February 2013
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40 articles published/printed


Feb 17, 2013

Aso tries to calm German concerns

Finance Minister Taro Aso and his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, have agreed that the two countries will continue to closely discuss economic and financial matters, a source said. During a 20-minute conversation Friday on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of Group of 20 ...

Feb 17, 2013

EU to test food for horse DNA

The European Union has agreed to immediately launch tests for equine DNA in meat products, seeking to reassure nervous consumers that their food is safe and to stop the continent’s horse-meat scandal from spreading. The program will also look for the presence of phenylbutazone, ...

Feb 17, 2013

North Korea's drive for mini nukes raises alarm

Following North Korea’s third nuclear test last week, Japanese officials have expressed concern about the reclusive state’s possible progress toward fitting a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop a medium-range missile. Pyongyang has already successfully test-fired and deployed the Rodong-1 ballistic missile, which has a range ...

Judo scandal casts doubt on Olympic bid

| Feb 17, 2013

Judo scandal casts doubt on Olympic bid

by Philip Brasor

News stories don’t exist in a vacuum. What often makes them “news” is a confluence of factors that provide a context of interest. Though the public thinks the current story about 15 female judo athletes (jūdōka) demanding fundamental changes to the way the national ...

Shady Vatican Bank finances hastened pope's exit

Feb 17, 2013

Shady Vatican Bank finances hastened pope's exit

Inside a 13th-century monastery in a sleepy village north of Rome, the Rev. Salvatore Palumbo was allegedly serving more than one higher authority. Italian prosecutors say a Ferrari-driving lawyer who defrauded insurance companies used the priest as a front man, with Palumbo stashing the ...

Bringing the love of short films to a local audience

Feb 17, 2013

Bringing the love of short films to a local audience

by Kaori Shoji

If there was a birthday cake for the Brillia Short Shorts Theater, it would probably be an elegant, minimalist affair — no excessive decorations, nothing too calorific and five slim candles giving off a modest orange glow. One of just four movie theaters in ...

| Feb 17, 2013

Hiding from strangers in the global village

by Michael Hoffman

In his 1993 novel “Hanauzumi,” Junichi Watanabe pictures a prosperous farming village in Saitama. The year is 1868. The Meiji Restoration has just occurred. The shogun has been overthrown. The teenage Emperor Meiji has been conveyed from the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto and ...

Feb 17, 2013

AKB48 and sexual politics

The tearful video from a 20-year-old female pop group member who "broke the rules" was a disturbing reminder of Japan's troubling gender issues.

Dancing Demoiselles of the desert

| Feb 17, 2013

Dancing Demoiselles of the desert

by Mark Brazil

In a dry, dusty, desert landscape, the clamoring of cranes seems so surprising. I am used to the great winter assembly of more than 10,000 cranes in Kyushu at Izumi, where they congregate on winter-fallow rice fields; and I regularly frequent the winter gatherings ...

Warm memories of an Aizu winterlude

Feb 17, 2013

Warm memories of an Aizu winterlude

by Lesley Downer

It starts to snow soon after the train leaves Koriyama, and further inland at Aizu Wakamatsu the snow is knee deep. My hosts, Nobuyuki and Mikiko, are waiting at the station. I’m relieved to see they’ve brought boots for me. Aizu has been part ...

Faried shines in Rising Stars Challenge

Feb 17, 2013

Faried shines in Rising Stars Challenge

Denver Nuggets second-year forward Kenneth Faried had 40 points Friday as Team Chuck routed Team Shaq 163-135 in the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge game. Faried also had 10 rebounds and shot 18-for-22 from the field to collect MVP honors and kick off All-Star Weekend ...