A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daily Life (Days 2360 – 2366 ) - Book #2 Coming Soon


Picture of the week:








Welcome to my new blog format where I will separate my daily life diary stuff, from the Japan news stuff. So you will be seeing 2 or three updates per week if I'm not too busy. I also may include some random stuff here if I had a very boring day. 


Days 2360 – 2366 
Thursday, September 4 – Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Days 2360 ( New Book Coming Soon )
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ok so last week I was bored out of my wits at work and at home. And guess what? I decided today at work that I'm going to write another book! This is the working title for now.


Many parts of it I assume will change over time.

I am already looking forward to seeing the end result of this project.

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Day 2361 (Yaki tori in Takaoka)
Friday, September 5, 2014


After a boring day at work, I met up with 2 of my Jamaican friends as well as 2 of my newest Japanese friends. We had some really good laughs and a great time talking about Jamaican culture and the differences between the average Japanese and Jamaican.



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Day 2362 ( Sports Day )
Saturday, September 6, 2014


Went to the school's sports day today half asleep. I was soo tired..... Age is taking a toll...Even though I'm still young..... to add to it, they wanted me to run against some of the second and third year students today. Oh Lord.




So yeah, I got some practice by running against some of the second year students. I came in 2/8. Then in short order, I ran against some dudes from the track and field club. To my dismay.....I came in 5/8. But for reasons beyond me, the teachers and students were praising me saying that I can run very fast??? They especially like my running form, saying that my running form looks so cool and different from how they train Japanese students to run. Several teachers came up to me saying I looked like a real athlete. Ha ... I've never heard this before.


I eventually went up to the staff room and slept for a bit because I was even further exhausted after those 2 races. After the sports day, I helped cleaning up and taking down tents etc. then went home.

In the evening, I had to pay 8000 yen (US$80) for a teachers drinking party. I paying so much money for these darn drinking parties. They had sushi




and some other stuff that I didn't like but the other food was really good as well. So I filled my stomach with the food, alcohol and random drinks. I had to get my money's worth. Why are these parties so expensive tho? I don't get it.


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Day 2363 (  )
Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stayed in today pretty much working on my new book. I completed 3 chapters out of a possible 10.


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Day 2364 (  )
Monday, September 8, 2014

Got a day off today because of work on Saturday. Again I stayed in and worked on my upcoming book.



What do you think about this pic?

Also got my new leather sofa that I ordered over a week ago from Nitori.




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Day 2365 ( Wedding Invitation )
Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Did nothing at work today.

I got invited to the wedding of a friend of mine who lived in Niimi. The date is October 7. Unfortunately, the people from the Board of Education will be viewing my class in Toyama on that very day. Not to evaluate me, but more so the teacher who I will be teaching with.



I wish I could go to the wedding tho, seriously. I basically watched this once nervous, shy teenager, turned into a man and about to get married. Makes me wonder... Why am I not yet married at 33?  My dad already had like 4 kids at my age. My mom already had my sister. Jesus and Bob Marley died at my age !!!! Aah I'm feeling the urge to make my mother proud. But the marriage stories I hear so far is not at all encouraging ... sigh.


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Day 2366 ( Pay Day )
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I got paid !!! and ooooh the bills are piling up... What is it with me getting more pay and my salary seems less? hmmm The Japanese government takes so much money from me that I won't get back. It is ridiculous. I think close to 50,000 yen (US $500) comes out of my salary every month. And I possibly have no chance of getting back a single yen.

Life insurance, Health insurance, tax, and pension. Then I physically had to go pay my residence tax today as well. 35,000 yen (US$350) every 3 months. Don't come here if you are not prepared to be raped of your hard earned money.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What is Wrong With America? / Japan's 10 Best Places to Live / Japan's Boob Squeeze Challenge Video


Picture of the week:




Day 2353 ( MUFJ Visa Debit Card / Bicycle in Toyama Stolen)
Thursday, August 28, 2014

My manager in Yokohama told me I could get the day off today to pack and head to Toyama. The foreign boss for the Toyama area initially said I should report to work in Yokohama pretty much with my luggage and leave from there for the airport !! I guess he was sticking by the books. I have too many bosses. On paper now though, I am assigned to the Toyama area... Not Yokohama.

Anyway, while at home  the delivery man came with my MUFJ Visa debit card. Finally. It would be good and bad if I had it while on vacation. Good because I could buy more stuff but bad because when I get back to Japan my money would be slowly depleting lol... So I guess it came right on time then....



I finally finished packing in the evening and had to walk a bit in the rain to go to the train station with my luggage. Aah bwoy. 

While at the airport, I saw another trainer with the Toyama branch. We took the same flight because we both have a meeting tomorrow. So now this makes my 8th flight between July 25th and today. I was lucky to have seen that trainer, because another person working with the branch was there waiting on him with a car. So they dropped me back to my apartment. We were speaking about all manner of company politics and gossip while we were heading to my apartment. When I got there, my beloved bicycle was missing in action !!! Stolen in TOYAMA !!!! 

Goodbye Betsy

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Day 2354 ( Where am I? )
Friday, August 29, 2014

Woke up this morning not having a clue where I was seriously.




I looked up in the ceiling and wondered if I was in Atlanta



Jamaica




Yokohama  



Or Toyama




Then it finally hit me that I was in Toyama and I have a meeting in 2 hours. I got ready and had to walk for about 20 mins to the tram station then take another tram, then walked to the meeting location. It took about 1 hour in total, which would usually take me 25 mins if I had my bicycle.....

I told them at the meeting about my bicycle situation and they said they will look into it!! ... Ha. .. Well I guess it's really my fault and not their responsibility at all....So I'm going to have to purchase a new one.

After the meeting, I went to the police station to report the theft, then went to the Jamaican restaurant to purchase a party ticket. There will be some sort of reggae party in Toyama on the 13th.     



Afterwards I bought a sofa at Nitori. However I won't be getting it until Sept 8th. I eventually got in my apartment at about 8pm. 

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Day 2355 ( What is Wrong With America? )
Saturday, August 30, 2014


Today was boring. Stayed in, slept, watched anime and that was it. 


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What is Wrong With America?



For the second time since April, the N.B.A. has been rocked by a disclosure from a team owner that the presence of blacks at games negatively affects the bottom line.

Bruce Levenson, who had a controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks, sent an email in August 2012 to the team’s general manager, Danny Ferry, and other members of the club’s ownership, complaining about the team’s struggle to “get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season” tickets. 

“My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base,” Levenson wrote in the email. 

Levenson, who announced Sunday that he would sell his stake in the Hawkscomplained that his franchise was drawing an “overwhelmingly black audience.”

He complained that most of the Hawks cheerleaders were black, that the music played in the arena was hip-hop or gospel, and that “there are few fathers and sons at the games.”

Now I understand why the N.B.A. did not want the Donald Sterling case to go to trial. Why the league did not want to follow the truth to where it really led.

Now it should.




In light of this second embarrassing disclosure, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver should conduct an investigation to find out how many other Donald Sterlings and Bruce Levensons are among the league’s owners and top executives. Who are the racists, the sexists, the homophobes? Throughout the Sterling ordeal, I maintained that the best thing that could have happened to the N.B.A. — to all of us — was for the case to go to trial. To push Sterling — who was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers several months after an audio recording in which he was heard making racist comments was released in April, — to acknowledge what he knew about the deeds and misdeeds of other owners and top executives in the league.

Instead the case was settled. The Sterling saga ended last month when Steve Ballmer, the former chief of Microsoft, completed a $2 billion purchase of the Clippers. Levenson will most likely make plenty of money from the sale of the Hawks, as well.

But the deeply rooted problem of racism will persist and again rear its head somewhere down the line. “We all may have subtle biases and preconceptions when it comes to race,” Levenson said in his predictable letter of apology.

Perhaps. But we’re not all multibillionaires whose wealth and power can transform dinner-table bigotry into large-scale policy and practices that affect the course of human events.

Levenson, 64, is a sharp operator who knew exactly what he was saying and why he felt the need to say it. Silver said in a statement Sunday that Levenson notified the league in July of his 2012 email. The N.B.A. subsequently started an investigation into the context of the remarks. But on Saturday night, without prompting from the league, Levenson decided the best move would be to sell the team.

Silver’s statement added, “Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Levenson notified me last evening that he had decided to sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks.”

Silver commended Levenson for self-reporting and for cooperating with the league’s investigation. And, of course, he criticized Levenson’s remarks as being in “stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association.”

Really?


I’m curious to hear how Ferry responded to Levenson’s email. Did he agree? Disagree? Was Levenson chastised within the organization when he made the remarks, for sending something so potentially explosive? Was there general agreement among the recipients of the email that the content was O.K., or did they simply decide not to voice their thoughts in writing?

Because the email was so open and earnest, it is likely that Levenson believed he was not being racist but was simply addressing a problem that seemed obvious to him.

Indeed, the vast majority of those who self-identify as white in the United States rarely find themselves continually in situations where they are outnumbered by blacks.

Whether it is where they live, where they work, where they worship or where they play, “whiteness” is the norm. How do whites respond in a situation in which they are not the majority? Do they stay away from that situation, and not attend a certain event — say, a Hawks game, as Levenson suggested in his email?

In his 2012 email, Levenson wrote that he thought that “Southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority.” “Racist” is an explosive, sometimes imprecise word that conjures up images of night riders on horses with hoods and torches.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/sports/basketball/bruce-levensons-email-reveals-depth-of-nbas-racism-issues.html?_r=2


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Day 2356 ( Ordered New Bike / Japan's 10 Best Places to Live )
Sunday, August 31, 2014


Another boring day, did the same thing as yesterday. Slept and watched anime. Also ordered a new bicycle for about US $140. This time I have to stand the full cost. 


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Japan's 10 Best Places to Live


The idea of living in a high-rise condo in downtown Tokyo makes for a nice daydream. Between the high cost of housing and the inescapable hustle and bustle of Japan’s capital, though, when it comes time to actually pick a home, many people decide they’d rather live in one of Japan’s other cities, or one of Tokyo’s suburbs at least.
Underlining this trend are the results of a survey by newly formed magazine Aene which asked Japanese housewives which town they’d be happiest living in. Central Tokyo failed to crack the top 10, although the No. 1 pick isn’t too far away from the capital.
As part of the survey, Aene created a set of parameters it dubbed Happy Quality, which evaluated the towns based on their family-friendliness, economic factors, food and health conditions, access to entertainment, and overall convenience of daily life.
Perhaps as a result of focusing on the opinions of people who don’t work outside the home, only five of the top 10 were rated as having local economic conditions above the survey average. On the other hand, all of the highest-rated towns performed extremely well in the other four categories, with study participants showing a particular fondness for areas with parks or other natural environments, good schools, and historical significance.
When asked what specifically was indicative of a convenient place to live, the second-most common response was proximity to a train or subway station, which was given by 28.9% of the women in the study. Far surpassing this, though, was the 47.8% who answered that what they really wanted was a large mall, supermarket, or shopping street.
The reason behind this is a little more complex than just “Women shop a lot,” as shopping is often connected to several of the parameters in Aene’s Happy Quality index. Toshio Noguchi, a professor of marketing at Japan’s prestigious Waseda University, points out that how and when Japanese consumers shop has changed, giving the activity a different role in family dynamics. “Until recently, it was the norm for housewives to do shopping each day at local retailers. Now, though, we’re seeing more families going shopping together at larger centers on the weekend, buying in bulk. Necessary shopping itself has become a form of leisure, and malls are becoming a place where communication within the family happens.”
So, which towns in Japan ranked the highest in the survey? Let’s start with number 10.
10. Hiroshima City (Hiroshima Prefecture)

Respondents were impressed by the kind and friendly attitude of Hiroshima’s citizens. Being the prefectural capital means it’s a developed city, but not nearly as crowded as Tokyo.
9. Nihama (Ehime Prefecture)
The first of two towns on the island of Shikoku to make the list, Nihama offers both job opportunities with local industry and proximity to the Inland Sea and its delicious seafood.
8. Moriya (Ibaraki Prefecture)

Moriya’s Happy Quality was balanced across the five criteria, with special mention given to its modern shopping facilities.
7. Ikoma (Nara Prefecture)
Ikoma is essentially a suburb of Nara City, being just 30 minutes away by train. Its high ranking was due in no small part to its proximity to the many culturally and historically important temples of Japan’s former capital.
6. Fukuoka City (Fukuoka)

One of the most populous cities in the top 10, Fukuoka got a boost from its local food scene which includes delicacies such as spicy cod roe, hot-pot, and pork stock ramen.
5. Matsuyama (Ehime Prefecture)
Back in Ehime again, living in the relatively cozy prefectural capital still provides for a laid-back lifestyle, plus proximity to some of Japan’s best citrus fruit and one of its oldest hot springs, Dogo Onsen.
4. Mitaka City (Tokyo)
Technically still part of Tokyo, Mitaka lies outside the metropolis’ 23 main wards. Easy access to central Tokyo, the lush greenery of Inokashira Park, and the nearby Ghibli Museum all contribute to Mitaka’s elegant and sophisticated vibe.
3. Nishinomiya (Hyogo Prefecture)

Situated between the much larger cities of Kobe and Osaka, Nishinomiya lets residents enjoy the fantastic food of each, including Kobe beef, takoyaki, kushi katsu, and the wonders of Kobe’s Chinatown. It’s also the home of Koshien, Japan’s most storied baseball stadium that hosts both Osaka’s professional team, the Hanshin Tigers, and the country’s twice-annual high school tournament championships. It’s also become a bit of a shopper’s paradise due to its numerous malls.
2. Inagi City (Tokyo)
Lying just outside the 23 wards, Inagi has a shocking amount of greenery if your only image of Tokyo is the Shibuya Scramble intersection. It isn’t limited to parks, either, as the town is also where you’ll find the Otsuka Farm. Life in Inagi isn’t completely bucolic, though, as the town also has its own branches of Costco and Ikea.
1. Fujisawa (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Taking home the top spot is Fujisawa, the coastal city in Kanagawa which includes Enoshima Island. Fujisawa combines the relaxed atmosphere you’d expect from a beach town with extremely convenient public transportation, as a train ride from Enoshima Station to Shinjuku, in the heart of Tokyo, will take you less than 30 minutes. Add in centuries-old temples, colorful local legends about fearsome dragons falling in love with beautiful princesses, and breathtaking sunset views of Mount Fuji, and it’s easy to see why Fujisawa is loved not just by housewives, but by anyone who can appreciate nature, history, or just the relaxing sound of the waves.

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Day 2357 ( The Best Tea in Japan / Boob Squeeze Challenge)
Monday, September 1, 2014

First day of work in the school, but had no class. Spent the day pretty much watching the students practice for their sports day which will be this coming Saturday.


After work, I posted some tea to my home. I brought back this tea to Jamaica just to see if my family would like it like I do. I think they finished it the same day or in 2 days. This is the best tasting tea in Japan.... Just try it.



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Boob Squeeze Challenge for AIDS awareness. 



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Day 2358 ( New Bicycle / Escape Plan )
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Got a new bicycle today. 


I preferred the one before because of the big tires. But this one seems faster. What should I do if I spot the person on my previous bicycle ????

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Escape Plan

Watched this movie, Escape Plan today after work. Initially I thought it was going to be madness. But it was actually pretty good. The main antagonist wasn't the best actor tho. 



But it was pretty interesting overall. I give it a 7/10. 


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Day 2359 ( Lone Survivor )
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Another "nothing to do but watch the students practice for sport day" day at work. Jeez ... It's boring here !!! Help.... I need something to do. Toyama and Yokohama is like night and day. It's either really busy or absolutely nothing. What to do what to do? Oh I know what I will do!!! I'll tell you next week.   

When I got home I watched a movie called Lone Survivor, based on a true story. This was a really good movie showing the continuous war on the Taliban. I give it a 7.5 / 10.  


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Usain Bolt Running Until 2017 / Sperm Donation Controversy in Japan / Crime in Japan on the Increase / Naughty Japanese Cops

Picture of the week:




Day 2346 ( Back to Work! / 

Man arrested after jumping from aircraft at Narita airport

)

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Got only about 4 hours sleep after all that flying. I actually started receiving emails about work while I was in Jamaica but refused to read them simply because I was on vacation !!! I assisted with the training of about 20 persons today. I was super jet lagged so I didn't do much. But still helped out the main trainer in whatever way I could. Visited my friend after work and fell asleep swiftly.  


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Man arrested after jumping from aircraft at Narita airport





A 33-year-old man was arrested after he opened the emergency door and jumped from a Philippine Airlines plane as it was approaching the terminal at Narita airport on Saturday.
According to police, the suspect, identified as Hirokatsu Tachihara, got out of his seat and opened the emergency exit door as Flight 434 was approaching the terminal at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Fuji TV reported.
Police said he jumped about 4 meters to the tarmac and ran for about 150 meters before he was apprehended by security guards.
The flight had just arrived from Cebu.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/man-arrested-after-jumping-from-aircraft-at-narita-airport?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-08-03_PM


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Day 2347 ( Sperm Donation Controversy )
Friday, August 22, 2014

Saw 2 sets of demonstrations today from the new teachers who are joining my company in September. During summer, droves of teachers leave yearly. The only good thing is that this coincides with the time when JETs contract usually end. So there are always a few JETs in the training group. While watching the second set of demonstrations, jet lag started kicking in vigorously !!! I fought with it for a while then had to go buy an energy drink.  

After work, I went to Shibuya to meet a friend of mine, then went to the Jamaican restaurant there. 


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Maternity clinic in Nagano sparks debate over sperm donation controversy






When a couple is ready to have children but there is an infertility issue with the father-to-be that prevents normal conception, in this day and age they have a number of options to consider. Artificial insemination from an anonymous donor is one route to take, as is as adoption. Or here’s another approach: If you’re the mother, how about getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization with a sperm donation from your husband’s father?
It’s become the topic of intense debate in Japan over the past few days after new details about the practice emerged from a maternity clinic in Nagano Prefecture.
In vitro fertilization is a form of assisted reproductive technology in which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized in a test tube or dish (or “in vitro”), and then implanted back into the woman’s uterus. Depending on the specific situation, the sperm used to fertilize them is taken from either the woman’s partner or from a donor, whether anonymous or not. In the case we’re about to discuss, it’s taken not just from a friend, but the woman’s actual father-in-law. In other words, the child’s grandfather suddenly becomes his biological father.

The Suwa Maternity Clinic in Nagano Prefecture made waves through the Japanese media last week when they announced that from 1996 through last year, 79 couples at the clinic have collectively had 118 children using the woman’s father-in-law’s sperm via in vitro fertilization procedures. This isn’t the first time the clinic has been at the center of intense public scrutiny, either – in the past, they made headlines after performing selective abortions to fetuses.
As for this newest debate related to sperm donations at the clinic, here’s the breakdown of the numbers:
Between 1996 and 2013
146 couples received sperm from close relatives:
110 couples from the husband’s father
28 couples from the husband’s brother
Eight couples from anonymous sources
Out of the 110 couples who received sperm donations from the husband’s father, 79 couples became pregnant and a total of 118 children were born. Out of those same 79 couples, 19 of them went on to have two or more children using the same method.
As far as the causes of male infertility were concerned:
81 of the husbands, the cause was unknown
12 had a chromosomal abnormality
Five were undergoing cancer treatments
Two were related to spinal cord injuries
Lastly, the men who donated sperm (in other words, the mothers’ fathers-in-law) ranged significantly in age:
20 of them were in their 50s
73 were in their 60s
17 were in their 70s
According to Asahi Shimbun, this practice of using a close relative’s sperm could violate guidelines regarding infertility treatments already set in place in Japan. A report published by a health ministry council in 2003 decreed that in vitro fertilization should only be performed using eggs or sperm from an anonymous third-party donor. Similarly, the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology “limits in vitro fertilization to gametes of couples in legal or common-law marriages.”

Suwa Maternity Clinic Director Yahiro Netsu defended his clinic’s practices at a conference of the Japan Society of Fertilization and Implantation in Tokyo on July 31, stating that pregnancy rates after utilizing in vitro fertilization with the father-in-law’s sperm have been significantly higher (38.2%) than the rates resulting from other kinds of infertility treatments. In addition, many couples he works with actively seek to use the sperm of a close family member to secure a blood connection and inherit genes from the father’s side of the family. He stressed that such couples undergo extensive counseling beforehand, including how to clearly define family roles if a child is born so relations won’t become too complicated.
This topic has provoked some strong reactions from Japanese citizens concerning ethical issues. The majority were critical of the practice, posing questions such as “Will the children really be able to accept the fact that their grandfather is really their dad?”, while others seemed a bit more understanding of those couples who wish to create a stronger biological connection using the grandfather’s sperm. Finally, there were those who didn’t seem to favor one stance strongly either way, but felt that each individual couple should be allowed to make the decision based on their own values.

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Day 2348 ( Godzilla / Crime in Japan on the Increase )
Saturday, August 23, 2014


Went to the theatres today. Can't even tell the last time I've been to the theatre. Probably a year ago. So I went to watch Godzilla ! And ooooh how jet lag was smacking me left and right. 





It was a bit different from the traditional Godzilla coming to destroy the city and helicopters etc trying to stop him. The talking parts had me falling asleep. But overall it was a good movie I would say. I give it a 7.5/10.  I just want to know why is Watanabe Ken 



scripted in every movie that has anything to do with Japan. Aren't there anymore good Japanese actors that can speak English?

Afterwards I went to H and M in Yokohama to do some further shopping. I realize now that I actually really like shopping!! Is that bad as a male? I bought 2 pants and this shoes ... 


But in navy blue. 


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Japanese Crime Rate Rising






Ask people to come up with three words to describe Japan, and you'd probably get ... expensive, modern, and safe.
Expensive? Absolutely.
Modern? Well... relatively.
And Safe? Not necessarily.
In this trusting country, where people once left their doors and windows open and their car keys in the ignition, things have changed.
Break-ins are up, but more disturbing to most Japanese is the increase in break-ins involving violence. Earlier this year a family of four was murdered during a break-in.
National Police Agency figures show that the number of break-ins this year were two-and-a-half times more than last year. In the greater Tokyo area, there were 32,000 reported breaking and entering cases.
Car thefts have also been on the rise. Last year, 56,000 cars were stolen, up from 43,000 in 1999.
Economic Factors
Japanese media reports generally connect rising crime with a decade of stagnant economic conditions and poor employment prospects.
Crime in the past had traditionally been confined to Japanese crime gangs who rarely involved outsiders.
But the enactment of anti-gang legislation in 1992 has forced gangs to seek new sources of income, leading to a rise in turf wars among Japan's organized crime syndicates.
It is difficult to describe just how shocking this change is to the average Japanese citizen.
Personal safety is something people here have taken for granted for centuries, and it's still true that in most parts of Tokyo, people can walk about day and night without fear of being harmed.
But Japan's famous wa, or harmony, is under attack.
One telling measure of how things have changed; sales of locks and security devices are booming.
Do-It-Yourself Safety
Tokyu Hands Shibuya, a popular and always packed do-it-yourself store in a trendy district of Tokyo, was selling 10 times as many security devices so far this year than they did last year, and since a special home security section opened last November, business had soared.
"People are trying to upgrade their old locks to new ones which are stronger and better," Spokeswoman Saho Iwao told ABCNEWS.com. "But demand is now so high, for cylinder locks, customers actually have to wait for a month."
Other big sellers include security cameras, bugging devices, concealed cameras, window opening alarms and anti-car theft devices. Some specialty items even have a waiting list that sometimes takes months to service.
But while the rest of the world may be well accustomed to locks and bolts and battening down the hatches at night, the Japanese are not. For them, this change is both a reality check, and an end of innocence.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=80963


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Day 2349 ( Japanese Driver's Licence Renewal/ More Strange Crimes in Japan )

Sunday, August 24, 2014




After returning to Japan from my 2 weeks vacation, I was greeted with this letter in all wonderful Japanese. I had not a clue as to how to decipher it. Yeah I know, it's bad. I can speak Japanese well enough but reading is an uphill challenge. luckily, its good to have some Japanese friends to call on in these times. I took pictures of the document and sent it to my friend who translated it for me. It was basically telling me that I had between now and October to renew my Japanese Driver's licence. If October passed, I would have to do over the driving test!! I had 2 options: 

(1) Take some time off from work to go to the police station in my area. But I would have to pay them to mail it to me plus wait for 2 weeks to actually receive it. 

(2) Travel for about 1 hour to the licence center, wait a few minutes and get it today, Sunday....   

Option 2 was clearly the best option, as I leave for Toyama this week and have absolutely no other time to do it. If I asked for time from work, it will affect my salary... and I already took an unpaid day off so no no no to option 1. I was even planning to go to a jazz/poetry concert thing tonight but it just didn't work out. My days in Yokohama are just crazy. 


So I went to the licence place, filled out some forms, did an eye test, took a photo, watched a 30 mins video and was of course falling asleep uncontrollably. And yeah I was out after about say 2 hours. 





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SDF pilot arrested for taking photos up girl's skirt at train station


A 42-year-old Air Self-Defense Force pilot has been arrested after he took photos up a girl’s skirt at a train station in Nagareyama, Chiba Prefecture.
According to police, the suspect, identified as Shigetaka Katagiri, took photos up a 27-year-old woman’s skirt with his smartphone, while riding an escalator at Nagareyama Otakanomori station at around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, TBS reported.
Police said that while taking the pictures, Katagiri’s phone came into contact with the woman’s buttocks, causing her to notice and cry out. Katagiri attempted to flee the scene, but was chased and caught by the woman and a man who had been nearby at the time.
According to Ministry of Defense officials, in April of this year, Katagiri was transferred from the ASDF to the Ministry of Defense Inspector General Headquarters. As inspector general, Katagiri had been in charge of enforcing sexual harassment prevention protocols.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/sdf-pilot-arrested-for-taking-photos-up-girls-skirt-at-train-station?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-08-08_AM

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Day 2350 ( Mandatory Health Check / 

Wakayama man arrested for attaching underwear to cars of women he doesn’t know)

Monday, August 25, 2014


Met my friend from Uzbekistan and gave her some stuff from Jamaica. Including a cup looking similar to this one.. Not as big, but this is the closest one resembling it I could find online .... 


I also did my yearly health check.... Heart, pressure, pulse rate, 3 tubes of blood (for what I don't know), eye and ear check, chest X-ray (that checks for cancer but can also give you cancer) ..... Darn I'm concerned about my radiation intake over the past month. I took 7 planes plus did this x-ray thing..... that is probably a year worth of radiation in a month.   



I should get a copy of the results soon. My company should also get a copy of the results and check it, which I heard is an illegal practice in Japan by the way. 



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Later in the evening, I went to Shibuya to have a chat with my Jamaican friend and an American friend from the facebook nomad.ness tribe group. He will be doing a transfer in Tokyo for a while. He is a pharmacist with a famous French company. We were having a heated debate with my Jamaican friend, who said he wanted to go back to Africa to live forever. I mean if anyone want to do that its fine.... He then said all Jamaicans are Africans, which I totally disagree with. We are mixed with all manner of races and I maintain that I am a Jamaican not an African. He maintains that he is African because he is black. I asked him where in Africa his lineage was from but he has no idea... I also asked him where in Africa would he live and he also had no answer. But healthy debate still you know....




A German guy was there listening on our conversation. Participating every now and again. We asked him if he saw himself as white, German or European. Off the bat he said German. To each his own still... Whatever you see yourself as then more power to you. I am 100% Jamaican


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Wakayama man arrested for attaching underwear to cars of women he doesn’t know





A man in Wakayama Prefecture stands accused of violating the obscene behavior clause of the prefecture’s nuisance prevention order.
The suspect is 48-year-old Yoshikazu Kabe who works in the transportation business in Wakayama City. According to police, during the late night of March 3 and morning of March 4, he allegedly affixed several pairs of women’s underwear to the vehicle of a 22-year-old woman, while the car sat in a parking lot in the same city.
Also according to the police, the man admitted to the crime but also said that he had no relationship with the woman whatsoever. Furthermore, there were at least four similar incidents in the same city between March and May of this year that authorities feel may be connected.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/wakayama-man-arrested-for-attaching-underwear-to-cars-of-women-he-doesnt-know?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-08-09_AM


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Day 2351 (Cop arrested for filming woman taking bath)
Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I was asked yesterday to train a new employee for my company. The person already had experience teaching at the elementary school level but will be trying out the high school system now. Actually the main reason I think I was hired for this position is because I have high school teaching experience. I thought I would have to pad up the training to make it longer but actually everything that I planned to do took so much time that it all fitted. I think the training went well over all. The trainee of course had to do a brief presentation of what she learnt. It started at 9:30 am and ended at around 4 pm. I had 2 hours left at work, but absolutely nothing to do. I started falling asleep around my desk again. A combination of boredom and jet lag.  

After work I went to Machida (a busy part of Tokyo) 




to meet my old friend Vany (hey see I mentioned you again) and had some good yaki tori. We had a loong chat about random stuff. Was falling asleep while heading back home on both trains. I know I'm not so tired, so this was definitely jet lag. 


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Cop arrested for filming woman taking bath






A 46-year-old Kanagawa prefectural police officer has been arrested on suspicion of using his smartphone to film a woman taking a bath at home.

According to police, the officer, identified as Akira Yanagida, entered the grounds of the woman’s apartment building in Fujisawa on the night of July 21 and filmed her in the bathroom through a window, TV Asahi reported Wednesday. The woman’s apartment is on the first floor.
Police said Yanagida filmed the woman, who is in her 30s, for about five minutes before leaving.
The case came to light after Yanagida tried to film another woman taking a bath on July 30. But she saw him and called police without letting him know. Police rushed to the scene and apprehended Yanagida as he was riding away on a bike, TV Asahi reported.
Police said they examined Yanagida’s smartphone camera contents and found footage of the July 21 incident.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/cop-arrested-for-filming-woman-taking-bath?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-08-14_AM

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Day 2352 ( Sponsors persuade Bolt to run until 2017 / More Naughty Japanese Cops !!)
Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Had a meeting at work today, and if you didn't know, all my company meetings are conducted in Japanese only!! I can catch at least a good 60% of what is going on though and I ask the other staff members afterwards, just to make certain. 

At lunch time, I went to the UFJ bank (the main bank in Japan) to collect a visa debit card that I applied for before heading to Jamaica.

They said I can't get it today, or I would have to wait within 3 days.... Unfortunately tomorrow I head back to Toyama :( ... This card can be used in ATMs all over the world... It would have been great if I had this card while travelling to the US and Jamaica. 


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Sponsors persuade Bolt to run until 2017





Sprint superstar Usain Bolt revealed Friday that he will put back his planned retirement until 2017 at the request of his sponsors.
The six-time Olympic gold medalist and 100m and 200m world record holder had intended to retire from the track after the 2016 Rio Olympics, but he told a news conference Friday that he will compete for a further extra year.
“I think I’m going to do another year. My sponsors asked me to do one more year, so I will compete until 2017,” said the 27-year-old Jamaican.
If he sticks to his plan then Bolt’s last competition is likely to be the 2017 world championships in London.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/sports/view/sponsors-persuade-bolt-to-run-until-2017?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-08-16_AM


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Osaka police sergeant arrested for putting smartphone between woman's legs on train





A 41-year-old police sergeant from the Osaka Tondabayashi police station has been arrested after it was discovered that while riding in a train, he put his smartphone between a woman’s legs.
Osaka police identified the officer as Tetsuhiro Nomura. TBS quoted police as saying that the incident occurred at around 11 p.m. on Aug 12 in a train on the Kintetsu Minami Osaka line. Nomura is alleged to have placed his smartphone between the legs of a woman in her 20s who was sitting next to him at the time.
According to police, the woman, who had been dozing, grabbed Nomura after she felt the smartphone.
Nomura has denied any wrongdoing, police said, claiming that the woman grabbed him for no reason.
Police, however, later found a picture on his smartphone that had been taken at the time, showing a small bit of the woman’s clothing.
TBS reported that in 2000, Nomura was issued a warning by the chief of police after another case in which he groped a woman in a train carriage.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/osaka-police-sergeant-arrested-for-putting-smartphone-between-womans-legs-on-train?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-08-15_AM