While Japan and South Korea are locked in an escalating and rather senseless set of retaliatory actions against one another, the rest of the world simply sits on the sidelines, afraid to either take a side or even mediate between the two nations.
The planned construction of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Akita has once again suffered a blow as independent, opposition-supported candidate Shizuka Terata won in the House of Councillors election. Terata’s victory owes to the efforts of many in the region who are strongly opposed to the deployment of the facility so close to the city center.
Despite Japan’s generous allowance for childcare leave, many parents are pressured and even punished by their employers for taking advantage of it. Glen Wood, a single father and victim of paternity harassment, has taken his case to court in an attempt to regain his job and bring awareness to the issue of harassment in the workplace.
For the first time in 31 years, commercial whaling boats have returned to the Japanese ports with their first catch of minke whales, having set out on July 1. While conservationists around the world are appalled by the apparent revival of the industry, a lack of demand for the meat it produces may, in fact, lead to its ultimate demise.
In a case of marked progress for Japan’s LGBT community, Ibaraki has become the first prefectural government to recognize same-sex couples through its issuance of “partnership declaration certificates.”
The construction of India’s first bullet train has slowed to a crawl due to land acquisition issues and protests from the affected rural populace whose property lies in its path. Fears of displacement and the loss of their homes, paired with inadequate compensation by India’s government, means that the project is increasingly unlikely to meet its proposed 2022 deadline.
Given that Japan is likely to host more foreign residents and tourists in the future, it is necessary for such residents and visitors to the country to remain respectful and mindful of the fact that they are not under the jurisdiction of their home country’s more familiar legal system.
Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the now-bankrupt Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange, expressed his belief in the potential of cryptocurrency as a viable method of payment while recognizing that there is still serious work to be done regarding security.