25 Comments

  1. David on 2014年04月11日 at 16:32

    By the way, it’s nothing to do with this topic, but did you all know about the changes to the ETC system for expressways? The discounts have been reduced quite dramatically, and now there is only a “mileage” system like the ones airlines use. You can’t get any discounts under that scheme unless you go online and register for it.

    Basically, on April 1st, cars and everything related to their maintenance got more expensive because of the rise in consumption tax, gasoline went up because of another tax, and using the expressways became much more expensive! It’s surprising how many people don’t actually know about this yet.



  2. YU on 2014年04月11日 at 16:43

    Hi Haru,

    It must have a lot of mistakes, though, here are my suggestions.

    > About research whaling,I’m against it unless the goverment show the world scientific reason and get approval of many Japanese.

    – About Japan’s research whaling, I’m against it unless the govenment can scientifically explain the necessity to the rest of the world and it is accepted in Japan.

    > Now Japan has big national debt,goverment have to consider reducing it first

    – Japan owes a huge debt today, so reducing it should be the problem the government needs to tackle first.

    > If goverment continue research whaling,they have to show japanese more worthwhile reason rather than saving money.

    – And yet if they claim that the research whaling is necessary, they should explain to us why it should have priority over solving the national debt problems.

    > About death penalty,my position is first of the theory.

    – About the death penalty, my position is the fourth of the ones you listed.

    > I think the final purpass of punishment is all people live safely and happily.

    I think that criminal punishments were originally made to keep your life safe and comfortable.

    > Even if you abolish death penalty and change it to indefinite prison term,you can keep society safe and happy,I think.

    Even if the death penalty was abolished and the life imprisonment took the place of it, I don’t think you’ll be able to keep your life safe and comfortable.



  3. YU on 2014年04月11日 at 18:15

    Hi David,

    I wonder what’s wrong with your feedback.
    It isn’t shown on my computer.



  4. YU on 2014年04月11日 at 18:17

    Sorry again.
    Now I can read it.
    I wonder what was happening to my computer.



  5. YU on 2014年04月11日 at 19:53

    Hi everyone,

    I can’t read the feedback again.
    Can you all read it?
    I checked other recent entries too. The last entry is okay, but I can read only three lines in some of them.

    correction ;

    – Even if the death penalty was abolished and the life imprisonment took the place of it, I don’t think you’ll be able to keep your life safe and comfortable.

    ….I don’t think you would be able to keep your society safe and comfortable.



  6. David on 2014年04月11日 at 20:04

    Hi YU,

    I think there is something wrong with the admin site. If you can only see a few lines, please click to display it in English. It’s the same text, but it’s entered in different places on the admin site. For some reason, it is not copying it over properly to the Japanese side like it usually does.



  7. YU on 2014年04月11日 at 20:14

    Hi David,

    It worked. Thank you.



  8. Biwa on 2014年04月12日 at 10:10

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback. It’s always really helpful!

    There was a tiny article in the newspaper this week which said that the NY Times had put an editorial about the ex-boxer’s case. The editorial said that Japan needs to seriously reconsider the death penalty. However, the tiny size of the article made me think how unconcerned Japan is to what other countries think about us. Together with the article you mentioned, they made me think that this is a really serious problem. I also learned from Wiki that the fifteen justices of the Supreme Court were all older than 60, and their retirement age was 70! Another ‘Old Boy’s Club’ here that we need to get rid of!

    Hi Haru,

    Nice to have you with us. Look forward to hearing from you again. 🙂

    Hi YU and Haru,

    > Even if you abolish death penalty and change it to indefinite prison term,you can keep society safe and happy,I think.

    I just thought that Haru might have wanted to say;
    “Even if you abolish the death penalty and choose life-inprisonment as the maximum penalty, you can still keep the society safe and happy, I think.”

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!



  9. Biwa on 2014年04月12日 at 10:13

    Sorry, I misspelled “life-imprisonment”!



  10. Akira on 2014年04月12日 at 10:41

    Hi David,
    Thanks for checking.

    >The issues with the criminal justice system should be investigated separately.

    I think that’s what I meant.



  11. YU on 2014年04月12日 at 11:15

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the information about the new discount program. I didn’t know that. I have to remember to resister it before traveling by car next time.

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for your comment. I wasn’t absolutely sure what he meant to say, but I just thought the sentence didn’t go well with his previous sentences. You think he probably meant to say, “Criminal punishments were to keep people’s lives safe and comfortable, and the quality of people’s lives isn’t influenced by the form of the maximum criminal penalty.”, right? Maybe you’re right, I don’t know. 🙂



  12. Fumie on 2014年04月12日 at 21:54

    Hi Haru,

    Nice to have you with us!

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for your feedback.
    I still can’t get the subjunctive it’s too complicated for me. 🙁
    I didn’t know about the changes to the ETC system. They should have informed us more on newspapers or TV news.

    Hi Biwa,

    >The editorial said that Japan needs to seriously reconsider the death penalty.
    I also checked capital punishment in the world and Wiki said that
    >Capital punishment has been used in almost every part of the world, but in the last few decades many countries have abolished it.
    In my view, capital punishment should be abolished.

    Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!



  13. Biwa on 2014年04月14日 at 08:17

    Hi YU,

    Just to remind you, Haru is in the first position (=against the death penalty). I know you just misread it, though. 🙂



  14. YU on 2014年04月14日 at 09:02

    Hi Biwa,

    Thanks. I realized it. I’ve just copied the part from David’s comment to me without chaiging it ‘fourth’ to ‘first’. I know he’s against the death penalty. 🙂



  15. David on 2014年04月14日 at 15:17

    Hi everyone,

    I’m afraid I’m not going to have time to do an entry today. I’ll do it tomorrow instead.



  16. David on 2014年04月15日 at 16:33

    Hi again,

    Sorry, but I don’t think I’m going to have time to do an entry this week. I’ll do a new one next Monday.



  17. Biwa on 2014年04月16日 at 14:01

    Hi David,

    Seems like the new semester has started at your university, too. My elder son is a freshman this year, and he’s really busy attending invitation parties of the clubs at the moment!

    By the way, do you mind if I write about something else in the news? I’m quite interested in what Mr. Sasai of Riken is going to say about the STAP-cell in the press conference today. Anyone else?



  18. David on 2014年04月17日 at 11:38

    I just read in the news this morning that a group of officials are “insisting” that the Japanese government redesign the whaling program and start it again in 2015. I cannot believe the stupidity of these people. I’m guessing, however, that the vast majority of them are old men who really have no idea about how to behave in the global community.

    Regardless of what how you feel personally about the issue of whaling, three facts are indisputable:

    1. Huge amounts of taxpayers money are being wasted on this “industry.”
    2. There is no longer a viable market for whale meat in Japan because most Japanese people do not want to eat it.
    3. This issue has a hugely negative impact on Japan’s global image.

    At the very least, I hope these old men will eat the 2,300 whales’ worth of meat that they have in storage before they go out and kill more! And not one single yen of government money should be spent on it until everyone who was displaced by the Tsunami has a permanent place to live.



  19. Biwa on 2014年04月17日 at 15:44

    Hi David,

    >At the very least, I hope these old men will eat the 2,300 whales’ worth of meat that they have in storage before they go out and kill more!

    I couldn’t agree with you more!
    Just think about how many freezers they need to store all that meat. The running cost must be enormous. Those lobbyists and also some scientists are just interested in protecting themselves.



  20. kattie on 2014年04月18日 at 07:23

    Hi everyone,

    I tried to post a comment last week but it didn’t send. I wanted to write about capital punishment because I feel very strongly about this issue so I’ll try again.

    I have said before that I am opposed to capital punishment and the main reason for my opposition isn’t to do with the fact that innocent people are sometimes convicted, or that it’s ineffective as a deterrent, or any of the other arguments often mentioned but it’s solely to do with the fact that I think it’s totally barbaric and the state should not be involved in this type of practice.

    I don’t know whether you have watched any documentaries about death row in America. I have seen a few of them over the years and they are very distressing. I think it’s easy to talk about the death penalty as an idea but the reality of enforcing it, is truly awful. In reality, most of the prisoners on death row in America are very young, come from extremely deprived backgrounds and they often have very low IQs also, at the time of their trials, they often receive the most minimal form of legal representation. After conviction, they are incarcerated for years during which time they go through numerous appeals and their execution dates are constantly being rescheduled – the process is unbelievably cruel and inhumane. I remember one of the documentaries showed how they tested the electric chair every week and that each time this happened all the prison lights would go off. All the inmates knew what this meant and one of them said ‘Next time that happens, I’ll be in that chair’. I watched this particular programme 30 years ago and I’ve never forgotten it. How can we allow this to continue in the name of justice?



  21. Biwa on 2014年04月18日 at 10:14

    Hi Kattie,

    >I think it’s totally barbaric and the state should not be involved in this type of practice.

    I really think so. I simply think that deciding someone’s death or enforcing it is just beyond people’s job.

    Regarding the inequality in America, your story reminded me of the IAT(Implicit Association Test) that was mentioned in a book called “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. Have you ever heard of it? I know you are not particularly talking about black people, but in the test, there is a list of words such as “hurt,” “evil,” “glorious,” “wonderful,” and so on, and the participants have to instantly/intuitively(?) associate the words with either a picture of an Europian American man (bad) or of an African American man (good). As you might guess, it’s easy if the African American was paired with the word “bad,” but it turns out that more than 80% of those who have taken the test(including African Americans themselves) end up taking more time to associate good words with black people. However, the result doesn’t mean that those 80% are all racists. Most people choose their behavior consciously, but the problem is that there is another snap judgment at the unconscious level. I believe that this fact applies to all people, but I personally find it interesting that a country like America, where they insist that people are all equal all the time, really struggle to get out of this unconscious judgment.

    Hi David,

    By the way, did you know that not a few of those pro-whaling people in the fishing industry are Ishinomaki-based? News articles like this make me think how complicated the world is. It’s really hard to tell what really helps these Tsunami-affected people. However, I think the statement of the 2,300 whales’ worth of meat is still valid, though.
    http://www.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201404/20140401_13008.html



  22. Biwa on 2014年04月18日 at 10:18

    Sorry, “Europian” should be “European”!



  23. Biwa on 2014年04月19日 at 08:27

    Sorry again, “an European American” should be “a European American.” I’m so embarrassed!

    Hi everyone,

    Are you following the news about the horrible ferry accidents in Korea? About 270 people are still missing. It seems that Korea has refused Japan’s offer to send the Coast Guard to help with their search. I hope that the refusal was not because of the bad relationship between the two countries. And I hope they can save as many people as possible.



  24. Biwa on 2014年04月19日 at 08:32

    I’m terribly sorry, “ferry accident”! There was only one..!



  25. Biwa on 2014年04月21日 at 10:45

    Hi everyone,

    Just thought some of you might be interested. I found an article in Japan Today with a headline ” Wrongfully imprisoned U.S.boxer ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies.” I’m pretty sure that a small headline like this wouldn’t have caught my attention if we hadn’t discussed wrongful conviction.

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/wrongfully-imprisoned-u-s-boxer-hurricane-carter-dies