January 2014
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42 articles published


Hosokawa eyes no nukes by 2020

National / Politics Jan 18, 2014

Hosokawa eyes no nukes by 2020

Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa will pledge in his campaign for the Feb. 9 Tokyo gubernatorial election to set out a road map for Japan to break with nuclear power generation by 2020, according to a close aide. "By making 2020 his target year, he ...

Rightist: I got Inose loan

National / Politics Jan 18, 2014

Rightist: I got Inose loan

The leader of a rightist group said Saturday that Naoki Inose gave him ¥5 million shortly after being elected Tokyo governor in December 2012 for arranging a meeting he had with the founder of the nation's top hospital group, whose dubious ¥50 million loan ...

LDP dangles cash in Nago poll

National / Politics Jan 18, 2014

LDP dangles cash in Nago poll

by Eric Johnston

In a last-ditch attempt to win votes for the pro-base candidate in Sunday's Nago mayoral election, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba has promised voters Tokyo will set up a ¥50 billion fund to be used to revitalize the local economy. Ishiba made the announcement ...

Hirata and Saito: love on the run

National / Crime & Legal Jan 18, 2014

Hirata and Saito: love on the run

by Jun Hongo

The trial of Makoto Hirata, which commenced Thursday, is expected to reveal a number of new facts about the former Aum Shinrikyo fugitive, but of most interest to investigators will be how he managed to stay hidden for so long. Unlike the two Aum fugitives ...

The New Year's prank that was anything but

National / Crime & Legal Jan 18, 2014

The New Year's prank that was anything but

by Jun Hongo

Aum Shinrikyo fugitive Makoto Hirata's final day of freedom was nothing short of embarrassing for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Not that Hirata had expected it to turn out that way; as far as he was concerned, he was simply turning himself in after spending ...

How a yoga school became a doomsday cult

National / Crime & Legal Jan 18, 2014

How a yoga school became a doomsday cult

by Jun Hongo

Aum Shinrikyo's criminal activities began in the late 1980s and culminated in the 1995 nerve-gas attacks on Tokyo's subway system. The group was founded in 1984 by Shoko Asahara, the babbling, half-blind guru whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto. Initially starting life as a yoga ...

National Jan 18, 2014

Hakodate to sue to stop nuclear plant construction in Aomori

The mayor of Hakodate said Saturday that his city plans to sue the central government and a utility around March to halt construction of a nuclear plant in nearby Aomori Prefecture. In the lawsuit to be filed at the Tokyo District Court, the Hakodate Municipal ...

Unilever slips into buttery embrace

Business Jan 18, 2014

Unilever slips into buttery embrace

by Matthew Boyle

Paul Polman, CEO of margarine maker Unilever, has criticized butter in the past, saying the dairy fat "kills." With sales of the company's spreads sagging, he is now embracing it. In what Unilever Foods President Antoine de Saint-Affrique calls a "fundamental turnaround" of a $4.8 ...

Abe aide takes aim at U.S. over response to Yasukuni visit

National / Politics Jan 18, 2014

Abe aide takes aim at U.S. over response to Yasukuni visit

A top aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lashed out Friday at U.S. President Barack Obama's administration for expressing disappointment over the Japanese leader's contentious visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, saying past Republican-led U.S. administrations would not have responded in such a fashion. "The ...

Editorials Jan 18, 2014

More workers taking vacation

A group of companies in Japan are starting to buck the trend of making workers feel guilty for taking the full amount of vacation days to which they are entitled — and for good reason.

Editorials Jan 18, 2014

School costs gap wider than ever

A fiscal 2012 education ministry survey of parents throughout Japan reports that total spending for a child going to private schools from kindergarten through senior high school came to ¥16.77 million on average, significantly more than the ¥5 million for a child going to ...

Exploring the realm of Lewchew

Travel Jan 18, 2014

Exploring the realm of Lewchew

by Stephen Mansfield

When I told the Japanese woman with whom I'd struck up a conversation in central Tokyo's very handy Haneda airport that I was flying to Lewchew, she looked puzzled. The invading Japanese, struggling with the Chinese reading of the characters, pronounced the name of the ...

Environment Jan 18, 2014

Will Japan prepared mean nature ruined?

by Winifred Bird

"Resilience" is a hot topic these days — not in self-help books, but among policymakers worldwide. As governments become convinced that climate change is a real threat, they are taking steps to ensure communities can bounce back from the increasing impact of floods, storms, ...

A True Novel

Books / Reviews Jan 18, 2014

A True Novel

by David Cozy

Like all artists, novelists find the impetus to begin in various places. Some inspire themselves with a formal challenge. Georges Perec, for example, asked himself what would happen if he tried to write a novel entirely bereft of the letter "e." Others, in their ...

"Henry Black: On Stage in Meiji Japan"

Books / Reviews Jan 18, 2014

"Henry Black: On Stage in Meiji Japan"

by Edan Corkill

Former journalist Ian McArthur's study of Henry Black, a Briton who became a professional rakugo-ka (storyteller) in Meiji Era (1868-1912) Japan, is a reminder that many colorful characters from that turbulent time — especially foreigners — remain little known to contemporary readers. "Henry Black: On ...

Hello Kitty: Delicious!

Books / Reviews Jan 18, 2014

Hello Kitty: Delicious!

by Andrew Lee

The latest Hello Kitty comic from Viz Media's Perfect Square imprint is a simple yet fun escape for young children enamoured with Japan's most recognizable feline. Hello Kitty: Delicious!, Various, VIZ, PERFECT SQUARE In February last year, Viz signed a deal with Sanrio to develop original ...

Kimura eyes World Cup place

Soccer Jan 18, 2014

Kimura eyes World Cup place

by Andrew McKirdy

Kosuke Kimura may be Japanese soccer's best-kept secret, but the New York Red Bulls right back is hoping to announce himself on the biggest stage at this summer's World Cup. Kimura remains a relative unknown in his home country despite carving out a successful career ...

Watabe brothers ready for Sochi tilt

Nordic combined Jan 18, 2014

Watabe brothers ready for Sochi tilt

Akito Watabe will take his third crack at an Olympic medal when the Nordic combined competition begins at the Sochi Games on Feb. 12. Watabe, who competed for Japan at the 2006 Turin Games and again at Vancouver in 2010, is going in search of ...

Takanashi wins shortened meet

More Sports / Winter Sports Jan 18, 2014

Takanashi wins shortened meet

Sochi Olympic gold medal hopeful Sara Takanashi posted her seventh World Cup win of the season on Saturday in a competition that was cut to one round of jumps. The 17-year-old from Hokkaido fell after landing on her first jump, but her distance of 104 ...

Reliever Tazawa avoids arbitration

Baseball / MLB Jan 18, 2014

Reliever Tazawa avoids arbitration

Reliever Junichi Tazawa avoided salary arbitration and reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox on Friday. Tazawa, who emerged as a reliable setup man in the Red Sox' bullpen and helped them win the World Series last season, will see his salary rise from ...

Ozeki Kisenosato beats Aminishiki

Sumo / Basho Reports Jan 18, 2014

Ozeki Kisenosato beats Aminishiki

by Dave Hueston

Ozeki Kisenosato kept his slim hopes for promotion alive, overpowering Aminishiki while undefeated yokozuna Hakuho continued to wreak havoc with a demolition of Toyohibiki on the seventh day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday. Hakuho, who is gunning for his 28th career ...