Kuchikomi

Self-preservation strategies for Japan's train commuters have their limitations

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Now that the Covid-19 crisis is fast becoming a reality, two pieces of advice -- "avoid crowds of people" and "avoid going outside" -- are  indisputably sensible and well intentioned. But for millions of Japanese urban workers, it's one they will be hard-pressed to follow. The only practical means of… Read

Kuchikomi

Will the ease with which Ghosn fled Japan inspire infiltration by terrorists?

19 Comments

Auto executive Carlos Ghosn, who was once credited as the man who rescued Nissan Motor Co from failure, was arrested in November 2018 on suspicion of financial misconduct. He spent a good part of 2019 under detention while undergoing protracted interrogation by prosecutors.  Then in a meticulously arranged caper on… Read

Kuchikomi

What does it take to be a winner in the 'war' among restaurant chains?

4 Comments

Japan’s Sengoku Jidai (Age of Warring States) designates a century and a half of anarchic feudal war. It lasted from 1467 to 1615, when the nation was unified at last and sank exhausted into a peace that lasted until modern times. Idled samurai glorified the wars as their romantic heyday,… Read

Kuchikomi

Train operators refining 'live' foreign-language announcements ahead of Olympics

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Recently more of the announcements being delivered to passengers on trains in the Tokyo area -- informing them of the next stop and giving data on transfers to other lines and so on -- are not recordings, but the actual voices of the driver or other staff.  J-Cast News (Feb… Read

Kuchikomi

One in six Japanese elderly said to suffer from malnutrition

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Here's an astonishing number: one in six Japanese elderly are said to suffer from malnutrition. You think immediately of poverty, starvation – but no, says Shukan Gendai (Feb 1-8), that’s not the point. The problem is compulsive, obsessive, excessive, unnecessary dieting – in the name of health. The solution? Simple:  meat!… Read

Kuchikomi

Kaiten-sushi chains in dog-eat-dog battle for supremacy

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On Jan 22, an elaborately festooned kaiten-sushi restaurant opened its doors for business in Tokyo's Asakusa district. Named Asakusa ROX, its decor is made to resemble a festival day in the pre-modern Edo Period.  Kaiten-sushi refers to sushi dispensed to diners atop a moving belt conveyer, a system first introduced… Read

Kuchikomi

Foreign spies tantalize Japan's corporate warriors, trading tasty treats for technical tidbits

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The media has been full of reports over the recent arrest of a former division manager of SoftBank who was accused of leaking corporate data to Russia. The methodology used to elicit his cooperation appears to have been taken straight out of the textbook of the Soviet Union's former secret… Read

Kuchikomi

Center university entrance exam offers carte blanche to train gropers

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“Human trash,” says Friday (Feb 7).  There’s a lot of it, it seems. Hiding in anonymous corners of the internet, it draws followers, make plans. Then they fan out and strike – on crowded trains, most famously. Most readers will have guessed the subject: chikan (gropers). But there’s a twist.… Read

Kuchikomi

New book attacks profusion of 'hate books' on store shelves

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"I used to like bookstores." It's a strangely nuanced headline for an article by Akira Nagae, a 62-year-old former magazine editor and author from Hokkaido.  It's also part of the title of Nagae's new book, published last November by Tarojiro Editas. The full title is "I used to like bookstores:… Read

Kuchikomi

More larcenous foreign visitors vexing their Japanese hosts

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In 2019, it was 31.88 million inbound visitors and counting. This year, Japan has set the target of 40 million. So naturally, owners of hotels and golf country clubs should be ecstatic over the coming windfall, right? Well, some may be. But others, reports Shukan Gendai (Jan 25) are finding… Read

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