At long last actually speaking English, rather than solving weird grammar puzzles, will be tested and hence valued. Teachers will be encouraged to teach speaking and, oh, low and behold incentivized to actually speak English themselves!
28 ( +30 / -2 )
Their competition from not only increasingly good equipment in homes (increasingly cheap 4k TVs and sound bars for people who don’t have space for surround systems) comes from Streaming services, recently adding Disney to the mix. With Disney, all kinds of spectacles are available from the sofa in a way Netflix didn’t really provide.
Frankly, I’m surprised they’re doing so well with all that considered. What they need to build on is the whole experience of going out to see a movie, as that’s what makes it special. 3D was an attempt at that, as usual let down by the technology not quite being ready. Presumably they’ll try with VR some day.
Maybe have some form of audience participation involved? I feel that’s been neglected over the years, in comparison to, say, pantomimes. Maybe they could vote on outcomes?
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Hmm attractive though it might seem, unless Japan is willing to abandon their alliances for one with Putin, they could well suddenly lose access to this at his whim. More renewables would be a better investment.
1 ( +7 / -6 )
To me it’s not whether you agree or disagree with him. That’s a personal choice. It’s that he was assassinated, so died for his job. It’s the position that this honor would celebrate and he was elected to do it.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
Really nice article, it made me appreciate how rarely the busy world of news touches on these intimate matters. I think I’d love to have someone like that to talk to when I have a problem, without any propaganda.
For me it’s not so relevant whether you believe in God or anything else, as to what extent you are improving your spiritual and general health, so it is great to have this as an option. Including for people who do have strong religious beliefs- they too can benefit from this kind of universalism.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
Glad to see the rest of the troops got out safely.
Sorry for that poor country, at the mercy of so many chaotic groups. I can only hope things get better some day.
8 ( +9 / -1 )
This is just ridiculous, who believes anything they say anymore? People criticise their artificially low numbers, which made a lot of people underestimate the danger involved and then they, "oh, sorry we forgot to add another 50%, all fixed now, okay?"
Of course it's not okay and of course the number's higher, they're just trying to defend their slow response to their citizens, who are unable to challenge the lies without ending up in jail, or worse.
5 ( +5 / -0 )
Sad to see Isis damaging so many country's economies this way. Can't people see they're hurting their own country and the poorest people living there?
1 ( +1 / -0 )
This really is about the most wrongheaded approach to this issue I could imagine. Japan has accomplished so much since the end of the war with their pacifism and modernisation, it makes no sense to torpedo their image by trying to get the rest of the world to share the denials of right-wingers who themselves are holding Japan back.
In this kind of area, it's better to either apologies afresh or avoid the issue. There is no way the rest of the world will accept the kind of white-washing going on here, so why score an own goal by bringing it up so forcefully. It's actually quite a strange paradox that such a refined society even has these views, the very best they could hope for would've something like 'the world was a very different place for Japan then, but we'd never act in such a way again and regret it deeply'.
I'm sure Japan has a lot to be proud of in their history, just as today. But not so much in that dark period. The only way forward is a Germany-style acceptance of the facts, along with a strong sense that it's nothing that can be held against present-day Japanese, living in a completely different era.
4 ( +5 / -1 )
Not sure why so many people are blaming Sony here.the major theatres had already said they wouldn't show it, I'm not sure what kind of release would be possible now. It is definitely disturbing that the North Korean hackers won here.
The whole thing is very disturbing. Just by publishing the embarassing mails, the media helped assist the North Korean hacker's intentions to cause harm to someone ridiculing their despotic government. They are juicy revelations so I can't completely blame them for seeking a fast buck that way. Sadly, the most powerful tool terrorists have is a media without morals.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
Sorry but there's just no excuse for killing innocent people like this, whatever the provocation. It sounds to me that the state-encouraged protests got out of hand and now they are worried about a massive Chinese pull-out.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Um I think the answer is already clear. Since shade is all it takes to dramatically take the heat, just play in covered courts! That may not be quite traditional, but then again the game was never designed for playing in such heat.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
If only Japan was more strict on smoking. Me and my wife ended up leaving a restaurant/bar which allowed smoking all over the shop, something that would never have happened in a more modern country where this health issue's concerned. As everyone here says, almost everywhere has smoking sections, sometimes I see them twice the size of the smoke-free ones, which can mean waiting for a seat as no-one wants to sit in the smoky part. Then there's The Hub, fun to socialise in, not so fun to get drowned in smoke in.
Japan has a lot further to go than this mistaken article suggests, though having specialised places like the above may well help to transition, I don't even want to think of the health dangers of spending more than a few minutes in one.
4 ( +5 / -1 )
Japan is a pretty authoritarian place, even with a semblance of democracy here. There are a million and one rules, even if they aren't yet written down. Not only that, but it's basically been run as a Liberal Democratic one-party state for decades. There are those who say the American, democratic influence saved Japan from themselves. This may be going a bit far, but I feel that Japan and the people here more see democracy as something that produces benefits than have a strong liberal set of beliefs. Free media and especially a media that asks difficult questions are very small scale affairs.
What isn't so well known here in the kind of circles that embrace this, is that if Japan militarises and becomes more nationalistic, it will only bring trouble. I hope a liberal form of patriotism can challenge any moves to regress to Japan's dark past, in other words that Japan can progress while still being democratic and respecting individual liberties. Even if they were learned from the Western countries, such values are universal and I'd rather Japan spread them to China then go backwards.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
Not a very smart thing for him to say, even if he privately thinks it. Japan wanting contracts and to win bids, has to be PC to avoid any self-sabotage or seeming ignorant. I really don't think all Japanese think this way, in fact as an Asian nation I've found them arguably more sympathetic to the state Islamic countries are in than a lot of Westerners, having relatively recently climbed out of a misguided theocracy themselves. Of course, not all these countries are in such an extreme state, but please look into the situation faced by minorities in many Islamic countries to see what I mean.
I do think this comes from Japan's insulation from the outside world. This reminds me a bit of the former governor of Tokyo messing up relations with China over threatening to buy the Senkaku Islands. It really doesn't make sense allowing such people to speak on the world stage, they seem to be pretty much ignorant of the outside world and have no idea the affect their words can have.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Well here we go, I'll throw in my 2 pence/cents/yen.
The kids really do take to having a foreign teacher and it does give them someone to communicate in English with. I'm sorry if a lot of people can't acknowledge this, but it's just a fact, so it does make sense to have at least some teachers from foreign countries to raise the levels of cultural understanding and English communication here. Japan is one of the most isolated major economic powers. It's true that there should also be more programs for Japanese teachers to spend time studying English conversation, either here or, better still, live abroad for some time. My team teachers who have lived abroad are much more functional at this side of English teaching.
The JET program is a little strange in that it seeks out utterly inexperienced people with the assumption that they will be 'fresh'. Why not just employ more experienced people, including those already here? The problem with assuming that the private sector will manage it is only too clear to anyone who has worked for an eikaiwa school or 'dispatch agency' (which I have). Really awful conditions which make a lot of people desperate to get out of a substandard job. English teaching isn't something that can necessarily make for a profitable business, just like any other kind of education. Expanding something like the JET program sounds like a good idea, provided they try to get more people with suitable experience.
Another issue here is this strange fixation with regional forms of English. It's true, as a teacher it makes sense to mask any strong accent for the student's sake and having native speakers is necessary in Japan as a lot of the textbooks aimed at exams have antiquated forms of English that would make a weird impression if someone tried using them in real life. Some of my American friends seem to think that anywhere you go in the world, American English is or some mythical day will be spoken there. Sorry, but that just isn't true and I can't see it happening. Which means we should focus on international English, pointing out the small variations when they crop up (and in my view they are pretty small, it's mostly the accents that differ).
I'll just throw in one more point, that I think a lot of people will admit to if they are being honest. There are experienced English teachers/foreign residents here who would be great in a school classroom and be really keen to communicate with the kids, on an emotional level as well as helping develop their English. There are also some burned out cynics who might just do it as a job. One of the reasons programs like JET go for younger teachers is just this, that they want people with enthusiasm. Having said that, I've met more newcomers to Japan who can't positively adjust to the place than longer-term teachers. If they could just use 'enthusiasm' as criteria, alongside skill and qualification, they'd be more likely to find the kind of teachers they are looking for.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
Ha ha ha! so they want the freedom to fly right close to and even (at least once) violate another country's airspace and then to be left alone to do this. Some UN member! It's true it was provocative of Japan to buy them from their private owner, but this was done to prevent the even worse move of Tokyo's Governor doing so himself.
More communication is necessary. China's tactics are senseless, though and just looking at their desire to expand into other 'disputed' territories shows Japan is right to be vigilant.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
I personally find it distasteful to deny her victims that right. People removed from the situation may also be uninformed about the terrible damage she did to so many communities and the dangerous assumption that such actions are 'necessary for the greater good'. For some she may well be a hero, to others a villain. No-one can deny the suffering she caused to so many, even if they try to justify it in the name of ideology, or political expedience. Many parts of the UK still haven't recovered from the damage, which as I understand it is unique in modern history. They aren't celebrating her death as such, so much as the fact that she is gone, which brings them a sense of release.
0 ( +7 / -7 )
I don't want to over-react to what may be splitting hairs, but it does sound like they are giving themselves risky 'wriggle room', for those plants that want to save a few bucks on safety measures. After what happened, you'd think they would be a lot more strict, especially for those older reactors, with presumably more primitive safety features.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Very hard to believe China in all of this. Can't remember them saying sorry for anything after they 'voted' (irony intended) a Communist government in power. Why would Japan, endlessly trying to calm the situation, make something like this up? It's more likely they'd suppress it from their population.
As for people hostile to Japan still, it seems you are thinking of a Japan that died at the end of WW2 and in many ways China took on it's qualities.
The source of this problem is a growing China seeking neighbouring territory to expand. I can only hope the free countries in the area and especially the US will be enough to disuade them from leaving a path of diplomacy and non-agression.
10 ( +10 / -0 )
Well he is clearly an artist, so this is clearly artistic expression. The difference with pornography is it's sole purpose is to titillate. These kind of laws, which I don't really agree with, should be applied with some discretion. It seems to me the real problem is eroticising under-age girls rather than artists expressing themselves.
13 ( +15 / -2 )
Whatever you say about Mc Donalds, the service they offer here in Japan is amazing. It's really unfair to be pushing their staff this way when they are already doing their best. Who cares about 60 seconds, it's already fast enough... in fact I'm glad when I need to wait, as it means something's being freshly cooked.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
So cynical it's almost hard to believe. Then if the guard isn't around/ in another part of the school it's all his fault, or a tactical mistake and ridiculous gun laws continue. Not only that, it's a chance to sell more guns and expand the security industry further. I do think though that time is not on these guy's side. Smoking is banned in many areas, public healthcare is in the rise and the US is generally raising the standards. Just because a culture of something dangerous has developed, that doesn't mean it can rely on support from the rest of society forever, especially when they become it's random victims.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Just shows how scary mob rule in China is, if even a nice guy like Jackie Chan is terrified of it into making unfair statements.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
Sounds like the 'Olympic Family' sees this as an chance for their own entertainment, rather than having a sincere wish to make a community event 'for the people'. As for Romney, he was actually attacked for regurgitating the criticisms and fears of the very media that latter pilloried him. The impression I'm getting is that an establishment elite is arrogantly unaware of the people they are supposed to be serving and are even keeping a lion's share of the seats for themselves.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
How shameless of them, to ask to remove a memorial to innocent victims of sexual slavery, just because they'd rather forget it all happened! I only hope there will be more memorials and the word will spread.
5 ( +5 / -0 )
Reading through the comments here, I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding about what this operation is hoping to achieve. It's not trying to keep radiation in as such the way lead could, but to trap particles in the sea-bed where they settled, so they don't drift out any more than they already have.
I certainly wouldn't want to defend the company and it's attempts to avoid compensation and liabilities one bit, but as I see it, attempts to fix things up are another matter and I think it's overly pessimistic to see them as hopeless. In fact, I see a lot of the people involved in containing the radiation as modern-day heroes (even if they are mostly unsung heroes).
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Sounds like a good idea. Concrete has been used to shield nuclear power plants for generations and it's a pretty firm and convenient to apply material. I hadn't actually realised that so much of it had settled into the nearby seabed, but seeing as the substances are relatively heavy, it makes sense and this will stop much of them from being washed away by erosion.
I understand the profound loss of faith in TEPCO a lot of people have, but we shouldn't think their actions to improve the situation are pointless and I'd certainly rather they did this than did nothing. I'm pretty sure there are some very intelligent, responsible-minded people involved in this, who realise just how serious the situation is and are doing whatever they can to contain it.
2 ( +3 / -0 )