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Posted in: Tokyo won't see Rio-style golf pull-outs, says Park See in context

Of all the great golf courses the Kanto area has to offer for the Olympics, they choose one that forbids female members. Pretty sure that goes against the whole IOC pledge

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Finding a half decent gym in Japan: A survival guide See in context

This all sounds like a business opportunity to me!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Accidental deaths on the rise in daycare centers in Japan See in context

A close friend of mine works at one of the officially govt subsidized daycare centers in Tokyo. She works long hours, pretty much 90% of the time on her feet shuffling around with no real lunch break or times to rest except when eating with the kids. Her pay is abysmal (approx 2.5m~2.7m year), gets 10 days holiday and works at least one Sat a month for events with no extra pay. She has been working for nearly 10 years in this field and is burnt out at 33 yrs of age. Who wants to work in these conditions? Answer is very few as they are unable to hire new, young teachers who often give up mainly due to the workload and number of children they need to watch. Stress. Low population issue at play as well as there are very few 22-25 year olds willing to put in these types of hours under this amount of pressure for poor pay. And then you see accidents like the above occurring. Immigration? no way....30-40% increase in pay with proper breaks and holidays? Nope. It is a very deep reaching problem that will take more than money to fix.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan cuts female leadership goal in blow to 'womenomics' See in context

It is rarely noted that is is not so much the lack of daycare facilities, but the lack of teachers - usually female - to work in the daycare business. Daycare tends to employ mainly women (good, right?) and usually younger women due to the physical demands of a long day with very few breaks or holidays. However, a major flaw with PM Abe's plan to increase the number of daycare centers is that women themselves are less interested in this type of work and are in fact quitting due to horrendously low wages combined with a very high responsibility and both the mental and physical strain that comes with it. Nursing is perhaps another comparison, however the wages in nursing are slightly better. Abe can fund and build all the additional daycares he wants, but I can tell you that he will have a very hard time staffing the new ones when he is already under the challenge of staffing current ones.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Attention U.S. taxpayers: Are you ready for FATCA? See in context

@Sensato UK FATCA is already here unfortunately. many deadlines to submit info etc is Sept 2016

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor defends venue relocation plans See in context

There is a suitable golf course right on the edge of Tokyo Bay in Shin Kiba called Wakasu Golf Links. Over 7000yds from the tips Strong cross winds and with deeper rough and narrow fairways, they could easily use this course - and apparently considered it....but have now decided to choose a course in Saitama instead. You gotta think that we will be hearing more and more about venues being moved out of greater Tokyo area at this rate...still 6 years away!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: CNN newscaster can’t stop laughing at crazy Japanese mascot See in context

this is why she was cracking up....the lead in story is a quasi-parody about the rather silly following all these mascots have in Japan. Watch this and you can understand why she was laughing so much. http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/06/10/japan-mascot-funassyi-next-hello-kitty.cnnmoney/

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Gang of Seven See in context

Seems that Hollande got a woman's body....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: TELL, Tokyo Inochi-no-Denwa, Facebook partner to prevent suicide in Japan See in context

The TELL number is incorrect/incomplete. it is 03-5774-0992 Also, this organisation is an NPO and has to rely 100% on donations and fund raising. Unless NTT is willing to chip in with 0120 free dial, it would weigh heavily budget-wise. TELL is also not just for foreigners as they take a growing number of calls from Japanese ppl as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Balentien hits 54th homer See in context

Deadspin is the US is following it. You can see how high the pitch was (head high) that he hit for #54. Balentien still smacked it dead center. http://deadspin.com/wladimir-balentien-is-getting-nothing-to-hit-and-still-1283431789

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Americans gave $712.6 mil to disaster-hit Japan: report See in context

@bryan villados - if you want proof, all you need to do is google it. it's been fairly common knowledge and covered in the media over a year ago that tsunami relief funds were diverted to whaling. All confirmed by a Fisheries Agency Official himself. Also pretty sure that the Japan's whaling program is not a "private effort".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/japan-whale-hunt-disaster-funding_n_1135980.html http://rt.com/news/japan-tsunami-relief-fund-697/

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Normal behavior in Japan, taboo abroad See in context

However, even bringing gum into Singapore as a tourist for personal consumption is illegal and violators of this rule must pay a fine.

Not true. As a tourist you can bring up to 2 packs for personal consumption. Also, pharmacies sell anti-smoking gum.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Comfy See in context

100% agree with Meguroman. The sidewalks of Tokyo are narrow and crowded enough as it is (esp shotengai which usally don't have sidewalks) without these "dog" owners using baby buggies or whatever they are to take their mini dogs for "a walk". This dog is barely bigger than a cat but somehow it ends up taking up as more space than a human. Maybe I should I put wheels on a massage chair and get someone to push me around!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 Japanese tourists killed, 11 hurt after man goes on stabbing spree at Guam resort See in context

Just heard from a local Guam friend that the local news is saying this guy was on a relatively new designer drug called "bath salts" which is apparently similar to ice/crystal meth.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Dangerous cycling in Tokyo set to incur fines See in context

I drive and cycle to work here in Tokyo everyday and yes, many drivers break laws (speeding, run red lights, make illegal turns, texting, change lanes illegally etc) and you take a chance doing that. If you are caught - and I know alot of ppl who have been - you get hit with fines and points. Shld be the same for cyclists. You shouldn't be running red lights, riding your bike into oncoming traffic on a one way road with an umbrella in one hand or listening to music with noise cancelling headphones - if you get caught you shld be fined. We have all probably done something illegal in our car or on a bicycle at some time in our lives and not all of us get caught. Frequency will raise the odds of you getting caught. This logic applies in any country but saying that, I do sympathize that cyclists are in limbo here as they are treated as cars, nor pedestrians. No bike lanes combined with crowded, narrow and sometimes non-existent sidewalks is going to make this very difficult to enforce and apply fairly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Amazon makes MP3 catalog available to iPhone users See in context

Amazon is almost always cheaper per song than itunes. Amazon also allows you to play your mp3s on up to 10 devices rather than itunes' limit of 5 devices. I have bought a number of CDs from amazon over the years and I was pleasantly surprised to see most of them put on the amazon cloud for my listening pleasure. Good luck getting Apple to do that for you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fact or fiction? 'Argo' fuels debate over 1979 hostage crisis See in context

There is a very false and unfair line in the movie regarding the British and New Zealand governments too. Affleck said it was meant to raise the intensity and demonstrate how isolated the US diplomats were. Affleck was probably snubbed by the Academy for Best Director due to his lack of effort to come out and explain how he had made a true story so fictional. This movie is loosely based on the true story at best, and I hope that people do not start believing that this movie is an accurate portrayal of the true story.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 7 services that don’t make sense to foreigners in Japan See in context

You often can't use the stairs in large office bldgs. Esp annoying if you want to go only one or two floors. I work for a large company where we have 5 floors in our bldg but when caught using the stairs to go between floors,a security guard would do the big "arm cross gesture" and say "only for emergencies". Alot of us ignored it but then they installed alarms which would go off if whenever we opened the door to the stairs. Lunch time....all I want to do is go down for lunch and not wait for 5 mins for teh EV to go down three floors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Nishikori close to walking with the giants See in context

@Mocheake. In addition to beating Djokovic (#2 at the time), he had wins over No. 6 Tsonga (Aust. Open), No. 5 Ferrer (Olympics) and No. 6 Berdych (Tokyo) in 2012 so I would say that would qualify as a few "really good players". He also defeated a number of other players in the top 20 like Raonic and Dolgopolov. He is close and if he can make the QFs of a couple Slams this year as well as defend his points, he should be able to crack the top 10.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: ANA to end Narita-Seoul service from March 31 See in context

Incheon is too far from Seoul - similar to Narita's distance from central Tokyo. Also, ANA is consistently a top 10 airlines in the world (5th this year). I fly with them internationally to the US, Europe and Asia and will continue to do so.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Galaxy Note II See in context

@gogogo. you can actually pay a one-time fee of JPY3000 (approx) to have your docomo phone unlocked at any docomo shop - I know someone who did this for their Samsung Note II & Galaxy S3. If you do this they will not charge you that extra JPY3000 a month. But as you say, If you buy and try to connect to the docomo LTE network with an unlocked unit you bought in say HK, US, or S'pore, you will get hit with that extra JPY3000/month. Basically market protection and part of a deal the carriers negotiated a few yrs back where the govt forced them all to let consumers have access to unlocked SIM cards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Golden image See in context

if you look carefully you can see "1 MILLION DE DOLLARS" which would be French - for 1 Million dollars....that plus the reference to the Maple Leaf would likely mean it's Canadian.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: App takes you through all the various options at Starbucks See in context

Just pls don't use this if you're lined up in front of me....Starbucks is slow enough here as it is without someone also mucking about with a smartphone app trying to figure out and decide what they want.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 693 hospitalized nationwide for heatstroke See in context

If Japan ever introduced the "Heat Index" concept where temperature and humidity are combined to calculate a more accurate "feeling" of how hot it is, we'd be looking at temperatures closer to 40-45C when you consider how humid (and hot) it can get here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_index

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan city seeks funds for dying 'miracle' pine See in context

Surely there's a large antiseptic producing company and/or gardening company that can do this for a bit of a discount? Demanding over $1m to treat a tree sounds like someone is taking advantage of the situation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: 5-year-old girl run over, killed by mother See in context

Personally I feel rear cameras and sensors have a limit to how much they can help a driver and may actually create carelessness. It's scary the way some of my friends rely 100% on them when backing up as they think they can see everything when clearly you can not - ie. you wouldn't see a child who suddenly runs out behind the car before it's too late while if you checked over your inside shoulder, you should have a wider view. In addition to the cameras and sensors (which help more with low lying objects and things directly behind the car) you obviously need to check all your mirrors and over your shoulders or as Pachipro says, get out and look, just to be sure. Well worth it if you have young kids like I do (2 & 5). One thing I see far too much in Japan is how many ppl open the driver's door to look back while reversing....frightening.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Record-breaking 'Avengers' smashes $1 billion mark See in context

I'd love to see it......but not showing here till Aug 17th! Here are the release dates worldwide -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848228/releaseinfo and of course, if you scroll all the way to the very bottom of the list you can see Japan -- a mere 3 months after Pakistan and Georgia and nearly 4 months after countries like Panama, S. Korea and Uruguay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Swan lake See in context

Looks like two women to me.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman bites off bag snatcher's finger in Sapporo See in context

One has to think that this guy will at some point need to get some medical assistance, so hopefully - as I hold my breath - the Jcops will alert all clinics, hospitals and pharmacies in the general area to be on the lookout for such an injury.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan Tobacco among companies fighting Australia over cigarette pack labeling law See in context

In Japan, many female smokers put their pack of smokes in little tobacco pouches/bags along with their lighters etc (although I have seen this same practice in in HK, Singapore and Korea as well). Some are even designed by trendy brands like LV, Chanel, Coach etc. Basically, I think this labeling issue wouldn't cause any disruption to most Asia-based female smokers if it was ever introduced here. But like mentioned earlier, smokers will smoke, regardless of the packaging.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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