ThonTaddeo comments

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.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

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!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think the yen-dollar exchange rate should be in order to benefit the Japanese economy? See in context

80-90. This would lower energy prices and make all kinds of infrastructure investments more reasonable as well as lowering everyone's household expenditures. It would also make Japanese employers more attractive to foreign talent.

But this will never happen, because the LDP sees the Japanese people as cows to be milked and slaughtered for the benefit of Japan, Inc., who wants a cheap currency so they can rake in foreign profits and keep them for themselves.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: What are some of strangest company rules you've experienced at your workplace Japan? See in context

Not sure it is legal but if you were 1-30 minutes late you had to put in 30 minutes overtime to make it up.

Over here you have to consume half a day of PTO if you are any number of minutes late. I suspect this could be challenged in court, but nobody has tried.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man whose wife, 3-year-old daughter were killed by speeding car, puts focus on issue of elderly driving See in context

We need better incentives not to drive. As things are now, there's basically no reason not to hang on to your driver's license, even if you don't use it that often.

Start by eliminating the driver's license as the primary form of personal identification: there is nothing special about being able to drive a car when it comes to being a legal taxpaying resident.

Also, either give a big tax break to non-drivers, who have to pay out a lot of tax money for automobile infrastructure that they can only use if someone else is driving them, or make it very expensive to renew a driver's license every few years. What we have now is absurd: gigantic up-front costs just to get a license for the first time, but then negligible costs to keep having one. Those numbers should be reversed.

Every day, when they step out onto the street, innocent non-drivers have to take on the risk that they will be maimed or killed by someone in an automobile. Drivers face no such fear with regard to pedestrians. It's one of the greatest unaddressed inequalities in society.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Sleep myths may hinder good sleep and health See in context

As an often-sleep-deprived salaryman, I am ecstatic to see the article published, as seemingly all of Japanese society mistakenly believes in just about every myth presented here.

Regarding this one:

“being able to fall sleep ‘anytime, anywhere’ is a sign of a healthy sleep system.”

...I was even told that this is an ability that every person should have acquired by adulthood, and not having it is a sign of immaturity and that I should find a way to develop it!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you believe Carlos Ghosn will receive a fair trial in Japan? See in context

@Deadforgood - if he were Japanese (and thus didn't have the international media keeping this case in the spotlight), I suspect his odds of getting a fair trial would be even worse.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Ghosn's wife fears his trial may be unfair See in context

No Foreign executive will want to work in japan that's for sure.

That's not a bug; that's a feature.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Ghosn, suffering from kidney failure, was arrested illegally: defense document See in context

Showering was allowed every 5 days

I have never heard a single justification for forcing detainees (or even prisoners) to be filthy like this. Can anyone offer one? If anything, you would expect an obsessive cleanliness as part of the rehabilitation process.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Posted in: HBO brings down curtain on TV phenom 'Game of Thrones' See in context

George R.R. Martin's expansive "A Song of Fire and Ice" book series

Is it not "A Song of Ice and Fire"?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan repatriated more than 400 prisoners over 16-year period See in context

Now this is a suspiciously-timed article.

And no author byline.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Extra abdication holidays pose dilemma for Japanese workers See in context

Maybe there's something I'm missing, but what is so great about having lots of days off in a row, like the new labor laws seem to be pushing? It feels like all they want is for people to go on trips and spend lots of money.

The same thing happened with the push to make holidays be on Mondays so that people can have three days off in a row.

As a company employee, I feel pretty refreshed after any single day off, but I don't feel twice as refreshed after two of them, or ten times as refreshed after ten of them.

I'd much rather have ten random days throughout the year. And I'd rather have single holidays on Wednesdays, breaking up the long and arduous week, than on Mondays. Imagine getting to work a nice short four-day week ten times a year! Wouldn't that be great for health and productivity?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Some see Japanese era system as unnecessary, unsuited for modern age See in context

Aside from Taiwan where this is the 107th year of the Republic of China, as Ex_Res describes, North Korea also has its own calendar that begins with the birth of Kim Il-Sung in (coincidentally) 1912. This year is Juche 107 over there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan introduces legal cap on long working hours under labor reform law See in context

They did not grow up in the bubble and manufacturing boom of giving your life to your company. This longevity is destined to change within the next decade 

Even the people who devoted their lives to the company in the high-growth postwar era were at least rewarded for their efforts. People who began their working careers after the bubble have only seen move overwork, more uncompensated overtime, decreasing salaries, and decreasing opportunities. They're not going to have long lives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Have you found Google Maps in Japan to be reliable? See in context

It's pretty good in terms of train station directions and that kind of thing, but Yahoo Maps has a few Japan-specific features that I really like:

Google Maps writes everything horizontally, probably because it was translated from English without much thought given to other orientations, but Yahoo has a mixture of vertical and horizontal. Names of north-south streets are a lot easier to read vertically.

Yahoo displays the numbers of a lot more buildings than Google does, and lets you see a list of all the building numbers in a given neighborhood. On Google, while you can often see the building number if you sub-click and select "What's here?", that only works if the building doesn't have a business name attached to it, which takes precedence. Most of the time people are looking for specific businesses, not house numbers, but there are times when you just want the number, and Google makes it harder. They also don't allot enough space for a lot of things, so you're stuck with a meaningless "東京都新宿区…" with the most important part cut off at the end.

They each have their good points. I use both all the time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe explains choice of Reiwa for next era name See in context

NCIS Reruns, this sound did exist in Yamato kotoba; it just didn't occur at the beginning of a word.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: KDDI's internal probe finds unpaid overtime worth ¥670 mil See in context

Heck if they paid him for his overtime we could have another child. 

Japan's low-birthrate problem summed up in one sentence.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Filipino woman killed, another injured after being hit by car See in context

The perpetrator's name is given in standard English order whereas the victims' names are in reverse order, with their surnames first despite being Filipino (a society where given names come first). Why is this?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan slowly buying into cashless future despite widespread misgivings See in context

During the period, cashless payment service operators will be required to cap their fees for such stores at 3.25 percent, lower than ordinary fees, in order to receive subsidies for the rewards program.

The elephant in the room. These operators want to take more than 3.25 percent every time money changes hands? Are they all run by ex-LDP bureaucrats?

It's bad enough that the government does whatever it can to devalue cash; now they want to make us all pay fees to middleman card operators too. I'll stick with my untrackable, no-fee cash, thank you very much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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