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U.N. Refugee Film Festival in Tokyo offers Free Screenings

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, July 25, 2006 Posted: 06:58 PM JST

(by Jean Miyake Downey) - As the world silently watches the tragedy of 700,000 Lebanese people who have become war refugees overnight because of Israeli bombings, the U.N.C.H.R., the U.N. Refugee Agency, is presenting for the first time in Japan the Refugee Film Festival through July 27.


The Problems of a Journalist

Kjeld Duits, Friday, July 21, 2006 Posted: 12:02 AM JST

Although journalists are supposed to be objective and fair, a lot of factors conspire against these noble aims. The current conflict in the Middle East is a perfect example of how even excellent journalists can give very biased accounts. Their environment influences both what they report and the language that they use. In an article in Global Researcher, Jonathan Cook gives a very clear account of biased journalism. Highly recommended reading.

Keywords: opinion_item

Cool Sites : Travel in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, July 19, 2006 Posted: 11:32 AM JST

Summer is here, although you wouldn't think so in Japan at the moment. It is rain, rain and once again rain... A good time to plan for beautiful places to visit when the skies turn blue again! Some of the best sites for travelling in Japan:

Japan National Tourist Organization
Japanese government site providing information about online budget hotel reservations, regional guides, convention locations, museums, and important basic information. (CHN ENG FRA GER JPN KOR)

Discover Japan
Database of regional tourist resources in Japan. (ENG JPN)

Happy Jappy - Japan Travel Guide
Travel guide to Japan for the uninitiated. Very well-designed. (ENG)

Japan Visitor
Tourist and resident information for Japan. (ENG)

Ogawa Air
Flies helicopters in the Kansai area. Heliport is smack in the middle of Osaka Port. Offers cheap excursion flights over Osaka, as well as charters. Excellent service. Recommended! (JPN)

Outdoor Japan
Outdoor activities, travel destinations, sporting activities, hot springs, nature, events, and features. (ENG)

Randy Johnson's Japan Page
Both the name and the pay-out remind one of the early years of the internet. But don't let this fool you. This site is full of excellent information for a trip to Japan, especially Favorite Getaways. (ENG)

Urban-Rural Interchange Revitalization
The Organization for Urban-Rural Interchange Revitalization. Offers information about Green Tourism and Minshuku in Japan. (ENG JPN)

Visit Japan Campaign
The Japanese government's official site to stimulate travel to Japan. (ENG JPN)

Visiting Japan Links
Links to sites with information about visiting Japan on the site of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (ENG)

Kokumin Shukusha
Government-run hotels that offer good value at extremely low prices. Rooms are comfortable (though not luxurious), food is good and views are often spectacular. (JPN)

MYTRIP is the biggest online hotel reservation company in Japan, managed by RAKUTEN. MYTRIP offers substantial savings on regular hotel room rates. TIP: often the Japanese pages offer better rates than the English ones. Highly recommended! (ENG JPN)

Okayama International Villa
Okayama International Villa offers unique budget accommodations in the Japanese countryside. (ENG)

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links. Special section for travel and recreation in Japan.

Keywords: cool_sites

Designing the International Society - The Justice Ministry Plans Future Immigration

Kjeld Duits, Monday, July 17, 2006 Posted: 02:43 PM JST

(by Arudou Debito) - Last month, Dietmember and Senior Vice Minister of Justice Taro Kono publicized a new action plan for immigration. Entitled "Regarding Future Acceptance of Foreigners" (kongo no gaikokujin no ukeire ni tsuite), it offered several policy propositions for Japan's future as an international society. This column will summarize the proposal and offer a critique.


Exhausted Office Workers

Kjeld Duits, Monday, July 17, 2006 Posted: 02:11 PM JST

The organizing body of the "Forum for Health with Soy Peptide," an internet-based forum, carried out an online survey targeted at 1,032 men and women in their 30s or 40s, married, and working in Tokyo, Osaka or other large cities: the results are suggestive.


South Korea's Spoilers

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, July 13, 2006 Posted: 12:37 PM JST

(by Norbert Vollertsen) - SEOUL -- For five years now I have been active in lobbying for human rights in North Korea. My associates and I provide detailed information to Western journalists. We organize protests at the Panmunjom border with North Korea, help North Korean refugees rush past guards and enter Western embassies in China, and coordinate the flight of North Korean "boat people." We also attempt simple, utilitarian projects such as the sending into North Korea -- by balloon -- of small radios, which those lucky enough to retrieve might use to learn about the world outside their Gulag-state.


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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.
Stone Bridge Press

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