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blendoverJul. 24, 2013 - 11:50AM JST
People beeping me for stopping at a stop sign. People beeping me for not pushing in aggressively. People beeping me because they think I might do something I had no intention of doing.
Posted in: Japanese driving pet peeves: Not so different from other countries
blendoverJul. 18, 2013 - 01:51PM JST
There are some people in Japan who break or circumvent rules of ettiquette as a matter of routine. There are some people who always endevour to follow them. However, in my experience, the majority follow some rules but not others as a matter of personal style and also tend to be idiosyncratic about when they think the rules apply as opposed to when they think they don't.
I think the situation of the enclosed public space in a train is a little too simple to use as a basis for the analysis of the role of etiquette in society at large. Direct experience of school, workplace, neighborhood and family interactions provides a more reliable sense of what goes on.
Posted in: The importance of social etiquette in urban Japan
blendoverJun. 20, 2013 - 10:12PM JST
What happened to all the Hashimoto apologists?
Posted in: Hashimoto may resign if his party fares badly in Tokyo assembly election
blendoverJun. 18, 2013 - 11:47PM JST
ChibaChick that is a good point. Actually, the reason for this type of research is because so few Japanese are willing to donate their organs. The Japanese are in fact a lot more hung up about this subject than people in other nations and i think that is great.
As regards the contribution of medical science to the future of humanity. If the population explosion doesn:t actually end up wiping us out completely, it is certainly going to reduce quality of life in generations to come. Oh right. Science will come up with a fix. No need to hold your breath for that we are a lot closer to extinction than you realise.
Posted in: Scientists seek permission for experiments with animal-human embryos
blendoverJun. 18, 2013 - 09:43PM JST
These creepy biological science types make reptiles and insects look good. I really hate this stuff and I'm going to make a card and put it in my wallet saying 'No life saving transplants please'. Let me die.
blendoverJun. 18, 2013 - 04:41PM JST
I agree that the attacker is the main offender and have strong susupicions regarding the other guy. it doesn't appear that you think as did China4 that the police were wasting their time and being incompetant idiots in interviewing him. However, just to state the obvious:
1 The police establishied the facts by getting the tax official to admit his role
2 Establishing the facts fully removed the defence that the victim herself encouraged the crime.
3 Fully removing that defence made the prosecution of the case more straightforward.
4 Esatblishing the facts and making the prosecution more straightforward gave some closure to the victim and will make her role in the prosecution easier for her.
5Interviewing the tax official allowed the police to assess how much of a risk to the public the tax official may or may not be and whether he could be charged with anything or not.
I'm not sure about the police role in publication. However in my view:
5 Publication of the facts exonerated the victim in the eyes of the public and her friends and family.
6 Publication of the facts put the tax official and others with similar proclivities on notice about thier behaviour and its actual and possible consequences.
Posted in: Tax official questioned for posting message asking to be groped on train
blendoverJun. 17, 2013 - 09:31PM JST
I would of course agree that there are numerous situations that would be pointless to pursue. However, I don't believe that this case is one of them.
blendoverJun. 17, 2013 - 09:36AM JST
Japan put in a fantastic showing in the last world cup amidst general public pessimism. I hope they can get past all the hype this time around and forge the same team spirit. Ganbare Nippon.
Posted in: Japanese media slam 3-0 loss to Brazil
blendoverJun. 17, 2013 - 06:18AM JST
@Lowly. That's not a perfect analogy by any means, I'll be the first to admit. It just came to the top of my head. Here is what I think after a bit more thought. The guy who committed the attack. There are two possiblitlities. Either hie knew what he was doing was wrong or didn't. Either way ignorance is no defence although it may mitigate in sentencing.
I think the the anonymous poster case is similar. He may have wanted this woman literally attacked and may have been on the train watching at the time or it may have been a total fantasy. Either way it was a police matter because he was encouraging others to commit crime, an actual crrime occurred and so he can be held accountable in some degree or other.
What is most concerning, of course, is the former case. Did this guy want someone literally attacked and was he trying to instigate it? Did he was know the woman? Was he on the train at the time of the attack and so on. I imagine the police were trying to establish if that was the case amongst other things. My main point of objection was the idea that this shouldn't be a police matter at all and that the police are idiots for investigating it.
Personally, I think even if it was all a total fantasy by some kind of closet transvestite type (unlikely), the guy still should have been charged. Others can disagree with that and will no doubt be pleased that he wasn't arrested. However, since he was not charged the police still needed to talk to him and make him recognise what he is doing can have real effects for which he could potentially be held responsible.Dissuasion of the naive or weak is one of the roles of the police and it is successful in many cases.
blendoverJun. 16, 2013 - 03:18PM JST
China4. I disagree, I am afraid. As far as I know it is a crime to incite others to commit crime. And I believe it should be. For example, if a riot breaks out at a rock concert, and I am the singer in the band and call out encouragement to the rioters, then I am commiting an offense and am criminally liable. The police would not be wasting their time arresting not only the rioters but also the singer and any others who incited them in my opinion.
You are welcome to disagree of course but why are you accusing others who don't share your opinions of being childish and unable to think. Nobody is suggesting that the person who carried out the act is not also culpable. Nobodody is talkikng about what Kenji did or did not say.
blendoverJun. 16, 2013 - 12:23PM JST
The power of most national governments to regulate the markets is subject to limitations. However, when a governemt other than the US find a way to do that, the proponents of the market purism for others protectionism for us philosophy cry foul. The main manipulators of currency are not in fact governments, they are market players like George Soros. The power of these people to manipulate currency values against the interests of the populations of the countries concerned and in favour of their unproductive clients is what the complaints should be about.
It's interesting that these complaints are being made at a time when the Yen just made around an 8 percent rise over a very short period of time due to the volatility that these market manipulators are causing. Are they complaining about that? Yes, because 8 oercent wasn't enough for them.
Posted in: Lawmakers urge Obama to act on currency manipulation by Japan
blendoverJun. 16, 2013 - 11:44AM JST
I'm worried about the implications of intenet surveillance, but this case seems to be an entirely appropriate po.lice use of online resources to get to and hopefully stop a social menace. This wasn't a random meaningless blog post without consequences. It targeted an an individual who the poster either knew personally or had otherwise seen on the train. There was a victim.
I think the status of the individual is also of public interest because it demonstrates that these people come from all walks of life and that this sort of crime is not limited to one particular group.
blendoverJun. 13, 2013 - 10:54AM JST
Telling people to shut up is obviously highly undiplomatic. However, so is giggling like schoolkids at someone's not having good English. As for surreptitious recording and internet release of procedings - there's nothing diplomatic about that either.
That said, a certain level of English ability is generally expected of high level diplomats. Japan has it's share of people with sufficient abilities. It's unfortunate that they continue to view these positions as just jobs for the boys, and for as long as they do, they will continue to suffer these types of public embarassment.
blendoverJun. 11, 2013 - 10:40AM JST
Potentially adaptable members of the so called high functioning group are what these people are mainly interested in, and whilst the article does state that not all autists are in fact high functioning, nevertheless there is a certain branding effect along the lines autist=high functioning=cool. Life is not so simple as that, unfortunately. It's a very wide spectrum and only a narrow group within that wll make it onto the emplyee lists of these people and be able to stay there.
The article states that 'it's great to see that corporations not just doing from corporate responsibility but actually recognising there is a good business case behind having people with autisjm in the workplace.' With huge unemployment amongst autists and disabled people in general, the corporate responsibility is, and always has been thin on the ground. Cherry p[icking from the disabled is a way to boost your company's image and make money too, but as for responsibility - that's for governments, individual families etc. Not corporations.
Posted in: Thinking differently: Autism finds space in the workplace
blendoverJun. 10, 2013 - 11:53AM JST
Obama is simply in the middle of a process that was begun during the Bush administration and that he couldn't stop if he tried.. Obama wanted to close Guantanamo prison, but couldn't. He wanted to effect sweeping changes to the gun laws but couldn't. His power is limited. If he were up for election again, this would be a problem for him politically. However, he isn't. So it's not. He already knows that his reputation as a leader of change is toast. It might be a problem for the next democratic contender, if it weren't for the fact that republicans are even more in favor of this kind of thing than the democrats. They've gone much quieter recently on the whole privacy issue.
Posted in: Obama's overdue reckoning on secrecy
blendoverJun. 02, 2013 - 10:26PM JST
I get the feeling some of these people complaining want to have their cake and eat it too: ie live somewhere cheaper than right next to the station, which nevertheless has a lot of amenities available to service the population who live there. They then complain about what comes with that.
People who choose to move somewhere unwisely have only themselves to blame. There are plenty of quiet neighbourhoods around but they typically have less accessible amenities unless they are specifically built for the wealthy. People who have always lived in a neighbourhood and seen it change in ways they don't like (for example a childcare center built too close for their ideas of comfort) deserve more sympathy but ultimately it's bad lluck and they need to either move or put up with it:
Posted in: Aging Japan complains over the noise of children
blendoverMay. 31, 2013 - 10:52AM JST
All these labour market changes are occuring already and have been for some time. The legal changes Abe is talking about are simply to remove the irritatation of the occasional individual or unionised workplace successfully suing over flagrant labor law transgressions that are routine at the moment. Therefore the likely economic effect of this initiative over and above what is already occuring will not be great. It is more a question of moral support.
Posted in: 'Abenomics' may result in more workers getting fired
blendoverMay. 28, 2013 - 11:43AM JST
Every year there are thousands of these school trips and most of them pass off without serious incident. This seems a bit atypical. Public Elementary schools usually avoid these arduous mountain type things, and of the private schools that do go in for it, everything is always planned out and executed following all the boy scout type rules for outdoor safety in mind numbing detail. That clearly didn't happen here, so there is no way the teachers, the guide and the school can avoid heavy criticism whaterver the outcome. I hope of course that the outcome is good and the kids are found in one piece.
Posted in: Two students found safe after spending night lost on Shiga mountain
blendoverMay. 26, 2013 - 10:41AM JST
Right now the nuclear industry in Japan is viewed as being a rogue among rogues. Cutting out the sleazy middleman and ensuring standards properly would probably cost a lot more, but it would reduce the staffing problem and make people take a little more seriously about the industry's claim that it intends to reform.
Posted in: Stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant struggles to keep staff
blendoverMay. 24, 2013 - 10:23PM JST
Regardless of whose side you are on in this issue, this way of last minute cancellation by the party who asked to have the meeting, is disrepectful at the very least
I used to think that last minute cancellations were the height of rudeness - before I came to Japan. Here it seems to be more of a cultural norm.
Posted in: Korean 'comfort women' cancel meeting with Hashimoto
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