smartacus's past comments

  • 1

    Brainiac

    Mothers suffer so much agony in their lives one way or another over their children. My prayers are with her and also Yukawa's family.

    Posted in: Goto's mother expresses sorrow over his murder

  • 1

    Brainiac

    I've been there only once and the food was great. I wish I could afford to go more often.

    Posted in: Hinokizaka at Ritz-Carlton Tokyo takes Japanese cuisine to great heights

  • 4

    Brainiac

    JWithers

    I don't agree with you. Abe is not responsible for this crisis. His decision to offer non-humanitarian aid to the Middle East was correct. And as for his handling of the situation, he is doing exactly what I would have done in an extremely difficult situation.

    As for your assertion that his foreign policy has put Japanese lives at risk, that is incorrect. Both Yukawa and Goto were kidnapped long ago and were kept as pawns for the right moment. Since more than a year ago, the government has issued a travel alert, strongly urging its citizens not to go anywhere near Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, Goto made a video in December in which he said he takes full responsibility for whatever may befall him.

    Besides, every government's foreign policy is going to put some of its citizens at risk in some form or another.

    Abe almost certainly will offer his condolences to the victims' families when the time is right, probably in private. But remember, if you know anything about Japanese society, you'll know that the families do not expect an apology from the PM. Quite the opposite, they are apologizing to society for all the trouble their sons caused.

    Posted in: Islamic State issues new threat via Goto to kill Jordanian pilot

  • 3

    Brainiac

    GalapagosnoGairaishu

    No, they won't be in the limelight if they are released. Sagawa's case was completely different and he certainly would not garner that sort of media attention today. The key here is Goto's mother tearfully apologizing for all the trouble her son caused. These two hostages will not be treated as celebrities but suffer tremendous shame, as will their parents.

    Posted in: Japan awaits news of hostages as deadline passes

  • -3

    Brainiac

    The mother apologized for all the trouble her son has caused...that is so uniquely Japanese. One thing is for sure. If they are released, they'll return to Japan in disgrace, bow deeply at a news conference and then go into seclusion (exile) for a couple of months.

    Posted in: Japan awaits news of hostages as deadline passes

  • 1

    Brainiac

    This push for new events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is getting ridiculous. Last week, it was 10-pin bowling. As much as I love playing snooker, it is not a sport. What's next? Ballroom dancing and tiddlywinks?

    Posted in: Snooker chiefs push for inclusion in Tokyo Olympics

  • 1

    Brainiac

    I don't think this will make one bit of difference to Japan's security policy. Nothing changed after the 10 Japanese hostages were killed in that Algerian siege.

    Abe had already outlined his policy on the right to collective self-defense last summer, before this hostage situation occurred.

    Japan lacks global reach, so whatever changes occur, if any, will be regional, and nothing drastic.

    Posted in: Islamic State threat could stiffen Abe's stance on security

  • 0

    Brainiac

    What was the point of IS (or whoever) sending a ransom demand of 2 billion yen to Goto's wife? Did someone really believe she had that much money?

    Posted in: Abe fighting against time to find way to free hostages

  • 13

    Brainiac

    I don't know why so many readers are blaming Abe. He is not responsible. The decision to provide non-military humanitarian aid is the correct thing for Japan to do.

    Anyway, the two hostages were grabbed last year. As this story says, and other Japanese media reported last night, Goto's wife received a ransom demand in December.

    In my opinion, IS is desperate for cash, no matter what they say. They also know the 72-hour deadline is impractical. What do they expect Japan to do? Send a few diplomats to a desert rendezvous with 50 suitcases full of $200 million in cash?

    But one thing I keep repeating is that I would like to see YouTube and Facebook block all videos from IS. It is their strongest (maybe only) propaganda and recruiting tool. I would also like the U.S> to focus its airstrikes on the oil fields that IS has captured. Retake them or destroy them.

    Without funds and PR, all they can do is shout slogans on street corners.

    Posted in: Abe fighting against time to find way to free hostages

  • 11

    Brainiac

    I wish YouTube and Facebook would block Islamic State and other terrorist groups. They depend heavily on YouTube to get their message out and get recruits.

    Posted in: IS threatens to kill 2 Japanese hostages unless it receives $200 mil ransom

  • 0

    Brainiac

    That is such a uniquely Japan photo. I can't think of any other country where, after a political party chooses a new leader, the winner and the losers get together like that. Can you imagine the Republicans and the Democrats doing that in the U.S.? Goshi Hosono doesn't seem too upset at losing.

    Posted in: DPJ shuffle

  • 11

    Brainiac

    I would say that most people who visit Japan either as tourists or to visit family/friends go back home with wonderful memories. I know my relatives did. During a 10-day trip, with my help, they had experiences that they could only have in Japan. I took them to see sumo wrestlers practising and they posed for photos with the wrestlers. We went on a yakatabune cruise of Tokyo Bay; they got to interact with the Asimo robot, they went to a cosplay event in Akihabara, saw the tuna auction at Tsukiji, had yakitori under the tracks at Yurakucho Station, then did the Hakone-Fuji trip, Tokyo DisneyLand as well a short visit to Hiroshima to see the A-bomb memorial. Not a dull moment.

    Most of the negative reasons being given above come from foreigners who live in Japan. But their perspective is very different from someone planning to visit here.

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

  • -1

    Brainiac

    I tend to agree with the pope but not just for the reasons he states. I don't see how it serves the public interest in any way for a publication to run vulgar cartoons of religious figures or any personality, for matter.

    I know that I wouldn't like to see a vulgar caricature of myself in print. Is there reader on Japan Today who would? Would any reader like to see a vulgar cartoon of their wife or mother or father?

    It's not even a question of free speech, though everyone has tried to make that the central issue since the Paris attacks. For me, the central questions are: Why even publish something disgusting at all? In what way does it serve the public interest?

    Posted in: Pope on Charlie Hebdo: There are limits to free expression

  • 9

    Brainiac

    Well, if he goes, the Japanese government will be in a good position to request a visit by a sitting U.S. president to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which they have been seeking for years.

    Posted in: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to Pearl Harbor in spring as part of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II. It would be the first visit to Pearl Harbor by a Japanese prime minister. Do you think this is a good idea?

  • 2

    Brainiac

    Life seemed so much simpler when I was growing up in a small city in Australia. There would be an occasional murder but the most violence would usually come from bikers, domestic disputes or juvenile delinquents. What's happened to the world?

    Posted in: Britain's MI5 chief warns militants are planning mass attacks against West

  • 1

    Brainiac

    What if someone in the middle wants to go to the toilet?

    Posted in: Big squeeze

  • 1

    Brainiac

    That's true M3M3M3 and I've been to that aquarium many times and from I can see, the trainers treat the dolphins and seals with loving tenderness.

    Posted in: Seal show

  • 0

    Brainiac

    I can hardly believe she was 30 when the series began. I've been watching a few early episodes on DVD and she only looks about 20, certainly younger than Jethro, who is actually five years younger than Douglas.

    Posted in: Donna Douglas, 'Beverly Hillbillies' star, dead at 82

  • 3

    Brainiac

    We're watching "Kohaku" at home now. Not a very impressive start. Motormouth Tetsuko Kuroyanagi had to be told to can the chatter. And the first couple of acts were overpopulated groups with legions of backup singers and dancers - wonder how much lip-synching is going on. By the way, Seiko Matsuda looks at last 20 years younger than what she is.

    Posted in: Japan to greet New Year with 'Kohaku,' prayers, shopping and blizzards

  • 2

    Brainiac

    I think a better translation of "omotenashi" is anticipating the needs of your customer before being asked and then being prepared to deliver it, if required.

    Posted in: Japan's self-professed 'omotenashi' (spirit of selfless hospitality) is often misinterpreted to force pre-determined services on foreign visitors with a different set of values to behave the way Japanese people expect.

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