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Home » Archives » June 2006

Shinkansen 'Bullet Train' Goes Internet

Kjeld Duits, Friday, June 30, 2006 Posted: 12:14 PM JST

Last Thursday when I raced from Tokyo to Osaka in the Shinkansen 'Bullet Train' I wondered once again why the trains still don't offer a wireless connection to the Internet. It turns out that I was not the only person who wondered about that. Central Japan Railway (JR Tokai) has decided to offer wireless Internet service on all the N700-series trains from early 2009. I can't wait! The 515 kilometers between Tokyo and Osaka takes almost 2.5 hours. You can do a lot of work in that time span.

[FULL STORY]


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Friday, June 23, 2006 Posted: 12:14 PM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


Free Online J-Pop Videos

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, June 22, 2006 Posted: 06:25 PM JST

It is getting easier these days for people outside Japan to get their hands on J-Pop videos. Still this YouTube collection of J-Pop videos is really neat. Featured are top bands and artists like Speed, Amuro Namie, Utada Hikaru (see sample clip below), Miyakawa Ai, Morning Musume, Ueto Aya, Crystal Kay (sample below), Gackt, L'arc~en~Ciel and many more.

[FULL STORY]


Rare Documentary Videos of Historic Events in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, June 22, 2006 Posted: 05:57 PM JST

YouTube has an interesting collection of documentary videos of important events in Japan. Among the more than 100 videos, you can find rare footage of:

[FULL STORY]


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, June 22, 2006 Posted: 03:24 PM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


Urban Typhoon Workshop & Cultural Typhoon Symposium

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, June 21, 2006 Posted: 11:20 AM JST

(by Jean Miyake Downey) - Shimokitazawa, an old haunt of mine, only a few minutes from where I lived in Inokashira-Koen, is one of the most alive and creative spaces in Tokyo. Live experimental theater. Coffeehouses and clubs that evoke such powerful ambience that they are their own little cosmos within Shimo-Kitazawa. I loved walking through the streets, especially on summer evenings.

[FULL STORY]


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, June 21, 2006 Posted: 11:09 AM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


Japanese Farmer-Philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka: Natural Farming Greening the Deserts

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, June 21, 2006 Posted: 11:06 AM JST

(by Yuriko Yoneda) - A farming method called 'natural farming' needs no tilling, no fertilizers, no pesticides, and no weeding. For about 60 years, Masanobu Fukuoka, Japan's renowned authority on natural farming, worked on methods based on his own unique theories, insights and philosophy. His seminal book, "One-Straw Revolution," first published in 1975, was later translated into English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and other languages, and has been read around the world. The book addresses not only the practical aspects of natural farming but also the root causes of environmental deterioration. Fukuoka's thoughts and philosophies have inspired many people worldwide by pointing out a way of life. Here we introduce his thought and practices.

[FULL STORY]


Best 100 Bathing Beaches in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, June 21, 2006 Posted: 10:58 AM JST

(by Hideaki Kagami) - With summer just around the corner, the Environment Ministry has released a list of the 100 best bathing beaches in Japan, 15 of them located in the Kansai region. This is the third such list compiled by the ministry. The first list, issued in 1998, contained the "Best 55" beaches, and the second one, issued in 2003, listed the "Best 88" beaches. The beaches include bathing areas of lakes, rivers, reservoirs and islands.

[FULL STORY]


Arudou on Divorce in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 20, 2006 Posted: 02:08 PM JST

Human rights activist Debito Arudou on divorce in Japan.

[FULL STORY]


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 20, 2006 Posted: 01:26 PM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


Polish Artist Collaborates with Kjeld

Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 19, 2006 Posted: 09:59 PM JST

Polish serigraphy artist and painter Agnieszka Ledochowska used photographs of Japanese street fashion taken by Kjeld Duits for some amazing art work. See the complete collection at her site.

[FULL STORY]


Cool Sites : Human Rights

Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 19, 2006 Posted: 12:28 PM JST

Earlier this year, U.N. Special Rapporteur (on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance) Diène visited Japan. Hereby some sites with background information on human rights issues in Japan:

CATW
Factbook on global sexual exploitation: Japan. (ENG)

Discriminatory Practices in Japan
Short paper by John de Boer (Research Associate, GLOCOM; Japan Fellow, Stanford University) on discriminatory practices in Japan. (ENG)

Human Rights Watch : Japan
Japan page of Human Rights Watch. (ENG)

Human Trafficking Japan
Laws, action plans and contact information on useful governmental agencies and NGO activities in Japan in regards to human trafficking. (ENG)

Owed Justice
Very detailed report on Thai women trafficked into debt bondage in Japan written by Kinsey Dinan, researcher with the Women's Rights and Asia Divisions of Human Rights Watch. Recommended. (ENG)

Prizes for Global Citizenship
Since 1985, The Japan Foundation has been awarding The Japan Foundation Prizes for Community-Based Cultural Exchange to organizations and individuals engaged in international cultural exchange. (CHN ENG JPN SPA)

Report on Discrimination and Racism
Article by David McNeill on a symposium with Oda Makoto, Pak Kyongnam, Tanaka Hiroshi, William Wetherall and Honda Katsuichi on the Diene Report on Discrimination and Racism in Japan. (ENG)

Trafficking in Thai Women
Covers identification, legal clusters, geographic clusters, trade clusters, environment clusters and other factors. (ENG)

Arudou Debito
Information for people concerned with social issues who want to improve life in Japan. (ENG)

BLHRRI
The Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination in Japan, especially the Buraku problem. (ENG JPN)

Hurights Osaka
Osaka based human rights organization to promote human rights in the Asia-Pacific region (CHI ENG JPN KOR)

Solidarity Network Migrants Japan
Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SNMJ) aims to create a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural with migrant workers and citizens of foreign nationalities. (ENG JPN KOR TAG)

United for a Multicultural Japan
Promotes the welfare and legal rights of non-Japanese with Japanese spouses, and other long-term or permanent residents of Japan. (ENG)

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links. Special section for Human Rights in Japan.

Keywords: cool_sites


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 19, 2006 Posted: 11:50 AM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


Japan Gains First Whaling Victory

Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 19, 2006 Posted: 10:18 AM JST

"Delegates at the International Whaling Commission have voted in favour of a resolution endorsing a return to commercial whaling," the BBC reports today. "The motion, tabled by St Kitts and Nevis," continues the article, "called for the Whaling Commission to declare its commitment to normalisation - code for moving towards an eventual return to commercial whaling."

[FULL STORY]


Manga Decries Plans for Human Rights Bill

Kjeld Duits, Saturday, June 17, 2006 Posted: 06:33 AM JST

Earlier this year a propaganda manga was published to scare people into protesting against plans for a law to safeguard human rights in Japan. Naturalized Japanese Kaoru Miki has translated the manga into English and added comments by human rights activist Debito Arudou, also a naturalized Japanese. This is recommended reading.

Keywords: opinion_item


Japanese Fertility Rate Dives to a Shocking 1.25 Percent

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, June 15, 2006 Posted: 04:28 PM JST

Japan's total fertility rate hit a record low of 1.25 in 2005, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced on June 1. Falling even below the 1.29 measured in 2004. Especially troubling was Tokyo's rate, which at 0.98 for the first time dropped below the 1.0 mark.

[FULL STORY]


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, June 15, 2006 Posted: 11:42 AM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, June 14, 2006 Posted: 02:16 PM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


Candle Night Summer Solstice 2006

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, June 14, 2006 Posted: 01:08 AM JST

"Candle Night Summer Solstice" will be held on the evenings of June 17 to 21 in 2006. This annual event, under the slogan of "turn off the lights and take it slow," started in Japan in 2003, and has since spread around the world. On the summer solstice last year, the lights went out in 22,716 public and private facilities in Japan and over 300 events were held.

[FULL STORY]


No Justice for Victims of Japanese War Crimes

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 6, 2006 Posted: 08:34 PM JST

It is well known that Japan’s neighbors, especially China and South Korea, are unhappy at what they see as Japan’s failure to accept responsibility, apologize and compensate victims for its wartime crimes and colonial abuses. What is less well known, however, is the Japanese state’s reluctance to address the same questions of justice and human rights in the case of its own citizens who were victims of crimes committed by the prewar or wartime state. No Japanese court has ever adequately addressed the criminality of any action by the prewar or wartime state, including its armed forces. Courts have been, and continue to be, deeply reluctant to consider any possible claim of state criminality.

[FULL STORY]


PM Candidate: Limit Foreign Population to 3 Percent

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 6, 2006 Posted: 11:52 AM JST

On May 31, Mainichi Daily News reported that a Justice Ministry panel aims to propose that the proportion of foreign residents should be kept at 3 percent. Hokkaido based human rights activist Arudou Debito reacts.

[FULL STORY]


Headlines and Editorials in the Japanese Press

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, June 6, 2006 Posted: 11:21 AM JST

Some of the top headlines and editorials in Japan's (Japanese language) newspapers today:

[FULL STORY]


A Moratorium on Yasukuni Visits

Kjeld Duits, Monday, June 5, 2006 Posted: 07:37 PM JST

Mr. Koizumi’s successor should declare a moratorium on Yasukuni visits, says Kazuhiko Togo, former Japanese ambassador to the Netherlands and a visiting researcher at Princeton University.

[FULL STORY]

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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