Latest posts by Chris Salzberg from July, 2007
Japan: A Historic Election Defeat
The overwhelming defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan's upper house elections on Sunday, historic in its scale, brought about a drastic shift in the Japanese political landscape and sent a clear message to prime minister Abe Shinzo and his government. While media across the world analyze political fallout of the political shift, bloggers are echoing the message and demanding change.
Japan: Protester nearly killed at Henoko Bay
An activist protesting environmental surveys currently being conducted in Henoko Bay (Okinawa) in preparation for the construction of a new military base was reportedly nearly killed when government-contracted divers attacked him. While the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA) denies the incident, the activist himself, pastor Taira Natsume, released a statement...
Japan: Sanja Matsuri suspension
Anpontan has posted an overview of the reasons behind this year's suspension of the main event of a three-day festival, which he explains are connected to the increasing presence of yakuza, who have “taken to wandering from festival to festival in Tokyo lately looking for action and dominating events.” He...
Japan: Smoke, Fire, and Fault Lines
Matt Dioguardi at Liberal Japan has posted a couple of round-ups (here and here) on the crisis at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant following the recent earthquake.
Japan: Ground Zero at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa
On July 16, shaken by a massive earthquake originating in a fault line that apparently runs directly underneath it, one of the power generators of the world's largest nuclear power plant, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, burst into flame and started billowing black smoke. This week's post includes a report from Diet member and blogger Kondo Masamichi, one of the first to arrive on the scene, and the reaction of another blogger who questions the government's handling of the crisis.
Japan: A Week of Typhoons, Earthquakes, and Nuke Leaks
The past week has been rough for Japan. Just as a torrential typhoon finished ripping through Okinawa and Kyushu, massive earthquakes hit Niigata and nearby regions, among other things setting fire to parts of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, the world's largest nuclear power plant. Video footage and blog translations in this week's post provide a glimpse into what has been happening at ground level.
Japan: The psychology of right-wing nationalist intellectuals
Blogger Niphonese writes about the phenomenon of Japanese going to study in Europe, then returning to Japan and joining right-wing nationalist groups [Ja]: “After experiencing discrimination in Europe, these Japanese people think to themselves: ‘Westerners talk about these things like human rights and so on, pretending like they don't know....
Japan: A Social Media “Explosion”
A seminar entitled "Explosive Social Media" held at the Jiji Press Hall in Tokyo last Tuesday brought together people from various sectors of the business world interested in finding out about the explosive potential of social media in Japan.
Japan: Responses to the Kyuma A-Bomb Statement
Two weeks ago, then-Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio made a famous statement referring to the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as something that "couldn't be helped". Despite later attempts to qualify this statement, Kyuma was ultimately forced to resign amid public outcry and political opposition. Bloggers also had a lot to say on the topic of the controversial statement.
Japan: Baby Mammoth Discovery
Edo at Pink Tentacle reports that the frozen body of a baby mammoth, preserved in ice about 10,000 years ago, was discovered in northwest Siberia by a local reindeer herder. The body will be shipped to the Jikei University School of Medicine in Japan for analysis.
Japan: Defending Kyuma
DeOrio at Trans-Pacific Radio has posted a detailed essay defending former Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio's infamous remarks regarding the U.S. A-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW2. DeOrio writes that Kyuma's “departure from the Defense Ministry and replacement by Yuriko Koike can only be a benefit...
An Insider's View of the Japanese Meat Industry
A recent scandal involving a Japanese company from Hokkaido selling pork disguised as beef has once more eroded people's confidence in the quality and safety of their own food. One blogger provides a sobering warning, from first-hand experience working in a meat processing plant, about the lax enforcement of quality controls within the Japanese meat industry.
Japan: Fingerprinting coming soon
Turner at Keeping Pace In Japan writes about Japan's new fingerprinting system, set to commence in November of this year, which will apply to all foreign nationals entering the country.