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The bad side of Japan (or at least Tokyo)

By American in Japan   2011 Jun 14, 11:47pm   52 links   10,418 views   30 comments   watch (0)   quote      

There is some interest here so I will post this side.

(1) Japan doesn't honor the UN convention on childhood abductions (but this *might* change).

(2) Forced confessions by police. They can keep you for 21 days without even allowing you a single call.

(3) People (especially in Tokyo) are either way too busy (usually with work or studying) or they have too much time on their hands (few are at a happy medium).

(4) Dangerous cyclists on sidewalks...it has really gotten worse since 2005.

(5) The suicide rate is one of the highest in the world. In terms of numbers over 30,000 per year.

(6) Too much complaining by people without any accompanying action, just getting drunk.

(7) Still too many smokers (most of which have bad manners). Finally fewer than 50% or men now smoke here (but the rate was 60% in 1995)...

(8) Soft punishment for those under 20 who commit major crimes. They can literally get away with murder.

#crime

Comments 1-30 of 30     Last »

1   Done!     2011 Jun 25, 10:54pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Um for item two there's a national self disembowelment apparatus to aid in said national past time.

Number three is because either you work a million hours a week, or word gets out you're shiftless and lazy, and you don't work at all.

Drinking is all one can do for Japans problems right now. I mean entire Villages are gone, for Centuries, Japan has had a self perception of who they are, and where villages are located. In the blink of an eye, it's all gone.

2   American in Japan     2011 Jun 25, 11:22pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Thanks for the comments... I wanted to have a balance post since some here think I think Japan is the perfect place.

3   American in Japan     2011 Jul 16, 9:41am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Crime is supposed to be down in Japan this year...
but wait until the this crop of rice gets harvested and the food mislabelling crimes begin in force. I am quite serious. These crimes usually don't kill anyone (immediately anyway) and of course the companies stay in business. Look at Chisso and Minamata's disease caused by mercury poisoning....there is crime and crime in Japan.The real criminals like Tepco and Chisso get away with it time and time again.This media influenced image of the tattooed yakuza (mafia) or the punk deadbeat or the foreigner detract from the reality that some of the biggest crimes here are done by big business and there are victims. (Thanks OsakadazJul for your ideas)

4   Truthplease     2011 Jul 16, 10:28am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I don't miss Japan. Spent time in Okinawa, which I would consider the redneck part of Japan.

2. Yep. Seen this happen even to American citizens.
4. The motorscooters scared the hell out me the first time I drove over there. Like swarming bees.

5   American in Japan     2011 Jul 16, 11:28am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Don't get me wrong, there are many things I like here too (see other post), but I wanted to have one covering the bad side as well...

6   American in Japan     2011 Oct 17, 9:42am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I didn't see so many motorscooters... Certainly not like in Taipei.

7   TwoScoopsMcGee   1713/1713 = 100% civil   2011 Oct 17, 6:19pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

AIJ, I wonder if you could speak to the people who live in internet cafes. There seems to be quite a few people who live and work there in Japan, or is that a false impression?

8   American in Japan     2011 Oct 18, 12:46am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

There are a number of people who do that. I even stayed overnight in one a few years ago, when I wanted to hang out late past the last train. Now I live closer in...

9   Bigsby     2012 May 10, 7:43pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I'm surprised it was only 60% in 1995. Seemed a lot higher.
Anyway, you've really put the boot into Japan with that list. Shocking stuff. :-D
I would've added that it's pretty racist as well once you scratch the surface, but that might be improving.
Still, I love the country, which is a good thing as my wife is going to take me back there when retirement eventually comes.

10   zzyzzx   989/989 = 100% civil   2012 May 11, 12:22am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

American in Japan says

(4) Dangerous cyclists on sidewalks...it has really gotten worse since 2005.

Could you elaborate on this some? I'm having trouble understanding this one.

11   clambo     2012 May 11, 5:26am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I had fun in Japan but I had a special situation. I had a lot of spending cash at the time.
When in Tokyo with money to spend, you can have fun because everyone is out and about every night of the week. The restaurants abound.
I did see guys getting drunk off their asses. One time I watched a guy puking on the train stairs, etc.
I saw drunk guys pissing in the street and laughed and my Japanese companion said "Don't draw attention to them! It's impolite!" I laughed again, "like pissing in the sidewalk is polite here?"
But generally it's fun in Japan, people are normally polite and friendly. I liked traveling around there.
I met a couple of girls which makes it much more fun of course.
The interesting thing to see for me was contrasting modern with ancient. The guy used an abacus to figure my change when I bought my shinkansen train ticket.
I saw little old ladies doing manual labor in the countryside. They wore bonnets and were cute but it's weird to see someone's mother shoveling gravel at a road project.
The nicest place I saw is where the tsnuami hit worst. I think that area was just awesome and it's a shame.
If I hit lotto I would go back and visit and travel around. It's cool over there. I of course would NOT try to live there because you are not Japanese pal. You will never be Japanese and you will be constantly reminded of it.
The fun of being an outsider is the novelty factor, which helps for meeting chicks. But, after a while you dislike feeling like a zoo animal. I would at least.
You could spend a fortune to eat but there were reasonable places too. I ate ramen if I wanted to slum it.
I also got as sick in Tokyo as I did living in Mexico. Luckily it only lasted a few days.

12   American in Japan     2012 May 14, 1:41am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

You might not have seen my first list about what I love about Japan. Here it is: http://www.patrick.net/?p=657601

@zzyzzx

Cyclists ride like crazy on the (often crowded) sidewalks, often while talking on cell phones or even texting...

13   zzyzzx   989/989 = 100% civil   2012 May 14, 2:12am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

American in Japan says

Cyclists ride like crazy on the (often crowded) sidewalks, often while talking on cell phones or even texting.

Have to admit that I have never seen anyone try talking on a phone or texting while riding a bike.

14   Vicente     2012 May 15, 4:05am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

How's that Fukushima thing going these days? Watched a Frontline episode on it last week.

15   American in Japan     2012 May 15, 3:58pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Vicente,

Yeah, not a good situation even now. I have been talking to a friend that teaches at a university and is an expert on nuclear power.

I am trying to follow up on reports of health of children (and adults) living in Fukushima, Ibaraki and Tochigi Prefectures. Also I am looking for information on "hotspots" in Tokyo.

Thanks for your entertaining (yet often informative comments)!

16   American in Japan     2012 May 18, 6:51pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I am concerned about the #4 Reactor spent nuclear fuel sitting at the top of that damaged building.

17   zzyzzx   989/989 = 100% civil   2012 May 22, 12:40am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Vicente says

How's that Fukushima thing going these days? Watched a Frontline episode on it last week.

“Eagles are dandified vultures” - Teddy Roosevelt

I think the worst part is that they have shut off all their other power plants. I imagine that they will have rolling blackouts all summer long.

18   American in Japan     2012 May 22, 12:50am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Kansai (Osaka, Hyogo & Kyoto) will be harder hit. There should be few if any blackouts in Tokyo.

19   clambo     2012 May 22, 1:55am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Japan has no energy so they can't turn off their nukes for very long.
Anyone remember why WWII turned into a shooting war with Japan? The USA cut off their access to oil was one aspect of it.
Japan is interesting, they have a pretty good standard of living and etc. yet the country has no energy, no arable land, and no resources.
For starting out with almost nothing they're doing pretty well.
Chicks are cute but you already knew that.

20   Vicente     2012 May 22, 4:28am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

clambo says

no arable land,

Oh come now, they are on the low side at 11-16% but it's not zero. Plus there's fishing.

21   zzyzzx   989/989 = 100% civil   2012 May 23, 12:17am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Vicente says

clambo says

no arable land,

Oh come now, they are on the low side at 11-16% but it's not zero. Plus there's fishing.

Yeah, but overfishing has already ruined that worldwide.

22   clambo     2012 May 23, 2:33am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

For the number of people Japan's arable land is insufficient.
The lack of protein this caused in their diet is easy to see in the older generation over there.
Older people are about 4'5" or so.
My Japanese friend is about 5'6" but she is afraid to wear heels "I will be very tall".
The younger people are larger since they had more calories and protein when growing up in the 60's than in the 30's.
They however are productive with fish and shellfish farming and the indented coast is perfect for this activity.
If you think Whole Foods is expensive you have never been in a Tokyo grocery store ;)

23   American in Japan     2012 Jun 11, 12:05am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

>If you think Whole Foods is expensive you have never been in a Tokyo grocery store...

True! At least they have Costco here now.

24   tdeloco     2012 Jun 11, 2:21am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The number 1 reason why the Japanese population is in decline:

25   American in Japan     2012 Jun 12, 12:59am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

One reason, but there are bigger reasons... Japan puts its effort and financesin keeping a good standard of living for those over 60, but things are hard for those in their 30s and 40s because of the high not discretionary expenses.

26   American in Japan     2012 Jul 3, 10:22pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

To be continued...

27   gruntfuttock     2012 Jul 4, 12:41am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

clambo says

I of course would NOT try to live there because you are not Japanese pal. You will never be Japanese and you will be constantly reminded of it.

25-year resident of Tokyo here, I arrived from Sydney in 1988, and apart from 6 months living in Kansas have been here ever since. I have experienced very little racism here, almost none. I am CEO of my own company and have participated in Japanese life to the highest levels, and there are many others like me. Day to day, people are almost unfailingly polite, courteous, diligent and respectful. For those of you reading this list who are curious, I hope you have a chance to visit.

28   BayArea   422/422 = 100% civil   2012 Jul 4, 1:10am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I just returned from a week long business trip in Tokyo last week.

The rail system is incredible and the people are hard-working, respectful, curteous.

It was interesting to see how late the railways are packed with people. It's very common to see the traffic not ease up well into the night, 9PM, 10PM, 11PM...

There is certainly no shortage of professional, family, and social pressures and I guess it's not a major surprise that the suicide rate is high here.

If you look at the suicide list by country on wiki, it's equally interesting to see countries like Haiti, Jamaica mon (I do to lol), he Bahamas with nearly 0.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

29   American in Japan     2012 Jul 4, 10:08pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@BayArea

Was this your first trip to Japan?

30   BayArea   422/422 = 100% civil   2012 Jul 5, 12:35am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Second...

2009 (just before the disaster)
2012

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