Give a little, take a little
Immediately after depositing the federal government’s cash handouts into the bank accounts of 50 local residents, officials in Tsushima, Nagasaki, then seized overdue taxes from them.
It was reported that police in Ichikawa, Chiba, busted a forgery ring specializing in fake alien registration cards. Over 1,300 documents were recovered, worth an estimated ¥12 million on the black market.
Twenty-eight Japanese World War II veterans were joined by 20 vets from the US for a softball game at an elementary school in Hiroshima where 400 children were killed in the 1945 atomic bombing.
Neighbors expressed shock that a three story building in a densely packed Osaka residential area was being used as a “marijuana factory.” Cops arrested two men and seized over 350 plants worth an estimated ¥500 million.
Percent of newly hired employees who say they would give priority to drinking with coworkers rather than “friends or partners,” according to a survey by Kirin Institute of Food & Lifestyle
Settlement awarded to a Hokkaido man who sued his former employer over health problems suffered due to secondhand smoke in his office
Number of “dating groups” deleted by leading Japanese SNS Mixi at the request of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
Percent of maritime distress signals transmitted “accidentally” in 2008, according to the Japan Coast Guard
Here and there
In honor of the Emperor and Empress’ 50th wedding anniversary earlier this month, Mitsukoshi department store in Nihombashi displayed the horse-drawn carriage that paraded the couple through the streets of Tokyo on their wedding day.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Suzuki WagonR was the bestselling vehicle in Japan. Consumers snapped up over 208,000 of the minivans.
A nation mourns: the Renewable Energy Policy Network announced that Japan had fallen to third place behind Spain and Germany in “grid-connected solar photovoltaic capacity.”
Publisher Enterbrain reported that sales of home gaming consoles fell in fiscal 2008 for the first time in five years.
The top-selling devices were the Nintendo DS (3.98 million), the Sony Playstation Portable (3.23 million) and Nintendo’s Wii (2.25 million). Bestselling games included Pokemon Platinum (2.37 million), Mario Kart Wii (2.2 million) and Rhythm Heaven (1.65 million).
A new high school “dedicated to the teaching of advanced science and technology” was opened in Yokohama. Students will write up their lab results in English.
Headline of the week: Injured Sea Turtle to Get Prosthetic Flippers (via the Daily Yomiuri)
So I’m Sitting Naked In A Park
Talk About Smash And Grab
Protect And Grop
The Potted Plant
Journalist raps police over arrest of Kusanagi
While the Japanese entertainment industry continued Friday to remove images of Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, a pop star arrested for indecency, from TV programs and movie theaters, a journalist criticized police for arresting him for something he says did not warrant arrest and the mass media for being uncritical of the police action.
Shuntaro Torigoe, a former editor-in-chief of the Sunday Mainichi weekly magazine, said it was ”unreasonable” of the police to arrest the 34-year-old member of the SMAP all-boy group for ”public indecency for being naked in a deserted park at 3 a.m.”
When a drunken person is making a lot of noise, police usually offer protection to that person, he said, adding that the police arrested Kusanagi simply because he is a celebrity and that they probably suspected he might have been under the influence of narcotics.
Work prospects bleak for ‘arafifu’ men; sex prospects better
“Arafo” women-women of “around 40” (the neologism took root last year)-are doing just fine, thank you, leading lives that are the stuff of envy and TV dramas. But Shukan Asahi (May 1) trains its scope on “arafifu” men-men of around 50-to find the picture, if not quite bleak, certainly less scintillating.
Money, sex and career, not necessarily in that order, are the issues that weigh most heavily. “I’m 48 years old and I can barely afford lunch at McDonald’s!” sighs a printing company employee. Owing partly to what the prime minister has dubbed “the worst recession in 100 years,” partly to a Japanese custom which has the wife taking charge of the family income and doling out a monthly allowance to the husband, this man’s lunch budget is 500 yen a day. It was never substantially higher, but the approach of 50 seems a time for heightened sensitivity to little indignities that once went unnoticed.