Stories about Japan from January, 2008
Lee from Toyko Times blogs about Japan Prime Minister Fukuda's defence for whale research while public discourse is about food culture.
Debito posted letters from Osayuwamen Idubor, written in jail. The Nigerian was sentenced last December to three years for rape despite no physical evidence and flawed accuser testimony. Part I and Part II.
The infamous Monju fast-breeder reactor leak of 1995, an accident that long ago earned itself a place in the history of nuclear power in Japan, has returned one more time to haunt government and industry officials with images they had hoped they would never see again. More than ten years after the original incident, a never-before-seen video has finally come out, released on YouTube by a group called News for the People in Japan (NPJ) and also posted by blogger tokyodo-2005 at his blog.
Edo from Pink tentacle blogs about a student hacking into a game company for stealing 36 million yen worth of virtual currency for buying virtual dress.
Ryoko from Ping mag has written a feature on Matchbox Art.
Shisaku despairs at the arrest of Nakatsuji Masato, allegedly for programming a virus when in fact there are no laws against virus creation in Japan. The arrest is connected to a new campaign by the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, who has placed ads in trains and on TV...
Japan's public broadcaster NHK faces yet another controversy, with revelations of insider trading by three NHK employees on shares of Kappa Create Company. This first part of a two-part series features a translation of two very popular posts by blogger and economist Ikeda Nobuo, once an employee of NHK, who provides details about the 20-year-old pre-broadcast reporting system that led to the news leak.
Blogger Sakiyama Nobuo, a social activist who has covered the area of web censorship in Japan for many years, early last week responded to a conversation initiated by fellow blogger Minakata Tsukasa on the topic of the regulation of so-called "harmful" websites. The blog entry provides a useful overview of the current state of legal controls on Internet content in Japan, something which may come in handy in the future.
The sport of handball is receiving the kind of attention from the media and general public it never has before in Japan, as well as in Korea. The dispute came to light when Korea and Japan together appealed to the International Handball Federation for replay of the Olympics qualifiers of...
Mari blogs a magazine survey on best selling mail order in 2007. The top product is a medical pillow from Italy.
James from Japan Probe summarizes the debate on granting voting rights to foreigners in Japan.
Edo collects a few high dynamic range (HDR) photography on Japan Landscapes.
Debito has an elaborated comment on the Japan government's proposal on making Japanese language a requirement for long-term visa. Ampotant criticizes BBC's report for creating an impression that Japanese don't like to talk to foreigners.
James from Japan Probe asks whether Japanese language be one of the qualifications for obtaining long-term residence visas in Japan? The Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura thinks so.
Edo from Pink Tentacle blogs photographer Kimiko Yoshida's photo interpretation of brides of the world.
As his ratings continue to slip in the primaries, US presidential hopeful Barack Obama's popularity is on the rise among bloggers around the world. Global Voices Online editors and contributors joined hands to bring us the reactions of bloggers from Japan, Haiti, Republic of Macedonia, Pakistan, India, Ukraine, Singapore and Chile in this article.
Since their introduction in the 1970s, convenience stores, popularly called konbini, have developed into a prominent feature of the Japanese landscape. Now the number has grown to about 45,000 stores, 94 per cent of which are running 24-7, offering everything from food, to beverages, to snacks, to ATMs, to ticketing and utility bill payments, you name it.
Word on the street is that the Japanese economy isn't doing too well, with sluggish car sales apparently a major culprit. Who is to blame? Some say the kids, who have apparently lost the urge for material things. Whatever the reason, Japanese bloggers didn't seem terribly surprised by the news.
Pingmag has a report on citizens’ attempt to change the urban landscape by guerrilla flowerpots.
The festival is a thousand-years-old. But the Japan Railway refused to put up the poster under the excuse of sexual harassment. More details from James, Japan Probe.
David Marx from Neojaponisme has a great article about Japan youth culture.