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Thank you for all your comments. I think we drifted back onto the topic of TV a bit this week, but that’s fine. Looking at the last few comments, though, I don’t think it is right to just distinguish between “educational” programs and “entertainment” programs.

For me, the problem is not the type of programs, but rather the quality of them. It is quite possible to have bad educational programs, and it is also quite possible to have good entertainment programs.

Anne mentioned “Little Britain,” which is a show that I also love. If you watch it, you will see that it is very, very silly. The reason it was so popular, though, was that it was original. The writers and performers in that show were relatively unknown before, but they were given a chance because they had such a great idea.

If every show on British TV was like “Little Britain,” I would never watch it again. The point is that it is just one type of show among a very wide and varied range. I just took a look at the BBC iPlayer, and the following shows are now available for viewing in the UK at the moment.

1. A show about a team of doctors investigating various health issues look at the effects on health of sitting down.

2. A TV drama about life in a modern British high school. The show deals with issues such as bullying, teenage pregnancy, and drugs.

3. A documentary featuring a well known gay actor / writer visiting Brazil and Russia to find out what life is like for gay people there.

4. A reality show about baking.

5. A comedy / drama about a couple of men who get caught up in a spy conspiracy. (I’ve been watching this one, and it is very original. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It is completely impossible to guess what is going to happen next.)

6. A comedy panel quiz show about music.

7. A movie starring Hugh Grant, and one starring Liam Neeson.

Another thing that Britain does well is investigative journalism. There have been many programmes made over the past few years that have exposed political scandals and criminal acts. In this way, television actually plays a very important role in British society.

At the moment, I do not have a TV in my house, but I will be getting a new one when I move into the new place. When I get the new TV, I will make a point of watching Japanese TV for a few days to see whether my views are overly negative. Maybe things have improved since I moved here in the 1990s.

Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments.

I think Ganguro tribe has already extincted about a decade ago
I think Ganguro disappeared about a decade ago

No! You would get ticked off if you napped on the job even in Japan!
Really? University teachers frequently sleep during meetings, but I have never seen anyone get ticked off for it.

I gave a friend of mine a present at the birth of her baby the other day.
I think you mean “to celebrate the birth of her baby.” I would be very surprised if you were actually “at” the birth! (LOL)

it’s a pity if British people think that we every Japanese like these things
it’s a pity if British people think that all Japanese like these things

I’ve heard that Japanese gift-wrapping has a great reputation in the world.
That is very true.

Japanese will be still regarded as weird or strange people through these stupid programs.
… because of these stupid programs.

The TV show is completely ridiculous for me and I felt nausea.
… and it made me feel nauseous.

However, I believe that there should be some limits to go on the air.
However, I believe there should be some restrictions on what goes on the air.

so actually, my son could go to kindergarten!
so actually, my son was able to go to kindergarten! (A-Z: could)

I’ll cook お好み焼き for our lunch,
“I’m going to” would be more natural here because it is something you are planning, not something you have just decided. (A-Z: future forms)

I’m afraid, but I think you’re a bit exaggerated.
I’m afraid you might be exaggerating a bit.

who on earth in Japan still have such sterotyped images for Britain?
I’m afraid that lots of people still do. When Japanese people offer me coffee and I politely refuse, they often say, “Ah, you are British, so you drink tea!”

I don’t want them(the writer) call people in Miyake Island “weird”.
I wish they wouldn’t call people in Miyake Island “weird.”

if I had two young healthy sons like you, I would shop at COSTCO every weekend!
A new Costco has just opened in Nagoya. I haven’t been there yet, though.

For me they aren’t funny and they are rubbish.
I think I should mention in the interests of fairness that my father thinks most of what my brothers and I watch on British TV is rubbish, so not all British people think British TV is great.

Watching TV is probably the most effective way to get all sorts of information for me because it offers us sounds and moving pictures at once.
That’s true, but it means that the information you receive is carefully controlled by a small group of powerful people. For example, have you ever seen a program investigating corruption in politics in Japan?

Both writers of the links David and you posted use the adjective “weird”, but if “interesting” (興味深い、面白い) was used instead of “weird”, no one would get annoyed.
“Weird” is probably not the right word, because in this article, it basically just means “something that I am not used to.” There are many things that I find “weird” in Britain now because I have been living in Japan for so long. For example, British women do not shave the hair on their arms, but Japanese women do. I feel very strange now when I see a woman with hairy arms!

I don’t want to watch programs which I don’t find interesting.
Nice sentence.

As for TV programs, I guess Japan has a mixed reputation; cool and weird.
That’s very true.

Gunkanjima is now a cool place. It has to do with 007, David, 007.
I’m not sure why you are telling me that. I didn’t write the article!

“wrapped with beautiful paper” “the” is necessary before “beautiful”, right?
No. You don’t need “the.”

The only thing I can’t agree with is that how could someone say British TV airs more educational and creative programs than Japanese TV. Has anyone counted it?
I haven’t counted, but I have watched both British TV and Japanese TV for long periods. I would say there is a world of difference between them in terms of creativity. As I said before, I don’t think this is because there is a shortage of creative people in Japan; it’s because the networks and sponsoring companies are all controlled by very conservative old men. By the way, although I don’t have a TV, I go to the gym three times a week, and there are about 10 TVs in there, all on different channels, so I do see a range of the programs that are on.

I’m not over eighty, but I do hide my thumbs! Ha-ha!
I have lived in Japan for almost 20 years, but I had never heard of this before.

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend, and I’ll try to think of a less controversial topic for next week!

25 Comments

  1. Biwa on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 03:01 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for the feedback.

    >>it’s a pity if British people think that we every Japanese like these things
    >it’s a pity if British people think that all Japanese like these things

    This was a typo, but is it possible to say ‘every Japanese’?



  2. YU on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 04:31 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.

    Now I understand you think Japanese TV has lack of creativity, but I don’t think I can agree with this point even if we continued this discussion until the end of this year! Besides, programs you watch at your gym is only very small part of all Japanese programs, it’s not matter of the number of channels. I don’t mean to compete with you, but I watch 10-20 times or more of programs you watch per week.

    I have a feeling that you always write every Japanese program is like “Little Britain”, but you mean what you wrote in No.1-7 are creative for you? They don’t really sonud new or creative to me. I think there are some programs like them in Japan, too. Of course, I can’t judge only from the list without watching them, though.

    > Really? University teachers frequently sleep during meetings, but I have never seen anyone get ticked off for it.

    I guess everyone must be amazed at their attitudes, I hope!
    I’m sorry to say this, but I think it’s a sign that “some” public employees(incl. university teachers?) or politicians just lack common sense. You can see a lot of politicians sleeping during the Diet. Private companies are usually more strict on their employees. I wish it was the contrary because they earn a living with our taxes!

    > For example, have you ever seen a program investigating corruption in politics in Japan?

    Yes, haven’t you seen them? Even TV stations other than NHK like バンキシャ(NTV)、報道特集(TBS)、報道ステーション(TV Asahi) sometimes take up such topics.
    There’re programs like that in Japan, too. Believe me. You’re free to think any way about Japanese TV, but please don’t look down on Japanese TV so much.

    > A new Costco has just opened in Nagoya. I haven’t been there yet, though.

    I’m not sure if you like them, but they offer everything in a big amount, so it’s good for families like Biwa’s. You probably know this, but you need to pay membership fee of 4,000 yean every year.

    Have a nice weekend, all !



  3. David on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 07:18 PM

    Hi YU,

    I think we will just have to agree to disagree about Japanese TV! I’m sure we’ll end up talking about it again at some point, though. (LOL)



  4. YU on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 09:17 PM

    Hi David,

    I think so, too. It’ll be endless and both of us might die in battle finally. To be honest, I realized that most readers weren’t coming along with us after some point of our war!

    Anyway, it’s not easy for me to convince a native speaker of English like you in English. In additon, I know you are not a person who easily surrender to your opponents, just like me!
    However, exchanging opinions frankly here is always a good lesson for my progress in English.

    Thank you always for discussing various matters with us!!



  5. ashmoleanmuse on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 09:31 PM

    Hi David,

    I didn’t write the article!

    I know. You’re form the country which created James Bond, and I just wanted to associate you with 007!

    No. You don’t need “the.”

    Why is that? I’m referring to a specific paper, so I thought I needed “the”.

    Ash

    BTW, I think I’m beginning to be addicted to your blog.



  6. ashmoleanmuse on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 09:39 PM

    Hi YU,

    Anyway, it’s not easy for me to convince a native speaker of English like you in English

    You’re a diehard woman. I admire your fighting spirit.

    Ash



  7. ashmoleanmuse on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 09:42 PM

    Ooops! “You’re form” should have read “You’re from”.

    Ash



  8. Fumie on Friday October 18th, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback!

    >Have a great weekend, and I’ll try to think of a less controversial topic for next week!
    Ha ha ha, I think you were not intended to get us into controversial topic but somehow we ended up having fierce battle.
    もともとは議論になるなんて想定してなかったのでは?でもなぜかそうなってしまった?

    Hi YU,

    I’m not offended at all. (^^)

    >what I wanted to say was that being interested in various areas(even seemingly rubbish ones for you) could enrich your life and you will lose nothing from knowing.
    That is so true. I have limited knowledge about various areas plus I’m shy so I don’t have many friends.
    How do you manage your time? You have a small child and a job. Still you write many comments and watching lots of TV! I think you are a super woman!
    YU 怒ってなんかいないから心配しないで!YUが言うようにいろんなこと知ってる方が会話も弾み楽しい。私は日本にいながら流行ってること知らないから浦島太郎状態、プラス、人見知りするから友達少ないです。
    YUはどう時間をやりくりしてるの?子育て、仕事、投稿、たくさんテレビ見る時間が残ってるのは、やることはやいんだろうなぁ?スーパーウーマンだね!



  9. YU on Saturday October 19th, 2013 at 04:45 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    I woke up with cold just a few minutes ago. It seems that I have fallen asleep while I was putting my son to sleep. I was not pulling a blanket over myself, so no wonder I felt cold!
    Anyway, I have to wake up in 2 hours after now because I have to make a special obento for my son’s sports day!

    Well, I can’t believe that you don’t have many friends, but we are friends here, aren’t we? 🙂

    Unfortunately, I’m not a super woman at all.
    The answer is very simple, I just do things while watching TV. (ながらTV?) Actually, “watching” is probably not a proper word here because I often half “listen” and half watch TV and only when it says something interesting, I start watching it seriously. I know it’s not a good way, but I just can’t change my ways of life with TV! By the way, for my favorite programs, I watch them from start to finish or record them to watch later.
    My son always plays or learns something around me. I used to often quarrel with him, but he became much calmer now, probably it’s all thanks to his kindergarten. Of course, I still have to do a lot of things around the house, take my son to lessons, playing with him sometimes, etc… as you say, but it’s very nice that he learned to read and write letters alone. Now he sometimes learns things with しまじろう or other materials by himself, all what I have to do is that checking him sometimes, answering his questions, and giving him はなまるシール. But the biggest change is that I have free time from 8 AM to 2 PM now. As for my work, I only do it from Mon. to Wed. when my son is at kindergarten(I have to submit corrected papers by Thursday morning), of course, while watching TV(!) (大きな声では言えませんが), but my work is “so so” well evaluated by my company, so I don’t think I will stop my habit during the work. ha-ha-ha!!
    Anyway, compared to your busy life with three sons and teacher’s work outside, my life is still super easy!

    Hi Ash,

    Thank you for your compliments!?
    Always going along with other people’s opinions is easy, but it’s not interesting for me. Anyway, David is surely one of the powerful enemies(強敵) I’ve ever seen! 🙂
    Talk to you soon!!



  10. Anne on Saturday October 19th, 2013 at 05:24 AM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    >I don’t think it is right to just distinguish between “educational” programs and “entertainment” programs.—Yes, I agree with you. The reason I referred this that someone mentioned Japanese should make more educational programs. Anyway, I should have written more clearly. You referred to creativity of TV. In Japan, there are also several programs investigating political scandals or other creative programs. You are getting the new TV when you move into the new house, right? Then, you can research how Japanese TV programs are lack of creativity. I hope you’ll find some of them are wonderful!

    Hi YU,
    >By the way, do you know NHK offers some Japanese language programs in many foreign languages on web, too? —-Yes, I know! I think NHK offers good educational programs, and I often listen to them. I sometimes watch the program “どうも! 日本語です。”

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone!



  11. Biwa on Saturday October 19th, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Hi David,

    Maybe I should have written my question like this:
    Can I say ‘every Japanese likes these things’ as well as ‘all Japanese like these things’?

    Hi YU,

    Hope you are having a nice sports festival!

    >I realized that most readers weren’t coming along with us after some point of our war!

    LOL! Actually, I always enjoy reading you and David’s comments on TV. I’m not a frequent watcher(?) except for when I was in the hospital.

    Hi everyone,

    As for the discussion about ‘variety’ of TV, there is something that always makes me laugh.
    For example, when the typhoon #26 hit the country this week, all the stations were airing very similar pictures. A very typical ‘typhoon report’ which is a reporter wearing a helmet, standing either at a pier or in the middle of a business district, standing with all his might not to be blown away by the wind, shouting into the microphone how strong the wind is. When my younger son turned on the TV, he said “お母さん、これすごくね??(すごくない?)全部おんなじ映像だし!”

    We really laughed. Of course, I know some people would seriously want to see how the typhoon is like, but I don’t think all the stations have to air the same thing at once! Actually,教育テレビand テレビ東京were airing some cartoons, but it made me feel like watching cartoons rather than seeing the same old typhoon reports. I’m sure they could have got higher audience-ratings if they had aired something different from other stations!

    Have a nice weekend everyone!



  12. YU on Saturday October 19th, 2013 at 05:39 PM

    Hi Anne,

    I don’t think I’ve seen “どうも、日本語講座です”, but I’ve seen some Japanese language learning programs on TV. By the way, here is the program on web I meant ;

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/lesson/index.html

    Hi Biwa,

    I enjoyed my son’s sports day, but it was windy and cold today.
    My son danced to the music of “The adventures of Jack Sparrow” wearing pirate costumes. I had never expeced that he would dance like crazy(ノリノリ) because actually he is shy. Anyway, they were all very cute pairates!

    > LOL! Actually, I always enjoy reading you and David’s comments on TV.

    I’m relieved to hear that. I thought everyone was tired of our discussion.

    As for the typhoon reports, reporters always shout standing at the coast, “Please never go close to the coasts! It is very dangerous!”. I always feel like warning them, “Leave there right now! It’s very dangerous!”

    > I’m sure they could have got higher audience-ratings if they had aired something different from other stations!

    I think so, too.
    I’ve heard that only TV Tokyo aired cartoon programs when 昭和天皇 died and had high audience ratings while all other stations aired special programs about his death all day long.



  13. Fumie on Saturday October 19th, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Hi YU,

    You are a multitasker! I can’t do several things at a time. I can’t even write comments on this blog when the sound of TV is too loud so I often asked my family; could you turn down the volume or I use earplugs.
    I’m glad to hear that you have a wonderful time watching your son’s first sport day!



  14. Anne on Sunday October 20th, 2013 at 04:27 AM

    Hi YU,

    Oh, I see. I’ve never watched it, but it sounds good and helpful^^)

    Glad to hear that you had a great time watching your son’s sports day.

    >I realized that most readers weren’t coming along with us after some point of our war!
    >, I always enjoy reading you and David’s comments on TV
    —-Me too!



  15. Biwa on Sunday October 20th, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Hi YU,

    >I had never expeced that he would dance like crazy(ノリノリ) because actually he is shy.

    It’s really nice to see your child showing different sides of his personality, isn’t it? Anyway, your son was lucky that his sports day was held yesterday. (It’s raining and quite chilly today in Kanagawa.)

    >I’ve heard that only TV Tokyo aired cartoon programs when 昭和天皇 died and had high audience ratings while all other stations aired special programs about his death all day long.

    That’s interesting. I also notice that every station does the same old “prompt result programs(選挙速報)” with celebrity panels after national elections. I wonder if they do that in other countries, too.



  16. YU on Sunday October 20th, 2013 at 04:51 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I also notice that every station does the same old “prompt result programs(選挙速報)” with celebrity panels after national elections.

    You’re right, but I happened to watch a quite interenting program when the upper house election was held this July. (Apparently, it had the highest audience rating among all 選挙速報 programs on the same night.)

    Mr.Ikegami asked one of the Komeito’s candidates in a “live” program if she was elected getting support(manpower, money and members’ votes) from Soka Gakkai. I guess she had never expected that she would asked a question like that in the TV interview just after she was projected to win(当確後), she must have expected some words of congratulation. Of course, she didn’t reply clearly, and when the evidences were thrust before her one after another, her face turned pale in an instant.
    I have nothing against Soka Gakkai or its followers, but what Mr.Ikegami asked in the program were perfectly the facts that many Japanese people couldn’t say out openly. As you know, many people know that Komeito has a lot to do with Soka Gakkai, and it is against the rule of “the separation of religion and politics”, but Komeito’s politicians never become extinct. On the contrary, their power is growing these days because some people don’t know the relation between Komeito and Soka Gakkai and vote for them as Komeito’s manifests are always “voters-friendly”. Now they’re even the party forming the present coalition cabinet!

    I don’t mean to criticize Komeito here, but it gave me great satisfaction to see Mr.Ikegami and TV Tokyo grilled the Komeito’s candidate and revealed the secrets between Komeito and Soka Gakkai.

    By the way, apparently, some Soka Gakkai members threatened Mr.Ikegami and TV Tokyo after the program had aired, but if what TV Tokyo aired was all false, I wonder why they don’t make a protest against them fairly and squarely in public.

    軽く書くつもりが長文になってしまいました。Sorry!



  17. YU on Sunday October 20th, 2013 at 05:42 PM

    correction ;

    > after the program had aired

    after the program had been aired

    > but if what TV Tokyo aired was all false,…

    but if they had nothing to do with Komeito,…



  18. Mika on Sunday October 20th, 2013 at 05:53 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the nice feedback.

    I just wanted to say “thank you” and something to you, but may I write it in Japanese?
    常々、貴方は献身的な指導をされる先生だと私は思っていましたが、今回、非常に辛抱強い人であることも分かり感銘を受けました。私も残りの人生を辛抱強く生き(いい意味で)ながら、毎日を楽しみたいと思いました。ありがとうございました。

    下記は私の友人や父から教えてもらったことで、いつも心に留めていることです。
    今から30年ほど前、友人は「例え貴女がどんなに良い意見を持っていても、そこに10人いればそこには10の考えがあるのよ。だから、それぞれの意見を真摯に受け止めなくてはいけない」と言ってくれました。父は「自分の言いたいことを全部言って相手を負かそうとしてはいけない。まず相手の言い分を聞きなさい」と助言してくれました。
    確かに意見交換はとても大切なことですし不可欠なことですが、あくまでもお互いの意見を尊重しつつより良い結果を作り上げていく一つの手段なのでしょうね。一生、勉強ですが。

    新居完成後にテレビを購入予定とのこと、楽しみですね。お好きな番組がたくさん見つかりますように。
    私は旅チャンネル、世界紀行、世界遺産、そしてDASH村などの番組が好きです。そこには大自然があり、古代人の知恵と工夫などが垣間見られ、さらにロマンを感じられるからです。ですから、海外旅行は国立公園、ヨーロッパの古い街並み、博物館などを見て歩くのが大好きです。昨年はウィーンのホーフブルグ(Fofburg)内の図書館で椅子に座り、壮大な建物と膨大な数の書籍に圧倒されそうになりながらも、その場にいられる幸せを感じていました。

    最後になりましたが、何かとお忙しい日々でしょうが、お身体にはくれぐれもご自愛くださいまして素敵な日々をお過ごしください。増々のご活躍を楽しみにしております。
    ありがとうございました。



  19. YU on Sunday October 20th, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Hi Mika,

    Thank you for sharing us your father’s advice, I think what he said was very true.

    Please forgive me if I’m wrong, but I couldn’t help feeling that part of your comment was actually a message to me, not to David. I guess you wanted to indicate your opinion against me in a roundabout way? Am I right? 🙂

    If so, although I used some violent words like “battle” “die” “surrender” “convince”,etc… in my comments, they’re all just my jokes. Of course, I didn’t write comments to defeat David! Just like when we discussed “Whaling” here some months ago, I agreed with David on some points he mentioned about Japanese TV, but I still couldn’t agree with him on some points this time again. If I remember correctly, I’ve discussed Japanese TV twice with him before this time, and there are still some disagreements among us on this subject. That’s it. As you say, “So many men, so many minds.” As I mentioned, I can’t go along with other people’s opinions while I actually don’t want to accept them, on this blog, particularly. I sometimes end up compromising with others in my real life, though…

    Anyway, I’m sorry if my comments to you or others always sounded too aggresive to you, but I actually always try to value other people’s opinions and write my comments, but please feel free to tell me anything anytime if my comments hurt your feelings from now on. 🙂

    Mikaさん、

    Mikaさんのコメントを読んで、正直、何回読み返しても私に対する意見なんじゃないか、と感じずにはいられませんでした。見当違いでしたらごめんなさい。
    自分としてはこれでも人の意見をきちんと受け止めた上で自分の意見を述べているつもりですし、ましてや相手を打ち負かしてやろうとコメントを投稿してる訳でもありません。でもそうは感じない方もいらっしゃるのか、と思いました。

    実はこのブログに参加して間もない頃、他の(日本人の)メンバーが日本を卑下するコメントばかり書くので「どうしてそういうことばかり書くのか?」と批難したところ、すぐにDavidから「この自分のブログはみんなに自由に意見を述べて欲しくて作ったものだから他の人が萎縮して意見が言えなくなるような事を書くのは止めてほしい」と注意を受けたことがあります。全く彼の言うとおりだと反省し、すぐにDavidとそのメンバーに謝罪しました。と同時にここはいろんな人の色んな意見を聞いてしかも自分自身も自由に意見が述べられる場所なんだ、と理解しました。

    前置きが長くなりましたが、という訳で、正直に言うと私としては急に思った事を自由に書けなくなるとちょっと辛いです。また逆にこのブログのメンバーが自分に対して自由に意見を言ってくれない、としたらそれも悲しい。そういうのはこのブログ以外の現実の世界で毎日味わっていますから。日本ってそういう社会ですから。でもMikaさんが私の自由すぎるコメントで何か不快な思いをされたのなら謝ります。これからも遠慮なくおっしゃってください。

    最後に、もしMikaさんのコメントが純粋にDavidだけに宛てたものだった場合、このコメントは全部無視してください。



  20. amo on Monday October 21st, 2013 at 12:38 AM

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback.
    I knew that you and YU would end up arguing about Japanese TV programs when I read the entry(lol)
    Anyway, I am looking forward to hearing from you when you get the new TV. The things have changed so you might find some programs that you like 🙂

    Good night,
    amo



  21. Biwa on Monday October 21st, 2013 at 08:41 AM

    Hi YU,

    >Komeito’s manifests are always “voters-friendly

    I agree! I don’t support the New Komeito Party, but actually, Mr. Yamaguchi, the leader of the party looks like(at least!) a decent man, and what he says sounds reasonable(in a way!) compared to other politicians. He also has a soft-toned voice which is very different from other party leaders. No wonder that many people feel like supporting him especially when it comes to issues such as the constitutional amendment. He’s always saying that we need to consider carefully about article #9, and I think lots of people feel relieved to have him(and his party) in the coalition.
    By the way, I haven’t watched the 選挙速報 you mentioned, but I do sometimes watch Mr.Ikegami’s programs. They are quite interesting.



  22. YU on Monday October 21st, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > Mr. Yamaguchi, the leader of the party looks like(at least!) a decent man, and what he says sounds reasonable(in a way!) compared to other politicians

    I think so, too.
    Actually my husband always says the same as you whenever Mr.Yamaguchi appears on TV. His speech moves even foreigners living in Japan like my husband. That’s amazing! Besides, I realize that he never abuses other politicians or cuts their stories. I think that is very unusual for Japanese politicians!

    > He’s always saying that we need to consider carefully about article #9, and I think lots of people feel relieved to have him(and his party) in the coalition.

    I’m one of them! Just I wonder why it is still allowed Komeito to have strong relations with Soka Gakkai as ever. It is obviously against the rule of democratic government, but it seems to be a taboo subject in Japan.
    Actually, a friend of mine and her husband are members of Soka Gakkai. I’m not against the fact at all, but what I always feel bothered is that they come from the neigbour city by car to see me only just before elections! They always explain how good Komeito’s candidate in my electoral district is and ask me to vote for Komeito and go home busily. Isn’t it a bit rude?
    Anyway, this series of Komeito’s election campaigns by Soka Gakkai memebers were exactly the facts Mr.Ikegami and TV Tokyo exposed in the program using a lot of detailed data written on flip boards. So, I couldn’t help giving them a big hand.
    I’m curious about how Mr.Yamaguchi would answer if he was asked the same questions by Mr.Ikegami.



  23. Biwa on Monday October 21st, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Hi YU,

    >It is obviously against the rule of democratic government, but it seems to be a taboo subject in Japan.

    Is it really illegal? I’m not sure about that. I guess it is often the case that religious organizations support certain political parties. Yasukuni shrine is a big source of votes for the LDP and Germany’s メルケル首相 is the leader of a party which has “Christian” in its name, right? Well, they may not be that ‘direct’ as the Soka Gakkai, though.
    Anyway, just like your friend, there is an old lady(my friend’s mother, actually) in our apartment who asks us to vote for Komeito whenever there is an election. However, she doesn’t come to my place any more because I straightforwardly(?) told her that I don’t really like Komeito. (lol)



  24. YU on Monday October 21st, 2013 at 01:37 PM

    Hi Biwa.

    > Is it really illegal?

    I’m not sure if it’s illegal, but Wiki says that 政教分離の原則 is specified in the Constitution of Japan.
    Anyway, as you say, I think there’s no other party than Komeito who makes a religious body to work for winning the elections openly in Japan! (LoL)

    > However, she doesn’t come to my place any more because I straightforwardly(?) told her that I don’t really like Komeito. (lol)

    That’s cool.
    I wish I could do that, too!



  25. David on Monday October 21st, 2013 at 01:57 PM

    Hi Ash,

    I can’t remember your original comment, but you don’t need “the” unless you particularly want to say which wrapping paper you are talking about. If you wrote, for example, “I bought some wrapping paper yesterday, and I used the paper to wrap my mum’s present,” you would need to use “the.” It depends on the context.

    Hi Mika,

    Thanks for the comment. My culture is based on the idea of debate and argument, so it’s quite different from Japan. I think it is important to listen to what other people say, but that doesn’t mean every opinion is equally right. One of my heroes is a scientist called Richard Dawkins. In a book he wrote about religion, he said something that made a bit impression on me. I can’t remember it exactly, but it was something like, “When two people hold opposite opinions, it is not necessarily the case that the truth lies somewhere in between. Sometimes, one of them may simply be wrong.” Anyway, I’m glad that you found the debate useful.

    By the way, I saw an interesting programme on TV at the gym last week. It was a documentary about Japanese people who have ended up living in very surprising places. And I’m glad to hear there are some political programmes as well. I would like to see a documentary investigating why the boss of TEPCO has been given an amakudari position even though he was in charge of the company that caused one of the biggest disasters in Japan’s history!



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