Please note: This is a machine translated version. The original article is in German and can be accessed .

Two in one – Abe loses his ministers

October 21st, 2014 | Tagged | 7 Comments | 594 reads

Der Fächer des Anstosses

The subjects of contention

Today there was in Japan for a change, a political earthquake – not entirely unexpected, but surprisingly, since everything took place at a time. Two Ministers, more specifically ministers, announced her resignation today. As there would be:

小 渕 優 子 Yuko conservation, Ex-Minister of Economic Affairs, stumbled over a donation scandal, because they abused party donations for wrong purposes. This is, it seems, and Japan Volkssport bei Politikern. More specifically, the Diskrepenz grew between revenue and expenditure in their constituency to around 350,000 Euro an – Money, in which it is not clear, as it was actually used.

松 島 み ど り Midori Matsushima, Ex-Justizministerin, however resigned due to a violation of the election law. That law prohibits gifts with cash advantages of any kind to (potential) Voter. Nevertheless held and still holds the minister distributing disposable trays, printed with her likeness, to about 20’000 Visitors Voksfestes for a harmless, because the subjects “hardly worth”. She stressed the resignation also specifically, that her resignation was not an admission of guilt, but that they so want to avert harm to the Government. A noble gesture, almost.

Matsushima had me already very impressed. She is an avid supporter of the death penalty and is, that one should be quite pork in Japanese Gefängnisssen as Muslim prisoners – Japanese prisoners we interviewed not so well, whether they prefer bread or rice. Accordingly, this is “reverse discrimination”. That it less about culinary preference goes as issues of faith, is sausage. Pork sausage, of course.

Abe had brought both ministers just before a good month to the Cabinet – almost as a part of the message “Look here, we are modern and participate in many (5) Women in government”. At a press conference specifically eingeraumten Abe took over today but inevitably the responsibility, since he has waved through the Personnel. Responsibility? And. Consequences? Of course not. Here, Abe was one of the politicians, shouted the loudest for new elections, when the then-ruling Democrats tried to her scandals.

Were now all scandals? Of course not. For much more scandalous, I think the behavior of 山谷 え り 子 Eriko Yamatani, Special Representative for the Department kidnapping (Japanese citizens by North Korea). It keeps the comfort women issue for a lie and was announced in September it, that they are representatives of the 在 特 会 Zaitokukai (an ultra National Association, that has set it apart mainly for generations living in Japan Koreans) met. And let photographed together. When asked about this, she replied – vor Reportern – that they did not know, with whom they met there. When reporters asked nachbohrten and, whether they consider the activities of Zaitokukai critical (those finally run through the streets with posters, on which sayings are as “Ob gute Koreaner oder böse Koreaner – kill them all!”¹), She rejected an opinion. And three times.

Is it ignorance? Or just audacity? Sure, German politicians, for example, afford to pay for one or the other big thing. But to Japanese politicians they can not match in terms of audacity by far.

See here.


Live in Shibuya: Tocotronic

October 17th, 2014 | Tagged | No comment so far | 317 reads

For a change, an event tip: Next Wednesday, the 22. October, plays Tocotronic in Tokyo – namely in the relatively small Club Garret mittem in Shibuya. Organized the whole interesting- as laudably by the Goethe-Institut. The cost of tickets 2,500 yen in advance and 3,000 yen vor Ort. The tickets can be bought at any Lawson (The 71896). Read more here.

Well, I'm not a fan fan of Tocotronic. But a few songs I like very, and it is certainly worth seeing. Especially since such concerts, as mentioned here, often provide the opportunity, to enjoy the music in almost intimate atmosphere: The clubs are usually very small, and there is of course only a few German-speaking music fans, is the number of audience usually manageable.

And if Tocotronic benefit, driving times in the rush hour with the railways here in Tokyo, they will remember for especially at this their own songs:


Kindergarten – but which?

October 14th, 2014 | 1 Comment | 1241 reads

Kindergarten in Urayasu

Kindergarten in Urayasu

Slowly it is about time, let go of my youngest on society. Next year he will 4 Years old, and the idea, to raise him up to school alone, should not really like. Now it has been in Japan pretty much selection: You can be a child at the age of a few months in an Crib (Nursery – hoikuen) plug. Or from 3 Years in a Kindergarten (幼稚園 yōchien). Or simply keep up to school at home. However, creches are not too plentiful and are used only by working mothers. However, most mothers work after birth for a few years. Die Option, that the man takes a few months or even years parental leave / can take, is virtually unknown and currently unthinkable in Japan.

That the kindergarten is not so easy. There are communities with many kindergartens and communities with absolute lack. Especially in Tokyo you get often no nursery place, if one does not work. Or you will be placed on a waiting list and waiting so long for the space, until the child is big enough for school. A list of questions determines, urgency of the case seems. Life grandparents near? Very bad for the waiting position. Not employed? Can you forget the same.

Kleiner Bereich des hinteren Teils des 900-Seelen-Kindergartens

Small area of ​​the rear part of the 900-strong kindergarten

In my previous city Urayasu which ran from so: We applied for a place, so our daughter with 3 can go to kindergarten. And lost in the kindergarten lottery. So another year at home. Then it was 4 Years old and the probability, to get a place, greater. In essence, we had two choices: Kindergarten A or B, both about the same distance and both with the city as a carrier. In our new home because it looks already different from. There is no lottery, no waiting list – but no public kindergartens. Zero. All nursery schools here are private, and they all require more or less the same: About 180,000 yen enrollment fee and ca. 30,000 yen (also rund 240 Euro) pro Monat. Plus school bus costs. Plus kindergarten uniform costs (so there is the, and in most kindergartens, there is the). The diet plus Excursion. And so on and so.

Unfortunately it helps because little, to complain about the high cost, So we look around for kindergartens near, and within 4 Kilometers, it seems at least 4 give. A kindergarten turned out to be a refuge for the young sect Sōkagakkai – we learned but rather randomly. Yesterday we looked at one another: A giant nursery for a total of 900 Children, But tucked away among fields and forests, out with an incredible number of ways to play, Beds, on which the children grow things and so on and so forth. It was love at first sight. Certainly – the number of children is madness, but all in all, the nursery like this, als ob jemand, the children very like – and playfully wishes to learn things – person you would like built.


Disciplined is different

October 7th, 2014 | 2 Comments | 2165 reads

Today, the typhoon moved Phanfone by the Capital Region. The selbige was announced with much fanfare, that even the Evening news reported on. Against 9 Clock should reach the storm zone Tokyo. Half past eight it was raining heavily, but the trains still went, I went anyway on the way to office. And with all 5 Minutes late I arrived there also. The rest of the typhoon, I noticed then hardly, and at half past one of the sky was blue. Alles halb so wild.

Interestingly, it has, however, in the neighboring district, Minato-ku (the Shinkansen Shinagawa station is there, for example) for the first time ever published large-scale evacuation warnings: A total of 23’000 Households were asked, to leave the apartments and in evacuation centers (are usually the schools) To seek protection. The reason: Within the district, there are countless slopes, which, although built almost without exception, but can still slide around. However: According to Japan Times came exactly 1 (a!) Budget of the warning by – the rest did not care, was not home or it has not noticed. One of 23’000 Keep house! Gee. And happens is ultimately … nothing.

How it looks, Japan has to do with his early warning systems still all kinds of. If something really bad happens, as the Volcanic eruption on Ontake-san in the past week with over 50 Dead or massive landslides in Hiroshima in August of this year with 74 Dead (see Wikipedia) there is no warning, or when then until much too late, but then there's the other hand Warnings, the, as in the present case, for obvious reasons, be ignored or covered seem. Conclusion: It seems to lack geographers. Hey, here is a!


Unity Day – but please, no mob!

October 2nd, 2014 | Tagged | 11 Comments | 2877 reads

In recent years it has become a tradition: The feast day of German unity, organized by the German Embassy in Tokyo – and accessible to everyone! A real feast quasi, so properly with children (and one or the other Angetütelten). But – a new ambassador in the country, and the Germans in Japan now assume. Quote of the Communication from the Embassy in Tokyo:

Dear Compatriots,

You may have to wait at this point to the general invitation to German Unity Day on 3. October. I have decided after careful consideration but, return to the referral practice, that was common before my predecessor. I would like to namely, that we reach more Japanese guests than in the past.

I can imagine and I have also heard, that some of you, have received no invitation, surprised or annoyed. I can well understand. I would still ask for your understanding for the decision, the control- and sponsorship, we have for the reception available, use a more targeted in terms of a balance between the various groups of guests and especially to strengthen the German-Japanese encounter.

Well. Unfortunately I never made it to the party personally (while my office is located two kilometers away), but from hearsay, the event was probably very popular and of course a good opportunity, meet other people. And the children get a taste of German atmosphere. Ehrlich, that's! Every time, when I'm at the Goethe Institute in Tokyo – so every two, three years once – I feel like in another world.

The reason I think, however, did not succeed for very: “Tax- and sponsorship …. in terms of a balance between the various groups of guests and especially to strengthen the German-Japanese encounter … use”. And, Who, then, is invited?

Actually, it is a pity, just because the public event has, I am absolutely certain, contributed to strengthening German-Japanese encounter. Celebration at the Embassy? Open to all? Open world can present themselves hardly.

Logically, in the mailing list DinJ (German-speakers in Japan) a, as they say in New Germany: shit storm were unleashed. The waves will straighten, but a bit of a shame it is already.


Volcanic eruption with numerous deaths on Ontake-san

September 29th, 2014 | Tagged | 1 Comment | 2772 reads

Karte aktiver Vulkane in Japan - Quelle:

Karte Asset Vulkane in Japan – Those: Thou hast

Japan has known to be some great natural disasters – Earthquake, Taifune, Tsunamis, Volcanoes. This one deals inevitably, if one lives longer in the country. Earthquakes are from nature at its worst, because they are difficult to predict. Typhoons can see it coming, and the same applies to tsunamis. However, it falls relatively easily, forget the volcanoes in the country – although over 100 are active volcanos in the country. Sure you can really feel because only in Kansai and Shikoku, because in the rest of the country is teeming with volcanoes.

Well volcanic eruptions are now reasonably easy to predict. They announce themselves often by earthquake swarms or by the sudden emergence or disappearance of hot springs and / or fumaroles in the area. It is the nature of things, that in Japan thousands of scientists are busy, to monitor active volcanoes. 5 Alert level there is here – of “all is quiet” (Stage 1) to “evacuate” (Stage 5). An overview of the current situation there on the side of the Meteorological Office to see (see here).

On Saturday, the 27. September 2014, However, something happened, which was difficult to predict: At the 3,067 m high 御岳山 Ontake-san, that lies on the border of Gifu and Nagano Prefecture near the city of Takayama, suddenly emerged from toxic gases, followed by a mediocre eruption. The Ontake-san was around since 7 Years quietly, is actually a rank-2-volcano (not acutely dangerous) and had the warning level 1, then finally on Saturday on 3 and later briefly on stage 5 was increased. The consequences were fatal: There were approximately 250 Hikers and mountain climbers on site. Until now, there were 31 People with heart- and respiratory arrest – four of them have now been recovered – and died. The recovery is difficult, because helicopters are only partially operational due to the ash.

These are the first victims of volcanic eruptions in Japan since 1993 (then called a pyroclastic flow on ounces, Präfektur Nagasaki, many lives) – the probability, to come in Japan by a volcanic eruption to damage, are thus quite low. But despite everything, one should not forget, where we are actually: At the Pacific Ring of Fire, with several active volcanoes in the immediate vicinity of the capital.

I can recommend here the news articles on the subject on BBC – the video is very impressive.


Tokyo: Ausflugstipp “Nōryōsen”

September 25th, 2014 | Tagged | 6 Comments | 3308 reads

Rainbow  Bridge von unten

Rainbow Bridge from below

Professional, although pleasant reasons it went last Friday on a fun boat ride in the bay of Tokyo. The 屋 形 船 Yakatabune mentioned, small boats I already knew – which are often designed with Tatami and hold for Trinkgelagene on the lake ago. However, this boat was different: It was a great, determined once occupied as a ferry boat for estimated 1,000 or more people. With large Norwegian flag on the chimney, but that does not necessarily mean, that the boat also comes from there. Resourceful businessmen have the boat now converted into a party boat: With stage, Beer and numerous food stalls. Das Boot legt, it seems like every day, vom Takeshiba-Pier (Near Hamamatsu-machi, Yamanote-Linie) at 19:15 and travels afterwards always back up the coast to the airport and Haneda again. With loud music on one of the decks, an admittedly somewhat annoying MC and hundreds of people in party mood. Odaiba, Rainbow Bridge, Approach path of the airport, gaudy industrial plants, etc.. – the ride is quite entertaining and takes a good two hours. The price is also more than civil: 2,600 yen pro Person, and includes All-You-Can-Drink.

Zur Information: It is called 納涼船 Nōryō-sen (“Sommerabendbrisen-Line”) and will take place from 1. July to 30. September statt. Definitely next year. How it looks, many passengers seem to understand the whole as an opportunity for a bride – for romantic nights with your partner is likely that then probably but be unsuitable. Meet and celebrate people but the boat is a round thing.


Set whaling? But why only?

September 18th, 2014 | Tagged | 15 Comments | 4448 reads

At the 31. March this year banned the UN Tribunal Japan, continue to catch whales¹ – on the grounds, that the assertion of Japan, To catch whales for purely scientific purposes, not true. A moratorium on whaling is yes since 1986, and Japan is actually bound, especially since the country already 1951 and thus only 5 The years after the entry into force International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling had signed. But known to be operational next whaling – in Antarctic waters and in the North Pacific east of the Kuril Islands. International protests and scurrilous rumors like just the other day in the social media round-solubilizing message Japanese whaling crew ‘eaten alive by killer whales, 16 dead’ Japanese politicians have been doing not a damn care.

Today, at the 17. September, Japan has declared at the Whaling Commission meeting in Slovenia, it will try everything in his power, to help remove the ban². The Japanese representatives appeared to be optimistic here, to convince the court, that whaling actually be justified on scientific grounds – to measure the population and the impact of marine mammals on the ecosystem.

Aha. It is always amusing, to pursue in Japanese news channels, how the media try, the whaling award a certain legitimacy. This is logically considered not so easy, because every child knows, that you can buy in all good supermarkets and fishmongers whale meat.

Probably the approach “Japan verbieten, To catch whales” simply false to the, because on such bans from outside has in Japan (but not only there) reacts rather defiantly has always. Because of the damage to their image is taken simply condone. I would consider as a different approach to real: Japan to ban the sale and consumption of whale meat. Without the sale of whale meat in Japan would be politicians not quite sure ready, Vast sums in this way “Research” to invest.

¹See for example here (English).
²See for example here (Japanese).


Way with Geb!

September 10th, 2014 | Tagged | 18 Comments | 4501 reads

Ja, guten Morgen auch, Frau Erika Mustermann Geb Gabler!

And, good morning also, Frau Erika Mustermann Geb Gabler!

And here he is – the second part of the extremely loose series Fun with German passport abroad. Except for blogger colleague Anika are doing well, very few readers can start with the title of this article a bit.

Would the following story does not provide for those affected for some inconvenience, would it outright just hilarious: It's about the abbreviation “Born” (short for Born / Born), in the German ID cards and passports de facto becomes part of the name. This is obviously not a problem in the major German-Prosperity Sphere, but since the rest of the world still has not grasped, that German course is a strictly dominant world language, can the rest of the world with the “Born” of course not do anything: Since this is listed in the passport as part of the name, is the “Born” part of the name. And that has implications.

In Japan has always foreigner had the so-called Alien Registration Card carry around. The name on the card must of course be the same in the visa and so the name in the passport. It was time, however, usually quite accommodating: A brief description of the meaning of the abbreviation enough, to the “Born” not to bear on the map. But since you are in Japan before 2 Years begun, the old card with the new Zairyu-Karte to replace, Also the game has changed: Japanese authorities are now dependent, allow no exceptions. And so is the “Geb” just so an integral part of the Aliens life in Japan. With consequences, because for all possible contracts (Lease, Handy usw.) the name must exactly match the on the Zairyu card. Including “Born” From Hashimoto Katja Maria So is quite a fast Hashimoto building Müller-Bruckendorf Hausen Katja Maria – whether they want to or not. And so it is then called loudly and with authorities. The fact that the Japanese “gebbu” Pronounced “Geb” then also the word for “Rülpser” (geppu) is similar, then any significant increase in the weight.

Weg mit Geb!

Way with Geb!

This pushes the affected understandably angry at. Who wants to run even with a yard long and also still wrong name through the countryside! And so have a few Affected establishing the group Way with Geb! together. And as far as even with success: The German embassy in Tokyo know it, and today the group was featured in an article in the Japan Times¹. Eine Online-Petition, addressed to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is also on the way².

Sure, to combat the problem in Japan is one thing. But the petition itself only goes the right way: The “Geb” should disappear from ID cards and passports – or, if not feasible, be at least stated otherwise, because in this type documents should already be correctly – and “Born” is easily seen times not properly part of the name!

In this sense, – and as spiritual support in the form of this article – I wish the campaign success, she deserves. There are only three letters, aber the Problems, arising from it, are considerable.

More also at Anikas Ginkgoleafs.

¹ See Mind the ‘geb’: Little word is a big problem for Japan’s German residents
² See (


Let don | Pink Grasshopper

September 5th, 2014 | Tagged , | 1 Comment | 4511 reads

To the gradual end of summer still a contribution to the rather shallow nature. Firstly, the new advertising would be because of the famous Cup Noodle-Manufacturer 日清 Nisshin. The dry food producer has always been unusual for, advertising amusing known, and this time they gave themselves honest effort. Interestingly, with English subtitles, which are also shown on TV.
I had to laugh at the notion Kabe-don: “Kabe” means wall, “-don” is an onomatopoeic word for clap or plop. Indeed: Diese Pose, when a girl / woman standing at the wall and the potential lovers is supported with one hand in front of her on the wall, can be seen quite often in Manga. Seen in the advertising is not false. Man playing with stereotypes in a fun way.

Weithin sichtbar: Rosa Heuschrecke auf grünen Blättern

Visible from: Pink grasshopper on green leaves

Change of subject: At the risk, bored to some readers – Finally, it was in the last article about insects – I must here still something to get rid of the subject. The day before yesterday, played when my wife with their children in the park, jumped her a pink grasshopper in front. This is something we had not seen. Quickly took a picture – and then went the wrong research. Supposedly to be very rare times pink locusts (no desert locusts, mind you!) spotted in Japan, Recently, for example, in the prefecture of Gunma. This happens so rarely, that even appears on TV. Unfortunately, it had there canisters but no insects.
That could not be sitting on my wife: She wanted to start again in the park and the grasshopper – so that our daughter can take them to school. I joked: “Worse, as they are no longer to discover, would, when suddenly there were quite a lot of pink locusts”. And lo and behold: Within 15 Minutes she began … 4 (four) pink locusts.

That would be something for conspiracy theorists: Dengue fever in Tokyo and pink locusts! The end is nigh! Fukushima!!! Well. However, it will be interesting to see, how fast and how far these strange animals are still spread…


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