Japan from the sticks to the cities. It's everywhere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of traffic fatalities in 2016 falls below 4,000 for first time in 67 years See in context

"How about passing along the statistics for the number of people who died AFTER the fact, and not just at the scene or following right after the accident occurred?

Reporting the "statistics" has also changed, so these numbers may not be what they seem to be."

Yeah. I was wondering about this. Japan is notorious for bending the numbers. Like how they say the unemployment rate is so low, but fail to mention that half the workforce is under underemployed.

Lets hope these number are to be believed, if so, it's great news.

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