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John Spiri

John Spiri is an educator, writer and self-publisher based in Gifu. In addition to EFL textbooks, John has researched, written and published the “Asians at Work” series, featuring “Japanese at Work.” His hobbies include hiking, bicycling and go.

For John Spiri's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Lawmaker takes 9/11 doubts global

| Jun 17, 2008

Lawmaker takes 9/11 doubts global

In a September 2003 article for The Guardian newspaper, Michael Meacher, who served as Tony Blair's environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003, shocked the establishment by calling the global war on terrorism "bogus." Even more controversially, he implied that the U.S. government ...

'Half-alien' group foresees disaster, Japan UFO landing

| Apr 1, 2008

'Half-alien' group foresees disaster, Japan UFO landing

In December, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura caused quite a stir with his bold statement that "UFOs definitely exist." In subsequent clarifications, the government claimed that there have been no confirmed sightings, but if a UFO was to appear, "fighter jets would be scrambled ...

Sitting out but standing tall

| Feb 19, 2008

Sitting out but standing tall

In "Japan at War: An Oral History," Hideo Sato recalls being forced to hoist the Hinomaru flag in tandem with the playing of the "Kimigayo" — "His Majesty's Reign," the Japanese national anthem — as a schoolchild in the 1940s. If the flag reached ...

Whatever happened to Yamagishi?

| Jan 15, 2008

Whatever happened to Yamagishi?

Hideyuki Ikuhara's main responsibility at Yamagishi is feeding the pigs. It's a full-time job, but he expects no salary for his efforts. In fact, he quit his work developing high-tech televisions and gave up all his possessions for this lifestyle — and he couldn't ...

Japan faces hunger pains as poor slip through net

| Oct 2, 2007

Japan faces hunger pains as poor slip through net

First in a two-part series World Food Day, celebrated every Oct. 16, was established by the U.N. to highlight issues such as food scarcity, agricultural pollution, and food distribution problems that still plague much of the world. So what does that have to do with ...