Fundraising loopholes, a political norm

/ | Jul 15, 2017

Fundraising loopholes, a political norm

The Liberal Democratic Party lost a large number of seats to Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s upstart Tomin First Party in the Tokyo assembly election. Media surveys reveal that the public is dismayed by recent scandals involving the LDP, in particular the one surrounding educational ...

Shogi: A measure of artificial intelligence

/ | Jul 8, 2017

Shogi: A measure of artificial intelligence

Though last Sunday’s Tokyo assembly elections garnered the most media attention, another contest came in a close second, even if only two people were involved. Fourteen-year-old Sota Fujii’s record-setting winning streak of 29 games of shogi was finally broken on July 2 when he ...

New law to guarantee the guarantor pays

| Jul 2, 2017

New law to guarantee the guarantor pays

Until the postwar growth period, the majority of Japanese rented rather than owned the places where they lived, but renters in Japan have never had much in the way of rights. Still, it is difficult to evict someone from a home they rent, even ...

Once a drug user in Japan, always an outcast

/ | Jul 1, 2017

Once a drug user in Japan, always an outcast

Since being arrested for possession of stimulant drugs on June 2, it is assumed that 30-year-old actor Ryo Hashizume’s career is over. As Mark Schilling wrote in the June 15 Japan Times, Hashizume’s latest film, in which he played a supporting role, was pulled ...

Sticky bonds of the media and government

/ | Jun 24, 2017

Sticky bonds of the media and government

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a report critical of the Japanese government. The author, David Kaye, expressed concern over the way the media is pressured by the authorities to support their policies. The government objected to the report, saying it ...

Does Japan really need more veterinarians?

/ | Jun 17, 2017

Does Japan really need more veterinarians?

The ongoing scandal involving the private educational corporation Kake Gakuen hinges on whether or not Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indirectly pushed the Cabinet to approve a new veterinary department for Okayama University of Science, a school run by Kake, whose chairman, Kotaro Kake, is ...

The Imperial family and public vs. LDP

/ | Jun 10, 2017

The Imperial family and public vs. LDP

NHK has become the go-to media outlet for scoops on the Imperial family. In July, the public broadcaster was the first to break the news that the Emperor wanted to step down and, last month, it was the first to report Princess Mako’s intention ...

Parking the car can drive you crazy

| Jun 4, 2017

Parking the car can drive you crazy

In the 1990s when we rented an old house in Saitama Prefecture, we needed a parking space since we had a car at the time. There was none on the property and so we talked the landlord into tearing down a decrepit prefabricated storage ...