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"Don't cry, Daddy, we've become birds in heaven."

Kjeld Duits, Friday, October 27, 2006 Posted: 12:55 PM JST

(by Jean Miyake Downey - The best and most empathetic global visual window on the American and British led war in Iraq has not been the work of an American or a British journalist, but a film by an award-winning thirty-five-year-old Japanese video journalist, Watai Takeharu.


Straight Talk About Japan's Nuclear Option

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, October 17, 2006 Posted: 12:34 PM JST

(by Brad Glosserman) - Take a deep breath and repeat: "Japan is not going to develop nuclear weapons." Feel better?

Yes, North Korea's nuclear test is a blow to the regional security order. It is a bitter defeat for diplomacy. And yes, Japanese (and Chinese and Americans and South Koreans and others) are concerned about its implications, but the fear -- the assumption -- that Japan will develop its own nuclear weapons as a consequence is pure fantasy.


Against the System: Antiwar Writing of Kuroshima Denji

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, October 17, 2006 Posted: 12:11 PM JST

“Slaughter and plunder are inseparable from armies and wars. Whenever war is waged, looting, robbery, and murder are invariably committed. Depending on their merits, such events are either reported with exaggeration or, conversely, passed over in silence.”

In 1930, Japanese writer Kuroshima Denji (1898–1943) published an antiwar novel that “remains startlingly and tragically timely in a world of nationalist-driven military intervention.” Zeljko Cipris introduces Kuroshima and presents excerpts from his novel, Militarized Streets, which Cipris translated for the University of Hawai‘i Press.


Japan Going Nuclear?

Kjeld Duits, Monday, October 16, 2006 Posted: 07:16 PM JST

I was so busy reporting on North Korea's alleged nuclear test last week, I didn't get a chance to post anything on my blog. Not that it was necessary. Everybody and his grandmother wrote about the test.

Naturally, the discussion is now shifting to the consequences of last week's events. With the biggest question in the minds of many, will Japan go nuclear?


Average Salary in Private Sector Drops for Eighth Consecutive Year

Kjeld Duits, Monday, October 16, 2006 Posted: 06:45 PM JST

The average annual income per salaried worker dropped 0.5% from the previous year, according to the Report on the Survey of Wages and Salaries in Private Firms in 2005. This makes it the eighth consecutive annual drop. Although newspaper headlines have been shouting that Japan is heading for its longest expansion since World War II, interviews with people on the street show that few people, if any, feel that times have gotten better. The National Tax Agency report confirms those feelings.


"Maternity Leave" for Grandmothers

Kjeld Duits, Monday, October 16, 2006 Posted: 06:31 PM JST

Dai-Ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co. has adopted a unique system to support child-rearing, allowing experienced female workers to take ""maternity leave" when their grandchildren are born.


European Film Fest

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, October 4, 2006 Posted: 10:42 AM JST

The 13th Osaka European Film Festival will be staged from November 3 through 29 at various venues in Osaka. In addition to showing recent European films which have not been previously screened in Japan, the festival will feature related events, such as photo exhibitions and discussions. The festival has invited such renowned film-makers as Wim Wenders and Bernardo Bertolucci as honorary chairpersons.


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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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