Tag - 2023-in-review



As Japan's productivity declines due to the shrinking working-age population, policies that allow for everyone’s full participation in the labor force, especially women, are needed more than ever.
Dec 29, 2023
A look back at Japan’s gender laws and fairness in 2023
Gender equality needs to improve to boost Japan’s prospects. What hits and missed opportunities will we remember from 2023?
Among the issues that defined 2023 were the U.S. economy's "soft landing," the war in Ukraine, Hamas's terrorist attack and explosive advances in AI.
Dec 29, 2023
The most important developments of 2023
The year reminds us that the world is in desperate need of new leaders who are both competent and inspiring.
The Ground Self-Defense Force's Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade takes part in a marine landing drill on Tokunoshima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Nov. 19.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 29, 2023
Kishida’s military build-up plans face bumpy road ahead
One year on, questions remain as to whether the embattled leader, whose support rate recently dipped to new lows, can follow through on his pledges.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (left) and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visit the cenotaph for atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima on May 21 during the Group of Seven summit. Zelenskyy’s visit to one of the two cities attacked with a nuclear weapon came amid Russia’s veiled threats to use its nuclear arsenal in its war against Ukraine.
Dec 28, 2023
Images of 2023: Japan
Outside of the successful G7 summit, the year was not kind to PM Fumio Kishida's unpopular administration. A kickback scandal provided one final headache.
A Palestinian child cries next to his mother after they were rushed to a hospital following an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 13. Fighting erupted after Hamas conducted a coordianated attack against Israel on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians. More than 20,000 people in Gaza have died in the  conflict, according to the enclave’s health ministry.
Dec 27, 2023
Images of 2023: World
Images of 2023: From war in the Gaza Strip and in Ukraine to concerns in Asia over North Korea and China, conflict took center stage in 2023.
Designated hitter and closer Shohei Ohtani (center) and catcher Yuhei Nakamura are mobbed by their Samurai Japan teammates after Ohtani struck out American slugger Mike Trout to clinch Japan’s third World Baseball Classic and first since 2009, at LoanDepot Park in Miami on March 21.
Dec 26, 2023
Images of 2023: Sports
For some, 2023 was a year of sweet victory, after many years of not making it to the summit. For Shohei Ohtani, it was yet another year of brilliance.
A woman holding an umbrella walks near a fluttering Taiwanese flag outside the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei in November.
Dec 25, 2023
What’s at stake in Taiwan’s January presidential election?
Depending on the outcome, the closely watched vote could have markedly different security and economic implications for the entire region.
What's old in Tokyo libations is new again at Heiwa Doburoku Kabutocho Brewery, where sake's cloudy, rustic predecessor takes center stage.
LIFE / Food & Drink / Kanpai Culture
Dec 24, 2023
At 2023’s close, Tokyo bars enter a new golden age
This year’s cocktail trends offer a spirit-forward reflection on the past as well as glimpses of the future.
Fans praised Nintendo for following up one of the best open-world games ever made with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a worthy sequel that introduced enough new mechanics to keep the experience fresh for players new and old alike.
CULTURE / 2023 in Review
Dec 22, 2023
Zelda was a gem among many in a crowning year for gaming
Japanese studios’ hits included: Street Fighter 6, remakes of Metroid Prime and Resident Evil 4, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder, to name a few.
Visitors in the last gallery of “Yves Saint Laurent, Across the Style” at the National Art Center, Tokyo, view designs inspired by fine art.
CULTURE / Art / 2023 in Review
Dec 16, 2023
Eager crowds congested Tokyo’s biggest art museums in 2023
Art fans came with wallets ready for a lineup of blockbuster exhibitions, creating bottlenecks at photo-friendly masterpieces and gift shops.
Seihan Mori, the chief Buddhist priest of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, writes the kanji character "zei," meaning "tax," with a calligraphy brush to announce the Kanji of the Year.
Dec 15, 2023
Despite a taxing year, 2023's top kanji still draws questions
In a year of major crises around the world, Japanese voters pick the kanji for "zei," meaning "tax," based on a plan yet to be implemented.
While Hayao Miyazaki’s return to filmmaking, “The Boy and the Heron,” did not attain the ¥10 billion milestone that the beloved animator’s movies had once routinely surpassed, it debuted at the top of the North American box office and became the first original anime film to lead the box office in the United States and Canada.
CULTURE / Film / 2023 in Review
Dec 15, 2023
Japan’s auteurs and anime triumphed in 2023
From Hayao Miyazaki's “The Boy and the Heron” to Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Monster,” the box-office hits kept coming.
A still from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
PODCAST / deep dive
Dec 14, 2023
Big in Japan 2023: Anime, Murakami and The Legend of Zelda
Our guests tell us why anime dominated in 2023, which books stood out among a lackluster crowd and why the Zelda franchise is experiencing a renaissance.
Seihan Mori, chief priest of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, writes "zei" (taxes), which was chosen on Tuesday as the kanji of the year.
Dec 12, 2023
Talk of taxes spurs choice for Japan’s kanji of the year
The choice came as tax hikes and cuts were heavily covered in the news and discussed among policymakers.
Beet carpaccio served with fresh cream and caviar, the signature dish of three-Michelin-star chef Mauro Colagreco, features at Cycle, his much-anticipated new restaurant in Otemachi.
Dec 9, 2023
Tokyo dining finally kicked the pandemic blues in 2023
The further we got into 2023, the more it really started to feel like COVID-19 had finally dissipated like a malodorous mist.
After becoming a TikTok trend in Japan in 2022, artist imase’s song “Night Dancer” found popularity abroad in 2023, particularly in South Korea, where it became the first Japanese song to ever enter the nation’s Melon Top 100 Song Chart.
CULTURE / Music / 2023 in Review
Dec 8, 2023
J-pop's global ambitions came closer to reality in 2023
Duo Yoasobi's "Idol" was a true international breakout, while a viral trend turned imase into a pop ambassador between Japan and South Korea.
The talent agency formerly known as Johnny & Associates announced it would change its name after acknowledging the long history of abuse company founder Johnny Kitagawa inflicted on young men. The news was followed by the removal of company signage bearing Kitagawa’s name.
CULTURE / Music / Sound Off
Dec 2, 2023
The entertainment story of the year is long overdue
As entertainment heavyweights Johnny & Associates and Takarazuka Revue are hit by scandals, hope for reform emerges with changing attitudes toward abuse.
Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement this year with “The Boy and the Heron,” which opened to critical acclaim and has so far earned ¥8.56 billion — a good showing but not enough to take the top spot at the box office for the year.
CULTURE / Film / 2023 in Review
Nov 30, 2023
The year that defined the post-Miyazaki era
The success of “Oshi no Ko,” “Detective Conan” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” proved that anime is the mainstream now.


The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan