as_the_crow_flies's past comments

  • 5

    as_the_crow_flies

    All of the above, plus people taking pride even in routine jobs. I'm sure it makes it more meaningful to do it, and for everyone receiving the service it's so much nicer, even if a bit slow sometimes.

    Posted in: What customs, way of life or products in Japan do you wish your home country would adopt?

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    Sore de? What can be done about it? Nothing!

    Erm, I think the answer is in the conclusion, @JapanGal

    ...producers must take responsibility for the lifecycle of plastics. Industry must either monetize incentives to recover waste plastics or innovate environmentally friendly product and packaging alternatives. Simply put, if you can’t get your product back, make it harmless. ,...design better products and packaging to replace the status quo

    If there's a problem, you can use the same human creativity that came up with the creation of plastics to find a better way to package things. He's clearly stating that the problem is not a technical one, it's one of vested interests blocking an improvement. Just like the nuclear industry is claiming that the massive increase in renewable energy generation in Japan is a problem because " the grid can't cope", when the reality is,those vested interests are out of pocket because OTHER people are making money, and creating cleaner sources of energy. By the same token, there are alternatives to producing so much plastic waste, but we can't take on those who are profiting from the environmental destruction? All there is to do is throw up our hands and say "so what?" Really?

    Posted in: Stopping ocean pollution at source

  • 8

    as_the_crow_flies

    I don't understand why japan is obligated to accept refugees. It's a sovereign nation. I believe it's their right to refuse asylum for refugees.

    All Japan needs to do is to withdraw its candidacy for the UN Security Council, resign from the UNHCR (High Commission for Refugees), publicly state to the world that its borders are closed for humanitarian reasons, and only open for reasons of self-interest, and fine, it can be as sovereign and lacking in humanity as it chooses. Let it send a clear message to the world, and refugees will understand it's better for them to die in their country of origin than try entering fortress Japan.

    In order to make its position quite clear to the world, Japan could at the same time state that it only wishes to be inserted into the world labour market to tap other countries' skilled labour and therefore has no need for "trainees". It could also clearly state that it feels no obligation to partner nations' developing their infrastructure, and thus will expect to be able to cream off trained and experienced health workers that other countries have paid a fortune to train for its own needs, pay them peanuts, deny them career advancement and pack them off back where they came from after three years. Considering the Immigration and Refugee Control Act puts immigrants and refugees into one basket, it needs to state to the world where it stands. Of course it might lose a few trading partners if it does this, further batter its international image, and find itself back of the queue for the best workers, but so be it, it's a sovereign nation, so that's fine, right?

    Posted in: Japan accepts just 11 asylum seekers from record 5,000 applications in 2014

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    This article deals with the language issue.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/24/spanish-nurses-job-nhs-health

    What's clear is that although Japanese might be considered particularly difficult, the issues of recruiting nurses who aren't fluent in a language is not unique to Japan, and if other countries can make it work, if Japan's government acted more intelligently and pragmatically, they could start to tackle this problem. What they don't want to do is let go of the idea that coming to this island is a priveledge and that people are beating down the doors to come here, where the reality is that Japan has far, far fewer options than the health workers looking to leave their own countries to work.

    Just a look at the numbers says it all. 30 trainees passed the exam. After working here several years, becoming familiar with how things work, the other 280 are presumably packed off back to their own countries. What a waste of skills! Comparing with the UK again, a typical large hospital might recruit around 50 nurses from one country over a single year. That's the kind of scale that Japan needs to think of, and that's for nurses, not just care assistants. They need to start opening up to doctors as well. Swim or sink.

    Posted in: Indonesian, Filipino nurses to be allowed to stay extra year to pass exam

  • 3

    as_the_crow_flies

    As others have said, the government's response to the labour shortage and the obvious failures of the policies they've had in practice for the last 10 years is quite simply insane. Reminds me of where I read once that if you trod on the tail of a Brontosaurus, it took 5 minutes for the message to arrive at its brain. Whether true or not, this is what is happening in Japan, as it contemplates its own demise but not actually doing anything meaningful. For another perspective, the UK, which is slightly behind Japan in the demographic curve, has for years been recruiting health workers from abroad. Not just care assistants, but nurses and doctors. One of these articles deals with the language issue for Spanish staff (and this was 15 years ago!) http://www.theguardian.com/society/2000/nov/07/futureofthenhs.health Some more recent statistics in this one http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/17/nhs-nurse-shortage-health-service-overseas

    Posted in: Indonesian, Filipino nurses to be allowed to stay extra year to pass exam

  • 1

    as_the_crow_flies

    This is a real tragedy for everyone involved. It's hard to imagine how hard it is for families to have the "car key conversation" until you've had to do it yourself. Someone who is proud, wants to hang onto their independence, and losing their critical faculties will fight tooth and nail to keep driving, and it's incredibly hard to step in and say "You can't do this", generally to your parent. That's why there should be laws that force regular checks, say from 70, and doctors should be legally obliged to report dementia of a patient to the licensing authority. That way it's taken out of the family's hands. Once the licence has been revoked, something like a pin number would probably keep most dementia sufferers safe. I know pin numbers were one of the first things my Dad became unable to remember. Car keys then need to be locked away, as a dementia sufferer will just suddenly swing into action and start doing something. They certainly won't remember they don't have a licence any more.

    Another reason for starting the driving checks relatively early is that older people will have accepted and got used to the tests hopefully well before they start showing signs of dementia, so are less likely to rebel at the idea of a test.

    Posted in: 83-year-old man with dementia killed in car crash while driving wrong way on expressway

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    *>Some people actually feel satisfying helping others.

    So, they're helping other people to feel better about themselves? Yuck.*

    Probie, I think there's another way to see this, and it comes from my experience of volunteering. I think the writer makes the point that she felt the physical contribution of shovelling a few ditches seemed physically small, seeing the extent of the destruction, but I think the satisfaction she talks about comes from discovering new meaning in a life where you are connected to a community, and that doing things for other people is a part of our social and altruistic side as humans. Many people, if not most of us, are cut off from this in their everyday lives are, but when a disaster jolts us out of our normal bubble and we are moved to want to do something to help others, it can be a wonderful thing to discover this connection.

    Personally I don't think people's motivation for volunteering is particularly important. I think her impulse to do something, and to show solidarity, is great - a lot of people may just think about doing it, but not actually do so. Good on her for doing it, and for putting out this timely article that I hope gets other people out there.

    Posted in: Volunteering for Hiroshima landslide clean-up

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    Someone ought to commission him to write a new score for the TEPCO boogie-woogie sidestep. He'd be perfect. His selective deafness would be such an asset.

    Posted in: 'Beethoven of Japan' says he can hear again

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    Meanwhile, down here in Yokohama, we were treated to a 30-second display, and within 10 minutes, crews were stripping down the site, and everyone was being sheperded home. Welcome to 2014, Japan!

    Posted in: Revelers welcome 2014 with huge fireworks displays

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    Yes, it's wonderful how the outrage in India at the diplomat's treatment is not paralleled by any outrage at how she apparently was treating her servant. And as others have said, she no doubt enjoyed also many benefits through her husband's citizenship, but then wanted to play the diplomatic immunity card when caught breaking the law. As the article states, levels of immunity seem to depend on both the person's rank, and the crime involved. It's not a blanket "you can get away with what you like", as this woman seems to want to claim. From what the article says, there's been systematic and continued abuse of servants by other colleagues at the Indian mission, which is probably part of the reason why U.S. officials actually took up this case. The Indian government's reaction is kind of disgusting, too, and to me indicates that they consider this normal, and by trying to change her diplomatic status, are demonstrating their lack of respect for human rights.

    Posted in: Worker abuse by diplomats in U.S. a problem, advocates say

  • 2

    as_the_crow_flies

    You go Utsunomiya! I wanted him to win first time round. Here's hoping for a miracle!

    Posted in: Utsunomiya 1st to declare his candidacy for Tokyo governor

  • 1

    as_the_crow_flies

    I think they mean that they will *stop * the decontamination farce, not *finish *it. I wish they'd stop it today, and properly compensate the people who've been affected by the bungling disaster so far out. And we know there's more to come, but at least cough up some compensation for the original screw up and admit that the accident is ongoing, for the forseeable and the unforseeable future.

    Posted in: Gov't says Fukushima decontamination likely to be finished by 2017

  • -4

    as_the_crow_flies

    She works six full days a week and wouldn’t have it any other way. “I don’t have any special hobbies. What am I supposed to do?” she smiles. “Sit home and look at my husband’s face all day long? I’d rather clean. Why not? There’s no stress.”

    Sad, sad, sad. Thankfully for Japan, many Japanese work to live. Thankfully for most of us, we don't.

    Posted in: A new growth industry: professional housekeeping

  • 1

    as_the_crow_flies

    Just one problem. The mamachari is solid, but it's basically a crap bike. Heavy to ride, inefficient and totally unsafe for taking kids. The fact that people do it here is no reason to copy them, still less to import the actual bikes! Just take a look online and you'll find loads of safer designs for transporting children. You need a lower centre of gravity if you increase the amount of weight you want the bike to carry. Is the article trying to say the Dutch also transport kids a lot on mamacharis? I thought they had front and rear carriages, with extra wheels for this. Also, if you compare the leg position of someone on a mamachari to something better designed, you'll see it takes much more effort to push the mamachari.

    Posted in: Japanese mamachari bicycles arrive in London

  • 2

    as_the_crow_flies

    This piece was probably a reject fro Tatler magazine, (http://www.tatler.com/magazine) and thought if he took it to the other side of the world, maybe noone would be any the wiser and would pay him a few yen for it. Looks like he was right ... As a Brit, I cringe when I see something like this, just in case someone actually gets the idea it represents any kind of reality.

    Posted in: In Britain, a summer of quiet revolution

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    So, what's next? Diesel powered jock straps for women?

    @BertieWooster: codpieces, perhaps? Anyway, as Maria said, to each their own, male or female.

    Posted in: Men’s bras appear to be on the rise in Japan

  • 5

    as_the_crow_flies

    “My back feels supported by my chest and relieved.”

    'Fraid I have trouble understanding this. I've been wearing one of this contraptions for many score years, and I don't think my back has ever felt relieved because my chest is supporting it. In fact, first thing I do when I get home, is change and take the damn thing off. Specially in this weather. On the train, I can just feel the sweat running down from under it. I would bin all of mine if I didn't feel socially pressured to use one. Added to which, medical research seems to be showing that actually there is no evidence bras are any use in "supporting". And if you did want a supportive type one, it would definitely be a sport type one, not the ones in the photo.

    The article seems to be very unsure of whether it's talking about cross dressing, or whether moob-men are looking for support, or if we're really talking about cravings for some kind of corset. Weird indeed.

    Posted in: Men’s bras appear to be on the rise in Japan

  • 1

    as_the_crow_flies

    Whether or not he uses the Internet for campaigning, I'm rooting for Yamamoto. It's great that he's able to reach so many people using his online presence, but what inspires me about him is he's a triumph of substance over form. He actually has a platform beyond that of self advancement. He's passionate, he's articulate, and I think he's campaigning because he has a mission. I hope he gets elected, though I know the odds are very much against it.

    If you see his videos of campaigning, you will see that there is a crowd around him when he speaks, and they are actually listening to what he's saying. Oh, and he doesn't wear white gloves, and clutch a bunch of microphones like they were roses. He just gets up on his soapbox with his megaphone, and what he says comes straight from his head, not from a script. We need more Yamamotos in politics in Japan!

    Posted in: Few candidates savvy enough to take advantage of Internet campaigning

  • 2

    as_the_crow_flies

    I don't understand how a politician (and a former president at that) can hold dual nationality, especially considering Japan doesn't allow it for adults. Yes, Pukey, that's not the half of it. During his presidency, there was a scandal at one point that he was ineligible for president as he hadn't been born in Peru. After that it was clearly established (by the fujimori side) that he was in fact born there, and as Peruvian as they come. Didn't stop him from faxing his resignation while on a business trip when the sh*t hit the fan there, and then using his second generation Japanese status to get quickie Japanese nationality. In 2 weeks! Course then, with his ultra rightist backers here, helped by savings cannily spirited away while president of Peru, he lived the life of Riley for five years, even running for office. Don't think even his backers and handlers could convince Japanese voters however of his patent gaijinidad - I didn't actually hear him speak Japanese, but I don't think it would have impressed a true son of Yamato, his intended electorate. Running around in a bullet proof vest at the front of the commandos after they stormed the Japanese embassy to end the siege back in 1997 wasn't enough of an election ticket here.

    Personally, I think his presence here became an embarressment to those same right wingers who took him in when he first legged it from Peru, and there were behind the scenes moves to tap him on the shoulder. Otherwise I can't explain how he got it into his head to land in Chile of all places, where the then president had herself been tortured under Pinochet's brutal dictatiorship in the 70's and 80's, and there's no way he could quietly transit to Peru, where he hoped the Fujimorista machine could once again manipulate the judiciary and let him walk. Anyway, thankfully, the Chileans did what they did, and the Peruvian got him extradited for human rights abuses and corruption, tried and sentenced. In other words, justice was done.

    By the way, JT, the article incorrectly suggests he was extradited from Japan. Despite years of requests and detailed depositions from the Peruvian government of the time , the Japanese government refused to extradite him. No surprise there.

    Anyway, I'm glad to know that he remains in the right place, that justice was done, and he's serving out his sentence. Good luck to him with the paintings and the memoirs.

    Posted in: Fujimori writing autobiography in prison

  • 3

    as_the_crow_flies

    As this is a Japan, not US-oriented site (or purports to be), it would make more sense if this article is just cut and pasted from a US site, to add a Japan angle. It could include the increasing social inequality, fading in legitimacy of the idea touted for decades that all Japanese were middle class (in reality the upper class elites run things, and there has been a large working class, which economic changes of the last 20 years is swelling with people falling out of the middle class), and open disillusion with anti-democratic government manifested since the start of the Tohoku "reconstruction" fiasco and the Fukushima circus. Despite this, the apathy manifested by too many Japanese (given what's going on, and the assault on their living standards) really stands out in contrast to other places where the middle class are standing up for justice. A pity that articles are simply parachuted in from the other side of the world without giving some local context - that would be the most interesting bit.

    Posted in: The global middle class awakens

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