Stories about Japan from July, 2007
Japan: A Historic Election Defeat
The overwhelming defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan's upper house elections on Sunday, historic in its scale, brought about a drastic shift in the Japanese political landscape and sent a clear message to prime minister Abe Shinzo and his government. While media across the world analyze political fallout of the political shift, bloggers are echoing the message and demanding change.
Japan: Protester nearly killed at Henoko Bay
An activist protesting environmental surveys currently being conducted in Henoko Bay (Okinawa) in preparation for the construction of a new military base was reportedly nearly killed when government-contracted divers attacked him. While the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA) denies the incident, the activist himself, pastor Taira Natsume, released a statement...
Japan: Sanja Matsuri suspension
Anpontan has posted an overview of the reasons behind this year's suspension of the main event of a three-day festival, which he explains are connected to the increasing presence of yakuza, who have “taken to wandering from festival to festival in Tokyo lately looking for action and dominating events.” He...
Japan: Smoke, Fire, and Fault Lines
Matt Dioguardi at Liberal Japan has posted a couple of round-ups (here and here) on the crisis at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant following the recent earthquake.
Japan: Finger Vein Money
Edo from Pink Tentacle reports on the newly developed “finger vein money” system, which verifies a person's identity by reading the pattern of blood vessels in his or her fingers.
Japan: Memories of Internment in the USSR
James from Japan Probe reports on a multi-lingual website that displays the drawing of a Japanese soldier, Kiuchi Nobuo, on his memories of the World War II.
Japan: Ground Zero at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa
On July 16, shaken by a massive earthquake originating in a fault line that apparently runs directly underneath it, one of the power generators of the world's largest nuclear power plant, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, burst into flame and started billowing black smoke. This week's post includes a report from Diet member and blogger Kondo Masamichi, one of the first to arrive on the scene, and the reaction of another blogger who questions the government's handling of the crisis.
Japan: Face recognition system
Edo from Pink tentacle reports: on July 19, electronics giant NEC announced it has developed the world’s first automated border control system that uses facial recognition technology capable of identifying people inside their automobiles. The system is already in operation at checkpoints on the Hong Kong – Shenzhen border.
“Welcome to Japan”? Kurdish refugee family leaves for Canada
Few people, including Japanese themselves, are aware of the dismal record of Japan's treatment of refugees, particularly its treatment of Kurdish refugees. After struggling for many years to make a home in Japan, Erdal Dogan and his family, who fled Turkey amid religious and ethnic persecution, have finally been forced to leave, luckily having been accepted as refugees in Canada. Japanese bloggers reflect on the departure with sadness and frustration.
India: In Japan
Miles To Go… on being in Japan, and reflecting on traffic, clothes, culture and more.
Japan: Typhoons, earthquakes and missiles
After Japan experienced one of the most disastrous weekends in its history, a blogger [Ja] comments that “the odds of Japan getting devasted by typhoons and earthquakes are much higher than they are of it getting hit by a missile from a foreign country; however, the government is more preoccupied...
Japan: A Week of Typhoons, Earthquakes, and Nuke Leaks
The past week has been rough for Japan. Just as a torrential typhoon finished ripping through Okinawa and Kyushu, massive earthquakes hit Niigata and nearby regions, among other things setting fire to parts of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, the world's largest nuclear power plant. Video footage and blog translations in this week's post provide a glimpse into what has been happening at ground level.
Japan: Asia-Pacific Internet Usage
Nicholls from Japundit reported on the first comprehensive review of Internet behavior covering 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region released by comScore: The average person in the Asia-Pacific region visited the Internet on 13.8 days in the month and spent 20.2 hours viewing 2,171 pages.
South Korea: nationalist photoshopping
Japan netizen found out some South Korea newspapers had done a nationalist photoshopping by erasing the Japanese National flag of a news photo – James from Japan Probe.
Japan: Nanotech fragrant Pencil
Edo from Pink techacle introduces a new type of pencil lead that combined the power of nanotechnology with the knowledge of expert aromatherapists. It claims to help the children to wake up in class room by smelling the pencil lead.
Japan: Ramen Bath
James from Japan Probe reports on a Theme Park's idea of Ramen Bath.
Japan: We Can't Trust The Testimony Of Black People
Debito reports on a court case about a Nigerian, UC Valentine, being denied of medical treatment after police abuse in 2003. Consequently, his leg injury became so medically traumatized that it required complex hospital operations. The case was put on court in 2005 but a testimony of an African was...
Japan: The psychology of right-wing nationalist intellectuals
Blogger Niphonese writes about the phenomenon of Japanese going to study in Europe, then returning to Japan and joining right-wing nationalist groups [Ja]: “After experiencing discrimination in Europe, these Japanese people think to themselves: ‘Westerners talk about these things like human rights and so on, pretending like they don't know....
Japan: A Social Media “Explosion”
A seminar entitled "Explosive Social Media" held at the Jiji Press Hall in Tokyo last Tuesday brought together people from various sectors of the business world interested in finding out about the explosive potential of social media in Japan.
Japan: Robot receptionists
Edo from Pinktacle reports: On July 11, People Staff, a major temporary staffing agency based in Nagoya, announced it has accepted 10 of the robots as dispatch workers and is ready to send them out to work at businesses and institutions in the Tokai area of central Japan.
Japan: Internet regulation up for debate, but nobody is debating
While nobody was watching, an interim report drafted by a study group under the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has set down guidelines for regulation of the Internet in Japan which, according to one blogger, would extend as far as personal blogs and homepages. In the report, this...