wanderlust comments

Posted in: Koike says 2020 Olympics can be springboard to transform Tokyo See in context

Recommended she, or anyone else, read The Impact of Stadium and Professional Sports on Metropolitan Areas by RA Baade, a Professor of Economics at a Sports University in the USA, who totally shatters the myth of the benefits these projects bring, and outlines the negative impact on the local area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Interpreter under fire after calling African runners 'chimpanzees' See in context

Professional interpreters do not comment on their jobs outside of their work, it is considered a breach of protocol and their contract. Volunteers, even though paid, should be held to similar standards.

"It's very regrettable that there were inappropriate use of words...'

How many times do we hear this?

Usually the first words out of someone's mouth are what they really understand and mean, and apologies are really meaningless, the damage has been done.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Cost of 2020 Tokyo Olympic ceremonies up 40% See in context

Another increase of course, Dentsu have to make a return off their investment and cover their consulting fees!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Robot lifts bits of melted fuel at Fukushima plant See in context

100 - 200 gms of small fuel pebbles lifted 5 cm, that's a start. Now extrapolate that to 5-6,000 kg of fuel embedded with some 100s of tons of concrete and metal - the corium - that needs breaking up and then lifting maybe 30 metres, and moving another 50-100 metres to a safe container, without irradiating staff; that is the reality of what must be done.

Next plan...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to make unauthorized downloads of all copyrighted work illegal See in context

Ironic that a country of whose many industries were built from copying foreign products, photocopying plans and patents now decides to ban copying through downloads!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese cities worried about receiving more foreign workers: survey See in context

Kanagawa, one of the prefectures with a long history of foreigners living within its boundaries, tried with a foreign residents committee, consisting of 24 foreigners representing the local mix, who attended monthly meetings in Japanese (their common language) with prefectural officers, to discuss ways to improve life for foreigners in Japan. However, from 2 years experience on that committee, the designated time period, it was more of a forum to discuss things and placate foreign residents, as few actual improvements happened. The prefectural staff decided the themes, not the foreigners, and these were repeated every two years with successive committees; rather than listening to what the foreigners wanted and acting on them. It was a real learning experience.

They had cupboards full of materials, printed and undistributed; as the officer who helped develop them had been transferred, and the replacement had no interest.

It reminded me of the Japan-Filipino Committee that was formed to help Filipinos in Japan; it consisted of only Japanese members, not one Filipino member!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: LDP adopts concise plan on constitutional revision at convention See in context

Note, two women in the picture...rare!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Automakers in U.S. recall 1.7 million cars with Takata airbags See in context

Such a slow process, it has been ongoing for many years. It can't be good driving around with a potential explosive device in the front of the car.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan moving to allow online medication consultations from 2020 See in context

It's fine for a consultation, although they are the most accessible of healthcare professionals; but they'd still need to visit a physician if there is any change to be made in their medication, as a prescription would probably be needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The world's postal services are struggling with lower demand for letter deliveries. How would you feel if the mailman became a thing of the past? Do you still eagerly look in your mailbox each day? See in context

Have a few friends and some older relatives around the world who still write letters every couple of months, it's nice to receive them. I also prefer to write using a fountain pen and ink, you can be more expressive when writing, and it's easier than or inserting an emoji; you can just draw it or press harder on the nib!

Agree with Luddite on bills and invoices; many accountants and the tax authorities here have trouble handling online payments, where the receipt is in the body of an email. They prefer a piece of paper with a hanko mark on it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Sushi chain worker uploads video of fish taken from trash can See in context

Many years ago, they had a feature programme on TV about one of the luxury JR trains. The sushi chef cut his finger, yet still carried on preparing sushi! Vaunted standards of food preparation take a hit, just like cars, steel, and the rest...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan to freeze payments of unstated remuneration to Ghosn See in context

From a corporate governance (CG) point of view, the Nissan shareholders should sue the entire company for a total lack of CG, and total mismanagement; but then the major shareholders are behind this. Let's just see how this plays out.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Posted in: Nissan's second thoughts on UK-made SUV add to Brexit worry See in context

Global reduction in diesel vehicle sales, not helped by VW and other car makers' fraudulent tests. If it was a Brexit issue, why not relocate to another European country?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Cancer patients in poor countries needlessly denied pain relief: WHO See in context

Japan has one of the lowest levels of opiate use amongst the top 20 developed countries, leaving many terminally patients in agony, despite a 2007 campaign to increase their use and care better for patients. They seem to prefer weaker non-opiate solutions, along with large doses of gaman, and I have even seen traditional folklore remedies such as ginger and potato paste applied to a patient's skin by a relative in a university hospital here.

Post-operative pain relief here also leaves much to be desired, despite data showing that adequate post-op pain relief helps the patient to a quicker recovery.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to require casino resorts to have unprecedentedly big hotels See in context

There is no need for ANY taxpayer money or local government money to spend on these projects. If the Sands, Wynn, MGM, and other entertainment/gambling empires want to build them, let them do it with their own money! They'll also probably use their cheap imported staff for the work. And most of the proposed great economic impact will flow back to their head offices, it's just air-talk to try to influence people. Just read The Impact of Stadium and Professional Sports on Metropolitan Areas by RA Baade, who totally shatters the myth of the benefits these projects bring, and outlines the negative impact on the local area.

The business infrastructures in Singapore, Macau, and South Korea where these megavenues currently lie are quite different to Japan, so expect a lot of opaque consulting fees to get things done, just like the 2020 games, and the pachinko king Okada as he tried to set things up in the Philippines and Osaka.

Note that these buildings lead to an increase in MICE work (Meetings Incentives Conferences Exhibitions), so you can expect resistance from the current Japanese venues and vendors, who will lose business to them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic CEO says no need for Takeda to resign See in context

...the bidding process now "was absolutely transparent. ... The whole process itself is far more transparent and open, including to the media.

Methinks a trip to 'Specsavers' is necessary, if they believe the current process is transparent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: JR East mulls later train services during Tokyo Olympics See in context

... the company is expected to study whether extra train crews and station staff will be needed

What are the alternatives? Unpaid overtime? Temporary extension of working hours?

They work to the second at the moment, so doubt there is much capacity to expand.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Storage of nuclear waste a global crisis: report See in context

Based on data provided by the utilities, CNIC estimates Japan' storage facilities for spent fuel rods are at around 85% capacity, mainly in elevated cooling pools next to the pressure vessels, with some rods left in there from 1984 and unable to be moved due to damage when handling them; the Rokkasho waste plant has yet to process a single ingot of glassed fuel due to technical issues; and there is the issue of low and medium level waste, such as gloves, clothing, tools, that must also be stored and disposed of.

Whilst global crisis might be a rather sensational headline, it is a crisis for those countries who continue to use nuclear power, without considering the long term outcome.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Local governments worry over new foreign worker policy; ask for help See in context

In reality, many of the people coming over here for these work programmes are supported by employer or agency staff, who handle their administrative needs, as well as visa/ work permit. They are also paid as part of the programme. They are not expected to go to city hall or immigration by themselves.

I'm sure most people who come here to work as teachers, corporate expat employees, interns, etc., have similar experience and support.

Those individuals who come over here independently to look for work, find it and then have to deal with immigration and the town or city hall probably have some Japanese language skills in the first place; that was my experience recently with some Chinese, Thai and Moroccan colleagues.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Local governments worry over new foreign worker policy; ask for help See in context

Kanagawa ward offices provide materials in around 7-8 languages for all of their common procedures, and remember that English is only the 5th most common foreign language here. They provide official multilingual counselling services, interpreters, and other services. When the 'My Number' registration started, they provided 'How To' documentation in those same languages and assigned staff who were language-capable to support registration.

There is a pool of volunteer interpreters, who help in emergencies, but none of them like interpreting for police related incidents; as they find it hard to remain objective interpreting, and often wish to help the foreigner.

They also have a foreign resident committee, consisting of 24 foreigners representing the local mix, who attend monthly meetings in Japanese (their common language) for 2 years with prefectural officers, to discuss ways to improve life for foreigners in Japan. However, from experience on that committee, it is more of a forum to discuss things and placate foreign residents, as few actual improvements happen. The prefectural staff decide the themes, not the foreigners, and these are repeated every two years with successive committees; rather than listening to what the foreigners want and acting on them. It was a real learning experience.

They have cupboards full of materials, printed and undistributed; as the officer who helped develop them was transferred, and the replacement had no interest. It reminded me of the Japan-Filipino Committee that was formed to help Filipinos in Japan; it consisted of only Japanese members, not one Filipino member!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probing Nissan over executive pay See in context

I gues Saikawa did not expect this when set Ghosn's arrest scheme in motion.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: No. of foreign workers in Japan triples in decade to record 1.46 million See in context

1.5% is hardly any. In the 1980s, Saudi Arabia had a population of just less than 8 million locals, but also contained more than 6 million overseas workers, who did virtually all of the work. Mainly 'Western' expats in supervisory or management positions, and the rest were TCNs (Third Continent Nationals) who did the manual worrk. They were terrified of a takeover!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe, Macron express hope for smooth Nissan-Renault cooperation See in context

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi should have read 'The Life and Death of Joint Venture' which deals with what happens years after a merger or joint venture, when the initial fervour has died down. It discusses when one partner has outgrown the other, internal dynamics, changes in management, executives or family owners, a wish to dissolve, or to alter the terms of the JV. Recommended reading!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Subaru probe finds 3,400 staff were not paid for overtime work See in context

There are also many issues at the Ota factory in Gunma with immigrant labourers, paid much lower wages, living in poor conditions, and being fired if they are injured on the job. As usual, these people are paid through personnel companies, so that Subaru can deny that they are treated badly, shades of TEPCO and it's seven layers of agencies.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Posted in: Renault names new leaders to replace Ghosn See in context

It makes total sense. You can't run a company or companies from inside a jail cell with no visitation rights. Whilst Renault may have wished to kept faith with Ghosn and still employ him; they have to consider the immediate needs of the rest of the company, the alliance, and its future.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: French Olympic probe raises questions about Dentsu See in context

Keep probing...

The tiny apartment in Singapore where the influence was peddled is worth a look!

Certainly not the face of a consulting company pulling in $2,000,000 fees.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Aircraft cabin-style hotel to open in Tokyo Dome City on March 15 See in context

They need a real economy class with no leg room, narrow chair, tray table pushed into your stomach when passenger in front reclines, hard armrests, 11 abreast seating, plastic utensils and food tray.

That would be real flying!

And don't forget the security check....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan eyes e-money salary payments See in context

Just one month ago, I received an electronic money payment through a smartphone payment system. My bank then received a list of 8-9 questions from the Japan Central Bank on the nature of the payment, reason, identities of payer and payee and the payment system. I had to meet with them and to provide around 9 pages of data to them.

They of course claim it was to prevent money-laundering! But if that is how they will behave towards non-bank payments, this will not get off the ground.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Renault expected to play safe with French replacements for Ghosn See in context

It makes sense. You can't run a company or companies from inside a jail cell with no visitation rights. Whilst Renault may have wished to kept faith with Ghosn and still employ him; they have to consider the immediate needs of the rest of the company and its future.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Many Japanese firms have no plans to strengthen governance after Ghosn arrest: survey See in context

Corporate governance is more than just executive salaries and nominations; it is the whole system of rules, practices and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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