ThonTaddeo comments

Posted in: Restaurant manager stabs estranged husband in head See in context

The 3 AM time makes it look like she attacked him in his sleep, as many cowardly murderers do. So far we only have her word that they were in a "heated argument".

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: U.S. automakers call for currency provision in trade deal with Japan See in context

Citing the fact that Japanese monetary authorities have not intervened in foreign exchange markets over the last seven years, the officials dismissed the view that Japan has guided the value of the yen lower against the dollar.

The BoJ has been devaluing the yen not by specifically intervening in foreign exchange markets, but by creating money like mad. Did these unnamed officials think readers would be deceived by this misleading statement?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Ghosn admits he signed papers on post-retirement pay; Saikawa also questioned See in context

@Aly, is that the same Ichikawa who claimed that they were taught in official training that yakuza and foreigners had no human rights?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ruling bloc to agree on tax reforms spurring car, home purchases See in context

At present, homeowners can trim up to 500,000 yen per year off of their income and residential tax payments for a duration of 10 years.

I thought this was only for deducting interest paid on mortgages, not something you would get if you purchased a small, cheap starter home and paid it off right away. So this "tax cut" is only for people who line the banks' pockets. Buy a dirt-cheap house in the inaka to raise your kids in, for cash, and you don't get anything.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn's legal woes highlight governance failings in Japan See in context


I do not understand why poor people like you support Ghosn so strongly.

My sense of justice and my concern for human rights are far stronger than my envy of the super-rich.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers settle on 6 a.m. marathon starts See in context

This is the least they can do for the athletes: the marathon in particular is downright dangerous in even early-morning Tokyo summer temperatures. Shameful to see them not given an environment in which they can put forth world-class performances.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's last pager service ends after 50 years See in context

Trivia: pagers have the elisive and rare 020 area code. Once they're goine, I suppose they will be able to give these numbers to regular mobile phones, or perhaps whatever exotic connected devides we are using in a few decades.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sanders eyes 'bigger' 2020 bid despite some warning signs See in context

No major US politician cares about the working class and the poor (these are increasingly synonymous) like Bernie does. Even when I find his ideas unrealistic (such as a too-high minimum wage that might make young people unemployable), his passion for regular people always shines through. I hope he stays in politics as long as he can. Run in 2020!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Even if a hospital thinks it may be another person, if the patient insists, ‘It’s me,’ it’s difficult to dispute that. See in context

The government is planning to require foreign residents to show residence cards or other photo ID when receiving medical care in Japan.

Hospital clerks are not immigration officials and have no right to look at the immigration status of participants in the national health system. Offer a health insurance card that contains a photo if you think the cardholder isn't really the insured person.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Getting into shape See in context

I have the Sixpad for arms. I fractured a bone in my elbow and, after seeing my arm shrink to just 24 cm around after being in a cast for two months, got one as part of rehab.

They really do work. The pads shove your arm back and forth (violently if you set it high enough) causing you to involuntarily move your arm back; this burns off calories and builds muscle slowly.

It's no substitute for a real workout regimen with heavy weights, but it did the job for me. I still do one 23-minute session each day, though my arm growth has long since tapered off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's tax agency gears up to pursue hoarded funds abroad See in context

Hidetoshi Kiyotake ... suggests the figure of 550,000 may be only "one tenth of the actual number."

I can't imagine that there are 5.5 million -- roughly 5% of the population -- Japanese people each holding more than 50 million yen in foreign bank accounts. I'd be amazed if 5% of the population even has a net worth that high domestically.

Or maybe the older generation is just a lot wealthier than you would think.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Car hits and kills 15-year-old cyclist; driver arrested See in context

The boy was on the same side of the road going against traffic to e hit head on?

The article says that there were no sidewalks, so the impression I got was that it was one of those thin single-lane roads in which pedestrians and cyclists keep to the left but cars go straight down the middle and forget that things smaller than a car can come straight at them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: In major policy shift, gov't OKs draft bill to open door wider for foreign workers See in context

And the Captain doesn't care, he's just taking a life-boat while they are still available, before the people realize there are not enough leftover...

To extend this metaphor, the Captain (Abe) knew full well that there would not be enough lifeboats, actively prevented the ship from adding lifeboats, but is all set to tell the steerage passengers that it's their own fault when they inevitably drown.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Red Sox fans celebrate World Series title; parade on Wednesday See in context

William, trust me, as soon as it becomes economically feasible to expand beyond the US and Canada and have teams in the Caribbean and Mexico, it will happen, and if it becomes logistically feasible to travel to other continents, that will happen too.

"World" also means "the world of baseball" and not necessarily all the nations of the world, and indeed if you look at old newspapers from the early years of the World's Series (as it was often called), you will see phrases like "champions of the base ball world" in many articles:

Here is one from 1914 (enjoy the WWI commentary too):

And here is one from 1919, the year the "Black Sox" took money from gamblers to lose to Cincinnati, fully transcribed and with this phrase right in the lead:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 10,000 or 1,0000? Japanese schools are starting to move commas on big numbers, but why? See in context

There is no reason why speakers of Japanese should have to write commas every three places when the language doesn't work that way. I've seen Indians write things like 12,34,56,000 because they have words for 10^6 (a lakh) and 10^8 (a crore). That's how they say them, so that's how they write them.

Just because the European countries have settled on a thousand=based system -- even the Greeks write "100,000" even though their language allows them to say "ten myriads" just as the Asians do -- doesn't mean that everyone in the world should go along.

The SI (metric) system proposes to solve this by not having commas or periods at all; spaces (10 000) or nothing (10000). The latter is probably the only way to be fair to speakers of every language. Well, every language that uses base ten, that is!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's job availability improves to 44-year high See in context

An official at the internal affairs ministry said 710,000 of the unemployed chose to leave their jobs, suggesting that they were going on the hunt for better positions.

That might be true, and it also might be a euphemism for "desperate to leave their abusive, bullying, and underpaying black companies".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe urges parties to present constitutional amendment plans as Diet session opens See in context

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday urged all political parties to present draft amendments to Japan's constitution

If I were the head of a political party, I'd hand him a blank piece of paper.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Ministries, agencies counted dead people, retirees to meet disabled quotas See in context

I myself am a disabled person -- I am partially blind and cannot correct my vision to the level that most people take for granted. Coming from an automobile-dependent society, I'm very happy to be able to live in urban Japan. The tribulations of having to speak a foreign language are nothing compared to those of not having good enough eyesight to drive a car where I come from.

Where I'm left confused by this story is the seeming presumption that employers have a right to know about their employees' disabilities. My company doesn't know about mine; it's embarrassing enough without having to tell my boss and HR. The results of the humiliating and degrading health check that they make us go to every year are sent back to me sealed, so nobody will see the 0.3, or 0.4, or whatever low level my eyesight is this year.

But if there are quotas for private companies, are they going to require employees to check off a box telling them about these things? Why can't we keep them private, assuming that we can still do our jobs? For those of us who don't need any special treatment at work (all I need is extra large fonts on the computer), do we have no right to privacy?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think stores should stop providing customers with plastic shopping bags for free to reduce plastic waste? See in context

What I'm always left wondering about in these debates is why there is so much vigorous support for charging for bags, yet almost no support for charging for parking.

Every customer can use bags; only those who can drive can use parking. Parking consumes huge amounts of space and driving to the store generates far more pollution than bag usage does.

Cars even double as free lockable storage space, so drivers can keep reusable bags in their car trunks -- easy for them to support making customers bring their own bags!

Regular people don't have that option if they suddenly need to go to the supermarket on their way home from work.

I'll accept paying for bags if people who drive cars to the supermarket also have to pay for parking. You can't make an environmental argument for the former while ignoring the latter.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Roseanne Barr character killed off in overdose, new show reveals See in context

Who will spare a thought for the insanely rich and bigoted out there?

Isn't Valerie Jarrett, woman Roseanne mocked, more successful than Roseanne herself is?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop See in context

“It’s unimaginable for a member of adult society to be using a cough drop during such proceedings,” Onishi said following the session. “It’s necessary for her to show recognition of her wrongdoing.”

This is one of those lines that would probably be removed by an editor if used in a book or screenplay satirizing Japanese elites for being too unrealistic... and yet this is the Mayor talking.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Kyoto introduces lodging tax on tourists See in context

Thanks, @Ex_Res. As usual, it's expensive to be poor!

Japanese organizations sure love their step functions. Why not just make it a percentage?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Over half of survey participants unfamiliar with katakana words used by government See in context

The results of the survey show there are still many katakana words which people still don’t know the meaning of.

No, government, the results show that you should be using words that can be understood by the people you govern, not that they should be learning whatever nonsensical neologisms you foist on them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kyoto introduces lodging tax on tourists See in context

I doubt it. This tax is only for people paying more than 10000 yen a night. If you can afford that, I doubt a few more extra yen will put a dent in your wallet.

The article's wording isn't entirely clear; it might be just Tokyo and Osaka that do that.

I remeber when this tax was in the proposal stage and it was mentioned here on JT. If Kyoto is really taking 200 yen minimum and 1000 maximum, that means people in 2000-yen-per-night hostels are paying 10% on top of the real lodging fee, and LDP bigwigs staying in 50,000-yen ryokan are only paying 2% extra. What a scam!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: 3rd Czech Festival in Japan to be held at Harajuku Quest Hall in Tokyo See in context

I am really interested in Czech history and the language, and love the architecture of Prague, but have only ever been to Slovakia. I would love to go to this festival! Not a lot of Japanese people know about the Czech Republic compared to the western European countries; it would be nice to change that.

Burning Bush, if you're on a Mac, you can type a haček easily on the international keyboard by pressing option-V and then the letter. It even works for the little hačeks that look like apostrophes. Let's see if this displays correctly: čtvrť 

Not sure what you do on Windows though!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan inflation edges up but way below target in August See in context

Deflation is bad for the economy partly because the expectation of falling prices discourages spending and dampens growth.

Is this a news article, or an opinion piece? Funny how something that is a matter of opinion is presented as fact, and how that "fact" aligns perfectly with Abe and the LDP's political strategy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe re-elected LDP leader, setting stage to become Japan's longest-serving PM See in context

One quotation for Abe: serve the people.

He's serving the people all right: serving them up on a platter for the LDP to feast on and take advantage of.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan sees surge in foreign nursing care students amid labor shortage See in context

With the Prime Minister's goal of passing into law a new work visa limiting these students to a 5 year stay, 10 at max, at minimum wage and with no career path, and with no provisions for spouse support ... it appears from these students that the LDP will get their money's worth, and no more. I can't imagine a better example of a lose-lose situation.

This is the key point. And it isn't just in elderly care; even with these supposedly-international companies that use English and purport to be innovative and global, the most common complaint from their onternational workers is that there is no career path; no rising wages; no sense of permanency. Just bring them to Japan, wring what knowledge you can from them, then send them back to their home countries. The LDP and their big-business cronies really seem to think this is Japan's way forward. I'd say they are in for a rude awakening -- but something tells me they will never be awoken, and that ordinary Japanese people will be the ones doing the suffering, with lower wages, longer hours, and a lower quality of life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 70-year-olds and above account for 20% of Japan's population for 1st time See in context

I'd be more interested to know what percent of the wealth in Japan is owned by people who are in their seventies and above. I'm pretty sure it's a lot higher than 20% and that explains a lot.

Krusty, I don't have a source for you as this is from memory, but I remember reading that the midpoint of Japanese wealth/age distribution is age 71. That is, as much wealth is owned by people aged over 71 than all ages below combined.

No idea what the figures are for other countries, and if everyone saves diligently over a lifetime it sort of should be that way, but it was still a surprise.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Conan O’Brien announces trip to Tottori Prefecture’s Conan Town See in context

This is wonderful, and Mayor Matsumoto is no slouch in the sense-of-humor department. I'm looking forward to the Conan show when he visits.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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