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Philip Brasor

For Philip Brasor's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Failing to rebuild communities in Tohoku

| Mar 14, 2015

Failing to rebuild communities in Tohoku

The NHK travel program “Tsurube no Kazoku ni Kampai” (“Tsurube Toasts Families”) recently aired a two-parter about the town of Watari in Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated in the March 11, 2011, tsunami. In the series, rakugo storyteller Shofukutei Tsurube and a celebrity guest ...

Okinawa's story told differently in Tokyo

| Mar 7, 2015

Okinawa's story told differently in Tokyo

Last week, at the end of a report on the TBS newsmagazine show “Hodo Tokushu” about protests against the proposed U.S. Marine Corps base at Henoko in Okinawa, the show’s host mentioned that in response to charges from local press that it had violently ...

Cheap rural homes come at a price

| Mar 6, 2015

Cheap rural homes come at a price

Though the hollowing-out of population in regional areas in Japan has become a major issue for the central government, it’s been a problem for regional governments for more than three decades. Twenty years ago there was a popular promotional method called “I-turn,” devised as ...

Shibuya's same-sex move kicks off debate

| Feb 28, 2015

Shibuya's same-sex move kicks off debate

On Feb. 13, Asahi Shimbun’s daily Vox Populi, Vox Dei column mentioned Morizo and Kiccoro, the official mascots of the 2005 World Expo held in Aichi Prefecture. These two “woodland fairies” supposedly hailed from Seto, which issued them the same resident cards (jūminhyō) held ...

Cowed news media has forgotten its role

| Feb 21, 2015

Cowed news media has forgotten its role

In his Tokyo Shimbun column about weekly magazines, Hiroyuki Shinoda recently lauded Shukan Asahi for accusing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of exploiting the murder of journalist Kenji Goto by the Islamic State group for political purposes. Shinoda points out that the magazine had been ...

A changing Japan needs to rethink how to safeguard children

| Feb 7, 2015

A changing Japan needs to rethink how to safeguard children

On Christmas Day last year, a 17-year-old boy was sent to prison by the Saitama District Court for the murder of his maternal grandparents. Prosecutors demanded an indefinite sentence, but the court gave him 15 years after taking the boy’s “environment” into consideration. The ...

Renting comes with guarantors, not guarantees

| Feb 6, 2015

Renting comes with guarantors, not guarantees

According to the most recent census, as of 2010 the population of Japan stood at a little less than 128 million, and if demographic trends continue at the current rate it will be 107 million in 2030 and 97 million in 2050. Despite this ...

Goverment's pension manga displays some pretty old values

| Jan 31, 2015

Goverment's pension manga displays some pretty old values

On Jan. 12, people who will turn 20 this year attended ceremonies marking Coming-of-Age Day at auditoriums run by local governments. Some wore outrageous getups as final statements of youthful folly before “entering society” and some exercised their entitlement by getting drunk and acting ...