Japan's vegetarians stay in the closet

| Feb 24, 2013

Japan's vegetarians stay in the closet

by Philip Brasor

Last week, entertainment-related media in the U.S. reported that the American Broadcasting Corporation had rejected an advertisement the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted to air during the Academy Awards ceremony, which takes place early tomorrow morning Tokyo time.

Judo scandal casts doubt on Olympic bid

| Feb 17, 2013

Judo scandal casts doubt on Olympic bid

by Philip Brasor

News stories don’t exist in a vacuum. What often makes them “news” is a confluence of factors that provide a context of interest. Though the public thinks the current story about 15 female judo athletes (jūdōka) demanding fundamental changes to the way the national ...

Taro Aso may, for once, have a point

| Feb 9, 2013

Taro Aso may, for once, have a point

by Philip Brasor

Ever since the Liberal Democratic Party regained power last year, standard-bearer Shinzo Abe has been conspicuously cautious with his public pronouncements, cooling it on the nationalist rhetoric and keeping the bravado to a minimum. Deprived of excitement, the media was delighted by Vice Prime ...

Mascots bear cash for local authorities

| Jan 13, 2013

Mascots bear cash for local authorities

by Philip Brasor

In September 2007, after Shinzo Abe had abruptly quit his first stint as prime minister, sales of Shin-chan Manju, a bean-paste-filled bun named after Abe, spiked. The maker of the buns had tried to promote the product over the course of Abe’s year as ...

Japan's farming could be going to seed

| Jan 6, 2013

Japan's farming could be going to seed

by Philip Brasor

“Tis the season for predictions, and last week Hiromasa Yonekura, the chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), told Asahi Shimbun he believed Japan will decide in 2013 to take part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. Yonekura is also chairman of Sumitomo Chemical, ...

| Dec 30, 2012

This year's highlights and lowlights

by Philip Brasor

Media figures of the year: The “Right Brothers” Conservatives supposedly made a comeback in 2012, but if you believe Japan’s social outlook is basically conservative to begin with, you have to wonder what they were coming back from. The country’s fiscal policy is anything ...