- Feb 21 ,2018 -
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Japan News | Lastest reference News

Simple tests fill health-check gaps

Although health checkups are often mandatory for corporate or institutional employees, some segments of society, including housewives and the self-em...Jul 08, 2017

TEAP stresses pragmatic approach

As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party forges ahead with its strategy of nurturing “internationally minded” talent...Jul 08, 2017

Oversized trash

Dear Alice, The other day, on the street outside the building next to mine, I saw a nice looking table with a sodai gomi (oversiz...Jul 08, 2017

Elevation signs

Dear Alice, Over the summer, a new sign appeared on the wall of the elementary school closest to where I live. The sign includes ...Jul 08, 2017

Online courses: Collegiate equalizer?

The latest trend in online education is taking the academic world by storm. From around 2011, a group of U.S. universities or professors launc...Jul 08, 2017

Unpaid overtime excesses hit young

Some companies are compelling their younger employees to work more than 100 hours of uncompensated overtime a month to maximize their profits. ...Jul 08, 2017

Mosquito coils

Dear Alice, I have lived in Japan for almost 30 years, and nothing says “summer in Japan” to me like the sight and sm...Jul 08, 2017

Defense firms pushing to boost role

With pressure mounting from U.S. defense officials and the powerful Keidanren business group on the government to relax arms export restrictions, the...Jul 08, 2017

Clearing way for wider military role

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised to achieve his long-held goal of reinterpreting Article 9 of the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise its righ...Jul 08, 2017

Monju: Generating only misfortune

The troubled Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor made headlines again when the Nuclear Regulation Authority said it apparently plans to ensure the f...Jul 08, 2017

Postal symbol

Dear Alice, This may seem like a stupid question, or too trivial a subject for you, but what the heck is the symbol that precedes...Jul 08, 2017


Dear Alice, I was on a two-week home stay in the countryside of Japan when a visitor came to the house. I don’t think he wa...Jul 08, 2017

White gloves

Dear Alice, I’m curious about the prevalence of white gloves in Japan. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, all sorts of...Jul 08, 2017

Resurgent rubella raises fetus threat

The rubella epidemic is spreading quickly, particularly in the Kanto region. Usually limited to developing countries, the disease, also known ...Jul 08, 2017

The 5 p.m. bell

Dear Alice, I live in a medium-size city in Saitama Prefecture and am puzzled by a speaker system mounted on a huge pole right ou...Jul 08, 2017

LDP returns with all its old baggage

They’re baaaack. After warming the opposition bench for more than three years, the Liberal Democratic Party has returned to power, hungrier and...Jul 08, 2017

Tokyo hopes this Olympics bid wins

Tokyo’s quest to host the 2020 Olympics entered a new stage last week when it presented its candidature file to the International Olympic Commi...Jul 08, 2017


Dear Alice, My Japanese mother-in-law is very traditional and spends at lot of time maintaining the family butsudan, the cabinet-...Jul 08, 2017

The blunt, blue-blooded Aso is back

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be the face of the new government led by Liberal Democratic Party, but Finance Minister Taro Aso is also a force in the...Jul 08, 2017

Cyclists who flout law face charges

Traffic accidents have witnessed an overall decline in recent years, but the percentage of cases involving bicycles is on the rise. National P...Jul 08, 2017

Turning a wall into a moving canvas

People who took in the evening celebrations marking the reopening of the Tokyo Station building in September saw a dazzling array of 3-D images on th...Jul 08, 2017


Dear Alice, I was out for a walk with my camera the other day and came across a puzzling scene. I saw people putting what I thought ...Jul 08, 2017

Abe’s pick for BOJ chief coming soon

With Masaaki Shirakawa stepping down as governor of the Bank of Japan on March 19, three weeks earlier than scheduled, the process to select his succ...Jul 08, 2017

Japan’s private schools fill a niche but at a cost

OSAKA – The saga of scandal-plagued, Osaka-based Moritomo Gakuen, which advocated a nationalist education, has thrown the spotlight on private educational institutions in Japan and how they are operated.While J...
Aug 14, 2017

Cellphone cease-fire signals change

The Japanese mobile phone industry recently came under fire from the government for using ambiguous price-setting schemes and excessive handset disco...Jul 08, 2017

The ups and downs of water taps

Dear Alice, Do you take plumbing questions? I ask because there is something very quirky about the faucets in the house I rent he...Jul 08, 2017

Law gets serious about cycling safety

Bicycle use is growing along with greater public awareness of health and environmental issues, with cities around the country beginning to rent them ...Jul 08, 2017

Nihonshu overflow

Dear Alice, You know how when you order nihonshū (Japanese sake) in a bar or restaurant, and your server brings a glass to the t...Jul 08, 2017

Translation tech gets Olympic push

Japan may not be the best in the world when it comes to speaking English, but it remains a pioneer in developing cutting-edge translation technology....Jul 08, 2017

Is China-led bank a lost opportunity?

China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is causing a stir as the majority of Group of 20 leading economies sign on as founding me...Jul 08, 2017

18 looms as new age of majority

Japan’s youth will finally get a chance to have their voices heard in politics. Revisions to the Public Offices Election Law that would ...Jul 08, 2017

Change trays

Dear Alice, I am very curious about those small trays that are used in Japan when settling daily cash transactions. Instead of ha...Jul 08, 2017

E-textbooks to open digital can of worms

As the world goes digital, many schools are trying to introduce digital materials into the classroom to encourage studying and meet the needs of stud...Jul 08, 2017

Coffee-cup placement

Dear Alice, Can you tell me why the heck coffee in Japan is so often served with the cup turned the “wrong” way on th...Jul 08, 2017

Tokyo’s hydrogen mission starts now

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is setting up a ¥40 billion fund to promote the use of hydrogen energy and promote Japan’s ecological techno...Jul 08, 2017

Police who stand with big sticks

Dear Alice, I have noticed whenever I pass a police station in Japan, that there is almost always a policeman standing out front ...Jul 08, 2017

Face masks

Dear Alice, What the heck is the deal with people in Japan wearing surgical masks? Where I come from (Canada), only doctors, dent...Jul 08, 2017

Budget phones challenge the majors

Smartphones may be convenient, but there’s one thing about them that bugs many people: their costly monthly data plans. Seizing this opp...Jul 08, 2017

Organ donation

Dear Alice, I’m looking at my Japanese driver’s license and wondering if the form on the back has anything to do with...Jul 08, 2017

Selective consumption tax weighed

It’s only been three months since the consumption tax was hiked to 8 percent, but the ruling coalition is already expediting talks on another i...Jul 08, 2017

Blood types

Dear Alice, Can you please explain why the heck Japanese are so interested in my blood type? I can’t tell you how many time...Jul 08, 2017

Fukushima cleanup going painfully slow

Three and a half years after Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station spewed massive amounts of radioactive ma...Jul 08, 2017


Dear Alice, I have always wondered about the curious cement structures you see up and down the coast of Japan, the ones that look...Jul 08, 2017

Silk mill took Japan to global level

The historic Tomioka Silk Mill in Gunma Prefecture and its related facilities are expected to become UNESCO World Heritage sites next month. T...Jul 08, 2017

Shocking baths of Japan

Dear Alice, On my first trip to Japan, my host took me to an up-market hot-springs resort on the island of Awajishima. There I wa...Jul 08, 2017

Expiry dates

Dear Alice, My teenage daughter recently turned into a food-label tyrant, apparently convinced that her doddering old parents are...Jul 08, 2017

War redress reversal in South Korea

Recent South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate Koreans who were forced to perform labor for them during the war have cast a ...Jul 08, 2017

Yasukuni: It’s open to interpretation

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine in December stirred outrage at home and abroad because he was perceived as promoting his r...Jul 08, 2017

Coastal shipping

Dear Alice, I spotted what I think must be a very unusual ship while riding my bike along the Tokyo waterfront near Wakasu Park. ...Jul 08, 2017

Independent NHK chained to Diet leash

NHK, which is often compared with the BBC in the U.K., has been a focus of public attention and intense criticism in recent weeks. Many people are ta...Jul 08, 2017

Proof-of-purchase tape

Dear Alice, I find the amount of unnecessary packaging in Japan shocking, and in an effort to live light on the Earth, I take my ...Jul 08, 2017

Fender mirrors

Dear Alice, I was a bit of a car nut when I was a boy, and while I’ve moved on to other interests, my eyes still tend to be...Jul 08, 2017

ADIZs common but China’s is worrisome

China’s announcement Saturday of its establishment of an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea that includes the Japan-controll...Jul 08, 2017

Entrance exams get failing grade

National university exams are notorious for their emphasis on book learning. Once a year, examinees throng test sites, doing their best to reg...Jul 08, 2017

Kobe beef

Dear Alice, I’m making my first trip to Japan early next year, and there are two things on my “must do in Japan”...Jul 08, 2017





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