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· November, 2008

Stories about Japan from November, 2008

Japan: Mainichi's Wikipedia Slip-up

  30 November 2008

Ignoring the fact that Wikipedia timestamps are in GMT and not JST (Japan Standard Time), on the 18th of November the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun published an article entitled, “Attack on the former vice-Director's home: crime announced on the Internet six hours earlier… hinting at the crime?”, in which a Wikipedia contributor (”Popons”) was erroneously identified as involved in the attempted murder of Kenji Yoshihara, wife of former vice health minister Kenji Yoshihara. Bulletin board commenters quickly spotted the mistake, and bloggers responded with criticism, but the Wikipedia editor in question was apologetic about the ordeal.

Japan, S. Korea, China: the Second International Congress of Asian Hemp Industry

  29 November 2008

Blogger Takashi reports [jp] on the Second International Congress of Asian Hemp Industry (第2回アジア大麻産業国際会議) held in Donghae (Korea) at the Hangzhong University from the 20th to the 23rd of November, 7 years after the first congress took place. Participants from Japan, China and South Korea [jp] debated the hemp industry...

Japan: Cooperation with Thailand for the Prisoners Transfer Program.

  27 November 2008

At the Irregular Rythm Asylum blog, Shiga announces [ja] that she received a letter from Chinpô-san [珍宝さん], a Japanese who has been serving his term of life imprisonment at Bangwang Central Prison for over 10 years. Chinpô explained that starting this year, Japanese and Thai governments will cooperate in the...

Japan: Employment promised and then revoked

  25 November 2008

Using the excuse of financial instability, new graduates in Japan, after being hired initially, are finding that unofficial promises of employment are then being revoked, a trend that blogger Akinori Nakamura [中村昭典] uses as a starting point for making observations on recent changes in the Japanese employment system. Nakamura-san compares...

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Japan: Bloggers debate prohibition of cannabis

  24 November 2008

Starting with the case of two sumo wrestlers who tested positive for marijuana at the beginning of September and continuing with the announcement last week by Waseda University that three students were arrested over suspicions of growing cannabis, scandals related to the use of cannabis have topped the headlines in the media over the last few weeks in Japan.

Japan: Falling Land Prices

  23 November 2008

The GLOCOM blog reports that land prices are falling across Japan, even in prime locations such as Otemachi and Ginza (Tokyo). The trend resembles the beginning of country's so-called “lost decade” in the early 1990s.

Japan: Proud to be Okinawan

  23 November 2008

Superyuko at Nachikasanu Koiuta describes the first time she became aware of her Okinawan identity. 10 years ago, in Tokyo, where she came to live and to attend university, she was asked: “Are you Japanese? Because you don't look very Japanese”, and innocently answered: “I think I am Japanese”. She...

Japan: Suginami Ward proposes removal of Street View images

  23 November 2008

Following on a request by the Machida city council for regulation of Google's Street View service, recently introduced in Japan, Asiajin reports that the ward of Suginami in central Tokyo has advised its residents on how to submit [ja] takedown requests to Google. An article at Asahi reports that Suginami...

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Japan: Revision of the Nationality Law

  21 November 2008

On the 4th of June, on the occasion of cases filed in 2003 [en] and in 2005 whose protagonists were 10 children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers and Filipino mothers, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an article of the Nationality Law[en] because it infringes on Article 14 of...

Japan: Economic recession? A dejavue.

  21 November 2008

id:norikku225 at Let's survive the subprime shock! (サブプライムショックを生き残ろう!) [ja] comments on news that the Japanese economy has entered a recession, as reported by national [ja] andinternational [en] media. The blogger says that there is nothing new in this and that the scenario has been the same for the last 15...

Japan: 10,000 signatures to support a café

  20 November 2008

A small independent café, Berg, is facing possible eviction from a shopping complex in Shinjuku, adjacent to the world's busiest train station. The building owner wants the 50-square-metre café out because the café owner has refused to sign a new contract that allows the company to evict its tenant after...

Japan: Asia 21 Tokyo Summit

  19 November 2008

From the 14th to the 16th of November the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit was held in Tokyo, with 160 young leaders debating this year's topic of “Challenges Across Borders, Solutions Beyond Cultures”, focusing on ways to “make the culture relevant in our changing world”. The diary of the 3-day-conference,...

Japan and the U.S: Debt Crisis

  18 November 2008

Observing Japan comments on the debt crises in Japan ad the U.S.: For the past two decades, Japan has fallen from a great height, and barring adjustments, it may have further to fall. The US may yet experience a similar decline.

Japan: 2008 Neologisms and Trendy Words

  17 November 2008

Presenting this year's 60 neologisms and trendy words [jp], among which only one will be elected representative for 2008, Kôgetsu describes briefly[jp] the events that influenced the choice and Japanese public opinion on the topic this year. His “best three” words are: subprime, tainted rise (事故米) and “Ponyo Ponyo, sakana...

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Japan: Japanese Language in the Age of English

  17 November 2008

The Fall of the Japanese Language in the Age of English, the latest book by Japanese novelist and essayist Minae Mizumura, roused debate among many Japanese bloggers recently over the fate of their national language. Some wondered whether their country would one day adopt English as the mother tongue, and what that would mean for their national identity.

Japan: Full-speed ahead for Christmas and New Year's Eve

  16 November 2008

Blogger at Techtech to Tuzuru Nichijô Essay Book (テクテクとつづる日常エッセイブック) [jp] describes how, since the first week of November, Tokyo is already lit up for Christmas, everybody seems to walk faster, all the shops are already selling gifts and the big department stores are already displaying special dishes for the New...

Japan: A girl in the Pro Baseball League

  16 November 2008

Yuko Shimonakamura at Yuko no Jinsei to Tigers [勇皇の人生とタイガース] comments with enthusiasm [jp] on the birth of a new baseball heroine, Eri Yoshida, the 16 y.o. high school student who will likely debut as a pitcher in the Kansai Independent League (関西独立リーグ) starting next spring and will play together with...

Japan: Changing jobs in a recession

  14 November 2008

Noriyuki Okada at Silicon Valley wa Kyô mo Hareru (シリコンバレーは今日も晴れ) [jp] describes his experience taking the decision as a software-engineer to change his job despite being in the middle of an economically unstable period. He writes about how he thought carefully about his technical skills, asked for experts’ opinion about...

About our Japan coverage

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


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