Japan Today

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Posted in: Do you think democracy is the best form of government? See in context

The admen, PR pros and marketers are destroying democracy.

You might as well just say "capitalism." Enlightened self interest seems to be on the decline as money rules the day. Every time I see an image from a TV network or newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch I cringe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Dallas suspect told police he wanted to kill white officers See in context

I will be rushing to the whitest place available, where "race" won't be a daily issue for me anymore.

That would give you a choice of Appalachia, North Dakota or Utah I guess. Believe me, it's better to be treated as a foreign freak.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Dallas suspect told police he wanted to kill white officers See in context

In spectacular cases like this, copycat crimes are always a major concern. Let's hope the US is not in for another "long, hot summer."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Bawling Japanese politician sentenced for graft See in context

Doesn't he remember all those luxurious spa trips paid for by the citizens of Hyogo?

I believe the crux of the issue was that he never made the trips in the first place, only claimed reimbursement for the "outlays." (And was stupid enough to do so without being able to provide receipts.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Seeking power conservation measures while battling summer heat See in context

Recently I saw an article that claimed eating eel on "ushi-no-hi" made the heat seem worse. But I happen to like it, so I'll eat it anyway. At the current prices, once a year is about all I can afford.

I survived my first 10 years in Japan without air conditioning. But by the mid-1970s summer nights became unbearable without it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: What do you think are the main issues in Sunday's Upper House election? See in context

Should be obvious: whigh family members will inherit their predecessor's Diet seats.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: What is the best way to prevent pedestrians, glued to their smartphones, from stepping carelessly into oncoming traffic, falling off train platforms or bumping into each other on the sidewalk? See in context

The police should be empowered to confiscate offenders' phones and keep them at a remote facility at least 30 minutes on foot from the nearest rail station, where they will be permitted to reclaim their phones after 72 hours, writing a letter of apology and payment of a 30,000-yen fine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: One-third of men destined to be lifelong singles See in context

I really HATE articles that begin with an anecdote about one person meant to be representative of literally millions.

Jack@Then probably you shouldn't read anything translated from a Japanese weekly magazine (which is what this column is all about).

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Philippines' President Duterte looking to destroy 'Imperial Manila' See in context

I hope for Pinoys' sake, they have not elected their own version of Pol Pot.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 17-year-old girl hit by train while using smartphone on platform See in context

As an educator, I love bumping into people engrossed in there phones, me at 92KG they usually less than 60KG.

I hope the subject you're teaching isn't English. ("...engrossed in 'there' phones...")

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: 17-year-old girl hit by train while using smartphone on platform See in context

Her parents should take away her phone until she reaches the legal age of maturity, although that's just an arbitrary figure as far as maturity (or common sense) is concerned.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: At old-style drinking places, the quest for Showa-era nostalgia clashes with reality See in context

Once or twice for the experience was enough to satisfy my curiosity, but now I get claustrophobia. There's a whole street of such places off to the side of the Sensoji temple in Asakusa.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 1 of 2 remaining Doolittle Raiders dies in Montana See in context

The writer might have also said that the raid left the Japanese so agitated they reacted incautiously, sending a huge flotilla to Midway in the hopes of drawing out the remaining US ships from Hawaii for a major sea battle. So the Dolittle raid had a direct impact on the Battle of Midway in early June 1942, which turned the tide in the Pacific. Even when outgunned and outmanned, the US outfought Japan through use of superior intelligence and daring leaders--- who came up with a brilliant strategy that launched Army Air Corps planes off a Navy carrier. Let their memories be honored.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Rebellious Democrats disrupt House, stage protest over guns See in context

The number of Americans who die because they can't afford medication no doubt exceeds the figures from gunshot deaths several-fold. And lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry spend far greater amounts than the NRA buying support from members of Congress, no doubt including plenty of Democrats. It's an inherently corrupt system any way you look at it.

But even if congress should manage to ram through meaningful gun legislation, there'd be a huge surge in AR-15 purchases before the law goes into effect. The expression "Damned if they do, damned if they don't" comes to mind.

Perhaps a long-term plan aimed at weaning Americans away from their gun culture might be of benefit. (For instance toning down gratuitous violence in movies and TV. I watch US detective shows on the cable TV here and am appalled by the amount of death and destruction passing for "entertainment" that can be crammed into a 1-hour drama.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: N Korea fires 2 suspected midrange missiles: Seoul See in context

In a remarkable show of persistence,

Hey, that's not a bad lead-in for the article, although I would have preferred "In yet another bizarre show of aggressive goofiness..."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Ichiro gets 4,257th career hit, surpassing Pete Rose's total See in context

Okay people, now check out this headline in the Miami Herald:

Ichiro Suzuki passes Pete Rose with 4,257 combined hits


So I think this settles the argument over discussing the breaking of Rose's record is limited to the Japanese media. His team's hometown paper also concurs.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Trump says he is revoking Washington Post credentials See in context

Americans are deluding themselves into thinking they are in control of their political system. Ultimately the election in November will be decided at the whim of an amoral Australian media mogul who manipulates US politics to his liking.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Camera designed for outdoor photography, featuring Pentax's first Hybrid AF system See in context

But i do not like the price.

Price is even higher if you get it with a lens. But body-only is discounted by mass retailers like BIC and Yodobashi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's first 'naked restaurant' to ban overweight diners See in context

Tattooed customers are barred from entry.

The proprietor needs to read today's Kuchikomi.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Diet member wants Japan to get with it on tattooing See in context

I don't recall ever having seen a member of a Japanese sports team engaged in international competition with a tattoo. That suggests to me that the Japan Olympic Committee and the organizations under its umbrella are discouraging tattooing, if not banning it outright. (Likewise for athletes from the two Koreas and China.) I suppose tattoos in China also carry a stigma as they were in use by members of triads in olden times. Not sure what Koreans think about body art, but wouldn't be surprised if similar attitudes prevail. Even when not associated with the underworld, tattooing appears to be viewed as something unwholesome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Shooting kills four at Tel Aviv nightspot See in context

CrazyJoe@If the two assailants have any knowledge of the inner workings of a terrorist group, you can safely bet every drop of information will be squeezed from them during interrogation sessions. It might prove useful to prevent future attacks. But the enmity, of course, is not going to end any time soon.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Obokata 'types' not uncommon in business world See in context

I'll skip kuchikomi in the future seeing as it's supposed to be nonsense and it's never very amusing.

Clearly@shallots, tabloid news stories are not for everyone, although I often find them amusing -- especially the sexy material. I don't know about now, but Nikkan Gendai used to boast a larger circulation than the NY Times.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Obokata 'types' not uncommon in business world See in context

Even after what is it, 15 years now? it never ceases to amaze me that there are posters in JT who still don't get it: Kuchikomi digests material from the Japanese tabloid newspapers and magazines. Cripes, people these columns aren't supposed to be taken seriously. (I somehow doubt if their Japanese readers take them seriously either --- it's just chewing gum for their brains while dangling from the strap during their long commutes home.)

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74 See in context

I am not a fan of boxing. (Look what it does to the health of its practitioners.) But I remember getting into a taxi at the old Bangkok airport in March 1971 and on the way into town hearing the fight being broadcast on the local radio by an announcer screaming in Thai. "Who win?" we asked the driver in broken English. "Joe Fraza" the driver replied. Ali was probably the world's most popular sports figure. I noticed the hate sites are already filling up with how he is certain to be eulogized by "his fellow Muslim, Obama." I must say, Ali showed a lot more class than the people who appear bent on smearing his memory any way they can.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Bones of Italian priest shed new light on Japan's Christian past See in context

It's in Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku. Nearest station is Myogadani on the Marunouchi subway line. This site has some good photos of what can be seen if you go there. There are also some suitably chilling ghost stories about the area.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Missing Hokkaido boy found alive in SDF hut in forest after 6 days See in context

This kid is incredible, surviving on his own for 6 days.

Not incredible at all. There are few things in nature more resilient than a male human between the ages of 7 and 12. Somebody's probably already writing the script for a made-for-TV movie about this.

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

Posted in: Clinton calls Donald Trump a 'fraud' See in context

It's appalling and depressing to have to watch Americans revel in tearing each other apart every four years and then have the gall to demand that other countries treat the US as a role model.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Honda to launch electric version of Super Cub in 2018 See in context

There are already electric assist bicycles that sell for under 80,000 yen new, and probably make more sense than owning a Super Cub. Honda could probably sell more units if it equips the model with pedals.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Changes coming soon to Japan's taxi industry See in context

You drive a taxi in Tokyo where a fair number of your passengers may be foreigners....and you are "not up to" learning a few useful phrases in English??

I was reminded once when I saw off a friend who was staying the Imperial Hotel in Hibiya some years ago, in the days when Haneda was Tokyo's only airport. We had bid each other farewell and as I began walking away from the taxi he'd just boarded I heard him shout my name. I came hustling back and my red faced friend (he had a rather short temper) angrily demanded, "Tell this stupid #$%@&> I want to go to the airport*!" You would think that taxis that queue outside an international hotel might anticipate such a scenario. I should add that the hotel's doormen usually assist at such times, but the hotel was hosting some sort of big event and the hotel's driveway was a bit congested.

4 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Attack on singer sheds light on risks of stalkers-in-waiting See in context

It happens to the famous more than people realize.

And, apparently, to the not-so-famous as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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