December 2013
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73 articles published/printed


Is wife Abe's main opposition rival?

Dec 20, 2013

Is wife Abe's main opposition rival?

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Akie Abe is Japan's first lady of conviction and action, describing herself as an "opposition force at home" who doesn't shy away from speaking out in public against the policies of her husband, Shinzo.

Strip search puts strain on India-U.S. ties

Dec 20, 2013

Strip search puts strain on India-U.S. ties

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his regret to India over the arrest and strip search of a consular official in New York as he sought to calm a row over the incident Wednesday. Kerry phoned Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon to ...

Mitsubishi Estate to hike office rent in Marunouchi

Dec 20, 2013

Mitsubishi Estate to hike office rent in Marunouchi

Mitsubishi Estate Co. plans to increase office rents for the first time in about five years in 2014 as the supply of new buildings slows. Mitsubishi Estate, owner of about 30 buildings in Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district, plans to boost rents by as much ...

Syria's forced disappearances constitute crimes against humanity: U.N. probe

Dec 20, 2013

Syria's forced disappearances constitute crimes against humanity: U.N. probe

Syrian government forces are waging a systematic campaign of enforced disappearances to terrorize the population, amounting to a crime against humanity, a U.N.-mandated probe said Thursday. “Enforced disappearances are perpetrated as part of a widespread campaign of terror against the civilian population,” the Independent ...

Inose calling it quits over money scandal

Dec 20, 2013

Inose calling it quits over money scandal

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Scandal-ridden Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose announced his resignation Thursday for taking money from a hospital operator mired in allegations of election law violations involving a Diet member. Inose said he decided to step down to prevent the scandal from disrupting Tokyo’s preparations to host ...

China rushes to try activists during Western holidays

| Dec 20, 2013

China rushes to try activists during Western holidays

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Chinese authorities are ramping up prosecutions of rights activists during the year-end holidays, apparently hoping the West will be paying less attention to its wide-ranging crackdown on dissent, which has drawn international criticism all year. In recent days, prosecutors and courts in various localities ...

Nuke refugee kids get gourmet meal

Dec 20, 2013

Nuke refugee kids get gourmet meal

When Santa Claus arrived recently at a school hosting children who fled the Fukushima nuclear disaster, he brought the usual presents, but he also bore something a little less ordinary — a gourmet Christmas dinner. The Caravan Bon Appetite is an initiative of French ...

Muslims, Christians trapped by fear

| Dec 20, 2013

Muslims, Christians trapped by fear

The Christian camp is on one side, the Muslim camp on another, separated by a red dirt road littered with abandoned homes, a no man’s land swirling with bitterness, rumors and accusations. Wrenched apart by sectarian violence, the Central African Republic town of Bossangoa ...

Dec 20, 2013

Defense buildup won't bring security

With the adoption of Japan's first comprehensive guideline for security policy and diplomacy, the Abe Cabinet appears to operate under the illusion that the use of force ultimately could resolve the difficult situation the nation finds itself in.

A year of pancakes, donuts, flying fish

| Dec 20, 2013

A year of pancakes, donuts, flying fish

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Japan has reached peak donut. In a year of otherwise promising trends in the B-kyū gourmet (B-grade cuisine) scene, Japanese diners saved their heartiest appetite for Western-style breakfast. The onslaught of U.S. franchises specializing in pancakes, French toast and eggs Benedict continued apace, with ...

Comiket, where <I>otaku</I> come to share the love

Dec 20, 2013

Comiket, where otaku come to share the love

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The Tokyo International Exhibition Center, better known as Tokyo Big Sight, boasts an area of more than 80,000 sq. meters of exhibition space. It’s the country’s largest convention center and will host wrestling, fencing and taekwondo during the 2020 Olympics. Not many events can ...

Japanese couple's canvas alive with the art of love

Dec 20, 2013

Japanese couple's canvas alive with the art of love

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Being an artist can be hard enough — but being part of an artist couple comes with a truckload of angst, as director Zachary Heinzerling demonstrates in his debut documentary feature “Cutie and the Boxer.” This is about the life and times of artists ...

'Cutie and the Boxer'

Dec 20, 2013

'Cutie and the Boxer'

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When 59-year old Noriko Shinohara calls herself “Cutie,” you’ll want to take her word for it. She grabs the viewer at the opening scene of the documentary “Cutie and the Boxer,” which plays out like something from an early Jean-Luc Godard movie: It’s early ...

'Matsuri no Uma (The Horses of Fukushima)'

Dec 20, 2013

'Matsuri no Uma (The Horses of Fukushima)'

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The earthquake, tsunami and reactor meltdowns of March 2011 may have faded from the world’s consciousness, but for many Japanese filmmakers, both young and old, it has been a life- and career-defining event. Documentary makers, especially, have gone north by the dozens to film ...

Bright lights in our big cities

Dec 20, 2013

Bright lights in our big cities

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Christmas holiday lights can be quite the spectacle in towns and cities celebrating the festive season. And as the days get shorter and colder, they can often brighten the gloomy evenings of a frosty winter. Even though Japan doesn’t traditionally celebrate Christmas, it is ...

'Only Lovers Left Alive'

Dec 20, 2013

'Only Lovers Left Alive'

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Most people define Jim Jarmusch by the impeccably cool hipster portraits of his early films in the 1980s, such as “Down by Law” or “Mystery Train.” But if you think about it, he’s really been moving through a series of genre flicks for the ...

'Assault on Wall Street (Japan title: Wall Street Down'

Dec 20, 2013

'Assault on Wall Street (Japan title: Wall Street Down'

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If you’ve never had the chance to sample the work of Uwe Boll (“Blubberella,” “Auschwitz”), this is an opportunity to tap into the “so-bad-it’s-god-awful” genre of which Boll is king. His latest, “Assault on Wall Street,” makes the Occupy guys look tame to the ...

McGehee heading back to MLB with Marlins

Dec 20, 2013

McGehee heading back to MLB with Marlins

With the addition of third baseman Casey McGehee, the Miami Marlins have replaced half of their punchless 2013 lineup. The infielder, who has five MLB seasons under his belt, played in Japan last season and agreed to a $1.1 million, one-year contract Wednesday. Miami ...

Heat top Indy in showdown

Dec 20, 2013

Heat top Indy in showdown

For so much of the night, just about everything was going wrong for the Miami Heat. They were missing every 3-pointer, arguing plenty of calls, even screaming at one another. Then one quick burst changed everything. Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, LeBron James added ...

Sutter lifts Penguins to shootout victory over Rangers

Dec 20, 2013

Sutter lifts Penguins to shootout victory over Rangers

Brandon Sutter scored in the third period and then rescued the Penguins with the only goal of the shootout to lift Pittsburgh to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Sutter gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead just 1:01 after Pascal ...