A true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan since March 2008.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 589 { Maybe On Another TV Station / Ships Collide / A Wicked Lady } Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 589 { Maybe On Another TV Station / Ships Collide / A Wicked Lady }

Today for my grade 6 class (where the teacher almost never prepares for) I practised my script with the grade 6 kids at this school (quite possibly my worst class). Yes season 3 of my show is going to be shot at this school next Thursday God's willing... And guess what??? The main TV station in Japan name NHK, saw my show, liked it, and want it to be aired on their station.... This station is all over Japan, however, each prefecture has different programs... I think my TV show will be all over my prefecture now :) hey who knows, I might soon be getting paid as a TV show host in Japan :)

The thing is that, the company who wants to video me, is the same company that require people to pay a fee for having a TV inside their house or apartment.... I will not even comment any further on this matter....

After work, I again had a bad showing at Football and scored 0 goals against the opposing team, while my team mate who hardly can kick the ball properly, scored 2.....Well I did manage to score 1 while training with my team mates.

MSDF warship collides with S. Korean freighter

Three crew members of the 5,200-ton Kurama sustained minor burns and light injuries, while no one on the freighter was hurt, the ministry said.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Kurama collided with a South Korean cargo vessel in the Kammon Strait in Fukuoka Prefecture at around 8 p.m. Tuesday, causing a fire on the warship, the Defense Ministry said.

No details about the fire were immediately available, but footage on NHK TV showed flames rising from the bow, which appeared to have suffered significant damage.

According to the ministry, the Kurama's bow houses a paint storage locker.


Woman probed over four deaths

A 34-year-old Tokyo woman under arrest for allegedly defrauding two men she had promised to marry had relationships with four others who died under mysterious circumstances, and police said Tuesday they are now investigating the possibility the men were murdered.

Yoshiyuki Oide, a 41-year-old company employee from Chiyoda Ward who had apparently dated the Toshima Ward woman, was found dead early Aug. 6 in a rented car parked in a lot in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture. He was in the back seat and the car was locked, the police said.

They said he apparently died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and a burned charcoal briquette coal was found on one of the car seats. An autopsy turned up traces of a sleeping drug in Oide, and neither a car key nor a suicide note was found inside the vehicle, according to the police.

About 20 hours before his body was found, Oide hinted on his blog that he planned to soon get married.

The police alleged that the woman, whose name was not released, conned Oide out of about ¥5 million, claiming she had something she wanted to buy, but because she was a student she didn't have enough money.

The woman also reportedly worked as a nursing helper and allegedly visited the home of Kenzo Ando, 80, in Noda, Chiba Prefecture. He died May 15 in a fire that gutted his house. A sleeping drug was also detected in his corpse.

There were two other men — one from Tokyo and one from Chiba Prefecture — who knew the woman and died, the police said. They did not say how the pair died.

The woman was arrested for allegedly swindling a combined ¥3.3 million from a Nagano Prefecture man in his 50s and a Shizuoka Prefecture man in his 40s, after promising both that she would marry them. The police believe she hit them both up for money ostensibly to pay for tuition.


This lady was not joking at all...

Day 588 { Aborigines } Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 588 { Aborigines }

Today I went to an ALT meeting in the main city (Okayama city) of my prefecture. Again, I almost missed my train, Lord help mi. I did manage to get it on time though. While on the train, I sat with the ALTs who I play football with on Thursdays. One of the guys, Peter from England, has travelled to several countries in south East Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and Malaysia. He also visited New Zealand and Australia doing Hotel and tourism related jobs... And he is only 24. So he started to tell about his experience in Australia and that he has a couple Aborigines (Native Australian) friends.

Pardon my ignorance but I had no clue that Aborigines still existed on earth .... This site gives some background about them http://www.ebgymhollabrunn.ac.at/projekte/abori.htm
Peter was telling us a little about their history and how the English guy took away their lands, brought diseases and what not, etc etc. He said a lot of them like to drink alcohol but their bodies can't manage it too well. Before the English "conquered" the land, the Aborigines were living there almost undisturbed for over 70,000 years.

So, before the meeting, I went to an electronic store to purchase an external DVD Burner, because my DVD burner stopped working, I think because of some region issues.... I think my DVD region is set to America, because that was where I bought the computer. But because Im now living in Japan, that cause a little problem. So yeah, I paid equivalent to about US $ 50 for it.

At the meeting, several ALTs gave presentations about game ideas... Some were more interesting than others... I think I needed this meeting though because I was running out of ideas for games to play in my classes.

After the meeting, I went back into BIC Camera and purchased a PS3 game name Soul Calibur 4. A pretty cool fighting game. After this, I met my friend, we ate and then I went back to my apartment.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 587 { Softbank Profit Doubles } Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 587 { Softbank Profit Doubles }

Went to the Tuesday English conversation thingy today along with one of the ALTs I play football with on Thursdays. I am trying to introduce him to more people around the area. About 7 other Alts were there as well and we basically introduced ourselves and had some basic dialogue with some Japanese persons in the community.

Softbank profit doubles as its mobile business expands

Softbank Corp., which runs the only Japanese mobile operator to offer the iPhone, said profit doubled in the latest quarter as its cellular business continued to expand.

Net profit was ¥43.37 billion during the July-September period, up from ¥21.75 billion a year earlier, the company said Thursday. Revenue was nearly unchanged at ¥682.9 billion versus ¥681.7 billion.

Softbank said profit increased even as sales held steady because of falling costs as its mobile operations became a bigger part of its overall business. Softbank paid less to access the networks of other carriers and its per-unit costs for phones dropped as overall shipments increased.

Softbank, which also runs major Web properties, including Yahoo Japan and a large stock-trading site, said lower online sales also meant lower expenses.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 586 { Beware Of North Korea} Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 586 { Beware Of North Korea}

Taught the 3 year olds at kindergarten today and as usual they were restless and were all trying to tell me stories in 3 year old Japanese.

After work I went to bible study but was falling asleep because I was very very tired.

Brace for N. Korea

ABOARD THE DESTROYER KURAMA (Kyodo) Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan encouraged the Maritime Self-Defense Force on Sunday to brace for an increased threat from North Korea and to combat terrorism during an MSDF fleet review in Sagami Bay off Kanagawa Prefecture.
"As security conditions surrounding Japan have drastically changed recently, the Self-Defense Forces are required to respond to diverse situations involving the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles as well as terrorism," Kan said aboard the 5,200-ton destroyer Kurama.
Kan said Pyongyang's missile launch in April that flew over Japan and a nuclear test in May "can never be tolerated" and the reclusive nation remains "a serious threat to the peace and security of Japan, East Asia and the international community."

Day 585 { Happy Birthday MOM / Chinese Naval Ship To Visit Japan } Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 585 { Happy Birthday MOM / Chinese Naval Ship To Visit Japan }

ppy Birthday Mom!!! And happy birthday Andrew.

I called my mom 3 different times today. Once for her birthday on Japan's time and twice on Jamaica's time.

I went to church today at a different location, the same place where I held my party. I then basically spent the rest of the day in my apartment.

Chinese Navy ship to visit Japan

A Chinese Navy training ship will visit South Korea and Japan later this month as part of expanded military contacts between China and its neighbors.

The visit of the Zhenghe to the port of Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, will be only the second by a Chinese naval vessel in recent times as the sides seek to overcome lingering mistrust.

Many Chinese continue to resent Japan's brutal invasion of much of the country, while some Japanese are wary of China's rise as a regional military power alongside its growing economic clout.

Commanded by Rear Adm. Liu Yi, the navy's deputy chief of staff, the ship will first call at the South Korean port of Chinhae on Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

The ship's complement of 365 will include 230 cadets from four academies under the People's Liberation Army Navy who will carry out a series of exchanges with their South Korean and Japanese counterparts, the report said


Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 584 { Guys Day Out } Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 584 { Guys Day Out }

Today, I was going to meet with some friends in the main city, but..... I was idling in my apartment and missed the train... aah bwoy.... I decided that I wasn't going to stay in my apartment today, so I remembered when my football friends said they were going to hang out in the second major city today, and buy some stuff.....So instead, I went out with the 2 foreigners who I play football with ... We went to the second major city in the prefecture and on the way we picked up another guy .... Now, this guy told us that when he came to Japan, he was single... And a vice-principal at one of his schools asked him if he was single... when he said yes, the principal introduced him to HIS DAUGHTER!!!!!! ... and after basically screening the guy for about 3-4 months...He told him to go ahead and date his daughter!!!!! Don't you just love Japan??? :)

So we went into a mall in the second biggest city (in terms of population) in Okayama name Kurashiki, and we bought some stuff. I bought a new matrix looking coat. Its not as long as the one in the movie but it works.... and the other guys basically walked around while 1 guy bought some Halloween stuff for his classes....

After buying stuff, we went to a game arcade and the 4 of us played Mario go kart using a 4 car arcade simulation thing.... It was GREAT!!!! After this, we stopped at a food stall and got some burgers... We then headed back...

Richard, why mi need wifi??? my service is such that I can be on the internet all the time... the only thing that mi si di wireless needed for, was when mi did try use skype on it... Other than that I dont see where I need it.... But please do teach me, if there are any benefits.... There is a wireless router nearby me...

Day 583 { I Passed/Tokyo Still Behind NY, London And Paris } Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 583 { I Passed / Tokyo Still Behind NY, London And Paris }

Went to Karate today after work, and the main teacher told me that I passed. So That's out of the way.. But he didn't say by how much, and he didn't want to tell me. He said I should wait until graduation, which will be in the next 2-3 weeks. I also don't know if I am a yellow belt or an orange belt just yet.

N.Y., London, Paris still beat Tokyo

Factoring together culture, environment, economy and accessibility, Tokyo ranks fourth out of 35 major cities worldwide and only, but still, lags behind leader New York, No. 2 London and third-place Paris, but it has the potential to go higher, a report released Thursday by an urban development research center says.

Prepared in Japan, the report ranks cities based on how attractive they are to businesses, researchers, artists, visitors and residents. Japanese and foreign experts assessed 69 indicators on the economy, culture, environment, accessibility, particularly in regards to airports, and living standards.

Like last year, when the rankings were first published, Tokyo, as a city, trailed New York, London and Paris.


Day 582 { Bad Showing / Japan, An Aging Country } Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 582 { Bad Showing / Japan, An Aging Country }

Today at football was possibly my worst showing ever. I didn't even score 1 goal, not even while practising against my team. Plus while playing against the opposing team, I was mis-controlling, missing goals plus caused about 2 or 3 goals on my team by losing the ball at bad spots... This should be all about fun but darn man, I need to do something about my fitness and about my recent skill down.... WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME??? Am I getting too old??? Or am I too relaxed or what???

Funerals a growth undertaking

Death is a growth industry in Japan and everyone from railways to retailers wants a slice.

The ¥1.8 trillion funeral industry is expanding as Japan's population ages faster than any other nation. The number of people who die each year in the country will rise to 1.66 million in 2040, from about 1.14 million last year, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

As Japan emerges from its

worst postwar recession, undertakers like San Holdings Inc., Tear Corp. and retailer Aeon Co. are taking advantage of the growth with cheaper funerals, snatching market share from the "mom-and-pop" parlors that dominate the industry.

"There aren't many businesses where you're guaranteed a growing market and increasing demand," said Norihisa Tomiyasu, founder and president of Tear Corp., a publicly listed funeral home operator.

Tear's sales have risen for eight straight years, boosting revenue almost sixfold to ¥5.9 billion in the year that ended in September 2008. The Nagoya-based company tied up with Osaka-based Nankai Electric Railway Co., a construction company and gas-station operator, to franchise its brand through funeral halls built on the partners' land.

Aeon, the nation's second-largest retailer, began offering funeral services last month in a tieup with 400 undertakers, to cut costs by at least 40 percent by buying funeral-related items in bulk.


Day 581 { Iphone apps / High Hopes For Windows 7/ PS3 Out Sells Wii First Time } Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 581 { iphone apps / High Hopes For Windows 7/ PS3 Out Sells Wii First Time }

After work today, I hurried home to download some more apps on my new iphone... This device is AWESOME!!! If you like computers, technology and those stuff, and you can afford one, then I suggest to go and get one.

I downloaded a couple navigational applications, because I know how easy it is for me to get lost. I also downloaded a couple time wasting games... Some of the games like Assassin's Creed and Blades of Fury, makes you wonder if these games can really play on an iphone. Check out this video if you think im joking http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtsUjcpp57w

I spent so long downloading stuff, that I didn't even remember to go and jog...

Hopes high as Windows 7 debuts

Microsoft, PC makers hope to recover from Vista fiasco, but Google OS threat looms

As Microsoft Corp. prepares for the upcoming release of its Windows 7, Japanese manufacturers of personal computers are hoping the latest operating system will be the long-awaited silver bullet for a market hammered by eroding prices and flagging demand.

For the U.S. software giant, the success of Windows 7 will be critical to repairing a reputation bruised by its disfavored predecessor, Vista, especially at a time when Microsoft faces growing threats from rivals Google Inc. and Apple Inc.
The new operating system, now on sale only to large businesses, will be available to the wider public starting Thursday with expectations already hyped on the back of strong preorders.
"This is an OS that has significantly improved speed, stability, compatibility and operability in a balanced manner," said Yasuyuki Higuchi, president of Microsoft's Japanese unit. "Many of our employees say this is the best OS so far."

PlayStation 3 outsells Wii for first time in U.S.

Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 outsold Nintendo Co.'s Wii console for the first time following a $100 price cut, helping the U.S. video game market end six consecutive months of declining revenue.

Hardware, software and accessory sales in the world's largest game market rose 1 percent to $1.28 billion last month, researcher NPD Group Inc. said Monday. Sales of Sony's PS3 more than doubled to 491,800, while those of the Wii fell 33 percent to 462,800. Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 sales gained 1.6 percent to 352,600.
Sony's reduction of the PS3 price on Aug. 19 helped reverse an industry slump that had been exacerbated by the absence of new hit games. Industry revenue is down 13 percent through September, NPD said.
Microsoft lowered the price of its most powerful console, the Xbox 360 Elite, by $100 to $300 on Aug. 27. Nintendo followed a month later with a 20 percent price cut for the Wii.
"For some time, people held off on buying because they were expecting a PS3 price cut," said Atul Bagga, an industry analyst with ThinkEquity LLC in San Francisco. Nintendo's Wii price cut came late in September so "they aren't seeing the full effect. October should be better for Nintendo," he said.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 580 { New iphone } Tuesday, October 20, 2009 [ 1 YEAR 7 MONTHS ]

Day 580 { New iphone / Abortion In Japan}

Today, I was checking an email from the camera man for me Tv show. I was checking the email at main computer that everybody uses. My s
how is supposed to come to this school to do a recording with me and the grade 6 class. The grade 6 teacher is supposed to tell me when we can begin to practise, but I am still waiting on him. So yes, while I was checking the email, the same grade 6 teacher came to me and said we should not check mails on that computer, but should use another computer.... I quickly logged out, but didn't go on the other computer.

After work, I met my friend at the softbank shop and we went to check out both the iphone 3g and the iphone 3
gs. There are 2 options for the 3gs, the 16gb storage and the 32 gb storage.... I checked out the plan for each but BOYYYYY... My basic bill for the 3gs-16gb plan would be somewhere around US$90 . And that not counting the phone calls yet... So I opted for the normal 3g-8gb which was at least US $ 30 cheaper..... However, I am locked in a contract for 2 years... Thats how Japan do their phone customers... you are locked in a plan for 2 years, and if you break the contract, you are expected to pay for the remaining part..... So my old phone, Im basically still paying for it.... However, I should complete that payment by April next year, which total to about US$ 170...

The process of aquiring the new iphone took about 2 hours... mainly because:

1) My translator wasn't familiar with a whole lot of the computing and technology jargon that the lady was using.

2) I would understand the jargons, but they were in Japanese

3) A whole lot of paper work was involved

4) I had to back up the data of my old phone on their softbank server, for later retrieval

The major differences between the 3g and the 3gs is that, the 3gs has more space and is 2 times faster. Plus the 3gs can record and edit video clips.... What the heck??? my old phone could record and edit video clips darn it....whats up with that iphone 3g??? Well I dontreally need that feature, plus that one draw back is fine, in comparison to my old phone...

Here is the full thing


When I got home, I spent a little while downloading games and other applications on the iphone... and basically trying to understand how it works...

Abortion still key birth control in Japan

People may be surprised to know abortion has been legal in Japan since 1949, more than a decade earlier than in other industrialized countries.

In subsequent years, abortion became socially accepted to the point that Japan drew international criticism for attracting foreigners seeking to terminate their pregnancies. Since the turn of the 21st century, around 300,000 abortions have been conducted in Japan each year.

Some commentators call Japan's approach to abortion contradictory, comparing it with the belated legalization of the pill, one of the fewbirth control methods that women can initiate that has a high success rate. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the pill in Japan, and yet the majority of Japanese prefer using condoms, citing the drug's expense and side effects.


Day 579 { Checking Out iphone } Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 579 { Checking Out iphone }

Today after work, I decided to check out the softbank (formerly vodafone, one of the 3 main phone companies in Japan, they have a lot of shares in yahoo) store, to POSSIBLY purchase an iphone. The problem is that, all the translating people that I called to help me were busy.... I am really really contemplating buying one. The main reason is that, since my other phone fell in the toilet, the battery is only giving me a maximum of 2 minutes talk time. I could buy a new battery too but what the heck, a new phone would be much better than this old phone...

Anyway, I went to the softbank shop and checked out the iphone 3g and the iphone 3gs... just to look if the store had them... and very much so they were there with big advertisements... making it even more difficult to restrain myself from buying one. Tomorrow, I am going to come back here again with a translator, to check how the iphone plan works.

Day 578 { Japan And Russia } Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 578 { Japan And Russia }

Stayed in all day just sitting in my apartment around the computer. Either playing game, watching anime and/or reading naruto/bleach manga.

Russia 'illegally' on isles

NEMURO, Hokkaido (Kyodo) Seiji Maehara, state minister in charge of the Northern Territories — as the government calls four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido claimed by Japan — said Saturday that Tokyo should keep demanding their return from Russia's "illegal occupation."

"Historically, the Northern Territories are an integral part of Japan. It is literally an illegal occupation (by Russia) and Japan should keep saying so," Maehara told reporters after viewing the islands from a Japan Coast Guard vessel.

Before boarding the boat, Maehara also viewed the islands — Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and the Habomai islet group — from Cape Nosappu in the city of Nemuro.

"Though faintly, you can see Kunashiri with the naked eye. As a Japanese national, I felt nostalgic," Maehara told reporters.

"Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama intends to resolve the territorial issue. Negotiations (with Russia) will not be easy but we will do our best," he added.

Maehara, also land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister, arrived in Nemuro on Friday and met with former residents of the islands and Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 577 { Small Party / Jamaica and JET} Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 577 { Small Party / Jamaica and JET}

For the majority of the day, I stayed in. Then in the night I went to a small party for a Japanese guy who is dating one of the JETs here. The party was held in the JET girl's apartment. and we played rock band (because the guy really likes that game) and we ate food.


JAMAICA recently played host to the sixth annual general meeting of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme Alumni Association (JETAA), becoming the first country outside of the G7 bloc of countries to host the event.

"Jamaica won the bid this year and it's the first time it's being held outside of G7, so that's a big deal for us," president of the Jamaican chapter of JETAA, Kaye Dunkley told Career & Education. "We're likkle but tallawah... We've been making an impact with smaller numbers. There are associations with 9,000 members and Jamaica has maybe 50 members but we're doing the same kind of projects that (the larger groups) are doing so the selection panel was very impressed with what we're doing."

In addition to promoting the JET programme locally, those projects include promoting the teaching of Japanese culture in primary and prep schools. "We have introduced Japan into the GSAT curriculum. They have to study a foreign country and Japan is now one of them. Part of what we do is to go around to schools to educate teachers on how to talk about Japan and to show the students authentic documents from Japan to make it (come alive)," said Dunkley.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 576 { Karate Exam / Guy Who Kidnapped Kids Is Freed} Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 576 { Karate Exam/Guy Who Kidnapped Kids Is Freed }

Today, I did the karate exam. And surprisingly, I wasn't nervous as I normally was. I won't know my score though until in the next 2 weeks or so. The routine that I completed is called Shiozuki, and now I am going to be doing this new one name pinan shodan ... it is supposed to look like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJu0YECQIDk

In 2 weeks I will know whether I am a Orange, yellow or still a white belt. I asked a girl to video me... but she some how thought I asked her too take a photo... So, this is all the video she managed to capture.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuWI9VufHVg

Guy Who Kidnapped Kids Is Freed

An American man who was arrested in Fukuoka for allegedly abducting his children in order to regain custody has been released from jail, police said Thursday.

Christopher Savoie, 38, a Tennessee native, had been accused of taking his two children, aged 6 and 8, from his Japanese ex-wife late last month. He allegedly took them as they were walking to school and was arrested on his way to the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka.

Kiyonori Tanaka, a police officer at Yanagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, said prosecutors had made the decision and police are not in a position to comment on it. He said that in general, someone arrested could be freed from jail when there is no flight risk or fear of destruction of evidence, or if prosecutors decide not to press charges.


Day 575 { Seriously Unfit } Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 575 { Seriously Unfit }

It was while I was playing football this evening, when I realised that I am SERIOUSLY unfit. I ran on for like 15 minutes, and I was already tired... I need need need to do something about this... Everytime I start up jogging, I suddenly stop after like 3 or 4 times. Jeez, what should I do???

I did manage to score 1 goal though even though the opposing team has been scoring none stop on us recently.... Initially I thought it was the foreigner's fault but I realise that the opposing team has been scoring a lot on my Japanese team mates as well. HELPPP !!!

I do notice though that my breathing pattern feels a little different recently. I am wondering if I am starting to suffer from short of breath or something.....

Yeah Richard I know that was a stupid decision with getting rid of the Chair, trust me, I don't eve want to think about it... I worst wont even mention what/who encouraged me to pay that sum of money....

Day 574 { Cambodia } Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 574 { Cambodia }

Today after work I went to the English conversation thing. The other ALT that normally come as well, showed us some pictures of her trip to Cambodia .... While she was showing us the pictures, I started remembering tomb raider the game. Because the pictures look exactly like most of the background graphics in tomb raider.

Some years ago, there was this massacre done by a dictator guy name Pol Pot... He killed many of the teachers and other professionals who could threaten his power. In all he ended up killing over 2 million Cambodians (About 21% of the population then) between (1976-1979).

The bones of the victims are still some places in Cambodia, known as the killing fields.

Recently a guy who escaped dying was giving his testimony... here is the story:

Chum Mey has waited for 30 years to tell his story to the world: the story of a prisoner, one of the very few, who survived incarceration in Pol Pot's most notorious and murderous prison.

Standing behind bulletproof glass in a courtroom in Phnom Penh, the former engineer, now a frail 79-year-old, recalled the agony of jail S21. "I was tortured for 12 days and nights. Every day they beat me with a stick. They used pliers to pull out my toenails," he said, breaking down in tears. "They used electric shocks. Twice I lost consciousness."


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 573 { NK Still Firing Missiles } Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 573 { NK Still Firing Missiles }

Today I went to the Tuesday English conversation thing. A Japanese lady who will be moving to New York shortly gave a presentation. I understood only about 35% of what she said though. I asked her a couple questions, and her English seem pretty good... She however, like many other Japanese persons I know, didn't seem confident in herself, and also seemed uncomfortable while answering my questions...

North Korea fires 5 short-range missiles off its east coast

North Korea test fired five short-range missiles off its east coast on Monday, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.

Details of the apparent missile tests were not immediately available, but Yonhap quoted a government sources as saying the missiles were launched south of Musudan-ri in North Hamgyeong Province.

First reports said the North had launched only two missiles, but later reports said the number was five.