TV: no longer the drug of the people

| May 20, 2012

TV: no longer the drug of the people

by Philip Brasor

Last week, Japan’s fifth largest discount electronics retailer, Bic Camera, announced it would soon obtain a 50 percent share of Japan’s sixth-largest discount electronics retailer, Kojima, thus making the combined companies Japan’s second-largest electronics retailer. Bic operates 34 stores in large cities while Kojima ...

Road-death stats hide the truth

| May 13, 2012

Road-death stats hide the truth

by Philip Brasor

The media likes to report on victims of accidents, disasters and crimes, and while it’s natural to feel sympathy for unfortunate individuals, the only imaginable benefit this sort of coverage provides to viewers and readers is catharsis, which is better served by the popular ...

| Apr 29, 2012

Death sentences prove difficult for lay judges

by Philip Brasor

However one feels about the death penalty, it’s difficult to argue that its application in Japan isn’t arbitrary. Last week, former Justice Minister Hideo Hiraoka publicly denounced his successor Toshio Ogawa’s decision to have three death row inmates hanged on March 29, saying that ...

| Mar 18, 2012

Quake insurance is but a token offering

by Philip Brasor

As the government continues to push for an increase in the consumption tax, a question related to last year’s disaster is still being debated: How much of the burden for rebuilding should be shouldered by taxpayers? We live in a resolutely capitalist country that ...

| Mar 11, 2012

Public wary of official optimism

by Philip Brasor

Ambition can sometimes be measured by the amount of deference paid to the established order, so the recently published book “Genpatsu Kiki to Todai Waho,” which irreverently analyzes the “parlance of the University of Tokyo” as it was utilized during the early days of ...