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Firms go abroad by hiring foreign students here

| Feb 26, 2013

Firms go abroad by hiring foreign students here

by Kazuaki Nagata

As Japanese companies continue to look overseas for opportunities to expand, an increasing number are trying to hire foreigners — or what they call “global human resources.” As part of this trend, it is growing more common for foreign students studying here to apply ...

Take care with ticks to avoid potentially fatal illness

| Feb 21, 2013

Take care with ticks to avoid potentially fatal illness

by Jun Hongo

The health ministry confirmed Tuesday that the tick-borne disease thrombocytopenia syndrome, or SFTS, was responsible for the death of an adult male in Hiroshima last summer, bringing the number of known domestic fatalities to four. Nine other similar deaths are being investigated. Here are ...

Nori

| Feb 19, 2013

Nori

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, I was out for a walk with my camera the other day and came across a puzzling scene. I saw people putting what I thought were squares of dark paper onto easels in the sun, as if to dry. But when I ...

Chinese smog bomb floats toward Japan

| Feb 8, 2013

Chinese smog bomb floats toward Japan

by Eric Johnston

Smog in China has reached alarming levels as its rapid industrialization spews ever-more toxic particles into the air. Over the past month or so, the problem has become particularly acute, raising health concerns in neighboring parts of Asia, including Japan. Following are questions and ...

Cyclists who flout law face charges

| Feb 4, 2013

Cyclists who flout law face charges

by Mizuho Aoki

Traffic accidents have witnessed an overall decline in recent years, but the percentage of cases involving bicycles is on the rise. National Police Agency data show bicycles were involved in 20.8 percent of all traffic accidents in 2011, up 18.5 percent from 2001.

The blunt, blue-blooded Aso is back

| Jan 22, 2013

The blunt, blue-blooded Aso is back

by Jun Hongo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be the face of the new government led by Liberal Democratic Party, but Finance Minister Taro Aso is also a force in the LDP to be reckoned with. In fact, only a few politicians today can claim to have ...

Warōsoku

| Jan 15, 2013

Warōsoku

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, My Japanese mother-in-law is very traditional and spends at lot of time maintaining the family butsudan, the cabinet-like Buddhist altar in the main room of her home. It is part of her daily routine to light candles, pray and make small offerings ...

Tokyo hopes this Olympics bid wins

| Jan 15, 2013

Tokyo hopes this Olympics bid wins

by Kazuaki Nagata

Tokyo’s quest to host the 2020 Olympics entered a new stage last week when it presented its candidature file to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. The final round will determine in September whether Tokyo has what it takes to hold off rival bidders ...

| Jan 8, 2013

Xenophobia finds fertile soil in web anonymity

by Ayako Mie

As diplomatic strains with China and South Korea worsen over territorial disputes, more and more Japanese are using the relative anonymity of cyberspace to vent their political spleens online. Enter “Net uyoku,” the people who freely post their ultranationalistic, xenophobic bluster online. Here is ...