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What do you think of the Mainichi's decision to cease publishing its WaiWai tabloid tidbits section on its English online site following complaints that it portrays Japanese society in a negative ligh

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Lack of intestinal fortitude on the part of Mainichi. It would be interesting to find out who was "complaining."

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Well good for them if they see fit to not constantly portray stories that would portray Japan (or any country for that matter) in a negative light. Fact is, only those that are ignorant will take stories that are posted about a country and make negative assumptions about the country and its people as a whole (quite common here on JT, so maybe the Mainichi staff is onto something). Enlightened and people of good character will never base their opinions about anything on a few examples or hearsay.

What I find amusing though is the naysayers that frequent sites like Mainichi and JT, and have qualms about topics that portray anything Japanese negatively, yet when you have that one out of a thousand topics about a U.S. military member committing crime, then these same people then cry about the sensationalistic aspect of it, the perpetuation of negative stereotypes, etc. etc. Double standards.

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I heard that the complaints came from 2channel and that was enough to spook the Mainichi dinosaurs. Anyway, what's the big deal about those tabloid stories? Many of them are made-up anyway.

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Whoops sorry, in my first sentence second paragraph I meant to say, '...and have NO qualms about topics..'

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I am totally distraught at this decision by Mainichi to discontinue their Wai Wai section. That section gives me and millions of other hard core Japanophiles juicy tidbits of the other side of Japan to relish and wait for with baited breath each day. The perverted side of Japan has long been a fantastic source of interest to the outside world and now we will have to dredge through lots of boring stories in Japan's newspapers and media sources to get what the Wai Wai journalists provided us with their a la carte selection of the creme de la creme of Japan's finest news worthy articles. I urge each and every one of the Japanophiles that feel as I do to write the editors of Mainichi and protest this action and ask no beg them to reinstate the Wai Wai section or perhaps Japan Today can take up the cause to bring more readership since they changed the style of this publication and have made it almost unreadable which I can forgive if they had something like Wai Wai to read.

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I had no idea it was being discontinued...care to provide us with a backstory? Who was doing the complaining? Sounds pretty stupid considering it was translations of articles about Japan by Japanese magazines.

Anyway, I'll miss them. Whoever did the translations had a great way with words that always brought a smile.

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I thought the world had a negative impression of Japanese already due to the bad behavior of Japanese Salary-men on business travel.

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Yep, the translator was really good in his job. And they always claimed that the story were unverified and might be completly made up. It was really a pleasure to read them.

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Does this mean Ryan O'Connell is out of a job? I rather enjoyed his double entrende "translations" from the wild and wacky tabloids. I thought WaiWai was weird to begin with and playing exclusively to the libidos of male readers out there, but now that it's gone, the site will be deadly dull.

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Flow chart courtesy of http://neojaponisme.com/2007/09/20/how-the-world-learns-about-japan/

Step 1: A writer at Jitsuwa Knuckles satires the ennui-driven sexual indulgence of the Japanese wealthy class by writing up an imaginary story about a special restaurant deep within the bowels of Roppongi where patrons have sex with animals before eating them. (You know a magazine is always telling you the truth when they put the word “true story” [実話] into the title.)

Step 2: Ryann Connell at Mainichi Daily News selects this sensational story out of dozens and translates it into English sprinkled with Irish-colloquialisms. Connell takes a neutral stance towards its trustworthiness, not questioning why the article never gives any names nor corroborating evidence for this fantastical restaurant’s existence.

Step 3: Lots of guys with computers and keyboards offer links to the Mainichi article, adding commentary that questions the sanity of the Japanese people.

Step 4: The chatter around Connell’s WaiWai piece leads to an entry on BuzzFeed entitled “Bestiality Restaurants,” as if there were more than one and it was a new trend in Japan.

Step 5: Perhaps there will be debunking in the near future, but we can sleep safe in the comfort that Japan is the craziest country in the entire world, where rich people pay top yen to eat and ravish the same animal.

Step 6: Meta-explosion as this article makes it onto BuzzFeed.

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I hadn't heard about this... But does that mean that they will still have a Japanese version of WaiWai on the Japanese language site???

The logic that we shouldn't publish negative information about a country because people will see the country in a negative light is strange to me. If that doesn't shout that people are sticking their heads in the ground then nothing will.

But then this is Japan and they use the exact same logic to justify NOT acknowledging that they were the aggressors of the war and play the victim...

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Yep! No surprise! The truth hurts!

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the Mainichi is poised to severely punish the head of the Digital Media Division, which is responsible for overseeing the site, the manager responsible for the corner and the editor involved with the stories.

What a bunch of jackasses. Way to punish the people who produced an entertaining and popular column that attracted a great deal of readers to the site. All because of a few minority complaints...

Why would anyone visit the Mainichi site otherwise? For the news coverage? Hahaha!

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I will miss it as much as reading about how the face of elvis appeared on a slice of shashimi in some hicksville village.

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Oh no! I only ever went on the Mainichi site for one reason - WaiWai and now it has gone.

The translations, and particularly the headlines, were superb.

While they have been accused of portraying Japan in a bad light, they were actually translations of what is available in the popular press in Japan anyway. If you want to see very dull new stories about Japan, you do not need to look very far. I mean, who actually ever logs on to the Asahi News site? Anyway, here is a link to the withdrawl notification:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/culture/waiwai/

My feeling is that WaiWai will be reborn somewhere else. The prudes who hated it can have a clean Mainichi, but I want my Waiwai!!

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There's something that could be said about Japanese society in this. They get rid of WaiWai in English because it presents Japan in a bad light but they have World Wide Weird - odd news from other parts of the world that might show another country in a bad light.

But they keep the Japanese version of WaiWai because it's in Japanese ? and we all know only Japanese can read Japanese? And, of course, all those tabloids are available in every bookstore in the country because they make money - telling tales to the Japanese about how weird they are. Most people know tabloids are cr@p magazines to begin with.

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pffftt...most stories in most japanese papers are made-up anyway..either that or they're placed there by govt hacks

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Yup, not going back to Mainichi!

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Will never go to Mainichi again!

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This just means that Japan Today will find a way to take over the business.

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Hisashiburi, I just saw this today. WTF? I saw some of these campaigners against WaiWai on YouTube a few days ago but thought little of it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPX1t9MGnmk

I'm assuming that it is these people (in this case railing against WaiWai as part of a broader campaign against Soka Gakkai, who of course run Mainichi) that got it taken off.

The offending articles are translations, and NOBODY reading the articles in English takes them seriously - at least any more than Japanese readers take the weeklies seriously.

The question is, how would these people react to Japanese press being prohibited from broadcasting vulgar foreign news? Imagine all the tv specials that would be cut from production! You could take off Sanma's shows... How about Japanese porn? I mean, it is the only porn you find anywhere in Asia - if they are worried about Japan's image as vulgar, they could start there, rather than with an entertaining newspaper translation column.

It sounds like Ryan Connel is going to get his arse kicked by Mainichi for this, even though they have known about his column and backed him for 10 years now - I mean, he has even published books on his very funny translations. I guess Mainichi figured it was in a lose lose position and decided to cut and run, but this is just ridiculous.

Part of me wants to boycott Mainichi in protest (I read most of my English Japan news from there) but that would just get the rest of their English news department laid off - which after this is probably what they want. Japan times perhaps?

No offense JT, but I've given up - I find the new layout of this site too much of a pain to use. But this is just ridiculous. Well, if Mainichi did this in reaction to a tirade of idiots who don't understand how the articles were translated or read, perhaps a tirade of English speaking idiots telling Mainichi what a complete arse they look as a result of this is what's called for.

This is a real sad day for English news in Japan - and a sharp reminder to sites like Japan Today that offer English serious and light news that the rug can be pulled on them at any time (as I recall, Japan Today itself has shown many of the offending articles that Mainichi is asking search engines to remove, plus of course it used to have the Shukan Post Watcher corner). Better be careful - I wouldn't be surprised if this site gets targetted next.

Peace

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I guess that actually, this is a golden opportunity for Japan Today to claim Mainichi's readership - if you guys can get Ryan Connel in (which I doubt you can pay, but if you could), it would be a serious opportunity for Japan Today to make a play at toppling the Japan Times.

But I would suggest looking at redoing the layout first, seriously. I guess that at least if Ryan wrote on Japan Today, there would be as many people here sticking up for him as detracting him - hell, it would attract Japanese readers (even if mostly angry ones with torches and pitchforks). Worth considering.

Peace

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Hiko: I also liked the old site better, but this site is not going back to the comfortable one we used to know. It is a shame you do not stop by more often as JT always could use more thoughtful, knowledgeable posters such as yourself.

I hope JT does take over the business the Mainichi has decided to discontinue. The Mainichi link in my bookmarks has been deleted.

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Perhaps JT should consider acquiring Mr. Connell's services. There's definitely a readership for that type of material, and JT doesn't have such strict journalistic standards to uphold. I'll only ask for a 30% commission for using my idea.

Or if you're in the market for horrible puns and cheap sexual innuendo, you could always hire yours truly.

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WaiWai was always good for a chuckle. Not sure how much of what was put up was real or embellishment. Shame to see it go away.

RR

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talk about an inferiority complex or what? by censoring the media mainichi is displaying that it lacks any moral fibre, . not to preserve moral standards but to support a double standard. Time to cancel the subscription.

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This is hypocrisy at its best considering the way J media portrays other country. Especially China and the poor ones. I once almost broke my set because of the way some family in PNG were being shown on TV. And also those from Africa and else where. Now they know that it hurts. Anyway, we shall be waiting to hear the complainers.

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If WAIWAI was merely making available in English material that was already available in Japanese papers then it is nothing compared to the high level of thoughtless J-bashing that goes on in the JT Forums.

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Let's see, after years of running the WaiWai column, the Mainichi is now going to "severely punish" those responsible for the column, according to the Mainichi website. Meaning that the management at the Mainichi either, a) knew about the column all these years but is now going to scapegoat people for writing what they were paying them to write because of some complaints, b) the management responsible never bothered to check what was going on on the site, which wouldn't have been very difficult considering the articles were originally written in Japanese, or c) it was a problem of rouge employees - "yes, let's punish the head of the "Digital Media Division"", as if that person didn't have a boss snoozing away at his desk. In any case the Mainichi management comes out looking like idiots.

By the way, perhaps the WaiWai staff could now start translating threads off of the "online news site" that complained about the WaiWai articles. If it is the one that I suspect it is, they won't have any problems about the possibility of being "misunderstood". I think everybody will understand exactly what is being said about Japan.

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Any chance JapanToday can start a WaiWai section? I really see no reason to go back to that sight now...

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I just sent them an angry letter saying I will no longer support their website nor buy their newspapers again until the Wai^2 is returned. While I don't think my letter will change anything, my only recourse is speak with my wallet and stop supporting them and their products. I will really miss the Wai...

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This is the same with their radio stations. Just about the time they get popular, station management lays off the DJs and revamps the whole program from scratch. Wai Wai was the only reason people read the shimbun. That fact shamed the editorial staff. Hence the backlash.

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What the hell? I'll never go back to that site then.

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I heard that the Korean media foams at the mouth in glee each time a new series of Wai Wai comes out because it provides them with ammunition by which they can show Japan in a negative light and feel smug about themselves by proclaiming "See how disgusting Japanese society is? We Koreans are too noble and good to stoop down to such a low level as Japan. (Uh..as for Cho Seung Hui or Hanse Park...ignore them...they aren't Korean but just foreign imposters who were purposely trying to make Korea look bad)."

Anyways, a fellow journalist working for the English-language version of the Choson Ilbo said that almost 95% of all articles about Japan appearing in the Korean dalies are taken from MaiNichi's WaiWai.

Thus, the Koreans sure will be sad when they find out WaiWai tabloid will be taken out. Heaven forbid, now they might actually have to start printing objective and factual articles about Japan. We can't have that happening now, can we?

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Absolute rubbish! That is journalism as well! What's next? Remove crime section? Do not publish any information on Japan's national team losses?

This is painfully familiar to old Soviet Times when Chernobyl blew up and they started showing ballet on TV.

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Sagecat... I sent them an angry (but professional) e-mail too. Don't think it will do anything, but if enough people send them one maybe another site (wink, wink) will pick it up... C'mon JT... Pick up Waiwai (change the name for copyright issues) and translate it here.

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I don't think the Koreans will have to start printing objective and factual articles about Japan. I think they will able to walk into any convenience store in Japan, pick up the magazines and translate them themselves. (Assuming of course that the articles were in fact coming from the popular weekly magazines, which is how it was presented on the Mainichi site) And by the way, if what shibalhangook says is true about Korean papers running WaiWai articles, were they paying the Mainichi for these articles? Pretty rich if the Mainichi was selling the articles and are now throwing their employees under the bus.

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If anyone hasn't, I strongly advise reading Mainichi's spineless, self-contradictory explanation of its decision on the website. Instead of taking a balanced position on the merits and criticisms of the Waiwai column, it surrenders completely to those unnamed parties that complained about certain stories which it refuses to identify.

If the automatic response to any kind of criticism is immediate apologetic capitulation to whichever deluded, self-interested group or individual complained in the first place, surely there's little hope for objective and thorough reporting of ANY news in Japan? Waiwai usually covered entertaining, saucy and (mostly) trivial stories, so what about when there is a real matter of public importance making news? Can we expect the Mainichi to report the truth when reputations, careers or even more are at stake, now their response to criticism is so clear?

If indeed Korean newspapers have been using Waiwai as source material for their commentary on Japan (and they can just as easily continue to do so by translating the original weeklies into Korean themselves) it says a hell of a lot more about Korea than it does about Japan. The mark of maturity in a society is press freedom and the ability to accept that others may judge you on what is published. This is a profoundly retrograde step, in my view.

As the Japanese might euphemistically say, in terms of journalism this decision is a "regrettable development".

Mainichi should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and Ryan Connell should be employed by JT, Metropolis or some other organisation as soon as possible.

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P.S. - I love the way the Mainichi describes pulling the column altogether and punishing the people who edited it, as "a fundamental re-think". If there were factual errors in the translation of a particular story - or the original story itself was incorrect - then why not just name the article, apologise and clarify the facts? It seems however to be much more about the charge of "debauching Japan by sending around the world information that could be misunderstood" (i.e. information that could be readily understood about the seedier side of Japanese life, business and crime) than any specific story.

Truly pathetic, from an organisation that doubtless describes itself as an independent provider of news about this country.

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a) knew about the column all these years but is now going to scapegoat people for writing what they were paying them to write because of some complaints, b) the management responsible never bothered to check what was going on on the site, which wouldn't have been very difficult considering the articles were originally written in Japanese, or c) it was a problem of rouge employees - "yes, let's punish the head of the "Digital Media Division"", as if that person didn't have a boss snoozing away at his desk. In any case the Mainichi management comes out looking like idiots.

I'm leaning on "A". Let's face it. The huge # of access=Large ad revenue. In order to compete with the other media giants (Yomiuri, Asahi, Nikkei) they needed to do something different. But ultimately, when the petitioners started to complain to the advertisers (JP Coca Cola, Asahi Kasei), the WaiWai's days were numbered.

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I am in a period of mourning at the pulling of Wai-Wai.

Now, to get unverifiable news and tabloid-quality commentary, we only have the JT to turn to.

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I posted this same comment on the "National" section, but, really, it sums up my feelings:

The WaiWai was the only reason to read the MDN. It showed the tawdry side of Japan and, God love it, proved that the Japanese are as flawed and human as the rest of us.

After being exposed the distilled English media day-in and day-out (as well as the distilled Japanese media, of course), I gotta truly admit, I enjoyed reading about the frisky, straying housewives, the dysfunctional salarymen, the hypersexed college/school kids, the corrupt police and other tabloid fodder. It was imminently cool.

I'm wondering now how much of a downtick the MDN will experience. I surely have no reason to go there now.

Great - 300 folks got their panties in a knot because = GASP = Japan has a dark and kinky side, too, and they decide to kill off the whole thing. Bunch of glass-eyed killjoys...grumble, grumble, grumble...

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What do you think of the Mainichi's decision to cease publishing its WaiWai tabloid tidbits section on its English online site following complaints that it portrays Japanese society in a negative light to the world?

I agree with this decision. I'd hate to think that the country known around the world for sadistic game shows, gender-segregated molester-thwarting subway cars and the sale girls' used underwear in vending machines could somehow suffer a tarnished reputation.

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And I would go further and say that Mainichi brass openly encouraged the WaiWai writers to spice it up to get more access hits knowing that most Japanese don't pay attention to English sites. And when $hit hit the fan, they needed the fall guy.

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http://www9.atwiki.jp/mainichiwaiwai/pages/16.html

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A shame indeed - that collumn was telling life as it really is. How can we trust the quality of their editorial without there being a balance and portrayal of what really goes on? The world, Japan included, has it's share of sordidity and squalor and I think it's a newspaper/news website's job to reflect this.

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he,he, not quite sure what the purpose of the above post from "mayuko" was, but I took up the invitation and visited. Clicked on the green title and was taken to the top page, where I learned that Waiwai contained "only stimulating and erotic articles, which had been creatively translated". Damn, wish I had realized that all those years that WaiWai was around, guess I am just too naive and innocent.

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You know there's a funny thing about Japan - for me that's the way that the fact a complaint has been made seems to be far more significant than who made it, why, or whether there's any merit to it whatsoever. It's rather like the wide-eyed refusal of many Japanese people to consider anything strange about judges having super-high conviction rates. The "well he wouldn't be in court if he wasn't guilty, would he?" kind of attitude prevails, I've heard it more than once first hand.

The Japanese also seem to be more upset with the fact that this stuff is being translated into English than the fact that it is being written and published in the first place, and Mainichi have publicly said that they will severely punish the staffers involved without saying who complained or what the specific issue of complaint was. Until they do so, it looks like these people have been victimised for simply doing their jobs, making a pretty dull website interesting and amusing for a lot of English readers.

The "ton of bricks" approach of MDN suggests that it's not just any "Mr Suzuki from Yasukuni" writing in and having a whinge. But whatever the case, people's priorities are completely skewed here - Waiwai always made it clear that its source material was the lower types of unsubstantiated scandal rags etc., so I don't think too many non-Japanese will have based their whole view of Japan on it. That said, it also seems that, lurid sex stories apart, the weeklies can and do talk about some taboo subjects which mainstream Japanese media with its established press club system simply won't touch - hence the sensitivity.

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I agree that this is a chance for JT to acquire a chunk of the Mainichi readership. If Mainichi caves in to spurious complaints by nationalits, JT could show it has some cohones.

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Whenever I was bored or not able to sleep I always used to read WAIWAI. Now I have to find some other things to fill that gap.

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I guess I'll have to work on my Japanese reading skills. What a bogus decision in the first place, I found Wai Wai to be one of the funnier reads. I'm not sure who outside of expats reads the wai wai section anyway so who exactly is getting a negative view on Japanese society?

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What do you think of the Mainichi's decision to cease publishing its WaiWai tabloid tidbits section on its English online site

think its great. who are they

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More/New info on the Mainichi site:

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/culture/waiwai/

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To be honest, I've never read Wai Wai. I guess I'll have to do some research. Still, a tabloid is a tabloid..a form of entertainment. I can't imagine people form their opinions of a country based on this, and if they do, the problem is with those people, not with the tabloid.

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whats even worse is that the Waiwai archive has seemingly been pulled too!

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I thik a lot of people need to grow thicker skin. No matter how flowery the stories, how wonderful the articles, how kind the perspective, people in the world are going to have a bad perception about any country. You cannot please everyone.

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Quite honestly, I'm surprised it took this long. To be fair, I read WaiWai fairly regularly, and I too found it amusing. But it really didn't present Japan in too flattering a light.

If WaiWai were to be believed, Japan is a nation brimming with unfaithful wives, morally suspect husbands, public porn productions, and perverted cops, lawyers, assemblymen, and educators, topped off with a hefty supply of pedophiles, teenage prostitutes, random slashers, mad-dog killers, and gropers on every train and street corner.

If WaiWai were to be believed, Japan is a cesspool of the worst decadence one can imagine – a modern day Gomorrah. The sad thing is – and this is why I’m surprised WaiWai wasn’t pulled sooner – that because WaiWai was attached to a supposedly reputable news source like Mainichi Shinbun, and because there are, how shall I put it? Idiots who regard everything they read on the Internet as the gospel truth (perhaps not the best example, come to think of it), there are a lot of people out there who truly believe Japan is a cesspool of the worst decadence imaginable. And it’s not.

I’m not going to cry over the demise of WaiWai. If I want perversion, I’ll just pick up this week’s Young Jump Magazine.

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Japan Today, now is your chance to increase readership 10,000% by hiring the genius at Mainichi who used to translate Wai Wai and starting a new column. Best articles I ever read.

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Waiwai always made it clear that its source material was the lower types of unsubstantiated scandal rags etc., so I don't think too many non-Japanese will have based their whole view of Japan on it.

frontandcentre:

Have they? I mean people who are long time residents of Japan are somewhat aware of the fact that publications such as Jitsuwa Knuckles, Shukan Gendai, and Asahi Geino are as you say scandal rags but what about the non residents who have no idea what they are all about? The reverse example would be Washington Post or USA Today having a section where they translate some articles from National Enquirer or Star Magazine in other languages. Though people from U.S. are familiar with the contents of these tabloids and what they are all about, I doubt many from abroad are. And furthermore, I doubt people from U.S. will say that such tabloid articles are "telling life as it really is"

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Having had to endure a few days without WaiWai and it's "stimulating and erotic" articles, I decided to open up my wallet and headed over to my SkyPerfect Tv porn channels. After flicking through the 20 odd (or is it 30 odd?)available channels, I settled on the movie that looked like it was most likely to contain sexual acts that would get the movie banned in my more prudish home country, and hit the pay button. And you know what - there wasn't a single comedy English translation to be heard on any of the movies I checked. Wouldn't want the foreign viewer to get any wrong impressions about Japan I guess. Oh, I just realized something - maybe I am not supposed to know about these channels. Maybe SkyPerfect Tv shouldn't be selling dishes to foreign residents, those foreigners might tell their friends all about Japanese porn when they go home. So hey 2channelers, stop sitting around. It's time to get back to work!!!!!

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The whole act itself shows Japan in a negative light. Epic fail.

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The whole act itself shows Japan in a negative light. Epic fail.

Hmmm, do the management decisions of one privately owned newspaper reflect badly on the country?

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One last post from me, only this time a serious one.

Point one is that there are two separate issues here which shouldn't get mixed together. The first is the question of the translation and distribution of content which is freely available and legal in Japan, and whether this should be stopped on the grounds that it "could be misunderstood", and "lead to a spread of misinformation" and thus damage the country's image. A previous poster said something along the lines of that that argument would be laughed at in any other country, I would go further and say that in most countries it wouldn't even occur to anybody to make it. Like I said, it is legal material, and not legal material for Japanese only. Assuming the translations are of reasonable accuracy, and the quality and truthfulness, or lack of, the source material is made clear to the reader, the protesters don't have a leg to stand on. The second issue is whether or not the Mainichi website was an appropriate place for these translations to appear, in that they are seen as a legitimate news organization. This is much more debatable point, but one that any competent management should have been able to deal with much more , uh, competently, without appearing to cave in to pressure and blaming their own employees.

Point two, it appears that the people behind the protest were using translations of the translations to drum up support. I was told earlier today by a Japanese woman that she had read a news report on the internet and was "shocked by the horrible things that were being written about Japanese women." This combined with reading in Japanese on the protesters' site that the WaiWai articles were "stimulating and erotic" makes me wonder just how accurately the articles were being translated. Humor is of course famously difficult to translate, both in terms of language and culturally, and I don't recall ever being either shocked or stimulated by WaiWai. I wonder how often a play on words in English became something graphic in Japanese, how often nudge-nudge innuendo became something explicit. I don't know, and my Japanese ability is not up to finding out, but that may be the underlying explanation for this whole business.

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I reade it WaiWai and I dont think that is that terrible image about J. I read it stuff like that in other countries and I think that is more or less the same. I mean, is like comfirm that we are all the same in esence. In place of just hide the garvage under the carpet, if they REALLY care what image people get about J, why they dont try to write articles that are enough meaningful for read in place of just censorship translations for foreigners?

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Well, Wai Wai really was trash. But it was interesting trash. What gets me is that the Mainichi is severely punishing those responsible for Wai Wai. As if those in control did not bother to read their own website.

It is a pity to see Wai Wai go because it told you a lot about what normal Japanese were reading and what was on their minds. Maybe Japan Today will pick up the slack.

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I've always kind of wondered what went through the mind of a salaryman strap-hanger when he was shoved up against a 17-year-old schoolgirl in a miniskirt, loose socks and glitter adhesive on her eyelids, reeking of eau du cologne. Thanks to WaiWai, it became possible to obtain insights of these things in English. And I must say I'm utterly SHOCKED to discover that Japanese entertain lurid, masturbatory fantasies, just like the rest of us.

Blame it on the dangerously pheromone density in major cities atmosphere, which is suppose must be something like a dangerously high 250 parts per million. That's enough to create a sex industry with annual revenues bigger than those of Toyota and Sony combined. Even bigger than the GNP of Dubai, I read somewhere.

WaiWai stories may have been flaky, but there was an honesty and openness to them, and I think attacking it is counterproductive and unfair to those who read them, nodded their head, and concluded, "Gosh, behind those inscrutably bland expressions are people not so different from you and me." Perhaps instead of "bw js," the writers could have used more polite euphemisms, like "sexual stimulation by oral means." Only I'm pretty sure that's not how it was described in the Japanese originals.

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A selection of headlines from today's Mainichi:

Police officers overpower knife-wielding man in Akihabara

Woman arrested over Osaka Station attacks admits slashing 2 victims with razor

Ex-figure skating club coach indicted for raping junior high school girl

3 more students come under fire for drawing graffiti on historical Italian church

Pharmacist hit with fresh charges for stealing from woman after lacing her beer

1 billion yen unaccounted for at NOVA

Elderly man under arrest for killing 4 family members may face psychiatric evaluation

Clerk at prosecutors' office evades charges for stealing bicycle after apologizing

Each article of course is high quality, non-sensationalized, hard hitting journalism (especially the bicycle story) on topics that in no way might be "misunderstood". Good thing they got rid of WaiWai then.

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I agree it's interesting trash, and loved/hate every bit of the weird it protrayed. The wrong thing here in my opinion is the unnecessary disciplinary actions. That's just pure BS.

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Never even heard of it until today so no loss

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Mainichi have just removed all reader comments from their site. Looks like reader dissent will not be tolerated by their feudal bosses...

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Now Mainichi has closed its Reader's Forum indefinitely 'for renewal' - looks like they couldn't take the heat!

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