National Topics

Japan's salarymen are bored to tears

| Jun 7, 2014

Japan's salarymen are bored to tears

by Michael Hoffman

It seems odd to be talking about boredom in such interesting times. Are you bored? Almost certainly you are, if Spa! magazine’s insights are reliable. Polling 2,052 mid-career (age 35-45), moderately prosperous (annual income ¥4 million-¥6 million) businessmen (sic, men only), it found no ...

Media minds manners in royal reportage

| Jun 7, 2014

Media minds manners in royal reportage

by Philip Brasor

As much as we all love them, the Imperial family doesn’t make for exciting reading. Last week, the European press was beside itself with news of the abdication of Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who has been hit by several public support-sapping scandals in recent ...

Media eyes trend-setting Sony's loss of momentum

| May 31, 2014

Media eyes trend-setting Sony's loss of momentum

by Mark Schreiber

Let’s travel back 62 years. On the evening of Dec. 4, 1952, after NHK radio signed off its regular AM programming, an announcer proclaimed: “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo and NHK now commence a joint experimental stereo broadcast.” In principle, stereophonic sound reproduction requires separation of ...

One-man newspaper wins plaudits

May 28, 2014

One-man newspaper wins plaudits

by Miwa Suzuki

Toshio Hiratsuka is the backbone of his local newspaper — the star reporter whose trusty notebook and pen have borne witness to nearly every significant event in his corner of the country for 65 years. Hiratsuka is the man without whom the paper would ...

Getting past the stigma of dementia

| May 24, 2014

Getting past the stigma of dementia

by Philip Brasor

Last April, the Nagoya High Court ordered a 91-year-old woman in Obu, Aichi Prefecture, to pay ¥3 million in compensation to JR Tokai for disruption of service after her husband was struck and killed by one of the company’s trains. The man, who was ...

Will Japan be a country that welcomes all?

| May 24, 2014

Will Japan be a country that welcomes all?

by Michael Hoffman

“A nation of immigrants.” Japan? The leading proponent of that vision has been Hidenori Sakanaka, former head of the Tokyo Immigration Bureau, current executive director of the private think tank he founded in 2007, the Japan Immigration Policy Institute. His was long a voice ...

Fix population problem by helping families

| May 17, 2014

Fix population problem by helping families

by Philip Brasor

For the past 18 months, media outlets in Japan and abroad have looked approvingly upon Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to improve the country’s economic future through proactive measures dubbed “Abenomics.” The goal is to spur inflation so that companies can make more money ...