Political storm sweeps through Tokyo

A former TV presenter who was heralded as Japan’s first potential female prime minister has announced she is not yet ready to do battle for the top job. Yuriko Koike is promising a populist approach, challenging the vested interests of Japan’s male-dominated establishment. However, she has decided that she is not yet prepared to quit […]

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Abe claims “crisis” demands a snap election

Is it true that Japan needs of an election to deal with a “national crisis?” That’s the claim made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has called a snap election to take place soon – probably on October 22nd. The escalating threat from North Korea could well be seen as a “crisis” situation. Domestically, however, […]

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We don’t trust China’s win-win rhetoric, warns ambassador

A lack of trust and an underlying threat of violence are harming China’s relations with Japan, according to Japan’s former ambassador to Beijing.   Masato Kitera represented Japan in China from 2012 until 2016. He claims that when Chinese people tell him collaboration creates a “win win” situation, he hears them saying to Japan “we […]

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Hitachi weathers the Brexit storm

It will soon be possible to catch a Japanese bullet train along one of the most scenic and stormy coastal rail routes in England. Hitachi is building special waterproof trains which will be able to run along a track beside the sea in Devon in Southwest England, where gale-force winds often blow seawater onto the […]

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Does macho Japan oppress its talented women?

Some people regard Japan as a macho society, where powerful men work long hours, play golf and ignore the house work while the women do menial office jobs or stay at home to raise children. Such stereotyping is common in the international media, which often presents a rather pitiful image of Japanese women, suggesting that […]

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British PM May reassures Japan on Brexit & Security

When the British prime minister Theresa May stepped off the plane in Osaka at the start of her first official visit to Japan, she wore a red and white outfit to match the colours of the country’s national flag. It was a gesture of goodwill to the UK’s largest Asian investor at a time when […]

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Why can’t China and Japan be friends?

As China prepares to decide who will lead the country for the next five years, the rhetoric against the Chinese Communist Party is growing louder in some sections of the international media. This week, Japan’s right-wing nationalist newspaper the Sankei used its website Japan Forward to interview a political activist who claimed that: “Asia is […]

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Japan’s economy extends its winning streak

Japan’s leaders have been praised in press this week following an impressive turnaround in the economy. Japan’s economic growth has reached four percent, extending a winning streak which looks set to continue. It comes after a period of trouble for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet. “I’m sure Mr Abe will be very happy, […]

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Sony’s girlfriend finally gets her reward

I once had a Japanese friend who was so crazy about Sony that she drew the company’s logo multiple times onto pieces of paper, then cut the designs out and turned them into labels which she affixed to all the machines in her flat, in order to make them look like Sony products. She had […]

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Who will be Japan’s next leader?

There is much gossip in Tokyo about who will be the next prime minister. The current leader, Shinzo Abe, recently made an apology on national television, bowing deeply before the cameras in a sign of remorse following a series of scandals. However, he continues to cling to power, despite dwindling support among the members of […]

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