ThonTaddeo comments

Posted in: 'Ideal man' hard to find for older single woman set on marriage See in context

To be a housewife, Kimura hopes to find a partner who takes home an annual salary of at least 5 million yen. But she says the men who show up at the matchmaking events fail to meet her criteria. "Maybe it's a luxury for me to think I can be a housewife in this low-salary society," she says.

Gee, you think?

"He told me it's important to look at the person, not whether he fits your criteria," she said.

As if admonishing herself, Kimura nods her head.

That priest is a wise man. Listen to him and find a nice man who loves you even if he isn't rich.

Rating: 0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Death by overwork: Japan's 100-hour overtime cap sparks anger See in context

CH3CHO, one trick these companies pull (mine only demands 40 hours compared to Blacklabel's 70) is to lower your base salary by a certain amount and then say that your salary consists of the new base plus an "overtime allowance". This way, you can't make the claim because part of your salary was already earmarked to pay for overtime.

Rating: 1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Reporter kicks house wall after resident refuses interview over Vietnamese girl's murder See in context

"The thing is, I think he was trying to intimidate/force the resident to give an interview by kicking the wall after they refused. He thought the person would become fearful and agree to his request. But his "plan" didn't work. He was just trying to be a hotshot."

My first guess was that the reporter's boss had ordered him to come back with a quote from that neighbor, by hook or by crook, and when the neighbor wouldn't do it, the hapless reporter couldn't contain his frustration. You see this all the time in Japanese society: A orders B to get something from C, and when C can't deliver, what can B, stuck in the middle, do? He knows there will be hell to pay from A when he comes back empty-handed.

If this were the situation, in a perfect world, reporter B would tell his boss to quit being so insensitive to neighbors of a dead child, but we all know that he can't ever do that.

Rating: 0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of the new Japan Today design? See in context

I must confess I'm not a fan.

  • Way too much white space everywhere. Who ever thought that this style was more readable? Those of us who need to make the fonts bigger (and if you're not one such, just wait a decade or three) end up with super-sized oceans of white emptiness surrounding each comment.

  • The "Gotham" font, while nice and readable enough, is way overused in the 2010s.

  • For up- and down-voting, the plus sign should be on the left, not the minus sign. Up comes before down and the "default" should be to upvote, not downvote. And in the English language, we say the more positive one first: good and bad, winning and losing, happy and sad, positive and negative, up and down. Not the other way around.

Rating: 2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Death by overwork: Japan's 100-hour overtime cap sparks anger See in context

@TigersTokyoDome

"That would mean 25 hours of overtime per week, 5 hours onto each day, or a 7 day working week with no days off, and it would be legal?!"

The logic, insane thought it might be, is this: you're at work for 13 hours, plus 2 more hours for commuting, which leaves you with one more hour to eat and bathe, and you can still get eight hours of sleep (which, despite what any Japanese boss will claim, really is what the human body needs). So if you work those hours, you aren't in any physical danger even if you will have all kinds of mental problems. I worked longer hours than that when I first arrived in Japan and found the 12-hour days to be infinitely less miserable than the 14-hour ones just because sleep deprivation hurts more than anything else.

What makes me angriest about the number in this plan is that it "anchors" the discussion at a level that is so high that it makes other numbers (like the 40 unpaid hours that my employer demands) look reasonable. How can you complain about only working 40 extra hours when the "standard" is 100? I wish the labor lawyers had pushed back harder against Abe and Dentsu; this is yet another huge victory for Japan Inc. and a big loss for the poor beleaguered salarymen, who can't ever catch a break.

Rating: 4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Minister yells at press after he criticizes remaining Fukushima evacuees See in context

I am very impressed with the reporter who stood his ground and immediately replied to the minister's intimidating "Tekkai shinasai! ("Take that back!") with an immediate "Tekkai shimasen!" ("I will not!") without a shred of fear in his voice. I can't imagine a typical salaryman having that much courage in the corporate world. The reporter may have risked his career with such a statement. I hope nothing bad happens to him.

Rating: 7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Company offers fake friends photo service to help customers look popular on social media See in context

What happens when the customer's real friends and acquaintances notice that these new "friends" only appear in the birthday party pictures and never again? Do the Family Romance mercenaries charge increasing amounts to select the same "friends" in future photos?

Rating: 2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan one-ups Scotch with whisky, coveted around the world See in context

I visited the Yamazaki distillery and went on the tour, with those guides and their distinctive purple uniforms, a few years ago -- you will cross the Kyoto-Osaka border on foot depending on which train line you use to get there! It's excellent. They show you the whole process, show you Barrel No. 0001 from 1923 (?), and then give you some samples of their products and their rivals'; all great (and my fellow tourist offered her samples to me, meaning that I drank two people's worth of them).

I highly recommend going if you're looking for something a little offbeat to do in between Kyoto and Osaka. Nice little town surrounding the place, too!

Rating: 2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike to launch comfortable commute movement this summer See in context

Everyone is praising Yuriko Koike here, but wasn't she the one who invented the horrible, quality-of-life-destroying "Cool Biz" program which has indoor temperatures set at a hellish 28 degrees? She had spent time in the deserts of the Middle East and presumably thought all of Japan should endure the heat that she had to live in.

If she is really concerned about people being able to "comfortably get to work", step number one would be be to bring back proper air conditioning. The horrible 28-degree new standard just offloads all the costs onto the public, who end up going through multiple changes of clothing each day because they're sweating so much -- and takes no account of lost productivity, instead relying on old-fashioned gaman.

Rating: 0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Baseball should get serious about speeding up games See in context

Over the last 35 years, the length of a regular-season game has increased by nearly a half-hour — much of that extra time consumed by

...longer breaks between innings for commercials more so than any of the factors listed in the article. These breaks were about 1 minute and 30 seconds in the beginning of the television era, 2 minutes and 10 seconds for regular season games now, and 2 minutes and 55 seconds for post-season games now.

Back before television, most games were completed in under 2 hours, and some were even done in under one hour! That last feat would be almost impossible in an era where roughly 50 minutes of playoff games are consumed by just commercial breaks.

Indeed, is suspicious that the true culprit is never listed in this article. They mention all the other minor factors except this real one.

Rating: 1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's first Premium Friday shows mixed results See in context

3) help reduce the current deflationary spiral.

This is the only thing the government really cares about, and it isn't even true: Japan is not in a deflationary spiral in any way at all. Prices (and taxes) are rising everywhere and what the people need is lower prices. Want them to consume more? Any shop owner knows how to do that: lower prices!

But the government doesn't even really want the people consuming more so much as it wants inflation to destroy the value of the debt it has amassed over the past few decades, at the expense of the diligent Japanese people who have saved all those yen. That's what Abe really wants, while using feel-good nationalism to distract the people from how he's robbing them blind and making their futures less secure.

Rating: 1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 'King Kazu' turns 50 with J.League start See in context

If he's so great then why doesn't he step aside

If he's good enough to be in the lineup and help his team win, he should be playing.

Rating: 3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 129 stolen kindergarten application forms confiscated from man’s home See in context

Was he trying to get his own kid into kindergarten, so he stole the applications of rival children so as to give his child better odds?

Were other kids bullying his kid, so he got those parents' home phone numbers from the forms and then made these silent phone calls to scare them?

I'm trying to come up with a theory that makes sense. I can't think of any reason to steal application forms for a kindergarten, though considering how hard it can be to get into one, I'm not surprised if some of the parents have been driven nuts.

Rating: 2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor warns of spiralling 2020 Olympics costs See in context

Tokyo is building six venues and we have made significant reductions to the costs.

This is the problem right here. "Building." Tokyo is a world-class city with world-class sporting venues already available. These Olympic Games could use those facilities and make an easy profit, as Los Angeles did in 1984 when they used their perfectly-functional 1932 Olympic Stadium again (it's still in use now) and a whole host of other stadiums, arenas, dormitories, etc. Tokyo could do this, but the government and the construction companies (but I repeat myself) are skimming off the taxpayers' money at a level that is surprising even for them.

Rating: 7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe hopeful 'Premium Friday' will boost consumption See in context

Abe hopeful 'Premium Friday' will boost consumption

Consumption. Of course.

Letting office workers go home early, and this clown's first thought is not of better health, happiness, more time spent with children... nope, all he cares about is making his subjects spend!

Rating: 2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Message for Trump See in context

They are still peeved that Hillary lost the election

I am ecstatic that Hillary lost the election, but that doesn't change the fact that this is an outrageous overreaction by the President.

Rating: 4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Park employee didn’t collect admission fees from 160,000 foreigners over 2 1/2 years because one scared him See in context

This guy claims to have let 160,000 "foreigners" in for free in just two and a half years?

That many foreign people, just walking past his ticket gate alone, on just ~600 or so working days (assuming he's a full timer)?

Roughly 1.26 million people visit that park in total in a year (Wikipedia). Let's say 3.5 million visitors, total, in two and a half years, total. What percent would be visibly foreign? What percentage of those would even attempt to walk in without a ticket?

Of those, what percent are likely to be served by this particular ticket taker?

I just don't see how he gets to 160,000. I wouldn't be surprised if the total number to even visit the park in those 2 1/2 years weren't this high.

Maybe some rude guest intimidated this guy to the point where he was afraid to ask anyone for their ticket. But the numbers seem to allow for the possibility that we've got another case of the big, bad foreigner serving as scapegoat.

Rating: 7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: No. of suicides in 2016 drops below 22,000 for first time since 1995 See in context

Seven straight years of decline means that the decline began in 2010, before even the earthquake. That's pretty good news.

Rating: 0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: JR Kyushu runs 'Kiss My Nagasaki' campaign See in context

I'm just glad the charming village of Asuka in Nara prefecture is already popular and has no need for this kind of ad.

Rating: 1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Suspect in hit-and-run says he left because victim told him to go away See in context

No way anyone would say go away, that hit means big money

When you're a pedestrian or cyclist who has just been hit by a one-ton automobile, you're not going to be thinking straight. I had the same experience when I was hit by a car while on a bicycle and my instinct was to get away from this monster as soon as I could -- the animal instinct that probably goes all the way back to a monkey being kicked by a giant elephant -- and I limped into the police station myself.

Keep in mind also that lazy cops might consider a bicycle being hit by a car to be a vehicle-to-vehicle collision and tell the cyclist that he's responsible to damage to the driver's car caused by his flying body. Happened to me that time!

Rating: 0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Dentsu chief to resign over employee's suicide, labor law violations See in context

I notice that Miss Takahashi's immediate boss is not named in this story, nor has he (IIRC) been named in any of the previous stories about this tragic incident. That person's manager should also be named. The president of the company may set the overall corporate culture, but it's the middle management who really pour on the stress and the psychological abuse.

They are just not mentally and emotionally mature enough to face the rigors of life after school. This puts them in a very vulnerable situation and are easily exploited, as in this case.

In their defense, very few people are mentally, emotionally, and physically "mature" enough to meet the demands made on them by a typical salaryman boss. Even in the military you get to sleep eight hours a day. Even in the military you can obey the exact wording of the orders given to you and not feel pressure to "read the air" and figure out what your boss wants without it being spelled out for you explicitly. It is this combination of physical deprivation and psychological stress that makes Japanese corporate life so awful.

Rating: 3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan’s extremely harsh video game reviews may be the reason it gets some new releases last See in context

Japanese Twitter user and game blogger @yokotaro

Is this Taro Yokoo himself? He is a video game producer (famous for his weird and creepy stuff) and is a lot more than just a Twitterer or blogger. Can't say I agree with his theory, though. I think it's much more likely that Japan-side marketers are reducing risk by gauging foreign opinions and perhaps (with foreign-made games, as they are well-known for with foreign movies) waiting for certain licensing costs to drop so that they can save money.

@katsu78, you can remove items from your browsing history on Amazon, so go ahead and remove FFXV if you don't want Amazon recommending other video games to you all the time from now on.

Rating: 0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: BOJ survey shows cheaper yen lifts Japan business sentiment See in context

"Sentiment", huh? Sentiment and mood of "automakers (read: Toyota) and other big manufacturing companies"?

Does their optimism translate into cheaper products for the working masses, as falling prices and a strong yen would? Does it even translate into higher salaries for the very people working in those export companies? Or ae they given a raise of 1,000 yen per month (while their food expenses rise by much more) and told to feel good about Abenomics while their financial security slips away?

Rating: 5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe may not be first sitting Japanese PM to visit Pearl Harbor : spokesman See in context

The meeting with Pres. Obama may be the last time for awhile when leaders from the two countries can talk sensibly.

Such opportunity ended the day Abe got elected.

Rating: 4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Asian export nations wary dollar boost gives Trump pretext to beat them See in context

Toyota goes to the Japanese government and says, "Hey. I want you to make food twice as expensive for the entire nation so we can sell an extra thousand cars in the US."

Toyota doesn't even have to ask; Abe and Kuroda do this exact thing for them, and the compliant media obediently gush joyfully at Japan Inc's profits while the average salaryman endure a higher cost of living and the erosion of their salaries.

It isn't even debatable: since 2012, the Bank of Japan has repeatedly printed money every time the yen has failed to fall as much as they've wanted it to. Exporters like Toyota -- probably the one company that has benefited most by this scheme -- have seen their stock price and profits mentioned in nearly every article here. They still come out ahead even if their employees have to pay more for food and energy. And they are paying more; just go to the supermarket and compare prices to those of 2012. Compare product sizes. What we're seeing with the government's relentless push for inflation is the same concentration of wealth in the top 1-5% that we have seen in the inflationary West for the past 40-50 years.

This is not to say that Japan is uniquely guilty: just about all the world's governments do this to some extent. Debase the currency, pretend that the resulting inflation is a force of nature and not deliberate government policy, and watch your debts lose value while the public is left holding the bag.

Rating: -1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: What are some of your favorite Japanese snacks currently on the market? See in context

Bacchus.

Chocolate with cognac inside. For some reason they only sell it in the winter months. I love it!

Rating: 2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Battered yen faces new ball game, more losses after Trump win See in context

KnowBetter, the collapse in the yen since Abe took power has been a disaster for ordinary Japanese workers and savers as their purchasing power has plummeted. Japan Inc. has shown that when a debased currency allows them to make record profits, very little of that money trickles down to employees.

Rating: 2 ( +10 / -8 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for beating boyfriend to death because he locked her out See in context

Attacking a sleeping person has to be the most cowardly, disgusting things any person can do.

Rating: 3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Chicago Cubs win 1st World Series title since 1908 See in context

Yes. It's the moniker that stuck. New York World newspaper from 19th century

That newspaper thing is actually a myth. When the National League and the American League -- who each named themselves because they aspired to have teams all across America - agreed to play a series of games to determine the overall champion, they needed a name that transcended the "nation" and "America", and so "World's Series" (it was usually in the possessive back then) stuck. Something like "Major League Championship" would be more accurate, but I'd rather see teams from outside North America eventually reach major league status. Maybe when Cleveland gets their turn, they will be facing the Venice Gondoliers or the Melbourne Monarchs -- we can hope!

And congratulations to Chicago!

Rating: 1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Comedian Pikotaro astonished by viral success of 'PPAP' song See in context

Asked whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called him since his success, he responded that he doesn’t answer numbers he does not recognize on his phone, but would check his messages later to see.

I was on the fence, but now I love this guy!

Rating: 3 ( +3 / -0 )

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