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zorken comments

Posted in: Court rules against lay judge in suit over stress caused by crime scene photos See in context

Couldn't find on the web how much Japanese lay judges are compensated with. But the system looks very interesting.

Depends on a number of factors, but the base rate is around 8000 yen a day (with expenses on top as required). As many companies will give leave to people taking jury duty - some of them will effectively get double pay.

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Posted in: Court rules against lay judge in suit over stress caused by crime scene photos See in context

Is it, in fact, in the constitution that one can not do involuntary servitude?

It is, but I think she'd struggle to press it in a constitutional court. I think they'd probably argue that banning jury duty isn't the 'intent' of the clause. And secondly that jury duty is a civil expectation (i.e you'd struggle to argue to a court that the government demanding tax is a form of extortion).

did she have the option to decline?

I'm not sure on what grounds she could decline. There are a fair few exceptions if you can argue that's bad for your business or if you have sick relatives etc.. I'm not sure if anything specifically applied to her.

I never got a clear answer as to whether it was mandatory or not.

You can be fined for not attending (I'm not sure if anyone has been fined though) for 100,000 yen. And there are fines for trying to get out of it by being deliberately dishonest.

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Posted in: Court rules against lay judge in suit over stress caused by crime scene photos See in context

Can you supply another reason for showing the bodies to the jury, given the reason you stated above clearly does not apply to cases where all sides agree on the basic fact that a murder has actually occurred, even if they disagree as to who did it?

It's not really about the existence of bodies I think. The prosecution has several jobs, mainly establishing the corpus delicti and a credible chain of evidence to the perpetrator. Photographs of the body and crime scene (which may also count as 'gruesome' - murder is rarely pretty) may have a crucial role in collaborating testimony or supporting the prosecutions theories of how and why the crime took place. In Japan, where jurors have a role in sentencing, you could argue that they are needed to provide an accurate picture of the degree of the crime.

That's not to say I think such pictures are appropriate in every case. But in an open justice system I think it's preferable to complicit back room deals between the defence and the prosecution.

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Posted in: Cameron reminds China of obligations over Hong Kong See in context


A story about how Salmond made what appear to be deliberatly deceptive comments about the Royal Navy - not sure what relivance it has.


A story where Cameron (and others) state that Salmond's threat to not take on any debt will be a reckless decision and not absolve the country of its debt responsibility. Does not say "They will be broke and hopless if they voted Yes", but that Salmond's threats if carried out will be bad for the ecomony.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-05/cameron-warns-of-terrorist-threat-if-scotland-backs- independence.html

States that Scotland will be more vulnerable to a terrorist attack - does not say "They will get terrorist attack".

None of these stories puts anything like a credible case for the "intimidation and threats" you suggest. Unless you see any kind of political statement against Salmond as a threat?

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Posted in: Cameron reminds China of obligations over Hong Kong See in context

At the moment, their GDP, foreign reserve and per capita income are many times higher than former master.

Could you show your working on that GDP one? The UK GDP is about 2.5 trillion dollars and Hong Kong is about 274 billion. Unless you mean GDP (PPP) where Hong Kong is higher, but by my calculation about 0.7 times higher.

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Posted in: Cameron reminds China of obligations over Hong Kong See in context

In my conclusion, democracy can not make the prosperity and high growth economy.

But 8 out of the 10 leading world economies are (at least nominally) democracies. I think you'll need to clarify this further.

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Posted in: Former diplomat fears for future of Japan's democracy See in context

How many more years do you think US should keep "We're the war winner, and Japan, you're the war loser. So you listen to us" attitude to Japan?

If America pushes its opinions it's because it's a huge economic power, and Japan's primary defence partner. Bringing up the war just flogs the same old tired nationalistic agenda.

The question shouldn't be why does America say "listen to us" - it's why Japan listens to them. Either it really is in the best interests of the country, or stop playing the victim and put your vote in with someone who won't listen.

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Posted in: Former diplomat fears for future of Japan's democracy See in context

In my view this is a pretty poor article – it lacks rigor and clearly shows the author’s bias.

I think you make some decent counterpoints - but I'm unclear how much of this article is interpreting what he says against what he actually wrote, perhaps their is a little more rigour there? But I don't think bias is a problem. It is an opinion piece after all.

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Posted in: Japanese swimmer expelled from Asian Games for stealing camera See in context

All countries have thieves. Not all countries have professional athletes who will step up to the microphone and willfully mock their opponents.

I think you compare two different things. All countries have people who will step up to the microphone and wilfully mock their opponents. Not all countries have professional athletes who are thieves.

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Posted in: What can be done to better protect children from child predators? See in context

I feel like we spend a lot of time educating children about the danger of strangers (which we absolutely must do), but children are much more likely to be victims of sexual abuse from someone they already know. I think we need to clearly educate children, in the most age-appropriate ways, what constitutes abuse and how they should communicate it. Parents should also be made more aware of the common characteristics of predators, and the devastating effects of abuse.

society has to learn how to better identify those with a predatory nature among them

Easier said than done I fear. Predators are often, by their very nature, masterful manipulators.

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Posted in: Demonstrators rally against restarting nuclear plants See in context

There's a reason that not too many new nuclear plants have been built or planned worldwide in the past few decades.

Well, the reason would be that it's enormously expensive. But at this time there are some 400 proposed, planned or under construction nuclear power plants across the world. With China and India, along with new plants in Europe, demand has only really increased for new nuclear capacity.

While I'm pro-nuclear - even I can see that it's only a solution for the next 10-20 years. The real problem here is the complete lack of vision from the government - Japan need a coherent energy policy not for the next 10 years but the next 100. For me, switch on the plants now, but start work on those renewables before its too late.

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Posted in: Hagino swim treble sparks China rant See in context

Classless perhaps - but what he says hardly qualifies as a 'rant' - he thinks Japan are strong and (unsurprisingly!) is sure that that his own team can surpass them. I feel in most other cases this would be a a non-story.

It's sad to see in the midst of incredible sporting achievement that the headline story is about a couple of flippant remarks made by one person. Well done to Hagino I say.

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Posted in: One in four Americans want their state to secede, but why? See in context

Those we spoke to seemed to have answered as they did as a form of protest that was neither red nor blue but a polychromatic riot - against a recovery that has yet to produce jobs,

If this is true then most people didn't read the question about secession, but rather do you like the current federal government. And as the survey offers no third option (such as support for greater independence of states) if you want to lodge any kind of show of protest you have to say you support the most extreme option, secession. I also suspect people tend to be more inclined to vote for extreme options in these kinds of abstract questions, which are divorced from any kind of practicality.

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Posted in: Step in See in context

I'm always fascinated by simplicity of English sign. But if you put it in Japanese, it may not work. "English OK" sign in Japanese may sound cold and blunt.

"English OK" might make sense, but it still sounds cold and blunt in English too.

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Posted in: Scotland leader quits; queen urges unity See in context

Because, SNP now has zero political leverage ZERO

I'm about as skeptical of the SNP's referendum once in a generation claim as I am that the tories are committed to real reform. If I were the SNP I think it would be in my best interests to scupper the talks as much as possible, declare them a failure and push for a new referendum as soon as possible.

I wary of the promises made - but I'm also aware that the referendum also happened yesterday. I'll hold off on the doom and gloom predictions until at least some time has passed. What is needed is well-considered constitutional reform that is the best interests of the union as a whole - shouldn't that take some time? I'm worried that there's a push for a hack-job that will only serve vested interests, hold things together for the short term, and create a new class of bureaucratic institutions.

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Posted in: Early results favor 'No' side in Scotland independence referendum See in context

Now that would be a liberal, progressive nation I'd like to live in, away from the Tory south. And I bet a referendum would return a resounding "Yes" in that case...'

Didn't the north already have a devolution referendum? And the result was a pretty strong no.

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Posted in: Foreskin clip joints take unwary males for a ride See in context

Phimosis maybe? But it's not really that common. And it is a medical problem, but without complications I don't know if there's national healthcare coverage for it.

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Posted in: Step in See in context

That guy has done more to negatively distort people's perceptions of interactions with Japanese people than anyone....

True. But I think you're giving him too much credit in this case. I don't think there's any great agenda here - it's just not a great choice of welcoming words.

My guess would also be if anyone actually bothered point this out to the company they would probably get quite a favourable reaction.

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Posted in: Step in See in context

Any sensible shop owner in any country would make sure the sign was written correctly no matter what language was being used.

I'm not sure why you were downvoted so much for this. I don't think the sign is offensive, but it's not appropriate language for a business. I'd brush it off from a random on the street, but if they want customers then I think putting in a little effort is surely to be expected. You don't see many businesses touting for custom in such coarse language in Japanese. Actually I think this might say more about the myth that English is a 'direct language' where you can just say whatever you want.

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Posted in: Do you think it is OK for media organizations to support candidates in elections or should they remain neutral? See in context

, it is just international ones that occasionally get restricted,

Could you define occasionally? Facebook, Twitter, Youtube have all been blocked for years. (https://en.greatfire.org/ provides data from most recent years).

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Posted in: Do you think it is OK for media organizations to support candidates in elections or should they remain neutral? See in context

Should media by law be required to be neutral? Absolutely.

Really? Who decides what is neutral? The government? Some random collection of citizens? Everyone has a bias. You can't legislate neutrality.

after all advertising spending is the single greatest predictor of which candidate will be successful in the US presidential elections, and has been so for the last 20 years.

You put the cart before the horse. Candiates who have the right attributes and policies - also have a greater ability to raise (and therefore spend more money). Reverse causality gives the impression of the oppsite. It's not unresearched - http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUsingRepeatChallengers1994.pdf

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Posted in: Do you think it is OK for media organizations to support candidates in elections or should they remain neutral? See in context

No media organisation is neutral. So why bother to pretend that they are? At least this way their political affiliations are obvious to all.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. discussing offensive military capability for Tokyo See in context

zorken, how can I manipulate Abe's approval rating.

That's not quite what I'm saying. But going by the link you posted your claim that his current approval is 'the highest ever' is a fabrication.

My problem is that you've seized upon a single data point - an approval rating from one newspaper (and one that just happens to give Abe the highest rating) taken after a reshuffle - and tried to use it to justify widespread popular support for Abe's military policies. Except (again by your own link) it's obvious that these were the very policies that drove his approval rating so low in the first place.

His current approval rating is reactionary - let's see where is in a few months - and maybe then you'll be right.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. discussing offensive military capability for Tokyo See in context

Japan the country would have been probably attacked by the likes of North and South Korea, China and all the other countries who are asking for apologies

Why though? Wars are generally fought for resources - I don't see why there would be any strategic benefit to attacking mainland Japan. North Korea is perhaps the exception because of the slight chance they might sacrifice everything. I would have thought the main deterrent for an attack is not how many guns Japan has, but that it would most likely trigger a global conflict. I can't help but wonder if China isn't playing cold-war style tactics. A few fishing boats and fighter jets has shown that they have quite a lot of control over Japan domestic policy. It's sent certain political factions into an almost hysterical frenzy - seeding division amongst the general population - and putting Japan into an arms race.

Of course he can't. Abe's approval rating has jumped 13 points to 64% since the Cabinet reshuffling, the highest ever.

I think you might be manipulating your data points a little there.

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Posted in: Japan, U.S. discussing offensive military capability for Tokyo See in context

which could open the door to billions of dollars worth of offensive missile systems and other hardware.

Last thing I heard there wasn't a lot of money to go around - where will this all come from

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Posted in: Despite loss, Japanese fans proud of Nishikori See in context

Only some haters on this thread would say, "I heard 'someone' the other day say ..." So convenient.

Errr... did you read the article before you commented on it?

make up stories like people making excuses that Nishikori whined his height played a factor

Nobody said that. People are reacting to the people in the story quoted as saying that.

Anyways, great to see him get so far. Hope for good things in the future - but hope the media don't put too much pressure on him from now.

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Posted in: Ehime’s new women’s prison decorated powder pink 'to relieve feelings of oppression' See in context

Last I heard prison's here were for punishment, not rehabilitation.

The stated aim of the Japanese prison service is rehabilitation - not punishment. How sincere they are about this is up for debate, however.

They aren't where they are for a spa treatment or to feel welcome and pampered, they are there because they have broken the law

If you had to do hours of forced labor where you had no privacy or freedom, would painting the walls a pleasant color make you feel pampered? I don't quite understand the focus on one tiny positive among a sea of negatives. Most people who end up in prison had pretty bad lives before they got there - I don't see how petty vindictiveness helps anyone.

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Posted in: Ehime’s new women’s prison decorated powder pink 'to relieve feelings of oppression' See in context

If things ever change, I believe Amchitka Island in the Aleutians is unpopulated and available for dumping male prisoners, and could probably find a less radioactive island sufficiently far away to dump females.

Under your system, why is having a patrolled island be preferable to just shooting them round the back? But you are right getting rid of justice would drastically reduce the justice system.

Waste of tax payer's money. Some of these women have committed heinous crimes like killing their own children.

Not everyone in prison is a monster - although it might comfort you more to assume that they are.

Why are we "comforting" them?

It's some paint. I don't see the need for the hysteria.

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Posted in: Kansai scraps 'power off' mobile phone ban on trains; Kanto won’t budge See in context

There are seemingly endless things one is not allowed to do on Japanese trains: eat or drink, put on makeup, talk on the phone, take up too much room.

I people doing these things daily. When was drinking on a train taboo? People don't talk on their phones that much I guess - but I see at least one person do it on my commute every day.

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Posted in: Japan to resume Antarctic minke whale hunt despite ban See in context

That is improper thinking. The street outside your home is also not yours, but if someone interferes with your right to use it (w/i reason), its them that's in the wrong, not you.

That doesn't make any more sense - because the street outside my house still belongs to someone. It also falls under the jurisdiction of the Japanese government. Your argument assumes that the right to kill whales inherently overcomes any rights people have to preserve them.

If you keep subsuming your culture to other's will, eventually you won't have one.

But you're making a slippery slope fallacy without enough evidence to support it. Your argument would make more sense if whaling were commercially viable in Japan - the fact that people aren't clamouring into the warehouses full of the stuff speaking volumes about it's relevancy to culture. Unless you can point to some catastrophic harm to Japanese culture your point is merely fear mongering.

It seems the West would condone terrorist tactics to save some (not necessarily the) whales, which is a warped value system.

Who is 'the West' in your arguments? The SS has been widely criticised by various governments - who do you think is condoning it? Some comments you read? People in the street? How are you equating that to the opinions of dozens of disparate countries and millions of people?

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