Japan Today

sighclops comments

Posted in: The key to loving Japanese TV if you're a foreigner See in context

I've read through the comments & largely agree with what people are saying - especially choiwaruoyaji's comment about Japanese TV becoming increasingly nationalistic. It's not just the TV, it's the nation as a whole!

I'm amazed no one has mentioned the window in the top right corner of the screen of the tarento, showing their reactions after each scene. It's as if you're being shown how to react. Wait a minute, ...

After being here for almost a decade, I've concluded that Japanese TV is extremely childish. No investigative journalism, no hard-hitting topics in the news ('news' ie. propaganda), same-old dramas (no adult themes, controversial plots or edgy characters) that seem to be a copy & paste on-the-setting affair (eg. office, hospital, ship, police department... you get the idea).

What I'm trying to say is, the entire country is run by the Old Boys' Club. The media is for their entertainment & thus to their tastes. Very insular & full of outdated stereotypes, very stale 'comedy' (funny if you were born in the 1920s).

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Posted in: Abe's 4th arrow See in context

...in the foot!

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Posted in: China tells Japan to stop interfering in South China Sea See in context

Ummm Nine Dash Line, guys?!

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Posted in: Television coverage of the election was even more lackluster also because the ruling Liberal Democratic Party pulled the wool over the public's eyes on what was truly at stake in the election. We are See in context

Ah well decades of voter apathy & this is what you get. The Japanese public have no one to blame but themselves.

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Posted in: Ultraconservative lobby Nippon Kaigi backs constitution revision See in context

"Ultraconservative" is one way to put it...

It’s time to grow out of Japan’s “silly” postwar goal of becoming an economic power with lightweight military, and seek to restore Japan with more self-respect, traditional family values and principles under the emperor as head of nation,

To quote the Daily Beast:

Nippon Kaigi originally began in the early 1970s from a liberal Shinto group known as Seicho No Ie. In 1974, a splinter section of the group joined forces with Nippon o Mamoru Kai, a State-Shinto revival organization that espoused patriotism and a return to imperial worship. The group in its current state was officially formed in May of 1997, when Nippon o Mamoru Kai and a group of right-leaning intellectuals joined forces. The current cult’s goals: gut Japan’s post-war pacifist constitution, end sexual equality, get rid of foreigners, void pesky “human rights” laws, and return Japan to its Imperial Glory.

Japan’s leading constitutional expert, Setsu Kobayashi, who is also a former member of Nippon Kaigi, says of the group, “They have trouble accepting the reality that Japan lost the war” and that they wish to restore the Meiji era constitution.

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Posted in: Japan ruling bloc election win threatens regional stability, says China's Xinhua See in context

JT, I think it's about time you did a piece on Nippon Kaigi. I just finished reading this and am truly gobsmacked. In essence, Abe & the LDP - with Nippon Kaigi's blessing - are yearning for a return to Imperialism & the Meiji Era.


It all makes sense now.

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Posted in: Ruling bloc wins landslide in upper house election; voter turnout at 54.7% See in context

This just in - 40.5% of Japan's workforce is now made up of part timer & sub-contractor positions. Further down the spiral we go! Thank you Dear Lord!

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Posted in: Players in hunt for Pokemon Go monsters feel real-world pain See in context

Not even available on the Japanese App Store yet wtf

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Posted in: Japan lowers voting age, but are young ready to vote? See in context


They also interviewed a bunch of kids, and their answers were quite good. Many said they wouldn't vote because they didn't have the information to make an informed decision

And why do you supposed that is? See, this is the point. The root of the problem. I'm afraid that bullfighter & yourself cannot see the forest for the trees. As others have (tirelessly) made the point, the problem isn't about the voting law itself - it's the delivery of information. Japan is something like 54th on the global 'freedom of the press' rankings - falling further down the list with each passing year.

I remember back home having political assignments & class content in primary (elementary) school! Learning the electoral process at the age of 10! In Japan, it's 'go with the crowd' followed by 'shouganaina' year after year after year. People aren't informed because the Old Boys' Club has a vice grip on what makes it to the news - like state media in oppressive regimes. Sorry to say but Japan is doomed. The LDP have utterly destroyed any chance of Japan moving forward in the forseeable future.

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Posted in: Japan lowers voting age, but are young ready to vote? See in context


I'd like to see you demonstrate that the Japanese who have voted for the LDP are more "sheeple" than the people who put George Bush in office or who have put Donald Trump where he is.

You can't even compare the two (being Japan & the US). In fact, comparing the Japanese political climate to the likes of China or Russia would be more accurate. At least in the US there is plenty of debate, critique - and that's just what's covered in the media. The average Joe / Jane is far more in-tune with the policies on both sides and can thus make a more informed choice (yes, I'm aware you used Bush as your example).

The LDP has been in power for eternity, and Abe will inevitably retain power. Unbelievable, yet sadly a reflection of the state of Japanese society. Society only has its collective self to blame. Don't be the nail that sticks up - keep the wa*!

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Posted in: Japan lowers voting age, but are young ready to vote? See in context

The government and political parties are using various strategies to motivate 18-and 19-year-olds to vote, but it remains unclear whether they will — and whether they are prepared to do so. Some experts say they aren’t, at least for this election, citing reasons such as growing up in a society that emphasizes conformity over individuality, few opportunities to learn about and debate the issues and a perception that the opinions of young people are not reflected in policies.

This is the problem. It's not a matter of being 'ready to vote', but a wider problem of how information is delivered & interpreted. To put it simply, the Japanese media is far from 'open', lacking investigative journalism on real issues & what would otherwise be considered as 'healthy debate' in the form of press broadcasts and TV panels. In Japan, your opinion counts for nothing & decades of Old Boys' Club rule have ensured that this will not change for decades to come. Lowering the voting age is utterly pointless in this 'democracy'.

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Posted in: High school student murders 42-year-old woman, dumps body in Ibaraki river See in context

Seems to be a worrying trend in Japan where it's either a nutjob man assaulting / mudering a woman, a mother / father assaulting / murdering their child(ren) or a son / daughter assaulting / murdering their elderly parents. See the pattern? The weaker are almost always the target, especially if it involves a woman or child (as Alistair mentioned above).

Paints a very worrying picture for Japan's future.

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Posted in: Teacher who sat for anthem deserved pay cut: Japan court See in context


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Posted in: Upcoming Japanese video game has its idol singers dying to be the No. 1 vocalist See in context

A snapshot of Galapagos Syndrome

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Posted in: Netflix to boost original series, films in and from Asia See in context

The sad reality is, Netflix will not succeed in Japan for one very simply reason - the jimusho system. This archaic & tightly-controlled industry ensures that Japan will never enter the 21st century. Music, TV, movies - you name it. Any talent that Netflix et al. are hoping to lure in for their original productions will be nigh impossible, as the amount of red tape & middle men agents they'd have to pay off wouldn't make it financially viable, regardless of how much they throw at it. Japan and gaiatsu don't mix.

Look at the streaming music market - basically non-existent here. No Spotify - even after all these years. Why? Because of our beloved jimusho system, of course! Everyone has to get their cut, right? Record companies here will never succumb to the streaming business model because 75% of all music sales in Japan are CDs! Are we in 2016 or 1996? TIJ!

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Posted in: What do you think are the main issues in Sunday's Upper House election? See in context

Let's just say that my list of non-issues would be much, MUCH shorter.

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Posted in: The recent attack (in Bangladesh) might cause misunderstanding about Islam among those who don't know about the religion. I'll work on reaching out to people to explain that those extremists have no r See in context

That old chestnut. The murderers asked the victims to recite parts of the Q'aran before they were butchered in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi fundamentalists have been murdering non-Muslim writers for years. Let's face it, Islam has SERIOUS problems that its Imams need to tackle head-on. Alas, they will sit on their hands so as to not step on the toes of the Islamic world. Around we go.

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Posted in: High school student expelled for having sex, sues school for Y6 million See in context


Japanese schools (especially the "elite" private jhs/hs) have 24-7 jurisdiction over their students. It encompasses "seikatsu-shido" lifestyle guidance (生活指導) which is very wide reaching in terms of rules and punishments covering appearance, dating and much more — very oppressive in an Orwellian sort of way in my opinion.

This is the crux of it.

My first girlfriend went to a private school & we were in a long distance relationship for a number of years. Anyway, I went over to see her as we were both on school holidays. The school 'found out', so I was called into the school (it was closed at the time!!!!!!!!). One of the head teachers told me that I shouldn't have been there (ie. visiting), as fourth term was just around the corner.

You won't believe the next part. So, the school asked me to fly home immediately - a full week before my original flight. As I was only 17 at the time, I was quite intimidated by this & ended up calling my parents. They had to pay for my flight back! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! Let me reiterate, I was there on holiday, during school holidays & miles away from the school.

It's all about reputation in Japan. Just by being in the same town & spending time with a student of theirs, I was seen as a 'threat'. Meaning, a threat to their reputation - as I was harming her preparation for her final term. Un-be-liev-a-ble. A traumatic experience I'll never forget!

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Posted in: Osaka Prefectural Police neglected investigating 2,300 cases, including homicides See in context


Cant get a quick confession, forced or otherwise, then just forget it ever happened. Just the tip of the iceberg. I think the crime rate is way way higher than we are led to believe.

You nailed it. Anything to make the crime rate appear lower than it really is. We all know Osaka is & has always been the worst for crime rates in Japan.

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Posted in: He does make comments that invite misunderstanding. I do think that needs to be pointed out (to him). See in context

Typical ambiguous not-to-step-on-anyone's-toes comment from an Old Boys' Club member to his amakudari chums. New chairman at 71 years of age - ah, Japan! Don't you go changing!

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Posted in: Man murders boss over unfavorable employment conditions  See in context


Should I demand better conditions, file a labor dispute

Neither of which will get you anywhere in Japan I'm afraid :/

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Posted in: Huge Japan pension fund sees worst loss since financial crisis See in context

The news comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fends off accusations that his administration tried to delay the official release of the fund’s results until after parliamentary elections next week.

The decision to release the figures at the end of this month has sparked claims by the opposition Democratic Party that the government is trying to hide the huge loss.


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Posted in: 'Ghostbusters' backlash brings out Internet trolls See in context

The fact of the matter is, it was a reboot that wasn't necessary. Just like the planned all-female cast reboot of Oceans 11. What's the point? You don't make movies like this to make a statement.

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Posted in: The minimum age to vote in Japan has been lowered from 20 to 18 in time for the July 10 Upper House election. What do you think is the best way to encourage 18 to 20-year-olds to vote? See in context

Well certainly putting compulsory 30-second pro-LDP ads in my Youtube videos is one way NOT to go about it. I got two Abe ads (both 30 secs each) in a ten-minute period! What the?!

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Posted in: 17-year-old girl hit by train while using smartphone on platform See in context


I looked in my rearview mirror yesterday afternoon to see everyone in the car behind me looking at their phones, including the front seat passenger, and DRIVER!

Oh, that's nothing. Just last month I was overtaken on the Chuo Expressway buy a shain doing roughly 140km/h WHILE texting on his phone! Literally left hand on the wheel, right hand holding the phone & looking down.

I've basically concluded that the public are treated like children here. Cartoonish mascots on everything aside, spend a day on the trains around Tokyo & it's clear as day - from repeated recordings on escalators (Escalator is in motionI - OH REALLY?!) to thousands of 'gokyoryoku onegaishimasu' messages in that obnoxious 'genki' female voice. P*sses me off more than anything else. Just ridiculous.

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Posted in: Turmoil deepens as Scotland threatens to block Brexit; 11 Labour Party members quit See in context


Many people apparently meant their vote as a protest to express frustration with the EU or hostility towards immigrants. But, they assumed it would never actually pass, so they didn't really think through the consequences of leaving the EU.

I just wish people would come to terms with the fact that those you mention were in fact responsible adults voting in a democratic referendum. It was a close race, but a fair vote. The outcome is what it is! How long will the whinging continue? The voters got what they wanted! Now deal with it, people!

If this is anything to go by, I can only imagine the sh*tstorm that will entail if Trump becomes President.

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Posted in: Asian central banks, policymakers wade in to calm markets after Brexit vote See in context

This needed to happen. The EU is in geopolitical & economical dire straits. Others may soon follow!

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Posted in: Fewer Japanese seek marriage amid worries over income: poll See in context


Without turning this into a tennis match, I'll attempt to highlight your false arguments one more time.

I'm not aware that laws, mandates, rules in Japan are rarely enforced.

Just off the top of my head - Working hours (incl. overtime), price fixing,

Give me a few minutes with Google and I can find examples in the US or UK of almost anyting that is claimed to be Japan specific.

This is irrelevant. Again, Japan has its own unique set of problems - as with every country. It's the trifecta of declining birth rate, ageing population & a prolonged recession. Japan is torn between letting go of tradition & embracing change. That's why nothing every changes here.

You and others probably find my response unusual because you have little experience with Japanese with native level English.

I speak fluent Japanese, having learnt the language for over 20 years. Over the years I have built more connections here than you have hot dinners, my friend. No idea why you would even make that assumption. Screams naivety.

Bekkyo 別居 (legal separation without divorce) is hardly a Japanese peculiarity. I'd like to see it demonstrated that women in Japan lack economic freedom.

Right, let me break it down for you. Japan is by and large a society where a majority of households are single income - for better or for worse. Gender roles are clearly defined, with men typically being the breadwinners & women being the homemakers. This is no generalisation. Japanese society was built on this premise.

Of course, there has been slight changes here with the advent of dual-income households & even stay-at-home fathers, but on the whole very little has changed in 50 years. Unfortunately, this mentality often carries into the workplace, with women often being subject to age, gender & sexual harassment. I've spoken to victims.

So, to give you a 'demonstration', a salaryman may meet a client & go out 'for a night on the town'. End up in a hostess bar & god knows what else. Comes home to his wife & child. Rinse, wash, repeat. A practice which is largely 'accepted' in Japanese culture - knowingly or unknowingly of the wife. This culture does not exist outside Japan.

So, the wife grows increasingly jaded by the day, but her girlfriends can only but sympathise (or empathise!) with her situation. She would desperately like to divorce, but this would mean sacrificing her living arrangements & financial support from her husband. It would also be looked down upon by both sides of the family, as it could damage their family names. Family honour is extremely important in Japan, as you know.

So, tormented, she decides to stay in the household & take up a hobby or two to alleviate her misery. They largely lead separate lives, but stay together for the kids. Often, even 'amicable' marriages see couples sleeping in separate rooms. Again, a Japanese idiosyncrasy. Please do not mistake this for an 'attack' on Japanese culture, I'm just giving you a realistic 'demonstration'. I've been here a long time.

For what it's worth, my family has been through divorce twice, so I know what it's like.

Japanese women have had the vote since 1947. If they feel hard done by the system, they are in a position to change it, and they are fully capable of deciding what they want without the advice of foreign nationals.

There you go again with your 'anti-gaijin' mantra. Where does this stem from, I might ask? Naturally, I'm in no position to give Japanese women advice on anything, regardless of my background OR gender. You're right, it's up to them. This I agree with - but we both know that little has changed since 1947 on both sides of the fence (ie. both genders).

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Posted in: Japanese firms must be relieved at least for the present that the tax hike was delayed. But that doesn't mean they expect it to boost the economy and consumption. They recognize that fiscal consolidat See in context

They recognize that fiscal consolidation is an issue

Whatever that means. Let's face it, it's just an excuse for employers to forgo pay rises as the current situations is one of 'prolonged uncertainty'. Then, when the inevitable consumption tax rise rears its ugly head, employers will again forgo raises wages as the situation will become 'increasingly uncertain'. Japan Inc. - inaction is what we do best!

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Posted in: How widespread do you think doping is in pro sports? Are there any sports that you think are clean? See in context

Everyone is on the gear. Track & field, cycling, swimming - even the tennis. Experts claim that the dopers will always be at the very least 5 years ahead of even the most cutting-edge testing technology. Look how long it took to catch Marion Jones - 10+ years! It's just the sad reality of competitive sport these days.

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