| Apr 28, 2013

Pressure grows for the nation's housewives

by Philip Brasor

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s April 19 National Press Club speech about boosting women’s participation in the workforce has been covered extensively in the domestic and foreign media since it signals a sea change in the Liberal Democratic Party’s view of women’s role in society. ...

| Apr 14, 2013

Net TV expresses views the mainstream ignores

by Philip Brasor

Last week’s column mentioned “Pack-in News,” a current-affairs talk show that used to stream on the Internet TV channel Kinkin.tv, which is the personal project of veteran actor-emcee Kinya Aikawa. It was a continuation of “Pack-in Journal,” a show hosted by Aikawa on the ...

| Mar 24, 2013

Abortion controlled by the state

by Philip Brasor

TV personalities, or tarento in the vernacular parlance, wage a never-ending battle against encroaching irrelevance. They impose on our consciousness, and one of the easiest ways to do that without offering a compelling skills set is to exploit personal circumstances that are none of ...

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 ...