| Mar 24, 2013

Abortion controlled by the state

TV personalities, or tarento in the vernacular parlance, wage a never-ending battle against encroaching irrelevance. They impose on our consciousness, and one of the easiest ways to do that without offering a compelling skills set is to exploit personal circumstances that are none of ...

Data from 3/11 could save lives if used effectively

| Mar 17, 2013

Data from 3/11 could save lives if used effectively

As the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake approached, the media again rallied to pay tribute to the tragedy's victims, whether dead or alive. Many of the latter are still in limbo, unsure of their future since the events of that day ...

| Mar 10, 2013

Crime is down but elderly prisoners on the rise

Last July, a lay judge panel in Osaka handed down a 20-year prison sentence to a man convicted of killing his sister after the prosecution had only asked for 16 years. Earlier this month the Osaka High Court reduced that sentence to 14 years, ...

Buying property in the age of Abenomics

| Mar 5, 2013

Buying property in the age of Abenomics

According to most business media, now is the time to act if you are thinking about buying a home. Though the Liberal Democratic Party has yet to confirm that it will go ahead with the consumption tax increases the Democratic Party of Japan passed ...

Students convenient proxies in LDP's Pyongyang angst

| Mar 3, 2013

Students convenient proxies in LDP's Pyongyang angst

Since returning to power late last year, the Liberal Democratic Party has said it will dismantle some of the social programs the Democratic Party of Japan implemented during its short reign. Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura announced at the end of January that he will ...

Japan's vegetarians stay in the closet

| Feb 24, 2013

Japan's vegetarians stay in the closet

Last week, entertainment-related media in the U.S. reported that the American Broadcasting Corporation had rejected an advertisement the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted to air during the Academy Awards ceremony, which takes place early tomorrow morning Tokyo time.

Judo scandal casts doubt on Olympic bid

| Feb 17, 2013

Judo scandal casts doubt on Olympic bid

News stories don’t exist in a vacuum. What often makes them “news” is a confluence of factors that provide a context of interest. Though the public thinks the current story about 15 female judo athletes (jūdōka) demanding fundamental changes to the way the national ...

Taro Aso may, for once, have a point

| Feb 9, 2013

Taro Aso may, for once, have a point

Ever since the Liberal Democratic Party regained power last year, standard-bearer Shinzo Abe has been conspicuously cautious with his public pronouncements, cooling it on the nationalist rhetoric and keeping the bravado to a minimum. Deprived of excitement, the media was delighted by Vice Prime ...