San Miguel comments

Posted in: UK calls seizure of ship a hostile act; Iran releases video of capture See in context

'Iran's seizure of British oil tanker a hostile act' - but 'Britain's seizure of an Iranian oil tanker' (which started all of this) isn't 'a hostile act'...even though Iran isn't in the EU and isn't subjected to EU sanctions. Once again us Brits suck American plonkers and do whatever they tell us - even though it puts us in danger. How many British soldiers died in Iraq for America on the pretext of 'weapons of mass destruction?' Too many. I wish we'd tell the yanks to go 'do one' instead of bending over backwards and taking it up the jacksie time and time again. I'm fed up being America's whore. If America has a problem with Iran, sort it out yourself. I truly long for a British PM that will finally tell the yanks to sod off and do their own dirty work.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: S Koreans boycott Japanese beer See in context

What! Disgraceful! Hehe. I was like a kid in the candy store when I lived in Tokyo in 2014. I really like Japanese beer. Sapporo Gold being my fave but Asahi had some good off shoots (and some great can designs compared to our boring UK designs) and by the end of my time in Japan, I became a big Yebisu fan. I even went to the Ebisu beer factory 'tour'. It was great to see all the old Japanese bottle designs from the 1880s there. I also discovered an amazing Japanese / Yebisu version of Guinness there. If they sold that in the UK, it would be a sure fire winner. If South Ks don't want the Japanese beer, then send them over here, I'll drink it!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Emperor emeritus suffered bout of cerebral anemia last week See in context

Good luck to the bloke.

'He dedicated his entire life to Japan, he went to the tsunami areas to talk to survivors, he spoke against Japan's war-crime past'

Spot on.

As a Londoner, he's done more for Japan than the British royal family have ever done in my life time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 50-year-old cyclist dies after being hit by car in tunnel See in context

@kohakuebisu

Thanks of the link. I just looked at that road on Google maps. Man alive, that's insane. No way would I cycle on that. I'd be on the tiny pavement (if possible) or walking it with the bike.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 50-year-old cyclist dies after being hit by car in tunnel See in context

I've cycled my whole life in London. In 2014, I cycled in Tokyo (and remember, it's the same side of the road). It scared the beh-jaysus out of me. I felt so much safer in London. Drivers in London give you space, I didn't feel that in Tokyo. They used to pass me so close. In fairness, I can only base this on one area of Tokyo, but for me, cycling in Tokyo wasn't great. I hated cycling on the super packed pavements and the roads to me, felt well dodgy. As soon as I got back to London, I really enjoyed my cycling again.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese firms to offer telework to ease traffic jams during 2020 Games See in context

I've been applying for some jobs in Denmark (from London) that could easily be done online (I have a Danish card that allows me to work there)..Nope, they're not interested. 'You have to be in the building'. It's pretty stupid really in today's technological age. Still..hey ho! One day!

This story is also in today's Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/16/thousands-of-tokyo-commuters-told-to-work-from-home-to-avoid-olympic-crush

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Supermarket opens in Namie town for first time since Fukushima nuclear disaster See in context

'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.'

PDF

https://storage.googleapis.com/planet4-japan-stateless/2019/03/b12d8f83-frontfksm_en.pdf

Original Article

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/10/fukushima-disaster-first-residents-return-to-town-next-to-nuclear-plant

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Sony holds 40th anniversary event for iconic Walkman music player See in context

I used to walk to school in 1986 listening to Queen and rock on what i think it was a Walkman, although the memory is hazy! It took me 45 minutes each way to walk so the music was a life saver. My first one didn't have a tape counter so trying to listen to a song again was a pain when rewinding! In fact rewinding was a massive pain! My second one had a tape counter which was awesome lol! I used to rewind some tapes so much that there would be a chink in the tape at the start of a song I liked. Then, there was of course, the inevitable tape chew and the much needed pencil! There was a warmness to tape that I don't think mp3 has..although maybe the headphones were better back then? Time for a cup of tea!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: G20 leaders urged to denounce Japan's 'cruel assault' on whales See in context

Good write up in today's Guardian on the issue:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/28/after-30-years-japan-prepares-to-resume-commercial-whaling

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Outlook uncertain for Japan's whaling industry despite commercial restart See in context

Sometimes I think the best approach would be: "Ok go eat it if you want ... but here's all the reasons why eating whale meat isn't healthy for you..mercury, pollution, fukushima radiation etc." Maybe if foreign governments focused far more on the the health reasons rather than just saying 'no Japan' most Japanese people will likely go..'high levels of mercury...no thanks'. I also think the 'yoof' being far more aware of world issues now via social media plays a big part in whale consumption decline.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Graffiti found on stone wall near emperor's residence See in context

I used to cycle around that area. My Japanese girlfriend at the time warned me that because I was a foreigner the Japanese police might arrest me if I cycled too close to the palace. Why asked I? Because you're a foreigner and maybe a security risk said she. That seems fair said I! I don't know if that's true but it always used to make my trips more exciting lol. Recently, someone's being graffiting white vans and trees in my local area in south London. Writing squiggles on vans is a bad one!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese students more open to use of marijuana, survey suggests See in context

When I first went to Denmark in 1992, you were allowed carry up to 10 grams of hash / grass without fear of arrest. That number has come down now but the Danes have a very relaxed attitude to smoking. Denmark opened my eyes to how a country and a people viewed drugs. As a Brit, I had the whole 'drugs are evil mantra' when being brought up but Denmark's policy of actually talking and understanding drug abuse made me question the UKs approach to drugs. This was 27 years ago. Denmark currently has a much bigger issue with alcohol related crime than smoking. I quit smoking grass in 1997 as it started making me paranoid; however, I am still quite addicted to alcohol. In the last ten years, the UK government has finally caught up and even downgraded grass to a Category C drug. My own personal opinion is alcohol is a far worse drug and creates way more problems in society than grass. Alcohol also kills a lot more people through disease. How many people have been arrested for domestic abuse while stoned? How many domestic abuse cases involves alcohol? Alcohol is a nice drug because it's 'legal'. Grass is evil because it isn't. I think this is hypocrisy. I say legalise it, then tax it and then put the profits into drug and alcohol awareness programmes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: New law states gov't responsible for teaching Japanese to foreigners See in context

Strangerland is right. When I lived in Japan, I would learn a Japanese sentence in the morning and go and practice it in the afternoon. I couldn't understand a lot of the replies but it was really fun communicating in bad Japanese. They'd be many times when I would walk out of a shop and about 10 metres down the road I'd go "Oh, that word was receipt!" etc. It was a lot of fun. Without knowing Japanese, you can only experience 10% of Japan. I was 41 and I couldn't read! I felt like a 4 year old. I couldn't even work a photocopier when I was in Japan. I had to call the staff lol. On two occasions, I also ordered two white coffees in McDs when I only wanted one lol. The staff must have thought I was a caffeine junky. Sitting at a table in McDs with two coffees to yourself looks funny! In 1997, I lived in Denmark. After three months in the country, I was made to go to 'language school'. I tried it for a bit but it wasn't for me. The main problem being everyone in DK speaks perfect English so as soon as you opened your mouth and they heard you weren't Danish they spoke to you in English. Combine that with impossible to pronounce words and I bailed! Let's be honest, Japanese is super tough so anything that helps is welcomed. I think it's a good idea.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: M6.7 quake strikes off northeast Japan; at least 26 injured See in context

I binge watched HBO's / Sky's 'Chernobyl' yesterday, it was very good and a tad scary. The off shore fault lines near the Kashiwasaki Kariwa power plant don't bode well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashiwazaki-Kariwa_Nuclear_Power_Plant#/media/File:Kashiwazaki_Kariwa_Fault_Lines.PNG

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan revises law to ban parents from physically punishing children See in context

As soon as The Children's Act came into force in the UK in 1989, children turned around to teachers and parents and said 'touch me and I'll sue you'. Kids knew their rights straightaway. Suddenly, all the power was with them. I remember being at school and seeing students say: 'you can't touch me miss, if you do, I'll sue you'. Only last week, I saw a 13 year old school girl call a shop assistant a 'c**t' knowing full well that a) he can't do anything (he can't even touch her to move her out of the shop as that's assault and b) no one in the general public will do anything either. If we get involved we get arrested. So what do we do, we all back off and let the monster grow. I grew up with an Irish mum. Sometimes I needed a slap, and when I did, I got one and learned my lesson. However, if I had the law on my side back then and got a slap, being the horrible teenager I was, I would have called the police and had her arrested. Kids can be horrible (I speak from experience :) and giving them full power is a bad idea. I'm glad I grew up when I did. I blame a lot of today's problems on giving the power over to the child to be honest. Anyway, it is what it is and I need to feed two London foxes.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

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!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2019/apr/29/the-life-and-reign-of-emperor-akihito-in-pictures

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: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/10/fukushima-disaster-first-residents-return-to-town-next-to-nuclear-plant

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.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/01/reiwa-japan-prepares-to-enter-new-era-brimming-with-hope

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 park...it'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 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. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/25/tesco-begins-plastic-free-trial-for-selection-of-fruit-and-veg

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/08/back-in-the-water-fukushima-no-go-zone-gets-first-surf-shop-since-disaster

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".

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/05/carlos-ghosn-former-nissan-chairman-granted-bail-in-japan

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!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ANTIQUE-COLTON-HISTORIC-REPLICA-PAM0831/dp/B0126A56O6/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1547550842&sr=8-8&keywords=wall+map+of+japan

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 )

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