A media circus surrounds Japan's animal acts

| May 30, 2015

A media circus surrounds Japan's animal acts

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The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums has voted to stop buying dolphins captured during drive hunts conducted by fishermen in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. For the past decade, the town has received a great deal of negative publicity because of its dolphin slaughter, and ...

Lowball nuclear pitch is fooling no one

| May 23, 2015

Lowball nuclear pitch is fooling no one

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Earlier this month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced the results of a review of energy production costs, which concluded that nuclear will remain the cheapest alternative for Japan over the next 15 years while pointing out that the calculations took ...

JCP gains ground, but not column inches

| May 16, 2015

JCP gains ground, but not column inches

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Years ago a Japanese acquaintance applied for a green card when her American husband decided to move back to the United States. Someone told her she should not say she once voted for the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) during her interview, otherwise U.S. Immigration ...

Fighting to recover from the ocean's wrath

| Apr 25, 2015

Fighting to recover from the ocean's wrath

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On April 11, Wataru Takeshita, the minister for reconstruction of the areas most seriously affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, met in Kamaishi with local government representatives to discuss the budget for Iwate Prefecture. After the meeting, the mayor of Kamaishi spoke to ...

The Asahi cries foul on school sports

| Apr 18, 2015

The Asahi cries foul on school sports

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Baseball fans were disheartened to learn that Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish would be out for the entire 2015 season because of elbow surgery. The right-hander could still have a promising Major League career, but like other Japanese pitchers who have crossed the Pacific, ...

Political obstacles stymie energy autonomy

| Mar 28, 2015

Political obstacles stymie energy autonomy

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When German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Japan earlier this month, local coverage focused on a joint German-Japanese statement about the Ukraine crisis and her comment that Japan should forthrightly address its actions during World War II. She said nothing about how Japan and ...

Failing to rebuild communities in Tohoku

| Mar 14, 2015

Failing to rebuild communities in Tohoku

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The NHK travel program “Tsurube no Kazoku ni Kampai” (“Tsurube Toasts Families”) recently aired a two-parter about the town of Watari in Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated in the March 11, 2011, tsunami. In the series, rakugo storyteller Shofukutei Tsurube and a celebrity guest ...