## Japan

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shuize
Posts: 7079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

Anaxagoras wrote: Mon Jan 03, 2022 2:33 am
Doctor X wrote: Sun Jan 02, 2022 8:28 am
Spoiler:

I've a white guy and I cannot remember ever being stopped on the street by police and I've walked by police officers countless times. I've been living here for over 20 years now.

I'm a white guy.

I've been stopped by Japanese cops maybe a dozen times in a similar period.

Most of those were when I was on a bike.*

Although the last two -- several years ago now -- were when I was walking.

To be fair, the second to last time wasn't really a "stop."

A cop came out of his police box next to the train station just as I started down the entrance stairs.

He called after me (in Japanese), "Hey! Did you just come in from the airport?" **

I thought to myself, "His tone sounds like he wants me to stop, but he hasn't actually told me to stop."

So I answered with an exasperated "No!" 「違うよ！」over my shoulder and kept walking. (Ha! Ha!)

* Bikes and umbrellas are probably the most frequently stolen items in Japan.

** We were nowhere near the airport and how he thought I would be able to understand his question in Japanese if I'd just arrived in the country is not exactly clear. But that's Osaka for you.
Anaxagoras
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Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

### Re: Japan

sparks
Posts: 17678
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Location: Friar McWallclocks Bar -- Where time stands still while you lean over!

### Re: Japan

"I will not approve Kyoto as a target General Groves! And in this I am the final authority."

--Stimson
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

Very well done scene in the docudrama Hiroshima with That Evil Anesthesiologist from Verdict as Stimson and That Guy from Princeton That Tom Cruise Pays Off with Sex from Risky Business as Groves.

– J. "If They Trust the Russians, Jesus Christ on a Cross, Uncle Joe Won't Leave 'em a Pot to Piss In!" D.
sparks
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Location: Friar McWallclocks Bar -- Where time stands still while you lean over!

### Re: Japan

Indeed. Just watched it again a few nights ago.

Unrelated note: When Anami commits suicide, he wraps paper around the blade. Why?
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

So as to not cut his hand.

It is very good other than perpetuating the white wash of Hirohito – he kept hoping for Ketsu Go, the plan that a victory would be so costly the Americans would come to terms, up to the end – and Anami did not die alone.

And the crew member played by That Blind Shooter from Unforgiven was a Brooklyn fan, not a Boston fan.

They were Canadians so we have to cut them some slack.

– J.D.

[Edited for why he should not post on an iPod. – Ed.]
Pyrrho
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Title: Man in Black
Location: Division 6

### Re: Japan

Pyrrho
Posts: 33496
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:17 am
Title: Man in Black
Location: Division 6

### Re: Japan

Doctor X
Posts: 78818
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:09 pm
Title: Collective Messiah

### Re: Japan

Two men hit by woman falling out of window… who was looking at another man who fell off rooftop

– J.D.
Anaxagoras
Posts: 30167
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

### Re: Japan

Estimated births in 2021 drop to level predicted for 2028 (Asahi Shimbun)
The number of babies born in Japan in 2021 is estimated to have declined to around 805,000, a figure not expected until 2028 in the shrinking country, according to calculations by The Asahi Shimbun.

The Asahi came up with the number based on preliminary figures for births by October and other factors, and using the health ministry’s calculation formula.

The health ministry usually releases its birth statistics in December, but the announcements of the estimates were canceled in 2020 and 2021 in light of the impact from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to Asahi’s estimate, the number of births this year declined by 4.3 percent from 840,835 in 2020.

The rate of decline was sharper than the average shrinkage of 3.5 percent between 2016 and 2020.

Since 2005, the only other year with a decline exceeding 4 percent was 2019, when the decrease was 5.8 percent.

That reduction dropped the number of births below 900,000, and the figure for 2019 was called the “860,000 shock.”

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in 2017 estimated the number of births would be 809,000 in 2028.

The birthrate in Japan appears to be shrinking at a faster pace than previously predicted.
Makes you wonder what Japan will be like in 2040. For reference, the number of deaths was likely at least 1,380,000. That's how many died in 2019, and I doubt that fewer than that died in 2021. Although it did decrease slightly in 2020. Every year the median age in Japan increases, so the long-term tendency is for that number to increase in most years. So the difference, deaths minus births, will probably be in the neighborhood of 580,000 to 600,000.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

Just need more Love Hotels.

– J.D.
shuize
Posts: 7079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

Anaxagoras wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:09 am
Spoiler:
Makes you wonder what Japan will be like in 2040. For reference, the number of deaths was likely at least 1,380,000. That's how many died in 2019, and I doubt that fewer than that died in 2021. Although it did decrease slightly in 2020. Every year the median age in Japan increases, so the long-term tendency is for that number to increase in most years. So the difference, deaths minus births, will probably be in the neighborhood of 580,000 to 600,000.

That's okay.

It's not like Japan has any debt issues to worry about or anything.
Anaxagoras
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

### Re: Japan

shuize wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 10:12 am That's okay.

It's not like Japan has any debt issues to worry about or anything.
Here's an article in the Wall Street Journal about Japan's debt:

Japan’s Love of Debt Offers a View of U.S. Future
TOKYO—Half or more of Japan’s huge government debt doesn’t really exist. And even if it does, the country needs a lot more of it.

Those are a couple of the arguments being heard in Tokyo as the rich world’s most-indebted government relative to its size prepares for a new round of spending this fall that could reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Japan often serves as a tryout venue for policies that later debut on the world economy’s biggest stage, the U.S. The Japanese central bank was a pioneer in introducing zero interest rates and buying large quantities of government bonds to stimulate a sluggish economy, tools subsequently used by the Federal Reserve.
There's a graph in the article that shows the interest paid on JGBs. It's basically 0%. Kinda begs the question of why invest in a bond that pays 0% interest. Wouldn't it make more sense to just keep your money in cash? Perhaps they feel safer holding bonds because there's a limit to how much money is guaranteed in bank deposits. It's a bit of a mystery to me.

But the article does point out:
For many in Japan’s big-spending camp, two related points undergird the view that the debt isn’t what it seems. First, it is entirely denominated in Japan’s own currency, the yen. Second, about half of it is owned by the central bank, part of the same government issuing the debt in the first place.
The first point is important. Japan is only obligated to pay its debts in yen, and Japan can create unlimited amounts of yen in principle. The second point is that the Central Bank holds half of that debt, and buys more of it every month. They have a policy of buying as much of it as they need to to keep interest rates at zero. Can this go on forever without something breaking? I don't know.

But if you have a credit card with no limit and zero percent interest, and no monthly minimum payment, can't you just keep using it forever and keep right on running up debt to infinity? :notsure:
Someone has to buy the bonds financing this spending, yet the interest rate on the benchmark 10-year bond remains at almost exactly zero. There is always a big buyer waiting in the wings: the Bank of Japan.

Through an asset-purchase stimulus program known as quantitative easing, the BOJ already owns about half of the government’s bonds, a higher proportion than the Fed, which owns about one-fifth of U.S. government debt.

Yoichi Takahashi, a Kaetsu University professor who advised the Suga government until earlier this year, observes that interest paid by the government to its central bank makes a round trip back into government coffers, and expiring bonds are rolled over. “It is 500 trillion yen of borrowed money that in effect carries no interest and never has to be paid back,” he wrote this year.
Any interest the BoJ does receive, it simply returns to government coffers. It seems like it shouldn't work, but somehow it does. Money has value because people believe that is has value. This is true also for bitcoins. What is a bitcoin anyway, and why do some people believe that they are worth $50,000 or whatever they are worth today? It's a mystery to me. shuize Posts: 7079 Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am ### Re: Japan Anaxagoras wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:33 am Spoiler: Any interest the BoJ does receive, it simply returns to government coffers. It seems like it shouldn't work, but somehow it does. Money has value because people believe that is has value. This is true also for bitcoins. What is a bitcoin anyway, and why do some people believe that they are worth$50,000 or whatever they are worth today? It's a mystery to me.

Yeah, I don't know how it keeps working, either.

But the idea of an ever decreasing number of Japanese taxpayers to service what debt payments there are, much less bear the increasing tax burden to support the upside down triangle of this aging society, makes me nervous.

As does the idea of Japan having to buy most of it's imports (food, fuel, etc.) in a currency the government seems happy to devalue.

I mean, it would if I had all my eggs in the Japan basket.
shuize
Posts: 7079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

I've mentioned that the university entrance exams are a big deal in Japan.

How big of a deal?

Well, here's a story I just read in the news.

It seems a student somehow managed to take photos during one of the big national exams and send it to an associate at Tokyo University to feed him the answers.

The original student has reportedly turned himself in to the police.

So that's kind of a big deal.

But I'm actually more interested to hear what will happen to the dummy at Tokyo University.

I imagine that could be a very interesting conversation with the parents who no doubt invested a large percentage of their earnings to pay for all the cram schools to get Dum-Dum into Todai.

* Tokyo University (or "Todai" as it's colloquially known) is considered to be at the very top of the Japanese academic pyramid. Graduates have a serious advantage in employment and future promotion prospects. In fact, I'd say its name carries more weight here than "Harvard" or "Yale" does in the States.
DJ
Posts: 661
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:30 pm

### Re: Japan

I can offer a supporting anecdote for you, Shuize. A principal investigator that I worked with at DFCI traded his lab in at Harvard to go to Tokyo University. Most of my colleagues were gobsmacked, but TU built him or allocated him a building for his research. I understood.
Grammatron
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### Re: Japan

shuize
Posts: 7079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

An interesting twist to the entrance exam cheating story above.

Apparently the original student, the one who took the photo, was female.
Doctor X
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Title: Collective Messiah

### Re: Japan

Did she self-identify as one?

– J.D.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

– J.D.
Doctor X
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Title: Collective Messiah

### Re: Japan

Japanese company asks fans to refrain from sending Valentine’s chocolate to game characters

Company known for its games filled with handsome samurai says thanks, but no thanks.

Wokketu NUUZU!
– J.D.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

– J.D.

P.S. And this is my 76167th Post!

P.P.S. Which is significant.
shuize
Posts: 7079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

I started with the bottom video and stopped watching when that guy suggested there is no such thing as "honne" or "tatemae" in :freedom:.

In fact, I make a point of telling students not to listen to any foreigners who say such stupid shit.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

To be fair, they probably do not recognize it, and the honne and tatemae may seem harder to effect for foreigners in Japan.

– J.D.

Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

https://i.imgur.com/tc3cO.jpg

– J.D.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

https://i.imgur.com/kxAmbXE.png

Someone recommended it.

– J.D.
Anaxagoras
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Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

### Re: Japan

Video about an old lady who makes art using postage stamps. Then she posts it on Instagram. It's in Japanese but you don't really need to understand it to see what it's all about.

Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

– J.D.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

Interesting.

Cannot rent an apartment. So you live . . . where?

– J.D.
Pyrrho
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Title: Man in Black
Location: Division 6

### Re: Japan

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 40364.html

Meet the Japanese man paid to do nothing
shuize
Posts: 7079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

Pyrrho wrote: Tue Mar 22, 2022 9:58 pm https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 40364.html

Meet the Japanese man paid to do nothing

I know a few "academics" here who fit that description.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

It reminds me of the odd sequel to Suicide Circle: Noriko's Dinner where a girl becomes part of a "family" that sort of rents itself out to people who want one, often a specific type. The main character is somewhat shocked when she is introduced to a situation where the "family" frantically gathers around a dying man. The scold her to come near to him, and he is delighted, that finally, "she" has come to see him.

Which was his fantasy. Hence her further shock when he gets up after "dying" and happily compliments everyone on their performance.

If you find a need, and you can fill it . . . you found . . . someone's MOM!

No, I have not been drinking.

– J.D.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

I remember being told that the Japanese Original insult for a comb over is "barcode" or バーコード (bācōdo).

Nice to see that is correct:

https://i.imgur.com/rmiUsmg.png

– J.D.
shuize
Posts: 7079
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

Ruh roh.

Loose translation: "He's fucked."

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/202204 ... fe353f3874

By the way, you know who did pass his bar exam the first time?
Anaxagoras
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Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Apparently they live in a one-bedroom apartment in Hell's Kitchen. The rent for the place is probably over $4K/month. Recently read an article saying that she is "volunteering" for the Met. https://www.yahoo.com/video/former-japa ... 42327.html I don't know exactly how they pay the rent but she is famous and there are various ways to leverage fame into money. Maybe she's writing a book, or more likely a "ghost writer" is writing a book for her and a publisher has already given her a large advance for the rights. I'm sure there are other ways to make money when you are famous. shuize Posts: 7079 Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am ### Re: Japan Anaxagoras wrote: Fri Apr 15, 2022 12:00 am Apparently they live in a one-bedroom apartment in Hell's Kitchen. The rent for the place is probably over$4K/month. Recently read an article saying that she is "volunteering" for the Met.

https://www.yahoo.com/video/former-japa ... 42327.html

I don't know exactly how they pay the rent but she is famous and there are various ways to leverage fame into money. Maybe she's writing a book, or more likely a "ghost writer" is writing a book for her and a publisher has already given her a large advance for the rights. I'm sure there are other ways to make money when you are famous.

Yeah, they will never starve.

But our friend Kei had better revise his study habits or start looking for a new line of employment very soon.

Maybe he could come back to Japan and open an English conversation school. (Ha! Ha!)
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

He just needs to be a Kennedy.

And learn to fly a plane.

– J.D.
shuize
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 am

### Re: Japan

Mako-san,

On the off chance you're reading this forum, let me know if you want to upgrade.

I'm single.*

No family debt scandal baggage.

And I've never failed a bar exam.

Just saying.

* Well, not married anyway.
Doctor X
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### Re: Japan

You mean you cannot find another princess in New York?

– J.D.
shuize
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### Re: Japan

Doctor X wrote: Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:45 am You mean you cannot find another princess in New York?

– J.D.

I have no intention of going to New York.*

No, Mako-san will realize that she is married to a loser and come to me in Osaka.

She's a commoner now and you can't get any more common than Osaka.

* It's full of JAPs.