Japan

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Witness
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Re: Japan

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Howling ‘Monster Wolf’ robots installed in Japan to scare away bears

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Dozens of red-eyed “Monster Wolf” robots were set up in Japanese towns to scare off bears and deer that were overrunning local homes or destroying crops.

One of the creepy canine contraptions — which roar and have fangs — was erected in September by the small city of Takikawa to “avoid friction between residents and bears,” according to the local news site The Mainichi.

At least 62 more of the 3-foot-tall by 4-foot-long robo-beasts are being used to frighten away deer and wild boar that destroy crops in the Hokkaido and Okinawa areas, the outlet reported.

Designed by the machine-making company Ohta Seiki, the robot is programmed to shake its head and howl when it senses motion by animal intruders. It’s equipped with infrared sensors and can detect when a human is near.

The Takikawa wolf-bot is the first scarecrow-style method of deterring bear populations in front of houses in residential areas, the outlet reported.

The machine appears to be pushing bears’ buttons, according to experts.

Brown bear reports have increased dramatically in the Takikawa area this year, totaling 10 since May.

The sightings — including one of a bear cub less than a mile from a home — prompted the city government to set up the spooky animal automaton.

It was installed in the city of 40,000 in September, and there have been no eye-witness bear sightings since.
https://nypost.com/2020/11/06/monster-w ... way-bears/
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Re: Japan

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English mistake makes Kyoto the enemy of the world.

Fortunately, such mistakes rarely have any significant effects.

– J.D.
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Anaxagoras
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Re: Japan

Post by Anaxagoras »

And while we're on the subject of Kyoto:

Kyoto University apologizes for live bondage performance
Prestigious Kyoto University took down a video of a live performance of Japanese rope bondage at a symposium it hosted after footage of the event went viral on social media and one person complained.

It made the decision after a single viewer called to question whether the university seriously considered bondage as a legitimate field of academic study.

Kyoto University quickly offered a public apology and deleted the video of the free symposium, titled “KINBAKU New Wave x Asian Humanities,” from its website.

The event was held on the Kyoto campus on Oct. 24 and co-hosted by the university’s Unit of Kyoto Initiatives for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Center for Applied Philosophy and Ethics.

Event organizers said their objective was to “explore the significance and potentialities” of kinbaku, also known as “shibari,” which is viewed by many people as a form of Japanese S&M, in light of the fact it is currently “transforming itself into a new trend of contemporary art.”

During a demonstration segment of the event, a male “kinbakushi” (rope master) tied up a female model and suspended her above the floor.

The symposium was live-streamed on YouTube. More than 600 people attended the venue or watched it online. The video was also archived on a website and made available for two weeks afterward.

Event organizers were apparently caught by surprise when the performance created a buzz on social media. The video attracted strong overseas interest and was played about 590,000 times.

News media noted the phenomenon and contacted the university on Nov. 5, according to university officials.

A local newspaper published a photo of the event, which led one reader to call the university and ask, “Is this an academic subject?”

That single phone call was enough for the organizers to take down the video immediately, a day earlier than scheduled.

“We apologize for making someone uncomfortable with some segments of the symposium video,” the organizers said in a statement posted on their website. “We will give due consideration to the archived video.”
I wonder if it can still be found online somewhere. I haven't looked yet. Live-streamed on YouTube they say! :mrgreen:

Too bad they chickened out and apologized in the end.
Yasuo Deguchi, a professor at the department of Philosophy who organized the symposium, told The Asahi Shimbun: “Even if it’s only one person, I am sorry to make that person uncomfortable. Other people might have felt that way, too.”

Deguchi said he is planning to publish a book on the contents of the symposium as early as next year.

“I hope gender-issue experts to join the (publication project) and include issues that were not discussed at the symposium due to time constraints,” Deguchi said.

The symposium featured a rope master, a bondage artist, a model and several scholars.

They explained that kinbaku originated from the martial arts and its methods of restraining captives in the age of provincial wars that raged from the mid-15th century to the early 17th century.

The panelists also discussed the ways in which kinbaku as the methods became widely known through mass culture and artforms like Kabuki and ukiyo-e, then came to be viewed as an erotic bondage practice and ultimately a culturally prescribed S&M play.

Most recently, fashion brand Christian Dior debuted a handbag inspired by kinbaku, and the singer Aimyon featured kinbaku in one of her music videos, a panelist noted.

During the panel discussion, Deguchi cited an entrenched viewpoint that “kinbaku culture is deeply embedded in asymmetric male-female domination-subjugation dynamics.”

The comment prompted the female model to respond, “I am in love with the design of shibari and its beautiful techniques.”

She went on to say that she regards shibari as a form of expression and stages performances with the “mind-set that I am creating a work together with (a rope master) with whom I have an equal relationship.”

The organizers’ decision to take down the video and offer a public apology so quickly stirred criticism from people who feared it went against freedom of academic expression.

Masahiro Murata, director of the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art in Aichi Prefecture, recalled an incident when police intervened because part of an exhibition was deemed “indecent” while he served as the director at Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art.

He called the Kyoto organizers’ decision to take down the video unfortunate.

“I want (them) to be cautious about giving it up simply because they have been criticized by people who say, ‘I feel uncomfortable,’” Murata said. “It is unfortunate, even though there was only one more day left for the video to be viewed before it became unavailable. And if their decision was based on a singly protest, it is even more unfortunate.”

Murata, who noted that “any artistic work gets a mixed reception,” has been riled by closures of art exhibitions on grounds the displays are too provocative.

“That deprives the public of an opportunity to be exposed to diverse forms of expression and different point of views,” he said. “That is the biggest problem.”

Sakiko Ohno, who has written extensively about art, offered a different perspective.

“It is fine to study kinbaku as Japanese culture and art,” she said. “But it is supposed to be enjoyed in a secretive space. By airing such a thing on YouTube, where anybody can see it, the organizers should have expected it to draw objections.”

To Ohno, the reaction was hardly surprising.

“The organizers were unprepared to field criticism. I wonder if they thought they could rest on their thinking that it’s art and people will understand,” she said.

(This article was written by Erena Tanaka and Michitaka Kono.)
ETA: The original youtube video has been taken down but you can still see still photographs of the demonstration here:

https://iheartintelligence.com/kyoto-un ... nstration/

She isn't naked but it might still be a bit too racy for work of course.
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Doctor X
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Re: Japan

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When you can’t put your woman at the end of her rope. . . .

– J.D.
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Witness
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Re: Japan

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Anaxagoras
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Re: Japan

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Abdul Alhazred wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:43 pm OK Anax. You've lived in Japan for a while.

Did you previously know that bondage is a traditional Japanese art form, as it might be origami, bonsai or seppuku? :)
Not really. Not as such that would be considered a form of art to be studied and discussed by eminent professors at Kyoto University.

Of course, you know as well as anyone that anything can be considered "art" these days. :P
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We will take the jokes about rope bondage, waifu, and Hunter Biden as "read."







Too soon?

– J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out." – Don
DocX: FTW. – sparks
"Doctor X wins again." – Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry." – His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone." – clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far." – Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig." – Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power." – asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." – gnome

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Witness
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Re: Japan

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Hotel room.
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Re: Japan

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The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
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Re: Japan

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Nike launched an advert highlighting racism in Japan. Now it's facing calls for a boycott

The ad has garnered a wave of praise but also a sharp negative response, including calls to boycott the company.

A Nike advert highlighting racism and bullying in Japan has caused a stir on social media, with some users even calling for a boycott of the company.

Nike, which sponsors biracial Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, released the two-minute commercial on Monday and it has since racked up more than 14 million views on Twitter.

The Japanese-language clip, titled "Keep Moving: Yourself, the Future", shows three teenage girls of mixed or non-Japanese heritage being bullied at school before finding confidence through their football prowess.

It had been liked more than 50,000 times on Nike Japan's YouTube channel by Wednesday, but also disliked by over 30,000 viewers - many of whom accused the sportswear firm of anti-Japanese sentiment.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/nike-launch ... -a-boycott

shuize
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Re: Japan

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Witness wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:15 am Image

Hotel room.

It's very beautiful and I really like that style but those rooms usually only exist in hotels.

Lakeside view aside, if I saw that room outside of a hotel, I would think "These people are either very rich or very poor."

Japanese houses and condos are sometimes sold with "traditional Japanese tatami rooms" as a sales pitch but, in my experience, only the rich can afford to devote that much space to an empty room full time. You might visit someone's house with a nice tatami room that they've cleaned up for your visit. But, in most cases, they usually don't stay that way for long since most middle income Japanese people end up buying more shit than they have space to store.

At least that's how it's been with almost everyone I've known well enough to see their houses when they let their guard down.

My homestay family with whom I've stayed in contact for going on 30 years is a bit of an exception. But that was only after the kids moved out and they rebuilt a much larger house.

By the way, that's another thing you see here. A lot of "modern" Japanese construction is garbage. Houses don't hold value at all. Land, yes. Houses no. It is very common for people to knock down their houses after 30 years and rebuild. In many cases, property with an old house on it is worth less than an empty lot.
Last edited by shuize on Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Japan

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shuize wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:31 am It's very beautiful … empty lot.
Thanks for these interesting Japanese tidbits!
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Traditional Japanese joineries:

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Sound on.
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https://old.reddit.com/r/oddlysatisfyin ... is_height/

Spoiler:
Cloud motion is a simulation, in case you wondered.
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Re: Japan

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The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
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Re: Japan

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In Japan, they have a 'Kanji of the Year' (kanji refers to Chinese characters).

Anyway, they announced this year's kanji.

Something related to the pandemic.
Spoiler:

'Mitsu' for the "three mitsu's" to be avoided:
密閉、密集、密接

enclosed spaces, crowds, and close contact

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-topics/c03824/
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Re: Japan

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Manhole covers go on sale in Nagoya

Nagoya City is selling old manhole covers that were previously used on its streets. A full collection will be on display at a museum later this month.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/ataglance/1269/ (video at the link)
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On my way home from work today (I commute to the office 2 days/week these days) I decided to stop at a Burger King where I haven't been much this year since Corona. Noticed that they were advertising a new "Plant-based Whopper" on the menu, and out of curiosity, I gave it a try. It's a little bit more expensive than a regular Whopper. Same price as a Whopper with cheese, but without the cheese. It was OK. Not too different from a regular beef Whopper. I don't know if I would have noticed the difference really, but since I knew it was different when I bought it I imagined that I could taste a subtle difference.

Looked online later and noticed that SoraNews24 did a write-up a few days ago (I guess this is what passes for "news" in Japan):

Burger King Japan’s new Plant-Based Whopper tastes amazing

I wondered if this is an independent review or if Burger King paid for it. :notsure:
Anyway, if you want to see pictures, follow the link.

I know that it's already last-year's news in the US, but it's newish to Japan.

They aren't really much healthier it seems (if at all: slightly fewer calories and fat but more sodium and less protein; seems like a wash). So unless it's to avoid meat, you're paying a bit more for something that isn't really healthier. If the price was the same I would consider repeating.

Aren't plants supposed to be cheaper and better for the planet? That's what some vegan talking points say, but it's actually more complicated than that. Livestock animals are actually a pretty efficient way of turning calories we cannot use (like grass) into calories we can use, and not all land used to raise livestock is suitable for growing crops. Ideal land for growing crops is flat, but cows can graze in pastures on the side of a hill, for example. And they create fertilizer for crops.
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Cows that graze in the hillside pastures have evolved to have their left legs shorter than their right legs to aid them in their grazing. Round and round they go around the mountain.

They can only go up hill, of course.

When they get to the top and try to go down, they tip over and fall to the bottom, already tenderized and ready for butchering.
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Re: Japan

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Japan OKs extra budget to spend record 175 tril. yen in FY 2020 amid COVID

One of those boring headlines that I usually don't even bother to click, but there's this:
As a result, Japan's total new debt issuance for the year is set to also hit an all-time high of over 112.55 trillion yen, more than double the previous record of 51.95 trillion yen marked in fiscal 2009 following the global financial crisis.

Together with the two extra budgets, the formulation of the third supplementary budget will increase Japan's total annual spending by more than 70 percent from the initial budget of 102.66 trillion yen, fueling concern over a further deterioration in its fiscal health, the worst among major developed nations.
There's more, but you get the picture. Of course, this is happening all over the world, not just in Japan.
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70% seems like a lot.
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Happy retirees…
Japan to raise medical fees for some aged 75 or older

The Japanese government on Monday finalized its plan to raise out-of-pocket medical fees for some people aged 75 or older, as part of efforts to avoid a further hike in the share of the burden on younger generations due to a rapidly aging population and low birthrate.

The plan, which could possibly be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, will require such older people living alone with an annual income of 2 million yen or more to shoulder 20 percent of the fees starting in fiscal 2022, officials said.

"We will curb the growing burden on working generations" and create a social security system that is fair to all, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a panel meeting.

Since 2001, many people aged 75 or older have been paying 10 percent of their medical expenses, compared with the usual 30 percent.

The plan to double the charge for those who can afford it comes as postwar baby boomers start turning 75, fueling concerns over a further ballooning of social security spending.

About 3.7 million people will be affected by the change, according to the officials. The threshold of 2 million yen will apply to a single-person household.

For the majority of elderly couples, it will be 3.2 million yen, they said. The government will submit a bill for the reform to a 150-day ordinary Diet session to convene in January.
https://japantoday.com/category/nationa ... 5-or-older
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Re: Japan

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Witness wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:28 am Happy retirees…
Japan to raise medical fees for some aged 75 or older

Since 2001, many people aged 75 or older have been paying 10 percent of their medical expenses, compared with the usual 30 percent.
30 percent is what the rest of us pay, so they're talking about raising it for seniors from 10 percent to 20 percent, which is still less than what those of us under 75 pay.
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Anaxagoras wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:47 am
Witness wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:28 am Happy retirees…
Japan to raise medical fees for some aged 75 or older

Since 2001, many people aged 75 or older have been paying 10 percent of their medical expenses, compared with the usual 30 percent.
30 percent is what the rest of us pay, so they're talking about raising it for seniors from 10 percent to 20 percent, which is still less than what those of us under 75 pay.
If you go to the doctor for some ailment, what is your out of pocket? Do you have a catastrophic cap?
Last edited by Rob Lister on Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Rob Lister wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:34 am
Anaxagoras wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:47 am
Witness wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:28 am Happy retirees…
Japan to raise medical fees for some aged 75 or older

Since 2001, many people aged 75 or older have been paying 10 percent of their medical expenses, compared with the usual 30 percent.
30 percent is what the rest of us pay, so they're talking about raising it for seniors from 10 percent to 20 percent, which is still less than what those of us under 75 pay.
If you go to the doctor for some ailment, what is your out of pocket?
Usually around 10 to 20 bucks for normal run-of-the-mill stuff. If it requires a hospital stay it may run into the hundreds of dollars (more if you want a private room). In my experience though, I have yet to have any case of "sticker shock" at the price. The government sets the price for every procedure. It's not a free market where practitioners can set their own prices (except for elective stuff like cosmetic procedures).
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Obligate Japanese Christmas:


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1,000 people stuck overnight in Japan traffic jam stretching 9 miles long

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https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/18/asia ... index.html
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Kyushu

Director Morihiro Harano and sound artist Kenjiro Matsuo built a natural instrument in the middle of a lush forest. Their creation featured hundreds of different-sized pieces of wood, each sounding an individual note when struck. A wooden ball then cascades down the structure, hitting every resonant note of a Bach masterpiece. Cue spine-tingling beauty.

The instrument plays 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring', the final movement to Bach's famous cantata 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben'. It's made by hand from 100 per cent raw materials and, unbelievably, the video contains no special effects.
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Father gets 7 years in prison for raping his daughter aged 12

Japan is very strict if you get caught with any kind of illegal drugs, but sex crimes? Not so much.

This was a reversal of a lower court ruling that found the daughter's testimony unreliable. See story for details.
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Re: Japan

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– J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out." – Don
DocX: FTW. – sparks
"Doctor X wins again." – Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry." – His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone." – clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far." – Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig." – Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power." – asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." – gnome

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On top of Mt.Fuji at Sunrise.

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The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
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Re: Japan

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Regulatory loophole blamed for asbestos detected in bath mats in Japan

TOKYO -- A series of bath mats and other items containing asbestos have been discovered since November among "hometown tax" gifts offered by a local government in western Japan, as well as products offered by major Japanese furniture retailers, prompting large-scale recalls.

All the products contained diatomite, a highly water-absorbent mineral material, leading some internet users to speculate that it is this ingredient that is behind the asbestos danger. Experts, however, have pointed out that "diatomite is irrelevant to this case."
...
Several regulatory blind spots lurk behind how the recalled products got into circulation. The first such example is gifts to taxpayers who made donations to the Kaizuka Municipal Government in Osaka Prefecture under the "hometown tax donation" system.

Kaizuka announced in November that some 15,000 bath mats and 2,500 coasters made by local firm Hori Mokkosho and handled by the municipality between August 2016 and February 2020 could contain asbestos. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Kaizuka local government, which carried out inspections, the asbestos concentration was 0.38% for large bath mats, 0.61% for small bath mats, and 0.1-0.3% for coasters -- over the national government's regulatory limit of 0.1%.

The items were made of extruded cement panels using materials that included diatomite, and the products' maintenance instructions recommended using sand paper on the surface to maintain absorbency. According to the health ministry, there is no issue when using the items as they are, but particles including asbestos could be released if the mats and coasters are sanded or broken. According to the municipal government, Hori Mokkosho contacted individuals who received the hometown tax gifts, and sent them replacement products that do not contain asbestos, among other measures.

There is also the question of why the products contain asbestos at all.

According to the health ministry, the company manufactured the bath mats and coasters by processing cement panels procured in 2001 from a firm in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture. This came before the revision of the enforcement order of the Industrial Safety and Health Act in 2006, which specified the 0.1% asbestos limit.
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20 ... na/033000c
shuize
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Re: Japan

Post by shuize »

Witness wrote: Fri Dec 25, 2020 1:34 am
On top of Mt.Fuji at Sunrise.

Image

I'm trying to work out where my takeoff is in that picture.



The Sun is rising in the east, the shadow is falling west, and the Sun is on my right. I'm thinking the takeoff should be out of the picture south (i.e. "left" in the photo).

But then there's this:

https://www.windy.com/?35.363,138.571,11


ETA: Ok. I think I have it figured out. The Sun's winter arc is even further south than I thought.
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Witness
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Re: Japan

Post by Witness »

Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications to restrict access to smartphones to prevent piracy

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) announced on April 25 that it aims to install a function that restricts access to illegal pirate sites, such as comic books and books posted on the Internet without permission, on smartphones and other devices. The system will add a function to prevent access to pirated sites to security software that prevents virus infection, making it harder for users to browse. The service is expected to start soon.  A list of pirated sites compiled by the publishing industry is provided to security software vendors for inclusion in their "filtering" functions, and when a user tries to connect to the relevant site, the software blocks communication or issues a warning. The system will be made a standard feature, but it will also be possible to disable it, respecting the user's choice.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Original (Japanese): https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/7bb2e ... 614b4d29c8

Compulsory gubment software on your gear?