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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Renting Or Buying A Ghost Home

Japan has a secret (or maybe not-so-secret) love affair with ghosts and ghouls and demons et al.

And by that, I mean that Japanese society seems to love stories about the supernatural. Heck, if you have never seen Ringu (The Ring) movie, watch it and be prepared to have the crap scared out of you.Seriously - it is one creepy flick.

But… just because Japan loves the scary stories, it doesn’t mean Japanese people want to live the scary life.

Jiko bukken (事故物件) are the real estate properties where an occupant has died, whether it be  murder or suicide or simple neglect (they died and no one realized for days or weeks) … and I assume also by some sort of demonic entity.

It actually means "stigmatized property".

Actually, here's a list of what a jiko bukken property consists of (I took it from the Tokyo Cheapo website - HERE:
  • A property where a murder, suicide or a natural death occurred (including cases where the body wasn’t found for a while); 
  • A property near criminal gangs;
  • A property constructed on top of a well;
  • A property by a waste treatment facility, or a graveyard/crematorium;
  • A property made by, or on ground once owned by, a cult;
  • A property with a history of fire, flooding or other things that caused death or injury (asbestos poisoning, gas leaks etc);
  • A property with a complicated history regarding ownership, as shown in the registry listings— multiple owners over a short period of time inherently means something amiss with the property.
Thanks Tokyo Cheapo!
Okay, back to me. In Japan, the jiko bukken properties are actually recognized by Japanese law, meaning that any real estate agent attempting to unload a murder house, must fully explain the the would-be buyer or renter if someone had previously died in the place. It really is against the law to conceal such information to a would-be consumer.

It’s done to avoid any surprises when a dripping wet teenager ghost girl comes crawling out from your television set in an attempt to see what sort of snack you are having.

But not to worry… if you are a property rental agent… you only have to warn a would-be renter who is the first person after an “incident”.

For example… if someone has died in a house, let’s say by choking on mochi, that glutenous, tasty, but deadly dangerous rice ball, and if Client A rents the place, and then decides after a few months that they want to move out, the real estate agent does NOT have to tell you about the incident, when you apply.

So yeah… let’s suppose Family A is living in a murder house with its own trans-dimensional portal in the kitchen…

They move out after a while having decided that it’s way easier to dump garbage through the portal to another dimension, than to have to pack up and move again… besides… the price was right!

So… after the father gets transferred to a new town with a new nuclear power generating facility, another family (Family B) moves in.

They don’t have to be told a thing about the murder house or even the trans-dimensional portal.

However, IF Family A, after learning about the murder house decides to move in any way, and is then themselves murdered by trans-dimensional beings pissed off at all of the garbage being tossed into their universe, the real estate agent would have to warn the next potential buyers about the death.

But murderous ghosts aside, for those looking to save a few yen on housing the jiko bukken properties provide fiscal relief.

For those who are looking to rent an apartment, a jiko bukken property can save the renter as much as half the rent money.

Besides… with Japan’s population growing increasingly older, there’s going to be more and more homes in which someone has died… which could be bad news for real estate agents, but good news for consumers.

Two people that I know of—my mother and her father (my grandfather) passed away in my current house. While there have been no supernatural incidents that I am aware of, if I was in Japan with this place, I would have to disclose the information to the real estate agent - even though the deaths were over 20 years ago - so they could warn any one wanting to rent or purchase my house.

But despite the cost savings, Japanese people really don’t seem to want to move into any place where someone has died in it previously.

I’m not talking about an apartment where a family was hacked to death by a crazed tattooed guy who simply wanted the money owed him where the blood won’t come away from the walls, or even where the screams still echo in air years later… no… Japanese people simply don’t care to live where death has been.

Look… even though the word for death is “shi” (死)… and the word for four is “shi” (四)… each having it’s own unique “Chinese-style” kanji symbol… because it sounds exactly the same, many Japanese people will say “yon” in stead of “shi” when describing the number four.

Plus… in Japan (China, too - because it uses the same characters), no one wants to live anywhere where the number four is part of the address… though what the heck… some do.

I wonder if they get a break on their purchase/rental price?

For example, in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken where I lived for three-plus years in Japan, I lived on the third floor of a family condo. Did the people on the fourth floor care that regardless if it was Floor shi or Floor yon, it was still Floor sounds-like-death.

Westerners have their own fear of the number 13, which is why it is rare to find an apartment building or office building littered with Floor 13… skipping the offensive number for the number 14… but I wonder… don’t the people on Floor 14 know they are actually on Floor 13?

Back to the house/home where death occurred.

For those brave souls willing to pay half-price or so for a jiko bukken, one does not have to put up with anything supernaturally evil or scary.

No… you can hire a Buddhist priest to come and perform a cleansing ceremony on your place to try and quell any unhappy spirits still residing there, as well as to bless this house.

I suppose such ceremony could also be considered supernatural, but in this case it is supernaturally good.

Japan’s Airbnb, may not have to disclose any sort of “incident”… at least this new housing rental scenario doesn’t seem to be part of the Japanese real estate jiko bukken law…

As usual, caveat emptor… let the buyer beware.

Andrew Joseph
PS: During WWII on the island of Saipan (across the street from Guam), rather than surrender to Allied troops, Japanese soldiers leaped off a cliff to their death while yelling "Banzai!!!" The Saipan people call it Banzai Cliff. The view is spectacular, as you can see in the photo I took when I visited there. Lots of Japanese died here, though I did not hear of any ghosts inhabiting the area. Hey... I actually asked the locals! Wanna use the photo?  Just note my name as photographer and go ahead:

PPS: Banzai, along with being a Japanese battle cry, is also a form of greeting by the Japanese emperor. You can decide which one I mean when I use it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Radioactive Cesium From Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Still In Tokyo Bay

I know I’ve gone on and on carping about the complete mismanagement of things during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

The 9.0 earthquake caused a tsunami, which hit many places along Japan’s north east coast, moving over sea walls, in in this case, over and into the Dai-ichi nuclear power generating station in Fukushima-ken.

The inflow of water swamped the nuclear power site, rendering backup generators inoperable for the most part, allowing three of the six nuclear power units to nearly go into nuclear meltdown after a lack of coolant was unable to be pumped in to keep things under control. 

Look… I actually think nuclear power—if done properly—is an excellent way to generate electricity. But in Japan’s case - prior to the March 11, 2011 events, it simply wasn’t being handled safely.

Perhaps countries should consider using the safer nuclear methods used in Canada, which even uses a different type of uranium base.

But Japan’s nuclear reactors are not built that way. They follow the American style of reactor. Excellent power generation, to be sure… but…

Anyhow… would it surprise anyone to learn that even five years after the nuclear disaster, Fukushima No. 1 (of six) reactors continued to spew radioactive cesium into Tokyo Bay for five years after the initial nuclear disasters in 2011?

No. I’m not surprised. Saddened. But not surprised.

According to Yamazaki Hideo (surname first)—a former professor of environmental analysis at Kindai University (a private university in Osaka)—a study he led a study on hazardous materials being released from the Dai-ichi plant.

His team’s research showed that some five months after the triple meltdown, that there was 20,100 becquerels of cesium per square meter in mud collected at the mouth of the Kyu-Edogawa (Kyu-Edo river). This river leads directly into Tokyo Bay.

Further research shows that by July 2016, that in the same area, 104,000 becquerels of cesium per square meter from mud collected was found.

Basically, that means that the cesium released during the disaster did NOT get washed away in the subsequent five years after.

Well… they did wash away from Fukushima, but it did accumulate and stay adhered to the mud in Tokyo Bay.

Good for Fukushima and Chiba to the south, but bad for Tokyo.

Now… the average amount of radioactivity from the cesium detected in the July 2016 study was only 350 becquerels… implying that there are apparently areas where it is extremely high, and other places were it may not be found.

But is it safe?

Probably not at the points where the study found the 104,000 becquerels in July 2016.

Even at that high level, the Government of Japan will not allow soil to be used on road construction et al. In fact, it will only allow soil containing 8,000 becquerels or less for such usage.

So… is there any damage to the fish in Tokyo Bay?

Maybe… maybe if the fish caught are coming from that area there the radioactivity is through the roof, congregating in the Tokyo Bay mud… but generally speaking, there doesn’t seem to be an issue with the fish.

Apparently of the fish caught and measured in the Tokyo area, the average still appears to be less than 100 becquerels per kilogram… 100 becquerels per kilogram is considered to be the number for safe fish consumption in Japan.

So… there’s some cesium radiation in the fish… but not enough to worry the Japanese Government.

Heck… there’s even a few hot pockets of cesium radiation in the mud in Tokyo Bay… but I’m sure that’s no big deal.

Move along… nothing to see here. Yeesh.

Andrew Joseph

Monday, June 18, 2018

6.1 Earthquake Kills Three In Osaka - UPDATED

This past Monday, a 6.1 Magnitude earthquake—that’s a pretty strong one—hit at 8AM local time north of Osaka, at a depth of eight miles (12.9 kilometers).

Three people died, including a nine-year-old girl who was crushed by large slab of a concrete wall that fell on her as she was walking along her elementary school’s outside wall in Takatsuki. See Reuters image above. Damn.

Mayor Hamada Takeshi (surname first) apologized over her death, acknowledging that that concrete wall made up of concrete blocks, was old and not up to the more current building safety codes.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide (surname first) has ordered the Education Ministry to perform safety checks on any concrete walls near public schools—nationwide.

A man in his 80s also died after a concrete wall collapsed on him in Osaka-shi (Osaka City), while an 84-year-old woman died after a bookcase fell on her in her home in the nearby city of Takatsuki.

Additionally, 307 people have been officially listed as hurt during the seismic event, though Japanese media giant NHK says there were at least 350 people hurt. Whatever. Lots of people hurt.

Japanese buildings—especially the newer ones are designed and built with earthquake occurrence in mind, but for whatever reason, it seems, in this case, that concrete walls are NOT part of the same consideration. 

It was a pretty damn strong earthquake, but earthquake-proofing designs for seismic events stronger than that are in place.

The earthquake was strongest north of Osaka-shi, but the good news (so far) is that the three nuclear power facilities at Mihami, Takahama and Ohi—all north of Osaka—are fine, according to the news agency Reuters.

Local, express, and shinkansen high-speed bullet train and subway service in Osaka has been halted, while domestic air flights in and out of Osaka were suspended to ensure safety.

As evidenced by the fallen sign at Ibaraki-shi eki (Ibaraki City station) - see above in the Getty image - someone could have easily been killed when that electronic signage partially collapsed.

Along with small fires (broken gas mains, or cooking implements hitting the ground), thee roads in the area have cracked, along with many water pipes, bursting up through roadways, leaving many residents without water.

But it is Japan… and like people everywhere, they will band together quickly and make sure every one is looked after.

Oh... and there's no risk of a tsunami from this seismic event. 

Andrew Joseph

Japanese Donald Duck Comic Books

Unfortunately, my Father's Day present ended prematurely, as mine and my son's baseball team was ousted from the baseball tournament in the quarter-finals, losing 7-6.

So... back home, I decided I would read a few of the Uncle Scrooge McDuck books I was given by my friend Rob a couple of weeks ago.

Needing a topic for today, I wondered if there were ever any published Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge comic books in Japan.

Strangely, in my opinion, I could only find a single example of a Disney Duck comic book - see above. And it's merely entitled Disney Land.

While the cover shows Huey, Dewey and Louie in Zorro garb, poor Donald is unable to play as chipmunks Chip and Dale are asleep in his Zorro hat. Ha-ha... very punny.

The art style looks typical for the 1960s, but I have no idea when it was published. No wait... I found a website:, that says this particular title was published between 1960-1964 by the by the Reader's Digest Japan, publishing a total of 37 issues.

That website shows a bigger list of Japanese comic book titles than I had originally thought existed - so kudos to them for the information.

But... there doesn't seem t be any sort of Disney comic book published in Japan after 2009... which to me seems like a lost opportunity for someone.

Is the list complete? Probably not... and I only say that because I did a search for Canadian Disney books on the website, and note it does not list the Dell comic books that were printed in Toronto for Canadian audiences during the 1940s-50s... They have a different indica on the inside.

Oh well... if anyone off in any lands other than the U.S. ever want to send me an example of an Uncle Scrooge or Donald Duck comic book, I would love to see it.

Heck... I'll even trade with you!

Andrew Joseph

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day 2018

So... today is Father's Day - June 17, 2018, and wherever it is celebrated, today is the day... including Japan.

Father's Day is called Chichi no hi (父の日) in Japanese. And... there are two words used for "father":
  • chichi (父);
  • otousan (お父さん)
While chichi is used to refer to your own father, otousan is used when referring to someone else's father, as we as used to address your own father.

I only ever heard otousan, while I was in Japan.

As a father, I can tell you straight up that when it comes to special days, father's generally get hosed. Mother's seem to get the good stuff... the thoughtful present... dad's... we get ties... or darn it, socks.

This year, I, however, am getting a great Father's Day present.

I coach my 12-year-old son's Select baseball team.

We are in a tournament this weekend.

After driving through rush hour Toronto traffic, an only traveling some 45 kilometers in 90 minutes, we played our first game this Friday night, and won.

After returning home, we got up early on Saturday morning to travel from our home to the tournament , played two more round-robin games, and won those, too.

Last year, my Select team played a total of 34 games (including tournaments) - we won twice and tied once. This year (as of Saturday night), we are already now with eight wins and only two losses.

This Sunday morning, we get up even earlier to make that drive again to the tournament, for a quarter-final game, and should we play to our strengths, we'll play again and again in the semi-finals and finals, too.

It's been effing hot this weekend in Toronto... and we're just 20 minutes north of Toronto for the ball games.

It was 27C on Saturday, with humidity taking it into the 30s... and guess what... Sunday is supposed to be 31C, plus humidity.

We wear polyester uniforms. Coaches, too.

But you know what... not a stitch of complaint from anyone. Probably because we've been winning, and hopefully both trends will continue on Sunday.

So... that's how I'm spending Father's Day on Sunday... with my son, playing a game or three.

And winning it all sure beats a tie.

To all you dad's out there... Happy Father's Day. Go and spend some time with your kid(s), because that's really what it's all about.

You sure as hell don't need socks to have a fun day with your kid(s).

Andrew Joseph

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Otaku Won't Date Other Otaku Who Don't Like The Same Anime

Otaku is the Japanese term for geek… in a good way.. whereby Otaku are heavily into anime (animation) or manga (comic books)… and in some cases having a love of one anime/manga brand means hating other brands.

Japan, as you might suspect, is actually pretty damn otaku itself, though I am sure it would be loathe to admit it… how else to explain that Numazu (沼津市, Numazu-shi), a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture just last week decided it would remove all of the “Love Live! Sunshine!!” character man hold covers in the city after a vandalism spree.

Seriously… the city has manhole covers decorated with characters from an animated cartoon series?

Like, WTF?

And people are stealing the manhole covers because they want more souvenirs of heir favorite animated television program?

Look… if the crime was actually committed by teenagers, people around the world might understand… but it’s Japan… the odds are equally good that the crime was committed by an adult.

Firstly… “Love Live! Sunshine!”… what’s up with Japan’s insistence in using English… and doing so in grammatically incorrect fashion, when naming its anime?

Plus… two exclamation marks? Not one, which is enough. And not three. Two. Some graphic artist in Japan decided that one was too few, three was too many, and two was just right.

I have news for you. Seeing two exclamation marks rather than one or even three, just looks wrong.

But whatever.  That’s not what this is about… but it probably should be.

It’s about a dating service for otaku. A geek dating service.

Hey… a great idea. I won’t put the idea down. Geeks gotta love, too, right?

I was a nerd… or a geek… but I didn’t have world domination plans for any ONE anime or manga. Despite having 35,000 comic books (still), I actually enjoy reading them, and while I may like some characters more than others, I’m not fanatical about them.

I don’t give a crap if Superman is stronger than the Hulk, or if Picard is cooler than Kirk (it’s Captain Kirk). I enjoy them all, and don’t have the time to waste arguing with others over such trivial matters.

I used to enjoy going to the comic book stores once a week, just to feel superior. Not only could I out geek anyone with my comic book knowledge, I could also play, coach and talk sports, teach music, play and talk video games, and yes… I have been known to talk to girls/women… even getting a date or two. Sometimes for the same evening.   

Anyhow… in Japan, there’s Tora Con, an otaku dating service started by Tora no Ana, a anime/manga specialty retailer begun in 2017.

Surely there’s enough love in an otaku heart to love their anime/manga as well as another real person… right?

As it turns out - kindda yes, and kindda no.

Otaku are capable of human love… and not just love of the self, which is not only fun but inexpensive.

No… they can go out on dates with people, have relationships, have relations, and even get married and hacve kids.

But… while the Tora Con dating service does pre-screening of its members (ha) to ensure all are true anime otaku, what it failed to screen for was if the otaku like the same anime.

Apparently there’s a real deal-breaker going on within the site as otaku will not date other otaku who do not like the same anime they do.

It’s especially pronounced amongst lovers of the Japanese anime “Love Live! Sunshine!”… who are actually calling themselves “Love Lifers”.

If you don’t like “Love Live! Sunshine!”, you aren’t getting a date with a Love Lifer.

Now… to the rest of the world, this sounds like pure Japanese WTF material.

But I can assure you it is not.

Would a Boston Red Sox Fan want to date a New York Yankees fan? Hell no. It’s been done, but it makes the news.

Would a Liverpool Reds fan want to date a Manchester (whatever) fan. Hell no. Murders have been committed for less.

It’s like trying to decide if you should raise your child Catholic or Protestant in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

I, myself, was tired of the bar scene. No one looked at me. All the women would drool over the three hot guys (they were gay… they had to be), while every guy eye humped the three hot supermodel women (probably escorts - how much?).

I went on a telephone dating service… the Internet was around, but Internet dating was still a few years from starting up.

I put in a voice message… I even dropped my voice to the deeper, more relaxed version I am capable of, and relayed a bit about myself. Not too much… I did state that I would like to find a smart woman, someone as smart as or smarter than I am… naive is fine, stupid is not.

The problem is that the stupid don’t know they are stupid.

Now… I had 35 messages after a day, listened to them all… ignored the two guys, and picked the top 3 who had potential.

I called them in no particular order, left a message with my phone number… and then… that’s when I determined if there was anyone who could live up to my expectations.

I married one of them.

She was, by the way, the only one who actually said she liked sports. She may have lied, but she at least didn’t outright say she hated it. LOL 

What’s interesting in this Japanese Otaku dating kerfuffle, is that the anime, “Love Live! Sunshine!”, is aimed at male fans.

So… if there’s a woman out there who actually likes “Love Live! Sunshine!”… they are In Like Flint… or what ever the Japanese equivalent is for that 50 year-old outdated western saying.

But… if there’s a woman out there who is not into “Love Live! Sunshine!”, the male fans are completely offended, and even if it was the hottest AV (porn) start out there, these otaku are geeky enough to rebuff the sexual advances in order to main their “Love Live! Sunshine!” principals.

Now that’s an otaku.

On the flip side… any woman who actually meets a Love Liver who feels that way… that woman is NOT going to want to be even remotely connected with such fervent geekdom.

In the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare, the clown Melancholy Jacques is asked why he doesn’t like having sex with the country-bumpkin girl Audrey. (I’m pretty sure those are the names… it’s been 40 years). 

Jacques responds: “T’would be like putting good meat into an unclean dish.”

Yes, he’s calling Audrey a whore…  but also, he doesn’t think they have enough in common.

I fully understand the need for the Japanese otaku trying to date other otaku to ensure they get the best fit possible.

I don’t understand why some media outlets are looking at this “story” and thinking it’s a strange story that someone wants to find a match…. figuring that geeks et al would simply be desperate enough to date anyone.

Andrew Joseph 

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Walking Dead - Japan Style

So… a man in Chiba-ken goes missing.

A body is found unconscious in the Edo river in Tokyo. He’s alive… but dies later in the hospital.

The family of the missing man identifies the drowned body as that of their loved one.

Body is cremated - everyone mourns.

Then the missing man shows up alive in Chiba-ken, arriving at his home - alive and well.

What a farce by all parties involved.

The police farce: 

No DNA test was was done comparing the missing man with that of the deceased. How long does a DNA test take nowadays? Not that long. A day?

Since the body found in the Edo River was alive… there was NO bloating or environmental damage to make identifying the body difficult.

So… how does the family of the missing man confirm that “There’s no mistake” - that this was their missing husband/family?

Also… what a farce by the media in Japan.

I found this article in Japan Today (thanks Vinnie)… and since it was on-line, once has all the room in the world to write the story.The Internet's not going to become full... at least I don't think that's possible.

Not ONCE does the story wonder just WHERE the heck the missing man had been for a whole year!

Was he kidnapped?

Did he suffer a mental breakdown?

Did he just want to get away from his wife?

Did he he suffer amnesia for a year?

Has he disappeared at anytime previous?

There’s not even a mention of whether or not the missing man had looked disheveled, was wearing the same or different clothes, or if he was well-fed and well-looked after. 

Okay… at no time does the article actually name the missing man or his family. NOR does it even mention which police were involved in the original missing person/dead case.

Why not?

Who is being protected and why?

The police? The family of the missing man who disappeared for a year and then came back?And who was the dead guy, and what does his family think about their man being cremated in someone else's family plot? Have they mourned him for a year? Had they held out hope he was still alive?

There's so many elements to this story's plot, and very few of them are answered let alone looked at.

If you knew any of these two missing men, wouldn't you want the answers?

Newspapers are supposed to tell its readers stories... to keep the reader informed. To educate.

I was taught that every news story story should answer the 5Ws +1H… who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Either that’s half-assed journalism in not finding these things out and not presenting them, or it’s an embarrassing turn of events and the media is protecting them… because the media needs the police if it is to do any sort of future police beat reporting.

Here’s the story with a bit more detail as presented by the Japan Today article:

Missing man is in his 40s.

He went missing from his home in Matsudo City, Chiba-ken.

Family filed a missing person report immediately last year in 2017. What month or day?

Later on June 27, 2017 (last year), an unconscious but still alive man is pulled from the river. He has no ID on him. He later dies in the hospital. How long after does he die? I have to assume he never regained consciousness… but nothing in the article states if he did or didn’t. He may have regained consciousness but never spoke or communicated. HOW did he die? What injuries did he suffer in the water that contributed to his death? Was he dumped? Did he slip and fall? Did he try and kill himself?

Family of missing man was called in by the police to identify the dead BODY.

They confirmed it was their kin.

Police then changed the man’s status from “Missing” to “Dead”.

Family is handed the deceased’s body. Body is cremated. I assume in a family plot. I assume they paid for the services, too... and since suicide was never mentioned, was insurance paid out? If it was, do they have to give it back? All of it? I'm sure some was spent.

On June 6, 2018, the original missing family man returns home. Alive and well.

The wife calls the police (which police?) to tell them her husband that she had thought dead, and had identified, was alive.

The wife had placed the missing person’s report. She had identified the drowned man’s body as being that of her husband.

Police now begin a new investigation, as they have to figure out just who that drowned guy was. He had been cremated. Had anyone taken a DNA test on him?

Also, I would assume - though it was never mentioned - that the police (which police?) are investigating the now alive missing/dead man had been for a year. 

The police (which police?) have figured out that that the man in the river was a part of another missing person case from Tokyo… a man in his 30s. Granted… quantifying people’s ages can be tricky.

This family of the missing 30-year-old Tokyo man had filed a missing person’s report SHORTLY after the police had mistaken his body for a man in his 40s. How shortly?

Why don’t we have actual ages for these people? Or actual police department’s involved? Or names of the deceased? Or the names of the missing person and family?

The police (which police?) say that if a body is identified by family, further investigation, DNA testing or even fingerprint matching is not done or necessary. I get that. It’s a waste of resources considering the body was identified by family.

So… who’s fault is it anyway?

  • The missing man for going missing, if it was on purpose: Kidnapping or self-imposed to get away from his wife and family.

If he suffered a mental breakdown, I don't consider that his fault. He simply wasn't in control. People need to understand that about those who suffer from mental health issues.   

  • The missing man’s wife for not being able to identify her husband correctly. The deceased was alive when pulled from the Edo River. His body had NOT undergone any radical alterations to his skin or body when he died. DID the drowned/deceased man in his 30s REALLY look like her husband in his 40s? Was he wearing clothing that was similar?Is there photographic evidence of the two men alive that shows them looking alike?
Okay, I get that the deceased didn’t have ID on him. Still… the wife should have been able to correctly identify if that drowned/deceased man was her husband.

I suspect she expected it to be her husband so that in her head that was all she saw - her husband.
  • The police… if a body is brought into a hospital - should there be an attempt to identify the body? Fingerprinting, X-Ray of teeth? I didn’t say DNA test… because that’s afterwards.

Still… the timing of things must have been close enough that when the police (which police? The one in Chiba-ken, or the one in Tokyo?!) discovered a drowned person, they assumed it must be the missing man and contacted the family. Sure… the height, weight and features must have been similar… I’m sure they compared a family photo with the deceased body in front of them and thought this is the same guy.

Hell… the wife did.

Still… there should have been more of an independent attempt by the police to try and confirm deceased identity before making families come on down to try and correctly identify it. 

Police representatives (of which department?) claim they are interested in using the case as a teaching moment to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

For get learning lessons? How about the police do a better job of identifying people before dragging families in?

How about the media in Japan actually try and ask the right questions and present the reader with the best story possible?

It’s not a Japan thing. It’s a global thing - at least as far as the shoddy media reporting goes.

Perhaps I was taught better as a newspaper journalist (and student in Humber College’s journalism program in Toronto). Perhaps I knew I had to do it while a reporter at the Toronto Star newspaper.

But whatever the heck is going on with journalists - especially on-line journalists - is deplorable in many instances.

As a reader… if any news article you read can not identify and answer the 5Ws+1H, then that article is a failure.

Write in, and tell them that.

Maybe it's an honest mistake. 

Look… sometimes information isn’t available to the journalist. I get it. But make sure you state as much to avoid looking like a rank amateur.

Why the hell do you think I write as much as I can on any given topic… to present as much information as I humanly can. I’ll even note where I am guessing, editorializing, or simply don’t know something. I don’t think I look stupid doing so, and I’d much rather you have the most correct information available at that time. 

That’s sort of the news, and that was my two yen’s worth.

Andrew Joseph