· May, 2007

Below are posts about citizen media in Japanese. Don't miss Global Voices 日本語, where Global Voices posts are translated into Japanese! Read about our Lingua project to learn more about how Global Voices content is being translated into other languages.

Stories about Japanese from May, 2007

Japan: “Thought Check” Screening for Citizen Judges

  30 May 2007

While news in Japan this week has been understandably fixated on the sensational suicide of Agriculture Minister Matsuoka Toshikatsu, another story revealed in a blog entry by Diet member Hosaka Nobuto slipped by with little fanfare last weekend. In the post, Hosaka outlines the latest step in moves by the government to implement a "citizen judge system" in Japan. This step, he claims, would allow the prosecution to effectively disqualify, through a "thought check" screening process, all citizens judge candidates who express doubt about the trustworthiness of police investigations.

Lotto Fever strikes BIG in Japan

  26 May 2007

People across Japan turned out in large numbers last week to line up and get their hands on tickets for “BIG”, a variation on the soccer lottery “toto” operated by the National Agency for the Advancement of Sports and Health. The combined sales figure for all soccer lottery tickets was...

Japan: Listen to the voices of the Tokyo fire bombing victims

  25 May 2007

112 people, including the victims and their families of the 1945 Tokyo fire bombing, are suing the Japanese goverment for an official apology and 1.2 billion yen compensation. On March 24, a trial hearing was held at the Tokyo District Court and blogger tokyodo-2005 urges that more attention should be...

Japan: Bridging the Generation Gap

  22 May 2007

What with all the news last week of beheadings, shoot-outs and baby dumping — and subsequent soul-searching on the part of Japanese bloggers, at a loss for what to make of the nation's younger generation — I felt that it would be appropriate this week to highlight a slightly more...

Japan: Mail from Henoko

  20 May 2007

dr.stonefly reprints an email sent by an activist in Henoko, urging the readers to take direct action in the protest against the marine survey. The email describes a fierce collision between the authorities and the peaceful demonstrators on boats and canoes. [Ja]

Which father is my real father?: Japan's 300-day rule

  20 May 2007

In early May, the Japanese government announced that it will take a special measure to recognise children born within 300 days of their mother's divorce, given that the mothers became pregnant after divorce. This announcement came after a group of divorced women with children raised the issue on the current...

Beheadings, Shoot-outs and Baby Dumping: Where is Japan heading?

  19 May 2007

News stories covered this week by the mainstream news media in Japan have shaken Japanese society, with many wondering where their country is heading and what has happened to the nation's youth. Most sensational among these stories is the shocking tale of a high-school boy who killed and beheaded his...

Japan: Japanese 30-somethings not happy

  14 May 2007

shigeto2004 refers to and gives an analysis on the result of an online survey conducted by Japanese newspaper Yomiuri on workers in their 30s. This entry is followed by an active thread of responses. [Ja]

Japan's Pacifist Constitution, 60 Years Later

  13 May 2007

Early last week on May 3rd, amid widespread debate and discussion on the topic, Japan celebrated the 60th anniversary of its constitution. The anniversary comes at a time when Japanese citizens and their government are re-evaluating the role of their current constitution and debating its uniquely pacifist nature. With Japan...

Civil movements in Japan and Korea

  11 May 2007

kenzo , an architect actively involved in an anti-gentrification movement in the Shimokitazawa area of Tokyo, talks about his recent experience of receiving a group of enthusiastic urban planning students from Korea. He describes the crosscultural conversation he had with the students on the topic of the differences between civil...

Japan: Self-Defense Forces to be Deployed to Henoko, Local Blogger Issues a Plea

  10 May 2007

On the evening of May 9, Japanese broadcaster Nippon TV broke the news that the Japanese government is planning to send the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to put down protests in Henoko Bay, Okinawa. Local protesters have responded in shock to this move. One local blogger describes the move as an attempt to legitimize the role of the SDF as a national military.

Japan: On PM Abe's Yasukuni offering

  9 May 2007

Japanese blogger shigeto2004 comments on PM Abe's recent offering of “masakaki” to Yasukuni shrine during the shrine's spring festival last month. He also criticises the ambiguity of the series of statements the PM has made over the past months. [Ja]

Japan: “Parental Studies”

  7 May 2007

The Japanese government has recently come up with a proposal for introducing so-called “oyagaku”, or parental education, as part of its education al reform program. Japanese MP Hosaka Nobuto criticises this recent movement mainly supported by some conservative groups and argues that the state has no place in the nation's...

Government campaign for “Beautiful Japan”

  1 May 2007

Blogger tokyodo-2005 came up with a rough estimate for the amount of money spent by the Japanese government (Ja) on an advertisement that recently appeared in major newspapers. The ad asks Japanese citizens to submit their ideas about what they think is “the essence of beautiful Japan”.

Japan: Bloggers cry foul over plans for Henoko Bay

  1 May 2007

Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture, consists of some 160 islands in an archipelago stretching from Kyuushuu to Taiwan. For many decades, Okinawa has borne the brunt of Japan's post-war military burden, having been seized and occupied by American forces immediately following the end of World War Two. The latest chapter in the ongoing tale of America's military presence in Okinawa involves a plan to construct a new military airport in Henoko Bay, a plan which has been opposed fiercely by local residents and environmentalist groups.

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