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gaijintravellerDec. 20, 2014 - 12:36PM JST
The trains are crowded and many people have no choice but to use them to get to work. One sick person will infect others and the effect will rapidly multiply. It is in the crowded trains that most people catch the infection.
Posted in: Influenza epidemic spreading across Japan
gaijintravellerDec. 09, 2014 - 07:33PM JST
I remember another interesting procedure practised here. I read about it in Japantoday a few years ago. The customs sometimes plant drugs in someone's luggage to test their detection procedures. Sometimes, they also lose track of the drugs.
On unpacking his bag at his hotel, a tourist found some hashish had been packed in his bag. He, in my mind unwisely, took it to the police. Luckily for him they discovered who the real owners were. Things could have turned out very differently, and he could easily have spent time behind bars.
Posted in: Yakuza member arrested for possession of 17 kg of salt
gaijintravellerDec. 02, 2014 - 06:46PM JST
In Japan a dog is often a fashion accessory.
The no longer fashionable is discarded.
Posted in: Discarded dogs show dark side of pet boom
gaijintravellerDec. 01, 2014 - 09:19AM JST
Interesting. Too much Indian food is Indian food adapted for Japanese. Often the restaurants even use Japanese rice. In fact, "Indian" has in a way become a generic term to describe any curry restaurant with a resemblance to food from the Indian subcontinent. Most of the cooks actually seem to be from Nepal. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Nepalese food, but it should be described as such.
I remember talking to someone selling Indian beef curry in the street.
"Beef curry? You aren't Indian, are you? Where are you from?"
"I'm from Pakistan. Japanese don't know Pakistani food. I call it Indian so that they understand."
Posted in: Full plate for Indian entrepreneur
gaijintravellerDec. 01, 2014 - 09:06AM JST
It is a novel idea in Japan. An old girlfriend asked me why I used ask restaurants where the no-smoking area was when I knew there wasn't one. I told her that restaurants used to say there was no no-smoking area because there was no demand, no one asked. That is why I asked, to let them know there was a demand. Japanese do not do that and rarely complain about food or service regardless of how bad it is.
Posted in: Restaurants and other businesses are at long last being forced to listen to consumers.
gaijintravellerNov. 29, 2014 - 10:11AM JST
Why don't we all refer to them as "sex workers" as that term would remove any implication of guilt of the Japanese military and imply the women themselves were the guilty ones? Let's introduce more Orwellian Newspeak.
No doubt Abe remembers the days when school history books in Japan were not allowed to say Japan "invaded" China, but simply "advanced into" China.
Posted in: Yomiuri apologizes for using term 'sex slaves' in English edition
gaijintravellerNov. 28, 2014 - 10:34AM JST
Only if they are described as trainees. However, it should not be necessary to pay them minimum wage or train the to do anything more difficult than packing fish, a process so difficult that it may take years to learn.
That is the current situation. Does anyone see any need to change it?
Posted in: Do you think Japan should allow immigration by unskilled workers?
gaijintravellerNov. 26, 2014 - 09:19PM JST
As far as I can see from the shops in my area, he has succeeded in achieving more than 2% inflation. He has achieved this, if it is an achievement, by printing money and wasting on expanding the military and constructions projects such as those described as roads to nowhere.
When you compare that 2% with what one receives in interest from the banks, you wonder how old people feel about their savings and why anyone with savings in Japan would vote for Abe and the LDP.
I think the sensible thing for people with savings to do is not leave it in a Japanese bank at virtually 0% interest but to invest overseas or at least move their money out of Japan before it is further devalued. I would be grateful if anyone can explain how this will benefit the economy here. 0% interest may have acceptable when the yen was increasing in value, but it is not acceptable when the yen is losing value.
The problem with the Japanese economy is not going to be solved by devaluing the yen. Japan is going through the problems Britain went through in the 1970s. At that time British manufacturers were confident in the superiority of their products over cheap badly-designed not-lasting Japanese imports. However, consumers soon realised that the imports were not only cheaper, but better, more reliable products. Japan put many British businesses out of business. Harold Wilson's infamous devaluation, which would "not effect the pound in your pocket", did not help. In fact it resulted in rampant deflation and was a disaster. Is that where Abe's policies are leading?
Posted in: Japan's war on deflation faces its toughest battle
gaijintravellerNov. 24, 2014 - 10:00AM JST
It would be much more interesting to compare the way the news is reported in Japan and America with the way it was reported by Pravda in the Soviet era. In Japan and America, much of the political "news" is in fact propoganda.
At least, in the U.S. there is some investigative reporting.
Posted in: What do you think are some of the main differences in the way Japanese and U.S. media report the news?
gaijintravellerNov. 24, 2014 - 09:46AM JST
"So far, the country has no problems financing its debt, which has reached over 200 percent of gross domestic product."
This reminds me of a joke I heard from some American comedian:
"I'm going to live forever. So far, so good."
I suppose the diference is that he realised he would not really live forever.
Posted in: As debt piles up, Japan tries to lock in low borrowing costs
gaijintravellerNov. 21, 2014 - 06:40PM JST
Personally, I don't like those exaggerated and unrealistic colours. At sunset the sky is a completely different colour, never that oversaturated blue.
Posted in: Sundown
gaijintravellerNov. 20, 2014 - 03:41PM JST
Is an election any more of a waste of money than what is being spent on expanding the military and the Olympics? A vote for the LDP is a vote for waste and extravagance.
Posted in: Gov't defends election over 'waste of money' criticism
gaijintravellerNov. 18, 2014 - 08:42AM JST
It seems that the Okinawans are sensibly less worried about the growing assertivenes of Beijing than the growing assertiveness of Tokyo. History has taught them that the greatest threat to their island comes from Tokyo, and Tokyo is quite willing to sacrifice them.
Posted in: Okinawa vote a blow to Japan-U.S. ties, say analysts
gaijintravellerNov. 17, 2014 - 08:11AM JST
Is it possible to get margarine in Japan that is not full of unhealthy trans-fat?
Posted in: Seasonal celebrations threatened by nationwide butter shortage
gaijintravellerNov. 14, 2014 - 08:59AM JST
KariHaruka, you seem to have missed the whole pint of the article. Japan, as you say, has no obligation to make itself more Muslim friendly. I should answer your question about why should Japan change even though the article answers it. Simply, Japan wants more Muslims to come by choice and wants them to spend their money here.
Posted in: Japan tries to tap growing Muslim tourist market
gaijintravellerNov. 10, 2014 - 06:57PM JST
One of the problems in Japan is that in some areas such as Chiyoda-ku somking in the street is banned. The result of this is that smokers puff away in restaurants and coffee shops and other enclosed areas.
Posted in: Japan is still way behind in terms of anti-smoking policies, especially measures against secondhand smoke. You can still smoke in a lot of public places in Japan such as office buildings, coffee shops, restaurants and bars.
gaijintravellerNov. 10, 2014 - 06:51PM JST
Starbucks is good for air and breathing, not coffee and drinking. It was Starbucks that got no smoking going in Japan.
It is hard to find a kissaten worth the price. There used to be many with great stereos, enormous Altec Lansing or JBL speakers and great rock, but alas, most have gone. That venerable institution in Shinjuku, Rolling Stone, although more a bar than a kissaten has just closed its doors this month. BYG in Shibuya still rocks on, but last time I went there for a coffee, they told me the big speakers upstairs had died and upstairs was closed, but they still had good music and coffee.
The drinks bar in some family restaurants can be good. You can fill up a cup with espressso in some. I like espresso but not the ridiculously small almost empty cups it is usually sold in.
Posted in: When you drink coffee or tea in Japan, do you prefer the chains like Starbucks, Tully's, Doutor, etc, or do you prefer the traditional "kissaten?"
gaijintravellerNov. 10, 2014 - 09:40AM JST
Corporate closures hit a 10-year high last year. This is the truth about Abenomics. Many are being forced into bankruptcy. It is good to read it because so often, far too often, Abenomics is praised.
It is also interesting to note that this article came from the foreign press, not the Japanese press.
Posted in: Banker hopes for smalltown encore with 'curtain call' loans
gaijintravellerNov. 03, 2014 - 09:13AM JST
Why rush if the same price — or lower — will be available in six months?
Why rush if in six months time lower prices and a better product will be available in six months time? Think of TVs, computers, cameras. This is a result of advances in technology. We call it techonological advance, not deflation.
Is this technological advance bad for the economy? The answer may be yes in the case of the Japanese economy because so much of the technological advance now comes from Korea and China. Cameras seem to be an exception, but for how much longer?
Posted in: Why excessively low inflation can damage economies
gaijintravellerNov. 02, 2014 - 06:11PM JST
It is ideas, inspiration, innovation that the Japan needs to boost the economy, not money. The government is just throwing more money on failed ideas.
Posted in: Q&A: Why Japan's economy needs more juice
Dec. 21, 2014 - 10:03AM JST
America saying North Korea did this has nothing to do with action against north Korea and…
Posted in: N Korea proposes joint probe with U.S. over Sony hacking
I only post facts, links, and I get "downvoted." Maybe people don't like the truth. I…
Posted in: BOJ strikes more upbeat view on economy, holds off fresh measures
Dec. 21, 2014 - 10:02AM JST
No surprise to ME.
Posted in: Kurds advance against IS group in Syria, Iraq
Dec. 21, 2014 - 10:00AM JST
How in the world go you want to quantify that? In the event, mental illness is…
Posted in: Australian woman arrested in stabbing deaths of 8 children
Dec. 21, 2014 - 09:59AM JST
Yeah, it is a good thing to see these people calling on TEPCO to pay for…
Posted in: 344 displaced residents from Minamisoma sue TEPCO