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

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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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Temptations, commercial obligations drive injured sumo champ back into the ring

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One of the perks of holding the highest rank in professional sumo -- yokozuna or grand champion -- is that the title is so exalted, demotion to a lower rank due to poor performance is almost unthinkable. Unlike those in the lower ranks, should a yokozuna be hobbled by injury… Read

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Are smartphones promoting the dumbing down of humanity?

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It's been suspected for some time that excessive use of smartphones turns human gray matter to mush, but scientific evidence has until now has been lacking. In an article titled "Smartphones is a narcotic for the brain," Shukan Shincho (May 18) reported on the results of a seven-year research project… Read

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Cheap is king nowadays, but there are hidden risks

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Who doesn’t love a bargain? Answer: anyone who’s ever been ripped off by one. Beware, says Spa! (May 16), of prices that seem too good to be true. Quite possibly they are. The cautionary tale of the travel agency Tellmeclub’s bankruptcy filing in March is fresh enough in people’s minds… Read

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Both guys, girls go for Japan's lifelike silicon companions

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For its GW (Golden Week) special issue, Tokyo Sports (May 5) delivered a triple-whammy, with three articles -- nearly an entire page -- devoted to aficionados of "rabu dooru." The word might be mistaken for "rubber dolls" (they're actually composed of silicone), but in this case the "rabu" stands for… Read

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Japanese ways of getting work done no longer cut it in today's world

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How hard do the Japanese work? So hard that making them work less tops Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s labor reform agenda. So hard that the Japanese word karoshi (death due to overwork) is understood worldwide. And yet, not so very hard after all, says Shukan Gendai (April 29). Consider the… Read

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Japan's cash-based society increasingly vulnerable to crooks

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On two consecutive days, April 20 and 21, major robberies occurred in Fukuoka and Tokyo. Both involved individuals transporting large sums of cash from banks. Yukan Fuji (April 23) reports that in Fukuoka on April 20, a man who withdrew 380 million yen in cash from a bank, was attacked… Read

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Japanese frantically gearing up for civil defense

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Shades of the Cuban missile crisis. Weekly Playboy (May 15) reports that all of a sudden, Japanese have begun snatching up nuclear fallout shelters and air purifiers in unprecedented numbers. Seiichiro Nishimoto, president of the Habikino City-based Shelter, tells the magazine his business has been booming. The reason is simple:… Read

Kuchikomi

30% of all Japan's medical diagnoses said to be mistaken

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A man went to a doctor complaining of lower back pains. Vertebral swelling, said the doctor. He recommended an operation. The operation was performed. The pain persisted. Had the diagnosis been wrong? The patient went back for additional tests. An MRI scan revealed an aneurism. A second operation saved the… Read

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