Topics

As new UNESCO site, Fuji set to beckon to masses

| Jul 8, 2013

As new UNESCO site, Fuji set to beckon to masses

by Masaaki Kameda

The official climbing season for Mount Fuji kicked off July 1 amid added fanfare over the iconic peak’s inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage cultural site in late June. Straddling Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, Japan’s highest peak, at 3,776 meters, has seen a surge ...

Nuclear safety rules put onus on utilities

| Jul 2, 2013

Nuclear safety rules put onus on utilities

by Kazuaki Nagata

The Nuclear Regulation Authority on July 8 will begin enforcing new safety standards at atomic power stations, more than two years after Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant experienced three reactor core meltdowns. Hoping they become the world’s highest safety standards, the ...

| Jun 25, 2013

Unpaid overtime excesses hit young

by Ayako Mie

Some companies are compelling their younger employees to work more than 100 hours of uncompensated overtime a month to maximize their profits. Japan has been derided for its long working hours for decades, and the risks of the hazardous practice eventually led to the ...

Okigusuri

| Jun 18, 2013

Okigusuri

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, I was on a two-week home stay in the countryside of Japan when a visitor came to the house. I don’t think he was expected, but my home-stay mother greeted him like an old friend and fetched a plastic drawer-box from the ...

New ID system for keeping tax tabs, finding cheats

| Jun 11, 2013

New ID system for keeping tax tabs, finding cheats

by Mizuho Aoki

The Diet passed the “common number” bill May 24, paving the way for every resident, including foreigners, to be assigned a personal identification number. Holders of the “my number” IDs will be notified around fall 2015 and they will take effect starting in January ...

A term for Abe's ilk? Well, nonliberal

| Jun 4, 2013

A term for Abe's ilk? Well, nonliberal

by Eric Johnston

Foreign media and overseas Japan experts largely use 19th- and 20th-century labels to describe Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and current Japanese politics led by his Liberal Democratic Party — “right-wing,” “hawkish,” “conservative” and “nationalist.” Japanese and the Japanese media either use and agree with, ...

Tokyo's Koreatown emerged from the flow of bilateral ties

| May 28, 2013

Tokyo's Koreatown emerged from the flow of bilateral ties

by Jun Hongo

Diplomatic friction between Tokyo and Seoul over territorial and historical disputes is making headlines once again, and Tokyo’s right-wing protesters know just where to go to get in the face of its Korean residents: Koreatown in Shinjuku Ward’s Shin-Okubo district. Following are some questions ...

Postal symbol

| May 21, 2013

Postal symbol

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, This may seem like a stupid question, or too trivial a subject for you, but what the heck is the symbol that precedes the post code on every piece of domestic mail I receive here in Japan? I’m sure you know what ...

Monju: Generating only misfortune

| May 15, 2013

Monju: Generating only misfortune

by Jun Hongo

The troubled Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor made headlines again when the Nuclear Regulation Authority said it apparently plans to ensure the facility remains idled after announcing that the Japan Atomic Energy Agency failed to properly inspect some 10,000 components, including critical ones. Following are ...