Stories about Japan from June, 2007
Japan: The Disappearing Pension Accounts
For the past few weeks, pressure has been intensifying against the Japanese government over its apparent mismanagement of over 50 million public pension accounts belonging to millions of Japanese citizens. While the government has attempted to deflect attacks by issuing flyers pinning the blame on a former member of the opposition, many Japanese bloggers are not buying it.
Japan: New Prime Minister?
Ampontan bets that the present Foreign Minister Taro Aso will likely be the next new prime minister based on the blogger's reading of his book: Totetsumonai Nihon (meaning Japan the Tremendous).
Japan: Criminalization of child porn possession
Japan and Russia are the only G-8 member countries where personal possession of child pornography is not a crime. JP reports on the debate on the suggestion of criminalization of child porn possession.
Japan: Surveillance of Citizen Groups
Japan Observer compares coverage of revelations that “a special Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces (JGSDF) unit conducted surveillance against citizens’ groups and political parties opposed to the dispatch of JSDF troops to Iraq”, noting that, whereas the newspaper Asahi shimbun devoted the entire editorial page to the issue, Yomiuri shimbun buried...
Japan: The Matsuoka Suicide
The story is now over a week old, and yet the sensational suicide of Agriculture Minister Matsuoka Toshikatsu, who hung himself in his apartment on May 28th and later died in hospital, is continuing to ripple through Japanese society. As others have noted elsewhere, while the rate of suicide within...
Japan: More vulnerable to disasters
Paul Nicholls from Japundit blogs a government report on Japan's vulnerability to natural disasters: it is is increasing as skyscrapers mushroom in cities, shopping malls go underground and the population ages.
Japan: Ancient Japan Blog
K. M. Lawson from Japan history blog posted his brief interview the writer of Ancient Japan Weblog: the material appearing on the blog stretches from the Jomon to the Kofun period.
Japan: the Beginnings of Japanese Pop Culture
Neomarxisme has an informative post on the history of Japanese pop-culture along the line of demographic changes, which accounts for the phenomena of “infantile capitalism”.
Japan: Shrimp Crackers QR code
Edo from Pink Tentacle introduces a new marketing service called “QR Ebi-sen,” which allows companies and individuals to print QR code on shrimp crackers. QR code is a popular two-dimensional code that connects users to mobile web content when they scan it with a QR code reader-equipped cellphone.
Japan: The Battle of Okinawa Again
Jeff at Jeff's Okinawa Blog reflects on the poetry of Wilfred Owen, whose poetry about World War I Jeff connects with the Battle of Okinawa (Japan). Jeff writes: “if there was ever an example of a person being meant to do something, being born for it, this is the one.”
AIDS in Japan: Blame it on gays?
Since the first case of AIDS in Japan was officially reported in March, 1985, official figures have indicated that the number of cases of HIV/AIDS among Japanese has been steadily increasing over the years (this despite the difficulty of making assessments due to the low rate of HIV testing among...
Japan: Pretty Boy Factory
Marie Mockett from Japundit introduces the business of pretty boy factory in Japan: The company is run somewhat like the old studio system of Hollywood; young kids are coached in singing, dancing and acting classes.
Japan: Declining Language Skills
Ampontan has translated an interview by Nishinippon Shimbun with Mieno Yasushi, the former governer of the Bank of Japan, on the topic of “the state of contemporary Japanese education and how the Japanese language […] is commonly discussed by the people who use it every day.” Of his experience with...