February 2014
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86 articles published/printed


Tokyu launches Shibuya info page

Feb 07, 2014

Tokyu launches Shibuya info page

by Tomohiro Osaki

Private railway Tokyu Corp. has opened a new Facebook page in five different languages to cash in on foreign interest in Shibuya, the soul of Japanese entertainment and youth fashion. Titled Shibuya Expert, the Facebook page will run the gamut of entertainment information from ...

New boss to steer Keidanren back to politics?

Feb 07, 2014

New boss to steer Keidanren back to politics?

by Atsushi Kodera

Sadayuki Sakakibara, the incoming chairman of Keidanren, says his priority in leading the nation’s top business lobby is to help get Japan back on a growth track, but observers say he may also try to re-establish the organization’s influence in politics. In his first ...

Pyongyang threatens to cancel reunions with Seoul

Feb 07, 2014

Pyongyang threatens to cancel reunions with Seoul

North Korea threatened Thursday to cancel reunions of Korean War-divided families because of upcoming U.S.-South Korean military drills and accused the United States of raising tensions by flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers near the Korean Peninsula. The apparent about-face a day after the rival Koreas ...

Japanese cars face fight in Myanmar

Feb 07, 2014

Japanese cars face fight in Myanmar

Used Japanese cars are flooding Myanmar, thanks to duty reductions and deregulation since President Thein Sein’s government was inaugurated in 2011 in a shift to civilian rule. The trend, however, will likely be challenged by increased competition from European and U.S. carmakers that are ...

Report fuels el-Sissi rumors

Feb 07, 2014

Report fuels el-Sissi rumors

Amid growing speculation that Egypt’s army chief, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, will seek the presidency in elections scheduled for mid-April, a Kuwaiti newspaper said in comments published Thursday that he has decided to run — a report later denied by the army as a “misinterpretation” of ...

U.N. chief denounces LGBT discrimination

Feb 07, 2014

U.N. chief denounces LGBT discrimination

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned attacks and discrimination against homosexuals on Thursday, touching on the gay rights issue in Russia that has overshadowed preparations for the Sochi Olympics. In a speech to the IOC a day before the games’ opening, Ban also reiterated his ...

New prosthetic hand restores sense of touch

Feb 07, 2014

New prosthetic hand restores sense of touch

To feel what you touch — that’s the holy grail for artificial limbs. In a step toward that goal, European researchers have created a robotic hand that allows an amputee to feel differences between a bottle, a baseball and a mandarin orange. The patient ...

U.S. warns of toothpaste bombs on Russia flights

Feb 07, 2014

U.S. warns of toothpaste bombs on Russia flights

The U.S. government warned American and foreign airlines Wednesday that terrorists could try to hide explosives in toothpaste tubes on Russia-bound flights. An official said it has information “specifically targeting flights to Russia,” where the Winter Olympics will begin in the resort city of ...

Vatican under global scrutiny after U.N. sex abuse report

Feb 07, 2014

Vatican under global scrutiny after U.N. sex abuse report

The U.N.’s damning report on the Vatican’s handling of child sex abuse cases has turned up the pressure on the church to convince a skeptical international community it has adopted a zero-tolerance approach. “The Vatican has taken some steps forward, but they have been ...

Google avoids fine with EU antitrust deal

Feb 07, 2014

Google avoids fine with EU antitrust deal

The European Union’s antitrust watchdog on Wednesday accepted “far-reaching” concessions offered by Google to settle allegations it is abusing its dominant position in Internet searches, bringing the three-year-old case close to an end. Google would significantly change the ways it displays some search results ...

Feb 07, 2014

U.S. warns China over 'risky' activity near Senkakus

The United States has warned China to cease engaging in a rapidly increasing number of “risky” maritime activities aimed at claiming the Japan-controlled islets in the East China Sea, a senior U.S. diplomat said Wednesday. The United States told China in recent high-level talks ...

Feb 07, 2014

Asia's dangerous nostalgia

by William Pesek

What gives with the nostaglia in some Asian countries for strongmen of the past? The yearning for yesteryear speaks to our disorienting times and a dearth of visionary leadership when it's most needed.

Feb 07, 2014

Hashimoto's self-serving gambit

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's resignation Friday before the city assembly is nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass a snag he encountered in his plan to integrate Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka.

Feb 07, 2014

Same old Thai stalemate

The political crisis in Thailand appears set to drag on as vote disruptions in Sunday's general election threaten to push back by several months the establishment of a new parliament.

Could 'Snowpiercer' be Bong's ticket out of Korea?

Feb 07, 2014

Could 'Snowpiercer' be Bong's ticket out of Korea?

by Kaori Shoji

There’s a scene in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic sci-fi fable “Snowpiercer” that turns the tables on how Western audiences perceive non-English-speaking Asian characters in what is — for all intents and purposes — a Hollywood production. A Korean engineer (played by Song Kang-ho) is revived ...

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

Feb 07, 2014

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

by Giovanni Fazio

Hollywood always goes through its trends, but it’s becoming increasingly clear we live in the era of the “series reboot.” From Spider-Man to 007, we see tired characters and properties revived with a younger cast, fresher digital effects and about a gazillion more dollars ...

'Snowpiercer'

Feb 07, 2014

'Snowpiercer'

by Kaori Shoji

Snowpiercer” is the film that takes a hammer to climate-change denial. A sometimes whimsical but mostly horrible sci-fi simulation of what could happen in the event of a global-warming catastrophe, the story of “Snowpiercer” kicks off in 2014. And now that the U.N. is ...

White: young gun Hirano not ready for the Olympics yet

Feb 07, 2014

White: young gun Hirano not ready for the Olympics yet

U.S. snowboard legend Shaun White on Wednesday cast doubt over the Olympic chances of rising star Ayumu Hirano — saying Sochi may have come too early for the precocious teenager. White, 27, the two-time defending champion in the men’s halfpipe, is expected to face ...

Heat put brakes on Clippers' rally in fourth

Feb 07, 2014

Heat put brakes on Clippers' rally in fourth

The Miami Heat played the final minutes the way championship teams are supposed to. The Los Angeles Clippers are still perfecting the art of closing out games against the elite teams. LeBron James had 31 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, Ray Allen hit ...

Jamaican bobsled team on track after luggage mishap

Feb 07, 2014

Jamaican bobsled team on track after luggage mishap

Everything’s cool and running with Jamaica’s bobsled team. They’re back inside the Olympic rings, and back on the track. After their equipment was delayed in arriving to the Sochi Games, driver Winston Watts and his teammates got in their first two runs down the ...