Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dealing with Fallout

What to eat and what not to eat?

I`ve probably “erred” on the side of caution or even paranoia on this one, and it hasn`t been because of my health but I have been concerned about what my rapidly growing children eat. How can I keep them safe?

The government, local and national has been saying things are safe?

I guess my problem has been I haven`t heard the message. I didn`t really trust them.

However maybe I have to; and in fact maybe they are trustworthy in the case of food safety anyway.

So many politicians disappoint it seems, so it is natural to lose trust in them.

About food though, I think the Japanese government is doing a good job. And if they fail or if the local government fails to inform, NHK or some fifth estate media
source fills in.   Read More:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Have back problems in Japan

What to do about them? Where to turn?

(Pictured, Japanese actress Yuki Uchida)

Back Problem in Japan, Have you put your back out while living in Japan? It is
not fun, no matter where you do it! I know, I have done it countless times now.

I first put out my back at age 34. My friend Doug commented I guess you are
getting old. He meant well but I was not amused at the time. Now that I have no
doubt that I am old, I understand he was trying to be helpful. I guess I
shouldn`t have put him into the full pretzel! Just the half-pretzel would have
Read More:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Japan`s Earthquake Warning System

No other country in the world has one!

Is there any way to know there will be an earthquake in advance?

Yes. The earthquake early warning system operated by the Meteorological Agency provides advance warning of earthquakes.
According to the agency, the nationwide system is unique to Japan. But it only gives people seconds, not days, to prepare.

When an earthquake hits, two kinds of waves travel underground, first the P-waves and then the S-waves. When the agency detects P-waves, a warning is sent immediately, before the S-waves, which people actually feel, arrive.

People can receive the warnings on mobile phones operated by NTT DoCoMo Inc., Softbank Mobile Corp. and KDDI's au, or through TV or radio broadcasts.
But according to the Meteorological Agency, there is as little as only 10 seconds between the warning and when the tremors arrive. Close to the epicenter, the quake arrives faster than the warning.

The Meteorological Agency updates its technology to improve the system every time it encounters problems. For example, the system didn't function properly after the March 11 quake because big quakes occurred too frequently. The agency is now working on solving this issue, according to its Seismological and Volcanological Department.

Accusing the Innocent, one tragedy of Japan

I have heard of a few cases like this.  There was a Keio student who too, I believe was innocent.
The Keio teachers (my friends) who new this young man, knew him to be a very good student and a good person.  They had known him through 6 years of jr/sr high school.    I think the people that know you well, have a good rapport with what you are, and are not capable of.   

This young man was accused of groping late at night by a young woman.  He was grabbed by the
train line attendants then grilled by the police.   He too was released.    And according to the
Japan Today article that follows this implies innocence though the police will not tell you that.
They should, it is their job.

The Keio student unfortunately, was traumatized by this young woman and the police and jumped from a Kanagawa building four days later.  What a tragedy!    And what a waste.

Japan is wasting her youth on events like these.   A youth that is becoming a all too small minority as it is.    She needs to do away with the guilty until proven innocent model.   It doesn`t work.
How do you prove you are innocent when it is your word (only) against the accuser and the police.

 Some people really are innocent, but it is difficult to prove.  I think the innocent until guilty
model of justice, while not perfect, works much better.   The police have less power and I believe
fewer go to prison because of it.

Japan Today Story Follows:

Shortly before midnight on Dec 10, 2009, a 25-year-old university worker named Shinsuke Harada was making his way through Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station on his way home. Suddenly a young woman cried out, “He touched me!”

The woman’s male companion grabbed Harada, apparently roughed him up a bit, and hauled him over to a station employee. Station officials brought in the police. After some seven hours of questioning, Harada was released. Dazed and humiliated, Harada took a subway to Waseda Station and jumped in front of a moving train.

On Jan 29, 2010, Tokyo Metro police processed the case as “chikan” – groping – and passed the documentation on to prosecutors, who quietly laid the matter to rest in view of Harada’s death.
On April 26 of this year, Harada’s mother filed a civil damages suit against the city of Tokyo, on the grounds that police got prosecutors involved even though they knew that Harada was innocent, causing his family to suffer social disgrace.

Read More

If Hamaoka is potentially deadly, what about all the other nuclear reactors

If Hamaoka is potentially deadly, what about all the other nuclear reactors?

Toyo University geologist Mitsuhisa Watanabe has a startling revelation for Sunday Mainichi (May 29) and its readers – startling at least to those who think nuclear energy is serious business and should be treated (if at all) with respect.

If Hamaoka is hit by an earthquake-tsunami event approaching in scale the one that in Fukushima Prefecture is making nonsense of decades of blithe official assurances that nuclear power is safe – and seismologists rate at 87 percent the chance of a major quake occurring near Hamaoka within the next 30 years – Tokyo itself, the heart and lungs of Japan, would suffer what much of Tohoku is now suffering.

“Let history judge,” said Kan, implicitly elevating his decision to a historic level. Sunday Mainichi is not impressed. The nation’s entire nuclear industry, it claims, was built with astonishing recklessness. Closing one plant is, in the contemptuous words of former Tohoku University seismologist Masakazu Otake, “haphazard lip service, a kind of blood offering to the gods, a political performance.”

Read More

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Mayor who saved his town from the Tsunami

In the rubble of Japan’s northeast coast, one small village stands as tall as ever after the tsunami. No homes were swept away. In fact, they barely got wet.
Fudai is the village that survived—thanks to a huge wall once deemed a mayor’s expensive folly and now vindicated as the community’s salvation.
The 3,000 residents living between mountains behind a cove owe their lives to a late leader who saw the devastation of an earlier tsunami and made it the priority of his four-decade tenure to defend his people from the next one.
His 15.5-meter floodgate between mountainsides took a dozen years to build and meant spending more than 3.56 billion yen.
“It cost a lot of money. But without it, Fudai would have disappeared,” said seaweed fisherman Satoshi Kaneko, 55, whose business has been ruined but who is happy to have his family and home intact.
The gate project was criticized as wasteful in the 1970s. But the gate and an equally high seawall behind the community’s adjacent fishing port protected Fudai from the waves that obliterated so many other towns.  Read More

南足柄市の放射線 何が安全で、何が危険なのか

南足柄市の放射線 何が安全で、何が危険なのか?



Read More

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Smiths Schools of English in Japan, an opportunity?

Smiths Schools of English sells school franchises in Japan. Some teachers buy, build then
school or schools.

I think just being associated with a man like Mr. Smith, a man obviously with a lot of chutzpah and entrepreneurial spirit, is a great thing. A lot of that rubs off, if you learn as much as you can from people with their own business. Unfortunately few think like this. Most people think of a job - getting a job, keeping a job or looking for another job.  Read More

A Lot of Hot Water, but Not Much Is Being Used to Produce Electricity

YANAIZU, Japan — As visitors to any of Japan’s thousands of hot springs know, this country is sitting on a lot of very hot water. 


A blog about energy and the environment.
So far, though, little of it has been harnessed to produce energy. There are only 18 geothermal power plants in the country, and together they account for only 0.3 percent of Japan’s electricity production.
But some say that with Japan’s reliance on nuclear power plants coming into question, the country should harness more of its geothermal natural resource to provide clean, renewable energy.

Read More

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Sony confirms personal info theft of all 77 million network users

Sony confirms personal info theft of all 77 million network users

WASHINGTON — Sony Corp. has informed a U.S. congressional panel that personal information related to all 77 million users of its online services was stolen during a recent data breach involving its popular PlayStation gaming systems.

In a written response dated Tuesday to a question paper from the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee, Sony said, "The criminal intruders stole personal information from all of the approximately 77 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity service accounts."

Sony had earlier said an unauthorized person may have obtained the personal information, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birthdates and passwords, from the 77 million accounts by unlawfully accessing the systems.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Could Fukushima provide catalyst for Japanese youth to reach criticality?

Calls to protest bring thousands, the conventional press is shunned and rogue academics suddenly find people are willing to listen—it would be going too far to say Japan was joining the “Arab Spring,” but the nuclear crisis has shown there are limits to youth apathy in this country.
The 20 years since the bubble burst have at times seemed like an experiment to make a population as lethargic and hopeless as possible and then observe the decline. But there was always a twist that made things different than the malaise of a Tunisia or an Egypt: decent living standards. A roof over one’s head and food on the table are virtually guaranteed, and almost everyone has enough for a trendy wardrobe, a PlayStation and a night of oblivion in an izakaya once or twice a week. If you are satisfied with that, you don’t even have to work very hard for it.  Read More

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

On Being Politically Correct

Reprint of Old Article

On Being Politically Correct     The great movement to be politically correct has helped lead us to mediocrity.  Writers, professors,
doctors and others live in fear of offending the wrong person.  Professors are hauled in front of university
boards having to defend something they may or may not have said in a given lecture.  Doctors must be
very careful about the way they examine patients and do disease preventing research.
The intimate nature of being a doctor sometimes causing doubt and misunderstanding.
  I am not saying that all are innocent.  There are people out there doing
terrible things and they must be punished. However, it has gone to far.  The new McCarthyism is a reality.
   In the realm of writing, I can no longer rave about the beauty of Japanese women, without coming under
some scrutiny from my readers.  Poets have long raved about the beauty of many things including men and women,
but it seems one can no longer do this, without having to defend the act. Why not?  I can rave about the beauty of a flower
and that is okay, why not women? Are women not beautiful? How can this possibly be offensive?  I do believe that
outer beauty is skin deep, and we all have a lot of inner beauty too. To be politically correct, one must deny the existence
of the former.  Why not acknowledge it, while also stating that personality is the most important thing.  If you want to
rave about the beauty of men do it.  I will be happy in knowing that I am not a physical object nor a sexual one.
I am simply me and there is more to me than my physical appearance.  I feel that this anger over raving about
physical beauty, primarily comes from those who are not very confident about their own inner beauty and strengths.
It is a comment about them in other words.
  One friend with more experience at living than I, said that this movement to be politically correct is simply a furthering
of the women's liberation movement--a step too far.  I agree with this argument.  Women's lib was a necessary protest
movement, and great strides were made, but now it is getting ugly.  One woman at Simon Fraser University in Canada
decided that she wanted one of the coaches at the university, and she was willing to do almost anything to get him.
After being repeatedly rejected she accused him of sexual harassment.  Due to her physical beauty, she was believed.
Us men are animals you know. This SFU coach hired himself a good lawyer, held some press conferences and took to battle.
Proving himself innocent and hounded by a horny young woman.  He had been fired over the allegations.  I will repeat that: he was fired over
allegations--nothing had been proven. That is the problem too.   Doctors, teachers and other professionals can be destroyed
simply by irresponsible and erroneous allegations.
  The final chapter of this SFU story had the woman in disgrace but unpunished, the Dean of the
university lost his job for firing the coach in the first place.  The coach was finally vindicated and got back to teaching
and trying to win championships.  This whole movement has gone to far, and would make a great comedy if it were not so
tragic and stressful for so many people.
  No I say rave about the beauty of men, women or flowers.  Don't let any narrow minded person tell you otherwise. If they do,
you have to ask them what axe they have to grind?  What are they bitter about?  Acknowledge beauty, don't be afraid to tell
someone they are beautiful in whatever way they are. I do draw the line at bosses telling their employees they are very attractive;
the same goes for teachers telling students.  But in general, let's stop with this nonsense of believing that it is morally wrong.
Recognize that the real beauty comes from inside, and this should
be acknowledged too.  All of us are beautiful, and physical beauty really is only skin deep.

Kevin R. Burns

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Japanese Robot

X- Japan performs, "Tears"

X Japan, one of my favorite Japanese bands performs, "TEARS"

Learning English or Teaching it in Japan? ボキャブラリーを教えるためのゲーム


by Lyanne Thomas

新しい単語を学ぶのは退屈できついと言っているのは誰ですか。 退屈な暗記法は実用的で楽しい方法ではありませんが、子供は何千もの単語を学ぶ必要があります。 それゆえに教師は絵の中にボキャブラリーゲームを加えるなど効果的で楽しい学び方を考えなくてはいけません。 教えるためには、ボキャブラリーゲームティーチャーズを使うといいでしょう。 ボキャブラリーを楽しく学べる方法をいくつか紹介します。  Read More

How to sell everything, move to Japan, and keep a U.S. address

How to sell everything, move to Japan, and keep a U.S. address

Posted by Steve in Expat Tips, Life in Japan You’ve decided to let go and move overseas. It’s time to sell as much as you can, if not everything! I sold stuff at a flea market, in the newspaper, using Craigslist, and on eBay, and I had a garage sale. I donated some household items and clothing, and the rest of my stuff I just gave away for free. These methods helped me get rid of everything I owned in the U.S.
But what about staying in contact with your home country? You know… a phone number, voice mail, and a mailing address? Sure you can use your parents address or another family members address and this would be the most affordable way, but sometimes it feels good not to have to rely on anybody to get things done. Here are some steps on how to make it happen on your own terms.
  1. Get a new address first using a 3rd party service. You could use the service Mailboxes Etc, but it’s not convenient. I recommend an online service such as Earth Class Mail. They’ll email you, scan your mail, even forward things to you. It’s important to do this first because once you decide where you’ll be getting your mail you need to get a notarized copy of USPS Form 1583 to authorize the service to receive mail on your behalf. Get this done at a notary or your local bank. But watch those fee totals! You’ll be paying a monthly fee + scanning fees + mail forwarding fees. Last year I spent a more than $1200 USD on this service. This year I’m estimated to spend about $800.
Read More

Obama, America you are Blessed with a Good Man as President

Obama, America you are Blessed with a Good Man as President

Does it really matter if his documents were forged or otherwise not legal when he was a baby?
If indeed that happened?   He is one of your better presidents in many, many years.   Plus by
stirring up the controversy you are hurting the relationship between caucasians and African

Even if Obama`s documents have some discrepencies, grant him instrant citizenship.  He is
president after all and a good one.  Then be done with it.  We would love to have him as our
prime minister in Canada, and I would love to have him lead Japan out of her morass.  

Anyway, I was sent this by a friend.   This seems to suggest that the birth certificate documents
are somehow lacking.