May 2013
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57 articles published/printed


'Fast fashion' of South Korea, Singapore arrives

May 30, 2013

'Fast fashion' of South Korea, Singapore arrives

by Kazuaki Nagata

In the competitive Japanese “fast fashion” market, two new Asian brands have recently come in to challenge domestic and Western rivals. South Korea-based Mixxo and Singapore’s Charles & Keith have both launched stores here in the last few months. Big names in their home ...

Sword-bearing Swiss men uphold purest democracy

May 30, 2013

Sword-bearing Swiss men uphold purest democracy

Steffan Millius grips his sword and makes his way through the throngs of people crowding into Appenzell’s central square to take part in Switzerland’s famous direct democracy in perhaps its purest form. Every year, voters from across the northeastern demi-canton, or region, of Appenzell ...

May 30, 2013

Three-year investment push planned

The coming three years will be an “intensive investment-prompting period” to accelerate an economic growth strategy aimed at conquering nearly two decades of deflationary recession, the government said Wednesday. In the outline of the growth strategy, presented by economic and fiscal policy minister Akira ...

Tsunami hero continuing disaster education efforts

May 30, 2013

Tsunami hero continuing disaster education efforts

by Setsuko Kamiya

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, regional governments have been reviewing their disaster plans and enhancing preparations, from boosting buildings’ quake resistance to increasing their stockpiles of emergency food and blankets for immediate use. While taking such measures is undoubtedly crucial, Toshitaka Katada, a ...

Monju must remain idled, NRA to order

May 30, 2013

Monju must remain idled, NRA to order

The Nuclear Regulation Authority will officially prohibit the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor from resuming operations, dashing the operator’s hopes of restarting the facility by the end of next March. The harsh measure is a setback for the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, a national research ...

Mudskipper numbers jump eightfold

May 30, 2013

Mudskipper numbers jump eightfold

The population of mudskippers in Kyushu’s Ariake Sea has increased eightfold in the first survey in 16 years, as the fish have been able to easily survive mild winters amid rising temperatures, a research institute said Wednesday. Mudskippers, known as “mutsugoro,” live in mud ...

| May 30, 2013

Can Africa's emergency force deliver?

by Boris Bachorz

Aware that they have failed to get a full-fledged peacekeeping force up and running, African leaders now plan a rapid-deployment emergency force, but analysts question whether it can deliver. The African Union’s African Standby Brigade, meant to intervene swiftly in regional crises, has made ...

EU warns of duties on Chinese solar panels

May 30, 2013

EU warns of duties on Chinese solar panels

The European Union’s trade chief vowed Tuesday to tax Chinese solar panels next month in the largest EU commercial dispute of its kind, while urging China’s exporters to boost prices in return for an eventual end to the tariffs. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De ...

May 30, 2013

'My number' is dangerous

The Diet enacts the "My Number" ID card system, which ostensibly will ease payment of taxes and distribution of welfare benefits for citizens. But there's a price.

May 30, 2013

Improving the lay judge system

The worst that can be said about Japan's now 4-year-old lay judge system is that "citizen judges" have not always gotten enough psychological support from courts.

Art born from  the disingenuous

May 30, 2013

Art born from the disingenuous

by C.B. Liddell

The most radical force in art is not, as most people assume, genius, inspiration or sheer talent, it is instead a lack of technical ability. Combined with a strong desire to be an artist, this can prove to be a powerful driver of change ...

Seeking impressions in the two-dimensional

May 30, 2013

Seeking impressions in the two-dimensional

by Matthew Larking

The title of Yu Kiwanami’s “Confirmation of Happiness” (2013) is, in a sense, a kind of betrayal; for happiness cannot, in fact, be confirmed. A woman stands before a landscape, her head cropped off by the top edge of the picture in an artistic ...

K-ballet brings back 'Giselle' and introduces new leads

May 30, 2013

K-ballet brings back 'Giselle' and introduces new leads

by Kris Kosaka

As summer approaches with the misty other-worldliness of Japan’s rainy season, Tokyo’s K-Ballet graces the stage in June with a revival of the hauntingly romantic masterpiece “Giselle.” Six different ballerinas will perform the lead role as the production synthesizes K-Ballet’s changing image from a ...

Kashiwa earn draw with Hiroshima

May 30, 2013

Kashiwa earn draw with Hiroshima

Kashiwa Reysol toughed out a 0-0 draw at champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima to pick up their first point in three matches in the J. League on Wednesday night. Junya Tanaka had the best chance when he hit the woodwork late in the first half but ...