wanderlust comments

Posted in: JR places automated kiosk on platform at Akabane Station in Tokyo See in context

Then human workers, aka carbon-based AI robots, come along and refill the shelves!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 8 Japanese firms in best global brand report; Apple stays top See in context

Nice to see Subaru up there. Despite all the inspection and certification woes, they still make pretty good cars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump gives Saudi Arabia benefit of doubt in journalist's disappearance See in context

The need for oil and arms sales is much stronger than need for truth.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: China says internment camps are 'free vocational training' See in context

Makes Japan vocational training schemes for overseas interns look good!"

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Showa University medical school admits rigging entrance exam scores See in context

Just watch the Doctor X drama series - a lot of the behaviour of the medical establishment is included in the episodes. Miho Nakazono was a very good scriptwriter, with good sources.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Underwear maker Wacoal investigating foreign trainees' labor conditions See in context

They probably fill in the time sheets for staff themselves, to 'avoid misunderstandings'. One large car company in Japan used to give trainees 'car mechanics certificates' after their 2 years in Japan, but when a group of them returned to S. America and tried to use them to get jobs, they were laughed at. Word had already traveled there of the reality of their training.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Built for young families, minicars attract a huge following among elderly drivers See in context

These are OK on the regular roads, and ideal for the narrow country lanes, but a problem on the highways. Narrow chassis, small high-profile wheels and tall bodies lend to instability at 'speed' and swerving in strong side winds; while car are seen struggling to maintain speeds in the outer lanes, blocking traffic and causing road rage. I frequently drive the Tomei Expressway between Kanto and Kansai, and watch these being blown across lanes when crossing open bridges; and encounter many traffic hold ups, caused by a Kei struggling to overtake a truck or other car, and see drivers retaliate by cutting them off or tailgating them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Quake-hit Hokkaido targets Hong Kong to revive tourism See in context

Had dinner with some Hong Kong people last night, frequent travelers to Japan. They all thought Hokkaido was in ruins and still blacked out! I guess Tsuji needs a new PR agency.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan hosts ministers from 52 African nations See in context

20 years too late. China moved into Africa a long time ago, and has already established relationships at both government and factory levels. Even charity megamouthpiece Bob Geldof warned Japan about this at a financial conference more than 12 years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fishmongers mourn closure of famous Tokyo fish market See in context

They should have been protesting like this years ago...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 65 injured as typhoon hits Japan's mainland See in context

Power went off twice in parts of Kanagawa after midnight; pretty windy, could hear metal items being blown down the road. Hope no-one was on their roof fixing things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Subaru reports more cases of improper vehicle inspections See in context

Inspections may be flawed, but build quality is still good, as befits an airplane maker. Had 3 Subies over 20 years or so; two recalls - one for a water pump and the other was a Takata air bag replacement. But there have been concerns over employee conditions, especially non-Japanese staff, at the Ota plant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Shinkansen maker admits flawed quality control over cracks See in context

Sounds like a combination of non-thinking employees, bad employee training, non-existent quality control and incredibly bad management. The unwritten company manual known as 'Shafu', or company customs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Antibiotics for appendicitis? Surgery often not needed See in context

Excessive use of antibiotics won't help the ongoing problem with increasing bacterial resistance, leading to many antibiotics becoming ineffective, and patients needing to be treated with combinations of 3 or even 4 antibiotics to manage serious infections. The drug companies have not managed to come up with many new classes of drugs, that would help; and GPs continue to prescribe them for colds, of viral origin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan blames latest improper tests on 'low awareness' of rules See in context

So not one Nissan employee has read of the inspection errors at Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Suzuki, Yamaha?

Or any other of the companies such as Kobe steel?

Credit to Nissan management for such a creative new excuse!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tsunami-hit nuclear plant in Ibaraki gets formal restart approval See in context

How can you approve something that is not even built?

Should they not wait until is has been built to check and approve it?

I mean, it might be faulty or badly built!

The idiocy of the nuclear regulatory system in Japan is beyond belief.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: High court gives go ahead for restart of Shikoku Electric nuclear reactor See in context

On most matters in Japan, the higher courts side with and support the establishment; from nuclear power to dam construction, from accepting donations of money to industrial corruption and accounting fraud. The politicians, bureaucrats and judiciary all went to the same universities, so they will look after their own, and in turn be looked after.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Woman arrested for leaving body of newborn baby in coin lockers for 4-5 years See in context

Japanese do have Inouchi no Denwa - a telephone help line - to turn to for advice, though many seem to have never heard of it; whilst many who have lived abroad call TELL -the Tokyo English Life Line.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Hokkaido town refuses to pay bear patrol hunting club as animals spotted on streets, at harbor See in context

30,000 per bear, and 11.65 million owed? Does that mean around 380 bears have been killed? What are the associated fees?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Another top bureaucrat quits scandal-hit education ministry See in context

Has he really left his job, or does he just no longer have the title of vice minister? If the latter, he still has a 3-4 years to milk the system; if the former, he'll turn up in an educational institution as an advisor or vice-principal in 3-4 months.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: When you feel like you’re the only outsider in the community, do these 2 things See in context

Adapt, integrate, but don't sell your soul!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Princess Ayako to marry on Oct 29 in traditional ceremony See in context

So Kei Moriya passed the Imperial Household Agency due diligence, and is able to offer Princess Ayako a good future. Princess Mako's fiance is still working on his financial issues, or rather his mother's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 2020 Olympic volunteers to get ¥1,000 a day for transport expenses See in context

Meanwhile the Lords of the Rings pocket billions from TV and corporate sponsorship, advertising, ticketing, and other revenue streams. Generosity was never their strong point.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: How to prepare for Japanese drinking culture at work See in context

Plenty of types of good non-alcohol beer and wine are available here. You can also state that you are taking a medicine that is incompatible with alcohol, have to drive back home, or practise a religion that forbids drinking.

Bottom line, this is a pretty old article that just serves to perpetuate the myth of excessive company drinking; in reality, it happens a lot less than it used to do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Probe into foreigners' health insurance abuse stirs controversy See in context

Next, they should do a probe into abuse of the Japanese pension system by Japanese. How many claims are made for relatives dead 20 or 30 years ago? That would surely be in the 1,000s.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Death toll from Hokkaido quake hits 44; gov't sees no rolling blackouts despite power shortage See in context

@nessie - Plans for geothermal power plants are usually blocked by the National Parks Authority, who always fear that tourism and the environment will be destroyed. A trip to New Zealand will quickly disprove that, their plants are well integrated into the local environment and hard to see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Power returning to Hokkaido, but quake exposes flaws of grid See in context

Plans for geothermal power plants are usually blocked by the National Parks Authority, who always fear that tourism and the environment will be destroyed. A trip to New Zealand will quickly disprove that, their plants are well integrated into the local environment and hard to see.

There are 4 places where power can be converted between the 50 and 60 Hz supplies of Eastern and Western Japan, but capacity is extremely limited, at 1.2 Giga watts, out of a total Japan grid of around 300 Gigawatt!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't acknowledges first radiation death among Fukushima plant workers See in context

@scrote - some wear dosimeters, some are not supplied with them, some cover them with lead to enable them to keep working (they don't understand much about radiation and cancer), many use different names and go work at different plants once they get to their annual dose limit, others have data falsified, records are not properly kept. There are many accounts of this in books such as Kenji Higuchi's, articles on the nuclear gypsies, CINC website, etc..

Just search....there is a lot of information on this.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't acknowledges first radiation death among Fukushima plant workers See in context

A very interesting ruling. The courts have ruled many times that utilities are not liable for these deaths by cancer, as it is not possible to verify the doses absorbed or the actual cause, going back to 1995, when the first cases were exposed by the photographer and nuclear activist Kenj Higuchi.

The nuclear workers do not help their own cause, by working at different plants under different names, exceeding the NRA mandated limits, or in other cases, working without radiation meters or proper documentation, under the 6-7 layers of employment agencies that comprise the Japan Nucelar Village. The plight of the 'nuclear gypsies' is well-documented, especially by Reuters.

Let's see if they appeal!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: 3,000 people being transported out of typhoon-hit Kansai airport See in context

Conferences in the Kansai and Kinki area also cancelled; overseas attendees could not get in, and knock-on effect to hotels, restaurants, business vendors, staff, taxis, buses, etc.. Bigger hit to Japan' reputation as technologically-advanced and well-prepared for disasters.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

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