National Topics

BBC news to turn Japanese with translated website

Jun 27, 2014

BBC news to turn Japanese with translated website

by Elizabeth Kerr

A recent job posting for a digital editor for BBC World Japan sparked interest online, with local Web-watchers noting that the job description called for a Tokyo-based editor with fluent Japanese to head up a team that will publish content from the main BBC ...

Any publicity is good news for beer firms

| Jun 21, 2014

Any publicity is good news for beer firms

by Philip Brasor

At a Tokyo news conference on June 4, Sapporo Beer President Masaki Oga announced his company would halt sales of its Goku Zero alcoholic beverage after current inventory was shipped. The parent company, Sapporo Holdings, had been contacted by the National Tax Agency in ...

The thrill of the job won't pay the rent

| Jun 14, 2014

The thrill of the job won't pay the rent

by Philip Brasor

“If your work isn’t what you love, then something isn’t right.” — Talking Heads Last January, NHK’s nightly in-depth news series, “Closeup Gendai,” ran a feature about the practice of “poeticizing” (poemu-ka) the harsher aspects of life. It’s not a trend that’s easy to ...

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 ...