With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner and Japan opening its doors to foreign workers than ever before, it would seem that the nation should also be ready to show its omotenashi towards its growing foreign community. But judging by Osaka Prefecture’s grossly inept handling of changes to its Native English Teacher (NET) Program and its treatment of its foreign workers, grave doubts are warranted.
Artist Chiharu Shiota is Japanese, and deeply so, but at the same time she lives a very international life. Her installations and performances address hot issues that question exile, displacement, identity, sickness, and all their respective boundaries of fear and anxiety.
With the keen media attention and the escalating response from governments around Asia and beyond, it would not be unreasonable for a large section of the public to feel quite afraid of the Wuhan Coronavirus, but what researchers are discovering is a level of threat to human health which may not be much greater than the seasonal flu.
A law firm in Yokohama is refusing to return the personal documents, including passport, college transcript, and college graduation certificate, of a 30-year-old Filipino woman because of a contract she signed for her employment in Japan.
Sports journalist Scott McIntyre, just released from 44 days of detention for trespassing into his parents-in-laws apartment complex, describes the conditions he endured as being tantamount to “torture.”
Sections of the Hiroshima Army Clothing Depot (ACD), some of the few remaining buildings that bear the marks of the August 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city, are scheduled to be torn down despite the opposition of concerned citizens’ groups.
Carlos Ghosn defense lawyer Takashi Takano has written a blog post in Japanese language, dated January 4, expressing his outrage at the prosecution of his client Carlos Ghosn.
On November 20, 2019, Tokyo police arrested a drug suspect. This time it was a 32-year-old Norwegian university student named Ingrid Martinussen, who is autistic. This case is a crystal clear example of Japan’s irrational approach to its war on drugs and of a legal system which has spun out of control.
A new art movement in Tokyo seeks to help Japanese young people find their individuality.
“Japan was postmodern before postmodernism was cool” wrote Douglas McGray in Foreign Policy magazine. While that may be true, Japan has lost control of its own major cultural exports.