Stewart comments

Posted in: 1st case of unlicensed private lodging sent to prosecutors See in context

"My airbnb was closed down. Totally safe and renovated. My life savings in lingo. To reopen I have to fill in a million forms and pay ¥200000. As I only work part time it going to be next year." No you don't - we did it and both of us work full time - 7 forms and we got it done before the deadline so we could continue to operate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: University in Kyoto offers free tuition to anyone over 100 years of age; more than half off if over 50 See in context

"All one really needs to prepare for university is to read and write essay!" And you think that Japanese high school kids can do that, do you?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Bomb threat forces Aoyama Gakuin Univ to call off Monday's classes See in context

When I was living in Birmingham (UK) in the 1990s, a station manager told me they averaged a bomb threat every 10 minutes - and they did not evacuate.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Oblivious Chinese tourists wander back into Naha airport’s departure area, causing chaos See in context

Agreed - if three young tourists can simply wander unchallenged into areas they should not have been in - the airport security needs investigating.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: 'Englishisation' - Is it working? See in context

Yes - I believe STEP Eiken estimate they need to recruit about 22,000 examiners for this purpose - Aoyama, Sophia and Rikkyo Universities are starting this system soon - Google TEAP test with STEP Eiken

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Englishisation' - Is it working? See in context

The biggest shake up will come from introducing a speaking test in the Centre Test for national university entry. Then every high school in Japan will have speaking courses - until then nothing will change and MEXT can go whistle in the wind.

22 ( +22 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo police ask cyclists to exercise caution See in context

Well, it is a start I guess. When I was a kid we had to pass a cycling proficiency test to be allowed to cycle to school - no test paper - no bike parking in the school. The short course and test was done by the police.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Toyama man awarded damages after being cleared of rape charges See in context

23 days police detention with hours of unbroken questioning without access to a lawyer is the root of this supported by courts that will swallow any confession without question. The compensation is not much but I believe that such awards in Japan do not tend to be generous - if so it is nothing peculiar to this case.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Don’t want to pay your NHK TV license fee? Beat Takeshi agrees with you See in context

Abolish the fee and fully privatise the NHK - the current arrangement is an anachronism.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Posted in: Amnesty Int'l criticizes Japan in 2014/15 human rights report See in context

CH3CHO - how often do the courts order someone released? Experience tells me that the courts would grant (almost) every request made by the police.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Posted in: A Japanese woman’s experience giving birth in U.S. See in context

There is also a monthly cap of ¥80,000 yen for medical treatment costs - once your 30% reaches that amount then you pay no more for that month.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan eyes compulsory 5 days' paid holiday a year See in context

And companies will fill out the false paper work "proving" that it has been taken.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Posted in: More than 8,700 people sue Asahi Shimbun over 'comfort women' stories See in context

Sophia University is a Christian / Jesuit liberal arts university with a good international reputation - I hope they act in relation to Prof. Watanabe.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't designated 382 state secrets last year under new law See in context

At least it is being done as a law, in the UK the authorities can issue guidance requesting that the media not report on certain stories - that would be 'guidance' of course

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Schoolboy publicly berated by elderly man for offering him seat on train See in context

Good for the wife.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Influenza See in context

It is in the UK too - called Hong Kong flu.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Fake 'Japanese Beethoven' faces damage lawsuit See in context

The promoter cancelled the tour - maybe M3M3M3 is right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Seasonal celebrations threatened by nationwide butter shortage See in context

OK - I now have an answer to the question about the shortage I couldn't be bothered to ask.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: No. of traffic accident deaths in Tokyo soars in October See in context

Death rate per 100,000: USA 13.9, Australia 6.8, UK 4.8 & Japan 3.8 - Japan being the 4th safest country in the world.

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/road-traffic-accidents/by-country/

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Halloween in Shibuya See in context

.....and it was a Friday night, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan’s PR battle for U.S. hearts and minds See in context

How can anyone be at all surprised that most Americans (and anyone else outside NE Asia) does not know about or care about the Senkaku Islands - there are so many much bigger and more bloody disputes going on around the world.

When I go back to the UK, I still meet people who ask questions like, 'What part of Hong Kong is Tokyo in?' 'You live in Japan - you must like Chinese food.' 'Korea is a country?' One survey of the most famous Japanese for Britons had 1) Yoko Ono 2) Godzilla 3) Bruce Lee.....says it all really.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Hashimoto, Zaitokukai chairman get into shouting match See in context

Thank you, Cleo.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: New daycare centers held up by residents opposing noisy kids See in context

I lived in a dead end street in Kita-ku, Tokyo for 9 years, which was safe for kids to play out in as there was no through traffic. I could sit in my living room and listen to the kids play ball and sometimes chat to them when I went out - it was lovely. We when moved one boy made us a big card wishing us luck in the future. We will all be in a graveyard sometime but it doesn't have to be now.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Diet rocked by dispute over justice minister's red scarf See in context

Interesting - some of the younger Japanese teachers at my school got told off for coming into the teachers room wearing scarves and gloves last winter - it is 'rude' apparently.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Teacher's conviction for groping girl on bus overturned by Tokyo court See in context

I once helped arrest a chikan who was dressed in women's clothes to avoided being suspected of the touching. The high school girl who felt the hand blamed a university student near her but he saw the cross dressed chikan do it and a confrontation developed quickly. I only realised it was a man when I sat on her on the platform till the JR staff and police arrived. They then thought I was the victim till they spotted the crying high school girl.

Although, I have told the tale many times and got laughs - that university student could have had his life ruined.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Homeless in Japan and still earning a decent salary See in context

In the shopping arcade in the area I used to live in, there were four regular homeless people. Two elderly men seemed to be quite at peace with their lot. However, the two women were mentally ill and quite often distressed. This article misses out the latter group, who fall through any safety net because of the poor mental health provision in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan bets big on making fuel-cell cars a reality See in context

Good for national security too - no dependence on imported oil.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Hospitals: UK vs Japan - Length of stay, language, birth, kids and pain relief See in context

There are good and bad everywhere and I have experienced both in the Japan and the UK. One aspect that I do like here is choice - in the UK you must go to see the GP / family doctor you are registered with and they choose the hospital they might refer you to - here you can ask and shop around for the best you can get.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe to visit Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on Sunday See in context

At last some real diplomacy. See that wasn't hard, was it?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Should Holocaust denial be a crime? See in context

Depends on whether the country was occupied by Nazi Germany or not - you'll find that it is crime in many countries that were occupied (+ Germany itself) but not in those that weren't (e.g. the UK) - context is everything.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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