Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

| Jul 16, 2016

Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

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“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?

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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

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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 ...

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

| Jun 25, 2016

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

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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 ...

Cracks appear in media's view of disasters

| May 14, 2016

Cracks appear in media's view of disasters

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The Great East Japan Earthquake was Japan’s first major natural disaster since the rise of social media, and emergency planning outfits have been studying the data from March 11, 2011, in order better use SNS to save lives and help survivors. Online activities related ...

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

| May 7, 2016

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

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Later this month, the Diet’s Upper House will pass a bill submitted by the ruling coalition addressing the problem of hate speech, specifically directed at non-Japanese. As sociologist Takehiro Akedo explains in his article for the Web magazine Synodos, the Liberal Democratic Party isn’t ...