National Topics

In-debt idols send wrong message to girls

| Oct 11, 2014

In-debt idols send wrong message to girls

by Philip Brasor

Two weeks ago a female pop group called The Margarines debuted via a Tokyo news conference. Since Japanese show business has no shortage of young women who want to sing and dance in order to “fulfill their dreams,” the new ensemble needed a gimmick. ...

Tourists may not warm to Japan's welcome

| Oct 4, 2014

Tourists may not warm to Japan's welcome

by Philip Brasor

A former colleague of mine always made it a point to tell people coming to Japan for a visit to bring lots of handkerchiefs because the public restrooms didn’t have towel dispensers. I always took a more positive view and emphasized that public restrooms ...

No use fighting the tide of online journalism, experts say

Sep 17, 2014

No use fighting the tide of online journalism, experts say

by Tomoko Otake

Major news organizations in Japan have been somewhat insulated from the seismic shift taking place in online journalism around the world. Helped by their still strong, if waning, presence in print, Japan’s five national newspaper companies, each boasting millions of copies in daily circulation, ...