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Japanese TV going a bit overboard...


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...with the 'what gaijin think about Japan' programs?

 

I know there's always been them but recently it seems like there's always some program on with gaijin gushing about Japan and reinforcing annoying stereotypes (of both Japanese and the gaijin). It's really quite annoying.

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If its any consolation, every penny not spent on the "nihon - sugoi!" gaijin is a million or so not spent on some arsehole talento from Yoshimoto etc.

 

Its basically the same approach as reality tv. Why pay celebs if people will still watch when you point your cameras at folks you don't have to pay.

 

The other classic cost-cutter programmes are the ones where they just show YouTube clips for about an hour with some talento pulling facial expressions in a little box in the corner of the screen. They'll shows clips even at 240 pixel resolution. The NHK man then has the cheek to come around and ask you pay for that.

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There does almost seem to be some kind of nationalistic agenda with some of these.

 

Let's learn to love ourselves, kind of thing.

 

'Koko ga hen da yo nihonjin' was a bit different, but that just went a bit overboard in the other direction.

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Yeah, the agenda is often right in your face, isn't it? There was serious BS going on in one of those programs last night when they were comparing raising a child in Japan and America. They were saying it costs $2000/month for child care in America (at a nursery school that has 1 teacher for every 3 kids and organic lunches) and in Japan it only costs $350 (no mention of conditions at the school though). Also, in Japan apparently women get 58 weeks of maternity leave while in the US they only get 12 weeks. REALLY??!!! Most women get nothing, or something much much less and they are almost always demoted or lose their full time position for something parti time without any benefits.

 

If they are going to take the 'isn't Japan amazing' stance I'd much rather them actually take on subjects that are real.

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Posted this in the phone thread as its the same kind of thing:

 

TV last night. Some obasan running a small eating place in Kyoto, being asked to remove their big sign outside. Replacing it would cost 100man (really?!?) and the town won't help. But it's a new rule to take down signs and make the city pretty rather than full of advertising noise. "To make it more appealing to foreign tourists".

 

Some dude commented on it would be a shame if Japan was changed due to the pressure of foreigners. It's like the default bullshit isn't it. Don't suppose Japanese people themselves want nice looking towns, oh no.

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If you pay $2000 a month, there is no waiting list for child care in Japan. In fact, if you pay that much, you can go to an elite institution that is hard to get your kids into. An international one, or some other one for talented kids.

 

There are waiting lists for the $350 childcare facilities (here meaning ones for threes and under) because many local authorities don't want to provide any more than they do already. Given that almost every two-bit local authority in Japan will have numerous community centers, culture centers, music halls, sports halls, etc. with the national government stumping up a good chunk of the cash, it is notable that they are happy to sit there and not build more childcare facilities even though there are waiting lists, as well as other parents who see they have no hope of getting childcare and don't even try.

 

So childcare is $350 or whatever (I think its actually cheaper for many) but only because it is heavily subsidized to the level that local authorities don't want to provide it because it is them who provide the subsidy. It is subsidized to that level because women's pay is so low. There are millions of women working but remaining as dependents on their husbands, so they don't have to pay into the health or pension. That's a massive 1.3 million yen a year, about 107,000 a month. One yen over the limit and you pay all of the health care and pension yourself. Many get paid even less, I think its 1.07 million a year, because at that amount you avoid income tax too.

 

So if you're a working mother with a well-paid job and can get your kid in, its :) :), all the way. Cheap!

 

If you're a working mother with a low-paid job and can get your kid in, its still :) , because you'll come out ahead, maybe to the same extent as a working mother in the West for the two or three years she'll need childcare. Once her kid goes to school and the childcare fee burden is over, many salaries in the West will put her miles ahead.

 

Note that one of the biggest obstacles to working mothers doing well-paid career jobs is the ridiculously long hours those jobs expect you to put in. Women may be low paid, but blokes aren't getting it easy either.

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Posted this in the phone thread as its the same kind of thing:

 

TV last night. Some obasan running a small eating place in Kyoto, being asked to remove their big sign outside. Replacing it would cost 100man (really?!?) and the town won't help. But it's a new rule to take down signs and make the city pretty rather than full of advertising noise. "To make it more appealing to foreign tourists".

 

Some dude commented on it would be a shame if Japan was changed due to the pressure of foreigners. It's like the default bullshit isn't it. Don't suppose Japanese people themselves want nice looking towns, oh no.

 

Any eatery, however crap, in a touristy part of Kyoto will have access to thousands of hungry suckers every day willing to pay 800 yen for sansai soba or nisshin soba you can make for under 200 yen with factory made noodles and cutting open some retort packets. Even a small place could make a million yen in the autumn leaves month alone.

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