National Topics

Japan's war against medical marijuana

| Nov 5, 2016

Japan's war against medical marijuana

by

Former actress Saya Takagi was arrested in Okinawa on Oct. 25 for possession of marijuana, three months after she unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Upper House election on a platform to legalize pot for medical purposes. She insists the contraband was not ...

The unbearable burden of 24/7 work

| Nov 5, 2016

The unbearable burden of 24/7 work

by

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

by

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?

by

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 ...