ThonTaddeo comments

Posted in: If you work in Japan, how much Japanese-language ability is needed in your job? See in context

They expect total fluency and the same reaction time as a native would have. It's no picnic.

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Posted in: Mother, boyfriend get suspended sentence for leaving scalded child at home See in context

@Serendipitous - the article might have been updated since it was first published, but the child is only Ms. Hashimoto's; the guy is just her shiftless-bum boyfriend who lives with her and apparently enjoys gambling at pachinko with her. He's clearly not mature enough yet to have children of his own; let's hope he straightens his life out at some point.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan to set up police unit to help defend disputed islets: NHK See in context

@Samit --

Both Taiwan and the Diaoyu Islands sit west of the Kuroshio current, while Okinawa sit east of it.

At least get the directions correct. In the region we are looking at, the undisputedly-Okinawan islands (Ishigaki, the other Yaeyamas, and Yonaguni) are south of this current, and the disputed islands are north of it.

If it's such smooth sailing from Taiwan, why didn't any Taiwanese ever live there or build any facilities there? And yet Okinawans did -- look into Tatsushiro Koga's bonito processing plant, which employed a few hundred Yaeyamans and Yonagunians. They all got there by boat with zero problems.

Your map focuses on landmasses during the ice age, before the dawn of human civilization. Connecting these islands to the gigantic land shelf that would have extended eastward from China is completely irrelevant to today's borders and has been for at least 10,000 years.

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Posted in: Japan to set up police unit to help defend disputed islets: NHK See in context

@Samit - I'm a little confused by this argument:

Okinawans didn't go to the Diaoyu Islands due to the Kuroshio current divide making the sailing very difficult and rough.

...combined with this one:

easily reached from Taiwan on the other hand

The islands are most easily reached not from Taiwan, but from the Yaeyamas (which they lie directly north of) and Yonaguni (which they are northeast of, and which is much closer to them than Taiwan is).

So it is not surprising that Okinawans have been fishing there for centuries, particularly in the years after 1609 when the Satsuma conquerors took taxes so heavy that the islanders didn't have enough food to eat. They had to hand over what little rice these islands could generate (and that isn't much, in the sandy Yaeyamas) and were forced to fish just to have enough food to survive.

@Norman -

We are talking about imperial scum here.

If you want to claim that the creation of Okinawa prefecture in 1879 was wrong, I won't argue, and if you say Japanese occupation of Okinawa beginning in 1609 was illegitimate and wrong, I'll be right there standing with you.

But that doesn't make these islands Chinese. The Chinese never lived on them. The only people to make use of them historically has been Okinawans. People from the Yaeyamas and Yonaguni fished there; people from these islands staffed the bonito plant that was built there in the early 20th century.

And geographically China's claim makes no sense. Draw a dividing line equidistant from Yonaguni and Taiwan. Where do these islands lie? Very, very far east of the line. If they were Taiwanese, there would be a giant overhang, practically encircling Yonaguni, which would make no sense at all.

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Posted in: Japan to set up police unit to help defend disputed islets: NHK See in context

 I recognize that the islands belong to Japan


by the same internationally recognized process of having stolen them that every other country operates upon 

This part is incorrect. Japan didn't "steal" these islands. No one lived on them or claimed ownership of them when the Okinawans first started going there a few centuries ago. No one lived there or claimed them when Japan asserted ownership of them as part of Okinawa prefecture in the 1890s.

They are not "stolen" because there was no owner to steal them from.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: China, Japan, S Korea to step up cultural ties despite disputes See in context

I notice that in all three languages on the sign in the background, each country names itself first. You'd think people would want to be gracious and name themselves last.

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Posted in: Mother of road-rage victim calls for harsher penalties See in context

Society is outrages when people use guns and knives as weapons; even when just threatening people and not actually attacking them. But when the weapon is an automobile, people seem not to care as much. I don't know about most people, but I'm a lot more afraid of being killed or maimed by an automobile driver, whether it's malicious or negligent, than I am of any more conventional weapon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: China instructs fishermen to stay clear of Senkakus See in context

Then Japan administered the islands as part of Taiwan.

This is not true; they were administered as part of Okinawa; specifically, Yaeyama-gun, which includes Ishigaki and the rest of the islands that surround it. Yonaguni island, to the west of all these islands including the Senkakus, was and is a separate municipality.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: It's about time to move ahead with full-fledged discussions on the Constitution in the Diet. See in context

He's bee saying this same "it's about time" nonsense for seven years.

The peace-loving public doesn't want this. Only this son-of-a-war-criminal does.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: As trade war rages, central banks ponder radical steps See in context

The propagandistic tone of these articles is really sickening.

the policy has brought some success in Europe. Since the European Central Bank (ECB) adopted negative rates five years ago, the euro has lost just over a sixth of its value against the greenback.

Currency losing value is only a "success" for central banks looking to devalue their debts at the public's expense, and maybe for one-percenter elites who can take advantage of it; it's a slow slide into poverty for wage-earning workers in the EU who need the euro they earn to maintain its value.

Come on, JT. This continual cheerleading for governments and central banks has no place in journalism.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan Post to end Saturday standard mail delivery next year See in context

The postal service unit is considering a 10 percent cut in charges for express mail in return for discontinuing Saturday mail service.

Express mail might get cheaper, but the price of the regular mail that ordinary people use every day has skyrocketed: a postcard was 50 yen and is now 62, a 24% increase. (Will it go up another 1 or 2 yen when the consumption tax rises?)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn's wife denounces restrictions on contacts See in context

Ghosn, arrested in November, is out on bail. He says he is innocent.

No need for the "he says" part: the man is innocent until proven guilty.

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Posted in: Fed cuts key rate for first time in more than a decade See in context

Ultra-low inflation can slow growth by causing consumers to postpone purchases, which, in turn, slows consumer spending, the economy's main fuel.

Wow; the LDP propagandists are even inserting this nonsense into articles about the US now. I guess all governments worldwide like the idea of running up debt and then devaluing it and leaving the public with less purchasing power.

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Posted in: Fukushima residents look for Olympic PR boost See in context

The entire Olympic Games should have been held in Tohoku. Sendai has plenty of facilities and it wouldn't have been any more expensive than Tokyo.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: New drink line-up from Asahi Beverages boosts concentration with NIPPLTQTPVVVPPFLQPE See in context

Is it just me, or is lactononadecapeptide a lot easier to pronounce and understand than NIPPLTQTPVVVPPFLQPE? Seeing that word in the headline is what made me read the article, I'll admit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: As a general rule, you can tell a lot about people's personalities by the way they treat restaurant or store staff. Do you agree with this? See in context

I've never understood why people consider restaurant staff to be "powerless". Treat one of them badly and you could find your food spat in or worse.

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Posted in: Nissan confirms profit plunge as job cuts reported See in context

after being plunged into crisis by the arrest of its former chief Carlos Ghosn,

More like "after plunging itself into crisis by having its former chief Carlos Ghosn arrested".

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Posted in: Elderly drivers – are you aware of the suffering that results when you cause an accident? See in context

public transport should be free for people over certain age ( even earlier if they give up their license ) 

It should be for anyone who cannot drive, particularly for people with disabilities that prevent them from ever being able to obtain a license for the first time. Non-drivers pay tax money out the nose all through their lifetime to support an infrastructure they can't fully use.

Perhaps there should be a huge tax rebate for being a non-driver, or a much bigger annual fee to have a license. As long as the current system is in place, elderly drivers and others who shouldn't really be driving anymore are going to keep their licenses, because there's almost no downside to having one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe says no need to raise sales tax beyond 10% for decade See in context

@smithinjapan - I noticed this and other scams when the tax went to 10%; another was to take a round-number price that had been tax-inclusive, and then add 8% to that, so something that had been 952 yen plus 5% tax (so 1000 yen tax-in) was now 1000 yen plus 8% tax.

Now at my job I'm seeing the next level of this scam: prices that are (round number plus 8%), like 2160 yen or 32,400 yen, on invoices with the 8% tax added to those!

This is what Abe wanted: the steady destruction of the working class's buying power through inflation and price increases, so that the massive debts his government continues to build every year decrease in value -- at the public's expense.

I can't wait until he's gone.

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Posted in: The Carlos Ghosn case – the return of Japan Inc See in context

I should note that it is only out of great respect for my country that I am raising this warning flag so that we can change course.

The fact that Mr. Takano feels the need to insert this line into his article is itself a little scary.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Once a backer of the BOJ's price target, Abe turns his back on Kuroda See in context

QE has been happening for nearly 2 decades and the result has been low to negative price inflation,

This might have been true before 2012, but not now. A visit to any supermarket will disabuse you of the idea that there hasn't been inflation. There has, and it's squeezing the working class harder every year.

If anything, it says that the pre-2012 QE was the right level, and the outrageous yen-crushing level of QE since Abe and Kuroda took over is what has been ruinous for the average person.

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Posted in: The Cultural Affairs Agency plans to issue a directive calling on public offices, media agencies and other organizations to use the surname first for Romanized Japanese names, something which Foreign Minister Taro Kono has been urging. What's your stance on this? See in context

In English, given names come first.

In Japanese, family names come first.

What right does a Cultural Affairs Agency have to order organizations and individuals to violate the norms of their own spoken language?

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Posted in: Japan's detention center gives foreign media a look See in context

Hey, you don’t like the accommodations... don’t commit the crime.

This is a photograph of a detention center, not a prison. The people in these places have not been convicted of anything.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: 71-year-old arrested over threat to attack 'noisy' kindergarteners See in context

There is an old man in my apartment building who screams abuse at teenagers who sit talking in the park that the building overlooks. Kids come to play in it during the day and the elderly (who make up more than half the residents in my building) get angry at them and tell them to keep the noise down.

But then when the neighborhood oldsters decided to go out there at 6:30 AM to do radio taiso, blasting the boombox so loud that it wakes up the whole neighborhood, nobody can complain about them. They just dial up the volume if any of the sleep-deprived working-age people call City Hall to complain.

Funny how the elderly always get their way!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's detention center gives foreign media a look See in context

Bathing is allowed three times a week in the summer, and twice in the winter. 

This part is absolutely barbaric and indefensible. Even if these inmates were guilty, what purpose does requiring them to be filthy and smelly serve?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan toughens checks on disabled workers' employment See in context

I am familiar with this system as I work in my company's personnel department and they are always talking about how they're going to have to pay fines.

What I don't understand is how no mention is made of disabled people being obligated to tell their employers about their disabilities. I myself have a government-recognized visual disability and haven't told the company; why would I? I was bullied for it and can't see anything good coming from revealing it as long as I can still do my job. Eventually if my job changes and I need some kind of accommodation (which might well happen; they are considering making us use laptop computers, whose screen fonts are far too small for me to see), I suppose I'll have to tell them, but the idea that employers should get this info as a matter of course is a little weird to me.

My company isn't even talking about making things easier for people with disabilities; they're planning to just pay the fine. And the company receives money from the government for each disabled person they hire, but that money doesn't get earmarked for any kind of accommodation costs nor is it passed on to the worker; they just pocket it. So why would a disabled person reveal their secret if they didn't have to?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to ban free plastic bags at stores to fight marine pollution See in context

The problem with the "just bring your own bags" argument is that it's infinitely easier for people who drive cars to the store to keep a few bags in their cars than it is for pedestrians who drop in at the store on their way back from work to keep a crinkly plastic bag in their pockets all the time. Why are we making it easier to shop by automobile and harder if you're walking?

And nobody is ever talking about charging for parking, which is often provided for free, takes up a ton of land, and causes massive amounts of dioxins to be spewed into the air.

As someone with impaired eyesight who will never be able to benefit from car-centric shopping, I resent the favoritism toward cars and the ignorance of the costs they impose on the public. I'd gladly pay for a bag if the car people have to pay for their parking spaces!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Kono to ask foreign media to switch order of Japanese names See in context

Kono is being ridiculous. In the English language, given names come first. In the Japanese language, family names are said first. Just because China and Korea have somehow convinced English-language media to violate the principles of their own language doesn't mean that it should be done for Japan too.

And does he plan to make all the other non-English European language media do the same thing?

There is (at least) one European language where surnames are said first -- Hungarian -- and you don't ever see English-language newspapers or TV stations preserving Hungarian order and saying things like "Orban Viktor", do you?

Japanese bureaucracy has very little respect for Westerners' names these days: the new zairyu cards no longer have any Japanese orthography on them; they force people to use extraneous and needless middle names; there is even the infamous and embarrassing case of the MoJ humiliating married German women whose maiden names were on their German passports by treating the helpful field header geborene __ as if it were part of their actual names.

No, Kono's beef is because he has seen the other two big Asian powers get the Western media to kowtow to them and twist the English language, and thinks Japan should get the same privilege. It's a privilege that none of them should have.

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Posted in: Over 20% of Burger Kings in Japan suddenly vanishing this month See in context

It is ll the effect of deflation, people don't have money yet this fast foot are creating their own downfall by raising prices

That's in-flation, not de-flation. If we had deflation, and BK burgers cost less, I'd probably go out of my way to buy them from time to time. Thanks, inflation-obsessed Bank of Japan!

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Posted in: Why do Japanese pro baseball team uniforms have the players' names in Romaji instead of kanji? See in context

Smartacus, I don't think I've ever seen any player names on the backs of uniforms at the high school level, in either kanji or Roman. Sometimes you'll see players hand-writing their names in kanji, instead of numbers, on their all-white practice uniforms, but not on game uniforms.

Even at the professional level, I'm a fan of uniforms with only numbers on the backs and not names. From the cheap seats -- and there are fewer and fewer of those these days -- names are impossible to read in any alphabet. Give us a nice big clean number that anybody can read; the scoreboards have the players' names and on TV we have graphics for that.

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