SDF activity in South Sudan is sidestepping security debate

| Oct 29, 2016

SDF activity in South Sudan is sidestepping security debate

Governments are adept at using indirection and euphemism, and right now Japan’s is struggling with an issue whose terminology is exacerbating that struggle. When translated directly, “kaketsuke keigo” means “rushing to provide security,” a phrase whose implied action begs for clarification. It’s being used ...

Stars come out for Tokyo film festival opening

Oct 25, 2016

Stars come out for Tokyo film festival opening

The 29th Tokyo International Film Festival marked its opening Tuesday afternoon with a traditional red carpet ceremony that was heavy on Asian stars and filmmakers. With the festival abandoning its modern, eco-friendly “green carpet” this year, domestic stars dominated the promenade at the Roppongi ...

Taiji's dolphin hunters have a new voice

| Oct 22, 2016

Taiji's dolphin hunters have a new voice

It’s not often a documentary is made in response to another documentary, but this year two movies have addressed the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” which was about the capture and killing of wild dolphins in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. First-time filmmaker Keiko Yagi’s “Behind ...

Is the end near for Earth's biggest fish market?

| Oct 15, 2016

Is the end near for Earth's biggest fish market?

Naotaro Endo’s documentary “Tsukiji Wonderland” opened in Tokyo — in Tsukiji, in fact — two weeks ago. Under normal circumstances, such an accomplished and beautiful film would be evaluated on its aesthetic and edifying merits, but the timing of the release makes such judgments ...

Nagoya: The most boring city in Japan

| Oct 8, 2016

Nagoya: The most boring city in Japan

At a meeting of city leaders last Monday, the mayor of Nagoya, Takashi Kawamura, expressed annoyance with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. That same day, Abe had opened a new session of the Diet by touching on the issue of regional revitalization in his usual ...

There's nothing weird about 'sexless' Japan

| Oct 1, 2016

There's nothing weird about 'sexless' Japan

Japan has somehow earned a reputation as a “sexless” country — a place where men and women have lost their libidos. The reasons given are various but mainly have to do with increased introversion and general loss of sociability among young people. This theme ...

Tokyo faces declining condominium prices

| Oct 1, 2016

Tokyo faces declining condominium prices

In Japan’s housing market, there has always been one verity: Certain parts of Tokyo will always be popular and, therefore, profitable for developers. However, according to various media reports, that verity may have collapsed, at least when it comes to new condominiums. In its ...