HomeCategory Japan

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Yamato, the company that produces “Arabic Yamato,” a type of liquid glue, has warned its customers not to eat, drink, or otherwise ingest its glue. “Arabic Yamato” is ubiquitous in Japan and can be found in many ¥100 shops, stationery stores, convenience stores, and supermarkets. It’s like Japan’s version of Elmer’s Glue. Why are people ingesting this type of glue? Is it to achieve some sort of “high?” Nope. The reason is that some think...

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A bill has just cleared the Diet (Japan’s parliament) that will add a new branch to the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF). The new branch will be a “space force.” Will the “space force” have giant robots, or “mecha,” like in countless Japanese anime and video games? No, at least not in the near future. However, it will focus on cleaning up space junk (which was non-existent in the mid-20th century, but is now starting to...

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This month, the Japan Tourism Agency, which is part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, released statistics about foreign tourists. Some of the statistics may be very surprising to readers. First of all, tourism is booming in Japan, with tourists in 2019 spending 6.5% more money here than in 2018. In fact, they spent more money than in any other year in Japanese history; 2019 was the 7th consecutive year in which...

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Japan Airlines, also known as (JAL), is one of the major airline companies in Japan, along with All Nippon Airways (ANA). JAL is planning a special promotion for the summer of 2020, that will finish at the end of September. In it, JAL will give out 100,000 free round-trip airline tickets to foreigners visiting Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The tickets are for domestic side trips so that foreign tourists already in Japan can...

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Takahiro Shibata (Twitter username: @iine_piroshiki), a Japanese artist, has created an extremely lifelike sponge cake that looks like a sponge. “When I tried to bake green and yellow sponge cake and stack them on top of each other, I was able to make a sponge that was better than imagined,” he wrote on Twitter. He posted a picture and the aforementioned Tweet at 7:50 PM on December 20, 2019. Here is what his sponge cake...

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Weekend warriors love DIY. You can take out a hammer, nails, and some plywood and make some furniture. You can snake your own drain. You can even order a small, ultralight airplane in kit form and build it in your backyard. When people think of “DIY,” they think of a dad with an inventive streak that hasn’t quite died out, with some tools, working on a project on a Saturday or Sunday. Well, in Japan,...

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On Monday, the Japanese Cabinet Office released the latest economic figures for Japan. Annualized Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was up 1.8%. In other words, the economy was 1.8% stronger than last year at the same time of year. The preliminary reading had been that there was only 0.2% growth, but the final number beat this out by a 1.6% margin. Economists had forecasted 0.7%; once again, the actual number was substantially above expectations. Domestic demand...

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Government ministry rules state that “any corporal punishment, non matter how light, is prohibited.” In the spring of this year, the Japanese Prime Minister and his top ministers, who comprise the Cabinet, were worried about an increase in child abuse. This increase is backed up by statistics. They decided to introduce a law to prohibit parents from physically punishing their children (e.g. hitting, spanking, etc.). The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has now, as...

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The miniature furniture, which is just the right size for cats, also comes with treats for their human owners. It’s December, and winter will start soon. Now people can enjoy winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing. They can attend public events held in winter. The Sapporo Snow Festival or Christmas “illumination” shows come to mind. Or would you rather just get through the winter as toasty as possible, and not go out so much?...

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Who is this “Edward Znoden?” I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere before… For a long time prior to becoming an informant about the US government’s shady activities, and becoming active in advocating for, and warning people about cybersecurity, Edward Snowden loved anime. One of his first jobs, before doing what he became the most famous for, was in a startup company, started by him and his friend, selling anime art. In 2018, he...