National Topics

The unbearable burden of 24/7 work

| Nov 5, 2016

The unbearable burden of 24/7 work

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There was no nonsense about the 1990s in Japan. The economy had crashed, the bubble had burst. “The age of human relationships is over,” declared a corporate executive to Aera magazine in 1996, defending the cost-cutting layoffs then gathering speed. “This is the era ...

Taiji's dolphin hunters have a new voice

| Oct 22, 2016

Taiji's dolphin hunters have a new voice

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It’s not often a documentary is made in response to another documentary, but this year two movies have addressed the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” which was about the capture and killing of wild dolphins in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. First-time filmmaker Keiko Yagi’s “Behind ...

Is the end near for Earth's biggest fish market?

| Oct 15, 2016

Is the end near for Earth's biggest fish market?

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Naotaro Endo’s documentary “Tsukiji Wonderland” opened in Tokyo — in Tsukiji, in fact — two weeks ago. Under normal circumstances, such an accomplished and beautiful film would be evaluated on its aesthetic and edifying merits, but the timing of the release makes such judgments ...

Nagoya: The most boring city in Japan

| Oct 8, 2016

Nagoya: The most boring city in Japan

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At a meeting of city leaders last Monday, the mayor of Nagoya, Takashi Kawamura, expressed annoyance with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. That same day, Abe had opened a new session of the Diet by touching on the issue of regional revitalization in his usual ...

Who advises Japan's business leaders?

| Oct 1, 2016

Who advises Japan's business leaders?

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Take a wild guess: Who’s the second most influential management guru in Japan, after — it almost goes without saying — Peter Drucker? Hint: He’s been dead 2,500 years. He’s Chinese. No, not Confucius. (Twenty years ago it might have been.) Give up? Sun ...