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Philip Brasor
For Philip Brasor's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jul 25, 2020
Tokyo’s gubernatorial election results align with recent history
Residents of Japan's capital frequently votes to return the incumbent u2014 though typically for different reasons.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jul 18, 2020
Pandemic negates Japan’s bid to reduce plastic waste
Plastic is one of the cheapest, most effective materials for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jul 11, 2020
The murky politics behind Japan's campaign financing
Katsuyuki and Anri Kawai are accused of using campaign funds to buy favors, but the use of cash for gift-giving is so prevalent in Japan as to make it difficult to prove.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jul 4, 2020
Korean drama successfully crash-lands on a Japanese audience
A drama about a romance that bridges the gap between two countries that are still at war comes with its own interpretive pitfalls.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jun 27, 2020
Tokyo caught in a bind over restrictions placed on park demonstrations
Organizers must formally pledge that they will not do anything that interferes with park management before permission to hold protest is granted.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jun 20, 2020
Japan's essential care workers currently languish at the bottom of the health care pyramid
Caregiving companies are going out of business even as the demand for their services increases.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jun 13, 2020
Prosecutor gambling scandal lifts veil on press access in Japan
Will the incident prompt any major media outlet to change its ways when socializing with sources?
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Jun 6, 2020
Understanding the reach of a Japanese political dynasty
Could Daigo's uncharacteristically serious tone in recent times indicate that he is finally thinking of a career in politics?
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
May 30, 2020
Resignation raises uncomfortable questions about Japan prosecutors' powers
The public and the media cried foul because Kurokawa was seen to be sympathetic to the interests of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
May 23, 2020
It's every family for itself as coronavirus spreads within households
Local governments are making arrangements with hotels to house persons with mild symptoms so that they can avoid passing the virus on to families.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
May 16, 2020
In a rare move, entertainers air criticism of Japan's response to COVID-19 crisis
Members of the show business industry usually avoid anything smacking of politics so as not to jeopardize employment opportunities.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
May 9, 2020
Breaking down the government's response to COVID-19
How prepared was Japan for the pandemic, and how well can it medically adapt to the emergency going forward?
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
May 2, 2020
COVID-19 outbreak raises uncomfortable questions about Japan's adult entertainment industry
If a certain class of people is excluded from initiatives to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, those people will cause the disease to spread to all classes, regardless of other measures in place.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Apr 25, 2020
A decentralization opportunity goes begging amid COVID-19 outbreak
In Japan, the main obstacle to achieving the kind of widespread self-isolation necessary for limiting the spread of the coronavirus is thought to be the country's work culture. The government, which has always favored policies that benefit the private sector, is averse to countermeasures that would place a burden on business activities, and so mostly counts on employers to self-police their own activities.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Apr 18, 2020
COVID-19 puts the squeeze on Japan's most vulnerable
Some news outlets are calling on the government to become more proactive in keeping workers and small businesses afloat during the coronavirus crisis in order to stave off the kind of despair that could lead to an increase in suicides.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Apr 11, 2020
COVID-19 spurs debate over loanwords
During her March 25 news conference, which was held to address a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases in the capital, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike used visual aids and a script filled with foreign loanwords to convince residents that they should stay at home so as to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Koike’s use of English words such as “lockdown” was completely in character. A former TV newsreader fluent in English, the governor often uses so-called loanwords in public.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Apr 4, 2020
Who suffers the most from the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
Media outlets have long been trying to figure out what cancellation or postponement of the games would mean to Japan economically. They now have a much better idea.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Mar 28, 2020
Winning the media battle against COVID-19
On March 12, the Sankei Shimbun ran an editorial urging the media to refrain from criticizing the government for its handling of the coronavirus emergency. The Sankei Shimbun was elaborating on a complaint made by former TV announcer Yoshiko Sakurai that the press was not properly instilling in the public a sense of solidarity in overcoming the crisis. Finding fault with authorities is "acceptable" when things are normal, said the newspaper, but during an emergency focusing on "Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe's political beliefs and trivializ(ing) his response to the national crisis" is not.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Mar 21, 2020
Dramatizing the reality of a nuclear meltdown
As with many feature films based on real-life incidents, "Fukushima 50," which opened nationwide March 6 and depicts the actions of the men who struggled to contain the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, is a blend of factual exposition and dramatic enhancement. Stories require conflict to keep them interesting, usually with a hero fighting an adversary. In "Fukushima 50," the hero is plant manager Masao Yoshida (Ken Watanabe), who makes life-and-death decisions in resistance against higher-ups rendered as incompetents.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / MEDIA MIX
Mar 14, 2020
Hansen's discrimination proving tough to stamp out despite legislation
Last year, the government enacted legislation to compensate families of former Hansen's disease patients for the suffering they endured as relatives of a group that was the target of discrimination in the 20th century. Former patients themselves were compensated by the government in 2001 and, later, 541 relatives sued the government, for recognition of their own hardship, in Kumamoto District Court, which found in their favor in June last year. The government decided not to appeal, thus paving the way for the legislation. Anyone acknowledged by the government as being a parent, child, spouse, sibling or, in some cases, in-law of a Hansen's disease patient qualifies for compensation, even if they did not participate in the lawsuit. 

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves