May 2013
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65 articles published/printed


May 31, 2013

Nikkei dives 5%, ends below 13,600

The Nikkei index dives more than 5 percent to its lowest level in about one month, ending below 13,600 amid jitters over recent market volatility and concern over the course of the global economy.

Abductee's son said among defectors

May 31, 2013

Abductee's son said among defectors

The son of a Japanese woman abducted by North Korea in the 1970s was among the group of nine defectors recently sent from Laos back to the reclusive country, a South Korean newspaper reports.

Widow in farmer suicide sues Tepco

May 31, 2013

Widow in farmer suicide sues Tepco

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A Filipino woman whose Japanese husband committed suicide after his dairy farming business was decimated by the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is suing Tokyo Electric Power Co. for about ¥126 million. “Had there not been that nuclear disaster, he would still be alive,” ...

Softbank takeover of Sprint wins U.S. security clearance

May 31, 2013

Softbank takeover of Sprint wins U.S. security clearance

U.S. national security officials have approved Softbank’s planned $20 billion takeover of Sprint, the third-largest U.S. mobile carrier, the companies said Wednesday. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) completed the investigation with “no unresolved national security issues relating to the transaction,” ...

Africa fair spices up TICAD venue

May 31, 2013

Africa fair spices up TICAD venue

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Garments and baskets woven in bright colors, spicy cuisine and energetic music played on traditional instruments are livening up the vast Pacifico Yokohama convention center in Yokohama. As a side event to the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, African Fair 2013 started ...

Association formed to pitch 'Lolita fashion' to the world

May 31, 2013

Association formed to pitch 'Lolita fashion' to the world

Aiming to spread Japan’s “Lolita fashion” to the world, the Omula Fashion Design College in the city of Fukuoka has established the Japan Lolita Association. The aim is to stimulate interest in the famous fashion subculture through various events, including tea parties. About 30 ...

India's Africans keeping ancient customs alive

| May 31, 2013

India's Africans keeping ancient customs alive

The tiny Sidi community, descendants of ninth-century African migrants, have lived quietly along India’s west coast for hundreds of years without ever losing touch of their ancient traditions. “A Certain Grace,” a new book by Indian photographer Ketaki Sheth, reveals how the community, many ...

Comedian 'Shizu-chan' keeps boxing after Olympic bid dashed

May 31, 2013

Comedian 'Shizu-chan' keeps boxing after Olympic bid dashed

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Comedian Shizuyo Yamasaki continues to fight despite her failed attempt to compete in the women’s boxing competition at the 2012 London Olympics. The 34-year-old Yamasaki, better known as “Shizu-chan,” was among 16 fighters at the first Challenge Match competition held in Japan for nonprofessional ...

What Bachmann meant to politics

May 31, 2013

What Bachmann meant to politics

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's surprise retirement announcement likely brings an end to an Icarus-like political career in which she rapidly rose to national prominence before falling hard.

May 31, 2013

Ill-prepared for nuclear accidents

The exposure of 33 researchers to radiation on May 23 at a Japan Atomic Energy Agency research facility in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, revealed the JAEA’s failure to uphold basic safety standards. Education and science minister Mr. Hakubun Shimomura said May 28 that the ministry ...

May 31, 2013

Priorities in Myanmar

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Myanmar President Thein Sein on a visit to Myanmar on May 26 and pledged ¥91 billion in fresh aid to Myanmar — ¥51 billion in loans and ¥40 billion in grants — and waived another ¥190 billion in ...

May 31, 2013

Alcohol addiction could doom Putin's dreams

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Russians’ love for vodka has a long history. Legend holds that vodka arrived in Moscow in the 14th century, brought by Genovese merchants to Prince Dmitry Ivanovich. Legend also says that the monk Isidore, of the Chudov Monastery inside the Kremlin, made a recipe ...

May 31, 2013

Harder battle over Benghazi

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Many conservatives suspect that the U.S. State Department, with the White House in a supporting role, deceived the public about the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. This conspiratorial narrative is, in all probability, false. Even the embarrassing “Cairo-demonstrations-killed-us-in-Benghazi” messages by ...

Why it matters where our food comes from

| May 31, 2013

Why it matters where our food comes from

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The latest trend in fine dining has nothing to do with molecular gastronomy or pan-Latin fusion: Sustainability is the new order of the day. At the influential World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in London last month, the organizers presented their first Sustainable Restaurant ...

'Stoker'

May 31, 2013

'Stoker'

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Meet the Stoker family: wealthy, well-bred and seemingly isolated from the world. Mom Evie (Nicole Kidman) seems to have nothing more to do than weave elegantly around the house with a drink in her hand, looking fabulous. Dad Richard (Dermot Mulroney) is an architect ...

'Oblivion'

May 31, 2013

'Oblivion'

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I have seen the future and it looks like about half a dozen other sci-fi films poured into a cauldron and left to smelt. Influences are one thing, but “Oblivion” is a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, its plot composed almost entirely of bits ...

'The Grandmaster'

May 31, 2013

'The Grandmaster'

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Ever since Ang Lee scored big with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” back in 2000, nearly every other Chinese-language director of note has tried a similar attempt at crossover success with a martial-arts movie. The latest to do so is Hong Kong’s Wong Kar-wai, yet ...

'Kiseki (I Wish)'

May 31, 2013

'Kiseki (I Wish)'

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Director: Hirokazu Koreeda Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) On May 27, Arrow Films of the U.K. is releasing a DVD and Blu-ray of Hirokazu Koreeda’s offbeat family drama “Kiseki (I Wish).” Two brothers who have been separated by their parents’ divorce conspire to bring ...

'Here Comes the Boom' (Japan title: Tokon Sensei)

May 31, 2013

'Here Comes the Boom' (Japan title: Tokon Sensei)

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Director: Frank Coraci Language: English Motivation is priceless, as demonstrated by this enjoyable if heavily predictable tale of a high school biology teacher (Kevin James) who decides to become a martial-arts fighter on the side in order to raise funds and prevent the cash-strapped ...

'Glorious 39' (Japan title: Hitler Code 39)

May 31, 2013

'Glorious 39' (Japan title: Hitler Code 39)

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Director: Olivier Assayas Language: English “Glorious 39″ boasts an excellent cast (Bill Nighy, Eddie Redmayne, David Tennant, Romola Garai and Christopher Lee) put to poor use in a plodding tale of prewar 1939 pro-Nazi intrigue in an aristocratic British family. While the film has ...

'Maniac'

May 31, 2013

'Maniac'

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Elijah Wood, best known for his work in the “Lord of the Rings” series and for having been around since babyhood, is perhaps looking to branch out as an actor. That would explain “Maniac,” a remake of the 1980 slasher movie recognized among horror ...

Japan stumbles in loss to Bulgaria

May 31, 2013

Japan stumbles in loss to Bulgaria

Japan lost back-to-back games for the first time under Alberto Zaccheroni as the Asian champion was beaten 2-0 by Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifying tuneup on Thursday evening.