Sensato's past comments

  • 2

    Sensato

    delivers papers as part of a newspaper scholarship arrangement

    I had never heard of a "newspaper scholarship" before so had to look it up. Here is a link to a Wikipedia entry on the program (新聞社の奨学金制度): https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%B0%E8%81%9E%E5%A5%A8%E5%AD%A6%E7%94%9F

    It is simply a program where the newspaper company pays all or some of a student's tuition in exchange for the student working as a newspaper delivery person while in school.

    It doesn't sound like much of a "scholarship" though. The newspaper delivery firms use the system to ensure a consistent workforce, given that these "newspaper scholarship students" can't easily quit mid stream.

    The Wikipedia entry says there have been some instances where some of these students have been subject to slave-like working conditions.

    Posted in: Neighborhood heroes come in all sizes

  • 2

    Sensato

    This from the Nikkei on June 5 (the scandal has obviously ballooned quite a lot since then):

    Toshiba's internal probe [by Toshiba's financial department and EY ShinNihon] of accounting irregularities has reportedly found nothing more of note, meaning the problems are likely limited to four business areas covered by a parallel third-party investigation.

    @Kronos

    Still Toshiba's auditor is Ernst & Young. After Lehman, Olympus, and Noble there is this. Serious questions should be asked as to how they are conducting their audits.

    The big four auditors (PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY) all have laundry lists of clients whose fraud they failed to detect, even in the wake of Arthur Andersen's demise following the Enron scandal.

    Still, EY in particular seems willing to overlook dubious reporting. It will be interesting to see if Japan's accounting oversight board takes a closer look at EY after this.

    Posted in: Toshiba accounting errors may be over Y1 bil

  • 15

    Sensato

    Japan’s foreign press club said Thursday that Onishi’s remarks show an “extremely disturbing pattern” in Abe’s government.

    Japan ranked number 61 on the 2015 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (https://index.rsf.org/#!/index-details/JPN). Those results, which I think were overly generous, were based on developments in the prior year.

    In the next press freedom index I expect Japan's ranking to fall substantially given this "disturbing pattern" particularly over the last two years involving the Abe administration's attempts to strong-arm coverage in Japan and overseas that is more to its liking, enlisting lawmakers, the foreign affairs ministry and even Japanese companies.

    This article touches on but one of the tactics that is being used by the LDP to rein in the Japanese and foreign-language press, that of having companies play a role in censoring the media and generating favorable coverage.

    One example is this story where lawmakers ask corporations to pull advertising from newspapers that don't report favorably. Another example we are seeing is Abe-friendly media corporations buying stakes in foreign language publishers, as was the case with Nikkei taking a stake in Monocle, soon after which Monocle named Tokyo the world's most liveable city.

    Posted in: Okinawan news editors lash out at LDP calls for press curbs

  • 6

    Sensato

    Quote from the Financial Times:

    "Japan’s population fell by a record amount in 2014 but the drop was merely a shadow of what lies ahead. The pace of decline is forecast to set a fresh record every year from now until the 2060s."

    Posted in: Japan's population marks steepest decline ever

  • 10

    Sensato

    In Japan when you go to a restaurant as a group/family the waiters tend not to bring the group's entire order all at the same time. I have had many experiences where one diner will finish his/her meal before someone else in the party even gets their food.

    This can be very frustrating when dining with hungry young children when the adults get their food first.

    Posted in: What behavior by waiters in restaurants annoys you the most?

  • 2

    Sensato

    The UNESCO stamp of approval would boost tourism in Nagasaki, a rust-belt city that has yet to benefit much from Japan’s stuttering economic recovery....“Industrial Tourism,” also is seen as a way to revive pride in Japan’s manufacturing prowess after two decades of economic stagnation.

    The Abe government is eager for approval of these UNESCO industrial site bids because they have potential to deliver on parts of Abe's growth strategy (ie. the 'third arrow' of Abenomics), in this case tourism yen spent in rural areas and PR for Japanese manufacturing/craftsmanship.

    The discord here is that the more nationalistic members of the Japanese government and public want the "feel good" approach, as the Harvard historian noted, which means whitewashing when it comes to wartime slavery and labor strife involving disgruntled Japanese workers. Exposing these sorts of blemishes would be in direct opposition to Abe's "beautiful Japan" portrayal of the nation's present and past.

    Article Unavailable

  • 4

    Sensato

    It would be no different if a nazi death camp applied for world heritage listing.

    @Disillusioned

    Auschwitz became a World Heritage Site in 1979 on the criteria that it is "directly or tangibly associated with [historic] events."

    http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31

    Article Unavailable

  • 21

    Sensato

    But both the government and most Japanese companies have insisted that post-war reparations have left them with no further responsibility to apologize or compensate for those abuses.

    The issue of apology and compensation aside, the government/educators and certain Japanese companies do have ongoing responsibility to acknowledge past atrocities and to educate humanity about their role in perpetuating slavery and other evils at places like Gunkanjima.

    Failure to do so, denial of past wrongdoings, and whitewashing of history negates past apologies and extends the guilt of past generations to the present generation.

    Article Unavailable

  • 4

    Sensato

    ...when I came out to my dad five and a half years ago, he was distraught. All he’d ever heard on the issue was that the Bible condemned homosexuality in no uncertain terms. But rather than rejecting the Bible or rejecting me, he ended up changing his interpretation of several passages in Scripture.

    In addition to the chronic cherry picking (as @Tokiyo pointed out), there is also the issue of evangelicals altering their interpretation of the Bible to fit their preconceived biases, like this Southern Baptist pastor referred to above. Think U.S. Civil War; people on one side using the Bible to justify slavery, while people on the other using it to condemn slavery.

    Anyway I have seen more mean-spirited vindictiveness from evangelical types in my life than I have ever from non-religious people. And the adamantly anti-gay evangelicals are the worst — like the creepy Ted Haggard evangelicals who are closeted homosexuals themselves and have some other pretty horrendous skeletons in their closets.

    Posted in: Even Christian evangelicals are warming to gay marriage

  • 3

    Sensato

    I'm sure that he did witness death from sickness and exhaustion but it is just about feasible that he didn't witness beatings or executions.

    @Spanki

    I think not.

    What exactly caused the POWs to work themselves to the point of death from exhaustion? The answer is obviously the real and daily threat of beatings and executions.

    So, while Kinoshita was "working with" the Australians, as @sangetsu03 pointed out, he "would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind, and have no sense of smell not to know that human beings were being killed by the hundreds every day. Rather than feeling saddened, he should feel unbearably shamed."

    Posted in: Japanese, British 'Death Railway' veterans meet in reconciliation

  • 4

    Sensato

    Conscripted into service, [Kinoshita] said he did not experience violence on his section of the line working with Australian POWs, but when he heard of the “cruel conditions” elsewhere, he felt “deeply saddened.”

    It seems highly doubtful that Kinoshita didn't witness violence toward the Australian POWs he "worked with." At best, this is probably a case of selective memory.

    His claim would certainly be more credible if the Australian POWs themselves were to say it.

    Posted in: Japanese, British 'Death Railway' veterans meet in reconciliation

  • 15

    Sensato

    ...the Chinese people’s war against Japan was an important component and played an important role in the eastern theater

    Western countries have a lack of appreciation about China’s sacrifices and contributions during World War Two

    I would argue that not only Western countries but also most non-Western countries have failed to give China due recognition for its WWII sacrifices and contributions against fascism. Obviously however, this lack of due recognition is at least partially due to China's brutal post-WWII totalitarian history under Mao and ill will bred by today's PRC government. Still, this is definitely a case of credit where credit is due.

    One particular event that has not received due recognition is how the people of China aided the Doolittle raiders after they landed in China following their bombing raid of industrial cities in Japan in 1942.

    On that, the Smithsonian Magazine recently wrote, "That generosity [toward the Doolittle raiders] shown by the Chinese would trigger a horrific retaliation by the Japanese that claimed an estimated quarter-million lives and would prompt comparisons to the 1937-38 Rape of Nanking."

    Link to the Smithsonian article: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/?no-ist

    Posted in: China slams Western misconceptions of its role in World War II

  • 4

    Sensato

    This is a sad state of affairs, and the SDF isn't even entangled in any conflicts or wars... yet.

    If the SDF became active in a conflict, these problems would surely be exacerbated 100-fold — think Syria, Iran, Iraq, or even a dispute emerging in the Asia region.

    Posted in: SDF said to be rife with bullying, mental illness and suicide

  • 0

    Sensato

    JT reader comments on this topic have generated a significant level of response on the Japanese blog "Gekiyaku" which posts Japanese translations of many of Japan Today's English-language comments, along with our user names.

    I'm glad to see our comments reaching the Japanese-speaking community. And with that in mind, I hope that we all try to keep our comments civil and constructive.

    Here is the link: <www.gekiyaku.com/archives/45204353.html

    Posted in: Universities asked to raise flag, sing national anthem at ceremonies

  • 0

    Sensato

    This is going to cause a lot of big names a lot of headaches — lots of dirty secrets.

    I was searching through the recently released Sony e-mails on the WikiLeaks archive and within a few minutes stumbled across a forwarded email purportedly from Christiane Amanpour (CNN) claiming to have been threatened by Bill Clinton. I am not sure what to make of it (I hope it is a fabrication, I am fond of both of Amanpour and Clinton).

    Here is the link (Amanpour e-mail at the bottom of the page): https://wikileaks.org/sony/emails/emailid/130611

    Posted in: WikiLeaks releases 276,000 more documents from Sony hack

  • 11

    Sensato

    ...a joint exercise between Japan and the Philippines, as the relationship blossoms between the two regional powers

    The silver lining here is that the PRC government is causing Japan to improve its relations with the Philippines and other Asian neighbors. China would be much wiser to build positive relations with its neighbors.

    Posted in: New Chinese islands don't settle sea disputes: Japan

  • 26

    Sensato

    ...there were three answers: “I passionately wish to join,” ‘‘I wish to join,” and “I don’t wish to join.”

    He did not know then if anyone had dared to refuse. He learned later that the few who did were simply told to pick the right answer.

    Yet the government was able to say these people "volunteered."

    This approach to "optional" and "volunteer" duties and "suggestions" from supervisors and government agencies is still very prevalent in Japan. I see it often. They give the illusion of choice, but in the end there is no choice at all. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Posted in: Kamikaze survivors debunk stereotype in stories of sacrifice

  • 6

    Sensato

    ...quoted by police as saying he had been unable to stop himself due to “overwhelming stress and worries at work.”

    It sounds to me like he was much more busy with his hobby than with work.

    Posted in: Peeping tom arrested for taking photos of girls bathing at home

  • 3

    Sensato

    Men need to stop putting women on petal stools

    @Mr. Noidall

    Good eggcorn (I assume that was intentional).

    Anyway, at least you can be sure these cost-conscious men are not woman eyesers.

    Posted in: Cost-conscious males make for stingy relationships

  • 1

    Sensato

    Japan Doomer Fanboys

    @Guy

    Ouch. It looks like my comment struck a nerve, but still the ad hominem remark was unnecessary.

    I won't bother wasting my time explaining why it's nonsense.

    That's too bad. I would certainly be interested in hearing your view — and might even agree with it (there are many conceivable possibilities as to what might happen if the BOJ turns off the spigot, the one I gave is admittedly the worst-case scenario).

    Posted in: BOJ to debate weak yen

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