The golden arches lose their luster

| May 9, 2015

The golden arches lose their luster

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The sharp downturn in business at McDonald’s — which has thrived for most of the past 44 years in Japan — has got everybody talking. This past January alone, revenues at existing outlets, the company announced, had fallen year-on-year by a whopping 38.6 percent, ...

Giving parents credit where rent is due

| May 2, 2015

Giving parents credit where rent is due

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We choose our friends but we don’t choose our parents. Nor do they choose us. It’s a pretty fraught relationship, sometimes, that between parent and child. Perhaps “love-hate” best describes it — hopefully with love dominant. Confucius said — and what Confucius said is ...

U.S. towns pulled into Japanese politics

| Apr 25, 2015

U.S. towns pulled into Japanese politics

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A recurring news story over the past several years concerns claims of the harassment of Japanese nationals residing on the East and West coasts of the United States. Most appear to have originated from municipalities where South Korean immigrants and Korean-Americans have successfully campaigned ...

Magazines fixate on the roots of poverty

| Apr 4, 2015

Magazines fixate on the roots of poverty

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The oft-seen expression ichioku sō-chūryū translates roughly as “the perception of ‘the 100 million,’ i.e., the entire nation, as belonging to the middle class.” This perception was never meant to be all-inclusive — certainly Japan has individuals with extreme wealth and others who suffer ...