Stories about Japan from November, 2014
Adorably Ugly Cats Take Over Tokyo Train
Winners of a popular contest have taken over trains in Tokyo. The goal of the contest? The most adorably ugly cats (busukawa neko) in Japan.
Strong Earthquake in Japan's Nagano Injures Dozens, Topples Homes
Forty-one people were injured during the magnitude 6.8 temblor, but no deaths were reported. Twitter users snapped photos of public transportation gone dark and disheveled supermarkets.
Japan's Snap Elections Overshadow a Faltering Economy
While some commentators are calling Abe's move "self-serving", others think Abe is facing political oblivion anyway and that the snap elections may be the spark that reignites Japan's moribund opposition.
Waited All Year for That Christmas Cake? If You're in Japan, Welcome to the Butter Shortage
The shortage in the lead-up to Christmas has coined a new Internet meme in Japan: butter refugees.
Is the ‘Sky Cycle’ Japan's Weirdest Theme-Park Ride?
Every nation has its own unique theme-park customs, and some build them in rather unexpected places. Meet Japan's "Sky Cycle" ride in Okayama Prefecture's Brazilian Washuzan Highland park.
Japan's Appetite Is Pushing Bluefin Tuna to the Brink
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has placed bluefin tuna on its Red List of endangered species. Japan consumes about a quarter of the world's tuna catch.
Chinese Fishermen Are Poaching Coral From Japanese Waters
"Beautiful coral that has taken years for nature to create are being uprooted. The maritime ecosystem of the sea around the Bonin Islands is being destroyed."
Japanese Police in Full Riot Gear Raid Kyoto University Dormitory
"The police look just like the stormtroopers from Star Wars. It's disgusting that we're living in a police state like this."
Japan's Internet Runs on Cats and Dogs
It's said that the internet runs on cats. Japan is no different, although cute dogs can quickly become the subject of massively popular memes too.
Chinese Web Users Are Skeptical as China and Japan Resume Official Dialogue
The two nations are at odds over a set of islands in the East China Sea. Beijing is also angry about Tokyo’s unwillingness to fully recognise its WWII atrocities.
Japanese TV Debate on Anti-Korean Hate Speech Turns Nasty
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto: "Well, an asshole like you..." Ultra-rightist Makoto Sakurai: "Hey, don't call me an asshole." Hashimoto: "Oh, just shut up, you asshole."
Are Employee Transportation Allowances the Cause of Japan's Commuter Hell?
Many employers in Japan's affluent and densely populated Pacific Seaboard axis stretching between Tokyo and Osaka subsidize the substantial cost of train and bus tickets for regular, full-time employees.
Popular Video Game Has Japanese Kids Seeing Ghosts
A popular Japanese meme blames Koma-san, a character on the show, for any minor problem or inconvenience experienced, while another character is a popping up on carved Halloween pumpkins.