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HollisBrownJul. 12, 2016 - 09:11AM JST
Once again Abe the snake declares a mandate to push forward his highly personal policies after barely mentioning them during the election campaign. This was all about Abenomics we were told.
As I said a few days ago, this is personal for Abe. It's all about him finishing what his grandfather (former PM Kishi) couldn't.
I've said that he thinks of himself as a President rather than a Prime Minister and he's finally admitted that is the case.
Posted in: Abe says it is his duty to revise constitution; calls for debate
HollisBrownJul. 11, 2016 - 10:13PM JST
It all boils down to my view of Japan and its various layers of 'fakeness'.
Because of the issue around changing the constitution, this election was arguably the most important event in recent Japanese history. Given the fact that the LDP achieved a 2/3 majority in the Upper House, I find it quite unbelievable that when turning on the TV at around 8am this morning I was confronted with 'talent' taste testing snacks at Disney Land, and Vox Pops about how HOT it is - not about the election, but about how HOT it is.
The dumbing down process starts at school where individual expression and opinion isn't really encouraged. Move straight into a company where most people fit right in to the system. People are highly educated, but they don't actually know a lot. People work hard, but mostly waste their time.
Ask most people about politics and they'll either give a stock answer that has no meaning, or they'll give the answer that they think they should say. For example:
Q What do you think about Abe and his government?
A1 It's difficult, isn't it?
A2 The government needs to do more to improve the economy.
I don't think I've personally ever heard someone answer a question positively about the government or the PM. Most answers I hear are negative. This is backed up in the approval ratings that are regularly published - usually somewhere between 35-50%. But when it comes to voting people suddenly change their minds.
It's almost like there's this strange group think going on where if someone asks a 'serious' question, a suitable answer should be slightly negative in order to try and show a degree of intelligence in considering possible improvements. However when someone asks something as simple as how food tastes, a suitable answer MUST be positive because it would be inconsiderate to suggest anything less than it being the greatest thing you've ever tasted.
My default position has become that most people's opinions are fake. I'm either being told what I supposedly want to hear, or I'm being told what is perceived as the most intelligent or considered answer.
Therefore the easiest thing the media can do is just go and taste test a new Disney Land snack, or talk about how hot it is in July - because that's much less difficult than trying to approach, discuss, and debate the possibilities of constitutional change.
So, in a rather long winded way, I'd say that the void in opposition is largely down to education and the way in which politics, and other grown up, sensible issues, are dealt with in Japan. If you want a viable opposition then you must create a society that first understands the issues, and second is willing to discuss and debate them. This starts at school by encouraging freedom of expression. It also extends to the media, who have a responsibility to ask tough questions to those in power, and also explain issues to the public in a grown up way.
We all know why this doesn't happen though - the government controls education and the media to its advantage.
HollisBrownJul. 10, 2016 - 12:07PM JST
I'd be surprised if they did face charges to be honest.
I'm planning on getting absolutely sloshed before I do my tax returns next April. Sloshed to the extent that I'd be unable to remember any details if investigated.
Posted in: Toshiba ex-CEOs unlikely to face charges over scandal
HollisBrownJul. 10, 2016 - 10:34AM JST
Abe is a failure. He has nothing except a buzzword and a sense of entitlement. He doesn't care about the displaced people of Fukushima otherwise he'd have done more to help them. He doesn't care about bringing criminals such as those at the top of TEPCO to justice, probably because the fallout would hit too close to home.
Abe is a charlatan. His political aims are personal - it's all about his grandfather Kishi, and the fact that his family was tainted by WW2 (unfairly in Abe's view). Abe wants to finish what his grandfather (Kishi) couldn't. Kishi never had a chance to work on his bigger goal: changing the constitution to give Japan more right to expand its military. That's all he wants - which is disgusting as Japan needs and deserves so much more.
HollisBrownJul. 09, 2016 - 11:48AM JST
What happens if you down the drink and then stand on your head?
Posted in: Self-freezing bottled Coca-Cola now available at convenience store vending machines in Japan
HollisBrownJul. 09, 2016 - 09:56AM JST
I had an interesting discussion in a university teachers' room last week because I was wearing shorts. A group of guys decided to make the point that they'd never seen a teacher wear shorts before (despite the fact I've worn shorts the previous 4 years in summer), and that a Japanese teacher would never be allowed to. The implication was clear - I shouldn't be wearing shorts and I wasn't conforming to Japanese standards. I politely asked why they were all wearing suit jackets and neck ties when (1) It was about 35C, (2) They didn't have to due to 'Cool Biz' time, and (3) They had been sitting around complaining that it was 'atsui'. They avoided answering by opting instead to offer the patronizing 'Nihongo jouzu desu ne', at which point I wished them well with their classes, and took my well ventilated body up to my classroom.
(For the record - tailored shorts with belt, short sleeved collared shirt!)
HollisBrownJul. 07, 2016 - 08:13AM JST
Surely the punch of a pro boxer is still preferable to going through the windscreen?
Posted in: Air bags inflate at a speed of 100 to 300 kilometers per hour. The impact of the sudden inflation is said to be as strong as the punch of a professional boxer,
HollisBrownJul. 07, 2016 - 08:09AM JST
Yet another case of someone with clear mental health issues. When will Japan start to face up to the fact that mental health is a huge problem that needs to be taken more seriously?
HollisBrownJul. 07, 2016 - 08:06AM JST
For a party that has held power almost exclusively for the last 50 years, it seems a bit strange that the record this guy has just surpassed is only 4 years. Although saying that, I suppose he should be congratulated for not taking bribes, or misusing public funds etc...yet...
HollisBrownJun. 29, 2016 - 07:41AM JST
However 99.9% are willing to blindly follow, so the level of trust is largely irrelevant.
Posted in: This follow-the-leader ethic starts to look a little sketchy if your boss is not delivering.
HollisBrownJun. 22, 2016 - 09:05AM JST
A 10% + 30% pay cut for one month to take responsibility? Can we stop with this superficial nonsense please Japan, it's extremely insulting.
These people, who have admitted to covering up a nuclear plant meltdown, have played with people's lives, and as a result should be FIRED from their jobs. If it ended there they should think themselves extremely fortunate, however they should probably face prison sentences for gross negligence, or even fraud - as they have willfully deceived the nation for the betterment of their company and in turn their own pockets.
Bowing, moshiwakenai-ing, taking a 10% pay cut, is an insult, and it's about time Japanese people made a serious effort to try and sort this cretinous behaviour out.
Posted in: TEPCO admits delay in declaring 'meltdown' was cover-up
HollisBrownJun. 18, 2016 - 02:43PM JST
In Japan most of the boxes must be of infinite size.
Posted in: When someone uses that trite expression of telling you to think outside the box, how are you supposed to know what the box is?
HollisBrownJun. 17, 2016 - 07:20AM JST
Why do I get the feeling that nobody of any particular standing or influence will be that arsed about what most sensible people would view as a shocking revelation?
Posted in: Edano denies pressuring TEPCO not to say 'meltdown' during Fukushima crisis
HollisBrownJun. 15, 2016 - 01:43PM JST
Posted in: Tokyo governor submits resignation effective June 21
HollisBrownJun. 14, 2016 - 05:04PM JST
Not surprised at all. Common sense is all too often lacking in Japan. Oh, and bears are kawaii.
Posted in: Bamboo pickers defy bear attack warnings despite 4 deaths
HollisBrownJun. 14, 2016 - 12:45PM JST
Married, but still a minor.
4.5 years in prison for killing a baby.
2 parents thought putting a baby in a garbage bag AND inside a trash can was a suitable response to their baby crying.
Yet another summary of how backward Japan still is.
Posted in: Woman gets 3-4 years for suffocating 16-day-old daughter in garbage bag
HollisBrownJun. 14, 2016 - 12:29PM JST
This is a man who used public funds to buy 100 artworks to 'increase HIS understanding of art', rather than using public funds to buy 100 artworks to increase EVERYONE'S understanding of art.
For any public officer that would be scandalous, but for the Governer himself, it's outrageous.
And it isn't even the most outrageous thing he's done.
Tokyo should be relieved of him and his gross sense of entitlement immediately. He should absolutely not go to represent Tokyo in Rio - send a group of Tokyo school kids instead, or a selection of Tokyo families (seriously!).
HollisBrownJun. 09, 2016 - 08:42AM JST
@Strangerland - Cartoons alone are not necessarily childish, I agree. I think it's more the fact that almost every issue no matter how serious tend to resort to cartoons as the answer, rather than other more grown up, modern, alternative, or progressive approaches.
HollisBrownJun. 09, 2016 - 08:03AM JST
Just replace the lot of them with cartoon characters. They won't do much worse.
HollisBrownJun. 09, 2016 - 07:58AM JST
Halve his salary, and then take the remaining half and give both halves to someone else who is willing to do the job without milking public finances.
Search the Largest English Job Board in Japan.
Jul. 29, 2016 - 12:58PM JST
Hillary Hillary all the time and she invited GOP and undecided to join her, too.
Posted in: Obama implores Americans to elect Clinton; Trump asks Russia for help over emails
Jul. 29, 2016 - 12:56PM JST
Melina has been, like all other people Donald Trump comes into contact with, used to his…
Posted in: Melania Trump's website deleted
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Below are from the government's home page FAQ. You might want to get your resident…
Posted in: Getting stopped by police in Japan – how often does it happen (and why?)
Jul. 29, 2016 - 12:52PM JST
Yeah, my experiences reflect the fact I am white and blue eyed. Never been stopped before…
Jul. 29, 2016 - 12:51PM JST
Melina has been, like all other people Donald Trump comes into contact with, used to his…
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