borscht's past comments

  • 18

    borscht

    First there's an article on JapanToday about how Obuchi might become Japan's first female prime minister. Then this. If I were a conspiracy fan, I'd say some good old boy from Nagatacho decided to squash any hopes of Japan having a female prime minister and 'leaked' this info, which was probably a well-known secret within the halls of government. Well-known because every Japanese politician does it, I suspect.

    Posted in: Obuchi apologizes after political funds misuse reports

  • 9

    borscht

    A long time ago a Japanese friend asked me my blood type. I replied, "Guess." She got it on the fourth try and added, "Yappari, you have all the characteristics of type ...." Then, uh, why four guesses?

    Posted in: Is it time for Japan to get over trying to connect your personality and blood type?

  • 1

    borscht

    Because Japan claims to be a democracy and in a democracy, political parties abound. The voice of the people and all that. Also, as Sensei258 pointed out, there are more than two political parties in the US. Some, like Inoki's Peace and Sports party, are small.

    Posted in: Why are there so many opposition parties (at least seven) in Japanese politics?

  • 6

    borscht

    For those who want the artwork with their CDs, you have no idea what you're missing by not buying vinyl. Big format art with the ability to see details (Sgt. Pepper comes to mind, Santana's Abraxas). Plus, album covers were perfect surfaces for rolling joints; CD covers, not so much; and downloads? Impossible.

    Posted in: Japan overwhelmingly favors CDs to digital music

  • 0

    borscht

    tina,

    What's the difference between JSDF personnel and JSDF soldiers? Serious question.

    Posted in: Rescue work

  • 0

    borscht

    Okinawamike,

    You're thinking of telemarketing. Teleworking is similar to telecommuting wherein you work at home at a computer instead of in an office on a computer. Yahoo stopped telecommuting a couple of years ago.

    The ability to ask someone a question without leaving your desk is vital in any office but more so in a Japanese office. If that person is sitting beside you, no problem. But if one person is telecommuting, you'd have to call them up or email them and hope for an answer in a timely manner. Telecommuting has a long way to go in Japan; starting with changing the culture of working together, however inefficiently.

    Posted in: Do you think teleworking will gain wide acceptance in Japan?

  • 11

    borscht

    The newspaper said it was not clear why there had been a three-month delay in the transfer to law enforcement officers.

    Simple. There is no one in the Japanese Chicago consulate that has 'repatriate WWII soldiers' bones back to Japan' in their job description. Therefore, everyone 'assumed' someone else would do it. Then a janitor found the bones, freaked out, and the consulate was forced to do something. Easy. Part of Japanese culture.

    I pity the person who sent the bones to the Japanese consulate assuming that they would be respectfully repatriated and enshrined in a shrine or temple. Then reads that the consulate 'forgot' about them for three months. The person who sent the bones is probably either a very old WWII veteran or their offspring hoping to make amends.

    Posted in: Japan insists no mystery behind skulls at Chicago consulate

  • 0

  • 1

    borscht

    I'm planning to be one some day. On a skateboard, too.

    Posted in: Japan: More and more, a land of centenarians

  • 2

    borscht

    Is there some sort of law about who can dispose of ashes?

    Yes, but a Japanese friend's father died last year and wanted to have his ashes tossed into the ocean so my friend got a cardboard box, put his father's ashes in it, got on a ferry to Shikoku, stood at the stern of the ferry, and opened the bottom of the box. Tada! Dad's in the ocean. My friend and family said a few silent prayers without the hand clapping and bowing (so as not to attract attention), then went on their merry way. Total cost: ferry tickets for three people plus a nice lunch. Significantly less than 200,000 yen.

    Personally, I've requested my earthly remains be donated to a medical school and, when they're finished with them, plant a tree on me. (Not a cherry tree, though. Waaaay too many of those. Pine would be nice.)

    Posted in: In Japan, grave times for the tombstone trade

  • 9

    borscht

    Young people (under 50) don't want to be where there is nothing to do. Old people want to be near a hospital and old friends. Everyone wants a job. These small rural towns provide nothing that anybody wants except for the old people who grew up in them. When these old people die out, the town goes with it.

    If the old people living there want a vital new town, they have to provide things people want: jobs, entertainment, jobs, medical services, jobs, and a cow. Hmm. Maybe not the cow.

    Posted in: Demographic crisis empties out Japan's rural areas

  • 2

    borscht

    she was elected only for a reason that her father was a prime minister

    Sort of like Abe (Kishi & Sato; dad was only foreign minister) And Aso. And Hatoyama (grandfather Konoe). And Hosokawa. And Fukuda.

    a 40-year-old mother of two,

    I have yet to see a male politician identified by the number of children he has fathered. Unless it is how he hasn't spoken to them in 20 years (Koizumi).

    Posted in: New industry minister Obuchi visits Fukushima plant

  • 1

    borscht

    gogogo

    Hit that nail on the head.

    First, the government needs to encourage more day care/nursery/kindergartens and in-company assistance for working mothers plus encourage/enforce/require paternity leave, and then reinstate family assistance via that great tax credit they took away.

    After that, Japanese men have to realize women are not all empty-headed dingbats (despite TV 'talento' reinforcing that image.) and promote the best qualified person. I'd estimate that 50% of the time the most qualified is a woman.

    Then maybe women will see the benefits of being slave labor for a company for 40 years. At the highest ranks, of course.

    Posted in: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stated his government’s goal of boosting the ratio of women in senior positions in companies in Japan to 30% by 2020. Do you think it is a good idea to set numerical targets like that?

  • 4

    borscht

    he faces myriad challenges

    Actually, he only faces one challenge: convincing Japanese men that women can be as human, competent, boozy, intelligent, conservative/liberal, dumb, insightful, 'stick-to-the-manual,' and creative as Japanese men.

    When they finally figure this out, and promote based on skills and abilities required for a specific position rather than on genitalia and age, their companies (and society) will profit. Anyone willing to hold their breath until this happens?

    Posted in: Japan's bid for economy driven by women faces big hurdles

  • 1

    borscht

    The elected leaders of my current city decided to encourage bicycling so they painted a blue line on a one-lane road reducing it to a three-quarters lane road. When a bicycle uses the bicycle lane, cars have to swerve into oncoming traffic (or stop, obviously not an option).

    Then they had to put up no-parking signs so cars wouldn't block it. Said signs were put in the bicycle lane so bicycles have to swerve out into the car lane to avoid them. Tourist buses, of course, are exempt from the no-parking rule. Seems Masuzoe is taking advice from my city leaders.

    Posted in: Tokyo governor's cycling policy needs a rethink

  • 1

    borscht

    Roundabouts were introduced at 15 locations around Japan for the first time this week

    Except for the roundabout that is near my house and has been since looooooong before I moved here about 20 years ago. I love it. Much better than waiting at a red light with no other cars in sight.

    Posted in: First roundabouts cause some confusion

  • -1

    borscht

    It will also eliminate changing trains in Nagano (about a ten-minute layover wherein everyone runs to the shinkansen tracks) and compete with the airlines and, I think, successfully.

    Posted in: Tokyo-Nagano shinkansen line to be extended to Kanazawa

  • 1

    borscht

    This whole scenario really fries my buttons. When Riku was 3, the Child Welfare center knew he was being neglected. They KNEW he was being neglected: he had marks on his body signifying possible abuse. What did the Child Idiot Center do? Handed him back to his father so his assbutt father could starve him to death.

    At least the School tried to find Riku - once when he was supposed to start school and once when he was supposed to graduate.

    we believe that child welfare centers are not adequately equipped to deal with cases of abuse and neglect such as this one

    Then what have they been doing for the past NINE years (from when they KNEW Riku was abused)? Nothing? That Child Welfare Center's employees should all be transferred to a less busy center. Like the one in Tomioka, Fukushima.

    Posted in: Child welfare officials never visited home of 5-year-old boy who died of neglect

  • 6

    borscht

    semperfi,

    What's in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet

    • Shakespeare

    Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

    • Gertrude Stein

    Hello Kitty is not a cat

    • Sanrio

    Posted in: Hello Kitty not a cat, has never been: Sanrio

  • 2

    borscht

    The crapola you can learn if you read JapanToday's articles. After reading that we Japanese have less serotonin than the rest of the world, I thought BS. So I checked it out.

    Asians (of which the Japanese nation is a part, much to their dismay) have just as much serotonin as the rest of the world but the distribution is hampered by the relative lack of Long Genes to transport the serotonin. From the Economist (which was a heck of a lot easier to read than the academic articles I read) http://www.economist.com/node/21532247:

    On average, the Asian Americans in the sample had 0.69 long genes, the black Americans had 1.47 and the white Americans had 1.12.

    That result sits comfortably with other studies showing that, on average, Asian countries report lower levels of happiness than their GDP per head would suggest. African countries, however, are all over the place, happinesswise. But that is not surprising, either. Africa is the most genetically diverse continent, because that is where humanity evolved..

    And

    Joan Chiao and Katherine Blizinsky of Northwestern University, in Illinois, found a positive correlation between higher levels of the short version of the gene and mood disorders (China and Japan have lots of both) and with collectivist political systems. Their hypothesis is that cultures prone to anxiety tend towards systems that emphasise social harmony and away from ones that emphasise individuals' independence of each other.

    Now that is an interesting observation and explains a lot about the detailed plans we Japanese need in order to have a relaxed weekend.

    Posted in: Anxiety makes Japanese stingy, says psychologist

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