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J-BohMay. 24, 2012 - 07:41PM JST
There is a common misconception that renting is "just throwing money away" by contrast with owning your own home. This only true if house values are rising more than other investments would have done - a lesson a lot of people are learning the hard way in recent years.
In Japan, buying residential property is made significantly more attractive by various associated tax breaks, but these are only valuable if you have Japanese income. In fact these tax breaks apply even if the home in question isn't in Japan. Property transaction costs are high in Japan (it's not unique in that respect) so generally it's only worth buying property if you're fairly confident you're going to want to keep it for at least 5-10 years, I'd say.
Of course there are also non-financial advantages to owning your own home. Like doing your kitchen and bathroom how you want them.
Posted in: Buying real estate in Japan
J-BohMay. 22, 2012 - 12:24AM JST
Fugacis may well be right that the economic arguments in favour of the monarchy are unproven, or indeed irrelevant. But I don't think the monarchy compromises British democracy. The Queen is a "symbol of the state" in much the same way that the Japanese Emperor is, and her involvement in the democratic process is purely ceremonial, influencing it little, if at all. Jimizo is right that Prince Charles has some tendency to attempt to influence decisions, and that's certainly a risk, but I think it will work out OK. Molenir is wrong that Charles has announced he will not take the throne; there's some popular support for the idea of passing it straight to Prince William, but I think it's unlikely to happen.
Posted in: Support for British monarchy at highest for decades: poll
J-BohMay. 21, 2012 - 10:18PM JST
I'm with Harry Gatto in voting for cricket. I struggle to find snooker "exciting", though I like playing it. I often feel that nothing much happens for long stretches in soccer, but I have to admit I enjoyed the Champions League Final on Saturday night.
Posted in: Which sport, when played well, do you think is the most exciting to watch?
J-BohMay. 21, 2012 - 09:55PM JST
Impressive stamina from the Emperor and Empress and the fact that they were so determined to thank us Brits for help last year was much appreciated.
Posted in: Emperor, empress return from Britain
J-BohMay. 21, 2012 - 09:00PM JST
The comparisons with last summer are a bit misleading. Lots of reactors were still working last summer, particularly in the Kansai region which is more dependent on nuclear anyway. And the weather wasn't especially hot last summer, either. With the spirit of "gaman" now fading, it could be a lot more difficult to avoid black-outs this year.
Posted in: Hosono fails to convince Kansai leaders on restart of Oi reactors
J-BohMay. 15, 2012 - 06:14PM JST
It seems China doesn't really understand how a developed democracy works. Slamming Japan for letting people in and having a meeting is silly - pretty much anyone can come to Japan on a tourist visa unless they are a terrorist or have a drugs record or something. And unlike in China, it's no business of the government what meetings people have when they're visiting. It reminds me of the protests against the Danish government for "allowing" cartoons offensive to Muslims to be published in a Danish newspaper.
Posted in: China slams Japan for allowing in Uighur activist
J-BohMay. 15, 2012 - 01:14AM JST
The great thing about thousand-year predictions is that they can't be proved wrong. For a very long time, anyway.
Posted in: Japan faces 'extinction' in 1,000 years, researchers say
J-BohMay. 14, 2012 - 07:44PM JST
Actually, it looks as though Japan's image isn't all that bad: http://www.globescan.com/images/images/pressreleases/bbc2012countryratings/2012bbccountry%20rating%20final%20080512.pdf
Posted in: Japan seeks bloggers for cyber-charm tourism drive
J-BohMay. 11, 2012 - 11:40PM JST
Mie Riyazawa is available! Me me me! I saw her at a party a couple of years ago and she was still absolutely gorgeous.
Posted in: Rie Miyazawa to divorce former pro surfer
J-BohMay. 08, 2012 - 11:01PM JST
I hope not and that the visit can be a symbol of the excellent relationship between our two countries.
Posted in: Emperor, empress to visit Britain for Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee
J-BohMay. 04, 2012 - 08:35PM JST
Unfortunately the free market won't price in externalities such as the pollution and climate change caused by coal. It's also extremely difficult for it to price the risks of a nuclear accident accurately. Of course the government gets things wrong too, as we've seen, but I think this is one sector where it has to stay involved.
Posted in: Crisis-hit Japan debates shift to renewable energy
J-BohMay. 04, 2012 - 08:25PM JST
Japan harms its own case by harping on about spurious cultural traditions (as some of the comments note, the whaling doesn't happen anywhere near Japan) and the "scientific research" aspect of its whaling. On the other hand, there are plenty of minke whales, so they aren't an endangered species and there is no obvious reason why they shouldn't be hunted. This assumes there's demand for the meat, which is a bit of a problem in both Norway and Japan, it seems. If nobody wants it, I can't see much point in just hunting them for the hell of it.
Posted in: Norwegians take first whales of hunting season
J-BohApr. 30, 2012 - 08:04PM JST
The way I read the article, the child was being held by his mother as his elder brother played in the river. The child then dropped from his mother's hold straight into the river, and was carried away by the current. No need for any crawling, I think. The mother was of course stupid but I don't think there's any suggestion of murder or anything here.
Posted in: 2-month-old baby boy drowns in Nagano river
J-BohApr. 20, 2012 - 09:20PM JST
This article is a bit silly, and so are a lot of the comments. Japan's population is shrinking, and will continue to do so, so it's GDP is quite likely to shrink too. Luxembourg's economy, or Norway's, are tiny compared with Japan or China, but it doesn't mean they're not rich.
Posted in: Japan 'no longer a rich country' by 2050: think tank
J-BohApr. 19, 2012 - 07:59PM JST
Japan's barriers to agricultural products are well-known, but the article refers to barriers in the auto and insurance markets, not to agriculture. I'd be interested to know what the barriers referred to actually are. For autos in particular I can't see any.
Posted in: U.S. lawmaker has strong doubt on Japan's entry in TPP talks
J-BohApr. 19, 2012 - 06:52PM JST
Like others commenting here, I am surprised to find that licking someone's hair is a criminal offence.
Posted in: Policeman arrested for licking woman's hair
May. 22, 2013 - 02:49AM JST
China's military is a living museum, while Japan has one of the most powerful navies in…
Posted in: N Korea fires 6th missile in three days
May. 22, 2013 - 02:43AM JST
Onsen's semantics show a level of delusion only slightly below Hashimoto and is an insult to…
Posted in: Hashimoto hits back at polls showing majority disagree with his comments
May. 22, 2013 - 02:40AM JST
He is not very diplomatic
Posted in: Hashimoto says S Korean troops guilty of wartime sex abuse
May. 22, 2013 - 02:31AM JST
And btw I dont speak for Christians, I speak for myself.
Posted in: At least 91 dead in Oklahoma City tornado
Miike is hit-or-miss for me, too. I really liked "The Great Yokai War", "Sukiyaki Western Django",…
Posted in: Miike's action film gets booed at Cannes