Wobot comments

Posted in: Should Japanese schools stop making kids write book reports? See in context

I taught a university class of education majors (hoping to be junior high school teachers) and when I asked for a report on a topic I was met with a chorus of ‘Ehhhhhh?!’ It was their first report. And their first attempts were mostly fairly badly written, too.

I get this with my 2nd and 3rd years in an international studies faculty after they've spent a year in the US! Any critical thinking is torture. The students look for 'kamo' (鴨, i.e. duck) courses apparently... when I asked what they meant by that, they told me it means it's easy - ducks just sit on the water and paddle about.

Parents are paying over ¥1,000,000 a year for that!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: War over words: U.S. Scrabble leader overrules panel to ban slurs See in context

All discrimination just officially ended

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: It would not be a violation of Japan's pacifist Constitution to mount a defensive first strike against an enemy launch pad or base preparing a missile attack against Japanese territory. See in context

Article on how proactive self-defence and international law here:


It seems in most cases you can't attack unless attacked, but there is a more liberal interpretation generally accepted along the lines of what the Japanese government is discussing.

I think this is mostly aimed at China and NK so given what we know about what they're like then they're really inviting pain onto themselves if they declare war

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: China leads COVID-19 vaccine race See in context

I hope the poster above can provide some evidence for their claims

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Former Marines pitcher Jackson arrested for possession of cannabis See in context

Japan really needs to sort out its bizarre drug laws

The police would have even less to do though so they'd oppose it to the very end

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Back to work? Not without a check-in app, immunity passport See in context

Welcome to the Panopticon

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to consider easing travel curbs for Tokyo Olympic athletes See in context

This is so desperate

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: New support center opens in Tokyo for foreign residents in Japan See in context

Will this centre provide assistance to the foreigners stuck overseas due to the re-entry ban?

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Posted in: We need to create an appropriate climate for competition in order to realize inexpensive and easy-to-understand phone charges. See in context

One thing those companies need to do is advertise the total package price because they keep adding things on when you actually try and get what you thought was being advertised

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: For those of you who are teleworking at home, what are some of the biggest distractions? See in context

Twitter. I'd essentially been working from home doing a master's for 3 years so I can avoid distractions quite well (luckily)...

I'm not keen on having to go back to teach in a room at a university really

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Kirin releases Home Tap Beer Service See in context

It's just much better to buy a home beer server and use it with any beer you want. I bought one for less than 10,000 yen, and I can use bottles or cans with it.

Where did you get it? This service is such a huge gimmick, only 4 litres of beer (8 cans) for ¥8000!!!


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese women feeling pressured by image of perfect 'mama': study See in context

I have a lot of time for academia, but this is a recent graduate of Japan studies commenting on a selection of women's magazines seen through a non-Japanese lens. How about asking a decent cross-section of Japanese women what they think with open-ended questions? The methodology used here strikes me as very weak.

This is a very big problem with certain disciplines in the humanities like gender studies. Lots of opinion, little evidence. I'm not saying it's not the case, but as pointed out here there's no way of knowing it's true or not.

I was actually very surprised when I came to Japan and heard so many women openly say they want to get married, have kids and be a housewife. Middle-class feminists who talk on their behalf seem to have difficulty dealing with that for some reason. Also anyone who disagrees with middle-class feminism is a 'conservative woman' as if that's an insult. However, we have to consider the fact that those 'conservative women' vote for the LDP in droves and are a huge majority in Japanese society

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Google stymies media companies from chipping away at its data dominance See in context

Break up Google already

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan caught in dilemma with mainland China over Hong Kong See in context

China is going to come for Japan eventually so the sooner they do something about to the better

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Posted in: Japanese bank predicts years of gloom for tourist hub Osaka See in context

I think the locals will be happy...

It was very poorly managed, everyone just ended up on Dotonbori for some reason

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Gilead prices COVID-19 drug remdesivir at $2,340 per patient in developed nations See in context

Medicine needs to be nationalised, it's paid for that way anyway

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Those who have been teleworking have shown a big change in their mind-sets. We see this as an opportunity to solve the issue of population concentration in Tokyo and hope to introduce measures to promote that. See in context

I'll believe it when I see it. I do honestly think that many people would like it and wouldn't go back once they've tried it... Tokyo is cool but the commuting is soul-destroying

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: UK judge says Depp broke court order in Sun libel case See in context

Depp might lose this on a technicality but Amber Heard seems to have lost the plot. This petition has more information about what she's subjected Depp to:


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Posted in: 2 Osaka universities evacuated after bomb threat over new school name See in context

Osaka Metropolitan University sounds fine, but I suspect they know that 'metropolitan' typically indicates a lower ranking institute.

No need for a bomb threat though!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan puzzled by Indonesia's policy shift over high-speed rail plan See in context

Everyone should boycott China, awful country (well, government)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike leads in Tokyo governor race: poll See in context

Really shameful she's the best of the bunch

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Nissan executives face angry shareholders See in context

Bye bye Nissan

Give it a few years and they'll end up like Sharp

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike proves presentation matters as much as policy See in context

It seems like she hasn't really done much during her current stint. The most I've really seen her do is regularly communicate news about the coronavirus in English and Japanese... but she didn't need to do that herself and could have delegated that to a scientist so she could do something else. She hasn't even achieved her own targets (the 'seven zeroes') and I doubt she will if she gets back in...

She'll probably win just due to a lack of competition

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Some airlines are requiring passengers wear masks on board. What do you think of this? See in context

The airline should provide the mask if they want people to wear one

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to disband panel of coronavirus experts after criticism See in context

I bet they are scapegoats and the government ignored relevant recommendations. I remember seeing a doctor appear alongside Koike and he seemed very pained and flustered about the paltry measures he was wheeled out to announce

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Naomi Osaka called racist after posting meme in response to COVID-19 cases See in context

Goes to show ridiculous accusations of racism can be...

Don't forget, offence is taken, not given. Twitter also breeds nastiness

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't seeks more inclusion in education for foreign children in Japan See in context

Schools should be 100% free up to the end of Jr. high.

I think even public high schools should be free, I can't believe you have to pay here. You can't do anything but factory work or be a shop assistant otherwise

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: In the United States, when the economy gets bad, people get laid off one after the other, and the unemployment rate shoots up. But for Japanese employers, laying people off is difficult both psychologically and practically. See in context

The head of the union I'm in said people whose contracts expired haven't been counted as unemployed due to the coronavirus, that's one way to massage the figures

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Posted in: Need for speed: Japan supercomputer is world's fastest See in context

Impressive, Japan needs to maintain its lead in technology or it'll lose out big time

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Hollywood says Black Lives Matter, but more diversity needed See in context

Morgan Freeman's 2005 interview with Mike Wallace for television’s 60 Minutes.

WALLACE: How are we going to get rid of racism until …?

FREEMAN: Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.

Great quote. Diversity programs that force it don't work. You can still put effort in to get a wider variety of people but tick boxes alone don't help.


Also, I bet they wouldn't hire any conservatives. 'Diversity' usually only refers to a superficial approach to appearance

7 ( +9 / -2 )

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