Will Taylor comments

Posted in: Japanese rapper Kan a.k.a. GAMI arrested for marijuana possession See in context

Snitches get stitches.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Bikini power: Japan's lady bodybuilders smashing stereotypes See in context

Yasui is stunning.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think about Japan's pension system? See in context

The monthly rate sucks if you're on kokumin alone (a category I person). It's a bit more manageable if your employer is matching your contribution.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: NHK announces this year’s presenters for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' See in context

I think they'll pull in pretty strong ratings this year, with the whole last performance of SMAP thing (well, last until the almost inevitable reunion show in ten years or so).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's August retail sales dip renews pressure on policymakers See in context

Japan does not need more infrastructure work. Not new projects, anyway. Repairing old tunnels and reinforcement isn't a bad idea, and would be a better use of that particular money. It won't boost domestic consumption, though, because there aren't remotely a large enough number of people affected by such projects up and down the chain to move the needle.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 ways people break up in Japan See in context

Ghosting is a bit startling at first, but darned if it doesn't become mighty convenient later.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of the various foreigners who appear on Japanese TV? Do any of them make you cringe? Are there any whom you think do a good job? See in context

Bobby has made bank here, and I can certainly respect that. For the person who said that he's never come across someone who stereotypes foreigners as TV caricatures however, I would challenge you to ask any black person who has taught children, particularly during Bobby's heyday. For years, 9 out of 10 children I met in a class under 10 (and several intentionally disrespectful ones in junior high school) would refer to any bald black person as Bobby. The other 1 in ten would go with Bob Sapp. TV impressions DO matter. Particularly in a country that tries on so many levels to differentiate itself as uniquely special in the world.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Huge Japan pension fund sees worst loss since financial crisis See in context

Diversification is a good idea, but it's impossible to say any option is going to be better 20/30 years from now. Mismanagement of public pensions is unfortunately a rampant theme, globally, atm.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe unveils 3 new arrows for reviving economy See in context

Considering the "third arrow" never actually happened, and, arguably, would have made things worse, since making it easier to fire people in an economy already swarming with contract workers and part-timers isn't exactly good for anyone who isn't already loaded and/or a stockholder ("reforming work environments" is a great euphemism for greater work insecurity all around), I am not really looking forward to the new quiver.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Disney Pixar’s new movie attracts criticism again in Japan See in context

Not to mention the fact that this was already a TV show on Fox back in the day called Herman's Head. Was rather fond of it, sad when it went on hiatus and vanished.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Oregon woman detained over prescription drug released See in context

It really seems like she tried to pull a fast one, and got bailed out because she's affluent, pretty, and white. Tale as old as time. Lucky she didn't try it in Singapore or other places in Asia that are even more zero tolerance about messing with their drug laws.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: AQUOS K Android flip phone: No touchscreen, no Google Play See in context

For music, I should clarify, sorry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: AQUOS K Android flip phone: No touchscreen, no Google Play See in context

is google play available on any android phone here?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: New law takes aim at Japan's glut of vacant houses See in context

The bubble comment really nails it though. Land owners are desperate to claw back as much as possible of the absolutely ridiculous amounts they paid during the bubble, and when they can't are willing to just sit on something and let it rot instead. They could flip most of these if people were willing to be more reasonable about real estate prices here, but they just aren't.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's global PR message could misfire with focus on wartime past See in context

more than 500 million, Strangerland, closer to 700. Absolutely insane that a PR campaign would get that kind of increase when there are so, so, so many other problems here that could use that kind of attention (Tohoku foremost among them).

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan auto lobby sounds alarm over weak domestic sales See in context

For the average city dweller, a car isn't worth the expense in Japan. They are quite cheap to buy, but the upkeep (parking, shaken, etc) makes it prohibitive for people who have enough expenses and not enough salary as it is. Domestic consumption is not going to increase until salaries do. Full stop.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe urges business leaders to increase wages See in context

I love the phrase "labor reform" or "fixing the labor market", or other such calls for deregulation. Because making it easier for companies to shove salaries further has worked so well the last few years. More and more people are part-timers/contract labor with no sense of security, and you think increasing this will help the local consumer open their wallets? Insane. I also appreciate the maddening circle of claims of inability to raise wages because local consumption is weak because their wages are low. Fun times ahead with Abe, to be certain.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's looming benefit cuts an unspoken, unsettling election theme See in context

Asides from the health care benefits (the elderly only pay 10% on like, everything, which is why so many spend so much time at the doctor), the state pension system here being described as generous is insane. According to the site the old age pension is 785,000/year. Unless your employee pension effectively triples this, you can't afford to live here, unless you're being supplemented by your children (which is what the system seems to assume will happen).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: What Japan's recession means for the country See in context

I am amazed, truly amazed that this contraction keeps being referred to as "surprising" or "unexpected". A blind person could see that this was going to happen. Without increases in real wages to deal with the stagnation of the last decade, or any sort of real immigration policy to offset the plummeting workforce in mechanical and construction jobs, of course the economy will contract. The only people who didn't expect this to happen are people too insulated from daily life to notice what's happening outside their towers.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: Halloween revelers turn Shibuya into garbage dump See in context

I would tend to agree the author might have had something of an anti-Halloween party bent. Shibuya looks like a post-apocalyptic trash pile pretty much every early morning during the weekends before the cleaning crews come through, with peaks during events and holidays.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: More gloomy data casts doubt on Japan's economic recovery See in context

The second tax raise will happen. It's not going to help, and will hurt like hell, but it's going to happen, Abe is too invested in it to give it up. Until then, we will hear more and more crap about public works projects and various other pure pork barrel projects to "boost the economy". Basically unless you are in construction or some other "friend of the administration" field, you're screwed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Cheaters beware – 30% of Japanese women have checked boyfriend’s cell phone See in context

given how easy it is to accidentally open a smartphone, most people should be locking them anyway. I got tired of pocket dialing or snapping photos of my pocket, so i started locking mine...if you're stupid enough to leave it openly accessible and have something going on the side, you subconsciously want to get busted.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Report on lousy schools in Japan spurs debate on who’s to blame See in context

LFRAgain: spot on. I've taught at several elementary and junior high schools in my time here, and was once amazed at the number of students who basically coast through to high school. Now I am more jaded than anything. If the concept of actually failing a class or grade had real repercussions, I do believe it would jolt some (not all, but some) of these students out of their torpor earlier.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: After six years at middle and high school, students should be able to hold a conversation in English, but it doesn’t work that way in this country. That's why we are switching from English for entranc See in context

Could we not get into a semantic pissing contest, guys? As for the comment by Shimomura, the exact same thing has been said by every Education Minister for the last 20 years. Nothing substantial has changed (in public education). Some private schools are able to innovate, but the rank and file in public schools are consistently screwed over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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