National Topics

Private nursery schools strive to offer novel services

Jul 20, 2014

Private nursery schools strive to offer novel services

With the number of privately run nursery schools increasing in Japan, many such facilities are working to come up with novel services to survive, including original educational materials and English conversation classes. While the number of children on nursery waiting lists remains high, nursery ...

Jul 16, 2014

Pro-Korean activists held in assault on right-winger

The leader and seven members of a group opposed to hate speech directed against Korean residents of Japan were arrested Wednesday for allegedly assaulting an anti-Korean demonstrator last year. Police said Atsuhiro Soeda, 41, and seven others are suspected of obstructing the demonstrator, verbally ...

Arrest of Tokyo vagina artist sparks free-speech protest

Jul 15, 2014

Arrest of Tokyo vagina artist sparks free-speech protest

The arrest of a Tokyo artist on obscenity charges for distributing data that allowed recipients to make 3-D prints of her vagina has sparked protests over what supporters say is an attack on free expression. Megumi Igarashi, 42, who calls herself Rokudenashi-ko (“a no-good ...

Jul 14, 2014

Outside investors eye heirless small Japanese firms

Takeshi Kaneko searched for nine years to find someone to take over the dried-food store his parents opened after they fled the rubble of Japan-occupied China at the end of World War II. “I started thinking about it when I turned 60, since my ...

Rola altering DNA of pop culture

Jul 13, 2014

Rola altering DNA of pop culture

In celebrity-obsessed Japan with its conveyor belt of 15-minute stars, fashion icon Rola is blazing a meteoric trail at the forefront of a galaxy of mixed-race stars, changing the DNA of Japanese pop culture. Turn on the TV and there’s no escaping the bubbly ...

Jul 11, 2014

Japanese firms near crisis point as labor shortage deepens

Japan’s labour shortage is nearing crisis in some key industries as it spreads from construction to services, curbing companies’ operations, pushing up wages and potentially crimping a tentative recovery in the world’s third-largest economy. Airlines, retailers, truckers and restaurant chains are being forced to ...