Abandoned buildings still house problems

| Dec 3, 2016

Abandoned buildings still house problems

Japan’s vacant house problem will become worse before it becomes better. According to government estimates there are 8 million residences in Japan with no one living in them, a number that Bloomberg reports will increase to 20 million by 2033, representing a third of ...

Hopes of stopping Tokyo 2020 are fading

| Nov 26, 2016

Hopes of stopping Tokyo 2020 are fading

NHK has announced that its yearlong historical drama series for 2019 will be about Japan’s involvement in the Olympic movement, focusing on the nation’s first foray to the games in 1912 and its first time hosting them in 1964. The story will also, according ...

Is Japanese pop music losing its relevance?

| Nov 19, 2016

Is Japanese pop music losing its relevance?

Shukan Bunshun recently ran some articles describing how last year the talent management company LDH allegedly paid entertainment behemoth Burning Productions to ensure that one of LDH’s acts would win the top prize at the 2015 Japan Record Awards (JRA). Accompanying one of the ...

Poverty coverage reinforces prejudice

| Nov 12, 2016

Poverty coverage reinforces prejudice

In the middle of August, NHK ran a feature on its evening news show about a high school girl as part of its coverage of child poverty. The girl’s name and face were revealed in the report, which described how her educational future was ...

Earthquake standards are on shaky ground

| Nov 5, 2016

Earthquake standards are on shaky ground

No one died in the recent earthquake that struck Tottori Prefecture, but the temblor was strong enough to cause extensive damage. Several thousand people are still in evacuation centers, which means it is not safe for them to live in their homes. Most of ...

Japan's war against medical marijuana

| Nov 5, 2016

Japan's war against medical marijuana

Former actress Saya Takagi was arrested in Okinawa on Oct. 25 for possession of marijuana, three months after she unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Upper House election on a platform to legalize pot for medical purposes. She insists the contraband was not ...

Holocaust comedy snares grand prize at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival

Nov 3, 2016

Holocaust comedy snares grand prize at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival

Philippine trans people, Scandinavian reindeer herders and a romantic comedy about the Holocaust dominated the closing ceremony of the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival on Thursday. The ceremony at Ex Theater Roppongi opened appropriately enough with awards to individuals who furthered domestic cinema this ...

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 ...