Teachmeteachyou comments

Posted in: Uniqlo suspends most Bangladesh travel as attack rattles garment industry See in context

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 )

Posted in: Japan's global PR message could misfire with focus on wartime past See in context

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 )

Posted in: Sony cancels Dec 25 U.S. release of 'The Interview' after threats See in context

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 )

Posted in: Vietnam clamps down on anti-China protests See in context

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 )

Posted in: It's the Australian Oven as temperatures soar See in context

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 )

Posted in: Smoking Cafe last oasis for increasingly ostracized smokers See in context

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 )

Posted in: Abe's 'stealth' constitution plan raises civil rights fears See in context

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 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor apologizes to Muslim world for gaffe See in context

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 )

Posted in: Gov't plans to increase number of foreign English teachers to 10,000 See in context

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 )

Posted in: China calls on Japan to stop scrambling its fighters See in context

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 )

Posted in: What do you think about those people who are holding parties to celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher? See in context

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 )

Posted in: Nuclear Regulation Authority changes 'safety standards' to 'guidelines' See in context

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 )

Posted in: U.S. believes Japan on China radar incident See in context

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 )

Posted in: Fashionistas defend 'obscene' photographer Leslie Kee See in context

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 )

Posted in: McDonald’s 60-second campaign a bit much for staff See in context

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 )

Posted in: NRA chief defends call for armed guards at schools See in context

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 )

Posted in: Burger King offers all-you-can-eat Whopper buffet See in context

It sounded good, until I heard 30 minutes instead of the customary 90 for a buffet. Not healthy to stuff food like this, not cool.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Jackie Chan weighs in on China-Japan island dispute See in context

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 )

Posted in: Backlash over empty seats at Olympics See in context

“I heard my company had loads of tickets but they were only for very important people,” she said.

This really says it all. Aren't we all important people when it comes to sports?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Backlash over empty seats at Olympics See in context

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 )

Posted in: New Jersey town's monument to Korean sex slaves upsetting Japanese officials See in context

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 )

Posted in: TEPCO to cement 73,000 sq meters of seabed off Fukushima See in context

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 )

Posted in: TEPCO to cement 73,000 sq meters of seabed off Fukushima See in context

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 )

Posted in: China complains to Japan over Nagoya mayor's Nanjing massacre denial See in context

Just the kind of thing the Chinese Communist party likes to hear, as anger at idiots like this is just about the only thing keeping them in power so long past their sell-by date. Personally, I'd like to see Japan move on and take up a leadership role in Asia, just like Germany has in Europe, having this continue is just holding everyone back from the reconciliation that brings peace.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't to probe radioactive apartment block See in context

What especially blows my mind is this 'motainai' attitude to things from or near the evacuation zone. Now I know that companies have workers and need to keep working to pay wages and so on. But there should have been a blanket ban on much more than there was, or is. Which does mean massive compensation for those affected. But better safe than sorry- nothing from within that zone (or near it) can be considered safe unless it is tested.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nice offer See in context

Right, on the train there now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Lawmaker drinks decontaminated water from Fukushima plant See in context

He sipped but he didn't swallow. At least I hope so, for his sake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: TEPCO report faults operating manual; disputes hydrogen explosion See in context

Who knows what other companies were following lax rules because the regulators wanted to keep nuclear cheap? It happened to TEPCO, but the problem is a lack of attention to safety around the board.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Radiation found in rice from Fukushima Pref; more tests planned See in context

Can someone please tell me why they are continuing to harvest anything at all from near there? Plenty of other places that are safer, it just boggles the mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. to expand military presence in Australia to counter China See in context

The truth is that no-one in the region wants to be the lone chicken picked off by a hungry chinese fox. No-one is saying America is some kind of perfect angel, but at least is mostly a decent country and offers the hand of protection in exchange for some small favours here and there. Certainly, letting America have bases in their country has made South Korea and Japan safer from external threats and being influenced by the sole remaining superpower has lead to some incredible economic growth. Of course, I'd love a safer world and for all this money to go into schools and hospitals rather than battlefields, but smart strategic thinking means you have to be ready for the unthinkable. It's actually a lot cheaper to work with America rather than try and build up an independent deterrent, a kind of pooling of resources.

Though for all this, this is a two-edged sword for the Australian conscience. Positioned far from the events of the rest of the world, there must be a natural instinct to call for pacifism and a return to civilised norms, even when the cultures confronting each other are so different. If the US does use Australia as a launchpad for a colonial war of 'liberation' (a big if, as much of their actions in this region have been humanitarian in nature), it will be hard for Australia to keep a distance from it. They are traditionally strong allies of the US, so it would be unlikely they'd want to, but they might this way be more strongly involved than otherwise. I personally think it's worth the risk and worth trusting America to let them keep the freedom to opt out of any operations they conscientiously object to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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