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Campaigns under way but outcome no surprise

| Dec 1, 2014

Campaigns under way but outcome no surprise

by Mizuho Aoki

Two weeks after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election, campaigning has officially kicked off with more than 1,000 candidates vying for the 475 seats in the Diet’s lower chamber. The Dec. 14 general election will ...

Face masks

| Nov 21, 2014

Face masks

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, What the heck is the deal with people in Japan wearing surgical masks? Where I come from (Canada), only doctors, dentists and other health professionals wear masks, and only on the job. You never see anyone out in public wearing a face ...

'Comfort women' issue refuses to go away

| Oct 27, 2014

'Comfort women' issue refuses to go away

by Reiji Yoshida

“Comfort women,” as Japan refers to the females who were forced into sexual servitude for the nation’s wartime forces, have been a constant source of controversy since the early 1990s, when the media started to take a serious look at their ordeal. These women ...

Mount Fuji finds mixed success with tolls

| Sep 29, 2014

Mount Fuji finds mixed success with tolls

by Masaaki Kameda

As the Mount Fuji climbing season drew to a close earlier this month, authorities were assessing the success of a new ¥1,000 voluntary climbing fee, which almost half of hikers skipped paying. It was introduced this year following a trial in 2013. Formally called ...