No sex talk please, we're Japanese

| Oct 17, 2015

No sex talk please, we're Japanese

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The education ministry recently came under fire for supplementary materials it had distributed to high schools this summer. The materials were given out to help girls lead “healthier lives,” but a chart about pregnancy included in the literature was found to be misleading. According ...

Stop the presses, Yahoo News is on a roll

| Oct 3, 2015

Stop the presses, Yahoo News is on a roll

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The Yomiuri Shimbun boasts that it is the most-read newspaper in the world owing to a “certified” daily circulation that tops 9.2 million. The Wall Street Journal, a truly international newspaper, reports daily circulation of about 1.5 million. These figures represent physical copies, but ...

Money matters when it comes to security

| Sep 19, 2015

Money matters when it comes to security

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Media coverage of the Liberal Democratic Party’s plans to bolster Japan’s military position in the world has largely focused on the constitutionality of the two bills that allow the Self-Defense Forces to come to the aid of allies overseas. Those who oppose these bills ...

It still takes a village to keep our kids safe

| Sep 12, 2015

It still takes a village to keep our kids safe

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The murders of 13-year-old Natsumi Hirata and 12-year-old Ryoto Hoshino in Osaka last month sparked a heated conversation in the media about the state of parenting in Japan. Hirata and Hoshino were caught wandering the streets on security cameras during the wee hours of ...

TV sexism comes from a problematic place

| Sep 5, 2015

TV sexism comes from a problematic place

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At the World Assembly for Women held in Tokyo last week, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, lauded the social achievements of women worldwide but added that “we are not there yet.” Sirleaf didn’t say where exactly “there” is, but ...

The revolution will be streamed online

| Aug 29, 2015

The revolution will be streamed online

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Local media have been cautious in their coverage of the protest demonstrations that have materialized in recent years, but they appear to be intrigued by the college-age activists known as SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy). Previously, they had pegged this demographic as ...

The same old story on rural depopulation

| Aug 22, 2015

The same old story on rural depopulation

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A story that is constantly upbeat quickly becomes tiring. Conflict and resolution are necessary to maintain interest, and while happy endings are still more popular than depressing ones, characters should go through some sort of emotional turmoil before arriving at them. After producer Masanao ...

Uniqlo can't survive on bargains alone

| Aug 8, 2015

Uniqlo can't survive on bargains alone

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Tadashi Yanai, one of the richest men in Japan, told the Wall Street Journal last week that he was “disgusted” by the video of a couple having sex in a Beijing outlet of the clothing chain Uniqlo. The video quickly went viral in China, ...

Going for gold in the stadium blame game

| Aug 1, 2015

Going for gold in the stadium blame game

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Yoshiro Mori, former rugby player and prime minister, and current head of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics’ organizing committee, is not a man of few words. When the current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, took it upon himself to discard the design for the new National ...