National Topics

| Jan 10, 2015

Dull and authentic beats out polished TV

by Philip Brasor

Another New Year’s break, another two-week onslaught of inconsequential television programs based on the variety show model of comedians talking about themselves, watching videos of other people doing supposedly interesting things and playing games whose main entertainment function is humiliation. The resilience of this ...

Getting a head start on wartime stories

| Jan 3, 2015

Getting a head start on wartime stories

by Mark Schreiber

From the “The Dirty Dozen” (1967) to “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), cinema audiences in Japan have flocked to theaters to watch Americans and Germans killing one another. Such films continue to enjoy popularity. During the weekend of Nov. 29-30, the Brad Pitt World War ...

The highlights of Japanese media in 2014

| Jan 3, 2015

The highlights of Japanese media in 2014

by Philip Brasor

My choices for the most significant public phenomena of last year are associated with traditional media rather than the social kind, which isn’t to say these phenomena didn’t impact social media and vice versa, only that TV, newspapers and magazines still affect our perception ...

Abe isn't impressed with media criticism

| Dec 27, 2014

Abe isn't impressed with media criticism

by Philip Brasor

The most talked-about media moment from the Lower House election on Dec. 14 was the victory interview Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave to Nippon TV. As is the custom, the leader of the winning side, in this case Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, made the ...

Concern for Japan's democratic process

| Dec 27, 2014

Concern for Japan's democratic process

by Michael Hoffman

Elections are the lifeblood of democracy. They represent an awesome empowerment — the right of citizens to peacefully overthrow their government and choose another. The prime minister called an election. He submitted his government to the judgment of the people. The election was held. ...

Fight or flight: Narita's history of conflict

| Dec 13, 2014

Fight or flight: Narita's history of conflict

by Philip Brasor

The recent increase in international flights in and out of Haneda Airport has clearly pleased Tokyo residents, who, since the late 1970s, have had to trek out to Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture when they wanted to go overseas. This inconvenience is exacerbated ...