Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

| Jul 16, 2016

Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

“Ken San” is a new documentary about late actor Ken Takakura opening in local theaters next month. Described as Japan’s “greatest” and “last” movie star, Takakura was respected by both the Japanese people who worked with him and international film giants such as Martin ...

How long can Japan's old mens' club last?

| Jul 9, 2016

How long can Japan's old mens' club last?

Media coverage of the House of Councilors election campaign has been even more lacking in substance than usual. On July 2, Tokyo Shimbun noted how “low-key” the coverage has been on TV. After the excitement of the money scandal surrounding former Tokyo Gov. Yoichi ...

Japan dances with the death penalty

| Jul 2, 2016

Japan dances with the death penalty

Last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to reinstate the death penalty, which was abolished in his country in 2006. Duterte says he believes in retribution: If you kill someone, you deserve to die. Some people are shocked by this rationale, but ...

A rise in vacancies won't mean drops in rent

| Jul 2, 2016

A rise in vacancies won't mean drops in rent

According to the June 11 issue of Nikkan Gendai, the vacancy rate for rental properties in the 23 wards of Tokyo is currently 33.7 percent, while in surrounding prefectures, it’s even higher: 35.5 percent in Kanagawa and 34.1 percent in Chiba. One real estate ...

| Jul 1, 2016

'Doctor X'; 'The Man With the Divine Tongue" Kagome

Ryoko Yonekura returns as the genius freelance surgeon Dr. Michiko Daimon in a special two-hour installment of “Doctor X” (TV Asahi, Sun., 9 p.m.). Michiko happens to be in Kanazawa when national politician Aiko Ichinose (Kayako Kishimoto) collapses on the street after an intimate ...

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

| Jun 25, 2016

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s first-person “biography” of late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, “Tensai” (“Genius”), remains atop best-seller lists. It is interesting to note that when Tanaka was alive Ishihara berated him as a crude opportunist. The years have obviously tempered his view, or ...