Japan Today

sangetsu03 comments

Posted in: Japan bus operator president, manager convicted over fatal 2016 crash See in context

Sorry, but the driver was licensed to drive the bus, so he met the legal requirements to drive it. Being able to operate the gears and brakes is necessary to obtain the license. I have a commercial drivers license, which is no walk-in-the-park to get. Lastly (and not mentioned in the story), the driver had run this route before more than once. The reason for the operator’s conviction is the Japanese idea of community responsibility, which is one of those things which I find disagreeable about Japan. The driver hadn’t been overworked, and a co-driver was onboard for safety sake. You won’t catch me setting up a tour bus business in Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Kobayashi to make NASCAR debut as 1st Japanese driver to race with Toyota in Cup Series See in context

Gotta love “stock car” racing. Go to your local Toyota dealer and try to buy a Chevrolet V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive Camry and enjoy the looks you get.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Persistent inflation, rising interest rates will weigh on global economy, OECD predicts See in context

Persistent inflation and rising interest rates are the symptoms, the actual problem is out-of-control government spending.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 Chinese arrested by Japanese police for smuggling 700 kg of drugs See in context

THE main reason Japan has such little crime, violence, homelessness, and other social ills is keeping drugs out of society. In Japan only 1% of the population has experimented with drugs, compared to half of all Americans. The nationality of those arrested is worth knowing because they were indeed Chinese nationals. Of course Japanese are also involved, and with the way Japan’s criminal justice system works, they will be found. Those 4 Chinese who were arrested are enduring their 16 hours a day of police questioning, and will continue to endure it until the police know everything and everyone involved.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan FY2022 tax revenue likely hit record; may reach ¥70 tril See in context

A drop in the bucket, if tax revenues doubled, it still wouldn’t be nearly enough to pay the bills. And if revenues were to double, spending would quadruple.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Russia starts naval exercises in waters of Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk See in context

Given the Russian military’s performance in Ukraine, I don’t think Japan has much to worry about.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Former execs of stuffed toy maker convicted in Tokyo Olympic bribery case See in context

To get any kind of contract for the Olympics, you have to pay to play. It is simply not possible to participate without bribing Olympics officials. This is why for nearly a century the Olympics was an amateur event and no advertising or sponsorships were allowed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Ukraine trying to end battlefield stalemate in what may be start of counteroffensive See in context

We are talking about Russia here, the worlds second-largest military power. Corrupt and poorly-led as Russia may be, when push comes to shove, they have a scary arsenal in reserve. Much as I may support Ukraine, I have no wish to see WW3 erupt in Europe.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: What do you think of environmental groups like Greenpeace? See in context

There are no real advocacy groups, all are fronts for corporate/political interests. They rake in big money written off of their donor’s taxes, spend a few paltry percent on the environment, and distribute the rest on high six-figure salaries to their executives, campaign donations to politicians who make their donations tax exempt, and high-paying jobs to their family and friends.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Saudi Arabia slashes output further to boost oil price See in context

Let’s not forget who in 2020 gave OPEC the power to throttle energy supplies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to consider allowing tattooed youths to join SDF See in context

So the SDF will allow all young men with tattoos to enlist? How many young, Japanese men have tattoos? At the very most this is going to add only a handful of people to the ranks.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Nikkei jumps to 33-year high on U.S. stock surge, robust jobs data See in context

That’s what happens when the BOJ puts its newly printed yen into ETFs traded on the Nikkei, and the BOJ makes itself largest stockholder in most of Japan’s top publicly traded companies. This is not good news.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Twitter executive responsible for content safety resigns after Elon Musk criticism See in context

If I can choose my own pronouns (and in some places people are legally required to use them), can I choose my own adjectives? I’m not especially tall, but if I “identify” as tall, and having other people describe me as tall makes me feel better about myself, shouldn’t others be legally required to describe me as tall? And if I were to identify as “rich,” because people would respect me more if they thought I was rich, and this would make me fee better about myself, can’t I require other people to describe me as rich? As a white male in 2023, I don’t have as many opportunities as white males did in previous generations. I would find more opportunities if I identified as black, Asian, or Hispanic. Can’t people legally be required to describe me as black, Asian, or Hispanic if I identify as such? How far down the rabbit hole of insanity do we have to go?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: China seeks dialogue, says clash with U.S. would be 'unbearable disaster' See in context

When Trump announced his trade war against China, I was skeptical. Most of the value earned on cheap Chinese imports doesn’t go to China, it goes to America. Then Trump announced his tax cuts, which I didn’t expect to happen, America’s business tax rates were the highest in the world, and congress exercises moat of its power extracts most of its graft by selling to corporations tax exemptions and loopholes. But the cuts came through, and, almost miraculously, I saw small and medium-size manufacturers put off moving to China, and, in some cases, shutting down operations in China and returning to America. I am a small industrial exporter located in Japan, and saw the tide changing. For the first time in my life it looked like America might see an increase in small and medium-size manufacturing, and capital flows began reversing, moving from Asia ( predominantly China), and returning to America. The total amount of capital was nearly half-a-trillion dollars. But then the pandemic hit, then Joe Biden became president, and everything evaporated. I didn’t vote for Trump, and many of my colleagues were fearful of him and his policies, but now he is missed. Trump was the one-and-only force sufficient to keep China in check.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan's growing military strength not a threat, says defense minister See in context

It’s certainly a threat to the economic stability of Japan. With the highest debt burden of any developed country, and an ever-shrinking pool of taxpayers, how exactly does Kishida plan to fund his new military?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Posted in: Japanese government promises expressways will be free by the year 2115 See in context

It’s the typical bait-and-switch plan used by governments forever. A number of highways in America were built, and they were to collect tolls for a number of years until their construction costs were recouped. But in no case I know of has this actually happened. Instead of abolishing tolls and maintaining highways from fuel tax and vehicle registration fees, the highways not only continue to collect tolls, but raise the toll prices. The fundamental issue is corruption, and with so much infrastructure spending absorbed in graft and red tape, it’s impossible to pay for its upkeep without tolls. Adjusted for inflation, many roads today cost much more to maintain than they did to build.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gulf oil giants turn to start-ups in carbon-capture bid See in context

”Trees” anyone? The are the beat carbon sink, and besides absorbing carbon, they provide shade and natural beauty. But, unfortunately they are too inexpensive and effective to be an official mitigation mechanism.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: And just like that... Cattrall to appear in 'Sex and the City' sequel See in context

Why they make drama about neurotic White women

Probably because the neurotic white woman market is one of, if not the largest in America

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Nintendo ends online sales of games in Russia See in context

Any Russian more than 8 years old will figure out a way to continue buying Nintendo games. Nintendo knows this, but at least the headline makes it look like Nintendo is taking a stand against Russia.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Asian shares mostly rise after House approves debt ceiling deal See in context

There was never any risk of default, and news agencies who use that term were being disingenuous. The federal government would have continued collecting revenue and paying its bills, and when cash ran short, it would begin delaying payments for less essential expenses. The entire debt-ceiling debacle was a charade engineered by politicians in both parties to wrangle funding for their own particular interests. The sky-high debt incurred by America causes repercussions around the world, distorting markets, and harming everyone except the politically-connected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida unveils plan to tackle birthrate crisis See in context

In case no one knows, birthrates are lowest in places with the most liberal childcare programs, and highest in places where no such programs exist at all. It is not a lack of childcare or other subsidies which is causing a decline in childbirths, but that people understand basic math. They look at their income, subtract the cost in time and money in raising a child or children, and make their choice based upon the result.

The fact that most Japanese now live in crowded metro areas in small housing is a large part of the problem. City living has positives and negatives, but when it comes to raising families, the higher cost of urban housing, and the lack of room is a serious problem for would-be parents.

Some years ago France tried a "New Cities" program designed to relieve crowding in Paris and other metro areas. If I remember correctly, 9 places were developed with rail and roadway infrastructure, and the government encouraged businesses and developers to relocate. Not all of these were successful, but some were, and are thriving today.

God knows Japan has plenty of room to in the countryside to develop. Creating more opportunities outside the metro areas would create more family-friendly environments, and cost much less than the 3.5 trillion yen currently being earmarked for spending. Such programs could be revenue-neutral if companies and developers were encouraged to move, and some of the regulations which cause businesses to gravitate closer to each other were eased or eliminated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: UK hails first post-Brexit trade deals with Australia, New Zealand, but impact likely small See in context

You are looking at figures still under the effect of the pandemic. The figures for the EU are likely no better than the UK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Toyota debuts hydrogen-fueled race car as auto racing begins shift away from gas guzzlers See in context

A gasoline burn is much worse than a hydrogen burn. Tech has developed for both. Imagine if after the first gasoline car accident that they banned gasoline. Hydrogen is just as safe now

Liquid hydrogen is extremely dangerous, and must be kept at -250 degrees. Hydrogen in gas form is safer, but a race car wouldn’t have room for a fuel tank necessary to run the engine for more than a few laps.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Toyota debuts hydrogen-fueled race car as auto racing begins shift away from gas guzzlers See in context

How much gas was guzzled to produce the hydrogen for the new race car? Currently more than 95% of hydrogen is produced by burning fossil fuels.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for failing to pay for 270-kilometer taxi ride in Iwate Prefecture See in context

The driver couldn't stop 67 year old person, does that driver still fit for the job

This being Japan, the driver was likely much older than his 67-year-old passenger.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida orders ¥3.5 trillion to be set aside for child care See in context

All offer FREE Education to it's citizens including College and Universities and many extend it to International students. The majority of these nations NOT an economic power and certainly are NOT the first second or even Third economic Power.

I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as “free.” You say that the countries on your list are not first, second, or even third economic powers, which rather argues against the benefit of “free education,” right? Why do people pay a quarter of a million dollars to go to an Ivy League college in America instead of going to a “free” college in one of the countries on your list? You should get a textbook on basic economics and spend some time reading it

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Critics say pandemic treaty text is 'step backwards' See in context

Given the record of the WHO and most western governments during the recent pandemic, I am leery of any policies they might implement. We endured great restrictions and hardships during the pandemic which had no meaningful effect on stopping it, but which did great harm to society. We have kids who weren’t able to receive a proper education for 2 years, catastrophic harm to small businesses, increases in crime, violence, suicide, and domestic abuse, not to mention runaway inflation as governments spent money like drunken sailors.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: We need to create a society in which people who want to have children can make choices in accordance with their wishes without anxiety, for example by increasing the number of jobs that are compatible with child-rearing. See in context

We don’t need to “create” new societies, people had plenty of children when poverty levels were far higher than today. What has happened is our expectations have gotten higher, and the cost of satisfying these expectations is high. You can’t afford designer clothes, bags, shoes, lunch at trendy restaurants, and still afford to raise children.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: What are some things that you and your friends did for fun when you were teenagers that would not be acceptable today? See in context


Driving an unpainted muscle car with bald tires and open headers,

Stopping next to hookers on Sunset Boulevard and asking for a squeeze. “Sho baby!”

Going to the Pussycat theater with your high school buddies to watch porn, sitting a few seats apart so no one thought you were gay. The movie would be hard to see because of all the cigarette smoke.

Shooting rats at the farmer’s market off La Cienega at night, with an on-duty LAPD officer giving you shooting tips.

Having affairs with teachers at school.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on the freeway and drinking beer.

Burning magnesium VW engine cases in the fire rings at beach parties.

Lighting off “real” fireworks on the 4th of July.

Being able to see good movies at a drive-in theater.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Live-action 'Little Mermaid' debut makes North American box office waves See in context

I dislike how the ending was changed. In the original movie it was Eric who steered the ship into Ursula, saving Ariel and redeeming mankind in the eyes King Triton. But in the new movie, Ariel steers the ship into Ursula (despite the fact she is not a sailor, and shouldn’t know how to steer a ship), making her the hero, and making the underlying theme of the story pointless. But Disney is not allowed to make any movie with a male hero.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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