Random Japan


Brazilian psychic Jucelino Nobrega da Luz had some Tokyo residents on edge when he predicted a 6.5-magnitude earthquake would hit the metropolis on August 6. Didn’t happen, fortunately, but a minor quake did rumble the city a couple of days later.

And here’s hoping that another of Jucelino’s predictions fails to come true: he’s on record as saying that an 8.4 quake will rumble through Tokyo and Yokohama in September 2010, killing 70,000 people.

In a bit of good news for semi-blind flyboys, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces announced it would relax some of the physical requirements for aircraft pilots due to a drop in the number of applications. People wearing glasses are now free to apply.

Wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who was in charge when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and who was executed for war crimes in 1948, was not the type to go quietly into the night. In recently released papers written during the final days of World War II, Tojo made it clear he thought government leaders and the general population were “spineless” for supporting unconditional surrender to the allies.

Nippon TV was left with egg on its face when it overstated the amount of food that competitive eater Tomoko Miyake quaffed down on its News Real Time program. After a weekly magazine accused NTV of padding its stats, the network went to the videotape replay and subsequently downgraded the number of plates wiped clean from 48 to 39.



Percentage of Japanese women in their 20s and 30s who say that men smell bad in commuter trains, according to a survey by

a Tokyo-based deodorant company


Number of shooting incidents in the first six months of the year, down from 33 a year ago


Number of people killed or wounded in shooting incidents, six fewer than in 2007

28.3 percent

Approval rating for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s newly reconstituted cabinet, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey


The Fukuda administration kept mum on a frozen gyoza food-poisoning outbreak in China at the behest of the Chinese government, revealed Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura. Several people in China got sick in June after eating pesticide-tainted gyoza made by Tianyang Food, the same company whose gyoza sickened Japanese consumers in December and January.

Two Japanese journalists covering a terrorist attack in China that left 16 people dead were beaten up by local coppers, prompting a quick protest from Tokyo. Masami Kawakita, a photog for the Tokyo Shimbun, and Shinji Katsuta, a reporter for NTV, were “knocked down, kicked, trampled and hit in the face” at a police facility, their respective media organizations said.

Talk about global roaming: Lin Zhong and Chen Huaqiang, both from China, were arrested in connection with Japan’s first bank fraud case involving cellphone calls placed from overseas. Police figure the dial-up swindlers took in about ¥30 million in more than 20 incidents involving people living in Japan.

A New Political Party

Which will just as ineffective as the other political parties

Exploding Ice Cream

A whole new fad

Stealing Kids Underwear

How sick is that?

Snakes Are Our Friends Our Neighbors

Even 51 poisonous ones


More than 1,200 people were questioned or arrested during the first six months of 2007 for possession and/or sale of weed, a “record-breaking pace,” the National Police Agency said in a report.

In a possibly related development, the number of shooting incidents across Japan dropped during the first half of the year. Could those hardened criminals have sparked up and mellowed out?

2channel founder says don’t blame him for criminals’ posts

Over the past few years 2 Channel (2ch) has become the largest online forum in Japan, registering up to 200 million hits a day. Launched by college student Hiroyuki Nishimura in 1999, the site is often at the center of controversy and was criticized in June after it was used by the suspect in the Akihabara stabbing rampage to announce his plans.

Freelance journalist Tetsuya Shibui interviews Nishimura for Shukan Post.

The suspect in the Akihabara rampage has told police he killed people because his messages were ignored on 2ch.

That case has nothing to do with us. I don’t believe he killed people just because he was ignored online. He says he doesn’t have friends. But it’s not surprising people like him don’t have friends. But that alone cannot be a reason for murder. It’s too simple to think the Internet causes such crimes.