Kuchikomi

Many bank employees heading toward unemployment as AI takes over

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“I have no idea what I’m supposed to do now.” It’s a statement that could come from a lot of people confused and/or elbowed aside by changing times. As it happens, the speaker is a bank employee (Watanabe-san, let’s call him), and he speaks, says Shukan Gendai (June 24), for… Read

Kuchikomi

Japan's high-tech love dolls evolving with the times

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Sex may be necessary for human procreation, but it's also a business. In Japan, much of it operates as part of the so-called underground economy, wherein massive amounts of money are believed to circulate. Some sex-related businesses operate completely in the open, and particularly when it comes to dealing the… Read

Kuchikomi

Are Japan's bookstores in the path of yet another storm?

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Although manga make up a huge percentage of many large publishers' revenues in Japan, there's still no disputing that Japanese are a nation of voracious readers. The number of new book titles, including foreign translations, at one time was twice that of the United States -- although the rising percentage… Read

Kuchikomi

Your academic history still your ID card in Japan

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Among the fettering circumstances of life is the binding character of the past, inherited and created. A poor genetic inheritance inclines you to disease. Your parents’ poverty stands to hobble your course in life. A criminal record acquired before you knew better is with you always. And so on. Equality… Read

Kuchikomi

Charlie Chaplin narrowly escaped assassination by Japanese 'terrorists' in 1932

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Hollywood silent film star Charlie Chaplin passed away 40 years ago this coming December. This year is also happens to mark the 85th anniversary of the Little Tramp's first visit to Japan. Chaplin's sojourn, recalls Yukan Fuji (June 10), coincided with an anti-government uprising by ultranationalist officers in the Imperial… Read

Kuchikomi

Japan's 'new generation' of bears are on the prowl

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At the end of May, the body of a 61-year-old woman was found just off a national highway near the town of Semboku, in a mountainous area of Akita Prefecture. She had died from exsanguination, and from the condition of her corpse, which bore bite marks on her head, arms,… Read

Kuchikomi

Being falsely accused of groping is bad; being falsely accused of rape is worse

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“It wasn’t me!” cried the man in the dark blue jacket as he leaped one April morning from a Tokyo train station platform onto the tracks. Outrunning his pursuers, he soon vanished from sight. It’s been happening a lot lately – five similar episodes in March and April, usually during… Read

Kuchikomi

How our bodies react to weather

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Everybody's got their share of aches and pains. It's part of the human condition, and as wisdom increases with age, so does physical discomforts. One oldster, in what could be regarded as an eloquent turn of phrase, was heard to moan, "If it doesn't hurt, it doesn't work."  But seriously,… Read

Kuchikomi

Debate heats up over Cool Biz temperature rules

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From May 1, the "Cool Biz" campaign, which encourages casual wear during the hot summer months, began its 13th year, having been initiated by Japan's Environment Ministry from 2005. As Yukan Fuji (May 23) reports, the government has been rather inflexible on one aspect of the campaign, that of recommending… Read

Kuchikomi

Email fraud targeting elderly bilks Y40 billion a year ... and it's rising

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Fraud proliferates and fraudsters profit – 37.8 billion yen’s worth in 2016, with no end in sight to an ongoing surge, according to the National Police Agency. Why, with all the coverage they have garnered, and all the warnings issued, do people fall such easy prey to telephone and email… Read

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