Jul 20 2013

Random Japan

 photo DeathNote_Anime_Cast_500.jpg

Citing an inability to communicate with members of the international community, a government panel recommended that Japanese officials “use more English.”

Authorities at the education ministry are set to introduce a program “in which non-native Japanese speaking students can learn the Japanese language during regular class hours.”

Speaking at a symposium in San Diego, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that “the Fukushima disaster changed [my] view of nuclear power.”

After receiving complaints from the public, officials at the environment ministry withdrew their recommendation that female office workers use “antiperspirants, scented laundry softeners, cold sprays and wet tissues” to keep cool during summer.


78.84 million

Estimated number of Japanese people who will take “overnight or longer trips this summer”-a record high, according to JTB

1.08 million

Number of “online access attempts recognized as cyberthreats” by the National Information Security Center in fiscal 2012

¥20.06 million

Average income of Diet lawmakers in 2012, according to parliamentary data

“Breaching the laws of equality” – Has Japan’s preferential treatment of women gone too far?

 by Andrew Miller

From women-only seats in libraries to female-only university cafes, it would seem that women get a lot of preferential treatment in Japan. Whether it be a restaurant with “ladies’ courses” on the menu or cinemas offering “ladies’ day” discounts, it is difficult to ignore the abundance of cheap deals or special services on offer to women. On the one hand, it all serves to help the struggling Japanese economy, but a lot of men can’t help but feel that they’re being a little discriminated against.

One man comments on how the exclusive women-only seating system in some public libraries can be a real inconvenience:

“It began to rain quite hard so I thought I’d seek refuge in my local library. Everyone had the same idea, so the inside was quite crowded. Just when I thought I’d found a seat, I was told by the librarian that it was for women only. As a result, I was made to stand for a good half hour. I’m really not satisfied with the situation.” (Office worker, 34)

Voter Turnout Fears From Politicians  

Actual Voter Fear Of Those Politicians

Snail Mail Goes Large

In Yamaguchi

One Fool

Sues Another Fool

The importance of social etiquette in urban Japan

 By Philip Kendall

Ask someone to describe the Japanese people in 10 words or fewer and more often than not “polite” or “reserved” will appear somewhere in the mix. Japan is known the world over as a safe, pleasant place to live where people are on the whole helpful and courteous; few people visit Japan and return home with tales of rude airport staff or inattentive waitresses.

When I first came to Japan, I had the pleasure of living for five years in a pretty little town in Fukushima Prefecture, surrounded by rice fields, rivers and some of the deepest greens I have ever seen. Of course, I experienced the warmth of locals’ hospitality and kindness first-hand, but it was only in when I moved south to Tokyo in 2011 that I came to understand the real meaning of the word “mana” (manner), and began to appreciate how much more important it is in urban living.