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Posted in: Jun Hasegawa capitalizes on 'haafu' look See in context

Well a former Los Angeles talent agent once told me that US models came in two types: tall for the "ready to wear" fashion industry and really tall for the "High Fashion" catwalk models. Also they had to start when they were teenagers. LA was "ready to wear" only so if a girl was over 178 cm she had to go to New York, Tokyo, Rome, or Paris maybe London. Tokyo also has a lot of "ready to wear" fashion houses. While Japan is now producing men that are big enough to make it in the US baseball major leagues, the women still tend toward the short side. So seeing haafu in the fashion business seems logical. Fashion designers just want girls that make the clothes look good, so as long as the girl doesn't have a really ugly face and is tall, they won't care about much of anything else.

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Posted in: Former teacher arrested for kidnapping, confining 12-year-old girl with stun gun in Nagasaki See in context

A commercial driver in an urban area will not have his head in the cab let alone the back seat. His primary concentration will be on the traffic and on navigating. Pick up a fare, drive the fare,drop off the fare, find another fare, pick up the fare, drive the fare,and etc. for hours and hours. I don't know about Japan, but getting taxi drivers to remember things about passengers is notoriously hard. They remember locations easier than they do fares. So that's usually where you start.

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Posted in: Japan beats San Francisco Giants in exhibition See in context

Paying to take a dive in an exhibition game? Coaches use exhibition games to evaluate individual players. The see what their rookies and bench players are capable of doing against experienced players from another team. Whether or not their injured players are limping and etc. I'd pay extra to see the Texas Rangers last past August.

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Posted in: More Japanese shunning the outside world See in context

The other thing about American movies is that on the whole they are losing market share in the USA itself. Critics are saying that it is because of poor quality in the writing and a prevalent left wing viewpoint. The production companies say that it is the audiences fault they are not sophisticated enough to appreciate them and they are making up the difference with overseas sales. So now they are starting to lose overseas sales??

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Posted in: Three youths in hospital after gang fight in suburban Tokyo See in context

The days when a magistrate or judge would give a ganger a choice between jail or enlisting in the armed services are long gone in the US. I imagine it is no different with the JDF. Because even an infantryman's job has gotten so technical and demands such a high degree coordination even at the 4 and 5 man fire team level, the armed forces have much higher standards than they used to.

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Posted in: Aso's reading blunders spark study spree See in context

Back when Yamamoto was a military attache in Washington he played poker with a lot of the military guys. He was very good at it and he was asked why. He said, "I remember about 56,000 characters of Japanese so remembering 56 cards is easy."

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Posted in: Japan turns to 'work-sharing' to avoid layoffs See in context

One reason work sharing isn't too popular in the US is the medical benefits problem. It is very expensive in the US due in a large part to the hefty medical liability insurance premiums due to the unrestrained punitive law suits filed. If you work share the tendency of some companies is to call you part time and provide no medical benefits.

The advantage to work share is you retain skilled employees who know the company system which let them come up to speed real fast when good times come again. I keep thinking of a cartoon I once saw showing a supervisor looking at a line of robots on an assembly line talking to another, "I keep wondering if I paid them a small wage would they buy some of our product?"

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Posted in: Nuclear warships in Japan touch a nerve See in context

Funny, back when Indonesia had that tsunami hit their coast the US sent in an aircraft carrier. Some French "diplomat" said, "How typical of the Americans to send a warship." The American told him, "We'll fly off the war planes and fly in helicopter for search and rescue work, The power plants will supply electrical power to the dock area, the distillation plants on board will supply clean water, the communication suite can talk pretty much to anyone in the world, and there is enough room and personel for makeshift hospitals. What do the French have available? I'm writing my Congressman to make sure that the next time a big quake hits Tokyo to keep any of our nuclear ships away from relief work. They might explode and make the situation worse after all. Sarcasm off!

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Posted in: From military alliance to total alliance See in context

In my opinion, Japan is more important than China to the US. It can be difficult to deal with but that is in a large part because it is a democracy. There are elements in the US that prefer dealing with dictatorships and oligarchies because it is "easier" and more straight forward to their minds. Japan's economy, strategic location, and its connections with the other countries of Asia make it important to the US. Free trade with Japan has helped US growth which is something that the populists in the US have trouble accepting. I like the Chinese people that I've met but to quote John Derbyshire, " I don't hate the Chinese Communist Party for what they have done to the West but for what they have done to their own people."

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Posted in: Man gets 7 years for forcing stepdaughter into prostitution to pay cell phone bill See in context

Children who have been sexually abused by family members are difficult to take care of. Child Protective Services in Texas has been having a lot of problems with it. A regular foster parent setting can't offer enough counseling and treatment to get them back to normal children. If they are lucky they get placed into specialty children's homes. It is kind of like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome for a lot of them.

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Posted in: Why are Hollywood remakes of classic films, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" being a recent example, generally inferior to the originals? See in context

Betzee You got that right. I hear the production companies are trimming people in an effort to get costs down. Apparently the tight credit situation is hitting Hollywood also. I figure the era of the non-union movie production is around the corner.

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Posted in: Why are Hollywood remakes of classic films, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" being a recent example, generally inferior to the originals? See in context

Most of your Hollywood movies are not written for the general audience anymore but for insiders and critics. A fair number of the good script writers have gone over to TV productions. An old movie studio head once said "If you want to send a message use a telegram not a movie." The industry has apparently forgot that.

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Posted in: Ministry of Defense employee arrested for feeling up 17-year-old girl on JR Saikyo line See in context

Maybe it has something to do with an old guy trying to recapture his youth? At what age do teenage girls stop wearing school uniforms and do they tend to wear them a lot after school?

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Posted in: College students find job offers withdrawn See in context

Well I don't know how it works in Japan but the Human Resources departments talk to each other a lot. They have changing code phrases that they use when asked about former employees. "Works well with men." ( He costs us about $700,000 when he made advances and groped a secretary whose father was a big shot lawyer. Once she complained women started coming out of the woodwork.)

One of the smoothest moves I saw was a guy got to stage three in the interview process. He was turned down. He sent in a letter thanking them for their time and how much he appreciated their timely decision. He asked if there were any temp jobs he could fill because he really wanted to work for the company. The HR guy gave him the name of an agency that the company used, he got a temp position and did a good enough job that one of the supervisors recommended him for a full time position that had just opened up.

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Posted in: Japan considering sending warship to tackle pirates off Somalia See in context

Can Japan defend its territorial waters if no oil, strategic materials, or food is going into those territorial waters? The US Navy is shrinking in size and is hard put to maintain what they've got. Look for the US to offer to leave bases in Japanese territory if Japan expands its military force.

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Posted in: How not to get fired in a bad economy See in context

If you are strong and healthy you might check out fishing and farming.

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Posted in: Annus Scandalous: A year of food safety scandals upsets Japan’s applecart See in context

You hear about the Japanese companies because there are regulatory agencies and an open press. In China the problem is that someone takes a short cut to meet a quota but everybody in the chain of command keeps quite and keeps hopping that nothing bad will happen ever after it starts happening. Quality control is a big problem in China and they are making very slow progress on it. It worries the powers that be over there because if they have another baby poisoning scandal it could be the big riot will hit.

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