ThonTaddeo comments

Posted in: In final hearing, Kelly's lawyer says his client not involved in Ghosn payment dealings See in context

Nissan lured him back to Japan, on the pretext of attending a meeting

I'm continually amazed that no one seems to have a problem with this part, and that it seems to be legal.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: What do you think will replace email as a form of communication in the future? See in context

Does e-mail need to be replaced for some reason?

I find e-mail infinitely easier to use, and less mentally taxing, than the group chat apps that seem to be taking over the world these days.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The 'zombification' of married life See in context

Oops; this line should be a quote:

It’s an evolution the government is actively encouraging

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: The 'zombification' of married life See in context

It’s an evolution the government is actively encouraging

The government is encouraging this not out of a desire for gender equality, with talented women being able to work and loving fathers able to put childcare first; they're encouraging this because they want additional tax money and they want consumer prices to rise and for it to require two incomes just to get by.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Reduced splash, easier smartphone operation among reasons more guys prefer to pee while seated See in context

I have never once pulled my phone out while using the toilet, and would certainly not change my toilet methods to make it easier to use a phone. Why expose it to bacteria?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan opposition pledges to tax the rich in election platform See in context

 the vast majority of people then pay no tax revenues for their food

This is how things should be and should be a basic moral decision. No one should have to pay the government a spiff for something as basic as food.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Fukuoka declares bid to host G7 summit in 2023 See in context

As much as Fukuoka could use the attention, I honestly wish these events would stop -- their only purpose seems to be to give the National Police Agency an opportunity to waste taxpayer money and block off roads and hassle people on the street in places as far away as Sapporo and Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors seek 2-year jail term for Kelly See in context

If the new guy had been the one to approach prosecutors with information of criminal activity at Nissan, perhaps he too could have struck a deal to avoid prosecution. He didn't.

What criminal activity would he have approached them with? His activities at Nissan weren't criminal. He's on trial because nefarious actors colluded with the government to twist non-criminal actions into something bad.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: 3 Japan PM hopefuls urge elderly to stay on job for pension system See in context

Many Japanese companies have a pre-retirement demotion plan for people as young as in their late 40s. 

This is something that is hardly ever talked about, but should be. Japan's employment stability is famous but the ways in which immoral employers chip away at it with things like this deserve more recognition. They will ruthlessly cut the pay of employees who reach a certain age and haven't shown management potential, and often have formal systems in place to cut the pay of 60-year-olds who reach "retirement" age but want to keep working. Can't exactly retire if there's no pension in place for you, so these people are stuck working for pay that can be lower than a fresh graduate. All that institutional knowledge devalued just because the employee is getting older and the company knows they won't get hired anywhere else!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 See in context

@takeda.shingen - to Trump's credit, he wasn't playing golf; he visited the New York police and fire departments. Whatever anyone may think of the military, the NYPD and FDNY were full of true heroes, rushing into certain death to save office workers trapped in the buildings.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Uber Eats Japan halts hiring of foreign students for food delivery See in context

One's eligibility to work can be proven very easily with a simple printout of one's resident registration (juminhyo), available at every city and town hall. You don't even have to risk copying a passport or "gaijin" card.

Surely Uber Eats has people in personnel who are familiar with this. Or maybe they are using this as cover for dumping employees that some of their less-modern-thinking customers don't like.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: WHO monitoring new coronavirus variant named 'Mu' See in context

Mu: pronounced “Myu” as in “mutation”, not ‘Mu’ like “moo” from a cow.

In ancient Greek it was like mü, with the sound of the German ü. English doesn't really have that sound, so we have to make do with a regular u (as in 'moo') or something like 'yu'; neither perfectly matches the original though the 'myu' version introduces a new sound (the 'y' in the middle) whereas the 'moo' version just alters the 'ü'.

Incidentally, the sound has changed in Greek over the centuries and these days Greeks will say the name of the letter like 'mi'.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: WHO monitoring new coronavirus variant named 'Mu' See in context

@Cleo - Mu is the 12th letter in the Greek alphabet (13th if you count the archaic letters), so I think they're skipping around when they assign letters to these corona variants.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Karasawa, Wada win silver, bronze in men's T11 5,000 meters See in context

@Mr Kipling - the guides are actually substituted out during the race so they only have to run at the same speed as the competitors for a portion of the distance. They're still pretty impressive, though.

@ShinkansenCaboose - I share your visual impairment and know just how you feel! In the picture, the people wearing big orange shirts are the guides, and the ones between them in ordinary running gear are the competitors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Illegal amounts of overtime going on at 37% of Japanese companies in government inspections See in context

the loop of Japan's never-ending air-conditioned nightmare.

Even that is an optimistic look at things; we once had proper air conditioning, but these days most companies keep things at 28 degrees indoors to save money. Oops, did I say money? I meant energy. Energy. We all know how environmentally conscious Japanese corporations are.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to oblige businesses to reduce 12 disposable plastic items See in context

Jind, get the ones made of stiff paper. They're more solid and clean year ears much better than the cheap bendy plastic ones.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you respect anti-vaxxers' stance? See in context

Is there some reason for JT using the bizarre spelling "vaxxer" with a very unnatural double-X?

It is difficult enough to have debates on this subject, and this spelling will only cause the anti-vaccine side to become more defensive as they see this kind of mockery directed at them.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: Detained Sri Lankan 'treated like a dog,' says family after seeing video See in context

Keep in mind that this was only the sections of the video that they were willing to reveal.

I don't want to think about what got redacted.

Shame on you, Ministry of "Justice".

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Djokovic's temper flares up as he leaves Tokyo empty-handed See in context

But Djokovic withdrew from that match citing a left shoulder injury - handing the bronze medal to Australia.

Nina Stojanovic was deprived of the chance to get a medal thanks to this.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Frenchman in Tokyo ends hunger strike over his 'abducted' children See in context

In a society where there seem to be bad-parenting stories in the news every day, I salute this man for his devotion to his children. It's something we need a lot more of.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Posted in: Nihon? Nippon? What’s the correct name for Japan at the Tokyo Olympics (and in general)? See in context

In Japanese, syllables starting with an H and those starting with a P are linguistically linked, and it’s not uncommon for an H to become a P for a mid-word syllable. 

This isn't really the best analysis. Historically, all those h sounds were once p sounds, and more than a millennium ago, the single ps (but not the double ps, and not in certain sound-effect words) started weakening, first into f (which persisted until the 1600s) and then to today's h (except before u). The h hasn't "become" a p so much as the p sound has survived without changing to h.

We can still see this variation in lots of other words, such as yahari and yappari, or how a ray of light is a hikari and "to shine" is hikaru but the sound effect of something glinting is pika-pika.

Nippon is the older, less-changed pronunciation, but it's not like people are going to stop saying Nihon. After all, they started saying it because it was easier to say.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Why is Taiwan not called Taiwan at the Olympics? See in context

I really wish West Taiwan would stop telling the Republic of China what to call itself.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics: Pandemic, heat ... and now a typhoon's en route See in context

If the money-grubbing IOC was determined to have the Games in July or August, perhaps the JOC could have chosen a more suitable host city, such as Sapporo or the very-deserving Sendai, to be the host city.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Prosecutors drop case against all 100 recipients of ex-minister's bribes See in context

Mr. Kawai arranges bribes to help his wife get elected, and is found guilty and sent to prison for three years.

Mrs. Kawai receives the bribes, is found guilty, but gets a suspended sentence, doesn't have to go to prison, and get to keep her post in government!?

And the bribe takers also see the charges against them dropped. Looks like Mrs. Kawai is surrounded by fall guys who take all the punishment while nothing happens to her!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Blurring the line between work and play: 'Workation' rentals become a thing in Japan See in context

@Thomas, it's not quite as bad as you suggest; you don't have to pay for all 30 days, only Fridays through Sundays, national holidays, and days before holidays. So in a typical month, you might only have to pay 5500 yen x 12 or 14.

But then there's a limit of only four nights per stay. So I suppose you'd have to vacate several times. And pay another cleaning fee each time.

Looks like what could have been fun and relaxing isn't quite that way when you look deeper. Of course the confusing bureaucracy and stifling rules take a lot of the fun out of this situation.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese lawmakers earned average of ¥24.16 million last year See in context

That is all you get paid and have a masters degree? My retirement monthly check is double that, and I only worked 14 years!

The previous poster's salary is common nowadays, even with a postgrad degree, and even for people who have worked more years than you did. Today's workers just aren't as well compensated as your generation was.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan backs off on forecast of 30 gold medals at Tokyo Olympics See in context

Watching these smug besuited executives set medal "targets" for the country, as if the athletes will have somehow failed if their total isn't high enough, is disgusting. If they put forth their best effort, I'm happy.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan consumer prices rise for first time in 14 months See in context

@Herve and Reckless - this is how even the analysts participate in the deception of the public. Just yesterday I was reading a recent paperback about how Japan is becoming a "cheap" country compared to most of the world, and one chapter was about an analysis of records from point-of-sale terminals and whether the prices they record for specific products have risen or lowered. There was a graph showing the ratio of increases to decreases for each year, and it looked like neither side had the advantage, with almost as many increases as decreases every year.

What the author didn't even mention is that if less product is put in the same package, manufacturers can pull the trick of lowering the number on the price tag while actually charging much more: a 20% decrease in volume but with a 5% decrease in price is actually a huge price increase, but it looks cheaper in the system.

This deception has been pulled with so many products in the past decade or so. I don't think the analysts are stupid, but I do wonder if they have an agenda they are pushing; specifically, the BoJ's agenda.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Former justice minister Kawai gets 3 years for vote-buying See in context

So the husband who buys votes goes to jail, but the wife who received the votes, and who is occupying a governmental position thanks to those votes, has been found guilty but gets a suspended sentence and doesn't have to go to jail? Is she still at her post, "serving" the people?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn pledges lengthy fight to clear his name See in context


TOKYO, Jan. 7, 2020 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo District Court will forfeit the 1.5-billion-yen (14 million U.S. dollars) bail money posted by former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn,

The court will forfeit the bail money, or Ghosn will? I thought Ghosn would have to forfeit it, having fled the country. A very lucrative development for the court system!


People keep bringing up the high conviction rates in US federal courts; these are a red herring as federal courts are not where they handle the things an ordinary person is likely to be accused of. I imagine that these numbers include all courts:

 In the U.S. the conviction rate for contested trials is about 83 percent. In Japan, the conviction rate for contested cases is over 96 percent. This difference of roughly 13 percent is significant for defendants, but hardly the yawning chasm 

...and even here, Japan's terrifying conviction rate is on display, as the difference should not be calculated this way. A more accurate method would be to compare the 4% chance of being found not guilty in Japan compared to 17% in the US; your odds are 4.25 times as good in the US. And of course this does not address Japan's appalling pre-trial detention system that creates false confessions, or the inability of detainees to prepare for their own defense or even make arrangements for their affairs after they are convicted. Japan's detention system is disgusting and inhumane. The rest of society is wonderful, but the justice system is indefensible.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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