It is Halloween which just possibly could be the highest point of the season at the newer one of Tokyo’s two different Disney parks, Tokyo Disney Sea. The whole park is decorated in a sort of hyper colorful Mexican Day of the Dead theme with fantastic looking skeletons entertaining the visitors throughout the park…(more)
[Also see - Japan Makes First Arrest Over 3-D Printer Guns - punditfromanotherplanet.com]
Yoshitomo Imura, an employee at the Shonan Institute of Technology in Japan, was arrested last may for printing and firing a 3D-printed gun called the ZigZag. He printed three guns in total and was arrested for running afoul of Japan’s strict gun laws.
[More – [VIDEO] How 3-D Printed Guns Evolved Into Serious Weapons in Just One Year – punditfromanotherplanet.com]
The title of this magazine not easy to translate, my source tells me. “Relaxation”, sort of, but implying gathering, or visiting. This is the May issue, in the very short history of this publication.
The magazine itself is an enigma. It was produced for maybe only one year, in the 1950s, then discontinued. The stories inside were about sex, crime, true confessions (which were usually about sex) and the description says it was a low-quality book printed on really cheap paper. Which was (and still is) true of a lot of pulp books and comics in Japan. If any bilingual readers recognize this vintage magazine, or can translate this better (the google translate version is too poor to include here) we’d be interested. On the web, my source found this.
[VIDEO] Volcano Erupts In Central Japan, Hiker Dead, Dozens Reported Stranded | 御嶽山 大噴火 山頂火口付近 衝撃の山小屋Posted: September 27, 2014
Dozens of hikers were stranded Saturday on the slopes of an erupting Japanese volcano that has reportedly killed one person and left 30 more seriously injured.
Ash, rocks and steam continued to spew from Mount Ontake more than nine hours after it sprang violently to life as around 250 people were trying to scale its peak.
“The speed of the smoke was too fast. You can’t escape.”I’m worried that many more people are still on the mountain.”
– A climber, reported by NHK
Four people were buried by the ash, with one having been dug out, Kyodo News reported.
“I first thought it was thunder as I heard a bang and another bang, two or three times,” a trekker told public broadcaster NHK. “Then volcanic dust fell noisily.”
“Amateur cameraman Keiji Aoki told Jiji Press: “It was tremendous. I prepared for death when I got caught in the dust under a pine tree.”
– Amateur cameraman Keiji Aoki, to Jiji Press
A suffocating blanket of ash up to 20 centimetres (8 inches) deep covered a large area of the 3,067 metre (10,121-foot) volcano, trapping climbers and forcing up to 150 into mountaintop shelters at one point.
Around 230 people have now reached the bottom but a further 40 are trapped at the summit where they will spend the night in shelters, local media reported.
An enviable assignment for Japan Real Time‘s Jun Hongo:
…Burger King Japan has a strategy when it comes to its new hamburger menu: always bet on black.
“The black burgers sold extremely well because of their visual impact, but people continued to come back for them because of their taste.”
– Spokeswoman for Burger King Japan.
The burgers will feature black buns, black sauce and black cheese in addition to black-pepper heavy beef patties. Kuro means black in Japanese.
Jun Hongo doesn’t mention personally tasting one, so we’ll have to contact a source in Japan to satisfy our curiosity. Stay tuned for an update.
The black burgers were first introduced for a limited time by the chain in 2012 and became a hit, outselling all other new products that Burger King offered during the year, according to the company. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on China Daily Mail:
People in Japan overwhelmingly have a poor opinion of China and vice versa, according to new polls, although Chinese views of Japan have become slightly less chilly.
The percentage of Japanese respondents who said they had a negative impression of China increased to 93% from 90% a year earlier, according to a poll by Genron NPO, a Tokyo-based nonprofit group. In a parallel poll conducted by China Daily, 87% of respondents said they had an unfavorable impression of Japan, a slight improvement from last year’s record high of 93%.
More than half of Japanese respondents who had a negative impression of China thought the country’s actions were incompatible with international rules.
Disputes over the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, controlled by Japan and claimed by…
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While many robots are controlled using what is known as “zero moment point” dynamics to balance itself, the new robot uses a combination of a high speed camera and a stabilizing motor so that it can lean forward without tipping over, enabling it to run in a dynamic form, according to Prof. Masatoshi Ishikawa. The robot can even perform a somersault. Read the rest of this entry »
TOKYO, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – The number of Japanese nationals, who may have been abducted in North Korea, has risen to 883, Kyodo News Agency reported Tuesday, citing a high-profile security official.
“We are saying that there could be as many as 860 abductees. The government’s policy is to retrieve every single abductee.”
Japan cannot exclude the possibility of the abduction of a further 23 Japanese nationals by Pyongyang, making the total number 883, the country’s National Public Safety Commission Chairman Keiji Furuya was quoted as saying.
— Eleanor Warnock (@misssaxbys) September 2, 2014
Japan’s Defense Ministry Asks for Record Budget Increase in Response to China’s Heightened Military AggressionPosted: August 31, 2014
TOKYO—Took Sekiguchi reports: Japan’s Defense Ministry has requested a budget of ¥4.899 trillion ($47.1 billion) for the coming fiscal year starting April 1, a 2.4% increase over the amount for the current year. If granted, it would be the third year in a row Japan has expanded its military spending following a decade of cuts.
“We have an immediate neighbor whose military expenditures are at least twice as large as Japan’s and second only to the U.S. defense budget.”
– Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
The figure, requested by ministry Friday, doesn’t include spending related to U.S. bases in Japan, or for the purchase of a new government airplane for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. If these items are included, the total budget request would be ¥5.054 trillion, the largest ever for the ministry. It would also come as Mr. Abe continues his program to beef up the country’s defense capabilities.
“So call me a right-wing militarist if you want..”
Citing the continuing need for ocean surveillance amid tensions with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea, the ministry is requesting 20 patrol planes and five patrol helicopters. It is also looking into acquiring an early-warning radar system and aerial drones. Read the rest of this entry »
A Japanese wrestler-turned-politician hopes his vision of “sports diplomacy” can repair his country’s fraught relationship with North Korea, as he prepares to host an extraordinary sporting event in Pyongyang.
And Kanji “Antonio” Inoki has form: he helped secure the release of Japanese hostages in Iraq in 1990 after impressing tyrant Saddam Hussein, and more recently used his old bouts with Pakistani wrestlers to foster goodwill between the South Asian country and his own.
Standing 1.9 metres (six feet three inches) tall, with a square jaw and a penchant for red scarves, Inoki is instantly recognisable on Japanese television, but is best known abroad for taking on world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in a zany wrestler-versus-boxer match in Tokyo in 1976.
The grappler also organised and competed in a “Sports and Cultural Festival for Peace” in Pyongyang in 1995, featuring bouts between Japanese and American pro wrestlers publicly staged for the first time in the reclusive country, with an ailing Ali as a guest.
Inoki’s latest venture will bring 21 combatants from Japan, the United States, France, Brazil and China to the “International Pro Wrestling Festival” at the North Korean capital’s 20,000-seat Ryugyong Chung Ju-yung Stadium on August 30 and 31. Read the rest of this entry »
Japanese police car -Ford Mustang from the mid-70’s. pic.twitter.com/hl3ZCjJD20
— Historical Pictures (@AncientPics) June 7, 2014
For WSJ, Jun Hongo reports: A group working under the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimates that some 5.36 million people in Japan, or 4.8% of the adult population, may have a pathological gambling problem.
“The report said Japan had higher percentage of pathological gamblers than other developed countries.”
A ministry-funded study of the issue was led by Susumu Higuchi of the Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, a national medical institution. In a survey of 4,153 randomly chosen adults in July 2013, the group found 8.7% of men and 1.8% of women in Japan could be described as being addicted to gambling.
The report said Japan had higher percentage of pathological gamblers than other developed countries. Earlier studies showed lower numbers in Canada (0.9% in 2002), France (1.24% in 2008) and South Korea (0.8% in 2006), it said. Read the rest of this entry »
Japan Ground Self Defence Force Tanks Take Part in an Exercise at its Higashi-Fuji Training Ground in GotembaPosted: August 18, 2014
— Patty (@littlebytesnews) August 19, 2014
“Getting smacked in the face by Ichiro is the best thing that ever happened to me!”
Some arresting images at Tokyoblings Blog:
A couple of weekends ago saw the grand Hachioji Matsuri, one of the bigger city festivals in the Kanto region and in my opinion, one of the most accessible. Hachioji is a city in western Tokyo, with a population of over half a million people it is the 8th largest in Tokyo...(read more)
See the whole series at Tokyoblings Blog