USAkuma comments

Posted in: Germany decides to abandon nuclear power by 2022 See in context

For all the nuclear power plants around the world, there have been less than a handful of serious nuclear accidents in which people suffered radiation-caused deaths. And the number of people who have died directly from radiation emitted from nuclear power plants in the last 50 years has been less than one year's worth of airplane accident victims.

Is Fukushima a disaster? Of Course! Is it terrible that 3 nuclear cores melted down and that radiation leaked out? Of Course! Is it dangerous around the plant? Of course.

Instead, we have Germany and other countries quickly abandoning nuclear power in favor of coal and gas because they fear that something 'Might' happen in the future. I guess that Global Warming thing that the reactionaries worried about last year is passe now. We won't hear anymore about eco or green technology because a lot of it relies on electricty instead of gas, and to get electricity without CO2, most countries were turning to nuclear energy as the safe, clean method of getting electricity. But not anymore. Forget the clean skies and cooler temperatures. Full speed ahead on those coal-burning power plants.

Well,Germany, if you fear that a 9.0 earthquake and 20m high tsunami will suddenly attack your country... then I have news for you, the world has likely ended and its doubtful that anyone will be alive to care whether a nuclear power plant's cooling systems will be turned on or off.

In the meantime, all the Germans will have to pay higher gas and electric bills as the country buys its electricity from the nuclear power plants in France, and its gas from Russia and the Middle East.

Way to go, Germany!

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Posted in: Too real means too creepy in new Disney animation See in context

This reminds me of the old argument about special effects versus story. Some people put all their money on technology in films, but those films always tend to lose out to films with better story.

The 1st Matrix movie was a hit with its SF story and amazing with its special effects camera work. Suddenly there were Matrix-camera shot ripoffs everywhere. People got tired of it, and especially of B-rate movie versions that didn't bother with story.

Also with style. Japanese anime has always used larger than normal eyes, but since its stylized, people ignore the strangeness. Maybe its because the heads aren't normally proportioned, or like Picasso it all fits despite looking strange. But when Disney or other western movie makers try to simulate the large eyes on a normal head, it is the creepiest thing ever. I think Lady Gaga tried it on one of her videos, but she may have been going for the creepy look anyway.

Point is, the story has to be appealing long before deciding on the special effects to get audiences to ignore abnormalities. Zemeckis just hasn't learned that yet.

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Posted in: Jenny Periman sparkles in NHK's 'Eigo de Asobo' See in context

I am very happy with both Jenny and Eric. My daughter likes Jenny's songs such as "In the City" and I don't mind watching her either. I think Eric has worked very hard to make the show successful, too. None of us are getting younger, and my hat's off to him for continuing the effort. I hope they both continue making the show popular. I also hope they will have a longer version in the future. From 10 to 15 minutes would be good.

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Posted in: Shoppers' appetite for spending is being restrained by a feeling that it is inappropriate when nearly 28,000 are dead or missing and more than 180,000 survivors huddle in shelters. What effect do you See in context

If you are talking about encouraging Japanese people, all you have to do is ask them to buy something FOR those in the north. I've seen people dropping off diapers etc. at collection sites for just such a purpose.

Give people a few months, and a more solid restoration of electricity, and they will quickly compartmentalize the quake as something that happened elsewhere... they will resume spending on luxury items. Maybe the owners of the "Radium" Hot Springs will have to shut down for the time being, but things will return to normal very quickly.

The Japanese people are quite resilient. The country didn't collapse after the Great Hanshin Quake, and they didn't give up after the Niigata quake either. They won't just roll over and die just because this Great Tohoku Quake and Tsunami have caused so many problems.

I'm more likely inclined to see a great resurgence of national pride and effort. That effort will include shopping as well if it is seen as a way to help out. Of course, right now no one would want to buy irradiated products or take vacations near the shore... that's too be expected. But its far from the END OF JAPAN.

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Posted in: Tiny amounts of radiation from Japan reach Nevada See in context

Now let's see how many people in the states panic and buy Geiger counters, toilet paper, and bottled water like the Japanese did.

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Posted in: NHK cameraman in missing housewife case deleted email records See in context

TV News implies that she was going to collect money from the cameraman who also has a wife and child(ldren). A love affair that turned into into blackmail? A cameraman so desperate to hide what happened that he killed the woman in question.

Well, no one needs pay NHK fees for another year with this scandal. That's for sure.

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Posted in: Light beer See in context

I have to agree with somuchatalent. If I want real bear, I pay for real beer, and it doesn't come from Japan. If I want a cheep alcoholic drink that isn't sweet, then I get a happoshu alchoholic drink.

Since my wife is demanding that I lose some weight, I will have to cut back on the good stuff. Now, if this or other diet, alcoholic, malt-like beverages can taste better than water or other diet drinks, then I am all for it.

Instead of pointing out the obvious that this isn't a real beer, let's compare diet malt-beverages and decide which tastes the best. LoveUSA likes Kirin. I tried that 0stuff, and its not as bad as the green label stuff. Any other constructive comparisons?

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Posted in: Light beer See in context

How much alcohol is in it? The Happoshu group of beverages are tolerable due to an increase in alcohol... I like the ones with 7%.

But a lot of the diet beers have only around 3% which means you have to pound 3 to 4 times the amount to get the same buzz, which nullifies the diet aspect.

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Posted in: Japan lifts Asian Cup with 1-0 win over Australia See in context

Congrats to Japan. They've always been chided for a lack of stamina, but this year, they seem to have gotten the right vitamins to keep up their energy though the overtime.

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Posted in: Sting meets dolphin advocate Ric O'Barry; advocates debate See in context

I would love to get an accounting of JapanToday posters who have actually seen dolphin meat at their local Japanese grocery store. I live in Saitama, and have never seen it at the local Tobu store. I check there pretty regularly for dinner things. haven't seen whale nor dolphin for sale. Maybe the Taiji people are eating it, but I'm not seeing anyone else buying it.

I wonder if Sting is gonna show video clips of Taiji in his concert. If he does, his following will likely drop really quickly in Japan.

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Posted in: Japan, Jordan advance to Asian Cup quarterfinals See in context

Congrats to Japan! They made it look easy. Now the question is, will they be able to sustain this winning streak through to the Asian Cup Championship? And how will they fare against European teams?

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Posted in: Arizona Rep Giffords shot, 6 killed, including judge, 9-year-old girl See in context

My take on this is that yes this guy is a nut case. But thanks to the NRA promoting that everyone (including nut cases) has a right to gun ownership, this guy could get his weapon.

And while he may not be a card-carrying member of the TEA Party or on Palin's i-phone address list, it IS the Tea Party that has been flooding the airwaves and filling this nutcase's TV, internet, and apparently his head with all the rhetoric about how bad Giffords was for supporting healthcare. Palin used crosshairs in her campaign against Giffords and her Tea Party opponent encouraged people to fire off an M-16 in support of getting rid of her.

With all that negative media bombardment, Faux News and the Tea Party were all but telling him to go kill Giffords. In his crazy mind, he just took their political rhetoric for an actual order to kill. And now that he has, the far right is playing it off by saying that since their fingerprints aren't on the gun or the ammo, they aren't responsible for the hate they fed him. That's total B.S. Spreading hate has brought about this turn of events, and I doubt it will be the last as long as Palin and the Tea Party keep up their messages of hate.

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Posted in: Beat Takeshi appears in ad for ECC language school See in context

Funny point is that he put on his news program Saturday night that he can't speak a word of English except for what's scripted for him. He showed video of himself practicing with the ECC "Professionals" looking on. He garbled out his lines, but everyone applauded him anyway. That kind of counters the adds, doesn't it?

ps to darkbob: The french love him, and he has a museum of his 'paintings' and other artwork... The Japanese Andy Warhol...

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Posted in: U.S., Japan discussed action against anti-whalers: WikiLeaks See in context

One final note from me on this topic. Paul Watson and SS along with their supporters feel that by attacking Japan's whaling vessels, they can get people to decide against killing and eating said whales. As far as I have seen, attacking any country is not a way of making them like you. Certainly 9/11 hasn't made Americans love Al Queda, has it?

and on a more direct note... there have been a lot of posts here against the supporters of Watson's SS. Having been "attacked" by those of us who do not support him, do posters such as TKOIND2 and CLEO now suddenly feel a love for Japanese whalers' lives and a desire to arrest Watson?

My guess is probably not even if pigs did fly, right? So if attacking someone's beliefs doesn't change their opinions, why would anyone agree that physically attacking Japanese whaling vessels would somehow make Japanese people less inclined to eat whale? It hasn't worked with my co-worker, and I doubt it is working anywhere else either.

THAT'S WHY I DON'T SUPPORT WATSON'S SS. THAT'S WHY HE HARMS THE ANTI-WHALING EFFORTS RATHER THAN HELPS THEM.

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Posted in: U.S., Japan discussed action against anti-whalers: WikiLeaks See in context

tkoid2, one minute you want verification for things via mainstream media and the next moment you are blaming mainstream media for holding people accountable. Make up your mind which you support.

Cleo; I wholly support Greenpeace's peaceful efforts, but to use your analogy, I don't support ripping the legs off of the kid just to get him to stop pulling the legs off of spiders. As has been stated, the harsher you push or attack someone, the less likely they will listen to you.

The way to get the japanese to stop whaling is to catch the whalers in some kind of scandal that would upset the Japanese people themselves. The regular populous now only knows of whaling as something that fishermen do, and something other countries attack. The harsher the attacks, the less they like the attacker. Ask them how they feel about China in regard to Senkaku island. Do they care about the fish? no, only that the Chinese fishermen rammed their coast guard ships and then the Chinese demanded that the fishermen be released. How many Japanese people can you find to truthfully think, "Gee, maybe we should share our resources..."

The Japanese people I work with say that although they normally don't consider whale to be tasty, every time they hear about SS attacks, they feel a patriotic desire to buy whale meat (if they can find it) just to thumb their noses at Paul Watson. Does that sound like Watson's eco-terrorists are winning people over? It doesn't to me and not to them either.

As far as Assange and his group go, his shock-effect is now losing steam. His group is running out of big news to sell apparently. Is it really big news to ANYONE that Japan asked America for help in dealing with Sea Shepherd? If the cable had actually said that America agreed to send the Navy or do something about him, maybe I'd take notice. But the SS is too minor a problem for anyone but Japan to deal with. and Assange is running out of shocking news if this is all he has to relase...

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Posted in: U.S., Japan discussed action against anti-whalers: WikiLeaks See in context

one correction for tkoind2... these days the eco-movement IS the establishment. It has been since Gore became a household name, and it definitely has been since Obama got in office. Anyone who dares NOT buy a Prius, drink Starbucks, or support eco-terrorism is in the anti-establishment group.

Global Warming is used to blame the U.S. for the weather, and the "Endangered Seas" are being used to bully Japan into not eating Whales or other fish... which they have been doing for thousands of years... and yet its only recently that the fish are endangered. When only Japan ate sushi, there weren't any problems about endangered tuna... now that Australia, NZ, America, Europe... the whole world wants to eat sushi, its endangered, and people blame Japan.

When the whole world hunted whales to near extinction, Sea Shepherd didn't exist because no one cared. when the IWC was created, whaling countries like Norway ignored the IWC, and continued their activities unhindered. Japan had the choice of either following Norway and ignoring the rest of the world, or following the rules of the IWC and limiting how many whales they catch. They decided to follow the rules and limit how many whales they catch each year. That's a step in the right direction towards not catching ANY whales at all.

But how are they rewarded? Sea Shepherd and the eco-terror groups hunt them down and use them for footage in their Whale Wars videos for great profit. Why don't Whale Wars ever show any battles against Norway? because Paul would find himself selling videos to Davey Jones at the bottom of the sea. Japan's a much easier target. And he can sell his videos to the crowd who prefer to see non-whites as the bad guys. Since Japan's a pacifist country, Paul's SS group can attack them without ever worrying about anything more than water cannons being shot back at them. Dare him to try that against a Chinese fishing ship?

And let's go one further. Which is more of a threat to the world's oceans, the Japanese whalers that catch less than 1,000 whales a year, or the oil producing countries who dump billions of gallons of poisonous oil into the oceans when their refineries explode, or their ships run aground? Want to save a whale? Stop using All plastics and other petroleum products. Paul isn't concerned about how much oil his diesel-run ships use or how they affect the environment. All he cares about is getting that money-shot for Whale Wars.

That's why Paul Watson's SS group does more to harm the efforts to stop whaling than they do to actually curb the number of whales caught.

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Posted in: U.S., Japan discussed action against anti-whalers: WikiLeaks See in context

Some would say that Alladin's comments could also be said about a lot of people who post here on Japan Today. lol.

I agree with Greenpeace. Watson's SS group has hardened a lot of hearts and is used by Japan to make themselves look like the victims. Australia's position against whaling is clear, but like a ball and chain, their support for SS hurts their efforts in the IWC courts. So as long as Watson is going around trying to sink ships (his own included), Japan will look like victims who need support... even for whaling.

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Posted in: Japanese whalers, activists clash off Antarctica See in context

Ahh, another round of Whale Wars that Watson's group will sell for millions to Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. He makes millions off the deal and does not have to produce results (he hasn't actually stopped the Japanese from whaling). I've even heard from various posters (last year I think) that Watson stages his dust-ups like a director for what makes the best shots for the camera crew. He could stop the whalers much closer to Japan,but if he did, he wouldn't have anything to sell, thus be out of money and attention. So in a way, I'd wager Paul Watson supports the whalers in order to nurse his addiction for money and attention. Without an enemy, he is nothing.

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Posted in: Japan hit by 6.9-magnitude earthquake See in context

Yeah, felt it in Saitama. Saw the water vibrate first, and then everything started the shimmy. Kinda like a fun house... but at work. back to work as usual affter though...

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Posted in: Grounding the JETs See in context

I have to agree with the overhaul idea. I have been a JET myself. Yes, some of us worked hard, but a lot figured out that JET was just a meal ticket for extended vacation and a lack of responsibilities. I firmly believe that they brought about the original disdain for the whole industry (of having foreigners teaching English to Japanese people).

If I were allowed to advise the overhaul, I'd suggest the following:

Choose applicants in the education field, so that they have an idea of what is expected of them, and what they should do.

Provide better training before and during their time in Japan. Structured lessons on how to teach not bitch-n-moan sessions.

provide and require instruction classes for the Japanese teachers of English of how to utilize their JETs more effectively. This means, pass over the tests to be graded between ALT taught classes, instructions for pair-taught activities, phonics instruction, role-play, etc. (Have them earn their paychecks from work not from sipping green tea).

When not in the classroom, have the ALT provide assistance to local businesses... CORRECT ALL THOSE ENGRISH MISTAKES!!! that City Halls, and businesses put out.

If we want to say that cultural interaction is important, then prepare the ALT before hand with outlines for what they will teach to the Japanese (food, home-life, free-time activities, work-life, etc.). And lets import some foods, etc. to provide a taste of home instead of just pictures.

If salary is too high for communites, then reduce it to the same level as the local Eikawas, but provide incentives for each teaching or community improving activity the ALT helps in. This would reward effort rather than just pay for the drinking parties.

Those are some of my ideas. I know a LOT of JETs have been doing these things in one form or another, but with structured assistance and acknowledgment from the community, and training from the program overseers, I think those activities will be more effective.

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Posted in: Republicans, heading for big gains, ready agenda See in context

"Measuring the drapes?" The GOP have gone beyond that, they've already ordered furniture. They have already assumed their win and assumed that they will control the government. I believe that the government will grind to a halt. GOP won't be able to control their T-Party newbies who will likely act like Mcjob workers (or Eikaiwa workers) and do nothing but complain. Any Democrats left in office will lock-step and dig in to resist any change. they will bombard the airwaves with how little the GOP is doing to help and how many they are hurting, and nothing will get done.

I'm glad I'm here in Japan away from all that craziness!

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Posted in: Coffee break See in context

Coffee coffee coffee!!! Gimme more coffee!!!! How many cups can I get each day? I am already a member. Want to mainline it if possible...

Love the fact that they don't have decaf in Japan... and now they give it away free!!!

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Posted in: Do you believe that Al-Qaida was responsible for the events of 9/11 See in context

I saw a great Conspiracy movie called "Loose Change" about 9/11 indicating that the Bush regime was behind Al-Quaida's attack in order to secure power without question. Before the war, everyone thought Bush was the dumbest president on record for his lack of English ability.

After 9/11, no one was allowed to question anything he put into effect, such as the patriot act... Even now, there are still Posters in Texas trying to bring him back. Now that's scary.

I always take Conspiracy flicks with a grain of salt, but there were some interesting points. Such as :

What happened to all that gold that was stored under the WTC? More than Fort Knox, and from international sources, but it suddenly disappeared and no one reported finding much left after ground zero was cleared out.

What happened to the Pentagon? Supposedly hit by a plane, but photos from the scene show only a round hole and no debris... no titanium engines, nothing. not even scorched grass. My sister works on planes for a living in the Navy... She confirmed that there should have been engines, wings, bodies, etc. But the photos show only a round hole... like what is made when a missile hits...

The airline that crashed in PA, but didn't have any engines, or parts bigger than what comes out of a scrapyard, and no bodies. That from the Pittsburgh coroner who went to the scene. And the clear as day cellular phone calls from the flight back before airplanes had boosters for using electronics... Magic calls?

Well, again they are just theories, and good conspiracy theories are believable but without the evidence that makes them facts... like UFO's. But my point is that I can believe that it takes more than just a couple of guys and some airplanes to make 9/11 work out so smoothly and take us to two wars that have killed far more than the original attack, and not benefited us one bit.

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Posted in: Fixing American 'dumbocracy' See in context

Ahh, anyone remember Abbot and Costello? Costello was the easily befuddled person who panicked easily. After reading the article, I was reminded of that comedy duo from bygone days.

As for the uneducated electorate... I guess the "Hanging Chad" victories of Bush show the results of an "educated electorate?"

So why didn't people vote Republican in the last election? The short version: 2 Vietnam-like wars going nowhere. Oil and airline prices up, but economy down in the dumps during the Republican Bush Era. People out of jobs all across the country, while Execs. from Lehman's, etc. use their golden parachutes to flee any responsibility. Big Business without rules for protecting the little guy is a common theme for Republican Manifestos. But apparently the masses weren't going for it this time.

And of course, we have McCain who rambles on about the same policies that Obama is offering. And finally, there's the mishandling of Palin. No matter what your opinion of her or her ability, her own party mishandled her so badly that the American public saw her as only a cardboard cutout meant to keep up with Obama choosing Clinton for his cabinet.

so, in the end, on election day, there was a choice between Obama, who spoke clearly and elequently about something everyone belived in... a need for a change. or Mccain, who sounded like Obama, and seemed eager to copy everything he did...

So, if the TEA PARTY wants to blame someone for the election results, blame their own party... which hasn't changed much since the last election, and isn't offering much different with this one either.

Come election day, you'll still see the same republican faces for the most part, and whether they get a majority or not, the economy won't be fixed any faster. Obama has actually done a lot for his campaign promises. We're out of Iraq, and Healthcare has passed. That's only 2, but its a lot more good than what Bush did in 8 years. Bush bankrupted the country and left Obama with the bill. Now Obama has to fix the problems with solutions that people don't like? well, if you don't like socialist programs like Welfare, Police, Fire, and emergency services, go ahead and move to a country like China. If you like their communist-capitalism so much Mr. Costello, take a flight over there. See how long you can last... and what happens to you, when you try and complain about it.

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Posted in: Bite this See in context

I'm betting that the TV "Talento" will have to gorge themselves on this monstrosity during their shows. First it'll be a reward, then a punishment. Maybe only that one girl with the monster appetite will actually say its delicious beyond the first few bites.

Its getting harder and harder for Japanese people to say (with a straight face) that their diets are better than western diets.

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Posted in: What should the U.S. military brass and/or Japanese authorities do to reduce the number of crimes committed by U.S. military personnel in Japan? See in context

The whole "guest" approach is wrong. Japan and the U.S. have a lifelong relationship. They warred upon each other, and Japan lost. The U.S. now protects Japan from its enemies (China and North Korea are two examples). Each has to live with each other and deal with problems fairly. Anyone who has had to live with a roommate can tell you that in a tight space there are always some flair-ups.

The media likes to play up ANY problems in order to play the martyr. However, Fuji TV recently sent a director (read as low level employee) to live for 2 weeks in Okinawa. What he saw was that the people are fifty-fifty. half just love complaining about everything, and the U.S. soldiers are the easiest targets. The other half make their living off of military money. Even during protests, what's shown on the media are only the highlights. For example, the ring-around-the-base was only for a little bit, because young people didn't care. they went off to keep dry and socialize with their friends. It was only when the cameras came that they ran into position.

You want to reduce crime by U.S. military? Start by also improving accountability by the Okinawan people as well. Okinawan crimes against military never get reported. So let's start being fair. Let's make shared patrols. one MP and one JP together in each patrol car. Any arrests of either Japanese or Military will go directly to a court of both military and civilian authority. And the Okinawan crimes get reported alongside the military crimes.

My bet is that there will be more Okinawan crimes coming to light than military ones.

Want good guests? Be good hosts!

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Posted in: Pocketable soap See in context

Must remember not to confuse soap tablet with Mintia while driving...

THOUGH, it's sure to wake someone up to find one of these in their mouth. Brings back memories of my grandmother saying I should wash my mouth out with soap if I say a bad word. If she were alive today, I'd see her putting a bunch of these in her bag for just such occasions.

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Posted in: Back to the 'eikaiwa' drawing board See in context

I worked in the Eikaiwa business before. And before I went to any interviews, I went to the bars and listened to the Eikaiwa employees. I chose my school based on which had the least amount of complaints. Nova, Geos, ECC, and Berlitz, all had the biggest complaints and the biggest complainers. And apparently, the employees with the worst work ethic. they just wanted to party, and complained if work got in the way.

My school wasn't famous, but it shared something in common with universities (since the owner was a former University teacher). The people in charge had a graduated program based on test scores. If you couldn't pass the tests, you couldn't move up, and you had your own proof to show for it. The people who worked hard went up, and succeeded. I was there for the cultural aspects, letting people know what wasn't in the textbook.

As the writer implies, that is the way of the future, and I agree. Let the Novas and Geos' of Japan disappear. Hopefully, the Japanese are getting wise enough to chose schools where they can improve in rather than go to the eikaiwa cabarets where they pay to have a seat with a bored foreigner.

Hopefully, what will come next will have some continuity, and training for employees as well as some way to back up the claims of how they can help people improve. And hopefully those Japanese who want to improve their lives through English will be able to.

But I won't hold my breath because lets face it. The eikaiwas exist for people too lazy to study on their own, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.

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Posted in: Japanese ask: Is U.S. backlash on Toyota a ploy to boost American auto producers? See in context

People said that the Titanic was unsinkable... They were wrong.

People said JAL was the airline that would never fail... They were wrong.

And people are about to learn the same lesson with Toyota.

Is this U.S. backlash a ploy? No more a ploy than say banning all American beef products because of a few cases of B.S.E. No more a backlash than what the Japanese did when China had some problems with their frozen foods...

The shoe is on the other foot, Japan. How does it feel?

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Posted in: 40 police cars, 100 officers, one copter mobilized to chase 2 thieves See in context

Wow! Where to begin on this one? Who was the 55-year old woman? The wife of a politician? How did her purse-snatching rate all this, while normally the J.cops prefer to just write a report and possibly put up a drawing.

And how hard could it have been to chase these two? The girl is from a school of the handicapped according to the article. I assume she wasn't in a wheelchair or blind, but 40 cars? We aren't talking Bonny & Clyde or Hollywood movies here!

I bet a lot of people in Kawagoe lost sleep over this! I hope it was worth it!

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