tadbitter comments

Posted in: Education ministry shocked by scale of corporal punishment See in context

Looks like time for some drastic action. Hmmm. How about... another survey?

I can't imagine much more than that happening, and nothing changing. Maybe an informational flyer sent out to teachers with a title, "What is corporal punishment?"

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Posted in: Japan unveils biggest warship since World War II See in context

Isn't Izumo the name of Daigo's monkey?

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Posted in: Abe pledges to seek to eliminate nuclear weapons See in context

A lot of people here have implied that people make too big of a deal out of Hiroshima day, or that Japan tries to remain a victim forever.

But it's only the media really at this time of year- and not majorly either. There is a yearly service at Hiroshima for those lost from the bomb, and newspapers and TV news give it a headline. But no big deal. Nobody says anything really political, one way or the other. Just a rememberance.

And walking down the street (Tokyo area), you'd never know this was "the" day. Or even walking down the cubicles or into bars.

TV programs other than the news don't take it up- maybe there are a few specials, but nothing overboard. It's probably more of a remembrance for the dead thing- how people in Japan treat the days of their relatives' deaths specially and do certain things to send them respect. Don't go reading righteouness or treat-me-like-a-victim or political views into this ceremony.

And if you ask ANYONE, they will always say that STARTING the war was Japan's biggest error. If textbooks are glossing over anything, at least they aren't blaming other countries for anything. (judged not from reading the textbooks, but from what the result is - in other words, what adults think about the issue)

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Posted in: 10 bystanders burned during fire safety drill in Shiga See in context

Some fire drills here are just too real.

At a school where I once worked the kids were made to exit the school, as in a normal fire drill, but cannisters of smoke were set off in the hallways and stairways to make it real. I think this might be happening in a lot of schools- check with your kids. Kids may feel it's normal for a fire drill and not think to mention it.

However, on close inspection the cannisters said they were not to be used in closed spaces, and people weren't supposed to be getting within a certain amount of meters from them when set off (like 30 or something). The smoke were not to be inhaled under any circumstance.

At the school - and I'm sure many other schools in Japan - they are placed for maximum effect to cause confusion and low visibility. Inhalation (for myself as well) was inevitable during the duration we had to be in smoky halls.

I see no reason why a fire drill need be so realistic, nor that children should be harmed in the process. I have a feeling it might be something pushed by the manufacturer or a supplier to increase sales, by selling to all schools.

I advise any parents or teachers at Japanese schools to look into it - see that any smoke cannisters are being used properly, or not at all. (Setting them off in the open would not serve the purpose of making the drill realistic, so I assume if you find them at all that they are being misused.)

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Posted in: 500 cats & dogs legally killed in Japan each day See in context

TheInterstat But they're so cute! :-)

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Posted in: Chiba man first to be arrested under new anti-stalking law See in context

What do you think stalking is? It's harassment!

If there are harrassment cases and stalking cases, we're going to have to differentiate them. Is a certain action sexual harrassment? Is it stalking? Is it harassment of a different type?

In my unprofessional opinion, stalking would include either gathering information about someone, following them, watching them during their daily routines, or pestering them by turning up all over the place. Is this impression wrong? I'd love to hear from someone in the field- then I can explain it better to my students as well.

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Posted in: 500 cats & dogs legally killed in Japan each day See in context

I just saw "Becky" on there with 2 abandoned dogs. She was living together with them and the show documented how the dogs, who were absolutely terrified of humans, slowly opened up to her.

Yes, it's a start. But somehow that segment always seems so dark to me. Those two dogs started out with SUCH a long road to go before returning to normal. Showing some more cases that a normal family might actually take on might be more effective in generating a "hey, we could do that too" attitude toward taking in animals that have been rejected by their previous owners.

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Posted in: 500 cats & dogs legally killed in Japan each day See in context

I think another problem is the desire of people to get a "new" dog/cat/whatever, meaning one just born and not having been owned by anyone else. Sort of like wanting to live in a newly built house, every kid buying their own recorder or other musical instruments rather than having the school or a shop rent them out for the duration of the lessons, etc. etc. Nobody wants a "used" pet... but pets aren't items! Sure they might have a few odd habits from their old owners, but there needs to be more publicity about the option of taking in dogs that are not pups anymore, and facilities for doing so.

Along with this is the incredible prices on these "new" animals... I guess plentiful and popular free or cheap "used" pets would ruin the whole overpriced pet business. (good!!) Cats for 80,000 yen? 230,000 yen? Oh my god. And not even rare or special breeds.

We recently purchased two ferrets. We researched them first, and decided they were the pets we wanted. One problem is that, when reading up on it, it seems that you can't tell you have an allergy to ferrets until you've had them for at least 2 months. The allergy isn't there in you originally- either it develops in you, or it doesn't. Well, it turned out that all three of us developed this ferret allergy, and it was quite bad in my husband especially. One night we almost had to call an ambulance.

The pet shop had been very helpful and friendly, so we went back there to talk to them about it. They just looked at us blankly. They could not buy them back from us at half price, they would not take them back from us for free. Our only option was to "find a friend who will take them in". Great- force them on someone who has no interest in ferrets. I didn't want to see our darlings mistreated or not cared for properly by someone who didn't really want them in the first place. I guess the other unspoken alternative would be to go to a vet to put them to sleep, or send them out into the woods illegally. We had no such friend, so we ended up keeping them. My husband found a medicine through his doctor that helps. My daughter and I are braving out the next 9 years (ferret life span).

I guess the shop could not resell ferrets that had been once owned... ? (How would anyone know? There were older ferrets there for sale.) We had been willing to give them back to the shop for no money. They could have sold them again for another 60,000 each, but no. There needs to be more options for people who can't keep their pets, and more avenues for finding "used" pets to take in.

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Posted in: Chiba man first to be arrested under new anti-stalking law See in context

Personally, I don't see how sending emails is "stalking". Isn't that a type of harrassment? Probably doesn't matter, but if it comes under something called "anti-stalking" legislation, we don't want things falling through the cracks at a later date.

I've seen a lot of overuse of the term stalking lately. One young woman told me that a slightly older man that likes her is stalking her. I was shocked and worried, so I asked her more about it. It turns out he simply sent her 5 emails in the course of 2 days. She said she was even contemplating actually going out with him. I guess in her terminology "stalking" meant any sort of forward advances, especially through email.

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Posted in: A Japanese perspective on traveling in the U.S. See in context

Toothbrushes: No comment on the resources wasted on providing all hotel customers in Japan with a new toothbrush EVERY NIGHT (and other amenities)? Japan is so full of ECO marks everywhere - save electricity, save water, save gas... there is SOME talk about the waste of disposable chopsticks and free bags at supermarkets (seen less recently), but there is still a lot of ground to cover. Bring your own toothbrush when you travel. Heck, why not also bring your own shampoo and soap instead of opening up a new mini bottle supplied in the Japanese hotel. Speaking of cotton swabs, a Japanese hotel I stayed in recently provided two cotton swabs each individually wrapped. Free toothbrushes is NOT a good thing.

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Posted in: Chiba man first to be arrested under new anti-stalking law See in context

aimed at preventing jilted men or women from sending repeated, unsolicited emails to former partners.

I sure hope they also check the content to make sure it is actually harrassment, not just reminders to return the key or something. Arrested for sending 23 emails? In this case they said the emails were "menacing", but I'd hate it if "jilted" men and women start to get arrested for sending 15 or 20 emails in the simple hope of winning their loves back again.

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Posted in: S Korea protests Japanese opinion poll on disputed islands See in context

So what exactly do they dislike about the poll... the fact that it was carried out, or the results? You can't really protest results, as a poll is just there to see what people think. If you don't take the poll, you don't know. If it turns out they are misinformed or uninformed, something can be done about it. If it turns out that people have strong opinions one way or the other, we can see where opinions do lay within a country.

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Posted in: S Korea protests Japanese opinion poll on disputed islands See in context

sfjp330: Following your logic... if Japan "stole" the islands when Korea was a colony of Japan, then Japan didn't steal it from Korea, because Korea was Japan then. Anyway, this thread isn't about the islands. It's about Korea protesting the fact that a survey was carried out in Japan. (Huh?)

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Posted in: Suga stunned at Hatoyama's Senkaku remarks on Hong Kong TV See in context

“I said yesterday that I was left open-mouthed. I still remain so,” he said.

Must have been an exhausting 24 hours. Good thing it's rainy season or else he'd have really dried out by now.

.... enter fly into room, buzzing along...

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Posted in: Hashimoto may resign if his party fares badly in Tokyo assembly election See in context

Didn't his entire party say they would dissolve if they didn't get Prime Minister? And then they didn't? They keep promising to go away, but don't.

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Posted in: University of Tokyo gives up on plan to start academic year in autumn See in context

Dog: Thanks. That makes more sense to me. They quoted undergrad percentages, so it sounded like they were looking for undergrads. But it was the article, not the univ, that was quoting.

On the other hand, post grads don't really need to start at a certain time of the year. I myself started my post grad work in a spring semester.

Just a thought.

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Posted in: University of Tokyo gives up on plan to start academic year in autumn See in context

They are always blaming the scheduling as the main obstacle for foreign students studying in Japan, and I do agree that it is one factor. But what about the fact that not so many undergraduates around the world have the language abilities to be able to take university level classes in Japanese? Comparing Todai with Harvard's percentage seems strange to me, as there are a lot more undergrads around the world who have university-level English skills. If, on the other hand, Japanese universities are talking about setting up special programs with classes in Japanese language along with classes on other subjects taught in another language (such as English), such programs can be set up to be off kilter to the Japanese university schedule anyway.

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