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…Full Article JAPAN: Cosplay Summit Promotes Japan’s Soft Power
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…Full Article JAPAN: Mayor’s ‘Comfort Women’ Remarks Shock Facebook
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…Full Article JAPAN: From Shrines to Tanks, Abe’s Cabinet Faces Criticism
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…Full Article JAPAN: Marketing Magic of Murakami
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…Full Article JAPAN: Osaka Printing Company Raided by Labor Bureau
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…Full Article JAPAN: The New PM Steps Boldly Into the Trade Morass
In the wake of North Korea’s nuclear test, national security issues have become an even greater priority for Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who is in the early stages of his second run as Prime Minister. However, his responses to the DPRK are already under fire, especially from liberal circles,…Full Article JAPAN: Is This the Best PM Abe Can Do?
After years of restrictions, the use of the Internet will likely be liberalized for use in election campaigns. According to the Daily Yomiuri, one of Japan’s leading dailies, the nation’s major political parties have jointly agreed to allow the use of services, like Twitter, during future campaigns. Drafted by the…Full Article JAPAN: Japanese Politics Welcomes Modernity …. a Little, Bit, Anyway
Both the passage of time and the ushering in of new leaders have proven to be fruitless in the alleviation of the tension felt in East Asia. It may be well into the new year, but the ties between Japan and China continue to exhibit signs of deterioration thanks to…Full Article JAPAN: New Year, New Government, Same Issues
The monumental election in Japan’s House of Representatives is quickly approaching, bringing with it a slew of reports and articles on everything Japanese – from policy to political strategy. Set for December 16th, the election has the potential to change the political landscape of the nation. With issues such as…Full Article JAPAN: Issues the Big Election Never Really Discussed
The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election garnered countless reactions from across the globe, and Japan was no different. The island nation, according to Mainichi Daily, has welcomed Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney. The reelection comes at a crucial time for US-Japan relations, considering China’s recent push to increase authority in…Full Article JAPAN: Banzai! Here’s to Four More Years and Closer Ties!
The ongoing disagreement over the Senkaku, or Diaoyu, islands is nothing new to those who follow current events in East Asia, even as both China and Japan have made stumbling efforts at negotiation. the first of which took place on September 25. Despite the storm, the truth is that the…Full Article JAPAN: Are These Stupid Islands Worth the Trouble?
While anti-Japanese sentiments continue to brew across China due to the unseemly scrum over the Senkaku, called the Diaoyu by the Chinese, islands, some celebrities in the region have spoken out against the tension. Notable amongst them is Sora Aoi, a former Japanese pornography actress, who has helped China, or…Full Article JAPAN: Hot Porn Actress Asks Chinese Fans to Simmer Down
How much tension could a chain of uninhabited islands create? Quite a bit, apparently, as many Chinese take to the streets in outrage following Japan’s decision to nationalize three of the Senkaku islands. Concurrently, some Japanese have voiced a desire to revise the current constitution. The Mainichi Daily, a leading…Full Article JAPAN: It’s Upsetting the Country’s Constitution
Ever since March of last year, media finger-pointing over the Fukushima nuclear-power plant disaster has been relentless and endless. But behind the scenes, a special panel was working hard to try to sort the mess out fairly and authoritatively. Now that panel’s draft report has surfaced, and its main conclusion is…Full Article JAPAN: Fukushima Prime Suspect? The Former Prime Minister!