National Topics

TV Asahi gets 'The Scoop' on false convictions

| Nov 7, 2015

TV Asahi gets 'The Scoop' on false convictions

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Last week the Tokyo Shimbun ran an article about Keiko Aoki and Tatsuhiro Boku, the couple convicted of murdering Aoki’s 11-year-old daughter in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. The upcoming retrial, which will likely reverse the guilty verdict, may reveal that the ...

U.S. sea patrols fuel war of words in print

| Oct 31, 2015

U.S. sea patrols fuel war of words in print

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As this column went to press, the Japanese media had their collective attention focused on a potential hot-spot in the disputed South China Sea, where the destroyer USS Lassen, in a modern-day show of “gunboat diplomacy,” took an in-your-face drive-by (or sail-by if you ...

Cancer and Fukushima: Who to trust?

| Oct 31, 2015

Cancer and Fukushima: Who to trust?

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South Korean director Kim Ki-duk is a noted provocateur. His latest movie, “Stop,” is about a Japanese couple who were living near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant when it suffered a meltdown in March 2011. They evacuate to Tokyo, where the wife ...

Abe raises eyebrows when he's off script

| Oct 24, 2015

Abe raises eyebrows when he's off script

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On Oct. 1, the Sankei Shimbun reported that during a regularly scheduled press conference, NHK President Katsuto Momii addressed statements made by “former NHK employees” who told media outlets that the public broadcaster had “received phone calls from the prime minister’s office” regarding passage ...

Media vultures circle over battered SEALDs

| Oct 24, 2015

Media vultures circle over battered SEALDs

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That’s it? It’s over? “Scattered like leaves in the autumn wind,” sighs Shukan Shincho magazine, speaking of the massive nationwide demonstrations that, through the summer, heralded (to some) a new political awakening of the Japanese masses (or something). The protesters’ immediate target was new ...

Councilors get loud on library revamps

| Oct 17, 2015

Councilors get loud on library revamps

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As testimony to their characteristically low profile, Japan’s public libraries seldom make the news, although two recent exceptions come to mind. In 2013, a number of school and public libraries in Shimane and Tottori prefectures attracted coverage when they removed Hiroshima bomb survivor Keiji ...

No sex talk please, we're Japanese

| Oct 17, 2015

No sex talk please, we're Japanese

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The education ministry recently came under fire for supplementary materials it had distributed to high schools this summer. The materials were given out to help girls lead “healthier lives,” but a chart about pregnancy included in the literature was found to be misleading. According ...