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ThonTaddeo comments

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

My job requires 100% Japanese, with full understanding of every word and phrase, and full cultural fluency as well. Can't get tired listening to those long pointless meetings, either. Today's chat/messaging-heavy workplace is tougher than ever because you can't see people's facial expressions or get context.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: How often do you use self check-outs at supermarkets and convenience stores? Do you prefer them over human checkout counters? See in context

@Gill -- totally agreed on how complex and inefficient the whole thing is.

Particularly the order in which you have to answer the "side quest" questions: they make you tell them how you want to pay before you even know what your total will be, so unless you've been keeping a precise running total of the bill as you put stuff in your basket, you can't really asnwer. If you've got 3000 yen in your pocket and are figuring you can use a credit card if the bill is more than that, how can you say how you'll be paying at the very beginning?

Similarly, if you've brought your own bag but the goods you buy aren't going to fit, you won't know until you've rung everything up. Ask the bag question after that!

Why even force people to answer that stuff at any specific time? The train companies had all this figured out 20 years ago: you can select your train ticket and then pay, or you can put the money in first and then buy the ticket. You can press a button for audio help but also keep things quiet if you don't need it. Super efficient, flexible, and fast. I have no idea why they haven't been hired to create the supermarket machines, because the ones in the supermarkets are a loud, stress-inducing mess.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese firms offer highest pay hike in 32 years in spring wage talks See in context

a positive cycle of pay and price increases

They keep spouting this propaganda, as if price increases were somehow good for wage-earners. The true positve cycle is between pay and productivity increases, with no price increases, so your spending power goes up all the time and improving technology enables you to produce more. The only thing price increases do is take away the value of any wage gains you might have gotten.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: How often do you use self check-outs at supermarkets and convenience stores? Do you prefer them over human checkout counters? See in context

Human checkout 100%.

If the self-checkout machines were more like the ticket machines at train stations, they'd be fine. But the ones at the stores have a rigid order in which you have to do everything, forcing you to press lots of buttons and answer questions (no, I don't have your silly point card) just to finish a simple transaction. And they're loud. Sometimes I think that if I have to hear some high-pitched machine voice screech オシハライホーホー... one more time, I'm going to have a panic attack.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese leaders are gutless. They've always been gutless. They haven't fought for real sovereignty for that matter. See in context

He's right but not for the reason he thinks: the Japanese leadership in Tokyo accepts US defense aid to deter big, bad China, but forces most of the bases to be in Okinawa, one of the poorest, most discriminated-against prefectures, which wasn't historically part of Japan and which was discriminated against by their mainland overlords for centuries. If the Tokyo elites had "guts", they'd force their own Yamato people to endure the bases rather than the Okinawans.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Posted in: Snake on Yamanote line train cause commotion in Tokyo See in context

Snakes on a train? Where's Samuel L. Jackson when you need him?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Cool Biz campaign begins across Japan See in context

Where I work, it's 28 in the summer but also 25-26 in the winter. No such thing as "Warm Biz"; it's overheated all year 'round. Ridiculously one-sided.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: What smartphone habits by some people bother you the most? See in context

The massive amounts of personal space that they grant themselves while walking with their heads pointed down toward their phones. They know that they're not paying attention to anything around them, but they somehow have the sense to leave just enough space between their bobbing-and-weaving selves and the walls or fences so that no one can overtake them and they become even more of a public burden than someone wandering around in public paying no attention to their surroundings would be to begin with. It's uncanny.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: How the weak yen is affecting ordinary households See in context

Happy to see the tabloid magazines saying what the LDP-loving mainstream media won't: the BoJ is destroying the working class with inflation and devaluation, and while they tried to delude the people into thinking it's for their own good, the workers see right through it. Now if only the people could vote these thieves out!

7 ( +17 / -10 )

Posted in: 63 doctors, dentists sue Google for keeping reviews they say are unfair See in context

This entire culture of people being able to publicly rate the people they come in contact with needs an overhaul. Sometimes I think it's yet another attack on small businesses: a giant corporation can bathe in hateful reviews and nothing bad will happen to them, but a neighborhood shop or even an individual selling old stuff online will be destroyed by a few spiteful "Karens" who will blow small problems out of proportion and now have a platform to tell the entire world. Who benefits? The Amazons and Wal-Marts of the world who don't have to worry about such slander.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Police practice of stopping and questioning comes under media scrutiny See in context

"I'd like to see a change in the police approach toward Japanese who have foreign roots," the litigant told Machi Kunizaki

A little disappointing to see this naturalizer "pulling the ladder up after himself", so to speak. The police shouldn't be hassling anyone who isn't suspicious, whether they hold Japanese nationality or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan says 'all options' on table to counter excessive yen moves See in context

A weak yen cuts both ways for Japan. It boosts the overseas earnings of Japanese exporters in yen terms but it also inflates import costs, in a blow to resource-scarce Japan.

I'll give these copy-paste journalists (note the lack of an individual byline) credit: they've modified this hackneyed sentence to at least mention the weak yen's effect on import costs. Until now it was "weak yen good; who cares about the working class" all the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ohtani's ex-interpreter charged with stealing $16 mil from baseball star in sports betting case See in context

@Stormcrow - wasn't there a scandal with the Angels a few years ago where a staffer was involved in getting drugs for multiple players? While I'm very happy to see that Ohtani is innocent, I wonder if other players weren't funneling money through Ippei.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after pressing naked butt against water faucet in Tokyo park See in context

I thought this ws going to be the sad story of a homeless guy who just wanted to get his butt clean any way he could. Turns out it was much weirder and more disgusting.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: With only 123 PhD graduates per million people, Japan is the only major economy experiencing a continuous decline in the number, according to the education ministry. Why do you think this is? See in context

There are only 123 PhDs per million people in Japan? In a nation of over 120 million, 15,000 in total?

Or is that the number of new PhDs granted per year?

Even that latter number seems really small.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese generally sleep badly - why, what effect does it have on body, mind and country as a whole? See in context

This society's love for sleep deprivation is something I'll never understand. When I was looking for jobs back in the day, many companies would have a blurb on their website where a young employee describes "a day in the life", with a typical daily schedule showing when they wake up, leave for work, eat lunch, finish work, etc., and every single one of them was sleep-deprived, sometimes severely; they would proudly boast of going to bed around midnight or sometimes much later, and then waking up at 6 or 7 AM to start on the next day.

There was plenty of virtue-signaling ("at 9 PM I turn my computer on to do a quick e-mail check to get a head start on the next day") but the one that was the biggest turn-off was that not getting enough sleep basically went without saying. Not something that would make me want to join that company!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Foreign residents prohibited from participating in Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship See in context

@Quo - You're misunderstanding how this tournament is supposed to be run when you say:

Every country has such sports competitions that involve only that country's citizens.

From the article:

The franchise’s official website’s World Qualifying Points FAQ For North, Central, and South America Territories simply states that “Duelists must be legal residents of the territory they wish to represent and provide valid proof of residency.”

Elsewhere in the world, you participate in the tournament where you reside, not where you have nationality. The "nationals only" rule in Japan leaves non-nationals living in Japan with no way to participate anywhere.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Foreign residents prohibited from participating in Yu-Gi-Oh Japan Championship See in context

The franchise’s official website’s World Qualifying Points FAQ For North, Central, and South America Territories simply states that “Duelists must be legal residents of the territory they wish to represent and provide valid proof of residency.”

If these are the standards for the World Championships and the Japan tournament is a qualifier for those, how are the organizers of the Japan qualifiers able to violate the rules and set their own eligibility restrictions? Isn't it in the interests of the tournament as a whole that the best players get to compete and aren't subject to discriminatory rules that keep them out of their local qualifiers?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Who wouldn't like prices to start falling? Careful what you wish for, economists say See in context

This old chestnut is brought out again and again and is total BS!

The worst part is that they use a consumable good in the photo!

Nobody is putting off drinking some Pepsi (or anything; even something healthier) today because it will be cheaper a few months from now.

Even with durable goods, future price decreases won't be enough to get you to put off the purchase if it's more valuable to you to have it now and get more utility out of it.

The inflation-loving corporate-rentier-class propaganda just never stops, does it? Good thing the public sees right through it, or they wouldn't have to bombard us with it all the time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Yen's fall to 34-year low unlikely to prod BOJ to tighten policy soon See in context

A weaker yen is usually a boon for Japanese exports but also poses problems in other areas, raising import prices and triggering cost-push inflation. Japan depends on imports for more than 90 percent of its energy needs.

It is at least somewhat encouraging to see this phrase rather than the usual copy-pasted LDP/BoJ propaganda that so many other articles contain when talking about currency devaluation and inflation.

But the Japanese people are not fooled:

with the March Kyodo News poll showing that 87.9 percent of respondents do not feel that Japan's economy has improved.

That leaves 12.1% who are either neutral or who think things are getting better, which tracks well with what "quantitative easing" is designed to do: benefit the rentier-class rich at the expense of the workers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's overworked, underpaid truckers left behind in wage bonanza See in context

Wage "bonanza"? Sure, for people at the top who have connections and were already wealthy to begin with. For the more-than-70% of the work force who don't have this leverage and have to take anything they can get while the cost of living goes up and up? Not so much! What a joke!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Complaints against foreign go-kart drivers increase in Tokyo See in context

This would be a great opportunity to revive some of those unused amusement parks from past decades (like Nara Dreamland) that went out of business as giants like USJ and Disney took their customers away. Turn them into racing tracks for go-karters. They'd be totally insulated from the public, and because they'd be on private land, there wouldn't even be a driver's license issue.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Should airlines be allowed to overbook on flights (selling more seats than available to account for the likelihood of no-shows)? See in context

The very least they could do would be to inform anyone buying tickets beyond the plane's capacity that those tickets are overbooks and run the risk of being denied boarding, even with compensation. Or let ticket buyers opt on to the "might be denied boarding" overbook seats in exchange for a discount. As it is now, you can buy your ticket months in advance, and still be put on the "overbook list" when you get to the gate. Maybe some flyers like this because of the compensation they can get, but others need to fly on the day that they pay to fly on.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Posted in: Filipino woman admits to killing sister, Japanese niece See in context

You are excessively minimizing the number of people charged with federal crimes, but let's run with what you said anyway. 

No, I'm really not; the number is tiny compared to other courts:

An American lawyer answers the question on Quora: https://qr.ae/psrCgT As of 2014, 75 million cases heard in courts in the US; of which, 400,000 are in federal court. "Tiny fraction" is absolutely the right phrase.

Would you rather live in a country where almost half of all males can expect to be arrested at least once or in one where arrest is highly uncommon? No need to worry about conviction rates when you are far less likely to be arrested in the first place.

If this is your argument, why bring up the statistical blip that is US federal courts? Very few of those far-too-many arrestees are dealing with the federal court system, which is totally irrelevant to these men.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Filipino woman admits to killing sister, Japanese niece See in context

Note for the guy you are replying to, whataboutism with the US is his only method. Nevermind the fact that federal crimes are a special type that may be very hard to get away with.

Happy to see people picking up on this "but federal courts in the US have the same guilty rate as Japanese courts" sleight-of-hand that I seem to be seeing more often on the internet lately. Only a tiny fraction of US cases are tried in federal court -- nothing that the average person would be picked up by the police off the street for (even murder, which is generally tried at the state level) -- and they should not be compared to the Japanese justice system as a whole. The vast majority of US crimes are judged in state and municipal courts, which have the ratios others have cited.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Dragon’s Maze: Japan’s built-by-hand giant labyrinth that gets bigger and harder every year See in context

This is fantastic. And great to see an amusement park far from urban centers thriving like this!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: The noise problem in conflict averse Japan See in context

The article doesn't mention them, but another big noise polluter is 6:30 AM radio exercises. Participants are mostly elderly, and they will set up the radio in parks surrounded by apartments and blast that music.

Getting out and exercising is great for your health, but depriving the neighbors of their sleep damages their health. This is the society that invented the Walkman; just wear headphones and you can dial the volume up all you like!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: China consumer prices rise in February for first time in six months See in context

But in a rare bright spot, official statistics Saturday showed the consumer price index rose 0.7 percent last month

These writers don't even try to hide it anymore. Next comes this propaganda:

While deflation suggests goods were cheaper, it poses a threat to the broader economy as consumers tend to postpone purchases, hoping for further reductions.

Nobody postpones anything because it might be 0.1% cheaper a year from now. Certainly not daily essentials like food, and even durable goods -- the utility of having them now rather than later outweighs the lower price you might pay in the future.

Lower consumer prices means workers can buy more and better goods, and that their wages retain their value. Rising consumer prices benefit indebted governments and connected big businesses who can borrow money while it has more value and then repay their debts with less valuable money. For workers who have little leverage to negotiate wages upward and who need to save for their futures, inflation only makes you poorer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan real wages fall in January for 22nd month See in context

"Real wages fell" makes it look like the people aren't working hard enough; in reality, they're working harder than ever but inflation is destroying the value of their wages.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo police mistakenly arrest Filipino man for allegedly overstaying visa See in context

It is better to always have valid documents, a Residence Card, My Number, visa, passport, etc. They should be renewed before they expire.

You don't get a choice in how fast the MoJ processes your documents. You have to submit them before the renewal date, and you can do that up to three months before, but if the MoJ takes longer, there's nothing you can do about it. That's why they stamp the back of the residence card. You can't get this stamp if you renew online, which is why these police officers (who shouldn't have stopped this man to begin with) had to call the MoJ to confirm. They confirmed his legal status, but the police arrested him anyway, with no grounds. That's why people are so angry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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