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frontandcentreJan. 21, 2013 - 10:05AM JST
Prog rock from Teignmouth. Never understood the fuss myself.
Posted in: English rock band Muse spotted on streets of Shibuya
frontandcentreJan. 21, 2013 - 10:01AM JST
There was plenty of evidence that Tokyo was quite safe throughout the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. Guidance from the embassies was based on European fear of litigation and lack of information, not on common sense. The British Embassy got a comment from the Chief Scientific Officer and he said that unless the situation changed radically, Tokyo (and even most areas closer to Fukushima Daiichi) were quite safe. People who lived 200 km from Chernobyl, which exposed burning fuel rods to the atmosphere (a MUCH more serious incident than Fukushima), have seen no significant statistical impact on their health, so a contained incident at Fukushima was never likely to be a danger. People panicked - I saw it for myself, while I stuck around. I don't consider myself to have been brave to do so, I simply assessed the situation based on common sense and the information that was freely available to anyone with an internet connection.
Ms. Bodin's dismissal is a separate matter. I imagine it hinges on whether she really did get approval or not. If she can prove that her hasty retreat was approved, then I agree that it's unfair for her to have been dismissed. I doubt that she has this evidence, hence the press conference, PR campaign etc. Personally, I think people have few grounds to complain if they choose to act in this way. She was happy to leave her colleagues to fry, but when they didn't it seems she wasn't prepared to accept the negative consequences of her own poor judgement.
Posted in: French woman who fled Japan after 3/11 sues NHK for unfair dismissal
frontandcentreNov. 13, 2012 - 01:33PM JST
I wonder if Anders' parents now accept that they were absolutely wrong and that they totally overreacted ? Probably not.
Of course people had (and have) the right to do what they want, but they can't expect their job to be waiting for them when they come back after an extended, unplanned "holiday", based on hearsay and misinformation. If your Japanese colleagues are expected to stay, so should you be. If you choose not to stick around, then there should be no whining about the consequences, including any ridicule that results.
The international press & media were in some cases very culpable for sensationalizing the Fukushima story and even ludicrously exaggerating the impact of the quake on daily life in Tokyo - precisely one day's disruption, for most people. That's why gaijin residents faced pressure from worried family and friends overseas. But if you aren't adult enough to make your own decisions based on scientific advice, and let the Daily Mail and The Sun's nonsense influence you (or influence others who then tell you what to do), then more fool you, I say. Despite this massive mistrust of TEPCO and J-Government information, in the internet age it's easy enough to get reliable opinions from independent sources of scientific information, which was exactly what I did. Nothing heroic about that - it's just common sense.
Consequently, I stuck it out and was never unduly worried. Had full support from overseas family and friends once I had reassured them based on real, rational scientific evidence rather than misinformation and hearsay.
Posted in: Return of the prodigal 'flyjin'
frontandcentreNov. 07, 2012 - 05:07PM JST
Someone eating sweets or small snacks doesn't bother me. Someone eating a burger and chips on the other hand...completely hate it.
Funny though - the people tutting in most cases are likely to be the same oldsters who will stand on the platform right in the way of the opening door and shove you out of the way in their haste to grab a seat at all costs. Then they bizarrely try to claim the high ground about others' behaviour.
Posted in: Eating on trains: Survey asks 'How much is too much?'
frontandcentreNov. 07, 2012 - 04:42PM JST
BTW, Romney's defeat is bad karma coming back to him for his remarks in London. Despite his doubts, the Olympics were a triumph.
Posted in: OBAMA RE-ELECTED, SAYS BEST IS YET TO COME
frontandcentreNov. 07, 2012 - 03:55PM JST
If the Republicans want to get the presidency next time, they'd better aim for policies that appeal to all Americans, rather than just to small-minded, bible-thumping conservative America and big business. The sort of people who can't tell the difference between a socialist and someone who disagrees with the nuts in the Tea Party.
frontandcentreNov. 07, 2012 - 02:26PM JST
Why do you think what's good for the rest of the World is bad for America? Sorry to tell you this, but America is not on another planet (somewhat unfortunately from the point of view of CO2 output...) but actually it's important that you have a productive relationship with the world. The world needs America to keep consuming and America needs the world to keep lending it money (something which was going on long before Obama first came to office, as you should well know.)
bass4funk - if you think Obama is a socialist, you clearly don't understand the term. In Europe, his views would make him a social conservative, at best.
frontandcentreNov. 07, 2012 - 01:34PM JST
I'm not sure it would make much difference to the course of U.S. policy whoever won - the country is in decline regardless of what politicians do - but I'm quite pleased that Obama's won because he's a more likeable person than Romney.
I'm also pleased because the Republican attack commercials were disgraceful, and because the Tea Party should now be rightfully consigned to the dustbin of history - sorry, make that the 'trash can' of history.
Four more years of common sense. Not what I call a liberal administration, but probably better than what Romney could offer the World.
frontandcentreOct. 08, 2012 - 02:43PM JST
I wonder how many of the protesters would be prepared to pay the extra tax required to replace the U.S. defence of Japan.... But then again, the Okinawans are, as a group, effectively living on Japanese benefits and so they might not understand the concept of actually paying anything.
Joking apart, I suspect that while all Okinawans want the Americans out, none of them want the total destruction of the local economy that such a move would entail. Hence, the noisy minority are allowed to carry on with daft stunts such as this, with everyone safe in the knowledge that it will never actually result in any change.
Posted in: Okinawans use kites to protest against Osprey aircraft
frontandcentreOct. 08, 2012 - 02:25PM JST
Neither a borrower nor a lender be...
Well said, the Bard
Posted in: 3 men held for murder, confess to making curry from victim’s remains
frontandcentreOct. 08, 2012 - 02:15PM JST
Wow, loads of naysayers here... I wonder how many posters have actually tried any of these airlines yet?
I recently flew with Air Asia Japan on a domestic flight and was quite impressed. They cut costs by bussing you out to the aircraft rather than using a gate, but apart from that the service was friendly, the plane was brand new and very clean and you can even choose your seat in advance.
As for safety, that's one area where by law they are not allowed to compromise, so I have no concerns on that front.
On price, everything is clearly broken down when you make your reservation on line, and having shopped around the total was definitely, clearly cheaper than ANA & JAL's domestic fares - which would make sense, because why would ANA and JAL each invest in a budget airline only to then price it out of business?
Use some common sense here, please. In the UK, everyone says that they hate Ryanair, but it's one of the biggest success stories in recent aviation history because they fly safely and cheaply, as long as you work within their rules.
Posted in: Low cost flying arrives in luxury-loving Japan
frontandcentreSep. 25, 2012 - 07:14PM JST
"Is insulting other people not a form of crime?”
"Is insulting other people not a form of crime?”
nope, people with intelligence, a sense of humour and security in their own convictions - religious or otherwise - don't start condemning people to death for blasphemy or rudeness or a lack of respect. They simply ignore them, or laugh.
Posted in: Defiant Ahmadinejad says Israel will be 'eliminated'
frontandcentreSep. 25, 2012 - 10:11AM JST
Even though these were victims of the driver's stupidity or ineptitude, I still think it's tragic.
What a waste.
Posted in: 3 die after car goes into sea after drift racing at Kobe harbor
frontandcentreSep. 16, 2012 - 06:47AM JST
While it's hardly surprising to see lots of starry-eyed idealists talking about switching Japan to tidal, solar & wind power in the next 18 years, and those who simply oppose nuclear power in principle, in defiance of reasoned argument, what surprises me is the lack of its defenders here. Perhaps though, like me, they know that it's hardly an argument worth making - from a practical standpoint, it's completely preposterous to suggest that Japan could decommission and replace all of its nuclear power stations in such a short time, plus politically inconceivable as well. Anyone living in the real world knows it won't happen.
However, rather than "will it happen?", "SHOULD it happen?" is the question we had better ask ourselves.
From my viewpoint, absolutely not. The Japanese government hasn't begun to justify why it thinks throwing away decades of massive investment in clean, and demonstrably safe, energy production capacity is a good idea especially when the alternatives are dirtier and more harmful to human health or insufficiently developed to replace more than a fraction of nuclear electricity in the medium to long term.
On the matter of safety, the Japanese plants are massively over-engineered. Ask yourself - who died as a result of radiation and subsequent successful cooling efforts at Fukushima Daiichi? answer: no-one, nor is anyone likely to. The crisis was the consequence of a once-in-a-millennium act of nature, which even then might have been easily avoided had the back-up generators for the plant been located elsewhere on the site (lesson learned, we hope). Overall, it was a triumph of US design and Japanese engineering - the reactors passed the sternest of physical tests with flying colours. Nothing about Fukushima Daiichi points to any inherent fundamental lack of safety in the way that power stations are run in Japan - however much conspiracy theorists point to TEPCO's clumsy handling of information, this isn't Ukraine in the 1980s.
I'm also not sure whether all of the opponents of nuclear power are really sincere. Very few people who say that they are seriously worried about nuclear safety in Japan have actually voted with their feet and left, Japanese or gaijin. The irony of people flying off after the earthquake for a holiday in Hong Kong because they were worried about airborne radiation levels or to California for fear of earthquakes weren't lost on everyone, I can assure you. Even the act of flying itself - the risk of falling out of the sky - is far higher than any risk of death or injury from a nuclear power-related accident, but people are totally irrational about risk when it comes to nuclear power, no matter, it seems, how well-educated they are. Every year, thousands of miners die Worldwide in coal mining accidents, but we sadly seem to have accepted that this as the price we have to pay for dirty coal-generated electricity (especially because most of the dead miners are poor Chinese or Indonesians, so who cares?)
The alternatives are simply not going to be in place, whatever solutions cynical politicians come up with. True, Germany has said that it will replace nuclear power. What with though? For a large part, imported nuclear-generated electricity from France! Genius.
I completely agree with a move to more renewables and cleaner energy, as well as energy conservation (I'm optimistic in that respect, as technological advances will generally reduce electricity consumption over time). It is a huge irony that the people who argue most vociferously for the abolition of nuclear power either propose alternatives on a scale that is unrealistic for an industrialised nation of 120 million people, or want to replace nuclear with far, far less green alternatives - more coal, oil and gas-fired electricity generation. Like it or hate it, nuclear power has to be part of a long-term transition to alternative energy sources and away (not towards) conventional power generation which poisons the atmosphere and depletes finite resources.
Posted in: Gov't aims to abandon nuclear power by 2030s
frontandcentreAug. 22, 2012 - 04:27PM JST
Why on earth do they think that the parade would make any difference at all to Tokyo's chances? The only people who went are people who are sport / celebrity fans anyway, or people who simply happened to be in Ginza at the time.
I also quite agree that Ishihara will have to be dragged off to the loony bin before Tokyo has any chance. Imagine the reaction to his litany of ignorant and ill-considered comments, if the World was ever made aware of them. The biggest cheerleader for picking a fight with China is hardly the man to handle an Olympic bid, is he?
Posted in: Tokyo hopes Ginza parade will boost 2020 Olympic bid
frontandcentreAug. 22, 2012 - 02:06PM JST
Just childish petulant behaviour, really.
The Chinese should rise up and protest against the fact that they are governed by a totally illegitimate, unelected junta. That's a much bigger issue than a couple of rocks off Okinawa that they don't even need.
Posted in: Chinese mob ravages Japanese restaurant during protest; later finds out it is Chinese-owned
frontandcentreAug. 20, 2012 - 04:21PM JST
"Rock Star"? Didn't mention the Swedish case? Funny, that.
As many people have pointed out, you can quite easily agree with the mission and ethos of Wikileaks without ignoring the obvious flaws in Assange's character at the same time - as his band of fawning supporters seem so ready to do. The supposed threat of extradition to the US looks very much like an excuse to avoid accounting for his actions in Sweden.
As someone who has broken his bail conditions (Britain's only mistake wasn't remanding him in custody pending extradition, but at least the rules were followed) and is trying to flee justice for trumped up conspiratorial reasons, he has no right whatsoever to try and negotiate terms for his arrest or demand any sort of guarantees. He had plenty of opportunity to defend himself against extradition but his defence didn't stand up in an impartial court.
Running away from Swedish justice and getting diplomatic asylum from the publicity-seeking President of a Banana Republic with a terrible record of human rights and free speech is an irony not lost on most Brits - though plenty of people seem unable to recognise it here.
In a word, ludicrous.
Posted in: Assange gets rock-star welcome at Ecuador embassy appearance
frontandcentreAug. 17, 2012 - 06:04PM JST
illsayit - you obviously haven't read the facts of the case. The crimes of which he is accused - but not yet charged - allegedly occurred in Sweden when he was visiting in 2010. In order to be questioned, he must go to Sweden in order to be formally arrested and questioned. Hence the extradition proceedings, which he had full opportunity to appeal. Once he exhausted his legal options, he ran to a place where he knew he would not be able to be arrested and extradited. Assange was on bail and he has broken the terms of that bail agreement - so yes, he definitely DID jump bail, however you look at it and however justified you might think he was in doing so.
If you honestly believe that Assange "innocently stumbleb into deep waters" then you must have been born yesterday.
Posted in: Ecuador grants Assange asylum; Britain says it will extradite him to Sweden
frontandcentreAug. 17, 2012 - 02:10PM JST
By the way, it is quite possible to agree with the basic intentions of Wikileaks in its pursuit of truth and freedom of information, but at the same time disagree Julian Assange's hypocrisy, cowardice and paranoia.
Every time he has been scrutinised personally, he has had the brass neck to complain about his own right to privacy, even though he believes everyone else is fair game. It is clear that his extradition case was handled properly and it was simply a last resort to avoid having to answer for his actions that led to his flight to the Ecuadorian embassy.
What a total coward
frontandcentreAug. 17, 2012 - 01:17PM JST
Looks like he's condemned himself to living at the Ecuadorian Embassy for quite a while. The British police won't storm the place - this was just a scaremongering pretext for Ecuador's politically-motivated decision yesterday.
What his supporters seem to conveniently forget, and never address, are the following points:
Whatever good he might have done in the past, he has completely besmirched himself and his organisation by his cowardly actions and the claims from his supporters have become ever more hysterical and preposterous as this soap opera has gone on. He should walk out and face the music, and take responsibility for his actions - something which he has tried to make many other people do through his work at Wikileaks.
No-one has yet convincingly explained why Assange's wellbeing is any more important than the wellbeing of those people who Wikileaks exposed to mortal danger through their reckless leaking of information, nor the wellbeing of his alleged victims in Sweden. In the end, I can't reach any conclusion except that he is a coward and a hypocrite of the first order.
May. 21, 2013 - 07:06PM JST
What a fool, so his defense now is it was o k for us to do…
Posted in: Hashimoto says S Korean troops guilty of wartime sex abuse
May. 21, 2013 - 07:05PM JST
Sorry. I didn't mean to post three times. Moderator, please remove the extras. Thank you.
Posted in: At least 91 dead in Oklahoma City tornado
WilliB: Agreed, that much is obvious. Please see the rest of my previous comment. The short…
Posted in: Hashimoto hits back at polls showing majority disagree with his comments
May. 21, 2013 - 07:04PM JST
I'm from Kansas and I would never buy a house without a basement. But I was…
May. 21, 2013 - 07:03PM JST
His constituents are equally responsible for his antagonizing behavior ...they voted the idiot into his current…