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zenkanApr. 04, 2013 - 08:00AM JST
Reuters and AFP appear to be out of kilter on this (judging by another article in JT). Kim Jong-un is presenting so many mixed messages it's baffling. He visits a school with his wife - aaaah. He oversees a massive military parade - ooer. He entertains a famous sportsman - woohoo. He presides over war maps and sizes up targets - boohoo. Unfortunately, I think he might put his money where his mouth is. I hope the above visits and meetings weren't on his bucket list...
Posted in: U.S. boosts missile defense as N Korea warns of nuclear strike
zenkanApr. 03, 2013 - 08:58AM JST
Some points are similar, others are not so (who'd have thought it?). In my experience as a child, we always bought souvenirs for ourselves as well as others - if you want to distinguish the naming of these gifts, feel free. In the UK there are a variety of edible souvenirs depending on the area/type of region, as well as many more traditional products that people buy to give on return home. The main difference is possibly the 'degree of obligation' as to whether you have to buy souvenirs or not.
Posted in: Japan's 'omiyage' culture
zenkanMar. 30, 2013 - 09:30AM JST
Working conditions for foreigners are still appallng - often not taken seriously and feeling in a state of limbo regarding job security. Even competent Japanese speakers are not always taken seriously because they look different.
Posted in: Gov’t aims to boost number of foreigners who speak Japanese.
zenkanMar. 30, 2013 - 08:59AM JST
The amaount of lies, treachery, incompetence and cowardice in the higher echelons of power and society here is simply breathtaking. It takes a disaster to get people up in arms about the behaviour of corporations/institutions, but in some form or other it is happening all the time.
Posted in: TEPCO takes blame for Fukushima nuclear crisis
zenkanMar. 26, 2013 - 09:06AM JST
I don't think it's a good idea across the board. In fact, it's only really useful as a plum line. If anyone thinks making it an entrance requirement will magically propel students into the international community better prepared, they are deluded.
Posted in: LDP education proposal includes TOEFL prerequisite for univ entrance
zenkanMar. 25, 2013 - 12:03PM JST
Love has existed much longer than both marriage and language. People impose rules. Enlightenment changes rules. If ten people took a test, and all passed (fair and square), under what circumstances could anyone say: "Yes, this person has passed, but we are not going to call it a 'pass' - it must be called something different."? Yes, yes and thrice YES to equality for all!
Posted in: Do you support same-sex marriages?
zenkanMar. 24, 2013 - 09:39AM JST
Yawn. We've been here before - here is the skinny:
Many people wear masks, for protection against germs and prevention of spreading germs.This bemuses some people. The efficacy of these masks is frequently debated. Some people are put off by people wearing masks. Mask companies cash in on people's fears of germs, pollen and Chinese air. You will NEVER see an announcer/guest jester on TV wearing a mask. In the end, it's up to you.
Posted in: Masks galore: Japanese ward off pollen, pollution
zenkanMar. 17, 2013 - 10:52AM JST
Being aware of what is going on around us is most important. Wandering in a dream, eyes glued to a touch screen makes for an easy target.
Posted in: Japanese travelers abroad lack street smarts
zenkanMar. 14, 2013 - 10:03AM JST
I seldom use them - they cater for a different demographic. I agree that the number of clothes sold in department stores, especially for women, is overwhelming. I'm not a casual shopper, or a person who does it for fun or as a hobby. However, I much prefer the open spaces of the mall or the quaintness of the arcades.
Posted in: What do you think of department stores in Japan?
zenkanMar. 13, 2013 - 09:35AM JST
couldn't agree more with sf2k. We are constantly bombarded by pleas to "save the earth" and "separate garbage" and "conserve energy". The plundering spirit is alive and kicking.
Posted in: Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed
zenkanMar. 05, 2013 - 09:05AM JST
The band is described as a rock band here, not punk. It's hard to comment, not knowing the lyrics concerned - the title is revolting enough. The fact that they sent the song with translation of the lyrics just proves it is a political move.
Posted in: S Korean 'comfort women' sue Japanese rock band
zenkanMar. 05, 2013 - 08:42AM JST
Posted in: Father dies sheltering 9-year-old daughter from blizzard
zenkanMar. 03, 2013 - 10:32AM JST
On the one hand, the police probably didn't expect a suicide attempt from someone over this - it does, however, bring into question (yet AGAIN) the methods and rules of engagement between police and perps. The police are simply out of touch with reality, allowing suspects to run away and being unable to efficiently restrain the suspects they DO catch.
Posted in: Post office robber stopped by police slashes own throat
zenkanMar. 03, 2013 - 10:19AM JST
This article should run alongside one about young people's aspirations for marrige, or the thinly veiled government promotion of "pop out a babby for Japan" campaign - just for balance, of course...
Posted in: More senior partners uncoupling
zenkanMar. 03, 2013 - 10:00AM JST
@Theinterstat - "300 young bowing machines..." Priceless! I love that. Seriously, JT should organize its own survey. I suggest "Top ten woefully tedious surveys".
Posted in: Five things girls do in winter that Japanese men find adorable
zenkanMar. 03, 2013 - 09:52AM JST
It all comes down to mass consumption versus environmental conscience. Europe has tried, with varying degrees of success, to implement consumer awareness campaigns to highlight the origins and availability of food sources. Buying local produce and considering carbon footprints are now part of consumer psyche for some, but this is still offset by budget shopping in lower income brackets. Still, Japan must make a concerted effort to increase awareness in consumers and not simply fall back on 'traditional values' as an excuse to bolster government subsidised farming and fishing.
Posted in: Tuna collapse fears fail to curb Japan's appetite
zenkanMar. 03, 2013 - 09:25AM JST
OK press people, let's get back to basics. This piece is supposed to be about a "scathing attack". This turns out to be "If there is a collision, it is all Japan's fault." The rest of the 'report' is the usual cut and paste standard of introduction (repeating the title) and reminding everyone of which islands are in dispute (as if we didn't know). No wonder the comments go round in circles. We can't even comment on what was said because it isn't shown in full.
Posted in: China blasts Japan ahead of legislative session
zenkanMar. 03, 2013 - 09:15AM JST
Of course, glad no one was hurt, but 6 hours waiting for alternative transport - brrr and grrr!
Posted in: Bullet train derails in Akita
zenkanMar. 01, 2013 - 11:22AM JST
By quoting Thatcher in this way it can only be hoped that Abe is ready to face the consequences.
Posted in: Abe cites Thatcher reflections on Falklands war over rule of law at sea
zenkanMar. 01, 2013 - 10:57AM JST
Ah, the "taboo lesson". Quite nostalgic for me. I used to teach adult classes, often for students who would be transferring abroad. The lesson about gestures and customs was always an eye-opener and quite fun. In most cases people are tolerant of social faux pas. Being respectful of the places we visit and the people who visit us is most important.
Posted in: Normal behavior in Japan, taboo abroad
May. 26, 2013 - 10:37AM JST
Whatever he says now he's already clearly shown what kind of moral standards he has. Since…
Posted in: Hashimoto to apologize to U.S. at Monday's news conference
May. 26, 2013 - 10:35AM JST
The early stage of culture clash to come. Please do some reading on history of Islam…
Posted in: French soldier stabbed in throat in Paris
May. 26, 2013 - 10:32AM JST
A true hero, to amplify the voices of these women. If only more men would have…
Posted in: Japan's wartime brothels were wrong, says 91-year-old veteran
May. 26, 2013 - 10:30AM JST
But what about that rugby powerhouse Canada???
Posted in: Tonga beats Japan 27-17 in Pacific Nations Cup rugby
May. 26, 2013 - 10:28AM JST
A tragedy, but its not because of global warming.
While there is no basis for connecting…
Posted in: At least 91 dead in Oklahoma City tornado