Roy Latham comments

Posted in: Tokyo's Yamanote Line to test automated trains with passengers from October See in context

The Yurikamome trains to Odaiba have been fully automated for many years. They don't have any operator on board and it hasn't been a problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: China urges Japan to support Beijing Olympics See in context

Peng Shuai did not claim "she had an extramarital affair with a former vice premier." She claimed she was forced to have sex with him; she was raped. Those who criticize the regime in China, if they are lucky, disappear for some period of time and reappear with an apology for the misunderstanding.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't kicks off Warm Biz energy-saving campaign See in context

The traditional Western business attire of suit, vest, and tie and women dressing in layers-upon-layers were a product of the days before central heating. Unless you were near a fireplace, it was darn cold. Warm clothing works well, and modern fabrics are much less bulky.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump considering attending Tokyo Olympics See in context

It would be good for Trump to attend the Olympics. It would honor PM Abe and show respect for Japan. It would support the competing American athletes. Usually when the president attends an event there are a mountain of security problems to climb, but the Olympics will have extremely tight security to start with. Trump haters already have their needles pinned, so that won't be any worse than normal.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Posted in: Convenience store operators urged to tackle labor shortages See in context

More vending machines, shorter operating hours, and fewer stores. It's inevitable. Increasing pay only increases the number of workers if there is a pool of unemployed to draw from.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Melania Trump's parents get U.S. citizenship under program slammed by Trump See in context

First of all, you play the cards you are dealt. For example, some years ago a journalist who advocated gun control shot an intruder in his house. He believed that all guns should be banned, but if they were not banned then self-defense with a gun was appropriate. People who want to privatize Social Security still accept it, because they paid for it. This happens all the time on different things. If you want changes, you still deal with the laws as they are written. Melania Trump and her parents played the cards they were dealt.

Trump always starts with an extreme position is negotiation, then backs off. He says he wants to end chain migration, but does he really oppose reunion of spouses and children? Nah. How about parents or grandparents? Trump recently hinted that a compromise that went as far as grandparents would be acceptable. But not brothers and sisters and their children.

It might be better if he just started with a reasonable position and stuck with it, but Trump's theory is that a negotiation only succeeds if your opponents believe you have made a major concession. Trump started by advocating a 15% corporate tax rate, moved to saying that 20% was an absolute hard-line maximum, and ultimately signed off at 22%. It's how Trump works.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's high school English proficiency falls short of gov't targets See in context

A college prof friend of mine taught in Europe. All the classes in the Dutch and Italian universities where he taught were in English. The logic is that since English is required to read or publish academic works, the classes might as well use English in class as well. I think that logic applies to the Japanese college-bound students as well. The obvious uses in Japan are business and tourism. I heard an Arab buying pearls in Tokyo, using English as the common language. When we travel in Japan, I'm impressed at how many speak English well enough to do what has to be accomplished. I doubt if most Japanese students really need English, so maybe it could be tracked by the student's interests.

Incidentally, bilingualism is well established in California, which recently changed the rules to allow granting a high school diploma without ever learning English. In some places in the state, Spanish is the only language spoken.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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