Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday.
NEW USER REGISTRATION
Letters and numbers only; 5 to 50 characters. This cannot be changed later.
You will be sent an email to activate your account before you can log in.
Yes, I would like to receive news alerts from JapanToday
samwattersNov. 18, 2014 - 12:18PM JST
"TINKERING WITH TAXES: After many years of deficit spending, Japan needs tax increases to get its battered government finances into better shape and cut its total public debt, which is more than twice the size of the economy and the largest among developed nations. A delay in the tax hike will slow that process."
Complete BS. Government needs to cut its staff, allowances and wasteful projects. Do that first then we'll talk about a tax increase.
Posted in: What Japan's recession means for the country
samwattersNov. 03, 2014 - 10:06AM JST
How about instituting the "designated driver" system in Japan? In the US bars give the designated driver a patch to wear on his or her clothes, gets to drink all the juice or soft drinks they want for free in return for driving the rest of the people home. Companies could pickup that tab and being the DD would be a great excuse for people who want to attend the drinking parties to further their career but don't want to have hangovers the next morning.
Posted in: Man arrested over fatal accident says he was drinking, fell asleep at wheel
samwattersNov. 02, 2014 - 12:00PM JST
Yes, waaaaaaaaay to early. I will be listening to music from headphones every time I enter a store from now until December 26th.
Posted in: Christmas decorations and light displays are already up in some parts of Japan. Do you think it is too early?
samwattersOct. 27, 2014 - 04:16PM JST
If you hear a slight cackle in the distance I bet that would be Yuko Obuchi.
Posted in: Trade minister got funds from foreign-owned firm
samwattersOct. 27, 2014 - 01:09PM JST
"Abe raised the sales tax to 8% from 5% in April, the first of a planned two-stage increase that is the boldest attempt in nearly two decades to curb public debt that is well over twice the size of the economy."
Two words say it all; public debt. Private citizens are not racking up debt;it is the public servants who are doing that. We private citizens on the other hand look at how much money has come in from employment, lament how much has gone out in taxes, and then we make tough decisions. It's far beyond time for government to do the same. Memo to Mr. Kuroda (Bank of Japan governor) and the Finance Ministry; it doesn' t matter how much you increase the tax if you spent over a 100% of what you collect. If you want a tax increase then make sure you match it yen-for-yen with government cuts. If you want a 3% tax increase then there should be a three percent reduction in pay, bonuses, etc,for as long as that tax remains.
Posted in: Senior gov't official calls for Abe to delay sales tax hike
samwattersOct. 24, 2014 - 10:04AM JST
@Kickboard. I did read the article. I believe if a manager in Japan notices that a high number of Chinese are purchasing their (made in Japan) product then he should increase production (in Japan), maybe include a special seal or mark that proves this product was made in Japan (therefore alleviating fears this is another Chinese knock-off) and watch business boom. Increased production (in Japan) combined with increased purchasing equals economic improvement.
Posted in: 3 Chinese men arrested for buying too many diapers
samwattersOct. 24, 2014 - 09:19AM JST
Halloween is pure, unabashed fun! It lacks the pressure of the holiday season; the sense of duty that comes with gift giving, the sense of drudgery that comes with having to host and entertain family and the economic pressure of paying for it all. If you have 500 yen and a playful heart you can have enjoy Halloween!
Posted in: Halloween is now the second most popular “imported” festive season in Japan after Christmas. Why do you think it has exploded in popularity in recent years?
samwattersOct. 24, 2014 - 08:44AM JST
One reason why the economy is still in toilet; you have a group of dedicated, well-healed customers who want your product and you deport them. Really good thinking. Any business manager with half a brain would immediately create a campaign directed at the Chinese, increase diaper production and then watch the cash role in.
samwattersOct. 23, 2014 - 11:38AM JST
@noypikantoku. You have in your posts referred to the (stupid) driver as "him" three times. Do you have any information that is not included in the article? I can't find in the article where the driver was indentified in either sex or age.
Posted in: Man revives woman with AED, but branded 'pervert' for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads
samwattersOct. 21, 2014 - 11:06PM JST
"Even before Oslo became the fourth city to drop out of the race for the 2022 Games, the International Olympic Committee had started reviewing its bidding system to make it more appealing and less expensive for future host cities."
There is a wonderful article that highlights the greed of the IOC swine written by Dan Wentzel of Sports Illustrated on the Olso negotiations. Here is what members of the IOC demand when visiting a city that wishes to become a candidate city. Read on and prepare to get angry.
1.) First class tickets for each IOC and their "assistants."
2.) A car waiting for them at the airport, preferably a Mercedes or BMW complete with driver.
3.) A lane of traffic all to themselves (yes, I'm serious!) with red light operations stopped or police officers waiting at every intersection to stop traffic.
4.) A special entrance to the hotel that cannot be used by any other guests (no, behind the hotel, near the kitchen is not acceptable).
5.) Upon arrival the IOC team will be met by every hotel employee who should be smiling enthusiastically (yes, again, I am serious).
This is in addition to all of the under-the-table bribes that cannot be proven but we know exist. The IOC team went to Oslo, Norway, received this treatment and then said the price for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games would be...
....are you ready for this......?
.....71 billion US dollars. Makes me wonder what Tokyo has promised.....
Norway told the IOC to go to hell. When reminded of the confidentiality agreement Norway made this information public.
"There is strong interest (in 2024), Bach said in a recent interview with The Associated Press."
Bach is lying. There is no interest by any legitimate country to host the Games. No one in their right mind wants to host a two-week sports festival that costs more than a 2-year war during an economic period that resembles a depression. The IOC; crooks, liars and scroundrels.
Posted in: Wanted: Cities interested in hosting 2024 Olympics
samwattersOct. 19, 2014 - 12:04PM JST
I've written this many times; in my native Detroit---one of the most violent cities in America---crimes against children were not tolerated. Remember, we didn't have GPS trackers, cell phones or beepers in the 1970's when the kids left the house in the morning, came home for a quick lunch and then went out again until the cars started using their headlights. The joyous adventures that I had as a child and the independence that it learned from them have helped me as an adult and I lament that I cannot allow my son the same freedom because of how society has changed.
Posted in: Nowadays, for fear of child predators, it is no longer considered safe to let young children go by themselves to and from school, to a friend's house, play in parks or at the beach, go to shops and so on. Was it like this when you were young?
samwattersOct. 17, 2014 - 11:24PM JST
"I know for a fact that I can run faster than hornets can fly."
If you can then you are the fastest human in the world; Japanese hornets have been clocked at 45kph.
Posted in: 26 students stung by hornets in Kumamoto
samwattersOct. 15, 2014 - 10:59AM JST
@Marcelito. The employees from the president on down at Hokkaido Electric Power (or Hokuden as it is known in Hokkaido) will not receive a winter bonus this year. Granted none of them will starve but they are making an effort to share in the pain.
Posted in: Gov't approves Hokkaido Electric rate hike
samwattersOct. 13, 2014 - 11:20AM JST
Regular paper newspapers are easier to read in the bathroom than a tablet, or so some say!
Posted in: What can newspapers offer that digitally delivered journalism cannot?
samwattersOct. 06, 2014 - 07:08PM JST
"Allow them say, 150% of the national average salary, then watch them scramble to raise national incomes across the board."
@Cleo. Now THAT is an idea worth considering!! Does anyone know if such a proposal can find its way to the ballot box? It varies but in the US an initiative must be proposed and voted on if 20% of the community or 20,000 people sign the petition. Is this possible in Japan?
Posted in: Abe still neutral on whether to raise sales tax: Amari
samwattersOct. 06, 2014 - 12:09PM JST
"Investors are the ones risking their money and thus have a right to be concerned with whatever they wish. Of course growth would be great but they don't want to see the government's finances fall into further disrepair either, this is just the reality."
Intelligent point. Fair enough. Investors are more-or-less floating the country now.
"Government finances will get worse in any case since the tax hike alone isn't enough (it was merely a first step towards their initial goal of eliminating the primary balance deficit by 2020), but the pace at which finances worsen will most probably slow because of the tax hike increase (an improvement to that extent)."
But the first step to eliminating debt is to stop adding to it. If the government wants to increase the taxes then it must show that it will reign in its spending. In 1997 the public was promised that the tax increase would be matched by corresponding spending cuts. They lied; they spent and borrowed more. We are now being sold the same gaggle of promises and threats and we're not buying it this time unless the government shares in the pain. Don't misunderstand me, I think the majority of Japanese would be willing to share in the sacrifice of higher taxes but "share" is the operative word.
"No easy / smart options, only tough ones. Whichever route the government chooses they will be criticised, unless they can really show some guts, be honest and start by eliminating some Diet members as a symbolic show of unity with the public."
Excellent idea. We should begin with the Upper House, the so-called "chamber of wisdom." Did you catch the news about the diet not being able to meet because some woman decided to wear a scarf which is in violation of some rule which irritated some other people .......our taxes in action! Thank you for a thoughtful, well-written post.
samwattersOct. 06, 2014 - 08:16AM JST
Idiots, the lot of them.
I am a simple man, still use my fingers to count on ocassion, so can Abe or any of these other fools explain to me how an increase in tax will reduce government debt if the government spends over a 100% of what it takes in? And how about all of the other taxes that pour into the glutton's coffers in Tokyo and the rest of our regional and local government offices; there are the income taxes, the property taxes, the price of gasoline is 45% tax, the car tax, the inspection/shakken fee is again 40%~50% tax, etc. etc. etc. I mean, jeezus, how much do you really need? The average Japanese elected official makes 22,000,000 yen a year (about US$200,000) and the national civi servants aren't far behind. You are taxing and spending yourself into extinction. Japan depends way to heavily on taxes to support itself and it needs to change. What happens if this continues? Mass flight from Japan by tax payers--don't worry, the ones getting supported will stick around---and economic death. See my hometown of Detroit for an example of the tax-spend-die philosophy employeed by corrupt politicians and civil servants for an example. Set your browser's safety on "high" if the images of homeless and/or dead people bother you.
samwattersOct. 04, 2014 - 10:55AM JST
"The killing was also condemned by the Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s biggest Muslim umbrella organization."
If this is true (I cannot find it in the article) then I applaud the statement. However more is needed; we must create a way for Muslims to distinguish and distance themselves from radical Islam and Muslims must choose to do so or risk being rightfully placed in the category of "supporter of militant/radical Islam." I am an atheist but support the rights of all to practice non-violent religions but the dangers being posed by what some claim are minority radical elements of Islam cannot continue to be ignored. I would welcome any suggestions from the Muslim community as to how the separation of radical Islam from mainstream Islam can be achieved or even if it can be achieved.
Posted in: Jihadists behead British aid worker; battle for Kurdish town
samwattersOct. 04, 2014 - 10:44AM JST
"Japan' s upper house of Diet often called " a chamber of wisdom " - LOL...thats the real joke of the day."
Well said. It is common knowledge that the Upper House is bereft of knoweldge; it is a freakshow being a collection of former pro wrestlers, actors, "talents" and strange single-issue people. It is a complete and total waste of time, energy and money. One of the reasons Toru Hashimoto became so popular was his promise to eradicate it if he was elected. I would call it a circus but that would be an insult to clowns and bearded ladies who actually do some real work.
Posted in: Diet rocked by dispute over justice minister's red scarf
samwattersOct. 03, 2014 - 07:59AM JST
December 10 will be a sad day for Japan. The more I learn about Abe the more I just can't help being repulsed by the man.
Posted in: State secret law to take effect Dec 10
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:09AM JST
Although it looks similar on the surface, the role of journalism in Japan is vastly different…
Posted in: What do you think are some of the main differences in the way Japanese and U.S. media report the news?
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:08AM JST
"Another policeman assisted suicide"!
---So officer Wilson is guilty I read in your comment. The media…
Posted in: 12-year-old boy with fake gun dies after shot by Ohio officer
Exactly. However, you can have your say - if you choose Japanese citizenship. You will then…
Posted in: Abe's support rate at lowest ever
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:04AM JST
That reminds me of Freshness Burger's "Mango Burger" sold a couple years ago. It was actually…
Posted in: Burger King Japan’s new Premium Berry burger may sound awful, but it tastes fantastic
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:02AM JST
Love that comment Cleo! :D
This is one possibility for farming these fish, but why has…
Posted in: Surrogate sushi: Japan uses biotech for bluefin tuna