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A catch-up on what the Japanese media have been talking about (or not) recently:

  • After Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori was forced to resign over sexist remarks, the media industry that helped hound him out of the job now faces questions over male dominance of its upper ranks. Just one of many shocking stats: Across 38 newspapers and news agencies in Japan, only 7.7% of employees ranked section chief or higher were women.
  • The government wants to digitize Japan’s paper-based bureaucracy, but as Philip Brasor explains in Media Mix, a Tokyo Shimbun journalist’s contrasting experiences in moving to the U.K. and then back home to Japan show just how far the government still has to travel along the digital trail.
Organizers of Japan's 'Aichi Triennale' art festival agree to reopen 'comfort women' exhibition [Oct. 8, 2019] | ARIRANG NEWS
Organizers of Japan’s ‘Aichi Triennale’ art festival agree to reopen ‘comfort women’ exhibition [Oct. 8, 2019] | ARIRANG NEWS
  • The Aichi Triennale 2019 made waves for bringing together banned artworks in a section about freedom of expression. Now, the furor is back in the news after a bid to recall Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura for allowing the exhibit to take place failed spectacularly. As Brasor reports, an attempt to forge a petition backfired badly, with the media reveling in exposing the cack-handed plan.
  • Solitude — bleak or beautiful? Point of view is all. Hoffman explores the fine line between the two with stories from the tabloid mags about the undesirable phenomenon of hikikomori (acute social withdrawal) and the trend toward services for ohitorisama loners in the age of the coronavirus.
  • The ultimate relaxation, according to one magazine, is not idleness but suitable activity — doing what you want, which takes courage. Two success stories outlined by Michael Hoffman in his Big in Japan column illustrate this point. But note that one man’s relaxation is another man’s harassment, as evidenced by a new term that has joined the Japanese lexicon: sauna hara.

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