Japan dances with the death penalty

| Jul 2, 2016

Japan dances with the death penalty

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Last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to reinstate the death penalty, which was abolished in his country in 2006. Duterte says he believes in retribution: If you kill someone, you deserve to die. Some people are shocked by this rationale, but ...

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

| Jun 25, 2016

Can foreign media pressure force changes in Japan?

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Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s first-person “biography” of late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, “Tensai” (“Genius”), remains atop best-seller lists. It is interesting to note that when Tanaka was alive Ishihara berated him as a crude opportunist. The years have obviously tempered his view, or ...

Cracks appear in media's view of disasters

| May 14, 2016

Cracks appear in media's view of disasters

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The Great East Japan Earthquake was Japan’s first major natural disaster since the rise of social media, and emergency planning outfits have been studying the data from March 11, 2011, in order better use SNS to save lives and help survivors. Online activities related ...

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

| May 7, 2016

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

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Later this month, the Diet’s Upper House will pass a bill submitted by the ruling coalition addressing the problem of hate speech, specifically directed at non-Japanese. As sociologist Takehiro Akedo explains in his article for the Web magazine Synodos, the Liberal Democratic Party isn’t ...

Idols put Band-Aids on fragile male egos

| Apr 30, 2016

Idols put Band-Aids on fragile male egos

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Two cities in Tottori Prefecture have set up a facility called the Tottori Deai Support Center, which is a kind of matchmaking service for young residents. In December it published a pamphlet to help people looking for mates better understand what the opposite sex ...

On the money: Hitting TV where it hurts

| Apr 23, 2016

On the money: Hitting TV where it hurts

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Earlier this month, the Association of Television Viewers Who Demand Compliance With the Broadcast Law announced that it may launch a “national campaign” targeting TBS, which it accuses of biased news reporting. Should the broadcaster fail to address the accusation, the association will ask ...