Sensato comments

Posted in: Man arrested for snipping women's hair on trains See in context

How did he cut off 35cm of hair without her or anybody else noticing on a crowded train?


I'm sure this is a case of many fellow passengers pretending not to notice, eyes immediately darting to the floor or looking the other direction. I've seen it first-hand a number of times, as have you I am sure.

Appallingly, that sort of "see nothing, hear nothing" behavior is particularly prevalent on the trains in these sorts of situations.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Both Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima have mythic symbolism in their respective countries. Without Pearl Harbor there would have been no Hiroshima, goes one argument. Another is that a conventional attack o See in context

It is somewhat possible that without Pearl Harbor there would have been no Hiroshima.

Pearl Harbor galvanized the American people against Japan. Before then, many more Americans wanted to stay out of the conflicts in both Europe and Asia. After the attack, nearly all Americans were ready and willing to go to war against Japan.

So without Pearl Harbor it is possible there would have been no Hiroshima because the U.S. might have opted to sit out the war entirely. We will never know.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: Legalized gambling likely to hit young adults the hardest See in context

“Overseas, gambling addiction has become a serious social problem,” ... “In South Korea in 2000, the Kangwon Land casino that was previously only open to foreign visitors was also opened to locals. In the area adjacent to the resort, now pawnshops can be seen all over the place, and several hundred people who had lost everything they had to gambling are said to be living on the streets."

It seems odd to me that this article makes no mention of pachinko, which arguably is effectively legal in Japan given its ubiquity and even police involvement. There are already plenty of young adults in Japan addicted to pachinko gambling, and "pawnshops can be seen all over the place" in many areas of Japan adjacent to pachinko parlors.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of when you hear the words "Cool Japan?" See in context

The danger in using the word "cool" in hopes of promoting ones own "coolness" is that it usually has the opposite effect. The "cool Japan" slogan is overused.

Rather than the "cool" element, I think what generates the most buzz around Japan is the quirky and often downright bizarre stories the world hears about Japan.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: On final trip, U.S. defense secretary looks to reassure Asia allies See in context

U.S. defense secretary looks to reassure Asia allies

That's going to be a hard sell.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Nikkei employee arrested over hacking of celebrities' e-mail accounts See in context

which prompted [Terai] to contact the police cybercrime division

I'm amazed the authorities took action, particularly for a hacked e-mail account which has become a very common occurrence in this day and age

In my experience, the authorities normally won't even bother initiating paperwork for far more substantial online and embezzlement crimes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Prince Akishino turns 51 See in context

This looks very spontaneous... Ahem. At least they the background is an improvement over the usual pegboard wall covering that so often appears in these royal family photos.

Photo with pegboard backdrop:

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese comedian parodies Trump in ramen skit See in context

This is almost as irritating as Donald Trump himself.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Posted in: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wants Japan to pay more of the costs for hosting U.S. military bases. Should Japan pay more? See in context

This really isn't a matter of should Japan pay more.

Japan won't have much of a choice in the matter beyond the decision of either paying more or asking the U.S. forces to leave. It pains me to say, but given the notion of a Trump presidency, I think it is now time that Japan take the latter option.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: The APA way - Always Pleasant Amenities See in context

She's wearing fur.


It's not too surprising that Motoya is wearing fur, given that she is not the most enlightened individual.

Aside from her business pursuits, she is well known for her abhorrent support of historic revisionism and ulta-nationalistic causes. The APA Group holds an annual essay contest titled "True Modern Historical Perspectives" (真の近現代史観) which the economist has described as "a competition for the best essay to deny Japan's wartime role as an aggressor and sponsor of atrocities." (One of the contest's notable winners was former Mormon missionary to Japan and television "tarento" (celebrity) Kent Gilbert.)

The irony is that a large percentage of her hotel guests are Chinese tourists, and other foreign visitors to Japan.

Link to "True Modern Historical Perspectives" essay contest website:

Link to previous JT article on the essay contest/AP Group:

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe says he is confident of building trust with Trump after 90-minute meeting See in context

A JT article released just four hours ahead of this one was headlined, "Packed Japan-U.S. agenda for Trump's meeting with Abe."

Now after reading this article, I am left thinking so much for the "packed agenda."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan: Part I -- Deciding to adopt See in context

Thanks for your comments, all! -Melodie

Thank you for the article Melodie. Well written.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan: Part I -- Deciding to adopt See in context

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these Japanese adoptees are grown men.


I want to "LOL" that one (I have heard this before). Although technically these men are "adopted" by another family, in my mind it certainly doesn't count as "adoption" in the true sense of the word. It is an apples-oranges comparison to say that Japan is #2 in adoptions by including figures for adult-aged adoptees. It almost seems as if the government is trying to massage the statistics.

Still, interesting nonetheless, and it does suggest some a possibility that the strong Japanese aversion against adoption could someday change.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: One Canadian woman’s journey to adopting in Japan: Part I -- Deciding to adopt See in context

I get the feeling that the Japanese government and its citizens would rather place children in orphanages than have large numbers of them adopted by families from abroad.

Sad, but very few Japanese families are willing to adopt, and the orphanages keep the problem of "unwanted" children out of sight and out of mind, whereas placing them with families abroad would make the crisis much more visible. Shameful.

The odd thing is that adoption used to be very prevalent in Japan up until the 1950s or so. This was particularly the case with rural families in need of a child to work the farms who would adopt a child from a family with an "extra" child, and too many mouths to feed. Somehow, a stigma against adoption has developed in this nation since then.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Which professions, other than politics, do you think have the biggest liars? See in context

Pharmaceutical company executives

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think Donald Trump's policies toward Japan will actually be like, concerning U.S. bases in Japan, whether Japan should have nuclear weapons and tariffs on Japanese imports into the U.S., s See in context

Trump clearly has a longstanding chip on his shoulder when it comes to Japan. I suspect it might have something to do with one or more business negotiations/deals of his involving Japan having gone bad back in the 1980s.

So having said that, I think he will use the bully pulpit to seek vindication with respect to Japan as a nation, possibly by jacking up the price Japan pays for hosting the bases, and maybe by pulling out U.S. forces altogether.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think the world will be a safer place with Donald Trump as U.S. president? See in context

It pains me to say it, but it is a very bad idea for Japan to rely on the U.S. militarily. Get ready for a rough ride ahead.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump wins White House; Clinton concedes defeat See in context

This does not bode well for Japan. Tragic. Terrifying.

8 ( +26 / -18 )

Posted in: Sinkhole in Hakata See in context

Here is the latest video footage of the sinkhole (1:01):

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Some women find escape from poverty in sex trade See in context

What's the point here on JT?


This is an excerpt from an article in Japan's Friday magazine which has a circulation of around 200,000 (down from 600,000 in the 1990s). Despite its tabloid format, it covers a lot of Japan's less savory social aspects that get little coverage in the mainstream press.

So, I for one am very thankful to JT for bringing news like this to Japan's English-speaking community that many English speakers would otherwise not have access to. It helps keep our community in the loop.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Posted in: Does Japan need to host any U.S. bases at all? See in context

Japan would be better off without the burden of hosting U.S. bases, the U.S. would be better off without the burden of having to maintain bases in Japan. The war has been over for well over 70 years now, it's time for the U.S. to amicably pull out of Japan (and most of its other foreign outposts) for the sake of both countries.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: BOJ loses bark and bite under Kuroda See in context

The BOJ admitted there was no direct link between the pace of money printing and inflation expectations in the short run.

The reason the BOJ's "money printing" completely failed to generate inflation is because the money being created by the BOJ didn't get into the hands of the low to middle class citizens who would have spent it. Instead, through quantitative easing the newly created money wound up in the hands of the 1%. In theory, the money was supposed to trickle down, but as with all other trickle down strategies it stayed put in the hands of the super-rich.

It would be easy for the BOJ to generate some inflation — simply take a direct approach rather than relying on indirect mechanisms. Create money and put it directly into the hands of Japan's citizens/residents across the board. Helicopter drop. They will spend the money once it is in their hands. Wash, rinse and repeat until 1% to 2% is reached.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Baird Brewery: Celebrating beer See in context

It is exciting to see people like Bryan Baird and a number of other non-Japanese resident brewers and importers breathe some vibrancy into Japan's beer drinking culture. They are having a substantial influence on Japan's brewing industry and the nation's corporate mega-breweries are taking notice.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Duterte fans See in context

Duterte is the Donald Trump of the Philippines. I would think that like Trump's dismally low support of American expats, Duterte would also have extremely weak support among Filipino nationals living abroad.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: Former AKB48 singer reveals three simple phrases men need to use to be popular with women See in context

“Guys are quick to say things like ‘You’ve gained weight recently,’ ‘Your makeup is really thick,’ and ‘The lines of your face look really tired.’

I wonder what kind of guys Takahashi hangs out with. I've never said any of these things to anyone.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Dentsu's 'power harassment hell' See in context

As an "international advertising and public relations company," Dentsu fails abysmally when it comes to its own PR and avoiding full-blown scandals such as this.

Given the company's supposed PR expertise, you would think it would go out of its way to implement humane employment practices in an effort to convey a positive corporate image.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Dentsu's 'power harassment hell' See in context

“It’s horrible, horrible, a freshman employee’s lot is no fun at all, I have no time for anything but work, Saturday too..,

At a lot of Japanese companies and schools, full-time employees/teachers also work not only Saturdays, but the bulk of Sundays and national holidays as well. I know this first hand.

In retrospect, I would avoid working for a Japanese company like the plague, particularly if you have family obligations. Japanese companies tend to be very family unfriendly. The organization always comes first.

Whether it be students at schools or workers at companies, most organizations in Japan habitually come up with unproductive ways of occupying their members' time, often in the form of 'voluntary' activities, so that it is impossible to strike a reasonable work-life balance.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Face saver: Surgical masks worn at speed dating sessions See in context

In order to "achieve marriage"... That one made me laugh.

Here is a one-minute video of on of these masked marriage partner hunting konkatsu (婚活) events:

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think are the pros and cons of Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, which is currently being debated in the Diet? See in context

U.S. corporate pharmaceutical companies are hefty backers off the TPP, and for very good reason. So, one of my fears about the TPP (of many) is that drug prices in Japan and other TPP member nations will skyrocket to U.S. levels.

American-style corporate pharma is opportunistic price gouging and greed and at is worse. TPP would be a calamity for consumers everywhere.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese fishermen say they are portrayed as 'sadists' in Oscar-winner 'The Cove' See in context

“I’ve lived in the States for almost 30 years and what struck me the most is that there is no counter argument about this,” said Sasaki. “There is no voice heard from Japan. It is such a touchy, very sensitive subject but I thought why aren’t the Japanese saying something?”

Here, Sasaki seems to assume that if Japanese people would actually say something, they would all speak up with a uniform voice in favor of the dolphin cull.

I find that notion that Japanese people all think and act as one somewhat troubling. As with any contentious issue under discussion in a healthy democracy, one would hope that there would be Japanese people with a variety of opinions on the matter.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

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