National Topics

Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

| Jul 16, 2016

Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

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“Ken San” is a new documentary about late actor Ken Takakura opening in local theaters next month. Described as Japan’s “greatest” and “last” movie star, Takakura was respected by both the Japanese people who worked with him and international film giants such as Martin ...

How long can Japan's old mens' club last?

| Jul 9, 2016

How long can Japan's old mens' club last?

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Media coverage of the House of Councilors election campaign has been even more lacking in substance than usual. On July 2, Tokyo Shimbun noted how “low-key” the coverage has been on TV. After the excitement of the money scandal surrounding former Tokyo Gov. Yoichi ...

Japan dances with the death penalty

| Jul 2, 2016

Japan dances with the death penalty

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Last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to reinstate the death penalty, which was abolished in his country in 2006. Duterte says he believes in retribution: If you kill someone, you deserve to die. Some people are shocked by this rationale, but ...

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

| Jun 25, 2016

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

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Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s first-person “biography” of late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, “Tensai” (“Genius”), remains atop best-seller lists. It is interesting to note that when Tanaka was alive Ishihara berated him as a crude opportunist. The years have obviously tempered his view, or ...

A confused, senile future awaits Japan

| Jun 25, 2016

A confused, senile future awaits Japan

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Confucius said: “When your parents are alive, serve them according to ritual. When they die, bury them according to ritual, make sacrifices to them according to ritual.” Ayako Sono said: “Old people are growing more and more selfish. Human beings have an obligation to ...

How Trump fares in Japan's tabloids

| Jun 18, 2016

How Trump fares in Japan's tabloids

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If Japan’s weekly magazines appear to be devoting an inordinate amount of space to coverage of U.S. politics this election year, it’s thanks largely to the flamboyant antics of Donald Trump, who can be counted on for verbal outbursts and surprises. Take weekly magazine ...