borscht's past comments

  • 1


    Just curious. My engineering students wish to know which is it: cement or concrete?

    400-kilometer chain of cement sea walls

    the massive concrete barriers

    Posted in: Japan opts for massive, costly sea wall to fend off tsunamis

  • 1


    The Hitcher (1986) with Rutger Hauer.

    Posted in: What are the three scariest movies you have ever seen?

  • 2


    Aren't people who go to Japanese restaurants already interested in Japanese food? Do they need a poster in their language to tell them to go eat Japanese food when they're already In a Japanese restaurant? Of course, McDonald's worldwide probably won't let them put a poster up in their stores but surely some place other than a Japanese restaurant to promote Japanese food to people who don't know/like/appreciate Japanese food?

    Maybe a couple of international hotels, airports, upscale shopping malls, the street_

    Posted in: Actress Rei Dan appointed 'washoku' ambassador

  • 9


    difficult for people with different lifestyles to live together

    Let's put Sono's plan into action. 'Comfort' workers are hauled in to take care of aging Japanese & do industrial work in Tokyo and Osaka. Indians here, Philippinos here, Nigerians over there, et cetera.

    And the Japanese must live over there; right wing Japanese here, moderate Japanese there, young Japanese way the f-- over there, and old Japanese here.

    And in about 100 years, what will happen? Tokyo and Osaka will be huge enclaves of foreigners with very few Japanese. And a tax revolt (No taxation without representation) basically bankrupting Japan as a country. Okay. Only writing

    from my personal experience,

    of course. And

    I was drunk so I don't remember.

    Posted in: South Africa slams newspaper column praising apartheid

  • 7


    What frightens ISIS and Taliban-esque fundamentalist Moslems most? 1. 12-year-old girls who can read and 2. Adult women who can think for themselves. Therefore, to combat their ideology other nations and people need to educate females. In a generation or two either all the women will be dead or fundamentalism will be. Either way fundamentalists will be gone.

    Posted in: Fighting Islamic State by military means is one thing, but how do you fight their ideology?

  • -1



    It's about setting precedent.

    That horse has already left the barn. Back in 1999 or so Japan paid $2,000,000 for a kidnapped businessman; earlier, in Peru, a $500,000 was paid for another businessman.

    I suspect Abe et al are negotiating for a percentage of the ransom and non-disclosure. Between two and five million and ISIS will say the hostages were released for 'humanitarian' reasons.

    If Yukawa and Goto are still alive.

    Posted in: Do you think Japan will pay the $200 million ransom to Islamic State for the release of the two hostages?

  • 3


    Speed is correct. Only the medium of distraction has changed.

    Back before cell phones were available, gentlemen of this age would be reading newspapers, younger people would be reading comic books or staring into space with blank expressions on their faces; high school girls and housewives would be the only ones talking & screaming in high-pitched squeals.

    The only difference? Now we can't be sure if people are keeping up with Abe's attempts at paying a ransom or playing Angry Jewel Mania.

    Posted in: Modern life

  • 1


    just under the threshold.

    JT seems to have cut this quote short. Under the threshold of what? I can answer that. Under the earnings threshold. The government decided to tax people who make X amount of yen per year. I believe that is ¥1,000,000. If you make one yen more than that, the tax basically consumes what you made. Wise part-time workers attempt to earn ¥999,999 so as to avoid any tax.

    This is obvious to almost anyone concerned with taxes, finance, and government. Except in 'unique' Japan. If the government opted to tax people who make more than ¥2,000,000 a year, guess what will happen? That's right. Part-time workers will attempt to earn ¥1,999,999.

    And Sechiyama is wrong. It's not a subsidy for housewives. It's a tax break for part-time workers (who may want to earn more but the tax hinders that.)

    Posted in: It’s rational for them, but it discourages work. It’s basically a subsidy for housewives.

  • 4


    Given modern communications technology, Abe needn't have come back to Japan from the Middle East (where the hostages and ISIS are) to 'take charge of efforts'. He could have had his lengthy hostage meetings with his cronies via Skype (or something more secure) and even, if he had the stomach for it, arrange to actually meet the ISIS leaders (not that that is likely to ever happen). Proximity, in other words, to the situation rather than run halfway around the world. But I get the publicity angle, too.

    Posted in: Abe cuts short Middle East trip to deal with hostage crisis

  • 9


    Great program poorly administered.

    When I first got here I heard 'gaijin, gaijin' from every elementary school kid and his parents. After a billion years of the JET program, I haven't heard 'gaijin, gaijin' in maybe 15 years. Plus, when I walk into a coffee shop or small grocery store I don't hear a stampede of the staff high-tailing it out of sight.

    I can only attribute this improvement to the number of foreigners the average student is forced to come in contact with during their 16 years of so-called 'education.' 'Course, it hasn't improved anyone's English....

    Posted in: What do you think of the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program?

  • 3


    it was installed for ventilation by the architect.

    Perhaps the architect could investigate a new invention called "a window" for such ventilation purposes. In fact, I know of a restroom that has these so-called "windows" placed high on the wall, near the ceiling, so that air can be exchanged but window-peepers and other lechers can't see in.

    Pity the poor woman, though. And her family to have her life cut short like that.

    Posted in: Mystery in Shinjuku as woman plunges to death from restroom

  • 10


    My first year in Japan I attempted to travel as much as possible on my days off. I soon learned that travel was not particularly difficult but it was boring. It took a lot of time by train to get anywhere. Then I learned that the 'really famous place' was similar to other places I had seen in other places. And I'm not particularly interested in 'really famous food' from someplace.

    So, when my parents came, I introduced them to some friends. Took them to a izakaya where I was known. Took them to see some special places I had found (Kiyomizudera for the view and architecture). And skipped the tons of 'really famous places' that were surrounded by tiny shops selling plastic crapola made, even then, in China.

    Their reaction? Loved meeting the friends, loved the izakaya, loved the special places. Except for Kiyomizudera, none of these are found on group tours organized by travel agencies. Did my parents like Japan? Loved it. Because I spent a year developing friendships. The people of Japan are the attraction, not the made-in-1972 concrete replicas of Osaka castle et al.

    Posted in: Why is Japan such an unpopular tourist destination?

  • 0


    Crisis management by Sony Tokyo:

    Hirai approved both decisions

    There's a decision maker for you.

    Posted in: Sony's Tokyo HQ taking greater role in Hollywood studio after furor

  • 2


    You'd think two 18-year-olds would be out of elementary school by now. Plus, how much can an elementary school student (18 or not) have loaned?

    Posted in: Youth arrested for stabbing three people in Hiroshima

  • 1


    I wonder if they will prohibit people from building homes or offices near these memorials. As in, a tsunami destroyed these buildings so, please, build up hill from here. Like the stone warnings put up by survivors of the tsunami of 1896.

    Posted in: Remnants of 4 buildings destroyed by tsunami in Miyagi may be preserved

  • 1


    If there are Olympic events in Fukushima perhaps the government will actually start restoring places like HaraldBloodAxe suggests. A clever ploy by the governor to wrest some funds away from the LDP... I mean, Abe. Er, the national government. Yeah, that's the ticket.

    Posted in: Fukushima wants to host Olympic events in 2020

  • 3


    Won't the prosecutors have to prove that the kayak is shaped like the artist's vagina and not simply a rendering of a generic vagina? Will the prosecutors provide visual proof? And if they do, in court, wouldn't they be guilty of pandering in public? Oh, the complications

    Posted in: Sex shop owner freed; vagina artist still held

  • 17


    Because Japanese people have an allergic reaction to wastefulness, no matter how many years I spend overseas, using wrapping paper still doesn't sit right with me.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! She's never shopped in Japan, I see.

    I can't tell them 'I don't want any turkey,' so I force myself to eat it.

    Yes, you can. Practice these words and then say them out-loud: I'm sorry, I don't want any turkey.

    They will, being loving relatives, bully and joke and say racist things about Asians eating dogs, but keep repeating the above phrase until they fall asleep from over-eating.

    Posted in: Japanese wives in int'l marriages share what they hate about Christmas overseas

  • 9


    Of course it's only during December and January; these are the cold months the touts would prefer not to be outside in the rain, snow, wind, and cold. The police are offering them an excuse for not freezing their buns off. I'm sure the police are appropriately thanked.

    Posted in: Police crack down on bar, adult establishment touts during year-end

  • -2



    Descriptions of people (black, white, Arab) are different from nationality. Obama (black) has American nationality. Debito Arudou (white) has Japanese nationality.

    Posted in: Do you think it is appropriate for newspaper headlines to include the nationality of defendants or suspects wanted for questioning by police?

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