Japan Today

Shaolin7 comments

Posted in: Starbucks comes to Tottori; poster compares it to Perry arriving in Japan See in context

I love Starbucks. Great coffee....and an oasis of tobacco-stench-free air.

This is unfortunately exactly why I choose Starbucks over other places. The smoking culture remains heavily entrenched, in spite of the changes amongst younger generations. You can find a few non-chain spots with non-smoking, but they are far and few between; the places where they make the attempt to segregate smokers, the glassed-off sections are so ineffectual you end up stinking of smoke anyways, or smell the waft in the air.

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Posted in: The tourism business wouldn’t survive without Chinese customers, so we don’t want to complain about them. It’s 50/50, give and take. We appreciate them coming, but we wish that they would come with a See in context

All that money, and still can't educate themselves about social graces and class. Yes, other Chinese expat communities residing outside China itself share many of the same complaints... you are certainly not alone, Japan. Some mainland Chinese have enough self-awareness to feel shame... most, however, think their money is enough, and sadly, societies everywhere encourage and perpetuate that sensibility by taking that money, gritted teeth or not.

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Posted in: Abe as unpopular as Kim Jong-Un, S Korean poll shows See in context

Just because many of the 'Abe bashers' are non-Japanese, toshiko, does not necessarily invalidate their opinions on the matter -- you do realize there are non-Japanese residents with PR status, who have chosen to live, contribute and raise families in Japan? I'd still like to believe people can be proud of their countries of origin/residence, while maintaining the ability to cast a critical eye on its government and societal issues at large. Abe is not helping move the conversation forward, but he has mutual partners in this with Park Geun-Hye and Xi Jinping. Given the nature of politics in each nation, and the potential optics of one government facing its own after 'capitulating' or acceding to another nation's will, these issues will likely remain unresolved going forward.

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Posted in: No. of suicides in 2013 falls below 30,000 for second straight year See in context

The downward trend is good to see, however that is still far too much lost potential in all of those lives gone; every one of them counted in someone's life, somewhere along the line. It still remains a failing of society and the social structure that people feel there is no other solution, that there is no hope in this life. I cannot imagine they found their peace, but I can understand.

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Posted in: Missing 12-year-old girl turns up in restaurant car park See in context

It's really nice to read good news like this and the other missing girl case for once, instead of the sad stories that show up far more often.

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Posted in: Parents return with ashes of honeymooner son murdered in Ecuador See in context

They had a quarrel and rightly so -- maybe they shouldn't have argued but who wouldn't have? So sick of hearing innocents getting ripped off, raped, murdered in these third world dumps, when they're providing income to locals they wouldn't normally receive. My heart goes out to the son's parents and to his wife, what an utterly heartbreaking story.

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Posted in: M5.4 quake jolts Kanto region See in context

It was certainly noticeable in Kichijoji. I'm glad it wasn't more serious, for everyone's sake.

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Posted in: ‘Women only’ train cars: Is it a crime for men to ride in them? See in context

There is little compliance for the women only cars on the Yamanote loop, particularly at Jiyugaoka where I'd usually get on. I didn't see many women getting visibly upset when guys would board -- quite often they were full, like any car, with a fairly even ratio. It's hard to adhere to the rule when, as others have pointed out, the rest of the cars are bursting at the seams.

I don't disagree with the principle and the sentiment at all, but in practice it's not that pragmatic (particularly at peak times).

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Posted in: China less attractive to Japanese firms - but not because of riots See in context

At some point -- maybe not for a long time, but eventually -- all these corporations are going to run out of places to exploit cheap labour to maximize profit margins. Then what will happen? Workers will demand fair and equal payment in accordance with rising standards (and perpetually rising costs) of living, as is their absolute right to do so.

To be frank, alot of this is driven by consumers i.e. you and I, demanding more and more for less, or seeking the cheapest price on literally everything bought and sold. People are unwilling to, and in many cases unable to afford, paying for locally sourced and produced goods. I only understand the nature of the game in its most crude element, so obviously you can't just blame Japanese companies -- but at what point will this give? It's hard to feel much sympathy for predatory businesses that take advantage and invest Iittle into these countries, which seems to be part of the spin in this article.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Noda says China must protect Japanese citizens, companies as protests resume See in context

On a sidenote, China, or better to say the chinese government rather than the people, became interested in the islands only after crude oil and gas has been discovered in the seabed near the islands in the 60s, with the drillings being organised on initiative of Taiwan, which has recently been pushed aside and forgotten in this debate over the islands.

Thank you for making that very salient distinction, Faulknen. All this sabre rattling and verbal skirmishing is to whip up a furor in the public when frankly, relatively few benefits will trickle down to the average citizen. The profits will sink into some multinational / public ministry's pockets, with little tangible benefit to the common man or woman. If people are going to debate this intelligently, it would be good to be mindful that's it's governments we are talking about here -- no need to be senseless and treat another human being like garbage just because they happen to be Japanese, Chinese, Korean... that is completely irrational.

Nationals from each respective country need to understand this -- but as with most things involving human society in general, I don't think we can hold our collective breath on that one.

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Posted in: Woman, daughter attacked by man with scissors on Aichi street See in context

Or perhaps he's just been laid off from work or the kid he put through uni can't find a job?! Why jump and assume he hates women?! The guy has issues indeed but we don't know what or why.

Whatever the case may be, tmarie, there is still no justification for projecting his anger onto innocent people.

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Posted in: Sketches See in context

Amen, Serrano. It's not only older people who are outside sketching, though they seem to have more free time naturally -- I've plenty of younger illustrator and designer friends who have their sketchbooks wherever they go, ready at hand. Maybe one of us has even sketched some of you, unbeknowst to either party!

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Posted in: Thousands rally for Fukushima compensation, decontamination See in context

Let me assume your loved ones are safe, your career is intact and you have your home to return to at night. How can you say you are 'suffering'? People have lost more than homes, you do realize that. Parents, children, siblings, husbands and wives...let alone jobs / livelihood. No one said you aren't affected -- but could you honestly brook this argument to someone who has lost so much more than you, and not feel like a fool? Is the mental anguish of your tortured existence so terrible to bear?

We hold very, very different perspectives on burden in life.

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Posted in: Thousands rally for Fukushima compensation, decontamination See in context

I do wish the good people of Fukushima and all of us who have been hurt by the stupidity and greed of TEPCO will one day have JUSTICE!!!

To equate the 'infringements' to your life in Tokyo proper with what many people in Tohoku have had to lose and endure is completely insulting to them. Please stop with your reactionary, over the top commentary, really. Unbelievable.

Zichi, it will indeed be incredibly difficult to return to that point. The complexities of deciding compensation packages along with pushing forward the rebuild are not tasks this government appear up for -- as with most things government-related, anger at the slow moving, corrupt bureaucratic process is boiling over. May all the useless politicians reap what they sow.

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Posted in: Japan to offer 10,000 free trips to foreigners to boost tourism industry See in context

As Japan strives to recover the lost tourist $$, there are still many, many people in Tohoku struggling to carry on with life. While I understand the intentions of the government and sympathize, I reserve my greatest empathy for those in the northeast, who carry on quietly under tremendous burdens. This is not, unfortunately, a smart way of utilizing the tax dollars of the public -- no matter how much good will it may generate.

Perhaps when people arrive on their own, they can be offered subsidized tours and multilingual guides, packages to see and experience the best of the culture, but the financial outlay in offering return airfare for 10000 people is just too high -- particularly in light of the struggles of everyday citizens affected by the March disaster, or those afflicted by the poor economic climate. Maybe they're hoping to offer the bulk of these packages to their Asian neighbours, which would be cheaper than flying them over in droves from farther locales? There must be a better way to use this money...

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Posted in: Hammer lock See in context

Kind of refreshing to see the girls comment for once, or at least have something to comment on, rather than the usual pandering you see from the males here on the Japanese female models / idols / talento -- and I say that as a guy! Congratulations Murofushi-san!

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Posted in: Woman jumps in front of express train; body propelled into station See in context

Another sad and quiet tragedy unfolds. I'm glad to see some compassion being expressed; who knows what unspoken burdens people carry around. I like Cleo's comment about those contemplating suicide, taking time to get their affairs in order and as a ancillary benefit, truly sitting down to evaluate and think. A very great part of the problem though, is that people simply withdraw, something very easy to do in society nowadays. You can reach out and feel 'connected' to the world and to people via the myriad social streams available, but that doesn't feel to me like real engagement. A smile or even some expressed concern, verbal or not, can go a long ways to helping ease someone's state of mind and break down barriers; at the very least, it will provide a brief reprieve for a troubled soul. I hope people here look around with a bit more empathy; remember your own humanity, and reach out.

I am so sorry for this poor soul and the people affected, particularly the poor driver who had to witness this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: It's critical that the distribution process on the part of the Red Cross and local governments be not only speedy, but also transparent. See in context

Amen, and I am glad this is coming from someone who worked inside an NGO and obviously has some idea of the structure and distribution channels. This money could be going directly to building new homes for the people in Tohoku, help them reclaim, salvage and rebuild some part of their lives when they have lost so very much. Get on it, you bloody self-serving bureaucrats and NGO hypocrites...

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Posted in: Ishihara adamant on manga censorship ordinance See in context

Anyways, while I can't say I have seen anyone openly reading the kind of manga this ordinance purports to ban, I remain leery about heavy handed government involvement in certain aspects; it's a pretty complex issue on the whole, that touches on problems larger than what it seems on the surface -- privacy, enforcement, freedom of expression etc. Agreed that the content of some manga are blatant in their appeal to the lowest common denominator though; puerile at the very least and far beyond disgusting in extreme cases.

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Posted in: March 11 quake freed hundreds of years of strain See in context

I still am stunned by that 30000~ of deaths, so many lives gone...I realize it's not the focus of the article but to me it remains a very sad and humbling note. Certainly an interesting study, and we can only hope contingencies will be made and planned for any future catastrophies (not really holding my breath on that one though).

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Posted in: Are people hired based on their looks? See in context

It is extremely ironic to see some people here talking disparagingly about this, when they leave crude commentary on other articles with pictures (or sometimes, with no pictures...which they complain about...), mostly of young women. Amazing to behold the hypocrisy, really.

This happens to some extent all over the world, in every segment of society. Yes, in Asian countries it seems far more magnified, but don't tell me it doesn't happen in your own home countries either. I don't agree with it, but that's life.

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Posted in: Is Internet sex cheating? See in context

If you already participate in activity like this, then it's not too far a leap in logic to assume there's greater potential for it to happen in real life. I'm with the 'prudes' on this one -- if you love her, why would you ever engage in this stuff and hurt her so? Naturally that goes for the girls doing this to the guys as well. How would it feel if your partner did this to you?

The important question is why are people even together then, if they simply want to play around. Why waste one another's time? It is hard enough trying to find kind, honest, decent people to date. If you want to play the field, play the field. A committment is exactly that.

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Posted in: Cotton See in context

I'm not normally one to comment like this, but what a classy, elegant look on a beautiful woman. Watanabe-san looks handsome as well, for the girls. These "best ...ist" awards are rather silly but these two look great.

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Posted in: Chiba cop arrested for allegedly groping woman on train See in context

I just don't understand how you can stand there and not do something, even if it's 'troublesome' or lands you in some hot water. Sometimes you need to do the right thing, regardless of outcome. What is the matter with some of you? It's not about trying to be a hero -- it is simply doing the right thing, out of a sense of duty to your own intrinsic values. Again, I need to ask -- if this was your friend, your sister, your wife, your daughter...how are you going to justify simply standing by and not speaking up or calling attention to such despicable actions, at the very least? How would it feel to know that not one soul, male or female, helped them stand up to a lowlife like this?

That being said, women in such situations need to stand up for themselves. Your terrified silence implies complicity, at least to the convoluted perceptions of guys like this. Do not let yourself be a victim.

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Posted in: Taking it easy See in context

What a sad state of affairs to see fellow humans in clear need, and then having self-righteous middle class twits "tut-tut" them from the comfort of their ivory towers. Thank you for the lovely and well articulated post Multipath, I admire your heart and spirit of compassion very much.

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Posted in: Slimmed-down comic sings praises of tofu & natto based diet See in context

Three months later and I haven't lost an ounce. (I eat a fair amount of tofu, too). Back to the drawing board!! But nothing will convince me to go the natto route, sorry...

If you can sk4ek, try reducing your caloric intake (if you're able to measure it reasonably accurately) and portion size. It's good that you've switched off from a carb-loaded breakfast as well, try to implement that throughout your entire diet. It might be quite an adjustment initially but once you get used to smaller portions and lowered calorie counts, you will notice yourself dropping pounds. Couple that with an exercise regimen of some sort, and be sure to stick with it! Good luck mate.

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Posted in: Anti-China protest See in context

I have to agree with other posters here, it is a sad spectacle to see children being paraded around as part of some agenda, whatever agenda it happens to be.

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Posted in: Japan's young generation pursues stability over promotion See in context

Why, why should i put effort into making the rich more richer? I'll never see a reward for my hard work. It's just plain ridiculous. That said, it's my opinion for the moment. I hope it'll be able to change for a better one in the future.

This is why you should pursue the things in your heart. If you're going to be relegated to the ranks of the working poor, or just making ends meet anyways, regardless of the job, then why not work at something you have great interest, desire, and aptitude in? The problem seems to be that very few people actually know what they really want out of a career, once you get beyond the superficialities of money making and security / stability. Honestly, how many people get genuine satisfaction from their jobs, that isn't tied to money or power? How many would do the same job for free or for a much lower wage?

I don't think it's a bad thing, necessarily, that the younger Japanese are taking a different view than their predecessors -- that being said, you need innovators and risk takers to push the boundaries outwards in all aspects, or society will not grow.

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Posted in: What makes Japanese women say, 'I never want to see that jerk again!' See in context

It should be about who they are rather than what they are i.e. pay the most attention to their character and soul, rather than what you see or idealize them being -- their race, their occupation, etc. Youth and beauty fade in time, just remember that -- and as always, the romantic in me genuinely wishes you all luck in your pursuit = ) (although some of you are a bit too cynical at this stage, which is unfortunate!).

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Posted in: With succession set, N Korea throws a party See in context

Freak show. Why does China prop them up?

Because a reunification of North and South Korea would bring the US (via their South Korean alliances) right to the doorstep of China, and all the complications that come with such a thing (again, from China's perspective). It's simple self-interest that they prop up the NK puppet masters.

I couldn't agree with you more!! Let them stand on their own!!

Except what will happen, as has happened before, is the general populace (North Korean versions of you and I -- albeit heavily indoctrinated), end up suffering while the political elite remain well fed and esconced in their ivory towers. All the while, the NK propaganda machine demonizes the outside world and channels the anger of the people away from where the true responsibility lies. Your simple answers are not so satisfactory for a more complex situation, now are they?

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