Discussion Class Topics

Friday the 25th of January -


 - Why is Japan (one of the biggest innovators in the world) so behind with tech?  


Japan is known worldwide as one of the leading countries in technological innovation. So many new and exciting devices are invented in Japan, and the world often looks forward to seeing the next big technological advances that come out of Japan.


BUT, for some reason, Japanese people like to use old tech. Fax machines, flip phones, cash, and home internet connections are still often older wires from years and years ago.

Why do you think this is?


For example:

In both of the other countries I have lived in, society is mostly cashless using debit-type cards. New Zealand uses EFTPOS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFTPOS), while The Netherlands uses the same system but just call it PIN. Japan uses cash.   (the EFTPOS system can be used in 99.9% of shops for purchases of ANY amount even $0.01, and usually there's no transaction fee)

Also, both of these countries have started using Electronic Purse Cards, which is a small amount of money that is charged onto your debit card (by you), which requires no pin number to use, so for example, if you have to pay for parking, you can use the electronic purse, and your pin number can't be seen by anyone looking over your shoulder, because you don't need your pin number!


In most countries in the world, people have switched from fax to email. And seeing as setting up email addresses is free these days, most people have multiple addresses, e.g. one for work, one for personal stuff, one for purchases, etc. Japanese people still like to use fax.


One that I still can't understand is that in Japan, in some places you just can't get fiber internet. Even if you want it, there might not be a provider or a company willing to set up fiber in your area. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber-optic_communication)


There are surely more technologies that Japan is still behind on, can you think of any?

Why do you think Japanese people want to keep using old tech like this?


What is the issue with upgrading?


Let's talk about that.


Sunday the 27th of January -


 -  Unhealthy Advertising  



Japan is known as a country of extremely healthy people. So healthy in fact that they often live the longest of any people in the world!


However, it is strange, isn't it?

In Japan there are all kinds of unhealthy advertisements that are ok by Japan's standards.


In many western countries, advertising tobacco is completely banned. In some, alcohol has regulations on how it can be advertised. And these days a lot of food in many western countries, must have dietary information, or blatant labeling that states whether the food or drink is healthy or not.


Japan doesn't have these same standards.

Why do you think it's ok in Japan to advertise and promote unhealthy stuff?

Do you think if these kinds of products are advertised, that more people will use/consume them?

If more people in Japan start using these products and have an unhealthy lifestyle, do you think the life expectancy in Japan will drop?


Let's talk about that.

Tuesday the 22nd of January -


 - How far should a nation be allowed to go when sentencing a foreign national?  



The picture to the right here, is of the Canadian man being sentenced to death by China for drug smuggling.

Many people believe this is China trying to go against Canada due to the detaining of the Huawei director.


But how much should a country be allowed to punish a foreign citizen?

Should they deport them rather than administer the death sentence?


In terms of foreign sentencing, you might already know a little about this if you know about Japanese history, back when Perry "opened Japan", there were unequal treaties created which included a kind of system called "extraterritoriality".

What do you think about this? Do you think extraterritoriality is a good idea?


Here's an article about the Canadian guy:



Here's some information on extraterritoriality:



Let's talk about that.



Students with Dan and Hohua!


Hohua, Moira, and Mark!












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