San Miguel comments

Posted in: Emperor declares abdication; thanks people for support See in context

There's some great pictures in yesterday's Guardian on 'The life and reign of Emperor Akihito'. Check out those fashions!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: TEPCO to employ foreign workers at Fukushima plant under new visa system See in context

The Guardian reported last week on a Greenpeace's survey of the area: "As Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the disaster last month, a Greenpeace investigation revealed high levels of radiation in areas that have been declared safe, and accused the government of misleading the international community about the risks faced by returning evacuees and decontamination workers". You can download the survey via the paper:

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe explains choice of Reiwa for next era name See in context

From this morning's UK Guardian: "TV commentators struggled to offer a direct translation, but the two characters, taken from the eighth-century work Man’yoshu, the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry, can be read as “fortunate” or “auspicious”, and “peace” or “harmony. In Tokyo, people watching giant screens greeted the announcement with applause and, in a few cases, tears. “I was surprised by the choice – I didn’t expect those kanji characters, but I’ll have to start getting used to them,” one woman told public broadcaster NHK. “One of them is the character for peace, so there is a serious meaning behind it.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov’t proposes measures to make it easier for foreign visitors to get mobile phones See in context

Ok, I'm five years behind but in 2014, getting a sim for an unlocked phone in Japan was nigh on impossible. I couldn't just walk into a store and get a PAYG sim like I can in Europe. They told me it was to 'stop illegal crime'. My phone wouldn't work in Japan and it was a right pain as I was there for 6 months on a tourist visa. I had no working phone! I survived on free wifi at 7/11 (plus lots of coffee!) Japan lost 6 months of PAYG credit from me so from a business point of view it was silly. Whenever I went to Denmark, I always bought a Danish PAYG sim and simply added £10 credit. If I went back to DK in the year, I could just top up with more credit. Danish friends could call me and I could call them. Now, it's changed a bit for Europe. My UK phone is free to recieve calls in Denmark (it wasn't always) and a call to a Danish number is much cheaper so I tend to use my UK phone now. I always thought this was a silly law in Japan so I'm glad it's changing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Popular Tokyo cherry blossom-viewing park increases admission prices by 150% See in context

Ah my first ever Japanese park! A sunny and not too cold January 2013. I remember going..ooh we have to pay to go into a park? I then had a naughty 'kick about' with my then ex J girly's ten year old son. I got a good pic of a slightly fat me about to hoof a football! I'd just like to point out that football is not allowed in this park kiddies...but as my J girly said it was ok, I took her word for it. 500Y for this's still worth it!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Streaming wars heat up as rivals queue up to challenge Netflix See in context

I subscribe to UK Netlfix. The ONLY thing that keeps me subscribed is the amount of Japanese content. If it wasn't for the that, I wouldn't subscribe. Anything Japanese after 2016 comes with English and Japanese subtitles which is great for picking up phrases. If you don't understand something, you flick it to Japanese subtitles and then you can read it. That's awesome. Sometimes it can take ages to watch a show though! Content wise, Netflix UK isn't great and if the price gets too much, I'll just stop.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Can Japan end its love affair with plastic? See in context

Japan doesn't do environmental friendly. When I lived there, I was amazed to see the packaging! In the UK, we're beginning to fight back against plastic and it's being noticed. In this morning's Guardian, one of the biggest UK retailers (Tesco) is about to begin plastic free trial for fruit and veg. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Closing time? Japan's convenience stores pressed to end 24-7 model amid labor crunch See in context

In England we tried 24 hour pubs. They died a death pretty fast as no one used them. We went back to 11:00 - 23:00. I did like the convenience stores when I was in Japan but I very rarely used them after 22:30. If I did, it was only for a late night beer but that's because I knew they were open. If they weren't 24/7, I'd just buy more beers earlier. 06:00 - 23:30 would be fine for me as I always found 23:00 closing a little early. They don't need to be 24 hours.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't OKs plan to legally ban parents from physically punishing children See in context

After the Children's Act in 1989 in the UK, children suddenly turned around to teachers and parents and said "touch me and I'll sue you". Discipline in schools went out the window and people nowadays won't tell kids off in public because the kids know they can just bring the police in. While in theory it meant well, it's now raised a generation of self entitled brats.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Posted in: Court rejects call to halt nuclear reactor in western Japan See in context

Just googled 'the median tectonic line'.. and then blurted out an expletive here in London. Putting a nuclear power plant directly on top of that bad boy is mental! Tick tock..tick tock...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nuclear evacuees to face tougher housing situations from April See in context

I did some voluntary work from 2014 to 2016 for an organisation called OGA for Aid. They were set up to help the tsunami victims. They did a lot of good actually. And from what I saw, the people were just forgotten about. It's pretty bad really. In other news, they've just started surfing again in the no go area of Fukushima.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Court approves Ghosn's release on ¥1 bil bail See in context

Well he's not free yet. From today's Guardian. "Ghosn may yet remain in detention because Japanese prosecutors can hold a suspect for up to 22 days while they investigate an allegation, and then can apply for repeated one-month stretches of pre-trial detention for each charge that is eventually levelled".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Apple opens new chapter amid weakening iPhone demand See in context

I bought my first generation Moto G in 2014 for £120 ($157). It's still going well! Got my apps, email, texts and calls, camera and video. That's all I need and it's almost ten times cheaper. Why pay £1000 when you cay pay £120? At home, I use a Mac Book Pro, Android phone and Android tablet. It all works well together with a thing called a USB cable! And now for coffee!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Moscow says Japan must recognize all Kurils as Russian See in context

I ordered a cracking 1855 map of Japan (£6 from Amazon) and it arrived today. It reads, Nippon, Kiusiu, Sikok, Yesso and the Japanese Kuriles. So there you have it, they're Japanese! On a side note, it's pretty weird looking at different city names and prefectures!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK to reduce subscription fees See in context

It's an interesting debate, and you can see the cultural differences between the American and British readers on this. Factor in the changing broadcasting landscape and the license fee is looking a little outdated. I'm from London, and twenty years ago, I had to study how and why the BBC was set up as part of my radio production course. I also went on to work for the BBC World Service for nine years. America has never had the British / European system of paying a license fee to watch content advertisement free. The whole concept is alien to Americans whereas us Europeans are far more used to it.

In the early days of the BBC, I could see the license fee system as being very good; however, fast forward 30 years, and we now have numerous companies providing broadcasting content in the UK. A couple of years ago, there was a loophole where if you didn't watch live TV, you could watch any BBC content on iPlayer without needing a license. That's since closed. Now, if I want to watch BBC content on iPlayer, I must have a TV license. However, I can own a computer, and as long as I don't log into iPlayer (you need an account now), I don't have to buy a license fee. For £150 a year though, I get access to a range of BBC channels, tons of content on the iPlayer set up and access to many BBC radio channels. I often listen to Scottish football games on Saturday on BBC Radio Scotland, and I often watch Scottish content on Scottish BBC via iPlayer. This Tuesday I'll be watching Wales vs Ireland in Welsh commentary O_o as BBC Wales are streaming the game free. All of this content is 100% advert free which is wonderful! Watching content without adverts is fantastic. Plus the BBC also provide quality journalism on TV, radio and the web 24/7. All this costs £12.50 / $16 a month.

Now having said all of that, Netflix has changed the game in many ways. I currently pay them £6 / $7.90 a month because they have a lot of Japanese content on it. I also never watch BBC 1 or BBC 2 nowadays. I use the web and radio a lot, but I do think £12.50 a month is a lot. More importantly, I don't feel I should be forced to pay for something that I don't watch. This license debate is getting bigger in the UK now, and my guess is the BBC will end up being a subscription based content provider via iPlayer in the next ten years. Interesting times. With NHK, my guess is once they go streaming, they'll be saying, if you have a computer, you'll need a TV license.

And now for coffee!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fans relieved Japan advances but tactics disappoint some See in context

Belgium are going to batter them!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's ports bustling with foreign cruise passengers See in context

It's gone the other way in Venice. They want to stop the cruise liners due to problems with mass tourism and the pollution they create. "Venetians regularly protest against the huge cruise ships docking in the city, but mass tourism is not the only problem they bring – the toxic air they pump out is harmful to locals and visitors alike. "

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Luggage falls out of bus on Nagoya Expressway See in context

@Speed. Definitely! That was a law suit waiting to happen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 582,669 students sit for college entrance exams across Japan See in context

I still remember doing my A' Levels 28 years ago (the UK exams to get you into university) It was rather stressy! I never went onto university in the end; however, in 2013 I passed a masters degree. I got to dodge the BA :) Good luck all! It's great when that stress is over!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: YouTube pares back Logan Paul partnership after suicide video post See in context

I wonder (and I admit this is a looooong stretch) if filming in Japan, uploading the video and then making money from it is technically working on a tourist visa? If so, legit reason for a ban. Wishful thinking I know!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 Chinese ships enter Japanese waters around Senkakus See in context

I like the way people talk about "we should stop appeasing China." It'll never happen while thousands of western companies continue to get cheap products from China. I'm no Chinese fan but they've played a great card. Western companies are now addicted to cheap products and high profits. Not one of them will want that to stop. And that influences western government policy. That is the major problem. If you want to put pressure on China, then don't do business in China. That is the only way to stop China and that's not going to happen. China has us over a barrel.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: William Shatner talks 'Wrath of Khan,' new creative projects See in context

TH, you beat me to it lol! 86! Blimey!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Unmarried single parents to become eligible for state support See in context


People like you would have every poor person out on the streets surving without any welfare payments. My mum raised me all on her own in London. She was on welfare for the first four years of my life. We needed that money. Then she became a teacher and paid over 35 years back in tax. I was on welfare for five years, and then I got a job at the BBC in 2002 and have easily paid back in tax. There's nothing wrong with welfare and there's nothing wrong with single parent mothers. If I lose my job tomorrow, I'll happily claim welfare. Why? Because it's my own money. It's money I've paid into the system so I'm entitled to it. Not every unemployed person is scamming the system. I'm glad there's a system that doesn't throw people out on to the streets and let them starve like you seem to want.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Posted in: S Korean buses carry statues of 'comfort women' See in context

That's outrageous! Can you imagine putting a statue of a holocaust survivor on a London bus and then every time it drove by the German embassy it would play an audio message "and during the war six million Jews died." No, because that would be incredibly insensitive. Imagine being a Japanese citizen on that South Korean bus as it played the pro Korean audio message. It could encourage a physical confrontation. In my mind, Japan hasn't probably apologised, however, that's also partly America's fault. America were terrified of a communist Japan so they kept the right wing in Japan very strong. I do get that Korea are miffed about that, however, Korea has to move on. All they're doing is bringing up a population to hate. The more South Korea push an agenda for a war that is now over 70 years old, the more I become immune to it. Frankly, this is just embarrassing.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Posted in: Gov't to survey unpaid medical bills by foreign tourists See in context

In 2015, I came to Tokyo for 6 weeks. I had travel insurance. I then decided to stay longer. By then my travel insurance had run out. NO ONE would insure me, they all thought I was pulling a scam (always top up before it runs out.) I then stayed without insurance. I injured my leg playing football. My girlfriend rang hospitals. The first two refused to take me because I was foreign, one said they didn't take travel insurance. Finally we found one. I was terrified it would cost a fortune but the Dr cost £24 and the useless pain killers £30. Total cost with a bit extra £100. To me, it's a system thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Accused 'black widow' serial killer claims innocence See in context

I've gotten out jury service three times in my life in the UK (thank gawd!) The thought of sitting in a court room for 8 hours a day for 135 days...oh my lordy..there's no way I'd be queuing up lol!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan wrestles over smoking ban as Olympics loom See in context

I lived in Japan 3 years ago. I found a great music open mic in Shibuya. I had to stop going after a few visits. Every time I went, I came home stinking of cigarette smoke. It was horrendous. It was like stepping into the 90s.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Digging for clams See in context

I popped down to Kasai-rinkai in 2014 and got some nice pics like this myself. Not sure I'd want to scoff them though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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