Category Archives: Japan

The Easiest and Hardest Languages to Learn

Crazy long name of lake on sign

Some languages you can get the hang of, some languages are pretty tough, and some languages are downright difficult. …And then there are those special few, those ridiculously complex ones, that take so long to master, that you’re pretty much hopeless to master it unless you started at a very early age, or moved to the place in which that language was spoken. Let’s look at the hardest languages to learn.

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Top 30 Countries for Paid Leave & Holidays

Out of office – vacation at sea

Sometimes you can’t wait to get off the laptop and just head to the beach. When it comes to paid leave, however, some countries just have it better than others. I was interested in looking at which countries have the highest amount of paid leave, and which are not so lucky.

Only major countries were used for this comparison. Though there was some conflicting information, I mostly used data from the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the International Labour Organization. The numbers below represent the total number of paid leave days (followed by the breakdown of paid vacation days, and paid public holidays, in parentheses like this).

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Japan, One of the World’s Safest Nations

Nagano Police - animeIn a country where the April cherry blossoms signify the beginning of the school year, where watermelons are considered a welcome dessert, and where clothing is prohibited at the hot-springs, the Japanese people can enjoy the peace and security that has been cultivated through centuries of history. But just how safe is it really in Japan?

In order to answer this question, we need to parse out the meaning of the word “safety.” First of all, let’s consider what most people are thinking: Crime. Japan has an already very small crime rate, which Nippon.com reports as actually falling in recent years:

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Japan Crime, Business, and Education Stats in 2015

Rainbow Bar GraphIt’s not easy to predict what kinds of trends we might see this year, but many recent investigations have shed some light on various aspects of Japanese society. They might be based on information from a few years ago, but there has been a lot of research into recent crime trends, innovations in business, and changes in society. Let’s take a look.

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Are Japanese Teachers Less Competent than their Foreign Counterparts?

Incompetent teacher... you didn't use the method I showed youI know what you’re thinking – how could you suggest that the average teacher in any country is incompetent? Such things depend on the way you define “competence,” and how you measure it. How could you suggest that one of the most advanced countries in the world be considered “incompetent in their ability to educate? Of course, I certainly don’t want to say that they are incompetent, but according to a new survey, Japan’s teachers would agree with me if I did.

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In Tokyo, Dancing is a Crime

dancing-wallpaperPolice raids on clubs in Tokyo have been gradually increasing in recent years. This isn’t particularly abnormal, because in virtually every country in the world, clubs often close down (and often open later under a different name) for certain things like unfortunate violence or other illicit activities within such establishments. However, the illicit activities that are most commonly the subject of police crackdowns is something that the dance clubs probably were not expecting – dancing.

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Is Atheism a Religion? (Hint: No)

atheism religion baldness hairstyleRarely do I make new articles based on my interactions with commenters, but a recent one warranted a full response. From my article “Read a Bible – Become an Atheist (In That Order)” one commenter said:

Sorry, atheism is a religion, as it is a system of belief…a very simple one (not saying that everyone’s beliefs are simple, but the simple fact being that one chooses NOT to believe in God). It takes great leaps of faith to believe that there is no God.

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Tokyo-centered Earthquake Could Kill 23,000

earthquakes infographic

Skeptikai has had many articles on what I expect will be what everyone has been calling “The Big One” for years. That is, a catastrophic earthquake in the most densely populated city in the world – Tokyo. I never look forward to writing about the potential damage from such an event, but it’s important to keep up with the latest research, and there have been more predictions by the experts in recent months.

A panel of experts spoke last month about this. From Asahi:

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Label Wars: Made in China, Japan, or America

American bikini Asian girl

Do you care where your clothes were made? It seems like virtually everything you buy at the store now has the “made in China” label on it, but that’s not stopping consumers or retailers from dealing with such products. American companies deal with tons of sweat-shop workers in China and elsewhere for cheap labour, and it seems there is no end in sight. Even Japanese people, who currently have probably the most negative views of Chinese people in the world, still consume goods from China. So what’s the deal?

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The Whole Story on Japan’s 99% Conviction Rate, and the Corruption that Follows

handcuffs red bg

The conviction rate in Japan is unbelievable. Some reports say 99.8%, others say 99.97%; but it’s clear that it’s above 99%. Why is this so? Are Japanese police really so perfect that they almost always arrest the real criminals and always have the evidence to prove their cases? Don’t bet on it. The Japanese legal system is corrupt, and the effects of this broken system can be felt by anyone in Japan who has ever been detained, regardless of innocence.

Confessing for Nothing

This excerpt from The Economist sums up the problem:

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