February 2013
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42 articles published/printed


Crown Prince turns 53; tapping Emperor's views

Feb 24, 2013

Crown Prince turns 53; tapping Emperor's views

Marking his 53rd birthday Saturday, Crown Prince Naruhito said he has been enjoying a “fruitful time” with Emperor Akihito by regularly discussing his role as a symbol of the state and various other issues. “The Emperor talks about what he felt and experienced, so ...

Feb 24, 2013

Ex-vice mayor held over census scam

A former vice mayor of Higashiura in Aichi Prefecture has been arrested for allegedly padding the population data of the town, which is aiming to upgrade its administrative status to that of a city, prefectural police said. Hideo Ogisu, 63, denied violating the statistics ...

Feb 24, 2013

Anti-Osprey group set to disband

Saying it has “served a certain mission,” the organizing committee of a major rally against the deployment last year of MV-22 Ospreys to a U.S. air base in Okinawa announced Friday it will disband. Comprising representatives of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly and other municipal ...

Feb 24, 2013

Yamagata golf putter gifted to president

Washington KYODO Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented President Barack Obama with a golf putter made by a Japanese manufacturer during their meeting Friday at the White House, a government official said. In 1957, Abe’s grandfather, the late Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, and then-U.S. President ...

Feb 24, 2013

Tokyo, Manila reaffirm defense ties

Tokyo and Manila have reaffirmed that they will bolster defense cooperation in response to the recent bellicose actions and rhetoric of Beijing, which is seeking to expand its maritime interests in the East China and the South China seas. The agreement came in vice ...

Pistorius freed on bail

Feb 24, 2013

Pistorius freed on bail

South African Paralympic icon and Olympian Oscar Pistorius was freed on bail Friday, pending a high-profile trial for shooting dead his girlfriend. Pretoria magistrate Desmond Nair ruled the “Blade Runner” was not a flight risk and did not pose a danger to society after ...

Jakarta opens transgender care home

Feb 24, 2013

Jakarta opens transgender care home

A dozen elderly women are gathered inside the pink house, set on a narrow dirt road in a dusty Jakarta suburb. Together they sew, bake and chat. At first sight they look like a group of benevolent grandmothers, but the sunken cheeks and deep ...

Britain braces for influx of Eastern Europeans

Feb 24, 2013

Britain braces for influx of Eastern Europeans

Coils of Polish sausages glisten on shop counters and vodka bottles line the shelves. In this corner of the English countryside, much of the chatter is in Latvian or Lithuanian. Welcome to Boston, the most Eastern European town in Britain. Census data show that ...

Feb 24, 2013

U.S. federally funded research to be freely available

The White House moved Friday to make nearly all federally funded research freely available to the public, the latest advance in a long-running battle over access to research that exploded into view last month after the suicide of free-information activist Aaron Swartz. In a ...

Feb 24, 2013

Opposition bolts from Friends of Syria talks

Syria’s opposition National Coalition said it was pulling out of several international meetings to protest the “international silence” despite the slaughter of civilians in the conflict. The announcement came after the coalition had said it would form a government to run “liberated areas” of ...

Sect forced women into orgies, discouraged washing

Feb 24, 2013

Sect forced women into orgies, discouraged washing

A sect named Defenders of Christ that was broken up in Mexico last month forced women to participate in orgies, discouraged baths and made people eat raw animal organs, the wife of a cult leader said Tuesday. Mexican immigration authorities raided the sex-driven sect’s ...

Japan's vegetarians stay in the closet

| Feb 24, 2013

Japan's vegetarians stay in the closet

by Philip Brasor

Last week, entertainment-related media in the U.S. reported that the American Broadcasting Corporation had rejected an advertisement the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted to air during the Academy Awards ceremony, which takes place early tomorrow morning Tokyo time.

Feb 24, 2013

Common sense toward China

With regard to Hisahiko Okazaki’s Feb. 20 commentary titled “Japan’s step toward normalcy,” I’d like to add my two pence worth. Okazaki mentions that “certain elements in Japan and overseas are warning of a dangerous swing to the right in Japan politics” and that ...

Feb 24, 2013

Too late for some American dads

Regarding the Feb. 15 article “LDP gets behind the Hague Convention“: Good for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for pushing Japan into the Hague Convention. Unfortunately his act of courage comes too late for many American fathers whose ex-wives took advantage of Japan’s exempt status ...

Feb 24, 2013

Breaking wind at 12,000 meters

Regarding the Feb. 19 AFP article out of Wellington titled “Passengers get green light to fart on flights” (which cites a New Zealand Medical Journal report of a medical study’s conclusion that changes in air pressure during flight result in the gut producing more ...

Feb 24, 2013

Keep students out of adult games

I’m very disappointed with the government’s decision to exclude pro-Pyongyang high schools from its tuition-waiver program. It is clear that students attending these schools have nothing to do with the diplomatic problems between North Korea and Japan. As a high school teacher, I know ...

Feb 24, 2013

Familiar North Korean hostility

The lamentably hostile language and conduct of the North Korean government remind us of the Japan that stood against the whole world in the 1930s and early ’40s. Withdrawing from the League of Nations, invading China and other Asian nations, and then attacking Pearl ...

Feb 24, 2013

Sportsmanship gone awry

Details of the brutal physical and verbal abuse by the basketball coach of an Osaka high school boy who committed suicide have finally been released. The external independent panel found that coach Hajime Komura repeatedly and consistently used corporal punishment and verbal abuse on ...

Feb 24, 2013

Whose morals will be taught?

The government’s panel on improving Japan’s education system has decided to have the government make morals a regular subject in schools. The Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and chaired by Kaoru Kamata, president of Waseda University, intends to advise ...

Spring training in Mukojima

| Feb 24, 2013

Spring training in Mukojima

by Kit Nagamura

It’s hard to think of February as springlike, what with snowfalls, freezing winds and a dusting of dead leaves everywhere. But I know from experience that the intrepid Prunus mume, or plum tree, blooms this month, and a trek to see some blossoms seems ...

Feb 24, 2013

Academy Awards rebranded as 'The Oscars'

They are the climax of Hollywood’s awards season, the 85th Academy Awards — except officially they’re not. This year, they’ve been rebranded as “The Oscars.” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which organizes Tinseltown’s biggest awards, did not confirm the change ...

Feb 24, 2013

Delving into desperation over babies

by Ben East

ORIGINS OF LOVE, by Kishwar Desai. Simon & Schuster, 2013, 496 pp., £7.99 (paperback) Kishwar Desai calls her novels social thrillers; books set in the beating heart of modern-day India that lay bare its caldron of inequalities, injustices and cultural traditions. The first, 2010′s ...

Feb 24, 2013

The champion of Ozu's masterwork "Tokyo Story"

by Tadao Sato

Nowadays, the name of the Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963) is known throughout the world. But it wasn’t always like this — and it might never have been, without the efforts of Donald Richie. After Ozu’s masterpiece “Tokyo Story” was released in 1953, ...

Feb 24, 2013

Muamba awaits League Cup honor

Former Bolton star Fabrice Muamba will present the League Cup to the winning captain in Sunday’s final between Bradford City and Swansea City at Wembley. Muamba will be the sponsor’s guest of honor and will also watch the match from the Royal Box as ...

Struggling Sendai fires Pierce

Feb 24, 2013

Struggling Sendai fires Pierce

by Ed Odeven

After getting swept by the visiting Saitama Broncos on Friday, the Sendai 89ers on Saturday announced head coach Bob Pierce has been relieved of his duties. The 89ers are 13-21, including 5-11 at home. They are in eighth place in the 11-team Eastern Conference. ...

Feb 24, 2013

Takanashi grabs silver at worlds

Overall ski jumping World Cup champion Sara Takanashi fell just short in her bid for gold at the FIS World Nordic Ski Championships on Friday, taking a silver medal behind American rival Sarah Hendrickson. The 16-year-old Takanashi, coming off four consecutive World Cup wins, ...