Synbios comments

Posted in: Social game giants to set monthly Y10,000 cap on teen spending See in context

The videogame market in Japan is completely unable nowdays to meet the expectations and needs of foreign users and therefore the sales are plummeting, which combined with a strong yen makes the situation unbeareble to most companies.

So the 2 paths that most companies are taking are: 1 Outsourcing abroad to more capable, cheaper and more "foreign friendly" companies or 2 Crappy mobile games or social games that rely on the income from all this "capsule items" and extra fees in exchange for a boost on the player stats, more content, etc.

There have been a lot of incidents recently of children spending thousands of yen on this virtual products without any kind of parental protection, and I agree that there is a need for regulation but, shouldn't the parents assure that their kids use their phones and PCs under some restrictions and protections also?

And another think, even if they set those age do you make sure that the person has in fact that age? isn't like saying on a website "If you are below 18 get out"? Seems to me that this is just a PR strategy since these companies are making huge profits, just take a look at their "kessan" financial results for last year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Ozawa found not guilty in fund scandal See in context

I think there is absolutely no hope for the Japanese if they don't begin to rebel against the corruption that we can see exists not only inside the Diet and the political parties, but also inside the justice system, police, etc.

Now, you don't have to be an expert in psicology or deep human analysis to see that this "political big shot" has done something against the law for his own benefits, just check how he talks about politics and then how he talks about his implication in all the things he has been asked in court. You can see how he is an expert demagogue that only talks calmly to the voters he wants to brainwash and is completely rude against persecutors, judges, journalists, etc. I really hope he gets fairly judge again in the future and he gets what he deserves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Ishihara wants to meet Noda to discuss Tokyo's purchase of Senkakus See in context

The really sad thing is that while here in Japan Today almost every person is contrary to what Ishihara is trying to do, if you check the opinion of the Japanese population you see that some, if not the majority of them, are in favor of this act of "patriotism". A survey was made by Yahoo Japan recently, allow me to quote:

"On the 16th of April the Governor of Tokyo Shintarou Ishihara announced his intention to buy the Senkaku Islands. On the next day Yahoo Japan did a survey asking his users if they were in favor of such an action. The results were that over 90% of the people that answered to the survey were in favor and support Ishihara on this matter. Meanwhile many enraged Chinese are asking for "the beginning of a China-Japan war"

I wonder what will be Japan's biggest problem in the next few years: the deflation, the lack of an energetic population, the lack of energy sources, the corruption....or having millions of Chinese soldiers in their shores.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Something to carp about See in context

At last I see people here giving their opinions and complaining when they disagree with the government! (although I can't agree with them in this particular matter)

It's a shame that there are only a few hundreds there, I guess that they are the only ones that "give a carp".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Things that foreigners miss about Japan when they return home See in context

Small things like the matcha tea, the variety of hand made food you can buy and just eat immediately after you pay at the supermarket and the raw fish are the first thing to come to mind.

Next in line would probably be being able to have a walk around the street using my mobile phone without fear of being robbed, or not having to worry about robbers that much after you went to the ATM or bought some stuff at an electronics shop.

And lastly would probably be being able to complain and make fun of all the pointless and non-sensical things that we have here in Japan. Let's face it, we might complain a lot about things here, but we also have a lot of fun discussion those same things with other people and just laughing inside ourselves when we see them (Engrish, over-sexualized entertainment products, having so many sings on the street that you stop caring about all of them, excessively loud and obnoxious people at stores, etc)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Hosting 2020 Olympics would aid healing process - Tokyo bid chief See in context

So Japan, and more specifically Tokyo, a place that is completely filled with people 24/7, where many hotels dont even want foreigners because of the struggles of the language and the customs and citizens that are stressed enough with their lives are supposed to receive the Olympics with joy and pride...yeah right.

First of all, holding the Olympics requires also a lot of investment and preparation just to be chosen by the Olympic committee. Madrid for example has spent millions on sport facilities and hasnt been chosen and Greece is in deep trouble in partially because of all the excesses and expenses of the Athens Olympics, and I think that politicians arent fully aware of that.

Second, Tokyo is dangerously near the damaged reactor to the point that even the water supply in some district was affected, and you expect the corporations and tourists to come to such city with that kind of risk?

Third, remember how convincing were the diplomats from Tokyo when they lost to Madrid and London a few years ago. Their best argument was: "We will bring them the karaoke!"

I dont know about you, but I think that this project doesnt have much viability.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony to cut 10,000 jobs amid restructuring See in context

Sony has to pull out from the television business and all those other other markets that are being taking over by other companies that can make the same product for less money.

Sony is a pioneer in the technology and entertainment business, and it has to continue doing so if it doesnt want to be squashed by other companies. I remember Sony being a brand that was a guarantee for quality while being expensive as a minus, but we have a global crisis that isnt over yet and we consumers know that it could get even worse. So many people arent willing to sacrifice their savings in order to get a product that is just a little bit better than other UNLESS it is unique and cutting edge.

I think Hirai is a very competent leader and has a great international background in order to get Sony back on track, but Sony has to change one way or another, and a lot of times change causes a lot of pain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: TEPCO workers quitting due to threats, sense of despair See in context

I know that most of TEPCO's employees aren't to be blamed for the whole catastrophe that the lack of security measures and proper preparations in case of a disaster at Fukushima's nuclear plant has occasionated. But at the same time I think that most of the people that work there would have resigned a few months after the quake If they had any kind of standards and ethics.

Doesn't matter how many times people say the word "kizuna" if they are not willing to do sacrifices to honor it. The facts are that both corporate big-shots/employees and normal citizens are showing their selfishness with their acts. It's sad that right after the disaster everybody was doing their best through support campaigns, donations, saving electricity, etc but now most of the people are just worried about their own asses.

But to their credit I will say that this would probably happen in almost any country.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: How do you feel about being a ‘gaijin’ in Japan? See in context

I have mixed feelings about being a foreigner in Japan, as a lot of you have already said there is a huge gap between the period when you dont know much about the language and how things work and the time after, when you realize how the Japanese system sees the foreign community.

Now, this is not something that only happens in Japan of course, and I try to remember that every time I hear things like "Well, he is a gaijin" or "That is how things work here in Japan. End of story", etc. But I think that the most frustrating part is that you dont see the people around you trying to understand things and trying to change for the better when it comes to having to deal with non Japanese stuff.

Whether it is on TV, conversations around you or what have you, the "gaijin" are treated like clowns or zoo animals, like something talk watch or talk about, one of them tells his friend right next to him "man, the "gaijin are weird haha" and that is it, they dont want to know anything else, nor your opinion, nor the reason why you are like that, nothing.

This kind of behavior is what really drives me nuts, the fact that you are good while you are a cute tourist that talks weird and spends money on souvenirs, but when you try to give your opinion or try to ask the reason why things are like they are, you become the non-welcome gaijin that does not understand anything because this is Japan and you are supposed to just be grateful that Japan allows you to be here and enjoy its wonderfulness. And if you try to demand your rights or to change things for the better then its even worse.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan rejects N Korean invitation to send observers to rocket launch See in context

I dont think it is only that the Governments are too stubborn to admit that they might be wrong, they also want to give their citizens the impression that North Korea are the bad guys in any situation and the American-Japanese are going to be the saviors and the heroes.

That is also a way to get support from their own citizens and to distract them from other problems (Radiation, inflation, debt, etc)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Ozawa again criticizes Noda over consumption tax bill See in context

You just have to check out this "person" at the press conference that was held after the first day of his trial. Lacking any kind of self-criticism, babbling about how the judge and the prosecutor didnt have any kind of credibility and responding rudely to any critical question that came from the press.

This is not the type of person who I would put my trust in, regardless of my political beliefs. This kind of politicians are the people ruining this country, thinking only above themselves and trying to convince people of how things are OK the way they are now and dont require any kind of change.

Yes, there are a lot of things besides raising taxes that can be done, from getting rid of all those "amakudari" organizations to cutting the salaries of all those worthless politicians. But we have a country that has more than the 200% of the GDP as national debt, a social security system also depending on more national debt every year, an aging population, etc. Its sad, but Japan has to increase its revenue somehow and with one of the lowest consumption taxes in the is an easy target.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to 'export' top Tokyo fashion districts See in context

I was a great fan of Japanese "visual kei" fashion and got myself some clothes from popular brands such as Moi Memme Moitie, H.Naoto, Black Peace Now, etc that have their main shops on Shinjuku/Harajuku a few years ago. Their style is indeed different from other European/American brands and they seemed really original to me.

But this was before the whole Lehman Brothers crisis and I dont see people using the same amount on money on clothes, specially clothes that 90% of the times are made for teenagers and people on their 20s. A lot of the stuff I remember seeing was above 20000 yen and the quality wasnt that good either, so I wonder how this brands pretend to appeal to a young demographic outside their own country and without having prices rise to the roof.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Submarines -- the ultimate toy for the super rich See in context

People all around the globe see they salaries cut, couples give up the idea of having children, the elderly have to live with laughable pensions, etc... And yet the rich get even richer every day, rich enough so they can use money on private jets and submarines.

I wonder how much longer will this situation last.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What's wrong with Japanese education? See in context

I would like to give my humble opinion regarding English education based on my own experiences. I am Spanish and sadly our English level is one of the worsts in the EU( I remember being taught how to use the verb "to be" till my last high school year). And although i didnt pay much attention in class I was able to communicate with people in English through the internet and enjoyed a lot of entertainment content (movies and such) without subtitles.

Now I realize that what i was doing as a hobby, as just a way to enjoy myself was the key to get the language, as a lot of you people said USING the language on a DAILY basis. I cant stress this enough, DAILY. If you turn on the TV here in Japan the only things you will have in English are a few of educational programs. Not many Japaneses have interest in the international media and they only consume products and services that are already translated and localized. And of course they dont have the curiosity to go online and check on websites in English, although (thank god) I think some of them are beginning to do it.

On the other hand, the people that really know a language (not only English) are usually the people that not only got some education to get the basics correctly, but also used that language as a tool though their lives. Because that is what a language is, a communication TOOL, its not something you have to memorize in order to get good grades. And what happens when you dont use a tool, no matter how its quality is?

a) You wont get good at using it. b) It will probably get rusty and you wont be able to use it as desired.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Atsuko Maeda 'graduates' from AKB48 See in context

Well, it was just a matter of time being the most popular member and having to deal with the "great" fanbase that the AKB48 have. She probably wants to go completely into cinema and doramas getting almost all the profit for herself without having to share it with another 47 people from which only a quarter of them are really famous.

But lets be honest, this is not the end for AKB48, they will probably have to look for another cuttie girl and to put somebody else as the "leader", but they will keep selling and annoying people 24/7 with their voices and postures. ..unfortunately.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Osaka mayor, Yomiuri boss trade dictator insults See in context

Hashimoto`s way of doing things is completely harsh and unconventional, the things he sometimes says ("what Japan needs now is a dictatorial regime", etc) would be completely intolerable in Europe and other democratic countries, he is trying to make Osaka look as his own vision not caring about anything else...but at least he is doing something while most of the politicians here do nothing.

Let`s be honest, politics sometimes needs a man like this that does not only heat up controversy, but also makes other people, from both right and left wing parties, think about how things have been done till now, how some of them have been wrong and that how others should be preserved, etc.

Hashimoto being wrong or right is something that only time will tell, and while I cannot approve a lot of things that he is doing (and HOW is he doing them), I think that is making a lot of people here in Japan about politics more than what they were used to, specially young people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: N Korea seeking to develop nuclear missile, Seoul says See in context

They make a treaty in order to get food for them and their citizens and right after that they announce this? I really dont understand how North Korea pretends to keep his obsolete system with a non existent industry, not enough food to feed themselves and this kind of international diplomacy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Police recruit shoots himself in head at police koban See in context

Having finished the police academy training just a month ago Its really head-scratching that he would shoot himself, no matter the work conditions. Even software/system engineers that work between 100-200 extra hours a month dont usually go this far till a few months have passed... although of course they don`t have guns.

As Spidey said It probably has something to do with the police trainings severeness but`s quite sad.

Hope he gets well and also I hope somebody checks if the workplace was treating this newbie with all human respect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Why does the existence of AKB48 bother so many readers of Japan Today (judging from the comments on the discussion board)? See in context

Its not just their "existence", Its seeing their faces everywhere you go and having to hear their voices on every channel no matter what time it is.

Not only that, they are becoming a symbol of Japan abroad and the only thing they`re showing is that the Japanese are a bunch of perverts that would be happy to have a brainless high school girl as their partner. At least Arashi turns in a good performance on Japanese dramas and they are somewhat funny, but this gals are just...painful.

But with that said, music bands that are formed by over-sexualized people that have no talent what-so-ever are no news, nor in Japan, nor in any developed country around the globe.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: School bullying survey scrapped due to student concerns See in context

For once the government tries to improve the conditions at schools and the students just chicken out...

If i was a teacher at that junior high school I would just interview every one of those students that "dont feel comfortable" and I would try to get the names of the bullies ASAP. Hundreds of children committing suicide every year because of some bad apples... it`s just intolerable.

Come on kids! Just have some courage and tell your teachers who are those bullies that make some student`s life a living hell, you could be saving his or her life!

-6 ( +3 / -8 )

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