National Topics

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How Japanese media have failed endangered species

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In October, a new documentary produced by Leonardo DiCaprio premiered on Netflix. “The Ivory Game” is a dramatic study of the illegal trade in elephant tusks that includes conservationists battling poachers, investigative journalists following the money trail and black market merchants in China. Experts say if the killing of African ...

Hopes of stopping Tokyo 2020 are fading

| Nov 26, 2016

Hopes of stopping Tokyo 2020 are fading

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NHK has announced that its yearlong historical drama series for 2019 will be about Japan’s involvement in the Olympic movement, focusing on the nation’s first foray to the games in 1912 and its first time hosting them in 1964. The story will also, according ...

Is Japanese pop music losing its relevance?

| Nov 19, 2016

Is Japanese pop music losing its relevance?

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Shukan Bunshun recently ran some articles describing how last year the talent management company LDH allegedly paid entertainment behemoth Burning Productions to ensure that one of LDH’s acts would win the top prize at the 2015 Japan Record Awards (JRA). Accompanying one of the ...

Poverty coverage reinforces prejudice

| Nov 12, 2016

Poverty coverage reinforces prejudice

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In the middle of August, NHK ran a feature on its evening news show about a high school girl as part of its coverage of child poverty. The girl’s name and face were revealed in the report, which described how her educational future was ...

Japan's war against medical marijuana

| Nov 5, 2016

Japan's war against medical marijuana

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Former actress Saya Takagi was arrested in Okinawa on Oct. 25 for possession of marijuana, three months after she unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Upper House election on a platform to legalize pot for medical purposes. She insists the contraband was not ...

The unbearable burden of 24/7 work

| Nov 5, 2016

The unbearable burden of 24/7 work

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There was no nonsense about the 1990s in Japan. The economy had crashed, the bubble had burst. “The age of human relationships is over,” declared a corporate executive to Aera magazine in 1996, defending the cost-cutting layoffs then gathering speed. “This is the era ...