· June, 2007

Stories about Japan from June, 2007

Japan should work with China to tackle photochemical smog problem

  29 June 2007

Some scientists have been arguing that air pollution in China is responsible for increased incidents of photochemical smog in Japan. Kaz points out Japan's responsibility as a nation which suffered its own pollution in the past and says that Japan should build a good working relation with China in order...

Japan: Distance between NHK and Government

  29 June 2007

The recent appointment of Komori Shigetaka, who is a close acquaintance of PM Abe Shinzo, as an NHK's management committee member has raised a controversy over the possibility of the government's intervention in public broadcast. Blogger Miepong draws on and analyzes discussions in the Japanese blogosphere as well as mainstream...

Japanese Enlist for Billy's Boot Camp

  29 June 2007

Billy's Boot Camp has hit Japan, and Japanese bloggers are talking all about the show's star, Billy Blanks. Athlete of the year in the USA Karete Hall of Fame and actor in a number of American action-adventure feature films, Blanks has now brought his show to Japan, where it is making the rounds of local TV stations, drawing reactions from bloggers.

Japan: Chlorophyll cleansing at Osaka

  26 June 2007

Osaka is listed number 1 City with the least amount of greenery. Englishman has a post on the situation: Parks are banned, as are grass tennis courts. People nurture plants in their homes at their own risk. All this just to ensure that Osaka maintains its top spot as the...

Japan: Anti-freeze Toothpaste and Toxic Thomas

  24 June 2007

Last week, reports emerged that two Japanese companies were recalling thousands of Chinese toothpaste products sold to hotels across the country after the health ministry reported finding that they contained chemicals used in anti-freeze. At the same time, Sony announced that it was recalling 43,000 “Thomas the Tank Engine” wooden toys, which were found to be covered in paint with excessive levels of lead. Bloggers in Japan reacted with anger and disbelief.

Japan: Reactions to the Nova Suspension

  23 June 2007

Nova, the largest English language school operator in Japan and well-known for its fuzzy pink mascot, is in dire straights, having been ordered last week to suspend part of its operations for six months after it was found to have deceived its students and violated consumer protection laws. Bloggers in Japan offer their reactions.

Japan: Pearl Harbor Never Happened

  21 June 2007

Soon after the denial of the existence of forced prostitution (comfort woman), 100 lawmakers in Japan denied the history of a surprise attack by Japanese soliders on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in 1941 and demanded that photographs portraying the Japanese military in a negative light be removed from U.S. war...

Japan: War Responsibility Project

  20 June 2007

Tessa Morris-Suzuki wrote in Ohmynews the background of Yomiuri's project in publishing a book on war responsibility: it is a re-examination of the problem of war responsibility initiated by a newspaper generally considered to be “right-of-centre”, and therefore expected to support a more nationalistic approach to the past. The project...

Japan: Freak Accidents

  19 June 2007

TokyoMango reports on freak accidents in Tokyo in the news today: a 28-year old woman was strolling in Shinjuku when a sign from a pizza place fell on her head, leaving her in the hospital with a brain contusion, and a fancy day spa in an upscale neighborhood in Shibuya...

Japan: Video Art, Media and Zen

  19 June 2007

An interview with Montreal-born Japan-based video producer Michael Goldberg has been posted at gyaku. In the interview, Goldberg discusses his experience with media art movements in the 60s and 70s, as well as his recent documentary entitled “A ZEN LIFE” about Japanese author/translator D.T. Suzuki, widely credited as having introduced...

Japan: Lawmakers’ Ad on Comfort Women

  18 June 2007

A group of Japanese lawmakers took out an ad in the Washing Post to present “the facts” about the comfort women that “no historical document has ever been found by historians or research organisations that positively demonstrates that women were forced against their will into prostitution by the Japanese army”....

Japan: Art of campaigning

  18 June 2007

Japan Observer has a post commenting on the culture of political campaign in Japan: elections serve neither as a vehicle for holding officials accountable nor as a transmission belt for public concerns. Neither politicians nor voters seem to take their responsibilities seriously, meaning that election campaigns, for all the ritual,...

Japan: Fingerprinting visitors

  18 June 2007

Debito reports that Japan immigration will adopt a new policy in November 2007 for fingerprinting and photographing all foreigner visitors to Japan: Except that as well as being kinda weird and laughably amusing, it’s deadly serious about targeting foreigners as potential terrorists.

Japan: Confidential Police Files Leaked, Again

  16 June 2007

What do a group of sex crime victims, police informants, traffic violators, members of Japan's largest crime syndicate and a man being stalked by his girlfriend all have in common this week? They all had their personal information -- including names, addresses, photos, bank account numbers, private testimony, and interrogation reports -- leaked from a police officer's personal computer onto Japan's hugely popular bulletin board 2channel Tuesday morning. Japanese bloggers have responded to the leak with outrage and frustration.

Japan: Wooden Car

  15 June 2007

James from Japan probe introduces a Japanese Wooden Car: The vehicle, which can go up to 80km/h, costs around 32,000 US dollars.

Japan: Death of a Pop Star

  14 June 2007

Blogger shisaku has a great post about the death of Sakai Izumi, singer and songwriter for the group ZARD and “the Voice of the Lost Decade” in Japan.

G8 Summit: Is the world a better place yet?

The G8 (+5) met in Heiligendamm, Germany last week. The world's richest countries came to agreements on climate change and poverty in Africa that are unlikely to satisfy most critics of global capitalism. Global Voices has linked to comments from India, Russia, and Africa in the past week. And people...