· October, 2008

Stories about Japan from October, 2008

Japan: Thoughts on Itochu trading scam

  31 October 2008

On October 10th, Itochu Corporation announced that it had paid close to one hundred billion yen in false transactions valued at nearly 100 billion yen to Mongolian suppliers for construction machinery and materials. One blogger and chartered accountant offers their thoughts on what happened inside Itochu.

Japan: Response to Obama “Put down the Wii Remote” Ad

  31 October 2008

Comments from Japanese net users respond [ja] to an ad by U.S. presidential nominee Obama in which viewers are told to “put down the remote and go vote“. “Why Wii?” one asks. Another writes: “Anti-Japan policies before even becoming president?” And one person wonders: “Does Obama despise Japan?”

Japan: Spam mail from a chimpanzee

  31 October 2008

id:crystaline reports [ja] that she discovered a spam mail with the title: “It might seem unbelievable, but I am a chimpanzee”. The ‘chimp’ explains: “At first, I thought I was a human. Like the other humans around me. However, I acquired knowledge, and realized that I was different. And I...

Japan: Why is Halloween not popular in Japan?

  30 October 2008

id:nakakzs writes about the lack of interest in Halloween among Japanese people [ja] compared to other imported holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day, noting that many people only know that Halloween takes place “sometime in autumn”. id:nakakzs traces the lack of popularity to a number of factors: bad timing...

Japan: Marriage with anime characters

  29 October 2008

(the) Road to the Deep East blogs about a signature campaign by a Japanese man demanding Japanese government to permit the marriage with anime characters, legally.

Japan: Refunds from Saizeriya

  29 October 2008

News that Saizeriya [ja], a Japanese restaurant chain offering low-cost Italian food, is offering refunds for people who ate pizza with melamine-tainted dough — without asking for receipts — has sparked some people who never ate any of the tainted dough to take up the restaurant's offer anyway [ja]. At...

Japan: 10 rules for debating, from students in Finland

  29 October 2008

id:takerunba follows a trackback [ja] to an article by blogger Oika [ja] about five rules for debating apparently conceived of by 5th-year students in Finland. Oika highlights points #1 (“Don't cut in when other people are talking”) and #7 (“Listen carefully [to what people say] until they finish”). The blogger...

Japan: Net users versus mainstream media on Governor Hashimoto

  28 October 2008

id:Chikirin observes that lately a pattern of estrangement has developed in Japan between the tone of existing mainstream media and public opinion on the net [ja], one that can be traced to a generation gap. The blogger takes the case of Osaka Governor Tōru Hashimoto, recently in the news for...

Japan: Hospital system in crisis, but how can it be fixed?

  28 October 2008

Gurikenblog takes up the story of a pregnant mother who was turned away by seven hospitals in Tokyo and eventually died of a brain hemorrhage, writing that the basic problem with the hospital system in Japan is that there is a lack of basic resources [ja]. “Certainly talk of suddenly...

Japan: Arrested in Shibuya just for walking?

  27 October 2008

id:inumash comments on news [ja] that three people heading a demo in Shibuya (Tokyo) on Oct. 26th with the intention of going to “see the home of PM Taro Aso” were arrested for not having notified police beforehand [ja]. The blogger points to an article by Amamiya Karin [雨宮処凛] [ja]...

Japan: Meeting Tatsuhiko Takimoto

  26 October 2008

id:y_arim describes [ja] meeting Japanese author Tatsuhiko Takimoto, known for his fictional work about hikikomori entitled Welcome to the N.H.K, at a bar in Akihabara. When they met, Takimoto declared that he had just recently discovered his “true self” — the person he was when he was in elementary school,...

Japan: You call that “art”?

  25 October 2008

Blogger aiki_tachibana, in a post entitled “Don't call that ‘art'!” [ja], reacts to news about a controversial art performance in Hiroshima on Oct. 21st. According to reports [ja], a group of artists calling themselves “Chim←Pom” (チン←ポム) chartered a plane to fly through the sky and draw in smoke the characters...

Japan: Top 100 Hot Entries on Hatena Bookmarks

  24 October 2008

Blogger id:ramyana posts a list [ja] of the top 100 bookmarked items on the Japanese bookmarking service Hatena Bookmarks [ja]. In first place, with 5370 bookmarks [ja], is a page explaining how to write a good graduation thesis [ja].

Japan: The Illegal Download Explained, on 2-Channel

  23 October 2008

Over the last years, the sometimes raucous nature of the Japanese Internet has repeatedly come under fire over concerns about issues such as harmful content and copyright infringement. Now the spotlight is back again, with news that legislation to ban downloads of copyrighted content is moving ahead as planned, despite earlier delays.

Japan: Outlawing Illegal Downloads

  22 October 2008

id:seshiapple picks up [ja] comments from a thread on Japanese bulletin board 2-Channel in which IT journalist Daisuke Tsuda asks 2-channelers: “The outlawing of [illegal] downloads is almost finalized, do you have any questions?” As reported in an IT media article [ja] from Oct. 20th, Tsuda was the only member...

Japan: Insiders foretell Yamato Life's bankruptcy on 2-Channel

  22 October 2008

The effects of the American subprime loan crisis have arrived in Japan, and the first company fall victim to the outfall is Yamato Life Insurance Co. The Japanese mid-size insurer filed for bankruptcy on the 10th of October and applied to the Tokyo District Court for bankruptcy protection. Many bloggers, however, have been writing about a different angle to the story: at a thread on 2-Channel, Japan's largest bulletin board, insiders apparently reported the bankruptcy before it actually happened.

Japan: Subsidy for companies hiring longtime freeters

  21 October 2008

A thread on bulletin board 2-Channel responds to news that the Japanese government plans to offer subsidies to companies who hire long-time freeters (people who lack full time employment or are unemployed) as full-time regular employees. Subsidies of 500,000 yen will be paid to large companies, and subsidies of 1...

Japan: Why are American researchers so productive?

  20 October 2008

Japanese researcher id:kaz_ataka at Being between Neuroscience and Marketing describes his surprise at the productivity of science researchers in the U.S., those at the blogger's lab in the U.S. producing 5-6 papers per year. Unlike Japanese researchers, who kaz_ataka explains stay up until the early hours in the morning working...

Japan: Media Bias in Potato Field Eviction?

  19 October 2008

Images appearing on Japanese TV of government forces evicting crying nursery school children from potato fields in Osaka, part of plans to extend a highway (the Second Keihan Highway) between Kyoto and Osaka, has sparked many on the Japanese net to respond with accusations of media bias.

Japan: Reaction to Asahi article on supermarket inspection

  19 October 2008

An article in the Asahi Shimbun [ja] about a visit by Japanese prime minister Taro Aso to a Shinjuku supermarket has been taken up on 2-Channel [ja]. Aso reportedly visited the supermarket to inspect rising food prices, and then proceeded to have dinner at the (very luxurious) Imperial Hotel. As...

About our Japan coverage

Nevin Thompson is our Japan editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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