Too bad the movie about Zamperini and his trials as a POW in Japan (Unbroken) can not be shown in movie theaters here because of pressure from right-wing groups. Is this a free country or what?
-4 ( +1 / -5 )
Just think, if there were no national borders at all in the world, millions from poor countries would be pouring into the rich countries. Think of the chaos and social disruption that would cause. For better or for worse, it has to be a crime to cross a border illegally, and those laws need to be enforced. Life is not fair.
-1 ( +4 / -5 )
How about labels on food, drinks and medicines sold in stores. Pity the poor tourist who goes shopping in a supermarket. Almost all products have labels only in Japanese. Would be so difficult for manufactures to write JUST THE NAME of the item in ENGLISH? For example, "Green Tea," "Wheat tea," "Chinese Oolong tea," "Jasmine tea" etc. Seems to me that would not be so difficult.
3 ( +5 / -2 )
As a 40-plus year resident of Japan, I will add my two cents. I am no fan of Japan's xenophobic immigration bureau, but I agree with the readers who say Jpn should not accept Muslim refugees. Most immigrants are will willing to assimilate, but Muslims generally will not--they expect you to accommodate them. Witness what has happened in France with face coverings, etc. I found this out when I was teaching ESL to Muslim students in the U.S., a diverse and tolerant country. It was at a community center. The women Muslim students (mostly from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) demanded to be taught separately from the men, and they further demanded a female teacher, i.e. not me! Had they been paying for the lessons, that would have been one thing, but these were FREE city-sponsored classes. Needless to say, it gave me a bad impression of conservative Islam.
4 ( +7 / -3 )
Right-wing Abe has missed so many chances to be a real statesman. All it would take is a few sentences to mend ties with China and Korea. Poor leadership to be sure. Same for Abenomics.
0 ( +4 / -4 )
Why doesn't any media ask and investigate the following: "Why were two young kids out all night walking around on their own?" What kind of families did they come from, anyway. Has anyone looked into this?
0 ( +2 / -2 )
The right-wingers say enough is enough regarding unending apologies, but with over 20 million Chinese killed by the JIA, between 1931-45, one would think the govt. can't apologize enough. I predict Abe will miss the chance to rise to statesmanship with a vague, murky statement that the Japanese are known for. I hope I'm wrong.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
70 years later it is easy to take the moral high road, but the reality then calls for a "yes" answer. I have met ex-pow's, who were dying at a rate of about 150 a day, and who say the bomb saved their lives. The bomb was an atrocity, but so were the 20 million killed by the Japanese in China, just to mention one example. As others have said, if Japan had the bomb and the capacity, they would have dropped it on U.S. cities in a second. It ended the war and saved lives.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
This is a classic example of "jerking around," making the J. govt look foolish. I feel sorry for those relatives, who are always appealing for some action. I am getting tired of seeing them on NHK; they are wasting their time. Who are they appealing to? The NK govt could care less about their appeals, and their own govt./prime minister is too week and cowardly to do anything. Just talk, talk, talk.... Really sad.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
I find it curious when I see a women with a white mask covering all of her face, and a large hat pulled down so low that she can barely see--even on a cloudy day. I think for some it is a psychological problem, not a sun problem. Insecurity or something like that.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Posted in: Which sports, when they are played well, do you find the most exciting to watch, and which sports do you find so boring that you can't understand how anyone could find them interesting? See in context
Soccer is boring. Someone said it is like watching rice grow. Back and forth, back and forth, almost no scoring. Some games end 0-0. If they would widen the goal posts it could become more interesting. Same for hockey.
Curling is very dull to watch; is it a sport?
NBA is the most exciting. Running, dribbling, jumping, scoring--the best athletes in the world playing the most difficult sport (as stated by Sports Illustrated). If soccer were as popular in the U.S. as basketball, the U.S. would dominate in the world. That is because black athletes have more physical talent than any other race, and that is on display in basketball.
-3 ( +3 / -6 )
Yes, the firebombings were terrible. But, I get so tired of hearing how the Japanese suffered during the war with very little reported on the suffering the IJA caused, over 20 million killed in China alone, to cite just one example. Whenever I talk to my university students about the war, I am shocked about how little they know about the latter. 20,000 million! Heck, most of them don't even know Japan fought a 15-year war with China.
7 ( +10 / -3 )
So much for Abenomics, which is basically "smoke and mirrors." Just throwing money around with little structural reform won't make it. This was dismal news, but NHK, Abe's nationalistic mouthpiece, mostly brushed it over. BBC told it like it is--a failure of his policies.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Posted in: The conformist aspects of Japanese society makes events like the hostage crisis particularly emotionally disturbing for its people. That trauma is compounded by the fact that I don't think most Japane See in context
I agree with Mocheake, Japan has been in a state of "hiewa bouke", i.e. peaceful ignorance of world affairs, for years now.
The country is well-known for throwing money around, checkbook diplomacy, but keeps it's distance from direct involvement--not what you would expect from the world's 3rd largest economy.
If a plane crashes and many are killed, but no Japanese on board, it is somewhat big news. If even one Japanese was on board, we are bombarded with the news to no end.
This hostage event might wake them up a little, but not much.
5 ( +7 / -2 )
In over 30 years here I have found the care to be excellent. J. doctors are dedicated and quite knowledgeable, as least a big hospitals and medical schools. Same for nurses. And the cost--how wonderful Japan's government-run health insurance system is! Doctors nowadays don't act like they are God, as in the old days. I am over 70 so pay only 10%; this is one of the big reasons I will never leave Japan.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Posted in: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to Pearl Harbor in spring as part of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II. It would be the first visit to Pearl See in context
Good to go but he should go to Nanjing as well. ( An the U.S. president should visit Hiroshima/Nagasaki.) Abe should also go to Okinawa and apologize for the way the island was sacrificed during the war, and continues to be used as a U.S. pawn today. Actually, the list of places--where the IJA caused great harm and suffering--that he should visit and bow his head is quite long. It would keep him so busy there would be no time to promote his "smoke and mirrors" Abenomics.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
13 million tourists is a drop in the bucket compared to France's 83 million, really nothing to brag about.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
It is disgusting the way the Japanese government uses money diplomacy, both internationally and domestically. Pay off the farmers to shut up and accept TPP, use coupons to stimulate the economy--never mind structural reform--etc.,etc. Now, they are going to use the money "stick" to get their way in Okinawa. The island was sacrificed during the war and so it goes today. Let Japan protect itself; it's a rich country. Japan should do what the Philippines did, close all U.S. bases and send the U.S. military packing.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
The lack of channels in this high tech country is puzzling. In the small city I come from in the U.S. (pop 150,000) there are about 10 channels on terrestrial TV. I think the J. govt. has passed regulations making it hard to open new TVRadio stations in order to protect their mouthpiece, NHK--speaking of which, is now controlled by Abe and the conservative/nationalistic LDP. Those of us who are not fluent in Japanese, and don't want cable or SkyPer, are stuck with NHK. Why doesn't NHK have even one news program in all English, only dubbed over news? China has a 24-hr all English channel
Although NHK provides some foreign news shows, they often get cut short, sometimes in mid sentence.. On holidays, they cancel the usual English programming. Emergency announcements are only in Japanese. Documentaries in non-English languages have only Japanese subtitles. Why can't they add English subs? I could go on and on. NHK really frustrates; it is so inward focused. What ever happened to kokusaika?
4 ( +5 / -1 )
Hakuho is lucky he is in sumo, not baseball. I agree that if he can't be brought down on the mat, others will try to bring him down by other means simple because he is a foreigner in Japan's "sacred" sport.
Unlike baseball, opponents have to fight him, no way around it. Anyone who remembers the Randy Bass/Tuffy Rhodes/Cabrerra fiascos will understand what I am talking about. Walk, Walk, Walk, Walk... That is a sad commentary on Japanese "sportsmanship" and the "great" Sadaharu Oh.
One dare not break a Japanese player's record, although it did finally happen in baseball; you can't keep good men-- even Gaijin-- down forever.
8 ( +8 / -1 )
Posted in: Japanese companies need to regain the animal spirit they lost over the past 20 years to lead innovation and sell products abroad. This is something that the government and business have to take more s See in context
I agree with jerseyboy. The decline of Japan, which will continue relentlessly, is mainly due to the mindset of the people. Cdr. Perry forced the country open, but minds are still rather closed, i.e. "mura ishiki" or "shima-guni konjo." So, the world-- globalization--is passing Japan by. It's politicians are hopeless; Abe's third arrow is failing; it cannot overcome vested interests. Sad to see since I love living here--42 years now. The high cost of living is my biggest complaint, and it need not be that high; it is the result of factors mentioned above.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Why didn't any of the media report on the boy's visa status? What is a 17-yr-old Romanian boy doing in Japan, anyway? Funny that no one in the media is asking or answering that question.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
The bombs (whether the 2nd one was necessary is questionable) saved more lives that they took. POWs were dying at a rate of over a 100 a day. The invasion of Kyushu in November was expected to cost at least 500,000 US military lives, and that is just Kyushu. The Japanese people were expected to fight to the death, just as Japanese soldiers did on Okinawa and Iwo Jima, using bamboo spears, farm tools, and what ever. Fighting on the mainland of Japan would have made Hiroshima/Nagasaki look mild. Japan needs to get over its "victim" mentality which is perpetuated by the ceremonies every August. Japanese people all know how their country suffered, but know almost nothing about the death and devistation their military caused throughout Asia where millions were killed, including countless innocent civilians. Finally, if Japan had the bomb you can be sure they would have used it. Truman, a great president, made a difficult decision, but the right one in my opinion. I respect his grandson for visiting Japan.
-1 ( +6 / -7 )
Costco's coming to Japan must have been a terrible blow to FBC's business. However, you have to appreciate what they have done. I get stuff that I can't get at Costco for about the same as or just a little more than the US price, delivered to my door for 400 yen. How can you complain about that? Congratultions to FBC on 20 years of making life in Japan more comfortable for foreign residents.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
The way the program was set up failure on the exams was obvious from the beginning. Why do they need kanji to change bed bans and the other menial jobs Japanese don't want to do? It reminds me of the way many foreign teachers have been treated--keep'em rotating, a new, fresh face every two or three years.
Due to the "sakoku" (isolationist) mentality that the Japanese are still struggling with, barriers that keep foreigners from integrating into Japanese society will remain into the far future. This country needs another Perry with his black ships?!
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Japan desperatly need a "disturbing the peace" law to stop these fanatics from intimidating people with their loudspeakers and marital music. Both publishers and film distributors have been cowed into not publishing or not showing films because of these thugs.
0 ( +0 / -0 )