November 2013
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69 articles published/printed


Nov 17, 2013

Tepco aiming to cut 1,000 jobs via voluntary redundancy

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is looking to shed 1,000 jobs through a voluntary redundancy program to boost efficiency and improve earnings, sources revealed Saturday. Aiming to invite applications by the autumn of 2014, Tepco will shortly propose the idea to its labor union, the ...

Factory blast in Chiba kills two

Nov 17, 2013

Factory blast in Chiba kills two

An explosion at an oil recycling facility in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, killed two people and injured 16 others Friday afternoon. The deceased were identified as Ever Clean Corp. employees Kenji Ida, 50, and Kazuo Masuda, 52. They were pronounced dead after being found buried ...

| Nov 17, 2013

Japan's 'world of peace' sold out to mammon

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Suppose Confucianism had prevailed? We’d have “rites and music” instead of law; filial piety instead of democracy and free-market capitalism. The ruler would radiate paternal benevolence and we, his subject-children, would respond with respect and obedience. Would we be worse off? Most people would ...

Victims of 'revenge porn' in U.S. press for new laws

Nov 17, 2013

Victims of 'revenge porn' in U.S. press for new laws

Annmarie Chiarini’s long-distance boyfriend was goading her to pose nude. The pictures would be for his eyes only, Chiarini recalls him saying, because she was so beautiful and because he missed her so much. He promised, she said, they would be stored on a ...

EPA proposes reducing biofuel mandate

Nov 17, 2013

EPA proposes reducing biofuel mandate

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed lowering requirements for biofuel use in 2014, trimming targets for corn-based ethanol use for the first time. The proposal would set ethanol use at 15.21 billion gallons (57.58 billion liters), just under 10 percent of motor ...

South Korean 'kimchi deficit' widens

Nov 17, 2013

South Korean 'kimchi deficit' widens

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It’s kimchi-making season in South Korea, with households across the country preparing and laying down stocks of the ubiquitous spicy side-dish for the coming winter. But many foreign visitors, including the most intrepid foodies, will probably leave without ever tasting a Korean-made version of ...

Xi extends power with security plan

Nov 17, 2013

Xi extends power with security plan

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China’s plan to create a new security committee demonstrates President Xi Jinping’s success in cementing his authority as Communist Party leader, analysts said Wednesday. Chinese academics for decades have advocated a body to oversee coordination among police, intelligence, military and other security organs, which ...

China plans to ease 'one-child' policy and end labor camps

Nov 17, 2013

China plans to ease 'one-child' policy and end labor camps

President Xi Jinping announced Friday the most sweeping package of economic, social and legal reforms in China in decades, including a relaxation of the country’s “one-child” policy and the scrapping of its much-criticized system of labor camps, The changes rolled back harsh social policies ...

Nov 17, 2013

Wrongheaded cuts in salaries

The Finance Ministry's recent proposal to cut annual salaries and numbers of teachers at public elementary and junior high schools is mistaken and misguided.

Nov 17, 2013

Paltry ranking in human capital

Japanese may be living a long time, but they're not liking work too well. The Human Capital Index report suggests that the level of mental well-being is clearly a problem among workers.

| Nov 17, 2013

Nationalism, Tibetans and Uighurs in today's China

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Nationalism arouses solidarity and generates identity politics that threaten ethnic and religious minorities. Defining the “we” also defines the “they” — and the latter is inexorably marginalized. Identity politics carry with them a high risk of sectarian or communal violence. State abuses of authority, ...

Fun for all on Tokyo's Oku-Tama wild side

Nov 17, 2013

Fun for all on Tokyo's Oku-Tama wild side

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Before I’d even set eyes on the river I heard a deep rumble from its bubbling gash of white and cobalt water rending apart the Tama Mountains. Officially part of Tokyo, Oku-Tama seems at a planetary distance from the metropolis of 35 million people. ...

Writer-farmer seeks hope in country life's future

Nov 17, 2013

Writer-farmer seeks hope in country life's future

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his administration have recently been mulling major changes to the country’s farm policy. The move comes against the backdrop of high production costs and average farm size not having grown much since 1965. For decades the government has used ...

| Nov 17, 2013

Lessons in life

Young man #1: Old men really don’t like being overtaken in the pool. Young man #2: Or on the road. Young man #1: Or when lining up for the train during rush-hour. Young man #2: In life. — Komazawa Park, Setagaya, Tokyo. Overheard by ...

Tales of wonder from Tohoku's deep past

Nov 17, 2013

Tales of wonder from Tohoku's deep past

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The first time most people outside Japan heard about the country’s northern Tohoku region was when it was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, leaving more than 15,000 dead and a million buildings damaged or destroyed. But to those ...

Light and Dark

Nov 17, 2013

Light and Dark

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“Light and Dark” is one of the late Natsume Soseki’s longest and most famous masterpieces. Although the allure is partly due to its lack of a concrete ending because of Soseki’s untimely death, the novel (sans ending) is still considered to be one of ...

Kawaii!! Japan's Culture of Cute

Nov 17, 2013

Kawaii!! Japan's Culture of Cute

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Kawaii!! Japan’s Culture of Cute; Manami Okazaki & Geoff Johnson; PRESTEL Providing an in-depth overview of all things kawaii (cute), this book traces the cute aesthetic from its inception in the 1970s as a schoolgirl trend to its position as a leading cultural norm, ...

Yokozuna rivals still tied for lead

Nov 17, 2013

Yokozuna rivals still tied for lead

Harumafuji blazed through Takekaze and rival yokozuna Hakuho was all business in a demolition of Shohozan as the pair remained in a dead heat with undefeated 7-0 records at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday. Ozeki Kisenosato leads a group of four wrestlers, ...

Brilliant Chan sets record

Nov 17, 2013

Brilliant Chan sets record

Patrick Chan likes the idea of breaking world records. He did it again Friday, and would love nothing more than to shatter it once more in February. At the Olympics. The three-time world champion from Canada improved his own world record in the men’s ...

Pacers stay unbeaten

Nov 17, 2013

Pacers stay unbeaten

Indiana’s Roy Hibbert had the perfect knockout combination Friday night. On offense, he made all but two shots. On defense, he protected the rim. At the free-throw line, he couldn’t miss and no matter what the Bucks tried to stop the former All-Star center, ...

Takahagi brace powers Hiroshima past Kashima

Nov 17, 2013

Takahagi brace powers Hiroshima past Kashima

J.League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima gave themselves the mental edge for the stretch run of the season with a resounding 3-1 victory over Kashima Antlers in the Emperor’s Cup round of 16 on Saturday. Sanfrecce rode Japanese international Yojiro Takahagi’s first-half brace to reach the ...

Nolan finds tears in win

Nov 17, 2013

Nolan finds tears in win

Sabres coach Ted Nolan had difficulty putting his emotions into words after going 16 years between wins behind the Buffalo bench. “It was one of those games where you didn’t ever know that this type of day would ever happen again,” Nolan said on ...

Martin speaks to NFL counsel

Nov 17, 2013

Martin speaks to NFL counsel

Jonathan Martin spent nearly seven hours going into “great detail” with the NFL counsel investigating his claims of his harassment in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room. What came up in their talks, he isn’t saying for now. He would say this: He still wants ...

Serbians, Czechs tied up in Davis Cup

Nov 17, 2013

Serbians, Czechs tied up in Davis Cup

Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Tomas Berdych of defending champion Czech Republic did what was expected of them Friday, winning their matches and leaving the Davis Cup final at 1-1 after the opening day. Djokovic beat Radek Stepanek 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in the first ...