Daughters also unable to reach Asahara

National Aug 17, 2006

Daughters also unable to reach Asahara

When she was finally allowed to visit her father, she found him in a wheelchair, wearing a diaper. A prison guard took notes throughout the 30-minute encounter, which took place in a small, barren room, through a plate of thick, transparent plastic. It was, ...

'Waribashi' from China to end

National May 16, 2006

'Waribashi' from China to end

Walk into any noodle shop or restaurant and chances are high you'll soon be eating with a pair of disposable wooden chopsticks from China. But not for long. In a move that has cheered environmentalists but worries restaurant owners, China has slapped a 5 percent tax ...

Weather services compete in blossom forecasting

National Mar 25, 2006

Weather services compete in blossom forecasting

One would think Eishin Murakata has a pleasant, relaxing job. Every spring, he strolls each day to the same cherry tree in central Tokyo and gazes up at its boughs. When he spots a full bud on the verge of blossoming, he carefully snaps ...

Rise in elderly offenders graying prisons

National Feb 8, 2006

Rise in elderly offenders graying prisons

There are still plenty of metal bars and handcuffs. But prisons these days have some new features -- like wheelchair-friendly stair ramps, handrails in the bathrooms and nurses trained to spoon-feed inmates. The aim is adapting prison life to a new kind of convict in ...

War criminals' poems uncovered

National May 12, 2004

War criminals' poems uncovered

The themes found in a newly uncovered collection of traditional Japanese verse would be familiar to any reader here: the melancholy passing of the seasons, fleeting beauty, the inevitability of death. The poets, however, are an unlikely bunch -- they were imprisoned as war criminals ...

Appeal a given if Asahara gets death

National Oct 30, 2003

Appeal a given if Asahara gets death

After a 7 1/2-year trial, the chief lawyer defending doomsday cult guru Shoko Asahara, charged with masterminding the 1995 nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway, is about to wrap up his case and await a verdict, which may come in February. If convicted for the ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Jan 7, 2003

Japan considers a flutter on casinos

It was a rare taste of Las Vegas in Tokyo, and for two days the casino crowds -- hosted by Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara -- pumped the handles of slot machines and betted feverishly on the roulette wheel. Though better known for his hawkish advocacy ...