Saturday, 28 February 2009
- Japan Probe (nothing to do with Uranus, but a damned good, well-read round-up of all the sublime and ridiculous goings-on that pass for life in Japan, but then dear readers, you already knew that).
- Blue Lotus (a tasty treat of a blog - WRITTEN BY A WOMAN).
Friday, 27 February 2009
US vows to humour Japan on obsession with North Korean kidnappings
Japan agrees to supply US troops in Afghanistan with napkins
Er, that's about the size of it.
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Don't worry, Our Man's put his pencil away for a bit. He was going to find out what came of Aso's epic meeting with Mr O., but then got sidetracked by matters closer to home: sorting out his health insurance. Yes, Britain's highly inefficient, bureaucratic nightmare that is the National Health Service was a pain in the arse - all too literally. But here in Japan, you have to pay up front for the privelege of having doctors tell you to take a couple of aspirin. Actually, there are no GP gatekeepers here, when you are ill, you decide which specialist doc to see - all by yourself. The only problem is when you have to be hospitalised for something serious - hospitals seem to be under no obligation to accept you - if they are full, which they frequently are, sling your hook - even if it means death.
Then there's the insurance malarchy. Take your pick - lowish monthly payments (￥5,000) but they don't cover the three biggest killers - cancer, heart disease and car accidents - or choose which nasty ways to die you reckon will get you and pay a premium.
It amounts to: I bet you 50 quid that I'll snuff it this month v. the bookie's 5,000 quid that you won't. The odds get worse as you get older though.
The bookie always wins this game.
Odd picture sort of symbolic of something or other lifted from here.
Monday, 23 February 2009
Sunday, 22 February 2009
- Observing Japan (the Japan policy-wonk's policy wonk)
- Shisaku (the insider's insider)
- Global Talk21 (the formerly-insider-now-outsider's formerly-insider-now-outsider)
- Japan. A blog. By a Penguin (like it says)
- Japan without the Sugar (good posts, but frequently without the headlines too)
- The Ghost Letters (written by an honest chap, but with worse spelling than OMIA agent provocateur Dr Datsun Kildare)
- Let's Do English (please explain the difference between a particle and an article)
- Foreign Salaryman (a very funny blog by a Swede out of water)
- There were also a bunch of German sites that linked to Our Man, but he can't find them now, which is a crying shame because he was going to make hilarious puns referring to Kennedy's speech (you know, the Ich bin ein Abikoer one).
- Is that the time, must go to bed.
Saturday, 21 February 2009
Friday, 20 February 2009
History is against him.
The Brits at the height of the Empire failed to subdue the place, the Commies failed to do it, the Bush baby with help from NATO failed to do it, why should it be different this time? Because Mr O. promises change. Hmmm. It's nice to believe we can always forge our own path, but no respect for the past means we are forever doomed to repeat the same mistakes, proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Here's a little video, offered free to Our Man's keen students of history:
By the way, many thanks to Motsamai for this link here, proving that a little historical perspective and copious amounts of alcohol are not always a bad thing. Take, hic, heart Nakagawa-san.
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Monday, 16 February 2009
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Saturday, 14 February 2009
Friday, 13 February 2009
Well, here's a tough call. As Our Man in Abiko, should Our Man be happy or sad over this story of awarding a 7.5 billion-quid contract for trains to a Japanese-led consortium? Well, nice work if you can get it. The cartoon is the Grauniad's excellent Steve Bell's take on the story. Our Man says, work's work. Maybe Japan will reciprocate by keeping the Toyota lines running in Derby, where the Bombardier trains would have been made.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Monday, 9 February 2009
- 親友【語源】の略〕 // 〈米俗〉 // 〈米俗・卑〉 // // // // 〈米南西部〉 // 〔男の親友＝ 〕 // （秘密や心配事などを） // 〔悪い意味で用いることが多い〕 // // 〈米黒人俗〉 // // // // // // // // // // 〈俗〉〔【参考】homie〕 // 〔【直訳】家庭用フライパン〕 // // // 〈米俗〉 // // // // // 〈米黒人俗〉 // 〔【語源】" "がズボンの前ポケットを意味し、そこがスリに会わない安全な場所だったことから。〕 // //// 〈米俗〉 // 〈米・黒人俗〉 // [ ] [ ]〈米俗・卑〉 // 〈俗〉 // // // // // 〈米俗〉 // 〈米話〉 // 〔
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Saturday, 7 February 2009
Friday, 6 February 2009
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Just when he thought it couldn't get worse... this here article right here dropped into Our Man's hazy consciousness care of Gen Kanai's endeavours. True, Our Man's interest was piqued by the blog's name - Naked Capitalism - but sadly it was "ironically naked" like Jamie Oliver (is he still alive?). There wasn't much in the way of erotic economists on offer, instead a stimulating - in all the wrong ways - talk about Japan being on the edge of the abyss. The line of thought, as far as Our Man could follow it (counting all his fingers and toes) is thus (DANGER - bullets approaching):
- The economic data coming out of Japan right now is dire.
- In fact it's double-dire with brass nobs on.
- And even worse than that - never in the course of human history have so many lost so much in so short a time by so few.
- And there's worse to come: The current woes are based on the rest of the world messing up from a few months back. Once the insanely inflated value of the yen starts to hit exports - the figures will get even worse.
...which means the party's over.
Our Man might need that drink from the Seven-11 now...