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Posted in: Store shelves stripped of toilet paper amid coronavirus fears See in context

Bidets spreading diseases? Not unless you are using them as drinking fountains.

A lot has changed since the 1970s oil shock and that toilet paper crisis. 1) most of Japan has flush toilets- those pump trucks really stank.ts. 2) washlets are much cheaper and are almost ubiquitous. 3) TP is much softer and not as slick or sand paperish. 4) if you have to use newsprint or cut up magazines, today's ink won't come off on your fanny as easily. Still can't flush newsprint or catalog paper, though. We are much better off now than in the 1970s.

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Posted in: United Airlines sharply cuts flights to Japan, S Korea See in context

I am flying into Haneda on March 12 on United. Would love to have the plane less than half full. More seat room for all. And perhaps more upgrades too.

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Posted in: Japan announces basic policy to fight spread of coronavirus See in context

@ theFu But aren't all Japanese wearing masks? Doesn't that prevent virus spreading? No?

Answers: Japanese politicians are wearing masks, and they cover their eyes completely. Cofefe-19 is not spreading, and is only in isolated instances. This will not change unless it gets to Nagatacho or Kasumigaseki. Otherwise, it is something to make policy pronouncements about. Until then, we can just wash our hands of the whole thing.

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Posted in: Train operators refining 'live' foreign-language announcements ahead of Olympics See in context

I would be more afraid of drivers if they were trying to make announcements in foreign languages. They need to concentrate on driving. If it were a conductor or another person, fine, but not the drivers. They need to concentrate on the signals, speed, etc, not playing with cell phones or trying to read romaji scripts of foreign languages.

I do appreciate the multi-language taped announcements. I appreciate more understanding the first announcement in Japanese on trains and planes, so that I can be prepared to get off (or head to the restroom before seat belting) ahead of those who are relying on the English or other language announcements.

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Posted in: Sapporo Snow Festival ending after unprecedented lack of snow See in context

"Due to record warm weather this year, we didn't have much snow and the snow contained more water which made the statues melt easily," Suzuki told AFP.

What else does snow contain? Perhaps something was lost in translation.

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Posted in: 13 regional airports in Japan to lose flights to mainland China See in context

So, should I cancel my trip to Fukuoka from the states next month? I am planning to spend a month in Kyushu. How fast will the virus spread from Yokohama? Watching ...

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Posted in: Japan launches new intelligence-gathering satellite See in context

Intelligence without intelligence? Look to the administration in Washington DC for a perfect example.

Congratulations NSADA and the H2A program. I went to Tanegashima to witness a launch once. It was an earthmoving experience.

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Posted in: Seven-Eleven to end contract with franchisee who cut opening hours See in context

The original Seven-Elevens were open from 7 am to 11 pm. At the time, this schedule was scandalously long hours that were convenient for all people who worked and needed to get things at unusual hours - thus originated the term convenience store and later combini. 7/11 holdings has made a mockery of the combini idea through its mercantilistic attitudes. I will try to limit my use of 7/11 too and use the other combinis. 24/7 stores have never been convenient for store employees.

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Posted in: Woman walking her dog killed in hit-and-run incident; driver arrested See in context

While Japan does have a higher proportion of pedistrians killed in accidents with vehicles than many other industrial countries, that does not mean that the drivers are responsible for a majority of the accidents, only that they can be held accoutable. A 78 yo woman walking her dog? Probably oblivious to the traffic on the road and careless in her walking. Perhaps she was hard of hearing, or losing her eyesight, or still mostly asleep, or following the dog rather than controlling it. As I get into senior citizenhood I am aware that both my five sences are diminishing and that my reaction times are slower, whether I am driving or walking.

An awful lot of Japanese walkers appear to have no sense as to where vehicles are around them. And the national police are not in charge of licensing pedistrians. Nor do they write many tickets for jaywalking. While we get mandatory education classes each time we renew our driver licenses, there is no requirement for pedistrians to get equal classes reminding them of walking safety. JMHO

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Posted in: Emperor, empress visit Ise shrine to complete 2 enthronement rites See in context

rcch - Bansai! May the emperor live 1000 years! He is 59 this year, and this may be a once (or twice) in a lifetime event for observers. This is the second enthronement that I've lived through, and I hope it lasts long enough to be my last. I plan to live another 30 plus years. Respect and sympathise with them, and many years from now may you look back on them as curious and ancient rituals that you can relate to those who have never experienced one. Let's hope that Reiwa is a benevolent and peaceful era.

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Posted in: Emperor leaves for Ise shrine to mark end of enthronement rites See in context

kokoro7, i think your points on Naruhito's chance to ingratiate himself and the royal family with his people are spot on, and was not trying to say that long-term observers of Japan and its cultural nuances were not valid. Sorry if it appeared that way. I, too, have lived in Japan for many years (over 17 years); am knowledgable about Japanese society, history, culture, and literature; and am somewhat fluent in Japanese, although my fluency has dropped since I moved to Kansas ten years ago

I was instead trying to point out that non-voters' (I may have incorrectly used the word non-Japanese) opinions were insignificant regarding the spending of Japanese government funds in support of the royal family. This includes the opinions of foreign residents who pay taxes in Japan but are not citizens and do not have voting rights. I did not seek to denigrate short-term tourists, English instructors, or long-term foreign residents of Japan.

Just one foreigner's opinion

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Posted in: Emperor leaves for Ise shrine to mark end of enthronement rites See in context

Condemnatory statements by non-Japanese are of no consequence in Japanese perceptions of the importance of this traditional and historical event or of how the government spends its funds in support of the imperial family. If the same condemnatory statements were overwhelmingly supported by Japanese there might be some significance to them. The Daisoji rites do not have effects on Japan's foreign policy or its relations with outside nations and thus, no gaikoku opinions are relevant here.

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Posted in: Pro-Uighur march See in context

And I thought this was a Blue Men promotional march till I read the caption.

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Posted in: What's app? See in context

I find it ironic that above this picture is the headline for a different article entitled "Illustrator shows different types of perverts encountered on Japanese trains"

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Posted in: Some see Japanese era system as unnecessary, unsuited for modern age See in context

零和 is the kanji for the reiwa geimu or zero-sum game.

I prefer 霊和 or spiritual harmony (maybe departed harmony)

I expect that there are plenty of alternate renditions that will lead to traditional Japanese puns on this reiwa business.

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Posted in: JR to send security camera images to police in emergencies See in context

Great. It is a bit orwellian in theory. I don't mind it at all though. Like I don't mind those infrared cameras checking for people with high fevers when deplaning at Narita or Haneda from overseas. Or being thumb printed every time I enter Japan at immigration. And I am not concerned with facial recognition software at train, subway, and bus stations. Just don't slow us down while doing the extra checks.

Using the train or subway or airline or bus is granting permission. If you don't want to give permission, don't use the services. Pay cash for all transactions. Wear a coat with your face covered. Walk whenever possible. Don't carry a cell phone, smaho or not. Wear gloves so as not to leave fingerprints.

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Posted in: Even if infidelity breaks down a marriage and leads to divorce, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as the third party involved unreasonably interfering in the marriage in a bid to prompt a divorce, the third party is not liable for paying damages for the divorce. See in context

This sounds a bit like the legal concept of alienation of affection. An alienation of affection lawsuit is when an outsider interferes with a marriage causing it to end. Defendants in these suits are often an adulterous spouse's lover, but family members, counselors, therapists, and religious members who have encouraged a spouse to get a divorce have also been sued for these matters. Claims are challenging to establish and involve many elements like proof of entailed love, alienation and destruction, malicious conduct, and more. Showing proof of extramarital sex is not required, however. In the United States , six states still allowed these lawsuits as of 2016. In the others, this claim has been legally abolished. It seems like this is what the Japanese Supreme Court has also done.

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Posted in: M5.8 quake hits Hokkaido; no major damage reported See in context

Glad to hear that no one was seriously injured and there was no serious damage. Some of my facebook friends in Sapporo and Asahikawa said they ran out of their homes when the earthquake struck.

Nice to see the overview on Japan Today - wish it had more specificity as to where the quake was located. Overseas readers are left wondering where in Hokkaido this is with the report stating only that "The quake hit the southwestern part of Hokkaido at 9:22 p.m. at a depth of about 30 kilometers and measured magnitude 5.8. The same area was hit by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in September which triggered dozens of landslides and left more than 40 people dead." Fortunately, those of us who know that the earlier quake was SW of Obihiro do not wonder if this quake was SW of Hakodate.

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Posted in: 24 of 50 new slots at Haneda to be given to Japanese, U.S. airlines See in context

Interesting comments. Perhaps some of the reasoning behind giving US carriers additional landing slots is to increase tourism from North America. Although currently more tourists may come to Japan from China and Korea, as I understand North American tourists bring more revenue per tourist into Japanese pockets than those from China and Korea as tourists from these two countries often book package tours where most of the funds are repatriated abroad. Another possible reason is that there may be a renegotiation ongoing between Japan and the US to allow US planes more flights through Haneda and on to other Asian destinations - and allowing anyone to board in Haneda for only the Asian portions of the flights. I know that this has been a sticking point in US-Japanese air agreements in the past. I am not sure of its current status. That might allow Haneda to try to compete with Incheon as a regional hub for North American carriers. As for flying into Haneda or Narita, I prefer whichever airport gets me on the ground earlier, as I rarely stay in the Tokyo area. If I am headed to Tohoku or Hokkaido, Narita seems more convenient. If I am heading west, I like Haneda because I can train to a western destination in the same time it takes me to get from Narita to Tokyo.

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Posted in: 24 of 50 new slots at Haneda to be given to Japanese, U.S. airlines See in context

How has the increased international traffic at Haneda changed traffic at Narita? Is Narita close to capacity?Have they both grown by about the same number of international flights since 2010 when Haneda again resumed regular international flights? And, has the opening to Haneda as an international airport again affected Nagoya and Kansai International airports? This is an interesting article; I would like to read something more indepth about Japan's and Tokyo's air traffic flows.

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Posted in: Japan gov't sticks with plan to unveil new era name before May 1 See in context

I got my Driver's License renewed last month. I was hoping that finally, with the change of eras known, that perhaps Gengo dates would disappear from Driver's Licenses, but, no, nothing has changed. My new license expires in Heisei 36, even though the government knows that there will be no Heisei 36. I think I need to put a sticker on it somewhere to remind me to renew it by January 2024. Changes of era are confusing if you use Gregorian dates for most transactions and Gengo dates for government documents. It is easy enough to remember the current year, but easy to make mistakes when you are counting foward or backward. Especially when next year will be XXXXX gannen, and the year after XXXXX ninen.

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Posted in: School teacher gets pay cut for spitting on pupils' faces See in context

So, he has apologized and we assume paid out bucks for his past transgressions. The big questions are, how many other students has he traumatized, and what will he do to future students since he is being left in the system.

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Posted in: Retail giant Aeon to stop selling porn magazines from January See in context

Kyodo, you've got it wrong here "Japan's three major convenience store chain operators -- Seven-Eleven Japan Co, Lawson Inc and FamilyMart Co -- have yet to decide how to handle the issue." These three chains have already decided how to handle the issue. There may be a question of whether they will change their positions in line with Aeon, but they clearly know how they are handling the issue now. FamilyMart? What is family about it?

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Posted in: Are funerals growing obsolete? See in context

This discussion reminds me of the 1984 film of Juzo Itami. Itami, in his wry ways, pointed out many fo the very ridiculous practices that make funerals so expensive. お葬式 (English title - The Funeral) was Itami's deebut film, and he both wrote and directed it. While Wikipedia calls it a comedy, it is more of a social commentary. It won multiple awards in Japan in 1985 including Best Picture and Best Director. It has a bit of gratuitious sex, as do many of Itami's films. Other than that, it is worth watching. It not only teaches a great deal of the Japanese funeral rites, but also provokes questions of the purpose of the funeral industry and of family members reassesing relations after the death of a family elder. One of my favorite Japanese films.

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Posted in: Tokyo's homeless boast their own upscale neighborhood See in context

@lolozo79 Some articles are plain interesting. I find articles about dropouts from society who have alternate living styles interesting, especially if they are living in some sort of order. I'd be glad to read other articles of how the "homeless" cope with life, where they are located, and an introduction to the biggest ten homeless areas in Japan. Articles don't need to have deep political or philosophical meaning to be interesting. I'd also welcome articles on declining populations in Japanese rural areas, and on repopulating of the same areas.

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Posted in: Caroline Kennedy leaves Japan after 3 years as U.S. ambassador See in context

So, who is in charge now?

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Posted in: 金 chosen as kanji character best representing 2016 See in context

Any relation to Premium Friday, in which workers will be encouraged to leave at 3 p.m. on the last Friday of each month?

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Posted in: Gov't reconsiders plan to change Japan's iconic hot spring symbol after backlash See in context

I would never think that the current sign means hot food, but if it does, than that new symbol looks like a cannibal's hot pot. Freshly cooked people. How backward do we think Japan can get?

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Posted in: Roman coins ID'd in Okinawan ruins, but how they got there remains mystery See in context

This article is a bit confusing. 10 tiny, rusty discs sat unnoticed in storage for two and a half years. The 10 copper coins were unearthed in December 2013 at the 12th-15th century Katsuren Castle, Iron and steel rust. Copper does not; instead it generally gets a patina. I was confused when I read that these were copper coins, and wondered if they were stored with iron-based coins or other relics. However, the article does not incidate they were found with anything else. I expect, then, that the author or translater incorrectly reported the story. Be that as it may, this is an interesting story. I wonder what else has been dug up at the Katsuren site, and when the coins actually came to Japan and through what route. What a story they could tell if they could talk. This could be the basis for a historical novel. Fun stuff.

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Posted in: 7-month-old baby killed after mother knocked off bicycle by car See in context

Thanks to the links to the Japanese news coverage B2DB and Fatboy. The reports certainly explain the situation better than the sparse coverage here.

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