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Posted in: 'A star is born!' Golf-mad Japan salutes 'Smiling Cinderella' See in context

I would also like to know why she is called 'Cinderella'. Was she born in poverty, or was she cruelly misused in her youth?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump tells Abe he is tolerant of N Korea's short-range ballistic missiles See in context

Trump might not be so sanguine if the missiles were flying over New York or San Francisco.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for molesting flight attendant See in context

It's a rather strange request on a plane, or indeed anywhere, for a grown man to ask someone to 'take me to the toilet'. Perhaps he couldn't find any of the numerous toilets at the front/back/middle of the aircraft.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Shibuno on brink of fairytale win in first major See in context

What on earth does her nickname mean? I can understand the 'smiling' part, but what about 'Cinderella'? Does she have three ugly sisters, or must she dress in rags while others go to the ball? Does she play in glass slippers? Someone please enlighten me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Guaido returns to Venezuela and a new phase in campaign See in context

I think Maduro is awful, and has no right to be in power in Venezuela. However I don't understand how Guaido can simply declare himself as leader, simply because he is leader of the opposition party. He hasn't been voted in legitimately either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: About 40% of teens say school sex education is useless: survey See in context

Sex education isn't for those who already know, presumably the 40% who thought it was useless. It's for the 60% who are still unsure about some things and get useful information from the classes. The internet is hardly a good source. Either it's some god-awful porn site which distorts male female relations or it's social media with the usual bullshitters and nutters who think they know, but have got it all wrong. If you don't know, it's hard to judge what's reliable or not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Miss Philippines named Miss Universe See in context

Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work.

This is a beauty contest. If you're not beautiful it doesn't matter how hard you work, you're not going to win.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Crown princess, on 55th birthday, says she is 'insecure' but vows to do her best as empress See in context

I wish they'd give more precise information about Masako's condition. Is it something like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome? I know we need to respect someone's privacy, but it might encourage other people with whatever condition she has if they know that someone so high profile is also suffering.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump on Manafort pardon: 'I wouldn't take it off the table' See in context

In the so-called 'World' news section of this paper every item is about Trump. I think the man is awful, but there's a lot more going on in the world and not everyone is American.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Garden party See in context

I'm fully supportive of Princess Masako, but I wish they'd be more precise about what's wrong with her, rather than a 'stress-induced illness'. She's entitled to some privacy, of course, but it might encourage others with the same condition to know that such a high-profile person shares their problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Jimmy Page looks back at 50 years of Led Zeppelin See in context

I once met Robert Plant in Dingwalls in London. This was around 1974. I went to the bar to buy drinks for the group of people I was with and he was standing next to me. Thinking he looked familiar, but unable to place where I knew him from I did what we all do in such situations - I asked a vague question. The following conversation ensued:

Me: How are you getting on? How's the job?

Robert Plant: Not bad, just the same old thing. How are you?

Me: Not so bad. (Drinks arrive.) Well. take care of yourself.

Robert Plant: You, too, mate.

I went back to my group of friends. They were really excited. My god, you spoke to Robert Plant! I felt really stupid. I suppose for him being an international rock star was 'just the same old thing'. I must say he was very nice, given what a prat I was.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: British woman sues Japanese university over power harassment See in context


I wish that she could get all these things, but she won't. The case will drag on for years and during that time she will be subject to slurs and rumours. She will be ostracised by most of her colleagues. Even if she wins there will be no admission of wrongdoing and certainly no apology. Any financial settlement will remain unpaid. Every effort will be made to dismiss her for some completely spurious reason.

How do I know this? Because that's been the experience of any foreigner who has followed this route before.

She is a brave woman and has my total respect.

15 ( +26 / -11 )

Posted in: Rock band Kiss promises 'unapologetic' final tour See in context

I think Kiss should apologise, not only for this tour, but for their entire recording and performing history.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Toray talent See in context

I wondered what had happened to my granny's underpants.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Imperial family members, Abe attend wedding banquet See in context

I'm shocked to see that the posts expressing positive sentiments about the couple have been voted down. I think that instead of the princess losing her royal title (unbelievable that such a thing should happen in our modern society), the husband should have been granted a title instead. The photograph is lovely and seems to affirm my belief that somehow royals just have that something extra in their DNA which makes them glow. You'd be hard-pressed to find a woman more beautiful than Ayako, radiant in the photo on her wedding day!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: London Heathrow begins world’s largest biometrics roll-out See in context


Having returned to the UK after living in Japan I agree that customer service here is terrible, not just in Heathrow but nationwide. I don't think your treatment was based on race. I'm white British and find things just as bad. The influx of young EU citizens has improved service, but, unfortunately, that may come to an end as they all go home after Brexit. Many have already left because of the uncertainty of their situation here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Princess Ayako marries in ritual-filled ceremony at Meiji Shrine See in context

Frankly, I think it's a sad day when expressing admiration for royalty is derided. Online bullying at it worst.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Posted in: Why one American started an all-foreigner idol group in Japan See in context

Vince Black

I actually auditioned for this group. Although he said he liked my tight trousers, I was rejected for being too fat. Or too faaat should I say.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Princess Ayako marries in ritual-filled ceremony at Meiji Shrine See in context

I can't express adequately my joy at this marriage. As a great admirer of the British royal family, it's my belief that us commoners don't appreciate the selfless devotion and hard work of royalty. No doubt the Princess (although some people say she should be stripped of her title for not marrying within the family) will work hard for the nation. Many people don't realise that Prince Charles in the UK works for three months of the year on official duties. Such a burden must be intolerable - but does he complain? No!

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Posted in: Princess Ayako to retain honorary positions after marriage See in context

I think it's disgraceful that commoners are allowed to hold positions reserved for royalty. I'm very upset.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Miss International Japan See in context

These beauty pageants are a disgrace: degrading to women and promoting the objectification of one sector of society for the gratification of men. On the other hand, I really fancy the girl second from left.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Irish singer Sinead O'Connor converts to Islam See in context

Surely Daniel O'Donnell and Val Doonican are Ireland's greatest musical exports!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Living the dream: Three British brands meet for mission to crack Japan See in context

I always drink Johnnie Walker when driving my Aston Martin. There's nothing worse than having a high-speed crash when you're sober.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan grants cryptocurrency industry self-regulatory status See in context

Self policing has certainly worked very well in the regular financial a minute...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Robot station security guard unveiled to media ahead of Tokyo Olympics See in context

I'll have to be careful not to wave my hands when I speak: Foreigner moving his arms - danger!! Every Italian tourist will be spending a lot of time sprawled on the floor after being attacked by a huge metal wine bottle.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Posted in: Showa University medical school admits rigging entrance exam scores See in context

It's common knowledge amongst Japanese people that children of medical school alumni are given preference, so I don't know why there's any surprise about this. According to one group of medical students I taught this rigging goes on even at the level of the national exams for doctors. They were clever, hardworking and pleasant people, but were lamenting the fact that certain other students could pass with very little effort on their part. This is why I was often advised by Japanese friends and neighbours to avoid certain clinics for treatment: 'The father's very good, but he's retiring and the son is taking over. He's useless.' The original clinic owner is usually a wealthy and powerful figure in the community who has many connections. One particularly obnoxious student who I taught was part of a medical 'dynasty'. He did nothing in school (when he came) and he stated directly that they wouldn't dare fail him. I thought this was just some twisted bravado, but it was confirmed to me informally by other professors.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: From 'problem child' to 'prodigy' -- LSD turns 75 See in context

I wonder if Japanese people would benefit from this drug. It would probably have to be mixed in with some pleasant drink to make it palatable, fruit soda or something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Legendary Chicago blues guitarist Otis Rush dies at 84 See in context


My thoughts and feelings exactly. There are almost none of the classic bluesmen alive today, but their music lives on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Odd man out See in context

Perhaps he needed some photocopying done.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Dylan to release lost recordings from classic album See in context

I love Blood on the Tracks and was really excited when I was given a bootleg of the early recordings. However, I found them really lifeless and without the energy of the released versions. It actually raised Dylan even further in my estimation as he realised he could do better and wasn't afraid to re-record the songs, in spite of the fact that the early versions were ready to go into the shops.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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