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Author Archive | Jeremiah Fajardo

JAPAN: Crimea Controversy Leads to Net Sensation

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – While some countries snort derisively at Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea, in Japan it’s been love at first sight with the Republic’s new attorney general. In the immediate aftermath of the Russian land grab, a press conference featuring 34-year-old Natalia Poklonskaya went viral — and it wasn’t because of her legal […]

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JAPAN: ANA Commercial Sparks Social Media Wildfire

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – On paper, promoting a sense of international awareness sounds like a logical quality for an airline to convey in its commercials. Such ads can assure customers of a friendly, welcoming environment. Yet, as All Nippon Airways (ANA) has found, this is hardly achieved by poking fun at racial stereotypes. On January 19 […]

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JAPAN: New Komeito Party Hopes to Safeguard Media Freedom

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Amid the battering winds of Typhoon Wipha, the Japanese government has publicized a refreshing piece of legislature, hoping to broaden the media’s freedom of speech. The bill, referred to as the “Secrets Protection Bill,” aims at “protecting national security secrets to ensure freedom of the media to collect information,” according to […]

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JAPAN: Media Icon Defies Status Quo Amid Olympics Euphoria

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – While much of the nation celebrates its 2020 Summer Olympics bid win, one celebrity has done something surprising: speak out against the government. Norika Fujiwara, a popular model and actress, recently revealed her distaste for a proposed bill on her website. Referred to as the state secrets protection bill, the measure […]

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JAPAN: Iconic Anime Director Retires, Again

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – After decades in the anime and film industries, Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, has announced his retirement. According to The Japan Times, the shocking news came out of the Venice film festival on September 1. Koji Hoshino, head of Studio Ghibli, told reporters that Miyazaki’s latest film, this July’s Kaze […]

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LOS ANGELES: Raunchy, Racist Music Video Goes Viral

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Sex often sells, but not when it’s mixed with the stark insensitivity of misogyny and racism. Los Angeles based band Day Above Ground provoked a torrent of controversy earlier this month following the release of a music video for their song “Asian Girlz.” The video featured Levy Tran, a San Jose […]

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JAPAN: Who Needs Real “Likes” When You Have Cash?

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Can you call yourself popular when most of your fans are fake? As more businesses and politicians are seeking attention via social media, services selling Facebook “Likes” and Twitter followers are appearing. The Yomiuri Shimbun, one of Japan’s leading dailies, interviewed one purveyor of Internet fame, a 28-year-old Osakan man. According […]

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JAPAN: Abe But No Lincoln

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – After two decades and a plethora of Prime Ministers, has political stability finally come to Japan with its united Diet?  With the July 21 Upper House elections, Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) seized the second, upper half of the Diet in an acclaimed landslide victory. For some, the triumph signifies […]

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JAPAN: ‘Retweets’ Herald Surge in LDP Influence

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES- Political tension in Japan is high with the upcoming Upper House elections, but has the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) already won over the Twittersphere? The LDP and Japanese Communist Party (JCP) currently have the most influence from a social media standpoint, according to researcher Ryosuke Nishida of Ritsumeikan University. As reported in […]

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JAPAN: The Dangers of Distasteful Tweeting

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Government use of social media to engage with citizens has boomed. Japan is a great example, with many bureaucrats and politicians tweeting about their views or upcoming campaigns. Disappointingly, Yasuhisa Mizuno, a 45-year-old official, managed to tweet his way out of a job. According to the Japan Times, the nation’s leading […]

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World Cosplay Summit 2013 Characters

JAPAN: Cosplay Summit Promotes Japan’s Soft Power

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – When it comes to making friends abroad, sometimes a pink-haired manga fan beats officially-sanctioned cultural exchanges. That’s proving to be the case in Japan with this summer’s 11th annual World Cosplay Summit (WCS) in Nagoya’s Osu district. Since the 1950s, anime and manga have been core to the country’s media culture. […]

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JAPAN: Mayor’s ‘Comfort Women’ Remarks Shock Facebook

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – When hasty, controversial remarks find their way onto social media the result is rarely good for politicians. That’s a lesson Osaka Mayor Tōru Hashimoto has come to learn. According to publications like The Japan Times and Mainichi Daily, two of Japan’s prominent dailies, Hashimoto recently made flippant remarks about the always sensitive […]

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JAPAN: From Shrines to Tanks, Abe’s Cabinet Faces Criticism

JEREMIAH FARJADO WRITES- Will the Japanese government ever learn?   Once again, Japanese tension with the Chinese and South Koreans have flared up due to a recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by over 150 Japanese politicians, including members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet. As Bloomberg and Kotaku, a popular pop-culture news site, noted, […]

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JAPAN: Marketing Magic of Murakami

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Aided by a veil of secrecy, Haruki Murakami’s latest novel has infused new life into Japan’s declining publishing industry. Born in 1949, Murakami has been a key figure in the nation’s modern literary sphere, having won numerous awards in Japan as well as abroad. According to The Mainichi Daily, one of […]

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JAPAN: Osaka Printing Company Raided by Labor Bureau

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Seventeen cases of bile duct cancer later, Sanyo-CYP Co., an Osaka printing company, has finally come under the stern scrutiny of the city’s Labor Bureau. According to The Mainichi Daily, one of Japan’s prominent dailies, Sanyo-CYP’s headquarters and No. 2 factory were raided recently. The affected workers, whose ages ranged from […]

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JAPAN: The New PM Steps Boldly Into the Trade Morass

Pursuing avenues for economic revitalization has been an integral part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda since he took office. Amongst the most contested options has been Japan’s recent decision to commit to negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s more liberal dailies, argued that it’s in the nation’s interest […]

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