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Shiyourn comments

Posted in: Japan needs foster care rather than institutions: UK experts See in context

My wife and I have just completed the training and registration process to adopt or become foster parents here in Japan. We went through the prefectural government.

The training was fairly extensive and there were roughly 40 or so couples in attendance hoping to register. I was the only non-Japanese present.

The registration process took about a year in total from when we first contacted the local child welfare centre to the final seminar which was in January (we'll know whether we've been accepted in mid-March).

We had 5 all day seminars to attend, separate interviews to learn about our backgrounds and motivation, as well as a full day at a foster care home. We also had to have a police background check, a financial check, and a health check. After each seminar we had to write reports in Japanese on the content of the seminars.

It was hard work but well worth it.

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Posted in: Toyota chief's U.S. testimony closely watched in Japan See in context

The woman who testified said that "after 6 miles God intervened". Surely he could have intervened earlier! What a &%$#

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Posted in: 3 pedestrians killed by car in Nagoya; driver, passengers flee See in context

According to the Chunichi they were probably Brazilian

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/s/article/2010020190094233.html

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Posted in: Awa Dance See in context

I used to live in Tokushima.

The Awa Odori is the best festival I have ever been to anywhere in the world. It's simply awesome.

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Posted in: Robot teacher See in context

That school has a Mac! An old one yes, but still...

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Posted in: Aso cabinet See in context

What an awful photo.

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Posted in: The two-wheel revolution See in context

I agree about cycling on the road being safer. I can't see cycle lanes being of much use for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that pedestrians will use them more, or high school students will choose to cycle down them, 4 bikes wide, while sending emails on their mobiles or listening to teeny-crap on their iPods thereby slowing everyone else down. In my local city they built a nice wide cycle lane that goes straight through the centre of the city for about 5 or 6 kilometres. It would be perfect except for the fact that it runs parallel to the busiest road with the most polluted air in the area. Unless you want your lungs filled with gunk it's best avoided.

But I cycle nearly everywhere on either my MTB or road bike over very long distances and nearly always use the road. If you make yourself visible to drivers, cycle with confidence, and obey the rules you'll be fine. A rear light is also very important. I can't understand why it's not the law to have one here. They are far more important than a front light if you are on the road where you legally should be.

Furthermore, as a cyclist if you have an accident while on the road you'll have the law on your side, but if you have an accident while on pavement the pedestrian will get the protection and the cyclist will probably end up in trouble.

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