Stone weighs in on Japanese defense

| Aug 17, 2013

Stone weighs in on Japanese defense

It’s August, when the Japanese media’s attention turns to peace, or, at least, the absence of war. The anniversaries of the atomic bombings and subsequent surrender occasion print and broadcast discussions of what Japan learned from its bloody mid-century military campaign. For most people ...

Koda's baby gaffe may find different reception now

| Aug 10, 2013

Koda's baby gaffe may find different reception now

Five years ago, singer Kumi Koda caused an uproar when she joked on a late-night radio show about how a woman’s amniotic fluid (yōsui) becomes “spoiled” as she gets older. The subtext of the comment was the advantage of having babies at a younger ...

The aging issue of Chiba New Town

| Aug 5, 2013

The aging issue of Chiba New Town

The Chiba New Town development project was begun in the late 1960s by the Chiba prefectural government, and a decade later, joined by the Land Development Corporation, the government housing organ that would morph into the Urban Renaissance (UR) Agency in 2004. It is ...

YouTube videos hold a sliver of hope for future elections

| Aug 3, 2013

YouTube videos hold a sliver of hope for future elections

During the recent campaign for the Upper House, a YouTube video emerged revealing the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s attitude toward the electorate. A woman attending a rally in Fukushima by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe carried a placard that asked the LDP leader his stance ...

NHK drama dives into the 'idea' of idols in rural Japan

| Jul 27, 2013

NHK drama dives into the 'idea' of idols in rural Japan

When it was announced last year that entertainment Renaissance man Kankuro Kudo would write the script for NHK’s spring-summer 2013 “TV novel,” a few people probably wondered how the iconoclastic writer-director-actor would respond to the broadcaster’s narrative strictures. In a recent interview with Aera, ...

Ando's joy brings up an old taboo

| Jul 20, 2013

Ando's joy brings up an old taboo

The morning after TV Asahi’s evening news show “Hodo Station” ran an interview with figure skater Miki Ando on July 1, the media was buzzing over the revelation that Ando had given birth in April. The baby was not the ostensible reason for the ...

Democracy hits the Web, but are the 'real' voters listening?

| Jul 13, 2013

Democracy hits the Web, but are the 'real' voters listening?

The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting article on its Japan Real Time blog regarding the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP’s) beef with broadcaster TBS, whom it accused of bias against the ruling party on its “News 11″ program. Reporter Toko Sekiguchi didn’t go into ...

Sins of the father are Rola's burden

| Jul 6, 2013

Sins of the father are Rola's burden

Two weeks ago one of the big stories in the tabloid press was on Jurip Al-Asa, the father of popular TV personality Rola. He was in the news because the Tokyo Metropolitan Police had issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of swindling. ...