All aboard! Never gets old.
Jan 27 2015
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese envoy in Jordan expressed hope that both Japanese hostage Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home “with a smile on their faces,” as questions rose Tuesday over the government’s handling of the crisis.
How Japan is fighting back at Jihadi John with MEMES: Images of ISIS executioner cutting kebab meat and posing with a selfie stick go viral as nation shows it won’t be silenced over new hostage threat.
- Jihadi John seen threatening to Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto this week
- Demanded $200million within 72 hours or said he would kill hostages
- As deadline approached Japanese began creating internet memes
- Darkly comic images shared online as a mark of defiance against ISIS
Showing the familiar sight of fearful men kneeling in orange jumpsuits in the desert, the latest footage of Jihadi John caused despair across the world when it appeared this week.
In the latest clip, the Islamic State enforcer demanded a $200million ransom to free Japanese men Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, giving them just 72 hours to live.
But as the deadline approached the Japanese public responded with a show of defiance by creating dozens of darkly comic internet memes mocking the deranged ISIS killer.
In the pictures, which have been widely shared online, the masked murderer is seen using his knife to carve kebab meat, taking part in a cooking show, and holding a selfie stick.
The vast majority of the posts are written in Japanese, but one in English reads: ‘Tomorrow will be sad but it will pass and ISIS will still be a big joke. You can’t break our spirit.’
Jan 06 2015
This video was made back in 2011 but not much has changed.
Abenomics has done very little to stimulate the economy. Higher taxes make it harder for people to pay their bills.
The result? more homeless.
Abenomics refers to the economic policies advocated by Shinzō Abe since the December 2012 general election, which elected Abe to his second term as prime minister of Japan. Abenomics is based upon “three arrows” of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms. The Economist characterized the program as a “mix of reflation, government spending and a growth strategy designed to jolt the economy out of suspended animation that has gripped it for more than two decades.”
The term “Abenomics” is a portmanteau of Abe and economics, and follows previous political neologisms for economic policies linked to specific leaders, such as Reaganomics, Clintonomics and Rogernomics.
Nov 22 2014
Australia kicked him out. Canada don’t want him. Britain don’t want him. Japan are probably going to let him waste money on a flight and turn him back at the airport…and I’m sure he will be running out of places to travel to at a fast rate by the looks of things.
Loser extraordinaire Julien Blanc could have saved a lot of time by joining Japanichiban Friend Finder and would not have been banned form entering so many countries.
The guy is a caveman. Hitting girls over the head and dragging them back to your cave is so pre-historic Julien.
Pick-up artists? What is that?
Why bother making an ass of yourself unless you are a jackass.
His website claims he can show how to “make girls BEG to sleep with you after SHORT-CIRCUITING their emotional and logical mind”.
In one video posted online by his organisation, Mr Blanc says: “In Tokyo, if you’re a white male, you can do what you want. I’m just romping through the streets, just grabbing girls’ heads.”
More than 150,000 people signed a petition demanding action by Mrs May to prevent his events taking place.
The petition was started on the Change.org website by a woman using the pseudonym Caroline Charles.
She said in a statement: “I’m very pleased that we have achieved the outcome we wanted.
“That the petition garnered so much attention in such a short period of time only highlights the everyday, ongoing relevance of sexism and misogyny. “
Mr Blanc has previously been refused entry to Australia and Brazil.
The Home Office spokesman said: “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds.
“It is longstanding practice that we do not comment on individual exclusion cases unless they are made public by the excluded individual.
“This Home Secretary has excluded more foreign nationals on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour than any before her.”
Apr 25 2014
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber apologized via Instagram after China fans were outraged he visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s fallen during World War II, including some who committed mass atrocities.
Did Justin Bieber honor the memory of some of Japan’s worst war criminals during his recent trip to Tokyo? You better belieb it!
According to the international pop sensation’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, Bieber dropped by the notorious Yasukuni Shrine this week, where he paid his respects to Japan’s war dead, including former military leaders from the country’s imperial army who committed mass atrocities across Asia and the Pacific during World War II.
“Thank you for your blessings,” tweeted Bieber, which garnered more than 666,000 likes on Instagram and tens of thousands of retweets before the singer suddenly removed the image from his account.
Thank you for your blessings. http://t.co/qmK0i5spBT
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) April 22, 2014
But Bieber’s China fans were less than impressed by the visit, urging him on social media to remove the picture out of respect for the dead. Bieber eventually responded to the controversy caused by the incident with an Instagram post on Wednesday of TIME’s story on the upset:
Mar 13 2014
Don’t worry, you can now rent a pocket WiFi router delivered to your hotel or residence and get online immediately.
Check it out!
Mar 12 2014
I will be getting married soon.
There has been much talk of Italy, and Apulia especially, in the Japanese press lately. Utada Hikaru, one of Japan’s most famous and beloved pop stars is getting married to an Italian bartender, Francesco Calliano, a native of Fasano, a small town near Brindisi. The two have met in London at the hotel where Calliano works. They will get married in Polignano a Mare, hometown of singer Domenico Modugno (of the famous Volare song), on May 23. “It’s sudden and it makes me chuckle – I’m getting married –
I was thinking of announcing this quietly after the wedding ceremony, but it seems that there are already some rumors circulating so I thought of announcing it now.
I even find it funny how unexpected this is of me, but my partner is Italian. He’s a “regular person”, and I would like to sincerely ask everyone to please refrain from reporting his real name in order to protect his and his family’s safety and his rights to his privacy.
Thank you all for your warm support. And I would like to apologize for making everyone worry so much. He is an honest and sincere man who is loved by many friends. He comes from a large and happy family that seems like it jumped straight out of a manga. I myself am not getting any younger, so I would greatly appreciate it if you could silently look after us.
And… Since I’m still in mourning, I was thinking if I should postpone my marriage. But when I last talked to my mother, I remember her sounding really happy which made me think, “Wow, how many years has it been since I heard my mother sound this happy”. I believe that my mother also gives her support to this marriage, which will make us proceed with the plans according to schedule.
31-year-old singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada announced on Monday that she will “very soon” marry an Italian man. She acknowledged that even she laughed a little in surprise over this.
In her blog entry to both fans and the mass media, Utada said that her husband-to-be is a “fine young man sincerely loved by many friends.” He has a “large, cheerful, and bustling family, like one straight out of a manga.” Since her fiancé is not in the entertainment industry, she asked her fans and the media to view her personal life from a respectful distance for privacy’s sake.
Since Utada is still in a mourning period for her late mother Keiko Fuji, she said that she was uncertain whether to delay the upcoming marriage. However, she recalled that when she talked about her fiancé in her last conversation with her mother, her mother’s voice sounded happier than she can remember in years. With that in mind, she believes that she has her mother’s support and decided to go ahead with her marriage as scheduled.
Utada was previously married to Kazuaki Kiriya from 2002 to 2007. Kiriya directed several of her early music videos, as well as the live-action Casshern film which used a track by Utada as its theme song.
Utada is an internationally known, bestselling pop artist born in New York City and raised in Japan and the United States. Her debut album, 1999’s First Love, is still Japan’s bestselling album ever with about 8 million copies sold. Bandai Visual used Utada’s “Kiss & Cry” and “This is Love” songs for the Freedom anime project. Besides the theme song for the live-action Casshern movie remake, Utada also contributed to the live-action Hana Yori Dango 2 television adaptation.
More recently, she provided a 2007 remix of her 2000 cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)” for the trailer to Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone (Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Jo), as well as her “Beautiful World” song for the anime film itself. She also contributed the “Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-” for the second film, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance (Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Ha). In addition to her singing career, she played the heroine Pinoko in the 2001-2002 Black Jack net anime series. She toured the United States and the United Kingdom in 2009.
Utada had been on hiatus from the entertainment business since the beginning of 2011, although she returned to host a monthly radio program called Kuma Power Hour with Utada Hikaru on the InterFM station last April. (She did not host last month’s program on January 21 due to health reasons.) She did contribute the song “Sakura Nagashi” as the ending theme for 2012’s Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (Evangelion Shin Gekijō-ban: Q), but her management emphasized that the song did not represent a full-fledged return from her hiatus.
Singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada, 31, revealed on her blog Monday that she plans to marry her 23-year-old Italian fiance on May 23.
In a message to her fans and the media, Utada, whose 1999 multi-million-selling debut record, “First Love,” is one of Japan’s biggest-ever hits, said they are planning to have their wedding ceremony in a church by the sea near Fasano in south Italy.
She said: “I’m getting married soon… This is unexpected even for me and makes me chuckle a bit but my partner is an Italian man. My partner is a sincere, nice man loved by many friends.”
Sports Nippon reported that Utada’s fiance is a bartender working in a hotel in London and the two got to know each other when Utada was staying there. Last summer, he introduced her to his family who live in Fasano.
A local magazine in Fasano, reporting the news, said it was like a fairytale that a Japanese superstar and a normal boy will marry, and predicted that the town will become internationally famous, according to Sports Nippon.
Utada said she decided to go ahead with the wedding despite her mother Keiko Fuji’s death last year in a fall from her 13th-floor Tokyo apartment.
“When I talked about my fiance in my last conversation with my mother, she was so glad, that I thought ‘I’ve not seen my mother this cheerful in many years,’” Utada said.
It will be Utada’s second marriage. She was previously married to photographer Kazuaki Kiriya, 45, in 2002. They divorced in 2007, with the couple citing differences in future vision and communication problems.
Feb 14 2014
Japan to ease permanent resident conditions for foreign professionals
TOKYO (Kyodo) — The government is considering relaxing requirements for highly skilled foreigners to obtain permanent residency status in Japan as it expects them to help enhance the nation’s international competitiveness, according to government sources.
The government plans to submit a bill to revise the immigration control law to the ordinary Diet session, which convenes Friday, enabling corporate managers as well as highly skilled researchers and professionals to obtain permanent resident visas after three years of residency in Japan instead of the current five years, the sources said.
Under the current system, foreign nationals need more than 10 years of residency in Japan to get permanent residency, but foreigners with high skills need only five years for the status.
The government plans to shorten the required period from five years to three years for researchers studying advanced information technologies and cutting-edge medical technologies, people involved in the development of new materials and top managers of global companies, the sources said.
Around 2.03 million foreign nationals were staying in Japan as of the end of 2012, including about 620,000 permanent residents, according to the Justice Ministry.
Dec 16 2013
Norika Fujiwara has broken an unwritten rule of the television business: sharing her political views. The popular model and actress has come out against a bill that stiffens penalties against civil servants who leak classified information.
Writing on her website, Fujiwara, 42, said passing such a law would adversely affect citizens and encouraged her fans to pressure the government to kill the bill, which the Diet will take up in an extraordinary session scheduled to open Oct. 15.
In a message posted on Friday, Fujiwara accused the government of covering up the truth about the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, and spreading misinformation about radiation and leaks of radioactive water there.
“As a citizen I am really concerned about it,” Fujiwara wrote in another message. “Our nation has a right to know.”
Fujiwara joins the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association in opposing the bill as a violation of the right to freedom of speech that will undermine Japan’s democracy.
“Once the bill is signed, the people who will write the truth on the Internet (or through other means) will be punished,” she stressed. “When I think of all the consequences that it will lead to, it really bothers me.”
In a message posted soon after the International Olympic Committee picked Tokyo to host the 2020 Games, Fujiwara said she was hopeful the duty would prompt the government to tackle the radiation crisis head-on.
Fujiwara revealed that she had also used the government’s public comment system to voice her opinion to the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office.
However, she complained that the public comment system only gives citizens two weeks to provide their opinions on implementing the law.
Fujiwara also provided detailed information on her website on how to contact the government, and encouraged her fans to send in their own opinions by Internet, fax or mail.
Fujiwara, who has been involved in charity activities in Japan and elsewhere as the PR ambassador for the Japanese Red Cross Society, recently made her eight visit to areas damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
In May, the actress received a special award at the Nikkei Social Initiative Awards ceremony, held by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, for her contributions to society.
However, she is not the first TV celebrity to expose herself to criticism by expressing her opinions.
After speaking out against nuclear power in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, actor and activist Taro Yamamoto lost a part in a TV series, and another show he appeared on cut to a commercial in the midst of his political commentary.
Yamamoto was elected to the Upper House in July after vowing to rid Japan of atomic power.
Secrets protection bill placed in Mori’s hands
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday to put Masako Mori, minister for measures against the declining birthrate, in charge of a state secrets protection bill.
Abe said the goal is to submit the bill at the extraordinary Diet session to be convened Oct. 15.
Nov 12 2013
Anger in Japan over film about murdered British teacher Anger in Japan as film about the killing of English teacher Lindsay Hawker glosses over her rape and murder By Julian Ryall, Tokyo3:41PM GMT 09 Nov 2013
Japanese cinema-goers have expressed their distaste for a film released on Saturday that depicts the years English teacher Lindsay Hawker’s killer went on the run after her murder in March 2007.
Produced by Sedic International and based on the book that Tatsuya Ichihashi wrote while he was awaiting trial, “I am Ichihashi: Journal of a Murderer” largely glosses over the rape and murder of 22-year-old Hawker, from Brandon in Warwickshire. Instead, in focuses on how he evaded the police, endured hardship while on the run, hid on a remote desert island and earned money on construction sites to pay for plastic surgery. The film also shows Ichihashi, played by the actor Dean Fujioka, performing surgery on himself with a razor blade and a pair of scissors in an effort to conceal his identity.
Bill Hawker displays a picture of his daughter, Lindsay Ann, at Chiba district court
Postings in online chat rooms suggested that efforts to portray a stoical Ichihashi as heroic for avoiding capture had backfired. “I think it’s really strange that people have made a film in which the hero is a murderer,” one commentator on the 2Channel site wrote. “I think the company that made this must be mad.”
Another commented, “The company that made this film needed to get the agreement of Lindsay’s family before starting. It is inevitable that foreigners are now going to think of Japan as a place where we make murderers into heroes.” Hawker’s family declined to comment on the release of the film, but expressed their anger in a statement when the movie project was first announced, in November 2011. Not everyone has criticised the film, however, with one of the high-profile guests at the gala opening screening of the film in Tokyo on Friday evening praising it as “interesting” and “really authentic.” Sedic International did not contact the Hawker family before or during the filming of the movie, but have stated that the title does not attempt to defend Ichihashi or play down his crimes. Ichihashi declined to cooperate with the film, even though it was based on his book, and a spokesman said that it was unclear what would happen to any royalties.
Ichihashi also refused to meet Fujioka before filming. Her family appeal for her safe return A spokesman for the company also told The Japan Times that “the privacy of the victim was taken into consideration and no scenes from the film focus on the victim or depict Hawker in any disrespectful way.” The closest the film comes to showing Hawker’s death is a scene in which Ichihashi is seen pouring sand and gravel into a bath. Hawker’s body was concealed in a bath tub on the balcony of Ichihashi’s apartment. Ichihashi was finally arrested on November 10, 2009, exactly four years ago, as he waited to board a ferry from the port city of Osaka to the island of Okinawa. His identity was confirmed through fingerprints, although he reportedly told the officer that arrested him, “I am Ichihashi.” His arrest brought to an end a manhunt that had been triggered after the naked body of Ms Hawker, a graduate of Leeds University, was found in the bath tub.
Her clothes were strewn around the apartment, she had been severely beaten and police believe she had been confined for as long as 36 hours before being strangled. A teacher at the Koiwa branch of the Nova language school, Ichihashi had apparently talked her into giving him an English lesson in March 2007 in a cafe close to Gyotoku Station before claiming to have no cash with him. Ichihashi and Ms Hawker were then seen on a TV monitor leaving the cafe before they took a taxi to his nearby apartment to get the money to pay her. After escaping from police, there were various theories as to how Ichihashi had managed to avoid arrest, including that he had fled the country, had committed suicide or was being protected by friends or his wealthy family. Ichihashi’s father is a doctor and his mother a respected dentist, but their expression of “regret” for the death of Ms Hawker and their failure to call on their son to surrender angered her family.
Next Page »