Torakichi comments

Posted in: Tokyo zoo stages fake snow leopard escape See in context

Unfortunately, zookeepers forget to use fake tranquilizer...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Going strong See in context

Yahoo and SB have nothing in common. SB's profits have mostly been increasing. Outside of Sprint, they have had solid M&As, on top of growth. Yahoo has had very little meaningful growth, outside of Alibaba.

Agreed. Softbank is turning itself into a mini-Google while Yahoo is heavily dependent on one stake. Softbank is one of the few consistently upbeat economic stories coming out of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Magazine publishes name, photo of minor held in Nagoya murder case See in context

James Messner:

Make the age of being a minor as the same age of being able consent to sex. Believe the age is 16. If you can legally consent to sex, you can legally be charged as an adult.

No, actually, the limbic system in certain individuals may not have developed the emotional/anger "brakes" that others have. based on personal history and genetics.

The age of marriage in Japan is 16, not the age of consent (not accounting for special prefectural laws which prohibit sex with minors).

The Penal Code states that age of consent in Japan is 13. You want 13-year olds to be charged as adults? Or do you want to address the larger problem of elder abuse and providing better care for disadvantaged and mentally unstable youth?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan mourns Goto as caring and courageous reporter See in context

Gomeifuku wo inorimasu, Goto-san. I hope your family and children continue to live as you did - with compassion and conviction. Hold it together, Japan, for Kenji's sake if nothing else. He wouldn't want his lifetime's work of compassion to be forgotten, nor his death to be the linchpin in turning the tide of public opinion against Muslims in Japan. For Kenji's sake, we have to stick together - learning even more about another's cultures, and maintaining the culture peace that has been Japan's touchstone for ages. To have us become a paranoid, militaristic, society at the fault of these brutes would be heartbreaking. They will not defeat us, and they will not defeat the Japanese spirit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe fighting against time to find way to free hostages See in context

Jeez, is it Abe's fault they got kidnapped? Would you all lay off ad hominem attacks? Would a little unity hurt? A little sympathy for the two men whose lives are at stake? At least Abe is trying. What are we all doing but sitting here in front of our computers?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: 4 dead in snow-related accidents in Niigata, Yamagata, Hokkaido See in context

He's doing thd best he can given the circumstances to protect his family.

Hoping your husband is alright, Educator60. I used to live and work in a snowy area of Japan, so I know it's not easy to keep ahead of the snow. It's good to have your perspective on this. Stay safe!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 dead in snow-related accidents in Niigata, Yamagata, Hokkaido See in context

Poor old people, it's too bad someone couldn't have swept their roof off for them. It wasn't smart of them to climb up there and try it themselves, but it was either that or let all that tonnage just sit there, weighing down the roof. They really wouldn't have had much choice after a certain point but to at least try to sweep off the roof. It's the same thing that happens where I live now, when older people have heart attacks and die while shoveling snow. Yes, you can call it "stupid" and simplify the issue to a matter of personal decision-making, but there really should be more help for the older generations to deal with these sorts of issues. As for the shape of roofs nowadays, it's just cheaper and quicker to build them flat. I don't think it's a good idea in snow-heavy areas, and the older style looks cooler, but, economics! (Having said that, these were older people, so who says they even had modern flat roofs?)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Daiichi Sankyo to pay $39 mil as penalty for doctor kickbacks in U.S. See in context

I really wish the Japanese government would come down on this domestically, too. However, it's not like Daiichi is the only company who does this at home or abroad: <>

In any case, let's hope this sets a positive precedent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukushima rice passes radiation tests for first time since disaster See in context

I love Japan and try to support their economy, but I wouldn't touch this rice with a 10 foot spoon.

Oh, get over it. Send it to me, I'll find a good home for it.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: Japanese activist challenges secrets law with whistleblower website See in context

Pulling for you, Mr. Hatta, hope they take you to court and they lose, setting a precedent for others who feel this law is too vague and broad-reacching to be safely used by the government.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: S Korea balks as U.S. picks Japan, Australia to service F-35s in Asia See in context

“There will never be a case where our fighter jets will be taken to Japan for maintenance,” said an official at South Korea’s arms procurement agency, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration

Everyone, please remember this in a year or so when Korean F-15s and other ROKAF fighters begin popping into bases on the Sea of Japan side for maintenance...

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Fukushima wants to host Olympic events in 2020 See in context

I worked in Fukushima prefecture for a year after the disaster, including business trips to Soma city, Fukushima city, Date city, Nihonmatsu, and Tanagura. So far, I seem to be okay. I say let's go for this Olympic thing! And to the comment that reads:

Start first by forcing TEPCO to open the site to international expertise

You did know they asked for help last year, right? (

And that you can actually watch Fukushima Daiichi live on Youtube, right? (

Come on, guys, sarcasm isn't going to help anything! If you have something constructive to say then say it, but don't beat up on Fukushima for wanting to get back on its feet...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: DPJ leader Kaieda, Ishihara lose seats; Obuchi re-elected See in context

Ishihara's defeat is perhaps the only good news that came from this election!

It really bugs me when people get off on Ishihara and Hashimoto losing. Ishihara used to be a xenophobe, yes... used to be. Now he wants more immigration into Japan to preserve the Japanese population. Hashimoto got caught in two major gaffes, saying public servants have no private life, and that every army used "comfort women." Guess what, both comments were taken out of context. At least Ishihara and Hashimoto have conviction. Both could have made a lot more money off private enterprise, especially Hashimoto.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Learning young See in context

To everyone asking "how is this legal," I'm pretty sure her dad or mom just let her put their vote into the ballot box. Pretty sure Japan doesn't allow 5-year olds to vote... Just a hunch.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese journalist goes on trial for defaming S Korean president See in context

This is an embarrassment. I'd be angry as hell if I were a Korean, even if the journalist was Japanese. Imagine if the roles were reversed. Would the Japanese people every allow for prosecution of a Korean journalist reporting on rumors of a politician's whereabouts? They certainly wouldn't, and they'd be proud to stand up for journalistic freedom. Hopefully logical Koreans see through this and it can be used to mend some relations with Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: How do you feel when you speak fluent or reasonably good Japanese to a Japanese person and they insist on answering you in English? See in context

Generally relieved that someone speaks good English! But, I keep speaking Japanese because I feel like I'm losing a contest (in my own mind). It ends up being pretty humourous to onlookers, though - me, a foreigner, speaking Japanese, and a Japanese person replying in English to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Minister hit by bar scandal also under fire for owning TEPCO shares See in context

Would it be that bad of an idea to appoint someone to Cabinet who has expertise in their portfolio, but ISN'T CONNECTED TO THE BLOODY INDUSTRY BY THEIR WALLET??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 800-kg steel sheet falls at construction site killing worker See in context

My condolences to this man. He was likely not too far from retirement, looking at the story. Terrible way to go, and my heart goes out to his family.

However, everyone saying Japan needs to do this, or Japan needs to do that, obviously has no experience in the construction industry. I've worked in my native country in construction, and this kind of dangerous activity is all part of the job. I remember guys racing "cherry-pickers" (elevated work platforms on wheels), and then getting snippy at the boss who told them to cut it out. I remember people carefully manoeuvreing steel ladders around electrical wires. I remember guys taking shots at each other with nail guns. Just a few months ago, a worker here (in my own country, a "highly developed" western country"), dropped a 2000 kg block of stone ONTO THE PAVEMENT killing an innocent pedestrian as he was walking to work who had nothing to do with the construction work. No charges were laid, as far I as I can tell. Japan has issues, yes, but this problem seems to be far less prevalent in Japan than elsewhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair See in context

Loved this article! Teaching from scripts was always one of my pet peeves as a teacher, and really stifled creativity in teachers (especially those who had no experience teaching and needed a creative stimulus rather than constricting micro-management and rote memorization). Culture is a critical part of learning a language; how can ALTs, especially private/for-profit ones, bring their culture to the classroom and help students gain some context if they are just "human tape machines" and exist only as "encouragement" and are teaching to the test and not to the students' individual needs. I'd love to see a strong push to overhaul English education from a unified group of English teachers who really want to see Japan succeed in the global community.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Police question university student, others over plan to join Islamic State See in context

How did the police know that he was preparing to go to Syria? I doubt he had purchased a one way ticket to Damascus. So how did they learn of him plans? That is what I would like to know. Unless he was an idiot, spouting off what he was going to do!

Did you read the story? "The student told police he “was planning to travel to Syria so as to join Islamic State to work as a fighter”, the Mainichi Shimbun and other media reported."

Personally, I say good on the police for catching him, and keeping another radical from feeding the fire over there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: OECD says Japan should raise sales tax again next year See in context

Once wages go up, things will start looking up. It's going to be a hard slog to get there, though, hopefully consumers have some incentive to get out there and spend in the meantime. Looking forward to see what happens with that pension-to-equity idea that's coming up, too, that should be interesting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: YO-Kai Watch: Japan's monster craze set to go international See in context

I can attest to this! Living overseas at the moment, but trying to keep up with things back in J-Land, and my kids love Yo-Kai Watch! Me too, actually...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor's cycling policy needs a rethink See in context

I don't think mamacharis pose a threat to pedestrians. They're an inconvenience, maybe, but I agree with Masuzoe in stating that forcing them into bike lanes with bike commuters and other high-speed cyclists would create unnecessary danger for everyone. As far as I can tell, the only viable option for the author would be to create a second bike lane for mamacharis, and leave the current/expanding bike lanes for high-speed cyclists. That would cost a fortune, and is money that could be spent elsewhere more productively.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: South Korea slams Japan's 'ludicrous' island claim See in context

Three letters would resolve this: ICJ. But I guess blowing hot air is more favourable to those looking for election/re-election.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan must eliminate misogyny in workforce: UNDP chief See in context

Personally speaking (this is anecdotal), the women I've worked with in education and health care have been just as capable and less self-centric and therefore more comprehensible than the men in those same fields. Hopefully, Japan can involve the highly-educated, humble, and diligent female workforce it holds, which would help place it back into the highest levels of innovation and economic stability. Really, at this stage, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain for Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: N Korea defends missile tests as South, U.S., Japan hold drill See in context

The response of Seoul and Washington was akin to a burglar rudely criticizing the owner of the house he is trying to rob, an NDC spokesman said in a statement carried on the North’s official KCNA news agency.

Ah, simplistic metaphors - the bastion of the ignorant and the guilty accused. The fact that they cannot draw (or don't) a connection between this and their treatment of their citizens and of neighbours shows them to be obtuse or impudent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Mother, 2 children found dead in apparent murder-suicide leap from cliff See in context

So sad, the little ones never even had a chance to live on their own and make their own decisions. Personally, I think we need to look at why this happened - suicide happens for various reasons. The mother, I'm guessing, didn't have the support she needed to get through whatever triggered her suicidal thoughts; her children paid the price for it. A tragedy of this kind should motivate us to act as a society about what the reasons are and how we can prevent it, not just attack one of the victim. Otherwise, if the children's mother had killed herself and left her kids behind, what's to say they wouldn't have become depressed and suicidal themselves, continuing the cycle...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Campaigners push for pacifist Japanese people to win Nobel Peace Prize See in context

I think it's a great idea but the Nobel Prize Committee will never go for it. As important as Japanese pacifism is to regional security (Abe's trip to North Korea, for example), the more inflammatory message sent by Yasukuni shrine visits will likely be enough to keep the Japanese out of the running. Obama won the prize in 2008 after doing nothing. The Nobel Committee loves to stay news-worthy, and giving the award to the Japanese will put them out of line with the media's false perception that Japan is turning more conservative, right-wing and militaristic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Chinese newspaper posts map of A-bombed Japan See in context

If revision of Article 9 of the Constitution is returning the sword to the murderer, then China's angst over World War II is the gang leader recovering from a beating and threatening to gun down the whole family for revenge. The Chinese government and media will go down in history as thugs in their own right. I hope the Chinese people see through this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Lawmaker bawls at press conference over his use of public funds See in context

That's it, if this is what it takes to enter local assembly politics, then I'm running next time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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