Synbios comments

Posted in: Gov't readies additional Y3 tril for Fukushima clean-up See in context

Unbelievable that the government keeps dumping money into the well while a survey performed earlier this year says that 87% of the people living in the areas affected by the nuclear disaster think that "the reconstruction is not progressing", not to mention many other data about people using their subventions to go to play pachinko, subsidiaries in charge of decontamination being controlled by the gangs where people with no other income work per about 10,000 yen a day, and the list goes on.

I hope the government realizes that the money needs to be managed by people that are both competent and close to the affected areas and stop giving away money hoping that just by doing that the problems will go away.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Idol addiction' ruining your life? Call this hotline to take control See in context

Although I do not share the same hobbies as these idol otakus I must say that it kind of makes sense that there exist so many of them. I mean, just take a look at the lack of interaction between young men and women, the number of unmarried men and how even married couples aren't interested in each other just a few years after they begin living together. Those people just have a sexual need that is not being filled by real people.

Idol/shoujo anime otakus are not people to be blamed or hated for being addicted to their hobbies, they are just people who lack the chance or human skills to interact with real women who meet their expectations, and in my opinion, this is due mainly to the social rules and structure of Japanese schools/companies/etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe defends right to visit Yasukuni Shrine See in context

I agree that every Japanese has the right to visit any place in their soil anytime they want, that includes politicians, relatives to the people buried there, and so on.However, there is a bigger question here than the "Can mister Abe go to Yasukuni?" and that is "Should the prime minister of Japan go to Yasukuni ignoring all the diplomatic and political impact that such an act implies?".

Japan is a country that doesn't get along well with its neighbors as we all know, and the last thing it needs right know is another burden that could affect its exports, international companies, citizens working abroad, etc. This "we do whatever the hell we want" kind of behavior is the same that China and Korea show in other matters.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: AKB48 pair Itano, Shinoda appear in most TV commercials in 2012 See in context

Might be just my imagination but...isn't it quite easy to see if the person commenting is Japanese or not through the comments on articles that talk about AKB48, SKE48, etc.?

Just saying :P.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: 'Kin' chosen as kanji character best representing 2012 See in context

Exports dropping, riots in China, money wasted in Touhoku, more people than ever receiving the "seikatsuhogo" safety net money, big Japanese giants like Sony and Panasonic going down the road, etc.

But, who cares! The average person doesn't want to worry about those things right? Let's give them a politically correct kanji so common people don't get too worried about things...and therefore begin to THINK about what happens inside their country.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Posted in: Chinese cities becoming too costly for expats: survey See in context

I agree with JapanGal. It would be nice to see some empirical data regarding prices of groceries, housing, transport, etc.

Maybe even a ranking with the average monthly living cost for a person or a couple so we can also see how expensive things are here in Japan :P.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Nintendo shoots for pole position with Wii U console See in context

We will have also to check the first year after release of the WiiU before we can call it a failure or a success.

For now, third party releases are few and far between till February, and if this situation continues Nintendo might have the same problems it had with the Nintendo 3DS and Sony with the PSVita, where new users could not see the point in buying the console with only a few dozens of titles on the market.

Also, it is obvious that the WiiU is not a tablet and that it is going to be difficult to get into the blue ocean of smartphone games, but some games for Nintendo 3DS and PSVita are trying to offer a more extensive experience with micro transactions and social game elements and might give us a surprise.

So I think that Nintendo is trying aiming to hit the same spot it hit with the Wii: having one on every living room offering a game experience adapted to all ages and specially to families.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: For better lifestyles and lower costs, firms locate outside Tokyo See in context

I never understood why so many new companies, specially the ones that specializes in IT, social media, etc. keep establishing their business in Tokyo when you can basically send almost any kind of data or contact anybody via internet.

Tokyo is crowded enough as it is and its prices are higher than in other prefectures, not to mention the pollution and many other things that are also mentioned in this article.

If you MUST have a contact in Tokyo to approach other business or to do your finances or whatever, just establishing a small department in the capital for that and keeping your main resources in some other cheaper and less stressful city might not only save you a lot of money, but might also improve the motivation of your employees. Not to mention that if you manage to stand out in your business that way you might get good publicity as the "pioneer of the city of (insert small city name here)".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: New 'Star Wars' movies - dream come true, or cosmic yawn? See in context

The problem is that doesn't matter what we say, many maaaaany of us would go to the cinema to see Star Wars 7 because many of us love the prequels, the settings, etc. And this applies to the old and no so old since the series began a long time ago and kids are now familiar with the videogames and tv series. Just check the success of so many Star Wars related products like mini series, merchandising, videogames, etc.

And THEY KNOW. And that is why they will keep milking the Star Wars cow (the same for so many other classic series, videogames, etc) till it is dry, because the brand name is so huge and has such a business potential that it is hard to say "well, maybe it is time to let this story rest in peace".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Sony reduces loss on sales recovery, restructuring See in context

In a nutshell:

-Samsung and other companies are crushing Sony in the mobile and TV market.

-Nintendo's 3DS lower price has eliminated almost any chance of the PSVita (which committed of not preparing enough 3rd party releases) to succeed in the portable console market.

-The yen is hitting hard.

-People don't have enough confidence on the economic recovery to buy Sony's quality products and prefer to spend less for a lesser product.

Add that to the forecast of Sony thinking about leaving the console market and them doing business for Olympus and you have the perfect recipe for disaster after so many years of success. I hope Sony gets back on track.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Ishihara steps down as Tokyo governor to take over Sunrise Party See in context

"Dum de dum (whistle)...lets see what JapanToday tells us today!"

(click, immediately slams head against the keyboard over and over...)

"Yup, this is Japan alright..."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: BOJ launches unlimited commercial bank loans See in context

malfupete I know that they are not obligated to do so, but since that money is going to appear out of nothing (causing an effect on the inflation which affects not only the banks but every citizen that has a salary or savings) there should be a way to limit the use of that money.

Although we all know how central banks (which are in private hands) work and they are doing the same everywhere: lending to private banks at a low interest rate, then that bank buys national bonds or speculative products which give higher interest rates and so in the end the private banks get a profit. If only common people knew...or cared...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: BOJ launches unlimited commercial bank loans See in context

The Bank of Japan providing with funny money to every commercial bank for an interest almost non existent... Basically money created out of thin air.

The effect on the value of the yen is positive for the economy as a whole but, shouldnt the Bank of Japan DEMAND the other banks to offer those loans only to people and companies with the intention to create new and creative services and goods and therefore contributing to the whole country?

I really hope I dont see that money spent on derivatives, swaps or other speculatives products with the only purpose of increasing the money in the pockets of the bankers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan industrial output falls; jobless rate unchanged See in context

I think this is only a harbinger for things to come. If the output goes down, spending doesnt get reduced, people asking for the "seikatsuhogo" safety net skyrocket and the change rate remains at a 1dolar:80yen 1euro:yen, it is fair to say that the situation is going to get worse.

Appart from that we have a government that needs a new law that allows them to sell new national bonds in order to pay for social benefits from November till the next time the tax revenue kicks in and a debt crisis in Europe and the US, which means that it is harder to "bring money from the future" through the international debt market.

But I can bet you 10000 yen that most Japanese citizens/politicians dont even know or care much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Noda defies opposition, says election can wait See in context

It is true that Japanese Primer Ministers last shorter than a match lighted in the middle of a hurricane, but I would rather see some changes in Japanese politics (and therefore politicians) after seeing how the DPJ has handled things since it was elected (not that the opposite parties are much better though).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: S Korea to rename peaks on islands disputed with Japan See in context

This is beginning to look like when at school, you had a fight with a classmate and you broke of his pens, then he stole your meal, then you slapped him in the face and then in the end it got so ugly that the teacher had to step in in order to bring calm and balance again.

Maybe the teacher (UN) should step in and do something about all this before it escalates to something worse than just renaming chuncks of rocks. Oh wait! here the students have to call the teacher first...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: More young Japanese women showing nationalistic tendencies See in context

Wakarimasen, maybe that is because a lot of japanese people expect the stereotypical foreigner who is very kind, romantic and good in bed, but who doesnt know (or how to speak) about japanese stuff, specially political stuff.

Though I think that type of nationalistic young women are a minority, I think there is going to be a boom of new nationalistic youngsters coming up after all the disputes with China, Korea, etc. Hope I am mistaken.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Twitter comment starts online debate on working overtime See in context

Lew Archie, I am spanish and let me tell you that our crisis has more to do with people not creating products and services with high added value and prefering to work as a public worker and getting an easy salary for life from the government. Mixed with people being afraid of risking money to create a company and corruption, etc. Also if you check online you will find that the sourthern countries of Europe work more than the average (although we are not as productive, that is 100% true.)

With that said, I really wish everyone though as you do about slackers at the workplace here in Japan. Sadly most places work this way and it is turning productive and creative people into burned out salarymen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Twitter comment starts online debate on working overtime See in context

Right now I am studying game development at a vocational school in Nagoya, The SE and software business is very very tough here in Japan and it is widely known that many people work for over 14 hours a day and also on national holidays, also even in the New Year if your program isn't made on time. Also the words "karoushi" and "gekimu" are attached to this industry.

I was talking about how workers should not allow this and how they should be claiming for the Labor Standards Law to be respected to one of my Japanese schoolmates, when he answered me: "Well, that is how things work and people should be ready for it before beginning working".

That was the moment when I started to believe that things are not going to change around here. If youngsters cannot raise their voices and say NO, there is no way people around 30 or 40 are going to risk their jobs to do the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: LDP chief Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine See in context

For both the good and the bad, "Actions have their consequences" .

I hope Mr Abe doesnt complain once those consequences arrive and knock his door.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Noda plans new economic stimulus by end of November See in context

mr_jgb, while I share most of your oppinions I dont think that japanese society is considering to implement the 2nd and the 3rd option. Japan has its own stablished rules and customs, and also what could be called as "national pride" which basically dont allow those changes to happen, at least in the short run.

The only way to make that happen is through a change in education and the traditional japanese mentallity, and both of those ways take time and probably wont be accepted by a big part of the population. Not to mention that few politicians are willing to step in and make radical changes "the foreign way".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hashimoto meets political party leaders in Tokyo See in context

Sorry, I meant the "DPJ" not the "LDP".

We really need an edit feature Japan Today! :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hashimoto meets political party leaders in Tokyo See in context

It seems like Hashimoto is going to have a pretty big political party on his hands, specially when you see the polls that confirm that the LDP`s support is going down the toilet. There are so many citizens and also politicians that are not satisfied with how things are working in Japan right now and hence it is logical that they shift to new groups that can give them new hope.

But with that said, after seeing some of the reactions from Hashimoto and his new allies (Kawamura from the GenzeiNippon, etc.) about some controversial problems (disputed islands, massacres in China, public workers with tattoos, and so on) makes me guess that they have no intention to discuss with other parties in order to make some big decissions and lead the country to a new era, but rather to try to get their point across no matter what without caring what other parties (voted also by japanese citizens) say.

I really hope that if Hashimoto gets the support that he is probably going to get, he would shift to a more moderate and understandable position. After all, he should be working for Japan as a whole and not for his voters only.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Housewives seeking part-time work squeezed out by surge in jobless See in context

I kind of agree with the people that say that this situation is probably restricted to rural areas where the jobs are usually in local family restaurants, factories and agriculture. I have been to Tokyo and Osaka this month and there are recruitment advertisements on the window of almost every shop, specially on restaurants, convenience stores and clothes shops. And the the same happens here in Nagoya.

This is probably a sign of how Japan's population is getting concentrated on the big cities, and by consequence the demand and supply needs are also shifting even more from the countryside to middle/big populated areas.

By contrast and as a way to counter this burden I am seeing that some housewives are studying foreign languages so they can get a "zaitaku" or in-house job as translators, mainly from English to Japanese which is the easiest for most people. Probably another good way for them to get a job would be to get some "kaigo" or nursing qualification so they can meet the huge demand that the countryside has on nursing for the elderly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Why you must learn kanji See in context

I completely agree on the article and yes, learning kanji is entirely necessary in order to do well in Japanese, not to mention that it helps your understanding of a lot of words, as stated in the examples of the article.

But those kanjis you are talking about are really really basic, and when you go pass the 1000 kanji barrier you find out that there are many kanjis that mean almost the same ( you can write eclipse with 2 different kanjis) many words that even if you know the kanjis just by changing the order the meaning changes (logic and theory), and many words that even when you know the kun/on/na reading you have no idea of how to read them (adult).

For beginners it is recommended to go through the first 400 kanjis or so right after they learn the kanas so they can get used to the whole kanji architecture and so they can, as stated in the article, realize that kanjis are strongly linked to the meaning/ use/ origin of the word. But after that you really have to combine that with a lot of vocabulary that uses all those unique and no so used kanjis and with listening to the pronunciation and tone of those words, since you also have the problem of having so many words that sound so similar (bridge, chopsticks, border) and for many foreigners that is also a huge burden to overcome.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Police raid offices of bus operator, arrest driver in fatal accident probe See in context

What really bothers me about this is not all the problems that the bus company had regarding sleep hours, limit of kilometers per way, seat-belts,etc. The big bummer is that the police, the government, the people in charge at the Ministry of Labor only start investigating and try to check if everything is in order AFTER some disaster or tragedy occurs.

Every tragedy here in Japan in the last months has been like: Person from the Ministry: "We are going to being to take action against the problem of (insert recent tragedy like murder, labor accident, etc) and we are going to make sure it never happens again". And I wonder, aren't the people in charge supposed to take PREEMPTIVE actions against the issues that affect their respective fields?

I'm sure that there are a lot of complains filed against these kind of hyper-cheap companies at the Consumer Center and other organizations, and the same goes for a lot of other services, products, etc in the market. Maybe it is time to go and check before the next tragedy hits us.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Golden Week holiday exodus begins at airports, train stations See in context

I wonder how many companies allow their employees to take all 9 days.

I know a few software companies that don't even allow their workers to take the Golden Week break, so I can imagine that many other companies wouldn't allow their employees to rest that much. It's very difficult to take paid holidays here, and even more when you try to rest for more than a couple of days in a row.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan needs bigger sense of crisis See in context

Caps1, allow me to restate my position but with more details. But first:

Hyperbole: ('exaggeration') is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally. (from Wikipedia)

I am sorry if you took my statement literally, maybe I should had specified that I don't think that every person here is the way I said. But now, if you have the chance, take a look around a big Japanese train station right before the last trains, take a look at zones that only have taverns left and right. Take also a look at the position of Japan in the Happy Planet Index and the suicide rate. And if you have the chance, have a talk with normal Japanese "salaryman" after they have had a few drinks, enough to stop pretending that they are happy, because a lot of them will begin to tell you how they really feel.

And I can put you another few examples, but those are statements of people I know and i don't like to invade their privacy. Yes, not all Japanese people are the way I stated before (again, I was trying to make a point through exaggeration) and I know also many Japanese people that are happy, have children, enjoy their jobs, etc. But just saying "Oh, what an ignorant" without giving any kind of argument... But again, allow me to apologize to you and whoever else that got offended.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: From late primary school to middle school, girls develop faster than boys both physically and mentally. So it's inefficient for boys and girls to take the same classes together because their mental ag See in context

Kudos to you OMGhontoni, I could not have said it better. Society is formed by both men and women, and they have to be able to communicate with and understand each other in order to have it work. And then people wonder why men hesitate to get a girlfriend and why there is a lack of communication inside marriage.

But we all know that there is an interest from the ones in power to keep the status quo so Japan keeps being the way it has been till now, with people raised with the just purpose to fit into a hand made society where everybody has it's role already decided by somebody else on the top of the piramid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan needs bigger sense of crisis See in context

We don't have to make nothing attractive, we have to put inside the people's head that men and women are equal and therefore they are supposed to have the same rights and be treated as equal. Then maybe they will stop thinking that it is "normal" to think that the men are supposed to become business man and to work 24/7 and that the women are supposed to be at home washing the dishes and making dinner while being really feminine.

Maybe then the men would be able to get more holidays, get more sleep, be more productive and think about having kids other than getting drunk after work and women would be able to think about working and offer all their creative ideas that many men wouldn't be able to have and to again, have kids.

And well, while you are at it, we can improve their happiness level so they don't commit suicide, enjoy their lives...it's just an idea.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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