smartacus comments

Posted in: Australia considering safe haven offer to Hong Kong residents See in context

I don't see how this could work in Australia or the UK, which has offered to take up to 3 million. For a start, Australia has said it won't open its borders until next year. Second, what jobs will these new arrivals have? Australia has 7% unemployment due to the coronavirus and it will probably go up. Third, where will the new arrivals live? Australia's three largest cities are overpopulated and the government has been trying to encourage its immigrant new arrivals to settle in the countryside. But any educated citizens from Hong Kong will want to be in the big cities. Also, climate change and depopulation are decimating the Australian countryside. Furthermore, and sadly, there is an undercurrent of racism in Australian society. So, many new arrivals from Hong Kong will not be met with open arms. I have already read someone make a ridiculous comment such as "Great, it will more good Chinese restaurants."

As for Britain, with its unemployment, how is it going to resettle 3 million people, ensuring jobs and accommodation for them.

In my opinion, if given a choice, I think most Hong Kong citizens who want to leave, would prefer Taiwan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Woman found dead on balcony with scissors in her head died of heatstroke See in context

kyushubill

The surveillance camera footage didn't show anyone else on the balcony when she fell.

It's unusual but not impossible. The way I figure it, she was carrying the scissors in her right hand when she collapsed from heatstroke, probably falling to her knees and then onto her right side, with her head coming into contact with the scissors in her hand. Then, fatally injured, she could have rolled over to the left and ended up face down.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Episode of UK sitcom 'Fawlty Towers' pulled over racist slurs See in context

Just as long as they don't touch the episode "Waldorf Salad."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand city removes statue of its 'murderous' namesake See in context

This is all happening so fast around the world that it's like a shark attack frenzy. What brought it on so suddenly? Why not last year or 10 years ago? Is it really because of the Black Lives Matter movement? Curious.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Gone with the Wind' removed from HBO Max after racism protests See in context

It's an overreaction, I think. As far I can tell, the film isn't really about slavery. Anyway, films react the attitudes of their era.

Which movie will be targeted next? Breakfast at Tiffany's because of Mickey Rooney's stereotyped portrayal of a buck-toothed Japanese man? Now that really was offensive, even in the 1960s when it was made. At least on the DVD, there was a documentary on that very subject.

If Gone With the Wind is rereleased on DVD, I'd like to see a similar documentary in the extra material.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you think the closure of a bookstore or a newspaper's print version is a sad thing? See in context

Yes, I love reading books and the smell of a brand new book. You can relax in bed with a good book; less so with Kindle. You can read bedtime stories to your young children with books; hardly the same experience with an e-reader.

And losing a newspaper is absolutely a sad thing, I'll repost something I posted last week on another thread.

The death of a newspaper is always a sad thing, especially if it has a 100-year history or more. Even more so in regional communities. I grew up in regional Australia and the morning paper was part of our lifestyle. Mum and dad would read it in the morning before breakfast and I'd read it after school. They had evening editions in those days. Loved the comics and also the weekend editions which were thicker than usual. You could spend an hour or two on the sofa reading the paper.

Regional papers were always good for the local news which the big city papers rarely publish.

Going digital won't be popular with elderly people. It won't be the same for them.

A newspaper is more than just pages. It represents something in a way a digital version cannot. I always remember a scene from an old Humphrey Bogart movie, "Deadline USA," where he is the editor of a paper, called The Day, which is about to sold and put out of business. An old lady comes in and wants to tell the editor about a murder. When Bogart asks her why she didn't go to the police, she tells him she doesn't know the police. She knows The Day, she has read it for 50 years since emigrating to the U.S. and it helped her to learn English.

That is the importance of newspapers (or at least it used to be).

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand says coronavirus eliminated and life can resume without restrictions See in context

New Zealand did a good job, no doubt about it, but it is unrealistic to say other countries should have followed the same model. Each country has to deal with the pandemic in its own way. Different cultures react in different ways.

New Zealand has a population of only about 5 million, roughly the same as Yokohama. So you can see what a massive difference the size of a population makes.

Also, New Zealanders went along with the strict lockdown, whereas many Americans did not. Remember the armed protesters in Michigan.

For New Zealand the real battle now begins, restoring its economy and sooner or later, opening its borders.

Good luck.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan may re-open borders to travelers from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, NZ See in context

Unfortunately, I don't see how this can work. I really wanted to go to Australia for a holiday this year but the Australian government has said it has no plans to open its international borders to flights from anywhere except New Zealand in the near future.

On the hand, if countries are waiting for a vaccine before allowing international flights, they might as well kiss the airline and tourism industries goodbye.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Posted in: Blue Impulse jets fly over Tokyo to salute medical workers See in context

I thought it was a nice gesture myself. Those of you criticizing the flyover didn't understand the purpose of it. Of course, medical workers should be paid more but right now at this point in time, they are doing their best to save lives and just wish not to be harassed or prejudiced against. A gesture like this is important to them.

I believe there is also an applause for medical workers by municipal governments at the same time each day in several prefectures.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: News Corp to stop printing more than 100 Australian regional papers See in context

The death of a newspaper is always a sad thing, especially if it has a 100-year history or more. Even more so in regional communities. I grew up in regional Australia and the morning paper was part of our lifestyle. Mum and dad would read it in the morning before breakfast and I'd read it after school. They had evening editions in those days. Loved the comics and also the weekend editions which were thicker than usual. You could spend an hour or two on the sofa reading the paper.

Regional papers were always good for the local news which the big city papers rarely publish.

Going digital won't be popular with elderly people. It won't be the same for them.

A newspaper is more than just pages. It represents something in a way a digital version cannot. I always remember a scene from an old Humphrey Bogart movie, "Deadline USA," where he is the editor of a paper, called The Day, which is about to sold and put out of business. An old lady comes in and wants to tell the editor about a murder. When Bogart asks her why she didn't go to the police, she tells him she doesn't know the police. She knows The Day, she has read it for 50 years since emigrating to the U.S. and it helped her to learn English.

That is the importance of newspapers (or at least it used to be).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA to require all passengers to wear face masks aboard aircraft from June See in context

Every story I have read on the subject of wearing masks on planes, including this one, say the chance of viral transmission is low. If masks are mandatory, as well as some or all of the other measures being talked about are implemented by airlines, air travel is going to become a big headache. I wouldn't be surprised if some airlines get rid of economy class and just have business and first class in order to be profitable. That's what commercial airlines did when the industry was born. Wouldn't it be ironic if the industry returned to its origins? But doing that today would kill the tourism industry in most countries.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: On duty at Japan's 'last-chance' hospital for coronavirus See in context

Vince Black

Why don't you send a message of support to the hospital staff by email? They would appreciate it. These health care workers are on the front lines every day in every country. There is nothing overly dramatic about telling their story. It is probably underdramatic, considering how much suffering and death they see in their work.

Health care workers in Japan and all over the world are heroes and I thank you for your efforts.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Posted in: U.S. arrests ex-Green Beret, son on charges of smuggling Ghosn out of Japan See in context

Well, I hope Ghosn paid them enough because they are through in their line of business. If they get extradited to Japan, wouldn't it be ironic if they both end up in the same detention center where Ghosn was?

I wonder how Ghosn feels about all these people going down so he could live in exile in Lebanon. The pilots and cabin attendants of his escape plane and now these two guys. I bet they thought they were being so clever when they were working out their plan.

And let's not forget Greg Kelly.

None of this should have been necessary. It should have all been handled internally by Nissan. If they thought Ghosn was doing something shady, they could have removed him from the board.

I imagine Ghosn is probably getting a little nervous. Lebanon won't extradite him but that Interpol red notice is stapled to his name forever, so he isn't going anywhere. Not to mention that Lebanon is politically and financially unstable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Has Japan dodged the coronavirus bullet? See in context

Larr Flint

You sound disappointed. You could at least say you hope things won't get worse.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Foreigners with stays until July again given extra 3 months to renew visas See in context

It's good that they are doing this but there will be another logjam in three months' time. And what about all the people whose visas are up for renewal in August or September? When should they go? My own visa expires in October? Maybe I should set up a tent and camp outside the building the night before I go.

I just don't understand why people in Tokyo can't file their applications for extensions at their ward office. The ward office then sends the application to the Shinagawa central office. And after a few weeks, if there are no problems, they mail you the postcard telling you to come and get your visa at the ward office. That would be so much easier.

I remember in the early 1990s, I used to go to TCAT at Hakozaki. Immigration had an office there where you can apply to extend your visa. I used to go there all the time. You'd be in and out in 10 minutes. Then in 2003, they brought everything together in that Shinagawa building with long waits, everybody short-tempered and overcrowded conditions.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Online booksellers struggling to meet demand from readers See in context

Takuma7

I still enjoy reading hard copies of books. I have a shelves of books I bought since the 1970s. It's fun browsing through them from time to time. The touch and feel of a book (like the covers of vinyl records) cannot be replicated online. I used to be a member of Book of the Month Club and always looked forward to my monthly book.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: IATA does not support social distancing on aircraft See in context

Airlines could not be profitable if they had to have an empty seat beside each passenger in economy class. Also, it's not practical for families with young children. But if they do keep seats vacant, the result will be increased airfares for economy class. Their only alternative is to make the entire cabin business and first class, which would kill the tourist trade to many countries.

I don't know about anyone else but I'm starting to detest the phrase social distancing.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Posted in: When you look at Facebook, do you sometimes get the feeling that everyone else has a more interesting life than you? See in context

Actually, when I see my "friends" posting photos of their dinner, I tend to think they are leading very mundane lives, if they believe that is of interest to others. I think people who lead truly exceptional and interesting lives (however you wish to define it) are too busy to post on Facebook, Twiiter, Instagram, etc, (and Japan Today discussion board, too) anyway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Madonna says she had COVID-19 See in context

I see a lot of hate towards Madonna here. When Tom Hanks and his wife had coronavirus, everybody was wishing them well. Why so much spite for Madonna?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Carnival to resume cruises in summer when virus order ends See in context

As hard as it is to imagine now, cruises will always be popular. In fact, my brother and his wife are booked to go on a cruise to Alaska in September 2021. I have a friend who works for a cruise ship company's Tokyo office and she told me that cruises are booked out at least two years in advance. That's the norm for the industry. I have no doubt that the Diamond Princess, possibly with a new name, will be cruising again by the end of next year, as will the Ruby Princess that caused all the trouble in Sydney, and that one in Nagasaki, too. In fact, probably two or three years from now, nobody will even remember the names of those ships.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think the coronavirus will change the way people work, shop and socialize in the future? See in context

One thing I am tired of hearing is the expression "new normal." I prefer "back to normal." As I said above, expecting people to do social distancing after the pandemic has passed is not practical. Can you imagine going into your favorite sushi bar or yakitoriya and having an empty seat on either side of you? Or taking your date to the movies and having to seat with one seat between you? The government guidelines even suggested that people not talk to each other on trains.

Shaking hands is a hard habit to break in Western countries. If someone offers you their hand, what are you going to say? "Sorry, I don't shake hands for hygiene reasons." What happens of you meet and greet a friend with a hug? Does that custom disappear? I doubt it.

And airlines are not going to sell fewer tickets so passengers have an empty seat beside them.

I'm all for these measures now and for the next few months until the pandemic is contained but I just don't see them becoming the "new normal."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: I had such high expectations for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and never imagined I would be in such a bind. See in context

I think I saw the story about him on NHK. It looked like a really nice restaurant with excellent food and loyal customers. It's so sad to see these kinds of businesses fold, especially when he said he had lost his motivation. I'm sure it is not the way he would have wanted to retire.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think the coronavirus will change the way people work, shop and socialize in the future? See in context

I think after a few months things will go back to as they were. Teleworking is not for everyone. I don't like it at all and much prefer being in the office, interacting with colleagues and clients. I'll still do some shopping online as I did before but I won't go to stores any less. And as for socializing, social distancing is not natural. Of course, everyone will resume going to big gatherings such as concerts, sporting events, conferences, festivals, church events, movies, etc. And we'll shake hands and hug each other.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Posted in: Pompeo says 'enormous evidence' virus came from Wuhan lab See in context

China may become the focal point of the U.S. presidential election. NHK had an interesting story on it last night. The Trump campaign is painting Biden as not being tough on China, with TV commercials already being aired, calling "Beijing Biden" a friend of China for 40 years.

On the other hand, Trump is blaming China daily for the coronavirus and a lot of other things. The hope is that voters will prefer him so he can get tougher on China for the pandemic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike calls for state of emergency to be extended nationwide See in context

A couple of things I don't understand about tests and the daily numbers that are reported. It says in the story there were 47 new cases reported today. but are those people who were tested today and the results already came back? Or are they people who were tested a few days ago and the results just came back today?

Another thing I don't understand is what if I get tested and the result is negative. I could still be infected by someone after taking the test, couldn't I?

By the way, shouldn't every person sitting there be tested?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike calls for state of emergency to be extended nationwide See in context

That photo is unbelievable. How can people sit like that this far into the pandemic? I'm surprised the police didn't show up and ask them to disperse.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Posted in: If you receive 100,000 yen from the Japanese government, what are you planning to spend it on? See in context

I'll use it to support small local businesses in my neighborhood such as a yakitoriya, cafes, clothes repair shop, stationery store, places like that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Flight reservations for Golden Week holidays dive more than 90% See in context

It's surprising there are 12,674 international flight reservations. I wonder which countries are still accepting flights from and to Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka names pachinko parlors defying closure request despite pandemic See in context

I wonder if the governor is legally allowed to order their electricity shut off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: The Japanese government is encouraging online clinical examinations and diagnoses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus inside hospitals. In general, what is your opinion of telemedicine? See in context

I haven't tried telemedicine, so I can't say. Maybe for getting a prescription sent to me, it might be OK, but otherwise, I don't see the point. If I feel sick, I'd rather be examined or have tests done. Just telling a doctor online that I'm in pain here, there or wherever is hardly satisfactory. Chances are the doctor would say I'd need a blood test, X-ray, MRI or whatever to determine what the problem is. So I still end up going to a hospital or clinic.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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