Travel shows warp true globalization

| Sep 14, 2013

Travel shows warp true globalization

Now that Tokyo has been given the honor of hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, the city, as well as all of Japan, will spend the next seven years “internationalizing” (kokusai-ka), a term that becomes fashionable again every few years when something like this happens. ...

The message in recent food-garbage films doesn't go to waste

| Sep 7, 2013

The message in recent food-garbage films doesn't go to waste

For those who still take in movies at theaters it’s a great season for garbage, and I’m not talking about the usual summer blockbuster fare. Last month, Fatih Akin’s documentary “Garbage in the Garden of Eden” (aka “Polluting Paradise”), about a landfill project in ...

Housing loans: Nothing is 100 percent easy

| Sep 2, 2013

Housing loans: Nothing is 100 percent easy

The government has yet to confirm the timing of the approved consumption tax increase from 5 to 8 percent. It’s slated to take place next April but there is still fear that the economy is too frail to withstand the effect the added tax ...

Media must take a stand against trolls

| Aug 31, 2013

Media must take a stand against trolls

We live in an age of contention, when any comment can spark righteous indignation. Nominally conservative or progressive viewpoints become meaningless when every response is reactionary. This situation supposedly arose along with the Internet, which provides an unmediated outlet for every voice. Traditional media ...

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, ...