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Category Archives: Society

Reporting from Kumamoto

A personal memoir of the Kumamoto earthquake, reflecting both on the challenges of one-man reporting as well as the experience of being there.

A Reality Check on Islam in Japan

The US debate about Muslims and terrorism has become so extreme that it seems almost any claim, no matter how farfetched and at variance with the facts, can gain wide traction so long as it corresponds with popular prejudices. One recurring meme that illustrates this tendency is the notion that terrorism does not exist in Japan, and the reason is that the Japanese have adopted strict measures to keep Muslims out of the country. These notions promoted mainly by US conservatives are simply wrong on so many levels that it almost seems pointless to address such ignorant and lazy-minded arguments.

Day Service Las Vegas

Kaoru Mori, president of Japan Elderly Care Service, explains the concept and effectiveness of his Day Service Las Vegas initiative.

Under Surveillance in Tokyo

The first sign that something was amiss occurred at Tokyo Disneyland. Hassan was at a ride with his three young boys when he noticed a man who seemed out of place. The man was a tall, clean-cut Japanese man, perhaps in his mid-30s, who was all alone at a location where everyone else had children. Why was an adult man hanging out at a children’s ride? Hassan thought it was strange, but he says that it was from that day forward that his life took a change for worse.

Japan’s LGBT Community Gains Recognition

Tokyo’s LGBT community marched in the annual Tokyo Rainbow Pride on April 26 to raise awareness for social acceptance. The estimated three thousand participants in the parade departed from Yoyogi Park and traversed various parts of Shibuya Ward. This year they not only celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Tokyo pride events, but also the passing of a same-sex partnership registration ordinance in Shibuya Ward in March

New Year’s Eve with the Shibuya Homeless

For seventeen years a private aid group has been feeding the homeless of Shibuya Ward during the winter holiday period when city services are otherwise unavailable. In the early years, about one hundred homeless would show up and participate, but in recent years that number has swelled to about two hundred, according to the organizers.