BTB Blog for Learners

About this blog

This blog gives Japanese learners a chance to discuss a range of topics in English. Every Monday, a new entry is posted, and readers are asked to share their opinions and thoughts on the topic. On Fridays, another entry is posted giving feedback on the language used in the comments. Please feel free to write all or part of your comment in Japanese, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you want to know how to express something in English.


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April 25th, 2014 | Author: David

Priorities (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments. It’s encouraging to see that at least people are starting to talk about the issue. More

Priorities April 21st, 2014 | Author: David


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Recently, I saw a story about a female teacher who took a day off work to attend her son’s entrance ceremony at a different school. More

April 11th, 2014 | Author: David

In the News (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments. Both of these are difficult topics, but I hope that more and more Japanese people will become aware of them and start pushing for change. More

In the News April 7th, 2014 | Author: David

In the News

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Some of you probably noticed that there have been two big news stories in Japan recently relating to topics we have discussed on this blog. More
April 4th, 2014 | Author: David

Have You Been Shopping? (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments. Judging by the readers of this blog, it seems that the media has been hyping this up a bit. More

Have you been shopping? March 31st, 2014 | Author: David

Have you been shopping?

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As you all know, consumption tax will go up tomorrow from 5% to 8%. I read a story this morning about how everyone was out shopping at the weekend in a rush to stock up.<!–more–>

Speaking from my own experience, I was in the new Costco in Tokoname twice last week because I needed to buy a lot of things for my new house, and it was absolutely packed on both days. The first time was a Sunday, so I wasn’t too surprised, but the second time was a weekday. I asked one of the staff if they were always so busy, and he said that it was particularly crowded because of the tax rise, so I guess the news story was true, at least for Costco.

As you probably know, Japan’s sales tax is really low compared to other countries. In Britain, for example, it is 20%, although you don’t have to pay it on essentials like food and children’s clothes.

The problem in Japan is that people are struggling with rising prices and static salaries. The last time the tax was raised from 3% to 5%, it led to an economic slump that lasted for years, and many people (including me) think that the same thing will happen again.

Mind you, I have heard a lot of people say that the tax increase might actually cause prices to fall as retailers will be forced to cut their prices in order to attract shoppers. Let’s hope that is what happens.

I know we have discussed this topic before, but what I would like to know this week is whether you have been out shopping because of the tax rise. Has anyone bought a “big-ticket” item like furniture, household appliances, or a car? If not, have you been stocking up on cheaper items?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

コメントを投稿するときは、名前とメールアドレス、メールアドレス欄下に表示される4文字の英数字(CAPCHA code)を入れてください。 最初のコメントは承認後の公開になりますが、2回目からはそのまま投稿できます。


※CAPCHA codeは時間切れになることがあります。コード右上の矢印で更新してから入力してください。


March 28th, 2014 | Author: David

Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments. It’s a tricky topic, isn’t it? By the way, the person I lent 1 million yen to had previously lent me 300,000 yen, so I was happy to lend him the money. More

Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be March 24th, 2014 | Author: David

Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be

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Thanks for all your comments last week. I went to the neighbourhood council meeting last night and introduced myself. I have told them that I will probably join, but that I need a bit of time to think about it because of the cost. More

March 21st, 2014 | Author: David

Neighbourhood Councils (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments. I noticed, however, that we are starting to get lots of really long comments again. Please try to keep your comments as short as possible so that lower-level English learners will not be scared to join in. More

Neighbourhood Councils March 17th, 2014 | Author: David

Neighbourhood Councils

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Thank you all for your kind messages. I am now living in my new house. It is very messy, and there is still a lot that needs to be done, but I’m enjoying the central heating. More

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