JAMES HANSON WRITES — How important is your surname to you? Mari Inoue and Kotaro Usui, a Tokyo couple, were denied a marriage certificate during the pandemic because Mari Inoue wanted to keep her legal surname. Article 750 of Japan’s Civil Code requires that married couples adopt the same surname. In…Full Article JAPAN: WHAT’S IN A (SUR)NAME, SHAKESPEARE ASKED?
CLAIRE GUTE WRITES — The highly anticipated 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan, following the postponement last year due to Covid-19. The games are set to occur between July 23 to August 8, with the first ever surfing competition at Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya, just 62 miles…Full Article JAPAN: WAVES OF HOPE FOR SURFERS ENTERING THE FIRST-EVER OLYMPIC COMPETITION
TAYLOR BOSVELD WRITES – Why is there a war memorial in the middle of Tokyo honoring people who committed wartime atrocities? Why has the ex-Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, recently visited the war memorial for the second time in as many months since stepping down? The first visit drew…Full Article JAPAN: WHY SHOULDN’T THE EX-PRIME MINISTER HONOR THE DEAD?
RASHID AL-ARMELI WRITES—Wuhan, the capital of the province of Hubei in China, has definitely attracted close attention worldwide for a reason other than the level of its industrial development, its historical significance, or cultural appeal. The new coronavirus, which is thought to be initially transmitted from wild animals sold at…Full Article CHINA: THE GREAT ESCAPE – WUHAN TO TOKYO
RYAN DAO WRITES — After a long 12-year hiatus, the legendary king of monsters makes his triumphant return of the silver screen with “Shin Godzilla” (“Shin Gojira,” or internationally known as “Godzilla Resurgence”), a modern-take on a classic Japanese icon. “Shin Godzilla” is the 29th installment in the Godzilla franchise…Full Article JAPAN: GODZILLA’S TRIUMPHANT RETURN
ERISA TAKEDA WRITES – Japan and Saudi Arabia each want a better economy. To get there, they’ve just doubled down on closer bilateral relations and deeper cultural ties. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met in Tokyo September 1 to sign a handful of agreements…Full Article JAPAN AND SAUDI ARABIA: THE TIES THAT BIND
YVONNE EPPS WRITES — Imagine standing in the pit of the House of Blues, staring up at a four-man group that begins to sing in Japanese. It’s an indie Japanese music fan’s dream, and when you wake up, you realize that the American mainstream is being invaded. A trend is…Full Article JAPAN: Rocking Through the Mainstream
TOM PLATE WRITES IN HIS SYNDICATED COLUMN APPEARING IN THE JAPAN TIMES (Tokyo) – Like so many people around the world, I was totally blown away not only by Olympic skater Kim Yuna’s performance on the ice in Sochi, but even more so by her cool and classy performance off…Full Article THE PLATE COLUMN: Skating on Thin Ice
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Is it English or ego? Former Prime Minister and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori sparked controversy at a news conference held at the Main Media Center for the Sochi Games when questioned about why he spoke in Japanese rather than English. Mori,…Full Article JAPAN: Language and Gender Spark Debate at 2020 Olympic Press Conference
LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Social conduct dictates that people should avoid discussions of religion and politics, but should the media abide by these social laws too? This year will mark the 19th anniversary of the the Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) doomsday cult’s toxic nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.…Full Article JAPAN: Finally Facing A Touchy Subject
Tokyo’s effort to host the 2020 Summer Olympics has finally hit its stride. According to The Daily Yomiuri, one of Japan’s leading newspapers, popular support for the capital bid hit 83% in a February survey. That’s up 11% from January, and the poll found an equally encouraging decline in people…Full Article JAPAN: Support, Hopes Grow for 2020 Olympic Bid