Photo collection depicts Ainu lives

Sep 6, 2011

Photo collection depicts Ainu lives

A recently published photo collection put together over a span of almost two decades explores the traditions of the Ainu through a portrait of a woman and her extended family in Nibutani, Hokkaido. The collection of around 120 photos in “An Ainu Portrait: Asir ...

'70s activist foresaw nuclear disaster

Jul 23, 2011

'70s activist foresaw nuclear disaster

When the late Shizuko Sakata started distributing the newsletters she wrote in Nagano Prefecture more than 30 years ago to campaign against nuclear power, her daughter, Masako, was not fully supportive. “I thought her doubts over nuclear power plant safety might have been fair, ...

'49 Mitaka Incident retrial sought

Dec 24, 2010

'49 Mitaka Incident retrial sought

On July 15, 1949, Hitotsubashi University freshman Sakuji Horikoshi was returning to his dormitory when he hopped off a late-night train at Mitaka Station in western Tokyo to have some quick noodles. He suddenly found himself in the middle of a disaster zone. An ...

Dec 20, 2010

Tokyo rally against death penalty draws over 1,800

More than 1,800 people staged a rally Sunday in Tokyo to call for abolition of the death penalty. In a keynote speech, Yo Hemmi, an award-winning writer, said: “Are we able to condone hanging someone? Are we able to pass on such a scene ...

Dec 2, 2010

Calls grow to give wartime sex slaves official apology

Calls are growing for the government to offer an official apology to the wartime sex slaves, known as “comfort women,” and to provide them with compensation through legislation. In 1993, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono acknowledged the forced recruitment of women into sexual ...

Nov 26, 2010

Rights still lacking over gender identity disorder

More than 10 years have passed since gender reassignment surgery was introduced in Japan as part of treatment for gender identity disorder patients. In addition, such patients, who identify with the sex opposite their biological one, have been allowed to officially change their sex ...

Nov 18, 2010

Essays recount deadly Tokai nuke debacle

Seeking to hand down lessons from Japan’s first criticality accident, the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, has published an anthology of essays contributed by people involved in the Sept. 30, 1999, fatal disaster. The accident occurred when workers at the JCO Co. nuclear fuel ...