With all of the focus on the arrest of Ichiro Ozawa’s secretary and the debate about whether or not Construction companies should be allowed to make official donations to political parties and candidates, the Japanese parliament seems to have come to a halt. Normally I wouldn’t give two hoots if the Japanese parliament had a back log of laws to vote on because it is extremely rare that Japanese politicians have anything of interest to say. But this month, I really wish that they would speed up their act. If they don’t pass an upcoming bill then your (and my) cheese bill could be 30% higher from next month, thanks to the inept Japanese parliament. Continue reading Rush and buy cheese!
In America, former movie stars make good Presidents. In the East, it seems, it works the other way: it takes a politician to become a popular porn star. If you’re lucky enough, you might have seen some photos of the hottest property in Japanese politics, Yuri Fujikawa (藤川ゆり) showing off her cleavage at a beach in her hometown of Hachinohe, 八戸 (not to be confused with the real porn star, of the same name! Warning – NSFW link).
For those that are not up on their Aomori geography, Hachinohe is a smallish town in the east coast of Aomori prefecture at the tip of Honshu. It’s biggest year round tourist attraction is its rather dull fish market (Hasshoku Centre, 八食センター), usually full of local elderly folks, and US Marines from the nearby Misawa Airforce Base (presumably because there is nothing else for them to do in their time off). Anyway, I digress – the point is, that Hachinohe is an extremely quiet, down-to-earth, and above all conservative community. Throw into that mix a young (hot) representative who just released a gravure DVD and a sexy photo shoot book, and you have some fiery topics of conversation for the population of sleepy old Hachinohe (and far beyond!). Continue reading Japanese Politician Stoops to Soft Porn for the Good of the Electorate
After being developed in Kyoto in the early 80s as a next generation version of bottomless coffee shops (ノーパン喫茶, nopan kissa), the so called “Fashion Health” industry was and still is a key aspect of the neon alleys in Japan’s red light districts. Fashion Health was a product of the bubble and began to proliferate in 1981. Nowadays, the government has tightened the regulations (風営法, fu’eiho) considerably and it’s now practically impossible to open a brand new Fashion Health shop. However, due to one of those wacky loopholes that you often find in Japanese law, Fashion Health establishments that were already in operation before the enactment of the new regulation are allowed to remain in business. Continue reading Japan’s real-estate market won’t take it lying down
If you haven’t already heard, news broke a week or two that a small firm based in Kawasaki, Teramento (テラメント) Corporation falsely reported to have acquired a 51% stake in six large (giant) Japanese companies: Sony Corporation; Toyota Motor Corporation; Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation (NTT); Fuji Television Network Inc.; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.; and, Astellas Pharma Inc. Continue reading Teramento – Taking the wind out of the FSA
Walking through the main arcade from the west exit of Yokohama station in mid November, I chuckled to myself as I witnessed Don Quixote employees replacing the usual risqué コスプレ (cosplay) outfits from the store front displays and replacing them with Santa and reindeer outfits. As I looked to the other side of the street, Colonel Sanders had already donned his Santa clothes and above him read a banner that KFC were ready to take orders for Christmas Eve. Those reading this article from abroad might assume the sight of this may have shocked or horrified me, but, as is the case after living here for a while, I simply shrugged and moved on.
For those that have spent at least one Christmas here would know that a Japanese-style Christmas is more like an early Valentines Day, but instead of chocolates, couples are more inclined to Continue reading Kentucky Fried Christmas – finger lickin’ good!