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auntplumOct. 30, 2009 - 12:47PM JST
Womanforwoman, let's have the Japanese government apologize and then see what happens, shall we. I would imagine that the comments made by the Abe administration have not helped this situation - you may recall that his adminstration had stated the (paraphrased) comments below:
You may find it interesting to have a read on the internet about the GLOBAL response to these comments - I can assure you that the outrage felt at these historical attrociaties and the comments of the Abe adminstration was felt by many more than just a few senior citizens with a chip on their shoulder.
Posted in: Former sex slaves urge Hatoyama to resolve issue
auntplumOct. 29, 2009 - 05:38PM JST
It's not about the money - it's about the fact that the Japanese government has never officially apologised for the abduction and enslavement of women for the purposes of sexual gratification of the Imperial Army. Money is the tool that previous Japanese goverments used to try to get around making an apology. It was Korean and Chinese pride and dignity that allowed these women to reject that money, and to continue to press for a public and formal apology.
auntplumOct. 29, 2009 - 05:15PM JST
Yes, I would agree that assailants are often brief in their assaults with foreign or adult women. This is not the case with middle school children, however. Middle school children are the target of serial attackers, due to their vulnerability and the fact that they take the same train every day, meaning that their attendance and route is predictable. In short, the attackers know how long they have with the victim and know that they are in a position of strenght over the victim - factors which greatly reduce the chance of them being apprehended.
Posted in: Cop caught taking up-skirt videos during anti-pervert campaign
auntplumOct. 29, 2009 - 04:03PM JST
S8Barnes, I sincerely hope that you never have a daughter that you chose to raise in Japan. It would be heartbreaking for her to come home and try to report the horrible experience that she had been through to you, only to be told that she has concocted a story. It is unfortunately the case that there are many parents that do just this. Those that choose and are able to seek psychotherapy have a chance of escaping the cycle of events that I have mentioned. Many simply find their way into the Mizu Shoubai industry and a souless existance. Have younot ever wondered why this industry is so large in Japan, and how they source their recruits?
You have an interesting vision of the abilities of a 13 year old asian child - to be heavily assaulted in a public place is a shocking experience itself, especially by an assailant wearing the uniform of the establishment and what has been presented to you as authority all of your life - namely, a business suit.
To your points:
By resistance do you mean that she did spin round punch the attacker on the nose? Could you strike an adult double your body weight and size when you were 13? I trust that you are aware that these attacks take place on crowded trains where the victims are not able to move their bodies easily.
Children are not likely to yell out in this situation, as the shame and shock they feel paralyses them into a numbed silence. They are likely to weep however, and to vomit and faint when they get off the train at the next stop to escape the attacker, even though it is not their desired stop.
I do not quite know how to answer this. Is this a joke? This sounds as if you would have children kitted up like soldiers just to survive the gauntlet of the journey to school without being sexually assaulted.
May I ask how long you have been in Japan, how many Japanese aquintances you have? It very much sounds to me as if you are judging the actions of a Japanese victim by EU/US behvioural norms, which is quite obviously out of step with the entire context of a Japanese child's life and upbringing.
May I refer you to my answer for your point 4. It may be worth bearing in mind that even western adult women stay in relationships in which they are battered and sexually abused for quite some time before seeking help or raising this to the authorites. It is interesting that you would like to judge a 13 year old Asian female child by a higher standard than adult women of your own country. Or is it perhaps that case that you feel that all women deserve what they get if they don't nuke any assailant the second a hand goes anywhere near their body?
auntplumOct. 28, 2009 - 06:00PM JST
Precisely. It is child sexual assault of the worst kind. The word 'chikan' has been used to describe any sexually perverse behaviour - from voyeurism to sexual assault. Due to not 'airing dirty linen' being a cultural norm here, the extent of these assaults is not well known outside of the perpertrators, victims, and courts. If you take a trip down to your local Koban, they will tell you that Japanese law recognises three levels of 'chikan' offence - hand on outer clothes, hand below outer clothes but above under garments, and hand below under garments. Most of the populace have little idea what some children have to endure on their way to school on a daily basis.
auntplumOct. 28, 2009 - 05:14PM JST
It is interesting to see so many young men here talking about this issue as if it is a cultural clash between east and west. However, I can assure you that once the nature of assault is understood, it is not something that is considered acceptable by many Japanese people, and is certainly endured at a high cost by the victims.
Very many of the young Japanese women I speak with have had the most terrible experiences on crowded trains, and these horrible experiences shape their lives. I assume that it is understood that we are often not talking about men caressing a woman's buttocks but more typically the penetration of a 13 year old school child's body. They are often assaulted by the same attacker on a daily basis. I would be intrigued to hear if any one is able to find justification of this behaviour, or identify where the 13 year old victim of this gross sexual assault is at fault.
Perhaps what is most heartbreaking about this, are the consequences of being a victim of repeated sexual assault. These young girls are not brought up with a voice and are not able to speak out even when enduring the most horrific of assaults you could imagine. Instead they elect to avoid being sexually assaulted by simply avoiding crowded trains by taking a later train - arriving at school late. They then find that they are shunned by peers and teachers for their tardy attendance, and begin to play truant - as not attending seems to cause less personal embarassment than being late. They are now a drop-out. Whilst playing truant, in game centres in whatnot, it is only a matter of time before the gangs / sex industry scouts / unscrupilous men recruit the young girl into their services. More often than not, they begin to work in 'girls bars' providing services of loose morals. Each step along the way, they lose their sense of self, respect for their own body, feel increasingly soiled, and are therefore more susceptible to being recruited to even lower forms of employment.
In short, the habitual sexual assualters are not simply enjoying a twisted sense of sexual gritification, they are taking a life.
auntplumOct. 16, 2009 - 07:32PM JST
@biglittleman - correct. I have not heard such ridiculous views as those expressed by Jizzezz's British friend's for quite a number of years. Who is to say that the African touts are infected? Or that they are having less than monogomous sexual relations with Japanese citizens, or that they are having unprotected sex?
Conversley, Japan has a very large sex industry which does not stipulate the use of condoms (of which Foreign clientel are not served), as well as a historically high-participation in sex tourism to Asian desitnations. The incidence of serial adultary is extremely high, with many men having multiple sexual partners well into their retirement. Many middle-school and high-school girls utilize prostitution to supplement their pocket money via mobile dating sites, and are not strong enough to insist that their (middle-aged and married) clients use protection.
Very many Japanese only become alerted to the fact that they are HIV positve when they attempt to give blood, and are subsequently advised to visit their physician without delay. The Japanese are not a nation renowed for their participation in charities, and the incidence of blood donation cannot be described as high. One can only imagine that the percentage of actual cases versus reported must be rather low. Always use protection...
Posted in: HIV/AIDS continues steep increase in Japan
auntplumOct. 16, 2009 - 07:13PM JST
@betterdays - yep, the million dollar question... I would imagine that they became aquainted on a mobile dating site, or that she volunteered her phone number to him when he approached her. I would lean towards the latter as he used a public telephone so as to avoid his identity being revealed.
He appears to have called her once a week-ish for a couple of months. She is a high-school student, he was dailing from a public phone. I do not condone his behvaiour, however I would think that the girl and her parents would need to have a talk about the friends that she is keeping. They may also want to advise her on how to use the call filtering functions on her phone - especially the function of the button that has the little symbol of the handset off the telephone base, in particular what happens when you press this when the phone is ringing, and what happens if you don't - she need not have answered his calls 10 times between July 9 and Oct 10...
That said, it was right to report this to the police, as it is possible that he may have stalked her if his communication channel was cut off - which is a serious problem and goes unreported in most cases (and not acted on by the Police in the majority of cases), until an assault is committed. Perhaps this was avoided in this case.
Posted in: Agriculture ministry employee with uniform fetish caught making harassing phone calls
auntplumOct. 16, 2009 - 06:51PM JST
@BurakuminDes and @ nisegaijin, I understand that it is difficult to accept that Japan is in crises, but this is quite clearly the only way to describe the current health of the nation. Time after time after time, when the perpetrators of these crimes are caught they give the same reason for their selection of target - 'It could have been anyone, I just wanted to hurt someone'. As Richard_III correctly intimates, if people from a young age spend little time forming relationships with others, preferring instead to cocoon themselves in a world of virtual reality, their perception of others will differ from what would typically be deemed healthy. The lack of peer relationships also plays a part in this. These attacks are perpetrated by people who have little sense of empathy for others, viewing fellow human beings as mere objects.
If you prefer to interact with a cartoon than a real person; if you prefer to pay a woman to flatter you than to develop yourself so that you become a person that is interesting to be with; if you prefer to spend time with your kohai than your peers because he will hang off your every word even though he could outperform you in a heartbeat if he wanted to, the backbone that keeps you this side of right and wrong when the chips are down just doesn't develop. Times are hard. It is a rainy day. Something has to give.
Posted in: Man slashed on Tokyo street
auntplumOct. 16, 2009 - 06:04PM JST
This particular case is tragic, but not abnormal. It is the result of the absence of a cycling / pedestrian proficiency program in elementary schools, and perhaps inadequate parental guidance. In this instance, a cyclist crossed a main road at dusk on a red light, and was hit by a vehicle that was travelling at or below the speed limit, in a straight line through the junction on a green light. The vehicle was not conducting any manouvers or making a turn at the junction. This was a rather odd thing for the cyclist to do - yet the taxi driver is liable, even though his life was endangered by the actions of the cyclist. This unjust logic perhaps partly explains why the incidence of hit and runs are so high in Japan.
@kirakira25, congrats on getting the new car. There is a lot to do and see in Japan that can only be done by car, as the public transport infrastructure that is synonymous with Japan is only really present in large cities.
I drive daily to visit patients, and I also like to get out of town at the weekends. I have perhaps covered 400,000km in Japan in my time here. I am on the road almost everyday of the week. If you are to use your car as daily family transport, get to know your area on foot or bicylce first - learn where the cyclists come straight across the road without looking; learn where the pedestrians cross at night in dark clothes to avoid walking a few extra steps over a footbridge; learn where the mums congregate and fair poorly at keeping their young out of the road. Know your area - this is where you are at higest risk of having an accident. Use your sidelights at dawn and dusk - even if other road users do not. And use the highway whenever you can - safest roads in the country ;-)
Posted in: 11-year-old boy dies after being hit by taxi in Chiba
auntplumOct. 16, 2009 - 12:04PM JST
Unless you are on a highway with a central barrier seperating the opposing lanes of directional traffic, it is completely legal in Japan for pedestrians to step out into the road when the whim takes them at any time whatsoever, with you the driver being liable for their actions. It is completely irrelevant whether the traffic lights where green, blue, pink or black.
Furthermore, in Japanese road traffic law, the larger vehicle is always considered at greater fault than the smaller in a collision. Always. For clarity: a motorized vehicle is considered larger than a cyclist or a pedestrian.
For anyone driving/considering driving in Japan, you really need to understand this: Unless you are on a highway, you will most probably see jail time if you are unfortunate enough to have a collosion with a pedestrian that results in their death - no matter what the circumstance. Suck up the 15k JPY and fit ETC to your car, and stay off normal roads. The investment may just guarantee your liberty.
auntplumOct. 04, 2009 - 11:30AM JST
It is refreshing to see that so many on this forum can see beyond the skyscrapers, manicured nails and smart suits to understand that Japan is country with a quite a way to go before it truly shakes off the shackles of a pre-modern era that ended comparatively recently.
Many of the steps towards modernity that were taken by the Japanese government in the late 19th century and early 20th century were motivated by the avoidance of embarrassment in the eyes of European powers - a club of which Japan aspired and continues to aspire to be member. This is certainly the case for the regulation of pornography and prostitution, and many other unsavory industries which flourished in the Tokugawa era and continue to flourish beneath the surface in Japan today.
Understanding that the appearance of modernity in Japan is largely a veneer on what is essentially still a culturally feudal society perhaps allows us to understand why the less than subtle racism that has been commented on is apparent in numerous laws on the statue books today. Each would need to be challenged individually, and raised into the diplomatic spotlight firmly enough to cause national embarrassment before a change would be made. There is no desire for progressive legislation from within the Japanese political elite. And why should there be? Japan is without doubt a nation of superb engineers. However, it is not a western country, so perhaps it is inappropriate for us to expect it to function like one.
My heart goes out to Christopher. He obviously believes in marriage as a union of two loving partners. Very many Japanese women have little or no interest in current affairs, world politics and other subjects that educated western men like to discuss. Many prefer to sleep in separate beds or even separate rooms from their husbands. We don't know why their marriage broke down, but we do know that they were no longer in love and that Christopher did not want to simply take a mistress and continue a farcical marriage - which is the norm in this locality in this situation, I believe. For this he is to be commended. He is also a father determined to ensure that his children have a healthy and inclusive relationship with both of their parents – even if the exercise costs him a million dollars, or indeed his liberty. The same cannot be said of Noriko Savoie.
Posted in: American father arrested in Japan had asked Tennessee court for help
auntplumOct. 02, 2009 - 12:55PM JST
So many good comments. Psychology is a Western discipline, but if you were to make a psychological assessment of Japan, you would so often conclude that dysfunctionality is the norm. Routinely awarding sole custody to one spouse and denying a willing parent access can only be described as entirely dysfunctional and devoid of any concept of the needs of the child. Lovely people, though.
I have always told my boys that the secret of successfully living in Japan is to avoid the three vices: Drugs, Gambling, and Girls. If Mr Savoie had been of the same thinking, he would not be in this predicament today. The simple truth is, this is Japan - not the US/EU. Let Japan work through it's problems at it's own pace. They only become YOUR problems when YOU choose to unzip your fly. At that point, you just have to suck it up.
auntplumSep. 17, 2009 - 05:02PM JST
Joetheplumber, if you come from a road rage locality I can understand why you may have been reluctant to engage and did what you did. You seem like a reasonable chap. We have lived in a few countries and generally get to know the local customs and conventions. You are in very little danger in Japan if you stand up to the bullies - the like to intimidate and shout, but quieten down once you show them who is boss. Conversely, you are in more danger if you don't stand up to them, as their tantrums only escalte if you don't nip them in the bud.
My husband and I sometimes take the motorcycle out at weekends. We were once in the countryside when a yankee Celsior driver swerved into our path for no reason at all - with a big smile on his face. My husband U-turned and followed the driver to the next traffic lights, when the tattoo'd hoodlum got out of his car to confront us. My husband parked the bike in a safe place off the road and told me to stay put. He played rugby as a younger man, and doesn't suffer fools gladly. I can only say that the young man won't be swerving into motorcyclists again anytime soon.
There have also been times when truck drivers have driven appallingly behind us, like Pawatan describes. My husband generally waits until the next set of traffic lights, stops the car, and then invites the driver to step out of his cab for a discussion. They very rarely do, and behave considerably better after the interaction. Take a picture of their number plate with your cell phone - unlike back home, the police do follow up here on reports of 'dangerous driving'. The trucker risks losing their livelihood, whereas you only risk losing a bit of space on your memory card. ;-)
Posted in: Three dead in four-car pileup on Ibaraki highway
auntplumSep. 17, 2009 - 02:30PM JST
Joetheplumber, I trust that you are a fellow woman. If not, time to step up, my friend. As bobafett says, next time someone tailgates you, slow to a crawl. If they touch you, the insurance and police will judge the incident as 95% their fault. This is why when he went in front, he braked in a manner that almost resulted in you rear ending him - as he knew that despite it being a result of his action, you would be judged at fault. Whilst you have slowed to a crawl, put your arm out of the window - show your weapons. If the tailgating coniues, pull over and gesture like a tattoo'd "yankee" that you would like to beat him to a pulp. They rarely get out of their cars once they know that doing so will result in physical harm. If the tailgater is stupid enough to get out of his car, show him what we do to bullies back home... ;-) Might equals right in Japan - but don't let that stop you dishing up some good old fashioned home cookin' if an idiot crosses your path. You have a backbone. Use it. This is what my husband does, and what any red blooded man should.
auntplumSep. 01, 2009 - 05:13PM JST
Bobcatfish, this woman is clearly mentally ill.
Spanishwoman, you've summed it up. Shiny cars and smart suits by themsleves don't quite cut it. There is a lot of work to be done here with understanding the concept of social justice. Simple forebearance in deferance to a stronger person's will may give the appearance of harmony, but once you remove the veneer, you are left with a whole forgotten class of poor / underpriviledged / mentally ill Japanese that have no safety net, and no institutions in place to support them. Those that are not in need are more often than not far to busy shopping / playing golf / drinking to give a damn. A lot of work to be done.
Posted in: Woman arrested for dumping unwanted newborn on Gunma road
auntplumSep. 01, 2009 - 04:30PM JST
Yelnats and co. have hit the nail on the head. Bullying defines social interaction in Japan. How can this be addressed singularly at school when children see this all around them in their daily lives..?
This loss is a complete tragedy, and my thoughts are with the parents and families.
Posted in: Bullying blamed after two 13-yr-old girls jump to their deaths
auntplumAug. 29, 2009 - 05:25AM JST
Machidaman, Smith is right. Let's take a step back for a second. What if the cyclist scuffed their knee on landing on the tarmac and required a couple of stitches? What if they were too embarassed to own up and say that they were at fault? What if the car behind simply drove off leaving you no witnesses (which is the absolutely normal case)? Now you are automatically culpable - and if the injured party requires extensive medical treatment, you are going to lose your license as a matter of course.
Take a trip down to your local driving centre and get a copy of the one pager that details points awarded for driving offences. Drink driving is (now) right up there with seriously injuring a pedestrian in an accident - 15 points plus. Two stitches in the knee would mean outpatient treatment for 30-60 days, so I believe you would be automatically awarded 6-8 points for that - a one month ban and a trip back to driving school for most drivers.
This is the reality - like it or not. As LFRAgain states: Can’t accept the consequences of murder? Then don’t kill anyone. Can’t accept the consequences of hitting someone on a moped with your 1-ton car? Then don’t drive.
To be honest, I have to ask why the police were even called in your case in the first place..? No injuries, cyclist admitting fault. Surely the cyclist would have just got back on their bicycle and continued their journey to Ito Yokado..? What was the issue? This shouldn't have even required police attendance - markedly different circumstances form the cases that we are discussing that relate to cases where pedestrians are injured or even killed as a result of a road traffic accident.
Posted in: Driver arrested after colliding with girl on scooter, then fleeing in Kanagawa
auntplumAug. 28, 2009 - 08:27PM JST
FRAgain, good post.
BTW, 5.7 per 100k peeps is good when compared to the US - but that is largely becasue the Japanese have implemented a uniform driver training program and enforce the use of front seat occupant's seatbelts, whereas the USA does not. You may be interested that the UK has a road death ratio 3.6 per 100,000 - largely because of effective decades old drink driving campaigns, the enforcement of seatbelt use for front and rear sear passengers, and the use of child seats.
Factoring in that speed limits in the UK are a approximately double as high as Japan on non-higway roads, from a British perspective safety on Japanese roads is pretty sloppy... It is extremely rare NOT to see a child roaming about the entire car, no where near a seat or a seatbelt, and the take-up of baby seats is very slow. If this could be worked on by the authorities, thousands of lives could be saved each year on Japanese roads.
auntplumAug. 28, 2009 - 08:07PM JST
My dear Mindovermatter:
If you do drive a car in Japan (I have driven approx 400,000km in JP, BTW), take note of Disillusioned and LFRA - this ain't the US of A.
If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident with a bike/pedestrian/cyclist, prepare to simply stand idly whilst the Polizia set-up, play with their measuring tape and chalk, sporadically bark questions at you, and generally have a thoroughly good time for a couple of hours. Then, count on being escorted to the police station to be interrogated. You'll no doubt have to tell your version of the events numerous times as the officer in charge will attempt to write a report in which you effectively accept all blame, unless you are extremely forthright and determined. You signing his preferred report gets things done and him on his way home quicker - but gets you a lot of points, a ban, and a stint back at driving school, or worse.
Be prepared to stay in that interrogation for a number of hours - best to block off 4 hours in the calendar for the whole thang. Expect to have your concern of not being 101% fluent at Japanese negating your ability to give them the most accurate information possible, met with coercion, and the response that sourcing a translator will take a number of hours - within which period you would not be permitted to leave.
Expect to finally exit the Police station without a copy of the accident report, and with no record of what you have hanko'd, and without knowing if you will be given points, required to go to court, or exonerated.
Perhaps if you have this joyous experience, you can come on here and tell us all about your new found 'common' sense - no longer solely based on a vision of life imported from your home country thousands of miles away.
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