August 2013
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60 articles published/printed


Abe, U.S. senator concur on need to bolster alliance

Aug 16, 2013

Abe, U.S. senator concur on need to bolster alliance

Japan and the United States should strengthen bilateral ties as China increases its presence in the South China and East China seas, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the visiting chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed Thursday. Abe told Robert Menendez at ...

Robots help sushi-go-round turn high-tech

Aug 16, 2013

Robots help sushi-go-round turn high-tech

by Miwa Suzuki

With its masters required to hone their skills over decades, sushi is steeped in tradition. But it is also often a high-tech operation where robotic precision steals the limelight from the chef’s knife. Japan is dotted with thousands of “kaiten” (revolving) sushi restaurants where ...

Bloodshed shows lack of U.S. leverage

| Aug 16, 2013

Bloodshed shows lack of U.S. leverage

by Nicolas Revise

Egypt’s latest bloodshed has underlined what experts say is the weakened influence of the United States, which turned a blind eye to a coup while advocating a return to democracy. The United States has struggled to develop a coherent approach to Egypt since veteran ...

Cargo ship sinks as Typhoon Utor strikes Hong Kong

Aug 16, 2013

Cargo ship sinks as Typhoon Utor strikes Hong Kong

A 190-meter-long cargo ship sank off Hong Kong on Wednesday in a strong typhoon that whipped up towering waves and forced much of the city to shut down, before killing one person and leaving five others missing as it churned through southern China on ...

By omitting words, Abe speaks volumes

Aug 16, 2013

By omitting words, Abe speaks volumes

by Ayako Mie

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed no remorse for Japan’s past military aggression in Asia and failed to pledge to never again wage war Thursday when the nation marked the 68th anniversary of its surrender in World War II, underscoring his revisionist views on history ...

Aug 16, 2013

Park calls on Japan to face up to history

South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday urged Japanese politicians to show “brave leadership” in resolving issues still lingering from Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. “I urge Japanese politicians to show brave leadership in healing wounds of the past, and that’s ...

Aug 16, 2013

Strong enough for a sales tax hike?

Japan's annualized GDP growth has topped 2 percent for two straight quarters. But is economic recovery strong enough to go ahead with sales tax hikes starting next April

Aug 16, 2013

Shedding light on the TPP's impact

The government must not decide on what Trans-Pacific Partnership issues it is willing to compromise until it fulfills its duty of explaining to people what's at stake.

Dōmo arigatō, giant robotto

Aug 16, 2013

Dōmo arigatō, giant robotto

by Matt Alt

My name is Matt, and I have a problem: I’m a grown man who thinks way too much about giant robots. Actually, I’m just kidding — it isn’t a problem at all. Japanese robots literally changed the course of my life. Without robot anime, ...

Monster-film maker tackles other big menace

Aug 16, 2013

Monster-film maker tackles other big menace

by Mark Schilling

Norman England is the world’s leading non-Japanese expert on all things Godzilla, if hours logged on the set are any measure. From 1999 to 2004, he spent, by his own estimate, 150 days at Toho Studios watching the king of kaiju (monsters) come to ...

When young creators answer the big city's siren call

Aug 16, 2013

When young creators answer the big city's siren call

by Mark Schilling

Veteran scriptwriter and director Toshiyuki Morioka had more than a professional interest in making his new film “Jokyo Monogatari.” Based on an autobiographical manga by Rieko Saibara, its story of an aspiring artist coming to Tokyo to learn her trade and make her fortune ...

'Jokyo Monogatari'

Aug 16, 2013

'Jokyo Monogatari'

by Mark Schilling

So many Japanese have relocated to Tokyo over the years to make their fortunes — or simply to escape rural poverty — that there is a word to describe the act: jōkyō (which the dictionary defines as “proceeding to the capital [Tokyo]“). Something similar ...

'Populaire'

Aug 16, 2013

'Populaire'

by Kaori Shoji

It’s “My Fair Lady” meets “Flashdance” meets the sweet, earnest rom-coms of the 1950s. “Populaire” is the feature debut by French filmmaker Régis Roinsard (most famed for Jane Birkin’s promotional videos) but the film has the look and feel of a veteran artisan: “Some ...

'Playing For Keeps'

Aug 16, 2013

'Playing For Keeps'

by Kaori Shoji

Gerard Butler, most famed for his muscled marauder performance in “300,” always seems on the verge of burning rage or spontaneous combustion — which is why he was a disaster in rom-coms such as “The Bounty Hunter” and “The Ugly Truth.” For all his ...

'White House Down'

Aug 16, 2013

'White House Down'

by Giovanni Fazio

Hollywood movies are all starting to feel the same these days, but in some cases almost literally. Just check out “White House Down,” a “Die Hard”-in-D.C. popcorn flick that is almost exactly the same movie as “Olympus Has Fallen,” which was released earlier this ...

'Garbage in the Garden of Eden'

Aug 16, 2013

'Garbage in the Garden of Eden'

by Giovanni Fazio

German-Turkish director Fatih Akin, best known locally for 2005′s excellent doc on Istanbul’s music scene “Crossing the Bridge,” turns his attention to a small tea-growing village called Camburnu on the coast of the Black Sea. This was the hometown of Akin’s grandparents, and it’s ...

'It's Such a Beautiful Day'

Aug 16, 2013

'It's Such a Beautiful Day'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Don Hertzfeldt Language: English Cinema is constantly cross-breeding, but a hybrid of Stan Brakhage’s impressionistic art cinema with naif stick-figure line drawing and overlapping narration like The Velvet Underground’s “The Murder Mystery” is not something I’d expected. One-man animator Don Hertzfeldt’s feature seamlessly ...

Various Toho war films

Aug 16, 2013

Various Toho war films

by Mark Schilling

Director: Various Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Amazon Spain is selling Spanish/English-subbed DVDs of old Toho war movies, including 1963′s “Taiheiyo no Tsubasa (Attack Squadron!),” with Toshiro Mifune starring as a fighter squadron leader, and 1968′s “Rengo Kantai Shirei Chokan: Yamamoto Isoroku (Admiral Yamamoto),” ...

'Flight'

Aug 16, 2013

'Flight'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Robert Zemeckis Language: English National hero or drunken loser? Denzel Washington stars as a smooth operator in the cockpit as well as with his hottie cabin attendants. One morning in a rainstorm, he takes the plane too high, too fast, and when the ...

Murakami, Fukushima fail to advance at worlds

Aug 16, 2013

Murakami, Fukushima fail to advance at worlds

Yukifumi Murakami failed to reach the final in the men’s javelin throw at the IAAF World Athletics Championships on Thursday. The 33-year-old Murakami, who won a bronze medal at the 2009 worlds in Berlin, came up short after an effort of 77.75 meters in ...