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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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Posted in: JR Yamanote line driver caught using smartphone while operating train See in context

JR could put cameras in all its trains focussed on the drivers. This might keep them alert, awake, and off their phones.

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Posted in: Group urges changing Buddhist temple mark on maps to avoid Nazi connotations See in context

More important than changing marks on the maps is providing a good key to the maps that explains all of the marks. This would take discipline on the part of the map makers - and perhaps would be difficult as it would admit that the maps were not complete before the keys were added.

If a pagoda sign is used for a temple, then it will confuse those of us who want to see a pagoda and can't find it at the temple. The 卍 is just fine. And the onsen mark, is that still used on some maps to indicate sento and other public baths that are not really onsen? A good map key is essential for a good map.

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Posted in: Four in five in Japan complete their int'l travel booking at least two months in advance: survey See in context

I study plane prices from about three months out before booking my flights to Japan, and watch both Japanese and American carriers to note trends. The last two times I have booked flights about 5 weeks out - when I found some anomalies that caused lower prices for only a day or two. In the case of American, on Sundays only it was offering some JAL flights on code sharing that were significantly cheaper. I noticed these flights two weekends in a row, and bought on the second one. For United, I got a cheaper flight five weeks out, but noticed that the normal cheap flights seemed to have a steady price even as few as three days before the flights if you didn't mind your flight route.

Booking.com and other groups seem to offer pretty cheap hotel prices in some cities, not so in others. I am curious as to how others book stays in Japanese hotels/minshuku/hostels. Some of the best prices seem to be negotiable on the telephone once I get to Japan.

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Posted in: Goto's mother expresses sorrow over his murder See in context

Wow. That picture could be labeled Paparazzi Hell. My heart goes out to the mother.

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Posted in: Japan mourns Goto as caring and courageous reporter See in context

Tradegy. What are the voices and thoughts of ordinary people regarding the numbers of Muslims studying in Japan? How about in Oita around Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University? What about in Fukuoka near the mosque? And in other parts of Japan? Is there any backlash against Muslims in Japan? Worth some news coverage.

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Posted in: The ugly truth of 'gokon,' Japan’s group blind dates See in context

This perhaps would be more aptly titled "The ugly world of goukan"

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Posted in: The most crowded train and subway lines in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya are ... See in context

Wow, plenty of excess capacity in Osaka and Nagoya areas, I see.

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Posted in: U.S. Army retires general for not properly investigating sex assault in Japan See in context

By retiring one rank lower, Harrison stands to lose a substantial amount of retirement pay.

Now, what about the woman who lodged the complaint. And the colonel about whom she lodged the complaint. What is to become of them? Has the Army made any statements, brief or otherwise, about them?

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Posted in: Half a million advised to evacuate as heavy rain lashes Japan See in context

Where, where? Did the original media report where the 500000 people were to be evacuated from? City or prefecture? Where was the river that overflowed and killed the chickens? Foreigners who read Japanese news don't consider Japan an monolith.

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Posted in: Thousands languishing in children's homes in Japan: Human Rights Watch See in context

What is the connection between this article about children languishing in children's homes and another article in today's Japan Today - Number of children in Japan falls to new low - about the declining birth rate

Ironic that these two articles are here on the same day. They both seem to show that children are generally unwanted liabilities in today's Japan. In many regards, Japan is not a child-friendly country. Apologies to all those doting grandparents we see.

My wife and I adopted two children when we were living in Japan. I know of another American family who adopted three siblings. Another American family has adopted two Japanese children and two American children and are raising them all in Japan. Adoption is not difficult if the children in children's homes are released for adoption when they are relatively young. As I said before, Japan in many regards is not a child-friendly country. It is sad.

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Posted in: Pink park See in context

@ Nessie - Moss phlox is an acceptable term for phlox subulata; "moss phlox" is found in several different descriptions on the Internet. Why do you think that it is an incorrect term?

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Posted in: Ryoko Hirosue's management deny she is having an affair with actor Takeru Sato See in context

Bogi - Thanks for letting us all know about the stuff you don't know about. In the time it took you to write the comment, an internet search would have told you that both individuals are very famous actors and the magazine is one of the biggest selling in the country - about half a million copies a week I think.

Me - I'm not interested in even taking the time to do an Internet search, thank you. Change the names and you have a hundred other Japanese actors and yet another handful of Japanese magazines. The comments here are helpful, though, in explaining why these particular characters are in the vogue today.

888naff - What are you doing commenting about it then on a Japan site then...ever watched Japanese TV? It's not hard to spot them. If you were commenting on a non Japan site and then that would be a different matter, but even outside Japan people watch Japanese tv and these have been in some of the most famous and watched Japanese dramas.

Me - Sure, I've watched Japanese TV. Do you really think this is a "Japanese" site? How many comments here are from native Japanese people? Most of the comments are by gaijin living in Japan, it seems, who are happy to complain about idiosyncratic Japanese issues that impinge on their lives. You caught me though, I live in insular Kansas, and haven't been in Japan since last December; I haven't lived in Japan since, oh, let's count back, 2007. I'll admit, I am not up to date on current Japanese actors or heart-throbs. I was first living in Japan when Yamaguchi Momoe was a teen-age singer.

Nenad Jovanović - So why comment ?

Me - A great question. How often do you get to a JT article that has no comments yet? It is like a clean slate, and you get to start a discussion. So, asking what the significance of an article with no comments yet seems a legitimate question. I appreciate your answer. It and Educator60's answer helped fill in the gaps in my current cultural curiosity.

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